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Posts tagged ‘Mystery’

Book Review: Trouble in Tampa by Louise Titchener

Cover Trouble in Tampa

About the book:

 Currently a semifinalist for the Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Award for Best Historical Mystery of 2018, Trouble in Tampa is a thrilling look at the Wild South of Florida in 1885. An easy assignment for sharpshooter and ex-Pinkerton investigator, Oliver Redcastle, turns deadly. A wealthy Baltimore art collector sends an employee to Florida. When that man goes missing, the rich man hires Oliver to find him. Reluctantly, Oliver boards Henry Plant’s newly constructed train to Florida. At the end of the line he gets off in Tampa to find a swamp load of trouble. He’s betrayed by an old acquaintance, and by not one, but two passionate women. Oliver is railroaded into one of old Florida’s infamous turpentine camps. There he must use his sharpshooting skill to escape certain death. But that means a harrowing trek through miles of dangerous animals, dangerous people, and shocking intrigues. In Key West he meets female Pinkerton operative, Hannah Kinchman. She got him into trouble in Tampa. But Oliver has a soft spot for Hannah. Together they fight their way through kidnapping, treasure hunts, intrigue, and the beautiful but treacherous Florida Everglades. Will Oliver overcome the many hurdles blocking his way home? It won’t be easy!

Buy the book at Amazon 

 My review:

The title, Trouble in Tampa, is definitely an understatement in this historical novel about life – and death – in southern Florida during the late 1800s. Private detective Oliver Redcastle reluctantly leaves his ailing daughter with a trusted caregiver to undertake what he hopes will be a simple missing person inquiry. He eventually solves the case, but not before witnessing an assassination attempt, being falsely imprisoned in a hidden turpentine camp, barely escaping a shotgun wedding, being adopted by a parrot with an extremely broad vocabulary, undertaking a forced treasure hunt in the Everglades, and much more. In the beginning of the book, I was a little distracted by a style that seemed a little terse and colorless, but as Redcastle stepped off the train into the barely civilized south of Florida, the story burst into a colorful collage of unusual characters and intriguing plot twists that made it hard to put down. This was my first novel by Louise Tichener, but it won’t be my last.

About the author:

Louise Titchener Head ShotLouise Titchener is the author of over forty traditionally published novels in a variety of genres including romance, science-fiction-fantasy, and mystery. She has two published mystery series. The first is set in Baltimore and features Toni Credella, a dyslexic young woman determined to defend her sex against evildoers. The Oliver Redcastle historical series is set in the 1880’s and features a sharp shooter and ex-Pinkerton protagonist. The first two Redcastle mysteries take place in Baltimore where Louise spent many years. Trouble in Tampa is set in the area where Louise now lives with her philosophy professor husband. In addition to writing and reading she likes to kayak, admire the beautiful tropical birds in her neighborhood, and take long walks.

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Blessings,

Linda

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#MysteryExchange Treasure Hunters #Romance + #Suspense by @Kris_Bock

Kris Bock’s Southwest Treasure Hunters novels mix action and adventure with romance. The stories explore the Southwest, especially New Mexico. Each novel stands alone, with a new main couple, and is complete, with no cliffhangers.

The Mad Monk’s Treasure

“Smart romance with an ‘Indiana Jones’ feel.”Twitter-MadMonk (2)

A legendary treasure hunt in the dramatic – and deadly – New Mexico desert…. Reviewers give it a 4.6 star average. Get this romantic adventure for only 99 cents or FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

 The lost Victorio Peak treasure is the stuff of legends – a heretic Spanish priest’s gold mine, made richer by the spoils of bandits and an Apache raider. When Erin, a quiet history professor, uncovers a clue that may pinpoint the lost treasure cave, she prepares for adventure. But when a hit and run driver nearly kills her, she realizes she’s not the only one after the treasure. And is Drew, the handsome helicopter pilot who found her bleeding in a ditch, really a hero, or one of the enemy?

“The story has it all – action, romance, danger, intrigue, lost treasure, not to mention a sizzling relationship….”

Get The Mad Monk’s Treasure on Amazon.

 

The Dead Man’s Treasure

The Dead Man’s Treasure is fast-paced and a perfect read for the weekend. I highly Twitter-DeadMans-smallrecommend this one.”

Rebecca Westin is shocked to learn the grandfather she never knew has left her a bona fide buried treasure – but only if she can decipher a complex series of clues leading to it. The hunt would be challenging enough without interference from her half-siblings, who are determined to find the treasure first and keep it for themselves. Good thing Rebecca has recruited some help.

Sam is determined to show Rebecca that a desert adventure can be sexy and fun. But there’s a treacherous wildcard in the mix, a man willing to do anything to get that treasure – and revenge.

Action and romance combine in this lively Southwestern adventure, complete with riddles the reader is invited to solve to identify historical and cultural sites around New Mexico.

“I can’t say enough how much I loved this book! It has mystery, adventure, danger, romance, and above it all family remains a huge theme.”

Get The Dead Man’s Treasure on Amazon – free with KU.

 

The Skeleton Canyon Treasure

“A wonderfully suspenseful light romantic read filled with the old Southwest, treasure, Twitter-SkeletonCanyoncharacters you’ll love and an amazing cat.”

Camille Dagneau – beautiful, brilliant, and prickly – isn’t quick to trust, especially when a strange man has broken into her machine shop at night. But Ryan MacAllister insists he’s merely looking for his missing uncle, who has disappeared while hunting for a lost treasure. He believes Camie is the key to finding the treasure, and his uncle. Camie can ignore the attraction she feels, but she won’t pass up the chance for an adventure.

The pair set off with Camie’s feisty cat Tiger to track down the clues in the missing man’s journal. Graveyards, steep cliffs, and creepy caves don’t intimidate Camie, but she’ll need to trust Ryan to overcome all the challenges that stand in their way. A man’s life is on the line and time is running out, but her heart may be the one thing Camie is not willing to risk.

“If you like strong women and adventure, you’re going to love this.”

“The Skeleton Canyon Treasure is a light, breezy action/adventure/romance that’s perfect for summer reading.”

Get The Skeleton Canyon Treasure on Amazon – free with KU.

 

Excerpt from The Mad Monk’s Treasure:

Among all the legends, all the fact and fiction, one story stood out. The Victorio Peak legend had it all. A Franciscan priest and a swindler. Torture, murder, a government cover-up. Where was the truth, among all the stories? Erin wanted to find out. Over time, and with Camie’s encouragement, she’d started to take the treasure hunt more seriously. It wasn’t so much for the treasure itself—that would most likely belong to the government or the landowners. But it would make her reputation, open up new job opportunities—change her life in ways she hardly dared dream.

She touched the book gently. The pages were falling out; she didn’t want to risk carrying it around. Instead, Erin snapped a picture of the petroglyphs with her phone. That would be enough to show Camie for now.

The timing was perfect; she just had to turn in grades and field a few tearful last-minute requests for extensions, and she’d be done for the semester. What better way to spend the summer, than hunting for buried treasure?

Erin shook her head. Who would’ve thought that she, the quiet, studious girl who’d spent her entire adult life in academia in one way or another, would be planning such an adventure?

Erin wheeled the bike around the front of her house and mounted. At the corner, she paused and looked both ways. The long frontage road was dangerously narrow, with a cement wall on one side and a ditch on the other. Fortunately, traffic was normally light, and at this time of day the road lay empty. Erin pushed off, still grinning from her find. She rode on the right side, by the ditch, instead of facing traffic, because it was just too frightening to ride alongside the wall when a car passed.

She’d gone a block when she heard the hum of a car engine as it pulled out from a side street behind her. She rode along the very edge of the pavement, even though the car would have plenty of room to pass her without oncoming traffic.

Erin glanced over her shoulder. The black SUV 20 feet behind her hadn’t bothered to pull out into the road at all. Jerk. When would drivers learn to share the road with bicyclists? Erin pulled onto the two-foot wide gravel strip between the pavement and the ditch. She couldn’t stop without risking a skid, but she slowed so the SUV could pass.

The engine roared. Erin glanced back again.

Black metal bore down on her. Her heart lurched and the bike wobbled. This guy was crazy! She whipped her gaze forward, rose up in the seat, and pumped the pedals with all her power, skimming along inches from the ditch. He was just trying to scare her. She’d get his license plate and—

She felt the bumper hit her back tire. The bike seemed to leap into the air, and she went flying. The dried mud and weeds of the ditch seemed to rise up to meet her.

She didn’t even have time to scream.

 

Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance with outdoor adventures and Kris Bock hikingSouthwestern landscapes. Whispers in the Dark features archaeology and intrigue among ancient Southwest ruins. What We Found is a mystery with strong romantic elements about a young woman who finds a murder victim in the woods. In Counterfeits, stolen Rembrandt paintings bring danger to a small New Mexico town.

Fans of Mary Stewart and Barbara Michaels will want to check out Kris Bock’s romantic adventures. “Counterfeits is the kind of romantic suspense novel I have enjoyed since I first read Mary Stewart’s Moonspinners.” 5 Stars – Roberta at Sensuous Reviews blog

Read excerpts at www.krisbock.com or visit her Amazon page. Sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter for announcements of new books, sales, and more.

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Kris, thank you for a quick tour through your Southwest Treasure Hunters novels. I know many of my readers have added them to their to-be-read lists. Best of luck with them, and thanks again for stopping by.

Blessings,

Linda

 

Book Review: Mildred in Disguise: With Diamonds (Mildred Unchained Book 1) by Toni Kief

Mildred Cover

About the book:

Toni Kief, author of Old Baggage, is excited to introduce a new work of fiction – and another feisty older woman, Mildred Petrie.

Mildred Petrie expected a comfortable retirement.

Except her husband died and his secrets changed everything.

Desperate, she takes the only job available at the local gambling palace – undercover cop. Drug deals, armed robbery and a mole catapult her into excitement, danger and disguise.

Only Mildred can find the truth!

A breathless, page turner, in sensible shoes.

My review:

I love Mildred. Instead of a young, sexy main character, Toni Kief writes about a spirited septuagenarian who loves life, rock and roll, and desserts and is curious enough to get herself into all sorts of trouble. Walmart greeter? Not this lady! She gets a job as an undercover detective at a Las Vegas casino. She adopts several disguises to protect her identity, and her alter-egos are so believable that she finds herself in some very interesting situations and a few dangerous ones. Her life gets really complicated, and the story gets very entertaining. Toward the end, in order to tie up all the loose ends, the author does a bit too much telling instead of showing; however, I still look forward to reading another Mildred story in the near future.

About the author:

Toni Kief Head ShotToni Kief, a child of the 60s, Midwestern by birth, Northwestern by choice, Toni challenges the boundaries for women of a certain age. After a long career as an insurance adjuster, she fell into writing through a challenge from a friend. She has released her first book, Old Baggage, and recently followed with Mildred in Disguise: With Diamonds. There are three more in the grinder. Toni never dated Mick Jagger, but marched for civil rights, shared bread with icons of politics and art. She is spending her retirement, gathering stories prime for embellishment. Writing has taught her inspiration without perspiration is just a good idea.

Find the author at:

Amazon Author Page

Website

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Buy it at Amazon

Blessings,

Linda

Gumshoe Girl by Andi Ramos – A #MysteryExchange Blog Hop Post

GumshoeGirl Banner

My guest today is Andi Ramos with her debut mystery novel, Gumshoe Girl. First we’ll share a little about the book and about Andi. Then, we’ll share a little question and answer session followed by an excerpt from the book.

GumshoeGirl Cover

About the book:

Sheagan O’Hare got more than she bargained for when her newly inherited detective agency lands its first case; a missing person, embezzlement, and murder. Sheagan’s out to prove she can hang with the pro’s, despite the constant reminder of her amateur status from an annoyingly attractive FBI agent, Colin ‘Mac’ MacEvine, who’s forced himself into her life.

How does she feel when an old high school friend hopes to ignite a new romance?

Will she be able to discover if detective work and love can mingle before someone gets hurt?

Buy Links:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Apple

Smashwords

Kobo

Barnes & Noble

Author Bio: 

 Andi Ramos Head ShotAndi Ramos is a debut author from central Massachusetts where she lives with her family, goat, and Boston Terriers. Her love for reading grew into a passion for writing. She dabbled with pen and paper for a long time and eventually stopped pushing her amusements aside and started developing those stories into novels. One of her favorite things to do is to hop into her motorhome with her family and write while traveling down the road as they journey to various destinations.

Website

Blog

Facebook

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Interview:

Good morning, Andi! I’m so glad you could take time to chat for a few minutes about some things I think my readers would be interested to know about you. Your bio says you dabbled for a long time before getting serious about your writing. What pushed you over the line?

As far back as I remember I would make up scenes with fictitious characters. Sometimes I would jot them down, but I never took them seriously. I would collect them, but they would always end up in the circular file – Gasp! I never did anything with my writing until I started Gumshoe Girl, my debut novel that was just released May 30th. I had this involved story running through my brain. It didn’t stop at just a scene. It just kept going, so I went with it. I finally compiled all the scenes together into a short draft to see what I had. Holy mackerel! Before I knew it, I had over 30,000 words. It wasn’t something I could ignore anymore. I made a decision, and I had to tie the random scenes together into something that made sense and finish it. Well, I no longer waste the story ideas that come to me. I cultivate them to see if they are substantial enough to work with.

I’m glad to hear that, Andi. It’s a shame to waste ideas or words. What inspired you to focus on mysteries?

 I love to be entertained, mysteries definitely fit the bill. I especially love a mystery that is paired with romance and has a humorous element to the story. My book is a very self indulgent novel. It’s something I would love to read.

Now that you’ve found your niche, I’m curious about how you develop your ideas. Do you plans out your story ahead of time (a plotter), or do you let the story develop as you go along (a pantser)?

I am definitely a plotter! I use a program called Trello to help plot my books, however I am not married to the outline when I plot it. If the story takes me in a different direction I go with it and adjust later. What is great about a plotting a story is it ensures that I don’t get too far off course and write myself into a box, I always have a path to where the story is heading, it just may take a different route than originally intended to get there.

That sounds like a great way to write. Unfortunately, I’m not nearly that organized. Now that you’ve taken the next step as an author, what would you tell a young writer who came to you for advice?

Grow tough skin and don’t give up! To be a writer you must have thick skin for all the rejection you will receive…not might receive…will receive. It doesn’t stop with a publisher offering you a contract, you must endure tough critiques and bad reviews, even the best, most well-written novels get criticized – it’s simply part of the business.

That’s very true. What are you working on now?

I have a couple of works in progress including the second in the Gumshoe Girl Series. Sheagan will really have her work cut out for her as she tries to discover the truth behind alleged serial murders. I also have a new series I am working on called the Escape Series. The first book will be called The Pina Colada Catastrophe. I intended this new manuscript to be a contemporary romance, but as I write, I can’t help but weave elements of suspense throughout the story.

One more question. I understand Boston Terriers, but why a goat?

Hahaha, we live on a small farm in central Massachusetts, we have had cows, goats, chickens, and ducks when my kids were small. My husband and I would like to travel more, and it’s hard when you have a farm back home. So we just have Will the goat left besides my Boston Terriers, but I will tell you the goat thinks he’s a dog so it really makes no difference, lol.

Thanks again for your time, Andi. Now let’s give my readers a sneak peek at Gumshoe Girl.

 Excerpt:

 Sheagan blinked back the sting in her eyes as sweat drizzled from her forehead. Her shoulders and forearms cried out as determination inched her body forward through the tin walls that framed her slender figure. The narrow shaft rendered her legs useless as they dragged behind her like dead weight. She made a vow to start working out as she approached her destination, the metal grate that looked down into the sweetheart suite of the Eliot Hotel.

She shimmied her binoculars out of her bag and clutched them in her sweaty palms as she readied herself to delve into the world of private investigating. The friction of her movements caused her mahogany mane to cling to all the surfaces of her temporary confinement. Perched behind the filigree frame, peering like a caged animal, she was a mere 20 feet from her target. Her target? The Rat Bastard, who up until this very moment she’d called boyfriend.

She wasn’t there to kill him, even though the thought had crossed her mind; no, she was there to catch him in the act. She suspected he had been cheating on her for some time, so proof would end her suspicion or the relationship. Spying on her significant other through an air-vent of a swanky hotel room was hardly a promising start to her so-called glamorous career as a private detective. But it snapped her back into the reality that her new chosen profession would often be messy and difficult.

She peered through the grate and envied the spacious room below, but her viewing angle was no good for the task at hand. She could feel the heat in her cheeks rise along with her anger as she scanned the room and soaked in the extravagance–the hardwood tables, the Italian marble fireplace, the opulent sheen of the fabric on the overstuffed furniture that glimmered in the soft candlelight. The Rat Bastard was not known to overindulge on frivolous expenses, unless it was on her dime. Thoughts of killing him resurfaced.

What is wrong with me? Why did I wait so long?

She immediately regretted the fleeting question. She knew why. The answer brought back the pain and significance of her father’s sudden death. He had been the only family she had left, and he was gone. All that was left behind was his detective agency. She had thought about giving it up, but she couldn’t; it was her only connection to him, to her family.

She closed her eyes briefly, realizing that now she was facing more loss–even if he was a lying, cheating Rat Bastard.

No! Its better this way, stay focused.

She choked in a breath and turned her attention back to the room. His secret love nest was finished with soothing tones on the walls and thick, plush carpeting.

What is that on the end table?

Her gaze was drawn to the bottle label as it bobbed upside down in the melting ice. She sharpened the focus of her binoculars, and her eyes widened in recognition.

Her cheeks flushed. Cristal, she scoffed. Who is this Bimbo, anyway?

As if she had room to criticize this girl’s intelligence, when Sheagan was the one sweating her makeup off in a four-by-four-foot air-duct.

Yeah, whos the stupid one?

She heard passionate sounds coming from the right of the room and recognized his tone. Leaning sideways, Sheagan pressed her face to the grate, but her limited view revealed only a portion of the bed and unable to make out major details, like faces.

Crap, I cant see anything. Damn!

 She needed to get a better look. As she shifted her weight, the metal walls started to reverberate and Sheagan stifled a gasp, willing the rumbling to cease. Her breathing became labored as the musty air stole the aroma of the sweet perfume wafting up waft from the suite below. She stilled her movements and did the only thing she could think of… nothing. Nothing but stare at the heap of blankets and wait.

Come on, bimbo, come up for air. I know he doesnt last that long.

Her discomfort increased as the noise from their passion became more intense.

Ugh, thats it, Ive had it!

She mashed her cheek and upper body against the grate.

I just need a peek to confirm.

She pressed harder, ogling the bed. Finally, she caught a tiny glimpse.

Just a little further.

She pushed and heard a chirring sound, then a scraping. She froze in place, but the grate gave way with a creaking groan and crashed to the ground. Time stood still as Sheagan realized there was nothing between her and the floor except air.

Can’t wait to find out what happens next!

Blessings,

Linda

 

 

 

 

A Lethal Spectre by Donna Fletcher Crow – A #MysteryExchange Post

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About the book:

A Lethal Spectre, Lord Danvers Investigates, Book 5, a Victorian True-crime mystery

The elegance of a London season and the atrocities of an Indian mutiny woven into an intricate tapestry

Antonia and Charles are swept up in the glittering swirl of a London season as they present Aunt Aelfrida’s ward to society. In India Antonia’s closest girlhood friend is caught in the most brutal massacre ‘in the book of time’. What could these disparate events have to do with murders in London and Brighton? This engrossing story comes to life with all the vivid historical detail readers expect from Donna Fletcher Crow.

“A stunning contrast between the dramas and machinations of fashionable London life and the unfurling of an unthinkable tragedy. A story of lights and shadows, all impeccably well researched and realised.”

~Linda Stratmann, author of The Frances Doughty Mysteries

Excerpt:

Chapter 1

It was only midmorning and already the heat was stifling. Hot wind seared and scorching sun radiated from the walls of the barracks behind them. The acrid smell of the buildings of the cantonment beyond, now reduced to black smoldering rubble—all their homes and possessions—stung every nose. Emilia Landry stood among the women and children who had been called from their homes in the civilian cantonment and gathered into the military entrenchment on the orders of General Wheeler.

They had been here a week now, hoping for the best; but fearing the worst. No attack had come on the entrenchment, but mutinous sepoys and vandals had ransacked the city, burned the officers’ bungalows in the new cantonment, and, disastrously, seized the magazine where the army treasury, ammunitions and heavy guns were stored.

Emilia closed her eyes against the sight of the black smoke, and saw in her mind the pleasant bungalow she had occupied with her friend Louisa Chalwin and Louisa’s veterinarian husband Edwin. Louisa had planted a lovely garden, complete with English roses that bloomed undaunted in the Indian summer. A magnificent old banyan tree shaded a summer house where Emilia loved to sit and read in the mornings and take tea in the afternoons. All a blackened rubble now.

They had been hearing dire reports for weeks. Revolt of the native troops at Meerut. Then at Delhi. And riots at Lucknow, only some sixty miles to the northeast. But no apprehension had been felt of treachery on the part of their own troops at Cawnpore.

This morning, however, Sunday morning, the seventh of June, Sir Hugh Wheeler, commanding general at Cawnpore, had received a letter from the Nana Sahib, declaring his intention of attacking.

Now everyone on the verandah of the barracks held their breath, as all in the entrenchment seemed to do. The tension of the soldiers, posted with leveled rifles around the circumference of the barricading mud wall, communicated itself to every person.

The mewling of a baby born only a few hours before vibrated on the air.  The cry was cut off by the boom of a cannon. Women shrieked; children wailed as the ball struck the barrack behind them.

A bugle call split the air, sounding above the mayhem. The crack of shot was deafening as hundreds of rifles responded. The mutiny had come to Cawnpore.

 A moan tore from deep in her throat and Lady Antonia Danvers sat up sharply. She was drenched in sweat, even though the early June night was cold in London. Tonia reached for the carafe of water by her bed and filled a glass to relieve her parched throat. What had she dreamed? How could such vivid horror have come from her own imagination?

She crossed the room and, pushing the heavy drapery aside, raised the sash on her window, letting a fresh breeze bathe her face. She breathed deeply of the blessed, moist air. Still unsettled from the terrors of her dream, Antonia returned to bed. The sky had lightened to silver, however, and the first notes of the dawn chorus rang in the garden before Tonia returned to an uneasy sleep.

She wakened far too late to share her morning tea with her husband as was their custom. When she inquired of her maid she was informed that her lord would be out for the day, involved with his man of business and taking dinner at his club. She would have no opportunity to discuss the nightmare with Charles, although the phantom spectrecontinued to follow her.

Available on Amazon 

About the author:

 Donna Fletcher Crow Head ShotDonna Fletcher Crow is a lifelong Anglophile with a special love for the Victorians, especially their energy, confidence and creativity. She is a former English teacher and the author of 50 books, mostly novels of British history, including the award-winning Arthurian epic, Glastonbury, The Novel of Christian England. She currently authors three mystery series: The Monastery Murders; Elizabeth and Richard Literary Suspense; and Lord Danvers Investigates, Victorian true-crime.

 

 

Find the author:

Website

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Blessings,

Linda

Sink or Swim by Stacy Juba – A #MysteryExchange Post

How do you call for SOS Twitter

Personal trainer Cassidy sails into the public eye while competing on a TV game show set aboard a Tall Ship. After she returns home and catches the attention of a stalker, her well-ordered life turns topsy-turvy. As Cassidy’s competitors disappear one by one, she teams up with Zach, the charming photographer tasked to record her personal moments for the newspaper.

Is Zach trustworthy? He shadows her as easily as the stalker. Despite the chemistry simmering between them, Cassidy fears he has a secret to hide.

She hates the bizarre rules in this guessing game, but when her stalker forces a showdown, Cassidy plays to win. . .this time for her life.

If you’re in the mood for a fun mystery that keeps you glued to the pages, then pick up your copy of Sink or Swim today.

Excerpt:

Cassidy straightened as Detective Sean Pierce returned with a Styrofoam cup of coffee and a Coke. He popped open the can and handed it to her. Nondescript in his gray striped button-down shirt and khakis, Detective Pierce scraped up a plastic chair beside her. From his retracting brown hair and the crinkles under his dark eyes, he looked as if he was in his early forties, but he had the trim build of a thirty-year-old athlete.

He shot her a curious glance. “You were on that game show. I recognize you from the newspaper. Must have been quite an experience.”

“That’s an understatement,” Cassidy said.

Detective Pierce emptied a packet of sugar into his coffee and stirred it. If he was attempting to help her relax, he wasn’t succeeding. Her mind wouldn’t shut off. “The dispatcher tells me you have an unwanted admirer.”

“Yes. I feel a little silly coming here when this person hasn’t even approached me yet, but he gives me a bad vibe. He’s really persistent, and if you read his letters, he’s not all there if you know what I mean.” Cassidy passed over the pile of envelopes and picked up Raggedy Ann from the floor beside her feet.

“He calls himself Miles,” she said. “He sent this doll to the studio in New York, then a letter came to my apartment. I found a half-dozen others in my fan mail from the network.”

Detective Pierce unfolded one of the letters and held it between his fingers. He read a few lines and frowned.

“What do you think?” Cassidy asked, dropping the doll onto his desk and leaning forward.

“Why Raggedy Ann? She doesn’t exactly symbolize romance.”

“On the show, I mentioned that I had one when I was a kid. My father gave it to me.”

He nodded and flipped the page. “This guy sounds like a real winner. He sure rambles. You don’t know anyone named Miles?”

“No.”

“Did he threaten you in any of these letters?”

“No, I’d call them obsessive, not threatening. But that doesn’t always matter, does it? Isn’t it true that stalkers can start out flattering and turn violent?”

“Yes, but I’m glad to hear you haven’t gotten any threats yet. How about ex-boyfriends? Could any of them be hung up on you and hiding behind this Miles persona?”

Cassidy pulled herself erect, balancing the soda can on her knee. She’d been the one to end most of her short-term relationships, but none of the guys had seemed overly distressed. They’d taken the hint and stopped calling. Unfortunately, the one man who made her toes tingle was engaged. “I don’t think so. It’s someone who saw me on TV. It has to be.”

“Give me the names anyway. I’ll run a background check.”

She scribbled a list of all her dates since high school, a deep flush coloring her cheeks. Four names, only one in the past year. Working her way through college hadn’t left much time for a social life and she’d turned down several dates at the gym to avoid awkward situations when the relationship soured. Cassidy had even less girlfriends – most of her high school pals had moved away, either getting married or accepting jobs out-of-state.

She reviewed the list before handing it to the detective. “This is a dead end. These guys would contact me directly, not use an alias.”

Detective Pierce trailed his finger down the short list of names. “You’re sure about that?”

“Yeah, and besides, none of them were serious. I dated them all a handful of times. They weren’t lunatics. I’m telling you, this guy is a stranger.”

Retailers:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sink-or-Swim-ebook/dp/B004GHN6CW/ref

Audible:

http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_5?asin=B00CO9M4J0&qid=1367976480&sr=1-5

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/sink-or-swim-unabridged/id646216223

Also available in Kindle Unlimited as part of the Young Ladies of Mystery Boxed Set

Author Bio:

Author PhotoStacy Juba got engaged at Epcot Theme Park and spent part of her honeymoon at Disneyland Paris, where she ate a burger, went on fast rides, and threw up on the train ride to the hotel. In addition to working on her Storybook Valley chick lit/sweet romance series, Stacy has written books about ice hockey, teen psychics, U.S. flag etiquette for kids, and determined women sleuths. She has had a novel ranked as #5 in the Nook Store and #30 on the Amazon Kindle Paid List. When she’s not visiting theme parks with her family, (avoiding rides that spin and exotic hamburgers) or writing about them, Stacy helps authors to strengthen their manuscripts through her Crossroads Editing Service. Visit her website to get your free Mystery Lovers Sampler.

http://stacyjuba.com/blog/mystery-lovers-sampler/

Website: http://stacyjuba.com/blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Stacy-Juba-100155471301/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/stacyjuba

Blessings,

Linda

Book Review: Factor Man by Matt Ginsberg

Cover Factor Man

5 Stars

About the book:

Ginsberg takes readers on a digital thrill ride where the protagonist holds the key to the most revolutionary and powerful technology since the atomic bomb. This mysterious character, who calls himself Factor Man, is set to change the world with a single algorithm, making him (or her) one of the smartest, richest and perhaps one of the most wanted person on the planet. By factoring larger numbers, Factor Man claims to be able to break the public key encryption that could shut down the internet. The press wants to interview him. The Chinese Government wants to kill him. And the FBI wants to protect him. But first they have to find him!

My review:

Several weeks ago I received an email from a publicist offering me a complimentary digital copy of Factor Man because I make no secret of the fact that I love a good thriller. There were no strings attached to the gift, but I am happy to recommend this unique novel to anyone who enjoys a puzzling mystery that will give your brain a good workout.

The story begins when a mysterious character who identifies himself/herself only as Factor Man contacts a reporter named William Burkett. Through a series of emails, he lays out his four-year plan to turn the worlds of higher mathematics, Cyberspace, and high finance upside down, and he offers Burkett exclusive rights to the story. Through these emails, the author cleverly educates those of us whose math education stopped at plane geometry and whose knowledge of the Internet is informed mostly by Abby and McGee of NCIS fame so we can understand the rest of the story.

Once the groundwork is laid, the story moves into the real world as more people are introduced into Factor Man’s scheme. What was at first believed to be a hoax by a crazy mathematician looking for his fifteen minutes of fame becomes an international happening that can either usher in a new era of peace and prosperity or send the world economic and political systems crashing back into the dark ages. The final segment of the story is full of FBI, CIA, and other agencies as well as spies, contract killers, and suspense that kept me up until the wee hours to find out what happened.

Matt Ginsber is a highly intelligent man with a wide variety of interests. I’m very glad that one of his interests was writing an amazingly entertaining story, and I’m hopeful that he’s interested in writing another one soon.

About the author:

GinsbergMattAuthorMatt Ginsberg got a doctorate in astrophysics from Oxford when he was 24. He quickly came to his senses, however, switching to artificial intelligence and teaching at Stanford for a decade. He’s been on the front page of the New York Times and, surprisingly, was happy about it. He’s been a political columnist and published playwright, and constructs crosswords for the Times. He has written about a hundred technical papers. And one novel.

Find Matt Ginsberg on his website.

Buy Factor Man on Amazon.

Blessings,

Linda

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