Hero Haters by Ken MacQueen

Hero Haters by Ken MacQueen Banner

Hero Haters

by Ken MacQueen

November 7 - December 2, 2022 Virtual Book Tour


Hero Haters by Ken MacQueen
He seeks redemption, others want revenge

Jake Ockham had a dream job, vetting nominees for the Sedgewick Medallion-the nation's highest civilian award for heroism. His own scarred hands are an indelible reminder of the single mother he failed to pull from a raging house fire; her face haunts him still. Obligations drag him back to his hometown to edit the family newspaper but attempts to embrace small-town life, and the hot new doctor, are thwarted by unknown forces. The heroes Jake vetted go missing and he becomes the prime suspect in the disappearances. Aided by resourceful friends, Jake follows a twisted trail to the Dark Web, where a shadowy group is forcing the kidnapped medalists to perform deadly acts of valor to amuse twisted subscribers to its website. To save his heroes, Jake must swallow his fears and become one himself...or die in the attempt.

Praise for Hero Haters:

"An edge of your seat thriller. MacQueen, a journalist, ratchets up the suspense and tightens the grip to the explosive end."

Robert Dugoni New York Times Bestselling Author of The Tracy Crosswhite series

"Gripping from the first page. A thrill ride with all the right moves."

Rick Mofina USA Today Bestselling Author

Book Details:

Genre: Adult Thriller
Published by: The Wild Rose Press, Inc
Publication Date: October 2022
Number of Pages: 366
ISBN: 9781509243853 (ISBN10: 1509243852)
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:


Spokane, Washington, August 2019

Local hero Anderson Wise can’t remember the last time he paid for a drink at Sharkey’s.

Nor can he remember an embarrassing assortment of the women who selflessly shared their affection, post-Sharkey’s.

As for that last blurry night at the gin mill, he wished to hell he’d stayed home.

The bar’s owner, Sharon Key, hence Sharkey’s, took joy in chumming the waters on Wise’s behalf for a regular catch of what she called “Hero Worshippers.”

She saw getting him laid as partial repayment for saving her eleven-year-old grandson Toby’s life some eighteen months back.

A disaffected dad, high on crystal meth, stormed into Toby’s classroom to take issue with his kid’s latest report card. He showed his displeasure by shot-gunning the teacher, then reloaded and asked all A-students to identify themselves. Being A-students, they dutifully raised their hands, Toby among them.

As the high-as-a-kite shooter herded the high achievers to the front of the class, Wise, the school custodian, charged into the room armed with a multipurpose dry-chemical fire extinguisher. He blasted the shooter with a white cloud of monoammonium phosphate, to minimal effect, then slammed the gun out of his hands. It discharged into the floor sending several pellets into Wise’s left foot. Thoroughly pissed, Wise ended the drama by pile-driving the extinguisher into the shooter’s face.

Sharon Key, a widow in her early sixties, subsequently replaced the beer signs and dart board with blow-ups of the laudatory press Wise earned during the tragic aftermath. The front of the next day’s local paper held pride of place. It carried a photo of Wise, extinguisher in hand, under the headline: Greater Tragedy Averted as Hero Janitor Extinguishes Threat. The story contained a pull quote in large font which Wise came to regret: “ ‘It’s a versatile extinguisher,’ the modest 30-year-old explained, ‘good for class A, B and C fires—and meth-heads’.”

Said famous extinguisher now guards the top-shelf booze behind Sharkey’s oak-and-brass bar.

New stories were added to Sharkey’s wall five months back after Wise was awarded, with much publicity, the Sedgewick Trust Sacrifice Medallion— one of the most prestigious recognitions of heroism that American civilians can receive.

Wise’s liver and a lower part of his anatomy took a renewed pounding in the weeks thereafter. So much so he declared a moratorium on visits to Sharkey’s for reasons of self-preservation.

He was back in the saddle a month now, but his attendance was spotty. “This hero stuff,” he confided to Key one night, while slumped in his chair. “Maybe it’s too much of a good thing?”

“Ya think?” Key muttered as she took inventory of that night’s limited offerings.

It wasn’t just the women. Men often bought him drinks too, happy to bask in the reflected glory of a proven manly man.

Two weeks ago, some weedy academic from back east interviewed him at Sharkey’s and staked him to an alcohol-fueled dinner at the city’s best chop house. The brainy one expected Wise to opine on such things as “neo-Darwinian rules for altruism.”

Asked him if he’d been motivated by “a kinship bond” with anyone in the room?

Er, no.

Wondered if Wise knew that a disproportionate number of risk takers are working-class males?

Nope, sorry.

And had he calculated in the moment that a heroic display of “good genes” would make him a desirable mating partner?

Cripes. Really?

“Don’t know what I was thinking,” Wise said, swirling a glass of something called Amarone, a wine so amazing angels must have crushed the grapes with their tiny, perfect feet. “Heard a gun blast, grabbed the fire extinguisher off the wall. Saw the dead teacher, all those kids, and a nut with a shotgun. Did what anybody would do. I spent three years in the army after high school, mostly in the motor pool. Much as I hated basic training, maybe some of it stuck. Who knows?”

The academic gave a condescending smile and called for the bill, his hypothesis apparently confirmed.

Wise fled to the restaurant toilet and took notes on the back of his pay slip. Back home, he Googled the hell out of studies on “extreme altruist stimuli,” on “empirical perspectives on the duty to rescue,” and after many false starts, on theories of “Byronic and Lilithian Heroes.”

He kinda got the concept of “desirable mating partner”, but he was pretty sure his dick didn’t lead him into that classroom. Did it?

While not a reflective guy, Wise had to admit it was creepy to reap the fleshy benefits of his few seconds of glory while his dreams were haunted by visions of teacher Adah Summerhill slumped over her desk, blood pooled beneath her. So much blood. With the shooter sprawled unconscious, Wise gently lifted Adah’s head.

She had no pulse and her eyes, once so vibrant and expressive, were as empty as an open grave. She’d always been nice, and totally out of his league.

So, here he was, back at Sharkey’s, mind made up.

Key arrived at his “courting table” and set down his Jack and ginger ale.

“Gave my notice at the school,” he told her. “Getting outta here for a while. Got that Sedgewick money to spend. Someplace they don’t know me. Mexico, maybe.

Or Costa Rica.”

Key patted his hand. “Knew this was coming, Andy.

You banged every eligible female in town, pretty much.

And some who shoulda been out of bounds. I’m amazed the Tourist Bureau doesn’t list you as a top-ten attraction, up there with the botanical gardens.”

“All I want, Shar, is to be liked for me, not for something I did because I happened to be in the wrong place at the right time. Or is that the other way ’round?”

“Hey, you’re a good-looking guy. Still got that shaggy blond baseball player thing going for ya.

Might’ve taken a run at you myself if my hips weren’t shot.” She patted his cheek. “Made you blush. Now don’t turn into a beach bum down there. Always thought you aimed too low, mopping floors and washing windows for the school board. Time to stretch—”

She craned her neck toward the door after it opened with a bang. “My, my, here’s one for the road. She was in earlier, asking after you.” Key aimed a nod at the door and whispered, “Don’t strain anything.” And headed to the bar.

Wise looked up and…sweet Jesus.

Early twenties, he guessed. His eyes roamed from strappy sandals, up a long expanse of tanned bare legs to a glittering silver dress that started perilously high-thigh and ended well below exposed shoulders. The ripe promise of youth was on full display, like she’d dipped her bounteous curves in liquid lamé.

She drew every eye in the place as she undulated to his table. Full red lips, high cheekbones, chestnut hair piled high. Up close now, her gimlet eyes were at once innocent and knowing, like a debauched choirgirl.

“Hi, hero.” Her voice was low and sultry, as he knew it would be. She remained on her feet, hands on the table, leaning low to full effect. “When you finish that drink, I really want to see your medal.”

**** He remembered her mixing drinks back at his apartment while he retrieved his medallion from the sock drawer in his bedroom. He remembered her running a sensuous thumb over the bas-relief portrait of Philip Sedgewick as she read aloud the inscription: “The most sublime act is to set another before you.”

That wondrous voice lingering over “sublime act,”

like it was lifted from the Kama Sutra.

And like too many times, post-Sharkey’s, damned if he could remember her name—that evil bitch. He awoke, bouncing in the back of a van, hands and legs cuffed to rings set in the floor. A broken-glass headache served notice of every bump in the road.

Another lost night at Sharkey’s.

Wise had a dreadful feeling he’d never be back.

Chapter One Aberdeen, Washington, July, one month earlier Jake Ockham was one kilometer in, one kilometer to go and already in a world of pain. Lungs, legs and palms, always the damned palms, screaming enough already.

He’d whaled away on his Concept II rowing machine for thirty minutes, building up to this. Stripped off the sweatshirt after ten minutes, the t-shirt after twenty-five. Down now to running shoes and gym shorts, his torso gleaming with sweat despite the morning chill.

He’d rested after a thirty-minute warm-up to gulp water and to consider the need to reinforce the pilings under the creaky wooden deck before it dumped him and the ergometer into the Wishkah River below. Might leave it in the river mud if it came to that.

Full race mode now, one kilometer in, another to go.

The erg’s computer showed the need to pick up the pace to break the six-minute barrier, something he’d regularly shattered a decade ago during his university rowing days.

Thrust with the legs, throw back the shoulders, arms ripping back the handle. Return to the catch and repeat.

Five hundred meters to go. Eyes fixed on a duck touching down on the river, looking anywhere but the screen.

Two hundred and fifty meters. Faster. Harder. Don’t lose the technique.

Fifty meters. You can do this.

A final piston thrust of legs, shoulders, arms and…six minutes, thirteen seconds.

“Fuck!” His roar startled the duck into flight.

He slumped over the machine, gasping for air, ripping at the Velcro tabs of his gloves, throwing them on the deck in disgust. Hated those damned gloves, so essential these days.

Head bowed, he heard the cabin’s door rasp open.

“Such language.” Clara Nufeld, his aunt, and technically his boss as publisher of the Grays Harbor Independent, leaned against the doorframe.

He didn’t look up. “Don’t bother knocking. Make yourself at home.”

“I did, and I am. Got a couple of things to show you.

Right up your alley. Might be pieces for next week’s issue.”

She was lean and tall, in tight jeans and a faded Nirvana sweatshirt, her spiked white hair cut short. At sixty-four, she still turned heads. Jake knew her age to the day, Clara being his mother’s identical twin. Connie, his late mother, fell to breast cancer at age forty-five.

So much of his mother in Clara. So much that when Jake finished high school and rode his rowing scholarship east to Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University, his father, Roger Ockham, moved his accounting business to Bend, Oregon. Said it was for the golfing, but Jake suspected the sight of his late wife’s twin was a constant reminder of his loss.

Connie and Clara, fresh out of university, worked for their father at the Independent, Clara on the advertising side, Connie as a reporter.

They took the helm of the paper after Derwin Nufeld—their dad, Jake’s grandfather—collapsed and died mid-way through crafting a fiery editorial on a mule-headed decision to pull The Catcher in the Rye from the high school library.

After Connie’s death, Clara did double duty as editor and publisher until she succeeded six months ago in luring Jake home to Washington State from Pittsburgh to take over as editor-in-chief.

This five-room stilt home, Clara’s former cottage on the tidal Wishkah, was his signing bonus.

One of the dwindling numbers of real estate ads in the Independent would describe the cabin something like: “A cozy oasis on the Wishkah, surrounded by nature and just minutes from the city. Fish from your deck while contemplating the possibilities for this prime riverfront property. A bit of TLC gets you a rustic getaway while you make plans for your dream home.”

After years in urban Pittsburgh, he awoke now to bird chatter and the sights and scents of the moody, muddy Wishkah—its current pulled, as he was pulled, to the infinite Pacific.

Jake gathered his shirts and gloves and cringed at a sniff-test of his underarms. “I’ll keep my distance.” He waved Clara inside. “What’s up my alley?”

She waved two dummy pages, the ads already laid out, plenty of blank space for him and his skeleton staff to fill with stories and photos.

Jake was still adjusting to small-town journalism, covering at least one earnest service club luncheon every week, puffy profiles of local businesses, check presentations, city council and school board meetings.

And jamming in as many names as possible. He’d done some summer reporting for the weekly during his high school years, but rowing had occupied most of his time.

Clara handed off a page proof with a boxed advert already laid out. “A new doctor is taking over old Doc Wilson’s practice, thank God. I swear the last medical journal that old man read was on the efficacy of leeches and bloodletting.”

Jake nodded. Worth a story for sure. A few words from Wilson about passing the scalpel to a new generation, then focus on Dr. Christina Doctorow. No hardship there.

The ad for her family practice included her photo.

Rather than the cliché white coat and stethoscope she wore hiking shorts and a flannel shirt with rolled sleeves, thick dark hair in a ponytail, a daypack hanging off a shoulder. A husky at her side gazed up adoringly.

Smart dog.

Jake put her at early thirties, his age more or less. He nodded approval. “Sporty. A fine addition to the Grays Harbor gene pool.”

“The woman’s a firecracker. Spent ten minutes haggling down the price. I finally caved. Said I’ll bump this up to a half-page, but you owe me a free checkup.”


“What she said, too. Also asked ‘Is that ethical?’ I said, ‘darling, I’m in advertising. You want ethics, deal with my nephew on the editorial side.’ “

Jake laughed. “Pretty good at bloodletting herself.

What else you got?”

“This is so up your alley.” She handed him a classified ad page-proof. “You being an expert.”

Jake slumped onto a kitchen chair. “On what?”

She tapped a one-column boxed ad in the lower left, “Heroes.”

“Not hardly.”

He looked closer and reared back. The heading read: “For Sale. Rare Sedgewick Sacrifice Medallion. $100 OBO.”

There was a thumbnail photo of the medal’s obverse, showing the craggy face of Philip Sedgewick, a leading member of the long-dead school of industrialist robber barons. He’d amassed a fortune in textile mills, newspapers, and exploitive labor practices. Awash in cash he came to philanthropy late in life. Like others in this elite group—Carnegie, Mellon, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, et al—their names and reputation-burnishing generosity live beyond the grave.

Sedgewick, at his wife’s urging, chose to celebrate extraordinary acts of heroism. He used eight of his many millions—an enormous sum in 1901—to endow a family trust to award exceptional heroism with the Sacrifice Medallion and needs-based financial assistance. Over the past one hundred twenty years, the trust awarded some eleven thousand medallions, an inspiring legacy of courage, and yes, sacrifice.

The grainy photo in the classified ad was too small to read the inscription under Sedgewick’s stern visage, but Jake knew it well. It was a quotation by the English poet William Blake: “The most sublime act is to set another before you.”

Below the photo was a post office box address, and “mail inquiries only.”

Jake shook his head. “This is nuts. The price is insanely low, insulting really. The medallions are kinda priceless.”

“I wondered about that,” Clara said. “The ad cost fifty dollars so not much of a profit.”

“The rare few that get to auction can fetch in the thousands. We try to buy them back, prefer that to having them land up in the hands of the undeserving.”

Clara cocked an eyebrow. “We?”

Jake shrugged. “I still do the occasional freelance investigations for Sedgewick. The thing is, there’s never a good reason to sell these. Either the recipient is dead broke, or dead without relatives to inherit it. Or it’s stolen.”

“Or,” Clara said, resting a hand on Jake’s shoulder, “the hero feels undeserving.”

He flinched. “Was there a photo of the medal’s back? It’d have the recipient’s name and the reason it was awarded.”

“Don’t even know who placed the ad. Arrived in the mail: a photo, the ad copy, and a fifty-dollar bill. No return address but the post office box.”

“Pull the ad, Clara. I’ll buy it and return the money.

There’s a story here, something’s not right.”

Clara toyed with her car keys. “I feel bad sometimes, guilting you back. Do you miss it, your old life back in Pittsburgh?”

His pause was barely discernable. “Great to be back in the old hometown.”

“Great to earn half the salary you did in the big city?

Great to prop up the family business? Great to be stuck with your old aunt?”

“Aunt doesn’t cover it. I was twelve when Mom passed. You stepped up for Dad and me.”

She looked like she was about to say something, then shook her head and flashed an enigmatic smile. “A topic for another day. Gotta run.”

She leaned across the table, took his hands in hers, running her thumbs lightly over his scarred palms. She raised his hands to her lips for a kiss, then turned for the door.


Excerpt from Hero Haters by Ken MacQueen. Copyright 2022 by Ken MacQueen. Reproduced with permission from Ken MacQueen. All rights reserved.


Author Bio:

Ken MacQueen

Before turning to fiction, Ken MacQueen spent 15 years as Vancouver bureau chief for Maclean’s, Canada’s newsmagazine, winning multiple National Magazine Awards and nominations. He traveled the world writing features and breaking news for the magazine, and previously for two national news agencies. Naturally, he had to make Jake Ockham, his hero, a reporter, albeit a reluctant one. MacQueen also covered nine Olympic Games and drew Jake’s athletic prowess from tracking elite rowers in training and on podiums in Athens, Beijing and London. He and his wife divide their time between Vancouver, and British Columbia's Sunshine Coast.

Catch Up With Ken MacQueen:
Instagram - @kmqyvr
Twitter - @kmqyvr
Facebook - @kmqyvr


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A Murder, Well-Scripted by Tony Piazza

About the Book


This may be the most challenging of Logan’s cases. When former child star and America’s Sweetheart is kidnapped off the set of a Western film, a producer hires Logan to take on the case. However, complications soon arise, and he’s now not only searching for a kidnapper but a crazed murderer as well. The suspects are plentiful, and the twists daunting as he weaves his way through a mystery teeming with deceit, jealousy, and greed. It’s soon high noon for Logan as he faces the killer in a finale reminiscent of a classic Western showdown.

~~ Amazon ~~



I was just starting down the trail when I heard a female voice call out. It was coming from a location below to the right of the path. Near the same cliff’s edge where the camera had been mounted. The voice had said, “Over here!” So, I followed. However, on reaching the cliff, its source was not evident. This should have warned me, but I was slow and lost precious seconds before sensing a trap. I immediately went for my .45, but before it cleared its holster, someone rushed me from behind, and shoving hard caused me to lose my footing and roll over the edge. Falling, I started reaching out, desperately seeking something I could hold on to. Fortunately, some tree roots were protruding from the cliff’s face. They were hanging about four feet down from the rim. I caught hold of a handful of these that, for the moment, had jarringly arrested my fall.

Dangling 60 feet above the roadway, with enormous jagged rocks immediately below, I found myself swinging helplessly while frantically searching for a foothold to ease the strain on my already throbbing arms. At one point, my grip started to slip, causing my heart to leap. I gained another firm hold further down while cursing the sweat now forming on my palms. After taking a few seconds to steady my nerves, I again proceeded gingerly to explore the cliff wall with the toe of my shoe—probing for anything that could support my weight. Dirt and small rock trickled down with each attempt, but thankfully I encountered a solid ridge after a few tries. Carefully and with much effort, I pulled myself to the top of the rim and then rolled safely back onto the ledge. It took a couple of minutes before I caught my breath as I lay on my back, counting my blessings and gazing at the cloudless, blue sky. When I did recover, I ascertained that my attacker was nowhere in sight. However, I did locate where my aggressor had been concealed. Along the backside of the small ledge were several large, smooth sandstone rocks, and behind them, a long trench probably carved out by water. Hunched down there, the assailant would be virtually invisible from almost every angle except immediately behind. I decided to explore this area more thoroughly and had just begun to do so when surprisingly, I stumbled upon something unexpected— a wallet. And when examining its contents, located a California driver’s license belonging to one, Timothy Alan Jackson. It seems the effects supervisor had decided to make a dramatic reappearance— and unfortunately, at my expense!

About the Author

Tony Piazza is a Central Coast mystery writer, film historian, presenter, and veteran storyteller well-known for his passion for writing and movies. 

He is the author of seven mystery novels, “Anything Short of Murder,” “A Murder Amongst Angels,” “Murder is Such Sweet Revenge,” “The Curse of the Crimson Dragon," "Murder Will Out," "Murder in the Cards," and "A Murder, Well-Scripted," all available through Amazon. Piazza’s memoir, “Bullitt Points,” from SansTree, provides a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the classic Steve McQueen movie “Bullitt” and the involvement of the Piazza family in the production. He is also a contributing author in three anthologies: “The Best of the SLO NightWriters in Tolosa Press 2009-2013,” "Deadlines: Murder & Mayhem on the California Coast" Volume 2; and "Turning Tides- Volume 4," also numerous tales published in other periodicals.

Piazza regularly worked as an extra and stand-in on multiple Hollywood movies and television shows shot in San Francisco during the 1970s, including “Towering Inferno,” “High Anxiety,” “Magnum Force,” and “Streets of San Francisco.”

His inventory of stories reads like a Who’s Who of Hollywood from that era: Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen, Darren McGavin, Paul Newman, Karl Malden, Michael Douglas, Raymond Burr, Walter Matthau, Fred Astaire, Robert Vaughn, and Leslie Nielsen.

Piazza is a member of Mystery Writers of America, California Writer's Club, and SLO NightWriters.

Mr. Piazza has also done many interviews for television, radio, print, and electronic media.

All his novels are available as audiobooks, narrated by Broadway actor James Romick. They can be found on Amazon, Audible, and I-tunes websites.

Facebook ~~ Instagram ~~ Goodreads


Two eCopies of the award-winning mystery Murder in the Cards

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Saturday Quote

This week's Saturday quote is from April Showers Bring Dead Flowers by Krista Lockheart available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3E1MwNe

Thanksgiving Mysteries

Thanksgiving Dinner Death (Juniper Holiday Cozy Mystery Book 2)

by Leighann Dobbs

A new month, a new holiday, and Juniper Holiday is ready for stuffing to happen!

This year, Juniper has invited most of Crescent Cove to her Thanksgiving feast. Even that annoying Detective Mallard and his gang of ducklings.

The mansion is decorated. The table is set. The cooks (both living and ghostly) are trying new recipes. Everything is perfect until someone ends up face-down in the pecan pie.

Juniper is determined to solve the case before Detective Mallard can ruin her fun with his rules, but will she manage it before the killer decides to try again, or will this Thanksgiving meal be Juniper’s last supper?

~~ Amazon ~~

Turkey Day Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery Series Book 7)

by Leslie Meier

Tinker’s Cove, Maine, has a long history of Thanksgiving festivities, from visits with TomTom Turkey to the annual Warriors high school football game and Lucy Stone’s impressive pumpkin pie. But this year, someone has added murder to the menu, and Lucy intends to discover who left Metinnicut Indian activist Curt Nolan dead—with an ancient war club next to his head.

The list of suspects isn’t exactly brief. Nolan had a habit of disagreeing with just about everybody he met. Between fixing dinner for twelve and keeping her four kids from tearing each other limb from limb, Lucy has a pretty full plate already. So what’s a little investigation? But if she’s not careful, she may find herself served up as a last-minute course, stone-cold dead with all the trimmings…

~~ Amazon ~~


Deadly Thanksgiving: A Senior Sleuth Cozy Mystery - Book 2

by Maureen Fisher

The Foster sisters had inherited Grizzly Gulch Guest Ranch at an age when most sensible women contemplated retirement. No one ever called them sensible.

In Book 2 of The Senior Sleuth Mystery Series, events manager Clara Foster must ensure the success of a week-long getaway for lonely retirees—a Boomers' Thanksgiving Festival. Too bad the arrival of a mini-coach loaded with tipsy seniors gets the event off to a shaky start, especially when one of the guests turns out to be a corpse. Worse, the Mountie assigned to the case is none other than one Hawk McDougall, the man Clara dumped via text message.

Tensions mount when the death appears to be deliberate and the prime murder suspect is Clara’s cousin.

As more suspects emerge, mysterious “accidents” force Clara to join forces (and possibly more) with Hawk to find a killer on the rampage.

Non-stop action bounces from a cantankerous cat named Snuggles to an unfortunate goat yoga incident, a perilous nature walk to a mechanical bull gone rogue, a disastrous wardrobe malfunction to a spitting llama, all culminating in a memorable takedown followed by a Thanksgiving feast the guests will never forget.

Warning: This book may contain nuggets of naughty boomer humor.

~~ Amazon ~~


Sweet Thanksgiving (A Sweet Cove Mystery Book 21)

by J A Whiting

It is November in the seaside town of Sweet Cove, Massachusetts and Ellie and Jack's wedding is fast approaching. But first, there's a mystery to solve.

A well-known author and celebrity chef is in town for book signings when something unexpected happens.

The Roseland sisters, Mr. Finch, Chief Martin, and two fine felines are drawn into a new mystery. Who can be trusted? Who is telling lies? Who has secrets they're trying to hide? Can they solve the case before Ellie walks down the aisle?

~~ Amazon ~~


Thanksgiving in Paradise (A Tj Jensen Mystery Book 10)

by Kathi Daley

The shroud is lifted and truths too disturbing to believe are unveiled when an explosion at the town hall traps Tj under a pile of rubble as the walls of the building rain down around her. When the dust settles Tj is left wondering if you can ever really know another person or if the armor you see is simply an illusion created to conceal the lies that are buried beneath.

While Tj struggles with the duplicity of someone she’d previously held dear, she is also forced to deal with the fact that two popular residents are dead with four others in the hospital clinging to life.

As the remaining town council members struggle to rebuild from the ashes of what was lost, Tj commits to helping Roy find the individual responsible for this horrific event while trying to juggle an important life decision.

~~ Amazon ~~

Landslide by Adam Sikes

Landslide by Adam Sikes Banner


by Adam Sikes

November 14 - December 9, 2022 Virtual Book Tour


Landslide by Adam Sikes
International Arms—Private Military Companies—Corruption at Every Turn

U.S. Marine veteran Mason Hackett moved to London to start his life over, and he's done his best to convince himself that what happened fifteen years ago doesn't matter—the people he killed, the men he lost, the lives he ruined. But when Mason sees the face of a dead friend flash on a television screen and then receives a mysterious email referencing a CIA operation gone bad, he can no longer ignore his inner demons.

Driven by loyalty and a need to uncover the truth, Mason launches on a perilous journey from the Czech Republic to Romania toward the war-torn separatist region in eastern Ukraine to honor a fifteen-year-old promise. The answers he seeks—the fate of a friend and his connection to the underworld of international arms dealers and defense corporations—throw Mason into the cauldron of a covert war where no one can be trusted.

Praise for Landslide:

"Sikes imbues the emotionally complex Mason with a palpable sense of grief. Readers will look forward to his further adventures."

Publishers Weekly

"Landslide is not only a gripping geo-political thriller, but a morally-complex tale. It grapples with fraught questions of both individual and national loyalty as well as killing and the grim realities of war. I read this book over the course of two-white knuckled days that I won’t soon forget. Adam Sikes is a huge talent."

Elliot Ackerman, New York Times best-selling author

"Adam Sikes is the consummate storyteller. What a fast-moving train Landslide is, a real rollercoaster of a ride, gripping, emotional and thought-provoking. I enjoyed every thrilling second. This is good stuff!"

J. Randy Taraborrelli, New York Times best-selling author

"A gem of a read with mach-speed mayhem, loaded with rich detail from a writer who knows what he’s talking about."

Steve Berry, New York Times best-selling author

"With an irresistible hook that grabs you from the get-go, Landslide is an action-packed, nonstop espionage thrill ride that will keep you furiously turning the pages. Marine Corps veteran and former intelligence officer Adam Sikes delivers a fast-paced, gritty, supercharged read."

Andrew Kaplan, New York Times best-selling author

"Landslide is a seismic quake of an international, high-stakes thriller in the grand tradition of Daniel Silva, Brad Thor, and Brad Taylor. Adam Sikes has penned a seminal effort that's bracingly effective in its portrayal of current geopolitical dynamics through the eyes of former Marine, and current expatriate, Mason Hackett. A terrific tapestry of a tale with the kind of stitching that would make the likes of Alistair MacLean and Frederick Forsyth take notice."

Jon Land, USA Today best-selling author

Book Details:

Genre: Spy Thriller
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: September 2022
Number of Pages: 368
ISBN: 9781608095049 (ISBN10: 1608095045)
Series: A Mason Hackett Espionage Thriller, #1
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Oceanview Publishing


Author Bio:

Adam Sikes

Adam Sikes is a novelist and freelance writer. He is a graduate of Georgetown University with a degree in International Politics and a Masters in History. Prior to taking up the pen, he served in the US Marine Corps with combat tours in the Balkans, Iraq, and elsewhere in the Middle East. Following the Marines, Adam joined the CIA and conducted operations in Central Asia, East Africa, and Europe. He is the author of the international thriller Landslide and is the co-author of Open Skies: My Life as Afghanistan’s First Female Pilot. He lives in Southern California.


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The House on Hallowed Ground by Nancy Cole Silverman

About the Book

When Misty Dawn, a former Hollywood Psychic to the Stars, moves into an old craftsman house, she encounters the former owner, the recently deceased Hollywood set designer, Wilson Thorne.

Wilson is unaware of his circumstances, and when Misty explains the particulars of his limbo state, and how he might help himself if he helps her, he's not at all happy. That is until young actress Zoey Chamberlain comes to Misty's door for help.

Zoey has recently purchased The Pink Mansion, a historic Hollywood Hills home, and believes it's haunted. But when Misty arrives to search the house, it's not a ghost she finds, but a dead body.

The police are quick to suspect Zoey of murdering her best friend. Zoey maintains her innocence and fears her friend's death may have been a result of the ghost...and a long-time family curse.

Together Misty and Wilson must untangle the secrets of The Pink Mansion or submit to the powers of the family curse.

~~ Amazon ~~


The house on South Norton Drive looked like any other mid-century cottage on the same quiet tree-lined street. A two-bedroom, two-story Craftsman with a deep-set front porch surrounded by a white picket fence. There was nothing out of the ordinary about the home. Certainly nothing wraith-like. No cobwebs or darkened windows. Just a nice, quiet little house. But then, that was before I moved in.

In my defense, psychics can't read themselves.

My name is Misty Dawn, formerly Hollywood's leading Psychic to the Stars with a clientele that once read like the Who's Who of Hollywood. A respected consultant to the FBI on major crimes, and confidant to a former First Lady who had me on her speed dial. After such an illustrious career—thirty years at the top, doing late night talk shows and private consults—I never imagined I'd find myself in the latter part of my life with a diminished clientele. I had outlived most of the big names I had read for, and with limited resources, I found myself in need of a place to live. But, like I said, psychics can't read themselves.

It was my client Denise Thorne, a Realtor, who came to my rescue. The Craftsman had been her brother's home. The recently deceased Wilson Thorne, a flamboyant, self-absorbed, and very fey Academy Award-winning Hollywood set designer who had died suddenly in his sleep. The home and all its contents had been left to his sister. Who, because of a temporary upset in the real estate market, was undecided what to do with the property. She made me an offer I couldn't refuse.

It was one of those rare, rainy Southern California days. I had just made Denise and myself a cup of tea, and we were seated at the kitchen table inside my aging '68 Volkswagen Van, my sole possession, where I had been temporarily living with my cat Bossypants.

Denise said, "Misty, I have an idea. Why don't you move into my brother's place? It's certainly better than these cramped quarters, and you could hang out your shingle and start afresh."

It was a tempting offer, considering my rusted trailer had begun to leak with the rain.

Denise assured me I'd be doing her a favor. Her brother Wilson had been a collector. Every inch of every room in the house had something from a television or movie set or stage production he either worked on our fawned over, and liquidating the house was going to take some time. If I moved in it'd give me a decent place to live and save her from making a rash decision as to what to do with the place.

I replied while Denise's offer was very generous, I was concerned what I would do with my van. I couldn't just walk away from it. Parking it in a lot would be an expense I didn't need. "It's part of who I am," I said. "I’d have to find somewhere safe to keep it.”

“You can park it in my brother’s drive for all I care. As for your cat, long as she doesn’t knock things over I suppose it’ll be fine. Wilson was extremely fastidious about the house. Lots of collectables and artwork. He never had pets of his own. Always worried they’d make a mess of things. Truth is he was highly allergic. Fussy sort. Sneezed at the thought of a feline. But now that he’s gone I suppose it shouldn’t matter. Come on, Misty, what have you got to lose? The house would be perfect. Great location. Corner lot. Just off the boulevard in the valley. And...” Denise raised her brows teasingly. “As we say in Realtor speak, it’s got great curb appeal. For someone like yourself, there would be a lot of passersbys. People out walking their dogs. Couples. Potential clients.” Mentally, I could see Denise had already moved me into her brother’s cottage and was calculating what I feared might be rent. “Of course, I’d have to charge you.”

There it was, my excuse. Money. I didn’t have any and could afford absolutely nothing. While I had earned a good living in my glory days, I had always been a soft touch, and financial planning had never been my forte. I'd probably given away as much as I’d ever made. I somehow believed tomorrow would always take care of itself. 

Then there was Denise. The woman was a psychic junkie. She had made a hobby of going from psychic to psychic to compare readings and, had I allowed it, would have seen me on a daily basis. At age forty-five, Denise had developed a kind of teenage girl crush on the actor Hugh Jackman. She was convinced if they met, Jackman would leave his wife of nearly twenty-two years and ask her to be his life partner and join him on stage. Thus rekindling what had been a flailing acting career. Delusional was not a word Denise understood. She believed she and Jackman were soul mates. Like Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, the big screen was waiting for them.

 “I don’t know, Denise, I–”

“Stop. We can make this work. It’ll be a win-win for us both. Unlimited counseling sessions for me, none of this once-a-month stuff. And you? Aah! Misty, you could make a comeback. Give it a year. What harm can it do?”

About the Author

Silverman retired to write fiction after twenty-five years in news and talk radio. In addition to her short stories, Silverman writes THE CAROL CHILDS MYSTERIES, featuring a single-mom whose day-job as a radio reporter often leads to long nights as a crime-solver, and the MISTY DAWN MYSTERIES, centered on an aging Hollywood Psychic to the Stars, who supplements her readings working as a consultant to LAPD and the FBI. Silverman’s newest work, THE NAVIGATOR’S DAUGHTER, is a historically based novel about a daughter’s promise to her dying father to return to Budapest, Hungary to find the family that saved his life. Silverman lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a thoroughly pampered standard poodle.

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Saturday Quote

This week's Saturday quote is from Juiced by Ted Mulcahey available on Amazon.

Marked Raven by J.B. Dane

About the Book

Valentine’s Day could be the most dangerous time of the year if an angry Cupid is the hit man hunting you down.

Bram Farrell, paranormal PI, has been yanked from the pages of the novel. His author and creator brought him into real-world Detroit to do a job for her, but the job went south, and the real-world Detroit is as loaded with monsters and magical beings as the pages of her books were. And they are all out to get Bram and exact some otherworldly revenge on him.

Most guys wouldn’t mind that it’s raining females, some expected, some surprises, one he could do without. And then there is his new secretary, Naomi, who he’s falling in love with. Keeping her alive—and himself—is going to be tricky.

Outrunning an alchemist, a vampire, and a witch is going to take more than cutting wit.

Luckily, this paranormal Sam Spade has some resources besides his dry sense of humor. His dachshund Hellhound is with him and his magic is coming back. Which should be helpful considering someone has put a hit out on him.

There’s a lot on Bram’s plate this February. The question is, will he live through it this time?

Entertaining, funny and suspenseful, Marked Raven is the perfect place to pick up the Raven Tales urban fantasy series.

~~ Amazon ~~


It all started shortly after dawn on the most dangerous day of the year—Valentine’s Day.

One minute I was engrossed in taking names and kicking ass— you know, deep into a video game—when the familiar black-and caramel muzzle of my canine partner got between me and the screen. 

And the arrow. 

The first I became aware of the danger was when his teeth snapped down on it a foot away from reaching its target. 


It was old-school design. The only bit you might call high-tech being the pink and red feather bits at the tail end. Beelz had it gripped between his teeth and had amped up his growl as he turned demon red eyes to the being hovering near the ceiling.

A cupid wearing nothing but a red sash with a quiver of those dainty fletched arrows on his back. 

“What the frick!” the curly blond-headed, bow-wielding tike snarled around the cigarette clamped between his front teeth. Based on the deep octaves of his voice, as well as his language and smoke, I made the deduction: this weren’t no kid. I’m a P.I.; it’s what I do.

Beelz spat the stick out and hustled around the desk to leap at the intruder. He might be a hellhound but as his preferred form is that of a dachshund, the leaps were getting him nowhere near his target.

And cupid was nocking up another bolt.

I took cover beneath the desk. “Who the hell wants me to fall in love with them?” I yelled at the little bundle of lethal joy.

“No one, slick. I was hired to take you out.” Ash cascaded as the cigarette bobbed. Don’t talk and smoke at the same time should be up there with chew with your trap shut. But, hey? He was an assassin?

“Pretty lousy camouflage. In that get up”—or lack of one—“you don’t exactly blend into the surroundings, pal.” 

“What camouflage? I ain’t wearin’ no camouflage. Youse The Raven, right?”

No one had asked me that since November, but the answer lingered on my tongue. I’d said it enough times last fall. “Fictional character. Yeah, I’ve got the same name, but that’s all.”

“Not what I heard, buddy. Crawl out and take the medicine I come ta give ya.”

Hmm. Supply a target or evoke my décor-singeing modicum of magic. Decisions, decisions. But, since what prestidigits I could toss leaned more toward human flame-thrower, and I really didn’t want to burn the house down, there had to be a third option.

“How much they paying you?” 

“Whadda you care?” the cupid snarled.

“I’m willing to top the offer so you don’t shoot me,” I said.

“Doubt you could match my price, Raven,” chubby snarled.

“Farrell,” I corrected. “The name’s Bram Farrell. The Raven is not a real person. I think if you’d just take a gander at this room, you’ll see that I probably can match—if not best—the amount you agreed to.”

I’d inherited a cushy joint. No need to describe the place. Just saying mansion should fill in the blanks. All it’d taken was making sure my creator bit the big one. 

“Oh,” the fake toddler mumbled. Sounded like he was eyeballing the décor. 

Beelz gave an exhausted sigh and stopped trying to get a piece of the hit-tike. 

“I’ll throw in extra for the name of your client,” I offered from my burrow safely beneath the desk.

“No can do,” Babyface said.

“Professional ethics?”

“Never met them. Just an envelope dropped in my quiver at the wedding chapel I frequent. Gave me the address, a picture of the target—you—and a hefty down payment.”

“How hefty?” 

“Fifty Gs.”

“Fifty thousand dollars?”

“Nah. Fifty pieces of gold. The places I frequent don’t trust paper, pal, just coin.”

“Any particular kind?”

“Spanish, Roman, Etruscan—whatever ya got.”

Great. All I had to do was denude every online offering of antique gold coins.

“You on a timeline?” I needed to know. There would be shipping involved.

“End of the month,” chubby said.

In that case, expedited shipping. 

“There somewhere to get in touch when I’ve got the horde gathered?”

“Little Chapel of Bliss in Vegas,” the assassin said. “So, youse wanna shake on the deal or what?”

“Going with or what. Cool with that?”

“Totally chilled,” he said. Well, he should be. It was the middle of February in Detroit for Grendel’s sake.

About the Author

J.B. Dane is the author of the urban fantasy PI mystery comedy series, The Raven Tales, which includes novels published by Burns and Lea Books, and a series of Indie published novellas that are prequels and also "between the books" adventures of her sleuth, Bram Farrell. Quite a few 5* reviews have followed for the novels, in particular, singing praises that should make her blush though she’s too busy proudly polishing her nails against her lapel to do so. She also writes shorter fantasy fiction, many tales of which have appeared in anthologies, particularly her Nick Claus, North Pole Security stories. She writes historical and contemporary romantic mystery and speculative twisted 19th century fiction under two different names, just to confuse people. Or so they seem to think.

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Concrete Evidence by DiAnn Mills

Concrete Evidence

by DiAnn Mills

October 31 - November 25, 2022 Virtual Book Tour


Concrete Evidence by DiAnn Mills

On the family’s Brazos River Ranch in Texas, Avery Elliott helps run her grandfather’s commercial construction business. Raised by Senator Elliott, Avery has never doubted her grandfather is the man of integrity and faith she’s always believed him to be . . . until the day she finds him standing with a gun over the body of a dead man. To make matters worse, Avery’s just discovered a billing discrepancy for materials supposedly purchased for construction of the Lago de Cobre Dam.

Desperate for answers, Avery contacts FBI Special Agent Marc Wilkins for help. As Marc works to identify the dead man Avery saw, threats toward Avery create a fresh sense of urgency to pinpoint why someone wants to silence her. With a hurricane approaching the Texas coast and the structural integrity of the Lago de Cobre Dam called into question, time is running out to get to the bottom of a sinister plot that could be endangering the lives of not only Avery and her loved ones but the entire community.

Praise for Concrete Evidence:

"VERDICT Mills ... delivers another action-packed novel that offers intrigue and an adventurous ride. Recommend to fans of Dani Pettrey, Lynette Eason, and Carrie Stuart Parks."

Shondra Brown for Library Journal

"The confident plotting keeps the mysteries coming, and red herrings will have readers guessing the culprit through to the satisfying conclusion. Fans of Colleen Coble and Susan Sleeman will savor this thrilling standalone."

Concrete Evidence Trailer:

Book Details:

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published by: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication Date: October 2022
Number of Pages: 416
ISBN: 9781496451897 (ISBN10: 1496451899)
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Tyndale

Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1

Texas Hill Country

AVERY ELLIOTT SPURRED HER HORSE across one of the thirty-five thousand rolling acres of the Brazos River Ranch in the blazing heat. The sultry August wind blew through her hair, bathing her damp face and shoving aside her pensive mood. Granddad had told her once that if he could lasso the wind, he’d ride that bronc to eternity. She’d framed the saying and placed it in the reception area of their office.

Granddad had left at dawn to ride fence and enjoy some solitude and think time. His work habits overruled his stomach, which meant he wouldn’t stop to eat until he’d inspected a recently repaired stretch. Then the Internet had gone down ending her morning’s work. A good excuse for her to get away from the office and spend special time with him.

She lightly grasped the reins of the most wonderful quarter horse on the planet and the perfect cure-all for the morning’s frustration. Closing her eyes, Avery allowed Darcy’s rhythmic gallop to soothe her.

Avery slowed the mare to a walk and twisted her phone from her jeans pocket. Pressing on Granddad’s name in Favorites, she breathed in the sweltering heat and envisioned him fumbling for his phone.

“Mornin’, sweet girl.”

“Can I treat you to a five-star restaurant for lunch?” He chuckled. “You’ll have to fly in the prime rib.”

“I’ve packed us a picnic, and I’m on my way to meet you. Just say where.”

“Drivin’ or ridin’?”

“You’ve hurt Darcy’s feelings.”

“Give her my apologies. I’m west of the river about a mile from the family cemetery. Should be a nice breeze there this morning. We could talk and have lunch with your grandma.”

“Good. I’d planned to stop at her grave while I was out.” The oaks bordering the family plots would offer relief from the hundred-degree temps. With the abundance of summer rain, the area brimmed with green and vibrant wildflowers. “I’ll make sure she has flowers on her grave.”

“Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her. Guess I’m a sentimental old man who never got over his first love.”

Someday Avery wanted the same kind of love. She remembered the woman with warm brown eyes and a loving touch who fell prey to a stroke nearly fifteen years ago and never recovered. “You’re not a sentimental old man but one who misses his wife and best friend.”

“I see her in you.” He sighed. “You have a spirit of strength deep in your heart. Others think you’re quiet—until you’re riled. Then you’d give the devil a run for his money.”

“I hope I can always live up to that strength.”

“You already have. One day you’ll make the right man proud.” “Haven’t found him yet.”

“Time’s just not right. So when will you get here?”

Avery studied the familiar landmarks—thoroughbred horses grazing to the south and cattle taking advantage of the Brazos River. Why anyone would choose to live away from nature’s beauty made little sense to her. “About thirty minutes.”

“You didn’t bring tofu and carrot sticks? Mia’s new diet is killing me. The doctor doesn’t need to worry about my cholesterol or weight because she’s starving me.”

Avery laughed. “No. I packed ham and cheese, jalapeño-bacon potato salad, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and apple pie. You can eat light this evening.”

“I have a political dinner at six o’clock and a deacon meeting at seven thirty. Hey, how did you get the forbidden food past Mia?”

“She was upstairs while I hurried in the kitchen.” Their housekeeper and cook had entered the back side of her sixties and refused to slow down, but Granddad and Avery kept trying. Both knew better than to tell Mia to cut back on her pace unless they were looking to be chased down the road with buckshot in their rears. Granddad had no room to talk. He faced the big seven-oh in October, and he’d made no plans to ease back.

She slipped the phone back into her jeans pocket and hurried Darcy on. Avery wanted to arrive at the picnic site well before Granddad and have lunch set out for him.

Her thoughts crept back to the accounting issue from this morning. A work problem had made another moment at the ranch office torture, and getting away from the computer served as the perfect antidote. In examining Elliott Commercial Construction’s records before the auditors arrived next week, she’d found a discrepancy. A paid bill for materials was much lower than it should have been. Why hadn’t she seen this weeks ago at the completion of the Lago de Cobre Dam? The original bid for the project included the cost to supply additional rock and expand the footprint, footers, and other foundational elements to compensate for the soft ground. Those materials were ordered, canceled, and still the specs showed the work had been completed per the contract.

She’d contacted the material’s supply company, and the accounting manager confirmed they’d invoiced what they supplied. Yet Avery’s files didn’t reflect a different supplier for the required foundation, as though Granddad had substituted inferior materials or hadn’t followed the specs. He’d never sacrifice safety. Even the idea scraped raw against her conscience.

A call had gone to Craig, the foreman, but only voice mail greeted her. The accounting mess would drive her nuts until she resolved it, but she’d have to wait. Granddad would laugh at her fears about the dam’s potentially faulty construction and explain the discrepancy. Accurate details ruled her thoughts, and perfectionism had a way of eating at her logic. A lot of good her Ivy League education accomplished when the numbers didn’t add up.

Granddad said Avery shared his insight and discernment. The ability took practice, prayer, and purpose—his favorite three p’s as though he’d outlined a sermon. But Granddad was wrong. She must have made a mistake, and the error warred within her.

Avery rode the path to the family cemetery. Elliotts had owned this property and been buried there before Texas became a state. Irish, English, and Scottish heritage—hard workers and fighters for faith, family, and freedom. Which had a lot to do with Granddad’s name, Dad’s, and hers—Avery Quinn Elliott, respectively Senior, Junior, and whatever that made her. Fortunately, Granddad went by Quinn or Senator, Dad went by Buddy, and she was simply Avery. Proud family and heritage, although Dad and Mom slipped in applying all three traits of being an Elliott.

Not going there today. After spending time with Granddad and finding out the source of her accounting problem, she—

A shot rang out from the direction of the cemetery.

She dug her heels into Darcy’s side and bolted ahead. Had Granddad met up with a wild pig, a rattler, or even a two-legged varmint? The latter caused her to slow the mare and circle a grove of trees. If she needed her Sig, the firearm rested in a saddlebag beside the packed lunch. Granddad wasn’t in sight. Only his stallion.

She dismounted and grabbed her gun. Tying Darcy to a slender oak, Avery moved closer to the iron gate of the cemetery entrance and prayed he hadn’t been hurt. How had he been a mile west of here when she called him?

Hesitant to call out for him and draw the shooter’s attention to her, she hid behind an oak. A riderless motorcycle—a shiny, blue Yamaha Tracer 9 GT—had parked in the shadow of more trees outside the far edge of the iron fence, a few yards from a worn path leading to the main road.

On the opposite side of the cemetery, Granddad bent over a man, whose blood stained his chest and pooled on the ground. He felt for a pulse and lifted his head to the cloudless sky. In Granddad’s gloved right hand rested a gun. He shoved the weapon into his front belt and lifted his phone to his ear.

“He’s dead. This has to end.” Granddad scanned the area, no doubt searching for someone. “I want Avery kept out of this, but I’m expecting her in the next twenty minutes.” He kicked the dirt with the toe of his boot. “He parked on the road and walked back. She isn’t to know about any of it. I’ll handle the situation on my end. . . . Yes, I’ll be careful and not let the authorities know what happened. Look, I need to move his body out of sight. He was a friend, one of the best. I despise where this has gone.” Granddad waved his hand. “I told you Avery won’t be a problem.”


Excerpt from Concrete Evidence by DiAnn Mills. Copyright 2022 by DiAnn Mills. Reproduced with permission from DiAnn Mills. All rights reserved.


Author Bio:

DiAnn Mills

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She weaves memorable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. DiAnn believes every breath of life is someone’s story, so why not capture those moments and create a thrilling adventure? Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards, the Golden Scroll, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, an active member of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Mystery Writers of America, the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. DiAnn continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on:
BookBub - @DiAnnMills
Instagram - @diannmillsauthor
Twitter - @DiAnnMills
Facebook - @DiAnnMills
YouTube - @DiAnnMills 


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Broken Chords by Rachel Lynne

About the Book


When jealousy amps up to murder
rock and roll on the high seas hits a sour note!

Nine days floating through paradise? Free? Who wouldn't jump at the chance?

Chef Tina Crawford has avoided her rock star father for years—too many bad memories. To cope with her demons, Tina lives her life in a whirlwind of booze and bars but, when her plans to become a partner in the Cosmic Café are derailed unless she sobers up, Tina must find a way to bury the hatchet with her father.

An invitation to accompany the band on a rock-and-roll-themed cruise seems like the perfect opportunity to bury the past, only no one mentioned an ex-lover and his fiancé and a predator from her past were included, no extra charge!

Stuck at sea with a series of questionable accidents and a nasty murder, Tina must navigate a minefield of emotional obstacles and stadium-sized egos in order to stop a killer before she ends up in Davy Jones’ locker.

If you like strong, flawed, and snarky women, a dash of romance, and a generous helping of suspense, you'll love Broken Chords!

~~ Amazon ~~


Feeling like the hounds of hell were nipping my heels, I rushed through the door and straight into a wall of warm muscle. 


“Whoa, where’s the fire?”  

I tried to stop, but momentum was not my friend and my sudden reverse didn’t suit my high-heeled boots. My ankle twisted as one boot lost its heel.

My savior clasped my upper arms, steadying me as I leaned over, unzipping my vintage treasures. “Crap, they’re ruined!” I slid them off and looked up. The thanks died on my lips. “Ian?”


I closed my eyes and gulped. Really, what gods had I ticked off? Not only did I get close quarters with my estranged father, but the universe had seen fit to put my biggest fear and loathing in the form of Ricky Warner into the mix and now, now I got to run into my ex, who I had never wanted to be an ex, lover.

I forced a smile I was far from feeling. “Ian, um, what a surprise!”

A lopsided grin stretched across his handsome face. “Surprise is an understatement.” He shook his head, “What are the odds?”

I snorted. The way my luck was running, I wouldn’t even hazard a guess. Wishing the deck would split apart and devour me, I tried for casual and uninterested. “So, yeah, incredible, running into you, literally!”

He smiled, flashing the dimple that I adored. “How long has it been? A year, year and a half?”

Two years, four months, six days, and a handful of hours … but who was counting?

My hands started to shake. I couldn’t do this. The shock of the slime ball Warner and now Ian … I forced words past the lump that was starting to clog my throat. “Uh yeah … look, it was nice seeing you again, but I’ve got to-”

“Ian, are you not going to introduce me?

My gaze flew to the short brunette with bright red stiletto nails clinging to Ian’s arm like a limpet. My eyebrows rose. Oh yes? Did I also get an ex-lover’s girlfriend? Why yes, it appeared that I was to have that privilege. How did that saying about karma go?

“Uh …Tina this is, uh …”  

The woman huffed and nudged Ian aside as she thrust her hand towards me. “I’m Doctor Judith Fogarty, Ian’s fiancée, and you are?”

Her words slammed into me like a sledgehammer. My stomach rolled and my heart started pounding again; I didn’t need this! My face felt hot, and I fidgeted under the woman’s stare. “Uh, I’m uh …” I forced my brain to function even though most of it was in shock. “Tina, um Tina Crawford.”

I glanced at Ian. He was staring at his fiancée. I frowned; Ian’s mouth was hanging open as if he was shocked, and he was glaring at her. I heard him say something to her then he turned to me and flashed a tense smile. “Uh, we aren’t, there’s been no discussion about getting married.”

The doctor huffed and glared at Ian. I shook my head, whatever was going on with Ian and his whatever she was, it was no concern of mine. That ship had sailed regardless of my heart’s continued ache… I bit my lip and tried to force down the tears that were threatening to fall.

Too many emotions, too many old memories, and too many tangled cords of broken relationships were tugging at me and all I wanted to do was escape; To curl into a fetal position, preferably with a bottle of bourbon, and block out the whole terrible, no good, very bad day.

About the Author

*Sweet Tea & Live Oaks heavy with Spanish Moss.

*A warm breeze rustling the Spartina. Now, add a cozy little murder & a dash of mayhem.

I write cozy coastal mysteries to die for ...

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