Posted in books, reading

What #books are you #reading?

I gave up doing my book review blog a while ago, mainly do to time constraints, but I thought I would share a few of my favorite series.

Romance, drama, and intrigue, anyone?

28 wishes

 This whole Rose Gardner Mystery series is awesome, including the between the pages novellas.

Hilarity and mystery, with a dash of romance.

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The Miss Fortune Series is just the best. I usually laugh my whole way through as I enjoy the twisty-turny mysteries, and my favorite Deputy 🙂

And it’s FREE!

Edgy mystery with just enough humor and heart.

sydney rye

The Sydney Rye series is a little darker than the first two, but gives readers a realistic heroine who’s made mistakes, but is a survivor even when she might not want to be.

Clearly I’ve been very into mysteries lately, but that doesn’t change the fact that these are all great series. Enjoy!

Posted in books

#SydneyRyeKW Rough Road by @tobywneal

Another new release to talk about in the Kindle Worlds concept from the bestseller Toby Neal. With Rough Road, Toby takes Lei Texeira, who will later become a Hawaii police officer, detective and FBI Special Agent, into the world of Sydney Rye and Blue.

RoughRoadCover

Chapter 2

The area around the dirt road was sandy soil, dotted with the round balls of desert sage and tumbleweeds, an occasional barrel cactus or saguaro adding an extra hazard as Lei ran.

Lei had one advantage—she ran a lot. Terror gave her extra speed and she tore through the sagebrush and sand, leaping over a small barrel cactus in her path like a hurdler, never looking back to see if they were catching up to her. Lei’s only advantage was speed, and she couldn’t waste it.

Lei could hear them behind her: panting breath, crunching brush, the occasional curse. She focused on the ground directly ahead of her, thankful that she’d worn her usual outfit of athletic shorts, tank shirt, and a pair of running shoes in spite of Amy’s teasing to get into something cuter.

The sounds of pursuit grew fainter. She was leaving them behind, and it was a good thing too, because she was reaching the limits of her endurance. She hurtled up the long swell of a brush-covered sand dune, breath searing through overworked lungs.

She reached the top and turned, slowing her steps. Her shoes sank in loose, deep sand as she paused, leaning over to rest her hands on her knees and look back.

The two men were already returning to the car. Fernando looked right at her as he opened the door of the truck. He reached in and pulled Amy up by her hair. Looking right at Lei, he flourished his huge Buck knife against her friend’s neck. Lei gasped, covering her mouth with her hands.

He was trying to make her return, by holding Amy hostage.

If Lei went back, he’d just have two girls to torture. If Lei found help, one of them at least might survive. But was she just justifying leaving Amy there to suffer? Lei’s mouth was chalky with the horror of her dilemma.

She took too long to decide.

Slower on his feet, Joao finally reached the vehicle. She saw the men exchange angry words, and Joao got in. Fernando waved the knife toward Lei again, and then unceremoniously shoved Amy into the middle of the seat and climbed in, too, slamming the door. The truck fired up and drove away, churning dust over the red Mustang still fishtailing in its wake.

“Oh my God.” Leis knees buckled and she sat abruptly. She was in the middle of nowhere, in the desert, without water or a cell phone. She hung her head for a moment, getting her breath and her bearings, shaking with delayed shock. “Poor Amy. Oh my God. I have to help her.” She stood up and hiked the few more feet to the top of the dune.
From that vantage point, Lei could see back to the road, an empty line through the desert that led toward the mountains. Those hills were arid and shadowed with shades of mauve, blue and dusty green as afternoon waned. In the other direction, the ocean gleamed in the distance, cool and taunting, behind a bank of dunes.

Might as well head that way. Where there was a beach, there was the possibility of people, and she was afraid to return to that rough, empty road.

What is Rough Road about?

Some bad road trips are still meant to be taken.

Twenty-one year old Lei Texeira and her friend Amy set off on a road trip for Cabo San Lucas, looking for fun in the sun—but a wrong turn leads to danger south of the border. Lei meets Sydney and Blue in the desert, learns the ways of vigilante justice, and a friendship is born. Merl, Sydney’s badass trainer, teaches Lei the sweet rewards of taking a risk and learning to let go. In this prequel to Blood Orchids, (Book One in the Lei Crime Series), Lei makes discoveries that will shape her life and future forever.

Rough Road falls right after Book Two in the Sydney Rye series, Death In the Dark (and thus a year or two before my Sydney Rye book, The Wife Line).

“Rough Road is action-packed, sexy, and impossible to put down. Lei and Sydney working together are so good! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Toby will decide to write another.”—Emily Kimelman, author of the Sydney Rye Series

About the author

Best-selling author Toby Neal was raised on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, where she lives today after “stretches of exile” to pursue education. A mental health therapist, Toby credits that career with adding depth to the characters in the Lei Crime Series. She is a member of BestSelling Reads.

Visit her

 

What are Kindle Worlds?

Sydney Rye Kindle World WeekKindle Worlds is an Amazon initiative that allows authors to publish stories set in another author’s fictional universe. The Sydney Rye Kindle World is based on the characters and situations created by bestselling author Emily Kimelman.

The Sydney Rye series of vigilante mysteries feature a strong female lead and her rescue dog, Blue. It is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, a dash of sex and don’t mind a little salty language. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery with tons of action that will keep you reading late into the night!

Posted in new release

#SydneyRyeKW The Catalyst by @DelSheree Gladden

Day 3 of Sydney Rye Kindle World Week

The new Sydney Rye Kindle World launches on Thursday, March 17. As an extended St. Paddy’s Day present from me to you, valued readers, Written Words presents excerpts from each of the seven novellas in the project. Today’s installment is from DelSheree Gladden’s The Catalyst, where the Syndey Rye and Blue world crosses over the Eliza Carlisle reality.

CatalystCover“Before I let you get back to sleep,” Lauren said, “have you been keeping up with local news while you were in LA?”

It seemed like a random question. “No. Why?”

“Uh, no reason,” she said cryptically. “One of my students, could you keep an eye on her while I’m gone? She’s got a lot of talent, but she’s been struggling the last few weeks. She might need a little extra encouragement.”

My head ached from lack of sleep and jetlag, but I smiled. Lauren’s soft heart was a contrast to many of her coworkers at the culinary institute. Some might call it weakness, but I never would. “Who is this student?” I asked.

“Her name’s Eliza Carlisle. She’s a bit of a misfit at times, but like I said, she’s really talented and I would hate to see her get overwhelmed and give up.” Lauren sighed, like a weight had been lifted from her shoulders. “Thank you, Hugh. For covering for me, and for keeping an eye on Eliza. You’re a good friend.”

“Yeah, well, you’ve been there for me often enough the last year and a half, I figure I owe you,” I said with a smile. “I hope everything goes okay with your dad.”

“Thanks,” she said, emotion making her voice squeak. She’d played off her fears when trying to talk me into covering her classes, but I knew how much not being there was eating at her even then. She drew in a deep breath to calm herself. “I’ll bring the key by this afternoon. My flight is a five, so I’ll swing by on my way to the airport. Get some sleep.”

We said our goodbyes and I ended the call. Rolling back toward my pillow, I pressed my face into the fabric. James’ scent had long faded, but the memory of it hadn’t. I both loved and hated the reminders of him that still lingered even after packing up his things. I wondered if the wounds losing him created would ever heal.

Friends didn’t understand. It had been a year and a half since his murder. The killer was dead at Joy’s hand. Didn’t that mean closure? Shouldn’t I have been able to move on after so long? Sometimes I wondered that as well. Moving on sounded good, in the same way made-from-scratch mac and cheese sounded good on a rainy day. Comfort food didn’t make the rain stop. Wishing I could move on didn’t make me miss him any less. It didn’t make me feel any less responsible for not being there when he needed me.

My body begged me to go back to sleep, but my mind was too awake. Lauren’s question about whether I had been following local news poked at me. What had happened while I was gone? An uncomfortable dread settled in the pit of my stomach. The last time something had blown up in the news, it had surrounded Joy, James, the mayor, and murder. Picking my phone back up, I brought up the latest news stories, found nothing overly interesting, then wondered about the girl Lauren had asked me to look out for. It took me a few seconds to remember the name.

Typing “Eliza Carlisle” into the news app, I hit the search button and sighed when the results loaded. “Local culinary student plays key part in solving 50-year-old murder.” That wouldn’t have sounded so ominous if not for the pictures and videos accompanying the headline. Anything involving SWAT couldn’t be good. My mind decided it had had enough and was ready to shut off. Ditching my phone, I crawled back under my blankets and closed my eyes. Lauren’s favor just got a whole lot more complicated.

What’s The Catalyst all about?

Eliza Carlisle has the unwanted talent of attracting trouble, in all its forms. That couldn’t be truer than when she moves into the most bizarre apartment building on the planet. Weekly required dinners with the landlord and assigned chores are bad enough, but the rules don’t end there. Top most on the list of requirements is NO physical violence against the others residents.

There have been issues.

In the past.

The young manager, Sonya, claims that hasn’t been a problem recently, but Eliza comes home from her first day of culinary school to find a dead resident, her next door neighbor looking good for the crime, and a cop that seems more interested in harassing her than solving the case.
All Eliza wanted was to escape her past and start over, completely anonymous in a big city. That’s not going to be so easy when the killer thinks she’s made off with a valuable piece of evidence everyone is trying to get their hands on. The ultimatum that she turn it over to save her own life creates a small problem. Eliza has no idea what the killer wants, or where the mysterious object might be.

If she can’t uncover a decades old mystery in time, surviving culinary school will be the least of her problems.

About the author

DelSheree GladdenDelSheree Gladden lives in New Mexico with her husband and two children. The Southwest is a big influence in her writing because of its culture, beauty, and mythology. Local folk lore is strongly rooted in her writing, particularly ideas of prophecy, destiny, and talents born from natural abilities.

Check out her latest books, get updates and sneak peeks of new projects:

 

And follow her on Twitter @DelSheree

What are Kindle Worlds?

SRKWlaunchimageKindle Worlds is an Amazon initiative that allows authors to publish stories set in another author’s fictional universe. The Sydney Rye Kindle World is based on the characters and situations created by bestselling author Emily Kimelman.

The Sydney Rye series of vigilante mysteries feature a strong female lead and her rescue dog, Blue. It is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, a dash of sex and don’t mind a little salty language. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery with tons of action that will keep you reading late into the night!

Posted in new release

#SydneyRyeKW NEMESIS by @jenharlowbooks

NemesisCover

The new Sydney Rye Kindle World launches on Thursday, March 17. As an extended St. Paddy’s Day present from me to you, valued readers, Written Words presents excerpts from each of the seven novellas in the project. Today’s installment is from Nemesis, which brings Sydney and Blue into a very dark setting.

Origin Story

What’s in a name? An identity? Most of us don’t get to choose ours. Names are given at birth. Identity is thrust upon us around the same time. Before even. Male/Female, Caucasian/Person of Color. Rich/poor. There’s so much in this life we don’t get to choose for ourselves. Our pool of possible life experiences is already pre-determined for us through fate. Chance. Through the people we encounter’s own prejudices. The shitty hand they’re dealt at birth impacts us, whether we like it or not.

Take the fuckers who raped me when I was sixteen. Mind you there wasn’t much talking going on while they took their turns on me and my cousin Penny for three days, but from their limited vocabulary, obvious affiliation with the meth world, and lack of care for their fellow human beings—which had to be learned somewhere—I could tell they hadn’t been given the best start in life. Unfortunately for our sakes, they continued that streak into their forties when they entered our worlds. Foster care, druggie mother, no father, poverty stricken, in and out of prison, they never stood a chance.

Neither did we.

Two sheltered teenage girls from the suburbs of Independence where the worst thing that can happen in our little bubble is a divorce or illness in our loving family. Even Uncle Charlie, a Vice detective in Independence, the nation’s capital, never brought his work or stories of depravity home to our peaceful oasis. It wasn’t like we lived in the Big Bad City of Independence where supervillains destroyed whole buildings, set off bombs, or shot up the streets during bank robberies. Evil was there. Them. The freaks in the costumes with super-strength and acid for blood we watched on the news. It didn’t come up behind you after soccer practice with your head full of Casey Peters, hold a gun to your back as his friend held one to your cousin’s head, and force you both into its BO and meth smelling Cadillac. Evil didn’t happen to upper middle class, Caucasian, pretty Stephanie Dawson. Until it did.

Then it killed her.

It was day three. Day three of being tied to a bed, raped, pissed on, beaten, burnt with cigarettes, and carved with knives. I was weak from blood loss, from dehydration, from fear and agony. But the worst, the very worst, was hearing my fourteen-year-old cousin sobbing in the next room as one of them assaulted her. Those were the moments I closed my eyes and prayed for death. Truly prayed to God for death. He didn’t answer. When does he? But something did. Something infused me with white hot rage, filling my every cell. Replacing my very essence, my very soul with righteous purpose. They would not get away with this. They would not get to break me. Every pain, every fear, every horror they bestowed upon us would come back to them threefold.

They did not get to win.

I broke my own thumbs to escape the handcuffs. I barely noticed the pain. I didn’t even put clothes on. The other two would be back from the drug run at any minute. I walked naked, bleeding, through that filthy house, grabbed the first blunt object I could find, a piece of the broken coffee table, and as one of the pigs pumped away on my baby cousin, oblivious to all but his own selfish satisfaction, I clubbed him from behind. Once. Twice. Three times until he lay beside what remained of Penny, unconscious. Four. Five. I would have kept going forever, until he was obliterated, but Penny began screaming around hit five. She looked up at me as if she didn’t recognize me. As if I were the monster. I didn’t care. I just kept whacking until I saw brain.

Every one of those new cells of mine wanted me to stay. Wait for the other two and gut them like fish. But Stephanie Dawson’s last act was to cut through my bloodlust and tell me to get us the hell out of there. So I untied my cousin and all but carried her out of that house.  I should have stayed. By the time the police arrived, the men were gone. Worse, the rescue was in vain. Penny wasn’t home two hours from the hospital when my Uncle Charlie found her hanging in the garage.

I truly buried Stephanie Dawson the day we buried Penny. We buried my Uncle Charlie too. The detective who couldn’t even protect his own daughter. Our eyes met across her grave, finding their match. Cruel. Hard. Dead all but physically. The same eyes the three pigs had when they carved “Whore” into my chest. Sometimes the only way to fight the monsters is to become one. And that was the moment. The moment the last vestiges of Stephanie Dawson burnt to ashes and the goddess of righteous retribution, Nemesis, was reborn.

“Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”

I am that water.

I am the flood that follows.

Even as I drown myself.

What’s Nemesis all about?

Sex traffickers, serial killers, and superheroes…welcome to the world of Galilee Falls, Sydney Rye!

Sydney Rye thought she’d wiped out the Cartel responsible for killing her friend Malina, but that was only the beginning. She finds herself in a new city, a city with one of the highest concentrations of superheroes in the world, with a new partner to finish the job and avenge her friend.

Nemesis knows a lot about vengeance. The self-proclaimed goddess of retribution has spent the past four years terrorizing the rapists and abusers of her city into submission. But the life of a vigilante is a lonely one. When the Joyful Justice Network asks her to aid Sydney Rye in breaking up a sex trafficking ring, she leaps at the chance to work with the legend. But Sydney isn’t there to make friends. Can the women put aside their differences to wipe the villains off the map once and for all? Maybe with a little help from a White Knight…

About the author

Jennifer Harlow earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Virginia. She has been a bookseller, radio DJ, lab assistant, and government investigator. She lives in Atlanta and is hard at work on her next book.

Visit her:

Or follow her on Twitter @jenharlowbooks, or send an email to jenniferharlowbooks@yahoo.com

What are Kindle Worlds?

SRKWlaunchimage

Kindle Worlds is an Amazon initiative that allows authors to publish stories set in another author’s fictional universe. The Sydney Rye Kindle World is based on the characters and situations created by bestselling author Emily Kimelman.

The Sydney Rye series of vigilante mysteries feature a strong female lead and her rescue dog, Blue. It is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, a dash of sex and don’t mind a little salty language. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery with tons of action that will keep you reading late into the night!