If you want to participate in the cover reveal promo check out the form below.
Promo date is Tuesday, January 26th.
Release date is Friday, February 5th!
If you want to participate in the cover reveal promo check out the form below.
Promo date is Tuesday, January 26th.
Release date is Friday, February 5th!
Who Wants to Marry a Duke by Sabrina Jeffries Narrated by Beverley A. Crick
There are very few authors who I pre-order, Sabrina Jeffries is one of them. I love this series and was anxious to read it. It was worth the wait, another fabulous story.
Women of strength and substance people Jeffries’ novels, the latest heroine is chemist Miss Olivia Norley. When she offered to clean a stain from the new duke’s waistcoat at a party, Thorn, aka the duke of Thornstock, Marlowe Drake believes she set him up to get caught so they would have to marry. When she refuses his proposal, he misconstrues her reasons.
Years later the pair finds themselves teamed up when Thorn’s half-brother Grey needs a chemist to prove his father was murdered. The attraction is still there but Thorn’s secret could tear them apart.
Raised to believe that every young woman wants to marry a duke and will stop at nothing to catch one, Thorn is twice surprised when Olivia refuses him. What will it take for the beautiful and intelligent chemist to say yes?
Sabrina Jeffries makes the reader believe in possibilities. For a moment we can believe in a world where a young woman of the ton carries the necessary chemicals in her purse to clean wine from a vest. We believe in love at first sight. She even makes us believe in the strength of a young woman’s character that she would refuse a proposal not given with his whole heart. We also believe that love will win in the end, that the truth will come out and the bad guys will be punished.
I impatiently wait for the next story in The Duke Dynasty Series.
Memory Man by David Baldacci, Narrated by Ron McLarty, Orlagh Cassidy
David Baldacci knows how to get a reader’s attention. He is a storyteller who blends detail with action, keeping the story moving while pulling the reader deeper into the plot.
Amos Decker, the memory man, was just a normal college football player with a chance at the big times when his life changed forever for the first time. His brief professional career is cut short when he suffers a head injury that leaves him unable to forget.
The second time his life changes, he comes home to find his brother-in-law, wife and young daughter murdered. As a police officer, he knows it has to be his fault but when there are no leads, his focus on the job suffers.
Amos falls down to the lowest rung of society sleeping in a cardboard box before he pulls himself together and becomes a private detective. He hasn’t pulled himself very far up the ladder but at least he is sleeping in a bed and eating regularly. He is holding onto this sanity by his fingernails. What would you do if you could never forget? If your worst memory was as fresh months later as it was minutes after it happened. How would you heal?
What would you do if someone walked in off the street and confessed to murdering your family?
More questions follow Amos as more bodies stack up and he’s the key to it all.
This was one of the best suspense thrillers I’ve read. It kept me guessing. Sven as I figured out one clue there were still more to discover.
How do you research Murder? How many people did you have to kill to get it right? Uh! What, wait a minute…
Contrary to some the writing sources I’ve studied, you don’t have to write JUST what you know. You can figure somethings out by relating them with similar experiences, or by taking classes, watching YouTube videos or documentaries. You don’t have to kill your neighbors in order to write about it. I mean, you could but then you’d probably be in prison or on the run and then it’s really difficult to do book signings.
Okay, enough of the silliness, seriously, most writers are nosey by nature. We want to know how everything works or why it doesn’t. We will do extensive research over something that only shows up in the background of a story just so it feels right. As readers we know that we are most engaged when an author piques all of our senses. No you cannot see, taste, feel or smell any of the descriptions but if they are done right, you can almost…
The experts say smell is the greatest memory. There are some smells you never forget. Growing up in a rural community with no public works, we had to dispose of dead animals ourselves or just let nature take its course. Neither is a pleasant experience but it did give me some insight into the dead.
So how can we get it right when it comes to murder? Well, I know what a decomposing body smells like. It may have only been a deer or a racoon, there was even a stray dog that went off in the woods to die but the smell filled the community for several days, but I believe the description of the smell is something I can provide in detail with some accuracy and enough similarity that the reader will believe me. I can also tell you there’s a difference if a body is found down on the shore versus up on the road where it’s been baked by the sun, especially in July, in North Carolina. There are experiences we can relate to that of our fictional murder to make it feel real. From the sicky sweet smell of rotting flesh to the grotesque swelling that comes from the gases building inside of a decomposing body, or the swampy, putrid aroma of a body washed up on shore of a brackish country creek. If you have ever come upon an older body nearly gone to bone in the woods, the loamy smell of flesh turning to soil.
I can hear people saying, “but animals smell different than people.” My Uncle Tucker would tell you that fish and relatives both stink after three days. Some don’t take that long. Death, human death may seem different especially in the cities or the civilized world of hospitals and home, but out in the wild it becomes more like the animals I’ve described. Check out the research from the Body Farm.
If you have ever watched a loved one die, you know that there are smells that go along with illness, medicinal odors, the scent of infection, decay or the stale, stagnate odor that comes with lack of movement and frequent washing. If you have visited a morgue or mortuary, you remember those distinct scents. Death has a smell, even the civilized, cleaned-up version of death most of us know just from life. But what about murder, what does murder smell like, how would it be different than death by illness?
If you are researching murder the results can be slightly different depending on if you are focusing on the murderer or the one investigating the murder. From the investigators point-of-view we have many books, documentaries, classes, etc. to assist the writer with getting things right. If you are writing from the murderer’s point-of-view, it can be a little trickier to pull off.
Many of us know a bit about character development from our own personalities, interacting with and watching other people. We have seen first-hand romance dos and don’ts, relationships that work and those that just never should have tried. But how do we research murder and murderers? As I know I don’t know any murderers, at least not any who would admit it. So how do we know what it’s like to kill? How do we understand the way a killer thinks or feels or why they do what they do? How much of that matters?
Things have gotten a little easier thanks to the internet but before YouTube videos and online classes, I watched PBS documentaries and read books. I talked to prison guards and former inmates. With cable and satellite television I’ve discovered the History channel, Discovery, True Crime, not to mention all of the shows that are focused on forensics and murder.
So how do you write it from the murders point of view? How do you develop the emotions the murderer is feeling before, during and after? Can we relate to them? Do we have similar circumstances we can draw from? I think much depends on why the killer has killed and how. Are they angry and this happened in the middle of a fight or was it premeditated? Are they a sociopath or psychopath? Is killing fun? Do they shoot, strangle, mutilate their victims? After doing all the research, it comes down to character development and imagination. What would your character do? How would they act and react? Have fun with it, but if you decide to experiment with murder, please, don’t come to my neck of the woods.
by Will Thomas, Narrated by Antony Ferguson
A Barker and Llewelyn Novel
London 1892 The newly wed Thomas Llewelyn and the still recovering Cyrus Barker are pulled into international intrigue by the Prime Minister when a British spy is murdered in the streets just a few blocks from their door.
Newly returned from the continent, the spy brought back a holy relic that could change the course of politics and religion if it ends up in the wrong hands.
Itching to investigate the murder of the spy, but ordered to act as courier to the relic, Barker confounds everyone with his lack of interest in doing what the Prime Minister has ordered.
Poor Thomas once again finds himself attacked by the youths who murdered the spy in search of the relic and shamed by one of the suspects, but in true Llewelyn fashion he survives to fight again.
The surprise in this story is Thomas’ bride who proves she is not just a pretty face.
Will Thomas is an excellent story teller and Antony Ferguson the perfect voice to tell it. Action, history, intrigue, drama, romance, and secret societies, what more could a reader want. I adore this series and look forward to reading each one.
Read by Hollis McCarthy (Chirp)
This cozy mystery is the first in the Blackmore Sisters Series. The setting is the small, oceanside town of Noquitt, Maine. A huge family home the sisters are trying to save and a legacy of tall tales, family lore and antiques still to uncover. Their home, family history and even their cat are somewhat mysterious. What is even more of a mystery is how the sisters are going to raise the money to pay the taxes on the huge family property.
When Morgan is accused of killing local shrew Prudence Littlefield, the local Police Chief isn’t interested in looking for the real killer. Only the new police officer, Jake Cooper is willing to believe in Morgan’s innocence. Her sister, Fiona doesn’t want to like or trust the new officer, but she soon realizes he might be their best hope of discovering the truth. Who killed Prudence? Why? And what else is going on in Noquitt?
Fiona’s attraction to the handsome police officer colors her view of the man and his ability to help them. She does not want to be attracted to him. As their relationship develops the reader can see the possibilities for a developing romance in future stories.
Narrator Hollis McCarthy adds another layer of enjoyment to this story by bringing these characters to life.
A fun read/listen.
Wait Until Midnight by Amanda Quick, narrated by Louisa Jane Underwood
When alias Mr. Groves turns up at home of sensation novelist Caroline Fordyce claiming to have grave news, she muses it is probably a mistake. Intrigued, she welcomes the man into her office and discovers he is the perfect specimen for her nefarious character.
Mr. Groves AKA, Adam Hardesty, is not thrilled to be cast in the role of villain. He has come about a case of murder and a missing diary and hopes Mrs. Fordyce can shed some light upon the subject. Afraid she and her aunts will become embroiled in another scandal, Caroline joins forces with Adam in the hope of clearing her name and discovering the truth. If they have a little adventure along the way that’s just fine, as long as the avoid scandal.
Adam Hardesty has a rule about scandals, he doesn’t like them. He has rules about a lot of things but his relationship with Mrs. Fordyce will bend, if not break all of his rules. When Caroline sacrifices her own reputation to give him an alibi, he knows she is a woman of honor, but does she still see him as a villain?
Old scandals, new scandals, psychics and mediums, con-artists and murders, will the couple survive to find their happy ending? This one was a bit of a surprise, I’m not sure I haven’t read it before, but it was a story worth reading or listening to again. I adore Amanda Quick and I enjoyed Wait Until Midnight.
If you are a fan of Amanda Quick’s books, or like your historical romance with a bit of mystery and thriller, then you’ll enjoy Wait Until Midnight. Louisa Jane Underwood was the perfect narrator, making the characters so real I almost feared I’d be the next victim. Check out this audiobook and others by both Amanda Quick and narrator, Louisa Jane Underwood.
Project Duchess by Sabrina Jeffries, Narrated by Beverley A Crick
Grey, the duke of Greycourt avoids his aunt’s machinations to marry his cousin with the death of his stepfather. His oft widowed mother has summoned him and while reluctant to be around family, it is preferable than to be once again at the mercy of his aunt.
Grey doesn’t trust society, but he has no solace with his family. Estranged for years, he holds everyone at bay with his arrogance. Confronted with a woman who has suffered a similar past, is outspoken and spirited he finds himself attracted despite suspecting her of being involved in his stepfather’s murder.
Beatrice Wolfe embraces Grey’s family as her own. An orphan at the mercy of her lascivious uncle, she finds refuge with Grey’s mother and stepsiblings.
When his brother asks him to help discover who killed his father, Grey agrees to investigate Beatrice under the guise of helping his mother prepare her to make her society debut.
Neither believes themselves capable of receiving love and are reluctant to allow themselves to fall, but they fall hard for each other. Can they overcome the difficulties facing them as others threaten to steal their chance at happiness?
Sabrina Jeffries is one of my favorite authors, even as she deals with some difficult subjects, she brings her readers into the light with hope. This series appears to have an ongoing mystery with each of the duchess’ children finding love while trying to discover what may have happened with their fathers. I look forward to reading or listening to each book. If you like strong characters, especially strong female characters then you will fall in love with Ms Jeffries’ books. This one was one of her bests.
Not all Criminals are Monsters
In my Leeward Files novels, I have truly horrendous monsters: murderers, pedophiles, rapists, sex and drug traffickers, and extreme racists, but not all bad guys are truly monstrous. Sometimes, a good guy can be pushed into doing bad things, other times, a good person will do bad in the hope of something good coming from it. The old adage, “The end justifies the means.” In fiction, as in real life, we know that someone committing a crime, even for the “right” reason, is still guilty. Murdering the men who raped your daughter or wife might be justified but it’s still against the law.
What would cause you to commit murder? We are often quick to say I would kill for this or I would never kill for any reason, but I don’t believe we truly know what we are capable of until we are faced with it.
As I am finishing up the Leeward Files series and moving into the next series, The Heroes of Leeward, I am delving into why Todd, Devin and Phil were so evil. It has been documented that too often, children of abuse become abusers. These men were emotionally tortured and sexually molested as children. Todd went from a sadistic little boy to a serial rapist and murderer. Devin is more of a manipulator. He preys on those he sees as weaker but runs from confrontation. Phil believes he is a hero and wants to rid the world of the monsters, but he doesn’t have the honor and guidance to aid him. He believes the ends justifies the means, and it is more important to stop the bad guys that preserve the good.
Not all criminals are monsters, some are coerced into a life of crime, like Dana’s cousin in White Gold. Family is everything but what if you come from a family of monsters, does that make you a monster too? After his father dies, Robbie JR is raised by his angry, racist grandfather who blames him,( sins of the fathers and so on), for the disappearance of his rebellious daughter and her biracial daughter. The grandfather feels it is his duty to rid the world of the abomination who shares blood with him. His sadism and anger drive him to attempt murder.
In the real world we see crimes committed in the name of religion and morality. People too often hate and fear what they do not know, they lash out and try to conform it, or erase it. Centuries of wars fought in the name of religion or country has seen whole tribes wiped out. We may have evolved in some aspects but we have devolved in others. People still hate, are still consumed by vice and greed, no matter how much we preach love and compassion, there will always be those who refuse to live in peace. But thankfully there are those who overcome prejudices, fight the battle for equality, heroes who keep the world safe, and give us hope for the future. I believe in hope and happy endings. Wishing you all your own happy ever after.