Mistress of Lies by Holly West
Available: September 29, 2014
Book description: London, 1679. Isabel, Lady Wilde, mistress of King Charles II, has made a good living disguised as fortune teller Mistress Ruby, counseling London's elite. But after the murder of one of her customers, business has taken a downturn, and Isabel is on the verge of accepting the king's offer to move into the palace.
Isabel's plans are interrupted when a beggar girl named Susanna shows up at her home, claiming to be her niece. Isabel always believed that her older brother, Adam, died alone during the plague. When Susanna reveals that Adam was actually murdered, Isabel is compelled to take up an impossible task: discover the truth about her brother's death, twelve years after it happened.
Isabel's investigation leads her through the gamut of London society, from bear-baiting matches and brothels to the realm of wealthy bankers. But as she uncovers her brother's dark secrets, Isabel begins to wonder whether the past is better left buried—especially when uncovering the truth could lead to her own funeral.
*Be sure to check out Mistress of Fortune, book #1 in this series by Holly West
Monday, 13 January 1679
I hardly remember when I first noticed her, the girl who would change everything. She was simply there one evening, huddled in the narrow overhang of a tavern near my home, soliciting spare change from passersby.
For all of her beauty—and despite her dirt-smudged face and dull brown hair, she was a pretty young poppet—she appeared to be nothing more than an ordinary beggar, or possibly a prostitute, the sort of girl London devoured in one quick bite. Her thin wool cloak seemed woefully inadequate, for it was now January and winter held the city firmly in its grasp. As I dropped a farthing into her outstretched palm I knew it would do little to ease her suffering, but beyond that, I didn’t pay her much mind. I had troubles enough of my own to contend with.
During the past six years I’d made a good living disguised as Mistress Ruby, a fortuneteller and healer catering to London’s elite. But the murder of one of my customers three months prior had left my life in pieces. My body still retained some evidence of the terrible assault I’d suffered as a result of my investigation into the killing, and visits from patrons to the room in Coal Yard Alley where I conducted my business had fallen off drastically.
Worst of all, my friend and bodyguard, Sam Turner, had gotten it into his head that he was no longer any use to me. He disappeared with nary a word several weeks ago, leaving my household and my life woefully incomplete.
Given these circumstances, I had neither the time nor the inclination to sort out wayward girls. But the following day she crept closer and the day after that closer still, until finally, she sat cross-legged on the cobbled stone pathway in front of my house in Covent Garden, a modest timber structure with four rooms on each floor and three stories high. My housekeeper, Alice, first alerted me to the girl’s presence when she returned from emptying a chamber pot.
“There’s a beggar outside, m’lady,” she said as she entered the kitchen, where I sat sharing a supper of baked oysters and mallow salad with my waiting woman, Charlotte. “’Tis a shame, really, she’s such a pretty little thing, naught but a child. I told her to move on but she insists on talking to you.”
Holly West is a crime fiction writer based in Los Angeles. She’s the author of the Mistress of Fortune series, set in late 17th London and featuring amateur sleuth Isabel Wilde, a mistress to King Charles II who secretly makes her living as a fortuneteller. The first in the series, Mistress of Fortune, was published by Harlequin’s Carina Press in February 2014 and its sequel, Mistress of Lies, is forthcoming in Fall 2014. Find her online at hollywest.com.
Murder in Real Time by Julie Anne Lindsey
Available: September 29, 2014
With the chaos of summer tourists and fall birders out of town, counselor Patience Price is looking forward to the quiet life she remembers. She longs for some peace. And an apple fritter. But the calm is cut short when a reality show sets up camp to film a special about ghosts on her little island. Now fans, reporters and crew have flocked to sleepy Chincoteague. Who knew ghost hunters had an entourage?
When two cast members are killed in a room at the local B&B—a room usually occupied by Patience's FBI agent boyfriend, Sebastian—she finds herself on the case. Sebastian doesn't want Patience ruffling any feathers but, as always, she can't help herself.
Patience promises to let Sebastian handle the investigation—he is FBI, after all—but after a drive-by shooting, her wicked curiosity gets the best of her. And with the TV show forging ahead with filming, the list of suspects (and the line of food trucks) only grows. But has the shooter already flown the coop? And how do you find a killer when you don't know who the target is?
*Be sure to also check out the first two books in the Patience Price Mysteries series, Murder by the Seaside & Murder Comes Ashore
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barnesandnoble.com/w/murder- in-real-time-julie-anne- lindsey/1119740519?ean= 9781426899065
Todd snorted. I scooted around him on the sidewalk. “Stop following me.”
He matched my pace. “What if the gunman had shot you while you were laying in a heap over your ex-lover?”
I hadn’t thought of that. “I don’t know. Don’t call him that. His name’s Adrian Davis.”
“Fair enough. What were you thinking?”
How I needed him. That I couldn’t lose him. To lose Adrian again would be like ripping my soul down the center. I faltered and then regained my speed. Clearly I was traumatized.
“What does your boyfriend think of your attachment to your ex?”
I hustled around the corner toward my apartment. “There was a shooting,” I growled. “My love life is hardly interesting in comparison. I’m not the story here.”
He laughed. Loud. “Come on. You’re smarter than this. You want to know why I’m interested in your story? Let me see.” He tapped his chin. “Someone’s trying to kill one of your boyfriends. Three times this week, in my humble opinion. That puts you at the center of my investigation. Aside from that, your island interests me, and half the shenanigans I read up on lead back to you somehow. You’re like the linchpin of all strange happenings. Where were you when Rick and Anna were shot?”
I skidded to a stop. “You think I’m a suspect? I was in the Range Rover with Adrian the other night, and I ran to help Adrian today. You stink at your job, buddy. I mean, Lou.”
“Getting mad won’t change the fact you know exactly what I mean and why I’m following you. Those men orbit around you like you’re their home planet. If I stick to you, this story will unwrap itself and land in my lap. The icing for me is that following you is fun. Your parents are a hoot. People randomly corner you to unload personal and, let’s face it, kind-of-funny stories. Some lady in skin-tight sequins wants you to be her spokesmodel so bad she put you on her store window. I saw you hiding at a food truck from her. Some angry guy made fun of your hair for no reason. Your life’s got spunk.”
He was right about that last part. My life was bananas, but they were my bananas, and I didn’t want them posted online.
Julie Anne Lindsey
Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. She’s a self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for words and proclivity for fun. Mother of three, wife to a sane person and Ring Master at the Lindsey Circus, most days you'll find her online, amped up on caffeine and wielding a book. Julie started writing to make people smile. Someday she plans to change the world.
Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW), Sisters in Crime (SinC) and the Canton Writer’s Guild.
Elvis Sightings by Ricardo Sanchez
Available: September 29, 2014
I'm Floyd—no last name needed, thanks—and I'm a P.I. The only other thing you need to know about me is that I'm not an Elvis impersonator. I live my life fast and hard and yes, in sequined jumpsuits, but more importantly I live my life the way Elvis would have wanted me to. Honestly. With integrity.
It was a tip that the King was still alive and living under an assumed name that brought me to Kresge,
Wyoming. But there's something bigger than Elvis happening out here. I've been beaten bloody by an acrobatic bartender, roped into the search for a missing councilman, fallen for a bearded lady, and threatened by men in black who really don't want me poking my nose into the town's business. Half of my leads look like dead celebrities. The other half are either refugees from a broken-down circus or spear-holding Viking wannabes.
I'm in Crazytown, USA, but I can't leave. Not yet. If I don't find the missing councilman soon, Kresge will be turned into a Danish-themed amusement park. I've never been so close to finding Elvis. And I need to know if my new self-appointed sidekick James Morrison is really who he claims to be.
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“Now let’s hear that Elvis hunting story! You don’t think he’s dead?”
“Well. There’s a lot of inconsistencies about his death. First, he said less than a month before he died that he was getting tired of being Elvis Presley.”
“Mr. Mojo Risin’,” he said.
“Nothing, go on.”
“At the end of his last show, Indiana in ’77, he said, ‘adios.’ That’s Spanish for goodbye.”
“I know that’s Spanish for goodbye. I’m not an idiot.”
“Sorry. But it’s significant. He always closed his shows with some variation of ‘see you again real soon.’ Elvis had a lot more shows booked, but he cancelled orders for all of his show suits right before the one in Indiana. He also let four long-time employees go a few days before he supposedly died.”
“That’s pretty thin, man.”
“There’s more. He faked his death once before. Had a guy shoot him with blanks while he was wearing a blood pack. And two hours after Elvis was reported dead, a man looking just liked him booked a plane ticket for Buenos Aires under the name Jon Burrows. That was his pseudonym. He used it to check into hotels whenever he toured.”
“Better,” Morrison conceded.
Despite my doubts, I did have to admit there was a fair bit of evidence to support Buddy’s belief.
“You assholes want these drinks or what?” Goliath had snuck up on us again.
Morrison looked over the side of the table. “You are a sneaky short man. Where’s your shoe box?”
“Just take your drinks, Morrison.”
Morrison reached down and came back up with a whiskey in each hand, setting one down in front of me.
“You overhear his story, short man? You think Elvis is alive?”
I leaned over the side of my chair to get a better look at Goliath, who turned his grapefruit-sized head toward me.
“That fat, drugged-up, bacon-gobbling, talentless rip-off artist is rotting in his grave.”
He had it coming, but I shouldn’t have hit the midget.
Ricardo is a writer, creator, and T-shirt collector. He’s written for DC Comics, including work on Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, Teen Titans Go! and Resident Evil, among others. His short story Death and Life of the Hero appeared in the Gods of Justice superhero anthology and in 2013 was turned into a successfully funded Kickstarter graphic novel, A Hero’s Death, which will be coming out in fall 2014. He was also the Emmy winning creator of the animated series Re\Visioned: Tomb Raider, which was part of Tomb Raider’s 10th anniversary celebration.
When he's not writing, Ricardo maintains a vintage toy blog, drives 70's muscle cars, and shops year round for Halloween decorations for his home in California.
Code Runner by Rosie Claverton
Available: September 29, 2014
Ex-con Jason Carr has faced down the toughest thugs in Cardiff, but being assistant to a brilliant, eccentric hacker who hasn't been outdoors in ten years has its own challenges. Still, he and Amy Lane can solve cases even the cops can't crack. And when a corpse washes up on a beach, Jason can't resist chasing the clues—or defying Amy by infiltrating the very gangs he once escaped.
Amy is distraught when Jason's pursuit gets him framed for murder. He's thrown back in prison where he's vulnerable to people who want him dead. He needs Amy to prove his innocence. Fast.
But Amy hasn't been honest with him—her panic attacks aren't getting better. And now, with everything that makes her feel safe ripped away, she must stand alone, using her technological skills to expose a baffling conspiracy and a new kind of online crime. Can she clear Jason's name before danger closes in?
*Be sure to also check out Binary Witness, book #1 in the Amy Lane Mysteries.
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Making his way down St. Mary’s Street in Cardiff’s piss-poor excuse for a city centre, Rich checked his watch, rubbing at the rain that splattered it. Twenty minutes—he could stroll it. He passed McDonald’s and the chavs propping up the windows, disaffected youth in fake designer gear and gold-looking chains. He clocked three of them who he’d seen on the unsolved boards in the office. Petty theft, possession of a negligible amount of cocaine, school arson. What a gallon of twats.
Speaking of twats… Rich became aware of a skinhead coming up behind him on the street, and automatically pulled his jacket closer. He subtly checked him out in the reflection of the shop window: a tall, broad twenty-something with a light coating of stubble on his cheeks. He wore a nice leather jacket—looked vintage, but you could buy that crap from the indoor market for a pittance. Cheap Chinese crap that kids thought made them look cool.
This boy didn’t look like the usual breed of neo-Nazi scum, but DI Hesketh had been wittering on about an increased presence of English Defence League—or was that Welsh Defence League?—hooligans on their streets. They were supposed to be on the lookout for racially motivated crimes, but Rich had never been keen to police what was going on in someone’s head. And if the Welsh bastards wanted to keep Wales for themselves, they were welcome to it.
Yet this kid made him antsy precisely because he didn’t fit the bill. He had his shoulders hunched down and was walking at a pace that his long legs could easily have exceeded. Why was he walking so damn slowly?
Rich suddenly felt a deep sense of unease, the hairs on the back of his neck rising up. Had he done something to piss off the boys down in grubby Splott? Had they sent a friend to take care of him? He regretted leaving his badge at home.
It wasn’t yet nine o’clock but the streets were dark and quiet, falling into the lull between the day’s shoppers heading home and the nightlife coming out to play. There were barely twenty people the entire length of the street and no one close to them. The skinhead could easily come up behind him, slide a knife between his ribs, and that would be him done. Nobody would even know until Rich spilled his lifeblood on the ground, spreading pink in the rainwater gutters of the street.
Rosie Claverton grew up in Devon, daughter to a Sri Lankan father and a Norfolk mother, surrounded by folk mythology and surly sheep. She moved to Cardiff to study Medicine and adopted Wales as her home.
Her first short film Dragon Chasers aired on BBC Wales in Autumn 2012. She co-wrote the ground-breaking series of short films The Underwater Realm. Her debut novel Binary Witness was published by Carina Press in May 2014.
Between writing and medicine, she blogs about psychiatry and psychology for writers in her Freudian Script series, advocating accurate and sensitive portrayals of people with mental health problems in fiction.
Currently exiled to London to train in psychiatry, she lives with her journalist husband and their pet hedgehog.
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