Spotlight: Deadly Dozen

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Spotlight: Deadly Dozen

Spotlight: Deadly DozenDeadly Dozen: 12 Mystery/Thriller Novels by Bestselling Imajin Books Authors by Alison Bruce, C. S. Lakin, Catherine Astolfo, Cheryl Kaye Tardif, Cynthia St-Pierre, Donna Galanti, Gloria Ferris, Jesse Giles Christiansen, Kat Flannery, Linda Merlino, Melodie Campbell, Rosemary McCracken, Susan J. McLeod
Published by Imajin Books on Sept. 14, 2014
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Add: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon
The DEADLY DOZEN Book Bundle contains 12 complete mystery/thriller novels by award-winning and international bestselling authors: Cheryl Kaye Tardif, Catherine Astolfo, Alison Bruce, Melodie Campbell/Cynthia St-Pierre, Gloria Ferris, Donna Galanti, Kat Flannery, Jesse Giles Christiansen, Rosemary McCracken, Susan J. McLeod, C. S. Lakin and Linda Merlino.

THE BRIDGEMAN by Catherine Astolfo

DEADLY LEGACY by Alison Bruce

A PURSE TO DIE FOR by Melodie Campbell & Cynthia St-Pierre

CHEAT THE HANGMAN by Gloria Ferris

A HUMAN ELEMENT by Donna Galanti

LAKOTA HONOR by Kat Flannery

PELICAN BAY by Jesse Giles Christiansen

SAFE HARBOR by Rosemary McCracken

SOUL AND SHADOW by Susan J. McLeod

INNOCENT LITTLE CRIMES by C. S. Lakin

ROOM OF TEARS by Linda Merlino

DIVINE INTERVENTION by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

With an individual list price total of more than $45.00 and over 640 reviews collectively on Amazon.com, the DEADLY DOZEN Book Bundle is a value-packed, rollercoaster thrill ride that takes you from amateur sleuth to detective to paranormal to ancient mysteries set in intriguing worlds and so much more.

About Alison Bruce

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Alison Bruce has an honours degree in history and philosophy, which has nothing to do with any regular job she’s held since. A liberal arts education did prepare her to be a writer, however. She penned her first novel during lectures while pretending to take notes.

Alison writes mysteries, romance, westerns and fantasy. Her novels include Under a Texas Star, a western romantic suspense, and Deadly Legacy, a suspense thriller. Her protagonists are marked by their strength of character, the ability to adapt (sooner or later) to new situations and to learn from adversity.

Copywriter and editor since 1992, Alison has also been a comic book store manager, small press publisher and web designer in the past. She currently manages publications for Crime Writers Canada and is a volunteer with Action Read Family Literacy Center. A single mother, she lives in Guelph, Ontario with her two children, Kate and Sam.

About C. S. Lakin

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C. S. Lakin writes novels in numerous genres, focusing mostly on contemporary psychological mysteries and allegorical fantasy. Her novel Someone to Blame (contemporary fiction) won the 2009 Zondervan First Novel competition 2009 (published October 2010). Lakin’s Gates of Heaven fantasy series for adults (AMG-Living Ink Publishers) features original full-length fairy tales in traditional style. Already in print are the first books in the series, The Wolf of Tebron. The Map across Time, The Land of Darkness, and The Unraveling of Wentwater, with two more to follow.

In addition to her mysteries and fantasy series, she has written the first book in a young adult sci-fi adventure series: Time Sniffers. Her contemporary mystery Innocent Little Crimes made the top one hundred finalists in the 2009 Amazon Breakout Novel Award contest, earning her a Publisher’s Weekly review, which stated her book was “a page-turning thrill-ride that will have readers holding their breaths the whole way through.”

She recently completed Intended for Harm, an epic family sage that is a contemporary take-off on the biblical story of Jacob and Joseph and is developing a swashbuckling dog memoir in the style of Moby Dick entitled A Dog after God’s Own Heart. She lives in Santa Cruz, CA, with her husband Lee, a gigantic lab named Coaltrane, and three persnickety cats.

About Catherine Astolfo

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Catherine Astolfo retired in 2002 after a very successful 34 years in education. Catherine received the Elementary Dufferin-Peel OECTA Award for Outstanding Service in 1998. She was also awarded Dufferin-Peel Catholic Elementary Principal of the Year in 2002 by the Catholic Principals Council of Ontario.

Catherine is a past President of Crime Writers of Canada and a Derrick Murdoch Award winner (2012). She was a Zonta Club 2012 Nominee for Women of Achievement.

Writing is Catherine’s passion. She can recall inventing fantasy stories for her classmates in Grade Three. Her short stories and poems have been published in a number of literary Canadian presses. In 2005, she won a Brampton Arts Award. Her short stories won the Bloody Words Short Story Award (second and first) in 2009 and 2010. She won the prestigious Arthur Ellis Best Short Crime Story Award in 2012.

Catherine’s novel series, The Emily Taylor Mysteries, are published by Imajin Books and are optioned for film by Sisbro & Co. Inc.

About Cheryl Kaye Tardif

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Cheryl Kaye Tardif is an award-winning, international bestselling Canadian suspense author. Her novels include Divine Sanctuary, Submerged, Divine Justice, Children of the Fog, The River, Divine Intervention, and Whale Song, which New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice calls “a compelling story of love and family and the mysteries of the human heart…a beautiful, haunting novel.”

She is now working on her next thriller.

Cheryl also enjoys writing short stories inspired mainly by her author idol Stephen King, and this has resulted in Dream House (short story), Skeletons in the Closet & Other Creepy Stories (collection of shorts) and Remote Control (novelette eBook). In 2010 Cheryl detoured into the romance genre with her contemporary romantic suspense debut, Lancelot’s Lady, written under the pen name of Cherish D’Angelo. And she even has a children’s picture book published, The Elfling Princess.

Booklist raves, “Tardif, already a big hit in Canada…a name to reckon with south of the border.”

About Cynthia St-Pierre

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Melodie’s co-writer, Cynthia St-Pierre wrote promotional, packaging and communications materials; penned articles for business periodicals; and a chapter of How to Successfully Do Business in Canada. Currently a member of Crime Writers of Canada, she has one award for fiction and has been a writing contest judge. Best of all for a mystery writer, Cynthia has received a York Regional Police Citizens Awareness Program certificate, presented and signed by Julian Fantino, former Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police.

In addition, Cynthia grows vegetables in her backyard, makes recipes with tofu, and speaks English-accented French with husband Yves.

About Donna Galanti

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Donna Galanti writes murder and mystery with a dash of steam as well as middle grade adventure fiction. She is an International Thriller Writers Debut Author of the paranormal suspense novel A Human Element, the short story collection The Dark Inside, and Joshua and The Lightning Road.

She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. Donna dreamed of being a writer when she fell in love with the worlds of Narnia and Roald Dahl while attending school in a magical English castle where her dark imagination ran wild in an itchy uniform (bowler hat and tie included).

She now lives in Pennsylvania with her family in an old farmhouse. It has lots of writing nooks, fireplaces, and stink bugs, but she’s still wishing for a castle again—preferably with ghosts.

About Gloria Ferris

Gloria-Ferris

Gloria Ferris began her writing career by authoring and editing operating procedures for a nuclear power development. It was an exciting job, but opportunities for plot and character development were limited, so she turned to crime fiction and found it to be a lot more fun. Cheat the Hangman was shortlisted for the 2009 Crime Writers of Canada Unhanged Arthur contest.

Gloria recently moved back to her native Guelph, Ontario, after spending 20 plus years in several small towns by Lake Huron, which inspired her mysteries. The stories are written in a humorous style, but the crimes are deadly serious. A sequel to Cheat the Hangman is in the works.

About Jesse Giles Christiansen

Jesse-Giles-Christiansen

Jesse Giles Christiansen is an American author who writes compelling literary fiction that weaves the real with the surreal. He attended Florida State University where he began writing short stories and exposing himself to the great literary classics, his greatest influences at the time consisting of London, Hemingway, and Wilde. He received his B.A. in English literature in 1993.

He wrote his first novel, About: Journey into the Mystic, after spending a summer in Alaska working on fishing boats. His second novel, Pelican Bay, part of a trilogy, focuses on a mysterious old fisherman and the unforgettable lessons he imparts on an eccentric, nosy, sea-battered beach town. The second book in The Captain Shelby Trilogy, Captain Shelby, was recently released and explores the old fisherman’s past.

About Kat Flannery

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Kat Flannery has loved writing ever since she was a girl. She is often seen jotting her ideas down in a little black book. When not writing or researching, Kat enjoys snuggling on her couch with a hot chocolate and a great book.

Her first novel, CHASING CLOVERS became an Amazon’s bestseller in Historical and Western romance. LAKOTA HONOR, Kat’s second book and book 1 in the Branded Trilogy became an instant success in Paranormal Historical Mystery/Romance. This was followed by book 2, BLOOD CURSE, which will be released October 1, 2014. Kat is now working on the final book in the trilogy.

When not focusing on her creative passions, Kat is busy with her three boys and doting husband.

About Linda Merlino

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Linda Merlino is the author of Hudson Catalina and Room of Tears. She began writing fiction as a young mother on the sidelines of endless soccer practices. Linda wrote anytime any place. A manuscript filled a carton in the back seat of her car. Many years have passed since those early beginnings, but her work continues to be inspired by her children.

The author has a fascination with heroes and writes her fiction to honor ordinary men and women who react unselfishly in extraordinary circumstances. She extends her gratitude to all who keep us safe and free.

Her hometown is outside of Boston. She lived for many years in New York City and more recently calls Connecticut her home.

About Melodie Campbell

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Billed as Canada’s “Queen of Comedy” by the Toronto Sun (Jan. 5, 2014), Melodie Campbell achieved a personal best when Library Digest compared her to Janet Evanovich.

Melodie got her start writing comedy. In 1999, she opened the Canadian Humor Conference. She has over 200 publications, including 100 comedy credits, 40 short stories and 6 novels. She has won 9 awards for fiction, including the 2014 Derringer Award.

In addition to writing, Melodie has been a bank manager, hospital director, college instructor, association executive, and possibly the worst runway model ever. She lives in Oakville Ontario, where she is lamentably addicted to fast cars.

Melodie is the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada.

About Rosemary McCracken

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Born and raised in Montreal, Rosemary McCracken has worked on newspapers across Canada as a reporter, arts writer and reviewer, editorial writer and editor. She is now a freelance journalist, specializing in personal finance and the financial services industry. She advocates greater protection for investors.

Rosemary’s short fiction has been published by Room of One’s Own Press, Kaleidoscope Books and Sisters in Crime Canada. Safe Harbor, her first suspense thriller, was shortlisted for Britain’s Debut Dagger award in 2010, and released by Imajin Books in 2012. Black Water is the second book in the Pat Tierney series.

Rosemary lives with her husband in Toronto, and does much of her fiction writing at her stone cottage in Ontario’s Haliburton Highlands.

About Susan J. McLeod

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Susan Jane McLeod has been writing since she was seven years old. At age eleven, she won a countywide essay contest, and her professional career was launched. By the time she was nineteen, her poetry had appeared in several magazines, including American Girl and Seventeen.

She also won an honorable mention in The Writer.

Susan grew up in Rochester, New York, with her three sisters and one brother. In her early thirties, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and given a 50/50 chance to live. She survived only to have the cancer recur, necessitating more surgery and an aggressive course of chemotherapy. Today she is cancer free.

The best job she’s ever had was managing a bookstore, surrounded by her passion: literature.

Susan has published several short stories and two novels. The first, Soul and Shadow, is an award-winning paranormal historical romance. The second, Fire and Shadow, is classified as paranormal suspense. Both have garnered impressive reviews.

Susan believes strongly in several causes and has raised money for the American Cancer Society, Foodlink, and the House of Mercy homeless shelter.

She still resides in Rochester and will always call it home.

A Wedding and a Killing by Lauren Carr

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A Wedding and a Killing by Lauren Carr

A Wedding and a Killing by Lauren CarrA Wedding and a Killing by Lauren Carr
Series: Mac Faraday Mystery #8
Published by Acorn Book Services on Sept 13, 2014
Genres: Mystery
Format: eARC
Pages: 326
three-half-stars
Add: Goodreads
Purchase: AmazonBook Depository
When Mac Faraday decides to do something, there’s no stopping him … even murder!

Not wanting to wait until their big day to start their life of wedded bliss, Mac Faraday and his lady love, Archie Monday, decide to elope to the little church where his ancestors had all married—along the tranquil shore of Deep Creek Lake. However, before they can say, “I do,” the sanctuary erupts into chaos when Gnarly finds a dead body in the church office.

As they dive into the investigation, Mac and his team discover more questions than answers. What kind of person walks into a church and shoots a man for no apparent reason? How do you solve the murder of a man who has no enemies in the world? Which of the seemingly kind-hearted church members is really a cold-blooded killer?

Then, there is the all-important question, how long do Mac Faraday and his lady love have to wait to get married?

Earlier today, you got to read a bit about Mac Faraday’s life from his point of view. My first meeting with him and Archie Monday, his girlfriend was in A Wedding and a Killing. At #8 in the series, it worked fine as a stand-alone for me, although I may have enjoyed it a little more had I known the characters longer. I find that with a lot of series books, they work on their own, but they work better as a whole. I have to admit that when I saw this was touring, I decided to read it because I enjoyed Lauren Carr’s  guest post in May, “My Mother Isn’t a Psychopath, She’s a Mystery Writer,” so much. It was funny and true and gave me high hopes for her stories.

A Wedding and a Killing was a quick read and I really like Mac. He’s a good guy, a little gruff around the edges, but a hear of gold, so to speak. He’s also rich, but it’s inherited, he didn’t grow up with money and doesn’t seem to have let it take over his life. He’s a private detective who apparently works on a contract basis with the police – helps that his friend/half-brother, David O’Callaghan, is the chief. David’s focused on his job and may have a bit of an issue with wanting to be better at solving crimes than Mac is.

The mystery is interesting. Who killed Eugene, the head of the trustees, a nice, competent, well-liked man? Of course, the suspects are all church members, several of whom have their own secrets and motives. There were several clues spread around, but the actual solving of the case had a few twists and turns. Solving the case(s) is definitely a team effort, each of the main characters contributes in some way, even the dogs.

I’m not sure if this is typical of Carr’s mysteries or came up this time around because of the church setting, but I’d say this is verging on a Christian mystery. Several characters are very faithful, others questioning. I felt it was handled honestly and appropriately and never turned preachy, but I know some mystery readers like to be warned ahead of time when the mystery takes an unexpected religious turn. I also thought there was a moral stance taken when it comes to homosexuality which bothered me – the only gay man is portrayed very badly, and found in a dead in a “den of degradation.”

I expected it to be funnier, actually. The one dog, Gnarly, is a hoot, dangerous but hilarious. Aside from that though, it’s a light mystery, but not amusing. I think I’d like to get to know Mac and his friends/family a bit better. I bet they grow on you.

About Lauren Carr

Lauren Carr

Lauren Carr is the best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland.
She also writes the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, which feature prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Meet Mac Faraday: A Character Guest Post by Lauren Carr

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Meet Mac Faraday: A Character Guest Post by Lauren Carr

Today I’m happy to welcome Mac Faraday to my blog. Mac is the detective in Lauren Carr’s new book, A Wedding and a Killing.

Meet Mac Faraday

by Lauren Carr

Archie told me that I had to write this article for some blog (What’s a blog anyway?) for a friend who loves mysteries. So, where do I start?

I guess I should start at the beginning.

It all started a few years ago. Truthfully, it started much before that, but for me, it started a few years ago.

One day, I came home from working eighteen hours on a case as a homicide detective in Washington, DC, to find that my wife of more than twenty years had thrown my stuff out in the yard. That was when I found out that she was leaving me for her lover, District Attorney Stephen Maguire. The next thing I know, I’m living in a third-floor walk-up apartment while Christine is living in the three-bedroom, two-bath home that we had built together. Through Maguire’s influence, on the day of the divorce, she got it all.

That is why I hate lawyers.

But life is ironic.

Here it is the last divorce hearing. The judge, a good buddy of Maguire, pounds the gavel to end our twenty year marriage. I’m trying to not strangle my divorce lawyer who chose then to wake up to hand me his bill, when this little silver-haired man in a ten-thousand-dollar suit comes through the crowd to grab my arm.

“Mr. Faraday? Mac Faraday? I need to talk to you.”

Seeing yet another lawyer, who had to be another friend of that skunk Maguire, I replied, “No habla English,” and ran in the other direction.

Would you believe he chased me for three blocks? I think he would have continued chasing me if I didn’t start feeling sorry for him and stopped to ask him what he wanted.  I braced for the subpoena notifying me that I was being sued for whatever.

He slipped a business card into my hand and introduced himself as Ben Willingham, the senior partner of Willingham and Associates, only the biggest law firm in DC.

This is not going to be good, I thought.

Wiping the sweat from his brow, Ben caught his breath before reaching into his briefcase. “Do you know Robin Spencer?”

“No,” I answered before remembering the name. “Famous writer. She writes murder mysteries. We met a few years ago when she interviewed me for research for a book she was writing. She was creating a new detective.”

He took a folder and a book out of his briefcase. “Do you know that she died six weeks ago?”

Sorrow overtook my anger. I had only spent one day with this woman. I had seen all of the movies based on her detective, Mickey Forsythe, a rich man whose hobby was going around solving murder mysteries in his fancy sports car. I expected to meet a glamorous woman dripping in jewels and furs. Instead, she was dressed in slacks, cracked bawdy jokes, and reminded me of one of my favorite nuns at the Catholic school I had attended when I was as a child.

“I’m sorry to hear that,” I told him. “I liked her. She was a very nice lady.”

“I’m glad to hear you say that.” Ben smiled at me. “Because you’re her heir.”

Do you know when people say that they can’t believe their ears? Well, at that moment I could not believe what I heard. I really thought that I was hearing things. This little man in a sweaty ten-thousand dollar suit was telling me something other than what I was hearing because it could not be real. It just didn’t make sense. He had to tell me four times before I believed what I was hearing.

Still, it did not make sense.

“Robin Spencer has left you her entire estate,” he explained. “Roughly, it is valued at two-hundred-and-seventy million dollars.”

“Why me?” I found my voice to ask. “I barely knew her.”

“You were adopted … as a baby.”

I nodded. As numb as I felt, even that was so far in the past I barely remembered that I had been adopted. As a child, it had been a big deal. My adoptive parents wanted to me know that they had chosen me. I was wanted. Otherwise, my childhood was so normal, as normal as it can be for the son of an engineer who chucked engineering in favor of being an underpaid homicide detective.

“You are Robin Spencer’s son,” Ben Willingham announced. “She was only seventeen years old when she had you. Her parents, your grandparents, being socially prominent and wealthy, kept your birth a secret and had you put up for adoption. Robin never forgot you. She hunted you down, got a sample of your DNA while interviewing you a few years ago, confirmed that you were her son, and made you her beneficiary. She left you everything.”

He handed me the folder and book, which it turned out to be Robin Spencer’s journal. “Congratulations, Mac Faraday, you are now a very rich man.” He leaned in to whisper to me, “And your EX-wife has no right to any of it. I saw to that.” 

Ben then uttered the same evil chuckle that I think they teach lawyers in law school. Don’t get me wrong. I like Ben. I think it’s because he now works for me.

So, that is how it all began.

Robin, my mother, explained the circumstances of my birth in her journal, even giving me the name of my birth father, who was now deceased.

Patrick O’Callaghan and Robin were teenaged lovers. He had graduated from high school and went off to the police academy when she got pregnant. They wanted to get married, but her parents refused to permit it and sent my mother away to have me in secret.

Years later, after she had become a best-selling mystery author, Robin returned to Spencer where my father was now the chief of police, and married to another woman. He also had another son, David, my half-brother.

Yep, I have a brother. He’s working in law enforcement, too. Now that I know it runs in the blood, I don’t feel so weird. I always wanted a brother and now I had one. I also had a mansion on the shore of Deep Creek Lake in Spencer, Maryland, named after my ancestors.

So, with my newfound wealth, I retired from the police force, packed up my few belongings, and headed out to my new home on Deep Creek Lake.

That was where I met Archie Monday. Who’s Archie Monday? She was my mother’s research assistant and editor. She came with the house. It’s complicated, but not anymore. We’re getting married.

I also met Gnarly, another part of my inheritance. My mother’s German shepherd seems to think that the estate is his and he’s only letting me live here. That’s complicated, too. Even after all these years, it’s still complicated.

How was I to know that my move into the life of the rich and famous went launch a roller coaster ride of murder and mayhem? But you know what … I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

About A Wedding and a Killing

When Mac Faraday decides to do something, there’s no stopping him … even murder!

Not wanting to wait until their big day to start their life of wedded bliss, Mac Faraday and his lady love, Archie Monday, decide to elope to the little church where his ancestors had all married—along the tranquil shore of Deep Creek Lake. However, before they can say, “I do,” the sanctuary erupts into chaos when Gnarly finds a dead body in the church office.

As they dive into the investigation, Mac and his team discover more questions than answers. What kind of person walks into a church and shoots a man for no apparent reason? How do you solve the murder of a man who has no enemies in the world? Which of the seemingly kind-hearted church members is really a cold-blooded killer?

Then, there is the all-important question, how long do Mac Faraday and his lady love have to wait to get married?

Come back later today to see my review.

 

About Lauren Carr

Lauren Carr

Lauren Carr is the best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland.
She also writes the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, which feature prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

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