Author James Peyton: Legacy of Evil

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A banished detective. A body drained of blood. Mexico’s vampires are all too human.

After graduating from Harvard, Artemas Salcido is determined to transform Mexico’s justice system and joins the federal police. He begins solving crimes committed by the rich and powerful and is banished to the village of Bustamante.

On a college field trip to Bustamante’s nearby caverns, the daughter of a US senator is brutally murdered. The FBI, the international media, and a Mexican hit squad tasked with making the problem go away descend on the village. When Mexico’s attorney general tells Artemas his career depends on his cooperation, Artemas realizes his life is at stake.

As other grisly murders occur, Artemas’s investigation uncovers an ancient blood cult connected to a powerful financial cabal that stretches from mediaeval Europe to Mexico’s most influential politicians and businessmen. When he disputes his violent colleagues’ bogus solution to the crime, Artemas is marked for death.

Can Artemas’s determination to bring fairness to Mexico’s justice system prevail against the overwhelming power of his government—or will it prove fatal …?

Read an Excerpt

The National Security Council meeting was breaking up when a White House aide approached the president and handed him a note. He scanned it, read it again, and his jaw muscles began to clench and twitch.

Those remaining in the room noticed the telltale signs of fury and quit their banter and paper shuffling. The president’s eyes left the slip of paper and focused on Jonathan Sharp, Director of the FBI. “I’m glad you’re still here Jonathan. I just learned that Senator Conners’ daughter has been murdered in Mexico—someplace called Bustamante—and quite gruesomely. It seems all the blood was drained from her body.” He handed over the note.

“See what you can find out, then get some agents down there. Ask the attorney general to coordinate with the Mexicans. Tell him I said not to take ‘No’ for an answer.” He focused his gaze on the Secretary of State who instantly decided this was neither the time nor the place to voice his objections.

About the Author:

Award-winning author James Peyton’s intriguing settings and memorable characters in his thrillers come from his years of international work and travel. The first two editions of his four-part thriller Artemas Salcido series are now available on Amazon; Legacy of Evil and Terror Crossing, to be followed by La Buchona and Not For Sale. Peyton’s stand-alone adventure thriller, The Royal Fifth, was released in 2022. James has had five acclaimed books published on Mexican cooking, history, and culture. Peyton’s writing reflects a depth of understanding and a unique perspective that sets his work apart.

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Author Interview Sarah Dressler: Christmas Cove

Sarah Dressler will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Author Interview: Sarah Dressler

1. How did you choose your genre? What made you write this book?

Christmas Cove is the first sweet contemporary romance novel that I’ve written. On the morning of July 17, 2022, I woke up from an incredible dream. It was unlike any dream I had ever had. It was the complete story of Christmas Cove as though it had been downloaded into my consciousness. I had been praying about what my next project should be, and bam! Here it was. That dream had a huge impact on me. That morning, I got my notebook out and regurgitated every detail that I could remember, and by lunchtime, I had a detailed twenty-chapter outline drafted. I dove head first into writing Christmas Cove and never looked back.

2. Writers write what they know, and must observe the world. Are you a firstborn, middle, or last child and how does this shape your view of the world?

Being a middle child, one might assume I suffer from the stereotypical issues that plague that particular sect of society. I assure you, problems such as feeling left out, not stacking up to my older siblings, or having to prove myself had nothing to do with being the middle child. I was in fact the only girl. This gift, though I didn’t see it that way at the time, provided a unique experience and view of the world around me. I often include female characters who, like me, are still figuring out where they belong.

3. Where is your favorite place to write?

I have a beautiful office in my home where I write. A dark, moody green paint coats all the walls and highlights the ornate mouldings on the ceiling. A crystal chandelier hangs from a carved medallion in the center of the room and two large windows frame the breathtaking mountain view outside. Whether I’m writing a science fiction thriller, or a sweet contemporary romance novel, as in my debut Christmas Cove, the room evokes an old-world, romanticism that allows me to step into my life as an author and leave the day-to-day grind at the door.

4. Inquiring minds want to know…tell readers something about you that no one knows.

Long before I was a novelist, I was in the public eye. There is very little that I haven’t spoken about from one time to another. I began my public life a decade ago as a fashion stylist and blogger. I was named one of San Antonio’s best fashion bloggers and could often be found at various fashion events around town on any given night of the week. This was a life that was grueling, and it led me to know that I wanted more. I transitioned into fashion design and loved the creative side of the business. What I didn’t love so much was the actual business. It’s just not how my mind works. Later, this revelation led me to know what I wanted out of my writing career, and how I ultimately linked up with my publisher.

5. You are stranded on a deserted island with only a backpack for company. What three items are in your survival pack?

The number of times this question, or similar, has been asked of me is countless. Stranger still is the multitude of ways I’ve answered it. So, I’ll give it another thoughtful go. I would have a water purifying straw for freshwater, a satellite phone to obviously make a call and get the heck off the island, and a bikini so I can work on my tan while I wait.

6. If you could have one superpower in your existence, what would it be?

If I could have a superpower, it would be to slow down time. As a parent of two teenagers, I see the way minutes tick by. I work at being present each day, but there just aren’t enough hours to do all the things I want to do and do them all well.

7. Favorite snack?

My next book will be dedicated to Original Lays Potato chips and m&m’s.

8. Indy 500 – Do you know how to get where you’re going or do you drive the speed limit?

I am somewhat of a cartophile. I love maps and studying places. This makes me a particularly good, some say excellent, navigator, though I’m not a fan of driving. I don’t like going over the speed limit, and I don’t like going fast. I also don’t like waiting and being stuck behind other vehicles because it makes me feel claustrophobic. As you can tell, this paradox can be frustrating at times. Luckily, my oldest child will soon have a driver’s license and I can do all the navigating my heart desires.

Christmas Cove

by Sarah Dressler


GENRE:   Romance



With only three weeks left in December, travel editor, America Greene, arrives in the idyllic Christmas Cove to find it… Christmasless!

America needs a story, and fast, so she teams up with the town’s good-looking (and eligible) mayor, Leo, to light up Main Street and salvage her chance at being a full-time writer. The connection between them heats up, halls are decked, sleigh bells ring, and lights twinkle. Just when she thinks the holiday is saved, a nearby city threatens the future of Christmas Cove. With her heart and career, hanging in the balance, she must learn that Christmas is much more than just a place on a map before time runs out.



“Your honesty is very—”

“Annoying?” she finished.

“No,” Leo said. She sensed the grin on his face but refused to look. “Refreshing. Endearing. I’ve never met anyone like you, America Greene.”

This was too much, she decided. “Are you reading my mind or something?” She looked at him. Her suspicions about his grin’s gauge were confirmed and only widened with the pause that danced between them. “I’ve never met anyone like you, either.”

Leo didn’t say anything. It was as though they were each sizing the implications of the revelation. She desperately wanted to know what was traversing his mind. Hers, meanwhile, swam with all the silly dreaming of a young woman still in her youth. The version of herself that would doodle his name in her Trapper Keeper, the one that would pass notes to him in biology, and the one who would have begged to switch lockers with a friend just to be nearer to him.

What was happening to her? She had an assignment to do. And crushing on the small-town mayor of Nowheresville was not on the agenda. She looked at his face, with its strong jawline covered in two- or three-day-old stubble, his serious brows, and his red lips, and weighed the harm in enjoying the man’s company. 

“Did you say something?” Leo asked with a giggle in his throat that he attempted to disguise as a cough.

“Um . . . I don’t think so.” America scoured her memory. Had she said something aloud that she meant to keep to herself? “Did I say something about a Trapper Keeper or locker?”

Another laugh. “No. But now you have me fully engaged.”

The way he strung out the word engaged made her think that was the word she had accidentally said aloud. It was better for her to ignore it than to address the slip. A sigh escaped her the moment the cabin came into view. And not a moment too soon. She was glad that the inelegant adventure could be over for the night.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Sarah Dressler, originally from Florida, now calls the mountains of Colorado home. Beginning her writing career as an award-winning fashion blogger, Sarah now writes fiction full-time. She has spent her life traveling the world, first as the daughter of a US Air Force officer, and later as a military spouse. She enjoys sunset walks with her husband of nearly twenty years, and raising two very busy teenagers.

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Author Interview Susan Zoe Bella: High Point

Susan Zoe Bella will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Author Interview: Susan Zoe Bella

1. How did you choose your genre? What made you write this book?

I wrote this book because after rediscovering the love I have for my fiancé; I wanted to rewrite history and relive all our great memories in addition to writing our story the way I wish it would’ve been and a dream ending. The genre was clear, contemporary romance.

2. Writers write what they know, and must observe the world. Are you a firstborn, middle, or last child and how does this shape your view of the world?

I am the youngest by many years. I wasn’t planned and wasn’t wanted. My two siblings didn’t want me in their lives as they were much older, so I was lonely. I grew up feeling unwanted and inferior to everyone around me. It’s very hard to believe that I am lovable. If not for my fiancé, I’d have never known love. I’ve grown a lot, emotionally and spiritually, and have come to realize that if we find one person in this world who truly loves us then we are blessed. My view of the world is a cold place where only normal people are accepted. Even so, I am generous and friendly to everyone I meet because, despite a brutal upbringing, I’ve always been a naturally loving gentle person who relates extremely well to animals and underdogs.

3. Where is your favorite place to write?

Anywhere I can sit comfortably. Wherever my favorite chair is. I do prefer the corners of the room. I love cozy nooks and corners, not open spaces.

4. How do you feel about killing your darlings, and what do you do with the remains?

Ha-ha. Well, sometimes I’ve brought them back to life if I kill one and they’ve grown on me. I do miss them. I typically only kill off paranormal characters and the remains are always turned to ashes.

5. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them?

Janelle Taylor. Why did you make the Indians rape the white women? And how could those white women fall in love with a man who raped her?

6. Inquiring minds want to know…tell readers something about you that no one knows.

I believe my stuffed animals and some of my dolls, mainly the life-sized dolls, talk to me.

7. You are stranded on a deserted island with only a backpack for company. What three items are in your survival pack?

My butterfly knife, a brave gorgeous man, and a pillow

8. If you could have one superpower in your existence, what would it be?


9. Favorite snack?

ramen noodles

10. Indy 500 – Do you know how to get where you’re going or do you drive the speed limit?

Yes, I am proficient in navigation, and yes I drive the speed limit.

High Point

by Susan Zoe Bella


GENRE:   Contemporary Romance



It’s only rock and roll but I hate it. Groupies, parties, a cheating ex, and a dark night spawned a wake-up call. I’d shifted my focus to work and avoiding social media. Singing lead for a famous band had become nothing more than a stepping stone to my true dream of racing Pro Motocross. I hadn’t dated in years. Then ‘she’ showed up and everything in me longed to be with her. I was stoked she’d agreed to join me at High Point Raceway for the weekend, even if it meant putting up with Mack. Better still, Mia wasn’t a groupie, not even close. She wasn’t even a fan of our music. If love at first sight had a name, it would be Mia Fringe and I had to make her mine. ~ Jett

I’d seen him in passing over the years. He was the neighbor of my best friend. But we’d never officially been introduced until the night Mackie badgered me into meeting him after attending his band’s concert. I tried not to look awestruck, stunned that someone this gorgeous had been within my scope for years but had not caught my attention. He had success written all over him. Girls like me didn’t end up with guys like him. Recently unemployed, still living on the family farm, and recovering from a nervous breakdown, I was a mess. But Jett saw something in me that nobody else ever had…worth. ~ Mia

Action, drama, and chaos kick off right from the start at High Point Raceway when Mackie has second thoughts about playing matchmaker between Mia and Jett. However, when the week of bliss comes to an end, Mia is heartbroken and confused as to why Jett doesn’t keep his promise. She accepts a job as a reporter three thousand miles away to escape the pain.
Ten years later, Mia and Jett cross paths in the most startling way. She’s about to discover the truth of what really happened so long ago. Will she be able to trust Jett again when he pleads for a second chance? Can love and forgiveness conquer a decade of hurt? It all goes down in the dirt during the last race of the season.



“Seems you settled down,” Kat noted. “Are we cool?”

I lifted my cup in a casual toast. “One of us is.”

Jett laughed and tapped his cup to mine. “Sweet burn.”

Kat surprised me with an impressive poker face, not revealing a hint of the daggers in her eyes I’d seen earlier. She was calculatingly wicked, a dangerous force to antagonize. However, Kat, in all her puffed-up narcissism and devious tactics had never met Fringe.

“I’m glad we worked it out,” she added.

“Mm-hm,” I muttered then directed my attention to the sexy guy with his arm around my waist.

“This is the first chance I got to check out your car. Seventy Gran Sport, right?”

“Yeah. You know cars?” He sounded surprised.

“I’ve always loved American Muscle.” I let my free hand glide up his bare arm to caress his huge bicep. “In more ways than one.”

He cocked one brow and grinned. “Would you like a closer look?”

“At the car?” I winked.

Fascination in his eyes deepened. “Both.”

“Mm-yes,” I purred.

We chugged our beer and then set the empty cups aside. He eased me off his lap and escorted me to the beautiful Mediterranean Blue car parked several feet away. I moseyed around it, taking my time to admire the high-polished chrome wheels, trim, and bumpers in addition to the flawless metallic paint on the body.

“Magnificent machine,” I gushed. “Four-fifty-five Stage One?”

“Yeah…” Something between awe and astonishment shimmered in his eyes as he gazed at me.

He popped the hood. “Check it out.”

“Wow…” I peered down at the engine. “Immaculate. You could eat off that. Impressive detailing. Lots of ponies under your hood.”

He slid both arms around me from behind and leaned in close. “You’re turning me on.”

I pivoted within his embrace and gazed up into heart-melting eyes that glistened in the light cast by a spectacular full moon. He lowered his head and kissed me again. This time the kiss was deeper, more intense, and laced with longing.

My body relaxed against his as my arms wound around his neck. His hands slid up my back as he pulled me closer. We kissed passionately, locked in a tight embrace. He was an amazing kisser. His scent swirled around me. Arousal mounted. I hadn’t felt desire for a man, ever.

Men in my life had taken what they wanted without my consent.

The sensations Jett invoked were both alarming and thrilling.

When we eased from the kiss, he hugged me close and held me like nobody ever had. “This feels good. You feel so good…” he murmured against my neck. “So real and right and good.”

“I agree.” I rested my head against his chest and sighed dreamily.

We stood next to his car, kissing and holding each other on the most enchanting night of my life, following a rollercoaster of a day. We couldn’t seem to get close enough. Desperate longing emanated between us. Nobody existed except the two of us in that unforgettable moment.

A campfire crackled nearby. Stars reigned overhead.

The most perfect night. Perfect moment. Perfect kiss.

After a while, he pulled back and stared down into my eyes, tenderly brushing mussed hair off my face with one hand. “I’m glad you’re here, darlin, and that you stayed. You must be exhausted. I know I am. Ready to crash for the night?”


“I sleep in my backseat. That offer to hold you all night long is still on the table if you’re interested,” he said softly, gently.

“That’s an offer I won’t refuse. I’m gonna grab my purse, be right back.”

He cupped my chin with a tender albeit sensual touch. “I’ll be waiting.”

Mercy. The way he made me feel. Flutters and shivers raced through me, over me. I prayed to get through the night without losing self-control. I sauntered back to my chair and snagged my purse off the ground.

“Where are you going?” Mackie asked in a boozy slur, sloppy drunk as usual.

I took a quick look around. Kat and Bob had retreated to the back of their truck for the night.

“Going to bed…with Jett,” I replied, adding a snarky eyebrow shrug.

She glowered through heavy eyes. “Tick, tick, tick. You’re dancing with the devil on borrowed time.”

I gave her the finger and then twirled away. A wonderful night awaited, and nobody was stealing it. The car door was open when I returned, and the front seat folded forward.

He lay sprawled across the seat, shirtless, the fly of his jeans unsnapped, and both arms casually folded behind his head. He looked alarmingly suggestive.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

“I am a fan of happily ever after. My novels are too!”

Susan Zoe enjoys creating contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, and romantic suspense stories with a gritty flair. Her stories are her own, and she typically writes outside the box. She’s always been a leader, not a follower. Writing is her mental filter and how she processes the world around her, a fictional place where she can control the outcome at her comfort level with justice and happy endings. Her imagination is her greatest strength as it carries her away from daily stress.

As a survivor of hardship and chronic disease, she takes one day at a time and treasures the simple things in life. Susan Zoe is a Christian, loves animals and practices being kind and generous every day. When not immersed in new stories, she enjoys watching movies, Motocross and Supercross, playing Yahtzee with her fiancé, and hanging out with her loyal 24/7 companion and trained service dog. She’s not a fan of sitcoms as they don’t offer enough mental stimulation. Losing herself in an intense story gives her brain the workout it needs to manage OCD, anxiety, depression, and stress.

Her achievements thus far include The Golden Wings Award for her debut novel The Satellite, the UK Nobel Pin and Editor’s Choice Award for her poem The Lonely Man, numerous 5 Star Reviews from Fallen Angels Reviews, Coffee Time Romance, InD’tale Magazine, Goodreads, and more for current and retired novels. She was also a RONE Awards Finalist in 2017.

She loves to hear from readers and chat!

In her words, “Writing is the only time I’m truly free.” She’s happiest when her intriguing characters come to life and steal her away into their worlds where anything is possible.








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Author Interview Emma Dakin: Shadows in Sussex

Emma Dakin will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Shadows in Sussex: The British Book Tour Mysteries Book 6

Author Interview: Emma Dakin

1. How did you choose your genre? What made you write this book?

I have read cozy mysteries as long as I can remember. I love the genre. I hid in out-of-the-way corners of my house so my mother wouldn’t find me and read Patricia Sayers, Mary Stewart, Agatha Christie, Josephine Tey. One of the joys of growing up was allowing myself time every evening to read. I wrote this particular book because a man I knew died in this way and the circumstances of his death and his back-story haunted me.

2. Writers write what they know, and must observe the world. Are you a first born, middle or last child and how does this shape your view of the world?

I am the third of six children. There were two older than me and three younger. I learned early how to manipulate the older ones and care for the younger ones. I also learned about the motivations of others: why they did what they did, what was important to them, and what they would do to get what they wanted. I grew up sharing with many people around me. I swear I didn’t get a chocolate bar to myself until I was 21. So many children meant no privacy except for reading. Reading was one of the true places of privacy. I was in the story by myself, without any siblings.

3. Where is your favorite place to write?

It’s not romantic. It’s my office. In front of my computer. I have a view of the street but I seldom look at it. I have a view of the ocean from my front windows but, again, if I’m writing, I don’t see it. Once I went to a ski resort in February, leaving behind my husband and three children, and wrote in my room in the morning and skied in the afternoon. That is a memory I cherish.

4. How do you feel about killing your darlings, and what do you do with the remains?

It depends. Reece, the victim, in Shadows in Sussex caused me some heartache as he was much like someone I lost, so I had to work hard at separating the real man from the fictional man. Most of the time, my victims are either fairly unlovable or not someone I identify with. Claire, on the other hand, has more involvement with victims. In Shadows in Sussex, the young man is truly mourned so Claire goes to his funeral. In Crime in Cornwall, she doesn’t know the victim so isn’t involved in his funeral. In Hazards in Hampshire, Claire finds the body and reports it. She doesn’t physically do anything with the remains but watches the police take the body away. I hadn’t thought of a story where Claire would try to hide a body. Maybe I should consider it.

5. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them?

I would ask Julie Wassmer how she got her wonderful Whitstable series into film. What is that process like? Was she happy with it? I would want to know how she manages to keep the marketing part of writing from impinging on her writing time.

6. Inquiring minds want to know…tell readers something about you that no one knows.

I plug away on the computer trying to learn Italian. I spoke it once many years ago but it’s drifted away from me and I want it back! It’s a hard process because I was faster at learning it many years ago. But I’m happy when I get it right. I have conversations with the computer program that mystifies my cat.

7. You are stranded on a deserted island with only a backpack for company. What three items are in your survival pack?

A solar-powered cell phone, a solar-powered computer, and a knife. I am sure I’ll find water and food somewhere. Of course, if there is no internet connection, I’m hooped. Perhaps I should substitute paper and pen for the computer. But then the pen will run out of ink eventually. I suppose the most practical item would be a GPS emergency location device. I suppose I would want some way to communicate with others.

8. If you could have one superpower in your existence, what would it be?

Good health because almost anything is possible if your mind and body work. Superb health would be best. Imagine that? No flu, colds, headaches, joint aches, bruises, twinges, upset stomach, allergies, or more serious concerns. With that superb health would come energy so I could write more books faster.

9. Favorite snack?

Chocolate, of course, Chocolate. I’ll take it in many forms. Dark chocolate neat. Dark chocolate with hazelnuts. Hot chocolate. Chocolate cheesecake. Chocolate cookies.

10. Indy 500 – Do you know how to get where you’re going or do you drive the speed limit?

I do know where I am going and I drive a little above the speed limit. I don’t know why I do that. I never thought about it until you asked the question. Why drive just above the speed limit? Am I tempting the local police? Do I feel daring? Odd that. I do drive exactly on the speed limit through school zones and on the winding road near my house where I once slammed on the brakes to just clip the backside of a bear. He tumbled over, scrambled to his feet, and raced into the bushes. I was grateful I hadn’t been speeding. No doubt the bear was grateful as well.

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Shadows in Sussex

by Emma Dakin


GENRE: Cozy Mystery



Claire Barclay and her band of tourists are full of enthusiasm for her trip to Sussex and Kent, the beautiful southeastern part of England. A tragic death of a young man the son of the guest house manager sends Claire into comforting mode and makes it more difficult for her to provide a bright and carefree holiday. Laura was not surprised at her son’s death as he had been a drug user and she expected he had taken contaminated drugs, a common fate. But the police lab said otherwise. He was murdered. Claire’s fiancé, Detective Inspector Mark Evans, investigates, so Claire is involved and privy to much information. Too much. In spite of her busy life with demanding guests, she discovers the motive for the murder and finds herself in danger.

A fun tour of Sussex with the extra treat for mystery lovers as Emma Dakin ties places to favorite books

—Rhys Bowen (NYT bestselling author of the Molly Murphy and Royal Spyness series.

If you are looking for a cozy crime novel that evokes a wonderful sense of place – look no further. Emma Dakin skilfully weaves a new mystery into a fascinating and informative tour of Southern England featuring heroine and literary tour guide, Claire Barclay, and a host of interesting characters.

—Julie Wassmer, Author of The Whitstable Pearl Mysteries

This engaging story will appeal to traditional mystery lovers who like their murders set against the authentic backdrop of quaint English villages.

—Clara Benson, USA Today bestselling author of the Angela Marchmont Mysteries



“My name is Mark Evans,” he said. “I’m a detective inspector with the Hampshire constabulary and I’m the fiancé of your tour guide, Claire.” He didn’t mention Reece, so he was here socially.

Susan was the first to respond. “My name is Susan and I’m at delighted to meet you. I’m a great mystery novel fan and I have met many detective inspectors in the pages of books. It’s a pleasure to meet a real English inspector. Please join us.” 

“Bring a chair,” Heather said. “I would love to talk to you about the way English detective inspectors actually deal with a mystery.”

Mark smiled at me again and I could feel my heart expand. I knew he came to the café because I was having trouble with Richard and he wanted to help. I was sure I could handle Richard without any help as Heather was used to dealing with him and the three young women seem quite able to deflect and control him. But my heart warmed at the notion that Mark would come and see if he could be of use to me.

I was so distracted it took me a moment to realize that Andy Forsyth was with him.

“Please join us,” I said, then turned to the guests. “This is Detective Sergeant Andrew Forsythe. He’s Mark’s teammate.”

“Hello, everyone,” Andy said. “We have eaten, but we love to join you for tea.”

Andy was dressed impeccably in pressed jeans and a blue, open-necked sports shirt. He wore a gold earring and the wedding band I’d watched his husband Bruce put on his finger. That had been quite the society wedding. Bruce comes from a wealthy and supportive family and they had hosted an elaborate reception.

Susan brought me back to the present. 

“That would be wonderful.” Susan invited him by a gesture to sit beside her. “What’s it like to be a sergeant in the Hampshire police force?”

He laughed. “It’s pretty busy.”

“I was wondering if the police still give those warnings that I read about in novels.” 

“Not quite the way you read them in the novels,” Andy said. “I read thrillers myself so I pay attention to police procedure. We do make a statement when we make an arrest, but not the one you commonly see in fiction.”

Mark was at the other end of the table and seemed to be having quite a lively conversation with Heather, Richard, Howard and Poppy.

I ordered some small fairy cakes and some chocolate and nuts to be passed around with coffee and tea. The guests stayed for some time chatting with each other and with Mark and Andy. The group was enjoying themselves but eventually prepared to leave. The older guests were returning to Rother Manor House. The three young ones told me they were going to visit a pub.

“Waterworks Pub is a nice one,” Andy advised. “It’s just down the street on this block.”

“Sounds perfect,” Julie said. “We’re not big drinkers. We just like the liveliness of the English pubs. At least we think we will.”

“You have my cell number,” I said. “Just call if you need help or for anything at all.”

“We’ll be fine,” Julie said. “Thank you for a delicious dinner.” Off they went, leaving Mark, Andy and me at the table.

“How do you like working with DS Flynn?” I asked.

“He’s a marvel,” Andy answered me. “Meticulous, conscientious. Digs for information.”

Mark leaned forward. “He’s so competent that if the Super gets wind of him, Andy will be recalled.”

That was a possibility. Superintendent Addison wasn’t one to waste personnel.

“What about DC Sandhu?”

They both grinned. I expect Jas Sandhu had that effect on most people.

“I can work with him,” Mark said. “He seems a good team player with Flynn.”

I could see that: one was methodical and one imaginative.

“Flynn put Jas onto tracing Reece’s movements on his last day. Once Travis has the info, he’ll put it on a chart for us.”

“We’re looking into a gang motivation. That’s my job,” Andy said. “I have an appointment with someone in the know later tonight.”

“Be careful,” I said.

“Shouldn’t be a problem.”

I don’t know why I urged Andy to be careful. He was always careful. It must be some kind of superstition that makes those of us who have no control over the situation offer a kind of blessing on the one in danger. My mum used to caution me to stay dry if it looked like rain. Of course, I’d try to stay dry. But cautioning me was her way of trying to protect me. It can be annoying.

 “Do you still think Reece was murdered?” I asked into the silence created by our mutual concern about a gang contact.

“Looks like it. He would be unlikely to get hold of Nembutal. None of that drug is circulating in this area.”

“We aren’t positive, though,” Andy said. “All we can say is that he died of Nembutal poisoning and it is unlikely he gave it to himself.”

“He could have taken it by accident, thinking it was something else.”

“He could have, but we are going to treat this case as homicide until we can prove it isn’t, or until we run out of leads.”

Andy left us at the door of the café to walk back to the Rye Lodge Hotel while Mark escorted me to the Rother Manor House.

I invited him to my room where I plugged in the tea kettle and set out two cups and some biscuits—not that we needed any more to eat. While the room was small, it had a table and two chairs near the window.

For some reason we talked about birds. Mark had recently visited his Uncle Lionel and gone on a birding venture with him along the coastal walk of Cornwall. Mark was only mildly interested in birds, but enjoyed his uncle’s enthusiasm. Like Lionel, I was keen on birds, so I listened to Mark’s descriptions, enjoying the sound of his voice.

We spent quite a few minutes saying goodbye, but he finally left me for the night. I heard the front door close but couldn’t watch him leave from my back garden window.

It was going to be a busy day tomorrow as I had to drive Richard and the older guests to Godinton House and deposit the three young women at the train station in Ashford. I checked that I had fresh supplies for their daily packs: chocolates, biscuits, hand sanitizers and tissues. I wished Mark could have stayed but I understood his need to be with Andy and available to the local constabulary. We were both working. We were used to being apart for weeks. Still, he wasn’t far away but I wished he was with me. I conjured up a picture of Gulliver. I expect he was cuddled up with Deirdre’s two dogs and was happy enough. I missed him as well.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Emma Dakin writes a series of mysteries set in Britain. Her protagonist is a tour guide who takes different characters in each book to the sites of mystery novels in the countryside. She appreciates the elegant people and humor of each area. But in that idyllic country, Claire stumbles on murder. Author Emma Dakin has five books so far in this series with the latest release September 12, 2023. A historical mystery set in Vancouver in 1886 is due out soon. She won a prestigious 2022 Lieutenant Governor’s Community History Award for her non-fiction account of life in the 60s.





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Author Interview Donna Balon: Sam Time

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Author Interview: Donna Balon

How did you come up for the book’s title: Sam Time?

I’ve always loved the name Samantha and the nickname Sam. Shortly after I began writing the book, the title popped into my head. It’s a short easy-to-remember title. (“Time” should be helpful in keyword searches for “time travel” stories.)

In the first chapter, Samantha’s boyfriend tries to persuade her to move in with him. He says, “I want Sam time.” Many chapters later, readers will discover that Grant’s nickname from his West Point days is also Sam. So when Samantha time travels to the past, being with Grant is Sam time. It’s a play on words.

What’s on your bookshelf closest to your workspace?

I have two dozen books on writing: On Writing Well by William Zinsser; The Writer’s Art by James J. Kilpatrick; Essential Guide to Writing by Thomas S. Kane; and The Chicago Manual of Style to name a few.

Is there a memory from grade school that you still apply today?

I do have a memory in grade school—perhaps 5th grade—for a writing assignment in which we were required to organize paragraph sentences in the best sequence. When reviewing my own writing, I look for good sentence order, often rearranging for the best flow.

How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre?

Once I start writing, I avoid reading or rereading any historical fiction books lest I subconsciously start to imitate another author’s writing.

What types of books do you read?

I like historical fiction but the last couple years I’ve been reading nonfiction to research this book.

Sam Time

by Donna Balon


GENRE: Historical Fiction, Time Travel



When her fiancé is away on business, lonely Samantha Hunter despairs and absorbs herself in historical research. Her nighttime dreams being so vivid, Samantha believes she’s traveling to a past century. As she navigates the Victorian era rules of dos and even more don’ts, she charms Ulysses S Grant while struggling to maintain her present-day romance.



During the night, Samantha had a vivid dream. She was in a rural town wearing her Victorian-style dress. The weather was cool so she wrapped the crocheted afghan around her shoulders. And her sockless feet were cold in her slip-on shoes.

The few men she saw were in worn, soiled work clothes and walked with purpose. The so-called roadways were not paved but dirt paths. No cars or trucks, but horses and carts. A few wooden one-story buildings scattered here and there.

This must be a dream in which the clock has been turned back, Samantha thought. But where am I?

She strolled, aware she had not seen any other women. Pulling the afghan around herself snugly, she walked with her head tilted down to avoid catching the eye of any man in whatever this place was, glancing up often to learn more of her surroundings.

Then two women hurried toward her, each carrying a wooden bucket of water. Their cotton dresses hung to their ankles, with full skirts gathered at the waist of fitted bodices. Plain white cotton bonnets covered their heads, and shawls were wrapped around their shoulders. They looked at Samantha disapprovingly. Her dress was too fancy for this rural town. Moreover, she wasn’t wearing a bonnet or hat; a bare head was a means of solicitation by prostitutes. She hugged her body with the afghan, which served as a shawl to hide her uncorseted torso.

The dream seemed authentic. Despite her uneasiness, she thought, Enjoy the dream. If I don’t like it, I’ll wake myself up.

Around a corner, she spotted a few men in uniform. Soldiers. Maybe the army. This might be a small town next to an army fort, Samantha guessed. Still, not a good place for a woman.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Author Donna Balon debuts Sam Time, a novel well-researched and professionally edited by quality talent from the publishing industry. Donna resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her husband.



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Author Shirley McCoy: Dragon Song

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by Shirley McCoy


GENRE:  Paranormal Romance



Dragons rule the world. Princess Morgan Talbot of Esterhaven knows one rules her. Rownar, the most powerful dragon of all, forced a magical bond with her at a tender age. He intends to corrupt her soul, then consume her body. Now of age, Morgan knows she must take back her life and defeat Rownar, and all his kind. Connor O’Malley is the greatest dragon slayer alive. He spends one memorable night with Morgan, never thinking to see her again. Until he does. He is deeply shaken to learn the woman he fell for is a princess and determined to conquer Rownar herself. When Connor offers to train her, Morgan reluctantly accepts. Now an epic battle will begin, for a princess’s life, her soul, her kingdom, and the world.



“You make it sound so simple.”

“It is.” When she widened her pretty brown eyes at him, he shrugged. “At a certain point, it becomes that way. After you have trained and done the best you can to prepare, then all you can do is place your fate in the hands of the gods. Entrust yourself to them and do what you are meant to do. I—” He stilled. “Quiet,” he snapped.

At first, she heard nothing then a rushing wind reached her ears. An instant later, a gorgeous sapphire dragon bulleted out of the mouth of a remote cave. In the distance, the dragon banked and wheeled in the darkening sky. He circled above the mountains a few times, then descended back into his dark lair.

In all her life, Morgan had seen only two dragons, Rownar and one other. She could not help her fascination with this one, particularly since they were about to kill him. Or at least try to.

Abruptly, she couldn’t quite manage to move. “Connor, either this dragon is a lot bigger than I remember dragons to be, or it is larger than you said. Are we really going to try to kill that?”

He tossed her a roguish grin. “Yes, we are.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Shirley McCoy grew up in Baton Rouge, LA and started writing at an early age. Always talkative, when she was eleven she began to put her thoughts on paper, writing stories inspired by some of her favorite writers, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Madeline L’Engle. As she grew older, she developed a love of romance and in 2009 she decided to try her hand at paranormal romance. The result was The Smoke and the Flame and its sequel, The Wind and the Fire. The Smoke and the Flame is the first novel she has ever completed, although she has written several unpublished screenplays.

Shirley graduated from Nicholls State University where she majored in History and minored in English. Since graduating (she doesn’t like to think about how long ago that was) she has worked at some of the best libraries in the Baton Rouge area. She makes her home there and enjoys spending time with family members that live in town as well as with those that live out of town. She also loves seeing movies, reading, and going to the park with her niece in her free time.

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Author Kate Ellington: Sea Glass and Fireflies

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Sea Glass And Fireflies

by Kate Ellington


GENRE:   Romance



Elsie Hayward moves into her uncle’s seaside estate on what should have been her wedding day. All she wants is peace and quiet, and to escape the guilt that’s haunted her since her betrothed was lost at sea. Any hope of tranquility is dashed, however, when Charles Rockingham arrives in town. A lifetime ago they’d been best friends and almost more. If there’s one person she can’t hide her feelings from, it’s him. Charles hasn’t received a letter from Elsie in over a year. He returns home hoping to recapture the deep bond they once shared, but shadows of the past stand between them. One last secret must be revealed before they can find their way back to each other.



As they got up to leave, Charles took her hand to help steady her over the slippery rocks, and a warm glow rippled through her. Instead of letting go when they reached the grassy bank, she laced her fingers through his, her heart racing as fast as the stream. He looked at her and his eyes held something like tenderness. She almost tripped over her dress.

The sky was softening to the faintest hint of dusk. She wished it was morning so they could begin their day together all over again. They continued down the trail and turned onto a narrow path that came out behind Max’s stables, then walked up the lawn to the front of the house. An unfamiliar motorcar was parked in the drive.

“Who’s here, Mr. Anderson?” Elsie asked when he opened the front door.

“An associate of Mr. Lambert’s.”

Charles’s fingers slipped out of hers as they stepped inside. Elsie removed her hat and dropped it on the table.

“Let’s go see who it is,” she said to Charles, tugging on his jacket sleeve.

From the dining room came the sound of laughter: two gravelly chortles and one tinkling, delicate giggle.

Charles stopped in his tracks. Elsie looked up at him. The color had drained from his face. She opened her mouth to ask what was wrong, but Max called out: “Don’t hang about in the doorway, you two. Come see what the cat dragged in.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Kate Ellington grew up in a woodsy New England town where summer days at the lake seemed to last forever. She read her first historical romance at age eleven when a teacher challenged her to find a book in the library written by an author she’d never heard of. Thus began a life-long love of love stories.

After graduating from college with an art degree she settled in the Pacific Northwest, where she currently resides with her family.

Kate wrote her first romance when she was sixteen, then set her pen down for years until another story floated into her head out of the clear blue sky. She jotted it down, just for fun, but soon it took on a life of its own.


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Author Allison B. Hanson: The Highland Heir

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Allison B. Hanson will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Kieran has spent his life living in the shadow of his late older brother. Brody had been the heir his father had loved and wanted, while Kieran was born to a woman his father despised for her betrayal. Kieran has only ever felt the bond of family with his best friend, Ella.

Ella knew one day Kieran would be called on to do his duty to his clan and marry for an alliance. But she never expected his engagement would suddenly force her to see him in such a different way. They’d known each other all their lives, but aside from one exploratory kiss, she had never been attracted to him as a woman is to a man. Until now.

As the time comes for Kieran to marry, he realizes he has feelings he shouldn’t have for the lass who’s been by his side all his life.

When the marriage contract is breached, Kieran hopes it means freedom for them to be together, but instead, it leads to war and a secret that will change their lives forever.

Read an Excerpt

But now, he was expected to sit at the high table and take part in clan business.

Not that he had any idea what kind of business had brought the MacKenzie laird to their lands. His father told him little.

“How is your family?” Rolfe asked, making it sound as if he cared.

“Well, thank ye.” Neil glanced at Kieran and gave a nod. “Your son looks hearty.”

Hearty? Was that the word used to describe a man who stood at least four inches over his father’s tall frame and was wider in the shoulder than the laird as well? Kieran might have sniffed in offense except he knew how much the sound bothered his father, and he didn’t want to be scolded like a lad in front of the MacKenzie.

“Aye. He will make a fine husband to your Isla. Shall we sign the contract and then celebrate with a dram?” Rolfe suggested.

Perhaps Kieran wasn’t as hearty as he’d thought, for he felt the world had just tilted as the words echoed about in his mind. Kieran would make a fine husband? A husband to this man’s daughter?

“Marriage?” The word escaped Kieran’s dry throat.

Rolfe lifted a brow and frowned at Kieran.

“Why do you look so surprised?” his father asked.

Kieran might have answered if he thought he could get the words out. The truth was he looked surprised because he was, in fact, quite surprised. Why did his father act as if it were something they’d just discussed earlier in the day?

It surely wasn’t as if Kieran would have forgotten such a thing as being shackled to a wife he didn’t know.

“You’ve known for as long as you can recall that, as my heir, you would one day be joined in an advantageous marriage when an alliance was required.”

Yes. One day. He didn’t realize it would be so soon and with a complete stranger.

About the Author:

One very early morning, Allison B. Hanson woke up with a conversation going on in her head. It wasn’t so much a dream as being forced awake by her imagination. Unable to go back to sleep, she gave in, went to the computer, and began writing. Years later it still hasn’t stopped.

Allison’s historical romances are filled with kilted heroes. She lives near Hershey, Pennsylvania, and enjoys candy immensely, as well as long motorcycle rides, running and reading.




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Author Austin S. Camacho: Subtle Felonies

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Is retired basketball star Xander Brown missing, or kidnapped? His crazy family and dangerous friends draw DC detective Hannibal Jones into a deadly chase to find – or rescue – a complex man. In public, Xander is a husband, father, partner, friend, but who is he in private? Which role took him away? The search moves at breakneck speed across the posh suburbs and angry alleys of the nation’s capital, forcing Hannibal to confront tough truths and deadly risks. Will DC’s troubleshooter save a life or lose his own?

Read an Excerpt

Hannibal saw the five inches of stainless-steel arcing toward his stomach and managed to swing his right arm down fast enough to stop Cawfee’s arm, wrist against wrist. He gripped Cawfee’s knife hand with both of his own and twisted hard. It didn’t break Cawfee’s grip on the weapon, but he did release Hannibal’s jacket, waving his free arm to keep his balance.

Hannibal let go and jumped back away from Cawfee. Wrestling with a knife in the hand of a bigger man was a losing proposition. He back pedaled, trying to get more distance from that knife, but Cawfee kept charging at him.

“I seen your gun,” Cawfee said, “but I saw how you acted around the women and I figured you wouldn’t go around strapped here at the house. Not so stupid now, huh?”

At that moment, Hannibal felt stupid, thinking Cawfee might make the rational choice. Now he faced a man who looked like he knew what he was doing with a blade, making short feinting slashes at Hannibal. He would have to wait until Cawfee committed before he tried to disarm him.

Cawfee’s eyes lit up and he leaped forward faster than Hannibal thought he could. The blade swished past in front of him, but he lost his footing and fell. His back thudded into the turf and Cawfee dropped on top of him, switching his grip to stab down. Hannibal crossed his forearms, stopping Cawfee’s arm between his fists. Cawfee applied all his weight, forcing the knife down to within an inch of Hannibal’s throat. Both men panted hard with the opposing effort, Hannibal gearing up to push hard to one side.

Then there was a short whoosh and a loud crack sound. The impact sounded to him just like a man driving a ball down the fairway.

About the Author:

Austin S. Camacho is the author of eight novels about Washington DC-based private eye Hannibal Jones, five in the Stark and O’Brien international adventure-thriller series, and the detective novel, Beyond Blue. His short stories have been featured in several anthologies and he is featured in the Edgar nominated African American Mystery Writers: A Historical and Thematic Study by Frankie Y. Bailey. He is a past president of the Maryland Writers Association, past Vice President of the Virginia Writers Club, and one of the directors of the Creatures, Crimes & Creativity literary conference – now in its 10th year. The 8th Hannibal Jones mystery, Subtle Felonies, is scheduled for a September 27 release.

Author Don Hackett: A Lesser God

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Don Hackett will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

As a young man, Dion Athamas was spiritually summoned to rapture then tenured god status. He had been endowed with all the benedictions to achieve sacredness: a devout flock, the power to heal and a covet for control. He also held a deep desire and ability to influence justice and universal liberty. The setting: the fictional town of Forgedmont, Mississippi, in the 1950s. Against great opposition he strived to become a new-age god; the earth was his oracle. He found faith-based conviction to be lacking in reason and truth. He chose to maintain an instinctive path to holiness. Regrettably for him and his followers, there were a great many roadblocks. He was forced to face off against the church, community, prejudice, family and scheming dreams influenced by fallacious spirits, all set forth to hamper his ascension to divinity.


Read an Excerpt

The initial offering consisted of free passage through the congested celestial gateway, subsequently entry into divinity, and then finally god status. For some unexplained reason, I began to believe that the apparition was the embodiment of my father. Even though I knew little about my dad, there was a hint of correlation between my nature and the manner of the apparition. Whoever’s spirit the spectre represented, they had a message for me, and the message profoundly detoured both the course of my life’s philosophy and my spiritual motivation. You might not want to hear what I have to say, but I have a powerful yen to share my story with anyone willing to listen.

This is what the spirit communicated to me before he left. As I sat bewildered in my bed, the genial spirit mindbogglingly informed me that I possessed the capacity to become an authentic god. That if I chose to focus on becoming a god, I had all the blessings within me to do so. The spirit spoke of my pure grace and the assured potential for me to grow mercy within my heart and the hearts of others to boundless dimensions. He assured me that becoming a god was entirely within the art of the possible. He promised that I would receive obscured assistance as I braved my mission, and he besought me to always question the morality of the modern world and snub those without deep, benevolent ideals.

About the Author:I have been writing poems and short stories for most of my life. It was not until I retired from my government position working with Special Needs individuals that I was able to focus on writing full time. The treatment of Special Needs people fostered in me a search for the explanation for the absence of morality in mankind. I have degrees in psychology and sociology from the University of Calgary, Alberta.

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