Book Spotlight and Review: Darkness Hides by JC Gatlin #murdermystery @SunburyPress

An open book with rays and orbs of light shooting from the pages

Happy August! I have a new guest visiting today with a compelling release. JC Gatlin is a Sunbury Press author who has brought along his latest book, Darkness Hides. A hurricane, an estranged sister relationship, a body in the Gulf—I was hooked as soon as I read the blurb! And isn’t that cover great?

I hope you’ll share your thoughts with JC in the comments, and look for my review at the end of the post!

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Someone she knows is watching.

Someone she knows is stalking.

And something hides in the darkness.

Twelve months ago, a violent injury ended Kate Park’s career with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. Now she’s returning home to her little beach town and teaching boat safety classes while her body heals. Maybe she’ll even mend the estranged relationship with her caustic younger sister. But time is running out. 

As the Florida West Coast braces for an approaching Category 4 hurricane, Kate uncovers a corpse in the churning Gulf waters. Then another. And another. It’s no longer her job to get involved, but she can’t help investigating. And the clues reveal all three victims have one thing in common: a connection to her sister.

In a brewing storm of rage, guilt, and family secrets, she confronts her bitter sibling and faces a childhood better left buried with the bodies washing ashore. To unravel the threads of this mystery is to come to a frightful realization.

Run from the water.

Hide from the wind.

Flee from the shadows where a weeper seeks revenge.




PURCHASE FROM:
SUNBURY PRESS | AMAZON

Author JC Gatlin

AUTHOR BIO:
JC Gatlin lives in Tampa, Florida, and writes mystery novels that include sunny Florida locales and quirky locals as characters. His last novel, H_NGM_N: Murder is the Word, won the coveted Florida Royal Palm Literary Award for Best Mystery in 2019. He is active in the Florida Writer’s Association and is a board member on the Florida Writer’s Foundation, a charity organization that fights illiteracy.  Learn more at JCGatlin.com


MY REVIEW:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you, Sunbury Press and Milford House Press, for my ARC.

Wow, there’s a lot going on in this book! Kate, and her sister Elise have not spoken for over a year, following the death of Elise’s five-year-old son, Noah. Kate, a former Fish and Wildlife Commission officer, who was shot in the line of duty, is on loan to the local police department, but determined to return to her old job. Her current boyfriend is an environmental activist, battling a condo developer over the potential destruction of a historic lighthouse. Her old boyfriend, the lead singer in a band, shows up unexpectedly (no, this is NOT a romance novel, so put those fears aside), her boss’s wife is pregnant, one month shy of delivering, and oh—there just happens to be a category 4 hurricane sitting off the Florida Gulf Coast. 

Add a missing person’s case, which soon turns into murder, then several murders and you’ve got a cauldron ready to boil over. Suspense, family dynamics, action/thriller—it’s all here. But the most compelling aspect is a truly complex murder mystery. Although I did finger the killer correctly before the end, the motive caught me completely by surprise. The author did an excellent job of juggling multiple plot threads while throwing out enough red herrings to make me second guess myself more than once. 

There were several characters I didn’t really care for—including one who I should have felt sympathy for—but who instead grated on my nerves. With a capital G! That said, Kate, as the central character had the strength to carry the novel. I especially liked her relationship with her boss, Trace, and her attachment to her rescue animals. The climatic scenes leading up to Hurricane Sebastian making landfall and during the storm itself had me madly swiping pages on my Kindle. There were a couple minor threads that didn’t ring true for me and some repetition that could have been avoided, but overall, this was an engrossing story. If you enjoy a good murder mystery layered with plenty of suspense, Darkness Hides will keep you riveted. I’m already scoping out other titles by this author.

Book Spotlight: The Fragile Keepers by Natalie Pinter @cultofpersonat @sunburypress #fairytale #darkfantasy

An open book with rays and orbs of light shooting from the pages

Welcome to the first of two Book Spotlights for Sunbury Press authors during the month of May. Today, I’m welcoming Natalie Pinter with her novel The Fragile Keepers. As always, I hope you’ll make her feel welcome. This sounds like a complex and entertaining read. If you’re a fan of fairy tales and/or dark fantasy, I think you’re going to love this one!

Book cover for The Fragile Keepers shows clearing in treed setting, large blue Butterly above, bat below

Book Description:

When a pair of siblings discover a mythical creature, she grants them both sublime gifts and horrific curses.

Following a lightning storm, Andre and her brother Ben discover a winged girl cowering in their backyard shed. The millennials are thrilled by the appearance of a mythical being, but they are wary too, particularly when she warns them that a dangerous monster has followed her from “Elsewhere.”

The girl, (Shae) is desperate to return to a world she can now only scarcely recall. Exquisite and beguiling, Shae evokes a protectiveness on their part—especially when she grants them gifts of extraordinary new talent. Andre and Ben want to help her however they can.

But the siblings soon find out that these gifts carry ghastly side effects. Andre is enchanted by prophetic dreams, but they wither her grip on reality; Ben creates sublime music, but his health deteriorates. And then, to their horror, they discover that Shae must complete a terrible task before she can return home and that everyone they know and love is in danger. Andre and Ben must now figure out how to thwart a being they’ve grown to care for.

What they don’t realize is that Shae is changing—she’s beginning to develop a conscience, and an affinity for her human hosts. And as her time runs out, she must make a terrible choice before all their lives spiral into a grisly climax of cruel irony and heartbreaking sacrifice. 

PURCHASE LINKS:
SUNBURY PRESS | AMAZON

AUTHOR BIO:

Natalie Pinter has been an accomplished daydreamer for most of her waking life. After working for many years as a bookseller, she started sharing her own stories. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys taking pictures of nature and hanging out with her family. She currently resides in a swampy part of Florida surrounded by large and scary looking bugs. Learn more at NataliePinter.com.

Author, Natalie PinterAUTHOR BIO:
Natalie Pinter has been an accomplished daydreamer for most of her waking life. After working for many years as a bookseller, she started sharing her own stories. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys taking pictures of nature and hanging out with her family. She currently resides in a swampy part of Florida surrounded by large and scary looking bugs. Learn more at NataliePinter.com.

WEBSITE | TWITTER


The blurb for this book gave me goosebumps. I think Natalie has a winner and that cover is absolutely gorgeous. Please drop her a line, say hello, and use the sharing buttons to spread the word about The Fragile Keepers! Many thanks for visiting today!

Book Spotlight: Secrets of the Galapagos by Sharon Marchisello @SLMarchisello @SunburyPress #mystery #crime

An open book with rays and orbs of light shooting from the pages

Hello, and welcome to a new Sunbury Press Book Spotlight. If you’ve been following my blog, you that Sunbury Press is a traditional publisher located in my area. Twice a month, I’ll be highlighting their authors with book spotlights. Each selection has been chosen to appeal to the reading taste of my followers. You’ll find mostly mysteries, suspense, thrillers, and supernatural stories. Today, I’m welcoming Sharon Marchisello, with her mystery novel, Secrets of the Galapagos. I hope you’ll drop her a line and make her feel welcome!

book cover Secrets of the Galapagos, large tortoise in front on sand beach, cruise liner in background

Book Description:
Shattered by a broken engagement and a business venture derailed by Jerome Haddad, her unscrupulous partner, Giovanna Rogers goes on a luxury Galapagos cruise with her grandmother to decompress.

At least that’s what her grandmother thinks. 

Giovanna is determined to make Jerome pay for what he’s done, and she has a tip he’s headed for the Galapagos.

While snorkeling in Gardner Bay off the coast of Española Island, Giovanna and another cruise passenger, tortoise researcher Laurel Pardo, both become separated from the group and Laurel is left behind. No one on the ship will acknowledge Laurel is missing, and Giovanna suspects a cover-up.

When the police come on board to investigate a death, Giovanna is sure the victim is Laurel. She’s anxious to give her testimony to the attractive local detective assigned to the case. Instead, she learns someone else is dead, and she’s a person of interest.

Resolved to keep searching for Laurel and make sense of her disappearance, Giovanna finds that several people on board the cruise ship have reasons to want Laurel gone. One is a scam involving Tio Armando, the famous Galapagos giant tortoise and a major tourist attraction in the archipelago. And Jerome Haddad has a hand in it. Thinking she’s the cat in this game, Giovanna gets too involved and becomes the mouse, putting her life in jeopardy. But if she doesn’t stop him, Jerome will go on to ruin others.

PURCHASE LINKS:
SUNBURY PRESS | AMAZON

Author, Sharon MarchiselloAUTHOR BIO:
Sharon Marchisello is the author of two mysteries published by Sunbury Press: Going Home (2014) and Secrets of the Galapagos (2019). Her other publications include travel articles, corporate training manuals, short stories, book reviews, a blog, and a nonfiction book about personal finance, Live Well, Grow Wealth. She earned a Masters in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California and is an active member of Sisters in Crime. Retired from a 27-year career with Delta Air Lines, she now lives in Peachtree City and does volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society. 

AUTHOR WEBSITE | TWITTER


Given Sharon’s background with Delta Airlines, it doesn’t surprise me she’s chosen to write about such an exotic and intriguing locale, not to mention the famed giant Galapagos tortoise. The blend of intrigue and mystery in this one sounds quite compelling. Sharon will be popping in to say hello, so be sure to drop her a comment and share your thoughts about her release. As always, thanks for visiting, and please click the sharing buttons to help spread the news about Secrets of the Galapagos.

Book Spotlight: Out of Kindness by J.A. Walsh @JAWALSH_BOOKS @SunburyPress #thriller #suspense

An open book with rays and orbs of light shooting from the pages

Thanks for joining me for another Book Spotlight. Today, I’m welcoming Sunbury Press author, J.A. Wash with his suspense/thriller novel, Out of Kindness. J. A. has the perfect background to spin this type of tale, as you’ll see when you check out his bio. First be sure to read the blurb for his very intriguing release, then drop a line to share your thoughts! Doesn’t that cover rock?

Book Description:

A beautiful Irish island reveals its ugly secrets in this thriller of the opioid crisis

Sean Casper retired from the Boston Police to get away from murderers. He left Massachusetts to get away from everything else, especially his broken marriage and the pain of his son’s fentanyl overdose.

Casper retreats to a seaside cottage on a beautiful Irish island, unaware he is surrounded by ugly secrets. When Casper finds a mutilated lamb ritually displayed in an ancient cemetery, he reads up on the island’s only recorded murder and sees a pattern.

One of the island’s 600 residents is a serial killer. Someone else is about to die.

His investigation leads to Aoife Walsh, an island native suffering from the same addiction that killed his son. Her best friend was murdered twenty years ago, and she knows who did it. With no authority, but nothing to lose, Casper goes after the killer. 

Instead of finding an island refuge, Casper discovers much of Europe’s heroin passes through the island’s remote coast. And as he gets closer to the truth, he places himself in the crosshairs of the island’s drug traffickers, who will do anything to protect their secrets.

Out of Kindness is a thriller about grief and isolation, swirling in the backdrop of the opioid epidemic, on one of the most hauntingly beautiful islands on Earth.

PURCHASE LINKS:
SUNBURY PRESS | AMAZON

JA Walsh (Author)AUTHOR BIO:

J.A. Walsh worked in intelligence and counter-terrorism after the 9/11 attacks, before embarking on a career advising the U.S. military on energy security strategy. He has degrees in Russian, English literature, and Environmental Law. He and his family split time between Lake Norman, North Carolina and the Florida Keys. Learn more at JAWalsh.com

WEBSITE | TWITTER


I love the location of this one. The story definitely sounds like one to sink your reading chops into, don’t you think? J.A. will be dropping by to say hello, so be sure to let him know your thoughts in the comments. We’d both be delighted if you’d use the sharing buttons to spread the word about Out of Kindness. Thank you for visiting today!

Guest Author Thursday: Jacquie Biggar with The Seal’s Temptation #newrelease #militaryromance

red quill pen on a piece of old parchment paper, with an ink well with words Welcome Guest in script

Hi, friends! Today, I have the very talented Jacquie Biggar as my guest. Jacquie is a USA Today bestselling author who delivers wonderful tales of romance, romantic suspense, and women’s fiction. Today, she’s here to share her newest release, The Seal’s Temptation. Please welcome Jacquie!

image of paperback copy of The Seal's Temptation surrounded by roses and two gift wrapped packages

The SEAL’s Temptation is the long-awaited sequel to Maggie’s Revenge, book 6 in the Wounded Hearts series.

In Tidal Falls, Book 1 of the Wounded Hearts series, DEA Agent Magdalena Holt interrogates Navy SEAL Jared Martin after a violent assault at a Las Vegas casino known to be run by the Russian mafia. Jared is rescued from a night in jail when his Master Chief Frank Stein shows up to save the day. 

Here’s a short excerpt of Frank and Maggie’s first meeting:

Frank leaned back as the door opened and a woman walked in. Okay, this was getting interesting. Either she’d made a wrong turn on her way out of lockup, or he was receiving an early Christmas gift. He was hoping for the second but figured on the first. “I think you made a wrong turn there, sweets, bail paying is down the hall.”

He’d been away from women too long if a prostitute was going to turn him on, but shit. He figured she was tall, maybe five-eight or so, hard to tell though with those screw-me-now leather boots she was wearing. He traced the zipper he could see running up the inside of her leg, almost to mid-thigh. Licking suddenly dry lips, Frank admired the micro mini skirt in a hot pink and the impressive swell of full breasts, barely covered by a slinky white top and three different lengths of a chunky beaded necklace that made him literally sweat as they draped across her nipples.

Her hair was raven black, long and straight and matched her boots for shine. She’d painted the pillowy softness of her lips in the same hot pink of her skirt. When he finally made it up to her eyes, the brilliance and intelligence he could see lurking there let him know what he had already guessed. This was not your average floozy.

Maggie goes undercover as a hooker in order to gain intel on a gang trafficking young girls and drugs in the area. When her cover is blown, Maggie is captured and shipped to Mexico and into the arms of the Sinaloa Cartel. Held as the personal toy of high-ranking official, Chenglei, we learn of her ordeal, and eventual escape in Maggie’s Revenge, book 6 of the Wounded Hearts series.

Both her partner, Adam (who has his own ties to SEAL Team 5) and Frank refuse to give up the search and it finally leads them across the border in time to rescue her on the brink of death.

In The SEAL’s Temptation, Frank has invited Maggie and her DEA team to his ranch in Texas for some recovery time. He wants the chance to get to know this fascinating woman, even though he’s aware of the personal history between Adam and Maggie.

For Maggie’s part, she’s gun-shy around men after her ordeal and isn’t ready for a relationship with either man. When drug runners try to infiltrate the area, it’s up to the DEA team, with help from Frank, to stop them before the opioids go into distribution.

Here’s a short exclusive excerpt from The SEAL’s Temptation:

Jared flopped into one of the burgundy leather accent chairs, a snifter of whiskey in hand. “I say we quit waiting for trouble to arrive and take matters into our own hands.”

Adam glanced around until his gaze landed on Maggie before turning to Jared. “You know we need proof, buddy, or they’ll walk. We need an ironclad case in order to take the group down and put them behind bars—hopefully, for a long time.”

“What makes you think they’re staying in the region? Is there intel you’re not sharing?” Frank crossed his arms and stared Amanda down.

She cleared her throat and lifted her chin. “I’m not at liberty to discuss the details, Master Chief. You’re not active duty anymore. We will try to keep out of your way and ensure there are no casualties while we are here. My team and I are more than capable of handling this operation, but… thank you. I appreciate your input.”

Jared set down his glass and clapped, the sound discordant in the tense atmosphere that had descended on the room. “Great speech, ma’am, but if I recall rightly, you wouldn’t have gotten very far without the Chief when you went to Mexico to rescue your agent not so long ago.”

Maggie winced at the reminder of how her screwup had endangered so many and almost cost her life.

“That’s enough,” Frank said, his gray eyes soft on Maggie’s face. “Fact of the matter is, if you want to play in my sandbox, I’m going to need you to make room for all of us. No offence, SAC Rhinehold, but my land, my rules.”
________________________________________________________________________________

Now that I’ve caught you up, here’s the blurb and some links if you’re interested in trying The SEAL’s Temptation:

The SEAL’s Temptation: Wounded Hearts- Book 7 
#WoundedHearts #militaryRomance #Suspense #NewReleases

International | Recommend on Bookbub | Add to TBR List

BLURB:

DEA Agent Maggie Holt knows about Hell

After eighteen months undercover in a Mexican cartel, Maggie is broken. The kickass agent she once was, is gone, leaving her riddled with guilt and nightmares. Forced to take paid leave, Maggie accepts the offer of a vacation on the ranch of the man who’d rescued her from an almost certain death.

Frank Stein knows the signs of PTSD, he’s suffered the symptoms himself as Chief Petty Officer of SEAL Team Five. Honorably discharged from duty, Frank has found peace at the family ranch and hopes it will do the same for Magdalena. Ever since he’d first met her when she was interrogating his buddy, Jared, Frank has been fascinated by the raven-haired beauty and wants the chance to see where their relationship could go.

Adam O’Connor is Maggie’s partner. He knows her. He loved her once and could again, if she’d let him in. But he’s also angry she took the chances she did by going undercover against orders. And now, things are different. She’s different.

When a right-wing militia group infiltrates the area, will DEA Agent Maggie Holt, her partner, Adam O’Connor, and ex-SEAL Chief Frank Stein be able to set aside their differences to stop them before someone dies? And who will Maggie choose, the handsome cowboy, or her charismatic DEA partner?

Photo of author, Jacquie Biggar

AUTHOR BIO:

Jacquie Biggar is a USA Today bestselling author of romance who loves to write about tough, alpha males and strong, contemporary women willing to show their men that true power comes from love. She lives on Vancouver Island with her husband and loves to hear from readers all over the world!

In her own words:

“My name is Jacquie Biggar. When I’m not acting like a total klutz, I am a wife, mother of one, grandmother, and a butler to my calico cat.

My guilty pleasures are reality tv shows like Amazing Race and The Voice. I can be found every Monday night in my armchair plastered to the television laughing at Blake and Adam’s shenanigans.

I love to hang at the beach with DH (darling hubby) taking pictures or reading romance novels (what else?).

I have a slight Tim Hortons obsession, enjoy gardening, everything pink, and talking to my friends.”

She has been blessed with a long, happy marriage and enjoys writing romance novels that end with happily-ever-afters.

Connect with Jacquie at:

Amazon | Website | Facebook | Newsletter Twitter | Pinterest | GoodReads | Bookbub
________________________________________________________________________________

Jacquie has a way with characters and words as you can tell from those excerpts. I’ve read several books in her Wounded Hearts series and have enjoyed them all. It sounds like she has another winner on her hands with The Seal’s Temptation. Please help Jacquie celebrate her release by dropping her a comment and using the sharing buttons below to spread the news!

UNIVERSAL PURCHASE LINK

Book Spotlight: Bottom Feeders @_JerryRoth_ @SunburyPress #horror #supernaturalthriller

An open book with rays and orbs of light shooting from the pages

Hi, friends. Welcome to a new feature you’ll likely see on my blog once or twice a month for the foreseeable future. Sunbury Press is a traditional publishing house located not far from where I live in Central Pennsylvania. Their marketing assistant reached out to me to see if I would be interested in sharing occasional releases on my blog. I’ve asked for those books that may appeal to my followers, mostly mystery/suspense or in the supernatural vein.

Today, I’m sharing the first selection they’ve sent, Bottom Feeders by Jerry Roth. This book is tearing up the charts on Amazon. Take a look and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Image of hands gripping jail cell bars, red eyes glowing in background

Book Blurb:

Would you recognize the Devil if you met him?

A decaying prison hides a dark secret. Robert Deville, the youngest prison warden in the history of the state, never expected to feel a supernatural connection in a prison. After discovering a diary, Robert learns a prisoner, rumored to be the Devil, was hidden away under his feet.

Was this prisoner responsible for a fire that killed hundreds of prisoners? Did he play a part in the murder of a local family years earlier? Robert must learn the prisoner’s true identity and unravel why he hasn’t aged in decades.

Surviving a relationship with an abusive ex-husband, Jenny Deville is dealing with the pain of her past. Noticing a sudden change in her son’s behavior, and his horrifying drawings of murders, no child should ever witness, she must discover the cause.

As local children mysteriously disappear, there is little time to prove who the killer really is.

Book Links:
Sunbury Press | Amazon | Independent Book Review

Author, Jerry RothAuthor Bio:
Jerry Roth is a graduate from The Ohio State University where he studied English Literature. He has written for Ohio newspapers and sports articles for the Disc Golf Pro Tour. His fiction career began as a screenwriter. He lives in Moxahala, Ohio with his wife Tricia and his three children Jesse, Lea, and Nick. After reading The Stand by Stephen King, he became passionate about creating his own work of fiction. Bottom Feeders is his debut novel.

Author website

 

Today Only: Myth and Magic by Mae Clair $1.99 #romanticsuspense #mystery

Banner ad for Myth and Magic a romantic suspense/mystery novel by Mae Clair shows a Gothic looking home with varied roof peaks behind a hedge, gloomy setting

Happy Friday! I rarely do promotional posts on my catalog of back titles (note to self: do this more often) but I wanted to give a shout out on my romantic suspense / mystery novel, Myth and Magic. My publisher has placed it on sale today for $1.99, so if you’ve been on the fence about this one, now is the perfect time to snatch it up!

You’ve probably figured out by now that I have a “thing” for spooky old houses. In the case of Myth and Magic, the home in question has been converted to a retreat for corporate employees trying to “unplug” from the world. Naturally, it has a sordid and sinister past. Oh, and did I mention the book is set during October with a lavish Halloween party at the end? A Halloween party where something goes very wrong.

BLURB:
AS CHILDREN THEY PLAYED GAMES OF MYTH AND MAGIC…
 
Veronica Kent fell in love with Caith Breckwood when they were children. As a teenager, she was certain he was the man she was destined to marry. But a traumatic event from Caith’s past led him to fear a future together. He left Veronica, hoping to save her from a terrible fate. Twelve years later, Caith, now a P.I., is hired to investigate bizarre incidents at the secluded retreat Veronica manages. Returning to his hometown, Caith is forced to face his nightmares—and his feelings for the woman he’s always loved.
 
THEN ONE DAY THE MONSTERS BECAME REAL.
 
After the callous way Caith broke her heart, Veronica isn’t thrilled to see him again. But strange occurrences have taken a dangerous toll on business at Stone Willow Lodge. Forced to work together, Veronica discovers it isn’t ghostly apparitions that frighten her, but her passion for a man she has never forgotten. Or forgiven. Can two people with a tarnished past unearth a magical future?

________________________________________________________________________________

A Few Review Snippets:

This book had mystery, suspense, intrigue, revenge, redemption, heartache, hope, self loathing, even some violence and mayhem. But best of all, there was love, romance, and a well deserved HEA. Was it an easy journey? Heck no! That would be boring anyway. I was taken on a roller coaster ride of emotions. Mae has a way of writing a story that makes you feel as if you are a part of it. 

~ Sassy Beta Reading and Reviews

I found this to be a well developed storyline with complicated characters and a great mystery. Once you think you may have figured it out you encounter a twist or a turn that shoots your theory down. The interactions between the characters is snarky, filled with emotion and several are very heavy. If you like books about second chances and facing up to your past this is a great choice. Its easy to read, keeps your attention right up to the end and is sure to become one of your favorite reads.

Cover of Myth and Magic, a romantic suspense novel by Mae Clair, Includes snippets of reviews in a colorful ad

~ Niki Driscoll, Amazon Reviewer

Myth and Magic by Mae Clair is filled with colorful characters, family drama and an engaging mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end. Good character development, plenty of physical action and emotional angst keep you turning the pages to discover what is really taking place at Stone Willow Lodge. Fans of mystery books with second chance romance and psychological twists will definitely want to give this book a try.

~ Maria D., Amazon Reviewer

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This was my first novel to reach bestseller status in the paid store on both Amazon and Barnes and Nobel, so I’m rather fond of it. The novel was also a staff recommendation in the public newsletter published by my local library. I’ve closed comments on this post, but I’d be pleased–okay, giddy–it you decide to pick up Myth and Magic and add it to your TBR. Thanks for your consideration and for giving it a look-see! 🙂

$1.99 TODAY ONLY

UNIVERSAL PURCHASE LINK

Welcome Guest: D.L. Cross with Astral Conspiracy Series #AlienInvasion #AlienEncounters @stacitroilo

red quill pen on a piece of old parchment paper, with an ink well with words Welcome Guest in scriptIt’s my pleasure to host Staci Troilo today. Staci is a Story Empire colleague, one of the best writers I know, and a close friend. Her books never disappoint. Her Astral Conspiracy series (written under the pen name D.L. Cross) is pure gold. These aren’t just science fiction stories, but combine elements of thrillers, suspense, mysteries and fast-paced adventure—with character development that pings in the stratosphere.

And now, here’s Staci to tell you more!


Ciao, Mae. Thanks for having me here today. I’m really glad to visit with you and your readers again. Hi, everyone!

file folder marked top secret with name of agent Halpern, Natasha

I’m here today to talk about my Astral Conspiracy series. It’s technically science fiction, as it’s part of the acclaimed Platt and Truant Invasion Universe, but my saga is as much thriller as it is sci-fi, so I thought I’d have a little fun with my marketing and include pages from the top-secret government files on my main characters. Today, I’m sharing info on Tasha Halpern.

DOSSIER

Name: Natasha (Tasha) Halpern

Occupation: Special Agent for US Government AATIP (Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program)

Of Note: A modern-day Mata Hari, her expertise is in asset recruitment

TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW BETWEEN AUTHOR (Staci Troilo a.k.a. D.L. Cross) AND CHARACTER (Special Agent Natasha Halpern) ON ASTRAL DAY (the day the world is alerted to the approach of alien ships) via video conference. (Video is eyes-only, file #7161998-V, director’s approval required.)

Subject photo available, file #7161998-G

Staci: Tasha. How are you?

Tasha: Well, the cat’s out of the bag now. Should make life easier once things calm down. But who knows when that’ll happen, so we’re in Chicken Little mode.

Staci: Even people in the upper echelon of the government are panicking?

Tasha: Maybe more than the general public. We’re responsible for keeping everyone safe. It’s a big responsibility. (looks around, ducks her head, whispers into the mic) And between you and me, the people at the top never like to think their positions are going to be compromised.

Staci: You’re telling me we’re about to meet aliens for the first time, and our elected officials are more worried about power than protecting us?

Tasha: Who says this is the first time?

Staci: (gasping) They’ve been here before?

Tasha: Before? Or still?

Staci: You’re kidding?

Tasha: You didn’t hear that from me.

Staci: So, can’t you talk to the… visitors… and ask them for help? They could be a mediator, bridging the gap.

Tasha: That’s assuming they aren’t hostile toward us.

Staci: Are they?

Tasha: If our… guests were here as friends, don’t you think we’d have announced their presence years ago?

Staci: Years? How long have they been here?

Tasha: A while. A very, very long while.

Staci: Is that how you met Landon? You never told me the meet-cute story.

Tasha: I’m sure I did.

Staci: No. You didn’t.

Tasha: Well, I can’t tell you now. Beck’s bellowing. Gotta run. Stay safe, Stace.

Staci: You, too. (gives a half-wave to an empty screen)

Tasha makes her debut in the Astral Conspiracy series in book one, The Gate. You can read a brief synopsis of all five books below, and each one has links to its product page and a purchase link.

Book covers of all five novels in Astral Conspiracy series by D.L. Crossa

The Gate: When the hypotheses of disgraced ancient alien theorist Landon Thorne prove to be true, he travels across the globe in search of a way to communicate with—and perhaps stop—the approaching alien armada.
Full Blurb | Purchase Link

The Stones: The invasion couldn’t be prevented, but there is a chance the Astrals can be driven away… if Landon Thorne can reach the Georgia Guidestones, unearth its secrets, and decode the mystery before the aliens stop him.
Full Blurb | Purchase Link

The Nine: Landon Thorne and his team of resistance fighters seek a cipher to decode the message accompanying a cache of alien artifacts they’ve unearthed, but the government, a clandestine cabal, and the Astrals themselves stand in their way and might not only put an end to their plans—they might put an end to their lives.
Full Blurb | Purchase Link

The Twins: When all factions converge for a human-versus-alien showdown, resistance fighter Reverie Sterling gets help from the least likely source. But even then, it may be too late for everyone she loves to make it out alive.
Full Blurb | Purchase Link

The Lab: In the final showdown between Earthlings and Astrals, twins Asha and Vonn insist their long-lost grandfather has a plan to save humanity. It’s a long-shot, but the resistance takes it—and no one is prepared for the consequences.
Full Blurb | Purchase Link

Author, Staci TroiloAbout Staci Troilo/D.L. Cross

D.L. Cross has loved science fiction ever since she was a young girl and fell for Major Don West on television’s Lost in Space. To this day, she still quotes the show, though her favorite lines were spoken by the robot and the antagonist. Parallel universes or alternate realities, aliens or dinosaurs, superpowers or super viruses, time travel or AI… no sci-fi theme is off limits and all of them fascinate her. D.L. Cross also writes other genre fiction under the name Staci Troilo, and you can find more information about all her identities and all her work at her website: https://stacitroilo.com.

Connect online:

Website | Blog | Troilo Amazon |  Cross Amazon | Troilo BookBub | Cross BookBubTroilo Goodreads | Cross Goodreads | Social Media

Thanks again for having me here today, Mae. And thanks to all of your fans for indulging me. This post was as fun to write as the stories were, and I appreciate you taking the time to read it. Grazie!


What a great post! If you’ve been following this blog tour, you know each stop has provided a behind-the-scenes look at key players in the Astral Conspiracy series. I’ve been enjoying the heck out of it, and hope you are too. Please use the sharing buttons below to help spread the word about Astral, then drop Staci a few lines in the comments. I gave each of these phenomenal books 5-Stars and count them among my top reads of 2020!

Pre-order: Interludes 2 by Harmony Kent @harmony_kent

Today, I’m hosting my friend and Story Empire colleague, Harmony Kent, who is here to share her upcoming release, Interludes 2. I know you’ll roll out the red carpet for her! 🙂

Banner ad for Interludes 2 by Harmony Kent shows sexy red shoes on a black background,

Thanks so much for having me over at your place today, Mae.

Hi everyone. It’s great to be visiting with you all.

While I’m here, I’d like to talk about my latest book, Interludes 2. This is a book of short erotic romance fiction. As with the original Interludes (which you can find HERE), the book contains 10 short stories, with the first tale totalling 1,000 words, the second one totalling 2,000, and so on up to 10,000 words in the final story.

For each story, I used prompt cards from a great creative tool called Storymatic.  Here’s what the set gave me to work with:

  1. person with a very poor memory, b) daydreamer … c) person with a tail … conflict = first day of school

A and B relate to the main character. C relates to the secondary character. And the final prompt gives us the conflict.

From the above set of prompts, I came up with Initiation—a contemporary romance in 6000 words.

A pretty daydreamer arrives for her first day at university. A brutal initiation, and a man with an unusual issue, leave her reeling. Strange, the places you find true love.

Interludes 2 by Harmony Kent shows close up of sexy red shoes on a black backgroundExcerpt from Initiation:
Distracted, Willow failed to respond. She’d been idly watching his tight butt, and then a strange bulge had caught her attention. What the hell? Did he need to wear some kind of incontinence pad? Willow stifled a giggle. Probably, he’d made a hash of tucking in his shirt tails. As they walked through the crowded and noisy foyer, she imagined that Anders was an alien in disguise and that the bulge came from him having to fit a tail into his tight jeans. Another giggle bubbled up, and this time it escaped.

Anders stared at her and raised his brows interrogatively.

Willow sought a plausible excuse. ‘Um, sorry. I get nervous in … in a crowd. And this is all … so …’

‘New?’

‘Yeah. That.’

He gave her another stare and then pressed the button to call the lift. The car held a maximum of only four people, and those estimates always seemed on the optimistic side. Hence the two of them and her bulky suitcase made for a cozy fit. Willow tried to look anywhere but at Anders. Her heart rate sped up, and her breaths came in shallow pants. What was up with her? He was just a guy. Granted, a hot one, but still only a regular bloke.


I had so much fun writing this one, and I hope you’ve enjoyed this little teaser. I’d love to hear what you think via the comments at the bottom of the page. Thanks for stopping by.


Author, Harmony KentAuthor Bio
After spending around thirteen years as an ordained Buddhist monk, living in a Zen Buddhist temple, and six years after a life-changing injury following a surgical error, Harmony Kent returned to the world at the tender age of forty.

Now, she is famous for her laughter, and has made quite the name for herself … she’s also, um, a writer … and fairly well known for that too. She’s even won a few awards. Harmony lives in rural Cornwall with her adorable husband, ever-present sense of humour, and quirky neighbours.

Harmony is passionate about supporting her fellow authors.

Connect with Harmony at the following haunts
Website | Story Empire (co-authored) | Amazon Author Page | Twitter | LinkedIn | Goodreads | BookBub


PRE-ORDER INTERLUDES 2

Interludes 2 Blurb

From author, Harmony Kent, another best-selling collection of short erotic fiction that will tickle more than your taste buds and wet [sic] more than your appetite.

With a range of genres and styles, this book has enough steam for everyone.

WIGGING OUT—contemporary romance in 1000 words. Two strangers. A crowded platform. A collision. And a wig on the floor.

STORM CHASER—ménage à trois in 2000 words. A sabotaged tire. A raging storm. Passion mounts.

MOON-STRUCK—shifter romance in 3000 words. Trapped on a ship orbiting the moon, a horny astronaut falls for a hunky author who has a secret.

THE CLUB—contemporary romance in 4000 words. An invitation and a host, who is so much more than he seems, bring excitement, enticement, and a choice to make.

NUDIST CAMP—contemporary romance in 5000 words. An older woman. A younger man. A gossip discovers their secret tryst. What will happen when it all gets laid bare?

INITIATION—contemporary romance in 6000 words. A pretty daydreamer arrives for her first day at university. A brutal initiation, and a man with an unusual issue, leave her reeling. Strange, the places you find true love.

THE INCOMER—contemporary romance in 7000 words. A divorced beekeeper has spent her whole life in or around her local village. Then a city-slicker architect comes to town. When two worlds collide, a big bang is sure to follow. Can you have a frenemy with benefits?

DOWN AND DIRTY—contemporary romance in 8000 words. On the run from a sadistic ex-husband, Ellie flees to a remote mountain town and takes a job in the mines. Wary of men, she resolves to keep herself aloof, but mother nature has a way of having the last word and will, quite literally, make the earth move if she has to.

REUNION—contemporary romance in 9000 words. A school reunion looms. Not wanting to arrive sad and single, Molly talks her long-time friend Adam into going with her. While the music plays, the sparks fly.

SOUL MATES—supernatural romance in 10,000 words. A bereaved woman seeks solace in remote woodland. All too soon, she discovers that she’s not as alone as she’d expected. And her heart isn’t the only one that needs to mend.

READER ADVISORY: This book contains explicit sex scenes and language hot enough to melt your book. For mature readers only.

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Thanks for visiting and checking out Harmony’s upcoming release. I think it’s so intriguing that she used Storymatic for this collection. Don’t forget to share her news with the buttons below!

Writing a Different Type of Story #InSearchofMcDoogal

eReader displaying the book cover for In Search of McDoogal by Mae Clair lays atop keyboard, mouse and glass of water nearby

In Search of McDoogal is a short book—a 90 minute read. As a result, I’ve only done a small blog tour for the story. Today’s stop is the last. I am visiting my SE colleague and friend, Harmony Kent, with a post about writing a different type of story. I’m out of my genre realm with this one, but it was fun to experiment.

Hop over to see what the post is about. And while you’re there, poke around Harmony’s blog. She is a talented author and lover of books, and I know you’ll enjoy following her.

Harmony, McDoogal, and I hope to see you THERE!