bestseller

New release by Susanne Matthews: Murder and Mistletoe

Happy Friday everyone! Not only are we happy because we can practically smell the weekend, but I have a great new release to announce from one of my favorite authors, Susanne Matthews. Murder and Mistletoe is a book I’ve been anxiously awaiting, and I had the privilege of creating this beautiful cover for it (when the book is inspiring, an artist can’t go wrong). Check out the blurb!

Murder&Mistletoe

Going home for Christmas can be deadly.
Candy Kayne agrees to go to Black Oaks, the Georgia plantation her ancestor reluctantly left after the Civil War, to meet the family she’s never known and help Steve set a trap for his wife’s killer. Even the wildest tales have a kernel of truth in them and as she learns more about the family’s history, she realizes that coming here may have been the biggest mistake of her life.
Losing Amy almost destroyed Steve Anderson, but when Candy steps into his life, her sweetness chases the dark gloom away. But when he realizes the man who murdered his wife may have set his sights on Candy, he’ll do whatever he has to in order to keep her safe.

Murder and Mistletoe is available for preorder on Amazon and it will be released on November 21st. Until then, here’s an excerpt the author has generously agreed to share with us.

EXCERPT

The oak floor creaked and Luke raised his head once more, sorrow etched on his face. “I’m sorry. At moments like this, I question the wisdom of the Almighty, but I have to believe there’s a purpose to everything He does. That may be cold comfort right now, but in time … You buried your wife this morning. You can’t crawl into that grave with her ashes. You have to live, not just survive as I did. Lord knows it won’t be easy, but you have to start this very minute.”

If only he didn’t feel so lost and empty. Steve huffed out a breath. “Scotty needs me. I know that, but there’s his huge hole inside of me, and my life is bleeding out through it. I don’t have the will to go on without her even though I know I need to.”

Luke reached for the glass of water on the side table and sipped. “You need a new purpose, something that will give you a reason to carry on and be the man and father you need to be for your son. I may have one for you, but this must stay between us and Richard for now.” He set down the glass, his face grim. “The main reason I wanted to restore Black Oaks was to see if I could uncover its secrets.”

Steve frowned. He’d always suspected the decision concerning the mansion was more complex than Uncle Luke had let on. What mysteries had he expected to solve? Other than the tragic accident thirty years ago, no one had paid much attention to the place for almost a century. If anything, he’d expected to be asked to demolish it.

Over the years, the symbols of slavery on the plantation had been eradicated. The remains of the slave pens had long since been taken down and the land repurposed, the slave graveyard fenced off as a historical site, the graves marked where they could be, and the cotton and sugar mills replaced with modern facilities. But the house itself, its basement sealed, stood sentinel-like at the end of its shadowed drive, watching and waiting, a living monument to the atrocities committed there.

“What secrets do you mean? Your parents were the ones who abandoned the house in the first place because they claimed it was haunted. If you were expecting us to find proof of your ghosts, we didn’t. The main structure was in better shape than the additions, but all we found was mold and dry rot, not a bone or chain to rattle anywhere. What had you expected us to find?”

“What’s in this box for one thing,” Luke admitted, holding it up.

Steve moved closer to the wheelchair, his gaze fixed on the blackened chest. “Where did you get that? We removed all the things we could find from the shelves and cupboards.” His brow furrowed deeper, the twinges of a headache dancing in his temples. “Was it yours? Did you leave it there as a kid?”

“No.” Luke cradled the box. “Had I known it was there, I would’ve retrieved it years ago, and if I had … The firemen found it a few days after the fire when they were checking for structural integrity. It was between the floor boards in the bedroom above the library next to the vent they’d cut for the fire. They turned it over to the investigators. Special Agent Winston brought it over to me thinking it had nothing to do with the arson. He couldn’t be more wrong. That house still harbors secrets.” He looked up, his gaze freezing Steve in place. “And I’m not the only one who knows it. Someone murdered Amy because of it.”

Steve’s blood pooled in his feet, leaving him cold. He hadn’t told anyone about what Harvey had said, and he doubted the agent would’ve offered that information to his uncle. How did he know she’d been murdered?

Moving over to the bar, he splashed scotch into a glass, drained it, letting its heat burn away the ice surrounding his heart. He poured an inch of the amber liquor into the crystal tumbler and carried it to the chair next to the old man, dropping into it when his legs wouldn’t hold him up any longer.

“Go on,” he growled, fighting to keep his pain and anger hidden. “I don’t know how you know my wife was murdered, but if you know who killed her, why haven’t you told Winston?” If he held the glass any tighter, it would shatter.

“It’s not that simple,” the old man admitted, his eyes downcast. “I don’t know exactly who killed her, but I know why she was killed. The person who did it was looking for this among other things.” Luke rubbed his hand along the top of the box, residual soot staining his fingers. “I’ve learned over the years that even the most farfetched stories have a kernel of truth in them.” He raised his head and held the box out to him. “Leon had to break the lock. Have a look inside.”

Curious, Steve placed his glass on the table and opened the chest, revealing not the shiny rocks and antique toys he’d expected but a black velvet bag and two small books. From the size of them, they were diaries. He opened the bag first. Inside was a double strand of diamonds separated by a row of pearls with a tear-shaped emerald at the clasp. He gasped.

“Where do these come from? They can’t be real.”

Preoder from Amazon!

ABOUT THE AUTHORsue

Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada, where she lives with her husband. As a retired educator, she took her love for reading and parried it into a productive writing career with more than twenty novels available, all of which have a happily ever after, no matter what agony her characters endure. Susanne’s novels include contemporary romance, holiday romance, historical romance, mild paranormal romances, and of course, romantic thrillers. She loves following her characters through their sometimes perilous journeys until they reach the satisfying endings they crave.

When she isn’t writing, Susanne reads and loves to travel, and enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren. She’s a fan of cruising.

If you would like to contact Susanne , you can through her  Website    Blog    Facebook page    Twitter @jandsmatt  Amazon author page and Goodreads author page.

Happy reading! ❤

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10/25/2018 – A small step for humanity, a huge milestone for me 🏆

A little over a year ago, the seed of what seemed like a crazy dream took root in my mind and heart: to become a USA Today bestselling author. Not only that, but I realized that if I made it, I would be the first Romanian in history to achieve this prestigious title. Since that moment, I worked relentlessly toward this goal, and I’m still amazed by how many incredible people I met on the way, people who joined me in my journey and fought hard to help me achieve my dream.

Together, we did it. I am a USA Today bestselling author!

https://www.usatoday.com/life/books/best-selling/week/2018/43/page/12/

USA Today

There are so many people I owe this accomplishment to, and if I miss anyone I apologize, but my hands are still shaking with excitement. Thank you Carmen, Mimi, Sue, Jackie, all my wonderful co-authors of Love, Christmas 2 and to all of you, my dear readers and friends, who bought this box set.

The hardest part was the torture of waiting and not being able to access the USA Today website – either because of GDPR or our famous hackers – but my dear friends kept me posted and sent me screen shots of our success, while I was stalking their posts and messages like a headless chicken. All in all, it was an experience I will never forget!

The most special THANK YOU goes to my husband, for being here for me, for believing in me, for offering moral and financial support, emergency hugs, pep talks, for playing housekeeper, tear-wiper, even chef when I was too exhausted, and never complaining when I worked twelve hours a day until 2 or 3 am, for keeping my spirits up with his endless supply of optimism, and for putting up with me – which is no easy job.

My soul mate, this victory is yours, as much – or even more – than it’s mine.     

we are the champions

Review of Special Agent Charli by Mimi Barbour

After a mad yet exciting race to finish my novella for the Love, Christmas 2 box set where I’m teaming up with 25 awesome bestselling authors, this was the first almost-free weekend I’ve had in a couple of months. What better way to spend it than reading a great book? My TBR pile is – well – piling up, but I’ve been sitting on this book for a while and craving the time to read it. I’m talking about Special Agent Charli, book #6 in the Undercover FBI series by Mimi Barbour.51tIADJ9SLL

This was the first book I’ve read from this author, and I confess I am hooked. I was reluctant to start a book in a series I knew nothing about, but I discovered the stories can be read and enjoyed as stand-alones, and one does not have to read other books in the series unless they want to – trust me, you will! Why? Find out from the 5* review I gave to this novel:

Burned out and craving a wonderful vacation with her beloved Gramps, special FBI agent Carolina “Charli” Madison is not too pleased when forced to change her plans, in order to protect Alicia, a troubled teenage girl who witnessed a murder. Since the killer is a notorious slippery gun for hire the bureau had their sights on for years, she accepts to protect the girl by pretending to be her step sister. Assigned to asist her is Major Blake Sebastian, who’s supposed to play the role of her ex-fiance. Her sexy fellow cop likes women a lot, but in his mid thirties he doesn’t enjoy his wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am lifestyle as much as he used to. While stuck under the same roof with Charli and Alicia, he begins to appreciate the rewards of settling down. And as the thriller/crime side of the story unfolds, Charli and Blake make a great team against a worthy adversary. All in all, a great read that has a bit of everything, and made me wistfully wish I had a Poppa John in my life, with all his kindness, quirkiness and ageless, non-judgmental humor. It was my first book by, Mimi Barbour, and I have discovered a new favorite author!

The Undercover FBI Series Books:

Special Agent Francesca – Undercover FBI Series Book #1
Special Agent Finnegan – Undercover FBI Series Book #2
Special Agent Maximilian – Undercover FBI Book #3
Special Agent Kandice – Undercover FBI Book 4
Special Agent Booker – Undercover FBI Book #5

BUY IT TODAY FROM Amazon !

Guest post: KD Bloodworth talks about thrillers and chilling suspense

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I hope the week is treating you well so far, and I’d like to introduce a very special guest for today’s post. Or better yet, I will let this great suspense author introduce herself…KD

Who is K.D. Bloodworth?

First of all, thank you for having me here today. Who is K. D.? That could be a very long and complicated answer. I’m a retired Baby Boomer, child of the Sixties, mother, wife, dog mom, birdwatcher, and storyteller. I have lived in ten or eleven different States in my lifetime. Hopefully, in my retirement the Great Smokey Mountains of North Georgia, USA is my final home.

What is your favorite genre to read and write, and why?

My favorite genre is suspense/thrillers. Stories that make me want to check and see if all my doors and windows are locked. I have no earthly idea why I enjoy them so much because in my real life I hate those feelings. I’m not sure what my favorite genre to write is, as I feel I have just begun writing. I did want my readers to feel the fear my character was going through in MrPerfect.com and the soon-to-be-released sequel Deadly Friend.

KD books

Have you always wanted to write?

I think the answer would be no. I did enjoy a journalism class many years ago but never gave thought to writing. My mother always said I should write a book about all my worldly adventures. In fact, I never cared for reading until I was in my late twenties. I read a few bestsellers from time to time, but I was having too much fun in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s to take time out for reading.

 How did you come up with the idea for your first thriller, MrPerfect.com? Is there a back story behind it?

All my books so far have come from actual events that happened in my life, in which I thought, what if this had happened instead? My imagination took over, and MrPerfect came to life. I cannot reveal what in MrPerfect was actually something that happened to me. I will say Sun Canyon is a real place where I have spent many happy afternoons.  It seemed as if in all the books I was reading all the characters were young, in their twenties and thirties. Once in a while, ya get an old forty-year-old in a book. I wanted to write about an older woman. Things to happen to people after forty or fifty that it seems the world forgets about. OMG, fifty-year-olds even have sex! (insert laughing)

Was MrPerfect.com always meant to be a series?

No. It was my readers that asked for more. One day the idea of Deadly Friend came to me. As with most of my concepts, they come to me in the early mornings, that time just before daylight, when I’m half asleep, or maybe half dreaming. I’m not sure. I also do my best writing in the early mornings.

Should we expect more from the MrPerfect.com series?

At this point, I think not. I think Dawn needs some rest and to have some good down time with her husband and dog. But you never know what the future may bring.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

Not much actually. I lived in that area, I was once a very active outdoors person, hunting, camping, fishing, shooting, and such. I did require some information on firearms about sniping. It helps to have a sharp-shooter husband.

The sequel to MrPerfect.com, Deadly Friend, is being released on 09/10/2018. Can you tell us a little bit about this friend?

I’ll just say Dawn and John believe they have put the past behind them, and their decision to start over in a new place with new jobs and new friends were the best things for them, now and for their future. Should I say, ‘best plans laid?’

What are you working on now?

My WIP (work in progress) is a book loosely based on stories my mother told me over the years about her family, growing up during the depression in coal mining towns in Oklahoma and Arkansas. My older cousins are also sharing stories that their mother—my aunt—told them about the same times. Again, I’m taking real-life experiences and allowing my imagination to run with them.  I thought I was going to write another thriller but this idea came to me, again one early morning, and I ran with it.

Can you give us a little morsel of your work-in-progress?

Fourth of July, 1926 arrived hotter than a firecracker. May and I would slip away every chance we got to go cool off in the swimming hole. A carnival came to town, but we hadn’t a dime between us to go. The big Flying Carousel sat at the edge of the grounds. May and I watched from a distance as people flew through the air, laughing and letting go with screams of delight. I wanted to feel that same joy. Knowing we would not experience their happiness of flying through the air, May and I retreated back to our porch.

Returning home, we found Blanch reading on the front porch, fanning herself in an attempt to cool off a bit. Mother had taken John down to the neighbors for some reason.

 “Blanch, everyone is at the carnival. We could go down to the swimming hole and take a dip. No one would know!” May seemed to be daring Blanch.

Blanch pursed her lips in thought, closed her book, and raised her eyebrows, “A cool dip would be delightful.” A flush crept across her cheeks at just the thought of such a brazen act. “I just couldn’t.”

May and I jumped to our feet, “Yes you can, Sister! We would never tell anyone! Especially Mother!”

Blanch’s eyes widened, a small smile appeared, as she rubbed the back of her sweaty neck. “I supposed you wouldn’t tell anyone, in fear you would get whipped too.”

To our surprise, Blanch closed her book, laid it on the table and stood. At first, we thought she was just playing with us, but she then began her descent on the steps. I think all three of us were in shock, but before she could change her mind, May and I, one on each side of our big sister, started leading the way.

Even Blanch was giggling like a young school girl by the time we reached the swimming hole. Luck be with us, there was no one around allowing Blanch to chicken out. Shucking our shoes and socks, then our dresses, the three of us were in the sweat, cool water in no time. May and I swam around while Blanch sat on a rock, up to her neck in the water. I wasn’t sure if our big sister even knew how to swim. All of a sudden she stood, and jumped into the middle, in the deepest part. May and I couldn’t believe our eyes. Blanch didn’t bob up right away which concerned us. Just about the time, we thought we should dive in to look for her, she sprung out of the water as if she had been shot out of a cannon.  She was laughing through pure pleasure.

What is your ideal type of reader, and what is your message for all the people who read your books?

I’m not sure if I have an ideal type of reader. I would like to think my stories strike a note of reality with readers. Like me, thinking this could really happen. Isn’t that where great fiction is supposed to take the reader? To possible reality?

I’d like to tell my readers that, although my books are fiction, they are all based on facts. Based on events that happened to my friends, my family, or myself. I’ll leave it for you to decide.

Thank you again for having me. There are several places people can find me, follow me, or get to know me better. I always say, viewer discretion advised, as I’m not PC, I say please and thank you like a well-mannered child but curses like a drunken sailor (at times). I have a weird, some say sick, sense of humor, too. But I’m honest, kind, and loving. It’s complicated!

Where to find K.D. Bloodworth and her books:

www.kdbloodworth.com

https://www.facebook.com/K.D.Bloodworth/

K D Bloodworth (@kdbloodworth) | Twitter

https://junction-publishing.com/authors/k-d-bloodworth/

Review: Some Lucky Woman by Carmen DeSousa

Morning, peeps! I don’t know about you, but spring — when it’s finally sunny and warm as it should be! — always puts me in the mood for reading some chicklit. So a couple of days ago I picked up Some Lucky Woman by Carmen DeSousa — I went for the audio version, because this is my favorite format. The only thing I can’t do while listening to a book is vacuum, but one of these days I plan to buy myself one of those new silent vacuums.2307321_orig

Anyway, this is my second book by Carmen DeSousa, after Love Like Crazy, and I’m not just hooked, but amazed of how versatile this author can be. She tackles the chicklit genre just as well as she does young adult, suspense, and paranormal romance. With this audio book, she literally had me laughing out loud from the first paragraphs, in such a well written scene that is enhanced by a great narrator, whose interpretation is suitably quirky. Jana is your average woman with high intelligence and bad luck in love. Add a cheating ex-husband named Dick in the picture… Go figure! After she divorces him, her professional life becomes her focus, and soon she becomes a successful writer — that’s what I call living the dream! Her love life on the other hand is inexistent. That is, until she meets the handsome Adrian…
Overall, I thought this was a lovely, light-hearted journey that kept me smiling and wishing I were Jana, even in the trickiest of situations, which she treats with the best weapon she has : humor and sarcasm. Not to mention I was thrilled to see there’s a second book in the series: Down on Her Luck. Can you guess what I’m doing today? 😀

If this book appeals to you, I’ve also put together a selection of similar books you might like. I’ve read and LOVE all of them — reviews to come! ❤

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