Wednesday, March 20, 2019

SLAUGHTERED Review Tour with Giveaway

Slaughtered
by KA Lugo
GENRE:   Thriller

BLURB:
The Texter
Fallen homicide detective, Jack Slaughter, closes the door on the home where his perfect family has been brutally snatched from him. Moving across the city, he works as a private investigator to fund his own investigation into what happened to his family—who killed his little girl, ZoĆ«, and where is his wife, Leah?
Every three month for the last three years, Jack receives a simple text telling him where he can find his missing wife. There’s a body at each location, but none of them are Leah.
Jack hates missing person’s cases, but they’re his bread and butter. He only takes the case to find Carl Boyd's missing wife because the details of her disappearance closely match Leah’s. He hopes by finding Bonnie Boyd, he'll find his own wife.
 
The Butcher
Following the leads in the Bonnie Boyd case, Jack discovers someone has been killing women all over the city for the last three years, a fact Jack’s ex-partner and still best friend, Ray Navarro, has neglected to tell him. The city has a serial killer and officials haven’t been able to find a single lead on the person they’ve dubbed The Butcher.

Could Bonnie Boyd’s disappearance be linked to The Butcher? More important, was Leah one of The Butcher’s victims? Could he have gone so far as to murder a child?

With every clue Jack weaves together, the more his own life unravels.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
EXCERPT:
"You’re still struggling with your guilt, Jack. You know there was nothing you could have done to prevent what happened."

"I should have been there, Nick. I could have been home earlier." Jack’s voice hitched.

From the corner of his eye, he saw Nick calmly gazing at him. Were priests trained to remain composed around people who were on the verge of insanity? He was on that knife blade. Every goddamn day.

"Were you ever home earlier?" For a moment, silence floated between them. "And how much earlier? Five minutes or an hour? Who’s to say this wouldn’t have happened on another night?"

Jack scrubbed a shaking fist across his forehead, trying to stop the building pressure there. "How many times do you think I’ve beat myself up over that?" He shot his gaze back at the priest, unintentional anger in his voice as he spoke. "Had he already tried on other nights? If I had been home earlier that night, would he have tried again on another night? Was he going to keep trying until he could finally get in when I wasn’t there? Or was he really after me, but took his anger out on my family instead?" He stopped short; he was now practically yelling at the priest.

His heart pounded hard in his chest, nearly robbing him of breath. The frustration of being so out of control was almost too much to bear. He gazed deeply into the glass in his hands, as if somehow the whiskey’s amber depths foretold his future. How much more could he take before it became too much?

Not for the first time, he swallowed hard at the thought of eating his gun. He couldn’t—not before he found Leah and administered his own justice on his daughter’s killer.

"Jack." Nick’s too-calm voice seemed to echo in the quiet room. "Don’t let this pull you into the darkness."

Had the priest read his mind? Jack downed the whiskey in one go. "Too late."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
K.A. Lugo is a native Northern Californian who grew up in Carmel-by-the-Sea, part of a larger community founded by artists and writers, including John Steinbeck, George Sterling, and Jack London. Over the years, she's worked with several Carmel notables, but it was in 1997 she left the employ of Clint Eastwood to live in Ireland for six months. It was during this time she met the man she would marry, and relocated to live in Ireland.

While always writing since a very young age, K.A. earned her keep in Ireland as one of the country's foremost travel consultants who also wrote travel articles about Ireland.

Since 2005, K.A. has published fourteen titles in genres including romantic suspense, erotic romance, cozy mystery, and now thrillers.

Slaughtered is the first in the new highly acclaimed Jack Slaughter Thriller series, set in San Francisco, a city close to K.A.'s heart.

K.A. loves hearing from readers and promises to reply to each message. Please visit her socials to stay up-to-date on this exciting new series.  

• • •
Find K.A. Online:
Tirgearr Publishing – http://www.tirpub.com/kalugo

Slaughtered is on sale for 99¢

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GIVEAWAY
KA Lugo will be awarding a signed hard cover copy of Slaughtered (worldwide) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


REVIEW:
SLAUGHTERED by K.A. Lugo kept me turning pages until well into the early hours of the morning. Not till my eyes burned and refused to focus did I pause for a few hours sleep. I found myself sneaking in a chapter (or three) at work in my - dare I say - obsession to finish the end. You don't have to race to enjoy the tortured character of Jack Slaughter as he tries to navigate a serial killer, his personal pathos, and a missing housewife. No, you can probably give this sultry San Francisco suspense a slow read. I probably will on my second run. 

Maybe it was the San Francisco setting, or the private investigator office on the edge of Chinatown, or K.A. Lugo's tense prose, or maybe it was all of it together, that put in the mind of the greats like The Maltese Falcon, Chinatown, Seven, and my personal favorite: The Usual Suspects. But no matter the cause, this one's an EXCELLENT read and I'm looking forward to the next book. 
 

Monday, March 4, 2019

I love BOOK RIOT


An unfortunate truth of publishing is the author's job is not done when they write THE END. There's editing, more editing, finding an agent and/or publisher (and that process can take years), more editing and then, if you’re very talented, and very lucky, you’re published (this process is slightly different for the indie and hybrid authors and in fact, can be much more difficult). But, alas, my friend, the work is not done.

NOW YOU HAVE TO MARKET YOUR BOOK.

And in a lot of ways, market yourself as well. Most authors I have the privilege of knowing are, like myself, introverts, who are happiest with books: the ones they’ve written, the ones they’re writing, the ones they’re thinking about writing, and the ones by other authors they hoard in every available format. And if they’re like me, the very idea of marketing strikes fear deep in the center of their cat video loving, society eschewing souls.

Enterprising persons on the inter-webs (thanks #RichardRawlings) have discovered this phobia and realized a previously untapped income source – socially awkward authors. Like me J I think I’ve probably spent more money marketing my books than I’ve actually made in book sales. Thank the Goddess I do this for the love of the craft and not the Benjamins. But another unfortunate truth, it’s harder to get a second, third, fourth, book published if the first didn’t sell well.

It’s a vicious cycle. Viscous even.

But then sometimes, a book advertising site takes on a life of its own and becomes a phenomenon in its own right. For example: Smart Bitches, Trashy Books; Romance Rehab; Heroes & Heartbreakers; and Book Riot, to name but a few. And they offer real content: articles, interviews, and advice, in addition to reviews, cover reveals and book tours.

And I love the content on Book Riot. Like this one:

Monday, February 25, 2019

CRIMSON FALLS Review Book Tour with Giveaway

Crimson Falls
by DJ Davis and TR Kerby

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE:   Romantic Suspense

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Troyan Pryce had it all—a forensic pathology career, loving family, baby on the way—until a Mob kingpin bought her. Forced to use her special training and exceptional looks to rob men of their millions, she’s given up hope of ever having a life again, let alone finding romance. Until she meets her next mark, Assistant District Attorney Zachariah Taylor.

Detective Grace Griffin dedicated years to breaking a human trafficking ring. When her best friend, Zachariah, falls for a victim and is taken by the Mob, she must risk her life, badge, and heart to rescue him and the woman he loves. Can she save them, or will they all end up dead?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT

The girl huddled on the concrete bench in the corner of the cell, her knees tucked to her chin. She appraised Griff with green eyes, then looked away. Her stretch leggings were a size too small and her top plunged to dangerous levels. Bright red nails and false lashes added finishing touches. The spike heels that completed the ensemble sat outside the cell door.

Griff sat next to her. “I’m Detective Griffin.”She turned her face away and remained silent.

“I want to help you. I know you’re a slave, not a hooker.. This isn’t your life. They took your life from you.”

The girl scooted closer to the wall. “You’re going to get me killed.”

“Give me a name and I can end this.”

“I talk to you, I’m dead.”

“Is it Rosetti? Just blink. Twice for yes, once for no.”

She swallowed and blinked twice.           

Griff opened the girl’s file and read the name. “Carrie. I’m going to help you. Hang in there, okay?”    

Keys rattled in the lock and the door opened. An expensive suit filled the doorway in front of the duty officer. Carrie got to her feet and squeezed out of the cell.
“I hope you weren’t interviewing my client without her attorney present,” the suit said.

Griff stood eye to eye with the lawyer. “Of course not. I check on all the girls to make sure they don’t need medical assistance. She fully exercised her right to remain silent, and seems perfectly healthy.” She snapped the file closed and shouldered past him.

“Well?” Stacey asked when Griff returned to her desk.

“Definitely Rosetti’s. One of his hounds showed up before I got very far.”

“Now what?”

“Get inside Rosetti’s estate.”

“Good lord. If you disappear, where should I look?”

“The river or the morgue.”

“That’s not funny.”

“It wasn’t a joke,” she said on her way out the door. The bruises on Carrie’s neck and arms weren’t from an affectionate boyfriend. She needed help and, apparently, Griff was the only one willing to try.

The traffic blurred as the sun sank into a lava flow of cloud. Streetlights blinked on as she took the long route up the hill. She parked in the shadow of a hedged yard and killed the engine. Through the binoculars, Rosetti’s gate resembled a castle entrance. Fine brickwork and scrolled iron. A guard station squatted on the left side of the cobbled drive. Strategically placed floodlights revealed security pacing the fence. Handguns and batons hung from their belts.

Cracks of golden light seeped through drawn drapes on the massive house. And behind those drapes, a varied collection of human product. Whatever their clients could afford, they could have. Rosetti made sure of it.

Straight up prostitution. Easy peasy. Kids? No problem. If the product gave him trouble, snuff. Have fun with it. Knock yourself out. Pay before play. That money trickled through the filter of a hundred businesses, dripping out squeaky clean at the bottom. His web of connections kept him untouchable.

Griff planned to touch him.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Crimson Falls was coauthored by two cousins.

DJ Davis is a Colorado native with mountains in her DNA. She is obsessed with the forests, lakes, and craggy peaks. The rugged high country and rich history of the state set the scene for her stories and provide drama, suspense, and natural beauty. When she's not writing or photographing the wildlife, she frequently disappears into the wilderness with her husband and dogs.

TR Kerby has led a life of high adventure and travel to exotic places…ok, not so much, but she has worn a lot of hats. She has been a fry cook, a trail guide, a horse trainer, and a veterinary technician as well as less other interesting things. Her weaknesses include chocolate and rescuing lost souls, mostly animals, but some sometimes people. She currently lives in the Rocky Mountains with some of her rescues including her husband, two dogs, and a herd of horses. She brings her varied life experience to the table in her books and short stories.

Crimson Falls on Amazon

Links for DJ Davis
Links for TR Kerby
This book is on sale for $0.99

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY

DJ Davis and TR Kerby will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC - a Rafflecopter giveaway

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REVIEW
 
There were many things I enjoyed about this book. The pacing is excellent: it kept me turning the pages, wanting to know not just what happens next but what happened in the past to these characters. While it wasn’t a who-done-it and there were no surprises or red-herrings or crazy twists (though, based on the tone of the story, I kept waiting for one), it was a suspenseful plot. And I love suspense. I also enjoy a complex and involved story like this one was. I’m not generally a big fan of insta-love and the romance felt a lot like that to me [two casual meetings and one date = a love worth dying for?] but because the romance felt secondary to the overall story I’m not holding it against the book.

I often found myself a little confused as to who was speaking when there were more than two characters conversing. And I found the jumps in point-of-view irritating at times. But none of that was invasive enough to detract from my over-all enjoyment of the story, either.

Despite the adult themes, the violence against women (and children) is never graphically described. Thank GOD because the suggestion itself was horrifying enough. This was so well done it was a day or two before I realized even the romantic love scenes were done “off-screen.” Kudos to both authors for that.

This was an entertaining read – one I’d recommend to others who enjoy suspense.


*This was a review copy provided in PDF format that I then converted to MOBI so I could read it on my Kindle. There were some formatting problems, distracting ones; in fact, it was my greatest complaint. But I do believe it’s likely those formatting issues were due to the conversion I put the book through and hesitate to mention it. However, if, in fact, the retail version contains those formatting errors, I thought I should at least note that here.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Finding the Words


2018 was *not* my year. Between personal, professional and financial difficulties, I struggled in every way. Including with my faith; and with my writing. I hadn’t realized before how deeply connected the two were. Have you read any of my stuff? Yeah, I bet you didn’t see a connect there either. But it seemed the further I felt from God, the harder it was to reach inside and pull out anything creative. It was hard to care about something that felt, for the first time ever, useless.

I’ve had moments, years even, in my life where I was too busy, or too scared, to pursue my dream but I still wrote in those moments. I never walked away from that, I just did it for me. In many ways, to keep myself sane, it often felt. Until this year when I couldn’t string a sentence together and wasn’t bothered by the lack. I could barely generate an interest in reading, my second favorite activity.

As Christmas approached, I began to feel a loss. A yearn for mass, for ritual and rite, for the feeling of peace my faith always afforded. I caught myself humming while doing housework and realized it was one of my favorite hymns. I went to confession at the start of Advent and my priest told me how blessed I was to receive an invitation back to church. I hadn’t thought of it that way.

As the Epiphany approached, coincidentally (ironically?) I experienced an epiphany of my own when the video reel in my imagination flickered back to life. The urge to write is back. I had no idea how much I missed it. 

2018 may have not been my year and I’m not going to declare 2019 a comeback, that would be too akin to jinxing myself, but I am going to take this year as it comes. With humor, patience, and with faith. And we’ll see how it goes.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Halloween Book Blast with Giveaway


WELCOME TO THE HALLOWEEN BOOK BLAST!


Click on any of the below book covers to be taken to the page that has more information on the novel as well as the Buy Links!


Before you leave, don't forget to enter the Giveaway!!!


What scares you? #MFRWHooks

What scares you? I don’t mean clowns or spiders; those are irrational fears that develop over time or due to an inciting event. But as a member of the human race, what truly scares you? Is it dying alone? Or do you fear commitment? What roadblock are you creating to hide from true intimacy?
What mask are you wearing today?

Jayson Donovan and Kylee Parker [A Love Restrained] allow their fears and their masks to stand between them, creating a vulnerability exploited by their enemies. Theirs is more than a story of star-crossed lovers pitted against criminals. It is more than just a second, or third, chance at love. It’s about trust, intimacy, and risking everything for love.


A LOVE RESTRAINED

Philadelphia police officer Kylee Parker is dedicated to protecting and serving. She sees the work in absolutes: right and wrong, black and white, good guys and bad guys. That is, until she chases a drug dealer into a dead-end alley and finds the bad boy she had a painful crush on throughout her teen years has turned into a more dangerous and more attractive man. 

Jayson Donovan knows he doesn’t deserve someone as good as Kylee Parker. As the right hand man to a local drug-pushing mobster, he’s solidly on the wrong side of Kylee’s moral compass. But he can’t help reaching for her time and again when he knows he shouldn’t. 

Even when his secrets threaten them both. 

A Love Restrained is on sale now for every Kindle reader only 99¢ http://geni.us/loverestrained


Enjoy the following excerpt from A Love Restrained: 

“Look at me.”
She couldn’t ever remember him talking to her like that. Even the arguments they had, he’d never used that rough voice with her. Her head snapped up, and her anger flashed out.
“That’s better. You want to hear me say what you already know? You want me to beg? Is that it? Not going to happen. I told you how I felt, told you what I wanted the day I came back.”
She remembered what he said that day: I love you. I’ve always loved you. He wouldn’t beg, but his feelings hadn’t changed. She wished she felt the same. “I can’t give you what you want.”
“Then take what you need.”
She took the two steps necessary to close the gap between them. She placed her palms on his shoulders and leaned close. I’ve got to be out of my mind. She feathered her lips across his and with a sense of homecoming she hadn’t expected she sunk into the caress on a soft moan. He growled and his arms banded around her. He whipped around, bracing her back against the car and plundering her mouth.
She’d asked. He answered.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Run Wild and Wash Your Hands

Some years back, more than a decade of them in fact, I discovered a love for running. But I let it fall away and then I let myself put on a lot of weight. In January I started working out; after I’d lost a few pounds, and built up some stamina, I started running again. And convinced my two girls, Casey (24 years old) and Morgen (14), to do a 5k race with me at the Philadelphia Zoo. And then I set up about training for that race. My only goal?
Cross the finish line before my girls!
Things didn’t exactly go as planned. First of all, for the last weekend in April, it was unseasonably cold. Second, I got caught behind a incapacitated mini-van on the expressway literally within eyesight of the fricking zoo. Third, I had a large cup of coffee. Fourth, I forgot my damn earbuds.
I need music when I run – the sound of my labored breathing is demoralizing and distracting.
We line up, the three of us, shivering, and agree to meet at the finish line. The horn sounds and they dart out in front, taking off like cheeky little bats out of hell. I trudge along alone, missing my music, but certain the turtle will take the hares.
I passed Casey inside the first half mile. But near to a mile in, tragedy struck.
I had to pee!!!!  
Now I know serious runners, Olympic athletes and competitive marathoners for example, simply relieve themselves while running without missing a step. But I’m not hard core enough to piss my pants on a 3.1 mile run around the zoo and there was no way my bladder would wait for me to cross the finish line.
I ran off the course and into a restroom that, praise Jesus, wasn’t locked. And because it was cold struggled to get through the several layers of clothes I’d outfitted myself in. After I readjusted my clothing, washed my hands (hygiene is important, damn it) and rejoined the race assuming my children had passed me while I struggled with the lock on the stall door.
Just passed the 1.5 mile mark a woman fell in front of me. A woman that wouldn’t have been in front of me if I hadn’t had to pee when I did but I digress. A woman fell in front of me and she fell HARD. My options were 1) hurdle over her; 2) run around her; or 3) stop to help her. My mam raised me right and I stopped to help her up. Astonishingly, I was the only person who did though one guy did yell “You okay?” as he ran by. At this point, I figure I have no chance of catching up to my children and I’m just going to take the finish with grace and a sense of accomplishment for having finished at all. 
With only a ¼ mile to go (volunteers were set up at intervals shouting how far you had to go and offering encouragement), I see, at the top of a vicious hill by the cougar enclosure, CASEY. And she’s walking. Actually, she’s dicking with her phone possibly taking a picture of the big cats. And I think I’ve got a chance. I’m working hard to get up that hill and close the distance. But shit that was a hard hill to climb.
She glances back over her shoulder when I’m within a few yards of her. Shoots me a cocky grin and bolts. I crossed the finish 37 seconds behind her.
37 funky seconds. Damn my bladder.
She hugged me and laughed and told me I was a good person for stopping to help a stranger and how proud I should be of myself for what I accomplished. Then asked if I saw Morgen on the route. I hadn’t.
We waited, as agreed, at the finish. Thirteen minutes later, Morgen strolls over the finish line, happily chatting with an older woman. She saw me pass her only a quarter mile in and decided, since she knew she wouldn’t win, to just enjoy a nice walk through the zoo. We’re a family of fairly competitive people – Morgen’s lackadaisical view tends to baffle her sister and me.
The morning did not go as planned but we had a great time. We got brunch at a diner, went for much deserved mani-pedis, and were home before one.
Where I promptly took a nap.
My girls and I outside the finish line!