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Susanna Calkins is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

The Masque of a Murderer

“The Masque of a Murderer” (A Lucy Campion Mystery, #3) by Susanna Calkins

Published as… Historical Mystery

A Chat with…Lucy Campion

Bella: What is the name of the book where we’ll find you? Can you tell us a little about it?
Lucy Campion: I have appeared in three books so far— all a rather odd chronicling of my life in 1660s London. The titles come from tracts I wrote, describing some strange events that have transpired around me: A MURDER AT ROSAMUND’S GATE, FROM THE CHARRED REMAINS, and THE MASQUE OF A MURDERER.

Bella: Tell us a little about yourself. Where do you fit into the story? What should we know about you?
Lucy Campion: Several years ago, when I was sixteen I joined Master Hargrave’s household as a chambermaid. He’s a magistrate, and never beat me like most masters will do. For a long time, my life was just an endless repetition of emptying pots, stoking fires, and laundering clothes. I did learn to read though, listening to the tutors brought to teach Master Hargrave’s daughter from behind a curtain. Everything changed when my best friend—another servant—was killed and my brother Will was accused of her murder. That was bad enough. But the world completely overturned when the plague struck, and then a Great Fire ravaged London. After that I had to do something different with my life, and somehow I finagled an apprenticeship with a master printer. Now, I spend my days setting type, running presses and selling books on street corners. I also am being wooed by two men, Adam Hargrave the magistrate’s son, and Jeb Duncan, a constable. I thought I was in love with Adam, but I wonder now whether I could ever fit into his social circle. Sometimes I am not even sure if I want to marry, since I rather like making books and selling them, and could not well do that with young ones hanging onto my skirts.

Bella: What do you think of the author? Be honest. We won’t tell.
Lucy Campion: There is a madness to your question. I know that someone else, Susanna Calkins, claims to have written these stories, but I can assure you that I am the author. I know that women are not supposed to write books, especially about such indelicate topics as murder. Which is why I write my tracts as Anonymous, or with my initials, L.C. Master Aubrey, my master, has several of my works good enough to print. I have written several tracts now, but the ones about murder sell the best. I can always get a good crowd. But sometimes that’s a problem. When I first started to sell FROM THE CHARRED REMAINS, in which I wrote about a body that had been found murdered after the Great Fire, the murderer heard my story and came after me. It was quite terrifying, I can assure you. Maybe I should let people think Susanna is truly the author; madmen and lunatics might stop pursuing me.

Bella: How do you feel about the story you’re in?
Lucy Campion: Even though my life is hard, I truly enjoy being a printer’s apprentice and a bookseller. Somehow I always seem to stumble across puzzles and secrets too, which makes life interesting. But it is never easy to see someone die, and death is ever present in my world. As I explain in THE MASQUE OF A MURDERER, I was even brought to record the last dying words of a man run over by a cart and horse. Before he died, he told me he had been pushed, and that his murderer was someone he knew. I have seen several murderers brought to justice though, and that is a reward that I will treasure.

Bella: How do you see your future? Without giving anything away about the story, naturally.
Lucy Campion: I do not know what divine providence has in store for me, but if I had my druthers, I would set up my own printing press, and be the master of my own trade. Somehow I think though, that even if that wondrous thing should come to occur, that murders and secrets will still find me…

Bella: What do you know about your author’s plans? Can we expect to see you in any future stories?
Lucy Campion: I am currently writing another of my stories, based on a true but strange tale that I recently experienced. Early one morning, as I was walking near Holborn Bridge, I discovered a young woman, distraught and clad only in her nightdress, which was covered in blood. She knew not her name, but I realized very early on that she was a noblewoman and needed to be tended to. I have called this story, A DEATH ALONG THE RIVER FLEET, which Master Aubrey will print and I will hawk next April (the year of our Lord, 2016).

Bella: Let’s say they make a movie about this book. Who do you want to play you, and why?
Lucy Campion: I have heard tell of this devilish thing—“the movie—which seems to be strange and wonderful. I do not wish to point to a player with my likeness, however, for fear that she would be strung up as a witch for cavorting about in such an unnatural way. So I shall keep such speculation to myself. I wish you a very good day and farewell.

About the Book

In Susanna Calkins’ next richly drawn mystery set in 17th century England, Lucy Campion, formerly a ladies’ maid in the local magistrate’s household, has now found gainful employment as a printer’s apprentice. On a freezing winter afternoon in 1667, she accompanies the magistrate’s daughter, Sarah, to the home of a severely injured Quaker man to record his dying words, a common practice of the time. The man, having been trampled by a horse and cart the night before, only has a few hours left to live. Lucy scribbles down the Quaker man’s last utterances, but she’s unprepared for what he reveals to her—that someone deliberately pushed him into the path of the horse, because of a secret he had recently uncovered.

Fearful that Sarah might be traveling in the company of a murderer, Lucy feels compelled to seek the truth, with the help of the magistrate’s son, Adam, and the local constable. But delving into the dead man’s background might prove more dangerous than any of them had imagined.

In The Masque of a Murderer, Susanna Calkins has once again combined finely wrought characters, a richly detailed historical atmosphere, and a tightly-plotted mystery into a compelling read.

Buy the Book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository or iTunes

About the Author

Susanna Calkins Author Photo
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Susanna Calkins lives in Highland Park, Illinois with her husband and two sons, where she is an educator at Northwestern University. With a PhD in history, her historical mysteries feature Lucy Campion, a 17th century chambermaid-turned-printer’s apprentice. Her first novel, A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate, was a finalist for the Sue Feder Historical Mystery Award (Macavity). The second in this series, From the Charred Remains, is currently a finalist for the Bruce Alexander Historical Mystery Award. Her third, The Masque of a Murderer, will be released in April 2015.

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M. J. Rose is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

The With of Painted Sorrows

“The Witch of Painted Sorrows” by M. J. Rose

Published as… Historical Mystery

About the Book

Possession. Power. Passion. International bestselling novelist M.J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this erotic, gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris.

Sandrine Salome runs away to her grandmother’s Parisian mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insits it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.

Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten – her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.

This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul,” her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love and witchery.

Buy the Book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks or IndieBound

About the Author

M. J. Rose Author Photo
M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed.

She is the author of more than a dozen novels, the co-president and founding board member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz.com. She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut.

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Scott Pinsker is Visiting!

The Second Coming: A Love Story

“The Second Coming: A Love Story” by Scott Pinsker

Published as… Theological Thriller; Mystery; Contemporary Fiction
Published on… 6 June 2014

Scott Pinsker’s Boom Baby Blast

1. One Random Fact: During the pro poker boom in the early 2000s – back when poker was on TV all the time – I represented Phil Gordon, who was the co-host of Celebrity Poker Showdown on the Bravo Network. Following a celebrity poker tournament that Phil emceed at the Super Bowl (Eddie George beat Jerome Bettis at the final table) I noticed that our media event generated more publicity than any other party during Super Bowl week, sans one: The Playboy Party. That gave me an idea… and as fate would have it, one of the celebrity poker players in our tournament, Kato Kaelin, was working for National Lampoon at the time…

Long story short: I became the creator and executive producer of National Lampoon’s Strip Poker, which was filmed at the notorious Hedonism II nudist resort in Negril Jamaica. The film aired on DirecTV and InDemand PPV… and was absolutely, completely horrible. AWFUL! An utter abomination. (Spending 12 days at Hedonism II for the filming wasn’t so terrible, though.)

2. Fictional Character You’d Really Like to Be: E.T. ‘cause then I could TOTALLY score some free Reese’s Pieces.

3. Your Authorial Theme Song: Well, my two favorite groups / artists are Tori Amos and Iron Maiden. (I keep waiting for ‘em to go on tour together, but they never do.) But given the topics addressed in The Second Coming: A Love Story, I suppose my authorial theme song should be Charlie Daniels’ “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” Great tune! (It’s interesting: The Prince of Darkness can steal souls, command Demons and battle God… but for whatever reason, he’s apparently not a very good fiddle player. With all the “evil” rock stars burning in Hell, you’d think someone could’ve given him fiddle lessons…)

4. Favorite Part of Being a Writer: The ability to create worlds, people and brand-new realities. It’s almost godlike! Sometimes you even start to feel detached from the “real world” because the false-realities you create with a pen are preferable. I can’t speak for all writers, but when I’m deeply, fully engaged in my craft, the separation between fiction and non-fiction becomes almost nonexistent.

And that’s when the madness begins…

5. Name of Your First Pet (Can include family or significant others…): My first pet was a German shepherd named Kevin, back when I was very young. I think I also had a cat named Kevin. Maybe even more than one cat named Kevin. (Why the name Kevin? No idea.)

Currently, I have two rescue cats: A psychotic black cat named Jinx, a chubby white-and-gray cat named Leeloo (in honor of Milla Jovovich’s character in The Fifth Element), and a 10-year-old, 220-pound American Mastiff named Leon.

(I also have two kids… who consider me THEIR pet. Woof!)

6. Music, Television or Silence While Writing: No television. Never ever. Too distracting. I mostly write in complete silence (although the Demons in my head occasionally break-out in Gregorian chants).

Sometimes I like to listen to music. To me, music is an emotional bookmark: Just one song or note can instantly transport you to a different time and place. It’s uncanny: If you’re trying to wrap your head around a certain emotion, music is – in the language of gamers – a “cheat code.”

So is alcohol: Music and alcohol both have the power to heighten emotions and lessen inhibitions. Sometimes that’s helpful.

Sometimes it’s not.

7. Early Riser or Night Owl: Let me put it this way: They say “the early bird gets the worm” but y’know who gets the worm even before the early bird? The night owl.

And besides, even though the early worm MIGHT get the worm, it’s worth noting that the late-rising mouse gets the cheese – and the early mouse gets its neck snapped in a mousetrap.

8. Favorite Season: I live in Florida, so I’m obviously a sun-lover. Here in Florida, seasons don’t really mean much; it’s always nice and warm. But calendar-wise, I enjoy winter the most: Football season is underway, my birthday is around the corner (I was born on January 10, which is probably why I’m such a big football fan: I was literally born of first and 10!), and there’s a bunch of great holidays, like Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa (although I NEVER seem to get any good gifts on Kwanzaa).

9. Did You Always Want to be a Writer: Hmm… Is a writer who you are? Or is it what you do? (That’s actually a rather profound question, when you stop and think about it.)

If it’s who you are, then I guess I’ve always been a writer. Even when I wasn’t writing, I was still a writer – hijacking my skill-set for other endeavors. Being a storyteller is a transferrable talent: From high school run-ins with angry teachers to pick-up bars with gullible coeds to PR clients in dire need of crisis communications, there’s a great deal of versatility to storytelling…

For decades, I did my best to avoid being an author of books, however. Lord how I tried! Writing books – at least for me – is an arduous, painful, dreadfully unpleasant task. Speechwriting for others is easy: It’s their life, their story, and I’m happily shielded from the consequences. But writing a book? Telling a story that’s truly a piece of me – and letting total strangers poke around, meet my alter-egos and dissect my inner-most thoughts? Aaahh!! It’s like standing naked on a street corner during rush hour! Writing is a form of exhibitionism… and I guess I’m naturally shy.

I HATE being exposed like this… but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t shake this God-awful compulsion to share these stories…

So more than anything else, I guess I became an author because I had exhausted all other options.

About the Book

A nationally-recognized marketing expert, Scott Pinsker has worked with a vast array of sports stars, business leaders, and Grammy-, Emmy- and Golden Globe-winners, managing everything from crisis communications to PR campaigns. His analysis of publicity trends has been showcased multiple times on FOXNews.com, where he occasionally contributes as a marketing expert. He has also written for the Washington Times, Breitbart and Bulldog Reporter.

Pinsker developed the concept for The Second Coming: A Love Story almost 15 years ago, while attending law school in Washington, DC. As the author tells it:

According to Christian theology, the Devil is thousands of years old and deviously brilliant. I remember wondering one night, if such a creature didn’t want you to know who he was… then how would you know? How could you out-think a creature that’s not only smarter than you, but also thousands of years more experienced and capable of supernatural powers? We get fooled by ordinary people every day – and most of the time, they’re not particularly clever! So what ‘prayer’ would we realistically have to outwit the Prince of Darkness?

Then I had a further thought: If the Devil really wanted to con mankind, he wouldn’t appear with a pitchfork and horns. All those horror movies have it wrong; that’s too obvious. Instead, his best tactical option would be to appear as a holy man – and to attach himself to the faith of his target audience. Because if I were Satan’s publicist, that’s what I’d recommend.

But what if we raised the stakes even further, and now there were TWO self-declared saviors – one who preached to Red America, the other to Blue America? And what if the key characters in the story were all modern day updates of the major characters from the Bible? What would happen then?

Well, you’re about to find out!

For the last 15 years, I’ve been meticulously researching the subject matter, studying ancient texts and combing through the delicate intricacies of Christian eschatology. The end-result is The Second Coming: A Love Story. You needn’t be a theologist to fall in love with this story, although it certainly won’t hurt: I’ve woven-in countless clues and subtle references to the identity of the true Second Coming – and to the identity of Satan – throughout.

No matter your faith, no matter your background, this book will challenge you to reconsider the very nature of existence. And that’s the God-honest truth.”

Buy the Book at Amazon

About the Author

Scott Pinsker Author Photo
Scott Pinsker lives in Tampa Bay, Florida, with his wife, two young boys, two rescue cats and his 220-pound mastiff. This is his debut novel, and it’s the first in a trilogy. The follow-up, Three Days Later: A Revenge Story, will be released in 2015.

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David Morrell is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

Inspector of the Dead

“Inspector of the Dead” by David Morrell

Published as… Historical Mystery

David Morrell’s Excerpt

As the gentleman continued up Constitution Hill, his watch now showed eight minutes past five. The watches of his associates—also synchronized with the Greenwich Royal Observatory—would display the same time. Everything remained on schedule.

At Piccadilly, he turned right toward one of London’s most respectable districts: Mayfair. He had waited what seemed an eternity for what he was about to enjoy. He had suffered unimaginably to prepare for it. Despite his fierce emotions, he kept a measured pace, determined not to blunt his satisfaction by hurrying.

Even in the fog, he had no trouble finding his way. This was a route that he had followed many times in his memory. It was the same route that he had taken fifteen years earlier when, as a desperate boy, he had raced to the right along Piccadilly, then to the left along Half Moon Street, then left again onto Curzon Street, this way and that, begging.

Please, sir, I need your help!

Get away from me, you filthy vermin!

The echoes of that hateful time reverberated in his memory as he came to the street known as Chesterfield Hill. He paused where a gas lamp showed an iron railing beyond which five stone steps led up to an oak door. The knocker had the shape of a heraldic lion’s head.

The steps were freshly scrubbed. Noting a boot scraper built into the railing, he applied his soles to it so that he wouldn’t leave evidence. He clutched his walking stick, opened the gate, and climbed the steps. The impact of the knocker echoed within the house.

He heard someone on the opposite side of the door. For a moment, his anticipation made it seem that the world outside the fog no longer existed, that he was in a closet of the universe, that time had stopped. As a hand freed a bolt and the door opened, he readied his cane with its silver knob.

A butler looked puzzled. “His Lordship isn’t expecting visitors.”

The gentleman struck with all his might, impacting the man’s head, knocking him onto a marbled floor. Heartbeat thundering with satisfaction, he entered and shut the door. A few quick steps took him into a spacious hall.

A maid paused at the bottom of an ornate staircase, frowning, obviously puzzled why the butler hadn’t accompanied the visitor. In a rage, the gentleman swung the cane, feeling its knob crack the maid’s skull. With a dying moan, she collapsed to the floor.

Without the disguise of his beard, the gentleman had been to this house on several occasions. He knew its layout and would need little time to eliminate the remaining servants. Then his satisfaction could begin as he devoted his attention to their masters. Clutching his cane, he proceeded with his great work.

Memories needed to be prodded.

Punishment needed to be inflicted.

About the Book

David Morrell’s MURDER AS A FINE ART was a publishing event. Acclaimed by critics, it made readers feel that they were actually on the fogbound streets of Victorian London. Now the harrowing journey continues in INSPECTOR OF THE DEAD.

Thomas De Quincey, infamous for his Confessions of an Opium-Eater,confronts London’s harrowing streets to thwart the assassination of Queen Victoria.
The year is 1855. The Crimean War is raging. The incompetence of British commanders causes the fall of the English government. The Empire teeters.

Amid this crisis comes opium-eater Thomas De Quincey, one of the most notorious and brilliant personalities of Victorian England. Along with his irrepressible daughter, Emily, and their Scotland Yard companions, Ryan and Becker, De Quincey finds himself confronted by an adversary who threatens the heart of the nation.

This killer targets members of the upper echelons of British society, leaving with each corpse the name of someone who previously attempted to kill Queen Victoria. The evidence indicates that the ultimate victim will be Victoria herself. As De Quincey and Emily race to protect the queen, they uncover long-buried secrets and the heartbreaking past of a man whose lust for revenge has destroyed his soul.

Brilliantly merging historical fact with fiction, Inspector of the Dead is based on actual attempts to assassinate Queen Victoria.

Buy the Book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, iBooks, IndieBound or Kobo

About the Author

David Morrell Author Photo
David Morrell is an Edgar, Nero, Anthony, and Macavity nominee as well as a recipient of the prestigious career-achievement Thriller Master away from the International Thriller Writers. His numerous New York Times bestsellers include the classic espionage novel. The Brotherhood of the Rose, the basis for the only television mini-series to be broadcast after a Super Bowl. A former literature professor at the University of Iowa, Morrell has a PhD from Pennsylvania State University. His latest novel is INSPECTOR OF THE DEAD, a sequel to his highly acclaimed Victorian mystery/thriller, Murder as a Fine Art, which Publishers Weekly called ”one of the top ten mystery/thrillers of 2013.”

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D. E. Haggerty is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

Murder, Mystery, & Dating Mayhem

“Murder, Mystery, & Dating Mayhem” by D. E. Haggerty

Published as… Humorous Chick Lit with a dash of Murder/Mystery

To Be Published on… 1 March 2015

About the Book

My name is Izzy. I drink too much, am clumsier than a newborn foal, and my brain-to-mouth filter often malfunctions. My daredevil husband killed himself in a parachuting accident five years ago and my best friend Jack has decided it’s time I jump back in the dating pool. He’s perfectly happy to throw me in if I don’t listen. Just when things in the dating world start to heat up, my grandma dies. Only her knitting group of Jessica Fletcher wannabes is sure it’s murder. I’m not convinced but I’m always up for a bit of excitement as long as it doesn’t lead to a night in jail. Well, more than one night anyway. Will I miss my chance at love because I’m chasing imaginary killers? Did someone really kill grandma or am I and my merry band of geriatric thieves imagining things?

Buy the Book at Amazon or Smashwords

About the Author

D. E. Haggerty Author Photo
I was born and raised in Wisconsin, but think I’m a European. After spending my senior year of high school in Germany, I developed a bad case of wanderlust that is yet to be cured. My flying Dutch husband and I have lived in Ohio, Virginia, the Netherlands, Germany and now Istanbul. We still haven’t decided if we want to settle down somewhere – let alone where. Although I’ve been a military policewoman, a commercial lawyer, and a B&B owner, I think with writing I may have finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. That’s assuming I ever grow up, of course. Between tennis, running, traveling, singing off tune, drinking entirely too many adult beverages, and reading books like they are going out of style, I write articles for a local expat magazine and various websites, review other indie authors’ books, write a blog about whatever comes to mind and am working on my fifth book.

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Review: Death by Didgeridoo by Barbara Venkataraman

“Death by Didgeridoo” (Jamie Quinn Mystery #1) by Barbara Venkataraman

Available from: Amazon
Released on: 13 November 2014
I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

Description: Reluctant lawyer, Jamie Quinn, still reeling from the death of her mother, is pulled into a game of deception, jealousy, and vengeance when her cousin, Adam, is wrongfully accused of murder. It’s up to Jamie to find the real murderer before it’s too late. It doesn’t help that the victim is a former rock star with more enemies than friends, or that Adam confessed to a murder he didn’t commit.

Review: This was a fast read, but a fun one. The mystery wasn’t what I’d call complex and ran in a pretty straight line, as your mystery stories go, but it didn’t bother me. I found the narrator amusing and engaging, reminding me of Kinsey from the Sue Grafton series. 4 Fireballs.

4 Fireballs

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D. W. Bradbridge is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

A Soldier of Substance

“A Soldier of Substance” (A Daniel Cheswis Mystery) by D. W. Bradbridge

Published on… 1 November 2014
Published as… Historical Mystery

About the Book

1644. The smoke of parliamentary musket, cannon, and mortar fire is in the air around the royalist stronghold of Lathom House. Though guards still stand atop its walls, it is besieged on all sides, and it is only a matter of time until the house, along with its embittered and unwavering countess, Lady Charlotte de Tremouille, falls to Parliament’s might. Yet somehow, a royalist spy still creeps, unseen, through its gates, and brings the countess Parliament’s secrets.

Barely recovered from the trials of the last few months, Daniel Cheswis is torn from his family and sent north, to uncover the identity of the traitor; though before he can even begin, Cheswis finds himself embroiled in a murder. A woman has been garrotted with cheese wire in her Chester home, suggesting there is more than just the usual hatreds of war at play.

As lives are lost and coats are turned on both sides, Cheswis is tasked with finding the murderer, uncovering the traitor, and surviving his soldierly duty long enough to see Lathom House fall.

Buy the Book at Amazon

About the Author

D. W. Bradbridge Author Photo
D.W. Bradbridge was born in 1960 and grew up in Bolton. He has lived in Crewe, Cheshire since 2000, where he and his wife run a small magazine publishing business for the automotive industry.

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Review: “The School of Night” by Colin Falconer

“The School of Night” (The William Shakespeare Detective Agency) by Colin Falconer

Available from: Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Released on: 7 October 2014
I received this book free in exchange for an honest review, as part of this book’s blog tour.

Description: “My name is William Shakespeare. No, not that Shakespeare; and no jests please, I’ve heard them all. I’m the other one, the ne’er do well cousin, the loafer, known to family and friends as the dunce, the one who could not recite Cicero or Horace, who could never be as good as his clever cuz, the one who has just come to Bishopsgate from Stratford with silly dreams in his head and a longing to make something more of himself than just a glover’s handyman.”

What he finds in London is Lady Elizabeth Talbot, who is willing to pass a few shillings to this blundering brawler if he will help her find her husband. Poor William does not realize the trail will lead to the truth behind the death of Shakespeare’s great rival, Christopher Marlowe – or to a lifelong love affair with a woman far above his station.

Each book tells the story of William’s adventures as England’s first gumshoe, set against turbulent Elizabethan politics; of his romantic pursuit of the impossible Elizabeth Talbot; while charting the career of his up and coming dramatist cousin, the bard of Stratford, but just Will to his family.

Review: This book I loved. Being a Shakespeare fan, this naturally drew my attention but it following not the bard but the cousin of the same name made it fun. There was just enough history to keep it feeling real, but enough drama and adventure to keep it lively.

I completely hooked into Cousin Will, as just the type of character I love, and I thought that Elizabeth was a great mix of a woman of her age but with those bits of the Modern Women that we like to see. The romantic sub-plot was light, but I liked it.

Falconer’s style and Voice of the character was amazingly readable, and now I want to run off and read his other historical fiction. 5 Fireballs.

5 Fireballs

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Catherine Lloyd is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

Death Comes to London

“Death Comes to London” (Kurland St. Mary Mystery, Book Two) by Catherine Lloyd

Published on… 25 November 2014
Published as… Historical Mystery

Catherine Lloyd’s Guest Post

Regency England is a very popular setting for books. Why do you think this is, and why did you choose to write about it?

I think it’s a surprisingly easy time period for modern readers to understand, and with the popularity of Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer and Regency romance novels, it is quite familiar to a lot of readers. Personally, I just find that era fascinating because we have war with France and the newly emerging nation of America, we have a Royal family who behave appallingly, and an emerging population wanting the right to vote and control their own destiny. It’s a huge period of change and totally unlike the repressive Victorian period that followed, which in itself was a reaction to the profligate nature of the Hanoverians.

Mystery writing was a new venture to me so I wanted to make sure I was familiar with at least the historical time period as I worked on making the mystery elements the best that they could be. I’m comfortable in the Regency and thought it worked really well with the constraints of writing a more ‘cozy’ type mystery where the setting and the small cast of characters play an integral part in the creation and the solving of the murder.

I imagined a village rather like Agatha Christie’s St. Mary’s Mead and realized that the daughter of the rector had the ability to transcend all social classes and poke her nose into everyone’s business. Setting her against the bad-tempered lord of the manor who is confined to bed after injuries sustained at the battle of Waterloo just gave the series a slightly different twist, which I enjoy writing immensely. In this second book, even though Major Kurland is on his feet again, Lucy Harrington still takes an active and sometimes dangerous part in solving the case.

About the Book

A season in London promises a welcome change of pace for two friends from the village of Kurland St. Mary—until murder makes a debut…

With the reluctant blessings of their father, the rector of Kurland St. Mary, Lucy Harrington and her sister Anna leave home for a social season in London. At the same time, Lucy’s special friend Major Robert Kurland is summoned to the city to accept a baronetcy for his wartime heroism.

Amidst the dizzying whirl of balls and formal dinners, the focus shifts from mixing and matchmaking to murder when the dowager Countess of Broughton, the mother of an old army friend of Robert, drops dead. When it’s revealed she’s been poisoned, Robert’s former betrothed, Miss Chingford, is accused, and she in turn points a finger at Anna. To protect her sister, Lucy enlists Robert’s aid in drawing out the true culprit.

But with suspects ranging from resentful rivals and embittered family members to the toast of the ton, it will take all their sleuthing skills to unmask the poisoner before more trouble is stirred up…

Buy the Book at Amazon, Amazon (Print), Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Books-a-Million, iTunes or IndieBound

About the Author

Catherine Lloyd Author Photo
Catherine Lloyd grew up in London, England in the middle of a large family of girls. She quickly decided her imagination was a wonderful thing and was often in trouble for making stuff up. She finally worked out she could make a career out of this when she moved to the USA with her husband and four children and began writing fiction. With a background in historical research and a love of old-fashioned mysteries, she couldn’t resist the opportunity to wonder what a young Regency Miss Marple might be like, and how she would deal with a far from pleasant hero of the Napoleonic wars.

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John Carenen is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

A Far Gone Night

“A Far Gone Night” (A Thomas O’Shea Mystery, Book Two) by John Carenen

To Be Published on… 9 September 2014
Published as… Mystery

John Carenen’s Boom Baby Blast

1. One Random Fact: My best friend shot me in the head when we were kids.
2. Fictional Character You’d Really Like to Be: Robert B. Parker’s Spenser
3. Your Authorial Theme Song: “Johnny Angel” by Shelley Fabares
4. Favorite Part of Being a Writer: Seeing my imagination in print.
5. Name of Your First Pet: Dudley (English Bulldog)
6. Music, Television or Silence While Writing: I prefer silence. There’s enough noise in my head, I don’t need more.
7. Early Riser or Night Owl: Early Riser. I guess 4:40 AM qualifies for that designation.
8. Favorite Season: Definitely autumn. I mean, colorful trees, college football, and the World Series. What’s not to like?
9. Did You Always Want to be a Writer: No, because when I was a kid I wanted to be a lone cowboy, righting wrongs. Then I wanted to play left field for the Red Sox, but I couldn’t hit a curve ball. So about 10th grade I made up my mind to write. So I did.

About the Book

Suffering from insomnia, wise-cracking tough guy Thomas O’Shea goes for a late-night stroll through the peaceful streets of Rockbluff, Iowa, and finds himself pausing downtown on the bridge that spans the Whitetail River. When he glances downstream, something catches his eye…something that looks like a body. He scrambles down to the riverbank, pulling the body of a young girl from the water. The girl is naked, with two bullet holes in the back of her head. Ever suspicious of law enforcement, O’Shea chooses not mention the bullet holes when Deputy Stephen Doltch, on routine patrol, discovers him at the river’s edge. When the coroner’s report lists the cause of death as “drowning,” Thomas goes into action.

Confronting the coroner, he is met with hostility. But then the coroner and his wife disappear, along with the body of the dead girl. Once again, Thomas gears up to find answers that will reveal who put the bullets in the girl’s head, why she was killed, and her identity, which may hit a little too close to home.

Teaming up with his friend Lunatic Mooning and Clancy Dominguez, an old buddy from his Navy SEAL days, Thomas and the other two men join together to bring justice to the dead girl, a quest that takes them to the Chalaka Reservation in Minnesota, seedy businesses adjacent to the Chalaka Casino, and straight into the world of organized crime.

A fast-paced story, laugh-out-loud moments and familiar, quirky characters from Carenen’s debut novel, Signs of Struggle, contribute once again to the complex world of Thomas O’Shea. Enter…if you dare.

About the Author

John Carenen Author Photo
John Carenen, a native of Clinton, Iowa, graduated with an M.F.A. in Fiction Writing from the prestigious University of Iowa Writers Workshop and has been writing ever since. His work has appeared in numerous popular and literary magazines, and he has been a featured columnist in newspapers in North and South Carolina. A novel, Son-up, Son-down was published by the National Institute of Mental Health.

His debut Thomas O’Shea mystery novel, Signs of Struggle, was published in October of 2012. A Far Gone Night, the long- anticipated sequel, continues the exploits of the enigmatic protagonist and the quirky characters of Rockbluff, Iowa.

John is currently an English professor at Newberry College in Newberry, South Carolina. He and his wife live in their cozy cottage down a quiet lane in northern Greenville, South Carolina. He is a big fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes and Boston Red Sox.

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