Partners In Crime Tours

Hidden Truths & Lies

by Fran Lewis

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My Review

I enjoy short stories and collections, especially creepy ones.  And I take into account that they are just nibbles, not complete stories.

Some of these were great. They gave me the shivers and I truly thought the characters got what they deserved. And a couple had me a bit confused. Perhaps because the dead were too.

The dead speak from their graves in Golden Stone Cemetery. They have some ghastly tales to tell. Just how wicked were they to be buried and forgotten?. Would they repent if they could? Do they lust for revenge? Are their souls worth saving?

The answers lie in these pages. It takes talent to spin good tales using so little words, and this author passed my test. While the stories are short, they leave a lasting impression.

This is one that I couldn’t stop reading until I read the last word. Several of the stories had me thinking long afterwards. That’s why I’ll be reading more from this author.

To quote R.L. Stine: “Beware, you’re in for a scare!”

4 Stars

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Synopsis

Each story in this series teaches a lesson the person behind the stone should have learned before committing crime, hurting someone else, or generally failing at life.

We’re about to enter Golden Stone Cemetery, where these unfortunate people are buried so deep you can barely find their markers. Their crimes are so heinous and their deeds so cruel that family members buried them here because they want to forget they ever existed.

Enter at your own risk.

Genre: Horror; Paranormal Suspense
Published by: Fideli Publishing Inc.
Publication Date: April 7th 2016
Number of Pages: 98
ISBN: 1604149124 (ISBN13: 9781604149128)
Series: Hidden Truths and Lies is the 4th book in Fran Lewis’s FACES BEHIND THE STONES series of stand alone novellas.
Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble Smashwords Goodreads

More Reviews:

“The stories in this collection by Fran Lewis are gripping in suspense and demonstrate a vivid imagination. I picked them up planning to read for a few minutes and couldn’t stop until I had finished the last story. Fran understands well and expresses the dark side that many people have. Motivated by greed or self-interest, some in these stories who seem like people we encounter every day are willing to undertake terrifying actions. It makes for an excellent read.” — Allan Topol, author of !e Italian Divide and The Washington Lawyer

Hidden Truths and Lies is a compilation of stories told from beyond the grave each one filled with terror as the character faces his or her own fate. The final two stories are pure science fiction and will hopefully allow readers to see the magnitude of this talented writer.” — Susan Ross, Board Of Education, NYC

Read an excerpt:

Introduction

Each story in this series teaches a lesson the person behind the stone should have learned before committing crime, hurting someone else, or generally failing at life. We’re about to enter Golden Stone Cemetery, where these unfortunate people are buried so deep you can barely find their markers. Their crimes are so heinous and their deeds so cruel that family members buried them here because they want to forget they ever existed.

Welcome to Golden Stone Cemetery, where the voices of these unfortunates can be heard loud and clear. Learning what they did and what their fates became will make you shudder. When you find out just how cruel they were in life, you’ll be glad they’re gone. You’ll be relieved that their families made sure the spirits of each of these nefarious characters will never rise again.

Who lies behind these unmarked stones? Let their stories unfold…

© Copyright 2016 Fran Lewis All Rights Reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.

Author Fran Lewis

Fran LewisFran Lewis: Fran worked in the NYC Public Schools as the Reading and Writing Staff Developer for over 36 years. She has three masters Degrees and a PD in Supervision and Administration. Currently, she is a member of Who’s Who of America’s Teachers and Who’s Who of America’s Executives from Cambridge. In addition, she is the author of three children’s books and a fourth that has just been published on Alzheimer’s disease in order to honor her mom and help create more awareness for a cure. The title of my new Alzheimer’s book is Memories are Precious: Alzheimer’s Journey; Ruth’s story and Sharp as a Tack and Scrambled Eggs Which Describes Your Brain? Fran is the author of 13 titles.

Catch Up:
Fran Lewis's website Fran Lewis's twitter Fran Lewis's facebook

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Follow The Tour

Click here to view the ‘Hidden Truths and Lies by Fran Lewis’ Tour Participants

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways click on the lucky horseshoe below!

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Welcome to The Friday 56 hosted by Freda’s Voice.

 

This is a really fun meme!

The only rules are to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader and find a sentence or a few (no spoilers) that grabs you and post it.

Then go over to Freda’s Voice and leave your link so we can visit your 56!

My 56 for this week is from:

Candidate For Murder

A Mac Faraday Mystery

by Lauren Carr

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Genre: Mystery

From page 56 in the paperback.

“What sane man nominates a dog to run for mayor? In all honesty, I can’t in good conscience vote for someone who drinks out of my toilet.”

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Read on if you want to know more.

Synopsis

It’s election time in Spencer, Maryland, and the race for mayor is not a pretty one. In recent years, the small resort town has become divided between the local year-round residents who have enjoyed their rural way of life and the city dwellers moving into their mansions, taking over the town council, and proceeding to turn Deep Creek Lake into a closed gate community—complete with a host of regulations for everything from speed limits to clothes lines.
When the political parties force-feed two unsavory mayoral nominees on the town residents, Police Chief David O’Callaghan decides to make a statement—by nominating Gnarly, Mac Faraday’s German shepherd, to run as mayor of Spencer!
What starts out as a joke turns into a disaster when overnight Gnarly becomes the front runner—at which point his political enemies take a page straight out of Politics 101. What do you do when you’re behind in a race? Dig up dirt on the front runner, of course.
Seemingly, someone is not content to rest with simply embarrassing the front runner by publicizing his dishonorable discharge from the United States Army, but to throw in a murder for good measure.
With murder on the ballot, Mac Faraday and the gang—including old friends from past cases—dive in to clear Gnarly’s name, catch a killer, and save Spencer!

AMAZON

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I’m reviewing this for a tour in August. I opened it to take a peek and finished it in one night. I couldn’t help myself. LOL I love this series.

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Leave your link and I’ll drop by your 56.

Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

You can find a list of my reviews HERE.

For a list of free eBooks go HERE

To see all of my giveaways click on the lucky horseshoe below!

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Things to be happy about:

kitties under blankets

going to bed early with a new mystery novel

melt in your  mouth food

tree swings

the fragrance of cookies baking.

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I’ve enjoyed other books in Daryl’s Cookbook Nook Mystery series and am happy to be visiting her characters and Crystal Cove again. I’ve also read a book from her Cheese Shop Mystery series written as Avery Ames. Another fun series.

Check out my review.

Enjoy the short guest post and delicious recipe Daryl is sharing with us.

And don’t forget to enter the awesome giveaways!

GRILLING THE SUBJECT

Grilling the Subject (A Cookbook Nook Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Berkley (August 2, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425279410
E-Book ASIN: B017SCQLSW
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My Review

I’ve read one other book in the Cookbook Nook series, Fudging The Books, and really enjoyed it. Good to be back with these characters again along with meeting some new ones.

One of those characters is Sylvia Gump, local business owner and town bully. You know the type, puts on airs, looks down her nose at you, her needs come first. Well, it should come as no surprise that, when fireman report to a brush fire, the dead body they discover is Sylvia’s. And, since Jenna’s father has been in several very public arguments with her, he’s in line as suspect #1.

So many suspects. It seems like when Jenna clears someone from her list, something else pops up and they’re back on it. Not an easy one to solve, which keeps Jenna hopping and those pages turning.

And there’s a humdinger of a surprise too. I kind of suspected it a time or two, but then I got caught up in the mystery again, and forgot about it, so I was eventually caught unaware.

Last time I visited Crystal Cove it was Pirate Week. This time it’s the Wild West Extravaganza. Living on the Gulf Coast, we have lots of fairs and summer events and it always feels like my home town when somethings cooking at Crystal Cove.

Lots to entertain in this next book in the series. I’ll be following to see what happens next in this delightful community.

And there’s some yummy recipes to try too. I always enjoy checking them out.

4 Stars

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Synopsis

Things heat up for bookstore owner Jenna Hart in the latest Cookbook Nook mystery from the Agatha Award-winning author of Fudging the Books.

As the Wild West Extravaganza rides into Crystal Cove, California, Cookbook Nook store owner Jenna Hart is ready to indulge her appetite for grilled and barbecued treats and maybe even try the Texas skip. But when the body of one of her father’s neighbors is found the next morning smoldering in a bonfire, the rodeo revelry is extinguished.

Sylvia Gump had acquired plenty of enemies with her practice of illegally encroaching on her neighbors’ properties—including Jenna’s dad, who was off fishing by himself and has no alibi for the murder. Now it’s up to Cary Hart’s dutiful daughter to clear his name before the real killer turns up the heat and rakes someone else over the coals…

INCLUDES RECIPES

And here’s one of those yummy recipes!

Okay, here’s a little health lesson for today. Don’t moan! This will be quick and painless. Promise. LOL

There are good foods and super foods; good fats and bad fats. I’ve been reading up on this. Why? It turns out my body is producing cholesterol. I’m eating right and I’m fairly thin. I exercise, and I don’t smoke. But darn it, I have to take medicine to keep my cholesterol low.

Do you know your HDL and LDL and triglycerides numbers? You should. Ask your doctor.

Anyway, let’s get to some technical stuff:

To lower cholesterol eat:

Oats, red wine, salmon, nuts, green tea, beans (or legumes, especially kidney beans and black beans), dark chocolate, garlic, olive oil.  (Yes, you read that right. Red wine and dark chocolate!) Blueberries are good for you, too!

What are some good fats?

Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) help reduce visceral fat, the type of fat that promotes cardiovascular health.  An avocado fits into this category. Yay for me! I love avocados.

And now that the lecture is done, fix this yummy recipe, grab some low-salt tortilla chips, pick up a good book, and dive in!

PS You all know I love cookbooks. I write about them in the Cookbook Nook Mysteries. I found this recipe in Food & Wine Best of the Best 2012: the Best Recipes from the 25 Best Cookbooks of the Year–inspired by a version from Truly Mexican by Santibañez, Goode & Wiseman. I tweaked it and tell you how I did so at the end.

 

AVOCADO AND BLUE CHEESE GUACAMOLE

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Ingredients:

(Serves 4)

1 avocado, large

2 tablespoons chopped white onion

2 jalapeño chiles, diced fine

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice

3 ounces Point Reyes Blue cheese, crumbled

Mash avocado.  Chop the onion and mince the chiles. Add to the avocado. Add the salt, the lemon juice, and half of the crumbled blue cheese.  [This is one of the richest blue cheeses I’ve ever tasted. Yum!] Whip together.

Set in a serving bowl. Top with more blue cheese.

*The recipe from Truly Mexican included ¼ cup chopped smoked almonds. They used lime juice instead of Meyer lemon juice. And they added cilantro. They used a total of 3 tablespoons of the cheese. I doubled that.

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About This Author

DARYL WOOD GERBER writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mystery series featuring a cookbook store owner who is an avid reader and admitted foodie, set on the coast of California.  As AVERY AAMES, she pens the Agatha Award-winning, nationally bestselling Cheese Shop Mystery series featuring a cheese shop owner amateur sleuth, set in the fictional town of Providence, Ohio. Daryl’s short stories have been nominated for the Agatha, Anthony, and other awards. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl has appeared in “Murder, She Wrote” and more. In addition, she has jumped out of a perfectly good airplane and hitchhiked around Ireland by herself. She absolutely adores Lake Tahoe, where GIRL ON THE RUN is set, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky.

Author Links

Daryl’s Blog / Avery’s Blog

Mystery Lover’s Kitchen / Killer Characters

Facebook: Daryl / Avery

Twitter: Avery / Daryl

Goodreads:  Daryl Wood Gerber / Avery Ames

Purchase Links

Amazon –  B &N 

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There are two giveaways today!

Today Daryl is giving away one copy of your choice of a print copy 0f any of her books. Leave a comment and tell her what your favorite snack food is.

Then enter the rafflecopter below for more prizes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Follow the tour for more fun posts and reviews and delicious recipes!

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July 27 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – Review, Interview, Recipe

July 28 – fuonlyknew – Review, Recipe

July 29 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Recipe

July 29 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review, Recipe

July 30 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review, Recipe

August 1 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review, Recipe

August 2 – A Holland Reads – Review, Recipe

August 3 – Back Porchervations – Review, Recipe

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways click on the lucky horseshoe below!

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Title: Touch Me #3 by Skye Malone
Series: Touch Me
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Wildflower Isle
Publication Date: February 18, 2015
Cover Designer: Karri Klawiter

Monsters walk among us.


And now they have Ruby.

Best friend. Confidant. Ally when everything in my life felt like hell. There are very few people I trust.

And none of them come close to Ruby.

But now demons have her. House Volgert has taken her, demanding that I serve as their emissary to the equally dangerous and terrifying House Linden. But Linden is after me too.

I’m stuck between two titans of the demon world. I’m running out of options and I’m running out of time. But when I find out what demons do to the humans they capture, the nightmare gets even worse.

If I don’t find Ruby soon, it won’t matter if she escapes the Houses.

I’m still going to lose her forever.

**Touch Me 3 is the third installment of a New Adult paranormal romance serial filled with twists, turns, and dark surprises. This episode is 30,000 words (approximately 125 pages) long.**


**Due to strong language and some sexual situations in this and later installments of the series, it is appropriate for readers 18+.**

 

Purchase
 
***

 

The Touch Me Series
Currently FREE
***

 

______________________________________________________________
About the Author
 
Skye Malone is a
fantasy and paranormal romance author, which means she spends most of her time
not-quite-convinced that the magical things she imagines couldn’t actually
exist.
A Midwestern
girl who migrated to the Pacific Northwest, she hopes someday to travel the world — though in the meantime she’ll take any story that whisks her off to a place where the fantastic lives inside the everyday. She loves strong and
passionate characters, complex villains, and satisfying endings that stay with
you long after the book is closed. An inveterate writer, she can’t go a day
without getting her hands on a keyboard, and can usually be found typing away
while she listens to all the adventures unfolding in her head.
Skye also writes YA urban fantasy as Megan Joel Peterson and is the author of The
Children and the Blood trilogy.
______________________________________________________________
Excerpt
          Amar is studying me. His hand moves, taking my own carefully
like he’s afraid I’ll pull away. And I freeze. The look in his eyes… it’s like
I’m all he sees. Me, now. Me, then, back in that restroom, alone in the moments
before Ruby walked in. But there’s no pity in his gaze. Just something else,
dark and deep.
          Safety.
          I can’t breathe. My thoughts are trying to catch up to my
impressions, struggling to put words to a man so unfathomable it should be
funny. I don’t know what he wants, though. To kiss me? To have sex? Somewhere
inside, I’m still ready for that, but that part of me feels like it’s drowning
in the nightmare of this evening, the exhaustion of all the hours since, and
the rawness of what I’ve just said.
          He lifts his other hand, taking my cheek, and his thumb
strays across my lips, parting them while his eyes track the motion. My heart
slams into my ribs. Even the simple contact makes my insides start to burn.
Maybe I’m drowning in all this madness.
          Maybe I just need something good to hang onto.
______________________________________________________________
Giveaway
  • You could win a ’DEMONS: Not all of us are evil’ watch, water bottle, and signed bookmarks, plus a $25 Amazon gift card!
  • A second prize winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card.
  • Open Internationally
  • Giveaway ends August 1st

 

 
 

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways click on the lucky horseshoe below!

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The Beauty of Darkness
by Mary E. Pearson
Hardcover, 688 pages
Expected publication: August 2nd 2016
by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

 

Lia and Rafe have escaped Venda and the path before them is winding and dangerous – what will happen now? This third and final book in The Remnant Chronicles is not to be missed.

Bestselling author Mary E. Pearson’s combination of intrigue, suspense, romance and action make this a riveting page turner for teens.

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Get the entire series signed and personalized today!
Learn more about the series >> HERE <<


Visit Good Choice Reading (http://bit.ly/28G6oQq) for more details! 
 
This event is also open to international readers all over the world.

 

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways click on the lucky horseshoe below!

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On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Welcome to the Release Celebration for

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Dark Minds

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By Michelle Diener

Dark Minds is book three in the Class 5 Series. Michelle is sharing about the Class 5 world today. If you missed Michelle’s release-day message, go read it HERE, if you missed about the rise of the genre, go check that out HERE, and don’t forget to check out the entire series and enter the giveaway below…

Dark Minds
(Class 5 #3)
by Michelle Diener
Adult Sci-Fi
ebook, 331 Pages
July 22nd 2016

The mind is the most powerful weapon of all . . .

Imogen Peters knows she’s a pawn. She’s been abducted from Earth, held prisoner, and abducted again. So when she gets a chance at freedom, she takes it with both hands, not realizing that doing so will turn her from pawn to kingmaker.

Captain Camlar Kalor expected to meet an Earth woman on his current mission, he just thought he’d be meeting her on Larga Ways, under the protection of his Battle Center colleague. Instead, he and Imogen are thrown together as prisoners in the hold of a Class 5 battleship. When he works out she’s not the woman who sparked his mission, but another abductee, Cam realizes his investigation just got a lot more complicated, and the nations of the United Council just took a step closer to war.

Imogen’s out of her depth in this crazy mind game playing out all around her, and she begins to understand her actions will have a massive impact on all the players. But she’s good at mind games. She’s been playing them since she was abducted. Guess they should have left her minding her own business back on Earth…

GoodreadsAmazon

Creating the World of the Class 5 Series

A few days ago, DARK MINDS, the third and final book in my Class 5 series was released. I have had a lot of readers express disappointment that this is the final book. They love the world and they want to keep exploring it.

Nothing is sweeter to me than hearing that the world I’ve created in my head is a place people want to linger. I am working on a new series, though, and hope everyone loves the new one just as much.

When I started the Class 5 series, it wasn’t really with a series in mind. The main character in DARK HORSE, the first book in the series, Rose, came to me so strongly, with such a compelling story, I set aside the historical I was working on and jumped right in to write it. It was only near the end of DARK HORSE that I realized there was still a lot of the story left to tell, and the Class 5 series was born.

I know the fact that Rose and the world she found herself in was so clear in my head and so vivid in my imagination helped me create such a strong world for the series as a whole. I had invented way more in my head than ended up on the page in DARK HORSE, and that gave me scope to include the greater world of the Class 5 series or explore things I only touched on in DARK HORSE in the other two novels.

The part of the universe where my heroines Rose, Fiona and Imogen find themselves is run by a coalition of five races. I only go into detail about the culture of the Grih, the race my human heroines have the most affinity for, but I do lightly touch on aspects of the other four’s cultures. It was fun creating the worlds and customs, the look and feel of the places my heroines are forced to go, and I like to think that while they’re there unwillingly at first, I’ve made the places interesting enough, sometimes even magical, so that they can see good in their new part of the universe, as well as bad.

If you are already a fan of the world of the Class 5 series, I hope you love DARK MINDS, and if you haven’t tried the series yet, I hope you’ll consider giving it a go. If action, adventure, and romance appeal, you won’t be sorry you did.

— Michelle Diener

Other Books in the Series

Dark Deeds (Class 5, #2)Dark Deeds
(Class 5 #2)
by Michelle Diener
Adult Sci-Fi
ebook, 340 Pages
January 4th 2016

Far from home . . .

Fiona Russell has been snatched from Earth, imprisoned and used as slave labor, but nothing about her abduction makes sense. When she’s rescued by the Grih, she realizes there’s a much bigger game in play than she could ever have imagined, and she’s right in the middle of it.

Far from safe . . .

Battleship captain Hal Vakeri is chasing down pirates when he stumbles across a woman abducted from Earth. She’s the second one the Grih have found in two months, and her presence is potentially explosive in the Grih’s ongoing negotiations with their enemies, the Tecran. The Tecran and the Grih are on the cusp of war, and Fiona might just tip the balance.

Far from done . . .

Fiona has had to bide her time while she’s been a prisoner, pretending to be less than she is, but when the chance comes for her to forge her own destiny in this new world she grabs it with both hands. After all, actions speak louder than words.

GoodreadsAmazon

Dark HorseDark Horse
(Class 5 #1)
by Michelle Diener
Adult Sci-Fi
ebook, 381 Pages
June 15th 2015

Some secrets carry the weight of the world.

Rose McKenzie may be far from Earth with no way back, but she’s made a powerful ally–a fellow prisoner with whom she’s formed a strong bond. Sazo’s an artificial intelligence. He’s saved her from captivity and torture, but he’s also put her in the middle of a conflict, leaving Rose with her loyalties divided.

Captain Dav Jallan doesn’t know why he and his crew have stumbled across an almost legendary Class 5 battleship, but he’s not going to complain. The only problem is, all its crew are dead, all except for one strange, new alien being.

She calls herself Rose. She seems small and harmless, but less and less about her story is adding up, and Dav has a bad feeling his crew, and maybe even the four planets, are in jeopardy. The Class 5’s owners, the Tecran, look set to start a war to get it back and Dav suspects Rose isn’t the only alien being who survived what happened on the Class 5. And whatever else is out there is playing its own games.

In this race for the truth, he’s going to have to go against his leaders and trust the dark horse.

Michelle Diener writes historical fiction, fantasy and science fiction. Having worked in publishing and IT, she’s now very happy crafting new worlds and interesting characters and wondering which part of the world she can travel to next.

Michelle was born in London, grew up in South Africa and currently lives in Australia with her husband and two children.

When she’s not writing, or driving her kids from activity to activity, you can find her blogging at Magical Musings. or online at Twitter, at Google+ and Facebook.

Release Celebration Giveaway

$25 Amazon eGift Card
Four ebook sets of Dark Horse, Dark Deeds, and Dark Minds
Open internationally
Ends July 31st

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways click on the lucky horseshoe below!

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The Dead of Haggard Hall

Darke of Night

Book One

by Marie Treanor

 

29970987

 

Genre: Gothic/historical/paranormal romance

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Date of Publication: 26th July 2016

ISBN: 978-1619235830

ASIN: B01CUOPRZQ

Number of pages: 216 (paperback)

Word Count: 71,000

Cover Artist: Kelly Martin

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Book Description:

Spirit possession is easy to remedy. Possession of the heart is another matter.

After vicar’s widow and natural medium Barbara Darke loses her respectable teaching position, she reluctantly agrees to become companion to her former pupil Emily, now the bride of young Sir Arthur Haggard.

Once settled at Haggard Hall, Barbara finds her friend is beset by ghostly voices and unexplained deaths. In a maelstrom of dark spirits and wicked emotions, Barbara battles to lay Emily’s ghosts to rest—both hampered and helped by Arthur’s skeptical cousin Patrick, who provokes and attracts her in equal measure.

It would be a mistake to trust a secretive, guilt-ridden man suspected of driving his wife to suicide, if not outright murdering her. And it could well be lethal to give in to her own desires, confused as they often are with the lusts of the dead.

But Arthur and Emily are in genuine physical danger, and suspicion is falling closer and closer to Patrick—the man who haunts Barbara’s sensual dreams. The man who stands to inherit Haggard Hall.

Warning: Contains a medium whose body is open season for spirit possession, and a scandal-ridden journalist who only believes what he can see—and touch.

Amazon     Amazon UK     BN     iBooks     ARe     Samhain

Enjoy this glimpse inside.

Emily broke off, clutching my arm as lightning flashed through several windows at once, followed almost immediately by a deafening clap of thunder that seemed to roll right over the roof.

At the same time, a rush of air chilled my scalp, stirring my hair, and several candles in the hall blew out at once, leaving only the dim light from two wall lamps.

Emily’s eyes widened and her mouth opened and closed soundlessly before she managed to say, “That shouldn’t happen, Barbara. You know it—”

As the thunder began to die away, something crashed into the front door opposite us, making us both jump and Emily squeal.

“What’s that?” she whispered in panic.

“It sounds like someone knocking on the door,” I said as calmly as I could.

“Why don’t they ring the bell?” she countered as the banging went on.

I thought about it. “Maybe the bell is broken, which is why the servants don’t hear.” I began to walk across the hall with Emily dangling from my elbow, trying to hold me back. I paused and stared at her. “What? Do you think it’s some evil spirit knocking on the door to get out of the rain?”

She blinked, gave a half laugh, and released my elbow, although she scurried after me the rest of the way to the door. I struggled with the heavy latch, and then, as soon as I began to draw the door back, the wind whipped it out of my hand and blasted me backwards.

At the same time, lightning forked across the sky, flashing over the grim, angular face of a large, soaking-wet man, all hollow cheeks and hard eyes that showed amber like a wolf’s.

Emily let out a cry and fell back, clutching me around the waist as the stranger, water running off him like a fresh shower, strode into the house and forced the door shut once more.

Only, of course, he wasn’t a stranger. My hand crept up over my heart to my throat.

Arthur bolted out of the dining room above, no doubt to see why his wife had screamed, Bela Hiranyi and Henry Faversham at his heels. Arthur was scowling over the banister with concern, until he caught sight of his visitor, when his face relaxed into a grin, and he rushed downstairs.

“Patrick!” he exclaimed, pushing right past us and holding out an eager hand. “We didn’t expect you!”

“Apparently not,” Patrick said dryly.

My worst fears were realized. Arthur’s cousin and unofficial guardian was indeed the man who’d witnessed my mother’s séance so contemptuously the night before I left London. His name was just as my mother had said.

But more than that, something in the way the rain rolled off his soaked person made me think of the agonized man I’d seen crouching in the storm. He carried his torment with him, like an echo which bounced between us.

 

About the Author:

Marie Treanor

Marie Treanor lives in Scotland, in a chaotic house by the sea, together with her eccentric husband, three much too smart children and a small dog who rules them all. Most days, she avoids both housekeeping and evil day jobs by writing stories of paranormal romance and fantasy.

Marie is the award winning author of over forty sexy paranormal romances – Indie, New York and E-published.

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