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Partners In Crime Tours

Welcome to my stop on the tour for Bones to Pick by Linda Lovely. Tour runs October 16 to December 16, 2017.

Enjoy my review. Check out the fun Excerpt. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

Bones To Pick

A Brie Hooker Mystery #1

by Linda Lovely

35819241

Genre: Humorous Cozy Mystery
Published by: Henery Press
Publication Date: Oct. 24, 2017
Number of Pages: 266
ISBN: 9781635112597
Series: Brie Hooker Mystery, #1
Get Your Copy of Bones To Pick by Linda Lovely at: Amazon Barnes & Noble Goodreads

My Review

I’m sure you’ve read the blurb so you have an idea what kind of fun you’re in for when you read this book.

Brie, a vegan, wonders what she was thinking moving to her Aunt Eva’s goat farm. It’s smack in the middle of meat lovers territory where everything is better when fried. Still, she’s determined to stick it out. What’s the worst that could happen?

The worst that could happen is when a pig rooting in the soil uncovers a human skull. That skull belongs to her Aunt Eva’s husband, missing for some time now. Connections place suspicion right on Eva, and Brie needs to do some digging of her own to clear her aunts name.

The story is chock full of quirky and fun characters, a healthy dose of snark. and enough laughs to make your cheeks hurt from all the smiling.

And the mystery is like an onion. A layer is peeled back and then another and another. It’s not easily solved and has surprising connections.

This book is a hoot. And the last paragraph. Oh boy, it’s just right.

Bones To Pick is the first book in the Brie Hooker Mystery Series.  I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

4 Stars

~~~~~

Synopsis

Living on a farm with four hundred goats and a cantankerous carnivore isn’t among vegan chef Brie Hooker’s list of lifetime ambitions. But she can’t walk away from her Aunt Eva, who needs help operating her dairy.

Once she calls her aunt’s goat farm home, grisly discoveries offer ample inducements for Brie to employ her entire vocabulary of cheese-and-meat curses. The troubles begin when the farm’s pot-bellied pig unearths the skull of Eva’s husband, who disappeared years back. The sheriff, kin to the deceased, sets out to pin the murder on Eva. He doesn’t reckon on Brie’s resolve to prove her aunt’s innocence. Death threats, ruinous pedicures, psychic shenanigans, and biker bar fisticuffs won’t stop Brie from unmasking the killer, even when romantic befuddlement throws her a curve.

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Excerpt

ONE

Hello, I’m Brie, and I’m a vegan.

It sounds like I’m introducing myself at a Vegetarians Anonymous meeting. But, trust me, there aren’t enough vegetarians in Ardon County, South Carolina, to make a circle much less hold a meeting.

Give yourself ten points if you already know vegans are even pickier than vegetarians. We forgo meat, fish, eggs, and dairy. But we’re big on cashews, walnuts, and almonds. All nuts are good nuts. Appropriate with my family.

Family. That’s why I put my career as a vegan chef on hold to live and work in Ardon, a strong contender for the South’s carnivore-and- grease capital. My current job? I help tend four hundred goats, make verboten cheese, and gather eggs I’ll never poach. Most mornings when Aunt Eva rousts me before the roosters, I roll my eyes and mutter.

Still, I can’t complain. I had a choice. Sort of. Blame it on the pig—Tammy the Pig—for sticking her snout in our family business.

 

I’d consorted with vegans and vegetarians for too long. I seriously underestimated how much cholesterol meat eaters could snarf down at a good old-fashioned wake. Actually, I wasn’t sure this wake was “old fashioned,” but it was exactly how Aunt Lilly would have planned her own send-off—if she’d had the chance. Ten days ago, the feisty sixty- two-year-old had a toddler’s curiosity and a twenty-year-old’s appetite for adventure. Her death was a total shock.

I glanced at Aunt Lilly’s epitaph hanging behind the picnic buffet. She’d penned it years back. Her twin, Aunt Eva, found it in Lilly’s desk and reprinted it in eighty-point type.

 

“There once was a farmer named Lilly

Who never liked anything frilly,

She tended her goats,

Sowed a few wild oats,

And said grieving her death would be silly.”

 

In a nod to Lilly’s spirit, Aunt Eva planned today’s wake complete with fiddling, hooch, goo-gogs of goat cheese, and the whole panoply of Southern fixins—mounds of country ham, fried chicken, barbecue, and mac-and-cheese awash in butter. Every veggie dish came dressed with bacon crumbles, drippings, or cream of mushroom soup.

Not a morsel fit for a vegan. Eva’s revenge. I’d made the mistake of saying I didn’t want to lose her, too, and hinted she’d live longer if she cut back on cholesterol. Not my smartest move. The name of her farm? Udderly Kidding Dairy. Cheese and eggs had been Eva’s meal ticket for decades.

My innocent observation launched a war. Whenever I opened the refrigerator, I’d find a new message. This morning a Post-it on my dish of blueberries advised: The choline in eggs may enhance brain development and memory—as a vegan you probably forgot.

Smoke from the barbeque pit permeated the air as I replenished another platter of shredded pork on the buffet. My mouth watered and I teetered on the verge of drooling. While I was a dedicated vegan, my olfactory senses were still programmed “Genus Carnivorous.” My stomach growled—loudly. Time to thwart its betrayal with the veggies and hummus dip I’d stashed in self-defense.

I’d just stuck a juicy carrot in my mouth when a large hand squeezed my shoulder.

“Brie, honey, you’ve been working nonstop,” Dad said. “Take a break. Mom’s on her way. We can play caterers. The food’s prepared. No risks associated with our cooking.”

I choked on my carrot and sputtered. “Good thing. Do you even remember the last time Mom turned on an oven?”

Dad smiled. “Can’t recall. Maybe when you were a baby? But, hey, we’re wizards at takeout and microwaves.”

His smile faltered. I caught him staring at Aunt Lilly’s epitaph. “Still can’t believe Lilly’s gone.” He attempted a smile. “Knowing her sense of humor, we’re lucky she didn’t open that epitaph with ‘There once was a lass from Nantucket.’”

I’d never seen Dad so sad. Lilly’s unexpected death stunned him to his core. He adored his older sisters.

Mom appeared at his side and wrapped an arm around his waist. She loved her sisters-in-law, too, though she complained my childless aunts spoiled me beyond repair.

Of course, Lilly’s passing hit Eva the hardest. A fresh boatload of tears threatened as I thought about the aunt left behind. I figured my tear reservoir had dried up after days of crying. Wrong. The tragedy—a texting teenager smashing head-on into Lilly’s car—provoked a week- long family weep-a-thon. It ended when Eva ordered us to cease and desist.

“This isn’t what Lilly would want,” she declared. “We’re gonna throw a wake. One big, honking party.”

Which explained the fifty-plus crowd of friends and neighbors milling about the farm, tapping their feet to fiddlin’, and consuming enough calories to sustain the populace of a small principality for a week.

I hugged Dad. “Thanks. I could use a break. I’ll find Eva. See how she’s doing.”

I spotted her near a flower garden filled with cheery jonquils. It looked like a spring painting. Unfortunately, the cold March wind that billowed Eva’s scarlet poncho argued the blooms were false advertising. The weatherman predicted the thermometer would struggle to reach the mid-forties today.

My aunt’s build was what I’d call sturdy, yet Eva seemed to sway in the gusty breeze as she chatted with Billy Jackson, the good ol’ boy farrier who shod her mule. Though my parents pretended otherwise, we all knew Billy slept under Eva’s crazy quilt at least two nights a week.

I nodded at the couple. Well, actually, the foursome. Brenda, the farm’s spoiled pet goat, and Kai, Udderly’s lead Border collie, were competing with Billy for my aunt’s attention.

“Mom and Dad are watching the buffet,” I said. “Thought I’d see if you need me to do anything. Are you expecting more folks?”

“No.” Eva reached down and tickled the tiny black goat’s shaggy head. “Imagine everyone who’s coming is here by now. They’ll start clearing out soon. Chow down and run. Can’t blame ’em. Especially the idiot women who thought they ought to wear dresses. That biting wind’s gotta be whistling up their drawers.”

Billy grinned as he looked Eva up and down. Her choice of wake attire—poncho, black pants, and work boots—surprised no one, and would have delighted Lilly.

“Do you even own a dress?” Billy laughed. “You’re one to talk.” Eva gave his baggy plaid suit and clip-on bowtie the stink eye. “I suppose you claim that gristle on your chin is needed to steady your fiddle.”

He kissed Eva’s cheek. “Yep, that’s it. Time to rejoin my fellow fiddlers, but first I have a hankering to take a turn at the Magic Moonshine tent.”

“You do that. Maybe the ’shine will improve your playing. It’ll definitely make you sound better to your listening audience. After enough of that corn liquor even my singing could win applause.”

A dark-haired stranger usurped Billy’s place, bending low to plant a kiss on the white curls that sprang from my aunt’s head like wood shavings. Wow.

They stacked handsome tall when they built him. Had to be at least six-four.

Even minus an introduction, I figured this tall glass of sweet tea had to be Paint, the legendary owner of Magic Moonshine. Sunlight glinted off hair the blue-black of expensive velvet. Deep dimples. Rakish smile.

I’d spent days sobbing, and my libido apparently was saying “enough”—time to rejoin the living. If this bad boy were any more alive, he’d be required to wear a “Danger High Voltage” sign. Of course, Aunt Lilly wouldn’t mind. She’d probably rent us a room.

I ventured a glance and found him smiling at me. My boots were suddenly fascinating. Never stare at shiny objects with the potential to hypnotize. I refused to fall under another playboy’s spell.

“How’s my best gal?” he asked, hugging Eva. “Best for this minute, right?” my aunt challenged. “I bet my niece will be your best gal before I finish the introductions.” Eva put a hand on my shoulder. “Paint, this young whippersnapper is Brie Hooker, my favorite niece. ’Course, she’s my only niece. Brie, it’s with great trepidation that I introduce you to David Paynter, better known as Paint, unrepentant moonshiner and heartbreaker.”

Eva subjected Paint to her pretend badass stare, a sure sign he was one of her favorite sparring partners. “Don’t you go messing with Brie, or I’ll bury you down yonder with Mark, once I nail his hide.”

Paint laughed, a deep, rumbling chuckle. He turned toward me and bowed like Rhett Butler reincarnated.

“Pleased to meet you, Brie. That puzzled look tells me you haven’t met Mark, the wily coyote that harasses Eva’s goats. She’s wasted at least six boxes of buckshot trying to scare him off. Me? I’ll gladly risk her shotgun to make your acquaintance. I’ve heard a lot about you.”

Eva gave Paint a shove. “Well, if that’s the case, go on. Give Brie a shot of your peach moonshine. It’s pretty good.”

“Peach moonshine it is,” he said and took my arm. A second later, he tightened his grip and pulled me to the right. “Better watch your step. You almost messed up those pretty boots.”

He pointed at a fresh pile of fragrant poop, steaming in the brisk air inches from my suede boots. “Thanks,” I mumbled. Still holding my arm, he steered me over uneven ground to a clear path. “Eva says you’re staying with her. Hope you don’t have to leave for a while. Your aunt’s a fine lady, and it’s going to be mighty hard on her once this flock of well-wishers flies off.”

His baritone sent vibrations rippling through my body. My brain ordered me to ignore the tingling that remained in places it didn’t belong.

He smiled. “Eva and Lilly spoke about you so often I feel like we’re already friends. ’Course head-shaking accompanied some of their comments. They said you’d need to serve plenty of my moonshine if you ever opened a vegan B&B in Ardon County. Here abouts it’s considered unpatriotic to serve eats that haven’t been baptized in a vat of lard. Vegetables are optional; meat, mandatory.”

Uh, oh. I always gave relatives and friends a free pass on good- natured kidding. But a stranger? This man was poking fun at my profession, yet my hackles—smoothed by the hunk’s lopsided grin— managed only a faint bristle.

Back away. Pronto.

Discovering my ex-fiancé, Jack, was boffing not one, but two co-workers the entire two years we were engaged made me highly allergic to lady-killers. Paint was most definitely a member of that tribe.

“What can I say? I’m a rebel,” I replied. “It’s my life’s ambition to convince finger-lickin’, fried-chicken lovers that life without meat, butter, eggs, and cheese does not involve a descent into the nine circles of hell.”

Paint released me, then raised his hand to brush a wayward curl from my forehead. His flirting seemed to be congenital.

“If you’re as feisty as your aunt claims, why don’t you take me on as a challenge? I do eat tomatoes—fried green ones, anyway—and I’m open to sampling other members of the vegetable kingdom. So long as they don’t get between me and my meat. Anyway, welcome to the Carolina foothills. Time to pour some white lightning. It’s smoother than you might expect.”

And so are you. Too smooth for me.

That’s when we heard the screams.

TWO

Paint zoomed off like a Clemson running back, hurtling toward the screams—human, not goat. I managed to stay within a few yards of him, slipping and sliding as my suede boots unwittingly smooshed a doggie deposit. Udderly’s guardian dogs, five Great Pyrenees, were large enough to saddle, and their poop piles rivaled cow paddies.

I reached the barn, panting, with a stitch in my right side. I stopped to catch my breath. Hallelujah. I braced my palm against the weathered barn siding.

Ouch. Harpooned by a jagged splinter. Blood oozed from the sensitive pad below my right thumb. I stared at the inch-plus spear. Paint had kept running. He was no longer in sight.

The screams stopped. An accident? A heart attack? I hustled around the corner of the barn. A little girl sobbed in the cleared area behind Udderly’s retail sales cabin. I recognized Jenny, a rambunctious five-year-old from a nearby farm. Her mother knelt beside her, stroking her hair.

No child had produced the operatic screams we’d heard. Maybe Jenny’s mother was the screamer. But the farm wife didn’t seem the hysterical type. On prior visits to Udderly, I’d stopped at the roadside stand where she sold her family’s produce. Right now the woman’s face looked redder than one of her Early Girl tomatoes. Was the flush brought on by some danger—a goat butting her daughter, a snake slithering near the little girl?

I walked closer. Then I saw it. A skull poked through the red clay. Soil had tinted the bone an absurd pink.

I gasped. The sizeable cranium looked human. I spotted the grave digger, or should I say re-digger. Udderly’s newest addition, a Vietnamese potbellied pig named Tammy, hunkered in a nearby puddle. Tiny cloven hoof marks led to and from the excavation. Tell-tale red mud dappled her dainty twitching snout. The pig’s hundred-pound body quivered as her porcine gaze roved the audience she’d attracted.

A man squatted beside Tammy, speaking to the swine in soothing, almost musical tones. Pigs were dang smart and sensitive. Aunt Eva told me it was easy to hurt their feelings. The fellow stroking Tammy’s grimy head must’ve been convinced she was one sensitive swine.

“It’s okay,” he repeated. “The lady wasn’t screaming at you, Tammy.”

Tammy snorted, lowered her head, and squeezed her eyes shut. The pig-whisperer gave the swine a final scratch and stood, freeing gangly limbs from his pretzel-like crouch. Mud caked the cuffs and knees of his khaki pants. Didn’t seem to bother him one iota.

The mother shepherded her little girl away from the disturbing scene, and Paint knelt to examine the skeletal remains. “Looks like piggy uncovered more than she bargained for.” He glanced at Muddy Cuffs. “Andy, you’re a vet. Animal or human?”

“Human.” Andy didn’t hesitate. “But all that’s left is bone. Had to have been buried a good while. Yet Tammy’s rooting scratched only inches below the surface. If a settler dug this grave, it was mighty shallow.”

“Probably didn’t start that way.” I pointed to a depression that began uphill near the retail cabin. “This wash has deepened a lot since my aunts built their store and the excavation diverted water away from the cabin. The runoff’s been nibbling away at the ground.”

Mom, Dad, and Aunt Eva joined the group eyeballing the skull. Eva looked peaked, almost ill. I felt a slight panic at the shift in her normally jolly appearance. I thought of my aunts as forces of nature. Unflappable. Indestructible. I’d lost one, and the other suddenly looked fragile. Finding a corpse on her property the same day she bid her twin goodbye had hit her hard.

Dad cocked his head. “Could be a Cherokee burial site. Or maybe a previous farmer buried a loved one and the grave marker got lost. Homestead burials have always been legal in South Carolina. Still are.”

For once, the idea of finding a corpse in an unexpected location didn’t prompt a gleeful chuckle from my dad, Dr. Howard Hooker. Though he was a professor of horticulture at Clemson University by day, he was an aspiring murder mystery author by night. Every time we went for a car ride, Dad made a game of searching the landscape for spots “just perfect” for disposing of bodies. So far, a dense patch of kudzu in a deep ravine topped his picks. “Kudzu grows so fast any flesh peeking through would disappear in a day.”

Good thing Dad confined his commentary to family outings. We knew the corpses in question weren’t real.

Mom whipped out her smartphone. “I’ll call Judge Glenn. It’s Sunday, but he always answers his cell. He’ll know who to call. I’m assuming the Ardon County Sheriff’s Department.”

Dad nodded. “Probably, but I bet SLED—the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division—will take over. The locals don’t have forensic specialists.”

Mom rolled her eyes. “You spend way too much time with your Sisters in Crime.”

It amused Mom that Dad’s enthusiasm for his literary genre earned him the presidency of the Upstate South Carolina Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

Mom didn’t fool with fictional crime. Too busy with the real thing. As the City of Clemson’s attorney, she kept a bevy of lawyers, judges, and city and university cops on speed dial. However, Udderly Kidding wasn’t in the same county as Clemson so it sat outside her domain.

“Judge Glenn, this is Iris Hooker. I’m at the Udderly Kidding Dairy in Ardon. An animal here unearthed a skull. We think it’s human, but not recent. Should we call the sheriff?”

Mom nodded and made occasional I-get-it noises while she clamped the cell to her ear.

“Could you ask them to keep their arrival quiet? Better yet, could they wait until after four? About fifty folks are here for my sister-in- law’s wake. I don’t want to turn her farewell into a circus.”

A minute later, Mom murmured her thanks and pocketed her cell. “The judge agrees an old skull doesn’t warrant sirens or flashing lights. He’ll ask the Ardon County Sheriff, Robbie Jones, to come by after four. Since I’m an officer of the court, his honor just requested that I keep people and animals clear of the area until the sheriff arrives.”

Andy stood. “Paint, help me bring some hay bales from the barn. We can stack them to cordon off the area.”

“Good idea.” Paint stood, and the two men strode off. No needless chitchat. They appeared to be best buds.

I tugged Dad’s sleeve, nodded toward his sister, and whispered, “I think Aunt Eva should sit down. Let’s get her to one of the front porch rockers.”

Dad walked over and draped an arm around his sister’s shoulders. “Eva, let’s sit a while so folks can find you to pay their respects. This skeleton is old news. Not our worry.”

Eva’s lips trembled. “No, Brother. I feel it in my own bones. It’s that son-of-a-bitch Jed Watson come back to haunt me.”

THREE

Jed Watson? The man Eva married in college? The man who vanished a few years later?

Dad’s eyebrows shot up. “Eva, that’s nonsense. That dirtbag ran off forty years back. You’re letting your imagination run wild.”

Eva straightened. “Some crime novelist you are. You know darn well any skeleton unearthed on my property would have something to do with that nasty worm. Nobody wished that sorry excuse for a man dead more than me.”

“Calm down. Don’t spout off and give the sheriff some harebrained notion that pile of bones is Jed,” Dad said. “No profit in fueling gossip or dredging up ancient history. Authorities may have ruled Jed dead, but I always figured that no-good varmint was still alive five states over, most likely beating the stuffing out of some other poor woman.”

Wow. I knew Eva took her maiden name back after they declared her husband dead, but I’d never heard a speck of the unsavory backstory. Dad liked to tell family tales, including ones about long- dead scoundrels. Guess this history wasn’t ancient enough.

Curiosity made me eager to ask a whole passel of none-of-my- business questions, though I felt some justification about poking my nose here. I’d known Eva my entire life. So how come this was the first I’d heard of a mystery surrounding Jed’s disappearance? Was Dad truly worried the sheriff might suspect Eva?

I was dying to play twenty questions. Too bad it wasn’t the time or place.

I smiled at my aunt. “Why don’t I get some of Paint’s brew to settle our nerves? Eva, you like that apple pie flavor, right?”

“Yes, thanks, dear.”

“Good idea, Brie,” Dad added. “I’ll take a toot of Paint’s blackberry hooch. Eva’s not the only one who could use a belt. We’ll greet folks from those rockers. Better than standing like mannequins in a receiving line. And there’s a lot less risk of falling down if we get a little tipsy.”

Aunt Eva ignored Dad’s jest. She looked haunted, lost in memory. A very bad memory.

I hurried to the small tent where Magic Moonshine dispensed free libations. A buxom young lass smiled as she poured shine into miniature Mason jars lined up behind four flavor signs: Apple Pie, Blackberry, Peach, and White Lightnin’.

“What can I do you for, honey?” the busty server purred. I’m still an Iowa girl at heart, but, like my transplanted aunts and parents, I’ve learned not to take offense when strangers of both sexes and all ages call me honey, darlin’, and sweetie. My high school social studies teacher urged us to appreciate foreign customs and cultures. I may not be in Rome, but I’m definitely in Ardon County.

I smiled at Miss Sugarmouth. The top four buttons of her blouse were undone. The way her bosoms oozed over the top, I seriously doubted those buttons had ever met their respective buttonholes. No mystery why Paint hired her. Couldn’t blame him or her. Today’s male mourners would enjoy a dash of cleavage with their shine, and she’d rake in lots more tips.

“Sweetie, do you have a tray I can use to take drinks to the folks on the porch?”

The devil still made me add the “sweetie” when I addressed Miss Sugarmouth. She didn’t bat an eyelash. Probably too weighed down with mascara.

“Sure thing, honey.” I winced when the tray slid over the wood sliver firmly embedded in my palm. Suck it up. No time for minor surgery.

As I walked toward Eva’s cabin, crunching noises advertised some late arrivals ambling down the gravel road. On the porch, Dad and Eva had settled into a rhythm, shaking hands with friends and neighbors and accepting sympathy pats. Hard to hug someone in a rocker.

I handed miniature glass jars to Eva and Dad before offering drinks to the folks who’d already run the gauntlet of the sit-down receiving line. Then I tiptoed behind Dad’s rocker.

“I’ll see if Mom wants anything and check back later to see how you and Eva are doing.”

“Thanks, honey.” He kissed my cheek. I returned to Paint’s moonshine stand and picked up a second drink tray, gingerly hoisting it to avoid bumping my skewered palm. Balancing the drinks, I picked my way across the rutted ground to what I worried might be a crime scene.

Mom perched between Paint and Andy atop the double row of hay bales stacked to keep the grisly discovery out of sight. The five-foot-two height on Mom’s driver’s license was a stretch. At five-four, I had her by at least three, maybe four, inches. My mother’s build was tiny as well as short—a flat-chested size two. I couldn’t recall ever being able to squeeze into her doll-size clothes. My build came courtesy of the females on Dad’s side of the family. Compact but curvy. No possibility of going braless in polite society.

Mom’s delicate appearance often confounded the troublemakers she prosecuted for the city. Too often the accused took one look at Iris Hooker and figured they’d hire some hulking male lawyer to walk all over the little lady in court.

Big mistake. The bullies often reaped unexpected rewards—a costly mélange of jail time, fines, and community service.

Mom spotted my tray-wobbling approach. “Are these Paint’s concoctions?”

I nodded. “Well, Daughter, sip nice and slow. Someday I may file charges against Magic Moonshine. Paint’s shine is often an accomplice when Clemson tailgaters pull stunts that land them in front of a judge.”

Paint lifted his glass in a salute. “Can I help it if all our flavors go down easy?”

Mom turned back to me. “Have you met these, ahem, gentlemen?”

I suddenly felt shy as my gaze flicked between the two males. “I met Paint earlier. This is my first chance to say hi to Andy. I’m Brie Hooker. You must be the veterinarian Aunt Eva’s always talking about.”

Andy rose to his feet. “Andy Green. Pleased to meet you, ma’am. Your aunts were my very first customers when I opened my practice.”

He waved a hand at Tammy, the now demure pig, wallowing a goodly distance away. “I’m really sorry Tammy picked today to root up these bones. I feel partly to blame. Talked your aunts into adopting Miss Piggy. It aggravates me how folks can’t resist buying potbellied pigs as pets when they’re adorable babies, but have no qualms about abandoning them once they start to grow.”

Andy’s outstretched hand awaited my handshake. I held up my palm to display my injury. “Gotta take a rain check on a handshake. Unfortunately, I already shook hands with the barn.”

Andy gently turned up my palm. “I’ll fix you right up, if you don’t mind a vet doing surgery. Give me a minute to wash up and meet me at my truck. Can’t miss it. A double-cab GMC that kinda looks like aliens crash landed an aluminum spaceship in the truck bed. I’m parked by the milking barn.”

As Andy loped off toward the retail shop’s comfort station, Paint called after him. “Sneaky way to hold hands with a pretty lady.”

Andy glanced over his shoulder and grinned. “You’re just mad you didn’t think of it first.”

Paint chuckled and focused his hundred-watt grin on me. “Bet my white lightning could disinfect that sliver. Sure you don’t want me to do the honors?”

I couldn’t help but laugh. “Somehow I doubt honor has anything to do with it.”

The moonshiner faked an injured look. Mom rolled her eyes. “Heaven help me—and you, Brie. Not sure you’re safe with the wildlife that frequents this farm. Forget those coyotes that worry Eva, I’m talking wolves.” She looked toward the porch. “How’s Eva holding up?”

“Better.” I wanted to grill Mom about Jed Watson, but I needed to do so in private. “Guess I should steel myself for surgery.” I took a Mason jar from the tray I’d set on a hay bale. “Down the hatch.” My healthy swallow blazed a burning trail from throat to belly. Before I could stop myself, I sputtered.

“Shut your mouth,” Paint said. Yowzer. My eyes watered, and my throat spasmed. I coughed. “What?”

“Shut your mouth. Oxygen fuels the burn. You need to take a swallow then close your mouth. None of this sipping stuff.”

“Now you tell me.” I choked. Mom laughed. “That’s the best strategy I’ve heard yet to shut Brie up.”

I wiped at the tears running down my cheeks. “Your moonshine packs more punch than my five-alarm Thai stir fry.”

Paint’s eyebrows rose. “My shine is smooth, once you get used to it. You want a little fire in your gut. Keeps life interesting.”

A little too interesting. I’d been at Udderly Kidding Dairy just over a week, and I already felt like a spinning top with a dangerous wobble.

***

Excerpt from Bones To Pick by Linda Lovely. Copyright © 2017 by Linda Lovely. Reproduced with permission from Linda Lovely. All rights reserved.

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Author Linda Lovely

Linda Lovely

Over the past five years, hundreds of mystery/thriller writers have met Linda Lovely at check-in for the annual Writers’ Police Academy, which she helps organize. Lovely finds writing pure fiction isn’t a huge stretch given the years she’s spent penning PR and ad copy. She writes a blend of mystery and humor, chuckling as she plots to “disappear” the types of characters who most annoy her. Quite satisfying plus there’s no need to pester relatives for bail. Her newest series offers good-natured salutes to both her vegan family doctor and her cheese-addicted kin. She served as president of her local Sisters in Crime chapter for five years and belongs to International Thriller Writers and Romance Writers of America.

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King Harald’s Snow Job (King Harald Mysteries)
by Richard Audry

Mr. Audry is a wonderful storyteller. You will quickly find yourself immersed in this book and will have a difficult time putting in down.
~Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

My favorite part of the Canine Cozy mysteries is when the story is told from Harald’s perspective. We get a glimpse into the canine mind and get Harald’s take on things without humanizing him.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

King Harald’s Snow Job (King Harald Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Conger Road Press (August 1, 2017)
Paperback: 302 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0985019686
E-Book ASIN: B0747QWYLZ

My Review

This is my first time reading a book from this series. I enjoy cozy mysteries and anything with four legged companions is always a big plus for me.

It starts out innocent enough. Andy has big plans with his buddies for the weekend but first he needs to stop in at the Beaver Tail Resort to help his Aunt Bev. It’s the big event for Girls’ Weekend Out and she could use the extra hand.

You know what they say about best laid plans. Andy’s goes out the window when a sudden snow storm leaves him stranded in a hotel full of women, one of the few other males present being his dog, King Harald.

Events take a bizarre twist when someone is attacked and a valuable piece of jewelry is stolen. It’s time for King Harald to start poking his sleuthing snout into some snow drifts and for Andy to dust off his own crime solving abilities to flush out the thief before someone really gets hurt.

This is the third book in the series so I’m starting out clueless. The author filled me in enough on past events to clear up most of my confusion and I settled in for a fun mystery.

 I was slow to solve the mystery as the crime didn’t happen until almost the halfway point of the story. Don’t let that deter you. Getting to know the character’s and touring the resort was a lot of fun.

One of those fun character’s is King Harald. He’s a dog’s dog, full of mischief and an almost accidental talent for solving crimes. His ‘owner’ Andy has his hands full following his clues. He’s a dog after all. It’s not like he can tell Andy what he’s discovered.

Lots of fun, a twisted mystery, and some delicious food and beverages left me hungry and thirsty for more of this cozy series. I raise my glass of Biberschwanzes to an adventure best served cold.

4 stars

~~~~~

Synopsis

It’s early December and Andy Skyberg is itching to blow town for a weekend of holiday cheer with old friends—including a date with an attractive divorcée who thinks he’s hot.

But first, Aunt Bev needs a teensy bit of help. She’s managing the Girls’ Weekend Out event at the Beaver Tail Resort and could use some extra muscle. Andy figures he can spare a few hours before hitting the road.

Mother Nature, though, has other plans. A giant blizzard makes an unexpected turn. Andy and his pooch King Harald find themselves snowbound—in a hotel full of hard-partying women, stranded travelers, a hockey team, a man-eating novelist, a belligerent blogger, and one violent, devious jewel thief.

Before you know it, man and mutt are up to their noses in another case. It’s a winter wonderland of fast-paced fun and merry madness, as the sleuthing duo dig out from King Harald’s Snow Job.

About Author Richard Audry

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Richard Audry is the pen name of D. R. Martin. In addition to his career as a journalist and copywriter, D. R. has written a dozen books, both fiction and non-fiction. His current projects include a fantasy adventure trilogy, a canine cozy mystery series, and historical mysteries set at the turn of the last century.

Author Links

Facebook / Webpage

Purchase Links:

Amazon  B&N

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Follow the tour

November 1 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – COZY WEDNESDAY

November 2 –  Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 3 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

November 4 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

November 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

November 6 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

November 6 –  Queen of All She Reads  – SPOTLIGHT

November 6 –  View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

November 7 – Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf – REVIEW

November 7 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

November 8 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW

November 8 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

November 9 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

November 10 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

November 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

November 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

~~~~~

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 go HERE

Welcome to my Monday Minis where I share shorter reviews of books I’ve read.

Got a fun one for you today.

Witch of Death

by Chrys Fey

Length: Short Story

Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery

Chrys Fey WitchofDeath_w9683_750

 

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My Review

You know it’s going to be fun when one character denies the possibility of another ones existence when they’re standing right in front of them.

Liberty Sawyer arrives at the crime scene. She’s statuesque, her long hair falling straight down her back, dressed all in black. She’s a witch, no bones about it, and is often called in for unusual cases such as this one.

Detective Reid Sanders isn’t buying it, Sure, the case is weird. The body is suspended in mid air with nothing appearing to hold it there. But, that doesn’t mean he has to swallow such nonsense as witches and dark magic.

Reid first suspects Liberty since she seems to know too much about the happenings and what’s to come. And he’s not liking that she’s gotten under his skin. An itch he wants to scratch.

This was fun. A sassy, tough as nails witch, a stubborn, doubting detective, and a villain so vile. You know things are going to get dicey.

The attraction between Liberty and Reid is strong right from their first meeting. The author got some chuckles out of me as Reid struggles against it and Liberty just smiles knowingly.

The story moves quickly. The killer  wastes no time choosing the next victim. And the showdown at the end gives you quite a surprise when you discover who’s behind the murders.

  I enjoyed the fast pace and likeable characters and was left eager for more. Witch Of Death was a fun nibble. Perfect for fans of the genre looking for a quick fix.

4 Stars

~~~~~

Murder isn’t always committed with magic unless a witch is involved.

Blurb:

Detective Reid Sanders doesn’t believe in the supernatural, but when he’s faced with a crime scene that defies the laws of nature, he has no other choice but to start believing. And solving a magical murder involves working with a witch.

Liberty Sawyer embodies the look of your classic evil witch, so, it’s no surprise when she uncovers the murderer is a witch that she becomes Reid’s number one suspect. If she can’t convince him otherwise, more people could lose their lives to dark magic, including her.

 

Excerpt:

Liberty Sawyer glided swiftly through the horde of police officers, reporters, and on- lookers. Black hair fell from a rigid part in the middle of her scalp to her hips. Her eyes were a soul-stabbing blue and her lips were blood-red. She towered over the other officers on the scene, and wore all black, which set off the pallor of her skin.

Showing her badge to the officer, she slipped under the crime scene tape. A few paces away, she spotted Detective Corbin talking to his new partner, a man she knew by name but hadn’t had the privilege of meeting yet.

“I cannot believe you called her,” the new man was saying when she came up behind them. “We don’t need a damn psychic!”

“Actually, I’m a witch.” She smiled when Reid jolted and turned to face her. “I’m Detective Liberty Sawyer.” She stuck out her hand.

“Detective Reid Sanders,” he grunted back and took her hand.

The feel of his palm against hers sent tingles of lust from the tips of her fingers to her shoulder blade, and she knew he felt it too by the way he jerked his hand back. She winked at him playfully, hoping it would unnerve him even more.

 

$0.99 CENTS!

Book Links:

Amazon US / Amazon UK / The Wild Rose Press / NOOK / KOBO

 

Author Chrys Fey

Chrys Fey - Cropped

Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept blending romance, crimes, and disasters. She’s an administrator for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, running their newsletter and book club. She’s also an editor for Dancing Lemur Press.

Fey realized she wanted to write by watching her mother pursue publication. At the age of twelve, she started her first novel, which flourished into a series she later rewrote at seventeen.

Fey lives in Florida and is always on the lookout for hurricanes. She has four cats and three nephews, both keep her entertained with their antics.

Author Links:

Facebook / Blog / Website / Goodreads

~~~~~

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 go HERE

bookshelves photo: Bookshelf bookshelves.jpg

This is my own version of a weekly book haul and all things new on fuonlyknew.

I’m also linking up with The Sunday Post hosted by Kimberly @Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

Sunday Post

Some chit chat.

It’s already moving into the second week of November but it sure doesn’t feel like it here. Been in the 80s and muggy. I’m not complaining. It’s usually January before winter really starts to set in. And then the really cold blasts are only for a few days. A lot of my winter plants are blooming and the summer plants are kind of starting to die back. I love that most things in my yard stay green year round.

Oh, some great news! It seems like only one kind of my pecans isn’t good but all of the others are okay and I’m back to making some money. There are many kinds of pecans, from Elliots, which are the ones I make the most money on and are rotten this year, to all kinds of seedlings, which I’m now making big money on this year. So I’m spending my weekend gathering them up to take to the wholesaler. Going to sock the money away for Christmas, which is coming fast!

I hope you all had a fabulous week and thanks for stopping by!

*****

My new books this week.

23634011  34913896  Spot and Smudge - Book One by [Udulutch, Robert]

Hell Divers (The Hell Divers Trilogy Book 1) by [Smith, Nicholas Sansbury]  Hell Divers II: Ghosts (The Hell Divers Trilogy Book 2) by [Smith, Nicholas Sansbury]  She Who Fights Monsters (The Black Parade Book 2) by [M, Kyoko]

*****

And here are some freebies for ya. Click on the covers to get your copies. Remember to make sure they’re still free before you hit that buy button.

Not My Daughter by [Mullican,Kim]  Fallen Angel by [Cohen, Anthea]  Daughter of The Night by [Kos, Tiki]

The Apple Picker's Daughter by [Brooke, Anne]  SEAL of Approval (SEAL Series Book 1) by [Silkstone, Jack]  Arts, Crafts and Murder (Craft Circle Cozy Mysteries Book 2) by [Alabaster, Stacey]

The Suit by [Sonne, John T.]  Carl Sagan's Hunt for Intelligent Life in the Universe (Archangel Project) by [Gockel, C.]  Hounds of Autumn by [Blackwood, Heather]

*****

Books I reviewed this week. Click on the covers to read my reviews.

36322508  27221999

kathryn WitchesII_Apocalypse_Bonus_Kindle  DeadCold

*****

Other posts on my blog this week.

31 Days Of Thrills And Chills ~ Day #29 ~ Dark Ride

31 Days Of Thrills And Chills ~ Day #30 ~ My Monday Minis #71 ~ Mechaniclism

Subhuman by Michael McBride ~ Blitz and Giveaway

31 Days Of Thrills And Chills ~ Day #31 ~ Witches: I and Witches: II ~ Review and Giveaway

Winter’s Siren by Krystal Jane Ruin ~ Blitz and Giveaway

A Cozy Mystery Blurb Blitz and Giveaway ~ The Precious Pachyderm

Blitz and Giveaway ~ Pen & Xander

Book Tour and Review ~ Dead Cold by Jennifer Chase

Blurb Blitz & Giveaway ~ Jalapeno Cupcake Wench by Carol Kilgore

New Release ! Stone Silence by Taylor Dean ~ Excerpt and Giveaway

Book Tour and Giveaway ~ Spirits In The Water ~ A Fantasy Anthology

Shattered Glass by Destiny Hawkins ~ Excerpt and Giveaway

*****

Leave your link and I’ll come visit you.

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 go HERE.

Dead Cold banner 3

Pump Up Your Book is pleased to bring you Jennifer Chase’s Dead Cold Virtual Book Tour September 4th – November 30th.

For my stop, I’m excited to share my review!

DeadCold

Title: DEAD COLD
Author: Jennifer Chase
Publisher: JEC Press
Pages: 326
Genre: Crime Thriller

My Review

I like to go into a book cold, not knowing a whole lot about the plot. It wasn’t long before I figured out this isn’t the first book in the series. No worries though. I got an idea of who was who and how they connected as I continued reading.

Told from four different points of view, this kept things interesting and the story fast paced. The character’s have strong voices, making them easy to identify.

The only thing I was left wondering about was how Emily and her partner, Rick, were able to survive. I mean, they were both in law enforcement but left it behind to pursue behind the scenes justice. They’d solve a crime and call in a tip, leaving the credit to the police. I couldn’t figure out how they lived without money as they didn’t get paid by anybody. It wasn’t a big deal. Just means I should go back to the beginning of the series and find out. And I’ll definitely be checking out the other books.

I mentioned four different points of view. Lets talk about that. You get the view of Emily and Rick  as they research each crime, often putting themselves in grave danger to rescue someone in a bad way. I like them as a couple. They’re in love and have to allow each other freedom to take risks. That could break up most couples, but they’ve found a way to make it work.

 Then there’s Detective Danny Starr. He’s catching on that someone is helping the force in fighting crime and he’s just landed a huge new case. Someone is killing people, freezing their bodies, then later spreading the body parts around to be discovered.

And Kayla, rescued by Emily and Rick several years ago, is now shadowing the case, trying to reconnect with Emily and thank her for saving her life. She’s putting herself smack dab into danger again. Being a teen, I cut her some slack for what she was doing. Young people seem to think they’ll live forever and she clearly believes lightning won’t strike twice.

Last but certainly not least is the serial killer. Suffering from a violent past, the killer is used to violence and revels in taunting the police, leaving body parts for them to discover and a puzzling motive to figure out. Going through trauma isn’t an excuse to dish out crap on others, and I couldn’t find much symphony for the serial killer. Just too much evil there.

I know. There’s a lot happening. I got caught up in the suspense. I could see the character’s heading on a collision course. And when they all converged, the suspense darn near killed me. I really had no idea how it would end, who would come out of it alive.

Dead Cold is a puzzling thriller with a ton of suspense and very real characters.  If you’re a fan of the genre, this would be a good one to pick up.

4 Stars

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Synopsis

What happens when one California community has a disturbing spike in homicides? It catapults cops into a deadly game of murder. Frozen human body parts hideously displayed at the crime scenes offers a horrifying interpretation that only a sadistic serial killer could design—and execute.

On the hunt for a complex serial killer, vigilante detective Emily Stone must face her most daring case yet. Stone’s proven top-notch profiling skills and forensic expertise may not be enough this time.

Young and ambitious, Detective Danny Starr, catches the homicide cases and discovers that it will test everything he knows about police work and the criminal mind. Can he handle these escalating cases or will the police department have to call in reinforcements—the FBI.

Emily Stone’s covert team pushes with extreme urgency to unravel the grisly clues, while keeping their identities hidden from the police. With one last-ditch effort, Stone dangles someone she loves as bait to draw out the killer. She then forces the killer out of their comfort zone with her partner Rick Lopez, and with help from a longtime friend Jordan Smith. A revelation of the serial killer’s identity leaves the team with volatile emotions that could destroy them.

The killer continues to taunt and expertly manipulate the police, as well as Stone’s team, and as they run out of time—they leave behind everyone and everything—in Dead Cold.

Order Below

Amazon

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Meet Author Jennifer Chase

 

Jennifer Chase

Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning crime fiction author and consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

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Go HERE to follow the tour for more fun posts.

~~~~~

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 go HERE

Welcome to My 31 Days Of Thrills And Chills!

day of the dead photo: Dancing Skeleton dancing_skeleton.gif

I’ll be sharing all kinds of books, movies, and other spooky stuff for every day in October. Gots to

get those scares on for the 31st!

It’s Day 31 and I have a couple of witchy good ones to share with ya’ll!

I always love welcoming Kathryn back to my blog. She writes the most amazing stories and I’ve read a bunch of them. Today I’m sharing about her newest release. Witches II: Apocalypse and her bonus set offering both books in the series. Check out my reviews. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

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 Witches plus bonus Witches II: Apocalypse

By Kathryn Meyer Griffith

kathryn WitchesII_Apocalypse_Bonus_Kindle

Blurb of double book:

Two Witch books in one:

Witches:

There are witches in the world…some are good and some of them are downright evil.

Amanda Givens is careful how she uses her benevolent powers. She doesn’t want the people of Canaan, Connecticut to know they have a witch among them…even a good white witch. For years, she’s lived quietly in a remote cabin with Amadeus, her quirky feline familiar. At first with her husband, Jake, the love of her life, until a car accident; but now alone after his death. But when she’s wrongly blamed for a rash of ritualistic murders committed by a satanic cult, she knows she can no longer hide. She’s the one the cult is after and she is the only one who can stop them and prove her innocence. Yet as punishment for fighting and destroying the cult, she’s drawn back in time by the ghost of the dark witch, Rachel Coxe, who was drowned for practicing black magic in the 17th century. Now, as Amanda tries to rehabilitate Rachel’s reputation in an effort to save lives, as well as her own, and falls in love all over again with Joshua, her reincarnated dead husband from the future, she has to rely on a sister’s love and magical knowledge, and a powerful sect of witches named the Guardians, to help her get home safely. ***

Witches II: Apocalypse:

The long-awaited sequel to my 1993 best-selling paperback novel Witches is finally HERE! Yes, witches exist…the good and the bad ones…and one day the two ancient adversaries of good and evil will join the fight for control of the world. Amanda has been told her ten year old witch-child, Lizzy, is fated to someday become one of the planet’s most powerful witches. If she lives. If the world survives. Because the world is being threatened by an anti-Christ called Reuben who is prophesied to bring the end of the world by destroying everyone and everything good–including the white witches and warlocks of the world–unless he can be stopped. The Guardians, a secret society of those white wiccans who protect others of their kind and the world from great evil, along with the powerful good witch, Amanda Givens, and her gifted daughter, Lizzy, must battle Reuben and his demonic followers. They must somehow change the outcome of the prophesied end times, aid a possible child of God, help the earth’s people to resist the black witches, demons and the soulless, which the times have brought forth and who are trying to bring hell to earth. Good and evil will be brought together for the final battles. Will Amanda, Lizzy, and the Guardians defeat evil or will it defeat them as they fight with all their strength and powers to save the people, the lives and the world they love. Who will win?***

Amazon

Goodreads

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Witches

Genre: Horror / Paranormal / Fantasy

My Review

Nothing like some witches to keep me reading into the wee hours. I should add that I’ve read many of Kathryn’s books and that always happens.

The age old battle of good vs. evil is portrayed by white magic and black magic.

Some things never change. Even for witches in present times. Amanda is still grieving over the loss of her beloved and just wants to get through each day. Living in a small town, her unusual ways raise suspicion and she’s the likely culprit for the town folks when the murders begin.

It’s Salem all over again as the town turns on Amanda, calling her a witch, shunning her, and casting the first stone.

As Amanda begins her own investigation, she stumbles into a dark and deadly plot involving dark magic and demons. Now, she’s desperate to reveal the truth before she’s outed by a posse and hung until dead.

A fun thing was the talking familiars. They came in all shapes and sizes and had very vocal opinions. It was also fun to see witches trying to hide what they were from the modern world. They all had different levels of power and couldn’t just twitch their noses and appear somewhere. Even witches had to use cell phones and airplanes.

I thought it worked really well for the story when the author took her story back in time to the witch trials. The contrasts and similarities of life as a witch was intriguing and kept the story moving quickly.

I thought I knew how this would end and worried that it wouldn’t work. That it would be awkward and rushed. Not so. I give kudos to Kathryn for surprising me and pulling it off.

  5  Stars

Amazon

Goodreads

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Witches II

My Review

Sometimes an author does everything right and gives you a sequel that’s every bit as good as the first book. Kathryn does this often. I’ve read several different series’ and always come away thinking how wonderful that next book was, and the next…

In the world of witches you ever know what to expect. Things are going swimmingly, and then they aren’t. It’s going to take all of the white witches and the Guardians to stop the evil that’s coming to destroy life as they know it. Amanda is especially worried as her young daughter, Lizzie, is foretold to become the most powerful white witch in the world. Something evil wants to destroy her before she comes into her power.

The battle is coming, and no one is safe. Just a warning. Kathryn doesn’t shy away from killing her character;s so be ready for the suspense.

Witches II is packed with action, adventure, nail biting suspense and bit of horror. You’ll laugh with and fear for the characters you care about. And you’ll loathe those that mean them harm.

Another slam dunk from Kathryn. I hope she continues with this series as I can’t see it ever getting old for me.

And a heads up. You can read this without having read the first book. But I recommend you read Witches first. You won’t want to miss out on the fun.

5 Stars

Amazon / Goodreads

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ABOUT KATHRYN MEYER GRIFFITH

100_8628Since childhood I’ve been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. But I’d already begun writing novels at 21, over forty-five years ago now, and have had twenty-six (six romantic horror, four thrillers, three horror novels, two romantic SF horror, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel, one historical romance and eight murder mysteries) previous novels, two novellas and twelve short stories published from many traditional publishers since 1984. But since 2012 I’ve gone into self-publishing in a big way; and upon getting some of my older books’ full rights back for the first time in 33 years, have self-published all of them along with my newer novels. My four Dinosaur Lake novels and four Spookie Town Mysteries (Scraps of Paper, All Things Slip Away, Ghosts Beneath Us and Witches Among Us) are my best-sellers.

I’ve been married to Russell for thirty-nine years; have a son and two grandchildren and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois. We have a quirky cat, Sasha, and the three of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk/classic rock singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die…or until my memory goes.

2012 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *Finalist* for her horror novel The Last Vampire ~ 2014 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS * Finalist * for her thriller novel Dinosaur Lake.

*All Kathryn Meyer Griffith’s books can now also be found in paperbacks and audio books.

Novels and short stories from Kathryn Meyer Griffith:

Evil Stalks the Night, The Heart of the Rose, Blood Forged, Vampire Blood, The Last Vampire (2012 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS*Finalist* in their Horror category), Witches, The Nameless One erotic horror short story, The Calling, Scraps of Paper (The First Spookie Town Murder Mystery), All Things Slip Away (The Second Spookie Town Murder Mystery), Ghosts Beneath Us (The Third Spookie Town Murder Mystery), Witches Among Us (The Fourth Spookie Town Murder Mystery),Egyptian Heart, Winter’s Journey, The Ice Bridge, Don’t Look Back, Agnes, A Time of Demons and Angels, The Woman in Crimson, Human No Longer, Four Spooky Short Stories Collection, Forever and Always Romantic Novella, Night Carnival Short Story, Dinosaur Lake (2014 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS*Finalist* in their Thriller/Adventure category), Dinosaur Lake II: Dinosaurs Arising and Dinosaur Lake III: Infestation, Dinosaur Lake IV: Dinosaur Wars, Memories of My Childhood (short story collection) and Christmas Magic 1959 short story.

Find Kathryn

TwitterBlogFacebook AuthorsDenGoodreads  /  YouTube

Smashwords  /  Pinterest

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Kathryn Meyer Griffith has an awesome giveaway for you. Three winners will receive the Witches’ double eBooks in any format of their choice, ePub,mobi or pdf. To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment answering Kathryn’s  question:

Do you believe in ghosts….and have you ever ever seen one?

Giveaway ends November 6th.

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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 go HERE

Welcome to My 31 Days Of Thrills And Chills!

day of the dead photo: Dancing Skeleton dancing_skeleton.gif

I’ll be sharing all kinds of books, movies, and other spooky stuff for every day in October. Gots to

get those scares on for the 31st!

And welcome to my Monday Minis Reviews where I share shorter reviews of books I’ve read.

This one was free on Amazon. Click the cover to grab your copy. Make sure to check the price before clicking.

Mechaniclism

by Lynn Lamb

27221999

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Genre: Apocalyptic Horror

 My Review

This one caught my eye on Amazon and I decided to give the author a try.

What a strangAe and engaging spin to this book. You start with the 1600s and clockmaker Frederick Jori. His work is lauded and comes to the attention of Lord Godwine, who imprisons and tortures him in unimaginable ways to make the automatons he requested. Something Jori claims is an abomination.

Flash forward to present day and Ireland Barton, a smart, accomplished scientist who’s lived her entire life in a bubble because of an immune deficiency that could kill her. She’s sadly left on her own to cope when her father dies from a virus that’s spread across the globe, killing most of civilization.

As the two times blend together, Ireland races to solve the puzzle of the mechanical dolls before all perish.

Each character suffers their own kind of prison. What I liked most was how they weren’t broken. They struggled to accomplish what seemed impossible. And I was held rapt to see what each chapter revealed about their lives.

Well, this was different. At times so gory it made me cringe and at other times intriguing, I couldn’t stop reading it. Even when I felt confused, as the blurb says the times converge, I couldn’t see how that would matter, but I needed to see. The author showed me the way and I sure got an eye opener.

If you like horror, suspense, and a bit of the odd, you might enjoy this one. The writing is strong and, as the author shares each time line, you have no trouble telling when it is or who’s story you’re following. I’m happy I tried this author and will be looking at more of her books now.

  4 Stars

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Synopsis

The Past
In 1632, Lord August Godwine, an Austrian nobleman, commissions Swiss clockmaker Frederick Jori to create a miniature city of automatons to amuse himself and impress the aristocracy. When Jori refuses to commit offenses against God, he undergoes brutal, unimaginable torture until the once-pious craftsman surrenders to his fate. But what he hides in the innocuous-appearing automatons ignites a horrific apocalypse—one that will not be realized for 400 years.
The Present
In 21st century San Francisco, Ireland Barton is a brilliant, successful young scientist, but there is one drawback to her perfect life—she suffers from a rare immune disorder that keeps her confined in a plastic bubble. When a new virus is released on the world, she begins a heart-pounding race to find a cure to save what is left of humanity and battle malevolent forces housed in 17th century figurines.
An Uncertain Future
As two worlds—two time periods—collide, will Ireland unravel the mystery of the dolls before the clock winds down on humanity?

Mature Audience
Please be advised, as the genre states, this is horror fiction.

Amazon

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The first cover is the one I own from Goodreads. This one is from Amazon.

Which do you like better?

Mechaniclism: Apocalyptic Horror by [Lamb, Lynn]

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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 go HERE