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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Suspense, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 314
1. Cybils Speculative Reader: THE DELPHI EFFECT by RYSA WALKER

Welcome to the 2016 Cybils Speculative Reader! As a first run reader for the Cybils, I'll be briefly introducing you to the books on the list, giving you a mostly unbiased look at some of the plot.Enjoy! Time travel! Ghosts! Plotting adults! Secret... Read the rest of this post

1 Comments on Cybils Speculative Reader: THE DELPHI EFFECT by RYSA WALKER, last added: 12/29/2016
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2. Cybils Speculative Reads: VICARIOUS by PAULA STOKES

Welcome to the 2016 Cybils Speculative Reader! As a first run reader for the Cybils, I'll be briefly introducing you to the books on the list, giving you a mostly unbiased look at some of the plot.Enjoy! Writing inclusive speculative fiction is... Read the rest of this post

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3. Halloween Review Roundup: Scary (ish) Stories and Books that Bite

Yeah, so the irony about me doing a post about scary books for Halloween is that I am a wimp who tends to avoid anything scary. But I do like suspense, and sometimes I can handle a good dark fantasy. And, of course, I've had to read more than a few... Read the rest of this post

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4. Cybils Speculative Reader: THE STEEP AND THORNY WAY, by CAT WINTERS

Welcome to the 2016 Cybils Speculative Reader! As a first run reader for the Cybils, I'll be briefly introducing you to the books on the list, giving you a mostly unbiased look at some of the plot.Enjoy! NB: Author Cat Winters is a go-to for... Read the rest of this post

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5. Cybils Speculative Reader: 23 MINUTES by VIVIAN VANDE VELDE

Welcome to the 2016 Cybils Speculative Reader! As a first run reader for the Cybils, I'll be briefly introducing you to the books on the list, giving you a mostly unbiased look at some of the plot.Enjoy! I have a ridiculous love for the novels of... Read the rest of this post

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6. Cybils Speculative Reader: MEMORY GIRL by LINDA JOY SINGLETON

Welcome to the 2016 Cybils Speculative Reader! As a first run reader for the Cybils, I'll be briefly introducing you to the books on the list, giving you a mostly unbiased look at some of the plot.Enjoy! There are elements to this novel which are... Read the rest of this post

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Welcome to another session of Turning Pages!I tried very, very hard in high school English to read Dickens. I hated Dora. I loathed David. I wanted to smack Uriah Heep (but then, didn't everyone). I hated Our Mutual Friend. I had no luck with... Read the rest of this post

0 Comments on Turning Pages Reads: TELL THE WIND AND FIRE by SARAH REES BRENNAN as of 7/10/2016 4:03:00 AM
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8. Monday Review: NEVER MISSING NEVER FOUND by Amanda Panitch

Synopsis: Suspense stories that deal with kidnapping and imprisonment (consider that your trigger warning) don't always put an equally weighty focus on the aftermath of the trauma. This particular thriller suspensefully covers both the dramatic... Read the rest of this post

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9. Turning Pages Reads: IN THE FORESTS OF THE NIGHT, by Kersten Hamilton

Welcome to another session of Turning Pages!Aquafortis got me thinking about comfort reads a few weeks ago. While I really started reading fiction mostly late in high school, I have some read-again books which resonate with me mostly because of... Read the rest of this post

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10. Friday Feature: If It Walks Like a Killer

A perfect family living a perfect lie...

by Kiersten Modglin
Series: The Caroline Killer Files #1
Genres: Thriller | Crime | Suspense 
Release Date: August 16, 2016
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Cover Designer: Deranged Doctor Designs

What Caide and Rachael Abbott want you to believe…

They are happily married college sweethearts, parents to two beautiful children, and they lead a perfect, quiet little life.

What you should believe…


Nothing they tell you.

Nothing you hear.

In fact, nothing in the Abbotts’ picture-perfect world is what it seems.

But when their small town of La Rue, North Carolina is rocked by the brutal murder of a beloved member of the community, a manhunt begins, and neither Caide nor Rachael thought they would become prime suspects.

Every belief Caide and Rachael have about their lives is thrown out the window…

With mounting evidence and lives on the line, the Abbotts are forced to uncover what mysteries are hiding behind closed doors. When old wounds are torn open, secrets are revealed, and their sanity is put to the ultimate test, even memories can’t be trusted in their quest to find the truth. And when the community rallies for justice, suspicions of one another rise, leaving one question begging to be answered...

If it walks like a killer, will the small town of La Rue ever know who the real murderer is?


Kiersten Modglin lives in Nashville, TN with her husband and their two Boston Terriers, Cedric and Chloe. A psychology fanatic, lover of Netflix, coffee and all things Harry Potter, Kiersten can almost always be found curled up in her favorite writing chair with a good book. Kiersten writes psychological suspense novels that explore the darkest parts of human nature and the inner workings of twisted minds. Writing has always been an important part of Kiersten’s life; for her, this is just the beginning.

*Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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11. Surveying Stories: Unpacking "Unlikeable" in Lindsay Ribar's ROCKS FALL, EVERYONE DIES

Remember the whole discussion about "likeable" characters? As I recall, it sprang from a PW author interview on the unlikable female character in a book. That the author was even asked about the "likability" of her protagonist generated a furor of... Read the rest of this post

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12. Monday Review: PASADENA by Sherri L. Smith

Don't miss our interview with author Sherri Smith this Wednesday, as part of the Pasadena blog tour! Synopsis: "The thing I'm finally learning is that someone can be your best friend in the world, but you're not necessarily theirs." Pasadena. It's... Read the rest of this post

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13. Thursday Review: THE FORGETTING by Sharon Cameron

Synopsis: The "every X years something life-changing/terrible/wonderful happens" trope always reminds me of that Ray Bradbury short story "All Summer in a Day," which I read for school in maybe 6th or 7th grade and found incredibly traumatic. In... Read the rest of this post

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14. Cybils Speculative Reader: WOLF BY WOLF by RYAN GRAUDIN

Welcome to the 2016 Cybils Speculative Reader! As a first run reader for the Cybils, I'll be briefly introducing you to the books on the list, giving you a mostly unbiased look at some of the plot.Enjoy! Synopsis: In a series of flashbacks, the... Read the rest of this post

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15. Guest Post and Giveaway: Stop at Nothing by Kate SeRine

Kate SeRine dropped by the virtual offices to share a Top 10 list!

Top 10 Items You’ll Never Find in Kyle’s Bedroom

Kyle Dawson is the youngest of the Dawson brothers and definitely has cocky, confident swagger to spare. But beneath that swagger is an intelligent, caring, ambitious guy who’s dealing with a lot—both personally and professionally. And what better way to get to know a guy than by taking a peek at what’s in his bedroom—or, in this case, what’s not. So here are ten things you’ll never find in Kyle’s bedroom…

  1. Lots of hipster hair/body products. Kyle’s pretty low-maintenance.

  1. Anything related to work. Leave it at the office—whether that’s the actual office or the home office. Gotta have a sacred space where the cases can’t intrude or the job will kill you.

  1. A varied wardrobe. Pretty much the same kind/color of suit, shirt, and tie every day. It’s an FBI thing.

  1. Work out equipment. He stays in shape running and going to the gym to workout. If he relied on working out at home it’d be too easy to just sit on his ass after a long day on the job.

  1. Books. Kyle loves to read, but his favorite place to do so is stretched out on the couch with Abby snuggled up beside him.

  1. Decorative anything. A bedroom is for sleeping—or not, depending on who’s with you.

  1. Television. See #6.

  1. Food of any kind. Unless it’s being licked from Abby’s skin. Then all bets are off.

  1. Clothes on the floor—unless they were tossed there in his haste to get naked with Abby…

  1. Sexual enhancement products. Kyle doesn’t need any help pleasing his woman. He’s got this.

Title: Stop at Nothing

Author: Kate SeRine

Series: Protect & Serve, #1

Pubdate: November 3rd, 2015

ISBN: 9781492618348

When a high-profile investigation goes wrong, FBI Agent Kyle Dawson is transferred back home where he is forced to confront his demons…and the only woman he ever loved. Three years ago, Kyle and Abby Morrow shared a wild, passionate summer—then Abby broke his heart.

Now she needs his help

Kyle never stopped loving Abby. So when Abby uncovers evidence of a human-trafficking ring, leading to her sister’s kidnapping, he swears he’ll stop at nothing to bring her sister home and keep Abby safe. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse and blindsided by their own explosive desires, they must set aside the past before it’s too late.

Kate SeRine writes award-winning romantic suspense and paranormal romance. A past recipient of an Emily Award and the National Readers Choice Award, she has also been a finalist in the Fire and Ice Contest, Finally a Bride Contest, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. She lives with her husband and two sons outside Indianapolis, Indiana. Connect with Kate at www.kateserine.com.

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1M8LA5j

Apple: http://apple.co/1PJuRLM

BAM: http://bit.ly/1OUZk8T

B&N: http://bit.ly/1jWKVNG

Chapters: http://bit.ly/1GtwBXl

Indiebound: http://bit.ly/1LIHy4f

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1GXfV5k

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16. Spotlight: Target Engaged by ML Buchman

This December starts off with a bang as M.L. Buchman releases TARGET ENGAGED, the first in his brand new (and action-packed) Delta Force series! To celebrate his new release, Sourcebooks Casablanca is sharing the first six chapters of Target Engaged for FREE! Click here to download the first six chapters and check out a special note from M.L. Buchman below.

A Note from M.L. Buchman

Dear Reader,

Welcome to my newest series: the first women of Delta Force. I can’t begin to tell you how much fun this was to write.

Most of us know little more about Delta Force than the Chuck Norris movies (which leave a lot to be desired) or perhaps we only know the name. In researching my Night Stalkers series, I kept running into these guys. They are the elite of Special Operations Forces. They are at a level of SEAL Team 6, and most would argue they were even beyond that. They are the ghost and shadow warriors who helped take down drug lord Pablo Escobar, capture Noriega, were undoubtedly behind the locating of Saddam Hussein, and are the main reason that Al-Qaeda abruptly stopped being a topic in the Iraq War when over three thousand of their leaders were swept off the board.

Yet the Pentagon states that they don’t exist. Fascinating.

And while they often work with undercover female operatives, no woman has yet managed to kick in the front door on one of the most arduous selection programs in the military.

I decided to change that.

Carla Anderson stepped forward to take the challenge. She is a not a woman out to prove she can match any man, she’s out to prove that she can beat them at their own game. And that was the first thing that I loved about writing this series.

In the Night Stalkers, the women were strong, excellent, and determined.

To be a Delta Force woman, Carla had to add enough attitude and drive to plow through all obstacles which just made her so much fun. Nothing was off the table when it came to her attitude or her actions.

And that was the second thing I came to love about this series launcher, Target Engaged. Being Delta Force, they really do operate outside so many bounds. They are sent to do the tasks that no one else can. To that I added the additional challenge that Robert Ludlum gave to Jason Bourne (though I’m quoting the movie): “I don’t send you to kill. I send you to be invisible. I send you because you don’t exist.” I’m pretty convinced that this is part of Delta’s mission.

It is occasionally said by retired Delta Force operators (as the on-duty ones never speak): “If we’d been sent in to take down bin Laden, you still wouldn’t know how it was done.” To bring that to life gave me a permission as a writer to run my characters into hard and strange places and be just a little gonzo doing it.

But writing is a give and take, and I can’t begin to tell you how much the characters I created shaped my telling of this story. I like to think that they had as much fun as I did bringing this story to life.

I hope that you enjoy the reading even half as much as I enjoyed the writing!


M.L. Buchman (the Oregon Coast, November 2015)

Get to know the Carla, and the entire Delta Force team by reading the first SIX chapters of TARGET ENGAGED for free! Just click here to download them! To get you started, we’ve included the first few pages below:

Title: Target Engaged    

Series: Delta Force, #1

Author: M.L. Buchman

ISBN: 9781492619222

Book 1 in M.L. Buchman’s thrilling NEW Delta Force series

Delta Force: The most dangerous elite counter-terrorism force on the planet

• The deadliest shooters •

• The most out-of-the-box thinkers in any military •

• Will die to get the mission done •

Sergeant Kyle Reeves: The premier soldier of the new recruits

Sergeant Carla Anderson: The first woman of Delta Force

If the training doesn’t kill them, their passion may—but Kyle Reeves and Carla Anderson blast right in. Show no fear. Have no fear. Then they get the call. The most powerful drug-smuggling ring in Venezuela needs a takedown, and Delta’s newest team leaps into the deep jungle to deliver. Giving their all? Not a problem. Giving their hearts? That takes a new level of courage.

M. L. Buchman has over 40 novels in print. His military romantic suspense books have been named Barnes & Noble and NPR “Top 5 of the Year,” nominated for the Reviewer’s Choice Award for “Top 10 Romantic Suspense of 2014” by RT Book Reviews, and twice Booklist “Top 10 of the Year” placing two of his titles on their “The 101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” In addition to romance, he also writes thrillers, fantasy, and science fiction.

In among his career as a corporate project manager he has: rebuilt and single-handed a fifty-foot sailboat, both flown and jumped out of airplanes, designed and built two houses, and bicycled solo around the world.

He is now making his living as a full-time writer on the Oregon Coast with his beloved wife. He is constantly amazed at what you can do with a degree in Geophysics. You may keep up with his writing by subscribing to his newsletter at www.mlbuchman.com.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1WhiUg1

Apple: http://apple.co/1jZ6Q6Z

BAM: http://bit.ly/1W9AKqy

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1MJf5ez

Chapters: http://bit.ly/1Kunh0y

Indiebound: http://bit.ly/1S12fwT

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1RsIhKu

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17. Every town has ghost stories: The Headmaster’s Cave

Every town has their ghost stories and tales of the past that remains mysteries to this day. That’s why The Headmaster’s Cave book review with matching activities was an intriguing journey!

The Headmaster's Cave

The Headmaster’s Cave Book Review

In D.S. Allen’s book The Headmaster’s Cave, the town of Ballymagee is tainted by a horrible past: the murder of seven students by their headmaster. Descendants of the victims still mourn their families, but they all accept the mystery at face value—that the crazy headmaster kidnapped the kids and murdered them in a cave by the coast.
When friends George, Katie, and Dougie receive a mysterious email asking them to come to Headmaster’s Cave (a dangerous journey), they are both intrigued and frightened. They all three want answers, especially Dougie and George, both descendants of victims, however, George and Katie both recognize the danger of the journey and agree to go on a different, less lethal, adventure. But this isn’t good enough for Dougie. When George and Katie, along with George’s best four-legged friend Flanagan, realize that Dougie has decided to meet the sender of the mysterious emails, they have no choice but to go after their friend and help him.

After encountering many trials along the way—bullies, The Magic Forest, Old Maggie and her pack of bloodthirsty dogs, and bullies again—they are saved by a gentle giant by the name of Leonard who seems to appear out of nowhere. He explains that he can lead them to Dougie, who is already waiting for them at the cave. Little do the friends know (well, maybe Flanagan knew; dogs are intuitive after all), that they are walking right into a trap!
Will they solve the mystery of The Headmaster’s Cave? And most importantly, will they survive to tell the tale?

This is an intense, action-packed adventure, great for both guy and girl readers! The two main characters, George and Katie, are a great pair, both powerful and intelligent in their own ways. I love how important George’s dog, Flan, was to the story mainly because I think that dogs are awesome! This was definitely a riveting story.

DISCLAIMER. This book has some intense material and scenes. This book should be reserved for intermediate – middle school aged kids (Age Level: 8 – 12, Grade Level: 3 – 6). They’ll love the action, mystery, and adventure! Get ready for a couple good ghost stories.

Thanks to the author D.S. Allen and Renee from Mother/Daughter Book Club for providing a review copy.

The Headmaster’s Cave Activities-Something To Do

1. George’s dog Flanagan is very crucial to this story. He’s basically a main character. Are you thinking about getting a four-legged friend? Then here’s a quiz to help you find the perfect, loyal dog breed for you!
Headmaster's Cave activities
2. George prided himself on the fact that he knew how to make a fire, however, he accepted Katie’s help when he realized he might not know as much as he thought. Here’s two fire tutorials: one real and one a nice decoration for the holidays:
Headmaster's Cave activities
Headmaster's Cave Activities
3. Interested in learning chess like George and Dougie? Here’s a chess 101 lesson from Enchanted Yankee:

**some of the above links are affiliate links. I was gifted a copy of Headmaster’s Cave and the opinions expressed are purely my own.

Note from Valarie: As the holiday season approaches, consider adding the gift of books to your shopping list. There are many wonderful booklists available for parents looking to give their child the gift of reading and adventure. A book makes a great gift because they are meaningful, beautiful, portable, appealing, and inexpensive and it’s a gift that can be opened again and again. Books are the perfect gift for any age and a gift that doesn’t require batteries or sizing instruction!

Book love sale

If you would like to get started on your family reading adventure, or would just like to add to your family bookshelf, Audrey Press has some special deals on their catalog of books to get readers and gift-givers on their merry way. From November 30th to December 15th, give the gift of reading, adventure and education at extra-special (and extended) Black Friday prices! Go here for the full scoop on the Holiday Book Love Sale!

The post Every town has ghost stories: The Headmaster’s Cave appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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This is less of a book review than a book reaction, and is a little more self-indulgent than the way I usually book talk here in the Wonderland tree house. However, after reading just this morning that there's a thirteen day period where PTSD is... Read the rest of this post

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19. Interview and Giveaway: Special Forces Savior by Janie Crouch

Enter to Win a
$20.00 Amazon or B&N eGift Card or,
Omega Sector: Critical Response #1
Janie Crouch
Released Dec 15th, 2015 (Print)
Released Jan 1st, 2016 (Digital)
Harlequin Intrigue

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Janie!  Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Janie Crouch] Adventurous sassy mom

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

[Janie Crouch] I live as an American citizen in Germany (for my husband’s Department of Defense job with the U.S. Military) so I never leave without my international driver’s license (if I’m out and about in Germany without it and something happens, I can get in real trouble)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.

[Janie Crouch] 1. The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi. (Highly recommended for anyone who writes or is thinking about writing!)

2. Large sheet of sketchpad paper filled with brainstorming and flow charts for the current Omega Sector: Critical Response book I’m writing. I like to have an outline (I’m definitely a plotter not a pantser) but the visual representation of the story really helps me too. I keep it nearby until the book is finished.

3. A picture of my entire extended family. We just celebrated my grandparents 70th (70th!!!!!) wedding anniversary and had a picture made of the entire family.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s your favorite snack when you’re working on a deadline?

[Janie Crouch] German chocolate. Particularly, dark chocolate by Ritter Sport – a local brand that’s absolutely delicious. And I somehow have it in my mind that dark chocolate is somehow good for you.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

[Janie Crouch] Someone on vacation on a tropical island.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] You have been granted the use of one superpower for one week.  Which power would you choose, and what would you do with it?

[Janie Crouch] Definitely teleportation! I sometimes feel very far from my family who are spread out all over the United States (from Georgia to Virginia to Oregon). Being in Germany seems so far! If I could take a week and pop in on all of them, I would love it.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

[Janie Crouch] The Martian by Andy Weir – not the normal type of book I read (I generally stick to romance or romantic suspense), but I loved it. I wanted to read it before I saw the movie. I thought the movie was excellent, but, as always, a lot more happens in the book.

I’m also loving The Profiler series by Elizabeth Heiter. Her first two books in the series were fantastic (HUNTED & VANISHED) and the third one, SEIZED, just released last week. I’m devouring that one right now.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Janie Crouch] I love to hear from readers! There are multiple ways to connect with me.

Website (with contact info): http://www.janiecrouch.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/janiecrouch

Twitter: https://twitter.com/janiecrouch

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kjcrouch/

About the book:

He has to shut down the terrorists or lose everything. Including the woman who’s become a target.

Omega Sector: Critical Response agent Derek Waterman is hunting the architects of a lethal terrorist bombing. After weeks of chasing cold leads, he has finally found the evidence that could expose the perpetrators. But in order to take them down, he needs help from Dr. Molly Humphries, Omega’s lead forensic scientist.
Shy Molly works to retrieve the data–and overcome her debilitating crush on the sexy agent. Derek carefully suppresses his mutual smoldering attraction, sure that his dark past will drive Molly away if she knows. But when Molly is kidnapped, he will stop at nothing to save her. Even if a lethal enemy will do everything to keep him from doing so.

Pinned down behind his car with someone shooting at him from across the street was not how Omega Sector agent Derek Waterman had planned to spend his afternoon. He wasn’t exactly sure how he had planned to spend his afternoon, but this was definitely not it.

Derek slid closer to the ground as a bullet whizzed past his head and shattered the concrete behind him.

Whoa. Too close.

The saving grace in this situation was at least the entire block was empty of any innocent bystanders. No upstanding citizen had much reason to be in this section of West Philly. The less upstanding citizens had exited when Derek and his team had shown up, obviously law enforcement, and the shooting had started.

“Uh, what exactly was the intel you got on this place again, Derek?” Jon Hatton asked from where he was also pinned down a few feet away. Although highly trained in weapons and combat as all Omega Sector’s Critical Response agents were, Jon was primarily a behavior analyst in the Crisis Management Unit.

“What’s the matter? You having problems remembering how to use your weapon, Jon? Too much analyzing, not enough action in your life?” Liam Goetz, the other team member, smacked his gum and grinned. As a member of Omega’s Hostage Rescue team, no one ever asked Liam if he remembered how to use a weapon. Liam had pretty much been born with one in his hand.

“I’m just asking to see if there is any sort of plan here besides hide behind the car until the bad guys run out of ammo,” Jon responded. “Which, at the rate they’re shooting, should be sometime next week.”

True, the number of shots being fired at them seemed to be dwindling. The people in the building obviously weren’t trying to kill Derek and his team, just keep them pinned. But damned if this entire situation wasn’t starting to piss Derek off.

The empty apartment building across the street gave the enemy the tactical advantage. That advantage wasn’t something Derek, as the lead tactical team specialist of Omega’s SWAT generally gave up.

But the intel they’d received on this location had required an immediate response. Time for tactical analysis hadn’t been available. Thus, the taking cover behind their SUV as the bullets flew by their heads.

Derek had moved in on this location so quickly because it had been the first substantial lead pertaining to a terrorist attack on Chicago two weeks earlier. A bombing that had killed or injured over five hundred people.

None of the leads Omega had followed up on until now—and there had been hundreds of them—had provided any useful intel. Each location had been totally cold.

Another bullet flew by. This location definitely wasn’t cold.

“All right, to hell with this.” Derek looked over at Liam, “Jon and I will lay down cover-fire. You head around to the back of the building.”

Liam was grinning like an idiot. He loved this sort of thing, danger be damned. “Now you’re talking.”

Derek nodded. “Remember, we need them alive, if at all possible.”

“Hey, it’s me!” Liam actually winked at them. “I wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

Derek rolled his eyes and heard Jon groan under his breath as Liam made his way down the line of abandoned cars parked on the street. Still using their SUV for as much cover as possible, Derek and Jon began firing their weapons toward the abandoned building, hoping to draw any return-fire back at them and away from Liam.

But there were no shots at all coming at them from the house.

Derek looked over at Jon. “Again.”

Using the hood to brace his arm, Derek fired three shots at the house while Jon did the same from the rear of the vehicle. Still no return fire. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Liam make it across the street at the side of the building. No shots were fired at him either.

The bad guys weren’t in the building anymore; they must be on the run. Whoever had been shooting at them just a few moments ago was Omega’s best lead in Chicago’s terrorist attack. They were the only lead. And now they were about to get away.

“Move in, but be careful,” Derek said to Jon as they made their way forward, weapons still raised.

Derek was reaching for the knob of the door, Jon covering him from a cross angle when they heard a rapid burst of gunfire from the back of the building where Liam had been heading.

Both men backed out of the doorway and sprinted around the building without a word. Each of them knew that getting inside was secondary to helping Liam if he was under fire. As they rounded the building, Derek was relieved to see Liam unharmed, chasing a suspect farther down the road behind the apartment building. Derek and Jon continued running to catch up with them. Helping capture a known suspect was better than sticking around for what may or may not be in the house.

“Stay with them,” Derek told Jon, then made a sharp turn. He would run down a parallel side street and try to cut off the runner. He forced more speed out of his legs.

As he made a sharp turn around the next group of buildings, Derek saw the perp slowing down with Liam only a few yards behind him, Jon just beyond that.

It was obvious Liam was going to catch the guy at any moment, and the perp knew it, too. He fired his weapon at the Omega agents behind his back in some haphazard fashion without even stopping his run, but the bullets didn’t come anywhere near either of them.

Derek turned again and began running toward them.

“Stop!” he called out to the man, and saw distress wash over his face. The man stopped running altogether, sliding to an awkward stop.

“You’re under arrest,” Derek continued between breaths. “Place the gun on the ground and put your hands on your head.”

The man turned around, frantically looking for another way out, but didn’t put his gun down. All the Omega agents gripped their weapons tighter. Nobody wanted to shoot this suspect, he was too important. But they would if necessary. Especially if he turned his weapon on them rather than where it currently lay in his hand pointing at the ground.

“Put your weapon down,” Derek repeated. He nodded toward the ground with his forehead, as the man turned back in his direction. “Do you understand? All we want to do is ask you some questions.”

That wasn’t entirely true, but Derek just wanted to get the man’s gun out of his hand.

The man nodded and Derek eased his finger off the trigger just the slightest bit. But then, almost as if it was in slow motion, and before any of them could react, the guy brought his gun up to his own temple and fired. He crumpled to the ground, dead instantly.

Derek’s curse was vile. Jon rushed up to the man and crouched down to take his pulse at the wrist, but Derek knew it was too late.

Their best lead—their only lead—had just blown his brains out rather than be taken into custody.


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Janie Crouch loves to read – almost exclusively romance – and has been doing so since middle school. She cut her teeth on Harlequin (Mills & Boon) Romances when she lived in Wales, UK as a preteen, then moved on to a passion for romantic suspense as an adult. Her favorite authors include: Linda Howard, Nora Roberts, and Elizabeth Lowell.

Janie recently relocated with her husband and four children to Germany (due to her husband’s job as support for the U.S. Military), after living in Virginia for nearly 20 years.  When she’s not listening to the voices in her head (and even when she is), she enjoys traveling, long-distance running, movie-watching, knitting and adventure (obstacle) racing. Janie completed an Ironman Triathlon in 2014.
Most of all, she loves to laugh and smile and count her blessings. And her blessings are many.

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20. Spotlight and Giveaway: Extreme Honor by Piper J Drake

EXTREME HONOR by Piper J. Drake (January 26, 2016; Forever Mass Market; True Heroes #1)


David Cruz is good at two things: war and training dogs. The ex-soldier’s toughest case is Atlas, a Belgian Malinois whose handler died in combat. Nobody at Hope’s Crossing kennel can break through the animal’s grief. That is, until dog whisperer Evelyn Jones walks into the facility . . . and into Atlas’s heart. David hates to admit that the curvy blonde’s mesmerizing effect isn’t limited to canines. But when Lyn’s work with Atlas puts her in danger, David will do anything to protect her.

Lyn realizes that David’s own battle scars make him uniquely qualified for his job as a trainer. Tough as nails yet gentle when it counts, he’s gotten closer to Atlas than anyone else-and he’s willing to put his hard-wired suspicion aside to let her do the same. But someone desperate enough to kill doesn’t want Lyn working with Atlas. Now only teamwork, trust, and courage can save two troubled hearts and the dog who loves them both . . .

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And don’t miss the second book in the True Heroes series, ULTIMATE COURAGE, on sale July 26, 2016!

Elisa Hall is good at starting from scratch. Leaving an abusive relationship in her rearview, she packs everything she owns into the trunk of her car and heads for refuge with her friend in Hope’s Crossing, North Carolina.
Alex Rojas returned from his second deployment as a Navy SEAL to find his condo empty and divorce papers on the breakfast table. Now he’s building a life for himself and his daughter at Hope’s Crossing kennels training younger dogs and handlers to search and rescue, struggling to adjust to life back in the States and as a single father. 

When Elisa shows up at the kennels, it’s obvious she’s running from something. Luckily, the dogs and trainers at Hope’s Crossing are more than capable of warding off trouble. And with every minute he spends with Elisa, Alex becomes even more and more determined to protect the woman he’s certain he won’t be able to live without…

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About the author:

Piper J. Drake (or “PJ”) spent her childhood pretending to study for the SATs by reading every interesting novel she could find at the library. After being introduced to the wonderful world of romance by her best friend, she dove into the genre. PJ began her writing career as PJ Schnyder, writing sci-fi & paranormal romance and steampunk, for which she won the FF&P PRISM award as well as the NJRW Golden Leaf award and Parsec award. PJ’s romantic suspense novels incorporate her interests in mixed martial arts and the military. The True Heroes series is inspired by her experience rescuing, owning and training a variety of retired working dogs, including Kaiser, a former guard dog, and Mozart, who was trained to detect explosives.

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“How’s Atlas doing?”

“He’s acknowledging her existence.” And didn’t that chafe his ass just a little bit. “She’s out walking the perimeter with him now.”

Speaking of, the pair came into view finally, far out across the grounds. Atlas kept pace with Lyn’s short stride, adjusting to her changes in speed and coming to heel when she paused to check out flowers or whatever.

Dog still maintained an air of disinterest, but he was out there with her and not laying on his belly in the kennel.

“So he’s making progress.” Beckhorn pressed for more.

“Baby steps, my friend.” Cruz chuckled. “Don’t go reporting him as recovered any time soon.”

“This mean you don’t want me to keep digging into who sent her?”

Cruz leaned back in his chair, considering. Her fear had been real the night before. Terror, really. “She was damned shaken up last night. Take a look at the debrief I sent you, off the record. Someone was looking for info she didn’t know she had. Or maybe she didn’t have it yet.”

“She’s a liability.” His friend made a grim noise.

“I had her check out of the hotel and gave her a place to stay here where I can keep an eye on her.” He didn’t entirely trust her yet but he was sure she hadn’t been faking anything the evening before. Her reactions had been genuine.

“You’re going to keep her around?” Beckhorn whistled, low and long. “Is she that hot?”

“It’s not about that and you know better.” Of course, Lyn chose to bend over right about then, checking out a pretty wildflower or weed or something, and he got a faraway view of her shapely rear.

Okay, she was hot.

But he wouldn’t keep a liability around just for that. He had Atlas in mind.

“Yeah, yeah,” Beckhorn continued, oblivious of the view. “What’s the plan now?

“We both know there was something to the way Calhoun died.” It was a big part of the reason Beckhorn had called Cruz so soon for Atlas. He’d needed someone he could trust to oversee the dog’s recovery before something unfortunate occurred. “Accidental friendly fire, my ass.”

“It’s the ‘accidental’ part in question. We both know it wasn’t friendly even if the round did come from one of ours.” Beckhorn’s tone went flat. “What we need to do is both prove it and find out why. Calhoun reached out to you just before he died and whatever drunk text he sent you pointed to Atlas.”

“At the time, the message hadn’t made any sense so I assumed it was a drunk text.” Cruz swallowed hard on the guilt and self-recrimination there. Not sure what he could’ve done from across a damned ocean but he still felt he should’ve realized something was wrong and helped his friend stay alive.

“It still doesn’t make any sense.” A string of curses followed. “Look. No ripping ourselves up for what we would’ve, should’ve, could’ve. We do the right thing now.”

“Yeah.” Cruz nodded even if Beckhorn couldn’t see.

Lyn resumed her stroll and Atlas took up position by her side. Dog might play like he wasn’t interested in the woman but he was engaged and Cruz would take whatever help there was to be had.

Of course, he might have more in common with the dog than he’d prefer to admit.

Last night, she’d suffered a bad scare. Things could have been far worse if he hadn’t shown up when he did. He’d been ready to rip her a new one when he’d come to her door, ajar only because her phone had landed in the entryway. It’d taken seconds to change gears from being angry with her to charging in to help her.

He’d have still gotten through, but it would’ve taken longer for him to realize what was going on and to break down the door. She’d been very lucky.

In those moments, he’d become someone else. The man he used to be. The stranger he’d locked down after he’d returned from deployment. When he’d heard her in danger, he’d gladly embraced the old rage and the cold calm to rush the door. Eliminate the threats.

“You still there, man?” Beckhorn brought him back.

A cold chill passed through Cruz as he realized he’d come to his feet. Maybe he hadn’t completely put the other him to rest yet, but it’d take some time to ease back and he hadn’t been all too relaxed as it was. It’d been why he’d come to spend time at Hope’s Crossing. “Yeah. Here.”

Now. Just a minute ago? Not so much. Seemed like Miss Evelyn Jones had a way of pushing all sorts of buttons with him without even trying to.

“You wanna share what you’re thinking? I can almost hear the gears turning in your head.”

Way across the field, Lyn had come to a halt. It was Atlas’s posture that got Cruz moving. “I’m going to have to call you back.”


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21. Quick Monday Reviews: THE SHEPHERD'S CROWN and THE DETOUR

Two very different titles (genre- and style-wise) to cross my desk this past week were Terry Pratchett's final Tiffany Aching book and S.A. Bodeen's latest action-packed suspense tale. The Shepherd's Crown brings to a close that subset of the... Read the rest of this post

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22. Monday Review: NEED by Joelle Charbonneau

I think this is a pretty effective cover.Synopsis: Need, which I randomly picked up as part of a recent library haul, is a suspenseful thriller with a topical premise—the insidious power of social media and the questionable ease of online... Read the rest of this post

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23. Writer Wednesday: Two Become One

In my Monday Mishmash and all over social media last week, I announced that I'm merging Ashelyn Drake and Kelly Hashway. Why you ask?

When I initially launched the pen name, Ashelyn Drake, I wanted to make sure I could stand on my own two feet as a romance author, separate from Kelly Hashway. Once I did that, I revealed Ashelyn Drake and Kelly Hashway are the same person. And since then, I've been using this banner to show that I'm still one person even though I write under two names: 

The problem is, I wasn't acting like one person. I have separate Facebook pages, Twitter handles, and blogs for Kelly and Ashelyn. Why? My website, newsletter, and Instagram are for both names, so why aren't my other social media accounts?

From now on, they will be. I'm moving Ashelyn over to Kelly. You'll notice my Facebook page now has both names listed. As does my blog. Twitter won't allow enough characters to display both names, but you'll see this banner and Ashelyn's name appear in my bio.

Very soon, Ashelyn's accounts will disappear, so make sure you're following the new links below to stay up to date on my Ashelyn Drake romance books as well as my Kelly paranormal and upcoming mystery/suspense/thrillers (Yes, I'm branching out!):


Look at that. Kelly and Ashelyn are truly merging into one author with two names, just like the slogan says. :)

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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24. Turning Pages Reads: TWISTED by Hannah Jayne

Welcome to another session of Turning Pages!Every adult summer of my life, I look back with disgust on the summers I squandered, wishing school would start again. Adult Me wishes I had endless days off to read basically non-improving books. We call... Read the rest of this post

0 Comments on Turning Pages Reads: TWISTED by Hannah Jayne as of 7/5/2016 1:47:00 AM
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It's July 4th! Maybe by now you're tired of sunshine, patriotic colors, smoke from the bbq or your neighbors, relatives, and friends, and would prefer to get back to your usual semi-monastic existence of reading and not speaking to people. At... Read the rest of this post

0 Comments on IN TANDEM: THIS IS THE STORY OF YOU, by BETH KEPHART as of 7/8/2016 9:21:00 AM
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