Tag Archives: murder mystery

Cover Reveal: Conned by Kim Fielding

Conned | Kim Fielding

 A Bureau Story #6

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Publisher: Tin Box Press

Release Date: Monday, June 1 2020

Length: approx 67k

Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Buy Links:

Amazon | Smashwords

COVER - Conned

Blurb

World War I veteran Thomas Donne is new to San Francisco.

Always a stoic man, shell shock and a lost love have nearly turned his heart to stone. No matter—a private eye has no room for softness. Almost broke, he takes on what appears to be a simple case: finding a missing young man.

As a magician and medium, Abraham Ferencz cons his audiences into believing he can cheat death and commune with their dearly departed. Although his séances are staged, the spirits are very real, and they’ve brought him almost more pain than he can bear.

When Donne’s case becomes complicated and the bodies start to pile up, he and Ferencz must fight their way through a web of trickery and lies.

The truth is obscured by the San Francisco fog, and in their uncanny world, anyone can catch a bullet.

Bureau Series

Corruption

Clay White

Creature

Chained

Convicted

Teaser quote

Excerpt

When Abe was done with the slates, he would ordinarily have turned to the third and final act of the séance. It involved darkening the room, asking the audience to concentrate on their loved ones beyond the veil, and then operating a series of trap doors and curtains via hidden controls. Masks and gauzy drapery covered in luminescent paint would make flickering appearances. One key here was for his accomplice to have the first sighting. Rosie would gasp or scream before Abe had yet showed a prop, making everyone else eager for their own glimpses. The other key was to do this illusion after the guests had lost any lingering doubts.

It was a wonderful illusion, one that would send his guests away feeling as if their money had been well spent. But today one guest continued to have doubts, and Abe’s curiosity was too strong to resist. He decided to postpone the finale.

“Friends, I vill now move among you and see if I receive any messages from beyond.”

Rosie lifted her eyebrows, clearly surprised he was going to do a cold reading. He generally did that only during séances where he’d given the guests a brief refreshment break and Rosie had the opportunity to slip him notes about the people she’d spoken with at the beginning. It certainly hadn’t been part of today’s plan.

Nonetheless, Abe moved among the chairs with his head atilt, as if he were listening for a faint sound. He stopped in front of Rosie and closed his eyes. “Ah. I’m hearing a voice…. A woman. Mary? No. Margaret.”

Rosie gasped and clutched her chest. “My sister Meg?” she asked tremulously. “She passed five years ago from rheumatic fever.”

In fact, Rosie had two sisters—neither named Margaret and both quite alive—who she didn’t especially get along with and spoke to only infrequently. But she wobbled her chin convincingly as Abe nodded. “Yes. She says she misses you. She remembers the… the necklace you gave her for her birthday. It vas such a lovely gift, she says.”

Tears started to leak from Rosie’s eyes. Crying convincingly on cue was one of her many strengths. “She loved that little thing. We buried her in it.”

“She vants you to know that she’s very happy vhere she is now. She knows your life vill be long, but someday you shall see her again.”

“Th-thank you, Mr. France. Tell her I love her too.”

“She knows.”

Abe moved down the row to a man in his fifties, a Mr. Van Goethem. He was dressed moderately well but not richly, and his weathered face and battered hands suggested he’d once labored outdoors. He had an accent—Dutch or Belgian; Abe wasn’t certain—but it wasn’t strong, so he’d been in the United States for a long time. These observations and a general knowledge of human beings allowed Abe to make some safe guesses.

“I am hearing a woman again. She is…. I see the letter A?”

“Anna?” Mr. Van Goethem seemed confused.

“I am not sure. I believe the A is not at the beginning of her name.”

Mr. Van Goethem let out a noisy sigh. “Johanna. My mother.”

Perfect. Abe had chosen A simply because it was common in feminine names; after that, he could get the guest to lead him on the right path. “Yes, your mother. She says…. Oh.” He frowned deeply as if distressed.

“What? What does she say? Mama, I—”

Abe held up a hand to silence him. “It’s…. Oh, I see.” He bent so as to put his eyes on level with Mr. Van Goethem’s and lowered his voice as if to tell a secret. He knew his words would carry nonetheless. “She says she forgives you, sir. She knows you are a good man at heart. She is proud of you.”

Mr. Van Goethem didn’t cry, but he clamped his lips together and his throat worked. He gave a jerky nod.

This had been nothing but a guess. In Abe’s experience, nearly everyone had disappointed a parent at one point or another.

At last, heart pounding, Abe moved to the back row and came to a halt in front of Donne. Standing this close, he could see a bit of pale stubble on those broad cheeks and stubborn chin. Donne’s eyes were more fog-like than ever: opaque and chilling. The type of eyes a man could get lost in. He sat straight-backed but not tense, heavy muscles relaxed beneath his cheap suit and good shirt. But his hands—yes. They hung over the armrests and moved with the hint of a tremor.

Interesting.

Without truly intending to, knowing it might even be dangerous, Abe reached out and settled a palm on Donne’s shoulder. Although Donne flinched slightly, he didn’t strike out or move away. His jaw tightened, though, and his eyes narrowed.

The war, Abe thought. Yes. Donne was the right age for it, and his accent thick enough to suggest he’d come of age in England instead of the United States. Besides, there was something about the set of his body and the creases around his eyes. “I hear… a man,” Abe began.

And then he did.

As clear as if the person stood next to him, a voice spoke in Abe’s ear. It sounded young and sad and thin. Tommy. Oh, my darling Tommy, what have they done to you?

Abe unwillingly echoed a phrase, the words tearing his throat. “My darling Tommy.”

Donne leapt to his feet, jerking back so violently that he toppled the chair. One hand went into his coat pocket, and Abe was certain he was about to be shot. The idea didn’t frighten him, mostly because he was too deeply awash in the spirit’s sorrow. “Don’t hurt him, Tommy.” From his own mouth, but it wasn’t his accent or his voice. “Please don’t.”

The spirit… the man had been in his early twenties, perhaps. A pointed chin and sharp nose, thin mobile eyebrows, a wide mouth always a moment away from a cheeky grin. Ears that stuck out a little. Abe knew this although he couldn’t see the spirit. Just as he knew the spirit’s name. “Albert,” he said in his own voice.

Donne jerked again but held his ground. He was breathing hard.

Abe’s knees felt weak, his head swam, and Albert whispered in his head: tiny snippets and phrases that Abe couldn’t quite catch. Reaching out for a chair back to support himself, he became aware of the wide eyes and gaping mouths of his guests.

With considerable effort, he gathered his wits, giving Donne a quick apologetic glance before striding to the front of the room. He cleared his throat before falling back into his faux accent. “I am sorry, friends. Today the spirits have qvite exhausted me. I hope you have found some of the answers you sought.”

The guests seemed pleased as they gathered their coats and hats and filed toward the hallway and the door. They thanked Abe as they shook his hand. Soon only two others remained: Rosie, looking about as if perhaps she’d mislaid a glove, and Donne, towering and jut-jawed in the back of the room.

“I need to talk to you,” Donne growled.

Abe simply nodded. He took Rosie gently by the arm and led her down the hall, surreptitiously offering her five dollars at the door. She took it but paused with her hand on the knob. “Are you all right?” she whispered.

“I’m fine.”

“That was—”

“I’ll explain another time, sweetheart.”

She scrunched her mouth together. “But that big fella, he don’t look too safe.”

“Nothing worthwhile ever is. I’ll see you tomorrow, Rosie.” He gave her a gentle push out the door and locked it behind her. Then he turned and walked back to face Donne.

Kim Fielding author

About The Author

Kim Fielding is the bestselling, award-winning author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical.

Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.

After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls California home. She lives there with her family, her cat, and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.

Social Media

Author Website: http://kfieldingwrites.com

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/KFieldingWrites

Author Twitter: @KFieldingWrites

Author Instagram: @KFieldingWrites

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4105707.Kim_Fielding

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/?s=kim+fielding&search_type=authors

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Kim-Fielding/e/B006FN2T78

Giveaway

Kim is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card AND eBook copies of The Bureau V1 and V2 to one lucky winner.

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Release Blitz: Of Magic and Scales by Natalina Reis

Of Magic and Scales | Natalina Reis

BANNER1 - Of Magic and Scales

Publisher: Hot tree Publishing

Release Date: Saturday, February 29 2020

Length: 75,000

Cover Artist: BookSmith Design

Buy Links: 

Hot Tree Publishing

 Amazon US | Amazon UK

Amazon CAN | Amazon AUS

iBooks | Barnes & Noble

 Kobo | QueeRomance Ink

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Blurb

With a serial killer on the loose, the baffling mystery of Aiden’s past, and their tenuous budding romance, Aiden and Fouchard tread through a world of magic and myth on padded shoes, terrified to stir up something neither can control or defeat.

Aiden Mercer’s life now centers around lounging on the sunny beaches of his adopted country with a beer in one hand and a coffee in the other while admiring the local male population. After a rough life as a respected detective in DC, playing it cool shouldn’t be too hard, right? With the magical community on his case and dead bodies piling up around town, the responsibility of finding their killer seems fated to fall on him and deny him of his easy living.

Then there is Naël.

Cantankerous merman Naël Fouchard’s life is focused on bringing up and protecting his little sister. When DNA found at the scene of the murders mark him as the prime suspect, Naël seeks out the help of Aiden, whose reputation as a detective grossly belies his lazy lifestyle and apparent lack of ambition.

The chemistry between the strong, stoic Naël and the easygoing Aiden is undeniable, no matter how many walls Aiden builds.

If this unlikely pair can’t come to terms with their feelings for each other long enough to catch the killer, their emotional turmoil might yet allow the murderer to kill them instead.

 

MEME1 - Of Magic and Scales

Excerpt

I’m not sure what I am, but I certainly know what I am not. I know I’m not a witch because—well, I’m male. I’m definitely not an elf, since I have no sudden urges to hop onto somebody’s shelf around Christmas. Vampire I am not. My perfectly straight teeth have never once turned into fangs, neither have I ever had a sudden, strange craving for human blood. I’m not a werewolf either. I do have hair on my body but nothing that would qualify me as a wolfman. Besides, I am still pretty much myself during full moons.

But I am not a regular either, because unlike most normal humans, I can see magic beings. By “seeing,” I mean I recognize them as such. Anyone can see them, unless the magicals choose for them not to. I, on the other hand, can always recognize them, unless they purposely hide themselves behind a special magic charm.

I don’t remember not having the ability, so I’m guessing I was born like this. Whatever this is. Good thing that I’m used to it, because seeing magical beings for what they are can be a pretty traumatizing experience, as it was the time I freaked out during a trip to Greece, when I had a close encounter with a minotaur. Nice chap as it turns out but not a pretty sight.

I’ve lived a pretty normal, average life running Bicas R Us, a coffee shop in a small coastal town in sunny Portugal, for the past year or so. After an incident in Northern Virginia that put me on the pages of the local news—don’t ask; it involved a pretty handsome elf and his irate troll boyfriend—I thought it would be better to start again somewhere new. I had visited the tiny nation some years before and fallen in love with its never-ending beaches and kicked-back lifestyle, so I packed my bags, contacted a real estate agent and the immigration office, and got myself a brand-new life.

I had played with the idea of buying a coffee shop on the beach, but I figured it would be a mother to keep the place—and the coffee—free of sand. So, I bought a store nearby in the town square, a short walk from the beach. Portugal is littered with three things: tourists, ancient churches, and coffee shops. Nobody would notice me, the brown haired, blue-eyed American who came to explore the locals’ passion for the hot brew.

The other perk of living here was that magical creatures were not spotted as often. Vampires were virtually nonexistent because of the year-round sunny weather, trolls and ogres were limited to the mountains in the north and, unless you visited the nearby mountain of Sintra that crawled with magical activity, the only thread of magic on the coast was the sporadic water sprite and the beachcombing witches who sold their wares in local shops. All in all, a pretty placid place for someone like me to live in.

I enjoyed today’s cool breeze blowing from the ocean, sitting on a chair in my small esplanade under a red umbrella with a glass of cold beer in my hand. Yes, in this sunny paradise I was allowed to sell and buy alcohol in my coffee shop. Behind my light pinewood counter, the wall shelves were covered in bottles that held more than coffee flavorings. What a great nation this was.

While Cristina, my only employee, was busy serving the few customers who loitered inside the café, I could enjoy the local fauna as they hurried from shop to shop or headed out to the beach. Summer hadn’t quite arrived yet, but the sun had warmed the air enough for the locals to shed their wintry clothes and don more relaxed apparel. From behind my shades, I followed the trek of three young men, all shirtless and in swimming trunks. Hot. Not the weather, the guys—tanned, lean and muscular, shorts low enough on their hips to reveal that sexy vee—

“Olha para ti, a salivar como um cão por um bife.” Cristina had sneaked up from behind and interrupted my yummy thoughts.

“Speak English, woman,” I told her, sliding my glasses down my nose to look at her over the rim. “You’d think you’re Portuguese, or something.”

She slapped me mercilessly across the back of my head and plopped herself on the chair next to mine. “Idiota.” Without so much as a may I, my small Portuguese friend and employee grabbed the glass from my hand and took a long swig of my beer. “Are you going to sit here all afternoon watching the hot guys walking by?”

“And what’s wrong with that?” Cristina spoke flawless English but enjoyed confusing me with spurts of Portuguese once in a while. She pulled up another chair and placed her feet on the seat, her legs crossed at the knees. “What exactly did you call me just now?”

“A dog salivating over a steak.” She took another swig before I could retrieve my beer. “Don’t you have more important things to do with your life, Aiden?”

I wiped her foam mustache with a finger. “Not really. Why do you think I moved here from Virginia?” She blinked her eyes at me, pretending not to know what I was talking about. “Easy living, sunshine, and hot, half-naked guys.”

Cristina laughed, her face turned to the sun. She had skin the same color as the cork in a wine bottle, a honeyed brown made darker since the early spring weather replaced the cool air of winter. “You’re something, Aiden. You have no other dream or ambition? Just basking in the sun and ogling sexy men?”

Not quite correct but part of the truth. “Are you jealous?”

The skin crinkled around her green eyes as she turned her gaze to me. “Only if you flirt with guys I have my eyes on.” She spotted a couple of newly arrived customers and hopped to her feet. “Customers. Unlike you, I have some interest in making a buck here and there. I enjoy having a roof over my head.”

As she walked away, I yelled, “No need. You can always sleep on the beach.”

About The Author

AUTHOR PIC - Of Magic and Scales - Natalina Reis

Natalina wrote her first romance at the age of 13 in collaboration with her best friend. Since then she has ventured into other genres, but romance is first and foremost in almost everything she writes. She’s the author of We Will Always Have the Closet, Desert Jewel, Loved You Always, and Lavender Fields.

After earning a degree in tourism and foreign languages, she worked as a tourist guide in her native Portugal for a short time before moving to the United States. She lived in three continents and a few islands, and her knack for languages and linguistics led her to a master’s degree in education. She lives in Virginia where she’s taught English as a Second Language to elementary school children for more years than she cares to admit.

Natalina doesn’t believe you can have too many books or too much coffee. Art and dance make her happy and she is pretty sure she could survive on lobster and bananas alone. When she is not writing or stressing over lesson plans, she shares her life with her husband and two adult sons.

Social Media

Author Website: https://natalinareis.com/

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/authornatalinareis

Author Facebook (Page): https://www.facebook.com/authornatalinareis/

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/TichaB

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reisnatalina/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14883335.Natalina_Reis

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/natalina-reis/

Author Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Natalina-Reis/e/B01ADQ9FJW/

Giveaway

Natalina is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card with this tour.

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Cover Reveal: Murder at Oakschott Hall by Jim Austen

Murder at Oakschott Hall | Jim Austen

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Pre-Order Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

Cover Design: Reese Dante

Length: 50,000 words approx.

MurderAtOakschottHall-400x600.jpg

Blurb

They have eyes for each other. But someone is eyeing them for murder. An erotic gay romance mystery.

In the Junior students’ dormitory at Oakschott Hall, a heavy gaslight falls from the ceiling, crushing the head of a student sleeping beneath it. Was it simply a tragic accident? To avoid publicity, the Headmaster asks Colin Revell, a young Oxford University graduate and former Oakschott student, to quietly investigate.

While interviewing the faculty and staff, Colin meets Max Lambourne, a handsome don who was wounded and gassed in WWI. When Colin tries to help Max overcome his trauma and depression, the two men fall in love and begin an erotic affair.

But when another student dies—diving at night into an empty swimming pool—murder is suspected. Students and faculty all come under suspicion, and rumors proliferate when Scotland Yard intervenes.

Meanwhile, during all this confusion and wild theories, the murderer sees Colin and Max as threats. Unbeknownst to the two lovers, their lives are now in danger.

About The Author

Born in 1984, Jim Austen grew up in Murphy, Texas. He graduated from the University of Texas-Austin with a degree in communications and journalism. He works as a news producer for a station in Rhode Island.

Jim lives south of Boston with his wife and two children. A bisexual husband, he ‘came out’ to his wife 10 years ago after the birth of their second child. “My marriage and my gay life,” he says, “have each given me moments of great joy. However, it is a myth to believe a bisexual husband has the best of both worlds.”

Murder at Oakschott Hall is his first MM romance novel. Jim is currently working on a novel about a bisexual married man called The Unfinished Husband.


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