Tag Archives: murder

Cover Reveal: Their Special Agent by Mel Gough

Their Special Agent | Mel Gough

Thistle Hearts #1

Cover Artist: Najla Qamber Designs

Release Date: October 24, 2019

Heat Rating: 4 flames

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Blurb

A murder. Three gorgeous men. One choice – Do your job, or follow your heart?

On the eve of the Thistle Hearts reunion tour, the rock band’s manager is found murdered. When Special Agent Carrie McDonald arrives to assist with the investigation, the band has mixed emotions about the involvement of the FBI. Jay, Lou and Corey have everything riding on a successful comeback, and their manager’s violent death has thrown them into turmoil. The last thing they need is the wrong kind of press.

As Carrie delves into the case, the band’s complex history of desire and tragedy emerges. Their shared passion intrigues and excites her, and gradually, the men open up and draw her into their ménage.

But a killer is on the loose, and he’s not yet done with Thistle Hearts.

Can Carrie prevent another brutal crime and protect the men who offer her a future beyond her wildest dreams?

About the Author

Mel Gough loves writing about love – but with a twist. Nominated for the 2019 Selfies Awards, her bisexual romantic suspense novel He is Mine is a typical Mel Gough story. She needs her HEA fix, but on the way there will be thorns and fire, and sometimes brimstone. All right, that might be over the top, especially since her stories are firmly based in the real world – though not always in the here and now.

Born in Germany, exploring other realities has been Mel’s siren call since she was young. Books opened up a plethora of worlds, and soon gave her a strong love of the English language. After an MA in Anthropology, field work in the middle of nowhere seemed like one adventure too far, so Mel settled in London, which, to misquote Dr. Johnson, she will never tire of.

Mel loves to bend genres – her romances are gritty and dark, and sometimes there’s a dead body. She’s been told that her prose is beautiful yet disturbingly real. She’s curious about bygone times, and hopes to speculate about the future in one of her next books.

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Release Blitz: Past Sins by Thomas Grant Bruso

Past Sins | Thomas Grant Bruso

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

JMS Books | Universal Link

Length: 29,389 words

Publisher: JMS Books

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Blurb

Officer Jack Ballinger receives a phone call from the chief of police in the early morning hours regarding a dead body at an apartment building in a quiet neighborhood in the small upstate New York town of Black Falls.

A female student lies in a pentagram outlined in her own blood, clutching a rosary. Ballinger and his former partner Officer Cory Ryan interview tenants in the building about the girl’s death, but are met with more questions than answers.

When another body is found in the same apartment building a few hours later, Jack knows something is wrong. As he ciphers through a patchwork of unexplainable clues, the investigation detours when Ryan disappears from the case and cannot be found.

With his future as an officer in question, will Ballinger be able to deal with the truth of these crimes once he discovers everything he thought he knew was a lie?

Excerpt

I’ve been sitting in the dark for an hour in front of the rain-streaked balcony window on a rattan armchair I found at a yard sale a few months ago.

An old relic is somebody else’s fortune, my mother once told me. It’s got a couple more good years left, I surmise, as I pour three fingers of vodka into a tumbler half filled with melting ice and take a slow sip, chips of broken ice sliding down my throat like shards of glass.

This is the only time I am by myself, a cosmic stillness, to think and rationalize.

Staring out at lines of rain crisscrossing down the sliding glass doors, I see a young dead girl lying in her own blood, clutching a rosary, her face distorted and covered in blood from a deep knife wound.

What does it mean? I wonder, tipping the glass and emptying the vodka in one long pull.

I refill, wishing I had bought two bottles, when a single soft knock at the door rattles me, and I lose my grip on the bottle and glass.

My drink spills across the scattered rug, and the edge of the glass smashes against the armchair at a ninety-degree angle, slivers of glass splintering across the floor.

“Fucking-A.”

There’s another knock, harder, more urgent.

I stand, wiping beads of alcohol off my hand and arm, and turn, staring at the closed door.

The time on the microwave reads 3:36.

Nobody visits this early in the morning. I wait and listen, hoping whoever it is will go away. 

Five seconds. Ten. Fifteen.

Then …

Two raps, hard, forceful and demanding to be answered.

I shudder, and my heartbeat rages in my ears.

As if paralyzed, fear traps me in place, and my hands are trembling and clammy and cold.

But I conjure up enough strength to yell, “Hello?”

I hear mumbling, but the words are unclear.

I swallow hard and step over broken glass, walking in the semi-darkness to the edge of the mini kitchen, inching closer to the door.

“Hello?” I say again, reaching for my gun on the counter and cocking the hammer.

There is no answer. 

I skulk to the edge of the door and lean up against the peephole, straining to glimpse a tall lean shadow stretching across the far wall in the hallway.

Stepping back, I aim the gun at the closed door, hearing my neighbor’s voice in my head.

Tall. Thin. Ghostly.

“Who is it?” I yell.

No answer.

I am buzzed from the booze, my head swimming with unpleasant thoughts. I step towards the door and unlock the chains, my hand hovering on the handle.

I look out through the peephole; the hall is empty.

I aim the gun out in front of me as I turn the bottom lock counterclockwise and pull the door open slightly, the chain link lock still affixed, clattering in place.

Staring out the crack, I don’t see anybody. “Hello?”

But there is no response.

I close the door and step out into the hallway, slowly, cautiously, looking left to right. Right to left, aiming the gun in every direction.

At the far end of the corridor, near the stairwell exit, I see a figure, masked in a dark hoodie, staring out the window to the tenant parking lot below.

“Hello?” I yell.

The figure turns in slow-motion, and I catch a glimpse of his long face in the bright moonlight spilling in from the high window.

The end of the whole dilemma eight months ago resurfaces like a nightmare that won’t stay dead, as I glare into the face of my past sins.

About The Author

Thomas Grant Bruso graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh in 2004 with a Bachelor’s in theatre performance and English writing. He knew at an early age he wanted to be a writer.

He has been a voracious reader of genre fiction since he was a kid. His literary inspirations are Dean Koontz, Karin Fossum, Jeffery Deaver, Joyce Carol Oates, and John Connolly. He loves animals, book-reading, writing fiction, and prefers Sudoku to crossword puzzles.

He writes book reviews for his hometown newspaper, The Press Republican. He lives in Plattsburgh with his husband, Paul, and their miniature pincher diva, Riley.

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Release Blitz: Couldn’t Cheat Death by A.P. Eisen

Couldn’t Cheat Death | A.P. Eisen

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MM, Romance, Mystery

Release Date: 01.07.19

Cover Designer: Reese Dante

Buy Links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TPDP6HV

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Couldnt-Cheat-Death-Monroe-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07TPDP6HV

Couldnt Cheat Death Cover.jpgBlurb

Detective Paul Monroe has little room in his life for anything but work. Maintaining order and solving cases in the town of Thornwood Park keeps him busy. When Jerry Gregoria, a popular bartender and personal trainer is found murdered, there’s no shortage of suspects.

It seems Jerry was busy shaking more than cocktails all over town, leaving Paul and his partner with an ever-growing list of men and women who have reasons to want Jerry dead. The deeper Paul delves into the case, the more he finds himself drawn to hotel manager Cliff Baxter, whom he hasn’t seen in years.

Cliff Baxter’s childhood crush on Paul Monroe hasn’t waned since high school. In fact, with the sexy detective conducting the investigation at the hotel, Cliff is more than happy to help. Ever since his last relationship went up in flames, Cliff has made it a rule to never get involved with a closeted man. But after Paul is threatened and things between the two heat up, Cliff decides to make an exception.

With new twists in the case popping up every day and the mayor breathing down the police department’s neck, Paul needs to solve the case yesterday. It takes a crisis for Paul and Cliff to realize what started out as something casual could be everything they’ve both been looking for but never thought to find. But if the killer strikes again, they might never get that chance.

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Excerpt

“Well”—Baxter leaned forward, his brows scrunched together—“it seems my restaurant manager, the woman you met, Jade Kennedy?”

Paul nodded. “Yeah, I remember her.”

“She’s very pretty. Most men do.”

Paul shot him a look, but Baxter remained infuriatingly placid, saying, “I discovered that Jade had been giving Jerry the best shifts—meaning Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights—whenever he wanted.”

“And that’s not allowed?”

Cliff shook his head. “No. I’ve told the managers that the staff is to be rotated so that no one person always gets the best tipping nights. Of course, if one person doesn’t want the night because it can get crazy, especially at convention time, then they don’t have to take it and can switch. But to give it to them every time?” His lips twisted in a frown, and his dark eyes blazed. “Not acceptable. I’m pissed off, and I intend to confront her tomorrow about this.”

Paul studied Cliff’s face and felt a stirring in his groin. Damn, the man was fiery when he was passionate about something, and he couldn’t help but wonder what he’d be like in bed.

“I’d like to be there when you talk to her. If you don’t mind.”

Cliff took a sip of his drink before answering. “Why? I mean, sure, if you want, but what does my speaking to her about that have to do with your investigation?”

Paul leaned back in his chair. “Part of investigating a case is seeing how people react to situations. You confronting Jade about a problem might spark her anger and—”

“And you think she’s capable of murder? I could see anger, yes, but I can’t believe she murdered Jerry. No way.”

“I once had a case where a man was murdered. He was beaten to death with a hammer and his eyes taken out.” Cliff’s face whitened in horror, but Paul kept going. “He was married for twenty-five years and had six children with his wife. She was the sweetest woman, and anytime I’d come to talk to her or ask her questions, she’d give me fresh-baked cookies and a cold iced tea.”

“Th-that’s nice,” Cliff said faintly, his hand gripping his now-empty whiskey tumbler.

“Turns out he’d been cheating on her with her best friend for years. She found out, took the hammer from his workshop, and killed him.” Paul tossed back his drink. “That case taught me to never underestimate people. Anyone provoked enough is capable of murder.”

Cliff’s complexion had returned to normal, but he licked his lips, and Paul could see the sheen of sweat on his brow. Civilians might think it was a simple matter to investigate murders, or that they all looked like Law and Order on television, but the fact remained that murder was an ugly, dirty business that caused chaos. Paul became a police officer and then a detective because he liked order, and solving crimes and putting murderers away restored that order and balance to a chaotic society.

“Do you think”—Cliff swallowed hard—“do you think I’m capable of murdering Jerry?”

“Did you?”

Cliff jerked his head. “No. Of course not.”

Paul laughed. “I don’t think you did. You were the first person I checked out, but another thing we learn is to trust our gut instinct.”

“Oh?” Cliff licked his lips again, his deep brown eyes darkening, and Paul felt an answering tug in the pit of his stomach. Cliff leaned forward, and Paul met him halfway across the narrow table. “What does your gut tell you about me?”

The earlier blowjob in the bathroom had only been an appetizer for Paul. Cliff was a main course plus dessert, and Paul could almost taste his tongue and his kiss. His nostrils flared as he drank in the man’s cologne, a light scent of sandalwood with an undercurrent of musk. Their faces were close enough for him to hear Cliff’s unsteady breath.

I think you might be trouble, but in a whole different way.

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About The Author

AP Eisen cut her teeth on Nancy Drew mysteries as a child and never looked back. Writing has always brought her joy and she loves creating characters who can make people laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time.

Whether they are investigating a murder, cooking a gourmet meal together or simply living their lives, the men she writes about are smart, savvy, and sexy. They may not walk the straightest path to love but they always solve their case and get their guy.

AP lives in New York City and drinks too much coffee and not enough champagne.

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Release Blitz: By Way of Pain by J.M. Dabney

By Way of Pain | J.M. Dabney

Criminal Delights: Assassins

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MM Dark Romance

Release Date: 20.05.19

Universal Link: books2read.com/CriminalDelights-Pain

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Blurb

Double lives were just the way it was for a man like me. By day I was a man with a reputation above reproach. Even assassins needed backup plans. For fifteen years, life was going without a hitch until I had to take out a witness. #

When it was time to kill him, beautiful eyes filled with fear urged me to do something else. Yet, in order to do that, I had to break him, and by way of pain, my captive would experience pleasure he’d never dreamed.

This book is part of CRIMINAL DELIGHTS. Each novel can be read as a standalone and contains a dark MM romance.

Trigger Warnings: Title contains the following possible triggers. Humiliation, Violence, Master/slave elements, Male Chastity, Murder, Imprisonment, Dub-Con, and Brief Torture.

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Excerpt

It was a place created for a hunter. Big, sprawling and dirty—victims roaming the streets unaware of their status as prey. They all felt they were safe from the monsters because they were all easily spotted, but they knew nothing about my kind. We were just an abstract concept on some true crime show they watched in the middle of the night—evil reduced to caricature. My reputation was above reproach, but I was the most prolific killer of my kind.

In moments of respite where I hid away in my cabin, I’d analyzed when I’d become broken. I believed my sociopathy was a result of conception. Maybe something as damaged as I shouldn’t have survived to birth. A shell without a soul. I’d attempted suicide a time or two, and I bore the marks from years of self-harm. I’d hoped to feel something—pain proved you were alive—and yet the more I cut and burned, it became nothing more than a minor inconvenience—wounds to heal.

I closed my eyes, drew oxygen in through my nose and pushed it slowly past my lips, repeated until I opened my eyes. As with any normal person ending work, I gathered up files and my laptop, stowing them inside my satchel briefcase. Everything in my life was routine and repetition, nothing deviated. I arrived at my office at six in the morning and promptly left at six at night. Meetings were scheduled as needed. I appeared in court. I was successful at my chosen cover, but as with all aspects of my existence, they were disguises.

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About the Author

J.M. Dabney is a multi-genre author who writes mainly LGBT romance and fiction. They live with a constant diverse cast of characters in their head. No matter their size, shape, race, etc.

J.M. lives for one purpose alone, and that’s to make sure they do them justice and give them the happily ever after they deserve. J.M. is dysfunction at its finest and they makes sure their characters are a beautiful kaleidoscope of crazy.

There is nothing more they want from telling their stories than to show that no matter the package the characters come in or the damage their pasts have done, that love is love. That normal is never normal and sometimes the so-called broken can still be amazing.

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This paranormal shifter series is stunningly good

42282304Thrown to the Wolves by Charlie Adhara

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

That’s three out of three 5* reads for this stunningly good series from Charlie Adhara.

As with book two, the whodunit element had me guessing right to the end and I was jumping at red herrings all the way through.

I adore it when an author can keep me on my toes like that.

This one’s even more deeply focused on Cooper and Park’s relationship as well and by the end of the story I really was squee-ing out loud as the declarations of love got uber serious.

The political allegory is still as strong in part three, fear of the unknown combining with greed and corruption to pull together disparate people into a plot which sees murder committed on Oliver’s home pack territory.

As ever, Cooper and Ollie fail to communicate almost as much as they rely on the other and my heart broke for the BSI agent so many times as Park’s relatives treated him poorly.

But, when the proverbial hit the deck, each was quick to recognise the true bond between the two men and there’s a great tension-filled encounter which had me fist pumping.

Book four is going to be a doozy from the hints dropped in this one and I can’t wait. Sadly no word on when!

#ARC kindly provided by the publishers Carina Press via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Release Blitz: Fault Lines by Shane K Morton

Fault Lines | Shane K Morton

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Amazon US | Amazon UK

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Length: 63,000 words approx.

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Blurb

Drag goddess, Ursula Moolay, left Kentucky as fast as her size twelve pumps could carry her and has created a new life for herself in Los Angeles. Here, she has found herself surrounded by a group of people with their own secrets and lies:

A daytime Soap stud hiding in the Hollywood closet.

A reality television producer prepared to destroy his star.

An aging showgirl- the complex’s mother hen, fighting to survive.

A married male escort desperately hiding his profession from his pregnant wife.

And finally, Ursula, pulled into a terrifying ordeal of drugs, murder, and deception as she grapples with her own identity.

Enter the world of red carpet meltdowns, sex tapes, shopping with drag queens, earthquakes, mortgages and murder.

Can they survive or will they each fall into the cracks of LA’s fault lines?

About the Author

Shane K Morton lives in Studio City, CA with his husband Jody and their fur baby Slayer. His first novel, The Trouble With Off-Campus Housing was published in 2016.

When not writing, Shane can be found at a film festival or performing cabaret somewhere in a dark dive bar in LA.

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Release Blitz: Abaddon’s Locusts by Don Travis

Abaddon’s Locusts | Don Travis

The BJ Vinson Mystery Series #4

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Publisher: DSP Publications

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Word Count: 96,137

Cover Artist: Maria Fanning

Buy Links:

DSPP (eBook): https://www.dsppublications.com/books/abaddons-locusts-by-don-travis-486-b

DSPP (paperback): https://www.dsppublications.com/books/abaddons-locusts-by-don-travis-487-b

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JLHKJLY

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/abaddons-locusts-don-travis/1129769593

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/abaddon-s-locusts

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/abaddons-locusts/id1439968525

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=R0Z0DwAAQBAJ

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Blurb

When B. J. Vinson, confidential investigator, learns his young friend, Jazz Penrod, has disappeared and has not been heard from in a month, he discovers some ominous emails.

Jazz has been corresponding with a “Juan” through a dating site, and that single clue draws BJ and his significant other, Paul Barton, into the brutal but lucrative world of human trafficking.

Their trail leads to a mysterious Albuquerquean known only as Silver Wings, who protects the Bulgarian cartel that moves people—mostly the young and vulnerable—around the state to be sold into modern-day slavery, sexual and otherwise.

Can BJ and Paul locate and expose Silver Wings without putting Jazz’s life in jeopardy? Hell, can they do so without putting themselves at risk? People start dying as BJ, Paul, and Henry Secatero, Jazz’s Navajo half-brother, get too close.

To find the answer, bring down the ring, and save Jazz, they’ll need to locate the place where human trafficking ties into the Navajo Nation and the gay underground.

Series Info: BJ Vinson, a gay former-Marine, ex-cop licensed private investigator tries to pick his cases carefully, but prior loyalties or his sense of justice or something always gets in his way.

He finds himself traveling all over his beloved state of New Mexico with his companion Paul Barton to mend other people’s problems.

Excerpt

Prologue

Two men gazed down at the sleeping youth sprawled across the mattress. The older, his pleasant features blemished by a glint of cruelty in his dark eyes, smoothed silver wings of luxuriant hair at his temples before handing over a number of $100 bills to a young Hispanic almost as handsome as the boy on the bed.

Now fully clothed, Silver Wings exuded the authority of a player, of someone who counted. “Fucking beautiful. How old did you say he is?”

“Eighteen. Barely. Know that’s older’n you usually like. But he’s a rare one, no? As linda as a woman and as macho as a man. He took care of you, huh?”

Silver Wings rubbed his eyes as if remembering the last hour. “Fantastic. Must have worn himself out. Does he usually go comatose?”

“Ah, that is the drug. He claims he gets a bigger bang by charging up. But you benefit as well, no?” He eyed his companion. “He is yours for $25,000.”

Interest flickered and died. “Tempting. But my household isn’t set up for that kind of arrangement. I prefer to call when I feel the need. Even if that means sharing him.”

“You don’t take him, then we move him south.”

“South? To Mexico, you mean? Juárez?” That wouldn’t be too bad. El Paso was a short hop, and Juárez lay just across the border.

“At first, but then we gonna trade him up.”

Silver Wings understood the human trafficking language of trading up, but it was unusual to move members of the “family” out of country these days. “In Juárez? Sounds more like trading him down.”

¡Órale! There’s some big money in Juárez. But a bigwig in the Middle East went apeshit over the kid’s pics. He wants him. And for a lot more than twenty-five. I only give you that price to let you know how much we ’preciate your help.”

“Middle East, huh?” Silver Wings licked his lips. “Put off that transfer while I see if I can work something out.”

“Two days. Then I gotta move him. You know, easier to ship him overseas from Mexico than from the States.”

Silver Wings’ voice hardened. “You can do better than that. Give me a week to reorder my life. I’d like to visit him a couple of times. Usual fee, of course. That gives you reason enough to hold him here.”

“Okay, but not no more’n a week. I got people to answer to, you know.”

“I’d like him again tomorrow night, but it will have to be late. I have a dinner meeting.”

Hispano lowered his head. “As you wish. All you gotta do is call me.”

Silver Wings left the motel reluctantly. What would take place in that room now that they were alone? Just thinking about it raised a bead of sweat on his upper lip.

His mind returned to the offer he had received. The boy was expensive, and the economy was still struggling to recover from the Great Recession of 2008… but it was only money.

Chapter 1

Monday, August 9, 2010, Albuquerque, New Mexico

I parked the Impala in front of my detached single-car garage and sat for a moment trying to figure out the cacophony on the radio. I’d failed to reset the station after Paul and I went for a rare game of weekend golf at the North Valley Country Club. Paul Barton was the sun in my sky, but I still struggled to understand my companion’s taste in music.

Now something called “Alejandro” by a gal proclaiming herself to be Lady Gaga committed assault on my classical-music-loving ears. As I switched off the noise and stepped from the car, a high, uncertain voice snagged my attention.

“Yoo-hoo, Mr. Vinson. BJ!”

Mrs. Gertrude Wardlow, the late-afternoon sun catching in wayward strands of her white hair, waved at me from the foot of her driveway. She had lived in the white brick across the street for as long as I could remember.

Mrs. W. and her husband, Herb, had been with the Drug Enforcement Administration from the time it was formed in 1973 until their retirement. Some ten years ago, Herb passed on to his reward—an urn on his widow’s mantelpiece. I walked out to meet her in the middle of Post Oak Drive.

“I’m so glad I caught you.” She fiddled with frilly lace at the neck of her lavender blouse. “A man on a Harley has been driving up and down the street. He stopped at your place twice. Rang the bell and then rode off.”

No doubt she was recalling the time when two thugs on another motorcycle attempted to gun me down. When she’d yelled to distract their murderous attention, they shot up the front of her house, scattering her husband all over the carpet.

I touched her shoulder. “Don’t worry, I’m not involved in any gang disputes at the moment. Not that I know of, anyway.”

Her smile turned impish. “That was an interesting day, wasn’t it? I just thought you should be aware someone was trying to contact you.”

“Thank you, Mrs. W. I’ll be on the lookout.”

After exchanging pleasantries, we parted. I mounted the steps to my front porch and paused to enjoy the welcoming aroma of tea roses my late mother planted. No evidence of a note on the door or in the mailbox.

That meant the mysterious biker would probably return. I went inside and forgot the matter as I removed one of Paul’s casseroles from the fridge and got out a pan of rolls. I enjoyed their yeasty aroma almost as much as I liked their yeasty taste. Our household mantra was Paul Barton, freelance journalist, whips up gourmet meals; B. J. Vinson, former marine and ex-cop turned confidential investigator, burns toast.

We planned to stay home tonight and watch an episode of a new gumshoe program on the tube called The Glades. Matt Passmore, the guy who played the detective, was a way-cool customer who Paul claimed should be my role model. I’d no sooner set the dishes to heating than a rumble on the street caught my attention. A moment later the doorbell rang.

Author Bio

Don Travis is an Okie turned New Mexican. Each of his B. J. Vinson mystery novels features some region of his beautiful adopted state as prominently as it does his protagonist, a gay former Marine, ex-cop turned confidential investigator.

Don never made it to the Marines (three years in the Army instead) and certainly didn’t join the Albuquerque Police Department.

He thought he was a paint artist for a while but ditched that for writing a few years back. A loner, he fulfills his social needs by attending SouthWest Writers meetings and teaching a free weekly writing class called Wordwrights at the North Domingo Multigenerational Center, an Albuquerque community center.

Social Media

Author Website: http://www.dontravis.com
Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/dontravis3

 


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