Tag Archives: mystery

Book Blitz: Midnight Flit by Elin Gregory

Midnight Flit | Elin Gregory

The Carstairs Affairs #2

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Universal Link

Length: 73,000 words approx.

Publisher: Manifold Press

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Blurb


Miles Siward and Briers Allerdale return for another thrilling Jazz Age adventure .

“Silk stockings on expenses.”

Miles’s aristocratic mother has information of importance to the British Government and he must escort her home from Bucharest immediately, but their plans go violently awry and Miles and Lady Siward find themselves on a train to Belgrade – where Miles’s lover is posted. Since their pursuers are looking for a man and a woman, might two women slip past them unnoticed?

“Is anyone on this train who they say they are?”

Briers doesn’t know whether to kiss Miles or punch him but is delighted to accompany him and his mother on their journey. All he has to do is keep an eye open for their enemies – but who exactly are they; the enormous Russian, the sinister priest, the handsome jazz pianist, or maybe the winsome young movie star? And his mother-in-law might just be the most terrifying of all!

All aboard for the ride of a lifetime, with a cast of characters you’ll never forget!

The Carstairs Affairs Series

Book 1 – Eleventh Hour – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

Excerpt

Secret Intelligence service operative, Miles Siward, is preparing for a mission with the assistance of his gentleman’s gentleman, Pritchard.

“Do you miss working for Father?” Miles asked after a moment. “I feel bad that I’ve never asked before, but I was so grateful when you agreed to come back with me and run my little establishment that I suppose it never occurred to me to ask.”

Pritchard paused, his hands full of snowy linen. “Lord bless you, sir, no. Ronald and I were heartily sick of exchanging letters by then, and maybe seeing each other once a year – your father’s commitments allowing. To be offered the chance to come here, with private accommodation provided, was a Godsend. My only worry was that a relationship started in the trenches and continued on paper might not weather more frequent contact.”

Ronald – professional stage manager, natty dresser, a full head taller than Pritchard – was perhaps a little shrill, but one had to be shrill to be heard in theatrical circles. From what little Miles had seen of Pritchard and Ron together, though, they seemed blissfully happy and he wished them well and envied them with all his heart.

“I’m glad,” he said. “Going from valet to His Majesty’s Ambassador in Bucharest to the man-of-all-work of a clerk seems such a come down.”

“We both know that you are far more than a clerk, sir,” Pritchard grinned. “And speaking of more, Bucharest is not that far from Belgrade. While you are there, will there be any chance of meeting with the master?”

Miles snorted. “You mustn’t call Briers that, it only encourages him. He’ll turn up in plus fours and a monocle next, you wait and see!”

“It’s meant affectionately, sir.” Pritchard gave him a serene smile and tucked a rolled black tie and a pair of silk socks in beside the shirt.

“I know, and he loves it.” Miles paused in smiling contemplation of Briers Allerdale – tall where Miles was short, dark where he was fair, a hard-bitten field agent where Miles spent a lot of time at his desk − and thanked his lucky stars that opposites attract. “But sadly I am only going for one night, solely to retrieve Ma and bring her home safely in time for her appointment. A side trip is completely out of the question.

“I understand, sir.” From the sympathetic glint in Pritchard’s eye, Miles knew that he did understand, very well.

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About Elin

Elin Gregory lives in South Wales and works in a museum in a castle built on the edge of a Roman Fort! She reckons that’s a pretty cool job.

Elin usually writes on historical subjects, and enjoys weaving the weird and wonderful facts she comes across in her research into her plots. She likes her heroes hard as nails but capable of tenderness when circumstances allow. Often they are in danger, frequently they have to make hard choices, but happy endings are always assured.

Current works in progress include one set during the Great War, another in WW2, one set in the Dark Ages and a series of contemporary romances set in a small town on the Welsh border.

www.elingregory.com

www.facebook.com/elin.gregory

@ElinGregory

www.elingregory.wordpress.com


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Review & Blog Tour: A Body In The Bathhouse Guest Post from Brad Shreve

A Body In The Bathhouse | Brad Shreve

Mitch O’Reilly Mysteries #1

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Universal Link

Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

 Length: 65,000 words approx.

Cover Design: UmeWorks

BodyInBathhouseCover.png

Blurb

On the verge of bankruptcy, private investigator, Mitch O’Reilly takes any gig that comes his way, while running his Eye Spy Supply shop in a forgotten Los Angeles strip mall.

After two tours in Afghanistan, Mitch’s life amounts to operating his store, coping with his fun-loving sister, Josie, and scoring with anonymous men he meets online. That changes when he gets a break.

A beloved comedy scriptwriter is murdered at a bathhouse, and Mitch is hired to prove the innocence of the club custodian. Adapting from a two-bit gumshoe to a high-profile sleuth proves more challenging than he expected.

As if Mitch didn’t have enough to deal with, charismatic bathhouse operator, Trent Nakos, enters his life. After a heartbreaking past, the manager is the definition of a man the brooding P.I. actively avoids.

Following leads from sprawling mansions to sketchy hoods is demanding but becomes more troublesome when deadly threats jeopardize the biggest opportunity of his career.

 

A Little History About Bathhouse Culture

Some people have been curious why I wrote a mystery that takes place in a bathhouse. The answer to that is simple. It seems, unlike many authors who tell me they struggle to come up with titles to their novels, I have the opposite problem. The titles hit me and then I must work a story around it. Not the easiest route, but it’s what works for me.

I don’t know when or where the title A Body in a Bathhouse hit me, but I knew right away I had to use it.

Once I decided to write a mystery involving a bathhouse that’s where the fun began. I learned about the history of bathhouses and bathhouse culture. The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn. The history is long. The early Greeks and Romans made public baths part of their culture around 20 BC. Some were large enough to hold 600 people. But those aren’t the types of baths I’m talking about, and I don’t have enough space for 2,000 years of history. 

Gay bathhouses showed up in the U.S. around the turn of the 20th century. Many old traditional Turkish baths built small private rooms for gay men to use. American’s first police raid of a bathhouse was in 1903 in New York City and 23 men were arrested and 7 were sentenced to long-term prison sentences.  

For decades bathhouses were a safer, though not safe, place for gay men to meet others for sex. 

Modern gay bathhouses sprouted up in the 1950s. These supplied not only a sexual outlet, but social as well. Men could be themselves around other gay men, with no fear of blackmail or harassment. When men had sex, it was without the need for secrecy or fear of judgement. There was still the fear of raids and arrests, but they were safer than public parks and restrooms. 

Gay bathhouses hit their heyday in the late 1960s and 1970s when they became fully licenses business. With the advent of the gay liberation movement, many became the hub of the gay community, offering pride events, voter registration, and plenty of entertainment. Bette Midler got her start performing in bathhouses. One time she was accompanied on the piano by Barry Manilow. “Bathhouse Betty” performed at the Continental Baths that opened in 1968 and included cabaret shows, disco dancing, an Olympic size swimming pool, held 1,000 men, and, of course, had plenty of small private rooms.

The glory days of bathhouses ended in the 1980s with the advent of the AIDS epidemic. During the 1970s, there were as many as 30 gay bathhouses in San Francisco. When the epidemic led the city to outlaw club sexual activity in 1984, the last one within the city closed in 1987. Before the epidemic there were about 200 bathhouses nationwide; today there are less than 70.  

One challenge of bathhouses today is after the 1980s they were no longer social centers and reverted to nothing more than safe places for anonymous sex. With the advent of the internet and applications like Grindr, they are less needed, and clubs close every year. Hell, sometimes all you need is to catch another fella’s eye while in the supermarket. Something unheard of not long ago. 

I cover much of this in A Body in a Bathhouse though in a more entertaining way than this history lesson. Today’s bathhouses know if they continue to only hand out towels at a small fee for men looking for sex they will not survive. To continue, they will need to return to the days of being a social and cultural center. Many clubs are making the effort, how many will succeed only time will tell.

Blog Tour

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 About The Author

After growing up in Michigan and North Carolina, Brad Shreve criss-crossed the country while working in the hotel industry. In addition to working in hotels as a bellman, front desk clerk, and reservation call center director, he’s managed coffee houses, waited tables, sold potato chips off a truck and even hocked pre-burial funeral plans.

He credits Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak for developing his interest in art and storytelling. He’d spend hours on the floor sketching and painting and writing stories. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George gave him his first inklings that he’d like to be a novelist someday.

In addition to perpetually thinking of how to kill people, he’s a proud dad, a beach bum, and coffee house squatter.

He currently lives in the Los Angeles South Bay with his husband, Maurice.

Website/Newsletter Sign Up:  www.bradshreve.com

Facebook Group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/bradshreve

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bradshreveauthor


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Book Blitz: A Body In The Bathhouse by Brad Shreve

A Body In The Bathhouse | Brad Shreve

Mitch O’Reilly Mysteries #1

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Universal Link

Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

 Length: 65,000 words approx.

Cover Design: UmeWorks

BodyInBathhouseCover.png

Blurb

On the verge of bankruptcy, private investigator, Mitch O’Reilly takes any gig that comes his way, while running his Eye Spy Supply shop in a forgotten Los Angeles strip mall.

After two tours in Afghanistan, Mitch’s life amounts to operating his store, coping with his fun-loving sister, Josie, and scoring with anonymous men he meets online. That changes when he gets a break.

A beloved comedy scriptwriter is murdered at a bathhouse, and Mitch is hired to prove the innocence of the club custodian. Adapting from a two-bit gumshoe to a high-profile sleuth proves more challenging than he expected.

As if Mitch didn’t have enough to deal with, charismatic bathhouse operator, Trent Nakos, enters his life. After a heartbreaking past, the manager is the definition of a man the brooding P.I. actively avoids.

Following leads from sprawling mansions to sketchy hoods is demanding but becomes more troublesome when deadly threats jeopardize the biggest opportunity of his career.

Excerpt

Trance music, which I hate, blared into the streets from the club. Since I hadn’t been dancing in West Hollywood since college, walking into Euphoria was surreal. The faces were different, but nothing had changed.

The bartender yelled over the music, “What can I get for you?”

“A Rolling Rock,” I yelled back. I gave him my credit card and told him I’d run a tab.

Near the bar was a platform where a go-go boy was dancing. He was young, scrawny, pasty white, and had a red mohawk. The crowd paid no attention, and he frowned. I made a mental note to tip him on my way out.

Further back in the bar, another dancer dominated the crowd’s attention. I recognized his rich, dark, perfectly defined body from Club Silver Lake’s security videos. What got him the most attention was what he was packing below. His thong had to have been custom made. It wasn’t possible for him to fit into something off the shelf.

“Is that Christian?” I yelled to the bartender.

“If you’re asking, you must be from out of town, or you don’t get out much,” he hollered back.

“Touché,” I replied. “What’s his usual?”

“A tequila shot with a Corona chaser.”

“Set them up for me for his next break,” I said, thinking it might be necessary to loosen him up before questioning.

I grabbed the three drinks—his tequila and chaser, and my beer—and moved to a table near Christian. He rolled his magnificent stomach, then turned and shook his bubble butt at the crowd. Cheers drowned the music as he played with his honey-colored thong—pulling it down just enough to throw them into a frenzy, then raising it again to groans of disappointment. His face was rugged yet boyish with his wide smile and deep dimples. The bucks were flying.

Christian stepped off the platform as I downed the last of my beer. I grabbed his drinks and rushed behind him, through the rows of sweaty men, to the back of the bar. I was too slow. He entered his dressing room before I could catch him.

I knocked.

The door opened. “What?”

“I ordered these for you.”

He took the tequila shot from my hand and downed it, then grabbed the beer. “Thanks,” he snapped and closed the door.

I knocked again.

The door flew open. “Thanks for the drinks,” he shouted, “but I’m on break and need my space.”

I held out my hand to shake. “Hi, Christian. I’m Mitch O’Reilly. I–—”

I narrowly escaped him cutting off my hand as he slammed the door shut.

I was shocked that he actually opened the door when I knocked again, and I stuck out my foot so he couldn’t slam it again. “Not to disappoint you, but I’m not here as a fan. I’m the private investigator hired to look into Victor Verboom’s murder.”

He took the business card I held out and tossed to the floor. The room was nothing more than a closet with a single wooden chair, and a bookcase stacked with clothing.

“What do you want?”

“You were at Club Silver Lake the night he was murdered.”

“Yeah. What of it?” His voice was smoky.

“I’m meeting with all the suspects.”

He turned his head quickly. “I’m a suspect?”

“You were there, weren’t you?”

“Uh, yes.” He looked back and forth through the club and took a step back. “I’ll put some clothes on, and we’ll go to my car. Meet me out front.”

I wasn’t on the sidewalk long before he trotted out wearing jeans and a white tank top. He motioned me to follow him to a light blue Mustang. It looked new. “When I can’t get any peace in there, I come out here on my breaks.”

“Nice car. Not a bad ride for a nightclub dancer. You must do pretty well on that platform.”

“Screw the car. What do you want?”

 About The Author

After growing up in Michigan and North Carolina, Brad Shreve criss-crossed the country while working in the hotel industry. In addition to working in hotels as a bellman, front desk clerk, and reservation call center director, he’s managed coffee houses, waited tables, sold potato chips off a truck and even hocked pre-burial funeral plans.

He credits Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak for developing his interest in art and storytelling. He’d spend hours on the floor sketching and painting and writing stories. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George gave him his first inklings that he’d like to be a novelist someday.

In addition to perpetually thinking of how to kill people, he’s a proud dad, a beach bum, and coffee house squatter.

He currently lives in the Los Angeles South Bay with his husband, Maurice.

Website/Newsletter Sign Up:  www.bradshreve.com

Facebook Group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/bradshreve

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bradshreveauthor


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I am so in love with this setting and these characters

Midnight Flit (The Carstairs Affairs, #2)Midnight Flit by Elin Gregory

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Simply brilliant. This is everything I want in a historical novel. It draws you into the time period perfectly, bringing a real sense of the start of the madness leading up to the Second World War.

Here we’re only just into the 1930s but there’re enough tensions for a modern reader to see where this time period is eventually going and Elin lays it all down with a deft touch.

I cannot wax lyrical enough about how much I love Millie Carstairs, the alter ego of cypher clerk Miles Siward, and here she’s on top form as a rescue mission to bring Miles’ beloved mother home to Blighty goes wrong from the moment they leave the Embassy in Bucharest.

This series needs to be turned into a TV show, its utterly compelling and superb settings just lend themselves to be adapted.

It’s daring do of the highest quality and reminds me a great deal of the wonderful Tommy and Tuppence Beresford from that master craftswoman Agatha Christie.

I’m intrigued by Falk, the German assassin who keeps popping up in the series, he needs his own book!

And Elin really threw me for a loop with one of the things which happened in this book. I wasn’t expecting it at all and was made very sad but it works so well to bring a real sense of the dangers of the world that Briers and Miles move in 😦

There’re some delicious plot elements left open for book three and another new character introduced who isn’t all he seems to be either.

Reading this just took me right back to the Saturday morning black & white weekly adventure shows of my childhood and I can’t wait for more.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

View all my reviews

Cover Reveal: Shadows On The Border by A.L. Lester

Shadows On The Border | A.L. Lester

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Release Date: March 9 2019

Publisher: JMS Books

ADD TO GOODREADS

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 Blurb

Newspaper reporter Lew Tyler and his lover, Detective Alec Carter, are working out the parameters of their new relationship.

Meanwhile, time traveller Lew is trying to decide whether he wants to stay in the 1920s or find a way to get back to 2016, and Alec doesn’t know if he can bear the vulnerability of being in love with someone who uses such dangerous magic.

Fenn is a Hunter from the Outlands, come through the Border to search for the murderous Creature and its offspring at the behest of the Ternants, who maintain the balance between Fenn’s world and ours.

Fenn strikes a bond with Sergeant Will Grant, Alec’s second in command, who is keen to learn more about his own magical abilities. As time goes on, Will grows keen to learn more about Fenn, as well.

Fenn has their own painful secret, and when they appear to have betrayed the team and goes missing in London, Will is devastated. He has to choose between following his heart or following his duty.

Moving through the contrasting rich and poor areas of post-First World War London from West End hotels to the London Docklands, the men need to work together to capture the Creature … and choose who – and what — is important enough to hold on to and what they may need to give up to make that happen.

Lost In Time Series

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Amazon US | Amazon US | JMS Books

Book #1 Lost In Time

Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books#

About The Author

A. L. Lester likes to read. Her favorite books are post-apocalyptic dystopian romances full of suspense, but a cornflake packet will do there’s nothing else available. The gender of the characters she likes to read (and write) is pretty irrelevant so long as they are strong, interesting people on a journey of some kind.

She has a chaotic family life and small children, and she has become the person in the village who looks after the random animals people find in the road. She is interested in permaculture gardening and anything to do with books, reading, technology and history. She lives in a small village in rural Somerset and is seriously allergic to both rabbits and Minecraft

Website: http://www.allester.co.uk/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CogentHippo

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ALLesterAuthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cogenthippo/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/A.-L.-Lester/e/B01MZ6R1QR/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/allester


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Brilliantly paced paranormal ghostly tale from Morgan

7FE74948-CDB8-42CE-AF2A-1E1CFFBAD680The Rising by Morgan Brice

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My favourite one so far in what is shaping up to be a quite excellent series which has a load of quirks that all add up to great storytelling.

Psychic medium Simon and his homicide detective partner Vic are still gloriously happy together when the threat of a big storm brings with it more ghostly troubles.

I loved both elements of this plot, the historical references to the Revolutionary War era and the Age of Piracy, and the vengeful spirit haunting the plantation.

Morgan Brice always turns out a polished narrative and this book is no exception.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

View all my Goodreads reviews

Blog Tour: Gage by J.M. Dabney

Gage | J.M. Dabney

Trenton Security #3

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MM, ROMANCE/SUSPENSE

RELEASE DATE: 29.01.19

Universal Linkbooks2read.com/TrenSecurity-Gage

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BLURB

The forbidden is the sweetest lure.

Trenton Security’s Public Relations go-to was Hayden Gage. He loved his job, and it kept him distracted from the demons haunting his nightmares. His past wasn’t up for discussion, and Hayden wouldn’t allow it to intrude on his future. Yet, that was easier said than done when his best friend came to him desperate for help, and it put him right on the path to his one weakness.

Young didn’t equal lost.

Derrick Thorpe lived in the shadow of his father’s mistakes. Although he was adopted by Linus Trenton, he wanted to prove that he wasn’t like his biological father. When he was asked to go undercover to help at Trenton Security, it put him in close quarters with Gage. Being Gage’s was only an act, but when lines blur, what happens when the operation ends?

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EXCERPT

Dishes rattled, and the low murmuring of conversations filled the interior as the lunch rush started to slow down at Heidi’s Diner. Typically, Gage ate alone before returning to the office, but today, he hadn’t turned out to be so lucky.

“How about I buy you dinner, Gage,” the confident young man across the table from him asked.

He stared at the boy as if he’d lost his mind. He slowly closed his laptop and calmly leaned back in the booth. The first time he’d seen Derrick Thorpe the kid was skin and bones, skittish from years of abuse by Derrick’s homophobic and racist father, the former Sheriff of Powers County, Georgia. The last time he’d allowed himself to be in the same space with Derrick, he had graduated from college. His boss, Linus, adopted Derrick and his toddler brother after the death of their father and, well, the mother hadn’t fought Linus when the man demanded she sign over custody.

Today Derrick was a man in his mid-twenties, and even with the pale blond stubble, he was still as pretty as the last time he’d seen him which had occurred Christmas a year ago. He’d made his excuses and went to stay with friends for the holiday. Fighting any of the Crews to get out of a family function always turned into a lost cause, and he’d found it easier to escape.

Gage forced a chuckle and a good-natured smile at the eager boy in front of him, but he felt neither of those actions. Because his greatest hell sat across from him and there was no way he’d ever allow the boy close to him.

“Not going to happen, kid.”

“Why not?” Derrick looked offended.

He wasn’t fucking around with some boy with Daddy issues. No matter how much he wanted to find out what his handprint looked like on the boy’s ass. Derrick wasn’t for him. Age difference aside, with Derrick’s history, he wouldn’t let the young man find out how interested he was.

“Go find someone your own age, Derrick.”

“What’s this got to do with age? I’m an adult, and I think I’m old enough to know what I want.”

He felt the muscles in his jaw clench. He didn’t like telling people no twice. When he made a decision, it was final. This little boy was asking for a spanking. A vision of Derrick over his knee came to mind, and he banished it as quickly as it appeared. This was getting out of hand. That’s why he’d avoided anything that had to do with seeing Derrick.

“And I said it wasn’t happening. I don’t like to repeat myself, Derrick.”

Derrick’s chin lowered to rest on his chest. There was a deep breath, and then Derrick looked up, his dark brown eyes shimmered with indignation.

“Yes, sir,” Derrick pushed the words through clenched teeth.

jm dabney logo

J.M. Dabney is a multi-genre author who writes mainly LGBT romance and fiction. She lives with a constant diverse cast of characters in her head. No matter their size, shape, race, etc. she lives for one purpose alone, and that’s to make sure she does them justice and give them the happily ever after they deserve.

J.M. is dysfunction at its finest and she makes sure her characters are a beautiful kaleidoscope of crazy. There is nothing more she wants from telling her 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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