Tag Archives: private eye

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

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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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Release Blitz: Not Another Statistic by J.M. Dabney

Not Another Statistic | J.M. Dabney

Yuri Sorenson Mysteries

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Genre: MM, Gay Fiction, Romance, Mystery, Suspense

Release Date: 24.09.19

Cover Image – FuriousFotog (Golden Czermak)

Cover Model – Kevin R. Davis

Cover Art – J.M. Dabney

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/bw2vV0

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Blurb

Former Federal Agent Yuri Sorenson had left the bureau behind to become a private investigator. His ex-partner came to him asking for a favor, not knowing who else to trust. Yuri had always had a way of keeping his emotional distance from the people he protected, yet that changed the day Clarkson hesitantly limped into his life.

What happens when love is confused with pain? That’s the exact question Josh Clarkson had asked himself for years. He’d grown up in an overburdened foster care system, and from what he knew of love, he couldn’t expect anything but to be something tolerated. Was he meant to be more than a plaything or a piece of scenery? He could hope.

Two men who know nothing but being broken find that patience and acceptance are harder than losing hope.

Is the leap of faith worth the reward of letting someone else in? Maybe they’ll find the strength to find out before the danger of Josh’s past tries to tear them apart.

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Excerpt

The or, what the hell had I been thinking? I cursed myself as I unbuttoned my baby blue dress shirt that conformed to my slender upper body. As I stripped it off I studied myself in the bathroom mirror and draped the fine linen over the edge of the sink counter. I traced the fading scars that covered my chest and stomach. A few were still sensitive as I stroked the raised edges of tissue.

“They’re healing nicely.”

I jerked my eyes to the right in the mirror to find him watching me. An odd expression in his green eyes. I wondered what he thought of me. His attitude toward me had shifted but I still feared he saw me as he had the night I was led into his office. In his opinion was I still the pain addict whore that everyone made me out to be? At the club earlier I’d almost felt—normal. Like a well-adjusted man curled up against my date.

I mentally shook off my thoughts and my brain started to focus on other things. His unbuttoned shirt exposed the thick hair on his chest and stomach, his tie hanging loose. To keep from getting caught I returned to my perusal. My stomach was no longer concave and my ribs didn’t show through my pale skin. My cheeks face was filling out and I didn’t look like a skeleton. I knew I had more weight to gain in order to get up to fighting weight as he called it.

“Yeah.”

“What’s wrong, baby boy?” His grumbly voice was low and soft, yet seemed to fill the room effortlessly.

“Just remembering.”

“Remembering what?” He asked as he entered the bathroom and stood behind me. There were several inches between us but I could still feel his body heat—his overwhelming presence—and my weakness called to me to lean back into his strength.

Something inside me was sick and rotten, I relied on him to keep me safe. He did little things that weren’t necessary. Like the espresso or candy, letting me pick a show on TV. They were stupid things but men didn’t do nice things for me just out of the kindness of their hearts. It always came with a price.

“Talk it out.”

Resistance was futile when his hands rested on my hips and he flexed his arms, pulling me back to his larger frame. The slightly coarse chest hair tickled my skin and my gaze flew to his. Nothing in his expression gave away his thoughts. He was as stoic as I remembered. That emotionless mask made me warier. While I didn’t think he’d physically hurt me, emotionally and mentally he could destroy me.

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About The Author

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J.M. Dabney is a multi-genre author who writes Body Positive/Diverse 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 make 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.

The author is Gender Nonconforming and uses the preferred pronouns They/Them.

Social Media

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/J.M.DabneyAuthor/

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Reader Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/585182991553194

Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/J.M.-Dabney/e/B006QZIFLE

Bookbub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/j-m-dabney

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Teaser: Prince of Killers by Layla Reyne

Prince of Killers | Layla Reyne

Fog City #1

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Cover Design: Cate Ashwood Designs

Cover Photography: Wander Aguiar Photography

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date (Ebook & Print): June 10, 2019

Subgenre: M/M Romantic Suspense

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45178448-prince-of-killers

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Blurb

No indiscriminate killing. No collateral damage. No unvetted targets.

These are the rules Hawes Madigan lives by. Rules that make being Fog City’s Prince of Killers bearable. Soon, he’ll be king—of an organization of assassins—and the crown has never felt heavier. Until the mysterious Dante Perry swaggers into his life.

Dante looks like a rock god and carries himself like one too, all loose-limbed and casually confident. He also carries a concealed weapon, a private investigator’s license, and a message for the prince. Someone inside Hawes’s organization is out to kill the future king.

In the chaos that follows the timely warning, Hawes comes to depend on Dante. On his skills as an investigator, on the steadiness he offers, and on their moments alone when Hawes lets Dante take control. As alliances are tested and traitors exposed, Hawes needs Dante at his back and in his bed. But if the PI ever learns Hawes’s darkest secret, Hawes is sure to get a knife to the heart—and a bullet to the brain—instead.

There’s no shortage of twists and turns in this new romantic suspense trilogy from Layla Reyne. Prince of Killers is book one of three. Fair warning: buckle up, cliffhangers ahead!

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Excerpt

“How do I trust you won’t kill me in my sleep?” Hawes sniped, more out of sexual frustration than any real fear. He felt more like himself than he had all night. Steady again.

“Same way I’m going to have to trust you not to kill me. You are the Prince of Killers, aren’t you?”

Hawes bit his tongue, fighting the words that wanted to form. Twice in one night. Hawes’s hate for the title crested once more. Hate that he was the prince when it was actually the three of them—him, Holt, and Helena—running the organization. Hate that he’d been forced into the role because he was the oldest, technically, and hate that when someone had to make the tough decisions, it was always him. He’d been the prince since he was sixteen and had given the doctors permission to turn off his parents’ ventilators when neither his grandparents, who were absent at the time, nor his siblings could make the call.

Cold as ice, the stories went.

He hated the killer part just as much. It implied malice, evilness, and cruelty when Hawes had strived to take those variables out of the equation. He knew what he was, what his family did, but there was a place for them, a need for assassins in a world where people didn’t play by the rules and legal justice missed its mark. He’d felt like a killer only twice in his life—that morning in the hospital when he’d become the prince, and that night three years ago when he’d spilled an innocent woman’s blood. A day that had somehow brought into his life the man now stretched out on his couch. And Hawes needed him to think he was the Prince of Killers, for both their sakes.

For now.

Layla Reyne - Author Photo

About the Author

Author Layla Reyne was raised in North Carolina and now calls San Francisco home. She enjoys weaving her bi-coastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline-fueled suspense and heart-pounding romance.

When she’s not writing stories to excite her readers, she downloads too many books, watches too much television, and cooks too much food with her scientist husband, much to the delight of their smushed-face, leftover-loving dogs. She is a 2019 RWA® RITA® Finalist in Contemporary Romance (Mid-Length) and was a 2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist in Romantic Suspense.

Social Media

FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/laylaslushes/

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AMZ: https://www.amazon.com/author/LaylaReyne

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/layla-reyne

 

 

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