Friday, July 29, 2011

Turning by Dawn Kirby


Alana ran upstairs trying to forget the words she’d just heard; the scene she’d just watched unfold. No matter how many times he said it she couldn’t believe it. She didn’t want to believe it.

“It’s a dream,” she told herself. She slammed her door shut and locked it. “You’re gonna wake up in a few minutes and see it’s just a dream.”

“It’s no dream,” Nicholas whispered suddenly appearing by her side. “This is reality. Your reality.”

“Thanks to you!” she screamed. He reached out to touch her face. She jerked away. The hate burning in her eyes threatened to bring Nicholas to his knees. “It’s your fault he’s here. Thanks to you I get to live the rest of my life like this.”

“Alana that was not my intension.” He tried to make eye contact, but she flatly refused to meet his gaze.

“Intensions are a lot like assumptions,” she spat. “They’re worthless and they always cause more harm than good.” Her eyes finally met his. “What gave you the right to decide what was in my best interests? I was fine with Ben being behind bars. At least there he couldn’t hurt me. Now…”

“He will not hurt you,” Nicholas said firmly. “I will not let him. My mistake was not making sure he was dead.”

“Your mistake was going there in the first place!” God, he had some nerve. “I don’t know you from Adam yet you attach yourself to me. You know nothing about me yet you take it upon yourself to-” She stopped, unable to say the word.

“Kill the man who hurt you so bad.” He reached out to her again. This time she jumped off the bed and huddled into the corner. “You have nothing to fear from me. I’m here FOR you. I’ll make sure no one, not Ben, not Thomas, nobody will ever hurt you again.”

“There’s another one?” she asked.

Her knees buckled. One vampire in her life had been enough. Two was pushing it. Now that he’d mentioned another, it was simply too much. She’s been perfectly happy living her life ignorant to the creatures of the dark. Now, thanks to him everything has changed.

“There are many more,” Nicholas told her. “But Thomas is the one who turned Benjamin. He followed me, waited for me to leave and gave him the blood he needed to survive.”

“Why?” she asked weakly.

“Because he knows I want you,” he answered. Nicholas knelt down beside her and stroked her hair. “He saw what you mean to me the night after I met you. He wanted to make winning you over a game.”

“A game?!” She knocked his hand away and stood up. Ben yanked on the window trying to get in. Nicholas jumped in front of her. “My life is not a game!”

“I never said it was,” Nicholas said through clenched teeth. Ben had stopped pulling at the window, but he hadn’t gone away. “Thomas has a twisted sense of humor. Everything is a game to him. He simply wants what everybody else has and he’ll do whatever it takes to get it.”

“I’m not yours,” she told him. She rolled over the bed and hurried to the door. “I’m not Ben’s. I don’t belong to anybody and I never will.” Alana threw the door open to see Matt standing on the other side. “Tell me something. How in the hell could you keep this from me? How can I trust any of you?”

“Lana, I swear I wanted to tell you.” She pushed past him. He grabbed her arm and forced her to look at him. “Look, when Carly told me I didn’t want to believe it. She took me over to Thomas’s house. Made me see everything for myself.” He looked at Matt finally realizing where he’d seen him before. “You came home with her that night, didn’t you?”

Nicholas sighed. He knew it was time to come clean, but this was not how their relationship was supposed to play out. His plan had been to let her heal. Introduce himself and slowly begin a meaningful life together. Human or vampire he had planned to love her the rest of his life.

“I did,” he finally said. “I brought her home. She invited me in. Though we shared an attraction nothing happened.”

“I think I’d remember if I let a man in my house,” Alana said breaking Matt’s grip on her arm. She bolted down the stairs and back into the kitchen. She wanted to run away. Leave them all here to plan her life, but she couldn’t. She was a prisoner in her own home.

“Not if I erased your memory,” Nicholas said sadly.

Alana spun around to face him. Her eyes full of hate. The anger inside her had come to a boiling point and she wasn’t going to hold it in anymore.

“Get out! Get out and never come back again!” she yelled. “You have no place in my life. I could never be with a man like you. I don’t want to be with a man like you! You’re cold, heartless. You never thought about what I might want. I was an easy mark for you, wasn’t I?” Nicholas knew the words were coming, but he wasn’t prepared for the pain they caused. “Poor, scarred girl. Let’s see what kind of fun we can have with her. Hell, let’s bring in friends. Let’s bring in her worst nightmare and see what happens.” He stepped closer to her. “Don’t. I said leave. I mean it. If I never see your face again it will be too soon.” Matt stepped into the room and motioned the vampire to the door. “No Matt. I meant all of you. You’ve all kept things from me. Important things.”

“But Lana, I-”

“No! I want you all to go,” she said. “Obviously I can’t trust anybody.”

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Follow the Money by Fingers Murphy

I have so many things from my day job that would be great openers to start this book review with, but... my day job prohibits the discussion.  I could start with... we had this one case where this one guy did this one thing, and this book totally reminds me of that.  


 I could start with this boyfriend I had back when I was 18 that stole a bag of drug money worth 50 grand and then turned it into the police claiming he had found it on the street knowing that after so much time...  he'd get the money back. And then some other stuff happened that wasn't very fun, and his friends found out that I knew about the money, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. 

But I won't.

Follow the Money by Fingers Murphy is a fast-paced legal thriller that easily draws you in from the opening page. "There was blood everywhere." Jim Carver leaned back in his chair, chewing a mussel cooked in saffron. "At least that's how the papers described it. Apparently he was covered with it when they found him, out in his front yard, stammering like an idiot about someone killing his wife." 

24 year old Ollie Olsen is a third year law student that is spending his summer interning at a prestigious law firm.  Ollie comes from a working class family and has his heart in the right place- his entire purpose for studying law was so he could give back to society. But his purpose and his direction soon change when he's enticed by the clothes, the cars, the jewelry, and just the unbelievably wealthy lifestyle of the people he works with. 

Ollie's first assignment is to review the findings of a twelve year old murder case and write the petition to have the conviction overturned. Not too difficult of an assignment until Ollie starts to dig a little deeper into the case and finds himself stumbling upon more than one incident of deception by every witness involved. 

In the story you'll read about a former U.S. Senator convicted of killing his wife, a defense attorney that screwed up the initial investigation that landed the Senator in prison, an old boyfriend or two, a reporter that loses his head, a secret stash of photos, a lost chest full of five million dollars (or was that three), and an affair that jeopardizes the one true constant in Ollie's life. 

Follow the Money by Fingers Murphy is a terrific debut novel. The protagonist is young, broke, insecure, weak, and always eager to find the truth. He reminds me of my beagle, Dora... always digging; always wanting to know what lies below and behind the surface. Dora once dug up the carpet just to see what was underneath. Then she ripped up the leather sofa so she could look at the stuffing. She's currently in the process of digging holes in the sheet rock because she's under the impression something interesting lurks behind the wall. 

Ollie is just like Dora... doesn't matter how many times you tell the guy not to do something, he's gonna do it anyway. And not only will he do the one thing you told him not to do, but he'll do a dozen other things just to prove that he can.  And it's these decisions that Ollie makes, regardless of how immature they may be, that keep people turning the page.  Follow the Money was a fun and entertaining read, and I'm really looking forward to the next book in this series.

Follow the Money by Fingers Murphy is available on the KINDLE, the NOOK, and on SMASHWORDS.

About Fingers Murphy:
Fingers Murphy is a pen name. The author is an international lawyer whose legal scholarship has been published in academic journals and in book form by one of the largest publishers in the world.

He also claims to live in Salt Lake City and pretty much forced me to follow him on Twitter. ;-)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Turning by Dawn Kirby

Hide Out

Alana sat down at the kitchen table, staring hopelessly out into the moonless night. She knew Ben was out there. She didn’t need to see him; she could feel him. She’d felt his presence outside her door for weeks now. The officer camped outside wouldn’t phase him. With Ben getting to her would simply be a matter of time.

“Eat,” Jennifer said, sitting a hot bowl of soup in front of Alana. “I can’t believe Matt’s let you get as skinny as you have. He and I are gonna have a serious talk next time I see him.”

“Don’t bother,” Alana said. She pushed the bowl aside and laid her head on the table. “He’s tried to force food on me, but frankly I’m not hungry. Fear kinda does that to you.”

“I’ll be glad when they finally catch that son of a bitch. It’s already been too long. Surely they’ve got a fix on him by now.”

“Not according to the detective Matt’s been talking to. It’s like Ben just vanished into thin air.”

“Maybe he decided to high tail it outta here,” Jennifer suggested. “I’m sure getting a little taste of prison life has changed his perceptive on things considerably.”

“You think so, huh?” Alana asked. She stood up and walked to the doorway. “No, he’s out there. I know he is.”

“Hun, do you think maybe you’re being paranoid?” Alana turned around to look at her, stunned. “I’m not saying you don’t have every right to be. I’m just saying maybe he’s changed his way of thinking a little bit. Prison does change people.”

“Yeah,” Matt mumbled, stomping in through the living room. “It changes people for the worst.”

“When did you get here?” Jennifer asked him. “I thought you had a date tonight.”

“I do,” he shrugged. “She’s waiting in the living room.” He glanced at the un-eaten bowl of soup on the table and shook his head. “I see you didn’t have much luck either.”

“Not even a bite,” Jennifer said. “Carly again?”

“Yeah, she’s a pretty cool gal once you get to know her.”

Alana tuned out the conversation and turned her attention outside. It was so quiet out there tonight. The crickets had all but disappeared. She hadn’t seen hide nor hair of the barn owl that usually nested in the big oak tree beside her back porch. The normal sounds of cats chasing mice have been non-existent for days now. Why?

Then she saw him. In the bushes across the courtyard she could see a pair of glowing eyes peering out of the bushes. Though he hadn’t revealed himself, she’d know that cold stare anywhere. Ben was indeed waiting for her. Her body began to shake uncontrollably. Her breathing irregular.

“Lana?” Matt said. “Lana!!” He rushed to her side as she collapsed to the floor. Nicholas, who until now had been listening from the bedroom upstairs, flew to Alana’s side. He’d been worried about her health lately too, but was helpless to much more than slip her a little blood now and then while she slept. “Dammit, I knew all this was gonna catch up with you sooner or later. You’ve got to stop doing this to yourself!”

“Yeah, yell at her,” Jennifer shot at him. “See how well that works.” She wet a hand towel and held against Alana’s head. “What in the hell just happened?”

“He’s here,” Carly said, from the kitchen doorway. Placing herself between the door and Alana, she looked into the dark court yard and finally saw the same pair of eyes she had. “Right there,” she said pointing at the row of hedges across the way. “I’m guessing that’s where he stays every night.”

Jennifer jumped up and looked in the direction the girl was pointing to. By now Ben was standing just feet away from them. Matt pulled Alana closer to him. Carly stepped forward to further block Ben’s view. Jennifer’s eyes moved from one to the other, stunned to see Matt hadn’t already gone out there and taken Ben’s head off.

“Well if you’re not gonna go out there and rip him a new one, I will.” She got as far as placing her hand on the latch before her body was thrown to the floor. When she looked up she saw the back of a man she’d never seen before walking straight towards Ben. She stood up and started for the door again. This time Matt caught her by the ankle. “What is up with you? I thought you wanted him to pay for what he did to her. Yet you sit there?”

“Look at him,” Carly whispered. “Does it look like any of us could hurt him? It’s best to stay where we are for now.”

Ben did look different. Both Alana and Jennifer had to agree with that. Somehow he looked crazier; stronger. There was also an air of superiority emanating off him. That was something he’d never had before. Alana has long thought his insecurity is what prompted him to attack in the first place, but now that it was gone she wasn’t so sure. He looked even more dangerous now.

“What do we do?” Matt asked Carly. “We can’t let him stay here. You already said he’s part of this.”

“He may be her best defense,” Carly said gravely. She’d been right about Nicholas. All his nights were spent here. “He’s obviously claimed her.”

“But he’s the reason Ben’s back. And,” he stopped and looked at the two men outside. “And like that.”

“Like what?” Jennifer asked. Apparently she was missing a huge chunk of the puzzle.

Alana watched them closer. The man with his back to them seemed familiar. There was something about his voice that calmed her. Even now, while he stands outside threatening to kill a man his voice was soothing.

She let it fill her, consume her. She liked the warmth his low, soft tone brought to her. It was as soothing as a lullaby…Contentment washed over. That’s until she heard someone say those words.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Turning by Dawn Kirby


Matt passed the girl a towel and sat heavily down on the couch. “Are you sure you don’t wanna go to the cops?” he asked her. “There’s one right outside I can grab if you want.”

“I’m positive,” she hollered through the closed door.

“Look, I get that you’re scared, but I really think you should. Any man that can beat a person the way he did you should be in jail.” He looked up at the ceiling thinking about Alana. What would she do if she came downstairs in the morning and saw the shape this girl was in?

“Jail won’t hold this guy,” she said opening the door. She stepped into the room drying the ends of her blond hair with a hand towel. “He’d slip out before they could take the first head count.”

“A shelter then? At least let me take you there. I hear they’re pretty good at protecting victims.”

She sighed, tossing the hand towel on the bathroom counter. “Would you trust you sister in one?”

“Okay. You got me there.”

“What happened to her anyway?”

Matt rubbed his neck, debating whether or not he should tell this girl anything. He didn’t know squat about her. Or the people she hung out with. She didn’t seem too terribly upset about what had happened to her. For all he knew this happened on a regular basis. There’s all kinds of people out there.

“Maybe we should start with your name first,” he suggested. “You don’t know me from Adam and I sure as hell don’t know you.”

“Protective,” she said moving closer to him. “I like that.”

“Cautious,” he corrected. “Your name?”

“Carly,” she said. “My name’s Carly.”

“I’m Matt.” He grabbed his bag and dug out one of his t-shirts. “Put this one on for now. I think there’s a pair of Lana’s shorts in the dryer she won’t miss.” He gestured toward the kitchen. “Just go back the way we came in and hang a left.”

“You sure you want me roaming around all by myself? I might end up going the wrong way. This whole situation with your sister and the cop outside has me intrigued.”

“You even think about walking up those stairs and I’ll haul you out to the cop myself.”

“Easy there,” she giggled. “I was just joking.” She slipped the shirt over her head and tossed the towel she had around her slender body at him. “You are far too serious.”

“How can you not be? You just got the crap beat out of you and you act like it’s nothing.”

“Because I realized something while I was in the shower.”

“What’s that?” Matt asked, practically jumping off the couch. “That you’re crazy?”

“You wanna listen or yell?” Carly asked. Her fuzzy memory had cleared considerably in the few minutes she’d stood under the water and one of those things involved his sister.

“I’m listening,” he said coolly.

She motioned him to follow her so she could get the shorts he’d promised her. That and she’d be further out of earshot of any ears that could be listening. If she was right one of them had taken up nightly residence here. Most likely upstairs, locked away with her.

While she dug through the dryer, Matt took a couple of cokes out of the fridge and sat down at the kitchen table. Never before had he wished for a beer more in his life than at this moment. The more they talked the more convinced he became that inviting Carly inside had been a royal screw up.

“What I have to say is gonna sound crazy,” she said, scooting her chair in. “Thanks for the shorts, by the way. Anyway, I promise you though every word of it is true.”

“So spit it out.”

“I’m just a ploy,” she said, lowering her voice to a mere whisper. “Your sister is in danger, but it’s not cause of some stalker. There are two men. One who I really think has honest to God feelings for her and another who’s using whatever means possible to play some game to win her over.”

“What does that have to do with you and how the hell do you know all this?”

“I’m sensitive,” she said, shrugging her shoulders. “The guy who did this never counted on me being able to read his thoughts. Most like him never really do.”

“What do you mean read his thoughts?”

“I can’t do it all the time. But this guy, the one that beat me tried to get into my head; change my memories. Make me believe I’d been brutalized by the second man so I’d freak when he showed up here looking for your sister.” She could see he was trying to wrap his head around what she’d just told him, but unfortunately she had a lot more to say. “Only he didn’t know what I was. The false memories only lasted a short time. I’ve seen his plan and it’s not good.”

“How did he? Like *who* never do?”

“They’re vampires, Matt and they’re playing with your sister’s life.”

Friday, July 8, 2011

Turning by Dawn Kirby

Heavy Burden 

Nicholas watched as Alana paced from one side of the room to the other, her eyes never leaving the window. Her long brown hair disheveled, nails bitten to the quick. Her beautiful light blue eyes had heavy black bags underneath them. Every noise drove her further to the edge. For two weeks it’d been this way. And until the prison decided to tell the truth about Ben’s fate he knew it would stay this way.

"Why lie?” he thought. Drained or not, Ben was still dead. Why they felt the need to cover up his death was beyond him. “His death was well deserved.”

“Lie?” Thomas’s voice asked. It’d been so long since he talked to another vampire telepathically; it took him a minute to realize what he’d heard.

“Yes lie,” he said.

“Ah…Did you do something you shouldn't have done?” Thomas teased. “Who am I kidding? Of course you did. You love this girl.”

“That I’m not sure of yet,” Nicholas said quickly. “I do know I care about her.”

“That’s what blinds you.”

“Blinds me? What are you talking about?”

“Go to the back door and I’ll show you,” Thomas said. “Careful though. The young man has a visitor. We wouldn't want to blow your cover of invisibility.”

Nicholas reluctantly stepped into the hallway. With a sad glance back at Alana he walked down the stairs and towards the back door. He could hear Matt’s voice coming from the living room as well as the voice of a female, but he had plenty of time to investigate her when he finished with Thomas. Besides, Matt hadn't pushed Alana earlier when he thought she was sleeping. He’d simply closed the door and left. Some privacy of his own was warranted.

Thomas smiled as he watched Nicholas step through the door. A few more seconds and he’d make him regret ever making a meal out of Ben. He walked across the yard and embraced his friend. Behind him Ben stayed hidden behind the trunk of a huge Willow tree. Inside he was dying to get inside the house. Now that he had the power of a vampire, nobody could stop him.

“What is it you want to show me?” Nicholas asked.

“Why in such a hurry?” Thomas asked, smiling coyly. “Afraid your little treasure’s gonna disappear on you?”

“She’s not in any state to be left alone,” Nicholas told him shortly.

“That’s not my fault,” Thomas said, the smile still plastered on his face. “You brought this on her.” He waved to Ben, who gladly stepped into view. Nicholas froze. “If I've told you once, I’ve told you a million times. Make sure they’re dead before you leave them.”

“You did this?” Ben asked. Thomas nodded his head, clapping his hand on Nicholas’s shoulder. Ben grinned. “I wanna shake your hand mister. Had you not tried to kill me-”

“Easy boy,” Thomas warned. Nicholas’s fangs had suddenly made an appearance. “Let’s remember why he tried to kill you.”

“Yeah, well, when do I get her?” Ben asked craning his neck to look past Nicholas.

Nicholas stepped back, blocking any path Ben might try to take inside the house. “You don’t.”

“Stay!” Thomas commanded when they took a step towards one another. “Nicholas, he is my protégé. I forbid you to hurt him in any way.”

“You can do that?” Ben asked, frowning at Nicholas.

“I made him,” Thomas said. “I may have let him go, but I still hold some power over him.”

“And this is how you use it?” Nicholas asked incredulously. “By bringing a killer into your life?”

“Seems as though I've brought in two.” 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Things I'm Waiting For

Why pre-order a book?  Good question.  Pre-ordering books can help a publishing house sales representative convince accounts to stock books in stores.  They can also show that since a book has been pre-ordered, that it is likely to be a popular item and that they shouldn't miss out on selling the item in their store.  Pre-orders can also give a more realistic count before printing. I once went to a Barnes & Noble in Salt Lake City to pick up a book by an author that I follow on twitter only to find out that the representative for the state of Utah chose NOT to stock that particular book in the stores.  They could ship it to me from another state, but Utah didn't have the item available for purchase at all.  This frustrated me to no end. I was angry and refused to give them my business... so I ordered the item online from Amazon, instead.

So now, whenever I find out a book being released by a twitter friend is available for pre-order I snag a copy.  I want their numbers to look good. And I also hope that people looking at the data will see that the state of Utah might actually be interested in having good books in their stores.  My sacrifice has no boundaries.  Okay... I'm being selfish, really. I want my friends to be successful and just once, just once... I'd like to be able to see their books in a store in Utah.

So here's what I've got waiting for me-

CITY OF THE LOST by Stephen Blackmoore

Sunday’s a thug, an enforcer, a leg-breaker for hire. When his boss sends him to kill a mysterious new business partner, his target strikes back in ways Sunday could never have imagined. Murdered, brought back to a twisted half-life, Sunday finds himself stuck in the middle of a race to find an ancient stone with the power to grant immortality. With it, he might live forever. Without it, he’s just another rotting extra in a George Romero flick.

Everyone’s got a stake, from a psycho Nazi wizard and a razor-toothed midget, to a nympho-demon bartender, a too-powerful witch who just wants to help her homeless vampires, and the one woman who might have all the answers — if only Sunday can figure out what her angle is.

Before the week is out he’s going to find out just what lengths people will go to for immortality. And just how long somebody can hold a grudge.


Crimes in Southern Indiana is the most blistering, vivid, flat-out fearless debut to plow into American literature in recent years. Frank Bill delivers what is both a wake-up call and a gut punch. Welcome to heartland America circa right about now, when the union jobs and family farms that kept the white on the picket fences have given way to meth labs, backwoods gunrunners, and bare-knuckle brawling. 

Bill’s people are pressed to the brink—and beyond. There is Scoot McCutchen, whose beloved wife falls terminally ill, leaving him with nothing to live for—which doesn’t quite explain why he brutally murders her and her doctor and flees, or why, after years of running, he decides to turn himself in. In the title story, a man who has devolved from breeding hounds for hunting to training them for dog-fighting crosses paths with a Salvadoran gangbanger tasked with taking over the rural drug trade, but who mostly wants to grow old in peace. As Crimes in Sourthern Indiana unfolds, we witness the unspeakable, yet are compelled to find sympathy for the depraved. Bill’s southern Indiana is haunted with the deep, authentic sense of place that recalls the best of Southern fiction, but the interconnected stories bristle with the urban energy of a Chuck Palahniuk or a latter-day Nelson Algren and rush with the slam-bang plotting of pulp-noir crime writing à la Jim Thompson. Bill’s prose is gritty yet literary, shocking, and impossible to put down. A dark evocation of the survivalist spirit of the working class, this is a brilliant debut by an important new voice.


Coburn’s been dead now for close to a century, but seeing as how he’s a vampire and all, it doesn't much bother him. Or at least it didn’t, not until he awoke from a forced five-year slumber to discover that most of human civilization was now dead—but not dead like him, oh no.

See, Coburn likes blood. The rest of the walking dead, they like brains. He’s smart. Them, not so much. But they outnumber him by about a million to one. And the clotted blood of the walking dead cannot sustain him. Now he’s starving. And nocturnal. And more pissed-off than a bee-stung rattlesnake. The vampire not only has to find human survivors (with their sweet, sweet blood), but now he has to transition from predator to protector—after all, a man has to look after his food supply.

SOUTHERN GODS by John Horner Jacobs

Recent World War II veteran Bull Ingram is working as muscle when a Memphis DJ hires him to find Ramblin' John Hastur. The mysterious blues man's dark, driving music - broadcast at ever-shifting frequencies by a phantom radio station - is said to make living men insane and dead men rise. Disturbed and enraged by the bootleg recording the DJ plays for him, Ingram follows Hastur's trail into the strange, uncivilized backwoods of Arkansas, where he hears rumors the musician has sold his soul to the Devil. But as Ingram closes in on Hastur and those who have crossed his path, he'll learn there are forces much more malevolent than the Devil and reckonings more painful than Hell... In a masterful debut of Lovecraftian horror and Southern gothic menace, John Hornor Jacobs reveals the fragility of free will, the dangerous power of sacrifice, and the insidious strength of blood.

For the fans of JR Ward, she is re-releasing her romance novels in paperback.  If you're a fan of the Black Daggar Brotherhood, then you might be interested in these three books.

Feel free to click any of the above links for further information.

For cozy mystery lovers...

SKATING AROUND THE LAW by Joelle Charbonneau

Rebecca Robbins has come home to Indian Falls, to the roller rink she inherited from her mother, intending to sell it and return to her life as a mortgage broker in Chicago. However, when she finds handyman Mack dead in one of the rink’s restroom stalls, it puts a crimp in prospects of a sale. The sheriff prefers to concentrate on his gardening, so Rebecca decides it’s up to her to solve the case, which means delving into Mack’s secrets. She also has to deal with people in town who treat her as an outsider, with her sexually frisky grandfather, with a handsome hunk of a veterinarian and his retired circus camel, and with a boss in Chicago who thinks he’s got “dibs” on her. Charbonneau’s debut mystery has much that is familiar, with its small-town setting and hints of romance, but her quirky characters, the roller rink, and the side plot involving Mack’s secret business add fun touches. And, of course, readers will love Elwood the camel. --Kat Kan

SKATING OVER THE LINE by Joelle Charbonneau

Rebecca is desperate to sell her inherited roller skating rink in small-town Indian Falls, and--finally--she has a buyer. She can't wait to head back to Chicago, especially now that her long delinquent father has blown back into town. But Lionel, her large-animal vet boyfriend, thinks she should stay put. And the gang at the Senior Center wants her to track down the thief who's been hot-wiring rusted-out classic cars. Unable to resist, Rebecca soon has the Sheriff's Deputy threatening to arrest her for obstruction and strange, scary men threatening her life. Then cars start exploding, with people in them, and Rebecca's father goes missing. With the help of her Elvis-impersonating grandfather, Rebecca must find the pyromaniac car thief and put a stop to him--before he stops her first.

This is the second in a delightful cozy series filled with small town charm and delicious laughs.

Both of these book are available through Amazon HERE and HERE.

And finally...

LURE OF THE WICKED by Karina Cooper

Some of you in the office purchased the first book in the series. If you're ready for the next one... it be ready for you!

Naomi West was plucked from one prison and placed undercover in another: the gilded cage that is Timeless, New Seattle's premier spa and resort, where owner Phinneas Clarke—the most seductive man Naomi has ever met—may be hiding a killer. She's an agent of the Holy Order, trained to hunt the guilty and render justice. But while she's tracking down a rogue agent on a killing spree, Phin is determined to uncover her most damning—and dangerous—secrets. Whatever the cost.

As for me... I recommend them all.  

And for my coworkers that would like to place an order, but don't really want to deal with the mess of it all... I'm willing to make the purchase for you. Just let me know which books you are interested in and I'll let my little fingers make some magic on the keyboard.  

Friday, July 1, 2011

Turning by Dawn Kirby

Little Girl Lost

Matt tossed his bag on the couch and stretched his arms up over head. A loud crack filled the room. If this kept up much longer his little sister may need to give in and invest in a bed for the guest room. He didn’t mind staying with her, but the springs in the couch were really doing a number on his back.

He called out to Alana, but got no answer. Matt eased up the steps and opened the door to Alana’s room. Thankfully she was already asleep. He saw the little bottle of pills sitting on top of her nightstand and was instantly glad for them. If that’s what it took for her to rest, then so be it. Ever since that son of a bitch Ben had escaped from prison she hadn’t been able to step out the front door. She was terrified he’d jump out from behind a bush somewhere and attack. Only this time he’d kill her.

Both he and Jennifer had tried to put her mind at ease by pointing out the constant police presence outside and the new surveillance system Matt had installed the day they got the news. He wasn’t taking chances this time. Thank God his boss was as worried about her as he was. Thanks to him, Matt had been able to install a top of the line video alarm system in her house along with a live feed that he could view from anywhere he happened to be. All he needed was a signal.

Speaking of. He hurried downstairs and flipped on the monitor. Before he could sit down to review the video a strange noise from the back yard caught his undivided attention. He would have thought it was a wounded animal only Alana didn’t have any. None of her neighbors did either. He grabbed the hand gun he’d stuffed in the desk drawer and cautiously walked towards the back door.

As he stepped out the back door he noticed a bare foot poking out from underneath one of the bushes. “Time to come out,” he said aiming the gun at the hedge in front of him. No movement. “I said it’s time to come out. This is the wrong time and place to play games.”

“What if he’s here?” a terrified voice asked. “I’m not ready to die.”

“Lady, I can guarantee there is nobody here except me, you and the cop out front.” He stepped back, giving the girl room. “Come on out.”

The girl crawled out of the bushes and curled up into a ball beside the porch. She looked hurt. Matt flipped on the light and jumped the rail to check whatever injuries she may have. One look was all it took to know why she’d hidden there in the first place. One eye was swollen shut. There was a two inch long cut on her cheek. Dried blood was caked in her hair and clothes. As his eyes moved further down her body he saw huge black bruises covering her arms and legs.

“What the hell happened to you?” He tried to brush a bloody clump of hair out of her face, but she jerked away. Remembering back to Alana’s experience, he backed off and sat down on the ground beside her. Keep it as normal as possible, he thought. “You know you can’t stay out here forever, don’t you? Whoever did this to you might come looking for you. Why not come on inside? You can get cleaned up while I go talk to the cops out front. No offense, but I’d like to know how you got past them.”

“Why are they even here?” she said softly. Talking to the police was the last thing she wanted to do. She knew who did this to her. She also knew they would never believe her.

“They’re trying to keep my sister safe,” he told her.

“From what?” she asked scooting closer to him. A picture flashed through his mind. The man in Laney’s room. He had something to do with this. But who would she know? She’d never seen him before last night.

“Let’s just say she may have a stalker and leave it at that,” Matt said coolly. This girl wasn’t acting the way Alana had. She seemed scared, but not terrified. “What’s up with you? You look like you’ve been through hell, but you don’t act it.”

“I’m not supposed to be scared of you,” she admitted. And she wasn’t. The man she feared was Nicholas. Not Nick. Not Nicky…Nicholas.