#Spotlight & #Giveaway: Bryant’s Gap by Michael E. Burge

Bryant’s Gap

Michael E. Burge

on Tour October 12 – November 13, 2015

Synopsis:

cover

In 1947 postwar Chicago, mob related violence is commonplace. Nothing stands in the way of the “Outfit” when it comes to making money; a body here or there, who really cares as long as everyone’s pockets are lined, but when a man is found dead in a small Illinois town—people take notice.

Bargetown’s Chief of Police Bert Thatcher looks to a seasoned and astute railroad detective, Grady Colston, for help in solving the case. Fate has brought them together, but they soon realize just how much they have in common. A tight bond develops between the two men as they strive to uncover the identity of the man found dead on the railroad tracks—his right arm severed. As the investigation unfolds, surprising details of the man’s past come to light, and the circumstances of his death pose a major dilemma for Grady and Bert.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery

Published by: Michael E. Burge

Publication Date: May 19, 2015

Number of Pages: 306

ISBN: 9780996309806

Purchase Links: Amazon Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Excerpted from Chapter 2

FOLLOW THE TRACKS

Bargetown, IL

Thursday—August 7, 1947

Afternoon

Bert Thatcher, Bargetown’s chief of police for the last twenty years, was standing about a hundred yards down the railroad tracks when Grady Colston spotted him from the highway.

Grady slowly worked his way down the steep, moss-covered concrete embankment under the overpass. A foot in the wrong place and he would be on his ass, sliding toward the thick patch of bramble below.

When he reached level ground, he walked along the narrow, overgrown path to a small clearing where he had access to the tracks. A dozen crows were circling overhead, and from a nearby grove of pines, he could hear the annoying chatter of a host of others. He climbed the mound of ballast, stepped between the rails, and began moving from one tie to the next, carefully avoiding the pools of oil that had collected in several locations along the way. The last time he’d walked a stretch of tracks he had to scrap the pants he was wearing and use turpentine to remove the tar and oil that coated his newly polished Florsheims.

Grady had been a railroad detective for more than two decades. He had walked miles of track. Not my favorite part of the job, he thought, as he moved gingerly along, instinctively looking for anything that didn’t fit the scene.

He could smell the diesel fuel from the exhaust vents in the corrugated-metal Quonset hut in the lot adjacent to the tracks. The mechanics were busy inside. He could hear the sound of motors and metal-to-metal hammering. The sign on the front of the building read:

WILKES DIESEL ENGINE REPAIR

As he approached, he could see patches of sweat adorning the Chief’s khaki shirt. His dark green trousers were sharply creased, and there was a narrow black stripe running down the outside seam. The green matched the wide-brimmed straw campaign hat that sat high on his head. His holster was slung low around his waist to accommodate his melon-sized belly, and the .45 revolver looked a lot like the one Joel McCrea used to shoot his way through Indian Territory in a movie Grady had seen a year ago.

He’d never met Bert Thatcher, but recognized him from photographs. Bert was puffing on a cigar, studying the scene around the body that lay at his feet. Grady extended his hand. Bert grabbed it, squeezed, and pumped like he was trying to bring water up from a dry well.

“Good to finally meet you, Mr. Colston.”

“It’s a pleasure, please, call me Grady. I don’t know why we haven’t bumped into each other over the years, Chief. We’ve both been at this business a long time.”

“I saw you around the depot a time or two. Meant to introduce myself, but wasn’t quick enough on the draw. You were gone before I could get to you.”

“How did you know I was in town?”

“I had my secretary call the Illinois Central office about an hour ago to get some information on the train schedules, and they told her you were here. Good thing they were able to get ahold of you before you checked out. I’m bettin’ you’ve dealt with a lot more stiffs over the years than I have, and I’ve got a strong feelin’ I’m going to need all the help I can get on this one.”

Bert reached down, lifted the gray tarp from the body, and tossed it aside. It was a man’s body, lying face down, outside and parallel to one of the track rails. The light green short-sleeved shirt and dark pants he wore were matted with dried blood that had flowed from a place below his right shoulder, where his arm had been attached.

“Where the hell is his arm?” Grady asked, scanning the area for a clue.

“Not much mystery there,” Bert said, and pointed to a spot down the tracks about thirty yards. “We threw a tarp over the limb as well. Birds were feeding on it. I reckon dogs may have dragged it to where it is now. There’s a pack of wild ones that cross through this patch a few times a day on their way to the dump. Some of the men who work at Wilkes’ don’t even like walking to their vehicles at night. A couple of those hounds looked rabid.”

While the chief was talking, Grady spotted the trail of blood from the body along the track toward the severed limb.

“The way I see it, this fella was looking for a hitch to somewhere down the line and decided to let the I.C. pay for the ticket.” Bert was chewing on the end of his cigar stub between words. “Looks like he may have made a slight miscalculation when he tried to grab on, got caught up somehow and was dragged a ways. Got a contusion on the side of his coconut the size of a baseball, and cuts and bruises all over his body. He probably fell under the train and it lopped off his arm, or maybe he was lyin’ there and another train came along and did the job. Either way, let’s hope the blow to the head knocked him silly before the arm got ripped. I wouldn’t wish that kind of pain on my worst enemy.”

Review:

Bryant’s Gap is an intriguing murder mystery with much stronger character development than you see in many of today’s bestsellers. ~ Kimberly @ Lazy Day Books

Author Bio:

Michael E. Burge learned to play the piano in his forties, golf in his fifties, and now, recently retired from a career in marketing, has gone on to publish his first novel—Bryant’s Gap. Set in 1947, the story is peppered with childhood memories of the locations where he grew up; a small town on the Wabash River and the suburbs of Chicago.

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Don’t Miss Out on Your Chance to Win!

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Michael E. Burge. There will be 1 US winner of a $20 Amazon Gift care & multiple US winners of 1 eBook copy of Bryant’s Gap by Michael E. Burge. The giveaway begins on October 12th, 2015 and runs through October 13th, 2015. For US residents only. a Rafflecopter giveaway

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#Spotlight & #Giveaway: The Cast of the Defunct Adjunct by Frankie Bow @Frankie_Bow

The Case of the Defunct Adjunct: A Molly Barda Mystery
Print Length: 244 pages
Publisher: Hawaiian Heritage Press (December 1, 2015)
Publication Date: December 1, 2015

Synopsis

A forbidden kiss. A death in plain sight. And the faculty meeting’s just begun.

Forced to attend the Student Retention Office’s summer retreat, Professor Molly Barda brings her game of buzzword bingo to fend off boredom. But when the lecherous Kent Lovely, Mahina State’s one-man hostile work environment, collapses face-first into his haupia cheesecake, the afternoon goes from dull to disastrous. Now Molly has to fight to keep an innocent out of prison—and herself off the unemployment line.

The Case of the Defunct Adjunct is the spoiler-free prequel to the Molly Barda mysteries, a cozy mystery series set in remote Mahina, Hawaii. If you like Dorothy Parker, Sarah Caudwell, P.G. Wodehouse, or E.F. Benson’s Mapp and Lucia stories, you’ll enjoy this tale of passion, pilferage, and petty politics.

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~~Special pre-order price 0.99. Returns to 3.99 at release. ~~

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Like Molly Barda, Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike her protagonist, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, a loving family, and a perfectly nice office chair. She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining.

In addition to writing murder mysteries, she publishes in scholarly journals under her real name. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally.

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#BookBlast: No Time to Cry by Vera Leinvebers #Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Title: No Time To Cry
Author: Vera Leinvebers
Publisher: iUniverse
Genre: Biography
Format: Ebook/Paperback

Every story has a beginning, a journey, and an end. Author Vera Leinvebers’s story begins in her beloved homeland of Latvia, just prior to the outbreak of World War II. Her early childhood is filled with joy and music, but this idyllic, carefree existence is irrevocably silenced by the advancing drumbeats of war. The journey that follows proves so intense and harrowing that in order to fi nd the emotional separation necessary to face her traumatic childhood memories, Leinvebers fi lters her experiences through the eyes of a young Latvian girl called Lara.

No Time to Cry tells the story of Lara’s harrowing ordeal in war-ravaged Europe. It is a story about brutality, hatred, and unimaginable loss, but it is also a lasting testament to one little girl’s indomitable will to survive. When she loses nearly everything she holds dear, Lara desperately clings to the all that remains—the music indelibly etched in her memory and a small, smooth stone that she retrieved from the charred remains of her former home. That small stone became her symbol of strength. If it could survive the inferno and devastation, so could she.

Join Lara as a traveller on the path of her war-ravaged childhood, a path that clearly proves that no matter how much one might suffer, when the goal is to survive there is simply no time to cry.

ORDER INFORMATION

No Time to Cry is available for order at

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VERA LEINVEBERS was born in Latvia and began her first piano lessons at the age of five. She has gone on to perform for audiences across Europe and North America, including multiple appearances on radio and television. She currently resides in Toronto, where she teaches piano lessons at her private studio.

Vera is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins November 16 and ends on November 27.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on November 28.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

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#BookBlast: The We Lived Then by Adrienne Fox

Title: The Way We Lived Then
Author: Adrienne Fox
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Genre: Family and Relationship
Format: Ebook

Adrienne Fox is a retired musician who began her literary career reviewing concerts. This is her fifth novel. The other novels are the following: The Retirement, Starstruck, Tit for Tat, and IQ. Adrienne Fox writes about life in Britain from 1941–1963, when old traditions came head-to-head with new ideas as wartime austerity gave way to the Swinging Sixties. She colorfully describes growing up in a constant conflict of the morals, views, and opinions at a time when material goods were in short supply, conversation took the place of electronic entertainment, and serious communication was restricted to letter writing. Through wry humor, she tells of her efforts to understand family conflicts and of her own ill-formed ambitions. Desperately wanting to please in order to “keep the peace” but frequently appearing to fall short, “Can’t do right for doing wrong” aptly describes periods of her progress. Her story paints a tragic-comic picture of the incidents and attitudes within the time frame beginning in a northern industrial town, where the ration books vied with the hymn books in the family home, to college life in London and trying to find a job.

ORDER INFORMATION

The Way We Lived Then is available for order at

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Adrienne Fox is a retired musician who began her literary career reviewing concerts. This is her fifth novel. The other novels are the following: The Retirement, Starstruck, Tit for Tat, and IQ.

 

Adrienne is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.

  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice

  • This giveaway begins November 16 and ends on November 27.

  • Winners will be contacted via email on November 28.

  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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November 16

Book Babble

Review From Here

November 17

Mythical Books

Literal Exposure

November 18

The Self Taught Cook

I’m Shelf-ish

November 19

The Avid Book Collector

Write and Take Flight

November 20

Harmonious Publicity

My Bookish Pleasures

November 23

Bent Over Bookwords

The Literary Nook

November 24

Deal Sharing Aunt

The Dark Phantom

November 25

Crystal’s Chaotic Confessions

Voodoo Princess

November 26

A Taste of My Mind

Inkslinger’s Opus

 November 27

The Revolving Bookshelf

All Inclusive Retort

 

#Review & #Giveaway: A Dickens of a Murder by Joyce and Jim Lavene

 

 

A Dickens of a Murder
(Canterville Book Shop Mystery 1)

Cozy Mystery
Print Length: 208 pages
Publisher: J. Lavene (November 3, 2015)
ASIN: B015269QSI
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Synopsis:

Christmas at Canterville!

Lisa Wellman and Simon Canterville are surprised to find a dead man on their roof in the midst of rushing to open the Canterville Book Shop in time for the holidays. And not just any dead man – Ebenezer Hart – the man who opposed the book shop opening in Olde Town, Portsmouth, Virginia.
What might be more surprising is when Daniel Fairhaven – Lisa’s ex – turns up at the door of the three-story Victorian house to head the police investigation. She hasn’t seen him in years but the sparks start to fly as soon as they are in the same room together.

Simon and Lisa are obviously the best suspects for the murder. Each of them had something to gain by Hart’s death. Then an attempt on Simon’s life throws that theory into a tailspin.
But the biggest surprise yet comes when the ghost of Charles Dickens turns up to help Lisa with the murder investigation – and writing the mystery novel she has been working on for years.
Without a doubt, Daniel and Dickens in Lisa’s life means trouble. And there’s still the matter of trying to get the book shop open with a killer on their heels.

About The Authors –

Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.

 

Author Links

www.joyceandjimlavene.com 
www.facebook.com/joyceandjimlavene 
http://amazon.com/author/jlavene 
https://twitter.com/AuthorJLavene

Purchase Link

Amazon

Review . . . 

This new cozy series is a book lover’s fantasy.  Not only is it set in a bookstore, but the idea of famous authors returning as ghosts is enough to set a bibliophile’s heart aflutter.  I tried not to read too quickly, because I didn’t want the book to end.  It’s that good.  I can’t wait to see what happens next at the Canterville Book Shop.

5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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