Thursday, August 27, 2020

New Release by Brenda Whiteside #RomanticSuspense #thriller

NEW RELEASE! Let The MacKenzie Chronicles begin. I'm happy to announce Secrets of The Ravine, book one in The MacKenzie Chronicles is set for worldwide release on September 15, 2020.

Reserve your eBook copy today at a discounted price of $2.99. The price will go up on September 15th. If you reserve your copy now, it will magically appear in your reader on the official release date.


Secrets of The Ravine, Magpie's story, is the first of a three-book series about the MacKenzie family. The series is set in present-day Joshua, Arizona, an 1800s mining town, turned ghost town, turned hippie haven, and now a tourist town, hanging on the side of Spirit Mountain.

The story encompasses two time periods, the 1960s and the present. You'll be immersed in Magpie’s present, as well as her father’s past, as she scours a twisty path that could end with her the next murder victim.

Secrets of The Ravine

When a ringer for her long-dead love walks into her life the same day skeletal remains are found at the edge of town, Magpie MacKenzie can’t ignore what the universe is telling her…solve the mystery, or become the next victim. 

Lawyer Zack Peartree’s life is orderly and entanglement-free until he visits purportedly haunted Joshua, Arizona, and meets free-wheeling shopkeeper Magpie. Despite experiencing troubling visions and odd moments of déjà vu, Zack’s instantly drawn to Magpie and to the unsolved murder which troubles her so. 

Using clues from her father’s past and Zack’s déjà vu moments, Magpie and Zack race to solve the mystery, avoid a murderous fate, and to discover their future…together.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Swapping Identities by Jan Selbourne #WWI #Historical


Please welcome Jan Selbourne. She has a fascinating premise and WWI is her backdrop. Read on!

In 2015, I joined an Anzacs on the Western Front tour, visiting the battlefields where my grandfather served during World War One.  Looking at the lovely towns and villages and soft green fields it was hard to imagine the horrors of that war until our guide held up enlarged photos of blackened, treeless wastelands littered with bodies of men and horses.  

We visited the immaculately cared for Commonwealth War Graves and memorials and it was very humbling to see the thousands of graves of young men who never came home. Particularly sad was the inscription on so many headstones - "Known Only to God"." I could only assume their bodies were unrecognizable, and their identity discs buried in the mud or blown elsewhere. . 

After the tour ended, I got to wondering if it was possible for a soldier to swap identity discs with another who had been killed in battle.  In those days, War Service records were hand-written. It would have been a mammoth task to record the thousands of injuries and deaths from each battle. Curiosity grew to a real need to know, so I contacted London's Imperial War Museum and the Australian War Memorial in Canberra asking that question.  Both replied that it was possible but unlikely because the chance of discovery was high and the penalties very harsh. Neither would confirm it did happen, but that was good enough for me to write The Proposition. 


War changes a man. For Harry Connelly it’s down to a bullet on the Western Front or arrest and prison at home – until, badly wounded, he collapses beside the body of Andrew Conroy.  Same build, same coloring, illegitimate, no known family. What does he have to lose?  Harry swaps identity discs.

Now Andrew, he’s another face in post war London until a letter. A cousin from the dead soldier’s unknown family wants to meet, to make amends.  Barely surviving on his pension, ‘Andrew’ agrees and is presented with a shocking proposition. Accepting is out of the question, refusing pushes him into a nightmare of murder and blackmail and a very frightened Lacey Haines.

Lacey is barely coping with the consequences of her sister’s treachery until Andrew saves her from a vicious assault. Can she trust him when she’s hiding secrets that could kill them both? 


Andrew forced himself to look at her. “Please hear me out before you throw me out. There’s no other way to say it. I am not Andrew Conroy.”

Lacey’s face froze in horror.

He put up his hands. “I am not the killer! I am, or was, Harry Connelly. Andrew Conroy and I were two of the thousands of men at Amiens, preparing to face another hell for King and country.”

An anguished whisper. “What on earth are you saying?”

 She didn’t speak while he told her everything from the day before the battle, the bloodbath, Conroy’s lifeless body, his injury and discharge.

“You stole a dead soldier’s identity discs and left him to be buried without his name?”

“He’d already gone to the hereafter. I doubt identity discs would make any difference there.”

 “Hereafter or no hereafter, it was despicable,” Lacey whispered contemptuously. “So, you were discharged and went on your merry way as another man.”

“Not a merry way, a room in a boarding house drinking too much rum. Then Elliot’s letter and the real reason why he invited me.”

He told her, watching her expression change from scepticism to disbelief.

“Do you really expect me to believe that ridiculous story?” Lacey looked at Gina and dropped her voice. “You’ve used Gillian’s letters to cover up why you were there.”

“Her letter about Elliot’s proposition which would give her money to leave England? Why did Elliot hire an investigator to find me? The reasons why he was so desperate to produce a child and why he needed a substitute will be the reason behind those murders.”

A shadow of uncertainty crossed her face. “I don’t believe a word you’ve said.”

“It is unbelievable, its obscene and it’s the truth. I’ve told you he locked me in a room upstairs. It was pitch black and sheer luck I found an adjoining door to the next room. I went downstairs, knocked out and you know the rest.”

“You can’t prove one thing about that night.”

“Neither can you,” he hissed back at her. “You’ve told everyone you didn’t know your sister’s whereabouts and by incredible coincidence you were there that night. Did you really hide in the kitchen? Did you hit me on the head?”

Her mouth tightened, then the question he was dreading.

“Why did you take Andrew Conroy’s identity discs?”

“My career in the police force ended when I belted the son of a Member of Parliament senseless, and my wife humiliated me for the last time.”

Buy Link 

Find Jan here:


Want to #win a $100 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC?

Long & Short Reviews (LASR) is celebrating their anniversary. And as usual, they are doing it up big. You can win a $100 gift card to Amazon or Barnes and Noble. It's a fun scavenger hunt and a Rafflecopter drawing. Don't miss this event.

My featured book is the fifth in the Love and Murder Series, The Deep Well of Love and Murder.

After an abusive childhood and bad marriage, Laura Katz has finally found a home, stability…and possibly love. But her blissful refuge as nanny on the Meadowlark Ranch, miles from Flagstaff, shatters when her ex is released from prison, determined to reclaim her. 

Randy Silva, the Argentine foreman, has plans for his own ranch, but a nasty land grab is underway. While the battle escalates, Laura steals his heart, but there are outsiders who stand in their way. He’s in a fight for his land, and the woman he wants by his side. 

Stakes are high, as the attacks on Randy and his ranch draw blood. While the vengeful ex-husband stalks Laura, a mob-backed land developer teams with a desperate gambler. Randy can’t be sure where the next attack will come from—or who will be caught in the crossfire.

So have fun and win a gift card. Click HERE!

Friday, August 21, 2020

Pitbull with Lipstick by Darcy Carson #FearlessFriday #historicalromance


You're going to love my fearless guest's story today. Grab a cup and relax and be ready to chuckle. Take it away, Pitbull, er Darcy.

My friends call me the Pitbull with Lipstick. I’m not afraid of sharing my opinion with ANYONE. Telling what you think isn’t sharing what you are feeling. That’s two different things in my book. I’ve done a lot of dumb things in my life. One thing my friends laugh about the most is the time we took a night-owl fight to NYC for a conference. Since I have a hard time falling asleep in strange places, I asked my doctor for sleeping pills. Let’s just say the first one didn’t work to my satisfaction, so I took another one. By the time we landed, I was rummy and off in la-la land. I jumped on the luggage cart and asked the bell hop to take me to the registration desk. I was with a group of four other ladies, one was always saying, ‘Someone keep an eye on Darcy. She keeps wandering away.’. I really don’t remember much of that trip.

One incident I remember from my childhood was when I was twelve. I went horseback riding for the first time in my life. Wasn’t afraid. I picked this pretty palomino. A girl’s got to have a pretty-looking horse. Right? Well, at a specific spot, the guide would let experienced riders race their horses. With a squeal of delight, I kicked my horse to go, too. The squeal scared the guide. I was laughing. She thought I was screaming, but she couldn’t catch me because my horse was not only pretty, but the fastest horse in the stable. I loved it. Went back the following week. My palomino was already out. Boo-hoo. They gave me a semi-draft horse. Imagine your legs sticking straight out. That was me. Then my supposedly gentle giant got into a fight with another horse. We were losing, so I stood in the stirrups and used my reins to hit the other horse. Didn’t help much. My mount and I ended up in the river. But it was exciting. I wonder if that means I’m a little bit of an adrenaline rush junkie. Maybe? I’m not telling.

I’ve drag raced. I had a stock Mustang and my sister’s boyfriend had a Corvette. He wanted to show me up with his fancy, sports car. Big mistake. We found a nice straight street, late at night and hit it. My little Mustang beat the pants off him because he blew his engine. Poor did he want my car after that. A few years later, we moved away from Washington State, and were selling my car. He wasn’t letting it go and bought it. The next week he lent it to another friend and the guy rolled and totaled the car. Too bad, so sad. Told him, she was fast.

None of my experiences went into To Steal an Irish Heart (it’s a historical romance), but Roanne O’Casey has a fearless spirit. She doesn’t back down from a challenge, and she has to wed or die.

Roanne O'Casey has no desire to wed…but is under the control of an ancient prophecy. Fate takes away her choice when the fiercely independent Irishwoman is forced to marry the enemy, an Englishman…and is swept off her feet.

Simon Lancaster never intends to wed, but he agrees to marry the redhead in the rollicking Irish pub, in front of her rowdy brothers, as an amusing lark. His attraction for Roanne grows until he learns of his brother's death, and evidence points to one of her brothers.

When Roanne accompanies her husband to England, she walks into a trap for a killer. How can she solve the murder and win Simon's heart?

Award-winning author Darcy Carson grew up reading everything her mother brought home from the library. Reading romances became her favorite topic. Eventually her love of those novels led her to start writing them. She resides in a Seattle suburb with her husband and a prince of a toy poodle.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Inspiration of a Desert Rat

Native Desert Rat. That’s how someone would’ve described me years ago. “You were born here?” The term might still be in use, but I haven’t heard it lately. Although born in Phoenix, in southern Arizona, I never really felt “at home” in the desert. After marriage, we lived all over the place from Germany to California, and I enjoyed the greener areas. But now, back in Arizona, I’ve discovered the central desert…and I love it. 

Central and northern Arizona inspired my five-book series, Love and Murder. Setting is important to me. The first inspiration for my stories is either the characters that find me in any number of ways or the setting. Book one, The Art of Love and Murder started with a character. When I became aware of her, the setting was a natural—Flagstaff, Arizona. I went to college in this quaint town at the base of the snow-capped San Francisco Peaks. 

For several years, we lived on the golden plains just north of Prescott, Arizona. I set book two in my Love and Murder Series, Southwest of Love and Murder, in Chino Valley. There are grassy flatlands and rocky hills with plenty of wide blue skies. It’s where the antelope roam and ranches spread for miles. 

Phoebe, the heroine, leaves the city for a little R and R on the Meadowlark Ranch on the Chino Valley plains. Rancher Mason Meadowlark is more than happy to be the recreation part. But murder follows her. She’s a murder/mystery writer, and I found more than a little inspiration from myself for Phoebe. My characters are often inspired by people I know or have met. Could be one simple character trait or someone’s style. Phoebe comes the closest to me, but I’ll not confess how much of her. Let’s just say it’s more of the love part than the murder angle. 

Speaking of murder, it’s beautiful country around central and northern Arizona, but not much water. My husband would’ve killed for a lake in Chino Valley. Since he’s an avid fisherman, we migrated eastward a couple of years ago to get closer to what little water you can find in this state. 

Now, we live in the basin, only minutes from Roosevelt and Apache Lakes. It’s still the Sonoran Desert, the only desert where the Saguaro Cacti exist, but other native plants and trees are abundant. Springtime can be awe inspiring when everything blooms yellow, purple, orange, and hot pink. 

I continue to be inspired by central Arizona. I’m currently writing a new series set in the Arizona Black Hills, not far from Chino Valley and the Love and Murder Series.

SOUTHWEST OF LOVE AND MURDER, Book Two of the series, is currently on sale for $.99. You don’t have to read the five books in order, so now is a good time to dive in and come to central Arizona for a little love and murder. I’ll bet the setting and Phoebe will inspire you to try the rest of the series. If you’re partial to audiobooks, the first four are available right now and the fifth will release in a month. I’ve given away all of my US codes but I still have some UK codes for free listens. Leave a comment if you’d like a code. 


Mystery writer, Phoebe Anderson, owes her success to killing her first husband on paper seventeen years earlier. Now, someone has actually done it. When she decides to take a few days away on the ranch of her best friend’s brother-in-law, she doesn’t expect romance to find her...or murder to follow her. 

Mason Meadowlark is happy with his wild cowboy ways, avoiding love since the death of his baby and the end of his marriage twenty years ago. When Phoebe shows up, he fights to control his emotions, but soon wonders if she just might be worth the risk of opening his heart again. 

With an obsessed fan close on her heels, Phoebe is thrown into her own murder mystery…and the next target on his list is Mason. 



Apple iBooks: 

Barnes and Noble: 


Audible US: 

Audible UK: 

iTunes Audiobooks: 



Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Wickedly Humorous #Vampire for #WickedWednesday by R E Mullins


You really will get a kick out of this post. Not only did Robin write an amusing and wickedly fun post, but she has something free for you! Be sure to comment and win!
Hi! R. E. Mullins here! First of all, I want to give a quick and hearty thanks to Brenda for asking me to guest host on her Discovery Blog today. I’ve written a series of novels and a couple of novellas in the vampire/romance/paranormal genre.

I selected Wicked Wednesday for my spot because the idea of writing about something wicked intrigued me. Then I was stumped. For weeks now I’ve been mentally, reviewing everything I’ve ever written looking for something that fit the bill.

Inspiration finally struck on my mother’s 95th birthday. As my sisters and I sat with her (all appropriately masked and distanced) we shouted at each other so Mom could hear us. She’s a little bit deaf, refuses to wear her hearing aids, and depends A LOT on lip reading. Anyway, we got to talking about motherhood as it’s another bond we all shared.

That’s when it hit me. Although several of my villains certainly qualify as wickedly evil and some of my characters could be considered wickedly handsome/beautiful…or if your sense of humor is slightly off, you might find some of my scenes and characters humorous…

I suddenly knew I had to use an excerpt from my novella, Diaper Duty Vampire. Why? Because I found it so wickedly fun to write. I hope you find it equally fun to read.

In fact, I’m so sure you’ll be able to connect with what John goes through that I’m asking you to leave a comment. Let me know how/if the scene strikes a chord with you or simply give it an ‘ick’ factor. Later, I’ll select a couple of the comments and send them either a copy of the novella or one of my t-shirts featuring my logo or book covers.

Here’s a quick set-up.

In 1864, while serving in the Union army, our fearless soldier, John Alden was turned into a vampire. Though slow to adjust to his new undead life, over time, he’s become a respected and tough Nosferatu Enforcer. Currently, he’s spending the majority of his time fighting off rival vampires from the Toltec faction.
Yet, this often feared vamp finds himself completely unnerved to be suddenly at the mercy of a human toddler. Of course, John’s seen the little critters before, but always from a safe distance.

Cody seems hell-bent on busting John’s overly sensitive vampire eardrums as he screams out his displeasure. He wants his missing mama and there’s no two ways about it. First he head-butts the hapless vampire, and it hurts. Then he swipes a copious amount of yellow snot all over John’s black Enforcement Agency shirt before biting him right through the cloth over his left nipple. Already brought to his knees by the pint-sized sadist, the feared Enforcer is then hit with another challenge—one more dire than any he’s ever faced before.
It’s a test he’s not sure he can pass.

He must go inside a Wal-Mart to purchase a carseat. Carrying Cody on his hip, he has no clue he’s holding a ticking stink bomb. No, John never once suspects there’s a reason for the kid’s sudden docility. He’s even naively pleased that the little guy is no longer crying. Then an unspeakably foul odor hits his extra sharp sense of smell. This is quickly followed by a growing sensation of warmth along his side. Easing Cody away from his body, the big vampire involuntary shudders at the sight of a brown spot spreading over his coat. The stench, the sight, and the wet feeling makes his hardened gut roil.

Now rushing through the store, John feels his heart drop as he realizes he’s going to need a lot more than a carseat…

Excerpt from Diaper Duty Vampire


      “Four hundred and fifty-three dollars?” He echoed stupidly.
      The checkout clerk offered a nervous little smile. “And 89 cents. Ye-yes, sir,” she stammered, body cringing involuntarily. Of course, he didn’t know if she was recoiling because she feared he was going to yell or if it was the noxious scent rolling off him and his small associate.
      Regardless, it wasn’t her fault. He was shocked at himself. Frugal by nature, John never suspected he would suddenly develop shopping control issues when confronted by the kiddie department. What the hell had he bought? Bewilderment made his brain sluggish as he beheld all the white bagged items crammed every which way into his cart. He remembered the cool looking steering wheel which could be mounted right on Cody’s new car seat.
      There was also a brightly colored plastic truck, several plush toys—the Tickle Me Elmo was cute as hell. In honor of the now demised kitty blanket, it was also tainted with runny stool and needed to be burnt; he’d picked out a sturdy picture book with fuzzy kittens on the cover.
      Then there’d been that mesmerizing thing that played lullabies while soothing images scrolled across a plexiglass screen. And…and too much more to count.
      But the crowning touch was perched high on top of everything else. In his defense, he didn’t know how anyone could have resisted the almost life-sized pony complete with bridle, saddle, and a walking handle in the back. The brightly colored cardboard tag called it a push-pull-ride toy. Looking at the picture had inspired him to hunt out the obligatory cowboy hat and shiny, silver, star-shaped badge.
      Now Cody would match the kid in the photograph, and, well, because, it seemed stupid to have the horse without the necessary accruements.
      Shutting his mouth which, to his embarrassment, had been stupidly hanging ajar, he quietly stuck his credit card in the reader.
      Back at the SUV, he unloaded everything but Cody. Leaving him in the basket with his foot hooked around the bottom of the cart, he opened boxes and removed tags from the clothing they would use right then. Quickly, he took off his jack and changed his shirt out for another black tee. Stuffing, the soiled items into one of the empty plastic bags. He wanted to shuck his jeans right then and there, but propriety held him back.
      John also understood he was procrastinating. Absolutely no way did he want to undertake the next task. The one last, awful mission that needed to be faced before they could get on the road. Before that stinky little butt could be dressed in a clean outfit and plopped in its brand new car seat, John was going to have to tackle the diaper from hell.
      He wasn’t sure how but it was even worse than he’d imagined, and he’d imagined a lot. Both horrified and impressed in equal measure, all he could do was swear in awe-struck accents, “What the hell have they been feeding you?”
      Watery and chunky all at once, stool smeared up the boy’s back and down both legs right to the soles of his feet. Although John couldn’t have explained why, the sight, somehow, made the smell worse. However, the noxious odor combined with slimy texture caused the hardened vampire’s stomach to heave. For his part, Cody was happily kicking his legs, reveling in his nudity. Then before John knew what he was about, he plunged a hand down into the goop and promptly smeared crap on the side of his head.
      “Good God, kid, don’t do that,” John started to gag. “It’s just wrong. No one should have to deal with this,” he muttered sounding a bit crazed to his own ears. “I deserve combat pay.”     
      Cody waved his hand, flipping a bit of poop on John’s new shirt. “Thit,” he eloquently observed.
I hope you enjoyed this peek into Diaper Duty Vampire, the novella that comes at the end of my vampire/paranormal/romance series featuring The BlautsuagersofAmber Heights and starts The Vampires of Amber Heights series.

My books can be purchased in paperback, ebook, and audio at Amazon or other online book outlets.

You can also keep in touch with me at my website: remullins Come see what I’m working on, read short stories, and more.

Finally, there are two good reasons to leave a comment about my guest post today. One. It will encourage Brenda to host me again.

And, secondly, don’t forget I will randomly choose a couple of commenters. They will receive a T-shirt—made of comfortable fabric that washes well and retains their shape—or an ebook copy of Diaper Duty Vampire.

Thanks for reading!!
R. E. Mullins