I love to hate Alex Sheldon from Deborah Nam-Krane's New Pioneers series, and now he's got his own short story AND an explosive storyline in the latest novel!
Ghosts of Alex Sheldon: A New Pioneers Short Story
Get it HERE
Someone tried to take everything away from Alex Sheldon, but they didn't take enough. Someone thought they'd closed all the doors to opportunity, but they didn't see the ones that opened into people's worst impulses. Alex was used to power, and he was done with regret. He opened those doors with his eyes wide open and started to replace what he'd lost. He became the man everyone thought he was capable of being, and he was going to make sure nothing compromised him again.
You can't have a conscience when you casually plan a murder and calculate the profit of another human being's suffering. So why are all of his ghosts visiting him as he makes his way home to put his plan of revenge into motion? Someone might almost say that he's haunted.
Even a man like Alex needs to be wary: sooner or later, we all start to look like the company we keep.
Justice, Mercy and Other Myths
Get it HERE
Only one person was ever able to fight Alex Sheldon head on. Is that the same person who finally stopped him?
A man like Alex always has a long list of enemies: Lucy Bartolome, the wealthy socialite he blackmailed for decades; Michael Abbot, Miranda Harel, and Richard Hendrickson, all of whom lost parents because of him; David Hwang, the squeaky clean politician who found himself caught in a deal with the devil; Hilary Sayles, the inept madame Alex kept under his thumb; and Mariela, the young woman who almost died when she was trapped in his web. Detective Robert Teague knows the players all too well, but his gut is telling him that Hannah Bruges, the young woman who's been taking the law into her own hands for a decade, is keeping him from putting it all together. If only she wasn't the most exciting thing to happen to him in years, he might still be able to solve this thing.
Hannah has a piece of information that's not only going to change the course of the murder investigation, it's also going to make him and everyone else question a case he thought he'd closed years ago, one that almost cost him his job. What Robert really needs to see is how he fits in, because as soon as he does, everything else will fall into place.
Everyone needs to be careful what they wish for, because solving the murder is nothing compared to living with the answer.
Loving/hating Alex Sheldon yet? Here's the author's take on him:
How to write a villain you love to hate
Guest post by Deborah Nam-Krane
Alex Sheldon is the boogey man that haunts my series, The New Pioneers. Before we meet him in The Family You Choose, Emily, the main character of the first book, The Smartest Girl in the Room, has already figured out that his shadow looms large over the lives of her new friends Jessie, Richard, and Miranda. He transforms from a dark (and very inappropriate) love interest to someone who’s unapologetic about using other human beings to fatten his wallet. It’s not until the final book, Justice, Mercy and Other Myths, that we get a full, shocking look at how far he’s willing to go.
And yet people love this guy, and I know why.
Alex has good motivations and bad motivations, just as real people do. As a young man he effectively ruins three lives to secure a life-changing payday, but a decade later he’s willing to raise two orphaned children as penance for his role in their parents’ deaths. The results were disastrous, but his heart really was in the right place. Similarly, although he’s known for being calculating and ruthless, he’s also capable of impetuous decisions, motivated, as they usually are, by passion. He isn’t a mustache twirling villain; he’s a flesh-and-blood character who makes decisions we can understand even if we don’t agree with them.
Alex is also marked by a tragedy that stays with him throughout the series. Many villains have a tragic back story, but you get to see why he’s stung so deeply as he remembers in great detail his doomed love affair with Tatiana Hamilton and the deaths of Tatiana and his best friend, Stephen Abbot. You know all too well his role in both of those episodes, but what makes you forgive him is that you know why he made the decisions he made.
As devious and selfish as he is, Alex isn’t the worst of the worst. He hides the truth about his young wards, Michael and Miranda, but he’s not responsible for the awful secret that binds them in the first place, and he genuinely believed they were better off not knowing. He blackmails Lucy and Joanna for decades, but he does that for someone much more powerful, and that person gets much more out of Alex than the other way around. And while Alex is bent on destruction in the last two books of the series, we become aware that even now he’s serving someone else’s ends. Alex spends the entire series believing he’s one step away from not just the wealth but the respect of the One Percent, but the reader knows that whatever he does, it’s never going to be enough. Our horror at some of his actions is tempered by our pity for him.
On some level, Alex knows this. However, while he’s filled with resentment, he never claims to himself or anyone who confronts him that he’s a victim. On the rare occasions that he’s backed into a corner, he knows he put himself there. He’s the clear-eyed author of his own destruction, and he’s more unflinching with each installment.
A good redemption story is a classic, and I hope I’ve delivered that with the man who’s Alex’s mirror, Detective Robert Teague. But a slow descent into perdition can be just as satisfying, and more so when the man in question is smiling throughout the journey.
Okay, now go get these books! While Alex is my favorite, Robert Teague comes in at a close second, and he's a major player in Justice.
Deborah Nam-Krane was born in New York, raised in Cambridge and educated in Boston. You're forgiven for assuming she's prejudiced toward anything city or urban. She's been writing in one way or another since she was eight years old (and telling stories well before that).
She first met some of the characters in The New Pioneers series when she was thirteen years old, but it took two decades- and a couple of other characters- to get the story just right.
Things you might want to know:
First crush: Peter Pan... until she realized he wasn't real. Then she moved onto Captain Kirk, then Mister Spock (and there she's stayed).
What makes her write: a character that needs to have his or her story told.
How much time does she spend writing: as much as possible! Sometimes one hour a day, sometimes four.
For immediate notification about my new releases, sign up for my Newsletter*
Send me an email at deb AT deborahnamkrane DOT com
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My latest release in the Java Jive series,
MURDER OVER MOCHAS, is on sale today!
Two fun mystery series collide when the Java Jive gang meets Lizzie Hart and her crew!
Get it here:
In honor of release day, I'm doing a HUGE giveaway with 5 ebook copies of MURDER OVER MOCHAS, 2 copies of the A WHOLE LATTE MURDER audiobook, 2 copies of the BREW OR DIE audiobook, and 5 LIZZIE HART MYSTERIES mugs up for grabs!
Scroll down to enter!
Today I welcome author Lesley Cookman to my blog as part of her tour for the release of MURDER BY THE BARREL.
Keep reading for a fun Q&A with Lesley and a giveaway!
Series: Libby Sarjeant series number 18 (can be read as a standalone)
Genre: Cosy crime
Release Date: 5th October
Publisher: Accent Press
When the village of Steeple Martin announces its first beer festival, the locals are excited. Beer, sun and music, what could possibly go wrong?
But when an unexpected death shakes the village, it’s up to Libby Sarjeant and friends to solve the puzzle.
Was it just another rock star death or is there something more sinister afoot?
An ecopy of Murder by The Barrel
Q&A with LESLEY COOKMAN
Can you fake any accents?
I used to! Played, Shirley Valentine and the mother in Tenessee Williams’ Glass Menagerie.
You wouldn't be caught dead, where?
In a TV reality show.
Most hated chore on the household chore list?
Putting the bins out.
Name one thing you consider yourself to be very good at.
Name one thing you totally suck at.
What is on your bedside table?
A lot of pills, a radio, costume jewellery.
If you could play any instrument, which would you play?
Alcohol or coffee?
Are you a morning or night person?
Name a singer you can't stand the sound of.
If you were to perform in the circus, what would you do?
Name one thing you remember about your high school prom.
We didn’t have those in my day in UK Grammar schools.
What's your favorite holiday?
A hidden village in Turkey
When was the last time you fired a gun?
ABOUT LESLEY COOKMAN
Lesley Cookman writes the Libby Sarjeant Mysteries and the Edwardian mystery series, The Alexandrians. She has a varied background as a model, an air stewardess (when it was posh), a nightclub DJ (in a silver sparkly catsuit), editor of a Music Hall magazine, The Call Boy, a magazine called The Poulty Farmer, and pantomime writer and director. She lives on the Kent coast and has four grown up children who are variously musicians and writers, two grandchildren and two cats, not necessarily in that order.
BY SHERYL BROWNE
Series: A DI Matthew Adams Thriller
Book #3 (can be read as a standalone)
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Release Date: September 6 2017
Publisher: Death by Choc Lit
18+ (some violence and language)
What if you and your family were at the mercy of a psychopath/a man with no conscience?
Just when DI Matthew Adams thinks he’s left the past behind him, it comes back to haunt him once again; this time in the form of the Conner family.
Like Matthew, the Conners have lost a child in tragic circumstances – and they’ve also found themselves in the hands of one of the most depraved criminals to walk the streets: ‘Dead-eyed’ Charlie Roberts, a drug addicted low-life with a penchant for extreme violence.
Matthew’s greatest affinity lies with Daniel Conner, the brooding father who still blames himself for his youngest child’s death. But when Daniel’s wife and daughter are tortured and tormented by Roberts, can Matthew prevent him from completely ruining his own life for an act of revenge particularly when, once upon a time, that’s exactly what Matthew would have done too?
Amazon UK - http://amzn.to/2gp2D02
Amazon US - http://amzn.to/2vrF91d
Choc Lit - http://bit.ly/2wS2zwW
WATCH THE VIDEO TRAILER!
ABOUT SHERYL BROWNE
Heartache, humour, love, loss & betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, heart-wrenching fiction. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and shortlisted for the Best Romantic e-book Love Stories Award 2015, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.
Recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s contemporary fiction comes to you from award winning Choc Lit.
Ecopy of the book (Open Internationally)
Series: The Boardwalk by the Sea, Book 1
Author name: Georgina Troy
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance
Release Date: 15 July 2017
Publisher: Green Shutter Books
Wipe off your flip flops, it’s going to be a bumpy ride...
When Sacha Collins, cafe owner and sundae-maker extraordinaire, meets Italian archaeologist, Alessandro Salvatore in Rome, she's grateful to him for being her tour guide. Now he’s turned up in the seaside village where she lives, known locally as, The Boardwalk by the Sea and is setting up a gelateria in direct competition to her retro Summer Sundaes Café.
She's only been running her café for two years since taking over from her father. Until now the only other shops on the boardwalk have been a wool shop, an antique shop and a second-hand book shop. These have helped rather than hindered her custom. How will her creative sundaes made from fresh Jersey ice cream compete with his delicious Italian gelato?
Sacha is worried. Is there enough custom for both businesses to thrive? Who is behind the strange changes being made on the boardwalk? And when the oldest resident on the boardwalk is threatened with eviction can Sacha and Alessandro come together and find a way of helping her?
For a peaceful little boardwalk overlooking one of the quieter beaches on the island, there's an awful lot going on and some of it is going to lead to big changes.
About Georgina Troy
Georgina Troy is the pseudonym of author Deborah Carr. Her first book, A Jersey Kiss was a finalist in the Contemporary Romance Category of the Romantic Novel of the Year Awards 2016 (RoNAs) and finalist in the Joan Hessayon Award for New Writers 2015.
Her WW1 historical romance, Broken Faces, written in her own name, Deborah Carr, was runner-up in the Good Housekeeping Novel Writing Competition 2012. She lives on the island of Jersey with her husband, two children and three rescue dogs. Her books are published by Accent Press and Green Shutter Books. Georgina is a member of The Blonde Plotters.
Georgina’s new series, The Boardwalk by the Sea, includes four standalone novels about friends, Sacha, Bella, Lexi and Jools. Each book is set in a different season. The girls live on or near a small seaside village known locally as The Boardwalk by the Sea and all of them make an appearance in the books throughout the series but each book will focus on one of the friends.
Summer Sundaes (book 1)
Autumn Antics (book 2) - due Spring 2018
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7224225.Georgina_Troy
A character in Autumn Antics (book 2) named after someone the winner nominates, i.e themself/family member.
My new forensic police procedural novel,
BITTER PAST, is out today!
Get it HERE!
BITTER PAST is NOT a cozy, like many readers have come to expect from me. It's much darker, and I've used what I've leared about forensics from taking three college-level classes to make the story as true-to-life as possible. I hope you enjoy reading BITTER PAST as much as I've enjoyed writing it!
From USA Today bestselling author Caroline Fardig comes a gripping new forensic mystery series.
Three years ago, criminalist Ellie Matthews was blindsided when a grisly homicide case suddenly became personal. She abandoned the danger and stress of crime scene investigation for a professorship at a posh private college and never looked back.
Now, Ellie’s pleasant world is shattered when she finds the dead body of a female student. The campus is in chaos, reporters are circling like vultures, and Ellie is trying her best to distance herself from the situation. Not an easy task when her closest colleague becomes the prime suspect.
After the college community is rocked by another suspicious death, Ellie’s mentor, Sheriff Jayne Walsh, convinces her to consult on the case. Partnered with quick-witted Detective Nick Baxter, Ellie reluctantly bottles up her personal demons and dives back into the world she left behind, racing to make sense of the evidence before the killer strikes again.
I'm planning for the next book in the series, AN EYE FOR AN EYE, to be out mid-January 2018.
My day for the
"Bring Back That Lovin' Feeling" Blog Tour
So honestly, as of this morning, I still didn’t know what I was going to write about. For “bringing back that lovin’ feeling,” there really aren’t a lot of TV shows, movie franchises, etc. that seem to get better with time. In fact, most of them get kind of played out and redundant, and it seems like the actors even get tired of the worn-out storylines. (Note I am NOT speaking about GOT, which has just wrapped its best season EVER, not that it could ever be considered anything less than awesome—it’s just now even MORE awesome.)
But never fear, there’s another way we’d decided we could “bring back that lovin’ feeling,” which is through movies, books, etc. that once DIDN’T work for us but now for some reason do. I’m going that way today, and—don’t kill me—I’m going to say that at first, I hated the movie Elf.
Like, seriously hated it.
Don’t get me wrong—I’m a huge Will Ferrell fan, which I think was why I wasn’t all about Elf when I first saw it. I’d watched him on SNL for years, and then he started getting more and more movie roles in more and more raunch coms (a favorite genre of mine). I think I must have had in my head that (despite the clear PG rating) Elf was going to be another off-color ad-libbed comedy for which Will Ferrell is so famous. Not so. In Elf, my favorite potty-mouth is essentially an always annoyingly happy child, and the worst curse he can come up with is “son of a nutcracker.” Boring, no?
Enter my children. Especially at Christmastime, if you can look at something through the eyes of a child, it suddenly becomes totally different.
My kids wanted to watch Elf because their friends had told them how funny it was. And I was like, “I saw that ten years ago, and it’s not that funny.” But of course we watched it, because they wanted to watch it. And suddenly it was funny.
I mean really funny. Like Will Ferrell, top of his game, ad-libbing hilarious—just minus the profanity (unless you count “cotton-headed ninny-muggins” as a swear word). There’s a reason it’s a total cult hit—the humor is not always simply in the jokes themselves, but many times lies in the way the other characters respond to the utter silliness that Buddy the Elf exudes. Plus, who doesn’t like a good Christmas movie with a great moral? And what's now on my must-watch list every December, right up there with A Christmas Story and A Charlie Brown Christmas? You guessed it--Elf.
LINKS by Lisa Becker
Watch the Book Trailer
Links Book Blurb
In high school, Charlotte Windham was a typical student going through an awkward phase -- glasses and all. She harbored a crush on Garrett Stephens, the teen heartthrob everyone can’t help but fall for during that unfortunate ugly duckling phase of one’s teen years. Flash forward fifteen years later, and Charlotte and Garrett have a second chance encounter at a Los Angeles restaurant. However, this time around, Charlotte has leveled the playing field. She’s a bestselling novelist and no longer “Glasses,” the humiliating nickname Garrett called her in high school. In short, she’s a catch now and, thanks to corrective eye surgery, it’s not just her eyes that see better…so does her heart! Garrett hasn’t fared poorly either, transforming from teen heartbreaker to adult lothario. A now successful professional golfer, he’s recently suffered a major setback in the form of a possible career-ending injury. With the upper hand, can Charlotte forgive Garrett for his past ways, and for his more recent Don Juan lifestyle? Will she even want to? And, can Garrett change his ways for a second chance with Charlotte, who may just be the perfect fit for him?
I stand but hesitate when I see Tamika's disapproving look. Fi notices as well. "It's okay, T. I got this," she says, motioning for me to follow her back. When we get to her small office, she closes the door and gestures for me to sit on a red vinyl chair, circa 1972. She stands in front of me, leaning against the desk, and crosses her arms in front of her chest. "Spill!"
"Where should I start?"
"At the beginning." She walks around to her chair behind the desk and pulls out a yellow legal pad.
For the next half hour, I go over my encounter with Garrett, from the moment we bumped into each other and he didn't recognize me, to the embarrassment of being called 'Glasses.'
Fi takes notes furiously on her pad and grins, nods, and cringes at all the appropriate times. When I finish, she puts her pen down and asks, "Do you want the 'best friend experience' or the 'brilliant legal mind experience'?"
I can't help but laugh. "Are they mutually exclusive?"
"They are," she says nodding.
"Okay. I want the best friend experience."
She rushes around from behind the desk, wraps her arms around me soothingly. "I'm so sorry, hon. That sounds just awful. Let's go get margaritas tomorrow and drown our sorrows in tequila and lime wedges."
"Thanks, Fi. You're the best."
"Anytime," she says, rubbing my back. She pulls away and walks around to the back of her desk. She sits down and puts the legal pad to the side. I can't help but notice the writing scrawled across it.
"Just for kicks, what would you have said if I had asked for the 'brilliant legal mind experience'?"
"You sure you want to know?" Her lips pull into a grim line. Honestly, I'm not sure I do want to know, but curiosity gets the better of me.
"Lay it on me," I say.
"You need to get laid. Not the kind of bland, missionary style sex you had with Alex. You need hot heat, sweating up the sheets, crazy animal sex."
I bust out laughing. "That's your brilliant legal advice. Crazy animal sex?"
"Yes. That's my brilliant legal advice," she says with complete seriousness. "Listen, hon, it's been a year since that insecure jerk Keane dumped you. I have no doubt it's been even longer since you've, well, you know." She wags her eyebrows up and down. "Before that, you only seriously dated Travis the cheater and Alex who, let's face it, despite being completely gonzo for you, was a cold fish and a bore. It's time to stop comparing every man to this fantasy of Garrett Stephens and just do it with him to get it out of your system. He asked you out for Saturday night. Go! Enjoy!"
"I don't compare every man to Garrett," I snap at her.
"Don't you?" she asks, looking down at me sternly.
"I'm offended you even suggested that." She looks at me, her sharp eyes boring into me, like she can read my every thought and knows I'm full of it. I imagine this is how she bears down on witnesses on the stand. I don't like being on the receiving end of that look.
"Even if that's true," I start and she nods her head, "and I'm not conceding it is." I point my finger at her. "Even if he did mean to ask me out, there's no way it's a good idea. He's a total player. It would only be one night of fun and I don't think I could get over that kind of hurt."
"Then you need to get over it now. Sorry for the tough love, hon, but you need to move past the fantasy of this man and find someone passionate and amazing who is deserving to love you for all of the great things you have to offer including your messed-up childhood and your incredible success today."
About Lisa Becker
Lisa Becker is a romance writer whose previous novels include Click: An Online Love Story, Double Click and Right Click. The books, about a young woman's search for love online in Los Angeles, have been called, “a fast read that will keep you entertained,” “a fun, quick read for fans of Sex and the City,” and “hard to put down.” The first in the series was optioned for a major motion picture.
Lisa’s writings about online dating have been featured in Cupid’s Pulse, GalTime.com, Single Edition, The Perfect Soulmate, Chick Lit Central and numerous other book blogs and websites.
As Lisa's grandmother used to say, "For every chair, there's a rush." Lisa is now happily married to a man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach with him and their two daughters. So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for anyone!
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Get the latest release from USA Today bestselling author Susan M Boyer today!
Private Investigators Liz Talbot and Nate Andrews have worked their share of domestic cases. So when Tammy Sue Lyerly hires them to find out what her husband is hiding, they expect to find something looney but harmless. After all, this is the guy who claims to have been a DEA agent, a champion bull rider, and a NASCAR driver. But when he turns up dead the morning after Liz and Nate deliver incriminating photos, Tammy Sue becomes the prime suspect.
Questioning the truth of Zeke Lyerly’s tall-tales, Liz and Nate race to uncover small town scandals, long buried secrets, and the victim’s tumultuous past to keep Tammy Sue out of jail and the case from going up in flames.
My latest release in the Java Jive series,
BREW OR DIE, is on sale today!
In honor of release day, I'm doing a HUGE giveaway with a $25 Amazon gift card, 5 ebook copies of BREW OR DIE, 2 copies of the DEATH BEFORE DECAF audiobook, 2 copies of the MUG SHOT audiobook, and 20 MP3 downloads of the song "What If I Fall" from BREW OR DIE.
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Isn't the cover gorgeous?
The art was again made especailly for the book
by the amazingly talented artist Niloufer Wadia!
Check out her other gorgeous work here.
Since his fiancée died on the job, Shane suspects that her party-planning colleagues are up to something criminal—and will do anything to keep it quiet. After Juliet recruits Pete to go undercover with her at a wedding showcase, she discovers that white lace and black satin have a way of hiding big, fat secrets.
If that weren’t enough to fill her plate, her latest P.I. job has her crossing paths with her ex, Detective Ryder Hamilton. They’re barely on speaking terms, but to solve the case, they might have to cooperate. No matter where Juliet goes, she’s brewing up trouble.