Asbury High and the Captivating Cruise Blitz

 

Asbury High and the Captivating Cruise coverAsbury High Series, book 6

 

YA Cozy Mystery

 

Date Published: 05/29/2022

Publisher: Purple Milk Publishing

 

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Carly, Maddie, Pilot and Cornelious have been waiting forever for their Seniors Only Cruise. After three years of solving crime in their small town, this trip is the relaxing break from Asbury they need. Dreaming of all the fun and drama-free adventures in store for them, the gang settles in for a calm summer cruise.

Soon after departing, things don’t go quite as planned. With strange, new additions to their itinerary, Asbury’s favorite sleuths detect something is amiss. When violence breaks out, Cornelious turns to the captain who quickly reassures everyone aboard. After all, what reason would the crew have to mess with a group of teenagers? Adding to their troubles is Cornelious’ cousin Dane, whose feelings for Maddie have only grown stronger.

Excited to be away from his father and finally dating Maddie, Cornelious tries to ignore his cousin as his insecurities fester. After a stirring revelation from Dane, Cornelious retreats from his friends and finds solace in the ship’s jolly Captain Dex. At the same time, Carly, Maddie and Pilot begin to suspect the crew, believing there’s more than meets the eye with this cruise. Frustrated by Cornelious’ withdrawal, the gang doubles down on their efforts to discover the crew’s motives. Pulled into a dangerous game of who to trust, the gang is determined to find the truth—and mend their friendship.

With relationships called into question and stunning secrets exposed, the gang faces their biggest obstacle yet—trust. Can Cornelious trust the captain more than his friends? With their peers placing blind trust in the crew, can the gang convince them otherwise, before it’s too late? Or are Pilot, Carly and Maddie just overreacting? With constantly changing itineraries, a scheming crew lurking behind every door, a happy-go-lucky captain refusing to dig deeper, and lifelong relationships put to the test, can the gang rekindle their relationship with each other and figure out what’s really going on?

About the Author

Growing up just over the bridge from Ocean City, NJ in Upper Township meant discovering plenty of fun places to both read, write, and run around outside like a maniac. For as long as she could remember, Kelly loved making up stories, and leaving her listeners/readers on the edge of their seats.

After graduating from Ocean City High School, Kelly accepted a basketball scholarship to Holy Family University, in Philadelphia. Upon graduating college, Kelly continued to live in Philly, teaching for four years, and meeting the love of her life during a snowstorm. In fact, it was her awesome husband who encouraged her to pursue her writing–Yay, Ryan!

Before writing page-turners however, she taught first, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grade — like a dessert menu, she simply had to test them all out. But her favorite job is the one she’s now doing full time: writing.

As her first published work, the Asbury High series has been brewing since she was 18, and has something for every type of reader–go ahead take look for yourself! If you love mysteries, you’ve found your new favorite author. Kelly loves to craft whodunit mysteries, leading readers through various twists and turns filled with red-herrings, hidden clues, and more peculiar characters than a reality show. As an athlete, she hopes that the importance of teamwork and overcoming adversity, is also quite clear in her writing

Kelly lives in South Jersey with her handsome husband, energetic baby boys, two cookie-stealing dogs, and an awfully smart cat. If you want to know when Kelly’s next book will come out, please visit her website at http://www.kbchannick.com, where you can sign up to receive emails providing updates for new releases, or contact her directly, as well as win fun giveaways, and receive up to date news.

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Colorado Takedown Blitz

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A Romantic Western Adventure

The McAllister Brothers, Book 1

 

Contemporary Family Saga

 

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A vegetarian from the city and a cattle-raising rancher sounds like a match
made in hell. But what if they need each other more than they realize?

When Hannah Hudson finds herself abandoned and alone on a Rocky Mountain
ranch, even a lottery win doesn’t change her bad-luck life. The
seclusion of this ranch house threatened to take her breath away, but she
managed to smile and thought, so this is what it’s like to be a
country girl.

Trace McAllister needs only his horse and wide-open spaces, but it’s
clear his new neighbor needs much more. If only she wasn’t so
stubborn, he could help her. Unfortunately, it seems to take an accident
– or was it a murder? –before she lets him into her life. They
have one thing in common: zero talent for handling their feelings.
Trace’s amazing cattle dog, Oatie, plays a part in bringing this
unlikely couple together.

From day one, Hannah’s unique relationship with her new horse keeps
her grounded despite mysterious conflicts, secrets, and a relentless,
unidentified villain. . Nothing will stop a McAllister cowboy from
protecting the woman he loves.

Other Books in The McAllister Brothers Series

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Montana Countdown

The McAllister Brothers Book 2

A story-telling rancher’s own words entice two eavesdroppers to
venture to his Montana ranch and search for hidden treasure.

Wyoming Sundown

The McAllister Brothers Book 3

Let cowboys in blizzard conditions, life-saving animals, and the three
women who love them all—entertain you. Wyoming Sundown is about
family, fate, and a perilous journey. Come along for the ride!

Wild Weddings

The McAllister Brothers Book 4

Two ranch-owning cowboys team up with two city gals. The trouble the
couples encounter becomes a life-threatening mystery.

 

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About the Author

Cricket Rohman

I grew up in Estes Park, Colorado, and spent my formative years among deer,
coyotes, and beautiful blue columbine. I could see snow-capped peaks in
almost every direction. Living on the boundary line of the Rocky Mountain
National Park I could wander in by stepping out the backdoor of my childhood
home.

Today I am a full-time author writing Sweet Romance, Westerns,
Women’s Fiction, and Romantic Mysteries about cowboys, teachers, the
great outdoors—even Alzheimer’s. So far, there is a wonderful
dog in each of my novels. (I love dogs and horses too.)

Prior to full-time writing, I was an actor, a singer, an audio/video
producer, a classroom teacher, and a school principal. I claim to be an
eclectic reader and, therefore, an eclectic writer who loves to hike, cook,
read, and write.

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You Have the Right to Remain Silent – Blitz

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Zachary Blake Legal Thriller, #8

Legal Thriller

Date Published 04-25-2022

 

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Conservative talk-show host Mia Folger is in therapy with Dr. Harold
Rothenberg. Mia and her husband, progressive Congressman Bradley Crawford,
are not getting along these days, personally or politically.

When Crawford is found brutally dismembered and murdered, the evidence
points to Mia as his killer. While the prosecutor pushes for a murder
indictment, Dr. Rothenberg, convinced of his patient’s innocence,
turns to an old friend—high profile attorney Zachary Blake,
Detroit’s self-proclaimed ‘King of Justice.’

Blake will do anything for Rothenberg, the man who successfully treated his
kids in their battle with a predator priest. Zack takes Mia’s case,
but has his work cut out for him because Mia has been hospitalized, shocked
into a catatonic state at the discovery of her husband’s mutilated
body, unable to assist in her own defense.

Sensing he must prove Mia’s innocence to avoid an eventual life
sentence, Zack enlists the aid of his crack investigator, Micah Love, and
Micah’s cyber-specialist, Reed Spencer to dissect and poke holes in
the case. But, for this case, Micah in convinced that Zack needs
more—he recommends beautiful, sharp, brash, foul-mouthed,
cocky-confident New York based jury consultant extraordinaire Shari Belitz
and her team of mock trial/focus group gurus.

Shari is the best of the best. Her assignment in the Folger case? Flyspeck
the evidence and unleash her arsenal of psychological techniques and
predictive skills—use focus groups or mock juries to determine what
evidence or circumstances would cause the real jury to declare Mia Folger
innocent of all charges. Zack wants no part of Shari; one cocky
lawyer-Zachary Blake-should be sufficient to prove Mia’s case. Blake
knows what he needs for an acquittal; a brash jury consultant from NYC will
only get in his way. But Micah persists and persuades Zack him to give Shari
and her team a try.

Zack, Micah, Reed, and the irrepressible Ms. Belitz join forces in an
all-out attack on the evidence, while evil characters lurk in the
background, engaged in a sinister plot to assure Mia’s demise.

Expect the unexpected in this whodunit legal crime thriller, the 8th
installment of the Zachary Blake Legal Thriller Series, featuring all your
favorite series characters and one brash, exciting newcomer who gives Blake
all he can handle.

About the Author

Mark M. Bello

Mark M. Bello is an attorney and award-winning author of realistic fiction
and political-legal thrillers.

Retired from handling high profile legal cases, Mark now gives the public a
front-row seat watching victims fight for justice in our civil and criminal
justice systems. Mark’s award-winning Zachary Blake Legal Thrillers mirror
our times and the events that shape our country.

In addition to being an author and veteran attorney, Mark is a member of
numerous trial lawyer associations and a feature writer for the Legal
Examiner and other popular blog sites. He has written articles for numerous
publications and made guest appearances on radio and talk shows and multiple
podcasts.

In his spare time, Mark enjoys traveling and spending time with his family.
He and his wife Tobye, have four children and eight grandchildren.

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Apples for Ashley Virtual Book Tour

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The Orchard Brides – Book 2

Christian Contemporary Western Romance

Date Published 04-11-2022

 

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Can forbidden fruit lead to sweet romance?

After standing up to the wrath of the owner of a private apple orchard
where her daughter picked some of the tantalizing, but off-limits, fruit,
will Skye Palmer allow the handsome cowboy to atone for making her little
girl cry?

New owner of Humble Tree Orchards Troy Sutton feels terrible – he shouldn’t
have come down so hard on the child for taking some of his ripe produce –
even if the farm’s profit margin is in the red zone. Can he find a way to
make it up to her and her gorgeous angry mother? And can they come up with a
plan to save the apple orchard before the winter frost arrives?

Sweetness is in the air… and perhaps an “apple-y ever after”
might just be possible after all…

 

Apples for Ashley tablet

EXCERPT

Chapter Two

Skye

 

Skye Palmer reached into the open cardboard box sitting on the floor of her childhood bedroom and pulled out another stack of clothes. Being home again was bittersweet. Her room was smaller than she remembered but bless her mother – the woman had kept it exactly the same since she left. Skye looked around. Silver, bronze, and gold gymnastics medals still hung from colorful ribbons tacked onto the wall and trophies of various sizes lined the upper shelf of the white bookcase Daddy had fashioned for her out of plywood when she was still in elementary school. 

She dumped the pile of wrinkled clothes on top of the twin bed, covered with the buttercup yellow-and-white checked quilt Mama had helped her to sew when she was 17. A cluster of frames on the bedside table held grainy photos of herself with her teenage friends, arms draped across each other’s shoulders. She smiled wryly at the outdated hairstyles and clothing and wondered fleetingly what had ever become of those other girls. Did they ever get married, move away, have children like she did? Were any of them divorced now, too? Were they happy?

It felt almost surreal to be moving back into her own room, almost as though she’d never left. But so much had changed in the past eight years. She said a silent prayer of thanks that Mama would have her back at all after what she’d done. The disappointed look in her mother’s eyes when she told her was running off to marry Drew in a shotgun wedding because she was pregnant still haunted her. She almost thanked God Daddy had gone to be with Jesus before Drew had even come into her life. Mama was pretty much a saint for agreeing take her and back in – along with Ashley – but then again she knew Mama loved them both dearly despite everything. And now Mama needed help too given her health and all. 

A stray tear slid down her cheek and dripped onto the pair of jeans she was folding. 

“I know this is hard for you, baby,” Mama’s voice called from the doorway. Skye glanced up. How long had she been standing there? The woman was holding two glasses of iced tea and nodded, offering one out to her. Skye gratefully accepted it. The house was hot, given it didn’t have central air conditioning. All the windows were open but the slight breeze that drifted in from outside wasn’t enough to lower the indoor temperature by much. 

Skye took a sip, the cool sugary sweetness quenching a thirst she hadn’t realized she was feeling. She wiped the tear with the back of her hand and took a deep breath. 

“I think I’m still in shock to be honest,” she said. “Drew didn’t turn out to be the man I thought he was. I don’t even know where things went wrong – right from the very beginning I guess.” 

Mama’s dark eyes, mirroring her own, filled with sadness. She was several inches shorter than Skye with dark hair than had gone grey years ago. Shawna Rogers had never been one to put much fuss into her appearance, never bothering to put on makeup or do anything with her hair. For as long as Skye could remember, her mother simply put on a t-shirt and pair of jeans after she got up in the morning, washed her face, and pulled her hair back into a low ponytail before going about the day. Today was no different. However, Skye was shocked to see the physical changes that had occurred in her mother over the past few years since they’d all been together. Where the woman had always been full of life, bubbling with energy despite her small stature, now she appeared tired. She’d lost a lot of weight since giving up her daycare license, and her thin shoulders drooped, making her appear even smaller and withdrawn. It worried Skye. Hopefully now that she was home, she could help out – at least do her best to start making up for all the pain she’d caused. 

Her mother walked into the room and set her glass on the small desk in the corner where Skye had spent hours pouring over textbooks and working out math problems. She reached into the box and pulled out more clothes, joining Skye by the side of the bed to fold them before transferring them to the open drawers of the dresser. 

“When you’re young and a good-looking man talks pretty to you, sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of right and wrong,” she said. 

“I know, Mama, I realize that now,” Skye replied miserably. “I thought I was in love but looking back I can see I didn’t know what love really was. I guess I was hurting so much after Daddy died, and being with Drew helped make the pain go away. I didn’t ever deal with it as I should have or stop to take time to get to know Drew properly. He claimed he was a Christian but pressured me to do things we had no business doing before we were married. He said he’d marry me someday anyway – which he did, but then nothing was the same after that. After we found jobs and got settled in Seattle, everything shifted. We started arguing about stupid stuff – what to have for supper, what to watch on TV. And after I had Ashley, things between us just got worse.”

Shawna folded the sleeves of a red t-shirt slowly with gnarled fingers.

“The few times I saw all of you over the years since you left, I wondered about your marriage. Having a baby never solves the problems between a couple – it only makes the trouble more apparent. To me, Drew always seemed on edge, irritated. He never seemed eager to hold Ashley, and he was always talking about how much having a child cost.”

“Exactly,” Skye said, putting the last pair of pants she owned into the dresser drawer and pushing it closed, remembering to lift it slightly to get it to slide all the way in. 

“He became almost obsessed about money. I really don’t know why. It wasn’t like we weren’t rich or anything, but we were making ends meet. He was bringing in a steady income through the electrical union and I took as many shifts waiting tables as I could at the diner. After Ashley’s birth I had to make sure my hours were within her childcare and school schedules. Drew still expected me to do all the cooking – which of course I didn’t mind since you know I love to cook– but I was also the one doing all the cleaning at home plus taking care of the baby too. I know he worked hard too – being an electrician isn’t easy – but he would get frustrated with me if I was tired or something around the house didn’t get done to his liking.”

She paused, trying to muster the courage to reveal the rest. “He started going out with his friends and coming home drunk. That’s when things got really bad.” Tears welled in her eyes.  

“Oh honey, I’m so sorry,” Shawna replied. She laid her hand gently on Skye’s arm and looked at her with concern. “Please tell me he never raised a hand to you – or my granddaughter.”

Tears began to stream down Skye’s cheeks as she started to cry. “Oh Mama,” she said. “I’m so embarrassed to admit this, but that’s what finally made me decide to leave him. Praise the Lord he never hurt Ashley, but I got to be afraid he could have it in him to do so one day. Whenever he drank, I never knew what was going to happen. I’d try my best to keep him happy, but he always seemed to find a reason to yell at me. He started hitting me. I kept trying to get him to come to church with me and Ashley, and sometimes he would, but he refused to meet with the pastor for marital counseling or get any other kind of help. One day my manager at the diner sat me down at work after my shift and said customers were asking if I was OK because they’d noticed the bruises.” 

“Oh Heavenly Father,” Shawna said, wrapping her arms around Skye tightly. Skye’s chest racked with sobs as her mother tenderly stroked her long hair. The comfort of being held by the woman who raised her was a balm to her broken heart.

“I’m so glad you found the strength to leave – and that you’re home now, where I can look after you,” Shawna said. 

“Mama, I’m so sorry,” said Skye, sniffling. “For all the pain I’ve caused. I’m so ashamed. But I promise, I’m going to do my best to make up for it now. At least Drew granted me a quick divorce. He definitely didn’t want me airing his dirty laundry, that’s for sure. As long as I took Ashley away and he wouldn’t have to pay a dime, he said I was free to go. So that’s what I did. Thank you for having us back here, I didn’t know where else to go.”

“You are always welcome home, child, don’t you know that?” Shawna held Skye’s face between her palms. “You are my daughter.” They held each other’s gazes silently, sharing the fullness of unconditional love between them. 

Skye leaned forward and planted a kiss on her mother’s pale cheek. “I love you Mama, thank you for being my role model. I’m glad I’m here now.”

“Me too, sweetheart,” Shawna replied. “Plus, now I get to spend time with Ashley. The two of you are just what my heart needs right now.”

“Giving up the daycare hasn’t been easy for you, has it?” Skye asked. 

Shawna sighed and walked to the closet. She grabbed a couple of empty hangers and brought them back to the bed.

“Let’s hang up your dresses and then we can start unpacking Ashley’s things in her bedroom.”

“You mean your sewing room, Mama,” Skye said. “This is only a temporary arrangement, remember? Just until we get back on our feet. If my food truck doesn’t work out, I’ll go back to waiting tables.”

“Baby, the two of you can stay here as long as you want,” Shawna said. “And to answer your question, no, closing the daycare has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. I’m so used having children here in the home. After your sweet daddy passed, and then later when you left, the babies were what brought me through the hard times. That and my relationship with the Lord, of course. But once my arthritis got so bad that I couldn’t manage to pick up the little ones anymore it was clear that my time had come. I couldn’t risk something happening to the children because of my worsening condition.”

Shawna massaged her wrists, a defeated expression on her face.

“How is the pain, Mama?” Skye asked. “Is it very bad? Do the medications help keep it under control?”

“I like to say the meds take the edge off,” Shawna replied. “But the pain’s still there, and it makes me tired. I’m not used to being tired, and I hate it. The medications make the fatigue even worse, so I don’t like to take them unless I get to the point where I have no choice. I suppose I need to make my peace with aging.”

She looked around the room, a faraway look in her eyes. “The house has been so quiet without my children, though. Empty. I suppose I’ve been lonely. Maybe even depressed.”

She turned back to Skye. “Daughter, I hate what happened to you. But my heart is lifted having you and Ashley back home. I believe God has a plan for you. Remember your sweet daddy Jeremiah’s birth scripture.

Skye smiled and wiped her cheeks. “Of course, Jeremiah 29:11. ‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’

A loud knock sounded from the front of the house. 

“Who could that be?” asked Shawna, frowning. “I’m not expecting one.”

“Wait a minute – where’s Ashley?” Skye asked, following her mother into the hallway. She stopped to glance into the spare bedroom, which her mother had used as a craft/ storage room, and bathroom on the way to the living room. 

“She was playing out back when I came inside to make tea,” Shawna called, hurrying to the foyer. Skye turned to the sliding glass door that led out to the back patio. She didn’t see Ashley anywhere. A little red wagon full of dolls sat in the middle of the yard.

“She’s not there,” Skye said, meeting her mother at the front door, breathless with worry. 

Shawna pulled the door open. On the porch stood a tall, broad-shouldered man with with sandy-colored hair that peeked out from beneath a cowboy hat. His bright blue eyes were shooting sparks in Skye’s direction at the moment, which made her almost – but not quite – fail to notice how his biceps bulged as he crossed his arms over his chest and how his tight jeans sat low across his slim hips. At the curb sat a large metal-gray pick-up truck.

Suddenly, Ashley stepped out from around the man’s legs and ran sobbing past Skye and Shawna into the house. 

“What’s going on?” Skye asked, heat rising in her cheeks. “Why is my daughter with you? And pray tell why is she crying? What did you do to her?” 

 

About the Author

Annee Jones

Author Annee Jones writes heartwarming romance and will soon be adding cozy
mystery, fantasy/ PNR, suspense, and more to her list of genres since her
imagination often runs away with her. She is passionate about writing
stories that offer readers a place where dreams come true!

Professionally, Annee works as a disability counselor where she helps her
clients navigate through complex medical and legal systems while
rediscovering their wholeness in Spirit.

Annee also enjoys freelance writing for Publishers Weekly and multiple
publishing companies.

Subscribe to Annee’s newsletter on her website:
http://www.anneejones.com

 

Want to join Annee’s private Facebook reader group, Annee’s
Angels?  Request your spot now:

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From Brick & Darkness Virtual Book Tour

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Young Adult – Contemporary Fantasy

Date Published: 05-16-2022

Publisher: Wild Rose Press

 

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Bax always fantasized something remarkable would happen in his life. So
when a decrepit man with glowing purple eyes offers him a ring intended
for his estranged father, Bax accepts.

The ring speaks to Bax in a dream, tempting him with a vision of a
powerful djinn. Desperate to make his fantasies a reality, Bax unleashes a
creature called Ifrit, but soon learns this djinn isn’t what the ring led
him to believe. Feeding off the depths of his subconscious, the sinister
demon fulfills what he thinks Bax wants by manipulating, threatening, and
murdering. With everyone he loves in danger and a trail of crimes pointing
back at him, Bax must scramble to solve the puzzle that will banish Ifrit
forever.

From Brick & Darkness tablet

EXCERPT

Neck bones popped as his head rotated toward me, his face eclipsing the rays of the streetlight. His irises were dull purple, glazed over with a foggy film, and deep-set wrinkles radiated from the corners of his eyes like arrows drawing attention to them. 

A shudder caused the keys to slip from my hand and clank on the ground. My face burned with shame that the poor man’s appearance had startled me. My rudeness would have disappointed Mom. 

“I’m sorry, but really—” I snagged my keys. 

His hand slithered out of the brick-colored sleeve as his arm rose, trembling as he strained to hold the weight of his own limb. Gloved in loose, veiny skin, his skeleton hand had yellowed fingernails so overgrown they grew in on themselves like curly birthday ribbons. As his fingers unfurled, he revealed a ring nestled in his palm. 

It was large. Too large. The ring resembled the toy jewelry Jason’s sister played with or something from a Halloween costume. Grimy gold with a single dull purplish jewel that matched his eyes. 

His hand trembled under the heaviness of the ring. “Take it.” 

Shifting my backpack to my other shoulder, I took it. “What is this?” 

The corners of his thin lips curled into a grin as a gust of warm, dry wind cut through the chilly October night and swirled around me. 

About the Author

J. L. Sullivan

J. L. Sullivan writes young adult stories inspired by gritty urban environments and the fantastical tales that percolate within abandoned buildings and desolate alleys. In high school, he wrote for a local newspaper before venturing into creative writing. He currently lives in St. Louis with his wife, two daughters, and a dog named Princess Penelope Picklesworth.

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