Posted in Mysteries, New Releases, Novella

New Release: The Lost Macaw by B.L. Blair

The Lost Macaw by B. L. Blair

The Lost Macaw is the fourth novella in the Lost and Found Pets series. Alexandra Prescott is a licensed private investigator specializing in finding missing animals. Reuniting pet and owner is more than just a job.

A former client hires Alex to find her lost parrot. The bright colored bird has flown away before, but this time there is evidence that Molly was kidnapped. The demand is simple—the bird for the pictures.

When her client suffers a stroke, Alex is left with a ransom note, a missing bird, and some very incriminating photos. She is in a race against time to solve the mystery of the lost Macaw.

Excerpt:

“Your little old lady is quite interesting, Alex,” Halie said.

“What do you mean?”

“She didn’t exist until about thirty years ago.”

“What?!”

“I did a preliminary background search on her. In general, she is clean. No debt. The house is paid off as is her car. The one thing that jumped out at me was the fact that she had a safe deposit box at four different banks.”

Luke raised one eyebrow. I got a sinking feeling. I had noted the bank accounts but hadn’t really given them much thought.

“Yeah,” I said, “I saw those.”

“So why does an eighty-year-old woman need four safe deposit boxes?”

“Why does she need more than one?” Luke muttered.

“Exactly,” Halie said. “So I dug a little deeper.”

“What did you find?”

“About thirty years ago, Joseph and Trudy Kearns purchased the house on Carriage. Back then, it was a new neighborhood, and the prices were cheap. They paid cash. They also opened a bank account, and Joe got a job working for the city. Those are the first records I can find for either one of them.”

“Trudy would have been fifty at that time. Her husband probably a few years older. What about birth certificates? Social security cards?”

“They had them, but conveniently, they were issued from a small county in Virginia where a massive flood destroyed all their records. The county office was in the process of moving the old paper records to electronic when the flood hit.”

“Let me guess. The Kearns’s records did not survive the flood.”

“Nope.”

“So the only records for them are the ones they had in their possession.” I paused a moment. “Do they look real?”

“Yes,” Halie replied.

“So they could be authentic.”

“Or really good forgeries. In some ways, it was easier back then.”

“Anything else?” I asked.

“Not really. Lives on a fixed income of social security and a small pension from her husband’s job. It isn’t much because he only worked for the city for twelve years before he had to retire.”

“Okay, thanks Halie.”

After ending the call, I looked at Luke. He had a perplexed look on his face that I had a feeling mirrored mine.

“Who the hell is Trudy Kearns?”

Available on Amazon, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords.

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Posted in Anthology, New Releases

New Holiday Anthologies and Novellas

 

A Winter Holiday 2017

The winter holidays are fast approaching. Even the weather is cooperating, giving us cold days and nights, rain, sleet, snow, even icy roads. What better way to get into the spirit of the season than grabbing your very own copy of Solstice Publishing’s A Winter Holiday 2017, or one of the two standalone novellas: An Interrupted Holiday and Lost Soul Barren Holiday 1?

https://bookgoodies.com/a/B077J5FKJW

Text messages send Halia on a quest.

Can he capture wondrous enchantment?

An unusual stranger captivates Gina’s heart.

Time travel via Victorian mistletoe.

Will Sara Anne find a daddy by Christmas?

A rip-roaring ride through a Hawaiian Christmas.

Never Was Mrs. Claus Rocks!

What happened on your best New Year’s Eve?

Follow your heart, trust your instincts.

How does Emlyn Goode celebrate Christmas? Food, friends… and murder.

The incredible talents of Eddie Edwards, Leigh Podgorski, E.B. Sullivan, Debbie De Louise, Jeannie Sharpe, Justin Herzog, Gloria Weber, A.F. Weeks, A.A. Schenna, and Susan Lynn Solomon combine in this holiday anthology. Be prepared to experience the winter holidays as you never have before, with tales that will make you laugh, cry, and remember what the spirit of these holidays is all about.

https://youtu.be/y07ee7a5oXA

And what about those standalone novellas? The first is a winner from Donna Alice Patton, set in her favorite time, those exhilarating days of the Wild West.

https://bookgoodies.com/a/B077J7WB74

In the icy crevices of a blizzard and his heart – James’ Montfort will learn that the invisible world is never too far away.

K.C. Sprayberry offers us her latest series of teens overcoming trouble and discovering that the winter holidays can be good with Lost Soul Barren Holiday 1.

https://bookgoodies.com/a/B077J3Q3C3

The neighborhood knew what Cody Allen Luther endured on a daily basis for five long years. Everyone except Brandy Mason turned their heads. After all, it was a parent’s right to discipline their child. On Christmas Eve, 1969, Cody finally can’t take the brutal abuse any longer, but not for himself—his mother turns her unreasonable anger on his younger stepsiblings and he makes a life changing decision, killing her instead of allowing her to keep hurting his family.

Only one person has ever understood the why Cody reacted as he did that Christmas Eve of 1969. Brandy Mason will do anything to protect Cody, even stand up against classmates willing to petition the governor to have Cody tried as an adult for murder once he is released from juvenile detention.

We at Solstice Publishing hope all of your holidays are wonderful and fun. If you’re stuck inside because of inclement weather, these stories will warm more than your heart.

 

Posted in New Releases, Solstice Publishing

Breaking News: New Book & Online Radio Interview

I’m excited to announce that I have signed with Solstice Publishing for a new standalone mystery, Reason to Die. Many of the character names in this book were chosen from entries in my newsletter contest several months ago. I will update my blog readers and newsletter subscribers with excerpts and further details about this book during the editing process.

I would also like to invite you all to listen to my interview on the Authors Show that will be broadcast all day on Thursday, October 19. The interview includes an excerpt from my first Cobble Cove mystery, A Stone’s Throw.  To hear the broadcast, go to this website and click on the link on my name: https://wnbnetworkwest.com/ 

 

Posted in Anthology, New Releases, Science Fiction, Solstice Publishing

Announcing 2 New Sci Fi Anthologies: Project 9, Volumes 3 and 4

Releasing today, Friday, September 15, two great new Science Fiction anthologies from Solstice Publishing. Both books are full of incredible stories by talented authors. Don’t forget to check out my tale, The Last Librarian, in Project 9 Volume 3.


Speculative fiction, stories that range from fights for freedom to battles to survive. We revel in tales of the past meeting the future, of humanity overcoming adversity.  Join these six talented authors on a journey through the time/space continuum, where imaginations run wild and events don’t turn out as you might think they should.

Can society exist without libraries?

Time travel is not for the timid.

On her way to invade another world, Clara makes incredible discoveries.

Pay monthly to live or die.

Josey finds an AA meeting.

Knowledge is a dangerous thing.

https://youtu.be/Oaf7l3bbY2A

Six science fiction tales that cover the spectrum from speculation to far off worlds. Join with these talented authors for an experience you won’t soon forget: Debbie De Louise, Jim Cronin, E.B. Sullivan, K.A. Meng, Nicole Luttrell, and Ken Newman.

https://bookgoodies.com/a/B075MMJCHR

Are you ready for journeys to all sorts of different worlds? Where experimentation runs amok, or invaders run afoul of humans determined to protect their homes? Can a pill or pills give people intelligence? Can a single entity save the galaxy? What happens in between? Does darkness really reign in the universe?

Can The Warp save Earth?

Darkness has a new name

Destinies link in the In-Between

Hairy science, hybrid secrets

There are tests and then there are tests

We are survivors!

https://youtu.be/g1SomKumzLY

Six science fiction tales that cover the spectrum from speculation to far off worlds. Eric Ian Steele, Rob McLachlan, Tanya Reimer, Josie Montano, Palvi Sharma, and K.C. Sprayberry bring you stories that will send shivers up and down your spine while entertaining you.

https://bookgoodies.com/a/B075MNYK64

Posted in New Releases, Uncategorized

New Release: Where in the Dark by Karen Millie James

Two envelopes. Two holocaust survivors. Two anonymous bearer

bonds each worth one million pounds. Corporate forensic

investigator, Cydney Granger, with help from beyond the grave,

enters a world previously unknown to her to unravel the truth

behind a web of secrets, lies, corruption, blackmail and hidden

Nazi loot as new horrors of the Third Reich come to light.

 

Still struggling to come to terms with the apparent death of her

husband, Captain Steve Granger, five years’ earlier Cydney puts her

personal feelings to one side and is determined to bring to justice

an escaped Nazi criminal, Adolf Weissmuller, living under the assumed

name of Albert Whiteman, whose son is about to run for the US

presidency. Can Albert ever make amends for his crimes against

humanity, or are some actions beyond forgiveness …?

Will Cydney, along with her trusted and tough protector, former

sergeant, Sean O’Connell, also uncover the truth surrounding

her husband?

 

The consequences of Cydney’s investigations, stretching back

before WWII, are far reaching with the potential to bring down a

banking dynasty as she faces insurmountable odds from which

there is only one final solution.

 

The dramatic follow-up to The Shadows Behind Her Smile,

a compelling debut which takes the reader from the heart of Cydney’s

corporate world to the ruins of war-torn Damascus and where men

will stop at nothing to achieve their goals.

From ch7:

Albert Whiteman had led his life for the last fifty-eight years feeling confident he had left his past behind. Now, through his own fault, it was about to come back and bite him extremely hard and harm everything he had set in motion for his son to become president of the United States of America. How his fellow officers would have laughed to even think that the son of a Nazi officer, his own child, might one day hold that position.

He had not thought about his past until recently. It was almost as if it hadn’t happened, an episode in a book he’d read, as if he was so detached from his previous existence, repressing any memories and never haunted by images.  Now, he questioned whether in fact he should feel any guilt for his actions.  He’d never considered this or any consequences of the actual mass murders he had committed and the exterminations, but the thought alone and the questioning in his mind was eating away at him on a daily, almost hourly basis.  He couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, and was unable to function.  It was essential to his existence and to his life to have answers, especially now he didn’t have long left on this earth and would have to face his Maker.  He felt no remorse; how could he when everything he had done had been on the orders of his senior officers?

Never a religious man at all or God fearing, he had started to attend a catholic church in the last year, initially chosen purely because the architecture and the statue outside of the Madonna and Child attracted him more than any others.  The church dated back to the 1830s and was built in a pseudo-gothic style, and somehow it had managed to escape destruction in the civil war.  With its sweeping vista across the gorge of the Shenandoah River, it gave the man a sense of peace which he didn’t receive where he lived one hundred and fifty miles away, and he was struck by the richness of everything about it.

When Albert sauntered into the church it enraptured him, which came as a shock. The first time he had simply entered through the open door and stood inside the vestibule before going through into the nave where he gazed wonderingly around him, admiring the stained-glass windows and statues that honoured religious figures and illustrated the Bible’s words. Around the walls were plaques of the story of Christ’s crucifixion.  He felt drawn by the sense and smell of it all and the fullness of an all-consuming silence, and the cold, instead of repelling him, was somehow comforting. From childhood, religion to him was cold. The few times he was forced to attend church with his parents as a young boy, he’d found it unemotional and uncaring. He had never understood the draw or why you had to pray to God or anyone you couldn’t see or hear. Was the lack of heat to give you a sense of Hell in comparison? The preacher always drummed into him that was where everyone would end up if they didn’t abide by the rules set out in an ancient text. Now he may be thinking differently because that’s all he had left.

Buy Links:

Hardback, Paperback, Kindle and audible: http://amzn.to/2fJv6O4

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karenmilliejames/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/@KMillieJames

Website: www.karenmilliejames.com

Posted in New Releases

Announcing A.B. Funkhauser’s New Release, Shell Game

Book Description:

Carlos the Wonder Cat lives free, traveling from house to house in a quiet suburban neighborhood. Known by everyone, his idyllic existence is jeopardized when a snarky letter from animal control threatens to punish kitty owners who fail to keep their pets indoors. The $5,000 fine/loss of kitty to THE MAN is draconian and mean, but before Team Carlos can take steps, he is kidnapped by a feline fetishist sex cult obsessed with the films of eccentric Pilsen Güdderammerüng. Stakes are high. Even if Carlos escapes their clutches, can he ever go home?

 

The third novel in the UNAPOLOGETIC LIVES series, SHELL GAME follows SCOOTER NATION (2016) and HEUER LOST AND FOUND (2015) this time, with an eye on a seemingly pastoral community with a lot to hide. More than a cat and mouse story, Shell Game is an examination of community—who we are and how we relate to one another in a questioning world. Written with tongue firmly in cheek, it asks us to open our eyes, see better, and have a little more patience.

 Excerpt:

 Escorted with force up creaky wooden stairs into a passageway straight out of Kafka, the cat squirmed as the space opened into a large windowless room. There, light from tall lamps shot white hot from floor to ceiling, their beams reminiscent of Nuremberg on its worst day. These, uniform in design, were placed with deliberate care every six feet or so, like the stations of the cross in a Catholic cathedral. The lack of adornments on the walls and in the cornices, however, made this place anything but holy, the ecclesiastical taking a back seat to amateur theatrical.

Kitty growled a thousand growls, all unheard.

Unlike their hooded counterparts from down below, the humans upstairs concealed their identities not with comic book capes, but with papier mâché masks, obscuring what were probably facial features of little worth. Their bodies once unshrouded, offered an array of tattoos and piercings. Many were on the heavy side, their adipose jiggling with the multitudes that tried to copulate in interesting ways. Nothing at all like Güdderammerüng’s Blod av Däggdjur, which supported an aesthete both elegant and worshipful, this sexy orgy party tried way too hard to be what it clearly was not.

Large cat statues in the Egyptian fashion added to the absurdity of the occasion. Eight feet tall, the polystyrene golden statues came by way of a prop wrangler and his girlfriend, who had purloined them from a storage locker after a film wrap in Vancouver. Under red-pink lights, the cat sentinels were positioned in equal numbers on either side of a large altar, marked by numerous fetish objects and eschatological symbols. In line with the forced revelry that abounded, their uses gained currency with the rather strange choice of Seventies-era rock music that assaulted the senses.

Working up a large hairball, Carlos barely caught his breath for all the hookah vapors filling the room. Humans of all genders did what they did together, separately and severally. Many appeared older, their sagging midsections reminding him of the old Tom’s that lived out their lives in the Banford barn outside Cavan.

Claiming to want something more, something more in line with Güdderammerüng’s vision, their attempts at consciousness raising from the “darkness to the light” fell flat. These humans, for all their writhing and hookah smoking, fundamentally lacked what the cats had: that state of grace that comes with knowing who you are and what you’re here for.

PRAISE

 “…writes with a take-no-prisoners style of prose.”

  • Steve Cronin, AMERICAN FUNERAL DIRECTOR MAGAZINE

 “Funkhauser digs down deep into each character and shatters the lines of morality, showing us the darkness and light within all of them…”

  • Angela D’Onofrio, Author FROM THE DESK OF BUSTER HEYWOOD

“Funny, quirky, and sooooo different.”

—Jo Michaels, JO MICHAELS BLOG

Author Biography:

Toronto born author A.B. Funkhauser is a funeral director, classic car nut and wildlife enthusiast living in Ontario, Canada. Like most funeral directors, she is governed by a strong sense of altruism fueled by the belief that life chooses us, not we it.

Her debut novel Heuer Lost and Found, released in April 2015, examines the day to day workings of a funeral home and the people who staff it. Winner of the Preditors & Editors Reader’s Poll for Best Horror 2015, and the New Apple EBook Award 2016 for Horror, Heuer Lost and Found is the first installment in Funkhauser’s Unapologetic Lives series. Her sophomore effort, Scooter Nation, released March 11, 2016 through Solstice Publishing. Winner of the New Apple Ebook Award 2016 for Humor, and Winner Best Humor Summer Indie Book Awards 2016, Scooter picks up where Heuer left off, this time with the lens on the funeral home as it falls into the hands of a woeful sybarite.

A devotee of the gonzo style pioneered by the late Hunter S. Thompson, Funkhauser attempts to shine a light on difficult subjects by aid of humorous storytelling. “In gonzo, characters operate without filters which means they say and do the kinds of things we cannot in an ordered society. Results are often comic but, hopefully, instructive.”

SHELL GAME, tapped as a psycho-social cat dramedy with death and laughs, is the third book in the series and takes aim at a pastoral community with a lot to hide. “With so much of the world currently up for debate, I thought it would be useful to question—again—the motives and machinations championed by the morally flexible, and then let the arbiter be a cat.”

Funkhauser is currently working on THE HEUER EFFECT, the prequel to HEUER LOST AND FOUND.

Other Books by A.B. Funkhauser:

HEUER LOST AND FOUND (2015)

Unrepentant cooze hound lawyer Jürgen Heuer dies suddenly and unexpectedly in his litter-strewn home. Undiscovered, he rages against God, Nazis, deep fryers and analogous women who disappoint him.

At last found, he is delivered to Weibigand Brothers Funeral Home, a ramshackle establishment peopled with above average eccentrics, including boozy Enid, a former girlfriend with serious denial issues. With her help and the help of a wise cracking spirit guide, Heuer will try to move on to the next plane. But before he can do this, he must endure an inept embalming, feral whispers, and Enid’s flawed recollections of their murky past.

Geo Buy Link: http://myBook.to/heuerlostandfound

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llaBBPQIcoc

SCOOTER NATION (2016)

Aging managing director Charlie Forsythe begins his work day with a phone call to Jocasta Binns, the unacknowledged illegitimate daughter of Weibigand Funeral Home founder Karl Heinz Sr. Alma Wurtz, a scooter bound sextenarian, community activist, and neighborhood pain in the ass is emptying her urine into the flower beds, killing the petunias. Jocasta cuts him off, reminding him that a staff meeting has been called. Charlie, silenced, is taken aback: he has had no prior input into the meeting and that, on its own, makes it sinister.

The second novel in the UNAPOLOGETIC LIVES series, SCOOTER NATION takes place two years after HEUER LOST AND FOUND. This time, funeral directors Scooter Creighton and Carla Moretto Salinger Blue take center stage as they battle conflicting values, draconian city by-laws, a mendacious neighborhood gang bent on havoc and a self-absorbed fitness guru whose presence shines an unwanted light on their quiet Michigan neighborhood.

Geo Buy Link: http://myBook.to/ScooterNation

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/oqmrW_t92jc

LINKS

Geo Buy Link: http://myBook.to/ScooterNation

Geo Buy Link: http://myBook.to/heuerlostandfound

Walmart:  http://www.walmart.com/ip/Scooter-Nation/53281677

Website: www.abfunkhauser.com

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/abfunkhauser

Twitter: https://twitter.com/iamfunkhauser

Facebook: www.facebook.com/heuerlostandfound

Branded: https://branded.me/abfunkhauser

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118051627869017397678

Publisher: http://solsticepublishing.com/

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1FPJXcO

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/unapologeticadult

FAQ’s: http://abfunkhauser.com/faqs/

Interview Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2yhaXfh-ns

Interview Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoPthI1Hvmo

Podcast:  http://mhefferman.ca/author/podcasts/episode-3-an-interview-with-a-b-funkhauser/

Email: a.b.funkhauser@rogers.com

Awards

New Apple E-Book Award 2016 “Humor” SCOOTER NATION

New Apple E-Book Award 2016 “Horror” HEUER LOST AND FOUND

http://www.newappleliterary.com/awardsWinner Summer Indie Book Award (SIBA) 2016 “Humor” SCOOTER NATION

https://metamorphpublishing.com/summer-indie-book-awards/

Winner Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll 2015 “Horror” HEUER LOST AND FOUND

http://critters.org/predpoll/

 

 

 

 

Posted in Mysteries, New Releases, Romances, Solstice Publishing

New Romance and Mystery Releases Out Today 8/22

My two short stories were just released as 99 cent eBooks. They are also both free on Kindle Unlimited. Below are excerpts to the stories:

myBook.to/savingsnowwhite

There was a moment of strained silence between us. It was strange how nine months had made a difference in how we regarded one another. I glanced at the clock to check the time and then an idea occurred to me. “Hey, after we’re through here, what do you say we take in a movie tonight?” Tom and I often went to shows at the cinema in the mall with Tina and occasionally by ourselves.

Tom paused, as he poured some kibble into one of the cat bowls and secured the cage. “Sorry, Ames. I’m going out with Sam tonight.”

Sam? As far as I knew, Tom didn’t have many male friends. His best pal, Dennis, had gone upstate to school at the same time I left Mount Filmore.

“Sam is short for Samantha. She’s my girlfriend,” Tom explained, his back still to me as he opened the next cage.

“Oh.” When did that happen? “I guess I should go to check Leprechaun now.” I still had seven minutes.

“No, wait.” Tom turned back to me. “Even though I have a date tonight, the animal hospital closes at 4 today. I’d like to treat you to an ice cream, and we can catch up.”

I thought of those days after school when Tom, Tina, and I headed to the ice cream shop on the corner across from our high school. It was still an old-fashioned parlor. I wondered if Maggie, the owner, still worked there.

“That would be nice,” I said as I turned toward the exam room.

myBook.to/dyingvacation

“Oh, thank goodness you’re here, Detective Jackson,” a voice said from behind my left shoulder. I spun around to see Irma Carlton, the library’s director. She was dressed in her usual stylish manner in a navy suit with a red handkerchief peeking out of her left breast pocket. For a woman in the same age bracket as the deceased, early fifties, she was nothing to sneeze at even if you had allergies.

“Hello, Ms. Carlton,” I replied. “I’m sorry I’m late. I was admiring your pretty garden on the west end of the library.”

“Thank you, Detective. I’ve tried to keep the flower in Flower Hill Library, so to speak. I make sure the library’s gardener plants flowers that bloom each season. Of course, summer is the loveliest. I’m especially proud of the roses.”

“And you should be. But, as you know, I’m here for less pleasant matters. Have you gathered together the persons I requested to see?”