Thursday, March 21, 2013

Readers' Choice Spotlight (Mystery, Romance, and Short Story Collection/Anthology)

Remember to vote for your choices on this page and don't miss the other entry options for the giveaway.


Before Her Eyes by Rebecca Forster

"In a remote mountain community, the execution of a grocer and the abduction of a world-renowned model leave the local sheriff searching for a connection, two killers and a woman who is running for her life. In the next 48 hours, Sheriff Dove Connelly will peel back the layers of intrigue beneath the tranquil camaraderie of his mountain enclave and find that nothing is what it seems.

As Dove sets his investigation in motion, Tessa Bradley, a hard assed Texas gal, faces off with her abductors. Her rangy beauty doesn’t mean a damn thing to the foreign men holding her at gunpoint. Just as one of them pulls the trigger, Tessa lashes out. Wounded but alive, she escapes her captors only to find greater peril lies ahead. As her life flashes before her eyes, Tessa struggles to stay alive, prays for rescue and fights for her soul's salvation."

Dinner at Deadman's by C.J. West

"Lorado Martin has loved junk since his grandparents took him bottle digging in the backwoods of New England when he was a boy. The search for antiques and collectibles led him to a unique hobby: digging through the estates of the newly deceased, arranging the sale of goods for the heirs, and keeping the leftovers for himself.

To make a living he builds and maintains housing for recovering heroin addicts and along the way he’s employed a number of his clients. The men wrestle with the siren call of drugs and teach Lorado about the difficult struggle to stay clean one day at a time. 

When these two worlds come together, Lorado learns that not every elderly person dies of natural causes and that some estates are sold to benefit a killer. His latest project hits close to home. A woman he’s known since childhood haunts him from a fresh grave. Her grandson, an affable addict who has fallen off the wagon, stands to inherit a considerable sum whether he deserves it or not."

Eightball Boogie by Declan Burke

"'Imelda Sheridan was dead, which was tough cookies on Imelda, but then every silver lining has its cloud. My job was to find out who and why, at 12 cent per word for the right facts in the right order … which is how it all started out, anyway.'

Freelance hack Harry Rigby likes a smoke, the easy life and Robert Ryan playing the bad buy in late night black-and-whites. Sweet. But when the wife of a prominent politician is murdered in her best nightdress, Rigby finds himself caught in a crossfire between rogue paramilitaries, an internal Garda inquiry and the heaviest blizzard of coke ever to hit Ireland’s northwest. If all that wasn’t bad enough, his relationship with Denise is on the rocks. And then there’s Gonzo, Rigby’s brother, back on the streets and meaner than a jilted shark …"


A Titan for Christmas by Aria Kane

"When Jenna's job as an engineer makes her miss her flight home from the mining colony on Titan, she's heartbroken she won't be able to make it back to Earth in time for Christmas with her family. Until a coworker gives her another option: private cargo pilots sometimes take on passengers.

Grayson pilots the only ship leaving Titan in time to make it back to Earth before Christmas. He doesn't want any passengers, but Jenna convinces him to take her on the three-day trip. Neither of them had planned for the passion that erupts between the two of them on the tiny cargo ship.

Then Jenna realizes Grayson is transporting extremely dangerous cargo. When she discovers why a man like Grayson would take such a risk, she has to decide whether she'll turn him in or help him."

Dance of Passion by Nancy Brophy

"Independent and successful, Lily Carmichael co-owns a booming catering business. Her dominating career allows no time for any outside involvement. No man. No dog. No life. With a hectic daily schedule, she participates in a social whirl of parties and events, but only from the sidelines. 

Even before she was widowed, Lily embraced the type A work mode; her husband’s passion was food –- not his wife. To the world she presents herself as a hardworking career woman, but late at night her sub-conscience dreams of a nameless, faceless stranger whose dedication and singular devotion to her pleasure holds her in his thrall. Night after night, he pursues her, igniting the fire yet never fulfilling the promise. Lily becomes a woman haunted by her own fantasy life.

In her own unerring way, she stumbles across the perfect solution –- a real life fantasy man, who wants no entanglements, but is willing to bring her dream to an exciting climax. No more cliffhanger endings.
The perfect man comes to her in the form of forty-six year old Marshall Caudill, a man who’s played the relationship wheel his entire life. He professes no interest in marriage or family because his true love is the Oceanic Institute that bears his name. Women may be delightful and charming, but they are strictly recreational.

However, the women in his life aren't always quick to catch on. His sort-of ex 'girlfriend', Muffy, has designs on Marshall that involve the words ‘until-death-do-them-part’. Marshall has no idea how literal Muffy can be, particularly since he believes they've broken up."

Dashing Druid by Lyn Horner

"Dashing Druid continues Lyn Horner’s unique Texas Druids saga. This sensual western romance stars Tye Devlin, the eldest of three psychically gifted siblings. Descended from legendary Irish Druids, Tye is an empath. He 'feels' others’ emotions. Over time, he has learned to block out most of the 'racket' in order to save his sanity, but when he meets Texas cowgirl Lil Crawford, he has no defense against her hidden pain.

Unlucky in love, Lil guards her bruised heart behind a tough façade, working alongside her father’s cowhands. When a handsome stranger with an Irish brogue calls her beautiful, she thinks he’s mocking her, yet she can’t help wishing such a man might truly find her beautiful. Haunted by his own nightmarish memories, Tye faces an uphill battle in his pursuit of this spirited, part-Cherokee heroine. 

Set in the 1870s, against a backdrop of Texas ranch life and an iconic cattle drive, this epic love story pits Tye and Lil against dangerous enemies and their own feuding families as they fight their personal demons. Will they decide love is worth the consequences? Will Tye’s gift turn out to be a blessing or a curse?"

Firefly Hollow by T.L. Haddix

"The mysterious recluse…

Owen Campbell holds himself apart from other people. Badly scarred from emotional wounds that have never healed, he doesn’t expect to find true love or happiness. He remains isolated in a prison of his own making, determined to not let anyone close enough to hurt him again. 

But his willpower is shaken to the core when Sarah Browning enters his world. 

The girl next door…

Sarah Jane Browning is three years into her college degree when a call from home changes everything. Back at the family homestead in the heart of Appalachia, she’s forced to reevaluate her hopes and dreams for the future.

Distraction from her heartache comes in the form of her parents’ neighbor. Whispers about “odd Owen Campbell” abound in their small community, and Sarah’s curiosity is aroused. When she breaks the rules and trespasses onto his land, what she finds is beyond her wildest imaginings.

As Sarah struggles to overcome tragedy and loss, her burgeoning relationship with Owen is sorely tested. Will love conquer all, or will the secrets from Owen’s past tear them apart forever?"

Her Fake Romance by Donna Fasano

"'Mom, get a life!'

Her teenage daughter's words were daunting. True, struggling single mom Julia Jones hadn't had a date in over a decade, but she could still catch a man-if she needed to! So Julia, who claimed not to want a husband, found herself entangled in a fake romance.

Ryan Shane was tall, dark, and devastatingly handsome. And he just so happened to need a no-strings date himself. Their plan was perfectly thought out. Until a conveniently staged good-night kiss turned into very inconvenient passion..."

Short Story Collections and Anthologies

Broken Christmas by David Henderson

"Broken Christmas is a compilation of three short stories about Christmas.

In the first, Fourth Wish, a skid row resident finds himself leading a trio of privileged but neglected youths on Christmas Eve. Through their journey the homeless man fulfills their Christmas wishes, showing that sometimes those who need help the most are the ones who help others the greatest. 

The second; Best Christmas Ever, is an optimistic eight year old's “glass half full” remembrance of a Christmas Eve his parents would rather forget. 

The third story, Broken Christmas tells of a soldier who leaves the frozen battlefield behind and goes home for Christmas via his dreams.

Killing Ways 2 by Steven Torres

"Hard luck, hard knock, hot and cold blooded killers, criminals, and the people they collide with. 

1 - The Biography of Stoop, the Thief - Chapter One: Stoop and Clyde. Stupendous Jones has had a hard life from the day he was born, but can he (as a twelve year old) save the life of the only guardian he's ever known? Should he even try?

2 - The Biography of Stoop, the Thief - Chapter Three: Stoop and Elizabeth. Stoop finally finds the woman he thinks is his mother, but will the cost of saving her from her own demons be too high for a young boy to pay? Publisher's Weekly called the story "moving." I challenge you to disagree.

3 - Bronx, Summer, 1971 - Ray Cruz hurts people for a living. When family members are found murdered, it's a race against the police to find the guilty and make them pay. 

4 - Padrino - Ray Cruz is back, and his goddaughter has been brutally attacked. She's not sure who beat her, but Ray makes it his mission to find out.

5 - Elena Speaks of the City, Under Siege - It's a city under siege and you are young, beautiful and smart. But can you make it out of the city before your sanity crumbles like the infrastructure? And what would you do once you've left?

6 - Early Fall - Yolanda Morales comes across a young runaway who calls herself "Jasmine" and tries to save her from a life on the streets even if she doesn't want to be saved. But what can one determined woman do when the rich and reckless come to the city looking for prey?"

Lessons IV: The Dead Carnival and Other Morbid Drabbles by Michael Crane

"We've been expecting you...

The morbid 100-word shorts of chaos and pure, sinister evil are back in LESSONS IV: The Dead Carnival and Other Morbid Drabbles. In his latest installment of twenty-nine horrifying and darkly humorous stories, author Michael Crane takes you on a trip to the carnival you'll never forget (and a trip you may not survive). Oh, there will be games that cheat you out of something far more valuable than money. Rides will break down, but not necessarily by accident. Nobody leaves happy. In fact, nobody leaves at all.

Welcome to the Dead Carnival... a place that truly lives up to its name."

Music Speaks by Varius

"Music is everywhere, seeping into every corner of our lives, and it has a special kind of magic. It can help us sleep, or make us dance, give wings to our dreams, or commiserate with our sorrow. Music can spark a long-buried memory, bring people together, change a mind, or even save a life. 

In these pages are eleven short stories from nine independent authors. These stories cover a wide range of genres—from romance to dystopia—but they all share a single theme: the power of music."

100% of profits from the sale of this short story collection will be donated to the MusiCares Foundation—a non-profit organization that helps musicians in times of need.

Other Stories and Nothing But Time by Gerard Brennan

"A 10,000-word short story collection by one of the hottest new writers in Northern Ireland."

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