R.I.P in Reykjavik

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author A.R. Kennedy and her cozy mystery novel, R.I.P in Reykjavik.

Author’s description:

Traveling with your family can be murder.

One wedding party + one estranged mother = another vacation that goes array for Naomi.

Naomi is off on another international vacation. She thinks traveling with her mother will be the most difficult part of her trip until she meets the rest of the tour group—a wedding party. It only gets worse when she finds the groom dead. Everyone’s a suspect on her Icelandic tour of this stunning country.

My Review

In R.I.P in Reykjavik, A.R. Kennedy has taken her idea of combining arm chair travel and cozy crime stories up a notch. This is a witty, fun and easy-to-read amateur sleuth novel that will once again have you turning the pages to cheer on its rookie crime solver. This time around, you’ll be enjoying the beauty and charm of Iceland while you do it.

Naomi acts more grown-up in this novel, and her previous amateur sleuthing in Africa has made her more competent at solving murders, too. It makes her a more likable sleuth. As a bonus, the reader gets new details about her dysfunctional family and I think this knowledge makes the whole series more appealing.

One of my favorite things about her writing is the ongoing humor. Enough sly wit was scattered throughout the story to keep me smiling, but I was laughing out loud near the end as Naomi made a video for her sister of the coming and goings in the hotel hallway. It’s worth reading the book just for that scene.

Deep twists and unexpected turns regarding the murder aren’t Kennedy’s MO, but once again we get an adequately complex cast of suspects, and a satisfying ending. I’ll take that any day.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes cozy mysteries, amateur sleuth novels or travel.

Check out my review of the author’s previous book Sleuth on Safari.

The teaser at the end of R.I.P in Reykjavik says Naomi’s next adventure will be in Australia. I’m looking forward to it!

About the Author

A R Kennedy lives in Long Beach, New York, with her two pups. She works hard to put food on the floor for them. As her favorite T-shirt says, ‘I work so my dog can have a better life’. She’s an avid traveler. But don’t worry. While she’s away, her parents dote on their grand-puppies even more than she does. Her writing is a combination of her love of travel, animals, and the journey we all take to find ourselves.

Find her on Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram, Bookbub or on Twitter. 

Buy R.I.P in Reykjavik on Amazon or find it at Books2read.

Yes, there is a giveaway.

A. R. Kennedy will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift certificate to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

A Personal Note

I’ve haven’t yet had the good fortune to travel to Iceland, but I did get to research it for my novel Flickers of Fortune. My hero Ariel, also a tourist, did many of the same things Naomi did, including visiting the Blue Lagoon and eating at the Lava restaurant. It was extra fun for me to read these scenes!

 My Favorite Excerpt

We stopped for lunch at a local restaurant. As I sat down at one of the long benches, my cell phone rang. Charlotte’s face appeared on the screen. I ran outside to answer it.

“So I heard you had a late night,” Charlotte said.

“Not the time.” I looked over my shoulder to make sure no one had followed me out. “The police think it might not be an accident.”

Charlotte audibly sighed. “Is that why it was a long night? You were with the police?”

“No, one of Ösp’s friends is a police officer.”

“You mean Thor.”

“Please don’t encourage Mother. His name is Ösp. I don’t want her nickname to stick.”

“Her nickname? I called him that,” she corrected me. “He looks like Thor.”

I looked over my shoulder at the restaurant’s entrance. “Looks like? How do you know what he looks like? Did you cyberstalk him? Check the hotel’s website for the staff’s pictures?”

“No. Mom texted me pictures.”

Horrified, I asked, “And how did she get them?”

“She followed you to the lobby.”

“Nice.”

“Give her a break. She was excited. It was like seeing you on your first date.”

“I’ve been on dates before.” I glanced over my shoulder again for any of the suspects.

“But Mom didn’t see that. She didn’t see the first dates, the proms. That was all Dad.”

“Would you like it if Dad followed you out on a date?”

“I don’t think Dad cares about those things.”

She was probably right.

“Anyway, this police officer I met last night said the autopsy must have shown something because they hadn’t closed the case yet.”

“So you turned your date into a fact-finding mission?”

“It was a happy coincidence.” I thought I heard the door open behind me. I turned to see no one. It must have been the wind.

“Why do you keep looking behind you?” Charlotte asked.

“Just making sure none of the suspects can hear me.”

“Suspects? You’ve turned your traveling companions into suspects?” She paused before adding, “Again?”

I ignored her. “Hurry up, Charlotte. Someone is going to come out looking for me soon.”

“Fine. If he drowned, I bet they’d say it was an accident. They’d find water in his lungs if he drowned. Maybe the autopsy didn’t find water in his lungs. That doesn’t rule out a cardiac event. That may be hard to prove. Most likely they are waiting for the toxicology results. That’s going to take a few days.”

I looked at the restaurant door and wished I could run in for my backpack, so I could take notes. “And what would that show?”

“Whatever was in his system. Maybe drugs, poisons.”

“I forgot to ask. If it was poison, how long before he died would he have to be poisoned?”

“Depends on the poison. Probably an hour or two, I guess.”

“Could you get a poison through TSA?”

“In something in a bottle with less than three ounces, sure. Could have been a powder. They could have bought it locally too. Rat poison and antifreeze has been used in a lot human deaths.”

“Can you think of anything specific I should look for?”

“You should look who’s coming up behind you,” she said before hanging up.

The Edge of All Worlds

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Matt Betts and his Science Fiction/Fantasy novel, The Edge of All Worlds.

Author’s description:

Carson of Venus is back in the first novel of groundbreaking Edgar Rice Burroughs Universe series!

When a mysterious enemy attacks his adopted nation of Korva, Earthman Carson Napier discovers his own arrival on Venus years ago may have unknowingly triggered the strike. The invaders’ trail of death and destruction leads Carson and his beloved princess Duare headlong into battle against a seemingly invincible, primordial race. But that is not Carson’s only challenge, for an uncanny phenomenon has entangled him with two strange individuals from beyond spacetime. Will Carson be able to solve the mysteries of his past and the enigmatic visitors before the entire planet descends into chaos?

Also includes the bonus novelette “Pellucidar: Dark of the Sun” by Christopher Paul Carey, introducing Victory Harben, the ERB Universe’s newest heroine:

The very principle of physics behind the Gridley Wave has mysteriously failed, cutting off all communication between the hollow world of Pellucidar and the outer crust, and now inventor Jason Gridley must seek help from his brilliant young protégé, Victory Harben. Together they recover timeworn records from deep in the ruins of a dead Mahar city, hoping to use knowledge of Pellucidar’s former reptilian overlords to jumpstart the Gridley Wave. But when their experiment goes terribly wrong, Jason and Victory suddenly find themselves drawn into the inscrutable machinations of an ancient evil.

THE FIRST UNIVERSE OF ITS KIND

A century before the term “crossover” became a buzzword in popular culture, Edgar Rice Burroughs created the first expansive, fully cohesive literary universe. Coexisting in this vast cosmos was a pantheon of immortal heroes and heroines–Tarzan of the Apes, Jane Clayton, John Carter, Dejah Thoris, Carson Napier, and David Innes being only the best known among them. In Burroughs’ 80-plus novels, their epic adventures transported them to the strange and exotic worlds of Barsoom, Amtor, Pellucidar, Caspak, and Va-nah, as well as the lost civilizations of Earth and even realms beyond the farthest star. Now the Edgar Rice Burroughs Universe expands in an all-new series of canonical novels written by today’s talented authors!

About the Author:

Matt Betts worked for years in radio as an on-air personality, anchor and reporter. His fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. His work includes the steampunk novel, Odd Men Out, urban fantasy crime novel Indelible Ink, and his recent cryptid/horror novel White Anvil: Sasquatch Onslaught. His current release Carson of Venus: The Edge of all Worlds continues a series begun by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Sales links:

ERB: https://bit.ly/3cmkrAU
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2RFrcGa

Author Links:

links:Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Betts_Matt
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mattbettswrites
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mattbetts_author/
Website: http://www.mattbetts.com

About this tour

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter to win a physical copy of the paperback of Carson of Venus: The Edge of All Worlds (continental US only). Enter here to win.

Read an Excerpt

Fire and ash blackened his armored bands, but he advanced without the appearance of concern. The black smoke rippled off him as he stepped from the fiery mess. Each step of his large feet seemed to hasten the floor cracks that still moved in our direction.
“Stop!” I shouted. “This is a grand fight we have going on here, but if you advance any farther, you’ll shatter this floor and hurl us both to our deaths.” He continued forward as if he hadn’t heard me, one heavy step after another. I looked to the broad strip of white rock that encircled the room, hoping it would be sturdier than the glasslike material that composed the floor.
At that moment, the whole building seemed to shake. There came a tremendous cracking sound, and the section of the flooring upon which I stood lurched down several feet with a sickening screech. I flung myself to one side and grabbed a thick section of the clear floor, holding on with one hand as I watched the great chunk of glass upon which I had just been standing twist and turn on the way to the ground far below.
Fingers bleeding, I clutched the sharp edges in order to keep myself from following the broken section down. The sounds of combat around me fell away until I heard nothing but my own breathing, ragged and desperate, fearing the slightest breeze would cause my fragile handhold to break free.
Copyright © Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. All rights reserved. All logos, characters, names, and the distinctive likenesses thereof are trademarks or registered trademarks of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. Used by permission.

 

 

Love, Lies, and Bad Guys

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Bill Blodgett and his Romantic Suspense novel, Love, Lies, and Bad Guys.

Author’s description:

When US Marshal Jay Stonewalker sees a possible terrorist comment in a chatroom frequented by anti-government radicals suggesting a nuclear threat to New York City, specifically the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, he can’t get it out of his mind. Against his boss’s orders he heads off to NYC to investigate on his own time. While there he follows a suspicious character into a secluded recess of the New York Subway system and foils what he believes is the terrorist event.  In a shoot-out with his suspect he’s wounded and calls the NYC PD for backup.  When he sees NYPD Detective KC Daviau and other uniformed officers slipping into the darkness from the subway platform he’s relieved, but to his surprise he’s met with resistance and disrespect by Detective Daviau.

Against his objections, KC takes custody of the evidence and leaves the scene. When Jay asks an officer if she is always that way he’s told that, “Since her parents died, she’s been… let’s say… a little cold.”   When they are assigned to work the case together,  KC’s icy exterior soon begins to melt away as they begin to fall for each other, but KC has to hold back. She has a dark secret and knows he can’t ever know her truths because if he did he would hate her just as she hates herself for what she’s about to do.

A Special Guest Post from Author Bill Blodgett:

Love, Lies and Bad Guys involves a terrorist plot so I asked Bill Blodgett if he was apprehensive when he did the research to write about terrorist threats. Here is is fascinating answer:

At first I wasn’t. It seemed like researching any other book. I found out about the Native Americans, who were labeled Downwinders because they were exposed to nuclear fallout that was carried downwind after the tests of the atomic bombs in the 1940’s through the early 1960’s in Nevada. Many Downwinders developed various kinds of cancer due to the exposure. Then I contacted several leaders in the Native American community and asked for their input and they were very willing to share what information they had, especially after I told them my wife was part Native American. It was all very natural and a great learning experience.

Then I researched nuclear power plants near New York City, and it was again very natural. It’s then the research began to get serious. I researched the subway system of NYC looking for easy points of access. Then I looked into dirty bombs and what they were made from and how to make them. After that I researched how Homeland Security and other agencies monitored for possible terrorists. I had to create a world that would be believable to the reader, whether they were techno savvy or not. That led to the dark web and dark web browsers that would hide these would be terrorist’s identity and location. Then, of course, the research demanded that I look into Virtual Private Networks, VPN’s. VPN’s also hide your identity by masking where you are logged in from.

They say that curiosity killed the cat and I was beginning to be concerned that I was on that slippery slope, but I felt I needed to continue.  I guessed the searches I was conduction on Google contained certain words that would be flagged by law enforcement and I was just waiting for Homeland Security to be at my doorstep any day! In a way it was kind of scary, even though I knew I wasn’t doing anything illegal, but I would have to explain and they’d probably seize my computer, freeze my bank accounts and put me on the “No Fly” list until the matter got settled in maybe five to ten years!!

I downloaded TOR, the most popular dark web browser, but didn’t bother to purchase a VPN from any of the popular venders that can be found online these days. The TOR browser is a dark web search engine much like Google, but it hides your identity and location by jumping for one “node” or location to another all around the world. This was all new to me. Interesting, but a little weird.

So after researching the use of TOR I went online and searched for random things and the lists of providers was immense and most were selling something illegal, from drugs to chat rooms about any subject you could ever dream of. At that point I figured that maybe I was in a gray area of legality and consorting with questionable characters from around the world. Yes, I was just lurking in those chatrooms, but I was still there! I knew I had enough knowledge about the Dark Web to write about it so I uninstalled TOR. Then I began to write Love, Lies, and Bad Guys!

Bill Blodgett tells us a little about himself:

I still live in the community where I met and married my lovely wife, Janice. Actually, she lived around the corner from me and we both ignored each other until our teen years when the hormone thing kicked in and we suddenly realized that the cute little girl skipping rope and that goofy boy riding a bike had both grown up.

We are the proud parents of April and Lindsay; both of whom are now married. April married Darren and they have two beautiful boys, Brian and Owen. Lindsay married Tim and they have two beautiful children: Kailyn and Evan.

I enjoy hiking, kayaking, camping with my family, golfing, making candles, and restoring my antique European sports car, a 1972 MGB.

They say to write from what you know, so I do. I write of love, life and relationships. In addition to the romantic plot we all expect from a Romance novel all of my books deal with a real-world issue as a sub-plot  that we all have had to deal in some manner in life, but not in a preachy way.  I find that including this sort of theme helps me identify with my characters on a personal level. My hope is that the reader will also feel that connection with my characters.

I have four other published novels. Dead Or A Lie and Saint’s Sword are vampire Romances. Unrequited is a contemporary novel with romantic elements and received 4 stars from Romantic Times Book Review magazine. The Last Prejudice is a family saga that deals with the issues a family must address when a family member comes out.

I have been a member of the RWA and the Central New York Romance Writers since 2004 and have held various posts in my local group. By day I am a construction inspector for an engineering company.

Find the Bill Blodgett on Facebook, or on Twitter. 

Visit him on his website,or email him at bill@billblodgett.com.

 Buy Love, Lies, and Bad Guys on Amazon.

 Buy Love, Lies, and Bad Guys at Barnes and Noble

Yes, there is a giveaway.

Bill Blodgett will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift certificate to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt:

“I was surprised to see you had body art.”

“It isn’t body art. It is my belief. I guess that’s why I don’t show them.  It’s personal. They are of my Goddess, Mother Earth and the symbol of our tribe, the mighty eagle. The Mother Earth Tree Goddess demonstrates the circle of life. Where all things on land, air and water are connected. They are all one. If one element is removed, the tree will wither and die. We believe that it is the same for people. We must be as one or we will all eventually suffer. The Eagle is our symbol for bravery, something that is essential to take on such a derêp.” He saw her puzzled look and continued before she could speak. “Derêp is our word for job or chore. The Eagle is dedicated to protecting our tribe, which is a very difficult job. I use his image to remind myself each day that my task is difficult and not to falter.  If you were just another chick, maybe I’d say they were body art, but I want to share that part of me with you.”

“So…” she teased. “How many other chicks have admired your body art?”

He laughed lightly with maybe a hint of a gallows laugh, “Not as many as you might guess.”

A Personal Note:

My own novel, One of One, involves a terrorist plot to blow up a plane. Like Author Bill Blodgett, I wanted to have my facts correct and my plot realistic. I went after the information I needed the same way we all do; I searched for it on the internet. Somewhere in the middle of seeking facts about explosives and the sturdiness of aircraft it occurred to me I could be attracting attention. The last thing I wanted was to find myself on a no fly list for the rest of my life. (I do love to travel …)

I was fascinated to learn Bill Blodgett went through much of the same process, and also found himself in places on the web which gave him pause. I thank him for being a good sport and providing such a thorough and interesting answer to my question!