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In The Dark by Loreth Anne White

In The Dark

Title: In The Dark
Author: Loreth Anne White
Publication Date: December 1, 2019
Publisher: Montlake

InTheDark

 
The promise of a luxury vacation at a secluded wilderness spa has brought together eight lucky guests. But nothing is what they were led to believe. As a fierce storm barrels down and all contact with the outside is cut off, the guests fear that it’s not a getaway. It’s a trap.

Each one has a secret. Each one has something to hide. And now, as darkness closes in, they all have something to fear—including one another.

Alerted to the vanished party of strangers, homicide cop Mason Deniaud and search and rescue expert Callie Sutton must brave the brutal elements of the mountains to find them. But even Mason and Callie have no idea how precious time is. Because the clock is ticking, and one by one, the guests of Forest Shadow Lodge are being hunted. For them, surviving becomes part of a diabolical game.

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Excerpt:

“The gas stove and the gas water heaters work,” Nathan said. “And there’s plumbing.” He turned his back on them and busied himself taking mugs out of the cupboard in an exaggerated fashion. His heart hammered in his chest. Sweat prickled across his lip.

“And there’s tea, coffee, tins of tuna, and soup,” Steven said as he hurriedly opened more cupboards.

Bart frowned. “Well, at least we won’t go hungry.” He made for the living area, paused. “I found a path. It looks like it leads around to the other bay, but it was getting too dark to follow without a flashlight.”

“Do you think it might lead to the real lodge?” Steven asked.

Nathan blinked. It was like the doctor was reaching for straws by asking—as if hoping, still, that their pilot had just made some terrible screwup with the GPS coordinates.

Bart said, “We can check again in the morning to see if—”

“There is no real lodge.” Jackie appeared in the doorway that led from the great room into the kitchen.

They all turned to look at the solid woman with intense eyes.

“This is no mistake,” she said curtly. “This is a con, some sick game.”

“What do you mean?” Bart asked.

“Did you guys not see the plaque outside, next to the front door? This place is called Forest Shadow Lodge. As in Forest Shadow Wilderness Resort & Spa. Here, look at this.” She pulled a brochure from her pocket and smoothed it out on the kitchen island.

“I printed it off the website before I left home.” She jabbed a photo of the luxury lodge. “It’s fake. It’s photoshopped, because it’s using the same location. See this bay here? And the shape of this one here? This mountain? This is how the terrain looked from the air. It’s this spot, but someone has photoshopped the spa into the location. They’ve erased parts of the forest, added cabins and trails, plus interior shots from some other spa and lodges.” She met their gazes. “This whole thing was faked from the get-go. We were lured here. All of us. And now we’re trapped.”

A sinister cold seemed to enter the kitchen. A shutter banged upstairs, and wind whistled. Mist, cloying and wet, pressed up against the windows. It grew darker inside.

“Why?” Bart asked, still holding his wood.

“God knows.” Jackie dragged her hand over her hair. “But right now, we’re stuck. We’ve been baited and lured into some weird kind of wilderness prison.”

“We are not trapped.” Stella entered the kitchen. “We have a plane. And you guys have a pilot—me. We have fuel. We—”

“We have no bloody radio!” Jackie snapped, whirling round to face Stella, her eyes furious.

“What?” said Steven.

“That’s right,” Jackie said. “Go on, tell them, Stella.”

Stella’s gray eyes flashed, shooting daggers at Jackie.

“Go on. Tell them. The radio is broken. Sabotaged, wires cut.”

“But I heard you speaking to your dispatch on the radio,” Nathan said.

“But it wasn’t working, was it, Stella?” Jackie said. “Your dispatch couldn’t hear you, could they? No one even knows where we are, do they?”

Stella’s features went tight.

“So when were you going to tell us this, Stella?” Steven asked.

“I didn’t want to say right away. Fear, worry, is not a good thing when—”

“When what? Jesus. Who are you to decide what’s right and wrong for us to know?” Steven barked. “You’re just the pilot, not the boss of our lives, for Chrissakes.”

“There’s a chance I could fix it in the morning. If I can—if it’s an easy fix—you’d never have to have known about it.”

“So you thought you’d play God?” Steven snapped. “Because we would all panic.” He wagged jazz hands at the sides of his face.

“And you’re not panicking?” she said.

Silence swelled in the kitchen. It felt for a bizarre moment as though the house was listening. Alive. Hostile. Nathan felt hairs rise along his arms. He was sensitive to these things. He could feel trees in the forest watching and listening to him.

 

My Review:

With shades of the Agatha Christie mystery, And Then There Were None, this was an enjoyable read.

When a group of people, each with their own secret, are lured to a secluded ‘holiday resort’, you know the outcome isn’t going to be good.

This book jumps between the events at the resort, where the guests are targeted, and become distrustful of each other, not knowing who’s behind their predicament, or who will be next to die, and the law enforcement/search and rescue team who are trying to find the missing group.

In The Dark is a compelling, fast paced mystery that kept me guessing.

 

About the Author:

LorethAnneWhiteLoreth Anne White is a bestselling author of thrillers, mysteries, and romantic suspense. A three-time RITA finalist, she is also the recipient of the Overall 2017 Daphne du Maurier Award, the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Romantic Crown for Best Romantic Suspense and Best Book Overall. In addition, she’s a Booksellers’ Best finalist and a multiple CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award winner. A former journalist who has worked in both South Africa and Canada, she now resides in the Pacific Northwest with her family. When Loreth isn’t writing, you will find her skiing, biking, or hiking the trails with her dog (a.k.a. the Black Beast) or open-water swimming. She calls this work, because that’s when the best ideas come.

 
Q&A with Loreth Anne White

1. You are very well known for your romantic suspense tales, but your new title, In The Dark, is all about mystery — a real whodunit! Tell us a bit about the story.

I like to think there is still a strong echo of my earlier romantic suspense books that ripples through In The Dark. Yes, it’s a locked-room mystery/thriller — wilderness style, but the mystery narrative is wrapped inside a romantic suspense-style narrative that follows a budding friendship between Detective Mason Deniaud and Search & Rescue manager Callie Sutton who must not only piece together what happened as they hunt for survivors, but also must race against time to save who might be left. The story leaves off with a promise of more ahead in the relationship between Callie and Mason, so my roots are still showing, I hope.

2. Your story definitely has shades of Agatha Christie as well as a nod or two to Stephen King. Did these authors act as inspirations for this book?

In The Dark is not only a homage to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, but Christie’s story becomes a plot device, a psychological tool that the villain uses to instill fear in the victims trapped in the lodge because the victims know what transpired in the book, and they anticipate the same will happen to them.

And yes, a teensy nod to master of atmosphere and horror, Stephen King’sThe Shining where characters are trapped in a remote and snowbound hotel and become mercy to the psychological horror that descends on them.

3. A rural, isolated lodge is always a great place to start a suspenseful novel. How exactly did your characters all come to be at Forest Shadow Lodge?

The characters are invited for an all-expenses stay at the brand new, high-end, fly-in wilderness lodge and spa. They are lured by an offer to enjoy a ‘soft opening’, so to speak, where they can assess the accommodation and potentially negotiate lucrative contracts with the new lodge owners. Each guest runs a business that would be suitable for such an establishment. Each is excited by a possible lucrative contract. But not all is quite what meets the eye, of course.

4. Your story is told from multiple points-of-view as you take deep dives into the characters’ lives and histories. Does everyone have something to hide?

Don’t we all have something to hide? My characters in this book certainly do. Some of their secrets are more powerful than others.

5. Mason and Callie are two of the law enforcement responders that are trying to piece together exactly what happened at The Lodge. Tell us more about these characters and what makes them so good at what they do.

Mason Deniaud was a top homicide detective before relocating to the remote north for personal reasons. He lost a young son and a wife and he’s searching for a way to live, or exist, if not heal. Callie Sutton is a young mother who is single, but also isn’t because her husband lies in hospital and is brain dead. Her husband is there, but he also isn’t there for Callie and her young son. Like Mason, she’s in limbo, a place where she can’t move forward, or back. It’s through this they find a bond. And the search for the missing lodge party pushes them together.

6. In The Dark is a pivotal novel in your career. What does it have in common with your previous writing and how is it different? How does this inform your next steps as a writer?

Pivotal sounds cool. I’ll take it! Thank you. But yes In The Dark is a bit of a departure from my previous romantic suspense books. If readers enjoy it, however, and if my publisher remains happy, I’d like to keep growing in this direction. But I do think my crime stories will always revolve around strong women, or women who might be victims to start with, but who find agency and take back their lives and become strong and survive through the arc of a story. (As with my forthcoming work In The Deep). I do love to include a relationship element in my crime novels, but bonding with a potential love interest comes out of the personal growth of the protagonist. I like to tell—and read—stories of women who find ways to rescue themselves.

 

Enter the giveaway to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a Digital Copy of Loreth Anne White’s In The Dark.

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Autumn/Halloween Countdown Blitz 2019

Day 11

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Married at Midnight by Arabella Sheraton

 

A sparkling traditional Regency romance to enchant fans.

Day 11 ACB CoverWhen the young and handsome Earl of Pennington discovers the inheritance from his great-uncle depends on him marrying at midnight on the eve of his thirtieth birthday, he is irate. Marriage is not part of his plan to save his impoverished estates. He crosses paths unexpectedly with the beautiful Roxanne Chesney, who is fleeing from her abusive husband.

He offers her a contract: marriage for six months to help him fulfil the conditions of his great-uncle’s will, enabling him secure his inheritance. In return he will pay her a small fortune.

Can Roxanne resist this offer? What about the revolting Edgar Doyle who forced her into a loveless marriage that has not been consummated? Roxanne has escaped Edgar’s clutches, but she wonders how long she will manage to evade him. The earl’s contract has no strings attached. The offer is irresistible except for the fact that Roxanne is already married!

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Day 11 ACB AuthorArabella Sheraton grew up on a diet of Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and many other writers of that period. From Jane Austen to Georgette Heyer, Arabella has found both enjoyment and inspiration in sparkling, witty Regency novels. She also loves history and generally finds the past more fascinating than the future. Arabella wrote her first Regency romance to entertain her aged mom who loved the genre. Arabella is honoured to share the adventures of her heroes and heroines with readers.

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Top Ten List:

10 Fun Facts

1.     Arabella Sheraton is a pseudonym but if I tell anyone who I really am, I’ll have to kill them…

2.     The image I use for Arabella is a portrait my grandmother painted many years ago of her best friend. It seemed a fitting tribute to my wonderful grandmother and her friendship.

3.     I love anything olde worlde, which means that since I write in the genre of Regency romance, perhaps I lived once upon a time in Jane Austen’s era. Who knows? I like to think so.

4.     Pride and Prejudice is my favorite Austen book and book to series adaptation. I just love Mr. Darcy, even when he is acting like a starched shirt.

5.     I have always loved reading romances set in the Regency era, and I think that has a lot to do with the fact that apart from my mom having all the Austen books, she was also an avid Georgette Heyer fan, and as a result, so am I.

6.     I am never short of ideas for a Regency novel and sometimes a title just pops into my head and from that comes a book.

7.     I wrote my first Regency romance to entertain my aged mom, now passed on, who loved the genre.

8.     I generally find the past more fascinating than the present.

9.     My second favourite book to series adaptation is North and South starring the divinely sexy Richard Armitage.

10.     I can’t start the day without a pot of English tea to get me going.

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Autumn/Halloween Countdown Blitz 2019

Day 10

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Cursed Collectibles, an anthology by Jace Killan

 
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Spend an afternoon antiquing and it’s not hard to figure out why picking has become one of America’s fondest pastimes. It’s treasure hunting while connecting with history. But what if those treasures hunt us back?

From old books, to vinyl records, antique mirrors, vintage figurines, or a Bob’s Big Boy piggy bank, curses have no limits.

Featuring stories from D.J. Butler, Joy Auburn, Martin L. Shoemaker, Jessica Guernsey, John D. Payne, Jen Bair, Karen Pellett, Steve Ruskin, Tanya Hales, Lauren Lang, Frank Morin, Mike Jack Stoumbous, Kelly Lynn Colby, Jace Killan, Jo Schneider, Gama Ray Martinez, Martin Greening, Chris Abela, A.J. Mayall, Heidi A. Wilde, Shannon Fox, Lauryn Christopher, and Mark Leslie Lefebvre.

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All proceeds of this book go to the Don Hodge Scholarship Fund for writers

 

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Day 10 ACB Author
Jace lives in Arizona with my family, wife and five kids and a little dog. He writes fiction, thrillers and soft sci-fi with a little short horror on the side. He holds an MBA and work sin finance for a biotechnology firm.

Jace volunteers with the Boy Scouts, plays and writes music, and enjoys everything outdoors. He’s also a novice photographer.

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Q & A With the Jace Killan:

1.     When did you write your first novel?

a.     2017

2.     What drove you to write / why did you become an author?

a.   Always wanted to be an author. Meeting a tribe of writers helped it along.

3.     How do you create your characters?

a.     I use those around me for inspiration.

4.     What is one thing you love about Fall / Autumn?

a.     It’s almost not hot.

5.     Who is the person or group of people that most support you in your writing?

a.     The Superstars Tribe.

6.     What is your favorite Halloween Memory?

a.     Binging Season 1 of Stranger Things.

 

 

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Autumn/Halloween Countdown Blitz 2019

Day 9

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Death at the Dakota by Marni Graff

A Trudy Genova Manhattan Mystery

 
Day 9 ACB CoverNurse Trudy Genova is making plans to take her relationship to NYPD detective Ned O’Malley to the next level, when she lands a gig as medical consultant on a film shoot at the famed Dakota apartment building in Manhattan, which John Lennon once called home. Then star Monica Kiley goes missing, a cast member turns up dead, and it appears Trudy might be next. Meanwhile Ned tackles a mysterious murder case in which the victim is burned beyond recognition. When his investigations lead him back to the Dakota, Trudy finds herself wondering: how can she fall in love if she can’t even survive?

Readers of Death Unscripted, the first book in the Trudy Genova Manhattan Mystery series, will find the same pleasures in this sequel: fast pacing, engaging characters, twists and turns on the way to a satisfying close. From the award-winning author of The Nora Tierney English Mysteries, this second series is a winner. Once again M.K. Graff reveals her talents in crafting this delightful mix of amateur sleuth and police procedural.

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Part procedural, part cozy, Death at the Dakota is a well-crafted and highly entertaining mystery.
Bruce Robert Coffin, #1 bestselling author of the Detective Byron mysteries.

I fell in love — not only with co-protagonists, Trudy and Ned, the richly detailed and historic setting of The Dakota, and the unique cast of characters, but with the unusual plot of Death at the Dakota.
Sherry Harris, Agatha Award nominated author of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries

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Day 9 ACB Author

 

Marni Graff writes two award-winning mystery series: The Nora Tierney English Mysteries and The Trudy Genova Manhattan Mysteries. She teaches writing workshops and mentors the Writers Read program, and is Managing Editor of Bridle Path Press.

Graff also writes the crime review blog Auntie M Writes.

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Top Ten List:

  • My dogs, Radar, a 10 yr old Italian Spinone and our new Aussie Doodle puppy, Seamus
  • Mysteries to read, esp. a series
  • Pizza, well done with pepperoni
  • Vodka gimlet, heavy on the lime juice
  • Black and White movies from the 30-40s, esp Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn
  • The hour before sunset when everything it lit with a subtle glow
  • The UK; a real Anglophile for travel
  • New York City
  • Crisp new stationary
  • Clean sheets

 

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Autumn/Halloween Countdown Blitz 2019

Day 8

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The Temple of the Exploding Head Omnibus by Ren Garcia

 
Three books in one:

The Dead Held Hands
The Machine
The Temple of the Exploding Head

Day 8 ACB CoverStarfarers and explorers, the League settled on Kana thousands of years ago. They found it to be a paradise, a perfect, virtually uninhabited planet waiting just for them in the cradle of space.

Lovely Kana … it was too good to be true …

But, all was not as it seemed. Simmering beneath the ground was a demented god who had soaked Kana in blood for untold ages, luring in victims, lying to them, and rejoicing in their suffering as they died at the hands of his dark angels.
And there will be blood again … From his Temple in the ground, the Horned God stirs.

When Lord Kabyl of Blanchefort, a young man troubled by the weight of the world, dares give his heart to a girl from a mysterious ancient household, one that pre-dates the League itself, he comes to know the shadows of the past that hover over her.

He comes to know of the Horned God, and for love he is destined to face him. All roads lead to the Temple of the Exploding Head, a place of evil and death, rooted in the ancient past, but also tied to the distant future.

“We were evil once,” she said, “and the gods are still punishing us…”

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Day 8 ACB AuthorRen Garcia is a Science Fiction/Fantasy author and Texas native who grew up in western Ohio. He has been writing since before he could write, often scribbling alien lingo on any available wall or floor with assorted crayons. He attended The Ohio State University and majored in English Literature.

Ren has been an avid lover of anything surreal since childhood. He also has a passion for caving, urban archeology, taking pictures of clouds, and architecture. He currently lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife, and their four dogs.

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Top Ten List:

10:  Ren was once engaged to a woman 25 years his elder.

9:    Ren visited New York City and admired the World Trade Center towers just a month or so before the tragedy of 9/11.

8:    The FBI once put a gun in Ren’s face.

7:    Bad hearts run in Ren’s family. He’s already outlived most of his paternal grandfathers, all of whom died in their 30’s.

6:    Ren’s poor eyesight went undiagnosed until he was in the 3rd grade. Up until that point, he was considered “mentally challenged”.

5:    Ren broke his neck playing volleyball in college.

4:    Ren often sleeps on the floor, finding it more comfortable than the bed.

3:    Ren was once held at gunpoint and frisked by the guards of the Prince of Saudi Arabia.

2:    Ren was introduced to his wife via Match Makers International.

1:    In a vast extended family of exclusively brown-eyed people, Ren somehow managed to get blue eyes.

 

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Autumn/Halloween Countdown Blitz 2019

Day 7

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Love is Death by L.P. Masters

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Gina’s plan for her afterlife is simple: survive as long as possible. The afterlife is a ghost-kill-ghost kind of place. When she meets newly-dead Alec, she can’t help her desire to protect him. Before she knows it, she finds herself falling for him, despite the little voice in her head telling her it’s a bad idea.

Alec’s goals don’t mesh well with Gina’s plans. Determined to save his living sister from a murderer, he’s willing to disobey the laws of a well-established cult in the afterlife. If the cult finds out, they’ll kill him. Again. He’s hesitant to accept Gina’s help and threaten her afterlife, but he’s guaranteed to fail without her. Together they embark on a perilous mission, but the most dangerous aspect of all is the threat of falling in love. Because in the afterlife… love is death.

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Day 7 ACB AuthorBorn and raised in the rainy streets of the Seattle Area, L.P. Masters spent her fair share of time staring out rain-streaked windows and writing books. Masters has always had extremely vivid dreams, which often spark inspiration for her novels. In 1999, after one such dream, Masters began her first writing project. She has participated in National Novel Writer’s Month every November since 2010. Writing isn’t the only thing she can do with a pen in her hand, she also enjoys sketching and drawing—with varying degrees of success. Masters now lives in the slightly-less-dreary city of Spokane Washington with her husband, four wonderful daughters, and two crazy dogs.

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Top Ten List:

1. As a kid, I used to write 20 books at a time. I could keep them all straight. I would sit down at the computer and open five or six books that I wanted to work on. I’d write one for a few minutes, get an idea for another one and go work on that one. I was always bouncing around between stories and ideas.

2. Thanks to fun fact #1, by the time I was sixteen years old, I had started 134 books and had finished 12 of them.

3. I used to read books the same way, usually only 2 or 3 at a time.

4. I never finished Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, even though it was interesting and I wanted to read it. I got distracted, set it down, and never picked it up again. I always tell myself that some day I’ll finish it. I do have to know what question 42 answers!

5. A lot of my stories are inspired by my dreams. My dreams are very vivid, and often have large chunks of the beginning, middle, and/or end of a story incorporated into them. Sometimes I’ll dream the beginning of a book, and days or weeks later dream the middle or end of the same book.

6. I unfortunately often experience hypnopompic dreaming, which is a condition in which a person wakes up but continues to dream, so I often will wake up and see things in my room in the middle of the night. They’re usually scary things. No. They’re usually terrifying.

7. Thanks to fun fact #6, I could write horror stories if I wanted to. I would never run out of ideas. So Many Horror Stories! I’ve decided not to embrace those types of dreams that way, but I have written one or two short stories inspired by my dreams.

8. Someone can say a single word and inspire a novel, or a simple sentence and inspire an entire scene. My mind hooks onto things and runs with them.

9. When I first got started reading novels, I often lay in bed thinking about what the author might do next in the story. A lot of times I’d only be halfway through the book and I would already have come up with two or three possible endings in my head. The stories rarely turned out the way I imagined they would, but it was always fun to think of all the different options.

10. Maybe #9 is the reason why I am obsessed with some day creating a series of choose your own adventure sci-fi novels. I’ve already got a ton of them plotted out. I just haven’t sat down and finished them.

 

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Autumn/Halloween Countdown Blitz 2019

Day 6

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Unmasking the Duke by Donna Hatch

 
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The last thing Hannah Palmer wants to do is flirt with men in a crowded ballroom, but when her sister, the Countess of Tarrington, throws a Masquerade Ball, Hannah can’t say no to the invitation.

Taking comfort behind her disguise, she dances with a charming masked gentleman, matching him wit for wit. When the glorious evening culminates in a kiss, and the two remove their masks, Hannah is horrified to discover the man she’s been flirting with all night is her most despised neighbor, the Duke of Suttenberg.

No matter how charming the duke was at the ball, and how wonderful the kiss, he is the last man she could ever love.

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Day 6 ACB AuthorDonna Hatch is the author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” and a winner of writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award.

A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since. She has become a sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her husband).

A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.

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Top Ten List:


1. I adore cats–kittens are even more fun.

2. Claustrophia is one of my biggest challenges.

3. My favorite sports are water sports. I love swimming, boating, wake surfing, rowing around on a canoe, and simply walking along the beach of an ocean or lake.

4. I enjoy horseback riding and hope someday to take lessons so I can learn how to do it well. I’d also love to learn how to ride side saddle.

5. One of my favorite ways to have a good time with friends is having a tea party. I also love to play board games and card games.

6. Due to moves in my childhood, I attended 9 different schools including 3 junior high schools. Being the new kid isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

7. I love chocolate. Chocolate has seen me through many brutal revisions. But please hold the dark chocolate–in most cases, it’s too chalky and bitter. I love MILK chocolate, with or without caramel, and with or without nuts. Mmmmm. Salted caramel is a very close second.

8. My favorite color is blue scruffy shade of blue is beautiful. I also adore pink but there are a lot of ugly shades of pink so I’m pickier on that one.

9. Though I’m not a real gardener, I love flowers, and I find it rewarding to plan and then carry out ways to add color to my yard.

10. I love to dance–any kind–but most especially ballet and ballroom. I would dance every day if I could.

 
 

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Autumn/Halloween Countdown Blitz 2019

Day 5

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The Scarecrow by Cas Peace

 

Pure evil rises once again in Albia…

Day 5 ACB CoverThree years have passed since Baron Reen’s trial. A terrible accident on the island of his exile has transformed him into a nightmarish scarecrow creature with dark, mysterious powers. Staging his own suicide, Reen breaks free of his prison and, with the help of the former queen Sofira, embarks on a ruthless quest for vengeance against his worst enemy, the woman responsible for the overthrow of his schemes and his own ruination: Brynne Sullyan.

Sullyan is tasked with investigating Reen’s suicide. The missing body and a series of disasters in Port Loxton—a vicious murder, a brutal ambush, and a devastating fire—raise suspicions in her mind. She probes deeper, determined to uncover the truth, unsuspecting of the evil that’s about to be unleashed…

This book is on special offer for this week on Amazon!!! Check out the discounted price below!

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Day 5 ACB AuthorCas lives in the lovely county of Hampshire, southern UK, where she was born. On leaving school she trained for two years before qualifying as horse-riding instructor. During this time she also learned to carriage-drive. She spent thirteen years in the British Civil Service before moving to Rome, Italy, where she and her husband, Dave, lived for three years. They enjoy returning whenever they can. Cas supports many animal charities and owns two rescue dogs. She has a large collection of cacti and loves gardening. She is also a folk singer/songwriter and is currently writing and recording nine folk-style songs to accompany each of her fantasy books. You can listen to and download all the songs from her website.

See the video of her performing live at the King’s Envoy book launch.

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Top Ten List:

AuthorPhoto20161) Anything to do with animals, especially dogs and horses. My favorite horse breed is the Friesian, which is why I put one in my novels. I also own two rescue dogs and support many animal charities.

2) Singing, especially folk-style songs. I also sing in my local church choir.

3) Chocolate!!

4) Dragons and (I have to admit!) unicorns. I have collected figurines and statues of dragons and unicorns since I was small and have a vast collection, some of which live outdoors. But I don’t like “twee”, only ones that look like they could be real.

5) Reading, especially fantasy and sci-fi.

6) Country walks.

7)All wildlife, especially butterflies. I used to breed and release UK varieties, and belong to the Butterfly Conservation Society.

8) Did I mention chocolate?

9) Spending time with family members.

10) Playing my bodhran (Irish drum). I can’t read music so decided to take up drumming instead! It’s fun and very theraputic.

 

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Autumn/Halloween Countdown Blitz 2019

Day 4

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The Hashtag Hunt by Kristina Seek

 
Day 4 ACB CoverThe only reason Lauren entered the Hashtag Hunt was for the $10,000 grand prize. She needed seed money for her startup, and it sounded easy enough: twelve hours to text twelve photos to someone called the Wizard.

For hashtag number five, Lauren needs a #HottieInTheWild, and with the help of her best friend, Ivy, she finds the perfect subject.

The only reason Brenner entered Barkley’s Pub was to have beers with Scott, an Army brother back in town. The reunion is interrupted when a woman is caught crouched in a dark corner, taking pictures of Brenner.

Lauren explains, and though embarrassed, she accepts Scott and Brenner’s offer to help with hashtag number six. While hunting for hashtags, Lauren finds adventure and romance with her #Hottie, but she must stay focused to beat the clock and win the cash.

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Day 4 ACB Author

 

Kristina Seek’s debut novel, The Hashtag Hunt, was published in 2018. She is a graduate of Queens College in Charlotte and a member of Romance Writers of America. In March of 2019, she quit her day job to focus on a career in writing.

Kristina lives in North Carolina with her husband and son. She cherishes time with her friends and family, loves traveling to new destinations, and plans to cross many other items off her bucket list.

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Top Ten List:


1. I’m a Houston native who has called Charlotte, NC home since 1993.

2. I met my husband on a blind date.

3. We have a twelve-year-old son, Matthew.

4. I keep the scorebook for Matthew’s baseball team and had to learn to do it on an app this season.

5. I started writing The Hashtag Hunt when I turned forty.

6. This year, I am dressing up as Dustin Henderson from Stranger Things (Camp Know Where outfit) for Halloween.

7. I enjoy mailing birthday greetings, ‘just because’ cards, and other fun mail to friends via snail mail.

8. I have three vintage typewriters in my office.

9. The latest addition to my Bucket List: To see P!nk in Concert in Vegas (crossing fingers for residency rumors to be accurate).

10. I am currently editing What Happens Next, the sequel to The Hashtag Hunt.

 
 

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Autumn/Halloween Countdown Blitz 2019

Day 3

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An Agent for Jessica by Julia Ridgmont (pen name for Laura Walker)

To guard his heart or protect two little girls . . . Is he willing to risk it all?

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Day 3 ACB CoverPinkerton detective Chas Bryant’s last job for the agency is supposed to be easy—deliver a cache of stolen items back to Mount Vernon after recovering them from profiteers. Soon, however, Chas discovers that nothing in this case is simple. When he’s called upon to search for a little girl gone missing after her parents are murdered, there’s only one woman who can help him . . . but he’ll need to make her his wife in order to complete the investigation.

Jessica Flanders is only trying to rescue her younger sister from a fate bleaker than death. How can the powers that be possibly think that separating them from each other is a good idea? Jessica made a dying promise to her parents. Now she needs Chas’s help to get her sister back, but when they dig deeper into the matter, they discover another little girl with an even greater need for being rescued.

Soon it becomes clear that someone else is searching for the missing girl, too. Can they keep her safe until the case is solved and the murderers are caught? If so, Chas and Jessica will need to forge a bond that is stronger than the evil forces surrounding them, and in the process, a love that will never be lost.

Read each of the Pinkerton Matchmaker stories in any order. These agents give the phrase “married to your work” a whole new meaning!

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Day 3 ACB AuthorJulia Ridgmont grew up in the American West, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she knows how to ride a horse. What it does mean, however, is that she loves to weave the country’s rich history into riveting tales full of romance and intrigue.

When she’s not writing, Julia enjoys cooking, sewing costumes for her children, spending time with her husband, and watching her children perform in sports or plays—or, if she’s really bored or stuck on a plot twist, cleaning the house. She also writes contemporary inspirational romance under her real name, Laura L. Walker.

Follow Julia as she unveils heroes whose strength and courage are only surpassed by their tenderness, and heroines who hide their lonely hearts with a cover of steel. It will take overcoming insurmountable odds and an iron will for them to find a love that lasts forever. Luckily, they have Julia to help them along.

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Top Ten List:

10 Fun Facts About Me (Julia Ridgmont):

1. I love learning history!
2. I love chocolate sundaes.
3. I’m a lefty.
4. I’m a native Arizonan and have lived there all my life. Arizona sunsets are among my favorite things.
5. I’m a wife and mother of six.
6. I enjoy cooking and sewing, although I don’t have much time for them these days.
7. I love to watch old movies.
8. My dad was my high school tennis coach.
9. I met my husband in June one summer and we were engaged two months later.
10. My husband, who has a background in criminal justice, often helps me plot the more suspenseful parts of my stories. He’s a great guy to have around!

 

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