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Friday, 2 December 2016

Release Day Blitz! The Case of The Dead Dowager by @JudithLucci! #RPBP #ASMSG #Thriller


Retired homicide detective Michaela McPherson and the aging Countess Dorothy Borghase team up again—this time to match wits with two serial killers stalking children, women and the elderly.
When Dottie Borghase's friend Camilla Rothrock collapses at a lunch gathering of old friends, the countess's only concern is to dial 911 for help. But Camilla's subsequent death has authorities buzzing about international safety and retaliation, because her son is decorated U.S. Army General Stuart Rothrock.

As other restaurant patrons in Richmond meet similar fates, Michaela and Dottie join forces with the Richmond Police and the FBI to track down the pair of heinous murderers. But in order to catch the killers, they will put their own lives and the lives of others in in serious jeopardy.What Price Must a City Pay to Keep its Citizen's Safe?

Book link: http://bit.ly/GetCaseofDowager


How about an excerpt:
Dottie turned off the main highway and headed south to Blackstone Virginia. Madame Toulescent lived just outside of Blackstone and that's where she conducted her psychic readings. She wished away the butterflies that cramped her stomach. She had a sense that what she was going to hear wasn’t good. She wished she didn't believe in the value of psychics or the unknown but she did, and that was that. She’d seen psychic readings and prophecies come true time after time during her life. Mic wasn’t a believer at all but had grudgingly admitted psychics had helped them in a case about ten years ago.

The speedometer on her car registered over sixty miles an hour on a forty-five mile limit stretch of highway. I'd better slow down. The last thing I need is a Virginia state trooper on my tail. She braked and her car skidded but she handled it skillfully. The Cadillac was a big, monster car but she really liked it. Since Dottie had lived in the US, she had always preferred German-made cars and previously owned multiple Mercedes Benz. Of course, when Count Borghase had been alive, they’d always driven Italian cars, mainly Ferraris. But now she was pretty much American and she loved her Caddy. There was something about the Cadillac that was so plush and so American that she bought a new one every couple of years.

She saw an old gray mule in the pasture out of the corner of her eye and saw the fence that was lying on the side. Dottie didn’t know what she’d do if they ever repaired that fence. She’d been looking at that fence on the ground for years and it was her landmark just before she turned onto Madame’s private road. She knew her turn was just up ahead. She slowed for a farmer carrying a load of hay in an old truck. He was hogging the entire road. Now where in the hell am I supposed to go? She steered her big car to the side of the road as far as she could without falling into the ditch. She cursed and held her breath as the farmer passed her. She swore the farmer missed her by less than an inch. The old codger hadn't even looked her way. She shook her head and cursed again softly. She threw her white Caddy into first gear and roared out of the ditch spewing gravel, dirt, and mud all over the road. She saw three rabbits running for their life and hoped she hadn’t interrupted their nest. Dottie drove a little further and made her left turn. She turned right on the first road and started the difficult trip along the horrible, rutted road to Madame Toulescent’s tiny home. The road was almost a mile long. Dottie's tall, thin frame bounced all over her plush leather seat and her hair fell out of her neatly arranged bun. I'm going to have to take a pain pill. All this jumping around is killing my hips. Secretly Dottie new she needed to have her hips replaced but there was no way she was willing to do that, at least not while she could walk. I wouldn't be able to help Michaela. And then, what would she do?

Madame Toulescent waved at Dottie from her front porch filled with flowers and beautiful hanging baskets of petunias and begonias. Her small white cottage was immaculate. Madame Toulescent watched her painstakingly steer her huge Cadillac down her battered road. Dottie brought the iron beast to a stop, looked in her rearview mirror and re-pinned a piece of white hair that had worked its way out of her perfect updo. Even though the Madame lived in a house that was little better than a house trailer, Dottie had been trained from birth to always look perfect when visiting. This task had become monumental at age 82. She reached for her purse and checked to make sure her Glock was nestled in its special pocket. She checked her lipstick in the mirror, pinched her lips together, cursed the fine lines around her mouth and got out of the car.

"Hello Madame Toulescent. Thank you for seeing me today on short notice." Dorothy smiled her gracious smile at the psychic, showing her beautiful white veneers, once available for a large price from the famous, dentist-to-the-stars Dr. Michael Smirkowitz.

"You are so welcome, Countess Borghase." Madame Toulescent looked around the empty fields and through the trees and gestured with her arm. "As you can see, there is no waiting line. Please come in. I've made us some tea." She paused for a moment and said, "Watch the steps. They're in need of repair," she cautioned.

In need of repair, my butt, they need to be rebuilt Dottie climbed the rickety steps dodging rusty nails and wood splinters. She grasped the loose railing and posts that held up the old front porch. The last thing she wanted to do was fall and break something. She followed Madame Toulescent into her small but neat and cozy home. There was a wonderful scent in the air and Dottie’s mouth watered.

"Please have a seat in the easy chair," the Madame offered. "I'll bring us some tea and sweet bread."

Dottie nodded and smiled her thanks as she carefully studied Madame Toulescent. She wasn't sure of her nationality. She thought she was Eastern European but she seemed very much like the French and her house had several amazing pieces of French country furniture. In years past, she had asked the Madame about her former life, but the psychic seemed unwilling to share her past. Her voice had a strange accent Dottie couldn't identify which frustrated her. Dottie had traveled the world and she knew the languages and dialects of most ethnic populations. But she couldn't figure out Madame Toulescent’s origins. That puzzled her.

Madame handed Dottie a cup of herb tea. The aroma alerted her senses and she immediately felt more awake and inspired. The tea had given her energy and awareness. She took a sip. It was delicious.

"Oh my, Madame Toulescent. Whatever is in this tea? I feel a million times better just from smelling it. You’ve got to tell me where you got it because I know Cookie would love it too," Dottie gushed as she sipped her tea.

Madame Toulescent smiled and said. "I made the tea. It's a blend of ginger, mint, lemon verbena and a few other things I grow in my herb garden. I'll send some home with you. It's sweetened with honey I collected from my bees yesterday." She smiled briefly, and her lips stretched over teeth that could benefit from a cosmetic dentist. "That's probably what you love so much."

Dottie nodded and studied the Madame. The years hadn't treated her so well. Dottie didn't know her age but her face was a mass of wrinkles that blended one into the other. Dottie guessed each wrinkle had its own story. Her skin appeared soft but deeply creased. Her jet black hair was streaked with gray and hung freely past her shoulders. She wore a simple blue shift with a silver belt and wore tennis shoes and socks. She smelled of lemon and freesia.

Dottie, as usual, smelled of Chanel #5. "It's so lovely out here, Madame. Do you ever come to town?"

Madame Toulescent shook her head. "Very rarely. My neighbor collects my groceries for me when I need them and as you know, I have a huge vegetable garden and I can and freeze most everything I need. I like it here and I like to stay with my animals - my dogs, cats, cow, mules and horses. It's quiet here and my love is nature."

Dottie nodded. She couldn't imagine staying in these four walls every single day. She supposed she didn't have the patience and gentleness of spirit that the Madame had. But that was okay. Dottie was very happy in her own way.

The two women shared a comfortable silence and continued to sip their tea until the Madame asked, "How can I help you today, Countess?" She smiled at her and said, "I can tell you have some significant things on your mind and that you are troubled."

Dottie put her teacup down and said, "Yes, I do. Have you been watching the news?" Dottie saw the woman pale under her sun-darkened skin.

Madame Toulescent nodded. "You’re here about the poisonings, aren't you?"

Dottie held Madame’s dark eyes with her own and said, "Yes, I am. Camilla Rothrock was one of my dearest friends and I need to know who poisoned her."

Madame shifted her gaze to the floor and said, "Countess Borghase, this is a very bad business that is happening. I've had some visions and they are upsetting. It reminds me of the evil work of Hitler in Germany."

This time it was Dottie who paled, her heart beating so hard she could hardly breathe. "Oh my God, Madame. We both remember his devastation in Europe and the millions of people he murdered."

Madame Toulescent rubbed her hands together, her face grim. "Indeed we do. A sad and sorry time. Let's move into the back where I work and see what we can see."

Dottie stood and followed Madame to the room in the far back of her modest home. It was a glass room with beautiful views into the forest. She left her teacup on the coffee table. Her heart thumped dangerously in her chest and she was short of breath. She was so terrified she almost lost her balance. She gripped her purse and cell phone in her hand. She was scared and just the idea of having the Glock made her feel safer. Could the evil be so strong it permeated her soul?

“Countess, why are you so upset? What can I do to help you?” Madame Toulescent looked at Dottie with concern.

Dottie stared at her but her eyes said it all.

“Let me get you something to calm you down so we can have a good reading. Please stay in the chair and I’ll be right back,” Madame Toulescent said as she left Dottie and walked to her kitchen.

Want To Read More? Read Chapter 35 here!

Friday, 7 October 2016

“There’s enough here to kill everybody..." The Case of the Dead #Dowager @JudithLucci #RPBP #IARTG


The Michaela McPherson Mysery Series
by Best Selling Author 

Get this new series for just 99 cents!
Dr. Dude is on sale for 99c/99p, but today is the last day before it goes back to normal price!
Dowager is available for the special preorder price of 99c/99p!
The Case of the Dead Dowager: 
A Michaela McPherson Mystery Book II 
(Michaela McPherson Crime Thrillers 2)
Rukia Publishing Featured Book Of The Week


The Case of Dr Dude: 
A Michaela McPherson Mystery 
(Michaela McPherson Mysteries Book 1)

Get this new series starter for just 99 cents!
Today is the last day!!!!!!
About The Books
A young woman disappears after a job interview at a 
well-known dentist’s office in Richmond, Virginia and retired homicide detective Michaela McPherson, along with her close friend, the aging Countess Dorothy Borghase, and Richmond police join forces to solve the crime. This case pits them against evil and greed armed with tentacles that span continents and generations.

http://bit.ly/ViewDrDude


What Price Must a City Pay to Keep its Citizen's Safe?
A lunch gathering of old friends at Richmond’s historic Hotel Jefferson finds Countess Dottie Borghase dialing 911 to report the sudden collapse of her dear friend, Camilla. The subsequent death of Camilla Rothrock, the mother of decorated U.S. Army General Stuart Rothrock, has authorities buzzing with concerns about international safety and retaliation.

When other restaurants have patrons succumb to similar illnesses and death, the Richmond Police, local FBI and their Washington profilers assist Michaela and Dottie in the chase of two nefarious and heinous mass murderers without souls or conscious.




The Case of the Dead Dowager 
A Michela McPherson Mystery 



Chapter 1 
“Perfecto, this stuff looks flawless,” Boris said in his thickly accented voice as he held a test tube to the light. The Russian smiled broadly, his thin lips stretched across his decayed teeth and skeletal face. The light from the window outlined his permanently crushed, but healed anterior skull that gave him the look of the monster he truly was. He agitated the test tube between his fingers and re-examined its contents. It was a masterpiece. “There’s enough here to kill everybody in Yankee Stadium and all the cops in Richmond,” he predicted from his tall, though stooped height of six feet, five inches. He reached for a small glass container and transferred a portion of the five gallons to a laboratory beaker. He held the larger quantity up to the window and examined the liquid. “And look, there’s no residue in the bottom and the fluid is perfectly clear.” He turned around to his partner and gushed, “Perfecto, my tovarich, perfecto!”

Snake laughed and clapped his partner on the back. “Way to go, tall guy. Good deal. You know we gotta maximize our efforts. Neither one of us wants to work hard or take extra chances, especially now since they’re lookin’ for me anyway.” Snake moved closer to the glass carboy and smiled as he saw the colorless, odorless and tasteless five gallon drum of liquid. “Man, that looks good. Does it have a smell?”

Boris bent his shiny, bald head forward and sniffed deeply. “No, not that I can tell. I can’t smell anything, but I haven’t got a good nose anyway. “You give it a sniff and see what you think,” he said as he gestured towards the liquid.

Snake moved next to the large glass container and noticed additional small beakers and test tubes of fluid sitting to the side. Each container was labeled and numbered. “You must’ve been a hell of a chemist back in the day,” he remarked as he finger-combed his greasy black hair off his face. Sometimes he wore it in a ponytail but he hadn’t pulled it back today. He bent over and sniffed the carboy. “Nah. Nothing.” He shook his head and said, “I can’t smell nuthin’ either. Good job, my man,” he said enthusiastically, a slow smile spreading across his swarthy, pockmarked face. “You’re a real scientist.”

Boris lit a cigarette, coughed and said, “Man, you have no idea of the stuff I can do. You ain’t seen nothing. I got more killing recipes than Carter’s got little liver pills.” He smiled ominously and showed his rotten teeth. Snake felt a tinge run up his spine. This guy even looked like the monster his reputation claimed he was. He decided to watch himself carefully around Boris and never give him the upper hand.

Snake nodded, “Yeah. Well, I got plenty of chances to see your talents this week!” Once again he checked out his partner and sized him up. He was a dangerous, unpredictable, scary dude.

“Yeah, but I’m never tellin’ you much,” Boris assured him. “There’ll most likely be one day I’ll wanna kill you,” he admitted, the broad grin again slicing through his pale, skeletal face. This guy’s serious. He is crazy.

Snake ignored him and brushed invisible lint off the front of his blue scrubs. “Shut-up man. No need for talk like that.” He knew Boris was a madman, totally wacko. His handlers had told him to be careful. But the money had been too good to pass up and besides, he could take good care of himself. His reputation spoke for him. He had no idea who his bosses were and little was known about the Russian scientist. Rumor suggested he’d long been a mortal enemy of the United States and other stories suggested he was an assassin. Snake didn’t want to push the point. He picked up the container of fluid and placed it in front of him, his face a mask of evil.

“You know what, Boris, old man, I’m thinking we can wipe out an army… or at least a police force with this stuff. Whatdaya think?” He gave him a half smile.

Boris stared at him, his cold grey eyes, bony face and crushed skull glistened in the low light from the barred windows. His eyes roamed the room to the large aquarium that housed all kinds of prickly fish and marine life. The huge tank glowed eerily in the fading light. Boris stared at his fish fondly and gave Snake a strange look and said in a quiet voice, “Of course we can. I already said that. What do you think the plan is?”

Chapter 2 

“Dottie, where did you get that marvelous Italian leather bag? I’d die for one like that,” Camilla Rothrock gushed in her drawn out Alabama accent. “I’ve just gotta have one.”

Dottie held up her newest leather pocketbook so all of her best friends could ooh and ah over it. “I had it made especially for me in Italy,” she bragged. The bag was beautiful, soft and buttery between her fingers. “I really love it. Look, it has a special gun pocket stitched in so I can carry my very own Glock,” she said proudly as she pulled her gun holster out of her purse and swiftly returned it before anyone noticed.

Margaret Massie glared from her from across the round table. “Oh for heaven’s sake, Dottie! Give it a rest! Whatever do you need to carry a gun around for? We’re a bunch of old ladies. No one is gonna mess with us,” she admonished as she rolled her eyes and batted her false eyelashes at her best friend of many years. “We’re hardly ever left on our own.” She glowered as her friend.

“Margaret Massie, how can you possibly be so short-sighted?” The Countess Dorothy Borghase exclaimed, disgust evident on her aging, but still lovely face. She flipped her head and a long piece of silver-white hair escaped from her elegant chignon. “After all you’ve been through?” She stared at her friend in disbelief and continued, “That’s precisely the reason we need to pack some heat. Because we are old and weak and can’t run as fast. We’re sitting ducks for most of the bad guys out there.”

Margaret squinted her eyes and frowned at her. “Pack some heat? Really. You sound like you’re in a …” Margaret paused for a moment and looked at her friends, “what do they call it, a gang. What is it? Gangsta talk, or however you say it?” she added sarcastically. As the wife of one of the wealthiest men in Virginia and a blueblood from birth, Margaret didn’t know much about gangs or crime. “But still, Dottie… really, a handmade purse… from Italy, nonetheless, especially designed for your gun? Puhleeze. That’s ridiculous, a bit over the top, wouldn’t you agree, Kathryn?” Margaret asked as she glanced over at Kathryn Lee who was watching her friends an amused look on her face.

Kathryn Lee of Wyndley Farm in Hanover County laughed, her blue eyes crinkling in the corners as she smiled over her water goblet at her friends of many years. Kathryn was the wife of law and order politician Congressman Adam Patrick Lee of Virginia and she clearly had an opinion. She was one of the best target shooters around and could shoot better than most men. She opened her mouth to respond when Dottie interrupted her.

Dottie rearranged one of the intricate wire combs holding her classic up do in place. Her silver hair gleamed under the brass and crystal chandelier in Lamaire Restaurant at Richmond’s historical Hotel Jefferson. “I didn’t design it just for my gun,” she said defensively. “I designed it for my cell phone, my makeup, for the color of the leather, the intricate stitching, the design, and beyond that, the label,” she replied in a snarky voice. Dottie paused for a moment and added, “Besides Vitrio Lanbrucci has been designing fine leather for the Borghase family for over a hundred years.”

Margaret rolled her eyes and turned to Kathryn. “So, Kathryn, what do you think? I know you’d tried to answer my question a few minutes ago,” she said pointedly as she turned to stare at Dottie, “but the Countess forgot her manners. Don’t you think Dottie’s gun purse is a little over the top?” Really,” she opined, a smirk on her face.

Kathryn opened her mouth to answer when Dottie interrupted again, her vivid blue eyes wide with concern. She stared at Camilla who looked strange, frightened, actually. Her pupils were wide and she seemed unable to speak.

“Camilla, whatever is the matter with you? Your face is flushed and your eyes are enormous. Are you ill?” Dottie asked as she rose from her seat.

Kathryn was alarmed as well since Camilla was unable to respond. Her eyes stared wildly at them and she opened her mouth but no words came out. Suddenly, she fell forward, and her head lolled on the table.

“Kathryn, call 911 on your phone. She must’ve had a stroke of something,” Dottie commanded as her heart raced with fear. It could be my head lying on the table and not Camilla’s. Life seemed very precious to Dottie at that second. I sure don’t wanna die in Lamaire restaurant in the Hotel Jefferson. What a spectacle that would be! Of course, she knew Camilla’s didn’t either and as she stood by her friend, tears popped into her eyes. I’ll have to call General Rothrock and tell him something dreadful has happened to his mother.

Kathryn flagged a waiter and moved closer to Camilla’s chair and checked her pulse. She could barely feel it as it was weak and irregular. Kathryn looked into Camilla’s eyes and her pupils that were huge and dark, liquids pools of fluid that saw nothing. Her face was flushed and red.

A moment later, a young waitress carrying a huge serving tray staggered forward and then fell to the floor, spilling food, water and wine all over the oriental carpet. She lay prone and unresponsive.

“Make that two ambulances,” Dottie motioned to the maitre’d who was on his way over.
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Thursday, 22 September 2016

Reblogging Don Massenzio's 20 Questions with Rukia Publishing author John Searancke #RPBP



Don Massenzio's Blog
Don Massenzio is the author of Frankly Speaking - A Frank Rozzani Detective novel and the follow-up, Let Me Be Frank. He has also written several short stories.

Today we sit down with Author John Searancke. He is going to tell us a bit about his work, his life, and his inspiration.

Please enjoy this edition of 20 Questions:





Q1) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

When I retired from my business in 2009, my wife and I, with our dog Freddie, moved from England to live in The Canary Islands, an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, off Africa. At that point I decided to put pen to paper, figuratively speaking. I felt that I had a book waiting to get out of me.

Q2) How long does it typically take you to write a book?

I spent about 9 months actually writing each of my books, and then went through a fairly gruelling exercise with a superb professional editor, who made me polish my work. That in itself, with the to and fro, took some 3 months extra, but it was well worth it.

To read the remaining 18 Q&A click here

Friday, 2 September 2016

Feed your paranormal cravings! Midnight at the Salem Cafe by Elizabeth A. Reeves @SelkieHorse-A Wicked Halloween Boxed Set @ErzabetBishop #Paranormal #Romance #giveaway



Feed your paranormal cravings!

Halloween can't get here soon enough! Especially when we have this tantalizing boxed set to look forward to.

A Wicked Halloween ~ 13 **BRAND NEW & EXCLUSIVE** paranormal romance tales that will thrill and chill you just in time for All Hallow's Eve.

Preorder for only #99cent today!

Visit the page: A Wicked Halloween



#Nook #Kindle #iBooks #ARe #Kobo



#paranormal #witches #salem #pnr #romance #preorder #giveaway #limitedtime












Five favorites:

Favorite Magical Creature/being: Dragons. It's always going to be dragons.
Favorite Book: Passage by Connie Willis (this changes almost daily).
Favorite Holiday: Thanksgiving. It's all about family and food for me, what could be better?
Favorite Sport: Pretty much anything Equestrian. For watching, nothing can be quite as exciting as Eventing. As far as participating... I'm not quite that brave. I do enjoy riding, though.
Favorite Fairy Tale: Beauty and the Beast. I love that it has historical origins in truth. And it's just a lovely idea, all around.






Witness to her own mother's murder, Lena Scott long ago gave up any hope that she would be able to lead a normal, healthy life. She also thought that she'd left Salem, and that night, behind. She was never going to look back. But, looking back may be the key to more than just that mysterious Halloween night. And her home, her life, and even her work at the Salem Cafe are more intertwined than she ever imagined.

And the past is full of more secrets than Lena could ever have imagined. Everything she believed about herself, everything she knew about herself… all of that comes into question on yet another dark, Salem Halloween night.




As often happened, when the world felt a little festive, Lena felt more alone than usual. She was an outsider to the laughter and teasing that marked off the hours among the rest of the staff. Oh, she smiled, and she even spoke a few times, but it was always with a sense that she didn’t belong.
She never had quite fit.
Her required break was punctuated by a mug of the best hot chocolate in the world—the menu even said so—and a thin slice of apple pie.
It was a risky move. Apple pie always made her think about Gran. Lena closed her eyes against the warmth of cinnamon, cooled by the gentle kiss of vanilla from the ice cream Luisa made in the big machine in the back. There was nothing fancy about it—no frills at all.
But it was perfect.
Lena put her fork down after one bite. A second one, she thought, could never be as good as that first taste.
It was starting to get late. Fewer customers came through the door, despite the well-lit sign saying that they’d be open all night for Halloween.
“It’s starting to really come down out there,” a man told her, as she handed him and his wife their menus.
“Oh,” she said, surprised. “I didn’t even realize that it was snowing.”
“If it was raining, I’d say it was raining cats and dogs,” the woman said with a laugh. “I don’t know what you say for that kind of snow.”
“Falling like goose down,” Lena heard her own voice say. The words startled her. She couldn’t remember having heard them before, and yet, she had a feeling that they were just right.
“Charming,” the woman said, widening her eyes. “What a lovely image.”
Obviously the woman had never met geese, Lena thought wryly. In her limited experience, they were rarely lovely.
She did take the time, though, to stand at the door and watch the snow fall. It really was coming down, in great, fluffy flakes.
Lena laughed softly. It really did look like feathers falling out of the sky.
“Look at that,” Martin said, turned in his seat to watch the snow come down. “That’s a real treat for Halloween—or is Old Mother Nature playing some tricks on us all?” He laughed. “Weather like this always gets the ghosts thumping around, doesn’t it, Luisa?” He turned his head towards where she stood, silent for once.
“You hush,” she said.
“Don’t pretend that you’ve never seen him,” Martin teased. “You and I both know that you did. You can’t deny it.”
“Saw who?” Lena asked, despite the frisson of goosebumps crawling spider-like up her back.
Martin blinked at her in surprise. “I keep forgetting that you didn’t grow up around these parts.”
“Stuff and nonsense,” Luisa huffed. “Lena doesn’t want to listen to your ghost stories.”
“We do.” The woman and her husband looked to Martin with eager expression. “It’s the perfect weather for a ghost story. Is it a local ghost?”
“He lives about half a block down, that way,” Martin waved his hand absently. “But, you can see him walking down the street, sometimes at night. Especially when it has been snowing. You know he’s a ghost because he’s dressed in stockings and breeches—and a three-cornered hat—you know, the kind men wore in the early eighteenth century.”
“So, a ghost unrelated to the witch trials?” The woman sounded almost disappointed.
Martin laughed. “Everything around here ends up pointing to the witch trials, one way or another. Some people say that this man had an ancestor that had been cursed by one of the witches. Others say that he was descended from a witch. One this is very sure, though—he was terribly unlucky in love.”
The woman made a sighing sound. Lena made a face to herself. She’d never understood what was romantic about tragedy. Despite herself, she wanted to listen to this story. Ignoring, of course, the fact that Martin had waved his hand in the direction of her own, historical monument of a house.
“This used to be the outskirts of town,” Martin said, warming to his story. His face was lit up with excitement that, for once, he had an audience that wanted to hear what he had to say. “Our ghost was a prosperous man in these parts, and known to be a quiet gentleman. He kept to himself, so of course there were gossips who said that he was surly and thought too well of himself. That he was too proud to marry a local girl.”
How could Martin possibly know such a thing? Lena wondered, but she gave in to the magic of the story-telling.
“The stories agree that he was a handsome man. You thought he was handsome, when you saw him, didn’t you, Luisa?”
The chef made a huffing sound, but made no move to go back to the kitchen.
“So, he was handsome and wealthy, and could have married any girl in these parts just for the asking, but he never seemed interested in any of them. Not until a girl showed up at his door, shivering with the cold on a night just like this.” Martin knew he had his listeners hooked now. He spoke softly, forcing them to lean closer and hold their breaths to be able to hear. “No one knew anything about her. Not who her people were, not where she had come from. It was love at first sight, they say. He built up his house as a kind of shrine to her, and to their love. They married and gossip said that they were expecting their first child. But, it wasn’t to last.”
Lena heard the woman at the table sigh again, this time regretfully. “What happened?”
“The girl disappeared,” Martin said. “The records don’t say how or why—they didn’t in those days, you know. But, the legend that my grandfather learned from his grandfather, and passed down to me, was that she ran away from him. No one ever saw her again.”
Gasps of sympathetic horror filled the room.
“He didn’t live long after she vanished,” Martin continued, ignoring the shocked faces surrounding his casual mention of murder. “It might have been an accident, but again it might have not. He was killed in a fall off of that big, proud stallion of his, while he was out searching for his lost love. That’s why he still walks to this day. They say that he’s looking for her still… unable to rest until he finds her again.”
Lena rubbed her icy fingers together. The chill had nothing to do with the snow outside and everything to do with the ghost story Martin was reciting.
“What was her name?” The woman asked, her hands clasped together. “What was his name?”
“His name was Edward Pryce,” Martin said. “As for the girl… the only name we have for her is ‘Mellie’.”



Elizabeth A Reeves is a socially-phobic introvert with a rich fantasy life. While physically she may be a mother to five boys (and a wife to one more), mentally she is roaming universes and planes of existence known only to her.


She tries to capture some of these for other book-lovers like her to enjoy.
Find her on Facebook



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Tuesday, 30 August 2016

East -A Novel A New Release by @PeriHoskins! #Travel in #Aus, #Spiritualism. #RPBP #ASMSG


It is 1994. Our junior lawyer narrator leaves behind a small, mean and viciously circular life representing petty criminals and takes to the road.
'East-A Novel'
by 
Peri Hoskins
​It’s 1994. Junior lawyer, Vince Osbourne, leaves behind a small,
mean and viciously circular life in the city representing petty criminals and takes to the road. He’s lived 30 years. The wide continent of Australia is out in front. He’s almost young. Where will the road lead?
East takes in sunsets; rain in the desert; a five-year-old girl on a bike; a battered former thief and jockey; old-timers; young lovers; beautiful women, and aboriginals in public bars. The open road connects many vignettes making a rich tapestry of human encounters.


East is poignant, gritty, funny, sad and above all: human. Hoskins’ laconic prose captures the harsh, arid country in all its big, empty beauty along with quirky exchanges with strangers, travel buddies, shop assistants, workmates, and friends old and new. A journey without and within, East taps into the spiritual realm that lies beneath this land and its people.Leaving

The bonnet in front of me is big and white. Rain on the windscreen – the wipers sweep it away. The clouds are grey, the road is grey, the suburbs are grey and I am leaving. There is joy in that. I’m leaving it behind – a life – small, petty, viciously circular. Out in front is the road and I don’t know where it will end. I am free. I’m almost young.
A beginning. Renewal pulses in my blood, pumping out from my heart, through my veins, feeding me, making me new again, a keenly conscious being reaching out to the uncertainty. This road will lead me to places that I have not seen – to people I have not met. There’s no place I have to be and no time I have to be there.
I drive on and on leaving the city far behind. The rain clears. Sunlight glints on wet grass and trees. I see farmhouses, fences and cows. The gnawing in my belly eases as I’m gently enveloped by the freedom of the great mystery now upon me. The shackles of the old life fall away, for I’m shedding a skin – dry, worn, old and scaly. I found the courage to step into the dream. And the dream has become real.
The life of a suburban lawyer is behind me. Small decisions. Small repetitions. Which tie to wear today. Pay the electricity bill. Sunday – iron five shirts for the week ahead. See the same people. Say the same things. Hear the same things said. In that life I wondered whether I had it better than the petty criminals I represented in court. Some had no job and no home. They pleaded guilty and I said what I could say, for something had to be said. And then the court, that street-sweeper of humanity, tidied them away. For there must be a place – there must be somewhere for them to go: a prison, a halfway house, a drug rehab centre. There must be a place for everyone – somewhere. These people had fallen through cracks and become untidy. Did they envy my tidy life, those that I helped to tidy away? Did they see my life as I saw it – not a tidy life, but a tidy prison?
Tidiness. I had been taught to lead a tidy life. What was it they had said – the teachers, the headmasters? Work hard at school. Get a good job. Be a good employee. Pay your taxes. Mow your lawns. Be a good neighbour. Be a good citizen. Lead a tidy life. Not a full life, a varied life, a great life – no, a tidy life of small neat circles. I have lived thirty years.
As the trees and houses and petrol stations whistle by, the reasons for leaving once again crowd my mind. At thirty, life no longer stretches out before me like an uncharted great ocean. If I live to be eighty, more than one third of my life is spent. Where am I? At a time of life when I’m supposed to be somewhere – I’m nowhere I ever wanted to be. I’ll taste the last drops of youth before the cup passes from my lips, forever. The familiar yearning claws at my insides again – but it’s different now – it’s happy knowing I have been true to it – finally.
The yearning … a murmur in a corner of my soul ... that’s how it started … a couple of years ago ... I pushed it away. I was busy; there were things to do. It kept coming back, stronger and stronger: a growing gnawing that would not be denied. The day I turned thirty, I came to know what it was, finally. It was the feeling of having missed my destiny. At one of life’s important junctures, I don’t know when or where, I’d taken the wrong turn.
So maybe that’s what it is: a journey back down life’s highway to try and find the turn I missed. A journey to reconnect with who I am and what I should be doing here – in this life. Did I ever really want to be a lawyer? Maybe I did it because my father didn’t finish law school. Maybe I did it for him, and not for me. Didn’t have the courage to find my destiny and follow it … settled for safety and caution. And the small repetitions of the safe life had closed in and were suffocating me. Don’t know if that’s what it is … I had to go – I know that much … it was the most honest thing I could do. And now it’s real: this journey with no end and no decided route. It’s a big country. Yeah, I’ll head east ... And in my travels maybe I’ll find something of the soul of this land and its people ...
I have been at the wheel for four hours. The muscular movements needed to keep the car on course have become automatic. My thoughts drift freely now, first to the future – new, pregnant with possibility – before anchoring in my childhood. I recall a long-buried idea – from a time of wonder at a world full of possibilities. As a child I thought I could see into people, a kind of second sight.
Memories flow into my mind – sharp, clear, focused. I see things now as I saw things then. I am a small boy sitting in the passenger seat of a car. My father is driving. We approach an intersection. A policeman is standing in the middle directing traffic. He signals the car in front to stop. The policeman fascinates me – his neat blue uniform, high black boots, long white gloves – his precise hand signals. He makes cars stop and go by moving his hands like the man who made the puppets move at the fairground. The gloved hands move and the cars obey, crossing the intersection, slowly and respectfully passing the uniformed man.
From above I hear the noise of a plane. In the eye of my mind as a child I see the silver wings and fuselage. The policeman’s eyes turn skyward to the plane I see clearly in the window of my imagination. The officer’s long-gloved hands slowly fall to rest at his heavy belt. Cars bank up at the intersection. The driver in front looks at him for directions but he gives none. Unconscious of the traffic, his attention is focused in the sky above. The face of the policeman loses form and I see into him. First I feel his discomfort in the hot uniform, the dryness in his throat and the tiredness behind his eyes. Gradually my perception deepens. I sense the numbed heart, the thwarted ambitions – the hopes and dreams unrealized and gone awry. He doesn’t want to be here, directing traffic. The past has cheated him. He is disconnected from the present and fearful of the future.
A car horn honks from behind. A driver doesn’t know why the traffic is not moving. The policeman’s eyes return to the traffic, his arms snapping up with military precision. As he waves us on, the look of purpose clothes his face once again and the moment of seeing into him has passed.
The second sight would come to me without warning and always just for a fleeting moment or two. I would see my mother trying to hide an emotion or catch my father unguarded, looking into the distance. In the moment of second sight the physical would melt – the body become transparent and amorphous. Instead of seeing the person I would see into the person – reach inside to the heart, sense the fears, touch the dreams – see the humanity, raw and struggling.

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5 Stars Across The Board
A winner!
To be honest; ‘East’ is not the kind of book that I typically read. I am more used to Zombies taking over the world and all kinds of science fiction. I read ‘East’ in an attempt to diversify. I am glad that I did. There were no Zombies, no alien attacks, but instead; I was presented with the story of a lawyer in Australia who walked out on his old life and started a new one. He has adventures; some good, some bad as he travels across the country. Hoskins writes with a brutal honesty that brings the character to life. After reading this book, I felt like I had an “insider’s view” into what life was like for some folks in Australia in the mid-90’s. That is the whole purpose of reading; isn’t it? To get into other character’s lives and to experience things you would otherwise have no clue about. Hoskins does a masterful job of drawing you in to his world with vivid descriptions and a detailed insight of the character’s observations as he travels from big cities to remote locations. It wasn’t an easy journey; but it certainly was entertaining! 
~By Ken Gusler

East - a journey you won't regret going on.
Once again, as with Hoskins’ other book, Millennium, I was not disappointed. The novel, East, has something of a Kerouac and Cormac McCarthy feel to it; a tone that suits the on the road style journey that the main character, Vince, takes. East is refreshingly honest in its commentary about society’s foibles, life, the people Vince meets (themselves on their own journeys) and Vince’s own reasons for self-exploration. In some ways, the characters Vince meets along the way are a perfect foil for Vince's reflection; themselves giving the reader greater insight, not just into humanity, but also into Vince himself (and, dare I say it - ourselves). Through his travels, we learn more about Vince’s life and the need to connect with his father, seek approval; and in doing so, find some form of self-acceptance within a society that is quick to identify and perhaps vilify, the “other”. Hoskins’ ability to capture the humanity in the characters he writes of, some of them less than sympathetic in personality, prevents the personalities that populate East, from existing as caricatures secondary to the main character, Vince’s, own journey. East will make you think, smile, laugh, gasp, shake your head and reflect upon your own attitude to yourself and your place in the world around you. Oh, and the moment with his father – perfect. I thoroughly recommend this novel. 
~By Kate 'griz' Pill


Excellent writing and an awesome book.
I loved this book it made me want to pack up my truck and take an adventure like the author Peri's character Vince did.
I really enjoyed this book set in Australia in the style of Jack Kerouac On the Road. The author Peri paints a picture of a dissatisfied lawyer, named Vince who decides to pack up his car and head east for new adventures. He comes across many interesting characters each impacting his life in their own ways. He's 30 years old and searching for his life's purpose after leaving his promising career in law. He sets off on his soul searching journey to find himself and gets entwined in the lives of the supporting characters. Staying with friends, youth hostels, and camping he finds his nomadic journey to become a spiritual quest and opens himself to whatever is meant to be. I felt invested in Vince as the main character and I wanted him to find his life's purpose and happiness. I highly recommend this wonderful book especially if you're a traveller or are ready for a new adventure.
😃~By Jsack

I couldn't put it down.
East is the intriguing, unsensationalised journey of Vince who has recognised the impotence of 'normal life'. Vince's process of finding that infamous unknown "something" unfolds through the delightfully detailed descriptions of the characters he encounters.
The way in which Vince's experiences are delivered is morishly unique; both unsettlingly raw and yet comfortingly nonjudgmental.
Peri Hoskins drew me into the life of his protagonist with humble mastery. 
~By Teresa Herleth
Read All The Reviews! Click Here!
Who Is Peri Hoskins?
Peri Hoskins is the author of 'Millennium – A Memoir’, a travelogue memoir that has received many five star reader reviews. Christopher Moore of the New Zealand Listener had this to say about ‘Millennium – A Memoir’:

'Written with perhaps the merest of bows to Joseph Conrad and Robert Louis Stevenson, the book’s colourful cast of characters come together to greet the dawn of the 21st century. It’s a vigorously written sly-humoured account of human encounters in a small place lapped by the tides of change…It’s a genial well observed book that insinuates itself into the affections.’

~Christopher Moore, New Zealand Listener, 2 August 2014.
​Peri Hoskins was born in Wellington, New Zealand. He is the second son of a family of five children, four boys and a girl. He is of mixed Maori and Anglo-Celtic ancestry. Peri grew up in Whangarei, Northland, New Zealand, a provincial city then home to about 30,000 people. He was educated at Whangarei Boys’ High School where he twice won a national essay competition. After completing high school and winning the school prizes for English, History and Geography, Peri went to Auckland University where he studied law and the humanities, including history and English literature.
Peri was substantially based in Australia between 1985 and 2005. He completed his study of law and the humanities at the University of Sydney including several courses in philosophy. He worked as a lawyer in New South Wales before embarking on a 1995 five-month road trip all around Australia. This road trip comprises the material for his soon to be published second book, East. Peri subsequently worked as a lawyer in both New South Wales and Queensland, and developed his current specialisation in legal work – civil litigation. In December 1999 Peri travelled to the Kingdom of Tonga to be in the first country in the world to see in the new millennium. The diary of his three weeks in Tonga has become his first book, Millennium – A Memoir. In 2004 Peri completed a post graduate diploma in film and television production at Queensland University of Technology.

Peri now lives, writes and works as a barrister (being a self-employed lawyer) in Northland, New Zealand.

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Millennium: A Memoir (Vince Osbourne Series Book 2)
It’s December 1999, the cusp of a new millennium. The tiny Pacific Kingdom of Tonga will be first in the world to usher it in. We travel there with our narrator to see the sun set on the old and the dawn rise on the new. We discover much more.

In a time and place of old customs we see the gentle advance of the new. This Pacific paradise is home to a diverse group of human beings at this unique time. Our journey with our narrator through many human exchanges – quirky, funny, and sad – accompanied by quotes from Hindu scripture echoes through the millennia and asks us what it is to be human in these dark times.

This book constantly entertains and delves beneath a fascinating surface to examine the quality of our age.

Millennium – A Memoir is a novella-sized slice of life travelogue of about 25,000 words. In capturing the time and the place this book evokes the work of Ernest Hemingway.
Get Millennium Here>>books2read.com/millennium


Tuesday, 16 August 2016

A Journey of Self Discovery Preorder Review Tour~'East-A Novel' by @PeriHoskins #travel in #Aus #RPBP #ASMSG

East-A Novel
By Peri Hoskions
Preorder Now
End of August Release
‘About ‘East – A Novel'
It’s 1994. Junior lawyer, Vince Osbourne, leaves behind a small, mean and viciously circular life in the city representing petty criminals and takes to the road. He’s lived 30 years. The wide continent of Australia is out in front. He’s almost young. Where will the road lead?

East takes in sunsets; rain in the desert; a five-year-old girl on a bike; a battered former thief and jockey; old-timers; young lovers; beautiful women, and aboriginals in public bars. The open road connects many vignettes making a rich tapestry of human encounters.

East is poignant, gritty, funny, sad and above all: human. Hoskins’ laconic prose captures the harsh, arid country in all its big, empty beauty along with quirky exchanges with strangers, travel buddies, shop assistants, workmates, and friends old and new. A journey without and within, East taps into the spiritual realm that lies beneath this land and its people.

(#travel & Adventure, #Travel, #Aus, #RPBP, #preorder, #ebook, #NewRelease)
~Pre-release review~
A Journey of Self Discovery
This intriguing book is based on the author’s personal memoirs and although it is described as fiction it feels very, very real.
Vince has reached a stage at 30 when he wants to break free from a life that seems to be suffocating him. He has been working as a junior lawyer but needs to do something different and this book tells of his travels towards the East of Australia.
His journey draws you along with him as he discovers himself and realises that he can achieve so much more than he previously thought possible. He settles in places with people from his past that he sees in a new light, along with their prejudices.
Then there are the long and testing journeys across the deserts of Australia, meeting a fascinating mix of people along the way. Vince’s observations on the Aboriginal people, being of Maori origin himself, are extremely revealing. The back breaking work he takes on in a mine, to earn some extra money, couldn’t be further removed from his previous work as a lawyer.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys travel writing and journeys of self-discovery. ~Robert Fear 8.10.16
~Enjoy Chapter One From East~
Leaving
The bonnet in front of me is big and white. Rain on the windscreen – the wipers sweep it away. The clouds are grey, the road is grey, the suburbs are grey and I am leaving. There is joy in that. I’m leaving it behind – a life – small, petty, viciously circular. Out in front is the road and I don’t know where it will end. I am free. I’m almost young.

A beginning. Renewal pulses in my blood, pumping out from my heart, through my veins, feeding me, making me new again, a keenly conscious being reaching out to the uncertainty. This road will lead me to places that I have not seen – to people I have not met. There’s no place I have to be and no time I have to be there.

I drive on and on leaving the city far behind. The rain clears. Sunlight glints on wet grass and trees. I see farmhouses, fences and cows. The gnawing in my belly eases as I’m gently enveloped by the freedom of the great mystery now upon me. The shackles of the old life fall away, for I’m shedding a skin – dry, worn, old and scaly. I found the courage to step into the dream. And the dream has become real.

The life of a suburban lawyer is behind me. Small decisions. Small repetitions. Which tie to wear today. Pay the electricity bill. Sunday – iron five shirts for the week ahead. See the same people. Say the same things. Hear the same things said. In that life I wondered whether I had it better than the petty criminals I represented in court. Some had no job and no home. They pleaded guilty and I said what I could say, for something had to be said. And then the court, that street-sweeper of humanity, tidied them away. For there must be a place – there must be somewhere for them to go: a prison, a halfway house, a drug rehab centre. There must be a place for everyone – somewhere. These people had fallen through cracks and become untidy. Did they envy my tidy life, those that I helped to tidy away? Did they see my life as I saw it – not a tidy life, but a tidy prison?

Tidiness. I had been taught to lead a tidy life. What was it they had said – the teachers, the headmasters? Work hard at school. Get a good job. Be a good employee. Pay your taxes. Mow your lawns. Be a good neighbour. Be a good citizen. Lead a tidy life. Not a full life, a varied life, a great life – no, a tidy life of small neat circles. I have lived thirty years.

As the trees and houses and petrol stations whistle by, the reasons for leaving once again crowd my mind. At thirty, life no longer stretches out before me like an uncharted great ocean. If I live to be eighty, more than one third of my life is spent. Where am I? At a time of life when I’m supposed to be somewhere – I’m nowhere I ever wanted to be. I’ll taste the last drops of youth before the cup passes from my lips, forever. The familiar yearning claws at my insides again – but it’s different now – it’s happy knowing I have been true to it – finally.

The yearning … a murmur in a corner of my soul ... that’s how it started … a couple of years ago ... I pushed it away. I was busy; there were things to do. It kept coming back, stronger and stronger: a growing gnawing that would not be denied. The day I turned thirty, I came to know what it was, finally. It was the feeling of having missed my destiny. At one of life’s important junctures, I don’t know when or where, I’d taken the wrong turn.

So maybe that’s what it is: a journey back down life’s highway to try and find the turn I missed. A journey to reconnect with who I am and what I should be doing here – in this life. Did I ever really want to be a lawyer? Maybe I did it because my father didn’t finish law school. Maybe I did it for him, and not for me. Didn’t have the courage to find my destiny and follow it … settled for safety and caution. And the small repetitions of the safe life had closed in and were suffocating me. Don’t know if that’s what it is … I had to go – I know that much … it was the most honest thing I could do. And now it’s real: this journey with no end and no decided route. It’s a big country. Yeah, I’ll head east ... And in my travels maybe I’ll find something of the soul of this land and its people ...

I have been at the wheel for four hours. The muscular movements needed to keep the car on course have become automatic. My thoughts drift freely now, first to the future – new, pregnant with possibility – before anchoring in my childhood. I recall a long-buried idea – from a time of wonder at a world full of possibilities. As a child I thought I could see into people, a kind of second sight.

Memories flow into my mind – sharp, clear, focused. I see things now as I saw things then. I am a small boy sitting in the passenger seat of a car. My father is driving. We approach an intersection. A policeman is standing in the middle directing traffic. He signals the car in front to stop. The policeman fascinates me – his neat blue uniform, high black boots, long white gloves – his precise hand signals. He makes cars stop and go by moving his hands like the man who made the puppets move at the fairground. The gloved hands move and the cars obey, crossing the intersection, slowly and respectfully passing the uniformed man.

From above I hear the noise of a plane. In the eye of my mind as a child I see the silver wings and fuselage. The policeman’s eyes turn skyward to the plane I see clearly in the window of my imagination. The officer’s long-gloved hands slowly fall to rest at his heavy belt. Cars bank up at the intersection. The driver in front looks at him for directions but he gives none. Unconscious of the traffic, his attention is focused in the sky above. The face of the policeman loses form and I see into him. First I feel his discomfort in the hot uniform, the dryness in his throat and the tiredness behind his eyes. Gradually my perception deepens. I sense the numbed heart, the thwarted ambitions – the hopes and dreams unrealized and gone awry. He doesn’t want to be here, directing traffic. The past has cheated him. He is disconnected from the present and fearful of the future.

A car horn honks from behind. A driver doesn’t know why the traffic is not moving. The policeman’s eyes return to the traffic, his arms snapping up with military precision. As he waves us on, the look of purpose clothes his face once again and the moment of seeing into him has passed.

The second sight would come to me without warning and always just for a fleeting moment or two. I would see my mother trying to hide an emotion or catch my father unguarded, looking into the distance. In the moment of second sight the physical would melt – the body become transparent and amorphous. Instead of seeing the person I would see into the person – reach inside to the heart, sense the fears, touch the dreams – see the humanity, raw and struggling.

~About The Author~
Peri Hoskins is the author of 'Millennium – A Memoir’, a travelogue memoir that has received many five star reader reviews.
Christopher Moore of the New Zealand Listener had this to say about ‘Millennium – A Memoir’:
'Written with perhaps the merest of bows to Joseph Conrad and Robert Louis Stevenson, the book’s colourful cast of characters come together to greet the dawn of the 21st century. It’s a vigorously written sly-humoured account of human encounters in a small place lapped by the tides of change…It’s a genial well observed book that insinuates itself into the affections.’
~Christopher Moore, New Zealand Listener, 2 August 2014.

Peri Hoskins was born in Wellington, New Zealand. He is the second son of a family of five children, four boys and a girl. He is of mixed Maori and Anglo-Celtic ancestry. Peri grew up in Whangarei, Northland, New Zealand, a provincial city then home to about 30,000 people. He was educated at Whangarei Boys’ High School where he twice won a national essay competition. After completing high school and winning the school prizes for English, History and Geography, Peri went to Auckland University where he studied law and the humanities, including history and English literature.

Peri was substantially based in Australia between 1985 and 2005. He completed his study of law and the humanities at the University of Sydney including several courses in philosophy. He worked as a lawyer in New South Wales before embarking on a 1994 five-month road trip all around Australia. This road trip comprises the material for his soon to be published second book, East. Peri subsequently worked as a lawyer in both New South Wales and Queensland, and developed his current specialisation in legal work – civil litigation. In December 1999 Peri travelled to the Kingdom of Tonga to be in the first country in the world to see in the new millennium. The diary of his three weeks in Tonga has become his first book, Millennium – A Memoir. In 2004 Peri completed a post graduate diploma in film and television production at Queensland University of Technology.

Peri now lives, writes and works as a barrister (being a self-employed lawyer) in Northland, New Zealand.

You can connect With Peri Hoskins here:

 Read an interview with author Peri Hoskins here:
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