Guest post by Catharine Riggs

What She Never Said by Catharine RiggsWhat She Never Said
by Catharine Riggs
on Tour August 19 – September 20, 2019

Genre: Psychological Suspense
Published by: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: September 10, 2019
Number of Pages: 377
ISBN: 1542042135
(ISBN13: 9781542042130) Series: Santa Barbara Suspense #2

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Synopsis
How much would you pay to keep a secret? Ruth Mosby is the VP of operations at Serenity Acres, where the privileged elite go to die. For a hefty fee, wealthy retirees can live the good life in this posh Santa Barbara community—even after they outlive their money. But the savvy new boss has a new rule: if you can’t pay, you can’t stay. Guests whisper about an “Angel” who assists with suicides. Ruth has another word for it: murder. Ruth enlists her neighbor, an ex-detective named Zach, to discover the Angel’s secret identity. However, the two have a painful history, and Ruth has dark secrets all her own. To solve the mystery, Ruth must descend her golden tower—but can she bear the consequences of revealing her own sinister truths?
 

Why Readers LOVE What She Never Said

“Riggs keeps the tension high to the dramatic climax.” —Publishers Weekly What She Never Said is a fast-paced, compulsive read—and I speak as a slow-paced, easily distracted reader.” —Ashley Dyer, award-winning author of the Lake & Carver series. “A compelling read that will keep you awake well into the night.” —T.R. Ragan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Beneath the weight of metastasizing secrets, idyllic veneers buckle to reveal shocking truths that will haunt readers long after the final page. —P. J. Vernon, acclaimed author of the debut thriller, When You Find Me

GUEST-POST by the author
My “Overnight” Success

As an avid reader from a young age, I had always dreamed of becoming a writer, but like many, work and family intervened. Then on one of those marker birthdays, I decided to take a stab at writing a novel. The stab turned into an addiction. For years I toiled in obscurity, writing daily in the pre-dawn hours. I attended writing workshops, read articles, accepted criticism, adjusted plots, and wrote two novels for which I received countless rejections.

There was one agent who said she liked my novels but felt I wrote too far from the heart. Was there an event in my life I could mine for emotions to bring my characters to life? Her question led to the writing of my third novel, a near-future thriller. The book opens with my protagonist’s escape from an abusive marriage with her toddler in tow, only to be thwarted by a killer virus.

I again made the rounds of the agents, and this time the declines were kinder but just as disappointing. Then a friend told me about a workshop taught by thriller writers Robert Dugoni and Steven James. The bestselling authors centered their instruction around the first fifty pages of their attendees’ novels. Discouraged yet stubborn as ever, I decided to give my dreams another shot. I forwarded the requested pages and within a few weeks received an e-mail praising my work and requesting the full manuscript. To say I was excited is an understatement.

At the workshop, Robert Dugoni offered to forward my manuscript to his agent, and within weeks I had garnered representation. But my dreams got another drubbing when the near-future manuscript didn’t sell. We were told the interest in dystopia had waned, but several editors admired my writing and asked to see more traditional work. In a relatively quick four months, I wrote the first draft of a suspense novel, What She Gave Away, which I envisioned as part of a loosely linked series entitled Santa Barbara Suspense. Having grown up in a wealthy community, I was interested in using the psychological suspense genre to examine the pitfalls of wealth and privilege and the curse of living a life steeped in denial.

Within the year we closed a two-book deal with Thomas & Mercer. What She Gave Away was published in September of 2018 and its loosely linked sequel, What She Never Said, launches next month. I can’t thank Robert Dugoni enough for giving me my chance. The moral of my story? If you have a dream, fight for it. You just might achieve your goal.
 

Read an excerpt

RUTH MOSBY

ONE

Monday, May 6

My goal each day is ten thousand steps. A Fitbit monitors my progress. One. Two. Three. Four. This morning I’ll reach six thousand steps. Only four thousand left after that. It’s nice the days have grown longer. I’ll walk the harbor loop after work. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. I speed up the slope of Orpet Park through the grove of moth-eaten oaks.

At the summit of the steepest hill, I catch a peek of ocean gray. The islands are invisible today, shrouded in waves of lowering fog. June gloom. That’s what the locals call it, although we’ve barely stepped into May. Locals? I am a local. Or should be after thirty-some years. But oh no. Not in Santa Barbara. You can’t be a local unless you’re born here. Ridiculous but true. Sometimes I wonder why I stay. But at my age, where would I go?

Cresting the final hill, I catch my first glimpse of the mission bells. They’re a sad reminder of my walks with Carlyn and the chats we had every day. She thought the Queen of the Missions was a sign of God’s blessing on our tony beachside town. I wonder what she thinks of God now. I wonder what she thinks of me.

I continue past the mission lawn, verging on parched and dry. The agaves look weathered and dusty; they’re wilted at the tips. A handful of elderly tourists snap photos of the iconic scene. Their foreign chatter disrupts the calm, so I cross the street to the rose garden and follow the rutted trail. A lone dog shoots into view, and I slow my rapid gait. The golden Lab jumps, twists, and barks, nabbing a Frisbee in his mouth.

“Morning,” his master calls to me, a smile gracing his youthful face.

“Morning.” I lock my gaze on my running shoes. How did he miss the DOGS ON LEASH signs staggered every twenty feet? Or maybe he didn’t but somehow believes he’s above the city’s rules. I make a mental note to call animal control and continue on my way.

I pick up my pace for the final ten blocks, feeling better than I have in weeks. Turning down my narrow driveway, I cringe at the sight of my neighbor standing on his porch.

“Morning, Ruth,” he calls.

“Morning, Zach.”

Zach limps down his steps and through his drought-stricken garden, a frown rumpling his grizzled face. He’s dressed in board shorts and a tattered T-shirt, mended flip-flops shielding his feet. “You hear those kids partying last night?” he asks.

“No,” I lie. “Was it loud?”

“Hell yeah. I can’t believe they allow short-term rentals in our neighborhood. We’ve got to put a stop to that.”

“Well, kids will be kids.” I fail to mention I called the police at ten sharp. That’s when the noise ordinance kicks in.

“I’m going to complain at today’s city council meeting. Want to come along?” The breeze shifts, and I catch a whiff of spoiled milk. Zach has taken to strategic bathing, which results in an occasional stench.

“I would, but I have to work.”

“Bummer. There’s a better chance if we complain together.”

I nod, thinking he’d have a better chance if he made an effort to clean himself up. When we moved into the neighborhood decades ago, Zach had been a handsome man with an easy smile and a mop of thick black hair. A homicide detective whose pretty wife, Tina, taught art at the nearby elementary school. The perfect neighbors on a perfect street of tiny Craftsman homes. Then their son died in a tragic accident, and Tina passed soon after that. A broken man, Zach took early retirement and nearly drank himself to death. He’s in recovery now and has replaced the booze with an obsession for neighborhood affairs. “What about my petition?” he asks. “You plan on signing that?”

I bite my lower lip. “I’m not sure.”

“Construction begins next week.”

“I wish I could, but . . .”

Mumbling under his breath, he eyes me with a frown. He’s also taken to talking to himself. Is dementia creeping up? “But what?” he asks.

“I don’t think it’s wise for someone in my position to take a political stance.”

“Your position?” He rolls his eyes. “You work at an old folks’ home.”

“I work in a life-care community.”

“Same thing.”

“No, it’s not.”

His frown deepens into a crevasse. “So, you’re okay with those homes coming down?” He nods at the four vacant bungalows located directly across the street. They’re slated for demolition, to be replaced by a ten-thousand-square-foot mansion with an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Our future neighbors are a flashy young couple with toddler twins and an army of well-groomed staff. Seems our former middle-class neighborhood is attracting the fashionable Hollywood types.

“I’m not okay with it,” I say, “but what can we do? The planning commission has made their decision. We’re not going to change their minds.”

“But if we don’t take action, it won’t be long before people like us can’t live in this town.”

“At least we’ll make a mint when we sell.”

“You’re not thinking of moving, are you?”

“Of course not.” Although I might if the price is right.

Zach sniffs and takes a swipe at his nose. “I just wish we could stop these assholes. They even complained about my new picket fence.”

I hold my voice steady. “They did?” Last month, Zach replaced his aging fence with a synthetic version that lists from side to side.

“Hell yes. City says my fence is four inches too tall, and I’ve got one month to replace the thing.

Where the hell am I going to get that kind of money? My pension only goes so far.” He searches my face with his electric-blue eyes. They’re the only part of him that haven’t aged.

“That’s terrible,” I say, dropping my gaze and backpedaling down the driveway. “Got to get to work. Have a nice day.” I hurry through the gate, swimming through waves of guilt. What if Zach finds out I turned him in? He’ll be angrier than a cornered wasp. But by the time I step out of the shower, I’ve pushed away all my self-doubt. Is it my fault his fence is too tall? For God’s sake, rules are rules.

***

Excerpt from What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs. Copyright © 2019 by Catharine Riggs. Reproduced with permission from Catharine Riggs. All rights reserved.

 

Author Bio

Catharine Riggs Catharine Riggs lives and writes on California’s central coast. Before her dive into thrillers, Riggs worked as a business banker, adjunct college instructor, and a nonprofit executive.
What She Never Said is the second novel in her loosely linked Santa Barbara Suspense series.
The first, What She Gave Away, was published by Thomas & Mercer in September of 2018.

Catch Up With Catharine Riggs On: www.CatharineRiggs.com, Goodreads, & BookBub, Twitter!

Tour Participants

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

Enter Here To Win!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Catharine Riggs. There will be 4 winners. Two (2) winners will each receive one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card and Two (2) winners will each receive one (1) print copy of What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs. The giveaway begins on August 18, 2019 and runs through September 22, 2019. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.

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Excerpt and Giveaway: No Stone Unturned

No Stone Unturned
by Pam Lecky

Publication Date: June 28, 2019
eBook; 286 Pages

Series: The Lucy Lawrence Mysteries, Book 1
Genre: Historical Mystery

 

 

A suspicious death, stolen gems, and an unclaimed reward: who will be the victor in a deadly game of cat and mouse?

London October 1886: Trapped in a troubled marriage, Lucy Lawrence is ripe for an adventure. But when she meets the enigmatic Phineas Stone, over the body of her husband in the mortuary, her world begins to fall apart.

When her late husband’s secrets spill from the grave, and her life is threatened by the leader of London’s most notorious gang, Lucy must find the strength to rise to the challenge. But who can she trust and how is she to stay out of the murderous clutches of London’s most dangerous criminal?

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Pam is an Irish writer of historical fiction with a particular love of the late Victorian era and early 20th century. She is fascinated by all things 19th century, from food and clothes to architecture and social history. She is patiently awaiting the invention of time travel, but in the meantime, indulges her love of the past by writing about it.

Her debut novel, The Bowes Inheritance, was awarded the BRAG Medallion in 2017. It was shortlisted for the Carousel Aware Prize 2016; made ‘Editor’s Choice’ by the Historical Novel Society; long-listed for the Historical Novel Society 2016 Indie Award; and chosen as a Discovered Diamond in February 2017.

In April 2018, Pam published an anthology of some previously published short reads, along with some new work. Her collection of short stories is entitled, Past Imperfect, and features stories set in such diverse settings as WW1 Dublin, the sinking of the Lusitania and a lonely haunted lighthouse.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

EXCERPT

A few weeks later, Nathaniel Marsh appeared one morning at Abbey Gardens. He was a respectable-looking man in his mid-fifties, tall and well-dressed and she recognised him as a mourner from Charlie’s funeral. He had not made himself known to her at the graveside, but stood with several other gentlemen behind the next row of headstones.

“Mrs Lawrence, I am so sorry to disturb you at this sad time,” he said, once Mary had closed the drawing room door. “A dreadful business, dear lady. Your husband was a fine fellow. We were business associates these last few months.”

“I am happy to meet you,” Lucy said, waving him to an armchair. Charlie had never mentioned him, she was sure, and she was curious why he had come. He refused her offer of tea. After removing his hat, Mr Marsh sat down, his smile revealing a gold incisor. For some reason, it put Lucy in mind of a pirate.

“I won’t intrude, Mrs Lawrence. Let me be brief. If you could give me your husband’s papers and effects, I will be on my way.”

Startled, she sat staring at him. What on earth could he mean? “Those are private, sir.”

The benevolent look vanished from Marsh’s face, and he moved to the edge of his seat. “Your husband and I were partners. I urgently require certain items he had in his possession. Speed is of the essence. My clients do not care about his demise, you must understand. They expect business as usual.”

“Sir, I have no knowledge of my husband’s business affairs, and he did not keep any of his papers here. I suggest you talk to Mr Faulkner, his solicitor,” she said, trying to keep her temper in check. She retrieved the solicitor’s card from her purse and handed it over. “I’m sure he can help you with whatever you need.”

Mr Marsh stared at the card, then slipped it in to his pocket. “You don’t understand how urgent this is,” he said, scowling at her. “Your husband owed me money, a great deal of money. The business will collapse if I don’t get the—” He paused and ran a handkerchief over his forehead.

“Where is his study?” he demanded suddenly, jumping up. He towered above her, his eyes wild. Lunging towards her, he placed his hands on the armrests on either side of her. Terrified, Lucy shrank back and could only stare up at him. With a roar of rage, he stepped away before charging out of the room. Baffled by his behaviour, she trailed behind and saw him disappear into Charlie’s study. The commotion drew the cook and Mary up from the kitchen. They stood in the hallway, wide-eyed. She signalled to them to stay put. With trepidation she approached the study, then hesitated in the doorway as Mr Marsh began to pull out the drawers of Charlie’s desk and rifle through them. Horrified, Lucy protested, but he continued to ransack the room, ignoring her completely. She did not know what he was looking for and was too afraid to ask.

At last, he appeared satisfied she was telling the truth. But he advanced on her, breathing heavily, his face twisted in anger and frustration. Lucy recoiled against the doorframe, the edge digging into her shoulder.

“You haven’t heard the last of this,” Marsh hissed. “I want what belongs to me.” With a snarl, he brushed past her. At the front door, he turned and fixed her with a stare. “I will find them, you know. I hope you have not been foolish enough to try and sell ’em. The accident which befell your husband was unfortunate. I would advise you to be most careful, Mrs Lawrence. Two tragedies in the one family would be considered very … unlucky.”

The door slammed shut, and the women stared at each other in disbelief.

“No more visitors, Mary, please,” Lucy said, her voice shaking. “No matter who they say they are.”

“Yes, of course, Mrs Lawrence.” Mary twisted her hands, her eyes darting between Lucy and the cook. “We’d best see to this,” Mary said eventually, turning to Mrs Trevor and jerking her head towards the study. The maid gently closed the study door after them. As Lucy walked away, she could hear their frantic whispering.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 5
Review & Interview at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, August 6
Review at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Wednesday, August 7
Excerpt at Words and Peace
Guest Post at Short Books and Scribes

Thursday, August 8
Review & Guest Post at Gwendalyn_Books_

Friday, August 9
Review at Bibliophile Reviews

Sunday, August 11
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Monday, August 12
Feature at Coffee and Ink
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books
Review & Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away two copies of No Stone Unturned by Pam Lecky! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on August 12th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

Excerpt and giveaway: The Turncoat

The Turncoat
by T.J. London

Publication Date: May 23, 2019
eBook & Paperback

Series: The Rebels and Redcoats Saga, Book 3
Genre: Historical Fiction

Spy. Redcoat. Traitor.

 

 

After Captain John Carlisle’s dance with death, he’s retreated to the serenity of the Oneida village with his beloved Dellis McKesson, trying to hide from the inevitable truth: war is coming. But when duty calls, and John’s expertise is needed to negotiate a treaty between the Six Nations of the Iroquois and the Crown, he’ll once again be faced with a decision: his King or his conscience.

Many truths that have yet to be revealed, and a deal with the Devil made in desperation, threatens to ruin Dellis and John’s hard-won love. As ghosts of the past resurface, and bitter family rivalry exposes betrayal from those closest to her, Dellis is dragged down a devastating path to the truth of her parents’ murders.

Now, the die is cast as war comes to the Mohawk River Valley in the Summer of 1777. St. Leger and his native allies siege Fort Stanwix. They’re also plotting a secret attack that will force the Rebels and the Oneida to face off against the Crown and their allies, further dividing John’s loyalties, leaving him on the precipice of another decision: Rebel or Redcoat?

Available in eBook and Paperback

About the Author

T.J. London is a rebel, liberal, lover, fighter, diehard punk, and pharmacist-turned-author who loves history. As an author her goal is to fill in the gaps, writing stories about missing history, those little places that are so interesting yet sadly forgotten. Her favorite time periods to write in are first and foremost the American Revolutionary War, the French Revolution, the French and Indian War, the Russian Revolution and the Victorian Era. Her passions are traveling, writing, reading, barre, and sharing a glass of wine with her friends, while she collects experiences in this drama called life. She is a native of Metropolitan Detroit (but secretly dreams of being a Londoner) and resides there with her husband Fred and her beloved cat and writing partner Mickey.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

EXCERPT

“Get the Redcoats! Let’s tar and feather the bastards!”

“Oh no!” Her heart stunned in her chest and then thrummed with an irregular rhythm of terror. At the head of the pack, carrying a burning torch, was Stuart, and next to him was her cousin, Ruslan.

John.

Dellis raced down the stairs; as she passed through the dining room, a brick flew through the window, throwing glass in every direction, shards of it piercing her cheek. “Simon! John!”

When she reached the kitchen, she found Agnes already up, kneading dough, while Will, elbows deep in hot water, cleaned dishes and hummed a merry tune. They had no idea what was coming, or they wouldn’t have looked so calm. “Agnes, where’s John and Simon?”

Agnes deposited her dough on a tray and wiped her hands on her apron. “Dellis, my goodness, what’s wrong?”

“There’s no time to explain.” She huffed between labored breaths, pointing to the window. “There’s a mob outside. They’ve come for John and Simon.”

The noise from the crowd finally reach the kitchen, another brick flying through the window, landing on the floor with a big thud and then cracking into muddy pieces.

“Where are they?” Dellis yelled frantically.

Agnes visibly swallowed, a portent of her fear. “Simon’s in the barn. The Captain left already.”

“Oh my God! We have to find him!”

“He’s meeting someone near the river on the north side of town at dawn,” Will said from behind.

“Who’s he meeting? Who?” Dellis ran up to the boy and grabbed his shoulders, shaking him vigorously. “How do you know this?”

A rock flew through the kitchen window, hitting Dellis in the back, throwing more glass in every direction.

The boy yelped, a tiny shard cutting his right cheek, a slow trickle of blood starting. “Oh my God! They’re going to kill us!”

“They don’t want us! We have to help John and Simon,” Dellis replied, sounding more confident than she actually was. “Will, tell me what you know.”

The boy stammered fearfully, his eyes tracking back and forth, searching for answers, while the shouts of the mob echoed in through the broken window. “Last night, he asked me to take a letter to his brother at The Kettle and wait for a response.”

“What did Gavin say?” Panic set in, her worst fears playing out: a meeting at dawn, outside of town, near the river. Oh God. A duel.

“Tell me what he said!” Dellis yelled, giving Will another hard shake.

The shouts were getting louder, reverberating through the kitchen, further adding to her fear. The three of them were trapped together in a crucible at the mercy of an angry mob with a taste for blood. It could only go one way if John was found.

“Will, you must tell me.”

“The Captain was to meet him near the North side of the river, and they wouldn’t need seconds.”

“Oh, no.” She gasped. “I’ve got to stop them. I’ve got to warn him.”

Simon rushed in the back door, musket in hand. “Dellis, where’s John?”

“He’s gone to the river to duel his brother. You need to leave now, and we have to figure out a way to convince that mob that you’re not here.”

He shook his head. “It’s not going to work. They’ll burn this place down before they stop.”

“No!” Not her house. She bit back the fear that threatened to consume her, fighting it with every fiber of her being. Rational thought was the only thing that would see her through. Taking a deep, calming breath, she tried to focus on one thing at a time. “I can reason with Stuart and Ruslan. I’ll go talk to them.”

“Lass, that’s not going to work with an angry mob.” Simon stopped her before she could make for the door, his eyes scanning the kitchen. “Do you have any weapons here?”

Dellis nodded. “I have three pistols upstairs”—she looked around the kitchen then grabbed one of the large knives off the counter—“and this.”

Clark laughed and took it from her. “Well, let’s not hope it comes to that. Get your pistols and meet me down here.”

“Simon, what are you going to do?” Agnes asked, digging through the drawers, pulling out every knife, fork, or utensil that could be used as a weapon, even an ugly-looking iron hook. From under the counter, she pulled out a copper pot and a cast-iron pan, putting them both on the table.

“I’m going to ride off towards the river and hope they follow. Dellis, you’re the only one besides me who can ride fast enough if they decide to chase. You wait until I leave and then sneak out and find John. Tell him to meet me at sundown on the old military road north of the dock on Wood Creek.”

“What about them?” Dellis looked back at Agnes and Will. “The mob will brand them Tories for giving aid to Redcoats.”

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 8
Excerpt at The Lit Bitch

Tuesday, July 9
Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, July 10
Guest Post at Passages to the Past

Thursday, July 11
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Friday, July 12
Excerpt at Words and Peace

Saturday, July 13
Feature at Coffee and Ink

Monday, July 15
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Tuesday, July 16
Review at Gwendalyn_Books_

Wednesday, July 17
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Review & Excerpt at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Thursday, July 18
Review at Historical Fiction Reviews

Friday, July 19
Review at Broken Teepee
Feature at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away some fabulous prizes! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

1. A Signed copy of each of my Revolutionary books
2. A bag with my Revolutionary Author Logo
3. A Sterling Silver Tricorn hat charm, so you’re always in style
4. My favorite T-Shirt to wear when I write my Revolutionary tales, that says: The original New England Patriots, from 1630 in Boston
5. A stuffed founding father doll by Little Thinkers to inspire the Rebel in you
6. And a Founding Father book of quotes. Seditious banter from our brash Rebels!

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 19th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY