Monday, July 29, 2013

Fifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda Jones

A couple weeks ago we had the privilege of being apart of Darynda Jones' blog tour for her newest book Fifth Grave Past the Light. At the time of the release I hadn't had the opportunity to get the book so my review had to be postponed. *slaps own hand* Bad Grimlet! *silly grin* Now I have read it and I had to make myself take breaks so it would last longer than my normal 4/5 hours for a book. I wanted to savor it. But now that I have read it I'm going to have to re-read the whole series because waiting for the next book is going to have me on pins and needles. 

Once again Darynda has done an outstanding job with Charley and Reyes. I have always loved the chemistry between the two and things heat up in this book. Can the son of Satan get any hotter?? *fans self* Evidently yes because the man can cook!!! (*yells* "Can someone bring me a fan!!") I have really enjoyed following these two characters' journey from the first book. Charley alone has me laughing between her smartass comments, the greetings she using when answering the phone and her coffee addiction. But who can blame her for the java addiction?  (**raises hand** "Hi my name is Kimberly and I'm a Coffee-holic") 

Some of my favorite characters where not as front and center as much in this book but that's ok. Swopes has been busy trying to sort things out and who can blame the man? I just always love the banter between him and Charley. Cookie was seen in text messages for part of the book because a girl has to get her CCDW or she might accidentally fire a gun while in a bar. *raises eyebrow at Cookie* I sure hope her and Ubie get together. This kinda "cat and mouse" they are pulling is killing me!! 

Because I don't like to give a lot away about the books I read. I mean hello if you are intrigued you have to read them yourself. But this was me after finishing reading this book. 

Saw this gif on Goodreads from someone who reviewed the book and yes this was me too!!! *laughs*

One of things that I love the most about Darynda's books is that there is mystery. After reading the first two books I started to learn to take every little thing and find out what it means. Because by the end just about everything has to do with something. Darynda is such a talented writer. I love being put on the end of my seat looking to find out answers. I love laughing at the comedy and the antics of the characters. I LOVE THIS SERIES!!! 

If you have not read this incredible series I suggest that you do. It is fantastic! After raving about it to my fellow Sister Bitch she's reading it as well and totally hooked. 

To read an excerpt of this book click here. It'll take you to the post from the blog tour and you can read the excerpt. Also don't forget to visit Darynda's Facebook page and like it to keep up with all the comings and goings that are Charley!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Blog Tour- Stripped Bare by Susan Mac Nicol

BoE:       Hey everyone thanks for coming by today. We are so excited to have Susan Mac Nicol here with us on the release day of her new book Stripped Bare. I for one cannot wait to get my hands on it!

             Morning Susan, thank you so much for letting us be a part of your blog tour. 

         How long have you been writing and what made you decide to publish?

SUSAN:      I've been writing seriously for just over a year now. I started in February last year with a mission to finish an idea for a story I had. It started in my car when I drove two hours to work each day, there and back. I role played with myself (yes, please note the word 'role' in front of the other words? Get your minds out of the gutter,  people)  I would speak the lines, pretend to be the characters and when one day some dude in the car beside me looked at me in a funny way, I realised that maybe I should write this all down instead of acting it out in my car..

           So I started writing Bennett and Cassie's story, the characters from my Starlight series, and that was it. I was hooked. I sent it off to a couple of publishers not really thinking anything would happen. Then WHAM Boroughs got in touch and said they wanted the series. I opened the champagne, did a jig around the lounge and went to bed the happiest woman in the universe.

         I then went on to write another three novels, a two book paranormal romance and a rather gritty S and M themed romance, (all still waiting at my publisher for their turn in the editing life cycle) and then for good measure I wrote a screen play based on my first book, 'Cassandra by Starlight' as I wanted to submit it for a script writing competition. I want my own TV series one day..

        I also wrote two novellas for my publisher, Boroughs, light hearted season themed stories plus an erotic crime thriller (which needs a home -any takes out there for a psychotic bisexual serial killer, a yummy Italian detective and a feisty investigative reporter?) . This thriller, called 'Born Human', was my first foray into male/male sex and man love. Which I think leads into your next question.

BoE:       Yes, up until recently you wrote M/F stories what made you decide to write M/M?

SUSAN:     When I was *ahem* doing the research for my bisexual killer who uses sex as a means of controlling his lovers, I became very aware that man sex was actually bloody *hot*. I make no excuses for the fact it really gets my motor running. So I decided to read a book that sounded like a really good read. The first M/M book I read was 'The Nothingness of Ben' by Brad Boney which was amazing followed closely by the wonderful Kindle Alexander's 'Up in Arms' which just blew me away. I loved this story.  I was once again hooked on something. From that point on I read any M/M I could get my hands on, some good, some great, some indifferent. I discovered I enjoyed it more than reading M/F and thought, "Hell, maybe I should give this a try." So I did some more *clears throat* research (my web browser must be a great source of attraction to the FBI's sex squad) and when I didn't go blind as someone told me I would, I created Shane Templar and Matthew Langer from 'Stripped Bare'.

               I've written a second one called 'Waiting for Rain' which is set in Stamford in rural Lincolnshire, where I spent a weekend and fell in love with the beautiful stone town. This is the book where you'll hopefully meet the tough, emotionally scarred Toby Prentiss and the love of his life, dark, sexy pole dancing Rain Engel.

BoE:      As a woman writing M/M what do you find most challenging?

SUSAN:    I suppose sex scenes were a little challenging having no actual experience in this arena. I relied on gay friends to sense check them and give me advice. My friend Geoffrey Wakeling, who's also an author, was very helpful in beta reading my crime thriller and letting me know I was on the right track. And my wonderful mentor, fellow author and leader of my writing circle,  John Trevillian, read 'Stripped Bare' from cover to cover and told me he couldn't fault my sex scenes although he did have a little something to say about how fast cum dries -or was it how fast it travels? I forget. So all that research I did paid off.

             My daughter is in drama school and she has a lot of gay friends who were more than happy to give me pointers. I felt a little perverted taking advice from 21 years olds who were very enthusiastic indeed about what I should be writing...and willing to even visually demonstrate (fully clothed of course, I'm not that twisted and weird)

BoE:    Do you have a writing process, i.e. a favourite place to write, music you listen to, time of day?

SUSAN:     I work full day in the lovely city of Cambridge doing legal and regulatory work. So my writing time is 7 pm till midnight, one am every day. Weekends I probably write about 7 hours a day.  I sit in my lounge, near the window, while the family scurry about me, the dog goes crazy, the TV blares, the church bells ring (we're right opposite a huge Norman church) and various other distractions occur. I like the chaos and I switch off easily so I honestly hear much when I'm writing.

BoE:        Where do you find inspiration?

SUSAN:     Every day events, something I hear, something I dream even.  'Waiting for Rain'-  we went to Stamford for a short break, and had tea and scones in a beautiful old hotel renowned in the area. I thought then I want to write about the hotel . So Toby became a hotel manager, and then it was just a case of finding something related to the hotel where I could introduce Rain to Toby. So Rain, carpenter and woodworker, was commissioned by the hotel owner to build a new state of the art pub. And when these two got together, the story just evolved from there.

BoE:          If you could partner up with any author in history who would it be and what kind of story would you write?

SUSAN:     I fell in love with a series of books actually so I can't say it's just one.  I just LOVE Josh Lanyon and his Adrien English mysteries so these would be my first choice.  But I also love A J Rose's books and Kindle Alexander I've already mentioned as being one of my 'must haves'. They are just such wonderfully talented people writing such entertaining stories.  There are too many books to mention here and I'd take up too much space.

BoE:         I know your books are publishing in EBook format. When it come to buying a book for yourself do you prefer EBook or paperback?

SUSAN:    I used to be one of those people who said I wanted a paper book no matter what. Then my sister bought me a Kindle for Christmas and now I'd have to say it's the best present I've ever received. I just love it. It's easy to use, easy to buy (too easy if you ask me! I have nearly 300 on mine, mostly M/M too) and you can take it anyway without having to hire an elephant to carry your suitcase or trunk. I don't think enough people give e-readers a chance and unfortunately some are too set in their way to change.

BoE:    Do you see an advantage to publishing in EBook over paperback?

SUSAN:    *Grins wryly* My mother is seventy eight years old. I have five books digitally published -written with sweat and tears, edited, edited again, with beautiful covers and professional copy editing - and still Mum says to me, 'When are you going to be properly published?' meaning of course, when will your books be in paperback. She doesn't believe I'm really truly published yet until she can see it on her coffee table in all its splendour.

           So while e-books are the way of the future with the younger generation coming to the fore, there are regrettably people who don't believe an author is 'published' until the product is tangible. This annoys me a little as it seems like snobbery to me. I spent the same amount of time writing and polishing my books to get them in digital as someone else does to have a print version. Being in print is no indication of quality. I've seen and read some rubbish print books. The writing and editing is what makes a book a quality product. Publishers still take chances on e-books but not as big a risk as they don't have huge stockpiles of printed matter to contend with if the book fails. The cost for an e book may be lower in some instances, it's more easily promoted online if you take the time and overall I imagine publishing costs are less.

BoE:    Thanks again for coming today Susan, we have loved having you. I know I can't wait to get to know Shane and Matthew! Come back anytime.

          BOOK EXCERPT

All tied up with nowhere to go

Shane Templar watched the man standing by the bed. Shane had no idea how he'd gotten himself into this situation, but he had to admit that this wasn’t the first time. He’d thought he was cleverer than he used to be. He went through a mental checklist as he ticked off the items that had led him into the predicament he now faced.

Male √
Gay √
Intelligent √
Street wise √
  Pretty smoking hot √
Experienced Escort √
Pushover  No- fucking- way.

So, with that all established in his head, he wondered how in hell he was the one with his five ten frame tied spread eagled to a bed in the middle of a client’s very luxurious hotel room in the middle of London while said client, David Debussy, a regular, jerked off in front of him.

Shane’s brain felt woolly and he knew he’d been slipped something. He cursed at his lack of observation and awareness. He never made mistakes like this. Never. 

Shane had met Debussy, as requested, at the five-star Baglione Hotel in Kensington and escorted the man through an interminably boring dinner for stock brokers. But while the dinner had made him consider slitting his own throat, the man beside him had made it almost bearable. Shane enjoyed being with David. He’d partnered the man close to half a dozen times over the last year, very much as a companion only. 

Not once during the previous ‘engagements’, as Shane’s exclusive escort agency, Carrington Knights, called them , had it turned into anything more than a quick kiss goodbye on the lips and a promise of another date soon. Shane had often left his engagements with David with a raging hard on and had to make his way to the exclusive gay club in the middle of the West End. At Essence, Shane could usually find someone to alleviate his situation and give him some relief.

David was in his mid-twenties, a few years younger than Shane. He was charming, with deep russet hair, a physique like a Greek God and a backside that made Shane's fantasies take free reign. He had wealth from a trust fund his mother left him that made Konrad Feldman look like a pauper. He also had a domineering father who tried to rule David with an iron fist. 

Debussy was intelligent, attentive, and as sexy as hell. 

At the end of this evening, David had suggested Shane join him for a drink in his room. Shane had agreed. He had a very firm policy about sleeping with his clients. Contrary to popular belief, he didn’t fuck them all. He was very choosy about whom he went home with. He had to like the person, feel comfortable with them and they had to make him feel horny. But after the second glass of champagne and a lot of hot and heavy kissing and crotch banging, he remembered nothing more. Until now.

Shane pulled at the cords that bound his wrists and ankles to the posts of a four poster bed. There was no way he was getting out of the bindings anytime soon. His naked body was splayed out on a luxurious Matelasse bed spread. The fierce erection that had sprung up when he and David were making out earlier had flagged. 

He groaned, hoping to distract the man sitting on the corner of the bed close to him, frantically stroking his dick and looking as if he was going to let loose at any minute. The man’s eyes stared at him with a look of sheer greed, darting from Shane’s hairy chest to the blonde line of hair that ran down to his groin. Shane thought gloomily that at the moment there wasn’t much to see. He blamed it on whatever drug he’d been given.

“Erm, David? Honestly, you didn’t have to go all this trouble to jack off. I would have done it for you, you know that. Maybe if you took these ties off me, I could finish the job? Hand or mouth, I don’t mind either way. If you want to top, that’s fine with me too. I mean, I’m not even that hard either, so maybe we can work on that. Give you something more to look at.” He grinned through gritted teeth. There was no way Shane was getting the bastard off but it didn’t hurt to let him think that. He was more likely to punch the sly bugger in the nose. He disliked being made a fool of. 

David moaned but didn’t stop what he was doing. “God, Shane, you are just perfect any way, you know that? You have got the most incredibly sexy body. Not buff but really toned.” His plummy tones, which earlier had been very seductive to Shane’s ears, were now an irritating high class whine in Shane’s brain. “I’m sorry I had to slip you something and tie you up, but I prefer you that way."

Shane wondered if David had done this before and what the reaction had been from other men. He planned to make an example of the fact that it wasn’t the ‘done thing’ in his book just as soon as David cut him loose. 

“I really wanted you tonight, Shane. I liked undressing you while you slept, and then splaying you out like that for me to see.” The man shivered in ecstasy and Shane could see he was close to climaxing, “That’s what gets me off. I mean, I paid for you right, so I should get what I want. The customer’s always right, correct?”

Who the fuck did this guy think he was, treating him like a piece of meat? He might have paid for the evening, but that didn’t give the bastard any right to do this to him.

“I didn’t think you’d mind.” 

The whining increased, adding to the slow burn of fury that ebbed and waned through Shane's chest. He gritted his teeth, needing to talk the other man into letting him go, not blasting him with a tirade of salty swear words Shane had learned from his fisherman grandfather. He had rather a rather profane mouth as a result. 

“David, you look pretty close to eruption, so why don’t you let me go and I can help you with that? You like the look of my arse? Well, if you let me up, you can have it. It’s all yours.”

David moved closer to Shane, still tugging himself madly. David’s gasps grew more strident and louder as his body began to jerk uncontrollably.  Shane closed his eyes in resignation. It was too late. The hot, wet, acrid smelling ejaculate shot all over his stomach and groin as David directed it over him and shouted out in release. 

Shane was bathed in white spurts of semen that shot across his lower belly like silly string, warming his flesh and leaving sticky snail trails. It wasn’t the first time he’d been bathed in the stuff but it was the first time it had been done without his permission or willing participation. He opened his eyes to see David smiling at him.

“God, Shane, that was incredible,” David blabbered, missing Shane’s narrowed eyes and complete lack of humour as he bobbed around on the bed like a kid at Christmas. “Let me get those bonds off you. Hold on and I’ll untie you.”

A distinct sense of relief flooded Shane's body that he wasn’t closeted with a psycho about to carve him up or rape him. He knew he’d been lucky tonight and that made him all the more mad. He didn’t like taking risks like this one. 
Shane watched as the other man fiddled with the ankle restraints, and when he'd freed Shane's legs, David moved up over Shane’s body to untie his wrists.  He was oblivious to the stillness of Shane’s body and the tensing of his muscles as he waited to be set free.

As soon as he unties that first one, I am going to fucking deck him right across his pretty face and beat the shit out of him.

        AUTHOR BIO 

Sue Mac Nicol was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom. At the age of eight, her family moved to Johannesburg, South Africa where she stayed for nearly thirty years before arriving back in the UK in December 2000.

Sue works full time in the field of regulatory compliance for a company in the financial services industry in Cambridge. But she still finds time to work until the small hours of the night doing what she loves best – writing. Since her first novel, Cassandra by Starlight, was penned, introducing the debonair Bennett Saville and his lovely lady, Cassie Wallace, Sue has since written the other two books in her Starlight trilogy. 

She currently has five further novels completed, and at various stages of publication, ranging from two rather sexy gay male romances- her current passion, plus a paranormal suspense series and an erotic crime thriller. She enjoys the element of gay male romance in her books and this thread runs many of them, including her Starlight series. Her passion is keeping herself busy creating worlds and characters for her readers to enjoy.

Sue is a member of Romance Writers of America and Romantic Novelists Association in the UK. She is also a member of a rather unique writing group, called the Talliston Writers Circle, which in itself has a story all of its own to tell. 

She lives in the rural village of Bocking, in Essex, with her family. Her plan is to keep writing as long as her muse sits upon her shoulder. Her dream is to one day be able to give up the day job and get that big old house in the English countryside overlooking a river, where she can write all day and continue to indulge her passion for telling stories.

   Author's Links

Cassandra by StarligtFacebook
Linked In

Monday, July 15, 2013

Blog Tour- The Current Between Us by Kindle Alexandeer


            Sitting at the table, coffee in hand, I am nervous. I have never done an interview before. And I am starting with a dear friend and amazing author, Kindle Alexander, with her are Trent and Gage, the two men featured in her latest book The Current Between Us.  YUM  Ok have to get a hold of myself, well here goes!

    BOE:  Hi and welcome Kindle, Trent, and Gage thanks so much for letting us be a part of your book tour!
  Kindle:     Hi Teri DeGeorge! And Kimberly Flathers! THANK YOU for letting me be here! I love you guys so much. For anyone who reads this, you need to know these two are some of the best people on the planet. I met them online a couple of years ago, and they changed my life. I love you guys!

    BOE:     We love you too, we so excited to have you all here, shall we just jump right in? Kindle how long have you been writing?

  Kindle:       Not very long. No more than two years??? I started in role play three years ago and was terrible. I’m still terrible, but I love it! I hope I don’t ever stop!

  BOE:        Do you have a writing process?

   Kindle:         Teri knows this answer already! Yes, I have a process, it’s whenever time permits. Most of the time it’s in the middle of the night or an hour here, thirty minutes there.  As far as structure goes, I just follow what the bigger authors say to do – I did not try and reinvent the wheel. Outline, outline, outline, rough it, and then revise. I love writing more than reading because the characters get to stay with me longer. I’m a bookaholic and my book hangovers would kick my butt, writing helps keep them with me for longer – like months. I love that!

  BOE:         Are you more comfortable writing M/F or M/M stories?

  Kindle:  EWWW!! Who writes m/f – that’s so ten years ago… *bites lip* Everything in my head is male/male.

  BOE:     Where did the inspiration for The Current Between Us come from?

  Kindle:   Keagan Kruze and Aidan Wilde playing dress-up. I also loved being a parent of small children. I’ve had girls and boys. They are so different and so perfect when they are little. Just love them!

  BOE:     When it comes to buying books for yourselves do you prefer EBooks or paperbacks?

     Kindle:    100% ebook reader.  Paperbacks are like listening to the radio. It’s the same thing over and over and over and over. You can find so many more options and books online. It’s not just what a few Executive’s think I should be allowed to read – if that makes sense… Ebooks is a readers dream. THANK YOU Amazon for pulling all that together so easily!

   BOE:        Kindle, do you see an advantage to publishing in EBook format over the “traditional” paperback?

   Kindle:      I think so. I see the advantage being that no one sees what you are reading but you. People can read anything they want without fear of being judged. I also love have my library and ability to buy something new at my fingertips.

         BOE:   Trent, what is the most challenging part of raising two kids and running your own business?

        Trent:  He looks up a little lost as silence looms around him. He tried to think fast about the last thing said, realizing he zoned out, not paying any attention to the author above (but he’s just too nice a guy to say it out loud). “I’m sorry, what did you ask?”

        Trent:  He listened closely, focusing on Teri instead of the new cologne Gage wore today. “The juggle falls in the work load. It’s a concentrated effort to stop for family time in the evenings and weekends. The kids deserve it, but business is always, always in the back of my mind. Also the illness. It never fails, they get sick during the most inopportune moments!”

        Gage: Grinning over at Trent, he finally chuckled. “Em’s not feeling well right now. Her tummy hurts. Rhonny’s with her so we could be here. She thinks its food poison., I think it was all the candy she ate at the movies.”


      BOE:    Poor Em, we hope she feels better soon. Gage, is there someone living or dead that you would like to interview?

     Gage:   He keeps the grin on his face, taking Trent’s hand and drawing it up for a quick kiss. “I think my best answer is Trent’s mom. I want to know how she raised such a perfect son so I know what I’m doing in raising Hunter.” Trent barked out a laugh, and bumped Gage in the shoulder.

     Trent:   “My God, you’re such a charmer! We’re newlyweds, you’re automatically getting lucky tonight…” Trent stopped when he realized what he said, turning red faced as he looked down at his lap. That had Gage laughing more.

     Gage:    “My honest answer is the two women from The Bitches of Eastwick, because really, you two are the exact opposite of Bitches. You know, I have another bigger question for you Teri, how does it feel to be publicly married to a fictional character?”

   Teri(BOE):  *a smile spreads on my face as a blush colors my cheek a bright red* It is never a dull moment around him. In a moment he can make me smile and laugh, then the next I want to stomp on his toes LOL What can I say? I love the turd LOL

     BOE:     This is for all three of you. What do you want first time readers of M/M stories to take away from this book?

     Kindle:   That’s hard. I can only give my experience and hope people get to have the same fundamental life change as I did. I read my first male/male book about three and a half years ago. Being a lifelong reader, I knew I had a regular running cast playing round and round in my head, but after reading that book, the cast instantly turned to all men. It was so natural and stretched and evolved my imagination in such a good way, it changed my entire outlook on life. It woke me back up as a person and advocate – if that makes any sense. I say if you haven't read male/male you need too. Find the style of book you like – erotic, storytelling, romance and read a couple of books and then email me. Tell me what you think.

    BOE:       Thank you all for stopping by, it’s been great talking with you. We Sister's would love to have you back anytime.

                                      Here’s an excerpt from The Current Between Us:

Gage Synclair, international, hard-hitting investigative photojournalist, is preparing for the final special report of his career…a story of deception and murder six long years in the making. And after ten years in some of the worst parts of the world, he’s ready to settle down and open an art gallery in his hometown of Chicago. The only thing getting in his way, he needs to find a competent electrician to finish the job before his grand opening.

Trent Cooper, electrical contractor, is surprised by the last minute request for a fast-paced electrical remodel, wanting nothing more than to get his foot in the door with Layne Construction. Being gay in the construction industry isn’t easy, nor is being father to his two young adopted children. Trent keeps his life in separate zones to avoid a short circuit. But when the gallery owner propositions him on the first day, Trent can’t help but think his worlds are a little too close for comfort.

Will their high-voltage passion spark everlasting love or will their lives break the circuit between them

     If you would like to read my review for The Current Between Us click Here

About the Author:
Best Selling Author Kindle Alexander is an innovative writer, and a genre-crosser who writes classic fantasy, romance, suspense, and erotica in both the male/male and male/female genres. It’s always a surprise to see what’s coming next! Happily married, with five children, and four dogs living in the suburbs of Dallas, where the only thing bigger than the over active imagination, may be the women’s hair!

Author Links:

ENTER TO WIN: 1 of 3 copies of Texas Pride (ebook), 1 of 3 copies of The Current Between Us (ebook), or 1 $10 gift card for Amazon

Friday, July 12, 2013

Here it is, for your viewing pleasure...

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!!! Thank you so much for coming today. We the Sister Bitches are so happy to help our good friends JT Cheyanne and VL Moon reveal the cover of the upcoming book Love Life and Circumstance. The book will be released on July 30, 2013. The beautiful cover art was created by the talented Soxie Weston.
I know like us you will be counting the days till the release, and make sure to stay tuned of our review as well. Please spread the word about these fabulous ladies, let’s show the love!!

For more information about VL Moon and JT Cheyanne please visit their website 

To see more of Soxie Weston’s work visit her Facebook page

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Blog Tour - Fifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda Jones + GIVEAWAY

Never underestimate the power of a woman
on a double espresso with a mocha latte chaser high.

Charley Davidson isn’t your everyday, run-of-the-mill grim reaper.  She’s more of a paranormal private eye/grim reaper extraordinaire.  However, she gets sidetracked when the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, moves in next door. To further complicate matters, Reyes is her main suspect in an arson case.  Charley has vowed to stay away from him until she can find out the truth…but then dead women start appearing in her apartment, one after another, each lost, confused, and terrified beyond reason.  When it becomes apparent that her own sister, Gemma, is the serial killer’s next target Charley has no choice but to ask for Reyes’ help.  Arsonist or not, he’s the one man alive who could protect Gemma no matter who or what came at her. But he wants something in return. Charley. All of her, body and soul. And to keep her sister safe, it is a price she is willing to pay.
Charley Davidson is at it again in Fifth Grave Past the Light, the sexy, suspenseful, and laugh-out-loud funny fifth installment of the New York Times bestselling series by Darynda Jones.

NYTimes and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work, including a prestigious Golden Heart®, a Rebecca, two Hold Medallions, a RITA ®, and a Daphne du Maurier, and she has received stellar reviews from dozens of publications including starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and the Library Journal. As a born storyteller, Darynda grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike, and she is ever so grateful for the opportunity to carry on that tradition. She currently has two series with St. Martin’s Press: The Charley Davidson Series and the Darklight Trilogy. She lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband of almost 30 years and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys. She can be found at

Links To Author:
Links To Purchase Books:
      Barnes & Nobles

Now an Excerpt from Fifth Grave Past the Light.........
Ask me about life after death.
—T-shirt often seen on Charley Davidson,
    a grim reaper with questionable morals 

The dead guy at the end of the bar kept trying to buy me a drink.
Which figured. No one else was even taking a second look and I’d
dressed to the nines. Or, at the very least, the eight- and- a-halves.
But the truly disturbing part of my evening was the fact that my
mark, one Mr. Marvin Tidwell, blond real estate broker and suspected
adulterer, actually turned down the drink I’d tried to buy

Turned it down!

I felt violated.

I sat at the bar, sipping a margarita, lamenting the sad turn my life
had taken. Especially to night. This case was not going as planned.
Maybe I wasn’t Marv’s type. It happened. But I was oozing interest.
And I wore makeup. And I had cleavage. Even with all that going for
me, this investigation was firmly wedged between the cracks of no and
where. At least I could tell my client, aka Mrs. Marvin Tidwell, that it
would seem her husband was not cheating on her. Not randomly,
anyway. The fact that he could’ve been meeting someone in par tic ular
kept me glued to my barstool.

“C-come here often?”

I looked over at the dead guy. He’d finally worked up the courage
to approach and I got a better view of him. I figured him for the runt
of the litter. He wore round- rimmed glasses and a tattered baseball
cap that sat backwards on top of muddy brown hair. Add to that a
faded blue T-shirt and loosely ripped jeans and he could’ve been a
skater, a computer geek, or a backwoods moonshiner.

His cause of death was not immediately apparent. No stab wounds
or gaping holes. No missing limbs or tire tracks across his face. He
didn’t even look like a drug addict, so I couldn’t tell why he’d died at
such a young age. Taking into account the fact that his baby- faced
features would make him look younger than he probably was, I estimated
him to be somewhere around my age when he’d passed.

He stood waiting for an answer. I thought “Come here often?”
was rhetorical, but okay. Not wanting to be perceived as talking to
myself in a room full of people, I responded by lifting one shoulder
in a halfhearted shrug.

Sadly, I did. Come here often. This was my dad’s bar, and while I
never set up stings here for fear of someone I knew blowing my
cover, this just happened to be the very same bar Mr. Tidwell frequented.
At least if it came to a knockdown drag- out, I might have
some backup. I knew most of the regulars and all of the employees.

Dead Guy glanced toward the kitchen, seeming nervous before he
refocused on me. I glanced that way as well. Saw a door.

“Y-you’re very shiny,” he said, drawing my attention back to him.

He had a stutter. Few things were more adorable than a grown
man with boyish features and a stutter. I stirred my margarita and
pasted on a fake smile. I couldn’t talk to him in a room full of living,
breathing patrons. Especially when one was named Jessica Guinn, to
my utter mortification. I hadn’t seen her fiery red hair since high
school but there she sat, a few seats down from me, surrounded by a
group of chattering socialites who looked almost as fake as her boobs.
But that could be my bitterness rearing its ugly head.

Unfortunately, my forced smile only encouraged Dead Guy.

“Y-you are. You’re like the s-sun reflecting off the chrome bumper of
a f-fifty- seven Chevy.”

He splayed his fingers in the air to demonstrate, and my heart was
gone. Damn it. He was like all those lost puppies I tried to save as a
child to no avail because I had an evil stepmother who believed all
stray dogs were rabid and would try to rip out her jugular. A fact that
had nothing to do with my desire to bring them into the house.

“Yeah,” I said under my breath, doing my best ventriloquist impersonation,

“I’m D-Duff ,” he said.

“I’m Charley.” I kept my hands wrapped around my drink lest he
decide we needed to shake. Not many things looked stranger to the
living world than a grown woman shaking air. You know those kids
with invisible friends? Well, I was one of those. Only I wasn’t a kid,
and my friends weren’t invisible. Not to me, anyway. And I could see
them because I’d been born the grim reaper, which was not as bad as
it sounded. I was basically a portal to heaven, and whenever someone
was stuck on Earth, having chosen not to cross over immediately after
death, they could cross to the other side through me. I was like a giant
bug light, only what I lured was already dead.

I pulled at my extra- tight sweater. “Is it just me, or is it really
warm in here?”

His baby blues shot toward the kitchen again. “Hot is m-more
like it. S-so, I— I couldn’t help but notice you t-tried to buy that guy
over there a drink.”

I let my fake smile go. Freed it like a captured bird. If it came back
to me, it would be mine. If not, it never was. “And?”

“You’re b-barking up the wrong tree with that one.”

Surprised, I put my drink down— the one I bought myself— and
leaned in a little closer. “He’s gay?”

Duff snorted. “N-no. But he’s been in here a lot lately. He l-likes
his women a little . . . l-looser.”

“Dude, how much sluttier can I get?” I indicated my attire with a
sweep of my hand.

“N-no, I mean, well, you’re a l-little—” He let his gaze travel the
length of me. “—t-tight.”

I gasped. “I look anal?”

He drew in a deep breath and tried again. “H-he only hits on
women who are more s-substantial than you.”

Oh, that wasn’t offensive at all. “I have depth. I’ve read Proust.
No, wait, that was Pooh. Winnie- the- Pooh. My bad.”

He shifted his non ex is tent weight, cleared his throat, and tried
again. “More v-voluptuous.”

“I have curves,” I said through a clenched jaw. “Have you seen
my ass?”

“Heavier!” he blurted out.

“I weigh— Oh, you mean he likes bigger women.”

“E-exactly, while I on the other hand—”

Duff ’s words faded into the background like elevator music. So
Marv liked big women. A new plan formed in the darkest, most corrupt
corners of Barbara. My brain.

Cookie, otherwise known as my receptionist during regular business
hours and my best friend 24/7, was perfect. She was large and in
charge. Or well, large and kind of bossy. I picked up my cell phone
and called her.

“This better be good,” she said.

“It is. I need your assistance.”

“I’m watching the first season of Prison Break.”

“Cookie, you’re my assistant. I need assistance. With a case. You
know those things we take on to make money?”

“Prison. Break. It’s about these brothers who—”

“I know what Prison Break is.”

“Then have you ever actually seen these boys? If you had, you
would not expect me to abandon them in their time of need. I think
there’s a shower scene coming up.”

“Do these brothers sign your paycheck?”

“No, but technically neither do you.”

Damn. She was right. It was much easier to just have her forge my

“I need you to come flirt with my mark.”

“Oh, okay. I can do that.”

Nice. The F-word always worked with her. I filled her in and told
her the deal with Tidwell, then ordered her to hurry over.

“And dress sexy,” I said right before hanging up. But I regretted
the sexy part instantly. The last time I told Cookie to dress sexy for a
much- needed girls’ night out on the town, she wore a lace- up corset,
fishnet stockings, and a feather boa. She looked like a dominatrix. I’d
never been the same.