Posted in Historical, nonfiction, Spotlight on December 4, 2014

little miss sure shot

Title:                Little Miss Sure Shot: Annie Oakley’s World
Author:           Jeffrey Marshall
ISBN:               978-0-9845-5060-0
eBook ISBN:   978-1-3110-5771-6
Available in Paperback $8.95 on Amazon /
Available as an eBook $3.95


Little Miss Sure Shot is a fictionalized account of the life of Annie Oakley, drawing heavily on the real timelines and events of her life. Focusing on key times in Annie’s life, such as the early years Annie spent with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, touring Europe, and her loving marriage to fellow sharpshooter Frank Butler, the book looks at what it was like to be a woman in a sport dominated by men in the late 1880’s.


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Annie Defends Her Name

Annie Oakley stepped out of the hansom cab, paid the driver and walked purposefully to the gray stone building in front of her. She peered at the embossed script on the black metal sign and knew she was in the right place: It read, broadhurst and stevens, and it had the right degree of elegance for an office on Madison Avenue. As she pushed through the heavy door and headed down the dim hallway, she took note of the dark walnut paneling and the rich deep-blue carpet.

After a brief word with an efficient secretary, Annie was ushered into the office of Henry Broadhurst, Esquire, one of the most celebrated libel attorneys in the country. The room was furnished in dark wood and leather, and red brocaded curtains let in a modest amount of pale morning light. It seemed right for a man, and certainly for a lawyer, she thought. Broadhurst sat behind a large desk, dressed in a navy blue suit and a deep-blue tie with narrow yellow stripes. A tall man with an air of solemnity, he stood and showed her to a burgundy leather armchair facing him.

“Miss Oakley, I would be delighted to represent you,” he said. His face was flushed over a black beard streaked subtly with gray, and he was a bit stout; his watch chain bulged over the vest on his suit. “But I must warn you that the outcomes in these cases are unpredictable at best. And we know the Hearst forces probably will fight you at every turn.”

Annie had come to his office with real purpose: Her name had been sullied, and she wanted desperately to do something about it. She may have been a country girl from Ohio, unschooled and largely unlettered, but in the previous generation, she’d become a star, celebrated from New York to Paris and countless small towns across the United States. Now newspapers across the country owned by William Randolph Hearst had published a scurrilous report that linked her to theft and cocaine, something she found unimaginable.

The year was 1901, and the Hearst papers had circulated an item reporting that Annie Oakley was in prison, having been sentenced for stealing the pants of a Negro man in order to get money to buy cocaine. Annie discovered from another newspaper the real source of the story: A woman in a burlesque show who called herself “Any Oakley” had been the culprit, and some reporter had sprinted off with the news without checking out the facts more carefully.

Friends and acquaintances assured Annie that no one would believe the story was about her; it seemed like a hoax, or a sick joke that could be laughed off. But Annie was adamant about clearing her name. It was quintessential Annie Oakley: proud—even a touch self-righteous—and highly protective of her hard-earned reputation as a performer and extraordinary markswoman in a career that had made her the toast of Manhattan, London, and even Venice.

To Annie the story threatened everything she had built over the years: her image as a maiden from the Great Plains (a promotional ploy that had clung to her), pure as white linen. The reality was a bit different, like an image in a refracted glass. She had married at age 16 to fellow marksman Frank Butler, and she also had been onstage—generally not considered a place for ladies—though her career as an actress was hardly the stuff of legend.

Ordinarily, as her husband and manager, Frank would have been there with her. But he had come down with a heavy cold two days earlier and was still saddled with a hacking cough. So they agreed she would go alone; the appointment had been made a week earlier, and Annie was anxious to get the process underway.

So here she was, dressed in a gray suit, laced leather boots, and a small black hat slung at an angle over her long chestnut hair, which tumbled well past her shoulders. She sat forward in the chair, almost primly, and waited for Broadhurst to continue. The lawyer, who never had met her before, saw a petite, well-kept woman with gray eyes that sometimes hinted at shyness but met his gaze squarely.

“Are you determined to fight all these incidents of libel? I think you indicated there are more than fifty instances.”

“Indeed I am,” she replied. “As long as one remains, I’m afraid my reputation is in danger.”

“Very well.” He pursed his lips slightly over his well-groomed beard. Then he paused for a moment and put his hands together, flexing his fingers slowly. “We will do whatever you wish. I wish I could say it will be a matter of months, but in truth, it could be much longer. Are you prepared to wage a long fight?”

“I am, absolutely.” She was soft-spoken, but her tone was firm.

“There could be a great deal of travel involved,” Broadhurst continued. “You will almost certainly be asked to personally testify in each of these cases. The court will want to hear how you have been personally harmed by these falsehoods.”

Annie chuckled. “Mr. Broadhurst, travel is something I’m very used to. As I say, I will do my best to make myself available. I’m not a rich woman, of course, but this is more important to me than I can say.”

Excerpted from Little Miss Sure Shot: Annie Oakley’s World by Jeffrey Marshall. Published by Jeffrey Marshall. Copyright © Jeffrey Marshall 2014. Used with permission. All rights reserved.


About the Author

Jeffrey Marshall is a writer, poet and retired journalist. This is his first novel but third book, having published a business book on community reinvestment more than 20 years ago and a volume of collected poetry, River Ice, in 2009. He has an undergraduate degree in history from Princeton and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern. A resident of Scottsdale, AZ, he is a board member of the Desert Foothills Land Trust in Carefree, AZ.

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Posted in excerpt, Spotlight, suspense on December 3, 2014

The Franciscan Book Cover

The most internationally anticipated religious suspense-thriller since Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code, WR.PARK’s The Franciscan is now available for sale on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and CreateSpace. Written 14 years ago, The Franciscan eerily forebodes current events in the Vatican predicting the coming of the current Pope Francis and proves to be a timely novel more than a decade after it was penned. This is the first book in The Franciscan Trilogy.


“The pope is not infallible.” When the newly elected Pope Francis utters this bold and unprecedented statement, he captures the attention of the world’s population. His reforms leave no corner untouched as he strips away the mask so long held before the face of the papacy. Bringing with him and open-minded candor rarely seen by public figures – he’s an inspiration to his followers – and a threat to those who oppose him.

“When I penned this novel about a fictitious Pope Francis fourteen years ago, I never envisioned that a future pope would select the name, Pope Francis I. This novel’s Pope Francis is a bold and courageous pope whose sweeping reforms reversing ancient Vatican edicts place his life in grave danger. The world can only hope and pray that today’s Pope Francis, as bold as he is, will be fruitful in his endeavors and have a lengthy and healthy reign,” said WR.PARK.


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NEARLY A WEEK HAD PASSED since Symon’s discovery, and he had read the translated manuscripts numerous times. He consumed the written words as a dying man gasps for breath. The mystery surrounding the ancient narrative fueled his imagination and stimulated his craving to know more. While he sat by the opening of the cave, the sun warmed his body, and meditation purified his soul. What could have been Assuri’s last words on earth, and the narrative of his days at the Library of Alexandria bewitched him beyond belief.

“Somewhere,” he thought. “Somewhere between the lines, somewhere hidden within Assuri’s journal could be a clue to a far greater treasure. A treasure that has eluded humankind for thousands of years. A treasure that could help answer the question: what was the history of the world prior to the mass destruction in Alexandria of recorded chronicles?” Once again, Symon read the rendering of the second journal-manuscript.

“I, Assuri, a trusted slave of Babylon, journeyed by the great river to the northwest (Symon’s note: Euphrates River), disembarking at a predetermined site before reaching the town of Carrhae. Then west by land over the mountain range to the sea and Tarsus. My beloved master had a relative who lived in Tarsus and who arranged passage by boat to Alexandria. In all, I witnessed ten suns rise and set, and paid homage to the gods for my safety, which was in peril as I will relate.” (Symon’s note: Estimating a distance of some 2,000 kilometers.)

“My thoughtful master, knowing all well that I have never ventured far from the city, dispatched two mercenaries to accompany, guide and protect this humble servant on the trek to Alexandria with our most cherished volumes in tow. When the request from Hypatia (Symon’s note: A most highly respected female mathematician and astronomer.) of Alexandria arrived, my master immediately routed a message to inform his dear friend that he would certainly comply. It was an honor to have the writings of our late high priest Berossus’ three volumes of

the world dating from Creation to the Great Flood copied and preserved in the Great Library at Alexandria.” (Symon’s note: About all that is presently known about the volumes is that Berossus estimated the time between the two events to be 400,000 years—a hundred times longer than Old Testament chronology.)

I was excited beyond belief. The journey would be tedious and dangerous, but my master’s description of Alexandria and the library, and Hypatia’s beauty filled my being with joy. His entrusting the volumes greatly humbled this person. My love for him grew like a raging river as he told me of rooms upon rooms filled with writings gathered for hundreds of years and valued more than gold.” (Symon’s note: There were an estimated 500,000 scroll-books

from Greece, Persia, Israel, India, Africa, and many other countries, all comprising the knowledge and history of the world to date. Alexandria was a community of scholars studying and teaching: physics, literature, astronomy, philosophy, music, medicine, biology, mathematics and engineering. The world’s first research institute. In the early 300’s BC King Ptolemy I wrote: ‘To all the sovereigns and governors on earth. I implore you to immediately send me works by authors of every kind: poets, rhetoricians and sophists, doctors and soothsayers, historians, and all others, too.’ Thus began the Library of Alexandria, and for hundreds of years the known writings, including history, were duplicated and stored. The line of Ptolemys, ending with the death of Cleopatra, set out to not only collect every book in the world, but to translate them all into Greek.)

“With Berossus’ works slung over my neck, close to my person in a large leather sheep-lined pouch, and my guides aboard, we set sail northwest. The night’s encampments were uncommonly dark. On the fourth night, berthed on the bank where the great river sprang streams to both the north and south, I overheard the two men plotting to kill the servant and nip the valued prize. On the fifth night, playing the fool and obedient servant, and after grinding a powder from a known venomous plant, I sprinkled an amount sufficient enough into the wine jug to render them in a death-like state for at least two days. If they survived. They fell for my offering, and drank with gluttonous passion. At first light I left them in slumber, and pushed on, knowing full well they would not follow once they realized I was two days ahead of them.


Praise for The Franciscan

New York Times bestselling author James Rollins commented on WR.PARK’s thirteenth novel: “I’ve been a fan of WR.PARK’s work for years.”

“The Franciscan featuring the first Pope Francis is about murder, suicide, extortion, assassins, devilish plots with a narrative with more twists and turns than a ride through purgatory.” – Publisher’s Auxiliary

“Unexpectedly thrust upon the throne of St. Peter by dark forces within the Vatican, this pope is trying to institute a radical agenda of change while contending with assassination attempts and political intrigue… and then things get really exciting.” – The Leaven Catholic Newspaper

“The Franciscan is a fascinating tale and has great general appeal. Readers who like intrigue and mystery in a colorful historical setting will enjoy [WR.PARK’s] effort and will certainly look forward to his subsequent offering.” – The Sun Newspaper

“Every now and then a book I’m asked to read and write about pleasantly surprises me. The Franciscan is a case point. It’s an intriguing read – weaving together two fascinating tales. It kept me interested up to and including the end.” – Northwest Florida Daily News


About the Author

WR.PARK_1Author, columnist, teacher, lecturer, past president of three advertising agencies, William R. Park, Sr. is nationally known and respected in the advertising and literary worlds—and a Member of International Thriller Writers, Inc. His past works include: The Talking Stones, Overlay, Fatal Incision, plus ten others, each backed by glowing praise from numerous bestselling authors.

WR.PARK currently resides in the Kansas City area with his wife Genie.

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Posted in Cover Reveal, paranormal, Young Adult on December 2, 2014


Title: Buried in New Orleans (Ripsters #3)

Author: Chris Myers

Genre: YA Paranormal

Series: Ripsters

Release Date: January 13, 2015

Puiblisher: Books on the Edge


Jolie’s best friend Drew has always been special, despite the fact he’s dead. But what she uncovers in New Orleans may mean the end of him.

Almost a year ago, Drew made a suicide pact with his girlfriend April Savoie. Jolie and Brit drag him back to New Orleans where it all happened to find out why he cannot crossover. While they make their way to the French Quarter, April’s younger sister Addy steals a death speaker stone from the voodoo queen of New Orleans.

Even though her heart belongs to Drew, Jolie must face his ex-girlfriend. She will also have to find her old babysitter, the voodoo queen, before she exacts her revenge on Addy, and most of all, Jolie must return Drew to his rightful place before it’s too late.




~ About the Author ~


Chris Myers spends most of her free time writing and dreaming up new characters who fight each other for page time. She is an award-winning author of five published novels: LENNON’S JINX and LENNON’S RAIN, first two in a New Adult romance trilogy, and DAT E WIT H T HE DEAD and DEAD AND MISSING, first two in a YA paranormal mystery series, and a dark thriller.

Chris’s work has appeared in the NewsMag and has earned several awards including first place Paul Gillette, Colorado Gold finalist, and semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. She has taught writing workshops for PPW and Delve Writing and was an adjunct professor at CSU.


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Posted in Medical Thriller, Spotlight on December 2, 2014

Cajun Nights is the first book in this series set in the Big Easy by author D.J. Donaldson.  The second book is Blood on the Bayou and the third book is No Mardi Gras for the Dead.

Cajun Nights - D.J. Donaldson



Young and vibrant New Orleans criminal psychologist Kit Franklyn has just been assigned her most challenging case yet—a collection of victims with type O blood who drove an antiquated car, humming a nursery rhyme right before committing murder and then suicide. Welcoming the help of her jovial boss, chief medical examiner Andy Broussard, the two set out to solve the case devising strictly scientific possibilities. Not once do they consider the involvement of black magic until an ancient Cajun sorcerer’s curse surfaces—“Beware the songs you loved in youth.”

Written in his unique style, Donaldson’s Cajun Nights combines hard-hitting, action-packed prose with brilliant first-hand knowledge of forensics and the sultry flavor of New Orleans. The result is a gripping mystery involving murder and some occult flare in the creole heartland.


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About the Author

DJ Donaldson ImageD.J. Donaldson is a retired professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology.  His entire academic career was spent at the University of Tennessee, Health Science Center, where he published dozens of papers on wound-healing and where he taught microscopic anatomy to thousands of medical and dental students.

He is also the author of seven published forensic mysteries and five medical thrillers. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee with his wife and two West Highland terriers. In the spring of most years he simply cannot stop buying new flowers and other plants for the couple’s prized backyard garden.

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Posted in Cozy, Monday, mystery on December 1, 2014

In July, I was lucky enough to read and review L. B. Hathaway’s first book in a new cozy series, Murder Offstage.  This was such a fun book and I can’t wait to get to this book sometime in the future (and if you saw my stack of books you would understand!)  I also want to let you know that her first book is FREE from December 1st through the 5th.  So pick it up now!  You can find it on Amazon and Amazon UK

Tomb of the Honey Bee Cover


From acclaimed British author L. B. Hathaway comes this exciting new cozy murder mystery featuring the redoubtable Private Detective, Posie Parker.

This is the second book in the Posie Parker mystery series, although it can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story. Set across a number of exotic locations in the summer of 1921, ‘The Tomb of the Honey Bee’ is a mystery as sweet as honey, but with a distinct sting in the tail. A classic murder mystery which will appeal to fans of Agatha Christie and Downton Abbey.

When Posie is asked to find a world-famous explorer who has gone missing, she finds herself in murky waters yet again: an aristocratic family torn apart by hatred, a bizarre murder at an English country house, and a cryptic clue left behind by the explorer which is sweeter than honey, but deadlier than poison.

In a case where simply everyone has a motive for wanting the explorer dead, Posie’s investigation starts off in the English Cotswolds, takes her through the glamorous South of France, on to the mysterious island of Ortigia in Italy, and then into the Tombs of the Pharaohs in Egypt.

But is she being followed by a cold-blooded killer? And if so, why? And where has Len, her almost-boyfriend, disappeared to?


About the Author

Lily Author ShotCambridge-educated, British-born L.B. Hathaway writes historical fiction and contributes to a number of popular history magazines and websites. She worked as a lawyer at Lincoln’s Inn in London for almost a decade before becoming a full-time writer. She brings her love of detective novels set in the Golden Age of Crime and an obsession with English history to her own writing.

The Posie Parker series of cozy crime novels span the 1920s. They each combine a core central mystery, an exploration of the reckless glamour of the age and a feisty protagonist who you would love to have as your best friend.

Her other interests, in no particular order, are: very fast downhill skiing, theatre-going, drinking strong tea, Tudor history, exploring castles and generally trying to cram as much into life as possible. She lives in London and Switzerland with her husband and young family.

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