Friday, August 30, 2013

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Fiance by Friday by Catherine Bybee

Please join me in welcoming Catherine Bybee on her Fiance by Friday Blog Tour.  Please leave a comment or question to let Catherine know you stopped by.  You can enter her tour wide giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You can also follow Catherine’s tour here.  
by Catherine Bybee
The Weekday Bride Series, Book 3
Montlake Romance, Contemporary
August 13, 2013, First Edition
Paperback & Kindle


The beautiful high-born daughter of an English duke came to America to take over her sister-in-law’s matchmaking business. But just because she’s the boss doesn’t mean she can’t fantasize about making her own perfect match with bodyguard Neil MacBain. Will the enigmatic man who haunts her dreams cost her more than she bargained for?


The retired Marine can’t deny the effect blue-blooded Gwen has on his troubled soul or his battle-hardened bodY. Bus as a client, Gwen is off-limits—until a threat from Neil’s past returns… and Gwen is caught in the crossfire. Now to keep her safe he will risk it all: his career, his life… and his heart.


“The hero and heroine come to life with each flip of the page
 and will linger  long after readers cross the finish line.

“Bybee takes an elegant titled lady, a dark emotionally guarded hero, a menacing stalker,
and a cast of distinctive characters mixing it all up into an unusual courtship tale
full of danger an sexual tension.”

“The hottest love on mainstream paper…
Ms. Bybee does not disappoint.”

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Eliza flagged down a waitress and ordered a martini. “I see not a lot has changed,” she said after the waitress left.

“What do you mean?” Gwen asked.

“We’re sitting in a bar and your giant shadow is lurking in the back of the building.” Eliza tossed a peanut in her mouth.

“My shadow?”

Eliza looked o the right of the bar. “Yeah. The man who acts like you’re a job but can’t seem to leave you alone. If it was anyone other than Neil I’d be afraid he was a stalker.”

Gwen twisted around in her chair. Sure enough, perched at the edge of a seat on the far side of the bar, sat Neil.

“What’s he doing here?”

His eyes found hers for a brief moment before she looked away.

“I think that’s obvious.”

Her back teeth started to grind. “I don’t’ need a babysitter.”

“I don’t know, Gwen. The last time we sat in a bar I remember a certain someone getting drunk and a couple of other someones getting into a fight.”

She’d never live that down. Gwen and Eliza went to blow off steam in a Texas bar. The cowboys were full of “yes, ma’am” and “howdy, darlin’.” They danced and carried on…and yes, she drank a little too much. When one of the cowboys mistakenly took her smile as an invitation for intimacy, Neil erupted form the bar to teach the cowboy the meaning of the word no.

It was the first time Neil had defended her honor, and though she hated to admit it, she got a kick out of how ticked off he became when another man looked at her. “That was last year.”

“What’s changed since then?”

Nothing! It didn’t matter how much she flirted with the man, or how obvious she was about her attraction Neil didn’t bite.

“Everything.” Gwen stood, ready to put Neil I his place. “If you’ll both excuse me for a minute.”

She pushed her way through the crowd as if on a collision course with Neil. He kept his lips in a thin line as she approached and gripped the longneck bottle at his side. Slipping between the woman on the stool next to him and Neil’s massive frame, Gwen slapped a hand on her hip and growled. “What are you doing here?”

He blinked, once and picked up his beer. “Having a drink.”

She wanted to scream. “Having a drink,” she repeated.

He tilted the bottle back, took a swig.

“I know what you’re doing, Neil. And I don’t like it. I don’t want or need a bodyguard.”

“That’s debatable.”

If stomping her foot would knock some sense into him, she’d stomp better than a farm girl in a vineyard.

Poking a finger into his chest, she moved closer. “Do you have any idea how difficult it is to have a love life with a two-hundred-thirty-pound bodybuilder standing in my way?”

A muscle in his jaw tightened. “Two hundred and fifty.”

“Ahhh!” She did scream now.

He lifted his beer again, but before he could take a swig, Gwen grabbed it from his fingers and tilted it back herself.

In a move that would make Eliza and Karen proud, she pushed the empty beer bottle back into his hand and slid between his thighs.

His jaw twitched again.

The strong musky scent that was pure Neil invaded her senses. She dropped one hand to his thigh and left it there. “This is how I see it, Neil. You have two choices. Either back off or step up.”

Gwen squeezed his thigh before vacating his personal space and marching back to the girls. A satisfied smile stretched over her face.

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New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bybee was raised in Washington State, but after graduating high school, she moved to Southern California in hopes of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned novels Wife by Wednesday, Married by Monday, and Not Quite Dating. Bybee lives with her husband and two teenage sons in Southern California.  


My Review

A former special ops soldier suffering from PTSD more than meets his match in a woman who secretly arranges “temporary” marriages for the rich and famous in Fiancé by Friday, the third book in The Weekday Brides series by Catherine Bybee.  Well developed characters, a sexy romantic suspense plot and good pacing kept me turning the pages to discover what was going to happen next.  While a part of a series, this is a book that can be enjoyed on its own.

Taking over her sister in law’s business, Lady Gwen Harrison quietly arranges “temporary” marriages for the rich and famous.  While she may be a member of British “royalty”, Gwen is practical, likeable and understanding of her clients needs.  Her only problem is her attraction to Neil McBain, her bodyguard, who insists they maintain a business only relationship.  She can’t stop fantasizing about what it would be like if she could get him to see her as a desirable woman instead of as just his boss.

A retired marine, Neil McBain is content working as a private bodyguard.  Especially when he only has to guard Lady Gwen Harrison, his only client.  Determined to keep things just business between them, Neil can’t stop thinking and dreaming about Gwen as everything but his boss.  At least until something from his past requires him to put his life, and his heart, on the line for her.

The scenes between Gwen and Neil are well written, lots of fun and full of romantic tension.  While they’re both attracted to each other, Neil has trouble dealing with his emotions, he’s suffering from PTSD, and Gwen is a woman who’s just become comfortable in her own skin.  Ms. Bybee does an excellent job developing both of their characters and slowly fans their romance into existence.

When someone begins stalking Gwen, and Neil realizes it could be someone from a botched mission he was part of as a marine, they find themselves on the run.  Will Neil be able to keep Gwen safe from his past?  Will Gwen be able to break through Neil’s barriers and claim his heart as her own?  You’ll have to read Fiancé by Friday to find out.  I enjoyed it and can’t wait to go back and catch up on the rest of the series.  

My Rating:  4.5 out of 5 Crowns

FTC Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour.  I received no additional compensation for my opinion of the reading material provided. 

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Promo Blitz for John Smith by Roland Hughes

John Smith - PROMO Blitz
By Roland Hughes

Dystopian / Sy Fy
Date Published: 5/3/2013

What if the Mayans got the start of the end correct because they had survived it once before? What if our written history was just as accurate as the old tale about three blind men describing an elephant? What if classic science fiction writing and television shows each got a piece of it correct, would you know which ones? If your eyes can only see a tiny portion of a collage do you know it is a collage?

Fans of Babylon 5, Star Trek TNG, Battle Star Galactica (the new one) and classic science fiction writing will enjoy the bountiful Easter Egg hunt contained within. When you were a child you learned to connect paper clips or thread beads together to make a necklace. Sit back and watch the beads you’ve had all your life form the picture you could not see. Consider for one second the possibility of the story, then hang onto your mind with both hands while you take the ride.

Roland Hughes

Author Bio:

Roland Hughes is the president of Logikal Solutions, a business applications consulting firm specializing in VMS platforms. Hughes serves as a lead consultant with over two decades of experience using computers and operating systems originally created by Digital Equipment Corporation (now owned by Hewlett-Packard).

With a degree in Computer Information Systems, the author's experience is focused on OpenVMS systems across a variety of diverse industries including heavy equipment manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, stock exchanges, tax accounting, and hardware value-added resellers, to name a few. Working throughout these industries has strengthened the author's unique skill set and given him a broad perspective on the role and value of OpenVMS in industry.

Mr. Hughes' technical skill sets include the following tools that enable him to master and improve OpenVMS applications: DEC/VAXC, DEC/VAX C++, DEC BASIC, DCL, ACMS, MQ Series, DEC COBOL, RDB, POWERHOUSE, SQL, CMS/MMS, Oracle 8i, FORTRAN, FMS, and Java, among others. Being fluent in so many technical languages enables Hughes to share his knowledge more easily with other programmers. 

To read Roland's non-fiction books, please visit

To read Roland's blog, please visit

This Promo is brought to you by Reading Addiction Blog Tours

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Book Blast & Giveaway for The Portal's Choice by KD Pryor

Join KD Pryor, author of the YA paranormal, The Portal’s Choice, as she tours the blogosphere August 5 – 30 on her first Book Blast with Pump Up Your Book! KD will be giving away a $25 Amazon GC/Paypal Cash to one lucky reader! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form on the participating blogs below and good luck!   You can follow the tour here.  

The Portal’s Choice
By K.D. Pryor
The Gatekeepers of Em'pyrean, Book 1

Publisher: Madaket Lane Publishers 
Release Date: May 4, 2013

Genre: YA Paranormal
Length:  496 Pages

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Book Description: 

Journal, just in case . . .

I didn’t ask to meet ghosts. Shoot, I was fine without them in my life. Uncle Craig and Hannah were nasty to me, but at least I knew how to handle living pains in the butt. Now I have to figure out how to open and close a portal between the human and spirit worlds. And I have to find and return a bunch of angry ghosts through the gateway and lock them on their side. I don’t know why the portal chose me to do this, a fifteen-year-old kid with no ghost busting experience. But it did. And if I want a ghost-free night’s sleep anytime soon, I’d better figure out how to get the job done. Because I’ve about had it with murderous ghouls and their unpleasant agendas.  “Signed Tallis Challinor”

After the death of her parents, Tallis Challinor and her brother Wyatt must move to the Midwest to live with their dead mother’s sister and her family. When Aunt Sandra dies three-and-a-half years later, Tallis and Wyatt find themselves moving yet again, this time to New Hampshire to live with their father’s sister, Aunt Gabbie, and her husband Noreis. Gabbie is young, pretty and fun. Tallis remembers being a little girl and playing with her Aunt at the family home in California, before her parents died. So Tallis is excited to re-locate and reconnect with Gabbie. But what should have been a happy reunion is plagued with problems when Noreis opens a portal between the spirit and human worlds located in the basement of the house.

Tallis is a practical kid. She doesn’t believe that ghosts exist. But she can’t deny what she sees with her own eyes and the two ghosts Tallis meets at Thanksgiving in the basement of her aunt’s house are definitely not figments of her imagination, although she wishes they were. Tallis is unwittingly drawn into the portal’s energy when one of the ghosts fixates on her and forces her to assist in the release of three particularly nasty spirits. As a final blow, the portal chooses Tallis as a temporary gatekeeper and she finds herself charged with the duty of returning the very ghouls she’s set free, plus a few of their buddies, back to the spirit realm. 

As Tallis learns the secrets of the portal and begins to understand her newly acquired power, she formulates a plan to return the ghosts. Along the way, she receives help from many new friends who fill in the details about the identity of the escaped spirits, providing a possible motive for the outrageous actions of the escaped ghosts. Tallis must learn to trust herself and others as she taps into her inner courage to get the job done and save her town from the angry restless dead set.

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April 29th, 2:30 in the morning

One week to go.

I feel it, the nearness of the spirits. The fact that everything is aligning to some sort of conclusion. I hope I’m ready. I hope I have the power to finish this thing. And, I hope that Gregory Millard calls soon.

The shrill ring of the phone pierced the late night silence of the house, startling me out of an exhausted sleep. My body jerked to semi-awareness and I reached for it, knocking it to the floor in my confusion. I reached down, patted the floor, and finally found the phone as it rang for the third time.

“Yeah?” I mumbled.

“Hello, can you hear me?” shouted a voice I didn’t recognize.

I was groggy with sleep and confused as to my exact location. 
The voice continued hollering at me, but I had trouble focusing on it as my sluggish brain worked to figure out why I wasn’t in my bed. Finally, I remembered that I’d fallen asleep on the sofa in the front room. Satisfied that I could place my body in space, I directed my mind to the person who was calling. A glance at the clock on the wall said it was 2:00. In the morning.

“Who is this?” I asked, stretching my neck until I felt a loud, satisfying crack.

“My name is …” a male voice started, then abruptly stopped. The connection appeared to be lost.

“Hey, are you there?” I hollered back into the phone, assuming that if the caller had to yell to be heard, he needed me to yell back at him.

“Tallis, what’s going on down there?” my aunt, Gabbie, called to me. She hurried down the creaky, wooden staircase.

“Phone call,” I mumbled when she appeared in the doorway. “But I think the connection’s broken. It wasn’t too good to start with.”

Gabbie moved to my side and looked down at me. The flickering fire in the wood stove illuminated the paleness of her skin and amplified the heavy shadows under her eyes. She looked awful, much older than her twenty-seven years.

“Do you think?” she began, and then swallowed. “Is it him?”

I shook my head. “I don’t know.”

The voice burst through the static. “Gregory Millard.” He was gone again.

About the Author:

KD Pryor started life in Missouri, where she read lots of books, even sneaking them into baseball games to the irritation of her father. Kelley graduated with a degree in International and Comparative Studies from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. After college and marriage to a great guy, she decided to pursue a law degree at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Her oldest son was born soon after law school, followed three years later by her daughter and a move to Kentucky. One more son, a move to Ohio and four years later, her family jumped on the opportunity to move to India. They lived in Bangalore, now Bengaluru, for four wonderfully chaotic years, traveling all over Asia, Australia and Europe.

Now, settled in New Hampshire with her family and herd of cats (only three), she can often be found in her office, working on the next installment of “The Gatekeepers of Em’pyrean” series, reading one of a dozen books she has started, and dreaming of her future travel destinations.

“The Portal’s Choice”, book one in “The Gatekeeper’s of Em’pyrean” series featuring Tallis Challinor, was released on May 6, 2013.

“The Forgotten Gate”, book two in the series, is scheduled for release in 2014.

Visit her website at

Connect & Socialize with KD!

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway for Shadow of Perception by Kristine Mason

Please join me in welcoming Kristine Mason on her virtual book tour for Shadow of Perception (CORE Shadow Trilogy, #2) presented by Goddess Fish Promotions.  Please leave a comment or question for Kristine to let her know you stopped by.  Kristine will be awarding $5 Amazon gift cards to six randomly drawn commenters during the tour as well as print books to ten other randomly drawn commenters during the tour. Five will be of Pick Me, a contemporary romance; and a gnome will come with the five copies of Shadow of Danger, book one of the suspense series. [US ONLY on the books].  You can follow her tour here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning.  Stay tuned for my review of both books later this week (I'm really liking the first one so far)
Shadow of Perception
By Kristine Mason
CORE Shadow Trilogy, Book 2

Publisher: Kristine Mason
Release Date: July 21, 2013

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Length: 341 Pages

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Book Description: 

What happens when negligent plastic surgeons receive a taste of their own medicine…?

Chicago investigative reporter, Eden Risk, receives an unmarked envelope containing a postcard ordering her to watch the enclosed DVD…or someone else dies. No Police. After Eden watches the DVD, a gruesome, horrifying surgery, she turns to the private criminal investigation agency, CORE, for help. Only she hadn’t expected that help to come with a catch. Her former lover, Hudson Patterson, has been assigned to the case.

Hudson would rather have another CORE agent handle the investigation. Two years ago, he’d screwed things up with Eden…bad. And as more DVDs arrive, Eden and Hudson find themselves not only knee-deep in a twisted investigation, but forced to deal with their past, and the love they’d tried to deny. 

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Excerpt :

Bad Guy’s POV:

The alarm on his watch beeped, reminding him what he’d already known. His patient would be waking soon, and by the low moan from the other room, he would have to act fast before the bastard regained full consciousness. Sure, he’d strapped the man down, but he didn’t want to miss the look on the shithead’s face when his eyes fluttered open, only to discover he’d just woken up in hell.

As he was about to exit the office, though, shame suddenly clouded his judgment. What he’d spent seven long years preparing for went beyond immoral and had his conscience battling with his anger and need for revenge. Sweat coated his skin and trickled down his back. His heart quickened and his head grew dizzy with the onslaught of a panic attack. Until he glanced at the letter he had framed and hung on the wall. The final contact he would ever have from his beloved daughter. While he’d memorized Eliza’s words, each bold and bubbly stroke of her script, he honed in on one line in particular for encouragement.

Make them listen, Daddy.

Another moan, this time even louder, filtered into the office. His head cleared, his heart slowed to normal, and an eerie calm settled over him.

“They’ll do more than listen, baby,” he whispered, rage suddenly sweeping away any thoughts of immorality or ethics or principles. Screw those things. Screw those quacks who had destroyed his daughter’s life.

Without hesitation he left the office and entered the main section of the thirty-by-fifty steel garage. He hadn’t needed the entire space and had chosen to fulfill his plans in the west corner of the building, where the lighting was best and the bathroom and utility sink were closest. Things would become messy after all.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

I didn’t pick up my first romance novel until I was in my late twenties. Immediately hooked, I read a bazillion books before deciding to write one of my own. After the birth of my first son I needed something to keep my mind from turning to mush, and Sesame Street wasn’t cutting it. While that first book will never see the light of day, something good had come from writing it. I realized my passion, and had found a career that I love.

When I’m not writing contemporary romances and dark, romantic suspense novels (or reading them!) I’m chasing after my four kids and two neurotic dogs.





Don't forget to leave a comment or question for Kristine to let her know you stopped by.  Kristine will be awarding $5 Amazon gift cards to six randomly drawn commenters during the tour as well as print books to ten other randomly drawn commenters during the tour. Five will be of Pick Me, a contemporary romance; and a gnome will come with the five copies of Shadow of Danger, book one of the suspense series. [US ONLY on the books].  You can follow her tour here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway for Dirty Water by Richard Hacker

Join me in welcoming Richard Hacker on his blog tour for Dirty Water, presented by Reading Addiction Blog Tours.  Please leave a comment or question for Richard to let him know you stopped by.  The instructions for his tour wide giveaway are below and you can follow Richard’s tour here.  

10 Things You Didn’t Know About DIRTY WATER by Richard Hacker

1.  Pflugerville is a real place.  Yes, the town of Pflugerville, now more of a bedroom community to Austin, was founded by a German immigrant, Henry Pfluger Sr. around 1849.  You may know the town from the television show, Friday Night Lights, shot in and around P-ville. 
2.  While Izzy Zydeco is a fictional creation, the virtual gaming entrepreneur would not be lonely in Austin, which boast many high-tech firms and host the SXSW music and technology conferences every year.
3.  In DIRTY WATER, Governor Fran Adamson has been known to shoot varmints and wild animals with a concealed handgun while she jogs.  So has the real governor of Texas. Rick Perry once shot a coyote while out running.  And no, in my experience, most Texas do not carry a gun when they go for a jog.
4.  Water is a huge issue, not only for Texas, but the Southwest United States.  When my fictional developer Dan Hoyt needs water for his project, he recalls a man who pumped vast amounts of water from the Edwards Aquifer for his fish farm.  When the dust of litigation settled from San Antonio and Austin, he turned off his pump. 
5.  Protagonist Nick Sibelius loves his breakfast tacos at what happens to be my favorite breakfast locale in Pflugerville -- El Rincòn. 
6.  MaryLou finds Izzy in a downtown absinthe bar on 4th Street called Péché.
7.  Nick meets the governor while she swims laps at Barton Springs, an ice cold natural spring pool which is actually frequented by swimmers year round.
8.  While the drug cartel, Los Diablos Tejanos, is fiction, the Texas Department of Public Safety published a report in 2013 stating there are six Mexican drug cartels active in the state.
9.  Charity, my sociopathic cycling eco-terrorist, rides a Guru bicycle handcrafted in Montreal, Canada. 
10.    Nick, a no nonsense kind of guy, especially when it comes to his boots. No ostrich quill, lizard or rattlesnake for him. He wears Lucchese calf skin boots.

Read more of Richard Hacker’s blogs at and find him on Facebook at

You can find DIRTY WATER, and Nick Sibelius’ previous Texas crime adventure, TOXIC RELATIONSHIP at your favorite digital bookseller.
Dirty Water
By Richard Hacker
A Nick Sibelius Novel (Book 2)

Publisher: Champagne Books
Release Date: June 2, 2013

Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Length: 236 Pages

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Book Description: 

An open and shut case of vandalism leaves more questions than answers for PI Nick Sibelius, as he untangles a knot of egomania, desire and greed.

When entrepreneur Dan Hoyt makes a deal with virtual gaming icon, Izzy Zydeco, to partner in a desalination project Hoyt begins to count his money.  Unknown to Hoyt, his partner has bigger and more insidious plans, which involves betraying a major drug cartel and, in a twisted business strategy to build a customer base for desalinated water, contaminating the Austin water supply for the next century. Working with a covert Homeland Security agent and past love, MaryLou and his new partner, Theresa, Nick must thwart Izzy and ultimately choose between justice and saving Theresa’s life.  

Water is up for grabs in Texas and Nick discovers that H2O is a dirty business.

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Target #5

Charity’s universe demanded blood for the pain she endured.

She sat in her black Nissan Leaf, silent but for the sound of the impatient tapping of her fingers on the steering wheel. Her eyes fixed on a red roof tiled Spanish revival number in the cul-de-sac of Island Palms Cove, a street lined with multi-million dollar mansions along a custom built peninsula on Lake Austin. Ignoring the opulence, she watched a fire red Ferrari 430, license plate number HNJ 793.

Her hopped up, speed addicted, hacker of a cousin Larry had provided, as usual, the required critical information. She'd handed him her standard envelop with his “medication” and a license plate number. Several hours later, he emailed an encrypted file with all of the particulars, including a code for the security gate. Charity would make Daniel Hoyt pay for his disrespect of cyclists.

She pondered the idea of sticking a gun in Hoyt’s, mouth. She’d pull the trigger, watching his brain matter splatter across the mirrored surface of his fucking Italian super car. Imagining how sun-baked blood and brain would absolutely eat right through the clear coat, destroying his mirror finish, gave her a visceral pleasure. Balance. Don't worry about the future, girl, focus on the goal.

Sitting in her carbon zero car, she downed a non-fat latte, one power bar and an electrolyte packed coconut water. Her hip ached and the need to take a piss rose with some urgency. For a moment she considered packing it in for the day, knowing she could come back tomorrow. Tapping an iPod strapped to her arm, a high energy male voice filled her ear buds.

“Are you haunted by demons? Do you find your plans faltering? Do you let your fear of failure stop you from achieving your goals?”

Charity spoke out loud to her demons – the lazy, fat, loser demons who always haunted her whenever she “hit the wall” during a race or a workout.

“Come on, Charity! Push it! Push through it, goddamn it! Let’s go. Let’s go!”

The podcast continued. “How do you approach life? ‘Fire, ready, aim’? To live with intention, to live consciously in the world, you must rearrange your world from ‘fire, ready, aim’ to ‘ready, aim, fire!’”

Charity stepped out of the car into a warm, humid summer morning. She scanned the area, then pulled down her black tech fabric riding shorts. Squatting, she kept her legs far enough apart to avoid the splashing stream of urine. While peeing felt good, the indignity of the moment set off her ongoing anger at God. Men had pricks they could just hang out at will to pee.  If God was a woman, then women, whenever the mood or necessity warranted, would be able to yank a man’s prick right off, like the tail of a chameleon, who scurries away nub-butted while you hold the still twitching member in your hand.

The energetic male voice pulled her back to the task at hand, “What is ‘Ready’? You are ready when mind, body and spirit, when your whole being is a coiled spring for action. Can you feel your creative, life spirit tension about to explode?”

Charity repeated her mantra. “Yes, I am Ready. I am a coiled spring. I am a creative explosion.”

Finishing, she pulled her shorts up over her long and freckled muscular legs, watching her quads flex as she smoothed the leg band. As had been the pattern for the last three days, Hoyt had not left his house before 6:30 am. She checked her pink GPS enabled training watch. 5:05 am. Plenty of time.

“Readiness is not sufficient. To be powerful you must AIM. A for Attitude, the attitude of a winner. I for Intention, intending with heart, mind and soul the reality you will create. And M for Manifestation, making your power real in the world.”

“I am ready. I am a winner. I will manifest my power to create life exactly how I want it. Let’s go, Charity.”

Pulling the trunk release, she reached for her  Iron Divas black and pink workout bag with a white skeleton riding a pink road bike, the skeletal rider’s long flaming hair trailing behind, teeth gritted ferociously. She took in a breath and slightly bent her knees, feeling the strain of her triceps flexing under the load of the bag. Her focus on Hoyt had taken her off the daily workout regimen. Just one more reason she hated this son of a bitch. Opening the bag, she pulled out a one liter opaque plastic bottle filled with a batch of highly concentrated fox urine she had purchased at Hill Country Outfitters the day before.

“I am a winner. I will prevail.”

Moving quickly, she jogged the two blocks to an expansive home with terra cotta roof tiles and her target red sports car in the driveway. She crept to the driver’s side of the Ferrari, checking the door. No alarm. Even though she had a “smash and go” plan if needed, it pissed her off the egotistical jerk assumed no one would dare mess with his ride. She worked fast. Placing a gel pack on the driver’s side door to dampen the sound, she punched a quarter inch hole through the carbon fiber door with a titanium drill bit.  Charity pulled a battery powered pump with two drooping hoses from her bag. One hose connected to the urine filled bottle. She slipped the other hose, fitted with a tiny spray nozzle, into the hole, then flipped the switch. The pump hummed. A sulfurous stench filled the morning air, as urine flowed through clear plastic tubing, disappearing into Hoyt’s sports car’s door. A fine mist sprayed out the nozzle onto the interior and custom red and black racing seats. Her pump strained, having emptied the container. She pulled the hose out, causing some liquid to dribble down the door, splashing onto the drive. Charity took a breath in through her nose, the stench like diarrhea and burnt hair causing her to gag, acidic vomit coming up in her mouth.

Be strong. Be confident. Be courageous.

Closing her eyes she regained her focus, put the equipment back into her bag and twisted a bullet shaped tampon into the hole, its pale blue string dangling in the air.

She ran back, tossing her gear in the trunk, then drove to the Laguna Gloria Museum parking lot to put on her cycling shoes, helmet, gloves and riding glasses. 5:55 am. She lifted her pink carbon road bike off the roof rack, checked tire pressure and brakes, then clipped in, heading back to Hoyt’s house. Her legs burned as she conquered the gradual slope of Mount Bonnell Road. She was strong, powerful, in control. Hoyt had begun his crucible of becoming her fifth target. But as she shifted through the gears, Charity reminded herself while Target #5 would be fun, she had come to Austin with a singular purpose: to kill her brother’s murderer.

Yes, the Universe demands a balance of blood for pain.

DIRTY WATER, as well as Nick Sibelius’ first crime adventure TOXIC RELATIONSHIP,  is available at your favorite digital book vendor.

Richard Hacker

Richard Hacker’s novel, TOXIC RELATIONSHIP, released August, 2012 by Champagne Books was a 2011 Writer’s League of Texas (WLT) finalist, where in addition, SHAPER EMERGENCE won best novel in the Science Fiction category.  He is a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association.  

After living many years in Austin, Texas where he worked as a leadership coach, public speaker and management trainer, he moved with his high school sweetheart to Seattle.  While he misses the big skies of Texas, Richard has grown fond of the Pacific Northwest.  His writing partner, a springer spaniel named Jazz, helps with proofreading and ball fetching. 
DIRTY WATER, the next novel in the Nick Sibelius series after TOXIC RELATIONSHIP, will be released June, 2013.  He is currently working on the third book in the series, CHAIN REACTION, as well as a young adult fantasy entitled INKER WARS: THE FIVE PENS OF JOHANN.

Visit him online at

Contact Information

Twitter: @Richard_Hacker

Dirty Water 
Giveaway Contest

Two fans who answer the survey correctly will be randomly selected to win $25 Amazon Gift Certificates.
Read the book. Take the  survey. Win the prize.
Two chances to win!

Send your completed questionnaire to:

What is your email address? (The address will be used to send the contest winner their prize and may be used to send you periodic updates on future publications.)


1. Who was pitching in Nick’s dream? ____

A. Sandy Koufax


Nolan Ryan


Roger Clemens


Andy Petit

2. What mythological creature terrifies Charity?  ____

A. Banshee





D. Yeti

3. Jonah Martin plays one of Izzy Zydeco’s virtual games. What is it?  ____

A. Mujahid Deathmatch 1.2


Kill Bird Death Knell


Argo Blaster Kill Zone 3


Pro Tennis Courtside

4. What is Dan Hoyt building on the Texas coast?  ___

A. Spa Resort

B. Margarita Machine Factory


Suntan lotion boutique


Desalination Plant

5. Nick has a run-in with what drug cartel?  ____

A. Tres cerditos


Los Tejanos Diablos


Los Distribuidores


La Familia

Send your completed questionnaire to:

End of Contest

My Review

The second book in the Nick Sibelius series, Dirty Water apparently takes place a year after the events which took place in Toxic Relationship.  While I prefer to read series books in order, I was able to read and enjoy Dirty Water on its own.  Richard Hacker’s writing style is easy to follow, the book begins with an act of vandalism (a little twisted and not something I’d ever thought of doing), and the main characters, Nick, Marylou, the woman he loves, and Theresa, his new assistant, are all well developed and likeable characters.

Desperately in need of clients, former cop turned private investigator Nick Sibelius finds himself agreeing to work a case of vandalism for shady real estate entrepreneur Dan Hoyt.  Wary of becoming too involved with his client, Nick nonetheless finds himself agreeing to handle his new client’s business issues too.  Only Nick never realized how deep or crooked Dan’s business was going to turn or that Dan had just become one of the targets of a deranged killer. 

Told from the point of view of several of the characters, Mr. Hacker gives us a murder mystery with a touch of romance and domestic terrorism.  From the start I found myself turning the pages to discover what was going to happen next.  The villains are well developed and I even found myself identifying with some of the pet peeves one of them has.

Will Nick, Marylou and Theresa be able to solve the murder mystery before one of them becomes the next victim?  Will Nick be able to save Austin’s water supply from a deranged and soulless businessman?  You’ll have to read Dirty Water to find out.  I enjoyed it and I think you will too. 

My Rating:  4 out of 5 Crowns

FTC Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review.  I received no additional payment for my opinion of the reading material provided.