Cover Reveal! Much Ado About Murder

I know you’ve been waiting a whole year for the second book in The Double Barrel Mysteries and finally the end is near! Much Ado About Murder is set to release into the wilds of online bookstores everywhere, May 22nd! So mark your calendars for this awesome event!!

muchadowoodfinal-2Blake and Shelby Gunner’s plans to renovate the old boathouse into offices for Double Barrel Investigations go awry when murder comes calling.

Autumn in Port Scuttlebutt usually means a stormy Lake Superior, crisp temperatures, vibrant fall colors, and an invasion of deer hunters. This year, there’s also a shallow grave.

Someone killed Pete Dugan’s ex-wife and planted her under his woodpile. The police consider him the obvious suspect, but the Gunner’s have other ideas.

What does the death of a pet squirrel, the sighting of a mysterious car, a break-in at the bed & breakfast, and the reappearance of three ex-cons into the community have to do with the murder of a middle-aged legal assistant?

No detective worth a grain of salt believes in coincidence… so when things start piling up that seem too quirky to be happenstance, Blake and Shelby have to decipher the clues and come up with the truth before a killer gets away with murder.

~~~

Hope you are as excited as I am about Much Ado About Murder. If you’d like, leave a comment below!

You can pre-Order at these stores: Kobo  Apple  Barnes & Noble

Thanks for stopping!

Barbara

Barbara is the author of the Fredrickson Winery Novels, the award winning thriller, Split Sense, The Second Chances series, The Amish Bloodsuckers Trilogy, and ROADKILL, the 1st book in the new Double Barrel Mysteries. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and pups.

Barbara is the author of the Fredrickson Winery Novels, the award winning thriller, Split Sense, The Second Chances series, The Amish Bloodsuckers Trilogy, and ROADKILL, the 1st book in the new Double Barrel Mysteries. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and pups.

 

The Gladiator and the Guard

Today I am helping Fellow author, Annie Douglass Lima, announce the release of her new young adult action/adventure novel, The Gladiator and the Guard! This is the 2nd book in the Krillonian Chronicles. Read on for all the details and special New Release Discounts! 

First Things First: a Little Information about Book 1: 

Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is desperate to see his little sister freed. But only victory in the Krillonian Empire’s most prestigious tournament will allow him to secretly arrange for Ellie’s escape. Dangerous people are closing in on her, however, and Bensin is running out of time.  With his one hope fading quickly away, how can Bensin save Ellie from a life of slavery and abuse?

What is the Collar for, and What is a Cavvarach?


The story is set in a world very much like our own, with just a few major differences.  One is that slavery is legal there.  Slaves must wear metal collars that lock around their neck, making their enslaved status obvious to everyone.  Any slave attempting to escape faces the dilemma of how and where to illegally get their collar removed (a crime punishable by enslavement for the remover).  

Another difference is the popularity of a martial art called cavvara shil.  It is fought with a cavvarach (rhymes with “have a rack”), a weapon similar to a sword but with a steel hook protruding from partway down its top edge.  Competitors can strike at each other with their feet as well as with the blades.  You win in one of two ways: disarming your opponent (hooking or knocking their cavvarach out of their hands) or pinning their shoulders to the mat for five seconds.

Click here to order The Collar and the Cavvarach from Amazon 
for $2.99 a discounted price of just 99 cents through April 30th!
And now, The Gladiator and the Guard, with another awesome cover by the talented Jack Lin!

 Excerpt:

Bensin slumped over the handlebars of the exercise bike, trying to catch his breath. He grinned at the little screen flashing green in front of him. I made my goal! Now Ian wouldn’t lash him.

Seeing that Bensin was done, an arena worker came by with a cup. Bensin drained the protein shake, which tasted mostly of pineapple and orange today, and handed the empty cup back. He looked around to see where his trainer was, wondering how long a break he would get before his next assignment.

Ian was busy chewing out Fifty-Five for not meeting his goal on the leg press, and Tim was keeping an eye on Fifty-One and Fifty-Four as they took turns lifting weights and spotting each other. But Riddior strolled over to the Fifties’ training zone and took a look at Bensin’s screen. “Hey, good job! You’re getting better!”

“Thanks.” Riddior was Skeyvian, and seemed to be the only really nice person who worked at Red Arena. Broad-shouldered, dark-skinned, probably in his forties, Bensin had learned that he was Red Arena’s training manager. He supervised all the trainers and oversaw the workout plans they created for their glads. Sometimes he pulled glads aside for special training sessions in certain martial arts.

Riddior was also the only person in charge who didn’t carry a shockwhip or dartblower. Of course, he was always flanked by a guard or two who did, but Bensin couldn’t imagine any glads wanting to hurt Riddior. He handed out compliments and encouragement, never punishing or even scolding.

“I was watching yesterday as you practiced cavvara shil,” Riddior told Bensin. “You’ve got real talent. You’re better than some of the guys who’ve been training here for years.”

“Thanks,” Bensin repeated, grinning once again. Riddior’s compliment made him think of Coach Steene, who had also been generous with the encouragement — and who had gotten him this good in the first place. The thought of Coach made him angry, but he pushed aside the bitter thoughts since Riddior was still talking.

“A couple more weeks and I think you’ll be ready to represent us out on the sand against another arena. I know you’re still recovering from some injuries at the moment, but those don’t seem to be holding you back much, and from what Doc tells me, you’re recovering nicely.”

Something tightened in Bensin’s gut. His cheek and nose still hurt, and he sported some colorful bruises from the duel that should have ended in his death, but he knew he really was doing pretty well. Yet the thought of fighting out there again ….

Purchase your copy and check out the Rafflecopter below!!

Click here to order The Gladiator and the Guard in Kindle format from Amazon 
for $2.99 a discounted price of just 99 cents through April 30th!
 
Click here to order The Gladiator and the Guard from Smashwords (for Nook or in other digital formats) 
for $2.99 a discounted price of just 99 cents through April 30th!

 

Annie Douglass Lima spent most of her childhood in Kenya and
later graduated from Biola University in Southern California. She and her
husband Floyd currently live in Taiwan, where she teaches fifth grade at
Morrison Academy. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since
her childhood, and to date has published twelve books (two YA action and
adventure novels, four fantasies, a puppet script, and five anthologies of her
students’ poetry). Besides writing, her hobbies include reading (especially
fantasy and science fiction), scrapbooking, and international travel.


Connect with the Author Online:

 
Now, enter to win an Amazon gift card or a free digital copy of The Collar and the Cavvarach!
Or find the giveaway at this link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ad2fd99a3/?

 

Thanks for stopping!

Barbara

Barbara Ellen Brink is the author of The Fredrickson Winery Novels, Split Sense (winner of the Grace Award), Running Home, Alias Raven Black, The Amish Bloodsuckers Trilogy, and Roadkill.

Barbara Ellen Brink is the author of The Fredrickson Winery Novels, Split Sense (winner of the Grace Award), Running Home, Alias Raven Black, The Amish Bloodsuckers Trilogy, and Roadkill.

Spring Jumpstart

Spring is supposed to be here but the actual signs of spring are not coming fast enough for me, so I am posting a few pictures from earlier years to refresh spring’s memory and hopefully jumpstart the process.

Are you ready for spring? What’s your favorite part of the season?

IMG_1696I wish the lilacs would last longer than the first rain, but they always seem to disappear, the delicate petals knocked to the ground . Lilacs are probably the one flower that truly smells like spring to me. Then I know it has officially arrived!

IMG_1434 I love potting new plants and filling the deck with color. My pups always had to have their noses in it too.

pinkBells

 

The flowering crab apple trees remind me of our fruit farm in Washington when I was a kid. All those trees in a row, puffed up like pink or white clouds. Now I have to be satisfied with three seasonal cloud trees.

Thanks for stopping! Happy Spring!

Barbara

Barbara is the author of the Fredrickson Winery Novels, the award winning thriller, Split Sense, The Second Chances series, The Amish Bloodsuckers Trilogy, and ROADKILL, the 1st book in the new Double Barrel Mysteries. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and pups.

Barbara is the author of the Fredrickson Winery Novels, the award winning thriller, Split Sense, The Second Chances series, The Amish Bloodsuckers Trilogy, and ROADKILL, the 1st book in the new Double Barrel Mysteries. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and pup.

The Dumbing Down of America is a Tremendous Success!

You’ve all seen those videos of students on university campuses being asked simple history questions that a second grader should know. They stutter and stammer, unable to give the correct answer to who won the Civil War or even look like they have a clue there ever was one.

FreedomSpeechThe same university students march around raising signs that say they deserve free tuition and then instead of using the chance they have to actually learn, they use their time and energy to instigate trouble on campus for everyone else, so they can get the media’s attention and shout how offended they are when someone comes to their school with a differing opinion than what they’ve gleaned in a series of tweets from their favorite rapper.

Then we have Hollywood, which continues to put out movies so utterly idiotic that repackaging Dumb and Dumber as a “classic” seemed like a wise move to the demographic they cater to.

On-demand television series and online gaming has made society a bunch of couch-potato, binge-watching, mind-numbed dopes. People used to watch two or three hours a day, at most. Now, many of them are glued to devices 12 hours a day. Why not? They don’t work anymore. They are either perpetual “students” or they choose to live a life of leisure while letting others foot the bill.

Smart phones have played their part in the dumbing down of America. Technology – while making some things easier – has also made people lazier and dumber. Why read a book about a topic when you can watch a thirty-second video and become a Facebook expert, spouting your opinions like an automatic sprinkler system during the rainy season? Why watch the road when you can stare at your phone?

Smart-aleck talk show hosts have also helped. While morning hosts dispense information like they’re sharing the meaning of life, late night hosts pretend everything in life is just a big joke. But despite their different personalities and deliverance, they’re all editorializing with a really loud speaker system. Since few think for themselves anymore, why not tell them what to think through a celebrity spokesperson ridiculing opposing thought? It works in the universities…

The talking heads (or news anchors as they prefer to be called) worry more about what the zoolanderKardashians are up to these days than discussing the mass murders and sex slavery of women and children around the world by Isis. They dish on all the latest episodes of reality television and how sexy JLo looked on the red carpet instead of telling us what’s really happening in our nation’s capitol. The news has become what they want it to be. The rich old men who run the Networks are part of the problem; sinking America in useless info and promoting an unnatural obsession with staying young forever. And I’m pretty sure Botox has killed more brain cells in America than smoking. Just watch the Oscars.

Now for a complete dumbing down, you need the masses to fall down and worship at the feet of stupid. We now have that dream come true. Here are our presidential candidates, already garnering adoration, applause, and power over the masses.

ClintonHillary: Vote for me and I will give you a free house, free drugs, free abortion, one of my free get out of jail cards, and a hardback copy of my personal memoir that is totally, completely, and I swear on a stack of my husband’s Playboy’s, true!

Trump: Vote for me and I will build a twenty-foot wall around the entire trumpcountry, kick out anyone who doesn’t like my toupee, make every day great by naming it Trump Day, and beat President Putin in Russian roulette!

BernieSandersSanders: Vote for me and I will take all the money from the people who work and divide it up equally between all the people who don’t, then I will give everyone a pony, a condom, a bag of personalized M&Ms, and free access to the dark web… if I survive until the end of this campaign. Giving away other people’s wealth is exhausting and I’m not accustomed to work. Feel the Bern!

All three of these candidates are willing to say or do anything to get your vote. To keep you from voting them off the island, so to speak. (If only we could)

I wouldn’t put it past them to borrow your information and vote a few extra times in your name. For you. Because they care. Because they can get away with it.

Because they were born for this job and NO ONE will stop them from getting it! (Sorry, I got a little Hillary shrill there)

I hope when January 2017 rolls around, we won’t have invited another weasel into the chicken coop. Because when they finally sit down to dinner in the White House dining room, after their billion dollar celebratory ball, brains will definitely be on the menu.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Barbara

Barbara is the author of The Fredrickson Winery Novels, The Amish Bloodsuckers Trilogy, Second Chances Series, the award winning thriller, Split Sense, and the Double Barrel mystery, Roadkill. She hangs out in Minnesota with her husband and their pups.

Barbara is the author of The Fredrickson Winery Novels, The Amish Bloodsuckers Trilogy, Second Chances Series, the award winning thriller, Split Sense, and the Double Barrel mystery, Roadkill. She hangs out in Minnesota with her husband and their pups.

The Long Dog Kiss Goodbye

rugbyapple

I remember when I brought Rugby home. A tiny, pink-nosed bundle of adorable. He was a tri-color puppy, but mostly black and white with just a touch of brown over one eyebrow. A bundle of energy, curiosity, and unconditional love.

He was so small that he could sneak under the corner of my desk, which sits very close to the floor. He lay under there with just his nose sticking out so he could see me and make sure I didn’t get away. Once he got bored watching me write and decided to chew on the cords. He gave himself a nasty shock and scared me to death with his pitiful yelp. But he was a quick learner. He never did it again.IMG_0400

Rugby always seemed to worry that I’d disappear and never come back. He was forever watching and following one step behind. When he was small, he’d sit on my foot while I washed dishes or worked in the kitchen, making it very hard to get away unnoticed.

IMG_1277He loved walks, and for such a small dog he could pull like a freight train before he learned to stay by my side. Once he got a puppy sister, he became the perfect walker… but that’s another story.

Rugby was rough and tumble. He loved to play tug of war and shred his toys until they couldn’t squeak anymore. Half Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and half miniature poodle, made him wholly sweet and cuddly. He 0724000754acould barely wait until you sat down before he was making himself comfortable on your lap. I called him my lapdog and I will forever miss his warmth and generous spirit.

I brought Rugby home shortly after my last child left home for college. We’d had a poodle for seventeen years and he’d died earlier that same year. I was knocking about an empty house feeling sorry for myself, and Rugby joyously filled that void and much more.

2013-07-22 20.57.29He could make me smile just by sitting and looking at me sometimes. He lived to please and loved to play. He chewed up tennis balls, stuffed toys, and ropes, faster than I could supply them. He was a sweet dog who loved to cuddle almost as much as he loved to chase rabbits. Sadly, he never caught one, but he never gave up on the dream.

We found out over a year ago that our sweet rugbyCouchdog had cancer. They only gave him a couple of months to live but Rugby lived and lived happily… for another year. Being that we thought he was at death’ door, I dedicated my last book to him, and we spoiled him worse than usual. His appetite dwindled when he got sick and he lost a lot of weight, but once he started eating like a king, he seemed to feel much better. He devoured hamburger, chicken, and Chinese food and turned his nose up at Iam’s dry dog food like a true connoisseur.

IMG_1439Last week we had to let Rugby go. He was nine and a half years old. I’m still knocking about this seemingly empty house without him, feeling his absence at every turn and step.

For everyone who has known the love of a faithful pet companion, I dedicate this post to yours and to mine.

 

2013-09-18 15.14.53IMG_0399

So long Rugby. You will be greatly missed.

Your adopted mom, Barbara

IMG_0469