Spotlight & Excerpt: Cosplay Killer + Giveaway

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Cosplay Killer
London Podcast Mystery Series, #1
by Dahlia Donovan
Genre: Cozy Mystery, M/M Romance

 

What happens when an autistic firefighter and his paramedic boyfriend share a thirst for true crime?
 
Osian Garey and Dannel Ortea live together in a colourful flat in Covent Garden. They run a podcast and throw themselves wholeheartedly into Cosplay, video games, and musical theatre. This year, they’re all fired up to attend their annual convention with a group of first responders.
 
When Osian finds a paramedic friend murdered in the middle of the crowded venue, the police immediately turn their attention to him.
 
They have one question on their mind.
 
Is he the first witness on the scene or the killer?
 
As the mystery unfolds, Osian has to face the trauma of his last job as a paramedic. Somewhere in those memories, a killer waits to exact revenge. They’ll have to prove Osian’s innocence and fight for their own survival when the killer puts them both in their sights.
 
 

 

Chapter One
Osian
“I’m Oz. He’s D. And we’ll be back for another rundown of murder and mayhem next week. Stay tuned for Osian and Danny’s London Crime Podcast.” He checked his watch, counting down a few seconds before signalling to Dannel to pause the recording. “Another one bites the dust.”
“Oz and D?”
Osian grinned over the top of his laptop at his boyfriend of fourteen years. They’d been best friends practically from infancy and started dating in their teens. “We’re hip with the kids.”
“I am not hip. I have two.” Dannel swivelled in his chair before pushing himself across their living room floor. “And thirty isn’t old age. Besides, how many teenagers are listening to true crime podcasts?”
“Let me have my dream.” Osian followed him down the hall into their bedroom. He stretched out on the bed to watch Dannel prepare for his shift. “Ready to go for twelve hours?”
Dannel glared over his shoulder; his dark brown eyes always seemed to pierce into Osian. “What do you think?”
Truthfully, Osian didn’t know for sure what Dannel thought about being a firefighter. Dannel had followed in his father’s footstep, yet he didn’t quite fit the mould. Osian worried it might come crashing down eventually.
Am I borrowing trouble from the future? Maybe it’ll all work out on its own. Although, when does it ever?
Watching Dannel comb his short black curls trimmed into a high fade before spritzing his hair with argan oil, Osian couldn’t help dragging his fingers through his own untidy brown mane. Though they had much in common, they were polar opposites in other ways. Their differences made their relationship stronger, in Osian’s opinion.
Dannel always made him think of a buffer version of Richard Ayoade. Osian had a striking resemblance to the actor Matt Ryan. He’d even cosplayed as John Constantine and Edward Kenway because of it.
“Meeting me after shift for an early breakfast?”
“Go on, then.” Osian leaned up on his elbows for a kiss. He smiled when Dannel brushed his lips quickly, then bolted from the room. “Bye.”
Since they’d grown up together, Osian knew the ins and outs of Dannel’s personality probably better than his own family did. They’d been inseparable from the time they could toddle across the hall to each other’s homes. He’d been the first one Dannel told about his autism diagnosis.
With Dannel gone for his shift, Osian faced the silence in their two-bedroom flat with a sense of dread. He hated the quiet. It allowed his thoughts to stray to things better left forgotten.
Rolling off the bed, he headed into the en suite to stare glumly into his own blue eyes in the mirror. He shook his head. I’m not old enough to feel so bloody tired all the time. His thoughts seemed to drain every ounce of energy out of him.
Tired and drained.
Drained and tired.
Guilt weighed him down, as though the entire Tottenham Hotspur team had climbed on his shoulders. Time heals all wounds is such bollocks. A year hadn’t brought him much relief.

Dahlia Donovan wrote her first romance series after a crazy dream about shifters and damsels in distress. She prefers irreverent humour and unconventional characters. An autistic and occasional hermit, her life wouldn’t be complete without her husband and her massive collection of books and video games.
cosplay killer teaser 2
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Book Blitz & Excerpt: The Mayor Who Caneled Christmas + Giveaway

the mayor who cancelled christmas

 

The Mayor Who Caneled Christmas

by Ana T. Drew

Provence Cozy mystery

Date Published: December 4th, 2020

 

Provençal mayor Victor Jacquet receives a mystifying note.Then his small town mounts a rebellion.And then his entire world implodes.Some holiday season!Fortunately for Victor, he never believed in the magic of Christmas.Unfortunately for Victor, said magic still believes in him…

Told from Victor’s point of view, this novella stands alone within the Julie Cavallo Investigates Series.

 

Purchase Links

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Excerpt

Mayor of Beldoc Victor Jacquet takes his seat and opens the manila envelope in front of him. Efficient as ever, Chantal has prepared enough of them for each attendee to have one. The envelope contains the minutes of the last sitting, the agenda of the current one, and all the relevant documents.

Victor takes the floor. “This year, we’re going to change things up. There will be no Christmas tree on Beldoc’s Place de la Mairie or on any other square.”

The room gasps. Then, shocked whats and whys hit him from everywhere.

I have a good reason for the ban!” Victor shouts over multiple voices.

The room falls silent, curious to hear it.

My team and I do not wish to encourage consumerism,” Victor says. “And we want an eco-friendly holiday season.”

In what way is our cherished Christmas tree an impediment to that?” Sarah asks.

Victor adjusts his tie. “Well, you see the tree encourages compulsive gift buying. People acquire useless items just to have something to put under the tree.”

Are you going to ban Christmas trees in private homes, too?” Rose asks, her tone laced with sarcasm.

I wish I could!

Of course not,” Victor replies. “All I want is to make our town greener. I don’t want living trees slaughtered in the name of consumerism! So, whether you like it or not, we’re ditching the Christmas tree.”

But what about the spiritualism of its meaning?” Rose asks. “To many of us, it symbolizes the birth of Jesus. You aren’t qualified to deny us that celebration!”

Victor glares at his rival.

Really, Rose? You’re a former hippie who believes in karma and never goes to church. You aren’t qualified to talk about Jesus!

He opens his mouth to say just that, when Clothilde butts in. “You know what the Christmas tree also stands for, Victor? Family. Friendship. Human connection. Love. You want to cancel those, too?”

Victor redirects his scowl at her.

What a sucker punch. That was low, Clothilde, even for you!

She knows better than anyone in this room how lonely he’s been since his wife and parents passed. She knows he has no real friends.

Anyhow, it doesn’t matter what the Christmas tree represents,” he says at length. “There’s no money to pay for it this year. The municipality has used that budget line for… er… a town planning project. Discussion closed.”

Rose claps a hand to her mouth. “You sneaky, scheming, shameless ruffian! You didn’t… Did you?”

She knows. She figured it out, the witch!

Victor chews on his pencil, refusing to respond.

The council members, staffers, and citizens look from Rose to him and back.

What?” many ask. “What is this about?”

The urinal,” Rose says without taking her eyes off him. “He spent the Christmas tree budget on purchasing and installing that god-awful public urinal in front of Magda’s shop.”

Something hurtles across the room, like a frisbee, and smashes into Victor’s face. It’s an unopened manila envelope. Victor swears and rubs his sore nose. It doesn’t seem broken.

Like a shark smelling blood, Magda draws her daggerlike, red nails and launches herself at him.

Before she’s had a chance to scratch Victor’s chest, his deputy Blandine slams her purse on Magda’s head. The ladies yelp and grab handfuls of each other’s hair. Magda kicks Blandine’s shin. Blandine steps on Magda’s foot. Bawling, Magda lets go of Blandine’s hair and rips her silk blouse down the front.

Aaaargh!” Blandine swings to punch Magda. “That cost a fortune, you dumb cow!”

Magda blocks the blow. “Serves you right, thief!”

They grapple with each other and tumble down.

People rush to the pair who are now rolling on the floor. They pull the determined wrestlers apart and drag them to the opposite corners of the room.

Victor rises to his feet. “This council meeting is over! We’ll discuss the remaining two items in January.”

The attendees fidget and wriggle but stay put, clearly too entertained to leave just yet.

Chantal rushes to Victor’s side. “Mesdames, Messieurs, it’s truly over! Please go home!”

Without saying another word, she stretches both arms toward the doors on each side, the way flight attendants show the emergency exits during the safety demo.

Merry Christmas, everyone!” she cries as the reluctant attendees shuffle to the doors.

About the Author

Ana T. Drew is the evil mastermind behind the recent series of murders in the fictional French town of Beldoc.

When she is not writing cozy mysteries or doing mom-and-wife things, she can be found watching “The Rookie” to help her get over “Castle”.

She lives in Paris but her heart is in Provence.

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