Spotlight & Excerpt: Crown Court Killer + Giveaway

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Crown Court Killer

London Podcast Mystery Series Book 3

by Dahlia Donovan

Genre: Cozy Mystery, M/M Romance


Months after saving their flamboyant theatre friend from disaster, Dannel Ortea and Osian Garey are back with a thrilling murder investigation in the third London Podcast Mystery series novel.

Dannel and Osian’s breakfast double date rapidly devolves into a murder mystery when a dead body is found in their solicitor friend’s car. Wayne is taken for questioning by police. He was last seen arguing with the deceased.

When Wayne’s tie is identified as the murder weapon, it’s hard to refute the growing evidence stacked against him.

Convinced of their friend’s innocence, Dannel and Osian throw themselves into the investigation. When Wayne’s boyfriend, Roland, finds himself suspended from the police, they realise powerful people are involved in the murder.

With a philandering crown court judge, two disgruntled wives, and an angry client as suspects, the clock is ticking for them to find the killer before Wayne winds up arrested—or dead.

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crowncourtkiller - excerpt

Chapter One

“A massive thanks to our special guest—solicitor extraordinaire Wayne Dankworth, whose insights into criminal litigation have been fascinating. As always, I’m Osian Garey. My partner in crime is Dannel Ortea.” Osian winked at his husband-to-be, who simply rolled his eyes. “Hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s episode of our London Crime Podcast. Don’t forget to tune in next time. This has been Oz and D. Signing out.”
Dannel waited until Osian hit pause to let out a loud groan. “And you’d done so brilliantly right until the end.”
When Osian looked at Dannel, he was always reminded of Richard Ayoade, if the actor were taller, buffer, and a retired firefighter. Whereas Osian felt like a washed-up version of the actor who’d played Constantine on the telly, less buff, shorter, and scruffier.
“Nothing wrong with Oz and D,” Osian insisted. They had this debate at least once every podcast. He got up to stretch, having sat for several hours getting their recording together. “I’m knackered.”
“Are you still not sleeping well?” Wayne paused in sifting through the papers he’d brought to glance at Osian in concern.
“Nightmares aren’t conducive to a good night’s rest.” Osian believed healing started with being open with his friends and family. “My therapist thinks being trapped in the well aggravated my post-traumatic stress.”
A former paramedic, Osian had resigned after losing a patient through no fault of his own. He’d spent over a year trying to unpack the trauma left behind. His recovery had taken a hit three months ago.
While trying to solve a murder, Osian had come face-to-face with the killer. He’d been forced into an old well along with their elderly neighbour, Ian Barrett. Rescue had eventually arrived.
His nightmares had begun not long after. Dannel often sat up with him, and they’d play video games or listen to a cast album of whatever musical had grabbed their attention until he was too exhausted to remain awake.
Thanks to the lack of sleep, Osian felt a hundred years old and not thirty. His therapist did help. It would simply take time.
He fully intended to avoid old wells in the future.
And killers.
And fake ghosts haunting theatres masquerading as killers.
“Are you joining us for coffee and footie in the morning?” Wayne went back to packing up the files. “Chelsea versus Tottenham. Clash of the titans.”
Wayne was shacked up with Dannel’s younger brother, Roland. The latter had moved into the former’s swanky flat. They had a larger telly, so Dannel and Osian occasionally went over to watch their rival Premier League football teams do battle on the pitch.
“Of course.” Osian nodded. Dannel readily agreed as well.
“Bugger.” Wayne checked his phone when it beeped, muttering a few additional curses under his breath. “I’ve got to go.”
“Problem?” Osian followed him to the door, watching him drag on his overcoat.
“Barnaby being Barnaby.” Wayne rushed out the door, shouting a “goodbye” halfway down the stairs.
“Who’s Barnaby?” Osian wondered. He closed the door when it became clear Wayne had already made it out of their building in record time.
“A barrister.” Dannel had begun packing up their microphones. “Rolly mentioned Wayne had quite a dust-up in Crown Court with the man.”
“Did they throw their wigs?” Osian always found the court accoutrements to be entertaining. “Swirl their robes around dramatically?”
“Words were exchanged.” Dannel snorted in amusement at Osian as he waved his hands around. “They were chastised by one of the judges. Not sure Wayne wears a wig. Isn’t that just for barristers?”
“We’ll ask Wayne tomorrow to give us the juicy details.”
“Or we could mind our own business?”
“In the face of potentially interesting court gossip?”

Ghost Light Killer

London Podcast Mystery Series Book 2


Several months after their first brush with death, Dannel Ortea and Osian Garey are back with a thrilling murder investigation in the second London Podcast Mystery Series novel.

While helping their flamboyant neighbour with his play, Dannel and Osian discover more than a ghost haunting the stage at the Evelyn Lavelle theatre. It’s all fun and games until a friend is found kneeling over a dead body.

Is he the murderer or an unfortunate witness?

When one body turns to two, then to three, will the killer ever be found?

As Dannel and Osian work together to solve the mystery, the murderer focuses on them. Their drive to clear their friend’s name puts them centre stage. But not everything under the glow of the bright lights glimmers.

Will anyone be left when the curtain falls?

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Cosplay Killer

London Podcast Mystery Series Book 1


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.

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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.

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Spotlight, Author Interview & Excerpt: First Bite + Giveaway

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First Bite
An Accidental Vampire PI, #1
by Avery Daniels
Genre: Paranormal cozy mystery
Publisher: Blazing Sword Publishing, Ltd.
Date of Publication:  May 1, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-7355663-6-8
Number of pages: 298
Word Count:  57,425
Cover Artist: Molly Burton 
What’s a positive thought girl to do when she finds herself one of the undead? Recite plenty of affirmations and use those new toothy skills to assist her PI boss, of course.
In 24 hours, Misty Summers had the worst date of her life, was bit by a vampire, and her PI boss may close his business as he goes through a divorce. Looking on the sunny side, she decides to use her new vampire assets and become the investigator to keep her job and income. She doesn’t know what her future holds, but it can’t be any worse! When she starts following up on a missing woman’s case, she finds herself in the middle of murder. Even with her positive thinking and affirmations, she is finding her new reality daunting. But she vows to take a bite out of crime in her small lake resort town.
If you like Duffy Brown, Nancy Warren, Nova Nelson, Dionne Lister, Trixie Silvertale, and Leighann Dobbs, then you’ll love this series with a quirky intelligent sleuth, small town lake setting, and tantalizing mysteries. Misty Indigo Summers is a positive thinking kind of gal and a most unlikely vampire and PI. 
Buy these fun and clean cozy mysteries and start enjoying Misty’s adventures today!


“I never want to see you again.”  I slammed the passenger side door. Roger sped off in his red truck, his dragging muffler sounded like a tray of silverware ground in a garbage disposal.  That ended the date from hell.  He took me to a cheap restaurant, we saw the budget dollar movie, and I had to pay for my own popcorn.  I can understand being on a budget, truly, I get it. But then to get all handsy in a parking lot, right under a parking light!  He had the nerve to get upset when I said no.  I had to slap him.  When he slapped me back, I elbowed him in his jewels.  The complete jerk.

There was a sickle moon hanging lazily in the sky and a cool autumn breeze rustled the gold and russet leaves.  I walked faster to warm up.  I hadn’t brought a coat since I’d expected to be driven.  A gust whipped my hair across my eyes and I swept it back.

 I took a deep breath and wondered at the smell of autumn, the slightly sharp tang in the crisp air.  I wrapped my arms around myself.

The bright side was I stood up for myself and put an end to his assault.  Unfortunately, I’m stranded after eleven in a rougher part of town on a Sunday night with nobody around.  I wish I could strangle Roger’s pencil neck.  I can walk off my anger; we don’t have an Uber or such in the small town of Majestic.  I needed to recapture my positive vibes anyway, so a walk would do me good.  

Another positive item to the evening was I didn’t spring for a new or previously owned dress for the evening.  It would have been wasted on the moron, anyway.  I wore my deep purple sleeveless turtleneck and black pants.  It was classic and more than he deserved.  My best friend, Courtney, had assured me this blind date would be different.  Oh, it was different, all right, and not in a good way.  

I’ve never actually had a good date, not one single good memory of a date.  Tears
stung my eyes.  Enough negativity.  I recited my mantra.  I am ready for the perfect man for me.  I am working on myself to be the person who will attract my perfect partner. After yet another disheartening experience, it’s all I can do to not blame it all on myself.  Nope, the right man is coming to me.  Yeah, okay.  I may be trying to convince myself more than attracting Mr. Right into my life.  I’m okay with that at the moment.

My low-heeled strappy sandals slapped against the sidewalk, an exclamation point with every step.  There wasn’t any traffic, and I had a couple of miles to go.  Other than my footsteps, it was quiet except for a dog barking in the auto salvage yard behind me. But I felt a presence and knew I wasn’t alone.

I sped up.  I was speed walking now and my heart pounded.  This really wasn’t a good area.  Majestic was a modest-sized town, just big enough to warrant two canines on the police force.  I didn’t want to find out firsthand about the seedy side of town.

Were those footsteps behind me?  I stopped abruptly. I heard a scuff, then nothing.  My senses screamed run, and even though my sandals weren’t the best for it, at least they were strapped on.  I grabbed hold of my purse strap to keep my purse with me.  I didn’t care how it looked; I took off running for everything I was worth.  My mind continued to yell, faster, faster!

One instant, it was a clear sidewalk in front of me, and the next I ran into a man who had just appeared.  My mind reeled at his abrupt materialization.  His eyes were strange; even in the dark, his eyes bore into mine.  I took my purse and aimed for his head. He moved so fast I barely saw a blur.  Next thing I knew, the guy was behind me, had pinned my arms, and was trying to give me a hickey!  

Worst day ever!

 There just is no positive way to look at any of this night.  I struggled, scratched, and kicked but was losing my energy quickly.  I remember slumping to the ground. I think he was still attached to my neck.

I wanted to keep fighting, but I couldn’t even stay conscious.

Author Interview:

1. Tell us a little about how this story first came to be.
I knew I wanted to write a cozy paranormal. I looked at the paranormal cozy mysteries available now and most had the main character as a witch except for Immortality Bites mystery series by Michelle Rowan. I love the witch character, but I wanted to try something a little different so I went with a female vampire lead. I wanted to make her a very unlikely vampire, so she is a positive thought person who says affirmations. I decided she would be newly turned so it is all new to her. To switch it up a little, I made the potential love interest a witch. I had just a basic idea of the murder and killer when I started writing it.

2. What, if anything, did you learn when writing the book?
I learned about the illegal trafficking of wild animals as research for the book. It is a two-way smuggling deal: animals from abroad like Africa and smuggled here while our wildlife like bears and cougars etc are smuggled to other countries. This has caused outbreaks of diseases back and forth. The Pangolin, a mild-mannered little animal is the most trafficked animal in the world, usually to kill for the scales and for exotic meals. I was deeply touched by their plight.

3. What surprised you the most in writing it?
I was surprised at how the characters really took over and asserted themselves on the page. I know it sounds crazy, but when I really tap into who the character is, they come alive on the page and the writing just flows.

4. If it’s not a spoiler, what does the title mean?
Since Misty is turned in the first few pages it references her becoming a vampire, but also how she gets bitten by the detective bug when she decides to pick up the cases when her PI boss abandons the business to save his marriage.

5. Were any of the characters inspired by real people? If so, do they know?
No, I didn’t use anybody I know for the characters in this book. But in my other series, Resort to Murder, a few characters were inspired by actual people.

6. Do you consider the book to have a lesson or moral?
Not specifically, no. I have done that before in books and I didn’t consciously do that this time. Because Misty is a positive-thought believer there are affirmations and such, but it wasn’t meant as a lesson.

7. What is your favorite part of the book?
I really enjoy Misty, she is fun to write with her always looking for a silver lining.

8. Which character was most challenging to create? Why?
The killer is always hard. To write a character, even a villain, you must get into the character. It’s somewhat like an actor getting into character for a role. This is why I don’t write serial killers!

9. What are your immediate future plans?
I am already putting together notes and ideas for the next book to continue Misty’s adventures. But I’m also writing my second in the Elizabeth Grant thriller series under the pen name C.G. Abbot. Thrillers are intense, so I write on a cozy as a break from the thriller as I go. So be looking for the next Accidental Vampire PI, “Second Chance”.

About the Author:

Avery Daniels was born and raised in Colorado, graduated from college with a degree in business administration and has worked in fortune 500 companies and Department of Defense her entire life. Her most eventful job was apartment management for 352 units. 
She still resides in Colorado with two brother black cats as her spirited companions. She volunteers for a cat shelter, enjoys scrapbooking and card making, photography, and painting in watercolor and acrylic. She inherited a love for reading from her mother and grandmother and grew up talking about books at the dinner table. 
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Book Blitz: Scenic Views, by Beth Dolgner

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Scenic Views
by Beth Dolgner

Eternal Rest Bed and Breakfast

Paranormal Cozy Mystery

Red Glare Press

Publication Date
December 1, 2021

Purchase Your Copy Today!

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Eternal Rest Bed and Breakfast seems quiet after Emily Buchanan sends the resident ghosts on a mission to find her late husband’s spirit. When she begins hearing strange noises, Emily doesn’t think it can be paranormal. After all, there are no ghosts left in the Victorian mansion. Right?

Emily realizes she bought more than a mirror when she finds herself face-to-face with a ghost trapped inside it. The ghost’s story leads Emily to an historic mansion that has been wreathed in mystery for years.

As the suspects add up, so do the number of threats Emily and her friends are receiving. Someone among the living desperately wants them to give up the search for clues. Emily worries even more about her safety when she finds out something evil is lurking just outside the town of Oak Hill…

SCENIC VIEWS, the fourth novel in the Eternal Rest Bed and Breakfast series by paranormal cozy mystery author Beth Dolgner.

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Sign up for Beth Dolgner’s newsletter and receive a FREE copy of GHOST OF A GUEST, a novella-length crossover story linking the Betty Boo, Ghost Hunter series to Dolgner’s cozy mystery Eternal Rest Bed and Breakfast series. DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE COPY TODAY!


About the Author

BETH DOLGNER writes paranormal fiction and nonfiction. Her first book was the nonfiction Georgia Spirits and Specters, which is a collection of Georgia ghost stories, followed by Everyday Voodoo. Beth made her fiction debut with the Betty Boo, Ghost Hunter paranormal romance series, set in Savannah, Georgia. In addition to writing, Beth also gives presentations on Victorian death and mourning traditions as well as Victorian Spiritualism. She’s always up for going looking for ghosts, too, just like her characters. You can usually find her haunting the historic cemeteries around her home in Berlin, Germany.

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