Authors Showcase features the spine tinglers of Velda Brotherton and Regina Morris.
October 22, 2013
The Book: The Purloined Skull
The Author: Velda Brotherton
The Story: Buried skeletons don’t often turn up in the small Arkansas town of Cedarton. Especially not headless ones. News reporter Jessie West would just as soon avoid writing the story and revealing her whereabouts to a man who wants to punish her…for good reason. She ruined his life and her own. New Crime Scene Investigator Dallas Starr, a Cherokee with the power to commune with those involved in scenes of violence, wants her gone. Reporters have no place mixing in a criminal investigation. They are liars who ruin lives just for a good story. He knows this first hand.
But Jessie is hot on the trail of this story, and that sexy Dallas Starr, who has awakened her sleeping libido, can just get out of her way. Danger lurks when she begins to get threatening notes. Has her past caught up with her or is she close to finding the killer? Can Dallas and Jessie solve this cold case?
Twenty-four years ago someone shot a man and buried him under a bluff. Now his head is gone. Deep in the woods on a moonless night Jessie goes after a suspect, and Dallas is forced to follow to solve the riddle of the missing skull.
About the Author: Velda Brotherton has always loved to read mysteries, but in her long writing career, she has just recently had her first mystery, The Purloined Skull, published. She writes from an office in the home she shares with her husband. Located on ten acres of land that borders against the Ozark National Forest in Arkansas, she often goes for days without seeing another human being. Visitors include herds of deer, red foxes, bobcats and occasionally a shy black bear, along with all the tiny critters that habitat the Ozarks. Since 1988 she has been multiply published in historical nonfiction and fiction, as well as short stories and articles.
Velda is the cochair of a large critique group, she mentors young writers, holds workshops and speaks at conferences.
Review by author James R. Callan: Velda Brotherton’s The Purloined Skull offers intrigue in the very first sentence. By the end of the first chapter we have eight mysteries to solve: who was the dead person, who killed him, where is the head, what is Jessie’s dark secret and what is she running from, what is Dallas Starr’s secret and what is he running from, and will Jessie and Dallas get together.
Brotherton weaves these together masterfully, letting the reader find answers little by little all the way to the end. The story is set in rural Arkansas, and the author gives us a clear picture of life there, its advantages and its disadvantages. Jessie Stone has moved back to her childhood home from California, trying to leave her problems behind. Dal Starr has left the Dallas Police Department to take over as the detective in the small town of Cedarton. And just so you don’t think that’s all there is to this book, Dal is part Cherokee and receives the feelings and moods of the dead.
That ought to be enough to entice you to read the book. But, just to top it off, there is the romance that may, or may not, be able to survive between Jessie and Dal. If you’re ready for a good mystery, a good romance, and some dark moods from the dead, The Purloined Skull is a great choice.
Review by Christopher Allan Poe: When human bones are accidentally uncovered in the Arkansas hills, reporter Jessica West is called into investigate. What she didn’t count on was Deputy Dallas Starr, a Cherokee Texas deputy with the gift of second sight. What ensues is a top-notch mystery with complex characters and plenty of sexual tension that will keep you turning pages late into the night. Anyone looking for a great mystery will love The Purloined Skull.
The Book: United Service
The Author: Regina Morris
They alter their aged appearance based upon the amount of blood they consume. They move to a new area, drink a lot of blood, and appear young. Slowly they limit their intake of blood and age, right in front of our unsuspecting eyes. After decades, they fake their death, move, and do it over and over again.
Most live quiet lives in an effort to blend in.
Some however want power and control.
The Colony is an elite group of vampires sworn to protect the President of the United States from these rogue vampires.
Sterling, a half-breed vampire, is the weakest link in the chain for his team, and he knows it.
He has a unique ability to glean information from inanimate objects, and his life is like CSI meets the West Wing, where key positions are held by vampires. Vampires can alter their age based on the amount of blood they consume, which should allow Sterling to blend into human society. However, his ability has painful side effects that cause him to live a lonely life down in the evidence room at FBI headquarters. He’s a lonely bad-boy looking for love in all the wrong places.
His current case involves the kidnapping of vampire children by a religious cult who is trying to save them. Sterling snatches the opportunity to do some field work by teaming up with a purebred vampire, Kate, who is the nanny of one of the missing children. Sterling’s world is turned upside down by Kate. She is everything Sterling could hope for in a mate and he wonders if she’d ever consider loving a half-breed.
Kate is beautiful, intelligent, charming and sophisticated. Kate has led a sheltered life and is considered handicapped by vampire standards. Could she possibly trust Sterling enough to share her dark personal secret with him?
Together, can they save the kidnapped children and find true love for themselves?
About the Author: Regina Morris is the author of the humorous paranormal romances that make up the Colony series. She loves paranormal romances featuring vampires, with her personal taste being light-hearted and humorous stories – not horrific and gory. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and two children. She graduated high school in Germany and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. Besides writing, she is an amateur portrait and sports photographer, but discovered that writing is in her blood, and had to put pen to paper! She enjoys monthly meetings with her writing groups and meeting other writers in the Austin area through the Writers’ League of Texas. Please connect with her on Facebook (@ReginaAnnMorris) and Twitter (@ReginaMorris.
Review by Candy Golden: I suffer from insomnia, and what a way to pass the time not sleeping, than with this great book. This book is full of action, humor, edge of your chair oh em gee’s, lovable characters, and HOT love scenes! Sigh, what more do you need? (and by the way, the epilogue was EPIC).
I said it in my review of Eternal Service, and I’ll say it again: if you’ve ever read Lynsay Sands’ Argeneau series, then I would rate this blossoming series right up there with hers. Ms. Morris has just the right amount of flair in her books as Ms. Sands does, and kept me riveted the entire time.
I love the premise that all Vamps are NOT all perfect in every way, and that some do have imperfections that they have to deal with. I appreciated the fact that every vamp has their own unique “gifts” as well.
Good on Ms. Morris that she came up with a storyline that was feasible for Sterling. I had so wondered how she was going to do that, and what she came up with was ingenious. The way that the characters and family members intertwined was a great subtle way to let us know what was happening in their lives that the last book left off at.
Please click the book cover images to read more about the novels.