The Killer in the Woods by Rick Van Etten


The Killer in the Woods
A Robert Vance Novel
Book One
Rick Van Etten

Genre:  Crime Fiction/Mystery

Publisher:  Proud Point Press
Date of Publication:  June 1, 2020
ISBN:  978-1-7348269-0-6
ASIN: B087Y9ND2M
Number of pages:  254
Word Count:  78,000
Cover Artist:  Eric Labacz

Book Description: 

ROBERT VANCE IS A MAN WITH A SECRET…

Robert Vance is a magazine editor who works from home and lives in a house full of books. His neighbors think of him as a quiet, unassuming man. His passion for pheasant hunting with Preacher, his German wirehaired pointer, is typical of sportsmen living in the Midwest. But what isn’t so typical—and what his neighbors don’t know—is that occasionally Robert hunts something besides pheasants.

Robert hates bullies and injustice. When someone has a problem with either, he or she can hire Robert to make the situation right.

But Robert isn’t—in his own mind—just a contract killer. He lives by a set of rules that dictate who, where, and why he can kill. So when a well-meaning citizen discovers Robert’s latest target and winds up being charged with the killing, Robert must take steps to ensure the man’s freedom.

STEPS THAT WILL MOST LIKELY INVOLVE KILLING AGAIN…


Excerpt Chapter 1

The money is good, but that’s not why I do it.
Kill people, I mean. That’s what I do, and I’m very good at it. And yes, the compensation is usually more than adequate.
But don’t start jumping to conclusions. I’m not a spook. I’m not some ex-Agency, ultra-ultra-deep-cover, government-trained assassin who got my start in the military and, having discovered a unique talent, couldn’t let it go. Nor was I ever encouraged by my “Uncle” to put my special skills to use for the common good, in which capacity I might still have the occasional brush-up with colleagues who might or might not be among the so-called good guys and might or might not be people I should trust.
No. I don’t play at espionage. I don’t call secret phone numbers and get my orders from people who use lots of acronyms and won’t allow their names to be spoken aloud on an open line, and I don’t have hidden files tucked away somewhere that I can use as leverage if I find myself running afoul of a power player. I never served in the military, and the extent of my contact with the government consists of filing my income taxes every year, renewing the registration on my SUV and voting in the occasional election. The few times I’ve been called for jury duty I’ve managed to get myself excused.
Sounds pretty dull, doesn’t it? You’re right; it is. And that’s by design.
If you saw me on the street or in a restaurant or a shopping mall or an airport—and there’s a reasonable chance you have seen me in some of those places—you’d most likely give me no more than a passing glance. There’s quite a bit about me that’s just plain average—size, looks, clothing. I wear glasses, and my hair is getting thin on top.
I dress comfortably and rather conservatively. I recently became eligible for Social Security—I’m old enough to have served in Vietnam, but I was in college at the time and my number in the draft lottery was high enough to keep me there.
I don’t go out of my way to attract attention, but neither do I live an introverted, reclusive life. I’m not married, but I date casually, and I occasionally get invited to parties and cookouts and can hold my own in a conversation on a variety of subjects. People usually laugh at my jokes, and I keep myself reasonably well informed about most current events. I read extensively, and my house is full of books.
I also have a Browning gun vault full of shotguns, but those are primarily related to my regular job—I’m the editor of an outdoor sporting magazine, a “hook and bullet rag,” as such publications are irreverently referred to within the publishing industry. I’m a bird hunter by avocation, and a six-year-old German wirehaired pointer named Preacher—for Clint Eastwood’s grizzled character in the movie Pale Rider—shares my home.
Sometimes I use one of my shotguns for something besides upland game or waterfowl. That’s a safe enough practice, as I’ll explain later. When a shotgun is too large for the job at hand—when it’s necessary to get up close and personal to the target, in other words—I’ll occasionally use a handgun. But I never keep these after the job is finished. That’s Rule Number 3.
I travel a good bit for my job—I get quite a few invitations from advertisers throughout the hunting season, and by taking advantage of these invitations I’ve hunted in many locations and at many top-drawer facilities around the world. Sometimes—not frequently, but once in a while—my two jobs overlap. The advertiser picks up the tab for my hunt (in exchange for some editorial ink), and by staying an extra day or two—usually on the pretext of visiting an old childhood friend or a seldom-seen relative and always at my own expense—I manage to take care of the other assignment while I’m at it. It doesn’t happen that way very often, but it’s convenient when it does.
OK, so if I really don’t do it for the money, why do I do it?
Simple.
There are two things I can’t abide in this world—a bully, and injustice.
The two often go hand in hand, and when I encounter either, I bristle. When someone else has a problem with either, he or she will sometimes seek me out to make the situation right.
Over the years, I’ve become very good at this. And that’s my real motivation—the feeling of satisfaction that comes from having done a job well, righted a wrong, balanced the scales or eliminated an oppressive threat.
It’s my way of leaving the world a little better place than I found it.


About the Author:

Rick Van Etten is a former college English instructor, corporate communications professional and retired magazine editor whose numerous articles and features have appeared in Gun Dog, Wing and Shot, Sports Afield, Ducks Unlimited, Game and Fish, Petersen’s Hunting, Farm and Ranch Living and Reader’s Digest. An Illinois native and lifelong upland bird hunter, Rick now lives in Iowa with a middle-aged Irish setter and an elderly tortoiseshell cat. The Killer in the Woods is his first novel.


Bloodlines by M.L.Mastran




Bloodlines
Albion Moon Chronicles
Book Two
M.L.Mastran

Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Date of Publication: March 13, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-0878-5801-2
ISBN: 978-1-0878-6379-5
Number of pages: 200
Word Count: 70, 528

Cover Artist: Michelle Nelson, Graphic & Interactive Design

Tagline:  The Fight was only the beginning, now its war!

Book Description: 

Evaline and Mason expand their family as an old threat hides in the shadows.  As we dive deeper into the backstory of the MaCowans, we see how it’s all connected to Evaline’s story.  

When the old danger finally resurfaces, it forces Evaline and company to new shores.  Armed with a plan, they soon find out it’s not as simple as they thought.  New revelations about family secrets emerge only to send Evaline into a tailspin.  

As they finally confront the danger, the family must contend with the prospect that they may not survive unless an unknown ally steps in.  Meanwhile, just as the old threat is dealt with, a new, more menacing danger sets its sights on Dunsmuir.

Amazon     BN     Kobo

Excerpt:

She got her keys out of her jacket pocket then exited the home onto the porch. Before going down the steps, she stopped. A shiver coursed through her body; the same feeling as when one was being watched. She peered down the street and saw nothing amiss. Same thing for across and the other side.
Her gut swirled, telling her to turn around. The tree across the street looked different, but she couldn’t quite figure out why. Its leaves and branches stirred in an unnatural way, seeming to dance on their own against the breeze.  Every hair on her body stood up at once. The deep silence bothered her—no crickets chirped, nor owls hooted, and there was no sway of the trees or tall grass; the night was calm. She decided to get the book then go inside. After unlocking the car with her key fob, she opened the car door, stretching her arm over and into the back seat.
“Where are you?” she mumbled.
She didn’t see it moving all around, whatever it was. Given the surrounding movement, undoubtedly it wasn’t just one.  The tree trunks seemed to come alive as the tall grass across the street shifted. Silent like shadows, they moved, staying just enough out of sight. Kristy found the book underneath the front seat.
She got out of the car then scanned nearby her. Nothing. Kristy hurriedly closed the car door and turned toward the porch. She peeked over her shoulder. An involuntary gasp escaped her. Shadows darted toward her. She got to the steps and froze. Her eyes widened, and her heart pounded in her chest. The pit of her stomach churned. Not shadows, animals. She could now hear the low growls from the animals around her. But what were they?
She blinked and, just like that, a man stood in front of her. He wasn’t wearing any clothes and had a gleam shimmering in his eyes.
She wanted to scream, but the man caught her attention.
“Uh uh uh,” he said as he put his finger to his lips and then in one breathe, he whispered, “Shhhhhhh.”
His fingernail was long and black with a slight curve at the tip. The man grinned, with glowing eyes and wild should-length hair, but he had a trimmed beard. A voice inside her head was screaming to run as she frantically looked for an escape. Her adrenaline pumped as she saw a chance to get away and tried to take it but before she could do anything, something grabbed her from behind and clenched her tight, it was difficult to breathe. The man neared and stopped, only inches away.
In a harsh, low tone, he said, “If you struggle, it will take less than a second for him to squeeze the life out of you. Don’t.”

About the Author:


Nothing captures the attention of M.L. Mastran more than writing a good story with amazing characters and a history arc that made the history books. This is the Albion Moon Chronicles in every sense.

On the flip side, M.L. can also journey to another world completely and pull the same elements with fantasy and make the reader yearn for more. Her uncanny ability to blend genres makes her unique to the literary world and an absolute reading joy. From the first moment you open the page, curiosity will pull you in and keep you engrossed in the story as you take the voyage with the characters to different places and times; to experience the events as they unfold.

Whether being told from a one character perspective or several points of view, her stories will unfold in your mind like a movie playing in your head. This is what pushes M.L to write her stories. It’s the thrill of the read and the drive to carry readers away that will make this trip to the literary world of imagination all the sweeter.

M. L. was born in Scranton Pennsylvania but was raised in Youngstown, Ohio, which is also where she currently resides with her husband and son.  Since a young age, she has always had a passion for storytelling.  Anything that was of interest to her she could find a story with however, it was her stories of experiences such as walking in an old cemetery, to riding a roller coaster to walking the lonely isles of an old junk yard that seemed the most precious.

M. L. has an undergraduate degree in Communication but also majored in History, which is what her Master’s Degree is in as well.  She also started on her PHD in History.  This love of history is very evident in most of M. L.’s stories. While studying for both degrees, she wrote numerous works for the academic audience.  Many of which were presented and published for both student and professional audiences, but at home she would continue to dabble with her love of fiction.  It was the challenge of creating a new world and characters that would make for some great stories.  In fact, she found out very quickly, strong characters drive the story and make it worth the journey.










a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Dark Awakening by D.L. Blade #YAParanormal




The Dark Awakening

The Chosen Coven

Book One

D.L. Blade



Genre: YA Paranormal

Publisher: Fifth Element Publishing
Date of Publication: October 2nd, 2018
ISBN: 9780578416458
ASIN: B07G22WH8H
Number of pages: 252
Word Count: 69,000

Cover Artist: Redbird Designs

Tagline: Darkness is coming, and she’s their last hope

Book Description:

She’s stalked, hunted, and a villainous vampire desires her blood.

Mercy’s life is anything but ordinary. A stalker lurks in the shadows, and a man rescues her from a life-threatening car accident, but vanishes right before her eyes.
But this man who she thought was a hallucination, tracks her down at a nearby cove, and claims they were once in love from another time. Another century.

Mercy has no memory of this world he shares, and instinctively doesn’t trust him.
He also reveals to her a life-changing secret—she’s a powerful witch, vampires are real, and she’s destined to destroy them.

Mercy finds herself dragged into a centuries-old battle against the undead, and a sadistic vampire leader has set his sights on her. And he will stop at nothing until he claims Mercy as his own.

She and her coven won’t go down without a fight. She needs to discover the truth about her past, and the power she holds, before it’s too late.


Amazon       Universal Link     Audible     Goodreads

EXCERPT 3

When I turned around, he was nowhere to be seen. A heavy sigh escaped as I eyed Lily’s truck about a hundred feet ahead. I looked around one more time and then sprinted to the truck. Once inside, I locked it and pulled my phone out of my pocket. My phone had been turned o.
This is going to take too long.
He would reach me before my phone powered on. I powered it on anyway and put my hands back on the keys which were still in the ignition. I tried again. The car didn’t make a sound.
Please turn on, please turn on.
I gripped the keys so tightly that the house key was digging into my palm. “Turn on!” The feeling of electricity sparked in my hand, followed by a green light from my fingertips. I quickly removed my hand and the car started up.
What the hell?
The shock of what had just happened stunned me. I couldn’t move or think straight.
I sensed movement ahead coming out of the forest and I looked up. He was standing there. His sleeves were now pulled up to his elbows, revealing his muscular arms. My eyes narrowed down to his wrist, revealing a red flame tattoo that reached from his wrist to his elbow. My stomach churned and I felt like throwing up. It was him; it was the man who had pulled me from my car after the accident.

About the Author:


D.L. Blade grew up in southern California, but relocated to Colorado with her family in 2014.

She always loved writing, concentrating on poetry rather than prose when she was younger. That changed however, when she had a dream one night and decided to create a story about it.

In her spare time, D.L. enjoys a wide variety of hobbies, including reading, attending rock concerts and volunteering at local animal shelters where she can indulge in her passion for all forms of life.

In the future, D.L. hopes that she can continue to write exciting novels that will captivate her readers and bring them into the worlds that she creates using her imagination.















a Rafflecopter giveaway