Friday, September 1, 2017

Alison Golden - Chopped is featured in the HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

The Showcase is a special feature of the Author's Spotlight. It is designed to highlight Spotlight author's NEW releases and their soon to be released novels.

The HBS Author's Spotlight SHOWCASES Alison Golden's New Book: Chopped.

Author Alison Golden writes Mystery, Psychology and Paleo Diet & Lifestyle books. Alison is the author of the Inspector David Graham Cozy Mystery series, Diana Hunter Mystery series and the Reverend Annabelle Dixon Cozy Mystery series.


A Diana Hunter Mystery Book 4

Author: Alison Golden

Barnes and Noble

A headless body. A contract killer. His human prey.

Ten years have passed since Diana Hunter, once the youngest spook in the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, was captured by the elusive professional assassin known only as “Surgeon.” Now a magazine editor and a consultant for the Vancouver Police Department, Diana has been taunted for years by the shadowy psychopathic genius who continues to elude the grasp of the world’s top police and intelligence services.

It is two days before the anniversary of her ordeal, and Surgeon has claimed another victim in his gruesome, trademark fashion on the streets of the city Diana calls home. Desperate to bring Surgeon to justice, Diana dangles herself as bait for this ruthless, arrogant killer but her plan goes wrong. Will it go fatally wrong?

Set amid the urban bustle of Vancouver, Chopped is an electrifying game of chess with political undertones played against an opponent whose obsessive mind is working moves ahead. Can Diana and her handsome partner, Detective Peter Hopkinson, outthink this brilliant killer, or will Surgeon’s brutal game continue unchecked?

Excerpt from Chopped

DIANA FORCED HER eyes open. She glanced outside. It was still dark. The bright green numbers on her alarm clock said four o’clock. AM. Why was she awake? She had had only two hours sleep.

She concentrated for a moment. No strange noises were coming from her apartment. No one had broken in. She sighed. Whatever had awakened her, she didn’t rightly care. She turned over, burrowed deeper into her covers, and sighed. It was time to get back to sleep. A moment later, peppy, upbeat tones sprinkled their way loudly across the silence of her bedroom. Diana’s eyes snapped open. Again.

She turned over with a grunt and glared at her cellphone. She considered her options. Throw it across the room and smash it to pieces? Or answer and explain a few facts of life to whomever was calling at this ridiculous hour?

Choosing option two on the basis that it would be less expensive in the long run, she picked up her phone and looked at the caller ID. Hopkinson. “What?” she barked.

“Aren’t you cheerful?” Peter’s sunny voice rang in her ear.

“Do you know what time it is?” She was in no mood for Peter’s quips. Her soft pillows called out, tempting her to rest her head in that lovely softness and let the warm cocoon of sleep take her back to Neverland. And Peter bloody Pan here just had to ruin it.

“Yup. Four o’clock. Were you still asleep?” he asked.

“No, I was wide awake. Like everyone is at four in the morning. I was lying here thinking about how I’m going to torture you the next time I see you,” she replied.

“And that’s precisely why we get on so well,” he said.

“Why? Because I threaten to do you grievous bodily harm all the time?”

“That, and the fact that you’re such a sweet, caring person.”

“Peter, if you just called to irritate me, you’re doing a damn good job of it,” she growled into the phone.

“Unfortunately, murders don’t have the decency of occurring on a nine-to-five schedule,” he said gravely, the light and teasing tone gone in a flash.

Diana’s eyes flew open, and she was instantly alert. “You’ve got a new one?” she asked. They had been working together for seven months, but it had been more than two weeks since their last case. Diana was itching for some action. She had reached her limit with egotistical writers, annoying suppliers, and everything to do with running her magazine. The work seemed so trivial and mundane compared to working on a case with Peter. She mostly enjoyed her regular job, but right now she was frustrated and snapping at everyone. A little sleuthing action was just what she needed.

“You know, you worry me. Every time we get a case, you’re like a kid in a candy store,” Peter said. She could hear the smile in his voice.

“More, please, sir,” she replied in a high-pitch.

“That’s what I mean. You worry me.”

The doorbell buzzed. Her heart skipped a beat. “Please tell me you’re not standing right outside.” Larry, the night doorman, would only let one person upstairs this early in the morning. Peter.

“Yes, I am. And I come bearing gifts.” He was too smug for his own good sometimes.

“Well, thanks for the heads-up,” Diana snapped. She flew out of bed, grabbed a robe, and shrugged into it. She glanced over at Max, her tiny, white Maltese terrier. He was sleeping soundly. He was so used to Peter coming around at all hours of the day and night that he simply didn’t react anymore. He had a sixth sense, even in sleep. He always knew when Peter was at the door. Anyone else, he barked his head off. The pizza delivery guy was terrified of him.

Peter hadn’t let up on her doorbell. Typical. How old was he? Eight? She hurried to the door and yanked it open, glaring at the six foot two detective who filled up her doorway. His blue eyes twinkled at her, and he flashed her an all-too-pleased grin.

She glared at him. “Stop it,” she hissed. “You’ll wake the neighbors.” She sniffed the air and looked down. He held a cardboard tray with two coffees. “Espresso?” she asked hopefully.

He nodded. “Of course. Am I forgiven?” he asked.

Diana rolled her eyes. “Get inside.” She stepped back to let him in. He brushed past her, raising the tray so she could get a better sniff of the coffee. It hadn’t taken Peter long to learn that Diana didn’t do well in the mornings without coffee. She was not fun before her first cup.

As he passed by her, Diana felt a familiar sense of unease. Peter had gotten to know her very quickly in the time they had been working together. What she allowed him to know, anyway. Ever since her parents’ murders, Diana had done her best to keep her relationships as light and as casual as possible. She knew that whomever was responsible for Lydia and John Hunter’s deaths was keeping a close eye on her, and she had vowed not to put anyone in danger. Yet she had broken this rule with Peter. He was her friend. Her only friend.

She hadn’t told him her backstory. He knew nothing about her parents or the room, just a few yards away, where she kept all their things. They were her secret. She felt guilty. And vulnerable. She would tell him. She owed him that much. And she’d do it soon, she promised herself, before she got so attached to him that her heart would break into a million pieces when he ran the other way.

“So, where’s my favorite four-legged buddy?” he asked.

“Asleep, just like I should be,” she muttered. “Give.” She tried to grab the cup of coffee he was still waving under her nose. He quickly moved it out of her reach.

“You really are a terrible morning person,” he said. He took pity on her and handed her the cup.

Diana took it and lifted the lid, inhaling deeply. It would be perfect, she knew. Two sugars and enough milk to give it a caramel color. She took her first sip with a moan of pleasure. “No, I’m not a morning person at all. And this isn’t morning. It’s still the middle of the night.”

A sleepy Max crawled into the room and whined pathetically at Peter. “And look who just got up.” Peter lowered himself to his haunches and gave Max a good scratch between his ears.

“Traitor,” Diana muttered at Max. “You’ve completely corrupted my dog.”

“He’s smart. He knows who he can trust.” Peter grinned up at her and winked.

Diana hid her smile. Max did trust Peter, and so did she. Up to a point. She trusted him with her life, but not with the truth of her past. Not quite yet.

“I’m going to get dressed.” She turned away, her cup of coffee still cradled lovingly in her hands. “Do we have time for breakfast?” she threw over her shoulder.

“Of course,” Peter called out. “We have about an hour before they’re expecting us.” He walked over to the island dominating the center of her kitchen.

Diana froze in her tracks and walked backward until he was in her line of sight again. “You’re telling me I could have slept in at least another half an hour?”

“Uh no, definitely not. Remember the last time I dragged you straight from bed to a crime scene without coffee and food? You made one of the uniformed officers puke, you had the rookies practically in tears, and even Doc, the most patient man I know, and Tina, who worships the ground you walk on, wanted to brain you.”

“It’s not my fault that uniform had a weak stomach,” she huffed. “And those rookies were just standing there, gawking, instead of doing their jobs. They were completely incompetent. They couldn’t even hold back the crowd.”

“For your information, when you explain in detail how bodies liquefy when they decay, and then proceed to provide visual corroboration by poking at the dead body, making it ooze, anyone would throw up,” he said.

“You didn’t,” she pointed out. “And at least I asked Doc’s permission before I did it.”

“He thought you were trying to determine something relevant to the case!” Peter threw his hands up in exasperation. “He’d no idea you wanted revenge on that poor constable simply because he found the body, and didn’t, as you put it, have the decency to wait until a more civilized time of the day to report it!”

She smiled sheepishly. “At least I waited until the rookies left.”

“Well, that’s alright then. Thank goodness for small mercies. Now, go get dressed,” he ordered.

She snorted. “Why are you in such a rush? It’s not like the body’s going anywhere.” Peter narrowed his eyes and squinted at her. “Alright, alright, I’m going. Might I point out that’s precisely where I was heading until you accused me of being a tyrant?”

“Your words, not mine.”

Diana glowered, but a small smile appeared when she turned her back. She marched into her bedroom, and slammed the door. “Don’t even think of cooking anything,” she hollered.

Peter bragged about his famous pancakes all the time. Like a fool, she had once given him carte blanche to put his money where his mouth was. It had been a monumental mistake. The pancakes were incredible, no doubt about it. Her kitchen, though, had been a disaster. Peter was permanently banned from cooking in her apartment. It had taken her three days to clean up!

“Wouldn’t dream of it,” he answered. He took a seat at the island and sat back. It was hard to beat an early morning tussle with Diana.

Author: Alison Golden

Author Genre: Mystery, Psychology, Paleo Diet & Lifestyle

Website: Cozy Mysteries
Author's Blog: Alison Golden - the secret life of a warrior woman
Twitter: @alisonjgolden
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Post with Profile + Interview: HBS Author's Spotlight

Amazon Author Profile

Author Description: Alison Golden was born and raised in Bedfordshire, England. She writes cozy mysteries and suspense novels, along with the occasional witty blog post, all of which are designed to entertain, amuse, and calm. Her approach is to combine creative ideas with excellent writing and edit, edit, edit.

She is the creator of the Reverend Annabelle Dixon cozy mysteries, a charming, fun series featuring a female vicar ministering in the beautiful county of Cornwall, England. She also produces a Jersey-based detective series featuring Inspector David Graham and the Diana Hunter series, set in Vancouver.

Her books' themes range from the humorous and sweet to harder hitting suspense. They are recommended for readers who like to relax and unwind with their books, who enjoy getting to know the characters, and who prefer the tougher side of life implied.

She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and twin sons. She splits her time traveling between London and San Francisco.

Author's Book List
Grave in the Garage - A Reverend Annabelle Dixon Cozy Mystery Book 4
A body. A crumbling graveyard. A lively, bounding puppy.

When her beloved Mini Cooper breaks down, Reverend Annabelle Dixon stumbles upon a gruesome scene at the Mildred’s Garage… a lifeless hand peeking out from the pit beneath a parked car.

Across the road, Inspector Mike Nicholls is in Upton St. Mary on personal business, yet that business is soon overshadowed as the stalwart, logical detective finds himself embroiled in yet another mystery with the kindhearted, and tenacious, vicar.

Together, they discover who the hand in the pit belongs to, and with two missing mechanics, a money strapped town, some matchmaking, and rumors a-plenty rolling all around the English village of Upton St. Mary, the case threatens to overwhelm them. The hours and clues mount, as the duo sets off on an investigation that soon proves larger, more dangerous, and more mysterious, than either of them could ever have guessed. Thank goodness for the puppy.

Grave in the Garage is the fourth book in the Reverend Annabelle Dixon series, a set of heartwarming cozy mysteries about a country vicar that will make you laugh out loud. If you like small town mysteries full of fun and colorful characters, a strong, yet compassionate female lead, and a hint of romance, then you’ll love Alison Golden’s sweet, humorous storytelling. This book may even restore your faith in humanity.

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Body in the Woods - A Reverend Annabelle Dixon Cozy Mystery Book 3
Buried bones. A boy. And tales of lost loves.

When a young boy is running home through the woods, he finds a bone: a forearm to be precise; a human forearm. This discovery sets in motion the reopening of a cold case that Reverend Annabelle Dixon, it seems, simply can’t leave alone.

In the quiet and relatively uneventful village of Upton St. Mary, gossip arises as word spreads that a body has been found in the woods. Once the investigation begins, the forensic team believes that it has been there for over a decade. But the question remains: who was buried there all those years ago?

In the sequel to Murder at the Mansion, Reverend Annabelle finds herself, once again, in amongst the thick of the investigation. With her knack for gaining people’s trust, winkling out their secrets, and piecing clues together, Annabelle is determined to solve the mystery.

In Body in the Woods, there are laugh out loud moments as Annabelle gets herself into plenty of scrapes. There is also a newcomer to the village with his heart set on love, antagonism with her crush, Inspector Nicholls, and Philippa, her church secretary, once more supplying Annabelle with gossip, cake, and her own little puzzle that gets Annabelle a-thinking.

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Murder at the Mansion - A Reverend Annabelle Dixon Cozy Mystery Book 2
Murder. Mayhem. A madcap lady vicar.

Reverend Annabelle Dixon is the charming, slightly gauche, very tall, thirty-something vicar of St. Mary’s Church located in the picturesque village of Upton St. Mary in Cornwall, England.

Recently appointed to her rural church position, Annabelle is beloved by her parishioners for dispensing good advice and godly wisdom with humor and charm while zipping her Mini Cooper around the country lanes and attempting to build a relationship with her church cat, Biscuit, who, quite frankly, couldn’t care less.

Trouble arises when Annabelle faithfully welcomes a new resident to her quaint parish. Her visit to the latest newcomer, Sir John Cartwright, is two-fold: to greet him and to dispel rumors of shady doings at the manor. This time, however, instead of tea and cakes, Annabelle is served a heaping plate of murder and a fine helping of handsome Inspector Mike Nicholls!

Filled with laugh-out-loud moments and cake and pastry recipes, this humorous, cozy mystery is an excellent introduction to the Reverend Annabelle Dixon series.

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KOBO Store
iTunes Store

Death at the Café - A Reverend Annabelle Dixon Cozy Mystery Book 1
A brand new female vicar. An accident-prone nun. Two friends. Two killings.

Annabelle and Mary are best friends. But when one gets framed for murder, can the other one save her?

Assigned to St. Clement's Church in an inner-city borough just outside Hackney in London, Reverend Annabelle Dixon brings an enthusiasm and drive to her clerical position that baffles her mentor, Father John, but which soon gains her fans and admiration. Annabelle is not your typical vicar, but her strengths prove to serve her, and those around her, very well.

When Annabelle plans to meet her longtime friend, Sister Mary, a Catholic nun visiting from West Africa, at a local café, little does she know that she will soon find herself embroiled in a mystery of deadly design. Their meeting place is awash with horror, with Sister Mary standing in the middle, shaking, her hand over her mouth and a dead woman at her feet.

Armed only with a note, a disappearing dart, vague hints, and a love of cake, this quick-thinking, quick-footed holy woman must gather the clues, pacify a detective, and find the real perpetrator before both she and her friend wind up in jail.

Part Sherlock, part Father Dowling, Annabelle is a new kind of detective – one who sees the truth in the most unlikely places. If you love solving puzzles, then this suspense-filled, endearing, cozy mystery is just for you. Enjoy following our amateur sleuth as she careers around London. It will have you guessing until the very end!

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KOBO Store
iTunes Store

Stolen - A Diana Hunter Mystery Book 3
When Vancouver’s elite convenes in the prestigious Four Seasons Hotel to celebrate and fund the new British Columbia Children’s Hospital, it is a night of free flowing champagne, high class regalia and more flash than a museum could house – until suddenly everyone realizes all their precious jewels and baubles are gone.

In the space of one moment, the night turns from joy to confusion…. How did it happen? How were they all robbed, at once… without anyone seeing a thing?

Diana Hunter works for a news and crime magazine, yet her past experience and impressive, Sherlock Holmes-like skills mark her as an asset only the government could have trained.

Those skills are soon put to the test when the Superintendent of the Vancouver Police Department calls her in to work the case. Thrown together with a talented group, Diana must unravel the clues before the ghost like bandits strike again. With two successful heists behind them, Diana begins to fear the bigger picture and realizes that these ‘robberies’ may not just be robberies after all….

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Snatched - A Diana Hunter Mystery Book 2
What would you do if you discovered a dead body? Would you investigate? Try to solve the case before the police arrive?

Would you prattle on about theories regarding the murder, realizing you know almost too much about it? Would you put the handsome detective off balance so that he then accuses you of being the murderer? All before 9AM? No… surely no one would do that?

Clearly, you haven’t met Diana Hunter.

When embarking on an early morning run, Diana notices a man sitting on the ground reading a book. When she returns, she finds he hasn’t moved a muscle since she left her house. She checks him over and discovers that he is stone cold. Once the emergency services arrive, all equipped with a very good-looking, but pompous detective, Peter Hopkinson, she has to continually prove to the detective why she is not the killer while trying to solve the murder herself.

Will Diana find the murderer before the detective does, or will they both discover that something a lot more sinister is going on at Royal Bay Beach?

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KOBO Store
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Hunted - A Diana Hunter Mystery Book 1
Did Lydia commit suicide, and leave her husband and daughter by choice – or is something more sinister afoot?

Meet Lydia, John, and Diana Hunter. Lydia is a loving mother and wife, who wants nothing more than the best for her family. John is her husband. He is an over-protective homicide detective who loves his wife and teenage daughter with everything he has. Their daughter, Diana, is a genius, with an IQ level far higher than most. This is a family that adores one another. A family, however, that is torn apart by tragedy.

When Lydia is found dead at her workplace, John loses the love of his life. His heart breaks for himself and his little girl as Diana spirals out of control. The authorities rule the death a suicide, but when events don’t start to add up, the family that is left behind begins to suspect something isn’t right.

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KOBO Store

The Case of the Broken Doll - An Inspector David Graham Cozy Mystery Book 4
A missing girl. A broken doll. Dark, deviant secrets.

When 15-year-old Beth Ridley vanished on her way to school, it was a mystery that baffled and shocked the small community of Gorey, Jersey. A leg torn from a doll she was carrying was the solitary clue as to what happened that day.

Now, on the tenth anniversary of her disappearance, Detective Inspector Graham is taking another look at the case. His Sherlockian tendencies are set alight.

What he finds will rock the town, stirring memories long buried and forgotten. There are painful truths to face.

And what of Beth? Can Graham uncover what happened? Could she still be alive?

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The Case of the Fallen Hero - An Inspector David Graham Cozy Mystery Book 3
An historic castle. A beautiful wedding. A dead groom.

Former big city cop, Inspector David Graham, is now leading a small group of officers in the tiny coastal village of Gorey. One Sunday morning, as he walks around the imposing Orgueil castle, Graham’s peaceful life comes to a shuddering halt when he finds a woman kneeling beside the body of a stricken man. As the woman’s screams ring out, Graham is there to assist – and to start gathering clues. Was it suicide? An accident? Or something far more nefarious?

Questions lead to trails that send the team digging through the history of not only the affected families, but the castle itself where a quartet of talented musicians have seemingly vanished. Monolithic in size and secrets, Orgueil Castle may reveal answers in the strangest…. and deepest ways possible.

With one dead, four missing, and many long-buried family secrets, Inspector David Graham wonders if there is enough tea to see him through it all.

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The Case of the Hidden Flame - An Inspector David Graham Cozy Mystery Book 2
A new cop. A murdered lover. An eccentric community.

Detective Inspector David Graham has just arrived on the island of Jersey, taking over a rag tag team of questionable commitment and skill at the Gorey Constabulary, a team that he is supposed to lead and develop into a cohesive investigative unit.

Within minutes, his first challenge presents itself when ex-soldier, Colonel Graves, finds a dead body on the beach. As the military man kneels down, he discovers it is his soon-to-be fiancé half buried in the sand…

In a small resort like Gorey, this event is monumental, and almost unheard of. The rumors swirl yet it is the new Detective Inspector’s job, with a bag still packed and travel dust on his shoes, to ferret out the clues and solve the case…while bringing his team along to assist.

With a Sherlock soul, The Case of the Hidden Flame packs humor and intrigue onto a small island of eccentric characters, roiling sea undercurrents, and deceptive coincidences – all accompanied by a fine cup of tea.

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KOBO Store
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The Case of the Screaming Beauty - An Inspector David Graham Cozy Mystery Book 1
The prestigious Lavender Bed and Breakfast in Chiddlinghurst, England has a rich, Tudor atmosphere, an enviously manicured lawn… And a deadly problem.

A young, beautiful woman, Norah Travis, has been found murdered in one of the rooms with no witnesses and seemingly no motive. Detective Inspector Graham, a man with a singular drive, a penchant for tea, and silent demons of his own, has been brought in to ferret out the perpetrator. Joining Sergeant Harris at the sprawling estate, the duo set their caps to solving a mystery that leaves them frustrated.

It’s a “whodunit” of crafty design with suspects on all sides and nothing clear cut. The proprietors, Amelia and Cliff, have jokes to share and almost nothing to hide, while their long time guest, Tim, seems shiftier. There is an ex-husband, a housekeeper, an old man, and questions galore. But who could it be? It’s a conundrum.

The Case of the Screaming Beauty is a modern murder mystery with an old fashioned feel; a story for fans of Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, and CSI. Enjoy!

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KOBO Store

The Modern No-Nonsense Guide to Paleo - Develop Your Skills to Lose Weight, Gain Energy and Take Back Your Health
Are you prone to emotional eating or overeating, even food addiction?

Do you start diets, determined to lose weight for the last time, only to give up, over and over and over again?

Many people get derailed as they attempt to incorporate paleo or other diet principles into their everyday life. They so want to make an enduring success of managing their eating but they don't know how to change or how to make it last.

It is a myth that changing our diets and losing weight are about learning what and how much to eat. If that were true, most of us would be slim.

In The Modern, No-Nonsense Guide to Paleo: Develop Your Skills to Lose Weight, Gain Energy and Take Back Your Health you will read the words of paleo and diet success that are rarely spoken about.

They are almost secrets. Except they are quite simple concepts once you know what they are.

Just think of all those times you failed because you didn't know what is laid out in this book.

The Modern, No-Nonsense Guide to Paleo: Develop Your Skills to Lose Weight, Gain Energy and Take Back Your Health provides practical tools to ease the transition to a full-on paleo life. Each chapter includes strategies, tips and checklists to identify the actions to power you on your paleo journey and create sustainable change and success for good.

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Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
eBook Author’s Corner
Mystery Reader’s Circle

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