Thursday, August 1, 2013

Todd Borg - Tahoe Chase 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 Todd Borg's New Book:
Tahoe Chase


Author: Todd Borg


TAHOE CHASE is about a young French woman named Simone Bonnaire whose sadistic boyfriend abuses her. Simone's only friend is Cynthia Rorvik, an older woman who provides comfort. When Cynthia falls from her deck and ends up in a coma, her 92-year-old, former Olympic ski racer husband Joe Rorvik calls Tahoe Detective Owen McKenna and asks him to investigate. McKenna discovers a string of deaths that look like accidents. All of the victims opposed a new, proposed ski resort development in Tahoe. As McKenna gets closer to a devious killer, he realizes that Simone is to be the next victim. But McKenna can't save her because she has left on a solo ski trek into the Desolation Wilderness, and she is unreachable except by the killer who has been following her and has already begun his final chase…


It was the softness of the metallic click that sounded dangerous.

Cynthia Rorvik was filling the bird feeder out on the deck when she heard a faint sound of metal on metal. Her heart thumped.

Maybe it was the latch on the deck fence gate, the whisper snick of spring-loaded bar as it was eased out of its cradle.

Cynthia inhaled a short, reflexive breath and held it, listening, her hearing one of the few things that still worked as well at 79 as when she’d been a teenager. She hadn’t heard the doorbell, although the deck slider was shut and she’d been making noise with the bird seed bag. Maybe someone tried the door, got no answer, and came around the house.

Cynthia set the seed bag down in the fresh snow on the bench, walked over to the edge of the deck, and looked along the stone walkway that led to a gate in the fence. The gate was in the dark shade of the big California Red Fir trees. In contrast to the bright snow on the ground and tree boughs, it was impossible to see anything in the relative darkness near the gate. It looked like the gate was still shut. Or maybe it was open an inch. She couldn’t tell. Cynthia stood silent, listening.

There were small cracks between the fence boards, but Cynthia could see no shape of a person through the cracks. She waited and watched. After several seconds of no other sound, she decided she must be mistaken.

She stepped back to the feeder and finished filling it. In the nearby Lodgepole Pines, several Mountain Chickadees fluttered in excitement, their quick-step, aerial dance moves too fast to see in detail. The birds came down to the feeder one at a time, then each flew off with a seed. They chirped and sang, a coffee-klatsch of busy birds trading gossip as they feasted.

Cynthia listened instead for the lonely chick-a-dee song from up in the tree off the corner of the deck. In a moment it came, the beautiful, threenote, minor-third music that was Molly.

Cynthia pulled several black oil sunflower seeds from the bag and walked over to the corner of the deck. She put the seeds on the palm of her gloved hand and held her hand out. The tiny, one-legged chickadee she’d named Molly swooped in and landed on her outstretched index finger. The bird never went to the feeder, perhaps unable to muscle in with the other birds. Balancing on her one leg, Molly hopped a step forward and picked up the seed. The bird cocked her head at Cynthia as if in thanks, then flew over to the closest tree. Molly landed on a short broken twig, and bent down to position the seed so that her single foot could hold the seed even as it held her perch.

As Cynthia watched, Molly used her beak to crack open the shell and eat the seed inside.

In a moment, the bird flew back to Cynthia’s palm, grabbed another seed, and flew off. Molly disappeared into the forest canopy. In a few moments, she came back for a third seed, then a fourth and a fifth. Cynthia knew that Molly was stashing the seeds, adding to her winter food cache.

Molly came back, landing this time on the deck railing, hopping in the snow, cocking her head.

Cynthia liked to think that Molly enjoyed her company.

Then, in a flash of light and puff of snow, Molly seemed to vanish. The movement was so fast it was as if she were the disappearing bird in a magic trick.

Cynthia knew what it meant. She looked up for a cruising raptor, but saw none. A lurking cat? She glanced over the deck railing.

She sensed a sudden movement off to her side.

Cynthia’s heart beat so hard that it hurt. She jerked her head to look and saw a person.

“Oh, thank God it’s you,” she said. “I saw movement and I…” She stopped talking to breathe. She put her hand to her throat. Fast breaths. In and out.

“I’m so sorry that I startled you!” the visitor said. “I thought I heard someone on the deck, so I came around the house.”

Cynthia nodded. “Not to worry. Just let me catch my breath. Have you seen that hawk we talked about?” she asked.

“Yes! That’s why I stopped by. It was flying down by Lake Tahoe Blvd. At least, I think it’s the same bird. Quite a bit bigger than a crow. Dark on its back, light on its breast and under its wings. It was doing a swooping motion just in front of me while I drove! Then it made a big turn and came up the mountain. I followed it up Tahoe Mountain Road. I know you can’t, you know, follow a bird. It’s not like they stay over the roads. So I lost it. But I kept looking. Then it came back, diving like before, staying right in front of me. Then flew into these trees. I could see from the street.” The person pointed and peered into the trees where the Mountain Chickadees had been, then walked over to the deck railing and looked down.

“There it is!”

“Really?” Cynthia hurried over to the edge of the deck. “Molly disappeared in a flash a moment ago. It must have been the hawk. Where is it?” Cynthia couldn’t see anything from where she stood. Her house perched on the edge of the mountainside, and the deck projected out over the steep slope. Mt. Tallac loomed across the valley of Fallen Leaf Lake. The sun reflected off its brilliant snowfields. In the distance to the north, the vast blue of Lake Tahoe shimmered. There was so much light that Cynthia’s eyes couldn’t adjust to make out anything in the dark shade below the deck.

Her visitor pointed again. “Look! It has something in its claws. Or whatever they’re called. Maybe you know what kind of hawk it is.”

Cynthia shaded her eyes from the light off Mt. Tallac and studied the snowy rocks thirty feet below the deck. She saw nothing except movement to her side as the person pushed her against the railing. Cynthia grabbed at the deck rail, her teeth clenched in terror as her visitor reached down, lifted up on her ankles, and flipped Cynthia over the railing.

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

Website: Todd Borg
Author's Blog: Todd Borg
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description: Tahoe local Todd Borg is the author of the Owen McKenna Tahoe Mystery series, featuring Detective McKenna, natch, his Great Dane Spot, and a bunch of other cool characters. Of course, the books have gotten great reviews coast-to-coast, won awards like the Ben Franklin Award for Best Mystery of the Year, been chosen by Library Journal as one of the Top 5 Mysteries of the Year and more. But the main reason to check them out is that they are fun, fast reads with a lot of action and intelligent stories. The recurring characters will become your friends. Spot will become one of your favorite dogs. You'll love visiting Tahoe from your armchair. And the bad guys will make you... well, let's just say you will despise them. Borg has been waiting for you to give the books a try. P.S. Spot says hi.

Author's Book List
Tahoe Trap - Owen Mckenna Tahoe Mystery
A Young Boy Cries Help When Tahoe Detective Owen McKenna answers his phone early one morning, a young boy named Paco cries out, Help me! His Foster Mother Has Been Murdered McKenna talks to Paco and discovers that the boy is trapped in the back of a speeding pickup somewhere in Tahoe. In the front of the truck are two men who have just murdered Paco's foster mother. The men want the boy, but they don't yet know that the boy witnessed the murder and that he hid in their truck. Two Killers Are After The Boy As McKenna races to find Paco, he learns that the two men are contract killers from Las Vegas. Their MO is to use electronic stun guns to immobilize their victims prior to asphyxiating them with plastic wrap. Detective Owen McKenna Sets A Trap While McKenna doesn't have a clue why the killers are after the boy, he knows that if he does nothing, the killers will keep coming for Paco. So McKenna plans to set a trap for them using Paco as bait. If McKenna Fails, The Boy Dies McKenna's plan carries a huge risk. If it goes wrong, he will be handing the boy to the killers....

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Tahoe Hijack - Owen Mckenna Tahoe Mystery
When Tahoe Detective Owen McKenna responds to a boat hijacking on Lake Tahoe, he gets pulled into the case of a woman named Anna Quinn who is on the run and hiding from members of a fanatical militia group. The militia men believe that Anna has information about a treasure that dates to the Gold Rush, and they will do anything to find her and learn whatever she knows. In order to save Anna, Detective McKenna has to find her first. But he is out-manned and out-gunned, and it looks like the militia men intend to put both him and Anna into their burial ground…

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
Tahoe Heat - An Owen McKenna Mystery Thriller
When young Ryan Lear's business partners are murdered, his life is threatened, and someone plots to take over his fast-growing bio-tech company, Ryan calls Tahoe Detective Owen McKenna. McKenna is on the job only a short time when Ryan's piano tuner neighbor dies just after tuning his piano. McKenna discovers that hidden in the tuning is some kind of message encoded in the vibrations of the strings. The case takes McKenna on a deadly chase that leads to information about a scientific breakthrough at a high-altitude lab on a mountain above Lake Tahoe. McKenna further learns of a wild Mustang that roams Tahoe's forests, far from the safety of its native desert. The locals name the Mustang Heat for its habit of searching out areas where the hot sun shines through the forest canopy. McKenna can't figure out the piano tuning code or the reason why the Mustang has come so far from his home. But McKenna realizes that both are connected to a vicious killer who is planning the ultimate revenge…

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
Tahoe Night - Owen Mckenna Tahoe Mystery
In the 7th Owen McKenna mystery, TV talk show host Leah Printner had a successful life until a car accident killed her loving husband and left her face badly scarred, ending her thriving career. After Leah gets out of the hospital, the landlady of Leah's father tells Detective Owen McKenna that she believes a man is stalking Leah. The landlady thinks that both father and daughter are in danger. Will McKenna look into it? McKenna is only on the job a few hours before the father is murdered. When he realizes that the killer wants the daughter as well, McKenna rushes Leah into hiding. McKenna discovers that there is more than one killer, and that they are fixated on Grendel, the monster in the ancient, epic poem Beowulf. McKenna also learns that the crimes are linked to an art forgery of old-master paintings. Under the paralysis of fear and the trauma of injury, Leah's life hits bottom. The woman is broken and maybe beyond saving. But the killers made one fatal mistake. They took down the father and tried to kill the daughter on McKenna's watch…

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
Tahoe Avalanche - An Owen Mckenna Mystery Thriller
6th in the Owen McKenna Tahoe Mystery series by Ben Franklin Award-winner Todd Borg, TAHOE AVALANCHE is a story of greed and murder on the mountains of Tahoe.

When a monster avalanche crashes down at Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, a young man named March Carrera is swept off the mountain highway. March's uncle, Bill Esteban, a wealthy Houston businessman with a house in Tahoe, has a hunch that March's disappearance isn't an accident. Esteban contacts Tahoe Detective Owen McKenna and asks him to investigate.

Although McKenna's Great Dane Spot has some search training, McKenna decides to bring in a professional Search-And-Rescue dog that specializes in avalanches. When the dog searches the slide area, he alerts on a scent and digs up a great deal more than McKenna expected.

As McKenna is pulled into a harrowing investigation, another avalanche on the other side of Tahoe claims another victim. While McKenna struggles to find a connection between the victims, the murderer reveals his presence by warning McKenna off the case.

McKenna and his girlfriend, a forensic entomologist named Street Casey, are called to the morgue in Sacramento to examine an insect found in the lungs of one of the victims. Casey identifies it as a Boat-backed Ground beetle, a ferocious predatory insect that eats snails. Casey further connects the beetle to the soil of the Sierra foothills.

The killer follows his warning with a bomb that almost kills McKenna's dog Spot. Despite the bomb, McKenna continues to pursue the case. He follows a lead that takes him to San Francisco's seedy Tenderloin District, where an art-collecting Chinese mobster trades in stolen detonators that can be used to set off the type of explosives that ski patrollers use for avalanche-control. McKenna connects the mobster to a dead rich girl from San Francisco s exclusive Presidio neighborhood, and then ties the girl to a foothill vineyard with the kind of soil that provides home for the predacious beetles. He believes this new information identifies the killer.

Detective McKenna races back to the mountains, but arrives too late, for the suspect turns up dead, buried under another slide. When returning home, McKenna is bombed once again, this time sustaining a serious wound.

Faced with losing his life or the life of his dog, McKenna contemplates quitting the case. But he presses on and learns of a striking event that happened 140 years ago, an event that all of the avalanche victims also knew about.

This knowledge doesn't identify the killer, but it does indicate that there is one last person to die. McKenna realizes that the last intended victim is up on the shoulder of Tahoe's highest mountain. McKenna rushes to organize a rescue party. A violent storm is approaching, the last victim is with the killer, and there is one more avalanche coming to bury the secret forever.

In addition to winning the Ben Franklin Award for Best Mystery of the Year, Todd Borg's Owen McKenna mysteries have been chosen for Top 5 Mystery lists by the prestigious Library Journal, and by Mystery News Reviewer G. Wedgwood. He's won Best Mystery and Best Thriller honors from the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association and received Best New Fiction accolades from libraries. His novels have also received starred reviews and raves in major trade journals and newspapers across the country. The previous novel in the series, Tahoe Silence, also made Amazon's Mystery/Thriller Bestseller list.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
Tahoe Silence - An Owen McKenna Mystery Thriller
SalAnne "Silence" Ramirez was an exceptional artist and, according to one of her teachers, brilliant. She was also autistic and mute and had not spoken a single word in her 17 years. When Silence is kidnapped on the eve of the Tahoe Biker Festival, the best guess is that the perpetrators are the Granite Mountain Boys, the notorious biker gang with ties to the most infamous Super Max prison in the country. Detective Owen McKenna and his Great Dane Spot pursue the biker fraternity and their charismatic leader who speaks Aztec commands from Aztec gods. When the case seems hopeless, the kidnapped girl draws pictures of the kidnappers and figures out how to sneak them out of the house where she is held captive. But the pictures bring McKenna no closer to knowing where she is or why she was taken. Silence knows the reason. But that knowledge is locked up inside her mind. Time to save the girl is short. As McKenna tries to make sense of the autistic girl's drawings, he comes to a horrible realization. The kidnapper plans a ritual sacrifice at the next full moonrise...

Winner: Ben Franklin Award for Best Mystery of the Year. Chosen by Library Journal as one of the Five Best Mysteries of the Year. Tahoe Silence also made Amazon's Mystery Thriller Bestseller list.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
Tahoe Ice Grave - An Owen McKenna Mystery Thriller
Early one frigid morning in January a young man named Thos Kahale walked into the icy waters of Lake Tahoe and died a brutal death. Hired to investigate, Owen McKenna learns that the Hawaiian side of the man's family had a secret shrine hidden in a cave in the cliffs of Kauai. Owen Flies to Kauai and hears about a long-lost manuscript that Mark Twain left when he visited Kauai in 1866. The manuscript, which would be worth millions, is rumored to have been lost in a hurricane. Owen suspects that it was hidden in the secret shrine. As more people die, Owen tracks a vicious killer who looks like a Viking. Owen follws the Viking back to Tahoe and learns of a cave of ice that is sacred to Tahoe's Washoe Indians. Thos, who was half Washoe, may have hidden the manuscript in the Tahoe cave. Only one person, whose identity is unknown, knows the answer. Owen and his Great Dane Spot have to find that person before the Viking does, and they are running out of time as they chase the Viking up a mountain in a blizzard to a cave of ice and a battle to the death.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Tahoe Blowup - An Owen McKenna Mystery Thriller
When Tahoe Detective Owen McKenna's cabin narrowly escapes burning in an arson-set forest fire, the local fire department hires him to investigate. As more fires follow and people die, Owen can't tell if the fires are an act of eco-terrorism or a method of murder. Before Owen can solve the case, the firestarter kidnaps Owen's girlfriend Street Casey. Owen has just hours to save Street before she burns up in a fire so big, fire fighters call it a BLOWUP

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Tahoe Deathfall - An Owen McKenna Mystery Thriller
Disaster struck when twin sisters Jennifer and Melissa Salazar went hiking with their grandmother on their sixth birthday. Melissa got lost, fell off a cliff on the rock slide above Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe and died. Eight years later, fourteen-year-old Jennifer wants to hire Detective Owen McKenna to look into the death, which she believes was a murder. When Owen begins to investigate, another body is discovered. Owen's girlfriend Street Casey, a forensic entomologist, analyzes maggots found in the corpse. Her information helps Owen connect the body to the case. Owen uncovers information that takes him from Tahoe to San Francisco to a rich man's private island off the coast of Santa Barbara. The man directs McKenna to an asylum in the Nevada desert. Although the facility is surrounded by armed guards, Owen breaks in and learns of a long-buried secret that caused the murder of Jennifer's sister and several others in her family. Jennifer is the next intended victim. When Owen realizes who the murderer is, he races back to Lake Tahoe. Owen and his Great Dane Spot will need every second if they are to catch him. The killer has Jennifer and she has only minutes left to live…

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
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Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.

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