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Steven’s Solace – Heroes for Hire Book 30 by Dale Mayer

Steven’s Solace
Heroes for Hire Book 30
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


Finding out that an old friend was kidnapped, tortured, then deep-sixed in the harbor, complete with cement boots—and survived—sends Steve rushing to California to help. Also Opal and her mother had appealed to Levi to find Steve and to send him to help, if possible.

Opal has been through the worst possible scenario, but it’s not over, as her kidnapers were looking for something she didn’t have. She’d been to hell and back for a couple years already and had hoped the worst was over. How wrong could she be? And it wouldn’t ever end, unless she found what these men were looking for or stopped them altogether.

With her in hiding, and Steve now back in her life, she’s finally hopeful she might survive. Until things take an ugly turn, … and having a future is no longer a guarantee.

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The case Levi has for Steven is one he doesn’t expect and is practically running for the door when he hears what has happened. Opal is friend from long ago, he keeps in touch but not as frequently as he maybe should.

The last couple of years have been hard on Opal and her mother, Ruby. Her father was a dirty cop, and even his partner Marshal didn’t know what he was up to. Marshal had to leave the force with all the side-eyes and constant questioning of his abilities. It was him and a doctor friend of his who saved Opal from certain death.

When Steven and his partner on this, Reyes, meet up with Marshal there’s a lot of
secrecy around where they were going. Marshal has put Ruby and Opal’s safety above all else.

As they get details, what they find is there are a lot of suspects due to the nature of the crimes Opal’s father committed. All Opal knows is that there questioning of her centered on some sort of stash.

As Steve and Reyes get ready to go check into their hotel they are met with a resounding NO from Opal.

This is a favorite scene.

Opal stood up slowly and walked stiffly. “Mom, no need to panic. We will cross that bridge when we get to it. I’ll be right back.” She used the facilities and then washed her face, trying to put some of her sense of self back together again. She did feel pleasantly alive for the first time in a very long time. The fear was still there, yet, for the first time, it was muted in the background.

She didn’t know how much of that was the sleep versus having Steve here to help out. No doubt she felt stronger with him around, but then he had always had the ability to make her feel as if she counted. He made her feel alive, special even. She didn’t even know if he could do anything with this mess, but, if he could, she knew he would do his best.

She was blessed to have him and was also sad that they had lost touch over the years. She didn’t really know why, but they had drifted apart. He’d always been busy on missions and not able to tell her very much about them. She’d heard through the grapevine at some point that he was engaged. It had saddened her for her own sake, and somehow she still knew his fiancée was a very lucky woman.

He hadn’t mentioned it to her, but then why would he? So far it had been all about Opal and what had happened with her dad. It’s not that she wanted to steer the conversation to Steve’s engagement, but it was hard not to, when there was so much mess in Opal’s world. Any other subject would be easier to talk about.

When she made her way back to rejoin them, Opal looked over at her mother and asked, “Are there leftovers or anything?”

“Oh my.” Her mother stared at Opal in amazement. “Are you hungry?”

She nodded. “I think I am, yes,” she murmured, “though I’m not sure how that happened.”

“I don’t care how it happened, but I’ll go get you something, something easy for your throat.” She stopped and looked from Steve to Reyes and asked, “Have you guys eaten?”

They shared a glance and a shrug. Steve shook his head. “We can catch something later, and we still have to check into our hotel.”

At hearing that, the word instantly exploded from Opal’s mouth. “No!”

“What does that mean?” Steve asked Opal gently. She took a deep breath. “Please stay here,” she whispered, the slightest waver in her voice. That said so much, even as she tried to stop it from showing.

He looked at her for a long moment and then nodded. “I guess we can stay for a while, yes.”

“It’ll reduce our movements back and forth, so we wouldn’t be followed quite so easily,” Reyes added.

Steve interrupted, “But you also know it’s temporary, right, Opal?”

She gave him a ghost of a smile. “Of course, but maybe in the meantime I can regain some strength and self-confidence and grab some sleep. Having you two around is a huge boon for that.”

“I get that,” Steve murmured, then looked over at Reyes. “What do you think? Do you see any problem with that?”

Reyes shook his head. “Nope, if there is room for us, it would be perfect. We’ll need a table or desk to work at too.”

“We have lots of that,” Opal shared. “This rental house has plenty of spare rooms. Even though we didn’t move very far, we left home to get away from the media. I’m pretty sure Mom is bound to be looking at selling that house, now that my father is gone.”

Steve nodded. “That may not a bad idea, as the place is full of memories, I’m sure. What about you? Were you still living there?”

“No, I have an apartment, but we gave notice, although I still need to get everything moved out,” she said, with a wince. “I only have a couple weeks left, and I’m definitely not looking forward to that.” She brushed back her hair and added, “I can’t seem to think that far ahead.”

“Hire it out. Move whatever is there into a storage unit for now. You don’t know where you might end up living,” Steve suggested instantly. “Then you don’t need anybody to know what happened. You don’t need to see anyone. You just need it taken care of. That’s why you hire people.”

She stared at him and then nodded. “You may be right. I was avoiding dealing with it. I could have just paid another four months’ worth of rent, but the media found my apartment.”

“Sounds like a good reason to me. I can help now that I am here.”

“It’s been a long time to reach out. I’m sorry for that,” she muttered.

“Don’t be sorry. You’re not to blame. It was just life.”

“I was thinking about that, when I came out of the bathroom just now, wondering how we let so many years get between us.”

“It doesn’t matter now because we’ve reconnected again, and I’ll always be there for you. Whenever you need me, I’m there.”

“I do know that,” she murmured. “My mother wasn’t so sure that you were coming, but I’m grateful that Levi went the extra mile to make it happen.”

“And how do you know Levi?”

Opal glanced at her mother and explained, “Ice’s father has a medical facility here.”

Steve sat back, nodding. “Of course. I’d forgotten that. And that’s how your hospitalization records were changed, I presume?” Steve shot a look at Marshal, then to Opal.

“Yeah, it sure is,” Opal confirmed.

“If it helps,” Ruby added, “the records will be corrected later, but, for the moment, to keep her identity hidden and to keep her safe, Dr. Danning was happy to do whatever needed to be done.”

Reyes noted, “Plus your kidnappers and would-be killers may not yet know that you survived this, Opal. So best to keep you hidden, especially as we delve into this more.”

Then Steve spoke up. “So, that led to Ice, which led to me. And you’re really lucky because I had only contacted Levi recently about joining his team. He’s always had an open-door policy for anybody looking for work,” Steve explained. “We all come out of whatever military service area we served in, and a lot of us have gone to work for Levi. It’s crazy how many former military guys Levi has brought on. Baffling almost that you could locate me so quickly.” He stared at Opal. “Actually it’s a miracle.”

Ruby added, “But it’s good that you all come with abilities that most people don’t have access to.”

“Exactly,” Steve agreed, “and, in this case, Levi and Ice have access to a ton of civilian experts too, including medical staff and facilities apparently.”

Opal smiled. “The hospital staff put in a lot of work to keep me alive. I don’t think it was easy. My lungs had water in them. My throat was damaged. I’d taken quite a few blows to the face, and, although not all my bones were broken, several were, and it’s taken a while to heal. Even now, my face might need plastic surgery, when the swelling goes down.”

Steve held her face, while he critically assessed the damage, then shrugged. “You still look beautiful to me.”

She gave him a dry look. “I almost believe you. I know when you look at my face that you don’t see my face. You were always more concerned about the me on the inside.”

“When I first saw your face, and there was nobody I could punch to take out my aggravation on,” he murmured, “there wasn’t a whole lot of sense in focusing on it. However, you can bet that I didn’t miss the damage done.”

“No, of course not,” she murmured. “How could you? It’s pretty obvious.”

“Oh, it’s not that bad,” Steve told her. “It’s really not that bad.”

“Oh please,” she cried out in a hoarse voice.

“Okay, it’s terrible.” He chuckled. “Only because you’re still vain.”

“I’m not still vain,” she stated trying for outrage but sounding like a hoarse frog instead.

At that, Reyes broke them up with his laughing. “I’m really glad to hear that you’re not vain and that you do know him as well as you do because that will help you when we start probing into your life and that of your father’s,” Reyes forewarned Opal. “There will be times when you want to order us out of here, and yet we can’t go. Once we commit to this, we commit fully, and there’s no going back.”

She took a deep breath. “I understand, but there’s no life for me after this if we don’t solve it. They’ll come for me again. Thankfully they don’t even know I’m alive— at least I hope they don’t.”

“Have you had any interaction with the media yet?” Steve turned to look at Marshal.

Marshal stood with his arms akimbo, as he stared at him, hardly moving. “No, we’ve managed to keep her rescue quiet.”

“So, the kidnappers are probably looking for some notice that she’s missing.”

“Maybe, maybe not. Her mother was supposed to be leaving for a holiday, until I contacted Ruby— once we found out what was going on.”

“You mean, when you brought Opal up to the surface?”

He nodded. “More or less, yes. I’d been talking to Ruby anyway. I was supposed to join her on this vacation. You might as well know that we’re in a relationship.”

“Got it,” Steve noted calmly, “I had a pretty good idea on that already.”

He flushed. “I’ve known them all my life, and Opal is like a daughter to me. When I saw what was going on, I—” Then the emotions choked him. He spun away. “I’ll go help Ruby with the food.” And, with that, he disappeared.

Steve looked down at Opal. “Are you okay with their relationship?”

She smiled and nodded. “Yes. Marshal makes Mom happy.”
Dale Mayer. Stevens-Solace-Dale-Mayers-re (Kindle Locations 400-476). Kindle Edition.

The last Opal knew Steve was engaged, and when the conversation comes around to that she’s absolutely indignant that the woman needs to be punished for leaving him. It shows how much she really cares for Steve even if he has to restrain her enthusiasm.

This is a convoluted path they have to follow, and so many people to eliminate as suspects. Surprisingly it’s her father’s Lawyer that along with the will, has something for Opal that helps bring everything to a head.

So many twists, unbelievable betrayal, and a long-time coming relationship kept me turning the pages to the conclusion.

I really can’t wait to see what Dale comes up with next for this group of heroes.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Dale Mayer

Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).

She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!

To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.

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Kascius – K9 Files Book 20 by Dale Mayer

K9 Files
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


A trip to overseas would be a great idea, as long as it didn’t include a stop in Scotland. He’d do a lot to visit his brother, but he could cheerfully never see the woman he used to love at the same time. But somehow an American War Dog was shipped overseas and Badger tagged him for the job. Arriving home for the first time in five years is a challenge but nothing has changed. Liam, his middle brother is full of and his younger brother Angus appears to still be a lightweight. There’s nothing he could say about his relationship with his mother. But Ainsley now she’s a different story. She’s still the same beautiful woman he left behind.

Ainsley hopes seeing Kascius again can help heal the rift that still stops her from moving forward in life. She’d been in a bad place back then and had regretted the way they split but finding forgiveness, although it might be possible, doesn’t look likely.

Only his arrival sets off a chain reaction that leaves her under the suspicion of murder as her world imploded in a chaotic nightmare. Between dog fighting, gambling, and murder… the two of them have their hands full keeping Ainsley out of prison, and Kascius alive… then there’s the fate of the war dog, Beamer, on his shoulders as well…

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There’s a missing war dog in Scotland, the adopting family had moved there right after getting the dog bring him with them. Unfortunately, once they arrived the dog went missing, that was two weeks ago. Badger has two men working for him, cousins, Kascius and Karl, both from Scotland and Kascius is willing to help find dogs. He just never expected to go home to find it.

He arrives in Scotland to be greeted enthusiastically by his brother Liam, who also informs him that his ex, Ainsley is his mother’s nurse. While that seems out of character from the woman he remembers, Kascius is fine with it. When he left to go to American and joined the military there, he had to end that relationship.

The homecoming is interesting to say the least, his sister-in-law Emily is delighted to see him, his brother Angus, the youngest is irritating, Ainsley his ex, reserved, and his mam, who has severe dementia didn’t remember him at all and she doesn’t have much longer to live. It really seems the family issues are far more than meets the eye.

We get a glimpse of Ainsley’s relationship with her sister at the beginning of this as well. That seems to be a difficult one as well. She also still has feelings for Kascius and isn’t sure how to handle them. This uncertainty is because she made a big mistake by going out just once with his brother Angus after they broke up.

Kascius’ first priority is to find Beamer, the war dog. he returned to the airport and meets with Henry the cargo manager. He wants to speak with the dog’s handler here at the airport, but first he once again contacts the adoptive family. What he learns is very different from the initial story and Henry also informs him of the outstanding fees owed. It’s Terry who answers the biggest question though, apparently, he sold Beamer after he was let out of the cage. Now Kascius has to locate the dogfighting ring and get the dog out. This is going to open a whole new can of worms.

As a mystery unfolds with regards to his mother’s medication, Kascius with the cooperation of the police is about to join them on a raid of the suspected dog fighting property. Not only do they find the war dog but many more as well, effectively shutting down the ring. It’s as they are settling that Kascius learns of his mother’s death and Ainsley’s arrest.

This is a favorite scene.

She didn’t have a clue what was happening, but, considering she was getting out, she didn’t really care at this point in time. In silence, she went through the process of being released. As soon as she got outside, she turned to the lawyer. “Who retained you, and who posted my bail?”

“I did,” Kascius said, from behind her. She turned toward him. He smiled, walked up to her, and pulled her into his arms, holding her close. “You’re a lot of things, but you’re not a killer.”

She felt her tears choking her once again. “Thank you,” she whispered, swallowing her sobs. “Not just for posting bail but for believing in me.”

“Believing in you is easy. You’ve always been on the straight and narrow, and I know that.”

“And the fact that you contacted the doctor about that substance in the glass is also a good thing,” the lawyer noted. “I did hear that part of the conversation, so now we need to go somewhere safe and away from listening ears. I need to know what the hell is going on here. Every single detail. Kascius has brought me up to speed, as he knows it, but honestly, we haven’t had a chance to do more than that.”

“How did you get that done so quickly?” she asked, looking over at Kascius. “How did you even find him so fast, much less get him here?”

“I called my boss.”

She stared at him, finally saying, “Nice boss.”

“We have a network around the world.” He grinned. “Besides, this is my hometown.” He grinned over at the lawyer. “By the way, this is Larry. He and I went to school together.”

She stared at Larry. “Thank you.”

He shrugged. “Hey, when old friends call, you step up to the plate. I did know you in high school, and I certainly would have agreed with what Kascius said about your character, but I can’t take it on faith. We need to talk, and you need to tell me exactly what’s going on.”

Kascius suggested, “Let’s head to a coffee shop or something. We need someplace that’s a little private, where she can have some food and calm down.”

She looked over at him. “How did you know I needed food?”

“You’re shaking, and you’ve always had low-blood-sugar problems.”

She sighed. “And here I thought you walked away and never thought of me again.”

“I never stopped thinking about you,” he said cheerfully. “But you weren’t ready to commit to what I needed you to commit to back then. So, we weren’t ready for each other, but that didn’t keep us from being friends.”

Friends was the last thing that she wanted to be with him right now, but, as a friend, he’d already proven to be a hell of a lot more helpful than she would have expected. By the time they hit a coffee shop, and she was sitting down in a warm space, holding a hot cup of coffee in her hands, she explained the little bit that had happened over the last few days.

“And all of this happened after Kascius arrived?”

“Yes, and, though I didn’t bring it up to him, I assumed that he was astute enough to not ignore the fact that he would make a great scapegoat.”

“And yet, as scapegoats go, it ended up being you instead.”

“Yes”— she shuddered—“ but only because of Angus.”

“Maybe I’ll look like a second-best suspect, or with the suspicions on her, maybe they’ll assume that we’re in it together,” Kascius offered in a wry tone. “I’m not under any illusions here.”

She stared at him. “Wow, that was a leap.”

“Maybe, but whoever is doing this can’t be all that stupid.”

She shook her head. “That’s why it never made any sense that they were trying to make it look as if you had done it. Since you had only arrived, that would be way too obvious.”

“The ability to discern something as ‘way too obvious’ is a feature of brainpower that some of these criminals often don’t have,” Larry interrupted. “So, from the top, go over everything, and don’t leave anything out.”

It took a while, as she tried to remember all the bits and pieces. By the time she was done, Larry had several pages of notes.

He nodded. “The best thing in all of this is that you did give that glass to the doctor and that, somewhere along the line, hopefully, he got it tested.”

“I haven’t heard from him. Honestly, I wasn’t even sure what to do about it. I guess I could have contacted the cops, but I sounded idiotic, prattling on about a mysterious white substance in the bottom of a glass.”

Larry nodded. “And, because you were responsible for her, you did the right thing in the sense that you reported it to the doctor. Now, what the doctor did with that, we don’t know, but we need to find out.”

“You can contact him or I can,” she said, pulling out her phone.

“Nope, leave it,” Larry said. “I’ll contact the cops, and we’ll make sure it’s all done through official channels. Chain of custody is important, and we need to do things by the book.”

She slowly put her phone on the table and nodded. “I don’t even know what to think right now.” She bit her lip, as she looked over at Kascius. “It would really hurt to think Emily and Liam believe this.”

“Right. I haven’t talked to them, but I will as soon as I get home. And then of course there’s Angus.”

“Angus?” Larry asked, still writing down notes. “My youngest brother,” Kascius stated in a hard voice. “The one who pointed the finger at Ainsley.”

At that, Larry raised his head and looked at him. “The lazy one.”

“Yeah, the lazy one,” Kascius confirmed.

She looked over at Larry. “You really do know the family, don’t you?”

“Yeah, I do. We were in sports together, and I was part of Kascius’s life when his dad more or less kicked him out of the family. So, Liam got the farm.” He looked back at him curiously, “I suppose that hasn’t changed.”

“No, it hasn’t changed at all,” he agreed. “My mother retained a portion of the farm, and it’s expected that it would go to Angus.”

“Did she have any rights over the rest of the farm?”

“I’m not sure.” Kascius eyed Larry curiously. “Everything went to my mother but the shares to the farm, I thought.” Then he frowned, looked at Larry. “Maybe you can clarify that. I don’t get anything, but did Angus get more than that? I wasn’t privy to the will, as I wasn’t in it.”

Larry considered that and frowned. “How much money did your mother have?”

“I have no idea. Remember? I got kicked out when I wasn’t worthy of being part of the family.”

At that, Larry nodded. “Sounds as if you went on and had a better life anyway.”

“I did. However, another concern here is that Liam’s wife, Emily— you remember her. She was a couple years behind us. She’s very pregnant, and she’s had multiple miscarriages already. They didn’t think that she would make it this far, so the last thing we want is to have her upset.”

“Too late,” Ainsley whispered. “She was there when I got arrested.”

“Ah, crap.” Kascius rubbed his temples. “That’s something I need to check in on. We may need to get her a nurse.” He looked over at Ainsley. “The sooner we get this cloud cleared over your head, the sooner I can get Emily back to being calm too. She’ll be absolutely hysterical.”

“Have you checked your phone?” Larry asked. Kascius shook his head and pulled out his phone. “Shit, I’d turned it off because of the police raid I was part of. Then when the detective I was working with told me what happened with Mam, I came straight to the jail to check on Ainsley.” He quickly saw he had four messages. He got up and said, “Excuse me. I’ll be right back.” And, with that, he walked off to the side.

As she watched him go, she faced Larry. “I really didn’t do it. Angus immediately accused me of killing his mother. But I didn’t. I wouldn’t.”

“I’m glad to hear that. That’s important.”

“I can’t even begin to imagine.”

“As you suggested, Kascius makes a really good victim for a setup here but not necessarily a reasonable one, as in what’s his motive?”

“See? That’s the thing I don’t understand. He wouldn’t do this, and it doesn’t make any sense at all that he would do this when he’d only just arrived. If he was trying to hide his tracks, he would have made it seem to be somebody else.”

“You mean, like you?” he asked seriously.

She stared, her jaw dropping, and then shook her head. “No, he wouldn’t do that.”

“No, he wouldn’t. I wanted to know how you felt about it.”

“I’m completely confused at the moment, and I don’t understand any of this. If the police had even asked me a few more questions, it wouldn’t have been so bad, but Angus just— well, I think Angus probably threw me under the bus right away.”

“I suspect what he pointed out was the fact that you had the opportunity, since you were the one looking after his mother, and he also said that Bella was quite upset and included something about her accusing you.”

“Oh, great. So how am I supposed to argue with a woman’s deathbed accusation?” She frowned. “I didn’t realize Angus saw her that morning. He wasn’t there when I arrived. Or was he?”

“Nothing’s ever that simple, but we’ll get to the bottom of it eventually.”

She sighed and sat back. “I’m glad to hear that,” she whispered, a single tear rolling down each cheek, “because I didn’t do anything wrong. To Bella  … or my brother.”

“Good. Keep that energy, that righteous anger at the forefront. Don’t let it ever go, but you also have to be controlled, so you’re not the person who keeps giving the police more to go on, even if it’s just motivation.” Then he looked at her. “I haven’t had a chance to talk to Kascius about his return. I presume he came back for you?”

She stared at him, her bottom lip trembling. “I wish he had come back for me, but it was a job that he was asked to do. He is trying to locate a retired American War Dog that was shipped over here and got lost. You’ll have to ask him, but now there’s something about it getting sold to a dogfighting ring. I honestly don’t know very much about it.”
Dale Mayer. Kascius-Dale-Mayers-re (Kindle Locations 1953-2039). Kindle Edition.

With Ainsley out on bail, and his sister-in-law in the hospital, Kascius turns his attention to the war dog. There’s a bond between him and an injured dog and he wants to take both of them. Plus he needs to do what he can to prove Ainsley’s innocence.

Holy Moly! This book couldn’t be put down, everything happens so quickly, and the suspense just ramps up higher and higher.

I really can’t wait to see what Dale has in mind for the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).

She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!

To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.

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Uzi in the Urn – Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 21 By Dale Mayer

Uzi in the Urn
Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 21
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


Riches to rags. …
Hidden guns, …
old but not forgotten wounds, …
and a buried treasure!

Finding an Uzi in the urn at the shattered mausoleum is exciting and frustrating. Yet Doreen can’t delve into the case, and Mack has been firm about that. She struggles to focus on other cases from her journalist files, in particular the Bob Small file. Only her plan goes off the rails when Nan and her cronies show up at her door, with the Rosemoor bus, intent on heading to the excitement happening at the cemetery.

When a grave is opened to reveal its shocking contents, the city is on high alert, as gang members arrive, circling around, looking for a rumored buried treasure, all connected to a man who died six months ago. Between crooked lawyers, greedy family members, changes of heart, and everyone else out looking for a buried treasure, Corporal Mack Moreau is on his toes. Especially as Doreen and her animal cohorts are in the middle once again.

But no one could possibly envision where this case ends up—right back in the cemetery where it all started …

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What starts as a stroll through the cemetery after a funeral ends up with not only the title of Doreen’s new case but also her being sent home with Arnold while Mack stayed behind to work.

Once home waiting for Mack to call her, she makes the mistake of not checking before answering her phone and it’s her soon to be ex, Matthew. After a not so pleasant sort of conversation that she hangs up on him, she lets Nick know that he called, and she answered. Nick decides it’s time to turn up the heat and get this divorce done. This leads to Matthew threatening her and Nick moving the court case up.

In the meantime, Mack is dealing with the Uzi they found and then the larger stash in a second grave. It’s a dangerous situation and he doesn’t want Doreen involved. She’s really trying to stay out of it and starts looking into the Bob Small case. She needs to contact Hinja’s great niece Mila since there’s a possibility, he’s involved in the Uzi case. What she finds is more disturbing, apparently at Hinja’s funeral there was a old man Mila didn’t know. He admired her hair, which is curly and Bob Smith’s type. Doreen warns her to be vigilant, so nothing happens to her.

More calls from Matthew as he gets more and more annoying. But when he shows up Mack puts a stop to his intrusion.

This is a favorite scene.

As Mathew turned, a bit astonished, there was Mack, an avenging angel, standing firm, his hands on his hips, glaring at Mathew. He looked back at Doreen and snapped, “And you have some explaining to do.”

She winced. “I opened the door. I won’t get off the hook on that one, will I?”

“No, you won’t,” Mack declared, turning his attention back to Mathew. “And I have a cell waiting for you.” Mack turned and pointed to Arnold and Chester, big grins on their faces and handcuffs in their hands.

Before Mathew had a chance to argue, he was handcuffed and led away to a cruiser.

Doreen stared at Mack in astonishment, then called out to Mathew, as he was being led to the car, “That new jewelry looks good on you.”

Mathew turned, and the sight of her with Mack seemed to be Mathew’s undoing. He started swearing and cussing and threatening her. At that, Mack noted in a clipped voice, “That gives us a whole lot more ammunition,” he told Mathew, “so keep it up.”

Almost as if Mack finally got through to Mathew that this was serious, Mathew shut up and allowed himself to be put into the back of the cruiser. With that, Chester got into the front seat with Arnold, and they drove off.

She turned to look at Mack. “I know I did wrong. I checked one of the side windows, but I couldn’t see who was on the porch. And you told me that you were watching to see if he flew in and would let me know.”

He groaned. “How is it you always turn this around to me?”

She smiled at him. “It depends on whether or not you’ll yell at me.”

He glared at her. “You know what you deserve.”

She opened her arms. “Not to be yelled at. It was already bad enough having him here.”

Instantly Mack’s anger fell away, and he opened his arms.

She stepped into them, smiling, as Mack wrapped his arms tightly around her. She muttered, “I really don’t like that man.”

Mack snorted. “Fine time to figure that out,” he replied, with a headshake.

“You’ll tell your brother?”

“Oh, I’m so going to tell him. Now we’ll charge him with threatening you again, trying to force his way inside, and anything else I can think of,” Mack declared, with a glare in her direction. “What did he want?”

“He said that he wasn’t leaving until we settled the divorce and that I was supposed to accept what he had offered and to stop being greedy and that I didn’t deserve all his money.”

“Of course, and what did you say?”

“I told him that he was supposed to talk to the lawyers.”

“That would have maybe been okay, except he was already past it, I presume.”

“Yeah, he started getting really angry at that point. I don’t think he likes Nick very much.”

Mack chuckled. “No. When my brother’s on your side, it’s a good place to have him. However, when he’s against you, I’m pretty sure he’s scary.”

“Well, I’m done with enough scary in this lifetime,” she muttered. “Can’t say I want more scariness.” He gave her a gentle squeeze, then nudged her back indoors. “We’re creating a scene.”

She looked around to see Richard, standing there, glaring at her. She glared back at him.

“You see? You’re causing trouble again.” Richard shook a fist at her.

She picked up her own fist and shook it at him. “You could have called the cops and given me a hand.”

He looked at her in surprise.

“You mean, you needed help?”

She nodded. “Yeah, I did.”

“Oh.” With that, he went inside.

She looked back at Mack. “You know that it’s not easy living here, right?”

He sighed, pulled her inside, and closed the door. He then greeted the animals that were all over him. “What did Mugs do?”

“He wouldn’t stop barking at Mathew,” she replied, “which upset Mathew too.”

“Yeah, I suppose Mugs knows what Mathew is like?”

“Somewhat, yes. Mugs always was perfectly groomed and looked after because of Mathew’s strict rules, so I don’t know if Mathew knows how badly dogs can act. Mugs was definitely on my side.”

“In that case, good boy,” he said to Mugs, who was quite happy to get any accolades coming his way, so took advantage and rubbed all over Mack.

She shook her head. “Even when I think I’m doing right, I’m not doing right,” she muttered.

He sighed. “Don’t start that. You’re doing just fine.”

“Yeah, doesn’t feel that way,” she said. “Even with your help and Nick’s, I still can’t get the divorce done.”

“Oh, we’ll get it through now,” Mack stated, “and we’ll have quite a few extra charges that Mathew must consider too.”

“Will you really charge him?” she asked.

“Yeah, or use it as pressure to get him to do whatever he needs to do to get this done and gone and to ensure he never crosses your pathway again.”

“And then what happens if he doesn’t?” He gave her a wolfish smile.

“Then we get to throw the book at him,” he said cheerfully.

“Can’t you do that now?” she complained. “And skip all the rest of it?”

He burst out laughing. “Remember that part about still needing to follow the law?”

“I think the law needs to change,” she announced.

He nodded. “A lot of parts in the law do need to be changed,” he agreed. “What then? Will you become a lawyer now?”

She looked at him and shuddered. “I don’t think I could do that job.”

“No, I don’t think you could. Besides, that’s what Nick does best, and I don’t think he wants any competition.”

She snorted at that. “Yeah, I think he’s scared of me as it is.”

“I wouldn’t be at all surprised,” Mack muttered. “Lots of people are.”

“I’m not scary,” she protested. “Why would you even say that?”

He rolled his eyes, as she led them into the kitchen, and asked her, “How about coffee?”

She looked at him in delight. “Can you stay?”

“I can stay a little bit,” he replied, “while they arraign Mathew down at the station.”

“Good. Can they throw away the key too, or at least give it to Chester to lose it for a while?” she muttered.

He chuckled. “They will treat him as well as they can, but they won’t go overboard. They all know who he is, and they know what he’s doing.”

“Good,” she muttered. “I never did anything to him, you know? It feels very strange to even be in this position now.”
Dale Mayer. Uzi-in-the-Urn-Dale-Mayers-re (Kindle Locations 1186-1242). Kindle Edition.

There really is a lot going on in this book and Mack even lets her go back to the cemetery to snoop. She doesn’t find answers then but does get creeped out over a man lurking nearby.

So many threads to follow here, we learn a bit more about Matthew and his dealings. Doreen somehow manages to unravel most of them but has Mack with her to check things out.

Of course, the real heroes are Thaddeus, Goliath and Mugs.

I really can’t wait for the next book in this series. There’s still so much at stake.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).

She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!

To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.

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Rogan – Shadow Recon Book 2 by Dale Mayer

Shadow Recon Book 2
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


Rogan arrives at the arctic training camp in the midst of chaos and suspicion. Missing men, fires in the kitchen, Magnus still recovering… and Mountain tearing across the tundra searching for his brother…

Lisa was brought in to assist Dr. Sydney in the medical clinic and is only just now catching up on the horrific events that’s plagued the camp. She’s trying to ignore the distrustful gazes as the only newcomer allowed in, even as everyone is trying to leave.

And yet through it all, the team investigating find some answers and yet a dozen more questions arise. Adding to the confusion, the science center is having unexplained issues with their generator. But with several scientists gone missing their problems are just starting. And those problems spill over to the training center upping the ante for both groups…

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Tensions are high when Rogan arrives, everyone is suspicious and really just want to leave. So much has happened, the drug issue, fires and burns, deaths, missing people, hypothermia. It’s all happened and far too often for comfort.

Lisa Whelan was here for training, but since she’s a trained nurse she’s been assigned to help Sydney. She really wants to do some of the training she’s been sent to do and since the clinic isn’t busy at the moment, she is able to take advantage of it once the Colonel agrees. Unfortunately, a trainee gets chilled badly and she is in the clinic again.

On Sentry duty, Rogan gets the sense something’s wrong at the Scientist’s Base Camp. Magnus confirms they are having generator issues and not for the first time. The two of them head out to help. The generator has many issues, but they get it running and the scientists face joining them at the camp instead of maintaining it.

When the generator goes out, sabotage is suspected and confirmed. Someone was lurking outside Lisa’s door that night and then another person goes missing. On the search, Magnus and Rogan go to the scientist’s camp.

This is a favorite scene.

When Rogan met the rest of the search team outside, everybody was quiet, their faces grim. As Rogan looked around, he saw no sign of Mountain in any of the groups, but Magnus was here. Rogan walked closer to Magnus, who looked up and pointed at him.

“You’re with me.”

Rogan raised an eyebrow.

“Where are we going?”

“To the scientists’ camp.”

“Good enough,” Rogan replied. “And what about the locals’ village?”

“Somebody else has gone there.”

While Magnus didn’t say as much, Rogan suspected that somebody may have been Mountain. Rogan asked Magnus, “So everybody else is heading out in groups? Do we have trackers?”

Magnus nodded grimly. “It didn’t snow overnight, so there’s a hard crust, but no fresh tracks that we can see.”

Rogan stopped and looked at him. “So, what are you saying?”

“Chances are, Ron disappeared last night.”

“Shit.” Rogan groaned, as he walked over to the snowcat.

“Joe is leading the dogs. He’s got two trackers with him, so, with any luck, they can find Ron,” Magnus added, as he tightened his hold on his backpack. “We’ll go up to the scientists’ camp, double-check that they’re fine, and see if they’ve had any contact with Ron.”

With that, they got into the snowcat. In the distance Rogan watched the others as they took off on skis and sleds. “What the hell is going on?” Rogan muttered in the cold interior, as they set off.

“I don’t know, but we’ve got more brass involved, so we might see a change at the top here very soon.”

“I’m not surprised,” Rogan replied, “though I’m sorry about that because I’m not sure the colonel deserves whatever is coming his way.”

“As you well know, that doesn’t matter one bit in the military. Failure is not an option.”

“Definitely been a hell of a lot of failure here so far,” Rogan agreed, with a nod. The rest of the journey was made in eerie silence. Though, if it weren’t for the circumstances, Rogan could really enjoy the breathtaking natural beauty. He focused on surveying the area, trying to find any sign of their missing man. “We’re absolutely positive that Ron’s not back at the base, right?” Rogan asked.

Magnus nodded. “You were part of the room-to-room search. A full search has been done. Every bed’s been lifted and checked— still no sign of him.”

“But couldn’t he have a hiding place we haven’t considered or found?”

“Anything is possible,” Magnus acknowledged, with a shrug. “He’d be an idiot to be still hiding though.”

“Unless he has no choice.”

“Believe me. We thought of that too, and even the freezers were checked. I don’t know what more to say. When I say that a full check’s been done, I meant a full check has been done.”

“And presumably that was done under orders from the colonel?”

“He ordered it, but he didn’t personally supervise it. Just another reason why there will likely be a change at the top.”

“So, they want all hands on deck for this,” Rogan muttered.

“Yeah, and, at this point in time, the colonel might be thinking somebody is trying to make him look bad.”

“Wow.” Rogan faced Magnus. “I hadn’t even considered that.”

Magnus continued to concentrate on navigating them safely. “Yes, it’s a possibility. I can’t see anybody giving a shit,  … unless they’re trying to make him suffer. Maybe trying to make him pay for something. In that case,  … I wouldn’t be at all surprised if somehow something goes wrong. And the colonel ends up staying here because then it would mean that he was part of the targeting.”

At that, Magnus fell silent again, as Rogan contemplated what it would look like if somebody were trying to get payback on the colonel for something. “I suppose nobody did any checks into the colonel’s background, did they?”

Magnus snorted. “Good luck getting that, though things may have changed by now because of Ron. However, it probably depends more on what the outcome of this search is. If we find nothing’s wrong, and it turns out that Ron is fine, then the colonel will probably skate on this. Yet, if Ron’s isn’t fine, I suspect we’ll find out that the colonel is being heavily investigated.”

“Right, but that still doesn’t mean he’s guilty.”

“Absolutely not, it doesn’t mean he’s guilty of anything. Somebody could have something against him, and they’re determined to make him pay.”

“By making it look like this entire charade is his failure?”

“Yeah, by having multiple guys die or go missing under his watch, it goes without saying that the colonel’s completely useless as a leader.”

Rogan added in a sad tone, “Man, it’s a shame to think about deaths due to revenge or just sheer incompetence. Nobody deserves to die over that.”

“No, they sure don’t,” Magnus confirmed, “but, if somebody is prepared to kill— just to make someone else look bad— they sure don’t give a crap about the ones they are killing. And they really don’t give a crap about what you or I think about it.”

“That’s great,” Rogan muttered. “You could have lied and told me this would all blow over,” he joked.

“Yet you and I both know it won’t.”

“No, it sure doesn’t feel like it.”

“Did you find out anything through your questioning?”

“No, nothing besides the betting against Mother Nature thing. Even with our guys increasingly bored and forced to stay inside, I can’t believe we have any segment of people who are crazy enough to risk their life for some ego trip or pennies or whatever. Plus I’m still trying to figure out who the hell would have been standing outside Lisa’s door.”

“You may want to change your sleeping arrangements, if it matters to you that much.”

“What do you mean, if it matters to me?” he asked, his anger seeping through. “To have any of the women targeted matters to me.”

“Sure, but, in this case, we’ve got men being targeted as well, so—”


Everybody needs to be careful, and everybody needs to be working on a buddy system,” he spelled out for him.

“Right.” Rogan nodded. “I wasn’t sure what you were trying to say.”

“I was trying to say that you’re sweet on her, so don’t bother with excuses. If you’re worried about her, you may want to change your sleeping arrangements.”

Rogan stiffened at that and turned to look at him, but Magnus was totally unaffected by Rogan’s glare.

“Don’t refute it,” Magnus stated, “because I can see the truth every time the two of you are together. You lean in closer. You’re always very solicitous, and your eyes follow her every time she gets up and leaves a room.”

“Crap,” Rogan muttered. “I can’t say I even noticed, and I’ve put it down to being friends.”

“You may have been firmly friend-zoned or you friend-zoned her at some point in the past, but something has shifted, and it feels weird.”

“Yeah, it feels weird all right,” Rogan said under his breath. “It also feels weird that everybody else seems to have some idea of what the hell is going on between me and Lisa, and yet I don’t have a clue.”

At that, Magnus burst out laughing. “Get used to it, buddy. In this place, there’s nothing to do but analyze everybody else around you, so it happens. And now you know. Get yourself up to speed or move on.” He pointed up ahead. “Almost there.” As they approached, he swore.

“What’s the matter?” Rogan asked.

“I don’t hear the damn generator.” He parked outside the front entrance, and together they raced inside. As he opened the door and stepped over the threshold, he felt the chill. “Hello! Hello! Where is everyone?” No sign of anyone in the main room. Magnus walked through and sniffed the air. He looked at Rogan, who had the same somber expression on his face. “I don’t like that smell,” Magnus roared, racing back to the front door, propping it open, and immediately covering his face with his hoodie.

“That’s gas,” Rogan snapped. “Stay here.” He raced through the center to where the sleeping quarters were, opening the doors to find still bodies in the beds. He raced to each person, checking for pulses. He took two on his first trip out.

Magnus raced to meet him by the door, helping to get the first two into the Cat.

“It might be carbon monoxide poisoning,” Rogan suggested. “They’re in bad shape in there.” Both men raced to the bedrooms, carrying two people over their shoulders. “We don’t have very much room with this machine,” Rogan said, with a groan.

“Doesn’t matter. We’ll stuff them in here anyway. Thank God the other team was just visiting and left shortly thereafter,” Magnus stated. “You can stay behind, if need be.”

“That’s fine,” Rogan agreed, “or I can ride on the damn roof even.” They double-checked the scientists’ camp for any more people, but only found the six that they’d already loaded up. They sent a message back to the base, putting Sydney and Lisa in the clinic on full alert.

Rogan took one last look around. He left a note on the front door, in case the rest of the scientists were out collecting data. By his count two people were missing. One female doctor and one male geoscientist.

With that, knowing they were literally racing against life and death, they climbed on the snowcat and headed back to base.
Dale Mayer. Rogan-Dale-Mayers-re (Kindle Locations 1452-1529). Kindle Edition.

Nothing like having things turn to crap, but they do manage to get the four scientists that were in life threatening condition out. The remaining two, Anna and Myles and two missing scientists are now a priority. Then Myles goes missing and ends up being found with a local hunting group, feverish and cold.

Nothing is making sense. Rogan and Lisa’s friendship turns to romance even as things escalate.

Plenty of danger, more suspicions, romance and a touch of sizzle.

I can’t wait for the next book in this series!

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).

She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!

To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.

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Spencer – Hathaway House Book 19 by Dale Mayer

Hathaway House Book 19
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


Getting into Hathaway House before his friend wasn’t the plan, but that’s how it worked out, leaving Spencer in a state of waiting for his buddy to arrive. In the meantime, he has work to do. Right from day one he wants to establish and to maintain some independence in this way-too-busy center, luckily meeting the groundskeeper on his first attempt at getting coffee.

Bella has been looking after the Hathaway House grounds for over five years. Although she’s seen and interacted with many of the residents here, she never really got close to any—until Spencer. Now she can’t help but watch his progress in awe, as he moves through his program with dedication. Is he trying so hard to show off to his soon-to-arrive friend? Or for her sake? Or because he’s eager to leave the center and start his new improved future?

A future that won’t be in Hathaway House and one that might not include her …

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Spencer Newcomb and Timothy Watkins were roommates at a VA hospital when Timothy looks into Hathaway House. He and Spencer discuss it and then Spencer reaches out to Lance and Percy. On their recommendation he fills out the application and encourages Timothy to do the same.

The last thing he expected was to get in before Timothy, but because Timothy tends to procrastinate that is exactly what happens.

As with most newcomers to Hathaway House, Spencer is a bit overwhelmed when he arrives. He does notice the difference in the place right away, starting with the view of horses from his bed.

Bella Camden is the head of landscaping here a Hathaway House and as the only full-time member of her team she also has an apartment on site. That’s just one of the many perks of being employed here. Meals in the cafeteria, use of the facilities when not in use for patients is another. She often begins her day early with a swim before diving into the day’s projects, then having breakfast at her break. That also meant finishing up early before the heat of the day hits in the summer. On this particular day she’s a bit late for lunch and she just happens to meet Spencer who just followed his nose to the food.

This is a favorite scene.

When she saw the fish sautéed in butter, she immediately pointed it out. “You do fish so well here, and I never even used to eat it.”

“Tsk, tsk,” he muttered, with a smile. “Come on. Let’s get you a plateful.”

By the time she had that and a huge salad and some steamed veggies, she was good. She took it all outside, where she sat down on the deck. As she watched somebody she hadn’t seen before, a man in a wheelchair at the entrance to the deck, she smiled at him. “Hey. Are you eating out here?”

He winced. “Honestly I have no idea. I think I’m lost.”

“Did you eat?”

He shook his head. “No, I didn’t, and that’s probably part of the reason. I followed the scent of food, but I might have missed the lunch hour. I just arrived today.”

At that, Dennis walked over. “I heard you are a new arrival. You must be Spencer. And I’m Dennis.” He reached over and shook Spencer’s hand.

“What can I get you?”

“I don’t want to be a bother,” he replied hurriedly. “I didn’t realize that I had slept so long.”

“You’ll find, in the first couple days, that you’ll do a lot of napping.” Dennis smiled. “Most patients expect to be in better shape when they arrive, but, the fact of the matter is, it takes time to adjust.”

“If you say so.” Spencer looked over at her plate. “Her selection looks great,” he noted, “but maybe a bit of carbs to go with it.”

“Absolutely on the carbs,” Dennis agreed. “Just sit here with her, and I’ll see what I can do.” And, with that, Dennis disappeared.

Spencer looked at her and hesitated.

She smiled. “Please join me.” She motioned at her table. “I work here. I’m one of the people who keep the grounds out there beautiful,” she added. “And I was late myself, so I missed lunch too.”

He smiled. “Probably not a good thing to do around this place,” he stated, looking at her plate.

“That’s quite a nice selection of food.”

“And one thing you’ll learn very quickly here,” she shared. “Not only is the selection nice but it’s good fresh food, and the cooking comes from heart, which always seems to make a difference.”

He looked at her in surprise and then nodded. “You’re right. A lot of food that my grandmother made I never particularly liked, but, because she made it, it always tasted so much better than the same stuff that my buddies’ mothers would make,” he said. “I never told them that of course.”

“Sometimes that happens.” She chuckled. “Dennis and the kitchen staff are wonderful. You’ll have to meet Ilse. She’s the chef in the back. I see her more often than anybody just because I’m up and in here early in the morning. They run a wonderful place here,” she added. “You’ll do just fine.”

“Thank you.” Spencer nodded. “I came because of the recommendation of several friends, so I’m hoping that you’re correct. I’m hoping everybody’s correct. It’s hard to know what to do sometimes. You give up on having any options, and then suddenly there’s one, and it makes you nervous to even follow through because you don’t know if you can believe what people say.”

“I get that,” she agreed, with a smile. “I think that’s life. We hear so much stuff, and you never know how to filter out the good from the bad and what’s even realistic versus somebody’s overenthusiastic pipe dream.”

He chuckled. “I was thinking the same thing.” He pulled his wheelchair closer to the table. “Do you mind?” he asked hesitantly. “I don’t want to disturb your meal.”

“Absolutely. I don’t mind. This space is for everybody here. I’m Bella Camden, by the way.”

“Spencer Newcomb.” He smiled. “I could take another table, if you wanted to be alone.”

“I’m good,” she said. “As soon as I’m done eating, I’ll go for a swim.”

He stared at her. “A swim?”

She chuckled. “If you look over the railing, there is a pool and a hot tub.”

At the sound of that, his face lit up. “Now that would get me going a lot faster than a lot of things. I saw the horses”— he pointed to the fenced-in area in the distance and the beautiful black horse that was the closest—“ and I haven’t been on a horse in a very long time. I never thought I might get back to riding again,” he shared, “so I was surprised to see them here.” He stared, a look of rapture on his face, before his shoulders slumped, and a heavy sigh slipped out.

“That’s one of Dani’s projects,” Bella stated immediately wondering at the thoughts running through his mind. “Those are her babies, and I think some of them are used for riding sessions with some of the patients. So, if it interests you, let them know. I think they’re open to doing whatever works for you.”

“And that  … would be amazing in itself.”

Such hope filled his gaze that she couldn’t help but add, “I get it. My brother was here years ago, and I came to visit him one day, and I never left. See the little llama out there with the horses? She’s a sweetheart too.” She laughed and gave him a one-arm shrug. “At the time they needed somebody to do the gardens, and I’m an arborist, so this was right up my alley. Trying to keep this place as lush and as happy as possible for a lot of people appealed to me. So I just moved on in. Now that my brother’s doing well on his own, it’s all good.”

“Wow, I heard something similar from Joseph.”

“Joseph’s a crackerjack.” She grinned and gave him a knowing look. “He’s got a heart of gold too. Almost everybody here does. You can’t do this job without that.”

He nodded. “It certainly helps to have that personality. Sometimes when we’re at the VA centers, it seems to be just a job to people, and even the staff don’t appear to want to be there either. That makes it so that none of us want to be there, especially those of us who have no choice.”

“Yep, I heard the same thing from my brother. But you’re here now”— she nodded, with another big grin—“ and you have no idea how your life is about to change.”

At that, Dennis walked back out on the deck with a huge platter.

“Wow. I am hungry, but I’m not sure I can eat all this.”

“One thing around here is, we won’t starve you, but we don’t like to waste food either,” Dennis shared. “So, at each meal, assess your appetite, so you’ll know more for next time. Plus I’ll see how you do, so I can assess your appetite for next time too,” he explained, with that contagious big Hathaway House smile. “Other than that, you eat up and enjoy.”

Spencer tucked into the food. Hot. Fresh. Tasty. He stopped several times to assess the amount of food on his plate, shook his head, and dug in some more. Good food, great company, and unbelievable surroundings. So far, it had been a strange but amazing arrival.

“Not sure what the reassessment is every time,” Bella admitted, “but just watching you eat is fun.”

He looked at her in surprise. “Honestly I’m startled because it’s full of flavors. You get used to a place always pushing through a lot of people, and the food tastes as if it were pushed through too. It’s usually bland because they’re going for the lowest denominator in the taste of the food,” he stated. “And it ends up having zero flavor. But this stuff? Wow, this is good.”

“I’m sure you’ll break some hearts here telling them that. Everybody at Hathaway House works hard to keep the patients happy,” she declared. “So you’ll be easy to please.”

“I’ll be easy to please as long as I see some progress,” he replied, with an unhappy sigh. “I want other people’s stories to be true, but I’m worried that their recommendations are not even close to being possible for me, and that I give up on it.”

“In that case,” she suggested, “reserve the judgment and do the best you can to just see how it goes initially.  … Absolutely nothing here says that this has to be an all-or-nothing proposition. The Hathaway process is very much about finding what works for you. And then, if you ever want to get out and to get away for a bit, just let me know.” She pointed to the grounds. “I can wheel you to the gardens, where you can sit and commune with Mother Nature for a while, just to get away from everything inside.”

She continued. “The rehab program demands everything from you— hard work that leads to success. Yet it’s not always easy being surrounded by all these people here because a lot of patients will have progress that you might think you should have. However, you can’t compare yourself to everyone else. First off, they’ve been here longer than you have. And second? They aren’t you. Your body isn’t theirs,” she stated quietly.

“And, on the flip side, everybody needs a timeout at some point. You can’t always push yourself without your body paying the price.” And, with that, she stood. “I’m heading home for a bit.” She waved at him and added, “Take it easy and adjust. It’ll all be good.” And, with that, she was gone.
Dale Mayer. Spencer-A-Hath-Dale-Mayers-re (Kindle Locations 250-321). Kindle Edition.

As Spencer begins his journey to treatment, Bella works on her plans for the grounds, which includes benches and picnic tables.

It’s a while before she sees Spencer again, mainly because of the differences in their schedules. That doesn’t mean they aren’t thinking of each other. There is definitely an attraction between them.

Bella and Spencer get to see each other quite a bit and a relationship begins, then Timothy arrives and he’s in bad shape but then it gets worse when he ends up in the hospital again. Spencer is going to have to understand that he is not responsible for any of Timothy’s issues and stay focused on his own recovery.

I love the way these books document the process of healing from all the different angles and include a bit of romance as well. I can’t wait to read Timothy’s story.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).

She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!

To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.

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Simon Says…Walk – Kate Morgan Book 6 by Dale Mayer

Simon Says…Walk
Kate Morgan Book 6
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


Detective Kate Morgan isn’t impressed with her latest case. A terrorized woman walks into the police station, with a message for Kate. Actually a message that drags Simon into the middle of it—no, make that front and center. A challenge has been issued, one that Kate is determined to solve, hopefully keeping Simon on the sidelines.

Blindsided, Simon doesn’t understand the message or the hate being directed his way. And the last thing he wants to do is revisit his past. Yet being in the middle of one of Kate’s cases doesn’t give him an option. If he can’t get to the bottom of this, his life will be, once again, torn apart—all to appease a madman’s new game.

But the answer, … when it comes, is closer to home than anyone realizes.

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If you’ve been following this series, you know how instrumental Simon has been in Kate’s cases. He has no real control over his visions, but they have proven helpful at just the right time.

In this book Kate has to call Simon in from the start after a woman comes in to report a kidnapping and has a note addressed to Kate but with a message to Simon inside.

Kate reluctantly calls Simon to come and when he gets there brings him to an interrogation room. She starts and then Rodney joins them, as they try to puzzle this out.

This is a favorite scene.

She explained a little bit of the game, and Simon felt the sickness in his stomach as he realized they had yet another crazy person out there He nodded. “I’m sure you’ll get to the point as to why I’m here sooner rather than later, right?”

She sighed and then placed the note before him. “This is the note that she was instructed to bring to the police station.”

He picked it up and read it, the few short lines, his eyebrows shooting straight up when he saw both his name and hers. “What the hell?” he muttered out loud.

She nodded. “Yeah, the hell is why you’re here.” She carefully studied him. “I’m sorry because, if there was any way to keep you out of it, believe me. I would have. More so if  … there was any way to keep me out of it,” she added, with an eye roll, “I would have. But we have both been drawn into this because of this woman, who’s already been victimized once. She’s absolutely terrified to go home and have this asshole victimize her a second time.”

“Has she moved?”

“I don’t know if she’s even capable of moving. She was released from the hospital, probably too early, but our medical system hospitals are pretty overwhelmed these days. Therefore, if she’s capable of going home, then that’s where she goes,” Kate relayed abruptly. “Under these circumstances, I don’t know. I’m not sure that staying home for her is a good idea, but, if he found her once,  … there’s a good chance that he would find her again. Plus, if she deliberately tried to leave, there is another good chance that he would punish her for it.”

Simon nodded absentmindedly, as he studied the note. “So now you want to know who would do this, who do I know who would do this, and did I have anything to do with it?”

She stared at him, and her lips cracked in a parody of a smile. Then the door opened. He looked up to see Rodney move in. Simon nodded a greeting. “Fun times.”

“No, not really,” Kate disagreed. “I was in the interview with this woman when she came in, and she was terrified.”

Simon nodded. “And, having seen the note, I have to tell you  …” He shook his head. “Absolutely nobody comes to mind. It’s not as if I live in the world of psychos.” And then he laughed. “Although I’m pretty sure you would say that you don’t either.”

“Well, it’s not where we would choose to live,” Rodney admitted, with a half smile, as he took a chair. He quickly held out the recorder and put it on the table. “We’ll make this official, so that we all have something to listen to afterward.”

Simon nodded and waited, and, when they did their official disclaimer bit, Simon waved his hand. “Okay, so how long was she held? Do we know where she was held, and  …” He picked up the note again, closed his eyes, but absolutely nothing came through. When he opened his eyes, both watched him expectantly. He shook his head. “Nothing is left on this note,” he shared in a confused tone. “Whether he ever held it himself,  … I don’t know. Whether he ever held it with his own hands or with, say, gloves, I don’t know.” He shook his head. “I’m not getting anything off it.”

“Of course not,” she muttered. “That would be way too easy. So, given the fact that you don’t have a clue who would have done this, do you happen to know the victim?”

He asked, “What was her name again?”

“Patricia Blinker,” she stated.

Simon frowned and shook his head. “I’ve never heard of her.”

“I do have a photo. Matter of fact, we took several photos while she was here. Unfortunately forensically there isn’t anything on her because she spent several days in the hospital, showered several times, and at no point in time saw her attacker. However, we do have these photos.” And, with that, she held up her phone and showed them to Simon.

He winced when he saw the abrasions on the poor woman’s hands and face. “Wow, this asshole really did try to hurt her.”

“And yet,” Kate added, “he could have hurt her so much worse.”

He nodded, a lot of truth to that. “The damage will be psychological in the long term,” he replied, his voice quiet.

Rodney immediately nodded. “I suspect that was his purpose, psychological damage being so much harder for a victim to get over.”

Simon knew all about that. He felt that slow burn inside, even after all these years, and then swore heavily and fluently for several minutes.

When he looked up, Kate grinned at him and said, “I hope that made you feel as good as it made me feel.”

His eyebrows raised, he studied the woman who both fascinated, intrigued, and warmed his heart at the same time. “Now how the hell would my swearing make you feel better?”

She burst out laughing. “Because you swear in French, and it sounds so very different. Kinda hot, and I know that sounds so cheesy.”

She looked over to see a grinning Rodney, who was nodding his head.

“Yep, definitely doesn’t sound the same,” he noted. “Very poetic, very musical.”

Simon shook his head. “BS, I can swear in English just as well, but, for whatever reason, this one triggered my French version.”

“And yet,” she asked him, “you don’t use French very much, do you?”

He shrugged. “No, but it is something that I have worked hard to maintain for business.” He tapped the note. “So what will we do about this?”

“That’s the next challenge,” she admitted. “In order to do something with this, we have to understand who is behind this, and that’s a bit challenging.  … That’s why you’re here. We need a list of people who hate you, a list of people who would want to do this to you, a list of people who would play a sick game such as this.”

“I think the game is what’s important,” Rodney shared.

“For some reason, whatever you have said or done to somebody, potentially in business,” Kate pointed out, “where somebody didn’t get what he wanted, it may have led to this. So maybe you stopped a deal from going through, and it caused somebody else financial hardship,” she suggested, tiptoeing around him. “I’m throwing ideas out there because I really have no way of knowing any relation you might have to this psycho.”

Simon nodded, as he again stared down at the note. “It’s not a game I would have ever played,” he admitted.

“And yet as a child?” Rodney poked.

“As a child possibly, but who can remember a childhood game?” He stared at the note again, his mind scrambling to make sense of this. “I don’t particularly like being somebody in a position of power, somebody who has the ability to hurt and to damage somebody else’s life,” he told them, with a shrug. “Would I have squashed a deal if it was unfair or if somebody was lying, cheating, something along that line?  … Absolutely.” He took a moment to add, “I refuse to do shady deals, and I prefer to stay on the straight-and-narrow.”

She nodded. “Of course. That was an element of your grandmother too, wasn’t it?”

He nodded. “It’s an element of my gift. If I lie, cheat, steal, anything along that line, it’ll come back and haunt me. You might laugh about Karma,  … but, when it comes to something in my world, Karma can be quite a bitch. So I cannot ignore that aspect in my business or my personal life.” He shrugged. “Now, if somebody were cheating someone or being a rank asshole and hurting someone, and I could do something to stop it, then I would.”

“So, more likely you would be obliged to act?” Rodney asked Simon.

Simon nodded. “Would that be the case here? I have no idea.” He frowned. “I can’t remember any time where that may have happened, but  …” Then he kicked back his chair and stared at the note, his mind tumbling with ideas, and yet nothing really to lock on. Shaking his head, he looked over at the two of them. “I’m sorry, but I’ve got nothing.”

Rodney’s shoulders sagged, and he nodded. “We half expected that, but, of course,  … we had to bring you in and ask.”

“Of course,” he agreed, “and because my name is right there in black-and-white, along with Kate’s, that will make me an integral part of this.”

“So maybe that’s what he wanted. Attention,” Kate said suddenly. “Maybe it’s not so much about hating something you did but hating you, hating your success, hating that you have a good name.” She hesitated. “Because, if this becomes public, that could certainly affect your life, wouldn’t it?”

He stared at her and down at the note, thought about the implications, and shrugged. “Maybe, but my world isn’t built on public opinion, and it’s not built on any of these assholes. So I’m not sure that that theory applies, but it is something to consider.” He frowned again at the note. “I just,  … that whole bit, Simon can do this,” he muttered out loud. “That’s got a competitive edge, as if this guy’s lost beside me in some way. That other part, Simon thinks he’s so fucking good, but I don’t think he’s got answers for this,” he read out loud. “I can’t imagine the mentality of somebody who would be setting me up to fail.”
Dale Mayer. Simon-Says-W-Dale-Mayers-re (Kindle Locations 271-343). Kindle Edition.

Simon can offer no insight. Kate and Rodney proceed on the case, locating the victim and that opens a whole new can of worms.

Simon has issues with one of his sights and losing workers, that has an interesting tie in to this tale.

With every book the relationship between Simon and Kate grows as well, I love the way they take care of each other.

There are many twists in this one especially when Simon finally connects with a victim.

I love the way these books keep you on your toes wondering what’s going to happen next. I certainly couldn’t figure this one out until the end.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).

She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!

To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.

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Amazon Author Page

Dante’s Decision – Heroes For Hire Book 28 by Dale Mayer

Dante’s Decision
Heroes for Hire Book 28
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


At Levi’s request, Dante, with misgivings, returns to the one place he swore he never would come back to—Billings, Montana. The place where he lost his wife and daughter many years ago. If returning gives him a sense of peace or at least a way to reconcile what happened so he can move on, then fine. As it is, he finds more surprises in that department than he expected.

Laura needed a job. She had rent to pay and a teenager to feed. After being summarily ejected from her government-sensitive position, she was forced into teaching. But, when she sees something beyond odd in the high school website code, she knows someone has found her. Even worse, it’s likely to be the same person who messed up her life the last time.

Maybe Dante can help her out, but it seems like he has bigger problems than she has, … until her world flips completely out of control, and she needs him more than ever.

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When Levi calls Dante to see if he’ll take on a job, he doesn’t mention where until the end of the call. The thing that convinced Dante was that the schoolteacher is a friend of Tesla, Mason’s wife. Now he heads to the one place he vowed never to return to, Billings, Montana.

His partner for this case is Tyson, he’s been through much of what Dante has and really is the one person who may be able to help Dante break through his grief and guilt. Although Tyson puts most of that part of healing on his wife Kai.

Laura Thompson is now a schoolteacher. As a talented hacker, she once worked for the government but was set up and after being threatened walked away. Her brother has been following in her footsteps and she’s had to get him out of trouble more than a couple of times. She just can’t seem to get through to him the severity of things if he gets caught.

When Dante and Tyson arrive, she’s already doubting her decision to ask for help and Dante’s demeaner only seems to strengthen that opinion. She does go through what is happening, starting with some of the past and then the appearance of the code on the school website. Getting into more detail regarding the initial issue that had her leaving the government and staying far away from things that could bring her further trouble. However, she feels the code is a threat and she’s had an uneasy feeling of being followed. That plus the fact a coworker she once had a relationship with has died has her scared. Not only for herself but for her brother as well.

There’s a big surprise here, and also closure for Dante, all at the beginning. None of that solves the current problem and things ramp up on that end.

This is a favorite scene.

When the phone rang twenty minutes later, she smiled. “There you are. I was getting worried.”

“I’m on my way back,” Dante said, “but I’m exhausted and need food. Should I pick something up or have you got something there?”

She was nonplussed for a moment. “I can always make an omelet or something. But, if you’d rather pick up fast food, you can do that too.”

“I’d rather have an omelet,” he said, and, with that, he clicked off.

She looked over at Tyson. “I guess he’s in rough shape and looking for some sustenance.”

“That’s to be expected, since he’s been on the go for quite a while,” Tyson noted.

She bounced to her feet. “So much is happening and yet nothing at the same time.”

“It will all come together at the end,” Tyson stated, walking toward her.

“Maybe, maybe not,” she muttered. “Will the fact that Tesla is pulling information like this be likely to trigger somebody?”

“You mean, trigger somebody who may be watching to see who is looking into it?”

“Yeah,” she replied. “Was your relationship with Tesla well-known?”

“It wasn’t a secret by any means. But only those fairly close to me would have known who my friends were,” she stated. “This will put her in danger, won’t it?”

“I’m pretty sure she’s been staying out of the action, especially during her pregnancy. She is safe, legit, and has both Mason’s and Levi’s organizations in her corner. Don’t worry about her. Besides, just how bad could this scenario get?” he asked. “I wouldn’t worry about it.”

“I always worry about her,” Laura said. “She’s so selfless, and she always goes out of her way to give anybody a hand. It’s one of the reasons I avoided calling her for so long.”

“That doesn’t make sense. It might not have been such a big deal until now.”

“Yeah, and honestly, if it wasn’t for the vehicle that kept following me home, I wouldn’t have been so sure.”

At that, Tyson’s phone buzzed, and he looked down at the screen. “I have a text from Dante. … Shit.”

“What’s the matter?” she asked, as Tyson bolted to his feet and turned around, as if considering what to do first.

“He’s being followed. And that’s not what we want to happen.”

“Are you sure?” she asked, “I kind of feel like Dante might say, This is perfect. Like, lead the asshole into a trap and take him out all at once.

Tyson looked at her and then grinned. “My, my. You are truly coloring outside the lines today, and you know what? That’s not a bad way to play it, but I want you to stay inside, away from the windows, and lights out.”

She stared at him. “I was going to make an omelet.”

“You’ll be making an omelet when Dante’s in the house and safe,” he warned. “Remember that.”

She nodded. “Fine, but what about my son?” It even sounded weird to her to say that word, but she reveled in it. “He came home early tonight from his friend’s house, while we were still out. He left a note that his friend is okay.”

“Go up and tell him to stay in his room, lights out, and away from the windows.”

“Got it,” she replied, and, as Tyson headed outside, she bolted upstairs to Peter’s room. As soon as she knocked and there was no answer, she opened the door a bit to stick her head in and said, “Hey, a warning from the guys—” She stopped dead in her tracks as she was looking at an empty room.

“Peter, where are you?” she muttered, looking around. His window was open, and there was no sign of him. She raced down the stairs, opened the front door, calling out to Tyson, “Peter’s not in his room, and it looks like he went out the window.”

He shook his head and bolted. She slowly went back inside, but this time she sat down on the couch and wrapped her arms around her chest. She picked up her phone and quickly started sending messages to her son. Frantic ones about getting his ass home, before things blew up and he got caught in the middle. When no answer came on any of them, nothing she could do but wait. She sat here with tears rolling down her face, as she waited for the worst to happen.

But this asshole sure wouldn’t get a second chance.
Dale Mayer. Dante’s Decision (Kindle Locations 1183-1212). Valley Publishing Ltd..

Dante and Laura may not have started off on the right foot but these two definitely have an attraction.

This story gets pretty intense as they try to figure out who is targeting Laura and her son.

Plenty of intrigue and suspense as this tale winds to it’s conclusion.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).

She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!

To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.

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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Toes Up In The Tulips – Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 20 by Dale Mayer

Toes Up in the Tulips
Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 20
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


Riches to rags.
… Time heals all wounds,
… but old deeds still haunt,
… even for the innocent!

After helping the captain solve his long overdue case, Doreen’s reputation is well and truly cemented in Kelowna. That’s proven out when a young woman is murdered in her own apartment, and the police start looking at the boyfriend. With the town on edge, this young man seeks out Doreen’s help to prove his innocence.

Corporal Mack Moreau is back to light duty work—mostly keeping an eye on Doreen, if the captain has any say in it. It’s hardly a hardship, as he loves being around her, when she’s not dipping her toes in his active cases. And yet somehow she manages to find old cases that dovetail with his ongoing ones, giving her an exaggerated opinion of where her boundaries are.

What seems simple on the surface goes back into history to a case that was done and dusted, with the killer now out free, looking for revenge. But, of course, it’s not that simple or that easy; and, by the time Doreen and her animal crew are done, the world has shifted for more than just one person in this case.

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I got quite the kick out of the beginning of this book as Doreen claims Toes Up in the Tulips as her new case, even though it’s the latest case on Mack’s plate.

In an interesting twist, a young man, Joseph Moody approaches her for help. It appears he’s the boyfriend of the deceased in Mack’s latest case and want her help proving he’s innocent. Knowing Mack would be upset she calls him, but he has to call her back, and when she hesitates, he announces he’s coming over.

To top it off, she calls back an unknown number, only to find it’s her ex. So, she has to call Nick.

This is a favorite scene.

Doreen quickly phoned Nick and told him what she’d done. “Could you please stop answering the phone— unless it’s me calling?” He groaned.

“Yeah, wouldn’t that be nice? I didn’t recognize the number. It didn’t come up on my screen,” she began, and then she explained what Mathew wanted.

“I hope you told him that you wanted the jewelry.”

“I did, and he wanted to come up and deliver it himself.” At that came a surprised silence on the other end. “I told him that I think that had to go through the lawyers.”

“Good,” Nick replied. “That is very good.”

“He told me to try and keep my pain-in-the-backside lawyer out of his … away from us. He told me how you were becoming quite a pain in his backside.”

At that, Nick laughed. “Yeah, we’re not done yet either,” he replied cheerfully. “If he calls again, just hang up. I will now send him an email requesting all the jewelry. You did give me quite a list.”

“Yeah, a lot of birthdays happened during that marriage,” she noted. “I know this probably sounds like I’m being really, really greedy, and I’m not trying to be, but …”

“What?” he asked curiously.

“He had fakes made of all of them.”

At that, he started to laugh. “Don’t tell me. That’s what you got to wear in public?”

“Exactly. I highly suspect that’s what he’ll try and hand over to you.”

“Oh no, he won’t. Now that you’ve told me that, we’ll make sure that we get the originals.”

She smiled. “I’m really not a vengeful person, but, at this moment, just the thought of you being a thorn in his side is making me so happy.”

“Good to hear. I’ll let you know what he says.”

And, with that, they disconnected, and she turned around to see Mack standing there, glaring at her.

“Who was that?”

“That was your brother.” She glared at him right back. “Why are you in such an ugly mood?”

“What are you up to now?” He frowned.

“I didn’t think I was up to anything right now, although earlier, … I called you to talk, but you were busy. Then Mathew just called me, and I made the mistake of calling him back because I didn’t recognize the number.”

At that, Mack glared at her again.

She raised both hands. “It wasn’t the usual number, people. What am I supposed to do?”

“How about you don’t answer unknown numbers?” He sighed.

“At least you called Nick.”

“Yeah.” And she explained what her ex-husband was after. “And then I told Nick how Mathew always kept fakes of everything.”

Mack laughed. “So presumably he’s trying to give you the fakes.”

“I wouldn’t be at all surprised. I think he was hoping I didn’t want any of it, that I hated him so much.”

“I’m surprised you do.” Mack eyed her closely. “Sentimental value?”

“No, he pissed me off,” she declared. And then she tapped her temple. “Do you really think Nan isn’t rattling around inside my head, saying, Take it. Take it. We can always sell it.

At that, Mack burst out laughing. “She’s right. I don’t know exactly where one would sell something like that, but I’m sure, with all the connections that you’re slowly building, somebody could tell you.”

She smiled. “That’s what I was wondering.”

As he walked toward her, he yawned and said, “And now I can’t stay. I’m on my way home, and I need to grab some sleep.” He rubbed his face. “Haven’t had a whole lot of that lately.”

She stared at him in consternation. “I wouldn’t have added to your day, if I’d known you’d had a bad time of it.”

He snorted. “Yes, you would have.”

She glared at him. “You don’t know that.”

He just gave her an eye roll. “So get to it.”

She opened her mouth and then snapped it shut, not sure how to start.

“Uh-oh.” He took two more steps toward her. “When you act like that, you worry me.”

“No reason to be worried,” she replied.

“Did you interfere in my case?” he snapped. Her shoulders hunched. “Oh no, please not. What did I tell you?”

“I didn’t have a choice,” she replied, holding up her hands. “This guy came to me.”

“What guy?” he asked in confusion.

“Joseph Moody.”

Mack closed his eyes and swore under his breath.

In a low tone and trying to not make it sound like she was guilty, Doreen explained what Joseph wanted.

Mack sat down beside her, with a hard thunk. “Even when I try to keep you out,” he noted, with a headshake.

“I didn’t do anything,” she repeated.

He nodded glumly. “The problem is, at this point in time, you’ve become a force of your own.”

“Not really,” she argued. “I mean, I couldn’t tell him anything because I don’t know anything. I did tell him that I would talk to you guys.” He shook his head, and she shrugged. “It seemed like the best thing I could do.”

“Oh, absolutely.” Mack sighed. “And believe me. I appreciate your doing that much.”

She winced. “You sound like you’re pretty fed-up.”

“It’s hard when everybody decides that an amateur detective”— he gave her an eye roll—“ would give them a better shake than us.”

“I think when people get into this situation, they react purely in fear.”

“Sure,” he agreed. “But fear of what?”

“I know he’s probably your best suspect, just because of his relationship to the victim.”

“Yet he does have an alibi,” Mack acknowledged.

“I know, and he did tell me that,” she shared. “Have you checked with his coworkers?”

He nodded. “Yep, we have.”

“So technically he shouldn’t really be on your list.”

“Of course he’s on the list,” he replied. “Just doesn’t mean that he’s super high on the list.”

“Right. But, if you don’t have anything to go on, then I’m not hurting anything,” she said cautiously. “And, if I give you whatever information I come up with …” He just glared at her. She raised her hands again. “What would you have me tell him?” she asked. “Obviously I tried hard to let him know that he should give you guys all the information and that you would give him a fair shake and that sometimes it looked like the police weren’t looking at anybody else, but they were.”

“Is that what you told him?” he asked in astonishment.

She nodded. “Something like that. Don’t quote me on it,” she muttered. “I’m already very tired.”

“You and me both.” He sighed again. “Didn’t really need this tonight.”

“Of course not.” And then she smiled at him. “You didn’t need it any night.”

He grinned at her. “True enough. We’ll see what comes out of this. Just please be careful.”

“I will. I will.”
Dale Mayer. Toes up in the Tulips (Kindle Locations 511-571). Valley Publishing Ltd..

This case gets pretty tangled right from the start with both Doreen and Mack investigating from different angles.

I love Thaddeous, Goliath and Mugs so very much, their antics are perfect. Nan also adds her two cents into things and well, it’s good to see Mack and Doreen’s relationship is stable while waiting on the divorce.

The case goes off into several different directions, making me wonder which way it will end up.

I love this series and can’t wait for the next book!

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).

She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!

To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.

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Amazon Author Page

Harper – The K9 Files Book 19 by Dale Mayer

The K9 Files Book 19
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


With his surgery postponed, Harper can finally take on a War Dog case to help out Kat and Badger. Harper knows it is short-term, a fill-his-time thing. Considering his stage of life, that is perfect. Finding out he needs to find two dogs is a surprise, but he doesn’t expect to track one dog in order to keep another alive.

As Saffron works to keep Beast alive, she knows how important it is to find Beauty, his bonded partner. The pair of War Dogs had come to Saffron for medical treatment. Beauty had thereafter been released, supposedly taken to a huge training facility in Mississippi, while Beast hadn’t been healthy enough to leave Saffron’s care. With Beauty missing, finding Harper on Beauty’s trail is both a relief and a distraction. Saffron can’t ignore the dynamic Harper, even as injured and as scarred as he is. Not to mention the work he’s doing is so close to her own.

As Harper gets closer to Beauty’s location, it becomes obvious that someone wants to make sure the War Dog doesn’t reach her destination. But why? And how far will this person go to take down the dog?

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This book adds a bit of a twist to usual War Dog checkup. Both dogs are in facilities rather than with private citizens. Well, they were until one was sent for more intense care and the other disappeared.

Harper Snowden travels first to where the male dog is known to be. There he meets Saffron a veterinarian surgeon who is really concerned about the dog they call Beast. Apparently, he’s bonded with the female he was traveling with but now they’ve been separated. Saffron has no information on when the female went missing from the other facility, she only knows that it seems suspicious.

After seeing Beast and promising to do his best to bring beauty to him, Harper faces either traveling more or finding somewhere to stay the night. Saffron solves that by offering him a place to stay the night. She also calls her sister to come over and bring dinner. Dinner is pleasant and Harper leaves to head to the training facility in early the next day, texting his thanks to Saffron.

What he finds when he gets there is the lie that Beauty never arrived, but someone else says the owner’s son took her outside and she got away. He reports all this to Badger who is going to look closer at the facility. After meeting with the father, Harper heads off and is being followed. However, his last sheriff stop gives him a clue. Milly saw the dog, but since they consider her a ‘crazy cat lady’ they didn’t give it much thought.

I have to say I really loved Milly. Not only does she have good information for Harper, but she also recognizes that he’s been shot when she sees his shirt full of blood. She gives him first aid and a place to stay the night. He calls Saffron once he’s settled to update her.

This is a favorite scene.

“I know, and either they were an excellent shot and deliberately left me with this burn, which— outside of being specialized military— not too many people have that kind of control. I mean, I could be wrong. Maybe that’s all this is, or maybe it’s got nothing to do with it at all. Maybe whoever it is intended to take me down or to just warn me. I don’t know, but obviously the game has changed.”

“Yeah, you think?” she snapped, and he heard the stunned disbelief in her voice. “This isn’t normal stuff that happens all the time.”

“Unfortunately it is stuff that happens,” he argued, yet his voice remained calm. “It’s just generally not something you know about or are impacted by.”

“Yeah, you’re not kidding,” she muttered. “And, for the record, I’m not impressed.”

“No, of course not,” he agreed, then hesitated. “I’m sorry. I probably shouldn’t have called you.”

“No, no, no, wait,” she called out. “That’s not what I mean. I’m very unimpressed that anybody would do such a thing, that anybody would think that life is so fragile and so worthless that they would shoot you like that, regardless of their intent. And you don’t even know why.” Then she hesitated, her voice a little bit calmer and asked, “Or do you?”

“No, I don’t. Not at all. I have no clue what’s going on here. The only thing I’ve done is stir up a hornet’s nest over this missing War Dog, which now makes me all the more curious about what may have happened to her.”

“This woman, Milly,” Saffron asked in sharp tone, “does she know where Beauty is?”

“No, she just told me that the dog looked like she was in pain. She went out to try to help her, but she took off. Anyway, I probably should ring off and try to grab some sleep.”

“Okay.” Then in an anxious voice, she asked, “Are you sure you’re all right? Are you sure you shouldn’t go get it checked out?”

“I kind of trust Milly here more than I do anybody else in this area right now,” he shared. “I’m just not sure what’s going on.”

“No, I’m not either.” Saffron’s voice gained in volume. “This is absolutely despicable, and it makes me even more concerned about Beauty.”

“I know. Me too,” Harper agreed in a quiet voice. “I’ll be back on the road first thing in the morning.”

“That’s not all I’m concerned about,” she said in exasperation. “You are obviously not fully healed yourself, so you need to be extra careful.”

He snorted at that. “I didn’t think I wasn’t being careful,” he replied. “I certainly wasn’t expecting anything like that.”

“So you haven’t had any confrontations with anybody?”

“No, not at all. I mean, did anybody care that the War Dog was missing and that people were checking in on it? No, not particularly. I think they all thought it was just a dog, and it would probably all disappear by the wayside.”

“Maybe,” she said, “but now I’m not so sure about that.”

“Neither am I, and that’s the good part of this. He showed his hand, so now we’re sure something else is going on here. He made a mistake, a big one.”

“In what way?”

“Because now I know for sure. Now I know I need to find out more, something that’s not quite right here. And that is what I do best.”

“Sure, maybe when you’re fit and healthy, but not when you’re being shot in the back out of the blue.”

“No, and believe me. I won’t make that mistake a second time,” he declared.

“And this lady, she didn’t see who shot you?”

“No, it didn’t happen here, and a lot of people in town won’t even listen to her because, you know, she’s the crazy old cat lady.”

“Right, my kindred spirit you told me, and thank you very much for that. I do know the type.”

Such a wry note was in her voice that he had to laugh. “Oh, come on. I was kidding, sort of. You probably have quite a few of them come to your clinic, don’t you?”

“More often than not they don’t have the money to keep the cats, but I help a couple with the cat food and then spay or neuter as many as I can. The way I look at it, all the cats they keep wouldn’t have a home at all if not for these cat-loving people, so I consider it a part of my charity work to help them out,” she told him.

Harper grinned. So like Saffron. And Milly. He had already decided to leave Milly some cash for her cats, to buy some food, along with his card and a handwritten note for her to call him, if she ever had a problem. Yet Saffron’s sister was another matter. “I’m sure your sister has a hard time with that.”

Startled, she asked, “How did you know that?”

“I don’t think your sister quite gets who you are.”

After a long moment of silence, she said, “You know what? I’m not sure she does. She’s a good person, but she’s had some issues in life, and it’s kind of tainted her worldview.”

“Hopefully she’ll figure it out.”

“Will you get any sleep tonight?”

“I’m not sure,” he admitted. “As much as I don’t like taking painkillers, I may have to tonight to get any rest, which I need.”

“Exactly. You’ve got quite a lot going on, and your senses will be more dulled from lack of sleep than any residual effect from a pain pill or two.”

“Yeah, that’s what I had concluded too.” Yawning, he added, “I am feeling fairly tired, so hopefully I can sleep.”

“What will it take for you to get to sleep?”

“Just talking to you right now is kind of doing it.” Then, as if realizing what he’d just said, he quickly apologized. “Sorry. I really didn’t mean that the way it sounded.”

She chuckled, as she must have heard the note of panic in his apology. “I know what you mean. It’s not that I’m boring but it helps to have some soothing voice, some white noise even, to help you doze off.”

“Just talking about today has let my mind unwind a bit,” he murmured. “It’s been a very strange day.”

“You’re not kidding, and I feel completely helpless here.”

“How is Beast holding up?”

“Not as good as he could be, and, of course, we’re hoping that Beauty is on her way to him, but that doesn’t mean she is or that she’ll make it.”

“No, I know,” he murmured. “The only thing we can do is try to track her down and help her however we can first, and then see about getting her reunited with him.”

“Any of that seems almost like an impossibility right now.”

“I don’t know. I’m not prepared to see it that way at all.”

“Of course not,” she smiled. “You are very much an optimist.”

“If we’re not being an optimist, we end up being a pessimist, and that’s not good either.”

She chuckled at that, acknowledging the truth of it. “I still would feel better if you contacted the sheriff.”

“I don’t want to do that because I’m not sure what the hell’s going on here.”

“You told me that the sheriff wanted to be kept in the loop.”

“Yeah, and that’s not something I’m prepared to do. Especially now.”

“You don’t think he’s involved, do you?” she asked, her tone almost a whisper.

“No, I don’t, but I don’t know what he knows and what he doesn’t know as to whether this kid is in any way related. There have been plenty of times in my world where law enforcement help was the best thing, but then again there have been enough times when it was the worst thing. And that I just don’t want to risk just now. Not until we know more.”
Dale Mayer. Harper (Kindle Locations 1289-1351). Valley Publishing Ltd..

With the stakes higher than before, Harper continues on the track he believes Beauty is taking. He knows he has to get to her before whoever is following him does.

This one is truly a hold your breath, cross your fingers and pray story. I couldn’t put it down.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).

She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!

To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.

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Magnus – Shadow Recon Book 1 by Dale Mayer

Shadow Recon Book 1
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


Deep in the permafrost of the Arctic, a joint task force, comprised of over one dozen countries, comes together to level up their winter skills. A mix of personalities, nationalities, and egos bring out the best—and the worst—as these globally elite men and women work and play together. They rub elbows with hardy locals and a group of scientists gathered close by …

One fatality is almost expected with this training. A second is tough but not a surprise. However, when a third goes missing? It’s hard to not be suspicious. When the missing man is connected to one of the elite Maverick team members and is a special friend of Lieutenant Commander Mason Callister? All hell breaks loose …

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We’ve been getting hints on this series for quite a while and it’s finally here!!

What we know so far is that there have been 3 incidents, 2 deaths; one Russian and one from the German SEAL team both deemed accidental. The third incident is Mountain’s brother, Teegan Rode, disappearing. According to Mountain, Teegan had evidence that those deaths weren’t accidental at all. Now they have to get a team into the Artic and attached to this Artic training program without attracting attention to what they are doing outside of the norm.

When Magnus arrives, there are two more men missing, Terrance Billings and a Russian so recently missing they don’t know his name yet. It just makes the question of what’s going on here far more urgent to figure out. Of course, finding Teegan is imperative as well, but he’s been missing three days now and with a blizzard raging and the temperature it’s really not safe to be outside very long.

Mountain is already there, and they’ve worked out how to communicate without drawing suspicion. The first person we sort of meet in this hostile environment is Jesse who’s seems to have been here awhile. Next is Dr. Sydney Jenkins, she is the only doctor on this base and as she inquires as to how he’s feeling having been outside for so long, she also sneaks in a word about missing medications. Just what they need more mystery.

Sydney also has a bug detector that she sweeps the clinic every time she enters. Mountain gave it to her after he found a bug and now she’s wondering what is so important about the clinic that it had been bugged.

We get a look at the sled dog’s enclosure and meet Joe their trainer, handler and owner. Magnus has already made an impression on some of the dogs. I can picture them crowding him for attention.

Mountain is paired with someone he knew under a different name and thought was on medical leave. Seems his name is Salmo but he’d been called Selly previously. We get to see the Scientist’s camp with these two.

As we hear more grumblings about something going on, no one can actually say what it is. It’s more of a feeling than anything else. Then there’s another kitchen fire and two men are brought to the clinic for burns.

This is a favorite scene.

When Sydney woke the next morning, she felt an uncanny sense of wrongness. She bolted up, quickly dressed, and raced to her clinic. Just as she got there, the door slammed open, and somebody barreled out at top speed. She yelled after him, as she chased him down the hallway, but he booked it outside, and she knew better than to go out there.

As she turned around, Magnus stared at her. He was bare-chested, just in his PJ bottoms, a bit of sleeplessness in his eyes. “What happened?”

“He came running out of my clinic,” she cried out in frustration.

Magnus took off and disappeared outside after the culprit, leaving her open-mouthed at his rash actions. Shrugging, she headed back to her clinic, hoping that Joy was there because Sydney had left everything wide open. Only she saw no sign of her nurse.

With that, Sydney decided she would no longer be sleeping in her close quarters but staying in the clinic, whether she had patients there or not. She quickly checked the time and noted it was just 7: 00 a.m. Most of the others would be in the dining area, getting breakfast or at least coffee.

She checked up on the two male burn patients in her clinic. They were both sound asleep. Whoever had come in either didn’t know patients would be here or hadn’t had a chance to do anything.

Checking on the medicine cabinet, she confirmed it was still locked up. Feeling a whole lot better, she glanced around to ensure everything else was okay.

When Magnus strode in ten minutes later, carrying coffee for two, she immediately snatched one and cried out, “Thank God for that.” She looked up at him— the last she’d seen him, he was chasing her intruder half naked, only now he was fully dressed. She shook her head and chastised herself for being so out of it. “Any luck?”

He shook his head. “No, unfortunately,” he replied grumpily. “I’ve got two other men out looking. If your intruder doesn’t show up soon …” Magnus didn’t say anything to follow up.

She winced. “Sounds as if a storm is out there again too?”

“Yeah, it’s pretty much been bad weather since I arrived,” he noted quietly. “Not exactly conducive to escaping though.”

“Unless he knew of somewhere and had a plan.”

“The real question is, … how would he have gotten in?”

“We don’t lock up any of the external doors to the base,” she explained. “I mean, they’re secured for the wind, but we’re not trying to lock people in or out. This is not that type of facility, and, if people run into trouble, they need to know that they can come in here and take shelter.” She frowned. “So, in a way, it’s just an open public place.”

“Did you get a description of him?”

She shrugged. “I can give you what I remember, but it isn’t a whole lot.” She quickly went through what she recalled, realizing it sounded lame. “I’m sorry. That’s not much. It just seems stupid, but he was dressed all in black. He wore not full winter gear but outdoor gear, for sure. He was moving pretty fast for someone geared so heavily,” she added, thinking back. “But then everybody here is fit and in shape, so no handicap to point out.”

Magnus nodded in agreement. “Right, and everybody here is decent at subterfuge too,” he admitted quietly. She winced. “Did you do a check this morning?”

She stared at him, not understanding at first, then it clicked. She quickly put down her coffee. She got up and pulled the device from her top drawer and quickly checked her clinic. To her dismay, almost immediately it started buzzing. She swore, as she looked over at him. He got up and followed her around, as they pinpointed where the latest bug was. He quickly removed it from the light where it was affixed and quickly dismantled it. Neither of her patients woke up; then, their pain medication was intense.

He held it up, his face grim, as he looked at her. “What are the chances that this is what your intruder was doing this morning?”

She shook her head. “I’m not betting on that,” she muttered. “I just don’t understand what they think will happen here, when I don’t have anything to do with it.”

“To do with what?” he asked, looking at her quietly.

“With what’s going on, particularly after the colonel talked to me yesterday.” She gave a quick shrug. “That was beyond bizarre.”

“I won’t say it wasn’t a surprise,” he replied cautiously, “but the brass? … They’re people, just like the rest of us.”

“Sure they are,” she replied, with spirit. “Yet it seems somebody is trying to set me up, is thinking I’m involved, or is convinced that some top secret information is being talked about around here that they’re hoping to get from me, but I don’t know anything about that.” She raised her hands in disgust. “My superiors are expecting a full report today too. Do I tell them about this?” She waved her hand at the bug. “This will raise the roof, if they think their team is in any danger.”

He frowned. “No suggestion on that but your position is one of respect and has a little more expectation of privacy, so, if people talk to you and want that privacy, … they would do that here.”

“Maybe.” She stared at him. “However, it’s not as if anybody here will talk to me about crimes. I’m the doctor. I’m, … you know, fixing coughs and scrapes and burns now.”

“How badly were they hurt?” he asked, turning to look at the two men asleep on the two hospital beds.

She nodded grimly. “One’s got a good-size burn on his arm. He’s shipping out as soon as I can arrange it. So, right now, I’m just managing his and the second man’s pain. Not a whole lot of treatment that anybody can do for burns here. I’m definitely not equipped for it and trying could do far more harm than good.” She glanced back where the one patient was in a drugged stupor. “I’m hoping to get them both out today.”

“That would be good,” Magnus agreed, with a nod. “It would also mean that they could get supplies in.”

She nodded. “That also would be good.”

“Are you leaving with them?”

She turned and frowned at him. “It’s always an option I have, but no.” She shook her head. “I am the only doctor, so to leave would mean the people here would have no one. I’m not sure how quickly I could be replaced.”

“Yet there’s a nurse?” he confirmed questioningly.

“Sure, but she’s not a doctor. So, if some emergency operation or major issues popped up, … she’s not qualified for that.”

“What kind of emergency operation are you thinking?”

She looked at him, shrugged, and explained, “The last time I was in a similar situation, I had to do an emergency appendectomy.” He winced at that, and she nodded. “That’s the thing. You don’t know what will happen from one minute to the next. I can take X-Rays, splint broken bones, and quite a bit more,” she added, with spirit. “Plus, I signed on for the duration.”

“Which was what?”

“Twelve weeks, and then they would rotate me out with another doctor. If they can get one in.”

“And you’ve done how many weeks so far?”

“Two and a half. No, just over three, I guess.” Looking at the desk calendar, she nodded. “Almost three. You lose track of time in here.”

“So just under nine more to go.” She nodded. “Nine more to go. Unless they shut down early. Or …” She stared up at the light. “If they feel they need to extend it. I just don’t have a clue why anything I’m doing is of interest to somebody else.”

“I don’t either, but you need to be extra careful.”
Dale Mayer. Magnus (Kindle Locations 763-711). Valley Publishing Ltd..

There’s also a lot of gossip that revolves around the women here. According to her nurse Joy, Sydney has managed to get a reputation of being standoffish since she doesn’t fraternize with anyone.

All of this and there’s so much more going on in the background as we meet people, investigate the missing drugs and look for missing men.

Not a lot of action, but more than enough intrigue and plenty of suspense as well as a surprise or two. There’s also the friendship that turns romantic with Magnus and Sydney.

I really can’t wait for the next book in this series!

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Coming Soon!
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Dale Mayer

Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).

She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!

To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.

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