Authors Showcase features the mystery of Laura Elvebak and romance of Amy Noelle.

The Book: Less Dead

The Author: Laura Elvebak

LESS DEAD eBookThe Story: When a homeless teenage girl wakes up in Houston’s Tranquility Park next to a murdered city councilman and then disappears, Homicide Investigator Luis Perez turns to his ex-partner Niki Alexander.

Now a counselor with a teen shelter, she may be his only hope in locating the girl. Three years earlier Niki quit the Houston Police Department after a fatal shooting involving a teenage boy. Haunted by the memory and the guilt, she is driven to help troubled teens who have run away or been abandoned.

Soon she suspects that the missing teen is a street girl she knows as Jade. Niki fears there is more of a connection between Jade and the murdered man than was initially apparent. Niki’s search takes her among homeless teens, and into predominantly male gay bars, where dangerous secrets are revealed. She soon realizes she isn’t the only one desperate to find the girl. The closer she gets to the truth, the more her own life is at risk.

About the Author: After being a waitress, a go-go dancer, legal assistant and executive secretary, and lusted after and loved six husbands then ran from all, I am devoting the rest of my time on earth to writing about murder – the perpetrators, the victims, and the people who seek justice. I’ve been practicing that art for many years and, with a lifetime of experiences behind me, including living, loving and writing in such varied states as California, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, I believe I have developed some insight into people and motivations.

I write the Niki Alexander mysteries, Less Dead and Lost Witness, and my short stories have appeared in four anthologies. I studied my craft at UCLA, USC, Rice University, and Beyond Baroque in Venice, California. As a playwright I co-wrote, directed and acted in a one-act play in Houston. As a screenwriter, I optioned three screenplays to a local production company, and co-wrote a script for the 48 Hour Film Project.

My passion is writing mysteries. I’m a full time writer, with active memberships in Mystery Writers of America, Sisters-In-Crime, The International Thriller Writers, and The Final Twist Writers. You can find my books at Amazon, iTunes, and Audible, and bookstores everywhere.

Review by Midwest Book Review: After shooting a teenager in self-defense, homicide investigator Niki Alexander quits the force and turns to counseling at a teen shelter. Although Niki works hard to help runaway teens, she is haunted by guilt over the shooting. Abandoned by her father several months earlier, Jessica Keeling lives on the street, going by the name of Jade.

When she wakes up next to a dead man, Jade panics and flees the scene, only to disappear. Jade’s friend Rube, convinced Jade isn’t running from the police but that someone has taken her, implores Niki to help him find her. Niki’s former partner, Luis Perez, searching for the young woman seen running away from the dead man, teams up with Niki to try to find Jade. Their investigation uncovers crimes of a more serious nature: the mutilated bodies of missing teen girls.

Elvebak delivers a gritty mystery focusing on the sad and traumatic lives of runaway teens. Plenty of red herrings are offered along with a suspenseful plot and realistic characters. Elvebak’s credible dialogue enhances the story, which moves at a fast pace. Visual imagery is at times graphic, although essential to this well-written thriller.

The Book: Code Red

The Author: Amy Noelle

code_redThe Story: After getting hurt in college by a gorgeous man, Nicole Magette vowed never to risk losing her heart again. Now she lives a structured and satisfying life. Her work is easy, her friends are her family, and the only consistent men in her life are her two cats, Winchester and Huntington Peabody the Third. She doesn’t date, and she hooks up only with losers—men she has absolutely no risk of falling for. But if she finds herself in danger, she has her old failsafe in place—the Code Red.

In college, she and her four best friends came up with the system as a way to keep away the good-looking bastards that might worm their way past their carefully constructed walls. Seven years later, three of her friends have succumbed to their last Code Reds and are happily married. Now it’s just Nicole and her closest friend, Jen, who are still on their own, and Nic is just fine with that.

That is, until Joshua Daniels is transferred to Nicole’s office from New York and assigned to work with her on a special project. He’s everything she’s avoided and everything she claims she doesn’t want, so why can’t she get him out of her mind? He’s persistent, dangerously handsome, and sexy as sin. In other words, he’s her worst nightmare. She turns to her friends to help her resist Josh’s considerable charms and the inescapable draw she feels every time she gets near him. Can the Code Red save her this time, or will Josh send her perfectly balanced life into chaos?

About the Author: Amy Noelle is a thirty-something single woman with two cats, Lily and Logan. Though she contends that she is not a crazy cat lady, she freely admits to being a crazy football fan. You can find her glued to the couch every fall weekend, cheering on her Seminoles and Buccaneers.

After attending Florida State University for two years, she transferred to Northern Illinois University and graduated in 1997 with degrees in Journalism and Political Science.

Praise for Code Red:  “The whole dynamic of this book is awesome between the relationship Nicole has with her girlfriends and the relationship with Josh this story is a winner.. Seriously funny, witty and incredibly sexy. I was entertained so much I laughed out loud so many times it was refreshing”  – Melissa – Just One Opinion Blog

“I think I liked this book so much becuase it reminded me of something me and my friends would do.  I totally identify with Nicole, like in we were seperated at birth, except for the cats.” – www.armywifemb.blogspot.com

“First of all, I think that the “Code Red” idea was very imaginative and the author did a great job of showing how past betrayals can influence us and our decisions for a long time. The romance develops at a nice pace even though the attraction is there from the get-go.  The characters are well developed and engaging.” – Cami – My Addiction is Reading Blog

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