Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Book Tour & Giveaway ~ A Venomous Love - The Bloodstone Series by Chris Karlsen

Book 3 of the Bloodstone Series
Historical Suspense/Thriller
Date Published: February 28, 2020
Publisher:  Books to Go Now

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The killer whispered-“A pretty damsel...worth a pretty risk.”

A veteran, Detective Rudyard Bloodstone has fought a brutal battle and
witnessed war horrors that haunt his nightmares. Now one of those horrors
has followed him home from Africa.
A vicious predator, the Cape cobra, can kill a man in thirty minutes. A
suspect using the snake as a weapon in robberies is terrorizing
When the crimes escalate into murder, a victim’s daughter, Honoria
Underhill, becomes the focus of the killer. After several attempts on her
life, Scotland Yard threatens to take over the high profile case. With few
leads to follow, Bloodstone and his partner must now fight department
politics and catch the killer before Underhill becomes another murder


On the other side of the yard and several strides from where he hid was the dog’s grave with the statue. It was next to another hedgerow not far from a brick icehouse positioned off the alley. The ice storage house offered a full view of the townhome’s backdoor, which he assumed led to the kitchen. He’d have preferred to set up by the icehouse but he’d be in direct line with the door and exposed. Anyone exiting the kitchen would see him immediately.
Kip slipped a hand into his satchel and stroked the cool neck skin of the snake. “Once we finish here, Lovey, we’ll have enough money to go to America. We’ll land in New York and continue on until we reach one of those dirty towns in the west. That’s where we’ll settle. I’ve seen pictures of those cattlemen types. Compared to rough-faced cowboys and savage Indians, my face will offend far fewer.”
The snake began to uncoil.
“No, no, not yet, she’s not come out.” He gripped Delilah behind her head and pressed he hand against her body so she couldn’t uncoil.
Shadows passed by the kitchen curtains. Voices and the sounds of pans being put to use traveled to where Kip hid. The smell of fresh baked bread hit him so hard he thought the occupants of the house would surely hear his growling stomach.
More minutes went by and the gloves he retrieved from Underhill couldn’t keep the cold damp of the morning from chilling his fingers. “Come on, hurry it up...stupid cow of a woman.”
He’d just got the words out when the door opened. Kip shrank down even though the light from the house hadn’t touched on him. He blinked away the brief blinding from the light. The door closed but he’d seen that the chapel woman had exited. She wore dark clothing, which made her hard to track in the grey morning light. He managed to follow her vague image as she headed toward the grave.
Kip reached into the satchel and pulled Delilah out. He kept a firm grasp around her neck and eased from his hiding spot. He ran on the balls of his feet and caught up with the woman, grabbed her from behind and covered her mouth with his free hand. She tried to scream but he choked off most of the sound. He stole a glance in the direction of the door but no one came.
Kip tried to bring the small-framed woman to the ground where he’d let Delilah have a deep strike. Underhill’s sister fought him with surprising strength, wrestling with his awkward hold on her. She pulled at his hand and bashed at him with her arms and pounded on him with her fists. He couldn’t bring her down and they staggered together like drunken dancers. Delilah writhed and hissed, her hood fanning out. She only knew to defend herself amidst the activity with no ability to grasp who was her friend.
Underhill brought the heel of her shoe down hard on top of Kip’s foot. He bent in pain and almost dropped Delilah. Worse, he caught an elbow in the eye when he bent and momentarily loosened his hold. “Wicked bitch!”
She spun and kicked him harder in the shin before she screamed for help and ran toward the house.
He was running past the icehouse when the backdoor opened. Kip shot a quick look over his shoulder. He only had clear vision in the eye that hadn’t taken the elbow. With his good eye, he saw a man run out and the glint of a butcher knife in his hand.
“Bloody hell!” Kip gasped and beat a path down the cobblestone alley.
He held tight to Delilah. He hadn’t had time to put her away. Ignoring the pain in his foot, he ran faster than he ever had in his life. The poor sweetie swung back and forth with each jarring step. Kip feared the rapid motion might injure her but there was no time to protect her. Finally, when he reached the mouth of the alley he ventured a glance over his shoulder. The man with the knife was slowing. Kip turned left and instead of dashing across the road, which he figured the man would expect of him, he turned left again at the next alley. He hid in the first dark doorway. A moment later he heard heavy footsteps on the cobblestones and someone breathing hard. The man crossed the street, his steps echoed on the stone as he ran down the opposite alley.
Delilah retracted her hood. Relieved she’d survived, Kip secreted her in the bag. He stayed hidden in the doorway until he heard the same hard—breathing person return to his side of the street. The man didn’t keep going as Kip expected. Instead he heard the labored breathing come his way. His heart pounded in his chest, he held his breath for fear it would be heard.
The man started in Kip’s direction. With as little movement as possible, Kip set the satchel down. He had to be ready to fight for his life. If the man injured him badly enough to hold him for the police, Kip would wind up on the end of a hangman’s rope. He’d seen men hang. An evil sight it was, too. They pissed themselves as they twisted in the wind, the crowds jeering at the wretch. Some threw rotted fruit. He’d stick his hand in Delilah’s mouth first. Her venomous kiss would spare him a worse fate.
Ever so slowly, Kip let his breath out. The man was just a few yards away. The top of his shadow from the streetlamp was even with the doorway. Kip braced. Then the man turned and walked back toward the street.
Kip counted to fifty and quietly moved out of the doorway. He walked as lightly as possible and tiptoed to the mouth of the alley behind the Underhill house. In the better morning light he saw the man who’d chased him enter the backyard.
“That was a close one, Lovey. Our employer will be beyond angry. I’ll have to be especially convincing to give us another chance. If he doesn’t, I have a plan. I’ll get our money for America one way or another.”

About the Author

I was raised in Chicago. My father, a history professor, and my mother, a
voracious reader passed on a love of history and books along with a love of
I am a retired police detective. After twenty-five years in law enforcement
I decided to pursue my dream of writing. I write a historical-time travel
romance series called Knights in Time and a historical suspense called The
Bloodstone Series.
I am also working on a world war two series of novella romances. The first
is Moonlight Serenade and currently available. The second is my work in
progress at the moment and will be titled, The Ack-Ack Girl.

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  1. I want to thank Teatime and Books for this opportunity to feature my latest release.
    Chris Karlsen

    1. You are most welcome! Such and delight having you on Teatime and Books!

  2. I appreciate getting to read about your book. With sisters and daughters who love to read, this helps so thank you.