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Chasing Favors by Mark Love is a Best Books '23 pick #mystery #bestbooks #giveaway



Title: Chasing Favors

 

Author: Mark Love

 

Genre: Mystery

 

Book Blurb: 

 

Doing a favor for an old friend. What could possibly go wrong??

 

It was supposed to be one simple favor. Randy was the nice, charming guy who drew Jamie into a steamy romance, two years ago, during her vacation. Now he’s in town, nudging her curiosity with the request for some help. What could possibly go wrong?

 

Jamie’s skills as an investigative reporter made for a smooth transition to writing mysteries. And Randy’s request seemed harmless enough. Doing a favor for a friend is really no big deal. But things are rarely as they appear when Jamie starts digging. When she uncovers the answers for Randy, she’s faced with another request for a favor. Who knew she could be so popular? Now Jamie’s spending her time, chasing after favors.

 

While researching Randy’s situation, Jamie stumbles upon something that doesn’t seem quite right. Most people would just ignore it. Or chalk it up to a coincidence. But Jamie’s never been a believer in those. Sensing there is something more going on in the background, Jamie becomes determined to figure it out. And if she’s right, she intends on stopping the bad guys in their tracks.

 

Excerpt:

 

“You’re telling us that this part of your story?” I asked.

 

          “Yeah. This is background. We’ve been so busy, what with my job and hers, that we’ve sort of overlooked a few things.” Randy’s face took on a sheepish expression. “And a few people. Like my mom. She lives back on this side of the state, over in West Bloomfield.”

 

          “You forgot your mom?” I asked, a note of incredulity slipping in. “What kind of a son are you?”

 

          “I didn’t forget her! I just couldn’t visit her as often as in the past.”

          Linda made a disapproving clucking sound with her tongue against her teeth. “You’re a sorry excuse for a son. Ignoring your own dear mother. After all she went through, giving birth to you and everything.”

 

          “I wasn’t ignoring her. Geez, I forgot what it was like with the two of you. You can pummel a guy like a tag team in a wrestling match.”

 

          Linda reached over and patted his arm. “Relax. We’re just teasing you. Go on with your story.”

 

          Randy explained that his mom had met Liz and Gracie several times and loved them both. She was delighted that he was getting married ‘at long last’ and that she would already have a granddaughter to spoil.  In the last three months, every time Randy tried to plan a visit with her, she would give him a reason why she wasn’t available. But something didn’t feel right. 

 

          “Mom has been on her own for a long time now,” Randy said. 

         

          “But you think she’s avoiding you? That’s your story?” I asked.

 

          “There’s more to it,” Randy said. “Just give me a chance.”

 

          “Patience has never been one of Jamie’s strengths,” Linda said with a smirk.

 

          Ignoring her, I folded my arms and leaned back. I can be patient. Sometimes. Randy caught the look on her face, took a breath and continued the tale.

 

          “I surprised her two weeks ago on Saturday. Didn’t call. Just got in the car at five in the morning and started driving. Got to the house a little before eight, rang the bell and banged on the door.  But nothing prepared me for what happened when the door opened.”

 

          Randy drained the rest of his coffee. “It was a guy. He was wearing pajamas and a robe. Mom showed up right behind him. When I came in, he scurried down the hall and went into her bedroom. Her. Bedroom!”

 

          “Holy shit,” Linda gasped.

 

          “Exactly. The fact that she hadn’t told me about him made me wonder what was going on,” he said quietly. “It’s been eighteen years. She was forty when Dad passed away. I didn’t expect her to wrap herself in the shawl of widowhood and never get involved with another guy. But she could have told me. I would have understood.  It was more upsetting that she’d been dodging me for three months than the fact that she’s met someone.”  

 

          “Do you want to tell us more?” I asked softly.

 

          Randy nodded. “His name is Nicholas Bellamy.”

 

          “How did the rest of that morning go?” I asked.

 

          Randy started to laugh. “It felt like I was the parent and caught them sneaking in after curfew.  Or making out on the family room sofa. They got dressed and we went out to breakfast at one of our old favorite haunts. Mom kept blushing. Bellamy was very attentive.  Asked me all the right questions. I can’t explain why, but something about him set my nerves on edge.” Randy gave us a reluctant shrug. “Maybe it’s all perfectly innocent. Do you think I’m overreacting?”

 

          “Nobody wants to see their parents get hurt. Especially when she’s been on her own for such a long time,” Linda said.

 

          “So, what is it you were hoping for here?” I asked. “Why do I get the feeling you were thinking this little family drama would trigger my interests?”

 

          Randy covered his mouth. His eyes widened and he had difficulty looking at me. Busted!

 

          “You cute little shit!” Linda said with a laugh. “You figured this would get her spider senses going and she’d want to get to the bottom of this!”

 

          Randy knew curiosity ran thickly through my veins. Digging for information, whether through research or interviews, is part of what made me so good at my job as an investigative reporter. But I wasn’t going to let him off the hook. I rested my chin on my hands.

 

          Randy cleared his throat. His eyes went to Linda, then shifted to me. Now he turned serious. “It’s my mom.  Beyond Liz and Gracie, she’s the most important person in my life. I just don’t want her to have her heart broken or get swindled by some guy.  I want her to be happy.”

 

          “What if she’s in love with Bellamy?” I asked.

 

          He swallowed hard but didn’t answer.

 

          “What if he feels that way about her?” Linda asked quietly.

 

          Still no response.

 

          Linda turned her head to look right at me. I shifted my gaze in her direction. Linda’s expression was empathetic. Randy wasn’t just some stranger we’d bumped into. He was a guy from my past. A guy I liked. Could I blame him for being concerned about his own mother?

 

          “I’m not a cop or a private detective. What exactly do you expect me to do?”

 

          “I don’t know!” Randy’s face showed his exasperation. “It was a stupid idea. Just talking about this with the two of you has convinced me. I’m an idiot!”

 

          I reached across and grabbed his hand. “No, you’re not. You’re a son who is concerned about his mother. There’s nothing idiotic about that. Stop beating yourself up.”

 

          “What if I’m making something out of nothing?” he mumbled.

 

          “Then taking a closer look at this guy will give you peace of mind,” Linda said. “And that’s better than worrying about her.”

 

          “I don’t even know where to start,” Randy said.

 

          I squeezed his hand. “Just leave that to me.”  

 

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


What makes your featured book a must-read?  

 

Everyone knows someone like Jamie. She’s intelligent, creative, loyal to her friends, a hard worker and a bit romantic.  Her adventures (this is the fifth book in the series, but each is a standalone story) are often complicated but as a stubborn redhead, Jamie is determined to find the answers. There are several subplots brewing here.  Readers can relate to the complexity of her life.

 

Giveaway –

 

Enter to win a $45 Amazon gift card:

 

 

Open Internationally.

 

Runs December 18 – December 31, 2023.


Winner will be drawn on January 2, 2024.



Author Biography:

 

Mark Love lived for many years in the metropolitan Detroit area, where crime and corruption are always prevalent. A former freelance reporter, Love honed his writing skills covering features and hard news. He is the author of the Jamie Richmond romance mysteries, Devious, Vanishing Act, Fleeing Beauty, and his latest release, Chasing Favors, along with the novella Stealing Haven. His short story, Don’t Mess with the Gods, was written with Elle Nina Castle and included in the Magic & Mischief anthology.  Love also writes the Jefferson Chene mystery series, WHY 319?  Your Turn to Die and The Wayward Path.

 

Love resides in west Michigan with his wife, Kim. He enjoys a wide variety of music, books, travel, cooking and exploring the great outdoors.

 

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