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Tuesday 11 August 2015

☀ A Killing Among Friends - Toni Morrow Wyatt

Thank you for joining us on the Virtual Book Tour for A Killing Among Friends, a Young Adult Thriller by (, Limitless Publishing LLC, 215 pages).

PREVIEW: Read the first three chapters with Amazon Look Inside.  Read A Killing Among Friends FREE with Kindle Owner's Lending Library.

Below you will find the book's synopsis, and three teasers to give you a taste of this title: the opening excerpt, an article from the Mayrose Weekly News, and an entry from Sennie's diary.

We also have two giveaways for you:
* Readers of OUR blog, you can win a FREE e-book copy of the newly released A Killing Among Friends, in your preferred format.
* Author Toni Morrow Wyatt will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

Synopsis | Teasers | About the Author | Giveaways


Sennie Lacefield has always felt safe at her family’s peaceful mountain lodge...

The only break in her tranquil life was the death of her boyfriend Patrick Devon, which left her heartbroken and unable to understand Patrick’s sullen, withdrawn brother Lonnie. But when her best friend Reatha Alcoker disappears, her sense of security is shattered. With the help of Reatha’s boyfriend Milo Durham, she launches a search for her friend.

More girls disappear, and bodies begin turning up...

When one of the missing girls is found dead in a swamp with a symbol burned into her forehead, Sennie focuses on her growing list of suspects. She can’t count on help from the lazy, lecherous Sheriff Warford Cackley. She also has suspicions the sheriff’s son Rex and his nasty friend Ottis know more than they’re willing to share.

Someone is watching Sennie’s every move...

Refusing to believe Reatha is dead, Sennie and Milo continue their frantic search, and Sennie is plagued with threatening messages. When another girl’s body is discovered, she and Milo visit the site and find evidence that Reatha has also been there. Some aerial photographs might hold a vital clue . . . if they can find them in time.

As Sennie unravels a tangled web of secrets, arson, burglary, and murder, could it be that a desire to help Sennie has warped the mind of a murderer?


Excerpt | News Report | Sennie’s Diary |


Chapter One

The truck’s engine echoes through the trees. A body wrapped in a tarp shifts and bounces with every pothole and rut. The person inside struggles to escape, while a glistening stain of red spreads rapidly through the stiff material.

Getting to Craneneck Slough the back way is like driving through a jungle. There is no time to open the Lacefields’ gate. It is out of the question. With little time to spare, the truck rams through the fence, sending debris flying through the air.

Why doesn’t she cooperate? I didn’t plan for it to end this way. She put up a fight. She didn’t listen to me. I’ve got to finish this before nightfall. I’ve only got one more chance to put my plan into motion. Luckily, this is just a practice run.

After parking the truck, lowering the tailgate, and studying the surroundings for any sign of intruders, the wriggling body is yanked by the ankles and pulled to the ground with a sickening thud. Looking around, a fist-sized rock comes into view. Picking it up and feeling the weight of it, it feels good, just the right size. With an impassioned effort, it slams down on the girl’s head. The squirming slows and then finally stops. Unfastening the ropes, the body is rolled out onto the ground. Taking her beneath the arms, the slow trudge toward the marshy waters takes more time than can be wasted. As the body hits the water, she comes to life again, lashing out with what is left of her strength. Her claw-like fingers grab the front of a belt. It comes loose and is pulled with her to her watery death.

When the bubbles stop rippling to the surface, the body is released. A large boulder is carried to where she has surfaced and is placed on her stomach, sinking her into the blood-tinged depths. Her opened eyes stare at the sky, disappearing beneath the muddied waters until she sees no more. Reaching into the murky water, searching for the belt, blood and mud stained hands come up empty.

News Report

Mayrose Weekly News
Harland Chives – Editor

This edition of the Weekly News is coming to you from Craneneck Slough.

In an exclusive interview with Enso Norder and Duane Paxton, we were able to gather more details about the apparent murder of Mayrose resident, Sue Stimes.

Harland: Enso, let’s start with you. Tell us about finding Sue Stimes.

Enso: Bad news sure does travel fast. Seems like everyone wants to know about what happened down at Craneneck Slough. Just the other night a bunch of us were down by the river, and Sennie Lacefield and Milo Durham were asking us a bunch of questions about the same thing.

Harland: Is that right?

Duane: Sure did. It’s just like we told them. Enso and I were giggling for bullfrogs. Did you know that some of them are as big as cats?

Enso: Yeah, Duane and I weren’t having much luck. We were wearing a couple of those flashlight helmets to cut through the darkness. All of a sudden, there was Sue floating lifeless. She was face down at the time. It gave me the creeps.

 Harland: What did you do?

Duane: We got the heck out of there. We went to get Sheriff Cackley, who, by the way, was none too happy about having to go out to the swamp that late at night. “Couldn’t this wait until morning, boys?” he asked.

Enso: When we got there, Sheriff Cackley never got out of the truck. It was Deputy Clyde Johnson who helped us pull her out of the water. We felt real bad when we saw it was Sue. She was always real nice to us.

Harland: What happened next?

Duane: Well, Deputy Clyde wrapped Sue up in a tarp, and we put her in the back of the truck. Sheriff Cackley made us ride in the back with her. You know, he just sat there drinking a cup of coffee and listening to KARK radio as if there hadn’t been a murder.

Harland: What makes you think it was murder?

Enso: Oh, there was no doubt about it. She had bruises and cuts. It looked like Sue had put up one heck of a fight. The worst part was how her head was caved in. Looked like someone hit her real hard.

Harland: Let’s go back to what you mentioned about Sennie Lacefield and Milo Durham asking you questions. Why do you think that is?

Duane: That’s real easy. Everyone knows Sennie and Reatha Alcoker are best friends. Since Reatha went missing on the 4th of July from the Lacefield Mountain Lodge, Sennie’s been investigating all over Mayrose trying to find out who is behind it.

Enso: As for Milo, everybody knows he and Reatha are together. I’ve seen them flirting with each other when they thought no one was watching. I guess they think the person responsible for what happened to Sue might be behind Reatha’s disappearance.

Breaking News
Missing: Reatha Alcoker

Photo Courtesy of
The granddaughter of Pearleen and Oldfield Alcoker is missing. If you have any information, please contact Sheriff Warford Cackley or Deputy Clyde Johnson.

Sixteen-year-old Reatha Alcoker was last seen at the Lacefield Mountain Lodge during the 4th of July fireworks. According to witnesses, the youth went into the lodge to use the facilities and never returned.

Sennie’s Diary

Dear Diary,

Photo Courtesy of
My name is Sennie Lacefield.  My family owns the Lacefield Mountain Lodge.

My favorite place is the swing on the front porch.  It’s the only place where I can have time to myself. Time to think.

I need that time, especially since my best friend, Reatha Alcoker disappeared.

One minute we were watching fireworks, and the next minute she was gone.

Another girl went missing.  Two boys found her floating in Craneneck Slough, a swampy, snake infested area.

I didn’t want to believe it.  Why would anyone want to kill someone as sweet as Sue Stimes?

What does this mean for Reatha?

Milo Durham called me.  He is Reatha’s boyfriend.  He wants to team up, track down the person who took Reatha, and bring her home.

There is nothing I want more.

I’ve searched the town of Mayrose.  I made a list of suspects.  If Reatha is still alive, we WILL find her.

There are some people that I don’t trust . . . could never trust.

#1 is Rex Cackley.  His father is the sheriff of Mayrose, making him think that he is above the law.

I’d love to wipe that smirky grin off his face.

His best friend is Ottis Ferris.  That boy is so disgusting.  He has a long face with rotten horse teeth.  He leers at me as if he could eat me alive.

I wouldn’t put anything past those two.

There are others that I don’t trust.

#2 Sheriff Cackley

He might be the sheriff, but he’s so lazy and uncaring that Sue’s death and Reatha’s disappearance were just a couple of inconveniences for him.

Whenever I meet him on the street, he licks his fat lips and practically drools.  No, Sheriff Cackley cannot be trusted.

There are others in town on the suspect list.

#3 Fred Heller

Fred and his wife run the café.  He’s got a temper, making him questionable.

#4 Dr. Phillips, the town dentist.

Anyone who enjoys yanking out people’s teeth as much as Dr. Phillips does has got a few screws loose.

#5 The three McKillips’ brothers

Gus, Ralph, and Kerry work at the gas station. Kerry is wild.  He flirts with all the girls.

#6 The Kaplans

They work at the lumberyard and spend their time whistling and shouting lewd things at the girls on the school tennis courts.

Any one of these people could have taken Reatha.

I miss her so much.

I’ve had too much loss in my life lately.  Patrick Devon, the boy I loved, was killed in a car accident while he was away at college.

His brother, Lonnie, has grown reclusive.  I tried to reach out to him, but we got into a fight at Patrick’s funeral, and he hasn’t really spoken to me since.

Miss Pearleen Alcoker, Reatha’s grandmother, and I have bonded over our loss.  She bakes me cookies, and we talk about Reatha.  We are never going to give up hope.

She even gave me the recipe of her famous Cocoa Chocolate cookies.

3 tablespoons Cocoa
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
2 ¼ cups flour
½ cup oatmeal – ground in a food processor
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 eggs
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup butter – softened
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Mix it together.  Bake at 350 degrees for 17 minutes.

When I find Reatha, we’ll bake a batch of these.

That day can’t come soon enough.

A Killing Among Friends - available NOW!

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About the Author

Late at night, the clicking of the typewriter often lulled Toni Morrow Wyatt to sleep. Her mother would sit at a window in her bedroom typing out stories until sleep overcame her.

This was how she got Toni interested in writing. Her stories wove themselves in and out of her daughter’s dreams. When Toni would awaken, her mother would give her the story and ask her to add to it. They wrote many stories and even began to work on various novels, as Toni grew older. Her mother not only shared her love of writing, she also shared her love of reading. Books, books, and more books. Toni can never get enough.

She spent many happy hours creating stories and songs. Throughout her school years, she concentrated her creative energy into singing for school plays, Master Choir, Keynotes (swing choir), and Great Expectations (a swing choir sponsored by a local park district).

But, she never forgot her love for weaving stories. After the death of her mother, Toni did not write for nearly three years. One day, she sat down at the computer and pulled up a file she had started working on in her late twenties. It was called, Return to Rocky Gap.

She finished that manuscript, found a publisher, and danced with joy the day she held it in her hands. It was bittersweet to know that she had done all of this alone, but she knew her mother was with her, encouraging her, and pushing her forward. Since then, she hasn’t stopped writing. She knows her mother is with her through every word, every paragraph, and every page along the way.

As a child, Toni’s family spent nearly every summer visiting relatives in a small, rural community in Arkansas. Finding magic in this place, it is the setting for many of her novels. Her love for southern fiction led to the writing of A Killing Among Friends, and also, Return to Rocky Gap. Her work has appeared in From the Depths Literary Journal and Belle Reve Literary Journal. She writes an eclectic blog titled, A Pinch of Me, on Tumblr. She was previously an independent bookseller, owning and operating Kindred Books for seven years.

Her love for reading takes her to places far and wide, which is something she will always strive to do for her readers.

She is happily married with two children.

Follow Toni Morrow Wyatt:

Visit the author's website Visit the author on Facebook Visit the author on Twitter Visit the author on Google+ Visit the author on their Amazon page Visit the author on GoodReads Visit the author on Tumblr


BooksChatter Giveaway

Enter to win one (1) ebook copy of A Killing Among Friends. Open internationally. The winner will be notified on 1 September, and must email us back by end of 5 September indicating their preferred ebook format (epub, kindle or pdf). The prize will be sent out after September 8th.
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Tour-wide Giveaway

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Ben said...

Like the sound of this book and the cover grabs my attention!

Unknown said...

Thank you for the giveaway