New Release + Release Blitz + Excerpt: A Moonlit Serenade by Alexa Padgett

A MOONLIT SERENADE by Alexa Padgett is available now – don’t miss getting your hands on this sexy contemporary romance!

 

About A MOONLIT SERENADE

The sound he can’t forget

He fell in love with her voice first. But trying to recruit mysterious girl-next-door music teacher, Ryn Hudson, to work on an album together is proving harder than Jake Etsam imagined. She’s prickly, defensive, wounded, and stubborn. And he’s in danger of falling in love with the rest of her, too…

The hope she can’t deny

Ryn has had her share of heartache, and she’s not eager to risk a silly crush on an arrogant, unavailable rock star. Jake’s band is one of the hottest acts in the world, and for a woman who’s already lost it all, celebrity drama holds no appeal. But the man himself is harder to turn away…

The chance they can’t resist

As the holiday season takes over chilly Seattle, Jake and Ryn see that something between them glows warmer than twinkle lights. But even if they can stop their doubts, close their eyes, and believe in magic, the pressures of his fame and her past can’t just be wished away… Perfect for fans of the Kendall Ryan, Carly Phillips, and A. L. Jackson, A Moonlit Serenade and the rest of the Seattle Sound Series take readers on an emotional, sexy journey of hot men and their feisty women who are transformed by courage, self-sacrifice, and love.

Get your hands on A MOONLIT SERENADE:

✦Amazon https://amzn.to/2JLpCxb
✦Apple Books https://apple.co/2Dg36w3
✦B&N http://bit.ly/2DikIr6
✦Google Play http://bit.ly/2JyaHGw
✦Kobo http://bit.ly/2Dg3dHZ

 

Read an excerpt of A MOONLIT SERENADE

Jake took the glass from my hand. Probably a good thing based on how much it was shaking. Rounding the counter, he cupped my cheeks in those big, callused hands, tilting my head back to meet his eyes through those delectable brown frames.

“I like you, Ryn.” He paused a long beat, studying my face. “I haven’t said that to a woman in a long time.”

My diaphragm stuttered.

“When I stopped in that first time, I knew I wanted to work with you. Now, after lunch, after seeing what you do, I’m compelled to get to know you. Maybe…maybe more. If you’re ready.” He paused again. His hands shook against my cheeks. “Can you live with that?”

“I-I…yes.” My voice was breathy, so unlike me.

“As you make dinner, will you tell me more about you?”

“Yes.”

“And—maybe—if we agree to it later, will you let me kiss you good night?”

My cheeks were so warm, they had to be burning Jake’s palms. The heat crept down my neck, over my chest. “Yes.” The word was barely audible. My stomach rolled as my thighs clenched. Jake, taking charge of the situation, made me burn. He waited a beat while I tried to regulate my breathing. I didn’t, and the ache between my legs grew.

“Is there anything else you’d like to add?”

My gaze dropped to his mouth, flicked back up to his eyes, which gleamed behind those sexy-as-sin frames. Dropped to his lips again. He held his breath, waiting to see what I’d do next. “Yes.”

“What’s that?” Now his voice was raspy. That meant desire, right? Before I could chicken out, I leaned up onto the balls of my feet and pressed my lips to his—just as I’d fantasized since he walked into my classroom a few days ago.

His lips were softer than I expected. Firm. I dragged my tongue across the bottom one, shocked by how different the texture was from my own. He gathered me closer, one hand sliding to my lower back and clasping my hip as if he couldn’t stand any space between us. I settled against his chest, one of his thighs between mine, his lips still pressed to mine.

He dropped his hand farther and cupped my bottom, pressing me tighter to his thigh. He pulled back and hissed a curse. I continued to grip his shirt, unsteady on my feet, as I reached up and touched my lips. They were plump, slick. Tingling with need.

“I didn’t expect that.” His voice was rougher, his muscles taut—with need?

My limited experience with men frustrated me now. I wanted Jake to want me with the same desperation I wanted him, but I wasn’t sure that was possible. Or plausible. Releasing his shirt, I stepped back. “Me to kiss you?”

He stepped closer, caging me between the counter and his thick arms. “Yes.”

“I—it’s the glasses,” I whispered.

He chuckled. “Well, if I’d known that, I would have started wearing them on stage.”

My face crumpled at his words. I didn’t want to think of other women kissing him, loving him. Oh, that hurt.

“Hey, come back.”

I shook my head, embarrassment lighting my body up hotter than a blow torch.

“I didn’t mean to…you scrambled my brains with that kiss. That was one of the hottest moments on my life.”

I blinked up at him. “You thought that was hot?”

He pressed closer, his thighs bracketing me. “Yeah.”

“Oh.” My hands drifted from his hips, over his waist, sliding up, up to his chest. He was so muscular. I liked his size because he remained gentle, careful.

Fine. I liked Jake Etsam. A lot.

“May I kiss you again?”

I sucked in a shuddering breath before I managed to nod.

Liking Jake wouldn’t end well. Which meant I’d just signed my own ticket for a broken heart.

 

About Alexa Padgett

With a degree in international marketing and a varied career path that includes content management for a web firm, marketing direction for a high-profile sports agency, and a two-year stint with a renowned literary agency, award-winning author Alexa Padgett has returned to her first love: writing fiction.

Alexa spent a good part of her youth traveling. From Budapest to Belize, Calgary to Coober Pedy, she soaked in the myriad smells, sounds, and feels of these gorgeous places, wishing she could live in them all—at least for a while. And she does in her books.

She lives in New Mexico with her husband, children, and walk-loving Great Pyrenees pup, Ash. When not writing, schlepping, or volunteering, she can be found in her tiny kitchen, channeling her inner Barefoot Contessa.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

New Release + Blog Tour + Excerpt: A Heritage of Death by Alexa Padgett

About A HERITAGE OF DEATH

An unconventional woman. A brutal murder. To solve the case, one woman will look for help from beyond the grave…

Cici Gurule wants to pretend her dream is nothing more than a meaningless nightmare. But the bruised and bloodied woman looked alarmingly like her. When a baby turns up on her porch–a baby who was reported missing days before–evidence points to a connection with the woman in Cici’s dream, and she can no longer ignore the nighttime vision. Cici and Detective Sam Chastain struggle to follow the garbled evidence, but the killer scores his victim first. Worse, a message pinned to the victim’s blouse states, “You’re next.”

Now, it’s a race against the clock to keep the baby safe and find the murderer before his trail goes cold. Cici’s only chance to solve this mystery, before she becomes the next victim, means choosing between her faith and believing a message left by her ghostly twin.

A Heritage of Death is the second novel in a compelling female sleuth mystery series for fans of Ruth Ware and Gilly MacMillan. If you like convention-shattering heroines, vivid Southwest settings, and a touch of the paranormal, then you’ll love Alexa Padgett’s twisty mystery.

Buy A Heritage of Death and hold on tight for a white-knuckle thrill ride today!

Add A HERITAGE OF DEATH to your Goodreads list here!

Get your hands on A HERITAGE OF DEATH now!

✦Amazon https://amzn.to/2MbpviU
✦iBooks https://apple.co/2Ikhza1
✦Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2Ies0Ma
✦Kobo http://bit.ly/2IeyE4Z

 

EXCERPT:

“I get you’re pissed at me and at the system,” Sam said, his voice hardened with resolve. “That you think it’s unfair to separate the two of them. But I don’t know what to think yet. I’m heading up to Taos,” Sam said. “I’ll talk to Grace. That’s top priority.” Sam muttered to himself, like he was making a list. “I’ll need to talk to my counterparts, check into the family’s background, find friends to interview.”

 

“Which means you don’t believe what I told you. Not really.”

 

Sam blinked at her but didn’t answer, giving Cici the response that set her belly full of fire.

 

“You know what, do what you gotta do. But in the meantime, can we make sure Isabel’s with someone good over at CYFD?” Cici pleaded, understanding she wasn’t going to get more from Sam concerning Henry’s plight. “I just . . . she’s been through a lot and so has Henry.”

 

Sam dipped his head. “She’ll go to emergency foster. Unless they don’t have one, then it may be a staff member. They’ve all had their background checks.”

 

“Not good enough. I want someone watching her that cares about her, Sam. Already. Who has a stake.”

 

Sam clenched his jaw but he asked, “Who do you want me to talk to?”

 

Cici recognized this as an olive branch, and she appreciated the effort Sam chose to make with her. “Becky Gutierrez,” Cici said. “She’s always been on top of her work there.”

 

No, her reason for asking for Becky was much more personal: Cici didn’t think Sam would find her and this was her way to prove the point.

 

Sam tugged on his lip but he nodded. “You know I can’t do that. Becky knows Grace. Henry said so.”

 

Cici rolled her eyes as she exhaled. There were moments, like this, when being in a small city made everyone’s life harder. “But I asked you to find her. She’ll be able to help navigate the system and get Isabel into the best hands . . . after her father’s.”

 

“Cici—” Sam said, his voice dipping in warning.

 

Cici crossed her arms over her chest and glared up at Sam. “Isabel’s been through trauma, and whether you like hearing so or not, your stupid protocol is going to increase it.”

 

“I’ll see what I can do,” Sam muttered, his expression unhappy. “But you have to understand—again, this is for the child’s safety. If Becky and Grace are related, Becky won’t be able to oversee this case.” Sam raised his hand as if to ward off Cici’s next words. “Still, I’ll call her to give her a heads up. That’ll help establish a paper trail for Isabel. And, maybe, if Becky is as close to Grace Bruin as Henry said, we can get some insight into what happened last week.”

 

Cici unclenched her fists, but her anger didn’t abate. “If you find Becky.”

 

Sam opened his mouth, but Cici held up her hand. “Go investigate. Do your thing. I’ll do mine. But I want it on the record right now that I thoroughly and deeply oppose this decision.”

 

“All right. Just . . . be careful.” He raised his hand, palm out. He hesitated a moment, then said, “Call me when you leave here. I want to know where you go today.”

 

Cici tamped down her irritation with a struggle. “Why?”

 

Sam stepped away, pulling out his notebook. He would focus on the case and do what needed doing to ensure justice.

 

“Because I want you to be safe,” he muttered.

 

“Funny,” Cici snapped, arms crossed over her chest. “I want the same thing for that baby in there—the one whose safety you’re putting at risk.”

 

Sam grimaced. Cici rarely picked a fight and she felt bad taking out her spiking anger on him. Still, in this, he was wrong.

 

“I’m off to Taos to find out why Grace Bruin won’t return our calls.” He spun on his heel and strode down the corridor.

 

But Cici already knew—and so did Sam, the stubborn goat.

 

“Remember what the note said,” Cici called.

 

He glanced back and something lit in his eyes. “I’ll be careful. And I promise not to trust anyone.”

 

Cici frowned, wondering if he meant her.

 

Missed A PILGRIMAGE TO DEATH and want to catch up?

 

About A PILGRIMAGE TO DEATH (A Reverend Cici Gurule Mystery Book 1)

When Cici discovers a body in the forest, she’s shocked to realize the victim’s wounds are identical to the ones that killed her sister a year ago. Now she’s embroiled in the takedown of a massive criminal operation, and the stakes couldn’t be higher…

“A wholly absorbing gumshoe tale elevated by an extraordinary detective” (Kirkus Reviews starred review).

Someone murdered her sister. And shot her dog. The killer won’t stop until she’s dead, too.

Cici finds a dead body while hiking in the Santa Fe National Forest. The situation deteriorates when she discovers the victim bears similar stab wounds to those that ended her twin sister’s life a year ago.

Then, her identical twin sister infiltrates her dreams.

All of a sudden, Cici and her dogs must dodge arrows, bullets, and even a demon truck—all while she grapples with the knowledge that her sister was on the trail of a deep-rooted criminal operation. Worse, her twin’s death was much more sinister than a random act of violence.

Now, as she follows the clues her sister drops in her dreams, the criminals want Cici out of the way. Permanently.

A Pilgrimage to Death is a high-octane thriller. Fans of Ruth Ware, J.D. Robb, and Angela Marsons will love Alexa’s Padgett’s new edge-of-your-seat novel.

Add A PILGRIMAGE OF DEATH to your Goodreads list here!

Get your copy of A PILGRIMAGE OF DEATH now!

✦Amazon https://amzn.to/2KJ87fJ
✦iBooks https://apple.co/2ND0Pkb
✦Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2NEBKW0
✦Kobo http://bit.ly/2zsi9Q7

 

About Alexa Padgett

With a degree in international marketing and a varied career path that includes content management for a web firm, marketing direction for a high-profile sports agency, and a two-year stint with a renowned literary agency, award-winning author Alexa Padgett has returned to her first love: writing fiction.

Alexa spent a good part of her youth traveling. From Budapest to Belize, Calgary to Coober Pedy, she soaked in the myriad smells, sounds, and feels of these gorgeous places, wishing she could live in them all—at least for a while. And she does in her books.

She lives in New Mexico with her husband, children, and walk-loving Great Pyrenees pup, Ash. When not writing, schlepping, or volunteering, she can be found in her tiny kitchen, channeling her inner Barefoot Contessa.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

New Release + Release Blitz + Excerpt: A Heritage of Death by Alexa Padgett

A HERITAGE OF DEATH by Alexa Padgett is available now! Mystery/thriller readers do not want to miss getting their hands on this page-turning read! Find out more about A HERITAGE OF DEATH below and pick up your copy today!

About A HERITAGE OF DEATH

An unconventional woman. A brutal murder. To solve the case, one woman will look for help from beyond the grave…

Cici Gurule wants to pretend her dream is nothing more than a meaningless nightmare. But the bruised and bloodied woman looked alarmingly like her. When a baby turns up on her porch–a baby who was reported missing days before–evidence points to a connection with the woman in Cici’s dream, and she can no longer ignore the nighttime vision. Cici and Detective Sam Chastain struggle to follow the garbled evidence, but the killer scores his victim first. Worse, a message pinned to the victim’s blouse states, “You’re next.”

Now, it’s a race against the clock to keep the baby safe and find the murderer before his trail goes cold. Cici’s only chance to solve this mystery, before she becomes the next victim, means choosing between her faith and believing a message left by her ghostly twin.

A Heritage of Death is the second novel in a compelling female sleuth mystery series for fans of Ruth Ware and Gilly MacMillan. If you like convention-shattering heroines, vivid Southwest settings, and a touch of the paranormal, then you’ll love Alexa Padgett’s twisty mystery.

Buy A Heritage of Death and hold on tight for a white-knuckle thrill ride today!

Add A HERITAGE OF DEATH to your Goodreads list here!

Get your hands on A HERITAGE OF DEATH now!

✦Amazon https://amzn.to/2SaBs7X
✦iBooks https://apple.co/2Ikhza1
✦Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2Ies0Ma
✦Kobo http://bit.ly/2IeyE4Z

Read an Excerpt from A HERITAGE OF DEATH below:

Something in his voice, or his stare, caused Cici to feel flushed. “I wasn’t sure when you’d be by. I . . . um . . . I have more to tell you now.”

Sam stepped into the narrow galley space and squinted out Cici’s kitchen window. “Can I get a drink? Then you can tell me.”

Cici grabbed a pitcher of tea from the fridge and poured them each a glass, handing one to Sam. After a sip, she wrinkled her nose and pulled out the agave syrup, adding a thick dollop to her glass. Sam shook his head before she could offer him any.

“That’s nasty,” he muttered. “If you must drink it sweetened, why can’t you just add sugar?”

She swirled the liquid in her glass. “Because the sugar doesn’t dissolve as quickly as this stuff. That means the last few sips are straight-up sweet.”

Sam turned his focus back to the window, studying the sky. “Looks like rain.”

Cici peered out the window. “Meh. Those are hail clouds.”

Sam chuckled, easing some of the tension that had built in Cici’s neck. But her head still throbbed.

“You don’t know that,” Sam said. “Why do you even say that?”

“They’re all thick and gray, like snow clouds.” This conversation was inane. Any suggestions, Aci?

Of course, her sister was no help.

“Or rain,” Sam said. “Rain also needs thick, dark clouds.”

Cici crossed her arms over her chest. “We’ll see.” Thunder boomed—a low, harsh rumble—and Cici sighed. Sam smirked.

“But you’re not here to talk about my iced-tea drinking habit or the weather. Let me tell you about my dream. It may be nothing, but . . .” Cici shivered.

She settled her hip comfortably against the counter. “In my dream, there’s a missing woman. She has a baby with her.”

Sam stood to his full height, eyes widening. “I’ve not heard of a case like that.”

“Maybe it hasn’t happened yet,” Cici said. She shook her head. “I don’t know. I don’t remember the whole thing. Just the part where . . .” She grasped the glass in her hand more tightly, needing the anchor, the reality, so she didn’t slip back into that awful place again.

“She’s been hurt by her captor. She has a friend . . . Becky. Becky shows up. Says something about . . .” Cici racked her brain. She’d lost it—that detail. It was important, too. “I don’t know. But Becky takes the baby.”

“And leaves the woman—the mom?”

Cici nodded. “She’s chained to the wall or floor. Something.”

Sam smacked his hands together. “Hold up. You saw this in your dream last night?”

Cici nodded. “And tonight. While I was walking the dogs.”

Sam sucked his lower lip into his mouth, considering her for a long moment, before asking, “Has that ever happened before?”

Cici shook her head. “I didn’t like it.” She rubbed her hands up and down her arms. “It scared me.”

“I can tell.” Sam took a step, like he meant to get closer but he stopped. “I haven’t been brought in on a murder case since . . .”

Cici inhaled sharply through her nose. Since Cici had nearly died on top of a mountain.

And Sam had kissed her.

Then ignored her.

Sam cleared his throat. He grabbed a pad from his rear pocket. His pencil was missing from the spiral top, so Cici opened the drawer by her hip and offered him a pen. He nodded his thanks, careful not to touch her fingers.

“You think these dreams or nightmares or whatever you want to call them are from your sister?”

Cici hesitated for a moment. “Yes. She talks to me at the beginning. Not much. Just that I need to see this, understand the situation. That kind of thing.”

Sam tapped his pen on the pad, his mouth twisting in a grimace of doubt. Still, he’d been there when her sister appeared in the aspens on the top of that hiking trail. Aci had communicated with him, too, so he wasn’t willing to totally discount her recounting as grief or crazed imaginings. Yet.

“Tell me everything you remember,” Sam said, turning on his no-nonsense detective mode.

Cici cleared her throat and walked them both through all the details she could. She settled her glass on the counter and gripped the counter behind her, but her mind still tugged at her as if wanting to fall back into that space. She needed to remember something . . . something about who was there . . .

“Cici?”

She blinked, dazed. “What?”

He frowned down at her, concern dancing through his gunmetal eyes. “You okay?”

“Um.”

She slid to the floor, her mind burning as it echoed with the woman’s.

 

 

Missed A PILGRIMAGE TO DEATH and want to catch up?

 

About A PILGRIMAGE TO DEATH (A Reverend Cici Gurule Mystery Book 1)

When Cici discovers a body in the forest, she’s shocked to realize the victim’s wounds are identical to the ones that killed her sister a year ago. Now she’s embroiled in the takedown of a massive criminal operation, and the stakes couldn’t be higher…

“A wholly absorbing gumshoe tale elevated by an extraordinary detective” (Kirkus Reviews starred review).

Someone murdered her sister. And shot her dog. The killer won’t stop until she’s dead, too.

Cici finds a dead body while hiking in the Santa Fe National Forest. The situation deteriorates when she discovers the victim bears similar stab wounds to those that ended her twin sister’s life a year ago.

Then, her identical twin sister infiltrates her dreams.

All of a sudden, Cici and her dogs must dodge arrows, bullets, and even a demon truck—all while she grapples with the knowledge that her sister was on the trail of a deep-rooted criminal operation. Worse, her twin’s death was much more sinister than a random act of violence.

Now, as she follows the clues her sister drops in her dreams, the criminals want Cici out of the way. Permanently.

A Pilgrimage to Death is a high-octane thriller. Fans of Ruth Ware, J.D. Robb, and Angela Marsons will love Alexa’s Padgett’s new edge-of-your-seat novel.

Add A PILGRIMAGE OF DEATH to your Goodreads list here!

Get your copy of A PILGRIMAGE OF DEATH now!

✦Amazon https://amzn.to/2R9TBkN
✦iBooks https://apple.co/2ND0Pkb
✦Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2NEBKW0
✦Kobo http://bit.ly/2zsi9Q7

 

About Alexa Padgett

With a degree in international marketing and a varied career path that includes content management for a web firm, marketing direction for a high-profile sports agency, and a two-year stint with a renowned literary agency, award-winning author Alexa Padgett has returned to her first love: writing fiction.

Alexa spent a good part of her youth traveling. From Budapest to Belize, Calgary to Coober Pedy, she soaked in the myriad smells, sounds, and feels of these gorgeous places, wishing she could live in them all—at least for a while. And she does in her books.

She lives in New Mexico with her husband, children, and walk-loving Great Pyrenees pup, Ash. When not writing, schlepping, or volunteering, she can be found in her tiny kitchen, channeling her inner Barefoot Contessa.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

New Release + Release Blitz + Excerpt + Giveaway: A Pilgrimage To Death by Alexa Padgett

Today we have the release day blitz for Alexa Padgett’s A PILGRIMAGE TO DEATH! We’re super excited to share this upcoming thriller with you! Check it out and be sure to get your today!

Title: A Pilgrimage to Death

Author: Alexa Padgett

Genre: Thriller

About A Pilgrimage to Death

They murdered her sister. They threatened her church. Their day of reckoning is at hand.

Cici Gurule is a freewheeling, progressive reverend who’ll stop at nothing to protect her flock. When she finds the dead body of a parishioner in the nearby Santa Fe National Forest, she’s horrified to realize the victim bears the same stab wounds that ended her twin sister’s life one year earlier.

 

Together with her detective friend and loyal pair of Great Pyrenees, she vows to hunt down the killer before she’s forced to officiate another funeral. Soon, however, Cici discovers her sister was on the trail of a deep-rooted criminal operation… and her death was no random act of violence.

 

Now that the criminals are out for Cici’s blood, the pastor must catch the wolf by the tail before it goes in for the kill.

 

A Pilgrimage to Death is a high-octane mystery thriller. If you like motorcycling sleuths, fast-paced action, and a dash of humor, then you’ll love Alexa Padgett’s edge-of-your-seat novel.

 

Get Your Copy Today!

Amazon ~ Nook ~ iBooks ~ Kobo ~ Google Play ~ Goodreads

Exclusive Excerpt:

The eerie feeling expanded as they turned the last corner back toward her house. Out front was a large, black pickup. It was wedged between Justin’s police car and a compact sedan. Cici’s steps slowed when Justin cursed, low and vicious.

“Do you know who that is?” she asked, trying to keep her voice level. Hard to do with the adrenaline dump that now pumped through her veins. She didn’t need that spot in her head pinging danger! for Cici to realize the black beast of a truck growling mere feet from her doorstep meant trouble.

Justin shook his head as he half-stepped in front of her, causing the hairs on Cici’s arms to rise. He might not know the person in the truck—hard to see through the dark tint—but the vehicle clearly upset him as much as her.

Mona backed up against Cici’s leg while Rodolfo tugged at the end of his leash, his snarl deep and guttural.

The driver’s side window rolled down about three inches. Cici squinted, but all she made out was a dark beanie pulled low over the person’s eyebrows, and large, black plastic sunglasses.

The person threw something out the window. Rodolfo leaped forward, tugging the leash from Cici’s hand as she flinched back. The dog sprinted toward the truck.

“Rodolfo, heel!” Cici called. The dog quivered to a halt, whining, as the truck’s engine roared. Within seconds, it sped down the street.

Cici’s breathing remained labored as she hurried forward, snatching up Rodolfo’s leash. The dogs whined again and nuzzled against her, bumping her hips with their heads.

Justin snatched the paper from the street. He stood there, at the curb, scanning the message.

“Did you get the license plate?” Cici asked.

Justin shook his head, still staring after the truck. “Covered in mud or something.” He swallowed, glanced down at the paper in his hand.

“What does that say?”

“I’m not sure you should read it.”

“Not really your choice.” Cici switched the dog leash to one hand and held out her free one. “The person came to my home. The message is clearly for me.”

Justin handed it over with obvious reluctance.

Your sister didn’t know when to stop snooping.

 

Enter Alexa’s Giveaway!

A Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About Alexa Padgett:

With a degree in international marketing and a varied career path that includes content management for a web firm, marketing direction for a high-profile sports agency, and a two-year stint with a renowned literary agency, award-winning author Alexa Padgett has returned to her first love: writing fiction.
Alexa spent a good part of her youth traveling. From Budapest to Belize, Calgary to Coober Pedy, she soaked in the myriad smells, sounds, and feels of these gorgeous places, wishing she could live in them all—at least for a while. And she does in her books.

She lives in New Mexico with her husband, children, and Great Pyrenees pup, Ash. When not writing, schlepping, or volunteering, she can be found in her tiny kitchen, channeling her inner Barefoot Contessa.

Connect with Alexa:

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

 

 

 

Teaser Reveal + Giveaway + Pre-Order: A Pilgrimage To Death by Alexa Padgett

Today we have the teaser blitz for Alexa Padgett’s A PILGRIMAGE TO DEATH! We’re super excited to share this upcoming thriller with you! Check it out and be sure to pre-order today!

Title: A Pilgrimage to Death

Author: Alexa Padgett

Genre: Thriller

Release Date: August 14th

About A Pilgrimage to Death

They murdered her sister. They threatened her church. Their day of reckoning is at hand.

Cici Gurule is a freewheeling, progressive reverend who’ll stop at nothing to protect her flock. When she finds the dead body of a parishioner in the nearby Santa Fe National Forest, she’s horrified to realize the victim bears the same stab wounds that ended her twin sister’s life one year earlier.

Together with her detective friend and loyal pair of Great Pyrenees, she vows to hunt down the killer before she’s forced to officiate another funeral. Soon, however, Cici discovers her sister was on the trail of a deep-rooted criminal operation… and her death was no random act of violence.

Now that the criminals are out for Cici’s blood, the pastor must catch the wolf by the tail before it goes in for the kill.

A Pilgrimage to Death is a high-octane mystery thriller. If you like motorcycling sleuths, fast-paced action, and a dash of humor, then you’ll love Alexa Padgett’s edge-of-your-seat novel.

 

Preorder Your Copy Today!

Amazon ~ Nook ~ iBooks ~ Kobo ~ Google Play ~ Goodreads

 

Enter Alexa’s Giveaway!

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

About Alexa Padgett:

With a degree in international marketing and a varied career path that includes content management for a web firm, marketing direction for a high-profile sports agency, and a two-year stint with a renowned literary agency, award-winning author Alexa Padgett has returned to her first love: writing fiction.
Alexa spent a good part of her youth traveling. From Budapest to Belize, Calgary to Coober Pedy, she soaked in the myriad smells, sounds, and feels of these gorgeous places, wishing she could live in them all—at least for a while. And she does in her books.

She lives in New Mexico with her husband, children, and Great Pyrenees pup, Ash. When not writing, schlepping, or volunteering, she can be found in her tiny kitchen, channeling her inner Barefoot Contessa.

Connect with Alexa:

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

Excerpt Reveal + Pre-Order + Giveaway: A Pilgrimage To Death by Alexa Padgett

Today we have the excerpt reveal for Alexa Padgett’s A PILGRIMAGE TO DEATH! We’re so excited to share this upcoming thriller with you! Check it out and be sure to preorder today!

Title: A Pilgrimage to Death

Author: Alexa Padgett

Genre: Thriller

Release Date: August 14th

About A Pilgrimage to Death:

They murdered her sister. They threatened her church. Their day of reckoning is at hand.

Cici Gurule is a freewheeling, progressive reverend who’ll stop at nothing to protect her flock. When she finds the dead body of a parishioner in the nearby Santa Fe National Forest, she’s horrified to realize the victim bears the same stab wounds that ended her twin sister’s life one year earlier.

 

Together with her detective friend and loyal pair of Great Pyrenees, she vows to hunt down the killer before she’s forced to officiate another funeral. Soon, however, Cici discovers her sister was on the trail of a deep-rooted criminal operation… and her death was no random act of violence.

 

Now that the criminals are out for Cici’s blood, the pastor must catch the wolf by the tail before it goes in for the kill.

 

A Pilgrimage to Death is a high-octane mystery thriller. If you like motorcycling sleuths, fast-paced action, and a dash of humor, then you’ll love Alexa Padgett’s edge-of-your-seat novel.

 

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Exclusive Excerpt:

Cecilia Gurule was a reverend for God’s sake. She dealt in souls—the broken, empty, seeking, and, yes, the dead.

Bodies? Not her wheelhouse.

At least they weren’t until that Tuesday afternoon when Domine Deusdecided to test both her faith and her life.

She came within a bullet of losing both.

***

Cecilia, who much preferred Cici, met Sam in the parking lot of the Aspen Vista Trail. She was late. Not really her fault, but typical, thanks to her parishioners’ unwillingness to accept Tuesdays as her one day per week away from the church.

Wide and rocky, the trail snaked over eleven miles up the side of the mountain following an old forest service road. While the incline was never scramble steep, it rose at a consistent pace, switching back with views toward the city or up to the ski basin. A few narrow runnels of water—not big enough to be considered creeks—dribbled from the remaining snowpack.

Cici suggested it last week because both she and Sam had the weekday off, meaning fewer hikers on the bottom part of the trail, and they could spend the three-plus hours needed to reach the summit.

Unfortunately, Cici suggested the trail before she made plans to breakfast with the widowed Mrs. Sanchez, whose son worked out at the state penitentiary on NM-14.

“I don’t understand these kids.” Mrs. Sanchez wiped her mouth with her napkin, leaving a smear of bright red on the paper. Her lips were the same light bronze as her craggy skin, hints of the crimson lipstick settled into the faint lines bisecting her lower lip.

“Juanito has one more year at that fancy private school. He has a pretty girlfriend. Yet he cannot be happy? He causes his father such heartache, Reverend.” She picked up her coffee mug and shoved it toward Cici. “You talk to the boy for his father. Set him straight.”

“I’ll do what I can, Mrs. Sanchez.”

“Humph.” The woman set her mug down with a crack, her dark, deep-set eyes glaring from between folds of skin. Without the bright lipstick, her mouth seemed hidden under the wrinkles.

“I’m old, Reverend. I cannot control the boy. His father, Miguel, spent most of the last year picking up extra shifts for the tuition at St. Michaels. Juanito needs to respect the rules we set for him.”

“Which are?” Cici asked.

Mrs. Sanchez tossed her napkin onto her plate with the half-finished breakfast burrito. Cici picked up her own warm tortilla and bit into the wrap, enjoying the spicy flavors of green chile and sausage. One thing about Mrs. Sanchez: she was a fine cook.

“No seeing that girl past ten p.m. Good grades—all A’s so that he’s ready to go to Tech in a year. That’s what he needs—a good education, more choices. Not this . . . this mess with girls.”

“He did receive all A’s last year, and it’s summer break now. Shouldn’t Juan have the chance to focus on his job or maybe even spend time with Jaycee?”

“No more time with the girlfriend,” Mrs. Sanchez said with a sharp motion of her hand. “That’s how I’ll end up a great-grandmother. The boy needs more school. He is not yet eighteen.” Her face crumpled. “He is the age we lost his brother, Marco, Reverend. You know this. Juan is all the family has left.”

***

“Who was it this time?” Sam Chastain, Cici’s friend and hiking partner, asked. He pulled on a tattered ball cap—probably the one Cici’s twin sister, Anna Carmen, gave him years ago—and pulled on his backpack, settling it comfortably over his gray Red River T-shirt.

His short, dark ponytail stuck through the hole in the back like a bristle-brush. He slid on a pair of Ray-Bans to protect his gunmetal-blue eyes.

“Mrs. Sanchez. I got a great breakfast out of the deal.”

“She want you to have the talk with Juan?” Sam asked.

Sam was a detective with the Santa Fe Police department and fellow search-and-rescue teammate. The two had known each other for decades. Cici grabbed her water bottle and checked her sneakers.

“Got a hat?” Sam asked. “You know you’re going to burn if you don’t wear one.”

Sam studied her features, his gaze resting on her high cheekbones that always burned thanks to the pale skin Cici and her sister inherited from their mother, along with the oval shape of her face and the long-lashed hazel eyes.

“Yep,” Cici said, settling the cap on her head and pulling her long, jet-black pony tail through the hole in the back.

Sam offered her a radio, which she took, clipping it to her thick, brown leather belt.

“Why are we carrying these?”

Sam shrugged. “Boss man wants everyone on the trails wearing ’em. Maybe because of the helicopter extraction earlier this year?”

They started up the trail, moving in tandem as if they’d been hiking together for years.

“She’s recovered,” Cici said. “I called the woman who fell off Big Tesuque and talked to her. Her ankle’s out of the cast.”

“Lot of ruckus for a broken ankle and some bruises,” Sam replied.

“She slid four hundred feet into that ravine, Sam. Cut the woman some slack.”

“Stupid to hike alone, and you know it. We wouldn’t have had to waste so many resources on her if she’d been smarter.”

Cici did, but her job was to see others’ points of view, to help them grow, both in their humanity and spirituality. Refusing to get pulled further into an argument with Sam, she continued to hike.

They matched pace for a while in companionable silence. Cici began to feel . . . not sad. She hadn’t been happy since Anna Carmen’s death. But in this moment, with the sun shining and the aspens whispering overhead, Cici’s lips lifted at the corners.

The call came over the radio clipped to her belt. The same message squawked from Sam’s radio. He stopped, his chest expanding with each hard breath. They’d hiked the steepest part of the Aspen Trail. Sam wiped the sweat off his brow and pulled in a deep breath. He unlatched his walkie-talkie and pressed the button on the side.

“Repeat that, please.”

“Missing hiker. Wife called it in when she got off the mountain.”

“She left him out here by himself?” Cici asked, already wrinkling her nose in disgust. People continued to disappoint her.

Sam shook his head. “Not now, Cici. What’s the trail?”

“Aspen Vista,” the voice said over the bits of static.

“We’re on it. Name, age, any other stats?”

“I know.” The voice crackled but the exasperation was clear even through the bad connection. “Donald . . . fifty . . . complain . . . heart.”

“Uh oh,” Cici murmured.

“Last known whereabouts?” Sam asked.

“The summit.”

“Why’d the wife leave him there?” Cici muttered. “If he was in distress when she left him, he might not have survived while she strolled down the mountain.”

“Later,” Sam replied. He pressed the “Talk” button. “We’re a quarter mile from that location. Cici and I will start the sweep.”

“Roger . . . full crew coming in.”

“Great. From what you said, we’ll probably need it. Over and out.” Sam clipped the thick black radio to his belt again. He turned back to look at Cici, who’d crossed her arms and scowled down into the valley below.

“None of that, Cee. Not all people are your parents.”

“No, shit, detective,” she grunted.

“Hey,” Sam said, bumping her shoulder with his in a gentle gesture she’d come to expect from him over the last few years.

While they’d spent time together before her twin’s death, Cici made a point to seek him out more often after Anna Carmen’s funeral—especially once she’d made the decision to quit as the associate reverend from the large, wealthy church outside Boston—and move back home. He’d reciprocated by always being available, even during the difficult transition when he left the promising position on a joint task force in Denver. He’d been so excited to participate in that work because only the best people from the region were chosen, and Sam was one of the youngest. But, after explaining the situation to his boss, Agent Klein helped Sam move back in the detective bureau in Santa Fe.

“Priests aren’t supposed to use that kind of language,” he said.

Cici bumped him back, harder. Five male cousins within three years of her own age taught her a few important details—like how to fight dirty. “I’m not a priest. And not just because of my reproductive organs. I’m a reverend.”

“With a predilection for curse words and a willingness to abuse your fellow man,” Sam said over his shoulder as he moved back into point position on the trail. He made a tsking sound. “C’mon, Rev. Let’s go rescue our guy. Maybe you’ll make the front page of the paper. Again.” He turned to wink, his lips lifting when Cici rolled his eyes.

“Ugh. One time, Sam.”

“That’s all it took for me to be able to tease you about it for the rest of your life.” He started to chuckle. “Whatever happened to the chicken?”

Cici glared while Sam struggled to keep a straight face.

“I don’t know.” She huffed. “Hopefully, it’s living a long, chicken-y life.”

She rolled her eyes again and began to climb; Sam fell into step to the left and a half-foot in front of her.

Sam’s foot shifted as loose slag slid out from under his thick-soled hiking boot. He slowed his pace, taking more care with where he stepped. No point in getting hurt on the way up—that would just make more work for the SAR crew already on its way.

“I can’t believe that little girl asked you to bless a chicken at the Pet Parade.”

“This is Santa Fe. Home of animal lovers and weirdness.”

And murder.

Even though the sun beat down in thick, hot rays, Cici shivered. Something about this entire situation felt . . . well, off. She picked up the thread of their conversation to give herself something to do besides watch where she placed her feet and worry about what they’d find.

“Anyway, Yale wasn’t big on the cussing. Manhattan and Boston are where I picked up some choice words.”

“You were supposed to show those sinners how to rise above coarse language, sin, and all that shit.”

Cici shrugged. Not new ground here. She and Sam had bickered for years. That wasn’t saying much, really. She’d known most of the people in Santa Fe for years.

The aspen leaves rippled in the wind—a soft, fluttering roll of vegetation that sounded like a gentle, low tide—a strange phenomenon common here, high up in the Santa Fe National Forest where blue sky and slender white tree trunks seemed to merge. Typically, the sound soothed her.

Not now that she’d thought about her sister. The ache left by Anna Carmen’s death seemed to grow and weep, just as it always did when thoughts of her twin blindsided her.

Cici lifted her leg high to take her up to the next rock as sweat trickled down the middle of her back and her thighs began to ache with the deliciousness of hard use.

Cici cleared her head and organized her thoughts on these weekly hikes. Spending time outdoors with Sam became a weekly ritual more than six months ago. She looked forward to these hours-long jaunts because they helped her prepare a better sermon.

They turned the last sharp curve and Sam’s feet planted firmly into the path, blocking her view. He cursed—worse than her words. Cici’s heart hammered and the dread in her stomach shifted, heaving, as Cici edged around him.

“Wait, Cee. You don’t want to see this.”

Too late—and not as if she would have listened. Her throat tightened as she stared into the sightless eyes of Donald Johnson, one of the founding members of the church she’d taken over earlier this year.

A gust of wind slammed against her overheated skin and the soft rustling of the aspens built into the crash of waves. Or maybe it was her ears, thrumming with the rush of blood to her head.

She barely heard Sam call in their location.

Rigor mortis had already come and left his body before she and Sam found him, toppled off the large boulder, his stainless-steel canteen overturned and empty at his feet. The water stained the ground and his right hiking boot, making the leather darker, near black. Near as black as the blood on the rock and stuck to his Lobos T-shirt, trailing down onto his designer jeans.

Sam’s hand came down on her shoulder and she flinched, hard, but she didn’t look away from Donald. Two narrow gashes showed pink and a trickle of blood. His hands—large and hairy—nicked from the blade. A longer, deeper gash split open the meaty part of his hand almost as if he’d grappled with the blade.

But Cici focused on the large wolf logo. The UNM mascot seemed to have opened its mouth right above a wound in his back, ready to devour him.

Or maybe Cici, with memories of another murder. That wound . . .

 

 

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About Alexa Padgett:

With a degree in international marketing and a varied career path that includes content management for a web firm, marketing direction for a high-profile sports agency, and a two-year stint with a renowned literary agency, award-winning author Alexa Padgett has returned to her first love: writing fiction.
Alexa spent a good part of her youth traveling. From Budapest to Belize, Calgary to Coober Pedy, she soaked in the myriad smells, sounds, and feels of these gorgeous places, wishing she could live in them all—at least for a while. And she does in her books.

She lives in New Mexico with her husband, children, and Great Pyrenees pup, Ash. When not writing, schlepping, or volunteering, she can be found in her tiny kitchen, channeling her inner Barefoot Contessa.

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