Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Blog Tour: Sister!


A Natalie McMasters Mystery, Book 7


Crime Fiction

Date to be Published: Dec 5, 2022

Publisher: Tekrighter, LLC

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What do you do when you find out your twin sister is a stone-cold killer? Love her anyway!

Twentysomething detective Natalie McMasters comes face-to-face with the awesome power of money and privilege in her latest adventure. After she finds out that she has a twin sister who’s committed a heinous crime, her son Eduardo falls into the clutches of a perverted billionaire who plays with peoples lives for sport. Getting into his futuristic walled estate is a piece of cake, but getting out again is another matter entirely. While her friends and fam battle endless frustrations trying to convince the cops and the courts that Nattie and Eduardo are in deadly danger, she plays a risky game with a malignant narcissist, his venomous consort, and some unexpected houseguests, fighting for the souls of her sister and her son. How can she ever succeed against such impossible odds? The twisted ending packs a punch you won’t soon forget!

Sister! is the perfect read for fans of Karin Slaughter, Ruth Ware and Mary Kubica.


Bobby Ray Samples hates his stupid job.

Four fucking years of college, and now I‘m wasting my life behind the counter of a convenience store owned by some fuckin’ rag head who wasn’t even born here. It just isn’t fair!

An electronic chime beeps and Bobby Ray turns his head to the front door.

Sheeit fire! Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!

A twentysomething babe in a leather jacket over a frilly top and faded black jeans, her mussed blonde hair falling over her shoulders, giving her that just fucked look.

A job where I get to meet somethin’ like this doesn’t seem so bad after all.

She goes straight to the coolers in back while Bobby Ray changes his position behind the counter so he can keep an eye on her in the convex mirror mounted high up in the far rear corner of the convenience store.

Fuckin’ A! Check out that tight ass in those jeans!

As she opens the cooler door and reaches in, standing on her tippy toes, to snag a pint can of Colt 45 off the top shelf, he imagines slipping the bone growing in his boxers between those plump cheeks. She slithers up the walkway toward his register, snagging a bag of chips on the way. He fixes his eyes on the end of the aisle where she‘ll emerge, intending to give her that patented boyish grin of his that almost always gets him laid.

I just have to make a play for this shit or I’ll never forgive myself.

She meets his eyes with her ice blue gaze, returning his grin with a dazzling smile.

Holy fuckin’ shit man, I might actually get lucky here!

Walking up to the counter, she lays down the can and the bag of chips as he frantically runs through his litany of opening lines. He’s only got the one chance—that opener will make or break you, every time.

She reaches into her jacket pocket, extracts a folded cloth pillowcase, then tosses it on top of the beer and chips. Reaching back under her jacket, she produces a small, flat black semiauto pistol. She brings her other hand around to close around the grip so she’s holding the gun with two hands, and a scarlet light flashes from beneath the barrel and dances in the center of Bobby Ray’s chest.

With the same glittering smile, she says, “Fill the bag, shithead, or I’ll blow a hole in your heart.”

Bobby’s hard-on deflates like a balloon leaking air, and a warm dribble runs down the side of his leg as he snatches up the bag. The Ayrab who owns the store has a .357 in the drawer under the register, but Bobby Ray doesn’t even think twice about it.

No fuckin’ way I’m gonna risk my neck for another man’s money.

He pops the register drawer and pulls out handfulls of cash, stuffing the bills into the sack. The door chime sounds again as he hands the bag to the girl, and the dribble becomes a stream.

Oh no! Nothing like another customer walking in on her heist to get this crazy bitch shooting!

He looks left and sees a young man and woman, who’ve stopped dead in their tracks at the sight of the gun.

The blonde pulls the trigger twice, grinning as a crimson rose blossoms on Bobby Ray’s chest. As he crumples to the floor, she wheels and fires twice at the fleeing couple. A 9mm round catches the hapless young man in the back of the head, blowing out the front of his forehead as it exits.

Above the register, a little red light blinks on the top of the security camera catching the whole thing.

The frightened girl madly dashes for their pickup truck, parked beside the gas pumps. As the gunwoman bursts through the front door of the store, the girl throws it into gear without even closing her door and burns rubber out of the parking lot.

Tucking her gun back into the rear of her pants beneath her jacket, the shooter carries the pillowcase containing the cash to a dark blue Range Rover parked on the opposite side of the pumps from where the pickup was. Opening the passenger door, she slides in.

A mature, elegant dark-haired woman behind the wheel turns to look at her.

“Everything go well, Dear?”

“I’m sorry that I let one get away, Ma’am.”

“These things happen, Dear.” The driver puts the car in gear, cautiously pulls out on the main road, and slowly drives away.



About the Author

 Thomas A. Burns Jr. writes the Natalie McMasters Mysteries from the small town of Wendell, North Carolina, where he lives with his wife and son, four cats and a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. He was born and grew up in New Jersey, attended Xavier High School in Manhattan, earned B.S degrees in Zoology and Microbiology at Michigan State University and a M.S. in Microbiology at North Carolina State University. As a kid, Tom started reading boys’ mystery series with the Hardy Boys, Ken Holt and Rick Brant, then graduated to the classic stories by authors such as A. Conan Doyle, Dorothy Sayers, John Dickson Carr, Erle Stanley Gardner and Rex Stout, to name a few. Tom has written fiction as a hobby all of his life, beginning with Man from U.N.C.L.E. stories in marble-backed copybooks in grade school. He built a career as technical, science and medical writer and editor for nearly thirty years in industry and government. Now that he’s a full-time novelist, he’s excited to publish his own mystery series, as well as writing stories about his second most favorite detective, Sherlock Holmes. Tom’s Holmes story, The Camberwell Poisoner, appeared in the March–June issue of The Strand Magazine in 2021. The sixth book in the Natalie McMasters Mysteries, Killers!, was released in September, 2021, and won the Silver Falchion award for best action/adventure book of 2021 at the Killer Nashville International Writers’ Conference. Tom has also written a Lovecraftian horror novel, The Legacy of the Unborn, under the pen name of Silas K. Hendersona sequel to H.P. Lovecrafts masterpiece At the Mountains of Madness. In addition to publishing the seventh Natalie McMasters Mystery, Sister!, he is currently working on a book of Sherlock Holmes stories.


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