GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Exclusive Excerpt: VACANT (Mindspace Investigations, #4) by Alex Hughes Book Tour + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Exclusive Excerpt: VACANT (Mindspace Investigations, #4) by Alex Hughes Book Tour + giveaway

VACANT (Mindspace Investigations, #4)
by Alex Hughes
Publisher: Roc 
Publication date: 12/2/2014 
Series: Mindspace Investigations Series, #4 
Pages: 352
Nothing ruins a romantic evening like a brawl with lowlifes—especially when one of them later turns up dead and my date, Detective Isabella Cherabino, is the #1 suspect. My history with the Atlanta PD on both sides of the law makes me an unreliable witness, so while Cherabino is suspended, I’m paying my bills by taking an FBI gig.

I’ve been hired to play telepathic bodyguard for Tommy, the ten-year-old son of a superior court judge in Savannah presiding over the murder trial of a mob-connected mogul. After an attempt on the kid’s life, the Feds believe he’s been targeted by the businessman’s “associates.”

Turns out, Tommy’s a nascent telepath, so I’m trying to help him get a handle on his Ability. But it doesn’t take a mind reader to see that there’s something going on with this kid’s parents that’s stressing him out more than a death threat…

I Consult 

An excerpt from Vacant by Alex Hughes 

It was a sad and unfortunate truth that the person to report the crime was often the first suspect. In this case, that meant that Cherabino and I, out of our jurisdiction, were suspects. I wasn't entirely surprised when they bundled us up and took us into the station. I was surprised when they kept us for hours.

I found myself on the opposite side of the interview table, in a strange room, with yet another stranger asking me questions. She was a forty-something woman with strong features and a hard personality, what my father would have called a battle-ax when I was growing up--and he would have meant it as a compliment. Unfortunately, after three interviewers, I was less than pleased with her on principle.

“You lost your job with the DeKalb County Police Department recently,” she began, after the usual softening-up questions. “Tell me about that.”

“My job at the DeKalb County Police Department changed focus and hours,” I replied, as precisely as possible. “I’m a consultant. I consult. Unfortunately, one of the consulting jobs I took outside the department last year made Paulsen--my supervisor--uncomfortable. It was decided to move me more directly to the Homicide and Robbery squads to work with Branen and his team, who do not have the same concerns about other consulting.” I’d had a few hours to figure out how to phrase that by now. Plus Swartz and I had discussed the best way to say it for job interviews anyway.

“What was the consulting job that made your superior uncomfortable?” the interrogator asked.

“I’m sorry, what was your name?” I asked, tired of being played like a civilian. After the second interviewer, they’d already left me alone for an hour and a half with bad coffee and no bathroom; I’d spurned the one because I’d planned for the other, but it had to be two a.m. and I wanted a nap. Another nap, I should say. She’d woken me up once already. Or her predecessor had. I was losing track.

“Officer Malone,” the woman said, after a moment of consideration. “I’ll repeat, what was the consulting job that made your superior uncomfortable?”

“Officer Malone. Thank you.” I made myself relax my body language a little more, more ‘open,’ less defensive. “The consulting job that made my superiors uncomfortable was one with the Telepath’s Guild. I can’t go into details.”

Her whole demeanor changed then, her body drawing back, her lip curling under. “The Guild? You worked for the Guild?”

I nodded.

Any professional courtesy she’d given me up until that point vanished like a mirage. She peppered me with question after question, hostility mixing with her fear at being alone with a “traitor telepath” until finally she brought in another, stubborn-minded male interrogator.

I held onto my temper with both hands and answered the questions as honestly as possible, going over what I’d seen outside of the concert over and over again. Finally, after two hours, I said, “Are we done?”

“For now,” she said, anger in every line. Then they left me alone.

Great. It was going to be one of those nights, wasn't it?

Reading Order:
Rabbit Trick (.5) 
Clean (1) 
Payoff (1.5) 
Sharp (2) 
Marked (3) 

About the Author:
Alex Hughes, the author of the award-winning Mindspace Investigations series from Roc, has lived in the Atlanta area since the age of eight. Her short fiction has been published in several markets including EveryDay Fiction, Thunder on the Battlefield and White Cat Magazine. She is an avid cook and foodie, a trivia buff, and a science geek, and loves to talk about neuroscience, the Food Network, and writing craft—but not necessarily all at the same time! For all the latest news and free short stories, join Alex’s email list at

Play Vacant Clue
A “Clue-like” checklist is available to download from the author’s blog, to be marked off as readers visit stops along the tour schedule. Somewhere on participating blog posts will be clues (clearly marked) that will eliminate specific “Location”, “Weapon”, or “Suspect” options.

Link to the "Clue" check list:

At the end of the tour, a rafflecopter entry form will help Alex choose a grand prize winner amongst all who correctly guess “who dunnit?” based on the remaining options.

Blog Tour Schedule:
Nov 25th - SF Signal
Nov 26th - I Smell Sheep
Nov 27th – Thanksgiving (US)
Nov 28th - Ashley’s Random Blog
Dec 1st - What The Cat ReadBookHounds
Dec 2nd - NicholasKaufmann.comBooks Make Me Happy
Dec 3rd - Vampire Book Club
Dec 4th - Little Read Riding Hood
Dec 5th - Insane About Books
Dec 8th - BiblioFiendBetween The Lines
Dec 9th - Smart Girls Love Sci/Fi & Paranormal Romance
Dec 10th - Reading Reality
Dec 11th - Short & Sweet Reviews
Dec 12th - That’s What I’m Talking AboutAnna’s Book Blog
Dec 15th - Tynga’s Reviews
Dec 16th - Janice Hardy – Fiction University
Dec 17th - PreturnaturaAmberkatze’s Book Blog
Dec 18th - Fantasy LiteratureThat’s What I’m Talking About
Dec 19th - Books That HookLiteral Addiction
Dec 21st - Literary Escapism
Dec 22nd - Open Book Society
Dec 23rd - My Bookish Ways

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