Saturday, January 29, 2022

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Killer Runway (Bianca Wallace Mysteries #2) by Daria White

Title: Killer Runway
Series: Bianca Wallace Mysteries #2
Author: Daria White
Publisher: Crimson Fox Publishing
Publication Date: January 25th 2022
Print Length: 269 pages
Genre: Cozy Mystery

Bianca’s determined to live a normal life in Edenville with her family, and she has no intention of getting involved in another case. While attending a fashion show, a model, also a childhood friend of her sister, collapses off the runway. Dead. Not the show Bianca planned on attending.

Detective Sims shows up to solve the case, but Bianca can’t keep silent. Too many clues are surfacing, and with a month-long fashion event in town, the suspects remain in Edenville. There’s no harm in Bianca investigating one more time, though Detective Sims wants her to stay away.

Can she discover the motive behind this unexpected death? Bianca’s life at risk with another killer isn’t wise. Not to mention the lives of her loved ones.

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“Excuse me, ladies.” A tenor voice interrupted their discussion, but Bianca’s arms broke out in goosebumps.

Detective Sims stood before her. No longer in his dress pants, but dark jeans, and a taupe-collared shirt. His gray eyes shined at Bianca. “Detective,” Melanie said, the octave changing in her voice. Her mood perked up quick from rubbing at her forehead. “We didn’t expect to see you here.”

“I thought I’d check out the famous Edenville Blues and BBQ festival event.” Then he faced Bianca just as Toni Braxton’s “I Love Me Some Him,” played through the speakers. “Want to dance?”

Was this a sign? Though there were times she could sense Detective Sims’—Lamar’s—attraction towards her, he never voiced it. Mild flirtations here and there, but never an obvious declaration. Then again, Bianca could say something if she wanted to.

She froze for a moment, but held back a yelp when she felt a kick underneath the table. Narrowing her eyes at her baby sister, Bianca stood to her feet. She’d get her for that later. “Sure.” She hoped Detective Sims didn’t hear the strain in her voice. Her breathing slowed when she took his hand. Heat traveled through every one of her fingers and her stomach flipped.

Joining the rest of the couples on the street, she placed her free hand on his firm shoulder. She held back a gasp when his large hand embraced her waist. Practically a breath away from his lips, Bianca faced upward, staring at the pink-and-purple hues as the sun set. Clouds covered most of the sky, making the evening overcast.

The cool breeze chilled her skin, but it did nothing to calm her body temperature.

“Are these festivals common too?” Detective Sims asked.

“Uh-huh.” Why was it so hard to breathe around him? Being this close was making her brain fuzzy like static on a radio.

“I think I could get used to it. Have you since you’ve lived here?”

Bianca swallowed, willing her brain to function. “I think so. Edenville’s been a huge part in my life. I… needed a fresh start after my divorce.” Staying in California wasn’t an option after her marriage was over. Moving back to Edenville was the best decision. Her mother had made it her new home after leaving Atlanta, Georgia, behind. It wasn’t the same with Bianca’s father gone since he died in prison. A case of mistaken identity changed the trajectory of her family life.

“What’s your favorite part?” he asked.

She could feel him staring at her, but she didn’t return the gesture. “Being with family again. My mom moved here first. Melanie and I followed. That was more important than I thought, so I’m glad we’re together.”

“The things we appreciate later in life,” Detective Sims commented.

“What about you?” she asked, hoping the conversation would distract her. Her senses were on overload as she felt the heat on her back from his hand. “I think my family too. I tried to find acceptance with my friends, but I didn’t choose well back then.” He chuckled. “My mom warned me, but I didn’t listen, thinking I was grown.”

Bianca laughed. “I had those moments, too, growing up.” She looked toward her daughter once more, who was walking with Kendrick down the sidewalk. What did teenagers talk about these days? “I think I’m getting a taste of that with my daughter. She’s so much like me and I….”

“You what?”

Bianca returned his gaze this time. Exhaling, she admitted the truth. “I just don’t want her to get hurt. I made some decisions that I thought were best, but I’m… paying for them now.”

“I don’t think you regret being a mother,” he said.

She shook her head. “Never. So I can’t say I regret everything.” She rolled her shoulders back. “Can’t dwell on the past. I’ve learned to put some things behind me.”

Detective Sims spun her and brought her back to his chest. “I’m glad.”

“Nice move.” Her smile grew wider. “Wasn’t expecting that from…”

“A detective?”

She pressed her lips together for a moment. “No, it’s just… well, I can understand your need to take your job seriously. It’s… nice to see this side of you, though.”

“We all have layers, don’t we?” He licked his lips. “We choose who we want to let in, right?”

Bianca tuned out the music and the surrounding people, focusing only on Lamar’s voice. “That takes… vulnerability.”

“It’s risky on both sides. Both people are taking a chance,” he added. Was this a general conversation, or was he talking about them?

Bianca’s hand trailed to his neck, brushing her fingers along the nape. “That can be easier said than done. What if one doesn’t… think they’re ready? Should the other person wait for them to be? Is that fair?”

He fixed his gaze on hers. “People wait for what they want.”

Bianca’s heart skipped. “Some things… are worth waiting for.”

Had he tilted his head towards hers? Bianca couldn’t tell. His words spell bounded her. His grip on her hand tightened, and while a part of her wanted to run for her car, she couldn’t move if she’d wanted to. Then her eyes drifted to his lips. Would he kiss her? Would she let him?
Daria White has lived in Texas for most of her life. She never liked reading as a kid. In fact, she almost hated it. However, as she grew up that all changed. Though she received her degree in healthcare management, Daria kept her writing as a hobby. She meant it to be private and her own way of expressing herself. It never crossed her mind to publish until she was in college. She took a chance and published. It worked!

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Win a $15 Amazon gift card!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Xpresso Book Tours and the author assume all responsibility for this giveaway.)

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  1. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

  2. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!

  3. I love a good cozy mystery- thanks

  4. Love the cover. This sounds like a good story.

  5. Looks like an interesting book.
    Thanks for the contest. 

  6. It sounds like a really interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Do you have any advice for new writers?

  8. sounds like a fun one

  9. The book sound like a great read!