New Release – Blog Tour

Pharoah’s Forgery Now Available

Amazon    Barnes & Noble     iBooks     Kobo

The latest installment in the bestselling Karina Cardinal mystery series is now available in print and ebook.

Margaritas, mayhem, and-if she’s not careful-murder.

Cancun was supposed to be a relaxing getaway. Instead, thanks to Mrs.


Thundermuffin and  an Egyptian death mask, Karina and fellow lobbyist Rodrigo are besieged by crooks, conmen, kidnappers, and killers. When things really erupt into chaos, they could be going home in the tackiest of souvenirs-a body bag.

Visit some of the tour stops to learn more about Karina Cardinal, her favorite mojito recipe and learn a bit about the research done for the novel.


September 21 –  I’m All About Books  – SPOTLIGHT

September 21 –  Baroness’ Book Trove  – SPOTLIGHT

September 22 –  Celticlady’s Reviews  – SPOTLIGHT

September 22 –  The Book Decoder  – REVIEW

September 23 –  I Read What You Write  – REVIEW  

September 23 –  Dee-Scoveries  – SPOTLIGHT

September 23 –  Books a Plenty Book Reviews  – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 24 –  Mysteries with Character  – REVIEW

September 24 –  MJB Reviewers  – SPOTLIGHT

September 25 –  Brooke Blogs  – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

September 25 –  Literary Gold  – SPOTLIGHT


September 26 –  Ruff Drafts  – GUEST POST

September 27 –  Readeropolis  – SPOTLIGHT

September 27 –  Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews  – SPOTLIGHT


Quarantine Days & Giveaways

Hello Readers!  
I have a variety of Giveaway  links that are available to anyone with an eReader, tablet, smartphone, or computer. Get your eReader out and start loading!

FREE First in Series – ONLY 2 DAYS LEFT!  
If you are looking to start a new series during quarantine, check out this promotion of over 40 authors writing in the mystery/thriller/suspense genre are giving out their first book. But get your eReader downloads quick, the deal ends this weekend!

Historical Fiction with Strong Female Leads  
For those who love historical fiction, this promo is for you! Over 30 authors have joined this giveaway promotion. You can download to your eReader full novels and chapter excerpts from a variety of historical fiction subgenres, including thriller, spy, romance, and mystery.   To get started visit this link:

Mystery Lovers Giveaway  
May is Mystery Month, and there are 50+ authors giving away their mysteries to readers like you! Mysteries genres include: cozies, thrillers, psychological, romantic suspense, crime, police procedural, and action/adventure. If you like mystery, you’re sure to find something to love in this pile.

Diamond Theft at a Local Level Featured in Ellen Butler’s Newest Novel

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – Celebrated Northern Virginia author Ellen Butler is about to release her newest novel, Diamonds & Deception, the third in her international bestselling Karina Cardinal mystery series. In this novel, Karina Cardinal and her sister Jillian dig into a diamond theft, but they unearth trouble-a tangle of Russian mob ties and gambling debts. Karina realizes they’ve dug too deep, and maybe a little too far outside the law.

Like Butler’s first two Karina Cardinal mysteries, the setting of the book is local, starting with a mystery criminal absconding with diamonds from a Tysons Corner jewelry store. The fast-paced plot winds its way into organized crime, gang violence and human trafficking in Washington DC and northern Virginia suburbs, with the climax erupting in Arlington.

Having ties to Capitol Hill helped Butler create this installment of the series. “My contacts at the FBI and DC police force helped round out the gang and organized crime storyline,” she said. “It has been an interesting journey, and I think the novel’s themes, which touch on current events, will resonate with readers.”

The book holds a particular appeal to residents of, and those familiar with, the Washington, DC and northern Virginia regions. “Many of my advanced editorial reviewers appreciated the local flavor of the book,” Butler said. “It’s not hard to imagine this plot taking place here inside the beltway, which makes it even more intriguing to anyone who has ever lived here or visited this area.”

A former public policy writer, Butler is also the author of the award-winning  Love, California Style series and bestselling historical suspense,  The Brass Compass. She is a member of the Office of Strategic Services Society, Sisters in Crime, Virginia Writer’s Club, Write by the Rails and International Thriller Writers.

Diamonds & Deception is available for preorder through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Kobo, and will be released officially October 7, 2019.

Butler will appear for signings, discussions and giveaways October 12, 2019 at Eat Local, Read Local at Cascades Library in Potomac Falls, Va.

On October 26, she, along with a variety of USA Today bestselling and award winning authors from the DMV area will be at the Royal Book Bash at the Hilton Garden Inn in Woodbridge, Va.

November 10, Butler will be interviewed by award winning author of the Washington Whodunit series, Colleen Shogan at The Wine Attic in Clifton, Va, where there will be wine tastings, giveaways and food.

December 4, she will take part in the Thirtieth Annual University Club Meet the Author Night and Book Fair in Washington, DC.

Publishing Workshop

You’ve Written Your Novel, Now What? Publishing World Options

A workshop open to the public, for new writers, aspiring writers and writers who have recently gotten their rights back from a traditional publisher and wish to indie publish their book.  

When: August 24, 2019 at 2:00 p.m.

Where: Ellen Coolidge Burke Branch Library, 4701 Seminary Rd, Alexandria, VA 22304

Workshop Overview:

The publishing industry has changed drastically in the past decade, and it continues to evolve. This workshop discusses an author’s options, from Traditional to Small Press to Indie Publishing. Highlights will include:

  • Pros and cons of each option.
  • What you can expect in your quest to obtain a Traditional contract vs. Small Press. Research, time investment, handling rejection.
  • Short overview of getting an agent – How & where to search. What they are looking for.
  • Going Indie – What you can expect. Covers, formatting, editing, and costs associated with going Indie. The importance of Amazon and other avenues you can use for distribution and obtaining hard copies.
  • Marketing – Every author MUST market no matter which publishing track you take. In order to achieve success, you need to decide if you can make an investment of money or your time to get results.
  • The importance of creating your own Brand from your Social Media to your Website.

Diamonds & Deception Cover Reveal Day!

 International bestselling and award-winning author Ellen Butler presents book three in the Karina Cardinal mystery series! Fans of Melinda Leigh and J.D. Robb, who love the humor of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum will adore this gripping mystery adventure.

When fashion crosses the line to felony, the only label left to wear could be a toe tag.

The rainbows-and-unicorns period of her friends-to-lovers relationship with Mike Finnegan officially over, Karina Cardinal is taking a tactical retreat. No way is she calling him for rescue from one of her infamous “scrapes.” Too bad trouble, if not her middle name, is a close relative.

Sadira Manon, friend and colleague of Karina’s sister Jillian, has been dropping way too much cash on designer labels for a middle school teacher. Even one who moonlights as a jewelry store clerk. But when she’s accused of theft, the loose diamond falling out of her purse is enough for the police to sing the song of their people-“Miranda Rights.”

Karina, Jilly, and Silverthorne Security join forces to investigate who’s setting Sadira up to take a fall, and why. They dig up a shady tangle of Russian mob ties and gambling debts. By the time Karina realizes they’ve dug too deep-and maybe a little too far outside the law-Jillian’s in trouble, and the only way out of this particular pot of hot water is to make that phone call-and hope Mike doesn’t let it go to voice mail.






Isabella’s Painting Makes it to #1!

I’m pleased to announce, last week Isabella’s  Painting,  the first book in the Karina  Cardinal  Mystery  series, became an International Bestseller. The book made it to #1 on Amazon in Canada and Australia. Thank you to all my readers, and thanks to those from outside of the US who have decided to take a chance on Karina’s Adventures! Karina’s second mystery Fatal  Legislation  is out and available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iBooks.

Fatal Legislation Trailer

Enjoy the book trailer for Fatal Legislation!

Purchase links found here.

Talking Holiday Decor

Do you enjoy celebrating the holiday season? Do you take the time to decorate your office for the holidays? Find out what your favorite authors and I are doing in our offices this season at Reader’s Entertainment.




Excerpts from The Big Thrill Magazine Interview

Published December 1 on The Big Thrill Magazine.  Click here to read the entire interview.  

Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?

Numbers. As I began writing the novel, I was aware of the size of the pharmaceutical industry. I was also aware that the United States consumer offset industry costs that are regulated by other countries. What surprised me were the sheer numbers of how much the US offset was, and the exponential increase in consumer spending on pharmaceuticals in the past 25 years.

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

I would like the reader to see beyond the entertainment and fun thrill-ride of action to see the deeper message about how much our country’s leadership, and thus our laws and overall agenda, are not only directly affected by the monetary donations of special interest groups, but also how those laws or lack of laws directly affect individual American consumers.

What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?

I would have to say, writing this particular Karina Cardinal novel, that Tom Clancy, Dan Brown, and Janet Evanovich were distinct influences.

Fatal Legislation Excerpt

“Senator Harper,” I called out.

His milky blue gaze showed no surprise at my approach, and he waved me into the car. “Ms. Cardinal, I’ve been wondering when I’d hear from you. I’m headed over to the Russell building.”

The doors closed behind me, and the elevator operator, an elderly African-American man dressed in the requisite navy-blue blazer and striped tie uniform, pressed the button that would take us to the basement.

“Did you have a nice weekend, Arnold?” Harper asked the elevator operator.

“Yes, Senator. My oldest granddaughter came home for the weekend.”

“She’s a sophomore this year?” The senator’s wheezing breaths filled the small car.

“Yes, sir.”

“Remind me, what college is she attending?”

“University of Maryland.”

We ended our descent with a slight bump. “Give my best to your wife.”

“Will do, sir.”

The elevator spit us out not far from the entrance to the underground passageways connecting the Capitol to the Russell, Dirksen and Hart Senate office buildings. For an overweight man in his early seventies, he walked at a relatively brisk pace, and my sensible heels clacked against the aged russet stone flooring. Fortunately, my height provided an advantage when walking with taller men and I could easily replicate their stride.

“How’d you get past security?”

“I came over from Dirksen with Senator Kollingwoods.”

Either he preferred not to talk over my noisy heels or his own pace was too much for him, because he slackened his gait. The heavy breathing continued, and I was relieved he slowed us down. “You want to know why I voted against the bill,” he stated.

“I don’t understand. You voted for it in committee, and on the Senate floor the first time. Why?” We exited the drab putty-colored walls of the Capitol basement to enter the bright white halls of the tunnel system.

“You know why.”

“The amendment?” I clarified.

“Amendment? Try amendments.”

“That happens with every bill as it passes back and forth between the two houses,” I pointed out. “Everyone has to do a little give and take. We knew it wouldn’t come back the same way it went over. Some negotiating has to be done.”

“Negotiating?” He gave a dark laugh. “Is that what you call it? By the time it came to a vote on the Senate floor, there was so much pork added to it you could wrap the White House up in bacon and deep fat fry it like a Thanksgiving turkey.” He indicated for me to proceed him down the short escalator.

“Granted, I wasn’t thrilled with the ten million Texas package,” I conceded as we rode down. “But, overall the bill retained its integrity. It would have helped the lower income families.”

“The Texas package was the least of my concerns. Did you know Florida stuck on a fifty million grant to research chickens?”

“Wild fowl, migratory birds.”

“Ducks, geese, chickens!” He coughed and pressed a hand against his chest. “What does it matter?”

One of the trams that carried passengers through the tunnel to the Russell building cruised around the curve and out of sight. The other tram sat empty with an OUT OF ORDER sign on its side.

“I believe it had something to do with research on aging.”

“Fifty million! For fowl! Let’s walk.”

I squinted at Harper. Beads of sweat covered his upper lip and his coloring seemed to have paled. “Are you sure you don’t want to wait for the tram?” I asked.

“My doc says I need to get more exercise.” He lumbered past the tram stop to the walking path. “I’d have been willing to vote for it until the Uptown Trio gutted the incentives.”

“I agree the incentives were a blow. But, when your support departed, you took your own trio along, Tottengott, Goldman, and Tucker. Surely the incentives were a minor blip that could have been righted through section seven, part c. I won’t even mention the position you put me in with the Alliance or the damage it’s done to my reputation and possibly my career.”

“Pfft. Your reputation is fine,” he said. “You can’t tell me the National Healthcare Advocacy Alliance is going to fire you over this. You’re too well connected, and I’m sure they didn’t like the changes either.”

They didn’t, but I wasn’t about to let him get away that easily.

“Besides,” he continued, “Tottengott, Goldman, and Tucker make their own decisions. You can’t place their votes at my doorstep.”

I gave him an arch glare. Harper had been in the Senate for over twenty-five years and was considered the leader of the few moderate republicans-a dying breed-left in the Legislature. Gloria Tottengott, Stephen Goldman, and Rhonda Tucker tended to stick together on votes, and often followed Harper’s lead.

He flapped his hand. “Bah. You can direct that look elsewhere. I’m working on something even better. Something that will make S46 pale in comparison. Something that will put the fat cats in their place.”

“Really? Tell me. How can I help?”

“You’ll know when I’m good and ready for you to know. You lobbyists are all the same. Couldn’t keep a secret if your life depended on it, and right now I’m working the back channels. I decided it’s time to call in some chips  .  .  . maybe all of them.” His breath came out in pants and he stumbled.

“Senator!” I reached out to steady him.

He pulled a roll of Tums out of his coat pocket, but his hands were so unsteady that he fumbled to open the package.

“Here, let me help you.” I used my thumbnail to slit the wrapper, and two antacid tablets fell into his palm.

He pressed his fist against his chest as he chewed. “Must have been the pastrami sandwich I had for lunch.”

It was close to six. Lunch had been hours ago, and I didn’t like the greenish tinge of his coloring. “Are you going to be okay? Do you want me to get help?” We’d reached the curve, the midpoint between the two buildings. The tram at the far end was empty of passengers and the operator.

“I’ll be fine.” He puffed past me.

“I’m not sure, Senator.” I glanced over my shoulder to see if anyone was coming from the Capitol side. “I think I should-”

His right hand slapped against the wall, his knees buckled, and he pitched forward.

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