Posted in Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery, Spotlight on December 10, 2016

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Between A Rock and a Hard Place by Debbie De Louise
Publisher: Solstice Publishing
Approximately 330 pages

Synopsis

Librarian Alicia McKinney has put the past behind her…

Two years ago, Alicia discovered both a terrible truth and lasting love with John McKinney in the small town of Cobble Cove, New York. Now a busy mother of twin babies and co-author of a mystery series, Alicia couldn’t be happier.

Alicia’s contentment and safety are challenged…

Walking home alone from the library, Alicia senses someone following her, and on more than one occasion, she believes she is being watched. Does she have a stalker? When the local gift shop is burglarized, the troubling event causes unrest among Alicia and the residents of the quiet town.
John and Alicia receive an offer they can’t refuse…

When John’s sister offers to babysit while she and John take a much-needed vacation in New York City, Alicia is reluctant to leave her children because of the disturbances in Cobble Cove. John assures her the town is safe in the hands of Sheriff-elect Ramsay. Although Alicia’s experience with and dislike of the former Long Island detective don’t alleviate her concern, she and John take their trip.

Alicia faces her worst nightmare…

The McKinneys’ vacation is cut short when they learn their babies have been kidnapped and John’s sister shot. Alicia and John’s situation puts them between a rock and a hard place when the main suspect is found dead before the ransom is paid. In order to save their children, the McKinneys race against the clock to solve a mystery more puzzling than those found in their own books. Can they do it before time runs out?

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Guest Post

The Story Behind the Cobble Cove Mystery Series

When I present author talks at libraries and bookstores, people often ask how I got started in writing. Since I’ve been writing for over thirty years, the answer is often lengthy and a bit convoluted as I’ve written in many forms and mediums throughout different periods of my life. I would much rather discuss how I came to publish my first mystery series.

 A Stone’s Throw did not start out as the first book of the Cobble Cove mysteries. I initially thought of it as a standalone romantic suspense novel; but, after it was published, readers reviewed it as a cozy mystery. Then, as people kept asking if I was planning to continue the story, I decided to write a sequel. Between a Rock and a Hard Place was published this past October by Solstice Publishing. I have almost finished writing the next book tentatively titled Written in Stone. I feel the uniformity of the common phrases and euphemisms involving rocks and stones and their correlation to the storylines of each mystery further unite the books

In A Stone’s Throw, the title refers to how all locations in the small town of Cobble Cove are only “a stone’s throw away.” The title of Between a Rock and a Hard Place symbolizes the struggle the characters face in a situation that seems insurmountable no matter what they do. For Written in Stone, I chose the title because the plot resolves heavily around writers.

A Stone’s Throw takes place near Thanksgiving and introduces the main characters, the town, and a library cat, Sneaky, and golden retriever, Fido, who play minor but charming roles in the books and also help with clues on occasion. Between a Rock and a Hard Place occurs a year and a half later during December. It introduces more characters including two babies, a couple of college students, and a young girl who is ill. Many of the characters from the first book return; two of them with interesting personality changes. This book involves three crimes – robbery, kidnapping, and murder – not necessarily by the same perpetrator. In the upcoming book, there are new characters again mixed in with the regulars as some of their stories further develop as the new mystery unravels. As cozies, all three books feature no violence or sexual explicit scenes and focus on the characters.

The Cobble Cove mysteries basically evolved through reader request and the quirky and creative characters who seemed to insist that their stories continue. I don’t know how many more books there will be in the series, but I have lots of ideas and hope that there will be many more.

In addition to writing the series, I’ve also created a blog hosted by Sneaky, the Siamese library cat in the books. He “interviews” cat characters from cozy mysteries and other types of cat books. Visit Sneaky’s blog.

I’ve also just begun the monthly Cobble Cove Character Chats on Facebook where, on the first Wednesday of each month, a new character from the series answers questions posted by readers.

About the  Author

debbie-delouiseDebbie De Louise is a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island and has been involved with books and writing for over thirty years. She received the Lawrence C. Lobaugh, jr. Memorial Award in Journalism for her work as Features Editor on the Long Island University/C. W. Post student newspaper, the Pioneer. More recently, Debbie received the Glamour Puss Award from Hartz Corporation for an article about cat grooming that appeared on Catster.com. She has published a short mystery in the Cat Crimes Through Time Anthology and two novels,CLOUDY RAINBOW and A STONE’S THROW, the first book of her Cobble Cove cozy mystery series. Her short stories, THE PATH TO RAINBOW BRIDGE and DEADLINE appear in the anthologies, REALMS OF FANTASTIC STORIES and PROJECT 9, Vol. 2 published by Solstice Publishing. She is currently working on a psychological thriller, the third Cobble Cove Mystery, and a new pet-related cozy series. She lives on Long Island with her husband, daughter, and two cats.

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December 4 – Dalene’s Book Reviews – REVIEW, EXCERPT

December 5 – Books, Dreams, Life – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

December 6 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

December 7 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

December 8 – Omnimystery News – INTERVIEW – confirmation pending

December 9 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

December 10 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

December 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

Posted in Cozy, e-books, mystery, Spotlight on December 10, 2016

Rosie Genova, author of the Italian Kitchen Mysteries, serves up a new dish this week with the release of her e-book holiday novella, The Seven Course Christmas Killer: A Holiday Novella from the Italian Kitchen. Priced at .99, the e-book will be available on Amazon and most other retailers.

The story takes place on Christmas Eve, as Vic and the gang prepare the traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes for their annual holiday party. But before you can say “shrimp scampi,” Mayor Anne McCrae takes a nasty fall that may not be an accident. Add a nosy reporter, guests with grudges, and a missing kitchen knife—and Vic suddenly has all the ingredients for murder!

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Synopsis

On Christmas Eve, someone might be sleeping with the fishes. . .

It’s December at the Casa Lido, which means only one thing: the Rienzi family’s traditional Christmas Eve celebration, including wine, song, and seven Italian seafood courses. As Victoria and Tim prep scungilli and calamari, Nonna directs the cooking until all is in readiness for the big night.

But the holiday cheer is interrupted by the attempted murder of Mayor Anne McCrae, who asks Vic to investigate. Trouble is, there are as many suspects as there are fishes on the Christmas Eve menu . . .

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About the Author

rosie genovaA Jersey girl born and bred, national bestselling author Rosie Genova left her heart at the shore, which serves as the setting for much of her work. Her new series, the Italian Kitchen Mysteries, is informed by her appreciation for good food, her pride in her heritage, and her love of classic mysteries from Nancy Drew to Miss Marple. Her debut novel, Murder and Marinara, was named a 2013 Best Cozy by Suspense Magazine and is a finalist for a 2014 Daphne Award. An English teacher by day and novelist by night, Rosie also writes women’s fiction as Rosemary DiBattista. She still lives in her home state with her husband and the youngest of her three Jersey boys.

Website * Facebook * Goodreads

Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Spotlight on December 9, 2016

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Title: The Soul of a Seal

Series: West Coast Navy SEALs, #4

Author: Anne Elizabeth

Pub Date: December 6, 2016

ISBN: 9781492622246

Synopsis

Love may be the toughest battle of all

Captain Bennett Oscar Sheraton Navy SEAL, the best of the best

Dr. Kimberly Warren Brilliant engineer, founder of secret space program

When scientists on Dr. Warren’s super-secret space mission start dying, Navy SEAL Captain Sheraton is sent in as an astronaut candidate with a hidden agenda—find the person sabotaging the program.

Kimberly and Bennett’s instant attraction may prove to be a major distraction—or it might be the key to both of their dreams coming true…

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Interesting Seal Fact

FAKE SEALS don’t know the history of the Teams from Scouts and Raiders thru to SEALs or the year that SEAL Team was founded. FAKE SEALS cannot GIVE you information about their time in the Team, because if they did…they’d have to KILL you. That’s not true. This person is FAKE.

Excerpt

Her eyes lifted to his. She had no words as a flush that began in her toes rose to the top of her head. If she were to walk four feet to the mirror and look, she knew she would see herself as red as a cherry tomato. “Uh…s-s-sorry…” she finally said. What a time to stutter! Rubbing her hands together, she walked to the glass-enclosed shower, opened the door, turned on the water, and then took off her silk teddy and matching silk panties. It was time to be bold.

Glancing over her shoulder, it was her turn to smile. His jaw was practically on the floor.

“Can you hand me my loofah?” She turned toward him and pointed to the shelf next to the sink. “The fluffy pink one.”

He nodded his head, but it was several seconds before he turned and complied with her request. As he closed the distance between, she congratulated herself on being courageous…for changing the rules and making the playing field between them level. She’d seen his, and now he’d seen hers. That was out of the way, and they could move forward.

She put out her hand for the loofah, her smile smug and delighted. What she hadn’t prepared for…was him pulling her gently, and oh, so tenderly, against him so the heat of his body seared hers, and then kissing her until she was gasping for air as her hands held on to his biceps for dear life.

Time froze and the kiss lasted forever, or maybe it was only several seconds. It was hard to tell, because all thought had fled from her mind. When he urged her against the shower wall and slowly pulled away, she saw his smile—one of such male satisfaction that anger bloomed inside of her.

“That’s why they call me…Boss. Well, one of the reasons.” He waited, as if he wanted her to respond.

She couldn’t believe the idiot was just standing there. Why did he have to speak? Why doesn’t the male species know when to leave well enough alone? That kiss had been amazing! If only he’d chosen to be a gentleman, and mute. She sighed as she gave in to her emotion.

“Out!” she said indignantly. Men! She’d get him back in less than half an hour, when his first duty of the morning would be regurgitating his breakfast onto his lap.

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About the Author

Anne Elizabeth is a romance author, comic creator, and a monthly columnist for RT Book Reviews magazine. With a BS in Business and MS in Communications from Boston University, she is a regular presenter at conventions as well as a member of The Author’s Guild and Romance Writers of America. Anne lives with her husband, a retired Navy SEAL, in the mountains above San Diego.

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Posted in Cozy, excerpt, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on December 8, 2016

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literally-dead-cover

Literally Dead (An Empty Nest Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Self Published (September 30, 2016)
Paperback: 218 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1940795386
E-Book ASIN: B01LWCW5C1

Synopsis

After her last disastrous episode as an amateur sleuth, Gracie Elliott is back. The budding romance writer has spent the past year crafting her first novel. Her hard work and determination pay off when her manuscript wins the Cream of the Crop award, a contest for unpublished writers, sponsored by the Society of American Romance Authors. First place entitles her to attend the organization’s annual conference, normally open only to published authors.

With husband Blake in tow, a starry-eyed Gracie experiences the ultimate fan-girl moment upon entering the hotel. Her favorite authors are everywhere. However, within minutes she learns Lovinia Darling, the Queen of Romance, is hardly the embodiment of the sweet heroines she creates. Gracie realizes she’s stepped into a romance vipers’ den of backstabbing, deceit, and plagiarism, but she finds a friend and mentor in bestselling author Paisley Prentiss.

Hours later, when Gracie discovers Lovinia’s body in the hotel stairwell, a victim of an apparent fall, Gracie is not convinced her death was an accident. Too many other authors had reason to want Lovinia dead. Ignoring Blake’s advice to “let the police handle it,” Gracie, aided by Paisley, begins her own investigation into the death. Romance has never been so deadly.

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Excerpt

The wheels of my suitcase couldn’t spin fast enough as I pushed through the revolving door of the Crown Jewel Hotel in midtown Manhattan. Once inside the lobby, I stopped short and gazed awestruck, soaking in the writerly atmosphere. My heart pounded so fast I could hear it reverberating in my ears. Or maybe that was the din of the voices from hundreds of romance authors filling the forty-story marble and glass atrium.

My eyes bugged out as I scoped the room. “Oh my God, Blake!” I reached for my husband’s hand and squeezed it. “That’s Liz Phillips,” I released my grip on my suitcase handle and pointed in the direction of the bar off to my right. “And Elise Robertson.”

“Friends of yours?” asked my husband.

“I wish! They’re two of the most successful romance writers in the world. I can’t believe I’m standing only a few yards away from them!” Talk about a fan girl moment! One more superstar sighting and I just might need a brown paper bag to ward off imminent hyperventilation.

“Hurry!” I pulled him along, nearly tripping over my Kate Spades as I race-walked toward the shortest of several lines that serpentined from the hotel registration desk around the chic silver, white, and gray lobby.

Blake grabbed me, preventing me from executing a face plant. Then he spun me around and settled his hands on my shoulders. Lowering his head until our foreheads nearly touched, he said, “I know you’re excited, Gracie, but take a deep breath. Slow down. The conference doesn’t start for several hours. You’re not going to miss anything.”

I humored him by continuing at a jog instead of a sprint until I reached the back of the line. “I can’t believe I’m here!” I squealed, bouncing on the balls of my feet.

A year of slaving over my manuscript had finally paid off. “Just think, by this time next year I’ll probably be returning as Gracie Elliott, published romance author.”

“Don’t you mean Emma Carlyle?”

“Right. Sorry.” Since Blake didn’t think the stuffy old academics of the university governing board would take too kindly to a faculty wife writing sensuous romances—not that my writing rose anywhere near Fifty Shades level—I’d promised to publish under a pseudonym. Thus, Gracie Elliott would become Emma Carlyle on bookstore shelves.

“Besides, aren’t you forgetting something?”

“Like what?”

“You need to sell your book first.”

Leave it to Mr. Logical to burst my bubble. “Yes, of course, but I’m sure I’ll have plenty of offers here at the conference. After all, I’m the winner of the Society of American Romance Author’s Cream of the Crop writing competition. That’s a huge award. You should be excited for me, Blake. And proud of my accomplishment.”

“I am excited for you, sweetheart, and I’ve always been proud of you. You’re the most amazing woman I’ve ever met. You set yourself a goal, and you work until you accomplish it.” He pecked my cheek. “I just don’t want to see you disappointed.”

“Why would I be disappointed? You just said I always accomplish my goals, didn’t you?”

“Yes, but some goals take longer than others. Did winning this contest guarantee you a publishing contract?”

“No, but—”

“The win gives you the opportunity to attend this writing conference, nothing more. Let’s keep everything in perspective, okay?”

“Fine. But you’re going to eat those practical words of yours by the end of these three days.”

“I’d love nothing better than to see you prove me wrong.”

We inched our way up in line. “Notice anything odd?” he asked above the cacophony of conversations around us.

I glanced up at my husband, then around the massive lobby. “Odd?” Although this was my first writing conference, I’d attended my share of business conferences and conventions over the years. Prior to the industry downsizing that outsourced my job as a fabric designer overseas and left me jobless and pension-less, I’d spent many hours cooling my Kate Spades and Christian Louboutins in long, slow-moving hotel check-in lines. “Not really.”

“It’s a veritable estrogen brigade here, Gracie!”  My normally unflappable husband suddenly looked like the clueless hero of a fish-out-of-water romance novel.

About The Author

lois-winstonUSA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry. newsletter at

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December 1 – A Date with a Book – REVIEW

December 2 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – INTERVIEW

December 3 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST

December 4 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

December 4 – Community Bookstop – INTERVIEW

December 5 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

December 5 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW

December 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW

December 7 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

December 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 9 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

December 10 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT

December 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Spotlight on December 6, 2016

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Synopsis

It’s been two years since Cason McPherson watched his best friend die in his arms. With shrapnel in his hip and a war behind him, he keeps focused on building a civilian life and not on what he wants most: the woman of his dreams, Savannah. If only she’d stop bringing up topics he has to keep secrets about.

Savannah Sparling has no time for baggage, and Cason McPherson brought home a matching set in scathing green—with a carry-on duffel bag full of lies. He’s the childhood friend who enlisted with her brother. He came home, and her brother didn’t.

Balancing work with demanding clients while fulfilling a personal vendetta against Cason consumes Savannah’s already full schedule—until a series of unstoppable events leads to a collision between Savannah’s work and personal lives. Her carefully structured path in the world is crushed, her own blood is spilled, and passion between her and an unlikely bedfellow ignite.

Cason and Savannah find the only the people strong enough to save them from themselves is each other. But will either one of them accept the help—and the love—that’s offered?

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Excerpt

Scene setup: Cason has an attack of conscience and needs to apologize to Savannah for his behavior the day before. He goes to Savannah’s posh condo before work and to his surprise catches her in the midst of her morning routine.

When it didn’t open after a few minutes, he knocked again and called her name. Cason looked down as he waited. There on her step, damp from morning dew, was a package from her cell company. He bent over, grimaced at his hip, and picked it up just as the muffled padding of footsteps sounded inside.

The door yanked open, slamming against its chain. “What?” she asked.

“Oh,” he said, taken aback, looking at her from bare foot to robe to towel on her head.

“Yeah, I’m getting dressed, but nothing you haven’t seen before. What do you want?”

Cason knew then, looking at her, that he was kidding himself on why he was there and felt instantly grateful for the bargaining chip he had just picked up. “I’ve got something to say,” he said, holding up her package, “in exchange for your cell.”

Her eyes narrowed in irritation. “You can put that back down and leave. I don’t need another demeaning lecture this morning on how to be a better person from Mr. Military Hero McPherson, so buzz off.”

“I know,” he said, believing he had earned that comment.

She looked at him, and there was a brief second when he was optimistic she’d not slam the door in his face.

“Can I come in? I’ll be nice,” he added for good measure.

After a long pause, she shut the door in his face. He heard the chain being removed, and then the door cracked open. The padding of her footsteps sounded on the polished hardwoods, walking away from the door.

Cason slowly opened the door, feeling the tenuous truce between them, and then closed it behind him. He scanned the room as he took his boots off. The floors were dark polished wood. Huge white leather couches in the middle of the room looked out over the golf course woods. There was a white fur rug on the floor, and on the far side of the room a metal-and-clear-plastic dining set with a whacked-out ruffled white chandelier thing hanging over it. The kitchen was open to his left; a white marble-topped bar ran the length of it. Polished stainless-steel appliances dominated; the rest of the condo was all windows and black-and-white photographs. It was icy cold compared to Savannah’s mother’s house, which felt like a warm, straight-from-the-oven cookie.

He saw her across the condo go back into the bathroom and begin putting on her makeup; she’d changed into one of her starched white collared shirts that fit her snugly. He felt a tug in his belly when he realized she’d hastily buttoned it, but only halfway. It was untucked over one of her kneelength black skirts. He was definitely interrupting her morning routine, and it felt like just because he was there she wasn’t going to alter it one iota. And he didn’t blame her; if it were him, he would have already punched himself in the face.

She turned her head to look at him. “You can put that on the counter and go,” she said and then turned back to the mirror.

Cason did put the package on the counter, but he wasn’t going; he still had something on his mind. Instead, he busied himself. She had a fancy coffeemaker, but it hadn’t been programmed to make coffee that morning. He spotted the coffee grounds next to the machine and set to work. As he dumped grounds into the filter and added water, he felt his palms begin to sweat.

What am I doing?

A few moments later, Savannah, her hair wet but her shirt now buttoned and a black knee-length skirt on, came out to the kitchen. She tore open the cell phone box. “You’re still here. So, what is it that you wanted to tell me?” She powered the phone on.

Cason wanted to start with an apology but couldn’t. “Did you know your mom is dating?” he asked, resting his good hip against the counter and crossing his arms. As he looked at her, he remembered the way they were before he’d been discharged. They’d been friends. Good friends. Maybe even best friends. Being friends, high-fiving good platonic friends wouldn’t break the promise. Before he could think better of it, Savannah responded, eyebrows raised as she looked up at him, making his gut do that thing again.

“Are you kidding me?”

“Last night I got back to the house—she was doing the crossword with some guy.”

Savannah’s warm-chocolate gaze studied his face. He felt himself swallow, as if gulping down words that would get him into hot water of the non-platonic kind.

About the Author

beckybanksBecky Banks grew up, like the generations of Bankses before her, in the Hawaiian Islands. With the islands as her roots, Becky was raised within the time-honored tradition of “talking story” before a backdrop of grassy fields, blue waters, and cloud-clad mountains. She moved to the mainland after high school to attend Oregon State University, where she studied forestry, natural resources, and science education. One fateful day she realized that her decades of scribblings promised the makings of a romance writer. Becky’s first novel, The Legend of Lady MacLaoch, achieved the Night Owl Reviews Top Pick Award and Amazon’s Best Seller for Historical Romanc

Becky lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband, Keith, and their wild toddler, Sammy.

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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on December 5, 2016

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Crime and Catnip (A Nick and Nora Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Berkley (December 6, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425270226
E-Book ASIN: B01CZCW4ZY

Synopsis

Nick and Nora aren’t just pussyfooting around this time as they deal with a missing person’s case and murder.

While catering a gala for the Cruz Museum, Nora Charles agrees to look into the disappearance of director Violet Crenshaw’s niece, a case previously undertaken by her frisky feline friend Nick’s former owner, a private eye whose whereabouts are also currently unknown.

As Nora and her curious cat Nick pull at the string of clues, they begin to unravel a twisted tale of coded messages, theft, false identities, murder, and international espionage. Nora dares to hope that the labyrinth of leads will not only help them locate the missing young woman, but also solve the disappearance of the detective. That’s if Nora can stay alive long enough to find him…

INCLUDES DELICIOUS SANDWICH RECIPES

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About the Author

fred-profileWhile Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic. She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – and in Spring 2017, the new CAT RESCUE msyteries from Crooked Lane! She, Rocco and company make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York.

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November 30 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

November 30 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

December 1 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

December 1 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW

December 2 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

December 2 – Community Bookstop –  REVIEW

December 3 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW, INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY

December 3 – The Power of Words – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

December 4 – Mystery Playground – CHARACTER INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

December 4 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

December 5 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

December 5 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

December 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

December 6 – Melina’s Book Blog –  REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

December 6 – Readeropolis – REVIEW

December 7 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

December 7 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

December 7 – Varietats – Review

December 8 – Book Babble – REVIEW

December 8 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

December 8 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

December 9 – Books Direct – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

December 9 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

Posted in excerpt, Historical, Spotlight, Thriller, WW II on December 3, 2016

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Synopsis

In a bombed-out Polish village during World War II, a young resistance fighter finds that he is suddenly alone and trapped between two opposing armies. He is one of Poland’s “Devil’s Rebels” fighting desperately to save his homeland, but an injury has erased his memory and his only possession is a torn photograph of a couple he assumes are his parents. The woman appears to be holding the hand of a young child whose image has been ripped off. Could this be him?

Caught in the crosshairs of the retreating German army and the advancing Russian forces, the village holds nothing but destruction and despair until a mysterious young woman offers a small glimmer of hope that may represent his last chance – news of a refugee train departing from a nearby town, headed for American installations at the border.

But complications arise when the resistance fighter is betrayed by his own countryman and hunted by German SS officers who are determined to kill him before they retreat. Desperately searching for a home and family he can’t remember, he is persuaded to rescue two children who are doomed to die without his help. But as time runs out, the former rebel is faced with an impossible choice. Standing at the crossroads of saving himself or risking his life for strangers, what would motivate a young man at the brink of salvation to make one more sacrifice?

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Excerpt

Outside of Gorndask, Poland
December 20, 1944

The train swayed abruptly as it lurched along the poorly repaired tracks. Rail lines were the lifeblood of the war effort, and for six years the line, like every other in the war zone, had fallen under relentless bombing attack. Indeed, the track had been bombed and rebuilt so many times it was a miracle that it could carry any rail traffic at all. So the train engineer kept it slow, knowing that every bridge was an adventure, every crossing a potential derailing point. At one junction he looked briefly for oncoming traffic, though he suspected his was the only train running within two hundred miles. Who else would have the courage, or desperation, or defiance, or whatever combination of such things it might take to put another train upon the track?

The railroad track was a thread of black weaving through a white and green landscape of rolling hills, thick forests, farming cottages, and small towns. Black smoke billowed from the engine and floated back to coat the train in gray soot. The countryside was white with fresh snow. The storm had started out as rain a couple of days before and then turned to heavy snow, thick and wet. The train was surrounded by tall pines, their boughs drooping under the snow’s weight, seeming to reach for the ground. The sky was cloudy still, gray with soft wisps of fog drifting over the hills.  Winter had come, and it might be weeks before the sun would break through the overcast to sparkle on the snow.

The train consisted of five troop transport cars. All the seats had long before been ripped out, leaving the desperate passengers to stand chest-to-chest or back-to-back as they swayed together with each lurch of the train. A few of the weakest among them huddled on the floor, too exhausted, sick, or wounded to stand.

The cars were packed with terrified civilians, mostly women and their scarce belongings: piles of clothing held together with rope, a few bags, an occasional suitcase. One of the women held a small sewing machine, another a wooden cage stuffed with three chickens. In the corner of the compartment, a young mother stood alone. Her long hair framed a beautiful oval face that was so vacant it looked lifeless. In her arms, she held a tiny bundle tightly wrapped from head to toe in a light blue baby blanket. Her child. No longer living. Taking him home. It was a pitiful sight, and the other passengers gave her as much space as they could muster, but no one spoke to her. The death of a child was as common as the falling of the snow, and no one had the ability to offer any comfort anymore.

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About the Author

Chris Stewart is a New York Times bestselling author who has published more than a dozen books, has been selected by the Book of the Month Club, and has released titles in multiple languages in seven countries. He has also been a guest editorial list for the Detroit News, among other publications, commenting on matters of military readiness and national security concerns. He is a world-record-setting Air Force pilot (fastest nonstop flight around the world) and president and CEO of The Shipley Group, a nationally recognized consulting and training company.

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Posted in Cozy, mystery, Spotlight on December 3, 2016

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Better Off Thread (Embroidery Mystery)
Series: Embroidery Mystery (Book 10)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley (December 6, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0451473851
E-Book ASIN: B01CZCW26A

Santa finds himself in a stitch of trouble in the tenth in the series from the national bestselling author of The Stitching Hour…

Marcy is busy helping her customers make hand-crafted ornaments at her embroidery shop, the Seven-Year Stitch. But despite the yuletide bustle, when her friend Captain Moe asks for her help, she can’t refuse—especially when the favor is to play the elf to his Santa for sick children at a local hospital. Despite the ridiculous outfit, Marcy finds herself enjoying spreading cheer—until the hospital’s administrator is found murdered.

Although the deceased had plenty of people willing to fill her stocking with coal, evidence pins the crime on Moe. Now it’s up to Marcy, with the help of her police officer boyfriend Ted and her Irish Wolfhound Angus, to stitch together the clues to clear Moe’s name—before someone else winds up crossed off Santa’s list for good…

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About the Author

gp3Gayle Trent (and pseudonym Amanda Lee) writes the Daphne Martin Cake Decorating series and the Embroidery Mystery series. The cake decorating series features a heroine who is starting her life over in Southwest Virginia after a nasty divorce. The Embroidery Mystery series features a heroine who recently moved to the Oregon coast to open an embroidery specialty shop. She also writes the Down South Café Mysteries as Gayle Leeson.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on December 2, 2016

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Synopsis

Retired homicide detective Michaela McPherson and the aging Countess Dorothy Borghase team up again—this time to match wits with two serial killers stalking children, women and the elderly.
When Dottie Borghase’s friend Camilla Rothrock collapses at a lunch gathering of old friends, the countess’s only concern is to dial 911 for help. But Camilla’s subsequent death has authorities buzzing about international safety and retaliation, because her son is decorated U.S. Army General Stuart Rothrock.

As other restaurant patrons in Richmond meet similar fates, Michaela and Dottie join forces with the Richmond Police and the FBI to track down the pair of heinous murderers. But in order to catch the killers, they will put their own lives and the lives of others in in serious jeopardy.

What Price Must a City Pay to Keep its Citizen’s Safe?

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Excerpt

Dottie sat quietly in a large wing-backed chair in the calm serenity of Madame Toulescent’s solarium. The herbs Madame Toulescent had given her had done the trick. She could feel herself calming down. She could hear the rushing of the James River in the distance and she was mesmerized by the cattle grazing in the field in the distance. Perhaps all was right with the world. She supposed she’d know soon enough.

Madame motioned her to a simple wooden table on the side of the room. Dottie arose from her chair and took the seat facing the psychic. Madame Toulescent’s eyes glazed through the glass window out into the fields. Dottie wondered what she was seeing but sat quietly and watched.

“Countess Borghase, you know I’m a psychic. Generally, when we meet, I do psychic readings. But, I also function as a spiritual medium. Would you like for me to see if I could talk with your friend, Camilla?”

Dottie’s stomach knotted up and she felt nauseous. She stared at Madame Toulescent and said, her voice hesitant, “I… I don’t know. I’ve never done that before. Will it help?”

Madame Toulescent could sense her hesitation. “You seem frightened to talk with your friend or at least have your friend communicate with us. Let’s see what else we can do.”

“I didn’t know you talked with spirits,” Dottie said. “Can you tell me how that works?”

“Well, there are quite a few things I can do,” Madame Toulescent said gently. She could see Dottie was upset about channeling Camilla. “We’ve mostly done psychic readings when you’ve visited. The psychic readings are about getting advice, guidance or direction around things that are happening in your life. There’ve been a couple of times when you’ve been here in crises and you wanted some help or direction. It is my belief that a reading is getting confirmation on what our own intuition is already telling us. Most of the time, I’ve simply confirmed what your intuition had already suggested. I’ve validated what you already knew. Often as a psychic, I only teach and help people confirm their own wisdom.

Dottie nodded, “Yes, I agree with that. Most of the time you’ve validated what I’ve thought and believed and have helped me decide what to do next.”

Madame nodded. “Yes, this is true.”

“But, Countess,” she said taking Dottie’s cold hand into her warm one, “I also work as a medium and I can contact your friend Camilla and we can learn about the last few moments of her life.”

Dottie’s eyes filled with tears, “But I don’t know if I want to know about Camilla’s last few minutes. She looked so horrible and I think she was scared and in pain,” she ended with a choked sob.

Madame Toulescent nodded. “I understand what you are saying. I just want to tell you that it’s possible we can learn from Camilla. Perhaps she can help us solve the poisonings.”

About the Author

judith-lucciDr. Judith Lucci is a bestselling Amazon author and the author of the Alex Destephano Medical Thriller series set in New Orleans and the Michaela McPherson Mystery/Suspense series set in her hometown on Richmond, Virginia. Lucci also has a volume of short stories, Black Magic Bayou, a collection of moralistic tales based on Cajun superstition and lore and a novella, Beach Blanket Murders: The Ocean Can be Deadly. She has contributed to three anthologies and collections, and is the creator of Author 911: The Authors Guide to Writing and Medical Information. She is a registered nurse and college professor and holds graduate degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Virginia.

“Before I wrote fiction, I was an academic writer who published research, theoretical works, authored text books and just about anything a college professor needed to publish to survive.” The differences in academic and fiction writing are dramatic. Writing what I know encourages me to pull from my clinical experiences, some good, some not and use popular fiction as a means to teach and advocate for others.

Dr. Lucci’s books have three purposes, to engage the reader, to entertain them and to educate about healthcare and perhaps, the darker side of hospital life and life in general. Her books are described as contemporary novels that focus on and describe current social, moral and ethical issues in present day society. Judith is a true advocate for social justice and that theme is often prevalent in her work. She’s an avid reader and loves making stuff up and writing it down. She’s a member of the Virginia Writers Club, The Gulf Coast Writers Club, The Shenandoah Valley Writers group and Sisters in Crime.

When I’m not writing I am probably teaching, painting on silk as I am a multi-media artist or playing with my many dogs.  Please feel free to contact me.  I am always excited to meet new people!

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Giveaway Ends December 2nd at Midnight (EST).

p.s. – When you enter your email if you get an error message because you are already subscribed, don’t worry, that means you are already entered in the giveaway! I have several email lists but this is the only one that will enter you to win in this giveaway. So, make sure you are subscribed:} Have a great day and Good Luck To Everyone!

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Posted in Cozy, excerpt, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery, Spotlight on December 1, 2016

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Murder at the Moonshine Inn: A Hazel Rose Book Group Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd Series
Koehler Books (November 15, 2016)
Paperback: 288 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1633932814
E-Book ASIN: B01LXL1VXD

Synopsis

When high-powered executive Roxanne Howard dies in a pool of blood outside the Moonshine Inn, Richmond, Virginia’s premiere redneck bar, the victim’s sister enlists Hazel Rose to ferret out the killer. At first Hazel balks—she’s a romance writer, not a detective. But Brad Jones, Rox’s husband, is the prime suspect. He’s also Hazel’s cousin, and Hazel believes in doing anything to help family. Never mind that Brad won’t give her the time of day—he’s still family.

Hazel recruits her book group members to help with the investigation. It’s not long before they discover any number of people who feel that a world without Rox Howard is just fine with them: Brad’s son believes that Rox and Brad were behind his mother’s death; Rox’s former young lover holds Rox responsible for a tragedy in his family; and one of Rox’s employees filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against her. The killer could be an angry regular from the Moonshine Inn—or just about anyone who ever crossed paths with the willful and manipulative Rox. When a second murder ups the ante Hazel must find out who is behind the killings. And fast. Or she may be victim #3.

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Guest Post

Research: Writing What You Don’t Know

Write what you know. What author hasn’t heard those four words countless times? But sometimes we’re writing what we don’t know. Historical fiction is a case in point. And what if your sleuth needs to investigate a murder at a redneck bar? What if she has never set foot in a redneck bar?

In Murder at the Moonshine Inn, Hazel Rose agrees to investigate the murder of Roxanne Howard, a high-powered executive who died in a pool of blood outside the Moonshine Inn, one of Richmond, Virginia’s most notorious redneck bars. Hazel immediately has two questions: who killed Roxanne? And why had the woman spent her leisure time sitting on a barstool at the watering hole, having loud fights on her phone with her husband?

To answer these questions, Hazel needs to go to the bar—undercover. How does she act? How does she dress? How does she speak? What does the bar look like?

That’s where I step in. I needed to visit a redneck bar that would become the model for the fictitious Moonshine Inn (not undercover, though.).

My friend Marie served as my consultant. She assured me that she was an expert on redneck culture. She advised me on dress, dialog, and any number of details. She sent me links to databases of redneck baby names. There is a wealth of online sources for redneckiana (not a real word, but perhaps it should be).

Vince, Hazel’s husband and undercover partner, admires his wife’s disguise:

“Wow!” His appreciative look said he liked the redneck me.

“It’s just for tonight. This is way too much work.”

“It’s the top I like. Hair’s for the birds. Literally.”

Vince referred to my Harley Davidson two-sizes-too-Vince referred to my Harley Davidson two-sizes-too-small tank top that revealed an impressive display of cleavage. I had a Victoria’s Secret contraption that I employed for the thankfully few occasions when I wanted to play up my assets. The jeans that I’d slashed in strategic places molded my bottom half, and Eileen’s boots fit well with the help of thick, albeit unsexy, socks. As for the hair, I may have gone overboard with teasing and spraying my chestnut waves into something like an exploded mushroom—or a birds nest. But, as long as I fit in, that was the main thing: frosted blue eye shadow and plenty of it streaked across my eyelids, and my nails sparkled with scarlet polish.

Back to me and my research. My own husband and I visited three bars and I combined the three in to one for my story. I tried to capture the essence and Marie helped. Between these visits, Marie, online sources, and my vivid imagination, I put together a passable chapter.

When Hazel arrives at the Moonshine Inn with Vince, she gives an Oscar-worthy performance as a redneck queen, she meets some very interesting people, and picks up information that may prove valuable in nailing Roxanne Howard’s killer.

 

Excerpt

IF ONLY I could learn to say no, I wouldn’t be perched on a barstool in a redneck bar, breathing secondhand smoke and pretending to flirt with men sporting baseball caps and Confederate bandanas, their eyes riveted on my Victoria’s Secret-enhanced cleavage. I wouldn’t be tricked out in a bizarre hairstyle, frosted blue eye shadow, painted-on jeans with strategically placed slashes, and a two-sizes-too-small Harley Davidson tank top.

I hit the rewind button on my life and stopped a few days earlier, at the point where Phyllis Ross threw a cup of coffee in Nina Brown’s face. How that led to this undercover assignment—finding out who killed a middle-aged drunken woman in the parking lot of the Moonshine Inn—is quite a tale.

***

When I walked into one of the many Panera restaurants that dotted the Richmond, Virginia landscape I didn’t spot any rednecks. Perhaps they were traveling incognito. The Panera denizens wore standard summer garb: shorts, capris, sandals, T-shirts, with a baseball cap here and there. They sat hunched over laptops or swiping the screens of their smartphones. Some retro types chose to absorb the day’s news on paper.

Trudy Zimmerman’s long white mane made her easy to spot in a booth that overlooked Panera’s patio and the parking lot beyond. When I took the seat next to her, she introduced the woman sitting across from us as Nina Brown.

Nina Brown. Where had I heard that name? Trudy pronounced Nina like the number nine followed by a short a—Nine-ah. Short and long vowels brought back memories of long-ago school days: were vowels still a part of the teaching curriculum?

Nina’s appearance spoke volumes about her health. A heavy layer of makeup didn’t hide the shadows under her dark eyes. Vertical lines bracketed her mouth like parentheses. I wondered if she suffered from depression, perhaps brought on by a serious health condition or recent trauma.

She extended her hand. “Nice to meet you, Hazel,” she assured me in a surprisingly strong and melodious voice, one I associated with telephone sales or disc jockeys.

Trudy had called me the night before, saying she had a friend who needed a favor that apparently only I could grant.

“What sort of favor?”

“I can’t say. She made me promise not to.”

“Huh? What is this, some kind of spy operation?”

“I think you’ll be intrigued by what she has to say. Please, Hazel. Do this for me.”

“For you, huh? Who is this woman? How about a hint?”

“I can’t. I’m sworn to secrecy. Just come and hear her story. You can always say no.”

I’d laughed. “Yeah, just say no.” One would think that at my age I would have learned to say no. But I suspected I’d be filing for Medicare without mastering that useful skill. Oh well, I had two years to work on it.

“Okay, I’ll listen to what she has to say. I’ll say ‘yes’ to that.” We decided on Panera at Stony Point at eight the next morning.

Introductions made, Trudy looked at me and said, “Why don’t you get something and then we’ll chat.” I noted her party hostess tone and gave her a look.

When I returned to the booth with coffee and croissant in hand, Trudy stood to let me slide into the booth. “I might have to leave early. We have a staff meeting at nine-thirty.”

“We” referred to the library where Trudy worked. Great, I thought. I hoped Nina got her tale told before Trudy deserted me.

Nina smiled and started with an icebreaker. “So Hazel, Trudy says you two are in the same book group.”

“Yes, for, what is it, ten years now?” Trudy nodded.

Nina sipped her coffee, bleached by a heavy dose of creamer. “And you’re a writer?”

“Yes, I write romance novels for baby boomers.”

“How many books have you published?”

“Six, so far.”

“A lot of people like your books.”

I smiled. “So, what kind of work do you do?”

“Oh, nothing much right now. I help out at my . . . my sister’s non-profit.” She inhaled heavily and grabbed my arm, startling me. “I have something to ask … a favor.”

“Why, Hazel Rose and Trudy Zimmerman. Fancy meeting you here.”

“Hi, Phyllis.” In one voice Trudy and I greeted Phyllis Ross,another member of our book group. Phyllis fixed her attention on Nina—not on us. Her do-I-know-you look was a little too probing, but Phyllis wasn’t known for her subtlety.

Trudy put down her egg sandwich and wiped her mouth before making introductions. “Phyllis Ross, Nina Brown. Nina—”

“So it is you! I can’t believe it.” Phyllis pointed a shaky finger at Nina.

Nina looked alarmed. “Who are you?” she asked.

“Who am I? I’m Phyllis Lassiter Ross. Charlie Lassiter’s sister.”

“Oh! I didn’t recognize you.”

Phyllis glared. “Well, it’s been twenty years.”

I could understand why Nina didn’t recognize her. I’d seen pictures of Phyllis from her younger days and the years hadn’t been kind to her. Likely her love of the sun had accelerated the aging process.

Her face darkening with anger, Phyllis leaned over the table, hovering over Nina. Her brown-going-gray hair fanned out around her head and I covered my mug with my hand lest a stray hair invade my coffee.

“Charlie loved you, may he rest in peace,” Phyllis railed. “But you dumped him like he was yesterday’s garbage. After taking his money for that pyramid scheme.”

“Charlie died?”

“Yes, two years ago.”

Charlie Lassiter had suffered a massive heart attack. At his funeral I’d met his current wife, former wife, his children and grandchildren. I felt sure he was long over Nina. So, why was Phyllis pinning his demise on her?

“Phyllis, I’m sorry he died, but I had nothing to do with it. I hadn’t seen him in years. As for the money, I paid him back.”

“Not according to him you didn’t. Two thousand dollars to invest in nutrition supplements.” Phyllis gave Nina the once-over. “Obviously a poor investment.”

Trudy and I looked at each other, not sure if we should intervene. But I felt like I had to do something. “Phyllis, please—” I started.

Phyllis ignored me. I hoped she wouldn’t follow in her brother’s footsteps and have a cardiac event. Could one of the device-addicted customers be a doctor? Eyes flashing, she continued to challenge Nina. “So tell me, how many children did you have?”

Nina opened her mouth as if to answer, then closed it.

“You told my brother you wanted children; you said your clock was ticking. Even though when you met him you claimed you didn’t want them.”

“I changed my mind.”

“So how many little rug rats did you have? Or was it all a ruse to get rid of Charlie?”

“I didn’t have children. I broke up with your dear brother because he was a jerk. God rest his soul, but he was a jerk!”

“He loved you and so hoped to get back together. God knows the whole family told him you weren’t worth it.”

“Yeah, I know. He stalked me for two years. And another thing—he was weird sexually.”

Weird sexually? I privately hoped she’d expand on that item. As a romance writer I was always on the lookout for new material.

Up to then the two women had kept their voices modulated, but now Nina amped up her proclamation about Charlie’s peccadillos, pulling people’s attention from their newspapers and electronic devices. It also put Phyllis over the edge. In less time than it took to blink, she picked up Nina’s mug and tossed the contents into her face, adding a few choice expletives.

Nina sat open-mouthed in shock, face and hair dripping with coffee.

I handed Nina my napkin and Trudy’s. “Are you burned?” Trudy made a dash for the napkin dispenser on a nearby condiment station.

“No, just wet.” Nina wiped her face. No doubt she could thank her over-creaming habit for cooling her coffee enough to save her from injury.

Then several things happened at once. A handsome young man whose name tag read “Todd Makin, Manager” appeared and asked if there was a problem. A member of the waitstaff trailed behind him with a wet cloth in hand.

“I’ll say there’s a problem,” said a woman who had been sitting in the booth behind us. She stood and pulled off her up-to-then pristine white jacket, now splotched with coffee. Droplets of the brew clung to the woman’s blonde curls.

By that time we were all standing and had the attention of the whole restaurant. Phyllis had vanished. Trudy handed Nina more napkins and escorted her to the restroom like she was a young child. As they walked away I noticed that Nina’s clothes hung on her, almost requiring suspenders to hold up her capris. A recent weight loss was my guess.

The irate woman spoke up. “That woman, the one with the wild hair—” she pointed out the window. Phyllis was now headed for the parking lot, her hair and loose-fitting top flowing around her. “She threw a cup of coffee at that woman in the red shirt.” She turned and pointed out Nina, now almost to the restroom.

“We’ll get you all seated at clean booths.” The manager smiled, his voice soothing. He’d make a great diplomat. Or playground referee. His assistant set to cleaning up both booths while Todd transferred our dishes.

That left me standing with the irate woman who wailed, “My beautiful jacket is just ruined!”

“Oh, the stain will come out,” I assured her. “I have the same jacket and once spilled coffee on it. Cold water works like magic. You’d better go to the restroom right away before the stain sets.”

I’m not usually called upon for impromptu performances, but I did a fair job spinning this tale. The woman looked uncertain for a moment, like she suspected a trick. Then she sighed and went to join Trudy and Nina in the restroom.

I sat in the new booth and waited for Trudy and Nina to reappear. When they did, Nina was still a bit damp.

She explained, “They only have automatic hand dryers in the restroom. They don’t dry the rest of the body too well.”

Having never found myself dripping with coffee in a restaurant, I hadn’t considered the limitations of hand dryers. Todd refreshed our beverages and offered any other services he could provide.

We assured him that we’d let him know. When he left, the three of us looked at each other and laughed. We had some “other services” in mind for the attractive Todd.

I said, “Nina, we’re sorry about Phyllis.”

Nina’s shrug suggested that she tangled with enraged women on a regular basis. “It’s okay. Charlie’s whole family hated me. They thought he was so wonderful. But he wasn’t.”

I knew Phyllis had been close to her brother and had taken it hard when Charlie died. Perhaps she had a blind side for her brother. Of course, she hadn’t known him in the same context as had Nina. Or so I hoped.

“You know,” I said, “You could file assault charges. That’s what Phyllis did, assault you.”

“No, no, no, no, no.” Nina waved both hands in front of her like they were windshield wipers. “Let’s just forget about it.”

I waited a beat for Nina to offer anything else about Charlie. When she didn’t, I said brightly, “Well, let’s start over. You said you needed a favor.”

My earlier reluctance to come to this meeting so early on a Monday morning had yielded to an eager curiosity. A woman who caused other women to throw coffee in her face had to be interesting. And a woman with a sexually weird man in the past—well, I was all ears.

Nina bit her lip and set to twisting her napkin. “Um, yes. A favor.” Nina looked around, like she feared someone might overhear her or sneak up behind her. Was she about to confess to a crime? If so, she didn’t need me, she needed a lawyer.

Leaning in close, she lowered her voice. “I want you to find out who killed my sister.”

About the Author

maggie-king-author-photo-72Maggie King is the author of the Hazel Rose Book Group mysteries, including the recently-released Murder at the Moonshine Inn. She contributed the stories “A Not So Genteel Murder” and “Reunion at Shockoe Slip” to the Virginia is for Mysteries anthologies.

Maggie is a member of Sisters in Crime, James River Writers, and the American Association of University Women. She has worked as a software developer, retail sales manager, and customer service supervisor. Maggie graduated from Elizabeth Seton College and earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Rochester Institute of Technology. She has called New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California home. These days she lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, Glen, and cats, Morris and Olive.

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