Book Showcase: THE LITTLE BOOKSHOP ON THE SEINE by Rebecca Raisin



Little Bookshop on the Seine, Little Paris Collection #1/The Bookshop #2, by Rebecca Raisin
ISBN: 9781335012500 (trade paperback)
ISBN: 9781488056628 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781488207891 (audiobook – digital)
ISBN: 9781094097404 (audiobook – MP3 on CD)
ASIN: B07Z43QL3Q  (Audible audiobook)
ASIN: B07QV8YWLK (Kindle edition)
Publisher:  HQN Books
Release Date: January 7, 2020


It’s The Holiday on the Champs-Élysées in a great big love letter to Paris, charming old bookstores and happily-ever-afters!

When bookshop owner Sarah Smith is offered the opportunity for a job exchange with her Parisian friend Sophie, saying yes is a no-brainer—after all, what kind of romantic would turn down six months in Paris? Sarah is sure she’s in for the experience of a lifetime—days spent surrounded by literature in a gorgeous bookshop, and the chance to watch the snow fall on the Eiffel Tower. Plus, now she can meet up with her journalist boyfriend, Ridge, when his job takes him around the globe.

But her expectations cool faster than her café au lait soon after she lands in the City of Light—she’s a fish out of water in Paris. The customers are rude, her new coworkers suspicious and her relationship with Ridge has been reduced to a long-distance game of phone tag, leaving Sarah to wonder if he’ll ever put her first over his busy career. As Christmas approaches, Sarah is determined to get the shop—and her life—back in order…and make her dreams of a Parisian happily-ever-after come true. 






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Read an Excerpt


CHAPTER ONE
October



With a heavy heart I placed the sign in the display window. 

All books 50% off.

If things didn’t pick up soon, it would read Closing down sale. The thought alone was enough to make me shiver. The autumnal sky was awash with purples and smudges of orange, as I stepped outside to survey the display window from the sidewalk. 

Star-shaped leaves crunched underfoot. I forced a smile. A sale wouldn’t hurt, and maybe it’d take the bookshop figures from the red into the black—which I so desperately needed. My rent had been hiked up. The owner of the building, a sharp-featured, silver-tongued, forty-something man, had put the pressure on me lately—to pay more, to declutter the shop, claiming the haphazard stacks of books were a fire risk. The additional rent stretched the budget to breaking level. Something had to change.

The phone shrilled, and a grin split my face. It could only be Ridge at this time of the morning. Even after being together almost a year his name still provoked a giggle. It suited him though, the veritable man mountain he was. I’d since met his mom, a sweet, well-spoken lady, who claimed in dulcet tones, that she chose his name well before his famous namesake in The Bold and the Beautiful. In fact, she was adamant about it, and said the TV character Ridge was no match for her son. I had to agree. Sure, they both had chiseled movie star cheekbones, and an intense gaze that made many a woman swoon, but my guy was more than just the sum of his parts—I loved him for his mind, as much as his clichéd six-pack, and broody hotness. And even better, he loved me for me.

He was the hero in my own real-life love story, and due back from Canada the next day. It’d been weeks since I’d seen him, and I ached for him in a way that made me blush.

I dashed inside, and answered the phone, breathlessly. “The Bookshop on the Corner.”

“That’s the voice I know and love,” he said in his rich, husky tone. My heart fluttered, picturing him at the end of the line, his jet-black hair and flirty blue eyes. He simply had to flick me a look loaded with suggestion, and I’d be jelly-legged and lovestruck.

“What are you wearing?” he said.

“Wouldn’t you like to know?” I held back a laugh, eager to drag it out. So far our relationship had been more long-distance than anticipated, as he flew around the world reporting on location. The stints apart left an ache in my heart, a numbness to my days. Luckily I had my books, and a sweeping romance or two helped keep the loneliness at bay.

“Tell me or I’ll be forced to Skype you and see for myself.”

Glancing down at my outfit, I grimaced: black tights, a black pencil skirt, and a pilled blue knit sweater, all as old as the hills of Ashford. Not exactly the type of answer Ridge was waiting for, or the way I wanted him to picture me, after so many weeks apart. “Those stockings you like, and…”

His voice returned with a growl. “Those stockings? With the little suspenders?”

I sat back into the chair behind the counter, fussing with my bangs. “The very same.”

He groaned. “You’re killing me. Take a photo…”

“There’s no need. If you’re good, I’ll wear the red ones tomorrow night.” I grinned wickedly. Our reunions were always passionate affairs; he was a hands-on type of guy. Lucky for him, because it took a certain type of man to drag me from the pages of my books. When he was home we didn’t surface until one of us had to go to work. Loving Ridge had been a revelation, especially in the bedroom, where he took things achingly slow, drawing out every second. I flushed with desire for him.

There was a muffled voice and the low buzz of phones ringing. Ridge mumbled to someone before saying, “About tomorrow…” He petered out, regret in each syllable.

I closed my eyes. “You’re not coming, are you?” I tried not to sigh, but it spilled out regardless. The lure of a bigger, better story was too much for him to resist, and lately the gaps between our visits grew wider. I understood his work was important, but I wanted him all to myself. A permanent fixture in the small town I lived in.

He tutted. “I’m sorry, baby. There’s a story breaking in Indonesia, and I have to go. It’ll only be for a week or two, and then I’ll take some time off.”

Outside, leaves fluttered slowly from the oak tree, swaying softly, until they fell to the ground. I wasn’t the nagging girlfriend sort—times like this though, I was tempted to be. Ridge had said the very same thing the last three times he’d canceled a visit. But invariably someone would call and ask Ridge to head to the next location; any time off would be cut short.

“I understand,” I said, trying to keep my voice bright. Sometimes I felt like I played a never-ending waiting game. Would it always be like this? “Just so you know, I have a very hot date this afternoon.”

He gasped. “You better be talking about a fictional date.” His tone was playful, but underneath there was a touch of jealousy to it. Maybe it was just as hard on him, being apart.

“One very hot book boyfriend…though not as delectable as my real boyfriend—but a stand-in, until he returns.”

“Well, he better not keep you up half the night, or he’ll have me to answer to,” he faux threatened, and then said more seriously, “Things will slow down, Sarah. I want to be with you so much my soul hurts. But right now, while I’m freelance, I have to take whatever comes my way.”

“I know. I just feel a bit lost sometimes. Like someone’s hit pause, and I’m frozen on the spot.” I bit my lip, trying to work out how to explain it. “It’s not just missing you—I do understand about your job—it’s…everything. The bookshop sales dwindling, the rent jacked up, everyone going on about their business, while I’m still the same old Sarah.”

I’d been at this very crossroad when I’d met Ridge, and he’d swept me off my feet, like the ultimate romance hero. For a while that had been enough. After all, wasn’t love always the answer? Romance aside, life was a little stagnant, and I knew it was because of my fear of change. It wasn’t so much that I had to step from behind the covers of my books, rather plunge, perhaps. Take life by the scruff of the neck and shake it. But how?

“You’ve had a rough few weeks. That’s all. I’ll be back soon, and I’m sure there’s something I can do to make you forget everything…”

My belly flip-flopped at the thought. He would make me forget everything that was outside that bedroom door, but then he’d leave and it would all tumble back.

What exactly was I searching for? My friends were getting married and having babies. Buying houses and redecorating. Starting businesses. My life had stalled. I was an introvert, happiest hiding in the shadows of my shop, reading romances to laze the day away, between serving the odd customer or two—yet, it wasn’t enough. In small-town Connecticut, there wasn’t a lot to do. And life here—calm, peaceful—was fine, but that’s just it, fine wasn’t enough anymore. I had this fear that life was passing me by because I was too timid to take the reins.

It was too hazy a notion of what I was trying to say, even to me. Instead of lumping Ridge with it, I changed tack. “I hope you know, you’re not leaving the house when you get home. Phones will be switched to silent, computers forgotten, and the only time we’re leaving the comfort of bed is when I need sustenance.” A good romp around the bedroom would suffice until I could pinpoint what it was that I wanted.

“How about I sort out the sustenance?” he said, his voice heavy with desire. “And then we’ll never have to leave.”

“Promises, promises,” I said, my breath hitching. I hoped this flash of longing would never wane, the sweet torture of anticipation.

“I have to go, baby. I’ll call you tonight if it’s not too late once I’m in.”

“Definitely call tonight! Otherwise, I can’t guarantee the book boyfriend won’t steal your girlfriend. He’s pretty hot, I’ll have you know.”

“Why am I jealous of a fictional character?” He laughed, a low, sexy sound. “OK, tonight. Love you.”

“Love you too.”

He hung up, leaving me dazed, and a touch lonely knowing that I wouldn’t see him the next day as planned.

I tried to shake the image of Ridge from my mind. If anyone walked in, they’d see the warm blush of my cheeks, and know exactly what I was thinking. Damn the man for being so attractive, and so effortlessly sexy.

Shortly, the sleepy town of Ashford would wake under the gauzy light of October skies. Signs would be flipped to open, stoops swept, locals would amble down the road. Some would step into the bookshop and out of the cold, and spend their morning with hands wrapped around a mug of steaming hot tea, and reading in any one of the cozy nooks around the labyrinth-like shop.

I loved having a place for customers to languish. Comfort was key, and if you had a good book and a hot drink, what else could you possibly need to make your day any brighter? Throw rugs and cushions were littered around seating areas. Coats would be swiftly hung on hooks, a chair found, knitted blankets pulled across knees, and their next hour or two spent, in the most relaxing of ways.

I wandered around the shop, feather duster in hand, tickling the covers, waking them from slumber. I’m sure as soon as my back was turned, the books wiggled and winked at one another, as if they were eager for the day to begin, for fingers of hazy sunlight to filter through and land on them like spotlights, as if saying, here’s the book for you.

Imagine if I had to close up for good, like so many other shops had in recent times? It pained me to think people were missing out on the real-life bookshop experience. Wasn’t it much better when you could step into a dimly lit space, and eke your way around searching for the right novel? You could run a fingertip along the spines, smell that glorious old book scent, flick them open, and unbend a dog-eared page. Read someone else’s notes in the margin, or a highlighted passage, and see why that sentence or metaphor had dazzled the previous owner.

Secondhand books had so much life in them. They’d lived, sometimes in many homes, or maybe just one. They’d been on airplanes, traveled to sunny beaches, or crowded into a backpack and taken high up a mountain where the air thinned.

Some had been held aloft tepid rose-scented baths, and thickened and warped with moisture. Others had childlike scrawls on the acknowledgment page, little fingers looking for a blank space to leave their mark. Then there were the pristine novels, ones that had been read carefully, bookmarks used, almost like their owner barely pried the pages open so loath were they to damage their treasure.

I loved them all.



Excerpt from The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin. Copyright © 2015 by Rebecca Raisin. Published by HQN Books. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved.




Meet the author



Rebecca Raisin is the author of several novels, including the beloved Little Paris series and the Gingerbread Café trilogy, and her short stories have been published in various anthologies and fiction magazines. You can follow Rebecca on Facebook and at http://www.rebeccaraisin.com




Connect with the author via Twitter, Facebook, her website, Instagram, and Goodreads

Book Showcase: GOOD GIRLS LIE by JT Ellison



Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison
ISBN: 9780778330776 (trade paperback)
ISBN: 9780778309185 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781488023569 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781488206696 (audiobook)
ASIN: B07P5FRJFR (Audible audiobook)
ASIN: B07L7B1P3Z (Kindle edition)
Publisher:  MIRA Books
Release Date: December 30, 2019


Goode girls don’t lie…

Perched atop a hill in the tiny town of Marchburg, Virginia, The Goode School is a prestigious prep school known as a Silent Ivy. The boarding school of choice for daughters of the rich and influential, it accepts only the best and the brightest. Its elite status, long-held traditions and honor code are ideal for preparing exceptional young women for brilliant futures at Ivy League universities and beyond. But a stranger has come to Goode, and this ivy has turned poisonous.

In a world where appearances are everything, as long as students pretend to follow the rules, no one questions the cruelties of the secret societies or the dubious behavior of the privileged young women who expect to get away with murder. But when a popular student is found dead, the truth cannot be ignored. Rumors suggest she was struggling with a secret that drove her to suicide.

But look closely…because there are truths and there are lies, and then there is everything that really happened.

J.T. Ellison’s pulse-pounding new novel examines the tenuous bonds of friendship, the power of lies and the desperate lengths people will go to to protect their secrets.






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Read an Excerpt


1
THE HANGING



The girl’s body dangles from the tall iron gates guarding the school’s entrance. A closer examination shows the ends of a red silk tie peeking out like a cardinal on a winter branch, forcing her neck into a brutal angle. She wears her graduation robe and multicolored stole as if knowing she’ll never see the achievement. It rained overnight and the thin robe clings to her body, dew sparkling on the edges. The last tendrils of dawn’s fog laze about her legs, which are five feet from the ground.

There is no breeze, no birds singing or squirrels industriously gathering for the long winter ahead, no cars passing along the street, only the cool, misty morning air and the gentle metallic creaking of the gates under the weight of the dead girl. She is suspended in midair, her back to the street, her face hidden behind a curtain of dirty, wet hair, dark from the rains. 

Because of the damage to her face, it will take them some time to officially identify her. In the beginning, it isn’t even clear she attends the school, despite wearing The Goode School robes. 

But she does. 

The fingerprints will prove it. Of course, there are a few people who know exactly who is hanging from the school’s gates. Know who, and know why. But they will never tell. As word spreads of the apparent suicide, The Goode School’s all-female student body begin to gather, paying silent, terrified homage to their fallen compatriot. The gates are closed and locked—as they always are overnight—buttressed on either side by an ivy-covered, ten-foot-high, redbrick wall, but it tapers off into a knee-wall near the back entrance to the school parking lot, and so is escapable by foot. The girls of Goode silently filter out from the dorms, around the end of Old West Hall and Old East Hall to Front Street—the main street of Marchburg, the small Virginia town housing the elite prep school—and take up their positions in front of the gate in a wedge of crying, scared, worried young women who glance over shoulders looking for the one who is missing from their ranks. To reassure themselves this isn’t their friend, their sister, their roommate. 

Another girl joins them, but no one notices she comes from the opposite direction, from town. She was not behind the redbrick wall. 

Whispers rise from the small crowd, nothing loud enough to be overheard but forming a single question.

Who is it? Who?

A solitary siren pierces the morning air, the sound bleeding upward from the bottom of the hill, a rising crescendo. Someone has called the sheriff. 

Goode perches like a gargoyle above the city’s small downtown, huddles behind its ivy-covered brick wall. The campus is flanked by two blocks of restaurants, bars, and necessary shops. The school’s buildings are tied together with trolleys—enclosed glass-and-wood bridges that make it easy for the girls to move from building to building in climate-controlled comfort. It is quiet, dignified, isolated. As are the girls who attend the school; serious, studious. Good. Goode girls are always good. They go on to great things. 

The headmistress, or dean, as she prefers to call herself, Ford Julianne Westhaven, great-granddaughter several times removed from the founder of The Goode School, arrives in a flurry, her driver, Rumi, braking the family Bentley with a screech one hundred feet away from the gates. The crowd in the street blocks the car and, for a moment, the sight of the dangling girl. No one stops to think about why the dean might be off campus this early in the morning. Not yet, anyway. 

Dean Westhaven rushes out of the back of the dove-gray car and runs to the crowd, her face white, lips pressed firmly together, eyes roving. It is a look all the girls at Goode recognize and shrink from. 

The dean’s irritability is legendary, outweighed only by her kindness. It is said she alone approves every application to the school, that she chooses the Goode girls by hand for their intelligence, their character. Her say is final. Absolute. But for all her goodness, her compassion, her kindness, Dean Westhaven has a temper. 

She begins to gather the girls into groups, small knots of natural blondes and brunettes and redheads, no fantastical dye allowed. Some shiver in oversize school sweatshirts and running shorts, some are still in their pajamas. The dean is looking for the chick missing from her flock. She casts occasional glances over her shoulder at the grim scene behind her. She, too, is unsure of the identity of the body, or so it seems. Perhaps she simply doesn’t want to acknowledge the truth. 

The siren grows to an earsplitting shriek and dies midrange, a soprano newly castrated. The deputies from the sheriff’s office have arrived, the sheriff hot on their heels. Within moments, they cordon off the gates, move the students back, away, away. One approaches the body, cataloging; another begins taking discreet photographs, a macabre paparazzi. 

They speak to Dean Westhaven, who quietly, breathlessly, admits she hasn’t approached the body and has no idea who it might be. 

She is lying, though. She knows. Of course, she knows. It was inevitable. 

The sheriff, six sturdy feet of muscle and sinew, approaches the gate and takes a few shots with his iPhone. He reaches for the foot of the dead girl and slowly, slowly turns her around. 

The eerie morning silence is broken by the words, soft and gasping, murmurs moving sinuously through the crowd of girls, their feet shuffling in the morning chill, the fog’s tendrils disappearing from around the posts. 

They say her name, an unbroken chain of accusation and misery. 

Ash. 

Ash.

Ash.




2
THE LIES



There are truths, and there are lies, and then there is everything that really happened, which is where you and I will meet. My truth is your lie, and my lie is your truth, and there is a vast expanse between them. 

Take, for example, Ash Carlisle. 

Six feet tall, glowing skin, a sheaf of blond hair in a ponytail. She wears black jeans with rips in the knees and a loose greenand-white plaid button-down with white Adidas Stan Smiths; casual, efficient travel clothes. A waiter delivers a fresh cup of tea to her nest in the British Airways first-class lounge, and when she smiles her thanks, he nearly drops his tray—so pure and happy is that smile. The smile of an innocent. 

Or not so innocent? You’ll have to decide that for yourself. Soon. 

She’s perfected that smile, by the way. Practiced it. Stood in the dingy bathroom of the flat on Broad Street and watched herself in the mirror, lips pulling back from her teeth over and over and over again until it becomes natural, until her eyes sparkle and deep dimples appear in her cheeks. It is a full-toothed smile, her teeth straight and blindingly white, and when combined with the china-blue eyes and naturally streaked blond hair, it is devastating. 

Isn’t this what a sociopath does? Work on their camouflage? What better disguise is there than an open, thankful, gracious smile? It’s an exceptionally dangerous tool, in the right hands. 

And how does a young sociopath end up flying first class, you might ask? You’ll be assuming her family comes from money, naturally, but let me assure you, this isn’t the case. Not at all. Not really. Not anymore. 

No, the dean of the school sent the ticket.

Why? 

Because Ash Carlisle leads a charmed life, and somehow managed to hoodwink the dean into not only paying her way but paying for her studies this first term, as well. A full scholarship, based on her exemplary intellect, prodigy piano playing, and sudden, extraordinary need. Such a shame she lost her parents so unexpectedly. 

Yes, Ash is smart. Smart and beautiful and talented, and capable of murder. Don’t think for a moment she’s not. Don’t let her fool you. 

Sipping the tea, she types and thinks, stops to chew on a nail, then reads it again. The essay she is obsessing over gained her access to the prestigious, elite school she is shipping off to. The challenges ahead—transferring to a new school, especially one as impossible to get into as The Goode School—frighten her, excite her, make her more determined than ever to get away from Oxford, from her past. 

A new life. A new beginning. A new chapter for Ash. 

But can you ever escape your past? 

Ash sets down the tea, and I can tell she is worrying again about fitting in. Marchburg, Virginia—population five hundred on a normal summer day, which expands to seven hundred once the students arrive for term—is a long way from Oxford, England. She worries about fitting in with the daughters of the DC elite—daughters of senators and congressmen and ambassadors and reporters and the just plain filthy rich. She can rely on her looks—she knows how pretty she is, isn’t vain about it, exactly, but knows she’s more than acceptable on the looks scale—and on her intelligence, her exceptional smarts. Some would say cunning, but I think this is a disservice to her. She’s both booksmart and street-smart, the rarest of combinations. Despite her concerns, if she sticks to the story, she will fit in with no issues. 

The only strike against her, of course, is me, but no one knows about me. 

No one can ever know about me.



Excerpt from Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison.  Copyright © 2019 by J.T. Ellison. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved.




Meet the author

Krista Lee Photography

J.T. Ellison is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 20 novels, and the EMMY-award winning co-host of A WORD ON WORDS, Nashville’s premier literary show. With millions of books in print, her work has won critical acclaim, prestigious awards, and has been published in 26 countries. Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens.



Connect with the author via Twitter, Facebook, her website, InstagramBookBub,  and Goodreads


Meet the author in person during her book tour:


2019 Book 392: SUCH A FUN AGE by Kiley Reid

Such a Fun Age  by Kiley Reid 
ISBN: 9780525541905 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780525541929 (ebook)
ISBN: 9780593107065 (audiobook)
ASIN: B07RLSB7QV  (Audible edition)
ASIN: B07QLJ7VTN (Kindle edition)
Publication date: December 31, 2019 
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons


A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.

Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living showing other women how to do the same. A mother to two small girls, she started out as a blogger and has quickly built herself into a confidence-driven brand. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night. Seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, a security guard at their local high-end supermarket accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make it right.

But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix’s desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix’s past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other.

With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Age explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone “family,” the complicated reality of being a grown-up, and the consequences of doing the right thing for the wrong reason.





Purchase Links:  IndieBound  |  Amazon  |  Amazon Kindle  |  Audible  |  Barnes and Noble  |  B&N NOOK Book  |  BookDepository  |  Books-A-Million  |  Books-A-Million eBook  |  Downpour Audiobook  |  eBooks  |  !ndigo  |  Kobo Audiobook  |  Kobo eBook  




Emira Tucker is a twenty-five-year-old Black female struggling to determine what she wants from life. She has successfully completed college and has her undergraduate degree, but she’s at a stage in her life where she simply can’t decide what comes next other than it should be a full-time job with benefits. She’s currently biding her time by babysitting for one family and typing at a political party office. Although she’s able to pay her bills, she’s struggling to make it from month-to-month. The one overriding joy in her life is her three-year-old charge, Briar Chamberlain. Briar is inquisitive in a very unique manner and a toddler that seems to be struggling with the notion that she’s no longer the light of her mother’s life since her baby sister arrived. One night while out celebrating a girlfriend’s birthday, Emira receives a somewhat frantic call from Alix Chamberlain to please come over and take Briar out of the home while the police arrive to investigate an incident of vandalism. Emira takes young Briar to a local market so that Briar can spend time looking at the nuts, teas, and displays. All is well until a market security officer approaches Emira and questions her authority to be out with Briar. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on one’s perspective, another shopper witnesses this so-called “intervention” and records the episode on his phone. One phone call later, Peter Chamberlain arrives at the store, confirms that Emira is their childcare provider, and yes she had permission to take Briar out of the home. Emira doesn’t want the video released and presumably receives the only copy of the recording as the gentleman in the store deletes it from his phone. After a serendipitous meeting on the train a few days later, Emira reconnects with this gentleman and they begin dating. Fast forward a few months and Emira learns that her new boyfriend, Kelley Copeland, had actually dated her boss, Alix Chamberlain, back in high school. Their relationship did not end well. Kelley warns Emira about Alix. Alix warns Emira about Kelley. And then the video is released and Emira’s life is forever changed. Who released the video and what was their motivation? Is Kelley as bad as Alix suggested or perhaps it’s Alix that has major issues?

You know you’re reading a really good book when you don’t want to put it down for any reason. I began reading Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid early in the day and was very upset when life interrupted my reading. Okay, not life necessarily, it was a bad migraine and an asthma attack necessitating a visit to my local urgent care, but I digress. In an era when overt racism is on the rise and we hear way too many stories about people being assaulted (verbally and otherwise) because of “living while Black” (driving while Black, studying while Black, shopping while Black, reading while Black, napping while Black, eating out while Black, etc.) in the news and on social media, Such a Fun Age touched a nerve. As an older Black female, I empathized with Emira and wanted to shield her from the overwhelming notion of “I know what’s best for you” advice she received from both Alix and Kelley. Alix seemed to go out of her way trying to insinuate herself into Emira’s life, even spying on her via checking her text messages and emails. (Side note, just in case you couldn’t tell, both Kelley and Alix are white.) This isn’t a lighthearted read, although there are moments that are touching and brought a smile to this reader’s face. I loved reading about Emira and Briar’s interactions and those were often the most touching. I enjoyed meeting Emira’s friends and support system, but wish I could have learned more about Zara, Shaunie, and Josefina. Such a Fun Age touches on so many issues that it would be impossible to discuss them all but privilege, race, racism, friendship, family and interpersonal relationships, interracial relationships, self-awareness, and self-development are some of the major themes. I found this story to be both heart-warming and thought-provoking and I highly recommend it to readers of all genres. I enjoyed Such a Fun Age and look forward to reading more from this author in the future. (Seriously, add this book to your TBR list then grab a copy ASAP!)



Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy from the publisher via Edelweiss+. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

2019 Book 384: HUSBAND MATERIAL by Emily Belden



Husband Material  by Emily Belden 
ISBN: 9781525805981 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781488028571 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781488206955 (audiobook)
ASIN: B07S38J7LP (Audible edition)
ASIN: B07KN7MJ42 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: December 30, 2019 
Publisher: Graydon House


Sometimes love is unpredictable…

Twenty-nine-year-old Charlotte Rosen has a secret: she’s a widow. Ever since the fateful day that leveled her world, Charlotte has worked hard to move forward. Great job at a hot social media analytics company? Check. Roommate with no knowledge of her past? Check. Adorable dog? Check. All the while, she’s faithfully data-crunched her way through life, calculating the probability of risk—so she can avoid it.

Yet Charlotte’s algorithms could never have predicted that her late husband’s ashes would land squarely on her doorstep five years later. Stunned but determined, Charlotte sets out to find meaning in this sudden twist of fate, even if that includes facing her perfectly coiffed, and perfectly difficult, ex-mother-in-law—and her husband’s best friend, who seems to become a fixture at her side whether she likes it or not.

But soon a shocking secret surfaces, forcing Charlotte to answer questions she never knew to ask and to consider the possibility of forgiveness. And when a chance at new love arises, she’ll have to decide once and for all whether to follow the numbers or trust her heart.




Purchase Links:  IndieBound  |  Amazon  |  Amazon Kindle  |  Audible  |  Barnes and Noble  |  B&N Audiobook  |  B&N Nook  |  BookDepository  |  Books-A-Million  |  Downpour Audiobook  |  eBooks  |  !ndigo  |  Kobo Audiobook  |  Kobo eBook  


Charlotte Rosen comes across as a strong, successful, and confident woman. A successful career woman proud of her accomplishments in the growing field of social media analytics. A woman who knows what she wants from life. These are all partial truths. Charlotte is successful in her career but she isn’t overly confident with her job or social life. She comes across as aloof when she’s actually somewhat of an introvert and closes herself off to protect her emotions. She has a roommate, but she doesn’t really share all that much with her. She has a “bestie” at work, but only shares work-related materials with her. Charlotte is looking for love and marriage and has created an app to help her determine the compatibility of any “match” she receives from online dating services. She’s confident in the app’s predictability but has yet to meet someone that fulfills her requirements. Well, she had met someone years ago. She had actually married that someone, but sadly, he had died after only one year of marriage. Charlotte has been a widow for five years and the only people that know are those from before she started a new life and job, her former in-laws, and her parents. Then a bombshell is dropped on Charlotte, figuratively speaking. She unexpectedly receives the urn containing her deceased husband’s cremains due to a fire at the cemetery. Charlotte’s emotions are in a serious state of flux. Her roommate is shocked to learn of Charlotte’s prior marriage. Charlotte’s mother-in-law wants to “repossess” the urn, and her employer has given her a forced two-week break as a result of her emotional state. The only good thing to come from this disastrous situation is that Charlotte has reconnected with an old friend, actually her deceased husband’s best friend, Dr. Brian Jackson. The friendship quickly develops into something a bit more and just when Charlotte thinks her life is getting back on track, she is thrown by several huge secrets. 

Husband Material is actually the first book I’ve read by Emily Belden (trust me, it won’t be the last), and one that I enjoyed from beginning to end. If anything, this was one story that I didn’t want to end simply because I enjoyed the interactions between Charlotte and her roommate Casey, Charlotte and Brian, and even the interactions between Charlotte and her former mother-in-law. I found the characters, action, and settings to be highly realistic and plausible. Charlotte isn’t a self-absorbed person, just someone afraid of being hurt and emotionally closed-off due to the untimely death of her husband. Yes, she wants to move on, but she has relegated everything in the present to an if this-then that scenario. She’s comfortable coding and has made every attempt to live her life by that binary code without thought about the limitations or repercussions toward herself or others. The primary lesson learned is the life and love can be unpredictable, unmanageable, and wholly unexpected. Although Husband Material is a romance, there are quite a lot of things going on in this story such as self-awareness, self-growth, grief management, and more. Although Husband Material deals with some heavy themes, this isn’t a dark and dour read. Okay, it’s not a light and fluffy read either, but it is an intriguing look at grief, recovery, and starting anew with a decidedly romantic bent. There are parts of the story that made me smile, parts that made me laugh, and parts that made me empathize with the sadness of the main character. If you’re looking for something a little different to read to wrap up your yearly reading or to begin the new year, I encourage you to grab a copy of Husband Material by Emily Belden. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Spotlight: THE REILLY THANKSGIVING INVITATIONAL STORY by Brent Parrott and Bryan Renfro

The Reilly Thanksgiving Invitational Story by Brent Parrot and Bryan Renfro Stewart
ISBN: 9781697180015 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781697180015 (ebook – PDF format)
ASIN: B07YN7HYDH (Kindle edition)
Publisher: The RTI Story
Release Date: October 14, 2019


In 1960, on the front lawn of an elementary school in North East Dallas, a tradition was born. A group of seventh-grade boys captured the free time before Thanksgiving dinner to engage in a game of touch football. It was a good day to play. So good, in fact, that the game would resume each year at the same time in the same place.

Through the ebb and flow of lives, loves, and responsibilities, the Reilly Thanksgiving Invitational (RTI) continued for five decades. With my good friend Bryan Renfro, we have collaborated to memorialize and reminisce about our lives, the times, the game, and the traditions. The story is chronicled through text, photos, videos, and links; over 200 links 200 photos and 42 invitations.

The Reilly Thanksgiving Invitational Story offers a first-hand glimpse into an era long past and captures the essence of tradition, friendship, life lessons, history, culture, the ups and downs, happiness, and sadness for those lost, over decades.  Today, Alzheimer’s has touched most of the 22 members and a portion of the book proceeds will be donated to Alzheimer’s research.






Purchase Links:  IndieBound  |  Amazon  |  Amazon Kindle  


More about this book

Thanksgiving Team Picture – Old Team
Thanksgiving Team Picture – Bryan Renfro

For more than a half-century, a group of friends from Texas assembled to play touch football each Thanksgiving Day morning on the front lawn of their old elementary school. As the men aged, their determination and love of the game stayed strong. After the final game in 2009, reporter John  Anders noted:

“They arrived on walkers and in iron lungs…Grandchildren would drop them off and perhaps stay behind to serve as stretcher-bearers following the conflict.”


Team leaders Brent Parrott and Bryan Renfro collaborated to memorialize and reminisce about this incredible 50-year tradition, their lives, the times, and the game, in the book The Reilly Thanksgiving Invitational Story.



“(This Book) captures the era of growing up in the 50s and 60s with sensitivity and humor. Baby Boomers are a distinct group who experienced a large variety of social, political, and historical events and changes. We all can identify with the angst and joys of our teenage years…I recommend this fun coming-of-age read to anyone.” — Neilia West (Reviewer)




Meet the authors

Brent Parrott and Bryan Renfro
BRENT PARROTT is a writer, former technology executive, and teacher, and currently serves as Board Chairman for the charter schools of Pioneer Technology & Arts Academy. With his life-long friend, Bryan Renfro, he is the co-author of The Reilly Thanksgiving Invitational Story, a memoir about a group of friends who kept an annual touch football game going for 50 straight years.

He is also the author of two new books scheduled for publication in 2020, Jackpot: The Summer of ’69 and What Would You Do? What Would You Not Do? Brent and his wife Robyn (that’s right, two bird names) spend as much time as possible with their daughter Brynn, son-in-law Jacob, and two amazing grandsons. He has always lived, worked, and played in Dallas, Texas.


BRYAN RENFRO graduated in 1970 from the University of Texas at Arlington and was drafted into the Army the following year during the Viet Nam war. He was the editor and sports writer for Sound Off, the base’s newspaper in Fort Meade, Maryland. His work life followed an untraditional path for the times as he experienced a mix of endeavors through the years, including the furniture importing business.

For five decades, he served as the organizer and “Commissioner” of an annual Thanksgiving touch football game in Dallas, Texas. Known locally as the Turkey Bowl, Bryan chronicled his experiences in the book, The Reilly Thanksgiving Invitational Story, with co-author Brent Parrott. The 400-page memoir was published for the game’s 60th anniversary in 2019. Today, Bryan lives in Dallas with his wife LaDonna and enjoys bible study, photography, his woodshop, and nurturing long-time friendships.


Connect with the authors via Facebook or their website



This spotlight brought to you by Farrow Communications

Guest Author Post: MURDER IN MONTAGUE FALLS by Russ Colchamiro, Sawney Hatton & Patrick Thomas

Murder In Montague Falls by Russ Colchamiro, Sawney Hatton, and Patrick Thomas Banner



Good day, my bookish peeps. I hope you all are keeping safe, warm, and dry. Today, I have an extra special treat for you all. I’m always excited when an author (or character) stops by for a visit, well today there will be not just one author stopping by, but three. Yes, you read that correctly, three authors are stopping by to visit with us today. Russ Colchamiro, Sawney Hatton, and Patrick Thomas all wrote stories that appear in the noir crime read, Murder In Montague Falls. These authors will all be discussing what inspires them, namely what inspires them to write about murder. I hope you’ll read along, learn more about Murder in Montague Falls, then grab a copy of the book for yourself. Happy Reading!



Inspiration for Murder


My contribution to Murder in Montague Falls, titled “Red Ink”, features a paperboy in 1984 who witnesses a murder on his route and then decides, against better logic, to investigate the killer himself. So I was aiming for an intimate, intense, murder mystery.

In terms of tone, I was heavily influenced by “Apt Pupil,” a short story by Stephen King, adapted into an underrated thriller film by Bryan Singer. 

Meanwhile, the protagonist of my story, Isaac, has a pretty heavy spy fixation, envisioning himself as a junior James Bond, my favorite outings being From Russia with Love, For Your Eyes Only, Goldeneye, and Casino Royale. So not only did I have the 007 theme song in my head and his various gadgets, but I recently watched the entire run of The Americans, which helped inform how I wrote the character and the story, trying to keep the action suspenseful, but grounded in reality.

Russ Colchamiro
***


For inspiration in penning my devil-worshipping teens’ story “The Devil’s Delinquents,” I tapped into a range of classic dark writings and movies:

Books

The Satanic Bible by Anton Lavey—The central religious text for The Church of Satan. Not only do I mention the book in my story, but the title of each part of my novella is a reference to chapters from Lavey’s work.

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks—A celebrated example of “killer kid” literature about a psychopathic teenager living on a remote Scottish island who, as part of the shamanistic rituals of his own invention, kills a few of the local children.

Say You Love Satan—Nonfiction book chronicling the 1984 Northport, Long Island cult killing in which three teens participated in the murder of their friend. The victim was stabbed repeatedly as the main perpetrator purportedly commanded him to “Say you love Satan.”

Films

Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996)—A documentary about the West Memphis Three, another trio of teens accused of the brutal, allegedly ritualistic murder of three young boys in May 1993.

The River’s Edge (1986)—A group of teenagers in a Northern California town are forced to deal with their friend’s murder of his girlfriend, and the disposal of her body. A great “killer kid” film with a fitting metal/punk soundtrack.

Deathgasm (2015)—Horror comedy from New Zealand about two heavy metal-loving teenaged boys who unwittingly unleash a demon after playing sheet music they stole for a song called “The Black Hymn.” 

Sawney Hatton
***


For me, my love of noir was inspired by a lot of great authors and their series. In no particular order, they include:

Rex Stout’s Nero Wolf series
Raymond Chandler’s Phillip Marlowe series
Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade series
Glen Cook’s Garret PI series
Robert Parker’s Spenser series

But the book that most inspired my story in Murder in Montague Falls was The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain. Like A Many Splendid Thing, it’s a dark noir love story where a couple tries to get rid of the woman’s husband so they can live happily ever after. It doesn’t work out that way in either story. Cain is a brilliant author and the novel (and the movie adaption) are both worth checking out and hold up great despite being written over 70 years ago.

I listened to a lot of Alice Cooper while writing it. And for me the penultimate noir film is Cast A Deadly Spell, with Casablanca, and The Maltese Falcon very close behind.

Patrick Thomas
***




Murder in Montague Falls

by Russ Colchamiro, Sawney Hatton, Patrick Thomas

on Tour December 1-31, 2019


Synopsis:


Murder in Montague Falls by Russ Colchamiro, Sawney Hatton, Patrick Thomas

WHITE HOT THRILLS! PITCH BLACK DEEDS!



3 TALES OF TEENS TACKLING THEIR DARKEST RITES OF PASSAGE



Acclaimed storytellers Russ Colchamiro, Sawney Hatton, and Patrick Thomas each present an original novella brimming with enough danger, intrigue, and murder to get readers’ blood pounding and hearts racing.


In Colchamiro’s RED INK, a paperboy with an overactive imagination witnesses a brutal killing on his route—or has he taken his fantasy spy games a step too far?


In Hatton’s THE DEVIL’S DELINQUENTS, a trio of teenage misfits in pursuit of success, power, and revenge practice amateurish occult rituals… with deadly consequences.

In Thomas’s A MANY SPLENDID THING, a sultry high school teacher enrolls one of her students to get rid of her husband. But will the young man really graduate to murder?




Book Details:


Genre: Crime
Published by: Crazy 8 Press
Publication Date: October 1st 2019
Number of Pages: 250
ISBN: 0998364185 (ISBN13: 9780998364186)
ASIN: B07X5GLPGD Kindle edition
Purchase Links:   IndieBound  |  Amazon  |  Amazon Kindle  |  Barnes & Noble  |  BookDepository  |  Books-a-Million  |  Goodreads



The Turnback – You Kill Me:



“You Kill Me” is the official soundtrack to the book MURDER IN MONTAGUE FALLS (Noir-Inspired Novellas by Russ Colchamiro, Sawney Hatton & Patrick Thomas). Russ Colchamiro (a long-time friend and fellow creator) asked the band to write what would be considered a closing credit tune for the book. We were happy to do so!





Meet the authors

Russ Colchamiro:


Russ Colchamiro

RUSS COLCHAMIRO is the author of the rollicking space adventure, Crossline, the zany sci-fi backpacking series Finders Keepers, Genius de Milo, and Astropalooza, editor of the sci-fi mystery anthology, Love, Murder & Mayhem, and contributing author for his newest project, Murder in Montague Falls, a noir novella collection, all with Crazy 8 Press.

Russ has contributed to several other anthologies including Tales of the Crimson Keep, Pangaea, They Keep Killing Glenn, Altered States of the Union, Thrilling Adventure Yarns, Brave New Girls vols. 3 & 4, Camelot 13, TV Gods 2, and Footprints in the Stars.

He is now finalizing the first in an ongoing SFF mystery series featuring his hard-boiled private eye Angela Hardwicke and has several other SFF, crime fiction, and children’s book projects in the works.

Russ lives in New Jersey with his wife, their twin ninjas, and their crazy dog, Simon.


For more on Russ’s works, visit:


russcolchamiro.com, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

Sawney Hatton:


Sawney Hatton

SAWNEY HATTON is an author, editor, and screenwriter who has long loved playing in the dark. His published works include the Dark Comedy novel Dead Size, the YA Noir novella Uglyville, and the Dark Fiction short story collection Everyone Is a Moon. He also edited the Sci-Fi Horror anthology What Has Two Heads, Ten Eyes, and Terrifying Table Manners?

Other incarnations of Sawney have produced marketing videos, attended chili cook-offs, and played the banjo and sousaphone (not at the same time). As of this writing, he is still very much alive.

For more semi-unseemly insights into Sawney, visit:


sawneyhatton.com, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

Patrick Thomas:


Patrick Thomas

PATRICK THOMAS is the award-winning author of the beloved Murphy’s Lore series and the darkly hilarious Dear Cthulhu advice empire.

His 40+ books include Fairy with a Gun, By Darkness Cursed, Lore & Dysorder, Dead to Rites, Startenders, As the Gears Turn, Cthulhu Explains It All, and Exile and Entrance. His is the co-author of the Mystic Investigators series, The Santa Heist, and the Jack Gardner mysteries.

Patrick is the co-editor of Camelot 13 (with John French), New Blood (with Diane Raetz), and Hear Them Roar (with CJ Henderson), co-created The Wildsidhe Chronicles YA series and is the creator of the Agents of the Abyss series.

He has had more than 150 short stories published in magazines and anthologies, with his work for YA and children including the Ughabooz books, the Undead Kid Diaries, the Joy Reaper books, and the Babe B. Bear Mysteries as Patrick T. Fibbs.


Visit him online at:


patthomas.net, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!




Tour Participants:



Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!




Enter To Win!!:



This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Russ Colchamiro, Sawney Hatton, and Patrick Thomas. There will be one (1) winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on December 1, 2019, and runs through January 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.

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Book Blast: HOW DEEP IS THE DARKNESS by Mary Ann Edwards

How Deep Is The Darkness by Mary Anne Edwards Banner

How Deep is the Darkness

A Charlie McClung Mystery

by Mary Anne Edwards

December 17, 2019 Book Blast


Synopsis:


How Deep is the Darkness by Mary Anne Edwards


Charlie McClung has always known about darkness, it’s part of being a police chief.

But now it’s spreading throughout the town and creeping into his life.

With each body found, the killer deepens the darkness and McClung must put an end to it.

Now.




Book Details:


Genre: Traditional Mystery
Published by: Sellem Books
Publication Date: December 2, 2019
Number of Pages: 247
ASIN:B081MYBYG8
Series: The Charlie McClung Mysteries Book 6
Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads




Read an excerpt:



This story begins on Monday, June 20, 1983, in Lyman County, Georgia

Chapter 1


Chief Charlie McClung stared at the pale, bloated body of Myron Wagstaff lying next to his own swimming pool. He’d seen enough bodies to know when dead is dead. And Myron was dead.

McClung glanced at his wife standing near the diving board at the far end of the pool. Marian’s white tee shirt clung to her body and her wet hair was plastered to her head and neck. Hugging herself, she managed a pitiful grin.

Not only was Myron Wagstaff a neighbor and the president of their Homeowners Association, but he was also Marian’s archnemesis.

McClung knelt beside Myron, grabbed his thick wrist, and checked for a pulse. His fingers sank into doughy flesh. Myron’s waterlogged polo shirt looked as if it had been spray painted on his belly, now bloated more than normal.

While McClung held his fingers in place waiting for a beat, he scanned the area. The patio furniture was jumbled together with the garden hose, snaking between the chairs, and stopping at the spot where Myron lay.

That, combined with the fact there weren’t any signs of bruising on Myron, perhaps meant this was an accidental drowning.

“Boss?” Sergeant Thayer asked as he stood behind McClung.

He shook his head as he moved aside for the paramedics to perform their magic. But McClung realized not even Doctor Frankenstein could reanimate poor Myron.

As the emergency team worked on Myron, Charlie hurried toward Marian.

“Are you okay?” He kissed her forehead and pulled her into his arms.

Marian’s body trembled against his chest.

“Thayer! Get Marian a blanket.”

The young sergeant ran full blast and quickly returned.

“I’m okay just, um, just, um.” Marian fought hard to keep her tears in check.

“Here.” Thayer’s breath pounded the back of Marian’s neck as he laid the blanket across her shoulders.

Charlie released Marian, secured the blanket then blotted a tissue under her eyes and nose. “Here’s a clean one.”

“Love the magical tissues.” A weak chuckle tumbled from Marian as she pulled the blanket tighter. “You’d think I’d be sweating in this June heat.”

“Well, it’s not even ten o’clock. It’s cloudy, and you’re soaking wet.” Charlie glanced at her feet. “Where are your shoes?”

“They were muddy, so I took them off before I went into Myron’s house to call 9-1-1 after I failed with CPR.” Marian sighed. “I was afraid that if Myron survived, he’d send me a bill to have the muddy floors cleaned.”

Pointing at the patio doors, she winced. “My shoes are over there.”

“What’s wrong?”

Marian massaged her lower back. “I guess I hurt my back getting Myron out of the water. I’ll be okay.”

Charlie squeezed her hand. Ever since Marian had the terrifying encounter with the Paper Heart Stalker and fell from a second-floor balcony last year, he worried about her health.

When McClung came face to face with the Paper Heart Stalker, Marian almost lost her life to save his but unknowingly sacrificed their unborn child.

He crossed over to the diving board and beckoned for her to follow. “Sit down. Here. Back toward me.”

She eased down on the hard plank.

Charlie’s strong hands ran across her shoulders and down her back.

“Does it hurt?”

“No, not really.”

“I guess nothing’s broken, dislocated, or cracked.”

He crossed over the board and sat down. “When I get home tonight, I’ll give you an intense massage once you’ve soaked in a tub of hot Epsom salt water.”

“Sounds good.” Marian watched the paramedics work on Myron.

The team’s jaws were tight as they knelt over Myron’s body. One paramedic rubbed the back of his neck as he stood in defeat while the other one closed Myron’s eyes and pulled a blanket over his face.

“I didn’t think they’d have much luck reviving him. I’d hoped, but…” Marian’s voice trailed, her head heavy as she leaned on Charlie’s shoulder.

“You did everything by the book. I still don’t see how you got Myron out of the pool.”

Marian sighed. “I did what I had to.” She studied Charlie’s face, then swallowed hard and grimaced. “I tried to revive him. CPR but maybe if—.”

“Don’t even go down that path.” Charlie scratched his eyebrow. “Dispatch said you saw a man run from the scene.”

She sat up. “Yeah. Do you think he had something to do with this?”

“Possibly, but we won’t know for sure until we’ve gathered the facts.” Charlie shrugged. “To me, every death is suspicious. Been fooled before but never again.”

A year ago, two weeks after Charlie McClung had moved to Lyman County, he was called to the scene of a fatal shooting, Dianne Pannell. Without an investigation, the then chief of police ruled Dianne’s death a suicide, but Charlie proved it was murder after Dianne’s irritating neighbor, his now-wife, Marian, pressed him to look further into the case.

“Yeah.” Marian murmured.

Charlie stood. “Could be the guy got spooked when he saw Myron in the pool and ran away.” He held out his hand. “Come with me. The paramedics need to give you a quick check.”

“Why? My back isn’t hurting that bad.”

His hand cupped her cheek. “Sweetie, please just humor me.”

Marian avoided looking at Myron and let her husband guide her to the ambulance.

They met officers Willard and Marsh at the gate. Photographer Sam Goldstein wasn’t far behind.

“Ma’am, are you okay?” Marsh’s voice quivered, and his eyebrows drew together.

Marian looked at him for a moment. “I’m fine. Just a bit damp.” She bit her bottom lip and blinked several times. “Maybe a little shaken.”

Both officers were like sons to Marian.

A tentative smile eased the furrow between Marsh’s eyes. “Thank goodness.”

Willard scratched his head. “Where are your shoes, ma’am?”

McClung answered. “They’re outside the patio door. One of you get them for Marian.”

“Consider it done, Boss.” Willard took off.

“Marsh, I want you and Willard to help Thayer process the scene.”

“Yes, Boss.”

Willard returned a few minutes later, holding the less-muddy sneakers. His hands were filthy. “Here you go. I cleaned them up the best I could.”

“Thank you, Willard.” Marian took the shoes.

“No trouble.”

“You two. Go assist Thayer.” McClung barked.

“Wait.” Marian held up her hand. “I scratched the running guy’s tag number on the sidewalk.”

“Marsh go find it. Willard, you report to Thayer.” McClung directed his trusted men.

The two young men hurried off on opposite paths.

“Sam, how did you know I needed you?”

The silver-haired man tapped his temple. “Didn’t take me long to figure you out. You’re a cop that sees murder everywhere.”

“But Sam, how did you know to come here?” Marian blurted.

Charlie and Sam answered. “Police scanner.”

Marian frowned. “Just anybody can have one?”

“Yep!” Charlie sighed. “In this case, it’s a good thing but mostly it’s not.”

Sam coughed. “I’ll just take a picture or two of that tag number.”

“Yeah, do that. Plus, there’s a lot going on behind the house.” Charlie watched the older man trudge down the sidewalk. Camera bags banged against Sam’s body with each step he took.

One of the paramedics joined McClung and Marian at the ambulance.

“Ma’am don’t fret. There wasn’t a thing you could’ve done for that guy.” The bear of a man shook his head. “I ain’t no coroner, but I’ve been at this job for a long time. He’s been dead too long to be revived.”

The reassurance that she wasn’t a factor in Myron’s death didn’t make Marian feel any better.

“Mel, do you mind giving my wife a quick once-over to make sure she’s safe to go home?” Charlie stroked Marian’s back as he spoke.

“Sure.”

Mel removed his latex gloves and put on a fresh pair. He tilted his head toward the rear of the ambulance. “Just sit there.”

“Boss.” Thayer called to McClung from the open gate.

Charlie looked at Marian.

“Go on. Do your job.” Marian kissed her husband’s cheek.

He didn’t move from her side.

“I’m fine, just a tweaked back. Besides you’re making me nervous watching me like a hawk.”

“Boss.” Thayer repeated more urgently.

Charlie smiled and gave her a casual salute. “As you wish.”

McClung hurried toward Thayer. “Found something?”

“I think I figured out what happened.”

McClung disappeared behind the fence.

♦♦♦♦♦♦

“What is it, Thayer?” McClung followed him into Myron’s house as he pulled a pair of latex gloves from his pocket. “I was hoping I could go a whole year without having to use these.”

“Makes for a mundane job.” Sergeant Thayer said flatly. “Here sir, in the kitchen. There’s a half-empty bottle of whiskey and one glass.”

McClung arched an eyebrow as he leaned over to study the bottle of Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey. About three fingers of liquid was left inside the bottle, a few drops coated the bottom of the tumbler.

He walked to the sink and smelled the drain. No lingering odor of alcohol. Then he carefully picked up the tumbler. “Thayer, flip on the overhead light.”

The fluorescent tubes buzzed to life.

McClung held up the tumbler to the harsh light. On the rim, was a faint lip print. “Hmm, make sure you dust this for prints and bag it.” He set it back in its original position.

Marsh squinted as he entered the kitchen. “Boss, put me to work.”

“Where’s Sam?”

“Taking pictures of the deceased before they cart him away.”

McClung rubbed his earlobe. “Tell Mel to instruct the hospital not to release the body until I say so. I want Jack Jackson to do the autopsy, if he’s available.” He snapped his fingers. “And tell Sam I’ll need him in here when he’s finished.”

“Will do.” Marsh headed outside.

McClung studied every inch of the kitchen: the floor, inside the cabinets, oven, and refrigerator. He examined everything as he searched for possible clues. There was no hint to what may have led to Myron’s death.

“Boss, I don’t think it’s murder.”

McClung raised an eyebrow and replied sarcastically, “Yeah? Well then, enlighten me with your hypothesis of poor Wagstaff’s watery demise.” He strolled toward the open patio door and headed for the pool.

As Thayer spoke, McClung studied the jumbled furniture.

“Myron was drunk, got tangled up in the patio furniture, stumbled around, and then fell into the pool. He was too drunk to get himself out of the water.”

McClung pushed out his bottom lip and nodded. “Hm. He was in the shallow end. All he had to do was stand up.”

Thayer rubbed the top of his head. “Maybe he hit his head on the bottom. Knocked himself out.”

McClung wandered around the pool. He stopped where the garden hose lay beside the pool.

The concrete was soaked, and the grass drenched to the point that a small stream had flowed down the incline, out the gate and onto the street.

“What do you think Myron was doing with the hose?”

Thayer hunched his shoulders. “Topping off the pool?”

“Yeah, sounds right.” McClung pointed to the water-logged grass. “The hose had to be on for a long time to have created that miniature creek rolling down the hill and into the street.”

“That goes to show I’m right. He was drunk standing here. The hose got tangled in the furniture. He yanked it. Lost his balance. Dropped the hose. Hit his head on the concrete and fell into the pool. Accidental drowning.” Thayer crossed his arms and grinned.

McClung pulled on his bottom lip. “Plausible.” Something on the concrete caught his eye.

“What does this look like to you?” McClung knelt close to the spot.

“It looks like blood. Must be where he hit his head.”

“Yeah, and what about this?”

McClung touched a hard, yellowish, rectangular-shaped chip, like a half of a Chiclet. He looked around for Sam Goldstein.

The EMTs were talking to Sam as he photographed Myron’s body.

McClung yelled over his shoulder. “Sam, get over here.”

The paramedics began moving Myron’s body.

“What do we have there?” Sam held the camera to his eye, snapping pictures as McClung pointed toward the areas.

“That appears to be blood.” McClung pointed to the yellowish object. “And that, my friend, doesn’t belong here. Possibly a clue.”

Thayer knelt beside McClung. “Yep, could be. It looks like old ivory?”

McClung thought the odd chip looked familiar, but the vague memory faded away.

Sam zoomed to get a few tight shots of the chip and the blood spatters.

McClung glanced at the EMTs. “Thayer, bag it and look for more spatters and anything else in this area. I want a chat with Mel.”

“Mel, where’s Marian? Is she all right?” McClung moved out of the way of the paramedics while they loaded Myron onto the stretcher.

“She’s fine. Just hurt her back. Understandable.” Mel groaned as they lifted Myron’s body. “Even for me this guy is hefty. I’m surprised your wife got him out of the water. She’s a tiny lady. What 5’3′ and 125 pounds?”

McClung snorted as he nodded. “Yep, but she’s stubborn. If she’s got it in her mind to do something, consider it done.”

“Is Marian still sitting in the back of the ambulance?” McClung followed the gurney.

“No, sir. She’s sittin on the front stoop waitin on you.”

Officer Billy Crawford met them inside the gate.

McClung couldn’t help but smile at his oldest officer. Crawford was always in a jolly mood.

But not this morning.

“Boss, sorry it took me so long to get here.” Crawford wore a rare frown.

“What’s the matter?” McClung waved the paramedics to go on.

Crawford shifted the criminal investigation kit from one hand to the other. “Ah, the missus got news her favorite uncle isn’t doing so good and her dad’s not taking it none too well. If her uncle dies, my father-in-law will be the last one left in his family.”

McClung gripped Crawford’s firm shoulder. “I’m sorry to hear that. Are you sure you should be here? Your wife needs you.”

“Thanks, but I’m not much help. Best thing for me is to stay out of her way.”

“Okay, but don’t be shy about asking for time off. Understand?”

“I appreciate that, Boss.”

“If there’s anything we can do, don’t hesitate to ask.” He shook his index finger at his officer. “I mean it. Ask. Marian will make sure you’re fed, you got that?”

“Yes, Boss. But I saw her sitting out front, and she doesn’t look so good.”

McClung’s eyes widened. “What?”

“You didn’t know she’s here?” Crawford pulled back his head.

“Yeah, but she said she was fine.” McClung patted the officer’s back. “Let me go speak with her. I’ll catch up with you later.”

Charlie hurried to find his wife, but stopped a few yards away to observe her.

So many questions he needed to ask, but he was worried about her. Marian didn’t need this stress. Not now.

Marian looked like a triangular-shaped lump of coal. The dark gray blanket was wound tightly around her body and she was resting her forehead on her knees, which she’d pulled up to her chest.

Charlie wondered how she was able to breathe. He sat beside her and rubbed her back. “Sweetie?”

Marian’s head popped up. “Hey! I didn’t hear you come up. I must’ve dozed off as I was praying.”

“Yeah? Are you sure you’re okay? You don’t look so hot.” Charlie wrapped his arms around her.

Marian winced. “You’re such a sweet talker.”

Charlie released his embrace. “Sorry.” His fingers massaged her lower back.

“That’s okay.” Marian pulled off the blanket and neatly folded it. “I’m tired. I want to lie down. Is it okay for me to walk home, now?”

“Nope, it’s at least a mile and a half. I’m driving you home.”

She straightened her legs. “Might as well. These sneakers are ruined. Not good for anything but stomping around in the yard.”

Marian tucked the thin blanket under her arm. “What about the investigation? Aren’t you going to question me?”

“Your well-being is more important to me. Besides, Thayer’s opinion is this is an accidental drowning. My best team is on this. They don’t need me telling them how to do their job. And you can tell me what happened when you feel like it.”

“Now?”

“Do you honestly want to talk about it now?”

Marian whispered. “I need to, but—”

“But means later. Tonight?”

“Yeah, tonight.”

Charlie held her hand as they walked toward the gate. “Let me tell the guys I’m taking you home.”

McClung passed the EMTs as he disappeared behind the fence.

Marian shuddered as she watched the paramedics load Myron’s body inside the ambulance. “I’ve witnessed this scene too many times in the past year.”

***


Excerpt from How Deep is the Darkness: A Charlie McClung Mystery by Mary Anne Edwards.  Copyright © 2019 by Mary Anne Edwards. Reproduced with permission from Mary Anne Edwards. All rights reserved.




Author Bio:


Mary Anne Edwards

Born in Mercedes, Texas, Mary Anne has lived in Georgia for most of her life. A life-long fan of authors such as Agatha Christie, Anne Perry, Caroline Graham, and Elizabeth Peters, it wasn’t until a few years ago that Mary Anne listened to the voices in her head and began writing her own series of traditional mysteries featuring Detective Charlie McClung.

The first book in the series, Brilliant Disguise, was released to critical acclaim in January 2014. The next three in the series, A Good Girl, Criminal Kind, and Sins of my Youth were released soon afterward. The fifth book in the series, Flirting with Time, was released on June 30, 2017. The sixth book, How Deep is the Darkness, was released on December 2, 2019. She is working on the seventh book, Complex Kid, with at least three more to follow.

Mary Anne and her husband live in Smyrna, GA with an ill-tempered Tuxedo cat named Gertrude. Mary Anne is a member of Sisters in Crime and sits on the advisory board of Rockdale Cares, a non-profit advocacy group for the developmentally challenged.

Catch Up With Mary Anne Edwards:


MaryAnneEdwards.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook!




Book Blast Participants:


Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!




GIVEAWAY!!!!:



This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Mary Anne Edwards. There will be two (2) winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on December 17, 2019, and runs through December 27, 2019. Void where prohibited.


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Book Spotlight: SOUTHERN HARM by Caroline Fardig


Southern Harm: A Southern B&B Mystery

by Caroline Fardig


About Southern Harm



Southern Harm: A Southern B&B Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Alibi (November 12, 2019)
Print Length: 263 pages
Digital ASIN: B07KDVCCZH
Purchase Links
Amazon  B&N   Kobo



A little Southern charm never killed anybody—until now—in an enchanting cozy mystery from the USA Today bestselling author of Southern Discomfort and the Java Jive novels.



After solving a murder at a local restaurant, Quinn Bellandini just wants to get back to her comfortable life running her grandfather’s B&B in Savannah, Georgia, with her sister, Delilah. But those plans get buried when Quinn and her new boyfriend, Tucker Heyward, dig up an old skeleton while doing some landscaping in his aunt Lela’s backyard. Before long, Lela becomes the prime suspect in the thirty-three-year-old unsolved murder of a high school homecoming queen.



Tucker is devastated. But Quinn’s conscience won’t let her risk an elderly woman spending her twilight years in jail for a crime she didn’t commit. And Delilah, bored by the quiet B&B biz, has been itching to do some more investigating of her own.



Soon they’re questioning a growing list of suspects, from nosy neighbors and snooty Savannah socialites to mild-mannered teachers and old high-school friends of the victim—including Quinn and Delilah’s own parents. But no one is safe from a killer who’s totally old school.



About the Author

CAROLINE FARDIG is the USA Today bestselling author of the Java Jive Mysteries series and the Lizzie Hart Mysteries series. Fardig’s Bad Medicine was named one of the “Best Books of 2015” by Suspense Magazine. She worked as a schoolteacher, church organist, insurance agent, funeral parlor associate, and stay-at-home mom before she realized that she wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Born and raised in a small town in Indiana, Fardig still lives in that same town with an understanding husband, two sweet kids, two energetic dogs, and one malevolent cat.


Social Media


Website:  www.carolinefardig.com
Blog:  http://www.carolinefardig.com/blog/
Twitter:  @carolinefardig
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/carolinefardigbooks

Don’t miss Caroline Fardig’s thrilling Java Jive mysteries, which can be read together or separately:


DEATH BEFORE DECAF | MUG SHOT | A WHOLE LATTE MURDER | BREW OR DIE | MURDER OVER MOCHAS


Giveaway

Enter to win one (1) of two (2) digital copies of Southern Harm by Caroline Fardig via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. Void where prohibited by law. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.


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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

December 3 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

December 4 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT

December 5 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

December 6 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

December 7 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

December 8 – OFF

December 9 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW

December 10 – TBR Book Blog – REVIEW


December 12 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

December 13 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW

December 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

December 14 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT

December 15 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

December 16 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

December 16 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

December 17 – Diary of a Book Fiend – REVIEW

December 17 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT

December 17 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

December 18 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

December 18 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

December 18 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 19 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

December 20 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

December 20 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW




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Book Spotlight: BOOKMARKED FOR MURDER by V.M. Burns

Bookmarked for Murder (Mystery Bookshop)

by V.M. Burns



About Bookmarked for Murder



Bookmarked for Murder (Mystery Bookshop)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Kensington (November 26, 2019)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1496718313
ISBN-13: 9781496718310
Digital ASIN: B07P9MR138
Digital ISBN: 9781496718327



Purchase Links:  IndieBound  |  Amazon  |  Amazon Kindle  |  Barnes & Noble  |  B&N Nook Book  |  BookDepository  |  Books-A-Million  |  Ebooks  |  Hudson Booksellers  |  !ndigo  |  Kobo


Amateur sleuth Samantha Washington’s shopping trip to Chicago takes a deadly detour when a man is murdered on her bus . . .

After some post-Christmas retail therapy in the Windy City, mystery bookshop owner and historical whodunit novelist Sam Washington is returning home to North Harbor, Michigan, on a chartered bus. With Nana Jo and her gal pals Irma, Dorothy, and Ruby Mae from Shady Acres Retirement Village along for the ride, it’s a lively trip. But one passenger is not so lively—a gentleman Irma befriended is found dead in his seat after an unscheduled stop. The ladies immediately shift gears to find out who punched his ticket, while Sam slips into the driver’s seat to make sure Nana Jo and her crew steer clear of fatal conclusions . . .



About V.M. Burns


V.M. Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest, she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. Her debut novel, The Plot is Murder was nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a lifetime member of  Sisters in Crime. Readers can learn more by visiting her website at vmburns.com


Author Links:

Websitehttp://www.vmburns.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vmburnsbooks/

Twitter: @vmburns



GIVEAWAY

Enter to win one (1) of five (5) Amazon gift cards valued at $20.00 each courtesy of the author, V.M. Burns, via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. To enter use the Rafflecopter form below. Void where prohibited by law.


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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

December 2 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

December 2 – The Ninja Librarian -REVIEW

December 2 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 3 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW

December 3 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

December 4 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW

December 4 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

December 5 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

December 5 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 6 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

December 6 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – REVIEW

December 7 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

December 7 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW

December 8 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

December 9 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

December 9 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

December 10 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

December 10 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW

December 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

December 11 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

December 12 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

December 12 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT

December 13 – Book Club Librarian– REVIEW 




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Book Spotlight & More: BREWED AWAKENING by Cleo Coyle


Cleo Coyle Gives her Characters a Brewed Awakening + Recipe and Giveaway



Brewed Awakening marks the 18th Coffeehouse Mystery that my husband and I have written. Like every entry in our long-running series, this story centers on Clare Cosi, a single mom in her forties with a complicated personal life and a talent for amateur sleuthing. 

Clare manages a charming, century-old coffeehouse in New York’s historic Greenwich Village, and she’s often in a position to know more than the police about the quirky and creative community she serves. When crime happens and the professionals hit dead ends, Clare goes to work.

For her latest case, Marc and I began our story development with a conversation over (you guessed it) coffee. As a married couple, we’ve been through decades of ups and downs. But what if those years were wiped from our memories? Would we still be drawn to each other? If so, how exactly does “like” deepen into something more? When does love happen? 

With Clare on a path to be married to her longtime boyfriend, NYPD Detective Mike Quinn, we decided to explore those questions in Brewed Awakening, and we agreed that Clare would suffer from a traumatic memory loss. Her damaged memory is tied to a crime she witnesses, one that lands her in a great deal of hot water. To get herself out, and reclaim the love of her life, Clare must find a way to recover what she’s lost. But will she? Or is her life, as she once knew it, gone forever?

If you’re a newcomer to our Coffeehouse world, don’t hesitate to pick up Brewed Awakening. Every Coffeehouse Mystery can be read as a stand-alone story. And, if you like one, you’ll have seventeen more to enjoy. But don’t miss our latest. We hope you’ll find this mystery about memory to be unforgettable. 




FREE RECIPE GUIDE


https://www.coffeehousemystery.com/userfiles/file/Brewed-Awakening-Recipes-Cleo-Coyle.pdf
https://www.coffeehousemystery.com/userfiles/file/Brewed-Awakening-Recipes-Cleo-Coyle.pdf
Cleo Coyle’s new culinary mystery, Brewed Awakening, includes an appendix of recipes that will show you how to prepare the delicious foods and drinks mentioned in the story. To see, print, or download the free, illustrated guide to the book’s recipe section, click here





Watch the Coffeehouse Mysteries series trailer:







Cleo Coyle’s Winter
White Chocolate Mocha

This heavenly drink is a winter favorite at many American coffeehouses, which is why we put it on the menu of our beloved Village Blend. Perfect for a snowy night, it tastes like a rich, warm, coffee-infused milkshake. To learn more about our bestselling Coffeehouse Mystery series and download more of our recipes, visit our online coffeehouse: CoffeehouseMystery.com

May you drink (and read) with joy! 
~ Cleo

To download this recipe in a free PDF that you can print, save, or share, click here.  


Makes one serving

½ cup milk 
¼ cup good quality white chocolate, chopped
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1–2 shots (¼ cup) hot espresso or double-strength coffee*
Whipped cream (optional)
White chocolate curls**

Step 1: Combine milk and white chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place the bowl over a saucepan that is about one-third full of boiling water. (The water level should be under the bowl and not touching it.) Stir constantly until chocolate is melted. Whip in the vanilla using a whisk, hand blender, or electric mixer. Continue to whip about a minute until the warm mixture is loosely frothy.

Step 2: Pour the espresso (or double-strength coffee) into a large mug. Add the steamed white chocolate milk and stir to blend the flavors. You can top with whipped cream, but it’s just as delicious without. Garnish with white chocolate curls and drink with joy!

*Note on coffee: For double-strength coffee, simply make a strong version of your regular cup. For instance, in a drip coffee maker, instead of using 1½ to 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water, use 3 to 4.

**Note on curls: To create chocolate curls, start with a block of room temperature chocolate. Using a vegetable peeler, scrape the block and you’ll see curls of chocolate peel away.





Brewed Awakening (A Coffeehouse Mystery)

by Cleo Coyle


About Brewed Awakening



Brewed Awakening (A Coffeehouse Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
18th in Series
Berkley (December 3, 2019)
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 0451488873
ISBN-13: 9780451488879
Digital ASIN: B07GQHK51D
Digital ISBN: 9780451488886


Purchase Links
IndieBound  |  Amazon  |  Amazon Kindle  |  Barnes & Noble  |  B&N Nook Book  |  BookDepository  |  Books-A-Million  |  Ebooks  |  Google Play  |  !ndigo  |  Kobo



From Cleo Coyle, the New York Times bestselling author of Shot in the Dark and Dead Cold Brew, comes a delicious new entry in the “fun and gripping” (The Huffington Post) Coffeehouse Mysteries.

When coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi awakens on a bench in Washington Square Park, she has no idea she’s been missing for the past week, or that her friends and family have been frantic with worry. Now that she’s back, everyone is overjoyed, including a handsome NYPD detective who claims to be her fiancé. But to Mike Quinn’s crushing distress, Clare doesn’t remember him, or much of anything about the last decade of her life.

Clare’s missing memory is tied to a crime she witnessed. An acquaintance of Clare’s elegant employer–and fellow member of an exclusive Gotham circle known as “The Ladies Who Brunch”–invited Clare to her posh hotel to sample gourmet wedding cakes. The pair took a stroll after their indulgent tasting and, according to security camera footage, a masked figure snatched the hotel heiress at gunpoint with Clare looking on. Did the kidnapper take Clare, too? The camera went dark, just like Clare’s memory. Soon authorities grow suspicious. Is Clare really a victim? Or merely acting like one? Evidence is mounting that she set the woman up.

To clear her name, Clare must find a way to reclaim her memories and rescue the heiress before this high-stakes crime ends in tragedy. Otherwise, instead of walking down the aisle, Clare may find herself perp-walking to prison as an accomplice to kidnapping and murder.



About Cleo Coyle


CLEO COYLE is the pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini.  CLEO COYLE grew up in a small town near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After earning scholarships to study writing at Carnegie Mellon and American Universities, she began her career as a cub reporter for The New York Times. Now an author of popular fiction and New York Times bestselling media tie-in writer, Cleo lives and works in New York City, where she collaborates with her husband (also a bestselling author) to pen the Coffeehouse Mysteries for Penguin. Together Cleo and her husband also write the Haunted Bookshop Mysteries under the name Alice Kimberly. When not haunting coffeehouses, hunting ghosts, or rescuing stray cats, Cleo and Marc are bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for NBC, Lucasfilm, Disney, Fox, Imagine, and MGM. In their spare time, they cook like crazy and drink a lot of java. You can learn more about Cleo, her husband, and the books they write by visiting www.CoffeehouseMystery.com.


Author Links

Visit Cleo online: www.coffeehousemystery.com

Friend Cleo on Facebook:www.Facebook.com/CleoCoyle

Follow Cleo on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cleocoyle/



GIVEAWAY

Enter to win one (1) Cleo Coyle Brewed Awakening prize package that includes a print copy of the book, a set of recipe cards, and a stylish Brewed Awakening tote bag courtesy of the author via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Void where prohibited by law.


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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

December 2 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

December 2 – My Journey Back-The Journey Back – REVIEW

December 3 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

December 3 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

December 4 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

December 5 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

December 5 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW 

December 6 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW 

December 7 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

December 8 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

December 8 – This Is My Truth Now – SPOTLIGHT

December 9 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT


December 10 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

December 11 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

December 11 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW

December 12 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

December 12 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW

December 13 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

December 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 15 – Ruff Drafts – REVIEW





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