Moving is never easy and moving back to your hometown may be one of the hardest things ever. Trust me on this one, I did it 13 years ago. There were a few downsides to moving back to West Virginia after living in cities like Boston MA and Atlanta GA, but one of the best things I found was the city of Lewisburg, with its fantastic Chocolate Festival in the spring and Literary Festival in the late summer. This small town was actually voted coolest small town in America just a few years ago, so a cafe like Barks & Beans from the cozy mystery series that includes No Filter by Heather Day Gilbert would fit right in with the town’s ambiance. You might not be able to visit Lewisburg, West Virginia at the moment, but I invite you to visit via the pages of No Filter with Macy Hatfield and her brother, Bo. Today, Bo is taking some time off from running his cafe and solving mysteries to visit with us. Without further adieu, I give you Boaz “Bo” Hatfield of Barks & Beans Cafe.
Character Guest Post
by Bo (Boaz) Hatfield of the Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series by Heather Day Gilbert
I recently moved back to my small hometown of Lewisburg, West Virginia, after cashing out and retiring early from my vice president position at Coffee Mass, a coffee bean importing company in California.
My younger sister, Macy, thought I’d lost my mind when I told her what I did. After all, I’m only forty-one, and I had everything I could’ve wanted in California…a beautiful house, great car, and a beautiful fiancée, Tara.
Had being the keyword. I had a beautiful fiancée.
Tara split up with me, for reasons I won’t go into, but suffice it to say, none of them were grounded in the truth. I couldn’t handle working alongside her on a daily basis, so I sold my house and car and moved back to work on my great aunt Athaleen’s house—the one Macy and I grew up in because our parents died when I was only six.
My sister was coming off a divorce from her husband Jake—a guy I wish she’d never married in the first place. She was living in South Carolina and hating it. Macy was a born mountain girl—she needed to feel the grass under her feet and have dogs around her. She’d had to give up dogs for the rental house she and Jake had shared.
So I cooked up a plan that would allow Macy and me to work together. I renovated the front section of Auntie A’s huge house, turning half of it into a cafe. The other half was transformed into an area that was dog-proof, with a run going into a fenced yard outdoors.
We would call our new business the Barks & Beans Cafe. I planned to run the coffee shop—training baristas, ordering the best beans—and Macy would run the dog section, working with the local animal shelter to bring dogs in for customers to pet on their coffee breaks. It was a marriage of the things we both enjoyed most in life, plus it would enrich the town by providing opportunities for dogs to get adopted.
Once Macy agreed to be my business partner, she moved back into Auntie A’s house (I moved down the road from her). It didn’t take long to hire employees and get the cafe up and running. Things were going smoothly until Macy’s newly-adopted Great Dane, Coal, was dognapped…and things started spiraling out of control the more we tried to track down who was behind it.
Join us in our race to stop a callous murderer in No Filter, Book 1 in the Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series.
No Filter (Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery)
by Heather Day Gilbert
About No Filter
No Filter (Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery)
1st in Series
Publisher: WoodHaven Press (May 26, 2020)
Number of Pages: ~280 Pages
Digital ASIN: B085BX4N96
Welcome to the Barks & Beans Cafe, a quaint place where folks pet shelter dogs while enjoying a cup of java…and where murder sometimes pays a visit.Fed up with her go-nowhere job, newly single Macy Hatfield moves back to her small hometown in West Virginia. She joins forces with her brother Bo in his crazy new venture—the Barks & Beans Cafe, which caters to dog lovers and coffee drinkers alike.When a golf instructor is murdered at the nearby spiritual center, Macy winds up adopting his Great Dane. Just after Macy finds a mysterious message sewn under the dog’s collar, her Dane is dognapped. She launches into a relentless search for her newfound canine friend, but along the way, she digs up a cruel and confident killer.Join siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield as they sniff out crimes in their hometown…with plenty of dogs along for the ride! The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series features a small town, an amateur sleuth, and no swearing or graphic scenes.
The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series in order:
Book 1: No Filter
Book 2: Iced Over
Purchase – Amazon
About Heather Day Gilbert
HEATHER DAY GILBERT, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, writes contemporary mysteries and Viking historicals. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren’t afraid to protect those they love. Like her amateur sleuth heroines, she enjoys reading Agatha Christie, playing video games, dogs, and coffee.
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/heatherdaygilbert
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The Summer Set by Aimee Agresti
ISBN: 9781525823589 (trade paperback)
ISBN: 9781488096808 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781488208379 (digital audiobook)
ASIN: B07ZPDVXYL (Audible audiobook)
ASIN: B07CSXP64D (Kindle version)
Publisher: Graydon House Books
Publication Date: May 12, 2020
The real drama happens backstage in this juicy novel about an idyllic summer theater where hot stars, has-beens and hopefuls chase roles—and each other.
Charlie Savoy was once Hollywood’s hottest A-lister. Now, ten years later, she’s pushing forty, exiled from the film world and back at the summer Shakespeare theater that launched her career—and where her old flame, Nick, is the artistic director.
It’s not exactly her first choice. But as parts are cast and rehearsals begin, Charlie is surprised to find herself getting her groove back, bonding with celebrity actors, forging unexpected new friendships and even reigniting her spark with Nick, who still seems to bring out the best in her despite their complicated history.
Until Charlie’s old rival, Hollywood’s current it girl, is brought in to attract theater donors, threatening to undo everything she’s built. As the drama amps up both on the stage and behind the curtains, Charlie must put on the show of a lifetime to fight for the second chance she deserves in career and in love.
Read an Excerpt
Charlie studied herself in her bathroom mirror. In just a week her bruised eye had faded to the dull gray of rancid meat, now easily disguised by concealer. She flat-ironed her raven hair, securing it in a sleek, low ponytail, then rummaged the closet for her most professional-looking getup: that slim black suit, pale pink silk blouse with the bow at the neck and the stilettos she only wore when she felt compelled to impress. Her wardrobe from that perfume ad a decade earlier but timeless nonetheless, just like the moniker that had been etched in script on the curved bottle of the fragrance.
Outside, Boston did its best impersonation of her supposed hometown, London. (Though she had lived away from there enough during childhood to have eluded the accent.) The dreary May rain made her think of her mom: the estimable Dame Sarah Rose Kingsbury. News of Charlie’s incident had warranted mentions in a few celebrity weeklies and, unfortunately, made the hop across the pond. Her mother had called, texted and finally, after no response, emailed: Charlie, Did you receive my voice mail and text? I trust you’re alright. Another of your stunts? Please respond. Love, Mum. Her mom’s correspondence always scanned like a telegram, full of stops and full stops—much like their relationship itself. Charlie, reveling in being briefly unreachable and not in the mood to answer questions, hadn’t yet bothered to replace her phone and had indeed missed the call but wrote back assuring her mom that she was fine, though the accident had not, in fact, been performance art.
By the time Charlie reached the foreboding Suffolk County Courthouse, her lawyer/friend Sam—who had shepherded her through the theater purchase (while questioning her sanity)—was already there pacing, barking into her phone.
“This should be easy,” Sam told her, hanging up, hugging her while scrolling her inbox. Sam wore suits and radiated responsibility, two things Charlie found comforting in a lawyer. “Be contrite and it should be open-and-shut for community service.”
The sterile courtroom’s pin-drop silence made Charlie shiver. Next to her, Sam tucked her phone in her bag and rose to her feet, gesturing for Charlie to stand as the judge materialized at the bench. Charlie found it oddly reassuring that the judge was the kind of woman who wore pearls and a frilly collar outside her robe.
“You were okay with my email, right?” Sam whispered, as they sat again.
“What email?” she whispered back.
“My email. An hour ago? You have got to get a new phone,” Sam scolded.
“I know, I know—”
“There was this arrangement, last minute, I hope you’ll be amenable to but—”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Charlie pleaded.
The judge had begun speaking, so Sam hushed her. Too late.
“Ms. Savoy, this is the part where I get to talk.” The judge looked up from the paper she had been reading aloud. “Maybe it was different in your episodes of Law & Order?”
“No, ma’am, I mean, Your Honor, sir, ma’am, no,” Charlie stumbled. She had been wrong about the judge. The woman continued on about the damage Charlie caused and the significant hours of service required like Charlie was the honoree at one of those Comedy Central roasts, albeit one that could end with her in a jail cell.
Until finally, the judge cut to the chase: “…an assignment has presented itself,” she said slowly. “Which will make fine use of Ms. Savoy’s expertise…” Charlie caught Sam’s side-eye. “So Charlotte Savoy shall be required to complete sixty days with the Chamberlain Summer Theater in—”
“NO!” Charlie expelled the word, an anaphylactic response. The judge scowled as though jail might still be an option. “Sorry, Your Honor, I just mean—can I object?” Sam shot her a lethal glare. “It’s just that, well—” Charlie tried again as a door at the back of the courtroom creaked open, footsteps echoing. She turned to discover the equivalent of a ghost.
Nick Blunt—director, ex, first love, disappointment, invertebrate—heading her way.
“Mr. Blunt, thank you for joining us,” the judge said, unimpressed.
Charlie’s posture straightened, heartbeat ticking faster than seemed medically sound. She felt betrayed by her own being, muscles, nerves, ashamed of this reaction.
“Sorry, Your Honor,” he said in that deep rasp.
Charlie wished she hated that voice. And it seemed an abomination that he could still be attractive—physically at least.
Rugged with an athletic build, he wore black jeans, a blazer and aviator sunglasses, which he pulled off as he walked (pure affectation since, to her knowledge, it was still raining outside), tucking them into the V of his slim sweater.
He took his place beside Charlie, flashing that smile he deployed when he aimed to be his most charming.
“Hi there,” he said, as though surprised to be meeting this way.
“Shouldn’t you be wearing a cape?” Charlie rolled her eyes, focused on the judge reading again, and returned her body to its proper slouch, recalibrating her expression between boredom and disgust.
“I missed you too, Charlie,” he whispered back.
From the corner of her eye, Charlie spotted the sharp beak of that tattoo—the meadowlark—curving around from the back of his neck. It was still there, which gave her a pang of affection, a flare-up she forced herself to snuff out. She imagined how they might look to those few people sitting in the rows behind them. Nick and her with these identical birds inked onto the backs of their necks, midflight and gazing at each other anytime he stood on her right side, as he did now. Mirror images, bookends, the birds’ once-vibrant golden hue as faded as the memory of the hot, sticky night she and Nick had stolen away from campus to get them together.
Over the years, she had considered having hers removed or morphed into some other design, but why should she? She liked it. At face value. Charlie sighed again, more loudly than intended, as her mind sped to how this summer would now be.
“Ms. Savoy, is there a problem?” the judge asked, irked.
“Your Honor, I just wondered—is there a littered park or something? Instead?”
“We’re fine, Your Honor.” Sam patted Charlie’s arm in warning.
“Ms. Savoy will report to service June 1.” The judge slammed the gavel, which, to Charlie, sounded like a nail being hammered into a coffin.
“I had a client last week who’s cleaning restrooms at South Station this summer,” Sam said apologetically as they walked out.
Charlie just charged ahead down the hall, an urgent need to escape, her mind struggling to process it all.
“So, craziest thing happened,” Nick launched in, catching up to them at the elevator. “I was reading the news and saw about your little mishap—” He sounded truly concerned for a moment.
“Don’t pretend like you don’t have a Google alert on me,” Charlie cut him off, stabbing the down button too many times.
“You always were a terrible driver—”
“That river came outta nowhere—”
“But a stellar swimmer—”
She nodded once. She couldn’t argue with that.
He went on, “So I made a few calls and—”
“Don’t be fooled by…that.” She waved her hand back toward the courtroom. “You need me more than I need you.”
The elevator opened.
“We’ll see about that.” He let them on first. Charlie hit the button again-again-again to close the doors, but he made it in. “How long has it been, anyway?”
“You know how long it’s been,” she said as the doors closed so she was now looking at their reflection. It had been six years, three months, two weeks and two days since they last saw each other. At the long-awaited premiere for Midnight Daydream—which should’ve been a thrilling night since a series of snags had pushed the film’s release date back two years after filming. But instead of celebratory toasts, it had ended with a glass of the party’s signature cocktail—a messy blackberry-infused bourbon concoction the shade of the night sky—being thrown. In retrospect, she thought, there’d been so many signs the movie was cursed.
“You’re just mad your self-imposed exile is over.” He smirked.
“Always with the probing psychoanalysis.” She watched the floor numbers descend, doors finally opening.
Sam scurried out ahead of them. “My work here is done. I’m sure you two have a lot of catching up to do.” She gave Charlie an air-kiss before striding off.
“Wait, no, I just need to—” Charlie tried to stop her, but Sam had already hopped in a cab.
“So, I have an office not too far, off Newbury Street, off-season headquarters for Chamberlain—” Nick started.
“Luckily you’re usually phoning it in, so I haven’t had the privilege of running into you around town.” She walked ahead in the cool, pelting rain.
He stayed where he was. “I’d invite you out for a drink—”
“It’s, like, 10 a.m. That’s too early. Even for you—” She glanced back.
“Summer is gorgeous in the Berkshires, as you may recall,” he shouted, sunglasses back on, absurdly, and that smile again. “Welcome back to Chamberlain, Charlie.
Meet The Author
|Photo by Abby Greenwalt
— Folger Library
The McCabe Brothers
The Complete Collection
by Lorhainne Eckhart
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Now a USA Today bestseller
Join the five McCabe siblings on their journeys to the dark and dangerous side of love! An intense, exhilarating collection of romantic thrillers you won’t want to miss.
This collection includes all the books in this new spinoff series. Don’t Stop Me, Don’t Catch Me, Don’t Run From Me, Don’t Hide From Me, and the newest addition Claudia’s story in Don’t Leave Me.
Don’t Stop Me (Vic)
Fifteen years ago, Vic McCabe was headed down a one-way road to destruction with the love of his life. But then the unthinkable happened, a mistake that changed their lives forever.
Successful billionaire contractor Vic McCabe is a man every woman wants, but he gives his heart to no one. However, one day a reporter shows up, asking questions about a past he’s buried, a mistake he made fifteen years ago that could destroy his future and that of the woman he’s tried to forget.
After evidence surfaces, dredging up details of the night that changed his life forever, Vic is forced to seek out the only woman he’s ever loved—the woman who has sworn to hate him forever.
Don’t Catch Me (Chase)
He stopped a robbery. Now he has to do the right thing.
Having left his life in politics, lawyer Chase McCabe is on his way to meet his brothers and sort out family matters when he stops for gas and walks in on a robbery in progress. However, he discovers the culprit is just a kid, and her situation may not be as clear as he thought. Authorities have written the girl off, and his need to fix everyone’s problems sets in, putting him on a collision course with a mysterious woman with secrets of her own and entangling him in a precarious relationship that ties him to a place he was just passing through.
Don’t Run From Me (Aaron)
Fresh out of the fighting circuit and to those that didn’t know him, Bad Boy Aaron McCabe seemed as if he had it all. Except what everyone doesn’t know is the nightmares that haunt him, the woman he loved who left him and a tragedy that’s driven him to who he is today.
But soon Aaron is caught up in a complex web of secrets, second chances and a gripping twist with two mysterious women that entangles him in a relationship he never believed he was ready for.
A compelling emotional tale about the undeniable power of second chances.
Don’t Hide From Me (Luc)
Sometimes what we can’t see is standing right in front of us all along.
Luc McCabe is a man on the edge. Not only has he given up on his ideal happily ever after, which includes a man who’ll love him and children of his own. He’s leaving behind his old life that has been only about endings.
What Luc doesn’t realize is sometimes love happens unexpectedly.
Don’t Leave Me (Claudia)
One moment in time could change her future forever.
Even though Claudia is part of the McCabe family, with four older brothers she barely knows, she has a dark side no one in their right mind would mess with, and she still sees herself as alone. That is until one night, when she witnesses an unspeakable crime that blurs the lines of morality. Her first instinct is to run, but when a mysterious handsome man enters her life, promising to keep her safe, she’s caught up in a web of secrets, not knowing who to trust. When her brothers unite, will they expose the truth or destroy any hope Claudia has of finding love?
**Only .99 cents until the end of May!!**
With flawed strong characters, characters you can relate to, New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Lorhainne Eckhart writes the kind of books she wants to read. She is frequently a Top 100 bestselling author in multiple genres, and her second book ever published, The Forgotten Child, is no exception. With close to 900 reviews on Amazon, translated into German and French, this book was such a hit that the long-running Friessen Family series was born. Now with over sixty titles and multiple series under her belt her big family romance series are loved by fans worldwide. A recipient of the 2013, 2015 and 2016 Readers’ Favorite Award for Suspense and Romance, Lorhainne lives on the sunny west-coast Gulf Island of Salt Spring Island, is the mother of three, her oldest has autism and she is an advocate for never giving up on your dreams.
Legends from Mom’s Closet by Sasha Olsen
ISBN: 9780578620091 (hardcover)
Publication Date: May 19, 2020
10-year-old Sasha Olsen documents how she spent a rainy summer indoors using her creativity and imagination. After reading a stack of books about women like Frida Kahlo, Audrey Hepburn and Billie Holiday, Sasha’s imagination ran wild and she ended up in her mom’s closet picking through her clothes and her grandmother’s vintage pieces to dress up like all the female legends she had been reading about. Complete with photos of the looks she created and tips for other young girls on how they, too, can emulate these iconic women, Legends from Mom’s Closet will inspire readers to delve into the lives of truly remarkable women from the past to learn a thing or two about what it means to be legendary in today’s world.
1. In your book, Legends from Mom’s Closet, you share tidbits about and dress up like legendary women you read about during a rainy summer spent indoors. A lot of kids your age would spend a rainy summer watching TV or playing video games. What made you decide to start reading books about famous women?
Well, I actually love to read, especially biographies. I don’t usually spend a lot of time using any devices. I didn’t specifically start reading books about famous women, but I started looking around for books to learn more about legendary people. I just happened to meet these iconic women through their amazing stories and spending a day in their shoes!
2. Who was your favorite female legend to read about?
My favorite legend to read about was probably Frida Kahlo! I felt like she had a very inspiring story. She had a lot of difficult times in her life, but no matter what, she worked hard to achieve her dreams and become an artist.
3. What is the biggest lesson you learned from getting to know all of these female legends?
I learned many lessons! Most of all though, I learned that women are super strong. Women work very hard and can get through anything that might stand in their way of achieving their goals. Women are so inspiring!
4. What inspired you to use your mom’s clothes and your grandmother’s vintage pieces to recreate all of their iconic looks?
Actually, I just went into my mom’s closet and started trying on her shoes and dresses. This was after I read about Frida Kahlo. So, I just got the idea to try and dress up as her! I thought my mom might be really upset with me for playing with her things, but she loved the idea. If the legend was wearing something like I really couldn’t figure out where to get, I would call my grandma for advice. Most of the time, she had exactly what I needed!
5. Who was your favorite legend to dress up as and why?
My favorite legend to dress up as was definitely Yayoi Kusama. I love her bright artwork, and I was able to get even more creative to dress up as her!
6. How did you decide which legends to include in Legends from Mom’s Closet?
I didn’t choose them before. I just started to read about people who I didn’t know much about yet and it ended up being all women! After, I just decided to share them in this book.
7. Your other passion is the environment. Tell us what you learned about vintage fashion versus fast fashion.
When I started my movement “I Want My Ocean Back” and this project, I was doing a lot of research during that time. I wanted to know more about what are the biggest things that pollute our oceans and cause problems for our planet. I found out like clothing is one of the biggest ocean pollutants and some fabrics, like polyester, have plastic in them so it breaks down and hurts our sea animals. After finding this out, I realized that it’s very harmful to buy fast fashion because people just buy the clothes and throw them away soon after. It inspired me to learn more about vintage and how we can buy secondhand instead, and just reuse clothing!
8. Ultimately, what do you hope your readers take away from your book?
I hope readers learn how important it is to let your creativity run wild! I want other kids to know that we can get inspired and have fun while also learning new things and growing our knowledge. It’s also very important that we learn more about how fast fashion affects our oceans and that we stop it! We need to win the war against fast fashion to help save the planet.
9. How/where can readers purchase Legends from Mom’s Closet?
Readers can purchase Legends from Mom’s Closet on our website www.legendsfrommomscloset.com, Amazon, Barnes & Noble… and most platforms!
10. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about the book or what you learned while writing it?
I just want to share that this book project is super special to me! It means a lot to me, and I worked very hard on it. I hope that everyone enjoys my stories and experiences dressing up as these legendary women. Most of all, I hope readers try it themselves and that it inspires them to think outside the box! I learned a lot from reading and getting to know these women, especially that we can do anything if we believe in ourselves.
|Legends From Mom’s Closet Back Cover|
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