Book Showcase: DREAM STALKER by Nancy Gardner

Dream Stalker by Nancy Gardner Banner

Dream Stalker

by Nancy Gardner

November 1-30, 2021 Virtual Book Tour

Synopsis:

Dream Stalker by Nancy Gardner

Lily Scott had vowed never to dream-walk-again….

Lily is a contemporary Salem witch who descends from a long line of witches born with the power to walk into other people’s dreams to fight crime. But her disastrous first dream-walk almost killed her, and she vowed never to repeat the painful experience.

Now her daughter is falsely accused of murder, and the only way to clear her would be for Lily to enter the dreaming mind of the real killer, risking confrontation with the deadly Dream Stalker.

Can Lily summon the courage?

Book Details:

Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Published by: Bowker
Publication Date: June 1st 2021
Number of Pages: 257
ISBN: 1733919945 (Paperback)
ISBN13: 9781733919944 (Paperback)
ISBN: 9781733919951 (digital audiobook)
ASIN: B095KL6FGN (Kindle edition)
ASIN: B097Q8YJKC (Audible audiobook)
Series: Dream Stalker, #1
Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: IndieBound.org | Amazon | Amazon Kindle | ​Audible | ​Apple Play | BookDepository.com | Downpour Audiobook | Kobo Audiobook | Reedsy | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1

Salem, Massachusetts—October 1, 2013

I stumbled through the early morning fog blanketing Salem’s Gallows Hill, hurrying to the oak tree that my maternal grandmother, Sadie MacAskill, loved. When I was a child, she’d taught me that witches like ourselves derive energy from working with green, growing plants and trees. I could still feel our arms stretched around the oak’s trunk, listening for the pulsing power within it.

“Feel Mother Earth’s wisdom rising,” she’d said.

I’d never needed wisdom more. The plan I’d cooked up with an old friend had gone terribly wrong. Kitty was supposed to bring my estranged daughter, Sarah, to dinner. Sarah’s favorite dinner, creamy chicken pesto and pasta, was baking in the oven when I got the call.

“Kitty hasn’t come home, and I’m not ready to see you without her. I may never be ready,” Sarah said, her voice cold and unforgiving. She hung up before I could reply.

When I called her back, she refused to answer. If my husband, Sam, had still been alive, he’d have known what to do. But he’d died two years ago.

It was long after midnight when I threw the cold casserole down the disposal and crawled into bed. When sleep proved impossible, I paced the empty rooms of our Chestnut Street home until dawn, then grabbed the nearly empty bottle of homemade dandelion brandy as an offering to Nana’s spirit and rode my Vespa to the park atop Gallows Hill.

Exhausted and headachy, I forgot to watch my step and tripped over a rock. I managed not to fall, but the bottle flew out of my hand. I watched it shatter, watched the last golden dregs seep into the grass. I felt like I was watching my relationship with my daughter ebb with it.

As I dropped shards of glass into the nearby trash can, the wind seemed to whisper that I didn’t deserve to find the wisdom I needed. I’d failed Nana, and I’d failed my daughter.

“Enough self-pity.” I pulled my leather jacket tighter and scurried past the crumbling pavilion and rusting flagpole to the ancient oak. Once again, I pressed my cheek to the rough bark, closed my eyes, and waited. The bark pulsed. A crow landed in the branches above me, cawing and shaking loose a shower of dead leaves. I opened my eyes, and for a moment, Nana’s face wavered before me. Then she was gone, leaving me with my questions unanswered.

My cell vibrated. Who would call me this early? Sarah? Kitty with an explanation? I checked the screen. Neither. Honey Campbell, my landlord and a good friend. She owned the building on Pickering Wharf where we both ran our businesses. Her barbershop took up the first floor. My herbal studio, Healing Thyme, sat above it.

“Hi, Honey. What’s up.”

“Thought you’d want to know your friend, Kitty, came looking for you,” Honey said in her soft Scottish brogue. “And bye-the-bye, she looked like shite. She stumbled off toward Moe’s. You might yet find her there.”

Two months earlier, Kitty had stopped me on the street. I’d taken her for a panhandler and almost turned her away. Then she said, “Lily, don’t you remember me? My parents took us to New York to see West Side Story. We had the best time.”

We’d shared a cup of coffee and Kitty shared her story. She’d been a high school biology teacher until she’d been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. The disease had taken everything from her: her teaching career, her home, her reason for living. She’d ended up lost on the streets.

Things had taken a turn for the better for Kitty when she found a permanent bed at St. Bridget’s Homeless Shelter and, because of the doctor who volunteered his services there, Kitty’s memory was making a remarkable improvement.

“Thanks, Honey. I’m on my way.” I dashed back to the Vespa, strapped on my helmet, and started the engine. Usually, the thrum of the engine beneath me and the slapping rhythm of my braid tapping against my back soothed me. Not this morning. I pressed the throttle and hurried to Pickering Wharf, determined to find out what had gone wrong last night.

***

Excerpt from Dream Stalker by Nancy Gardner. Copyright 2021 by Nancy Gardner. Reproduced with permission from Nancy Gardner. All rights reserved.

 

Author Bio:

Nancy Gardner

Nancy Gardner writes cozy mysteries with a paranormal twist. The first novel in her new series, Dream Stalker, tells the story of Lily Scott, a contemporary Salem witch who walks into people’s dreams to fight crime. One reviewer called it a gripping tale of witchcraft, family loyalties, and the cost of seeking justice. Her most recent short story, “Death’s Door,” was selected to be included in the 2021 anthology, Malice Domestic 16: Mystery Most Diabolical. She lives near Boston with her writer husband, David.

Catch Up With Nancy Gardner:
NancyGardnerAuthor.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @nancygardner5
Instagram – @ngauthor
Twitter – @NGardner_author
Facebook – @NancyGardnerAuthor

 

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Character Guest Post: BEWARE THE EAST WIND by Barbara Barrett

Beware the East Wind (The Mah Jongg Mysteries)
by Barbara Barrett



Good day, my fellow book people. I hope you’re all enjoying the Fall weather. For those of you in California, I pray that you’re safe from the fires. One of the great things about having a book blog, okay one of the many great things about having a book blog, is getting to meet and introduce you to authors and characters straight off the pages from wonderful stories. Today, I’m pleased to introduce you to Marianne Putnam, a retired pharmacist and Mah Jongg enthusiast, as well as the primary character in the Mah Jongg Mysteries by Barbara Barrett including Beware the East Wind. Ladies and gentlemen, I now turn the blog over to Marianne Putnam.





My name is Marianne Putnam. I was a pharmacist until a few years back when I retired and moved to the central Florida town of Serendipity Springs with my husband of over forty years, Beau. We didn’t know a soul when we arrived except for our realtor, so I joined a few organizations to meet people, among which was a Mah Jongg group that met weekly at the community center. I’d never played the game in my life, having dismissed it as something little old ladies did. Truth be told, I guess you could call me a “little old lady” too, although I don’t see myself like that even though the gray taking over my short red hair gives it the same appearance as that metal they sell in the Black Hills for jewelry, Black Hills Gold? 

Mah Jongg introduced me to many fabulous, interesting women, especially to my three friends—Sydney Bonner, Micki Demetrius and Katrina “Kat” Faulkner. We play weekly, but we also enjoy each other’s company shopping, lunching, having coffee, the usual social activities enjoyed by women of a certain age whose retirement status affords them more free time than they ever experienced during their work lives. 

Unlike other women in our same age group—well, anyone else, for that matter—we have also found ourselves in the dubious position of solving a few murders around town. Not that we went looking for cases to investigate. It started with a fellow Mah Jongg player whose husband was killed in the woods near our coffee shop. Fearing she’d be arrested as the most likely suspect, she sought us out to help find her husband’s killer before she wound up in jail. None of us had any formal investigative training. But we have developed lots of connections within the community she felt we could tap on the down low to gather intel. 

We were successful in finding the killer that first time but not without help from local law enforcement personnel. Admittedly, it was a thrill for each of us to break out of our day-to-day mold and become amateur sleuths, but that was it, we didn’t see it continuing. Then others started to hear about our exploit and began coming to us when they needed similar help. 

Last year, I went through a period when I didn’t feel like I was living my senior years to their fullest. Yes, I had Mah Jongg and wonderful friends and numerous social outlets here in town, and Beau and I have two terrific grown sons. Vince, the eldest, is married, has two children and lives in the East. Rob is single and lives on the West Coast. We’re proud of all of them but rarely get to see them due to their job constraints. And I also had an occasional murder to solve. But I still wanted something more for me. Something that had nothing to do with pharmaceutical knowledge or dead bodies. 

One day I was flipping through magazines at the library, looking for some new exciting outlet for my imagination and energies, when I ran into a friend who was in need of a last-minute replacement for the table read of her one-act play. No time to rehearse, I read my part cold. Those ten minutes went by in a blur, but when it was over, I was a goner. I signed up for a course immediately and started writing my own one-acts. Since then I’ve even entered a few in contests around the country. I haven’t won any yet, but I’ve received enough positive feedback to keep creating more. 

With the new focus on one-acts, my life was pretty good. And then one of the other students in my class came to me for help clearing his sister’s name. Her partner in their catering service, who was also a hypnotist, one whose act my friends and I had witnessed just days earlier, had been killed, and because his sister had been heard threatening her partner by one of their clients, she feared the sheriff would be arresting her soon. So we took on the case.

This one presented difficult challenges because several key suspects were private hypnosis clients. Our client, who’d been arguing with her partner about breaking out on her own, had taken advantage of her partner’s death to break into her computer files to obtain her partner’s recipes. In the process, she read through the files of some of her partner’s clients, discovering secrets and other information which, if made known, might have been the reason for someone to kill the woman. Sharing this information with us was problematic, but then our challenge was, how did we investigate people we weren’t supposed to know about? 

After some difficult confrontations with Beau and Syd’s husband Trip, who were concerned for our safety if we continued to investigate, the two of them joined us as we devised plausible ways to go undercover to gather intel with some surprising results. Beau “invented” painful knees in order to speak directly with one of the suspects, an orthopedic surgeon only to discover his knees were truly in need of surgery. The two of us invented this story about wanting to post a crazy video on our so-called blog showing us shampooing a poodle in order to observe another suspect, a dog groomer. That one was memorable, especially since it happened at the same time a hurricane threatened to bear down on central Florida.

You can read about it in the latest tale of our adventures in Barbara Barrett’s Beware the East Wind





About Beware the East Wind

Beware the East Wind (The Mah Jongg Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Bowker (August 17, 2019)
Paperback: 254 pages
ISBN-10: 1948532182
ISBN-13: 978-1948532181
Digital ASIN: B07WJ7KYSW


Beware the east wind! It’s hurricane season in Florida, and everyone’s attention is focused on preparing for the latest tempest. But in Serendipity Springs, mah jongg pals Marianne, Sydney, Micki and Kat are caught in a different kind of whirlwind—a mesmerizing murder case involving a slain hypnotist/chef and the woman police suspect of doing her in, her embittered catering partner, Portia.


Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N


About the Author




Barbara Barrett started reading mysteries when she was pregnant with her first child to keep her mind off things like her changing body and food cravings. When she’d devoured as many Agatha Christies as she could find, she branched out to English village cozies and Ellery Queen.



Later, to avoid a midlife crisis, she began writing fiction at night when she wasn’t at her day job as a human resources analyst for Iowa State Government. After releasing eleven full-length romance novels and one novella, she returned to the cozy mystery genre, using one of her retirement pastimes, the game of mah jongg, as her inspiration. Not only has it been a great social outlet, but it has also helped keep her mind active when not writing.


Bamboozled, the second book in her “Mah Jongg Mystery” series, features four friends who play mah jongg together and share otherwise in each other’s lives. None of the four is based on an actual person. Each is an amalgamation of several mah jongg friends with a lot of Barbara’s imagination thrown in for good measure. The four will continue to appear in future books in the series.


Anticipating the day when she would write her first mystery, she has been a member of the Mystery/Romantic Suspense chapter of Romance Writers of America for over a decade. She credits them with helping her hone her craft.


Barbara is married to the man she met her senior year of college. They have two grown children and eight grandchildren.


Author Links

Website – http://www.barbarabarrettbooks.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Barbara-Barrett-Author-1678443865812386/

Twitter – www.twitter.com/bbarrettbooks

Pinterest – pinterest.com/barbarabarrett7

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8181756.Barbara_Barrett

Subscribe Cozy Newsletter   https://www.subscribepage.com/BBCozies


Giveaway

Enter to win one (1) of three (3) digital copies of Beware the East Wind by Barbara Barrett. This giveaway is operated by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours and books will be distributed by the tour company at the conclusion of the giveaway period. Void where prohibited by law. All entrants must use the Rafflecopter form below.


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October 24 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

October 24 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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October 26 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

October 26 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST

October 27 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

October 27 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

October 28 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHTS

October 28 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

October 28 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT

October 29 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST

October 29 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 30 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

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October 30 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

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