A Day in the Life of Caroline Thompson by Eva Lesko Natiello

The Memory BoxMy eyes meander around the desk and stop on a framed photo of Andy and me at the beach, taken when we were dating, when I was still Caroline Spencer. Before I became Caroline Thompson. Both of us are tanned a golden brown, the color of Andy’s eyes, and I’m wearing a rather skimpy bathing suit, which I hold onto just in case my body ever looks like that again. As I stare at this photo, it occurs to me that the people in this town don’t know my maiden name. Do they? When we moved here, I had already changed my name to Thompson. They would never Google Caroline Spencer. I don’t even think Meg, the best friend I have in this town, knows my maiden name.

I quickly type Caroline G. Spencer into the Google search box. A visceral sense of promise gushes through me. Maybe I’m a somebody after all.

Smarty’s now in the kitchen, nudging his metal bowl across the tile floor—dog speak for “I’m hungry.” My mind strays to think about when I last filled the bowl while my finger clicks “search.”

A tsunami of “Caroline G. Spencers” cascades before my eyes. I blink and cock my head. Come on! My heart giggles. I click page two, then page three, then page four. “Yes!” Fist pump in the air. If only they could see me now. The Caroline Spencers don’t stop. Is this juvenile? Am I acting like a teenager who’s counting Prom Queen votes? No. Worse. I’m acting like a catty, immature gossipmonger mom. I gloat for another minute. It’s not like I’m going to count them and brag to everyone at school on Monday. I’m just having a private me-moment of reassurance, that I too have been interesting. So there.

Before my head swells any more, I should verify that these “Caroline Spencers” are me. But I can’t, nor do I want to, spend all day on this. I check the egg timer. Good, only a seventeen-minute diversion. My eyes sweep over the page. Midway down the screen, it’s my sister’s name, directly beneath mine, that catches my eye.

Jane Dory Spencer deceased at age 28 Lanstonville Press, April 21, 2000. She is survived by …www.lanstonvillepress.com/…/jane-dory-spencer-deceased…

What?

What is this?

I blink hard, once—twice—the third time pausing with my eyes squeezed closed to the count of five before I open them. I read again.

This can’t be. This isn’t my sister. My heart leaps up in my chest and goes cold. With flurries. Like it’s a snow globe with a wind chill factor. Saliva floods my mouth. I try to gulp it down, hoping it’ll push my heart back into place. I can’t be reading what I’m reading. I let out a barking laugh to cut through my nerves. This is not true, of course. I just spoke to my sister. When was that? I struggle to remember. It seems like it was just . . . I don’t know exactly. For some reason, I can’t pinpoint it. But my sister is not dead. That’s for certain. She didn’t die. Oh my God, is this some kind of sick joke? Could someone have done this? People can’t plant a Google, can they?


You can read more about Caroline in The Memory Box, published by Fine Line Publishing.

Post a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on November 28, and one lucky person will win a copy of THE MEMORY BOX either in paperback or Kindle version, winner’s choice. (Print U.S. only)

Meet the author
Eva Lesko Natiello is an award winning author and graduate of The State University of NY at Albany with a degree in EvaNpsychology. She is a native of Yonkers, NY and currently lives in suburban New Jersey with her husband and two children. The Memory Box is Ms. Natiello’s debut novel. It is a recipient of the Houston Writers Guild 2014 Manuscript award. Her short story, The Wordsmith, was a finalist in The Writer Magazine 2012 Best Short Story.

When Eva is not writing suspense novels, she enjoys writing humorous musings about life’s ironies, which can be found on her blog.

Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

Another Day in the Life of Holly Miller by Krista Davis

The Ghost and Mrs MewerHave you ever moved to a place where you knew you were meant to be? At the moment, I’m energized and content and happier than I probably deserve. I just gave up city life for the Sugar Maple Inn on Wagtail Mountain. The inn has been in my family for decades. My grandmother, whom I call Oma (German for grandma) offered to make me a partner in the inn, and I’ve taken her up on it.

I started my first day by stepping onto the balcony outside my bedroom to look out over the town of Wagtail. Once a resort where people came for the mineral water (supposedly even Thomas Jefferson and family visited!) Wagtail had to reinvent itself when mineral springs lost popularity. Now it’s the premier vacation spot for people who want to travel with their dogs and cats. The entire town caters to them with specialty shops and activities for people and their pets. Restaurants even have dog and cat menus!

The mountain air is crisp and clear. Nothing is beeping or revving or honking, except the geese, because Wagtail is an electric golf cart community. There’s a broad pedestrian zone with a park-like area in the middle of town that’s bordered by stores. Some of the coffee shops and bakeries are already open. Early risers are running and walking with dogs and cats. And in the distance, over the tops of the roofs, the mountains shimmer in sunlight like an undulating quilt of oranges, reds, and golds.

I’m trying hard to ignore the fact that the rest of my apartment on the top of the inn is cluttered with moving boxes. I’ll get to them eventually but I’m eager to jump into my new job. I don’t want Oma to think I’m a slacker! After feeding my calico kitten, Twinkletoes, and letting Trixie, my Jack Russell Terrier, out, I join Oma in the dining room for breakfast. Talk about luxury – a gourmet breakfast every morning and no dishes to wash!

The special this morning is spiced pumpkin waffles. I eye the syrup and whipped cream that comes with it. They even have a doggie version! Trixie watches me hopefully, wagging her little tail. I know I should eat something healthy but it’s my first day here. I should celebrate, right? I cave in and order the waffles with a bowl of fresh fruit salad to make me feel better about it. That will counteract the whipped cream and syrup, won’t it? Trixie is having the little doggie version for her breakfast.

Oma tells me that the Apparition Apprehender ghost hunters are arriving today. She has to go to a meeting, so it will fall to me to make sure everything goes smoothly. No problem. I don’t believe in ghosts but it seems like everyone else in Wagtail does. I guess that’s not surprising in a town as old as Wagtail. There’s even a creepy legend about a murder at the abandoned Wagtail Springs Hotel on the other side of town. I might not believe in ghosts but I’ve learned not to spoil everyone else’s fun. After all, it’s not as though the ghost hunters could actually conjure up some old ghosts. Could they?


You can read more about Holly in The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer, the second book in the “Paws and Claws” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is Murder, She Barked.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on November 27 for the chance to win a copy of THE GHOST AND MRS. MEWER. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

Meet the author
Like her characters, Krista Davis has a soft spot for cats, dogs, and cupcakes. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with three dogs and two cats. The Ghost and Mrs Mewer is the second book in her Paws and Claws Mystery series. Three of those books have been nominated for Agatha awards and three have made the New York Times Bestseller list.

Visit Krista at Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen | Twitter | Killer Characters

WEEKLY ROUND-UP: No. 47

Weekly Roundup* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Last week I attended the Bouchercon 2014: Murder on the Beach and had a wonderful time. It was fun catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. The highlight of my stay was sitting next to J.A. Jance at dinner and then at the opening ceremony, helping her sign books (no, I didn’t sign the books, I handed the books to her so she can sign them for those who stopped by. Another highlight was for the first time ever, sitting on a panel and then moderating another one. It was a cool week for me. Click HERE to read my recap.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This week on dru’s book musings
Nov 24: Holly Miller from The Ghost and Mrs Mewer by Krista Davis
Nov 25: Caroline Thompson from The Memory Box by Eva Lesko Natiello
Nov 26: Honora McAfee from Kicked to the Curb by Joanna Campbell Slan
Nov 27: Author Showcase from Turkeys, Tuxes, and Tabbies by Kathi Daley
Nov 28: Franki Amato from Prosecco Pink by Traci Andrighetti
Nov 29: Nina Bannister from Frame Change by T-Gracie and Joe Reese

Last week on dru’s book musings
Martha Rose from Knot In My Backyard by Mary Marks
Rory Anderson from Fatal Brushstroke by Sybil Johnson
Molly Pink from Knot Guilty by Betty Hechtman
Queensville Emporium from No Mallets Intended by Victoria Hamilton
Jill Gardner from If the Shoe Kills by Lynn Cahoon
Celeste Farmington from The Cunning Cruise Ship Caper by Sally Carpenter

Recent contest winners
Chorus Lines, Caviar, and Corpses by Mary McHugh – Sandra K.
The Bullet Catch by John Gaspard – Joshua W.
Dae’s Christmas Past by Joyce and Jim Lavene – Nanette S.
Bluffing is Murder by Tace Baker – Deanna S.
Invisible Magic by Mary Buckham – Terri C.
Knot In My Backyard by Mary Marks – Kay B.


Follow dru’s book musing on Facebook for posting about discounted books, giveaways and some of my reading musings.

Bouchercon 2014 Recap

bcon_logo_flatBouchercon 2014: Murder on the Beach
Location: Long Beach, California
Date: November 13 – 16, 2014

Monday, November 10
Arrived in Long Beach in time to watch Castle marry Beckett and off to bed I went.


Tuesday, November 11
IMG_0978Met for the first time Judy B. (we were both still on our respective time zone hours) for breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant, Tides. We spent most of the breakfast laughing our hearts out and decided that we are sisters from another mother. Next it was time to meet with Ingrid W, who was taking me to her local nail salon to get my manicure/pedicure. Enroute, I got to experience small town Long Beach and its colorful buildings. Back at the hotel and to the book room to help fold papers, and stuff book bags.

Then Susan B and I had our traditional pre-conference dinner at PF Chang.

Facebook status: The tech came and fixed my thermostat and left me a card giving me a complimentary meal at the hotel’s restaurant.

tote bag memo books3 books2 book1 books 1


Wednesday, November 12
I signed up for the Hollywood Stars tour and the Haunted Tour at the Queen Mary. The tour was lots of fun with the tour guide pointing out sites that included the building they use to simulate the Empire State Building; saw that streets that is supposed to replicate NY’s Fifth Avenue. We arrived at the Hollywood sign and I took a few pictures; he even pointed out Steven Spielberg’s compound and the house that Mel Gibson knocked off its stilts in one of the Lethal Weapon movies. Next stop was the drive towards Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive before we ended at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, now known as TCL Theater where I took lots and lots of pictures of the stars that adorn the sidewalks. We even saw them putting in the star for Matthew McConaughey. On this tour, we saw Marilyn Monroe house and the courthouse where the OJ Simpson trial was held.

IMG_1056 hollywood sign McConaughey godzilla beverly hills rodeo dr

Back to the hotel that was ablazed with authors arriving. I was invited to the VIP tour of the Queen Mary and dinner to follow. Oh the guide was telling us about the ghosts in the first class pool when I looked in the corner and saw something. Yep, those ghosts know how to find me.

Dinner was at the SKY Room and the first thing I noticed when I put my bag down at the first empty table I saw, was the place setting for J.A. Jance. J.A. Jance! OMG! I love her work and was thrilled to be sitting at the table with her, her husband and her editor. We had such a good time getting to know Judith and what a glorious time we both had. She told her the backstory on her novella that comes out at end of November. You should have seen me and Shawn Simmons Reilly…we were in heaven. Dinner was salad, salmon, spinach, potatoes and instead of crème brulee, I had three small scoops of vanilla ice cream. After dinner, it was back to the hotel and the bar where the drinks were flowing and laughter was heard throughout the universe.

I know I’m forgetting a lot but I was in my element enjoying myself.

qm IMG_1064 IMG_1068 qm stairway qm hallway no ending sky room

Facebook status: First celebrity (author) sighting today was Cathy Pickens and then Catriona McPherson.
Facebook status: I’m at dinner sitting next to JA Jance


Thursday, November 13
Thursday was the first “official” day of Bouchercon and it started with Author Speed Dating; Murder, We Wrote with Donald Bains and Renee Paley-Bain, moderated by Tom Sawyer; If I Knew Then What I Know Now with Brett Battles, Jessie Chandler, John Connolly, Elaine Viets, Martyn Waites, moderated by Marilyn Beebe; Mixing Murder With Food with Connie Archer, Leslie Budewitz, Daryl Wood Gerber, Karen MacInerney, Ovidia Yu, moderated by Kate Carlisle.

Then it was off to attend the “Hollywood Premier” Opening Ceremonies Hosted by HarperCollins. This was held at the Long Beach Convention Center. I went with Sparkle Abbey and we got good seats near the front. I was asked to help pass out the books to the author as the signed and guess who I assisted. Yep. J.A. Jance! Again, how cool is that? So I’m sitting behind the curtains with a bevy of HarperCollins authors and it was too cool. I was a smiling person during the entire time backstage. I got to see Wendy Corsi Staub, Kristi Belcamino,

Facebook status: On the agenda today: Author/Friend Sightings!
Facebook status: Met Kristi Belcamino.
Facebook status from Hank Phillipi Ryan: How cool is this? Dru Ann is helping Bouchercon 2014 – Murder at the Beach guest of honor J.A. Jance Author’s Page sign her new books. They were chatting like the best of pals…this a pretty plum assignment, I must say! What a treat to see.

IMG_0997 Donald Bain Renee Paley Bain IMG_1084 Simon Wood IMG_1113 DA and JA Jance - courtesty of Hank Ryan
photo of me sitting next to J.A. Jance, courtesy of Hank Phillippi Ryan


Friday, November 14
About Fans courtesty of J. McKinlay photo courtesy of J. McKinlay

Today was the day I’ll be sitting on my first even panel. I was a bit nervous but my fellow panelists were cool. (There goes that word again). But first I went to the 7am Meet the New Authors Breakfast hosted by Mike Befeler; and then it was time for my panel: Super Fans and How They Got Involved – Al Abramson, Kerry Hammond, Me, Doris Ann Norris, Janet Rudolph, moderated by Brad Parks. It went well and I even told my Sue Grafton story. It was great to see my friends in the audience and that relaxed me more than they know.

IMG_1125Then I had one of the best opportunities ever, a meet and greet with the writers and cast of TNT’s Major Crimes! Major Crimes. How awesome was that and I enjoyed the intimate session where we got some great scoops and insights into this wonderful show. After the meet and greet, we Meet Greet Major Crimesfollowed the cast and writers to the Major Crimes panel where the spoke to the larger Bouchercon audience with Q&As.

photo courtesy of D. Lacy

Then it was onto the Berkley Cocktail Reception in the Sky room – but this time we were on the lower floor.

Back at the hotel’s rotunda was the Dessert Reception & Live Charity Auction hosted by Hank Phillippi Ryan and Simon Wood.

Facebook Status: Two of the highlights of my day is meeting Kristi Belcamino and helping pass the J.A. Jance’s new book to sign for readers. The other highlights is seeing all my old friends and making new friends.
Facebook Status: The panel I was on went well. I was so nervous.
Facebook Status: The coolest highlight was the meet and greet with the writers and cast of Major Crimes. Thanks Deborah Lacy!

Saturday, November 15
DA Panel -courtesy of S. Brannan photo courtesy of S. Brannan

Today was the day I moderate my first ever panel at a reader/author convention. Yes, I was a bit nervous but not as anxious since I survived the panel I sat on. Barbara Graham and I were in the room and since it was an early panel, we were hoping no one showed up and we would have it in the back of the room with us. Little by little, the attendees grew until it was time for us to sit on the dais. My panel was Add Spice to Your Crafts: Murder With your Favorite Hobbies with Barbara Graham, Sybil Johnson, Author Jennifer McAndrews, Camille Minichino, Clare O’Donohue and moderated by Me. From various comments, the session went well. There were laughter here and there. The best part was finally meeting Sandra Balzo. And the funny part was once I met her, I saw her at least 4 times that day.

Obviously the day got away from me as I can only recall attending the Jungle Red Writers panel with Deborah Crombie, Hank Phillippi Ryan and Julia Spencer-Fleming moderated by Rhys Bowen.

Then it was onto the Long Beach Performing Center where the presentation of the Anthony Awards were given out. I was happy to hear my friend Judy announced as the winner of the David Thompson award and to hear Joelle and Catriona name announced as an Anthony Award winner. I later discovered that my friend Brad won a Shamus and Art and Terry won a Macavity. Congrats to all the winner.

IMG_1098 IMG_1110 IMG_1158

Facebook Status: Another highlight…I finally met Charlaine Harris! How cool is that?
Facebook Status: Yesterday was a good day. My panel, according to eye witnesses and passerby, went well. Received a nice twitter note from Alex Segura.
Facebook Status: From the “you did good” to “it went well,” sounds like the panel I moderated was good. We had a few chuckles and that’s always a good thing. I like to thank Clare O’Donohue, Camille Minichino, Author Jennifer McAndrews, Barbara Graham and Sybil Johnson for making it so easy. Thanks guys!
Facebook Status: One of the highlights of the day is seeing Sandra Balzo.
Facebook Status: Another highlight is meeting Dianne Emley
Facebook Status: I’m on a mission to get one more book signed.
Facebook Status: Alas I’m so bad in taking pictures

2014 Anthony Award Winners
Robert Galbraith – Best Audiobook for The Cuckoo’s Calling
The Blacklist Pilot – Best TV Episode
Jolie Charbonneau – Best Children Or YA for The Testing
Daniel Stashower – Best Critical / Non-Fiction for The Hour Of Peril
John Connolly – Best Short Story for The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository
Matt Coyle – Best First Novel for Yesterday’s Echo
Catriona Mcpherson – Best Paperback Original for As She Left It
William Kent Krueger – Best Novel for Ordinary Grace
Judy Bobalik – David Thompson Award

2014 PWA (Private Eye Writers of America) SHAMUS AWARDS
Grant Bywaters – St Martins / PWA Award: for The Red Storm
Max A Collins – Best PI Short Story: SO LONG, CHIEF
Lachlan Smith – Best First PI Novel: BEAR IS BROKEN
M Ruth Myers – Best Indie PI Novel: Don’t Dare a Dame
PJ Parish – Best Paperback Original: HEART OF ICE
Brad Parks – Best Hardcover PI Novel: The Good Cop
Sue Grafton – Lifetime Achievement

2014 Macavity Awards
William Kent Krueger – Best Mystery Novel: Ordinary Grace
Terry Shames – Best First Mystery: A Killing at Cotton Hill
Art Taylor – Best Mystery Short Story: “The Care and Feeding of Houseplants”
Daniel Stashower – Best Nonfiction: The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War
David Morrell – Sue Feder Historical Mystery Award: Murder as a Fine Art

Following a lovely Post–Anthony Awards reception hosted by Grand Central Publishing, the day came to an end.

Sunday, November 16
Queen MaryNow it’s time to say goodbye to all and the highlight of the day was going to the Concierge floor and checking out the view of the Queen Mary in all its glory and the Carnival cruise ship.

Until the next reader/author convention…I’ll see you soon.

Thanks to all who made this a memorable Bouchercon.
authors

Meet Celeste Farmington by Sally Carpenter

The Cunning Cruise Ship CaperYou’ve never heard of me, Celeste Farmington, but you know my big brother Sandy Fairfax, that popular teen idol of the ‘70s and star of the TV show “Buddy Brave, Boy Sleuth.” At least that’s the handle he goes by. His real name is Stanford Ernest Farmington Jr. I guess his family name wasn’t good enough for show biz. He said his manager made the name change, but Ernest is stubborn enough that I’m sure he could turned him down if he wanted to.

I’m a musician too. I play piano better than Ernest (but not as good as my other brother, Warren) and I sing well too. I also write songs; Ernest hasn’t written anything except maybe a barroom song from his drinking days.

In the ‘70s I recorded two acoustic folk rock records, “Dragon in the Forest” and “Gently Sings the Dove.” I asked Ernest if his big-time record label would release my music but somehow that never happened, as well as a promise for me to guest star on his TV show and to open for his concerts. So my career went nowhere while he hit the heights.

In the years since Ernest retreated into the bottle and I scraped by. I’ve been blind since birth and earning a living hasn’t been easy. I’ve relied mostly on government checks; my parents and Warren (but not Ernest) gave me money too. I made ceramic sculptures and sold a few. I got rid of my piano because I needed the money and music didn’t interest me anymore.

Recently Ernest showed up at my doorstop claiming he was sober and that he had a job offer for me—a week’s worth of concerts aboard the SS Zodiac cruise ship. I was still angry with him for not helping out when I needed him. But he wanted to make amends, so I relented.

But I was scared. Crowds and unfamiliar places frightened me. I was comfortable in my home and with my routines. Learning the music for the show was difficult and I almost quit, but Ernest pushed me.

On board the ship, Ernest was a gentleman and he guided me around the decks. I enjoyed doing the concerts. I’d forgotten how much I loved to sing. I especially liked poking fun at my brother on stage in front of the audience. Hee hee.

What I didn’t like was the dead body that turned up in my brother’s backstage dressing room. That upset me. My brother started playing sleuth and interviewing suspects. I poked holes in some of his theories because I’m better at solving puzzles than he is. Then the killer tried to drown Ernest; the murderer even locked me in a box.


You can read about our adventure and how my dopey brother needed my help to unmask the killer at the onboard Halloween costume gala in the new book, The Cunning Cruise Ship Caper, the third book in the “Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol” series from Cozy Cat Press.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on November 26 for the chance to win a copy of THE CUNNING CRUISE SHIP CAPER. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

About the author
Sally Carpenter is native Hoosier now living in Moorpark, Calif.

She has a master’s degree in theater from Indiana State University. Her plays “Star Collector” and “Common Ground” were finalists in the American College Theater Festival One-Act Playwrighting Competition. “Common Ground” also SallyCearned a college creative writing award and “Star Collector” was produced in New York City. Carpenter also has a master’s degree in theology and a black belt in tae kwon do.

She’s worked as an actress, college writing instructor, theater critic, jail chaplain and tour guide/page for Paramount Pictures. She’s now employed at a community newspaper.

The initial book in the Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol series, “The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper,” was a 2012 Eureka! Award finalist for best first mystery novel. “The Sinister Sitcom Caper” is the second in the series.

Her short story, “Dark Nights at the Deluxe Drive-in,” is in the anthology “Last Exit to Murder.” “Faster Than a Speeding Bullet” was published in the “Plan B: Vol. 2” e-book anthology.

She’s a member of Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles. She blogs at sandyfairfaxauthor.com and you can contact her on Facebook.

Another Day in the Life with Jill Gardner by Lynn Cahoon

If The Shoe KillsWelcome to South Cove. Christmas in our town is an event. We’re always adding new decorations either in front of City Hall to build up Santa’s Village. Carolers wander the streets, singing the classics along with a few modern twists. Nothing like a good Beach Boy’s Little St. Nick to help rock in the Christmas spirit.

I’m Jill Gardner, owner of Coffee, Books, and More, South Cove resident and Santa fan. I love the holiday season. Aunt Jackie and I love decorating the store to match the annual theme. Everyone’s happy and cheerful and easy to get along with.

Except this year. First, Mayor Baylor volunteered our business community to host ten participants of the local work program, Work Today. Of course, I’m the one who has to meet with Ted Hendricks, the program director, and someone who’s definitely on Santa’s naughty list. Then instead of letting Darla Taylor plan our annual holiday festival, Mayor Baylor wants Tina, his spoilt wife, to run the committee. Tina’s anti-Santa campaign will have the streets of South Cove decorated in black and silver without a single mention of the big guy or the reason for the season.

Now with the holidays approaching, our streets remain undecorated and worse, I found Ted, dead in his classic Mustang. My days are filled with trying to keep the work program alive along with finding out who had a reason (besides anyone who ever met the guy) to kill Ted.

I’m still holding out hope that someone, anyone, will step up to take on the spirit of Christmas. I’m just hoping it’s not going to have to be me. I’ve got my hands full planning my first Thanksgiving dinner for Greg and our friends.

What was I thinking?

IF THE SHOE KILLS

In the California coastal town of South Cove, history is one of its many tourist attractions—until it becomes deadly…

Jill Gardner, proprietor of Coffee, Books, and More, has discovered that the old stone wall on her property might be a centuries-old mission worthy of being declared a landmark. But Craig Morgan, the obnoxious owner of South Cove’s most popular tourist spot, The Castle, makes it his business to contest her claim. When Morgan is found murdered at The Castle shortly after a heated argument with Jill, even her detective boyfriend has to ask her for an alibi. Jill decides she must find the real murderer to clear her name. But when the killer comes for her, she’ll need to jump from historic preservation to self-preservation…


You can read more about Jill in If The Shoe Kills, the third book in the “Tourist Trap” mystery series, published by Kensington. The first book in the series is Guidebook to Murder.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on November 26 for the chance to win a digital copy of IF THE SHOE KILLS. The giveaway is open to everyone.

Meet the author
USA Today and New York Times, best-selling author, Lynn Cahoon is an Idaho native. If you’d visit the town where she LynnCgrew up, you’d understand why her mysteries and romance novels focus around the depth and experience of small town life. Currently, she’s living in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. She lives with her husband and four fur babies.

For more information check out Lynn’s website at www.lynncahoon.wordpress.com

A Day in the Life of the Queensville Emporium by Victoria Hamilton

No Mallets IntendedI’m a store; there, I said it. I was built to be a general store, and I’ve been one my whole life, about a hundred and forty years or so, give or take a decade. I hope to remain a store until my walls crumble to dust. That being said, I may be old, but there’s a lot of life left in the old gal yet.

Let me tell you about my typical day.

I don’t get up that early. Back in the day when I was also the local post office I’d be up at the crack of dawn, but not anymore. Valetta Nibley (she’s the town pharmacist) unlocks my creaky old doors about eight fifty or so, in time for her to get organized at her pharmacy counter in the back. Mr. and Mrs. Klausner, whose family has worked with me for almost a hundred of my years, then arrive. Not every day, though. More often than it used to be a gal named Jaymie Leighton arrives and her and Valetta have a good chin wag – they being best of friends – and then Jaymie gets down to business. I like it when she works. She’s a wee bit on the plump side, but oh, my stars is she energetic! She gets up on stools and cleans my rafters, and crawls under counters to clean up the dust balls.

That tickles, you know… the cobweb cleaning and dusting, with the feather duster especially!

But my favorite time of day is morning tea break. When Jaymie is working her and Valetta get a big mug of tea and sit out on my porch, watching the good folks of Queensville go about their business. They say howdy, wave, talk to all the dogs being walked, maybe play with Jaymie’s little three legged Yorkie Poo Hoppy, if she brought him to work and has him in the puppy pen by the porch. Or she and Valetta just have a grand gossip about everyone and everything going on in their lives.

I love hearing all the news, so that is a wonderful day. It reminds me of the good old days, when I was the hub of the town and everyone dropped in for a game of checkers on the pickle barrel, or just to gossip with the proprietors and every other soul with time on their hands.

Ah, but times change. I’ve seen a lot of changes in Queensville Michigan over all my years. But once in a while – every Christmas, especially – I get to relive the old days. Valetta and Jaymie will decorate me with cedar garlands, and folks dressed in Victorian garb stand outside around a bonfire and sing carols.

At the end of a long day Jaymie turns out all the lights as Valetta closes down her pharmacy counter, and they’ll lock up so I can nap. I watch the stars come out, and fall asleep listening to the St. Clair river slip past, down by the docks.

About No Mallets Intended:

Jaymie Leighton is excited and a little nervous about her current big venture, completely redoing the kitchen at Dumpe House—now the Queensville Historic Manor—in time for the December opening. But the house is mired in controversy, a challenge to the heritage society’s right to own it, and questions about the author hired to write a pamphlet detailing the Dumpe family history and that of the house.

None of Jaymie’s business, so she keeps her head down and her focus on the exact color right for the kitchen, and assembling all the accouterments, including a Hoosier cabinet! She’s also got lots to think about in her personal life with Daniel acting a little odd, and her friend Heidi dragging her in to the trouble between her and her fiancé, Jaymie’s former boyfriend Joel.

But a late night whack on the head with one of the antique mallets Jaymie has been cataloging for the society and a dreadful murder right on the house’s doorstep draws her once again into murder and mayhem. Jaymie faces her most cunning and dangerous opponent yet, but with Valetta and Hoppy by her side and the police chief’s approval, she must figure out whodunit before they do it again!


You can read more about the Queensville Emporium in No Mallets Intended, the fourth book in the “Vintage Kitchen” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is A Deadly Grind.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on November 25 for the chance to win a copy of NO MALLETS INTENDED. The giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only.

About the author
Victoria Hamilton is the national bestselling author of three bestselling series, the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries as Victoria, and the Teapot Collector Mysteries as Amanda Cooper. She is also the bestselling Victoria Hauthor of Regency and historical romance as Donna Lea Simpson.

Victoria loves to cook and collects vintage kitchen paraphernalia, teacups and teapots, and almost anything that catches her fancy! She loves to read, especially mystery novels, and enjoys good tea and cheap wine, the company of friends, and has a newfound appreciation for opera. She enjoys crocheting and beading, but a good book can tempt her away from almost anything… except writing!

Visit Victoria at www.victoriahamiltonmysteries.com.