A Day In The Life With Samantha Reynolds by Beth Prentice

deadly-wipeout“My name is Samantha Reynolds. Samantha Jane Reynolds,” I explained to the bored looking lady in front of me. “I’ve just flown into Aloha Lagoon from Sydney, Australia. Well, not directly from Sydney. It was supposed to be direct but I think the travel agent who booked my flight made a mistake. I wasn’t supposed to go to Seoul, just Sydney to Honolulu and then onto Aloha Lagoon. My luggage was tagged to come all the way through so that I didn’t need to worry about it, so I hadn’t. Until now, that is.” I stopped babbling and rubbed my eyes. It had been a long flight. I left Sydney at 10.30am yesterday morning. It was now exactly 11.15 am Hawaiian time and I’d been travelling or sitting in airports for 29 and a half hours.

I handed the lady my flight details. I’m sure it was just a small misunderstanding. Someone must have picked up my suitcase by mistake. I mean, why else couldn’t I find it on the conveyor belt? Maybe I was just too tired and didn’t see it and it was still going around and around all on its lonesome.

I caught my refection in a nearby window. My brown eyes were blood shot, my blond hair was frizzing, my clothes were crinkled, and I was hot. They really needed to turn up the air conditioning.

The bored looking woman slowly tapped her chubby fingers on her keyboard. I’d been warned that Aloha Lagoon worked on island time, so I took a deep breath and looked around me.

The airport was lovely, but what I could see of the outside, the scenery was breathtaking. The ocean was aqua blue and sparkling in the sun, and the gardens were green and lush. I took another deep calming breath as fatigue settled itself into my bones.

The bored lady looked up from her screen. “You may have made that journey, but your luggage didn’t.”

I stared at her, opened mouthed. “But. . .what. . .what do you mean?”

“Your luggage,” she repeated, even slower. “It’s not here. It was never put on your plane.”

“How? How does that happen?” I asked, my voice getting higher by the second. I thought of the contents of that suitcase and how pretty much all of my life’s possessions were in it. When I’d made the decision to leave Sydney it had been a permanent one.

“Well,” the lady said scratching her neck and looking back at the screen, “I guess someone put it on the wrong plane.” Her attitude was pretty casual and I wondered if she’d be this relaxed if it was her luggage that had been lost. “Don’t worry, I’ve emailed a request so it’ll be sent here on the next flight. Maybe. It could be the flight after that one. It really all depends on the load that they have onboard at the time.”

My heart missed a beat.

“Where exactly is it at the moment?”

“Right at this moment?”

I nodded.


“How did it get to Helsinki?” I asked, incredulous.

“Well, it went to Singapore, then to London and then to Helsinki.”

Geez, my luggage was better travelled than I was.

She shrugged, her dark brown bob bouncing off her shoulders as she moved.

“These things happen,” she said.

“They will send it won’t they?”

She nodded. “Sure.”

Okay that didn’t sound as reassuring as I’d hoped, but I’d take what I could get.

“In the meantime,” she continued, “I’d suggest you visit Coconut Closet Convenience Co-op. It’s in the main street. They’re having a two for one sale on underwear.”

I took a slow calming breath and stepped away from the counter, feeling slightly shell shocked and numb. My mum had told me to pack a spare set of underwear in my handbag, but did I listen? No. I was too embarrassed that the people x-raying my carry-on luggage would see them. And what would have happened if they’d made me pull everything out of it? I’d seen too many airport security shows to take that risk.

Now I really wished I’d done as I was told and listened to my mother. Just wait until I told her that I needed to stop at the shop before going home. I’d never hear the end of it.

The upside of losing my luggage was I didn’t need to declare anything as I made my way through Customs, and stepped out of the airport into the hot Hawaiian sun, my soul relaxing as the salt air filled my lungs.

Mum was standing on the sidewalk waving frantically. Smiling, I fell into her arms and held on tight. I’d never been to Kauai before today, but I felt like I was home.

I guess if losing my luggage was the worst thing that was going to happen in Aloha Lagoon, I couldn’t really complain.

Deadly Wipeout is the third book in the Aloha Lagoon mystery series, published by Gemma Halliday Publishing, September 2016.

From bestselling cozy mystery author Beth Prentice comes an Aloha Lagoon mystery that will leave you gasping for more. . .

Samantha Reynolds had hoped that moving to the resort town of Aloha Lagoon would be the start of an exciting new life. Sure it may not be everything she had hoped for—she’s living with her mom, has no job, no income, and absolutely no idea what to do next. But it’s a start! Out of options, Samantha decides to take a job she’s just a little under-qualified for—a children’s surfing instructor at the Aloha Lagoon Resort. She can surf. . .she just doesn’t know how to teach surfing. But that soon becomes the least of her worries.

Throw in two dead bodies, two unexpected inheritances, and one hot bartender, and the heat in Aloha Lagoon has quickly turned up! Samantha just needs to figure out why her family is involved, control a group of preadolescent kids, keep her mom and brother out of jail, and get the hot bartender to notice her. It couldn’t be that hard, could it? With the help of her new friend Alani and some of the quirky residents of Aloha Lagoon, she just may be able to pull it all off. . .and still keep everybody alive!

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About the author
Beth was born in Manchester, England, but after moving backwards and forwards across the world 13 times in 14 years she decided that at the age of 18 that Australia was to be her home. She now lives on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia where every day is a good one. To date, she has three self-published titles as well as two novels published by Gemma Halliday Publishing.

Her main wish is to write books you can sit back, relax with, and escape from your everyday life…and ones that you walk away from with a smile! When she’s not writing you will usually find her at the beach with a coffee in hand, pursuing her favorite pastime—people watching!

Connect with Beth at www.bethprentice.com

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a signed print copy of Deadly Wipeout. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends October 26, 2016 at 11:59 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

Cover Reveal ~ Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett

I’m thrilled to reveal the cover for the first book in the new Detective by Day mystery series, Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett.


Title: Hollywood Homicide
Series: Detective By Day #1
Release Date: August 8, 2017
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Website: Kellye Garrett

Dayna Anderson doesn’t set out to solve a murder. All the semi-famous, mega-broke black actress wants is to help her parents keep their house. After witnessing a deadly hit-and-run, she figures pursuing the fifteen-grand reward isn’t the craziest thing a Hollywood actress has done for some cash.

But what starts as simply trying to remember a speeding car soon blossoms into a full-on investigation. As Dayna digs deeper into the victim’s life, she wants more than just reward money. She’s determined to find the poor woman’s killer too. When she connects the accident to a notorious Hollywood crime spree, Dayna chases down leads at paparazzi hot spots, celeb homes and movie premieres. She loves every second—until someone tries to kill her.

And there are no second takes in real life.

Meet the author
Kellye Garrett spent 8 years working in Hollywood, including a stint writing for the CBS drama Cold Case. People kellye-garrettwere always surprised to learn what she did for a living—probably because she seemed way too happy to be brainstorming ways to murder people. A former magazine editor, Kellye holds a B.S. in magazine writing from Florida A&M and an MFA in screenwriting from USC’s famed film school. Having moved back to her native New Jersey, she spends her mornings commuting to Manhattan for her job at a leading media company—while still happily brainstorming ways to commit murder. Her first novel, Hollywood Homicide, will be released by Midnight Ink in August 2017. It’s the first book in the Detective by Day series.

Connect with Kellye: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Blog

You can pre-order the e-book and print edition on Amazon.

Cover Reveal ~ 15 Minutes by Larissa Reinhart

Thank you, Dru, for hosting another cover reveal. I’m always honored to be on dru’s book musing and particularly excited to be here today because this is the cover for 15 Minutes, the first in my new humorous mystery series, Maizie Albright Star Detective. Look for the preorder in about a month, but 15 Minutes launches January 24th!


It’s another Georgia setting, 15 Minutes in the mountain and lake resort town of Black Pine. However, this Georgia Peach’s imported from Hollywood. She’s brought her Gucci’s but is leaving her past behind for a detective do-over.

I reflect back on my twenties and think of all my big moves—moving to Japan, getting married, and leaving grad school to get my teaching degree are the big ones. Biologically, our mid-twenties are when our brains finish growing and developing. And though some people have begun a path at a younger age, mid-twenties are a time when many of us make big determining life decisions.

Except for those who haven’t left the parent’s basement nest at forty and still don’t want to commit to adulting. But that’s for another story.

I had this mind when I created my new character, Maizie Albright. She’s twenty-five and at a pivotal point in her life. Maizie had a strange childhood. With divorced parents, she grew up in Hollywood under the thumb of her manager/stage monster-mother, Vicki. She only saw her father—the owner of DeerNose, a popular scented hunting apparel brand—in Black Pine, Georgia during the summers when she was on hiatus. She doesn’t know much about life outside her LA bubble. And her LA life was corrupt at best, toxic at worst.

But that’s what therapists are for. And trainers, managers, and assistants.

Under Vicki, Maizie rose to stardom in several shows, but most famously in Julia Pinkerton, Teen Detective. When puberty caught up with Maizie, her teen star status crashed and burned, relegating her to B-movies, reality shows, and rehab. But Maizie clung to her favorite childhood dream: becoming a real life detective. When a judge gave her a choice of jail or return to Georgia to get a non-show business job, Maizie saw her out.

But she has ten days to get a W-4 sent to the judge or serve time in a California prison.

Ten days to convince the only private investigator in town to mentor her, Wyatt Nash of Nash Security Systems. But he’s got issues of his own, mainly an ex-wife who’s using his client to leverage him out of business. And no interest in mentoring a tabloid star.

Ten days to find a woman she lost on day two. The wife of the client trying to leverage her hopefully soon-to-be-boss out of business.

So actually, nine days to find a missing woman, clear Nash’s name, secure the job, stay out of prison. . .and not get killed.

Any major life changing decision you had to make in your mid-twenties? What do you think of the new cover? Leave me a comment to enter into a drawing for some Japanese tea and chocolates (I’m living in Japan)! The giveaway ends October 25, 2016 at 11: 59 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

15 Minutes is the first book in the New Maizie Albright humorous mystery series, coming January 24, 2017.

When ex-teen star Maizie Albright returns to her Southern hometown of Black Pine, Georgia, she hoped to rid herself of Hollywood tabloid and reality show hell for a new career as a private investigator. Instead, Hollyweird follows her home. Maizie’s costar crushing, but now for her gumshoe boss. Her stage-monster mother still demands screen time. Her latest rival wants her kicked off the set, preferably back to a California prison.

By entangling herself in a missing person’s case, she must reprise her most famous role. The job will demand a performance of a lifetime. But this time, the stakes are real and may prove deadly.

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Excerpt from 15 Minutes.

I loved Julia Pinkerton: Teen Detective.

Not because the show gave me international exposure. I worked with some great actors, both my regular cast and the guest stars. Real nice people who genuinely seemed to like me. Excellent crew and sweet craft folks. Treated me like a princess. On a long running show, they say your colleagues become family. That’s true. But when a show ends, the family disperses.

And you don’t always get a new family. Especially when you’ve outgrown your cheer uniform, but everyone still thinks of you as a cheerleader. And you weren’t that great of an actress anyway.

Even in hindsight, I would have done the show all over again. But not for the reasons you might think. Julia was smart. Really clever, sometimes crafty, but still likable. The other characters underestimated her because she was a teenager, but Julia used it to her advantage. Her teenagerness was her disguise.

She began as a school narc in the first season, working with the local police department, but after falling in love with the high school basketball star/drug dealer—originally a redeemable character, but when his contract wasn’t renewed, the writers had to flip him and kill him off—Julia lost confidence in the police and decided to strike out on her own. When you’re a teen detective on TV, you can do that. It worked. For eight seasons.

That’s like two million in TV years.

Plus, I met real police officers and real security agents. Advisors to the show. They took me for ride-alongs, got me into the Kids Police Academy, and let me hang out with them on set so I could listen to their stories. My agent and Vicki encouraged it, thinking it would help me develop Julia into a more convincing character, even though the advisors were actually hired to assist the writers and director.

Quick-witted and sharp, Julia could make the experts laugh. She asked provocative questions. Detective Earl King—guy with a permanent scowl and no neck—took me for ice cream every Friday.

Detective King said he wished he had a daughter as bright as Julia.

I’ll tell you one thing. Julia Pinkerton would never have gotten socked in the nose by a nail esthetician.

I lay on the floor, holding my nose and tearing up. I was no Julia Pinkerton. I wasn’t even a very good Maizie Albright. But I had succeeded in flushing out Tiffany for Wyatt Nash. Maybe he would still give me the job.

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About the author
A 2015 Georgia Author of the Year Best Mystery finalist, Larissa writes the Cherry Tucker Mystery and the Maizie Albright Star Detective series. The first in the Cherry Tucker series, Portrait Of A Dead Guy (2012), is a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist, 2012 The Emily finalist, and 2011 Dixie Kane Memorial winner. The sixth mystery, A Composition In Murder, releases November 15, 2016. The debut in the Maizie Albright Star Detective series, 15 Minutes, releases January 24, 2017. Her family and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit, now live in Nagoya, Japan, but still calls Georgia home. See them on HGTV’s House Hunters International “Living for the Weekend in Nagoya” episode. Visit her website, find her chatting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Goodreads, or join her Facebook street team, The Mystery Minions.

All comments are welcomed.


weekly update

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Coming up on dru’s book musings (10/24 – 10/30)
October 24: Samantha Reynolds by Beth Prentice (Aloha Lagoon)
October 25: Marlee Jacob by Sharon Farrow (Berry Basket)
October 26: Jesse Lockhart by Lea Wait (Mainely Needlepoint)
October 27: Grace Russell by Julie Mulhern (Country Club Murders)
October 28: Margo Tamblyn by Diane Vallere (Costume Shop)
October 29: Alex Graham by Katherine Prairie (Alex Graham)
October 30: Cover Reveal
Continue reading

My Musing ~ Eggnog Murder by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, Barbara Ross

Eggnog Murder by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, Barbara Ross is an anthology celebrating Christmas in Maine. Publisher: Kensington, October 2016

Eggnog MurderWith the fireplace crackling, the tree twinkling, and the carols humming, few things in life are as picture perfect as Christmas in Maine—until murder dampens the holiday spirit. It must be something in the eggnog . . .

Eggnog Murder by Leslie Meier
When a gift-wrapped bottle of eggnog—allegedly from the Real Beard Santa Club—proves to be a killer concoction for a Tinker’s Cove local, all Lucy Stone wants for Christmas is to find the murdering mixologist who’s stirring up trouble.

Death By Eggnog by Lee Hollis
Food and cocktails columnist Hayley Powell has never cared much for Bar Harbor’s grouchy town librarian, Agatha Farnsworth. But after the Scroogy senior has a fatal—and suspicious—allergic reaction to supposedly non-dairy eggnog, it’s up to Hayley to ladle out some justice.

Nogged Off by Barbara Ross
Julia Snowden’s tenant Imogen Geinkes seems to be jinxed. First, her poorly named “Killer Eggnog” gives all her co-workers food poisoning at the holiday party, then her boyfriend’s body shows up in Julia’s moving truck as she’s headed back to Busman’s Harbor. Now Julia has to get moving to catch the cold-hearted culprit.

Cozy up with a glass of eggnog and enjoy the spirit of murder and mystery in a Yuletide treat perfect for those winter holidays . . .

The favorite holiday beverage becomes the catalyst for this collection of Christmas in Maine short stories where eggnog takes center stage in these murder mysteries. The narrative for all three stories were quite fetching where the intrigue of what’s happening played a pivotal role in the telling of these delightfully engaging tales. And those twists. . .superb! I enjoyed them all, but give kudos to Ross as I follow her Maine Clambake series and this was a great interlude while waiting for Iced Under.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) book from one of the authors.

My Musing ~ Dying for Strawberries by Sharon Farrow

Dying for Strawberries by Sharon Farrow is the first book in the NEW “Berry Basket” mystery series. Publisher: Kensington, October 2016

Dying For StrawberriesWith seasonal crowds flocking to its sandy beaches, lively downtown shops, and the Berry Basket, a berry emporium with something for everyone, the lakeshore village of Oriole Point is ripe for summer fun—and murder.

Much has changed for Marlee Jacob since she returned to Oriole Point, Michigan, three years ago. Between running the Berry Basket, dodging local gossip, and whipping up strawberry muffins, smoothies, and margaritas to celebrate the town’s first annual Strawberry Moon Bash, the twenty-nine-year-old hardly has time for her fiancé, let alone grim memories of her old life in New York . . .

But unfortunately for Marlee, Oriole Point is muddled with secrets of its own. First her friend Irina disappears after an ominous dream. Next the seediest man in town threatens to crush her business. Then an unknown person nearly kills her on the night of the Bash. When she discovers a dead body while searching for Irina, Marlee realizes she’ll have to foil a killer’s plot herself—before the past permanently stains her future.

This was a good read that was evenly paced with a comfortable tone that was easy to follow. The mystery was set-up nicely with subplots that augmented with the telling of this story. The narrative was very adept at moving this drama along in such a way that it kept me intrigued in all that was happening with the residents of Oriole Point. A good job was done with the pool of suspects and some strategically placed clues that included some twist and turns which added to my reading pleasure. I enjoyed this engaging whodunit that boasts a wonderful cast of characters and good dialogue and I can’t wait to see what happens next in Marlee’s world.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) from the author.

A Day in the Life with Calliope Costas by Jenny Kales

on-the-chopping-blockHi, I’m Calliope Costas, owner of “Callie’s Kitchen” in Crystal Bay, Wisconsin. People call me “Callie,” except for my Dad, George. He was born in Greece and he prefers to use my full name, but most people find “Callie” a lot easier to pronounce.

George is. . .well, he’s complicated. First of all, he’s a great father, especially since we lost my mom at a young age. Let’s just say, he has opinions. Lots of them. This is especially tricky, now that my husband, Hugh, and I split up and I’m the single mom of George’s only grandchild, Olivia. She’s 10 and a smart cookie – sometimes too smart for her own good. For example, she’s not really sure about her new stepmom, Raine. Truth be told, neither am I. Luckily, my maternal grandmother, Viv, and my best friend Samantha, know how to make me look on the bright side. And if they can’t, then my loyal Yorkie, Koukla, (which means ‘little doll’ in Greek) can manage it.

Let me tell you about Crystal Bay, Wisconsin, where I live and work. It’s in the Southeast part of the state and a popular tourist destination – and for good reason. For one thing, my charming hometown is situated on the water, giving us great views, plus lots of opportunities for boating and swimming – though with winter here, we’re enjoying ice fishing and skating.

I figured that Garden Street – the main strip that’s filled with shops and eateries – would be the perfect place to open Callie’s Kitchen. My dad finally gave me his blessing, even though he did want me to eventually take over his small business, a diner called “The Olympia.”

If you ever visit Callie’s Kitchen, I hope you’ll understand why this is my dream business. Because I am a busy mom myself, I know that people sometimes just want a healthy, ready-made meal that is NOT fast food. So that’s what I sell — ready-to-eat homemade meals, baked goods and yummy desserts. Callie’s Kitchen is known for traditional Greek comfort foods I grew up eating – things like spanakopita, Greek chicken stew, loukoumades (delicious Greek doughnuts with honey and cinnamon) and more, plus a sprinkling of traditional Midwestern comfort foods. There’s something for everyone at Callie’s Kitchen.

Sweets are one of my favorite things to make. I serve everything from Greek yogurt coffee cake with crumb topping to breakfast breads and decadent cookies loaded with rich Wisconsin butter. Loukoumades are pretty much always on the menu since they’re George’s favorite. Now that Christmas is coming, I’m really having fun baking up my holiday specialties, including Greek biscotti aka “paxemathia” that are spiced with anise-flavored ouzo, and my spicy gingerbread loaves topped with a luscious white icing.

Customers tell me that when they walk by Callie’s Kitchen, the cinnamon, butter and sugar smells alone are enough to draw them in. Or, if it’s dinner time and they’re hungry, the smell of buttery, cheesy spanakopita is usually enough to get them to peek inside my shop.

Life has had its fair share of ups and downs. My new boyfriend, Drew was murdered and I was a prime suspect just a few months ago. Now, things are looking up, though my business still has a long way to go. I’ve got a really nice guy in my life (he just happens to be a detective with a British accent that I love). Callie’s Kitchen seems to have picked up a bit in business, thanks to my new part-time marketing expert – Piper, friend of my cooking assistant, Max.

Right now, I’m on my way to bring some of my famous kourabiethes, aka Greek snowball cookies, to a bridal shower for Lexy Dayton, a regular at Callie’s Kitchen.

Uh-oh. Just got a text from the party planner at the English Country Inn, the waterfront hotel and restaurant where the bridal shower is being held. Natalie Underwood, the party planner, is great to work with but she is a little stressed out about today’s event. I wonder why.

It’s snowing out today and the roads are sure to be treacherous – though Crystal Bay does look especially beautiful in December. The English Country Inn is known for its stunning Christmas décor – I’m looking forward to taking a look. I’d better get a move on!

Wish me luck today – and don’t forget to stop by Callie’s Kitchen when you have time. I’ll keep the loukamades warm for you!

On the Chopping Block is the first book in the NEW Callie’s Kitchen mystery series, May 2016.

Greek-American food business owner and single mom Calliope “Callie” Costas faces Greek tragedy when a murder shakes the picturesque waterfront community of Crystal Bay, Wisconsin. Recipes included!

Building a small business has been murder, but Callie Costas didn’t expect to be confronted with an actual body. The 36-year-old Greek-American proprietor of “Callie’s Kitchen,” a meals-from-scratch business in an idyllic small town, has been busy creating a post-divorce life for herself, her young daughter and her pet Yorkie, Koukla. After a lot of hard work (including staving off her father’s continual advice), she’s got the locals and tourists clamoring for her delicious Mediterranean dishes and Midwest comfort food classics. Recently, she’s started a budding romance with a fellow foodie, the wealthy owner and chef of Crystal Bay’s most popular bistro.

However, success is as fleeting as one of Wisconsin’s glorious autumn days. As local businesses begin to shut down due to a slow economy, Callie is struggling not to become another statistic. A contest with a hefty cash prize seems like the perfect chance to fix her financial woes, until a shocking murder threatens not only her livelihood – but her life.

When she’s targeted as a prime suspect by an attractive expat British detective, Callie’s situation becomes more delicate than her Greek egg-lemon soup. She’s got to find the killer and fast if she wants to protect her daughter, save her business and stay alive.

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Meet the author
Jenny Kales is the author of On The Chopping Block, the first in The Callie’s Kitchen Mystery Series. Her marriage into a Greek-American Midwestern family inspired The Callie’s Kitchen mysteries, featuring Calliope Costas, food business owner and amateur sleuth. The setting of the story, “Crystal Bay,” is inspired by a favorite family vacation spot – Wisconsin’s beautiful Geneva Lakes. Look for Book 2, Spiced And Iced, coming in November!

Jenny is an avid reader, cook and baker and she’s addicted to mystery TV, especially anything on Masterpiece Mystery or BBC America. A member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, she lives just outside of Chicago with her husband, two daughters and one cute but demanding Yorkshire terrier. Keep up with author news for Jenny Kales by following her on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads. Visit her website at jennykales.wordpress.com.

All comments are welcomed.

A Day in the Life with Serena Jones by Sandra Orchard

Another Day Another DaliI know some women can’t understand it, but I’d rather chase down art thieves, or even go undercover to ferret out a forger, than spend an afternoon dress shopping.

Never mind that checking out a captured drug dealer’s stash of paintings almost got me blown up earlier this week. After all, it was pretty sweet how Special Agent Tanner Calhoun had refused to leave my side until the bomb was defused, even if he did pretend that it was only because he figured my Aunt Martha would sic her mafia-linked boyfriend on him if he let me die.

Still. . .here I am spending Saturday morning shopping with my best friend. Considering I’m her maid of honor and the wedding is only a couple of months away, I figured I couldn’t put it off any longer. Well that. . .and the fact she’d pounded on my door and dragged me out of bed.

Although I’m pretty sure she started to have second thoughts, when I checked her car’s side mirror for the fourth time, even after I downplayed the cryptic note that someone left on my door last night. Okay, I probably shouldn’t have mentioned it, but at least I kept the art forger foray with my apartment superintendent to myself, not to mention the fact that a couple of Russian mobsters might’ve made me during an undercover gig with Tanner.

Did I mention that my friend works as the head of security at the Forest Park Art Museum? So she naturally wants our dresses to have an artistic flare. I’m an art lover myself, so of course, I agree, but it was unbelievable how poorly the dresses’ artistic promises translated on the canvas of our real-world figures. Unless we wanted to look like a couple of fruit that had jumped from a bowl in one of Cezanne’s still lifes.

To be honest, by the time the drive-by shooter came along, I’d been ready to wave the white flag and give the nod to the other bridesmaid’s adored mauve, chiffon number, reminiscent of the French Impressionists. It did absolutely nothing for me, but one day in an unflattering dress—and in a bazillion photographs forever—seemed less torturous than shopping a second longer.

Of course, my friend wasn’t buying that the shooter had nothing to do with me.

“Why on earth would you work a job that makes you enemies like that?” her other bridesmaid asked.

My mind flashed to the note taped to my door last night, but I managed to shrug nonchalantly. “Adrenaline junkie, I guess.” I’d become so used to faking courage since starting the job that somewhere along the line, I actually began to embody the trait, if not quite feel it.

My friend must’ve sensed what I was trying to do because she forced out a chuckle. “More like she adores the hot agent who trained her.”

And wouldn’t you know it. Tanner chose that moment to call.

About Another Day, Another Dali is the second book in the Serena Jones mystery series, published by Revell, October 2016.

The world of art theft can be a deadly game–one that Serena Jones understands all too well.

When a valuable Salvador Dali painting belonging to her grandmother’s friend is mysteriously replaced by a forgery, FBI Special Agent Serena Jones is called in to investigate. Serena hopes finding the thief will also mean finally measuring up to Nana’s expectations. But when the evidence points to members of the owner’s own household, it becomes increasingly clear that Serena won’t be winning any popularity contests.

The Dali isn’t the only painting that’s fallen prey to the forgery-replacing thief, raising the specter of a sophisticated theft ring–one with links to dirty cops, an aspiring young artist, and the unsolved murder of Serena’s grandfather.

With plenty of edge-of-your-seat moments, Another Day, Another Dali gives the plucky Serena Jones–and readers–a new high-stakes case to crack.

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Meet the author
Sandra Orchard writes fast-paced, keep-you-guessing mysteries with a dash of sweet romance. Her novels have garnered six Canadian Writing Awards, a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, a National Readers’ Choice Award, a HOLT Medallion Award of Merit, and a Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. Learn more about Sandra’s novels and bonus features at www.SandraOrchard.com.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Another Day, Another Dali. The giveaway ends October 23, 2016 at 11:59 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

A Day in the Life of Dreamwalker Baxley Powell by Maggie Toussaint

Doggone ItI’m  Baxley Powell, and my days aren’t the usual run of the mill stuff. People usually have two reactions when they find out I’m a dreamwalker. Either they think I’m weird and they avoid me. Or they think I’m weird, and they try to test me. Luckily, I can parse out a lie faster than they can blink, so I always have their numbers.

Friends, true friends at least, are golden. My best friend is reporter Charlotte Ambrose, and she’s never been afraid of me or my family. Through thick and thin, we’ve seen it all, done it all. It’s her fault I got dragged into the haunted house murders. She was the one who came up with the bright idea of writing a newspaper series about all the ghosts around here.

Charlotte made me go with her to June’s Folly, reputed to be haunted by old slaves because of the clanking chains people heard out there. Last time I’d visited, my dad had to come get me because my extra senses short-circuited. This time I kept my mental defenses up because at 28 I was too doggone old to be rescued by my dad.

Soon as we arrived, Charlotte had to sit down on the steps of the crumbling mansion. She couldn’t go any farther. At first I worried her plus size caused her fatigue. Out here in the deep woods we were a long way from any medical facility, so I hoped it wasn’t that.

Much to my surprise she started shivering and freaking out because of clanking chains. Since I was shielded, I heard nothing. I touched her arm, and she felt ghostly cold. I couldn’t believe it. Charlotte found the ghost! And a ghost here meant my earlier mishap wasn’t my fault. I must’ve gotten mugged by the ghost last time.

Charlotte wasn’t thrilled about her new ghost detection ability. She knew what buttons to push, and she pretty much told me I was a wuss if I didn’t help her out. This was a ghost, I spoke to ghosts, and by God, she wanted it gone.

For months, I’d routinely crossed the Veil of Life and communicated with spirits. I wasn’t the same untested teen my dad had to rescue. I had skills, training, and experience.

Okay. I know you’re shaking your head and muttering “don’t do it” by now because I had none of my regular backup team. I already knew this place was trouble. But that’s the thing about peer pressure. It makes you believe you’re Wonder Woman.

As soon as I lowered my guard and raised my senses, I plunged into Otherworld murk and couldn’t get out. I heard Charlotte yelling at me to wake up and to quit rolling my eyes up in my head because it was creeping her out. I saw her trying to make me come around, but I couldn’t move on to the spirit realm and I couldn’t return to Sinclair County, Georgia.

Did I mention my indenture to Rose? She claims she’s an undercover angel, but she’s such a moody, malicious spirit, I have doubts about her true identity. My acute distress caught her attention. Rose showed up and offered to help, for a fee.

You don’t want to know what that cost me, but I took the name she offered. I summoned Oliver, the earthbound spirit that trapped me. Was I scared? Heck, yeah. Did I have any other options? Heck, no. It wasn’t like the fire department could save me, and I didn’t want my dad stuck in this terrible place with me.

I was so cold. Disembodied voices wailed. Chains clanked. My spirit form couldn’t stop trembling, but I kept calling Oliver, and the ghostly stuff intensified. Oliver stayed out of reach, his red beady eyes glowing. It took me a few moments, but I finally realized Oliver was a dog. I’d been trapped by a ghost dog, of all things!

Since I have a pet and plant care business as my day job, I’m a dog expert. I used my softest voice, enticing this Great Dane forward so I could remove the stout collar and clanking chains from his neck. Afterward, Oliver jumped and waggled and frolicked and was so happy that I forgot to be scared.

I showed Oliver the way to the next world, but he stayed put. Apparently, freeing him earned me his everlasting devotion. Now I have a ghost dog attached to me. Just another day in my life as a Dreamwalker.

Doggone It is the third book in the Dreamwalker mystery series, published by Five Star Publishing, October 2016.

Dreamwalker Baxley Powell can’t remember the last time she had such a crappy weekend. A twilight encounter with a ghost dog left her numb and disoriented, her dreamwalker abilities are wiped out, and the sheriff just summoned her to a double homicide.

With no access to the spirit world, Baxley bluffs her way through the crime scene where a movie star’s assistant and a charter boat captain were strung up and bled dry. In a haunted house, no less. Figuring out who killed these people will be a real challenge without her ability to speak to the dead.

Just when Baxley thinks her powers are returning, her dreamwalks malfunction. With the sheriff pushing her to solve the case quickly, Baxley teams up with a dognapping medium to boost her powers.

Suspects include the captain’s good-for-nothing brother, the assistant’s replacement, and, of course, his stalker. All of Sinclair County is on edge, and the media circus isn’t helping. At stake are the movie’s funding, the sheriff’s job, and Baxley’s senses.

Can Baxley safeguard her abilities and solve the case before the killer strikes again?

Haunted houses, lost pirate treasure, conniving in-laws, supernatural baddies, and a determined ghost dog test amateur sleuth Baxley Powell’s mettle in Book Three of Toussaint’s Dreamwalker Series.

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About the author
Southern author Maggie Toussaint writes mystery, suspense, and dystopian fiction. Her work won the Silver Falchion Award for best mystery, the Readers’ Choice Award, and the EPIC Award. She’s published fifteen novels as well as several short stories and novellas. The next book in her paranormal mystery series, Doggone It, has an October 2016 release date. Maggie serves on the board for Southeast Mystery Writers of America and Low Country Sisters In Crime. Visit her at maggietoussaint.com.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win either a print (U.S. residents only, please) or e-book (open to everyone) of Doggone It. The giveaway will end October 22, 2016 at 11:59 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

A Day in the Life with Carrie McCrite by Radine Trees Nehring

A Portrait to Die ForThe man still looked like he was trying to swallow a sour pickle whole.

Carrie watched in silence as he jumped in the moving van, jerked it into gear, and began the winding climb toward the county road.

He hadn’t even smiled when she handed him the cashier’s check. About all he had done through the long afternoon was carry and sweat and swear. Actually, swearing was what she’d heard most from the three people in the moving crew–including the woman, who looked like she could lift a refrigerator by herself. The movers swore at the trees, the rocky, uneven Ozarks ground, the heat, and probably her too, when she was out of earshot.

She hadn’t complained about the swearing. They were, after all, carrying her possessions.

Carrie began turning slowly, looking up into treetops. She was, she decided, performing a symbolic ritual–turning away from Mrs. Amos Anderson McCrite, wife of a city lawyer. She was now Carrie Culpeper McCrite, a widow, independent woman, and Ozarks forest dweller.

She was alone in the remnants of a world that had shattered when a bullet ended every plan Amos had made for both of them. Moving to this land, the place Amos bought for their future, was all she could afford if she wanted to be independent.

She shook her head violently, but now the picture was back. Amos crumpled on the opposite hillside. The darkening blood . . . .

The judge had believed Evan’s story about a tragic hunting accident.

Oh stop, stop! It was time to move on, and this had felt right. A fresh start. She would be independent, her own person for the first time in her life.

Except, except, she wasn’t sure who that person might be.

The sun was heading toward treetops in the west and Carrie stood still as bird calls and cicada droning filled the air. Her new world was even noisier than the city had been, there was life all around her. So, why did she feel–for the first time since she’d decided to move here–so small and frightened? Why did she feel so very much alone?

The grunt of an engine being downshifted for a turn into her lane wiped out every other concern as she realized strangers were coming to this place, where all people would now be strangers.

She wasn’t ready. She needed more time. She needed to make up her bed, and. . .


It was inevitable. Strangers would come. She had to face that, so she might as well do it now. She lifted her chin and looked up the lane, standing firm as a battered grey truck bounced into view. The truck didn’t stop at the bottom of the lane. Carrie backed up, stumbled when her heel hit the front step, and sat down with a thump as the truck’s right front tire rolled to a stop beside her feet.

The driver’s door opened.

The first thing Carrie saw was shoe-polish black hair that frizzed every way but straight up. Then dark eyes in a dried apple doll face peered down at her over the truck’s hood, and a waxed-paper-wrapped sandwich sailed through the air, landing in her lap.

She’s very tall, thought Carrie, who felt frozen in place, incapable of getting up to greet her visitor.

The woman’s words rushed out. “You alone? Thought so, house didn’t look like it was being made ready for two, heard the movers leave, hope you like turkey, we can sit here on the step and eat, y’don’t have to ask me in.”

The stranger was dressed in a faded chambray shirt and jeans tucked into stove-pipe boots. She came around the truck, stepped over Carrie’s feet as if they were obstacles she faced every day, and opened the passenger door to take out two bottles of lemonade and a package of cookies.

The tumble of words began again while she was folding her long legs to sit beside Carrie on the step. “JoAnne Harrington, your nearest neighbor.” A bony finger pointed. “Live that way along the ridge, pleased to meet you, understand from the mail carrier your name is Carrie McSomething?”

The woman’s laugh was surprisingly girlish.

Carrie hadn’t the slightest idea what to say, but in a moment, she began laughing too.

Portrait to Die For is the eighth book in the To Die For mystery series, published by Oak Tree Press, May 2016.

Carrie discovers two versions of a supposedly original portrait in a loan exhibition at Crystal Bridges of American Art, where she does volunteer work. When the reporter who interviewed Carrie at the museum is abducted, Carrie must choose between honoring her promise to stop crime-solving–or work to find the woman who was her son’s college friend.

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Meet the author
For more than twenty years, Radine Trees Nehring’s magazine features, essays, newspaper articles, and radio broadcasts have shared colorful stories about the people, places, events, and natural world near her Arkansas RadineTNehringhome.

In 2002, Radine’s first mystery novel, A Valley To Die For, was published and, in 2003 became a Macavity Award Nominee. Since that time, she has continued to earn writing awards as she enthralls her original fans and attracts new ones with her signature blend of down-home Arkansas sightseeing and cozy amateur sleuthing by active retirees Henry King and Carrie McCrite King. Connect with Radine at www.RadinesBooks.com, her blog, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

All comments are welcomed.