Monthly Archives: June 2015

McLean Thoughts by Jenny Milchman

As Night FallsDru Ann’s wonderfully creative “Day in the Life” column gives characters a chance to appear outside the events of the book, but it also does something else pretty cool. It gives lesser seen characters in the book a chance to have more of a day in the sun. In the excerpt below, I let the family’s dog—who becomes a hero by the end of As Night Falls—show you what one terrible night was like for him.

While the Man kept trying to open the Door, McLean clawed long ruts into it. The warm forest smell of wood was comforting.

He rolled over, then got up. His tail wagged, hitting the tips of bottles, deep and dark green glass containing a tart, grapey smell.

McLean stood patiently, his tail pendulum-swinging.

There was a loud noise against the door that separated McLean from his People. The Girl, the Woman, and the Man who was down here with him in the basement.

Then the noise stopped.

A familiar smell rose from the space beneath the door, a dying smell, which would’ve made McLean run away if he’d scented it on an animal in the wild.

But McLean loved the Man and from him he wouldn’t run.

The round circle of metal began to turn.

McLean watched it almost complete a rotation. His ears were aimed like darts, and he was panting. The circle swiveled back. A noise came from outside, the kind of grunt only a human made.

The circle started to turn again.

McLean didn’t care how long it took. He didn’t have the same scale of time as people did. In some deep down place, he knew he had less of it than the People he loved, but that wasn’t a bad thing. It made him free. McLean’s life wasn’t broken into chunks of days, weeks, years. Whatever amount of time something took had to be that way, couldn’t be any other.

The circle spun all the way around.

Then something struck the wood—another loud thud—and the door swung open.

The Man began to pull himself inside.

A sense of confusion descended over McLean.

The Man was not on two feet. He wasn’t even on all fours. He lay flat and moved like another sort of creature entirely. A worm, or the snakes McLean had learned to hate after being bitten by the one the First Man he belonged to kept in a cage.

The Man McLean now loved was the source of the dying smell, but beneath it his familiar odor still lingered. McLean stalked in his direction, careful not to tread upon him, though he couldn’t angle his paws as precisely as he once could, back when he had more of the thing called time.

He didn’t touch the Man. Not because McLean was afraid of the dying smell, but because he couldn’t bear to cause the Man pain.

McLean knew pain, but this Man had never caused him any, and for that and other reasons, McLean loved him.

The Man pulled himself the rest of the way into the room, McLean nudging him ever so lightly, stopping when the Man let out a noise like McLean used to make when the First Man yelled at him.

The Man lay there, heaving on the floor for another length of unmarked time.

McLean stood over him. He would do this for however long the Man needed him to. Until that smell changed or went away.

But the Man began to speak, not in his usual voice; this was more like a growl.

One word repeated over and over in a nest of sounds that formed a soothing hum, despite the Man’s low moans and shivering mutters, which were far less comforting.

One word.


McLean leaned down. He licked the Man’s face until it was completely clean.

Then he moved into the open space, which felt bigger and colder than the Arctic plain where his ancestors had come from. McLean didn’t want to go out there on his own. But he had made it a long way by himself already.

McLean turned back once, sniffing.

Then he trotted up the stairs to find the People he and the Man loved.

You can read more about McLean and his family in As Night Falls, published by Ballantine Books.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on July 6 for the chance to win a copy of AS NIGHT FALLS that will be personally signed at NYC’s greatest mystery bookstore, Mysterious Bookshop. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected.

Bonus giveaway The author is also giving away an “As Night Falls” gift bag.

About the author
jenny-milchmanJenny Milchman is the Mary Higgins Clark award-winning author of two prior psychological thrillers, Cover of Snow and Ruin Falls. For the past two years, Jenny has gone out on what Shelf Awareness calls “the world’s longest book tour”. She invites readers to find her on the web at–and then come find her on the road!

My Musing ~ Ripped From The Pages by Kate Carlisle

Ripped From The PagesRipped From The Pages by Kate Carlisle is the 9th book in the “Bibliophile” mystery series. Publisher: Obsidian, June 2015

When book-restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright temporarily relocates to her parents’ place in Northern California, she finds that wooden barrels aren’t the only things buried in the wine caves of Sonoma.

Excited to explore the secrets of wine country, Brooklyn attends an excavation of the caves hidden deep under her parents’ commune—and the findings are explosive. A room is unearthed, and it contains a treasure trove of artwork, rare books, a chest of jewelry…and a perfectly mummified body.

A closer examination of the murdered man’s possessions reveals a valuable first edition of Jules Verne’s A Journey to the Center of the Earth. Hidden in the book is a secret map that unveils an even greater hoard of treasures brought to California by French winemakers fleeing the Nazi invasion with the commune leader’s grandfather, Anton, among them.

As reporters and art appraisers flock to Sonoma to see the precious bounty, questions begin to rise—did Anton hide these items to protect them, or did he steal them for himself? Who is the mysterious man left for dead inside the cave? But not all crime is buried in the past. When a new presence threatens the town’s peace, Brooklyn decides to do a little excavating of her own and solve the mystery of the treasure before anyone else is written off.

I loved it. Brooklyn is back in Dharma and once again as is her being her, she finds not one but two bodies and they are all related to the excavation of the winery cave. I enjoyed this foray in the latest adventures featuring Brooklyn and her family. The author does a great job of pulling me into this light drama and I love the care she took in the telling of this story. The relationship Brooklyn has with Dharma and her family is front and center and I liked that we got a chance to learn more about Jackson and his secret life. The mystery was good because I too wondered who could have done the second murder and it was written quite well with some twists and turns that enhanced the story. The final paragraph was pure joy for me and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this beloved heroine.

A Day in the Life with Angelo DiNapoli by Sherry Harris

The Longest Yard SaleMy name’s Angelo DiNapoli and in Italian “Angelo” means Messenger of God, so if I seem like a bit of a know it all, it comes to me directly from the Big Guy. I own DiNapoli’s Roast Beef and Pizza in Ellington, Massachusetts, it’s a hub for our small town and sits right across the street from the town common.

While to some tourists’ eyes the common might be your typical New England common — large green, beautiful, soaring church — to me it’s the heart and soul of our town. Just the other day my friend Sarah Winston turned the common into New England’s Largest Yard Sale. It was the biggest event here since the Revolutionary War and brought a lot of tourists into town. It was a huge success — never mind the murder, art theft, and arson.

Ellington’s also special because it borders Fitch Air Force Base. The people from the base shop and eat here in Ellington which helps our local economy thrive. It’s how I got to know Sarah, who used to be married to CJ Hooker, our current police chief and former commander of the Fitch security force. Sarah’s a great kid—well, she’s 38, but that’s seems young to me—and she always has a good attitude. Even when she went through her divorce last year she kept her sense of humor and told me she was happy not to be a Hooker anymore.

The kid’s been through some tough times: husband troubles, she’s found a dead body or two, her best friend’s been accused of murder and theft. On top of that our county’s young DA — Mr. “Massachusetts’s Most Eligible Bachelor” two years running — has taken an interest in Sarah. It gets a little awkward considering her ex and Mr. Most Eligible have to work together when there’s a crime. I don’t see what the big deal is with the guy, but even my Rosalie gets a little blush on her cheeks when the he walks in. I, myself, am keeping an eye on him.

Sarah comes to DiNapoli’s when she needs a meal but more importantly when she needs a friend. Her family’s all the way out in Pacific Grove, California. So I impart my wisdom, things like “you mess with the bull, you get the horns” and “never talk to the police without a lawyer.” She’s a little too trusting when it comes to the police, and sometimes, seeing as her ex is the chief of police, it’s hard to get that through to her.

Her best friend, Carol, is a suspect in the murder of the guy killed right after New England’s Largest Yard Sale. He turned up dead in the back room of her shop, Paint and Wine. I made sure Sarah got in touch with my cousin, Vincenzo, who’s a lawyer. The guy’s good. He got Mike “The Big Cheese” Titone off multiple racketeering charges. If he can do that he should certainly be able to get one of Sarah’s friends off the hook. I have to confess though, Sarah doesn’t seem like she wants to sit back and let Vincenzo do his job. I’m a little worried that she might poke her nose in the wrong place at the wrong time. And if she does that, she might get more than she bargained for. Then even my famous pizza won’t be able to save her.

You can read more about Angelo in The Longest Yard Sale, the second book in the “Sarah Winston Garage Sale” mystery series, published by Kensington. The first book in the series is Tagged For Death.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on July 6 for the chance to win a print copy of Tagged For Death and The Longest Yard Sale. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected.

About the author
Sherry Harris started bargain hunting in second grade at her best friend’s yard sale. She honed her bartering skills as she moved around the country while her husband served in the Air Force. Sherry uses her love of garage sales, her life as a military spouse, and her time living in Massachusetts as inspiration for the Sarah Winston Garage Sale series. Tagged for Death, the first in the series, was nominated for an Agatha Award for First Best Novel. The Longest Yard Sale is available on June 30, 2015. She lives with her husband and Westie, Lily, in Northern Virginia. Visit Sherry on her website and on the Wicked Cozy Authors blog.