The Cracked SpineWhen I decided . . . wait, I’m not sure I should call it a real decision. I answered the ad and then the offer impulsively – does that mean it was a choice or a gut instinct that I followed? Either way, I didn’t put much thought into what it would mean for me to pick up my Kansas life and move to Edinburgh, Scotland, to work for a delightful but mysterious man at his bookshop.

So, here I am in this new place that’s a half a country and an Atlantic Ocean away from where I lived all my almost thirty years. Believe me, Edinburgh is very different from Kansas. I’ve thought about the old axiom more than once – I’m definitely not in Kansas anymore.

I always wanted to be bold and this was the perfect chance to see if I had what it took to spread my wings and not turn around and fly right back home to the safety of my parent’s farm. I get to try life in a different world, or maybe it’s the different way of living that’s appealing.

Surprisingly, things are going very well. Well, except for the murder, of course. That part’s been rough on everyone, most of all Edwin MacAlister, my boss. He’s a man with more layers than I could have ever predicted based on the phone interview, more layers than I’ll ever be able to peel away during the time I spend in this beautiful country.

Though I’ve tried to look at this adventure through a lens of destiny, I still have moments when I’m a little thrown by the fortuitous events. Outside of the airport, only moments after the plane landed, I approached a cab driver because his kind eyes reminded me of my Uncle Maury back in Topeka. He and his wife became my landlords before I could even look at one apartment . . . I mean flat. The sense of family I feel with Elias and Aggie and at the bookshop is real and deep, despite not knowing anyone all that well yet and still having moments that make me wonder about everyone’s honesty. But no one’s completely honest. Are they?

It’s a little too soon to talk about the pub owner I met and how amazing he looks in a kilt. Or his eyes. Yes, they are . . . well, I don’t want to jinx whatever that might turn into but I’m excited to see what happens. I’m also excited to get to know this city; its history, architectural beauty, and, of course, its ghost stories. Maybe especially its ghost stories.

I welcome any visitors. Come on over any time, and we’ll be bold together.


The Cracked Spine is the first book in the NEW Scottish Bookshop mystery series, published by Minotaur Books, March 2016.

Wanted: A bold adventurer who wants to travel the world from a comfortable and safe spot behind a desk that has seen the likes of kings and queens, paupers and princes. A humble book and rare manuscript shop seeks a keenly intelligent investigator to assist us in our search for things thought lost, and in our quest to return lost items to their rightful owners.

Never an adventurer, no one was more surprised than Delaney Nichols when she packed her bags and moved halfway across the world to Edinburgh, Scotland to start a job at The Cracked Spine, a bookshop located in the heart of the city. Her new boss, Edwin MacAlister, has given her the opportunity of a lifetime, albeit a cryptic one, and Delaney can’t wait to take her spot behind the desk.

The Cracked Spine is filled with everything a book lover could want, each item as eclectic as the people who work there; the spirited and lovable Rosie, who always has tiny dog Hector in tow; Hamlet, a nineteen-year-old thespian with a colored past and bright future; and Edwin, who is just as enigmatic and mysterious as Delaney expected. An extra bonus is Tom the bartender from across the street, with his cobalt eyes, and a gentle brogue―and it doesn’t hurt that he looks awfully good in a kilt.

But before she can settle into her new life, a precious artifact goes missing, and Edwin’s sister is brutally murdered. Never did Delaney think that searching for things lost could mean a killer, but if she’s to keep her job, and protect her new friends, she’ll need to learn the truth behind this Scottish tragedy.

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About the author
Paige had a nomadic childhood as her father’s job as a football coach took the family to seven different towns before she was even twelve years old. After college at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, she moved to Salt Lake City where she thought she’d only stay a couple years, but she fell in love with the mountains and a great guy who became her husband. After many decades in Utah, she and her family recently moved to Arizona. You can connect with Paige at www.paigeshelton.com.

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a print copy of The Cracked Spine. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end April 4, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

All comments are welcomed.

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