Have you ever had one of those days? You know the ones that you open your eyes in the morning and just know that you should have pulled the covers over your head and stayed there for the day? This was one of those days.
My name is Alexandra Anderson. I’m twenty-eight years old, single and live alone in a one bedroomed unit overlooking the river in Westport. Westport is a coastal town that sits in a gorgeous little spot on the east coast of Queensland, Australia. I love it. I love my unit, I love Queensland, and I love Westport!
What I don’t love is reunions. Which is exactly where I’m going tonight. The reunion is at the television station I used to work for – WTN. Now that sounds like fun right? Well, it should be. Except for a couple of little niggly things that threaten to ruin it. Like the fact that my ex-boyfriend and his gorgeous new wife will be there. The second thing that’s threatening to ruin it is the weather. A storm’s brewing, and according to our local weatherman it’s going to be one of the worst storms that Westport has ever had. I’m not really a fan of storms. I’m not scared of them, but during one I’d definitely prefer to be curled up on the couch reading a good book. Not running around attempting to solve a murder mystery. Yes, you read that correctly. The reunion was taking the form of a murder mystery party, and guess who’d been chosen to be a team leader – me. Seriously? I sucked at puzzles, and nobody wanted to be with me when I was trying to read a map.
I sighed and took the twenty-five steps needed to walk from my kitchen to my glass balcony doors and moved to close them. A seriously bad smell had been drifting in on the breeze for the last few days, and I figured an animal must have died in the bush that sat between our unit block and the river. My gypsy-like intuition had been buzzing ever since I first noticed it, but this had happened before. The smell left an unpleasant burn in the back of my throat, but today the weather was hotter than normal, and the smell had kicked up a few notches. Thankfully most of the day the wind had been blowing in the opposite direction, so it hadn’t been a problem. Now though, it was rank.
As I pushed the heavy glass door closed, I looked down into the bush and movement caught my attention. Not too many people walked through that bush, so I took a second to step out onto the balcony and have a closer look at what they were doing. The ground was crawling with police and WTN news cameras. My downstairs neighbor Nadine was talking to our local reporter Matt Wilson. Once she’d finished, I yelled down to her.
“Hey, Nadine! What’s happening?”
She turned to look up at me, her hand shielding her eyes from the glare of the sun. “Oh Alex,” she yelled up to me. “It’s awful.” I felt the hitch in my stomach. “They’ve found the cause of the horrible smell.”
“What was it?” I called, my stomach clenching. Judging by the amount of police crawling through the bush, it couldn’t be anything good. “An animal?” I asked hopefully.
Nadine slowly shook her head and crossed her arms tightly across her chest as if trying to protect herself from something. “No,” she said. “It’s a human.”
Invitation To Murder is published by Gemma Halliday Publishing, May 2016.
When Alexandra Anderson is invited to work place reunion at the televisions station where she formerly worked, she’s excited to catch up with old friends. And the theme of the reunion is a Murder Mystery Party, so that should be fun, right? Wrong! Alexandra’s first horror is coming face-to-face with her ex-boyfriend and his brand new, gorgeous wife. Second, the party happens to coincide with one of the worst storms of the season, knocking out utility lines and cell service. And when her less-than-beloved ex-boss becomes the Murder Party’s fake victim, Alexandra and her “team” are tasked with solving the fake murder before anyone else. The only bright spot? The sexy cameraman on Alex’s team with the sparkling blue eyes and soft, full lips.
But what starts out as a game becomes all too real when Alexandra stumbles upon the actual dead body of her ex’s new wife. Did someone take the game too seriously? Is there a real murder among the party-goers? Can following the clues to a fake murder help Alex solve a real one? Trapped by the storm, with “players” disappearing and time running out, Alex finds herself in the middle of a deadly game of cat and mouse. . . where not everyone will make it out 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!
Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Invitation To Murder. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end June 8, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!
All comments are welcomed.