A day in the life of Elle Rose by Wendy Tyson

Castle San Pietro is asleep. It wasn’t long ago that nights and mornings ran together, blurred lines on an Italian canvas, but since Damien’s death, the party has died. Now we sit around in the evening, quarreling about movie sets and brands of vodka until Daddy goes to bed and the rest wander off. Karina says I need to clean myself up. I think she might be right.

It’s not easy being a rock star’s daughter. It’s even harder being a has-been actress holed up in the mountains thousands of miles from home. I stare longingly at the medicine bottle on my bedside table. Early mornings are my least favorite time of day. They seem to stretch on and on, and it’s then that my heart palpitates and my mind wanders to forbidden places. Oh, Damien, how things have changed. Would you even recognize me? One little pill and I could be out cold, like the rest of the castle’s inhabitants. But not today. Today I have a decision to make.

I crawl out of bed and pull on a t-shirt and a pair of jeans. A quick glance in the mirror tells me it’s good I haven’t left the castle in forty-seven days. No one Out There needs to see me like this. I fumble for shoes, reluctant to turn on the light. Starring in a few spy B-movies taught me the importance of being stealth. Lights aren’t stealth. Flip-flops aren’t stealth, either. I leave the shoes behind.

The castle’s marble floors are cold on bare skin. Ancient stone walls retain imprints of lost loves and evil deeds—I’m convinced of that. I’m also convinced that evil still lurks here. No one believes me, though. Not Daddy, although he’s too lost in a fog to notice more than whether his breakfast is cold. Not the staff. And not Daddy’s entourage. While I’m happy for the company, I wish. . .well, what do I wish? I don’t even know anymore.

Outside the sun is just peeking over the horizon, but the light has yet to reach inside these castle walls. No matter. I know this castle like I knew Damien’s body—its smooth surfaces, its hidden places—and I don’t need light to find my way through the halls and down the great staircase. Downstairs I tip-toe quietly through the dining hall and the kitchens, careful to be quiet. I let myself out through the old servants’ quarters.

I make my way across the courtyard, and down the walking path that leads to the ruins of the old stone wall. From there, I could go into the woods, follow the path through the trees, toward the crumbling old church, and see the quaint town of Bidero spread out before me. But I won’t. These cliffs have teeth, and while the Dolomite Mountains look breathtaking, they’re less sentinel than prison guard. I will stay here, by the wall, where it’s safe.

I sink down on hard stone and pull out a cigarette. I’m two puffs in, thinking of the list of image consultants our attorney emailed me the week before, when I hear a sound behind me. Shoulders tense, but I don’t turn. Lately I’ve felt things inside the castle, heard things. Things that make me feel just a little bit crazy.

I return to the list, mentally going through the candidates. One name stands out: Allison Campbell. Not because she’s a well-known author on the topic of reinvention. Not because she seems like someone I could relate to. Not because she’d be discreet. Because she’s solved several murders. And if evil does lurk within these walls, I sure could use an ally.

“A bit early for you to be out and about, don’t you think?”

I don’t jump at the sound of Mazy Coyne’s voice, and for that I’m proud. The author doesn’t wait for an invitation. She joins me by the wall, her round body encased in white terry cloth, a cigarette dangling from yellowed fingers.

“What’s on your mind, kid?” she asks. “Awfully early to see you out here.”

“Nothing.” Everything.

Mazy is staying in one of the cottages on the castle grounds. She’s written a book that’s being made into a movie, and Daddy thinks I could land a role. I look at Mazy sideways, suddenly conscious of the mascara smeared around my eyes, my rumpled clothes. I want her to leave. I want them all to leave.

“Beautiful, aye?” Mazy points to the pale peaks rising above us. Her gaze turns to the rolling pastures, sheep dotting the landscape in the distance like tiny ants. “I can see why you stay.”

“Can you?”

“It’s a fairy tale spot, a place of fantasies.”

I watch the sheep, seemingly unaware of their own vulnerabilities. “It really is.”

Mazy lets out something like a laugh. “Of course, the original fairy tales were not sanitized. There was rarely a happy ending.” She looks at me over circles of smoke. “Something to think about.”

Oh, I’ve been thinking about it. I take another puff of my own cigarette and go back to considering the list. Allison Campbell. She’s the one we’ll call.

You can read more about Elle in Fatal Façade, the fourth book in the “Allison Campbell” mystery series.

Allison Campbell accepted a dream assignment: a visit to the Italian Dolomites to help Hollywood socialite Elle Rose reinvent herself. A guest cottage on the grounds of Elle’s historic castle promises to be a much-needed respite from Allison’s harried life on the Philadelphia Main Line, and the picturesque region, with its sharp peaks, rolling pastures, and medieval churches, is the perfect spot from which to plan her upcoming wedding.

Only this idyllic retreat is anything but peaceful. There are the other visitors—an entourage of back-biting expats and Hollywood VIPs. There’s Elle’s famous rock star father, now a shadowy recluse hovering behind the castle’s closed doors. And then there’s Elle’s erratic behavior. Nothing is as it seems. After a guest plummets to her death from a cliff on the castle grounds, Allison’s trip of a lifetime turns nightmarish—but before she can journey home, Allison must catch a killer.

# # # # # # # # # # #

About the author
Wendy Tyson’s background in law and psychology has provided inspiration for her mysteries and thrillers. Originally from the Philadelphia area, Wendy has returned to her roots and lives there again on a micro-farm with her husband, sons, and two dogs. Wendy’s short fiction has appeared in literary journals, and she’s a contributing editor and columnist for The Big Thrill and The Thrill Begins, International Thriller Writers’ online magazines. Wendy is the author of the Allison Campbell Mystery Series and the Greenhouse Mystery Series. Find Wendy at www.WATyson.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment by June 21, 2017 for your chance to win one of the books from Wendy’s “Allison Campbell” series (Killer Image, Deadly Asset, Dying Brand, or Fatal Façade), either Kindle/Nook (open to everyone) or paperback (U.S. residents only), winner’s choice. Good luck everyone!

Buy Link

56 responses to “A day in the life of Elle Rose by Wendy Tyson

  1. Linda Herold

    Sounds good! I would love to win a paperback copy of this book!

  2. Barbara Hackel

    I have read many of Wendy’s books, but not any in this series. It sounds spooky! No doubt it will be an excellent book. Thanks for alerting me about it Dru Ann😉. Thank you Wendy for the chance to win a book from the series.😊. Are the books standalones, or best read in order?

    • HI Barbara! Thanks for stopping by today–and I’m thrilled you like my other series. The Allison Campbell series is a little darker, sort of a “cozy with an edge.” Each book is meant to be a standalone, but as with many series, they’re probably best read in order for the most complete picture. Good luck!

  3. Sounds really good….please enter me.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

  4. I was not aware of this series but plan on starting it after reading your post. It sounds like a good one!

  5. I really like the sound of this book and series. I don’t know how I missed this series. Definitely adding to my TBR list. Can’t wait to read.

  6. I would be thrilled to own one of Wendy Tyson’s books on my Kindle. I hope I win.

  7. Thanks for this great feature and giveaway.

  8. Fantastic! I loved this book and this is such a great teaser.

  9. I have read so much about this series. I am actually looking forward to reading it. Paperback

  10. I really enjoy Wendy Tyson’s Greenhouse series but haven’t read any of the books in this series. Thanks for showing this side of Wendy’s books. I’d love a paperback since my Kindle is getting overloaded. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

    • Hi! Thanks for posting. This series is a little darker–more of a traditional mystery series than a cozy, perhaps. I hope you enjoy it! Good luck with the giveaway!

  11. Doward Wilson

    I would love to read this new to me author & her different series.

  12. Julie Fetcho

    Sounds like a good book. New to me author. Will have to check it out.

    • Hi Julie! I hope you enjoy the series, should decide to give it a try. Good luck with the giveaway!

  13. The introduction got me hooked! I need to read the rest of Fatal Facade

  14. celiawfowler

    This is a wonderful book, and I highly recommend it!

    • Thanks, Pat! It was fun writing from Elle’s POV. Good luck!

    • Celia, I hit the wrong button while trying to reply. 😛 Thank you for posting and for your well-written review! I really appreciate the FATAL FACADE support! Have a good day.

  15. MaryAnn Forbes

    I am a big fan of Wendy’s and would be so happy to win Fatal Facade & catch up on Allison in book four. Thank you, I would enjoy a paperback.

  16. Abby Fabian

    I haven’t read this series yet, but I enjoyed this post. Thank you so much for the chance to win!

  17. I’ve read an earlier book in this series, but haven’t gotten to this one yet. It looks enjoyable! mbradeen@yahoo.com

  18. elainehroberson

    I would love to win a paperback copy. Thanks for the chance.

  19. I’ve never read this series, but this sounds like a great storyline.

  20. This looks very cool. If I were to win, I might choose book 1, though, which also has cool architecture on the cover and a fancy Main Line setting!

    • Thank you for posting! Books one and three take place on the Main Line–I’m glad you like the cover of KILLER IMAGE! Good luck with the giveaway!

  21. Karen Terry

    Sounds like a winner.

  22. Once again you are introducing me to a new author whose works I want to read.

  23. A background in law & psychology is perfect for a mystery writer.

  24. Pauline Barlow

    What a great sounding series. I wonder if I should I start with the first of the series or would “Fatal Facade” stand alone?
    A paperback of either would be great.

    • Pauline, each book is meant to stand on its own, but as with many series, I think you get the most out of it by starting with the first. Thanks for posting! Best of luck with the giveaway!

  25. Learned of this series a few weeks ago…definitely on my WishList…..
    Thank you for the giveaway…..

  26. Dru Ann, thank you so much for hosting me and Elle Rose on your blog yesterday! It’s always an honor to be part of Dru’s Book Musings!

  27. Della Williamson

    Looks like a most interesting read. Looking forward to it. On my TBR. But hope this will be an early start. With the first in the series in paperback

  28. **** WINNER ****
    Fatal Facade by Wendy Tyson is MaryAnn Forbes