Tag Archives: Henery Press

Double Up with Gretchen Archer

double-upChapter One teaser:

“What’s going on in D’Iberville, Davis?” My immediate supervisor, Jeremy Covey, a tank of a man—former Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, current head of security at the Bellissimo, future unemployment-benefit recipient—took his seat at our weekly roundtable on that long ago fateful Monday morning.

“Football,” I announced. “We’re getting a football stadium.”

“Stadium?” No Hair asked. (Jeremy Covey was egg bald, which is why I called him No Hair.) (He said bald was the new black.) “Just a stadium?”

“Well, surely a team too,” I said. “What do you think they’ll name it? The Biloxi Gamblers?”

“Has it been announced we’re getting a football team?” My husband, Bradley Cole, didn’t look up from his P&L, which, at the time, was all P. “I haven’t heard a word about a football team. That’d be big news, Davis.”

I dug for the thin notes I had somewhere in my spy bag and introduced them to Elias Johnson, the Johnsung Corporation, the Semi-Pro Football League of America, and Blitz, Inc. Then I rattled off Hyatt Johnson’s vital and record-breaking statistics. “Football,” I said. “What else would it be?”

“I remember that Dallas game.” A goose walked over No Hair’s grave. “The bottom half of that boy’s leg was going the wrong way.”

Bradley looked out the conference room window and across the Bay. “Football?”

The room grew still as we quietly contemplated tailgate parties. At least that’s what I quietly contemplated.

“Anything out of the ordinary on the land purchase?” my husband asked.

“The blind trust is still blind.”

“How’s that out of the ordinary?” he asked.

“Don’t you want to know who owned it?”

“Does it matter?”

“I think it does,” I said. “A mystery man sits on a prime tract of land for decades, turns down a thousand offers, then for some reason, up and sells?”

“What if it was a mystery woman?” No Hair asked.

Bradley was back in his P&L. “Obviously, the seller wants to remain anonymous.”

I poured myself a cup of coffee. “A woman would never sell a bird sanctuary to a football team.”

“If she needed the money, she would,” No Hair said. “Whoever sold that property needed cash. Find someone around here who needed a quick ten million, Davis, and you’ll find the person we can thank for a football team. We’re going to need sky boxes.” He jotted himself a note. “And a corporate suite.”

“We don’t need a corporate suite.” Richard Sanders, owner of the Bellissimo, blew in the door and around the conference table dropping thick glossy folders in front of everyone. “We need deck shoes.” He took his seat and smiled. “We’re going on a cruise.”

It was the first we’d heard of a cruise and the last we heard of football for a long time, because from that moment on, our energies, waking hours, and capital gains were devoted to the Bellissimo’s quarter-billion-dollar investment in a luxury floating casino, the S.S. Probability. That’s a quarter billion. But it was Mr. Sanders’s money. And he could spend it however he wanted, or, as it turned out, lose it however he wanted.

The cruise ship experiment almost put the Bellissimo under, and it wouldn’t go away. In the aftermath of the maiden, and only, Bellissimo-sponsored voyage, the books bled red. We were operating at a loss for the first time since the doors opened. The adventure was behind us, thank goodness, but far from over, because we were defendants in a class action lawsuit opposite forty-eight plaintiffs suing the Bellissimo for “abstruse winnings.” And the irony there was that the forty-eight plaintiffs could buy our operation with the loose billion-dollar bills they pulled out of their pockets and threw down with their Rolls Royce keys at the end of the day. Yet they were suing us, because we couldn’t verify what they’d won or lost in the Probability casino. Thus the abstruse winnings.

Which, ahem, also turned out to be my fault.

My point? We’d known for a year that Blitz bought the Bay. Three months after the papers were signed, we lived in a dust cloud when they brought in fifty bulldozers and cleared the land. A month after that, it was the lead story at five for a week when Blitz bought every Katrina Cottage the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency had been trying to unload for ten years, shipped them in, dropped the mini-houses in the parking lot of a long-defunct Kmart in the next-door town of Gautier, then moved in a construction crew of twelve hundred.

Blitz built a Company Town.

They put La-Z-Boys, Netflix, and pool tables in the empty Kmart.

Why?

I couldn’t begin to answer that question before Blitz made their most disconcerting move: They closed the construction site. They built a twenty-four-foot-tall privacy fence around the fifty-two acres, and another interior privacy fence near the waterline at—I assumed—the stadium site. Visibility zero, guards posted around the clock, and the property just happened to be in a thin strip of nearby Keesler Air Force Base’s no-fly zone, so we couldn’t even get an aerial peek at what Blitz was doing behind the black fences. We never saw it coming because we couldn’t see it coming.

And now the Bellissimo was going under.

Thanks to me.

If I’d been doing my job, I could have stopped it. Or at least slowed it down. At the bare minimum, we could have been prepared. To say I felt responsible was to say there were stars in the sky, the desert was hot, and Bill Gates had a little money in the bank.

There was a reason I’d dropped the ball so hard. In fact, there were two.

The day my husband and I stood on our terrace and watched through binoculars as bulldozers mowed down the Bay was the day we found out we were pregnant. The day the news broke that Blitz bought hundreds of tiny houses from MEMA was the day after Bradley and I learned we were having twins. The day the construction crews rolled in from all over the southeast to occupy Kmart Estates just happened to be the day our general operations and casino manager, Bryant Ramsey, walked off the job. He left a note on his desk: Sanders, Cole, and you too Covey, I’m thrilled to inform you I’m resigning as of this minute. Consider this bridge burned. And when the fences went up, which was when I should’ve dropped everything, I couldn’t drop anything, because I was six-months pregnant with twins cruising the Caribbean on the S.S. Probability.

What happened next would prove to be the worst day ever for the Bellissimo Resort and Casino and the very best day ever for Mr. and Mrs. Bradley Cole. The day the privacy fences came down and the scaffolding shot up, the day Blitz could no longer hide the fact that they weren’t building a football stadium, was the very day our twins were born. Bradley and I became parents to two perfect babies on a Friday morning in July, and the Biloxi Sun Herald headline read, “A Forty-Story Football Stadium? We Don’t Think So.”

From my living room on the twenty-ninth floor of the Bellissimo, I spent the rest of the year breastfeeding, truly, around the clock, and looking through my Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker telescope watching Blitz build out their hotel-resort-casino. Billboards went up across the Southeast: Blitz. The Best Play.

Question: What was your most memorable moment at a casino? Was it a life-changing jackpot? Did you see Wayne Newton at the Flamingo’s Paradise Garden Buffet? Did you check into your casino hotel room and find baby sharks swimming in the bathtub? (It happened to Davis Way.) If you’ve never been to a casino you can still play. Tell us why you’ve never stayed up all night playing Double Diamond Deluxe. And call Gretchen. Tag along the next time she’s off on a casino research mission. (Hard job. Hard, hard job.)

Random winner will receive a full autographed paperback set of the Davis Way Crime Caper Series. Doubles Whammy, Dip, Strike, Mint, Knot, and Up. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends March 22, 2017. Good luck everyone!


You can read more about Davis in Double Up, the sixth book in the “Davis Way Crime Caper” series.

On behalf of USA Today bestselling author Gretchen Archer and the entire Henery Press crew, welcome aboard flight Double Up. Fasten your seatbelts for non-stop action as stiff competition blows into town and the resulting turbulence threatens to take down the Bellissimo Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. Super Secret Spy Davis Way Cole, who lives on the twenty-ninth floor of the hotel with her CEO husband and newborn twins, takes it hard. If the casino goes belly up, she won’t be a stay-at-home mom because she won’t have a home. Not to mention her husband won’t have a job.

Davis can’t find a way to stop the inevitable end of the Bellissimo life she loves until her ex-ex-mother-in-law shows up, unexpected and definitely uninvited. Davis makes the best of a bad Bea Crawford situation and recruits her for a little corporate espionage work, which would’ve been great, had Bea not turned out to be the world’s worst spy.

Ever.

Seatbacks and tray tables in their upright positions as we prepare for a bumpy ride with babies, bankruptcies, besties, and shrimp. (Shrimp?)

Enjoy your flight.

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About the author
Gretchen Archer is a Tennessee housewife who began writing mysteries when her daughters, seeking higher educations, ran off and left her. She lives on Lookout Mountain with her husband, son, and a Yorkie named Bently. Double Up is the sixth in the Davis Way series published by Henery Press. She’s a USA Today bestseller, and her short story, Double Jinx, available at all eReader retailers, has been nominated for an Agatha Award. Connect with Gretchen at gretchenarcher.com.

All comments are welcomed.

Double Up is available at retail and online booksellers or you can ask your local library to get it for you.

Cover Reveal ~ The Clock Strikes Nun by Alice Loweecey

I’m thrilled to reveal the cover for the fourth book in the “Giulia Driscoll” mystery series, coming May 30, 2017.

the-clock-strikes-nun

Title: The Clock Strikes Nun
Series: Giulia Driscoll #4
Genre: Humorous Mystery
Publisher: Henery Press
Website: Alice Loweecey


When terrified Elaine Patrick knocks on Driscoll Investigations’ door and insists her house is haunted, Giulia Driscoll’s first response is “we don’t handle ghosts.” When Elaine’s housekeeper and crackpot filthy rich cousin descend on Giulia and demand she find out who’s trying to steal sweet, fragile Elaine’s family business out from under her, that’s a different story. They want DI to provide Tarot readings, ghost hunting sessions, and even an exorcism.

Ghost hunting? There are apps for that. Tarot readings? Experts in the skill are right across the street. Exorcisms? Having a priest for a brother-in-law comes in handy. Giulia plunges into a crash course in all things supernatural, convinced everything happening to Elaine is stagecraft.

Except when it isn’t. Giulia’s about to discover a new dimension to sleuthing, if she can survive attempted murder long enough to see through the web of lies around her client.


About the author
Baker of brownies and tormenter of characters, Alice Loweecey recently celebrated her thirtieth year outside the convent. She grew up watching Hammer horror films and Scooby-Doo mysteries, which explains a whole lot. When she’s not creating trouble for her sleuth Giulia Driscoll or inspiring nightmares as her alter-ego Kate Morgan, she can be found growing her own vegetables (in summer) and cooking with them (the rest of the year).

You can also connect with Alice on her Amazon page.

Book is available for pre-order at retail and online booksellers.

My Musing ~ Double Up by Gretchen Archer

Double Up by Gretchen Archer is the sixth book in the “Davis Way Crime Caper” mystery series. Publisher: Henery Press, March 21, 2017

double-upOn behalf of USA TODAY bestselling author Gretchen Archer and the entire Henery Press crew, welcome aboard flight DOUBLE UP. Fasten your seatbelts for non-stop action as stiff competition blows into town and the resulting turbulence threatens to take down the Bellissimo Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. Super Secret Spy Davis Way Cole, who lives on the twenty-ninth floor of the hotel with her CEO husband and newborn twins, takes it hard. If the casino goes belly up, she won’t be a stay-at-home mom because she won’t have a home. Not to mention her husband won’t have a job.

Davis can’t find a way to stop the inevitable end of the Bellissimo life she loves until her ex-ex-mother-in-law shows up, unexpected and definitely uninvited. Davis makes the best of a bad Bea Crawford situation and recruits her for a little corporate espionage work, which would’ve been great, had Bea not turned out to be the world’s worst spy.

Ever.

Seatbacks and tray tables in their upright positions as we prepare for a bumpy ride with babies, bankruptcies, besties, and shrimp. (Shrimp?)

Enjoy your flight.

Gretchen Archer has done it again. She has delivered another dynamite mystery where nothing is left to the imagination when shrimp is involved. Davis has to work her way through a caper and it’s with her tenacity and determination that sets the stage for this deliriously amusing tale that only Davis Way Cole can be featured.

The strength of the narrative embraced me as the tempo of this page turning drama reached its crescendo knocking me off my feet with the non-stop action that kept me immersed in all that was happening in this fast-moving drama. The author did a brilliant job in capturing the essence of all the players and the roles they played in this wild ride that soared as the stakes got higher and higher. Expertly written with engaging dialogue and a great cast of characters, this is the best and now my favorite book in this terrific series and I can’t wait to see where Davis and the gang take me next.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

A day in the life when Zoe Chambers hits the trail by Annette Dashofy

no-way-homeNothing beats horseback riding through the woods on one of those rare gorgeous days in November, blue sky instead of the usual dreary gray that we get here in southwestern Pennsylvania from October until May. I might be exaggerating. But only a little. Those of us with horses treasure these anomalies. Especially those of us who don’t actually get to ride all that often.

My name is Zoe Chambers, and my mind is wandering a lot on this particular trail ride. My best friend’s teenaged daughter is riding with me and she’s merrily rambling on about school and being back home after spending the summer out west.

Meanwhile, I’m thinking about how things rarely turn out the way you imagine. Jobs. Romances. Even hobbies. I’m a paramedic, and I love it. But I’m also a deputy coroner. You know those crime TV shows with the women running around in sexy clothes and high heels investigating murder scenes? I guess I watched too many of those. Let me tell you, here in Monongahela County, it’s nothing like that. My boss in the Coroner’s Office and our Forensic Pathologist are both cruel and sadistic. Not really. But they take great pleasure in forcing me to assist in autopsies. And by “assist” I mean tackle the most disgusting parts of the procedure.

Not what I had in mind.

Even this, my third “occupation,” which is managing a horse farm, hasn’t been all it’s cracked up to be. Oh sure, I get to board my horse “for free.” But there’s a darned lot of work involved. I’m not complaining. Honest. I love horses and love just being around them. It may sound strange, but horse manure is perfume to true horse lovers.

However. . .

I never get to ride! I have no time.

Not what I had in mind.

Today was supposed to be different. A beautiful Sunday in November. A few of the boarders at the farm and I organized a group trail ride, and the weather cooperated. It was going to be a perfect day.

Except one of our boarders had gone out on his own earlier in the morning, which was fine. Then just when the rest of us were mounted up and ready to hit the trail, his horse came galloping back to the barn. Without him.

Not that big a deal actually. If you’ve never been bucked off, you haven’t ridden much. It happens. His horse was skittish and gun shy. We’d been hearing gunshots in the distance all morning. Not unusual this time of year. Deer season is only a couple weeks away. Hunters all over the county are out sighting in their rifles, fine tuning their aim on paper targets. But this horse tended to think he was the target and never stuck around to find out otherwise. The problem was how far from the barn had he been when he’d bucked off his rider? Did the poor guy have to walk 200 yards back? Or two miles?

I liked the guy, so I broke our group into pairs, and we split up, taking different trails. I’m the paramedic, so if he was hurt, whoever found him was directed to call me on my cell.

Not exactly what I had planned.

My teen riding buddy spotted him first. Not walking—or even limping—along the trail. The young girl’s face paled. “Is that. . .?”

I squinted through the leafless woods. Yeah. It was.

No, this was definitely not what I had in mind.

To be continued in No Way Home. . .


You can read more about Zoe and what happens next in No Way Home, the fifth book in the “Zoe Chambers” mystery series.

A relaxing trail ride turns tragic when Paramedic and Deputy Coroner Zoe Chambers discovers the body of a popular county commissioner in her Pennsylvania woods. Inconsistencies surround the horrible “accident,” but before she can investigate further, she’s pried away by a plea for help from her best friend whose son has been deemed a person of interest in a homicide over a thousand miles away. When he vanishes without a trace, his mother begs Zoe to help clear him and bring him safely home. The task takes Zoe out of her comfort zone in a frantic trip to the desolate canyons and bluffs of New Mexico where she joins forces with the missing boy’s sister and a mysterious young Navajo.

Back at home, Vance Township’s Chief of Police Pete Adams must deal not only with the commissioner’s homicide, but with an influx of meth and a subsequent rash of drug overdoses in his rural community. Bodies keep turning up while suspects keep disappearing. However little else matters when he learns that half a continent away, a brutal killer has Zoe in his sights.

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About the author
Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best-selling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series about a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania’s tight-knit Vance Township. Circle Of Influence was a finalist for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2014 and Bridges Burned was nominated for the 2015 Agatha for Best Contemporary Novel. No Way Home, the fifth in the series, hit bookstores March 14. Connect with Annette at annettedashofy.com.

All comments are welcomed.

No Way Home is available at retail and online booksellers or you can ask your local library to get it for you.

My Musing ~ Bitter Harvest by Wendy Tyson

Bitter Harvest by Wendy Tyson is the second book in the “Greenhouse” mystery series. Publisher: Henery Press, March 2017

Megan Sawyer should be shouting from the barn roof. Washington Acres survived its first year, the café has become a hotspot for locals, and Winsome’s sexy Scottish veterinarian is making house calls–only not for the animals. But as summer slips into fall and Winsome prepares for its grand Oktoberfest celebration, beer isn’t the only thing brewing.

When the town’s pub owner is killed in a freak accident, Megan suspects something sinister is afoot in Winsome–but no one is listening. As nights grow longer and temperatures chill, Megan must plow through Winsome’s fixation with autumn festivities to harvest the truth–before another dead body marks the season.

It’s Oktoberfest celebration when murder strikes the small town of Winsome, Pennsylvania. Who is behind this and other mishaps is what’s on Megan’s mind when she starts asking questions, only to uncover a plot that could destroy everything she has garnered.

I love it. There is just something in the way this book is written that pulls me in and then it becomes about what is happening in this small town. The narrative is descriptively appealing putting me in the middle of all the action and the dialogue is engaging keeping me in tuned in all that is being said. The author sets the staging for this whodunit that captures the essence of the characters and their roles that are portrayed in the telling of this tale. The mystery was intriguing with so many things going on like . . . who committed the murder? . . . what underlying factors are present? . . . who is the mystery person? . . . what is the story behind Megan’s mother leaving? All are catalyst to the outcome in this well-developed drama that have me begging for more adventures with Megan and her friends. This was a very enjoyable read and I can’t wait to see where we go next in this delightfully endearing series.