Saturday, March 31, 2018

A Little Spark by Amy K. McClung




Title: A Little Spark
Author: Amy K. McClung
Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 31, 2018



Blurb

Sparks fly when sassy firefighter Jilli meets her match in Amy K. McClung’s enemies-to-lovers romance. 

When Sam and Jillian meet, the snark and sparks start to fly. Despite their intense attraction, words and actions are misunderstood, and miscommunication is rife. Will their stubbornness be their downfall or the start of something extraordinary?







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Author Bio

Amy McClung was born in Nashville, TN. She is the second oldest of four girls and occasionally suffers from middle child syndrome. She met the love of her life online in August of 2004, on his birthday of all days, and married him in September 2005. Currently they have no human children only the room full of colorful robots that transform into vehicles and the large headed Pop Funko’s who represent their favorite characters. Collecting movies, shotglasses, Pop Funkos, and dust bunnies are some of her favorite pastimes. She began writing in September of 2011 and independently published her first YA novel called Cascades of Moonlight, Book one of the Parker Harris Series the following May. Her first book was a means of therapy for her as it enabled her to escape reality for a while during a difficult transition in her life.  


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Love In Bloom Giveaway




Love in Bloom
Hosted by I Am A Reader
April 2018
Throughout the month of April, we will be featuring 10 fabulous authors who write clean romance. There were  giveaways, free ebooks and lots of great deals on books.

 Check out this great list of authors we will be spotlighting!    

Participating Authors

 



  

Friday, March 30, 2018

Sympath (The Sentinels of Eden #3) by Carolyn Denman

CINCO DE MURDER BOOK TOUR



Cinco de Murder (A Taste of Texas Mystery) by Rebecca Adler

About the Book


Cinco de Murder (A Taste of Texas Mystery)
Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series
Setting - Texas Berkley (April 3, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425275955
Digital ASIN: B073TJH4FF

Tex-Mex waitress and part-time reporter Josie Callahan serves up more Lone Star justice in this spicy mystery from the author of The Good, the Bad, and the Guacamole.
It's fiesta time in Broken Boot, Texas, and tourists are pouring into town faster than free beer at a bull roping for the mouthwatering Cinco de Mayo festivities. Tex-Mex waitress Josie Callahan, her feisty abuela, and even her spunky Chihuahua Lenny are polishing their folklórico dances for Saturday's big parade, while Uncle Eddie is adding his own spicy event to the fiesta menu: Broken Boot's First Annual Charity Chili Cook-off.
But Uncle Eddie's hopes of impressing the town council go up in smoke when cantankerous chili cook Lucky Straw is found dead in his tent. And when Josie's beloved uncle is accused of fatal negligence, she, Lenny, and the steadfast Detective Lightfoot must uncover who ended the ambitious chilihead's life--before another cook kicks the bucket.

Chapter 1
Folklórico Rehearsal
On such a gorgeous May morning, what could be better than a power walk to Cho’s cleaners with my long-haired Chihuahua, Lenny? The morning sun had tossed a wide blanket of gold over the Davis and Chisos mountains, awakening the piñon pines and the weeping junipers from their slumber, illuminating the bluegrass and scrub so they looked like desert jewels. The plan had been to retrieve my abuela’s folklórico costume and burn some extra calories. And though we made good time—considering the length of my canine sidekick’s pencil-thin appendages—the morning sun galloped down Broken Boot’s cobbled streets while I paid Mr. Cho with a crumpled five-dollar bill and a coupon for a dozen free tamales.
“Yip.” Lenny lapped from the pet fountain in front of Elaine’s Pies, soaking his black-and-white coat.
“¡Vámonos, amigo!” If we were late to the final dance rehearsal before the   Cinco de Mayo parade, God only knew when Senora Marisol Martinez, our matriarch, would permit me to call her abuela again.
During my first few months back home, I was elated to find I could accomplish tasks in far less time than in the crowded thoroughfares of Austin. Almost a year later, I was forced to admit the slower pace of our dusty little town didn’t aid me in my quest to check things off my list. It merely encouraged me to meander.
On that happy thought, Lenny and I raced down the sidewalk toward Milagro. Suddenly I tripped over the plastic clothes bag, nearly kissing the pavement with my face. “Whose great idea was it to rehearse this early?”
“Yip.”
“That’s what I was afraid of.”
When we barreled through the front door of Milagro, the best, and only, Tex-Mex restaurant on Main Street, I expected the folklórico rehearsal to be in full swing. Instead my best friend, Patti Perez, glared at me, which only made me smile. I was wise to her marshmallow center, in spite of her ghostly Goth appearance.
“Sorry,” I mouthed. After all, it had been my idea for all of us to join the local folklórico troupe—my way of embracing life back in good old Broken Boot, Texas.
“About time,” she chided as I draped Senora Mari’s costume over a stack of hand-painted wooden chairs. In my absence, the other dancers had cleared the dining room to create a dance floor on the beautiful Saltillo tiles.
“I would have called,” I began.
“But I was trapped in a dead zone,” we said in unison. Service was so bad in Broken Boot and its outlying communities that folks were slower here than in the rest of the country in ditching their landlines.
“Where’s Anthony?” When our headwaiter offered his newly formed mariachi band to play for our first performance, I didn’t have the heart to say no. Beggars can’t be choosers, or look a gift band in the mouth.
“Tsk, tsk.” Across the room, Anthony’s new fiancée placed her hand over the bar phone’s mouthpiece. Though christened Lucinda, we’d quickly dubbed her Cindy to avoid calling her Linda, my aunt’s name, and vice versa. “He says his truck has a flat tire.” She scowled at whatever Anthony said next and responded with a flurry of Spanish.
“Who doesn’t keep a spare in the desert?” Patti, whom I referred to as Goth Girl if for no other reason than to hear her snort, delivered this line with a deadpan expression and a flick of her rehearsal skirt.
“Yip,” Lenny said, chasing after her ruffles.
Goth Girl snapped her head in my direction and gave me the stink eye. “Tell me you replaced your spare.”
“Uh, well, not yet, but I will after Cinco de Mayo.” Money was a bit tight, what with the loss of tourists during the winter months.
To my right, Aunt Linda, a stunning middle-aged woman with warm chestnut hair, modeled her bright-colored skirt better than any fashionista in Paris. “That’s what you said about Valentine’s Day.” She was my late mother’s older sister. She might look great in her Wranglers, but she and rhythm had never been introduced.
“And Saint Patrick’s,” chimed in Senora Mari, executing a double spin. This morning she wore a rehearsal skirt of black-tiered lace along with her Milagro uniform of peasant blouse, gray bun at her nape, and large pink flower behind her ear. No matter how much I rehearsed, none of my moves could compare to her sassy head turns and flamboyant poses. Who knew my seventy-something, four-foot-eleven   abuela would turn out to be the star of our ragtag troupe?
A sharp clapping interrupted our chatter. “Let’s try it on the counts,” cried Mrs. Felicia Cogburn, mayor’s wife and self-appointed dance captain.
“Yip,” Lenny agreed.
“Why is that dog here?” Mrs. Cogburn demanded, her hands raised in mid-clap.
“He has a key role, remember?” My abuela smiled, an expression so rare on her dear weathered face it made folks uncomfortable.
Mrs. Cogburn blinked several times. “Of course.” Before she could begin, a small truck landed at the curb with a bed full of musicians, trumpets and guitars in full serenade. The band stopped playing long enough to hurry inside.
¡Ay, Dios! Senora, I had to borrow a spare. Mine was flat.” Anthony waved his friends into a semicircle just inside the door.
Senora Mari thrust a finger into the air. “So you say.” She snapped her head dramatically to the side. “Play.”
With a worried look, Anthony counted off, and the group of dark-haired men and boys began to play the "Jarabe Tapatío", the Mexican hat dance. I spied a familiar face on trumpet. Anthony’s little sister Lily gave me a wink and a nod.
As the trumpets and guitars played, Mrs. Cogburn called out, “And one, two, three, four.”
“Where’s your skirt?” Patti asked as we twirled first right and then left.
“Ah, chicken sticks.” I dodged the dancers, ran up the stairs to my loft apartment, and retrieved my long skirt from a chrome dining chair.
“Yip, yip, yip,” Lenny cried from the bottom of the stairs.
“Sorry.” I found his straw hat on the yellow Formica table and made it downstairs without mishap. “Here you go, handsome.” I perched the hat on his head and tightened the elastic under his chin. As we danced, Lenny would spin in place on his back legs, melting the hearts of the crowd faster than fried ice cream in August.

Colorful costumes, memorable music, fiery foods and fantastic fireworks! It is another festival weekend in Broken Boot, Texas. Tourists are flooding into town as well as contestants for the First Annual (they hope) ICA approved Chili cook-off competition. It comes down to more than the beans vs no beans debate, however when one popular and ever present contestant is dead before the meat begins to sizzle.
Josie Callahan has dreams of being a full time crime reporter but her latest contribution to the paper is buried deep and takes up less space than the ads. Having "helped" solve a few murders in the past, with the help of her sidekick, Lenny, Josie hopes local law enforcement may give her some leeway and information this time around. After all - she is the one who stumbled over the body!

A little romance, a lot of suspects and moments of merriment as the festival weekend plays out.
Josie is definitely in the middle of the action as danger explodes around her.
Lots of colloquial phrasing spices up this quirky cozy mystery.

About the Author


Rebecca Adler grew up on the sugar beaches of the Florida Gulf Coast. 
Drawn to the Big Apple by the sweet smell of wishful thinking, she studied acting on Broadway until a dark-eyed cowboy flung her over his saddle and hightailed it to the Southwest.
Prior to writing women's fiction, Gina always found a way to add a touch of the dramatic to her life: dinner theatre in Mississippi, can-can club in Florida, and playing a giant Furskin in the New York Toy Fair, plus the occasional play and musical.
 She's currently content to pour her melodramatic tendencies into writing her Taste of Texas culinary mystery series. Set in far West Texas, her humorous stories are filled with delicious suspense and scrumptious Tex-Mex recipes.
Her alter ego, Gina Lee Nelson, writes sweet contemporary romances with a sweet, Southern-fried flavor.
  Author Links Webpage: www.AuthorRebeccaAdler.com
  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorRebeccaAdler/
  Twitter: @CozyTxMysteries
  GoodReads: http://tinyurl.com/GoodReads-RebeccaAdler

  Purchase Links Amazon B&N Kobo Google Play BAM BookBub

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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Promises To Keep Book Blitz!


Promises To Keep
By Claire Yezbak Fadden
Genre: Women's Fiction, Mystery,Thriller



About the Book


Love, Secrets, and Lies…

Kate Jameson married the man of her dreams. Her real-life hero. A man who wouldn’t abandon her the way her father had—or so she thought. 
Weeks after their son’s birth, her husband is suddenly pulled away for a business trip that takes him out of the country. But something isn’t right. His truths aren’t adding up. 
Kate digs into his past, determined to learn what he’s hiding. But unraveling this endless mystery draws her into a maze of lies, family secrets and deadly consequences.

For twenty years, undercover CIA agent Eric Wiley lived for one reason—to avenge his parents’ brutal deaths. Until he marries Kate. Eric promises her a life of love and commitment, but competing promises constantly collide, offering him little chance of keeping either. 
When an informant lures him to Mexico, Eric thinks his goal of apprehending an elusive killer will be realized. Leaving his family for a few short days, weeks at the most, would be worth the prize.

Can this final mission bring closure and allow Eric to be the husband Kate deserves and the father he yearns to be? Or will their destiny remain mired in the secrets of his past, leaving them powerless to embrace their present?


EXCERPT


ERIC
He walked to where she stood and kissed her cheek before embracing his wife and son in a group hug. “I feel damn lucky this emergency didn’t come up sooner.”
He brushed her arm, noting the goosebumps prickling against his palm.
“If that call had come before Benjamin’s birth, would you have left and missed seeing your son be born?” she asked.

How could he answer without adding more lies to the growing mountain of falsehoods he’d already fabricated? As far as she knew, he was committed to his profession as an importer for his parents’ chain of discount stores. The success of his mission—and possibly his safety—depended on her believing that version.
“Of course not.” Eric told her what she wanted to hear.


KATE
Kate smiled at the way Eric’s eyebrows arched in his hopeless attempts to get Benjamin’s attention. For the past twenty minutes, she held their son in an awkward posture in front of her desktop computer camera, coaxing a somewhat sleeping baby to greet his father. Up until a few seconds ago, their son displayed little interest. She knew the squirming had more to do with hunger than his eagerness to interact with his dad.
Kate had waited all day for Eric to call. She needed to see his face, stubbled with a five-o’clock shadow, even if it was through her computer screen. She shifted Benjamin to her other arm. This must be how military families with one parent deployed feel.
This wasn’t the marriage she signed up for. Twenty minutes over a video call couldn’t substitute for his presence. It could be exhaustion or not getting regular sleep, but she wondered if the man she married was more like her father in ways she hadn’t anticipated. Eric wasn’t an alcoholic, a wife beater or a deadbeat. But neither was Monica’s husband, Brad. Kate had witnessed how her brother-in-law’s sins nearly ripped the soul of their family apart.

There were all sorts of ways to abandon your wife and desert your family. Just because she was most familiar with the ones her father implemented, didn’t mean that she and her sisters wouldn’t suffer from other approaches. Separated by hundreds of miles without knowing when he would return qualified as desertion of a type. At least in Kate’s mind.









About the Author  

When she’s not playing with her granddaughters, Pennsylvania native Claire Yezbak Fadden is writing contemporary women’s fiction. Her books feature strong women who overcome life’s challenges, always putting their families first.
There's a special spot in Claire's heart for carousel horses – quite possibly the result of watching “Mary Poppins” 13 times as a young girl. She loves butterflies, ladybugs and confetti! Just ask anyone who's received a birthday card from her.
The mother of three lives in Orange County, California with her husband, Nick and three spoiled dogs.
Claire’s work as an award-winning journalist, humor columnist and editor has appeared in more than 100 publications across the United States, Canada and Australia. Promises To Keep is the second novel in her Begin Again series.

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Follow Claire @claireflaire,
Email her at claire@clairefadden.com,
Like her Facebook Fan Page
Visit her at clairefadden.com.
Join her mailing list.


Crossing the Line by Ellen Wolfson Valladares!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Survival by Rachel Watts


YA Speculative Fiction
Date Published: March 2018

 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png


Ignorance is cheap. And then it costs you everything.

Perth author Rachel Watts' latest release delivers a devastating vision of a post-climate change world in which governments have collapsed and corporations rule with an iron fist. In this world two young women from different backgrounds find themselves unexpectedly aligned in their pursuit for the truth.

The world has suffered economic collapse and multiple environmental crises. In a flooded city, Ava Murasaki is searching for her activist sister Sophia. Meanwhile, Valerie Newlin lives in the secure complex of the Scylla Corporation, the world's only remaining multinational. There, she finds evidence of something horrifying in the Corporation medical research data. Set in a searingly real near-future, Survival is a story of what people will face for those they love.

Survival is accompanied by four of Watts' previously published dystopian and post-apocalyptic stories.




About the Author


Rachel Watts is an award-winning journalist and a writer of literary and speculative fiction. She holds a Master's Degree in Media and Communication and teaches creative writing to adults and teenagers. Her short stories and non-fiction have been published by Westerly, Island, Kill Your Darlings, Tincture and more.

Rachel Watts lives in Perth, Western Australia.




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Prestige, Privilege & Murder



Prestige, Privilege & Murder (A Stacie Maroni Mystery) by Christa Nardi

 

About the Book


Prestige, Privilege & Murder (A Stacie Maroni Mystery)
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series 
Self Published (January 10, 2018)
Print Length: 182 pages
ASIN: B078N1M422

Money isn't worth killing for, or is it?
When her estranged husband is murdered, Stacie Maroni Noth is quickly identified as the main suspect. With divorce papers not yet signed, she may get a substantial inheritance – a clear motive in the eyes of both Noth’s family and the police. His family and law firm strive to keep up the pretense that all is above reproach and idyllic. In her quest to prove her innocence, however, Stacie discovers she's not the only one with a motive for murder. Could it be a colleague at the prestigious law firm where he worked? Or is it tied to the victim's stance on domestic violence? Or maybe even his threats to reveal family secrets? Whatever the true motive may be, it soon becomes clear that Stacie might be the next victim.

An Excerpt from Prestige, Privilege and Murder (A Stacie Maroni Mystery)

It had been a while since I’d gone to a bar by myself and I was nervous. It was a Friday night and the DJ joked about song titles and singles. Not too crowded, a few couples danced to the tune he played. Other couples and groups sat in booths or tables. The bar was long and I’d grabbed the last seat at the bar, a great vantage point for checking out the crowd.
Perched on a stool by the bar, I was on my second glass of wine when I spotted him. A dark-haired Adonis in snug jeans and a tapered polo shirt, he scanned the room. The wine did its job and I felt good. I caught his eye. My soon-to-be ex wasn’t the only one who could fool around. I winked and he smiled – his smile about knocked me over. My heart raced as he sauntered in my direction.
“Hi. Care to dance?” He extended his hand and I nodded. The DJ played a slow song and he was a strong lead. I couldn’t help but notice the woodsy scent of his aftershave as he held me in his arms and we danced. When the song was over, he walked me back to my spot at the bar.  
“Can I buy you a drink?”
“Uh, sure. Viognier, please.”
I almost admitted that two was my limit but decided I could sip this one. Viognier isn’t the most popular of wines. That he didn’t question my choice surprised me. Ted certainly did. Often.
He signaled the bartender and ordered the wine along with a scotch and water for himself. “I’m Rick. Rick Murdock.”
I hesitated and answered with a smile, “You can call me Barbie.” If this was my once in my lifetime one-night-stand, I didn’t want to use my real name.
His eyes narrowed for a split-second before he nodded. The bartender delivered our drinks and distracted him from the name issue.
“Thanks!” I lifted my glass and he tapped it with his.
“Cheers! So, Barbie… what do you think of the music the DJ is serving us?”
I had to give him credit. It was better than the “Come here often?” I expected. Then again, Creekview Lounge catered to a different crowd than Rockies. We exchanged opinions on music and danced to a few more songs.
Along the way, I finished the third glass of wine, gained a better appreciation of the muscles in his shoulders and noticed his hazel eyes. As I tried not to stumble, he caught me.
“You all right?”
I licked my lip, flicked my hair over my shoulder, and tried for a flirty look. “I think some fresh air would help.”
His multi-watt smile came back at me and we walked outside. In the parking lot, we commented on how good the crisp cool air felt. He leaned toward me and I toward him. The wine had diminished my inhibitions and I responded when he kissed me. Then his hand was on my back and I burst into tears.
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I just… I can’t do this. I’m not as slimy as Ted. I’m so sorry.”
He dropped his hands and put them up in front of his body as he stepped back. The smile was long gone. “No problem. No problem.”
I turned and ran to my car, still crying. After a few minutes and a little calmer, I drove to my empty townhouse. Thankfully, I didn’t get stopped by a police car or have an accident.
It wasn’t that late – a little after midnight. That’s what I told myself as I called my best friend Jillian. I didn’t get any farther than “I hope it’s not too late” and I burst into tears.
“Stacie, what’s wrong?”
I was crying too hard to talk. I squeaked out, “I went to the Creekview Lounge. I thought I could be like Ted. That’s not me. I tried and I can’t do this this dating thing again.”
“Stacie, you are only 34 years old. You have a great job at Foster’s Insurance Group. You’re educated and smart. Maybe you could go back to school and get that graduate degree in counseling you wanted before Ted.”
“I don’t know about graduate school. What about all the weight I’ve gained? I’m not a size 6 anymore. Each day I find another gray hair. The thoughts of going out and trying to meet somebody is scary and tonight proved it.”
“You have beautiful dark brown hair and blue eyes, and so what if you’re a size 10 now. There’s a man out there – a better man than Ted. Did you see any prospects at Creekview?”
“Yeah, there was one guy. His name was Rick. He was a great dancer and when he smiled – wow!”
“So what happened?”
“Well, I said I needed a breath of air and then he kissed me. I just lost it. I mean I’m not even divorced yet. I burst into tears and sat in my car until I could drive. Then I came home and called you because you’re my friend.” I burst into tears again.
“Stacie, you know if this guy was even halfway good-looking and interested, there’s hope. Was he attractive?”
“Oh, he was easy on the eyes for sure. Tall, dark, and handsome. Muscular. And that’s not the alcohol talking. I only had a couple glasses of wine.”
“Was he drunk?”
“No, he didn’t seem drunk at all. He seemed like a nice guy and a good dancer. He wasn’t pushy at all and didn’t get mad when I freaked. Maybe because I met Ted there … that was 12 years ago. We were supposed to have a happily ever after.”
“Listen, Ted’s scum. You have a lot of years left for happiness. Look at me. I didn’t meet Wade until I was 30. My thirtieth birthday bash with you and Trina. Remember what fun we had that night?”
We talked more about the fun times. Jillian and I shared some laughs and by the time I hung up I felt much better. I surveyed my townhouse. It had been six months since I bought it and moved in, but it didn’t quite feel like home. The only pictures were of my parents and brother, and then a couple of friends. Ted insisted on keeping our dog, Jasper, and I missed him. Maybe I’d get a dog or a cat to keep me company.

The next week, my breakfast on the table, the doorbell rang. When I opened the door, the sight confused me.
“Ma’am. Mrs. Noth?”
“How did you find me?” I asked Rick Murdock as he stood on my front step. Even two weeks later, I hadn’t forgotten how good he looked or how humiliated I felt about that night.
“Ma’am. Your address was on the divorce papers. Can we come in please?”
My brain kicked in and I realized Rick wasn’t talking – it was the other man on the step. The balding stocky one in uniform with a scowl on his face, a smoker from the odor wafting off of him. And then I realized Rick was in uniform, too. He still looked good and gave off the woodsy scent.
“What’s going on?” My gaze went from one man to the other.
“Mrs. Noth, if you don’t want us to come in, we can go down to the station. We have some questions we need to ask you.”
I stepped aside so they could come inside. “I don’t understand. What kind of questions?”
My thoughts were running in circles. Could I have broken a law at the Creekview Lounge that night and not have remembered? Did Rick think I was soliciting? Did they catch me on camera drinking and driving?
“May we sit down? I’m Officer Flatt and this is Officer Murdock.”
“Sure… What’s going on?”
“Mrs. Noth when was the last time you talked to or saw your husband?”
“As I’m sure he told you, it was yesterday at a meeting with our lawyers. Is he still complaining I refused the ‘irreconcilable differences’ lies?” My anger at Ted surfaced once again.
“What time was that ma’am?”
“The meeting was at 3:30. I had to leave work early to make it there on time. He finally grabbed the papers and left, must have been after 4. I was home before the 5 o’clock news. I don’t understand. Is he accusing me of something? Are you here to serve me a gag order?” I huffed, my anger rising.
I glanced from one officer to the other. Rick avoided my gaze and shuffled his feet.
“No ma’am. Mr. Noth isn’t accusing you of anything. He’s dead and…”
I didn’t hear the rest of his sentence. “What? No!” And then I passed out.
I groaned and opened my eyes. Rick stood there with a glass of water. “Here, drink this.”
I sat up and looked to Officer Flatt. “I’m sorry. I don’t usually faint. Did you say Ted was dead? That can’t be. I just talked to him yesterday.”
“That is what I said. He was murdered sometime last night.”
“Murdered?”
“Ma’am. After you left your husband yesterday, what did you do?”
“I came home.”
“Can anyone vouch for that? Anyone here with you?”
“Huh? What? No one was here with me. It was just me and a half gallon of Rocky Road ice cream.” Then it dawned on me. This man suspected I’d killed Ted!
“Oh, my gosh. You think I killed him? I can’t even kill spiders.”
Officer Flatt shook his head a bit before he answered. “Calm down. We have to ask these questions.”
“I’ll get you more water.” Rick picked up my glass and disappeared into my kitchen. He came back with the water and nodded to Officer Flatt. “One empty Rocky Road carton in the trash.”
I glared at him. How dare he check my trash? “Just so you know, I didn’t eat it all at once.”
His mouth twitched, but he didn’t say a word.
“Just a few more questions. About your divorce…”
“Excuse me, but do I need to call my lawyer? I don’t think I should talk to you until I call my lawyer. Of course, he’s a divorce attorney, but he must know something about other kinds of law, right?”
Rick was back to staring at the ceiling and Officer Flatt studied the floor. Standing up, Officer Flatt put his little book and pen in his pocket. “We’ll be in touch or Detective O’Hare will be if there are any other questions. Here’s my card.”
He started to leave, Rick following his lead.
“Wait. Has anyone else been notified? Do I need to call his family? What should I tell them? Where is he? Who will take care of the funeral?”
Officer Flatt blinked before he answered. “You’ll have to talk with Detective O’Hare at the Beckman Springs Police Department.” He shook his head as he turned and left. Rick hesitated and then was gone.
My eggs were cold, but it didn’t matter. I’d lost my appetite.

I sat on the sofa, my head in my hands for I don’t know how long. I still held the business card and reached for the phone. Time to call this Detective O’Hare and then Jillian. A whole list of people to call came to mind.
“Beckman Springs Police Department, is this an emergency?”
“No, ma’am. Can I speak with Detective O’Hare, please? Officer Flatt told me to call him.”
“May I ask who’s calling?”
“Stacie Noth.”
“Hold on while I transfer your call.”
There was silence as I waited. No elevator or perky music when you’re on hold for the police department.
“Hello, Mrs. Noth? This is Detective O’Hare.”
“Hello. My husband… two officers came by. They said he was dead. Murdered. They said … No, Officer Flatt told me to call you. I’ve been sitting here trying to understand. Are you sure it’s Ted? There must be some mistake.”
“I’m sorry, Mrs. Noth. There’s no mistake.”
I gasped and choked back a sob. “What do I do next? About notifying his parents and family? The funeral?”
“Mrs. Noth, I don’t have answers to those questions. As next of kin, you’re the only one we’ve notified officially. I do need to meet with you and get some additional information. Can you come into the station today, say around 11 o’clock?”
“I… I guess. I don’t understand what happened, Detective. The officers – they didn’t tell me very much.”
“We can discuss that when you come in, Mrs. Noth. I’ll have more information by then. Shall I send Officer Flatt back to get you or can you get here on your own?”
“Yes, I can do that.”
The call disconnected. That’s about how I felt. Disconnected. I called Jillian, but the call went straight to voicemail. I left a message that I needed to talk to her immediately and asked her to call no matter what time.
Then I called Nathaniel Heinemann, my divorce attorney. Again, straight to voice mail. This time I left a more pointed message. “Ted’s dead. Do you know any criminal lawyers? Call me.”
What I really wanted to do was climb back into bed and hide under the covers. My stomach growled and my head hurt. Rocky Road is not the best choice for dinner. I tossed the eggs and ate some cereal but didn’t taste a thing. Who identified Ted’s body? Who killed him? Why? Other than me, who had a motive?
I was dressed for work, but no longer planned on going there. I called and told Rosie, the receptionist, that I had a family emergency and wouldn’t be in. With another two hours before I’d need to leave for the police station, I started to make lists. Sooner or later someone – probably me – was going to have to call Ted’s family. Hopefully, they would take charge of the funeral and burial. Maybe they had a plot for him at the family gravesite. In ten years of marriage, somehow those topics had never come up.

Copyright © 2017 Christa Nardi
All rights reserved.

I classify this as crime fiction, murder mystery, but not so much as a "cozy mystery" in that the clues came to and happened to Stacie rather than her seeking them out. It is not graphic, so in that sense it is clean. I did find it to be very "cop-centric." I guess I have to accept that police officers are also human. I found their concern with Stacie's safety to be a bit over the top, less than believable.

During a contested divorce, the wealthy and well connected Ted Noth is found murdered. Naturally the spouse, or soon-to-be-ex, is always first to be looked at more closely. However Stacie had nothing to gain by Ted's death, other than their shared dog, Jasper. I was very pleased with how Jasper was portrayed and included in this mystery.
Much of the novel deals with domestic abuse in various forms. 

The pace moves well and clues are subtly included if the reader is open to them.
I was not surprised by the killer, but a bit saddened.


About the Author

Christa Nardi is and always has been an avid reader. Her favorite authors have shifted from Carolyn Keene and Earl Stanley Gardner to more contemporary mystery/crime authors over time, but mystery along with romance are her preferred choices for leisure reading. Christa also has been a long time writer from poetry and short stories to cozy mystery. She is the author of the Cold Creek Series and co-authors a young adult mystery series with Cassidy Salem.

  Author Links Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00G8SBCKK
  Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7257539.Christa_Nardi
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  Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/christa-nardi
  Blog: https://christanardi.blogspot.com

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  Purchase Link Amazon

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