Ghost of a Chance #NewRelease @jaydawes2

I am delighted to share a new book release with you from Jaye Marie!

Snow’s Prequel

Sometime during the night, the morphine had worn off, and detective David Snow woke early in agony. Looking at the bed, he had been thrashing around for hours. The damp sheets and the smell of his sweat permeated the room, a testament to his agony.

Sitting on the edge of his bed, he tried to think what to do first. He needed a shower, coffee, and another dose of morphine. He needed more but had been denied another prescription, which had not pleased him. How was he supposed to live without adequate pain relief?

He knew morphine was addictive, that he would have to make do with a less powerful drug, but already knew his shoulder would not like it. The morphine barely controlled the pain as it was and did nothing for his ever-growing depression.

Staggering to the bathroom, he swallowed the last tablet in the bottle. He had an appointment at the hospital today for more unwanted therapy. He stumbled into the shower and turned on the hot water, aiming the spray at his shoulder. This was the only way to briefly reduce the screaming from the damaged nerves.

Standing in the steamy shower, he wondered if his wife Jane had left for work yet. He couldn’t remember seeing her the night before, her ice-cold expression, or her accusing eyes. She had almost given up on him, probably thought he should man up and get back to work, seeing as how the wounds had healed. She had been patient in the beginning but increasingly critical of his progress or lack thereof.

Later that day, after being brutally attacked by the smallest but strongest physiotherapist, he sat in his car, failing to will the excruciating pain to subside. He had begged for morphine to no avail. They had palmed him off with something that had not touched the pain. Despair ran riot inside his head, and at that precise moment, if he had a gun, he would have used it.

He had tried different ways of coping with the pain. And the favourite was imagining suitable revenge for the woman who had fired the lethal crossbow bolts into his back and chest. Ruth Winton, a serial killer intent on ridding the world of anyone who had let her down, and Snow was top of her list. A clever woman who planned her revenge with clinical determination. Learning to be a police officer to get to him was a stroke of genius. Just a pity he hadn’t been more aware of her intentions.

He had not expected her to shoot him, something else that depressed him. But then, he had never been able to read any woman’s mind clearly.

His mind traveled on, coming to rest on Kate Devereau as it usually did, someone he met long ago while trying to figure out who had wanted her dead. He smiled for the first time that day, remembering her wild hair and stubborn ways. He remembered the beautiful artwork that had always touched his heart and soul, as did the woman herself.

She had called him her Snowman, but when her ex-husband tried to kill her again, her mind shut down, and she retreated into her painting, leaving him behind.

According to his wife Jane, he had called out Kate’s name in his delirium at the hospital, something he knew she would never forget…

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Blurb

A damaged detective, out of a job

A relationship on the rocks

What does the future hold for David Snow?

Just when he thought life couldn’t get any worse

A ghost with a grudge adds to his pain

A ghost hell bent on stopping him from rebuilding his life…

JAYE MARIE

Jaye’s Biography:

I came to writing rather late but have always loved reading books. For someone who loathes computers with a passion, and I suspect this is mutual, I have managed to master the beast well enough to publish our own books.

I enjoy reading many different genres, so was very surprised to discover a passion for detective thrillers. I have written four of them to date, with more to follow.

I also enjoy running a joint website/blog with my writer sister, Anita Dawes, and meeting all the lovely people who drop in to say hello!

My other love is bonsai, and my small trees demand a lot of attention in the growing season, or they will die. Sometimes, it is just like having children!

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Jaye Marie’s LINKS:

Email:       jayemarie01@btinternet.com

Website:  https://jenanita01.com

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/jaydawes2

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/doubletrouble44/

Goodreads: https://goodreads.com/author/show/8638857.Jaye_Marie

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Jaye-Marie/e/B00O2ZUFOK/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/anitajaydawes

Ghost of a Chance Order Links:

UK:    amzn.to/3QGfg2f

US:    amzn.to/3xpFWh3

September Book Reviews @stacitroilo @maeclair1 @brendawhitesid2 @Sandra_Cox @maurabeth2014

I normally wait until the end of the month to share my book reviews, but these wouldn’t wait! Enjoy!

Created in Canva
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MY REVIEW:

Hang onto your hat with this one, folks!
This story, written in dual timelines is hands-down one of the best books of the year so far!
I struggled at the beginning to keep all the characters from each timeline straight, but as the authors so effectively established each one, it became easy.
I love all the characters. Even the tertiary characters are bigger than life.
The relationship between Aiden and his Gran (Julia) is so special, not just because she raised him. They share something deeper than just family blood. They share gifts passed down through their lineage. But their banter is endearing. I almost laughed out loud when she drugged him with her special herbal tea.
The strong female characters in this story are unique and capable. Greer may be my favorite. Not only is she a talented writer and editor, but she’s also got flaws that make her believable. And that could be said about each character in this story.
Aiden is a non-believer in anything related to the spirit realm. So it was fun watching things unfold to challenge him at every turn.
From seances in the late 1800s to modern-day seances, this story encompasses it all. Some so-called spiritualists were no more than good magicians, while others truly possessed the gift of mediumship. Since I am a true believer in supernatural gifts, I found all of this believable.
I cannot fail to mention Aiden’s faithful dog, Levi. He is as much a character in the story as the humans and is entirely devoted to his master. So, I loved it when he saved the day.
If you love deeply intertwined family stories mixed with paranormal occurrences and a tantalizing mystery, you are going to enjoy this story from these two authors. I’ve been a fan of both of their writings for many years, but the two of them co-authoring this book have taken storytelling to an entirely new level. This is the must-read book of 2022!

 

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MY REVIEW:

I enjoyed this book so much. The author speaks my language. Elidor is an empath. She’s struggled throughout her entire life with how to manage that gift and not let it overwhelm her. She’s also an archaeologist and a good one. She’s traveled the world participating in digs. But this one, in New Mexico, changes her life. Bordering the Mescalero Indian Reservation, she and her partner, Cam make a discovery that will affect the future of the Mescalero Indians and their way of life. What to do? She’s developed a close kinship with a Mescalero elder, Juanita, who is teaching her how to manage her gift as an empath. Then Cam falls off the mountain and dies. Now Elidor is the only one who knows the location of the burial site and the massive accumulation of wealth it holds. She makes a choice that puts her life in danger. Greed can cause men to do unspeakable things. I cheered for Elidor when she made the decision to return home to Joshua, which is a fictitious town patterned after Jerome, Arizona. If you’ve never visited this place, put it on your bucket list, and don’t miss the kaleidoscope store. The author did a fabulous job of describing it. But I digress. I loved Elidor’s family and the hippie community that is bonded together in this quaint town. And while she knew it was always a possibility, she’d not prepared to cross paths with her one true love, Julien, whom she hasn’t seen in twenty years. He is an accomplished journalist turned author and has also traveled the world. Will they be able to renew their relationship? Will Elidor give up her secret? So many questions! You’ll have to read the book to find the answers. While this is book 3 in a series, is it a complete standalone You do not have to read the others before this one. If you are a fan of complex characters and a compelling storyline, you are going to love this book. I highly recommend it!

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MY REVIEW:

The cover for this story is the first thing that drew me. It’s gorgeous! I’ll Be Right Back is a short read that portrays a weak man’s obsession with a woman and the ultimate betrayal. Maura Beth Brennan has a distinctive writing style that pulls the reader into the story. She sets the scene, then follows through with the psychological aspects of both characters. Money isn’t everything, and love is truly blind. A short but good read!

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MY REVIEW:

A sheriff with amber eyes and lean hard muscles, a spunky southern girl, and a small Montana town makes the perfect combination for an intriguing story. Oh, but wait! Let’s add in the fact that the hunky sheriff is a shapeshifter who is determined to keep his inner wolf a secret. But when the people he loves are threatened by a powerful evil force, he has no choice. This story kept me involved from the beginning to the end. While I felt it was predictable as far as the romance part, it is a super entertaining read, and a great way to escape into another world for a while. This author does a great job of creating the characters. I could visualize them all and had a few favorites I immediately related to. Rose, Quinn, Jesse, and Adam, although tertiary characters, all play a big part in the unfolding of the story. If you are looking for a different kind of small-town romance story, there is no doubt you will enjoy this one. It’s a great escape!

The Flower Enigma #BookBlitz @1rburkey @LoneStarLit #NewRelease #Mystery

It’s always a GREAT pleasure to host fellow local authors. Rox Burkey and Charles Breakfield live near me, and are a talented, dynamic duo writing team. I’m thrilled to tell you about their latest!

 
THE FLOWER ENIGMA
Magnolia Bluff Crime
Chronicles, Book 5
by
CHARLES BREAKFIELD
& ROX BURKEY

Small Town Mystery / Suspense / Amateur Sleuths

Publisher: ICABOD Press

Pages: 198 pages

Publication Date: August 20, 2022

 
Scroll down for giveaway!
 
 

Imagine a romantic getaway in the Texas Hill Country

JJ, a cyber guru, whisks his girlfriend, Jo, away for a vacation. No paparazzi. Magnolia Bluff is the perfect destination. Flower B&B is prettier than the pictures on the website.

The evangelizing podcast creators are demanding answers about the town’s newest resident, Mateo Hernandez. The enormous wall he erected has convinced the ladies he’s hiding nefarious activities behind a dubious attorney. Local authorities don’t believe laws are broken and discount the women as meddling gossips.

When the couple checks into Flower, the podcast show-in-progress is interrupted by a cyberattack. JJ, the techno-geek, can’t resist helping. At each subsequent event in the series, he uncovers more serious issues than cyberwarfare.

JJ and Jo can’t avoid this roving series maelstrom. It gets personal when they’re attacked and warned to leave town. No one can conceive the depth of the crimes
behind Mateo’s walls.

CLICK TO PURCHASE FOR $0.99!

 
 
 
 
 
Breakfield is a technology expert in security, networking, voice, and anything digital. He enjoys writing, studying World War II history, travel, and cultural exchanges. Charles is a fan of wine tastings, winemaking, Harley riding, cooking extravaganzas, and woodworking.
 
Burkey is a technology professional who excels at optimizing technology and business investments. She works with customers all over the world, focusing on optimized customer experiences. Rox writes white papers and documentation but found she has a marked preference for writing fiction.
 
Together these Texas authors create award-winning stories that resonate with males and females, as well as young and experienced adults. They bring a fresh new view to technology possibilities today in exciting stories. Visit their website for more information and free stuff.
 
 
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Deadly Keepsakes – #NewRelease @anita_dickason @LoneStarLit #Mystery #Giveaway

Anita Dickason is one of the most enthusiastic authors I’ve ever featured here, and I am thrilled to share her new book with you as well as my review!

 
DEADLY KEEPSAKES
A Tori Winters Mystery
by
ANITA DICKASON
 
Categories: Mystery / Women Sleuths
Publisher: Mystic Circle Books
Pages: 360 pages
Publication Date: July 1, 2022
 
Scroll down for the giveaway!
 
 

When Tori Winters becomes the star witness in a murder trial, someone tries to kill her. Terrified, she’s not giving the killer a second chance. With all her worldly possessions packed in her car, Tori is on the run. A mysterious phone call about an inheritance leads her to Granbury. After all, who would look for her in a small, quaint Texas town?

Instead, Tori’s life is about to spin into an existence where nothing is as it seems. The historic house she inherits is steeped in secrets from the past. Secrets that may prove deadly. A stranger in a strange town, who can she trust? There is the disinherited step-grandson and the lawyer and his son. What are they hiding?

Tori’s inheritance may not be a blessing when a killer strikes again. It could be her death warrant.

 

 
 

Award-winning author Anita Dickason is a twenty-two-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department. She served as a patrol officer, undercover narcotics detective, advanced accident investigator, SWAT tactical officer, and the team’s first female sniper.

Anita’s extensive law enforcement experience and knowledge provide the inspiration for her plots, and characters. She writes about what she knows, cops and crime.

Her works have received multiple awards from Book Viral Millennium Book Awards, Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, Literary Titan Book Awards, Independent Author Network Book Awards, and Speak Up Talk Radio Firebird Award.

 
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THREE WINNERS: Tote Bag, Copy of Deadly Keepsakes, Bookmarks.
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Deadly Keepsakes #BookBlitz @anita_dickason @LoneStarLit

DEADLY KEEPSAKES
A Tori Winters Mystery
by
ANITA DICKASON
NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER!
MYSTERY
Publisher: Mystic Circle Books
Coming July 10, 2022
Number of Pages: 360 pages
Scroll down for Giveaway!

The past becomes the future. Secrets that can kill!

After someone tries to kill her, Tori Winters is on the run. Looking for a place to hide, a mysterious phone call about a vague inheritance seems to be the answer. After all, who would think of looking for her in Granbury, a small quaint Texas town. Instead, her life is about to spin into an existence where nothing is as it seems. The historic house she inherits has secrets. Ones she’s been warned can kill. A stranger in a strange town, who can she trust? There is the kindly lawyer and his son, or the disinherited step-grandson. What secrets do they hide? Tori’s newfound fortune may not be a blessing. It could become her death warrant.
Award-winning Author Anita Dickason is a twenty-two veteran of the Dallas Police Department. She served as a patrol officer, undercover narcotics detective, advanced accident investigator, tactical officer, and first female sniper on the Dallas SWAT team.
Anita writes about what she knows, cops and crime. Her police background provides an unending source of inspiration for her plots and characters. Many incidents and characters portrayed in her books are based on personal experience. For her, the characters are the fun part of writing as she never knows where they will take her. There is always something out of the ordinary in her stories.
In Anita’s debut novel, Sentinels of the Night, she created an elite FBI Unit, the Trackers. Since then, she has added three more Tracker crime thrillers, Going Gone!, A u 7 9, and Operation Navajo, which are not a series and can be read in any order, and Deadly Business, a crime thriller.
As a Texas author, many of Anita’s books are based in Texas, or there is a link to Texas. When she stepped outside of the Tracker novels and wrote, Not Dead, she selected Meridian, a small community in central Texas for the location.
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It’s a Mad Mad Murder – #BookBlitz @LoneStarLit

IT’S A MAD, MAD MURDER
A Maddie Montgomery Mystery
by
CINDY VINCENT

Cozy Culinary Mystery / Women Sleuths / Amateur Sleuths
Publisher: Whodunit Press
Date of Publication: November 15, 2021
Number of Pages: 303 pages
Scroll down for Giveaway!
Things are a little too hot to handle for famous culinary-mystery author, Maddie Montgomery, in her normally quiet neighborhood set in the Houston suburb of Abbott Cove. Especially after her neighbor, Randall Rathburn, has a heart attack and rams his vintage car into a light pole. Though his death is ruled an accident, another of Maddie’s neighbors insists that Randall was murdered, and he implores her to investigate. But Maddie isn’t on board with the half-baked idea, not until she attends the over-the-top funeral where she develops some suspicions of her own. That’s when she decides to take the leap from crime writing to crime solving. After all, she doesn’t exactly want a killer running around her cul-de-sac . . .
But the murder of her neighbor isn’t the only mystery she’s got cooking. When her publisher goes belly-up and her agent happily dumps her in favor of younger, dystopian authors, Maddie boils over into a full-blown career crisis. And while she tries to simmer down, her new role as amateur sleuth only stirs the pot even more. Then from car chases to stakeouts, and from a neighbor who owns a suspicious amount of spy gadgetry to a widow who seems a little too merry, Maddie’s first case has her head spinning like the beaters on her handheld mixer. And soon Maddie finds that solving a crime in “real life” is a lot more difficult . . . and a lot more dangerous . . .
CLICK TO PURCHASE!
Amazon
Cindy Vincent is the award-winning author of the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Capers, and the Tracy Truworth, Apprentice P.I., 1940s Homefront Mysteries. She is also the creator of the Mysteries by Vincent murder mystery party games and the Daisy Diamond Detective Series games for girls. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and an assortment of fantastic felines. Cindy is a self-professed “Christmas-a-holic,” and she starts the planning for her ever-expanding, “extreme” Christmas lights display sometime in the early spring.
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1ST PRIZE:
Signed copy of It’s a Mad, Mad Murder, a sweetheart-neckline apron, a set of multicolored, Farberware measuring cups, and a set of stainless steel, oblong measuring spoons.
2ND & 3RD PRIZES:
Signed copies of It’s a Mad, Mad Murder and novella, Yes, Carol…It’s Christmas!, which features a heroine trying to get back home to Texas
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A Little Mystery! New #BookRelease! Finding Home Again @DarleneLF @WildRosePress #wrpbks

It gives me great pleasure to welcome back fellow Wild Rose Press author, Darlene Fredette, to tell you a little about her newest book!

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Thank you, Jan, for inviting me back to visit your blog and talk about my newest book, Finding Home Again.

I enjoy reading romance that contains a little mystery in the plot, and I’ve always wanted to try this style of writing. Finding Home Again is my first attempt at adding mystery into my contemporary romances. Adding another category into your writing isn’t easy, especially a mystery. As a writer, you must develop a plot with plenty of twists and turns. You can’t reveal too much too soon. You have to keep the reader guessing, and just when they think they have the mystery solved, you throw in another twist. Leaving snippets of clues is also a great way to hook your reader. They need to be invested in the mystery as much as the author is when writing the story. But when adding mystery into a contemporary romance, the writer has to make sure the romance remains a pivotal element. I really enjoyed writing Finding Home Again because I included several mysteries going on at the same time my characters’ chemistry is heating up. As stated in the Finding Home Again blurb, there is a missing dog, a potential poisoning, and a suspicious death. But I didn’t stop there…I have the main character discovering a personal connection to Redford Falls! Finding Home Again is the fifth book in my Redford Falls series, but each book stands well on its own. This book was my first attempt at adding a mystery element and it won’t be my last. I hope you’ll pick up a copy of Finding Home Again and let me know if you figured out who the villain was. 😊

BOOK BLURB:

A missing dog, a potential poisoning, and a suspicious death. Will Jordan and Logan find their happy-ever-after before another mysterious accident occurs?

Caretaker of a historical home, Jordan McKenzie, promised to keep a secret, but doing so gets harder by the minute, especially when an innocent kiss misses its intended target. Entangled in a web of mysterious mishaps, she discovers a surprising family connection. Is putting her trust in her boss’ handsome nephew a risk worth taking?

Chef, Logan Crane, returns to Redford Falls hoping to claim an inheritance to open a restaurant, but he side-lines his plan after meeting Jordan. When past secrets intermingle with a present attraction, will Logan open his heart to the possibility of a future in Redford Falls…and with Jordan?

BOOK TRAILER:

EXCERPT:

“That kiss was meant for your cheek. You moved.” Jordan pulled on her helmet then waved a hand for Miska to jump into his seat. She tossed Logan his helmet. “You weren’t supposed to kiss me.”

“A beautiful woman plants one on me and I’m not to respond?” He stepped beside her and ran a finger down her cheek. “Unfortunately, I can’t tell your boyfriend our outing was strictly platonic anymore. Because I kissed his girl, and I liked it.”

Blushing, Jordan nudged her shoulder against his before getting into her ATV and driving away.

Logan shouldn’t have kissed her—and he shouldn’t have flirted. But dang it, he truly enjoyed both—and given the opportunity, he would do both again.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Darlene resides on the Atlantic Coast of Canada where the summers are too short, and the winters are too long. An avid reader since childhood, Darlene loved to develop the many stories coming to life in her head. She writes contemporary romances with a focus on plot-driven page-turners. When not working on her next book, she can be found with her husband, her daughter, and her yellow Labrador. Darlene’s favourite pastime is taking summer day trips to the Valley to soak in the small-town feel.

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#BookReview – Brother of Interest @KarinaBartow #Netgalley #Mystery

I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. The opinions expressed here are solely my own.

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What I like most about this book is the strained relationship between Minka Avery and her brother, Robin, and how it grows and evolves through the story. Minka was a detective and a good one. But when she and her husband, Wes, decided to start a family, she trades in her badge for strollers and diapers. While she loves being a mother, the lure of solving a mystery that involves her estranged brother is too much to deny.
Robin is arrested for an alleged attack on his boss who had recently fired him, and Minka has her doubts about her brother’s guilt or innocence. But as the clues unfold and everything points to someone else, she is determined to work on the case from the sidelines, often bringing her baby, Caela, along with her.
All of the characters in this story are likable, even the nosy neighbor they call “Scoop.” Minka’s relationship with her brother-in-law is endearing. Not only was he her partner when she worked for the police department but is her best friend as well as her husband’s brother. And it’s interesting to watch Minka’s reaction to Cael’s new love interest.
The author did a good job of revealing one clue after another much like peeling back the layers of an onion. My only critique would be about a large amount of backstory included. To be honest, I skimmed over most of it as it didn’t seem to affect the outcome of the story. If you like a good mystery with deep personal relationships, you will enjoy this book.

I gave it Four Stars.

Descent Into Ulthoa by Gordon Bonnet @TalesOfWhoa @MotinaBooks #NewRelease #Mystery #Horror #SciFi

I recently became acquainted with this author and find him to be not only a prolific writer but a super creative human. He has a brand new release, Descent Into Ulthoa, that I’m excited to share with you today. But, I’m going to let him tell you about it. Take it away, Gordon!

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Thank you, Jan, for letting me visit your blog to tell your readers about my new book.

Is solving a mystery always worth the cost?

Ten years ago, a man and his girlfriend went into the woods at the end of Claver Road on what was supposed to be a weekend’s camping trip, and never returned. Police combed the area, but nothing was found except for his car, abandoned where they’d parked it. It seemed like Brad Ellicott and Cara Marshall had been swallowed by the silent, brooding forest, leaving not a trace of what had happened or nor any clues as to where they went.

His identical twin brother, left to mourn his loss, has spent the last decade unable to let go of his grief, to accept that Brad and Cara are gone forever. Based on sinister hints from a few of the older residents of the quaint, picture-postcard village of Guildford, New York, only fifteen miles from where the woods start, he discovers that there might be more to the story than the disappearance of a couple of hikers. The forest the locals call Devil’s Glen has had an evil reputation for well over a century, and his brother and his girlfriend are not the first people to defy the warnings and brave the shadows under the trees—nor the first to vanish there.

Becoming obsessed with discovering what happened to his brother, he delves deeper and deeper into the mystery that lies beyond the end of Claver Road, and he uncovers a terrifying truth that challenges everything he believes. Is the knowledge worth the cost? And will he get the answers he needs before the forest claims him as its next victim?

Inspired by the classic fiction of H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe, Descent into Ulthoa brings you on a journey into a world of atmospheric horror.  Full of twists and turns, this book will draw you down a dark path where you truly will never be able to anticipate what’s around the next bend.

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Author, Gordon Bonnet

The author, Gordon Bonnet, has lived in upstate New York—near a village bearing a marked resemblance to Guildford—for thirty years, where he taught science and critical thinking in a rural high school.  When he’s not writing, he usually can be found running, playing music, making pottery, or playing with his dogs.

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#NewRelease – Cold Dark Night @JoanHallWrites #Suspense #Mystery

I am super excited about the new release from my fellow Story Empire writer, Joan Hall! I can’t wait to read this one as I loved the prequel! But I’ll let Joan tell you about it.

Thank you, Jan. I’m excited to be here to talk about my newest release. Cold Dark Night is the first novel of my Legends of Madeira series. Each book begins with a historical event that ties to modern-day. Today I’m going to talk about the musical inspiration behind the book.

I like silence when I’m writing, but music often inspires me to write. Cold Dark Night was partially inspired by a song. Growing up in a music-loving family with a brother twelve years my senior made me appreciate the song of the sixties as much as (maybe more) than those of “my time,” the 1970s.

One of the albums my brother often listened to was The Band’s first solo album, Music From Big Pink. Among the songs that stood out for me was “Long Black Veil.” The idea of someone singing from the grave about his own death intrigued me. First recorded in 1959 by Lefty Frizzell, several artists have recorded the song, but The Band’s version has always been my favorite.

“Long Black Veil” inspired the opening chapters of Cold Dark Night. The circumstances between my character Adam McLaury and the person in the song differ somewhat, but those familiar with the words will recognize some similarities.

In the following passage, Lillian McLaury visits her husband in jail. He’s awaiting execution for murdering a man on the streets of Madeira.

Excerpt:

“I’m not sure I even want to live if you’re gone.” Lillian hung her head.

“Don’t talk like that. Isaac needs you. So does our unborn baby. You’re still young. Much too young to pine away. Someday you might meet someone else. If you do, it’s okay. And one day, in another life, we’ll be together again.”

She straightened, then wiped the tears from her eyes. “You believe that?”

“Of course, I do. I’m prepared to die. I can go to my grave with a clear conscience, knowing I’ve done nothing wrong. There’s one other thing I ask of you.”

“What is it?”

“Find the person responsible. See to it justice is served.”

“I promise to do everything I can.”

“That’s all I ask. And don’t give up. I’m still holding out for a miracle.”

But three days later, Sheriff Bass walked Adam to the gallows to die for the murder of William Skinner.

At the bottom of the steps, Ethan stopped. Scrubbed a hand over his face. “I’m sorry, Adam. I truly hoped someone would come forth with evidence implicating the real killer. I know you’re innocent. Don’t need proof, but—”

“You were doing your job. I understand.”

The hangman stood at the top of the gallows. His no-nonsense demeanor had been the subject of several conversations among Madeira’s residents. Many of them thought him to be unfriendly. He motioned toward the crowd. “Come along, Sheriff. Can’t keep these good folks waiting. It’s time to get this over with.”

“Then, you do it. I did my job bringing him here. I’ll have no further part in it. I believe this man is innocent, and I’m washing my hands of his blood.”

And Pontius Pilate said similar words when he handed Jesus over to be crucified.

Adam nodded to his executioner as he ascended the steps on his own. Divine intervention hadn’t come. His knees buckled as he looked at the rope that would soon be placed around his neck.

Reverend Potts, the local minister, rushed to his side to steady him. Compassion shown in the older man’s eyes.

The hangman showed no sympathy. He took Adam by the arm, led him behind the noose, then placed it loosely around his neck.

Adam scanned the crowd. Entire families had turned out for the event. Some sat together in buggies, while others stood on the courthouse lawn. Children laughed and played, as if blissfully aware of what was about to happen. One small girl peered around her mother’s skirts, her eyes wide. A teenage boy peddled refreshments.

Why would anyone allow a small child to see something like this? There had been hangings in Madeira before, none of which he’d cared to attend. He wouldn’t bring his wife, much less his son. But many people acted as if hangings were a source of entertainment.

At last, he saw Lillian. She stood near the back, ramrod straight, not shedding any tears. Maybe she’d cried all she could cry. Perhaps she’d taken his advice to be strong.

The crowd began to sing “Amazing Grace.” When the song ended, Reverend Potts asked, “Do you have any last requests?”

“Look after Lillian, will you?”

The older man nodded. “Of course, my son.”

Adam met Lillian’s eyes again as she mouthed the words, “I love you.”

Her face was the last thing he saw before the hangman pulled the hood over his face. He would go to eternity confident in Lillian’s unwavering love for him.

><><><>< 

Thanks again for hosting me, Jan. Cold Dark Night is available on Amazon. It’s on sale for .99 through June 15. After that, the price goes to $3.99, so this is a good time for readers to grab a copy.

Blurb:

New husband, new house, new town… and a new mystery to solve.

Tami Montgomery thought her police chief husband was going to be the only investigator in the family when she gave up her journalism career and moved with him to Madeira, New Mexico.

But after the historical society asks her to write stories for a book celebrating the town’s history, she becomes embroiled in a new mystery. If she can’t solve this one, she could lose everything. Her research uncovers a spate of untimely deaths of local law enforcement officials. Further digging reveals a common link—they all lived in the house she and Jason now share.

Tami isn’t a superstitious person, but the circumstances are too similar for coincidence. Then she unearths an even more disturbing pattern. And if history repeats itself, her husband will be the next to die.

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/Cold-Dark-Night-Legends-Madeira-ebook/dp/B0968CXZQ9

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