Posts Tagged ‘mystery’

Partners In Crime Tours

The Church Of The Holy Child

by Patricia Hale

On Tour August 15 – October 15, 2017

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Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Published by: Intrigue Publishing LLC
Publication Date: August 15th 2017
Number of Pages: 259
ISBN: 1940758599 (ISBN13: 9781940758596)
Purchase Links: Amazon ? | Barnes & Noble ? | Goodreads ?

My Review

Tagged as a mystery suspense story, this one lives up to the tags.

A woman goes missing. When her body is discovered, her husband is the prime suspect. But then more bodies are found and the killer could be anybody. Private investigators, police and a priest all have their roles to play as the case becomes more urgent.

Imagine being in the position Father Francis is in. A killer confesses their crimes, giving him all the gory details, and he is bound by the sanctity of the confessional, so he can’t tell the police about it.

There are several key characters involved in this case and each has a strong voice. The writing is taut and compelling, drawing you in and keeping you focused as the suspense ramps up. And when you finally find out who the killer is, it’s one of those reveals that catches you by surprise.

At just over 200 pages, this book reads fast and the author gets right to the meat of the mystery. Like mysteries with lots of suspense, well developed characters and a thrilling plot? I recommend you read this book.

4 Stars

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Synopsis

A woman with a history of domestic abuse is missing. Her sister hires private investigators Cole and Callahan.

When the woman is found dead, her husband is charged but when a second body appears showing the same wounds, questions arise and what looked like a slam-dunk becomes anyone’s guess. The case goes to John Stark, a veteran cop and close friend of Griff Cole.

The bodies are piling up, and one person knows where the killer is. Father Francis, a priest at The Church of the Holy Child, listens to the killer’s disturbed account of each murder and wrestles with the vows that bind him to secrecy.

The case takes an unexpected and personal turn when Cole’s ex-wife goes missing and a connection to his past points to the killer.

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Enjoy this glimpse inside:

Inside the wooden confessional there’s a man who talks to God. At least that’s what my mother told me the last time we were here. But a month has passed since she disappeared so today I’ve come to the church alone. I no longer believe that she’s coming back for me like she said. Instead, I’ve become her stand-in for the beatings my father dishes out. That’s what he calls it, dishing out a beating, like he’s slapping a mound of mashed potato on my plate. He swaggers through the door ready for a cold one after coming off his seven to three shift, tosses his gun and shield on our kitchen table and reaches into the refrigerator for a Budweiser. I cringe in the corner and make myself small, waiting to hear what kind of day he’s had and whether or not I’ll be his relief. More often than not, his eyes search me out. “’C’mere asshole,” he says, popping the aluminum top, “I’m gonna dish out a beating.” If anyone can help me, it has to be this guy who talks to God. I open the door of the confessional with my good arm and step inside.

Twenty-three years later

ONE

His breath was warm on my neck, his lips hot and dry. His tongue searched the delicate skin below my ear. Heart quickening, back arching, I rose to meet him.

The phone on the nightstand vibrated.

“Shit,” Griff whispered, peeling away from me, our clammy skin reluctant to let go. He swung his feet over the edge of the bed and flashed me his bad-boy, half-smile. “Cole,” he said into the phone.

At times like this, cell phones rate right alongside other necessary evils like cod liver oil and flu shots. I leaned against his back and caressed his stomach, damp dunes of sculpted muscle. Not bad for a guy north of forty. Griff still measured himself against the hotshots in the field. But in my book he had nothing to worry about; I’d take the stable, wise, worn-in model over a wet behind the ear, swagger every time.

He pried my fingers from his skin and walked toward the bathroom still grunting into the phone.

I slipped into my bathrobe and headed for the kitchen. I have my morning priorities and since the first one was interrupted by Griff’s phone, coffee comes in a close second.

Twenty minutes later he joined me dressed in his usual attire, jeans, boots, tee shirt and sport jacket. Coming up behind me, he nuzzled my neck as I poured Breakfast Blend into a travel mug. Coffee splashed onto the counter top.

“Gotta run,” he said taking the cup from my hand.

“What’s up?”

“Not sure yet. That was John. He said he could use a hand.

“Sobering up?

Griff flinched like I’d landed one to his gut.

“Sorry,” I said. “Cheap shot.”

“Woman found dead early this morning.”

“When’s he going to admit that he can’t run the department with a pint of scotch sloshing around in his gut?”

“The job’s all he’s got left, makes it hard to let go.”

“I’m just saying that he shouldn’t be head of CID. Not now. I’m surprised Haggerty has put up with it this long.”

“There’s a lot going down at the precinct. Internal Affairs is having a field day after that meth bust.

They’ve got so many guys on leave right now that a bottle of Dewar’s in John’s desk is the least of Haggerty’s problems.”

“I just don’t want you to get sucked into CID.”

He slipped his hands inside my robe and nuzzled my neck. “No chance of that. Nobody on the force feels like this.”

I pushed him away halfheartedly.

I’ll call you when I know what’s going on.”

The door closed behind him.

I sank onto a kitchen chair and flipped open the People magazine lying on the table. Griff and I had just finished an investigation for an heiress in the diamond industry whose sticky handed husband had resorted to blackmailing her brother as a way around their pre-nup. The ink on her twenty-thousand-dollar check made out to Cole & Co. was still wet. And being that I was the & Co. part of the check, I’d earned a leisurely morning.

The phone rang just as I was getting to the interview with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell on the secrets of a long-term relationship. Caller ID told me it was Katie Nightingale, our go-to girl at the office. Katie kept track of everything from appointments to finances to take-out menus.

I lifted the phone and hit ‘answer’.

“Britt?” Katie spoke before I had a chance, never a good sign.

“What’s up?” I asked.

“Missing woman.”

“Since when?”

“Last night.”

“What makes her missing? It hasn’t even been twenty-four hours.”

“The woman who called said her sister was leaving an abusive husband and was supposed to let her know when she was safe by ringing the phone once at seven-thirty. The call never came. Now she can’t get hold of her. She said her sister carries your card in her wallet.”

“What’s her name?”

“The woman who called is Beth Jones. Her sister is Shirley Trudeau.”

I nodded into the phone. I can’t remember every woman I encounter, but Shirley’s name rang a bell. Since giving up my position as a Family Law attorney with Hughes and Sandown, I’d been offering free legal aid for women who needed advice but couldn’t afford it. Mostly I worked with wives trying to extricate themselves from abusive marriages. Given the reason I’d abandoned my law career, it was the least I could do. Shirley hadn’t been living at the women’s shelter, but she’d spent enough time there to have Sandra, the shelter’s director, hook her up with me.

“And Beth thinks Shirley’s husband found her?”

“That’s what it sounded like once she’d calmed down enough to form actual words.”

“I’m on my way.”

I set the phone down, making a mental note to call Sandra. She’d upgraded from a caseworker in Connecticut to Director in Portland, Maine a few months ago. I’d stopped by her office to introduce myself when she started and left my business cards. Our paths didn’t cross that often but we respected each other’s work and always took a few minutes to chat. I knew she’d been on the swim team in college and that she could bench-press her weight. We were close in age and like minded when it came to the politics of non-profits. No doubt Beth Jones had called her too.

After a shower and a quick clean up of last night’s wine glasses, Chinese takeout containers and clothes that we’d left strewn around the living room, I locked the apartment door and began my fifteen-minute trek to our office on Middle Street. I savored my walk through the Old Port, the name given to Portland, Maine’s waterfront. The summer heat that a month ago had my shirt stuck tight against my back was a thing of the past and the snow and ice that would make walking an athletic event had not yet arrived. The cool, crisp air was like a shot of espresso. As long as I didn’t let my mind wander to what nature had in store, I could enjoy the rush.

I hit “contacts” on my phone and scanned the names for Sandra’s.

“Sandra, it’s Britt,” I said when she answered. “I wish this was a social call, but it’s not. Shirley Trudeau is missing.

“I know. Her sister called this morning. I’m on my way in now. How did you find out?”

“Her sister hired us to find her. “Was someone helping her leave?”

“She had a caseworker, but I wasn’t in on the plan. I’ll know more once I get to my office and talk to the person she was working with.”

“Okay if I call you later?”

“I don’t know how much I’ll be able to tell you. You know the rules. If she was on her way…”

I stopped mid-stride and lowered the phone from my ear. Sandra’s voice slipped away. That dead body that Griff went to look at… my gut said, Shirley Trudeau.

***

Excerpt from The Church of the Holy Child by Patricia Hale. Copyright © 2017 by Patricia Hale. Reproduced with permission from Patricia Hale. All rights reserved.

Author Patricia Hale

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Patricia Hale received her MFA degree from Goddard College. Her essays have appeared in literary magazines and the anthology, My Heart’s First Steps. Her debut novel, In the Shadow of Revenge, was published in 2013. The Church of the Holy Child is the first book in her PI series featuring the team of Griff Cole and Britt Callahan. Patricia is a member of Sister’s in Crime, Mystery Writer’s of America, NH Writer’s Project and Maine Writer’s and Publisher’s Alliance. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and two dogs.

Catch Up With Author Patricia Hale On:

Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook

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Click here to view the The Church of the Holy Child by Patricia Hale Tour Participants

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You can find a list of my reviews HERE.

For a list of free eBooks go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

Welcome to Teaser Tuesday hosted by Ambrosia  @ The Purple Booker.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read.
• Open to a random page.
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 

My Teaser for this week is from

Last Chance Motel

A Last Chance For Romance #1

by Abigail Keam

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Genre:

 My teaser from 27% in the eBook.

In this scene, Eva is looking for an old neon sign for the hotel.

Eva tugged on the sign and dragged it to where she could look at it. It was an old neon sign that was in the shape of a flamingo.

“If I remember correctly it has three colors. Very rare as most neon signs have one or two colors. The flamingo is white, which really shows up against the pink porcelain background. No vacancy is red and Vacancy is blue. The flamingo flies every five seconds or so. Really would be seen from the road.”

This is such a fun read. I was sucked right in. Might be partially because its set in the south and I’m a southern gal. Plus, I love staying in the quaint family owned motels along the coast. There are four more books in the series and each can be read as a stand alone. Different characters wind up at the Last Chance Motel and we get their stories. If this books ends up being as good as I’m hoping it is, I’ll be grabbing them too.

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Read on if you want to know more.

Synopsis

Eva Hanover – a brilliant career, a gorgeous brownstone in Brooklyn, and a sexy husband. Or, at least, she thinks so. In a wink of an eye, Eva’s husband leaves her. She loses the brownstone and her career. With only the clothes on her back, she flees cold New York for the sunnier climate of Key Largo.

As Eva puts it, her marriage went south and so does she. Stuck in Key Largo, it is sink or swim for the devastated Eva. Starting over is hard for anyone, but Eva wonders if she can. Determined to make a new life, Eva buys a rundown mid-century motel and renovates it. She hires Mike Bishop for her general contractor, but from the very beginning they cross swords of how to remodel the Last Chance Motel. It irritates Eva that many of Mike’s ideas are betters than hers. It couldn’t be that Mike bothers her because he is handsome, sexy, and rugged, could it? Eva needs is a handsome and sexy man around her like she needs another hole in her head. Yet, she finds herself drawn to Mike and is grateful for his help.

In the midst of the motel’s renovation and her growing feelings for Mike, her ex-husband shows up and begs for her forgiveness, saying the divorce was a mistake. He wants her back.

What is Eva to do? Does she throw in the towel on the motel and go back to her ex, or does she stick with the renovation and Mike? One thing Eva does know, as the Last Chance Motel comes back to life, so does she. Step by step, Eva is determined to find purpose and happiness in life again. The question is how and with which man?

Amazon

Check out the other books in the series. I just love the sassy, colorful covers and can’t to read them too!

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How about you? Got a tease? Tell me!

Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

Welcome to my Monday Minis Reviews where I share shorter reviews of books I’ve read. Except I had such fun with this one that the review isn’t that short. LOL
 

Murder On Pea Pike

A Listed And Lethal Mystery #1

by Jean Harrington

35053680

Genre: Mystery

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My Review

What a fun book. I like the lighter mysteries. You can say I’m addicted to them. They are the perfect fun stories when I need something lighter than the horror I usually read.

Murder On Pea Pike was a happy surprise.  As were some of the characters I met. Hands down, my favorite was Honey. After breaking up with her boyfriend she lands on her feet, getting a job with a big time realtors office. Too bad she runs into a snag. A big one. She finds not one but two dead bodies, and a cache of diamonds. This puts her on the list of suspects. Good thing the sheriff has a crush on her and she’s free to do some sleuthing. Otherwise, there’s a cell with her name on it, or worse.

Honey just stole my heart. She’s smart, plucky, and it was pure fun to walk in her shoes. As I mentioned, the sheriff has a crush on her, but she has a crush on her sexy boss. All through the book I wanted her to choose the guy I thought she should be with it. Not able to tell you how that turned out without spoiling things. It sure heightened my anticipation as I turned each page.

The mystery isn’t an easy one to solve. I had a couple of those ‘I see’ moments once the bad guy was revealed. The author did a great job of seeding clues throughout the book and disguising them so well you skim right past them with nary a clue yourself.

Loads of fun, strong writing that just flows right along and one of the most satisfying and surprising endings I’ve read in quite a while.

  5  Stars

Thanks so much to Camel Press and Jean Harrington for a complimentary copy of this book. My review is voluntarily given.

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Synopsis

Fresh off her ex-boyfriend’s Harley and determined to remake herself, Honey Ingersoll snags a job with handsome Sam Ridley, Eureka Falls’ biggest realtor. She’s thrilled, but her troubles are far from over.
During the sale of an abandoned farmhouse, she stumbles over the body of a young woman with big hair, silver stilettos and a bullet hole in her chest. A few days later, she discovers uncut diamonds on neighboring farmland. The owner turns up dead soon after—and once again Honey finds the body.
Sheriff Matt Rameros, who’s sweet on Honey, believes the two incidents are unrelated. Honey, now a person of interest in the murders, thinks otherwise. Why else would Sam Ridley, a big Fayetteville financial concern, and a U.S. senator all have an interest in these hardscrabble properties? Honey has to find out, or she may have fled a double-wide only to end up in a jail cell. Or worse.
Book 1 in the Listed and Lethal series.

Amazon

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

Welcome to The Friday 56 hosted by Freda’s Voice.

 

This is a really fun meme!

The only rules are to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader and find a sentence or a few (no spoilers) that grabs you and post it.

Then go over to Freda’s Voice and leave your link so we can visit your 56!

My 56 for this week is from:

Between A Ghost And A Spooky Place

 Ghosts Of London #1

  by Nic Saint

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Genre: Humorous Ghost Mystery

My 56 from the eBook

“You mean, people who have been murdered…recruit you?” she asked, wondering how that worked practically. Ghosts probably didn’t have access to their cell phones or email accounts, nor did they used the classifieds.

I’ll admit. the title and cover were why I grabbed this one. LOL I’m only about 4 chapters in but liking some of these characters already.

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Read on if you want to know more.

Synopsis

Between a Ghost and a Spooky Place is the first installment in the new Ghosts of London series of humorous ghost mysteries, featuring Harry McCabre, who is the cousin of Alice Whitehouse (The Mysteries of Bell & Whitehouse). The stories are set in London, and revolve around Harry, her new best friend Jarrett Zephyr-Thornton III (an eccentric billionaire’s son) and stalwart Inspector Darian Watley of Scotland Yard. In the first book Harry is recruited by the Wraith Wranglers, a group of ghost hunters, and future books will feature her, Jarrett, and Darian in a series of fun and exhilarating ghost adventures.

When Henrietta ‘Harry’ McCabre’s employer, a dodgy antiquarian, is found murdered, she promptly shoots to the top of Inspector Darian Watley’s suspect list. Fortunately she has a solid alibi: at the time of the murder she was delivering a rare and precious book for Buckley: the Clavicule Necroire. Soon the whole case revolves around the Necroire, as the mysterious tome allegedly has the power to turn people immortal. And since Harry was the last person to handle the book, she quickly goes from suspect to target, and from being interrogated by Darian to being protected by him, at his own apartment.

Soon the hunt is on, with billionaires, rogue priests and East End crime bosses trying to get their hands on the Clavicule Necroire… and on Harry.

Amazon

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Leave your link and I’ll drop by your 56.

Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

You can find a list of my reviews HERE.

For a list of free eBooks go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

Welcome to The Friday 56 hosted by Freda’s Voice.

 

This is a really fun meme!

The only rules are to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader and find a sentence or a few (no spoilers) that grabs you and post it.

Then go over to Freda’s Voice and leave your link so we can visit your 56!

My 56 for this week is from:

Spiral Of Hooves

  by Roland Clarke

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Genre: Mystery

My 56 from the Paperback

She thought she had made her decision, but why was she apprehensive? She was tempted to close her eyes, but staggered up and gazed out through the bungalow’s curtains at the woods behind. Hunting owls flickered like ghosts in the moonlight, their quavering hoots spurring her to prioritize her aching body.

~~~~~

Read on if you want to know more.

Synopsis

In Canada, researcher Armand Sabatier witnesses what could be the murder of groom Odette Fedon, but traumatic images from his past smother his memory, and a snowstorm buries the evidence. Harassed by nightmares but fighting through them, Armand remembers the crime a few months later. By then he is in England, where he is dragged into a plot involving international sport horse breeding.

Suspecting everyone around him, Armand is forced to brave the past that he has kept buried. But what made Armand leave France? Where did he learn to survive and fight for justice? Why is the English rider Carly Tanner treading the same path as the first victim, Odette?

Can he save Carly before he has more blood on his hands?

Amazon

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There are two covers for this book.

The first is for the paperback and the second is for the eBook.

I used the first one for the post as it’s the one I own.

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Which one do you like best?

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Leave your link and I’ll drop by your 56.

Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

You can find a list of my reviews HERE.

For a list of free eBooks go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

 .
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Vanished?
By Christer Tholin
Genre: Mystery Crime Thriller
 
He could only hope he’d get out of here in one piece.”

To come to terms with his recent divorce, Martin, an attorney in Berlin,
plans a peaceful vacation – two weeks in a Swedish summer house
seem to be the solution. It won’t be peaceful, however, and those
two weeks will change his life forever. He takes a liking to Liv, a
Swedish woman whom he meets in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, they
don’t get to have their first date – Liv disappears under
mysterious circumstances. Martin begins his search but soon realizes
he can’t find Liv in a foreign country by himself. He hires two
private investigators, and their discoveries make everything seem
even stranger.
The complexities in this suspenseful criminal case lead to a hunt across
Sweden. Martin comes close to finding answers, but his search lands
him in very real danger, eventually leading to the first deaths. Soon
he‘s wondering if he can get Liv and himself out of this situation
alive.
 
 
The author grew up in the North of Germany, Schleswig-Holstein. Today, he
lives together with his family in Stockholm, Sweden, where he works
as management consultant.


Already for ages he has been a great fan of crime stories and therefore, had
the desire to write his own crime story with the characters acting in
Sweden. This crime-fiction is now available under the title
“Vanished?”.
The crime novel starts at a slower pace – like Martin’s holidays, but the
tension goes up more and more. It comes to a number of surprising
turns giving new impulses to the story. Apart from that, the lovely
country Sweden is described with the view of a foreigner.
 
 
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
 

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

ChocolatiersWife banner

I have lots to share today!  Check out The Chocolatier’s Wife and The Chocolatier’s Ghost.

An excerpt from The Chocolatier’s Wife.

An interview with Author Cindy Lynn Speer.

And a giveaway. Don’t forget to enter!

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Author Cindy Lynn Speer has graciously answered some questions. Enjoy the interview.

Do you have any tattoos?  Where? When did you get it/them? Where are they on your body?

No, but I think of it sometimes, but I am too – I don’t think indecisive is the word, but I would like to be able to change, because I have changed.  When I was a teen, I wanted a rose in a melting block of ice.  Now I think I would like a little fox, somewhere with a sword.

I love the idea of the power of ink on skin.  I’ve used that in Blue Moon, and I suspect I will use it again.

 

Is your life anything like it was two years ago?

Yes, mostly.  I have the same job, the same hobbies.  Some new people in my life.  I think I might be more tired than I used to be, lol.

 

How long have you been writing?

My first book was published in 2005, I think.  I have been writing much longer than that, but don’t want to give away my age!  I started writing in the back of class, in my teens, stupid stories to make my friends happy.  I’ve never really stopped.

 

What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?

Talent is important.  Persistence is essential.  Luck is the thing that makes it all work out.  So, never give up.  Keep working, keep writing, but know that it only comes easy to the very lucky.  Always look for ways to get better, and never stop working on the various things a writer has to do outside of writing.  And forgive yourself when you fail, because you will – life will happen and you will realize you haven’t written on a story or done a blog or social media in weeks.  But then you go, OK.  Let’s start again.  And you keep moving forward.

 

Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

The Chocolatier’s Wife is in a tenth anniversary, illustrated hardcover edition.  We also edited it again – and yes, we caught minor little things and made tiny improvements that, while, if you have already read the book won’t rock your world, it does make me feel even happier with the book as a whole.  Also, one of my fellow swordsmen drew the maps and he is amazing.

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The Chocolatier’s Wife: ROMANCE, MAGIC, MYSTERY…. AND CHOCOLATE

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Genre: Fantasy / Mystery

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A truly original, spellbinding love story, featuring vivid characters in a highly realistic historical setting.

 

When Tasmin’s bethrothed, William, is accused of murder, she gathers her wind sprites and rushes to his home town to investigate. She doesn’t have a shred of doubt about his innocence. But as she settles in his chocolate shop, she finds more in store than she bargained for. Facing suspicious townsfolk, gossiping neighbors, and William’s own family, who all resent her kind – the sorcerer folk from the North — she must also learn to tell friend from foe, and fast. For the real killer is still on the loose – and he is intent on ruining William’s family at all cost.

 

 

Amazon

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The Chocolatier’s Ghost

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Married to her soul mate, the chocolatier William, Tasmin should not have to worry about anything at all. But when her happily ever after is interrupted by the disappearance of the town’s wise woman, she rushes in to investigate. Faced with dangers, dead bodies, and more mysterious disappearances, Tasmin and William must act fast to save their town and themselves – especially when Tasmin starts to be haunted by a most unwelcome ghost from her past…literally.

 

The Chocolatier’s Ghost is an enchanting sequel to Cindy Lynn Speer’s bestselling romantic mystery, The Chocolatier’s Wife.

Amazon

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Enjoy this excerpt from The Chocolatier’s Wife

Murder. Funny, how the idea of one’s future husband killing someone made headaches go away. It was not that she could not conceive that he was a killer; anyone who read the shipping information at the back of the newspaper, listing, among other things, the manifests of pirate ships that had been taken and destroyed, would know William was quite capable of killing. But, she reasoned, that was hot blooded killing, it was not murder. Poisoning someone with chocolate required coldness and cunning.

She moved at last, only enough to take her hair down. She stared at the pins in her hands. No. She could not believe that William was capable of cunning. He was smart, aye. But practical smart. Not without imagination, of course, you could not accuse a man who wanted to make chocolates of a lack of imagination, but he was also not the sort of man to go around blithely killing people with the very product he hoped to sell. She could not believe it.

After a while, the surprise wearing off, she tried to imagine the two paths her life might take. She thought of being at the university. She had trained there, and so she had friends as well as colleagues among the staff. Eventually she would have the seniority to teach only the advanced students, perhaps even ascend to the Circle, as her mother hoped. A life of teaching and learning how to use herbs, divining the secret meanings hidden in the wind, the rain, and the veins of leaves was hers. She was no master wizard, but she was very, very good, and she knew her life was mapped out for her here, a scholarly life of respect and decent wages and wanting for nothing. It was, clearly, a good life, which was why her family wanted it for her.

Then there was William. She tried to imagine him, blurry in her mind, by her side. A life of children, shop-keeping. It did not seem as glamorous or interesting, though she trusted she would be able to continue her studies and believed that William would provide for her, but her fame would be as his wife alone. No one would remember her save their children.  Still, it was not without its appeal, the idea of having someone who was all yours, someone to curl up against in the winter. It was harder to imagine the future, here, for she knew so little in comparison. The unknown could hold pain as well as joy.

She sighed, and went to bed, in a restless attempt at sleep for what remained of the night.

When she came down the next day she had two cases in her hands, and she was wearing her best traveling clothes. Her family looked up at her from their breakfast, as she put the heavier of the two down, her hands switching the other bag back and forth, nervous and moist on the hard, wooden handle. “You see,” she said by way of good-morning-and-here’s-my-explanation, “the problem is that I rather like him.”

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Author Cindy Lynn Speer

ChocolatiersWife author

Cindy Lynn Speer has been writing since she was 13.  She has Blue Moon and Unbalanced published by Zumaya.  Her other works, including The Chocolatier’s Wife (recently out in an illustrated hardcover to celebrate its 10th anniversary) and the Chocolatier’s Ghost, as well as the short story anthology Wishes and Sorrows.  When she is not writing she is either practicing historical swordsmanship, sewing, or pretending she can garden.  She also loves road trips and seeing nature.  Her secret side hobby is to write really boring bios about herself.  You can find out more about her at www.cindylynnspeer.com, or look for her on Facebook (Cindy Lynn Speer) and Twitter (cindylynnspeer).

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