Tag Archives: Annette Dashofy

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

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

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

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

Not what I had in mind.

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

However. . .

I never get to ride! I have no time.

Not what I had in mind.

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

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

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

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

Not exactly what I had planned.

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

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

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

To be continued in No Way Home. . .


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

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

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

# # # # # # # # # # #

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

All comments are welcomed.

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

Cover Reveal ~ No Way Home by Annette Dashofy

It is my pleasure to reveal the cover for the fifth book in the “Zoe Chambers” mystery series, No Way Home, coming out in March 2017.

no-way-home
Title: No Way Home
Series: Zoe Chambers #5
Release Date: March 14, 2017
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Henery Press
Website: Annette Dashofy

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

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


About the author
Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best-selling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series about a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania’s tight-knit Vance Township. Circle of Influence was a finalist for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2014 and Bridges Burned was nominated for the 2015 Agatha for Best Contemporary Novel. No Way Home, the fifth in the series, will hit bookstores on March 14, 2017.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card to be awarded NOW plus a signed copy of No Way Home to be mailed as soon as they become available. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends November 15, 2016 at 11:59 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

On The Job With Zoe Chambers by Annette Dashofy

With A Vengeance“You could drive a little faster, you know.”

Zoe Chambers shot a look at her partner in Medic Two’s passenger seat. “You’re the one who insisted I take the wheel.”

Earl focused on his cell phone. “The Islanders tied it up. If we’re not careful we’re gonna lose this game.”

We were the Pittsburgh Penguins in a battle to keep their play-off hopes alive. Earl had been grumbling all evening about being stuck on fire standby duty instead of perched in front of the TV. Zoe, on the other hand, couldn’t care less about hockey. With the blaze well under control, the fire chief released them, and Earl insisted Zoe drive so he could keep tabs on the score.

With an exasperated growl, Earl pocked the phone. “That’s it. I’m not watching any more.”

Zoe knew better, but kept her mouth shut.

“Seriously, though. You really could drive faster.”

“I’ll pull over and trade you seats,” she told him.

“No. No. That’s all right.”

The trip back to the garage took them along a winding secondary road through stretches of woods punctuated by clusters of decades old houses. Daffodils and forsythia bloomed vivid yellow in a few of the yards. Early spring in Pennsylvania.

The road ahead of them climbed a slight grade, guardrails and a drop on the right, a steep bank on the other side. At the top, a blind curve swept sharply to the left. In spite of Earl’s nagging, she slowed as they neared the bend.

He drummed his fingers on his door’s armrest. “You drive like a little old lady.”

“And you drive like a—”

A car screeched around the turn at the top of the hill. Momentum carried it into their lane, skidding toward them.

Zoe veered hard to the right. She didn’t look at the car careening toward her. Instead she watched the guardrail. And the steep drop beyond. She maneuvered as close to the rail as possible. Stood on the brake with both feet. Tires squealed. The ambulance’s? The car’s? Or both? She didn’t know. Didn’t care. There was nowhere else to go. Nothing more to do.

She closed her eyes and waited for the impact, praying it wouldn’t shove them through the barrier and over the hillside.

The anticipated crash didn’t happen.

She risked opening her eyes. In front of them…nothing. She checked the rearview mirror. The car tumbled, rolled, bounced down the road behind them. As she watched, it came to a stop. On its roof.

Earl reached through the narrow door to the patient compartment to grab the jump kit. He shoved it in Zoe’s lap. “Go,” he ordered. “I’ll turn the rig around and call it in.”

She dove from the ambulance and pounded down the road toward the car sitting up-side-down and crossways.

The driver hung from his shoulder harness, his neck cricked a bit, and his head against the slightly mashed roof. He blinked as she dropped to knees next to his shattered window. “Wow,” he said, his words mushy. “What happened?”

“You’ve been in an accident.” She asked him his name and learned it was Jim.

“Can you tell me if you have pain anywhere, Jim?”

“I don’t think so.” He turned his head as if searching for something.

Probably no neck injury, but she asked him about it anyway.

“My neck’s fine,” he slurred. “I dropped my bottle. Do you see it anywhere?”

The distinct scent of beer wafted from the car. “Sorry. I don’t.” She pulled a penlight from her pocket. “Do you mind if I look in your eyes?”

He squinted at her. “What for?”

Rather than launch into a medical explanation about head trauma, she said, “I want to make sure you didn’t get any glass in them.”

“My eyes are fine. Get me outta here. And find my bottle.”

She reached through the window and caught his wrist, a move she’d perfected. The patient thought she was comforting them. And she was. But she was also checking the pulse. It worked every time.

Almost.

“Don’t touch me,” he yelped.

The next thing Zoe knew, she was sitting on her backside next to the window, blood spurting from her nose.

Earl appeared at her side. “What happened?” When she looked up at him, he winced. “Oh.”

An hour later, Zoe sat on the bumper of Medic Two, holding gauze and a chemical icepack against her throbbing nose.

The fire department had responded along with the police and a second ambulance and crew, who transported the DUI patient. Remarkably he’d only sustained a few minor scrapes.

Earl ambled over to her and gingerly moved the icepack and the sterile gauze pads from her face. “I don’t think it’s broken. But I should take you to the ER just in case.”

“No way.” She snatched the icepack from him. “We need to get back so you can watch the Penguins game.”

“Too late. It’s over. We won.” He grinned at her. “And you, my friend, look like you stopped a puck.”

“Wonderful,” she sighed.


With A Vengeance is the fourth book in the Zoe Chambers mystery series, published by Henery Press, May 2016.

Pay Back
Paramedic Zoe Chambers and the rest of rural Monongahela County’s EMS and fire personnel are used to wading into the middle of trouble to rescue the sick and the injured. But when someone with an ax to grind seeks retribution by staging accident scenes and gunning down the first responders, Zoe finds herself forced to not only treat her own brethren of the front lines, but also, in her role as deputy coroner, seek out whoever is killing her friends.

At the same time, Vance Township Police Chief Pete Adams races to track down a gun, a mysterious all-terrain vehicle, and the sniper before Zoe goes back on duty, placing herself-and Pete-firmly in the gunman’s crosshairs.

# # # # # # # # # # #

About the author
Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best-selling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series about a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania’s tight-knit Vance Township. Circle Of Influence, published by Henery Press, was a finalist for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel and for the David Award for Best Mystery of 2014. Bridges Burned was an Agatha nominee for Best Contemporary Novel of 2015. With A Vengeance, the fourth in the series, is available now. Connect with Annette at annettedashofy.com.

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a print copy of With A Vengeance. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end May 13, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

All comments are welcomed.

Cover Reveal ~ With A Vengeance by Annette Dashofy

With A Vengeance

Title: With A Vengeance by Annette Dashofy
Series: Zoe Chambers #4
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Genre: Mystery
Website: www.annettedashofy.com

Paramedic Zoe Chambers and the rest of rural Monongahela County’s EMS and fire personnel are used to wading into the middle of trouble to rescue the sick and the injured. But when someone with an ax to grind seeks retribution by staging accident scenes and gunning down the first responders, Zoe finds herself forced to not only treat her own brethren of the front lines, but also, in her role as deputy coroner, seek out whoever is killing her friends.

At the same time, Vance Township Police Chief Pete Adams races to track down a gun, a mysterious all-terrain vehicle, and the sniper before Zoe goes back on duty, placing herself—and Pete—firmly in the gunman’s crosshairs

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a copy of your choice from the “Zoe Chambers” series (Circle of Influence, Lost Legacy, Bridges Burned). US entries only, please. The giveaway will end January 25 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

About the author
Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best-selling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series about a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania’s tight-knit Vance Township. CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE was a finalist for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel and for the David Award for Best Mystery of 2014. Her fourth and latest, WITH A VENGEANCE, will be released in early May.

My Musing ~ Bridges Burned by Annette Dashofy

Bridges BurnedBridges Burned by Annette Dashofy is the third book in the “Zoe Chambers” mystery series. Publisher: Henery Press, April 2015

Paramedic Zoe Chambers is used to saving lives, but when she stops a man from running into a raging inferno in a futile attempt to rescue his wife, Zoe finds herself drawn to him, and even more so to his ten-year-old daughter. She invites them both to live at the farm while the grieving widower picks up the pieces of his life.

Vance Township Police Chief Pete Adams, of course, is not happy with this setup, especially when he finds evidence implicating Zoe’s new houseguest in murder times two. When Zoe ignores Pete’s dire warnings, she runs the very real chance of burning one too many bridges, losing everything—and everyone—she holds dear.

This was a great read and I just loved watching Zoe and Pete do their best in their respective job, yet struggle in their personal life and what a tangled mess it becomes when Zoe and Pete are on the opposite sides in the murder investigation and she invites the suspect into her home.

This fast-paced drama had everything: a burning mystery that kept me engaged in all aspect of solving the crime; personal flare-ups between the two main protagonists that yearned to be uncorked; and a well-rounded action-packed tale that was cascaded into an explosive finish worthy of the book’s title. The author did a great job in keeping me in the story’s clutches and with baited breath, watching it all play out in the end. This book is the best one yet in this terrific series and I’m so happy there will be more adventures with Zoe and her friends.

On Patrol with Pete Adams by Annette Dashofy

Bridges BurnedVance Township Police Chief Pete Adams steered his SUV off Route 15 and toward the new housing development with the grandiose name of Scenic Hilltop Estates. Scenic Hilltop? Yes. The homes perched on a knoll of what had once been a family farm, overlooked scenic rolling pastures dotted with beef cattle and a couple of horses.

But Estates was pushing it a bit. A half dozen houses sided with beige vinyl and a few bricks—different designs, but clearly the same building materials—occupied the existing lots. Not one of them qualified as an estate in Pete’s mind.

He’d received a number of complaints from one resident in particular, including another call this morning. Stephen Tierney lived alone. He’d build a huge privacy fence around his property, which led Pete to wonder if the guy really hated his scenic hilltop view. . .or was he hiding something behind that barricade?

Pete cruised through the opening in the fence and parked in front of the garage. He made it halfway up the sidewalk before Tierney slammed through the front door and strode to meet him.

Rail thin and wearing dark trousers and a pale blue dress shirt, Tierney looked like he belonged in a downtown high rise instead of on a rural hilltop. “Took you long enough.”

Pete ignored the jab. “What can I do for you today?”

“Isn’t it obvious?” Tierney extended both arms as if signifying the entire world.

Pete paused. A quick look around revealed nothing but the pristine lawn and the inside view of the fence. He listened. Birds chirped in nearby trees. Insects trilled in the distance. The throaty rumble of a tractor floated on the air from somewhere up the valley. “Why don’t you just tell me?”

Tierney wrinkled his nose. “Can’t you smell it?”

“Cow manure?”

Tierney waved a dramatic hand in front of his face. “Heavens, yes. It’s awful. Not to mention the flies.”

Pete had been in a couple of dairy barns since he’d moved here from Pittsburgh years ago. The faint hint of manure wafting on the mid July breeze was nothing. But he doubted this guy wanted to hear that. “I’m sorry you feel that way.”

“You need to make him stop.”

“Him?”

“The man who’s making that racket.”

Pete assumed Tierney meant the tractor, which was almost a mile away at the moment. “Leroy Moore? His family’s owned that farm for generations.”

“Doesn’t say much for his level of intelligence or education.” Tierney sniffed. “The man should find a more suitable line of work.”

Pete eyed Tierney. “More suitable? You mean something other than providing food for your table?”

Tierney glared at him. “Let someone else do that.”

“Someone…who doesn’t live next door to you.”

Tierney smiled. “Precisely.”

“Tell me something, Mr. Tierney. Did you bother to look around before you built on this lot?”

The smile faded. “Of course I did.”

“You didn’t notice the farm over there?”

“It was February.”

Pete ran a hand over his face. Tierney had the nerve to belittle Leroy Moore’s intelligence and education—which Pete happened to know included a master’s degree in animal husbandry—yet couldn’t think far enough ahead to realize a working farm might be quiet in the winter, but not so much in the summer. “I’m afraid there isn’t anything I can do. Mr. Moore has every right to earn his livelihood the same as he and his family have always done.”

“Don’t I have a right to live where it’s quiet and doesn’t smell like a stockyard?”

Pete doubted Tierney had ever seen a stockyard, much less smelled one. “You could move.”

The man’s face flushed. “I’ll not be run out of my home.”

Pete shook his head. “Mr. Tierney, why did you choose to live in the country when you obviously hate it so much?”

His eyebrows shot up. “I don’t hate it. I love the country. I just don’t want cows smelling up the place and tractors disturbing the peace and quiet.” He jabbed a finger at Pete. “And you’re a peace officer, are you not? Talk to him and make him quit.”

Pete sighed and reminded himself he could be dealing with armed drug dealers in the city streets. He’d chosen to live in the country, too, after all. “I’ll stop in and talk to Mr. Moore.” Pete pictured the conversation and the following belly laugh over the city slicker. Not to mention a glass of Mrs. Moore’s homemade lemonade.

“Good.” Tierney gave a quick nod and turned, leaving Pete standing there alone.

Yes, he could be spending his days choking on exhaust and dealing with drive-by shootings. He much preferred complaints about manure and flies.


Check out Bridges Burned to see a more serious (and deadly) confrontation between Pete Adams and Stephen Tierney. Bridges Burned, the third book in the “Zoe Chambers” mystery series, published by Henery Press. The first two books in the series are Circle of Influence and Lost Legacy.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on April 21 for the chance to win a signed copy of Bridges Burned. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. Make sure to check your SPAM folder.

About the author
Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best selling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series about a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania’s tight-knit Vance Township. Circle Of Influence, which has been nominated for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel, was published in March 2014, followed by Lost Legacy (September 2014) and Bridges Burned, available in April 2015. Her short fiction includes a 2007 Derringer Award nominee featuring the same characters as her novels. Visit Annette at www.annettedashofy.com.

Lost Legacy by Annette Dashofy

LOST LEGACYLost Legacy by Annette Dashofy is the second book in the “Zoe Chambers” mystery series. Publisher: Henery Press, August 2014

On a sultry summer afternoon, Paramedic Zoe Chambers responds to a call and finds a farmer’s body hanging from the rafters of his hay barn. What first appears to be a suicide quickly becomes something sinister when Zoe links the victim to a pair of deaths forty-five years earlier. Her attempts to wheedle information from her mother and stepfather hit a brick wall of deception, one that brings into question everything Zoe knows about her late father, who died in a car crash when she was eight. Or did he?

Police Chief Pete Adams fears Zoe’s inquiries are setting her up for deeper heartbreak and putting her in danger. As Zoe and Pete inch closer to the truth, they discover that a missing gun links the crimes which span more than four decades. But the killer isn’t done. Two more Vance Township residents fall victim to the same gun, and when tragedy strikes too close to home, Zoe realizes her family is in the crosshairs.

This is the best book yet in this fast-paced and action-filled drama that took me my storm and I did not want to end. The author set up this story with the perfect atmosphere of a dysfunctional family where the past taints the present with a question of what are they hiding. It’s the questions that I sought as I followed the tense scenes between Zoe and her parents and her pursuit of justice and as it boiled down to a frenetic conclusion, I was breathless with anticipation as to how it all would end. This was an emotion-filled drama that had me comforted by warmth and in the next scene filled with dread. Zoe is a great heroine and I’m so glad I’m given this opportunity to get to know her better and I can’t wait to see where we go next with Zoe and the new possibilities that awaits her.

A Day in the Life of Pete Adams by Annette Dashofy

LOST LEGACYOccupation: Chief of Police for Vance Township, Pennsylvania

Most people see the title “Chief of Police” and assume I spend my day in my office, supervising my officers and doing paperwork. Not true. Not in my case. We don’t have the budget or the manpower for me to have the luxury of sitting on my—um—backside all day. From 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., I’m the officer on duty. The only officer. At least Vance Township has police coverage 24 hours a day. A lot of local municipalities around here can’t claim that.

I arrive at the station about an hour early as a rule. Gives me time to make some coffee. I miss the days when Sylvia Bassi was my secretary. No matter how early I arrived, she’d already be there with a fresh pot brewed. The young woman who replaced Sylvia is competent enough, and I can count on her being here a few minutes before eight. But as for the coffee? I’m on my own. Note to the powers-that-be at Starbucks: Have you considered opening a franchise in Dillard? I’d be a regular.

Last night, Officer Seth Metzger worked the midnight shift. He rolls in from patrol about 7:30 and we sit and discuss anything I need to know about the calls he handled overnight. This morning that amounts to a report of a prowler over on Covered Bridge Road—Seth checked it out and didn’t find anything, but I’ll head over there later and talk to the neighbors—and several reports of kids driving around and bashing mailboxes up on Ridge Road. I have a sneaking suspicion who those kids are and will pay a visit to their parents first thing.

Most days life here is quiet. Oh, we have our fair share of crime, but it’s rarely anything like what I had to deal with when I worked with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. I like the slower pace, except when we do have a big case, I don’t have access to the crime lab like we had there. There’s this young hotshot Monongahela County detective who takes entirely too much pleasure in stepping in and taking over those cases, claiming to be “helping.” What makes him really maddening is—damn it—he’s good. Then again, I trained him.

By 8:30, I’m ready to head out on patrol with plans to follow up on those overnight calls. I’ll touch base with you later.

Noon. I think I solved the case of the prowler. A masked bandit. With four feet. Yeah, a raccoon was raiding trashcans making a racket and a mess. No arrest was made. As for the kids and the mailboxes? Neither the parents nor the kids were admitting to anything. But from the looks on their faces when I pointed out tampering with mailboxes constitute a federal offense, they were guilty as hell. Hopefully I scared them straight by quoting the penalties for such foolishness.

Now I’m grabbing some lunch at Parson’s Roadhouse, a not-so-well-kept secret. It’s not on the main drag, by any means, but the parking lot is always full. I admit, I had hoped Zoe would be here. Zoe Chambers. She’s a local paramedic and deputy coroner. We’re…friends. Just friends. Her idea. But considering my history with women is almost as bad as hers with men, that might be for the best. Still, a fellow can dream, can’t he?

Anyhow, she’s not here. So I eat alone.

I may not spend all my day doing paperwork, but I do have to work on some reports after lunch. Have I mentioned I hate paperwork? There have been days I’ve let someone off with a stern warning, not just because I’m a nice guy and the idiot wasn’t likely to be a repeat offender. But because I didn’t want to have to write up a report. If you repeat that, I’ll deny it.

Around 3:00 I head back out to make another pass through the township before my shift ends. As quitting time nears, it looks like a storm is brewing. Maybe I’ll get home before the clouds open up. Uh-oh. My secretary Nancy has just radioed me. Earl Kolter, Zoe’s partner on the ambulance, called in a request for police. Dead body. A hanging. Damn. Responding with lights and sirens…


And if you’re interested in what Pete finds when he responds to this call, pick up Lost Legacy, the second book in the “Zoe Chambers” mystery series, published by Henery Press, available now. The first book in the series is Circle of Influence.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on September 24 for the chance to win a copy of LOST LEGACY. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

About the author
Annette Dashofy, a Pennsylvania farm gal born and bred, grew up with horses, cattle, and chickens. After high school, she spent five years as an EMT for the local ambulance service, giving her plenty of fodder for her Zoe Chambers mystery series including Circle Of Influence (Henery Press, March 2014) and Lost Legacy (Henery Press, September 2014). Her short fiction, including a 2007 Derringer nominee, has appeared in Spinetingler, Mysterical-e, Fish Tales: the Guppy Anthology, and Lucky Charms: 12 Crime Tales.

You can visit Annette at her website, on Twitter or on Facebook

A Day In The Life With Zoe Chambers by Annette Dashofy

Circle of InfluenceHi. My name is Zoe Chambers, and I’m a paramedic and deputy coroner for Monongahela County in Pennsylvania. I’ve been asked to share my day with you.

Today begins with the alarm going off way too early. Six a.m. It’s still dark out and the winter wind howls, the cold seeping in around the drafty windows of the circa 1850s farmhouse I share with my landlords, Mr. and Mrs. Kroll. I bundle in long johns, jeans, and a ratty, but bulky sweater before heading downstairs, careful not to trip over Merlin and Jade, my two cats. They get fed first. I’ll make do with a cup of coffee before squirming into a pair of Carhartt coveralls, a coat, and my Muck Boots to head out to the barn.

Besides my work with the county, I also manage this horse farm. In exchange, the Krolls give me a huge break on my rent, plus I can keep my gelding here. It’s the perfect deal for me. On this cold January morning, there isn’t a more welcoming sound than fifteen nickering horses. I make the rounds filling the feeders with grain. While they munch, I open the back door and check the hay supply. The round bales might hold out for two more days. I’ll have to remind Mr. Kroll to move two more down from the upper barn with his tractor.

One by one, I open the stall doors and let the horses out into the sunshine. The younger ones kick up their heels in the brisk air. The older ones drop their noses to the ground and snort at the snow, seeking out a few blades of grass. Once they’ve all been turned out, I slog back to the house for breakfast—my turn finally—and more coffee. Later, I’ll head back to the barn to clean stalls and hammer the ice out of the water buckets.

Sometimes Franklin Marshall, the county coroner, demands I come into the city to assist on an autopsy. I confess…whenever possible, I try to find an excuse to avoid the morgue. It’s not the body or the cutting that bothers me. I’ve been on some pretty gory ambulance calls and gone straight out for dinner afterwards. No problem. But with an autopsy, it’s the smell I can’t take. Franklin insists I have to get over it. Thankfully, he hasn’t called today, though, so I spend the rest of my morning in the barn. By the way…the smell of manure doesn’t bother me one bit!

After a shower and lunch, I don my Mon County EMS uniform (complete with thermal underwear). My shift doesn’t start until four o’clock, but I leave early so I can drop in at the Vance Township Police Station. I’m in luck. Chief Pete Adams is in his office.

Pete and I are friends. Good friends. Just friends. Okay, he’s hot. If I were thirteen, you could say I had a “crush” on him. But my history with men sucks. My choices haven’t been the best. Besides, he might disagree, but I know in my heart he hasn’t gotten over his ex-wife.

Sorry. I didn’t mean to ramble on about me and Pete. We enjoy each other’s company and work well together. Plus I can beat him at poker during our regular Saturday night game with a few other guys. That’s all you really need to know.

Pete and I talk about a car crash we both worked last week. One of the hardest parts of working EMS in a small community is coming upon the scene of an accident and recognizing the people involved. Pete tells me both the driver and her passenger will be okay. Thank goodness. I’d been concerned. Most times, once we drop a patient off at the ER, that’s the last we hear about them.

I leave Pete to his paperwork and head to the ambulance garage in Phillipsburg. I’ll be on duty for the next sixteen hours straight. The place is a second home to me, and the other guys on the crew are like brothers and sisters. We bicker, complain about each other’s cooking, fight over what TV show we’re going to watch, but we have each other’s backs through thick or thin.

Ten minutes before I plan to crash in my bunk, a call comes in. Another car crash with injuries. Hopefully I’ll only need my paramedic skills tonight, not my coroner’s training…It’s been fun telling you about my day, but I have to go save lives now. Bye!


You can read more about Zoe in Circle of Influence, the first book in the new “Zoe Chambers” mystery series, published by Henery Press. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

Blurb for Circle of Influence
Zoe Chambers, paramedic and deputy coroner in a rural PA township, has been privy local secrets over the years, some of them her own. But secrets become explosive when a dead body is found in the Township Board President’s abandoned car.

GIVEAWAY: Comment on this post by noon EST on March 28, and you will be entered for a chance to win a signed Advanced Reader Copy of CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE. One winner will be chosen at random. Unless specified, U.S. entries only.

Meet the author
Annette Dashofy, a Pennsylvania farm gal born and bred, grew up with horses, cattle, and chickens. After high AnnetteDschool, she spent five years as an EMT for the local ambulance service. Since then, she’s worked a variety of jobs, giving her plenty of fodder for her lifelong passion for writing. She, her husband, and their two spoiled cats live on property that was once part of her grandfather’s dairy. Her short fiction, including a 2007 Derringer nominee, has appeared in Spinetingler, Mysterical-e, and Fish Tales: the Guppy Anthology. Her newest short story appears in the Lucky Charms Anthology (December 2013).

You can visit Annette at her website, on Twitter or on Facebook


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