Tag Archives: Penguin Random House

A day in the life of Leslee Stanton Nix by Nancy Haddock

aka Nixy

Hey, there, Dru and Dru’s Readers! It’s great to see you!

So here’s a bit about my typical day. I’m usually up by eight, if not fully awake. After putting my hair in a ponytail and throwing on clothes, I feed my cat, T.C., and dog, Amber before we take a walk. Occasionally I snarf down a power bar for breakfast, but more often I head to my friend Judy’s bakery for a bite before work.

Since my two critters are inseparable, I walk them together. T.C. wears a halter with a leash that matches Amber’s collar and leash—the matchy-matchy bit courtesy of my boyfriend, Eric. Detective Eric Shoar, that is.

Eric doesn’t usually walk with us in the morning, but Amber and T.C. attract attention. And I have to say they are adorable. Amber is a German pinscher, a smaller version of a Dobbie, but larger than a min-pin. T.C. is an orange-gold tiger stripe, and I’ve been told she may have been the runt of her litter, but she’s plenty big enough. Amber prances along while T.C. pounces on every bug and leaf in her path.

We live in the apartment above the Handcraft Emporium, the arts and craft store located on the town square. I run the Emporium with my Aunt Sherry and her housemates—collectively known as the Silver Six. Each of them create different kinds of craft items—even Dab and Fix-It Fred are making metal art now. We exclusively carry work by Arkansas artists, and have an astounding variety for a modestly-sized store. Fred has a workshop in back of the retail section where he still repairs small appliances. Oh, yes, and spoils T.C. and Amber, too.

If I don’t get to Great Buns bakery for breakfast, I stop in at some point during the day. Judy Armistead and her hubby Grant make the most fabulous pastries, and they also serve a few lunch-fare items. And coffee, of course! Judy is by no means a gossip, but she keeps me up to date on news around the town square.

I see Eric at least three or four days a week, whether we take the critters to a park, go out for dinner, or just stay in. There are times he’s on duty, of course. Lilyvale isn’t exactly teeming with crime, but stuff happens. Even murders happen, and that’s when the Silver Six jump into sleuth mode. I’m right there helping and riding herd on them so they don’t get into too much trouble.

Riding herd? Who am I kidding? It’s all I can do to keep up with the Silver Six once they get wound up. I can only hope our upcoming arts and crafts festival runs with a hitch. Especially the hitch of finding another body. That’s getting old!

You can read more about Nixy in A Crime of Poison, the third book in the “Silver Six Crafting” mystery series.

The Silver Six are known for their arts and crafts—but they’re about to be tested in the art of catching a crafty killer.

It’s early October, time for the Fall Folk Art Festival and Bake Sale in Lilyvale, Arkansas. Every business along the town square will benefit from the event, including the craft store run by Leslee Stanton Nix—aka Nixy—and the Silver Six, a group of retirees. In charge of making the festival go smoothly, Nixy is confident that it will be a success.

But things become knotty when local troublemaker Cornell Lewis is found dead with a plate of Snickerdoodles from the bake sale. Two members of the Silver Six are accused of cooking up a murder plot, but Nixy knows that the cookies weren’t literally to die for. With time running out, Nixy and company must catch the actual killer. . .before the Silver Six find their number permanently reduced to four.

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Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of A Crime of Poison. U.S. entries only, please. The giveaway ends December 9, 2017. Good luck everyone!

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About the author
Nancy Haddock is the award-winning and national bestselling author of the Silver Six Crafting Mysteries. Basket Case and Paint the Town Dead are her current books in the series, and A Crime of Poison, was released a few days ago.

Nancy draws on historic wealth, southern culture, and the plain old quirkiness of places and people for her books. She lives with her husband and rescue dog Baron. Visit Nancy at nancyhaddock.com.

All comments are welcomed.

A day in the life of Amy Flowers by Gayle Leeson

Hi, lovely Dru! And Dru’s lovely readers! Dru asked me to stop by and give you guys a look into my day. Well, don’t get too excited—I live in a small rural Virginia town called Winter Garden, and not a lot happens here. . .well, unless you count the murders.

So, I try to get up in time to linger over a cup of coffee and a light breakfast before I open the Down South Café. Sometimes I can do it, and other times I hit the snooze button a bajillion times and then have to run around getting ready like a lunatic. But don’t think I don’t have my priorities straight, though. I might have to race out of the house wearing two, hopefully, well-aimed swipes of mascara and my wet hair pulled back in a ponytail, but Rory—my terrier—and Princess Eloise—Mom’s cat—are always fed and cared for before I leave the house.

I live in a small house a stone’s throw from where my mom lives with Aunt Bess. Aunt Bess is actually Great Aunt Elizabeth, but she’s always been Aunt Bess to us. Mom’s house belonged to my grandparents, and my grandmother left it to Mom when she passed. Aunt Bess had come to stay with Nana a few years after Pop died, so now she lives there with Mom. It’s great having her and Mom living so close. I enjoy my independence, but it’s nice to know people who love you are right up the hill if you need them.

I open the Down South Café at seven a.m., so I try to be there between six-thirty and a quarter ‘til in order to make sure everything is tidy, to get the coffee started, and to begin breakfast prep. Just about every morning, our first customer is Dilly Boyd. Dilly brings a smile and, usually, a tidbit of gossip, and she always leaves with a biscuit for the raccoon who lives in the woods behind her house.

The other patron we have that you could almost set your watch by is Homer Pickens. Homer comes in each day at 10:30 for a sausage biscuit and a cup of coffee. And, each day, Homer has a new hero with a quote or two that usually applies to whatever is going on in Winter Garden.

The Down South Café closes at three p.m., so after cleaning up, I usually go home and crash on the sofa with Rory for a little while. Sometimes he and I look through our cookbooks to come up with a new dish to try, and other times we either nap or watch TV.

Lately, in the evenings, I’ve enjoyed hanging out with Deputy Ryan Hall when he isn’t working or I don’t have plans with my friends. Ryan and I have been dating for nearly two months now. Who’d have thought I’d be dating a man who once investigated me for the murder of my former boss?

I’ve started selling honey from Stu Landon’s farm on consignment at the café. Drop in and get a jar. You won’t be disappointed!

You can read more about Amy in Honey-Baked Homicide, the third book in the “Down South Café” mystery series.

The owner of a delightful Southern café tastes the sharp sting of suspicion in this delectable comfort food mystery . . .

It’s fall in Winter Garden, Virginia, and business at Amy Flowers’ Down South Café has never been better. So when struggling beekeeper Stuart Landon asks Amy to sell some of his honey, she’s happy to help. The jars of honey are a sweet success, but their partnership is cut short when Amy discovers Landon’s body outside the café early one morning.

As Amy tries to figure out who could possibly have wanted to harm the unassuming beekeeper, she discovers an ever-expanding list of suspects—and they’re all buzzing mad. She’ll have to use all of her skills—and her Southern charm—to find her way out of this sticky situation. . .

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Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Honey-Baked Homicide. U.S. entries only, please. The giveaway ends December 7, 2017. Good luck everyone!

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About the author
Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series. I live in Virginia with my family, which includes my own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series!

All comments are welcomed.

A day in the life of Merry Wilkinson by Vicki Delany

Where did the year go? Summer’s over and it’s now fall, and before you know it, it’ll be Thanksgiving and then Christmas. The busiest time of the year for me. I own a design and gift shop called Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, on Jingle Bell Lane, in Rudolph New York. Rudolph calls itself America’s Christmas Town. Obviously, November and December are our busy season, but we also promote ourselves as your Year-Round Christmas destination.

Essentially, Christmas never ends in Rudolph. Some might think that’s a bit too much Christmas, but we do it because we love it. I was born into a Christmas-loving family. My Dad’s name is Noel. My siblings are Eve, Carole, and Kris. My mom, who’s an internationally renowned opera singer, is another matter, but over the years she’s taken the whole Christmas thing without too much complaint.

My dad’s a former mayor of Rudolph and he serves as the town’s official Santa Claus. In July Santa Claus (aka Dad) came to Rudolph to have his summer vacation on Lake Ontario. We made a big deal of it with a boat parade, official welcome to the town, costumed elves, Santa meeting delighted kids on the beach. I even made a summer version of my Mrs. Claus costume. Alan Anderson, local woodworker and toymaker, didn’t bother to wear something seasonal when representing Santa’s Head Toymaker, and he just about melted in the heat.

It was a lot of fun, and everyone had a great day. Until. . .

Oops. Better not say too much. I’ll let you read all about it in Hark the Herald Angels Slay, the third book in the “Year-Round Christmas” mystery series, coming November 28 from Penguin Random House.

The town of Rudolph, New York, has the Christmas spirit all year long—but when homicide heats up a summer holiday, it’s up to shop owner Merry Wilkinson to wrap up the case.

In Rudolph, Christmas in July heralds Santa’s arrival by boat to begin his summer vacation at the lake, and Merry Wilkinson, owner of Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, is looking forward to a busy weekend. But she’s caught off guard when her ex-fiancé, Max Folger, unexpectedly arrives with a team from a lifestyle magazine wanting to do a feature on the July festivities.

It’s clear that Max’s visit has less to do with business and more to do with winning back Merry’s heart. Merry has too much on her plate to deal with an old flame, but when Max is found strangled to death in Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, she must find out who wanted him dead—and stop a killer from ruining the summer holiday cheer.

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Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Hark the Herald Angels Slay. U.S. entries only, please. The giveaway ends November 28, 2017. Good luck everyone!

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About the author
Vicki Delany also writes the Lighthouse Library series under the name Eva Gates, and the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series. Body on Baker Street, the second in the series, was released in September by Crooked Lane Books. Find Vicki at www.vickidelany.com. She regularly runs giveaways and contests on Facebook.

All comments are welcomed.

A day in the life of Holly Miller by Krista Davis

We’ve had a prosperous year in Wagtail. It’s the premier resort for vacationing with dogs and cats. So instead of giving gifts and having secret Santas, we decided to help the less fortunate in the community and give them a merry Christmas. Merchants are making donations, and anyone can submit the name of a deserving Wagtailite. Elves are dispatched in the dark of night to deliver Christmas food packages, bicycles, cat trees, dog beds, and even Christmas trees.

So these days, I get to sleep in! A rare treat for me. The town is having a German-style Christmas market on the green. After a delicious inn breakfast, I bundle up and head for our booth. Working there is a study in human behavior. People are strange. We’re in the mountains, but they want Christmas ornaments in the shapes of palm trees and flamingos?

Around midnight, I dress as an elf. Even my little Jack Russell Terrier, Trixie, wears an elf outfit. We climb into a golf cart decorated like Santa’s sleigh, and drive around town leaving goodies for residents. It’s about as close as a person can get to being Santa. We’ve been spotted by a few children. Consequently, rumors are running wild at the elementary school. I’m told some children now suspect that Wagtail might actually be the North Pole.

Being out and about in the wee hours of the morning has proved to be interesting. You’d be surprised who you see sneaking around. One can’t help but wonder what they’re doing peering over their shoulders or slinking into hotels where they’re not staying. But when my Jack Russell terrier, Trixie, discovers a visitor who has been murdered, all that sneaking around takes on new meaning…

You can read more about Holly in Not a Creature Was Purring, the fifth book in the “Paws and Claws” mystery series.

Santa Claws is coming to town and checking his list for a murderer—as the New York Times bestselling Paws & Claws Mysteries continue. . .

Inn owner Holly Miller finds it ruff staying cheerful over the holidays when the dead body of a beloved businessman turns up in the pet-friendly town of Wagtail, Virginia.

Inspired by her German heritage, Holly’s grandmother has arranged for Wagtail to have a Christkindl Market packed with goodies and decorations for the howliday tourists. But Holly’s mood takes an unseasonable turn when she learns that her old flame and childhood friend Holmes Richardson has brought his fiancée home—and she’ll be staying at the Sugar Maple Inn. . .

A love triangle becomes the last thing on Holly’s mind when her Jack Russell Trixie’s nose for trouble leads her to the corpse of a pet clothing tycoon. Now Holly and her dedicated detectives—Trixie and Twinkletoes the cat—must sniff out the killer to keep Christmas from going to the dogs…

Delicious recipes for owners and pets included!
Books 1-4:
Murder, She Barked
The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer
Murder Most Howl
Mission Impawsible

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Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Not a Creature Was Purring. U.S. entries only, please. The giveaway ends November 19, 2017. Good luck everyone!

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About the author
New York Times Bestselling author Krista Davis writes the Paws and Claws Mysteries set on fictional Wagtail Mountain, a resort where people vacation with their pets. Krista also writes the Domestic Diva Mysteries. Her new series, Pen & Ink Mysteries, debuts February 29th with Color Me Murder. Like her characters, Krista has a soft spot for cats, dogs, and sweets. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with three dogs and two cats.

Follow Krista at kristadavis.com, Facebook, Pinterest, mysteryloverskitchen.com, Twitter, and killercharacters.com.

All comments are welcomed.

A day in the life with Meg Corey Chapin by Sheila Connolly

When I arrived in Granford, Massachusetts, I was ready to turn around and run after a week. My mother wanted me to fix up and sell a family home she’d inherited, that I’d seen only once in my life. It was the middle of a New England winter, and it was cold and damp (both inside and outside the house). The problem was, I’d lost my job and given up my Boston apartment, and I really had nowhere to go.

That was before my ex-boyfriend was found dead in the septic tank in my yard. And then I disrupted a town meeting to get at the truth of how he died. Heck of a way to introduce myself in a new town.

Meg’s old house

Meg’s new house

What a difference a couple of years can make! I’ve just married the “boy next door,” Seth Chapin, who literally lives next door, as his family has done for centuries. He was the one who found that body I mentioned. He really didn’t like me much when we first met. Well, that changed.

I needed a job, and I kind of knew there were apple trees on the property where I was staying (it took me a while to think of the place as “mine”), and it definitely didn’t occur to me that I could make a living from those spindly bare trees. Wrong again: Now I manage (with some skilled help) an orchard and sell my crop, and I’ve even expanded it to include more heirloom varieties. I even helped create a new and much-needed restaurant in the center of town, featuring local produce.

And I’ve solved more than one murder. I really didn’t see that coming—but who would? I don’t go looking for murder, and I don’t pretend I have any knowledge or expertise that applies, but somehow I keep getting pulled in. Don’t blame Seth, because one of those murders happened in my parents’ back yard in New Jersey.

Granby Church

Sadly, the latest victim was Monica Whitman, a nice, friendly older woman who retired to Granford with her husband. She threw herself into town activities and made friends quickly—and then she died suddenly and unexpectedly. Did I tell myself, “oh, I must go investigate?” No, of course not. I simply offered her husband my sympathy and asked if he needed help, and things got more complicated from there. The fact that the local police chief is a friend to both Seth and me is purely coincidental.

Granby old town hall

But I’m not a busybody or a know-it-all. I’m simply a member of the Granford community, by marriage and by choice. If something goes wrong in the town—and murder is the biggest wrong I can think of—I want to see it put right, and mostly I’ve been able to help. That’s what being part of a community means, and Granford is my home now.

You can read more about Meg in A Late Frost, the 11th book in the “Orchard” mystery series.

The usually quiet town of Granford, Massachusetts, is even drowsier during the colder months. But this year it’s in for a jolt when Monica Whitman moves into town. She’s a dynamo who wants to make friends fast in her new home, and she throws herself into community activities. Meg Corey, now Chapin after her marriage to Seth Chapin, is intrigued by the new arrival, who has already sold the town board on a new, fun way to bring in visitors during the off-season: WinterFare, which will feature local foods (such as Meg’s apples) and crafts, as well as entertainment.

Tragically, Monica falls ill and dies after the event in what looks like a case of food poisoning. When all the food served at WinterFare has been tested, including Meg’s apples, it becomes clear that there’s a more sinister explanation to the older woman’s sudden demise.

Meg’s investigation uncovers a bushel of potential suspects, one of whom is rotten to the core.

Includes Delicious Recipes

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Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of A Late Frost. U.S. entries only, please. The giveaway ends November 18, 2017. Good luck everyone!

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About the author
Sheila Connolly, Anthony and Agatha Award–nominated and New York Times bestselling author, writes mystery series set in Philadelphia (the Museum Mysteries), rural Massachusetts (the Orchard Mysteries), and Ireland (the County Cork Mysteries), as well as a paranormal romance series (the Relatively Dead series). She will introduce a new Victorian Village series set in Maryland in 2018. In addition, her short stories have appeared in multiple anthologies. Formerly a professional genealogist, she currently lives in Massachusetts, surrounded by many, many departed ancestors, with her husband and three cats, and owns a cottage in West Cork in Ireland, where her father’s family came from.

All comments are welcomed.

A day in the life with Elizabeth Miles by Victoria Thompson

When you make your living conning people out of their money, you have to expect good days and bad days. Today was one of the bad ones. A really bad one, in fact. It all started when my partner, Jake, made a stupid mistake and the mark we were working realized he’d been cheated. The mark had his two goons beat Jake up and then sent them after me. I didn’t stand a chance, but luckily, I remembered those women who were marching in front of the White House, which was only a few blocks from the hotel where we were staying. I figured I could blend in with them and the goons wouldn’t dare bother me. And it worked. I got away from them.

But out of the frying pan and into the fire, as somebody once said. Those women were marching to get the vote, which seems like a waste of time to me, and they’d made President Wilson so mad he was having them arrested. A night or two in jail was fine with me, since I’d be safe there, but this time the demonstrators got sentenced to three months of hard labor at a workhouse! This was not at all what I’d had in mind.

They shipped us to Virginia and threw us in jail. Literally. They hit us and dragged us and tossed us into the cells. It was so awful, this night will become known as the Night of Terror. So here I am, in a filthy workhouse with a bunch of crazy females who think they can convince men to let them vote. To make matters even worse, the food is awful, rancid and full of maggots, so now they’re talking about going on a hunger strike.

As if all of this weren’t bad enough, Oscar Thornton (the mark) and his goons know exactly where I am, and they’re working to get all of us released because they still want to kill me.

You’re probably wondering how I’ll get out of this. I don’t know yet, but I’m sure I’ll figure out something. That’s what grifters do.

You can read more about Elizabeth in City of Lies, the first book in the NEW “Counterfeit Lady” mystery series.

Every woman plays a part — but some are more dangerous than others. . .

Like most women, Elizabeth Miles assumes many roles; unlike most, hers have made her a woman on the run. Living on the edge of society, Eliz uses her wiles (and wits) to make a living from the ill-gotten gains of so-called respectable men. But brutal and greedy entrepreneur Oscar Thornton has lost a great deal of money and is not going to forgive a woman for outwitting him. He’s out for blood. With his thugs hot on her trail, Elizabeth seizes the moment to blend in with a group of women with an agenda of their own. Even when they’re arrested, she still counts herself lucky; after all, jail is the safest place she could be.

She never expects to like or understand these privileged women, but she soon comes to respect them and realizes that there may be more to life than chasing other people’s fortunes. As Elizabeth forms an unlikely bond with the matriarch of the group and realizes her son Gabriel is the rarest of species, an honest man in a dishonest world, her new life begins to take shape. But Oscar Thornton hasn’t forgotten her and is biding his time in this gilded orbit, waiting to strike. Will Elizabeth’s new life be cut short by this vicious shadow from her past?

“Don’t miss City of Lies, an exciting story of intrigue, deception and love”
–Catherine Coulter
Author of Insidious

“Suffragists, socialites, grifters, and goons at the last gasp of the Gilded Age. This is how to start a series! Thompson brings an irresistible heroine onstage, backs her up with a terrific cast of sidekicks, and delivers a rattling good plot. There’s rich thread of US history skillfully woven in too. I loved it.”
–Catriona McPherson
bestselling author of the multi-award-winning Dandy Gilver series.

“Completely captivating! Clever, engaging and romantic, this unlikely suffragette will have you cheering her courage–and eagerly awaiting her next adventure. Loved it.”
–Hank Phillippi Ryan
Agatha, Anthony and Mary Higgins Clark award wining author

“Victoria Thompson gives us a fresh new series with clever Elizabeth Miles, a con artist on the run. City of Lies is the real deal, a genuinely different series. Buy this book. You’ll love it — and that’s no lie.”
— Elaine Viets
author of Fire and Ashes, an Angela Richman, Death Investigator mystery

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Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of City of Lies. U.S. entries only, please. The giveaway ends November 8, 2017. Good luck everyone!

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About the author
Edgar® and Agatha Nominated author Victoria Thompson writes the Gaslight Mystery Series, set in turn-of-the-century New York City and featuring midwife Sarah Brandt. Her latest, Murder in the Bowery, was a May 2017 release. City of Lies is the first book in her new Counterfeit Lady series, a November 2017 release from Berkley. She also contributed to the award winning writing textbook Many Genres/One Craft. Victoria teaches in the Seton Hill University master’s program in writing popular fiction. She lives in Illinois with her husband and a very spoiled little dog. Find out more at www.victoriathompson.com.

All comments are welcomed.

A day in the life with Miss An’gel Ducote by Miranda James

When you live in a house like Riverhill, occupied by your family for going on two hundred years, you have to accept the fact that people have died in the house. Most of them died of natural causes, but there could be one or two who were helped along the way to that white light. There’s no way to know for sure, and those who went unwillingly might try to linger in some form.

My sister Dickce and I have observed odd things over the many decades of our lives at Riverhill. The occasional inexplicable cold spot in the house, a door that doesn’t like to stay closed, small objects discovered in places they don’t normally reside. Nothing frightening – just odd. If you ask me whether I think Riverhill is haunted, I’d laugh and say it isn’t.

I don’t know what your definition of haunted is, but mine would include malicious spirits – if I really believed in ghosts. I tend to believe that there is usually a human hand behind most allegedly ghostly occurrences. For example, I wouldn’t put it past my sister to be the one sneaking around the house, moving things, and then claiming that she isn’t responsible.

Now, however, Dickce and I are responding to a plea from Mary Turner Catlin, granddaughter of an old friend, to figure out the source of weird goings-on in her home in Natchez. Mary Turner and her husband, Henry Howard Catlin, operate Cliffwood as a bed-and-breakfast. Mary Turner thinks there’s a ghost loose at Cliffwood, and she’s afraid if word gets out, they’ll lose business. They can’t afford to lose business, because they might lose the house that has belonged to her family for generations.

I have no doubt that the troubles are caused by human hands, but the question of course is, who is behind this? Dickce and I, along with our ward, Benjy Stephens, and our two pets, Peanut the labradoodle and Endora the Abyssinian, will be heading to Natchez to sort out the problem. I enjoy a challenge, but figuring out the motive for these shenanigans, how they are done, and who is responsible shouldn’t really be all that tough.

You can read more about Miss An’gel in Fixing To Die, the fourth book in the “Southern Ladies” mystery series.

It’s autumn down south, and An’gel and Dickce Ducote are in Natchez, Mississippi, at the request of Mary Turner Catlin, the granddaughter of an old friend. Mary and her husband, Henry Howard, live in Cliffwood, one of the beautiful antebellum homes for which Natchez is famous.

Odd things have been happening in the house for years, and the French Room in particular has become the focal point for spooky sensations. The Ducotes suspect the ghostly goings-on are caused by the living, but when a relative of the Catlins is found dead in the room, An’gel and Dickce must sift through a haunted family history to catch a killer.

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Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Fixing To Die. U.S. entries only, please. The giveaway ends October 7, 2017. Good luck everyone!

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About the author
Miranda James grew up in Mississippi on a farm but sadly, the house wasn’t an antebellum mansion. Mysteries set in old houses have always intrigued Miranda, and the books in the Southern Ladies series are all linked to antebellum houses. In addition to this series, Miranda also writes the best-selling “Cat in the Stacks” series featuring librarian Charlie Harris and his Maine Coon cat, Diesel. Their latest adventure, Claws for Concern, will be out in February 2018.

All comments are welcomed.

A day in the life of Ruby Proulx by Jessica Estevao

Only a few weeks ago I could never have predicted my day-to-day life would change so completely. Which presents some degree of difficulty as I profess myself to have psychic abilities. One could reasonably argue that I should have had some inkling I would soon find myself settled into sumptuous accommodations at my aunt’s hotel in Maine rather than rattling the roads working with my father on a Canadian medicine show. It seems like one moment I was living the life of an impoverished wanderer with nowhere to call home and a list of aliases so long I hardly remembered my real name. The next moment I had a luxurious bedroom all to myself complete with a fireplace and a sweeping view of the sea.

Perhaps I should explain. After a harrowing incident involving an electrified medical device I found myself in dire need of sanctuary. Preferably some place where the Canadian police would be unlikely to look for me. Just before abandoning me to my own devices my father suggested it was a fortuitous time to introduce myself to my Aunt Honoria who happened to live across the border from where we hawked miracle medicines and I read tarot cards for rubes that visited the medicine shows.

I took his advice and caught the first train from New Brunswick to Old Orchard, Maine. As the miles slipped by I considered the dangers of my way of life and I vowed to go straight. That is until I arrived at the Hotel Belden only to discover that Honoria ran an establishment that catered exclusively to metaphysical practitioners. Despite my good intentions, before I knew it, I found myself employed as the hotel medium.

While it is true that I do not have the exact skill set I purport to possess I should not like you to think less of me for stretching the truth concerning my abilities. I assure you I really do have otherworldly experiences. I do hear a voice from the other side that advises me; I just don’t always hear the things I share with my clients. I do, however, pride myself in delivering the sorts of messages that encourage the sitter to follow courses of action they wish to pursue but do not feel sure they should take.

Most days I give readings for guests at the hotel. Sometimes I use my trusty tarot cards with sitters and other times I rely on small twitches and squeezes I feel when linking hands in a séance circle. It is exhausting work but Honoria assures me it has been a boon to the hotel. I also help my aunt and the hotel housekeeper with various jobs around the hotel like arranging the seating and welcoming the new arrivals. I host a table in the dining room every evening. From time to time I organize and lead outings for some of our long-term guests. Recently the hotel has become a hub of the suffrage movement and that has kept me busier than ever attending rallies and marches.

I also use my position to assist a local police officer in solving some cases that have come his way. I have found that many people are far more likely to share confidences with those they believe are in touch with the world of spirit and although I say it myself, my contribution to thwarting the criminal element in my new hometown has been of considerable value. It has been surprisingly satisfying to find myself on the opposite side of the law from where I usually have operated. I intend to continue to do so as long as Officer Yancey does not uncover the secrets of my past. I very much doubt even help from the spirit world will save me from an upright officer like him.

You can read more about Ruby in Whispers of Warning, the second book in the “Change of Fortune” mystery series.

Ruby Proulx’s new life in Orchard Beach, Maine, faces some sinister complications in the next Change of Fortune Mystery by Jessica Estevao. . .

Free from the clutches of her con artist father, Ruby Proulx is starting to settle in at the Belden, her aunt Honoria’s seaside hotel. She loves finally being rooted in one place and also feels a sense of purpose as she helps Honoria keep her business afloat by acting as a psychic medium for the hotel’s metaphysically inclined guests.

When one of the guests, renowned Spiritualist and outspoken suffragist Sophronia Foster Eldridge, checks into the hotel for a monthlong stay, Ruby finds her sense of purpose expands outside the confines of home and family. Sophronia takes Ruby under her wing and mentors her in the mediumistic abilities, encouraging her to fight for women’s rights.

But not everyone is as happy with Sophronia’s appearance in Old Orchard. When a dangerous act of sabotage is carried out and a body is found floating in the pool of a local bathhouse, Ruby takes it upon herself to find answers— and in the process learns that her new friend has been hiding some deadly secrets of her own. . .

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Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Whispers of Warning. U.S. entries only, please. The giveaway ends September 21, 2017. Good luck everyone!

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About the author
Jessica Estevao writes the Change of Fortune Mysteries. She loves the beach, mysterious happenings and all things good-naturedly paranormal. While she lives for most of the year in New Hampshire with her dark and mysterious husband and exuberant children, she spends summers on the coast of Maine where she keeps an eye out for sea monsters and mermaids.

As Jessie Crockett she’s the author of the nationally bestselling Sugar Grove Mysteries and the Daphne du Maurier Award winner, Live Free or Die.

Connect with Jessica at jessicaestevao.com.

All comments are welcomed.

My Musing ~ A Tale of Two Kitties by Sofie Kelly

A Tale of Two Kitties by Sofie Kelly is the 9th book in the “Magical Cats” mystery series. Publisher: Penguin Random House, coming September 5, 2017

In this charming mystery from the bestselling author of Paws and Effect, two magical cats have powers of detection that prove indispensable to librarian Kathleen Paulson.

With a well-placed paw on a keyboard or a pointed stare, Kathleen’s two cats, Hercules and Owen, have helped her to solve cases in the past—so she has learned to trust their instincts. But she will need to rely on them more than ever when a twenty-year-old scandal leads to murder.

The arrival of the Janes brothers has the little town of Mayville Heights buzzing. Everyone of a certain age remembers when Victor had an affair with Leo’s wife, who then died in a car accident.

Now it seems the brothers are trying to reconcile, until Kathleen finds Leo dead. The police set their sights on Leo’s son and Kathleen’s good friend Simon, who doesn’t have much of an alibi. To prove her friend innocent, Kathleen will have to dig deep into the town’s history—and into her sardine cracker supply, because Owen and Hercules don’t work for free.

Whenever I read a book in this series, it takes me on a magical journey that is so comforting. In their latest adventure, Kathleen and her intuitive cats get involved in a murder case when the past and the present co-mingle and it’s up to them to bridge the gap and find a killer who is hiding in plain sight. The tone and pacing were perfectly matched creating a nice flow throughout this light whodunit. The mystery was expertly written with plenty of intrigue that kept me glued to all that was happening. The abundance of plot twists and turns, not only enhanced the telling of this tale, but set the stage for the outcome of this drama where all the main characters played pivotal roles. This is one of the best book in this endearing series and I can’t wait to see what’s next with Owen, Hercules and Kathleen.

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FTC Full Disclosure – I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) from the publisher.