Excerpt from Bowled Over

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules and more teasers at The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along.

I am currently reading Bowled Over, a cozy mystery by Victoria Hamilton. Protagonist Jaymie Leighton, a collector of vintage kitchenware and cookbooks finds herself entangled in a murder investigation—in fact, one of the prime suspects. So, of course, she’s poking her nose into everyone else’s business and stirring up trouble.

Jamie covertly examined Kathy’s face. It looked like she’d had a shock: she was drained of color, and was still staring at the tiny screen of the cell phone. It was useless to try to sort things out with her former friend while Kathy was so distracted.

Victoria Hamilton, Bowled Over

Vintage kitchenware and cookbook collector Jaymie Leighton has been estranged from her high school best friend Kathy Cooper since they were teenagers, but she never knew what turned Kathy against her. After fireworks at a Fourth of July picnic, Jaymie discovers the body of her former friend in the park. On the ground nearby is Jaymie’s own Depression-era glass bowl, broken in two.

With her fingerprints all over the bowl and a troubled history with the victim, Jaymie suddenly finds herself at the top of the list of suspects. Did the killer intend to frame her for the murder? If so, she is ready to mix it up, because solving crimes is vintage Jaymie Leighton…

Excerpt from The Bird and the Sword

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules and more teasers at The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along.

I read a mystery/thriller book last week that was so pedantic and emotionless that I kept waiting for the surprise twist that everyone was so flat because the protagonist was really insane and had just imagined the previous thirteen years. But no… it was just… written that way…

I am now reading The Bird and the Sword, by Amy Harmon, which is a welcome change! I don’t read a lot of fantasy, but this is definitely one that I would recommend. Warring kingdoms and intrigue, a little bit of magic, and of course the romance between star-crossed lovers… It’s a fun, well-written piece, in great contrast to that other book!

My mother made words. She was a Teller, and her words were magic. She spoke and the words became life. Reality. Truth. My father knew it, and he was afraid. Words can be terrible when the truth is unwelcome.

Amy Harmon, The Bird and the Sword

birdsword long.jpg

The day my mother was killed, she told my father I wouldn’t speak again, and she told him if I died, he would die too. Then she predicted the king would sell his soul and lose his son to the sky.

My father has a claim to the throne, and he is waiting in the shadows for all of my mother’s words to come to pass. He wants desperately to be king, and I just want to be free.

But freedom will require escape, and I’m a prisoner of my mother’s curse and my father’s greed. I can’t speak or make a sound, and I can’t wield a sword or beguile a king. In a land purged of enchantment, love might be the only magic left, and who could ever love . . . a bird?

Excerpt from When We Were Sisters

Don’t forget to join the YA Scavenger Hunt, or at least to grab my prizes while you’re here!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules and more teasers at The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along.

A change from the thrillers I have been reading lately, When Emilie Richards’ When We Were Sisters is a contemporary story of two grown foster sisters revisiting their past.  When We Were Sisters is a deep, sensitive look at family and what they can mean to each other. Obviously, this one is right in my wheelhouse. The foster care system often plays a part in my YA books.

I’ve never liked hospitals. Three months ago I spent two weeks incarcerated in one, and now I like them even less. Sure, I still realize the occasional necessity, but I also realize how important it is to be freed as soon as possible.

Emilie Richards, When We Were Sisters

As children in foster care, Cecilia and Robin vowed they would be the sisters each had never had. Now superstar singer-songwriter Cecilia lives life on the edge, but when Robin is nearly killed in an accident, Cecilia drops everything to be with her.

Robin set aside her career as a successful photojournalist to create the loving family she always yearned for. But gazing through a wide-angle lens at both past and future, she sees that her marriage is disintegrating. Her attorney husband is rarely home. She and the children need Kris’s love and attention, but does Kris need them?

When Cecilia asks Robin to be the still photographer for a documentary on foster care, Robin agrees, even though Kris will be forced to take charge for the months she’s away. She gambles that he’ll prove to them both that their children—and their marriage—are a priority in his life.

Cecilia herself needs more than time with her sister. A lifetime of lies has finally caught up with her. She wants a chance to tell the real story of their childhood and free herself from the nightmares that still haunt her.

As the documentary unfolds, memories will be tested and the meaning of family redefined, but the love two young girls forged into bonds of sisterhood will help them move forward as the women they were always meant to be.

Excerpt from The Gods of Guilt

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Oh, and if you have tried to access my offer for a free copy of Diversion or another of my website-only offers in the last few weeks and were unable to because you got an error, it’s fixed now! Give it another try!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules and more teasers at The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along.

I am currently reading The Gods of Guilt, book six in Michael Connelly’s Mickey Haller series. Mickey Haller is also known as “The Lincoln Lawyer.” Michael Connelly always satisfies with lots of tension, action, and legal twists and turns, and this one is no exception.

I was left sitting on the floor, surveying the damage. I had blood on my mouth and teeth and down the crisp white shirt I was wearing. My tie was on the floor under the defense table. It was the clip-on I wear on days I visit clients in holdings cells and don’t want to get pulled through the bars.

Michael Connelly, The Gods of Guilt

Mickey Haller gets the text, “Call me ASAP – 187,” and the California penal code for murder immediately gets his attention. Murder cases have the highest stakes and the biggest paydays, and they always mean Haller has to be at the top of his game.

When Mickey learns that the victim was his own former client, a prostitute he thought he had rescued and put on the straight and narrow path, he knows he is on the hook for this one. He soon finds out that she was back in LA and back in the life. Far from saving her, Mickey may have been the one who put her in danger.

Excerpt from Takedown Twenty, a Stephanie Plum novel

Make sure you check out my latest release, Endless Change, along with some other popular new releases.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules and more teasers at The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along.

I was trying to decide whether to feature the book I finished today, or the one I started! I decided on the one that I just started on, Takedown Twenty, a Stephanie Plum novel by Janet Evanovich. In case you haven’t met Stephanie Plum, she is a scrappy bail bondsman who gets tangled up in a variety of tight situations. Additionally, she is always stuck choosing between the two men in her life, Ranger and Morelli. These books are chockful of fun characters, and the audiobooks are very entertaining. I have only just started this book, and don’t yet know what significance the disappearing/reappearing giraffe has…

“I was afraid it might have been the ‘shrooms on my pizza last night what was making me see things. I mean it’s not every day you see a giraffe running down the street.”

Janet Evanovich, Takedown Twenty

Stephanie Plum has her sights set on catching a notorious mob boss. If she doesn’t take him down, he may take her out.
 
New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum knows better than to mess with family. But when powerful mobster Salvatore “Uncle Sunny” Sunucchi goes on the lam in Trenton, it’s up to Stephanie to find him. Uncle Sunny is charged with murder for running over a guy (twice), and nobody wants to turn him in—not his poker buddies, not his bimbo girlfriend, not his two right-hand men, Shorty and Moe. Even Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, has skin in the game, because—just Stephanie’s luck—the godfather is his actual godfather. And while Morelli understands that the law is the law, his old-world grandmother, Bella, is doing everything she can to throw Stephanie off the trail.
 
It’s not just Uncle Sunny giving Stephanie the run-around. Security specialist Ranger needs her help to solve the bizarre death of a top client’s mother, a woman who happened to play bingo with Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur. Before Stephanie knows it, she’s working side by side with Ranger and Grandma at the senior center, trying to catch a killer on the loose—and the bingo balls are not rolling in their favor. 
 
With bullet holes in her car, henchmen on her tail, and a giraffe named Kevin running wild in the streets of Trenton, Stephanie will have to up her game for the ultimate takedown.

Excerpt from Wilde Lake

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules and more teasers at The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along.

I finished Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman just a couple of hours ago. Things have been pretty busy around here lately and I haven’t been able to do a lot of reading, so it took me a little while to get through. My feelings about Wilde Lake are mixed. To begin with, all of the threads of narrative seem random and confusing. I wondered a few times whether to plow on ahead. Though it has some tantalizing ‘legal thriller’ passages, it seemed to be mostly a wandering literary memoir with no particular end point in mind.

Obviously, I did keep going, and all of those messy threads do eventually get tied together in some surprising revelations. If you’re looking for a ‘typical’ legal thriller, you won’t find it here, but if you’re willing to spend some time following all of the rabbit trails, Wilde Lake may be the next read for your pile. Keep in mind there is some PG-13+ action and language.

Keep in mind there is some PG-13+ action and language. My teaser for today:

I wish I could tell you that we mourned the boy who died, but we did not. He was the one with murder in his heart and, sure enough, death found him that night. Funny how that works.

Laura Lippman, Wilde Lake

Luisa “Lu” Brant is the newly elected state’s attorney representing suburban Maryland—including the famous planned community of Columbia, created to be a utopia of racial and economic equality. Prosecuting a controversial case involving a disturbed drifter accused of beating a woman to death, the fiercely ambitious Lu is determined to avoid the traps that have destroyed other competitive, successful women. She’s going to play it smart to win this case—and win big—cementing her political future.

But her intensive preparation for trial unexpectedly dredges up painful recollections of another crime—the night when her brother, AJ, saved his best friend at the cost of another man’s life. Only eighteen, AJ was cleared by a grand jury. Justice was done. Or was it? Did the events of 1980 happen as she remembers them? She was only a child then. What details didn’t she know?

As she plunges deeper into the past, Lu is forced to face a troubling reality. The legal system, the bedrock of her entire life, does not have all the answers. But what happens when she realizes that, for the first time, she doesn’t want to know the whole truth?

Excerpt from Love, Lies and Liquor

Be sure to check out my promos in the sidebar (or if you’re reading on a narrow screen device, at the bottom)!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules and more teasers at The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along.

I have just finished one of M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin series, Love, Lies and Liquor. I’ve read a few other Agatha Raisin books and I like her as a character. She’s a down-to-earth, somewhat frumpy woman running her own detective agency. Something of a Miss Marple type. She doesn’t always make wise choices, but she’s a bright woman who manages to unwind the clues and find the perp. As long as she doesn’t get kidnapped, killed, or arrested along the way…

“Oh, you silly man,” said Agatha contemptuously, “a lot of people threaten to murder people when they get angry. I still don’t see what this has to do with me.”

“You have identified your scarf. Mrs. Jankers was found dead on the beach. She had been strangled with your scarf.”

M.C. Beaton, Love, Lies and Liquor

In Love, Lies and Liquor, Agatha Raisin is lonely. Busy as she is with her detective agency and the meetings of the Carsely Ladies’ Society, she still misses her ex-husband, James Lacey, so she welcomes his return to the cottage next door with her usual triumph of optimism over experience—especially when he invites her on holiday at a surprise location that was once very dear to him. With visions of a romantic hideaway in Italy or the Pacific dancing in her head, Agatha goes off happily with James to…Snoth-on-Sea, in Sussex.

While James may have fond memories of boyhood holidays there, Snoth-on-Sea has seen better days, as has the once-grand Palace Hotel, now run-down and tacky and freezing cold. Nor do the other guests have much to recommend them, especially the brassy honeymoon couple, Mr. and Mrs. Jankers, who pick a fight with Agatha in the dining room. But trouble has a way of following Agatha even if romance does not: Just as she and James are preparing to flee to warmer climes, Geraldine Jankers is found dead on the beach—strangled with Agatha’s scarf. So much for Agatha’s holiday fantasies: Not only is it time to put her detective skills to work, but the police are not even sure that she’ll be allowed to leave town.

Excerpt from I Found You

 

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Campnanowrimo is done, and I finished the first draft of the third book in my new cozy mystery series, and am on to my next project!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules and more teasers at The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along.

I am currently reading Lisa Jewell’s I Found You. It is a complex weaving of three different storylines related to a man who shows up on the beach with retrograde amnesia. Unlike The Girl from the Sea and several other popular tales, he hasn’t washed in from the sea, but he does get soaked in the rain. Since this man has amnesia, the reader is left wondering what role he plays in the two other storylines. Who is he and what has he been up to? I Found You has a number of interesting characters; I don’t know if any of them feature in Lisa Jewell’s other books; they have very complex backstories that leave me wanting to know more.

“Where did you come from?”

He turns and looks at her. His eyes are wide and fearful. “I have no idea.”

Lisa Jewell, I Found You

In a windswept British seaside town, single mom Alice Lake finds a man sitting on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, and no idea how he got there. Against her better judgment, she invites him inside.

Meanwhile, in a suburb of London, twenty-one-year-old Lily Monrose has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one. Then the police tell her that her husband never existed.

Twenty-three years earlier, Gray and Kirsty are teenagers on a summer holiday with their parents. Their annual trip to the quaint seaside town is passing by uneventfully, until an enigmatic young man starts paying extra attention to Kirsty. Something about him makes Gray uncomfortable—and it’s not just that he’s playing the role of protective older brother.

 

 

 

Excerpt from Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules and more teasers at The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along.

I had heard a lot of good things about Neil Gaiman’s books; I knew they were hugely popular. But I had never read any of his work before. So when I saw Neverwhere, I decided to pick it up and give it a go. It is a slow start, and I just about gave up on it before things started to get interesting, but I was sure it had to pick up, and it did! What can I compare Neverwhere to? Tim Burton meets Inkheart and Monty Python? That might about cover it! Here is my teaser:

He’s a little bit dodgy in the same way that rats are a little bit covered in fur.

Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere

Neverwhere is the story of Richard Mayhew, a young London businessman with a good heart and an ordinary life, which is changed forever when he discovers a girl bleeding on the sidewalk. He stops to help her—an act of kindness that plunges him into a world he never dreamed existed.

Slipping through the cracks of reality, Richard lands in the Neverwhere—a London of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth. The Neverwhere is home to Door, the mysterious girl Richard helped in the London Above. Door, a noblewoman whose family has been murdered, is on a quest to find the agent that slaughtered her family and thwart the destruction of this underworld kingdom. If Richard is ever to return to his former life, he must join the journey to save Door’s world—and find a way to survive.

Excerpt from Finders Keepers

I am finished my Camp Nano project with the first draft of the third book of my upcoming cozy mystery series. Here’s a little sneak peak:

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules and more teasers at The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along.

My current read is Finders Keepers by Belinda Bauer (there are, as it happens, a number of other books entitled Finders Keepers, so make sure you’re looking at the right one. A rash of kidnappings baffle the townspeople, media, and police. Multiple viewpoints converge to bring you closer to the kidnapper’s identity, and then you’re left wondering how the police are going to catch him. All of the right ingredients for a good thriller! Here is my teaser:

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Jonas knew the stages of grief by now. He knew them backwards. He could juggle them like plates. It didn’t mean he knew how they felt.

Belinda Bauer, Finders Keepers

Finders Keepers is a spine-tingling, edge-of-your-seat thriller about an alarming spree of kidnappings in the southwest of England. The eight-year-old boy had vanished from the car and—as if by slick, sick magic—had been replaced by a note on the steering wheel: “You don’t love him.” At the height of summer a dark shadow falls across Exmoor, as children begin to disappear, with each disappearance marked only by a terse, accusatory note. There are no explanations, no ransom demands, and no hope. Policeman Jonas Holly (a character returning from Bauer’s first two novels) faces a precarious journey into the warped mind of the kidnapper if he’s to stand any chance of catching him. But—still reeling from a personal tragedy—is Jonas really up to the task? There are some who would say that, when it comes to being the first line of defense, Jonas Holly may be the last man to trust.