Book Excerpt: THE LADY’S ARRANGEMENT by Colleen L. Donnelly

perf5.000x8.000.inddTHE LADY’S ARRANGEMENT by Colleen L. Donnelly / Released May 31, 2017 by The Wild Rose Press

Book Excerpt

Ben was tall, and he felt even taller as he took a step closer and leaned my way. “It takes two to bind a contract, and since I’ve just withdrawn, your arrangement is null and void. And just so you know, you can thank your lucky stars I’m not staying to marry you, because I take surprises a lot better than I take orders.” His eyes stayed on mine until his gaze traveled from my face down to my boots. “And wearing trousers doesn’t make you any more suited to giving orders than wearing a skirt would make me fit for giving birth.”

My nails dug into my palms as I rolled my hands into fists. A word I’d heard Ted say when a pail slid off his bad arm came to mind. The word was immoral, but probably not too immoral for Ben Miller. “Just so you know, Mr. Miller, I’ve been running this ranch for three weeks now, in pants. I find skirts get in the way of things you’d probably be surprised I can do.”

The half-smile returned. “I won’t argue that. Skirts surely do get in the way.” Ben straightened and slapped his hat tighter on his head. “Been my experience, too.

Fortunately, neither one of us has to put up with one, since you can keep right on doing things the way you have been. I’m giving you an early parting. I’m leaving.”

BOOK EXCERPT: BEARLY DEPARTED by Meg Macy

518dJQQperLBEARLY DEPARTED by Meg Macy / Cozy Mystery / Released May 30, 2017 by Kensington Books

The Silver Bear Shop & Factory might be the cutest place around, but there’s nothing warm and fuzzy about murder. . . .

As manager of the family business, thirty-one-year-old Sasha Silverman leads a charmed life. Well, except for the part about being a single divorcée with a ticking biological clock in small-town Silver Hollow. And that’s just kid’s stuff compared to Will Taylor, the sales rep who’s set on making drastic changes to the business her parents built from scratch—with or without Sasha’s approval. . . .

But before Will digs his claws in, someone pulls the stuffing out of his plan . . . and leaves his dead body inside the factory. Reeling from shock, Sasha’s hit with more bad news—police suspect her hot-tempered uncle may have murdered Will. Sasha’s launching her own little investigation to expose the truth and prove Uncle Ross’s innocence. As she tracks Will’s biggest rivals and enemies for clues, Sasha can’t get too comfy—or she’ll become the next plaything for a killer. . . .

“You’ll fall in love with this delightful debut mystery.” —Victoria Thompson, bestselling author of Murder in Morningside 

BOOK EXCERPT

By this time in my life, at thirty-one, I planned to be a happy suburban wife chauffeuring three kids and the dog in a van. That plan had quickly shorted out. Now I managed my parents’ business in Silver Hollow, Michigan. A toy shop exclusive to teddy bears fulfilled my love for children. I could make them happy, helping them choose a best friend, and then send them home. No tears, no temper tantrums, only happy faces and squishy hugs for their new toys.

“Hey, lady? Catch!”

A pugnacious little boy tossed a bear, which I grabbed before it bounced off the ceiling fan. “Ms. Sasha, that’s what you can call me,” I said and placed the bear in a bin chock full of other brown bears. “Let’s not play catch, though.”

He flashed a mischievous grin and grabbed a white bear. This time, I gave him an ‘I dare you’ stare. The little rascal squinted at me, gauging if I was serious, and then resorted to twirling the toy by one ear over his head. That didn’t worry me. Our bears were nearly indestructible – depending on the abuse, of course.

Continue reading “BOOK EXCERPT: BEARLY DEPARTED by Meg Macy”

New Release: MURDEROUS MAYHEM AT HONEYCHURCH HALL by Hannah Dennison

61lIVUJheYL._SY346_MURDEROUS MAYHEM AT HONEYCHURCH HALL by Hannah Dennison / Mystery / Released May 2, 2017 by Minotaur Books

The fourth installment of the Honeychurch Hall mysteries finds Antique dealer Kat Stanford opening her antique business in the Devon countryside.  Word of mouth spreads but the erratic behavior of Kat’s first client causes suspicion and when he winds up connected to the Honeychurdh family a multilayered mystery presents itself.

Kat’s mother, Iris, also has a mystery of her own – the only copy of her new manuscript never arrives at her publisher.  There is every possibility that Muriel Jarvis, the postmistress and notorious busybody, may expose Iris’ secret identity as the bestselling romance writer Krystalle Storm.

In the spine-tingling climax, both past and present collide as Kat fights for her life and those she holds most dear, dancing once again with the dark forces lurking behind the grandeur of Honeychurch Hall.

HANNAH DENNISON began her writing career as a trainee reporter for a small West Country newspaper in Devon, England.  Hannah is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of American, the Willamette Writers, British Crime Writers’ Association and Toastmasters International.  She is also the author of the Vicky Hill mysteries.

 

New Release: THE NO. 2 FELINE DETECTIVE AGENCY by Mandy Morton

51pdun5X0JL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_This looks adorable …

THE NO. 2 FELINE DETECTIVE AGENCY by Mandy Morton / Cozy Mystery / Released March 28, 2017 by Minotaur Books

Mandy Morton introduces us to two best friends, Hettie and Tilly.  They do all the normal things besties do, have dinner, gossip, and fight for those who can’t.  But they are cats.  The first book in the series, The No. 2 Feline Detective Agency is a world full of just cats doing human-like things.

Hettie Bagshot has bitten off more than any cat could chew.  As soon as she launches her No. 2 Feline Detective Agency, she’s bucketed into a case:  Furcross, home for slightly olders cats, has a nasty spate of bodysnatching, and three of the residents have been stolen from their graves.  Hettie and her sidekick, Tilly, set out to reveal the terrible truth.  Is Nurse Mogadon involved in a deadly game?  Has the haberdashery department of Malkin & Sprinkle become a mortuary?  And what flavor will Betty Butter’s pie of the week be?

In a haze of catnip and pastry, Hettie steers the Furcross Case to its conclusion, but will she get there before the body count rises – and the pie sells out?

MANDY MORTON began her professional life as a musician.  More recently, she has worked as a freelance arts journalist for national and local radio.  The No. 2 Feline Detective Agency series was inspired by her own cats, Hettie and Tilly.

New Release: DEVIL’S BREATH by G.M. Malliet

519-NHxK9uL._SY346_DEVIL’S BREATH A Max Tudor Mystery by G.M. Malliet

Mystery / Released April 11, 2017 by Minotaur Books

When the body of glamorous film star Margot Browne washes ashore, Max’s former colleague Patrice Logan, heavily pregnant, asks Max for help.  It’s a perfect “closed circle” murder since Margot must have been killed by one of the actors, stylists, screenwriters, or second-tier royalty aboard the yacht where she was vacationing.  Patrice suspects the yacht’s owner, a playboy film director she’s been keeping tabs on for smuggling, but Max isn’t so sure.  Max and DCI Cotton interview the suspects as they loll about one of the luxury hotels dotting the waterfront.  Tipped by the playboy director, Max uncovers the truth about the star’s life.  But would Margot kill – or be killed – to keep her lurid past in the past?

Max’s investigation uncovers a host of motives but only one killer:  it seems Margot is not the only person on board with a secret they’d kill to keep.

G.M. MALLIET’S first St. Just mystery won the 2008 Agatha Award for Best First Novel, and was chosen by Kirkus Reviews as a best book of the year.  It was nominated for several awards, including the Anthony, the Macavity, and a Left Coast Crime award for best police procedural.  She has since been nominated for nearly every major crime-writing award, including the Anthony (audiobook and short story).  Her series debut, Wicked Autumn, featuring a former MI% agent turned vicar of a small English village debuted in the autumn of 2011.  She attended graduate school in Cambridge and Oxford; she and her husband travel frequently to the U.K., the setting for her books.

New Release: THE BOOK OF PHOENIX by Nnedi Okorafor

51xz2txrg1LTHE BOOK OF PHOENIX by Nnedi Okorafor / Cyber Punk / Released May 2, 2017 by Penguin Random House

ABOUT THE BOOK OF PHOENIX

A fiery spirit dances from the pages of the Great Book. She brings the aroma of scorched sand and ozone. She has a story to tell…. 

The Book of Phoenix is a unique work of magical futurism. A prequel to the highly acclaimed, World Fantasy Award-winning novel, Who Fears Death, it features the rise of another of Nnedi Okorafor’s powerful, memorable, superhuman women.

Phoenix was grown and raised among other genetic experiments in New York’s Tower 7. She is an “accelerated woman”—only two years old but with the body and mind of an adult, Phoenix’s abilities far exceed those of a normal human. Still innocent and inexperienced in the ways of the world, she is content living in her room speed reading e-books, running on her treadmill, and basking in the love of Saeed, another biologically altered human of Tower 7.

Then one evening, Saeed witnesses something so terrible that he takes his own life. Devastated by his death and Tower 7’s refusal to answer her questions, Phoenix finally begins to realize that her home is really her prison, and she becomes desperate to escape.

But Phoenix’s escape, and her destruction of Tower 7, is just the beginning of her story.  Before her story ends, Phoenix will travel from the United States to Africa and back, changing the entire course of humanity’s future.