Spotlight: THE AMBITIOUS ONE by Jeanette Lewis

Today’s spotlight shines on the most recent addition to the Billionaire Bride Pact Romance series –  The Ambitious One.

Description

AmbitiousOne_SMLLindsey Asher took the Billionaire Bride Pact at girl’s camp, but she’s never taken it seriously. Her dreams were always about building her own a bakery empire, not marrying a billionaire. Years later and all grown up, Lindsey has poured her heart and soul into Sugarbee’s Sweets in downtown Manhattan. All she wants for Christmas are good reviews from a pair of big-name food bloggers and plenty of customers to enjoy her sweet treats.

When Eric Kasabov parks his cookie cart in front of Sugarbee’s and starts stealing her customers, Lindsey’s resolve is tested. And when Eric’s partner starts causing trouble, Lindsey has to make a choice. How far will she go to save her store? Can rivalry turn to love?

Author’s Note: The Billionaire Bride Pact series is written to be read in any order without missing any of the story. Jump in any time! You might have some fun spotting crossover characters.

The Ambitious One is available on Amazon.

About the Author

Jeanette LewisJeanette Lewis is a bestselling author of clean romance novels. Dreaming up stories has always been one of Jeanette’s favorite things. Other favorites include family, friends, crisp Autumn days, having adventures, and frozen gummy bears.

You can connect with Jeanette on social media:

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Review: A CHANCE TO GET IT RIGHT by S. M. Spencer

Change of pace today –  a romance instead of a mystery.  I downloaded “A Chance to Get It Right” a while back,  but hadn’t found the time to read it before now.  Glad I finally did.

Description

512bg0cktlnlKatrina Jacobs knows something is missing from her life–even though most would say she has it all. But when she pays a visit to her sister in the sleepy rural town of Willows, she discovers what’s been missing.

Richard Jensen has the looks, the money and the career–now all he needs is the perfect wife. He’s convinced Katrina’s the one; he just needs to make it happen.

Terry Winters doesn’t mind the whispers going on in town–after all, he moved to Willows for his horses, and they don’t listen to rumours.

As Katrina grows fond of Willows, she finds herself caught in a battle between substance and form, learning that having it all isn’t the same as getting it right.

But is it just the town she’s enamoured with?

A Chance to Get it Right is the second instalment in the Copperhead Creek Australian Romance series, and while this is a stand-alone story with respect to the main characters, some of the characters from the first book, A Chance to Come True, make appearances as life continues in the rural town of Willows.

My Review

A sweet and lovely romance about a young woman trying to decide what she wants from her life and who she really wants to spend it with. The personalities of the two contenders are as different as could be. Their characters are well drawn, with Richard is as easy to dislike as Terry is to like. The story also provided an interesting  glimpse into small town life in Australia.  All in all, an enjoyable read with a happily ever after conclusion. I’ll be on the lookout for more books from this author.

Showcase & Giveaway: THE BODY IN THE CASKET by Katherine Hall Page

As part of a blog tour organized by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours, today’s post showcases The Body in the Casket by Katherine Hall Page. I haven’t read it yet, but it sounds like a good one!

Description

The inimitable Faith Fairchild returns in a chilling New England whodunit, inspired by the best Agatha Christie mysteries and with hints of the timeless board game Clue.

CasketFor most of her adult life, resourceful caterer Faith Fairchild has called the sleepy Massachusetts village of Aleford home. While the native New Yorker has come to know the region well, she isn’t familiar with Havencrest, a privileged enclave, until the owner of Rowan House, a secluded sprawling Arts and Crafts mansion, calls her about catering a weekend house party.

Producer/director of a string of hit musicals, Max Dane—a Broadway legend—is throwing a lavish party to celebrate his seventieth birthday. At the house as they discuss the event, Faith’s client makes a startling confession. “I didn’t hire you for your cooking skills, fine as they may be, but for your sleuthing ability. You see, one of the guests wants to kill me.”

Faith’s only clue is an ominous birthday gift the man received the week before—an empty casket sent anonymously containing a twenty-year-old Playbill from Max’s last, and only failed, production—Heaven or Hell. Consequently, Max has drawn his guest list for the party from the cast and crew. As the guests begin to arrive one by one, and an ice storm brews overhead, Faith must keep one eye on the menu and the other on her host to prevent his birthday bash from becoming his final curtain call.

Full of delectable recipes, brooding atmosphere, and Faith’s signature biting wit, The Body in the Casket is a delightful thriller that echoes the beloved mysteries of Agatha Christie and classic films such as Murder by Death and Deathtrap.

Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Read an excerpt:

Chapter One

“Have Faith in Your Kitchen,” Faith Fairchild said, answering the phone at her catering firm. She’d been busy piping choux pastry for éclairs onto a baking sheet.

“Mrs. Fairchild?”

“Yes? This is Faith Fairchild. How may I help you?”

“Please hold for Max Dane.” The voice had a plummy, slightly British tone, reminiscent of Jeeves, or Downton Abbey’s Carson. The only Max Dane Faith had heard of had been a famous Broadway musical producer, but she was pretty sure he’d died years ago. This must be another Max Dane.

She was put through quickly and a new voice said, “Hi. I know this is short notice, but I am very much hoping you are available to handle a house party I’m throwing for about a dozen guests at the end of the month. A Friday to Sunday. Not just dinner, but all the meals.”

Faith had never catered anything like this. A Friday to Sunday sounded like something out of a British pre-World War II country house novel—kippers for breakfast, Fortnum & Mason type hampers for the shoot, tea and scones, drinks and nibbles, then saddle of lamb or some other large haunch of meat for dinner with vintage clarets followed by port and Stilton—for the men only. She was intrigued.

“The first thing I need to know is where you live, Mr. Dane. Also, is this a firm date? We’ve had a mild winter so far, but January may still deliver a wallop like last year.”

A Manhattan native, Faith’s marriage more than 20 years ago to the Reverend Thomas Fairchild meant a radical change of address— from the Big Apple to the orchards of Aleford, a small suburb west of Boston. Faith had never become used to boiled dinners, First Parish’s rock hard pews and most of all, New England weather. By the end of the previous February there had been 75 inches of snow on the ground and you couldn’t see through the historic parsonage’s ground floor windows or open the front door. Teenage son Ben struggled valiantly to keep the back door clear, daily hewing a path to the garage. The resulting tunnel resembled a clip from Nanook of the North.

“I’m afraid the date is firm. The thirtieth is my birthday. A milestone one, my seventieth.” Unlike his butler or whoever had called Faith to the phone, Max Dane’s voice indicated he’d started life in one of the five boroughs. Faith was guessing the Bronx. He sounded a bit sheepish when he said “ my birthday,” as if throwing a party for himself was out of character. “And I live in Havencrest. It’s not far from Aleford, but I’d want you to be available at the house the whole time. Live in.”

Leaving her family for three days was not something Faith did often, especially since Sunday was a workday for Tom and all too occasionally Saturday was as he “polished” his sermon. (His term, which she had noticed over the years, could mean writing the whole thing.)

Ben and Amy, two years younger, seemed old enough to be on their own, but Faith had found that contrary to expectations, kids needed parents around more in adolescence than when they were toddlers. Every day brought the equivalent of scraped knees and they weren’t the kind of hurts that could be soothed by Pat The Bunny and a chocolate chip cookie. She needed more time to think about taking the job. “I’m not sure I can leave my family…” was interrupted. “I quite understand that this would be difficult,” Dane said and then he named a figure so far above anything she had ever been offered that she actually covered her mouth to keep from gasping out loud.

“Look,” he continued. “Why don’t you come by and we’ll talk in person? You can see the place and decide then.  I don’t use it myself, but the kitchen is well equipped—the rest of the house too. I’ll email directions and you can shoot me some times that work. This week if possible. I want to send out the invites right away.”

Well, it wouldn’t hurt to talk, Faith thought. And she did like seeing other people’s houses. She agreed, but before she hung up curiosity won out and she asked, “Are you related to the Max Dane who produced all those wonderful Broadway musicals?”

“Very closely. As in one and the same. See you soon.”

Faith put the phone down and turned to Pix Miller, her closest friend and part-time Have Faith employee.

“That was someone wanting Have Faith to cater a weekend long birthday celebration—for an astonishing amount of money.” She named the figure in a breathless whisper. “His name is Max Dane. Have you ever heard of him?”

“Even I know who Max Dane is. Sam took me to New York the December after we were married and we saw one of his shows. It was magical—the whole weekend was. No kids yet. We were kids ourselves. We skated at Rockefeller Center by the tree and…”

Her friend didn’t go in for sentimental journeys and tempted as she was to note Pix and Sam skated on Aleford Pond then and now, Faith didn’t want to stop the flow of memories. “Where did you stay? A suite at the Plaza?” Sam was a very successful lawyer.

Pix came down to earth. “We barely had money for the show and pre-theater dinner at Twenty-One. That was the big splurge. I honestly can’t remember where we stayed and I should, because that’s where—” She stopped abruptly and blushed, also unusual Pix behavior.

“Say no more. Nine months later along came Mark?”

“Something like that,” Pix mumbled and then in her usual more assertive voice, added “You have to do this. Not because of the money, although the man must be loaded! Think of who might be there. And the house must be amazing. We don’t have anything booked for then and I can keep an eye on the kids.”

The Millers lived next door to the parsonage and their three now grown children had been the Fairchilds’ babysitters. Pix played a more essential role: Faith’s tutor in the unforeseen intricacies of childrearing as well as Aleford’s often arcane mores. Faith’s first social faux pas as a new bride—inviting guests for dinner at eight o’clock— had happily been avoided when her first invite, Pix, gently told Faith the town’s inhabitants would be thinking bed soon at that hour, not a main course.

Faith had started her catering business in the city that never slept before she was married and was busy all year long. Here January was always a slow month for business. The holidays were over and things didn’t start to pick up until Valentine’s Day—and even then scheduling events was risky. It all came down to weather.

Pix was at the computer. Years ago she’d agreed to work at Have Faith keeping the books, the calendar, inventory—anything that did not involve any actual food preparation.

“We have a couple of receptions at the Ganley Museum and the MLK breakfast the standing clergy host.”

The first time Faith heard the term, “standing clergy”, which was the town’s men and women of any cloth, she pictured an upright somberly garbed group in rows like ninepins. And she hadn’t been far off.

“That’s pretty much it,” Pix added,  “except for a few luncheons and Amelia’s baby shower—I think she baby sat for you a couple of times when she was in high school.”

“I remember she was very reliable,” Faith said.

“Hard to believe she’s the same age as Samantha and having her second!” Pix sounded wistful. She was the type of woman born to wear a “I Spoil My Grandchildren” tee shirt. Faith wouldn’t be surprised if there were a drawer somewhere in the Miller’s house filled with tiny sweaters and booties knit by Pix, “just to be ready.” Mark Miller, the oldest, was married, but he and his wife did not seem to be in a rush to start a family.

Samantha, the middle Miller, had a long-term beau, Caleb. They were living together in trendy Park Slope, Brooklyn and Sam, an old-fashioned pater familias, had to be restrained from asking Caleb his intentions each time the young couple came to Aleford. Pix was leaning that way herself, she’d told Faith recently, noting that young couples these days were so intent on careers they didn’t hear the clock ticking.

Faith had forgotten that Amelia—who apparently had paid attention to time— was Samantha’s age and quickly changed the subject to what was uppermost in her mind—the Dane job. “Where is Havencrest?” she asked. “I thought I knew all the neighboring towns.”

“It’s not really a town so much as an enclave between Weston and Dover. I don’t think it even has a zip code. I’ve never been there, but Mother has. You can ask her about it. The houses all date to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. I believe there’s a gatehouse at the entrance. It’s an early equivalent of the mid century modern planned communities like Moon Hill in Lexington. Havencrest wasn’t a bunch of architects like that one though. Just very rich Boston Brahmin families who wanted privacy and plenty of space. I wonder how Max Dane ended up there? From what Mother has said, the houses don’t change hands, just generations.”

“I think I’ll check my email and see if there’s anything from him yet,” Faith said. “And maybe drop by to see Ursula on my way home.” Stopping to visit with Ursula Lyman Rowe, Pix’s mother, was no chore. The octogenarian was one of Faith’s favorite people. She turned back to the éclairs, which were part of a special order, and added a few more to bring to her friend.

“I know you’ll take the job,” Pix said. “I’m predicting the weekend of a lifetime!”

***

Excerpt from The Body in the Casket by Katherine Hall Page.  Copyright © 2017 by William Morrow. Reproduced with permission from William Morrow. All rights reserved.

Giveaway

Click to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway  hosted by Partners in Crime  for a chance to win one of three physical copies of Katherine Hall Page’s The Body in the Casket.

Katherine-Hall-Page-author-photo.jpgAbout the Author

Katherine Hall Page is the author of twenty-three previous Faith Fairchild mysteries, the first of which received the Agatha Award for best first mystery. The Body in the Snowdrift was honored with the Agatha Award for best novel of 2006. Page also won an Agatha for her short story “The Would-Be Widower.” The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at Malice Domestic, she has been nominated for the Edgar Award, the Mary Higgins Clark Award, and the Macavity Award. She lives in Massachusetts, and Maine, with her husband.

Catch Up With Our Author On:
Website 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!

Click here to view the The Body in the Casket by Katherine Hall Tour Participants

Review: DOUBTFUL by Ann Warner

Sometimes we do judge (select) a book by its cover. Its lovely cover was what first drew my attention to Doubtful – a romantic suspense novel  by Ann Warner.

51oi7gmbndlSynopsis (from Amazon)

Doubtful Sound, New Zealand
For Dr. Van Peters, Doubtful is a retreat after a false accusation all but ends her scientific career. For journalist David Christianson, it is a place of respite after a personal tragedy is followed by an unwelcome notoriety. Neither is looking for love or even friendship. Both want only to make it through another day. But when violence comes to Doubtful, Van and David’s only chance of survival will be each other.

My Review

Doubtful is a well written story centering around David and Van, who take an instantaneous dislike to one another.  They are both nursing emotional wounds from the past, and are thrown together by circumstances beyond their control.  The story alternates between their perspectives, highlighting each character and deepening the reader’s understanding of them as individuals as the story progresses.  I was sorry to see that the mystery elements were not as well developed as the romantic ones, especially as regards resolution of the criminal aspects of the story. It was a good read that I expect fans of romantic suspense will enjoy.

BTW, New Zealand was already on my bucket list…   based on the author’s descriptions, I think it just moved up a few spots.

FTC Disclosure:   I received a complimentary ARC of this book from NetGalley. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.

Review & Giveaway: THE TULIP SHIRT MURDERS by Heather Weidner

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As part of a Blog Tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours,  today’s post introduces  The Tulip Shirt Murders , the second Delanie Fitzgerald mystery by Heather Weidner.

Description

TulipShirtPrivate investigator Delanie Fitzgerald, and her computer hacker partner, Duncan Reynolds, are back for more sleuthing in The Tulip Shirt Murders. When a local music producer hires the duo to find out who is bootlegging his artists’ CDs, Delanie uncovers more than just copyright thieves. And if chasing bootleggers isn’t bad enough, local strip club owner and resident sleaze, Chaz Smith, pops back into Delanie’s life with more requests. The police have their man in a gruesome murder, but the loud-mouthed strip club owner thinks there is more to the open and shut case. Delanie and Duncan link a series of killings with no common threads. And they must put the rest of the missing pieces together before someone else is murdered.

The Tulip Shirt Murders is a fast-paced mystery that appeals to readers who like a strong female sleuth with a knack for getting herself in and out of humorous situations such as larping and trading elbow jabs with roller derby queens.

My Review

I enjoyed this book. Delanie Fitzgerald is a strong and likeable young woman with good instincts and an adventurous spirit.  And, like many fictional sleuths, she sometimes puts herself in a bit more danger than necessary. Her detective work has her engaged in a variety of investigations, ranging from small stuff to murder.  The murder investigation drives the well-paced plot, with a not-so predictable resolution that made sense to me.  Although her friend and computer hacking sidekick, Duncan, and his four-legged sidekick, add a more personal dimension to her character, I’d have liked to see a bit more depth in her interactions with others. Maybe I can get to know Delanie better when the next book comes out.  A book likely to be enjoyed by cozy mystery fans.

FTC Disclosure:  I received an advance review copy of this book. This has not affected  the content of my honest review. 

Giveaway

Click here to enter a Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

Purchase Links 

About the Author

TulipAuthorHeather Weidner’s short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series and 50 Shades of Cabernet. She is a member of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, Guppies, Lethal Ladies Write, and James River Writers. The Tulip Shirt Murders is her second novel in her Delanie Fitzgerald series.

Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.

Heather earned her BA in English from Virginia Wesleyan College and her MA in American literature from the University of Richmond. Through the years, she has been a technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager. She blogs regularly with the Lethal Ladies and Pens, Paws, and Claws.

Author Links

5 Tips For Successful Proofreading

Some great pointers for checking your own work from K.M.Allen.

K.M. Allan

For someone who is a writer, I’ve done very little of it lately. This is because I’ve been spending the last few months editing and proofreading the four books that make up my YA supernatural series. As a result, I’ve become pretty apt at revising drafts, or at least I’ve learned enough about proofreading to share some valuable tips.

Make A List

Before you start proofreading, you should have a list of what you want to tackle; such as…

  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • Punctuation
  • Physical Character Descriptions (eye color, hair color, tall, short, etc.)
  • Settings/Locations
  • Dialogue

Make a basic list of common proofing goals (like those above), as well as a list of things to check that are specific to your book. No one knows better than you which words or phrases you repeat, or that Timmy fell down the well in chapter three so he can’t be at school in chapter…

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Review & Giveaway: TWOFER MURDER by Lauren Carr

iRead Website new logo

As part of a Blog Tour organized by iRead Book Tours, today’s post features the latest release by  Lauren Carr – Twofer Murder.

Description

twofer-murder_3Twofer murder? What’s a twofer murder?

Twofer Murder is a treat for fans of best-selling author Lauren Carr’s fast-paced mysteries! Lauren’s latest novel contains the main characters from her three successful series: Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose mysteries. The guys go away for a fishing weekend only to get caught up in the murder of a journalist investigating fraud at a timber company. Meanwhile, the ladies are spending the weekend in the presidential suite at a posh resort where Jessica Faraday is to accept a lifetime achievement award for her late grandmother at a murder mystery writers conference. But before they have time to get their facials, they get wrapped up in their own real mystery when an up and coming author ends up dead! 

Watch the trailer:
Buy the Book:  Amazon,  Add to Goodreads

My Review

As its title implies, Twofer Murder is a double-feature – two distinct mysteries within the same novel.  Both have complex and interesting plots with plenty of twists and turns.  I loved the scenes with the animals, especially Gnarly, and his antics on the guys’ fishing trip.  Lots of good two-legged characters, too.  Perhaps a few too many for readers (like me) who have not read all of her previous series. I also think it would have been less confusing if the two stories had been told in separate books.  Although I expected to be more drawn to the ladies’ mystery,  I found the guys’ mystery more realistic and engaging. Overall, an enjoyable read for cozy mystery lovers and fans of Lauren Carr.

FTC Disclosure:  I received an advance review copy of this book. This has not affected  the content of my honest review. 

About the Author

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Instagram

Giveaway

Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card (open internationally where Amazon.com delivers gift cards) (ends Jan 27).

Interview & Spotlight: ALL THE THINGS WE LOST by Kayla Tirrell

Today I am happy to have as my guest,  Kayla Tirrell, author of the River Valley Lost & Found series. She’s here to tell us about her writing and All the Things We Lost, the first book in her  young adult, contemporary romance series.

About All The Things We Lost

ThingsLost_coverAfter her mother’s death, eighteen-year-old Katie finds herself in a town she never thought she’d see again. Lost in turmoil and sadness, a ray of hope shines when she comes face to face with Julian for the first time in years.

However, he isn’t the same boy she left behind. Reserved and covered in bruises, everyone in River Valley avoids him. Rumors of his activities run rampant.
Despite his cold attitude toward her and her own sadness, Katie can’t keep her thoughts from straying to her childhood friend.

Julian is barely keeping it together. He’s the sole provider for his family after his dad leaves. His dreams to go to college are ruined. Even his relationship with his older brother leaves its mark.

But Katie’s back in town and is stirring feelings in him he thought were lost forever.

Can they find hope and love in each other, or will the struggle to survive their desperate situations prove too much?

All The Things We Lost is a young adult contemporary romance perfect for both teens and adults. It is the first in a series of books, each revolving around a different couple living in the same, small town.

Tip: You can download All the  Things We Lost from Amazon for just 99 cents or read for free with Kindle Unlimited.

An interview with Kayla Tirrell

Earlier this year, you released a YA series set in Idaho. What made you choose Idaho?  Have you spent a lot of time there?  

I actually grew up in a small town called Kuna. River Valley is loosely based on this town. It was fun to relive some of my childhood experiences through Katie and Julian.

What challenges did you face in the writing process? How did you deal with writer’s block, and so on…?

Well, for one, I don’t actually live in Idaho anymore. So I spent a lot of time talking to my childhood friends. I asked a LOT of questions.KaylaTirrell

Writer’s block hasn’t been a problem as of yet. Finding the time to write is the real struggle.

Do you have any advice to offer other writers?  

It’s cliché, but don’t give up. I almost put All The Things We Lost down, never to be finished. I’m really glad I didn’t. I’ve met so many amazing authors and readers along the way. This book has really touched people. That’s an amazing feeling.

I am guessing you read a lot. What genre do you most enjoy reading? 

I actually don’t get to read nearly as much anymore. Writing takes a lot of my free time. But I enjoy young adult, specifically fantasy and science fiction. In fact, I have a science fiction idea that I HOPE to be writing early in 2018.

What writers or books have most inspired you?

Considering I write romance, Kasie West and Morgan Matson have been some of my biggest influences. Wendy Higgins is another.

What are you working on now?

Right now, I’m working on a collaboration with two other authors. I’m really excited about it. We recently released a collection of short stories (that’s available for free on all major retailers), but are co-authoring a full-length series together. Each one of us is writing a book in it, and it should be released early 2018.

What role does social media play in your life?

I have such a love/hate relationship with social media. I actually took a several-month hiatus when I was finishing up All The Things We Lost. I find it to be such a black hole for time. That said, I’ve so enjoyed connecting with readers and writers I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

What do you do when you’re not busy reading and writing?

I’m a mom of three very active boys. I spend a lot of time chasing them. I’m also very active in my church.

And last but not least, if you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

I really, really want to visit Russia. I’m fascinated by the architecture of their cathedrals.

About the Author

Kayla has loved to read as long as she can remember. While she started out reading spooky stories that had her hiding under her covers, she now prefers stories with a bit more kissing.

When she gets a chance to watch TV, she enjoys cheesy sci-fi and superhero shows. Most days, you’ll catch her burning dinner in an attempt to cook while reading just one more chapter.

Kayla lives in the sunshine state with her husband and three boys.

You can find Kayla on:  Amazon  Website    Twitter

Additional works by Kayla include:

To subscribe to her newsletter and receive a FREE short story, click here.

Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: ARIA TO DEATH by Nupur Tustin

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As part of a Blog Tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, the spotlight today shines on Aria to Death: A Joseph Haydn Mystery by Nurpur Tustin.

Description

Aria_cover_500x800.jpgWhen Monteverdi’s lost operas surface, so does a killer desperate to possess them. . .

Preoccupied with preparations for the opera season at Eszterháza, Kapellmeister Joseph Haydn receives a curious request from a friend in Vienna. Kaspar, an impoverished violinist with an ailing wife, wishes Haydn to evaluate a collection of scores reputed to be the lost operas of Monteverdi.

Haydn is intrigued until Her Majesty, Empress Maria Theresa, summons him with a similar request. Skeptical of the value of Kaspar’s bequest, Haydn nevertheless offers to help. But before he can examine the works, Kaspar is murdered—beaten and left to die in front of a wine tavern.

The police are quick to dismiss the death as a robbery gone wrong. But Haydn is not so sure. Kaspar’s keys were stolen and his house broken into. Could his bequest be genuine after all? And can Haydn find the true operas—and the man willing to kill for them?

(An excerpt from Aria to Death appears later in this post.)

Giveaway

Click here to enter a Rafflecopter for a chance to win a copy of Aria to Death.

 

About the Author

NT-headshot_originalA former journalist, Nupur Tustin relies upon a Ph.D. in Communication and an M.A. in English to orchestrate fictional mayhem.  The Haydn mysteries are a result of her life-long passion for classical music and its history. Childhood piano lessons and a 1903 Weber Upright share equal blame for her original compositions, available on ntustin.musicaneo.com.

Her writing includes work for Reuters and CNBC, short stories and freelance articles, and research published in peer-reviewed academic journals. She lives in Southern California with her husband, three rambunctious children, and a pit bull.

Purchase Links:  Amazon   B&N  kobo  iTunes

Read an excerpt from Aria to Death:

While he waits for Haydn’s response to his request, Kaspar is visited by a young Italian, Fabrizzio, who claims to be the son of a friend of Kaspar’s deceased uncle. But Fabrizzio, far from corroborating the story Kaspar’s uncle recounted of how he came by Monteverdi’s operas, casts even more doubt upon it…

Wilhelm Kaspar’s eyes widened. “Your father collected music?” he repeated slowly. God in heaven, could there be something after all to the strange tale his uncle had so readily believed? “Why, it must have been he who introduced my uncle to the printer who sold him Monteverdi’s music!”

“Ah, that!” Fabrizzio’s thumb gently stroked the short glossy tuft of beard on his chin, his gaze fixed on the carpet. “There was a printer, yes.” He continued to regard the worn carpet. “Father often recounted the tale to us, but”—he raised his eyes—“it was Wilhelm Dietrich who introduced the man to him.”

He leant back, holding Wilhelm Kaspar’s eyes in a pensive stare. “Whether Father set any store by the tale, I don’t know. I suppose if he had, he would have bought the music himself.”

Wilhelm Kaspar paled. “Then, the bequest. . .” Was it so completely without value? But how could that be? The attempt on the chest suggested otherwise, surely? Besides, Herr Anwalt himself was convinced of its value.

“Forgive me! I should not have spoken so plainly. Your aunt did mention your bequest to me.” Fabrizzio looked contrite. “Wilhelm Dietrich must have had the music authenticated,” he continued in a rush. “What man of the world could fail to do otherwise?”

“I. . .er. . .” Wilhelm Kaspar’s voice faltered. Onkel Dietrich had done no such thing as far as he was aware. What could have possessed the old man to buy such a parcel of old scores? And what must he have paid for it?

Fabrizzio propelled himself forward again and looked earnestly into his host’s eyes. “I would be happy to authenticate the works for you myself, if it has not yet been done. The possibility of your bequest containing the lost operas of the great master are very slim. But there may be some merit in the music, nonetheless.”

He gazed out at the overcast skies and yellow building visible through the parlor window. “I must confess as a music scholar, it quite intrigues me. This possibility of re-discovering works long held to be lost. But no. . .” He shook his head ruefully. “It is unlikely to be the case.”

He turned from the window. “There is news of the Empress having procured two such works herself. You will have heard of it, no doubt.”

Wilhelm Kaspar nodded wordlessly, his expectations ruptured. He had, until this moment, been counting on selling the works to no less a personage himself. He attempted to buoy himself up again.

“If two such works have been discovered, why should not the rest come to light?”

“Ah, yes!” Fabrizzio steepled the fingertips of his hands together. “But Her Majesty’s source claims to have unearthed them all.” He paused before continuing. “Still, there may be hope yet. If you will but allow me to examine the works.” His eyes searched the room, coming to rest upon an old bureau standing near the small clavichord.

Wilhelm Kaspar hesitated. Perhaps, Fabrizzio meant no harm. But how could he entrust his inheritance to a man he had just met? A man so adamant the bequest was without value; yet so eager to examine it?

His fingers closed nervously upon the edge of his seat. If only he had heeded Herr Anwalt’s advice to put the music in safekeeping. The lawyer had warned him another attempt might be made upon it.

“The scores are not here,” Wilhelm Kaspar uttered the lie hastily. “My lawyer has charge of them and has already arranged for them to be authenticated.” Would to God, Haydn could come to him!

“Oh!” A flash of annoyance seemed to flicker across Fabrizzio’s features. He shrugged lightly. “Well, it had best be done soon, then.” His dark eyes bore into Wilhelm Kaspar’s. “Before Her Majesty acquires the same works from another source.”

Excerpt from Aria to Death by Nupur Tustin.

Cover Reveal: HUMMUS AND HOMICIDE by Tina Kashian

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The title of this upcoming release  Hummus and Homicide —  was quick to catch this hummus lover’s attention.  I look forward to reading it in the future.  Until then, we’ll feast our eyes on its cover.

Description

HummusWhen Lucy Berberian quits her Philadelphia law firm and heads home to Ocean Crest, she knows what she’s getting—the scent of funnel cake, the sight of the wooden roller coaster, and the tastes of her family’s Mediterranean restaurant. But murder wasn’t on the menu . . .

Things are slow in the off-season in this Jersey Shore town, but Lucy doesn’t mind. She doesn’t even mind waitressing at the Kebab Kitchen. Her parents have put in a new hummus bar, with every flavor from lemon to roasted red pepper. It’s fun to see their calico cat again, and to catch up with her old BFF, who’s married to a cop now.

She could do without Heather Banks, though. The Gucci-toting ex-cheerleader is still as nasty as she was back in high school . . . and unfortunately, she’s just taken over as the local health inspector. Just minutes after eating at the Kebab Kitchen—where she’s tallied up a whole list of bogus violations—she falls down dead in the street. Word on the grapevine is it’s homicide, and Lucy’s the number one suspect . . .

Recipes included!

Coming February 27, 2018 from Kensington Books!

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