Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!


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In Pieces

I ordered some eggs over easy and toast and then heard the ding on my phone as the waitress left our table.

“Do you need to get that?” my friend asked me.

I hated interrupting the way-too-infrequent times I get to see my friend, but sometimes my mom’s caregivers will text instead of call when she’s having a problem. “Just a sec.”

I opened the text and found the picture of a headless doll. The next image was of the missing head. And it wasn’t exactly a doll. More of a nutcracker. You know the type: dressed in a soldier uniform with a big head that allows for the nuts to fit in between his wide-opening mouth. This one had a tiny sword in one hand and a tall hat like a palace guard.

“Check this out.” I handed my phone over to my friend.

“Is this some sort of threat or just some weird coordination between mystery writers?”

I snorted. “Probably more of the latter than the first. It’s from April Hayman, one of the authors of the Ever After series.”

“Do y’all exchange pictures of broken dolls often?” She handed the phone back to me. “And should I ask for the check now?”

“No.” I laughed. “Apparently, the nutcracker from Chautona Havig’s new book, The Nutcracker Suite, has lost his head somehow.”

“Probably over some Raggedy Ann doll.”

“Cute.” I looked up at the ceiling. “April thought I might know who broke it.”

“Do you?” Her eyebrow arched and she leaned over her elbows on the table.

“I could probably make a pretty good guess. I mean, if it has to do with a nutcracker, then there are likely some mice involved.” Though I really didn’t think Chautona would have mice in her house.

“Maybe the mouse king shoved him off a high shelf?” my friend suggested. “Like yours. Don’t you have a nutcracker on that high shelf in your living room?”

“Yeah, but it’s not a soldier. Mama brought it back from Germany, though it looks more like a Leprechaun.”

My friend took a sip of her coffee. “So, if Chautona doesn’t have mice that could have broken the nutcracker, who broke it?”

“Well…” I thought of some of the sundry characters who fill my own books, but there would be no reason for them to hop into Chautona’s book to create havoc. “While Chautona doesn’t have mice, she does have a passel of kids.”

“I seem to remember somewhere that a couple of kids fought over a nutcracker and broke it. Do you suppose that’s what happened?”

I remembered that story. “I think at least one of those kids was pretty bratty. Chautona’s kids aren’t like that.”

“But it could have still happened that way, maybe they were playing with it?” My friend was certainly getting into the spirit of the mystery. “Or it could have fallen when Chautona was cleaning.”

I couldn’t answer for Chautona, but the poor guy on my high shelf likely had an inch of dust on his little green cap, not that anyone would be tall enough to see it. Which was exactly why I didn’t worry over keeping him dusted. “Either way, I certainly think she’s the one we should ask next about all of this.”

I typed in a short message and attached the pictures to the text. She had some explaining to do.

This little mystery celebrates the release of The Nutcracker Suite, the newest book in the Ever After series by Celebrate Lit. Chautona Havig offers this take on the famous Christmas story:

“Time to dance, sugarplum.”

A painter at the Meyer’s Toys factory, Clarice Stahl, knows something is strange about the way so many men come and go through Mr. Meyer’s office, especially one in particular.

Then murder strikes a little too close to home and uncorks a barrel of secrets.

When mob king, Mario Topo’s, enforcer goes missing the race is on to prove he’s behind the murder. Police and mobsters alike are after Milo Natale, and he who finds Milo first might determine the enforcer’s fate.

A race through the city, a new friend… or more… a new life in the offing. Milo and Clarice must find who killed Topo’s man and why before the police arrest him for murder or Topo’s men bump him and Clarice off,
too.

This next book in the Ever After Mysteries combines “The Nutcracker Suite” with a murder mystery set in the heart of 1920s Rockland.

Order your copy HERE.

And don’t forget to enter at the link below for an Amazon gift card giveaway.

ENTER HERE!


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I Know My Goldmine!

The knock at the door interrupted my new story. Again. I was determined to complete this 1940s retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, but between phone calls and errands, most of my story remained in my head.

My loveable rescue mutt started in on a tirade of protective barks when someone rang the doorbell.

Really? The Amazon delivery person was more than a little determined to get me to empty my porch. I put Rosie (aka Madam Barksalot) into her crate and went to the door.

Now, I live in the suburbs of Dallas, but even in my quiet neighborhood, I know better than to simply open my front door, broad daylight or not. But the fall wreath that I had put up last week completely blocked the peephole.

Grr.

The best I could do was to crack the door open. I thought there was probably a door-to-door salesman there. Over the last couple of months, we’ve entertained cable salesmen, a roofer from down the street, and a fellow attempting to sell us new windows. Well, and a girl scout, but since she came bringing me extra thin mints, I won’t count her among the nuisances.

Either way, I wasn’t expecting dusty men with crumpled fedoras pushing their way into my house.

Instant terror. The thing of nightmares. Or my suspense stories.

Rosie let out a blitz of non-stop barks in the living room. What I wouldn’t give for her sharp little teeth chasing the men off. But I took comfort that sweet hubby was only out on a short walk, and dear daughter and her taser were in the next room. She’d probably even seen the men approaching the place. “Get out of my house.”

The taller one walked through the entry hall looking at my shelves and the pictures on the wall. He made it to the living room, took one glance at Rosie in her crate, and backed away. “Not ’til you tell us where it is.”

“Huh?” I guess my expression confused them. They looked at each other and then back at me. Not that I had any answers. “What is it?”

Rosie had finally stopped barking, and the first man shushed me. “Keep your dog calm.”

The second man stepped into my dining room. “Drawers in here.”

Only in the china cabinet. “Hey.” I held up my hands, but the first guy shushed me again.

The second man pulled out the wide drawer under the glassed cabinets, and, as I discovered several years ago, learned that the drawer has no stopping device. It came out of the slot, and heavy as it was with flatware and Christmas utensils, it fell to the floor, slamming into his toes. “Ow.” He hopped up and down on first one foot and then the other. His friend, the last one at the door, came to help, but the injured man shoved him away.

“Who you shoving?” The last man acted as though to tackle the hopping fellow.

His friend who had returned from the living room yelled at him. “Keep it down.”

They hadn’t closed my door behind them, and my neighbor across the street was out sweeping the acorns off of his sidewalk. He kept glancing in the direction of my doorway. That was good.

And with so much commotion, my daughter had probably already called 911.

I lowered my voice, hoping a calming tone was coming out. “Look, this is a quiet area with nosy neighbors. The police are probably already on their way”

The first one held his hands out toward me. “Ain’t no need for that lady. We just wants the location.”

Did they break into the wrong house? “Location to what? I don’t even know you.” What in the world were they talking about?

“We wants to know where to find the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine, and don’t say you don’t know ’cause Chautona Havig done mailed choo the map.” The last fellow pointed a finger at me.

I would have to remember to thank Chautona, but I hadn’t gotten the mail yet. Had it come today? “But what if I don’t know where your mine is?” I almost said mind which would also have been appropriate.

At this point, I could see the lady who lived catty-corner to me join my across-the-street neighbor in open curiosity. I resisted the urge to wave. Wouldn’t want them to think I was okay with the men bursting in.

“Prove it.” This time, the first man pointed at me.

Were these guys for real? How was I supposed to prove that? But then, I’m a words person. Maybe I could reason with them? “Well, first, the mine is lost, right?”

“Yeah,” the trio chorused.

They might have been dressed like Indiana Jones, but they didn’t seem to be all that intelligent, though that’s a rather harsh thing for me to think. Still, I had few other options since neither the police nor my family members had made an appearance as yet. I pursued my line, “I’m at home here, so clearly I am not… lost, that is. Wouldn’t you agree?”

The expressions on the men’s faces dumbed up with wrinkles across their foreheads and their mouth’s looking like they’d just had a bite of months-old stew. “Uh, okay,” the third guy grunted.

“Second, do I look Dutch to you?” Okay, there might’ve been some Dutch ancestors way, way back in the family tree, but the question just intensified the confusion on the men’s faces. “I can prove to you that I am not.” I pulled out my phone and opened the app that had my family tree in it. Well, at least the first eight generations. “See here? Scottish.” I showed them the line from two of my grandparents. “It’s that way all around.” I didn’t mention the Native American, the French, or the German ancestors, but they couldn’t have handled anymore anyway.

Their faces looked like their brains were fairly about to pop as it was.

I casually wandered into the living room and the men followed me. “And you said it was the ‘Dutch man‘ goldmine, right?”

They nodded.

“I’m am happily female. Not a man.” I shrugged. “In conclusion, I am not lost, not Dutch, and not a man. But I do have a goldmine.” I neared the crate where my silent dog lay. Bright orange with tan markings, my Rosie can easily be described as gold.

I unlatched the door and flung it open. She immediately advanced on the trio with her protective bark and growl performance. “Madam Barksalot is my own personal goldmine.”

The men backed up, fairly falling over each other. “Cain’t you get her to quit.”

“Believe me, boys,” I shout over her earsplitting tirade. “I have tried.” Many times, but not so much in this case.

Rosie escorted them to the door. The post office deliverer was on the other side of the street, way down on the east end. I had to think of something quick before they noticed the truck. “You might give Denise Barela a holler. She lives out in California, and at one time, they had quite a lot of gold out there.” It was the first thing that I thought of and purely by accident. I really expected the police to have been here by now. They’re usually so quick.

The men glanced at each other one last time as a distant siren blared. Then they scrambled out the door and ran west, down the street and around the corner.

I gave my neighbors a wave and a thumbs-up as the siren grew closer. Then I shut the door and went to my daughter’s room. I tapped on the door and opened it a crack. “What did you tell the dispatcher, so I can connect the dots.”

She whirled around and pulled an earbud from one ear. “Did you need something?”

So much for the cavalry. And sure enough, the siren faded as he obviously passed my neighborhood. Thankfully, I hadn’t needed him.

But if the map they’d mention did end up here… well, Denise was pretty creative. She’d figure out what to do with it once she moved those fellows along. Check-in with Denise Barela tomorrow to see how she works with them.

I love these blog hops for the Ever After series! And these mysteries are so much fun. This blog hop celebrates the latest release from Rebecca Jones, The Lost Dutchman’s Secret. Here’s a little about the book:

There’s a deadly secret in them thar hills—and gold, or so they say.

Deeply in debt to a wealthy local, Charles Sinclair, Dorothy Hodges’ father finally promises she’ll pay and in gold, no less. If only Dorothy could take to take the promises he spins out of thin air and turn them into that gold, all would be well.

With the help of a strange, rumpled man, Dorothy does manage to bring payment to one of Sinclair’s sons only to discover it won’t pay off the debt. Will the next payment be enough?  The next?

When Charles Sinclair ends up dead, Dorothy is the obvious prime suspect, but Sinclair’s son isn’t so certain. Together they work to clear her name and find the real murderer of the Superstitions, but will they find the answers buried in those hills?

Find out in this next book in the Ever After Mysteries, combining beloved fairy tales and mysteries. The Lost Dutchman’s Secret offers a retelling of “Rumplestilskin” that requires more digging than a miner searching for The Lost Dutchman Mine.

The Lost Dutchman’s Secret is available. And don’t miss entering the giveaway at the link below for an Amazon gift card! Yea!

https://promosimple.com/ps/142a5/the-lost-dutchman-s-secret-marji


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Guess What I Did?

I was so honored to be a finalist for the Chrisitan Literary Awards, but then I won! Yea! So excited!


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MISSING

I was minding my own business, heading for Michael’s because the fall decorations are calling, even though it’s scorching outside. Well there’s a private airfield right across the street from the craft store, and as I got close to it, this cool plane landed. This thing looked to be 100 years old, and I couldn’t help but think about April Hayman’s hero.

He’s missing, you know. No, really. Somehow he slipped from the pages of her book and took off to parts unknown. Cathe Swanson spotted him yesterday.

So when this super-old plane landed, well, I needed a better look. I zigzagged and did a U-turn, pulling in to park in front of Bread-Zeppelin beside the private field and the neighborhood that borders it. I watched the old plane taxi closer, stopping at the hangar that was on the edge of the field.

The pilot climbed out as I shut off my car engine. Well, I knew that little guy wasn’t April’s hero, but then the passenger climbed down. The guy was a giant, like a big ole bear. He took off the leather helmet that he’d been wearing. His hair was plumb platinum. This was definitely the guy April had told us about.

I got out of my car. “Hey,” I yelled and waved both my hands over my head to get his attention.

He halted just before he reached the hangar and turned toward me, putting his hand on the pilot’s shoulder.

I wave again. “Can I ask you a question?”

He grabbed the pilot’s jacket and pointed back toward the plane. The little guy took off at run.

Oh, no. I was about to miss my chance to . . . what? Catch him? He was a Goliath for pity’s sake. But I had to try. “Hang on, hang on. Aren’t you Hugh?”

He seemed to freeze for a moment. The propellers on the plane started spinning.

I pulled out my phone and took a photo.

He glanced at the plane and then back at me.

“April is looking for you,” I called.

The man took a deep breath and then dashed back to the airplane.

“No, wait.”

“Tell her not to worry.” He climbed into passenger seat and the plane taxied down the runway.

No chance to track him down now. But at least with my photo, I could prove that he’d been here. I pulled up the image on my phone.

Grr. Clearly, I’d moved when I clicked it. Or un-clearly in this case.

Sorry, April. I tried to slow him down. Hope you’ll be hearing from him again soon!

Here’s some information about April’s book, When a Pilot Falls:

In 1923, there aren’t many pilots, but Willie Labeau didn’t let that stop… her.

A bear of a man, Hugh Taylor, needs a stunt plane pilot, and despite their rocky introduction, Willie sets off for golden California and a new life as his pilot. There’s just one little thing she has to do in addition to flying.

Leave his past alone. Period.

When the flame of her own curiosity becomes fanned by encouragement from Willie’s sister, the feisty pilot can’t help but do just a little investigating.

And Hugh vanishes.

Friends rally around her, and with all the information she can find in hand, Willie sets off to rescue Hugh and battle the evil family holding him hostage.

A fierce air race, a sincere act of humility—are they enough to free Hugh and give Willie a chance to be with him… forever?

Find out in this next book in the Ever After Mysteries, combining beloved fairy tales and mysteries. When the Pilot Falls offers a retelling of “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” that will keep you gripped to the edge of your seat as you watch hearts soar and daring dos.

When the Pilot Falls is currently available for purchase on Amazon.

Check on April’s blog tomorrow to see if she can find her hero!

And don’t miss entering for an Amazon card giveaway. Click the link below!

https://promosimple.com/ps/11b2f/when-the-pilot-falls-marji


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Spotlight #5

This was to be our final day of our WE LOVE OUR READERS sale and sweepstakes, but our prize is such a great one, we’re extending the giveaway for a week to make sure everyone who wants to enter gets the chance! So today, I’m spotlighting some ladies who have become dear friends. They cowrite the Glimpses of God devotional series and have a brand new book coming out in three weeks (August 13 to be exact).

Shirley Crowder and Harriet E. Michael grew up together on the grounds of a medical mission in Nigeria. Though the live several states apart, they have stayed good friends. When Harriet wrote her outstanding Bible study on prayer, PRAYER: IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU, Shirley used it for a unit in a small group. To help dig deeply into the book and into Scripture, Shirley created a STUDY GUIDE ON PRAYER for it. After that, they collaborated together to complete the Prayer Project with a devotional and an anthology.

Shirley is passionate about disciple-making. She is Biblical counselor commissioned by, and serving on the national Advisory Team for, The Addiction Connection. Several of her articles have appeared in “Paper Pulpit” in The Gadsden Times’ Faith section, and in a David C. Cook publication. She also writes articles for Life Bible Study, Woman’s Missionary Union, and InspiredPrompt.com. She has authored or co-authored six books.

Harriet is a wife and mother to four grown children, grandmother to two precious grandchildren, and an award-winning author. She has authored a growing number of books, including “Prayer: It’s Not About You,” a finalist in the 2011 “Women of Faith” manuscript contest. She is also a freelance writer with numerous published pieces, including more than a hundred devotions in various magazines.

Collaborating on devotionals was a perfect fit for the lifelong friends. With the launch of their coming book, GLIMPSES OF GOD: an autumn devotional for women, they will complete their second series of books with our company.

Sadly, GLIMPSES – AUTUMN isn’t available yet, but their anthology, PRAYER WARRIOR CONFESSIONS, is not only available, it’s only 99¢ today! Here’s a little about this great collection:

True accounts of prayer in action.

Read the stories of warriors. Prayer warriors. Those who have struggled with the enemy, fighting on their knees through tragedy and triumph. Cry with them. Laugh with them. Learn the insight they have learned about prayer. About themselves. About God.

Experience the reality of prayer in a new and deeper way with the true and candid stories of experiences from the battle.

Get your copy of PRAYER WARRIOR CONFESSIONS HERE!

Don’t forget to take advantage of the final day of our sale HERE!

And sign up to win our great giveaway HERE!

https://www.writeintegrity.com/sweepstakesHappy dog running through a meadow


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Spotlight 4

We’re almost done with our We Love Our Readers week at my publisher, Write Integrity Press, but if you haven’t entered our Sweepstakes for a $50 Amazon card, a new Kindle Fire, and a bunch of books, read on to find the link!

An amazing group of authors sponsored this giveaway, and I’m giving them the spotlight on my blog this week. They so inspire me.

One of the most inspirational is Joan Deneve. Her book, LOVING BROCK made it to my top ten list a few years ago when it first released, even though it isn’t a mystery, and is still there! Here’s what Joan says:

“I am one blessed woman. I’ve had the privilege to share my life with Rene’, my best friend and husband of more than forty years. We live in a small town in Alabama and together, we have a son and a daughter, seven phenomenal grandchildren, and two very spoiled dogs. I teach in a Christian school, and my passion is to help young people fall in love with Jesus and then equip them to become all God wants them to be. My other passion is writing. I love to show how God changes and restores broken people and relationships through His amazing, transforming grace.”

Learn more about Joan at her website: JoanDeneve.com

Her award-winning book Saving Eric started her “Redeemed Side of Broken” series. Here are the details:

Templetons don’t break down. Even when their worlds are falling apart.

Eric Templeton’s well-ordered life as a top CIA agent is shattered when a traitor within the agency plots to have him eliminated. Sent on a bogus mission to Africa, Eric is ambushed and critically wounded. A helicopter pilot flies him to a remote mission hospital where Dr. Brock Whitfield and his daughter, Ellie, work to save his life.

If Eric survives, his life may never be the same, and he still has to deal with the traitor who wants him dead. Eric wants justice, but Brock and Ellie know that Eric’s survival is the least of his worries. What he needs most is mercy and truth.

The completed, three-book series is on sale right now for only 99¢ per book because WE LOVE OUR READERS!

Cynthia T. Toney is another inspiring author, and she makes me laugh! She writes fiction with hope and humor that addresses issues important to tweens or teens and contains elements of mystery and romance. She says, “I love writing for tweens and teens, particularly those who speak without thinking, make poor decisions, and have love to give but don’t always know where to direct it. Young people I’ve encountered over the years inspired me to write novels that show them how wonderful, powerful, and valuable they are. Today’s tweens and teens can identify with the emotions, needs, desires, and challenges of characters in my historical as well as contemporary novels.”

You can contact Cynthia through her website: CynthiaTToney.com.

Her completed “Bird Face” series contains books that won multiple awards. Book one is called 8 Notes to a Nobody. Here is a description:

Anonymous sticky-notes, a scheming bully, and a ruined summer send fourteen-year-old Wendy down a trail of secrets and self-discovery.

“Funny how you can live your days as a clueless little kid, believing you look just fine … until someone knocks you in the heart with it.”

Wendy Robichaud doesn’t care one bit about being popular like good-looking classmates Tookie and the Sticks—until Brainiac bully John-Monster schemes against her, and someone leaves anonymous sticky-note messages all over school. Even her best friend, Jennifer, is hiding something and pulling away. But the spring program, abandoned puppies, and high school track team tryouts don’t leave much time to play detective. And the more Wendy discovers about the people around her, the more there is to learn.

When secrets and failed dreams kick off the summer after eighth grade, who will be around to support her as high school starts in the fall?

You can reach the purchase link by clicking the cover or HERE! All of the Bird Face series as well as Cynthia’s historical THE OTHER SIDE OF FREEDOM are only 99¢ each because WE LOVE OUR READERS!

And don’t forget to enter the WE LOVE OUR READERS sweepstakes by clicking HERE!


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Spotlight #3

We still love our readers this week! In case you haven’t heard, we’re giving away a $50 Amazon gift card, a Kindle Fire 8, and a selection of our Write Integrity Books to one winner. You can register at WriteIntegrity.com, but I’m spending the time highlighting the authors who have sponsored this giveaway. They are some special people!

Today’s authors both have new books coming out through Write Integrity Press!

First, meet Ruth Buchanan. Her newest book, Socially Awkward will launch in October this year. She is a Christian freelance writer who holds degrees in ministry and theology. After years of classroom teaching in the United States and overseas, she left education to pursue creative endeavors. She currently produces fiction, non-fiction, dramas, and a regular succession of fussy little to-do lists. She’s an eager reader, an enthusiastic traveler, and the world’s most reluctant runner. Ruth loves Jesus, coffee, family, church, and friends.

She lives and works in South Florida, but she’s often wandering the world in search of the perfect cup of coffee. Keep your eyes peeled, and you just might spot her. Barring that, you can always find her online: @Ruthette and https://ruthbuchananauthor.com.

Her non-fiction publication, The Proper Care and Feeding of Singles is part of our sale this week.

Every week across America, single members filter into their local congregations to worship, minister, and serve alongside their brothers and sisters in Christ. Although a minority in most

congregations, singles nevertheless compose a significant cross-section of the church body. Each blessed and challenged with individual circumstances, Christian singles not only bear a unique burden but also offer diverse perspectives on the Christian life.

Unfortunately, many Christian singles attest to feeling overlooked. Pastors and church leaders, many long married, often find themselves ill-equipped to understand the particular relational, emotional, and spiritual needs of long-term Christian singles. Worse, they’re unaware that they’re underequipped. Married church members, though sympathetic to the needs of their single friends, nevertheless struggle to bridge the divide.

Written by a dedicated Christ-follower and long-term Christian single, The Proper Care and Feeding of Singles addresses the issues with humor and grace, offering practical solutions to strengthen the bonds of love and fellowship within local congregations.

Get your copy at this LINK!

Betty Thomason Owens loves being outdoors. Her favorite season is spring, when she can work in the yard or take long walks, while thinking through a troublesome scene in one of her stories.

She is a multi-published, award-winning author of historical fiction, and fantasy-adventure. She has two full series with Write Integrity Press. Her “Legacy” series follows three generations of women who find themselves in trouble that sometimes their own choices created. Set in the early decades of the twentieth century, these historical stories have heaping helpings of romance and sprinklings of suspense.

Here “Kinsman Redeemer” series follows Annabelle Cross and her daughter-in-law Connie through tumultuous times of heartache, prejudice, and hope through a gentle way of life in the 1950’s.

In Betty’s newest book, releasing in March of 2022, she plunges into the deep end of espionage, mystery, and suspense. Watch for Still Water, the first release of her new “Home Found” series.

Her award-winning book, Annabelle’s Ruth is only 99¢ right now as part of our We Love Our Reader’s Sale.

“If you think you can come back here and throw yourself on my mercy, you are quite wrong.”

After their husbands perish in a fishing boat accident, Connie Cross determines to follow her mother-in-law, Annabelle, from Southern California to Tennessee. Her misgivings begin as they cross the bridge over the muddy Mississippi River. In their new town, where living conditions are far below their previous expectations, they must set up a household and hunt for work to survive. Thanks to the kindness of Annabelle’s handsome, young cousin, life begins to settle down. But Connie has a secret that could uproot them once again.

Inspired by the Book of Ruth, Annabelle’s Ruth is a 1950’s era “Ruth” story, set in western Tennessee.  How will Connie adapt to her new life amid the cotton farms, racial tension, and culture shock? 

I’m so thankful for the authors who are sponsoring our Sale and Giveaway. I hope you’ll take advantage of their generosity and grab their books. Oh, and by all means, enter our Sweepstakes! HERE is the link!


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Snapshot #2

Yesterday was the beginning of my publisher’s annual We Love Our Readers Sale and Sweepstakes. The publishing company does a lot to bring this opportunity to you, but many of our authors contribute and sponsor the event as well. I want to share about two other of our sponsors – these two both write mystery/suspense!

Julie Cosgrove is an award-winning author of sixteen novels as well as short stories. She developed a passion for words at a young age. She began with word search puzzles. Then she solved the word games in the daily newspapers. She and her mother shared many fun hours playing Scrabble and Hang Man.

Then, another passion developed―whodunnits. She loved the Charlie Chan, Sherlock Holmes, and Hercule Poirot movies that played on Saturday afternoons on TV. Nancy Drew and the romantic mystery novels of the late Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt kept her eyes dancing over the pages through her school years.

Later in her adult life, her passion for Christ spurred her to write faith-based fiction and devotionals for several publications, which she has been doing since 2009. Her blog, Where Did You Find God Today?  now has readers in over fifty countries.

But her passion remains mystery, the cozier the better. Now, she has mysteries stacked up on her watchlist on Britbox and a long list of cozies on her e-reader’s to-be-read list. She loves to write them as well.

You can find all of her fiction and nonfiction books as well as her blog’s link on her website, www.juliebcosgrove.com.

Her completed “Relatively Seeking Mysteries” is on sale this week because We Love Our Readers! Click the image to find out more about these three friends that get into some deep, hot water when they innocently begin investigating their ancestries. Who would think that something as benign as looking back into history could be so terribly dangerous? Learn more about book 1, One Leaf Too Many, HERE!

Suspense author Dena Netherton has a three-book series as well. “The Hunted” series is an edge of your seat psychological suspense dealing with a stalking situation that was inspired by real issues from the past. Now based in Wyoming, Dena writes with a goal to give you stories that are compelling neough to keep you up all night.

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She studied music and theater in the Midwest and in Colorado and taught music for thirty-five years. In the 1970s, when Dena was just a teenager, her family took a road trip through the Pacific Northwest, ending with a stay in Anacortes, Washington, and a ferry ride through the San Juan Islands. She was captivated by the beauty of Washington’s west coast and vowed she’d one day move to the area. Forty years later, not only did God move her to the beautiful area, He inspired her with stories set there.

Dena’s prayer as a Christian author is that her stories inspire and encourage your faith. Her goal is to write stories compelling enough to keep you ‘up all night.’ Find Dena on her website: denanetherton.me.

Her series begins with Haven’s Flight.

How can you flee from an unseen enemy?

Haven Ellingsen enrolled in Life Ventures Therapy Camp in the Cascade Mountains to help her heal from horrible memories of her mother’s violent death at the hands of an armed robber. But now, a greater fear dogs her steps. The rustle of leaves or the snap of a twig could be nothing. Or it might signal the sinister presence of the stalker who won’t stop following her. It seems like a cruel trick from God to throw Haven into another dangerous situation only a year after her mom’s murder.

He hides near her tent and listens to the girl talk with the counselor. Mostly she talks about her father. She’s unhappy, and he can’t stand to listen and do nothing about it. He needs to rescue her. He needs to make sure she doesn’t ever go back to that man. His own father was the cause of his mother’s death. And Ruth’s. He can’t let that happen again. Not with this girl. When the time is right, he’ll take her away to his hidden cabin where she’ll be safe. And he will feel peace for the first time in years.

Can one month of survival training equip a girl to face all that the rugged wilderness and a madman can dish out?

All three books of the series are on sale this week. Click the image to reach the series page on Amazon HERE.

Don’t forget to also enter our sweepstakes. We’re giving away a free Kindle Fire, a selection of books for it, and a $50 Amazon gift card to boot! You’ll not want to miss out on this opportunity. Visit WriteIntegrity.com for the scoop!


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Snapshot #1!

Today begins our Write Integrity Press annual WE LOVE OUR READERS contest. Eleven different authors are bringing this contest to you and I want to highlight two of them today.

Jerusha Agen imagines danger around every corner, but knows God is there, too. So naturally, she writes suspense infused with the hope of salvation in Jesus Christ.

With a B.A. in English and a background in screenwriting, Jerusha is a speaker, writing instructor, and Fear Warrior who sounds the call to battle against fear in our everyday lives.

Jerusha loves to hang out with her big furry dogs and little furry cats. You’ll often find her sharing irresistibly adorable photos of them in her newsletter and on social media.

Get a free suspense story from Jerusha and find more of her thrilling, fear-fighting novels at www.JerushaAgen.com.

Jerusha’s Sister’s Redeemed series is about broken people finding their way with the help of God and others. Here’s a tidbit from her first book, THIS DANCE.

No love, no pain. No God, no games.

A tragedy three years ago destroyed Nye’s rise to the top of the dancing world as an upcoming tango star, and in the process destroyed her reason for living, too. She survived the pain and built a new life resembling nothing like the one she left behind, determined never to hurt again.

Nye’s emotional walls hold up perfectly until she meets a handsome lawyer and an elderly landowner. They seem harmless, but one awakens feelings she doesn’t want and the other makes her face the God she can’t forgive. Will these two men help Nye dance again?

Kristen Hogrefe is an award-winning author and life-long learner. An educator and mentor, she teaches English online and is an inspirational speaker for schools, churches, and podcasts.

Kristen and her husband live in Florida and enjoy sharing their lake home with family and friends.

Connect with her at KristenHogrefeParnell.com where she blogs under her married
name.

Kristen’s award-winning, young-adult speculative is a dystopian book with hope. That seems an oxymoron, but it works. And clearly others agree. Two of her three books won the coveted Selah Award for speculative fiction.

Here’s a little about book 1, THE REVISIONARY from her series “The Rogues:

A Revisionary rewrites the rules.
A Rogue breaks them.
Which one is she?

Nineteen-year-old Portia Abernathy plans to earn a Dome seat and rewrite the Codex rules to rescue her exiled brother. Her journey demands answers from the past civilization, but uncovering the truth means breaking the rules she set out to rewrite.

Where will the world be in 2149? If citizens forget their past, they will be lost in an identity crisis. That’s exactly the state of the American Socialists United (ASU). This dystopian story opens in Cube 1519, a ghetto where the only use for obsolete cell phones is to throw them like rocks at mongrels. Portia and her father survive like many other citizens, with no electricity or technology and no expectation for a better life.

Written for young adults, THE REVISIONARY offers a suspenseful plot, flashbacks to America’s Revolutionary era, and a rediscovery of the founding values needed to rebuild Portia’s unraveling world. Blockbuster novels like The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Giver popularized the dystopian YA genre. THE REVISIONARY builds a dystopia of a different kind—one that looks backward to find wisdom and moves forward to offer an underlying message of heritage and hope.

Both of these authors have new books out and coming out! You can learn more about them at their author pages. And be sure to enter our Sweepstakes at WriteIntegrity.com


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Who Stole Cinderella’s Slipper?

Today is the fifth day of the release fun for the Ever After Mystery series. You can find the beginning of this mystery HERE on Cathe Swanson’s blog! I’m so excited as mine is the second book to be release, A Giant Murder. All the stories have their roots in a fairy tale. Can you guess mine?

The first release, The Last Gasp is available now HERE. Squee! The Last Gasp is based on Cinderella, so to celebrate that book release, all of the Ever After authors are doing a short blog hop – complete with a mini-mystery and prizes.

Someone has stolen Cinderella’s glass slipper.

Why Rebekah Jones thought it was me, I’ll never know. (Read her post about it HERE!) But I was sure shocked when an officer showed up at my door.

“You are Marji Laine?”

“Yes.” I peeked across the street where Mrs. Myers was pretending to water her plants with an empty pitcher. Ugh. Gossip central. I stepped outside and waved in her direction as if I hadn’t a care in the world.

The officer barely paused. “And you picked up and have in your possession a glass slipper belonging to Cinderella?”

Mrs. Myers shot me a suspicious look and went back inside her house. At least, if I did hear gossip, I would know where it came from. “Yes and no.”

“You did not pick up the slipper?” The short man lifted an eyebrow and pierced me with a suspicious gaze.

“I picked it up all right. I hate spiders.”

“Excuse me?” Obviously, I had lost him, but I had no idea how. Seemed perfectly clear to me.

“I was wearing sandals when I visted that mine. I didn’t want to take the chance that the creepy bug would skitter onto my toes.” And that little thing was speedy, too. “The glass slipper was just there on one of the displays at the little souvenir store. I picked it up and smushed that bug, quick as a wink.”

He looked at me like he was waiting for more.

I glanced back toward the Myers’s house just in time to see the blinds on one of her windows drop back into place.

“And.”

I let my head roll back and looked up at the ceiling of the porch. “I didn’t mean to take it. I didn’t even know it was in my bag. It had slipped down to the depths of my mammoth purse and I didn’t even uncover it until I got off the plane at DFW airport.”

“Then?”

“Well, I couldn’t take it all the way back. And I didn’t want to keep it. I might be willing to murder a wandering bug, but I’m no thief.” Of all the nerve. “Besides, if the thing got busted, I’d have felt horrible!”

“So?”

If I didn’t get this man out of here, my whole neighborhood would be spinning stories in no time. “I took it into the airport restaurant and left it next to a pile of menues. That’s all I know about it.”

The eyebrow rose again as he jotted something into his notepad. “Can anyone corroborate your story?”

I lifted my chin and raised an eyebrow at him for a change. “As a matter of fact, April Hayman can. She was seated next to the hostess stand where I put the slipper. I left it there, found my baggage, and zipped back home.” So there.

As you can see… I am not the guilty party.

Thankfully, the officer left and Mrs. Myers was robbed of her juicy, spreadable tidbit.

But apparently, some princess’s prom shoe is still missing. Maybe April knows something about it? You can find out what she has to say on her blog HERE, tomorrow!

Follow the clues each day to discover the culprit. And click THIS LINK to enter to win an Amazon gift card!