#Throwback Thursday ~ Blue Lake Christmas Mystery (Blue Lake Series)  by Cynthia Harrison #RomanticSuspense @CynthiaHarriso1

Blue Lake Christmas Mystery (Blue Lake Series) Kindle Edition

All Holly wants for Christmas is to prove to her parents that her pricey college education was worth it. When she lands a reporting job in tiny Blue Lake, where the chill winds blow off Lake Huron all winter long, and a guest dies at a dinner party, she isn’t sure she can meet that goal. Holly has a second writing gig as a true crime reporter in mind, but there’s only one problem: the new love interest keeping her warm is determined she should not write about the one thing her heart desires.

Bob has one goal: to get his life back on track after a train wreck of a relationship with a fragile first love named Lily. Oh, it would also be nice to feel excited about work again. Not to mention Christmas. Holly’s new in town and she stirs something cheerfully seasonal in him, but when he realizes she’s willing to take down Lily for her own purposes, he decides a holiday romance is the last thing he needs.

Our Review

Towards the end of last year, I noticed the arrival of several seasonal books on the run up to Christmas. Most of them a fun, light-hearted read for the holidays.

Blue Lake Christmas Mystery is so much better than that.

A clever, well- written mystery that twists and turns, with a fast-moving complicated plot that I couldn’t put down and I loved how the last chapter sorted out all the loose ends!

Holly Fass is ambitious, devious and hopeless at getting what she wants out of life in this Hollywood style romcom/detective novel, but she gets top marks from me for trying!

This is book four in the Blue Lake series, and I was late coming to the party as I hadn’t read any of the others. (something I will be catching up on soon)

I have also read and thoroughly enjoyed Cynthia Harrison’s brilliant detective thriller, Lily White in Detroit.

A word from the author… Along with a twenty-year career as an English teacher, I have been a staff reviewer for Romantic Times and Publishers Weekly and written features for popular magazines, including Woman’s World. BLUE LAKE CHRISTMAS MYSTERY is my fifth novel for The Wild Rose Press. I live in metro Detroit with my husband, Al. We have two grown sons. Since 2002, I’ve blogged at http://www.cynthiaharrison.com. Email me anytime at cindy@cynthiaharrison.com. http://www.cynthiaharrison.com

#Throwback Thursday ~ Our Review for Loving Vengeance by Georgia Rose #Women’sMystery/Thriller @georgiarosebook

Loving Vengeance (The Ross Duology Book 2) Kindle Edition

A woman with a troubled past. A new love hanging in the balance. Will an unexpected visitor strengthen her resolve or destroy the life she’s trying to build?

Madeleine’s world, once so organised, is a mess. Suffering the fallout from the mistakes she made with Tag, she has no idea where she stands with Daniel. Are they only friends or is there still a chance for something more?

Enter James – cool, calm and calculated. A stranger, she thinks. But he knows her, and he comes with an opportunity she can’t refuse, involving an enemy she’d tried to forget. At first keen to return to her past, Madeleine soon realises it’s not only the gang that’s changed, and battles her own demons as well as an unpredictable villain.

Can Daniel step up when he’s needed? Or will it be James who rides in to the rescue? Because when things go badly for Madeleine, and all hope seems lost, there is only one who can save the day. And only one who can bring more to the task than merely himself.

Loving Vengeance is the second book in this fast-paced duology. If you like strong heroines, character-driven action and powerful emotions, then you’ll love Georgia Rose’s exciting novel.

Buy Loving Vengeance now to get to the heart of the action today!

Our Review

Loving Vengeance, the latest story from Georgia Rose, picks up where Parallel Lies left off.

Fragile and beaten, Maddy’s secrets are out and her carefully guarded life is over and as the police begin to close in, will they discover the rest of her secrets?

She has no job, and doesn’t think her romance with Dan can continue.

Maddy, or should I call her Scarlet now? seems resigned to her fate…

Her problems are far too complicated for her to deal with on her own, but who can she trust?

Circumstances force her to return to her old ways for help, but considering what she has already gone through, this may not be a good idea.

What begins as a story of love and recovery, quickly changes into a complicated and totally absorbing crime thriller that races along at a breakneck pace.

Will Maddy manage to get it right this time?

About The Author

Georgia Rose is a writer and the author of the romantic and suspenseful Grayson Trilogy books: A Single Step, Before the Dawn and Thicker than Water. A short story, The Joker, based on a favourite character from the series followed and is free to download from Amazon.

Her fourth novel, Parallel Lies, a standalone, encompasses crime along with Georgia’s usual blending of genre.

Following a long stint working in the law Georgia set up her own business providing administration services for other companies which she does to this day managing to entwine that work along with her writing.

Georgia’s background in countryside living, riding, instructing and working with horses has provided the knowledge needed for some of her storylines; the others are a product of her passion for people watching and her overactive imagination!

Her busy life is set in a tranquil part of rural Cambridgeshire in the UK where she lives with her much neglected husband and dog. Their son, currently at university, comes and goes and their daughter, having delighted them all for long enough, has eventually moved out, got married, and is discovering the joys of being all grown up and having a mortgage.

Interview With My Conscience…

Image by Pixabay.com

It was another Monday morning in front of the computer and I was asking myself the same old question. Why do I  bother with any of it? Anything that could possibly go wrong usually does, and it was getting a bit wearing. Then my inner voice decided to join in the conversation.

Everyone feels like this sometimes, you are not unique you know…

Yes, I know we all have days when we think everything conspires against us, and life seems futile. Doesn’t help though.

You sound like a drama queen, one who is prone to over exaggeration…

I don’t think I have imagined the succession of near disasters that have played havoc with my life this year?

Okay, I will admit there have been one or two, but nothing to write home about…

How about my inability to successfully market anything. You have to admit I am hopeless?

Could be you’re just not smart enough, for it’s not exactly rocket science…

I can buy that one, for the results of my efforts speak for themselves.

You seem to be forgetting that you are OLD. That feeling of circling the drain is quite normal at your age you know…

There are days when I would agree, but others when I still feel competent enough for the job in hand.

But which of these days are the real ones, and not the ones that are the result of your own stupidity?

I know I have a few shortcomings, but there are also circumstances that are beyond my control.

Beyond your mental capacity, you mean…

A fine Jiminy Cricket you turned out to be, where is all the optimism, the encouragement?

I can only work with the material I have at my disposal. It’s not my fault if your grey matter isn’t up to scratch…

You know, all of this could be academic if my health gets any worse. I’m sure you have to agree that I am not imagining that?

I know it does all seem very real, but you have beaten the odds before, and will do again, I’m sure…

So, you would conduct my life differently, would you? You are coming across as a smug know-it-all, but you don’t drop any hints any more, do you? Isn’t that supposed to be part of your remit?

After a lifetime of trying my best for you, literally thousands of hints later, I have run out of ideas.  Banging my head against a wall is definitely not my scene…

So I am on my own now, you are retiring?

You still have your instincts, even though they malfunction far too often. It has brought you this far, however…

~~~~~

“Some of us get to choose how we live our lives, whether to depend on our conscience, or wing it with instinct.

Heaven knows which is best, and I think it also knows what will happen to us.  I could do with a ‘heads up’ round about now…”

#Throwback Thursday ~ Our Review for Silent Mayhem by Sue Coletta @SueColetta1 #SuspenseThriller

Silent Mayhem: The Mayhem Series: #3 Kindle Edition

Some things in life defy comprehension, but that doesn’t make them any less real. Or deadly.

When a familiar crow drops a cryptic scroll at Shawnee Daniels’ feet, she’s compelled to open it, even though everything in her power warns her not to. Mr. Mayhem—the most prolific serial killer the North Shore has ever known—claims her life is in danger. He “claims” he wants to help her, but just last year he threatened to murder everyone she loves.

While Mayhem taunts her with oddly-placed feathers, like The Creator left at his crime scenes, an interstate killing spree rocks Massachusetts and New Hampshire. A madman is decapitating men and women, dumping their headless corpses on two area beaches. But what Shawnee soon uncovers shatters all she’s ever known, her memories shredded, the whispers of the past in shambles on the ground.

Can she find the strength to move forward, or will the truth destroy her?

Our Review

Another remarkable story in the Mayhem series and the main character, Mr Mayhem gets even better!

Infuriatingly enigmatic as always, I love the way he adores his crows, his wife, and even Shawnee Daniels in his own inimitable way.

I loved reading the fascinating history about the Navajo Indians and the importance of the eagle feathers.

They say that all good writing should leave you wanting answers, and Silent Mayhem, the third book in the series is chock full of questions as it gears up for the next instalment.

In the meantime, I have a few of my own…

How, exactly, can a cold-blooded killer be so kind, and believe that Shawnee had killed anyone?

How did he cure her mysterious illness and why did he want to keep her safe?

And who is this Navajo skinwalker?

I can thoroughly recommend Silent Mayhem, the pace might give you a coronary though, so you have been warned!

#ThrowbackThursday ~ Review for Tales from an Irish Garden by Sally Cronin #FantasyRomance @sgc58

Tales From the Irish Garden

The queen of Magia and her court have fled their sun filled Spanish homeland and the palace beneath the magnolia tree.

Arriving on the backs of geese and swans, they seek sanctuary in the magic garden of The Storyteller who welcomes them to the Emerald Island, a place where rain is almost a daily feature.

Grateful for their safe haven and the generosity of their host, the queen and her courtiers embrace their new surroundings with delight.
As the seasons change throughout the year, they come into contact with many of the human and animal inhabitants of the garden and the surrounding forest, all of whom have a story to tell.

This is a magical fairy story infused with fantasy and romance, as well as opportunities for mischief in the company of goblins, witches and Lerpersians.

(Lerpersian, I have discovered, is another name for a Leprechaun.)

Our Review

Tales from an Irish Garden begins at Christmas time in the magical Spanish garden. Queen Filigree was looking forward to the festivities, but bad news arrived first.

The Queen and all her subjects could no longer stay in Spain and would have to leave their beautiful home and find another with the help of the Storyteller.

At the eleventh hour, another location was found in Ireland, where they will need to adapt to the new surroundings and very different weather.

How this was achieved was beautifully described in perfect detail in a series of magical stories. I loved all these stories, but will always remember one, The Kindness of Mice…

Morse Code Mouse? #Keepitalive ~ #Whatdoyousee

What do you see # 39 – 20 July 2020

Image credit- Pixabay- S Hermann and F Richter

( For the visually challenged reader, the image shows a tiny mouse sitting in a wicker basket. There are a couple of grocery lists and some dry pantry items in the background)

It was going to be another hot day and I was up early, trying to catch up on the editing I was desperately trying to finish.

I worked solidly for an hour and the heat was beginning to build. Instead of the early morning freshness, each breath of air was warm in my throat.

Sitting at my desk, pen in hand trying to pretend I was writing, I stared out the window, wondering how long this hot weather would last.

I hate being hot and sweaty all the time. They had promised a thunderstorm later, so that was something to look forward to.

From my window, I had a good view of the garden hedge and its half-clipped state taunted me. It had been abandoned when the hot weather struck. It looked ridiculous, with one side neatly clipped and the top and other side sprouting long shoots like a mad hairstyle. I itched to finish it, but not until the heat let up a bit.

That was when the tapping began.

It seemed to be coming from next door, something we used to hearing. They have a small boy who delights in banging anything he can find on the walls.

As we patiently waited for the noise to stop, I began to imagine someone in trouble, tapping out a message to summon help. This is an occupational hazard for writers, we use any opportunity to create scenarios.

The tapping sounded like Morse code, but with no recognisable pattern. We discussed different reasons why the person in trouble couldn’t shout and that was when we wondered if there was anyone at home next door. It was a school day, and both parents worked, so the mystery was getting deeper.

Anita decided to check and knocked on their front door. When no one appeared, she looked through the windows just in case there was someone lying on the floor.

By now, the tapping had reached a seriously annoying level and I wanted to scream to make it stop. It was louder in the kitchen, but every time we walked into the room, the tapping stopped. Almost as though the tapper could see us and was patiently waiting for us to leave.

As the time went on, the incessant tapping seemed to be increasing, becoming more urgent.

We went through all the possibilities, like could the fridge be making the noise. It did produce odd clicks now and then when defrosting, but nothing like what we were hearing now.

Was there something in the wall, trying to munch its way out?

We have bats in the roof but have never heard them. Anyway, the bathroom was between the kitchen and the roof, so it wasn’t likely.

The kitchen floor was solid concrete, so the tapping couldn’t be coming from there either.

It was almost lunchtime and the tapping had been constant all morning. Our nerves were frayed, and the rising temperature added to the desperation.

That was when Anita mentioned that the tapping sounded metallic and she remembered the mouse trap.

This was one of those humane traps, where the mice can go in to eat the cheese but cannot get back out again.  We bought this a long time ago when Merlin started bringing mice into the house. He never kills them you see, and we were for ever chasing them around the house to put them outside.

Now, normally, when one of his playmates has found the cheese, he lets us know so we can release it. For some reason, this time he hadn’t.

I slid the trap out from under the cupboard and peered inside. I couldn’t see a mouse, but the cheese had been nibbled. I took the trap out into the garden and lifted the lid. Instantly, a tiny but very determined field mouse appeared and leaped to freedom.

Problem solved and peace returned to the household.

Now, where is that thunderstorm?

AAA (2)

This post brought to mind when the first of these visitors began to arrive, and the terrible circumstances that ensued.

If you would like to read these posts, you can find them at the following links…

Tom and Jerry  Part One

Tom and Jerry  Part two

Jaye’s Journal …

Jaye's Journal x12

Every now and then, we get a wake-up call, a wonderful moment when a magic light bulb illuminates an area in our brain. This usually heralds a brilliant idea, something groundbreaking or so incredibly sensible, you wonder why it took so long to surface.

Then there are the other kind. The ones accompanied by that awful stomach churning, as you realise how stupid you are or have been.

Today, I had one of these, and it has done absolutely nothing good to my self-confidence. I was rechecking the enormous pile of helpful notes (I use this term advisedly) when the realisation hit me between the eyes.

We make all these lists of things to do, things to remember or try. Then we get a sense of achievement when we actually cross something off. Today, it was brought home to me, just how stupid that is.

I had been watching a trailer someone had made using a company called Animoto. That name rang a bell, but the memory didn’t follow on. Had  I already checked them out? And if  I did, what did I find?

Those of you with fantastic memories will not need the advice I am about to share, but I suspect quite a few of you, like me, will find it useful.

When we read something that needs checking out, we should have a place to record our findings. Either a page in a notebook or an index card in our follow up box. Write a simple assessment, was it good/rubbish/too expensive/unsuitable…and if you logged on to the site, record the URL and your password.

I have no idea why this has never occurred to me before, as I seem to spend my life revisiting sites, only to realise I had been there before. It will be so helpful to be able to see at a glance all the info.

Just think of the time saved!

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge…

Colleen’s 2020 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 180, #Poet’sChoice

WELCOME TO TANKA TUESDAY!

It’s the first of the month and you know what that means! Poets, choose your own syllabic poetry form, theme, words, images, etc. It’s up to you!


Image by Ruth Archer from Pixabay

Red Sails in the Sunset…

From
Snow-capped
Mountains white
To cold open seas
My red sails billow
Passing folk wave me by
My days filled with sunshine smiles
nights diamond bright to dream by
Its you that fills my sleeping moments
Your hand forever in mine, life complete…

©anitadawes 2020

#TuesdayBookBlog: CrossFire by Jaye Marie #CrimeThriller #Fiction

fffrt.jpg

DI David Snow has another killer to catch, a killer as mysterious as the crimes he commits. 

Betrayal and lies come to the surface as Snow struggles to find the truth, but is he looking in all the wrong places?

Can he outwit the killer, or will the truth cost him his life?

 

Excerpt from CrossFire

‘Do you know why we have brought you here today, Ann?’

Ruth thought she would ease her way in, rather than accuse her straight off, for triggering any hostility wouldn’t get them anywhere.

The woman stared at Ruth, her pale, colourless eyes searching for clues. ‘Nah… but I ‘spect you’ll get to it pretty quick…’

Ruth indicated a brown paper bag on the table beside her. ‘We found a pair of work boots at your house, Ann. According to your husband, they’re not his. Are they yours?’

Ann Taylor glared at Ruth. She seemed to be enjoying the interview, her arrogance showing through the previous nervousness. ‘Dunno, can’t see them can I?’

Ruth undid the bag and placed the dirty boots on the table. Most of the mud had dried and fallen off, but still didn’t seem like the kind of boot a woman would wear. ‘Are these your boots, Ann?’

Without looking at the boots, she shook her head. ‘Nah, I don’t think so.’

Ruth looked at Snow, but not for confirmation. She wondered why he was choosing to stay silent. What was the point of sitting in if he wasn’t going to contribute? Not that she cared, one way or the other. She had only looked at him to signify inclusion.

She looked back at the woman. ‘Are you quite sure, Ann?’

The woman shrugged her shoulders and refused to speak.

‘For the benefit of the tape, Ann Taylor has refused to answer.’

Ruth decided to read out the coroner’s report, detailing every bruise and damage to the child’s body. When she read the part about the boot imprint on the child’s back, she slid the photograph across the table in front of the mother.

‘Did you do this, Ann?’

When the woman didn’t answer, Ruth decided it was time to play the ace card, and she looked forward to it. This cold-hearted bitch of a woman was about to be arrested, but not before Ruth had enjoyed herself. ‘Are you aware that the person who wore these boots would have left significant DNA inside them?’

Ruth paused, watching as the realisation sunk in.  ‘And are you also aware that we have tested your DNA and it has been proved that you are the owner of these boots?’

The fear and shame were beginning to show on the woman’s face, and Ruth watched, wondering what she would do now. She didn’t have to wait long to find out.

Ann Taylor’s face seemed to implode, as the terror of being found out took effect.  ‘I swear I don’t remember that part… I know I were angry, but when she fell over and banged her head, I thought she were dead…’

‘So what did you do then, Ann?’ Ruth knew what had happened next, but not which one of them had done it.  ‘Were you aware that Amy was still alive when you dropped her into the canal?’

The horror was all-encompassing, as the woman realised the enormity of what she had done. She looked around the room, just once, before she started screaming…

 

 

 

#Writephoto ~ Painted #Poetry

Thursday photo prompt: Painted #writephoto

 

This week Sue Vincent has chosen a rather lovely image for the prompt.

Shades of Monet there, I think…

 

Image by scvincent.com

For visually challenged writers, the image shows a rather oriental red bridge over a  pool covered with waterlilies and surrounded by trees.

 

Woodland Scent

What lies beyond the red bridge?

Tantalising, teasing, a sound calling me

Daring me to fight my way through the trees

I cross over the shining lily pond

Following the sweet melancholy sound

Of someone singing

Their sorrow filled the air

I felt it, a delicate touch

A small hand brushing against my skin

The scent of woodland must be messing with my head

I reach a clearing where a large tree had fallen

I sat awhile, the strange sound surrounding my head

Again, the touch on my arm

There she sat, beside me

Her eyes the colour of moonlight

Her hair, fallen snow, so delicate

One touch would crush her

I dare not move for fear she would vanish

So beautiful a wood nymph

As any painter would wish to put on canvas

I thought of Monet

How well she would look on his lily pond

Her tiny frame would not look out of place

Realising that the singing had stopped

I remember thinking I had not seen her mouth moving

Her words entered my head

You must save the woodlands

We are many, unseen by human eyes

We need the trees to protect us, to live…

With one last touch against my skin, she vanished.

My mind turned upside down

As I walked back across the bridge

Turning to take one last look

I swear I could see her sitting on a lily pad…

©anitadawes 2020