Then and Now: A Series Evolves By Frankie Y. Bailey

            I had no master plan for my Lizzie Stuart series. I wasn’t even sure I could finish the first book. I had an idea – a mystery inspired by an incident I had discovered while doing research for my dissertation. I decided to create a fictional sleuth – Professor Lizabeth Stuart, crime historian – who would investigate a fictionalized version of that incident. In this mystery novel, Lizzie would go to “Gallagher, Virginia” to investigate a lynching that her grandmother, Hester Rose, witnessed as a child.

Writing that book was a slow process. I had written two romantic suspense novels that were tucked away in a bottom drawer. I needed to learn how to write a mystery. Along the way, I joined a writing group that provided me with support and encouragement. But five years later I was still revising and revising and spinning my wheels.

When a friend from graduate school invited me to join her and her six-year old son for a week’s vacation in Cornwall, England, I said “yes.”  To justify my vacation, I decided to take Lizzie with me, to try writing a book set in Cornwall. A modern version of the kind of book Agatha Christie might have written about murder in an English artist colony/seaside resort.

This vacation book was intended to be no more than a writing exercise. It became much more. In London and in Cornwall, Lizzie, my Southern-born, African American sleuth came to life. Suddenly, I could hear her voice in my head. I understood how she saw the world.          Death’s Favorite Child, the book that began as a writing exercise, became the first book in the series. It was the book I sold to a small independent publisher. The book I had been working on for five years became A Dead Man’s Honor, the drastically revised second book in the series. Those revisions were necessary because in Cornwall I had learned much more about Lizzie – and Lizzie had met a Philadelphia homicide detective named John Quinn. Quinn had always been around, but for five years he had been the police chief in Gallagher, Virginia. He was to have appeared only in that book. But in Cornwall, he turned up as a much different character, walked into the series and decided to stay.

Now eighteen years after that first book was published, the series is being reissued by a new publisher. Although I was certainly not clever enough to have planned for this possibility, I am benefitting from the fact that I have been writing in “series time.”  In the context of the events in Lizzie’s life, only four years have passed. In the series, the current year is 2004. But Lizzie is much stronger and much more confident than when she set out on that vacation in Cornwall. That’s just as well because in the sixth book, now in progress, meeting her fiance’s family will not go as planned.

Advertisements

First chapters – Death’s Favorite Child by Frankie Y. Bailey

Do you have your copy yet?

 

 

Chapter One

 

Wednesday, June 17, Drucilla, Kentucky

 

Rituals for the Dead and Dying.  I’d scrawled those words across the yellow page of a legal pad one robins-chirping, tulips-blooming afternoon in May.  That day, moving my hand across the page had been the only thing that had kept me from toppling over.  The paperback thriller I had brought along in my tote bag had stayed there, too intricate for my brain even if my eyes hadn’t been filled with grit.

Rituals.  During slavery, blacks on plantations often wrapped their dead in “winding sheets” and buried them at night.  Laboring from sunup to sundown, the slaves spent their daylight hours performing their masters’ tasks. Night was the only portion of the day that they could call their own.  So that was when they buried their dead. Singing, carrying torches to light the way, they delivered the body to its grave.

Such processions puzzled, even frightened, the whites who observed them.  Prone to their own superstitions, whites in the antebellum South understood better the “death watch” for the departing loved one and the “laying out” of the corpse.

They, white people, died of diseases and in childbirth. Black slaves died of the same causes and of hard work and abuse. Death was a constant presence in the lives of both groups. Death required rituals.

It still does. My grandmother, a descendant of field slaves, did her dying in a hospital room under medical supervision. But each day I drove back and forth to Lexington to keep my vigil at her bedside.

On the night that she died, I had lost my battle with exhaustion and fallen asleep in an armchair. Her voice jolted me awake. She had pushed herself upright in the bed. “Becca? Don’t you play your games with me. I see you there.”

I twisted around in my chair. For a moment, in that dimly lit room, I expected to see something there in the shadows.

“Becca, you stop your laughing!”

I had never heard Becca laugh. Neither one of us had laid eyes on Becca, my mother, in the thirty-eight years since my birth. But to the best of my knowledge she was still alive. Not a ghost to haunt her mother’s passing.

I staggered to my feet. “Grandma? Shh, it’s all right. Let me help you lie back down.”

She turned her head and looked up at me. “Becca? What you come back here for?’

“Grandma, it’s me. It’s Lizzie. Here, let me–”

She grabbed my hand in an urgent grip. “It would kill you daddy if he knew. We can’t never let him find out. We can’t let nobody find out.”

“What. . .find out what?”

She groaned, rocking herself. “How could you do it, Becca? That man–” Her voice sunk to a whisper. “Oh, lord, baby. Becca, get on your knees and pray . . . pray for you and that child growing inside you.”

“Grandma, what–?”

She slumped against my arm.  I held her for several heartbeats, then eased her back down onto the pillow.

She was dead.  I knew that even before I pressed the button for assistance, even before a nurse rushed into the room to check her vital signs.  Hester Rose Stuart was dead.

As for Becca–Rebecca, headstrong by all accounts, had been a few weeks short of eighteen when I was born.  Five days after my birth, still without revealing the identity of my father, she had boarded a Greyhound bus and left town. Or so my grandmother had always told me.

In the days since my grandmother’s death, I had been adjusting to living alone in the house that was now mine. Adjusting to silences filled with voices from my childhood. At around three that afternoon, I came to rest there in the kitchen doorway.

Silver-edged thunderheads loomed.  I considered getting in my car and driving down to the Sheraton Hotel.  I thought of sitting there in the lobby cafe sipping mint tea while the pianist played and the fountain tinkled, drowning out the storm raging outside.  I thought of leaving home before the storm broke, but I kept on standing there in the doorway with that photograph in my hand.

It had been taken out by the old oak tree.  My grandfather, Walter Lee, grinning that grin that people still mentioned when they spoke of him, faced the camera.  He was ebony-skinned and lanky.  Hester Rose, petite and pecan-colored, peeped around his shoulder.  That afternoon, touched by some fleeting joy, she had dared risk one of her rare full-mouthed smiles.  A hand had snapped the photograph and then it had been forgotten.

I had found the camera when I was searching the attic. After two hours of dust and spider

webs, after finding nothing more significant about my mother than the paperback novels–Moby Dick, Jane Eyre, and The Scarlet Letter—that she must have been assigned in a high school English class, I had been about to give up. Then I’d opened a dented steamer truck. The camera was buried beneath a pile of moldy sheets. When I realized it contained film, I ran downstairs to change.  Half an hour later, I was walking into a camera store in Lexington. There among the prints of house, flower beds, and vegetable garden had been that single photograph of my grandparents, the proud homeowners.

Both dead now. He of a heart attack, years ago when I was at graduate school. She at a little after midnight on June 1, the combined effects of hip surgery, diabetes, and a virulent strain of pneumonia—and perhaps whatever it was that had kept her mouth tight and her eyes wary.

Lightning zigzagged across the sky.  I stepped back into the kitchen and let the screen door bang shut.

When I was a child, I had been sure God was Zeus, with lightning bolts that he flung down at people who had been bad.  I shared this with my grandfather during one of our tramps through the woods, and he laughed until tears streaked his cheeks.

Seeing my chagrin, he hugged me to his side. “Lizzie, if that was the way of it, child, you wouldn’t be able to walk after a storm for all the dead folks you’d be stumbling over.” That might be true, but all these years later I could still have gone for a very long time between colliding weather fronts.

Lightning flashed. Thunder cracked and boomed, shaking the house. I clutched my grandparents’ photograph and scrunched myself tighter into a corner of the flowered sofa. The shutter on one of the upstairs windows was loose and banging. Rain slashed against the picture window in the living room. I huddled there on the sofa, mumbling an apology for being ungrateful for what I had. An apology for being angry because I was without kin.

God did not strike one dead for having wicked thoughts.  If that were the case, I’d already be dead.

I was astraphobic, brontophobic.  Scared of storms.  One of those silly childhood fears I intended to outgrow someday soon. The upstairs shutter banged like a gavel in the hand of an irate judge.

“All right, you’re being ridiculous. One hundred, ninety-nine, ninety-eight. First thing tomorrow, find a repairman to fix the shutter. Ninety-seven, ninety-six. I am calm and relaxed. I am–”

White light exploded in the room. I screamed. I thought I was dead. But it was the tree. The old oak tree in the backyard had been struck by lightning. Blasted to its roots. Hester Rose, my grandmother, would have said it was an omen. A “sign.” But a sign is only useful if you know how to read it. At any rate, it was a moment of transition. Not dying was amazingly therapeutic.

***

Criminologist Frankie Bailey has five books and two published short stories in a mystery series featuring crime historian Lizzie Stuart. The Red Queen Dies, the first book in a near-future police procedural series featuring Detective Hannah McCabe, came out in September 2013.  The second book in the series, What the Fly Saw came out in March 2015. Frankie is a former executive vice president of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime.

Website URL: http://www.frankieybailey.com

Twitter:  @FrankieYBailey

 

Amazon: Death’s Favorite Child

https://www.amazon.com/Deaths-Favorite-Lizzie-Stuart-Mystery-ebook/dp/B078FQT4XD/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536271507&sr=8-1&keywords=death%27s+favorite+child

 

Amazon: What the Fly Saw

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MLNBJC2?keywords=what%20the%20fly%20saw&qid=1450548269&ref_=sr_1_1&s=digital-text&sr=1-1

Grocery stores? Really? by Radine Trees Nehring

Almost ten years ago the general manager of the grocery store where the Nehrings shopped regularly asked me if I’d like to do a book signing in his store. (This store is part of an independent chain in my area, with over 90 locations.) An author friend of mine once talked about doing grocery store events in Houston, so the idea was already slumbering in the back of my head. After short consideration, I decided to give bookselling among the groceries a try.

Here’s how it worked for me. I made an appointment with the head of the chain’s department over non-food items. At our meeting he looked at my books and asked a number of questions, finally deciding I had a good product to sell. I signed a non-food vendor contract with the chain. Shoppers who wanted a signed book could put it in their cart and it would go through check-out like the potatoes and canned peas. At the end of a signing day I would give the store an invoice for books sold, and they’d be in charge of sending my invoice to the home office. Not long after, a check for books sold, minus a small percentage for the chain, would be mailed to me.

I was given a list of the stores in my area, and I could pick any store I wanted, deciding when I’d like to sign there. After trying out the idea with some trepidation, I now hold fairly regular Friday and Saturday book signing events in the chain’s grocery stores. In preparation I notify my contact in the General Merchandise office, she notifies her contact in that store, and I visit the store early, taking copies of the books (usually 4) I plan to sell on the days of my visit so they can put the UPC codes in their system.

On signing days I am allowed to set up inside the front entrance of the store where I will be for seven or eight hours each day. I take in a small table, two chairs, a colorful cover for my table and set up books on easels and also any free hand-out material I am presenting—book cover postcards, bookmarks, and business cards. I stand most of the time, and I am usually the first person customers see when they enter the store. You might say I act as a greeter, offering a cheerful hello. If people hesitate or come to look at my books, our conversation continues.

Grocery customers are a huge cross-section of humanity in any area, much more varied than those seen in any bookstore or at advertised signings. If you want to learn how people in an area look, sound, and live their lives, sign in a grocery store. I continue to be amazed at the number of men who shop alone and, more than any other group, enjoy finding someone to talk to, though they are not often book purchasers. Older women are excellent potential customers, and also like to talk. I hear many stories, some are incredibly sad. I have even shared hugs and tears with a few of these women. I have spoken with people, usually younger, who say they love to read and obviously want a book but explain they haven’t the money to buy one. An example is the young mother who showed me a $20.00 bill and said that was all she had to cover groceries for herself and her son for the week.

The opportunity to own a real book signed by the author catches many. I also present books as excellent gifts, very easy to wrap and mail, and quite a few of my books are sold for gifts, though the purchaser often plans to read it first. A number of my customers have never been in a bookstore or even know if there is one in the area.

Other differences between these and traditional book signings?  The surprise element among those entering the store when they see my table. The number of people who want a friendly chat. Questions from those who are wanna-be writers or have even finished a book and wonder how to get it published. The number of people, generally middle-age or younger, who are in too big a hurry to acknowledge a greeting.

So, if you are a published author, I recommend grocery store book signings. Grocery stores are a very good place for profitable impulse sales!

(Note, I always write a positive report covering general observations and happenings in any store I visit, and send it to my contact at the office. This, it turns out, is greatly appreciated.)

Radine Trees Nehring, 2011 Inductee, Arkansas Writers Hall of Fame
http://www.RadinesBooks.com

For more than twenty years, Radine Trees Nehring’s magazine features, essays, newspaper articles, and radio broadcasts have shared colorful stories about the people, places, events, and natural world near her Arkansas home.

In 2002, Radine’s first mystery novel, A VALLEY TO DIE FOR, was published and, in 2003 became a Macavity Award Nominee.  Since that time, she has continued to earn writing awards as she enthralls her original fans and attracts new ones with her signature blend of down-home Arkansas sightseeing and cozy amateur sleuthing by active retirees Henry King and Carrie McCrite King.

Website URL:  http://www.RadinesBooks.com

Blog URL:  http://radine.wordpress.com

Facebook URL:  http://www.facebook.com/RadineTreesNehring

Twitter:   @RTNehring

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/radine-trees-nehring

I’m Judge Roy Bean and You’re Guilty! by Bill Hopkins

Judge Roy Bean was a guy who owned a bar in Texas. There wasn’t much in the way of a court system around where he lived during the late 19th century, so he was appointed a Justice of the Peace. My research on this man (2.5 minutes on Wikipedia) showed me that he knew what he was doing.

I’ve been asked over the years to judge fiction entries into various contests. There’s not much in the way of the law in the wilderness of contests.

Unfortunately, here are things most people who enter these contests do (or don’t do). Thus, I’m giving you the list. If you violate any of these rules, I cannot guarantee that you’ll be spared a visit from the ghost of Judge Roy Bean (me) who will write you a strongly-worded email.

  1. Formatting: There are dozens of sites that give you standard formatting advice. In fact, if you Google “formatting fiction” you will get literally hundreds of sites. If you don’t know what style of formatting to use, then go to the Writer’s Digest site and use theirs.
  2. Fonts: This is part of formatting, but it deserves a special mention. If I see an entry that has fancy fonts, it will have lousy writing. If your story is not good in Courier 12, then it won’t be any better in Bazoom Cute 11.9.
  3. Spelling: I’m amazed that someone who wants to be a writer doesn’t know the difference between “you’re” and “your.” If you’re a lousy speller, run your spell checker. That means sit down with a dictionary and read your work. Or show it to someone who’s willing to proofread. Or pay someone to proofread.
  4. Backstory is not interesting. Really. I don’t care if your protagonist was jilted at the age of twenty-one by a classmate who later won a billion dollar lottery. If your backstory is compelling, then slip it in bit by bit after about fifty pages or so.
  5. Description is not interesting. Really. I don’t care if your protagonist is a petite blonde with green eyes the color of clover. If description is compelling, then slip it in bit by bit after about fifty pages or so.
  6. Motivation: You’re going to have to convince me why your protagonist is doing whatever he’s doing. I realize that every reader of fiction must make a willing suspension of disbelief. It’s hard for me to believe that some guy happens to plop down in the middle of a big mess that he alone can solve, but I love Jack Reacher. I will continue to read the stories because Jim Grant makes me believe Jack Reacher is supposed to be there doing whatever he’s doing.

“Time will pass and seasons will come and go,” Judge Roy Bean is alleged to have said. This is true and, I might add, “No contestants will ever pay attention to what I have said here.”

Bill Hopkins is retired after beginning his legal career in 1971 and serving as a private attorney, prosecuting attorney, an administrative law judge, and a trial court judge, all in Missouri. His poems, short stories, and non-fiction have appeared in many different publications. He’s had several short plays produced.

Bill is a member of Horror Writers Association, Missouri Writers Guild, Heartland Writers Guild, and Sisters In Crime.

Bill and his wife, Sharon Woods Hopkins (a mystery writer!), live in Marble Hill, Missouri, with their dogs and cats. Visit them on Facebook (link below).

COURTING MURDER was his first novel and his second novel RIVER MOURN won first place in the Missouri Writers’ Guild Show-Me Best Book Awards in 2014.

He has published six novels and another one is due out at the end of 2018!

Amazon Author Page:

https://www.amazon.com/Bill-Hopkins/e/B008XM8L7G

Deadly Duo Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/billandsharonhopkins/

New release! Blue Fire by Katherine Prairie

An incredible discovery. A race for the truth.

Tanzanite, a rare blue gem born in fire and revealed by lightning, is found only in the Merelani Hills of Tanzania. But now the death of a gem smuggler points to another possibility. A South American mine owned by Tabitha Metals may hold the find of a century. But why is it kept hidden from the world? Geologist Brian Graham can draw only one conclusion: the mine’s untraceable wealth is used to fund terrorism. And he must reveal the truth.

Brian heads to Colombia to check out mines there while his geologist daughter Alex and Tanzanian miner Mosi Ongeti start in Brazil. But their daring plan ends with a gunshot, and they are now pursued by the henchmen of a sinister, powerful arms dealer.

In a high-stakes race across two continents, Alex fights to expose the mine before the man behind Tabitha Metals can stop her.

 

 

Katherine Prairie brings her own experience as an international geologist to the Alex Graham thriller series. Her debut novel Thirst was shortlisted for the 2017 Whistler Independent Book Awards. Blue Fire is the second in the series. She is an award-winning presenter and the author of The Essential PROC SQL Handbook for SAS Users. She is the founding president of Sisters in Crime – Canada West, and a 2018-19 Crime Writers of Canada director.

 

 

www.katherineprairie.com

www.facebook.com/katherine.prairie

www.twitter.com/authorprairie

 

Buy links for Blue Fire:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Fire-Alex-Graham-Book-ebook/dp/B07CT45MNS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1525739692&sr=8-1&keywords=Blue+Fire+Katherine+Prairie

Barnes & Noble:

Buy links for Thirst:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Thirst-Katherine-Prairie-ebook/dp/B019RC0YQG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1468433630&sr=8-1&keywords=thirst+prairie

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/thirst-katherine-prairie/1123763867?ean=9780994937704

Snow Angel by Jackie Taylor Zortman

Nothing compares with the feel of your brand new novel being held in your hot little hand or the very first time you get to see it as an actual book. That’s the way I felt when I recently got the box filled with my latest novel Snow Angel (Detective Max Richards Book 2). This book is a sequel, but it can easily be read with no knowledge of the first book, Footprints in the Frost (Detective Max Richards Book 1) in its second edition and sporting a spiffy new cover. Unfortunately, there are a lot of other authors ahead of me in the queue at Aakenbaken & Kent, but the chief editor has put just the Kindle version of the first book up for readers who might be curious about it, after reading the sequel. I’m proud to say that both books are award winners.

In Snow Angel when Detective Max Richards and his sister inherit their mother’s estate, a dusty and ornate wooden box is found forgotten in the back corner of a bedroom closet shelf. The things inside it reveal a secret she carefully kept and connects them to an abandoned Victorian house in a Colorado mountain town where Max already owns a luxurious and remote cabin.

During the Christmas holidays, they fly out to spend the holidays at the cabin and to investigate their newly acquired old and neglected, but statuesque house. Knowing the house has long been abandoned, the new city police chief follows their tire tracks in the snow and is introduced into their lives where he becomes an important part of their close circle of friends.

Returning to the city, Max becomes emotionally restless. He retires from his thirty-year homicide job, pulls up roots and with his wife and sister, relocates permanently to the Colorado cabin where he quickly becomes part of the town’s small police force. Unexpected twists and turns take control of their lives and change things in ways they never dreamed. Find out what was in that old box that had such power and what paths it lead Max, Sami and Willow to follow.

Snow Angel is at http://amazon.com/dp/193843644X as both Kindle and trade paperback. Footprints in the Frost as a Kindle is at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DD1Y2F8 . Soon to also be a trade paperback. Both books can also be bought directly from me. Message me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jackie.t.zortman .

BLURB BY JOHN M. WILLS, Award-winning Author/Freelance Writer

Max Richards is a tough homicide detective whose life is structured and orderly. However, when his mother dies and an old wooden box surfaces among her belongings, it changes everything. What secrets was Mom hiding from the family and why? When the truth is finally revealed, Max finds an uncertain future ahead of him and his family members.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Jackie Taylor Zortman is an award-winning published writer/author.  She is the author of a non-fiction book “We Are Different Now-A Grandparents Journey With Grief” and two award-winning fiction novels, “Footprints in the Frost (Detective Max Richards Book 1)” and “Snow Angel (Detective Max Richards Book 2).”

She has had numerous articles and short stories published for the last 26 years, is a Charter Member of the Public Safety Writers Association and a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She is a contributing author to the anthologies “Felons, Flames & Ambulance Rides”, “American Blue”, “The Centennial Book of the National Society of Daughters of the Union” and “Recipes by the Book, Oak Tree Authors Cook”.  She also writes poetry, genealogy, and history. She has won 10 Public Safety Writers Association Writing Competition awards in the last five years.

She lives in a bustling quaint tourist town high in the mountains of Colorado with her husband and Siamese cat. When the deep snows of winter blanket the terrain surrounding her home, it becomes the perfect spot in which to write.

Book Clubs by Cathy Perkins

As a genre author, I was surprised (okay, astonished) when a local book club contacted me about reading my book and asked if I had a Book Club Question list for their selected novel. (Short answer at the time? Eh, no.)

Authors or publishers don’t often issue questions for mysteries for several reasons, but mostly because specific questions tend to give away the plot, ruining the element of surprise. Remember, mysteries depend on withholding information and red herrings.

What’s a mystery author to do? I did some internet research and talked with other mystery authors. Rather than offer specific questions, here are some categories and guidelines to help you build a set of book club questions for your story.

Ambiguity. Does your novel leave anything up in the air as to what really happened? Readers love to determine the how and why of ambiguous events. (Did you believe the wife’s/husband’s/villain’s version of events? Why or why not? What do you think really happened?)

Motivation.  Questions about a character’s motivation, especially if he or she behaves in a socially unacceptable way, generate a lively discussion. (Sarah shared privileged or confidential information with a reporter. Why? Amy says she stole the jewelry to protect it, but what were her real reasons? The parents’ child-raising practices were as crazy as they were, but there was a lot of love in the family. Did this give the children the strength they needed to thrive?) Readers often bring their own experiences into a novel and perceive things in characters that others, including the author, don’t. It can spawn fascinating discussions.

Fate. (Full disclosure – I struggled with this suggested topic, but maybe that’s just me.) Questions about the course of events and whether those events are inevitable may generate strong reactions. (Did the hero have to die in the end? Could the story have gone in another direction and still been effective? Did all the villains have to be captured or killed? What if one got away?)

Coincidence. Does the story rely on a major or minor coincidence? Was it believable and did it work for you? Was the story plausible overall? Or was the coincidence “too convenient” and therefore distracting? (Hmm… Do we really want to ask that last question at a book club?)

Values/beliefs. In what ways do the events and characters reveal the author’s values or worldview? What is the author trying to say about (insert hot-button topic here: women, race, sexuality, discrimination)? Did the story make you question any of your own beliefs or offer new insights?

 

What are some of your favorite book discussion questions?

 

 

An award-winning author, Cathy Perkins works in the financial industry, where she’s observed the hide-in-plain-sight skills employed by her villains. She writes predominantly financial-based mysteries but enjoys exploring the relationships in her characters’ lives. A member of Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America (Kiss of Death chapter) and International Thriller Writers, she is a contributing editor for The Big Thrill.

When not writing, she does battle with the beavers over the pond height or heads out on another travel adventure. She lives in Washington with her husband, children, several dogs and the resident deer herd.

Sign up for her newsletter on her website (https://cperkinswrites.com) or follow her on BookBub (https://www.bookbub.com/profile/cathy-perkins ) for new release announcements.

 

Social Media

Facebook Page            https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCathyPerkins

Twitter            @cperkinswrites         https://twitter.com/cperkinswrites

 

The next novel in the Holly Price Mystery Series, In It For The Money, just went up for pre-sale. Here’s the blurb:

Holly Price traded her professional goals for personal plans when she agreed to leave her high-flying position with the Seattle Mergers and Acquisition team and take over the family accounting practice. Reunited with JC Dimitrak, her former fiancé, she’s already questioning whether she’s ready to flip her condo for marriage and a house in the ‘burbs.

When her cousin Tate needs investors for his innovative car suspension, Holly works her business matchmaking skills and connects him with a client. The Rockcrawler showcasing the new part crashes at its debut event, however, and the driver dies. Framed for the sabotage, Tate turns to Holly when the local cops—including JC—are ready to haul him to jail. Holly soon finds her cousin and client embroiled in multiple criminal schemes. She’s drawn into the investigation, a position that threatens her life, her family and her already shaky relationship with JC.

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Money-Holly-Price-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B07D6FDF2X