Tag Archives: mystery

Guest release–The Newspaper Code by Lisa J. Lickel

The_Newspaper_Code

BLURB:

Judy Wingate’s NOT-BFF, Olivia Hargrove of the Robertsville Reporter, discovers a Civil War-era secret newspaper code that may lead to a seven million dollar windfall.

Not long after Judy and Hart’s baby is born, Judy and Ardyth are embroiled in another murder. This time it’s 99-year-old Esme Espe, the queen of the Petunia Society, Robertsville’s Garden Club. Dead-heading petunias has become a serious undertaking in Robertsville.

EXCERPT:

Ten minutes later, Judy, who’d accompanied Olivia to her second-floor apartment above the card shop, stood with her in front of the big oval mirror in the bathroom. Judy hovered behind her, deciding what to say and how to say it. Olivia still hadn’t told her about the code in the newspaper, or much about Adam.

And the hair! What in the world could she say without being accused of being too honest again?

“Hopeless, isn’t it? I might as well shave it off.” Olivia made a face at herself.

“I changed my mind. Do you really need glasses?” Judy decided to start with something easier. “Who…why did you decide on that style?”

“The clerk said cat’s-eyes were retro chic and I’d be memorable.” Olivia raised one eyebrow. “I’ve a lot to learn about reading people, don’t I?”

Judy took a deep breath, not about to start sharing her secret ability to read body language. She’d gotten so good at it after taking a class a few years back her former principal tried to use her as a kind of human lie detector in student behavior hearings. Her gift seemed to have faded since having Elizabeth. “I think you want to try something simpler. Have you heard of ‘less is more’?”

“Of course.” Olivia removed the glasses and reached into a drawer. She pulled out a pair of wire rims. “This is my last prescription. And, yes, I do need glasses. If I want to see anything, that is.” She stuck them on her nose and peered, eyebrows beetled, at herself. “Are these better?”

“If you want to look like a reject from Woodstock. You don’t exactly have to be in style, but you should aim to be stylish.”

“You’re saying I have no style?”

“That’s not what I mean.” Judy prayed for the right words. “Sometimes I think you don’t care about how you look.”

“I don’t usually have time to do makeup and hair, with my job.” She studied her reflection. “But I’m afraid I might end up a batty lonely old lady, like Esme, in a houseful of stray animals.”

“Esme had a lot of people who cared about her. She did things for the town. She might have lived alone, but I don’t think she was lonely. And Ardyth says she didn’t really have a houseful of strays. That was just a rumor.”

“Oh.”

“You didn’t report that, did you?”

“No. It’s not relevant. I don’t think.” Olivia turned to look at her. “Unless somehow one of her strays got into trouble with, like, shredding her work, or picked up something that belonged to someone else and brought it back. I read a book, once, where a packrat hid jewels in its nest and the homeowner was killed over it.”

“That’s pretty far-fetched.”

Olivia shifted back into place and gathered her hair in both hands. “What about this?”

Judy didn’t have a clue what to do with the wiry mop on Olivia’s head. “Have you tried growing it?”

“This is about as long as it gets.”

“Have you tried braiding, or something?”

“I’m hopeless.”

“Maybe I can try.” Judy studied the amount of hair and the directions it coiled. “I learned how to do this style back when I had my apartment in Lewiston. One of my neighbors was a flight attendant, and she liked to have her hair away from her face. Let me see. I divide it first. Do you have a comb?”

Five minutes of untangling and looping later, Olivia jerked under her hands. “Ouch!”

“Sorry. It’s been awhile.” Judy tucked under one of the French braids she’d styled around Olivia’s face. “And I have a daughter now, so I better get back in the habit before she starts asking me. Okay, how’s that?”

Wow, who knew Olivia had a real face under all that. Heart-shaped, too.

“Um, okay. I guess.” Olivia gave a cursory glance at the mirror. She raised her chin and looked at Judy’s reflection. “How many boyfriends have you had?”

Ah, so she’s back to thinking about Adam Gordon. Let’s follow this tack. “I’m probably not the best person to ask about boyfriends,” Judy warned.

“Besides the one who was a murderer,” Olivia added.

Judy felt the tingle of anger. No matter how nice Olivia looked on the outside, tact was not part of her inner make up. She acted more like one of Judy’s students.

Don’t take it personally, she reminded herself.

But maybe I can turn this to my advantage. “Graham was my first adult boyfriend,” she said. “That’s one of the reasons I didn’t know he couldn’t be trusted—I didn’t have any experience with boys. Men.”

“So, you’re saying I can’t trust my feelings about Adam Ray because I don’t know any better.”

Judy cleared her throat and finished the other braid before stepping back. “That’s pretty blunt. Why don’t we talk about the things you know for sure, not what you think or feel?”

Olivia nodded. “I can do that. Let’s see. We went to college together.” She frowned. “He was three years ahead of me. I guess I don’t even know for sure that he graduated, though I could look it up on line.”

“If he took a teaching job at a college, let’s assume he finished college and graduate school.”

“I had no idea what he was doing after college until he sent that letter inviting me to collaborate.”

“Those were his words? He wanted to collaborate?” Judy smothered a laugh. “I haven’t heard that one before.”

“You think it’s just a line?”

“I don’t know. I’m sorry, that wasn’t very nice of me. What else did the letter say?”

Olivia pulled the towel from around her neck and replaced the wire rims with the cat’s-eyes. “Here, you can read it for yourself.”

BUY LINKS

Amazon

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MuseItUp Publishing

Lisa Lickel E 110 KB

Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin writer who lives in a hundred and sixty-year-old house built by a Great Lakes ship captain. A multi-published, best-selling and award-winning novelist, she also writes short stories and radio theater, is an avid book reviewer, blogger, a freelance editor, and magazine editor.

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Twitter: @lisajlickel

Guest Interview–Lynda Coker

Say hello to an author friend from The Wild Rose Press, Lynda Coker.

What’s the logline that describes your writing?

Writing Timeless Romance You’ll Read Again and Again.

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

I’ve always had a love affair with fabric. I sewed clothing in the beginning, then tried my hand at traditional quilting. I’m not one for structure, so I soon switched to art quilts, mostly wall-hangings. I found I could use my imagination in design and execution. I was hooked.  A photo of one of my pieces is below.

fabric art_Coker giveaway

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

My writing style is definitely, and sometimes deplorably, freestyle. :) As I said earlier, I detest anything that looks like an outline or schedule. So I fly by-the-seat-of-my-pants, better known in the writing world as a ‘Pantser’. Once in a while, when I’m having trouble deciding on which plot path to take next, I will break down and outline a couple of thoughts.

Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?

I recently spent two weeks in Galveston, Texas where I did research for a book that is now in progress. It’s the first time I’ve combined a vacation with a book research site. It was both enjoyable and interesting. I can still hear the surf and taste the salty air.

What was your biggest surprise in the editing/revision process?

It has to be my editor’s favorite phrase – Dangling Participles. I’ve come to dread that phrase… I’m a constant grammar student, but sad to say, I don’t think I’ll ever graduate. I think part of the problem is being ‘Southern’. Being born in Texas and living here most of my life, I think my brain is hardwired to speak and write Texany. I’m not sure how to describe that, but you can be sure, it’s not completely normal. (*Winks)

Do you use visual aids (storyboards, Pintrest, collages) when plotting or writing?

Pintrest is an absolute treasure chest of visual aids. I create a board for each book I’m writing and pin things that reflect elements of that book. Followers can get a feel for a story before it’s ever released. I use the boards to keep followers up to date on the progress of each book and when it is contracted and released.

What resources do you use for picking character names?

I don’t use any name resources. When I’ve gotten an in depth understanding for my characters, appropriate names seem to just pop in my head. I’ve sometimes played a mental game when waiting for an appointment or sitting in my favorite book store. I study people and then give them a name that reflects their perceived personality. This whole process probably doesn’t make any sense to anyone but me, but I never have a problem naming my characters.

StormeeWaters_w8636_300BLURB

Dirk Savage never fails to acquire what he wants until he encounters Stormee Waters and a backwash of trouble…

Stormee Waters knows about hard times. Needing to care for her aging grandmother and teenage brother, she moves to Houston, Texas and takes a writing job for a popular magazine. Her first assignment is to interview a successful business man for a series of articles entitled, Make My Man Texas-Sized. Her target, Dirk Savage, appears to have the right criteria. He’s adventurous with the air of a conqueror. Admired by his peers and coveted by beauty queens and debutantes, he’s just the type of man that Stormee needs to make her first article sizzle and sell. But can she handle the heat when she catches his attention?

Dirk Savage is used to acquiring what he wants, except in the illusive quest for the one woman who can fill his heart. The shock of discovering her in the naive young woman assigned to interview him sets his jaded emotions on high alert. Can he convince her that his pursuit is genuine?

EXCERPT

He studied her in silence before making a blunt reply. “I’ll pick you up at 7:30 this evening.”

Had he extended an invitation or a command?  “Well—ah.” She shrugged to hide her confusion.

“Surely, you eat dinner?” he quizzed through lips curved with humor.

“I suppose it’s okay.” She fiddled with the edge of her collar and contemplated the hint of challenge underlying his playful smile.

“Dress casually but bring a wrap. We’ll be dining by the river.” He dismissed her with a short command to leave her phone number and address with the receptionist.

Why do I feel as though I’ve been ordered to show up for duty call? Did alpha males assume that women in general deferred to their decisions, or was she just a simple-minded exception?

BUY LINKS

The Wild Rose Press

Amazon

I’m hosting a launch giveaway with a variety of prizes through my website. Click here

Lynda Coker

Lynda is an author of contemporary romance that lingers in a reader’s mind long after they’ve closed the book. She lives in Northeast Texas with her husband of fifty years. They enjoy traveling, trying new foods, spending time with family and friends, and doing community service work together. When she feels the need to take a break from writing, she enjoys creating fabric art.  She offers an open invitation to view both her writing and fabric art on her blog.

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Fabulous 99cent sale today only

 

I’m starting November 2014 with something special. I’m adding 20 fabulous books to my digital library.

It’s a privilege to join these writers with the inclusion of my holiday novella THE RING THAT BINDS, a western historical that was released in December 2012. But that’s the great thing about historical—they don’t become outdated. In case you missed it, November 1st would be a good time to pick it up. If you already have it, consider giving it to someone as an affordable but oh-so-thoughtful gift: an early Thanksgiving gift, a birthday gift, a thank you gift or “just thinking of you” gift.

Below are the books I’ll be buying November 1st. This list has books of all sizes including popular genres like romance, mystery, fantasy, suspense, paranormal, and historical. Wow. Not only will I be buying these books for my own reading pleasure, but at this price, I can gift several to my reading friends.

Yes, you got it. This diverse list includes books I know will score me points with friends who have birthdays in November or family members who will love reading the book over the long Thanksgiving weekend, for friends who are traveling in November and need a good book to read on the plane, and friends who will be cheered knowing I was thinking of them.  At 99 cents, each of these books will cost far less than a greeting card and a stamp, will arrive faster, and the joy of reading the book will last far longer.

The Amazon links are included below. Hope this gives you and your loved ones a happy Saturday and a fun start to November. Enjoy!

NAME Title Buy link
Kristy Tate Stuck With You http://amzn.com/B00KQ9JT5C
Jackie Hyman Calling All Glass Slippers http://amzn.com/B00N97L532
Michelle Knowlden Jack Fell Down http://amzn.com/B00LYNHVTU
Susan R. Hughes Heart’s Desire http://amzn.com/B00KTT0SUO
Lou Nelson Emerald Fortune http://amzn.com/B008S4PH1W
Shauna Roberts Claimed by the Enemy http://amzn.com/B00LNE709G
Kathy Bennett A Deadly Denial http://amzn.com/B00MAGGHKY
Kitty Bucholtz Unexpected Superhero http://amzn.com/B00D4FOLHQ
Michael Payne Neighbors http://amzn.com/B00O4CRCOC
Angie Ray Ghost of My Dreams http://amzn.com/B00JJGB8CA
Laura Taylor Love at the Beach (3 books *) http://amzn.com/B00OJ47DOY
Debra Salonen Judy Uncensored http://amzn.com/B00NJCK5EC
Linda Carroll-Bradd The Ring That Binds http://amzn.com/B00AM0OQSK
Geralyn Corcillo She Likes It Tough http://amzn.com/B00NNXWFAE
Chris Marie Green Shadows Till Sunrise http://amzn.com/B00NHYS8WS
Barbara McMahon The Bachelor’s Baby Promise http://amzn.com/B006Q64YYK
Donna Fasano The Single Daddy Club: Derrick http://amzn.com/B00AN7524Y
Adrianne Lee You Don’t Know Jack http://tinyurl.com/l7awb7g
Jan Hudson Big and Bright http://amzn.com/B00AB4FW30
Kathleen Creighton Demon Lover http://tinyurl.com/puk7opn