Tag Archive | Mystery

Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

The Case of The Spectral Shot by T.G. Campbell

(Bow Street Society #3)

 
The Case of The Spectral ShotWhen Miss Trent is paid a late night visit by a masked stranger the Bow Street Society is plunged into its most bizarre case to date. New faces join returning members as they encounter unsolved murders, the contentious world of spiritualism, and mounting hostility from the Metropolitan Police. Can the Society exorcise the ghosts of the past to uncover the truth, or will it, too, be lured into an early grave…?

 
The Case of The Spectral Shot is the third mystery to feature the Bow Street Society. The first two instalments are The Case of The Curious Client and The Case of The Lonesome Lushington consecutively. Both are available to buy from Amazon as eBooks and paperbacks, alongside the short story collection, The Case of The Shrinking Shopkeeper & Other Stories.

 
The Bow Street Society is a fictional group of amateur detectives, operating in Victorian London. Each of its civilian members has been enlisted for their unique skill or exceptional knowledge in a particular field derived from their usual occupation. Members are assigned to cases, by the Society’s clerk, Miss Trent, based upon these skills and fields of knowledge. This ensures the Society may work on the behalf of their clients regardless of their client’s social class or wealth; cases that the police either can’t or won’t investigate. From an artist to an illusionist, from a spiritualist to a journalist, the Bow Street Society’s aim is to provide justice by all and for all.

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My Review:

The characters in this series are becoming good friends of mine. I love getting to know them all a little better as we learn more about them, their circumstances and family life with each case they become involved in.

In The Case of The Spectral Shot, the Bow Street Society are called in to discover the cause of two murders, possibly committed by a possessed doll.

As well as assigning team members to investigate the deaths of the two men, Rebecca Trent, the society’s clerk, has to deal with the malicious interference of the local police inspector, who detests the society.

The third book of the series was another captivating read which once again had me living alongside the society in 1890’s London.

 

About The Author:

6af07c396b9dfcfbc82b1406bbcc4cf5Tahnee Georgina (T.G.) Campbell wrote her first crime fiction story at the age of sixteen as a gift for her best friend. At only 40 pages long it fell considerably short of a “novel” but it marked the beginning of a creative journey that would eventually spawn the first of the Bow Street Society mystery novels; The Case of the Curious Client. During that time she attended the University of Winchester where she acquired her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Studies and wrote a dissertation on the social and cultural importance of the works of Agatha Christie.

She also became a volunteer member of staff on an international text-based gaming website where she was responsible for creating, and facilitating, storyline-games in a Victorian Era setting. The historical content of the reference pages for this setting were therefore researched, collated, and maintained by her.

It was as part of her work for this site that she came up with the idea of The Bow Street Society. Though The Case of the Curious Client is a project independent from the website the time she spent as a member of staff there helped her better understand character formation/evolution, effective use of description, and clue-puzzle mystery plot mechanics.

More recently, she attended her very first book signing event in the form of the UK Indie Lit Fest in Bradford on the 28th July 2018. She’s currently planning a schedule of similar events in 2019, to give her readers even more opportunities to meet her and have their Bow Street Society books signed. The second and third instalments of the Bow Street Society mysteries The Case of The Lonesome Lushington and The Case of The Spectral Shot are on sale now. There are also two published volumes of the Bow Street Society Casebook: The Case of The Shrinking Shopkeeper & Other Stories and The Case of The Peculiar Portrait & Other Stories. T.G. Campbell also writes monthly features for Fresh Lifestyle Magazine and releases new Casebook short stories in the monthly Gaslight Gazette. The fourth Bow Street Society mystery is due to be released in 2019.

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Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker.

Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR! You can also just share what you are currently reading. It’s very easy to play along, as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

 

  • -BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 

The Case of The Spectral Shot
A hush fell upon the table—including Judge Lowood—as the ball flew around the wheel thrice and glided downward to bounce across several numbers. When it was finally caught by red twelve, a cacophony of groans, mumbles, and gleeful chuckles erupted from the table.

~The Case of The Spectral Shot by T.G. Campbell

The Coin by Maria Elena Alonso Sierra

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Is proud to reveal the NEW book cover for the international thriller, The Coin.

 

WHO EVER THOUGHT FINDING A COIN COULD GET YOU KILLED?

Set in the exotic French Riviera, The Coin is a story of hatred, betrayal, love and duty—of terrible and painful choices that, nonetheless, bring about personal triumph.

A DANGEROUS FIND

For artist Gabriela Martinez, life has become complicated: she suspects her mentor and friend wants her as his mistress, her husband is neglecting her, and her latest illustration is ruined. Seeking peace, she visits her favorite thinking spot in La Marbriére, the mountain overlooking her home in the Côte d’Azur. Distracted, she winds up in an unfamiliar clearing, where she discovers a 1945 French coin half-buried in the ground. Delighted with its beauty, she has it set on her favorite bracelet.

TREACHEROUS KNOWLEDGE

Richard Harrison, an American intelligence officer, is livid. A simple favor for his boss has turned his vacation in the French Riviera into a hellish assignment. Now, not only does he learn the truth about the coin, but he must also protect Gabriela from a cunning killer who will stop at nothing to keep his secret safe.

TIME IS RUNNING OUT

Together with Maurice Nôret, from French intelligence, Richard attempts to discover the madman’s identity, except his budding love for this beautiful artist is turning into a dangerous handicap. Every one of his moves is thwarted with brutal countermoves. Soon, the psychological games to terrorize Gabriela escalate beyond his control. If Richard doesn’t find a solution, it may be too late for them both.

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The Coin

 

Editorial Reviews:

“In her debut novel, Alonso-Sierra blends action, suspense and steamy romance to tell the story of an up-and-coming artist and the secret agent assigned to protect her against an anonymous terrorist.  Alonso-Sierra wonderfully builds suspense, and her psychological-thriller plotline enhances the sexual tension between Gabriela and Richard in an intriguing manner; their restrained romance quickly becomes the driving force of the novel. The character development is on point as well, with unexpectedly multilayered supporting characters such as Albert, Gabriela’s artist mentor; and Bernard, her alcoholic friend.  A suspenseful, sexy romantic thriller.”

— Kirkus Indie Reviews, 4/12/2014

“Suspenseful, thrilling, and action-packed are apt words to describe The Coin by Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra, a mesmerizing story with great potential to have readers utterly captivated. It all starts with a coin, a mysterious, coveted coin, but what is the value of a coin that people are killed and the lives of many put in danger? Set against the lush backdrop of the French Riviera, this novel explores very powerful themes such as lust, love and betrayal, and many things in between.
The setting is very beautiful and the idea of the “coin” is just brilliant and enigmatic, something of a mystery which adds to the pervading sense of danger that dominates the entire story. The characters are well crafted and explored in great depth, and the author does this without sacrificing her powerful plot points and her oh-so-beautiful prose. Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra’s work is one of the craftiest stories that will make readers fall in love with the exotic French Riviera. The Coin is hugely entertaining!”

– Arya Fomonyuy for Readers’ Favorite

 

To celebrate the new cover (1)
About the Author:

Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra is a multiple award-winning, romantic suspense author with a unique point of view. Her thrillers take place in locales across Europe and the United States, reflecting her international upbringing and extensive time as a global traveler. In her duology, The Coin and The Book of Hours, her characters, Gabriela and Richard, walk the same paths as their creator, though her life was never in so much danger.

Her multiple award-winning short story collection, The Fish Tank: And Other Short Stories, is an imaginative ride through various genres. One section in particular, “Soul Songs”, delves into the gut-wrenching experience of exile, with fictionalized Cuban Diaspora stories based on the author’s own experience of exile.

Another short story, “Retribution Served”, is featured in the anthology Book Dreams: Volume 1, and has been well received by readers.

Ms. Alonso-Sierra’s writing career began circa age thirteen with a very juvenile science fiction short story, but the writing bug hit, and she has been writing, in one capacity or another, ever since. She has worked (and not necessarily in the following order) as: a professional dancer, singer, journalist, and literature teacher in both the university and middle school levels. She holds a Masters in English literature and loves to hear from readers. When not writing, she roams around to discover new places to set her novels.

She is currently working on her fourth book, a Detective Nick Larson novel, and lives in North Carolina with her husband and her dog, Amber.

 

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In The Dark by Loreth Anne White

In The Dark

Title: In The Dark
Author: Loreth Anne White
Publication Date: December 1, 2019
Publisher: Montlake

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The promise of a luxury vacation at a secluded wilderness spa has brought together eight lucky guests. But nothing is what they were led to believe. As a fierce storm barrels down and all contact with the outside is cut off, the guests fear that it’s not a getaway. It’s a trap.

Each one has a secret. Each one has something to hide. And now, as darkness closes in, they all have something to fear—including one another.

Alerted to the vanished party of strangers, homicide cop Mason Deniaud and search and rescue expert Callie Sutton must brave the brutal elements of the mountains to find them. But even Mason and Callie have no idea how precious time is. Because the clock is ticking, and one by one, the guests of Forest Shadow Lodge are being hunted. For them, surviving becomes part of a diabolical game.

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Excerpt:

“The gas stove and the gas water heaters work,” Nathan said. “And there’s plumbing.” He turned his back on them and busied himself taking mugs out of the cupboard in an exaggerated fashion. His heart hammered in his chest. Sweat prickled across his lip.

“And there’s tea, coffee, tins of tuna, and soup,” Steven said as he hurriedly opened more cupboards.

Bart frowned. “Well, at least we won’t go hungry.” He made for the living area, paused. “I found a path. It looks like it leads around to the other bay, but it was getting too dark to follow without a flashlight.”

“Do you think it might lead to the real lodge?” Steven asked.

Nathan blinked. It was like the doctor was reaching for straws by asking—as if hoping, still, that their pilot had just made some terrible screwup with the GPS coordinates.

Bart said, “We can check again in the morning to see if—”

“There is no real lodge.” Jackie appeared in the doorway that led from the great room into the kitchen.

They all turned to look at the solid woman with intense eyes.

“This is no mistake,” she said curtly. “This is a con, some sick game.”

“What do you mean?” Bart asked.

“Did you guys not see the plaque outside, next to the front door? This place is called Forest Shadow Lodge. As in Forest Shadow Wilderness Resort & Spa. Here, look at this.” She pulled a brochure from her pocket and smoothed it out on the kitchen island.

“I printed it off the website before I left home.” She jabbed a photo of the luxury lodge. “It’s fake. It’s photoshopped, because it’s using the same location. See this bay here? And the shape of this one here? This mountain? This is how the terrain looked from the air. It’s this spot, but someone has photoshopped the spa into the location. They’ve erased parts of the forest, added cabins and trails, plus interior shots from some other spa and lodges.” She met their gazes. “This whole thing was faked from the get-go. We were lured here. All of us. And now we’re trapped.”

A sinister cold seemed to enter the kitchen. A shutter banged upstairs, and wind whistled. Mist, cloying and wet, pressed up against the windows. It grew darker inside.

“Why?” Bart asked, still holding his wood.

“God knows.” Jackie dragged her hand over her hair. “But right now, we’re stuck. We’ve been baited and lured into some weird kind of wilderness prison.”

“We are not trapped.” Stella entered the kitchen. “We have a plane. And you guys have a pilot—me. We have fuel. We—”

“We have no bloody radio!” Jackie snapped, whirling round to face Stella, her eyes furious.

“What?” said Steven.

“That’s right,” Jackie said. “Go on, tell them, Stella.”

Stella’s gray eyes flashed, shooting daggers at Jackie.

“Go on. Tell them. The radio is broken. Sabotaged, wires cut.”

“But I heard you speaking to your dispatch on the radio,” Nathan said.

“But it wasn’t working, was it, Stella?” Jackie said. “Your dispatch couldn’t hear you, could they? No one even knows where we are, do they?”

Stella’s features went tight.

“So when were you going to tell us this, Stella?” Steven asked.

“I didn’t want to say right away. Fear, worry, is not a good thing when—”

“When what? Jesus. Who are you to decide what’s right and wrong for us to know?” Steven barked. “You’re just the pilot, not the boss of our lives, for Chrissakes.”

“There’s a chance I could fix it in the morning. If I can—if it’s an easy fix—you’d never have to have known about it.”

“So you thought you’d play God?” Steven snapped. “Because we would all panic.” He wagged jazz hands at the sides of his face.

“And you’re not panicking?” she said.

Silence swelled in the kitchen. It felt for a bizarre moment as though the house was listening. Alive. Hostile. Nathan felt hairs rise along his arms. He was sensitive to these things. He could feel trees in the forest watching and listening to him.

 

My Review:

With shades of the Agatha Christie mystery, And Then There Were None, this was an enjoyable read.

When a group of people, each with their own secret, are lured to a secluded ‘holiday resort’, you know the outcome isn’t going to be good.

This book jumps between the events at the resort, where the guests are targeted, and become distrustful of each other, not knowing who’s behind their predicament, or who will be next to die, and the law enforcement/search and rescue team who are trying to find the missing group.

In The Dark is a compelling, fast paced mystery that kept me guessing.

 

About the Author:

LorethAnneWhiteLoreth Anne White is a bestselling author of thrillers, mysteries, and romantic suspense. A three-time RITA finalist, she is also the recipient of the Overall 2017 Daphne du Maurier Award, the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Romantic Crown for Best Romantic Suspense and Best Book Overall. In addition, she’s a Booksellers’ Best finalist and a multiple CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award winner. A former journalist who has worked in both South Africa and Canada, she now resides in the Pacific Northwest with her family. When Loreth isn’t writing, you will find her skiing, biking, or hiking the trails with her dog (a.k.a. the Black Beast) or open-water swimming. She calls this work, because that’s when the best ideas come.

 
Q&A with Loreth Anne White

1. You are very well known for your romantic suspense tales, but your new title, In The Dark, is all about mystery — a real whodunit! Tell us a bit about the story.

I like to think there is still a strong echo of my earlier romantic suspense books that ripples through In The Dark. Yes, it’s a locked-room mystery/thriller — wilderness style, but the mystery narrative is wrapped inside a romantic suspense-style narrative that follows a budding friendship between Detective Mason Deniaud and Search & Rescue manager Callie Sutton who must not only piece together what happened as they hunt for survivors, but also must race against time to save who might be left. The story leaves off with a promise of more ahead in the relationship between Callie and Mason, so my roots are still showing, I hope.

2. Your story definitely has shades of Agatha Christie as well as a nod or two to Stephen King. Did these authors act as inspirations for this book?

In The Dark is not only a homage to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, but Christie’s story becomes a plot device, a psychological tool that the villain uses to instill fear in the victims trapped in the lodge because the victims know what transpired in the book, and they anticipate the same will happen to them.

And yes, a teensy nod to master of atmosphere and horror, Stephen King’sThe Shining where characters are trapped in a remote and snowbound hotel and become mercy to the psychological horror that descends on them.

3. A rural, isolated lodge is always a great place to start a suspenseful novel. How exactly did your characters all come to be at Forest Shadow Lodge?

The characters are invited for an all-expenses stay at the brand new, high-end, fly-in wilderness lodge and spa. They are lured by an offer to enjoy a ‘soft opening’, so to speak, where they can assess the accommodation and potentially negotiate lucrative contracts with the new lodge owners. Each guest runs a business that would be suitable for such an establishment. Each is excited by a possible lucrative contract. But not all is quite what meets the eye, of course.

4. Your story is told from multiple points-of-view as you take deep dives into the characters’ lives and histories. Does everyone have something to hide?

Don’t we all have something to hide? My characters in this book certainly do. Some of their secrets are more powerful than others.

5. Mason and Callie are two of the law enforcement responders that are trying to piece together exactly what happened at The Lodge. Tell us more about these characters and what makes them so good at what they do.

Mason Deniaud was a top homicide detective before relocating to the remote north for personal reasons. He lost a young son and a wife and he’s searching for a way to live, or exist, if not heal. Callie Sutton is a young mother who is single, but also isn’t because her husband lies in hospital and is brain dead. Her husband is there, but he also isn’t there for Callie and her young son. Like Mason, she’s in limbo, a place where she can’t move forward, or back. It’s through this they find a bond. And the search for the missing lodge party pushes them together.

6. In The Dark is a pivotal novel in your career. What does it have in common with your previous writing and how is it different? How does this inform your next steps as a writer?

Pivotal sounds cool. I’ll take it! Thank you. But yes In The Dark is a bit of a departure from my previous romantic suspense books. If readers enjoy it, however, and if my publisher remains happy, I’d like to keep growing in this direction. But I do think my crime stories will always revolve around strong women, or women who might be victims to start with, but who find agency and take back their lives and become strong and survive through the arc of a story. (As with my forthcoming work In The Deep). I do love to include a relationship element in my crime novels, but bonding with a potential love interest comes out of the personal growth of the protagonist. I like to tell—and read—stories of women who find ways to rescue themselves.

 

Enter the giveaway to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a Digital Copy of Loreth Anne White’s In The Dark.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

Mortom by Erik Therme

MortomAndy Crowl barely knew his recently deceased cousin, Craig Moore, so he’s especially surprised to be named as the sole beneficiary in Craig’s will. Not that there’s much to inherit: just an empty bank account and a run-down house.

Once Andy arrives in the town of Mortom, however, he’s drawn into his puzzle-obsessed cousin’s true legacy: a twisted and ominous treasure hunt. Beckoned by macabre clues of dead rats and cemetery keys, Andy jumps into the game, hoping to discover untold wealth. But unsavory secrets—and unanswered questions about Craig’s untimely demise—arise at every turn, leading Andy to wonder if he’s playing the game…or if the game is playing him.

Something’s rotten in Mortom. And this dead man’s game might not be all that Andy is doomed to lose.

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My Review:

Puzzle enthusiast, Andy Crowl, is in Mortom, with his sister, Katie, to settle his cousin, Craig’s, estate, of which he is the sole beneficiary. Andy is disappointed to find the estate consists of an empty bank account and a rundown house.

The dead rat Andy finds under the fridge, with a note and a key in its mouth sends Andy on a treasure hunt, that he hopes will lead to his cousin’s riches. The clues aren’t easy to solve, but Andy is determined to figure it out, no matter what.

The characters in this book are all flawed, without many redeeming qualities, and the relationships between them are strained. I found it hard to care about any of them, except for Craig’s young friend, Debbie.

However, the mystery, suspense and twists in the story kept me turning the pages to discover, along with Andy, what ‘prize’ Craig had left at the end of the trail.

All in all, Motom was an intriguing and interesting read.

( I received a complimentary copy of the book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.)

 

The Author:

Erik ThermeErik Therme has thrashed in garage bands, inadvertently harbored runaways, and met Darth Vader. When he’s not at his computer, he can be found cheering on his youngest daughter’s volleyball team, or watching horror movies with his oldest. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa—one of only twenty-eight places in the world that UNESCO has certified as a City of Literature.

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Autumn/Halloween Countdown Blitz 2019

Day 9

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Death at the Dakota by Marni Graff

A Trudy Genova Manhattan Mystery

 
Day 9 ACB CoverNurse Trudy Genova is making plans to take her relationship to NYPD detective Ned O’Malley to the next level, when she lands a gig as medical consultant on a film shoot at the famed Dakota apartment building in Manhattan, which John Lennon once called home. Then star Monica Kiley goes missing, a cast member turns up dead, and it appears Trudy might be next. Meanwhile Ned tackles a mysterious murder case in which the victim is burned beyond recognition. When his investigations lead him back to the Dakota, Trudy finds herself wondering: how can she fall in love if she can’t even survive?

Readers of Death Unscripted, the first book in the Trudy Genova Manhattan Mystery series, will find the same pleasures in this sequel: fast pacing, engaging characters, twists and turns on the way to a satisfying close. From the award-winning author of The Nora Tierney English Mysteries, this second series is a winner. Once again M.K. Graff reveals her talents in crafting this delightful mix of amateur sleuth and police procedural.

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Part procedural, part cozy, Death at the Dakota is a well-crafted and highly entertaining mystery.
Bruce Robert Coffin, #1 bestselling author of the Detective Byron mysteries.

I fell in love — not only with co-protagonists, Trudy and Ned, the richly detailed and historic setting of The Dakota, and the unique cast of characters, but with the unusual plot of Death at the Dakota.
Sherry Harris, Agatha Award nominated author of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries

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Day 9 ACB Author

 

Marni Graff writes two award-winning mystery series: The Nora Tierney English Mysteries and The Trudy Genova Manhattan Mysteries. She teaches writing workshops and mentors the Writers Read program, and is Managing Editor of Bridle Path Press.

Graff also writes the crime review blog Auntie M Writes.

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Top Ten List:

  • My dogs, Radar, a 10 yr old Italian Spinone and our new Aussie Doodle puppy, Seamus
  • Mysteries to read, esp. a series
  • Pizza, well done with pepperoni
  • Vodka gimlet, heavy on the lime juice
  • Black and White movies from the 30-40s, esp Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn
  • The hour before sunset when everything it lit with a subtle glow
  • The UK; a real Anglophile for travel
  • New York City
  • Crisp new stationary
  • Clean sheets

 

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Autumn/Halloween Countdown Blitz 2019

Day 2

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Mrs. Murray’s Hidden Treasure by Emily-Jane Hills Orford

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There is a hidden treasure in the grand old mansion on Piccadilly Street, in a place called London, but not the real London of English fame. There’s also a lot of mystery and a murder that’s been unsolved for decades. But it’s the treasure that captures Mary’s interest.

Mary lives in this house along with her family, her Brownie friends and a ghost. When the ghost reveals her secret about the hidden treasure, there’s no stopping Mary, her Brownie friends, or her enemies from searching for this treasure.

Why the intrigue? Apparently there’s a little bit of magic connected to this treasure. And so the adventure begins. Who will find the treasure first?

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Day 2 ACB AuthorAn avid gardener, artist, musician and writer, Emily-Jane Hills Orford has fond memories and lots of stories that evolved from a childhood growing up in a haunted Victorian mansion.

Told she had a ‘vivid imagination’, the author used this talent to create stories in her head to pass tedious hours while sick, waiting in a doctor’s office, listening to a teacher drone on about something she already knew, or enduring the long, stuffy family car rides. The author lived her stories in her head, allowing her imagination to lead her into a different world, one of her own making. As the author grew up, these stories, imaginings and fantasies took to the written form and, over the years, she developed a reputation for telling a good story.

Emily-Jane can now boast that she is an award-winning author of several books, including King Henry’s Choice (Clean Reads 2019), Mrs. Murray’s Ghost (Telltale Publishing 2018), Mrs. Murray’s Hidden Treasure (Telltale Publishing 2019), Queen Mary’s Daughter (Clean Reads 2018), Gerlinda (CFA 2016) which received an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, To Be a Duke (CFA 2014) which was named Finalist and Silver Medalist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and received an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards and several other books.

A retired teacher of music and creative writing, she writes about the extra-ordinary in life and her books, short stories, and articles are receiving considerable attention.

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Top Ten List:

1 – I have a very special muse – my dog, Duke. I take pleasure in our daily walks and the inspiration he provides me on these walks.

2 – I love to cross-stitch. Mostly small projects, as I need the creative release after working on my long writing projects.

3 – I love to read – a day without reading is like a day without sunshine.

4 – I enjoy baking and browsing cookbooks.

5 – I used to ride horses and will occasionally enjoy a trail ride with my daughter.

6 – When my children were young, we learned Highland dancing together.

7 – An ideal outing for me is either a bookstore (new or used) or a garden center – or, better yet, both.

8 – I spend most of the spring, summer and fall in my garden – at least, when I’m not writing.

9 – I enjoy sharing creative ideas with fellow writers and artists. Networking is always good for the soul as well as the creative muse.

10 – I really did grow up in a haunted house.

 

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