Wednesday, July 11, 2018

A Trip Back in Time


If you enjoy history and reading time travel or paranormal romance, today's guest in My Writing Corner has a real treat for you. Author Mary Morgan has just released her latest tale featuring a tortured Celtic warrior. Mary is an award-winning author who has traveled to Scotland, England and Ireland, where she says she left a part of her soul. She vows to return at some point but for now she lives in Northern California with her own "knight in shining armor."

Mary says her passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. She spent far too much of her time daydreaming and was told quite often to remove her head from the clouds. It wasn't until the closure of Borders Books, where Mary worked, that she found her true calling--writing romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stories. Her latest book is Oath of A Warrior.  Here's a blurb:

"You met them in the Order of the Dragon Knights. Now, journey to the realm of the Fae and witness their legends!"

Fenian Warrior, Rory MacGregor’s love conquests are legendary, but he has never spoken of the one mortal female who captured his heart. After his dark secret is finally revealed, he is ordered to return and seal the wounds left open by her death. Yet, he finds the timeline altered and swears an oath to rewrite fate, even if it brings about his own death.

Erina MacIntyre is known for her healing herbs and love charms. Determined to aid others, she refuses to listen to the whispers that call her a witch. When a Highlander steps forth into her path, he ignites a thread of strange familiarity and sparks a flame of desire she is unable to control.


Can the destiny of two lovers find love once more among the ashes of death and betrayal? Or will history repeat itself, leaving a scorching path of destruction for both mortals and Fae alike?

I like the sound of that story.  Let's get an excerpt:

“Erina, mo ghrá,” he groaned, taking her mouth with savage intensity. She tasted of honey and spices, filling him completely and easing the torment that continually plagued him.

Breaking free, he placed his hands on either side of the door. Giving her all of him required something more from Erina. Without the assurance of accepting him for what he was, Rory would be a lost man.

“Are ye certain ye want to ken all of me? I want ye as sure as the sun rises and sets over the land each day, but ken this, Erina—there is more to me than a simple bedding. There are things about me that might frighten ye. What I’m about to share with ye may cause ye to question my existence, or worse, my sanity.”

Her laugh was seductive and soothing as she wrapped her arms around his neck. “From the moment ye stepped through those trees that first day, I realized ye were not like any man I had encountered. It was as if the trees parted and ye came forth from inside them.” She brushed her fingers along his brow. “For one, ye have the most mesmerizing eyes and they shift colors.”

“And the second?”

Her face turned a rosy glow, yet, she held his gaze. “I thought your body chiseled from the old Gods, especially with all the markings on your back and arms.”

His gaze swept over hers. “I am nae God, Erina, though some would call me a demon.”

She traced a finger down along his arm and shook her head. “Ye are not a monster, but I am nae fool. Ye are not like other men, Rory. I have seen the markings on your body elsewhere.” Her finger curved around his shoulder and he trembled. “They are similar to the ones on the standing stones carved by the ancients.”

Rory fought the tide of emotions sweeping through him. She had come to the conclusion all on her own. “And ye would not flee if I told ye I was one of those ancients? One where the bards wove tales of giants who lived thousands of years ago among your own people? Others would call the story incredulous and filled with heathen words.” He held his breath, fearing her reply.


Here is how you can get more information on Mary:




Thank you, Mary, for being my guest today and introducing us to Oath of A Warrior. Any comments or questions for Mary?

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The Joys of Summer Reading

To me summer has always meant extra time for reading and writing. This week I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo to get work on on my latest book(s) .  I am jumping back and forth between two projects at the moment so I can't say which I might be working on by the end of the month. But I have made some decisions on my plot which should serve me well as I navigate writing and editing during my "camp" experience.

As for summer reading, this year I am planning to revisit some of my old favorites. For instance I always remember that in my high school years I spent lots of time walking back and forth across town every week in 100-degree weather to the library to pick up a new batch of books. I read them while I sat outside in the evening and watered the lawn. We all had our chores and my dad assigned my brother to cut the grass, and I had to water it. In the days before automatic timers, that meant dragging the sprinkler across the lawn every 20-minutes or so. I got plenty of reading done while I waited for the next time to move the sprinkler.  I read everything from Avon romances to James Bond spy novels. I read baseball books  and classics. I read On The Beach that threatened nuclear annihilation for the world. But one of my all time favorites was Rebecca. It remains a favorite so I am re-reading it this summer, though I can do it in comfort now inside an air conditioned room with a view of the mountains. I've even listened to the audio version (makes walking on the treadmill or out on the trail go a little faster). One book I have promised to read this summer is Rebecca's Tale. I bought it several years ago and didn't read it at the time and forgot I had it. I am pulling it out and making it one of my many summer reads this summer.

I am also taking my time in reading Sue Grafton's final Kinsey Milhone book, Y is for Yesterday. It still breaks my heart to know this is the last one I will be reading so I am savoring every moment of it. I may go back and re-read the entire series, since I have been lucky enough to get them all from the very beginning  (though I can't seem to find my hardback copy of G is for Gumshoe). There are some authors whose books I have bought in paperback, hardback and audio and she is one of them.

So happy summer reading! You might try re-reading some old favorites -- I always find them just as joyful the second time around. At least you know how the book is going to end!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

An Exotic Escape into Romance

Vacation means escape and it's time to start some fun summer reading that takes me to new destinations. I am having a great time looking for books that really hook me and new authors that I haven't read in the past. Travelling to far away places through books is always fun, which brings me to today's guest in My Writing Corner, Sophia Karlson, author of the new book, Perfect Mistake. 

Sophia has traveled around the world and lived in Europe and different parts of Africa, including Madagascar. She currently lives in South Africa. 


Tell us a little about how you became a writer.  Have you always wanted to write fiction? How did you get started in your writing career? 

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was thirteen—traveling through books and escaping everyday life by getting into a story has always been magical. I’ve never wanted to write anything but fiction, and was quite surprised to learn that only ten percent of all books written are actually fiction.

Life took many interesting turns, and I only really had a chance to get into any type of writing a good twenty years later. I studied languages after school and spent some time in Europe to master the oral side of German and French. I then applied for a post-graduate degree in journalism, but didn’t get in. I was disappointed, but ended up working in tourism instead, which was more fun and I got to travel a lot into Africa. This was where the travel bug bit me—and the safari bug, which is officially more vicious than a normal travel bug.

I did my first writing course in 2009, but it took me another four years to really get the time to start writing. I did many online courses, which allows you to learn at your own pace. I wrote two books, which both found their way into a very dark and forgotten cupboard. Then I wrote Perfect Mistake, which was then revised so much I hardly recognize the original story. Every bit of writing I’ve done has taught me something, and every book I’ve beta-read has taught me something too. Learning the craft of writing is an ongoing process and I don’t think you ever stop learning!

What are you working on right now?

I’m revising the sequel to Perfect Mistake, which is titled Perfect Addiction. It is the story about the hero’s sister and her journey to love. It takes the reader back to East Africa but on a different trip. It is much more emotional story than Perfect Mistake.

I’m also editing an erotic romance that’s coming out later this year titled The Paris Apartment. It was a project I started for the fun of it, and mostly to get the hang of writing love scenes which can be a very big challenge for me. Writing the book was a lot more fun than I anticipated and I might just be hooked on this genre!

How do you come up with characters?

My characters are inspired by people I’ve met (although they will never remember me—for example the first female pilot I ever flew with in Tanzania gave life to Simone Levin in Perfect Mistake), or by titbits I read in magazines. Real life stories are very inspirational and I find that over the years, things I’ve read about people stick together in their own makeshift puzzle to create a character. To be honest I have more of a clue when it comes to females, but I love Chris Summers in Perfect Addiction. He is a mishmash of current affairs, Good Housekeeping UK articles and Freddie Mercury! I always look back when I’ve completed a book and am quite surprised that a fictional human has found life between the pages.

What would you like to tell us about the characters in your story?

Perfect Mistake’s heroine, Simone Levin, had a very protected upbringing and escapes the cage only to find herself in dire straights as her mom had predicted. She is a pilot and I enjoyed giving her a job that’s off the beaten track for women. Being in a male dominated workspace brought on natural conflict and challenges. I loved writing Simone’s four-year-old daughter—children are fun to write and can break the tension in a scene or take the hero and heroine for an unexpected ride.

Carlo Carlevaro is half Italian, half Brittish, so really, hot as hell, tall dark and handsome, but a real gentleman. He has a very deep ingrained sense of responsibility, as he is the oldest of three siblings, and this is his biggest asset but leads to his biggest internal conflict every time.

What is your next project?

The third book in the series, titled Perfect Storm, is lurking in the dark recesses of my mind. I need to battle that one down onto paper, but I suspect it is going to be a hard write. I’d also like to get my head into writing the sequel to The Paris Apartment, which is either going to be about those main characters and their journey into deeper love, or it is going to be a spin-off story of the hero’s sister, who at some point, made it clearly known to me that she deserves her own book.

How about a blurb?

Simone Levin had a dream job as a safari pilot until an unexpected pregnancy clipped her wings. Tired of juggling motherhood with her demanding flight schedule, Simone applies for an office job, unaware that her new boss is Carlo Carlevaro, the man who’d ditched her before finding out he’d knocked her up. Carlo returns to East Africa only to kill another fire—Ivory trafficking from his lodges threatens to destroy his company. Finding Simone back on the payroll comes as a pleasant surprise. As his employee, Simone is off-limits, but she is the only one he trusts to help with his undercover investigation. With time running out, Simone and Carlo strive to expose the trafficking ring, but working together rekindles their mutual desire. When Simone is implicated as a trafficker, revealing her daughter’s existence to Carlo seems inevitable. Acting on her instincts might come too late as the syndicate retaliate and hone in their threat. Will they survive to give their love a chance?

That sounds like a fun summer read!

Here are the buy links:
Amazon

Barnes and Noble

KOBO US

The Wild Rose Press:


Sophia says she loves hearing from readers so here is how to follow her and contact her:

https://www.facebook.com/sophia.karlson.5, 
Twitter: @SophiaKarlson
On the web at www.sophiakarlson.com.

Thank you, Sophia, for being our guest today. Any comments or questions for Sophia?

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

A Journey into a Romantic Past


When writers mix the past and present, that always gets my attention, especially when romance is thrown into the mix. That's the premise behind a new Wild Rose Press release, Heart Healer by author Leslie Bowes and she is my guest today. Leslie is a native of Maryland, but later moved to South Carolina and fell in love with the low country. That's where she got the inspiration for her new book. 


Please tell us, Leslie, did you always want to be a writer?

No. Writing was just something I did for fun. I started going to school for movie editing but I had to take a writing class and I love it and started writing my first novel.

How did you get started in your road to publication?

I stared out trying self-publishing but Heart Healer was not getting as much notice as I would like. So, I stared looking for a publisher.  I found Wild Rose Press and have loved working with them.

Tell us about your new book and where got the idea for it.

Heart Healer started out as a historical romance called Rose Hill but it did not get published. So I stared on a contemporary romance called A Second Change At Love.  When I was in middle of writing, I noticed something was miss. So, I pulled out Rose Hill again and put parts of Rose Hill and A Second Chance at Love together and it became Heart Healer.

How did you come up with your characters for the book?

I want to write characters that were going through a hard time, but did not let hard times get them down.

What do you like best about your current hero?

Christopher isn’t your run of the mill hero.  He is all the things we have learned to love in a man. You will find no alpha here just a sweet loving, caring man who puts his family first. He was a true father and mother to his son who he loved dearly.

What about your heroine?

Catherine is a wonderful, sweet lady who gives so much of herself. Life has not treated her well since her mother’s death and her father leaving her to raise her brother.

How do you normally come up with characters?

I make a character chart and put stories I would like them to have.

How about a blurb?

Catherine Andrews is an English woman living in the 1800's. Her father sells her to Blake Von-Clyer to be his wife to pay off debts owed to Mr. Von-Clyer. Catherine soon finds out Blake is a cruel and horrible man.

On their wedding night, to escape his cruelty, she throws herself into the river. Death is better than marriage to a beast.

Christopher King is living in 2014 doing his best to raise his young son Ryan after his wife left him. One night, Christopher finds a woman in the river unconscious and barely breathing. She is also wearing old fashioned clothes. Christopher does everything in his power to help the young women. When Catherine regains consciousness, she finds herself in a strange and unbelievable situation. Terrified, she does her best to keep her guard up against Christopher, but as she gets to know him, she can't help but fall for the man who saved her life. When Catherine's dangerous past comes back to haunt her, it has Catherine and Christopher fighting for each other and their love.

What are you working on now?

I am working on book 2 in the Heart Healer series called The Choices for Love.

How can readers reach you or find you online?

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Heart-Healer-702127559856732/

Buy Links:



Thank you, Leslie,  for being my guest today. Any questions or comments for Leslie? 



Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Mail Order Romance

The idea of mail order brides  or marriages of convenience have often appealed to romance readers. I admit I've always been a fan of historical romances that include these type of premises. Don't we all want to see love bloom that seems to come out of nowhere or in unlikely situations or those where the bride and groom barely know each other?  The latest work by author Michal Scott, Better to Marry Than to Burn, caught my attention for that very reason.

Freed Man seeking woman to partner in marriage for at least two years in the black township of Douglass, Texas. Must be willing and able to help establish a legacy. Marital relations as necessary. Love neither required nor sought.
Caesar King's ad for a mail-order bride is an answer to Queen Esther Payne’s prayer. Her family expects her to adhere to society's traditional conventions of submissive wife and mother, but Queen refuses. She is not the weaker sex and will not allow herself to be used, abused or turned into a baby-making machine under the sanctity of matrimony. Grateful that love is neither required nor sought, she accepts the ex-slave's offer and heads West for marriage on her terms. Her education and breeding will see to that. However, once she meets Caesar, his unexpected allure and intriguing wit makes it hard to keep love at bay. How can she hope to remain her own woman when victory may be synonymous with surrender? 
Caesar seemed like an interesting character so I wanted to interview him and find out about why he wants a mail order bride.

Caesar, tell us a little about your current life and your family.

I’ve been living on land I leased in the Black town of Douglass, Arizona five years ago with my wife Emma, escaping the violence that followed my emancipation. Unfortunately, my Emma died in childbirth and the twin sons she bore followed. I’ve been living alone, working my land, trying to hold onto the hope I had when Emma was with me. 
What you are looking for or hoping for in your future?
When I was enslaved my master used me to impregnate women much like he used his stud and brood mares. Those women and the children they bore were sold like animals. I dreamed of the day when my body would be my own and I could father and raise children with a woman I loved and who loved me. All during Emma’s pregnancy we talked about rearing our children, loving them the way they deserved, seeing them grow and thrive and eventually have children of their own. I had that for a precious moment with her. It’s what I still want and hope to have one day. I want to leave a legacy.
Why do you want a mail-order bride?
Honestly, I didn’t want one. But for this bridal lottery, I would never have advertised for one. Mother Mabelle Jenkins helped me see this black cloud of foolishness had a silver lining. If I could have had my druthers, I’d have courted a woman so I could get to know her and she could get to know me.  Nothing can compare to seeing what someone appreciates, what affects them. Nothing can compare to hearing them speak, what they speak about.
What are you looking for in a bride?
A partner who my equal in pride, intellect and humor. A lover who sees intercourse as a pleasure, not just a duty for procreating. A sharer of my vision and values who believes as fiercely as I do that we must leave a legacy so our race can thrive. I know my advertisement contradicts this, but in my heart I never thought I’d attain this ideal, so I was willing to settle for less.
What is it about Queen Esther Payne that appeals to you?
First, the education I read in her letters. When we finally spoke face to face she displayed wit and humor that I didn’t know I was hungry for. Second, her physical appearance. Leave aside how beautiful she is. She carries herself with such pride and such – well the only word I can think of is majesty. She has such a regal bearing. Last – and most certainly not least – her boldness. When she so skillfully fondled me then left me breathless, I knew I found my ideal. How could I not find her appealing?
What about her worries or upsets you?
She looked down her nose at me when we first met and continues to act as if she’s entitled to be my boss. I didn’t throw off the shackles of actual slavery to take on the shackles of emotional slavery.  I also worry that when we have children she’ll pass on this snootiness to them. If this side of her doesn’t change, we won’t have a future. I’m worried my love may not be strong enough to conquer this negative aspect of her pride. I hope and pray it is. She’s my ideal. I can’t lose her.

Thanks, Caesar, for answering my questions. Want more? Here are the buy links for Better to Marry than to Burn:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BK1JPKX/?tag=thewildrosepr-20

The Wild Rose Press

Want to know more about author Michal Scott? Here is her contact info:
http://www.michalscott.webs.com/

Thanks, Michal, for being my guest today and for introducing us to your fascinating character. Any comments or questions for Michal?

Thursday, May 31, 2018

A Civil War Romance


Romance has always been my preferred reading during the warm days of summer, and this year we're off to a good start with a Civil War story written by Kathy Otten. She is the published author of multiple historical romance novels, novellas and short stories and is currently finishing up a contemporary young adult novel.  She also does manuscript assessments and teaches fiction writing online and at a local adult education center.  

Kathy lives in the rolling farmland of western New York where she can often be found walking her dog through the woods and fields. She has been married for thirty-four years and is the mother of three grown children and one grandson.

She is a Northwest Houston RWA Lone Star winner and Utah/Salt Lake RWA Hearts of the West finalist. Her newest book, A Place In Your Heart is her fourth full-length novel. 

Gracie McBride isn’t looking for love; she’s looking for respect. But in this man’s world of Civil War medicine, Gracie is expected to maintain her place changing beds and writing letters. Her biggest nemesis is the ward surgeon, Doctor Charles Ellard, who seems determined to woo her with arrogant kisses and terrible jokes.
Charles is an excellent surgeon. He assumed he would be well received by an army at war. He was not. Friendless and alone, he struggles to hide the panic attacks that plague him, while the only person who understands him is a feisty Irish nurse clearly resolved to keep him at a distance.

But, Charles is sent to the battlefield, and Gracie is left with a wounded soldier, a box of toys, and a mystery which can only be solved by the one man she wishes could love her, both as a woman and a nurse.

Let's hear more about these two fascinating characters, directly from them:

Gracie, please tell us a little about your life before the war.  

After me husband William  passed away, I went back work as a maid, scrubbing floors and polishing silver for the fine houses on Beacon Hill.

How did you become a nurse?
William be a fine doctor and he taught me all he knew o’ medicine and healing. For six years we worked together side by side.

What about your personal life? How has the war affected you and your family?
Two o’ me brothers, Michael and Callum were killed at Fredericksburg. I wanted to volunteer. To use what William taught me. If he had been alive he would have gone. And ‘twas a way to feel closer to him, to be doing what he would o’ done.

Who are you closest to in your life?  
‘Twould have to be me da. He loves to laugh, and sing, and he always be knowing the right thing to say. His hugs make me feel safe.

What is your biggest problem with Dr. Charles Ellard? 
The man can never explain himself. How am I to know what goes on in that great brain o’ his? ‘Twould avoid arguments if he could take the time to let people know what he be thinking. And where did the man get the notion that women be too delicate to work in a hospital?  I be here to stay, and I’ll not be going home just because he believes ‘tis not a woman’s place.

Dr. Ellard, what was your life like before the war? 
I had a small practice in Philadelphia which kept me busy.

What are your biggest personal challenges these days?
First, the ability to remain calm. Second, to maintain a quality level of care for my patients amid chaos, with limit supplies.  And third, to find a way to work efficiently with incompetent surgeons without losing my temper.

What draws you to Gracie?
Aside from the instinctive biological need for man to find a mate, I find Mrs. McBride to be quite different from other ladies of my acquaintance. She appears to appreciate my medical acumen and is efficient and well organized in her work.

What do you hope for the future?
My grandfather would like to see me marry and have children, which is something I will consider once this Rebellion has reached its inevitable conclusion. However, the number of battlefield injuries I have treated,  has given me reason to question the long held opinion of medical professionals, regarding the healing properties of laudable pus. Since my assignment at Armory Square Hospital, I have had the opportunity to document various stages in the progression of healing in a variety of wounds. I have concluded that the appearance laudable pus to be a precursor to both gangrene and septicemia, rather than the start of the healing process. With continued opportunities to collect data, I hope to complete my paper on pymeia and surgical fever.  If published, my findings may be the catalyst necessary to change current perceptions and create a whole new treatment regimen for wound care. 

I liked both of these characters as soon as I read their answers, and I know I'm looking forward to the book.  Here is where you can get it:

Amazon : https://www.amazon.com/Place-Your-Heart-Kathy-Otten-ebook/dp/B07CKYZ61M/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1526413930&sr=1-4&keywords=Kathy+Otten

TheWildRosePress :  https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/paperback-books/5884-a-place-in-your-heart-paperback.html?search_query=Kathy+Otten&results=15

You can reach Kathy at: 


Thank you, Kathy for introducing us to your new book and your wonderful characters.  Any comments or questions for Kathy?



Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Going South for A Hair-Raising Mystery

For an avid mystery reader, finding a new series is always a great joy. It's like visiting a new town or city and deciding you want to stay around for a while and get to know it better. That was how I felt the moment I read the description for author Penny Ewing's new book, Dixieland Dead. I needed to know more about Penny and her new book.

When the economy tanks in Whiskey Creek, Georgia, hairstylist, Jolene Claiborne expands her business to include skin care. A wise move until Scarlett Cantrell, a local celebrity, is murdered in the facial room. The police brush aside Jolene’s suspicions that the incident is tied to a recent break-in, and to complicate matters, the victim’s ghost threatens to make Dixieland Salon her permanent place of residence if Jolene fails to expose the killer.

Scarlett’s last words provide the only clue: “Find the jade elephant. Explains everything.” That is until a book of poetry turns up with a dangerous secret inside. Dealing with a diva ghost ain’t easy in the Bible belt. Throw in a sexy police detective, a crooked mayor with connections to the mob, a family cover-up, a mother who hasn’t cut the apron strings, and you get one stressed out middle-aged hairstylist with murder and mayhem on the brain.

Now that sounds like the next book on my "to be read" list.  Author Penny Burwell Ewing tells us she grew up along the pristine shores of Fort Pierce, Florida. She says living in a southern coastal town gave her the best of small town living where the residents look out for one another and she adds that her love of the supernatural and mysteries lead her to write the Haunted Salon Series. After spending years behind the stylist chair, she gave up her cosmetology license in favor of a desk chair and the adventures that come with fiction writing. She says we can find a few of her hairstylist’s adventures in her books. 

She now lives in a quaint town in South Georgia, where she says it’s "dang hot" most of the time, and the gnats are bigger than the state bird; the Brown Thrasher. When not busy writing, she wiles away the hours with counted cross-stitch projects, crocheting, and other fine needlecrafts. She also says loves dark chocolate and blackberry wine.

We're looking forward to more adventures from Penny. But for now let's get an excerpt from Dixieland Dead.


The facial room pulled at me like a magnet. Where did the human life energy go after departing this life? Could Heaven and Hell truly be our last destination, or could we linger here trapped in the last peaceful or hellish moments of our life? Thoughts like these had troubled me since Daddy died. For years afterward, I’d studied books on the afterlife, religious teachings from various faiths, the great philosophers, and the occult, and even ancient alien theorists, always trying in vain to contact him.
This morning’s strange incident at the cemetery resurfaced. I removed the yellow-crime scene tape, the door vibrating under my hands. Call it déjà vu or precognition, but I suddenly knew something monumental waited on the other side. Slowly, I turned the knob. The hairs on my nape prickled as a voice whispered in my ear, “You can’t go in there.”
I snatched my hand from the door knob. “Crap, Deena, you scared the hell outta me. Must you sneak around?”
“I never sneak. You simply weren’t listening.”
The kitchen door swung open. Mama stood in the doorway. “What’s going on out here? Stop horsing around. Go find Billie Jo. I’m ready to leave.”
“Jolene’s going in there.” Deena jerked her thumb toward the closed facial room door.
Billie Jo rounded the corner. “What’s all the commotion?”
“Jolene’s going in there,” Deena repeated.
“No, she’s not,” Mama said. “The police will accuse us of tampering with evidence. We’ll go in when Sam gives the okay.”
“We can’t leave before making sure that multi-function Skin Care Station is properly shut off,” I said. “It cost over fifteen hundred dollars.”
“No one’s going in there,” Mama huffed. “Got it?”
Billie Jo reached out and tested the knob. “It’s locked anyway.”
“That’s strange. It wasn’t a moment ago,” I said, twisting the knob and finding it locked. “Go get the key, Deena.”
“We lost the key years ago.”
“Wait,” I said excitedly. “I’ll get a butter knife from the kitchen.” I turned to leave, but Mama grabbed me by the arm, causing me to stumble against the door. With a thump, it flew open, propelling me into the room. As I stumbled for balance, something white fluttered in the semi-darkness. Regaining my balance, I quickly switched on the lights before Mama could protest.
“Ahhh,” I said with vexation, my eyes taking in the discarded jars lining the counter top. A dusting of fine powder covered the floor. “This room’s a mess. It’ll take hours to clean.”
“They must’ve take a sample of everything,” Deena piped up behind me. “What’s on the floor?”
Billie Jo bent down and ran her finger over the floor, leaving a thin trail. “It looks like oatmeal. Carla said she mixed everything into that death mask.”
Mama stuck her head in the doorway. “Don’t touch anything and get out of there right now. We need to get over to the hospital. Jolene, if you don’t come out of there right this instant, I promise you that when the roll is called up yonder, you’ll be there!”
Deena backed out of the room. “She’s right; the hospital is expecting me.”
“I’m ready to leave, too,” Billie Jo said, joining Mama and Deena in the hallway.
There wasn’t any need to try and argue my point with them—my vote would be vetoed immediately. The facial equipment was unplugged, so I turned off the lights and shut the door. A loud crash sounded from inside the room. Quickly, I flung open the door, flipped on the overhead lights, and screamed with every ounce of my being—for there, on the facial bed, sat the faint, ghostly image of Scarlett Cantrell.

If you want to read more, here are the buy links:




And here is where you can read more about Penny:


Thank you, Penny, for being my guest and bringing us a new mystery. Any comments or questions for Penny?