Posted in Books, holidays

A Late Valentine for My Readers from my WIP

I meant to post this on Valentine’s Day, but I’m sure it’s better late than never. It’s an excerpt from my Work In Progress, the 4th Cobble Cove mystery, tentatively called Love on the Rocks. This book takes place around Valentine’s Day. The manuscript is not yet complete because I was waylaid with other projects, but here’s a scene to wet your appetites.

“Alicia, come with me to the Reference Desk. I left a few more decorations there and can use a hand putting them up.”

Alicia followed Sheila back to the desk admiring the paper hearts and flowers hanging from the library’s ceilings and the red streamers that lay across the stacks. Two huge red hearts graced a banner strung across the entranceway over the turnstiles. In the center of each, handwritten in glittery purple script were the names of her best friend and new husband – Gilly and Ron. She knew Gilly would be glad they used her nickname but wasn’t sure the sheriff would approve of the use of his first name. Most of the town resident’s knew him as Ramsay.

Sheila ran around the desk pulling out drawers. She reminded Alicia of a hen tending her chickens. “Gilly and Ramsay are going to be so surprised.”

Alicia agreed. The idea for a combination wedding and Valentine’s Day party was hatched up by Sheila, and it was a great thought. The rest of the staff was busy upstairs where the party would be held arranging more decorations there and putting out all the home-cooked dishes they’d prepared along with the red, pink, and white sheet cake that would be served for dessert.

“What’s this?” Sheila paused in her tossing of decorations atop the desk.

Alicia came over to see what had grabbed the director’s attention. A velvet shaped heart box sat by one of the computer stations. As Alicia came closer, she could see a post-it attached to it with the words, “To Sheila from your secret admirer.”

Sheila smiled. “That Ryan. He knows I have a sweet tooth and am particularly fond of chocolates.” She opened the lid. “My favorites. I know I should wait for the party, but these are just too appealing.”

Alicia watched as Sheila took a few pieces and bit into them. Only a few seconds after she swallowed, her smile faded. She began to choke and clutched her throat.

“Sheila, are you okay?” Alicia rushed over afraid she wouldn’t recall how to do the Heimlich maneuver, but Sheila had already passed out on the floor. “Help!” Alicia called racing to the stairs. The romantic music playing above her drowned out her voice. Just as she grabbed her cell phone to dial 911, Ryan Anderson walked through the door, a huge bouquet of roses in his arms. He stopped short seeing Sheila on the ground. “What happened. Oh, My God!”

“I’m dialing 911 right now,” Alicia said. “She ate some of your chocolates and then passed out. I’m not sure if she choked on a piece.”

“My chocolates? I didn’t get her any chocolates. I was bringing her these flowers.” He dropped them on the desk and then knelt down and started administering CPR to Sheila’s unmoving body.

Although this book can be read as a standalone, you might want to check out the first 3 in the series before it’s released.

A Stone’s Throw

Book blurb:

Widowed librarian Alicia Fairmont needs answers…

After her husband is killed in a hit and run accident, Alicia travels upstate to his hometown of Cobble Cove, New York. She hopes to locate his estranged family and shed light on his mysterious past. Anticipating staying only a weekend, her visit is extended when she accepts a job at the town’s library.

Secrets stretch decades into the past…

Assisted by handsome newspaper publisher and aspiring novelist, John McKinney, Alicia discovers a connection between her absent in-laws and a secret John’s father has kept for over sixty years. Her investigation is interrupted when she receives word her house has burned and arson is suspected, sending her rushing back to Long Island, accompanied by John.

Back in Cobble Cove, cryptic clues are uncovered…

When Alicia returns, she finds a strange diary, confiscated letters, and a digital audio device containing a recording made the day her husband was killed. Anonymous notes warn Alicia to leave town, but she can’t turn her back on the mystery—or her attraction to John. As the pieces fall into place, evidence points to John’s involvement in her husband’s accident. The past and present threaten to collide, and Alicia confronts her fears…

Has she fallen in love with her husband’s killer?

EXCERPT:

When she entered the storage room, she didn’t see Sneaky, although she thought he might’ve headed there to use his litter box. Cats can be quiet and liked to sleep in the strangest spots, so he could be there in some corner. Mac’s jacket was still draped across the chair by the desk. She laughed recalling the story about what Sneaky had once done to it out of spite, so typical of an angered cat. She sat in the chair and perused the stack of books on the desk. A few were from James Patterson’s “Private” series. She didn’t read too many series and had only read a few of Patterson’s standalone titles. As she was about to choose a book from the pile, she heard scratching in the corner. She jumped. Hopefully, that was Sneaky and not a mouse he hadn’t caught, for this place probably attracted them. She walked cautiously to the corner where she’d heard the noise. It wasn’t coming from the litter box under the window but from the opposite side.

Since the one bulb in the room was dim, she could hardly see in the dark recesses of the room. She wished she had a flashlight. As she approached the area where she heard the noise, she saw a bunch of boxes. She was relieved to see Sneaky scratching the side of one, cardboard pieces scattered at his feet.

“Oh, Sneaky,” she said. “You scared me, but you’re only using a box for a scratching post.”

The cat, caught in the act, stopped in mid-scratch and scampered away through his cat flap. Alicia made a note to speak to John about helping her find a real scratching post for Sneaky, but before she left the room, she went over to the boxes. She figured they contained more books, but when she looked inside the one Sneaky had been scratching, she saw a few papers bundled together with rope. Newspapers? They weren’t that thick. She realized as she picked up the first bundle, they were a stack of letters. She felt uneasy snooping through them and was about to toss them next to the other two stacks in the box when she caught the name on the top envelope, Miss Carol Parsons. Her heart thudded in tempo with the rain. Were these the letters Mac wrote to Peter’s mother all those years ago? If so, how had Mac gotten them back?

Amazon Universal Purchase Link: myBook.to/Stonesthrow2

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Book blurb:

Librarian Alicia McKinney has put the past behind her…

Two years ago, Alicia discovered both a terrible truth and lasting love with John McKinney in the small town of Cobble Cove, New York. Now a busy mother of twin babies and co-author of a mystery series, Alicia couldn’t be happier.

Alicia’s contentment and safety are challenged…

Walking home alone from the library, Alicia senses someone following her, and on more than one occasion, she believes she is being watched. Does she have a stalker? When the local gift shop is burglarized, the troubling event causes unrest among Alicia and the residents of the quiet town.

John and Alicia receive an offer they can’t refuse…

When John’s sister offers to babysit while she and John take a much-needed vacation in New York City, Alicia is reluctant to leave her children because of the disturbances in Cobble Cove. John assures her the town is safe in the hands of Sheriff-elect Ramsay. Although Alicia’s experience with and dislike of the former Long Island detective don’t alleviate her concern, she and John take their trip.

Alicia faces her worst nightmare…

The McKinneys’ vacation is cut short when they learn their babies have been kidnapped and John’s sister shot. Alicia and John’s situation puts them between a rock and a hard place when the main suspect is found dead before the ransom is paid. In order to save their children, the McKinneys race against the clock to solve a mystery more puzzling than those found in their own books. Can they do it before time runs out?

EXCERPT:

Luckily, some of the light posts that still graced Cobble Cove streets and were adorned with garland this time of year provided illumination for her as she headed down Bookshelf Lane. In the distance, she could hear some Christmas music. Straining to hear the melody, she realized it was coming from the direction of Cobble Corner. The shops must be keeping late hours for the holidays, she thought.

Just as Alicia was about to turn on to Stone Throw Road, she heard footsteps behind her. No one else seemed to be on the road except her. The footsteps were muffled by the music coming from the shops, but she had good hearing. She began to walk faster, and the steps behind her increased to match her pace. She was afraid to turn, but as the music swelled away, she heard someone breathing.

Amazon Universal Purchase Link: myBook.to/CobbleCove2

Written in Stone

Book blurb:

Alicia McKinney is confused . . . .

Was the strange email her husband received from the fictional detective in their mystery series a threat? Did the killer mistake the woman shot in the library for Alicia or the victim’s twin sister?

Cat vs. Dog . . .

After Sneaky goes missing from the library, will he turn up before a young girl becomes ill with worry over his disappearance? And will he return in time to outsmart Fido by being first to find the perpetrator’s smoking gun?

Alicia is worried . . .

While waiting for the killer’s next move, Alicia has other concerns. An old flame of John’s is in town and her friend, Gilly, has adopted the role of Miss Marple to aid her sheriff boyfriend in his investigation.

When all clues point to one of her co-workers, Alicia joins Gilly in searching for the answers to the mystery.

Will they survive . . . .

or is their ending written in stone?

EXCERPT:

The scream echoed through the library. Alicia, Gerry, Donald, Bonnie, and Gladys rushed from different areas and converged into the 364 section where Gilly stood shaking, her hand pointing at the ground where a body lay face down. The first thing Alicia noticed besides the blood and the gaping hole in the back of the woman’s head was the light purple blouse the victim wore. It was the same one she’d admired in the window of Chloe’s Closet and bought on sale a few days ago. It was the same blouse she herself wore to work this morning and the one she’d mentioned to her editor the night before. “Oh, my God! It’s Mary Beth,” she said.

Gerry took his cell phone out of his pocket. “Don’t touch anything,” he instructed. “I’m calling 911.”

As a bunch of onlookers gathered on both sides of the aisle, Alicia tried to keep things calm. There were whispers and exclamations. Adele Wexler, at the front of the crowd was observing the event with excitement as if she were happy to be present for a real-life murder.

“Looks like 911 won’t do anything for her. We should call Ramsay,” said Donald. “We also have to close the library. I’ll go lock the doors and put up a sign, but I don’t think we should let people leave.”

Amazon Universal Purchase Link: myBook.to/CC3ebook

 

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Author:

I'm a librarian at a public library and author of the Cobble Cove mystery series and other novels, short stories, articles, and a novella. My books include CLOUDY RAINBOW, A STONE'S THROW, BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE, WRITTEN IN STONE, and my new release REASON TO DIE (Solstice Publishing, March 2018). I have also completed a standalone psychological thriller, SEA SCOPE, and THE CASE OF THE CAT CRAZY LADY, the first of a new cozy series, for which I am currently seeking representation. I am a member of Sisters-in-Crime, Long Island Authors Group, and the Cat Writer's Association. I live on Long Island with my husband, daughter, and a cat.

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