BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE is the sequel to A STONE’S THROW, the first Cobble Cove mystery. Although this book can be read as a standalone, some readers may prefer to read the first book for more background on the characters. If you like cozy mysteries that take place in a small town with quirky characters and several twists, you should enjoy both books. Between a Rock and a Hard Place will be released by Solstice Publishing this fall.
Warning: If you haven’t read A STONE’S THROW, the following preview to its sequel may contain spoilers.
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?
If you haven’t read the first Cobble Cove mystery, you can find it on any of these sites (Note: A STONE’S THROW will soon by on Kindle Unlimited and no longer available as an ebook on any other site than Amazon.com. The paperback will still be available from all sellers.)
While this blog post topic is a week late for the challenge because I was on vacation and very busy when I returned, I still wanted to write it to introduce one of my newest characters in my mystery BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE, the sequel to A STONE’S THROW. I am busy working on edits for this book and hope it’s out in October or November.
Warning: If you haven’t read A STONE’S THROW yet, you might want to skip this post because it contains a spoiler from the ending.
While many characters from A STONE’S THROW are still included in its sequel, there are also quite a few new characters as Cobble Cove expands. Two of the newer characters introduced in BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE are college students, Kim Pierce and Andy Phillips. The two young people are journalism interns who work for John at the Cobble Cove Courier. Kim also babysits for John and Alicia’s twins. I am profiling her for this challenge.
Kim is the second oldest in a large family. She wears her brown hair in a ponytail and dresses casually in sweaters and jeans. She and Andy, who work together on the newspaper, are dating. Their relationship becomes tested in the book when he is suspected and later accused of some of the crimes that take place in Cobble Cove during the holiday season. When Kim witnesses an event that touches John and Alicia, her older brother Carter comforts her in Andy’s place.
Here is an unedited scene from BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE, Cobble Cove Mystery #2 starring Kim:
The babysitter appeared at the nursery door. She was dressed in tight-fitting jeans, a pale fuzzy blue sweater that accented her light blue eyes. Her brown hair was tied back in a ponytail.
“Sorry that took so long,” she said not even out of breath having run up the stairs. Alicia envied the girl’s 20-year old body.
“Not to worry. I know how long doctors take. Sheila sent me home because she thinks I need more rest, but I feel fine. John was around earlier, but he’s gone to do some chores. Since you’re here, maybe I’ll take him up on his suggestion to go Christmas shopping or do something in town.”
Kim smiled. “Of course. You deserve to have time to yourself. I can watch the twins until four and then I have to get ready for my evening class.”
“I should be back way before then. How are your classes going this semester?”
Kim walked over to the cribs and looked down at the babies who were starting to fall asleep. In a low voice, she replied. “They’re good. Lots of work, but I enjoy it.”
“How much longer do you need to go before you earn your degree?”
Kim was by Carol’s crib, and she smiled as the baby opened her eyes again and regarded her with a gurgle. She reached down and tickled her.
“So sweet. Your babies are adorable, Alicia. One day, I hope to have cuties like these. But I want to start my career first. If I can afford the classes next year, I’ll be able to finish the following spring.”
Alicia knew college costs were high. “Are you taking out any loans?” When Alicia was at Long Island University, she’d earned some scholarships but she’d also borrowed money in her last year at library school. Luckily, she was able to pay her loan off shortly after she married her first husband.
“I’m not sure that’s a wise thing to do,” Kim said walking over to Johnny and watching as he followed his sister in waking up.
“I hate to have to pay back all that money with interest. I know I won’t earn much in the field I’m entering, especially in the beginning, and I can’t expect my parents to help much since I have three sisters and a brother at home.”
Alicia knew that both Kim and John’s other assistant, Andy, were from lower middle-class families. Kim came from a large family compared to today’s households and, although Andy only had a younger brother, his dad had died in a car accident a few years ago. His mother was struggling to make ends meet. She felt for the young people who were just starting out and was glad that John was paying them for their work on the paper and that she could offer Kim additional money for babysitting.
I’m very excited to participate in the blog challenge Sophia Valentine of Lifestyle and Literature created (see graphic for topics and dates if you have a blog and would like to participate. If you’re a reader, I’m sure you’ll enjoy learning about some of the great participating authors).