Now available! Mystery, Romance, Suspense on the Gulf ...
Mira Stanley has come to Cape San Blas, Florida for one reason -- to save Claire Peterson, her boss's aunt, from being swindled and losing her home. She realizes it will be a challenge to defeat Bradley Lane, the unscrupulous land developer, even with her accomplished skills as a lawyer. However, another element adds itself to the equation when Mira meets the attractive Sean Thorndale. The chemistry between them leaves Mira confused and frightened.
Sean Thorndale has always been confident and driven with one personal agenda. And it promises to be dangerous. Even if he must deceive others by following Bradley Lane's orders, he'll do it to get justice for someone close to him. At least that's how he feels until he meets Mira Stanley. The attraction builds. Is the danger to Sean worth the risk to their relationship?
ebook: $4.99 Paperback: $15.99
Jack Robesaux is dead. Is it suicide? Or possibly murder? Marin Seurat has come home to Saint Toulere, Louisiana and by using her special gift -- the ability to communicate with spirits through her dreams she will help solve mysteries from both the past and present. Dying to Dream is an intriguing mix of murder, paranormal, voodoo, and romance set in a charming southern town.
Paperback $15.95; ebook $1.99: available at online retailers and can be ordered at most bookstores.
Meet Lilly Millenovanovich. She's turning 40, single, and life is in constant chaos. She writes mysteries, but often finds herself caught up in the middle of real ones. The question always is ... can she figure things out and get back to a normal life? In Whips, Lilly's Aunt Fran is missing. With the help of her best friend and cousin, Mona, as well as a troop of nosey but determined aunts, Lilly will manage. Now, if only she can get her romance back on track ... Whips, Cuffs, and Little Brown Boxes
Paperback @ $12.50; eBook is FREE!
It's new. It's exciting. It's Lilly at both her worst and best. She's economically and romantically challenged. And she's fallen right back into trouble once more with another murder mystery to solve. With illegal aliens, the Mexican Mafia, a big time crime boss and a hot, Latino bad boy adding to the fun, it's never a boring moment in Gangs, Illegals, and a Rose Tattoo.
Available in both ebook and paperback formats. Sold at various online retailers, such as amazon, smashwords, barnes & noble. (ebook - $1.99)
"I didn’t have time to mope. We had a criminal or two to catch, a murder rap to solve, and an ex fiancé to save.” – Lilly Millenovanovich.
Rescue ex fiancé, Jake Kline. Save pastry chef, Audrey Willow. That’s the plan. Mystery author, Lilly Millenovanovich finds herself up to her ears in mayhem and mischief in this latest caper. After receiving a phone call from professional hit lady, Brooke Williams, Lilly’s life moves from hometown Barton, Ohio to the Gulf coast of Florida. Brooke claims to have Lilly’s best friend and ex fiancé, Jake Kline under lock and key. Her directions are very clear: if Lilly wants to save Jake, come to Florida and do what Brooke asks, no matter what that is. Devilish, Devious, and Deadly with One Bite
As if that wasn’t enough on her plate, Lilly is drawn into helping Aunt Sadie’s friend and pastry chef, Audrey Willow, prove she really didn’t poison a food critic with her famous chocolate dessert. Or did she? Lilly manages a skilled but somewhat haphazard juggling act to work at finding the real killer while trying to avoid provoking Jake’s captor from sending him to the bottom of the ocean. Both old friends and enemies enter the picture. Like Latin dreamboat, Agent Nick Galina, who stirs up emotions Lilly would like to avoid. And Mexican crime boss, Carlos Ruido, who manages to be the center of all Lilly’s problems. Of course, it wouldn’t be any fun without throwing an aunt or three into the mix, along with their quirky, zany behaviors.
Will Lilly rescue Jake? Will she prove Audrey Willow didn’t commit murder? Devilish, Devious, and Deadly with One Bite will serve a tantalizing, scrumptious story with all the answers in this third installment of the Lilly M Mysteries.
Available in both ebook and paperback formats. Sold at various online retailers, such as amazon, smashwords, barnes & noble. (ebook - $1.99)
It’s wedding bell blues and disaster when murder comes to the Paulmona Winery and Villa. Mystery author and part time snoop, Lilly Millenovanovich is the unlucky bride-to-be, but she gladly exchanges her wedding dress for gumshoes and brushes off her bag of spy tricks to solve the crime. After all, family obligation takes priority. Lilly and her zany trio of elderly aunties, must do their part to prove Cousin Mona didn’t kill groomsman Lenny Brioli with a corkscrew wine opener. Trouble is, the evidence keeps pointing in one direction with Mona as murder suspect number one. Detective Grezzo has his sleuthing hands full while handling the case on his own. Jake Kline, Lilly’s fiancé, obviously can’t work the case since Lenny is his best friend. That is, until Lilly convinces him to join her and snoop on the sly. Mona’s life and happiness depends on it. Will it be happily never after for the unlucky couple? Or can Lilly save the date and her wedding dress for another day? It’s a murderous and crazy adventure in this fourth and final episode of the Lilly M Mysteries.
Grave Maker Blues -- a Shades of Blue Mystery
The limestone marker wore the scars from its battle against age. Squiggles and crevices wormed their way in and out and through the engraved surface. With brush in hand Mac delicately stroked the stone to swipe away the powdery grey dirt and uncover the name and dates. She pushed back a loose strand of unruly black hair and then rubbed both hands on her pant legs to remove the sweat before taking hold of the voice recorder. Placing it close to her mouth, she read the information. “Jordan Corydon, born 1863, died 1898.”
With concerted effort, she stood up and winced as knees cracked under the pressure and overuse from the morning’s trial that now dipped into afternoon. Blistering heat crackled and sparked while brilliant sunlight streamed and fanned its rays across the rows of stones. The intense song of a cardinal echoed through the woods, a voice to silent souls that rested beneath the ground. With a twist of an arm she glanced at her watch warning of the need to leave soon. A sigh escaped. She glanced from one row to the next. After five hours she’d barely made a dent. Three hundred and fifty-seven stone markers, and she managed to record only ninety-eight of them.
“Joseph Bluehawk, born 1845, died 1904.” She switched the recorder off and sat down on the ground. After gulping several ounces of water, she doused her face with the rest of the bottle. The temperature had reached close to ninety by noon. Not exactly the best weather for this sort of work. A curse or two escaped her lips. A time later in the week, after the mountain rains had cooled the air, would have suited her. Her uncle had other ideas.
“A half dozen more, Chaz Mackenzie. That’s all you’ll get today,” Mac grumbled as she struggled to her feet once more.
One-hundred and thirty-nine cemeteries were located in Warren County, ten of them in Elk Township alone, and they varied in size from a family plot of less than a handful to hundreds. Some sites had been transplanted from their original location, like Cornplanter’s. Of course, that one had a story all its own, burdened with a rich and tragic history. She knew all of this and more because she researched it.
“Jacob Bluehawk, born 1898, died 1899.” She reread the engraved words in silence and struggled to keep away any tears, but the lump in her throat was hard to swallow. In some way it left her with an inconsolable sadness. All those many souls gone to another place where the living couldn’t follow until fate or some spiritual power decided to take them there. With a firm click, she turned off the recorder once more and pocketed the device. Enough for one day. Her armored defense to stave off emotion had dissolved.
With one last look at little Jacob’s gravestone, she turned away and made the phone call. “Hey, Uncle Chaz. It’s me.”
“Sarah Blue. I thought you’d never call.”
“You know this’ll take time.” Mac set her eyes wearily on the hundreds of stones. “Lots of time. How are you feeling today?”
“Above dirt, I expect. Did you find any matches?”
“Not sure. There are several Corydons in the mix and Bluehawks and Pierces, but no Clearwaters.” Mac tired of reciting even a handful of names, there’d been so many. She strolled down the path between two rows of stones to find shade under the line of trees at the edge.
“Not nearly good enough. If I’m to do justice to this book, you know as well as any that I need a solid, documented connection between at least two families.”
Mac heard the grumble in his tone. “I realize. The Corydons are a somewhat fair match. Not sure about the rest until I research further. If I can manage to get a hold of the genealogy records at some other courthouse or library, that could be our break,” she reasoned.
“I need the information now, not tomorrow or next week.” His voice rose.
“Please don’t take attitude with me, and calm yourself before you pass out or worse. I can’t help it if the only place I found records failed to provide anything prior to the fifties. And need I remind you? Mrs. Quintero insisted those volumes burned along with everything else housed in the Corydon Library during the fire of two thousand four. But it doesn’t matter. There’re bound to be other ones. I only have to find them.”
Mac stopped at the tree line and leaned against a thick-trunked oak and sighed. She loved her uncle deeply, but blood ties or not, he taxed her patience. He was demanding, gruff, and often made unreasonable requests. However, she’d made a promise to Aunt Grace the day she left to return home to Export. Such an unhappy ending to a romantic beginning. Forty years before, Chaz had walked out of the coal mine, came down from the hilliest parts of Pennsylvania and a tiny burg where most boys reached no more than an eighth grade education before they were sucked into the mine to earn money and help put food on the table. He took one look at Grace’s angelic face and asked for her hand in marriage a month later. His romantic nature with poems and songs, written especially for his love, only added to the complexity of this coal miner. Yet, Grace loved him all the more for it.
When Aunt Grace said her goodbyes, she told Mac that Chaz would become her responsibility. It was the logical solution. If he were to listen to anybody, it would be Mac. And here they were, five years later. Chaz Blue Mackenzie still dished out his salty meanness while Sarah Blue Mackenzie continued to care for him. With a tight grip on the phone she listened to Chaz continue to gripe.
“And that’s more time than I have. Holy saints, I’m four feet deep stuck in a mud hole with writin’ this book and ain’t about to dig my way out.”
Mac leaned away from the trunk to stand up straight and took quick steps along the tree line, the pace of her feet rapid enough to match her heartbeat. “Look, Uncle Chaz, I am doing the best I can with what little I have to go on, but your sour mood is not helping me to …” Mac’s voice broke off and she stilled. A fresh mound of dirt piled high next to a good-sized hole rested ten or so yards ahead.
“I’m sorry, child. I should’ve never considered takin’ on this project. The historical society spun quite an appealin’ story. You know? Shoot. Problems and headaches, that’s all it is. Don’t you agree? … Sarah? You still there?”
“Ah, yeah. Hold on,” she said and once more moved forward. A fresh grave in a cemetery. This wasn’t anything unusual. Somebody who dies would need burying. However, no one had been buried in Cornplanter Cemetery since the first half of the twentieth century.
Mac’s pace slowed to a crawl as her nose picked up on a foul odor. The harsh chatter of crows perched in the tree above startled her, enough that she lost her balance. She gasped. Her arms flailed wildly until she found her feet planted on the ground once more. Counting to ten she took a deep breath through her mouth. Another step and she reached the edge of the hole. “Okay, Sarah Mackenzie, you can do this,” she whispered before leaning in to take a peek. With a loud gasp, she stumbled backward. She doubled over at the waist, coughed and tried to hold down the bitter taste rising up through her stomach and into her throat.
“What in hell is all that noise comin’ from the other end of this phone?”
Mac’s legs weakened and she crumbled to the ground. In another minute she put the phone back to her ear. “I have to go, Uncle Chaz. There’s a body in a grave. I need to call the sheriff.”
Chaz laughed. “What did you expect? You’re in a cemetery, girl.”
Mac shook her head. “This one’s different. I’ll talk to you when I get home.” She ended the call. Her knuckles blanched as the grip tightened on her phone.
To be certain the long day with its heat and burning sunlight didn’t play games with her eyes, she walked back to the grave once more. Another quick look told Mac this was no delusion. There was a man in the grave, a man with what looked like a bullet hole through the middle of his chest. And for a brief moment, though it seemed insane, the face seemed strangely familiar. Somebody from her past. But that was impossible, wasn’t it? As she began to turn away, something else caught her eye. A rather large, flat stone rested at the head of the hole, as if placed there with deliberate intent. She avoided the edge with steps distanced enough to keep from slipping and drew closer to examine the stone. The smooth and polished surface was marred by crude lettering engraved in its center. She bent to read and puzzled over what she saw. “Sins of the Soul,” she whispered. Her hand trembled as she opened her phone to call the Warren authorities. She averted her eyes away from the stone, and to somehow help her breathe easier, she took several steps away from the grave. As she waited for someone to pick up, her mind tossed around the insane idea of how familiar his face was and the conclusion it made her want to form.
The urge to return to the grave and take another look taunted her. She needed convincing, reassurance of a sort. Instead, she continued in the other direction and moved toward the front of the cemetery where Jacob Bluehawk rested. There she stopped. Taking one hand, she rubbed it harshly over her face, struggling to erase the image of the body. Reese Logan was dead. He’d died almost ten years ago. But then who was the man in the open grave?
“Warren Sheriff’s department, Paula Yelkin speaking.”
The sound disrupted her thoughts. A sudden chill passed through Mac and she trembled. “I need to speak to the sheriff. It’s about …” She paused to catch her breath. “It’s urgent. Please.” She chewed on her thumbnail and waited until a deep growl came across the phone.
“Sheriff, this is Sarah Mackenzie. I need to report … I found a dead body in Cornplanter Cemetery.”
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