Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Author, blog, Book, Crime, Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, Story, Thriller, Tour, Writer

The Eyewitness By Nancy Weeks – Release Tour + #Giveaway

21/03/17

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The Eyewitness
By Nancy Weeks
Genre: Mystery, Crime Thriller, Romance
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Fans of TV’s Blue Bloods will love this dynamic new suspense series.
Maryland PD forensic scientist Emersyn D’Azzo has an explosive past with her
father’s younger, sexy partner, Detective Alec Pearce. Then an
ill-timed kiss destroys the thin line of trust between her and her
dad, just before tragedy strikes and someone guns down her father.
The fatal bullet turns out to be tied to the ongoing spree of random
sniper kills across the state, but Emersyn knows this wasn’t a
random act of violence and is determined to find the killer.
To do so, she’ll need to rely on help from Alec, whom she doesn’t
quite trust but just can’t resist. When they discover a connection
to a decades-old disappearance of a college student, their
investigation takes a deadly twist. Can they learn to trust each
other with their hearts to save their lives?
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Ted edged in closer. “You can take a few moments for one dance.” He eyed Tessa. “You don’t mind if I borrow your sister, do you?”

But I do.”

The deep, masculine voice sent an arousing jolt right into Emersyn’s core. And damn it to hell, her mouth went dry, making it impossible to swallow. She fingered her straw then took a deep drink. This time she welcomed the burning chill against her lungs. Detective Alec Pearce had a knack for showing up at her worst moments. Why the hell was he here?

Ted moved away from her as if he’d been burned. “Alec, good to see you.”

You do know you’re hitting on my partner’s daughter, right, Ted?”

Just asking her for a dance.”

Emersyn glanced between the two; she actually preferred Ted’s company to the man who seemed to go out of his way to make her crazy.

Alec reached for her hand and set it in his palm. “Actually, she promised this dance to me. They’re playing our song.”

The muscles in her body tensed as her fingernails dug into his skin. “I don’t—”

Music is on, Em. Shall we?” His other hand went around her waist, and he gave her a swift yank.

Jerkball, let go,” she hissed in his ear.

His grip tightened. “It’s just one dance. Play nice.”

Alec escorted Emersyn to the small dance floor near the bandstand. Every instinct in her wanted to slap his arrogant expression right into next week, but that would make a scene. It was what half the bar expected the instant he got within striking distance. They were all waiting for her to let loose. But this was a new day, a new diploma, new job, new Emersyn. Emotions in check.

My name is Emersyn. I would think you would remember something so simple.”

Alec’s face lit with a grin as his arms brought her close and their bodies began to move to the music. She shot a glare at Tessa, pleading for her to do something. Instead, her sister, the traitor, took another sip of Emersyn’s drink, lifted it in a toast, and rotated in her seat.

A chuckle came from deep in Alec’s throat. “Tessa likes me. You can thank me now.”

I can also knee you where the sun doesn’t shine.”

He lifted her chin with his thumb. “Now that wasn’t nice. I sacrificed a night with that blonde”—he nodded to a beautiful woman sitting at the end of the bar—“just to keep Lecher Ted from hitting on you … again.”

What makes you think I needed rescuing?”

Oh please, Tessa, make the creep go away. I’m ever so sweet and don’t want to hurt the poor jerk’s feelings.”

She yanked out of Alec’s hold, but he was ready and moved her back into his arms without missing a beat.

Relax. I’m teasing.”

You are such an ass.”

His lips brushed over her ear. “Enjoy our moment, Em.”

Impossible. They had more layers of misunderstanding between them than her mother’s chocolate cake, heated words that couldn’t be unheard and arguments with no closure.

After her father had mentioned at dinner that Alec was joining them for dessert, she’d jumped at Tessa’s offer to buy her a drink at the tavern. It was the perfect place to hide out. A lone wolf like Alec wouldn’t be caught dead in the crowded, noisy bar. But here he was. She’d run but not far enough.

I’m sorry I missed your graduation ceremony, but I have a little something for you,” he whispered.

You didn’t need to do that.”

I’m proud of you.”

The words sounded so genuine. “Dad seems resigned to the idea of me at least working alongside cops, if not as a cop.”

Joe doesn’t want you anywhere near the job. But you found a way around that. Instead of crawling in the gutter looking for the worst mankind has to offer, you’re picking through what they left behind.”

She halted in the middle of the dance floor. “You think that’s why I became a forensic scientist?”

I didn’t mean it like that.”

Then what did you mean?”

The music stopped, and they stood still, glaring at each other. Our thing. “I can’t do this tonight,” she said, dropping her hand to her sides. “Thanks.”

For?”

Saving me from another go-around with Ted.”

Do you want me to talk to him?”

I can take care of myself.”

For once, there was no comeback. Instead, he eased her against him and tucked her hand over his heart. “Dance with me, Emersyn.”

That sexy, got-to-have-you-now voice was back, and her other four senses came out to play. Being close to Alec Pearce, taking in his spicy, clean soap scent, feeling the strength of his arms around her wasn’t an awful feeling. Confusing? Hell yes, but her body sure enjoyed it. It’s just a dance, right?

She lowered one hand to his hip and brought the other around his neck, her cheek resting against his. Alec tightened his grip around her waist as he spun them around the dance floor. The move put their bodies in sync, and there was no mistaking the effect she had on him. Her lips brushed against his skin, sending shock waves through her.

He sucked in a breath and tilted his head. Their gazes held for what seemed like an eternity. He was so damn gorgeous, his deep brown eyes with a hint of gold, lush lashes, and a dusting of five-o’clock shadow on his square jaw that she ached to feel rubbed against all her soft places. As if he read her mind, his mouth caressed her bottom lip. He waited, expecting her to pull back. Need took over, and she lost her mind.

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Nancy C. Weeks has loved happy-ever-after romances since her early teens.
While still in college, she met and married her hero. She spent the
next several years honeymooning and working overseas. Today, she
lives in suburban Maryland with her husband of more than thirty
years. With her two grown children out of the nest, she enjoys
spending her days writing suspenseful happily-ever-after adventures
outside on the deck as the local bird population keeps her company.
When she is not writing, Nancy loves to blog about fascinating
people, both real and fictional. The one quote that kept her dream
alive:
Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were
to success when they gave up. ~Thomas Edison~
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Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Author, Bewitching Book Tours, blog, Book, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, Story, Tour, Writer

The Fortune Teller’s Secret by Ron D. Voigts Book Tour + #Giveaway

20/03/17

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The Fortune Teller’s Secret
A Cavendish Brown Paranormal Mystery Book 2
by Ron D. Voigts
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
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A dead man on a Ferris wheel and a cold-case murder take Cavendish
Brown into a world of carnival freaks, ghosts, and killers.
The annual carnival comes to Maiden Falls, a small town in the West
Virginia Mountains, but everything is not merry.


The ghost of a woman appears to Cavendish Brown, a carnival worker lies
dead aboard a car on the Ferris wheel, and a bullied teenager plots
to kill people at the carnival with a homemade bomb. More
complications arise. Cavendish again butts heads with the local
sheriff, Clinton Pike.
Marbella Wellingway, owner of the newspaper where Cavendish works, receives a
visit from the Angel of Death. And a Fortune Teller at the carnival
knows something that could forever change Cavendish’s life.
With the aid of Jane, a disturbed psychic, and Alexandra, a Goth witch, he
must find the killer, help the mystery woman, and risk his life to
prevent more deaths.
fts- excerpt
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From the darkness came a whisper.

“Help me.”

I heard the woman’s voice clearly. Yet everywhere was black. A void. Impenetrable and empty.

“Help me, please.”

Sounds beyond the woman’s plea filled the vacuum. Somewhere a happy tune played on a pipe organ, the music dancing in the wind, a prelude to a circus parade with clowns and acrobats and a dancing bear. Children and adults laughed and cheered. Wonderful scents lingered in the air. Sweet cotton candy and popcorn elicited memories of happy times.

Something else filled the atmosphere. The smells of dampness and dirt mingled, forcing back the joy. Decaying leaves and rot stung my nose. I retched at the stench of death.

Disjointed images, fuzzy around the edges, traveled toward me then fell away into nothingness. A farm tractor. A wood rail fence. And a sign, blurred except for the words “GATE MUST BE KEPT CLOSED.”

With the snap, the darkness returned.

In the black, a speck of light grew into an image, taking form and shape. A woman stood in front of me, dressed gaily in a short ruffled pink skirt below a yellow long-sleeve shirt with triangles of black print. Leg warmers like a dancer might wear were bunched around her ankles. A blue ribbon tied in a bow kept back wild, unruly hair.

Her wide blue eyes stared at me, unblinking. Her lips, painted bright red, pursed.

“Help me.”

A dark wet spot appeared in her brown hair on the left side of her head, growing like a stain. Blood trickled from the edge of her ear and to her throat. Her head twisted, and a deep gash formed on its side.

She stretched out her arms as if crucified and fell backward in slow motion, tumbling away, then crashing with a deep thud. Her head struck the earth and the blue ribbon came loose. She twisted at an impossible angle, arms and legs bent like a broken doll.

A man in a denim jacket hovered above her, clutching a rock. He stared at the blood covering his hand. A shiver passed through him. He released the rock, letting it vanish into the shadows that surrounded everything.

Another man with his back toward me sauntered up to the woman and stopped at her feet. He wore a white T-shirt with a cigarette pack rolled into the sleeve. He scratched the back of his head, mussing his hair. “What did you do, Johnny boy?”

“I killed her!” The man in denim fell to his knees.

The one in the T-shirt took a drag on a cigarette and tossed it aside. “I’ll take care of things.”

Shadows swelled around them and eclipsed everything except the woman’s face. Her eyes opened. Her lips parted. The whisper came once more. “Please, help me.”

“No, no.” I wanted to run and flee this place of death, to be away from these evil men. “No.”

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The Witch’s Daughter
A Cavndish Brown Paranormal Mystery Book 1
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Investigative reporter and recent widower, Cavendish Brown, is unemployed and
floundering. Coerced into returning to his childhood home by the
town’s eccentric matriarch, Cavendish finds himself involved in
murder, deceit, and a not-so-subtle attempt at matchmaking. Joined by
Jane, a disturbed psychic, and Alexandra, a young Goth woman with
uncanny abilities, they follow leads into the hills of West Virginia
to catch the killer. A sheriff who shoots first and asks questions
later makes solving the case difficult for the trio. Adding further
complications is an ex-girlfriend with a mob hitman on her trail who
seeks Cavendish’s help.
Immersed in a never-ending spiral of clues and secrets, he must unlock the
darkness that surrounds the enigmatic Jane, stay ahead of the law,
and come to terms with his own grief.
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Ron D. Voigts lives in Raleigh, North Carolina and sometimes somewhere
else. When back in Raleigh, he enjoys time with his family, watches
old movies and shoots lots of pool. He has his own private writer’s
retreat in La Vale, MD where he spends lots of time working on his
next novel while enjoying the mountains and eating ice cream.
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Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Adult, Author, blog, Book, Fiction, Giveaway, Mystery, Paranormal Suspense, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, Story, Tour, Writer

A Stone’s Throw by Debbie De Louise – Book Tour + #Giveaway

17/03/17

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A Stone’s Throw
Cobble Cove Mysteries Book 1
by Debbie De Louise
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Romantic Suspense
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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, hoping 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. But 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 begin to 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?
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Between A Rock and a Hard Place
Cobble Cove Mysteries Book 2
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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?
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Coming Soon!
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Written In Stone
Cobble Cove Mysteries Book 3
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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?
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Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a
public library on Long Island. She is a member of Sisters-in-Crime,
International Thriller Writers, and the Cat Writer’s Association.
She has a BA in English and an MLS in Library Science from Long
Island University. Her three published novels include Cloudy Rainbow,
A Stone’s Throw, and Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Solstice
Publishing, 2016) that has been on the Amazon bestseller list for
cozy mysteries. Debbie has also written articles and short stories
for several anthologies of various genres. Her third Cobble Cove
mystery, Written in Stone, will be published Spring, 2017. She lives
on Long Island with her husband, daughter, and two cats.
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Posted in Author, blog, Book, Fiction, Mystery, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, suspense, Tour, Writer

Burned Kimberley Patterson – Release Tour + #Giveaway

16/03/17

new burned banner
Burned
By Kimberley Patterson
Genre: Suspense, Mystery
Pay attention to the signs that are all around you,” Sarah’s mother
used to say. Sarah never listened until her world turned upside down
in the wake of her mother’s death. When sifting through the fiery
ashes, signs begin to appear, giving her the feeling that the
accident was less of an accident and more of foul play. While Sarah
struggles to understand the images haunting her dreams, she finds
herself losing a grip on reality.
Based on true events, Sarah unravels the mystery surrounding her mother’s
death, and, in doing so, uncovers an internal darkness capable of
murder.
Horses were one of my first loves, and writing soon followed. As a child, I
spent hours writing poems, and short stories (about horses). My
parents realized that I was horse-obsessed and decided to buy me one
after taking riding lessons for two years. I think they hoped that
all of the hard work, and hours spent mucking stalls would help me
give up this expensive hobby. They were wrong. Writing is still a
passion of mine, although now I primarily write fiction. My first
novel, Red Rock, was published in 2010, and big surprise, there are
horses in it. My second novel, The Three Month Plan was released
August 2013.
Other Loves: My family, yoga, skincare and makeup, sushi, and raising money
for pediatric cancer. I have two rescue dogs and would have more if
there weren’t zoning restrictions. I’m always trying something
new, as I tend to get bored very easily. Thankfully, my love of
driving around with the gas light on fuels some excitement. I love
novels with happy endings, and am a hopeful romantic. My latest
obsession is browsing Netflix, and I can name all 50 states in
alphabetical order in under 30 seconds. Do I feel a wager coming on?
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Posted in #Book, Author, blog, Book, Cover Reveal, Fiction, Mystery, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, Story, Tour, Writer

Dead Storage by Mary Feliz – Cover Reveal

13/03/17

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DEAD STORAGE
by Mary Feliz
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pub Date: 7/18/2017
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As a professional organizer, Maggie
McDonald brings order to messy situations. But when a good friend
becomes a murder suspect, surviving the chaos is one tall task . . .
Despite a looming deadline, Maggie
thinks she has what it takes to help friends Jason and Stephen
unclutter their large Victorian in time for its scheduled renovation.
But before she can fill a single bin with unused junk, Jason leaves
for Texas on an emergency business trip, Stephen’s injured mastiff
limps home—and Stephen himself lands in jail for murder. Someone
killed the owner of a local Chinese restaurant and stuffed him in the
freezer. Stephen, caught at the crime scene covered in blood, is the
number one suspect. Now Maggie must devise a strategy to sort through
secrets and set him free—before she’s tossed into permanent
storage next . . .
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Mary Feliz, author of the Maggie
McDonald Mystery series, has lived in five states and two countries.
Traveling to other locations, she’s discovered that what seems
normal in the high-tech heartland can seem decidedly odd to the rest
of the country. A big fan of irony, serendipity, diversity, and
quirky intelligence tempered with gentle humor, Mary strives to bring
these elements into her writing, although her characters tend to take
these elements to a whole new level. She’s a member of Sisters in
Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and National Association of
Professional Organizers. Mary is a Smith College graduate with a
degree in Sociology. She lives in Northern California with her
husband, near the homes of their two adult offspring.
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Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Adventure, Author, Historical, Mystery, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, Story, Tour, Writer

Storm Ketchum Adventures by Garrett Dennis – Book Tour + #Giveaway

09/03/17

Port Starbird
Storm Ketchum Adventures Book 1
by Garrett Dennis
Genre: Mystery, Historical Adventure
Mystery, History, and Adventure in the Outer Banks!
~WHERE IS PORT STARBIRD? ~
Find out in this quirky tale set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Inthis quirky low-key murder mystery/adventure, Storm Ketchum, a
damaged emigre to the coastal town of Avon on North Carolina’s Outer
Banks, likes to mind his own business and isn’t any kind of detective
– until he’s forced to become one by extraordinary circumstances. On
the verge of losing his modest waterfront home to an unscrupulous
developer, Ketch stumbles onto the scene of a crime that might expose
the perpetrator of an unsolved murder and enable him to save not only
his own home, but also the similarly threatened bohemian boatyard
community he’s inexorably drawn into. And in case Plan A fails, he’s
hard at work on a Plan B that’s both laudable and pitiable. Together
with his loyal dog, a salty charter boat captain, the sketchy
denizens of the boatyard, and an alluring scuba diving instructor who
may or may not have a hidden agenda, Ketch struggles to make sense of
his new reality, while trying to save some of the things that really
matter along the way.
Port of Refuge
Storm Ketchum Adventures Book 2
~ WITCHERY & MAYHEM IN THE OUTER BANKS ~
Welcome to PORT OF REFUGE – another light and quirky island mystery steeped
in Outer Banks culture, from the author who took you to PORT
STARBIRD.
Storm Ketchum, a damaged emigre to Hatteras Island on North Carolina’s
Outer Banks, generally prefers to stay close to home and mind his own
business – but he unexpectedly finds himself entangled with a
cult-like coven of modern-day Roanoke Island witches when a relative
of his paramour meets an untimely end on church property. Is the High
Priestess of the Croatoan Covenant Church really in contact with the
departed spirits of the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island? Are the
members of her church really from both this world and the next? Or is
she just a con artist preying on gullible Wiccan acolytes – and is
she a killer? A desire to provide closure for the family drives Ketch
to once again call on his amateur sleuthing skills to conjure up
answers to these and other questions, in the process risking the
physical and spiritual well-being of both himself and the one he
loves.
Join Ketch, his loyal dog Jack, and his Kinnakeet Boatyard friends as they
embark on a bewitching new adventure in the picturesque Outer Banks,
where intrigue continues to cast its spell on them all.
The Port Fee
Storm Ketchum Adventure Book 3
“ENGAGING AND QUIRKY MYSTERY, HISTORY, AND ADVENTURE!”
Underwater, everybody can hear you scream, but they can’t tell where you are…
Ketch is at it again in the magical Outer Banks of North Carolina, in this
new adventure from the author of PORT STARBIRD and PORT OF REFUGE.
It’s a picture-perfect summer afternoon on a pristine beach near a ghost
seaport on an uninhabited island. What could go wrong? But things do,
when two bodies wash ashore and Ketch stumbles upon clues that lead
to the sunken treasure of an old-time buccaneer off Portsmouth
Island. Ketch isn’t the only one who has an interest in the treasure,
and it exposes both him and his adversaries to unexpected obligations
and consequences. It seems everyone has to pay the port fee…
Good guys and bad guys, boating and diving, a dash of romance, and a
mysterious otherworldly presence all come together in THE PORT FEE,
Ketch’s most challenging adventure to date.
Garrett lives in upstate New York, where he and his wife serve as
housekeeping staff for two rather spoiled dogs. He has graduate
degrees in biology and computer science. After a career that ranged
from testing experimental drugs (legal ones, and not on himself!) to
developing computer operating system software, he decided to retire
from the real world and try his hand at writing fiction. Garrett
lived in coastal North Carolina for a while some years back, and the
current focus of his writing is a place that’s very special to him,
the Outer Banks region of North Carolina, which he still visits as
often as possible. There are now three books in his Storm Ketchum
Adventures series of quirky Outer Banks suspense novels, plus two
short Storm Ketchum Tales.
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Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Author, blog, Book, Mystery, Psychological, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, suspense, Thriller, Tour, Writer

The Empty Room by Sarah J. Clemens – Book Tour + #Giveaway

02/03/17

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The Empty Room
by Sarah J Clemens
Genre: Psychological Suspense, Thriller, Mystery
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Rain soaked and dreary, it was a 1901 abandoned Victorian that newlyweds
Dean and Elizabeth Montgomery hoped would fulfill their dreams of a
new start in life, even if the town of Eastbrook, Maine was nestled
under a constant blanket of fog.
The first neighbor the couple meets dashes those hopes when he raises a
bizarre question: what happened to the last person who lived in their
house? A cryptic question, but nothing to worry about. At least not
until the couple looked under the floorboards inside the house.
Under mounting pressure from the residents of Eastbrook to stop questioning
the past, Dean and Elizabeth are driven deeper into the history of
the house, the town, and their neighbors. When the couple discovers
what happened in Eastbrook, keeping the secret could save their
lives, but uncovering the truth might be worth the risk.
What happened inside The Empty Room is a mystery until the last page. A
gripping psychological suspense, the story takes readers on a
cat-and-mouse game where some secrets are better off hidden.
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The two were quite uncertain as to why it seemed so difficult to step inside the room. They

had trampled across every inch of the house and looked through the belongings of a man they had never met, but felt as though they were intruding to even stand outside the door of an empty room.

Dean was a problem solver though and had finally settled on a way to get over that feeling.

As he stood behind Elizabeth, just outside of the door frame, and with his coffee cup still in one hand, he put the palm of his hand on her back and gave a strong push.

She stumbled awkwardly into the room.

“There,” he said proudly as he took a sip. “What do you think?”

“I think that you’re going to have a hard time sleeping tonight,” she replied.

He found it ironic that he had already weighed that possibility before he shoved her, and had still decided to do so. He smiled. “I’m good with that.”

He took a few faltering steps behind her before taking a deep breath and stepping inside

completely. They both looked around and identified the same exact features they had seen the first time they stood outside the door: an entirely empty room with a sheer white curtain covering the only window, now with a new perspective standing inside.

Compared to the rest of the rooms in the house, this room was small. It had a closet on the

left wall and the window on the back wall, which looked out into the backyard. There was

nothing special or unique about the room, except this one wasn’t crammed to the ceiling with personal touches.

Dean and Elizabeth stared at each other as though competing for a prize in a contest, when Dean’s concentration fixated on something else. She followed the direction of his eyes to the wall behind her which had abruptly claimed his attention.

He had only stepped a few feet inside of the room when he eyed something on the east wall behind his wife. As he walked around her, she turned to look. He still clenched his coffee cup tightly in his left hand but reached up his right hand and ran his palm along the wall. Elizabeth stood in silence behind him and waited for an explanation. His hand paused in areas and then continued up and down until he reached the corner of the room.

The wallpaper, which was striped with thick bands of blue and slender bands of green, had

stolen his concept of the English language, and he ignored his wife’s persistent calling of his name.

“Dean? Dean. Dean!” she insisted without a response from him. She approached him from

behind and grabbed ahold of his shoulder and shook him.

He stumbled back upon reality long enough to mumble, “What is that?” he said, half dazed.

Elizabeth’s curiosity had remained occupied on her husband’s behavior until she too caught sight of what he had been eyeing. Covered by the blue and green wallpaper was the faint and somewhat abstract outline of something beneath the paper.

“Go get me something to get this wallpaper down.” The sound of his voice was urgent. He

sat his coffee up on the window sill and ran both hands along the wall.

Elizabeth froze for a moment before turning toward the door. She had just reached the hall

when he called out, “Hey, wait. Look at this. It peels off.”

She turned sharply on her heel and headed back toward him.

“Here, can you help me with this? I’ll grab the top corner,” he said.

Each gripping a piece of wallpaper, they slowly pulled back the sun-faded sheets as it wilted off the wall. The persistent rain and wet weather, along with a poorly insulated window would make for some mold problems later on down the road, but for now, it made the process of removing wallpaper move at a much more rapid speed, and with their joint efforts the paper pulled cleanly off the wall.

The two stood with the now crinkled wallpaper clutched in their hands. Dean released his

grip and dropped the ball of paper. He took a step back from the freshly unveiled wall.

“What on…” Elizabeth’s mouth gaped open and she seemed faced with the same loss of

speech that her husband had experienced moments ago.

The wall, originally painted a now-faded yellow color, was splattered in red. Dean reclaimed the step that he sacrificed an instant earlier and squinted at the wall. The two had questioned the intentions of a man who would leave everything he owned behind and they had possibly found the answer, but now, the question shifted to whether or not they wanted to know.

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Sarah J. Clemens is the author of the debut mystery novel, The Empty Room.
She started writing The Empty Room in 2008 and formed her own imprint
in 2016 called Off the Page Publishing.
She started out her professional career working as a news assistant for
her local newspaper before finding a passion for the law and pursued
an education in criminal justice. In addition to writing fiction, she
is also a legal assistant with an Associate of Arts and a Bachelor of
Science in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in Human Services.
Sarah was born in California and now lives and works in Boise, Idaho. She
has the same sarcastic sense of humor as the characters in her books,
and she has an unparalleled love for animals.
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