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Throwback Thursdays: 1992

Good morning and welcome to the fourth day of Valentine’s Day Week. Today, I thought I’d do something different. I thought I’d take a trip back in time. Welcome to late summer 1992.  My daughter always says this picture makes us look all like siblings rather than parents and children. What do you think?family

From left to right, Greg 19, me, Angie 17, John, and Jason 18.

Weren’t we a cool bunch?

A lot of history has taken place since 1992. We’ve had good times and bad, times I’d love to relive, and times I want to forget, but through it all, the glue that’s held us together has been and continues to be love.

My family has grown. There are now five grandchildren and a daughter-in-law in the mix. It’s also shrunk with the passing of John’s parents whom we were visiting when the photo was taken.

Probably the best thing about this photograph is that we are all still here, still vibrant, and still a loving, connected family. We may not all look exactly as we did –glasses might be smaller–and some may weigh a tad more than we used to, and though an ocean separates us, we are all happy and healthy.

Do you ever think of the past? Was there a time you’d like to revisit? If you went back, say 20 years, what advice would you give yourself?

I think if I went back, I’d remind myself not to give up on my dreams, because in the end, they will sustain you.

Looking for that perfect feel good Valentine’s Day story to read? Check out my website.

There’s Always Tomorrow, All For Love, and my latest, Forever and Always,found in the Adventures in Love anthology may be just what you need.

http://www.mhsusannematthews.ca/

heartSince it’s a special week, a time for lovers, I’m pleased to invite you to drop by and visit April Erwin’s Valentines Day Super Romance Giveaway which is active all of this week. Make sure you check it out. April has three wonderful prizes you can win.

http://www.projectinga.blogspot.ca/

 

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Midweek Tease: Forever and Always

Good morning!It'[s a lovely 17 F here this morning, and snow is expected everyday well into the weekend–not a lot of snow, less than an inch each day, but enough to keep things freMWTease15sh and clean looking in the Great White North as some call Canada.

Welcome to the Valentine’s Week Midweek Tease. Since it is the time of year when we celebrate love, I’m going to give you all a free cookbook– Sweets For My Sweet Just click on this link to go to the site and download your copy. Sweets_For_My_Sweet__35595.1454598942.1280.1280

Solstice Publishing

This morning, I’m going to introduce you to my latest short story, Forever and Always, foune in Adventures in Love, one of three Valentine’s Day anthologies from Solstice Publishing.

From a western gal in pursuit of the local sheriff to a single mom running a cooking show with her small children, romance blossoms in many situations. These wonderful stories prove that love is for all ages.

Adventures in LoveA.A. Schenna, Alex Pilalis, Donna Alice Patton, EB Sullivan, Heidi Renee Mason, Johnny Gunn, Susan Lynn Solomon, Mark Newhouse, and Susanne Matthews delight romantics on this special holiday with their tales of love.

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01BH2F7E8

Here is the blurb from Forever and Always. (Photograph courtesy of Mohamed Said and Unsplash)

photo-1446476012059-4f9c278d54d5

All Brandi has ever known is ballet. From her earliest years, her time was spent honing her skills, vying to be the best, setting aside everything else that mattered in life to make it to the stage. Then, at the top of her career, she lost her dancing partner and her ability to dance to a drunk driver in an ice storm.

She’s strong, she’s tough, she’ll recover from this, but will she? She’s always lived for the dance. She is a ballerina, but once a dancer can’t dance, what’s left? Who’s left?

Finding herself won’t be easy and she may need help from others including the man she’s loved almost as long as she’s love the dance, but will she let them in?

Your tease:

The doorbell rang.

Opening the door, she smiled. Standing there in all of his six foot, four inch glory was the one man who could still make her heart do flips. In the five years since the wedding, silver had peppered his dark brown hair, adding rather than detracting from his appearance. He was clean-shaven and deeply tanned. In his hand, he held a box.

“I see you’re ready,” Jarett said, stating the obvious, his hazel eyes conveying more warmth than she’d expected. “I’m glad you left your hair down. It reminds me of flowing lava.”

“Aren’t you afraid you’ll get burned?” she teased, fighting not to touch the curls cascading over her shoulders. With age, the carrot hair she’d hated had darkened to copper.

“I’m hoping for it,” he answered, cryptically. “I thought this might add to your holiday appearance, but you look perfect just the way you are. Here, let’s trade.” He reached for her coat and purse.

“I’ll bet you say that to all the girls,” she parried, embarrassed by the unexpected compliment. Handing him her things, she reached for the box, which held a corsage of yellow roses with holly and pine. “It’s beautiful. Thank you. Can you pin it on?” She felt like a teenager going to the prom she’d never been able to attend. By the end of eleventh grade, she’d made it to the National Ballet and had moved to Toronto.

He reached for the corsage, pulled out the two beaded straight pins. “I’d forgotten how tiny you are,” he said bending down to attach the flowers to the left shoulder of her dress. “You know, if you’d stuck around ten years ago,” he continued, as if he could read her mind. “I would’ve asked you to the prom. Since I couldn’t then, I thought I’d at least bring you the flowers, although I know you’ve been given dozens of roses over the years.”

“Yeah, but those were given to Alexandra Jameson. These are the first ones I’ve received in a very, long time,” she answered, unable to keep the tinge of sadness out of her voice. The countless bouquets sent to the hospital might as well have been sent to a funeral parlor—they were for Alexandra, the broken, ruined ballerina. She swallowed her pain. This wasn’t the time to feel sorry for herself. Regret would come later once she was alone again. “Thank you.”

She didn’t comment on the prom, not because she didn’t want to, but because she was too stunned by his admission to say anything. Other than the teasing, he’d never indicated he’d been interested in her in any way—of course, her life had been crazy back then. She’d had barely enough time to eat and sleep between school, ballet classes, and rehearsals for the production that had been her stepping stone to the top.

“I never understood why you danced under another name,” he said, as he attached the corsage to the shoulder of her gown.

“Thank you. It isn’t really another name; it’s my middle name. The executive director thought Brandi was too kitchy for a formal ballerina. He said it sounded like a stripper’s name. You should’ve seen my mother’s face when he made that faux pas.”

“I can just imagine. I wouldn’t want to get on your mother’s bad side. She’s got friends in high places. For what it’s worth, I always thought it was a cool name.”

“Yeah, right. All you ever did was make fun of it.”

“Maybe,” he admitted. “But it got your attention. I made sure no one else did.”

The realization that no one had ever called her by any other name but her own surprised her. In fact, once she made it to high school, she’d rarely been teased about her height, her hair color, or the fact she was always on the go. Why hadn’t she remembered that? Had she even noticed?

“I’ve always wondered why your parents gave you that name. I like it, but it’s not the name you’d expect for a minister’s daughter.”

She chuckled, relaxing for the first time in ages. “Mom wasn’t a minister back then. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and given the color of my hair, they thought it was fate. Back in high school, they dated a bit before my dad’s father was transferred to England. They kept in touch for a while. Brandi was the song playing when they first kissed and again when they kissed goodbye. When they met again ten years later….”

“That’s kind of romantic, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, but when Jane came along two years after me, and Mom was in theological college, she got a normal name.”

Please stop by and visit all of the other lovely teasers this week, and while you’re at it, make an extar trip to see my week-long blog partner:

24f0e-2cd9db804bf4e7e0e6e1cdf9f09898c4Since it’s a special week, a time for lovers, I’m pleased to invite you to drop by and visit April Erwin’s Valentines Day Super Romance Giveaway which is active all of this week. Make sure you check it out. April has three wonderful prizes you can win.

http://www.projectinga.blogspot.ca/

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Book Bundles, Great Exposure for New Authors.

DSCF0221Well, as I sit here this morning, I look out the window and see Mother Nature has dusted us with her white sugar again. One day, the temperature is well above zero, the next it’s way below. No wonder everyone is sick!

I’ll admit that things look cleaner under a fresh coat of snow, but I’d like it better if the weather stayed the same for a week or two, just long enough to kick this cough and clod before the next one sets in.

Since this is Valentine’s Day week, a special time for those of us who write about romance, in one form or another, I’ve decided to blog each day, emphasizing some aspect of being a romance author.

Today, my focus will be on Book Bundles. My main publisher, Crimson Romance, has come up with a way to get its authors more exposure by bundling Dangerous Lovebooks with a similar theme. Last year, Fire Angel was in a bundle called Dangerous Love that did quite well, and sold more than 8,000 copies. The interesting thing that came out of that was that Fire Angel was selected for the Amazon Encore program and continues to sell well each month.

At the moment, Just For the Weekend, my contemporary romance set in Vegas, is in two separate bundles. Since these book bundles are practically given away, I doubt the purchasers will complain about getting the same story twice. I asked about that, and the response was that the other books in each series would appeal to a different crowd. It’s possible. There’s only one other duplicated book, so who knows? At the moment, Tall, Dark, and Wealthy isn’t doing as well as its counterpart Holiday Fling.

Tall Dark and Wealthy Tall Dark and Wealthy is a collection of novels filled with uber-rich heroes. Dashing, handsome, and with money to burn . . . It’s a devastatingly sexy combination for these eight successful and commanding heroes as they search for the women who make their lives richer with laughter, passion, and love.

  • The Tycoon’s Wager: To boost ratings and save her radio show, agony aunt CJ Stratt has no choice but to agree to a series of publicity dates with London’s renowned playboy, Jack Harper. Jack knows seduction, but he has no idea how to love. Love is CJ’s business, yet she’s never been seduced. Can they find their way to a happily ever after?
  • Just for the Weekend: Multimillionaire Sam Mason is sick of gold diggers. When he meets a role-playing kindergarten teacher at a sci-fi convention in Vegas, she seems like the real thing. Then – surprise! – he wakes up married to this sexy stranger . . . only to find his new bride has vanished. Is he looking for a swindler or the love of his life?
  • An Inconvenient Love: To expand his real estate business, Luca Castellioni needs an English-speaking secretary and a wife, so he strikes a bargain with the first pretty face to cross his path. But now Sophia Stevens fascinates him, and he wants more marriage and not so much convenience in their agreement. Too bad his wife has reconstructed her own life, without him. Can love overcome the obstacles between them?
  • Heart of Design: Hollywood playboy Ian O’Connor has women falling at his feet, but interior designer Sophie Hartland refuses to be one of them. Sophie’s a refreshing change from the actress wannabes trying hop aboard Ian’s new gravy train of success. But is her disinterest just an Oscar-worthy act?
  • Hiding from Hollywood: When movie producer Ethan Walker walks into Abby’s diner, she’s terrified. The last thing she wants is her name connected with his when her life is now about hiding from the tabloids. But when she’s left without a safe place to stay, Ethan offers her sanctuary in his home, and Abby must decide whether she can finally stop running and trust Ethan with her secret.
  • The Spanish Acquisition: When multibillionaire business mogul Carlos meets struggling art student Lily on vacation in the Dominican Republic, sparks fly. But can they overcome their differences as well as a mix-up of mistaken identity?
  • Fearless Love: Jake Colt has no interest in handling the Carmichael winery acquisition, but he has little choice considering the business agreement he made with his father. Madison Carmichael refuses to let this interloper take what belongs to her family, no matter what passions he stirs in her heart. When two opposing forces clash, sparks are bound to fly . . .
  • High Octane: Fueled: Maddux Bates’s Formula One career needs an overhaul this season – not the scandal of an affair with a multimillionaire sponsor’s girlfriend. But there’s more to Brynn Douglas’s story – and motivations – than meets the eye, and the flame between them burns hot. Falling in love on the F1 circuit is a crash course in adrenaline.

At 70 cents USD, how can you resist that bargain?

http://www.amazon.com/Tall-Dark-Wealthy-Famous-Heroes-ebook/dp/B01699HCA6

Holiday Fling, on the other hand features more on the heroine than the hero. GetHoliday Fling Book Bundle swept away from your everyday troubles with these ten vacation romances. A change of scenery and a sexy stranger leads to sparks flying for these charming couples. But w
hen their holidays are over, can they figure out how to turn their flings into forever love?

  • What a Texas Girl Wants: The last thing Jackson
    Taylor wants in his life is a down-to-earth girl like Kathleen Witte, so why did he just wake up next to her on a Mexican beach with a ring on his finger? Once they’re back in Texas, though, this all-business marriage might just turn into an all-consuming love.
  • Summer Promises: Drama queen Carly Foster is stuck performing in a touristy ghost town with charming Asher Day. Is he flirting with her because he’s bored or is there room for passionate play off stage, too?
  • Jade’s Treasure: Jade Sawyer simply wants to be left alone to manage her family’s mountain resort and design her jewelry. Then world-famous author Matthew Riley McLaughlin books a room as a hideout, and their shared need for privacy becomes personal. But can she overlook a shocking betrayal?
  • The Spanish Acquisition: When multibillionaire business mogul Carlos meets struggling art student Lily on vacation in the Dominican Republic, passion ignites. But they must overcome their differences as well as a mix-up of mistaken identity.
  • California Wine: Italian Marcos Gamari has one goal in life: to create the finest wine from the best vineyards in the world. Then he meets single mother Elizabeth Ladina, who shows him that his real dream just may reside here in the mountains of Santa Cruz.
  • Between the Sheets: An annual retreat is the perfect setting for music teacher Maggie Schafer to turn over a new leaf in her love life, but then a pretend romance with handsome Randy Devers gets surprisingly real.
  • All About Charming Alice: Quirky Alice Treemont gives up hope of finding love in rural Blake’s Folly, Nevada, until dashing and well-to-do author Jace Constant comes to town to research his new book. Opposites indeed attract, and soon the whole town is determined to make a love match.
  • Just for the Weekend: Multimillionaire Sam Mason is sick of gold diggers. When he meets a role-playing kindergarten teacher at a sci-fi convention in Vegas, she seems like the real thing. Then – surprise! – he wakes up married to this sexy stranger . . . only to find his new bride has vanished. Is he looking for a swindler or the love of his life?
  • Christmas Dinner: Amanda dreads returning home single for Christmas, but the only available man to play escort is her rival for the TV anchor spot. When he agrees, much to her surprise, they both see a different side of each other under the mistletoe.
  • Trapped in Tourist Town: Cady Eaton dreams of the bright lights of New York City, but she’s stuck playing tour guide to travel writer Burke Sanders in tiny Scallop Shores. When deeper feelings develop, can he convince her that everything they need is right in front of them?

Also priced at 70 cents USD, how can you pass up that bargain?

The Boys in Blue final coverThe last bundle I’m in that’s currently available features On His Watch, my romance/suspense/thriller. The Boys in Blue is all about serving and protecting.  It’s hard to resist a man in uniform, and when it comes to these ten sexy law enforcement heroes, danger never looked so good. From street beats to under the covers, they’re arresting, they’re provocative, and they’re sure to steal your heart!

  • Undercover Heat: When Agent Kyra Sanders and FBI hotshot Quinn Daniels are assigned to go undercover as a married couple, trouble – and desire – flares. She’s got a history, he’s got a hell of a secret, and the only answer to this dilemma is almost criminal.
  • In the Shadow of Vengeance: Elizabeth Merlot can’t afford to let handsome Detective Noah McNeil discover her secret past. But when trouble finds her son, Noah may be the only one who can save their lives.
  • Montana Mustangs: When a body washes up on the shore of a rural Montana lake, police officer Dane Burke and Aura Montgarten must get to the bottom of this mystery – but Aura has a secret that’s out of this world. Can two unlikely souls find true love?
  • Love Is in the Air: When Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sergeant Jim Cromwell investigates Maine-based drug ring The Alabatross Alliance, the case leads him to airline pilot Captain Sophie Berg. He’s not sure if she’s an innocent or his lead suspect, but when she’s kidnapped, Jim must decide whether to believe his head or his heart.
  • Inheriting Fear: Detective Luca Patterson has never crossed a professional line until he meets his new neighbor Mya. She’s sexy, feisty, and he can’t stop thinking about her, but her secrets coincide with Luca’s case – and lead to an unexpectedly sizzling interlude in his bed. When lines blur, will love or duty ultimately come into focus?
  • Fated Hearts: Sheriff Carter McAlister offers mysterious newcomer Henley Elliott a job as his assistant. Breaking through her carefully built shell proves to be a near-impossible task, and now a dangerous new presence in the Cove seems to be targeting Henley. Can Henley and Carter leave their secrets and scars in the past to get a second chance at happily ever after?
  • On His Watch: Special Agent Jason Spark is enjoying some welcome peace and quiet when he’s called to a 911 call and steps into a horrifying bloodbath straight out of a Hollywood slasher movie. Survivor Nikki Hart believes Jason might be the angel sent to protect her. But when she learns about the secret role he played in her tragedy, can she ever forgive him?
  • Ashley’s Allegiance: Ashley Whitman’s ready to step up and contribute to the family tea legacy, just like her successful cousins. But as the conspiracy surrounding the farm deepens, so does her relationship with Sheriff Jacob Sanders. Their families have been rivals for years . . . will a union between them finally bring peace to Emerald Springs?
  • Acts of Faith: Everyone assumed Emma’s brother died in a car accident. Then one of his friends asks Emma to meet her so she can reveal the truth, but the whistleblower is brutally murdered before their appointment. There’s only one person Emma can turn to for help – her ex-husband, a cop who never wants to see her again.
  • Retribution: The homicide of a criminal lawyer puts Dallas homicide detective Remy LeBeau on a collision course with a professional assassin from his past. Is his relationship with professional barrel racer Cody Lewis the motivation behind the attacks – or a secret weapon that gives him the edge to end this nightmare once and for all?

You can pick up this bundle for only 70 cents USD.

http://www.amazon.com/Boys-Blue-10-Cop-Romances-ebook/dp/B019JE11Killer ThrillersE6

So, even though an author makes mere pennies on a bundle, the promotional rewards can be huge. As long as Crimson wants to add my books to its bundles, I’ll be pleased to particiapte in the venture. In fact, there’s a new bundle coming out in three weeks. Killer Thrillers will feature five seat of your pants roimance suspense stories, including The White Carnation. Can’t wait to see how well it will do.

Now, please stop by and visit my guest this week.

24f0e-2cd9db804bf4e7e0e6e1cdf9f09898c4Since it’s a special week, a time for lovers, I’m pleased to invite you to drop by and visit April Erwin’s Valentines Day Super Romance Giveaway which is active all of this week. Make sure you check it out. April has three wonderful prizes you can win.

http://www.projectinga.blogspot.ca/

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Release Day for The White Iris!

downloadWhen I sold Crimson Romance my Harvester series last year, I was thrilled. Selling a whole series of books before the second and third were even written was an incredible event for a newbie writer like me. When the publisher created the three matching covers, I was in author heaven. Well, this morning, that ultimate sense of joy and accomplishment is complete. The White Iris, Book Three in the Harvester Series, is officially available for download, and for those who still like real books, it should be out in paperback soon.

The Harvester series is a trilogy of books that follow the sociopathic, psychopathic activities of a madman, with delusions of godhood, but it is also three books that can stand alone. In each book, various aspects of the Harvester case come to light, but there is a romance that is resolved within its pages. While reading the full trilogy will increase your enjoyment of the series, the books can be read on their own

The White CarnationBook One, The White Carnation, begins the hunt for a serial killer kidnapping pregnant women, murdering them, and then vanishing with the newborn infants. But there is much more to the crime than the detectives on the case can possibly imagine. There is a cult at the root of it all and a man who calls himself the Prophet. This book is also a second chance at love romance by two people who were the target of acrazed man’s ambition long before the case started. Rob and Faye discover trust is a critical element in any relationship.

 

The White LilyBook Two, The White Lily, continues the hunt, but the Harvester is angry, determined to reclaim what he sees as his, not caring how many have to die for him to achieve his goal. Twarted in Book One, the Prophet/Harvester finds someone else to do his dirty work. This time he has a personal axe to grind–get even with the FBI team that stopped him. We learn more about Rob and Faye and the Prophet’s ultimate plans. It’s also a story of love healing two broken, damaged people., both of whom suffered horrendously for trying to do the right thing. Lilith and Jacob learn that love is more than skin deep

 

The White IrisAbout The White Iris

Time’s running out for Special Agent Trevor Clark and his FBI task force. They’re no closer to uncovering the identity of the Prophet, a dangerous serial killer who has been murdering new mothers and vanishing with their infants. If Trevor can’t unlock the clues, the killer’s threats to unleash what the FBI suspects is biological warfare could mean death for all of them. His only recourse is to swallow his pride and reach out to his former fiancée, the CDC’s renowned virologist, Dr. Julie Swift.

Two years ago, Julie ended their engagement after Trevor abandoned her when she needed him most. Now, faced with the possibility of the greatest epidemic since the Spanish flu, she has to put her faith and her safety, as well as that of countless others, into the hands of a man she doesn’t trust. Can they set aside their differences to stop the Prophet, and in doing so, will they find the love they lost?

From the streets of Boston to the wilds of Alaska, this thrilling conclusion to the Harvester Series takes several turns you won’t see coming!

Sensuality Level: Sensual

Review of The White Iris by Georgiana at The Reading Café

You can pick up your copy of The White Iris from:

http://www.amazon.com/White-Iris-Harvester-Susanne-Matthews-ebook/dp/B01AOH6LCE

http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01AOH6LCE

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-white-iris-susanne-matthews/1123273304?ean=9781440591259

http://www.crimsonromance.com/romantic-suspense-novels/the-white-iris/

Comment on this blog for your chance to win an e-copy of The White Carnation

triple heartSince it’s a special week, a time for lovers, I’m pleased to invite you to drop by and visit April Erwin’s Valentines Day Super Romance Giveaway which is active all of this week. Make sure you check it out. April has three wonderful prizes you can win.

http://www.projectinga.blogspot.ca/

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Look Who Dropped By Today: Susan LynnSolomon

It’s always a pleasure to welcome a new author to Living the Dream. Today, I’d like to introduce you to Susan Lynn Solomon, here to promote her novel, The Magic of Murder

The Magic of Murder CoverBlurb

When his partner is discovered in a frozen alley with eight bullets in his chest, Niagara Falls Police Detective Roger Frey swears vengeance. But Detective Chief Woodward has forbidden him or anyone else on the detective squad to work the case. Emlyn Goode knows Roger will disobey his boss, which will cost him his job and his freedom. Because she cares for him more than she’ll admit, she needs to stop him. Desperate, she can think of but one way.

Emlyn recently learned she’s a direct descendent of a woman hanged as a witch in 1692. She has a book filled with arcane recipes and chants passed down through her family. Possessed of, or perhaps by a vivid imagination, she intends to use these to solve Jimmy’s murder before Roger takes revenge on the killer. But she’s new to this “witch thing,” and needs help from her friend Rebecca Nurse, whose ancestor also took a short drop from a Salem tree. Also in the mix is a rather hefty albino cat (Elvira detests being called fat). Rebecca’s not much better at deciphering the ancient directions, and while the women and the cat stumble over spell after spell, the number of possible killers grows. They’d better quickly come up with a workable spell: when Chief Woodward’s wife is shot and a bottle bomb bursts through Emlyn’s window, it becomes clear she’s next on the killer’s list.

You can get your copy of The Magic of Murder from:http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Murder-Susan-Lynn-Solomon-ebook/dp/B015OQO5LO

http://solsticepublishing.com/the-magic-of-murder

http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Murder-Susan-Lynn-Solomon-ebook/dp/B015OQO5LOhttp://solsticepublishing.com/the-magic-of-murder

Susan Lynn Solomon PhotoAuthor Bio

Formerly a Manhattan entertainment attorney, and then a contributing editor to the quarterly art magazine SunStorm Fine Art, Susan Lynn Solomon now lives in Niagara Falls, New York, where she is in charge of legal and financial affairs for a management consulting firm.

After moving to Niagara Falls she became a member of Just Buffalo Literary Center’s Writers Critique Group, and since 2009 a number of her short stories have appeared in literary journals, including, Abigail Bender (awarded an Honorable Mention in a Writer’s Journal short romance competition), Witches Gumbo, Ginger Man, The Memory Tree, Elvira, Second Hand, Sabbath (nominated for 2013 Best of the Net by the editor of Prick of the Spindle), and Kaddish.

Her latest short stories are Going Home, which appeared in the October 19 issue of Flash Fiction Press, Captive Soul, which is included in Solstice Publishing’s Halloween anthology, Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, Volume 1, and Yesterday’s Wings, about a woman searching for the courage of her past, appears in the October 2015 edition of, Imitation Fruit. Most recently, her short story, Niagara Falling, is included in the Solstice Anthology, Adventures in Love.

Susan Lynn Solomon’s Solstice Publishing novel, The Magic of Murder, is available at Amazon.com.

Media Links

http://www.susanlynnsolomon.com

http://www.facebook.com/susanlynnsolomon

http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Murder-Susan-Lynn-Solomon-ebook/dp/B015OQO5LO

http://solsticepublishing.com/the-magic-of-murder

 

Here’s something to pique your interest.

The Magic of Murder

Prologue

When my nerves finally settled to the point where I could write what I learned of Jimmy Osborn’s death, this is how I began:

March in Niagara Falls. Though the calendar declared winter had neared its end, the thermometer outside the Pine Avenue Bank of America branch read nine degrees. On this mid-March Wednesday night, a new Corvette turned into an alley north of Pine Avenue. Houses lining the alley were old structures in an older section of town. Most were abandoned, boarded-up, and would never again be occupied.

Packed snow crunched under the tires as the Corvette skidded in and out of ruts at five miles an hour.

At the far end of the alley sat a dilapidated barn, the slats of its walls so shrunken with age streetlamps along the roads on either side shone through. Halfway to the barn, the driver pulled into a garage with a sagging roof.  No birds chirped their night song at this time of year, so the only sound was a click when the car door opened. Seconds later, Jimmy Osborn emerged.

Osborn wore a brown leather coat over jeans and a blue and white sweater. His brown beard was neatly trimmed. The scent of his cologne almost covered the mildew stench of the garage’s soaked and rotting wood. In his gloved hand was a bottle of scotch in a brown paper bag. As his breath misted in the cold moonlight, he glanced quickly around before he trudged through snow drifts toward the rear door of a nearby house. The door was sealed by two loose one-by-six slats. Osborn shoved the bag into his coat pocket and pried the boards apart. There was a low, creaking groan when the nails gave. Then the alley was again silent.

As he began to slip between the boards, he stopped, listened. A crack of footfalls in the frozen snow came from the shadows to his left.

“That you?” he asked. There was no need to whisper. He’d chosen this place because it was deserted.

A figure an inch or two shorter than Osborn edged along the broken fence of the house next door. The figure wore a black ski jacket zipped over a black hooded sweatshirt. In the shadow cast by the hood, the figure seemed to have no face. If somebody had peeked through a window, this figure might look like a wraith—a dark spirit.

Osborn moved close, and peered into the hood. This wasn’t the person he expected to meet. “What the hell…?” he said.

The figure raised a Glock .45, and hissed words heard only by the howling wind.

Osborn’s breath escaped as a gasp when a shot caught him in the chest with such force it slammed him to the ground.

The pistol held in both hands, the figure stepped toward its prostrate victim and stood over him.

A dark stain spread on the snow under Osborn. He tried to raise his head. “Why?” His life tiptoeing away, he had no strength to say more.

A second shot split Osborn’s heart. Now the figure’s face relaxed and the fire dimmed in its eyes. With casual ease, the Glock pumped six more rounds into Osborn’s chest.

On its knees, the hooded figure dug into Osborn’s coat pocket, pulled out the liquor bottle and heaved it at the garage. The figure then slipped a hand deep into the pocket, and came out with the Corvette’s keys clutched in its fist.

Minutes later the car backed from the garage, retraced its tire-tracks to Pine Avenue, and drove twenty blocks to Flannery’s Bar. It was there Jimmy Osborn had started his night, bragging about the special liaison he had planned. It was there the Corvette was found the next morning.

Details of Jimmy Osborn’s murder didn’t appear in the Niagara Gazette the next day. They weren’t in the following editions, either. It was more than a week before I learned why he died. When I did, I felt as though I’d been struck in the chest by the bullet that took my friend Jimmy down.

As might be suspected, I’ve taken a few liberties in describing what happened. Though the basic facts are precisely as the killer subsequently related them to Detective Roger Frey, I’ve dramatized them a bit. I won’t apologize for that. It’s what I do.

I’m Emlyn Goode, a writer—short stories mostly, with a few essays thrown in and an occasional poem when the muse elbows me in that direction. Emlyn is an old family name. The Goode part…as I learned several months before Jimmy died, the moniker doesn’t describe every leaf on my family tree.

So, a fallen leaf is what got me embroiled in the murder. And since a new friend, Rebecca Nurse, pulled me out of the hole into which I dug myself, I should begin by explaining why and how she and I met, and how I learned of the special…uh, talent running in my genes.

 

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Tuesday Tales: From a Picture

Badge for TT - very small (1)Welcome to this week’s edition of Tuesday Tales. As is our custom, once a month our scenes are based on a photograph. This month, our choices revolved around windows. We were able to select the window that best suited our stories. For me, this came down to two, both similar in style, but in the end, this is the one I chose.  It’s the closest to what I have in mind for the novel, Hello Again, which is the w.i.p. I’m using for this blog activity.12615213_10207036538650709_7172208638802662566_oSo, without any further ado, here is my 300 word scene built around this image. Enjoy.

“Why can’t we stay upstairs?” Charley asked. “The double doors are locked on the inside and those casement windows are secured on both sides. Even if they open the outside shutters, they’ll never manage to get inside. Those inside shutters are two inches thick and bolted into the sills.”

“But they aren’t airtight, child, and when they can’t get in, they’ll get mad.”

“Who, Shirley? Who’ll get angry?”

“The bikers who were here before.”

Visions of movie biker gangs filled Charley’s mind.

“Are you sure?”

“The spirits never lie. They must not find you.”

Charley shivered and looked down into the black pit. Shirley’s safety precautions might keep out this frightening company, but how was Bill expected to get inside with everything bolted shut the way it was?

“What about Bill? How will he get to us?”

“We’ll let him in when the danger is passed. Here. Use this.” Shirley handed her a small flashlight. “There’s a larger one down there. Don’t worry, you’ll be safe.”

Something in the way Shirley spoke set off warning bells.

“I’ll be safe, but what about you?”

“The spirits never reveal my fate, wi’cin. Quickly, they’re almost here.”

The faint sound of motorcycle engines wafted in on the wind.

Charley turned on the flashlight and climbed down the ladder. She’d just set foot on the hard-packed earth when the roar of the bike engines got much louder and then stopped.

“Hey, you old witch, open up. Me and the boys are hungry.”

Shirley descended the ladder, pulling the carpet-covered trap door shut, plunging the room in darkness except for the small LED glow from the flashlight Charley held.

As if she could see in the dark, Shirley shuffled around and soon the room was bathed in the glow of a battery operated lantern.

Well, that’s it for this week.  Now, please drop by and visit all the Tuesday Tales.

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Cupid’s Arrow Hits its Target: Adventures in Love

Yesterday, I introduced the first anthology from The Solstice Publishing Valentine’s Day Extravaganza, First Love. Today I’m featuring Adventures in Love, which contains Forever and Always, my novella. Some of you may find the first few pages similar since it grew out of a Tuesday Tales Christmas story, but it’s been refined and is now part of this wonderful second anthology.

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Solstice Publishing began 2016 by winning the 2015 Preditors & Editors Poll for Best Print/Electronic Book Publisher. Our authors are now going to show you why we’re the top in this field.p&E win

Summer Solstice Publishing is proud to present Adventures in Love and a bonus short story, Valentine for a Spy, for Valentine’s Day this year.triple heart

 

Check out the trailer:

https://youtu.be/Ln_guFJXyXs

Adventures in Love

From a western gal in pursuit of the local sheriff to a single mom running a cooking show with her small children, romance blossoms in many situations. These wonderful stories prove that love is for all ages.

A.A. Schenna, Alex Pilalis, Donna Alice Patton, EB Sullivan, Heidi Renee Mason, Johnny Gunn, Susan Lynn Solomon, Mark Newhouse, and Susanne Matthews delight romantics on this special holiday with their tales of love.

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01BH2F7E8

Here is an excerpt from Forever and Always. (Photograph courtesy of Mohamed Said and Unsplash)

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All Brandi has ever known is ballet. From her earliest years, her time was spent honing her skills, vying to be the best, setting aside everything else that mattered in life to make it to the stage. Then, at the top of her career, she lost her dancing partner and her ability to dance to a drunk driver in an ice storm.

She’s strong, she’s tough, she’ll recover from this, but will she? She’s always lived for the dance. She is a ballerina, but once a dancer can’t dance, what’s left? Who’s left?

Finding herself won’t be easy and she may need help from others including the man she’s loved almost as long as she’s love the dance, but will she let them in?

The excerpt:

She remembered Jarrett Sullivan all too well—him and the gorgeous blonde who’d clung to him like Velcro at the wedding and had shot invisible daggers at her from behind venom-filled eyes. But that memory wasn’t the one she cherished deep in her heart.

Jarrett, a grade ahead of her, had been her hero. She’d never forget the boy who’d carried her books home when she’d had her hands full, the one who’d stood up to the bullies who teased her about her hair color and her small stature; the only one who’d asked her to dance at the sixth grade graduation dance, firmly entrenching himself in her heart. But, three years later when she’d moved from middle school and entered high school, the captain of the football team had changed. He still spoke to her, asked her how things were going, but he teased her, calling her names, not realizing how much the loss of his caring concern and friendship had hurt—Hey, Scotch; Saw you dance last night, Bourbon; Looking good, Gin; Did you finish that math assignment, Vodka?; and of course his painful, off-key rendition of The Four Season’s Sherry—he’d called her by the name of every alcoholic beverage but her own, except at the wedding when they’d danced for the second time in eleven years.

You’ve grown into a beautiful woman, Brandi. His words echoed in her head, but then Pavel had claimed her and the blonde bombshell had whisked him away. Now, Pavel was dead as was her career as a ballerina. Her last performance had been as the Sugarplum Fairy. She’d never even finished the run—the freezing rain had seen to that.

“I don’t know. I get nervous in any car, and it’s just worse at night….”

“Brandi Alexandra Jameson, I just knew you’d pull a stunt like this, and I won’t let you ruin this party for me.”

Yeah, it’s all about you, Jane. What about me? What about my pain?

“It’s three o’clock, now,” her sister continued. “He’ll be there to pick you up at five. I suggest you get your ass in gear. He’s got orders to carry you out kicking and screaming if he has to.”

“He wouldn’t dare. I’m not ten anymore. You’re not the boss of me, your majesty, even if you think you are,” she cried, defiantly, tears welling up in her eyes. “You’re not being fair.”

“Fair has nothing to do with this. You may not be ten, but you’re acting like a child, and I for one am fed up with your little pity party. You need to put this behind you before you drown in your own sorrows. It’s for your own good, and Mom and Dad agree, so unless you want to end up here in your pajamas, or worse, get dressed.”

She winced as Jane ended the call with a satisfactory slam of the phone, something impossible to do with a cellphone, and stuck out her tongue, the childish gesture of defiance making her feel better momentarily but, knowing Jane, she’d make good on her threat.

“Damn! I should’ve stayed in Toronto,” she said, aloud, her voice echoing in the empty house.

Letting out a deep sigh, she stared at the phone. She had two choices here, neither one of which appealed to her. She could dig in her heels and refuse to budge, although she was certain that wouldn’t stop Jarrett from carrying out the queen’s orders. As she recalled, he still had more muscles in his shoulders than Pavel, her best friend and fellow dancer, ever had. The alternative was to give in, graciously, and make an appearance. The broken doll on display for all to gawk at. Surely, they would lose interest in a has-been and she could find a plant to hide behind. She’d stay for an hour, two at most, and then get a cab back to the house. It wasn’t a huge rebellion, but it would send a message. She was taking charge of her life whether her family liked it or not. Wearily, moving as if she were on the way to her own execution, Brandi climbed the stairs, remodeled so that the continuous flight now consisted of three easy-to-climb levels, and headed for the bathroom. She would soak in the tub and then do her hair and get dressed.

But I’m not going to enjoy myself, not for one minute.

Hope you enjoyed this quick taste of Forever and Always.

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As an added Valentine’s day bonus, Author M.H. Newhouse presents Valentine for a Spy!

downloadHe is handsome, sexy and totally clueless, but is he a spy? A first date goes terribly awry in this humorous adventure of romance and suspicion, by multi-award winner, Mark H. Newhouse, author of The Ectos Ghost Doctor Series.

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01BHDLJBW