army of authors · art · blog tour · book launch · mystery

Army of Authors Blog Tour – Virginia Winters

Painting of Sorrow

by Virginia Winters

Available to preorder now.

Launches May 15th.

Sarah Downing, an art conservator hiding in witness protection, identifies a lost masterpiece by Caravaggio.

History says it burned in WWII Berlin but here it is, on her easel.

Soon she is fighting to save the painting and her own life.

Who has betrayed Sarah—an agent, a friend? Whoever it was, her ex-husband Jimmy is standing on her street, outside her house, waiting.

What Sarah does next sends her from Kingston to Italy to rural Ontario in her desperate attempt to survive, save the Caravaggio and rebuild her life with a new love.

This one is heading straight for my TBR pile!

Here, Virginia tells us how she came to write this story:

I began Painting of Sorrow because I was interested in lost and destroyed paintings of WWII. Searching for paintings that could have been saved but were said not to be, brought me to the Flakturm Friedrichshain in Berlin, an anti-aircraft tower used to house a bomb shelter and a hospital as well as the paintings of the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum. More than four hundred paintings and three hundred sculptures were burned, stolen, or destroyed by bombs in the waning days of WWII. Did the Soviets loot the building before it burned? Or were some of the paintings stolen when the Soviet guards were inexplicably removed?

One such painting was called variously Portrait of Fillide or Portrait of a Courtesan, a work by Caravaggio. Client Simon Wolf brings a copy of the painting to be conserved by the firm where Sarah Downing works.

Is it a copy or an original? It’s Sarah job to conserve it but she wants to know the truth about the painting.

Sarah is a painter as well as an art conservator. Her mind reacts to situations, landscapes, and people by seeing paintings in her memory that describe them. Throughout the book, images of paintings also reflect her emotional state and her fears.

Early in the book, the director of the Art Gallery that is housed in the building where she works, frightens Sarah. Her mind brings up a picture of St. Jerome, an almost cadaveric man pictured in a desert, by Da Vinci. The taut skin of his face reveals the skull beneath.

Sarah escapes a killer with her friend Peg. On the way, they stop at a lookout over Mazinaw Lake. Casson painted the iconic Bon Echo Rock there.

Later, approaching the security of a remote cabin in rural Ontario, she sees the building as a painting by A. Y. Jackson, Settler’s Home and somehow felt safer, for the moment.

Her visions become darker and when she finds her new love Simon, beaten by her ex-husband, The Death of Marat by David, a nightmare of a painting intrudes on her thoughts. At the hospital, the controlled chaos of Emergency Room, by Fiona Rae reflects the roiling state of her emotions.

Much later, arriving to Simon’s home, afraid that all chance of a relationship with him has gone, she sees not his house, but Carl Schaefer’s Ontario Farmhouse, dark clouds looming over it, perhaps an omen for her future

I hope interested readers will search out the paintings mentioned in the book to gain a fuller understanding of Sarah and the events that changed her life.

You can find out more about Virginia here.

Find the Painting of Sorrow here.

If you decide to grab a copy, be sure to leave a review for Virginia.

Reviews keep authors writing! 

Thanks for reading.

army of authors · blog tour · dystopian

Army of Authors Blog Tour – Phil Featherstone

Paradise Girl

by Phil Featherstone

A few words from the author:

Readers often ask me where I got the idea for my novel Paradise Girl. The answer is, it came from a bug. Or, to be more precise, a virus.

Nobody knows how many viruses exist, but scientists agree that they outnumber all other living things put together (actually there’s some debate about whether viruses can actually be considered alive, but for now we’ll assume they can). Only a tiny number of them affect humans, and most of those that do are easily dealt with by the body’s immune system. However, there are a few that the immune system can’t cope with, and these can cause serious illness and, in extreme cases, death. An example is Ebola, which is spread through the transfer of body fluids. It’s also transmitted by fruit bats, which can carry the virus without being affected by it.

A few years ago a volcano in Iceland erupted, throwing smoke and ash several kilometres into the sky. A result of this was the grounding of commercial aircraft for several days. I live in a remote farmhouse high on the Pennine hills in the north of England. Usually the only signs of human life outside my home are the vapour trails of planes as they approach or depart from Manchester, or traverse the country to and from other places. At the time of the Icelandic eruption, they stopped. The skies were empty, a beautiful, clear blue. For that short time I could have been the only person alive. This started me thinking: suppose that really was the case, where might everyone else have gone? What might have happened to them? Destroyed by radiation? Abducted by aliens? Wiped out by a plague? Ebola was in the news at the time, and so the latter seemed the most likely.

I began to work on the idea. Somebody in such a situation would be subject to unbearable pressures. They would be desperately lonely and terribly afraid, alternating between relief at surviving and the daunting prospect of a future without hope. It would add poignancy if the central character was young, maybe still in their teens with their life before them. Think about an almost endless series of days stretching ahead, with nothing to relieve them or distinguish between them. What dark places might a mind go when faced with that? What terrible dreams might occur?

They would try to cope by writing a diary, which would describe what they saw, heard and thought, and through which they could reflect on their predicament. It seemed to me that this would work best if such a character was female. Kerryl Shaw introduced herself, and I began to write her story. You can read it in Paradise Girl.

Find the Paradise Girl here: https://amzn.to/2ETah9P

If you decide to grab a copy, be sure to leave a review for Phil.

Reviews keep authors writing! 

Thanks for reading.

army of authors · blog tour · romance · time travel

Army of Authors Blog Tour – Laura Vosika

The Battle is O’er

Book Five of The Blue Bells Chronicles, by Laura Vosika

Shawn means self and Kleiner means centered, one of Shawn’s (many) ex-girlfriends proclaimed. So begin The Blue Bells Chronicles, a tale of time travel, mysteries and miracles, romance and redemption, in an epic adventure ranging across modern and medieval Scotland against the backdrop of Scotland’s Wars of Independence in the 1300s.
Shawn has it all—wealth, fame, women—until the night Amy, his girlfriend, has enough and abandons him in an ancient tower. He wakes up in the wrong century.
Two years in medieval times, two years of fighting beside Robert the Bruce and James Douglas, two years of living with and as his medieval twin, the devout and upright Highlander Niall Campbell, working to protect those he has come to love, and perhaps mostly, his growing friendship with Niall, whom he initially despised, all work changes in Shawn.
Throughout their adventures, he and Niall seek a way to get Shawn back across time, to fulfill his desire to ask Amy’s forgiveness and finally be the man she always saw in him—succeeding at last in the middle of a fierce battle for Niall’s home, Glenmirril, against their old enemy, the MacDougalls.
Safely back in his own time, Shawn is steadily regaining all he lost—his career as a world-traveling musician, the son he feared he would never know, and finally, maybe—even Amy’s heart.
He can’t let go of the past, however, or stop agonizing over what happened to Niall and all his beloved friends, left behind in a fight for their lives. In his search for answers, hoping to find that all ended well, he learns instead of the dangers still lurking in fourteenth century Scotland: to Niall who will pay a horrible price for Shawn’s last deed, committed in Glenmirril’s tower just moments before escaping to the safety of his own time; to his own infant son, the subject of prophecy and an ancient letter predicting a fateful battle; even danger to the whole world as Simon Beaumont, known to history as the Butcher of Berwick, seeks to use his knowledge of the future to destroy it.
In this gripping conclusion to The Blue Bells Chronicles, Shawn faces the ultimate test. His selfishness once cost him everything. His newfound selflessness may do the same.

Find The Battle is O’er on Amazon

If you decide to grab a copy, be sure to leave a review for Laura.

Reviews keep authors writing! 

Thanks for reading.

army of authors · blog tour · fantasy · steampunk · YA

Army of Authors Blog Tour – Raquel Byrnes

The Tremblers

by Raquel Byrnes

 

Weapons of Light & Power

“A soldier leaned out the window, taking aim at Charlotte. A frisson of energy pulsed from the weapon, barely missing her. She screamed, flailing.

Ashton flipped the rocket ignition on the power cycle and the force of the thrust slammed him against the seat as he shot skyward toward the roof. Pulling his tracer gun, he fired blindly at the building. The soldier dove for the floor.” ~Ashton Wells, The Tremblers

Creating the weapons for my YA Steampunk novel, The Tremblers took me on a fascinating path. The invention of destructive devices was vexing and addicting all at once.

Weapons of light — Tracer Guns are the weapon of choice for the soldiers of the Peaceful Union. Powerful blasters that syphon the glowing purple energy from the massive Tesla Domes caging the city-states are feared by the average citizen. Constantly recalibrating to the dome’s pulse, they are outlawed to everyone but the soldiers of the government.

Charlotte is a tinkerer and inventor. The daughter of a renowned soldier and chemist, her weapons needed finesse. I designed the metal spheres of her Shrieking Violet grenade to cluster together like a flower. Its shrill screech disables her enemies while a curtain of magenta gas shields her escape.

The outlaws and Lawmen of Outer City favor guns and pistols of the old world. Sheriff Sebastian Riley’s revolver helped him to rise to power among the pirates and pioneers of the sky settlement.

Another daunting tool as the Lightning Stick. Capable of lashing whips of energy. Used by the ruthless Lawmen of the floating ports, Charlotte learns of its devastating effects while trying to flee with Ashton.

However, it is the power and might of the Peaceful Union Aero Squad that strikes fear into the heart of every citizen. Their searing lamps and concussion bombs send rioters scrambling. Creating airship battles and designing the infamous rebel ship, The Stygian, was great fun! Myself the daughter of a military man, I grew up visiting airshows and sitting at the controls of massive machines of war.  I wanted to bring that fascination and awe to the Blackburn Chronicles.

If you love mechanica, mayhem, and monsters, then check out The Tremblers and Wind Reapers. The link to Amazon is here, and the book is also available now via other retailers.

For more about the author, check out her author page here.

Thanks for reading 🙂

army of authors · blog tour · kidnapping · suspense · thriller

Army of Authors Blog Tour: David Tindell

Quest for Vengence

By David Tindell

Honeymoons are new beginnings, and a year after helping save America from a major terrorist attack, brothers Mark and Jim Hayes are ready to enjoy theirs with their new brides. But while the couples tour Italy,a ghost from Mark’s past resurfaces, ready to rip apart his new-found happiness.

In Serbia, former Yugoslav Army officer Darko Novak receives word of Mark’s location. For thirteen years, he has been seeking vengeance against Mark for his role in the death of Novak’s younger brother, killed in a firefight with NATO troops during the Balkan Wars. A team is dispatched to kidnap Mark’s wife, making her the perfect bait to force Mark into a new battle, on ground of Novak’s choosing.
To save Mark’s wife, the Hayes brothers will have to go deep into Serbia, with no support from their government, relying on their experience and training. Failure will not be an option.

I’m going to leave this to the author to tell you more about his latest book, but don’t forget to check out Quest for Honor too. 

Take it away, David!

On our honeymoon, my wife and I visited an exotic island. We had a great time as we celebrated the beginning of our new life together. Everything went well.

But suppose it hadn’t? Suppose something had gone wrong? And not just lost-a-suitcase, bad-sunburn wrong? What if my bride suddenly turned up…gone?

In Quest for Vengeance, it’s a year after the events of Quest for Honor, and brothers Mark and Jim Hayes are with their new brides on a honeymoon tour of Italy, the native country of Jim’s wife, Gina. The violence and danger of their recent past is behind them. In the city of Capua, a chance encounter with an old Army buddy of Mark’s leads to a festive reunion. While the guys swap stories at a trattoria, the gals make one last visit to the city’s boutiques. But there’s been one more chance encounter on this trip, and now that’s about to turn into the greatest challenge the brothers have ever faced.

Like the Hayes brothers, I grew up in Wisconsin, and like them, my two brothers and I wound up living considerable distances apart. Although we were never estranged, as Mark and Jim were, not being able to see them often created a distance between us that no amount of phone calls or emails could close. It’s only been in recent years that we have made efforts to get together more often. Our reunions have not been as dramatic as those of the Hayes brothers; we go to ballgames and museums, while Mark and Jim go to war.

Still, I don’t think what happens to Mark and Jim in the Quest novels is too much of a stretch. Mark’s military experiences are certainly not outside the realm of those for many of our soldiers, and while Jim’s encounters are somewhat out of the ordinary for the average American abroad, I myself have once or twice had situations overseas that could’ve developed into something a little too adventurous for my taste. Last summer, for example, Sue and I hiked the Salkantay Trail of Peru, and we never saw the armed guerillas our guide told us he faced on the same trek a few years earlier. But I had the feeling they weren’t too far away.

If something like that does happen to us, though, we can only hope we will face the situation with courage and honor. These are traits that are not inborn; they are learned, through dedication and self-discipline. Both the Quest series and my White Vixen novels feature protagonists who exemplify those traits. Yes, my fictional creations are highly-trained individuals, but they are not superheroes by any means. They are ordinary people who have chosen to train themselves to face whatever extraordinary challenges may come their way; indeed, to seek them out. Most of all, they have chosen to serve a higher calling. I don’t believe we were put here to simply meander through life. We were put here to strive, to achieve, to overcome our inevitable stumbles. When we choose this life, we are taking on challenges that will make our communities, our country, our world, a better place.

So come along with Mark and Jim, as they embark on their latest Quest.

You can find the book here: http://amzn.to/2HnlFfN

***

If you pìck up any – or all – of David’s books, please consider leaving a review. Reviews keep authors writing!

Thank you for reading 🙂

army of authors · blog tour · sci-fi

Army of Authors Blog Tour – Brian Harrison

The Vault

Why would a multibillionaire create a customised vault that is controlled by watch mechanics inside and have a self-destruct mechanism inside to destroy the billion dollars worth of artefacts inside?

Simple, because he can.

On paper, Sam Montgomery is your typical eccentric philanthropic pharmaceutical billionaire whom has literally mailed five dollars to everyone in the US so they can “pay it forward.” But what people didn’t know when made a rare public appearance was that he was announcing he had leukemia. And more shocking was that when he said, “I’d rather die than give my sister the opportunity to save my life.” No one even knew he had a sister.

Elena Diamante nailed the sit down interview – at his small home on the tiny island of Antikythera in Greece. She was only planning on getting the scoop about Sam and his apparently estranged sister but she was also going to be the first journalist to see inside Sam’s custom made vault. It was built using watch mechanics, so it was completely self-sustained, and only opened once a year. It was even rumoured that if it were ever tampered with, everything inside would be destroyed in a custom acid.

THE VAULT explores Sam’s family dynamics and how they inspired him to become the successful man he is. The story is also told using Sam’s own family photos growing up, as well as text messages and Facebook/Twitter. There are even hyperlinks within the novel as “Easter Eggs” for those readers who want to explore even more of Sam’s personal life, further blurring the lines of fact/fiction.

That’s pretty cool, although, unfortunately no chocolate included 🙂

Grab your copy now. It’s available on Amazon to pre-order and releases March 6th, 2018

About the author:

Working at a grocery store since 2001, working every position there and becoming one of the managers of a corporate chain store, I have seen and heard it all in the retail/service world. I had to get those stories, thoughts, feelings, and ways to escape out of my head. I had to write not out of compulsion but out of a love of writing.

Then the rest is as they say, history.

I grew up in a small town in Southwestern Michigan (coincidentally a town that no one that visits knows how to pronounce correctly), originally attending school to become a music therapist but the tapping of the keyboard was more addicting and found myself attending Andrews University in Berrien Springs, MI.

I play the drums, I love wearing ties, I will eat all your Oreo’s, having an expensive hobby of collecting watches and an unhealthy addiction to Netflix.

You can follow Brian and check out his other books on Amazon here

***

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

army of authors · blog tour · mystery · short reads · short story · suspense

Army of Authors Blog Tour: Clayton Graham

SILENTLY IN THE NIGHT

A collection of tantalising tales with more twists than braided hair.

Here you will find mystery, murder and mayhem – plus a moment of romance. All the stories will make you stop and think, even question your role in the world and the universe. Just what are we doing here, and where are we going? Easy questions with problematic answers.


This anthology of sixteen short and thrilling tales of unusual, extraterrestrial and conspiratorial stories is the latest compilation from Clayton Graham, the author of science fiction novels Milijun and the soon to come Saving Paludis.

The characters in this eclectic collection are mostly ordinary people whose reactions to their fears and to unexpected events will have you guessing at every turn of the page.

This collection is intriguing reading which, among many other things, encourages the reader to:
Sympathize with a doomed husband and connect with an altruistic robot.

Explore an isolated Scottish isle and touch down on a far-flung asteroid.

From the light-hearted to the darkest depths of the human psyche you would be hard pressed not to find something to like about Silently in the Night.

Many different visions of the future are within these pages.

And as a bonus, there is an excerpt from the soon to be published Saving Paludis, which introduces the reader to two of the principal protagonists in this tale from the edge of mankind’s known universe in the year 3898AD.

If you love mystery with a hint of the paranormal, and the interplay of human foibles, grab this smorgasbord of short stories then get yourself a copy of Milijun, the mind-bending sci-fi novel by Clayton Graham.

Get your copy from Amazon. 

About the author: As a youngster growing up in the cobbled streets of Stockport, UK, Clayton Graham read a lot of Science Fiction. He loved the ‘old school’ masters such as HG Wells, Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov and John Wyndham. As he left those formative years behind, he penned short stories when he could find a rare quiet moment amidst life’s usual distractions.

He settled in Victoria, Australia, in 1982. A retired aerospace engineer who worked in structural design and research, Clayton has always had an interest in Science Fiction and where it places humankind within a universe we are only just starting to understand.

Clayton loves animals, including well-behaved pets, and all the natural world, and is a member of Australian Geographic.

Combining future science with the paranormal is his passion. Milijun is his first novel. Second novel, Saving Paludis, will be published early 2018. They are light years from each other, but share the future adventures of mankind in an expansive universe as a common theme.

He hopes you can share the journey. Links to his books and blogs can be found at https://claytongraham.com.au/ and you can also follow on Twitter at @CGrahamSciFi.
His Facebook author page is at: https://www.facebook.com/claytongrahamauthor/

***

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

army of authors · blog tour · clean · fantasy · romance

Army of Authors Blog Tour: Angel Leya

If you’re feeling in need of adventure, then maybe you fancy a trip to Illumia?

In which case, I recommend you read this first.

Take it away, Angel Leya:

Hi, I’m Angel Leya, and I write clean young adult stories with (at least) a touch of magic and romance. My latest story is Running Toward Illumia, Astrea’s tale of finding herself while running from the one thing she wants most: To find her sense of belonging.

Astrea’s lived in the Mist all her life, and she loves it there. In fact, she’d do just about anything to feel like she fits in with her Rudan people, even hunt a unicorn to feed her starving tribe.

Illumia is the first city beyond the Mist, just past the Dragon Range. Astrea’s come up with 10 reasons to never go to Illumia. I’ll let her tell you more.

Top 10 Reasons NOT to Travel to Illumia

10. They don’t have fog.

Who needs sunshine? I’m a Mist girl. Great for concealing movement, comfortable like an old blanket, and you never have to worry about dry skin.  

9. They don’t all have red hair.

That’s why this tribe is here, despite being sent to the fog to die. And why we call ourselves the Rudan, rather than the Banned.

Wish my hair was redder. And I could use a few more freckles. But I’m one of the Rudan, I swear. I’d be dead if I wasn’t.

8. They’re weak.

Fog weeds out the weak. And if the fog doesn’t, the Lynx, ogres, or Rudan will. Illumians live the easy life. They have no reason to be strong.

7. They’re not very welcoming.

The Rudan take in anyone who can survive the fog. Illumians kicked us out (or at least my parents, but children of the Banned are no less welcome).

6. Illumians are idiots.

Everyone says so.

5. Big government.

I know all five of my council members, and they earned their spot. Like Seneca, first huntress—my mentor. Illumians probably have no idea who runs their council.

4. The journey’s dangerous.

Even if you can navigate the fog, streams filled with flesh-eating fish, and ogre-infested swamps, there’s the dragon range. There’s one pass, guarded by Illumians. The rest is mountain. Treacherous, dragon-housing mountains. No other way around it. Going to Illumia is a fool’s errand.

3. My family’s not there.

If you think getting one person into Illumia is hard, try five. Two brothers, plus Mamaa and Pawpaw.

Course, the whole tribe’s basically family. I’d want to take them all.

Except maybe Mavin. He’s a jerk. (Kidding. Sort of.)

2. I can never come back.

Going to Illumia is a one-way trip. Illumians and dragons ensure that.

1. I don’t want to.

Do I need any other reason?

***

Thanks for reading! If you’d like more, click for an excerpt from Banned, Part 1 of Running Toward Illumia.

Get all 4 parts of Running Toward Illumia today:

  1. Banned (free!)
  2. Lost (On Sale for 99¢ through 2/15/18)
  3. Drenched (On Sale for 99¢ through 2/15/18)
  4. Marked (On Sale for 99¢ through 2/15/18)

***

If you pìck up any – or all – of Angel’s books, please consider leaving a review. Reviews keep authors writing!

Thank you for reading 🙂

army of authors · blog tour · Contemporary Romance

Army of Authors Blog Tour – Anna Belle Rose

More recent releases here, in the form of two Contemporary Romance novels :

That One Small Omission

by Anna Belle Rose.

Maggie Erickson-O’Brien always played it safe, always. That is, right up to the moment when she met the man of her dreams while on a work trip. A one-night stand led to dreams of forever, right up to the moment when she realized they could never have a future together. Months later, fate thrusts them together again, and he has to decide if her one small omission will doom their relationship. Can forever still happen?

***

Early reviewers call it “A Winner”, “a sweet romance about priorities” and say “it has it all”.

Here, Anna Belle, shares with us her journey to becoming an author.

The Long Road to Publication – by Anna Belle Rose

Years and years ago, actually decades ago, I was a stay-at-home mom for a bit, with my then youngest child who would not fall asleep at nap time. Over time, I realized that while he wouldn’t sleep, he would sit in his crib for a bit each afternoon, listening to Yanni at the Acropolis, looking at story books, and I could sit and write. And write I did. I wrote and wrote and wrote over many months. By then, my youngest was talking, and he somehow understood that Mommy was writing a book, and he kept nagging me to keep going. And I did.

Fast forward many years, and I’d keep opening the word file of that first novel, print it out, edit and revise, and eventually send it out to a few agents. Rejections would come in, and I’d put it away for a while, then that same son would poke at me again, and the process would start all over again. During this same time, I also started several other novels, and kept working on them in the same way. All of them were contemporary romances, heavily linked to life in Vermont, and all have gloriously happy endings – I mean, who doesn’t love a happily ever after?

Finally, late in 2016, I decided I needed to either get serious about writing, or give it up for good. So I pulled those two complete novels out again, and hired incredible professional editors to go at them. Then I started submitting them to a few agents, and a couple of publishing houses that didn’t require representation by agents. And on June 13th, a publishing contract arrived on the novel I wrote first, The Phone Call. And on July 13th, a contract arrived for my second, That One Small Omission. And joy of joys, on December 4th, a contract was offered on my third, More Than I Can Say.

On October 11, 2017, That One Small Omission was published in e-book and print versions, and on December 12th, The Phone Call will be published. The joy and excitement I feel each time I look at my mantle and see my first published novel is an emotion that I think only other authors can understand!

The Phone Call

Kat meets Alex during Christmas break, her senior year of college. After a romantic night at the opera, the attraction between them is palpable, but both know that the timing is not right. They exchange numbers and promise to stay in touch, but events out of their control leave them both waiting on a call that will never come. When fate seems to deal them a second chance, they must trust in each other to make their relationship work. A secret from Kat’s past threatens to destroy their newfound love. Is she strong enough to tell Alex the truth? Will he understand and accept it if she does?

***

You can get your copy of That One Small Omission and The Phone Call by visiting the author’s Amazon page here.

Should you choose to purchase either or both of Anne Belle’s books, please consider leaving a review afterwards.

Reviews keep writers writing.

Thanks for reading 🙂

army of authors · blog tour · books · cosy · mystery · pets · short reads

Army of Authors Blog Tour – B L Blair

The Lost Macaw

by B L Blair

You don’t know how excited I am to feature this new release on my blog today.

Pets and Mystery go hand in hand, right? Well, they do in my world.

The Lost Macaw is the fourth novella in the Lost and Found Pets Mystery series.

Alexandra Prescott is a licensed private investigator specializing in finding missing animals. Reuniting pet and owner is more than just a job.

A former client hires Alex to find her lost parrot. The bright colored bird has flown away before, but this time there is evidence that Molly was kidnapped. The demand is simple—the bird for the pictures.

When her client suffers a stroke, Alex is left with a ransom note, a missing bird, and some very incriminating photos. She is in a race against time to solve the mystery of the lost Macaw.

***

This cosy mystery can be read in around two hours, so it’s perfect for a wintry evening in front of a warm fire.

Let me convince you  with an excerpt:

“Your little old lady is quite interesting, Alex,” Halie said.

“What do you mean?”

“She didn’t exist until about thirty years ago.”

“What?!”

“I did a preliminary background search on her. In general, she is clean. No debt. The house is paid off as is her car. The one thing that jumped out at me was the fact that she had a safe deposit box at four different banks.”

Luke raised one eyebrow. I got a sinking feeling. I had noted the bank accounts but hadn’t really given them much thought.

“Yeah,” I said, “I saw those.”

“So why does an eighty-year-old woman need four safe deposit boxes?”

“Why does she need more than one?” Luke muttered.

“Exactly,” Halie said. “So I dug a little deeper.”

“What did you find?”

“About thirty years ago, Joseph and Trudy Kearns purchased the house on Carriage. Back then, it was a new neighborhood, and the prices were cheap. They paid cash. They also opened a bank account, and Joe got a job working for the city. Those are the first records I can find for either one of them.”

“Trudy would have been fifty at that time. Her husband probably a few years older. What about birth certificates? Social security cards?”

“They had them, but conveniently, they were issued from a small county in Virginia where a massive flood destroyed all their records. The county office was in the process of moving the old paper records to electronic when the flood hit.”

“Let me guess. The Kearns’s records did not survive the flood.”

“Nope.”

“So the only records for them are the ones they had in their possession.” I paused a moment. “Do they look real?”

“Yes,” Halie replied.

“So they could be authentic.”

“Or really good forgeries. In some ways, it was easier back then.”

“Anything else?” I asked.

“Not really. Lives on a fixed income of social security and a small pension from her husband’s job. It isn’t much because he only worked for the city for twelve years before he had to retire.”

“Okay, thanks Halie.”

After ending the call, I looked at Luke. He had a perplexed look on his face that I had a feeling mirrored mine.

“Who the hell is Trudy Kearns?”

Intrigued? I bet you are – me too 🙂

You can grab your copy at any of these fine retailers: Amazon, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords. And, if you want to catch up on earlier books in the series, head on over to the author’s Amazon page where you’ll find the whole motley crew. 

With these being priced at only 99c, they’re sure to make great Christmas gifts too.

If you purchase any of the books, please consider leaving a review afterwards. Reviews keep writers writing 🙂

Thanks for reading 🙂