Jul 092014

Elective Procedures

by Merry Jones

on Tour July 2014

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense

Published by: Oceanview

Publication Date: July 1, 2014

Number of Pages: 288

ISBN: 978-1-60809-116-4

Purchase Links:


Elle Harrison has taken a leave of absence to mourn the death of her husband Charlie.

Her friend Becky takes her out to dinner to cheer her up and, on impulse, drags her into a fortune teller’s shop. The fortune teller predicts that Elle will travel and meet a new man. She also says that Elle is surrounded by a dark aura that draws the dead to her.

Elle dismissed the predictions as hogwash. But then her friend Jen takes her, Becky and another friend, Susan, to Mexico where she is getting lost cost cosmetic surgery. Elle is attracted to and asked out by Jen’s surgeon, Alain DuBois. And Elle finds a woman hanging onto the balcony next to hers by her fingertips. Elle tries to save her and fails, almost dying in the process.

All of the fortune teller’s predictions have come true. And, as the week progresses, more of Alain DuBois’ patients are gruesomely killed, Jen is attacked, Elle is nearly murdered, and the spirit of her dead husband Charlie keeps appearing to her.

Who is trying to kill Dr. DuBois’ patients–And why? Who is trying to murder Elle? Why does she keep seeing Charlie–Is she nuts? Or is his spirit really trying to protect her?

ELECTIVE PROCEDURES makes a week in Mexico into a chilling page turner, full of twists and unexpected developments, as well as a face lift or two.


Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?

I think that writing brings together conscious, subconscious, unconscious thoughts. In that way, every experience I’ve had influences my work. My books don’t directly reflect my life, but they certainly reflect lessons/emotions/events/relationships. For example, in ELECTIVE PROCEDURES, the dread and fear I felt when my husband was sick are the dread and fear I try to conjure up when Elle Harrison faces unknown dangers. And the location is based on a place I visited in Mexico. All my work is based on a combination of reality snippets, emotional truths and imagined plots and characters.

Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?

Neither. I begin neither at the beginning nor the end. I usually start with a character and put her into a situation of conflict and tension. Her reactions to that situation begin to create a storyline. But often the actual book will start before or after the “situation” that I started with. For example, in ELECTIVE PROCEDURES, the situation was that Elle would be out of the country, surrounded by surgery patients who were dying or being killed. But the book begins before she travels, before she even imagines being among surgery patients.
As to seeing where the story line goes, I never leave it to chance. I outline each book before I start writing, so I know generally where I’m going. If better ideas arise during the writing process, I deviate from the outline. But I always have a plan so I won’t go off in a direction that leads nowhere.

Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?

I need to work for 3-4 hours uninterrupted. I can’t sit down to write if I know I’ll have to stop in an hour or two. But I rarely work for more than 3 or 4 hours. Also, here’s an idiosyncracy: While I’m working on a book, I do very little reading of other people’s novels. I find that the voices of other writers interfere with my own and affect my rhythm. I tend to isolate myself while I’m working on a book, socializing only rarely.

Is writing your full time job? If not, may I ask what you do by day?

Full time writer. But I teach writing classes from time to time.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Too many to list. Often, my favorite is the one I’m reading at the moment, because I feel like I’m hanging out with that person. But my preferences are fickle and dependent on my moods. Can be classic authors like Twain or Dostoevsky, or current genre writers like Joy Fielding or Faye Kellerman.

What are you reading now?

Empress of the Night, by Eva Stachniak. It’s about Catherine the Great.

Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?

I am working on a novel now, yes. I feel that it’s bad luck to talk about works in progress. So all I’ll say is that it’s about a woman who’s recovering from years of captivity and the detective who finds her.

Fun questions:

Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?

Elle Harrison would be Natalie Portman. Alain DuBois would be Jude Law. His wife would be Helena Bonham Carter. Charlie would be Chris Noth.

Manuscript/Notes: hand written or keyboard?


Favorite leisure activity/hobby?

Skulling. I row over a thousand miles each year out of Vesper Boat Club on the Schuylkill River.

Favorite meal?

Again, too many to name and my preferences depend on my moods. But pastas and chocolate appear often on my dinner table.

Read an excerpt:

Don’t look down. Don’t look down.

I kept repeating those three syllables, a singsong mantra to steady myself and get through time, pushing through seconds and minutes until it would be afterwards and this nightmare would be over.

Don’t look down.

But I didn’t have to look. I knew what was beneath me. I could picture what was lying six stories down on the concrete beside the kidney shaped swimming pool, near the mouth of the alligator water slide. Under the glowing light of sunrise, I imagined a widening crimson puddle. A clump of arms and legs. A shattered bone protruding through flesh. Tangled hair matted into a cracked skull.

Don’t look down, I said again, and I didn’t. Instead, I aimed my eyes straight ahead focusing not on the brick wall in front of me, but on the air surrounding my head. I stared into it, straining to see my aura, looking for stains, for splotches of darkness. Was it possible to see your own aura? Was there even such a thing? If there was, I couldn’t see it, saw only inches of emptiness between me and the bricks, and, at the periphery of my vision, the railing. For the briefest moment, I had a lapse; I almost turned my head, almost looked down at my hand. Don’t look, I chanted. Don’t look. Looking would mean moving my head. And if I moved it–if I moved anything at all, I’d disrupt my balance and slip, and then, with a thud, there would be two blobs of bones planted beside the pool.

A pelican dive-bombed past me, the rush of air nearly knocking me over. I held my breath, holding steady. I called out again, hoping someone would wake up, but no one came. So I told myself to stay steady and thing of other things. Other times. I stared at the wall and repeated: Don’t look down don’t look down don’t look down.

Author Bio:

Merry Jones has written the Elle Harrison suspense novels (THE TROUBLE WITH CHARLIE, ELECTIVE PROCEDURES), the Harper Jennings thrillers (SUMMER SESSION, BEHIND THE WALLS, WINTER BREAK, OUTSIDE EDEN, and this fall, IN THE WOODS), the Zoe Hays mysteries (THE NANNY MURDERS, THE RIVER KILLINGS, DEADLY NEIGHBORS, THE BORROWED AND BLUE MURDERS). She has also written humor (including I LOVE HIM, BUT…) and non-fiction (including BIRTHMOTHERS: Women who relinquished babies for adoption tell their stories). Jones taught college creative writing for fifteen years. Her work has been translated into seven languages, and appeared in many magazines, including GLAMOUR. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, The Authors Guild, International Thriller Writers, and The Philadelphia Liars Club. The mother of two grown daughters, she lives outside Philadelphia with her husband.

Catch Up With Merry:

Tour Participants:

Jun 272014

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense
Published by: Witness
Publication Date: June 10, 2014
Number of Pages: 100 (Goodreads)
ISBN: 13: 9780062338907
Series: Gabriella Giovanni Mysteries, 1
Purchase Links:

BLESSED ARE THE DEAD offers chilling, authentic glimpses into the mind of a psychopath while also mining the psyche of a likeable protagonist. The novel sets up a new series featuring Gabriella Giovanni, an Italian-American Bay Area crime reporter. BLESSED ARE THE MEEK, the second book in the series will be published in July.

BLESSED ARE THE DEAD pits Gabriella Giovanni against a serial killer who preys on children. When they were little girls, Gabriella Giovanni’s sister was kidnapped and killed. Twenty years later, Gabriella spends her days on the crime beat flitting in and out of other people’s nightmares and then walking away unscathed. That changes when a little girl disappears and Gabriella’s quest for justice and a front-page story leads her to a convicted kidnapper who reels her in with tales of his exploits as a longtime serial killer and promises to reveal his secrets to her alone. Meanwhile, Gabriella’s passion for her job quickly spirals into obsession when she begins to suspect the kidnapper also killed her sister. Gabriella won’t hesitate to risk her life to garner justice for the dead.


To catch a killer, one reporter must risk it all …

San Francisco Bay Area newspaper reporter Gabriella Giovanni spends her days on the crime beat, flitting in and out of other people’s nightmares, yet walking away unscathed. When a little girl disappears on the way to the school bus stop, her quest for justice and a front-page story leads her to a convicted kidnapper, Jack Dean Johnson, who reels her in with promises to reveal his exploits as a serial killer. But Gabriella’s passion for her job quickly spirals into obsession when she begins to suspect the kidnapper may have ties to her own dark past: her sister’s murder.

Risking her life, her job, and everything she holds dear, Gabriella embarks on a quest to find answers and stop a deranged murderer before he strikes again.

Interview with Kristi Belcamino:

-Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?
I draw from both personal experiences and current events. In my debut mystery, BLESSED ARE
THE DEAD, I was inspired by all the stories of missing children I had written as a newspaper reporter covering crime. The antagonist in that novel is based on a real serial killer who preyed on little girls. In fact, some of the exact conversations I had with him made it into the book.

-Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?
Both. I usually know how the book will begin and how it will end right off the bat. It is the middle, or how my character gets from the beginning to end that is usually a mystery to me at first. I like to start off with a general, vague outline but am open to letting the story line take me someplace else completely in that middle part.

-Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
I do have a routine. I am a member of what Brad Parks calls the Church of One Thousand Words. Every day I park myself in front of my computer at 9 a.m. with a large cup of coffee and write until I get those thousand words down. Now that I’ve been doing this for a while, it is often two thousands words, but my bare minimum, five days a week, is to get those thousand words down.

-Is writing your full time job? If not, may I ask what you do by day?
Writing is my full-time job, but I have a part-time job covering the police beat for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Covering the cop beat in the San Francisco Bay Area was what I did full-time before I had kids.

-Who are some of your favorite authors?
Lisa Unger, Sara Gran, S.E. Hinton, Stephen King, Edna Buchanan, and so many, many more.

-What are you reading now?
Jon McGoran just sent me his new novel, DRIFT. I just started last night and already am halfway through it. Good stuff.

-Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?
I’m really excited to start BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO MOURN, the third book in my Gabriella Giovanni Mystery Series. The first book, BLESSED ARE THE DEAD was just released. The second book, BLESSED ARE THE MEEK, comes out July 8th.

Fun questions:
-Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?
Oooh, I love this question. So fun! I’m such a fangirl about things like this.
Gabriella Giovanni is my main character, an Italian-American crime reporter. I think Elizabetta Canalis would kill it in that role.
Colin Farrell would be her hot love interest, Detective Sean Donovan.
That’s as far as I got with casting my characters!

-Manuscript/Notes: hand written or keyboard?
Computer! I would probably lose my mind if I had to write my novels longhand. Dio mio!

-Favorite leisure activity/hobby?
Throwing small, intimate dinner parties for family and friends with good food, wine, and stimulating conversation, preferably dining al fresco!

-Favorite meal?
I’ll just have a double helping of the cheese course, please, with a glass of wine.

Read an excerpt:


Another boyfriend pissed off at me over a dead body. Or in this case, two dead bodies. The silence on the other end of the line confirms it.

Snapping my cell phone shut, I swipe my key card and hurry in the back door of the newspaper. The smell of fresh pizza makes my stomach grumble as I pass the cafeteria, but there’s no time to eat. Deadline is looming. I forget about my limping love life — the clock is ticking. The paper goes to bed in three hours, so I’ve got to hustle.

Entering the newsroom, a jolt of excitement surges through me. It’s that special friction, that palpable energy in the air that is always present close to deadline. Giant windows, black with night, reflect the bustling activity around me. A big screen TV with its volume muted dominates one wall and smaller TVs hang from the ceiling throughout the room blaring local and national news. The room smells like burned broccoli and musty books, but still manages to always feel like home. It’s where I’m meant to be.

“Giovanni, you got 17 inches,” my editor, Matt Kellogg, hollers. Nobody at the Bay Herald ever calls me Gabriella. In the news business, you are your last name. Luckily, I like mine.

I want more space, but there’s no use arguing. He’s right. It’s sad, but it’s the same old story we’ve all seen before — big-living San Francisco businessman up to his Gucci eyeglasses in debt kills his wife and then turns the gun on himself.

The momentum of the newsroom engulfs me, sending adrenaline soaring through my limbs. The space hums like a beehive. Deadline is the one time you can find nearly every metro reporter at a desk. Most are pounding the keyboard, flipping through notebooks, or talking on the phone, getting last-minute quotes for their stories. Our desks are in gray cubbies with low walls so we can see each other and the rest of the newsroom.

I catch snippets of different conversations floating in the air. Our political reporter is losing patience with someone on the other end of the phone line.

“Now come on. You know that’s a bunch of bullshit,” she says. “We’ve known each other for ten years, Jeff. You never once said it was off the record. You know the game. You know the rules. This isn’t amateur night here.”

Across the room, the sports department erupts in cheers as an Oakland A’s batter hits a homerun on the big screen. One of the investigative reporters slams down his phone, stands up, pumps his fists into the air, and yells to no one in particular, “Fuck yeah. Fuck yeah, you motherfucker. I knew I’d catch you in a lie. Now it’s going in the paper, you douchebag.”

Nobody except the reporter right beside him even looks up. He only does so to scratch his chin. I keep walking. A veteran reporter lifts his head. “Thought you had a hot date.” We both like to cook and I had tantalized him earlier with descriptions of the birthday dinner I was going to make for my boyfriend.

“Murder-suicide,” I say. He nods and turns back to his computer.

My teeth clench when I see May DuPont, the night police reporter, at the cop reporter’s station, two desks with a stack of police scanners between them.

I try to straighten my skirt and smooth my hair before I get to my desk. It’s useless. It’s been a long day. I’ve already filed two stories for tomorrow’s paper – a car crash and a brush fire – and the traces of hiking after firefighters cling to me. My hair smells like smoke, and small bits of grass have adhered to my sandals.

Each morning, I dress nice in an effort to create la bella figura like my Italian mother taught me. But by the end of the day, this is what I’ve become – smelly, rumpled, and bedraggled.

May, a waiflike twenty-four-year-old is — as usual — dressed in a Brooks Brothers shirt and crisp slacks. A get-up she was probably born wearing. She’s an upper-crust heroin chic girl — pretty much the opposite of me. My boyfriend, Brad, says Sophia Loren’s got nothing on my curves. It sounds great in theory, but the truth is even at my fighting weight, all that extra padding makes me feel like an elephant next to girls like May.

I give her a cursory hello before I log onto my computer.

“I’m writing a story you missed about a bank robbery,” she says without looking away from her computer screen. “The editors might put it on the front page. It was a take-on style.”

“It’s called take-over,” I say.

May’s fresh from her master’s program in journalism at Berkeley. The gossip in the newsroom is that her dad is sleeping with the executive editor, Susan Evans. I stare at the huge pearl studs in her ears.

Every night, May manages to dig up some crime that slipped by me during my day shift and she makes damn sure the editors know I missed it. She’s only been at the paper seven weeks, but I already get the feeling she thinks my job is the next rung on her ladder to success.

Her job — the night cop reporter — is the lowest beat at any paper. I’ve been there. But I also put in the time to get where I am today — the day cops reporter. And it involved working long hours for near poverty wages at several rinky-dink newspapers. I didn’t have the luxury of attending grad school and then being snatched up by a big daily paper because my dad’s screwing the editor.

May’s mother is dead and I’m sorry for that, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to hand over my job. She’s not the only one who’s had to deal with tragedy around here.

“You have black stuff on your forehead,” she says, getting up and heading to the copy desk.

Must be soot from the fire. I’m about to grab my compact mirror when something on the police scanner makes me pause. The crackle of the scanners switching from channel to channel is a comforting sound, like white noise, that usually fades into the background if it’s just routine radio traffic.

This time, the officer’s high-pitched and out-of-breath-voice calling in a felony traffic stop alerts me. The scanner frequency shows its Berkeley PD. Within a moment, the officer is calling Code 4 — all clear — so I turn back to my computer. But then I hear something that makes my fingers freeze on the keyboard.

“Rosarito PD says the girl’s nine years old. Mom says she never came home — ” More routine traffic about the felony stop interrupts the dispatcher’s voice.

My stomach is doing loop de loops as I lean over and try to see which department was talking about the girl. I punch in the frequency for Rosarito PD on the other scanner, but the channel is quiet.

I dial the Rosarito Police Department watch commander – the sergeant on duty overnight while the main office is closed. No answer. He must be out on the streets patrolling, so I leave a message, saying I heard something about a girl who didn’t come home today.

In my five years as a Bay Area reporter, every instance of a possible missing child has ended up being a misunderstanding. Most times the kid lost track of time or didn’t tell someone he wasn’t coming straight home.

In the silver-framed photo hidden in my desk drawer, Caterina’s pink lips and dark eyes are surrounded by a halo of black hair. My sister looks solemn, wise, and beautiful, even though she’s only seven. I remember thinking she looked like a bride when I pulled myself up to look into her casket and saw her lying there in the lacy white first communion dress and veil she never had a chance to wear.

What I heard on the scanner made my face flush and my insides somersault, but I know it’s rare that a child is kidnapped and killed by a stranger. Every once in a while, I hear something like this on the scanner and it ends up being nothing. I hope this little girl just forgot to call home. I make the sign of the cross and May, sitting back down, gives me a snarky look.

The clock shows it’s 9 p.m. I’m running out of time. I got the basic details about the murder-suicide at the press conference earlier except for the identities of the dead. A source at the morgue slipped me the names, but I’m going to have to get one more off-the-record confirmation before Kellogg will let me run with them. I dial homicide detective Lt. Michael Moretti and speak fast before he can protest, reeling off the two names I have.

“If I print them will I be wrong?”

“You were at the press conference. You heard me. We’re not releasing the names. Sorry, kiddo.”

At twenty-eight, I’m too old to be his daughter, but he always calls me that. Moretti and I bonded a long time ago on the Italian-American thing, but his blood pumps blue. He’s been a cop longer than he hasn’t. It took years for him to believe me when I said I’d go to jail rather than give him up as a source.

“I don’t need you to tell me the names.” I try to sound as logical as possible. “I just need to verify them. Besides, you know the Trib is going to run the names.”

I cringed earlier when I saw a reporter from The San Francisco Tribune at the crime scene. When the bigger paper swoops into our territory and scoops us, my editors don’t like it. I hate it.

Moretti makes a guttural sound. “Did you see those gray hairs on my head tonight? About ten are from you. Don’t you have anyone else you can pester?”

I do. I have some crack sources — cops who call me and say, “Hey, there’s a dead body in Civic Park, try not to beat the homicide detectives there.”

But this is Moretti’s case.

“Another cop already gave it up,” I say to convince him. “I just need confirmation. How about this? If I have the names right, don’t say anything.”

Silence. I wait a few beats, twirling the phone cord around my fingers.

“Okay, I’m going with it,” I say, bright and cheery. “Thanks. Anything else going on tonight? Heard something about Rosarito.”

He takes a minute to answer. “You didn’t hear this from me.”

“I know, I know.” I roll my eyes even though he can’t see me.

“A nine-year-old Rosarito girl didn’t make it to school today —”

“What?” My stomach gurgles and churns. Sweet Jesus, if Moretti knows about it, this might be the real thing.

“She hasn’t even been gone twenty-four hours. Too early to say if it’s legit or not. Rosarito PD hasn’t issued an AMBER Alert. They’re waiting to find out if she turns up at grandma’s or a classmate’s house.”

He’s right. It’s probably nothing. But dark memories overwhelm me. I do some deep breathing to try to relax, but my heart is racing. I’ve avoided a story like this so far. I don’t know if I’m ready. I don’t know if I will ever be ready.

“Listen, gotta go,” Moretti says. “Remember, you and I didn’t talk tonight. Omerta.”

“Very funny,” I say, but he’s already disconnected. Omerta, an Italian word, refers to the Mafia’s code of silence.

I hang up and dial Kellogg. “Rosarito cops might have a missing kid.”

“Yeah?” He sounds interested. “You got this confirmed?”

“Not yet. Working on it.”

“Get it nailed down.”

I have no sources in the Rosarito Police Department. Because the city lies on the periphery of our paper’s coverage area, we only report unusual or high profile crimes that occur there. The watch commander hasn’t called me back, so I punch in the number of the department’s public information officer. She works banker’s hours, but if a child is missing, she might be there. No answer.

I dig up an old file of Rosarito cop numbers and find a main number for investigations. Nothing. Only voicemail. Then I try an old reporter’s trick and start dialing numbers, each time changing the last digit of the main number. It works. Although no one picks up, I leave messages for six detectives.

I try the watch commander’s line one more time, then call 911 dispatchers in Rosarito to ask if they can track him down. The dispatcher is in a good mood. “Sure, I’ll send the sergeant a message for you,” he says.

With an eye on the clock, which is nearing ten, I dial Kellogg. “I can’t get anyone from Rosarito to confirm a missing kid. Can’t we go with it anyway, citing an anonymous source? My source is solid.”

“No can do. Evans would kick up a shitstorm.”

Kellogg used to be ballsy. He never cared what senior editors would think or say. That is, until Susan Evans was hired as executive editor two years ago. I heard he was up for the job but they hired her instead. Ever since, he’s been walking around mopey and fearful like a puppy that was kicked. I miss the old Kellogg.

“It’s late,” he says. “I needed your story half an hour ago. Get cracking, Giovanni. You can track down the missing kid — if there is one — tomorrow.”

He’s right about one thing — it’s past deadline. I stare at the blank screen and try to figure out a lead. If you don’t draw a reader in with that first sentence, you’ve lost him. Editors have drummed this into my head for years. I’ve trained myself to come up with a lead driving back to the office on deadline, but tonight my mind kept wandering to Brad eating his birthday dinner alone. And now, in the back of my mind, much farther back than I’m willing to go right now, a little girl’s familiar face peers out at me. I shake the image off and try to concentrate. May’s voice beside me makes it even harder.

“Oh, stop it,” she says. She laughs and fiddles with her silky scarf. “I do not. I’m usually in bed by then. Let me know if you make an arrest tonight. I would love to put it in the paper with your name as the arresting officer. Talk to you soon.”

I close my eyes and tune out her girlish giggle, thinking about the man who killed himself and his wife tonight. And even though it would kick my story to the front page, I leave out the most salient detail about the slaying — the man was wearing nothing but lipstick and high heels when he offed his wife. My morgue source slipped me this sensational little morsel. Although, I know I’ll get in trouble with the editors if I leave it out and the Trib has it, I can’t do it. As soon as I found out the couple had small children, I knew I wouldn’t print it. Those kids are going to have enough to deal with as it is.

I try to imagine the wife’s last moments of terror. The details of her frantic 911 call revealed she was hiding from her husband in a closet. I’m sure she prayed the police would show up and save her, like in the movies. One thing I’ve learned is that the world is rarely like what you see on the silver screen. The most outlandish and nightmarish stories are the ones that happen in real life.

I file the story in the editing queue and hope I’ve scooped the Tribune on the murder-suicide story, especially by getting the names confirmed. Tomorrow, I’ll try to find out more about the couple for a follow-up story.

When I became a police reporter, I decided that every single person I wrote about deserved more than just their name in the paper when they died. Every time I sit down with a family who has lost a loved one, I give a shit. And they can tell. The shitty part is that I feel like a fraud. Maybe because I’m forging a relationship that is not real. Maybe it’s something else. Even though I really do care – it still boils down to me trying to get a scoop and a front-page story.

Sometimes I wonder why anyone grieving would ever talk to someone like me. Maybe they sense the darkness I keep hidden deep inside. Maybe there is something in my eyes that shows I’ve already been to hell and back. I sit on their couches and take notes as they cry into tissues and flip through photo albums of the loved one they lost, sharing intimate memories with me – a stranger.

Before packing up, I make one last call to the Rosarito watch commander. He doesn’t answer. I grab my sweater and bag. Before I leave I force myself to turn to May who looks at me with a little smirk.

Seeing her smarmy look makes me hesitate. Although the thought of writing about a missing child sends waves of panic through me, I also don’t want May to get a scoop based on a tip from my sources.

Unfortunately, I know I need to cover my ass with the editors by giving her a heads up.

“Keep an ear out for a missing kid in Rosarito.”

“Another story you missed?”

I stop and narrow my eyes at her. “It’s a tip. From a source. Do you know what those are? They’re what you get when you prove yourself. They take years to develop, so maybe someday you’ll get your own source. Or maybe not. Cops don’t trust just anybody.”
And I don’t trust May as far as I can toss her little waiflike body. The first week she was here, she “forgot” to give me a press release I’d been waiting for all day about a big drug bust by the DEA. It was the final piece I needed to top a story I’d been working on all week. After I left, she wrote up the information from the press release and put her byline on the story instead of mine. When I confronted her, she lied about when the press release had come over the fax. My source later told me he’d sent it earlier in the day and the time stamp on the release backed him up. When I complained to Kellogg, he simply shrugged and changed the subject.

Tonight, I stare at May for a few seconds and then walk away before I completely lose it. I hover nearby as Kellogg reads my story.

Kellogg’s 6-foot-tall body is scrunched into his cubicle, like a giant brown teddy bear among the dolls at a child’s tea party. I stand beside his desk staring at the pictures taped to the fabric wall of his cubicle: school photos of his two sons who live with their mother. They go to some fancy private school in Marin County. His ex manages to squeeze every penny she can out of Kellogg claiming she needs it for the kids. He sleeps on the couch in his one-bedroom apartment to make sure his boys feel like they have their own bedroom at his place.

I wait, shifting from foot to foot. Finally, he’s done.

“Looks fine. No questions.”

I turn to leave but he stops me.

“You couldn’t get the missing kid confirmed?”

I shake my head no. When I see the concerned look in his eyes, I wait, wondering if he has something else to say. But he immediately turns to his black and green screen. He’s onto editing another story.

An odd mixture of frustration and relief flutters through me as I walk to my car. Although I want to avoid writing about a missing kid, my failure tonight amounts to me missing a scoop on what could potentially be a huge story on my beat. And underneath all of those emotions, there is also a tiny flicker of worry gnawing at me when I remember the look in Kellogg’s eyes.


Halfway across the Bay Bridge, I catch glimpses of the city as the hazy fog begins to dissipate and reveal a crisp night sky. Twinkling lights dot skyscraper windows. The sky behind them is not black but a deep blue like a Van Gogh nightscape. With the city spread out before me, a sense of buoyancy spreads through my chest as if I could fly. Even on the darkest nights of my life, I’ve always found comfort looking at the San Francisco skyline. Rolling down my window, inhaling the salty air, I punch the radio dial until I find something that will lift my spirits.

I sing along to UB40s “Red, Red Wine” and reassure myself that I have nothing to worry about — that little Rosarito girl will turn up before morning. The Trib probably won’t get tipped off about the story. Brad is not answering the phone because he fell asleep.

My phone rings, sending my heart skipping into my throat, but it’s not Brad. It’s my mother. Again. I ignored three calls from her back at the office. I know if it were urgent, she would have left a message. I’m not in the mood to hear her complain about how I never have time for the family anymore. I missed my niece Sofia’s first communion last weekend covering a high-speed car crash that killed two local teens. I’ve been a reporter for five years, so you think my mother would be used to it by now, but in my family, missing a get together is practically grounds for a vendetta.

I dial Brad again. The phone rings and rings. I debate letting it ring all the way home, but decide that’s a bit childish. Maybe he’s angry I bailed on his birthday dinner. I get it. I understand he’s upset, but it’s not my fault. It’s the nature of my beat — I never know when a story is going to break.

I shove my phone back in my bag and exit on Fremont Street. The city streets downtown are quiet on the way to North Beach. Once I hit China Town, the city bursts into color and sound like a fireworks finale. The crowds of people on the sidewalks of Columbus Avenue thicken right where China Town and North Beach meet. Men stand in groups ogling the women walking by, their faces lit up with the flashing neon lights of the strip club marquees. Restaurants have flung open their French doors and café tables spill out onto the sidewalks with late-night diners. Music pours across the streets like smoke.

I’m almost home. I’m looking forward to having a glass of wine and spending some time with Brad. My street is off the main drag and three blocks up the hill. I circle the block a few times until finally I spot a group of women heading up my street and slowly cruise behind them. I yawn and wait for them to maneuver out of their tight parking spot. It takes me about five minutes to cram my old Volvo sedan between two other cars. My apartment’s about a block away, so the parking spot is lucky. I’ve had to park up Russian Hill before, about six blocks straight up. Living in the city automatically means I’ll never have to join a gym. I get enough exercise hiking to and from my car each day.

From the front my apartment building is a concrete block lacking any of the charm you might expect in the old Italian section of the city. However, the back of the building reminds me of a secret garden, dotted with balconies overlooking North Beach. I’m almost to my front door when he steps out of the shadows in front of me. I nearly scream.

“Brad? You scared me half to death.”

He looks guilty. Then I realize why. He’s holding a small gym bag.

“I was going to wait … ” he says, his words trailing off. He won’t meet my eyes. “Here are your keys. I got my things.”

I blink. At first, not comprehending. Then I decide to pretend that he’s not telling me it’s over.

“Listen, I’m really sorry I missed your birthday dinner. I promise to make it up to you. You know what my job is like.”

I look away. I truly am sorry, but I’m also tired of defending my job to every man I date. For once, I want to have a boyfriend who gets it. They like how passionate I am about my career until it interferes with their plans.

If it wasn’t for my job, I’d be married with three kids by now. Since my wedding was called off, I’ve racked up four failed relationships in as many years. Sadly, this is a familiar conversation and it always ends the same way.

I stare at Brad, willing him to be the guy who gets it. He’s already turning toward the street when he says, “It’s not the first time this has happened and you know it.”

He’s right. Six months into the relationship and I’ve already stood him up a few times. He spent New Year’s Eve alone while I rode along with the cops. I ran off before Easter dinner because a small plane crash-landed on the freeway. A few weeks ago, I canceled a getaway weekend to wine country when cops busted a meth lab in an expensive gated community. There’s nothing I can say to defend myself.

Silence. The only sound is the faint strains of opera music coming from one of the Columbus Avenue restaurants. It’s from La Traviata. For some reason, an image of Violetta, alone and unloved on her deathbed makes me sad. But I don’t cry. I never cry. I haven’t cried since the day they lowered my sister’s casket into the ground.

“I know my job is crazy —” I begin.

“It’s not just that,” Brad says, interrupting. “It’s not only your job … I’m tired of trying to break through the walls you’ve built up.”

“What?” What the hell is he talking about? In the dim glow cast by the streetlight, it’s hard to discern his expression. I peer at him, but his baseball cap casts a shadow over his face, obscuring the look in his eyes.

He shrugs his coat collar tighter against the cool breeze swirling down my street, bringing with it the salty scent of the ocean. How odd that I’m in the middle of getting dumped by my boyfriend and all I can think about is how much I love the smell of the ocean.

“Listen,” Brad says, hoisting the duffle bag over his shoulder. “I don’t want to date around anymore. I don’t want to be an older father. I want to start a family.”

I’m quiet for a moment, thinking about this. “I want all that one day, too.” It’s all I can come up with. I don’t say anything else. Something deep inside me won’t let me say more. He’s going to walk away now. I know it. I fight back tears. Die before cry. It’s my private mantra. It always works.

“So, that’s it?” he asks. I know I should say something to stop him, but I can’t. “Okay. See you around,” he says and starts to walk away, but then he pauses. “By the way, you’ve got black shit smeared all over your forehead.”

I stand and watch until he rounds a corner. He never glances back.


I awaken in the morning with dark smudges under my eyes from my smeared makeup and a tangled mess of smoky smelling hair. It just adds to the Halloween-like appeal of the black gunk that won’t come off my forehead. I can almost hear my mother’s voice chiding me for going to bed without washing my face. I’m a bit dismayed myself after having it drummed into me from childhood that not taking off your makeup at night adds an extra five years to your face. At this point, it doesn’t even matter if it’s true because I experience major Catholic guilt every time I fall asleep without a thorough face cleansing.

No wonder Brad beat it out of here last night, I think, as I peer in the mirror. I look like a freak show. Thinking of Brad, weariness overcomes my body. I wonder if there was something I could have said to make things right with him. What did he want me to say? That I worry deep down inside that I’m incapable of having a real relationship and possibly unlovable anyway, but that he should still stay with me? Obviously, that wouldn’t have worked. Maybe I’m meant to be alone. As much as I dream of having my own family someday, it may never happen. And part of me, the dark part, can’t help but wonder what’s the point in loving someone anyway? They just leave. One way or the other they always leave.

I angrily wipe away a few salty tears that are trying to slip out. Die before cry. I can already hear the sigh my mother is going to give when she hears that Brad is out of the picture and there’s not a chance for any new grandbaby bambinos for her in the foreseeable future.

In the shower, I contemplate taking a break from dating. Or better yet, to just stop caring. Maybe I’ll be like a guy and date and sleep around and not get hurt because I won’t care. I won’t be disappointed if I don’t expect anything

Dressed, I pad across my wood floor into my kitchen, tucked into a corner near the big sliding glass door leading to the balcony. The bulk of my studio apartment is filled with overflowing bookshelves, a beat-up red velvet couch, a small dining table, and my bed shoved up against one wall. My place is tiny, but it’s in North Beach and I get a great deal on the rent because the landlady went to Catholic school with my grandfather.

I grind some espresso beans into a fine powder and stick some sourdough bread in the toaster. As the coffee begins to percolate, I stand over the chessboard on the end table and chew on my lower lip examining the pieces.

It’s my move. Tomas sent me his latest move two days ago. Then, right when the toast pops up, startling me, I see it. Knight takes bishop’s pawn. I grab a postcard from a stack already addressed and stamped with international postage. I scribble my move. As an afterthought, I add a small smiley face to soften the blow. He might be able to escape it, but if he does what I want him to, my next move will be checkmate.

Juggling my toast, coffee, and a stack of newspapers, I step onto my balcony. The sun is streaming over the Oakland Hills to the east as I settle everything on my cafe table. I pull a wooly sweater around me and warm my hands on my big bowl of coffee. The fog is already receding this morning, revealing the shops below. My perch overlooks the rest of North Beach, the Italian section of San Francisco where my great grandparents settled after coming to America.

My full name is Gabriella Maria-Grazia Giovanni. Both sides of my family are Italian-American, living in the Bay Area suburbs southeast of here. As a child, during the summer on Saturdays, my mother would take us to North Beach, where she grew up. We would join the throngs of people on Columbus Avenue doing early shopping for Sunday dinner or drinking espressos at sidewalk tables. Our afternoons included eating pistachio gelatos in stainless steel bowls and picking up tins of amaretto cookies to bring home. It was always a day of treats and laughter with my joy-filled mother.

That was before. Those were the happiest days of my life, before a dark shadow fell upon our family, blotting out our light, smudging it into a gray smear.

After graduating from college in San Diego, I searched hard to find a place in North Beach I could afford, maybe in an attempt to hold tight to those happy childhood memories.

Sitting on my balcony this morning, I scan the morning paper, sip my coffee, and munch on my toast. I still get a thrill out of seeing my name in print, just as I did the first time I saw it in the college newspaper.

I’m reading my story about the murder-suicide when I do a double take. The part about the father being in drag is now in my story. What the hell? How did the copy desk know about this detail and why would they insert it without checking with me first? Then my eyes fall to the bottom of the story and the answer is clear: “May DuPont contributed to this story.” She somehow found out, threw it in my story, and gave herself a tagline.

I can feel my face flush with heat. I can’t even complain to the editors because they will scold me for leaving that detail out, especially if the competing paper has it.

Then I scan the Trib. Damn. They do have it. Andy Black, my nemesis, has the drag part and the names confirmed. As I continue scanning the Trib, my day gets worse — Black managed to nab the story about the missing Rosarito girl. Shit.

Time to face my fears. My legs are suddenly heavy as I stand.


“Kristi Belcamino uses her newsroom background to grand effect in this crackling, savvy debut. Insider know-how and deft detail make every page come alive — and those pages fly by as the story reaches out and grabs you by the heart. Blessed are the Dead is a great read, Gabriella Giovanni is a one-of-a-kind character, and Kristi Belcamino is a writer to watch.”—David Corbett, award-winning author of DO THEY KNOW I’M RUNNING?

“A fast-paced and remarkably assured debut, featuring an immensely likeable protagonist and a reporter’s eye for detail. Belcamino puts her experience on the crime beat to good use, creating the kind of villain who’ll lurk in your nightmares long after the book ends. Double-check your locks before you crack this one open!”— Owen Laukkanen, author of THE PROFESSIONALS

Author Bio:

Kristi Belcamino is a writer, photographer, and artist who also bakes a tasty biscotti. In her former life, as an award-winning crime reporter at newspapers in California, she flew over Big Sur in an FA-18 jet with the Blue Angels, raced a Dodge Viper at Laguna Seca, watched autopsies, and conversed with serial killers. During her decade covering crime, Belcamino wrote and reported about many high-profile cases including the Laci Peterson murder and Chandra Levy disappearance. She has appeared on Inside Edition and local television shows. She now writes fiction and works part-time as a reporter covering the police beat for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Her work has appeared in such prominent publications as Salon, the Miami Herald, San Jose Mercury News, and Chicago Tribune.

Catch Up With the Author:

Tour Participants:


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Jun 252014

Book Details:

Genre: Fiction / Crime
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: June 3, 2014
Number of Pages: 356
ISBN: 006230206X
Series: Ben Cooper & Diane Fry #9

Purchase Links:


On a rain-swept hillside, hounds from the local foxhunt discover the body of a well-dressed man. At that exact moment, an anonymous caller reports the same body . . . lying half a mile away.

It’s only the first in a series of baffling clues as Ben Cooper and Diane Fry-partners and rivals on the detective force -plunge into a case involving horses, spectacular wealth, and a mysterious “plague village” where a centuries-old outbreak of Black Death has been transformed into a modern tourist attraction.

As the spring rain falls and the body count rises, Cooper and Fry’s investigation twists back to the recent past. A killer lurks in the shadows there-a killer now hiding in plain sight . . .

Atmospheric and ingenious, packed with suspense and secrets, The Kill Call is an unforgettable thriller from an unforgettable writer.

Read an excerpt:


The 9th novel in the Ben Cooper and Diane Fry series

This excerpt was taken from http://www.stephen-booth.com and as such may not be the newest available version.


Journal of 1968

In those days, there were always just the three of us. Three bodies close together, down there in the cold, with the water seeping through the concrete floor, and a chill striking deep into flesh and bone. The three of us, crouching in the gloom, waiting for a signal that would never come.

And what a place to wait and watch in. Seven feet high and seven feet wide – it might as well have been a giant coffin. But slam down the lid and blot out the sun, and we’d survive. Oh, yes. For fourteen days, we’d survive. Thinking about all the things we’d hoped for, and the way our lives could be snuffed out, just like that.

One night, Jimmy looked up from his bunk at me and Les, and he said we were like the three little pigs, or the three billy goats gruff. Well, I don’t know about that. Three blind mice, maybe – it would be more fitting. If it all kicked off, the three of us would be as good as blind. Blinded by a million suns. Blind to the people dying.

A few of the details are a bit dim now. Age does that to you. But other things are as bright and stark in my mind as if they’d been burnt there by a lightning flash. Faces and eyes are what I remember most. Faces in the dark. Eyes turned up towards the light. That look in the eyes a second before death.

Yet all we had down there was a miserable six-watt bulb. I don’t think they even make bulbs that small any more, do they? No wonder your sight could get damaged. Then, every ninety minutes, the switch would pop and it went totally dark. Black as a cat in a coal hole. I always hated that. Even now, complete darkness is what frightens me most. You never know what might be coming up right next to you in the dark.

But it’s amazing how you can adapt to it, for a while. With that one little bulb, we could see pretty well in the murk, well enough to read and do what was necessary.

The place was shocking damp, too. I don’t know what they’d done wrong when they built it, but Les said it hadn’t been tanked. Les was our number one, and he might have been right, for once. The water seemed to soak right through the walls from the soil. It was particularly bad in the winter, or after a heavy rain, which happens a mite too often in Derbyshire. Some nights, if it were siling down, it would be all hands to the pump.

And that was the three of us. Me, Les, and poor old Jimmy. Always three, except for the time that we didn’t ever talk about.

A lot of things seem to come in threes, don’t they? The Holy Trinity, the Three Wise Men, the Third World War. There must be something magic about the number. Perhaps it’s to do with the Earth being the third planet from the Sun. Or the fact that we see the world in three dimensions – even if your world happens to be only seven feet wide and seven feet high.

Well, times change so much. The years pass and the world turns, and suddenly no one cares, and no one wants you any more. They take away your friends, your pride, your reason for living. But they can’t ever wipe out your memories. Sometimes, I wish they would. If only they could take away the nightmares, free me from the memory of those damp concrete walls and the icy darkness, and the memory of a face, staring up at the light.

And that’s another funny thing. They say bad luck comes in threes, don’t they? I think I always knew that.

But here’s something I didn’t know. It turns out that people die in threes, too.


March 2009, Tuesday

Old buildings drew Sean Crabbe like a bee to honey. The more neglected they were, the better he liked them. He couldn’t really explain the appeal. It might have been something to do with the history that clung to the walls, the lives of long-dead people written in the dust, their stories forever trapped in cobwebs hanging from broken ceilings.

That was why the old Nissen huts above Birchlow were one of his favourite places. He made his way there whenever he got the chance, bunking off from college or just disappearing on a weekend, when no one cared what he was up to. No one else ever went up to the huts any more – not since the homeless man had died there, wrapped up in a roll of plastic sheeting with empty cans scattered around him, a cold morning light glinting on the last drops of his beer as they dribbled across the floor.

Sean had been there on that morning, had found the old derelict lying in his pool of Special Brew, and had walked away to try somewhere else. Next day, he’d watched from the hillside as the police and paramedics made their way to the site. He wondered why they’d sent an ambulance when any fool could see that the man was long since dead.

Some folk said that the place was cursed now, haunted by the ghost of the drunken vagrant. So that was why Sean was always on his own at the old huts. And it was just the way he liked it.

There was one big building that was almost intact, with damp brick walls and corrugated-iron sheets banging in the wind. Its purpose was a mystery to him, but he didn’t really care. There were a few small rooms that might have been offices, a kitchen that still had a filthy sink in it, and a bigger space with a concrete floor and shelves along the walls, like a workshop. He liked the narrow corridors best, the floorboards that had warped from the damp and seemed to move with him as he crossed from room to room, and the peeling paint of the doorways where he could imagine anything waiting behind them to be found.

In a way, whenever he pushed open one of those doors, he was entering a different world, stepping through into the past. He wondered if the past had been a better world than the one he was in right now.

This morning, Sean’s need to escape had been urgent. His BTEC course at the further education college was turning out to be a waste of time, useless for his chances of finding the media career he’d dreamed of. The money he’d saved doing holiday jobs had long since run out. All those hours washing caravans and picking up rubbish hadn’t kept him in course fees for long, and now he owed his parents for a loan to see him through. His girlfriend had dumped him weeks ago, because she said he was mean. If he could call her a girlfriend. Most of the girls thought he was geeky. But, if he was a geek, why wasn’t he cleverer at passing exams and doing assignments?

And, to cap it all, a bunch of kids had mugged him last night outside the pub and nicked his phone. Lucky he didn’t have his iPod with him at the time, but losing the Nokia was a real pain. His parents had shelled out for it, and he couldn’t face telling them that he’d lost it.

It was pity there was no sun, though. A patch of thin, lattice-like wood had been exposed up there in the roof space, and when the sunlight shone through, it cast shadows across the floor. Then Sean could pretend he was a child, avoiding the cracks on the pavement. Here, he could step from light to light, avoiding the dark shadows as if they were traps, holes where evil lurked. Step from light to light, and avoid the shadows. If only life was so easy.

But there was no sun today. Just the rain clattering on the corrugated iron, blowing through the splintered windows, streaming down the walls. He was already wet when he arrived at the huts, and the chill made him shiver inside his parka.

Mouldy, fusty, stale and mildewed. Those were the familiar smells of the hut. If the weather was warm, he could scent an underlying odour of oil or grease, saturated into the concrete from whatever had gone on in here. That smell must have lasted decades. Fifty, sixty years? The buildings must be from about that time. They were so old-fashioned, so last century. It was hard for him to imagine what anyone might have done up here, stuck on an empty hillside in Derbyshire.

Now and then, he smoked a spliff up here at the huts, but he couldn’t afford that now. Instead, he plugged in the earphones of his iPod and selected some Coldplay. A feeling of peace settled over him as he listened to Chris Martin’s plaintive vocals coming in on ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head’. He could forget everything else for a while once the music was playing.

Today, though, Sean knew something was different. He tugged out the earphones and stayed completely still, his eyes tightly closed, his ears straining for a sound. The scurrying of a mouse under the floorboards, maybe, or a bird scratching a nest in the roof. But there was no sound.

He squinted at the dust swirling slowly around him, disturbed only by the current of his own breath. The room looked the same as always. Nothing had been moved or disturbed since his last visit. It was always a worry that someone else would find the derelict buildings – another vagrant sleeping rough, a couple of kids finding a place to have sex or take drugs. Or, worst of all, the owner coming to check on his property, or a builder with a plan to demolish it.

Sean closed his eyes, trying to recapture the moment that had been lost. But he finally had to acknowledge that something really was different today. It wasn’t a sound, or anything that looked out of place. It was in the very quality of the mustiness, an underlying odour that was too sweet to be oil or grease. He couldn’t deny the message that was hitting his nostrils.

The difference was in the smell.


It had been raining for six hours by the time they found the body. Since the early hours of the morning, sheets of water had been swirling into the valley, soaking the corpse and the ground around it. Pools of water had gathered in the hollows of the fields below Longstone Moor, and a new stream had formed between two hawthorns, washing their roots bare of earth.

Detective Sergeant Diane Fry wiped the rain from her face and cursed under her breath as she watched the medical examiner and an assistant turn the body on to its side. Rivulets of blood-soaked water streamed off the sleeves of a green coat the victim was wearing. A crime-scene photographer crouched under the edge of the body tent to capture the moment. Big, fat drops bounced off his paper suit, ricocheting like bullets.

Shivering, Fry made a mental note to find out the manufacturer of the victim’s coat. Her own jacket was barely shower proof, and it would never have withstood the amount of rain that had fallen during the night. Her shoulders already felt damp, though she’d been standing in the field no more than ten minutes. If she didn’t get back to her car soon, her clothes would be sticking to her all day, with no chance of a hot shower for hours yet. She’d be unpopular back at the office, too. No one liked sharing their nice, warm working space with a drowned rat.

‘Haven’t we got any cover up here yet?’ she said. ‘Where’s the mobile control unit?’

‘On its way, Sarge. It’s a difficult spot to get to.’

‘Tell me about it.’

She’d left her Peugeot way back somewhere in a muddy gateway, two fields off at least. Her trek to reach the scene had been across hundreds of yards of damp, scrubby grass, dodging sheep droppings, hoping not to twist an ankle in the treacherous holes that opened up everywhere in this kind of area. The remains of old lead mines, she’d been told. The legacy of thousands of years of men burrowing into the hills like rabbits.

And then, when she arrived, she’d discovered a delay by the first officers attending the call to get a body tent up. The FOAs’ vehicle had been short of the required equipment. What a surprise.

An officer standing nearby in a yellow jacket looked at the sky to the west and said something about the rain easing off a bit. He said it with that tone of voice that a countryman used, pretending to be so wise about the ways of the weather. But that was one thing Fry had learned about the Peak District during her time in Derbyshire – there was nothing predictable about the weather.

‘Could you find something more useful to do than pretending to be Michael Fish?’ said Fry.

‘Yes, Sarge. I expect so.’

Fry watched him walk back towards the gateway to direct an arriving vehicle. Even if the officer was right, it was already too late. She felt sure about that. There was a limit to how much water even a limestone landscape could absorb, and this crime scene wouldn’t take much more of a soaking.

Continuous heavy rain did an effective job of destroying physical evidence at an exposed crime scene like this one. And exposed was the right word. She was standing in the middle of a field of rough, short-cropped grass, with no real shelter in sight except a distant dry-stone wall. Right now, she would be glad to huddle behind that wall, even if it meant sharing with the sheep she could see standing hunched and miserable at the far end of the field.

Crime-scene examiners put their faith in the theory that anyone present at a crime scene took traces away from it, and left traces behind. It was called Locard’s Principle. But, in this case, one half of Locard had been rendered practically worthless by the weather. During the past few hours, blood had been washed away, fingerprints soaked off, shoe marks obliterated. Whatever traces an attacker might have left behind were dissolving into the soil, his unique DNA absorbed into the landscape.

Fry took a step back and felt something soft and squishy slide under her heel. Damn it. If only traces of these bloody sheep disappeared from the landscape so quickly.

For a moment, she gazed across the valley towards Longstone Moor. According to the map, the nearest villages of any size were Birchlow and Eyam. But if they were ever visible from here, she’d chosen the wrong day to enjoy the view. Grey clouds hung so low over the hills that they seemed to be resting on the trees. A dense mist of rain swept across the part of the valley where Eyam was supposed to be.

Fry already hated the sound of Eyam. That was because she’d been corrected about its pronunciation. It was supposed to be said ‘Eem’, they told her – not ‘I-am’, which was the way only tourists pronounced it. Well, sod that. She felt inclined to say it the wrong way for the rest of the day, just to show that she was a tourist, at heart. Yes – deep down, she was just a visitor passing through, taking a break from civilization to study the ways of primitive hill folk.

A gust of wind blew a spatter of rain in her eyes. That was one thing you could say for a city. Any city, anywhere. There was always a building within reach where you could get out of the rain. In the Peak District, the weather would always catch you exposed and vulnerable. It could bake you one minute, and drown you the next. It was like some big conspiracy, nature combining with the remains of ancient lead mines that lurked under your feet to trip you up.

When Fry turned away from the view, she found the crime-scene manager, Wayne Abbott, standing in front of her, as if he’d materialized out of the rain. He was a damp ghost, glistening in his white scene suit as if he was formed of ectoplasm.

‘There doesn’t seem to be much physical evidence in the immediate area around the body,’ he said, when he’d got her attention.

‘I’m not surprised.’

‘And I can’t even see where the approach route might have been. We’ll probably have to do a fingertip search over the whole field.’

‘How many people on the ground would we need for that?’

‘I don’t know. It’s big field.’

‘Thanks a lot.’

Fry could imagine the arguments about overtime payments and the hours spent frowning over the duty rota. Luckily, she could pass that problem up to her DI, Paul Hitchens.

The information so far was too scanty for her liking. A sighting of the body had been called in by the air support unit at nine forty-five a.m., a sharp-eyed observer on board Oscar Hotel 88 spotting the motionless figure as the helicopter passed overhead en route to a surveillance task. The zoom facility on his video camera had confirmed the worst. Paramedics had attended, along with uniforms from Bakewell, the observer keeping up a running commentary to guide units to the location. With death confirmed, the duty DC had been called out, and gradually the incident had begun to move up the chain. Her DI, Paul Hitchens, would be on scene shortly, and he would become the officer in charge.

But Fry could see that this was already looking like a difficult one. According to the control room, there were no overnight mispers, not so much as a stressed teenager who’d stayed out all night to wind up Mum and Dad. Neighbouring forces weren’t any help, either. She’d held out hopes of Sheffield , who usually had a bunch of drunks gone AWOL, even on a wet Monday night in March. But no such luck.

So there was going to be a lot of work to do getting a story on the victim, even with a quick ID. If this did turn out to be a murder enquiry, the first forty-eight hours were absolutely crucial.

Fry shivered again as a trickle of water ran down her neck. And it didn’t help much when Mother Nature decided to spend the first six of those forty-eight hours re-enacting the Great Flood.

A miserable figure was making his way across the field, slithering on the grass and dodging strips of wet crime-scene tape flapping around him in the wind. Detective Constable Gavin Murfin wasn’t cut out for country treks, either. But, in his case, it was for a different reason. No matter how many memos did the rounds from management about the fitness of officers, Murfin had been unable to lose any weight. Recently, Fry had noticed that he’d compromised by taking his belt in a notch, which had succeeded only in producing an unsightly roll of spare flesh that hung over his waistband.

Murfin had a comfort-eating problem, and Fry could relate to that. If only he didn’t leave so many crumbs in her car.

‘Gavin. How are things back at the office?’

‘In chaos. Have you seen that Branagh woman? She’s empire-building already.’

Fry shrugged. ‘That’s the name of the game at senior management level.’

‘God save me from promotion, then.’

‘I don’t think you need God’s help, Gavin.’

Murfin shrugged. ‘I notice you’ve been doing your best to keep out of her way. So I don’t suppose you’re exactly her number one fan, either.’

Fry didn’t answer. She still had some instinct for diplomatic silence.

Murfin pulled a face as he took in the fields and the distant stone walls.

‘Witnesses are going to be a bit thin on the ground, Diane.’

‘Yes.’ Fry eyed the sheep suspiciously. ‘There are plenty of those things, though.’

Murfin nodded. ‘Sheep see a lot of things. You’d be surprised. One day, some clever bugger at Ripley will come up with a scheme for surveillance sheep. Imagine them wandering about with miniature video cameras strapped to their heads, like hundreds of little woolly PCSOs.’

She tried to picture some of E Division’s community support officers with the faces of sheep. But her imagination failed her.

‘The mind boggles,’ she said.

‘A bit of boggling now and then never did anyone any harm, in my opinion.’

Fry sighed. ‘Where is everyone, Gavin?’

‘Oh, am I not enough for you?’

‘What about Hurst , and Irvine ? Where are they?’



‘It’s the price of success.’

Fry didn’t need to ask any more. Sunday had been E Division’s strike day. Not a total withdrawal of labour in protest at their latest pay deal, as some officers would have liked, but a pre-planned operation targeting known criminals. Search warrants had been executed in various parts of the division. Arrests were made for assault, theft, burglary, going equipped, supplying Class-A drugs, and money laundering. Officers had recovered drugs, cigarettes, and a large amount of cash. Not a bad haul for the day, and the chiefs were happy. Intelligence-led, proactive policing at its best. But the consequent mountain of paperwork was horrendous. There were so many stages that followed from an arrest – prisoner handling, interviews, witness statements, case-file preparation …

‘And Ben Cooper –’ said Murfin.

‘Yes, I know. He’s got himself a cushy job.’

Murfin nodded casually at the body tent. Apart from the coat, about all that could be seen of the victim was a pair of muddy brown brogues that almost protruded from the tent into the rain.

‘We’ve got cars out trying to locate a vehicle,’ he said. ‘Reckon he must have got himself out here somehow, mustn’t he? He isn’t a hiker, not in those shoes.’

‘No luck so far?’

‘No, sorry.’

‘It’ll be parked up in a lay-by somewhere. Unless he was brought out here by someone else, of course.’

‘By his killer. Right.’

Fry didn’t answer. One of the other downsides of policing a rural area was the lack of CCTV cameras. One of the many downsides. If she’d still been working back in Birmingham, or any other city, they’d have caught the victim’s car on half a dozen cameras as it passed from A to B, registered his number plate at a car-park entry barrier, and probably got a nice, clear shot of him walking along the pavement to wherever he’d been going. And then they could have scanned the CCTV footage for possible suspects, grabbed images of a face from the screen for identification.

But out here? Unless their victim had been idiot enough to go more than ten miles an hour over the limit on a stretch of the A6 where the speed cameras were actually operating, his movements might as well have been invisible.

‘If someone else took his car,’ said Murfin, ‘they might have dumped it and torched it by now.’

‘If they have, it’ll turn up somewhere.’

Murfin was wrestling with a decrepit Ordnance Survey map. Normally, he swore by his sat-nav, and never took driving instructions from anyone but TomTom, or his wife. That wasn’t much use when you’d left your car two fields away, though Fry knew that Wayne Abbott had a GPS device to map the location of a crime scene precisely.

‘We’re somewhere about here,’ said Murfin, stabbing a finger at a square of damp plastic. ‘Longstone Moor that way, the nearest village is Birchlow, over there. A few more villages across the valley. And a load of quarries all around us, some of them still in use. There’s a big mill down in that dip. Not textiles, it processes stone from the quarries.’

‘A tricky area, then?’

Murfin shrugged. ‘The lads are checking any pull-ins on the A623 or this back road over here between the villages. But, as you can see, there are quite a few unmade lanes and farm tracks in this area. So it could take a while, unless some helpful punter phones in.’

‘The victim’s shoes are muddy, so he could have walked some distance, at least.’

‘Eyam at the furthest, I’d say,’ suggested Murfin, pronouncing the ‘Eem’ correctly. ‘There’s a car park that tourists use, near the museum. I’ve asked for a check on any that have outstayed their parking tickets. He’s been dead for an hour or two, right?’

‘Three hours, according to the ME.’

‘He might be due for a fine, then. Poor bugger. That’s the last thing he needs.’

‘That’s not really funny, Gavin.’

‘Oh, I thought those were tears of unrestrained hilarity running down your face. Maybe it’s just the rain, after all.’

The officer nearby was listening to a call on his radio, and became suddenly alert. Fry looked at him expectantly.

‘What’s the news?’

‘Not good, Sergeant. The control room says a 999 call was received about twenty minutes ago.’ The officer pointed towards a distant stone building. ‘A unit has been despatched to the old agricultural research centre, about half a mile away in that direction. They thought we’d like to know. There’s been a report of another corpse.’

Fry cursed quietly, squinting against the downpour.

‘I’ve heard about showers of frogs,’ she said. ‘But I’ve never heard of it raining bodies.’

Author Bio:

Stephen Booth is an award winning British crime writer, the creator of two young Derbyshire police detectives, DC Ben Cooper and DS Diane Fry, who have appeared in twelve novels set in England’s beautiful and atmospheric Peak District.

Stephen has been a Gold Dagger finalist, an Anthony Award nominee, twice winner of a Barry Award for Best British Crime Novel, and twice shortlisted for the Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year. Ben Cooper was a finalist for the Sherlock Award for the best detective created by a British author, and in 2003 the Crime Writers’ Association presented Stephen with the Dagger in the Library Award for “the author whose books have given readers the most pleasure”.

The Cooper & Fry series is published all around the world, and has been translated into 15 languages. The latest title is DEAD AND BURIED, with a new book, ALREADY DEAD, published in June 2013.

Catch Up With the Author:

Tour Participants:


Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events? I think characters can only be created from personal experience. Current events do give me ideas for background subjects – since I try to make my characters as real as possible, I want them to be reacting to events in the real world. For ‘The Kill Call’, one of these subjects was the illegal trade in horses. But I’ve never based a novel on a real-life crime. I don’t think that’s fair to the people involved.

Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you? I never know how a novel is going to end. I start at the beginning – with a place, a set of characters, and a situation that puts them under pressure (which usually involves a dead body,
f course). Then I let the characters create the story. So it’s a discovery process for me. This is a much more exciting way of writing than knowing what’s going to happen all the time. For it to work, I think I have to take a step back and not try to control my characters too much, but allow them the freedom to do whatever they want. I rely very much on Ben Cooper and Diane Fry and their colleagues to do their part of the work. They’re the detectives, after all – it’s their job to discover what happened!

Is writing your full time job? If not, may I ask what you do by day? I’ve never done anything else for a living but writing and editing. There’s probably nothing else I could do anyway! I worked as a newspaper journalist for 27 years, and the first two Cooper & Fry novels were written while I still had the day job. But I gave up my newspaper career just before the second book was published. I was very lucky to be earning a living from my books right from the start. Writing novels was always what I really wanted to do, but journalism taught me a lot and was great experience.

Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies? I write mostly during the evening, often right into the early hours of the morning. I developed this habit when I still had the day job, since it was the only time I had available to work on my novels. Although I’ve been full-time for about 13 years now, I find there are too many distractions during the day. And perhaps the evening is just my creative time anyway? I listen to music sometimes, but also to dramas and documentaries on the radio (the BBC is wonderful for this). Although it might just seem to be on in the background, it’s amazing how often a sentence or phrase I hear will register in my thoughts and give me an idea for the story I’m writing. It’s a way of leaving my sub-conscious open to ideas, even while I’m concentrating on something else.

Who are some of your favorite authors? There are so many great crime novelists whose books I’ve been reading for years – and lots of new ones coming along the time too. Some of my old favourites include Peter Robinson, John Harvey, Reginald Hill and Ruth Rendell. Among the Americans, I particularly admire Michael Connelly. In fact, anyone who writes a series with a really strong central character and an interesting background.

What are you reading now? I’m re-reading several of Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Gamache series, as I’ve been asked to write an appreciation of her for a special collector’s edition of her latest book.

Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it? The summer is publication time for me in the UK, with the latest paperback out in May, and new Cooper & Fry novel published in June. So I’m in promotion mode at the moment, with lots of events to do. But this is also the time when ideas for the next novel go through a sort of gestation period, when something will grip me and I know what I want to write about next.
Although I have some themes in mind, I still have to find the right location to set the book in. The Peak District settings have become very important for readers over the years. Other than that, I have no idea where the story will go!

If your novel were a movie, who would you cast? I’m asked this kind of question often, since Cooper & Fry are currently in development for a TV series. But I really have no idea! My characters are very clear in my mind, and there are no actors just like them. Fortunately, the casting will be someone else’s job!

Manuscript/Notes: hand written or keyboard? I work almost entirely on a keyboard – and I have done for 30 years, since we were computerised very early in the newspaper business. The only exception is when I’m out and about in the Peak District doing location research, when a small notebook is essential.

Favorite leisure activity/hobby? Walking has always been a favourite leisure activity, and that’s how I discovered the wonderful Peak District. Anything to do with animals and nature I find very relaxing – I live in the country, and I enjoy pottering in the garden or watching the birds from my office window. I also have three cats, who are a very important part of my life.

Favorite meal? I love Chinese food, so probably a nice Dim sum.

Thanks so much for visiting us today, Mr. Booth! We look forward to seeing your televised creation as well as your next book!

Jun 242014


Judi Culbertson

JUDI CULBERTSON draws on her experience as a used-and-rare book dealer, social worker, and world traveler to create her bibliophile mysteries. She has co-authored five illustrated guides with her husband, Tom Randall, of such cities as Paris, London, and New York. She is also the author of the acclaimed nonfiction titles SCALING DOWN and THE CLUTTER CURE. She lives in Port Jefferson, New York, with her family. 
Connect with Judi at these sites:



Bookseller-turned-amateur detective Delhi Laine is back with another atmospheric mystery, but this time, it’s a family affair.

Nineteen years ago, Delhi Laine’s two-year old daughter disappeared. After a frantic but inconclusive search, authorities determined that she must have drowned, her body washed away from the picturesque English park in which she was playing.

Delhi’s heart has never healed, yet her family has since soldiered on. But when a mysterious letter arrives containing the ominous words, YOUR DAUGHTER DID NOT DROWN, their lives are once again thrown into turmoil. With her family torn between fighting for the past and protecting the future, Delhi is caught in the middle. For a mother, the choice to find her daughter seems easy. But for a family left fractured by the mistakes of the past, the consequence, and the truth, may be infinitely more costly.

Fans of Carolyn Hart will be swept away by this story of a family on the brink – and their hunt for the truth.


In those days photography had been my passion, my way of escaping from the endless rounds of dirty diapers and runny noses and tears. At home, as soon as the children were bedded down, I’d fled to my darkroom, working into the early hours printing and tinting photos. The quiet darkness was an addiction. As sleepy as I often was during the day, I came alive in those night hours.

I had been taking photos in Stratford to work on, to enlarge and color when we got home.

After that day by the river, I never took another. Growing up I had never daydreamed about having a family, of being surrounded by children. I’d read endlessly, imagined myself in exotic places, even saw myself as an archeologist. So when I met Colin . . . I loved the children, they were mine, but they were part of the scenery of my life.

When I lost one of them due to my preoccupation, I vowed never to let anything distract me again. Not even photography. Especially not photography.

“You thought falling asleep sounded better?” Colin felt menacing beside me, as if he might grab my shoulders and shake me.

I knew then that I should have told him about the note first, that we should not be having this conversation in front of everyone. “I—yes . And after I kept saying it a part of me started believing it. When I finally admitted the truth and told someone else, she pointed out that if I was standing right by the water, I should have heard a splash or seen Caitlin fall in. And I was, right by the edge of the river. I–”

“But the police must have investigated all that?” Patience couldn’t keep out of it any longer.

“Of course they did.” Colin boomed. “They interviewed everyone who’d had been in the park that day. We even hired a private detective. Who found nothing.”

Through the miasma of wine and coffee I tried to remember what had been in the detective’s report. Surely, for all the money we borrowed from Colin’s parents to pay him, he had turned up something. “But the police never found her. They said that was unusual for that part of the river.”

“But not impossible.” Colin held up a professorial hand, a gesture he would use to silence a classroom. Everyone looked at him, waiting. He addressed the girls first. “I’m sorry you had to learn this from someone in a drunken stupor. It’s something that happened long ago. We didn’t want you to grow up thinking something terrible would happen to you too. We didn’t want it to overshadow your childhoods. It was the worst thing that ever happened to us. But your mother has conflated another day when she was taking pictures with the day it actually happened. All I can say is, memory is notoriously unreliable.”

I was so furious that I couldn’t think of which calumny to address first. I was not in a drunken stupor. I was not mixing up the days. But I needed to explain why I was bringing it up now. “What I was doing that day isn’t the point.” I reached in my Mexican jacket pocket and pulled out an envelope. “This is the point.”

A rustling, a squeaking of chairs, as everyone craned to look.

It was a square white envelope, the size of a small greeting card, addressed to “The Fitzhughs.” On the front were stamp images of Queen Elizabeth in red and green and a postmark I could not read. I pulled out the white paper inside, unfolded it, and laid it flat on the table so that the people closest to me could see. In large black letters it read: YOUR DAUGHTER DID NOT DROWN.

When Colin and the girls had seen it I passed it to Pat who scanned it and gave it back so I could show it to Ben. “This came in the mail Monday,” I said. “I can’t tell what part of England it’s from.”

Colin picked up the envelope and studied it. Again, everyone seemed to be waiting for his official pronouncement. “A mean trick,” he said finally. “Someone’s idea of a bad joke.”

A bad joke? “But why now?” I argued, shocked. “Almost twenty years later? Who would know anything about it now?”

“Maybe they ran a story in the local Stratford papers,” Ben said. “Maybe the detective who investigated it is retiring or something.”

“And that would make somebody track us all the way over here to taunt us, a mention in a retirement story? I don’t buy that. It wasn’t even a criminal investigation, they just thought she’d drowned. No policeman would be remembered for it.”

“Maybe that’s what the story was about then, people drowning in the river.” Ben brightened as if he had solved the problem. I told myself he wasn’t trying to be cruel, that he just liked to fix things.

“They’d hardly go to the trouble of finding Delhi and Colin’s address in another country. That’s ridiculous,” Patience said. “It sounds like whoever wrote it knows something definite.”

“Can’t we have the handwriting analyzed?” Jane interrupted. “Or have it dusted for fingerprints?”

Colin sighed, playing with a small glass salt shaker that had been left on the table. “That note is hardly a criminal matter. They wouldn’t go to the trouble. Besides, the real point is if Caitlin did somehow survive, it’s too late now. Too much time has passed. It’s like an adoption, it’s final.”

“No!” It came out of me as a wail.

Patience gasped. “It is not like an adoption. If your daughter didn’t drown, then she was kidnapped! She has every right to know her real family.”

“Patsy,”—Colin lapsed into her old nickname–“it’s not that simple. You can’t assume a kidnapping. If she didn’t drown, she probably wandered off and someone found her.”

“Daddy, what are you talking about?” Jane grasped his forearm. She was flushed, probably with cabernet, and furious. As close as they were, she often lost her temper with Colin. “People don’t keep lost children. They find a policeman and get them back to their parents! It’s not like a stray kitten that you decide to take in.”

“No, Daddy’s right,” Hannah looked up from where she had been tormenting a cuticle. “How would you feel if someone contacted us and claimed after nineteen years that I had been stolen and was part of their family? That everything I’d thought was true was a lie and they wanted me to come live with them. Anyway, I don’t want a twin. I’m fine just as I am.”

Colin pushed back from the table. “I think it’s time for us to go.”

“But we haven’t had our walk,” Ben protested. “We have to take our beach walk!”

Poor Ben. If he’d been on the Titanic, he would have been demanding his nightly whiskey as the ship went down.

“Yes, go on your walk. I have to show Delhi something of our mother’s that I found. We’ll catch up.”

I knew we wouldn’t.

“Can I see?” Jane asked eagerly.

Patience and I exchanged a look.

“Sure,” I told her.


Genre: Mystery & Detective; Women Sleuth
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: 5/27/2014
Number of Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780062296351



If you’d like to join in on an upcoming tour just stop by our sites and sign up today!

Follow the Tour:

I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

Jun 202014


Brian McGilloway

Brian McGilloway is the bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Inspector Benedict Devlin series. He was born in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1974. After studying English at Queen’s University, Belfast, he took up a teaching position in St Columb’s College in Derry, where he is currently Head of English.

His first novel, Borderlands, published by Macmillan New Writing, was shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger 2007 and was hailed by The Times as ‘one of (2007’s) most impressive debuts.’ The second novel in the series, Gallows Lane, was shortlisted for both the 2009 Irish Book Awards/Ireland AM Crime Novel of the Year and the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2010. Bleed A River Deep, the third Devlin novel, was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of their Best Books of 2010.

Brian’s fifth novel, Little Girl Lost, which introduced a new series featuring DS Lucy Black, won the University of Ulster’s McCrea Literary Award in 2011 and is a No.1 UK Kindle Bestseller. The follow-up novel, Hurt, will be published in late 2013 by Constable and Robinson.

Brian lives near the Irish borderlands with his wife, daughter and three sons.
Connect with Brian at these sites:


Q&A with Brian McGilloway

Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?
A mixture of the two, I think. I tend to read or hear about current events and take the kernel of an idea form that, which then allows me to examine issues which are important to me and to integrate elements of my own experiences.

Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?
I start at the start. Generally, I have an idea where one plot strand might end up, but the ending changes for me as I write. I take much comfort in Doctorow’s comment that writing is like driving at night in the fog; you can only see as far as the end of your head light, but you still make it home safely that way.

Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
My routine has changed since I’ve gone full time. I leave the kids to school at 9 am and write through until about 12.30. I stop then and am doing school runs all afternoon. Depending on deadlines, I might do some more in the evenings. I aim to do around 1000 words a day and find I can manage that in a few hours each morning. Idiosyncrasies? – I always need to have a cup of tea when I’m starting. Never coffee.

Is writing your full time job? If not, may I ask what you do by day?
It is now. I was a teacher of English until last year when I took a career break. I loved teaching very much and had a lot of fun working with the kids but it got to the point where I was so stretched that I was worried I’d not be doing justice to either my students nor those who are kind enough to read my books (never mind my own wife and children) if I continued trying to balance them all.

Who are some of your favorite authors?
Too many to mention. James Lee Burke will always stand head and shoulders above in the genre for me in terms of prose style and sheer humanity in his writing.

What are you reading now?
Bad Blood by Arne Dahl. I’m interviewing Arne next week in the Dublin Writers’ Festival and am very much looking forward to it.

Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?
I’m editing it at the moment. It’s working title is Sticks and Stones and it’s another Lucy novel about the discovery of a dead body in the River Foyle which has already been embalmed and prepared for burial.

Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?
I don’t know because I don’t tend to see the main character’s faces. My wife thinks Michael Fassbender would be a fine Devlin (but I think she may have her own reasons for that choice.) I met a Derry born actress last year called Laura Pyper who I thought would make a great Lucy Black.

Manuscript/Notes: hand written or keyboard?
My notes are always hand written on various note books and scraps of paper. I always type my manuscript though. Much easier to revise and much easier for everyone involved to have to read.

Favorite leisure activity/hobby?
Walking the dogs with my kids, watching a good movie with my wife, reading a good book on my own.

Favorite meal?
I’m a coealic so something gluten free. Gluten Free Lasagne, perhaps.


About the book

Lucy Black must protect the young and vulnerable…but can she protect herself? Late December. A sixteen-year-old girl is found dead on a train line. Detective Sergeant Lucy Black is called to identify the body. The only clues to the dead teenager’s last movements are stored in her mobile phone and on social media – and it soon becomes clear that her ‘friends’ were not as trustworthy as she thought. Lucy is no stranger to death: she is still haunted by the memory of the child she failed to save, and the killer she failed to put behind bars. And with a new boss scrutinizing her every move, she is determined that – this time – she will leave no margin for error. Hurt is a tense crime thriller about how, in the hands of a predator, trust can turn into terror.


Genre: Women Sleuths, Police Procedurals, Suspense
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: May 20, 2014
Number of Pages:
ISBN: 9780062336705




If you’d like to join in on an upcoming tour just stop by our sites and sign up today!

Follow the Tour:

I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.