Dream Stalker by Nancy Gardner | #DreamStalker @NancyGardnerAuthor #ParanormalMystery #Interview

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Dream Stalker

by Nancy Gardner

November 1-30, 2021 Virtual Book Tour


Dream Stalker by Nancy Gardner

Lily Scott had vowed never to dream-walk-again….

Lily is a contemporary Salem witch who descends from a long line of witches born with the power to walk into other people’s dreams to fight crime. But her disastrous first dream-walk almost killed her, and she vowed never to repeat the painful experience.

Now her daughter is falsely accused of murder, and the only way to clear her would be for Lily to enter the dreaming mind of the real killer, risking confrontation with the deadly Dream Stalker.

Can Lily summon the courage?

Book Details:

Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Published by: Bowker
Publication Date: June 1st 2021
Number of Pages: 257
ISBN: 1733919945 (ISBN13: 9781733919944)
Series: Dream Stalker, #1
Purchase Links: Amazon | Reedsy | Goodreads | ​Audible | ​Apple Play

Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1

Salem, Massachusetts—October 1, 2013

I stumbled through the early morning fog blanketing Salem’s Gallows Hill, hurrying to the oak tree that my maternal grandmother, Sadie MacAskill, loved. When I was a child, she’d taught me that witches like ourselves derive energy from working with green, growing plants and trees. I could still feel our arms stretched around the oak’s trunk, listening for the pulsing power within it.

“Feel Mother Earth’s wisdom rising,” she’d said.

I’d never needed wisdom more. The plan I’d cooked up with an old friend had gone terribly wrong. Kitty was supposed to bring my estranged daughter, Sarah, to dinner. Sarah’s favorite dinner, creamy chicken pesto and pasta, was baking in the oven when I got the call.

“Kitty hasn’t come home, and I’m not ready to see you without her. I may never be ready,” Sarah said, her voice cold and unforgiving. She hung up before I could reply.

When I called her back, she refused to answer. If my husband, Sam, had still been alive, he’d have known what to do. But he’d died two years ago.

It was long after midnight when I threw the cold casserole down the disposal and crawled into bed. When sleep proved impossible, I paced the empty rooms of our Chestnut Street home until dawn, then grabbed the nearly empty bottle of homemade dandelion brandy as an offering to Nana’s spirit and rode my Vespa to the park atop Gallows Hill.

Exhausted and headachy, I forgot to watch my step and tripped over a rock. I managed not to fall, but the bottle flew out of my hand. I watched it shatter, watched the last golden dregs seep into the grass. I felt like I was watching my relationship with my daughter ebb with it.

As I dropped shards of glass into the nearby trash can, the wind seemed to whisper that I didn’t deserve to find the wisdom I needed. I’d failed Nana, and I’d failed my daughter.

“Enough self-pity.” I pulled my leather jacket tighter and scurried past the crumbling pavilion and rusting flagpole to the ancient oak. Once again, I pressed my cheek to the rough bark, closed my eyes, and waited. The bark pulsed. A crow landed in the branches above me, cawing and shaking loose a shower of dead leaves. I opened my eyes, and for a moment, Nana’s face wavered before me. Then she was gone, leaving me with my questions unanswered.

My cell vibrated. Who would call me this early? Sarah? Kitty with an explanation? I checked the screen. Neither. Honey Campbell, my landlord and a good friend. She owned the building on Pickering Wharf where we both ran our businesses. Her barbershop took up the first floor. My herbal studio, Healing Thyme, sat above it.

“Hi, Honey. What’s up.”

“Thought you’d want to know your friend, Kitty, came looking for you,” Honey said in her soft Scottish brogue. “And bye-the-bye, she looked like shite. She stumbled off toward Moe’s. You might yet find her there.”

Two months earlier, Kitty had stopped me on the street. I’d taken her for a panhandler and almost turned her away. Then she said, “Lily, don’t you remember me? My parents took us to New York to see West Side Story. We had the best time.”

We’d shared a cup of coffee and Kitty shared her story. She’d been a high school biology teacher until she’d been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. The disease had taken everything from her: her teaching career, her home, her reason for living. She’d ended up lost on the streets.

Things had taken a turn for the better for Kitty when she found a permanent bed at St. Bridget’s Homeless Shelter and, because of the doctor who volunteered his services there, Kitty’s memory was making a remarkable improvement.

“Thanks, Honey. I’m on my way.” I dashed back to the Vespa, strapped on my helmet, and started the engine. Usually, the thrum of the engine beneath me and the slapping rhythm of my braid tapping against my back soothed me. Not this morning. I pressed the throttle and hurried to Pickering Wharf, determined to find out what had gone wrong last night.


Excerpt from Dream Stalker by Nancy Gardner. Copyright 2021 by Nancy Gardner. Reproduced with permission from Nancy Gardner. All rights reserved.



Author Bio:

Nancy Gardner

Nancy Gardner writes cozy mysteries with a paranormal twist. The first novel in her new series, Dream Stalker, tells the story of Lily Scott, a contemporary Salem witch who walks into people’s dreams to fight crime. One reviewer called it a gripping tale of witchcraft, family loyalties, and the cost of seeking justice. Her most recent short story, “Death’s Door,” was selected to be included in the 2021 anthology, Malice Domestic 16: Mystery Most Diabolical. She lives near Boston with her writer husband, David.

Q&A with Nancy Gardner

What was the inspiration for this book?

Dreams have always fascinated me, so much so that I keep a dream journal. Combine that with my love of mysteries and my admiration for Jung’s theories about our shadow selves—the unacknowledged dark side in each of us—and you’ve got my recipe for cooking up a detective who walks into dreams to fight crime.

What has been the biggest challenge in your writing career?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve written non-fictional reports and journal articles focused on my areas of expertise. When I decided to take up fiction, the biggest challenges were to create a story from my imagination and to gain a new set of skills related to the world of fiction—world-building, character development and scene-writing. Along the way, I’ve taken a number of classes, including a very important one based on Lisa Cron’s book, Wired for Story. I’ve also acquired to wonderful critique groups that share feedback on what we’ve written.

What do you absolutely need while writing?

A huge mug of coffee and my favorite mechanical pencil. The pencil lets me erase—a lot.

Do you adhere to a strict routine when writing or write when the ideas are flowing?

Actually, a mixture of the two works best for me. I stick to a strict routine in the early morning—get up, get coffee, sit at my desk and go deep into the scene I’m working on. Later in the day I’ll transfer the morning’s notes into computer files. I’ll also brainstorm story problems. My two favorite brainstorming methods are taking long walks in nature or talking things through with my novelist husband, David.

Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

Actually, I have two favorite characters who arose with no effort and who remind me of troubled women I loved growing up. Both have lived on the streets for different reasons. Both have skills that society might not recognize. Flo Dembrowski is a big, brash ex-alcoholic who knows how to use her fists and does so for those who are weaker. Rose Hernandez is an ex-nurse who long-ago lost her family in a fire. Rose may be small and shy, but she has the ability to look into people and see who they really are.

Tell us why we should read your book.

Dream Stalker is a paranormal cozy mystery about a modern Salem witch-herbalist who has the power to walk into dreams to fight crime. If you enjoy being entertained by entering an unexpected world to find justice, you will enjoy reading my book.

Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book?

Lily Scott is my fictional witch-herbalist. Recently I interviewed Teri Kalgren, a real Salem witch-herbalist for my blog. It turns out that both Lily and Teri celebrate the ancient pagan holiday called ‘Samhain’ on October 31st. And both rely on chamomile tea to unwind.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I’d love readers to visit my website at https://nancygardnerauthor.com and sign up for my twice-a-month email. The emails are short and keep folks up-to-date on blog interviews. If they sign up, they can download a free short story about how Rose Hernandez saves a little boy from danger. It’s called “Smoke and Mirrors.”

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

In prior lives I’ve been a software product manager and a public-school teacher. My short fiction has appeared in many magazines, e-zines, and anthologies. My most recent short story, “Death’s Door,” appears in the 2021 anthology, Malice Domestic 16: Mystery Most Diabolical, coming out in November. I lives near Boston with my writer husband, David.

What’s next that we can look forward to?

I’m working on book two in the Dream Stalker series. This time, Lily Scott’s family situation becomes stickier when her long-lost niece shows up at her door traumatized by the murder of her adoptive parents. Worse, Lily is forced to confront an explosive situation that has the potential to destroy many lives.

Catch Up With Nancy Gardner:
BookBub – @nancygardner5
Instagram – @ngauthor
Twitter – @NGardner_author
Facebook – @NancyGardnerAuthor



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