Archive | May 2023

The Devil’s Glove

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Book Title: The Devil’s Glove

Series: Salem

Author: Lucretia Grindle

Publication Date: May 1, 2023

Publisher: Casa Croce Press

Page Length: 346

Genre: Literary Historical Fiction

Twitter Handle: @cathiedunn

Instagram Handle: @bookwhispererink @thecoffeepotbookclub

Hashtags: #TheDevilsGlove #HistoricalFiction #Salem #BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub

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The Devil’s Glove

by Lucretia Grindle


Northern New England, summer, 1688.
Salem started here.

A suspicious death. A rumor of war. Whispers of witchcraft.

Perched on the brink of disaster, Resolve Hammond and her mother, Deliverance, struggle to survive in their isolated coastal village. They’re known as healers taught by the local tribes – and suspected of witchcraft by the local villagers.

Their precarious existence becomes even more chaotic when summoned to tend to a poisoned woman. As they uncover a web of dark secrets, rumors of war engulf the village, forcing the Hammonds to choose between loyalty to their native friends or the increasingly terrified settler community.

As Resolve is plagued by strange dreams, she questions everything she thought she knew – about her family, her closest friend, and even herself. If the truth comes to light, the repercussions will be felt far beyond the confines of this small settlement.

Based on meticulous research and inspired by the true story of the fear and suspicion that led to the Salem Witchcraft Trials, THE DEVIL’S GLOVE is a tale of betrayal, loyalty, and the power of secrets. Will Resolve be able to uncover the truth before the town tears itself apart, or will she become the next victim of the village’s dark and mysterious past?

Praise for The Devil’s Glove:

“From its opening lines this historical novel from Grindle (Villa Triste) grips with its rare blend of a powerfully evoked past, resonant characters, smart suspense, and prose touched with shivery poetry.”

~ BookLife Reviews Editor’s Pick


Guest Post by Lucretia Grindle, author of The Devil’s Glove

In the brief time since The Devil’s Glove has been published, I have received more questions and comments about one character than about all of the others put together. Abigail Hobbs. I can’t say this surprises me. While the book is centered around Resolve Hammond and her mother, Deliverance, it revolves around Abigail. She is a primary catalyst and change figure, as well as being the uneasy combination of shadow and light most open to interpretation. Is she good? Is she bad? Is she evil? Supernatural? A Bad Cat? Or a child, struggling to survive in a perilous world? I don’t want to attempt to answer any of those questions or to analyse Abigail herself in this post – all of that is, of course, ultimately up to the reader. What I would like to do is discuss some aspects of the challenge, and satisfaction, of writing her as a character.

In many ways, Abigail Hobbs is the kind of gift historical novelists live for. Unlike the more famous Abigail (Williams) who was one of the main accusers, Abigail Hobbs was a fairly peripheral, if completely unique, figure in the drama-rama that became the Salem trials. She was barely fourteen when she was named by her peer group of mostly teen-aged girls, many of whom she had known for years, as one of the earliest accused witches.

This alone sets her apart. Mercy Lewis, a distant cousin, grew up with her. Susannah Sheldon almost certainly knew her. And they were sure she was a witch, or – something. So was pretty much everyone else she’d ever encountered, including her poor stepmother who, when questioned, stated plaintively that she would never have married into the Hobbs family if she had ‘known that she would have to cope with Such a One.’ Her father more or less said he was afraid of her, when he said anything at all. Abigail had that effect on people.

Oh yes, she said quite happily, when challenged by the po-faced Salem magistrates, she wandered alone in the woods. All the time. Mostly at night. She agreed, quite matter of factly, that she probably did fly. Then added that she was sorry if she inadvertently stuck pins in any one. She didn’t mean to. It was all, she explained without being asked, due the fact that four years earlier, she had ‘signed the black man’s book,’ one summer afternoon when they happened to meet up in the forest. After that, she’d promised to do everything he asked of her, so that probably explained the pins. When one of the magistrates finally recovered enough to speak, Abigail agreed that, yes, all things considered, she guessed she was a witch. It was unfortunate, she supposed, and she was sorry if it had caused any trouble, but what could she do? She had, after all, given the Black Man her word, and good girls kept their word, didn’t they? The startled magistrates then listened in silence as Abigail calmly elaborated on the details of witchdom, including the snack menu at demonic meetings, which was usually bread and cheese. Something she seemed to find a bit disappointing, considering.

Thanks to the 17th century mania for record keeping, and the extraordinary good luck that makes the Essex County Massachusetts archive one of the most complete and intact in the world, we have a fairly accurate record of who said, and occasionally did, what in Salem village and town in 1692. So we know that as Abigail spoke on that April afternoon, an uncharacteristic silence fell over the Salem village meeting house. The startled accusers couldn’t even bring themselves to fall on the floor or mutter about yellow birds, much less scream or point fingers. Their stunned silence might be interpreted as fear. Or admiration. Or possibly both. As for the magistrates, by the time Abigail Hobbs was finished they were equal parts bemused and horrified. Having no idea what else to do, they threw the entire family in jail. This was manna from heaven. And it got better.

As I looked into the history of the Hobbs family, it was hard not to come to the conclusion that they were simply unfortunate. Deciding to make their own way in the world, William and Avis Hobbs separated from their families in Watertown shortly after they were married and struck out for Topsfield, Massachusetts, where they acquired a small farm. At first they did well enough. Then, little by little, things began to fall apart. William never managed to get elected to town office. The farm survived but did not thrive. Avis had a son, then twins, then in 1678 a daughter, whom they called Abigail.

More mouths to feed did not make things better. By the mid-1680s, The Hobbs decided that they would be better off letting their farm to tenants and trying to make a new start in The Eastward. By the mid to late 17th century, Maine, then called The Eastward, had developed the sort of reputation that Alaska has today. It was where you went to start over; a hard, even perilous place but one where people were less likely to ask questions. Who you had been did not matter as much as it did in hide-bound Boston or increasingly cosmopolitan Salem. What you could do was mattered. Unfortunately, William Hobbs couldn’t do much for long, except drink.

Shortly after the Hobbs’ arrival in the settlement of Falmouth, which was about as far north as you could go at the time, the eldest son left to join the militia. Like most families, William, Avis and their children farmed a few acres on the outskirts, and lived close to the fort. They rented a house from the owner of The Ordinary, the village tavern where William, having failed yet again to make his mark in town politics, spent increasing amounts of time. Then, sometime in 1686, the twins drowned. No details of their deaths are recorded, but it is hard to avoid the sense that in some profound way, it broke the family. Or perhaps it just broke Avis’s heart. She died in the summer of 1688, leaving behind an absent son, a drunken husband and ten year old Abigail.

1688. Four years before Salem. The year Madockawando and the Abenaki Confederacy decided northern settlement had gone far enough. The year the militia came to Falmouth, attacked a fishing camp, took hostages, and sent them to Boston to be sold as slaves. The year London imploded and the Stuarts went into exile and half a world away King William’s war – a conflagration that would empty The Eastward – got started. The year Boston hung an Irish washerwoman for bewitching a group of children living in the house of a Divine called Cotton Mather. The year Abigail Hobbs said she went into the forest and signed the black man’s book.

The scaffolding of disaster that hovered around Abigail, combined with her own bizarre testimony, made her a character that was almost too good to be true. Not least because, apart from her dramatic bit part in the early days of the Salem Trials, not much is known about Her. We know about her family and about the circumstances that must have shaped her – but of the girl herself, little to nothing. In short, she was the sort of ‘gap’ in history, the kind of tantalizing glimpse and suggested shape, historical novelists dream of. Even better, at the time The Devil’s Glove takes place, in that long hot summer of 1688, she was a child.

Children are powerful precisely because they are in the process of coming into being. Their edges are not yet hardened, their moral codes not yet set. They are vessels for all the expectations, and delusions, all the wishful thinking of the adult world. Including innocence. I had long wanted to write all of that: the power, the evolution, the goodness, the badness, and mostly the knowingness that children carry within them. And I was fascinated by Abigail’s own assertions of what she thought had happened to her, and what she thought she was.

I don’t know how to answer a lot of the questions about Abigail Hobbs. In writing her, I tried to catch something of the power of her personality that one senses, still lingering in the archive that records that April day in Salem, 1692.

And this, to me, is the real beauty of historical fiction: the opportunity every once in a while, to glimpse in the historical record a vivid, almost vanishing figure. To have the chance to catch them by the hem, and – if not drag them back – invite them to stay a little and raise all the questions about who they are, and why, and how they did what they did. In short, to ask them to linger, and live a little while on the page. Not all of them agree. But Abigail did, and I am profoundly grateful.

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Author Bio:

Lucretia Grindle grew up and went to school and university in England and the United States. After a brief career in journalism, she worked for The United States Equestrian Team organizing ‘kids and ponies,’ and for the Canadian Equestrian Team. For ten years, she produced and owned Three Day Event horses that competed at The World Games, The European Games and the Atlanta Olympics. In 1997, she packed a five mule train across 250 miles of what is now Grasslands National Park on the Saskatchewan/Montana border tracing the history of her mother’s family who descend from both the Sitting Bull Sioux and the first officers of the Canadian Mounties.

Returning to graduate school as a ‘mature student’, Lucretia completed an MA in Biography and Non-Fiction at The University of East Anglia where her work, FIREFLIES, won the Lorna Sage Prize. Specializing in the 19th century Canadian West, the Plains Tribes, and American Indigenous and Women’s History, she is currently finishing her PhD dissertation at The University of Maine.

Lucretia is the author of the psychological thrillers, THE NIGHTSPINNERS, shortlisted for the Steel Dagger Award, and THE FACES of ANGELS, one of BBC FrontRow’s six best books of the year, shortlisted for the Edgar Award. Her historical fiction includes, THE VILLA TRISTE, a novel of the Italian Partisans in World War II, a finalist for the Gold Dagger Award, and THE LOST DAUGHTER, a fictionalized account of the Aldo Moro kidnapping. She has been fortunate enough to be awarded fellowships at The Hedgebrook Foundation, The Hawthornden Foundation, The Hambidge Foundation, The American Academy in Paris, and to be the Writer in Residence at The Wallace Stegner Foundation. A television drama based on her research and journey across Grasslands is currently in development. THE DEVIL’S GLOVE and the concluding books of THE SALEM TRILOGY are drawn from her research at The University of Maine where Lucretia is grateful to have been a fellow at the Canadian American Foundation.

She and her husband, David Lutyens, live in Shropshire.

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This entry was posted on May 26, 2023. 2 Comments

After All Is Said And Done

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From Amazon:

Nobody wakes up one morning and decides that this is the day they are going to cheat on their spouse, but when the opportunity presents itself, it ultimately becomes a choice—and that choice, whether good or bad, can have irrevocable consequences.

Ethan and Jessica Harrington are doctors who work alongside fellow doctors Gavin and Sarah Williams. After Jessica has an affair with Gavin, their lives are thrown into turmoil as they deal with the aftermath and subsequent fallout. For the better part of a year the four of them have been working to piece their marriages back together. Sarah and Gavin are still reeling from a devastating miscarriage, while Jessica and Ethan are hesitantly looking forward to the birth of their first child.

Sarah’s hopes are immediately shattered, however, when she learns just how far Gavin’s infidelity has gone. Suddenly thrown into an unwanted independence she fights to find her way.

Jessica struggles to repair her marriage to Ethan even as they become parents. But when Ethan—a borderline alcoholic—learns a dark secret, his world steadily begins to crumble, and his drinking—fueled by this discovery—slowly engulfs him, leaving him without the ability to control his temper.

With his marriage now in pieces and his sanity questionable, Ethan struggles to come to terms with his alcoholism and face a past that he has spent a lifetime trying to forget.

After All Is Said And Done is a powerful and gripping novel of infidelity, healing, & forgiveness.

My Review:

This is third book I’ve read by Ms. Buchanan. Truly woven into the fabric of the lives many doctors and medical staff. I felt for each characters situations as I’ve lived that hospital life. Although I was happily married, the main characters had many things happening such as cheating doctors, cheating nurses, pregnant, and lying by omission regarding child’s biological father, the father who raised his son since birth only to find out that his wife had cheated on him again, and he wasn’t the biological dad but this baby was still his, still his son. The writer definitely pulled the issue of alcoholism into this book. I have seen what alcoholism does to one’s body alone, and to one’s psyche. I get the leather restraining that was, I get the various health since I’m a registered nurse. No one need be a nurse to benefit from this entire book. Five shiny gold stars.

This entry was posted on May 25, 2023. 2 Comments

Refuge by Jeff Kerr

Please welcome author, Jeff Kerr, to my blog.

1. Please introduce yourself to those reading this blog post.

My name is Jeff Kerr. I am an author and screenwriter in Austin, Texas.

2. Has writing always been part of your life and when did you “know” that it was time to start writing your first book?

I’ve always enjoyed writing but didn’t decide to write a book until 2003. I became interested in photographing interesting buildings in Austin and comparing the modern view with historical views I looked up at the city’s history center. One night at dinner, as I was regaling my wife and two children with what I thought were fascinating stories about my finds, my son said, “Enough, Dad. Write a book.” So, I did.

3. How difficult was it writing your first book?

The process was a bit intimidating to me, mainly because everything was new. I found someone who works with authors to guide them through the process. She proved enormously helpful. I self-published the first book, which was scary because this was before ebooks were a thing. I therefore had to spend a significant amount of money having several thousand copies printed. I also had to pay for the rights to use 100 historic photos. By speaking to every central Texas I could wrangle an invitation from, I managed to sell enough books to make a significant profit over my original investment. I realized I enjoyed writing enough to keep at it. All in all, I’ve published or had published three non-fiction books and two novels, with two more novels set for release this year.

4. Have you ever wanted to give up and what stopped you?

I’ve put screenwriting on hold for the time being to focus on writing novels. For the moment, too, I’ve given up on traditional publishing, as I’ve been unable to land an agent. A few months ago I learned of Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing Formula, which offers numerous courses in self-publishing. I also reached out to an established self-published author for advice. The information I gained from these two sources has shown me a path to success.

5. Who is the most supportive of you and your dream to be a writer?

My wife. For twenty years she has indulged me, allowing me to take the risks necessary to find success.

6. Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Feedback is always welcome. Send me a note and I’ll write back.

7. What is the best advice given to you (book or otherwise), and by whom?

The author I mentioned above advised writing short stories or books that are used as reader magnets to gain followers. I wrote four prequel short stories to my upcoming thriller that I give away through bookfunnel. This has enabled me to increase my list of followers from a mere handful to over 2,000 in just a few months.

8. What is your target audience and what aspect of your writing do you feel targets that audience?

I write thrillers and crime fiction, so am targeting readers interested in those genres.

9. Did the cover evolve the same way, or did you work with someone to make it come together for you?

The book cover? I hired a professional designer that I found on that I have been quite pleased with. I am convinced that money spent on an excellent cover is a wise investment.

10. What are you working on now? Can we get a peek, an excerpt?

Readers can download the first chapter of my upcoming thriller Refuge, to be released July 17th,at this link:

I’ve combined three of the prequels into a single file titled Into the Fire, which can be downloaded free at

A fourth prequel, First Case, is available for free download at

11. Any last words before we wrap things up?

Readers can learn more about me at my website

Author Biography

Jeff Kerr

Jeff Kerr is the author of five books. He co-wrote and co-produced the documentary film The Last of the Moonlight Towers and a feature film, the psychological thriller Writer’s Block. Upcoming book projects include Refuge, a thriller scheduled for release July 17, 2023, and Blunt Force Trauma, the first book in a planned series about a modern-day sheriff’s deputy in a small Texas town.

Jeff lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and dog. When not writing, he can be found floating a river or battling cedar on his small slice of Texas Hill Country land.









Pre-order links for Refuge are on my website (Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Apple books)

Alternate Endings


Karen Heenan

As an only child, Karen Heenan learned early that boredom was the enemy. Shortly after she discovered perpetual motion, and has rarely been seen holding still since.

She lives in Lansdowne, PA, just outside Philadelphia, where she grows much of her own food and makes her own clothes. She is accompanied on her quest for self-sufficiency by a very patient husband and an ever-changing number of cats. 

One constant: she is always writing her next book.


Salina B Baker

Salina Baker is a multiple award winning author and avid student of Colonial America and the American Revolution. 

Her lifelong passion for history and all things supernatural led her to write historical fantasy. Reading, extensive traveling and graveyard prowling with her husband keep that passion alive. 

Salina lives in Austin, Texas.


Virginia Crow

Virginia Crow is an award-winning Scottish author who grew up in Orkney and now lives in Caithness.

Her favourite genres to write are fantasy and historical fiction, sometimes mixing the two together. Her academic passions are theology and history, her undergraduate degree in the former and her postgraduate degree in the latter, and aspects of these frequently appear within her writings.

When not writing, Virginia is usually to be found teaching music. She believes wholeheartedly in the power of music, especially as a tool of inspiration, and music is often playing when she writes. Her life is governed by two spaniels, Orlando and Jess, and she enjoys exploring the Caithness countryside with these canine sidekicks.

She loves cheese, music, and films, but hates mushrooms.


Elizabeth K Corbett

Elizabeth K. Corbett is an author, book reviewer, and historian who has recently published a short story, “Marie Thérèse Remembers.” She is currently working on her debut novel, a gothic romance set in Jacksonian America.

When she is not writing, she teaches academic writing, something she is very passionate about. She believes in empowering students to express themselves and speak their truth through writing. Additionally, she is a women’s historian who studies the lives of women in eighteenth and nineteenth century North America. Mostly, she is fascinated by the lives of the lesser known women in history.

A resident of gorgeous coastal New Jersey, she takes inspiration from the local history to write her historical fiction. She is an avid reader who adores tea and coffee.


Stephanie Churchill

After serving time as a corporate paralegal in Washington, D.C., then staying home to raise her children, Stephanie Churchill stumbled upon writing, a career path she never saw coming.

As a result of writing a long-winded review of the book Lionheart, Stephanie became fast friends with its New York Times best-selling author, Sharon Kay Penman, who uttered the fateful words, “Have you ever thought about writing?” 

Stephanie’s books are filled with action and romance, loyalty and betrayal. Her writing takes on a cadence that is sometimes literary, sometimes genre fiction, relying on deeply-drawn and complex characters while exploring the subtleties of imperfect people living in a gritty, sometimes dark world.

She lives in the Minneapolis area with her husband, two children, and two dogs while trying to survive the murderous intentions of a Minnesota winter.


Michael Ross

Best selling author Michael Ross is a lover of history and great stories.

He’s a retired software engineer turned author, with three children and five grandchildren, living in Newton, Kansas with his wife of forty years. He was born in Lubbock, Texas, and still loves Texas.

Michael attended Rice University as an undergraduate, and Portland State University for his graduate degree. He has degrees in computer science, software engineering, and German. In his spare time, Michael loves to go fishing, riding horses, and play with his grandchildren, who are currently all under six years old. 


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This entry was posted on May 25, 2023. 4 Comments

Love Lost In Time

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From Amazon:

A reluctant daughter. A dutiful wife. A mystery of the ages.

Languedoc, France, 2018
Historian Madeleine Winters would rather research her next project than rehash the strained relationship she had with her late mother. However, to claim her inheritance, she reluctantly agrees to stay the one year required in her late mother’s French home and begins renovations. But when she’s haunted by a female voice inside the house and tremors emanating from beneath her kitchen floorboards, she’s shocked to discover ancient human bones.

The Mediterranean coast, AD 777
Seventeen-year-old Nanthild is wise enough to know her place. Hiding her Pagan wisdom and dutifully accepting her political marriage, she’s surprised when she falls for her Christian husband, the Count of Carcassonne. But she struggles to keep her forbidden religious beliefs and her healing skills secret while her spouse goes off to fight in a terrible, bloody war.

As Maddie settles into her rustic village life, she becomes obsessed with unraveling the mysterious history buried in her new home. And when Nanthild is caught in the snare of an envious man, she’s terrified she’ll never embrace her beloved again.

Can two women torn apart by centuries help each other finally find peace?

Love Lost in Time is a vivid standalone historical fiction novel for fans of epoch-spanning enigmas. If you like dark mysteries, romantic connections, and hints of the paranormal, then you’ll adore Cathie Dunn’s tale of redemption and self-discovery.

My Review:

Dunn has written a dual timeline in this book. One taking place in 777 and for a generation later, and the other is more current and contemporary. It was my good fortune that I knew each French word used, but no worries, as there is a short glossary in the back. Love is the greatest of all and this novel does not disappoint. I liked how both timelines melded together, yet each separate. Five stars.

Death in Sensible Circumstances

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Book Title: Death in Sensible Circumstances: A Sense and Sensibility Mystery

Series: Miss Mary Investigates (#4 in the series)

Author: Riana Everly

Publication Date: March 1, 2023

Publisher: Bay Crest Press

Page Length:  310

Genre: Historical Mystery

Twitter Handle: @RianaEverly @cathiedunn

Instagram Handle: @rianaeverly @thecoffeepotbookclub

Hashtags: #MissMaryInvestigates #Austenesque #HistoricalMystery #BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub

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Death in Sensible Circumstances: A Sense and Sensibility Mystery

Riana Everly


A Jane Austen-inspired mystery, set in the world of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, being the fourth novel in the Miss Mary Investigates series.

When Mary Bennet befriends Elinor Dashwood, she expects to become part of the young lady’s circle and be introduced to her friends and relations. She does not expect that one of this circle should die, far too young, and in most unfortunate circumstances. Worse, Elinor is secretly in love with one of the suspects, Edward Ferrars, and he is inconveniently engaged to somebody else. When an investigator is called in to assist, Mary is more surprised still.

Alexander Lyons expects to find death and deceit in his line of work, but he does not expect to come face to face with Mary, who hasn’t replied to his letters of late. What is she doing in London? And how is she involved with this sorry business of murder? Still, despite the tension between the two, they make a good team as they seek to unravel the mystery surrounding them.

From the elegant drawing rooms of Mayfair to the reeking slums of St. Giles, the two must use every bit of wit and logic they possess to uncover a killer, all the while, trying to puzzle out the workings of their own hearts.

Join Mary Bennet, Lizzy’s often overlooked sister from Pride and Prejudice, and her intriguing and handsome friend Alexander Lyons, as they are pulled into the world of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility in this, their latest adventure.

Death in Sensible Circumstances: A Sense and Sensibility Mystery
(Miss Mary Investigates, book 4)
Riana Everly


Mary fought to maintain her composure. She smiled at Elinor and tried to give all due attention to her words, but her mind was full of only one thing: Alexander.

Whatever was he doing here? When Colonel Brandon suggested bringing in an expert to assess Lucy’s claims on Robert’s estate, she never imagined that man would be Alexander. She had pictured an elderly solicitor, or some crusty pedant in clothes from the last century and whose vowels could cut glass. Not this young, disturbingly handsome, redheaded Scot who had torn out a piece of her heart.

But of course, it made sense. Alexander was a brilliant investigator and a trained lawyer; he was the perfect person to determine whether Lucy’s claims were valid. She wondered if Colonel Brandon had his direction from her brother Darcy’s cousin, also a colonel, or if Alexander were merely that well known amongst the first circles of society. It mattered not. He was here and she must confront him. Again.

She had a brief reprieve. He had chosen first to address himself to Edward, as she herself would have done. Edward had been the presumed beneficiary of Robert’s will, after all, before Lucy appeared. From Mary’s scant understanding of the law, even had Robert not made a will, Edward would likely inherit his wealth anyway, being the most immediate living male family member. 

But if Lucy had actually married Robert, what was she owed as his wife? Alexander would know! She must ask him… It was such a pity they did not like each other again.

Then Mary caught a word from the men’s conversation. “…the news about the babe.”

Her eyebrows rose on her forehead. This was something she had not heard before. Was there a child? Whose? Not Lucy’s, surely! That would be most scandalous! It hardly seemed like that lady, who put on such a show of innocence. But then, she had been engaged to one man before, supposedly, marrying his brother! However had they contrived that?

How she wished anew that she were a man who could talk of such matters and not be expected to swoon or collapse from the impropriety of it. No, as distasteful as it might be, she must find time to ask Alexander about all he had learned!

“You know this man.” Elinor’s hand on her arm and subsequent question roused Mary from her reveries. “He called you by name.”

Mary pulled her friend to the window seat, where they might talk in some semblance of privacy. “I told you of the man who raised my hopes and then abandoned me,” she began. Elinor’s brow furrowed in concern. “This is he.”

“But, Mary, he hardly seemed to disdain you when he entered. He seemed, well, shocked at first, but then pleased to see you here. Surely, he did not leave with his own heart cold.”

How could one explain? “We have known each other for some time. We met when he was asked to investigate a murder in which my own sister was a suspect. We have battled and made peace time and again, and I have grown to like him very much. When last we saw each other in October of last year, he…” she turned to ensure they were not being overheard. Then she leaned close to her friend so she might whisper. “He kissed me! Or, if I am quite honest, I kissed him. But I assure you, he did not object! That is when I thought he would declare himself and join with the Church and marry me. But he did not; he merely allowed me to return to my family whilst he came back to London, as if it had never happened.”

“Join with the church?” Elinor sounded confused. “Oh, yes. He is a Scot. He must be a Papist. Or a Presbyterian.”

“Worse!” Mary shuddered. “He is a Hebrew!” She really ought not to be so alarmed by this, for she had known it for many months, but it was still something so strange to her accustomed view of the world.

To her surprise, Elinor’s face lit up. “Oh, that is not all bad! Our village doctor at Norland was of that faith. He trained in Scotland, where such is permitted, and he was the best doctor we had. He was ever so clever; he was always making up rhymes and charades to amuse the children. Is Mr. Lyons good at making up rhymes?”

“I… that is… I do not know! He has never spoken of it. But his father was a doctor, near Glasgow. Alexander knows as much of medicine as most of the medical men I know, although he read law at university. He has saved more than one life with his knowledge.”

“He has? How remarkable! What a fine friend you have.” 

Such support from Elinor was unexpected. Her new friend was a lady of such sense and prudence, it was almost incredible that she would not insist upon the proper faith in all of her associates. But perhaps that sense allowed her to see past the first rush of emotion and instinct.

“Did Mr. Lyons give any indication of why he left?” The half smile was still on Elinor’s face and her eyes flickered to where Alexander sat with Edward and the colonel as she continued.

Mary considered this. “He did not leave so much as not continue forward. I do believe he hoped for a continuation of our friendship, or whatever it is we have.”

“Did he write to you?”

This was shocking. “No! Of course not! We are not engaged. It would not be proper. But he did send his warmest regards through my sister, who is married to a great friend of his. But… well, I did not respond.”

“You have not sent him a word since you last saw him? Nothing since October last?”

Mary swallowed in shame. “No. I expected him to come to speak with my Papa. And then it was Christmas, and then I was invited to spend some months with my aunt and uncle here in Town, and then…” She trailed off. 

“Had he any notion that you have been in London since March?”

Mary hung her head. “No. None. Or, none from me.” She looked up at her friend in embarrassment. “Oh, I have done him wrong, have I not?”

Elinor patted her hand. “It is not, perchance, the finest way one should treat those one cares about. But I believe the man still likes you a great deal. Perhaps you might rebuild your friendship.”

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This title is currently available to read on #KindleUnlimited.

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Author Bio:

Riana Everly is an award-winning author of romance, both contemporary and historical, and historical mysteries.

Born in South Africa, she moved to Canada as a child, bringing with her two parents, two younger sisters, and too many books. Yes, they were mysteries. From those early days of The Secret Seven and The Famous Five, she graduated to Nancy Drew, and then to the Grande Dames of classical English whodunnits, including Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh. Others followed, and many sleepless nights ensued.

When not matching wits with Miss Marple and Adam Dalgliesh, Riana keeps busy researching those little, but so-important, details for her next fabulous novel.

Trained as a classical musician, Riana has degrees in Music History and Medieval Studies, and enjoys photography, hiking, travelling, learning obscure languages, and experimenting with new recipes. If they include chocolate, all the better.

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This entry was posted on May 18, 2023. 2 Comments

The Wishing Stone

Book Link

From Amazon:

Leaving her troubles behind, as well as her boyfriend, Tess heads to Montauk taking her canine companion Cooper and her wishing stone along for the ride. Once there, a relaxing walk on the beach turns to chaos when Cooper gets loose and is chased off by another dog. That’s when Tess meets Kai, a handsome stranger who also happens to be the frisky dog’s owner. All is well, that is until Tess realizes there were consequences to Kai’s dog’s actions which she now holds him responsible for. Kai does his best to make things right, but Tess has a lot on her mind and just isn’t interested. With her stay in Montauk soon coming to an end, time is running out for Tess to learn that in order to find things, we sometimes need to lose them.

My Review:

This is the second novel by Nici that I’ve read. She doesn’t disappoint. This novel has all the feels of love, loss, hope, perseverance, and humor. One must read about a wishing stone and how much influence it can have on your life. The “wishing stone” can fit more humans. Humanity needs wishing stones, little stones to remind us of the good things each person, but also how Polynesian stones are similar, yet different. I feel contented at this time. Five stars for such a moving story.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms. Mothers with kids, or without, with babies, or miscarriage, child loss, the bereaved, Grandmothers and all those who are lost and may all mothers feeling forsaken, be brought back into His Glory!

That’s my first book above. $1.99 and packs a punch! It also helps mothers, especially on Mother’s Day! Book Link

Maxed Out (The Owl’s Nest Mysteries Book 2)

Book Link

From Amazon:

The Owl’s Nest Couturier Shoppe is a huge success! Business is booming and Alexa Owl’s love life is heating up. Yet much to the seamstress’s dismay, Detective Bobby Starr is suddenly back again! Bobby isn’t your everyday gumshoe. Rather, he’s an angel who’s trying to earn a place in Saint Peter’s Guardian Angel Squad. He’s required to solve murders he had left unsettled from when he walked the earth in order to be accepted into this prestigious group. Of course, they will need to return to the time period in which the murder took place, and again, Alexa is a reluctant time traveler. Oh, and there’s one more little problem—this time, Bobby’s brought along a friend, Maxi Krogen, and she’s no angel!

My Review:

This is the perfect follow-up novel in Owl’s Nest series. If you know the MC or not, you’ll get to know them. This is a mystery book that has time travel built in as well as visually seeing and speaking with, ghosts who can drink and eat, yet your hand passes through the ghosts. This can be a problem if other people, in a bistro, see a lit cigarette and a martini glass moving around with no physical body. Truly, this book has a few liners, funny ones. Five stars.

The Fish King and the Two Wise Ghosts

Please welcome Francis H Powell to my blog. Hello Frank. Shall we have sit and have a chat?   

Please introduce yourself to those reading this blog post.

Hello, I am Francis, I was born in the UK, but I’ve lived in France for quite a long time. I am a writer, but also a painter and musician. I love to create things. I live with my wife, son, and rescue dog, called Bertie.

Has writing always been part of your life and when did you “know” that it was time to start writing your first book?

Writing for me took off when I was living in Paris and saw an advert for short stories, in a magazine. It was a little homemade magazine called Rat Mort (dead rat, for anyone who doesn’t speak much French). Having some stories actually published, was a real lift. I went on from there.

How difficult was it writing your first book?

Writing is a pleasure, promoting and selling books is another matter.

Have you ever wanted to give up and what stopped you?

Maybe sometimes you think, why do I make so much effort? What are the returns? Is this just a labour of love? I love writing stories, creating characters, imagining stories in my head. Developing stories.  

Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I would like to bring a smile to their faces. We live in a harsh world.

What is your target audience and what aspect of your writing do you feel targets that audience?

With my latest book “The Fish King and the Two Wise Ghosts, my target is children six years old and over. I have created a picture book; I did all the illustrations as well as writing the story.

Did the cover evolve the same way, or did you work with someone to make it come together for you?

The cover and indeed the title of the book came about because my ten-year-old boy, did a drawing a few years back, that looked like a king holding the hand of two ghosts. I began to write a poem based on this drawing. Following this I decided to change the poem into prose, but I kept quite a lot of the poetry.

What are you working on now? Can we get a peek, an excerpt?

Mostly promoting the book as well as some short stories; I also write a lot of poetry. Here is a little sneaky excerpt of the Fish King…


There once was a Fish King who lived in an old, ruined castle deep in a magical ocean. As well as many servants, there lived two wise ghosts. One day Ghosts John and Henry looked at the king and said, “Sire, your clothes are so out of date, and your palace is now in a terrible state. We ghosts have haunted it, over hundreds of years, but the splendour it had, has long disappeared.”

The Fish King pulled a face and looked at the crumbling walls, as some bricks tumbled to the floor. “You may have a point,” the king mumbled, it could do with some sprucing up. He also summoned the royal tailor to conjure up some dazzling designs. The two ghosts were always friendly and gave good advice. They would only scare people who were not very nice. They spoke to the king almost every day and when he was a boy, they loved to play with him. They would tell him jokes and whizzed round the palace and would play terrible tricks on his young sister Alice. They appeared from nowhere at the foot of her bed, she would shriek and scream, till her face went bright red.

One day the Fish King woke with a most terrible fright. There was something on his mind, something not quite right. A thought came to him, like a flash in his mind. I need to find a queen who is both beautiful and kind. A search through the kingdom was soon underway. A list was drawn up of suitable candidates. Weeks later Princess Chipolata arrived at the palace. Her wicked smile soon had the king under her spell. It seemed that the Fish King had met his chips. He even kissed this fishy princess on the lips. Ghosts Henry and John wondered about the king’s catch. Was this fishy princess such a good match? Though King Fish and Chips seemed to go together. The two wise ghosts thought that they knew better.

 When some of the king’s crown jewels suddenly went missing, the two ghost friends immediately knew who was behind this outrage. The princess seemed to 5 be always sneaking about, she was soon their prime suspect, without a doubt. “Sire, sorry to say it’s that Princess Chipolata, who stole those jewels.” “Utter nonsense!” roared the king in a rage. Being a wise king, he knew of course it’s impossible to keep a ghost in a cage. Later, the two ghosts saw the princess taking some gold and thought that the king should be immediately told. The king growled, “why won’t you stop with these terrible lies!” The ghosts said, “we saw it ourselves, with our very own eyes!” The king shouted, “now the castle’s ghosts have turned into spies!” Raising his voice he added, “if you weren’t ghosts, you’d be running for your lives.”

 The king was now in a terrible mood. He wouldn’t smile nor eat his food. However, it seemed the fishy princess was nowhere to be seen. It was exactly as the two ghosts had feared. Eventually, she was caught with the crown jewels. The king realized he’d been taken for a fool. “I need to be careful when choosing a queen, not every princess is all that they seem.” The two friendly ghosts were back in his good books. The princess went to prison for her terrible crime. The palace changed back into its normal state and calm was restored.

Any last words before we wrap things up?

Tell your children to keep drawing and let their imaginations go wild. My son draws a lot, even at school, his teacher dumps his drawings in the bin. Everybody should express themselves by drawing.

The Fish King and the Two Wise Ghosts – Blossom Spring Publishing

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This entry was posted on May 12, 2023. 1 Comment