This week as we continue closing out the year we revisit three summer releases. As Long as She Lives, a suspenseful romance of international intrigue debuted as a very popular serial. Julie Mulhern's A Haunting Desire combines romance, murder and the supernatural in 1902 New Orleans. Cynthia Lott's Southern Spectral Series combines murder with the supernatural in 1970s New Orleans. Is it still a tradition in England to tell ghost stories around the fireplace on Christmas Eve?
In June, I wrote about how As Long as She Loves started as a serial and included a link to Darcy's CrimeFiction.FM interview.
As we meet Darcy's heroin Cait, she's back home from her teaching job in Africa, but not ready to talk about what happened there.
She was ready. She had, quite literally, trained for it. Steve had chosen her niece’s birthday party for good reason. The family camp site was familiar, happy ground for Cait and they’d be less likely to ask difficult questions surrounded by six-year-olds.
If worse comes to worst, Steve had said before she’d set out this morning, let them see that it makes you uncomfortable to talk about it. When you have to, give everyone a different part of your story, then the gossip will be all about putting your story together, not questioning it.
Amazon Review: "I appreciated Cait's growth from victim to hero, despite her fears and setbacks. The author has woven just enough suspense, violence and romance to keep you entertained. Thoroughly enjoyable and skillfully written - this well balanced story flows off the page and into your imagination with ease, making you sad to leave the characters within the pages of the book at the end."
Get As Long as She Lives at Amazon or at your local bookstore.
Keep up with Darcy Conroy at her website: The Narrative Disorder.
Between Julie's books in her popular cozy Country Club Murder series, she wrote this New Orleans-set tale of historical romance and murder.
(4.6 out of 5 stars with 19 Amazon Reviews)
Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1
New Orleans, Louisiana
Monday, October 6, 1902
Go to Marie Leveau’s tomb. Find the woman who can tell you about voodoo. She has what you need.
It didn’t matter if Zeke Barnes had better things to do than melt in the heat of a New Orleans’ afternoon. The instructions were clear. So he waited.
The tombs crowded near, some as bleached and crumbling as old bones, others spruced up with a fresh coat of paint in honor of the newly dead. Winged angels, fat-cheeked cherubs, praying children, a woman bearing a striking resemblance to a Roman goddess, and a group of shepherds watched him from the roofs with unseeing eyes. Zeke ignored them and searched for bits of shade. It was October; morning frosts should powder pumpkins, ruby or gold maple leaves should dance in an afternoon wind so brisk it brought color to his cheeks. He should need a heavier coat and the possibility of an early snow should be the topic on everyone’s lips. Instead, humidity puddled in his lungs. He was drowning in a sea of hot, wet air.
A trickle of sweat meandered down his temple. He scowled at the ghost of a pretty young woman. Her cloudy eyes rounded and she scurried away like a frightened rabbit, whispering to the other phantoms, “He sees me.”
Amazon Review: "Talented author Julie Mulhern brings historical New Orleans alive with vivid, sensual detail in this fabulous supernatural historical romantic suspense. Well-developed characters who come alive on the page, a plot with enough twists to keep a suspense reader turning the pages, and enough romance for the most avid romance reader combine to make this a book you don’t want to miss. The beautiful, evocative writing adds to the pleasure of this story about an exclusive madam who aids a Yankee investigator trying to solve a series of gruesome murders plaguing the city."
Get A Haunting Desire at Amazon or at your local bookstore.
Visit Julie Mulhern's website.
In June we featured The Irises, the second book in Cynthia Lott's 1970s New Orleans-set spectral series.
The Feathers (the first book in her series) starts with these ominous words.
I know he is close. There is a green feather near my black heel that has fallen from his mask. He is standing behind me, waiting. I will turn around and face him, fully aware that no one else can see him tonight but me. His warm breath is on my neck but it is not enough to thaw the coldness that has taken over my body. He has something to tell me. Finally, I will see what I have been waiting for, what his victims have witnessed. That’s where I will begin with the story: two months before, when I investigated his first murder.
(4.8 of 5 stars with 64 Amazon reviews.)
Amazon Review "Lott's debut novel is ambitious in scope - a 1970s feminist, Jewish detective plays a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a supernatural criminal in a setting redolent of all things supernatural: New Orleans. Think Anne Rice meets Patricia Cornwell. What's not to like?!"
Get The Feathers in Kindle Edition, paperback, or audio at Amazon or order from your local bookstore.
Visit Cynthia Lott's website.
At the Wednesday Night Critique Group, I finished laying the groundwork for Walter Forbes and Jane Greer's first meeting with Senator Morton.
And yay! The first two five-star reviews are in for The Kindle Edition of Last Heartthrob. Still 99¢ at Amazon. Thanks!
Next Week: The Science of Detection, Traditional Mysteries and Awards Round-Up.