Tag Archives: mystery

Book Spotlight: Lalin Bonheur by Margaret O. Howard

Genre: Paranormal Mystery / Romance

When Lalin Bonheur shape shifts, she roams the Vieux Carre as a sleek tuxedo cat to learn the secrets of her city.

But on her debut at a Quadroon Ball in 1830 this octoroon beauty meets and falls in love with French aristocrat, Etienne Legendre. Etienne becomes her protector and he soon learns that his mistress leads a second life as a healer and voudou priestess.

Their story takes a bizarre turn after Lalin’s protector marries. His wife, Minette, dies mysteriously and he is charged with murder. Lalin concocts a zombie potion to assist him in his escape from jail.

The couple sail upriver to hide until they can prove his innocence. But their struggles only become more challenging, when they face the fearsome loup-garou (wolf men of Louisiana) and then a giant bird. Lalin must use her magic to battle these monsters. But it’s what she learns about the vicious feathered creature that brings the story to its climax.

Author Bio

Margaret O. Howard is a writer and former dancer, who grew up in the Deep South and currently walks the gulf beaches of Florida every morning, She adores her two sons, three rescue cats, cool weather, travel, photography, ballet, books, and mermaids. Her novel, Lalin Bonheur, is set in the city of voudou queens, New Orleans. You can visit her at margaretohoward.wordpress.com, Margaret Howard Trammell on Facebook, or @howardomargaret on Twitter.

Links

Amazon (Kindle): https://www.amazon.com/Lalin-Bonheur-Margaret-O-Howard-ebook/dp/B01N5RJK5G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486920223&sr=8-1&keywords=lalin+bonheur

Amazon (Paperback): https://www.amazon.com/Lalin-Bonheur-Margaret-O-Howard/dp/161798194X/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1486920223&sr=8-1

Purchase the book from these bookstores:

www.mfbooks.us/  and www.midtownreader.com

Book Excerpt

Etienne watches me drinking from the calabash, my giant gourd. The libation to the spirits I pour onto the courtyard stones. My feet shift, spirits pass through me. I twirl in waves of motion, never breaking the rhythm of my dance. Breathing fast, I lift my body, spinning on my toes. He stands in the darkness near the doorway, passion in his moonlit eyes, not knowing that I see him. My wide skirt swirls above the candle circle. Watch me dance, my love, I whisper. Now my feet lift high and pound the stones like flying mallets, while candle flames lick my toes.

A tangle of bedclothes is spread across the four-poster in my boudoir. Only hours ago we rolled on that mattress, making the canopy rattle. He does love me, that I know. And he’s seen my talents with the magic. His devotion sends the voudou pumping through veins.

This café au lait woman, his octoroon mistress, dances full out. But soon my body will be melting, shrinking, and that he’s never seen. My spinning stops, my skirt ripples as I stand before my altar praying to the saints. My candles flicker. The power’s in me, and just like that I see the flames turn blue. My skin tightens, bristles. I’m sinking now. Breathe, breathe, I say to myself. I’m down, I’m down.

It’s too dark for Etienne to see what’s happening to me, but his eyes widen as my form changes in the shadows of the yard. He watches from the open doorway of my parlor and then rushes through onto the courtyard stones. He stands tall in his finely tailored suit. But the mist rises around me, so that I am hidden. At this moment I am changing, rising up on my haunches.

“Lalin,” he calls, “Lalin, where are you?”

I sit, still and elegant, and then lower my head to lick my midnight fur and wipe my whiskers with a paw. But Etienne stumbles in the mist, swaying in the darkness as he trips over my candles and falls on the stone floor. But magic makes him sleep, distorts his memory, and gives me time to find my answers.

I have much to learn this night when I travel in my feline shape. And this is how I know what happens in the back streets and secret hideaways in our New Orleans.

 

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Book Spotlight: Murder at Midnight by John Ukah

 

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Alex Simpson, an ex-police officer, decides after a bout of typhoid fever to take a break in a serene and therapeutic environment. The last thing he expects is to be called upon to solve a murder at the Kinging Guest Lodge. But that is what happens, when the delectable and vivacious Maria Marshall is found dead in her bedroom at midnight.

The gallery of characters living at the guesthouse and thrown into the mix, do not make his task of solving this chilling and brutal murder any easier …

Excerpt

Nagoth didn’t speak to me after that first day. He was not particularly hostile, but was indifferent to my presence. I tried to make it up to him, some days after I arrived, by offering him my stapler; I had heard him asking for one. He was reading a book in the lounge, when I approached him. I had discovered that he often sat alone by himself. He cut the miserable picture of a lonely, little man.

“Here you are,” I said offering the stapler to him. “I heard you asking around for one.” I could see the hesitation in his eyes, before he stretched out his left hand to accept it. Now, in the part of the country where I come from, it is considered very rude, to take or accept something with your left hand. I immediately glanced at his right hand, in which he held the white handkerchief, that he always carried around. He followed the movement of my eyes, but made no attempt to switch hands.

“Thank you,” he said, rather brusquely, placing the stapler on the table. I gave him a stiff smile. I walked away, concluding that he was without manners. Later that day, he gave the stapler to Ayuba to return to me. That was when I realised that reaching out to him was pointless.

That evening, I met Mrs. Marshall in the garden, at the back of the Lodge. She was sitting on one of the wooden chairs, underneath some trees, just below my window. She was knitting a blue cap.

“I hope you don’t mind if I join you?” I asked.

“No, not at all,” she said. “Feel free.”

“You have a very sharp tongue, Mrs. Marshall.” I said with a laugh.

“Have I stung you with my tongue, Mr. Simpson? I like to think that I always tell the truth.”

“The truth can be very bitter,” I replied.

“But people often need the bitter pill of truth to free themselves from the delusions and shackles of self-deceit that they have woven around themselves.” She did not pause her knitting. Yes, she told the truth, but my concern was that she delivered it like a sledgehammer.

“But you have to be careful. You may not realise how deeply you hurt people.” I cautioned.

“I can take care of myself, Mr. Simpson. But, I know at least one person in this Lodge, who would not think twice about leaving a knife in your back, if they ever got the opportunity.” I laughed, knowing it was true. There was something else I was curious about. “How do you get your information about people, Mrs. Marshall?” I asked.

“I keep my eyes open and my ears to the ground,” she replied. I looked into her round eyes, which were certainly always open. Her protruding ears were also definitely alert and seemed to quiver at the slightest sound.

Her dire warning about someone wanting to kill me, proved prophetic. It almost came to pass, later that night.

It was about 11.00pm when I got up from bed. I had been turning and tossing for hours, unable to sleep. I decided to go down to the lounge, to see if there was anything good on television. I poured myself a glass of milk from the fridge, which I decided to take along. On opening my door, I was surprised to find the entire hallway in darkness. The light bulb must have burnt out.

I heard what sounded like the crash of thunder, followed by the sound of something falling to pieces, in Nagoth’s room. Almost immediately, he began to swear and cuss. His expletives would have made a nun blush, but I was no nun. I continued unabashedly, groping my way along the corridor towards the staircase. As I passed by Willie’s room, I heard him praying, energetically. I felt a surge of envy, when I heard snores coming from John’s room.

I’m not sure why, but as I got to the top of the long staircase, I hesitated. It was like standing at the edge of a gaping, pitch-black abyss. Ayuba had to do something about the lights.

Then, I heard quick footsteps behind me. I was surprised, because I had not heard any doors opening. I tried to turn around, but I felt two hands just before the wind knocked out of me and I fell headlong down the stairs. Milk splashed on me, as the glass clattered to pieces on the stairs.

I landed with a thud, at the bottom of the stairs. My left hand was twisted painfully behind my back. I heard doors open in quick succession and a torchlight appeared, pointing down at me.

“Father Lord! Who is there?” called out Willie. “Did you fall?”

“It’s me,” I groaned in pain. “Someone just pushed me down the stairs.”

“Father Lord!” exclaimed Willie. “Who would do such a thing?”

Author Bio

John Ukah is a seasoned banker and Associate of the Institute of Capital Market Registrars (ACMR). He is a graduate of Business Administration from the University of Benin, where he was listed as University Scholar. He also holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA).

 

 

 

Links

Purchase “Murder at Midnight” on Amazon: United StatesUnited KingdomGermany, FranceSpainItalyNetherlandsJapanBrazilCanadaMexicoAustralia, and India.

It is also available on SmashwordsKobo, Apple, Barnes & Noble (Nook)Okadabooks, and major online stores. Okadabooks is mainly for buyers in Africa.

 

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Book Excerpt & Giveaway: Fallen Star by Allison Morse

Fallen Star

*Allison Morse will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.*

 

GENRE:  Psychological Mystery with Strong Gothic Elements

Description:

Fallen StarWho killed 1940s screen goddess Gloria Reardon? Her unsolved murder hypnotized the public with its scandalous details and shocked two generations.

In this coming of age gothic tale, avid feminist and aspiring filmmaker Kate Bloom discovers long lost footage that holds the key to who murdered her grandmother. Legendary movie star, Gloria Reardon, may be dead, but friends and lovers from the Golden Age of Hollywood’s heyday are still very much on the scene, and it seems everyone has something to gain or lose from Kate’s discovery.

Enlisting the youthful and brash film restorer Dylan Nichols as her closest ally, Kate becomes haunted by Gloria’s glittering past. Caught between glamorous Old Hollywood and the gritty, exciting New Hollywood of the 1970s, Kate is determined to find out what really happened to her grandmother and in the process, becomes the killer’s new target.

Excerpt:

Kate returned to the sealed box and ripped off the tape and flipped the lid open. Light bounced off a container with a shiny handle on top. The premonition of what it might be now solidified into something more than fantasy. Trying to remain calm, she told herself that it couldn’t possibly be what she hoped it was. It had been lost…destroyed…right?

Her heart pounded as she used both hands to lift the metal container. She undid the latches. Inside were two round 35 mm motion picture canisters.

“Lillian!” she shouted.

As she pried off the top of the first canister, she was assaulted by the pungent smell of vinegar. The film appeared brittle. She was afraid to touch it in case it turned to dust in her hands. But she had to know. With the tips of her fingers and holding her breath, she unwound a small piece of film and looked at it. There, captured in the frame, was Gloria––the costume, the set behind her…there was no mistaking it. These reels were from Emperor Smythe. It was the infamous missing footage from the day Gloria was murdered on that film set.

“Lillian! Quick, Lillian!” Kate returned the footage to the canister and closed it up.

Her great-aunt hurried back to her. “What? What is it?” Her eyes widened as she gazed at the canisters. “Is that what I think it is?” Lillian asked.

“The footage. The missing footage.”

Deborah’s Review

4 Stars

Entertaining and suspenseful mystery with echoes of Old Hollywood woven into the Hollywood scene of the 1970’s. Filmmaker Kate Bloom is out to solve the mystery of her movie star grandmother’s murder, and she encounters many twists and turns on the way to her final discovery. The behind-the-scenes look at movie making is as interesting as the mystery itself. A fast-moving book that kept my attention and didn’t let up until the satisfying ending. (Received a review copy.)

-Deborah

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Allison MorseAllison is the author of two novels: The Sweetheart Deal and Fallen Star. She lives with her husband in a house in the hills that’s filled with books.

For book club resources and to learn more about Allison and her new fiction, please visit her Website at http://www.allisonmorseauthor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/allison.morse.16

Twitter ID:  @AllisonMorseLA

Buy links:

Amazon – http://amzn.to/2aHLICj

Barnes & Noble – http://bit.ly/2bnsv8Q

KOBO – http://bit.ly/2bntdDm

Allison Morse will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 

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