Murder by the Books by HL Carpenter – New Cozy Mystery Release

Straight from Carpenter Country is an exciting new book by HL Carpenter. This intriguing cozy mystery keeps you engrossed and is sure to deliver reader satisfaction. It’s an ideal holiday gift for everyone on your Kindle list.

A letter from beyond the grave brings accountant Fae Childers face to face with murder, embezzlement, romance, and a hidden family legacy.

Certified public accountant Fae Childers is not an embezzler, despite the belief of the accounting firm that fires her for stealing. But proving her innocence is harder than convincing an IRS agent to allow a deduction. She’s lost her mother, her job, her fiancé, and her self-respect. She’s running out of money and the lease is about to expire on her apartment.

Then the fortune-telling grandmother Fae never knew existed, whose name and psychic abilities she now learns are also hers, issues a challenge from beyond the grave—a challenge that brings Fae face to face with murder, embezzlement, romance, and a hidden family legacy.

When the mystery of Fae’s past collides with the troubles of her present, the situation veers out of control. Her very life is threatened. Who can she trust? The man she’s falling in love with? The former fiancé who has already betrayed her once? Or only herself?

With justice, romance, and her future at stake, Fae must overcome personal and professional obstacles to save herself and those she loves. And she’s going to have to do it fast, before someone else dies.

EXCERPT
The letter arrived on the last Thursday in April, two weeks to the day after I got fired from the accounting firm where I worked for the past decade. August Palmer, my landlord, hand-delivered the letter in person, saying, “The mail carrier stuck this in my box by mistake, Fae.”

I took the envelope without bothering to look at it and glanced past Gus, at the patch of brilliant cloudless blue sky framing his shoulders.

Tampa, Florida on the cusp of summer, full of birdsong and the scent of warming pavement.

“Beautiful morning,” I said, as if I cared.

“Afternoon,” Gus said, his voice a low rumbly growl, the product of too many cigarettes and whiskeys in his happily misspent youth. He stood outside the tiny apartment my mother and I rented from him for the past two years and eyed me. “Still mopin’, girl?”

He had shown up on my doorstep every day since the firing with the same question.

Adhering to our new routine, I answered the same way I always did, except this time I didn’t bother pasting on a fake smile to accompany the words.

“Nope. Not my style.”

“‘Scuse me.” His tone was as dry as the month he was named for. “Forgot you’ve been hidin’ in the apartment, tap dancing with glee.”

I met his gaze. “For hours at a time. Any complaints about the noise?”

He clicked a nicotine pellet against tobacco stained teeth and kept his silence. I regretted my sarcasm. In my forbidden childhood game of describing people in colors, I would have painted Gus early-morning-yellow, the shade of the summer sun before the friendly sheltering coolness of night gave way to the brutal heat of day.

The description would have horrified him.

“How are the treatments going?”

He grunted. “They tell me I ain’t gonna croak this week.”

“Glad to hear it. You might want to keep your distance from me, though. I’m jinxed.”

Gus shook his head. “You gotta get over them fools, girl.”

“That’s no way to talk about my former bosses.” Especially since I looked at the real fool in the mirror each morning. I had believed dedication, loyalty, and hard work were appreciated by the partners of Slezia + Fyne, CPA, PA.

Ha, ha.

“Anyway, I am over them. Way over.”

“Yeah?” He was not convinced. “You over the suit, too?”

“Sure am.” Once again, I stuck with our new routine and gave him the same answer I always did. “I have moved on.”

Once again, the lie carried the bitter taste of betrayal. The suit was Scott Piper, former co-worker, fiancé, and man of my dreams. The suit dumped me the day of the firing.

Gus snorted. “Funny how much movin’ on resembles standing around feeling sorry for yourself.”

In my opinion, wallowing in self-pity was marginally more mature than throwing a temper tantrum. Even if it hadn’t been, I didn’t have the energy for a tantrum. I barely had the energy to maintain my half of the daily conversation with Gus.

“Have you been watching that big bald guy on television again?”

He stuck out his chin. “Don’t get smart. You know I’m right. You’re mopin’.”

“Only because I can’t tap dance.”

He was right. In the eight months since my mother’s death, I had slogged through an ever-darkening morass of the malady Gus called moping, and what his favorite celebrity psychologist might consider the early stages of depression. The firing and the accompanying fallout shoved me even closer to the edge of a black abyss.

My moping was self-absorbed, given the burdens others faced, but what could I say? One woman’s detour was another’s stop sign.

“You ought to call your girl pal, that one you worked with. What’s her name? Sarah? Have you heard from her?”

No. And I didn’t want to hear from her, much less call her.

I shook my head.

“Your ma would have been annoyed with you.”

A lump in my throat closed off my voice and I could only nod. He was right about that too. My irrepressible mother believed in taking the positive approach to life. To her, saying negative words or thinking negative thoughts was the same as asking them to come true. She had little patience for pity parties.

Focus on your strengths, Fae, and always keep moving.

My ability to follow her advice vanished with her death. I was slowly turning into the type of recluse the Japanese call hikikomori. Even the simple task of cleaning out Mom’s bedroom was beyond me.

“So? You gonna open the letter?” Gus asked.

I turned over the envelope in my hand.

Heavy, officious, dirty white, and mildly threatening, the envelope shrieked of the intimidation perfected by lawyers and the Internal Revenue Service and jolted me right out of my apathy. My breath hitched in my throat.

Had Gary Slezia and Richard Fyne gone back on their word? Had they decided to forego their distaste for publicity and press charges against me?

Mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter write family-friendly fiction from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, they enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit their website to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happeni
ng in Carpenter Country.

Stay connected on TwitterPinterestLinkedinGoogle+GoodReads,
and their Amazon Author Page.

 

 

Thank you for joining the excitement!

 

Gina

Advertisements

Recommended Books – “A Cause for Murder” by HL Carpenter

51QYxVGI8rL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_

 

Emma Twiggs has my vote! I recommend this cozy mystery for anyone who likes a juicy who-done-it painted with a cast of characters who are so clearly written that it’s like watching a play. There are plenty of twists and turns, frail human emotions and villains to thicken the plot. I’m looking forward to the next Emma Twiggs Cozy Mystery already!

Have you read “A Cause for Murder”? What was your favorite part?

 

 

As always, thank you for the time we spend together!

Gina

 

I hope you’re receiving my newsletter, where I love to share exclusives. Sign up is easy and takes moments.

Guest Post: Please Welcome HL Carpenter

Gina:  I am excited to introduce you to HL Carpenter, a mother/daughter writing team.  I asked them if they would share some of their warmth and imaginative stories with us, and they accepted.  I first met these lovely ladies during the Book Marketing Challenge.  I’ve read happily along with their blog posts and newsletters long enough to know that they have a lot up their sleeves.  They’ve prepared a lovely post for us today.

HL: Gina, thank you for making space on your blog for us, for introducing us to your readers, and for giving us this opportunity to showcase our work.

Gina:  Having the two of you visit my blog is a thrill.  You are my first guest posters, and that feels really fitting.  I enjoyed reading your excerpt from Dream Stealer.  Thank you for being a part of my author journey.  It means a lot to me.

Building a Walkway????????????????????????

 

by HL Carpenter

We’re building a walkway here in Carpenter Country.

As is often the case, the initial inspiration came from a whimsical image. The idea tickled our imagination and took hold as related details, descriptions, and designs caught our attention. We began to plan.

We visualized a bend just ahead, around the drooping hibiscus; another beyond that, past the sweetly scented jasmine. Perhaps we’d flank the walk with a curvy white bench placed in the shade of the oak, beside the lush pink azalea.

With the general layout in mind, we set to work. We gathered supplies, cleared the ground, leveled the dirt. We hoed and raked and excavated. Dust rose, coating sweaty skin. The gardening gloves darkened with soil. Lizards fled and earthworms were relocated to a safer home.

The prep is finished and the walkway is now growing in two-by-two sections, each fitting with the one before. There have been a few detours—Shouldn’t the heritage rose be highlighted? Wouldn’t the delicate blueness of the plumbago make an attractive side trip?

Construction mishaps occur too. Despite our care, some of the stones are rough and some sections of the path are uneven. We adjust, correct, persevere. There’s always room for change, for welcoming the inevitable and appreciating the serendipitous good fortune that arises with acceptance.

Yet we must also keep the final goal in mind. When the path is complete, when the elemental building blocks of water and aggregate and sand and sun fuse, we want the resulting stones to be strong. Though the path is uniquely ours, others will walk this way. Our journey is theirs.

And theirs is ours.

Gina: The story about building the walkway is an example of what I look forward to in their newsletters.  Now, you can learn more about them from their bio:

 

Florida-based mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter writes sweet, clean fiction that is suitable for everyone in your family. The Carpenters write from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit HLCarpenter.com to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happening in Carpenter Country.

Gina:  Their latest release is Dream Stealer.  Please enjoy an excerpt:

Dream Stealer Cover final

Dream Stealer (ebook) – Is stealing a dream better than losing your own?

Genre: Middle Grade/Young Adult fantasy

Rating: Sweet, clean (no offensive language; no explicit love scenes)

Suitable for: Ages 10 and up

Length: Novelette (8,400 words; 33 pages)

BUY LINK: Amazon http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00J6HWZBK/

Dream Stealer is a middle grade/young adult novelette of approximately 8,400 words. It’s the story of Fancy Moonstruck. Fancy is supposed to steal dreams. It’s what her family does for a living, and now that she’s fifteen, the job is hers.

But it’s a job Fancy would rather not have. She knows first-hand what dreams mean to the dreamer because she dreams of her mom, who died five years ago. Losing her dream would be like losing her mom all over again. That’s a pain Fancy doesn’t want to inflict on anyone.

But the rules are clear: Steal a dream—or lose her own.

G-Rated excerpt from Dream Stealer

Another moment and the dream will be gone.

The winter sea breeze brushes my hair from my face, its cold caress as light as the layer of fear I wear like my dark hoodie, and as soft as my shallow breathing. In the way of every good thief, I take care that the whispery puff of my breath is the only sound I make.

Though I’m not touching the fleeing dream, it kisses my mind, sticky as a spider’s web. I stand still, wide-awake in the hush of the two a.m. darkness, staring at the pulsing silver sliver. The external details are breathtaking: the shivering tendrils of longing; the filaments of hope, quivering like the strings of a harp. They float through the window of the ramshackle beach cottage where Mrs. Hooper sleeps, reaching upward with fog-thin fingers, anchored within her heart, searching for the sky.

Mrs. Hooper’s dream is one of love-longing, and I peek inside as it sways above me, though I’m not supposed to. The Dream Buyers pay well for dreams of love-longing, and they pay especially well for dreams untouched by us Stealers.

Even so, I can’t stop myself from lingering inside the dream. I spend precious seconds there, warming myself in the heat of Mrs. Hooper’s longing for the love of her son, before drawing back into the chill of the night’s reality, and my work in it. I fumble to release the dream catcher, which dangles from my belt on a leather cord, then grasp the handle of the delicate, tightly-woven net. I focus on the hours of practice runs I went over with Dad. I need only reach out now, and my very first dream-stealing excursion will end in success.

And I will keep my family safe.

I must do this. Yet I hesitate. Dad says Mrs. Hooper will never miss her dream. Is it possible he’s wrong? I dream a similar love-longing dream myself, every night, and I know what it means to me—the same as this dream must mean to Mrs. Hooper.

If I’m right, I cannot take it from her.

I must take it.

I must…

LorriHelen for Web

Author Links

Our home on the web is HLCarpenter.com. We’re also on Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, and we have an author page on Amazon.

http://www.hlcarpenter.com/

https://plus.google.com/102212877836673370583/posts

http://www.linkedin.com/in/hlcarpenter

https://www.pinterest.com/hlcarpenter/

http://www.amazon.com/HL-Carpenter/e/B007SHS9LA

Blog Post Image Credit

Image courtesy of HL Carpenter

 

Gina:  As always, thank you for reading.