Friday, July 28, 2017

Blurb Blitz & #Giveaway for Weddings At Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard

Welcome to my stop on the Blurb Blitz Tour, presented by Goddess Fish Promotions, for Weddings at Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard.  Please leave a comment or question for Charlotte to let her know you stopped by.  You may enter her tour wide giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You may follow all of the stops on the tour by clicking on the banner above.  The more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning.  Good Luck!

Weddings at Promise Lodge
By Charlotte Hubbard
Promise Lodge, Book 3

Publisher:  Zebra
Release Date: June 27, 2017
Genre: Inspirational Romance/Amish
Length: 368 Pages
ISBN:  978-1420139457

Buy Links:  Amazon | B&N | Kobo 

About the book:

Founded by the three Bender sisters, the Amish community of Promise Lodge is thriving—and growing. In fact, residents are thrilled to welcome a charismatic new arrival—one who may not just strengthen their faith, but put it to the test . . .

When Christine Bender meets widowed Bishop Monroe Burkholder, it’s love at first sight. But Preacher Amos finds him too good to be true, and is determined to find out what’s behind his sudden, unannounced arrival. Still, the colony needs a new bishop, and everyone is excited to have a younger, more progressive leader. As for Christine, Monroe returns her affection, but her bubble is soon burst with the arrival of a young woman half his age . . .

Leola Duff claims Monroe “ruined” her and she now intends to make an honest man of him. But throughout the process of discovering the truth, Christine never doubts that Monroe is the fine man she believes him to be—and never wavers in her faith that all will work out as it should. And when Monroe is forced to confess the truth before the entire congregation, he can only pray that open hearts and minds will prevail, allowing him a future at Promise Lodge—with Christine . . . 


As Christine Hershberger sat on the front pew bench, close enough to bask in the glow of her sister Mattie’s joy, she smiled brightly. At long last, she was attending the wedding that should’ve taken place years ago, when Mattie Bender and Amos Troyer were young and so deeply in love¬—before Dat had insisted that Mattie marry Marvin Schwartz instead. Now that Mattie and Preacher Amos had outlived their original mates, they were standing together, hand in hand, repeating the age-old vows after their new bishop, Monroe Burkholder. Christine, who’d lost her husband a couple of years ago, found it encouraging that at forty-five and fifty, her older sister and Amos had taken up where their youthful romance had left off, to enjoy a second chance at love that would see them through the rest of their lives.

Beside her on the bench, Rosetta grabbed Christine’s hand and squeezed it. This is so exciting! she mouthed.

Christine nodded, returning her younger sister’s squeeze. She had to admit, however, that the glimmer in Bishop Monroe’s green eyes eclipsed the happiness she felt for Mattie and Amos. Was it her imagination, or did Monroe glance at her as he led the happy couple in their vows, as though he hoped to be exchanging these sacred, binding phrases with her in the near future?

It was too soon to contemplate a wedding—the handsome bishop had only arrived at Promise Lodge a week and a half ago, on Christmas Eve. Yet Christine’s pulse thrummed with the distinct possibility that widowed Monroe Burkholder was as attracted to her as she was to him. Her soul took on the sparkle of the snowy, sunlit hills outside. Hope blossomed in her heart, because it felt absolutely wonderful to believe that such a prosperous, upstanding man might be interested in becoming her husband.

“Amos and Mattie,” Monroe said, his resonant voice filling the room, “I pronounce you husband and wife.”

The wedding guests sprang to their feet, their applause resounding like thunder in the lodge’s large meeting room. Mattie blushed prettily as Amos turned her to face the crowd. When he slung his arm around her to kiss her, a loud whoop went up from the men’s side.

Rosetta laughed, linking her arm through Christine’s. “And they’ll live happily ever after,” she said wistfully. “Maybe there’s hope for us, sister.”

Christine nodded toward Truman Wickey, their neighbor, who—along with Allen Troyer—had been Preacher Amos’s sidesitter. “Here comes your hope as we speak, Rosetta,” she said. “Now that our new bishop has performed his first wedding at Promise Lodge, it’s a gut time to ask his feelings about an Amish woman hitching up with a Mennonite.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Many moons ago—like, in 1983 while she was still a school librarian—Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. This launched her into writing around seventy of those “true confessions” stories over the years, and she’s been a slave to her overactive imagination ever since. Over the course of her writing career, she has sold nearly 50 books—most recently, Amish romance series she’s written as Charlotte Hubbard or Naomi King.

Charlotte lived in Missouri for most of her life, so her Amish stories are set in imaginary Missouri towns. These days she lives in St. Paul, MN with her husband of 40+ years and their Border collie, Vera.

Social Links:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Tour & #Giveaway for The Watcher by Eli Carros

Welcome to my stop on the Book Tour, presented by Silver Dagger Book Tours, for The Watcher by Eli Carros.  Please leave a comment or question for Eli to let him know you stopped by.  You may enter his tour wide giveaway by filling in the Rafflecopter form below.  Good Luck!

The Watcher
by Eli Carros
Crooked Cat Books
Genre: Crime Thriller

One man must stop a psychopath in his tracks…

Chief Inspector Jack Grayson is hunting a serial killer terrorizing London, a stalker who watches his prey carefully and displays the bodies of his young female victims brazenly. But Grayson has a problem – only one lead and scant evidence – and the body count is rising.

He discovers that an unsolved 18-year-old murder case bears all the hallmarks of the current killings, but he still can’t seem to find a single, obvious suspect, and he is so far unable to outthink a master predator.

Grayson must catch a hunter who knows how to outwit the police – a showman intent on completing his macabre collection. But he’s missing a vital clue, a critical piece of the puzzle. When he finally discovers the killer's identity, he's completely unprepared for the fallout…

She didn’t know he was about to kill her of course. He stepped soundlessly behind the blonde, between chrome-coated elevator doors, his shoes gliding over polished grey marble. As she turned to the control panel to select her destination with a well-manicured fingernail, he craned his neck forward to inhale her scent. The sweet musky aroma curled around his nostrils pleasantly. It was familiar to him. It reminded him of her. Anya.

She stood waiting as the doors closed with a quiet hiss and the elevator started to descend. He glanced over her, taking in her elegant profile, her smooth alabaster skin, observing the details of her; breasts round and full, encased in a white shirt half a size too small and straining at the buttons, begging to be released. He noted the way her hair piled upon the top of her head, loose tendrils of spun gold escaping and caressing a slim neck. A hair pin edging its way out of the bun, aching to be plucked.\

It’s an abomination, unnatural. His mother’s voice in his head again. Would she never shut up?\

Fingering the knife in his pocket as the elevator descended, he felt the sharp edge grate the pad of his finger. He clenched his fists, feeling the rage building inside him. How dare this girl taunt him so? The calm of the Brahms sonata being piped through to the elevator’s occupants came in sharp contrast to his raggedly spiking mood. The feeling, rising within him, was irrepressible. The urgency to possess her climbed rapidly, like his blood pressure.

Unaware of his watchfulness, she fumbled around in the depths of her handbag, trying to locate something. The tilt of her lovely face tipped downwards in profile, making him catch his breath. Boldly he stepped forward, pulling the blade out of his pocket and placing one arm around her throat as he came up behind her, restraining her tightly against him. He didn’t hesitate as he drew the blade deftly across the thin skin of her throat, slicing her neck.

The blood spurted violently as the blade bit into her jugular vein, spraying the shiny, mirrored walls. The piped sonata seemed to be slowing down and he felt as if the world had momentarily stopped. Blanched, devoid of colour. The only bright spots – the only things that existed at all – were her and him, and they existed in a lurid blur of light. He held her there, his head bent over her tumble of blonde hair, as she struggled pathetically in his arms, her body weakening with every kick.

He watched as she gasped her last, her mouth opening obscenely, as her fingers scratched at empty air. Drinking her in, he tried to memorise every atom of her, as her body became deadweight in his arms. Finally, in that last second, he felt the serenity that inevitably washed over him each time. A feeling of satisfaction. Of completion. Peace.

Eli Carros is a crime fiction and thriller author from London, England. His debut novel, The Watcher, was inspired by the London landscape, and by what can happen when sexual obsession, abuse, and madness collide. Eli loves reading crime, fantasy, and mystery suspense, and is an ardent admirer of authors Steven King, Mark Billingham, Harlan Coben, and Patricia Cornwell.

A trained journalist with experience as an assistant court reporter, Eli interned at The Daily Mirror and the BBC before he became a novelist. A strong supporter of causes that promote equality for all, in his spare time he loves sailing, camping, hiking, and sketching, and detests getting up in the morning without several cups of strong percolated coffee.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Virtual Tour & #Giveaway for Hearts At Seaside by Addison Cole

Welcome to my stop on the virtual Tour, presented by Goddess Fish Promotions, for Hearts At Seaside by Addison Cole.  Please leave a comment or question for Addison to let her know you stopped by.  You may enter her tour wide giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You may follow all of the stops on the tour by clicking on the banner above, the more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning.  Good luck!

Hearts At Seaside
By Addison Cole
Sweet With Heat: Seaside Summers, Book 3

Publisher: World Literary Press
Release Date: July 19, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 280 Pages
ISBN: 978-1941480731

Buy Links:  Amazon | Nook | Kobo | Google Play | iBooks | Paperback

About the book:

Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers features a group of fun, flirty, and emotional friends who gather each summer at their Cape Cod cottages. They’re sassy, flawed, and so easy to relate to, you’ll be begging to enter their circle of friends!

Hearts at Seaside by Addison Cole is the sweet edition of New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster's steamy romance novel Seaside Hearts. The stories and characters remain the same and convey all of the passion you expect between two people in love, without any explicit scenes or harsh language.

Jenna Ward is vivacious, spontaneous, and confident—except when she’s around the man who stole her heart years earlier, strikingly handsome, quiet, and reliable Pete Lacroux. After years of trying to get his attention and overwhelmed from dealing with her mother’s new cougar lifestyle, Jenna’s giving up on Peter—and is ready to explore other men.

As the eldest of five siblings, with an alcoholic father to care for, boat craftsman Pete Lacroux always does the right thing and has no time for a real relationship. He’s looking forward to seeing his friend Jenna, a welcome distraction who’s so sexy and painfully shy that she equally entertains and confuses him.

When Jenna picks up a hard-bodied construction worker, jealousy ignites Pete’s true feelings, and he’s unable to ignore the desires for Jenna he never realized he had. But Pete’s not the quiet guy he appears to be, and his life is anything but conducive to a relationship. Can Jenna handle the real Pete Lacroux—the most alpha male she’s ever seen—or will she crack under pressure? And can Pete reclaim the life he once had without tearing apart his family?

Read, Write, Love at Seaside
Dreaming at Seaside
Hearts at Seaside
Sunsets at Seaside
Secrets at Seaside
Nights at Seaside
Seized by Love at Seaside
Embraced at Seaside
Lovers at Seaside
Whispers at Seaside


“This doesn’t feel like a first date, Jenna. It feels like you’ve been with me all my life.”

“If I’d been with you all your life, your closet would be organized.”
He glanced into his closet, which was neat and orderly, but not color coordinated, and the thought that her mind had gone there so soon made him laugh.

“You have a point.” He lowered his forehead to hers. “I’m serious, though. All these years we’ve known each other, and this. You being here with me. It feels so right.” He kissed her cheek and loved the way she closed her eyes the second his lips touched her skin, like she was savoring his touch.

“In my heart I was with you all these years; you just never noticed.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

SIGN UP for ADDISON'S Sweet with Heat newsletter. Fun, flirty romance with a dash of heat.

DOWNLOAD the first book in Addison's Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers series free: READ, WRITE, LOVE AT SEASIDE on Amazon.

Addison Cole is the sweet alter ego of New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Melissa Foster. She writes humorous and emotional sweet contemporary romance. Her books do not include explicit sex scenes or harsh language. Addison spends her summers on Cape Cod, where she dreams up wonderful love stories in her house overlooking Cape Cod Bay.

Addison enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups and welcomes an invitation to your event.

Addison’s books are available in paperback, digital, and audio formats.

Author Links

Please note: All Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers books can be read as stand-alone novels or as part of the series.

Sunsets at Seaside (Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers Book 4) will also be on pre-order.  The release date is August 23rd 2017

Preorder Links:  Amazon | Nook | Kobo | Google Play | iBooks |  Smashwords | Paperback

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blurb Blitz & #Giveaway for Somewhere My Lady by Beth Trissel

Welcome to my stop on the Blurb Blitz, presented by Goddess Fish Promotions, for Somewhere My Lady by Beth Trissel.  Please leave a comment or question for Beth to let her know you stopped by.  You may enter her tour wide giveaway, where one (1) randomly chosen commenter will be awarded a $25 Amazon/BN GC, by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You may follow all of the stops on the tour by clicking on the banner above.  The more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning.  Good Luck!

Somewhere My Lady
By Beth Trissel
Ladies in Time, Book 1

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Release Date: July 12, 2017
Genre: Time Travel/Paranormal Romance
Length: 162 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-5092-1525-6

About the book:

Lorna Randolph is hired for the summer at Harrison Hall in Virginia, where Revolutionary-War reenactors provide guided tours of the elegant old home. She doesn't expect to receive a note and a kiss from the handsome young man who then vanishes into mist.

Harrison Hall itself has plans for Lorna – and for Hart Harrison, her momentary suitor and its 18th century heir. Past and present are bound by pledges of love, and modern science melds with old skills and history as Harrison Hall takes Lorna and Hart through time in a race to solve a mystery and save Hart's life before the Midsummer Ball.


Something about him held her spellbound…the tilt of his head, arch of his brow, glimpse of his profile… She followed his every move with the fixity of an owl.

He turned blue-gray eyes toward her and sensuous lips curved into a smile on his handsome face. Hands down. No contest. He was the hottest guy ever. Her heart beat a thrilling new rhythm.

He circled closer to where she stood rooted in the foyer, not moving a toe, scarcely drawing breath. Did he truly see her backed tremulously against the wall, or did it only feel that way?

Unlike the others in the ghostly assembly, his eyes didn’t skirt past her. He paused in the dance. Bending at the shoulders, he tipped his hand to her in a genteel flourish.

He’d freakin’ bowed. Her jaw dropped. He most definitely saw her. And she sure as heck saw him.

A sparking sizzle jumped between them, awakening her as she’d never been roused before. Even more than when the house charged through her at her arrival. It was as if she were plugged in—to him.

How that could be, she had no idea, but when he gazed into her eyes, time seemed to stop. She spiraled into moonless stars, and back again to this dizzying realm. To him. Even if she were dreaming, she’d never forget this moment.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Married to her high school sweetheart, Beth Trissel lives on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by her human family and furbabies. An avid gardener, her love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into her work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans, and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of her inspiration. She's especially drawn to colonial America and the drama of the American Revolution. And she loves a good ghost story. In addition to Young Adult and New Adult fantasy romance, she also writes historical, time travel, and paranormal romance, plus nonfiction.

For more on Beth visit her blog, One Writer’s Way, at:

Connect with Beth on Facebook: AuthorBeth Trissel

Visit Beth’s Amazon Author Page where all her books reside:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spotlight & #Giveaway for Never Dare a Dragon by Ashlyn Chase

Never Dare A Dragon
By Ashlyn Chase
Boston Dragons, Book 3

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: 354 Pages
ISBN:  978-1492645467
ASIN: B01N39F1F7

Third in Ashlyn Chase’s light paranormal romance series featuring hot dragon shifters. No one would believe that lovely Lt. Kristine Scott of the NY Fire Department is an actual dragon, but there’s no denying the flames that ignite when she meets firefighting phoenix shifter Jayce Fierro.

One Boston Phoenix + One New York Dragon = Scorching Heat
You think it’s tough being a dragon? It’s a piece of cake compared to being a phoenix shifter. Dragon shifters just have to worry about accidentally setting their stuff (or a loved one) on fire. A phoenix can rise from the ashes, but then they have to start over…as if growing up once wasn’t tough enough..

Meet Lt. Jayce Fierro of the Boston Fire Department, and Kristine Scott of the FDNY. A long distance relationship could never work—especially not with the secrets they’re keeping. But when Kristine lands herself in a blaze of trouble, she’s in no position to turn down Jayce’s help. Even if it means letting down their guards…and giving in to their sizzling attraction.

Boston Dragons:
I Dream of Dragons (Book 1)
My Wild Irish Dragon (Book 2)

Never Dare a Dragon (Book 3)

Buy Links:  Amazon | B&N | iBooks | BAM | Goodreads


The rest of the dinner went well. In fact, Kristine was surprised by how well it was going. She hadn’t dated a guy like Jayce in a long time. Their connection seemed to be almost instantaneous. It was just too bad he was a firefighter—and lived three hours away as the Acela train flies. Actually, a quick plane ride would reduce the commute to only an hour and a half, but the hassle and time it took to go through security would make the trip even longer.

Walking down the wide sidewalks of Times Square, hand in hand, sure made her feel as if the trip might be worth the hassle. His hand was warm and rough. For once she wasn’t concerned that hers were the same way. No hand cream could stand up to a firefighters’ routine. Wet gloves, rough weather, unbearable heat… All of that detracted from the soft, supple skin she longed for.

They had decided over dinner to visit the top of the Empire State Building. Jayce had never been there before, and Kristine had only visited with friends—never a date. It was supposed to be romantic. She’d never understood why. Probably because her cynical ex-boyfriend thought it was hokey. As she glanced over at Jayce, he glanced back, and they smiled. One thing she wasn’t seeing in him was a city dweller’s pessimism. Its absence was a refreshing change.

Eventually, they arrived at their destination, and as luck—or the stars aligning at the right moment—would have it, they stepped into an elevator with no one right behind them. The doors whooshed closed while they were still alone.

She spun toward Jayce with a hand over her mouth. “I guess that wasn’t very nice of me. I probably should have waited.”

He stepped right into her space. “I’m glad you didn’t.”

As the elevator began to ascend, he leaned in and captured her mouth with his firm lips. She looped her arms around his neck, and he pulled her close. She immediately opened her mouth, and their tongues found each other and swirled together. Kristine wasn’t at all sure her light-headed feeling was due to the elevator traveling so fast. 

Unfortunately, she felt as if she were falling instead.

Don’t think about it. Whatever happens happens… She seemed to have found a new mantra. She heard the ding of the elevator doors opening, and they were greeted by chuckles and a wolf whistle.

“Yeah, yeah…” Jayce said, but he was grinning and holding Kristine’s hand as they made their way off the elevator.

When they spotted a space at the building’s edge that was fairly deserted, they walked over to it with no hesitation.

“You’re not afraid of heights, I guess…” Jayce said to her.

She laughed. “I’d be in deep trouble if I were.” Not only was she a firefighter in a company that specialized in high-rises, but she was a full-fledged, fire-breathing, wing-soaring dragon. She could hover at this height and enjoy the view.

Speaking of enjoying the view…

Jayce turned his back on the dazzling city lights and kissed her knuckles as he stared into her eyes. She felt as if her insides were melting. A deep shimmer in his eyes must have been reflecting the lights. Or not. His eyes seemed to glow for a moment, and then he quickly turned back toward the city.

She took her first good look at the city lights as well. Dear Lord. At last she realized why people thought this place was romantic. At night, so many lights against the velvet black sky were more beautiful than Christmas. Some even seemed to twinkle like stars. Below, white headlights and red taillights trailed through the landscape, but the sounds of the city were far away.

A chilly breeze ruffled her hair. Jayce enveloped her in a side hug. If she felt a chill, it was forgotten in favor of his warm, strong body alongside hers. Everywhere they touched, merging heat radiated through her. Wow. How she’d missed this! Or had she ever had this feeling?

Good Lord, Kristine… Get ahold of yourself!

“So, Jayce… What do you think of the view from up here?”

He turned her toward him and said, “I think the view right in front of me is as beautiful as it gets.” Leaning in, he delivered another toe-curling kiss, and she realized she was a goner.

Ashlyn Chase was a registered nurse for twenty years.  During those years she wrote articles for professional journals and a thesis, but eventually, thank goodness, discovered the joy and freedom of writing fiction.

Ashlyn considers herself lucky.  Her degree in behavioral sciences is a combination of psychology and sociology, so she has studied people most of her life.   She doesn't have to write out exhaustive character sketches to understand her characters or predict how they will behave.  That doesn't mean they don't surprise her.  Sometimes they take her on grand unexpected journeys. 

Ashlyn has learned to go with the flow.  To enjoy the journey is not only one of her writing goals, but also a challenge in life.  She tries to follow where the story takes her.  Her identified theme involves characters who reinvent themselves.  And why not?  She has reinvented herself numerous times—from artist, to nurse, to hypnotherapist, to author, and she has lived in seventeen different places.  At last, she's all settled down and comfy in New England.

Is there a grand design or do we decide our own fates?  Perhaps if the powers-that-be have a plot, then they also give us the right to revise it.

Contact: Website | Facebook | Twitter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Blurb Blitz & #Giveaway for All Signs Point To Murder by Connie di Marco

Welcome to my stop on the Blurb Blitz, presented by Goddess Fish Promotions, for All Signs Point to Murder by Connie di Marco.  Please leave a comment or question for Connie to let her know you stopped by. You may enter her tour wide giveaway, where one (1) randomly chosen commenter will be awarded a $20 Amazon/BN GC, by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You may follow all of the stops on the tour by clicking on the banner above.  The more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning.  Good Luck!

All Signs Point to Murder
By Connie di Marco
A Zodiac Mystery, Book 2

Publisher:  Midnight Ink
Release Date: August 8, 2017
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Length: 336 Pages
ISBN: 978-0738751078

Pre-Order Links:  Amazon | B&N  

The stars predict a wedding-day disaster, but San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti never expected murder.

Julia Bonatti is alarmed by the astrological signs looming over Geneva Leary’s wedding day, but nobody asked Julia’s opinion and being a bridesmaid means supporting the bride no matter what. Even with the foreboding Moon-Mars-Pluto lineup in the heavens, no one’s prepared for the catastrophes that strike: a no-show sister, a passed-out wedding planner, and a lethal shooting in the dead of night.

With anger and grief threatening to tear the Leary family part, Julia is determined to understand how such a terrible tragedy could occur. As she digs deeper into the family’s secrets, her astrological insights will lead her to the truth about a criminal enterprise that stretches far beyond the California coast.


The door to the dressing room flew open with such force the mirror rattled against the wall.  “Where the hell did she get to?  We’re almost ready to start.”  Brooke’s voice hovered on the edge of hysteria. 

I paused with a mascara wand halfway to my lashes.  “Have you checked the ladies room?”  Brooke’s nervousness was contagious. 

“Yes.  I checked,” she groaned.  “Julia,” she whispered, “I think Moira’s been drinking . . .”  She turned back to the corridor, her mauve train catching on the threshold.  “Damn,” she twisted, tugged on her skirt and stormed off. 

Geneva Leary, my best friend from college, my friend who had seen me through the darkest time of my life, was getting married in just a few moments in the courtyard of the Inn of the Seven Horses in Sonoma County, north of San Francisco.  Her sisters, Brooke and Moira, and I were serving as bridesmaids. 

The door flew open a second time.  Sally Stark, our wedding coordinator, charged in with the same question.  “Where is Moira Leary?” she hissed. 

I glanced up at Sally’s reflection in the mirror.  “Brooke is looking for her now.” 

“I can’t have this.  I just can’t have this.  I have never had a bridesmaid who behaved in such an irresponsible manner.”  Sally, wearing a severe black suit, was painfully thin, her jaw permanently clenched.  The tendons in her neck bulged like ropes as she spoke. 

Brooke halted at the door to the dressing room.  Sally turned to face her.  “Mrs. Ramer, this is absolutely unacceptable.  I have never seen such cavalier behavior.  I assure you, the Inn will never allow you to plan an event here again.  That’s if I have anything to say about it.” 

Brooke’s face was flushed.  I was waiting for her to explode, but instead she took a deep breath and closed her eyes for a moment to regain her poise.  “I understand how you must feel.” 

“No,” Sally bit back, “I don’t think you do.  This reflects badly on me.  In all the years I have been coordinating weddings, I have never had anyone – bride, groom, or bridesmaid, simply disappear moments before the ceremony is to begin!” 

“We can’t delay any longer,” Brooke surrendered to Sally’s anger. 

Sally sniffed dismissively.  “Fine.  I will signal the harpist.”  She left the dressing room, slamming the door behind her. 

Brooke stared at me and silently mouthed the word ‘bitch.’  “Let’s go, Julia.” 

I stood and followed Brooke out of the dressing room.  Clutching my small bouquet, I took my place at the top of the stairway behind her.  Geneva, sheltered in her private dressing room, had been able to ignore the hubbub and remain calm.  I reached behind me to squeeze her hand.  She smiled in response and we started our slow descent to the courtyard accompanied by the liquid strains of a harp. 

Weddings always bring out the best and the worst in me.  On one hand, I become embarrassingly teary-eyed and sentimental, sometimes given to outright bawling.  On the other hand, a cynical part of me separates and steps back, like an astral body, watching, and wondering about all those ‘till death do us part’ vows.  Do the participants realize what they’re promising?  If all marriages end in death or divorce, why the rush to the altar?  I often reflect on the karmic connections between unique individuals, those connections that propel us to ‘own’ each other in a marital sense.  As an astrologer, this stuff interests me.  I know long term relationships must have a Saturn connection, otherwise they tend to be fun and short, or short and not so fun as the case may be, but Saturn connections can be difficult, restraining, and sometimes even, let’s admit it, oppressive. 

When we reached the altar, Brooke pulled a small tissue from an unseen hiding place to mop her brow.  A trickle of perspiration rolled down my back and I prayed the June heat wave would abate after sunset.  It was no surprise the weather was brutal.  No one had bothered to ask my astrological advice when the date was chosen.  No one ever calls an astrologer when things are going well.  I wasn’t at all happy about the Moon-Mars-Pluto connection in the heavens on the chosen day, but I never for a second thought death was hovering with beating wings.  

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries from Midnight Ink, featuring San Francisco astrologer, Julia Bonatti, who never thought murder would be part of her practice.  Book 2 in the Zodiac Mysteries is All Signs Point to Murder, to be released on August 8, 2017. 

Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mysteries from Penguin Random House (Berkley Prime Crime), set in the village of Snowflake, Vermont.  Her recently released A Clue in the Stew is the fifth in this series.  Some of her favorite recipes can also be found in The Cozy Cookbook  and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. 

Connie is a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. 

Twitter:  @askzodia

Zodiac Mystery Book 1:  The Madness of Mercury:

Twitter:  @SnowflakeVT

a Rafflecopter giveaway