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Posts Tagged ‘Women’s Fiction’

Friday Features’

Straight from Carpenter Country

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 Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, Google+, GoodReads,
and their Amazon Author Page.

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shares

Maggie’s Montana

Blurb:

Maggie Abernathy, best friend Judy, and Judy’s two young sons travel cross country to visit John McIntyre and daughter Chloe at their Montana ranch. Maggie’s convinced herself that she’s only making the trip to fulfill her promise to visit Chloe, but once there she can’t help but fall in love with the horses, the land, the ranch, and the Montana ways of life. With Chloe’s loving antics, Winston’s gift, and a handful of wranglers showing her the ropes, will Maggie have the heart to say goodbye?

 Maggie’s Montana Praise:

“Guaranteed to touch your heart. . .Maggie’s Montana is a must read for women’s fiction lovers. Linda Bradley’s writing sings in this beautifully crafted, warm and funny story about the bonds of love and friendship.”Kim Boykin, author of The Wisdom of Hair and Palmetto Moon

“Linda Bradley’s distinct voice draws you in as her misfit cast of characters wrap around your heart and take you home.”Roni Hall, author of Montana Wild

Maggie's Montana cover

 

Excerpt: Chapter 2

(Maggie and best friend, Judy and Judy’s two boys have just arrived at the 617 Ranch to see eight year-old Chloe McIntyre, her father, John and grandfather, Winston.)

Judy sat beside me on the porch.

“I can’t believe how beautiful Montana is. So worth the drive.” Judy rolled up the sleeves of her T-shirt. “Don’t need a farmer’s tan.”

Smirking at my goofy friend, I sat in awe of the land’s grandeur. This was God’s country. Lazy mares grazed near the pond. A river flowed along the property line in the distance. The babbling creek near the house swept my thoughts away. Leaning back in my chair, I took a deep breath. “Thanks for coming with me,” I said. “I love your boys.”

“Thanks for letting me tag along. This is an incredible opportunity for the kids. Besides, I want to see how things pan out with you and John.”

Judy’s smirk was incorrigible as I stared at her from under my lashes. “You’re supposed to be my friend.”

“I am.” She put up her hands like she was surrendering. “I’m just saying. You two go together like peanut butter and jelly. Everyone can see it except you two.”

Exhaling, I raised my eyebrow at her. John’s dad walked toward us. Chloe was right. Winston Ludlow McIntyre had the perfect name for this kind of living. His moustache twitched as our gazes met, his love for his ranch flickered in his eyes. He clapped his leather gloves together as he approached. He was all cowboy, tall, broad, and stealth. “Hi there.” I gave a little wave, my eyes peering past him at the kids who were tossing pebbles into the creek. Walter’s curly black mop-top held my attention.

“Glad you made it.” Winston gave a nod. “Nice to see you again,” he said to Judy.

“Likewise,” she responded. “Thank you for letting us stay with you. You have an incredible place here.”

The corner of his mouth lifted. “Wasn’t always like this. Wish John’s mother was here to see the place now.”

Winston’s expression reminded me of a story John had told about his mom one night while we nursed beers in the moonlight before he and Chloe left for the ranch. Her love for the land and the animals ran just as deep as his father’s. A chill ran down my spine. “I’m sure she’s proud.”

“Did John show you ladies around?” Winston asked.

“Yes,” Judy answered. “We met Chloe’s lame bird, Frankie and I believe we were introduced to a pony named Huckleberry.”

Winston chuckled as he stepped onto the porch. The fringe of his chaps swayed with his stride. “She’s pretty attached to that bird. She’s going to wake up some morning and it’s gonna be gone.”

“You think it’ll fly away?” I asked.

“Either that or it’ll be dinner for some critter that finds its way into the barn.”

I grimaced. “Didn’t think about that.”

Walter skipped over to the porch.
“Howdy partner,” Winston said, giving him a tap on the shoulder.
Walter waved as he looked up into Winston’s eyes, then he fluffed the fringe on Winston’s chaps. “You sure are big. Thanks for letting me come to your ranch. It’s cool.” He shaded his eyes from the sun and smiled a thin, irresistible grin before climbing into his momma’s lap.

“We don’t get many visitors. Just glad you could make it.”

Walter gave Winston a thumbs-up. Judy wrapped her arms around her son and held him close. Bradley’d been a momma’s boy growing up, too. It seemed like yesterday that I’d held him like Judy held Walter. Walter closed his eyes and whispered, “Do you think I’m a baby?”

“No.” Judy stroked his hair.

“Will you tell Harry I’m not a baby? Please?” Walter rested his hand on Judy’s arm, their dark summer skin tan and smooth.

“Yes, darling. I will.” Walter smiled and nodded off.

“He’s pooped,” Judy said. “Me, too.”

“We could have flown,” I said, taking a deep breath.

Judy chimed in. “And miss out on seeing the country. No way.”

The airline ticket that Winston slid into my mail slot last spring sat on my dresser, back home. A twinge of guilt nudged me. Now that we’d driven, what was I going to do with his generous gift? By the expression on his face, he didn’t seem to mind that I hadn’t cashed it in.

“It’s important for kids to see the country, their country.” Winston settled into the rocking chair next to mine. It creaked as he rocked back and forth. “Chloe’s been giving her daddy a fuss about not wanting to move, but she sure does fit here.” Winston focused on his granddaughter in the distance as he rubbed his whiskery chin.

I studied Winston’s profile, thinking he was a man contemplating a future with an eight-year-old on his heels. “She sure does look like she’s having fun.” I glanced over to Judy. Her eyes closed as she rocked Walter. It’d been a long haul. The corner of my lip curled up as Chloe held one of the barn cats, its legs flopped, its ears back, and their noses touching. She sauntered across the lawn and up the stairs to the porch.

 

Links:

Amazon Link to Montana Bound Series: http://amzn.to/2dfXPTK

Linda Bradley Website: http://www.lindabradleyauthor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LBradleyAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LBradleyAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6498473.Linda_Bradley

 

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Friday Features

Welcomes

Linda Bradley

Author of

Maggie’s Way

 

Linda Bradley shares with us a little behind the story, story. Take it away Linda:

When Maggie and Chloe came to life, so did I. It was the year I found my voice, determined to share their story. It was the year I battled cancer, began a new marriage, and discovered that with a little faith dreams can come true. I met Debby Gilbert, owner and editor at Soul Mate Publishing at a Greater Detroit Romance Writers meeting. When she heard my pitch for Maggie’s Way, her words stayed with me. This one will speaker to readers. –Debby Gilbert

This whole process has been one big circle of Karma. Everything from Jane Porter emails, sending notes back and forth with Claire Cook, then meeting Lori Nelson Spielman and discovering quite by accident we have a most beloved mutual friend has been a whirlwind.

An inspirational card that hangs near my desk reminds me to persevere as I read, hammer out ideas, make connections, and start over, again, and again. The author is unknown, but it reads, If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it. 

I believe!

Linda Bradley

20150605 LB_MaggiesWay_400x600 (1) (1)

Maggie’s Way: Women’s Fiction

 

Blurb:

Middle-aged, Maggie Abernathy just wants to recuperate from cancer during the solitude of summer vacation after a tiresome year of teaching second grade. Maggie’s plans are foiled when precocious seven-year-old, Chloe McIntyre moves in next door with her dad, John. Maggie’s life changes in a way she could never imagine when the pesky new neighbors steal her heart. With Maggie’s grown son away, her ex-husband in the shadows, her meddling mother’s unannounced visits, and Chloe McIntyre on her heels, somehow Maggie’s empty house becomes home again.

Tag Line: “Sometimes you have to lose your way to find yourself.” –L. Bradley

Cover quotes:

“Linda Bradley’s fresh voice will keep readers riveted from beginning to end. Bradley delivers a heart-warming story full of disarming honesty and beautiful drama…This one stands out!” –Jane Porter  New York Times and USA Today best selling author

Author Review:

“Maggie’s Way is a heart-warming tale of love and loss, fear and friendship. With charming characters and a moving plot, Linda Bradley’s lovely debut gently reminds is that it’s never too late for second chances.” –Lori Nelson Spielman, International Best Seller, Author of “The Love List” and “Sweet Forgiveness”

Bio:

Linda BradleyLinda’s inspiration comes from her favorite authors and life itself. Her women’s fiction highlights characters that peel away outer layers of life to discover the heart of their dreams with some unexpected twists and turns along the way. Her writing integrates humor found in everyday situations, as well as touching moments that make readers connect with her characters. Maggie’s Way is her debut novel, in her Montana Bound Series. She is currently working on Maggie’s Fork in the Road and Maggie’s Montana.

Linda has an Associates Degree in Interior Design and a Master’s Degree in Reading and Language Arts with undergraduate work in Elementary Education and Fine Arts. She wrote and illustrated a children’s book titled, The Hunter for her Master’s Degree. Linda is a member of RWA, as well as the Greater Detroit Chapter of RWA.

Linda has two grown sons, lives with her husband, and rescue dog in Royal Oak, Michigan.

 

You can follow her on:

Twitter: @LBradleyAuthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Linda-Bradley/389688594534105

Website: http://www.lindabradleyauthor.com/

Buy Link now available:

http://amzn.com/B00ZSOX4BA

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