Darkroom Murder - Coming November 2014

Good morning, everyone!

I thought I would stop in to post. I've been quiet lately, hard at work on my next novel. This one is also a cozy mystery, but completely contemporary. No paranormal elements. While I'm enjoying the storyline, I miss my dark creatures of the night. I will definitely get back to them soon. I wish I had a cover to show you right now, but unfortunately, my cover artist is swamped, and she won't get to my cover for another 2 1/2 weeks I think. Or was that a month? Check out more about this new book below.

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Blurb

Darkroom Murder takes place in the fictional town of Briney Creek, North Carolina. Makayla Rose has moved to Briney Creek from New York. She's decided after working as a forensic photographer for the NYPD and loving a man who ended up causing her to be suspected of murder, she needed a drastic change.

Makayla opens her little photography studio right on Main Street and is happily shooting scenes of festivals, family annual photos, and some business promotional arrangements. She's even getting her own glamor shot together so she can create an online profile for a dating site. Unfortunately, the pain and fear of the past comes flooding back when she arrives at her shop to find the body of the local loan officer.

Now Makayla has to figure out who in her idyllic new town is a murderer and if her photos, found dumped all over the body, hold the clue.


Excerpt

My interest perked up as my stylist began pulling a come through my hair. “I had heard something like that. I know how quickly things can go downhill when a woman opens her heart to the wrong man.”

“Did you fall in love with a cheater?” Edna asked.

“Edna!” Allie Kate chastised her.

“What?” Edna asked, wide-eyed. Once again the dryer had been forgotten. “Makayla is a beautiful woman, and there’s a little bit of an innocence to her. It stands to reason some snake in the grass tried to jump out at her.”

I laughed at the expression and warmed to the older woman. Her tone had remained conversational and not confrontational or bitter in any way. Her forthrightness was her nature, but the compliment showed she wasn’t unkind.

“Thank you, Edna, but I don’t have a lot of experience with cheaters.”

“With men?” she pushed.

“With cheaters,” I emphasized. Next thing you know I would be labeled as the thirty-three year old town virgin, and that just wasn’t the case. Yes, my relationships in the past had been few, but the few hadn’t ended because of unfaithfulness. Incompatibility more like. I sighed and thought about renewing my plan to set up an online dating profile. Then I recalled the murder. And Spencer. I would wait a little longer.

Edna reached across the narrow space that separated us and patted my hand. “Don’t worry, dear. You’ll find someone.”

“Edna Butler,” Louisa bellowed from across the room, “if you don’t stay under that dryer, I’m going to charge you twice because I’ll have to do your hair over again! You are not advertising my business looking like an old mop doll!”

“Well,” Edna exclaimed, but she ducked into the dryer. She folded her hands into her lap, lower lip poked out a bit, and cheeks hot pink. I felt sorry for the poor woman and annoyed at Louisa for being so hard on her. Surely there were other salons in town. I hadn’t explored far out of my own route. Louisa couldn’t possibly be servicing more than say five thousand or so women in town.

“It’s the way she carries herself,” Allie Kate said, “and her friends.”

I blinked. Had I spoken out loud?

Allie Kate grinned. She lowered her voice, but I was pretty sure her stylist and mine could still hear her voice. Neither woman seemed to care. Maybe they didn’t particularly like Louisa with the airs she put on.

“Her family was one of the founding families that started the town,” Allie Kate explained. “Hers and Susan’s. I guess you can say they’re like small town royalty.”

I studied Allie Kate’s face to see if she was joking. She wasn’t.

“Everyone sort of defers to them as upper crust. Louisa projects it more than anyone.”

“She owns a salon. Surely, that’s as common as a photographer.” I kept the mental comparisons to a minimum and refused to voice any further opinions on that.

“We take our original families seriously.”

“And Alvin?” I asked. “Was he royalty?”

“No,” she said, and I couldn’t tell what she thought of the question or his status. “But he was accepted like royalty.”

“Because he married Susan?” I thought about what I had learned previously. “No, she was disowned. Was it because she married him, a man from a lower class?”

This time, Allie Kate did register surprise. “No, when Susan married Alvin, he was already accepted. He had a bachelor’s degree with a major in finance. If he had wanted to, he probably could have been bank manager. He could have gone anywhere, but he loved Briney Creek. His status was on par, maybe higher than Susan’s. Alvin was a successful businessman and a good person.”

“I understand he wasn’t faithful to Susan,” I blurted out.

Allie Kate frowned. “They had an arrangement, but that’s all I’ll say on the matter. I won’t speak ill of the dead or my friend.”