Friday, 23 December 2016
Thursday, 22 December 2016
Mystery / Romance
Date Published: July 23, 2016
Rain soaked and dreary, it was a 1901 abandoned Victorian that Dean and Elizabeth hoped would fulfill their dreams, even if the town of Eastbrook, Maine was trapped under a blanket of fog. The first neighbor they meet in town dashes those dreams when he raises a bizarre question: what happened to the last person who lived in their house? Under mounting pressure from the residents of Eastbrook to stop questioning the past, Dean and Elizabeth are driven deeper into the history of the house, and the town. When they discover what happened in Eastbrook, keeping the secret could save their lives, but uncovering the truth might be worth the risk.
A gripping psychological mystery, The Empty Room takes readers on a cat-and-mouse game where some secrets are better off hidden.
A knock pounded loudly on the door for a second time and Elizabeth involuntarily let out a small shriek. She frantically put her hand over her mouth, but the sound had already escaped and there was little doubt that Mrs. Jacobs had heard.
“Well.” Dean sighed, as he stood up from the crouched position he’d been holding beside the window. “Now we answer the door because you apparently have Tourette’s.”
As Elizabeth slowly stood up beside him, a third round of loud pounding ensued. Elizabeth jumped at the sudden noise and hit her head against Dean’s lower lip. His head jolted back from the force and he winced.
“Oh my God.” She leapt forward toward him. “Are you OK?”
Dean reached up his hand and clenched his jaw, pulling it from left to right. He pointed toward the door. “Great, first I get physically abused, now I’m going to get emotionally abused. And I still have no underwear.”
He finally came to the door and put his hand on the doorknob. He looked back at Elizabeth. “Just for the record, you are the worst covert ops partner ever.” With a specific intent in mind, he quickly turned the doorknob and ripped open the door as fast as he could. A startled Mrs. Jacobs stumbled backwards.
“You almost scared me to death,” she asserted, quickly brushing her dress to remove the imaginary wrinkles that had not formed from the unexpected greeting.
He stepped outside and grabbed Elizabeth by the wrist to pull her out of the house with him. “Well, follow-through has always been my problem. Look, we were just headed out the door and into town so we’re going to have to finish this later.” He reached for the doorknob and slammed the door behind him.
But Mrs. Jacobs did not move. Other than the slight falter when he opened the door, she held her stance and stared at the closed door. Dean had a feeling it was not the first or the last time she had ever had a door closed in her face. With their backs to the old woman, the couple took several steps toward the edge of the porch.
“You live next door, right? We’ll stop by. Oh, the fun we’ll have.” Still holding on to Elizabeth’s wrist, he pulled her past Mrs. Jacobs and down the steps.
“Where are we going?” Elizabeth whispered.
Mrs. Jacobs turned to face them. Her hands clasped in a folded position in front of her.
“We’re going to see if we can find out what happened in that room, what happened in that house. Someone here knows. Everyone in this town can’t be as bad as Mrs. HaWiggins back there,” he whispered back.
About the Author
Sarah J. Clemens is the author of the debut mystery novel, The Empty Room. She started writing The Empty Room in 2008 and formed her own imprint in 2016 called Off the Page Publishing. She started out her professional career working as a news assistant for her local newspaper before finding a passion for the law and pursued an education in criminal justice. In addition to writing fiction, she is also a legal assistant with an Associate of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in Human Services. Sarah was born in California and now lives and works in Boise, Idaho. She has the same sarcastic sense of humor as the characters in her books, and she has an unparalleled love for animals.
Saturday, 17 December 2016
Date Published: October 8, 2016
A murderer stalks the orange groves of 1923 Southern California. Detective Sidney Snipes is called to the Harrington Manor when retired Colonel Peter Wescott Harrington is found slumped over his desk by his family. Snipes entrusts the sensational new crime fighting technology—Fingerprint Analysis to find a fierce fiend.
Just when he though he had the murderer cornered, a neighbor discovers a shallow grave in the orange groves; an unsolved missing person's cold case files. A case that has haunted the Orange County Sheriff’s Department for three years. The evidence in the missing person's case rumples Snipes proficient sleuthing skills as the leads take him in circles. Then to add to the muddying discord, another Harrington turns up dead, apparently murdered in his sleep.
But when a sinister child’s Jack-in-the-box, seemingly from the grim reaper himself, materializes on the Colonel’s desk, the detective is bedeviled more than he cares to admit. Nevertheless, Snipes had enough moxie to send fingerprints to every city where his suspects had ever lived. The leads take Snipes in a direction he never saw coming. Within days, he's shocked to his eyebrows by the results; the identity of the murderer befuddles his mind. Alas, the oldest Harrington son, Shep, supposed wife, had a mock wedding to him in Manhattan, New York, and their plan was to kill the whole Harrington clan for their wealth.
Praise for Harrington Manor:
"Harrington Manor is James at his very best."-Publisher's Weekly
About the Author
Ronald James was born during the great depression, and as a toddler watched WPA men build a new street, from his home’s big front window. His playmates were a red rider wagon, a small black satchel and rocks. By using his imagination he had conversations with mythical street workers that bloomed into fashioned fantasies by age four. He used cardboard boxes to create fun spaces for his neighborhood playmates to enjoy and he kept telling stories all through high school. In college he abandoned writing and studied architecture. James had a successful architectural career and retired, however he wanted to keep his creative juices fluent, so he returned to his childhood story telling days and joined a writers group. Like architecture, each day he couldn’t wait to create, finish, and start new stories—like, Harrington Manor.
Wednesday, 14 December 2016
Saturday, 10 December 2016
Sunday, 4 December 2016
As part of the 12 Days of Clink Street Christmas I am delighted to feature On Track for Murder which is set in the 1800's. Author Stephen Childs has written an exclusive and wonderful post on how Christmas was celebrated in 1889 Australia.
Travelling from England to Australia in the late nineteenth century, Abigail Sergeant and her brother, Bertrand, are looking forward to their new life. Leaving behind the prejudices that would likely have seen Bertrand committed to an institution before he reached adulthood, Abigail hopes their new life will offer freedom and security.
But what awaits them on the shores of the Swan River dashes any prospects of a blissful life. A murder is committed and Abigail's family is thrown into turmoil. The evidence is damning. Only the guilty would be found standing over the body clutching the bloodied murder weapon. But something is not right. Police are convinced they have their killer. Abigail is certain they are wrong. As their one potential witness is missing, Abigail persuades the detective to allow time for a search. But that time is limited.
Chasing across Western Australia with a reluctant Constable Dunning as her chaperone, Abigail is determined to uncover the truth. If only she had an inkling of what that may be. Through deception, kidnap, sabotage and arson, Abigail finds a resolve she didn't know she possessed. Her understanding of mechanical principles surprises everyone, as does her tenacity. She turns out to be a capable young woman. But is that enough to save an innocent from injustice?
Published on 1 Sept 2015 by Clink St Publishing
Purchase from Amazon UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Track-Murder-Stephen-Childs-ebook/dp/B013K4Q2HW/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1478774078&sr=1-2&keywords=on+track+for+murder
Purchase from Barnes & Noble - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/on-track-for-murder-stephen-childs/1122391161?ean=9781910782095
Dec 26 1889, Guildford, West Australia.
My dearest friend,
I write to tell of our first Christmas in the Swan colony. This truly is a strange land, yet one with which I am growing most fond.
Christmas day found the weather extremely hot. Our neighbours Mr and Mrs Wallace had invited us to supper in the evening. My brother, Bertrand and I were greatly looking forward to this. It also gave us the day to enjoy beforehand. The Wallaces sailed from England merely six years past so very much understand the love we have of the festive season. Much reminiscing was anticipated.
Well, let me tell you. Before breakfast had even begun we received a visit from Mr Ridley Dunning. He’s my fiancee, as you know, but wasn’t expected until luncheon. He came with a covered carriage and the largest picnic hamper you have ever seen. We exchanged gifts over breakfast, then Ridley insisted we embark on his surprise journey. Bertrand was beside himself with excitement. I was just glad of the company, this being our first Christmas since Father died.
We travelled along the river a short while then turned in to the most delightful open grassed area. There, on a spot beside the water under a large willow tree, we set up our picnic.
Ridley had prepared cold chicken sandwiches and potted pork in aspic with two side salads all followed with a delicious strawberry tart. All his own work, he told me. I was most impressed.
Across the river we could see grape vines growing on taught wires stretched across grassy paddocks. Ridley informed us that the owners were making wine. Very good wine apparently. Then, like magic, he produced a bottle. How delightful it was, and so refreshing as the sun beat down.
Bertrand proceeded to regale him with tales of our Christmases at home. The tree set about with glass baubles and ribbons. Candles flickering gayly. Carols beside the fire. I told him of Christmas eve last year when the snow lay deep outside and we invited the carol singers in to warm beside the fire. Oh, how I miss those times.
We had a gorgeous day, nonetheless. A further surprise was the appearance of a group of kangaroos. They came out of the bushes not fifty yards from where we sat. The oddest animals you have ever seen, they have large hind legs and hop along at terrific speeds. And their babies ride in pouches on the mother’s front. A far cry from the usual Christmas image of reindeer in the snow!
My dear friend, this may seem to top off a most unusual Christmas day, but there is more. We returned as the sun began to lower, yet the heat remained in the air. Ridley drove us directly to our neighbours. The strange grin Ridley wore should have warned me of secrets to be revealed, but I was so hot I just needed to get out of the sun.
Well, when the front door was opened I was quite taken aback. We were treated to the most amazing sight. A huge fir tree bedecked with candles, ribbons and baubles. A table ornately set with colourful decorations and a huge Yule log sporting palm tree fronds in place of holly.
And as I wiped my brow with a rather sodden handkerchief I noticed their most faithful reconstruction from home. The grate was blazing with the largest fire it could handle! All the windows needed to be opened to cope with the excess heat. But it looked beautiful.
Such a strange land.
All the authors taking part in the Christmas themed event
About Stephen Childs
Born in Ealing, West London, Stephen Childs emigrated with his family to New Zealand in the 1970s. He has enjoyed a long career in the film and television industry. After a serious health scare in 2005, Childs’ view of life changed. He briefly went into politics as a parliamentary candidate in the national elections, standing against the now New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key. The drive to pursue new challenges prompted Childs to relocate to Western Australia, where he now lives in Joondalup, north of Perth, with his family and two cats. In his spare time, Childs enjoys exploring the great Australian outdoors and studying genealogy.
Check out the advent calendar of all the other blogs taking part in the 12 Days of Clink St Christmas