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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Excerpt of COLLISION COURSE by Cynthia Hickey

Lacey Baxter knows her uncle killed her aunt and she is out to prove it! When she flees her home, she almost runs over and kills DEA agent John Canyon, who is out to get justice for his brother's death, while raising his orphaned niece.

When they discover they're after the same group of men, the two band together against overwhelming odds to bring down a corrupt men set on ruling their small town.

John and Lacey are on a collision course with evil and must rely on not only each other, but on God to safe a town and bring justice
.

Collision Course is Book Six in the Overcoming Evil series.  In this series, I try to bring modern day event to a satisfying conclusion where the characters not only rely on their faith to help them, but must dig deep into themselves to find what they didn't know they had. The ability to overcome.

I hope you enjoy the excerpt:



Lacey Baxter stared in horror at the surveillance photos in her hand. When her dear Aunt Ruth died, Lacey had put off cleaning out the attic as long as possible. Now, she wished she had put it off longer. Life had hit a decline it might never pull out of.
Aunt Ruth jogged every day, despite being fifty-five years old. It was inconceivable that she would have fallen to her death on the trail she ran five days out of seven. The photos in Lacey’s hand showed someone had been watching not only Aunt Ruth, but Lacey as well.
What did she ever do to require someone watching her? She glanced up from the dusty box toward the attic window. Aunt Ruth had mentioned she thought someone was following her. Lacey had overheard her talking to Uncle Ben late one night. When she’d walked into the room, they’d stopped, her uncle giving her his common sneer when he bothered to pay her any attention at all.
Her breath came in gasps. Aunt Ruth had been murdered, and Lacey could very well be next. She shoved the photos back into the envelope. She’d go through the rest of it at home.
“Lacey?” Uncle Ben’s voice drifted up the attic steps.
“Be right down.” She folded the manila envelope and stuffed it under her sweatshirt. There was little danger of Uncle Ben giving her a hug and discovering the photos. After all, he hadn’t laid a hand on her since marrying her aunt two years ago, not that she minded.
She climbed down the stairs and faced the man she liked the least of anyone she knew. “I’m just going through Aunt Ruth’s things. It will take a while.”
“Don’t let me stop you.” He loosened the crimson tie around his throat.
“No, I’ll come back tomorrow. It’s a noisy, messy job.” She tried to move past him.
His hand shot out and gripped her wrist. “What’s the hurry? Join me for dinner. It’s been lonely the last few weeks.” His gaze raked her body.
“I’ve got to go.” She yanked free and dashed from the house. His meaning was clear. He meant to replace Aunt Ruth with Lacey.
Why? There was no love lost between them. She shuddered and slipped behind the wheel of her Jeep. Uncle Ben watched from the living room window. She shivered again and backed from the driveway as a cold rain mixed with sleet began to fall.
If Aunt Ruth had indeed been murdered, had he done it? Lacey blinked away the tears and hurried to her small bungalow on the outskirts of town. Once home, she hurried inside, tossing the envelope on the table. She set a pot of water on the stove to boil before dumping out the contents of the envelope.
Pushing aside the photos, she unfolded a sheet of paper and sat down to read. Aunt Ruth had suspected Uncle Ben of trying to kill her. She stated in her letter that she had stumbled across incriminating evidence that would ruin Uncle Ben’s reputation in the town. The evidence was located in a small locked chest in Grandpa’s farmhouse.
Shock rippled through Lacey. The paper fell from her trembling hands. She needed to go to Grandpa’s house right away. If Uncle Ben was responsible for Aunt Ruth’s death, then he had no business walking the streets as an upstanding citizen of Oak Grove.
She shoved the paper and photos back into the envelope and raced to her bedroom to toss warm clothing in a small suitcase. She grabbed some toiletries and her camera, laid the envelope on top, and zipped the case closed. She would find a way to put those responsible for her aunt’s death behind bars, even if it meant dying to do so.
She was almost out of her room when she noticed the light blinking on her answering machine. She pressed the button. An electronically garbled voice warned, “Get out of town. He’s after you.” Lacey scribbled the phone number on a slip of paper, shoved it into the pocket of her jeans, and deleted the message before rushing into the hall.
Headlights pierced the front window curtains. Lacey plastered her back against the wall and peered out. Uncle Ben. She gripped her suitcase tighter. If she left the front door unlocked, and escaped out the back, perhaps she could get away before he caught her. He’d search the house before determining she had fled. She turned the door lock.
She dashed through the kitchen, turned off the gas to the stove, and barreled out the back door. His calls rang out behind her.
“Lacey, I think you have something I need.”
How did he know?
“I saw it on your face. Come back, girl. We could make an excellent team. There’s no reason for you to suffer your aunt’s fate.”
The winter’s air cut into her lungs, making her gasp. She skidded to a halt beside her car and tossed the suitcase into the backseat. His car blocked hers, but desperate times called for desperate measures. She slid behind the wheel, turned the key in the ignition, and sped through her yard, leaving tire tracks through the dead grass.
Once on the road, she sped toward the highway.
*
Lacey swiped the tears away with the back of her hand. Night had fallen, obscuring her vision while the clouds released their burden of rain.
The road dipped and she hit the brakes. The car slid. Her foot pumped. The Jeep didn’t slow. Bright headlights behind her made seeing even more difficult. A horn blared. Her uncle was behind her.
She fought the steering wheel as a sharp turn sent her into a spin. She struggled to keep her Jeep on the slick road. Her windshield wipers tapped out a steady rhythm against the sleet pelting her window. She couldn’t see a thing. Why hadn’t she waited until daylight to head to the cabin? She could have taken refuge in a motel. Driving while fatigue coated your limb was never a good idea. Yet the sense of urgency wouldn’t leave her.
The vehicle spun like the tea cup ride at Disneyland. Lacey screamed and tightened her grip. Which way was she supposed to turn the wheel? She yanked to the right and slid. A truck loomed in front of her window. She screamed and wrestled harder with the wheel.
Screeching filled the night before she crashed through a wooden fence. The seatbelt dug into her neck and chest. She shoved the airbag out of her way, coughing after inhaling the white powder it released.
Several shoves with her shoulder against the crinkled door and Lacey fell in the mud outside her car. She squinted to make out the truck she’d scraped against. Headlights glimmered faintly through the night’s haze. How could she not have seen the lights?
With her hands slipping and dampness seeping through the knees of her jeans, she crawled to the other vehicle. As she got closer, she noticed the jack and flat tire next to it. Where was the driver?
She hadn’t hit him, had she? Please, God, no. She scrambled to her feet; her breath coming in gasping rasps. She glanced behind the wheel. No one sat slumped over on the front seat. Maybe the truck was abandoned. No, not with the lights left on.
Lacey gripped her hair with both hands, not caring if she smeared mud through the long strands. Something wasn’t right. She studied the discarded flat tire. A new one leaned against the fender. Her gaze slid to the road. If a person squatted here, and an out-of-control vehicle careened toward them … there! In the ditch. Lacey slid down the embankment and came to a stop beside a man.
Dark hair lay matted to his face from the rain. Several inches of water sloshed around him as the icy drizzle turned into a steady stream of rain from heaven. Lacey dropped to her knees and placed two fingers to his neck. A steady thump greeted her, dispelling some of her fear. How was she going to get him back to her Jeep?

A cry came from the cab of the truck, freezing Lacey more effectively than the winter rain. 

Available at Amazon



Multi-published and Amazon Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey had three cozy mysteries and two novellas published through Barbour Publishing. Her first mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, won first place in the inspirational category of the Great Expectations contest in 2007. Her third cozy, Chocolate-Covered Crime, received a four-star review from Romantic Times. All three cozies have been re-released as ebooks through the MacGregor Literary Agency, along with a new cozy series, all of which stay in the top 50 of Amazon’s ebooks for their genre. She has several historical romances releasing in 2013, 2014, 2015 through Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents, and has sold more than 300,000 copies of her works. She is active on FB, twitter, and Goodreads, and is a contributor to Cozy Mystery Magazone blog and Suspense Sisters blog. Her and her husband run the small press, Forget Me Not Romances, which includes some of the CBA’s well-known authors. She lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs and two cats. She has five grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”. Visit her website at www.cynthiahickey.com



Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Review of "Murder in the Milkcase" by Nancy Jill Thames

Amazon $ .99

When I first looked at the title for this post I thought, yeah, I wish I had written this book! What an enjoyable read by Candice Speare Prentice. Only someone with 4H experience could come up with some of the hilarious lines such as dragging a dead cow behind a tractor.
I don't know Candice personally, but someday I hope to meet her and tell her face to face how much I loved (and laughed) reading this book. One of the things I liked most was the tenderness shown between the main character and her husband. I won't give away the plot but the way Candice interweaves the tension between a crucial point in the story and their marriage kept me turning pages.

I highly recommend this book. Five Stars! Have you read a good cozy lately that kept you turning pages? We'd love to hear about them.


Cheers!


~Nancy Jill Thames

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Chilled in Chattanooga

Chilled in Chattanooga is the fourth book in the Trixie Montgomery Cozy Mystery Series. I had been writing about cities that were interesting places people enjoyed visiting. I have loved going to Chattanooga, Tennessee for many years. Even though Chattanooga is not in Georgia (where my other books take place), Rock City and Lookout Mountain are in Georgia. All of these places are incorporated in the book.

 
 
I had fun researching for the book. I took a day trip to Chattanooga and spent an entire day exploring the city and taking pictures. I must have taken over 200 pictures. It was fun eating at a couple of the well-known restaurants and visiting the Chattanooga Choo-Choo. Most of the places I mention in the book are real and you could visit them if you wanted to. I've already had someone tell me they wanted to visit the English Rose Tea Room across from the Chattanooga Choo-Choo. I hope you find a place you'd like to visit.
 
All of my books are humorous and I hope that when they are read they will give the reader a little time of respite from the stresses of the day. There is encouragement between Trixie and her best friend Dee Dee and they also help each other strengthen their faith. But I don't take a baseball bat and hit you over the head with a particular message. I just want my readers to enjoy a good clean mystery without having to worry about compromising their morals and do it while having a little fun.
 
 
 



Deborah Malone's first novel Death in Dahlonega, finaled in the American Christian Fiction Writer's Category Five writing contest! Deborah was also nominated for 2011 and 2012 Georgia Author of the Year in Novel Category. She has worked as a freelance writer and photographer for the historic magazine "Georgia Backroads" since 2001. She has had many articles and photographs published, and her writing is featured in "Tales of the Rails," edited by Olin Jackson, as well as the "Christian Communicator." She is a member of the Georgia Writer's Association, Advanced Writer's and Speaker's Association and the American Christian Fiction Writers.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Raffle Winner!


On April 20th, Traci Tyne Hilton announced the winner of our Raffle! 

James Tripp!

Winner of a $200 Amazon gift card!

But

He hasn't stepped up to claim it yet.

so

James--please contact Cozy Mystery Magazine right away by commenting on this post. We want to give you your prize!










Monday, April 20, 2015

Congratulations to our Raffle Winner!

Congrats to James Tripp! You have won our raffle and will receive the $200 Amazon gift card!

Look for an email from author Traci Tyne Hilton confirming the prize and the best way to get the card to you.

And thank you to all of you who participated! Let us know if you enjoyed that and would like to see more contests--we'd love to do it again, if you would!

Blessings,

Traci

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

WHERE I WRITE By Cynthia Hickey

Sometimes, my readers have asked where I write my stories. Here is a picture of my desk and an explanation of the things you see there.


WHERE I WORK
This cute little place holds everything I need, and almost everything means something personal. I have a dry erase board to schedule my next writing project, keep tabs on other writing jobs, and to list what I need to do at home.


The bulletin board holds websites addresses I visit on a regular basis and holds my favorite quote. It’s by Erma Bombeck and says, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.”


There is a silk rose given to me by a student of the elementary school I used to work at. It sits in a mug that says, “What deadline?” Next to that is a frog tape dispenser, which to me means, Fully Rely On God. Holding an assortment of fun pencils and ink pens is a ceramic mug brought to me from Mexico by a cafeteria worker at the same elementary school. I have a pink fuzzy bird holding a plaque that states, “Do not start with me–you will not win” and a fuzzy angel flamingo pen, because who doesn’t want one of those.


On the wall is a framed Life magazine focusing on “Gone With the Wind” and a Newsweek “Elvis” edition. These are the two categories I collect. I love anything Elvis or Gone With the Wind.
To the left of the desk is a glass tank that holds two Sulcata tortoise hatchlings. On the floor at my feet are two dogs. Behind me is a wall of books: fiction, non-fiction, research. This is my world and I love it.



Multi-published and Amazon Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey had three cozy mysteries and two novellas published through Barbour Publishing. Her first mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, won first place in the inspirational category of the Great Expectations contest in 2007. Her third cozy, Chocolate-Covered Crime, received a four-star review from Romantic Times. All three cozies have been re-released as ebooks through the MacGregor Literary Agency, along with a new cozy series, all of which stay in the top 50 of Amazon’s ebooks for their genre. She has several historical romances releasing in 2013, 2014, 2015 through Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents, and has sold more than 300,000 copies of her works. She is active on FB, twitter, and Goodreads, and is a contributor to Cozy Mystery Magazone blog and Suspense Sisters blog. She lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs and two cats. She has five grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”. Visit her website at www.cynthiahickey.com






Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wedding Bells - #4


by Nancy Jill Thames


This past Saturday our daughter Holly got married. Our last child married Hudson her beloved in a sweet ceremony led by my niece's awesome husband Nate - the only ordained minister I know who changes into his tuxedo T-shirt for the dancing!

For those of you who've happily experienced passing the baton of parenting over to the new spouse, you'll understand my husband and my feelings of joy and relief! Hudson will take good care of her.

I posted in October of 2012, "God has been so gracious to provide wonderful mates for three of our four children. We trust Him to provide for our youngest daughter Holly as well." And in 2015 He did!

The wedding had a few breaks from tradition - one being the guests were served chocolate cream pie instead of wedding cake. It was our daughter's wish so her father and I made 16 pies, transported them 35 minutes away, and served them to 110.

I've included my recipe at the end of this post in case any of you are feeling domestic.



Amazon Kindle, Nook, SW, and Kobo
Amazon Kindle, Nook, SW, and Kobo
At the end of Book 7 
"THE RUBY OF SIAM" Jillian Bradley gets married in London at an upscale hotel across the street from Buckingham Palace. 


But unlike our daughter's picture perfect wedding you'll read in Book 8 "THE LONG TRIP HOME" about a tragedy that occurs at the reception. It all ends happily, though - thanks to the vehicle of fiction.

There's still time to enter the $200 Amazon Gift-card Giveaway contest. Thanks to all of you who've followed our sites and liked our pages. Click here for your chance to win: 
http://cozymysterymagazine.blogspot.com/p/cozy-raffle-200-prize.html

Cheers!

~Nancy Jill    


Nancy Jill's Chocolate Cream Pie  
For the Ganache:

1 c sugar
1/4 c flour
2 T cornstarch
1/4 t Salt
1 1/2 c whole milk
1 1/2 c heavy whipping cream
3 egg yolks. membranes removed
2 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate
2 T butter
2 t vanilla

For Ganache and Topping:
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 t vanilla

1. In a heavy 2 qt saucepan mix sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt together. Add milk and 1 cup of the whipping cream.
With a fork mix the egg yolks together and add to remaining 1/2 c of whipping cream. Mix then add to saucepan combining ingredients well.


2. Cook over high heat stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Stir until melted, then add butter and vanilla.


3. Pour mixture into freezer proof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap pressing down until no air remains and sides are sealed.
(Prevents skim from forming.)

 4. When cool, whip heaving whipping cream with powdered sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Fold in 1 cup of mixture to ganache.


5. Pour ganache into baked pie shell mounding to center.
Cover with remaining whipped cream and sprinkle with mini chocolate chips, chocolate shavings or chocolate sprinkles.
Chill for at least 4 hrs before serving.




Nancy Jill Thames was born to write mysteries. From her early days as the neighborhood story-teller to the Amazon Author Watch Bestseller List, she has always had a vivid imagination and loves to solve problems – perfect for plotting whodunits. In 2010, Nancy Jill published her first mystery Murder in Half Moon Bay, introducing her well-loved protagonist Jillian Bradley, and clue-sniffing Yorkie, “Teddy.”

When she isn’t plotting Jillian’s next perilous adventure, Nancy Jill travels between Texas and California finding new ways to spoil her grandchildren, playing classical favorites on her baby grand or having afternoon tea with friends.

She is a member of Leander Writers’ Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW CenTex Chapter), and Central Texas Authors

To learn more about Nancy Jill, visit these sites.