Monday, January 22, 2018

Searching for Gertrude

Searching for Gertrude

Historical Fiction, Historical Romance
Date Published: January 22, 2018

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While growing up in Germany in the 1930s, Rudolf falls in love with the girl next door, Gertrude. He doesn’t care what religion Gertrude practices but the Nazis do. When the first antisemitic laws are enacted by the Nazi government, Gertrude’s father loses his job at the local university. Unable to find employment in Germany, he accepts a position at Istanbul University and moves the family to Turkey. Rudolf, desperate to follow Gertrude, takes a position working at the consulate in Istanbul with the very government which caused her exile. With Rudolf finally living in the same city as Gertrude, their reunion should be inevitable, but he can’t find her. During his search for Gertrude, he stumbles upon Rosalyn, an American Jew working as a nanny in the city. Upon hearing his heartbreaking story, she immediately agrees to help him search for his lost love. Willing to do anything in their search for Gertrude, they agree to work for a British intelligence officer who promises his assistance, but his demands endanger Rudolf and Rosalyn. As the danger increases and the search for Gertrude stretches on, Rudolf and Rosalyn grow close, but Rudolf gave his heart away long ago. 

How far would you go to find the woman you love?


As usual, the clerk rushed out of the room as soon as it was lunchtime the next day. Rudolf waited until the other administrative workers had left, and then he waited an additional five minutes to make sure no one was coming back. He didn’t sneak over to the clerk’s desk. He strolled over as if he had business to which he needed to attend even as his palms sweated and his heart beat erratically. He tugged on the drawer to ensure it was locked before pulling the letter opener out of his pocket. He looked around to ensure he was still alone before kneeling in front of the drawer and sticking the letter opener in the tiny lock. With only a bit of jiggling, the lock clicked open. As quietly as he could, Rudolf pulled the drawer open and peeked in. Sure enough, the cabinet keys were sitting in the tray on the top of the drawer. He slid the drawer closed and went to stand. That’s when he realized his mistake. The drawer had to be locked when the clerk arrived. Otherwise, he would immediately assume something was wrong.

Rudolf kneeled in front of the closed drawer and once again stuck his letter opener in the lock. If the letter opener could unlock the drawer, it stood to reason it could also lock it. It took quite a bit of fiddling made worse by his shaky hands before he felt a click. He heard the clacking of boots on tile and jumped to his feet while thrusting the letter opener in his pocket. The sound came closer. He didn’t have time to check the lock was engaged. He rushed in the opposite direction of the approaching person, entering the hallway on the far side of the office. He walked to the toilet and waited until he was locked in a stall before he dared to take a breath. He leaned against the stall door and took deep breaths while his heart slowly went back to its regular rhythm.

After he managed to gain some semblance of calm, he splashed cold water on his face before returning to his desk where he waited for the clerk to arrive. Was the desk drawer locked? Would the clerk know someone had tampered with the drawer even if it was locked? It took all of Rudolf’s willpower to not constantly glance at the clerk’s empty desk. When the clerk finally arrived, Rudolf tilted his chair in the clerk’s direction and waited with bated breath. But nothing happened other than the clerk unlocking his desk after sitting down. Rudolf waited for the man to notice things were amiss. It took several hours before he realized the clerk was not going to notice anything, and he could relax. He could breathe for the first time since lunch and got back to work.

About the Author

I grew-up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom's Harlequin romances, to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.

Searching for Gertrude is my twelfth book.

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Sunday, January 21, 2018


Murder Over Medium: Jade Blackwell Mystery Series by Gilian Baker

Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series 
Misterio Press (December 31, 2017) 
Print Length: 216 pages ASIN: B077T9D6Q5 

Former English professor turned blogger, Jade Blackwell, is enjoying her predictable routine when trouble comes knocking in the form of an old friend and colleague. Unbeknownst to Jade, Gwendolyn Hexby is no longer the successful academic she once knew and trusted—she is now following a new calling as a psychic medium, a contentious career that flies in the face of the logic and deductive reasoning Jade values.
At first, Jade welcomes the visit, but things soon turn bizarre as Gwendolyn brings only disorder danger and disruption. When a murder is prophesied, and a beloved pillar of the Aspen Falls’ community winds up dead, Gwendolyn becomes Sheriff Ross Lawson’s prime suspect.
To get Gwendolyn out of hot water, and more importantly, out of her house, Jade attempts to prove her friend’s innocence. Jade believes she’s finally discovered the truth, but is soon brought back to reality when she learns all is not as it seems in the realm of the metaphysical. Not even murder.
Return to the Jade Blackwell Cozy Mystery Series in Murder Over Medium, as Jade jumps into the fray of a territory not governed by logic or reason—in either this world or the next.

 To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin who reportedly said that guests, (invited or not) like fish, begin to smell after three days, something truly smells rotten when Jade Blackwell's old colleague shows up for a visit with not only a second person in tow, but also a demon cat who hates Jade on sight. Oh- and sets up to do business, psychic business, taking over Jade's house, with only the excuse of "did I forget to mention that?" Gwendolyn Hexby seems very forgetful these days and not at all like the old friend Jade remembers. She does, however, seem to be well connected with the spirit world. 
The spirits are talking without giving clear and reliable information. So it is up to Jade to investigate a prophesied death and make sense of the confusing circumstantial evidence that points to her old friend and is keeping Jade an uneasy hostess, feeling a bit captive in her own home. 
I enjoyed the characters and situations and the uncertainty about what was to come next.
Jade's relationships with her friends, including some both in law enforcement and legal careers, made for interesting dynamics. She tries so hard to be a good hostesss even when no one seems appreciative or even cooperative. How much will Jade put up with before she can take no more? Especially when her own beloved cats are endangered. That would have been the line for me. 
Sometimes we don't clearly see what is happening right in front of our own eyes when we try to be the sort of person we wish we were. Most times it is best to be true to yourself.

I accepted this book to review. The opinions are 100% my own.

To win your own  digital copy of MURDER OVER MEDIUM comment  about your own psychic experience, or tell us if you've ever had guests who would not leave. Have you had your tarot cards read or attended a seance? Do you consider yourself intuitive or open to messages from beyond?  Are you a total sceptic?  Any relevant comment  enters you.
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Gilian Baker is a former English professor who has gone on to forge a life outside of academia by adding blogger, ghostwriter and cozy mystery author to her C.V. She currently uses her geeky superpowers only for good to entertain murder mystery readers the world over. When she’s not plotting murder for her Jade Blackwell cozy mystery series, you can find her puttering in her vegetable garden, knitting in front of the fire, snuggling with her husband watching British TV or discussing literary theory with her daughter.
Gilian lives in Flagstaff, Arizona with her family and their three pampered felines. In her next life, she fervently hopes to come back as a cat, though she understands that would be going down the karmic ladder.
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Friday, January 19, 2018


Murder of a Good Man (A Piney Woods Mystery) by Teresa Trent

Cozy Mystery 1st in Series Setting - Texas Camel Press (January 15, 2018) 
Paperback: 256 pages ISBN-13: 978-1603816359 
E-Book ASIN: B076XVG8JP 

When Nora Alexander drives into Piney Woods, Texas, to fulfill her dying mother’s last wish, she has no idea what awaits her. First she is run off the road, then the sealed letter she delivers turns out to be a scathing rebuke to the town’s most beloved citizen and favored candidate for Piney Woods Pioneer: Adam Brockwell. Next thing you know, Adam has been murdered in a nasty knife attack. Suspicion instantly falls on Nora, one of the last people to see him alive. After all, everyone in Piney Woods loved him. Or did they? Nora learns that her mother had a complicated past she never shared with her daughter. Told not to leave town by Tuck the flirty sheriff, Nora finds a job with Tuck’s Aunt Marty trying to get the rundown Tunie Hotel back in the black. The old hotel was Piney Woods’ heart and soul in its heyday as an oil boomtown. Now the secrets it harbors may be the key to getting Nora off the hook. She’s going to need to solve the mystery quickly to avoid arrest, or worse: becoming the killer’s next victim.

 Family secrets abound in this small town novel. Nora has one last thing to deal with before her old life comes to its conclusion and she begins again. She has no idea why her mother wants a letter hand delivered. As life takes unexpected turns for Nora and secrets unfold, she repeatedly wonders why her mother could not just have mailed her last letter.
Characters who you want to like while not knowing who you can trust.
Characters who you want to dislike, but you see they have redeeming value.
Not an easy mystery to figure out

Teresa Trent lives in Houston, Texas and is an award-winning mystery writer. She writes the Pecan Bayou Mystery Series, is a regular contributor to the Happy Homicides Anthologies. 
Teresa is happy to add her Henry Park Mystery Series to her publishing credits with Color Me Dead, the first book in the series. 
Teresa has also won awards for her work in short stories where she loves to dabble in tales that are closer to the Twilight Zone than small town cozies. 
When Teresa isn’t writing, she is a full-time caregiver for her son and teaches preschoolers music part-time. Her favorite things include spending time with family and friends, waiting for brownies to come out of the oven, and of course, a good mystery.

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Thursday, January 18, 2018


Survival of the Fritters (A Deputy Donut Mystery) by Ginger Bolton

Cozy Mystery 1st in Series 
Kensington (January 30, 2018) 
Paperback: 256 pages ISBN-13: 978-1496711878 
E-Book ASIN: B071HKMK38

Emily Westhill runs the best donut shop in Fallingbrook, Wisconsin, alongside her retired police chief father-in-law and her tabby Deputy Donut. But after murder claims a favorite customer, Emily can’t rely on a sidekick to solve the crime—or stay alive.
If Emily has learned anything from her past as a 911 operator, it’s to stay calm during stressful situations. But that’s a tall order when one of her regulars, Georgia Treetor, goes missing. Georgia never skips morning cappuccinos with her knitting circle. Her pals fear the worst—especially Lois, a close friend who recently moved to town. As evening creeps in, Emily and the ladies search for Georgia at home. And they find her—murdered among a scattering of stale donuts . . .
Disturbingly, Georgia’s demise coincides with the five-year anniversary of her son’s murder, a case Emily’s late detective husband failed to solve before his own sudden death. With Lois hiding secrets and an innocent man’s life at stake, Emily’s forced to revisit painful memories on her quest for answers. Though someone’s alibi is full of holes, only a sprinkling of clues have been left behind. And if Emily can’t trace them back to a killer in time, her donut shop will end up permanently closed for business . . .

Cops and donuts go together like cozy mysteries attract quirky characters. Ginger Bolton has mixed up a delicious new series for us to enjoy. Set in one of my favorite areas, northern Wisconsin, young widow Emily not only owns a designer coffee and donut shop, she is also friends with several of the town's emergency service providers. Her place is a haven for local knitters to gather and gossip.
When one of her loyal customers becomes a victim Emily can not sit on the sidelines and wait for news of the investigation.
I enjoyed the characters, especially intuitive Deputy Donut. While there wasn't a lot of fast paced action, much intellectual investigating was being bandied about. As we got to know the characters, the closest friends reminisced about their high school days and school girl crushes. There are also various mentions of creative arts. A nice first book setting up the potential for a fun cozy series.

Ginger Bolton writes the Deputy Donut mystery series--cops, crime, coffee, donuts and one curious cat. When Ginger isn't writing or reading, she's crocheting, knitting, sewing, walking her two rescue dogs and generally causing trouble. She’s also fond of donuts, coffee, and cafes were folks gather to enjoy those tasty treats and one another’s company.

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