The Secret of the 14th Room by Rebecca Hemlock

Hi everyone! I am very excited to hand control of the blog over to author Rebecca Hemlock today to talk about her latest release, The Secret of the 14th Room. Enjoy!

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Hello all,

I am thrilled for the opportunity to appear here and share with you my latest book, The Secret of the 14th Room. I thought it would be fun to give you an exclusive insight into my main character, Levi Corbin. So today, I will be during an interview with Levi. Enjoy!

Tell me about your parents.

From what I can remember about them, they were great. My mom loved to cook, and my dad and I used to play with a little race track on the floor. I’ll never forget how scared I was when I went to live with my grandma. I thought I’d never be happy again.

What do you like to do for fun?

I never really did much for fun before. I had no one to do anything with. I was in such a hurry to grow up and be on my own that I forgot to make friends. I worked as hard as I could and saved every penny I could so I could get my own place. Now I love spending time with my best friend Abigail and her family. I know I had my grandma, and nothing could ever replace her in my heart, but the Wilson’s are the closest thing I’ve ever had to a family.

What is your greatest fear?

My greatest fear is letting people down. I strive every day to make sure I don’t let down the people I love most.

I hear you were raised by your grandmother. How well did you two get along?

We got along better than any grandparent and grandson could. She was more of a mom than a grandma. I bet that makes you wonder why I was in such a rush to get out on my own. It’s not as bad as it sounds. She told me stories about how my ancestors were strong and brave people. They went out in the world and became the best they could be. I wanted so badly to do the same and make her proud of me.

If you could go back in time for one day, where would you go?

I would want to go back and hug my grandma one more time and tell her what I’ve figured out about the Granton house.

What is your earliest memory?

I remember a time when I was about four or five. My mom picked me up and hugged me tightly. She used to say that I gave the best hugs. It made me feel really good and special. Then my dad came in and told her that the car broke down. He was really upset about it. My mom handed me over to my dad and told him that one of my hugs would make him feel better. I squeezed him as tight as I could. When I looked at his face, he was smiling too. Five year old me felt like hugging was my superpower.

I know this is a random question, but do you hold the door open for the person behind you, or do you let it go and slam in their face?

I would hold the door opened. I can’t say that’s what I’ve always done, but I like to think of myself as a good person. Although, there was that one time where I slammed the door in my cousin Silas’s face when I was mad at him. But I don’t think it counts. I went into my grandma’s bedroom to get away from him. It was right after her funeral. I wasn’t myself.

What do you feel is your greatest success?

I’m not really sure. I would have to say that it was my work with the Granton house. I have a lot in the works, but I guess I’ll say that I feel that this is going to be my greatest success.

Did you play any sports in high school?

A little basketball. Most of my time was spent fishing with my grandma.

What is your favorite thing to eat?

Lamar’s Burgers. They are the best.

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The Secret of the 14th Room

Do you ever get a feeling that something is following you?

Levi Corbin left home at a young age, running from the demons of his childhood. But when he receives word that his grandmother has died, his world is turned upside down. Levi decides he’d rather face his past than let down the only person who ever loved him.

It isn’t long before Levi discovers that he is not the only heir to his grandmother’s estate. While trying to figure out if he’s ready to let go of the past, Levi finds a deep dark secret that could change his life and the course of history forever. Levi has to find someone to talk to about what he found, and soon gets an eerie feeling that someone is watching him. Someone who is out to get him.

As things go from bad to worse, Levi finds himself intrigued by several people in town. But letting his guard down results in people getting hurt. Levi will have to put his one chance at happiness on the line if he is to discover who is behind all the freak accidents that have been taking place.

About the Author

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Rebecca Hemlock has written stories her entire life. She always knew she wanted to be a writer. That dream became a reality for her in 2016 when she landed her first job writing for her local newspaper. That same year, she was able to publish a children’s book under the pen name R.C. Burch.  With a little help from some wonderful people, Rebecca  was able to move forward in her writing career.

Rebecca published two more children’s books the following year, but children’s fiction was only the beginning. She self-published a novella in 2019, titled Bitter Betrayal, Arctic mysteries,  and completed her first novel in 2020. When she is not writing, Rebecca enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with family.

Aside from being a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she is also a member of Sister in Crime. Rebecca has a degree in English and a certificate in Creative Writing and is also pursuing a degree in Creative Writing.

Visit Rebecca’s website for info on ordering and on her other books.

The Vines by Shelley Nolden – Guest Post and Blog Tour

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SYNOPSIS

In the shadows of New York City’s North Brother Island stand the remains of a shuttered hospital and the haunting memories of quarantines and human experiments. The ruins conceal the scarred and beautiful Cora, imprisoned there by contagions and the doctors who torment her. When Finn, a young urban explorer, arrives on the island and glimpses the enigmatic woman through the foliage, intrigue turns to obsession as he seeks to uncover her past–and his own family’s dark secrets.  Nolden skillfully intertwines North Brother Island’s horrific and elusive history with a captivating tale of love, betrayal, survival, and loss. 

Purchase LinksAmazon | IndieBound

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Guest Post and Giveaway from Avery Daniels – Author of Arrowed

Synopsis:

It all began when a dying man with an arrow in his chest grabs her ankle.

During a heatwave at a Santa Fe resort, Julienne has the resort owner pressuring her to solve the murder. The victim is a high profile businessman who made enemies rather than friends, leaving Julienne with a roster of suspects. She was supposed to be training the staff and spending quality time with Mason rather than investigating a murder. The heat turns up when an old girlfriend of Mason’s checks in and is determined to get back together.

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Two Dames on a Mystery Train – Guest Post and Giveaway from Author Duffy Brown

Hello all! I am delighted to have author Duffy Brown taking over the blog for today. Read on and be sure to leave a comment below for your chance to win a Wedding and Foul Play tote!

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Two Dames on a Mystery Train

Hi, Everyone.

Duffy Brown here. I am a cozy mystery author of the Consignment Shop Mysteries set in Savannah and the Cycle Path Mysteries set on Mackinac Island.

One of the best parts of writing is chatting with readers. Tonya Kappes—and amazing cozy mystery author–and I have taken this to a whole new level. For the last six years Tony and I plus seventy-five of our readers have taken part in a mystery weekend that includes a mystery train.

You’ve seen them advertised as dinner mystery train rides or wine-tasting and murder, or who-dun-it and dinner. Each year we choose a different location. We’ve been to Pennsylvania, New York, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois. This gives Tonya and me a chance to meet with readers from different parts of the country.

Once we did Two Dames on a Mystery Cruise. We boarded an honest-to-goodness paddle-wheeler for a day-long mystery trip. We all took part in discovering the killer. I brought along Sherlock Bear. No weekend is complete without Sherlock.

Some mystery trains have included stops at old cemeteries and night hayrides under a full moon. We did a roaring twenties mystery party of our very own. We took over the hotel lobby, dressed in costume, assumed characters and followed clues to the killer.

We’ve gone on haunted tours. Mixing mystery with a little ghost hunting is always a good idea. A welcome pizza party gives everyone a chance to meet up with old friends and find new ones. A nightcap of wine and dessert is the perfect way to end the day. 

This year’s Two Dames event was headed for Bardstown, Kentucky. Not only did we have the Old Kentucky Mystery Dinner train booked, but there were tours through some of Kentucky’s finest distilleries and My Old Kentucky Home. This included lessons on making fine Southern biscuits. With a little luck, Tonya and I hope to reschedule in 2021.

Tonya and I are best of friends and love nothing more than meeting up with our reader friends. If you get a chance, come play with us at a Two Dames on a Mystery Train weekend. Stay tuned, there is bound to be a Two Dames event in your neck of the woods.

Hugs, Duffy

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Visit Duffy Brown at http://www.duffybrown.com to learn about Wedding Day and Foul Play – the latest book in the Consignment Shop Mystery series.

 

 

Smothered (A Whipped and Sipped Mystery) by G.P. Gottlieb – Guest Post

Hello all! I’m so happy to feature the newest release from author G.P. Gottlieb today. Smothered (A Whipped and Sipped Mystery) is the second book in the Whipped and Sipped Mystery series.

Smothered Book eBook Cover.jpg Synopsis:

When the owner of the business next door is found dead in his Chicago office, Alene Baron is relieved. She’s been suspicious of the food supplements he’s been selling, not to mention the smoothies he’s been hawking, which are much inferior to the ones Alene sells at the Whipped and Sipped Café. Plus, Stanley Huff never cleaned up his garbage in their shared alley. As a shady businessman, Stanley had enemies, but now one of Alene’s favorite employees is a suspect in his murder. And that employee is missing.

Smothered: A Whipped and Sipped Mystery includes 22 of the author’s best, healthy and delicious recipes!

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The Watchman of Rothenburg Dies by Adriana Licio – Guest Post and Giveaway

Synopsis:

A holiday is a time to relax, unwind and see the sights. But for two adventurous sexagenarians, the sights have a tendency to include dead bodies.

Etta and Dora, both newly retired teachers, travel from their home in Southern Italy to a fairy-tale German town for their first home swap holiday, delighted by their neighbours’ warm welcome. But the welcome turns sour when the Night Watchman of Rothenburg is brutally murdered while his tour group takes photographs nearby, a halberd buried in his chest and a peculiar iron mask by his side.

When the murderer claims a second victim and the son of their hospitable neighbours becomes the number-one suspect, Etta’s analytical mind goes to work. Why was a shame mask left at the scene of each murder? Is there a clandestine trade going on behind the scenes of apparently upstanding local businesses? And why does every lead take her back to the sinister Devil’s Ale pub and the terrifying gang who lurk within?

Meanwhile, Dora has a puzzle of her own – how can she persuade Etta that a loveably disobedient Basset Hound called Napoleon is now a permanent part of their lives?

◆◆◆ Pack your bags, jump into the backseat of Etta and Dora’s old Fiat 500, and join them on their travels around Europe. There’ll be mystery, murder and mayhem aplenty wherever they go. ◆◆◆

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Guest Post from C S Alleyne – Author of Belle Vue

Hi everyone. The kids are back in school and fall is just now visible in the distance (it can’t get here fast enough for my taste). To me that means cooler weather, pumpkin everything, and spooky books! I admit I’ve been reading more paranormal and horror than cozy mystery lately. I’m pleased to welcome paranormal mystery author C S Alleyne to the blog. Her novel Belle Vue comes out today and she will be sharing her inspiration for the book. I’ll be finishing it and posting my review soon so keep an eye out for that, and check the author links below for a chance to read an excerpt for yourself. (Just a note to my cozy readers – this novel is a far cry from cozy!)

Belle Vue by C S Alleyne

Inspiration – that feeling of enthusiasm and the source for new and creative ideas can strike an author in the oddest place. For me, it was my occasional journey past a block of luxury apartments which was converted from the original Leavesden Asylum for Idiots and Imbeciles – a name not to be reckoned with now. As I walked past the main building it stirred my interest and I searched for more information about its history. Finding other pictures of evocative old asylums either in ruins or also converted into residential accommodation, I soon had lots of story ideas and started jotting notes for what would become Belle Vue.

I did a lot of research into Victorian asylums which was a real eye-opener. At the turn of the nineteenth century, England and France combined had only a few hundred individuals in asylums, but by 1900 this number had risen to the hundreds of thousands. This epidemic of madness suddenly gripped Europe and the US too. Records of reasons for admission to an asylum make for fascinating reading – and not a little concern that had any one of us been around then we may just have found ourselves in a new – and unwelcome – address!

These entries have been a source of amusement on the net with such things as ‘novel reading’, ‘tobacco and masturbation’, ‘over study’ and ‘sudden loss of several cows’ listed as causes of mental illness requiring asylum incarceration.

Women in particular were at risk – Maureen Dabbagh‘s 2001 book reveals women were admitted for –

“…laziness, egotism, disappointed love, female disease, mental excitement, cold, snuff, greediness, imaginary female trouble, “gathering in the head,” exposure and quackery, jealousy, religion, asthma, masturbation, and bad habits. Spouses used lunacy laws to rid themselves of their partners and in abducting their children.”

And these were not places you would want to go – local magistrate Godfrey Higgins, who investigated York asylum in 1814 found ‘evidence of wrongdoing on a massive scale: maltreatment of the patients extending to rape and murder; forging of records to hide deaths among the inmates; an extraordinarily widespread use of chains and other forms of mechanical restraint; massive embezzlement of funds; and conditions of utter filth and neglect.’ On one visit he forced his way through a hidden door to expose a tiny room crammed with thirteen elderly ladies, practically naked and covered in their own excrement. Higgins ‘became very sick and could no longer remain in the room.  I vomited.’

So amongst all that, I shouldn’t have been surprised to find that a murder had taken place in the Leavesden Aslyum in 1899 albeit by an outsider and reading about it gave me another idea. Mary Ansell was found guilty of poisoning her sister Caroline who was an inmate in the asylum. She was hanged at St. Alban’s Jail (though in this case there was considerable public pressure for a reprieve as she too was believed to lack ‘mental capacity’). But Mary had taken out an insurance policy on her sister’s life…

As I was mulling over other possible plot lines, my ears pricked up (and sure I would not be alone in this lol!) at the mention of satanic orgies. I heard about the Hellfire Caves in West Wycombe where such practices had taken place and duly paid a visit. The caves, excavated between 1748 and 1752 for Sir Francis Dashwood, were used as a meeting place for his notorious Hellfire Club.

Members included various politically and socially important 18th century figures such as William Hogarth, John Wilkes, Thomas Potter and John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. Though not believed to have been a member, Benjamin Franklin was a close friend of Dashwood who visited the caves on more than one occasion.

img1  Underground Statue at the Hellfire Caves (Scott Wylie)

According to Horace Walpole, the members’ “practice was rigorously pagan: Bacchus and Venus were the deities to whom they almost publicly sacrificed; and the nymphs and the hogsheads that were laid in against the festivals of this new church, sufficiently informed the neighbourhood of the complexion of those hermits.” Dashwood’s garden at West Wycombe contained numerous statues and shrines to different gods; Daphne and Flora, Priapus and the previously mentioned Venus and Dionysus.

Many rumours of black magic, satanic rituals and orgies were in circulation during the life of the club. Club meetings often included mock rituals, pornographic materials, much drinking, wenching and banqueting. The early 1760s saw the downfall of Dashwood’s exclusive club but its tantalising premise caught my imagination and I decided to incorporate a secret society, orgies and all, into Belle Vue.

So that was my inspiration for the Mephisto Club…

Writers are often advised ‘write what you know’ but given Belle Vue is about murder, satanic orgies and mistreatment in Victorian lunatic asylums I am not putting my hand up to any of these and all down to diligent research of subjects that fascinate me lol!

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Not all asylums were as bad as this – Belle Vue simply reflects the conditions of those that were…

About the Author

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C S Alleyne grew up in Australia and originally trained as a hotel manager in the UK. After several postings in the Caribbean she changed tack and completed her MBA followed several years later by a PhD in Information Systems. She is a management consultant and also lectures in several universities. Belle Vue is her debut novel and in December last year, her novelette, POWEЯ, was published.

LINKS

Excerpt – Read the first 2 chapters here – http://csalleyne.com/excerpt-belle-vue/

Website – http://www.csalleyne.com

Blog – http://csalleyne.com/blog/

Goodreads –
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19806081.C_S_Alleyne

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53318594-belle-vue

Twitter – https://twitter.com/csalleyne

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/csalleyne/

Amazon Author Page US: https://www.amazon.com/C.S.-Alleyne/e/B082P1H49C%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

Amazon Author Page UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1646693116/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1

Universal purchase link – BELLE VUE – http://getbook.at/BelleVue

Universal purchase link – POWEЯ – http://getbook.at/CSPower

Upcoming Release and a Free Short Story from Author Roy Huff

Author Roy Huff has a new release, Seven Rules of Time Travel, coming in July. Read on for more details and deals (including an upcoming FREE ebook) on some of his previous work. Check out the short story “Sand Dunes of Time” below, and feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments. Thank you Roy for sharing with us!

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Synopsis:
Quinn Black is an ordinary New York salesman about to be thrust into the greatest race in human history. After a shocking turn of events, he discovers his current troubles were just the beginning. After numerous failed attempts to rewrite the recent past, Quinn learns the rules of time travel are not what he imagined. After a tragic loss, he enlists the help of an old friend. Together, they rush to fix the unfixable and invent the impossible. As their plight worsens, Quinn discovers all is not what it seems. And his actions could either save the human race or result in its ultimate destruction. Only time will tell if he succeeds. Seven Rules of Time Travel is a fast-paced science fiction thriller. One packed with a roller-coaster of twists and turns, moral challenges, and tempting opportunities that readers will be reliving years after they finish the final page.
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EvervilleTheFallOfBrackenbone
Synopsis:
Two very different worlds, Easton Falls University and the magical realm of Everville are in dire need of a hero. Owen Sage embarks on an epic journey of monumental proportions to save these worlds all while fighting to keep the world within himself intact. This quest is not for the faint of heart nor is it for the weak of mind—only the bravest will succeed. Discovering the well-kept secret of The Fourth Pillar of Truth is only part of the feat. Owen will have to outwit the ever-powerful villain Governor Jahal and overcome countless other challenges along the way. Amongst all of the dragons, giants and grand chaos, will Owen’s acquired skills and wisdom be enough to save both worlds or will peril be the ultimate fate of all?

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Through the Nethergate by Roberta Eaton Cheadle – Guest Post & Giveaway

Synopsis:

Margaret, a girl born with second sight, has the unique ability to bring ghosts trapped between Heaven and Hell back to life. When her parents die suddenly, she goes to live with her beloved grandfather, but the cellar of her grandfather’s ancient inn is haunted by an evil spirit of its own.

In the town of Bungay, a black dog wanders the streets, enslaving the ghosts of those who have died unnatural deaths. When Margaret arrives, these phantoms congregate at the inn, hoping she can free them from the clutches of Hugh Bigod, the 12th century ghost who has drawn them away from Heaven’s White Light in his canine guise.

With the help of her grandfather and the spirits she has befriended, Margaret sets out to defeat Hugh Bigod, only to discover he wants to use her for his own ends – to take over Hell itself.

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Close Encounters of the Curd Kind by Kirsten Weiss – Guest Post and Giveaway

 


Synopsis: 

The truth is out there…

Way out there.

Susan Witsend, owner of the best little UFO-themed B&B in the Sierras, is absolutely, positively, not going to get involved in another murder case. Not with her small-town sheriff threatening jail time if she interferes in one more investigation.

So when her neighbor is murdered, Susan exerts all her willpower to stay out of the sheriff’s business. But her neighbor’s daughter, Clare, needs Susan’s help. Clare’s been experiencing lost time, a sure sign of alien abduction. Helping Clare is only neighborly… and totally not interfering. Right?

Worse, Clare’s not the only one with UFO issues. Weird lights in the sky, vanishing cows, and little green men are bringing the mountain town of Doyle to the edge of a panic. Can Susan unearth the truth before her town spirals into chaos?

If you like laugh-out-loud mysteries with complicated heroines (and breakfast recipes), you’ll love Close Encounters of the Curd Kind, book 3 in the Wits’ End series of cozy mystery novels. Read this twisty cozy caper today!

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