Mystery – Dam Witherston

Dam WitherstonDam Witherston
By Betty Jean Craige
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Published: January 2017
ISBN: 978-1626945982
ASIN: B01MUANTF4
Pages: 292
Genre: Mystery

DAM WITHERSTON is a cozy murder mystery, the third in a series set in the fictive town of Witherston in the north Georgia mountains where Cherokees lived for a thousand years. This tale of blackmail and murder in the present involves interracial rape and pregnancy in the past, in 1977 and in 1828, when intercourse between Cherokees and whites was considered an abomination in the racist South.

The story takes place in March of 2017, when Mayor Rich Rather and attorney Grant Griggs receive blackmail messages from a “Donna Dam,” whose name they don’t recognize. Donna Dam threatens to expose their shameful activities of forty years ago if the two men do not take a paternity test and if Mayor Rather does not withdraw his proposal to build a dam. The dam would create a lake on top of sacred Cherokee burial ground. Donna Dam demands $9,900 in cash to keep their secret. The editor of the local online newspaper Witherston on the Web, who publishes Donna Dam’s letter to the editor, reports that forty years ago the Kelly Barnes Dam broke in Toccoa, Georgia, leaving thirty-nine people dead and many more homeless. What is the connection?

The teen-age twins Jaime and Jorge Arroyo, who helped solve the mysteries of Downstream and Fairfield’s Auction, have just discovered an ancient Cherokee burial site when they hear an explosion upstream. The twin’s mother, Detective Mev Arroyo, investigates the fire at the fishing shed, where Rather and Griggs had left their blackmail money, and discovers a body. DNA links the deceased to the twins’ friend Eric.

As in the earlier Witherston murder mysteries Mev is aided in her sleuthing by Jaime and Jorge, her husband Paco, and her aunt Lottie, who help her learn the truth of what happened in 2017 and in 1977 and 1828. DNA ancestry tests reveal kinship between the Cherokees and the present inhabitants of the north Georgia town that no one would have predicted and some would not have disclosed.

The reader participates in the detection by getting information from many different sources: the characters’ dialogue, email, text messages, deeds, and Witherston on the Web, which carries news reports, weather forecasts, announcements, obituaries, Jorge’s column about nature, Jorge’s cartoon, and Lottie’s column about Witherston’s history.

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Dam Witherston Author Betty Jean CraigeAbout the Author:
Dr. Betty Jean Craige is University Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature at the University of Georgia. She has lived in Athens, Georgia, since 1973.

Betty Jean is a teacher, scholar, translator, humorist, and writer. After retiring in 2011, she published a column about animal behavior in the local paper titled “Cosmo Talks” and began writing fiction. Her Witherston Murder Mystery series, set in north Georgia, includes DOWNSTREAM, FAIRFIELD’S AUCTION, and DAM WITHERSTON.

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Romantic Women’s Fiction – The Lindsey Lark Series

Wanted An Honest ManWanted: An Honest Man
The Lindsey Lark Series, Book One
By Cricket Rohman
Published: May 2016
ISBN: 978-0989697163
ASIN: B01FG5R2P4
Page: 344
Genre: Romantic Mystery, Women’s Romantic Fiction

With a little mystery and a little romance, WANTED: AN HONEST MAN captures the bittersweet growth of a young woman trying to make sense of her turbulent life.

Lindsey, a beautiful, talented teacher is a fighter and a positive thinker, but after the man of her dreams betrays her, then steals her beloved dog, she struggles. Strange, threatening phone calls begin to haunt her. A stalker, perhaps? Though she doesn’t want to be alone, she isn’t ready to go looking for new love, but men find her anyway.

A handsome college student involved in some tricky human research gets into trouble in more ways than one. His inherent propensity to play detective, though helpful at times, seems to attract Murphy and his darned Law far too often … and now his eyes are on Lindsey. Will his heart follow?

Praise for Wanted: An Honest Man:
“Charming … unexpected … emotionally charged!” – Amylynn Bright, author of Finish What We Started

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Letters, Lovers, & LiesLetters, Lovers, & Lies
The Lindsey Lark Series, Book Two
By Cricket Rohman
Published: May 2016
ISBN: 978-0989697156
ASIN: B01FIE9BZC
Pages: 310
Genre: Romantic Mystery, Women’s Romantic Fiction

Mysterious, romantic, and sprinkled with a few heartwarming students and a delightful dog, LETTERS, LOVERS, & LIES captures the importance of persistence and the power of love.

Jake and Lindsey are in love, but so much stands in their way. Letters from a dead man. Unwanted advances from a transgender acquaintance. Separation and jealousy. A few things in the couple’s favor? They are smart, multi-talented, and they love to laugh.

Lindsey Lark, keynote speaker, goes on tour while her boyfriend, Jake, writes a detective novel. Sounds simple enough, but a mystery soon dominates their lives when bizarre notices of her ex-husband’s funeral arrive. Foul play is suspected and murder is on someone’s mind.

Lad, a retired Secret Service agent, is Lindsey’s right-hand man for the duration of the tour. He’s handsome, he’s a man of few words, and, as the list of threats lengthens, he takes on the role of bodyguard, much to Jake’s dismay.

Praise for Letters, Lovers, and Lies:
“Cozy mystery lovers and romantic drama buffs will enjoy the twists and turns as Jake and Lindsey rush to solve their personal whodunit before it’s too late.” – John Reinhard Dizon, author of TheNightcrawler Series

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Hit the Road, JakeHit the Road, Jake!
The Lindsey Lark Series, Book Three
By Cricket Rohman
Published: May 2016
ISBN: 978-0989697170
ASIN: B01FKK8024
Pages: 350
Genre: Romantic Mystery, Women’s Romantic Fiction

Thrilling, romantic, and sprinkled with humor, HIT THE ROAD, JAKE! reinvents the ‘buddy movie’ concept with the written word … and a pretty woman.

Jake and Lindsey were good at tracking down offenders responsible for petty theft and blackmail, but when new mysteries turned personal—slashed tires, spattered blood, steamy love letters, a stolen pet, everything changed. Who was this enemy that secretly harassed them from town to town? Jake called in some favors and managed to finagle the DNA testing of several blood samples. The results were shocking, and the dangers they faced became deadly.

Practically newlyweds, the couple thought they’d created the perfect win-win plan. While traveling between Tucson and Estes Park in their RV, Jake would solve embarrassing mysteries that schools wished to keep under wraps, and Lindsey, being the ‘cover’ for their presence, would conduct workshops for teachers. Then all hell broke loose.

Praise for Hit the Road, Jake!:
“Cricket Rohman really nails it! She gives her readers a ton of depth in both the story line and character development. A great, fun read!” – Lala Corriere, author of Bye Bye Bones: A Cassidy Clark Novel

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About the Author:
The Lindsey Lark Series Author - Cricket RohmanCricket Rohman grew up in Estes Park, Colorado, and spent her formative years among deer, bobcats, coyotes and beautiful blue columbine. Today she is a full-time author writing about the great outdoors, teachers, dogs, love, laughter, and life’s little mysteries—think romantic suspense.

Prior to writing, Cricket’s career path included the following adventures: actor, singer, audio/video producer, classroom teacher, school principal, and U of A, College of Education assistant professor. All of the above led the way to her first three novels, WANTED: AN HONEST MAN … LETTERS, LOVERS, & LIES … and HIT THE ROAD, JAKE!

All three books are works of fiction. REALLY! (Well, except the part about the dog; she really had a dog like Wendell, the mastiff, who appears in every book.)

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Mystery – Scared Witchless

Scared WitchlessScared Witchless
By Amy Boyles
Publisher: ladybugbooks
Published: June 2016
ASIN: B01G0JZV9E
Pages: 229
Genr: Mystery, Cozy Mystery

A witch. A murder. A wedding dress?

Dylan Apel is having one heck of a summer. She knows her hand-made clothing is special, but magical? Discovering that she’s a witch is bad enough, but when Dylan realizes there are folks who’ll kill to possess her witchy powers— that’s enough to make a girl want to hide out in the back of her boutique. Only problem is, Queen Witch is in town, itchin’ to make sure Dylan learns to cast spells, and this witch won’t take no for an answer.

Dylan must learn fast—someone just killed her best client with a poisoned gown meant for Dylan. Was it the tall, mysterious hottie in black, who’s suddenly everywhere she goes? After all, the first thing Roman Bane says is he doesn’t like witches. Is he here to save her, or kill her?

Dylan is barely getting a handle on her new powers when she finds herself surrounded by witches bossing her this way and that, local police nosing about, and wary clients—death by clothing is not good for business. And the solstice is coming … a time when witch powers are at their peak. Can Dylan survive the chaos long enough to figure out her new life?

scared withless author Amy BoylesAbout the Author:
After living in Chicago, Louisville and New York, Amy Boyles finally settled in North Alabama with her husband.

Along with writing, she has a passion for cooking ridiculously fattening food and complaining about weight gain. She loves to connect with readers.

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Cozy Murder Mystery – Fairfield’s Auction

Fairfield's AuctionFairfield’s Auction
A Witherston Murder Mystery
By Betty Jean Craige
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Published: February 2016
ISBN: 978-1626944091
ASIN: B01AXN3546
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Cozy Murder Mystery

On a cold winter evening in the small mountain town of Witherston, Georgia, antique dealer Hempton Fairfield auctions off rare Cherokee artifacts, Appalachian antiques, and a young African Grey parrot. Late that night a blizzard stops traffic for a three-mile stretch of the Witherston Highway, prohibiting anyone’s arrival or departure. The next morning two bodies are discovered in the snow, and the parrot is missing. What happened? How did the chickens escape from the eighteen-wheeler chicken truck stranded on the highway? Who rightfully owns the remnants of the thousand-year-old Cherokee civilization?

Teenage twins Jaime and Jorge Arroyo, with the help of their mother Detective Mev Arroyo, solve the murder mystery.

Fairfield’s Auction is Betty Jean Craige’s second Witherston murder mystery published by Black Opal Books. Her first, Downstream, appeared in 2014.

Other books we’ve promoted in the Witherston Murdery Mystery Series:

DownstreamDownstream
A Witherston Murder Mystery
By Betty Jean Craige
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Published: November 2014
ISBN: 978-1626942011
ASIN: B00OSXPV4A
Pages: 298
Genre: Murder Mystery

Downstream is a murder mystery set in a fictive town of 4,000 called Witherston on land once occupied by the Cherokee Indians in north Georgia. The novel is funny, but its message about the effect of pharmaceutical pollutants on the environment is serious.

Francis Hearty Withers, local billionaire in the north Georgia town of Witherston, whose great-great grandfather Hearty Francis Withers made his fortune in the Dahlonega Gold Rush of 1828, has his 100th birthday party in front of the Witherston Baptist Church on May 23, 2015. He credits his longevity to the anti-aging drug Senextra developed by the pharmaceutical company BioSenecta of which he is majority shareholder. He and the residents of Withers Village, all men above the age of 90, have taken Senextra for four years as part of a pilot study conducted by BioSenecta. Withers announces that he has just signed and filed his only will. In it he provides $1 billion to be divided up equally among the 4,000 residents of Witherston a year from his death, $1 billion to be given to the municipality of Witherston at the same time, and the remainder of his estate to be given to BioSenecta on condition that BioSenecta build a Senextra factory in Witherston. Withers also tells of his plans to log an old-growth forest to make way for the Senextra factory on his property. When protesters against BioSenecta Pharmaceuticals insult him, Withers declares he will change his will. He dies on that Memorial Day weekend before he gets to his lawyer. Who killed him and why?

One of the characters says, “Senextra symbolizes Western society’s ambition to control the forces of nature.” Witherston becomes divided between those who support this mission, who embrace Senextra, and those who do not, who protest the use and manufacture of Senextra for its effects on both the human body and the entire ecosystem. The environmentalists also vehemently protest the clear-cutting of Withers’s land.

Senextra, which gets into Founding Father’s Creek upstream from Witherston, has some unanticipated side effects. One of them is fertility in menopausal women. Another is sterility and feminization in men and males of other species exposed to the drug. A quick summary of the novel’s theme is “Don’t mess with Mother Nature!” The protagonist is Mev Arroyo, who is a detective in Witherston’s Police Department. But since she must undergo a lumpectomy in the course of the story, her lively and smart fourteen-year-old twin boys, Jaime and Jorge, do much of the investigating.

Dr. George Folsom, a proponent of Senextra and conductor of the pilot study, is the killer. Dr. Neel Kingfisher, a Cherokee relative of Withers and director of Withers Village, is Folsom’s antagonist. His actions save young Jorge from Folsom and expose Senextra’s toxicity to humans and other animals in the environment.

Downstream AuthorAbout the Author:
Dr. Betty Jean Craige is Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature at the University of Georgia. She lives in Athens, Georgia.  Betty Jean is a teacher, scholar, translator, humorist, and novelist. She has published seventeen academic books, plus a book about her African Grey Parrot titled Conversations with Cosmo.

Fairfield’s Auction is the second novel in her Witherston Murder Mystery series published by Black Opal Books. Her first was Downstream.

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Cozy Mystery – Behind the Walls

Behind the WallsBehind the Walls
By Elaine Orr
Publisher: Lifelong Dreams Publishing
ISBN: 978-1493744664 (print)
ISBN: 978-0985115876 (ebook)
Pages: 386
Genre: Cozy Mystery

There’s something hidden behind the walls of the hurricane damaged house Jolie bought in her New Jersey beach town. Something someone seems willing to kill for. After Jolie and Scoobie find a small sack of jewelry as they do a mold attack on her bungalow, Jolie is pursued by a purse thief and a burglar. But the guy she’s most worried about is the one who left an elderly auctioneer dead on her porch swing. In between appraising houses and planning a fundraiser for the food pantry (can you say liquid string contest?), Jolie tries to figure out if there is more stolen bounty around town. Is the feared killer the same person who burned some vacant houses, or the as-yet unmasked Peeping Tom? And are they willing to kill again to get to the hidden riches? Her friends and local police warn her to butt out, but that’s just encouragement for a woman who likes to get to the bottom of things. Jolie wrestles with fear as she tries to get her cat, Jazz, to feel at home in the new house. Maybe an unexpected visitor can be a substitute for Aunt Madge’s golden retrievers.

And then there’s her love life. Jolie also needs to decide if she really wants to get back with her former boyfriend, Ocean Alley Press reporter George Winters. Or are feelings for someone else trying to get her attention?

Behind the Walls AuthorAbout the Author:
Elaine L. Orr is the Amazon bestselling author of “Trouble on the Doorstep” and other books in the Jolie Gentil cozy mystery series, which has eight books and a prequel. She also writes plays and novellas. “Behind the Walls” is a finalist for the 2014 Chanticleer Murder and Mayhem Awards. “Biding Time” was one of five finalists in the National Press Club’s first fiction contest, in 1993. Nonfiction includes “Words to Write By: Getting Your Thoughts on Paper.” She is a regular attendee at conferences such as Muncie’s Midwest Writers Workshop and the Indianapolis Magna Cum Murder, and conducts presentations on electronic publishing and other writing-related topics. A member of Sisters in Crime, Elaine grew up in Maryland and moved to the Midwest in 1994.

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