Saturday, March 30, 2024

This OR That#Giveaway № 144 ~ Michal's Window by Rachelle Ayala OR For A Dancer by Emma J. Stephens #MichalsWindow #ForADance


I have sooooo many books!

The This or That Giveaway! feature that I post every Saturday is a way for me to cull my collection and to share some of the many books I have. I get to clear off some of my shelves to make room for more books and give someone else the chance to enjoy these treasures.

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!


Michal's Window
by Rachelle Ayala
Paperback ~ Published January 2012

In ancient Israel, where women are property, Princess Michal loves her father's worst enemy, the future King David. She sacrifices everything to save his life, but will her heart survive war and separation?

Michal's story comes to life in this powerful and emotional journey through love and heartache to self-realization. Her intense love for King David coupled with tragic circumstances causes her to do the unthinkable. Too strong for her time, Michal's story resonates with women today.

"So, once I let the modern feminist inside of me relax, I realized how timely her story is, because, sadly, many of the things she has to deal with are things that women still face today."

"As a woman, every emotion I've ever had was weaved in Michal, causing me to cheer for this unsung heroine."


For A Dancer: The Memoir
by Emma J. Stephens
Published ~ August 2011

Brought up in an environment riddled with substance abuse and neglect, Emma has big dreams and little chance of ever reaching them. By the age of fourteen she is on her own, determined to escape the mentality that has crippled her family, but to succeed would mean leaving behind her sister and betraying the only life she’s ever known. 

From the Virginia countryside to the streets of Paris, through teenage motherhood and higher education, share Emma's tears and triumphs as she searches for acceptance in an exclusive world and finds love in the most unlikely of places.

Happy Easter everyone!

Okay, one of these have to go.
Check out the image and leave your answer in the comments. 


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Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Blog Tour! Everyone is Watching by Heather Gudenkauf ~ My Thoughts and an #Excerpt #EveryoneIsWatching @hgudenkauf

Congratulations Heather
on the recent release of
Everyone is Watching!

Everyone is Watching by Heather Gudenkauf
ISBN: 9780778310792
Publication Date: March 26, 2024
Publisher: Park Row

The Best Friend. The Confidant. The Senator. The Boyfriend. The Executive.

Five contestants have been chosen to compete for ten million dollars on the game show One Lucky Winner. The catch? None of them knows what (or who) to expect, and it will be live streamed all over the world. Completely secluded in an estate in Northern California, with strict instructions not to leave the property and zero contact with the outside world, the competitors start to feel a little too isolated.

When long-kept secrets begin to rise to the surface, the contestants realize this is no longer just a reality show—someone is out for blood. And the game can’t end until the world knows who the contestants really are…


My thoughts about Everyone is Watching ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first line.)

First lines—"Prologue: MatthewSwimBikeRun was sitting on the sofa staring at what was unfolding on his laptop. One Lucky Winner, a reality show his coworkers were droning on and on about, was streaming."

Wow! If you like watching reality shows, you are going to love Everyone is Watching. Trust me. Intense, dangerous competitions, ruthless contestants, lots of secrets, and a huge dose of revenge. This was nerve-wracking to read but not enough to keep me from turning the pages as fast as I could. 

How far would the five contestants go as they battle it out for the prize of ten million dollars? Some of the situations they found themselves in were deadly and merciless, but that's lot of money and each of them had a reason for needing the cash. Who will be the last one standing?

I was totally engrossed in this storyline and loved every minute of it. I highly recommend Everyone is Watching. Be prepared for a nail-biting time. 

I received a copy of Everyone is Watching from the publisher and this is my honest opinion.




The Best Friend

Maire Hennessy squinted against the bright October sun as she drove down the quiet Iowa county road. The fields were filled with the stubbled remains of the fall harvest and stripped bare by heavy-billed grackles and beady-eyed blackbirds eating their fill before the cold weather set in. It made her a little sad. Winter would be coming soon, unrelenting and unforgiving.

That morning, she had packed up her girls and Kryngle, their four-year-old Shetland sheepdog, to drop them off at her former mother-in-law’s home. Maire, who hadn’t traveled more than a hundred miles away from Calico since she abruptly dropped out of college over twenty years earlier, was embarking on an adventure that could change the course of their lives forever. Ten-year-old Dani kicked the back of Maire’s seat in time to the throbbing beat coming from her older sister Keely’s ear­buds. Keely, a twelve-year-old carbon copy of Maire, had the hood of her sweatshirt pulled up over her head, her red curls springing out around her sullen face, as she silently pretended to read her book.

Maire tapped her fingers nervously against the steering wheel. “You’re going to be just fine,” she said, turning onto the highway that would take her children to her ex-mother-in-law’s home. Shar was a decent enough person. Except for the fact that she smoked like a chimney and gave birth to a shit of a son, Maire knew she would take good care of the girls while she was away.

“I don’t want to go,” Dani murmured. “I like my own bed. Grandma’s house feels weird.”

Both Dani and Keely dreaded the two weeks that they were going to stay with their grandmother, a bland, unexcitable woman with steel gray hair and stooped shoulders. There would be no movie nights, no special outings, no grand adventures, but they would be well-cared for, safe. And that’s all that Maire wanted.

“I thought you liked Grandma Hennessy,” Maire said. “You’ll make cookies and she’s going to teach you both how to crochet. You’ll have a great time.”

“Why are you going to be gone for so long?” Dani asked, staring at Maire through the rearview mirror, her eyes filled with hurt. A wet cough rumbled through her chest and she buried her mouth in her elbow.

That familiar cloud of worry that materialized every time Dani had a coughing fit settled over Maire.

“It’s only for two weeks and it’s not that I don’t want to see you,” she said. “You know that. I would be with you every single day if I could. It’s kind of a work thing and I can’t pass up the opportunity.”

“You work from home,” Keely said, briefly pulling out an earbud.

Maire didn’t mind lying to Shar but lying to her children was different. She had the chance of a lifetime and in a way, it was work related. Money was involved. Lots of it.

“It’s like a contest,” Maire explained. “And if I win, well, that would be nice. And even if I don’t, a lot of people will learn about my Calico Rose jewelry and might want to sell it.”

“Like Claire’s in the mall?” Dani asked.

“Yes, Claire’s, Target, who knows?” The lies slid so easily off her tongue now. Dani’s kicks to the back of Maire’s seat slowed as she mulled this over.

“I’m sorry,” Maire said. “I know it’s hard.” Her voice broke on the last word. Hard wasn’t anywhere close to how things had been for the last year. Terrifying, humiliating, devastating, soul-crushing were more like it.

Bobby had never been much of a husband or father, but his health insurance had been a lifeline for Dani. When he lost his job at a local grain elevator and then took off with the nine­teen-year-old waitress from the Sunshine Café, gone was the health insurance and any hope of child support. When the first $3,000 notice for Dani’s nebulizer treatments came in, Maire ran to the bathroom and vomited. It was impossible. Too much.

Between the implosion of her marriage, the impact it had on the kids, her bank account that was dangerously low, the unpaid medical bills, the jewelry she made for her Etsy shop, and the search for a job that provided decent health insurance, Maire was exhausted.

Things couldn’t go on this way. “It will get better,” she promised.

Maire glanced over at Keely and caught her accusatory glare. Out of all of them, the divorce hit Keely the hardest. Despite his drawbacks, Keely was a daddy’s girl, and she was suffering in his absence.

The worry never ended. At the top of the list was Dani’s health. Her cystic fibrosis was stable for the moment, but she was fragile. Her last infection required a two-week hospital stay, a PICC line with multiple antibiotic infusions, therapies, and nebulizer treatments. It was so much that Maire had to put together a binder for Shar filled with in-depth directions for Dani’s care, and she hoped she wasn’t making a huge mistake by leaving. A lung infection that may be mild for most children could be deadly for Dani. And poor Keely. Quiet, shy Keely was getting lost in the shuffle, becoming more removed, iso­lated from them. Another thing to worry about.

A month ago, when she got the email about the show, she al­most deleted it. Maire had been online, scanning articles about the newest cystic fibrosis research, when she heard the ping. Grateful for an excuse to tear her eyes away from the words like Fibrinogen-like 2 proteins and cryogenic electron microscopy, she tapped the email icon on her phone.

CONGRATULATIONS—YOU’VE BEEN NOMINATED, the subject line called out to her. She scanned the rest of the email. Trip of a lifetime, groundbreaking new reality show, $10 million. Scam, Maire thought and went back to reading about clinical trials and RNA therapy. But an hour later, she was still thinking about the $10 million. She opened the email again to read it more closely.

Congratulations, you’ve been nominated to take part in the groundbreaking new reality competition show One Lucky Win­ner! Set in the heart of wine country, you, along with the other contestants, will battle for $10 million through a series of chal­lenges that will test you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Competitors will spend fourteen days at the exclusive Diletta Resort and Spa in beautiful Napa Valley. When not competing, spend your time in your lavishly appointed private cottage, swim­ming laps in the 130-foot pool, or head to the spa for our one-of-a-kind vinotherapy-based treatments—massages, wraps, and scrubs made from grapes grown in the La Bella Luce vineyard. As a special treat, each contestant will receive a case of Bella Luce’s world-famous cabernet sauvignon with an exclusively de­signed label just for you!

Maire snorted. It had to be a joke. A rip-off. She closed the email, even sent it to her trash folder, but an hour later, she pulled it up again. Ten million dollars. Maire was one month away from not being able to pay the mortgage on the house, from not being able to make the car payment, from not being able to put money in the kids’ school lunch accounts, from not being able to pay for one dose of Dani’s medication.

She should probably should just sell the house, take the loss, start over, but this was her home, the kids’ home. There was no way she was giving it up without a fight. She didn’t need anywhere near $10 million to save the house, but that is what it was worth to her, and that kind of money would change her life, all their lives.

Who would have nominated her? And how did that actu­ally work? Hey, I know of someone who could use $10 million. The entire thing had to be fake. The email was signed by someone named Fern Espa, whose title read Production Assistant, One Lucky Winner.

Anyone could send an email. Maire trashed the message again.

Then, over the next three days, the car started leaking oil, Kryngle ate a sock and had to have emergency surgery, and Da­ni’s hospital bill came in. Her credit cards were maxed out and she’d given up on any help from her ex. Maire needed money, fast. Burying her humiliation, she called her parents and asked for a loan. It wasn’t nearly enough.

Maire hung up and went to the garage, sitting in her leaky car so that the kids wouldn’t hear her crying.

Maybe this was the email she was waiting for. The sign she needed to finally take control of her life. Maire wasn’t a fool though. She did her due diligence. While sitting in the wait­ing room at the vet’s office, she looked up One Lucky Winner and found a website and an IMDB entry—both short on de­tails—but it clearly was a real show. She searched for the name Fern Espa and found a LinkedIn entry that looked legit. And the Diletta Resort looked amazing.

And now, under the guise of a work trip, here she was, drop­ping her kids off at her mother-in-law’s house for two weeks, hopping on a plane to Napa to take part in some Survivor-type reality show for the off chance she might win $10 million. It was ridiculous, over the top, maybe even irresponsible, but it ignited a spark of hope that she hadn’t felt in a long time.

“You’ll be okay,” Maire said to the kids as she turned onto the cracked concrete of Shar’s street. Shar was waiting for them, standing on her rickety front porch, a cigarette dangling from her knobby fingers. With hail-pocked, dirty white aluminum siding and a crabgrass-choked yard in need of mowing, the home her ex-husband grew up in was grim and depressing. But her mother-in-law was a sweet woman who loved her grand­children. Maire scanned the street. Every house was in the same state of disarray and neglect. A jolt of fear shot through her. If she didn’t turn things around, they would end up living in a place like this, or worse.

Jesus, Maire thought. I’m making a huge mistake. She fought the urge to drive right on by. Instead, she gave the girls her bravest smile. “It’s okay. We’re all going to be okay.”

Ten million dollars would make everything okay.

Excerpted from Everyone Is Watching by Heather Gudenkauf. Copyright © 2024 by Heather Gudenkauf. Published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.


About the author

Heather Gudenkauf is the critically acclaimed author of several novels, including the New York Times bestsellers The Weight of Silence and The Overnight Guest. She lives in Iowa with her husband and children.

Connect with Heather


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Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Release Day! The Trail of Lost Hearts by Tracey Garvis Graves ~ My Thoughts #TheTrailOfLostHearts #TraceyGarvisGraves @stmartinspress

Happy Release Day!

Congratulations Tracey
on the release today of
The Trail of Lost Hearts!

The Trail of Lost Hearts by Tracey Garvis Graves
Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction, 304 pages
Published March 26, 2024 by St. Martin's Press

New York Times bestselling author Tracey Garvis Graves takes readers on a life affirming journey, where two lost souls find the unexpected courage to love again.

Thirty-four-year-old Wren Waters believes that if you pay attention, the universe will send you exactly what you need. But her worldview shatters when the universe delivers two life-altering blows she didn’t see coming, and all she wants to do is put the whole heartbreaking mess behind her. No one is more surprised than Wren when she discovers that geocaching―the outdoor activity of using GPS to look for hidden objects―is the only thing getting her out of bed and out of her head. She decides that a weeklong solo quest geocaching in Oregon is exactly what she needs to take back control of her life.

Enter Marshall Hendricks, a psychologist searching for distraction as he struggles with a life-altering blow of his own. Though Wren initially rebuffs Marshall’s attempt at hiker small talk, she’s beyond grateful when he rescues her from a horrifying encounter farther down the trail. In the interest of safety, Marshall suggests partnering up to look for additional caches. Wren’s no longer quite so trusting of the universe―or men in general―but her inner circle might argue that a smart, charismatic psychologist isn’t the worst thing the universe could place in her path.

What begins as a platonic road trip gradually blossoms into something deeper, and the more Wren learns about Marshall, the more she wants to know. Now all she can do is hope that the universe gets it right this time.


My thoughts about The Trail of Lost Hearts ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first line.)

First lines—"It rains a lot in the Pacific Northwest. It's not like I didn't know this before my plane touched down in Oregon and I walked out of the airport into a steady drizzle."

I've read several of Tracey's books in the past and have enjoyed them all. The Trail of Lost Hearts is a 'not looking for love' kind of love story. As I watched the friendship/not friendship develop between Wren and Marshall, I was hoping they would connect but neither of them were interested. They were each just trying to deal with the trauma of their own lives. But maybe, just maybe, they were just what the other one was looking for. 

The Trail of Lost Hearts captured my heart and emotions from the very start and the characters become people I came to care about. Tracey did a great job with character development and the beautiful settings of the couple's adventure made me want to try geocaching. Well, maybe just a little.

I totally loved The Trail of Lost Hearts and I will remember Wren and Marshall for quite some time. Highly recommend.

I received a copy of The Trail of Lost Hearts from the publisher and this is my honest opinion.


About the author

Tracey Garvis Graves is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction. 

Her debut novel, On the Island, spent 9 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, has been translated into thirty-six languages, and is in development for a feature film. She is also the author of Uncharted, Covet, Every Time I Think of You, Cherish, Heart-Shaped Hack, White-Hot Hack, The Girl He Used to Know, Heard It in a Love Song, and The Trail of Lost Hearts

She is hard at work on her next book.

Connect with Tracey


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Monday, March 25, 2024

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? March 25, 2024 #IMWAYR


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's an opportunity to visit other blogs and to comment on their reads. And ... you can add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are! 


Let's talk about the weather...... again. It's ever changing in South Dakota, that's for sure. Last week we were enjoying sunny skies and temps in the 60s. Today, we are in the middle of a blizzard! They even closed the university. That never happened when I worked there. Winter, you can just go away. I'm ready for some patio time, definitely. What's the weather like where you're at?

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you all have a good week. 
Happy reading!

What I'm currently reading

Molten Death
by Leslie Karst
Print ARC from publisher
Pub date ~ April 2

Next Girl to Die
by Dea Poirier
audio-book from my collection
Published May 2019

What I recently finished

How Lucky You Are
by Kristyn Kusek Lewis
print from my collection for a challenge
Published January 2012

A Heart Like Home
by Christine Nolfi
eARC from author
Pub date ~ April 16

The Liars
Joanne DeMaio
e-book from author
Published March 4, 2024

What I am going to read next

Daughter of a Promise
by Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg
Print from publisher
Pub date ~ April 2

I really love my reading life!

What are you reading this week?


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Saturday, March 23, 2024

This OR That #Giveaway № 143 ~ Cavendon Hall by Barbara Taylor Bradford OR Cartier's Hope by M.J. Rose #CavendonHall #CartiersHope


I have sooooo many books!

The This or That Giveaway! feature that I post every Saturday is a way for me to cull my collection and to share some of the many books I have. I get to clear off some of my shelves to make room for more books and give someone else the chance to enjoy these treasures.

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!


Cavendon Hall
by Barbara Taylor Bradford
Hardcover ~ Published April 2014

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes an epic saga of intrigue and mystique set in Edwardian England. 

Cavendon Hall is home to two families, the aristocratic Inghams and the Swanns who serve them. Charles Ingham, the sixth Earl of Mowbray, lives there with his wife Felicity and their six children. Walter Swann, the premier male of the Swann family, is valet to the earl. His wife Alice, a clever seamstress who is in charge of the countess's wardrobe, also makes clothes for the four daughters. 

For centuries, these two families have lived side-by-side, beneath the backdrop of the imposing Yorkshire manor. Lady Daphne, the most beautiful of the Earl's daughters, is about to be presented at court when a devastating event changes her life and threatens the Ingham name. 

With World War I looming, both families will find themselves tested in ways they never thought possible. Loyalties will be challenged and betrayals will be set into motion. In this time of uncertainty, one thing is sure: these two families will never be the same again.

Cavendon Hall is Barbara Taylor Bradford at her very best, and its sweeping story of secrets, love, honor, and betrayal will have readers riveted up to the very last page.


Cartier's Hope
by M.J. Rose
Hardcover ~ Published January 2020

From the New York Times bestselling author of the “lush, romantic historical mystery” (Kristin Hannah, New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale) Tiffany Blues, a gorgeously wrought novel following an intrepid female journalist in Gilded Age New York as she chases the story of the Hope Diamond.

New York, 1910: A city of magnificent skyscrapers and winding subways, where poor immigrants are crammed into tenements while millionaires thrive in Fifth Avenue mansions. Vera Garland is a thirty-two-year-old journalist, fighting alongside hundreds of women for a place in society, only to meet hurdles around every turn. Most female journalists are delegated to the fashion and lifestyle pages but like her hero, Nellie Bly, Vera is a fighter.

When news of the Hope Diamond—a jewel whose infamous legends and curses have captured the world’s attention—arrives in the city, Vera is fast on its trail. She’s certain the fabulous jewel will help jumpstart her career but she’s determined to seek revenge against her current employer, a magazine owner whose greed and blackmailing schemes led to the death of her beloved father.

Set against the backdrop of New York’s glitter and grit, this enchanting historical novel explores the very human desire for truth, equality, and retribution.



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Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Release Day! Ghost With the Most by Mallory Pierce~ My Thoughts and an Excerpt #GhostWithTheMost @MalloryPAuthor

Happy Release Day!

Congratulations Mallory
on the release today of
Ghost With the Most!

Ghost With the Most by Mallory Pierce
Ghost Mysteries, 342 pages
Published March 20, 2024

Gwen has a new lease on her afterlife, but Nolan's past threatens to ruin everything.

Several months after catching a murderer together, spirited ghost Gwen and moody horror writer Nolan have settled into their unusual living arrangement, and all seems to be going well until...

Karissa Jones, the woman who broke Nolan’s heart, shows up on his and Gwen’s doorstep, and the duo’s friendship is put to the test. Gwen questions the self-absorbed influencer’s motives for wanting to reconnect with Nolan, but he trusts his ex-girlfriend implicitly and won’t hear a word said against her.

When Karissa is discovered with the bloodied corpse of bad boy rocker Scorch, whom she recently dumped and wished dead on social media, she is suspect number one. Nolan wants to clear her name by tracking down the real culprit, but Gwen isn’t convinced of Karissa’s innocence.

Despite being at odds, Nolan and Gwen team up once again to pursue leads and sift through clues. Unfortunately, there’s a long list of people who wanted the mercurial musician dead. Will they be able to crack the case before Karissa is sentenced to life in an orange jumpsuit?

If you enjoy sassy sleuths and supernatural shenanigans, you won’t want to miss Ghost With the Most! It’s similar in tone and content to the works of Paranormal Cozy Mystery authors Angie Fox, Erin Huss, and Annabel Chase. 


My thoughts about Ghost With the Most ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first line.)

First lines—"'No.' A word I'd grown accustomed to hearing from Nolan Drake, the bespectacled and bewhiskered man who owned the Victorian house in the charming town of Woebrook, New York that I'd been inhabiting for almost 133 years."

Oh my gosh, I love this series so much! I love Gwen and Nolan and their quirky, entertaining relationship. Honestly I enjoy their repartee so much that I can't help but smile and chuckle through the whole story. The two of them crack me up! 

Gwen and Nolan always find themselves in the middle of a murder and involve themselves to figure out who the murderer is. And that is when the fun begins. Nolan provides the straight-man, sometimes bumbling, element to this detective duo. Gwen is the smarter, more level headed character, but she sometimes has to rely on Nolan since she is of the spirit world. I love when she feeds ideas and clues to him in order to get him out of sticky situations. 

As the series goes deeper, there will be other characters added, I'm sure, and I so enjoyed the character introduced in this book. I look forward to more interactions between him and Gwen. And let's not forget that Gwen is searching for answers about her own death. I can't wait to see how that plays out.

Book #1, That's the Spirit, was fabulous and so much fun to read. I loved getting to know these two and this was a story unlike any I'd read before—the real world and the spirit world working together to solve a crime. And then the author out does herself with book #2. It was even more fun!

I highly recommend this series! It was a very enjoyable story that I devoured and I look forward to more antics and crime-solving from Gwen and Nolan. Check it out!

I received a copy of Ghost With the Most from the author and this is my honest opinion.

Book #1
Read my thoughts here.



“I don’t like this. She asked you to come here, so why is she leading you on a merry cha—”

A high-pitched scream sliced through the air, and Nolan started violently, making the chocolate he was drinking splash up out of the cup and down onto his sweater. He didn’t seem to notice or care as the cup slipped from his hands and he turned to me with a look of wide-eyed panic.

“That was Karissa! She needs help.”

Frantically, he fought his way out of the crowd of people, who were turning their heads, 
their expressions befuddled as they tried to determine who or what had issued the blood-curdling sound.

“Excuse him,” I said to the individuals Nolan was carelessly trampling. Although they couldn’t hear me, it made me feel better to maintain some sense of decorum. 

Once he was free of the throng, Nolan’s head whipped to the left, then to the right as he tried to figure out which way to go.

I observed that the people who were congregating by the refreshment booths and fire pits looked as confused by the noise as the ones closer to the tent, which told me that Karissa, and the reason for her shriek, were not in their midst. 

“What about those tents over there?” I directed Nolan’s attention to the pair of nondescript, gray structures that could be seen just around the far corner of the exhibition tent and he took off at a run.
I’d caught sight of the twin tents earlier when we’d been in line at the What the Fudge booth. They were approximately half the size of the big, striped tent and their flaps weren’t tied back so their interiors weren’t open to public viewing, which led me to believe they were being used for storage.
Nolan banked hard to his right and almost lost his footing in the snow.

“Be careful!” I cautioned, but he was too focused on getting inside the tents and finding Karissa.

“Check that one!” Nolan waved me off to the first tent while he barreled toward its neighbor. 

“I think I should stay with you,” I said and received no argument.

Pushing his way through the tent flaps that doubled as a door, Nolan called, “Karissa!”

He was stopped short by the sight that greeted him.

“Is that Scorch?” It was a reasonable assumption as I wasn’t aware of anyone else who had flames tattooed on his neck and face. 

I hurried forward to get a closer look at the inked, leather-clad body lying in a supine position on the snow-covered ground while Nolan’s only concern was for the woman who was kneeling next to him, whimpering.

“Karissa.” He moved toward her slowly, holding out his hand. 

Raising her tear-filled eyes to his, she said in a hushed tone, “I think he’s dead.”

“Which is generally what happens when you stab someone in the abdomen with” —I bent down to ascertain what the sharp object protruding from the man’s midsection was— “an ice pick.”

“She didn’t do it,” Nolan hissed at me.

“The blood on her hands and clothing say otherwise.” Karissa had wiped the former on the cropped, white sweater she was wearing beneath a silver, quilted jacket that had a fur-trimmed hood. 

“I would never . . .” Karissa shook her head vehemently. “He was like this when I walked in, I swear. I tried to help. I thought if I could pull out that thing . . .” She flapped a blood-stained hand at the wood-handled, steel tool.

“You touched the murder weapon?” Nolan grimaced, knowing that she would have left her fingerprints all over it.

“Well, yeah.” She sniffled and swiped her hand under her nose, leaving a streak of blood behind. 

“That’s what they’d do on Grey’s Anatomy, right? Remove the foreign object and apply pressure to the wound. It’s really stuck in there though. I couldn’t get it to budge, and there’s soooo much . . . blood.” 

Her voice broke on the last word, and she started sobbing in earnest.


About the author

Mallory Pierce is a third-generation graveyard enthusiast (tombstones tell such interesting stories!), reader of Nancy Drew, player of Clue, devout dissectologist (look it up!), and the owner of several fetching trench coats. So, it makes perfect sense that she spends her days writing stories about a plucky, crime-solving ghost.

Despite having visited haunted houses from San Jose to Savannah, Mallory has yet to have a close encounter with anyone from the Great Beyond and that’s probably for the best because she’s sort of a wimp. Shhhhh, don’t tell anyone. 

Ghost With the Most is the second book in the GhostWriter Mystery Series, which is penned by Mallory Pierce (a pseudonym of award-winning Romantic Comedy author Tracie Banister). 

Connect with Mallory


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