Friday, September 14, 2012

For Keeps Virtual Book Tour September 14-16: Interview, Excerpt, and Giveaway

 This weekend I am hosting the For Keeps Virtual Book Tour. For today I have an interview with the author, Aaron Paul Lazar, as well as an excerpt from his latest novel, For Keeps. Tomorrow I plan to post an article Aaron has written titled "Writing the Tough Stuff (or Killing the One You Love)." And, time permitting, I will try to get you a review of the book by Sunday. For now I will just say that it is a pleasant, easy read.

For this weekend only, September 14-16 (as well as October 12-13), Aaron is giving away an unlimited number of free copies of his novel on the Kindle. Yep, a free copy for all! All you have to do is click this link to Amazon.

And now to let you get to know Aaron, who I can say from my email correspondence with him is a very nice guy: Who are some authors you draw inspiration from?

A. These days I am nuts about Michael Prescott’s thrillers. He writes with consummate skill and I love “learning” from him. I’m also a die-hard John D. MacDonald fan, particularly of his Travis McGee series. I’ve been enjoying Warren Adler’s books lately, too. And I find there are so many new Indie authors out there who are just wonderful, like Joan Hall Hovey. It’s a veritable smorgasbord in our new world of instant downloads and free eBooks. I’m loving it! I also have read and loved the following authors: Dick Francis, Clive Cussler, Laurie R. King, Rex Stout, Peter Mayle, Tony Hillerman, Dean Koontz, SW Vaughn, Lesia Valentine, Bob Burdick, Lad Moore, Marta Stephens, and Patricia Fowler.

Q. Where did you get your inspiration to write the Moore Mysteries series?

A. I blame Moore Mysteries on my wife.

I was minding my own business, wrapping up the fifth novel in the LeGarde
Mystery series, when she turned to me and said, “You need to write a book from
the killer’s point of view.”

I laughed out loud. I’d always written in first person, from a man whose character was diametrically opposed to villains. He was a good man, a man I admired and wanted to share with the world. Sure, he had his faults, but how could I switch from that kind of mindset to the inner thoughts of a killer?

Dale reads Stephen King and James Patterson. She loves psychological thrillers and even a little horror. Not like me with my relatively wholesome mysteries that skirt around the gruesome details of murder.

I put aside the thought until shortly thereafter, while rototilling my garden, I unearthed a green marble, a cat’s eye. I held it in my hand and wondered about the little boy or girl who lost it. I imagined how neat it would be to be able to hold the marble tight in my hand and have it whisk me back in time to the boy’s life. I’d be able to see what he saw, walk beside him, and maybe witness some horrible crime. And what if the villain was still alive today? What if he was my next-door neighbor?

That was all it took to dislodge me from the LeGarde Mysteries for a few months. With my wife’s urging, I gave into the desire to create a new world. I didn’t expect it to turn into another series. But it did.

FOR KEEPS is book 3 in the green marble series, otherwise known as Moore Mysteries. And yes, I blame my wife for the whole thing.

Q. Why did you decide to become a writer?

A. It wasn’t until eight members of my family and friends died within five years that the urge to write became overwhelming. When my father died, I lost it. I needed an outlet, and writing provided the kind of solace I couldn’t find elsewhere.

I created the LeGarde Mystery series (the first of my three mystery series) with the founding novel, DOUBLE FORTÉ (2004), a chilling winter mystery set in the Genesee Valley of upstate New York. Like my father, protagonist Gus LeGarde is a classical music professor. Gus, a grandfather, gardener, chef, and nature lover, plays Chopin etudes to feed his soul and thinks of himself as a “Renaissance man caught in the 21st century.”

The creation of the series lent me the comfort I sought, yet in the process, a new passion was unleashed. Now I’m obsessed with this parallel universe. I live, breathe, and dream about my characters, and have written ten LeGarde mysteries in eight years. (UPSTAGED – 2005; TREMOLO: CRY OF THE LOON – 2007 Twilight Times Books; MAZURKA – 2009 Twilight Times Books, FIRESONG – 2011, DON’T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU – 2012; with more to come.)

That was just the beginning. I now have two additional mystery series: Moore Mysteries and Tall Pines Mysteries. So far, sixteen books in all!

Q. When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?

A. I adore spending time with my family – wife, daughters, and grandkids. You can usually find me outside, either in my gardens or on hikes in the beautiful Genesee Valley. I love photography and cooking, as well.

Q. What is your philosophy to writing?

A. One of my favorite sayings that I use when I sign off from my articles or blogs is “remember to take pleasure in the little things, and if you love to write, write like the wind!”

I guess it’s a strange concept, but I have this vision of unleashing swirling gusts of words just like the wind that rattles leaves in trees and blows hats along the sidewalk. Don’t stop to analyze, don’t hesitate, don’t edit yourself to death. There’s plenty of time for that later. Just let it all out in one big gushing explosion of words, and keep going until you reach the last chapter. The editing comes later. ;o)

Q. What is some advice you’d like to share with new writers?

A. I’m going to give you the essence of one of my chapters in WRITE LIKE THE WIND, a new writing advice guide I’ve just released through Twilight Times Books. I spent years learning all this stuff, and am very happy to share it:

I collect little buds of knowledge through my association with other writers, continued voracious reading, and through the process of relentless writing.    

Following are ten suggestions that can help a young writer tone up his or her skills.   

1) Just write. To start, write for a few minutes every day. If your passion is like mine, you’ll find you can’t stop. You’ll make it happen. I schedule very early mornings for writing, from 4:00 to 6:00 AM. It’s the only quiet time in my hectic life and I couldn’t accept spending less time with my wife, daughters, or grandsons. So, I go to bed early and forget about TV. What’s more important? In doing so, I’ve produced sixteen novels in a bit over ten years. See? It works!

2) Cut out the flowery stuff. I adore adjectives and adverbs, and I ache to describe scenes in lush detail. But in the end, I have to hack away all the excess. If you read a line out loud and it feels stilted—stop! Take out all the extra words that slow you down, and just tell the story. Use descriptive words sparingly. I’ve found that over time, my style has become simpler and more streamlined. I’m going back now and red-lining much of the early work before it reaches the bookstores. It hurts like hell to do it, but it’s absolutely necessary. 

3) Observe, observe, observe! Soak in every tiny detail that surrounds you. Colors, textures, sensations, expressions, birdsongs, sunlight, and the ground you walk on... notice everything, and brand it into your brain for that next chapter you’re going to write.  

4) Listen to the voices. Listen to the grocery clerk, the bank teller, children at play, at the airport, professors, grandparents, and neighbors... listen! You’ll never create natural dialogue without listening closely. 

5) Tap into your emotions. When someone close to you dies, it’s an overwhelming, dreadful experience. But, the same emotions that flatten you at that time will be indispensable when you write about loss. Recreating the deep-seated feelings will make your book come alive and ring true with readers. 

6) Make your characters feel deeply and give them a rich history. This takes time and is particularly important if you’re writing a series. If readers don’t care about the characters, they won’t come back for more. Don’t worry about defining them in detail in the beginning—just start writing and they will develop. You can always go back and add more detail that supports your character’s growth. 

7) Perfection comes later. When you first start writing, don’t let yourself become paralyzed by self-editing. Just let the story out. This is what I mean by “write like the wind.” The creative process can be stifled by too much early analysis. There’s plenty of time for that later. When you’re ready to go back to it for editing, hack away at the unnecessary prepositional phrases and the ungainly adverbs, extract those awkward scenes that stand out like sore thumbs, and supplement those that seem abrupt. Then, set it aside for a while.

After I’ve completed a novel with at least one round of edits, I put it down and start on the next book. Many months later, I’ll come back to it. It’s best if I don’t remember much (I’m often surprised at how much I’ve forgotten) as that’s when one is in the best position to challenge one’s own work. Sometimes I’ll be surprised at an unusually eloquent passage, or humiliated by a flimsy section through which I obviously rushed. That’s the time to roll up your sleeves and be ruthless. Cut out the excess and fortify the weak! 

8) Find a skillful editor and beta readers. I’ve been lucky. I have writer/reader friends with eagle eyes who will scour my manuscripts and be brutal where necessary. Try to find one person who is willing to follow along with the book as you create it. That’s the best way to start. Share this service. Swap chapters as soon as they’re done. That’s what I do with one of my writer friends who’s a talented writer and a superb editor. She catches things I’d never notice, and I try to do the same for her. We aren’t shy about helping—if a passage sounds stilted, she tells me immediately. If I want to “see” more of the details in a scene, I ask her to elaborate. It works well. Then, when the book is in a reasonable shape, I ask my beta readers to take a look at it, focusing on typos and possible inconsistencies. The finished manuscripts read more smoothly and are of higher quality, and are finally ready for my publisher’s editor to go through. It takes many iterations to flush out all (or most!) of the typos, extra spaces, missing quotation marks, etc. I’m astounded at how well my author’s brain “sees” what I “meant” to type. It takes a legion of other willing volunteers to catch everything. Caution – don’t ever think you’re “done” until your publisher forbids you to tweak it anymore.

9) Maintain the tension. You want your readers to need to read more. Keep up the pace. Make it flow seamlessly from chapter to chapter. And try to avoid unnecessary excursions into boring territory. I like to use plenty of dialogue; it moves the book along quickly. Short chapters also help the reader feel as if he’s made progress. Readers say that with short chapters they’re more apt to think, “Just one more chapter before I go to bed.” Of course, if the tension and suspense are stimulating, your poor readers will stay up way past bedtime.

10) Polish it ’til it shines. When the story’s complete and you’re ready to submit it, don’t send in anything but your very best work, buffed to perfection. You may have to go through it dozens of times, but it’s worth it. Have your friends and family do the same. Each time they scour your manuscript, they’ll find something new. It seems endless. But if you keep at it, you will produce a superior product suitable for submission or publication.

Q. What is your favorite book?

A. To Kill a Mockingbird

Q. Favorite movie?

A. I can’t pick one! Can I cheat and give you my list of favorites? Murdoch Mysteries, Midsomer Murders, To Kill a Mockingbird, Shining Through, Regarding Henry, Sense and Sensibility, Forever Young, The Game, Big, The English Patient, Frequency, Corrina, Corrina, The Family Man, Dragonfly, While You Were Sleeping, The Green Mile, Witness, Peggy Sue Got Married, The Majestic, Nell, As Good As It Gets, The Birdcage, Don Juan de Marco, The Station Agent, The Human Stain, Remains of the Day, Pride & Prejudice, Under the Tuscan Sun, The American President, Fried Green Tomatoes, Bridges of Madison County, Sound of Music, The Secret Life of Bees

Q. Favorite band?

A. I have always loved the bands of my youth – The Beatles, Stones, Led Zep, Jeff Beck and others of that era. But I also love Ella Fitzgerald, Chopin, and Puccini. ;o)

Q. Do you have any upcoming projects you’d like to share?

A.  Yes! My publisher is in the process of releasing a three volume set of writing guides based on my seven years of blogging about writing. The series is called WRITE LIKE THE WIND and is available in eBook format on Kindle.

Thanks so much for having me today, it’s been an honor!

If anyone would like to ask questions about the books, feel free to email me at aaron dot lazar at yahoo dot com.

You can also find my complete list of books, websites, awards, etc, here:

Twilight Times Books by Kindle bestselling author, Aaron Lazar:

DOUBLE FORTÉ (2012, author’s preferred edition)  
UPSTAGED (coming 2012 author’s preferred edition, eBook and print)  

FOR KEEPS (JULY 2012, AUDIO BOOK coming 2012)

FOR THE BIRDS (2011, AUDIO BOOK, coming 2012)
SANCTUARY (coming, 2013)


WRITE LIKE THE WIND, volumes 1, 2, 3 (AUG 2012)

Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. An award-winning, bestselling Kindle author of three addictive mystery series, Aaron enjoys the Genesee Valley countryside in upstate New York, where his characters embrace life, play with their dogs and grandkids, grow sumptuous gardens, and chase bad guys. Visit his website at and watch for his upcoming Twilight Times Books releases, DON’T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU (2012), WRITE LIKE THE WIND (2012), the author’s preferred edition of UPSTAGED (2012) and SANCTUARY (2013).

WINNER 2011 EPIC Book Awards, BEST Paranormal * FINALIST 2011 FOREWORD BOOK AWARDS * WINNER 2011 Eric Hoffer BEST Book, COMMERCIAL FICTION * 2X FINALIST Global eBook Awards 2011 * Preditors & Editors Readers Choice Award – 2nd place 2011* Winner of Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s 9th Annual Noble (Not Nobel!) Prize for Literature 2011 * Finalist Allbooks Editor’s Choice Awards 2011 * Preditors&Editors Top 10 Finalist  * Yolanda Renée's Top Ten Books 2008  * MYSHELF Top Ten Reads 2008  * Writer’s Digest Top 101 Website Award 2009-2012

 Now to whet your appetite for Aaron's novel, I present you the first two chapters (and I apologize for the inconsistencies in paragraphing - this did not copy/paste very well from Word). Enjoy!

Chapter One
 “Murdered?” Sam juggled four pots of yellow daylilies in his arms, squeezing the cell phone between his shoulder and ear. “Where? And why in world do you need me?”
Lou sighed. “I told you. The Twin Sisters Inn. And I can’t say over the phone, I just need your…expertise.”
My expertise? Sam had practiced family medicine in East Goodland, New York for over thirty years, but couldn’t imagine how treating runny noses and chicken pox qualified him to help with a murder. And why was Lou being so damned secretive about the whole thing?
“Hold on a sec, Lou.” He dropped the flowerpots on the counter and barely caught them before they toppled. Flashing the clerk an apologetic smile, he swept the spilled dirt into a pile and mumbled into the phone. “I’m at Palmiter’s. Just checking out.”
Lou groaned. “Why am I not surprised? Since you retired, that’s all you’ve done. Flowers and more flowers. Holy Mother Mary. Don’t you get sick of it? Or are you trying to get your place on the Home and Garden network?”
Sam slid the plants toward the clerk. “You’re just jealous.”
“Damn right I am. I can’t retire for another coupla years. Remember, I was two years behind you in med school.”
“Just because I’m retired doesn’t mean I’ve lost my marbles. Of course I remember.” Sam thought back to the coroner when she was a student at the University of Rochester. Short strawberry blond hair, willowy figure, high cheekbones, and a ready smile. Aside from her gray hair, Louise Reardon hadn’t changed much after forty years and five kids. Except she was a hell of a lot pushier.
The freckled teen behind the counter looked bored. “That’ll be fourteen ninety-two.”
Sam dug out fifteen bucks and paid her. “Thanks. Keep the change.”
She raised her eyebrows as if she couldn’t believe he’d actually try to tip her with eight lousy cents. “Gee. Thanks, mister.”
He shrugged, loaded his plants into a green wagon, and pulled it toward the Highlander. He’d bought enough plants here to put all their kids through college. Anyway, who tipped sales clerks? “Lou? You still there? I’m almost at the car.”
“I’m here.” She let loose another frustrated sigh. “How long ‘til you get here?”
Sam loaded his plants in the back, got in, and turned the key. The SUV purred to life. “Not long. I’m putting you on speaker. Just a sec.” He slid the phone into his breast pocket and backed out of the parking spot. None of those new-fangled blue tooth gadgets for him. It was hard enough to keep up with cell phones, laptops, iPods, and every new device that came out each year. “On my way.”
“Geez. Finally. Watch out for the news vultures when you get here, though. They’re everywhere.”
“Will do. Be there in a few.”
He hung up and pushed his silver forelock back from his forehead. Shouldering his way through a pack of hungry journalists to view a dead body had not been in today’s plans. Today was supposed to be devoted to gardening, to feeding his insatiable need to dig in rich loam while the sun warmed his back. If Lou weren’t such a good friend, he’d have blown her off.
Turning south on Route 39, he imagined the ribbing he’d get if she knew about his aversion to cadavers. A doctor? Afraid of bodies?
He’d dealt with dead people before, but not a great deal. Med school, of course. He’d barfed his way through that ordeal. And when Mrs. Tupple had died in her bed ten years ago, he’d gone to the house at Mr. Tupple’s request. Reluctantly. But he’d gone. The most recent experience had been last fall, at his brother’s funeral.
Well, it hadn’t really been a body…it was Billy’s bones, bones pinned underwater for fifty years. Submerged with heavy stones deposited by Sam’s three best friends. Billy’s disappearance had remained a mystery, until it was finally revealed last year. When things happened. Things he couldn’t explain to anyone, except Rachel. He couldn’t even tell her the whole story. But Billy connecting with him from beyond and helped him get to the truth.
A familiar sadness took hold, and as if in response, Billy’s green marble hummed and warmed in his pocket. His brother’s face floated across his mind’s eye. Freckles. Clear hazel eyes. Sandy hair. Impish smile.
Billy wanted to talk.
Not now. I can’t. Later, buddy. He thought the words in his head, knowing Billy could hear him if he said them out loud or imagined them.
Sam turned left at the Mobil Station on the corner of Main Street and Route 20A and headed for the historic brick building housing The Twin Sisters Inn. Willing the marble to be quiet, he forced himself to think of what lay ahead.
A murder victim? Why the heck did Lou need his help? It didn’t make any sense, but in spite of his reservations, a trickle of excitement ran down his spine.
News vans and squad cars jammed the lot. He parked on the side of the road and headed toward the building. The marble pulsed twice, then grew cold.
Was it a warning?
The green glass talisman had linked Sam to Billy since he unearthed it in his garden last year. He’d learned to respect it, and through it, Billy’s interventions had helped with a number of sticky situations. He’d saved the life of his friend, Senator Bruce McDonald, after the sudden collapse of Healey’s Cave. And more important, he’d found his daughter, Beth, after she’d been kidnapped.
He locked his car and headed toward the building, skirting around vehicles and people. He brushed against the back of a policeman when several news reporters pushed past him. The officer swung his head around and stared.
“Er. Sorry.” He smiled at the patrolman and kept going.
If they had any idea. If they knew I talked to Billy, traveled back in time with him… A lace dragged from his shoe, threatening to trip him. He stopped to tie it. If they knew, they’d put me back in the asylum, just like they did when I was twelve.
A chill stole over him. Memories of the day Billy disappeared assaulted him. Billy, on his brand new bicycle, driving down the road, never to return. Guilt coiled in his stomach. He’d answered a phone call from a damned girl, instead of following his brother on the bike ride like he’d promised. He’d never forgive himself for that.
That moment had been the end of life as he knew it, and the beginning of his tortured life to come. The insane asylum had been the worst, though. He hated to remember the way they talked to him, the stupid pills they’d made him take that doped him up, and the disgusting smell of antiseptic that had followed him everywhere, even seeped onto his pillowcase at night. He shuddered and tried to put it out of his mind. Best to forget it and see what the hell Lou wanted.

Chapter Two

Lou hailed him from the front steps. “Over here, Doctor Moore.”
She said it loud enough to discourage the eager journalists who craned their heads to see if he was anyone they cared about. When they realized he wasn’t a detective, they lost interest and swarmed toward the police chief’s car that just pulled in behind Sam’s SUV.
Lou took his arm and steered him inside. The inn boasted antiques and wide plank floorboards. Inside the door, a pine bench with a stenciled backboard lined the wall; an old-fashioned pie cabinet anchored the opposite wall beside a mahogany sideboard, on which an essential oils diffuser sat, filling the air with the scent of balsam. Sam breathed it in, relieved it wasn’t one of those chemical smelling, fake candles. It bolstered his spirits and reminded him of the deep woods in the Adirondacks. He was damned sure it smelled a hell of a lot better than what he’d find upstairs in the crime scene.
Mary and Alice Peterson, the inn owners and former patients of his, had been encouraging him to investigate the oils for years, and he’d meant to, but had been too swamped with patients to check them out. He’d always regretted that, and had resolved to do some research in his retirement that might help merge traditional approaches with those steeped in Eastern medicine. Time would tell if he could fit it in between the gardening, babysitting, and spending time with Rachel. She needed more care now that her MS had worsened, but he was up to the challenge. It was one of the reasons he’d retired a little early.
 He shuffled after Lou. Tin chandeliers hung over a long trestle table, decorated with dried crabapples and fresh flowers. The twins reportedly served scrumptious breakfasts to guests at that table, and he’d been invited more than a few times to partake of their homemade breads, jams, and other goodies. Again, he’d had to decline his patients’ generous invitations. There just hadn’t been enough hours in the day to socialize and run his practice. But now that he was retired, he wanted to find time for more of that kind of thing.
A policeman sat in the corner, interviewing the hotel owners. Alice’s hands shook when she took a pen from the officer to sign a statement, and her complexion seemed unusually pale. Sam wondered if her blood sugar was low. She’d been his patient forever. He started toward her with concern, but Lou grabbed his sleeve.
“Come on, it’s this way.”
“But Alice—”
“For crying out loud, you’re retired now. She’s not your patient anymore, Sam. It’s not your job. Come on.”
Sam dug in his heels. He shook his arm loose and spun around. “Alice. Are you feeling okay?”
Alice’s face lit up. “Oh, Doc! I’m so glad you’re here. It’s awful. Just awful. A woman was killed in the Maple Nut room!”
Mary put an arm around her sister’s shoulders. “She’s shook up, Doc.”
Sam felt her pulse. “I think she’s more than shook up. Let’s get her some orange juice. She needs something to get her sugar back up.”
“I’m fine, Doc. Just a little light-headed.”
When Mary brought the juice, he sat while she drank it, sputtering the whole time about not needing such a fuss made over her. He waited another ten minutes, making small talk, while Lou fumed. When he was sure she seemed stable, he turned to Lou. “Okay. I’m ready.”
Lou blew up a lock of her gray bangs and made a face. “Geez, Sam. You’ll never be able to leave it alone, will you?”
“It’s not like I died when I retired. Alice has been my patient since I started my practice. I couldn’t just walk past her, for God’s sake. I’m not a monster.” He followed Lou up the stairs to the second floor, ticked off now. Did being a coroner make you callous toward the living? He shook his head, mulling it over while they threaded around police, through a carpeted hallway, and into a room already marked with yellow tape. The room crawled with technicians.
Lou spoke through tight lips. “Just be careful not to touch anything.”
Sam nodded and followed her across the suite, around a coffee table, past a fireplace, and into a bedroom.
“She’s in the bathroom,” Lou said. “You’ll have to stand in the doorway to see. They’re still taking photos of the blood spatter.”
Blood spatter.
Sam’s insides churned. There was a reason he didn’t become an emergency room doctor. And blood spatter had a lot to do with it. He took a deep breath and forced himself to focus.
Inside the black and pink bathroom, a woman lay on her side, facing away. A three-foot long gray braid curled behind her on the floor, fastened at the top and bottom with elastic bands and fake daisies. She had been slim, and wore a silky Japanese dressing gown, covered with pink and black dragons that matched the floor tiles. Three technicians crowded around the body. Camera flashes blinded Sam as he tried to absorb the scene.
Lou whispered in his ear. “She was hit from behind with that phone.”
An old-fashioned beige rotary phone perched on the edge of the tub. Red smudges stained its edges. Blood soiled the back of the woman’s head and neck and splashed about the room on the walls and floor. A particularly large spot smeared the pink shower curtain. He felt sick and hoped he wouldn’t lose it in front of all these professionals.
Lou leaned on his shoulder to look past him at the body. “Looks like it happened last night, sometime between midnight and four. We think she let him in, recognized him, since there was no sign of forced entry. The sisters didn’t see anything. Lights are out at ten, but guests are free to admit family or friends whenever they like.”
One well-toned leg extended back from her body, with toes pointed toward the sink. An anklet glistened in the light of the camera flashes. Four silver stars marched around her slim ankle, separated by black pearls.
A technician lifted the hem of the dead woman’s gown to reveal a vivid pentagram tattoo, circled with black roses. The photographer shot it from all angles.
Sam caught a glimpse of painted pink toenails. One hand, nails unpolished, rested on the cold tile, as if the victim was ready to push herself into a sitting position. A bottle of nail polish had spilled on the floor by the tub.
“She never saw it coming,” Lou said. The skinny, bald technician looked up and nodded as if he agreed, then went back to work dusting the edges of the phone and tub.
“Maybe we should let these gentlemen finish their jobs,” Sam said. He backed up into the bedroom. “And I still don’t get—”
Lou shushed him with steely eyes. “Wait. Just wait a minute, for God’s sake.”
She’d been testy with him since she called, and he was starting to get sick of it. He’d come here to help her. He’d much rather be in his garden, or better yet, having lunch with Rachel.
            In ten minutes, the room cleared. One of the techs nodded to Lou on the way out. “She’s all yours, Doc. Let us know if you need anything.”
            “Thanks.” Lou shot him a grim smile and motioned for Sam to follow her to the nightstand.
            “Look at this.” She flipped through the white pages using the eraser end of a yellow pencil. “There. There it is. The book was opened to this page when they found her.”
            Sam stared at the circled entry. “Are you sure she did this?”
            Lou shook her head. “No. But it’s pretty damned likely.”
            The name and address circled shouted at him. Dr. Samuel J. and Rachel S. Moore. 5125 Maple Beach Road. East Goodland, New York.
            Sam stared at the phone book, then glanced around the room. It was tidy, as if the occupant had just arrived. The suitcase lay unpacked and opened on a stand near the television. “Am I a suspect?”
            “Hell, no. I just want to see if you knew her. I didn’t exactly broadcast the information to the police.” She gestured to the phone book. “I wanted to show you first. I’m not sure if they picked up on it.”
            “Thanks, Lou.” The last thing he needed was to be part of a murder investigation. He thought back to last night. He didn’t even have a good alibi—Rachel had fallen asleep early, and he’d read until he’d drifted off.
He leaned over and looked at the books on the nightstand. Standard fare. The newest Dean Koontz novel and a women’s magazine.
            “According to the detective, the ID she gave at the front desk comes up bogus in the system, and her purse is missing. If she carried one, that is. No wallet, no identifying papers.” Lou’s voice softened. “You ready to see if you recognize her?”
            Sam squared his shoulders and nodded, feeling less confident than he sounded. “Sure. But what makes you think I’ll know her? Maybe she was just looking for a local doctor.”
            They walked toward the bathroom. “Maybe.” Lou led the way. She crouched beside the victim and carefully rolled her onto her back. “But take a look anyway.”

If you like what you've read make sure to visit Amazon for your free copy!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Chris, for having me here today! It's a real honor, and I hope your readers take advantage of the free copies of FOR KEEPS available this weekend on ;o) Happy reading!