Thursday, November 30, 2017
Altered to Death
The sixth book in my scrapbooking mystery series was released on Tuesday. I'm amazed at times that I have written, and had published, the sixth book in this series. It seemed not too long ago I was worried about anyone else liking the first book I wrote.
In Altered to Death, instead of planning her wedding, Faith finds herself distracted by the town scrapbook she was commissioned to create. Eden’s oldest mystery, the founding family’s exodus nearly a hundred years ago, remains unsolved. A search through the family’s abandoned mansion leads to the uncovering of bones on that very property. And then ex-boyfriend Steve Davis announces a surprise heir has staked a claim. Now she’s determined to dig up the truth left behind.
Here's an excerpt from Altered to Death:
“Sierra said Edward was working on a genealogy project, and there could be some items that might be good to include in the town’s scrapbook. I was hoping I could help you sort things out.”
Georgia wrung her hands. “Some of Edward’s items disappeared. They’ve been stolen.”
Or misplaced. I wasn’t surprised Georgia couldn’t find something in the house. I peeked in the hallway bath and it was just as cluttered as the living room, foyer, and hall. What Georgia needed was an organizer. Maybe I should mention Georgia’s situation to my grandmothers and see if one of them could help her.
“I bet they’re around here somewhere,” I said. “Would you like me to help you find them?”
She took hold of my hand, dragging me toward the back of the house. “Yes, I want you to find the murderer. I knew you’d take me seriously. I’ve been asking Edward what I should do.”
Asking Edward? Find a killer? I was out of my league in the type of help Georgia required. She was talking to her dead husband. Sierra really should be here. I started dragging my feet—literally— hoping to slow us down to wherever Georgia was taking me. Not that I thought she was going to attack me. Even if that was in her mind, I was a lot stronger than her.
“I meant the missing items. I’m sure they’re in the house. Somewhere,” I said.
“Come. Let me show you what I’ve found.”
“What am I going to look at? Maybe we should call someone else? Hank? Sierra?”
She huffed out a breath, it sounded like a snort from a small dog. The disgust was clear. “They won’t listen to me. All I am is a grieving old lady who is rambling away and losing her senses. They shut me down every time I try to tell them Edward’s death didn’t have to happen.”
“Didn’t have to happen?”
She nodded, her lips pressed in a thin, angry line. “He was killed.”
“He had a heart attack.”
“That’s what the murderer wants us all to think.”
Oh boy. What had Sierra gotten me into? The whole town, including me, knew Edward Brodart had died from a heart attack after having heart problems for the last decade. Over the last year, Edward had been looking sicker and sicker every day.
“I came over because I wanted to interview you for the town’s scrapbook,” I said. “I wanted to make sure Edward and you were included. Your family is as equally important as anyone else’s.”
She halted. I had been watching her carefully, so I stopped my forward movement without knocking into her. Taking tiny steps to the left, Georgia turned until she was staring at me. I fidgeted, unnerved by the intensity in her blue eyes.
“So you know?” She leaned back from me, searching my gaze for some clue or answer.
“That Edward found Esther’s diary.”
Excitement pinged through me. “Esther Everton’s diary?”
“Yes. He found it in an old chest in our attic. A chest that belonged to my great-great-grandmother.” She had an expectant look on her face. “I forgot that I inherited it after my parents died. My boys were young, and I never gave it much thought.”
“How did your great-great-grandmother get a hold of Esther’s diary?”
“I always thought it was for safekeeping. They had been close friends.”
A secret. Esther wanted to keep a secret from her family. I knew all about that. Of course, I never told anyone or wrote it down. But if Esther liked to confide in her diary, she’d have hidden it with someone. “Did you read the diary? Did it say why the Evertons left Eden?”
“No, I think it proved Edward was right.”
“In his research, Edward saw hints that there was a living descendent of the Evertons.”
“A secret baby?” None of the daughters had been married. Being an unwed mother in that time would be a huge stigma to the family. Wait…Esther’s diary was hidden. Esther and her parents must have left to hide her pregnancy from the town. “What happened to the baby?”