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Little Comfort: A Hester Thursby Mystery by Edwin Hill

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In a brilliantly twisted debut set among Boston’s elite, Edwin Hill introduces unforgettable sleuth Hester Thursby—and a missing persons case that uncovers a trail of vicious murder . . .

Harvard librarian Hester Thursby knows that even in the digital age, people still need help finding things. Using her research skills, Hester runs a side business tracking down the lost. Usually, she’s hired to find long-ago prom dates or to reunite adopted children and birth parents. Her new case is finding the handsome and charismatic Sam Blaine.

Sam has no desire to be found. As a teenager, he fled his small New Hampshire town with his friend, Gabe, after a haunting incident. For a dozen years, Sam and Gabe have traveled the country, reinventing themselves as they move from one mark to another. Sam has learned how trusting wealthy people can be—especially the lonely ones—as he expertly manipulates his way into their lives and homes. In Wendy Richards, the beautiful, fabulously rich daughter of one of Boston’s most influential families, he’s found the perfect way to infiltrate the milieu in which he knows he belongs—a world of Brooks Brothers suits, Nantucket summers, and effortless glamour.

As Hester’s investigation closes in on their brutal truth, the bond between Sam and Gabe is tested and Hester unknowingly jeopardizes her own safety. While Gabe has pinned all his desperate hopes of a normal life on Hester, Sam wants her out of the way for good. And Gabe has always done what Sam asks . . .

Advance Praise For Edwin Hill And Little Comfort

“Fast-paced and riveting . . . takes off from the opening pages and never lets up. Don’t miss this can’t-put-down debut.” –Carla Neggers, New York Times bestselling author

“In his compelling debut, Edwin Hill spins layer upon layer of intrigue as Hester Thursby, in the business of finding people who don’t want to be found, takes on a job that turns out to be far more surprising and dangerous than she bargained for. This smart, complex, and suspenseful New England thriller will keep you turning pages far into the night.” –Jessica Treadway, author of Lacy Eye and How Will I Know You?

“Compellingly plotted and compulsively readable, Little Comfort will leave you a little uncomfortable in the best of ways. Hester Thursby, its powerhouse protagonist, is tough, intriguingly flawed and complex. Edwin Hill’s first effort is certain to be among the year’s best debuts.” –John Keyse-Walker, author of Beach, Breeze, Bloodshed

“A chilling mix of envy, deceit, and murder. Everyone is lying about something in this tense, stylish debut novel. . . . [It] will have you frantically turning pages until the final, breathless climax.” –Joanna Schaffhausen, author of The Vanishing Season

Little Comfort isn’t just the arrival of a fantastic new book, but also marks the emergence of a spectacular writer to watch. This story had me hooked from the first chapter, and my nails bitten to the nub before I was halfway through. Watch out! Little Comfort delivers just what the title promises.” –Bracken MacLeod, author of Stranded and 13 Views of the Suicide Woods

“Spectacular . . . this book is deftly crafted and its terrifying conclusion stayed with me long after I finished reading. Don’t miss this one!” –Maggie Barbieri, author of Once Upon a Lie

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Crochet Blog by Amy Lillard

It’s true…I am my mother’s child. Especially when it comes to crafts. Let me back up and say my mother is one of those truly talented people who can do anything. An-ne-thing. First of all she sings beautifully and she cooks like a dream. But she can also paint, crochet, write poetry, sew, decorate cakes, do wood-working, AND she beat cancer.

But as terrific and talented as she is, this blog isn’t supposed to be about her. It’s about me. (LOL) So yes, while my mother can do it all, I can only do about half these things. Yet as I get older and my patience is strengthening, I find that I can enjoy crafts more than I did in my youth when it was a race to get it done and go on to the next one.

In January of this year, I decided that I was going to learn to crochet. Yep. Just decided. I told you at the beginning that I’m just like my mother. It’s a curse and a blessing I readily accept. After all there are worse things. Now I’ll tell you that with a mother like mine, I knew some of the basics of crochet. I could make a chain and I knew how to do the most basic stitches. But I’ll further testify that knowing how to do the stitches and knowing how to crochet are two very different things. In my first practice session years ago, I attempted a straight piece of single crochet about four inches wide. It was meant to be something like a potholder. It looked like I had crocheted half an LP. For those youngins out there, that’s a big vinyl record. So that attempt was a fail and I stuffed it all in a closet and went about my way.

Then January. With a little more patience and determination, I practiced the stitches again, googled why my efforts didn’t have straight edges even though that was my intent, and started my first lapghan.

Now it’s far from perfect, but it’s done and pretty and hanging over the edge of the armchair in my sitting room. But I have been bitten by the crochet bug, smitten to have yarn in my lap every chance I get! I started crocheting in the evenings while watching TV, in the mornings while I drink my tea and wait for my son to get ready for school and leave me to my day, and that sweet hour just after my husband gets home from work and before it’s time to cook supper. All. The. Time.

It’s June now and I’ve been at this for five solid months. In that time, I’ve crocheted, four lapghans, three scarves, and a cowl. Ten or so dish rags and three scrubbies. I’ve started two more full-size afghans and a sweater for moi. And then there’s the Afghan Without End. I started it for my best friend, got halfway finished—it’ll fit a twin-size bed—and decided I didn’t like the patterns of the colors. So I frog stitched it back to the original two rows. Frog stitching for those who don’t know is when you ‘rip it, rip it’ out. I’m about twelve inches into a re-do, but it’s been put on hold while I crochet baby doll ponchos for my friend’s little girls. And of course what’s a baby doll poncho without a matching baby doll blanket to go with it?

In this short time I’ve also managed to collect two 18-gallon tubs filled with yarn. Side note: read filled as stuffed so full they won’t close without extra effort. Houston, we have a problem. I do believe this is called crochet addiction. But at least it’s a productive and beneficial condition. And I have everyone’s Christmas presents all ready. Well, in my head.

Continue reading “Crochet Blog by Amy Lillard”

All I really want to do is . . . read. by Linda Reilly

Whenever I’m not writing, my nose is usually buried in a book…or in my e-reader, as the case may be. But late last year a friend who lives in my apartment community suggested that we start a crafting group.

Yay — a crafting group! was my first thought. We floated the idea and were delighted that several residents showed up for the first meeting.

But now my fellow crafters and I had the challenge of finding projects that would be fun to work on but wouldn’t bust our budgets. This past month, I suggested that we each buy wooden letters at the crafts store and decoupage them with images meaningful to us. Everyone liked the idea, and at the next meeting several crafters brought projects close to their hearts. One woman brought a large wooden E (her granddaughter’s initial) and decoupaged it with Disney princesses cut from a $1 workbook. Another crafter had bought the four letters of her new rescue dog’s name and decoupaged it with adorable pawprint paper. She plans to display the letters on the wall above Lily’s bed.

I hadn’t decoupaged anything since the 1970s, so I had to reacquaint myself with the process. Luckily, not many materials are required. I bought a jar of Mod Podge, an X-Acto knife (with which I promptly slit my thumb testing its sharpness), a foam brush, my choice of paper, and the four wooden letters of the message I wanted to create. I’d hoped to find paper that resembled the pages of a book, but . . . no such luck. I did see paper with cats on it, but it had a Halloween theme, which was not what I wanted. I ended up choosing paper with a distressed pattern—a look I truly love. The process, somewhat simplified, is:

  • Cut out the paper letters either by using the X-Acto knife atop a cardboard base, or with scissors, as I did
  • With the foam brush, coat the top of the first wooden letter with a layer of Mod Podge
  • Carefully place the cut-out paper letter atop the coated letter; with your fingers, smooth out any wrinkles (after it dries, minor wrinkles won’t be visible)
  • Wait about ½ hour and apply a coat of Mod Podge over the paper letter; allow to dry
  • Repeat with the other letters

Continue reading “All I really want to do is . . . read. by Linda Reilly”

Kaitlyn’s Puzzling Hobby by Kaitlyn Dunnett

Mikki Lincoln, the protagonist in my “Deadly Edits” series, hasn’t had much time for hobbies lately, but at some point she’ll reveal that she shares one with me, and with Liss MacCrimmon, the sleuth in my other Kensington mystery series. We’re all “puzzlers”—folks who enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles.

I’m not sure when I caught the puzzling bug, but at one point everyone in the family seemed to have a puzzle going—me, my mother-in-law, and my sister-in-law. We all had the same problem, too. We needed a way to keep the puzzle pieces organized and prevent the pets, mostly cats, from running off with them. At about that same time, my husband set up a woodworking shop in our garage. One thing led to another and before long, between us, we’d designed a jigsaw-puzzle table that would fill the bill. It has drawers for sorting and storage and a cover to keep the cats off. Eventually, my husband ended up producing custom-made jigsaw-puzzle tables as a retirement business, but the prototype is all mine. It has detachable legs, so it can be set up anywhere, but I soon discovered I preferred to leave off the legs and keep it on the dinette table instead. Puzzles I’ve done and puzzles I’ve yet to do are stacked against the wall to one side of the table.

I find doing jigsaw puzzles relaxing, as long as there aren’t huge stretches that are all one color. That can be frustrating, which takes the fun out of it. I like my pieces, just like my mysteries, to contain plenty of clues. When you get right down to it, putting a puzzle together and writing a cozy mystery have a lot in common!

Continue reading “Kaitlyn’s Puzzling Hobby by Kaitlyn Dunnett”

Embroidery and Stress Relief by Tina Kashian

Everyone needs an outlet for stress. Many of us have family and work demands. Writers are no exception. Creating stories is wonderful, and I’m grateful for my work. But I still struggle with deadlines and getting the kids to soccer and swim practice, piano lessons…and everything else on time. It’s a balancing act!

I’ve always enjoyed swimming laps. The water and the repetitive exercise is calming. But my latest form of stress relief is embroidery. My mother loved to embroider, and she created some beautiful pieces. Sadly, my mom passed away, but I decided to try my hand—or my needle—at embroidery.

To my surprise, I enjoy it. It’s not easy, and I’ve accidently poked myself with a needle once or twice. But I do feel a special connection with my mom as I work, and that makes me happy.

Embroidery is also relaxing and eases stress. After the kids are in bed, my husband and I sit on the couch and watch the television shows we want to watch. No Disney channels! I stitch during commercials. I’ve even solved plot problems for my cozy mysteries as I work. Continue reading “Embroidery and Stress Relief by Tina Kashian”

Cupcake Ornaments by Tara Sheets

The truth is, I’m a sucker for all things crafty and messy and fun.  As much as I love writing, crafts are an outlet for when I need a break, or when I need a fresh boost of creativity.  Today I’m going to share with you the latest craze in my house:  Faux Cupcake Ornaments!

Over the holidays, my family and I wanted to do something fun that would tie in with my debut novel, DON’T CALL ME CUPCAKE.  We searched various YouTube videos, Pinterest boards, and craft books until we came up with the fabulous idea of making faux cupcake ornaments.  Please note that even though we made this craft during the holidays, this is a fun activity that can be done any time of year.  Also, these faux cupcakes don’t have to be made into ornaments.  My teenage daughter has one without an ornament hook.  She keeps it on her desk as a sweet decoration!

Supply List

Cupcake baking tray
Cupcake liners
Wire for hooks (if you want to make ornaments)
Inexpensive acrylic craft paint for faux frosting colors
Disposable paper cups
Disposable spoons for mixing
Frosting tips and piping bags
Expandable foam sealant
Lightweight spackle

To start, you’re going to need to head to your local craft store and hardware store.  The two main “ingredients” in this faux cupcake recipe are expandable foam sealant, and lightweight spackle (see photo #1).  These brands are just suggestions, but feel free to use whichever brand you prefer, or whatever you might have in your garage.  Just keep in mind that the spackle needs to be lightweight, so your faux cupcake ornaments don’t end up being too heavy.

Continue reading “Cupcake Ornaments by Tara Sheets”

Quilting & Writing ‒ Cut From The Same Cloth by Diana Cosby

I enjoy doing many crafts, painting, gardening, and more, but one I’ve recently picked back up is quilting.  I admit I had a strong motive, the arrival of my first grandchild, Laura.  A momentous occasion, like a story, where a new character is brought to life, except in this special life moment, it’s the arrival of a precious little girl who has stolen my heart.

Until I started the process, I didn’t realize how much quilting and writing were in essence, cut from the same cloth.  Like the fun of deciding upon a plot, I had a blast choosing a pattern and selecting various types of cloth.  Then, as in researching the time-frame and preparing to write, I cut out numerous pieces of fabric, and set up my sewing machine.  Similar to creating a hero and heroine’s journey, then came the time to place all of the sections together into a cohesive pattern and sew them together.

Except, what I hadn’t anticipated was that like crafting a story, where the characters dig in and I’m forced to alter the course of their journey that I had planned, at times the pattern that I had envisioned changed.  Several times I ended up disassembling blocks, reorganizing them, then continue to piece the swaths together. Continue reading “Quilting & Writing ‒ Cut From The Same Cloth by Diana Cosby”

Author Post by Susan Lantz Simpson

Is there something that you truly love to do but can’t seem to find the time to do it? I have always enjoyed needlework and used to knit and crochet. When my daughters were small, I knitted sweaters, mittens, and even bunny slippers for them. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much time recently to indulge in this relaxing, enjoyable hobby. I must have at least five projects in various stages of production stuffed in bags in a closet. I’ve promised them I will complete them – one day.

When a friend introduced me to her alpacas and the beauty of alpaca fleece, my longing to retrieve my knitting needles soared to new heights. I love watching the alpacas in the field and talking to the ones that approach the fence. I knew they would somehow have to end up in one of my stories. And I could spend hours in my friend’s little alpaca store where she sells the warmest and softest socks, gloves, scarves, sweaters, and blankets made out of – you guessed it – alpaca fleece. I have purchased already-constructed items, but I have also selected skeins of fleece. I will knit that scarf, even if it takes me forever!

In The Promise, Phoebe Yoder is an accomplished knitter and enjoys creating useful but lovely gifts for her family and friends. She has fallen in love with her English neighbor, Dori Ryland’s, alpacas and hopes to one day own some of the adorable, prissy-looking animals of her own. Dori introduces Phoebe to the alpacas and teaches her all about raising and caring for them. She introduces Phoebe to knitting with alpaca fleece. Continue reading “Author Post by Susan Lantz Simpson”

Glass Jewelry by Cheryl Hollon

 

“Hollon clearly knows . . . how to craft a good mystery.” —Sheila Connolly, New York Times bestselling author

When a famous glass artist is murdered at his own exhibit, deadly secrets are put on display, and it’s up to glass shop owner Savannah Webb to see through a killer’s cover.

Celebrated glass artist Dennis Lansing is returning to St. Petersburg, Florida, for an exhibit at the world-renowned Salvador Dali Museum. His unique style of embedding document images in his art is at the vanguard of contemporary glasswork. But as Savannah’s first boyfriend and a former apprentice to her father, Dennis’s return home has her reflecting on the past—a trip down memory lane that takes a dark turn when Dennis is found murdered at the museum with an old reference letter from her father in his pocket. A search through her father’s records sheds new light on Dennis’s history, but it seems his present life wasn’t so transparent either. Now, with a gallery of suspects to consider, it’s up to Savannah to figure out who fits the mold of a murderer.

“Will keep you guessing to the end!” —Krista Davis, New York Times bestselling author

“A kaleidoscope of perfection, with a feisty heroine, exquisite plot and master storytelling.” —Liz Mugavero, author of the Pawsitively Organic Mysteries

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