Saturday, November 29, 2008

Special Feature !!


But a few days before December 25, Ivy and her husband Amos are awakened by noises on their rooftop. Amos’s joke that Santa Claus must have arrived early loses its humor when a body goes fl ying past their second-story window. A look outside reveals two legs covered in red velvet trousers and black boots sticking out of a snow bank! Ivy and Amos are even more surprised to fi nd they belong to a dead man dressed as Santa Claus. The story circulates quickly through the small town of Winter Break that Ivy and Amos have killed Santa. Who is the dead man and why was he on their roof? Ivy has a Christmas mystery to solve that will bring a satisfying conclusion to the Ivy Towers Mystery series.


Nancy Mehl's novels are all set in her home state of Kansas. "Although some people think of Kansas as nothing more than flat land and cattle, we really are quite interesting," she says. "Creating Winter Break, Kansas for the Ivy Towers mystery series has been a lot of fun. Through my research, I've learned even more about the 'Sunflower State.'" Nancy is a long-time mystery buff who loves the genre and is excited to see more inspirational mysteries becoming available to readers who share her passion. She lives in Wichita, Kansas, with her husband of thirty-five years, Norman. Her son, Danny, is a graphic designer. They attend Word of Life Church. Besides the Ivy Towers series, she has one other book in print. Sinner's Song is romantic suspense, set in the world of the homeless.
For more information about NANCY MEHL

Amos was back on the couch. I snuggled up next to him. We sipped our chocolate and stared at our first Christmas tree without saying a word. That's one of the most wonderful things about being married to the right person. Sometimes you don't have to talk. Just being together is enough. Of course, most people wouldn't believe I could spend much time without opening my mouth; I'm not known for keeping my trap shut. One of my weaknesses is a propensity for saying things I shouldn't. It had gotten me into trouble more than once. I was working on it, but realistically, a complete victory over this aspect of my personality probably wasn't going to happen anytime soon.

"Six o'clock comes pretty early, Ivy," Amos said finally. "I think it's time to head upstairs."

I picked up our cups and took them to the kitchen. After turning down the heat and flipping off all the lights except the one in the kitchen, I followed my husband and our animal friends upstairs. By the time I finished in the bathroom, Amos was already asleep, with Pal curled up at the foot of our bed and Miss Skiffins dozing in the overstuffed chair in the corner. Although she never started out on the bed, most mornings when we woke up she was cuddled next to Pal, sleeping peacefully.

I climbed under the covers, thankful for our electric blanket. I loved nestling under the covers when the night was cold and the blanket was warm and toasty. After I was settled in, I checked the alarm next to my side of the bed so I could wake Amos up in the morning when it went off. He had started wearing earplugs at night after tactfully telling me that my snoring could probably be heard by Odie Rimrucker, whose house was about half a mile down the road. I would have been offended, but I had it on pretty good authority from my ex-college roommate that she could still hear me even when she plugged headphones into her CD player and turned it up. I suspect she wasn't too unhappy to see me drop out of school and move to Winter Break. After assuring myself that the clock was set correctly, I fell asleep almost immediately.

I was dreaming that I was trying to prepare Christmas dinner for the whole town and all my shelves were bare. I was in a panic, slamming kitchen cabinet doors in frustration, when a loud noise startled me awake. I glanced at the clock. It was a little after one. I heard several thumps that sounded just like the cabinet doors in my dream, and then the sound of something being dragged made me sit up in bed. I reached over and grabbed Amos's shoulder, shaking him until he mumbled, "Wha-whatsa matter?"

"Amos," I hissed. "I think someone's on our roof. Wake up!"

He struggled to sit up. "What? What did you say?"

"Take the earplugs out of your ears!" I yelled while pointing to my own ears and making a gesture to show him what I wanted him to do.

"Oh," he said, "I forgot." He reached into his left ear and pulled out the blue foam plug. "What do you want, Ivy?" he asked, his eyes bleary. "I've got to get some sleep."
"There's someone on our roof," I said, trying to keep my voice down. Of course, if our rooftop visitor could actually hear me, shouting at Amos about his earplugs a few seconds earlier certainly would have alerted him that someone knew he was on the property.

"On our roof?" he repeated, scratching his head as if it would wake him up. "What are you talking about? No one could possibly be on our roof."

"I'm telling you, I heard it."

Amos shook his head. "I don't hear anything. You probably dreamed it." He grinned sleepily. "Or maybe it's Santa Claus coming a little early."

"Amos Parker, that's not funny. Something is definitely on our roof. Maybe someone is trying to break into the house."

"Through the roof? He'd have to be a pretty bad burglar."

Another loud thump right above our heads finally convinced Amos that I wasn't hallucinating. He got up and grabbed his robe. Pal was in full alert, but he didn't start barking until he sensed that we were concerned about what was happening. Miss Skiffins jumped down from the bed and leaped up on the chair, annoyed that we'd disrupted her sleep. Both Amos and I went to the window. As Amos raised the window shade, there was a strange ripping sound, and something large fell past our window and down onto the driveway below. We peered down at the ground, but it was impossible to see anything. Although the high-intensity glow from our yard light was great for illuminating our property, looking directly at it could cause temporary blindness. Amos had insisted on lighting the back and front yards to deter burglars. I wasn't sure what kind of burglars would travel the bumpy and usually snow-packed dirt road to our house for a chance to steal what little we owned, but Amos was trying to protect us and arguing with him was useless. Thick shades managed to block the light at night so I could sleep. My biggest concern was that I would wake up some morning to find that a confused pilot had ended up in our yard, thinking it was a landing strip.

Amos pulled his gun out of the drawer. "Stay here, Ivy. I mean it."

As a Stevens County sheriff's deputy, he was used to giving orders. Unfortunately, I wasn't used to taking them. I waited a few seconds and then followed him down the stairs. Pal came after me. When I reached the bottom, I saw the front door wide open. The porch light highlighted the entryway. Even before I reached the door, I heard Amos exclaim loudly, "What in the world?"

As I stepped out onto the front porch, I followed his "What in the world?" with a "Shoot and bother!"

Sticking up out of a snowbank were two unmoving legs encased in red velvet and black boots. Amos was standing a few feet from the bizarre scene with his mouth hanging open. "J-jumpin' Jehoshaphat, Ivy," he stuttered, "I think we just killed Santa Claus!"

To read more of THERE GOES SANTA CLAUS be sure to subscribe to:
Heartsong Presents: Mysteries!


Samantha "Ivy" Towers returns to Winter Break, Kansas, where she spent her summers as a child, to make funeral
arrangements for her Aunt Bitty. While there, she begins to suspect her aunt's death, which resulted from a fall
in her bookshop, wasn't an accident after all. Childhood friend, Amos Parker, now sheriff of Winter Break, seems
anxious to get Ivy out of town. A missing book, a message scrawled by an unknown person, and an extra coffee cup
leaves Ivy with more questions than answers.


Ivy Towers lives in the tiny town of Winter Break, Kansas. While working hard to get her late aunt’s rare bookstore, Miss Bitty’s Bygone Bookstore, on its feet, she accidentally discovers a map hidden inside an old music box. Could it be the map to the Lost Gambler’s Gold? The legend of the ill-fated gambler, who hid his fortune somewhere in Winter Break before an Indian raid in the 1860s, has circulated among residents ever since Ivy can remember.

Unbeknownst to her boyfriend, Deputy Sheriff Amos Parker, Ivy follows the directions to the place where “X” marks the spot. What she digs up will uncover a mystery that leads to much more than she ever imagined. Lives will be changed, old secrets will be revealed, and Ivy will learn that sometimes, lost treasure can turn out to be much more valuable than a chest full of gold.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Fun Friday

This week, Spyglass Lane is showcasing Misfortune Cookies by Linda Kozar. For more on the Until the Fat Ladies Sing Mysteries, check out her website!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mystery Door

Thursdays are Mystery Door days! Choose a door. A surprise is waiting for you!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008



Seriously, we pray that you will have a wonderful Thanksgiving. And what to do after you've stuffed yourself with turkey, taken a nap, and are looking for some kind of entertainment? How about playing Mystery Author?!

Our congratulations to QUILTINGREADER who guessed that last week's Mystery Author was Susan Page Davis. Q.R. wins a copy of Susan's book, HOMICIDE AT BLUE HERON LAKE. (BTW, Susan is quite possibly one of the nicest people on the face of the planet.) *One note: Although Q.R. didn't post her e-mail address in the body of her comment, it was easily accessible through her profile. That's fine. I just need to be able to contact you if you win.

SO, ARE YOU READY FOR OUR NEXT MYSTERY AUTHOR? Leave a comment with your guess, and your e-mail address, and we'll draw for a winner of the Mystery Author's Heartsong mystery.



First of all, what part of the country do you hail from?

The Mid-East

You have a very special animal friend. What’s his name?

Sir Winston Churchill

Besides your writer’s hat, you wear two other “fedoras.” What are they?

Content reviewer and co-owner of a consulting business

Last question. What’s the first name of the main character in your Heartsong mystery series?


Thanks, Mystery Author!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Short Story Mystery

If the Shoe Fits
Susan Page Davis

Part 3

“I’m sorry ma’am,” the officer said. “You say there was a crime, but we don’t have reasonable suspicion. The man claims he saw you slumped over in your car and stopped to ask if you were all right.”

“I saw him in the garage,” Faye said stiffly. It was hard to breathe.

“Yes, ma’am. A shoe with a foot in it. Don’t you think that’s a little farfetched?”

“No, I don’t. If he’d just clobbered a person and shoved them into the trunk—all that was showing was that foot, and he was stuffing it in when I saw him. You didn’t let him go, did you?”

The officer sighed. “No, ma’am, but it’s dark in there. He might have been stowing his tennis shoes when you saw him.”

Faye straightened and met his skeptical gaze. “No. Listen to me, Officer. I retired a month ago from the Swifter Shoe factory. The shoe I saw was our model 9-Z, top of the line. I was close enough to see the special, heavy duty grommets in the 9-Z. I’m telling you, that shoe wasn’t empty.”

The officer eyed her speculatively. “All right. That makes you a credible witness in my book.” He yelled to another officer, “Marv? Pop the trunk on that Lincoln.”

“With pleasure.”

They waited, and Faye felt suddenly unsure. How humiliating was this going to be if she were wrong?

The patrolman who opened the trunk called, “Jack? The shoe’s in here.”


“She’s right—it ain’t empty. You want me to call homicide?”

Faye exhaled as the officer’s eyes met hers. “That’s affirmative. I’ll take a full statement from our star witness.”

The End

Stay tuned next for a brand new Short Story Mystery.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday Mystery Theater


Ratso, a sleazy-looking cowpoke, ambles into the blacksmith's shop and plops down a saddle, announcing it's for sale. The blacksmith pays the price of $50.00, then rushes to the sheriff's office. The sheriff rustles up Ratso, handcuffs him and says, "You're under arrest for the murder of Yosemite Slim."


On what grounds was Ratso arrested for murdering Slim?


1. The blacksmith shared a secret with Yosemite Slim.
2. Yosemite had been a prospector.


Think you know the answer? Fill in the comment box to submit your guess. Winner receives a free Heartsong Presents Mystery!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Special Feature!!


The whole family held their breath while the wheel ticked around and around—or rather while the lawyer opened the envelope. Then they all heaved a sigh of relief when the wheel stopped on Carrie Evans’s name. Carrie the heiress. Great. Clean up the house. Clean up the yard. Clean up Great-Grandma’s rap sheet. Carrie hates mice and loves the big city. So why is she living in a huge mouse-infested house in her dinky hometown? The dead guy in her pantry closet is the most interesting thing that’s happened since she came home. Of course, the carpenter who’s helping her trap her mice and solve the crime is pretty interesting, too.


Mary Connealy is the author of Petticoat Ranch, Calico Canyon and the soon-to-be-released Gingham Mountain. She has recently signed an exclusive contract to write for Barbour Publishing for the next three years. And yes, the ink was dry on that contract before she let them see her whacky cozy mysteries.
Of Mice. . .and Murder is coming in November from Heartsong Presents Mysteries, the first in a three book series about romance, murder, comedy and really big mice in small town Nebraska. Pride and Pestilence is book #2 and The Miceman Cometh is book #3.
Mary’s dream is to tell love stories that make people laugh. She lives on a farm in Nebraska with her husband, Ivan. She is the mother of four beautiful daughters Josie, married to Matt, Wendy, Shelly, married to Aaron and Katy. She’s got one granddaughter on the way. And later, if it turns out the doctor was wrong about Josie’s baby being a girl, we will look at this bio and laugh.
For more information about MARY CONNEALY

Being named in Great-Grandma's will was like hitting Bankrupt on Wheel of Fortune. The whole family held their breath while the wheel ticked around and around-or rather, while the lawyer opened the envelope. Then they all heaved a sigh of relief when the wheel stopped on Carrie's name.

Carrie the heiress.


Clean up the house.

Clean up the yard.

Clean up Great-Grandma's rap sheet.

"I don't know why it has to be me," Carrie grumbled.

The empty kitchen-empty except for the garbage that Great-Grandma Bea had been amassing all her one hundred and three years-mocked her with its silence.

Silence except for the hammering on the porch, which stopped when Carrie started talking to herself. Carrie froze, hoping the carpenter hadn't heard her.

Spooky old house, spooky new resident.

The banging resumed. Now that her great-grandma wasn't around to drive off the hired help, the work would finally get done-except, of course, Carrie had no money.

She'd have to break that to the carpenter pretty soon.

And while he pounded away, Carrie could break her back by cleaning up this old wreck. What a waste of a beautiful, brisk, fall afternoon. She had to figure out how to get out of Melnik before she went nuts. But first she would-

A mouse dashed out of the kitchen pantry twenty feet away.

"EEEEE!" Carrie shrieked.

The mouse skittered toward her. Carrie ran the opposite direction and collided with the carpenter, who was dashing through the door, clutching his hammer.

"What happened?"

The mouse skidded to a halt under the table and squeaked.

Carrie squeaked even louder and jumped toward the carpenter. He caught her against his chest, hooking one arm under her legs and the other behind her back.

It was nice of a stranger to come to the rescue. He was the kind of man who could do the whole "white knight" thing, with his lovely height and broad shoulders. The hammer he held-in the hand now under her knees-would make a fair lance, too.

"Forgive me." Carrie barely moved her lips.

"For what?" The carpenter's whisper pulled her attention away from the mouse.

Carrie noted the tidy logo of his company on the pocket of his shirt where a little polo player ought to be. OC with the word O'Connor arced above and Construction in a half circle below. Both of the placket buttons were neatly closed, and his hair was combed and gelled as if he were afraid it would break out and go its own way. His eyes glowed with humor and kindness, though.

"Oh, you weren't supposed to hear that. I was praying for forgiveness."

Their eyes locked. His were dark blue, a rich color that begged for a closer look. Hers were blue, too, but washed out like her white-blond hair, the wimpy coloring of a pure Swede, not strong and clear like his.

After way too long, he smiled and whispered again, "For what?"

"Huh?" Her brain functioned slowly, somewhat like Jell-O.

"What do you want God to forgive you for? Jumping into my arms?" His smile faded as if that hurt his feelings.

"Oh, no."

The smile returned. "Good."

"It's something I do when a mouse scares me."


"Because it's a sin to be afraid of a mouse."

A dimple appeared in each cheek as he smiled wider. "Is not. Where in the Bible does it say, 'Thou shalt not run and scream when you see a rodent'?"

Carrie switched from studying his eyes to studying his dimples. Really, a woman could keep busy forever watching him. "It should be. It's a sin to be this stupid about a tiny little creature obviously put on the earth by God to feed cats. Cats need to eat."

"Oh, well then, because cats need to eat, you've sinned for sure. And what does that have to do with you jumping into my arms?"

"There's a mouse." She glanced back at the floor.

The knight eased her back on her feet. "Mouse, huh?" He gave her an I'm-not-rolling-my-eyeballs-throughsheer-willpower look that tarnished his shining armor.

"It's more afraid of you than. . ."

"Than I am of it. I know." And hadn't Carrie heard that a hundred thousand times before in her life? Hadn't helped then, didn't help now. Carrie saw the mouse turn and streak back under the closed pantry door. She grabbed a handful of the carpenter's shirtfront. He steadied her with a strong arm.

"Yeah, right, it's more afraid of me. Not even. Does that mouse lay awake nights fretting, 'What if a woman runs up my leg?' I don't think so."

"Uh, have you got a trap?"

Carrie turned back to the knight. "My hero." The words sounded reverent. "In that sack on the table. Thanks." She was just inches from him, and since she was there anyway, she let herself get lost in his eyes again. This close, she could smell his warm, clean scent.

"I'll see what I can do." He seemed even closer. "By the way, I'm Nick O'Connor. My hired man and I are repairing your porch."

"Hired man?"

"Wilkie Melnik."

Carrie gasped and backed off. "You hired Wilkie Melnik?"

The corners of Nick's mouth turned down, and the smile wrinkles on the corners of his eyes disappeared along with his dimples. Carrie regretted seeing them go, but it helped her mind work.

Nick smoothed the fist wrinkles she'd made in his shirt. "Yeah, he's not working out too well. He didn't show up yesterday or the day before, and he hasn't come today, either."

"That sounds like Wilkie."

To read more of OF MICE AND MURDERbe sure to subscribe to:
Heartsong Presents: Mysteries!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fun Friday

This week, Spyglass Lane is showcasing In the Dead of Winter by Nancy Mehl. For more on the Ivy Tower Mystery Series, check out her website!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mystery Door

Thursdays are Mystery Door days! Choose a door. A surprise is waiting for you!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Congratulations to Mandy, who guessed Cynthia Hickey as our Mystery Author last week! She wins a copy of Cynthia's FUDGE-LACED FELONIES!

I happen to know that this week's Mystery Author has TWO books she wants to give away! So...try twice as hard to guess who it is!

You know the drill. Leave a comment telling me the name of the Mystery Author AND your e-mail address. I'll draw a name from all the correct guesses!

Now, on to our game!

Welcome, Mystery Author!

First of all, what part of the country do you call home?

I live the north and east quadrant of the county.

What does your husband do?

He does a lot of things, but his main job is pointing out what other people did wrong. No joke.

You took an interesting vocational course. Tell us about that.

Yes, those were the days! Silly me, I thought I wanted to be a blacksmith. Talk about hard work!

You have a hobby that has helped your writing. What is it?

Family history has taken me down some verrry interesting rabbit trails that sparked ideas.

What’s the first name of the main character in your current Heartsong mystery series?


Thanks, Mystery Author!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Short Story Mystery

If the Shoe Fits
Susan Page Davis
Part 2

“It’s all right, ma’am. I’m a police officer.”

She opened the window an inch. “Did you catch him? The man who was following me?”

"Yes, ma’am, but we don’t really have any reason to detain him. He claims he wasn’t following anyone.”

“I saw him out here. He was looking for me.”

“And why was he looking for you, ma’am?"

“Because I saw…”

“What? What did you see?”

Faye stared at him in the shadow. “Could I see your badge, please?”

He chuckled. “Certainly. Why don’t you step over to my car, and I’ll take your statement?”

Faye sat very still. He didn’t produce a badge. She closed the window, and as she redialed 911 he began pounding the window with his fists.

“What is your emergency?” a cool female voice asked.

“Help! Please! I’m in the airport parking lot. A man is trying to break into my car. Help me!” Faye should have recognized him immediately, but she’d been concentrating more on that foot, that shoe, than on his face.

She saw the flashing blue lights then. A patrol car slid down the aisle and stopped in front of her Tercel. The man abruptly stopped banging on the window and ran. Faye took a deep breath as a uniformed officer tore past.

Stay tuned next week for Part 3 of If the Shoe Fits.

FOR DISCUSSION: Why do you think the man tried to break into Faye's car?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday Mystery Theater


Hank walks into a bank and hands a teller a bag. The teller opens the bag, reads the note and smiles. Then she hands the note to a nearby bank guard. The guard draws his gun, points it toward Hank and approaches him. As Hank raises his hands, the guard immediately shoots and kills him. A few days later, a female clercial worker in a neighboring office building is charged with murder.


What did the note say and why was the murder committed?


1. Sometimes a surrender signals an attack.
2. Hank didn't know what he was doing.


Think you know the answer? Fill in the comment to submit your guess. Winner receives a free Heartsong Presents Mystery!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Special Feature!


Best friends Sue Jan and Lovita run a beauty shop/boutique in the little West Texas town of Wachita. They share a passion for food and fun. But one day, over lunch in a Chinese restaurant, Lovita opens a fortune cookie with a sinister message: “Your father was murdered. . .” a clue that leads them to God, an international spy ring, and several devastatingly handsome strangers. A most unlikely pair of detectives, these girlfriends “comb” the countryside with style, sarcasm, and lots of Szechwan. This tale is like good take-out food—definitely worth bringing home.


Linda Kozar, author and speaker, is the recipient of the 2007 American Christian Fiction Writers Mentor of the Year Award, and four previous awards for writing. Her first fiction novel, Misfortune Cookies, will be released by Heartsong Presents--Mysteries in 2008, followed by two sequels in 2009. Also a book of devotions titled, Babes With A Beatitude, Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster, will release in 2009.

Linda works part-time at Lone Star Community College, Montgomery Campus as a Staff Facilitator for a magazine, The Global Pen, by and for ESOL students. She is the Co-Founder and Director of Words For The Journey Christian Writers Guild---South East Texas Region, in The Woodlands, Texas. She assumed a post as President of a new Chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers ACFW in The Woodlands, "Writers On The Storm," in July of 2009. She also co-leads a women’s Bible Study, “Babes With A Beatitude,” at WoodsEdge Community Church and manages a ministry website by that name, and taught a previous women’s Bible Study, “Coffee, Tea and Thee,” for 14 years. She and her husband Michael, married for 19 years, have two lovely teen daughters, Katie and Lauren.

"What's that?" she asked panicked and pointing upward.

We looked up through the windshield at a pointy black cloud in the distance. The tip of it began to rotate in a graceful pirouette.

"Uh-oh," I gasped.

Sue Jan held my shoulder in a bear trap grip. "We're gonna die Ita! That's a funnel cloud, a baby tornado coming down. Then its gonna get big and nasty and carry us away and there won't be enough left of us to pick up in a vacuum cleaner and I'll never have my date with Hans. Never."

It was strangely dark outside. The sky tinged with green. And quiet all of a sudden. No birds singing or crickets chirping. Even the leaves in the trees were still. I screeched the car to a halt by the back door. I don't even know how we got out, but in a flash we were inside tripping over chairs, spilling vases and dishes, and grabbing Sue Jan's four fat cats on our way down to daddy's fallout shelter. My daddy built it in the fifties, when everybody was scared of an atomic bomb going off. So he built our very own shelter right under the house.

I had to admit, the whole thing was pretty clever. Daddy built a secret hinged shelf inside our walk-in kitchen pantry. Behind that was a stairway full of cobwebs that led down to the airlock door, made of super thick steel. Four people could live and sleep real comfortable for a couple of weeks. It was fully stocked with food. Medical supplies too. And an air filter was supposed to protect us from breathing radioactive air. Daddy tried to think of everything.

Not many people knew about it of course. It's not the sort of thing you're supposed to advertise. You don't want everybody showing up at your shelter door wanting in. I know he was worried. That's why he built it, out of love for us. He didn't want me and Mama turning mutant or anything.

Once the door was closed and the airlock turned, everything was quiet, except for the cats who were mee-owing, all nervous-like and looking for somewhere to hide. We were snug inside. That was certain.

The overhead industrial lights went dim all of a sudden. I had 'em set on low to conserve power, but the storm was affecting things. A quick flip of a switch fixed that.

"Hey, thanks for turning the lights up." Sue Jan turned around surveying the place though she had visited the shelter a gazillion times before. "This is like a fifties museum. Even the shampoo and toothpaste, the combs and shaving cream is all from then." She held up a tube. "They don't even make this brand anymore." She drew in an excited breath. "Lovita, you could charge admission! Why didn't I think of that before? Think of the extra bucks you could make showing people a real live atomic bomb shelter right here in Wachita. What do you think?"

Hands on my hips like a sugar bowl, I scrunched up my nose in disapproval. "We have a few other things to worry about right now Sue Jan-like a tornado out there scouring through town, maybe even through this house."

I turned on the emergency radio. A siren immediately sounded. The towns of Wachita, Bentley and Dayton till 5 o'clock central standard time…WARNING…WARNING…A TORNADO SIGHTING HAS BEEN CONFIRMED IN THE TOWNS OF BENTLEY AND WACHITA…RESIDENTS ARE ADVISED TO TAKE COVER IMMEDIATELY…Sue Jan reached over to switch it off.

"Hey, why'd you do that?"

"We've heard enough Lovita. We've seen the twister ourselves. It's probably tearing off pieces of your house like cotton candy right now. She sniffed. Into itty bitty pieces. Yup."

"Thank you for that."

She sniffed again. "Well, at least we're safe. And the kittycats." She reached down to pet Vicki-Lou, the fattest of the four kitties and clearly the Alpha Kitty. Jealous, Kitty-Mingus, our silver Persian fell on her back purring for a tummy rub. "Aww, don't you widdle kitties worry; we'll be 'otay.

Suppose your Daddy hadn't built this place Lovita. We'd be in trouble--probably in the air spinning around like the inside of a washing machine. Hey, you got any food in here?"

"Oh Sue Jan, you know we didn't have any time to grab some food on our way down-"

I wished we had. There was some leftover chicken-fried steak and butter beans in the fridge and some popovers from the night before. My stomach growled at the thought.

She pointed to a shelf. "Well, what's that stuff over there, then?"

"It's rations, you know fallout shelter rations, the kind that last for twenty, thirty years."

Sue Jan hopped up off the cot she was sitting on. She blew dust off a can. "Hey, this looks like peaches in syrup. I love peaches."

"Now wait a minute Sue Jan…those are special rations for…just in case anything were to happen." I grabbed at the can.

"Well, I have news for you," she tugged back, "something is happening out there and I'm not gonna die hungry when I have this can of dee-lishus peaches right here in my hands." She plopped down on a cot, arms clutching the can

"Oh, all right then." I gave up, too tired to fight.

"Where's your atomic can opener, Lovita?" She winked.

I smirked back and reached for one on a shelf above the cot opposite hers.

"Ugh!" The can opener slipped from my hands and fell to the floor out of sight. A sigh escaped as I creaked down on bended knee to look for it.

Sue Jan made a few motions like she was going to help, but there's no way she was going to let go of that can of peaches.

To read more of MISFORTUNE COOKIE be sure to subscribe to:
Heartsong Presents: Mysteries!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fun Friday

This week, Spyglass Lane is showcasing Pedigreed Bloodlines by Sandra Robbins. For more on The Leigh Dennison Mysteries, check out her website!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mystery Door

Thursdays are Mystery Door days! Choose a door. A surprise is waiting for you!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Once again, Brenda guessed the correct author last week! She wins a copy of MISS AGGIE'S GONE MISSING by Frances Devine.

Here's another chance to win a great cozy mystery by a Heartsong author. Leave a comment along with your e-mail address. I will draw a winner from the correct answers. And please spread the word about Mystery Author! We need more people to play our game!

Here is this week's Mystery Author:

Welcome, Mystery Author! What part of the country are you from?

I live in Arizona now, but grew up in the Arkansas Ozark mountain foothills.

How many children do you have?

7. His, mine, and ours.

Besides your "author side," you have another job. What is it?

Detention Monitor at the local school.

You work with a truly wonderful woman (and fellow Heartsong author) on an interview/review site. What's the name of this site?

Mainly Mystery Reviews

What is the first name the main character in your Heartsong mystery novel?


Thanks, Mystery Author!

Put your guessing caps on and see if you can name this week's mystery author!

Short Story Mystery

If the Shoe Fits


Susan Page Davis

Part 1

Faye’s car was in a dim, distant corner of the airport parking garage, and she looked around carefully as she approached it. There weren’t many people in the garage now, but diagonally across the aisle a man was standing at the back of a beige sedan, putting something in the open trunk. Faye glanced at him, then stared. She could swear the shoe he pushed into the trunk had a foot in it.

He looked up, and she forced herself to keep walking without breaking into a sprint. As she put her key into the lock, she risked a glance over her shoulder. Big mistake. The man was staring, and their eyes met for an instant.

Faye yanked the door open and jumped in. She threw the transmission into reverse and backed out a bit more quickly than she had intended. In her mirror she saw the man watching her as he slammed the trunk lid.

Her heart hammered. She shoved the gearshift down, and her Toyota roared out of the garage.

“I’ll tell the parking attendant,” she thought. In her mirror she saw the beige sedan speed out of the garage. She hesitated, then swerved into the next aisle of the lot. She didn’t want to get caught in the line of cars at the gate with the sinister man behind her.

There were thousands of cars here, and it was quite dark. She drove quickly to the end of the row and turned left, not caring where she went, as long as the man in the beige car couldn’t see her if he looked down that aisle.

She turned again, right this time, at a gap midway down the long lane, then right again in the next row and shut her lights off. How long could she avoid her pursuer? Would he give up eventually and leave the lot?

She spotted an empty space and nosed her car in, then shut off the engine. The doors were locked, and she lay down on the seat, breathing in shallow gasps.

She fumbled for her cell phone. Maybe she should have kept moving, but light and movement would draw his eye at this time of night. Oh, where was the stupid phone?

Her fingers closed on it. “I’m in the airport parking lot, in my car. A man followed me from the parking garage in a beige sedan, and I’m hiding from him. He’s looking for me. Can you get airport security out here?”

“Calm down, ma’am. Speak slowly, please. What is your location?”

Faye risked peeking up over the back of the seat. A vehicle was crawling slowly along the aisle. She ducked down again. “Please send security to the parking lot. Someone is stalking me. I think the car is a Lincoln. It’s beige.”

“Which part of the lot are you in, ma’am?”

She raised her head as high as she dared. “Section D. Hurry! I have a blue Toyota Tercel.” The beige car was suddenly even with her parking space, and the driver was craning his neck, looking around. Faye scrunched down again. “He has roof racks.”

She huddled on the seat for several minutes. Suddenly someone knocked on her window and she jumped, terrified.
Stay tuned next week for Part 2 of If the Shoe Fits.
FOR DISCUSSION: Have you ever wandered through a deserted parking garage? What would you have done in Faye's situation?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday Mystery Theater


A man lies dead on a track. Near his body is a shard of glass.


Who murdered the man, and how?


1. Tracks can be tricky, depending on how you look at them.
2. Upon reflection, the driver should have seen the problem.


Think you know the answer? Fill in the comment box to submit your guess. Winner receives a free Heartsong Presents Mystery!

Saturday, November 8, 2008



Who would want to kill the sainted Twila Belk?. . .Especially since she had footed the bill for an Antarctica cruise with 48 of her “closest friends?”
But when a search team discovers the body of the murdered benefactress on Brown Bluff Island, an unlikely duo joins forces to solve the heinous crime.
Though once engaged, Reverend James Burton and Psychologists Julie West are no longer even on speaking terms. Can their mutual love and admiration for a dear, departed friend allow them to set aside their animosities long enough to bring Twila’s killer to justice?

Cecil Murphey is an international speaker and award-winning author who has written, co-written, or ghostwritten 108 published books, including the NY Times bestseller 90 Minutes in Heaven (with Don Piper). Writing Everybody Loved Roger Harden, his first cozy mystery, was great fun for him. For more information about Cecil Murphey, visit his website -

To read more of EVERYBODY CALLED HER A SAINT be sure to subscibe to:
Heartsong Presents: Mysteries!


Psychologist Julie West and Reverend James Burton arrive late for dinner on Palm Island-but just in time to discover their host, millionaire Roger Harden, murdered. Ten possible suspects share close quarters on the secluded island, all of them with deep secrets and sufficient motive to have wanted the wealthy "benefactor" dead. Can Julie and Burton ignore the mysterious attraction developing between them long enough to discover who among them didn't love Roger Harden enough to let him live?

When psychologist Julie West arrives at Cartledge Inn in response to an urgent call from Stefan Lauber, a supposedly reformed criminal recently released from prison, a near-hysterical desk clerk tells her that Lauber has been murdered in his room-room 623.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fun Friday

This week, Spyglass Lane is showcasing Where the Truth Lies by Elizabeth Ludwig and Janelle Mowery. For more on the Masschusetts Mayhem series, check out their websites!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mystery Door

Thursdays are Mystery Door days! Choose a door. A surprise is waiting for you!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


WE'RE BACK!!! Today, we're going to meet another Heartsong Mystery Author. Remember the rules: You must indentify the author, leave a comment, AND include your e-mail address so we can contact you. We will draw a winner from all of the correct entries.

Now for today's Mystery Author!

Welcome, Mystery Author! What state are you from originally? What part of the country do you call home now?

I was raised in the great state of Texas. Now I live in the great state of Missouri and loving it.

How many children do you have? Grandchildren?

7 children. 15 grandchildren

Your Heartsong cozy mystery isn’t the first book you’ve written for Barbour. Can you tell us a little about your other book without giving away too many details?

Hmm. It's about a group of ladies who live in Arizona in the nineteenth century. It has a little bit of mystery and a lot of love.

The main character in your Heartsong cozy mystery has just received an inheritance that will change her life. What did she inherit?

A boarding house for senior citizens.

And finally, Mystery Author, what is the first name of your main character?


Well, there it is. Kinda tough this time. Let's see if we can fool our expert guessers! WHO is our mystery author?????

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Short Story Mystery

Sealed and Delivered by Elizabeth Ludwig

Part 3

Detective Ralph Brady stooped near the fireplace, his sharp gaze scanning the smoldering ash.

Ah, there it was.

He smiled and turned his attention back to the crowd gathered around Lady Manchester and Jeffrey Monroe.

Charles scrutinized the stamp in his hand, adjusted his glasses, and stared some more. Suddenly, his face paled. “He’s right,” he whispered. “It’s a fake.”

“What!” Lady Manchester exclaimed. She grabbed the stamp in question and brought it almost to her nose. “It can’t be!”

A soft roar erupted from the bidders gathered around the room. Calmly, Detective Brady grabbed a fireplace poker and scrapped a bit of paper from the ashes. The remnant secure in his hand, he rose and faced the room.

“Ladies and gentlemen, if I may have your attention.” The buzz continued. He cleared his throat and tried again. “Lady Manchester, please!” Still no one heard. Drawing a deep breath, he said, “Jeffrey Monroe is under arrest.”

The room fell silent and all eyes swung to him.

“What?” Lady Manchester said.

“What?” Jeffrey repeated.

Confident, now, of their attention, Detective Brady crossed the room to stand before Jeffrey. “What did you intend to do, Mr. Monroe? Forge a new stamp after you’d destroyed the old one?”

Jeffrey’s eyes widened. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Oh, I think you do,” Detective Brady said. He took the fake stamp from Lady Manchester’s limp fingers and waved it in Jeffrey’s face. “I think you created this clever fake knowing Rochester would be able to discern the difference between this and the original. I also think you intended to profit from the affair by announcing to the world that it was you who discovered Lady Manchester trying to peddle a million dollar counterfeit.”

Tugging at his tie, Jeffery cast a quick glance at Lady Manchester. Daggers shot from her steely gaze.

“I also think,” Detective Brady continued, “that you planned to sell a newly printed forged stamp to a collector. You were banking on the idea that you’d be able to find an unscrupulous buyer regardless of the fact that they’d never be able to show the stamp in public, which is why you went to the fireplace and dropped the real stamp into the flames.”

A loud gasp went up from the onlookers in the room.

“Y-you’ll never be able to prove that,” Jeffrey stammered. “You have no proof.”

Detective Brady held up the partially burned bit of paper, his lips curled into a smile. “I have proof, Mr. Monroe. Right here. All the proof I need."

Stay tuned next week for a brand new Short Story Mystery!

For Discussion: Did you figure out Jeffrey's plan?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Monday Mystery Theater

The Case:

Two men are seated side by side in a commuter train, one dressed in gray and the other in black. The man in gray hands something to the man in black. At the next stop, the man in black pulls out a gun with a silencer, shoots the man in gray dead, and leaves the train.

The Mystery:

What did the man in gray hand to the man in black? Why did the man in black kill the man in gray?

The Clues:

1. The man in black was looking for evidence.
2. The man in gray was European.

The Answer:

Think you know the answer? Fill in the comment box to submit your guess. Winner receives a free Heartsong Presents Mystery!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Special Feature!


Newlywed Andi Hartley is not at all sure she’s ready to look like an over-ripe melon. . .
In fact, she’s still getting used to being married. But her husband, Ben, wants to start a family right away. Gulp.

Their family plans are put on hold, however, when Andi’s kitten runs from the house to their watermelon field and digs up a bone attached to the remains of a thirty-year-old skeleton. Buried secrets come to life. . .and then the colorful owner of Greenburg’s best eatery is murdered. As Andi unearths more and more of the suspicious history surrounding the skeleton, she realizes both deaths are related. Is she also about to unearth a murderer?


LYNETTE SOWELL works as a medical transcriptionist for a large HMO. But that's her day job. In her "spare" time, she loves to spin adventures for the characters who emerge from story ideas in her head. She hopes to spread the truth of God's love and person while taking readers on an entertaining journey. Lynette is a Massachusetts transplant, who makes her home in central Texas with her husband, two kids by love and marriage (what's a step-kid?), and five cats who have their humans well-trained. She loves to read, travel, spend time with her family, and is a green-thumb-in-training.

Rain pounded the window of our first-floor bedroom. Thunder had woken me at who knows what insane hour in the middle of the night, and all I could do was watch the show until the storm passed. Lightning illuminated the field of watermelons across the driveway. The vines lit up with the flash, and the watermelons among the leaves remained steadfast against the rain. A sudden movement among the vines made me rise up on one elbow in bed. The movement stopped.

Another flash of lightning, and I glimpsed a bulky figure hunched over the vines. So I hadn't been seeing things. Four miles from town, we didn't have neighbors, and our property was flanked by woods on both sides and by the now-swollen Tennessee River to the rear of the property.

"Ben, someone's in our field!" I jumped up and grabbed my robe from its perch on the exercise bike.

"Hold on, sweetie." Ben was on his feet before I could finish sweeping the cobwebs from my mind. "I'llcheck it out. Though I can't say who'd be plunderin' watermelons this time of night."

He moved down the hallway, and I stayed close behind him. My wedding ring still felt new and shiny on my hand. It and the diamond Ben had given me last July slid round and round as my other hand fumbled with my fingers.

Ben stopped and spun to face me. "Andromeda Hartley, get back in bed."

"No way." I took his hand and squeezed it. "I'm at least goin' to look over your shoulder."

"Those kids better not be out there partyin'. No wonder Mrs. Flanders pulled out her shotgun and chased hooligans off her land. Crazy teenagers."

"In a rainstorm. Right. They'll probably be partying somewhere a lot dryer." I didn't like being woken up in the middle of the night, and Ben's logic escaped me.

He didn't reply but tugged me along with him around the corner then released my hand. A flash of lightning in the kitchen windows made me blink. Ben fumbled with the dead bolt on the kitchen door. Once my eyes readjusted to the darkness, I skidded to a stop on the new tile.

Ben flung open the door and dashed from the back steps, across the covered patio, and into the rain. He paused long enough to grab the baseball bat he'd left on the picnic table after softball practice. I followed. My cheeks stung from the pelting drops, and I fought to see into the grays and blacks of the night. Momma would pitch a fit if she knew I'd run into the rain during a lightning storm. It seems once I got married all my common sense went out the window. Ben and I stumbled through the muddy driveway. He stopped and I slid into him. He pulled me close and I leaned against his warmth, and we waited until the lightning flashed again.

Not thirty yards or so away from us, a figure splashed down our driveway toward a darkened car that waited at the edge of the drive. Lightning illuminated the yard but did little to help us see the stranger.The car's rear tires roared against the mud, and the car turned, headlights now on, and sped away on the rainslicked road.

Drenched to the skin, I glanced at Ben. "He sure picked a great time to steal watermelons. Makes no sense. Alone, too."

Under the yard light, Ben shook his head. "Beats me. C'mon, we oughta get back to sleep. Morning comes early. No harm done, anyway. Not worth calling the police over."

"But if it happens again?" I didn't like the idea of someone trespassing on our property. The idea of a silent lurker made me shiver.

We entered the house, arm in arm. I left a stream of water and wet footprints behind me as I got towels from the hallway linen closet. As I backtracked and wiped up the watery mess with an extra towel, I tried to make sense of what we'd seen. I just couldn't dismiss the event quickly, like Ben had. A stranger prowling in the field during a thunderstorm in the middle of the night didn't make sense. Why would someone go to so much trouble to snag watermelons in a storm? And if it was only watermelons, why keep stealing them after Ben and I had moved onto the property?

As Ben and I trudged back to bed, my foggy brain struggled to make sense of what I'd seen. The last thing I remembered before dropping off to sleep was the image of the hunched-over stranger. . .carrying nothing.

To read more of THE WILES OF WATERMELON be sure to subscibe to:

Heartsong Presents: Mysteries!

Other Heartsong Presents Mysteries by LYNETTE SOWELL

A SUSPICION OF STRAWBERRIES: When Charla Rae Thacker and her bridesmaids show up at Andi's soap shop in Greenburg, Tennessee, for a morning of pre-wedding pampering, Andi bends over backwards to make it a pleasant experience for them all. But then Charla keels over and dies from anaphylactic shock after she uses Andi's personally blended cherries jubilee facial scrub. Andi suspects sabotage and murder when she discovers strawberries - a lethal allergen for Charla - in the scrub. Now, Andi must save her business and her reputation.