Saturday, November 29, 2008

Special Feature !!

THERE GOES SANTA CLAUS
BY
NANCY MEHL


IVY TOWERS-TUCKER IS LOOKING FORWARD TO HER FIRST CHRISTMAS AS A MARRIED WOMAN. . . .
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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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


AND NOW AN EXCERPT FROM . . .THERE GOES SANTA CLAUS
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!




IN THE DEAD OF WINTER

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.



BYE BYE BERTIE

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.








17 comments:

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those look like wonderful books.

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