Friday, March 16, 2018


Top o' the morning to you! Your reply should be, "And the rest of the day to yourself." I'm only a little Irish mixed with Scottish, Swiss, Cherokee, Scandinavian, and bits of other countries. However, I love Ireland and St. Patrick's Day. I could be packed and ready for another trip to Ireland in a flash.

As I mentioned in my newsletter, I'm giving away a box of swag and signed paperback books to someone who comments on this post between today and midnight on Sunday.

I’m excited to use this time near St. Patrick's Day to launch the first of my Texas Time Travel Series trilogy. (Try saying that fast three times ☺) TEXAS LIGHTNING releases March 17 but has been available for preorder. Early reader reports have been very enthusiastic. The second and third of the trilogy are TEXAS RAINBOW, releasing April 18, and TEXAS STORM, releasing May 24. Each will be available for preorder a couple of weeks before release.

I'm a bit nervous about this trilogy since I usually write either historical or contemporary western romance. Time travel romance has been fun to write, though, and I hope readers enjoy the books. I must admit that the second and third books have required tons more research than usual.  

In TEXAS LIGHTNING, Penny Terry is transported from 1896 to 2017 on her ranch. She was racing from rustlers when a bolt of heat lightning struck near her horse, resulting in the horse falling. Though Penny jumped clear of the horse, she fell down a ravine and hit her head. When she woke, rain was pouring and her horse was nowhere to be seen. Fortunately, neither were the rustlers.

Imagine trudging two miles through the rain to your house and finding other people not only live in your home, but claim to have a clear title to it. Not squatters or con men, but owners live in the place Penny is certain belongs to her. In addition, there are puzzling, sometimes frightening, differences in her home. Only her room and the painting over the parlor mantel are unchanged.

Years ago I discovered the books of Kathleen Kane before the author (Maureen Child) switched names and subgenres. I fell in love with those books and with time travel featuring ordinary people. I also have enjoyed the time travels of authors such as Beth Trissel, Linda LaRoque, Peggy L. Henderson, Diana Gabaldon, and others.

I especially enjoy seeing a character from the past come forward to today. Think about it—when someone goes back in time, they know most details of what’s going to happen in that era. On the other hand, when a person comes forward, everything is new and requires huge adjustments in learning and attitudes. What a challenge for a character—and what fun for the reader! If there’s mystery and/or suspense, even better.

This is what I wrote in OUT OF THE BLUE, when Deirdre Dougherty, an Irish woman from 1845, plopped down out of the blue in contemporary North Central Texas to help Detective Brendan Hunter solve several murders and discover who was trying to frame and kill him. I love that story and hope readers do also. That book ends in happily ever after for the hero and heroine, as all books should in my opinion.

TEXAS LIGHTNING depicts Penny Terry as she stumbles forward in time and into a complicated scheme to steal the ranch that had been hers. While unraveling the mystery, she learns why her father was killed. In this case, there’s even a fabulous treasure. Of course, she also falls in love with Jake Knight, the contemporary owner of the ranch. I hope you don't think that's a spoiler. It's not as if you don't know how the story will end, but the twists of getting there that makes reading entertaining.

The setting is in Central Texas on the Medina River somewhere between Bandera and Medina. Bandera touts itself as “The Cowboy Capital of the World”. That claim might be opposed by other western towns, but you get the idea that there are a lot of cowboys there. My family once stayed at The Mayan Ranch, a dude ranch near Bandera. Our daughters and I fell in love with the ranch and the area. Mayan Ranch owners the Hicks family are excellent hosts. My Hero prefers to read about western life, riding horses, and ranching rather than experiencing them first hand. Hero was a good sport but he would much rather have been fishing.☺

Here’s a synopsis of TEXAS LIGHTNING:

How can two people from different eras own the same ranch? 

Penelope Jane Terry knows everything about ranching in spite of being a lone woman. She is determined to send to jail the rustlers who believe they can steal what is hers… until she is caught spying on their dirty works and must ride for her life. What Penny doesn’t count on is being hurtled over a 120 years into the future.

Jake Knight believes the attractive woman who stumbled into his home one rainy evening either has amnesia or is certifiably insane. Unless, that is, she is in league with whoever is trying to drive him out of business. Someone is trying to force him to sell his ranch by staging a string of damaging incidents. Jake’s been kept so busy making repairs that he can’t run his ranch properly. Even if he were stupid enough to wish to sell, the ranch is so firmly entailed that no one can break the conditions.

Jake gradually realizes Penny is who she claims, no matter that time travel is supposed to be impossible. They’re locked into a clash only one of them can win. If an outsider weren’t trying to kill Jake as well as bankrupt him, perhaps he and Penny might be able to reach an agreement. Once the murderer is revealed, they discover there is a huge treasure….


Finally, the lights of home shone faintly in the distance. Nothing had ever looked so good. She couldn’t keep going much further. Damned if blisters hadn’t burned on her heels from walking so far in wet boots. She was near frozen in these wet clothes.
How could she be so cold now when the heat earlier had nearly suffocated her? Nevermind, she just wanted to be home, safe, and in her bed. There stood the fence next to the paddock. Almost home now, keep walking.
Don’t pass out, don’t fall. One foot in front of the other. You can do this. Stumbling from fatigue, she labored up the front steps onto the long wrap-around porch and bumped into a rocker. Who’d put that there? Just like her cook to move stuff around without telling her. How she’d love to sink into it and rest. First, she had to send for the sheriff and find out if her horse Star came home.
At the door, she paused and listened for men talking—rustlers waiting to waylay her. She heard no sound. Lights shone so brightly, her cook must have waited up for her with every lamp in the house lighted. She eased opened the door, listened again, then walked in and leaned her rifle against the stair’s banister.
“Did Star come home?” She unbuckled her gun belt and hung it on the newel post—not something she’d do under ordinary circumstances.
Tugging off her gloves, she avoided a couple of cactus spines stuck in the fingers. How had they remained there without her feeling them? No matter, she sat down on the third stair tread to remove her boots.
She should have gone around to the back door, but she couldn’t walk another step. Weariness and sore muscles overwhelmed her and she wanted nothing more than to shuck out of her wet things and lie in her nice bed—if she could summon the energy to walk upstairs. Eyes closed, she leaned back against the stairs. She heard footsteps approaching and raised one foot.
“Had me a passel of trouble. Help me get these danged boots off, would you? Then I’ll tell you all about it.” A dog’s cold nose pressed against her cheek. She jumped and pushed her hair out of her eyes. A black and white dog stared at her. “Who are you?”
            “His name’s Rascal.” An unfamiliar baritone said, “He’s mine.”
            She looked up.
Whoa! The man who faced her was a stranger. In spite of her wariness, her mouth dropped open in awe. Instead of her arthritic middle-aged cook, this man was young and tall and definitely fit. And handsome. Unbelievably, mesmerizingly handsome.
He might be as comely as a fairy tale prince, but the regal disapproval on his face appeared anything but friendly.
Energized by fear, she jumped to her feet and grabbed her rifle. “Who the heck are you?”
He crossed his arms and ignored the Winchester pointed at his middle. His dark hair glistened in light that seemed too bright. Dark blue eyes had tiny creases at the corners, as if he laughed a lot.
He sure wasn’t laughing now.
“I might ask you the same question. And what are you doing tracking in mud and dripping water all over my foyer?”
Your foyer? This is my house, and it’s been my house since my daddy and I built it six years ago. Don’t you think for one minute I’ll let you steal my ranch.”
 The dog growled, the fur of his ruff bristling.
The man snapped his fingers. “Quiet, Rascal.”
Who was this man? He didn’t look the type but maybe he was one of the men stealing her cattle. Could he and his dog have been waiting for her? She gripped the rifle with all her strength. Why hadn’t her cook shown up to help her?
Oh, no, had they killed him?
He glared at her. “Lady, I don’t know who you are, but this is my house, get it? I grew up here. My daddy grew up here. My granddaddy grew up here.”
Penny’s knees trembled, but she fought fear to appear strong. “Don’t try and trick me. The Double T ranch was started by my granddaddy in 1836. No con man is going to steal it from the Terry family, and you can take that to the bank.”
“The Terry family hasn’t owned this since Penelope Terry died in 1896. The Knight family has owned it since then.” He threw up his hands. “Hell, why am I arguing with a crazy woman?”
“Crazy?” She was about to light into him when the first part of his statement hit her. “Hey, what do you mean, I died? I’m as alive as you, whoever you are.”
“What the hell are you talking about? I see you’re alive. I said Penelope Terry died. Are you hard of hearing as well as nuts?”
Increasing fear spiraled inside Penny, knotting her stomach. How could this man think her dead? What kind of trick was he working? Had she been conked out long enough that her cook sent men out to look for her and they decided she’d died?
Forcing herself to appear calm when she shook inside, Penny stood erect. “I’m Penelope Jane Terry and you can see I’m very much alive…”

Through a crazy twist of fate, Caroline Clemmons was not born on a Texas ranch. To make up for this tragic error, she writes about handsome cowboys, feisty ranch women, and scheming villains from a small office her family calls her pink cave. She and her Hero live in North Central Texas cowboy country where they ride herd on their rescued cats and dogs. The books she creates there have made her an Amazon bestselling author and won several awards. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, and Pinterest.
Click on her Amazon Author Page for a complete list of her books and please follow her there.
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Subscribe to Caroline’s newsletter here to receive a FREE novella of HAPPY IS THE BRIDE, a humorous historical wedding disaster that ends happily—but you knew it would, didn’t you?
She loves to hear from readers at

Thursday, March 15, 2018


Mary Queen of the Scots:
The Forgotten Reign
The Legendary Women of World History Book 3


Queen Mary Stuart was one of the most beloved and controversial women in
Scottish history. The granddaughter of King James IV and his wife
Margaret Tudor, Queen Mary's status as heiress-apparent to Queen
Elizabeth's throne in England paired with the violence of the
Scottish Reformation set the stage for one of the most dramatic and
poorly understood lives of the 16th century.

Mary Queen of the Scots tells Mary's true story, focusing primarily on her
reign as queen of Scotland, celebrating her life more than her death
and showing us all why she was truly a woman ahead of her time.

Features a detailed timeline, a list of Latin prayers with their English
translations, and the lyrics to all four featured period songs
performed in the book.

Queen Elizabeth Tudor:
Journey to Gloriana
The Legendary Women of World History Book 4


I am by your Council from you commanded to go to the Tower, a place
more wanted for a false traitor than a true subject, which though I
know I desire it not, yet in the face of all this realm it appears
proved,” wrote Princess Elizabeth Tudor in her eleventh-hour letter
to sister Queen Mary as guards waited to transport her to the prison
at the Tower of London.

Queen Elizabeth is perhaps the most legendary and celebrated ruler in
English history. Yet do you really know her as well as you think you do?

In this beautiful narrative biography you explore Elizabeth’s path
from “Lady Elizabeth” to “Gloriana” through the lens of her
relationship with Robert Dudley, a relationship far more contentious
than most people believe. Politics and religion collide, provoking
Elizabeth to console herself with her music, and a hard decision lays
before her as plots against her life threatens her throne.

Take the journey to Gloriana and discover a side to Elizabeth

you never knew existed.

Features six medieval and Elizabethan songs, a detailed timeline, and an
extensive suggested reading list. Continues "Mary Queen of the Scots."

Born, raised, and educated in Lincoln, Nebraska USA Laurel A. Rockefeller
is author of over twenty books published and self-published since
August, 2012 and in languages ranging from Welsh to Spanish to
Chinese and everything in between. A dedicated scholar and
biographical historian, Ms. Rockefeller is passionate about education
and improving history literacy worldwide. 

With her lyrical writing style, Laurel's books are as beautiful to read as
they are informative.

In her spare time, Laurel enjoys spending time with her cockatiels,
attending living history activities, travelling to historic places in
both the United States and United Kingdom, and watching classic
motion pictures and classic television series.

One winner each week
will receive a sapling tree from the Arbor Day Foundation – trees
will vary depending on the winner's region – US only. There will
also be two random winners for a special mystery prize- drawn at
surprise moments during the tour!

Follow the tour HERE
to discover the other amazing Legendary Women of World History books
and enter the weekly giveaways!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Inn the Spirit of Legends
Spirits of Texas Book 1
Becki Willis

Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery

From the author of The
Sisters, Texas Mystery Series
 and Forgotten
, comes an intriguing new book series, the Spirits
of Texas Cozy Mysteries.
When the tiny hamlet of Hannah, Texas goes up for auction, Hannah Duncan’s
fun-loving uncle sees it as the perfect gift for her thirtieth
birthday. After all, what’s more fun than a town bearing your own name? 
Nestled in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, the ‘town’ isn’t much —
a dozen or less buildings in various stages of disrepair—but it
comes with a dedicated pair of caretakers, a menagerie of farm
animals, a surprisingly generous trust fund, enough stipulations to
make her head spin, and a handsome but maddening attorney to oversee
the handling of the estate.
Originally a stagecoach stop, Hannah, Texas resolves around the historic and
rather charming Spirits of Texas Inn. The old inn
comes with a colorful past, the mystique of hidden treasure, loyal
guests who still book summer vacations there, and three surprise
residents: true spirits of the past, who didn’t cross over as expected. 
Now Hannah has her hands full, coming to terms with her unexpected status
as an innkeeper, adjusting to life in the country, fighting her
attraction to attorney Walker Jacoby, plus dealing with ghosts! 
To top it off, two fortune hunters arrive to search for the hidden
treasure, and they don’t care who stands in their way. They’ll
stoop to any means—including murder—to get their hands on the
legendary stash of gold.
Don’t miss out on the excitement, right from the beginning. Book your visit
to Hannah, Texas today!


Humming along with the music streaming from her phone, Hannah studied the ledgers scattered in front of her. Fortunately for her, Miss Wilhelmina kept excellent documentation through the years, even though it was all done by hand. With nothing recorded electronically, Hannah had to search through each ledger, one by one. It was a slow process, but she was making progress.

She was buoyed by the totals in the margins. The Spirits of Texas Inn was, indeed, a profitable business, just as Walker reported that first day. It helped that a substantial deposit was made in late 1970, and again the following year. Smaller but still significant amounts followed for the next five years. With a healthy bank account to fall back on, the inn could afford a few lean times.

Most interesting of all was the fact that Miss Wilhelmina, like the innkeepers before her, made side notes throughout the ledgers. In many ways, the notes read like journals.

Some notes were brief and to the point: Raining. Or, Construction on the new highway.
Others gave a brief recap of guests, and events in the area. Sweet couple, here for first anniversary. Or, Trail ride and reunion for Bottoms Family. And, Lecture at library over hidden treasure. Should get their facts straight.

“Hidden treasure!” Hannah read aloud. “Knowing JoeJoe, that’s the whole reason he bid on this crazy place.” She blew away a tendril of dark hair that kept falling into her face. There was a bit of a draft in the room. “As if the man needs any more money,” she grumbled. “He just loves the thrill of the hunt.”

Despite his crazy, impulsive ways, she adored her uncle. He was the only family she had.
True, her mother was still living, but their relationship was hardly described as that of ‘family.’ They were more like polite strangers, exchanging Christmas cards and occasional texts. When was the last time she had heard from her mother in person, anyway? Sometime around husband number five, she thought. The producer who claimed he could revive her career and get her the type of leading roles she deserved. No more achy joint commercials and dowdy grandmotherly-type roles for the talented actress; she was a star, and he would help her shine. When that same husband and producer polished off her bank account a few months later, Jacqueline called her daughter. “Just to talk,” her mother claimed, but Hannah knew the drill. Her mother only called when she needed something.

Back then, Hannah was in a position to help her mother when times got rough. With no one else to spend her hard-earned money on other than herself, Hannah could afford to be generous, in more ways than one. She would graciously overlook her mother’s lack of parenting skills and send a note of encouragement after each hard-luck phone call. She always tucked a check in along with it, something to tide her mother over until her next big break came along.

Jacqueline called Hannah’s father the dreamer, but it was she who lived in a fantasy world. Life in rural East Texas never suited the voluptuous brunette. She wanted something bigger, something better, than a wildcatter husband who worked in the oil fields. Even when it meant leaving her only child behind, Jacqueline could no longer resist the lure of fame and fortune. Terrell could chase his dreams of finding oil; Jacqueline had dreams of her own, and they led her to Hollywood.

Oddly enough, both realized their dreams, at the same exact time. Duncan Drilling hit a huge vein of oil, launching them into the big time, on the very day that Jacqueline landed the roll of Rhonda in Doctors’ General, the most popular soap opera on television. With both of their careers spinning out of control, neither had time for an inquisitive little girl. Hannah bounced between the two of them like a ping-pong game that neither wanted to play. JoeJoe became the bright spot in little Hannah’s life, the only person who ever seemed to have time for her.

Her uncle was just an overgrown kid, himself. Technically, he was a partner in Duncan Drilling, a business the two brothers inherited from their father. Terrell ran the company while JoeJoe finished his education and squandered his share of the profits on things like cheap women and expensive birthday presents for his only niece. By the time Terrell died in a rig explosion, the company was almost broke. Hannah inherited her father’s share, but promptly sold it to her uncle. She wanted no part of the business, blaming it for taking her father’s life and for driving her mother away, all those years ago. One year later, her uncle was daring enough—or foolish enough—to throw in with an innovative new oilfield product coming out of Dubai. It made him an instant millionaire, several times over.

Now her uncle was a very rich overgrown kid, still buying extravagant gifts for his only niece.
Hence, here she sat, queen of her own little sad kingdom, reading over ledgers recorded in longhand.
The music began to cut in and out. Hannah picked up her phone and checked the signal. Something was playing havoc with the connection, causing interference.

Too bad, because the music kept the strange noises at bay.

A building as old and rambling as the inn made all sorts of odd and unexpected sounds. Nights were the worst, when silence settled in, broken only by the creak and groan of shifting seams and aging beams. And when Walker was away, and the house was empty save for her and Leroy, the noises came again, reminding Hannah of her isolation and her vulnerability. It was best to drown out the sounds with the radio, or Leroy’s shuddering snores, or by whatever means she could find.

Television, unfortunately, was not an option. The subscription to the satellite service had lapsed, and new equipment was required before the system could be restored. A technician wasn’t scheduled until early next week.

Curious about the mention of a hidden treasure, Hannah typed it into her phone’s search engine. The slow connection was excruciating. Deciding it was time for a break, she went upstairs to use her laptop. The inn’s computer was password protected, and until the elusive Sadie and Fred returned, there was no getting in.

Hannah was surprised to read that, according to local legend, there was a hidden treasure buried somewhere in the nearby hills. In the late eighteen seventies, notorious outlaw Sam Bass and a ragtag team of bandits perfected their robbery skills, targeting stage coaches before moving on to the more modern—and lucrative—steam-powered locomotive. Most of their hits were smalltime efforts, executed more for experience than for wealth. However, legend had it that one of the stages carried covert cargo: two huge crates of gold and silver.

The Army was transferring a sizable fortune from Fort Worth to San Antonio. The plan was to send a decoy troop of soldiers by rail, armed to the hilt but in fact guarding empty crates. While attention was drawn to the pomp and circumstance of army pageantry, the real gold traveled by stage, protected only by three undercover officers and the usual stage driver. The plan worked so well that two separate teams of bandits held up the train, fifty miles apart, and were taken into custody with minimal loss of life.

All went well until the stage neared the Hannah stop. As the vehicle neared South Grape Creek, a lone rider came up from the south and attempted to flag down the stage. Behind him, the Bass gang rode into view at the top of the hill, intent on overtaking that very same stage.

No one knew exactly what happened next. The only eyewitness left to tell the story was one of the officers, and he was in little shape to tell his tale. Best as anyone knew, fate played a cruel trick upon the men that day. When the officer grabbed his chest during the beginning stages of a heart attack, his fellow officers thought he had been shot. In the confusion, they over-reacted and assumed it was a robbery. Before Sam Bass and his gang made it down the hill and toward the crossing, two officers and the driver were dead, the third officer was mistaken as such, and the lone rider was injured. The crates spilled out on the ground, revealing their fortune.

No one knew for certain how much money was at stake. The Army refused to give details. Some denied the freight was even on the stage to begin with; a blunder such as this did not look good for their reputation. Bass and his gang, now plus one, were smart enough to keep their good fortune quiet. Right there at the creek crossing, they decided to hide the money and lay low. No need in spending a sudden unexplained fortune. When the time was right, they would return to the area and claim their booty.

Sam had success with a similar plan the year before, when he and the Collins Gang robbed a train in South Dakota and got away with sixty thousand dollars in newly minted gold. After that heist, the men broke off in pairs, each with their share of the money. The poor fools who spent their money openly were now dead, while Sam, on the other hand, still rode free.

The lone rider from the stagecoach, injured and in need of care, entrusted his share to Sam. Even a poor farm boy from Kansas had heard of the great Sam Bass. He was known as a fair outlaw, if such a thing existed. To prove his trustworthiness, Bass drew a map, gave the only copy to the injured fellow, and took him to the nearest farmhouse, which just happened to be the stage stop. They concocted a story about the fellow being on the stage and injured when an outlaw rode up and robbed them, single-handed.

It was weeks before anyone knew the real story, or parts of it, at best. The surviving officer tried to set the record straight, but his speech was weak and slurred. He had difficulty relaying the conversation he overheard that day, about a band of outlaws hiding the gold. Eventually, it was determined that the injured man recuperating in Hannah was actually the lone outlaw. Before they could take him into custody, however, he somehow managed to escape. Most believed he had an accomplice, and some thought it was the young girl from the stagecoach stop, young Lina.

According to legend, the treasure was never recovered. While the lone rider recovered from his injuries, too weak to retrieve the gold, Bass and his gang rode into Round Rock, intent on robbing the bank there. The notorious outlaw was injured in a gunfight and died. People spoke of Bass’s other hidden treasure, the money from the Dakota train robbery, but no one knew about the stagecoach heist. Not until the officer told his garbled story and the lone rider escaped in the night, never to be seen again.

Hannah read the story with a sense of mild amusement. Funny, how rumors and legends came into being. If there was ever any hidden gold to begin with, the lone rider probably took it with him when he left the country. She supposed it was more interesting, however, to imagine that it still hid somewhere in the hills, just waiting to be discovered. It was one of those stories people told their kids, in random moments when they had nothing else to talk about, or those times when they wanted to distract them and pull their minds away from current circumstances. It was something to tell visitors to the area, when there was little else to hold their attention. A fun tale to recite around a campfire, or when you ran out of ghost stories.

Hannah could definitely see her uncle falling for such a ruse, caught up in the thrill and romance of the old-west legend.

“So much for that,” she said, closing down the website with a click of her tongue. “If you ask me, legends of hidden treasure just never seem to pan out. Stories like that are for dreamers.” A wicked thought occurred to her, and she giggled aloud. “And if hell freezes over and my mother ever comes to visit, I’ll share the story with her. That might just be her best shot of getting any money out of me these days. Alas, my well—therefore, her well—runneth dry.”

As Hannah descended the stairs, her mind went back to the ledgers. She had spent the past few days studying them. Mention of hidden treasures aside, the books for the old inn boasted a healthy bottom line. If staying captive for the full thirty days meant a generous bonus for improvements and remodeling, she might very well be sitting atop a hidden treasure of a different kind. The sort that required a little imagination, a lot of hard work, and an investment of time and energy. The kind that paid off in the long run.

Was she up to the challenge? Hannah pondered the enormity of the question as her foot hit the last step. This meant making a commitment. This meant no wiggling out of the contract terms. This meant no quitting in a year, even after she earned the second bonus.

And that sound she heard meant someone was in the kitchen…

Hannah picked up the pace.

**Only .99 cents!**


This is my first cozy by Becki Willis, but it will not be my last. Hannah Duncan has been ignored by her actress mother unless her mom needs something. The person who has always been there for her is her Uncle Joe Joe, who is now a multi-millionaire determined to share his wealth with his niece. When the small town of Hannah comes up for sale, he buys it for his niece. Hannah the woman is a city girl and the town is in the sticks. When she loses her job, she decides to see what is involved in claiming her gift. Perhaps she can check on it, sell it, and have the money to tide her over.

Nice try, but there are lists of stipulations, and handsome lawyer, Walker Jacoby, is available to fill her in to them. Hannah is appalled to learn she can’t even leave the place. Worse, the care of farm animals is involved. Hannah is so ready to be over this. Only the presence of the gorgeous lawyer restrains her from throwing in the towel.  

She learns from the inn records that a buried treasure is rumored to have been left in the small town. While she doubts the existence of such a cache, villains (some of them humorous) are at work to locate and abscond with the loot. A few ghosts liven up the story as well.

This is a fast-paced and fun paranormal cozy mystery sure to delight most readers. I certainly enjoyed reading it and am eager to read more of this author’s books.

I was given a free ARC of INN OF SPIRITS OF TEXAS for an honest and unbiased review. 

My rating for this novel is 5 of 5 stars.  

Becki Willis, best known for her popular The Sisters, Texas Mystery Series
and Forgotten Boxes, always dreamed of being an author. In November
of '13, that dream became a reality. Since that time, she has
published eleven books, won first place honors for Best Mystery
Series, Best Suspense Fiction and Best Audio Book, and has introduced
her imaginary friends to readers around the world. 

An avid history buff, Becki likes to poke around in old places and learn
about the past. Other addictions include reading, writing, junking,
unraveling a good mystery, and coffee. She loves to travel, but
believes coming home to her family and her Texas ranch is the best
part of any trip. Becki is a member of the Association of Texas
Authors, the National Association of Professional Women, and the
Brazos Writers organization. She attended Texas A&M University
and majored in Journalism.

the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

Monday, March 12, 2018


The Murder of Manny Grimes

The Cases of Lieutenant DeLong #1
Angela Kay
Suspense, Thriller, Mystery

When three young boys stumble into Lieutenant Jim DeLong's life one night
during a winter storm, they claim they've seen a dead body by the
swing sets of the Columbia County Elementary School. After he
investigates, DeLong sees no evidence, not even a body. But were the
boys telling the truth?

With the help of his oldest friend and mentor, former Naval investigator
Russ Calhoun, DeLong sets out to find whether Manny Grimes is alive
or dead. The further away he gets to the bottom of the mystery, the
closer he comes to realize that his own life is falling apart.

Delving deeper into the murder of Manny Grimes, Lieutenant DeLong begins to
unravel, losing his sense of control, falling into old temptations he
spent years to overcome. Will he be able to move past his own demons
and untangle the web of lies before it's too late?

Blood Runs Cold
Cases of Lieutenant DeLong #2

A young woman has been murdered at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion and
Lieutenant Jim DeLong realizes at first sight this case will be the
most difficult one of his career. DeLong is immediately swept into
the memories of his childhood and dark secrets he's longed to forget. 

The victim is his sister-in-law, and old thoughts he's fought to delete
will be resurrected whether DeLong likes it or not. He and his
brother have been estranged by unhappy times in their youth. With no
clear motive, DeLong questions his ability to remain objective.

**On Sale for .99 cents!!**


DeLong closed the garage door and went inside the house. He heard soft murmurs floating from the living room. He knew his six-year-old daughter, Bella, was in school, so he guessed Samantha was probably watching television. DeLong was glad to be with his wife, even for just a few minutes. After coming onto the scene and seeing his brother's wife, he just wanted to hold on to Samantha and never let her go. It was nothing but a harsh reminder that in the blink of an eye, everything can go wrong. The memory of Bree was etched in his mind and continued to haunt him. Seeing her in the water left him feeling empty.
Samantha liked to tell him that everything happened for a reason. But there was no reason for women like Bree DeLong to be murdered. She was a kindhearted young woman who wanted nothing more
than to help those less fortunate—particularly children.
"Honey, I'm home," DeLong called out. Draping his jacket on the back of the kitchen chair, he let out a long yawn. His eyes felt heavy, and his stomach rumbled. But despite his hunger, he didn't feel much
like eating. He would opt for a quick nap, but he wasn't sure that would happen either.
"Jim, we're in here, honey."
Was someone here?
Remembering the urgency in Samantha's text resulted in his stomach churning. DeLong grabbed a Coke can from the refrigerator and stepped into the living room. Though deep down it didn't come to a surprise to him, DeLong almost dropped the can when he saw his brother sitting on the couch next to his wife.
"Sully." He blinked a few times as if he were trying to stop imagining things. "What are you doing here?"
"I'm sorry to come here like this." Sullivan glanced over at Samantha, then back at DeLong. He looked as though he wanted to say something and then shook his head. Sullivan pushed to his feet. "Sorry,
Sam, I can't do this. I really should go."
Samantha put a hand on his wrist to keep him from moving away. "You're always welcome here, Sully. Right, Jim?" She shot her husband a look of warning.
"Of course," he stammered.
Samantha pulled Sullivan back to the cushions. DeLong studied his older brother for a good five minutes, taking in every sadness, every anger. He seemed to have aged a few more years since DeLong had seen him at the morgue. His eyes were hollow, and he looked as though he hadn't slept for a week.
He wanted to say something consoling to him, but what could he say? There were no words to ease someone in this time of grief. If there were, he wasn't aware of them.
"How are you doing?" He sat on the edge of the coffee table.
Sullivan only shook his head. His eyes began to water, a single tear sliding down the corner of his eye. He bounced his knees and set his head in his hands.
"I didn’t have anywhere else to go,” Sullivan mumbled. “Ally’s in school. I-I went there to tell her what happened, but I just couldn't.”
"We’ll figure this out. It'll be OK.” DeLong cleared his throat, pressed his fingertips to his eyelids, and then leaned in toward his brother. "Why don't you go ahead and tell me everything you know? Start from the last time you spoke to or saw Bree. What she was doing, where she went, who she spoke to...don't leave anything out."
Sullivan looked at DeLong, then Samantha and back again. "The last time we spoke was yesterday morning. I think around six or so. It was before she took Ally to school.”
“How did she seem?” DeLong asked.
Sullivan shrugged. “Normal.”
“Do you know what her plan for the day was?”
“I think she was going to that center she runs—Protecting theLord’s Children. After that…” Sullivan trailed off. He seemed to be thinking about what he wanted to say next. Finally, he replied, “After
that, she was supposed to go home.”
“But she didn't go home?” DeLong pressed.
“I don't know. I went fishing with an old friend."
“From what time to what time?”
Sullivan narrowed his eyes at DeLong. “What does that matter?”
“I need to build a timeline,” DeLong explained. “That’s all.”
Sullivan squared his jaw, reminding DeLong of how their father always looked when he was forcing himself to remain calm.
“Ten that morning to five in the evening. We went to Clarks Hill Lake.”
“What’s your friend’s name?"
“James Simmons. We used to work together.”
“Where did you go after fishing?” DeLong asked slowly. He motioned for Samantha to hand him a pad from the end table. He began writing the information down.
“Are you implying that I killed her?” Sullivan snapped.
DeLong looked up to see the hot anger flash in Sullivan's eyes. He opened his mouth to say something else, but before he did, DeLong held up his palm. He was used to spouses getting flustered by the police as they attempted to weed out suspects. His brother was no different.
“I have to ask these questions, Sully.”
“I wouldn’t hurt her. I loved my wife. We had a good marriage. I can’t…I can’t believe you’d actually think I’d….” Sullivan trailed off and rose to pace the room.
DeLong remained silent, watching. Samantha glared at him. DeLong shook his head slightly to warn her to stay out of it.
"We were happy," Sullivan continued tautly. "She didn't leave me, and she wasn't having any kind of affair. We were happy."
"Good. Did she have any friends that wanted something more from her? Something she wasn't willing to give him?"
Sullivan shook his head with conviction. "No. I mean, everybody loved her. You know that. That goes without saying. People loved her, but not in any romantic sense."
"Did she seem upset at all? Like she was worried about something?"
"No. I mean, I don't think so."
"And you? Is everything good with you? You don't have anything to worry about? Anything that's upsetting you?"
DeLong watched as his brother gazed at him. It looked as though he wanted to say something, but couldn't decide what it would be. Finally, he put his head in his hands, sighed and looked back at
"Why don’t you go ahead and say it, Jim.”
“What are you talking about? I need to ask you these questions. I'm just covering all the bases, Sully."
"These questions are pointless!" Sullivan sliced his hands in the air. “How is whatever it was I did going to help find my wife’s killer?”
"Why don't you just answer my questions, Sullivan? Let me do my job." The words come out gruffer than he intended, which resulted in his wife hissing his name.
Sullivan gaped at his brother, frowning, arms tightly crossed against his chest. Finally, he shook his head in agitation.
"No. I was wrong to come here. What was I thinking? I mean, I need someone capable enough to find out who murdered my wife." A mixture of undeniable anger and pain flashed in Sullivan's eyes. "I need
someone that I can trust."
"You can trust Jim, Sully," Samantha interjected, eyes wide, glistening with tears and worry.
Sullivan let out a scoff. "Him? Jim DeLong? Are you kidding me? No offense, but my drunk little brother could fly off the rails at any moment. You of all people should know that."
DeLong squared his jaw in an effort to stay calm. He remained quiet as Samantha stammered.
Sullivan shook his head and cursed. "Forget it. This was a mistake, and I'm out of here."
Before anyone could respond, Sullivan flew out the door.
DeLong frowned, well aware that Samantha was glaring at him.
“Go stop him!” she hissed through her teeth, jabbing her index finger toward the door.
Obliging, DeLong chased after his brother, calling his name. He knew it was a fruitless effort, even before he saw Sullivan climbing in his car and pulling away, tires spinning hotly on the cement.

Equipped with a professional writing degree from Augusta State University,
Angela Kay is a southern lady who spends her days and nights dreaming
up new ways to solve dark murders of normal people.

Angela Kay was one of 23 across the United States to win a 2009 playwright
contest for her one-act entitled “Digging Deeper.” Because of
this, she was able to spend a week in Atlanta at the Horizon Theater Company. 

She lives in Augusta, Georgia with her crazy calico, Maggie.

the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!