Blogging Mama

Total Pageviews

Thursday, December 14, 2023

5 Star Review of Homecoming Chaos by D. W. Brooks

 Thank you for allowing Bring on Lemons to be part of:

D.W. Brooks’



Homecoming Chaos



I am so excited to be part of the blog tour for Homecoming Chaos! This romantic suspense by D.W. Brooks is perfect for readers who enjoy some witty dialogue and family issues mixed with a little romance and mystery.

The blog tour started November 20th and lasts through December 17th. I got a little behind with my review - not because the book wasn't phenomenal, but because my kiddos keep breaking things (wrists, ankles, etc...) and this throws off my schedule. I hope D.W. will forgive me!

 5 Star Review by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto

I absolutely loved Homecoming Chaos - it has a little bit of everything and flows really well! If you're looking for something light with a bit of romance and mystery - this is a fast read and is just the book for you! Jamie Scott is a delightful character you can't help but adore. With the holidays quickly approaching and so many people traveling, this is a fantastic book to pick up while riding in a car/plane or even a sweet way to end the day while relaxing. 5 out of 5 for sure! 

Now... find out more:

About the Book

A dead body in the parking lot of her family’s business, a killer on the loose, and a handsome detective asking a lot of questions…


Jamie Scott’s life fell apart four years ago when she broke off her engagement, turned down a dream job, and went overseas to run away from her life. Now she’s back, but the reunion is not without problems. She arrives home just in time to attend the soiree her mother planned, but she’s not prepared for what she finds—a dead employee in the parking lot.


Detective Nick Marshall is assigned to the murder case at the forensics lab owned by Jamie’s family. He meets the headstrong Jamie, but he has a job to do. And his attraction to her… well, he’s a professional.


Jamie knows the stakes are high. She has to face the past and save her parents’ business while dealing with her family drama and an uncertain future. She also has to deal with Nick, who wants her out of the way of his investigation. But fate keeps throwing them in one another’s paths… and into chaos that they both want to avoid, but neither can seem to escape.


Publisher: Life: The Reboot, LLC

ISBN-13: 979-8218150501
Print length: 449 pages


Purchase a copy of Homecoming Chaos by visiting AmazonBarnes and Noble, or Kobo. Make sure you also add Homecoming Chaos to your Goodreads reading list.


About Author D.W. Brooks

D.W. Brooks lives in Texas with her husband and children. She enjoys trying to stay in shape, sporadically cooking, reading (still), writing, and working on her blog. She is eternally grateful to the woman who donated a kidney to her over 5 years ago and continues to advocate for organ donation as much as she can.

Learn more at




Remaining Blog Tour Calendar

December 14th @ The Knotty Needle

Stop by to read Judy's review of Homecoming Chaos by D.W. Brooks.


December 15th @ Sue Edwards’s blog

Stop by Sue’s blog to read a guest post by D.W. Brooks about literary beginnings.


December 17th @ World of My Imagination
Visit Nicole's blog to read her review of Homecoming Chaos by D.W. Brooks.


Friday, November 24, 2023

Let Me Tell You About a Quick Engaging Time Travel Book: ""Come Back to Me" by Leslie Hachtel

 Let's start with my 5 star review: 

"Come Back to Me" by Leslie Hachtel is a quick read and if you love time travel and science fiction this is a nice light weekend book you'll enjoy. The characters are engaging and there's a cliff-hanger ending that will definitely leave you eager for the next book in the series!


Now....a little bit about the book:

What would you do if you could go back in time to find your soulmate? 

For Skye Blaine, the answer is clear: she would do whatever it takes to be with the one she loves. In "Come Back to Me," follow her as she travels through time in search of her heart's desire, finding that the path to true love is never easy, but always worth it. Will she find her happy ending? 

This page-turning story of love, sacrifice, and courage is sure to captivate and inspire. Don't miss out on this unforgettable journey through time!

And...who can forget - let's learn more about the talented author, Leslie Hachtel:

Leslie Hachtel was born Ohio and has lived all over the United States. She started writing years ago when she simply decided to sit down at a typewriter and she was transported to another world. 

She realized then a writer writes because there is no other choice. 

 Her genres include historical, contemporary, romantic suspense and historical/paranormal since she loves them all. 

 Leslie lives in Florida with her fabulously supportive husband, Bob. And of course, with Josie, the poodle mix. 

 Find out more at:

Sunday, October 22, 2023

5 Star Review for Alle C. Hall's "As Far As You Can Go Before You Have to Come Back" - review by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto


As Far As You Can Go Before You Have to Come Back by Alle C. Hall

I want to thank WOW! Women on Writing for inviting me to be part of the book blog tour for As Far As You Can Go Before You Have to Come Back by Alle C. Hall. This is an inspiring read and I can't wait to tell you more about it! 


Before we get to my review, here's more information about her novel:

Nominated for The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Book Award, Alle C. Hall’s debut literary novel, As Far as You Can Go Before You Have to Come Back is a-girl-and-her-backpack story with a #MeToo influence: 

Carlie is not merely traveling. A child sexual abuse survivor, as a teen she steals ten thousand dollars from her parents and runs away to Asia. There, the Lonely Planet path of hookups, heat, alcohol, and drugs takes on a terrifying reality. Landing in Tokyo in the late 1980s, Carlie falls in with an international crew of tai chi-practicing backpackers. With their help, Carlie has the chance at a journey she didn’t plan for: one to find the self-respect ripped from her as a child and the healthy sexuality she desires.

Publisher: Black Rose Writing
ISBN-10: 1685131476
ISBN-13: 978-1685131470
Print Length: 267 pages

Purchase a copy of the book on Amazon,, or Barnes and Noble. Make sure you also add it to your GoodReads reading list.

About the Author, Alle C. Hall

Nominated for The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Book Award and—tis just in—winner of The PenCraft Book Award for Fiction – Adventure, Alle C. Hall’s debut literary novel, As Far as You Can Go Before You Have to Come Back was winning prizes before its publication, including the National League of American Pen Women’s Mary Kennedy Eastham Prize. Her short stories and essays appear in journals including Dale Peck’s Evergreen Review, Tupelo Quarterly, New World Writing, LitroCreative Nonfiction, and Another Chicago. She has written for The Seattle TimesSeattle Weekly, and was a contributing writer at The Stranger. She is the former senior nonfiction editor at jmww journal and the former associate editor of Vestal Review. Hall lived in Asia, traveled there extensively, speaks what she calls “clunky” Japanese, and has a tai chi practice of 35 years running.

Find her online at:

Review by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto
*****5 STAR RATING*****
 I absolutely enjoyed reading As Far As You Can Go Before You Have to Come Back by Alle C. Hall. I do have to be honest though - this book may not be for everyone. That said, it's inspiring and very well written. There is a trigger warning for child sexual abuse, every addiction you can imagine, and suicide - and if that doesn't take you too far out of your comfort zone - you'll love this book! This book will break your heart at times - but in the end you'll be inspired as Carlie finds hope and possibilities along her journey! Such a beautifully written journey - thank you Alle C. Hall for your bravery in sharing your journey! 

As Far As You Can Go Before You Have to Come Back by Alle C. Hall Blog Tour

-- Blog Tour Calendar

October 2nd @ The Muffin
Join us as we celebrate the launch of Alle C. Hall's blog tour for As Far As You Can Go Before You Have to Come Back. Read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book.

October 3rd @ Seaside Book Nook
Jill will be spotlighting the award-winning book As Far As You Can Go Before You Have to Come Back by Alle C. Hall.

October 3rd @ Felicia Guest Writes
Join Felicia as she features an excerpt of As Far As You Can Go Before You Have to Come Back.

October 5th @ Fiona Ingram
Join Fiona for a guest post by Alle C. Hall about travel and travel writing.

October 7th @ Chapter Break
Julie will be spotlighting As Far As You Can Go Before You Have to Come Back on her blog today. She'll also be interviewing the author.

October 8th @ World of My Imagination
Visit Nicole's blog for her review of As Far As You Can Go Before You Have to Come Back.

October 8th @ Just Katherine
Don't miss Katherine's feature of an excerpt from As Far As You Can Go Before You Have to Come Back.

October 10th @ Just Katherine
Katherine shares a guest post by Alle C. Hall about the topic of joy.

October 12th @ Knotty Needle
Visit Judy's blog for her review of As Far As You Can Go Before You Have to Come Back.

October 14th @ A Wonderful World of Books
Visit Joy's blog for a guest post by the author about surviving traumatic, unkind, or simply less-than-nurturing events.

October 16th @ Storeybook Reviews
Visit Leslie's blog for a guest post by Alle C. Hall about coping.

October 18th @ Finished Pages
Join Renee as she reviews As Far As You Can Go Before You Have to Come Back.

October 19th @ Celticlady's Reviews
Kathleen shares a spotlight of As Far As You Can Go Before You Have to Come Back.

October 20th @ A Storybook World
Join Deirdra for her spotlight of As Far As You Can Go Before You Have to Come Back.

October 21st @ The Mommies Review
Don't miss Glenda's review of As Far As You Can Go Before You Have to Come Back.

October 23rd @ Bring on Lemons
Join Crystal for her review of As Far As You Can Go Before You Have to Come Back.

October 25th @ Mire Marke
Join Mire as she reviews As Far As You Can Go Before You Have to Come Back.

October 26th @ Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews
Visit Lisa's blog for her interview with author Alle C. Hall.

October 27th @ Freeing the Butterfly
Visit Michelle's blog for a guest post by Alle C. Hall about spirituality.

October 30th @ Jill Sheet's blog
Visit Jill's blog for her interview with author Alle C. Hall

November 1st @ Writer Advice
Visit B. Lynn Goodwin's blog for her review of As Far As You Can Go Before You Have to Come Back.

November 2nd @ Writer Advice
Join B. Lynn Goodwin again when she interviews Alle C. Hall.

November 3rd @ Choices
Visit Madeline's blog for a guest post by Alle C. Hall about trauma and creativity.

November 3 @ Boys' Mom Reads
Join Karen for her review of Alle C. Hall's book As Far As You Can Go Before You Have to Come Back.

November 4th @ Boots, Shoes, and Fashion
Visit Linda's blog for an in-depth interview with author Alle C. Hall about her book As Far As You Can Go Before You Have to Come Back.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

5 Star Review of "The Writing on the Wall" by Marilyn Howard - Review by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto

I am so exciting to be part of another WOW! Women on Writing book blog tour! Thank you for visiting Bring on Lemons Today for this 5 star review! First, take a moment to learn more about the book and it's author - and then you'll see the review right before the tour calendar - it is my hope you'll also visit some of the other stops and hear from other reviewers!







Book Summary

An astounding true story of a young woman driven by her desire to escape chauvinism blazes a whirlwind path full of mystical encounters and unexpected adventures. From love to lawsuits, her business and personal life intertwine, bringing her to untold heights. Uncanny predictions at a chance encounter with a Fulbright Scholar from India follow her throughout life, as if written on the wall and fated to happen.

Chauvinism from her youth make her determined to explore opportunities. She breaks through a glass ceiling of seventy men, enjoys traveling for a year, and returns to found an innovative startup in New York City. Whether skiing the powdery snow in Aspen, or waking up on a beach in Mexico to men with machine guns, each adventure brings challenges and insights to add to an ever-broadening awareness. A lucky break merges with swirling thoughts to ignite a new business. Running a successful startup attracts ADWEEK Magazine of New York. She places first on their list of "The Dynamic Dozen." It should have been smooth sailing, but sharks were circling. A court battle followed.

Entertaining and inspirational stories are told from pivotal times in history. Readers gain skills about life and business. The narrative will make you laugh at humanity, provoke anger at infuriating situations and leave you inspired to reach goals. Stimulating questions are raised, which will generate a deeper introspection.

Publisher: Hammond Publishing (August 2019)

ISBN-10: 1733319638

ISBN-13: 978-1733319638


Print Length: 293 pages

Purchase a copy of The Writing on the Wall on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and You can also add this to your GoodReads reading list.

About the Author

Marilyn Howard broke through the glass ceiling at Grey Advertising of New York to become their first female art director while in her early twenties. In 1970, she founded an innovative startup. Creative Freelancers Inc. became the first agency to connect businesses with freelance artists and writers, and operated for over 25 years in the center of Manhattan. ADWEEK Magazine of New York featured her in “The Dynamic Dozen,” those women under forty they identified as most likely to succeed. In 1997, her company became the first agency on the Internet. The author holds a B.F.A. from Syracuse University.

Visit her online at:

Her website:

Her Amazon author page:



5 Star Book Review by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto

This is such a fast paced book full of inspiration and adventure! Just reading the book summary is enough to draw you in and leave you wanting more more more! Marilyn Howard is unstoppable and it's so much fun to be carried along her journey. The Writing on the Wall is anything but predictable and boring and readers of all ages will find their own take-away - but each will be inspired differently. This is a great book full of adventure that will leave you reflecting on your own life choices. I ordered a second copy to give to my daughter because I feel this is a fabulous book for a young woman who is coming of age. Thank you Marilyn Howard for sharing your story! Definitely a 5 star read!

Blog Tour Calendar

October 9th @ The Muffin

Join WOW's blog at The Muffin as we celebrate the launch of Marilyn Howard's memoir The Writing on the Wall. Read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book.

October 11th @ Stranded in Chaos

Join Sara for her review of The Writing on the Wall.

October 13th @ World of My Imagination

Join Nicole for her review of The Writing on the Wall by Marilyn Howard.

October 15th @ Chapter Break

Visit Julie's blog for her interview with author Marilyn Howard about her book The Writing on the Wall.

October 18th @ Bring on Lemons

Join Crystal for her review of The Writing on the Wall by Marilyn Howard.

October 19th @ Knotty Needle

Visit Judy's blog for her review of The Writing on the Wall by Marilyn Howard.

October 20th @ A Storybook World

Join Deirdra as she features a spotlight of The Writing on the Wall by Marilyn Howard.

October 21st @ A Wonderful World of Books

Visit Joy's blog for a guest post by Marilyn Howard about life skills and how not to trip and fall on the small stuff.

October 23rd @ Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews

Join Lisa for her interview with author Marilyn Howard about her book The Writing on the Wall.

October 24th @ School Librarian in Action

Join Zarah as she reviews The Writing on the Wall by Marilyn Howard.

October 25th @ Choices

Visit Madeline's blog for a guest post by author Marilyn Howard about palm reading and the science behind it.

October 27th @ The Faerie Review

Join Lily as she reviews The Writing on the Wall by Marilyn Howard.

November 1st @ Pick a Good Book

Join Debbie as she reviews The Writing on the Wall on her Instagram page. You'll also have a chance to win a copy of the book, too!

November 2nd @ Katherine Itacy's blog

Join Katherine for her review of The Writing on the Wall by Marilyn Howard.

November 3rd @ StoreyBook Reviews

Visit Leslie's blog for a guest post by Marilyn Howard about daydreams and keeping your eyes open to opportunities.

November 5th @ Pick a Good Book

Debbie shares a guest post by Marilyn Howard over at her blog today that talks about some good news regarding childhood disabilities.

November 8th @ The Mommies Reviews

Visit Glenda's blog for her review of The Writing on the Wall by Marilyn Howard.

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Always Changing - Always Improving

 Hey ya'all!

I have struggled with my weight my entire life. I remember in 4th grade someone made a comment about looking as big as my friend's pregnant mother. Let me tell you I never wore those stretchy stirrup pants again. My weight wasn't the problem. My mindset was the problem. I tried limiting what I was eating. I tried exercising. If it's out there, I've tried it. I even thought about bariatric surgery when I saw people having success with that. You know what though? Nothing worked for me long term because I wasn't changing the problem - I was only trying to change the outcome.

Just like the rest of you - I really want to be the best version of myself. That's a moving target since life is always changing and evolving. I can't tell you what next year is going to look like, but I CAN tell you that in 2023 I committed to get healthy. I didn't commit to a diet. I committed to myself that I would get my spiritual walk in check, my head in check, my emotions in check, my exercise in check, my diet in check, and my attitude. I didn't like the aching joints, the bloated belly, the negative thoughts, the frustration...and the list goes on. 

Ya’all know how much I love sharing things I love. It’s time to talk about how I felt a year ago when I was too heavy to do the things I wanted. I wanted to ride horses on the beach in SC but the weight limit was 235 and I was tipping the scales at over 250. I was frustrated and felt trapped inside my own body.

I had been following my pastor’s health journey, and decided it was time to start prioritizing me. I have lost over 60lbs since the start of 2023. I can proudly say, I now weigh less than 200lbs and though I’m not to my goal yet, I have more energy and I feel unstoppable! I KNOW I can reach my final goal.

Being able to bungee jump with my kiddos last weekend was definitely one of those moments I’ll never forget! I’m so thankful I took control of my health- and I realized that I need to pay this forward. I’m a helper by nature-I want to help EVERYONE feel this good, and I’m now coaching others on the same program. Its so simple—no meal prepping, no thinking-and you get so much accountability and support! If you’re ready me on this journey, reach out-let’s do this together!

By January 1 2024 I plan to be in transition 

Monday, September 25, 2023

5 Stars for Heather Redmond's "Death and the Sisters"


Death and the Sisters by Heather Redmond Banner

5 Star Review by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto

First and foremost I'd like to thank Partners in Crime for allowing me to be part of this book blog tour - it's such a blessing to receive a book by an author I hadn't previously known! I'm excited to tell you about this fantastic read (no spoilers) and once you've read my review, scroll down to find out more!

Believable dialogue, fascinating history, and captivating mystery drew me into Death and the Sisters and kept me engaged throughout the story. This book by Heather Redmond is well written and beautifully edited as well as having a fantastic cover. Everything about this made me smile. If you love history and mystery this is the book for you (and it's a great time of year for some Frankenstein style mystery with Halloween right around the corner)!

The details in Death and the Sisters are absolutely necessary and weave a beautiful tapestry of 19th Century England. I never found myself wondering why particular details were included and similarly I wasn't looking for more. The amount of details was perfect throughout and I absolutely appreciate that - no parts of the book felt slow or draggy. It was engaging throughout.

Chapter 21 provided such a fun quote I have actually used in conversation and feel compelled to share. "A blessed day, whether your creed is money, God, or the pleasures of the flesh." Isn't that fun? Such engaging characters and believable dialogue - this is a book I'll pass on to my daughter and likely read again as I enjoyed it immensely! 5 stars for sure! 

Death and the Sisters

by Heather Redmond

September 25 - October 20, 2023 Virtual Book Tour


Death and the Sisters by Heather Redmond

The tangled relationships between Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Mary’s stepsister Jane Clairmont form the backdrop for an intriguing historical mystery, set in London in 1814, that explores the complex dynamic between sisters and the birth of teenaged Mary’s creative genius.

London, 1814: Mary Godwin and her stepsister Jane Clairmont, both sixteen, possess quick minds bolstered by an unconventional upbringing, and have little regard for the rules that other young ladies follow. Mary, whose mother famously advocated for women’s rights, rejects the two paths that seem open to her—that of an assistant in her father’s bookshop, or an ordinary wife. Though quieter and more reserved than the boisterous Jane, Mary’s imagination is keen, and she longs for real-world adventures.

One evening, an opportunity arrives in the form of a dinner guest, Percy Bysshe Shelley. At twenty-one, Shelley is already a renowned poet and radical. Mary finds their visitor handsome and compelling, but it is later that evening, after the party has broken up, that events take a truly intriguing turn. When Mary comes downstairs in search of a book, she finds instead a man face down on the floor—with a knife in his back.

The dead man, it seems, was a former classmate of Shelley’s, and had lately become a personal and professional rival. What was he doing in the Godwins’ home? Mary, Jane, and Shelley are all drawn to learn the truth behind the tragedy, especially as each discovery seems to hint at a tangled web that includes many in Shelley’s closest circle. But as the attraction between Mary and the married poet intensifies, it sparks a rivalry between the sisters, even as it kindles the creative fire within . . .

Praise for Death and the Sisters:

"Death and the Sisters is a terrific blend of gritty history with a mystery that will keep readers turning pages. Impeccably researched and imaginative, Redmond’s first Mary Shelley Mystery immerses readers in the drama of young Mary Godwin and her family, as well as her budding romance with Percy Shelley, as they work together to solve a wonderfully bookish murder. I thoroughly enjoyed this series kick-off and can’t wait for the next story!"
~ Susanna Craig, author of The Lady Knows Best

"Death and the Sisters is a rip-roaring murder mystery with twists and turns that introduces teenaged Mary Godwin, not yet the author of the immortal work Frankenstein, as an amateur detective. Redmond's foray in the world of rational atheists in early 19th century London is a mesmerizing, forceful delight."
~ Eilis Flynn, author of The Riddle of Rym

"Crafted with vivid historical detail, an artfully twisted plot, and engaging characters, Death and the Sisters is an excellent start to what I hope will be a long-running series."
~ Dianne Freeman, author of the award-winning Countess of Harleigh Mysteries

"It might be the way London comes to life in all of its dark and gritty complexities, or the dynamics between Mary and her step-sister, Jane, as they set out to find the killer of the man who they discover dead in the bookshop. Everyone is a suspect—even Percy Shelley who has caught the eye of the women in the household. Propulsive and immersive, Heather Redmond is at the top of her game until the intense and satisfying end."
~ Mary Keliikoa, author of Hidden Pieces

"An intrepid cast of characters, a stunningly atmospheric 19th-century London, and a riveting murder… Highly recommend."
~ Melissa Bourbon, bestselling author

Book Details:

Genre: Historical mystery
Published by: Kensington
Publication Date: September 2023
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781496737991 (ISBN10: 1496737997)
Series: Mary Shelley Mystery, 1
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | | Goodreads | Kensington

Read an excerpt:

“Come, Mary.” Jane flopped onto her bed. “Tell us a story about the prisoner ghosts wailing.”

“I’ll have to think it up,” Mary said and then began to quote. “‘This relation is Matter of Fact, and attended with such Circumstances as may induce any Reasonable Man to believe it.’”

“What’s that?” Jane asked. The floor creaked as she kicked off her slippers and knocked them to the floor.

“Defoe, I think,” Mary said, already considering the form of her story. If only Mother had written such fanciful tales, to give her ideas on how to construct them. “I’ll consult his works in the bookshop for further inspiration. It seems like quite a good start to a ghost story.”

Mary placed her slippers next to Jane’s and walked down in her stocking feet, hugging the wall so as not to set off the worst of the creaking stairs. If Mamma heard her, she’d be set to mending something. Her stepmother never thought about the cost of candles when she could make her daughters work themselves into exhaustion after dark.

The bookshop’s interior door hung open. Very odd, as Mamma was particular about making sure that the smells of domestic life, particularly cooking odors, did not damage the books.

Mary shrugged, glad she had come downstairs, because if Mamma had been the first to notice, she’d have no doubt blamed Mary. She lit the lantern kept in readiness for customers who wanted to browse in the dark corners.

While she knew exactly where Defoe was kept, she first went to a back corner of the shop and dropped to her knees, then pulled out a much-loved volume that Mamma kept in stock because she knew that it sold, even though it was anything but highbrow or philosophical. Ann Radcliffe’s The Romance of the Forest. Feeling a little breathless, like a Gothic heroine about to swoon, she opened the book to her favorite page. With the lantern held over the engraving, she examined the bare legs of the man removing a blindfolded girl from a house.

She bit her lip as she looked over the engraved musculature, feeling a familiar shiver dance up through her body. Did Shelley have legs so magnificent? He certainly possessed the broad shoulders and narrow waist of the figure on the page. She set down the lantern when it shook in her hand.

“Oh, to see a form like that,” she whispered to herself. None of her Scottish suitors had possessed a body she wanted to caress. As such, none of them had enticed so much as a kiss from her. After a last heated glance, she closed the book and tucked it away again.

The next shelves were in front of the bow windows. The Juvenile Library was shelved there, at the perfect height for children. Works of historical merit were on the other side. Mary rose.

Her foot twisted as she took the first step. She grabbed for the edge of the bookcase with one hand, the other gripping the lantern tightly. Her fingers were trembling by the time she righted herself. She reached down and swiped at her foot. Something sticky coated her fingers. What was on the floor?

“Honestly,” she muttered to herself. More cleaning. She set the lantern on the bookcase and walked past the windows. Slatted lines from the shutters were illuminated by the oil lamp that burned all night at the corner of the road.

Distracted by the sudden reflected light, she tripped again. “Blast,” she cried.

When she tried to take another step forward, her way was blocked by something solid. Confused, she prodded it with her foot. It felt warm, dry, and slightly yielding. She backed up to take the lantern in her hand again, then cupped the side of it with her hand to keep the illumination from the road. When she reached the mass again, she held the lantern out over the floor.

Her mouth dropped open when she saw what lay in front of her. A man, like something out of a painting of the French Revolution, was sprawled on the floor. Facedown. She swept the lantern over his body. Her hand shook as she saw first one knife, then another.

The first was impaled in his back. The other, in the mysterious recesses between his legs.

“Faith!” Wobbly, Mary blinked hard, then forced herself to kneel down beside the sprawled figure, to touch the man’s hand.

Still warm. She squeezed it, feeling that strange sensation of callused male flesh under hers, then dropped the hand. What was she doing? Molesting a corpse?

She scooted back, her eyes closed, then opened them again, feeling her lips tremble at the sight of the dark blue velvet coat, the dark stain around the knife gleaming wetly in the light. She knew that coat. Shelley! That fine figure of a man, ended so cruelly. They had just seen him leave not twenty minutes earlier. Had he been accosted in the street and dumped here?

“I could have loved such a being.” Tears sprang to her eyes, and she let them fall, keenly feeling her sensibility. Hadn’t he said he was a new father? And his poor young wife, not even twenty yet, a widow.


Drat that Jane. Could she not offer up a moment’s solitude to anyone?

Her stepsister’s footsteps came closer, along with the bobbing of a candle flame.

“Don’t come any closer,” Mary warned. She set the lantern down.

Ignoring her, Jane came down the space between the bookshelves and turned in the nook in front of the windows.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

Mary scrambled to her feet, hoping to block her sister’s view. The candle wavered as Jane took in the scene. She gasped loudly.

“What,” Jane asked, “is that?”

“Knives,” Mary said. “Murder has been done here.”

“What?” Jane repeated, some frantic power coming into her voice. “Papa?”

“No,” Mary said, grabbing the candleholder before the candle dropped. “Shelley.”

She saw what was going to happen and held up her other hand, hoping to forestall it. But she failed, and Jane, coming closer, screamed. Mary bent under the onslaught and grabbed her sister’s hand.

“Hush,” she begged, pulling her away. “We have to tell Papa before the watch comes.”

Though Jane resisted, Mary pulled her through the bookshop, then forced her to sit on the steps and hold the candle while she went back for the lantern. She set it on the table in the hall.

“Stay here,” she commanded.

“But,” Jane whispered. “But the body.”

“Papa will know what to do.”

“But the watch.”

“Papa should call them, not us. Do you want him surprised?”

“The bookshop,” Jane said next.

“Yes, it’s very bad,” Mary agreed.

“It isn’t S-Shelley,” Jane stuttered. “He just left.”

Mary pulled the handkerchief from her sleeve and tucked it into Jane’s unresisting hand. “It must be,” she said. “Who else? Cry quietly, please.” Hoping her sister obeyed, she picked up her skirts and ran up the steps to her father’s library.


Excerpt from Death and the Sisters by Heather Redmond. Copyright 2023 by Heather Redmond. Reproduced with permission from Heather Redmond. All rights reserved.



Author Bio:

Heather Redmond

Heather Redmond is an author of commercial fiction and also writes as Heather Hiestand. First published in mystery, she took a long detour through romance before returning. Though her last British ancestor departed London in the 1920s, she is a committed anglophile, Dickens devotee, and lover of all things nineteenth century.

She has lived in Illinois, California, and Texas, and now resides in a small town in Washington State with her husband and son. The author of many novels, novellas, and short stories, she has achieved best-seller status at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other retailers. Her 2018 Heather Redmond debut, A Tale of Two Murders, has received a coveted starred review from Kirkus Reviews.

Catch Up With Heather Redmond:
BookBub - @heatherredmond1
Instagram - @hiestandheather
Twitter - @heatheraredmond
Heather Hiestand Redmond's Reader Group on Facebook



Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and opportunities to WIN in the giveaway!


Click here to view Death and the Sisters by Heather Redmond Tour Hosts



This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for Heather Redmond. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.



Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Tours