Monday, October 9, 2017


What's up, readers? October is here, and I'm back from my research trip into the Pacific Rim (if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you know what I've been up to!), armed with enough material to write another 50 books (or maybe 2 or 3). 

This month, Writing Belle is featuring extra authors for its author promotion program to celebrate the spoooooooky season of Halloween. We're calling it Writing Belle's Month of Horror this year, and I've got a few really fun authors lined up for you, including a few reviews/recommendations for some chilling or haunted reads! 

We're kicking off the month with Emily James, author of Sticky Inheritance, the first installment in a mystery series called Maple Syrup Mysteries. While not exactly horror, this book falls into the theme of a fall mystery and murder - what's not to like? 

I encourage you to check back at the end of the week. I will be featuring a new horror novel from bestselling author and my fellow post-apocalyptic writer G. Michael Hopf! 


Title: Sticky Inheritance

Author: Emily James 

Release:  Buy it HERE

Official Synopsis:

Sometimes the truth can be a sticky thing…

When struggling criminal defense attorney Nicole Fitzhenry-Dawes inherits her uncle’s maple syrup farm in Michigan, she thinks it might be time for a career change—hopefully one that allows her to stay as far away from murderers and liars as possible.

She couldn’t have been more wrong.

Her uncle’s suicide quickly begins to look like it wasn’t a suicide at all, but the chief of police is reluctant to investigate it as a murder and soil the reputation of his serene little tourist town. Nicole has no choice but to search for the killer on her own.

And as she closes in, she not only risks becoming the murderer’s next victim, but also starts to wonder if knowing the truth is ever worse than believing the lie…

A Sticky Inheritance is the first book in Emily James’ Maple Syrup Mysteries. If you love small-town settings, quirky characters, and a dollop of romance, then you’ll want to buy this new amateur sleuth mystery series today!

Special Excerpt from the novel! 

When we got the call about my Uncle Stan’s death and I decided to make the ten-hour drive to arrange his funeral since my parents refused, I hadn’t counted on two things.
How much colder Lower Michigan was even in October than Northern Virginia, where I grew up.
And the tractors.
If it weren’t for the freakish number of tractors using the roads up here, I wouldn’t have been speeding, an hour behind schedule, and I certainly wouldn’t have ended up stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire and a car that now sounded like it was trying to digest a stomach full of rocks. When the tractor had been coming toward me, hauling a contraption with long spikes behind it and taking up my half of the road as well as his, the logical thing to do seemed to be to swerve out of the way.
I hadn’t realized at the time that the driver would move over at the last minute to let me safely by. I hadn’t even known if he could see my little Acura from his perch. And who could have predicted that the gravel shoulder would be so soft, dragging me sideways into the edge of some farmer’s field?
I squatted as well as I could in my pencil skirt and peered under the back end of my car, next to the flat tire. Rusty wire fencing wrapped around the other back wheel, and a wooden post had jammed itself up into the metal that connected the wheel to the rest of my car.
My car wasn’t going anywhere. Not on its own, anyway.
I picked my way back to the more solid ground near the edge of the road and pulled my cell phone from my purse.
Before I could dial, a charcoal-gray pickup truck eased to a stop in front of me. The passenger-side window rolled down, and the man behind the wheel leaned toward it.
From what I could see, he looked to be a little older than me—maybe early to mid-thirties. His dark hair and vivid blue eyes reminded me a bit of a young Patrick Dempsey.
He smiled, revealing a dimple. “Need some help?”
I glanced back at my car. I did, but there wasn’t anything he could do about it. “Unless you’re carrying some spare parts and an industrial-size car jack in there, I think this is one for the tow truck.”
A tell-tale heavy click signaled him unlocking the doors. “I can give you a lift into Fair Haven if you like. You’ll be able to hire a tow truck from there.”
I’m a regular at the women’s self-defense classes at my gym—they’re a great workout, not to mention that every woman should know how to protect herself—but even with that, climbing into a vehicle with a stranger in the middle of the boonies would be stupid. My mother raised me better than that.
Besides, what kind of person even offered anymore? I took a tiny step back and slid my right hand into my pocket where I’d shoved my keys. I wove them between my fingers just in case. “For all you know, I could be a serial killer.”
His dimple grew. “Are you?”
“No.” I couldn’t keep from smiling back. He was charming. I’d give him that. But wasn’t that what they said about all good psychopaths? “I could be lying in saying that, too, though.”
He chuckled this time. “You’re only about five minutes away by car, but it’ll take you a lot longer to walk. Sure you don’t want a lift?”
“That’s what cell phones are for,” I said, holding mine up. “I’ll call Triple-A. But thanks anyway.”
“It’s hit and miss to get a signal out here.” He shifted position and held up a wallet. “Would it make you feel better if I showed you my ID?”
I glanced at my phone. Two bars. It would be a crap shoot whether I could hold a signal long enough to call for help. Thunder growled in the distance, and a few drops of rain spattered my face. No way was I walking. My arms were already covered in goosebumps inside my coat. I’d probably freeze to death before I made it to town.
Still, I’d rather take a gamble on the cell signal than on the truthfulness of a man crazy enough to stop for a hitchhiker. “I’ll be fine.”
I backed one more step toward my car just in case he wouldn’t take no for an answer and I had to hop inside. Not that I could drive away, but at least I could lock the doors.
He shrugged. “If you insist. Is it alright with you if I call a tow for you when I get back to town? Just in case.”
A little worm of guilt wriggled around in my stomach. He probably was simply a Good Samaritan, but I was a criminal attorney, the daughter of two criminal attorneys. I knew too much about the evil in the world to risk it.
“I’d appreciate that.” I reached for my door handle, then paused. “And thanks again for stopping.”
He tipped his head, rolled up the window, and drove away.
I shivered and slid back into my car. The empty stretch of road suddenly felt a lot emptier.

About the Author 

Emily James grew up watching TV shows like MatlockMonk, and Murder She Wrote. (It’s pure coincidence that they all begin with an M.) It was no surprise to anyone when she turned into a mystery writer. She writes books with quirky characters and a touch of romance. She keeps them clean because she wants her books to be the kind you could share with your teenager or your mother. If you'd like to know more about Emily or send her an email, check out her website:

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Get fictional - it's fun! Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you again soon!