Posts Tagged ‘BLOG TOUR’

 

“Too many twists and turns to easily share about this book. Nevertheless, Carr has pulled off another “hit” that kept me reading in one setting until the clues were so well together that the villain fell into our laps…or Chris’s, LOL Carr has put a lot into the book beyond the mysteries this time…Characters enjoyed chocotinis, visited book stores…and even blundered into getting engaged (the ring had been purchased 4 months ago)… But, for me, a special thank you for the political spoof at a time when politics at the national level is devastating, gave me a laugh and lightened the load of it all!” Review by Glenda Bixler, Book Reader’s Heaven 

Book Details:Book Title:  The Last Thing She Said (A Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery #3) by Lauren Carr

Category:  Adult Fiction (18 +),  386 pages
Genre:  Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:   July 22, 2019
Formats available for purchase:  paperback, ebook, audiobook (audible & itunes)
Tour dates: October 7 to November 15, 2019
Content Rating:  PG-13 (Lauren Carr’s books are murder mysteries, so there are murders involved. Occasionally, a murder will happen on stage. There is sexual content, but always behind closed doors. Some mild swearing (a hell or a damn few and far between). No F-bombs!

 

Book Description:
“I’m working on the greatest mystery ever,” was the last thing noted mystery novelist Mercedes Livingston said to seven-year-old Chris Matheson before walking out of Hill House Hotel never to be seen again.

For decades, the writer’s fate remained a puzzling mystery until an autographed novel and a letter put a
grown-up Chris Matheson on the trail of a cunning killer. With the help of a team of fellow retired law enforcement officers, each a specialist in their own field of investigation, Chris puts a flame to this cold case to uncover what had really happened that night Mercedes Livingston walked out of Hill House Hotel. Watch out! The clues are getting hot!

 Buy the Book:
Amazon.com *

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Book Title: Winter Frost  (A Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery #2) by Lauren Carr
Category:  Adult fiction,  332 pages
Genre:  Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:  January 22, 2019
Formats available for purchase:  paperback, ebook, audiobook (audible & itunes)Tour dates:  October 7 to November 22, 2019
Content Rating:  PG-13 (Lauren Carr’s books
are murder mysteries, so there are murders involved. Occasionally, a
murder will happen on stage. There is sexual content, but always behind
closed doors. Some mild swearing (a hell or a damn few and far between).
No F-bombs!

 

“Filled with twists and turns, Winter Frost reads perfectly well as a stand-alone, although it is part of a series. The author creates tension and suspense throughout by keeping the reader guessing; she keeps readers engaged with well fleshed out characters and a dash of humor. Sterling, the retired German Shepherd police dog turned card shark, is a new favorite. As the story flows, the truth unfolds, layer by layer, leading to a satisfying conclusion.

“Winter Frost was an entertaining, at times humorous read with suspense, some surprises, and even cute animals in the mix.” Review of Winter Frost by The iRead Review

 
Book Description:
It all started with a chance encounter in the city with Blair, his late wife.

Chris Matheson and the Geezer Squad, working under the guise of a book club, dig into the events surrounding his late wife’s supposed death halfway around the globe. A state department employee shoots himself in the back three times. A CIA operative goes missing. A woman is targeted by an international assassin three years after being declared dead in a terrorist attack overseas. 

Nothing is as it seems. 

In his most personal cold case, Chris fights to uncover why the state department told him that Blair, the mother of his children, had been killed when she was alive. What had she uncovered that has made her a target? Who terrified her so much that she had gone into hiding and why are they now after him?

 
Book Details:

Book Title: ICE  (A Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery #1) by Lauren Carr
Category:  Adult fiction,  364 pages
Genre:  Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:  February 26, 2018
Formats available for purchase:  paperback, ebook, audiobook (audible & itunes)Tour dates:  October 7 to November 22, 2019
Content Rating:  PG-13 (Lauren Carr’s books
are murder mysteries, so there are murders involved. Occasionally, a
murder will happen on stage. There is sexual content, but always behind
closed doors. Some mild swearing (a hell or a damn few and far between).
No F-bombs!


ICE is a strong start to a new series that will have fans of Lauren Carr thrilled to be introduced to another set of memorable and entertaining characters. Carr’s Geezer Squad has brought sexy back to mature men and women, whose kickass attitude and smarts sizzle as they melt the clues to those cold cases!”  Laura Fabiani, Library of Clean Reads“For the whodunit mystery buff who loves ever-increasing suspense and danger, Lauren Carr’s newest series offers up a big dose of both. Murder and mayhem seem to be Chris’s new companions after returning home following the loss of both his wife and his father. Juggling the parenting responsibilities of his three daughters with his mother is not something Chris was expecting at this point in his life, but life isn’t something that goes as planned.” 5-Star Review at Blooming with Books

 

Book Description:
When Sandy Lipton and her unborn child disappeared, the court of public opinion found young Chris Matheson guilty. Decades later, the retired FBI agent returns home to discover that the cloud of suspicion cast over him and his family has never lifted. 

With the help of a team of fellow retired law enforcement officers, each a specialist in their own field of investigation, Chris Matheson starts chipping away at the ice on this cold case to uncover what had happened to Sandy and her baby and the clues are getting hot!
 

Buy the Book:
Amazon.com * Audible
Meet the Author:  

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Thorny Rose, Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries—over twenty titles across four fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and two spoiled rotten German shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

 

 

Connect with the author:   Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Instagram

BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE:

Oct 7 – Working Mommy Journal – book review of The Last Thing She Said
Oct 7 – JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder – book review of Ice / giveaway
Oct 7 – Bookriot – audiobook review of Ice / giveaway
Oct 7 – Just Another Reader – book review of Ice
Oct 7 – Rita’s Reading Room – series spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Oct 7 – Viviana MacKade – series spotlight / guest post
Oct 8 – Just Another Reader – book review of Winter Frost
Oct 8 – JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder – book review of Winter Frost / giveaway
Oct 8 – Amy’s Booket List – book review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Oct 8 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review of The Last Thing She Said / guest post /
giveaway
Oct 9 – Cuzinlogic – series spotlight / giveaway
Oct 9 – JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder – book review of The Last Thing She Said /
giveaway
Oct 9 – Just Another Reader – book review of The Last  Thing She Said
Oct 9 – The Voracious Bibliophile – book review of The Last Thing She Said
Oct 10 – Librorum in Sempiternum – book review of Ice / giveaway
Oct 11 – It’s All About the Book – book review of The Last Thing She Said
Oct 14 – b for bookreview – series spotlight / author interview
Oct 15 – Buried Under Books – audiobook review of Ice / giveaway
Oct 15 – Pause for Tales – book review of The Last Thing She Said
Oct 16 – Locks, Hooks and Books – audiobook review of The Last Thing She Said /
guest post / giveaway
Oct 17 – Library of Clean Reads – series spotlight / giveaway
Oct 18 – Library of Clean Reads – book review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Oct 19 – Bookriot – audiobook review of Winter Frost / giveaway
Oct 20 – Librorum in Sempiternum – book review of Winter Frost / giveaway
Oct 21 – Hall Ways Blog – audiobook review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Oct 21 – Words And Peace – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 22 – Kristin’s Novel Café – audiobook review of The Last Thing She Said
Oct 23 – Mystery Suspense Reviews – audiobook review of The Last Thing She Said /
guest post
Oct 24 – Haddie’s Haven – audiobook review of Ice / giveaway
Oct 24 – FUONLYKNEW – book review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Oct 24 – My Journey Back – series spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Oct 25 – Blooming with Books – audiobook review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Oct 25 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Oct 26 – Bookriot – book review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Oct 28 – Sefina Hawke’s Books – audiobook review of The Last Thing She Said
Oct 29 – Buried Under Books – audiobook review of The Last  Thing she Said / giveaway
Oct 29 – My Reading Journeys – book review of Winter Frost / giveaway
Oct 30 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – book spotlight of The Last Thing She Said /
giveaway
Oct 31 – Dab of Darkness Book Reviews – audiobook review of The Last Thing She Said
/ giveaway
Nov 1 – Life as Leels – book review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Nov 4 – Books for Books – audiobook review of Ice / giveaway
Nov 5 – Bound 4 Escape – book review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Nov 6 – fundinmental – book review of Winter Frost / giveaway
Nov 6 – My Reading Journeys – book review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Nov 7 – Haddie’s Haven – audiobook review of Winter Frost / giveaway
Nov 8 – Literary Flits – series spotlight / giveaway
Nov 11 – The Avid Inspri – book review of Ice / giveaway
Nov 11 – Books for Books – audiobook review of Winter Frost / giveaway
Nov 12 – Librorum in Sempiternum – book review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Nov 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 13 – A Fountain of Books – book review of The Last Thing She Said / guest post / giveaway
Nov 14 – T’s Stuff – audiobook review of The Last Thing She Said / author interview /
giveaway
Nov 15 – The Avid Inspri – book review of Winter Frost / giveaway
Nov 15 – Nighttime Reading Center – book review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Nov 18 – Laura’s Interests – audiobook review of The Last Thing She Said / guest post /
giveaway
Nov 18 – Books for Books – audiobook review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Nov 19 – JBronder Book Reviews – audiobook review of The Last Thing She Said
Nov 19 – Shalini’s Books & Reviews – book review of The Last Thing She Said
Nov 20 – fundinmental – book review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Nov 20 – Haddie’s Haven – audiobook review of The Last Thing She Said / guest post /
giveaway
Nov 20 – I’m All About Books – book review of The Last Thing She Said / guest post /
giveaway
Nov 20 – Svetlana’s reads and views – book review of The Last Thing She Said /
giveaway
Nov 21 – Books Are Love – book review of The Last Thing She Said / author interview /
giveaway
Nov 21 – The Avid Inspri – book review of The Last Thing She Said / guest post /
giveaway
Nov 22 – Adventurous Jessy – book review of The Last Thing She Said / giveaway
Nov 22 – SammieReadsBook – book review of The Last Thing She Said / author
interview / giveaway
Nov 22 –  Jypsylynn – book review of The Last Thing She Said

 

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!
Ends November 30th, 2019

 

Smoke Screen

by Terri Blackstock

on Tour October 28 – November 30, 2019

Synopsis:

Smoke Screen by Terri Blackstock One father was murdered, and another convicted of his death. All because their children fell in love. Nate Beckett has spent his life fighting wildfires instead of the lies and rumors that drove him from his Colorado home town. His mother begs him to come to Carlisle now that his father has been released from prison, but it isn’t until he’s sidelined by an injury that he’s forced to return and face his past. But that means facing Brenna too. Fourteen years ago, Nate was in love with the preacher’s daughter. When Pastor Strickland discovered Brenna had defied him to sneak out with Nate, the fight between Strickland and Nate’s drunken dad was loud—and very public. Strickland was found murdered later that night, and everyone accused Roy Beckett. When the church burned down, people assumed it was Nate getting even for his father’s conviction. He let the rumors fly and left Carlisle without looking back. Now, Brenna is stunned to learn that the man convicted of murdering her father has been pardoned. The events of that night set her life on a bad course, and she’s dealing with a brutal custody battle with her ex and his new wife where he’s using lies and his family’s money to sway the judge. She’s barely hanging on, and she’s turned to alcohol to cope. Shame and fear consume her. As they deal with the present—including new information about that fateful night and a wildfire that’s threatening their town—their past keeps igniting. Nate is the steady force Brenna has so desperately needed. But she’ll have to learn to trust him again first.

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense (Christian) Published by: HarperCollins-Thomas Nelson Publication Date: November 5th 2019 Number of Pages: 352 ISBN: 0310332591 (ISBN13: 9780310332596) Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Thomas Nelson

Read an excerpt:

I woke up in a blinding bright room, my clothes off and something clamped to my face. I tried to reach it, but I couldn’t bend my right arm, and my hand stung. An IV was taped to my other hand, but I moved carefully and touched the thing over my face.An oxygen mask. I tried to sit up. “What happened?” T-bird came to my bedside, a sheen of smoky sweat still soiling his face. “Nate, lie back, man.” “The fire,” I said. “Need to get back. My men.” “They’re still there. Making progress. But you’re not going anywhere near a fire for a month or so.” I took the mask off and coughed a little, but managed to catch my breath. “A month?” “Yep. Second degree burns on 20 percent of your body. Some of the burns are deep.” It came back to me, the event that had gotten me here. “The family. Were they injured?” “Not a scratch or burn. Turns out it was a U.S. Senator from Kansas. He says you’re a hero.” “You know I had no choice. They were in the path—” “Take the praise where you can get it, man. We don’t get that much.” I looked at my right side. My right arm was bandaged, and so was my side and down my right leg to the point where my boots had stopped the flames. Second degree wasn’t so bad, I told myself. Third degree would have been brutal. I’d be able to leave the hospital soon. I’d heal. “I won’t need a month,” I said. “Yes, you will. They can’t let you go back. Doctor’s orders. You’re grounded until he releases you.” I managed to sit up, but it was a bad idea. The burns pulling on my skin reminded me why I shouldn’t. “I can’t be grounded during fire season. Are you crazy? I need to be there. You don’t have enough men as it is.” “Sorry, Nate. It is what it is. Why don’t you go home to Carlisle for a while? Take it easy.” Go home? Pop had just been pardoned, and he and my mom were trying to navigate the reunion. Though she would love to have me home, I didn’t know if I was up to it. My father could be challenging, and fourteen years of prison hadn’t done him any favors. *** Excerpt taken from Smoke Screen by Terri Blackstock. Copyright 2019 by Terri Blackstock. Used by permission of http://www.thomasnelson.com/. All rights reserved.
    Terri Blackstock

Author Bio:

Terri Blackstock has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of Intervention, Vicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series.

Catch Up With Terri Blackstock On: TerriBlackstock.com Goodreads BookBub Twitter Facebook

 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

A Pocketful Of Lodestones by Elizabeth Crowens

The Time Traveler Professor, Book Two:

A Pocketful of Lodestones

by Elizabeth Crowens

on Tour October 1-31, 2019

Synopsis:

The Time Traveler Professor, Book Two: A Pocketful of Lodestones by Elizabeth Crowens In 1914, the war to end all wars turns the worlds of John Patrick Scott, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, Rebecca West and Harry Houdini upside down. Doyle goes back to ancient China in his hunt for that “red book” to help him write his Sherlock Holmes stories. Scott is hell-bent on finding out why his platoon sergeant has it out for him, and they both discover that during the time of Shakespeare every day is a witch-hunt in London. Is the ability to travel through time the ultimate escape from the horrific present, or do ghosts from the past come back to haunt those who dare to spin the Wheel of Karma? The Time Traveler Professor, Book Two: A POCKETFUL OF LODESTONES, sequel to SILENT MERIDIAN, combines the surrealism of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five with the supernatural allure of Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell set during WWI on the Western Front.

The Time Traveler Professor, Book Two: A POCKETFUL OF LODESTONES was the First Prize winner of the Chanticleer Review’s Paranormal Fiction Awards.

Book Details:

Genre: Alternate History, Mystery, Fantasy Noir Published by: Atomic Alchemist Productions LLC Publication Date: August 1st 2019 Number of Pages: 334 ISBN: 9781950384051 Series: The Time Traveler Professor #2 Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Chapter One: Kitchener’s Call to Arms

August 1914

“Have you ever killed a man before?” I had, but close to three hundred years ago. So, I lied and just shook my head. “Your name, son?” the recruitment officer asked. “John Patrick Scott,” I said, with pride. The officer handed me a card to fill out. “Write your date of birth, where you live and don’t skip any questions. When finished, bring this over to Line B.” Born during the reign of Queen Victoria, somehow or other I managed to travel to the 23rd century, feudal Japan, and ancient China long before the Great War started. The army wanted to know all the places I had traveled, but it was doubtful that much information was required. Since the war to end all wars commenced, recruiting centers sprang up like wildflowers. This one took over an Edinburgh public library. If unaware as to why the enthusiastic furor, one would’ve guessed the government gave away free land tracts with titles. “Let’s see how clever you blokes are. Tell me the four duties of a soldier,” another enlistment administrator called out. An overeager Glaswegian shouted, “Obedience, cleanliness, honesty and sobriety, sir!” The chap next to him elbowed his side. “Takes no brains to read a bloody sign.” Propaganda posters wallpapered the room with solicitous attempts at boosting morale. Kitchener wanted us and looked straight into our eyes. Proof of our manhood or perhaps stupidity. Queues of enthusiasm wound around the block. Impatient ones jumped the lines. We swore our allegiance to the King over a bible. As long as the war lasted, our lives were no longer our own. Voices from men I’d never see again called out from the crowd. “It’ll be over in six weeks.” “Are you so sure?” “Check out those men. All from the same cricket team. Play and die together. Medals of Valor in a blink. Local heroes with celebrations.” “I’ll drink to that.” A crusty old career soldier yelled out to the volunteers, “Does anyone speak Flemish?” Suddenly the place got quiet. Then he looked at me. “Soldier, do you know anything besides the King’s English? French?” “Fluent German,” I said. “That should be helpful.” “Since when were you with the Bosches?” “Fourteen years, sir. Before the war.” “And what were you doing in enemy territory?” “Worked as a teacher. A music professor and a concert pianist when I could get the engagements and sometimes as an amateur photographer. They weren’t our enemies then, sir.” “Have you ever shot a rifle, son?” “Actually, I have…” “Find a pair of boots that fits you, lad. Hustle now. Time’s a wasting.” The Allied and German armies were in a Race to the Sea. If the Germans got there first, then England was in danger of invasion. Basic training opened its arms to the common man, and it felt strange to be bedding alongside Leith dockworkers and farmers, many underage, versus the university colleagues from my recent past. Because of the overwhelming need for new recruits, training facilities ran out of room. The army took over church halls, local schools and warehouses in haste. Select recruits were billeted in private homes, but we weren’t so fortunate. Except for acquired muscles, I slimmed down and resembled the young man that I was in my university days except with a tad more gray hair, cut very short and shaved even closer on the sides. No more rich German pastries from former students as part of my diet. At least keeping a clean-shaven face wasn’t a challenge since I never could grow a beard. Wearing my new uniform took getting used to. Other recruits laughed, as I’d reach to straighten my tie or waistcoat out of habit despite the obvious fact that I was no longer wearing them. While still in Scotland during basic training, I started to have a series of the most peculiar dreams. My boots had not yet been muddied with the soil of real battlefields. New recruits such as I, had difficult adjustments transitioning from civilian life. Because of my past history of lucid dreaming, trips in time travel and years of psychical experimentation I conducted both on my own and with my enthusiastic and well-studied mentor, Arthur Conan Doyle, my nightmares appeared more real than others. My concerns were that these dreams were either actual excursions into the Secret Library where the circumstances had already occurred or premonitions of developments to come. The most notable of these episodes occurred toward the end of August in 1914. In this dream, I had joined another British platoon other than my own in Belgium on the Western Front. We were outnumbered at least three to one, and the aggressive Huns surrounded us on three sides. Whistles blew. “Retreat!” yelled our commanding officer, a privileged Cambridge boy, barely a man and younger than I, who looked like he had never seen the likes of hardship. We retreated to our trenches to assess what to plan next, but instead of moving toward our destination everyone froze in their tracks. Time was like a strip of film that slowed down, spooled off track, and jammed inside a projector. Then the oddest thing happened to our enemy. For no apparent reason, their bodies jerked and convulsed as if fired upon by invisible bullets over the course of an hour. When the morning fog lifted, the other Tommies and I broke free from our preternatural standstill and charged over the top of the trenches with new combat instructions. Half of our platoon dropped their rifles in shock. Dead Huns, by the thousands, littered No man’s land long before we had even fired our first retaliatory shot! I woke up agitated, disoriented and in a cold sweat. Even more disturbing was finding several brass shell casings under my pillow — souvenirs or proof that I had traveled off somewhere and not imagined it. I roused the sleeping guy in the next bed and couldn’t wait to share this incredible story. “Shush!” he warned me. “You’ll wake the others.” Meanwhile, he rummaged inside his belongings and pulled out a rumpled and grease-stained newspaper clipping that looked and smelled like it had originally been used to wrap up fish and chips. He handed it to me with excitement. “My folks sent this me from back home.” The headlines: “Angels sited at the Battle of Mons” Almost as notable was the article’s byline written by my best friend from the University of Edinburgh, Wendell Mackenzie, whom I had lost track of since the war started. He begged me to read on. “Hundreds of witnesses claimed similarities in their experiences. There were rumors aplenty about ghostly bowmen from the Battle of Agincourt where the Brits fought against the French back in 1415. Inexplicable apparitions appeared out of nowhere and vanquished German enemy troops at the recent Battle of Mons.” “This looks like a scene from out of a storybook.” I pointed to an artist’s rendition and continued. “Word spread that arrow wounds were discovered on corpses of the enemy nearby, and it wasn’t a hoax. Others reported seeing a Madonna in the trenches or visions of St. Michael, another saint symbolizing victory.” “Now, I don’t feel so singled out,” I said and handed the newspaper articles back to my comrade. For weeks, I feared talking to anyone else about it and insisted my mate keep silent. Even in wartime, I swore that I’d stay in touch with my closest acquaintances, Wendell Mackenzie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It was easier to keep abreast of Arthur’s exploits, because of his public celebrity. On the other hand, Wendell, being a journalist, could be anywhere in the world on assignment. * * * Dear Mr. and Mrs. Mackenzie, I regret having missed Wendell when he never made it over to visit Scotland, and you wonder if someone up above watches over us when we make decisions where to go and when. In my case it was when I decided to take a summer vacation and travel to Edinburgh before the war. Those without passports or proper documentation endured countless detours and delays getting back to their respective homelands. One of Mrs. Campbell’s lodgers had been detained in France. With nothing to return to back in Germany, I joined the Royal Scots. Military training commenced in Edinburgh, and at least they had us wearing uniforms of pants tucked into gaiters as opposed to the Highland troops who wore kilts. Although I was born and bred in Scotland, as a Lowlander that’s one outfit you’d have to force me into with much duress. Our tasks would be in the Scots Territorial units deployed on our coastline in case of an enemy invasion. Potential threats could come from spies or submarines, but most say that the worst enemy has been the frigid wind blowing off the North Sea. As there is always talk about combining forces and transfers, my aunt can always forward letters. It would mean more than the world to hear from Wendell saying that not only is he all right, but also in good spirits. Yours most devoted, Private John Patrick Scott * * * Dear Arthur, In our last correspondence, I conveyed that I was unable to return to my teaching post in Stuttgart. With your tour in the Boer War as my inspiration, I joined the military. We learned the basics: how to follow commands, first aid, march discipline and training in all matters of physical fitness. My feet have been in a constant state of rebellion, since my previous profession as a pianist was a sedentary occupation. Deployment was supposed to be along the coast of Scotland, but the army reassigned me despite first promises because of too many staggering losses on the Western Front. I requested to be part of the air corps and a pioneer in new battle technology, but my recruiting officers had other plans. Our regiment left for Ypres in Belgium. None of the Tommies could pronounce the name of this place, so everyone called it Wipers. You’re no stranger to war, but everyone has been surprised that it lasted longer than anticipated. Yours Most Devoted, Private John Patrick Scott * * * Troops from all over under the wing of the British Expeditionary Forces piled on to ships to sail out to the continent. The locals from Edinburgh didn’t expect to leave bonnie ole Scotland. They told us we’d defend our shores from foreign invasions. I’d crossed the North Sea before, but then it was a sea of hope and a new life full of opportunity when I got my scholarship to continue my musical studies in Germany, now the enemy. I turned to the nearest stranger, hoping that a random conversation would break the monotonous and never-ending wait until we set anchor in Belgium. “How was your basic training?” “Three months at an abandoned amusement park,” the soldier replied. “We trained for the longest time in our street clothes and were told they ran out of uniforms. Probably sent recycled ones after the first troops died. Used wooden dummy rifles until the real ones arrived. What about you?” “We used an abandoned dance hall. Never could get used to waking at 5:30 a.m.” “Word got around that in Aldershot soldiers had luxury facilities with a billiards room, a library, private baths and a buffet. I suspect that was for the regulars, the old-timers, not new recruits like us.” “I should’ve enlisted elsewhere,” I grumbled, not that it would’ve made much of a difference if we’d all die in the end. He pointed to my face and examined my flawless hands. “You don’t look like much of an outdoorsman. Pale, hairless complexion. No scars.” “I’m a concert pianist.” “Not much use on the Front.” “Probably not. Excuse me, I need some air.” I bundled up in my great coat, wrapping my muffler a wee bit tighter. Wasn’t sure which were worse — the soldiers with their asphyxiating cigarettes or numbing sleet turning into ice pellets. Hadn’t gotten my sea legs, yet. Stormy swells churned my stomach. Sweet Scotland. Lush green grass and the sky the color of blue moonstone. Never thought I’d be so sentimental. Continued staring until brilliant hues of the shoreline merged into dismal grays of a foggy horizon. In the transition from civilian to soldier, I stepped through a door of no return unless I desired to come back home in a coffin.

Chapter Two: The Other Lost World

Ypres, Belgium Late fall, 1914

A sea of strange men, but all comrades-in-arms, all recent transplants marched to their assignments and followed orders without question to who-knows-where on the way to the battlefield sites. We sallied forth, anonymous troops with a distorted sense of time and distance through the streets of has-been cities, once thriving communities. Poetry in ruination. As we marched through the Grote Markt (Grand Market) heading out toward the Menenpoort (or Menen Gate) I didn’t expect to get an education. The soldier to my left kept talking out loud and compared notes of local tourist attractions. He was probably unaware that anyone else had overheard his comments. “That long, distinctive building with the church hiding behind it must be the Hallen… or their Cloth Hall. There were impressive paintings on the interior walls of the Pauwels Room depicting the history of this town and its prosperous textile trade.” “How do you know this?” I asked, trying not to attract too much attention. “I’m a historian. Used to teach at a priory school in Morpeth.” Perhaps I was naïve, but I asked, “Why would the armed forces recruit someone with a background in history?” “That didn’t influence my enlistment although I’m sure it’ll come in handy somewhere. Before the war, I traveled all over Europe when time permitted. I brought original postcards with me as to what this town used to look like. It’s frightening to see the difference.” “Your name?” I asked. “Private Watson. What about you?” “Not John Watson, by any chance?” “No, Roger Watson, why?” I shook my head thinking about Arthur and bit my lip to hide a slight smile. “Oh nothing… My name is Private Scott, John Patrick Scott.” “What brings you to this dismal corner of the earth?” “Ich war ein Musiklehrer. Pardon me, sometimes I break into German. I’m from Edinburgh but was living in Germany as a music teacher. Can’t be doing that sort of thing now.” “I suppose not.” “Roger, sorry to have eavesdropped, but it sounded so interesting. Then you are familiar with the area we just marched through?” “That was the central merchant and trading hub of Ypres and has been since the mid-fifteenth century. On the north side over there is St. Martin’s Cathedral. You can already see the damage from German attacks.” There was no escaping the needless destruction by aggressive enemy bombing. We continued marching forward in formation. A little way beyond the city gate, we passed by the remains of a park and children’s playground. The soldiers took a rest break and snacked on portable rations. Many of them took off their boots and massaged their feet. Not too far away, I found a shattered brick in the rubble of what had been a schoolhouse and brought it back to where everyone was having his makeshift picnic. Watson noticed that I kept twirling the small fragment in my hand while intermittently closing my eyes. “Scott, what are you doing?” “Pictures form in my mind similar to movies. It’s the art of psychometry,” I replied. “Psycho — what?” Another soldier overheard us talking. “Sounds like something from Sigmund Freud,” one called out. “Not at all, it’s like a psychical gift or talent. It has nothing to do with psychoanalysis.” “What’s the point?” the first one asked. I felt under pressure to put my thoughts into words. “I can understand what building this brick was part of when it was intact and what was here before it was destroyed.” “That’s incredible!” Watson exclaimed. “If you are able to uncover bygone times by psychical means, I am all ears.” When everyone else discounted my talent, Watson gave it full praise. Others became impatient and weren’t interested in our sidebar history lesson. “Can you use those skills beyond inanimate objects?” one soldier asked. “Find me an object, someone’s former possession,” I said. Another soldier found a broken pocket watch not far from a trampled garden. He tossed it over, and I caught it with both hands. When I closed my eyes, the images materialized in my mind’s eye. “A loving grandfather was reading to his grandchildren from an illustrated story book. He was balding. Wore spectacles. Had a trimmed white beard. “‘Time for bed,’ he said, looking at his watch. Tick tock, tick tock. It was a gift from his father. “He kissed each grandchild on the forehead as they scampered off. Two girls, one boy, all in their nightgowns. The tallest girl was a redhead with… pink ribbons in her long, curly hair. Then the bombs dropped. Fire. The roof collapsed. All was lost. Then… then… Oh my God!” “Scotty, what’s wrong?” Watson asked. I looked at the blank faces around me. “You don’t see him?” Watson was baffled. “See who?” “That grandfather,” I said, horrified and clutching onto that timepiece. His ghost was standing right in front of me! Then I realized that no one else was capable of seeing him. Inside, I panicked until my frozen fingers let go of the watch, and it tumbled into the dirt. That’s when his phantasmal form vanished, but there were still indelible memories impressed upon the ether that refused to fade with the passage of time. Warning bells tolled from a nearby church. “Quick, run for cover!” our commanding officer shouted. Double-time over to shelter. Incoming bombs whistled and boomed in the distance. Civilians followed, carrying their most precious possessions, also fleeing for their lives. The sanctuary already suffered from shell damage that left large gaping holes in its roof. Birds nested above the pulpit. Cherished religious statuary had been knocked over and broken. Several nuns rushed up and motioned the way for us to take refuge in the basement. We joined the crowd of scared families, members of the local community. “Isn’t Britain giving them haven?” I asked Watson. “I thought most of the civilians evacuated by now.” “There are still the ones who want to hold out,” he explained. “Wouldn’t you if your entire life and livelihood were here for multiple generations? That’s why they’re counting on us, but the Germans are relentless. Ypres is right on the path of strategic routes to take over France.” When several farmers brought over their pigs and chickens, our retreat began to resemble a biblical nativity scene. From inside the cellar, we could hear the rumble of the outside walls collapsing. “We’ll be trapped!” People yelled out in panic. A group of sisters prayed in the corner. Our trench diggers readied themselves to shovel us out if it came to that. One terror-stricken woman handed me a screaming baby. “I found him abandoned.” At least that’s what I thought she said in Flemish, but none of us could understand her. Confused and without thinking, I almost spoke in Japanese, but that would’ve been for the wrong place and an entirely different century during a different lifetime. “What will I do with him?” I said to her in German, but she didn’t comprehend me either. I couldn’t just place him down in a corner. We’d be marching out in a matter of minutes. I approached a man with his wife and three other children. First I tried English, then German, random words of French, and then I tried Greek and Latin from my school days. Finally I resorted to awkward gestures to see if he’d take the child. But he shook his head, gathered his brood and backed off. Troops cleared a path out of the cellar. We needed to report to our stations before nightfall. “Sister, please?” I begged one nun, interrupting her rosary. To my relief, she took the infant. “Oh Mon Dieu!” I cried out in the little French that I knew. “Danke, thank you, merci boucoup.” Then I ran off to join the others. Watson slapped me on the back. “Looked like you were going to be a father, mate.” “Not yet. Got a war to fight,” I replied. *** Excerpt from The Time Traveler Professor, Book Two: A Pocketful of Lodestones by Elizabeth Crowens. Copyright © 2019 by Elizabeth Crowens. Reproduced with permission from Elizabeth Crowens. All rights reserved.
   

Author Bio:

Elizabeth Crowens Crowens has worked in the film and television for over twenty years and as a journalist and a photographer. She’s a regular contributor of author interviews to an award-winning online speculative fiction magazine, Black Gate. Short stories of hers have been published in the Bram Stoker Awards nominated anthology, A New York State of Fright and Hell’s Heart. She’s a member of Mystery Writers of America, The Horror Writers Association, the Authors Guild, Broad Universe, Sisters in Crime and a member of several Sherlockian societies. She is also writing a Hollywood suspense series.

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Giveaway!!!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Elizabeth Crowens. There will be 8 winners. One (1) winner will receive an Amazon.com Gift Card. Seven (7) winners will each receive A Pocketful Of Lodestones by Elizabeth Crowens (eBook). The giveaway begins on October 1, 2019 and runs through November 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.
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