Today we’re featuring a Kindle original from my friend Joanna Campbell Slan. Joanna and I met at a West Virginia Readers/Writers conference some years ago before she was writing fiction, and I’ve so enjoyed watching her career bloom.
Joanna is offering to gift a copy of today’s featured book, Tear Down and Die to one randomly chosen commenter. Comment about the book, the author, your favorite mystery series or anything else before the next Fiction Friday and you’ll be entered to win. As always the friendly website random.org will choose the winner.
Be warned, though, you will need a Kindle or the Kindle app for your computer, smart phone or tablet (app is free) to read this novel. If you don’t and you win, we can cheerfully send it to a friend who does.
Even better? If you’ve already read Tear Down and Die or you buy the book before the contest ends, Joanna will gift you with a Kiki Lowenstein short story, instead.
Without further ado, here’s Joanna in her own words.
Award-winning and National Bestselling author Joanna Campbell Slan is the creator of three mystery series. Her first mystery—Paper, Scissors, Death—was shortlisted for the Agatha. The first book in her historical romance mystery series is Death of a Schoolgirl, winner of the 2013 Daphne du Maurier Award for Literary Excellence. Her newest series, featuring Cara Mia Delgatto and beginning with Tear Down and Die, has quickly become an Amazon Bestseller. In her past life, Slan has been a television talk show host, an adjunct professor of public relations at Illinois State University, a sought-after motivational speaker, and a corporate speechwriter. Sharing Ideas Magazine named Joanna “one of the top 25 motivational speakers in the world.”
Got your attention? Here’s an intro to Joanna’s new series.
After her parents die within six months of each other and her son goes off to college, savvy entrepreneur Cara Mia Delgatto decides she REALLY needs to get a life. A road trip leads to her grandfather Poppy’s home on the picturesque Treasure Coast of Florida, where she impulsively snaps up an abandoned building—only to discover it’s already occupied by a fresh corpse. While a murder investigation swirls around her, Cara Mia enlists the help of two new friends to open The Treasure Chest, a store specializing in one-of-a-kind recycled, repurposed, and revived décor items with a beachy-keen theme. But before Cara can get the doors of her shop open, she bumps into an old boyfriend, Cooper Rivers, who claims to still love her. Then Cara learns that Cooper’s affection might be a ploy to save himself from a murder plea. Is it possible that Cara’s second chance at love has come too late?
Thanks to Joanna for this excerpt and for gifting one of you with this ebook. Don’t forget to comment before next Friday.
While my grandfather finished his work on my car, I scooped limp and decaying fish carcasses out of the water in his bait tank. Even though I tried to be careful, yucky fish parts got on me. Mucky water splashed on the floor. My mop only moved the big puddles around, spreading the goop farther and farther, as rivulets escaped and ran under Poppy’s desk. There was only one way to tackle a problem like this.
I got down on my hands and knees.
Poppy stuck his head in the door and said, “They sent me the wrong part for your car. Got the old one out before I discovered the mistake. I’m going to drive to the auto supply shop over in Jupiter and pick the right one myself. I don’t want you without wheels any longer.”
“Okay,” I said, wishing I could leave, too. The dead fish had been double-bagged, so the smell was not as bad as before, but the water sloshed on the floor still stunk. And so did I.
“Right,” and he was gone.
The mop proved almost useless at getting up all of the water. I found a couple of old rags in Poppy’s pile of junk. With one in each hand, I crawled around on the floor and sopped up liquid. My butt was up in the air and both hands were covered in goop when a visitor walked through the door.
“Cara?” His voice had deepened over the years, but even with my back to him, I knew it was Cooper Rivers.
I rocked back on my heels, but I couldn’t turn around. Suddenly I was sixteen again and hopelessly in love. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t move. So I stayed perfectly still, my lower lip trembling. A wild fury of emotions hit me so hard I thought I’d die on the spot.
“Go away,” I said.
“Cara Mia. It’s been a long, long time, hasn’t it?”
“Go away,” I said again.
But over the sound of my heart pounding, I heard him come closer.
“Cara?” It was a plea.
“No.” I responded with cowardice.
Neither of us knew how to move forward. The momentum we’d had years ago was lost to us. The pain was fresh. In my awkward position, my toes complained about my pose. Pretty soon I would have to move, but I couldn’t bring myself to get up and turn around. What if he wasn’t there? What if I had imagined Cooper’s presence?
“Please, please, go away,” I whispered.
“Why?” He sounded genuinely curious.
“You lied. You told me you loved me. But you let me disappear. You never even wrote to me!”
“I did, too!” In a flash, he was next to me. Out of the corner of my eyes, I saw him, but I still couldn’t bring myself to face him. His tug on my arm was gentle but insistent.
I couldn’t turn around. I just couldn’t!
“Cara? Please?” He slowly turned me toward him. I dropped my gaze to the floor, hoping to postpone the moment. When I couldn’t keep my balance any longer, I sank back onto my butt. It was a movement that should have pulled me out of his grasp. Instead, he gathered me to his chest and lifted us both to our feet.
You’ll find Tear Down and Die for your Kindle right here.
For more information on Joanna’s career visit her website at www.JoannaSlan.com. See all her books at http://tinyurl.com/JoannaSlan. Follow her on Pinterest (www.Pinterest.com/JoannaSlan). Join the conversation at http://tinyurl.com/JCSlan. Or communicate directly with her at JCSlan@JoannaSlan.com.