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Saturday, March 28, 2015

#SaturdaySpotlight: Maris Soule & As the Crow Flies

Good Morning!

Been a lovely couple of days here in SW Louisiana. I hope you're getting your share of nice weather too.

Today we welcome back to our blog, author Maris Soule with her title, As the Crow Flies.

P.J. Benson receives a briefcase from an elderly woman, and within twenty-four hours the briefcase is stolen, a man is dead, and P.J. is receiving death-threats. Once again, P.J. and her Rhodesian Ridgeback, Baraka, must deal with her unpredictable rural Michigan neighbors, her quirky mother, and Homicide Detective Deputy Wade Kingsley, who won't answer her calls.

“Here.” A silver-haired woman about my height but three times my width shoved a battered, black briefcase into my arms. “You take this.”
“I don’t understand,” I said, shifting the cumbersome piece of luggage to a more comfortable position. “What’s in here?”
She gave a quick, furtive glance around the library meeting room, then stepped closer and lowered her voice to a whisper. “Something they want.”
Something heavy, I decided, and set the briefcase on the carpeting. “Who wants it?”
“Them.” Her pale blue eyes held a feverish glow that reminded me of the look my schizophrenic mother got when she was sure aliens had landed. “The ones he talked to. He told them if they want what he has in this briefcase, they’ll have to pay for it.”
My internal alert alarm went off, and I stepped back and glanced at the nametag on the woman’s cotton blouse. Ida Delaney. “Ida, that sounds like blackmail.”
“I know. And that’s why you have to help him. Help me.” Her chin began to quiver. “I know what happens to blackmailers. I’ve seen it on my afternoon shows. They get arrested or they get killed. I don’t know what I’ll do if they kill him.”
Just the idea of getting involved in another murder sent a shiver down my spine. “I can’t help you, Ida,” I said. “You need to go to the police.”
“No.” She shook her head, the loose-skinned wattle under her chin swinging back and forth. “No, I can’t do that. Donald said if I bothered them again, they’d make me go into a nursing home. I came here because the sign outside said you’d tell us how to protect ourselves.”
“From scams.” I thought I’d explained that during my talk. “Not from . . .”
I was going to say stupidity, but stopped myself and looked around, hoping to see either Emily Anderson, the librarian who had introduced me, or my grandmother, who had convinced me to talk to her senior citizens’ group.
At least two dozen gray-haired seniors had stayed after my talk, most of them now gathered around the refreshment table. I didn’t spot either the librarian or Grandma Carter in the group. My grandmother’s absence didn’t surprise me. My bet was she’d stepped outside for a cigarette. She hates all the No Smoking regulations Michigan’s lawmakers have come up with.
Well, I felt no pity for her today. Although summer wouldn’t officially start for another nine days, today’s weather was perfect—temps in the mid-seventies and not a cloud in the sky.
“The police think I’m crazy,” Ida whispered, bringing my attention back to her.
I knew from experience how that felt, but I had to agree with them in this case.
“Sometimes I get things a little mixed up,” Ida said. “But I really thought it was my house. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have crawled through that window. I mean, my gosh, I almost got stuck.”
“You crawled through a window into someone else’s house?” I tried not to smile, but picturing Ida Delaney squeezing her broad rear-end through an open window was more than I could suppress.
She frowned at me. “It wasn’t funny, and I really don’t see why they had to call the police. Donald told them it did look like the house I used to live in.”
“And who’s Donald?”
“My nephew.” She looked down at the briefcase by our feet. “I think he’s sorry he threatened them. He asked for way too much money.”

AS THE CROW FLIES is available at:
BarnesandNoble/hardcover: http://goo.gl/ickcWA
BarnesandNoble/nook: http://goo.gl/XkyfEs
Smashwords: http://goo.gl/l9F1tx

Maris Soule has had 2 mysteries, 25 category romances, and 2 short stories published. 2 more mystery/suspense novels will be released in 2015. She is a two time RITA finalist, and has won and placed in many other contests. Born and raised in California, Soule now lives in Michigan in the summer and Florida in the winter.
Web site: http://marissoule.com
Facebook: http://Facebook.com/marissouleauthor
Twitter @marisSouthHaven,
Also on: Google+, Goodreads, LinkedIn, and Pinterest
AS THE CROW FLIES (Another P.J. Benson Mystery)

Sounds like a good book to curl up with if you're not having great weather, but if you are you can always save it for a rainy day!

Until later...take care & God Bless!


Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Maris and Pam,

Enjoyed the spotlight on the novel. Crows are so perfect a symbol for mysteries--a murder of crows. Congrats on the new work being published. Maris, I didn't realize you had so many romances published, a great accomplishment in itself. Best wishes.

Melissa Keir said...

Sounds like a wonderful story! I can just imagine the trouble she gets into with that briefcase.

Maris said...

Jacqueline and Melissa, thank you for taking time to visit Pam's blog and comment on As the Crow Flies. And Pam, once again, thanks for inviting me to your blogspot and featuring one of my books. It's been a pleasure to be here.