Thursday, March 31, 2016

Cozy Discussion #2: Romance and Love Triangles?



I have seen this discussion a time or two where someone will ask about romance within a cozy, and I will answer it the same way I did in a discussion today.

I get tired of romance if it takes too long to get the show on the road like the Hannah Swenson series or Stephanie Plum and love triangles drive me batty

We have so many book series out there and I'm all for either a romance or not but I hate love triangles because in the end someone gets hurt and in the case of Hannah Swenson two guys get hurt because Hannah ends up with neither of her boyfriends.  What is the point of that??

In the case of Stephanie Plum how many books and Stephanie still hasen't picked?  How long do you expect the readers to wait? 

I could see waiting a book or two or three for Hannah is on her 20th book, Stephanie Plum is up there too in her books.  How many books does it take to figure guys out?  

I am a more a murder she wrote era.  Jessica was widowed.  She had her guy friends things were hinted at but not thrown in your face.  I think it works we know she loved Frank and that no will compare to Frank.  I hate when books are forcing relationships they can go at a normal rate but don't make a book that is under the category chiclit/cozy it won't work.  Mystery lovers aren't looking for romance so I don't know why we are trying to sell them on a romance.  They are in it because the love some murder and sleuthing.  Not to see who Betty Boop is Booping.  I find in the case of Norman and Mike in Hannah Swenson these men seem hollow.  Hannah loves them but won't commit sounds like a girl who wants her cake and eat it too.  When you add to man love interests I don't know how you keep it lively to where people like the characters instead of hollow like these men are.

I would like to thank Save Our Cozies on Facebook for sparking this discussion!

Interview: Teresa Watson author of Who Invited The Ghost To Dinner?



Recently I had a chance to sit down and talk to Teresa Watson author of Who Invited The Ghost To Dinner.  Thank you Teresa for taking the time to visit Community Bookstop!

What genre do you write? 

Cozy mystery

How did you come to write cozies? 

I LOVE mysteries! I started out reading Nancy Drew, graduated to Agatha Christie, and went from there. My mother also loves mysteries, so we share our books and favorite authors with each other. Since mysteries are the main genre I read, it was a pretty natural thing to write them myself. And I love it!

Who is your favorite character to write about? 

That’s a tough one! I guess it would have to depend on which series I’m writing (I have two series right now). For the Ghostwriter series, I would have to say Cam would be my favorite character to write about, followed by Grandma Alma (who is based on my grandmother), and Jim and Charlotte (who are based on my parents). When Cam and Jim are having a conversation, I imagine Dad and I have the same conversation. It’s kind of a healing thing right now, as I lost my father about six months after I published the first Ghostwriter story.

Who inspires your books? 

My mother! I stop to think what she would like to read (and what I would like to read). She loves a good mystery; loves figuring out whodunit. So I write the twists and turns to keep her guessing. She also helps edit my books, so if it doesn’t get by her, it doesn’t get into the book. I
think my favorite story about this involves my other series. I had a wicked character that I really loved. As I was getting ready to write the fifth book in that series, Mother told me, “Debra has GOT to GO.” I protested vehemently, but the law had been laid down. So when people ask me who signed Debra’s death warrant, I simply say, “My mother!”


What do you do when you’re not writing? 

You mean we’re supposed to do other things besides write?! No, seriously, I read, crochet (I’ve taken the last month or so off from writing, and have crocheted three blankets), and watch sports on TV.

If you were stuck on a deserted island what three things would you take? 

A ginormous box of my favorite books, plenty of Dr Pepper, and my son to keep me company!
Thank you,

Paula 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Cozy Discussions #1: Why Authors Use Aliases?


  As an avid reader of cozy books, I love being able to read different books and have only recently learned most of the books I loved were written by the same author, which led me to look more into why authors go under other names.  It all began with Miranda James who I have loved Cat in the Stacks and for a while I thought Miranda James was a she it wasn’t until I was looking on Goodreads that I discovered Miranda is a guy named Dean James, so I asked him why the alias and he explained if you google Dean James you get the famous actor who died whom everyone knows either by his movies or reference in other movies James Dean, then I found out the second reason he went as a female as his publisher said women authors sell and thus Miranda James was born.  Another author told me there are books work for hire,  that is how Avery Aames was born in the Cheese Shop Mysteries.  She also writes under her name Daryl Wood Gerber she writes the Cookbook Nook Mysteries.  
   
   Sometimes in certain cases like Jim and Joyce Lavene the publisher wanted something fresh and that is how J.J. Cook was born. Some authors in the case of J.D. Robb aka Nora Roberts J.D. Robb is the alias to Nora Roberts because she writes In Death Series which is a mystery series.  Then she writes a lot of books under Nora Roberts which some are thrillers, romance, and on and on.  
Some use aliases in the case of Karoline Barrett she uses one because her married name is hard to pronounce she uses a variation for her books.  Ann Parramond uses the alias Ann Myers because she has another hard to pronounce name.  And she penned a name she liked her grandmother’s name.
  
   In the case of Dean Koontz he has several different names one being Leah Nicols, because his author didn’t think he should release two books a year, the same thing happened with John Sandford, who also writes under John Camp.  Also as many know Stephen King writes under an alias due to writing so many books.  Sometimes in many cases the publishing company will ask a writer to write a series and the company will own the series and the authors name.  Edith Maxwell who writes Local Foods Mysteries and she proposed a mystery idea for a series to her publisher Kensington.  Her editor wanted her to use a pen name and that is how Maddie Day was born.  It seems in a lot of cases they want a new author for a new series and that is the requirement.  A lot of authors don’t have much of a choice to either do it with a new name or no series.  Which I have found to be a common answer in this discussion.
   
   Victoria Hamilton writes under the name Donna Simpson or Donna Lea Simpson that author has a long running romance writing career.  As Victoria doesn’t want to confuse the readers.  She writes as Amanda Cooper because she signed on to do a work-for-hire series (Teapot Collector Mysteries) She also writes under her name for the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries.
  
  If anyone would like to help me work on a project to help me compile a list of authors and their lists of books written by them as I am confused like many get with the various names everyone has.  I want to take the time to thank so many people that helped with getting this answer.

Thanks: 


Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames, J.J. Cook aka Jim and Joyce Lavene, Victoria Hamilton aka Donna Simpson aka Donna Lea Simpson, Edith Maxwell aka Maddie Day, Glenda Moore, Ann Perramond aka Ann Myers, Karoline Barrett, Dean James aka Miranda James 

Special Thank you to the Save Our Cozies group on Facebook you all rock!!

Book Excerpt: Ren Crown by: Anne Zoelle

.

Rising Up with Ren Crown

Read and Excerpt from

The Awakening of Ren Crown by Anne Zoelle

Ren Crown Promo
Here's an excerpt from The Awakening of Ren Crown by Anne Zoelle we know you'll enjoy!
Devastated by the loss of her twin–and consumed by the realization that magic actually exists–art student Ren Crown illegally enrolls in a fantastical university determined to bring her brother back to life. But caught in a time of war, and as a mage with abilities that both sides want to harness and use, Ren finds herself an unwitting pawn in a larger game.[/box]

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

 
Chapter Nine: Olivia Price
I awakened early and began the arduous climb up the mountain. Alone on the path, I had ample time to think. Equal amounts of apprehension, excitement, and terror flowed through me, and I began to second-guess my decision. A soft, comforting whisper wrapped around me. “You can do this, Ren. You’re strong and capable.” Hearing Christian spurred me on. The journey suddenly seemed less lonely. And before I knew it, stretching across the flat grass of the fifth band near the top of the mountain—and encircling the entire mountainside—was the mammoth nine-story structure straight out of Ancient Rome that was referred to in the administration packet as the Magiaduct, or more informally, Dormitory Circle. A stone-columned arcade lined the lower level, providing coverage for students walking from door to door. Symmetrically spaced between the entrance doors were gateways, allowing a tunneled path to the other side of the building. From the second floor skyward, the building was an unbroken wall of ancient multicolored stone and glass. In the morning light the façade glowed and shimmered, alive with color. If I survived the day, I would lovingly admire its classic architectural magnificence tomorrow. With a cocktail of emotions stirring inside, I walked beneath the nearest arcade arch, passed a group of students laughing together, and approached a door. Apprehension. Excitement. Terror. The number thirty-two was carved into the stone above the wooden door, bright in the rising sun. I continued on to the right—hoping that walking counter-clockwise decreased the number count—past another stone gateway and to the next door. Thirty-one. It was a hike between doorways. The administration packet had mentioned thirty-six, nine-story “dorms” each housing four hundred students, solidly ringing this level of the mountain. People were running on top of the Magiaduct. Some of the workout gear was rather strange looking, even from this distance. But the evidence of a track indicated you could at least move from one dorm section to the next at the topmost level. I continued on until I reached the heavy wooden door beneath the stone-carved number Twenty-five. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I swallowed hard and opened the door. I had expected the interior to be stark and medieval, but the lower-level meeting and study area was fresh and bright with white slate floors and cream walls. Rich walnut furniture and comfortable sofas and lounge chairs upholstered in rich burgundy and forest green were scattered about in conversational pods, giving the room a warm and inviting feel. The area was a bustle of activity, with students entering, loitering, and exiting. I climbed the nearest staircase and found room fifty-two on the second floor. I took a deep breath, hoisting my papers more firmly in the crook of my arm, and knocked. No answer. I knocked again, then leaned casually against the wall and inserted one of Marsgrove’s straightened paperclips into the lock to see if a chomper engaged. No answer, no chomp. Relief nearly unbalanced me. No one was inside and the lock was completely standard, thank God. I could have it scrubbed open in ten seconds. Two students engaged in a hot debate passed me. “Social theory is important,” the girl said. The boy shook his head. “Brute force will always win. Magic is might.” I knocked on the door again, trying to look like I wasn't loitering, and discreetly pulled out my favorite rake and torque wrench from my brother's set, using my knee to press my papers against the wall so that I could use both hands. The door yanked open and a chilly voice said, “Yes?” My papers spilled to the floor as I jumped away in surprise. I quickly bent my fingers around the pick and wrench, shoving them back along my wrist and up into my shirt’s sleeve. I cleared my throat nervously. Potential new roommate Olivia Price was dressed in a tailored black and gray dress that looked very severe on her tall, thin frame. I couldn't help glancing at my own clothing, feeling more than a little out of place. But other students had been dressed in a wide variety of styles, especially the students whose clothing continuously changed form. More than a few people had been informally dressed in First Layer fashion. I was fine. Normal looking and totally as if I belonged, I tried to assure myself. I bent to collect my papers, then pasted on a bright smile and held up my forged documents. “I'm your new roommate.” Her hair was pulled tightly into a bun as severe as her clothing, and rectangular black glasses perched on the bridge of her very straight nose. She smiled down at me, but there was no humor in her eyes. “Are you?” This now clearly qualified as a complete introduction failure. I tried desperately to keep my face calm and smiling. It had been a stupid plan. Thoughts tumbled through my head on how to nonchalantly extricate myself. I'd figure out something else. I had six thousand vertical feet of space to work with. “Come in, then.” She stepped back, a clear invitation to enter, despite the cold amusement decorating her features. I hesitated over the threshold, then walked inside. The feel of a net descended and I lashed out with my arms, thinking that I had once more let myself be captured. But the magic gently pushed my limbs back to my sides. It swirled inside me and pushed against the cuff encircling my wrist. The net stroked me, then gently dissipated. I squirmed, feeling suddenly like I was in the right place, then realized the austere girl standing silently in front of me had to think I was certifiable. The skin around her eyes tightened, loosened, then tightened again, as if she were surprised, then displeased by something. I cleared my throat. “Hi.” I tried to remember my cover story, as well as how I could admit to having gotten the room wrong. “Sorry. I just transferred from—” “That is your side.” She pointed to the empty bed and desk on the window side of the room. My thoughts and words all crashed together. “What? Really? I mean, yes, great!” The feeling that I was in the right place intensified, then slowly dissipated. There was a curiously blank look to her expression, all tightness gone. As if she had no emotional reaction to me at all any longer. “You stay on your side, I'll stay on mine.” And with that, she turned to her desk and an enormous tome that was placed there. “Oh. Er, thanks.” She hadn't even asked me my name. I quietly walked to the empty desk on the far side of the room. The energy that had been capped by Marsgrove's cuff was restless now, pushing and leaking, as if it had tasted freedom for a moment and now refused to be denied. The room's magic hummed around me.
Don't forget!
rEN cROWN 99C1 (3)

About the Books

The-Awakening-of-Ren-Crown-185-x-295A world that exists right on top of ours–in every nook and cranny…a world that modifies the memories of anyone not yet awakened to magic…a world at war… Devastated by the loss of her twin–and consumed by the realization that magic actually exists–art student Ren Crown illegally enrolls in a fantastical university determined to bring her brother back to life. But caught in a time of war, and as a mage with abilities that both sides want to harness and use, Ren finds herself an unwitting pawn in a larger game. Needing to hide from those who wish to enslave her, Ren gambles everything on her determination to succeed, putting herself in plain sight of those who could capture her. Constantly needing to figure out who to trust–a cold, powerful roommate, a genius magical engineer, the most powerful combat mage of their age, a mysterious muse, a cunning and brilliant tactician, a charming terrorist, an influential politician, or the voice of her brother…the hardest thing may be trusting her own heart. amazon.comBarnes-Noble-Logo   Barely surviving her first term at college, all Ren wants to do over break is relax and bond with her roommate—not get eaten by a sentient building or attacked on the street. But with increasingly open warfare brewing between the magical factions and Layers of the world, this time, Ren will not fail in making sure everyone she loves stays safe and protected. That includes doing things like filling her parents' house with personal art heavily embedded with wards, bubble-wrapping her increasingly imperiled roommate, and even making sure that a certain sexy thorn-in-her-side continues to breathe free air. Finding herself on duty protecting the entire university alongside campus god Alexander Dare...was not what she'd had in mind. But this time it's not only her life on the line. And Ren will do anything to protect those she loves. amazon.comBarnes-Noble-Logo   Reeling from what the students at Excelsine University are calling "Bloody Tuesday," Ren is determined to regather her magical family. But the events of the attack were not without multiple costs. Magically broken and exposed, Ren is ripe pickings for multiple factions that want to use and chain her, and the Department is the scariest of the pack. With only a limited amount of time to save her friend, and confined with the rest of the student body awaiting their fate, Ren stands a mere hairsbreadth from losing her freedom completely with each and every decision she makes.       amazon.comBarnes-Noble-Logo   Anne Zoelle has loved books about fantasy, magic, math, wit, and imagination since devouring A Wrinkle in Time, Phantom Tollbooth, Alice in Wonderland, and the Chronicles of Narnia as a child. Split between the midwest and west coast, she writes books for all ages, as well as for furry monsters, sentient libraries, and adventuring aliens. Anne Zoelle is the pseudonym of a USA Today Bestselling Author. She is currently working on the fourth book in the Ren Crown series. Connect with Anne on her website, Facebook, or Twitter. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 28, 2016

Editorial: Monday Madness


With Easter over with and all my sick kids now better and back to school I've decided to work on updating things on the blog and with that changing some books I will and won't review.

Won't review: which is always hard as I know there are great authors out there but for the couple of bad seeds I've been fed lately I have had to make some changes.  This won't affect authors or publishers I work with now but it would for new authors and publishers.  I won't be accepting:

Indie Books
Self Published
Terrorist Themed Books
Books with crimes against children
suicide themed books
Non-fiction books

Now if I have worked with you before not to worry I am still going to work with you this manly impacts new authors.  I have had some people really harp on my to promote their books to the point I had to implement these changes.  Either they have me change my words in a review or they want to call me to promote their material, if it can't be conveyed in a email or messaging through sites then what makes you think talking to me on the phone is going to change it?

That's all I can really say about the subject.

I will review the following:

Indies from authors I have previously worked with
cozy mysteries
YA
Romance
fiction
historical fiction
paranormal
dystopian
the rest of the list is under contact us section of the blog.

We at Community Bookstop still thrive to offer free advertising, promotion of all sorts.  If any of that appeals to you by all means contact us we love working with our beloved authors, publishers, we hope this will help those looking to promote their stories.

Other than the minor changes which I hate to make these decisions one bad apple can really tip the cart.  As many know I'm tired alot and to have to make these changes I thought I could let time pass and not have to address it but after recent situations I had to make a stance on this issue.  There has to be a give and take and a line drawn in the sand and unfortunately right now this is my line in the sand that may change at some point but for now I need to work through the piles of books I haven't gotten to plus the ones for tours, and through NetGalley and Edelweiss so when I am caught up maybe then I will change this policy who knows.

Now back to your regularly scheduled review :)

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Spotlight: Hell To Pay by: Pamela Fagan Hutchins

HELL TO PAY
By Pamela Fagan Hutchins

Title: Hell To Pay
Author: Pamela Fagan Hutchins
Publisher: Skip Jack Publishing
Series: An Emily Romantic Mystery
Purchase Links:

Synopsis:

A heartfelt mystery from the bestselling and award-winning author of the What Doesn't Kill You romantic mystery series.

Big-haired paralegal and former rodeo queen Emily has her life back on track. Her adoption of Betsy seems like a done deal, her parents have reunited, and she’s engaged to her sexy boss Jack. Then client Phil Escalante’s childhood buddy Dennis drops dead, face first into a penis cake at the adult novelty store Phil owns with his fiancée Nadine, one of Emily’s best friends. The cops charge Phil with murder right on the heels of his acquittal in a trial for burglarizing the Mighty is His Word church offices. Emily’s nemesis ADA Melinda Stafford claims a witness overheard Phil fighting with Dennis over a woman. Before he can mount a defense, Phil falls into a diabetic coma, leaving Nadine shaken and terrified. Meanwhile Betsy’s ultra-religious foster parents apply to adopt her, and Jack starts acting weird and evasive. Emily feels like a calf out of a chute, pulled between the ropes of the header and the heeler, as she fights to help Phil and Nadine without losing Betsy and Jack.

Author Biography:

Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes overly long emails, best-selling, award-winning mysteries (WINNER http://pamelafaganhutchins.com or drop her a note at Pamela's email. And if you would like her to visit your book club, women’s group, writer’s group, or library, all you have to do is ask.
USA Best Book Award, Fiction: Cross Genre, Finalist) and hilarious nonfiction. The Houston Press named her as one of Houston's Top 10 Authors (2014). She is a recovering attorney and investigator who resides deep in the heart of Nowheresville, Texas and in the frozen north of Wyoming. Pamela has a passion for great writing and smart authorpreneurship as well as long hikes with her hunky husband and pack of rescue dogs, traveling in the Bookmobile, and her Keurig. Visit her at

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Book Spotlight: Between Good and Evil by: R. Michael Phillips



BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL BOOK BLAST large banner 640 

Between Good and Evil by R. Michael Phillips

Crime - Mystery Sunbury Press, Inc. (January 24, 2016) 
Hardcover: 224 pages 
ISBN-13: 978-1620066607 
Paperback: 222 pages 
ISBN-13: 978-1620067291 E-Book 
ASIN: B01B12YPTC
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Synopsis:

Years after the Willis Asylum closed, the secrets of its past lingered in its decaying halls as a reminder to the good people of Auburn Notch—when Evil closes a door, he also opens a window. Sheriff Promise Flynn was new to the town, and she was about to find out some windows should never be opened.
Promise Flynn is an overly impulsive Metro Detective whose disregard for procedure finally resulted in her being shot and left for dead during an investigation. To repair her bruised ego and splintered confidence she abandons the callous dark alleys of Chicago to patrol the quiet, birch-lined streets of Auburn Notch—a favorite vacation spot of her youth. For two years everything was idyllic, until the body of a young girl found in the abandoned asylum outside of town awakens the insecurities she thought her new life would insulate her from.
As the new Sheriff she begins her investigation refusing to accept the similarities between the young woman’s death and her own case, oblivious to being unexpectedly recognized and penciled in at the top of a clever murderer’s To-Do list. Her internal struggle intensifies when a discredited crime reporter from the past suspiciously arrives in town to resurrect his threadbare reputation, along with an FBI agent chasing down a lead in a cold case. Both men quickly become entangled in Flynn's investigation and her attempts to finally put her past to rest.
RMP_Profile_RGB_2016Flynn reluctantly accepts the murder of the young girl might be the work of the two men responsible for her hasty departure from Chicago, but Agent MacGregor insists the evidence points to a man he’s been chasing. As the rising current of her past threatens to pull her under, Flynn finds herself unprepared for option three.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael is a classically trained artist turned mystery writer. By combining his creative talents with a passion for mysteries he conceived his first series—The Ernie Bisquets Mysteries. It introduced Ernie Bisquets, a retired London pickpocket who decided he was going to assist the London police with their most difficult cases—whether they want his help or not. Michael has completed 3 books in the series, and has plans for at least five additional books.
Michael travels a bit, especially to Great Britain, but also has a fondness for New England. He spent many winters in the shadow of the White Mountains, skiing and enjoying the beautiful countryside. Those fond memories are the backdrop now for the new Auburn Notch Mysteries being published by Sunbury Press. The main character is Sheriff Promise Flynn—an ex-metro detective who left a dark past and her big-city detective shield behind and moved to a small New England town. What follows is anything but therapeutic.
When he’s not painting or writing Michael is an avid antique collector, filling his current home—an 1894 Queen Ann Victorian he, his wife, and son are restoring—with an assortment of antiques from around the world. Michael also enjoys cooking, working in the garden, and playing in the yard with their two rescues, Beau and Pup.

  Author Links Website- http://www.rmichaelphillips.com 
  A Fifer's Blog- http://rmichael-fifer.blogspot.com  

Purchase Links:

Amazon | B&N  | SUNBURY PRESS

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Book Excerpt: Those Who Walk In Darkness by: Joyce and Jim Lavene


Book Excerpt: Those Who Walk In Darkness

Jacks crouched down in the dark street and pointed to the faint trace of light coming through the downstairs windows of the bank building. Upstairs, the windows blazed with light. Several figures passed across them.
“I count six,” Jacks said softly. “Five men and one woman. You?”
Davey Hume nodded. “Six. I saw the woman. What’s she doing out here?”
“Probably married or shacking up with one of the men.”
“No place for a woman,” Davey said with a frown.
“Yeah, well, watch her anyway. They can be worse than the men,” Jacks warned. “There’s bound to be a door in the back of the building. You go around there and wait for the signal.”
“What’s the signal?” Hume asked in excitement, loving this part of the job.
“You’ll know. When you hear it, keep your gun up and your head down. Watch your back and your sides as you come into the building. Worse mistake you can make is letting someone sneak up on you.”
“I’m ready.” Davey nodded and took out his gun.
Jacks doubted it but didn’t say so. “Wait for the signal.”
Hume scurried along the shadowed edges of the street, making his way to the back of the building. There was music and laughter coming from upstairs. He looked up at the back of the bank. There were actually two doors. One was straight in front of him, but the other was up a set of rickety looking stairs. They didn’t look strong enough to hold anyone, but heeding Jacks’ words, he didn’t rule out the possibility either.
He waited patiently, wondering what the signal would be and how he would know for sure that it was the signal. He admired and respected Jacks’ calm composure and sureness. No wonder Jacks had been a top agent for so long.
Davey wanted to be just like him. Except maybe a little friendlier.
He thought about the woman inside the building and wondered if he could actually shoot a woman if it came down to it. He wouldn’t have admitted it, but he’d never shot a man in his life. Allan Pinkerton knew it right away. He hadn’t held it against him, though. That was when he paired him with Jacks. Maybe Jacks would help him make his first kill, Davey considered. He just hoped it wasn’t a woman. Women were…different.
The outlaws in the abandoned bank were having a pretty good time, he thought as the noise level rose from inside. And not a bit worried about being caught. He checked his gun again and eased the cramp that had come from gripping it so tightly. Where was the signal?
He heard a popping sound, followed by a dull thud in the lower bank floor. Was that it? he wondered nervously, positioning himself outside the lower back door, ready to kick it in as he entered.
Before he could move, an explosion rocked the quiet night around him. The sound was so loud and startling that it knocked him off his feet. The back door flew off its hinges and almost slapped him in the face as it came by him. Smoke poured from the windows and the cracks in the building. The beginning of a fire crackled in the front foyer of the building.
Getting back on his feet, Hume caught the first man out the back door and knocked him down on the ground. The man lay still, and Hume left him there, convinced that he wouldn’t get up until he came back for him. He pulled his handkerchief out of his pocket and wrapped it across his face. Two other men came out of the building and fell at his feet, coughing and gagging from the smoke. Hume tied them up quickly, anxious to get inside and really do the job.
The smell of sulfur was strong in his nose as he finally entered the building. It was difficult to see in all the smoke. The fire was beginning to pick up force. It wouldn’t take long to burn the dry tinder down to the ground. It could even take the rest of the old buildings down with it.
He looked to the sides and didn’t see anyone.
“Jacks?” he called out as he began to go through what was left of the downstairs floor. The stairs going to the next floor were still intact. A gunshot rang out from up there, and he ran for the stairs.

He didn’t see the woman in the pink silk dress until it was too late. He heard the sound of the gun firing then looked down at the gun in her hand. There was a lot of blood coming from his chest, but he couldn’t feel anything. He looked at her again, and she smiled at him. Then he crumpled to the floor.