Martha Conway’s ‘The Underground River’ [EXCERPT]

Loading food on the Ohio

Cruising in a steamboat along the Ohio River, an actress and her cousin travel the border between the free North and the slave-holding South. (Photo by suemon123, Flickr)

 

Having lived along the banks of the Ohio River for more than a decade, I frequently heard stories about the Underground Railroad and how it ran through the area in the midst of the Civil War. Visitors to Cincinnati can learn much about this history by visiting the Harriet Beecher Stowe House (she’s the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin) and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center downtown (a visit here will change your life!). But until you can make the trek to one of these venues, you can lose yourself in the pages of an incredible new book by Martha Conway, The Underground River. To whet your appetite, here’s an exclusive excerpt from chapter one. Enjoy! —Jathan Read more of this post

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Spirited Widow Courageously Pursues Dream to Paint ‘Midnight Blue’ [REVIEW]

Delftware in a window

A young woman with a dream. A past she has to escape. A talent that can’t be denied. Lose yourself in Simone van der Vlugt’s Midnight Blue. (Photo by Thomas, Flickr)

When her husband meets an untimely end, a young widow leaves the small village she’s lived in her entire life to reinvent herself in the big city. But try as she may, she can’t seem to outrun whispered rumors about why she really left. Will she ever escape the past and make her dreams of becoming a skilled artist a reality? Find out in Dutch author Simone van der Vlugt’s enchanting new novel, Midnight Blue.  Read more of this post

Susan Spann Finds Her Muse High Atop Mount Koyasan [GUEST POST]

Konpon Daito Pagoda

Structures like the impressive two-storied Konpon Daito Pagoda elicit quiet contemplation and meditation from even the most experienced traveler. (Photo by Susan Spann)

Most of the time, the plot of each new novel drives my research, but in the case of Trial on Mount Koya, a sacred mountain turned that process upside-down. Each Hiro Hattori novel features a crime in a different setting, and a victim from a different social class or niche, allowing me to keep the series fresh and interesting. Read more of this post

Japan’s Sacred Peak Offers Quiet, Contemplation, and Murder in ‘Trial on Mount Koya’ [REVIEW]

Monk heading to Gobyo

A Buddhist temple may seem an unlikely place for a mystery, but Susan Spann’s ninja sleuth Hiro Hittori discovers death and treachery inside its walls in Trial on Mount Koya. (Photo by ccdoh1, Flickr)

A ninja and a priest walk into a Buddhist temple. Although it may sound like the beginning of a joke, it is actually the premise for the sixth installment of what is one of the most unusual and fascinating mystery series I’ve encountered in recent years. Penned by novelist Susan Spann, the latest Hiro Hattori novel, Trial on Mount Koya, reunites fans with her ninja sleuth and pays homage to one of the greatest mystery writers who ever lived, Dame Agatha Christie.
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The Brambles on the Branches of a Family Tree [GUEST POST]

Looking up at the branches of a leafless tree against the sky

Every family tree has its secrets. But some just won’t stay hidden, especially when there’s a writer among its branches. (Photo by Jathan Fink, Jadeworks Entertainment)

For as long as we can remember, we’ve loved reading romantic suspense fiction, especially novels filled with deeply buried family secrets. Recently, award-winning author Linda Hughes appeared on our radar, and she’s fearless when it comes to throwing open tightly sealed closet doors and digging up old family skeletons, which makes stories like Secrets of the Island, the second volume in her Secrets trilogy, so delicious. In today’s guest post, find out how her own family tree inspired her to write her latest novel. Enjoy! —J&H


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