HeartBeat Books News: Three Guest Authors of Mystery and Suspense!

HeartBeat Books News: Three Guest Authors of Mystery and Suspense!

It's Christmas in July on this Book Sale Sunday!

Under the tree: 26 mysteries, thrillers, and detective novels, including my own SILHOUETTE (excerpts below).

First, let's unwrap a FREE novel that adds to the legend of Sherlock Holmes.

An Unconventional Holmes: Three Unnatural Cases Kindle

Sherlock Holmes must solve three cases that carry him into the unnatural: the disappearance of the Baker Street Irregulars, the true identity of a Great War veteran, and a vampyre’s grisly death. He must cross into the worlds of the Grimm Brothers and Bram Stoker to unravel the mysteries confronting him. Can Holmes’ conventional methods still function in the unconventional world?





Thirty-something single dad Ben Harper is on the case of a murdered kingmaker's wife in SILHOUETTE -- NOW ON SALE at Amazon for ninety nine cents ($0.99) starting TODAY thru Tuesday, 1/18.

District attorney Ben, his physician wife Cynthea, and daughter Jamie flee New Orleans' crime for small-town comfort just beyond the Big Easy's borders.

But crime and the city won't let Ben go. Newly widowed after Cyndee dies in a head-on collision, Ben is forced into a high-stakes political game when the wife of a prominent political donor turns up dead and dismembered in his jurisdiction.

And she's just the first.

In this excerpt from Chapter 47, we eavesdrop on the thoughts of suspect Madelyn Martrell, wife of New Orleans' Mayor Jarman Martrell, as she considers the fate of her husband's young mistress.

MADELYN LISTENED. Someone was inside. She thought she heard them. She knew she sensed them. She put her hand against the door and pushed it, deftly, so the hinge stayed silent.

She pushed the door open just enough and stepped into a small, shadowy foyer, a limbo where she was neither in the apartment nor out of it.

She stepped on the balls of her feet, almost on tiptoes, felt her heart pound, held her breath. It was so quiet she could hear music from the ear buds the girl was wearing.

Bad Bad Thing, Chris Isaak. How alarmingly apropos.

Madelyn peered around the arched entryway into the tiny apartment. The sight of the girl jolted her. She was on the edge of her bed, naked, scrolling through her cellphone, oblivious in its revealing light.

“She looks so young,” Madelyn thought.

The girl was fit, her skin had that taut sheen that looks flawless to anyone of a certain age. The lamplight in the room accentuated the way her leg curved to her butt, and how the muscles flexed and jumped in her calves.

The girl set the phone down and Madelyn saw its neon green case and the slender cord from the girl’s earbuds across her breast. The girl took out the earbuds, stood and opened the window as the song entered the room.

She picked up a bottle of lotion and rubbed palm fulls of it along her arms, around the curvature of her shoulders, up her neck and down, between her breasts.

Down and over the delicate brown bumps of each nipple, to her stomach, gliding over shiny perspiration in the still, humid air.
Madelyn smelled the scent of the lotion.

Like a taunt, the girl smoothed the glistening oil along the convexity of her thighs, then down, where her hand grabbed her calf like a football and massaged it. The girl turned and Madelyn saw her eyes, dark and immature. Her rival had expected an older woman.

But this was a child, twenty-two, twenty-three at the most.

She imagined the defiance she might encounter: More like a teen defying a parent than an opportunistic mistress confronting the devastated wife. She wondered if this oblivious child even knew that her lover was married. “Rich, powerful, older man” may be as far as the girl’s understanding ever got.

Instead of lunging at her throat and strangling her until that flawless body squirmed to a slunk, Madelyn stood, denying herself anything more than an audible breath.



Fantasy Island this isn’t.


Jarman stood with his shirt off in the light from the open refrigerator door, drinking orange juice from the container. He was still wearing his suit pants, dress socks, and belt from the workday.
“Naughty boy.”
He flinched, startled. Madelyn strode up to him in a loose robe and grabbed his belt. She leaned down and peered over his neck at the orange juice and open refrigerator. “How many times have I told you not to do that?” She kissed his neck.
“I’ll put my name on it with a marker pen.”
“This isn’t a dorm.” She smelled his neck with a big, deep breath. “I got so hot for you the other night at that debate.”
“I was that good?”
“Ohh, yes.” She pulled him closer to her. “I’m hot for you now,” she said.      
“Just look at you, standing here like a bad little boy, shirt off, smelling all kingly.” She licked his ear and whispered. “I want some tongue. I want some cock. I want it inside me. And I want it now.” She pressed into him.
“Whatchoo drinkin’?” he asked.
“You,” she said. “I’m going to drink you all in.”  
“What if I don’t feel like getting drunk?”
“I don’t care,” she said. “I want my man. I need him.”
She wrapped her hands around the orange juice container and directed it back into the refrigerator. She grinned, mussed hair in her eyes and around her mouth, just like when she would get on top of him, moving her ass and whispering her pleasure. She kissed him, turned him and took his hand and put it through her robe, on her body.
“That feels so nice,” she said. “Doesn’t that feel nice.”
She tugged him by the belt away from the refrigerator, toward the open door through the kitchen to the backyard.
“How about outside?”
He barely moved.
She saw a glass on the granite island. “Bad boy. There’s the glass you were supposed to use.” She waltzed him to it and picked it up. “The glass. See?” She smiled and kissed him again, but he was flat. She raised the glass and her face changed. She brought it down with a shattering crash on the counter top.
“See?” She picked up a shard with her bleeding hand. “See how easy it is to break something? See?”
“What the hell is wrong with you?”
“Wrong with me, Jarman? Wrong with me? I told you what’s wrong with me. I want the man I adore like nothing else in the world, and he won’t even touch me. Ben asked me if you had changed. I didn’t tell him about the biggest change of all.”
“Ben? When was this?”
“Yesterday. What—is there someone else? Some little bitch somewhere you’ve carefully hidden?”
“Then how,” she started tearing at her robe, shoulders first. “Could you—” Tearing it off. “Not.” Tearing it more, getting blood on it. “Want this?” She stood before him naked.
“Maddie.” He walked around the island to the sink and wet a dish towel under the faucet.
“Answer me,” she said. “How? Look at this body. Does your little bitch have a body like this?”  
He walked to her and tried to take her hand. She snapped it back.
“Don’t touch me,” she said.
He waited. He went for her hand again. She tried to pull it back, but he held firm. He pressed the towel against it. He took the towel away and she resisted as he looked at her palm.
“I hope it doesn’t need stitches,” he said.  
He set her hand on the counter and curled her fingers around the towel and went upstairs and returned with his robe. He went to put it around her shoulders. She shrugged it away.
“Why were you talking to Ben?”
“Why does it matter? I can talk to whomever I want.”
The robe in one hand and her towel-wrapped hand in the other, her husband led her to the couch. He coaxed the robe around her and they sat.
“What else did you tell him?”
“Don’t worry,” Madelyn said. “There wasn’t anything to tell him.”
Her long body stretched beyond the couch armrest, so she tucked in her legs.
“Okay,” Jarman whispered.
She started to relax. As the tension dissipated, she cuddled against her husband. He smoothed his palm along the side of her thigh, raising his fingers toward the end. He raised his hand, but she put it back on her thigh. He ran his fingers along it and smothered his lips in her hair and kissed her head and held her and in time, heard the deep breathing of her sleep.




"I love how Clara Lewis writes these bad ass women who won't back down!" reader Amber Pickerill writes on Goodreads, about Detective Angelina Lagarde, a recent addition to the Detroit Police Department after a mysterious tragedy leaves her family dead and her spirit determined, to take on any case the beleaguered department assigns.

Inferno, the first book in Lewis' new series, offers Angelina just that chance with a case of deja vu: terrifying events strikingly similar to the tragedy that killed her family.

A lifetime mystery fan, author Clara Lewis devoured Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys stories, publishing her own debut series last year.


A mother and wife at home in Portland, Oregon, Lewis bakes and crochets between creating convoluted mystery worlds she hopes offer the same thrills she's loved for a lifetime.

CLICK to check out Inferno, part one of the Angelina Lagarde series!



Thank you so much for reading! Until next time,

Michael Martin

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