LESLIE BUDEWITZ: I’m just back from Malice Domestic, the convention celebrating the traditional mystery, held every year just outside Washington, D.C. It’s a long weekend of fun, friends, and books — the Guest of Honor was Louise Penny, the great Canadian writer, and Nancy Pickard, the first elected president of Sisters in Crime, received a Lifetime Achievement Award. Any fans of Vera — the books by Ann Cleeves or the BBC series? Actress Brenda Blethyn, who plays the smart, crusty homicide detective, was also a special guest.
And it was a thrill to see my June release, AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES, the 5th Food Lovers’ Village Mystery, in readers’ hands, thanks to my publisher, Midnight Ink, who made early copies available in the dealers’ room. Conference goers also received complimentary copies of the May-June issue of Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, which includes my historical short story, All God’s Sparrows, set in Montana Territory in 1885 and featuring one of Montana’s most fascinating historical figures. Early response to both book and story was terrific.
And now, I’m getting ready for my upcoming book launch. Join me Saturday, June 9, from 4-6, for a book launch party at the Bigfork Art & Cultural Center, in the village. The staff are calling it “Christmas in June,” and there will be cookies!
From the back cover:
Beautiful Whitefish, Montana serves as the setting for Fifteen Years of Lies, yet the story could occur anywhere people go to escape and in any family struggling to keep secrets. Parents of teenagers will relate to a mother’s fears for her son as his rebellion leads to violence.
Fifteen Years of Lies goes beyond the timely issue of sexual assault on campus to lay bare the aftermath of rape and its effects on the survivor, the child, loved ones, and even the rapist. Experience the raw emotions of past injustice and imminent threat when a suspected rapist believes he has found his victim and his son.
How far will the three women go to protect Zane from the truth?
Book Reading and Signing with Marlette Bess Saturday, August 19, 2017 5pm – 7pm Casey’s, Downtown Whitefish
MARLETTE BESS: WAYNE DINGO WAY (37) an attorney from Seattle took a leave of absence from his firm to care for his dying father in Whitefish, Montana. He was having a conversation with WAYNE WAY, his father, about where his life was headed when his father’s eyes rolled back into his head, he took his last breath and he died. Dingo was stunned – they had just been talking a moment before and now he was gone. Dingo gently closed his father’s eyes and kissed his forehead, stood up, grabbed his ski parka and headed for the front door. Dingo was in shock as he pulled his beanie down over his blond curly locks. He opened the door to a slap of bitter cold as he hustled his 6 foot 2 frame down the path.
The snow and ice on the sidewalk reminded him to take it easy as he walked toward downtown. Feeling the need to drown his sorrows, he found himself outside of Casey’s bar. He opened the door and entered the bar and walked to the only seat open at the bar that was next to a beautiful brunette with the most striking blackish/blue eyes, BERNADETTE LUCAS. Bernadette (35) was a free-lance physical therapist who had finished with a patient at the hospital and didn’t want to go be alone at home.
Dingo asked Bernadette if she would toast his father who just died. She introduced herself and seeing the pain in his eyes she agreed to the drink. He looked at her and could see her lonely beauty. After a couple of beers and three shots of tequila, she walked him home with her dog Hairy tagging along behind. On the cold walk home, Dingo kissed her – a kiss that not only curled her toes but made her body explode with heat.
When Dingo and Bernadette got to Dingo’s dad’s quaint, little house, Dingo passed out on the couch. Bernadette wandered around the house to find a blanket for Dingo and found his father dead in one of the bedrooms. Not exactly knowing what to do, she called her long-time friend at the police department Detective SAM MCDONALD to help with the body. Sam had the body picked up and they helped Dingo into bed.
Bernadette stayed with Dingo that night and even slept in his bed between the sheet and comforter to keep her distance. In the morning, being more himself, Dingo looked at Bernadette and wanted her immediately. The chemistry of longing, loneliness and desire lead them to each other discovering both themselves and the each. Once they had sex the only thing they wanted was more of each other.
Dingo and Bernadette were engaged shortly after they met. While still riding on the high of the engagement, they returned home to find more Dingo’s sister took her own life causing much pain and heartache. Tragedy did not end there for the couple, they soon discovered Dingo sister’s husband had killed himself and their children. The budding relationship grew with the highs of sex, lust and love and the depths of hell with the mounting pain of loss.
Dingo and Bernadette had two wedding ceremonies – one for themselves in Las Vegas and a second time for friends and family in Whitefish. Bernadette’s terminally ill father attended the wedding and died that night leaving her with money and a whole lot of undiscovered secrets.
The two lovers honeymooned in Australia where Bernadette was forced to face her own demons straining the trip. After having a nightmare reliving when she was raped in Central Park, she woke flailing, catching Dingo’s cheek with her fingernail, sending him to the hospital. When he went into surgery, she went into a tailspin not returning to the hospital for hours. She was lost in her confusion and when Dingo awoke, he thought she left him. When he healed they went back to honeymooning and they talked through her trauma regaining the closeness they lost from her nightmare.
The unthinkable happened in the third month of their honeymoon. Sam, Bernadette’s best friend back in Whitefish, was shot in the line of duty. Bernadette and Dingo took a marathon of flights to get back to the United States only to find Sam sitting up in the ICU after having his ventilator removed. Bernadette doted on Sam to the exclusion of everyone else, especially Dingo. But once again, Bernadette pulled herself together to be with Dingo and returning to their new home in Seattle shortly after.
Dingo and Bernadette went on a trip of discovery to her father’s hunting lodge is Krakow, Poland. She discovered that he was a deeply complicated man who lived his life collecting erotic art and engineering bridges around the world. After they left to go skiing in Davos, Switzerland with Sam and Dingo’s aunt, Bernadette had to decide out what she want to do with her father’s lodge, his erotic art collection. She also had to decide how she was going to build a new life in Seattle with the handsomest lawyer in all of the city? Dingo had to figure out how to stop being a workaholic and fit in time to love Bernadette down to her very soul.
Dingo wanted this new relationship with Bernadette to thrive but he wondered if he could overcome his bone breaking pain. With his family gone, Bernadette understood loss and pain from her most recent tragedies. Could she comfort and love him through this ordeal while trying to handle her own terrifying calamity?
LESLIE BUDEWITZ: Congratulations to Ann and Marlette! Sending a new book into the world is such a wonderful and terrifying thing!
Join me at the Bigfork Festival of the Arts, in the village aka downtown Bigfork, on Sat and Sun, August 4-5, between 9 am and 4:30 pm. I’ll be one of more than 150 artists with
booths, talking and signing mysteries, including TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, my newest Food Lovers’ Village Mystery. (I call my village “Jewel Bay,” but you aren’t fooled, are you?) Food and drink vendors will join us, and musicians will play open air — including Don Beans, aka my Mr. Right. See you there!