Body on the Ballot is nearly here – in fact, it’s already available for pre-order so you can be among the first to read it! Official release date is December 15.
Jealousy, hatred and domestic terrorism — how can one little primary in one little town pack such a big punch? By the time election day comes, there may be more than one body on this ballot.
Jake Rand is running for County Attorney in Casper, Wyoming, but someone seems determined to keep him out of office. There’s only a week before voters head to the polls, and it’s shaping up to be a very bad one. Protesters, punches, stabbings and shootings – politics isn’t just personal in Casper, it’s downright deadly!
It isn’t long before the police make an arrest, but Jake isn’t sure they’ve got the right man. He wants to win the election, but sending an innocent man to prison isn’t part of his campaign plan.
Here’s a sample to whet you’re appetite –
Jake walked slowly to the podium, wondering if he should stick to his prepared remarks or address Taylor’s. He adjusted the microphone to accommodate his height and began to speak. “I want to thank you for coming out on such a cold Saturday and I hope you’ll go away feeling we’ve given you something more valuable than hot air.” There was enough laughter for Jake to relax a bit. “You know I’m not a politician.” At that, there was applause. “I don’t know how to twist a fact to make it say something it’s not. The fact is, I’ve been involved in a few murder investigations, but then comes the twist. I didn’t get involved because I wanted to play detective or because I thought the police couldn’t do the job. Let me assure you, there’ve been a few times my clients have wished the police didn’t do quite the excellent job they do.”
There was more laughter and Jake smiled as he considered his next words. “There’s no how-to book for being a great County Attorney. You follow the law, so it helps to be a competent attorney. I will stipulate to the fact that Clint Taylor is a perfectly able attorney. So am I, but you also interpret the law, because legislators can’t anticipate every possible situation. Clint’s right when he tells you to consider what type of person you elect because a County Attorney uses judgment to enforce the law as fairly and impartially as possible. As a voter, you’re charged with examining a candidate’s character. What a man does when everything is routine is one thing, but it’s what he does when it isn’t that tells you more about what kind of man he is. No speech he makes during a campaign can tell you who he is when nobody is around to hear him.”
Jake leaned his arm onto the podium and looked at the audience, as though drawing them into his confidence. If Taylor could draw on his skill as a closer, so could he. “Clint told you I did the wrong thing, getting involved in those investigations. It wasn’t what he would have done. Well, you know what? I hope for his sake, he never has to find out. I hope no one ever murders a woman and dumps her body on his property. I hope he never finds himself facing down her killer only to be saved by the grace of God. I hope none of the situations that have been thrust upon me ever happen to Taylor.”
He looked at faces grown serious, almost somber and he knew he’d reached them. “I am not going to apologize for getting involved in those investigations. Do you want to know what kind of man I am? I’m the man who won’t run from a fight but I won’t go looking for it either. I’m the man who won’t stand by while a young woman lays in a Jane Doe grave for thirty years, unidentified, unmourned and unavenged because getting involved isn’t the politically prudent thing to do.” The hall erupted into applause and shouts of support.
Jeb Cannon, who had stumbled across the body of Jane Doe as at teen and whose insistence had drawn Jake and Emma into her case, stood up and shouted, “Here, here!”
Jake gave them time to settle before he spoke again, only this time his tone was light. “I guess I’m the guy who cares about things a little more than maybe I should. It might be easier to do what’s politically correct, but that’s not who I am. I can promise you only one thing. I will analyze every case on its own merit and take the action I believe will achieve justice for both the victim and the accused. If that’s the man you want to be your next County Attorney, then I hope I can count one your vote next week.”
A number of people jumped to their feet and the applause was deafening. Emma’s radiant smile told him he’d hit the right note. Behind him, he could hear his campaign manager, Ron Kenworthy, cheering and stomping his feet. He didn’t bother to look at Taylor, though he could imagine the attorney’s turbulent expression. He tucked his unused notecards into his jacket pocket and stepped back, determined to do his own share of milking the applause.
The doors at the back of the auditorium banged open. Jake looked up as two men, masked and armed with high-powered rifles, burst into the room. Without a moment to process what was happening, the shooting started and something slammed into his chest, knocking him onto his back. Pandemonium hit the auditorium with the force of a tsunami. He heard screams, shouts and the sound of chairs flipping over and running feet as audience members made a break for the side door. He heard shouts from the police officers who poured into the hall and there were more shots, louder. Then the auditorium went black.
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I know you love mysteries and discovering new authors. Take a look at this new release by Vicki Delany, one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers. She is the author of twenty-three published crime novels, including standalone Gothic thrillers, the Constable Molly Smith series, and the Year Round Christmas Mysteries. Under the pen name of Eva Gates she is the national bestselling author of the Lighthouse Library cozy series. Here’s a few words from Vicki:
I am the author of 23 published books. I’ve written intense psychological suspense, gritty police procedurals, a book about a serial killer in South Sudan, and a light-hearted series about the rough and tumble of the Klondike Gold Rush.
Now I write cozies. Why? Because I was asked to, and because I found out that I love writing cozies.
Sometimes it’s fun just to write for fun. And I hope you’ll find my Year Round Christmas series from Berkley Prime Crime to be fun.
It’s about the town of Rudolph, New York, self-anointed as America’s Christmas Town. The protagonist is Merry Wilkinson, owner of Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, where you can find everything you need for need for holiday decorating. And, if her father Noel, the town’s Santa Claus has been in before you, you might find things you didn’t know you need. But you really do!
Everyone in town gets into the spirit of the thing. Victoria’s Bake Shoppe is famous for its gingerbread. There’s Candy Cane Sweets, the North Pole Ice Cream Parlour, The Elves Lunchbox, Cranberries Coffee Bar, Touch of Holly Restaurant, The Yuletide Inn, the Carolers Motel. (Looking at this list it seems as though the residents and visitors to Rudolph like to eat a lot. Come to think of it, they do.)
In the first book in the series, Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen, a newcomer to town questions Rudolph’s commitment to the real spirit of Christmas.
“This town has a mercenary attitude toward Christmas.”
“We’re trying to keep Rudolph afloat. Provide people with a good living. Stop families from moving away in search of jobs or opportunities like they’ve had to in so many other places. Do you have a problem with that?”
“Good. Because if you’re going to live in Rudolph, you need to realize that Christmas is how people like me, like Vicky Casey, and almost everyone else in town, makes their living, in one way or another. But Christmas is above all what we love. Maybe we seem to go overboard at times, but that’s like criticizing my mother for going overboard because she sings opera arias rather than advertising jingles. Opera is what she loves.”
Rest Ye Murdered Gentleman by Vicki Delany
But, in mystery novels even into the nicest towns murder and mayhem must fall. Everyone is thrilled when a journalist from an international travel magazine comes to Rudolph to write an article on the town. They are not so pleased when he dies from eating a poisoned gingerbread cookie made by none other than Merry’s best friend, Vicky, owner of Victoria’s Bake Shoppe. It might be up to Merry to find the killer and save the reputation of the town before it becomes the Ghost of Christmas Towns Past.
This holiday season, why not pop into America’s Christmas Town and meet Merry and Vicky and the gang and help them celebrate Christmas.
The second book in the series, We Wish You A Murderous Christmas, was released on November 1, 2016.
Vicki lives and writes in Prince Edward County, Ontario. She is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada.
www.vickidelany.com. Facebook: Vicki Delany & Eva Gates (evagatesauthor) and twitter: @vickidelany and@evagatesauthor