Introducing a 1940s Fairytale-Inspired Mystery (Ever After Mysteries Book 10), A Troll Falls by Marji Lane. It was released this week and was worth the wait! You can read all about it at the end of this blog, and don’t forget to enter the Giveaway and join the FB Readers Group, too!
But first, have you read the mini-mysteries of other authors in the Ever After Mysteries Two series? You must check them out! Liz Tolsma pointed a finger, or should I say a rose, at me. Read her story here.
What’s going on?!
I just wonder, what is going on with all these mystery roses? Here’s my story….
Liz Tolsma texted me asking if I’d sent her a rose as a joke. Why would I do that, I asked her, but she didn’t respond.
So, I waited, but I also waited for my guest, whom I expected soon. I steeped a cup of rose mint tea and changed the water in the vase of white roses sitting on my dining table. My Battenburg lace tablecloth complimented the sparkling crystal vase. I nodded my approval, breathing in the perfumed scent, I contemplated the excitement that lay in store today.
Glancing at my watch, I had a little time before my sister arrived for our critique session. Picking up a copy of Rose Garden Magazine, I double-checked the planting guide. I had everything I needed. Bare-root roses, organic soil, and mulch. I picked up my Royal Albert teacup and sipped.
The gate clattered outside. She’s early, I thought. I went to the window and peeked. Nope. It wasn’t my sister. But a tall man with white hair walking his dog just past my front yard. He stopped, looked back at me, and nodded. But the apricot-colored labradoodle yanked him forward, pulling him away from my yard. Perhaps the dog rattled the gate. I sighed.
Settling down, I sipped my tea again. Cold. The kettle had cooled, so I turned on the heat when I heard sweet humming out the front. Again, I peeked out the window and smiled. A small girl with slick black hair skipped down the sidewalk. She smiled back and waved. She must be new in the neighborhood, I thought. I’d never seen her before.
My cell beeped, and Liz texted. <So it wasn’t you?>
<That sent me a rose with the message, Your turn is coming.>
<Creepy. But not me.> I texted back.
<Well, no one else knows where I’m vacationing.>
Oops, I thought. I told Joanne Markey, one of the other authors in our Ever After group. Maybe it was her. Still, I shivered at the creepy message.
My kettle whistled, and at the same time, what sounded like growling stopped me in my tracks. Loud, muttering grumbles. I tiptoed to the front window and pulled back the sheer curtains. The sun broke over my sycamore tree and blinded me. But I spotted a hunched-over figure trudging down the sidewalk. Loud snarling continued, and the hair on my arm rose. I couldn’t make him or her out, but it stopped. It raised a claw-like hand and gripped my fence. I gasped. Under the shadows of the tree, the dark form seemed to stare at me. I shrunk back. It disappeared. I turned, slumping my back against the wall, I rested for I don’t know how long.
Ring. Ring. I jumped. The doorbell. I froze.
It couldn’t possibly be the … whatever it was, but still, I couldn’t move. Knock-knock. Knock-knock-knock. I covered my ears when pounding commenced.
“Hey, let me in, sis!”
“Sis?” I cried.
I flung open the door, and through the screen, my sister stood, drenched. Dripping wet, she held a flower stem. A rose? A beautiful, delightful rose. I giggled, then bent over, slapped my knees, and laughed. How like Liz to play a practical joke, I thought.
“What’s the matter with you? And who sets automatic sprinklers in the winter,” my sister asked.
“It’s almost spring, and we need water in California.”
“Waste,” she said. “Give me a towel, will you? And here.” She thrust the rose forward.
“Why thank you.”
“It’s not from me,” she grumbled. “It was lying by the gate outside.”
My heart raced. I gulped and pulled her all the way into the house, and peeked outside. Shutting both doors, I followed her as she walked toward the hallway.
“Towel?” She slipped into the guest bath and grabbed a white towel, covered in roses, of course.
“You have a secret admirer. Gee, I wonder how they knew you liked roses?”
Twenty-five rose bushes graced my front garden. Pink Climbers, Yellow English, Groundcover Whites, and lots of red bushes. I stared at the single stem clutched in my hand. A deep red with darker shades curling at the edges. Its sweet floral perfume permeated the little bathroom, and I closed my eyes, drinking it in. I stopped.
“Wait. Did you see… a man or woman outside? Kind of a hulking type.” I raised my hands, cupping them like claws.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” my sister said.
“How about a cute little girl with straight, slick black hair?”
“Was she Asian?”
My heart thumped. “Yes, yes. I think so.”
My sister shook her head. “Nope. No kids.”
Dropping down the toilet lid, I sat. “How about an older guy walking a dog?”
Sis stared at me. “My, my. You’ve had a busy morning. Was the dog like a big fluffy doodle or poodle or something?”
I stood, grabbing her arm. “Labradoodle, uh huh.”
“Yeah. I saw it running down the street. It ran in hot pursuit, chasing something that I couldn’t make out.”
“Did a man follow him?”
“Nope” She frowned and pointed at my fist squishing the rose. “Hey, there’s a note attached.”
I ripped open the envelope.
Yours is coming, it read.
Leaving the rose but taking the note, I fled to my phone.
“Hey, what’s up?” Sis called after me.
I ignored her and tapped Joanne Markey’s number leaving a message.
<Joanne? Sit down because I think yours is coming.>
The Next Mini-Mystery
I can’t wait to read the next mini-story. Here’s the link to Joanne Markey’s post…and the mystery continues.
Ever After Mysteries
All these fun stories are in celebration of release week for A Troll Falls by Marji Laine.
Here’s the link to get your copy!
Murder. Even the word sounds ugly. Almost as ugly as the corpse on the shore.
Dallas, Texas, 1948
Opal Stedman enjoys caring for old Mrs. Farnesworth. But keeping her sister Ruby out of trouble, well that is another issue entirely. Especially now that Ruby has stepped into high society with her new beau. A dubious man. Maybe even duplicitous.
Even the handsome security guard warns her sister about him.
When a body is dragged onto the shore of the lake that borders their home, rumors and worries over the new man become assurances. But why has he involved her household in these gruesome shenanigans?
And why are Opal’s loved ones suddenly having “accidents”?
Loosely based on the little-known fairy tale of “Snow White and Rose Red,” this mystery twists its way all along the banks of White Rock Lake during its heyday.
GIVEAWAYS AND MORE!
It’s been fun reading, writing, and following the mini-mysteries of the author’s blogs in the Ever After Mysteries 2 Series. The ongoing fun continues with new releases reaching far into 2024. I hope you’ll join us by connecting on our FB Ever After Readers Group. You’ll find links to all the author’s blogs there. Click the link below.
And don’t forget to enter the giveaway each day on the blogs. Besides these mysterious stories, you’ll get a chance to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card and an e-copy of A Troll Falls. Click below to enter.
The Mysteries Continue…
Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions or want to share your thoughts, please comment below. My Ever After Mystery comes out in June of 2024, and it’s loosely based on Thumbelina. Have you heard of that fairy tale? It takes place in Wales and England in 1949. I can’t wait for you to read it, but I’m excited to read each of the releases in this series as well. Happy Reading!