Are You a Gambler? #Inspiration #amwriting #mgtab

Once a Gambler…

I have a confession to make- I love gambling on the horse races. I blame it on my grandma’s cousins, Betty and Mike. They introduced me to the thrill of racing as a young girl and I’ve been hooked ever since!

There’s just something about those beautiful, high-spirited animals prancing onto the track and lining up at the gate that makes my heart go pitty-pat 🙂

Nowadays, I get my enjoyment from watching the races on TV- with the Triple Crown as the best.

From Wikipedia

In the United States, the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, commonly known as the Triple Crown, is a title awarded to a three-year-old Thoroughbred horse who wins the Kentucky DerbyPreakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. The three races were inaugurated in different years, the last being the Kentucky Derby in 1875. These races are now run annually in May and early June of each year. The Triple Crown Trophy, commissioned in 1950 but awarded to all previous winners as well as those after 1950, is awarded to a Triple Crown winner.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_Crown_of_Thoroughbred_Racing_(United_States)

Last year, in 2018, I was lucky enough to watch Justify take the crown!

Justify is only the second horse to win the American Triple Crown with an undefeated record, following Seattle Slew. Justify is descended from Seattle SlewSecretariatCount FleetWar AdmiralOmaha, and Gallant Fox, all of whom also won the American Triple Crown. He is also a descendant of English Triple Crown winner Nijinsky. Of the 13 American Triple Crown winners, Justify is the first who did not race as a two-year-old.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justify_(horse)

Is it any wonder I love the sport?

I decided to write a mystery set around the Kentucky Derby and added a twist by setting it in the 50’s.

Here’s a short excerpt from The Lady Said No

Gus followed the stiff-necked manservant to the door of the den, though his emotions were tugging him back to Rebecca like a starved man to a banquet.

He couldn’t believe how beautiful she’d become. She’d always been pretty, but now there was an added maturity to her features that suited her face. The tomboy figure he fondly remembered had become hills and valleys he ached to explore. They’d been best friends, then lovers, then enemies. It’d been his fault, that was the worst of it. He’d let his drive for a career ruin the only good thing in his life. He could tell himself he’d done his part. After getting his degree and returning to Bourbonville he had tried to find her. But she was right, he hadn’t tried hard enough.

Their relationship had already been floundering; it had seemed easier to let it die a natural death. He regretted that now. One glimpse of her had brought back all the old feelings. Memories of happier times.

Ernest reached for the door knob and was stopped by the officer on guard.

“Sorry, only trained personnel are allowed.”

Ernest glared at him. “I’ve worked in this household for years; I believe I am trained.”

The sergeant exchanged a helpless glance with Gus. “I’m sorry, sir. Those are the rules.”

Gus stepped between the two men before a full-scale war broke out. “It’s okay, sergeant.” He flipped open his badge. “I’m Detective Grant. The…” He waved a hand toward the butler.

Ernest lowered his brows. “Manservant.”

Gus nodded. “Manservant, was just showing me the way to the crime scene.”

The officer checked his badge, then reached back to open the door. The stench of death was immediate, a toxic mix of human waste impossible to forget. Gus turned his head to draw one last clean breath and met Rebecca’s anxious gaze.

That look gave him pause.

Why was she worried? Just how well did Rebecca know the owner of Balmoral?

“Coming, Detective?” The sergeant’s voice interrupted his musings. Gus shrugged off his misgivings and followed the man into the room, sliding past the grim-faced Ernest.

Nancy knelt by the victim, her hands covered with white gloves and booties on her feet. She glanced up when he walked in and pointed at his shoes. Gus dug through his coat pockets until he found his booties, put them on, nodded to the sergeant, and made his way over to her side.

“It’s a bad one,” she said, turning attention to her preliminary findings. “Single shot to the temple, through and through. Near as I can tell, time of death was sometime between midnight and three a.m., no sign of defensive wounds.” She stopped and gazed at him with world-weary eyes. “Who would do this, Augustus?”

Gus observed the brain matter splattered on the leather tufted chair and rich, red Aubusson carpet and his stomach churned. His first thought was crime of passion. There had been some effort made to set the scene up as a suicide. The gun rested in the victim’s open hand, finger wrapped around the trigger. A cut crystal tumbler lay on its side nearby, a stain wetting the carpet. Gus touched the wet spot and sniffed, rubbing the tips of his fingers—bourbon. The good kind. Not something a man bent on ending his own life would let go to waste.

“I’m not sure, Nancy, but I do know the brass will be all over this one, so take your time, okay? We don’t want to miss anything.”

She huffed out an indignant breath. “You telling me how to do my job, now?”

He held up a hand to halt her blistering tongue. “The Jorgensons are big news, that’s all I’m saying. Don’t they have a horse in the Derby this year?”

The sergeant, who had remained by the door, and watched their exchange with interest, piped up. “Forever Humble. Lots of money riding on that colt.” His face became animated. “You ever see him race, Detective? He’s some kind of fast. Likes to run the outside track. Gives me a heart attack every time.”

Gus smiled. “You a betting man…?”

“Fish, sir. Everyone calls me Fish.”

Nancy chuckled and the young man’s neck turned brick red.

“I’m not a gambler, no sir, but I admit I like to spend a Saturday now and then down at the track. It’s some exciting. You ever been, Mr. Grant?”

Gus shook his head. “No, can’t say as I have. Not that fond of horses, though I guess that’s the wrong thing to say in this house.” He admired the landscape watercolor on the wall, rolling hills with a herd of wild horses barreling straight at him, eyes crazy and manes flying as though they were about to burst the confines of paint and canvas.

“Augustus, there’s something you need to see.” Nancy’s voice was muffled as she stretched, shapely butt in the air, to reach something under the leather chair. She grunted and tugged until a bronze sculpture came into view. When she stood it on the carpet, he saw it was about twelve inches in height, a warrior on a horse, raised arm carrying a spear.

“There’s blood and hair fragments,” she said, turning it carefully to inspect the evidence. “I can’t be sure until I get it to the lab, but this looks like a match to our vic.”

Well, that explained why there were no defensive wounds. The poor sop probably didn’t know what hit him. Gus looked around until he found the suspiciously empty spot on the desk. He gave a wide berth to the corpse, conscious of Nancy’s critical gaze. The desk was one of those massive claw-foot affairs, mahogany maybe, rich and elegant instead of simply functional. He pulled a linen handkerchief out of his pocket and checked the drawers. An assortment of papers greeted him, some on household expenses, most on Jorgenson’s passion—thoroughbreds. Nothing that looked like a cause for murder.

Gus was about to replace the documents when a slip of yellowed paper lodged in the back of the drawer caught his eye. He reached in, using the hankie, and retrieved the handwritten note.

Do what I told you to do, or the truth will destroy you

The threat inherent on the scrap of paper chilled his blood. There was trouble brewing in the Jorgenson household, and Gus was afraid Rebecca was somehow involved.

This story is part of the upcoming boxset, Unforgettable Power- Love and Intrigue, releasing May 5th!

Seven suspenseful page-turners will captivate you with breathtaking stories and intriguing characters you’ll find positively unputdownable! If you enjoy heart-stopping, engaging novels, then you must read UNFORGETTABLE POWER – Love and Intrigue.

Pre-order your copy today!

https://amzn.to/2UJtMy4

International- http://books2read.com/UnforgettablePower

Recommend on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/unforgettable-power-love-and-intrigue-by-mimi-barbour-and-jacquie-biggar

If you haven’t already, be sure to enter our monthly giveaway. We’re giving away gift cards and books!


Happy – cough – New Year! Load your eReader and snuggle in. #mgtab

I was going to write a peppy post to celebrate 2019, something that started off with something like, Hey, we’re two weeks into our New Year, how’s it going? Fabulously, I hope!

And then I was going to share some of the dreams I’m dreaming for the next twelve months, some of the goals I’m aspiring to, some of hopes that I have (because I am one of those people—the list-making, journal-filling, overthinking types. ?)—but then I got sick.

No sympathy needed, as it was just a bad cold and I’m well on the mend now. However, it did remind me that sometimes, yes, you want to cheer and yell, “Go me!” and make copious plans on piles of bright colored sticky notes—but other times you want to burrow into the couch, wrapped in blankets, your well-stocked eReader on your lap, a furry friend snuggled close, and a mug of soup or tea in hand. ‘Tis definitely the season for that!

And on that note, especially since we’re going into a weekend, I thought I’d help you load your digital bookshelves, so you’ll be prepared for some lovely “shut in” nights—though hopefully without sniffles or a bad cough. ?

Read all the books? Challenge acceptedHere we go! As most of you know we Author’s Billboard authors have a treasure trove of box sets under our belts—with memes and themes and romance tropes to fit any mood. The wonderful Suzanne Jenkins has put them all in one place for your perusing and buying pleasure. They’re a great way to discover new-to-you authors and genres—but also just to stockpile the types of stories you already know you love. Have fun!

 

 

If you’re craving immersion in a whole new cozy world and longing for the fun of a connected series, I’d be honored if you give my just-released River’s Sigh B & B Vol. 1 – 4 collection a try. It contains the first 4 novels in the series (which are all full-length, standalone novels with HEAs) and offers all the fun of revisiting old characters you love (or hate, LOL) while you fall in love with new ones.

Amazon ~ iBooks ~ Nook ~ Kobo ~ Google 

 

Last but not least, for any of you kindred resolution-making, goal-oriented spirits who, while perhaps sympathizing that I was sick, were simultaneously disappointed that I didn’t share goals or resolutions in this post or provide an inspiring, motivating call-to-action, One to Keep will be right up your alley. Sophie always has lots of goals, too, and she’s especially full of determination and resolve this year, so much so that she has a special holiday planned to celebrate her newest resolution. A holiday for one, thank you very much.

 

 

Okay . . . that should keep you busy for a while. (I hope you stocked up on tea and easy snacks too!)

Wishing you a lovely, book-filled, germ-free weekend,

? Ev

Until next time . . .

River's Sigh B & B box set. Stay cozy!

Celebrate with us – it’s a party!! #Facebook #prizes #contests #mgtab @mimisgang1

Only 1 more sleep!!

I have no idea how Tuesday, October 16th can be almost upon us, but it is! In just one more sleep, LOVE, CHRISTMAS II will hit digital bookshelves everywhere, and you’ll have more reading pleasure ahead of you than you can even imagine, LOL. 
All 26 brand-new novellas are titled after favorite holiday movies. 
Stock up on yummy book-worthy beverages and snacks now!

If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy of 

Love, Christmas 2 
for just .99 cents, grab it today:

Release day is – Oct 16th!!  
AMAZON.COM AMAZON.CA AMAZON.CO.UK ~ AMAZON.AU
KOBO ~ iBOOKS ~  NOOK 

~*~*~*~

Celebrate with us! ? 

Don’t forget to join in the celebrations at our launch party on Tuesday, October 16 and Wednesday, October 17! A couple of you contacted me, asking what a Facebook Party is, so in case it’s new to you too, let me explain. 

In a nutshell, it’s an online get together on a pre-arranged date and special page on Facebook. People who want to “attend” click the link beforehand to say they’re interested, then click to say they’re going. 

Then, during the party hours on the party day, you go to the link again and it’s “live.” People (in this case, me and the other Love, Christmas 2 authors, in assigned 20-minute slots) post in real time and you reply and respond to posts as you feel moved. The prizes, of which there are TONS, are usually won via random draws. You get your name entered based on easy to answer questions or small tasks. 🙂 Don’t be intimidated. These kinds of events are very fun and very easy! You’ll figure it out, super fast. Still in doubt? Just come! You won’t be sorry. 🙂 (And if you really hate it, LOL, you can duck out right away. :D) 

I’m starting the party off at 12:00 noon PST (3:0 p.m. EST) on Tuesday and really, really hope you’ll join in on the fun at the:  

Facebook Party Extravaganza! 

See you there! 

P.S. Can’t make the party during the “live” event hours? Come by any time Tuesday after 12:00 noon PST until Thursday 7:00 p.m. and scroll around, make comments, get entered in draws and have a blast.

~*~*~*~

 

I propose a CHALLENGE – with $100 Amazon gift certificate / or a Paypal payment as the prize.

As you know, we are trying to reach the USAT list with our new 99 cent Authors’ Billboard collection “Love, Christmas 2” and we need help in one area.

Of course it’s sales – but not just any sales. We need to sell as many books as possible to readers who support: B&N ~ Kobo ~ iBooks 

Therefore to encourage you, our readers, who buy books at those venues, if you reply with a link showing a purchase from any one of these 3 places, we will enter your name into the Giveaway. You can enter as many times as you have purchase slips. The draw will be picked on Oct 23rd.

Just email your proof of purchase to: authorsbillboard@gmail.com  

Thanks for your support, everyone!!

(No restrictions or purchases necessary to enter.)

~*~*~*~

 

Announcing the winners for the September Fresh Fiction Contest! #mgtab @mimisgang1

♥ Sending a big thank you to the dear contestants who participated in the “The Christmas Movie (Box Collection) Contest” held by Fresh Fiction in September for the “Love, Christmas 2 Collection. Your support IS so appreciated.

Here is the final list of winners and their authors:

Mimi Barbour              Yvonne T. Cruz

Leanne Banks            Jennifer Beck / Donald Lee Beck

Aileen Fish                 SarahJane

Traci Hall                   Sarah Riddle

Susan Jean Ricci       Myrna Ray

Alicia Street               Candy

Natalie Ann                Rachel in memory of André

Stacy Eaton               Tina Ricci

Dani Haviland            Sally Scully

Rachelle Ayala           Tasha Handa

Ev Bishop                  Gaelen Schwindt / Angela Baldwin

Nancy Radke             Shirley Hegdal

Tamara Ferguson      Julia Deaton

Alyssa Bailey             Susan B.

Mona Risk                 Cissy Coleman

Katy Walters              Clare

Joan Reeves              Sandy Lamm

Jacquie Biggar           Tracy Petit

Stephanie Queen       Renee S Grandinetti

Taylor Lee                  Jennifer

Donna Fasano           Terri James

Cynthia Cooke           Sharon Henderson

Suzanne Jenkins        Author Viv Drewa

Jen Talty                     Hollie Donner

Rebecca York            Taylor

The 26 hard-working authors in this wonderful Christmas bundle belong to The Authors’ Billboard, a group dedicated to making the lives of these professional women a little bit easier.

Because we all work together and help each other to reach as many folks as possible, our goals seem more attainable, and we’re a lot happier not having to walk this lonely writer’s road alone.

We’d love to have you join us on our website to keep track of Love, Christmas 2 and the authors who’ve participated in the collection. Since our dream is to make the USAT list, we need a lot of good karma from you – our supporters.

If you haven’t signed up for our weekly newsletter and would like to, here is the sign-up link.

http://authorsbillboard.com/newsletter-sign-up

Thank you again for your support,

Everyone here at the Billboard wishes you good times and the very best for this coming holiday season, ♥ ♥

Mimi Barbour

~Founder – Authors’ Billboard~