Archives for posts with tag: mystery

I’d completed over two years of exhaustive research and writing for the second book of my contract with Bantam (which began with Summer of Love) and turned in The Golden Nineties, now retitled The Gilded Age (on Nook and Kindle). Gerald Jonas, the science fiction and fantasy reviewer for The New York Times Book Review, gave the book a cover-worthy quote—“A winning mixture of intelligence and passion”—and plucked the book (out of a field of 1,200 science fiction and fantasy books traditionally published that year) as one of twelve on his New York Times Notable Books list.

During the previous two years, Summer of Love (on Nook and Kindle), had been chosen as a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book, so this was more good news!

When I say exhaustive research, please take a look at Lisa Mason Talks Time Travel With Laura Vosika (Part 5). I’d found an entire library of books about the world during the 1890s, the United States, and San Francisco in particular. Several eminent journalists in the 1930s and 1940s published detailed and lively accounts of the City before the 1906 Great Earthquake and Fire all but demolished San Francisco. I found an actual guidebook published in 1890, a bound volume of The Argonaut for the years of 1896 and 1897, an illustrated book about traveling from New York to San Francisco on the Overland train, recipe books, the Montgomery Ward and Sears & Roebuck catalogs, and novels written during the period.

By the time The Gilded Age was done, I’d developed my own Fin de Siècle Voice, in contrast to my more minimalist, slightly profane, hip, science fictional voice. When asked to contribute work to two hardcover anthologies to be published by HarperPrism, I wrote shorter works in the Voice, Daughter of the Tao (free exclusively on Kindle Prime until March 1, 2013) and Every Mystery Unexplained (free exclusively on Kindle Select until March 1, 2013).

But I just wasn’t done with the Voice and all that terrific research. Another book was waiting to be born!

Next: #Writing Lily Modjeska Part 2: A Fin de Siècle Murder Mystery

Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook and Kindle! Also available in the UK. If you love romantic suspense or historical mystery, this is both. Please give Lily Modjeska a try!

Coming soon! Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, and Book 4: Terminus in four affordable installments. The Omnibus Edition will include all four books.

Lily is a typical woman in Toledo, Ohio, 1896: repressed and dependent on her husband. But when Johnny Pentland is found dead at a notorious brothel, Lily discovers her husband is not the man she thought he was.

Pursued by Pentland’s enemies, Lily embarks on a journey that will take her across the country to San Francisco and across the ocean to Imperial China as she unravels a web of murder and corruption reaching from the opium dens of Chinatown to the mansions of Nob Hill.

Her journey becomes one of the heart when she crosses paths with Jackson Tremaine, a debonair, worldly-wise physician. Lily and Jackson begin a conflicted, passionate relationship as they encounter the mysterious Celestial Girl and her dangerous entourage.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook and Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook and Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook and Kindle.

Of The Gilded Age, the New York Times Book Review said, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your friends. Your response really matters.

More bargains for your reading enjoyment:

The Garden of Abracadabra is also available in three affordable installments on Nook and Kindle.

Summer of Love is available free on Kindle Select until March 1, 2013 in the Summer of Love Serials 1 through 7.

Thank you for your readership!

Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery)

1

A Precipitous Departure

June 1, 1896. Toledo, Ohio.

I did not look back.

It was a scorching morning when I abandoned everything I had known. Exhilaration and nervous anxiety competed for my heart. As elated as I was to leave, I was well and truly scared.

A lone crow cawed and wheeled overhead in a summer sky bleached white by the relentless sun. Insects droned in the limp cornfields. The pollen of new-mown hay suffused the stifling air, pressing itchy red thumbprints into the corners of my eyes. Heat shimmered off the macadam and pooled in mirages as false as my marriage had been.

The gossips agreed my husband had been murdered, though the police hadn’t officially declared the cause of his death or formally interrogated me. Not yet. I seized my carpetbag and closed the door to our cottage on Shoreline Road where the macadam crumbled to dust and dandelions. I had never been fond of the weathered clapboard or the landlord. “The weaker sex will get the vote when hell freezes over,” Mr. Grimal cheerfully assured me every time he came to collect his pound of flesh. I’d cheerfully neglected to pay the rent for a month.

I took only what I could cram in my carpetbag: my fancy blue silk dress, a change of stockings, my Chantilly lace camisole, my wedding band–a plain gold ring inscribed inside, “For My Sweet Lily Love J P”–a bargain one-way ticket on the Overland train, and a thirty-two caliber double-action Colt revolver.

And the gold? I hid the gold in a very safe place.

From Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) on Nook and Kindle!

Copyright © 2013 by Lisa Mason.

If you enjoy the work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your friends. Your response really matters!

Whoo-hoo! I’m so excited to tell you my romantic suspense, Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is brand-new on Nook and Kindle!

If you love romantic suspense or historical mystery, this is both. Please give Lily Modjeska a try!

This is the first book in the Lily Modjeska Miniseries. Coming soon are Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, and Book 4: Terminus. The Omnibus Edition will include all four books.

Lily Modjeska is a typical woman in Toledo, Ohio, 1896: repressed and dependent on her husband. But when Johnny Pentland is found dead at a notorious brothel, Lily discovers her husband is not the man she thought he was.

Pursued by Pentland’s enemies, Lily embarks on a journey that will take her across the country to San Francisco and across the ocean to Imperial China as she unravels a web of murder and corruption reaching from the opium dens of Chinatown to the mansions of Nob Hill.

Her journey becomes one of the heart when she crosses paths with Jackson Tremaine, a debonair, worldly-wise physician. Lily and Jackson begin a conflicted, passionate relationship as they encounter the mysterious Celestial girl and her dangerous entourage.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook and Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook and Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook and Kindle.

Of The Gilded Age, the New York Times Book Review said, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

More bargains for your reading enjoyment:

The Garden of Abracadabra is also available in three affordable installments on Nook and Kindle.

Summer of Love is available free on Kindle Select until March 1, 2013 in the Summer of Love Serials 1 through 7.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your friends. Your response really matters.

Thank you for your readership!

From Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery)

Prologue

Blood on the Barbary Coast

July 8, 1896. San Francisco, California.

He had been thirty, tall and achingly handsome, with corn-silk hair and cornflower eyes, the sort of man women fell in love with even when they knew they shouldn’t. Chill fog haunted the waterfront at midnight, ghostly whorls of it eddying over restless waves so black they could have been India ink. The sounds of revelry one always heard on the Barbary Coast–men’s drunken babble, sporting ladies’ blowsy shrieks, the tinkle of an off-tune piano–drifted from Three Fingered Jack’s, along Battery Street, and down to the Embarcadero.

I found Billy Highsmythe in the richly appointed cabin of his yacht. No one should have endured the horrors he had. No one should have witnessed the sight I saw.

He had sighed and mumbled through the gag. How I remember his tortured sigh!

I had not succumbed to Billy Highsmythe’s charms, but I’d met the man and knew what he was–a United States immigration inspector charged with enforcing the Exclusion Act of 1888 and the Geary Act of 1890. These were stringent laws, I came to learn, in a series of federal measures aimed at the Chinese, law-abiding and otherwise. Laws enacted during times when rabble-rousers won feverish applause and approbating shouts whenever they decried the Yellow Peril. Laws that caused havoc in Chinatowns across America and debased the way men and women lived. Laws that promoted all manner of graft and corruption. Laws that led, one could say, to murder.

Billy Highsmythe had been a scoundrel and a roustabout. He’d seduced virgins, smoked opium, swilled whiskey till dawn. He was the sort of man a genteel lady should avoid at all costs. I confess I boarded his yacht that night fully cognizant of my own peril. It was an impetuous thing to do after I’d fled across the continent to extricate myself from another murder. Then again, it was an impetuous thing in these last years before the turn of our century for a lady to go sleuthing.

It had been a moment when one feels the hand of destiny and cannot turn back, against all better judgment. Yet I cannot say my fateful trek across that gangplank to Billy Highsmythe’s yacht was the beginning of the mystery. The mystery of the Celestial Girl began the day I first saw her.

From Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) on Nook and Kindle!

Copyright © 2013 by Lisa Mason.

Whoo-hoo! I’m so excited to tell you my romantic suspense, Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook and Kindle!

If you love romantic suspense or historical mystery, this is both. Please give Lily Modjeska a try!

Coming soon in the Lily Modjeska miniseries are Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, and Book 4: Terminus. The Omnibus Edition will include all four books.

Book Description: Lily Modjeska is a typical woman in Toledo, Ohio, 1896: repressed and dependent on her husband. But when Johnny Pentland is found dead at a notorious brothel, Lily discovers her husband is not the man she thought he was.

Pursued by Pentland’s enemies, Lily embarks on a journey that will take her across the country to San Francisco and across the ocean to Imperial China as she unravels a web of murder and corruption reaching from the opium dens of Chinatown to the mansions of Nob Hill.

Her journey becomes one of the heart when she crosses paths with Jackson Tremaine, a debonair, worldly-wise physician. Lily and Jackson begin a conflicted, passionate relationship as they encounter the mysterious Celestial girl and her dangerous entourage.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook and Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook and Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook and Kindle.

Of The Gilded Age, the New York Times Book Review said, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

More bargains for your reading enjoyment:

The Garden of Abracadabra is also available in three affordable installments on Nook and Kindle.

Summer of Love is available free on Kindle Select until March 1, 2013 in the Summer of Love Serials 1 through 7.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your friends. Your response really matters.

Thank you for your readership!

From Celestial Girl, A Lily Modjeska Mystery

Book 1: The Heartland

Prologue

Blood on the Barbary Coast

July 8, 1896. San Francisco, California.

He had been thirty, tall and achingly handsome, with corn-silk hair and cornflower eyes, the sort of man women fell in love with even when they knew they shouldn’t. Chill fog haunted the waterfront at midnight, ghostly whorls of it eddying over restless waves so black they could have been India ink. The sounds of revelry one always heard on the Barbary Coast–men’s drunken babble, sporting ladies’ blowsy shrieks, the tinkle of an off-tune piano–drifted from Three Fingered Jack’s, along Battery Street, and down to the Embarcadero.

I found Billy Highsmythe in the richly appointed cabin of his yacht. No one should have endured the horrors he had. No one should have witnessed the sight I saw.

He had sighed and mumbled through the gag. How I remember his tortured sigh!

I had not succumbed to Billy Highsmythe’s charms, but I’d met the man and knew what he was–a United States immigration inspector charged with enforcing the Exclusion Act of 1888 and the Geary Act of 1890. These were stringent laws, I came to learn, in a series of federal measures aimed at the Chinese, law-abiding and otherwise. Laws enacted during times when rabble-rousers won feverish applause and approbating shouts whenever they decried the Yellow Peril. Laws that caused havoc in Chinatowns across America and debased the way men and women lived. Laws that promoted all manner of graft and corruption. Laws that led, one could say, to murder.

Billy Highsmythe had been a scoundrel and roustabout. He’d seduced virgins, smoked opium, swilled whiskey till dawn. He was the sort of man a genteel lady should avoid at all costs. I confess I boarded his yacht that night fully cognizant of my own peril. It was an impetuous thing to do after I’d fled across the continent to extricate myself from another murder. Then again, it was an impetuous thing in these last years before the turn of our century for a lady to go sleuthing.

It had been a moment when one feels the hand of destiny and cannot turn back, against all better judgment. Yet I cannot say my fateful trek across that gangplank to Billy Highsmythe’s yacht was the beginning of the mystery. The mystery of the Celestial Girl began the day I first saw her.

From Celestial Girl, A Lily Modjeska Mystery

Book 1: The Heartland

Copyright © 2012 by Lisa Mason.

I’m excited to tell you my romantic suspense, CELESTIAL GIRL, A LILY MODJESKA MYSTERY, will debut for the New Year! If you love romantic suspense or historical mystery, this is both. Please give Lily Modjeska a try!

The Omnibus Edition will include all four books, Book 1: The Heartland, Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, and Book 4: Terminus. Bast Books will also offer each ebook separately so you can read in four affordable installments.

The Omnibus Edition will be published on Nook and Kindle with a print edition to follow in early 2014.

Lily Modjeska is a typical woman in Toledo, Ohio, 1896: repressed and dependent on her husband. But when Johnny Pentland is found dead in a notorious brothel, Lily discovers her husband is not the man she thought he was.

Pursued by Pentland’s enemies, Lily embarks on a journey that will take her across the country to San Francisco and across the ocean to Imperial China as she unravels a web of murder and corruption reaching from the opium dens of Chinatown to the mansions of Nob Hill.

Her journey becomes one of the heart when she crosses paths with Jackson Tremaine, a debonair, worldly-wise physician. Lily and Jackson begin a conflicted, passionate relationship as they encounter the mysterious Celestial girl and her dangerous entourage.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook and Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook and Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook and Kindle.

Of The Gilded Age, the New York Times Book Review said, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”

Visit me at http://www.lisamason.com for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your friends. Your response really matters.

Thank you for your readership!

I’m so excited to tell you that my romantic suspense, CELESTIAL GIRL, A LILY MODJESKA MYSTERY, will debut for your holiday reading pleasure. The Omnibus Edition includes all four books, Book 1: The Heartland, Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, and Book 4: Terminus. Bast Books will also offer each book separately so you can read in affordable installments.

The ebooks will be published on Nook and Kindle with print editions to follow in early 2014.

Lily Modjeska is a typical woman in Toledo, Ohio, 1896: repressed and dependent on her husband. But when Johnny Pentland is found dead in a notorious brothel, Lily discovers her husband is not the man she thought he was.

Pursued by Pentland’s enemies, Lily embarks on a journey that will take her across the country to San Francisco and across the ocean to Imperial China as she unravels a web of murder and corruption reaching from the opium dens of Chinatown to the mansions of Nob Hill.

Her journey becomes one of the heart when she crosses paths with Jackson Tremaine, a debonair, worldly-wise physician. Lily and Jackson begin a conflicted, passionate relationship as they encounter the mysterious Celestial girl and her dangerous entourage.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book), and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book).

Of The Gilded Age, the New York Times Book Review said, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”

Visit me at http://www.lisamason.com for all my books, stories, screenplays, forthcoming work, and more!

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your reader friends. Your response really matters!

I’m so excited to tell you that my romantic suspense, CELESTIAL GIRL, A LILY MODJESKA MYSTERY, will debut for your holiday reading pleasure. The Omnibus Edition includes all four books, Book 1: The Heartland, Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, and Book 4: Terminus. Bast Books will also offer each book separately so you can read in affordable installments.

The ebooks will be published on Nook and Kindle with print editions to follow in early 2014.

Lily Modjeska is a typical woman in Toledo, Ohio, 1896: repressed and dependent on her husband. But when Johnny Pentland is found dead in a notorious brothel, Lily discovers her husband is not the man she thought he was.

Pursued by Pentland’s enemies, Lily embarks on a journey that will take her across the country to San Francisco and across the ocean to Imperial China as she unravels a web of murder and corruption reaching from the opium dens of Chinatown to the mansions of Nob Hill.

Her journey becomes one of the heart when she crosses paths with Jackson Tremaine, a debonair, worldly-wise physician. Lily and Jackson begin a conflicted, passionate relationship as they encounter the mysterious Celestial girl and her dangerous entourage.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book), and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book).

Visit me at http://www.lisamason.com for all my books, stories, screenplays, forthcoming work, and more!

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your reader friends. Your response really matters!