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A Confluence of Enemies

August 1876. Cora Countryman dreams of a life of mystery and adventure, anywhere but confining Wanee, Illinois. Even when the long drought attracts a rainmaker panhandling his own version of fantasy.

As thirst and disease rampage across the railroad tracks, she fights for what little she has. Campers steal her vegetables and raid her water. But when the editor of the newspaper is dumped at the undertakers near death, she fears for her village, already a tinderbox of resentment.

She snatches then hides the newspaperman at her boarding house, endangering all those within her walls. To save him, she determines to solve the killing—no matter the danger to her. Not from disease, drought, or dreadful secrets—but from the men who would stop her.

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“It is really wonderfully written. Congratulations! Intense, grounded in the time and place, and ends with surprises and fireworks galore.”
—Heather Haven, author of the Alvarez Family Mysteries and the Persephone Cole Historical Mysteries

Unbecoming a Lady by D.Z. Church

A friend knocks on Cora Countryman’s front door seeking help with the torn sleeve of her work dress, claiming she ripped it on a bush. As the town’s seamstress, Cora has mended many a dress. So, when she sees a ragged tear in her friend’s forearm and a bruise left by a thumb, Cora questions her friend’s story. When Cora asks about the wounds, her friend is evasive. Worried by the lack of answers, Cora starts her own investigation.

When murder is done, Cora won’t give in, back down, or submit to the behavior expected of a young lady in 1876 in a burgeoning Illinois prairie town. Why should she, she never expected to stay. That is until her mother abandoned her, leaving her heavily in debt, her reputation on the line, and the drudgery of a boarding house to run for one boarder.
Her intended life of mystery and adventure never seemed so far away.

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“With keen attention to detail, Church’s first in the Wanee Mysteries series offers a plucky heroine and plenty of trouble. Seeded with wonderfully written secondary characters … the setting comes alive. Lovers of historical fiction packed with detail will delight in this refreshing offering.”

The Things We Keep

Oakland PI Jeri Howard finds a battered footlocker hidden in a dusty storeroom. When she pries open the lid, she’s shocked at what she finds.

Human bones. Whose bones? How did they get there—and why?

Jeri is a detective who grabs a case and doesn’t let go. Especially a case like this. It twists and turns as Jeri sorts out the truth from the lies that stretch back decades. She’s determined to find answers and put flesh on those bones. When she digs into the past, someone has a lot to lose—and will kill to keep those secrets.

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“A riveting and satisfying mystery.”
—Heather Haven, author of the Alvarez Family Mysteries and the Persephone Cole Vintage Mysteries

Don't Tell by DZ Church

LT Robin Haas has a problem. Her Leading Chief has disappeared days before his Review Board. It’s not like him to run. His neighbors aren’t much help, but CWO Dan Cisco, back from Saigon, is at her side burdened by a secret of his own. One that will change both their lives. Laury Cooper, is cleaning up the mess he created in Saigon, when CDR Byron Cooper calls from an aircraft carrier on station in the South China Sea. That’s when everything turns nasty.

Don’t Tell is the fourth novel in the Cooper Quartet, the story of a military family set against the turbulence of the Vietnam Era. It is May 1975. Saigon has fallen to the North Vietnamese, the dead have come back to life amidst shame, anger, and greed. It will take all the Coopers to make this one come out right.

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“Church spins a lively tale where motives are unclear in a vividly realized hothouse naval environment. The engaging characters and their detailed histories make this a satisfying capstone to a wide-ranging epic.”

The Sacrificial Daughter by Janet Dawson

A family at war, and Kay Dexter is caught in the crossfire.

Geriatric care manager Kay Dexter is savvy, fierce and determined as she protects and advocates for elderly clients. Kay left the big city to care for her parents in their small mountain town, so she knows from experience that eldercare is hard on families.

Betty Garvin needs Kay, especially when her daughters battle over Betty’s care. Kay tries to mediate the dispute, and finds herself on the front lines. Is there more to the conflict than the sisters’ concern for their mother’s health? Does Betty’s valuable estate come into play?

When the two daughters go to war, someone winds up dead. And Kay could be collateral damage.

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“This award-winning author has crafted a new series that immediately draws in readers with its original premise and an extraordinary heroine.”
—Cynthia Chow, Kings River Life

Booth Island by D.Z. Church

It’s been nine years since Boothe Treader summered at her family’s island. Twelve since her brother died on its rocky shore. She’s never forgiven him for abandoning her, her parents for divorcing, or the dark-eyed boy who watched him drown. The stranger, the killer, no punishment that let him live could ever be enough. So, she wished him dead each passing day.

Now her dead brother is beckoning her to his gravesite. Her mother has deeded her the island. And old friends are lining up to welcome her back—or are they?

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“A mystery rich with unease…”
—BookLife Reviews

Pay Back by DZ Church

It is April 1975. The U.S. has withdrawn leaving only a few Marines to protect the U.S. Embassy and Airbase HQ. As the North Vietnamese close in on Saigon, journalists stay on to report the advance, South Vietnamese beg to leave, and the U.S. is ready to forget—but not the Coopers.

Two acquaintances from opposite worlds call in their markers, sending Laury Cooper careening back to Saigon on a knight’s errand. Disgraced, CDR Byron Cooper is given one last chance aboard an aircraft carrier in the South China Sea. As Saigon falls, both brothers face their future, a future endangered by greed, desire, treachery, and drugs.

One of them will risk everything, including his wife and children, to win.

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“This wartime thrill ride turns the waning days of the U.S.’s involvement in Vietnam into a pulse-pounding, smart tale of suspense.”
BookLife Reviews

Saving Calypso

Teen heiress Calypso Swale was about to join the U.S. Olympic equestrian team when a car crash involving a drunken Grieg Washburn, heir to Washburn Exploration (WashEx) empire, kills her parents. At the time, Larch Swale, Calypso’s father, was the COO of WashEx. Her father’s last word to her was “Run,”and Calypso obligingly disappeared with  a chunk of his money and a precious patent for a new kind of engine. Five years later, Grieg’s father is dead and it looks like someone’s trying to kill Grieg, too. WashEx’s board is offering a reward for Calypso’s return, and  no one wants her found more than Grieg.

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“This well-constructed thriller provides plenty of action… The protagonists are unusual and compelling. Their mutual need to reinvent themselves in order to survive will resonate with readers as the double-crosses and questions pile up. This is a satisfying look at the devastation wrought by selfishness… Great for fans of James Patterson’s The 6th Target, David Baldacci’s A Minute to Midnight.”
BookLife Reviews

Head First by DZ Church

Head First is the second novel in the Cooper Quartet, the story of a military family set against the tumult of the Vietnam Era. It is December 1972, President Nixon has ordered carpet bombing of Vietnam, and public opinion has turned sharply against the war.

For Jolie Minotier the stakes couldn’t be higher, adrift in the town where her mother, terrorist Chloe Minotier, abandoned her, fearful her mother will resurface, rejected by her father, she does the one thing she can think to do—run. But she doesn’t anticipate being kidnapped or that her father, now CDR Byron Cooper, her uncle, Laury Cooper, or her aunt, LT Robin Haas, will care. But they do. Sufficiently to endanger their lives and careers in the rush to find her.

Jolie’s disappearance sets off a chain of events from kidnapping, to heroin smuggling, to unsanctioned insertion into Vietnam that will change the landscape of the Cooper family forever.

“As historical fiction, Head First is accurate; as a novel, it’s moving, intriguing and a successful portrait of a family living, trying to survive, during extremely trying times, under extraordinary circumstances.”
—Wanda Fischer, Reedsy Discovery