Blog Tour Feature: Jeannette de Beauvoir’s The Deadliest Blessing, plus giveaway!
Hi, readers! We have a real treat in store for you today, a spotlight on a new book by Jeannette de Beauvoir, a talented author!
Wow! Definitely an intriguing tale here!
Jeannette, an author I met on my journey, has a blog tour running right now.
Let's check out the details, shall we?
The Deadliest Blessing, Provincetown Mystery Series #3:
The Deadliest Blessing, Provincetown Mystery Series #3:
there’s a dead body anywhere in Provincetown, wedding consultant Sydney Riley
is going to be the one to find it! The seaside town’s annual Portuguese
Festival is approaching and it looks like smooth sailing until Sydney’s
neighbor decides to have some construction done in her home—and finds more than
she bargained for inside her wall.
Sydney is again balancing her work at the Race Point Inn with an unexpected
adventure that will eventually involve fishermen, gunrunners, a mummified cat,
a family fortune, misplaced heirs, a girl with a mysterious past, and lots and
lots of Portuguese food. The Blessing of the Fleet is coming up, and
unless Sydney can find the key to a decades-old murder, it might yet come back
to haunt everyone in this otherwise-peaceful fishing village.
Release Date: June 1, 2018
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Universal Amazon link: https://bookgoodies.com/a/B07DBTG2Y7
Universal reader link: https://books2read.com/u/mgL0QK
Nice! Congratulations on your new release!
Here is an excerpt from The Deadliest Blessing.
The sunset was living up to
I’d parked my Civic—known affectionately as the Little Green
Car—in the row of vehicles facing Herring Cove Beach, one of the few places on
the East Coast where the sun appears to set into the water. As usual, the light
was spectacular. It’s the light that made Provincetown what it is, the oldest
continuously operating art colony in the United States: the light here,
apparently, is like nowhere else.
Or so my friend Mirela tells me. She’s a painter, and is
constantly talking about the light, though when it really comes down to it, she
can’t explain exactly what it is they all see, the artists who live and work
here. I know; I’ve asked.
It was late spring, and I didn’t yet have too many weddings
crowding my daily calendar, so I was taking advantage of the calm before the
storm of the summer tourist season really hitting when my spare time, like
everybody’s else’s, would disappear altogether. I’m the wedding coordinator for
the Race Point Inn, and while we do tasteful winter weddings inside the
building, the bulk of my work is in the summertime, as Provincetown is pretty
much Destination Wedding Central, mostly for same-sex couples but really for
anyone who wants this kind of light. The sun was carving a path of gold right
up to the beach, glittering and gilded, and I knew I was smiling, settling back
into my seat with a sigh.
My phone rang.
Cell coverage is spotty out here in the Cape Cod National
Seashore, and my experience is that it’s when you really need to reach someone
that it’s not going to happen; on the other hand, when it’s something you don’t want to deal with, the signal
comes through loud and clear. Murphy’s Law, or something along those lines. I
sighed and swiped, my eyes still on the sunset. “Sydney Riley.”
“Sydney, hey, hi, it’s Zack.”
My landlord. This couldn’t be good. I mentally checked the
date. Um, I’d paid my rent this month, right? “Hi, Reg.”
“Hey, hi. Listen, Sydney, I’ve
got Mrs. Mattos here and she’s looking for you.”
Of course she was. I live above a nightclub, which makes for
reasonable rent with free Lady Gaga thrown in at one o’clock in the morning;
Mrs. Mattos is the eighty-something widow who owns the very large house
directly across the street. Property developers are probably checking on her
health daily as they wait for her demise; I can’t imagine how many
million-dollar condos they could create in that space.
I take her grocery shopping to the Stop & Shop once a
week and I’ve noticed, lately, that she’s finding more and more excuses to come
over and buzz my doorbell. She’s lonely and probably a little scared and most
of the time I try to help, but the silly season was already upon us and there
was a lot less of my time available. Generally I try to wean her off daily
visits by May, but we were already into the beginning of June now, and she was
crossing the street rather than calling, a sure sign of distress.
Mrs. Mattos is frequently
Still, it must have been something out of the ordinary for
her to have buzzed Zack, who owns the nightclub as well as the building and was
probably peeled away from his never-ending paperwork to talk to her. Mrs.
Mattos is usually a little nonplussed around Zack, who regularly paints his
fingernails chartreuse or purple, and owns an extensive assortment of wigs.
“She’s there with you now?”
A murmur of conversation, then Mrs. Mattos’ quavering voice
on the line. “I just need you to come over, Sydney,” she said.
The sun was dipping into the water now; the show would soon
be finished. Above it, scarlet and pink streaked across the sky. Some day, I
told myself, I was going to be old and quavering, too. “Okay, you go back
home,” I said. “I’ll be there in twenty minutes.”
Her name is Emilia Mattos, she stands about five-feet
nothing and might weigh a hundred pounds. But every bit of her, like most of
the Portuguese women in town, is muscle and sinew. I know her first name, but
I’ve never used it; there’s a certain distance, a certain decorum the elderly
Provincetown widows observe, and I respect that. Out on Fisherman’s Wharf
there’s a collection of large-scale photographs of elderly Portuguese wives and
mothers, an art installation called They Also Face The Sea; Mrs. Mattos isn’t
one of them, but she could well be.
Back when Provincetown was one of the major whaling ports,
ships stopped off in the Azores to take on additional crew, and a lot of those
people settled back in town and sent for their families; by the end of the
1800s they were as numerous as the original English settlers. Nowadays there
are fewer and fewer Portuguese enclaves, as gentrification switches into high
gear and Provincetown’s fishing fleet dwindles; but the names are still here:
Mattos, Avellar, Cabral, Gouveia, Silva, Amaral, Rego, Del Deo.
Up until about ten years go, a prominent advertisement in
the booklet for the Portuguese Festival was for the small Azores Express
airline, when there was still a generation in town that was from Portugal
itself; you don’t see that anymore.
She was standing in her doorway when I found a parking place
for the Little Green Car and got to our street. I’ve read in books about people
twisting their hands; I’d never actually seen it until then. “Mrs. Mattos! Are
you all right? What’s wrong?”
“Probably nothing,” she said, on that same quavering note.
“Oh, I’m probably disturbing you for nothing, Sydney.”
“Not at all,” I said firmly, taking hold of her elbow and
turning her around. “Let’s go in, and you can tell me all about it.”
She was docile, letting me steer her back in the house and
into the big kitchen where most of her life seems to take place. She has a home
health aide who comes in to help her with bathing and laundry, but she doesn’t
let anyone touch her stove: not to cook, not to clean. And when I say clean, I
mean clean within an inch of its life: everything in Mrs. Mattos’ kitchen
gleams. Not for the first time, I lamented that she couldn’t make it up my
stairs: if she expended about an eighth of her usual zeal, my apartment would
be cleaner than it had ever been.
She sat down, still fussing with her hands. “I’m having
construction work done,” she said, and stood up again. “I should show you.”
“What kind of work?”
“Insulation.” Her voice was repressive, as if she were
delivering censure of something. We’d just come off an amazing, spectacularly
cold winter, with single-digit temperatures and a nor-easter that brought the
highest tides ever recorded, so I suspected she wasn’t the only one thinking
about making changes. “In the walls. Them people at the Cape Cod Energy said I
“Okay.” I still wasn’t getting
what was wrong here. “Do you want to show me?”
She turned and led me into the front parlor (in Mrs. Mattos’
house, you don’t call it a living room); I had to duck to get through the heavy
framed doorway, and the ceiling here was about an inch or so over my head. She,
of course, had no such problems. A loveseat had been pulled away from one of
the exterior walls and a significant hole made. She didn’t have drywall, but
rather plaster and lathing, as older houses tended to. “There wasn’t nothing
wrong with it. The insulation before was just fine,” she said, resentful.
She nodded vigorously. “Dried out. It’s what they used.” No
need for anything else, her tone suggested.
“Okay,” I said again. “What is—“
“Go look,” she said, flapping
her hands at me. “Just look.”
I looked. I pulled my smartphone out of my pocket and used
the built-in flashlight. Wedged between strips of lathing was a box. “Is this
Mrs. Mattos blessed herself. “Holy Mother of God,” she said,
which I took for assent.
“Can I take it out?” I asked, eyeing the box. It looked as
innocuous as last year’s Christmas present. Well, maybe not last year’s. Maybe
from sometime around 1950.
Another quick sign of the cross.
“Just don’t make me look. I can’t look again.”
I put my smartphone in my pocket and reached gingerly into
the opening. Didn’t Poe write a story about a cat getting walled up somewhere?
“Who’s doing your work for you, Mrs. Mattos?” It didn’t look as though they’d
gotten very far in opening up the wall.
She was back to twisting her hands again. “The company
wanted so much,” she began, and I nodded. Rather than getting a contractor,
pulling a permit, having a bunch of workmen in her house and paying reasonable
rates, she’d found someone to do it on the side. Someone’s unemployed cousin or
nephew, probably. That sort of thing happens a lot in P’town, especially among
the thrifty Portuguese. It explained the size of the hole, anyway: this was
someone without a whole range of tools.
I pulled the box out—it was about the size of a shoebox,
only square—and set it down carefully on the coffee table. Mrs. Mattos was
looking at it as though something were about to pop out and bite her, like the
creatures in Alien; she actually took
a physical step back. This wasn’t just Mrs. Mattos being Mrs. Mattos; this
thing was really spooking her.
I sat down beside the table and gingerly—you can’t say that
I don’t pick up on a mood—lifted the top off the box. Sudden thoughts of
Pandora blew by like an errant wind and I shook them off and looked inside.
Shoes; small shoes. Children’s shoes. Three of them, and
none matching the others. It was wildly anticlimactic. “Shoes?” I said,
doubt—and no doubt disappointment—in my voice.
“It’s not the shoes,” she said.
“It’s that we shouldn’t never have moved them.”
I looked at them again. Old leather, dry and curling and
peeling. But shoes? She was clearly
seeing something I wasn’t. Had these children died some horrible death? Were
these memories of lives that hadn’t been lived to their fullest? Something
haunting, a song or an echo of laughter, moved through my mind as though on a
whisper of summer air. I didn’t recognize the tune. “Mrs. Mattos?”
“It’s to keep them witches out,”
she said, grimly.
She nodded. “An’ now there’s nothing to keep ’em from coming
in. And nothing we can do about it, neither.”
Wow! Definitely an intriguing tale here!
Readers, you'll have to check out this book! Also, you can add it to your Goodreads shelf!
for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card and past books in the series. One winner will be randomly selected through Rafflecopter. Click the tour link below
Awesome! Thanks, Jeannette!
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Grab a copy of this new release! And don't forget to participate in the awesome giveaway!
Thank you, Jeannette, for letting us know all about your cozy mystery! It sounds riveting! :)
Jeannette de Beauvoir grew up in Angers, France, but has lived
in the United States since her twenties. (No, she's not going to say how long
ago that was!) She spends most of her time inside her own head, which is great
for writing, though possibly not so much for her social life. When she’s not
writing, she’s reading or traveling… to inspire her writing.
The author of a number of mystery and historical
novels (some of which you can see on Amazon, Goodreads, Criminal Element,
HomePort Press, and her author website), de Beauvoir's work has appeared in 15
countries and has been translated into 12 languages. Midwest Review called her
Martine LeDuc Montréal series “riveting (…) demonstrating her total mastery of
the mystery/suspense genre.” She is currently writing a Provincetown Theme Week
cozy mystery series featuring female sleuth Sydney Riley.
De Beauvoir’s academic background is in history and
religion, and the politics and intrigue of the medieval period have always
fascinated her (and provided her with great storylines!). She coaches and edits
individual writers, teaches writing online and on Cape Cod, and thinks Aaron
Sorkin is a god. Her cat, Beckett, totally disagrees.
The author of a number of mystery and historical novels (some of which you can see on Amazon, Goodreads, Criminal Element, HomePort Press, and her author website), de Beauvoir's work has appeared in 15 countries and has been translated into 12 languages. Midwest Review called her Martine LeDuc Montréal series “riveting (…) demonstrating her total mastery of the mystery/suspense genre.” She is currently writing a Provincetown Theme Week cozy mystery series featuring female sleuth Sydney Riley.
De Beauvoir’s academic background is in history and religion, and the politics and intrigue of the medieval period have always fascinated her (and provided her with great storylines!). She coaches and edits individual writers, teaches writing online and on Cape Cod, and thinks Aaron Sorkin is a god. Her cat, Beckett, totally disagrees.