A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Scene Stealer

"At the end of the week we're giving away a stack of ebooks (possibly a couple of print books too) to one lucky commentator. The more times you comment, the more times you'll go into the 'hat'. We'll post the winner on the blog next Monday."

Scene Stealer by Elise Warner

A cozy mystery (Not your usual romantic suspense.)

After a chance encounter on the subway, Miss Augusta Weidenmaier, a retired schoolteacher living in New York’s Greenwich Village, is determined to help the police in the search for missing nine-year-old child actor Kevin Corcoran. Never mind that she has no training in law enforcement—she spent decades teaching. She knows when someone is lying.

In Chap. 15, Kevin’s father, a suspect, sneaks into the hospital to see Jean, his estranged wife, and Kevin’s mother.

Excerpt from Chap. 15
The dream fades. Someone is sitting on a hard, plastic chair next to the hospital bed. Charles wasn’t a hallucination brought on by a combination of tranquilizers and fear. Her hand gripped the sheet.
“It’s all right, Jean.” He tried to pat her hand with his. Charles wasn’t used to small tender gestures.
“Kevin’s with you, isn’t he?”
“I wouldn’t take Kevin without telling you, Jean.” He groped for his next words. “I couldn’t hurt you or Kevin. You believe me, don’t you?”
She did. Charles Corcoran was not a liar.
“He could be sick or hurt or dead.”
“Kevin’s not dead. I’m going to find him. I swear it.”
“What will we do?” Her hand reached for his. The hand was cold. She studied his face; he looked emaciated. The penetrating blue eyes lost in shadowed cavities.
A quiver of fear made her hand tremble. Charles was different. Was he telling her the truth? She needed to trust him.
“Tell me everything, Jean. Does anyone have a reason to dislike you or the boy? Think. Someone, anyone, you might have forgotten to tell the police about?”
The photo in the gossip column. “Lawrence Dunn. He’s in a one man show at an off-Broadway theatre called Saint Genesis. He and Kevin auditioned for the “Cowboy Bob’s Big, Bad Burger” commercial.”
Jean hesitated. “At first, Dunn was charming and then they read together. Kevin was asked to wait; Lawrence Dunn dismissed. Actors are rejected more often than not, Kevin is just a little boy; it wasn’t his fault Dunn didn’t get the job.”
“Stage mother!” Dunn had hurled the words at her making them sound obscene.
“It’s my fault. I wanted Kevin to be an actor. I wanted everyone to know his name.”
“Jean, I’m going to find Kevin.”
Charles kissed her forehead. She buried her face in his chest but the scent of bay rum mixed with the acrid odor of sweat. An odor foreign to the man she had married. Jean slipped out of the embrace, rested her head against the pillows. She closed her eyes—wanting to tell him to go away—afraid to say the words out loud.

Steal Stealer is available at Amazon and wherever eBooks are sold An audio version has been produced by

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Toni Anderson said...

Wonderful excerpt, Elise. Great characters. My DD wants to be an actress. She just had her first audition.

Rita said...

Nice excerpt. Now tell are you a stage mother?

Wynter Daniels said...

Love the excerpt! Another book for my expanding pile.

Marcelle Dubé said...

Good excerpt, Elise. Lovely characterizations. I so love the premise of Scene Stealer!

Anonymous said...

This week has been heck on my budget. But thank you all. Great excerpt.

Jane said...

Ooh, I do love a cozy mystery.

MaureenAMiller said...

I would buy this book solely on wanting to learn more about Augusta Weidenmaier. What an incredible name, and she sounds so wise! Great premise for a book, Elise.

Shirley Wells said...

I loved Scene Stealer, Elise. Great characters!

Stevie Carroll said...

I love the name Augusta Weidenmaier.

Elise Warner said...

How did your daughter do, Toni?
No children, Rita. I did have a toy poodle who was offered a job in a show but I knew she would take one look at the audience and throw up. Thanks to everyone who enjoyed the excerpt and Augusta Weidenmaier.

Toni Anderson said...

Elise, she didn't get the part (I'm a little relived but haven't said). Instead she's going to sign up for some acting lessons :) No tears. That world is like writing in terms of rejection.

Clare London said...

I'm smiling because for a few years I *was* a stage mother - until Son#2 found other interests and thwarted my plans to be Mother to a Star :D.

Great excerpt!

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