Thursday, August 27, 2015

~ Encore, Encore for A RED, RED ROSE! ~

With us today is friend author Susan Coryell who has recently had her A RED, RED ROSE picked up by Amazon Encore. I'll let her tell you about it...

A RED, RED ROSE was published by The Wild Rose Press in 2013. The cozy mystery/Southern Gothic has been selected by Amazon for its Encore Publishing Division, an imprint devoted to taking successful small press books with decent sales and reviews and improving their exposure. The E-book is available only through Amazon, though the print version may still be purchased via all on-line bookstores.

Blurb ~

When twenty-year-old Ashby Overton travels to Overhome Estate for the summer, she hopes to unearth her ancestral roots and the cause of a mysterious family rift surrounding the horseback riding death of her Grandmother Lenore many years ago.

From the moment she enters her room in the oldest wing, Ashby feels an invisible, enfolding presence. She learns the room belonged to a woman named Rosabelle, but no one is willing to talk about Rosabelle—no one except Luke, the stable boy who captures her heart. As Ashby and Luke become closer, she realizes he can be the confidant she needs to share the terrifying, unfolding secrets.

Ever present is a force Ashby never sees, only feels. Candles light themselves, notes from an old lullaby fall from the ceiling, the radio tunes itself each day. And roses, always meant for Ashby, appear in the unlikeliest places. Are the roses a symbol of love, or do they represent something dark, something deep and evil?

Excerpt ~

So, so quiet. Dark and quiet. Another whiplash of thunder shattered the silence, so startling that I almost dropped the lighted candle. At that moment, the music started. There were no lyrics, but the gentle, mournfully flowing rhythm was tangible enough to reach out and grasp in my fingers. Lilting tones filled the space around me until I was dizzy with the swirling notes.

As suddenly as it began, the music stopped. Bewildered, I held out the candle as though it might illuminate the harmony I had heard so clearly only moments ago. Except for the dying sputter of the storm, all was quiet again. My ears strained, listening. Faintly this time, but distinctly, I heard the melody again, this time in the hall outside my closed bedroom door. Barefoot, holding the candlestick in front of me, I moved slowly to the door, drew the latch, and, without thinking, only feeling the music, I followed the mellow strains, like a child of Hamlin behind the Pied Piper. Descending the steep steps, on the first floor, now, I continued to follow the path of the music, through the dining room, to the old keeping room and out a door I had never used or even noticed before.

I halted, shook my head, trying to clear out the hypnotic tones that crowded out all thought and plugged my senses. Once again, the music abated. It was like a game of musical chairs. Where was I? No longer in the house, I felt the damp night air on my bare arms, and rough floorboards beneath my bare feet. Holding the candle at arm’s length, I crept forward, a step at a time, my other hand grasping at the air in front. I felt like a blind person without a guide dog.

My reaching fingers brushed across a grainy surface, and crumbling powder dusted my fingertips. Instantly, I recognized the metallic smell of old, rusting screens. I knew then I must be on the ancient screened porch tucked between the wings of the house, the crumbling porch with the antique rocking chairs. The old part of the house, reached only by the door in the keeping room. The music had led me here. Again the strains wafted over and around me, holding me captive as I stood, shivering, gazing at the dim light of my flickering candle.

The music stopped as abruptly as it had begun. Struggling to clear the cobwebs of sound spinning in my brain, I took a deep breath and looked around. I sensed, rather than saw a movement in my periphery. When I turned, I became aware of one of the old rocking chairs. Gently, so as to be barely perceptible, the chair rocked itself back and forth as though someone invisible sat in it, enjoying the languorous, rhythmic motion. Rocking, rocking, rocking, without any sound at all.

Not conscious of moving, I found myself standing beside the ancient rocker, now motionless, dusty, the seat sagging within inches of the floor, as though it had not moved in a hundred years. I had not dreamed it. The chair had rocked itself, and someone or something had led me here to witness it. Led me with the music. I had the evidence. On the decaying cane seat lay a single fresh rose just out of bud.

Author Bio ~

A career educator, Susan has taught students from 7th grade through college-level. She earned a BA degree in English from Carson-Newman College and a Masters from George Mason University. She is listed in several different volumes of Who’s Who in Education and Who’s Who in Teaching. Susan belongs to Author’s Guild, Virginia Writers, and Lake Writers. She loves to talk with budding writers at schools, writers’ conferences and workshops. Her young adult anti-bully novel EAGLEBAIT is in its third edition for print and e-book, updated with cyber-bullying. EAGLEBAIT won the NY Public Library's "Books for the Teen Age," and the International Reading Association's "Young Adult Choice."

A RED, RED ROSE, first in a cozy mystery/Southern Gothic series, was nominated for a literary award with the Library of Virginia. BENEATH THE STONES, the sequel, was released in April of 2015.

The author has long been interested in concerns about culture and society in the South, where hard-felt, long-held feelings battle with modern ideas. The ghosts slipped in, to her surprise.

When not writing, Susan enjoys boating, kayaking, golf and yoga. She and her husband, Ned, love to travel, especially when any of their seven grandchildren are involved.

Buy link for A RED, RED ROSE via Amazon Encore:

BENEATH THE STONES is the stand-alone sequel to A RED, RED ROSE. Buy link for BENEATH THE STONES:

Links for Susan Coryell:



Facebook Author page:


Thanks, M. J. for inviting me to share on your awesome blog!

It's been a joy having you!


  1. My pleasure, M.J. You sport an awesome blog!

  2. Hi, MJ & Susan!

    What a great excerpt, Susan. Congratulations on your book deal! Here's to many, many sales :)

    1. Thanks, Monique. I appreciate your support!

    2. Thanks for stopping in and joining the conversation today, Monique!

  3. This is so exciting! It's a wonderful story and I'm honored to be the TWRP editor for Susan. I'm so happy it was one of the books chosen for Encore!

    1. I owe much to you, Alicia--my Supereditor (do you have a cape?) Thanks!

    2. I agree, Alicia! Being with Encore is quite a coup! I appreciate you swinging by today!

  4. Congrats on being selected for Amazon Encore. Intriguing excerpt!

    1. Yes, Marissa--it is already proving to be quite interesting in terms of collegiality with other Encore authors, blogs, FaceBook parties, etc. Thanks for joining us!

    2. Hey, Marissa! Stops for stopping in!

  5. Susan,

    So glad to see this wonderful Southern Gothic romance getting another bite of the apple--or in this case the rose. Best Wishes.

    1. Jacquie--You are such a loyal supporter. We both are fans of Gothics! Best wishes to both of us!

    2. Jacqueline, I'm so glad that you could join us today! And I appreciate you taking the time to comment. Have a fabulous weekend!

  6. That excerpt was good and creepy! Much success, Susan.

    1. In this case, creepy is good, right? I appreciate your joining us today, Diane.

  7. Creepy is as creepy does...or something like that... ;)
    Thanks for creeping on in today, Diane! (Yes, it's been a long day and I'm getting a little slap happy!)
    Hope your weekend is wonderful!