#GuestDayTuesday – #A.M.Reade – #NewRelease – #ATraitorAmongUs

Today, please help me welcome Amy Reade to The Write Stuff. Amy has a brand new book coming out (already up for pre-order) and she’d like to tell you more . Amy, the floor is yours!


Thank you, Marcia, for giving me the opportunity to talk to your readers about my upcoming release, A Traitor Among Us. It is the second book in my Cape May Historical Mystery Collection (the first book, Cape Menace, was released in 2020).

I have lived in Cape May County, New Jersey, since 2003. Cape May County is at the southern tip of the Jersey Shore, which you may be familiar with because of a certain, ahem, television reality show. Cape May County is nothing like the Jersey Shore portrayed on the small screen. My Jersey Shore is quiet, peaceful, and almost rural. We’re just 65 miles from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and not far from the Washington, DC-New York City corridor, but you’d never know it.

If you’ve ever heard of Cape May, it’s very likely because the entire city is a National Historic Landmark. It was America’s first seaside resort and even today, beautiful Victorian homes line the streets of town. It was a summer getaway spot for at least five US Presidents: Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Ulysses S. Grant, Chester Arthur, and Benjamin Harrison.

It was at my husband’s urging that I wrote my first book set in Cape May. As I researched the book, though, digging deep into the history of the area, it became clear that I couldn’t stop at one novel; the seed of an idea started to take root.

What I needed to do was write a group of novels set throughout the history of Cape May, and so the Cape May Historical Mystery Collection was born. The first book, Cape Menace, is set in 1714. Book Two, A Traitor Among Us, is set in 1777, during the American Revolution. The books are not a series—there is no character or plot thread that continues from one book to another. The only thing the novels have in common is their setting in Cape May County.

Very soon I’ll be starting Book Three, which is as yet untitled. I’ve got some ideas percolating for the mystery…but you’ll have to stay tuned for that.

I’m sharing with you the first chapter of A Traitor Among Us.  I hope you enjoy it.

 


September 24, 1777

It was long before dawn and I had not yet slept. There were so many thoughts tumbling through my anxious mind. I did not want to wake my sister with my tossing and turning, so I rose to start my chores for the day. I dressed quickly without the aid of the oil lamp, closed the bedroom door behind me with a soft thud, and hurried to the kitchen. I reached for my apron where it hung on a hook next to the back door and tied it over my skirts as I slipped outside.

I stood near the door for several moments, listening. The only sound was the occasional far-above rustling of bird wings as they flew toward the south in great flocks. Cold weather would be here soon. The bird songs I enjoyed in the daylight were absent, lending an unsettling hush to the darkness.

It was not unusual for me to be out-of-doors in the early morning, but this time was different. This time, not far away, I knew a stranger shared the darkness with me. A stranger who did not belong here. I hoped he was still asleep and that I could retrieve my washing tub without waking him. Something in my abdomen flipped over and twisted, reminding me to be quick and silent.

Fog swirled low above the ground. I hurried past the storehouse, which we were filling every day now with more bounty from the late summer’s crop of fruits and vegetables, and on toward the barn. The fog shifted, its wisps pulling apart and forming again as my shoes padded along the damp ground. I held my lantern aloft to dispel both the darkness and my relentless worries as I approached the barn that stood nestled against the woods that separated our home from the waters of the bay.

I set my lantern down to retrieve the heavy iron key from my pocket, before realizing with a start that the door was slightly ajar. I whirled around and peered into the darkness that had crept behind and surrounded me, but I heard nothing. Saw nothing.

I shook my head, chiding myself for my silly fears. Of course my brother, Jesse, had forgotten to lock the door.

It was Jesse’s job to take the animals out every morning and return them to the barn every evening. It was also his job to make sure the door was locked when the animals were inside the barn. I would not tell Mother or Father of this carelessness, but I would have to mention it to Jesse. For all we knew, a party of British soldiers might come foraging for supplies and livestock in the barn. I wondered if the stranger—Oliver Doolittle was his name, though speaking it left a sour taste behind—was inside. I presumed he was. He was lazy, so he was unlikely to be awake and moving about at such an early hour.

I placed the key back into my pocket and stooped to pick up the lantern again. I stepped gingerly into the gloom of the barn, taking care to be as quiet as possible. I listened for the snufflings and snortings of the animals and was relieved to hear their comforting murmurings. I approached the stalls and small pens, trying to count the animals in the darkness to make sure they were all there, but I abandoned my task after just a few moments. The animals, annoyed that I had awakened them, were making known their displeasure with a series of loud grunts, clucking, and lowing. I moved away as quickly as I dared, hoping their sounds had not awakened Oliver, whom I suspected—I hoped—was still asleep toward the rear of the barn. 

I did not relish being alone in the barn in daylight, let alone in the grim darkness of predawn and with the knowledge that Oliver slept nearby, so I made haste, as quietly as possible, to retrieve the washtub I had come for. It hung on the back wall. As I made my way toward it my skirts swished against rough-hewn boards, tendrils of hay that protruded from wooden mangers, and the large crates of corn husks that Prissy and I would soon use to make floor mats and stuff the mattresses in the guest rooms of the inn.

I stumbled as I reached the back wall. My lantern swung wildly in my hand and cast long, grotesque shadows on everything the dim light touched. I very nearly exclaimed aloud, but I caught myself in time and pressed my lips closed.

I reached for the washtub and set it down on the ground with a hushed thump as the lantern flame stabilized. I knew there was no hope that Oliver would remain asleep now.

Whatever had tripped me needed to be put away, since I knew I would be blamed if Mother came out and tripped, too. I picked up my skirts and searched the floor for the thing that had tripped me.

Looking down, a glance was all I needed.

A man lay at my feet.

When I saw his head cocked at a strange angle, his shirt front slashed in several places, and his eyes staring at me with a glassy emptiness, my horrified scream broke the morning stillness, reaching through the woods and echoing over the waters of Great Egg Harbor Bay.


BLURB:

September, 1777.

 The war for American independence rages just seventy miles away from the country inn and tavern owned by the Rutledge family in southern New Jersey. Tensions are running high between those who support the Continental Army and those who remain loyal to the English crown.

When Etta Rutledge stumbles upon the body of a ne’er-do-well British sympathizer on her family’s property, unsettling questions regarding her older brother, Jesse, begin to arise. What was his connection to the victim and why was he keen to keep it hidden?

Another shocking death, this time much closer to the heart of the family, draws Etta ever closer to unlocking the secrets swirling around her—secrets that someone will go to any length to protect…

Will Etta survive the discovery of the traitor in their midst?


You Can Buy A Traitor Among Us HERE


One final note…

I am pleased and honored to be part of Authors for Ukraine, a charity auction featuring books from 150+ authors. I invite you to visit https://www.facebook.com/AuthorsforUkraine and like the page.

From 8 a.m. on March 29th until 11 p.m. on April 12th, you’ll be able to bid on signed books from great writers. ALL PROCEEDS will benefit CARE’s Ukraine Crisis Fund.

Thank you!

(NOTE from TWS: Most of you know I don’t allow politics to come visiting here at The Write Stuff, but I believe helping these people in crisis to be a completely apolitical subject, and hope you’ll consider visiting the link Amy has provided above.)


Author Amy M. Reade

Amy M. Reade is the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of cozy, historical, and Gothic mysteries.

A former practicing attorney, Amy discovered a passion for fiction writing and has never looked back. She has so far penned fourteen novels, including three standalone Gothic mysteries, the Malice series of Gothic novels, the Juniper Junction Holiday Mystery series, and the Cape May Historical Mystery collection. In addition to writing, she loves to read, cook and travel. Amy lives in New Jersey and is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

You can find out more on her website at www.amymreade.com.


You Can Buy Amy’s Books HERE:

Cape May Historical Mystery Collection
Cape Menace: https://books2read.com/u/mv5ao6

A Traitor Among Us: https://books2read.com/u/3Ly6gw

Juniper Junction Cozy Holiday Mystery Series
The Worst Noel: https://books2read.com/u/brvGne
Dead, White, and Blue: https://books2read.com/u/bQR9Le
Be My Valencrime: https://books2read.com/u/bwvjjO
Ghouls’ Night Out: https://books2read.com/u/m2ZB86
MayDay!: https://books2read.com/u/mZeqBE

The Malice Series (Gothic)
The House on Candlewick Lane: https://www.amazon.com/House-Candlewick-Lane-Malice-Novel-ebook/dp/B01FBZXR3K/
Highland Peril: https://www.amazon.com/Highland-Peril-Malice-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B01N9GF9WF/
Murder in Thistlecross: https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Thistlecross-Malice-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B071L5C6C7/ 

Standalone Novels
Secrets of Hallstead House: https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Hallstead-House-Amy-Reade-ebook/dp/B00IO3QR70/

The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor: https://www.amazon.com/Ghosts-Peppernell-Manor-Amy-Reade-ebook/dp/B00OEW5SR0/
House of the Hanging Jade: https://www.amazon.com/House-Hanging-Jade-Amy-Reade-ebook/dp/B0138NHCMO/
Trudy’s Diary: https://books2read.com/u/3k1rMO


You can reach Amy on Social Media HERE:
Website: www.amymreade.com
Blog: https://amreade.wordpress.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/amreadeauthor
Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/AmyMReadesGothicFictionFans
Twitter: www.twitter.com/readeandwrite
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/amreade
Instagram: www.instagram.com/amymreade
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Amy-M.-Reade/e/B00LX6ASF2/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Goodreads Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8189243.Amy_M_Reade

67 thoughts on “#GuestDayTuesday – #A.M.Reade – #NewRelease – #ATraitorAmongUs

  1. I know nothing about the reality show, but I love seasides of any sort, especially historic seaside towns so I know I would love Cape May. Great idea to set novels where you live Amy and research history.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I agree, Janet, about setting novels where you live or have some real familiarity with. I feel like you can bring so many little extras into the story when you really know the location, and even more important to me, the people. (Not saying it’s a must, but it sure is helpful.) I’ve never been to Cape May or anywhere in that area, so I’m looking forward to reading this series! Thanks so much for stopping by today! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, Janet,

      Let’s just say that the reality show is, thankfully, nothing like the reality where I live. I am sure you would enjoy Cape May, too. It’s beautiful and there’s something fascinating to learn everywhere you turn. Thanks for commenting!

      Like

    • Isn’t that cover gorgeous? I’m with you, Jill. It captures the eye and really BEGS you to grab the book and start reading! It was a pleasure to have Amy here today, too, and I thank you for stopping by! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Jill,

      My family loves taking the ferry. My son and I have taken our bikes over to Cape Henlopen and ridden through the state park to the boardwalk in Lewes. We often see dolphins from the ferry, which I love. Thank you for dropping by to read the post!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think this series sounds wonderful too, Olga, and can’t wait to read it! Thanks so much for stopping by to offer Amy your congratulations! She’ll be along shortly, and I know she’ll be happy with everyone’s comments. 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Olga! I find that it’s easy to overlook the history of the area where one lives because it always seems more interesting to go further afield to study the past. But there’s so much stuff right in my own backyard, so to speak, and I have very much enjoyed learning about it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed the excerpt, Priscilla, and I agree that the whole concept is wonderful! I also love that Amy included the link to the Authors for Ukraine site. Since I was hacked and closed my FB account a couple of years ago, I can’t access this page, myself, but I hope everyone else will stop by! Thanks for visiting today, and taking a moment to comment! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Priscilla. I have been devouring historical mysteries lately and I find them fascinating. I’m so honored to be part of Authors for Ukraine. It’s comforting to be able to help, even in some small way, and I’m so grateful that Marcia was in favor of including the link in my post.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Marcia! How wonderful that you are hosting one of my favorite writers/authors here on your blog! I will proudly assert that I’ve read all of Amy’s books, including her first Cape May book CAPE MENACE. Each book is so different, from the historical mysteries to the cozy mysteries to the Gothic and the Standalone novels. It takes an amazing talent to do that. I’ve preordered A Traitor Among Us and can’t wait to read it. Oh, and I should add that I grew up in southern NJ with a love of the Jersey shore. So it’s fascinating to learn more than I ever knew about Cape May.

    Liked by 3 people

    • What a resounding endorsement, Pam! I am now super eager to read this whole series, from the beginning. Will be checking out Cape Menace very soon, and will be preordering A Traitor Among Us too. As I looked over Amy’s entire body of work, I was certainly impressed with the variety and styles. I even love the clever titles of her Juniper Junction cozy mysteries. I’ve never been to Cape May (or any part of the New Jersey area) and am looking forward to learning more about it as I read this series.

      Thanks so much for stopping by today, and sharing your thoughts with us! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    • And how wonderful that one of MY favorite writers/authors has joined the conversation! Thank you, Pam. You know how grateful I am to you for all your support. The Jersey Shore is a special place, indeed.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. And now it’s my turn to leave a comment! Marcia, I can’t thank you enough for your kindness and support of my books and writing and for the Authors for Ukraine project. It has been such a delight getting to know you better. I look forward to more interaction—I love your blog!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Awww, that’s so nice to hear, Amy! I’m really glad you love the blog, and I hope to get to know you better, as well. (I’m super excited about reading this series, too!) And I’m delighted that we were able to share your Authors for Ukraine link, too. The Ukrainians have to be the bravest people on the planet!

      Thanks for being our guest here today, and I hope you get a LOT of new readers checking out your work as a result! Hope you’ll come back to TWS often! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I love stories set in a coastal location, and being a Pennsylvania girl, I’m familiar with Cape May. This sounds like a fantastic series. I love the historical time period of this one, too. Congratulations to Amy, and thanks for sharing, Marcia

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you! I am originally from northern New York, and when I was growing up, the people from my neck of the woods tended to go to New England (or Florida) if they wanted a seaside vacation. I never visited Cape May until I met my husband, who is from this area. I didn’t know what I was missing.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I was delighted to have Amy here today, Mae, sharing her newest work. And I’m blown away by how many genres she writes in, too! Can’t wait to read this series, and check out some of her other books, as well. Thanks for stopping by, my Penderpal!! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Sounds like a fascinating read. I loved the excerpt. Well written and pulls you in. I have Cape Menace on my Kindle waiting to be read with a hundred other books. I must move it up. Bets of luck with your recent release, Amy.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I agree with you 100%, Pat! I can’t wait to find time to dig into this series, myself. Glad you enjoyed Amy’s post, and thanks so much for taking the time to let us know. 😀

      Like

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