Thank you, Vicky, for having me on your blog today. I’m very excited about my new release, Sea Salt Lavender for Aphrodite. This is a summer “beach read” kind of book, even though at this time we’re not sure whether beach vacations are a good idea. But, hey, this is a good way to bring the beach home, right?
This new release is part of a summer series my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, has created with a beach theme. All the books are written by different authors in a variety of genres – from paranormal to romance to cozy mystery (like mine) – and all have the flavor of an ice cream in the title. Thus, the series name: One Scoop or Two. The books are considered novella-length, so nothing over 200 pages, and all are ebooks only.
Sea salt lavender is the flavor my main character, Rosella Rivers, creates for her ice cream business. She owns a food truck that she parks at fictional Olympus Bay’s boardwalk, a small touristy town along California’s central coast. A murder takes place near her trunk, and the plot takes off from there.
There’s a handsome detective, a smart poodle, and a cast of quirky characters. I loved writing this book and imagining myself in another place for a while – especially the beach! Read on for more about this book which releases this week.
Sea-Salt Lavender for Aphrodite
Tagline: A case of murder with sweet complications
Rosella Rivers enjoys the perfect life, loving her new ice cream food truck business featuring exotic flavors. But her beach view parking space is not so lovable when she finds an acquaintance stabbed to death in the boardwalk bathroom.
Detective Mark Pruitt knows murder is bad for small-town Olympus Bay. He must find the suspect before he strikes again. When he first sets eyes on Rosella, the only witness, he is smitten. However, there’s no time for romance when danger lurks.
Together he and the lovely ice cream maker must discover the killer before he turns his sight on Rosella.
The echo of a drip-drip-drip resonated from within. Rosella glanced around, wishing a man would pass by, someone she could send inside on her behalf. On this side of the structure, though, the beachfront was hidden from view and the building backed by sand dunes. Unless someone needed to use the facilities, they wouldn’t approach.
A distant chime from the town clock made her heart sink. Ten a.m. Opening time. She had to get back to her truck. A fresh round of anxious yips sounded. She scooted to the corner of the building and peeked toward her truck. Aphrodite stood at attention, straining at the leash. The dog barked twice at spotting her and renewed efforts to break free of the tether.
She returned to the doorway. “Mick, I’m just going to step inside since I’m a little bit worried, just to make sure you’re okay. Let me know if I shouldn’t come in.” No response sounded. “All right, coming in.”
The odor hit her first. Heavy, sweet, sickening. Then her eyes registered the scene. Mick lay face down in the middle of the tile floor, a steady stream of deep red blood winding its way toward a drain.
Julie Howard is the author of the best-selling Wild Crime and Spirited Quest series. She is a former journalist and editor who has covered topics ranging from crime to cowboy poetry. Now she edits an online anthology, Potato Soup Journal, and spends many delightful hours writing her books.