BOOK TOUR KICK OFF

DEATH OF A SCULPTOR in Hue, Shape, and Color

by M.C.V. Egan

 

Genre: Women’s suburban fiction

Color-coded love stories and revealing female anatomies lead to the puzzling death of world-renowned sculptor, Bruce Jones.
In life, the artist loved women, almost as much as women loved him. Adored for his art, colorful personality, and sexual prowess, Bruce is mourned by the world. The multifaceted perspectives of his four ex-wives, the current wife, his new love interest, and their children narrate this pulse-pounding tale.
Loose ends are tied up by the insights of Sylvia, his son Aaron’s wife and a trusted keeper of secrets; Scott, the private investigator and family friend; Nonna, the quintessential grandmother everyone loves but to whom few are truly related; and Detective Jim Miller who will not rest until he discovers Bruce Jones’ murderer.

Mary: Wife No. 1


Thunder, lightning and rain, that was what we had at our wedding. However, on the day of his funeral, the Florida heat and humidity made my face shiny with perspiration. My hair looked like a dark Brillo pad. My children requested I attend the funeral of my first husband. Bruce Jones, the world-renowned sculptor.
The parking lot was already packed with an unexpected variety of cars. I then realized that it was not peak season. The South Florida snowbirds are attached to their cars and they migrate with them back and forth each year.
I noticed a police car and a uniformed man by the entrance. Even for Bruce a bit much; however, since 9/11 security has been tight everywhere.
The valet attendant opened my rental car door. “Welcome ma’am. Your daughter is waiting for you.”
“Thank you. Please make sure you keep the car in the shade. August Florida heat and sun are not my friends.” I pulled a five-dollar bill from my purse to tip him, but he shook his head and mumbled, “No, thank you.” After all It was Palm Beach. I probably should have pulled out a twenty.
I was surprised that the building looked like an actual church, at least from the outside. The church had a long name. It was Universal something or other; apparently, a place of worship with neither affiliation nor strictures. Bruce’s life had, after all, been too outré to pretend he followed any conventional religious norm.
“Thanks for coming, mom.” Clair’s voice shouldn’t have surprised me, but I stood still, focused on carefully dabbing my shiny nose. I clicked the compact shut, smiled and answered, “Anything for you and Aaron sweetheart.” She nodded as she guided me where to sit. It was toward the back of the church; the ex-wives’ pew.
“Please mom, don’t look at me that way. This funeral is a time for forgiveness and closure.”
Clair always found a way to get me to do whatever she wanted. The last thing I wanted was to be in the company of the women sitting there. I touched my frizzy hair, regretting my rejection of the keratin treatment.
Wife number two, Leslie, was the first to say hello. “Mary, you look lovely. It’s been years.”
“It has, thankfully,” I replied. The other two simply nodded, and I nodded back. Leslie, the one Bruce left me for, handed me a packet of tissues and winked. Forcing a smile, I took them. The idea that she assumed I planned to cry had not crossed my mind. I pulled the compact out of my purse again to check my makeup; it looked fine. Through the mirror I saw the reflection of the fifth and last Mrs. Bruce Jones, the widow. She was standing waiting for the ushers. I shook my head in disbelief. There next to Brooke was the coffin. The ushers waited with the coffin for the minister’s signal. It had images of Bruce’s artwork. Digital photography makes it possible to decorate anything in living color. Some of the images were blocked from my view by the ushers, but not mine. There I was paraded as a nude sketch. Each one of Bruce’s loves had a color and mine was pink. It was kitsch…even worse, it was downright tasteless.
Bruce had a type. We all had brown hair, and pretty faces with full lips and straight noses. The eye color varied as did our size and build. His type was limited to our physiognomy. I clicked the compact shut, and the other ex-wives faced me, startled by the sound. I shrugged with a coy apologetic smile. Look at the five of us; he had a type.
Bruce’s love also had a shelf life. He took the seven-year-itch need to scratch very literally. Some marriages were shorter, because sometimes the divorces got complicated and his new loves always overlapped with the old. Public or private, his relationships always lasted seven years.
I was nineteen when I first walked into his classroom. He was tall and muscular. I felt a tingle at the base of my neck when I saw his back, as if somehow I already knew. When he turned to face me, I was gone and completely in love. I fell in love with Bruce and the sculpture next to him all at once. I soon learned he made love in a way no other man did─not that I was very experienced then─Bruce traced every inch of my body with every part of his. At twenty-four, he already made a good living from his sculptures, but teaching remained his passion. As he grew older and wealthier, he taught short workshops in different parts of the world. His last one had been just a few months before his untimely death. He was after all, only sixty-two.
It was clear by the careful shape of his sculptures that he knew the shape of my legs, ankles, feet, and every other part of my body. His sculpture venues varied, his talent knew no boundaries. Bruce loved and sculpted as instinctively as the rest of us breathe. Whoever inherited the rights to his art would be wise to market his sketches as limited edition lithographs. Bruce liked to keep those private, but he always added color to the sketches in a way that made them works of art unto themselves. Bruce was as gifted with hue and color as he was with shapes. Those were the sketches that someone had the poor taste to use for the coffin. As the ushers moved around I heard the reactions of the other ex-wives, a blend of gasps and giggles. We recognized all the shapes and colors.
Focused on raising our children, I had not noticed when the sculptures started to change. That was when Leslie entered the picture. Bruce may not have planned to divorce me, or at least for years I tried to believe that, but then Leslie got pregnant.
Our marriage, his first as well, was the longest marriage, it lasted ten years. Three of those, Bruce had spent loving Leslie, but playing house with me. His marriage to Leslie was far shorter. I could tell by the sculptures he had loved her for seven years. We all met him through his art in one way or another. Wife number three, Petra, worked in an art gallery. Although not an artist she was very involved with his work. I derived great pleasure from the public scandal when he hurt Leslie that way, leaving her for a mere merchant. By then Bruce had a name, an art, and a face that was recognized everywhere. Leslie had ended my marriage, so curiosity as to who had ended hers interrupted my life for a time. Hers was the only one of Bruce’s love stories I followed carefully, aside from my own.
Aside from relishing in Leslie’s pain, his personal life did not pique my interest. I knew my children were always respected and old enough to voice concern if anyone mistreated them. I could not remember if it was the third or fourth wife who was the only one of us who did not have children with Bruce.
Chopin’s somber Marche Funèbre snapped me back to the moment. The elaborate coffin encasing Bruce’s body had been placed on a movable catafalque. The catafalque with squeaky wheels carried Bruce’s body in a guided procession down the aisle. He was always a large man and had managed to become larger as he aged. His appetite for food and drink superseded all his other appetites.
Leslie whispered in my ear, “She doesn’t look sad.”
Glancing over at the person in question, I nodded in agreement. The widow could not be described as grieving. Grief is, of course, different in all of us. The body language of grief, though, is universal; the defeated, slumped shoulders, head bowed, tears flowing. Leslie was right. The widow was crying, but they almost looked like tears of relief.
A montage of Bruce’s works on a screen at the side of the altar shaped in a semicircle created the focal point. The aisle inclined and my pew toward the back provided a good vantage point. The incline was slight, but pronounced enough to give those of us in the back a full view. The ushers seemed to be holding back the coffin so it would not speed down the aisle. The wheels continued to squeak. Bruce would have hated this. The minister or priestess─I am not sure what title this universal church gave them,─had a very unpleasant voice and thus was difficult to listen to. No voice, even a pleasant one, could compete with Bruce’s art. For all the rotten things I would be happy to tell you about Bruce Jones, his art was not something anyone could criticize. Even the most prestigious critics raved about his talent and his work.
The slides were in chronological order. The memory and pain from the sting of betrayal flooded me as it had twenty-eight years earlier. I could see Leslie through the corner of my eye and the blush that betrayed her shame.
As wife number two, she had been party to betrayal because she too had been betrayed. I know Leslie grew to love my children very much. I guess she saw me as an extension of that love in some ways. I felt terrible. I had been so curt.
My hand reached to her shoulder in a gesture of solidarity and forgiveness when the images on the screen segued to show the shape of ex-wife number three. My heart ached for Leslie because we had similar builds, and many would not have been able to distinguish when Bruce transitioned from sculpting my body to sculpting hers.
Ex-wife number three, Petra─a very tall woman, with long slender limbs─had a body that blatantly displayed the transition from Leslie to her replacement. The unquestionable change in shape left no doubt Bruce’s affections had shifted again. Leslie, pregnant with her second child at the time, lost the baby to grief, a loss I also knew well.
At that point, I did need the tissues Leslie had given me, but I was shedding tears for her, not for Bruce. I miscarried a child with my second husband. I understood her pain and sense of loss. Mine, too, was the last child, the child I never had.
Bruce never sculpted pregnant women. Consequently, wife number three, the one who had never been pregnant had seven years that boasted more sculptures than the rest of us. At the seven-year mark, Bruce’s transition into a new love story, a new model. Petra’s telltale sobs showed her grasp of Bruce’s tell. After all, loving Bruce was a gamble. The change of model in the sculpture showed his change of heart. Petra was from a foreign country, I never paid much attention where. My kids interacted with her, and she welcomed them with kindness. In tandem, Leslie and I passed her the tissues.
Petra took both tissues we offered and her lips moved in a quiet whisper; the words were obviously meant for Leslie, though I could discern they were, “I am sorry”
My daughter, Clair, had always lived up to the dual meanings of her name; clear and famous. Clair could see things with great clarity, and she could convey them as such. I could only assume that she knew the ex-wives belonged together, ‘for closure and forgiveness’ as she had said.
Clair’s modeling career had started in her teens at her insistence; she was not pushed nor did anyone suggest she should model. She knew she was very attractive, and she knew she could convey her beauty and charm to an audience, a photographer, a camera.
Her modeling spun into acting. She was as natural on a screen as on a stage. It came to her with ease, though she was happy to take classes and learn. My Aaron is also successful, but he is a behind-the-scenes sort of person. I took great pride in knowing that I had always been a good mother. I had known how to allow my children to forge their own paths.
Not everything in my life succeeded, but I was a success at being a mother. I recognized Bruce’s love shelf life because I had one of my own, with a trail of the remains of ended marriages or relationships. Mine perhaps more impressive than Bruce’s.
I guess Bruce might have been the love of my life. But now in my mid-fifties, I questioned whether a spouse or companion had any viable use? I loved art, my passion, and although my work is not as popular or renowned as Bruce’s, I have achieved a certain level of success.

M.C.V. Egan is the pen name chosen by Maria Catalina Vergara Egan. Catalina was born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1959, the sixth of eight children, in a traditional Catholic family. From a very young age, she became obsessed with the story of her maternal grandfather, Cesar Agustin Castillo–mostly the story of how he died.
She spent her childhood in Mexico. When her father became an employee of The World Bank in Washington D.C. in the early 1970s, she moved with her entire family to the United States. Catalina was already fluent in English, as she had spent one school year in the town of Pineville, Louisiana with her grandparents. There she won the English award, despite being the only one who had English as a second language in her class. In the D.C. suburbs she attended various private Catholic schools and graduated from Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland in 1977.
She attended Montgomery Community College, where she changed majors every semester. She also studied in Lyons, France, at the Catholic University for two years. In 1981, due to an impulsive young marriage to a Viking (the Swedish kind, not the football player kind), Catalina moved to Sweden where she resided for five years and taught at a language school for Swedish, Danish, and Finnish businesspeople. She then returned to the USA, where she has lived ever since. She is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Swedish.
Maria Catalina Vergara Egan is married and has one son who, together with their five-pound Chihuahua, makes her feel like a full-time mother. Although she would not call herself an astrologer she has taken many classes and taught a few beginner classes in the subject M.C.V. Egan’s new series DEFINING WAYS uses Astrology and other Metaphysical tools.
BLOGS


Spotlight on M.C.V. Egan & New Release Death of a Sculptor.

THRILLED TO BE A GUEST!

It’s a pleasure to host you here today, M.C.V. Egan. Welcome. To get warmed up, can you please tell us about the premise of Death of a Sculptor. Thank you very much for inviting me. Death of a Scul…

Source: Spotlight on M.C.V. Egan & New Release Death of a Sculptor.

~ FALCON: Resistance ~ by VICTORIA DANANN

FALCON: Resistance

Knights of Black Swan Next Generation, Book 1

by Victoria Danann



Genre: Paranormal Romance



The knights are losing the war with the mutated virus. Humanity’s extinction is a possibility.


Black Swan needs a miracle.



Who would guess that it might come in the form of a womanizing vampire?


“Reminiscent of My Familiar Stranger.”
The next generation of the Knights of Black Swan have been inducted and vested with all the privileges and responsibilities of the B Team legends in whose shadows they took their training. K Team is coming into their prime as servants of The Order, with most of their lives ahead. Or so each one hopes.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Victoria Danann, brings us a sizzling new take on the Knights of Black Swan. The boys are all grown up and bursting at the seams looking for action.


Black Swan believed they’d found the cure for the vampire virus, but it mutated and the resurgence threatened to be the extinction of humanity within a generation. Help comes from a most unexpected source, a vampire.
Meanwhile, the new Director of Operations is cute, curvilicious and has Falcon reeling. And he doesn’t need distractions when he’s busy saving the world.

“Grabs hold and won’t let go.”The Paranormal Romantic


The epic saga that has won BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE SERIES the past three years in a row (Reviewers Choice Awards, the Paranormal Romance Guild) continues with a new crop of vampire hunters that we already know and love.
Grab your copy TODAY and find out why KBS is called astonishing, breathtaking, nail biting, spectacular, unique, and a wild and sexy ride.


Ram’s swagger looked a little wilted as he found Storm and Kay having a quiet drink and flopped into one of the bar’s cushy lounge chairs next to them.
“You in shock?” Kay said. “Do we need to order whiskey and a blanket?”
“Aye. Shock. Those women…”
Storm smirked. “How many?”
“All of them. They’re all in the space that used to be my temporary home. Elora. Litha. Rosie. They’re actin’ like ‘tis the event of the century. Dressin’ my sister up like she’s auditionin’ to dance at the Moulin Rouge.”
“They having fun?”
“Aye. That’s what’s so scary about it all. And the noise level…”
“Mr. Heavy Metal is complaining about noise?” Kay asked.
“Well, I would no’ want to say they’re screechin’ exactly. But when they get excited, their voices get high pitched and they do this thing where they… I can no’ even explain it.”
“Squeee?” Kay asked.
Ram’s eyes got big. “Aye. ‘Tis exactly that. Squeee. Sounds more like a banshee than anythin’ else.”
“Did you leave your children with them?” Kay asked.
Ram screwed up his face. “They’re with Nanny, but you are guiltin’ me for leavin’ them in the apartment. Great Paddy. They may develop psychosis. I should get them out of there while they’re still sane.”
“What makes you think your children are sane?” Storm teased.
“Ho now. You can chide me all ye wish, but do no’ be disparagin’ the fruit of my loins.”
The waiter arrived at the arm of Ram’s chair. “Triple whiskey,” he said. The waiter raised an eyebrow. “’Tis no’ your place to judge. ‘Tis my night off and I’ve been forced to flee my humble home.”
Ram didn’t wait for an answer before turning back to his teammates.
“So what’s this all about anyway?”
“No’ sure I’m at liberty to say.”
His teammates held a silent conversation with each other. Kay cleared his throat. “In that case, it would be wrong for us to press. So we won’t ask.”
Ram gaped at Kay. “Seriously? You’re no’ puttin’ up more of a fight than that?”
“Well, if you’re not at liberty to say…”
“On second thought, I’m sure Glen would want me to advise my trusted friends and teammates.”
“Only if you’re sure…” Kay said.
Ram proceeded to tell the story, which was fairly accurate for being third hand at that point. “So I’m gettin’ Rev to go out with you tonight. If it turns out this Jazz Man is what he says he is, I’m no’ takin’ any chances with my sister. That prancin’ poofer she’s married to would be sendin’ an army to join my da’s own army and all of them would be after my head. I’m very fond of these beautiful blonde locks, as you both know.” Storm and Kay both nodded thoughtfully. “So I’ll be playin’ bodyguard to her highness tonight.”
“You know we’ll be patrolling the neighborhood around midnight. We could maybe swing by Dublin Down. Just say hi. Make sure everything’s going okay.”
Ram grinned. “You fuckers are dyin’ to get a look at him.”
Kay shrugged.
Storm wanted to appear nonchalant, but couldn’t help sneaking a glance at Ram when he said, “I’ll bet Elora would like to sashay by there tonight. We know she has a thing for talking vampire.”
Ram caught the mischievous gleam in Storm’s eye and knew Storm was teasing, but it was also a dig that didn’t go down easy. After three children and years of married life, the way Baka and Elora had interacted, back in the day, still bothered Ram. And Storm knew it.
Rammel carefully set his whiskey tumbler down on the table beside him before launching himself out of his chair so fast it looked like he’d been sitting on an eject mechanism. He flew across the space that separated them and attempted to get Storm in a headlock.
“What are you doing?!?” Storm wheezed, turning red and trying to get his breath while Ram’s forearm squeezed his windpipe. “It was a joke!”
Ram didn’t respond to that protest because he didn’t care if it was a joke. He jerked Storm out of the chair by his neck, which was a testament to Ram’s strength because Storm was still a big well-muscled guy. As soon as they fell to the floor together, Ram hauled back and launched a fist that caught Storm in the side. Storm reacted by rolling over so that he could get enough room to clip Ram on the side of the face. Kay, of course, was yelling and doing his best to break it up, but in the process took punishing hits from both of them.
Several of the other knights came to assist Kay and fifteen minutes later, the three veteran members of B Team were standing in the Sovereign’s office, being called on the carpet like they were kids.
“The. Hel.” said Glen, clearly furious. “Every trainee in Jefferson Unit has already heard that B Team were brawling in our own club lounge, rolling around on the floor like… like…”
“Brawlers?” Kay suggested.
“Famous legendary elite vampire hunters indeed.” The sarcasm was dripping from every word Glen uttered. “A fine example you set for the next generation tonight.”
“He started it,” Storm mumbled.
“You did not say what I think you just said.” Glen looked incredulous. “Is this some kind of midlife crisis?”
That hit a mark. All three men looked horrified. “We’re no’ yet even thirty-five,” Ram protested.

“You’re acting like you’re not yet five.”

Ram glared at Storm. “There are just some things you do no’ say about an elf’s mate.”
Glen pulled back and studied Ram for a minute. “I don’t believe there is any power in heaven or hel that could make me believe Engel Storm insulted Elora Laiken.”
“Well,” Ram hedged, “he did no’ insult her per se.”
“Per se,” Glen repeated.
“Aye. Per se.”
Glen threw up his hands. “You know, I don’t really care what happened. If you were Z Team, I’d just roll my eyes and say, ‘What else is new?’ The three of you are going to be guest speakers at one ethics and decorum class per grade during this term.”
“Oh, for…” Kay started.
“Not. Another. Word.” Glen walked over and opened the door to his office. “Get out. And shame on you.”
Standing in the outer offices, Kay looked at the door that had been shut in his face and said, “I didn’t do anything! In fact I tried to stop it.”
Ram and Storm started walking down the hall toward the elevator. Storm turned to Ram and said, “Look what you did now.”
“You want me to? Pull your shirt up so I can see.”
“There’s nothing to see. You on the other hand are going to need some ice soon if you don’t want that eye to swell shut.”
Ram reached up and touched it. “You got me good.” He smiled.
Storm’s face split into a proud smile. “You’re gonna be wearing my mark for a while. Elora’s gonna chew your royal rear end when she hears about this.”
By that time Kay had caught up. From behind them he said, “Maybe you two are having a midlife crisis.”
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Victoria Danann, continues the breathtaking new take on Knights of Black Swan with a sizzling follow up to Falcon.
The Next Generation of Black Swan knights continues the struggle to rid the world of “deadheads”, virus infected vampires who are barely more cognizant than zombies. Jax, one of the vampires turned by the immortals, joined the fight and became Falcon’s partner.
For six hundred years Jax has seduced women, drunk their blood, and left them feeling blissfully satisfied, but without memory of the event. It was a good and manageable life as a vampire. Certainly it worked for him. Until now. The deliciously wild redhead remembers. And she’s pissed.
New York Times bestselling author of thirteen romances. Victoria’s Knights of Black Swan series won BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE SERIES for the past THREE YEARS IN A ROW. Reviewers Choice Awards, The Paranormal Romance Guild.
Her paranormal romances come with uniquely fresh perspectives on “imaginary” creatures, characters, and themes. She adds a dash of scifi, a flourish of fantasy, enough humor to make you laugh out loud, and, occasionally, enough steam to make you squirm in your chair. Her heroines are independent femmes with flaws and minds of their own whether they are aliens, witches, demonologists, werewolves, hybrids, psychics, or past life therapists. Her heroes are hot and hunky, but they also have brains, character, and good manners… usually.
The rich characterizations come from being a lifelong student of behavior, casually, and a serious student of behavior academically. She also studied comparative religion, myths, and Dark Ages history.
Victoria lives in The Woodlands, Texas with her husband and a very smart, mostly black German Shepherd dog.
Website ✯ Twitter ✯ Goodreads ✯ Amazon ✯ Facebook ✯ Street Team ✯ Newsletter ✯ Pinterest

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Author Update – Caroline Clemens, M.C. V. Egan and Judy Penz Sheluk

The first of the author updates is for Caroline Clements with a great review for her romantic novel Into the Vines that was first promoted here early last year. About the book Into the Vines is a n…

Source: Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Author Update – Caroline Clemens, M.C. V. Egan and Judy Penz Sheluk

C.T. Collier – Planted – PROMO Blitz

Cozy Mystery
Date Published: June 2016
Publisher: Asdee Press
It’s Monday of spring break when Professor Lyssa Pennington’s backyard garden project unearths a loaded revolver. With no record of violence at their address and no related cold case, the Tompkins Falls police have no interest. But the Penningtons and a friend with the State Police believe there’s a body somewhere. Whose? Where? And who pulled the trigger?
 
Excerpt
 
Lyssa sobbed and punched her pillow and finally fell deeply asleep.
Sometime after midnight, a hand rose from the hole in the center of the garden, found her in the guest room, and grabbed her by the throat.
She bolted upright and sucked air with noisy gasps. Stroking her throat, she scanned every corner of the room. She was alone.
White window curtains fluttered as the heat came on. She studied the lacy pattern traced on the linen panels by the streetlamp as it shone through the branches of a tree.
Her breathing eased, and her hand slid instinctively lower, to her breastbone, where she massaged with soothing pressure. Her newfound calm brought awareness. She wasn’t alone.
Death was in the room with her. 
 
 

 

C. T. Collier was born to solve logic puzzles, wear tweed, and drink Earl Grey tea. Her professional experience in cutthroat high tech and backstabbing higher education gave her endless opportunity to study intrigue. Add to that her longtime love of mysteries, and it’s no wonder she writes academic mysteries that draw inspiration from traditional whodunits. Her setting: entirely fictional, Tompkins College is no college and every college, and Tompkins Falls, is a blend of several Finger Lakes towns, including her hometown, Seneca Falls, NY (AKA Bedford Falls from It’s a Wonderful Life).
Contact Information
Twitter: @TompkinsFalls
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Jimmy Newell – A Bronx Boy’s Tale – PROMO Blitz

 
Family, Relationships, memoir
A Bronx Boy’s Tale details the life of the author as he witnessed the major historical events on the 1960’s and 1970’s. Although it was a time of social upheaval and strife, Jimmy’s family, friends and the Beautiful Bronx all made the experience glorious.
It is a lesson to us in modern times who despair about the state of things. Family, friends, and having a strong community in which to thrive can supersede any perceived threat from a world thought to be mad.
 

 

 

 

 

A Bronx Boy’s Tale AuthorJimmy Newell has a degree in law as well as a Masters in History. But, more than that, Jimmy grew up in the Bronx and wishes to share that with you and to make you see that you probably had a similar experience wherever you may have come of age.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Review: “Death of a Sculptor in in Hue, Shape and Color” by MCV Egan

I WOKE UP TO FIND THIS! Talk about starting a FABULOUS new day !

I’m a big fan of MCV Egan ever since reading her historical novel The Bridge of Deaths.  I was lucky enough to meet the author in Prague a few years ago, and found her to be a wonderful woman…

Source: Review: “Death of a Sculptor in in Hue, Shape and Color” by MCV Egan