SECOND ACT, Book 1 The Second Chances Series by @Marsharwest is a Snuggle Up Readathon Pick #romanti
Title: SECOND ACT, Book 1 The Second Chances Series
Author: Marsha R. West
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Seasoned Romance
Addison Jones Greer, divorced mother of two teens, is the Executive Director of Cowtown Theatre. When someone murders a member of the board, suspicion rests on everyone involved with the theatre, including Addie.
Mike Riley, Fort Worth homicide detective, hates that he caught this case. His sister-in-law dragged him to a theatre fundraiser where he met Addison, the first woman with whom he’s wanted to pursue a relationship in a long time. Not about to happen now.
Addison hasn’t ventured into a relationship since she caught her now ex-husband in their bed with his secretary. Trust isn’t something she does. How could she trust someone who seems determined to think she’s capable of murder? Or worse, thinks her kids might be involved.
SECOND ACT is Book 1 of the Second Chances Series. We meet four women, now in middle age, who’ve been friends since they met at summer camp.
Addison Greer slammed the booklet closed and shoved it across her desk. What idiot wrote the bylaws this way? Updating them now took on more urgency. However, it was always about board members who were volunteers not having enough time to work on them. Trying to make the changes now after Shannon’s murder seemed self-serving.
Addie rested her elbows on the desk, her fingertips rubbing her temples where pain pounded like a hammer on a nail. Not surprising, what with all the stress resulting in a severe lack of sleep. The only good thing about that was she caught Elizabeth sneaking in late last night. Well it wasn’t good that Elizabeth was sneaking in, only that Addie had caught and grounded her. Her main talent at the Fine Arts School was art, but she was one of the townspeople in the school’s production of The Music Man, in which Jeremy played the lead. Many days they stayed after school together. That was all Addie allowed. She tried to be a good mother, and she seemed to be succeeding with one child but not the other. Her head was splitting.
“Come in.” She muttered as she opened the lower desk drawer, pulled out a box of generic headache pills, and popped a couple in her mouth. Mike Riley stuck his head around the door as she swallowed. She choked on the water.
He hurried around her desk and patted her on the back. “You, okay? People aren’t generally thrilled to see me, but they don’t usually choke.”
Still gasping, all she could do was nod her head while tears trickled from her eyes. “Seriously, you okay? I can do the Heimlich.”
Finally, Addie gulped and whispered, “I’m okay.” While she thought she might like to see how the good detective’s arms felt around her, the Heimlich wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. She took another swallow of water and breathed in deeply. “Okay. I’m fine, now.” She wiped tears from her eyes, certain from the heat she felt that red covered her face. “I’m sorry for the unorthodox greeting. I was taking a couple of pills for a headache. Have a seat, please.” She waved to one of the chairs in front of her desk. She should’ve worn something nicer than warm-ups, but she’d had no appointments out of the office and wanted to be comfortable. “Do you have any more information about the murder?”
“We’re still investigating.” He lowered himself into the chair she’d indicated. “I wanted to follow up on something I’ve heard—”
“I’m sure it’s about the fight Clay and I had,” Addie jumped in. “I think everyone heard us. The door was open.”
“Yes, we heard about it from almost everyone. Seems like you said—”
“That if he messed with the theatre, I’d make him sorry. I guess if he were the one dead, I’d be your prime suspect.”
“Yep.” He nodded.
“Why do I get the feeling there’s something more here.” Addie fiddled with a pencil, rolling it back and forth across her desk. It made a clicking sound as it passed underneath a silver ring on her right hand.
“It’s this whole issue about your intent to fire Clay Bennett. Is that your intent?”
Addie hiked up her shoulders and released them before leaning back in the chair. “Detective, the theatre is having money problems. It’s important to be able to put on shows that come in on or under budget. Clay Bennett has trouble ensuring that happens. I’ve talked with him several times and documented those chats in his personnel file.”
“As I understand, you can’t fire Bennett without a supermajority of the Board.”
“That’s right. I had no reason to want Shannon DeWitt dead. She told me she agreed with the firing.”
“Is there any way you can substantiate that?”
“Probably not. I told a couple of people. Pete Talmadge, Cindy Riley. But that’s just my word.” She dropped her head into her hands. “This is such a nightmare.”
“With her gone, can’t you do what you want?”
She sat up and looked directly at the detective. If only she’d met him at another time. “No. The bylaws are written in a screwy way. So even though we have a vacancy, we have to operate as if we have all of the members. I’d have to get James Duffy or Linda Alexander to support the firing, and I don’t believe there’s any likelihood of that happening.”
Mike nodded. “Okay, I think that explains things for me. We will find who did this, Addie. Have faith.”
Mike stood. “I’ve got work to do, and I’m sure you do to. Take it easy.” He opened the door and left her office.
“Oh, my goodness.” Addie groaned and collapsed against the back of her chair. Did he realize he’d called her by her nickname? She straightened her shoulders. Eventually, they’d move past all of this. She hated to think someone associated with the theatre had killed Shannon, but she’d been attacked here, and that made it likely. If that were true, Addie knew a murderer.
November is a time to be thankful. What are you most thankful for this year?
After family, friends, and health,😊 every year, I’m thankful for Fall. It’s my favorite time of year, with the cooler temperatures and the leaves turning. We are blessed to live on a small lake, very close to town. I have the best of both worlds.
Why is your featured book worth snuggling up to?
Most of us can identify with a single mother, juggling a demanding job, and issues with her ex. Throw in complications of a murder and a handsome detective and you just have to grab a cup of hot chocolate and settle in front of the fire to see how-if- she can survive the threats.
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Runs November 1 – 30.
Drawing will be held on December 1.
Marsha R. West, a retired elementary school principal, is also a former school board member and theatre arts teacher. She writes Romance, Suspense, and Second Chances. Experience Required. Marsha lives in Texas with her supportive lawyer husband. Their two daughters presented them with three delightful grandchildren who live nearby. Charley, a Chihuahua/Jack Russell Terrier mix completes her family.
MuseItUp Publishing released her first book, VERMONT ESCAPE in July 2013; her second book, TRUTH BE TOLD, in May 2014. In the Fall of 2014, Marsha formed MRW Press LLC to provide print and e-versions of her books. SECOND ACT, Book 1 of the Second Chances Series follows up with a secondary character from VERMONT ESCAPE and begins a four-part series. ACT OF TRUST is Book 2 of the Second Chances Series. She released THE THEATRE, a stand-alone in 2016. It was followed by ACT OF BETRAYAL, Book 3 The Second Chances Series in 2017. In 2019, Act of Survival, Book 4 The Second Chances Series released.
She contributed to ROMANCE & MYSTERY AUTHORS ON WRITING, edited by JQ. Rose. Also, in 2018, she had a short story, “The Colonel & Her Major” published in her writing chapter’s anthology, LONE STAR LOVE.
She’s a member of Romance Writers of America, the North Texas RWA, and the Kiss of Death chapters, and Texas Authors. She posts weekly on her own site, monthly on the Sisterhood of Suspense blog, and sends out a monthly Newsletter.
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You can contact her at email@example.com or through her web site https://authormarsharwest.wordpress.com/ where you can also sign up for her NEWSLETTER, Blog, or check out any of her social media sites.