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99 cent alert! Second Act by Marsha R. West #laterinlife #romanticsuspense #99cents #99c #bookboost

Title SECOND ACT, Book 1 The Second Chances Series

Author Marsha R. West

Genre Later in Life Romantic Suspense

Publisher MRW Press, LLC

Book Blurb

Addison Jones Greer, divorced mother of two teens, is the executive director of Cowtown Theatre. When someone murders a member of the board in the costume room, suspicion rests on everyone involved with the theatre, including Addie. She has angered some board members because she wants to fire the artistic director. Although she’s warmed him several times, he continues to go over budget for productions.

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 romance since she caught her now ex-husband in their bed with his secretary. Trust isn’t something she’s good at. How could she trust someone who seems determined to think she’s capable of murder? Or worse, thinks that her kids might be involved?


“What play are you doing, Jeremy?” Detective Riley asked.

The Music Man.”

“He’s playing the lead.” Addie couldn’t help but brag.

“Good for you. Don’t let us keep you. I was mighty hungry when I got home.”

Jeremy laughed. “Yeah. Nice to meet you, Detective Riley.”

“You, too.”

Jeremy went on toward the kitchen, his book bag slung over his shoulder. Addie returned to the couch while Detective Riley remained standing. “He’s such a good kid. Always does his homework first opportunity he gets, either before or right after rehearsals.”

“He does lots of that kind of thing?”

“Do you know much about theatre or what it takes to get a musical performance ready, Detective?”

“Actually, no. I take it Jeremy’s doing a musical?”

She laughed. “Yes. You know, ‘Seventy-Six Trombones,’ ‘You’ve Got Trouble’

‘Till There Was You’.”

He looked down, twirled the hat in his hands then glanced back across at her. “I’m more into country music.”

“I see. Well, perhaps if you’re not busy, you can make one of their performances. Jeremy and Elizabeth are in a fine arts school, and the shows are quite professional.”

“I’ll think about that.” He set his hat on the coffee table and pulled out his notebook. “I don’t want to take up more of your time than necessary, but I have a few more questions about Ms. DeWitt’s murder.”

“All right.” She closed the laptop and pulled a leg up underneath her on the sofa, leaning back. He always seemed to find her in warm-ups. Could be because she wore them so often when she wasn’t going to be about town working on fundraising for the theatre. “Have a seat and ask away.” Riley settled into a chair Addie had always considered large, but he dwarfed it and didn’t look too comfortable perched, as he was on the edge.

“I want to know more about the conflict between you and your artistic director, Clay Bennett.”

Addie nodded. “Sure. It was unfortunate we played it out in such a public manner.”

“What was Ms. DeWitt’s role in all of that?”

“I felt Clay was being a spendthrift, seldom coming in on or under budget. More times, he went over. Well, that action, if ignored, will lead the theatre into bankruptcy. I wasn’t about to ignore his behavior. My job is to protect the theatre, our financial supporters, and fans.”

“And Mrs. DeWitt?”

“I’ve explained this, Detective.”

“I’d like to hear it once more.”

Addie couldn’t keep the sigh inside before she repeated her earlier story. “I wanted to fire Clay. Unfortunately, the bylaws state I have to have the concurrence of a supermajority of the board. A number of board members supported my intention, but I still needed one more vote.”

“Which side was Ms. DeWitt on?”

“Originally, she was on Clay’s side, but she’d recently changed her position and supported the firing.”

“Did many people know that?”

“I told Pete Talmadge, our stage manager, and your sister-in-law. I believe Shannon planned to tell Clay, but I don’t know that for certain.”

“With Ms. DeWitt out of the picture, where does that leave you?”

“Again our bylaws, which must be amended, state we will operate as if all positions are filled. Without Shannon, I wouldn’t have a supermajority. So where are you going with this line of questioning?”

“We’re trying to determine motive?”

“Oh, my God.” Addie jumped off the sofa. Rapid steps carried her across the room from the detective. She spun around. “You think I might’ve killed her?”

“We’re looking at everyone connected to the theatre, Ms. Greer.”

“Well, I didn’t kill her. She was a wonderful woman, had served us well for many years.”

“One last question, Ms. Greer, and I’ll be out of your hair.”

“What?” She planted her feet a little apart and crossed her arms over her chest.

“Do you own a weapon—a gun?”

“No, I don’t. I don’t even know how to shoot one.”


“Elizabeth, hello, dear. When did you get home?”

“A while ago. I came in the back.” Elizabeth stood in the archway as if she couldn’t decide to enter or not.

“We’re going out for an early supper, and then I’ll drop you and your brother for rehearsal.”


“I’m sorry. Detective, this is my daughter Elizabeth. Detective Riley.” What would he make of her dress and make-up?

She nodded and came into the room. “Hi.”

“Nice to meet you, Elizabeth.” He took her hand when she extended it.

“Get started on your homework until we leave for supper.” Elizabeth turned to go.

“Are we finished here, Detective?”

“Mom.” Her daughter had stopped and then turned around.

“Yes, dear?

“I heard him asking about a gun.”

“Yes, that’s right, and I told him I don’t have one. We’ve never had one.”

“Well, yesterday, I was looking for scissors and—” She walked over to the small table placed next to the chair in which the detective had been sitting. Slowly she slid open the drawer. “What’s this?”

Mike leaned over then straightened. He looked at Addie and Elizabeth then the drawer.

The hair on the back of Addie’s neck rose. “What?”

Mike used his pencil and lifted out a gun.

Addie stepped back. Her hands flew in front of her mouth. “Oh, my God. Why didn’t you tell me as soon as you saw the gun, Elizabeth?”

“I figured it was a prop, but when the detective asked, I thought I should speak up.”

“You did the right thing, Elizabeth.” He turned to Addie. “I’ll take this downtown, and we’ll get it checked. In the meantime, you should come with me.”

Addie was stunned into silence. What was happening to her life? He couldn’t really think she’d killed Shannon, could he?

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Author Biography:

A retired elementary school principal, a former school board member, and theatre arts teacher, Marsha R. West writes Later in Life Romantic Suspense. She lives in Texas with her supportive lawyer husband and Charley, a deaf, Chihuahua/Jack Russell Terrier mix. Their two daughters presented them with three delightful grandchildren all who live nearby.

The theme of Marsha’s books is always second chances, and she even has a four-part series titled The Second Chances Series. She believes in Happily Ever Afters. Her husband picked up a plaque for her on one of their several trips to Maine that states her philosophy exactly. Everything will be all right in the end. If it’s not all right, it’s not the end. The Heroines and Heroes in her books are in their 40s and 50s with their parents and children often playing supporting roles.

She’s a member of North Texas Romance Writers, Authors Marketing Guild LLC, & the WORD BY WORD Blog. She has her own weekly blog and monthly newsletter. Her books can be found on AMAZON, B & N, KOBO, and iTunes and other sites. Print books are also at Draft 2 Digital, Indie Lector Stores, and Amazon. Blurbs for each of her books with links can be found on her website.

Social Media Links: Where you can also sign up for her blog and her NEWSLETTER MRW Press LLC ( her at , and follow her on…

2 comentários

Marsha Riegert West
Marsha Riegert West
12 de jun. de 2023

Thanks for having me, Mrs. N. This was a fun one to write.


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
12 de jun. de 2023

Thank you, Marsha, for sharing your book sale with us! It sounds like a gripping romantic suspense!

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