Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Book Tour for Thread End by Amanda Lee hosted by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. Please leave a comment or question for Ms. Lee to let her know you stopped by. You can enter her tour wide giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter form below. You can also follow the rest of her tour here, the more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning. My review is pending (Currently Reading).
By Amanda Lee
An Embroidery Mystery, #7
Publisher: NAL (An imprint of Penguin)
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Length: 336 Pages
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About the book:
Marcy can’t wait to see the new exhibit at the Tallulah Falls museum on antique tapestries and textiles, including beautiful kilim rugs. But her enthusiasm quickly turns to terror when, the day after the exhibition opens, she discovers a dead body behind her store, the Seven-Year Stitch, wrapped up in a most unusual fashion.
The victim appears to be a visiting art professor in town for the exhibit. Did someone decide to teach the professor a lesson, then attempt to sweep the evidence under the rug? Along with her boyfriend, Detective Ted Nash, Marcy must unravel an intricate tapestry of deception to find a desperate killer.
Excerpt Supplied by Amanda LeeI’d stayed up too late the night before; but even sleep deprived, I was chipper as Angus and I pulled into our usual parking spot outside the Seven-Year Stitch. I had seen Vera and Paul only briefly at the museum exhibit, so I supposed Vera would be in sometime today. I hoped she would anyway. It would be fun to relive the evening with her…going over the pieces we’d liked best. I wondered if she’d made the collector any offers. I grinned. Knowing Vera, she probably had.I hopped out of the Jeep and snapped Angus’s leash onto his collar. He jumped out and sniffed the sidewalk while I unlocked the front door. As soon as we got inside, I took the leash off. Angus bounded over to the sit-and-stitch square where he’d left his favorite toy—a Kodiak bear Vera had brought him back from a trip she’d taken a few months ago.I relocked the door. I still had about half an hour until the shop opened, and I liked to have the shop tidy and restocked when customers started coming in. The first order of business every Saturday morning was to take the trash out. The sanitation truck ran at noon every Saturday, so all the shops on our side of the street scrambled to get their garbage out to the receptacles before then.Fortunately for me, the Seven-Year Stitch didn’t generate a lot of trash…especially when compared to MacKenzies’ Mochas. That shop produced more garbage in a day than the Stitch did in a week. In fact, Blake had to take their garbage out twice a day—double bagged so the food scraps wouldn’t attract bears.I was thinking about bears, Blake, Sadie, and how Sadie had talked me into coming to Tallulah Falls and opening my shop—for which I would be forever grateful—when I stepped out the back door with my bag of trash. I tossed the bag into the bin, turned, and then gasped as I saw something lying against the wall.For the world, the…thing…looked like the kilim Reggie had admired so much last night at the exhibit. But it couldn’t be…. Could it?I crept closer. It was the rug—I recognized the colors and the unmistakable patterns. But what was it doing here?I took another step toward the rolled up kilim and saw that it was badly stained. Had someone bought it, got something all over it, and left it here for the sanitation crew to dispose of? Surely not.Maybe Vera had bought it, gotten it stained, and then left it here at the back of my store to see if I could clean it. No, that didn’t make any sense to me either, but I was really grasping at straws.I took one more step closer and nudged the rug with my foot. I wasn’t about to touch such a valuable kilim until I found out why it was lying outside my shop.When I pushed it, the rug rolled slightly. Then I spotted something…a hand! And the hand was attached to a body…that was attached to a face…a face that looked vaguely familiar.With trembling hands, I fumbled my cell phone from the front pocket of my jeans and called Ted.“You’ve got to come,” I said when he answered. “Here…to the shop…please. There’s this guy…a dead guy…wrapped up in Reggie’s rug.”“What? Babe, you aren’t making sense.”I couldn’t answer. I’d begun to hyperventilate.“Sweetheart, I’m on my way. Sit down and put your head between your knees,” he said. “Is anyone with you?”When I didn’t answer, he repeated that he was on his way.I became vaguely aware that Ted had ended the call, and I returned my phone to my pocket. I didn’t know what to do. Maybe the man wasn’t dead after all. I guessed I could take his pulse to see. Or I should probably wait for Ted. The gray cast to the man’s skin made me fairly certain that there was nothing I could do to help him. And it wasn’t a stretch to assume that the stain on the rug was blood. I’d wait for Ted.Suddenly, I heard footsteps pounding up the alley behind me. I whirled around, stumbled, and would have fallen had I not been righted by Blake—he whose thundering footsteps had startled me while he was sprinting toward me with a white paper bag in one hand.“Ted called,” he said, panting for breath. “Are you all right? He said you were hyperventilating. Here—breathe into this. Let’s get you inside.”I was sort of wondering if maybe Blake didn’t need the paper bag more than I did, but I simply nodded. With one strong arm around my shoulders, Blake led me back into the shop.Angus was thrilled to see Blake and immediately bounded up to him.“In a minute, boy,” Blake said softly. “First, let’s get Marcy settled on the sofa.”Sensing something was wrong, Angus sat down and began to whine.“It’s okay,” I told him, as I sank onto the sofa. “Everything’s fine.”Blake took a seat on the red club chair diagonal to the sofa. “Seriously, breathe into the bag.”I shook my head. “I’m fine.”“What happened?”“I have no idea,” I said, petting Angus’s head in an effort to soothe us both. “I took out the garbage; and when I turned to come back into the shop, I saw the rug. I thought it strange that someone would throw it away like that, and then I saw the hand and realized someone was wrapped up in the rug.”“That’s all you saw? A hand?” He shrugged. “Do you think maybe it could be a mannequin?”“No. I saw the man’s face too. He was real.” I glanced at the front door and realized it was still locked. “I’ve got to unlock the door.”Blake jumped up from the chair. “I’ll get it. You sit there and rest.”“Thank you. The keys are on the counter.”He unlocked the door. “Do you want me to leave the sign as Closed?”“No. Change it to Open please,” I said.“Are you sure you’re up to having customers today?”“Positive.” I smiled slightly. “I’ll take any normalcy I can get right now.”He returned to his seat. “Are you feeling okay?”“I’m still shaky—and I’m sorry for that poor man lying outside—but I’ll be all right.”Sadie hurried through the front door carrying a large to-go coffee cup. “Marce, how are you?”I assured her that I was fine. “I’m even better if that’s a low-fat vanilla latte with a dash of cinnamon.”Sadie saw how my hand shook as I took the cup, and her big brown eyes flew to Blake’s blue ones. He gave her a nod, and they communicated volumes merely by holding each other’s gaze for a few seconds. They’ve only been married for five years, but you’d think they’d been together forever. Like every other couple, they’d had their share of hardships. But they’d always persevered…and always would. They’d be lost without each other.I took a sip of the warm, delicious coffee, and Sadie sat beside me on the sofa.Angus, still confused and upset by the anxiety in the room, sighed and plopped his head onto his paws.“Aw, look how pitiful he is,” Sadie said. “Now I wish I’d brought him some biscotti.” She spoke to Angus. “I’ll bring you back some biscotti, sweet boy. Yes, I will.”Angus wagged his tail. He wasn’t convinced everything was okay yet, but he knew it was getting there.Sadie took my free hand and gave it a squeeze. Like Angus, she didn’t seem confident she knew what was going on either. But she wanted me to know that she was there. Dog and human best friends share that trait. I quickly filled her in on the situation.At last, Ted strode through the door. As he took my latte, set it on the coffee table, and gathered me into his arms, I finally felt that everything was truly going to be all right. So, naturally, I began to weep.“I’m so glad you’re here,” I whispered against his shoulder.“Everything’s okay, babe. I’ve got you.”I didn’t know why suddenly feeling secure would make me weep, but it did. Looking back, I usually did hold up fairly well in the midst of a critical moment and fall apart when it was over. Okay, so looking back on my call to Ted, maybe I didn’t hold up that well in the critical moment. But what would you have done if you’d found a dead guy wrapped in an antique kilim in your alley?
About The Author
Amanda Lee, also writing as Gayle Trent, is a full-time writer living with her family in Southwest Virginia. She writes the embroidery mystery series as Amanda Lee and writes the cake decorating series and the Myrtle Crumb series as Gayle Trent.