Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Spotlight & #Giveaway for Vamps, Villains and Vaudeville by Ellen Mansoor Collier

Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Tour, presented by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, for Vamps, Villains and Vaudeville by Ellen Mansoor Collier.  Please leave a comment or question for Ellen to let her know you stopped by.  You may enter her tour wide giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You may follow all of the stops on her tour by clicking on the banner above, the more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning. 

Vamps, Villains and Vaudeville
By Ellen Mansoor Collier
Jazz Age Mystery Series, Book 4

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Release Date:  August 5, 2015
Paperback: 250 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0989417082

Buy Links:  Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes

About the book:

In 1920s Galveston, society reporter Jazz Cross is in for a surprise when she attends a traveling vaudeville show with her beau, Prohibition Agent James Burton, and discovers that an old flame acts in the production. That night, they find a stabbing victim behind the Oasis — her half-brother Sammy’s speakeasy — who’s identified as an actor in the troupe. When the victim disappears and later turns up dead, Jazz must help prove that Sammy wasn’t the killer.

Meanwhile, a ring of jewel thieves is turning up all over town, robbing rich tourists of their precious gems. After a second vaudeville actor is found dead, Jazz discovers that the events behind the scenes are much more interesting than the outdated acts onstage.

To make matters worse, Sammy’s old nemesis demands that he settles a score and forces him into yet another illegal scheme. Can Jazz help solve the murders and prove her brother’s innocence—so he can escape the Downtown Gang for good?

A historical Jazz Age mystery inspired by real-life Galveston gangs and local landmarks.


At the Oasis, the door opened automatically. What, no password? Frank motioned us inside, his face dripping with sweat despite the cool fall climate....

Agent Burton crossed his arms. “What happened?”

“I’d better show you.” Frank stood up unsteadily, and held onto my arm as we walked upstairs. Outside, the November night felt chilly, and I wrapped my velvet coat tighter. A half-moon cast a pale light on the narrow alley.

My breath caught when I saw Dino leaning over a figure sprawled at an awkward angle. Oh no.

I held my breath, not wanting to believe anything was wrong, especially with Sammy so far away in Houston.

Slowly I edged closer and stopped, staring in shock: A handsome young man lay in the alley, clutching his stomach and gasping for breath, dark blood staining his shirt and trousers. His delicate features looked ghostly, even angelic, in the faint moonlight.

“What were you saps thinking, leaving a man half-dead behind your bar?” Burton demanded. “For God’s sakes, why didn’t you call an ambulance?

 .... “You have no idea who he is or what he was doing here?” he repeated as he attempted to pick up the victim, waiting for Frank and Dino to help.

“We didn’t exactly exchange pleasantries before Dino gave them the boot,” Frank said. “Friday nights are always full. Pay day, you know.”

Reluctantly, Dino lifted the man under his arms, Frank held his middle and Burton picked up his legs. Slowly the trio carried him out to Frank’s car while I held the door open.

“Careful,” Burton warned. “Let’s sit him up so he won’t lose any more blood.”\

Drops of blood left a trail of bright red splotches in the alley. “You’ll need to wash that off right away.” I cringed. “Don’t make Buzz clean it up.”

“Why don’t you do it?” Dino scowled at me.

“Fix your own mess.” I glared right back.

After they placed the victim upright in the car, I tucked the blanket around him, careful not to touch his open wound. “I’m coming, too,” I said, my eyes misting.

“You don’t need to go,” Frank said. “I can take care of things.”  His voice was husky with emotion.

“Look what happened last time,” I snapped.

Burton patted the seat by him. “You can ride with me.”

I stuck my head in Frank’s car to make sure the victim was still breathing. Suddenly his hand shot out, clasping my wrist, blue eyes popping open for a brief moment.

“Viola,” he whispered before drifting off. “Viola.”

About The Author

Ellen Mansoor Collier is a Houston-based freelance magazine writer and editor whose articles and essays have been published in a variety of national magazines. Several of her short stories have appeared in Woman’s World. During college summers, she worked as a reporter for a Houston community newspaper and as a cocktail waitress, both jobs providing background experience for her Jazz Age mysteries.

A flapper at heart, she’s worked as a magazine editor/writer, and in advertising and public relations (plus endured a hectic semester as a substitute teacher). She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Magazine Journalism and served on UTmost, the college magazine and as president of WICI (Women in Communications).

FLAPPERS, FLASKS AND FOUL PLAYhttps://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?source=bk&t=dollycsthoug-20&bm-id=default&l=ktl&linkId=c8a766f5f1d8e7fa19ba0f5c9e6529d1&_cb=1454797860640 is her first novel, published in 2012, followed by the sequel, BATHING BEAUTIES, BOOZE AND BULLETShttps://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?source=bk&t=dollycsthoug-20&bm-id=default&l=ktl&linkId=0a860b011c52b2a5c1cae5b5cd857a6b&_cb=1454797828914, released in May 2013. She lives in Houston with her husband and Chow mutts, and visits Galveston whenever possible.

“When you grow up in Houston, Galveston becomes like a second home. I had no idea this sleepy beach town had such a wild and colorful past until I began doing research, and became fascinated by the legends and stories of the 1920s. Finally I had to stop researching and start writing, trying to imagine a flapper’s life in Galveston during Prohibition.”

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  1. Thanks for hosting us Vamps today, Maria! E

  2. Looking forward to reading about the Jazz Age and Galveston. Interesting period of time.