Monday, July 28, 2014

An Excerpt from The Farmer and the Wood Nymph by JoAnn Smith Ainsworth

Omnimystery News: An Excerpt courtesy of JoAnn Smith Ainsworth
The Farmer and
the Wood Nymph
by JoAnn Smith Ainsworth

We are delighted to welcome back novelist JoAnn Smith Ainsworth to Omnimystery News.

Earlier this month JoAnn visited with us when we discussed several of her recently published books, one of which is The Farmer and the Wood Nymph (Whiskey Creek Press; December 2013 trade paperback and ebook formats), the synopsis of which really intrigued us. We are pleased today to introduce you to this historical western romantic mystery with an excerpt.

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The Farmer and the Wood Nymph by JoAnn Smith Ainsworth

ERNEST NOLAND'S CONTENTED WORLD shattered late yesterday with one bullet. In the front bedroom of the family farmhouse, Cousin Ida Osterbach hovered between life and death. Ida was Ernest's only family in Wyoming. The remainder of the family still lived back East. The doctor couldn't say whether she'd survive the loss of blood. She hadn't yet returned to consciousness when Ernest checked on her this morning. He vowed to pursue Diablo Avilos — the murdering bastard responsible — even if that trail led deep into the Badlands.
  In the sullen gloom of pre-dawn, the men of the posse saddled horses and tied on bedrolls and grub for a week. They would ride at first light, following the trail south through the high mountain plains. Ernest bitterly regretted he wouldn't know his cousin's fate until his return.
  If I return.
  Apprehension tensed back muscles as he threw a well worn saddle over the stallion belonging to Jared Buell, Ida's fiancé and neighbor rancher. The farm's workhorse would never survive a grueling mountain trip. Ernest wasn't a man who relished change or looked to violence. Only family honor forced him to ride away from the predictable farm routines he craved, towards an unpredictable future.
  The low conversation of the men, the whinnying of horses and the clank of metal stirrups reminded Ernest that he wasn't hardened to long days in the saddle. A man of the soil, he knew these upcoming days on horseback would test his strength. In his thirty-four years, he'd traveled only once.. After the shooting death of Ida's first husband two years ago, he rode the train from his parents' Illinois farm to Buffalo in northeastern Wyoming. He came to help rescue his cousin's farm from bank-threatened foreclosure. He'd defend Ida again, even if it meant sacrificing his own life.
  Ernest tightened the cinch with a powerful tug and checked his gear one last time. Leather creaked as he threw himself into the saddle and adjusted the stirrups to his long legs. He turned the horse in the direction of the other members of the posse assembling around the tracker. He and pressed his lips into a grim, determined line.
  Whatever it takes, I'll do.
  ---
  Lilah's eyelids fluttered open. Gradually, awareness emerged. Slender, green stalks defined themselves from an unfocused haze. Her cheek pushed painfully against lumpy surfaces. Dawning realization transformed the lumps into pebbles and small stones. Bewildered, she rubbed the throbbing and swollen lump beneath her tangled mass of raven-colored hair. By the size of the lump, she might have been unconscious for some time. "It's a wonder I wasn't attacked by animals." She breathed a prayer of gratitude heavenward.
   Hand to the ground, she pushed herself upright. The green stalks materialized into colorful patches of bright-pink alpine phlox, yellow buttercups and the bushy, low shrubs of a high plains meadow. She shook her head to get the cobwebs out and dragged herself to her feet, disheveled, with torn clothing matching the bruising and small cuts on her flesh. No memories appeared recalling her circumstances before waking up in this meadow.
  God help me.
  Anxiously, Lilah looked out over the distances as if seeking answers in the cloud-free sky or from the snow-capped peaks. It was early in the day according to the sun's placement. Birds nesting in nearby trees cheerfully greeted the risen sun. The sounds of fast moving water came from behind a row of cottonwoods and willows, but no human was in sight. No breakfast smells, no subdued voices of people waking to a new day.
  She shouted at the top of her lungs. "Where is everyone?"
  The birds stopped chirping, but no one answered. Fingers of fear traveled down her spine. She flung her arms wide, jumped up and down and shouted. "Where am I?"
  Again, no answer. Dread gripped her when another realization struck. "Who am I?"
  The last words jarred to her core.

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JoAnn Smith Ainsworth
Photo provided courtesy of
JoAnn Smith Ainsworth

When JoAnn Smith Ainsworth carried wood as a pre-teen so her Great Aunt Martha could stoke up the iron stove to prepare dinner, she wasn't thinking, "I could use this in a novel someday." Yet, the skills she learned from her horse-and-buggy ancestors translate into backdrops for her historical romance and paranormal suspense novels.

She has B.A. and M.A.T. degrees in English and has completed her M.B.A. studies. JoAnn currently lives in California.

For more information about the author, please visit her website at JoAnnSmithAinsworth.com or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Farmer and the Wood Nymph by JoAnn Smith Ainsworth

The Farmer and the Wood Nymph
JoAnn Smith Ainsworth
A Western Romantic Mystery

Waking alone on a mountainside, Lilah recalls nothing about her life, except a strong belief that some man somewhere loves her. A well hidden wedding band holds the hope that man will come to rescue her. But when her salvation comes in the form of a farmer resembling a Viking God, Lilah struggles to stay faithful to the ideal she cannot remember.

Ernest Nolan finds the vivacious beauty wandering in the wilderness and hopes that true love will be his at last. Spontaneous and exciting, Lilah is everything his careful heart has longed for. But a decent man never trifles with another man's woman. The mystery of Lilah's identity and that wedding ring must be resolved.

Searching for answers, these two opposites discover that differences can bring both attraction and difficulties. Can they overcome the obstacles and learn to walk a path of love and harmony?

Amazon.com Print/Kindle Format(s)  BN.com Print/Nook Format(s)

The Electrician's Code by Clarissa Draper is Today's Second Featured Free MystereBook

The Electrician's Code by Clarissa Draper

Omnimystery News is pleased to feature …

The Electrician's Code by Clarissa Draper

An Evans and Blackwell Mystery

Publisher: WiDo Publishing

… as today's second free mystery ebook.

The Electrician's Code by Clarissa Draper, Amazon Kindle format

This title was listed for free as of July 28, 2014 at 7:10 AM ET. Prices are subject to change without notice. The price displayed on the vendor website at the time of the purchase will be the price paid for the book. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your transaction.

For a summary of all of today's featured titles, plus any that may have appeared before and are repeat freebies, visit our Free MystereBooks page. This page is updated daily, typically by 8 AM ET.

More on today's free book, below.

An elderly man with only one leg is murdered and left in a pool of his own blood outside his house. To add to the mystery, a note found in his pocket says, "Why Run Backwards You'll Vomit." London Detective Chief Inspector Theo Blackwell can't understand the motive for killing the old man, or the meaning of the cryptic message.

Later, a woman is stabbed on her doorstep. The two seemingly unrelated cases have two things in common: apparently random victims and suspects with alibis.

As DCI Blackwell works on solving the cases, he requests the help of code-breaker Sophia Evans, who is battling a personal and tricky case of her own.

The Electrician's Code by Clarissa Draper

The Ajax Protocol by Alex Lukeman is Today's Featured Free MystereBook

The Ajax Protocol by Alex Lukeman

Omnimystery News is pleased to feature …

The Ajax Protocol by Alex Lukeman

The Project Series

Publisher: Alex Lukeman

… as today's free mystery ebook.

The Ajax Protocol by Alex Lukeman, Amazon Kindle format

This title was listed for free as of July 28, 2014 at 7:00 AM ET. Prices are subject to change without notice. The price displayed on the vendor website at the time of the purchase will be the price paid for the book. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your transaction.

For a summary of all of today's featured titles, plus any that may have appeared before and are repeat freebies, visit our Free MystereBooks page. This page is updated daily, typically by 8 AM ET.

More on today's free book, below.

The Project is a Black Ops intelligence unit reporting only to the President of the United States. When an assassination attempt takes the President out of commission, the Project is caught up in a conspiracy that threatens to spark a world war and runs a lot deeper than just trying to kill the leader of the free world.

Led by Director Elizabeth Harker, the Project team discovers a cold-hearted plot to turn America into a totalitarian police state. Betrayed by powerful enemies at home and forced to rely on doubtful allies abroad, Harker and her team are driven underground. With time running out, they must stop the conspirators before they destroy everything America stands for. At the same time team leader Nick Carter and his lover, Selena Connor, struggle to commit to each other in a covert world where love and compassion are in short supply and enemies lie in wait at every turn.

The Ajax Protocol by Alex Lukeman

The Shepherd by Ethan Cross is Today's Nook Daily Find

The Shepherd by Ethan Cross

Omnimystery News is pleased to feature The Shepherd by Ethan Cross as today's Nook Daily Find.

The deal price of $2.99 is valid only for today, Monday, July 28, 2014, and has been price-matched by Amazon.com.

The Shepherd by Ethan Cross

A Marcus Williams Mystery (1st in series)

Publisher: The Story Plant

Price: $2.99 (as of 07/28/2014 at 6:30 AM ET).

The Shepherd by Ethan Cross, Amazon Kindle format  The Shepherd by Ethan Cross, Nook format

Important Note: Price(s) verified as of the date and time shown. Price(s) are subject to change at any time. Please confirm the price of the book before purchasing it.

Marcus Williams and Francis Ackerman Jr. both have a talent for hurting people. Marcus, a former New York City homicide detective, uses his abilities to protect others while Ackerman uses his gifts to inflict pain and suffering.

When both men become unwilling pawns in a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of our government, Marcus finds himself in a deadly game of cat and mouse trapped between a twisted psychopath and a vigilante with seemingly unlimited resources. Aided by a rogue FBI agent and the vigilante's beautiful daughter — a woman with whom he's quickly falling in love — Marcus must expose the deadly political conspiracy and confront his past while hunting down one of the must cunning and ruthless killers in the world.

The Shepherd by Ethan Cross

The Nightingale Series by Stephen Leather is Today's Kindle Daily Deal

Nightfall by Stephen Leather

Omnimystery News is pleased to feature The Nightingale Series by Stephen Leather as today's Kindle Daily Deal.

The deal price of $1.99 each is valid only for today, Monday, July 28, 2014. We're hightlighting the first book in the series in this post.

Nightfall by Stephen Leather

A Jack Nightingale Supernatural Thriller (1st in series)

Publisher: 47North

Price: $1.99 (as of 07/28/2014 at 6:10 AM ET).

Nightfall by Stephen Leather, Amazon Kindle format

Important Note: Price(s) verified as of the date and time shown. Price(s) are subject to change at any time. Please confirm the price of the book before purchasing it.

"You're going to hell, Jack Nightingale."

These are the words that ended Jack Nightingale's career as a police negotiator. Now a struggling private detective, the chilling words return with a vengeance when Jack inherits a mansion with a priceless library — and a terrifying warning from a man who claims to be his father.

Nightingale quickly learns his soul was sold at birth and a devil will come to claim it on his thirty-third birthday, which is just three short weeks away. It's a hard pill to swallow. He doesn't believe in Hell and probably doesn't believe in Heaven either. But when people close to him start to die horribly, he is led to the inescapable conclusion that real evil may be at work. And if he doesn't find a way out, he'll be damned for eternity.

Nightfall by Stephen Leather