Tuesday, November 16, 2021

George McDonnell is Dead! by J. Q. Rose #MFRWHooks #bloghop

Book Hooks--excerpts from novels

   Book Hooks Blog Hop #MFRWHooks

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog. 

Today we're joining the Book Hooks Blog Hop sponsored by 

the Marketing For Romance Writers Group. 

Each participating blogger shares an excerpt from their book. 

This is the time of year when the snowbirds fly south looking for warm sunshine and gentle breezes. So I am sharing an excerpt from Terror on Sunshine Boulevard, a story located in Florida in a community of snowbirds. Watch out!. It is a bit frightening, filled with mystery and the paranormal, as well as some quirky characters.

From an Amazon Reviewer-"Just read the whole book last night. Loved it! Lot's of twists and turns. Kept wondering what was going to happen next. Great book. Great story. Beautiful cover. Thank you! Keep em' coming." 



Terror on Sunshine Boulevard by J.Q. Rose
Frightening, Mystery, Paranormal

BACK OF THE BOOK:  Rescuing a naked woman lying in a geranium bed? Investigating mysterious murders Not the usual calls for first responder Jim Hart. He expects slip and fall accidents or low blood pressure emergencies in his retirement community of Citrus Ridge Senior Community and Golf Resort. The ghastly crime scenes turn the wintertime fun into a terrifying season of death and mystery when the authorities cannot track down the predator responsible.

 Jim and his wife Gloria could escape the horror and grief by returning to their northern home, but concern for their friends and residents keep them in Florida. With the entire community in a dither over the deaths, the Harts participate in the normal winter activities of golfing, dancing, and pool parties with their friends to distract them from the sadness and loss.

 Can Jim and Gloria work with the authorities to discover who or what is killing the seniors on Sunshine Boulevard and stop the increasing body count?

EXCERPT: Chapter One

Gloria Hart burst through the double glass doors of the large multi-purpose room of their park’s community center. She was delighted to see all of the ladies still standing in groups around the large room instead of poised to begin the exercise class. She was running late. Although a resident of Citrus Ridge Senior Community for more than three years, she’d driven along Sunshine Boulevard, the main artery around the park, and missed the turn-off to the community center.

Gloria re-shouldered her heavy bag holding her water bottle and barbells, and moved her rolled exercise mat under her arm to keep it from crushing against her chest. She dropped her bag on the floor and unrolled the mat in the spot she always claimed at every class meeting. Like pew seats in a Sunday morning church service, each person staked out her favorite “place” to exercise and kept it.

She hustled over to join the big circle of friends in their usual space in the room. The ladies shifted a bit to make space for Gloria in the circle. She breathed a sigh of relief knowing she wasn’t late again. Being late was a sign of disrespect, but Gloria respected every gal in this room for exercising their bodies and joining in the group. Perhaps they didn’t all do the moves like their limber instructor, Bridgett, but at least they tried.

Gloria noted several circles of women around the room. A flashback to eighth grade when her clique of classmates stood in the hall before class. Memories danced through her mind of best friends, gossip, and popularity contests. Odd how things were still the same nearly fifty years later.

 “Good morning, everyone.” She smiled widely as she greeted her friends. But instead of the usual happy chorus of “Good morning Gloria,” her friends in the circle weakly smiled with the acknowledgment of her presence. Silence fell over the group. Everyone’s eyes lasered in on her. Gloria felt uncomfortable. What were they waiting for?

Finally, her friend Pamela asked, “Well, are you going to tell us about George McDonnell?” Her voice a higher pitch. “Did Jim hear anything yet?” Pamela’s voice ratcheted even higher.

Gloria turned to face Pamela. “No, I haven’t heard anything. Why? Is he sick?”

“No, he’s dead.” Rosemary, Pamela’s best friend, waited a beat for Gloria to absorb the news. “Jim’s one of the first responders for the park. Wasn’t he called to the scene yesterday?”

“Uh, no. We were gone all day.” The unexpected news slammed her like a wild pickleball, nearly knocking her off her feet and stinging her heart. George was younger than she was for Pete’s sake. He couldn’t be dead. That was incomprehensible to her. She and her husband had just visited him last week. He was a healthy man for his age. Tears stung her eyes when she remembered how excited he was about a fishing trip he’d planned.

Pamela gave her an understanding smile, flashing her perfect teeth—all her own—and touched Gloria’s back.

Gloria studied each woman’s face, hoping one of them would explain further while her mind tried to process the news. Many of the residents in the senior community mistakenly assumed Jim attended every call because he was the volunteer co-captain of the First Responders Unit, but Jim wasn’t on-call yesterday. She hadn’t heard the latest happenings in the park because they’d shopped most of the day at the flea market and relished a delicious fish dinner at their favorite restaurant, Magoo’s, arriving there just in time to get in on the early bird specials.

A flash of guilt surged through her mind. Should she and Jim have checked on George? Maybe they could have saved him if they had stopped by his house before they’d left for the day.

“I can hardly believe George is dead. I had no idea he had heart problems. He seemed to be the picture of health,” Gloria said.

“Oh, no. Nobody knows yet if it was his heart or what killed him,” Bonnie, another woman in the group, announced.

Gloria was puzzled as she saw the looks of horror exchanged by her friends.

“What happened?” Her eyes widened with concern, and then realized she had been drawn into the gossip like everyone else.

Bonnie puffed up her chest and pulled her elbows back as she leaned forward to deliver the big news. “His neighbor, Lottie Carpenter found him. She smelled him rotting in his house.” She wrinkled her nose in disgust.

####

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Do you enjoy stories with quirky characters and humor? 



CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD Terror on Sunshine Boulevard now for $1.50 during the Half-Off Holiday Sale at Smashwords. 

Click here to visit bloggers participating in the #MFRWhooks  Blog Hop!


 

16 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Good! My point was to scare readers! Aren't I awful?? LOL

      Delete
  2. Ugh. I sort of know that smell. we have something in the wall that seems to have died.
    Tweeted.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh my, what a way to end the excerpt: smelled him rotting in the house. I also love this description: the main artery around the park. Lovely start to the novel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt and description!

      Delete
  4. Wow leave us hanging with the scent of his rotting in the house. Good except and blurb! Sounds like a fun exciting read. I love the premise. Going to go check it out. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Teena, you're welcome. LOL...I had fun writing this one!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey, JQ. You have such a range in your writing. This book is sooo good and really scary. Good job. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I am so happy to hear the book is good and really scary!!! LOL...

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  7. A powerful and engaging chapter!
    Your book has been shared on the quarterly Roost Recommendations post and has a permanent home on the Mystery page in the Thriller section.
    https://bit.ly/ReadersRoost

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Ornery Owl--love name! Appreciate you sharing the book on Roost Recommendations and giving it home space on your mystery page! I visited your page and love your sense of humor and straight talk! Good to meet you

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  8. I can smell him from here. Excellent hook.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Jolene, You think that's bad...I had to write about the rotting corpse (and several more)---ewwwwwwwwww. Thank you. Glad you liked the hook.

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