Please welcome this week’s guest author, P.J. MacLayne:

When the idea for The Marquesa’s Necklace came to me, I didn’t think it would be a series. In fact, I didn’t know it would turn out to be a cozy mystery. I thought I was going to write a straight-up love story. The original working title was The Ghost Who Loved Me!

But the more the characters started talking to me, the more I realized how wrong I was. I don’t seem to be very good at simple love stories. I enjoy writing action and adventure. My characters may be your next-door-neighbor type of people, but their lives are anything but ordinary.

For example, take Harmony, my main character. She lives a simple life, spending her time doing research in the local library or on the internet, but her life gets turned upside down when she and her boyfriend are arrested for drug trafficking. She’s innocent, of course, but it’s just the beginning of a string of events that require her to use all her skills to figure out who or what is behind them. She has to, if she ever wants her simple life back.

When I started writing the book, I didn’t expect that it would be anything more than a single book. But here I am, halfway through writing a second one, and knowing that I want to write a third as well. I liked Harmony that much. She was too fun to write, and readers have let me know that she’s fun to read about as well. I’m hoping to release the second one in January 2015, but please don’t hold me to it!

Bio: I’m a computer geek by day and a writer by night. I grew up among the rolling hills of Pennsylvania, and love to use that area as a backdrop to my stores. I currently live in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, and think that I must have been a mountain man in a previous life.

8-18-14 cover

Harmony Duprie enjoyed her well-ordered life in the quiet little town of Oak Grove—until her arrest for drug trafficking. Cleared of all charges, she wants nothing more than to return to the uneventful lifestyle of a historical researcher she once savored.

But when her beloved old car “George” is stolen and explodes into a ball of flames, it sets off a series of events that throws her plans into turmoil. Toss in a police detective that may or may not be interested in her, an attractive but mysterious stranger on her trail, and an ex-boyfriend doing time, and Harmony’s life freefalls into a downward spiral of chaos.

Now she has to use her research skills to figure out who is behind the sinister incidents plaguing her, and why. And she better take it seriously, like her life depends upon finding the right answers.

Because it might.


            “Have a seat, please,” he said, indicating an armless office chair—at least its seat was padded. He sat on the other side of a desk covered with an assortment of files and paperwork, and picked up a file from the top of the stack.

“Harmony,” he said tentatively.

“Detective Thomason,” He might be trying to be friendly, but I still hadn’t forgiven him for arresting me.

He cleared his throat, and set the file back on his desk. “Did you let anyone borrow your car today?” he asked.

“No, my keys are right here.” I started digging through the contents of my purse.

“I’ll take your word for it,” he said, after I pulled out my checkbook, a packet of pink tissues, and a paperback with an almost-naked man on the front cover and piled them on the corner of his desk. His mouth twitched. “Have you made any new enemies recently, Miss Duprie?” I guess he got my message about the terms of our relationship.

“Besides a certain insufferable cop?” Even in the artificial fluorescent light, I saw the red rising in his cheeks. I could almost hear him counting to ten as I pretended to consider the question. “I think Larry, the florist, is ticked off that I’m not receiving flowers anymore. And Bart at the grocery store yelled at me last week when I went through the ten items or less line with fourteen items. But what does that have to do with someone stealing and wrecking my car?”

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