Monday, July 10, 2017

Alison Golden - HORROR IN THE HIGHLANDS is featured in the HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

The Showcase is a special feature of the Author's Spotlight. It is designed to highlight Spotlight author's NEW releases and their soon to be released novels.

The HBS Author's Spotlight SHOWCASES Alison Golden's New Book: HORROR IN THE HIGHLANDS.

Author Alison Golden writes Mystery, Psychology and Paleo Diet & Lifestyle books. Alison is the author of the Inspector David Graham Cozy Mystery series, Diana Hunter Mystery series and the Reverend Annabelle Dixon Cozy Mystery series.

Horror in the Highlands

A Reverend Annabelle Dixon Cozy Mystery Book 5

Author: Alison Golden


When Reverend Annabelle Dixon is given the chance to fill in for the local minister on the tiny, storm-lashed Scottish island of Blodraigh, she sees it as an ideal opportunity to make the most of the trip and spend some time with her brother and seven-year-old niece who live there.

What she doesn’t expect is to be drawn into a web of mystery and intrigue that shows up each and every flaw of the tight-knit islanders.

When a box of valuable jewelry is found and given to her for safe-keeping she stores it in the church, only for it to be stolen that very night. But something much worse is about to happen.

Despite being hampered by a violent storm and the ineptitude of the local police, Annabelle is determined to uncover the source of the mysteries that threaten those she loves dearly and her own sense of justice.

But what she finds is a community filled with suspicion and gossip, where behind every door lies another set of secrets and another suspect.

Now time is running out for Annabelle as she searches for answers. Can she solve the crimes before the culprits strike again? Or before the islanders take matters into their own hands?




A SHORT, SHARP jolt woke Annabelle up, followed immediately by the queasy sensation of being gently rocked on her back. She found herself grasping wildly for something to steady herself, but succeeded only in banging her hand against the solid, cloth-covered wall next to which she lay. After opening her eyes, she went stiff with surprise, struck by the realization that this was not, indeed, her cozy bed in her cozy cottage in her cozy adopted parish of Upton St. Mary.

Her confusion only lasted a few moments, before the gentle chug of railway tracks and the sparse, old-fashioned decoration of the sleeper cabin reminded her of where she was.

Suddenly feeling entirely awake, Annabelle threw aside her sheet and leaped out of the narrow cabin bed, quickly turning to the window. She furiously rubbed at the light mist that covered the glass and gazed through it intently. Her breath stopped, her eyes widened, and her heart began to sing as soon as she saw what lay on the other side of the inch-thick glass. The beautiful Scottish Highlands!

Annabelle was on the Caledonian sleeper train on her way from London to Inverness. She discovered the source of the rocky motions of her carriage when she saw that the train was winding itself along the crest of a riverbank, affording her an almost overwhelming view of the land that was unfurling ahead of her.

“Oh my!” gasped Annabelle, as magnificent, dark-green hills tumbled elegantly among the thick mists of the spring morning. Faint traces of winter snow graced their highest points. Silver-clear water glistened as it made its way over the craggy rocks that lay nestled on the riverbed. Even the gray clouds above, dense and heavy, that threatened to burst forth at any moment, somehow seemed joyous to her. It had been over a year since she last visited Scotland, and though she remembered well enough how impressed she always was by the Highland landscape, memories alone could not capture such magnificence.

She had grown rather accustomed to the quiet, natural beauty of her parish in Upton St. Mary. It was delicate and garden-like. Down there, spring was a time of blossoming color and light breezes that made the budding, sprouting, emerging flora dance cheerfully. Here, however, there was no light breeze. Thistles and nettles stood defiantly, sturdy and proud against the strong winds and heavy rains. One need only look at their surroundings to see why the Scots had a reputation for being a tough bunch. Demonstrations of courage and fortitude were all around them.

While Annabelle was basking in the glorious scenery, she said a quiet, humble prayer, and set about getting dressed. She still had rather a long way to go; yet another train journey, and two ferries to catch before she reached her journey’s end.

Once ready, she picked up her heavy sports bag and made her way to the lounge car where she quickly secured herself a cup of hot tea and a comfortable seat from which to contemplate the view some more. It was an intimate carriage, and there were already a few early-risers enjoying their breakfasts. Annabelle glanced around and was greeted with quiet smiles and deferential nods, attracting instinctive respect despite wearing her regular clothes instead of her customary cassock or her black and white clerical collar.

It struck her that only a very particular type of traveler still took the train. A garishly-colored plane could take one most of the way in a tenth of the time for the same price. A leisurely drive while enjoying frequent pit stops and the company of friends or family, even unswerving solitude, was another alternative. As she sat at her table, it seemed to Annabelle that only those with a very contemplative, appreciative, and patient disposition would choose the train as their preferred mode of transport. It was this type of group that Annabelle was happiest to place herself among.

She sipped from her teacup and reached down into her sports bag for the oatcakes Philippa had prepared for her. As she pulled the foil-wrapped package out of her bag, she could almost hear the voice of her church secretary fussing.

“I don’t care if they do serve food on the train! It’ll be far too expensive and five days old anyway!”

Annabelle smiled as she nibbled delicately before furtively pushing an entire oatcake into her mouth and munching away. She brushed the crumbs from her fingers and sipped the last of her tea. Reaching once more into her bag, Annabelle pulled out the gifts she had procured for the two people who were the reason for this long journey; the two people she loved most in the world, her older brother, Roger, and his daughter, Bonnie.

The first gift was a hand-knitted scarf in red and white. These were the colors of Arsenal football club, her brother’s singular passion during the time they had grown up together in the East of London. The scarf had been knitted by Mrs. Chamberlain, who lived just around the corner from St. Mary’s Church, and who seemed to Annabelle to possess hands imbued with the dexterity of a concert pianist and the flight of a hummingbird. A computer analyst who worked from home, Roger still kept himself abreast of every fixture and transfer dealing that his beloved team were involved in. Annabelle knew the gift would be appreciated, especially on the blustery moors of Blodraigh, the outer Scottish island where he and Bonnie lived.

Roger was a single dad, a widower. His daughter was seven years old. Annabelle had visited her niece almost every spring since the death of her mother when Bonnie was a baby. Now, as Annabelle watched the young girl grow ever more confident, energetic, and tall, the trips had become one of the highlights of the year for both of them. Annabelle adored her niece, finding in her a kindred spirit who loved sweets and laughter as much as she did, while Bonnie, growing up in the rather barren and isolated confines of the island, thought of her aunt as terribly exotic. Bonnie longed to hear tale after tale of what, to her, were the peculiar and far-off people and events of Upton St. Mary.

To the young girl, almost anything beyond the coastline of the island that she had grown up on was the source of mystery, excitement, and intense curiosity. She bombarded her aunt with question after question on the smallest of details. She asked about the types of plants and flowers that surrounded St. Mary’s church, the shops that people frequented, and the fashions and foibles particular to those who lived on the south coast. Annabelle indulged her niece’s inquisitions, finding Bonnie a rapt audience for her accounts of life as an English country vicar.

Though Annabelle did her best to temper the wide-eyed wonder that accompanied her answers to Bonnie’s questions, it often seemed that Bonnie envisioned Upton St. Mary as a bustling metropolis of action and momentum; a place in which the people were determined and always in a hurry; where there was drama and excitement on a regular basis. Whenever Annabelle was tempted to dissuade Bonnie of these notions and convince her that Upton St. Mary was only slightly larger and busier than Blodraigh, she saw her stories through the young girl’s eyes and quickly realized that her own life as the Vicar of the village was indeed rather hectic and often full of surprises.

Bonnie loved nothing more than adventure, and she thought constantly of escape from her narrow existence. It was for that reason (as well as a rather obvious hint in one of her letters) that Annabelle had brought with her a special, limited-edition copy of the latest and hottest children’s fantasy series, Celestius Prophesy and the Circle of Doom. It had been released only a few days prior, and Annabelle had reserved it long in advance, already cherishing the moment she would hand it to her niece.

Annabelle set about wrapping the presents in the paper she had bought during her stopover in London. As she did so, she glanced at the passing lochs and mountains, a sense of satisfaction warming her insides like a glowing hearth. Upton St. Mary may not be a hive of activity and drama, but the persistent requests and quirks of her congregation still kept her busy. It was appealing, exciting, essential even, to squirrel oneself away from those demands every so often. As she always did, she had agreed to give a sermon at the church during her stay on the island, but it would be her only duty. For the rest of her week-long visit, she was determined to enjoy the rest and tranquility that her trip would afford. What could possibly be more pleasing than spending time with her much-loved brother and his daughter amid the serene and beautiful landscape of a Scottish island?

Author: Alison Golden

Author Genre: Mystery, Psychology, Paleo Diet & Lifestyle

Website: Cozy Mysteries
Author's Blog: Alison Golden - the secret life of a warrior woman
Twitter: @alisonjgolden
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Google+: Check Out Google+
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Amazon Author Profile

Author Description: Alison Golden was born and raised in Bedfordshire, England. She writes cozy mysteries and suspense novels, along with the occasional witty blog post, all of which are designed to entertain, amuse, and calm. Her approach is to combine creative ideas with excellent writing and edit, edit, edit.

She is the creator of the Reverend Annabelle Dixon cozy mysteries, a charming, fun series featuring a female vicar ministering in the beautiful county of Cornwall, England. She also produces a Jersey-based detective series featuring Inspector David Graham and the Diana Hunter series, set in Vancouver.

Her books' themes range from the humorous and sweet to harder hitting suspense. They are recommended for readers who like to relax and unwind with their books, who enjoy getting to know the characters, and who prefer the tougher side of life implied.

She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and twin sons. She splits her time traveling between London and San Francisco.

Author's Book List
Grave in the Garage - A Reverend Annabelle Dixon Cozy Mystery Book 4
A body. A crumbling graveyard. A lively, bounding puppy.

When her beloved Mini Cooper breaks down, Reverend Annabelle Dixon stumbles upon a gruesome scene at the Mildred’s Garage… a lifeless hand peeking out from the pit beneath a parked car.

Across the road, Inspector Mike Nicholls is in Upton St. Mary on personal business, yet that business is soon overshadowed as the stalwart, logical detective finds himself embroiled in yet another mystery with the kindhearted, and tenacious, vicar.

Together, they discover who the hand in the pit belongs to, and with two missing mechanics, a money strapped town, some matchmaking, and rumors a-plenty rolling all around the English village of Upton St. Mary, the case threatens to overwhelm them. The hours and clues mount, as the duo sets off on an investigation that soon proves larger, more dangerous, and more mysterious, than either of them could ever have guessed. Thank goodness for the puppy.

Grave in the Garage is the fourth book in the Reverend Annabelle Dixon series, a set of heartwarming cozy mysteries about a country vicar that will make you laugh out loud. If you like small town mysteries full of fun and colorful characters, a strong, yet compassionate female lead, and a hint of romance, then you’ll love Alison Golden’s sweet, humorous storytelling. This book may even restore your faith in humanity.

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Body in the Woods - A Reverend Annabelle Dixon Cozy Mystery Book 3
Buried bones. A boy. And tales of lost loves.

When a young boy is running home through the woods, he finds a bone: a forearm to be precise; a human forearm. This discovery sets in motion the reopening of a cold case that Reverend Annabelle Dixon, it seems, simply can’t leave alone.

In the quiet and relatively uneventful village of Upton St. Mary, gossip arises as word spreads that a body has been found in the woods. Once the investigation begins, the forensic team believes that it has been there for over a decade. But the question remains: who was buried there all those years ago?

In the sequel to Murder at the Mansion, Reverend Annabelle finds herself, once again, in amongst the thick of the investigation. With her knack for gaining people’s trust, winkling out their secrets, and piecing clues together, Annabelle is determined to solve the mystery.

In Body in the Woods, there are laugh out loud moments as Annabelle gets herself into plenty of scrapes. There is also a newcomer to the village with his heart set on love, antagonism with her crush, Inspector Nicholls, and Philippa, her church secretary, once more supplying Annabelle with gossip, cake, and her own little puzzle that gets Annabelle a-thinking.

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Murder at the Mansion - A Reverend Annabelle Dixon Cozy Mystery Book 2
Murder. Mayhem. A madcap lady vicar.

Reverend Annabelle Dixon is the charming, slightly gauche, very tall, thirty-something vicar of St. Mary’s Church located in the picturesque village of Upton St. Mary in Cornwall, England.

Recently appointed to her rural church position, Annabelle is beloved by her parishioners for dispensing good advice and godly wisdom with humor and charm while zipping her Mini Cooper around the country lanes and attempting to build a relationship with her church cat, Biscuit, who, quite frankly, couldn’t care less.

Trouble arises when Annabelle faithfully welcomes a new resident to her quaint parish. Her visit to the latest newcomer, Sir John Cartwright, is two-fold: to greet him and to dispel rumors of shady doings at the manor. This time, however, instead of tea and cakes, Annabelle is served a heaping plate of murder and a fine helping of handsome Inspector Mike Nicholls!

Filled with laugh-out-loud moments and cake and pastry recipes, this humorous, cozy mystery is an excellent introduction to the Reverend Annabelle Dixon series.

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Death at the Café - A Reverend Annabelle Dixon Cozy Mystery Book 1
A brand new female vicar. An accident-prone nun. Two friends. Two killings.

Annabelle and Mary are best friends. But when one gets framed for murder, can the other one save her?

Assigned to St. Clement's Church in an inner-city borough just outside Hackney in London, Reverend Annabelle Dixon brings an enthusiasm and drive to her clerical position that baffles her mentor, Father John, but which soon gains her fans and admiration. Annabelle is not your typical vicar, but her strengths prove to serve her, and those around her, very well.

When Annabelle plans to meet her longtime friend, Sister Mary, a Catholic nun visiting from West Africa, at a local café, little does she know that she will soon find herself embroiled in a mystery of deadly design. Their meeting place is awash with horror, with Sister Mary standing in the middle, shaking, her hand over her mouth and a dead woman at her feet.

Armed only with a note, a disappearing dart, vague hints, and a love of cake, this quick-thinking, quick-footed holy woman must gather the clues, pacify a detective, and find the real perpetrator before both she and her friend wind up in jail.

Part Sherlock, part Father Dowling, Annabelle is a new kind of detective – one who sees the truth in the most unlikely places. If you love solving puzzles, then this suspense-filled, endearing, cozy mystery is just for you. Enjoy following our amateur sleuth as she careers around London. It will have you guessing until the very end!

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Chopped - A Diana Hunter Mystery Book 4
A headless body. A contract killer. His human prey.

Ten years have passed since Diana Hunter, once the youngest spook in the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, was captured by the elusive professional assassin known only as “Surgeon.” Now a magazine editor and a consultant for the Vancouver Police Department, Diana has been taunted for years by the shadowy psychopathic genius who continues to elude the grasp of the world’s top police and intelligence services.

It is two days before the anniversary of her ordeal, and Surgeon has claimed another victim in his gruesome, trademark fashion on the streets of the city Diana calls home. Desperate to bring Surgeon to justice, Diana dangles herself as bait for this ruthless, arrogant killer but her plan goes wrong. Will it go fatally wrong?

Set amid the urban bustle of Vancouver, Chopped is an electrifying game of chess with political undertones played against an opponent whose obsessive mind is working moves ahead. Can Diana and her handsome partner, Detective Peter Hopkinson, outthink this brilliant killer, or will Surgeon’s brutal game continue unchecked?

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Stolen - A Diana Hunter Mystery Book 3
When Vancouver’s elite convenes in the prestigious Four Seasons Hotel to celebrate and fund the new British Columbia Children’s Hospital, it is a night of free flowing champagne, high class regalia and more flash than a museum could house – until suddenly everyone realizes all their precious jewels and baubles are gone.

In the space of one moment, the night turns from joy to confusion…. How did it happen? How were they all robbed, at once… without anyone seeing a thing?

Diana Hunter works for a news and crime magazine, yet her past experience and impressive, Sherlock Holmes-like skills mark her as an asset only the government could have trained.

Those skills are soon put to the test when the Superintendent of the Vancouver Police Department calls her in to work the case. Thrown together with a talented group, Diana must unravel the clues before the ghost like bandits strike again. With two successful heists behind them, Diana begins to fear the bigger picture and realizes that these ‘robberies’ may not just be robberies after all….

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Snatched - A Diana Hunter Mystery Book 2
What would you do if you discovered a dead body? Would you investigate? Try to solve the case before the police arrive?

Would you prattle on about theories regarding the murder, realizing you know almost too much about it? Would you put the handsome detective off balance so that he then accuses you of being the murderer? All before 9AM? No… surely no one would do that?

Clearly, you haven’t met Diana Hunter.

When embarking on an early morning run, Diana notices a man sitting on the ground reading a book. When she returns, she finds he hasn’t moved a muscle since she left her house. She checks him over and discovers that he is stone cold. Once the emergency services arrive, all equipped with a very good-looking, but pompous detective, Peter Hopkinson, she has to continually prove to the detective why she is not the killer while trying to solve the murder herself.

Will Diana find the murderer before the detective does, or will they both discover that something a lot more sinister is going on at Royal Bay Beach?

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Hunted - A Diana Hunter Mystery Book 1
Did Lydia commit suicide, and leave her husband and daughter by choice – or is something more sinister afoot?

Meet Lydia, John, and Diana Hunter. Lydia is a loving mother and wife, who wants nothing more than the best for her family. John is her husband. He is an over-protective homicide detective who loves his wife and teenage daughter with everything he has. Their daughter, Diana, is a genius, with an IQ level far higher than most. This is a family that adores one another. A family, however, that is torn apart by tragedy.

When Lydia is found dead at her workplace, John loses the love of his life. His heart breaks for himself and his little girl as Diana spirals out of control. The authorities rule the death a suicide, but when events don’t start to add up, the family that is left behind begins to suspect something isn’t right.

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The Case of the Broken Doll - An Inspector David Graham Cozy Mystery Book 4
A missing girl. A broken doll. Dark, deviant secrets.

When 15-year-old Beth Ridley vanished on her way to school, it was a mystery that baffled and shocked the small community of Gorey, Jersey. A leg torn from a doll she was carrying was the solitary clue as to what happened that day.

Now, on the tenth anniversary of her disappearance, Detective Inspector Graham is taking another look at the case. His Sherlockian tendencies are set alight.

What he finds will rock the town, stirring memories long buried and forgotten. There are painful truths to face.

And what of Beth? Can Graham uncover what happened? Could she still be alive?

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The Case of the Fallen Hero - An Inspector David Graham Cozy Mystery Book 3
An historic castle. A beautiful wedding. A dead groom.

Former big city cop, Inspector David Graham, is now leading a small group of officers in the tiny coastal village of Gorey. One Sunday morning, as he walks around the imposing Orgueil castle, Graham’s peaceful life comes to a shuddering halt when he finds a woman kneeling beside the body of a stricken man. As the woman’s screams ring out, Graham is there to assist – and to start gathering clues. Was it suicide? An accident? Or something far more nefarious?

Questions lead to trails that send the team digging through the history of not only the affected families, but the castle itself where a quartet of talented musicians have seemingly vanished. Monolithic in size and secrets, Orgueil Castle may reveal answers in the strangest…. and deepest ways possible.

With one dead, four missing, and many long-buried family secrets, Inspector David Graham wonders if there is enough tea to see him through it all.

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The Case of the Hidden Flame - An Inspector David Graham Cozy Mystery Book 2
A new cop. A murdered lover. An eccentric community.

Detective Inspector David Graham has just arrived on the island of Jersey, taking over a rag tag team of questionable commitment and skill at the Gorey Constabulary, a team that he is supposed to lead and develop into a cohesive investigative unit.

Within minutes, his first challenge presents itself when ex-soldier, Colonel Graves, finds a dead body on the beach. As the military man kneels down, he discovers it is his soon-to-be fiancé half buried in the sand…

In a small resort like Gorey, this event is monumental, and almost unheard of. The rumors swirl yet it is the new Detective Inspector’s job, with a bag still packed and travel dust on his shoes, to ferret out the clues and solve the case…while bringing his team along to assist.

With a Sherlock soul, The Case of the Hidden Flame packs humor and intrigue onto a small island of eccentric characters, roiling sea undercurrents, and deceptive coincidences – all accompanied by a fine cup of tea.

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The Case of the Screaming Beauty - An Inspector David Graham Cozy Mystery Book 1
The prestigious Lavender Bed and Breakfast in Chiddlinghurst, England has a rich, Tudor atmosphere, an enviously manicured lawn… And a deadly problem.

A young, beautiful woman, Norah Travis, has been found murdered in one of the rooms with no witnesses and seemingly no motive. Detective Inspector Graham, a man with a singular drive, a penchant for tea, and silent demons of his own, has been brought in to ferret out the perpetrator. Joining Sergeant Harris at the sprawling estate, the duo set their caps to solving a mystery that leaves them frustrated.

It’s a “whodunit” of crafty design with suspects on all sides and nothing clear cut. The proprietors, Amelia and Cliff, have jokes to share and almost nothing to hide, while their long time guest, Tim, seems shiftier. There is an ex-husband, a housekeeper, an old man, and questions galore. But who could it be? It’s a conundrum.

The Case of the Screaming Beauty is a modern murder mystery with an old fashioned feel; a story for fans of Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, and CSI. Enjoy!

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The Modern No-Nonsense Guide to Paleo - Develop Your Skills to Lose Weight, Gain Energy and Take Back Your Health
Are you prone to emotional eating or overeating, even food addiction?

Do you start diets, determined to lose weight for the last time, only to give up, over and over and over again?

Many people get derailed as they attempt to incorporate paleo or other diet principles into their everyday life. They so want to make an enduring success of managing their eating but they don't know how to change or how to make it last.

It is a myth that changing our diets and losing weight are about learning what and how much to eat. If that were true, most of us would be slim.

In The Modern, No-Nonsense Guide to Paleo: Develop Your Skills to Lose Weight, Gain Energy and Take Back Your Health you will read the words of paleo and diet success that are rarely spoken about.

They are almost secrets. Except they are quite simple concepts once you know what they are.

Just think of all those times you failed because you didn't know what is laid out in this book.

The Modern, No-Nonsense Guide to Paleo: Develop Your Skills to Lose Weight, Gain Energy and Take Back Your Health provides practical tools to ease the transition to a full-on paleo life. Each chapter includes strategies, tips and checklists to identify the actions to power you on your paleo journey and create sustainable change and success for good.

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Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
eBook Author’s Corner
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