Friday, August 25, 2017

Friday's Film Adaptations: The Puzzle of the Pepper Tree by Stuart Palmer


Summary:
On vacation in California, Miss Withersdiscovers that a twenty-minute plane ride is long enough for murder.

Because of the fog, the man in the brown suit arrives five minutes late for the ferry to Catalina Island. If he wishes to reach his destination today, his only option is the Dragonfly, a twelve-seat prop plane that makes up in speed what it lacks in comfort. The ride is bumpy, and all of the passengers—including a honeymooning couple, a film producer, and a would-be adventuress—find themselves feeling queasy. But none react as badly as the man in the brown suit, who sweats, shakes, and screams, “I’m dying! I don’t want to die!”—and by the time they reach Catalina, he already has.

Vacationing schoolmarm Hildegarde Withers notices the corpse when they’re taking it off the plane. An amateur sleuth with a nose for murder, it doesn’t take her long to deduce foul play. But which of the passengers was dastardly enough to commit murder in mid-air?

The Puzzle of the Pepper Tree is part of the Hildegarde Withers Mysteries series, which also includes The Penguin Pool Murder and Murder on the Blackboard. 

Film
A schoolteacher jumps into detective mode when a fellow airplane passenger gets sick and dies.

Release Date: February 22, 1935
Release Time: 74 minutes

Cast:
Edna May Oliver as Hildegarde Withers
James Gleason as Inspector Oscar Piper
Lola Lane as Phyllis La Font
George Meeker as Roswell T. Forrest, posing as Tom Kelsey
Dorothy Libaire as Kay Deving
Harry Ellerbe as Marvin Deving
Chick Chandler as Dick French
Willie Best as Willie, the porter
Leo G. Carroll as Director Joseph B. Tate
DeWitt Jennings as Captain Beegle
Spencer Charters as Chief Britt
Arthur Hoyt as Dr. O'Rourke
Matt McHugh as Pilot Madden
Morgan Wallace as McArthur / Arthur Mack
Brooks Benedict as Tom Kelsey, posing as Roswell T. Forrest








Author Bio:
Stuart Palmer (1905–1968) was an American author of mysteries. Born in Baraboo, Wisconsin, Palmer worked a number of odd jobs—including apple picking, journalism, and copywriting—before publishing his first novel, the crime drama Ace of Jades, in 1931. It was with his second novel, however, that he established his writing career: The Penguin Pool Murder introduced Hildegarde Withers, a schoolmarm who, on a field trip to the New York Aquarium, discovers a dead body in the pool. Withers was an immensely popular character, and went on to star in thirteen more novels, including Miss Withers Regrets (1947) and Nipped in the Bud (1951). A master of intricate plotting, Palmer found success writing for Hollywood, where several of his books, including The Penguin Pool Murder, were filmed by RKO Pictures Inc.


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📹💉📹💉📹Amazon & B&N are part of the Hildegarde Withers Collection📹💉📹💉📹
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Release Blitz: A Dance with Seduction by Alyssa Alexander

Title: A Dance with Seduction
Author: Alyssa Alexander
Series: A Spy in the Ton #3
Genre: Historical Romantic Suspense
Release Date: July 24, 2017
Summary:
She was the only code he couldn't break...

Vivienne La Fleur is one of London’s most sought after opera dancers and one of England’s best weapons: the spy known as the Flower. When a French agent pressures her to change allegiance by abducting her sister, Vivienne is forced to seek the help of the only man in London who doesn’t want her.

Maximilian Westwood, retired code breaker, doesn't like surprises or mysteries and the Flower is both. When she sneaks into his study in the middle of the night with a coded message, he’s ready to push her out whatever window she arrived through. Except Maximilian is unable to turn away a woman in trouble. Determined to rescue Vivienne’s sister, they engage in a game of cat and mouse with French spies that requires all of Vivienne’s training and Maximilian’s abilities. Bound together by secrecy, they discover there is more between them than politics and hidden codes, but love has no place among the secrets of espionage...


She paced the circumference of the room like a trapped mare. Or a dancer constrained to a space smaller than a stage. “If a deal was negotiated by the king, we cannot interfere.”

Dark curls settled around her face as she returned to his side. Lips curving in a triumphant smile, she sat on the edge of the desktop so that she faced his chair, legs extending out to cross at the ankles. But her breeches. He gripped the carved edge of the desk, unsure what else to do with his hands. Her clothing had never affected him this way before.

“I don’t think ladies should wear breeches. They are too tight on your legs.” As soon as he said the words, he wished he could pluck them back out of the air. Most inappropriate. A gentleman never remarked on a lady’s body. At the very least, he should have said limbs instead of legs.

“I agree.” She was laughing at him again, her smile broadening with good humor. “Though I am not a lady, as you may have noticed, monsieur. I’m an opera dancer with a protector.”

“Of course you’re a lady. Your gender, I mean. Not you. Ah. That is to say—”

A laugh tumbled from her lips to bound through the room and lodge somewhere in his middle. “I do not pretend to be anything more than I am.”

Pausing, listening to the meaning behind her words, he held her gaze. “I know you are a man’s mistress, Flower, but never forget you are more than that.”

“Are you sure?” Deep words to match her unfathomable eyes.

“You are a lady of many layers, and every one of them is lovely.” Maximilian meant every word and more than he said.

“If I were a lady, I would not be a spy, would I?” Her lips were still bowed up as she straightened, but he saw the dark pain in her gaze. “You are sweet, monsieur, to call me a lady.”

She leaned down to look at the document, then turned her head to face him. Her mouth was there. Just there. Lips parted as though she planned to ask a question, though she didn’t. She only looked at him, eyes slowly becoming serious and powerful. They were a beautiful shade, dark brown deepening to black in the center. Her lashes swept down to cover those eyes as her gaze fell to his mouth for a moment, before flicking back up.

Suddenly he could not think beyond her lips. Beyond her face and the fresh scent enveloping him. 

He leaned forward, desperate for a taste, afraid she would bolt, afraid she would not.

And kissed her.

The Smuggler Wore Silk #1
Summary:
"He went looking for a traitor. He found a wife."

A thrilling, seductive adventure from award-winning author Alyssa Alexander…

After he is betrayed by one of his own, British spy Julian Travers, Earl of Langford, refuses to retire without a fight, vowing to find the traitor. But when the trail leads to his childhood home, Julian is forced to return to a place he swore he’d never see again, and meet a woman who may be his quarry—in more ways than one.

Though she may appear a poor young woman dependant on charity, Grace Hannah’s private life is far more interesting. By night, she finds friendship and freedom as a member of a smuggling ring. But when the handsome Julian arrives, she finds her façade slipping, and she is soon compromised, as well as intrigued.

As she and Julian continue the hunt, Grace finds herself falling in love with the man behind the spy. Yet Julian’s past holds a dark secret. And when he must make a choice between love and espionage, that secret may tear them apart.

In Bed with a Spy #2
Summary:
THE BREATHTAKING NEW 'SPY IN THE TON' NOVEL OF REGENCY SUSPENSE FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE SMUGGLER WORE SILK

Revenge has never been so seductive.

When her husband is killed at Waterloo, Lilias Fairchild takes up his cavalry sword and boldly storms the front, earning herself the nickname Angel of Vengeance. But there is another angel on the battlefield who is just as single-minded, and just as ruthless…

Alastair Whitmore, the Marquess of Angelstone, is a British spy. Code name: Angel. Still haunted by a first love felled by assassins, his mission draws him to Waterloo, where he is captivated by a beautiful and mysterious woman fighting amongst the men—a woman who becomes his most intoxicating memory of war.

Passion has never been so dangerous.

Two years later, Lilias and Angelstone lock eyes in a crowded ballroom and the memory returns in an exhilarating rush. The history they share, and hide from the world, is as impossible to ignore as the heat of their attraction. But it’s that very connection that spells doom for their scandalous affair. When someone from the shadows of their past proves a dire threat to their lives, passion might not be enough to save them. 

Author Bio:
Despite being a native Michigander, Alyssa Alexander is pretty certain she belongs somewhere sunny. And tropical. Where drinks are served with little paper umbrellas. But until she moves to those white sandy beaches, she survives the cold Michigan winters by penning romance novels that always include a bit of adventure. She lives with her own set of heroes, aka an ever-patient husband who doesn’t mind using a laundry basket for a closet, and a small boy who wears a knight in a shining armor costume for such tasks as scrubbing potatoes.


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A Dance with Seduction #3
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Release Blitz: For the Love of Beard by Lani Lynn Vale

Title: For the Love of Beard
Author: Lani Lynn Vale
Series: The Dixie Wardens Rejects MC Series #7
Genre: Motorcycle Romance
Release Date: August 25, 2017
Model: Golden Czermak
Photographer: Furious Fotog
Summary:
Tobias knows that women are a lot of trouble, and one in particular is more trouble than most. Yet even with the knowledge that she’s a pain in the ass, he doesn’t stop himself from doing the one thing he knows that he shouldn’t do—fall in love with her.

It’s supposed to be simple. Get in, get the girl, and get out.

What Tobias isn’t supposed to do is fall for the woman he’s supposed to rescue. But he can’t help being intrigued–and amused–by the defiance rolling off Audrey every time he so much as speaks to her.  This fascination only intensifies with every single word from her delectable mouth.

***

It’s been six years since her assault, yet it feels like it happened just yesterday.  Audrey’s sick and tired of feeling so useless. She’s had enough of being scared, she’s doesn’t want to be all alone for the rest of her life. All of that boils down to a woman who’s had enough of not doing anything to reclaim her life.

She’s at a loss as to how to move on, and every attempt she makes results in failure.  Just when she’s ready to quit, a sexy biker is there to push her out of her comfort zone.

Under Tobias’ patient guidance, Audrey slowly makes her way back to herself.  She lands a job that she adores, and she thinks she’s finally found her place in this world. Most surprisingly, though, she finds herself falling in love with a man that honestly scares her to death.

Just when she vows to take that final step that’ll put her past in her past forever, the life she wants to live is yanked away. Leaving her with nothing to pick up the pieces.




Author Bio:
I’m a married mother of three. My kids are all under 5, so I can assure you that they are a handful. I’ve been with my paramedic husband now for ten years, and we’ve produced three offspring that are nothing like us. I live in the greatest state in the world, Texas.


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Release Tour: Sun Storm by Marlow Kelly

Title: Sun Storm
Author: Marlow Kelly
Series: Gathering Storm #1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: August 23, 2017
Summary:
Dr. Marie Wilson is a scientist on the verge of a breakthrough. She has come to Montana on the eve of a blizzard to prove her small, portable solar panel can generate electricity even in the harshest environment. But when four men invade her remote cabin with plans to kill her, she knows she’s in trouble.

Ex-Special Forces soldier, David Quinn, has had enough of danger and death. All he wants is to be left alone on his Montana acreage to pursue his dream of being a beekeeper. But when his old mentor convinces him to help retrieve a stolen solar panel, he thinks it will be a simple job. But the moment he sets eyes on Marie, he knows their assignment is all kinds of wrong.

Together, they escape. Chased by a businessman with unlimited resources, a gunman and a corrupt police force, they are thrust into the frozen Montana landscape. Can a cynical soldier and a naive scientist learn about love and trust in order to survive?


A crack of splintering wood and the door crashed open. Marie jumped to her feet, her heart pounding. A scream lodged in her throat as four men burst in, filling the tiny space. She raced to the fireplace and grabbed the poker.

A handsome blond-haired man led the way. He was so good looking he could be an actor. He had a square jaw and wore a well-tailored leather jacket. Even his fair hair was perfectly trimmed. Two burly men followed, both with dark, short-cropped hair. They could be twins. Their thick bodies and the way they swung their arms reminded her of a pair of gorillas. They also had the same flattened nose and malicious, small, dark eyes. They moved to the back of the room near the sink. The last man had unkempt, long, sandy-colored hair. He wore a crumpled, hooded camouflage jacket and baggy gray pants. A long scar ran across one side of his face, starting at his ear and running through his beard, parting it with a jagged white line. He didn’t say a word. He simply nodded at the poker in her hand and shook his head, silently telling her to drop her weapon.

Sensing that any attempt to fight him would be futile, she let it fall to the ground. “You can take the money. I don’t have—”

“Shut up,” the handsome blond barked. A vein on his forehead bulged as he scowled.

Her heart hammered against her ribs. She prayed they would take what they wanted and leave.

Handsome stepped in front of her and placed the barrel of his handgun between her eyes. “Tell us where it is.”

“What are you doing?” The man with the scar strolled over and stood next to her. In her peripheral vision, she could make out his intense, pale, lifeless eyes.

He leaned close to her face so his warm breath touched her cheek. “This is all wrong.”

A small squeal emanated from her throat. He was too close. Too scary. Killer. The word rang through her mind. The scar, those dead eyes, and his demeanor gave the impression of a lethal, terrifying man.

“What do you mean? Our intel is good.” The vein on Handsome’s forehead throbbed to life.

With one finger, Killer nudged the pistol away from her head. “First, how can she tell us where it is when she’s too frightened to talk?”

Handsome shrugged, revealing a smile with perfect white teeth.

Marie released a huge breath. She needed to do something, but couldn’t focus, couldn’t form a coherent thought.

“Second,” Killer continued, “what do we really know about this situation?”

Handsome sneered. “You were in the army. You know how it is. We don’t make the decisions. We follow orders.”

“And what exactly are our orders?” Killer asked, his voice low and calm.

“We’re to retrieve what was stolen and eliminate the girl.”

There had to be a misunderstanding. She was a scientist, not someone who needed to be eliminated.

Author Bio:
After being thrown out of England for refusing to drink tea, Marlow Kelly made her way to Canada where she found love, a home and a pug named Max. She also discovered her love of storytelling. Encouraged by her husband, children and let’s not forget Max, she started putting her ideas to paper. Her need to write about strong women in crisis drives her stories.

She is an award-winning author, and a member of the Romance Writers of America.


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