In the city of roses and ruins…

Remember that book I was writing back in the spring, about the timid librarian and the dashing FBI agent? The play-with-it-for-10-days-to-see-how-it-goes-book?

To refresh your memory, I wrote about it HERE and HERE.

Well, it’s come full circle, back to me, and now it’s coming to you!

Here’s the lovely cover:

(And yes, I do think it’s lovely. Some folks apparently feel the young man is a little “stiff” – someone even used the word “wooden,” I’m sure quite innocently and with no intention of sexual innuendo – but I like it.)

As an aside, it can be very hard to find a royalty-free stock photo with two people who both look reasonably like the people in the book… because I do want them to look reasonably like the characters. It doesn’t have to be exact, but if the girl’s a blonde and the guy’s dark-haired, I do prefer a blonde and a guy with dark hair on the cover. Maybe that’s just me.

Carrying on: it’s hard enough to find two people of the right age, with roughly the right attributes, but then they have to wear roughly the right clothes too – or clothes at all, really, since you’d be surprised how easy it is to find stock photos of naked people. This isn’t that kind of book, though. There’s a naked scene, sure, but it’s really more a mystery or a suspense than it is a romance.

So they have to look right, they have to be dressed, and the whole atmosphere of the photograph has to be right. In this case, he’s an FBI agent – hence the crisp white shirt and business slacks – and she’s a librarian (with glasses), hence the timid look on her face. Finding stock photos of girls with glasses in the company of good-looking men is darn near impossible, FYI, so she’s not wearing glasses, but they’re in her hand. I swear.

And of course it’s purple, and I love purple, so as far as I’m concerned, it’s all good.

As for the story, it’s 62,000 words of mystery, romance, and suspense. Here’s the blurb:

A shy librarian and a dashing FBI agent must work together to catch a killer and recover a priceless silver treasure in this light and sweetly romantic suspense novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the Do It Yourself Home Renovation mysteries and the Cutthroat Business mysteries.

On the island of roses and ruins, love awaits and danger lurks.

When Annika Holst’s father dies, it’s up to the young librarian to carry out his last will: to take his ashes back to his hometown, medieval Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea.

But no sooner does the plane touch down in Stockholm, than the bag with the cremains goes missing. A young American named Nick Costa comes to Annika’s aid… but can she trust the handsome stranger? And what of Curt Gardiner, another young man from “back home,” also visiting his mother’s native Sweden?

To catch a murderer, recover her father’s ashes, and find a missing Viking treasure, Annika has to put her trust in one of them. But the wrong choice could mean not only the loss of her heart… but of her life as well.

Sounds good, yeah?

Just so you know, the FBI’s Art Crime Team is real. This is their logo; innit pretty?

I’d have cribbed it if I could, and put it on the cover, but I didn’t dare. I mean, they are the FBI, right? They probably wouldn’t appreciate it. Bad enough that I’ve appropriated their organization; I don’t have to appropriate their logo too. But this is the reason for the title, and also the series title, up there in the corner of the cover. ACT-1.

(Yes, there’s a chance – a good chance – there’ll be more than one ACT book. I just have to square away a few other commitments first. Like the second SFR, the seventh DIY mystery, and the sixth Cutthroat Business mystery, in roughly that order. Talk to me again in the spring.)

In the meantime, if you want to give Act of Redemption a try, you can get an eBook from Amazon, Barnes and NobleSmashwords, or Kobo. Sony and the iBookstore will take a little longer, since they’ll go through Smashwords and it can take a couple of weeks. But the book is coming there too. It’s $2.99, FYI, and totally worth it, if I do say so myself.

(And yes, if enough people ask for a print version, I will absolutely put one together. Just as soon as I have a chance to breathe.)

Anyway, there you have it. If this sounds like something you’d enjoy, go forth and buy. I hope you’ll like Nick and Annika!

5 thoughts on “In the city of roses and ruins…”

  1. I also remember the excerpt. And I like the cover. And I can sort of see the glasses in her hand behind the text too.

    And don’t worry about appropriating the FBI departments. They get appropriated all the time. Just think of all the books, TV shows, and movies about the FBI (I’m a big fan of the TV show “White Collar” which is about the White Collar crimes division).

    You might have a point about the logo, though. =)

  2. I just bought a copy of the e-book. Looking forward to reading it. Also very excited about your comment that you’re working on the 6th book of the Cutthroat series!

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