A series of mysteries where the characters first name is the same as mine? Yes, please! And y’all know how much I love a mystery! The Sarah Bennett Mystery series by Terri Lynn Thomas includes The Spirit of Grace, The House of Secrets, and The Drowned Woman.
As you scroll through, check out the synopsis for all three books, an excerpt from The Spirit of Grace, a little about the author, and…A GIVEAWAY!! Honestly, who doesn’t love a giveaway? Enjoy!
THE SPIRIT OF GRACE
BY TERRY LYNN THOMAS
Publication Date: November 26, 2017
Series: Sarah Bennett Mysteries, Book One
Genre: Historical Mystery
Sarah Bennett doesn’t remember the night her mother tumbled down the stairs at Bennett House, despite allegedly witnessing the fatal fall. There was talk of foul play, dark whispers, and sidelong glances, all aimed at Sarah, prompting her family to send her to The Laurels, an exclusive asylum in San Francisco, under a cloud of suspicion. Now, on the one-year anniversary of her mother’s murder, Sarah has been summoned home. Convinced of her innocence, she returns to Bennett House, hoping to put the broken pieces of her life back together. But when another murder occurs shortly after her arrival, Sarah once again finds herself a suspect, as she is drawn into a web of suspicion and lies. In order to clear her name, Sarah must remember what happened the fateful night her mother died. But as she works to regain her memory, the real murderer watches, ready to kill again to protect a dark family secret.
THE HOUSE OF SECRETS
BY TERRY LYNN THOMAS
Publication Date: April 11, 2019
Series: Sarah Bennett Mysteries, Book Two
Genre: Historical Mystery
Sarah Bennett has two secrets: she sees ghosts, and she is in love with a spy.
When Sarah takes a job with occult expert Dr Matthew Geisler, he promises to help her understand the sorrowful spirit that seems to have attached itself to her.
As Sarah struggles to cope with the ghostly presence, she runs into Zeke, the man who left her six months earlier and is recovering from injuries suffered in an alleged accident. But Zeke has secrets of his own, and when an attempt is made on Geisler’s life, Sarah finds herself caught in a struggle between the living and the dead.
Unsure who she can trust, Sarah must solve the mystery of the soul determined to haunt her, and save Dr. Geisler and herself from an unknown threat.
THE DROWNED WOMAN
BY TERRY LYNN THOMAS
Publication Date: April 16, 2019
Series: Sarah Bennett Mysteries, Book Three
Genre: Historical Mystery
Family secrets won’t always stay buried…
When Zeke’s sister-in-law Rachel Caen was found dead on Christmas Eve, her family assumed that she had taken her own life.
Now five years later, one of the emeralds that Rachel was wearing at the time of her death is discovered at a stonecutter’s house in Portland, Oregon.
With his brother Simon under suspicion for Rachel’s murder and stealing the emeralds, Zeke and detective Sarah are under pressure to clear his name.
But with troubles of their own and in need of a place to hide, the duo return to Zeke’s hometown where a spiritual force helps Sarah find another emerald…
All the fingers are pointing to Zeke’s family; how far will they go to protect their secrets? And will Sarah uncover the killer before it’s too late?
Excerpt: The Spirit of Grace
The blackout curtains were pulled. The ferns that graced the fireplace when I first arrived had been removed. Now a fire burned brightly, but the room was still cold. From now until May, long sleeves would be required in Bennett House. One could get warm by staying near the fire, but the rooms were too big, the ceilings too high in the old house for the fire to heat the rooms thoroughly. On the drinks trolley, an open bottle of champagne sat on ice. I poured myself a glass and walked over to the fire.
“You look absolutely fabulous, darling,” Grace said as she glided over to me and planted a kiss on my cheek. She had on the blue dress again, but she hadn’t bathed, which surprised me. Her hair was dirty, its greasy roots noticeable because of the tight chignon in which she wore it.
As she came over with the champagne bottle, she said, “Here, let me top off your glass.” I smelled booze on her breath. It seemed as though my darling stepmother had started a little early.
I wanted to ask her what she had been doing for the past hour, for she hadn’t been taking pains with her appearance. I was suspicious of her sudden change in attitude and had every intention of keeping my distance. Zeke came in looking gorgeous, despite the cuts and bruises on his face. He smiled at both of us as he picked up the champagne bottle, but decided against it, instead opting for a dollop of single-malt in one of the Waterford highball glasses that had been in the Bennett family for over a century. The crystal glass looked right in his hands. He swirled the glass a couple of times, but did not drink. He turned around and saw me standing before the fire.
I hoped Grace wouldn’t notice the way Zeke and I looked at each other. No such luck. She sat curled up on the settee in the corner, sipped her drink, and watched us with a smug look on her face.
Zeke walked over to the sofa and we sat down next to each other.
“How do you like working for my father?” I asked.
“We haven’t done much actual writing yet. We spend a lot of time discussing plot lines and characters, and I make some trips to the post office,” he said. “Most of my time is spent scheduling book signings and speaking engagements. I’ve never had this sort of job before.”
“How on earth did you manage to get hired?” Grace piped in. “I thought Jack would be more discerning than that.”
“I’m afraid he might’ve felt sorry for me,” Zeke said.
The front door opened and slammed shut. Footsteps clicked on the wooden floor. Gran burst into the room, her face red with fury. She didn’t speak. She marched to the drinks trolley, poured herself a scotch, drank it in one go, and poured another. Zeke, Grace, and I stared at her in silence.
I had never seen her take more than a sip or two of champagne. She took her drink back to the couch and sat down.
I moved next to her and took her hand in mine. “What’s happened? What’s wrong?”
“I don’t want to talk about it, Sarah Jane.” She shook my hand away. “Everything will be fine. I just need to speak to your father.” She stood up.
“Jack’s not here, Patricia. He had a last minute speaking engagement in Atherton at some women’s club. Can I help you?” Grace asked.
“Absolutely not,” Gran snapped. She turned her back on Grace and lowered her voice when she spoke to me. “Sarah, send him to me when he gets home. It is imperative that I speak to him immediately. He must come to my house tonight.”
I had no idea why Gran would entrust me, rather than Grace, with such a message. But I agreed to relay it.
“I must go. Sarah, don’t forget. It’s important.”
“I won’t. Are you not staying for dinner?”
“I’ve no appetite.” She finished her scotch, set her drink down, and left the room without saying goodbye to anyone.
After she was gone, Grace stood up and left the room without a word.
“That was awkward.” Zeke poured himself another drink. He came over with the champagne and poured some in my glass.
Anca came in to say that dinner was ready, and since Grace had gone up to her room and my father wasn’t home, we dispensed with the formality of Anca serving at table, opting instead to eat in the kitchen. Before we ate, I slipped into my father’s office and left him a note about Gran’s earlier visit and her urgent need to see him.
We served ourselves and feasted on vegetable soufflé and tomato soup, along with crusty bread and fresh butter from the Bennett Cove dairy, all by the light of an oil lamp.
Anca regaled us with stories of her family in Romania. Her brother—so she claimed—was the finest horse trainer in the world. “My brother, he could get a horse to do anything. He even taught one how to pick pockets.”
Her sister apparently was a fine musician and could play the fiddle better than any man. She told us about her family’s gypsy lifestyle, traveling from place to place in their vardo—what we would call a covered wagon—and setting up their encampment along the countryside.
After we finished dinner and Anca started clearing the plates, Zeke excused himself, saying that he needed to take care of a few things for my father.
“He is falling in love with you.” Anca washed the dishes while I finished clearing the table.
My heart beat faster. I couldn’t bring myself to meet Anca’s eyes.
“But that is a good thing, no? You have feelings, too.”
“I don’t know,” I whispered.
Anca set the dish towel she was using down on the counter and came over to me. She put her hands on my shoulders, and looked at me, forcing me to meet her eyes. “You are a beautiful, intelligent woman. You deserve a loving husband just as much as anyone else.”
“But what about my past? Should I tell him that I may have—”
“No. You did not push your mother down those stairs.” Anca made the sign of the cross over her heart. “You get to know this man, when you trust him, you share your truth. If he is good, your past won’t matter.” Anca nodded, picked up the dish and said with finality, “He will love you for who you are.”
I wish I had her confidence.
Our kitchen was a spacious room, designed for feeding and entertaining large parties. Off the kitchen was a long corridor which led to Anca’s room, the washing machine, and the servant’s staircase. The whole area was shrouded in shadow, the only light coming from the utilitarian overhead bulb, which was useless now that the storm had taken out the power. A long row of hooks graced the walls, holding the bulk of our raingear, warm coats, and hats. Below the hooks, a row of ancient Wellingtons in all sizes stood lined up, along with Anca’s shopping bags and the linen basket. Grace’s camera bag sat closest to the staircase.
I had just put the silver away and was in the process of laying the used dish towels near the stove so they could dry overnight, when I saw Zeke in the back corridor. Something stopped me from speaking to him or asking what he was doing back here. He must have gone upstairs and come back down again on the servant’s staircase, which no one ever used except Anca and me.
I ducked behind a huge parka and watched as Zeke bent over Grace’s camera bag, unzipped it, and slipped out a black canister of film, all in one quick fluid motion. After he did that, he took another canister of film out of his pocket and slipped that into the camera bag in place of the film he had taken. He didn’t see me standing in the shadows spying on him. He headed back up the stairs, his footsteps quiet as passing time.
I walked back into the foyer and up the main staircase to my own room. Once inside, I locked the door behind me. I changed out of the black dress, fumbling with one hand. The image of Zeke switching the film in Grace’s camera bag ran over and over in my head. I tried to convince myself that he hadn’t been doing anything harmful. Maybe he just needed to borrow some film. But I knew what I had seen. I knew what I had heard this afternoon—Zeke speaking flawless German on the telephone.
The magic I had felt earlier, the possibility of a future with him had been clouded now. Our future together wouldn’t be a happy one. How could it be? I had fallen in love with a spy.
About the Author
TERRY LYNN THOMAS grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, which explains her love of foggy beaches and Gothic mysteries. When her husband promised to buy Terry a horse and the time to write if she moved to Mississippi with him, she jumped at the chance. Although she had written several novels and screenplays prior to 2006, after she relocated to the South she set out to write in earnest and has never looked back.
Terry Lynn writes the Sarah Bennett Mysteries, set on the California coast during the 1940s, which feature a misunderstood medium in love with a spy. The Drowned Woman is a recipient of the IndieBRAG Medallion. She also writes the Cat Carlisle Mysteries, set in Britain during World War II. The first book in this series, The Silent Woman, came out in April 2018 and has since become a USA TODAY bestseller. The Family Secret is slated for release in March 2019. When she’s not writing, you can find Terry Lynn riding her horse, walking in the woods with her dogs, or visiting old cemeteries in search of story ideas.
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away one eBook of each title in the Sarah Bennett Mysteries series!
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on October 7th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, September 9
Guest Post at What Is That Book About
Tuesday, September 10
Excerpt at Bookish Rantings
Thursday, September 12
Review at Just One More Chapter (Book #1)
Friday, September 13
Review at Coffee and Ink (Book #1)
Monday, September 16
Feature at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals
Tuesday, September 17
Review at WTF Are You Reading? (all three)
Wednesday, September 18
Review at A Darn Good Read (all three)
Thursday, September 19
Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads
Friday, September 20
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books (Book #1)
Monday, September 23
Review at History from a Woman’s Perspective (Book #1)
Tuesday, September 24
Feature at Gwendalyn’s Books (Book #2)
Wednesday, September 25
Review at Passages to the Past (Book #1)
Thursday, September 26
Feature at I’m All About Books
Monday, September 30
Review at History from a Woman’s Perspective (Book #2)
Wednesday, October 2
Excerpt at Gwendalyn’s Books (Book #3)
Thursday, October 3
Review at Macsbooks (Books #1 &# 2)
Friday, October 4
Review at 100 Pages a Day (Book #1)
Sunday, October 6
Review at Spooky’s Maze Of Books (Books #1 & #2)
Monday, October 7
Review at History from a Woman’s Perspective (Book #3)