30 March 2019

The Sleuth's Dilemma | Excerpt + Giveaway


Anna loves her job as a high school English teacher until everything goes sideways. The one bright spot in her life is Titus Gains, the school counselor, who is there for her at every turn.

Titus’ boss complicates his ordered world when she tasks him with running a meeting that changes everything. How had he not noticed Anna earlier? Someone is out to destroy her, and he can’t let that happen.

As the head of the English department, part of Luke Harms’ job is to make sure everything runs smoothly. Things went haywire when Anna was put in charge of the big writing contest. Entries are missing, Anna appears to be in danger, and her job is on the line. Luke is investigating and wants to make things right for this woman he’s starting to care about.

Can a trio of school officials along with Nancy Daley, the town sleuth, stop the saboteur before it’s too late? And will Anna choose the right man, or lose them both?

Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink
Release Date: February 1, 2019



Titus parked his pickup along the street near Tipton Park. Rudy, his two-year-old Labrador Retriever barked.

“Hold on.” He got out and patted his leg. “Come on, boy.”

Rudy leapt from the cab of his pickup and danced in a circle.

Titus laughed. He closed and locked the door then jogged toward a grassy knoll. Rudy loped ahead of him a few feet. Anna’s mention of her dog needing exercise reminded him it had been a while since he’d brought Rudy to a park. He tossed the ball he’d brought, and Rudy tore after it.

Titus looked around, taking in the green space. Cherry blossom buds colored the trees. Young mothers watched their little ones climb on the play equipment that would rival the playgrounds in a city twice the size of Tipton. Rudy bounded toward him and dropped the ball at his feet. “Good boy.” He grabbed the ball and tossed it again.

“Well, this is a surprise.”

He turned and saw Anna strolling toward him with a white ball of fluff on a leash. “I’ll say. This must be Freddy.”

Anna grinned, and her eyes widened. “You remember names better than you let on.”

Rudy slid to a stop and dropped the ball. Then he noticed Freddy and moved close for a sniff-and-greet.

Anna watched the dogs closely. “They seem to like each other.” She reached down and unhooked Freddy’s leash. “Hopefully this little guy won’t run off. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to chase after him.” She tossed Freddy’s ball. “Here’s to hoping.”

Titus threw Rudy’s ball too, and both dogs tore after the toys. “Have you made any progress on the writing contest?” He glanced her way, but kept his attention focused on the dogs.

“Not much. I printed off last year’s rules. Fortunately, the deadline and rules were already posted on the school’s website. So now it’s only a matter of judging.”

“I’m really sorry about how all of this was dumped on you. Apparently, Ms. Porter had forgotten that she’d promised Luke he didn’t have to do it this year. She’d hoped he would help train you, but we know how that turned out. I suggested skipping it, but apparently this contest is a huge deal to a lot of the students.”

“It is, and I wouldn’t want to see it go away, but I sure wish I hadn’t had that contest dropped on me at the last minute. I feel so behind already. There’s a lot that I should’ve been doing in preparation, but now I have to wing it. Not my favorite way of doing things.”

Anna looked wistfully toward the dogs as they trotted back to them.

“I would imagine not. If there was any other option...”

Anna shook her head. “Sorry, I know it’s not your fault. I won’t complain again. I promise.” She crossed her heart with her pointer finger.

He chuckled. “Relax, Anna. I don’t mind a little venting. I wasn’t all that happy when I was told I had to run the meeting. It doesn’t fall under my job description.”

“I’m afraid Ms. Porter is like that. You’ll get used to the way she does things.”

The dogs lost interest in chasing their balls and began to follow their noses around the park. “Think we should trail them?”

“Probably.” She sauntered after the animals.
He kept pace. “Tell me about Tipton.”
She shot him a startled look. “You’ve lived here since August, haven’t you? That was seven months ago.”

He nodded. “I don’t get out much.”
“What do you want to know?”
He shrugged. “Anything. I’ve been married to my work, and other than trips to the grocery store and coffee shop, I haven’t been out. What do people do here for fun?


Award winning author Kimberly Rose Johnson married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing. She especially loves romance and writes contemporary romance and romantic mystery that warms the heart and feeds the soul.

Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.


(1) winner will win:

$15 Amazon gift card

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight March 26, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm April 2, 2019. Open internationally as long as winner can accept gift card from US Amazon. Void where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

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  1. This book sounds like a very interesting read.

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt, Rita!

  3. Thanks for hosting my book!

  4. Thank you for being part of the blog blitz for "The Sleuth’s Dilemma" by Kimberly Rose Johnson.

    Enjoyed the excerpt and would love the opportunity to read this book from my TBR list.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  5. Thank you for hosting!