11 November 2019

Murder in the Family | Excerpt + Giveaway


Greed poisons even the sweetest well.

Storm chaser Molly McClelland must return to her small Alabama hometown when she unexpectedly inherits her hoarder aunt’s house . . . and all of its contents.

Despite her suspicions that her aunt was murdered, Molly wants nothing more than to sell everything and get back to the life she loves. Especially once her homecoming reignites the decades-old family conflict that drove her away in the first place. But when Molly uncovers caches of cash, journals revealing secrets-and a body-amongst the stockpiles, she finds herself locked in a cat-and-mouse dance with a deadly endgame.

Molly teams with local sheriff, Greg Olson, to find the truth. But will her determination and his skills be enough, or will the killer-or killers-put an end to their efforts once and for all?

Publisher: Firefly Southern Fiction
Release Date: September 17, 2019


Russell finally took a bite of his omelet. “You made good progress yesterday. How long do you think it’s going to take?”

“A least a half a day per room, just to drag everything out. Probably three days each for the basement and attic.” Molly broke apart the bagel and popped a piece into her mouth. “Five rooms downstairs, seven on the second floor, so two to three weeks to get everything out. I did hire a cleaning service out of Birmingham that specializes in this kind of stuff. They start at the end of the week. The three guys, Betty’s friends, who helped yesterday are in it for the long haul. And whoever volunteers. I’ll start going through Liz’s journals, and I’ll start divvying up the furniture as soon as I can get an adequate list. So I’m hoping to be mostly done in a month.”

Russell cleared his throat. “And the other stuff you found?”

She paused, a portion of bagel halfway to her mouth. She put it down. “That’ll have to wait. I don’t know enough about it, where it came from. I do hope there will be something in the journals.” She glanced at Greg. “What are the next steps where the fire is concerned?”

He shrugged. The shadows around his eyes seemed harsher than earlier, and Molly wondered how much sleep he’d gotten. “That line to the house was definitely spurred by an accelerant. The fire captain is sending a sample off to see if they can tell what it was, but it smelled like gasoline. I’ll check with the local stations, see if they remember anyone buying a large amount in cans, but I’d lay odds they siphoned it out of a car or a tractor. Some of the farms have their own tanks as well. I’ll talk to a few folks, especially the ones on the other side of that grove. But the kids come and go through there all the time. Even if they spotted someone, they might not think anything about it.”

He paused for a sip of coffee. “To be honest, I don’t have a lot of hope that evidence is going to prove anything.”

“Like the shooting.”

He added more sugar to his coffee and stirred it slowly. “We’ll have to wait until someone gets nervous enough to talk. And I won’t be surprised if the two incidents aren’t related.”

“They want to stop my work on the house. Maybe. Or about what might happen if I continue. About something I might find. All of the above. None of the above.” She dropped her fork back on her plate in frustration.

Greg gave a single nod. “But you might want to brace yourself for Bird. He’s never going to think you didn’t set it, especially after the shooting. You’re just tired and want it over with.”

She pushed aside her plate. “I have thought about that.” She considered yesterday’s conversation over the drill bits. “Maybe. He saw what we got accomplished yesterday, and he knows I plan to carry this out.” She shrugged again, and ignored the looks that Greg and Russell exchanged.

Greg put a hand on her arm. “Molly, what are you thinking?”

Bird. She was thinking about Bird, picking up every item off the tables, studying each one as if it were made of gold. There had been a curiosity in his expression, more than just avarice.

She shook her head. “Nothing. Just tired, like you said.” She straightened. “If Bird wants to come at me, let him. It’s not like I’ve not already dealt with his blustering. If life were easy, I wouldn’t be chasing tornadoes for a living.” She smiled at Greg and put her hand over his. “Bird’s just a different kind of storm front.”


Ramona Richards is the associate publisher for Iron Stream Media, the parent company of New Hope Publishers, Iron Stream Kidz, and Ascender Books. She has been an in-house editor for Abingdon Press, Thomas Nelson, Rutledge Hill Press, and Ideals magazine, and has freelanced for a dozen other publishers. The author of nine novels, three books of devotions, and numerous magazine articles, she is a frequent speaker for women’s and writers’ groups, and has presented at numerous conferences across the country. Her latest book, Murder in the Family, released in October from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.


(1) winner will receive two signed copies of Murder in the Family by Ramona Richards (it’s Christmas!), a $15 Visa gift card, and a signed copy of one of the author’s older books!

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 7, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on November 14, 2019. Open internationally except where prohibited by law or logistics. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

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  1. Thanks so much for the chance to win! Love reading mysteries! This one looks so good!
    faithdcreech at gmail dot com

  2. Thank you for the opportunity to win. Mysteries are awesome!