I'm proud to showcase this cozy mystery that looks absolutely marvelous, Venus Rising by Tammy D. Walker.
Almost as soon as recent divorcee Amy Morrison begins her dream job as librarian aboard the world's most expensive luxury cruise liner, she nearly sinks it. She's tasked with hosting the debut of a painting celebrated but hidden for nearly sixty years. But the artist claims the painting isn't hers. And then, the artist goes missing. With the help of a retired academic couple lecturing aboard the ship, a dashing IT manager, and a housekeeping staff with a love of literature, Amy tries to solve the art fraud and kidnapping while rediscovering the adventurous side of herself.
Guests swirled around her. For the first time in her career, and maybe in her life, Amy Morrison stood in the middle of the sort of event she'd dreamed about hosting since starting her library science degree over two decades earlier. She spotted Brent at the doorway.
Brent excused himself from the guests with whom he'd been speaking. "Ten minutes until the unveiling. We want Venus out the window for the official portrait. Memoir, Diane, Venus, and, well, Venus."
"Will the photographer be able to do that? Get Venus with everything else?"
Brent shook his head. "We can edit it in. It's the experience we want to create for everyone here. It'll be the story everyone takes away and tells their friends, their social media connections, the world. Trust me."
"Oh, I do."
"Everyone will be talking about how impressive the painting is alongside the rebirth of Venus, so to speak." Brent checked his watch, a sleek digital band that barely rose above his wrist.
"I hesitate to ask,” Amy said in a low voice. “But isn’t Venus technically setting right now?”
“Details.” Brent waved his hand. “It doesn’t matter which way the planet is going. It’s the story that’s important.”
"But not the book?"
"The book." Brent seemed to stop himself from saying something. Which is what Neil did too often. Amy pushed her pale coral thumbnail into her bare ring finger and told herself to stop it. No thinking about the divorce tonight. No thinking about Neil. "The book is what it is."
"All part of the magic, right?" Which was Neil's favorite thing to say when things were going not as well as planned. She pushed her thumbnail into her ring finger again.
From the Author
My main character, Amy Morrison, is a Texan who loves her tea. We have that in common.
I realized in writing Venus Rising that I'd need a better handle on British etiquette. So I consulted Debrett's Guide to Hosting and Entertaining, of course. Main character Amy had copies of this book and Debrett's Handbook at her library back in small town Dawville, TX.
Writing Venus Rising was my staycation in 2020. I reread a lot of travel books, including Rick Steve's London, and this from my first trip to London and Paris, How to Pack, by Lauren Cardone. It's from 1998, so I ejoyed reading about how to pack older media. I certainly brought cassette tapes and a personal player on my trip in 1999!
As part of the extended "staycation", I dreamed about cruises such as Cunard's Transatlantic Crossings. I also got into the spirit of things by baking some of Cunard's recipes, including their fantastic scones!
Tammy D. Walker writes cozy mysteries, poetry, and science fiction. She's the author of Venus Rising (The Wild Rose Press 2023). As T.D. Walker, she’s the author of the poetry collections Small Waiting Objects (CW Books 2019), Maps of a Hollowed World (Another New Calligraphy 2020), and a forthcoming collection of sonnets about radio communications. When she’s not writing, she’s probably reading, trying to find far-away stations on her shortwave radios, making poetry programs, or enjoying tea and scones with her family.
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It's no secret that I prefer fat HEAs. Where better than in a beautiful romance?
From me to you with a smile.
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