The Librarian Shoots a Gun
Audrey Scott is more upset for her jilted cousin than for the best man who supposedly disappeared and caused the cancellation of the wedding. That is, until the cops come around looking for him on suspicion of murder. When that very same best man, Foster McGuire, ends up bleeding in Audrey’s closet, she has no choice but to try and get him off the hook for a crime he didn’t commit.
Too bad there’s too many people, from an irritating homicide detective who’s way too attractive for Audrey’s own good, right to mob bosses, who don’t want to see Foster McGuire tell his story. Audrey is no detective. In fact, she’s a children’s librarian. However, there’s always room for some good old investigation work between story times, and she’s going to use the skills she knows to follow a trail that starts with murder and ends with betrayal, with a whole lot of guns in between.
I stood, hoping that would make him back up some, since I was now on his level. It didn’t make him less intimidating. He was still like seventy-two inches taller than me. “I already had this conversation with Pennyworth.”
mith moved close enough that I could have touched him if I raised my hand. My plan clearly wasn’t working. Now I wished I had remained seated, since he only could have gotten so close if we were level. I focused my attention on the middle button of his white and blue striped dress shirt, refusing to give any indication that he made me nervous. I knew a predator when I saw one, and I knew that weakness made a predator strike. I would show none.
“What did Pennyworth tell you?”
“If I see Foster, tell Pennyworth first. You’re trying to send Foster to the big house on a way train to setupville, blah, blah, blah. Since neither of you are remotely interested in hearing that I don’t know Foster McGuire, let alone have some deep and abiding relationship with him, I’m not surprised that you’re doing this shtick, too.”
“Okay, listen to me, Audrey.” The words were low, intense, and spoken slowly as though to emphasize every single syllable. I couldn’t help but look up at him. Everything about him was designed to ensure he wasn’t questioned. “This is very important. For the love of all that is holy, do not tell Pennyworth first.”
I raised my eyebrows, shaking off the daze his words and attitude left me in. “Well, Pennyworth went for the sympathy factor. I guess you’re going in for dramatics.”
He flinched slightly. At least, I thought he did. It was kind of hard to tell with the sunglasses and the static features. “I wasn’t trying to be dramatic. I’m just saying. Pennyworth is my partner. What’s more he’s the senior partner. But he’s about to retire, and a big collar would be a great way to go out in a blaze of glory. That’s all I’m saying.”
“What do you care anyway? What if Pennyworth is looking to score a big arrest? It’s not like Foster’s your friend.”
He didn’t answer for a long second, and seemed to find something of interest somewhere to my left. “Let’s just say that I’m a big fan of justice.”
I had no idea what to make of that. “Okay, Batman. If Foster McGuire comes to me, maybe I’ll let you know.”
His mouth twitched. “I suppose that’ll have to do.”
There was a long moment of silence between us. He looked down at me, his head cocked to the side like he was considering something. A gust of wind gave me the shivers suddenly, even though it was brutally hot. The scent of Smith carried on the breeze, like wood smoke and spices, even though I didn’t have clue where he could have been exposed to open flame.
A woman called shrilly for her twins, unfortunately named Derek and Eric. The kids ignored her, but Smith jerked his head in her direction as if by compulsion. His upper lip twitched, but otherwise there was no reaction from him. Not that I could tell, because he was still wearing those stupid aviator sunglasses. Just like always.
“Why do you wear those, anyway?”
He glanced back to me, seeming suddenly surprised to see me. “What?”
“The glasses. You wear them inside, too. It’s really weird and rebellious. Especially since everything else about you is so…laced up.”
The corner of his mouth twisted. I wasn’t sure if it was trying to be a smile or a frown. Whatever it was, the expression never really manifested. “It’s because…well, it’s because of my eyes.”
“Like, they’re sensitive to the sun or something?”
This time I was pretty sure the twist was supposed to be a smile. “No. They make people…uncomfortable. I was very aware of the discomfort others were experiencing when they looked at me, and especially of how memorable that discomfort was. I can’t wear contacts. I have an allergy to the polymers. It’s just easier to wear the glasses.”
I cocked my head. I remembered his eyes as being strange, but not so weird as to leave people with lasting bad feelings. Had I forgotten something? Maybe. Our meeting was a little fuzzy now. Or maybe it was just him being sensitive.
“Are you sure that’s why you made them uncomfortable? You are a little…intense.” He was silent for a moment and then pulled off the glasses, meeting my eyes head on. For a second, I was just shocked to find him looking at me so intently. I pulled in a hard breath, struggling to remain impassive and make a scientific perusal of his eyes. I raised mine, making a point to take in every detail. The irises were pale and silvery. I remembered that. I hadn’t noticed the rest, though, in my aunt’s parlor. The color was hardly darker than the whites around it, shot through with hints of soft bluish lavender and an occasional injection of a darker cornflower blue near the pupils. Fringed with dark lashes, they were incongruous and, he was right, strange. A little disconcerting.
So incredibly beautiful. Breath caught in my throat, struggling for some way to release. My temple thumped,
reminding me of the desperate need to inhale. When I did, it was a low gasp, nothing that would normally come out of my throat. His pupils expanded instantly, darkening his eyes to almost a normal blue. My pulse thumped violently at my throat, like a wild animal struggling to get out. Why did he have to be so hot? Why, why, why?
I tore my eyes away, desperate to meet anything but his gaze. At some point I’d either moved to closer to him, or he’d moved in my direction. I didn’t even know which it was. How did that even happen? I backed away, the pits of my knees banging into park bench. Was I out of my mind?
“Well, anyway, I don’t know anything,” I blurted out, practically yelling. It came out of nowhere, nothing but a lame attempt to get him out of my space before I made myself sorry. He blinked, the first overt sign of confusion I’d ever seen in him. Really, of anything at all, except annoyance.
“Of course.” He stepped away from me. It didn’t read like he was nervous, disconcerted, as confused as I was. I felt the distance keenly. I repeated not my type a few dozen times in my head, just to reinforce it. Then added not Mormon in case my type didn’t give a crap if he fit there.
Amber Gilchrist lives in New Mexico with her husband and three children. She writes YA for upper teens, as well as LDS Romantic Comedies. She calls her lifetime of jumping from one job to another 'experience' for her books and not an inability to settle down. Amber loves mysteries and a good, happy romance. She also loves to laugh. Sometimes she likes all of them together.
A fan of quirky movies and indie books, Amber likes to be with her family, is socially inept, and fears strangers and small yippy dogs. She alternates between writing and being a mom and wife. She tries to do both at the same time but her kids don't appreciate being served lunch and told, "This is the hot dog of your discontent." So mostly she writes when everyone else is in bed.
Amber loves to hear from readers and can be reached at email@example.com
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Top Ten List
- Chicken fried steak and country gravy
- Zootopia and Kim Possible
- Baby monkeys
- Mysteries and romantic suspense
- Tap dancing
- Small towns
When did you start writing, and was there a specific event or person who influenced you to become an author?
I started writing novels in 8th grade. My mother says I wrote as a child, but I don’t remember that. I didn’t have a specific influence to become and author, but I was a voracious reader. My childhood was tumultuous, and reading was a major saving grace for me. I loved all different kinds of books, and I think that did influence me, but a single person, I can’t really think of one.
How many books do you have out, and do you have a favorite?
I have eight books out. Nine will come out in December. I think my favorite book is Into Darkness Peering, which never did well commercially, but I do love it. My second favorite in the mystery we’re talking about today, The Librarian Shoots a Gun. It’s really important to me, because eventually it will touch on a lot of issues that matter to me as a parent, and as a human being. There’s a complexity there that I enjoy.
How do you come up with character names?
My husband is so anal retentive about names haha. We can never agree on any names. Our youngest bio daughter was in the NICU for ten days and she was Baby Girl Last name for that entire time because we couldn’t agree. So most of the time that I use a name, it’s a name I proposed for one of our six children that has been rejected. He doesn’t like any of the names I like! So I have a pretty endless supply of useable names lol.
Do you have a favorite author?
Oh, I have many favorite authors. I loved Lois Duncan as a child, and I love to give that to younger children when I know they enjoy reading. I love Erica Spindler, Harper Lee, Gemma Halliday, I love the Charlaine Harris Grave Sight books, but I’m not such a big fan of some of her other stuff. I love Karen Robards, but only the romantic suspense, not the historicals. Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael books. I love Amanda Quick, because she writes a lot of scientist heroes, and I just love scientists. I love David Eddings. I used to really enjoy Robert Jordan, but it got to be a bit much for me by book ten of the Wheel of Time series. I loved the book Stinger by Robert McCammon, but I didn’t get into his other books I tried to read. I really enjoy circa 80s Dean Koontz. I adore Julie Miller as a person and a writer. She’s able to take small category length books and still give them texture and emotional meaning. That’s a real skill. Tracy Andrighetti, who’s a clever, hilarious author, and a fellow adoptive mom. I could seriously go on forever haha.
What is some of your favorite or memorable books that you’ve read?
Oops, I think I answered this above kind of. To Kill a Mockingbird made a huge impact on me, as did The Great Gatsby. Locked in Time by Lois Duncan. I still remember reading a book when I was in elementary school about some living dolls in the wall of the attic. It sounds like a horror novel haha but it wasn’t. I can’t remember what it was called, but I always remember the book. I checked it out several times. I read all the books in the Belgariad in one or two days reading straight.
What is one piece of advice you could give to a new author that you wish someone had passed to you?
I truly believe that reading or going to classes about craft is less productive than just writing, writing, writing. Literally, just write. Spend those hours you’d spent taking some class writing twice as hard. Not to say there’s no value in these classes or books, but real experience, in my opinion, will trump that every day. For me, I avoid whatever genre I’m writing at the time, because I don’t want to unconsciously pick up and copy trends, but for someone who is still learning the ropes, I recommend reading a lot of whatever you’re writing so you can pick up the rhythm and feel of the genre.
Book Review by Bree Herron
The Librarian Shoots a Gun was a first for me by this author, and it won’t be the last. I loved Audrey! She is this quirky, fun, librarian that well, as many mysteries goes happens upon murder. Knowing as much as this bibliophile does, one would think she would have answers for many things, including guns… Sadly, Audrey is going to need a crash course in this.
All of this and more made me Laugh Out Loud, I was grinning through this book. I was picturing myself as Audrey (Hey, this Librarian can dream). Only I certainly wouldn’t be as cool about solving crimes as she is. In fact, I would run away! Audrey isn’t your typical librarian, she is one that can handle the reference desk and solve crimes with a smile.
As this is the first in the series, I see a lot of potential for growth with the characters, relationships and of course more belly aching laughs. I predict a bestseller in the cozy-mystery group on Amazon. Get your’s while you can!
Please join the conversation and comment below. Have you read… If so what did you think/like?
**DISCLAIMER: I was provided an opportunity to read this book as an Advanced Reader Copy in return for a fair and honest review.
July 26-Sally Johnson;Amazon
July 26-Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog http://fictionalrendezvousbookblog.blogspot.com/
July 27-Penny Writes pennybrojacquie.blogspot.com
July 27-Room with books roomwithbooks.com
July 28- Book Addict http://cherylanne57.com
July 28- Anna del C. Dye official blog http://www.annadelc.com/blog
July 29- Murphy’s Law www.murph4slaw.blogspot.com
July 29-Bibliophile Reviews https://bibliophile.reviews
July 30- Natural Bri www.facebook.com/naturalbripage
July 30- Nicole’s Book Musings http://nicolesbookmusings.blogspot.com/
July 31- A Motley Vision http://motleyvision.org
July 31- The Phantom Paragrapher www.thephantomparagrapher.blogspot.com
Aug 1- Talia’s Reviews http://taliasreviews.blogspot.com/
To celebrate her tour, Amber set up The Librarian Shoots a Gun Book Tour Give-A-Way. Enter to WIN!