Hi everyone. I’m super excited to have author and friend, Joan Hall, stop by with her latest release, Cold Dark Night. Please make her feel at home.
Thank you for hosting me today, Michele. I’m excited to tell your readers about my newest release, Cold Dark Night. It’s the first novel in the Legends of Madeira series. Each book begins with a historical event that ties to modern day.
Tami Montgomery is the female lead of Cold Dark Night. Shortly after moving to Madeira with her husband Jason, she becomes involved in a historical project. It’s not long before she discovers a strange pattern with the deaths of several past law enforcement leaders.
Madeira’s historical district consisted of several buildings dating back to the late 1800s. When the town began to grow during the mid-twentieth century, many businesses moved south to be closer to the interstate.
The original jail now served as a visitor information office. Newer businesses, catering mostly to tourists, occupied other historic buildings, and a recently restored hotel included a restaurant.
The 1870s courthouse was a museum, the lawn now a plaza with a fountain, vine-covered arbor, and shaded seating areas. Landscaped with native plants, it also served as a place for outdoor concerts and community events. Baskets filled with colorful pansies hung from the overhead coverings along the sidewalks. A sign near the arbor indicated the gallows were once in the same spot.
Tami parked in a space near a sandwich shop, swung her long legs out of the SUV, then took one last breath of fresh air before going inside the jail. The small building was only about twelve by twenty feet. The front section contained an old-fashioned roll-top desk, a table with chairs, and a wood-burning stove. Electric lights had replaced oil burning lamps.
A middle-aged woman smiled in greeting. “Good morning. How can I help you?”
“I’m Tami Montgomery. My husband and I recently moved to Madeira, and I wanted to look around.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m Isabel Cordova. Delores Ramirez is my sister-in-law. She said you might stop by.”
“Nice meeting you.”
“Delores told me you were helping with their project.”
“Yes, I am. My part has to do with the history of our past law enforcement leaders.”
“Then I’m sure someone has told you about Ethan Bass.”
“He’s the reason I’m here.” Tami motioned to the back of the room. “I guess the jail was through that door.”
“It is. Look inside, if you’d like.”
Tami went into the other room, which was comprised of two tiny cells. The doors were open, and she walked inside the one closest to the plaza. The arbor was visible from a small window. Had this been Adam McLaury’s cell? It must have been dreadful looking out at the gallows each day, knowing he would die there.
How had Ethan felt about not being able to stop his friend’s execution? What went on in Lillian’s mind as the day of her husband’s death drew near?
A sudden chill enveloped her, unrelated to the temperature of the room. Her grandmother would say a ghost was walking over her grave.
Taking a deep, calming breath, she hurried back to the front. She’d never been claustrophobic, but the thought of a person spending their last days on earth in that tiny space was unnerving. “Kind of small in there.”
“Hard to imagine what it must have been like in those days,” Isabel said. “The alley where Ethan Bass died is to the right of this building.”
“I plan to check it out. Do you know anything about Lee Hazelton’s death?”
“Some. I was in high school, but I remember when it happened. He was killed in the same alley.”
Tami gasped. “The place where Ethan died?”
“Whoever said history doesn’t repeat itself was wrong in this case. Both law enforcement officers. Both murdered on their way home from work.”
And they both lived in the same house.
New husband, new house, new town… and a new mystery to solve.
Tami Montgomery thought her police chief husband was going to be the only investigator in the family when she gave up her journalism career and moved with him to Madeira, New Mexico.
But after the historical society asks her to write stories for a book celebrating the town’s history, she becomes embroiled in a new mystery. If she can’t solve this one, she could lose everything. Her research uncovers a spate of untimely deaths of local law enforcement officials. Further digging reveals a common link—they all lived in the house she and Jason now share.
Tami isn’t a superstitious person, but the circumstances are too similar for coincidence. Then she unearths an even more disturbing pattern. And if history repeats itself, her husband will be the next to die.