Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Book Blast and Giveaway: The Madness of Mercury (Zodiac Mystery #1) by Connie di Marco

Welcome to my stop on the book blast for The Madness of Mercury by Connie di Marco. This book blast was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as the blast wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the rest of the stops on the book blast for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: The Madness of Mercury
Series: Zodiac Mystery #1
Author: Connie di Marco
Publication Date: October 8th 2020
Print Length: 268 pages
Genre: Cozy Mystery
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The Zodiac Mysteries feature San Francisco astrologer, Julia Bonatti, who never thought murder would be part of her practice.
 
In The Madness of Mercury, Julia’s outspoken advice in her newspaper column, AskZodia, makes her the target of a recently-arrived cult preacher who advocates love and compassion to those less fortunate. But the power-hungry preacher is waging war on sin and his Army of the Prophet will stop at nothing to silence those who would stand in his way. Julia is at the top of his list.

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EXCERPT:
As I stood in line at the checkout counter of the bookstore an uncomfortable feeling stole over me. Was I being watched? I turned slowly and surveyed the customers in line behind me. No one looked suspicious. No one turned away suddenly. Just holiday shoppers focused on their own business. As I turned back, my eye caught someone standing at a table close by, separated by a metal bar from the line of shoppers. A man, dark hair, black jacket, seemingly immersed in a book he was holding in his hands. No shopping bags in sight. Something about him . . . I mentally shook myself, pushing the thought out of my mind. I was being paranoid. Nerves were getting the better of me.

When I reached the street, the wind had picked up. Shoppers were doing their best to hang onto their packages and hats and scarves. I pulled up the hood on my coat and, protecting my few finds, headed back to the square. I climbed the steps to the top of Union Square and took cover inside the small coffee shop. The aroma of freshly ground beans filled the space. I ordered a cappuccino and carried it gingerly to a stool near the window where I could watch the skaters on the ice rink under the tree. Maybe this was picking at old wounds. Maybe I just wanted to remember a happier time.

The windows were completely fogged. I rubbed the condensation away with the sleeve of my coat and peeked out. The top of the seventy foot tree and its huge bulbs swayed back and forth in the chilly gusts. Michael and I used to skate here. He was hopeless on his rented skates and wouldn’t believe me when I told him it wasn’t his ankles, his skates were too large. We’d manage a few passes around the rink, before we’d collapse, laughing on the ice. For a split second I saw his smile and felt the warmth of his hands, remembering how safe I felt when he put his arms around me. An aching so acute swept over me I didn’t trust myself not to burst into tears. What is it about the holiday season that brings our missing pieces into such sharp focus? Loss and pain may be there at other times, but somehow it doesn’t hurt quite so acutely. Maybe stopping here wasn’t such a good idea. I needed to quit feeling sorry for myself. Michael would have been disgusted with me. I was pathetic. I snuffled and rummaged in my purse for a tissue, blowing my nose and wiping my eyes, hoping anyone watching would think I was down with the flu. Suck it up, Julia.

Bundling up against the cold, I retraced my steps and approached the garage entrance. Two people, a man and a woman, doing their best to stay warm under the overhang of the garage were handing out flyers. One stepped in front of me, blocking my path and shoved a flyer at me. Annoyed, I grabbed it and walked briskly into the garage. I glanced down at an announcement of services at the Prophet’s Tabernacle. I sighed, and crumpling the paper up, tossed it in a nearby trash can.

I took the elevator down to the lowest level where I had parked. I stepped out and glanced around. In contrast to the crowds of people above on the streets, not a soul was in sight. I felt a frisson of fear. Why was it so deserted? My nerves were just on edge, I decided. I was imagining threats where there were none. I took a deep breath and hurried to my car. I unlocked the door and threw my bags onto the passenger seat. Before I could turn the key in the ignition I glanced in the rearview mirror. A face in a ski mask stared back at me, the eyes bright in the ambient lighting. A gasp caught in my throat. My heart raced as a gloved hand pulled my head back and covered my mouth. I felt the sharp prick of a knife point at my neck. I froze. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t speak.

“Forget about the Prophet. Make sure you keep your big mouth shut or my next visit won’t be so nice,” he growled. He pulled the knife away, let go of my jaw and jumped out of the car.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries featuring Julia Bonatti, a San Francisco astrologer who never thought murder would be part of her practice: The Madness of Mercury is the first in the series. Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the author of the national bestselling Soup Lover’s Mysteries from Penguin Random House. You can find her excerpts and recipes in The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. Connie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, The Crime Writers Association and Sisters in Crime.

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GIVEAWAY:
Connie di Marco will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Goddess Fish Promotions and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

77 comments:

  1. My brother would like this book.
    Thanks for the contest.

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    1. You're very welcome! I hope he gets to enjoy the first Zodiac Mystery soon!

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  2. bad past into add book. Should be https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4299285-sarah

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  3. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. Hi Debbi, so glad you enjoyed the excerpt and thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Ominous cover! Sounds great! I have always been fascinated with cults

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    1. Oh me too, that's what inspired me to write this story, Katie! There's more about Jim Jones and his cult on my website, if you're interested (conniedimarco.com)

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  5. this sounds like an amazing book to read, great cover

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    1. Thank you! I hope you're able to enjoy Julia's first adventure soon!

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  6. I love a good mystery Thank you

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    1. Hi Paige ~ my favorite genre too! That's why I love writing them.

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  7. Excellent excerpt, The Madness of Mercury sounds like a great book for me to enjoy and I like the cover!

    Thanks for sharing it with me and have a wonderful day!

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    1. Thank you! I really love all the covers for the Zodiac Mysteries. They were designed by Hannah Linder and she did a fabulous job!

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  8. The Madness of Mercury by author Connie di Marco sounds like a book that will keep readers perched on the edge of their chairs!

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  9. The cover hit me first- I love it- after reading the excerpt about the book I was hooked-thanks

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    1. Fantastic! I really hope you enjoy Julia's first adventure!

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  10. Congrats on your tour! Best wishes.

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  11. I think it sounds like a good story.

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    1. It was a really exciting story to write, Sherry!

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  12. Wow! I'm going to check the back seat when I get in my car for awhile. This is scary.

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  13. sounds very interesting. I sure like my sci-fi books.

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    1. I like those too, but I guess I'm more of a mystery buff!

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  14. David HollingsworthAugust 24, 2022 at 5:52 PM

    This book sounds good.

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    1. Hi David, hope you get to enjoy Julia's first adventure!

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  15. Do you have any advice for new writers?

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    1. Hi Jamie ~ great question! Just keep writing and don't give up. And make sure you have good editors to critique your work. Good luck!

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  16. I enjoyed this excerpt from the book

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    1. Thanks, Maricela, so glad you enjoyed this excerpt!

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  17. The book sounds interesting, email. r.d1@myfairpoint.net

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    1. Hi Deb, I hope you have a chance to read the first Zodiac Mystery! I see your email, would you like me to add you to my newsletters? I send out about 4 per year.

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  18. thanks this sounds pretty interesting

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    1. Oh, you're welcome. This book is close to my heart!

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  19. looks like a fun one

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    1. Thanks, Daniel, hope you get to enjoy Julia's first adventure!

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  20. What is your favorite show to binge watch?

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    1. I'd have to say Bosch, Shetland and Vera. Great shows!

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  21. The excerpt is interesting. Thank you for sharing it.

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  22. Is anyone in your immediate family an author?

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    1. Not at all, Margaret. No one. Thanks for stopping by!

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  23. David HollingsworthAugust 25, 2022 at 5:36 PM

    Happy Thursday!

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  24. My daughter would enjoy this book

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    1. I hope she gets to enjoy Julia's first adventure soon!

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  25. How do you think the world will end?

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  26. When you write, do you like to be in a certain place, or have a favorite drink?

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    1. Hi Seyma ~ I'm always at my computer at home, I just can't focus if I'm on a laptop anywhere else, like a coffee shop.

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  27. Thank you so much for hosting this giveaway!

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  28. Where is your favorite place to write?

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    1. I like to be home at my own computer, that's the best place for me to stay focused, with no distractions of any sort.

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  29. Replies
    1. Oh, you're very welcome, Debbi! Thanks for stopping by!

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  30. thanks for the giveaway and good luck with the book

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  31. The contemporary mystery sounds fun to read.

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    1. Hi Jen ~ I hope you'll be enjoying one of the Zodiac Mysteries soon!

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  32. Congrats on your tour! Sounds amazing! Thanks for the giveaway too!

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    1. You're very welcome! I hope you can enjoy the Zodiac Mysteries soon!

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  33. David HollingsworthAugust 26, 2022 at 6:06 PM

    Congratulations on your book!

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  34. The Zodiac Mysteries featuring Julia Bonatti sound like very entertaining books.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. Hi Nancy, thank you! Best of luck and thanks for stopping by!

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  35. Replies
    1. Hi Jamie ~ I really don't have any. I try to remember to buy a ticket once in a while. You never know, right?

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  36. This sounds awesome! Ty for sharing & the chance!

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    1. Thanks so much, Drea! So glad you enjoyed the excerpt!

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