Pharaoh’s Forgery Excerpt & Trailer

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“Karina, is that you?”
The connection was scratchy, but I thought I recognized the voice. “Mrs. Thundermuffin?”
“Yes, dearie, it’s me. I’m so glad I caught you.”
“Where are you?”
“In Mexico. Didn’t-” Her voice faded out.
“What? I can’t hear you.” I checked to make sure the volume on my phone was up all the way. “Hello?”
“I said . . . Mexico.”
The connection cleared as she spoke again. “I’m in Mexico. Didn’t I tell you that’s where I’d be?”
“Yes, you did. I’m surprised you’re calling. Is something the matter?”
“I’m not sure. Did you get that package yet?”
“Yes, as a matter of fact, it came in yesterday.” I winced. “Only, I hate to tell you, I’m afraid it’s been damaged.”
“What? Did you say the item was damaged?”
“Well, I’m not sure about what’s inside, but the outer box was partially crushed, and there is a tear. Also, when I picked it up, there was a rattling sound.”
“Oh, boy.” She seemed to turn away from the phone to speak to someone else. Faintly, I heard, “She says the package is damaged. I don’t know, I’ll ask.” Her voice came back on the line at full strength. “Karina, would you do me a favor and check it out for me?”
“You want me to open the box?”
“Yes, and tell me what the contents look like.”
“Okay.” I retrieved the box from the front hall and brought it to the kitchen. “Let me put you on speaker.” Placing the phone on the counter, I sliced into the end that was not crushed.
“Okay, there’s a good bit of packing material.” I pulled out a bunch of the brown shredded paper. “We have a manila envelope, about four-by-eight, and scrawled across the center-‘To Aunt Milly for your stamp collection.’ I didn’t know you were a stamp collector.” I put the unsealed envelope aside.
“I collect all sorts of things.”
Half a dozen loose coins fell out, clanking their way across the counter. “And there are some coins in here. Maybe that’s what was making the noise. They say centavos on one side, and the other-oh, I see, they’re from Brazil.” Someone spoke in a foreign language in the background, really more like bellowed in short, demanding sentences. I couldn’t catch what he was saying, but the tone didn’t sound nice. “Are you okay, Mrs. Thundermuffin?”
“Just fine, dear. My grandnephew sends me coins from the places he’s visited. Now about the case inside the box, has it been damaged?”
I gave the box a shake, and a hard, black plastic case, about twelve-by-ten inches, slid into my hand. “The case looks undamaged, and it feels fairly sturdy. Should I open it?”
“No, I don’t think that’s necessary. As long as the case is undamaged, I’m sure it’s fine.”
“Okay. Then it’ll be here when you get back.” I laid it down.
“Actually, dear, I was hoping you could do me the favor of bringing it with you when you come to Mexico.”
“Um, I suppose I can do that. But I’m headed to Cancun, I don’t think that’s very close to Mexico City at all.”
“I’m no longer in Mexico City. I’m on my way to Mérida. It’s on the Yucatan Peninsula, not far from Cancun. I can arrange to get it after you arrive,” she explained.
“Well, I suppose that would work.” Someone shouted in the background and the line went dead. “Mrs. Thundermuffin? Hello?”

New Release – Blog Tour

Pharoah’s Forgery Now Available

Amazon    Barnes & Noble     iBooks     Kobo

The latest installment in the bestselling Karina Cardinal mystery series is now available in print and ebook.

Margaritas, mayhem, and-if she’s not careful-murder.

Cancun was supposed to be a relaxing getaway. Instead, thanks to Mrs.


Thundermuffin and  an Egyptian death mask, Karina and fellow lobbyist Rodrigo are besieged by crooks, conmen, kidnappers, and killers. When things really erupt into chaos, they could be going home in the tackiest of souvenirs-a body bag.

Visit some of the tour stops to learn more about Karina Cardinal, her favorite mojito recipe and learn a bit about the research done for the novel.


September 21 –  I’m All About Books  – SPOTLIGHT

September 21 –  Baroness’ Book Trove  – SPOTLIGHT

September 22 –  Celticlady’s Reviews  – SPOTLIGHT

September 22 –  The Book Decoder  – REVIEW

September 23 –  I Read What You Write  – REVIEW  

September 23 –  Dee-Scoveries  – SPOTLIGHT

September 23 –  Books a Plenty Book Reviews  – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 24 –  Mysteries with Character  – REVIEW

September 24 –  MJB Reviewers  – SPOTLIGHT

September 25 –  Brooke Blogs  – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

September 25 –  Literary Gold  – SPOTLIGHT


September 26 –  Ruff Drafts  – GUEST POST

September 27 –  Readeropolis  – SPOTLIGHT

September 27 –  Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews  – SPOTLIGHT


Quarantine Days & Giveaways

Hello Readers!  
I have a variety of Giveaway  links that are available to anyone with an eReader, tablet, smartphone, or computer. Get your eReader out and start loading!

FREE First in Series – ONLY 2 DAYS LEFT!  
If you are looking to start a new series during quarantine, check out this promotion of over 40 authors writing in the mystery/thriller/suspense genre are giving out their first book. But get your eReader downloads quick, the deal ends this weekend!

Historical Fiction with Strong Female Leads  
For those who love historical fiction, this promo is for you! Over 30 authors have joined this giveaway promotion. You can download to your eReader full novels and chapter excerpts from a variety of historical fiction subgenres, including thriller, spy, romance, and mystery.   To get started visit this link:

Mystery Lovers Giveaway  
May is Mystery Month, and there are 50+ authors giving away their mysteries to readers like you! Mysteries genres include: cozies, thrillers, psychological, romantic suspense, crime, police procedural, and action/adventure. If you like mystery, you’re sure to find something to love in this pile.

Diamond Theft at a Local Level Featured in Ellen Butler’s Newest Novel

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – Celebrated Northern Virginia author Ellen Butler is about to release her newest novel, Diamonds & Deception, the third in her international bestselling Karina Cardinal mystery series. In this novel, Karina Cardinal and her sister Jillian dig into a diamond theft, but they unearth trouble-a tangle of Russian mob ties and gambling debts. Karina realizes they’ve dug too deep, and maybe a little too far outside the law.

Like Butler’s first two Karina Cardinal mysteries, the setting of the book is local, starting with a mystery criminal absconding with diamonds from a Tysons Corner jewelry store. The fast-paced plot winds its way into organized crime, gang violence and human trafficking in Washington DC and northern Virginia suburbs, with the climax erupting in Arlington.

Having ties to Capitol Hill helped Butler create this installment of the series. “My contacts at the FBI and DC police force helped round out the gang and organized crime storyline,” she said. “It has been an interesting journey, and I think the novel’s themes, which touch on current events, will resonate with readers.”

The book holds a particular appeal to residents of, and those familiar with, the Washington, DC and northern Virginia regions. “Many of my advanced editorial reviewers appreciated the local flavor of the book,” Butler said. “It’s not hard to imagine this plot taking place here inside the beltway, which makes it even more intriguing to anyone who has ever lived here or visited this area.”

A former public policy writer, Butler is also the author of the award-winning  Love, California Style series and bestselling historical suspense,  The Brass Compass. She is a member of the Office of Strategic Services Society, Sisters in Crime, Virginia Writer’s Club, Write by the Rails and International Thriller Writers.

Diamonds & Deception is available for preorder through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Kobo, and will be released officially October 7, 2019.

Butler will appear for signings, discussions and giveaways October 12, 2019 at Eat Local, Read Local at Cascades Library in Potomac Falls, Va.

On October 26, she, along with a variety of USA Today bestselling and award winning authors from the DMV area will be at the Royal Book Bash at the Hilton Garden Inn in Woodbridge, Va.

November 10, Butler will be interviewed by award winning author of the Washington Whodunit series, Colleen Shogan at The Wine Attic in Clifton, Va, where there will be wine tastings, giveaways and food.

December 4, she will take part in the Thirtieth Annual University Club Meet the Author Night and Book Fair in Washington, DC.

Publishing Workshop

You’ve Written Your Novel, Now What? Publishing World Options

A workshop open to the public, for new writers, aspiring writers and writers who have recently gotten their rights back from a traditional publisher and wish to indie publish their book.  

When: August 24, 2019 at 2:00 p.m.

Where: Ellen Coolidge Burke Branch Library, 4701 Seminary Rd, Alexandria, VA 22304

Workshop Overview:

The publishing industry has changed drastically in the past decade, and it continues to evolve. This workshop discusses an author’s options, from Traditional to Small Press to Indie Publishing. Highlights will include:

  • Pros and cons of each option.
  • What you can expect in your quest to obtain a Traditional contract vs. Small Press. Research, time investment, handling rejection.
  • Short overview of getting an agent – How & where to search. What they are looking for.
  • Going Indie – What you can expect. Covers, formatting, editing, and costs associated with going Indie. The importance of Amazon and other avenues you can use for distribution and obtaining hard copies.
  • Marketing – Every author MUST market no matter which publishing track you take. In order to achieve success, you need to decide if you can make an investment of money or your time to get results.
  • The importance of creating your own Brand from your Social Media to your Website.

Diamonds & Deception Cover Reveal Day!

 International bestselling and award-winning author Ellen Butler presents book three in the Karina Cardinal mystery series! Fans of Melinda Leigh and J.D. Robb, who love the humor of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum will adore this gripping mystery adventure.

When fashion crosses the line to felony, the only label left to wear could be a toe tag.

The rainbows-and-unicorns period of her friends-to-lovers relationship with Mike Finnegan officially over, Karina Cardinal is taking a tactical retreat. No way is she calling him for rescue from one of her infamous “scrapes.” Too bad trouble, if not her middle name, is a close relative.

Sadira Manon, friend and colleague of Karina’s sister Jillian, has been dropping way too much cash on designer labels for a middle school teacher. Even one who moonlights as a jewelry store clerk. But when she’s accused of theft, the loose diamond falling out of her purse is enough for the police to sing the song of their people-“Miranda Rights.”

Karina, Jilly, and Silverthorne Security join forces to investigate who’s setting Sadira up to take a fall, and why. They dig up a shady tangle of Russian mob ties and gambling debts. By the time Karina realizes they’ve dug too deep-and maybe a little too far outside the law-Jillian’s in trouble, and the only way out of this particular pot of hot water is to make that phone call-and hope Mike doesn’t let it go to voice mail.






Isabella’s Painting Makes it to #1!

I’m pleased to announce, last week Isabella’s  Painting,  the first book in the Karina  Cardinal  Mystery  series, became an International Bestseller. The book made it to #1 on Amazon in Canada and Australia. Thank you to all my readers, and thanks to those from outside of the US who have decided to take a chance on Karina’s Adventures! Karina’s second mystery Fatal  Legislation  is out and available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iBooks.