Laurinda Wallace – Family Matters


This Thanksgiving week,  I’m  hosting author, Laurinda Wallace.


Growing up in rural Western New York where cows outnumber people gave me a love for the great outdoors and the magical world of books. A good book for me usually had a horse or a dog as the main character, or even better, a mystery to unravel. Black Beauty, Misty of Chincoteague, Call of the Wild, Lad, A Dog, along with Paul Hutchens’ Sugar Creek Gang mystery series, Sherlock Holmes, and Christie’s Poirot were all favorite reads. These books inspired writing my own tales of adventure in notebooks stashed under my bed.

Now fast forward quite a few years and I’m raising two daughters, working on a career, and driving our mini-van all over the countryside. Writing was a distant dream.

But once our nest was empty, my husband, David and I left New York for sunnier skies and warmer weather in southeast Arizona. The high desert with its beautiful mountain views, awe-inspiring night skies, and independent spirit brought back the old desire to write. Since 2005, I’ve been writing for a variety of publications. Throwing caution to the wind, the real fun began when the Gracie Andersen mystery series was conceived. With plenty of canine antics and a good mystery in the quirky town of Deer Creek, there’s something for everyone. Family Matters, By the Book, and Fly by Night are all available.  A couple of other books got written along the way as well.

Family Matters- The First Grace Anderson Mystery

Think your family’s dysfunctional? Meet Gracie Andersen’s and the peaceful farming community of Deer Creek. Gracie has her hands full–a new business and trying to get her life on track after the loss of her husband and unborn child. When an odd gift from her troubled uncle thrusts her into an investigation of a cousin’s tragic death 20 years ago, Gracie meets with opposition from family and friends. What really happened that rainy, October night when her cousin was killed by a hit-and-run driver? As pieces of the truth are wrenched from the past, her new business, Milky Way Kennels teeters on the edge of disaster. And then death strikes again. Someone is determined Gracie won’t find the truth. With Haley, her black Labrador by her side, Gracie doggedly pursues the trail of clues to unravel the mystery of her cousin Charlotte’s untimely death.

 Here is an excerpt:

It was over. Reverend Minders had pronounced the final “amen,” and the mourners drifted away from the artificial grass carpet draped against the sides of the open grave, an oak casket suspended above it. White roses, already wilting lay across the top of the casket. Gracie, more than eager to leave the cemetery, hurried over the thick, spongy grass toward her SUV. The rain shower that had pummeled the stained glass windows of the church during the funeral had cleared, but the trees still dripped, the light breeze spattering leftover raindrops on her face. She kept her eyes down, determined not to look in the direction of the gravestone that had her husband’s name carved deep into the granite. The small stone next to it with the white lamb on top only doubled her determination. Gracie had parked under the shade of an ancient maple tree at the edge of the cemetery. Now that the sun had finally burnt away the remnants of storm clouds, it was a perfect July day. Punching the unlock button on the key ring, the familiar click was silenced by the unmistakable grating voice of her cousin Isabelle.

“Gracie, wait. Aren’t you coming back to the house?” Isabelle’s tone indicated it was more of an imperative than a question.

“I don’t think so, Isabelle. I need to get back to work. It’s pretty busy right now.” She pulled on the door handle of the red RAV4.

“What are you talking about? Of course you’re coming back to the house for the meal. The family should be together. Mother would have wanted all of us to be together. Your mother’s not here, so…”

Gracie saw the look in her cousin’s eyes and knew she wasn’t getting out of town any time soon. She had no valid reason to skip out anyway. Work was merely an excuse.

“Well, I guess I could come for a few minutes.”

Family duty is a powerful force. It makes one do the most uncomfortable and inconvenient things. But she was her family’s official representative today, and she needed to hold it together no matter how she felt.

“Good. I’ll meet you at the house in a few minutes. I must catch up with Reverend Minders and make sure Tim gave him a check.” Isabelle, in her tailored navy blue silk suit and perfectly coifed blond hair, walked quickly to where her husband was talking to the silver-haired, slightly paunchy Reverend Minders.

The rest of the funeral group straggled toward their respective vehicles. She saw Greg and Anna, Isabelle’s teenage children, shuffling toward the family Lexus with their heads down. They looked as uncomfortable as she felt.

“At least I’m not the only one,” Gracie muttered to herself, turning the key in the ignition.

Family Matters 2 (533x800)

There are always new books percolating. Gracie’s next adventure will take place in Arizona and a brand new mystery is in development. The disappearance of school teacher in the Genesee River Valley during the 1930s will introduce a possible new series.

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Laurinda is gifting three Kindle copies of Family Matters, so please feel free to leave a comment and you will be entered to win. 


About Evelyn Cullet

I write mystery romance and romantic suspense novels. I'm an avid organic gardener, and I play the piano. I have a spoiled Black Lab mix., Bailey, whom I adore. Visit my blog every Monday to discover new authors and their novels at:
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4 Responses to Laurinda Wallace – Family Matters

  1. Marja McGraw says:

    I enjoyed your excerpt. This sounds like a good series. By the way, I live in northwestern Arizona and have two yellow Labs. I think there’s something about Arizona that encourages us. Hope that made sense.

  2. Marilyn Watson says:

    I love to find beginning series…Thank you for the contest.
    Marilyn Watson

  3. gina says:

    I love finding new authors! Family Matters looks great and I am putting in my TBR pile! Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

  4. Laurinda, “Family Matters” sounds intriguing! I wish you the best of luck with your new series.

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