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Released: June 2012
ISBN: 9781476498409
ASIN: B008B8FR10
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FATAL FORTUNE
Series: Lottie Baldwin Mysteries, #1
Author: Elizabeth Delisi
Length: Novel
Genre: Mystery
Price: $2.99

No one in Cheyenne, North Dakota believes in Lottie Baldwin’s psychic abilities; especially not Harlan Erikson, Lottie’s boyfriend and Chief Deputy in the Sheriff’s Office.

When a friend’s husband disappears, Lottie can’t leave it to Harlan to discover what happened to Harry.

Armed with her courage and her tarot cards, Lottie tries to solve the mystery herself, regardless of who attempts to stop her: Harlan, her friend—or the criminal.

Excerpt
November 10, 1980

Harry Larson turned into the rough dirt clearing surrounding the old Cheyenne water tower. He drove in a wide, slow arc, facing the car in the direction he’d come. He wanted to be ready to leave in a hurry.

The headlights shone through the rust-covered legs of the tower, casting an eerie shadow like a huge, misshapen spider waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting victim.

He turned off the lights and killed the engine. Darkness enveloped him. There was no moon tonight.

As he waited for his eyes to adjust to the darkness, he strained to hear a noise. The roar of a motor, perhaps, or the crunch of tires. But there was nothing; not a sound.

At last he was able to discern vague objects: the silent water tower humped above him; the withered stalks of a November cornfield on one side of the tower; the nameless, leaning tombstones of an ancient cemetery on the other.

Then he saw something familiar in the far corner of the lot. A bulky shape, boxy and squat. It was a car. How long had it been sitting there? He hadn’t noticed it when he pulled into the cemetery or when he’d backed into the spot where his car now sat.

Harry squinted, trying to see better. He thought he could make out a dark figure sitting on the hood. His heart thumped in his chest.

He chuckled nervously, running his hands through his thinning brown hair. His errand was serious, no doubt of that; but he was letting the overgrown cemetery influence him too much. Next, he’d have the figure flapping a monstrous set of bat wings and flying off into the night. Ridiculous.

He opened the car door. The cold North Dakota wind rushed in and surrounded him. He got out and slammed the door, trying to retain some of the heat. His eyes never leaving the still figure, he walked away from his car, his cocoon of safety, into the overgrown back corner of the lot.

He felt the figure watching him as he approached, waiting for him to come close.

Harry was within fifteen feet now. Twelve. Ten. He could still turn and walk away—run, if he had to. He didn’t have to go through with it. If he didn’t say anything, no one else would ever find out.

He thought of Janet. Sweet wife. What would she think of him if she knew? Would she want him to close his eyes, to pretend he didn’t see what was happening right under his nose? Would she put personal safety above integrity?

Then, there was Laura. When she grew up, would she be ashamed to discover that her daddy had been a coward?

Harry squared his shoulders. He’d do what he’d set out to do. He would stop the thing before anyone got hurt.

He stopped in front of the car where the figure remained on the hood. Having decided his course, Harry plunged in. “I know what you’ve been up to. I know all about it. Did you really think I wouldn’t find out? You didn’t cover your tracks very well.”

The figure grimaced. “You have more intelligence than I gave you credit for, I admit.”

“You can’t believe you’ll get away with it. If I found out, then other people will, too. Sooner or later, you’ll be stopped.”

“I don’t think so.” The voice was thick with conceit. “I have, as the saying goes, friends in high places.”

“Do you think they’ll go out on a limb for you? Jeopardize themselves, their careers and reputations, to protect you?”

“Yes. They have to. They’re in no position to do otherwise. I have certain...information about them. Information that could be very embarrassing, to say the least, if it were to come out.”

“I see.” Harry rubbed his hands together in the frigid night air, stalling for time. “That still leaves me. You can’t possibly have anything incriminating on me, and I don’t intend to back down.”

There was a short silence. “We’re both reasonable people,” the figure said at last. “I can make it worth your while to keep this quiet. Think of all the things you could do for your family with a large ‘bonus.’ You’ll find I’m very generous with my friends.”

Harry waved his hand. “No deal. You can’t buy my silence.”

The dark figure clenched its fists, raising them to chest level. “Then, you give me no choice. You can’t stop me.”

“Oh, can’t I?” Harry shook his head in disgust. “When you asked me this afternoon to meet you here, I hoped you’d had a change of heart, and I was willing to support you. I would have stood by you all the way. Obviously, I was wrong. I’ve been a fool.”

He turned away and started back toward his own car. The night air was crisp in his nostrils; a light snow was beginning to fall. Though disappointed at the outcome, he felt shaky with relief that the ordeal was over.

He heard a sudden, furtive noise behind him. Harry jumped, started to turn. Before he could see the source of the sound, face his foe, he felt a crushing blow on the back of his head. A million hot sparks exploded behind his eyes as he sank down toward the frozen ground.

For a moment, Harry lay motionless. The quiet night air was full of unwonted sound: heavy footsteps; muffled rustling; the jingle of keys. The car door slammed and tires spun. Above it all, he heard his once pounding heartbeat slowing as his body relaxed. The last thing he saw was the car’s red tail lights fading into the distance. And then eternal blackness overcame him.

 

What the reviewers are saying
Having a few tarot decks of my own I found the idea of a fortune telling woman with some paranormal abilities as the main character of this story a pleasant surprise. Lottie is a bright, spirited, fun loving woman who will do just about anything for her friends . . . This was a good story with a few twists and turns . . . ~ Cathy Geha, Goodreads

• • •

A perfexct summer cozy :-)
This is the first book starring Lottie Baldwin, a tarot reading, psychic, mystery loving sleuth who finds herself in a small town in North Dakota where her boyfriend is a Chief Deputy on the local police force. Lottie is adept at getting herself into trouble even as she promises to keep her nose out of the town's crimes. The people and the mystery Lottie finally solves are fun and there is a little bit of old-fashioned slapstick in the way trouble finds Lottie. The romance is low key, which is perfect for this story . . . A fun and easy read that left me wanting to see more of Lottie. ~ Jacqui Georgi, Amazon

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I enjoyed Fatal Fortune. It was easy to get lost in the mystery of what happened to Harry . . . The plot was full of who done-it goodness and some simple romance. . . . I didn't figure out who was behind it until the last second. There were so many possibilities that figuring out who the culprit was took awhile! Being stumped was a nice change of pace for me as usually I'm pretty good at figuring things out fast. If you like mysteries, you should read this. ~ Brenda, Crazy Four Books

• • •

The author gave Lottie a bubbly personality . . . and the urge to do anything (Right now!) to help a friend in need. Lottie usually thought before doing anything major, but she was sometimes impulsive and that got her into a lot of trouble. The character of Harlan came across as a typical law enforcer. But when it came to Lottie, Harlan was strict. He wanted Lottie safe. But the way he explained things to Lottie just sounded too demanding. Too much like orders to a soldier. And Lottie refused to let the man intimidate or order her about. (You go, girl!)

Had Lottie been a real person, I would have been able to call her a friend. The compassionate, caring, and bubbly lady was fun to watch and I cheered her on through several disguises. A wonderful mystery that will test your wits! ~ Detra Fitch, Huntress Reviews and Amazon

• • •

. . . an intriguing plot depicted in a mystery-style presentation that draws the reader into an intense desire to see how this mystery will be resolved.  Nicely done, Elizabeth Delisi! ~ Viviane Crystal, Crystal Book Reviews and Amazon

• • •

"Fatal Fortune" weaves timeless human emotions into a funny, witty, interesting tale. You worry when the characters take unnecessary risks, are relieved they come out on the other side `OK', and hope like crazy that the bad guys get their day in court! At the end of the tale, I predict that like me, you'll be looking for more of Lottie Baldwin!!" ~ Rebecca J. Harmon, Amazon

• • •

Elizabeth Delisi creates a cunning story of deceit, resentment, jealousy and greed in Fatal Fortune. Through it all she weaves a thread of the Tarot. Whether or not you accept the validity of the cards, you will be engrossed in the plot and in Lottie’s interpretation of the patterns she lays out. The cards serve as both meditation and foreshadow, but it is up to Lottie to pursue the clues they provide. With or without Harlan’s cooperation, she puts herself in danger to solve the mystery and prevent further mayhem.

Fatal Fortune is an engrossing read, replete with the intricate web of small-town connections and an understanding of what drives people to extreme actions. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. ~ Nikki Andrews, writer/editor

• • •

I did like Lottie and Harlan. Their relationship is comfortable and you can tell they have been together for a while. They are so different from one another, but fit together perfectly, like peanut butter and jelly. They are also both equally stubborn people, though as a cop, I expect Harlan to be . . . The mystery was decent and held a few surprises for me. I was way off on my pick for the villain, but there were many possible candidates to choose from, which I like. A mark of a good mystery is when the reader is not able to figure out the entire plot in the first chapter. It took me most of the book and I was surprised, not only at who it was, but why . . . Avid mystery fans will enjoy the mystery. ~ Ginger Dawn Harman, Amazon

• • •

Delisi did a fantastic job with character development. Lottie’s quirky personality managed to jump off the pages, Harlan was strong and steady and quite compatible with Lottie. The pain which Janet was gripped with was quite believable, and as a reader I found myself wanting to comfort her and little Laura, Janet’s precious 4 year old daughter was truly a joy . . . I enjoyed the mystery and was also, quite satisfied with the ending . . . Curl up with Fatal Fortune on a slow night and give Lottie Baldwin’s high-tech free world a try. ~ Kellie, You Gotta Read Reviews

• • •

I did like Lottie and Harlan. Their relationship is comfortable and you can tell they have been together for a while. They are so different from one another, but fit together perfectly, like peanut butter and jelly. They are also both equally stubborn people.

The mystery was decent and held a few surprises for me. I was way off on my pick for the villain, but there were many possible candidates to choose from, which I like. A mark of a good mystery is when the reader is not able to figure out the entire plot in the first chapter. It took me most of the book and I was surprised, not only at who it was, but why.

Avid mystery fans will enjoy the mystery. ~ Sherri Hunter, reviewer

• • •

Fatal Fortune is a great fireside mystery with a touch of romance. This story takes readers through the intricacies of a classic whodunnit that includes a cast of interesting characters who all have one wondering which of them is responsible for Harry's disappearance. This is a unique read in that, while Liz is great with imagery and has a knack for twists and turns in her tales, each chapter is headed by a tarot card from her own homemade deck. Each card is like a reading for that chapter. Fun stuff! ~ Heart of Fiction

 

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