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The Oliana Mercer Series by Marguerite Ashton is on virtual book tour. The young adult mystery stops at Readeropolis with an excerpt.

Be sure to enter for a chance to win the giveaway for a $25 Amazon GC and follow the Silver Dagger book tour (for other dates see the link at the bottom of the post).





Shadowed Seats
Oliana Mercer Series Book 1
by Marguerite Ashton
Genre: YA Mystery


Oliana knows that every family has a secret, but she never expected hers to come from the grave.



High school senior Oliana Mercer dreams of attending the prestigious Reyersen Drama Academy and pursue her acting career. But when tragedy strikes, Oliana discovers secrets hidden from her by her adopted parents, dimming the lights on her perfect world. 

As the sins of the past surface, Oliana finds herself caught up in a tug-of-war between two families while the love for her boyfriend is tested. 

Determined to find some form of happiness in life, Oliana becomes student director in the high school’s senior play. When her best friend, Devin Worthy, dies during dress rehearsal, Oliana is re-cast as the lead.

Everyone thinks the death was a suicide, except Oliana, whose search for clues may be enough motive for the killer to murder again.





Staged
Oliana Mercer Series Book 2


It’s been two weeks since Oliana Mercer learned a horrible family secret and witnessed the death of her best friend. Two weeks of heartache, secrets, and lies. While Oliana wants to move on, graduation day is a turning point for her, but for the worse.



Austin wants Oliana to stay and not attend Reyersen Drama Academy, a relative from the past wants her forgiveness, the custody battle for her little brother moves forward…and then there’s James whose recent drug habit landed him in trouble. Now he’s missing. After a charred body, believed to be James is found in a dumpster behind the high school, Oliana receives a text from James’ phone.

When Oliana turns to the police for help, she is pulled into a conflict that makes her question whether to obey the law while fighting with the family who abandoned her.




Cold Read
Oliana Mercer Series Book 3


Settling into campus life at the posh Reyersen Academy acting school, Oliana Mercer prepares for an audition for a lead part in a play called Cold. She soon discovers that her new roommate is not only vying for the same role, but is seeing Austin - Oliana's ex-boyfriend. She does all she can to avoid Austin until he is found murdered at a party. With hardly any clues, she starts snooping around and descends into Reyersen's forbidden East Wing, which mirrors the set for the upcoming play.



As Oliana learns more about the school's past, she begins to suspect people around her might be involved and becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened. When another body is discovered, Oliana finds out that acting will be her best chance for survival.



Burned Bridges
Prequel to the Oliana Mercer Series


Newly sober and dating the man of her dreams, Traci Collins is ready to enjoy the good life, until her new best friend, Olivia Durning, confides a dreadful secret far worse than Traci could imagine. 



Sealed by a shared bond, and unaware there is more to the secret than what she was told, Collins feels honor-bound to protect her friend when a confrontation between Olivia and her childhood tormentor turns deadly. 

A mysterious text forces Traci to question Olivia's actions and re-examine her loyalties. When the answers to Traci's questions endanger a life she treasures more than her own, she must decide if friendship has a limit. For a bridge once burnt severs ties forever...






When Marguerite Ashton was in her twenties, she took up acting but realized she preferred to work behind the camera, writing crime fiction. A few years later, she married an IT Geek and settled down with her role as wife, mom, and writer. Five kids later, she founded the Crime Writer’s Panel and began working with former law enforcement investigators to create; Criminal Lines Blog, an online library for crime writers who need help with their book research.



She’s a workaholic who hides in her writer’s attic, plotting out her next book and stalking Pinterest for the next avocado recipe.

A member of Sisters in Crime, Marguerite grew up in Colorado, but is now happily living in Wisconsin and playing as much golf as possible. She can be found on Twitter and Facebook.






Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!





Staged
CHAPTER 1

The Reunion

Thursday 7:59 p.m.

My life sucks. That’s what seeped into mind as I stared at the woman in front of me as my cast mates exited the stage. The play was done, now it was time for me to step back into the real world and face Linda Durning. The woman who haunted my past.
Linda adjusted the shoulder strap holding her oxygen tank and tucked the clear tubes behind her ears. Her brown blouse and jeans were several sizes too large. Her eyes seemed bigger than normal as they peered out from her frail face.
Even with all the anger boiling inside me, my heart ached for her. “You’re Linda.”
“Hi, Oliana. I’m your grandmother. Your real grandmother.”
“What do you want?”
“Is there somewhere we can talk?”
I glanced up at the auditorium doors, wondering where my parents went. They must be waiting in the hall. Did they know this woman was here? There’s no way. They didn’t want me to know anything about my past. And for a good reason.
I’d wished for the days when I didn’t know anything about my bio family. Except that wasn’t my reality. I knew more than what I wanted.
“We can talk here,” I said, my voice dripping with anger.
Linda’s head reared back. “It’s obvious your adopted mother didn’t raise you to have respect for your elders.”
“My mother and father raised me to have respect for those who deserved it. I know what you did.”
“There’s two sides to a story.”
“There’s three sides. Mine counts.” I hurried towards the exit.
“If you just hear me out.”
“Did you hear my mother out when she came to you for help?”
“I’m dying, and I wanted to make peace with you.”
I halted in my tracks and looked back at Linda. “You’re not going to use me to clear your conscience.”
I pushed open the door, stepped into the hall and waited for it to close.
Click.
A sound that I hope meant my past was behind me. No more secrets. No more lies. No more Linda.
For the rest of the evening, my fear of Linda showing up again, pounded in my head. I wasn’t interested in hearing anything else negative about my parents. The pounding continued as I helped clean up backstage. And my headache remained during the cast party, as I said my goodbyes to the friends and teachers I was going to miss. As the party came to an end, my boyfriend, Austin, rescued me from the sadness when he showed up and took me to dinner. I wish he’d told me that James was going to be there.
I would’ve said no.
Tony’s Greasy Spoon was more of a truck stop than a restaurant. It was owned by Tony, one of Dad’s patients who’d suffered a brain aneurysm a year ago. Whenever Tony was there, he’d stop by the table and offer advice.
“You kids don’t be in a rush to get married.” Tony took off his dirty apron and tucked it under his arm. “Me and my old lady, we’ve been together seventeen years. Never married and we’re still going strong.”
“We’re taking it slow.” I took a bite of my grilled cheese, letting the salty tomato blanket my tongue.
“That’s good. Cause when I saw your order, I figured I’d better see you before you left for that fancy acting school.”
“I still have three months.”
“Well, safe travels,” said Tony, backing away from the table. “Oh, and say hi to your Dad for me.”
“Thanks. And I will.”
James used to date Devin, my best friend. Until she died.
He leaned toward me and adjusted his white sunglasses that failed to hide the dark circles under his eyes. Worn scratches covered the faded gold along the rims. He was dressed in all black and wearing biker boots. His presence as a superstar on the varsity basketball team had diminished after Devin’s death. “Let me use your eye drops.”
“Nope.”
“It’s like that? You always carry a bottle.”
“For allergies. Not to hide that I’m high as a kite.” I shoved the final bite of my sandwich in my mouth and grabbed my backpack. “I have to leave. Austin?”
“Text me later, man.” Austin gathered his things.
I’m on it.” James retrieved his earbuds from his pocket, removed himself from reality and slouched down in his seat.
“Guess, I’m paying the bill, again. Except, this time, I’m only paying for two.” I counted out twenty-seven dollars, plus tip and paid up front.
After I left the restaurant, Austin grabbed my arm as I reached my car. “Why are you salty towards James? He’s like, dealing with a lot of stuff. He lost his girlfriend and their baby. His ex’s in jail. Can’t you give him a break?”
“James didn’t even want the baby. And never once did he step up to defend Devin against his ex’s neurotic obsession over the relationship. So, no, I won’t give him a break.”
A car honked in the distance.
I snatched my arm out of Austin’s grasp. This was crazy. Austin and I have been dating for a year, but he and James had been like brothers before I came into the picture. Since Devin’s death, everything was about James. I often felt as if there were three of us in the relationship. Maybe I was selfish. Or maybe it was time to accept that we were coming to an end. “You’re so wrapped up in James’s problems. We didn’t talk about our plans for school.” I tossed my backpack on the passenger seat.
“James knows he messed up.”
I slammed the door. “What about spring break? We can get together then.”
Austin played with his ring. “Something came up. My parents want me to stay behind and help with the restaurant. While I’m here, I’ll take up media and creative arts. That way I can still practice my music.”
“What happened to the university?”
“I’ve decided that I could save my money and attend a tech school. It’d cost less, and I’d only be wasting two years of my life instead of four. After two years, I’ll transfer my credits to the university and finish that way. The back way in sucks, but at least I can still go to school. I was hoping you’d be willing to wait for me.”
“When were you going to tell me this?” Anxiety burned in my chest. “Everything’s all set for me to attend Reyersen.”
“So you want a long distance relationship?”
“For now.”
“I can’t believe you won’t wait.”
“I can’t believe you’re asking me to stay.”
“Well? Will you? Stay?”
“You’re a part of my heart. But you’re not the only thing in my heart.”
Within minutes, I was in my car headed towards the highway. I turned up the radio and let the dubstep music blare from my speakers. Just what I needed to keep me from thinking about the ache forming in my throat.
Yep, September fifth couldn’t come soon enough.

Now if I can just make it through my best friend’s funeral.

About Mayor Sonni

Reader extraordinaire. Mayor of Readeropolis. Lover of books, lists, sweet tea, and vacations. Well, not necessarily in that order.
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8 comments:

  1. I enjoyed getting to know your book and thanks for the chance to win :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congrats on the tour and thank you for the excerpt, book description and giveaway as well. Great Post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, James. Have a great weekend!

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Best of luck with the books and book tour! I've included the tour in the Monday, Jul. 02, 2018 edition of The Mystery and Thriller Fiction Weekly Reader: https://paper.li/Readeropolis/1518127446#/

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