Sprig of Broom is a coming-of-age novel about Geoffrey Plantagenet, a count, who at the age of 15 marries King Henry’s daughter, Empress Matilda, and fathers the dynasty of Plantagenet kings. The story begins with the count on his journey to Rouen in Normandy to become a Knight of the Bath. From Rouen, he and the king’s entourage travel to LeMans where Geoffrey is wed to Matilda. And the loathing begins . . . Sir Geoffrey Plantagenet has much to learn, and over the course of his life’s journey he develops a better understanding of himself, fathers a long line of kings, endures adversaries—especially his own wife—and boldly faces the world of chaos around him. Written by a lineal descendant of Sir Geoffrey V Plantagenet, Knighted, invested 1127 during the reign of Henry I, Knighthood of the Bath.
Cold Coffee Review: Author Susan Whitfield’s exquisite storytelling will escort you back to medieval European history to the grand LeMans Cathedrale on June 10, 1127 where Henry Beauclerc, King of England and Duke of Normandy, gives his daughter Empress Matilda Maud Alice in betrothal to Sir Geoffrey V Plantagenet, Knight of the Order of the Bath and Count of Anjou, son of Fulk V, King of Jerusalem.
Fourteen-year-old Count Geoffrey finds himself in the bedchamber of his lady wife Matilda who had been married before and encounters a rigid, irritable woman who preys on his youthful innocence.
The count throws himself into his royal duties for the sake of the kingdom while the King insists on offspring and sends a young maid servant named Annique to teach him the fine art of love.
As reviewer it is my pleasure to whet your appetite with this quote from Count Geoffrey.
“The first day of winter roared in with a strong cold wind whipping trees and bushes and tents and merchant stands in town. Pastured horses ran briskly with tails high, some tagging others as they romped. I was thankful to have fine shelter and plenty of firewood, although more would be needed to keep fires burning throughout the castle before winter ended. Castle stores were filled with harvested crops, among them corn meal and flour, dried apples and other fruits, lard and herbs. Meats from hunts hung in smoke. We would fare better than most of the country’s people until planting season returned in spring.
Darkness crept in early and lingered long. The moon often hid itself from us. Loneliness accompanied me to my bed chamber at night. I found myself staying up late to play chess or throw darts alone or with anyone willing to pass time with me.
Daily jousting and warlike games of hunting amused me and kept me occupied away from Matilda and tempered thought of Annique. Some nights were spent besting fellow knights at chess or checkers. I welcomed distance and time spent with other knights outside dark cold castle walls when time allowed. I lost myself in preparing strategies to outwit the older and more experienced knights. My horse, Warrior,—the color of a cloud whitened by sun—was powerful and easily held me even in full armor.”
Let me tell you a funny story. Late last night, my husband and I were lying in bed talking before going to sleep and I started telling him the story, Sprig of Broom. I started at the beginning and was telling him all about it. Half way through my re-telling the story, he stopped me and said, “WAIT” don’t tell me the end, let’s watch it together. I laughed and told him he would have to wait to see Sprig of Broom in movie format because for now it is Susan Whitfield’s historical fiction book. This is a testament to Susan’s great writing skills.
I invite you to relive the story of Count Geoffrey (later known as Geoffrey the Handsome) and step into his shoes as fate will determine if his lady wife Matilda will assume the throne upon her father’s death. Walk the royal Castle halls, smell the stench of common places, cross the English Channel, and observe a proud father as he swaddles his offspring with no knowledge of how history will write about the Plantagenet Kings of England.
I endorse Sprig Of Broom by Susan Whitfield as a historical fiction woven with threads of history and story telling that draw the reader back to a harsh and mystical time in medieval European history where Kings, Queens, Emperors and Empresses rule, where Dukes, Duchess, Knights, Counts, Princes and Princesses are born and history is written. Sprig of Broom needs to be shared in movie format someday. I purchased this book from Kindle. This review was completed on September 23, 2015.
Logan Hunter and Gabriel Farris “Crack” McCracken are both messed up, complicated SBI agents who can kick butt, but can Logan conquer grief and work alongside the gorgeous brooding agent she intends to despise forever?
Cold Coffee Review: Sticking Point by North Carolina Native Mystery Writer Susan Whitfield is her fifth and final book in her Logan Hunter Mysteries. Each book in stands alone but starting at the beginning of the series will bring more clarity. The author draws the reader into the mystery and into the lives of her well-developed characters. Reading Sticking Point will whet your appetite for more, however the author and I suggest that you read her entire series from start to finish.
North Carolina SBI Agent Logan Hunter is struggling to move forward after the death of her husband Chase and his child whom she was carrying. Work is the furthest thing on her mind when her supervisor Ken Poletti not only calls with a new assignment, but he teams her up with Agent Farris McCracken, “better known as Ass Crack”.
The investigation sends these two polar opposite agents to the small town of Beaufort, NC. It’s not just any case, it is the death of a high school teen named Bobby Purdew. Carteret County Coroner, Dr. Milton has ruled this a natural death and release his body for burial. Even though there is no evidence of foul play and the toxicology screen comes up clean, the agents not only wonder how this well-known school bully ends up dead.
It turns out that there are a lot of students, teachers, parents and members of the community who were uncomfortable and even afraid of Bobby. Then there is the whole issue of the punch dagger that Bobby wore around his neck and the Belladonna plant, sometimes called Nightshade.
I share with you a quote from the book to show the author’s writing style.
“I looked around the interior rooms on the first floor, taking my time to absorb porcelain antique dolls, many hats with gorgeous pins in them, doilies on the arms of every chair and sofa, and plenty of lace. No wonder McCracken was uncomfortable here. The only lace he’d ever been around was women’s panties, probably plenty of them. Women and panties. I took several deep breaths to calm my demeanor while noticing a young girl with a backpack overflowing with books, standing in the doorframe behind the woman. I followed Geraldine Moffatt-Gage to the stairs.
“Chelsea, why aren’t you studying?”
“I need some of Papa’s old medical journals for research, Gram.”
“Very well. Get them and don’t tarry.”
The proprietor focused her attention back on me. “Do you know Charity Grace Davis? She once owned The Carriage House a few blocks over.”
“Yes, she lives near me,” I answered.
“She and I were once rivals for tourists.” I detected a hint of terseness in her voice.
“She seems like a nice enough lady. I think she misses the bed-and-breakfast though.”
“I would imagine so. She had to tend to an elderly aunt, I believe, but she sold so quickly. Had she been more patient, she’d still own it. However, she was quite unsuited to direct a bed-and-breakfast, if you want my honest opinion.”
I didn’t. I had no intention of getting into Charity Grace’s business although she probably wouldn’t do the same for me.
“Agent McCracken is at the far end of the hallway, Agent Hunter. And again, I’m sorry for my bluntness.”
“Thank you.” I started up.
“Enjoy your meal,” she uttered with a slight wave of her hand.
I tapped on the door which was ajar, and eased it open enough to study the man at the bay window, his mind somewhere else, an empty glass tinkling in his hand. My breath clinched at his shirtless physique. The man was toned, tanned and….”
I invite you to join Agent Logan as she seeks answers in Bobby Purdew’s death and how to put her life back together. Will she find peace and perhaps love again?
Author Susan Whitfield is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Carolina Conspiracy, Coastal Carolina Mystery Writers, North Carolina Writers Network, and National Association of Baby Boomer Women.
Susan’s historical fiction Sprig of Broom is due to be released in the Fall.
I endorse Sticking Point by NC Native Mystery Writer Susan Whitfield. The Logan Hunter Mystery series: Genesis Beach, Just North of Luck, Hell Swamp, Sin Creek, and Sticking Point are all set in the beautiful state of North Carolina from the Ashville/Blue Ridge Mountains to the pristine beaches. She also authored Killer Recipes, a unique cookbook that includes recipes from mystery writers around the country. Slightly Cracked is her first women’s fiction, set in Wayne County where she lives with her husband.
This book was given to me. This review was completed on August 16, 2015.
SBI Agent Logan Hunter tracks a murderer at Genesis Beach, North Carolina. When the lifeless body of Rick Teater is discovered, Logan is thrust into a high-profile crime scene. The inexperienced intern needs to prove herself and embarks on a quest for justice. The search for Teater’s killer is complicated by a hurricane and Logan’s battle with personal demons. Her investigation comes to a frustrating standstill until her intense search leads to a shocking discovery.
SBI Agent Logan Hunter ends up just north of Luck, on the trail of a sociopath. Can she stop the bloody killing spree? In the mountains of North Carolina, a high school custodian is found suffocated in plastic. A music teacher is beaten to death a few weeks later. Agent Hunter is already in the area working on another case when she’s assigned to help Madison County detective Chase Railey track down the killer. Logan rents a room in the home of art teacher Taryn Kosterman, in the community of Trust. Over the next few months she deals with quirky characters and frustrating dead ends. As she spends time getting to know Chase she also has a chance to experience some unusual local festivals, and her first taste of love. Murders of school system personnel continue and get increasingly gruesome. Evidence is hard to come by but soon Logan has enough to search the main suspect’s home. After a wild chase a mudslide dumps Logan and the killer into the French Broad River—only one of them will walk away…
Agent Logan Hunter’s cast iron stomach and steeled nerves are put to the test in Hell Swamp, a place where snakes, skulls, and sinister secrets abound. Called back into action from her personal leave to track down a sadistic murderer, Logan travels to a location in the backwoods of North Carolina, not far from where she grew up. At Beatty’s Bridge, the familiar Greek revival mansion named, The Black River Plantation, now holds a crime scene beyond anyone’s worst nightmare: a gruesome mess with blood tracked everywhere and key evidence already obliterated. With the SBI seriously shorthanded, Agent Hunter has the daunting task of finding the killer on her own. She questions a strange assortment of suspects, including deer hunters, and soon discovers the seemingly harmless victim had numerous enemies. Which one committed the heinous crime?
A Gruesome murder leads Agent Hunter into wicked waters… The Cape Fear River snakes through eastern North Carolina, past the stunning port city of Wilmington. But there’s a sliver of water called “Sin Creek” by some, where wickedness and decadence take precedence over decency. Logan Hunter battles evil on her quest to find a co-ed’s killer and keep her marriage to another agent from falling apart. Even though she succeeds in finding the killer, the investigation changes her life in ways she never could have imagined.
Sugar Babe Beanblossom and Daisy Marie Hazelhurst are lifelong friends, sharing happy and sad times, enjoying outrageous antics, and enduring hot flashes. When Daisy gets sick, Sugar Babe encourages and protects her friend, and DRIVING MISS DAISY takes on a whole new meaning.
Susan Whitfield joins with a variety of authors to offer Killer Recipes, a book of scrumptious recipes to help raise money for the American Cancer Society. From simple to elaborate, recipes range from Devilish Desserts, Insane Soups, Salads and Sauces, to Breads and Breakfasts to Die For, Criminal Bites, Dips and Beverages, Shameless Sides, Suck-ulent Main Dishes, and much more. Whip up Murderous Sour Cream Muffins, Meat Cleaver’s Taco Dip, Evil Chocoholic’s Pie, Illegally Easy Salad, Freaky Fried Apples, Perverted Pineapple Casserole, Guilty Greek Shrimp, Shotgun Chili, Murder by Potato, and more. A great gift for the cook who also loves mysteries. Recipes are delicious but not deadly.
Amazon Customer Reviews
Spotlight Interview With Mystery Author Susan Whitfield
Award-winning multi-genre author Susan Whitfield is a native of North Carolina, where she sets all of her novels. She is the author of The Logan Hunter Mystery series: Genesis Beach, Just North of Luck, Hell Swamp, Sin Creek, and Sticking Point. She also authored Killer Recipes, a unique cookbook that includes recipes from mystery writers around the country. Slightly Cracked is her first women’s fiction, set in Wayne County where she lives with her husband. Their two sons live nearby with their families.
Susan’s a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Carolina Conspiracy, Coastal Carolina Mystery Writers, North Carolina Writers Network, and National Association of Baby Boomer Women. Her books are available in print and eBook formats. Susan is currently researching a medieval ancestor for an historical mystery. Learn more at www.susanwhitfieldonline.com
About The Cover Design: Jason Penland is an avid self-taught photographer, with a focus on nature and landscapes. The product of generations of mountain folks, Jason’s love of his western North Carolina home is evident in his beautiful work. He expresses a love of his heritage through playing banjo, dobro and guitar, and passes that love on to his two young sons. He also specializes in portraits, wedding photography, bridals, and family-oriented settings.
Tell us what makes you proud to be a writer from Dudley, NC? I have lived in North Carolina my entire life, visiting it from stem to stern, loving both the mountains and the sea. I’m proud to be the only mystery writer in my county. I enjoy being involved with Carolina Conspiracy and the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and other organizations around the country.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? I guess it just came naturally when I was a child. Once I was a freshman in college and my English professor told me what a good writer I was, I began to believe that someday I could write and publish.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? Only after I retired from my high school principal ship.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and why? It certainly contributed as far as setting my novels somewhere in the state. We have so many wonderful dialects, such beautiful scenery, and I have so many fond memories of going to the mountains once a year and to the beach much more often. We lived near a river, so that became a focus for a book as well.
Tell us why you write the genre (s) that you write? I began as a mystery write, but now I’m considered multi-genre. I write mystery, women’s fiction, and also authored a cookbook. They say write what you loved to read and I love a good mystery and a good women’s fiction.
Tell us your most rewarding experience while in the writing process? That surreal feeling as words flow down my arms through my fingers and onto the screen. When I’m in that state of mind, nothing else matters but getting it down. Also, holding each “baby” in my arms for the first time is quite rewarding.
Tell us your most negative experience while in the writing process? Interruptions of any kind!
Tell us your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? I queried L&L Dreamspell with Hell Swamp and fifteen days later they offered me a contract. They picked up ‘Just North of Luck’ and ‘Genesis Beach’ and went on to publish ‘Sin Creek’. Unfortunately, the publisher died and the company closed before ‘Sticking Point’ was released.
Tell us your most negative experience in your publishing journey? Rejections especially with the first book.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Persevere! And make certain that you hire a professional editor to get top quality work out there. Don’t settle for less than your best!
Who Is Your Favorite Author? James Patterson rocks with the Cross Series. I also love Gerrittsen, Scottoline, Sandford, Connally, and North Carolina’s Hart.
Susan Whitfield’s Published Books
Logan Hunter Mystery Series
Genesis Beach (A Logan Hunter Mystery Book 1)
Just North of Luck (Logan Hunter Mystery Book 2)
Hell Swamp (Logan Hunter Mystery Book 3)
Sin Creek (Logan Hunter Mystery Book 4)
Sticking Point (Logan Hunter Mystery Book 5)
Historical Fiction Novel
Sprig of Broom by Susan Whitfield
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Women’s Fiction
Cookbooks, Food & Wine
Amazon Author’s Page