When Did We Lose Sylvia? #NewRelease by @VeraDayAuthor

Hey, Readers. I’m happy to announce a new release, the debut novel of author Vera Day. I say debut because this is the first she’s written under that pen name. Most of you know her as Priscilla Bettis, author of several horror novels. Vera is now writing Christian Cozy Mysteries.


Southern humor, faith, and murder intersect in the tiny town of Tulip, Texas.

Betty Bell is a famous poet, or at least a local celebrity, in the tiny town of Tulip, Texas. Gossip runs amok when a Goth teenager, Sylvia Smith, and her elderly grandfather arrive. Even worse, they’ve moved into the creepy, old Sanchez place on the outskirts of town.

Betty volunteers to teach a summer poetry class to restless Tulip teens. Soon, the kids are expressing themselves in stellar stanzas and heart-rending rhymes. But what was supposed to be a summer of ministering to the teens becomes a season of sleuthing when one of Betty’s students, the spooky Sylvia, goes missing.

When Sylvia turns up dead, suspicions point to Sylvia’s reclusive grandfather. Deputy Miller is a good man and excellent investigator, but after a second death shakes the small town, Betty is convinced the deputy is after the wrong suspect. Betty, her left-brained husband Larry, and her quirky friend Flora must use haunting haikus, couplet clues, and lots of prayer to track down the real killer.

Author Bio

Vera Day is an avid reader and a joyful writer. After decades coasting along as a lukewarm Christian, and after a few more years of writing in a secular genre under a different pen name, she experienced a series of events that can only be described as epiphanic… in the God sense, not the light bulb sense, though that also applies.

Now Vera Day writes in a new genre, the faith-inspired cozy mystery.

Vera lives in small-town Texas with her two-legged and four-legged family members. Her neighbor is a cow, but as far as neighbors go, Daisy is a good ’un!

When Did We Lose Sylvia? is Vera’s first cozy mystery novel.

Vera is a member of The Well Read Fish Christian fiction book review team.

Connect with Vera: https://twitter.com/VeraDayAuthor

Vera is traveling today so I’ve closed comments, but I hope you’ll help spread the word and check out her new book. Available on Amazon through this link.

Introducing The Well Read Fish

Hey, everyone. In 2022, when I began planning my retirement, there were many things to consider. I knew I wanted to write full-time. I also considered what I would do in terms of blogging and other writing-related activities.

I also love to read. As an author, I know the importance of book reviews as a way to support other authors, especially those who aren’t traditionally published. I’d considered the possibility of starting a blog just for book reviews and bringing in other authors but never got around to it.

Somehow, things seem to work out. A few weeks ago, I was approached to be a contributor to a brand-new site. It didn’t take me long to say yes. I’m joining four other authors, Vera Day, Mae Claire, Staci Troilo, and Gwen Plano. Most of you know Vera as Priscilla Bettis. Priscilla has recently switched genres, hence her new pen name.

The Well Read Fish launches today. It is a place where we review Christian Fiction. I read a lot of this genre several years ago, and my interest has recently been rekindled. Our plan is to post a review each Wednesday. The first weekly review is now live, but there are several already in our archives to read.

If you enjoy reading Christian Fiction, I hope you’ll join us there. I’ve closed comments on this post, but I’ll continue to share my other book reviews here, usually on the last Tuesday of the month. In the meantime, I hope to see you at The Well Read Fish.

Book Review: The Premonition at Withers Farm

Happy Tuesday, everyone. I’m coming off a semi-blogging break. I read a few books last week, including The Premonition at Withers Farm. Jaime Jo Wright is a new to me author.

My Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I always enjoy a dual-timeline story, and The Premonition at Withers Farm came highly recommended.

The book focuses on two women—Perliett, who lived in the early twentieth century, and Maggie in modern times.

Perliett is a self-proclaimed healer who often butts heads with the town physician George Wasiak. Her mother is a spiritualist who tries to summon the deceased relatives of grieving families. The book opens when George calls upon Perliett to help prepare the body of Eunice Withers who was found dead of multiple stab wounds in a nearby cornfield. Not long afterward, Eunice’s younger sister is also murdered.

In the present day, Maggie Wasiak and her husband, Trent, buy an old farmhouse that was once part of the Withers farm. Maggie suffers from depression due to having four miscarriages. She’s apprehensive about living in the house—the basement’s foundation was made of broken sections of old gravestones.

Shortly after they move in, Trent discovers the body of a young woman who was also a murder victim. Maggie starts to see visions of deceased people. She tries to hide the truth from Trent, as well as her best friend. In the meantime, Trent is also hiding things, including the fact the murdered woman is his cousin.

Maggie soon learns of the 1910 unsolved killings and that the murdered women lived on their farm. As she and her friend look for clues, they discover evidence of a woman who went missing in the 1980s. Are all the events connected, and if so, how?

This is a page-turner and the author kept me guessing until near the end. As a note, this book is Christian fiction, and I wondered how Wright would handle a character summoning the dead as well as another one seeing visions of dead people. I thought she did an admirable job that would satisfy readers of the genre. It’s also a good “ghost” story for those who enjoy those types of books.