The Last Gasp by Chautona Havig

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1920s – California

At the pinnacle of his Hollywood career, Garrison Prince’s reign ends tonight.

As plain old Gary Prinz, he can pursue his Bible education, buy a bungalow in Pasadena, acquire a few chickens, and marry the girl of his dreams. He just never imagined trading the silver screen for a pulpit would wreak such havoc.

A cigarillo girl, Lucinda Ashton spends her days with her boyfriend, Gary, and her evenings selling candy and “gaspers” to the Hollywood elite at the Taj Mahal Theater.

However, when gunshots ring out just as intermission begins, Lucinda finds herself smack-dab in the middle of a brouhaha that leaves three dead, and no one has a clue why.

All the police know is that the evidence points to Lucinda as the killer and Gary as the intended target.

Four new friends, one young orphan, and a potluck of clues that don’t seem to fit anywhere leave the police baffled, Lucinda in fear for her freedom, and Gary ready to trade in his acting shoes for gumshoes if it’ll save his “Cinda.”

The first book in the Ever After Mysteries combining beloved fairy tales and mysteries, The Last Gasp. This Cinderella retelling blends a murder with enough crime and story clues to keep you on the edge of your seat.

In a Far-Off Land by Stephanie Landsem

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1931 – California/South Dakota

A story about the price of fame, the truth sacrificed on its altar, and the love that brings a prodigal daughter home.

As the Great Depression hits the Midwest, Minerva Sinclaire runs away to Hollywood, determined to make it big and save the family farm. But beauty and moxie don’t pay the bills in Tinseltown, and she’s caught in a downward spiral of poverty, desperation, and compromise. Finally, she’s about to sign with a major studio and make up for it all. Instead, she wakes up next to a dead film star and is on the run for a murder she didn’t commit.

Only two unwilling men—Oscar, a Mexican gardener in danger of deportation, and Max, a too-handsome agent battling his own demons—can help Mina escape corrupt police on the take and the studio big shots trying to frame her. But even her quick thinking and grit can’t protect her from herself. Alone, penniless, and carrying a shameful secret, Mina faces the consequences of the heartbreaking choices that brought her to ruin . . . and just might bring her back to where she belongs.

 

Finding Olivia by Darlene Wells

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findingoliviaFinding Olivia

1937 – California

Convinced that Hollywood holds the key to her future joy and contentment, Olivia Hawkins refuses to pay heed to the voices that warn her of the inherent dangers. Nathan Grant, an ordained minister has seen Hollywood ruin more lives than he cares to count, especially the one for which he carries a burden of guilt. He won’t stand by and watch it happen again. Excitement, rejection, and terrifying betrayal daunt Olivia’s journey and threaten her relationship with God. Caught in a struggle between worldly fame and fame in the eyes of the One who created her, she must decide which is of greater worth: stardom or true peace?

Stars in the Night by Cara Putnam

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1942 – California

When attorney Audra Schaeffer’s sister disappears, Audra flies to Hollywood to find her—but must identify her body instead. Determined to bring the killer to justice, Audra takes a job with the second Hollywood Victory Caravan. Together with Robert Garfield and other stars, she crisscrosses the southern United States in a campaign to sell war bonds. When two other women are found dead on the train, Audra knows the deaths are tied to her sister’s. Could the killer be the man with whom she’s falling in love?