Sunday, January 24, 2021


How fun it is to be a stop on the blog tour for
Book 1 in the Beloved Bookroom Mysteries
by Dorothy St. James

When small-town assistant librarian Tru Beckett sets up a secret book room in her newly modernized library, she discovers that protecting the printed word is harder than she’d ever imagined. In fact, it’s murder.

Trudell Becket, known to her friends as Tru, finds herself in a bind when her library in lovely Cypress, South Carolina, is turned into a state-of-the-art bookless “technological center.” A library with no books breaks Tru’s book-loving heart so she decides to rescue hundreds of beloved tomes slated for the town dump. Under the cover of darkness, Tru, along with her best friends—coffee shop owner Tori Green and mysterious bestselling author Flossie Finnegan-Baker—set up a secret bookroom in the library’s basement and prepare to open it to their most loyal, trustworthy patrons.

But as Tru and her crew are putting the finishing touches on their new book room, the town manager, who was behind the big push for the library’s transformation, is crushed by an overturned shelf of DVDs. Tru becomes the prime suspect as she hadn’t hid the fact that she hated having all of those wonderful books replaced by tablets and computers. But if she gives the police her alibi, she’ll have to explain about the secret book room and risk losing the books.

Tru knows she’s in a heap of trouble, and it doesn’t help that the officer in charge of the case is her old crush from high school, who broke her teenaged heart. To keep herself out of jail and her beloved bookroom up and running, Tru—with the help of Tori, Flossie, and a brown tabby stray cat named Dewey Decimal—decides to investigate. And faster than you can say “Shhhh!” Tru quickly finds herself on the same page with a killer who would love to write her final chapter. . . .



1 lucky reader will each win a 
$10.00 Amazon Gift Card

USA only

Enter using the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post.

Winner will be chosen after January 25 at the end of the tour

This giveaway is through Great Escape Book Tours

Coffee, a Good Book, and a Sweet Pastry…That’s Living!

Tru asked me to stop by and introduce myself. I’m her best friend, Tori Green. If you’ve visited the Town of Cypress you might have seen me working behind the counter of Perks. That’s my coffee shop. We serve the best coffee east of the Mississippi, so be sure to come in and order a mug, you hear me? 

If you do, I’ll sit down at a table with you and tell you a secret. What? You don’t think you’ll be in Cypress anytime soon? And you can’t wait? 

Well, I’ve never been one to torture a soul, unless he’s my boyfriend (or husband—I’ve had four husbands you know, but that’s a story for another time. We’re talking about Tru and a secret I want to tell you about her.) Sit. Sit. And listen for a moment. 

Everyone in town thinks I’m doing Tru a favor by sticking by her side like I do. All through school, I was the popular girl. I was cheerleader captain, homecoming queen, beauty queen. After school, I married a man with political aspirations, a powerful man, which by association made people see me as powerful. I’ve been successful in business with my coffee shop. And I have a killer fashion sense. So, I know what you’re thinking. What am I doing spending all my time with a shy assistant librarian who has rarely traveled outside our town? 

What? That’s not what you were thinking? You want to know why I’m talking about myself instead of spilling the details about this secret I promised? 

Patience. I’m setting the mood. Plus, the background is important. 

You see, the secret is Tru. Trudell Becket, my bestest-best friend since Kindergarten, is hiding a huge secret. She’s has a warrior’s heart. Yes, that’s the secret. She’s as tough as they come. 

I see you’re shaking your head in dismay. Even though most residents in Cypress overlook Tru and think she’s forgettable, she’s not. If you have a problem she’ll do anything and I mean anything to help you. That’s why I wasn’t at all surprised Tru sprang to action when the town started making changes to the public library. The town leaders had decided that the library should modernize and go digital. 

Honestly, I didn’t see the problem. Then again, I don’t read that much. But Tru knew right away that taking away the print books would be a mistake. When her efforts to convince that pig-headed town manager to keep the books failed, she took matters into her own hands because that’s what warriors do. 

She was right to do it, too. I couldn’t believe how many people enjoyed reading and wanted to be able to have something to hold (other than a computer or a phone) when reading. Seeing the joy on the faces of our neighbors and friends when Tru brings them the books they need is amazing. She is my heroine. And I’m the lucky one in our relationship. I’m lucky that she’ll be my friend.

And don’t listen to the rumors going around town…about the murder. I’m sure Tru didn’t have anything to do with the town manager’s death. I mean, she would do anything to right a wrong, but I don’t think she’d go as far as killing someone. Even though he did deserve it. That man was terrible. And I, for one, don’t miss him. Not. At. All.


No one in the moderately sized rural southern town of Cypress would ever suspect their stalwart assistant librarian of breaking into the library where she worked. Why would they? A bronze plaque hangs on my kitchen wall. It was personally presented to me by Mayor Goodvale. He declared me an asset to the town. I’d received the award because I always performed my job with the highest level of pride and professionalism. For the past thirteen years I put the town and library first, often to the detriment of my personal life.

An even bigger honor occurred a few years ago when Mrs. Lida Farnsworth, the town’s head librarian, whispered (she always whispered) while we busily returned books to their shelves: “Trudell Becket, I couldn’t be more pleased to be wrong about my first impression of you. I would have hired any other candidate for the position. But, alas, the only other person who’d applied was that drunkard Cooper Berry. I honestly didn’t think you had it in you, honey. But, bless your heart, you’ve become the model of a perfect librarian.”

And she was right. I was perfect. Until . . .

Well, let’s just say someone needed to do this.

As a general rule, librarians don’t speak in loud voices. Librarians don’t exceed the speed limit when driving to work. And librarians certainly don’t dress head-to-toe in black ninja-wear while attempting to pick the library’s backdoor lock.

Yet, librarians can always be counted on to get things done.

“Don’t look at me like that,” I muttered to a lanky brown cat with black tiger stripes. It had emerged from the darkened back alleyway to stand next to library’s cool pearly-pink granite wall and watch me. “Someone needs to protect those books before they all end up destroyed. They’re sending them to the landfill.” The small metal flashlight clenched between my teeth caused the words to come out garbled. Both of my hands were busy working the lock.

A textbook for locksmiths that I’d borrowed from the library’s reference section sat open to the page featuring a diagram of a lock. Since I didn’t own a lockpick kit—why would I?—I’d improvised with a few sturdy paperclips bent to resemble the tools depicted on the book’s previous page. Every little sound, every scrape and rumble in Cypress’s quaint downtown, boomed in my ears. I jumped at the soft cough of a car engine. And with that cat watching me, I felt an itchy need to scurry into the nearest mousehole to hide.

But I couldn’t run. I had to finish what I’d set my mind to finishing.

After what felt like a million thundering heartbeats while I fumbled with the paperclips, the lock clicked. The door opened. I rose on shaky legs, gathering up the reference book and the stack of flattened moving boxes I’d brought with me. My gaze darted to the darkest corners of the alleyway before I slipped inside.

Just as the door started to close, the cat that had been watching with such a judgmental glare shimmied between my legs and into the library before the heavy metal back door clanked closed.

“Hey!” I called in a harsh whisper because shouting in a library simply wasn’t done. Whispering seemed even more important in the middle of the night as I sneaked inside on my clandestine mission.

The brown cat ignored me. With a yeow loud enough to have me instinctively hissing, “Shhhh!” the little beast darted upstairs and disappeared into the shadows of the stacks.

“Tru, you’re in for it now,” I muttered before dropping the stack of boxes. I sprinted after that darn cat. Mrs. Farnsworth would have a heart attack if she discovered a flea-bitten kitty wandering among her books in the morning. I needed to get him out. The head librarian was already on edge with having to deal with the changes coming to the library. If I didn’t know the tough older woman better, I would have suspected she was busy plotting a murder.

About Dorothy St. James

Mystery author Dorothy St. James was born in New York but raised in South Carolina. She makes her home on an artsy island community in South Carolina with her husband, a crazy dog, and fluffy cat. Though writing has always been a passion for her, she pursued an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and a graduate degree in Public Administration and Urban Planning. She put her educational experience to use, having worked in all branches and all levels of government including local, regional, state, and federal. She even spent time during college working for a non-profit environmental watchdog organization. 

Switching from government service and community planning to fiction writing wasn't as big of a change as some might think. Her government work was all about the stories of the people and the places where they live. As an urban planner, Dorothy loved telling the stories of the people she met. And from that, her desire to tell the tales that were so alive in her heart grew until she could not ignore it any longer. In 2001, she took a leap of faith and pursued her dream of writing fiction full-time. 

* Dorothy St. James is the alter-ego of award-winning multi-published author, Dorothy McFalls. She enjoys writing in several different genres. Her works have been nominated for many awards including: Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, Reviewers International Organization Award, National Reader's Choice Award, CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Award, and The Romance Reviews Today Perfect 10! Award. Reviewers have called her work: "amazing", "perfect", "filled with emotion", and "lined with danger." Author 


Purchase Links 
Amazon   -   IndieBound   -   Bookshop   -   B&N

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for being part of the blog tour for "THE BROKEN SPINE" by Dorothy St. James.

    Enjoyed hear from Tori and reading the excerpt. Can't wait to read more of both with the opportunity to read the book.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net