Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Guest Post: Author Randy Overbeck

Hi everyone! 

I hope you enjoyed the Crimson at Cape May trailer. I'm thrilled to welcome Randy Overback to my blog.

Who Needs Love Anyway?

A reader interested in the novels in my Haunted Shores Mysteries sent me a question via email. “I heard you say at the author talk say that these are ghost story and mysteries, but you said they are also love stories. Can you clue me in on that part of the stories?”

            Technically, each of the titles is listed as a mystery and suspense with romantic elements, but the love story is far more than some afterthought. In fact, the romance strand is actually what drives both narratives. 

My hero, Darrell Henshaw, was been cheated on by his fianc√© in his home town and traveled six hundred miles to get away from his checkered romantic past. When he lands on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, he runs into a beautiful, redheaded young woman who captures his heart. 

Of course, being a guy, he can’t help but throw a few wrenches into this relationship, although, to be fair, he is dealing with a few complicating factors in his life—like ghosts that won’t stop haunting him, a mystery or two he needs to solve and some very powerful people who are trying to get him fired or worse, killed. You get the idea. He has a lot going on and the romance is smack dab in the middle of it all.

            Here are few comments from readers about the romantic part of story.

·      “There’s a great romance story weaved into all this. I loved Erin. She was no shrinking violet when it came to digging into the investigation by his side. She was the perfect partner for Darrell.”—an Amazon reviewer.

·      “And then there is Erin. Darrell is not looking for love again, but she has caught his eye and just might be the one to thaw his heart.”—an Amazon reviewer

·      “The romance was sweet and just added to the overall feel of the story.”—a Goodreads reader 

So I’d like to suggest if you’re looking for a read with a love story between two very real and fallible people, but you’d also like a little suspense with your romance, enjoy solving an unusual whodunnit, and maybe even appreciate a chill running down your spine, then I’d humbly suggest you check out either of the two Haunted Shores Mysteries, Blood on the Chesapeake and Crimson at Cape May. I don’t think you’re be disappointed. 

Blood on the Chesapeake

Blurb: Wilshire, Maryland, a quaint shore town on the Chesapeake, promises Darrell Henshaw a new start in life and a second chance at love. That is, until he learns the town hides an ugly secret. A thirty-year-old murder in the high school. And a frightening ghost stalking his new office. Burned by an earlier encounter with the spirit world, Darrell doesn't want to get involved, but when the desperate ghost hounds him, he concedes. Assisted by his new love, he follows a trail that leads to the civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and even the Klu Klux Klan. Then, when two locals who try to help are murdered, Darrell is forced to decide if he's willing to risk his life--and the life of the woman he loves--to expose the killers of a young man he never knew. 

Crimson at Cape May (The Haunted Shores Mysteries #2)

No matter how far you run, you can never really escape a haunted past. 

Darrell Henshaw—teacher, coach, and paranormal sensitive—learned this lesson the hard way. With his job gone and few options, he heads for Cape May to coach a summer football camp. The resort town, with gorgeous beaches, rich history and famous Victorian mansions, might just be the getaway he needs. Only, no one told him Cape May is the most haunted seaport on the East Coast. One resident ghost, the Haunted Bride, stalks Darrell, begging for his help.

He can’t refuse. 

Joining forces with Cassie, a street-wise teen and another sensitive, he investigates the bride’s death and discovers her murder is connected to a far greater horror. But can Darrell and Cassie expose those behind the crimes before they end up being the killer’s next victims? 



Why would this woman pursue him?

Now a safe distance away, he studied her. She was thin, with a small, drawn face of pasty skin, and he would’ve guessed her to be about his age, mid-twenties. But there was something about her, something that made him shiver. Did she have a black eye? Were those cuts on her cheek? Why hadn’t he noticed those before, when he passed her on the Promenade?

He sped up, the street crowded, congested with tourists. Normally, the jostling bodies would’ve given him the creeps, but today he was grateful for the numbers so he could blend in. 

Not sure where he was headed—except away from his boardinghouse—he kept up a brisk pace. He hurried past the legendary Inn of Cape May, with its ornate, white period architecture and four stories of ancient rooms facing the beach. Any other time, he’d be thinking about taking Erin there. The place had an interesting old-time vibe. That is, if she still wanted anything to do with him. But he didn’t have time for that now. He kept moving.

As he turned back onto Beach Avenue again, the sight of the beautiful blue ocean across the road struck him and he stopped for a moment, then chanced a peek back around the corner. No sign of his stalker. 

He reduced his pace, easing past a beach shop, and saw his reflection in the store front. That gave him an idea. Ahead, he spied a coffee shop with two long windows facing the street, the panes so sparkling clean he could see the image of the sun hanging over the ocean in the glass. As he walked along, he turned his head to catch his image and, when he was far enough along, he glanced sideways at the window. Trailing behind him, he could make out, reflected in the glass, only two people, a gray-haired couple. No one else. He took a few more steps, watching and slowing a little, and exhaled. He’d lost her.

He turned and studied the man and woman, who’d paused to examine the restaurant menu posted next to the door. A few feet beyond the couple stood the woman. Darrell’s gaze darted. The couple. The woman. The coffee shop window. Back to her. The petite young woman in the tattered white dress stood hunched not more than ten feet away. Darrell searched for her reflection in the glass. There was not even a shimmer.

Oh no. Not again. 

The side of the young woman’s face was beaten and bloodied. Her exposed neck bore a long, ugly purple bruise. The torn dress now had blood seeping across her torso and down her right leg. He looked back. Still nothing in the window. The hairs on his neck stood up.

“What do you want?”

In unison, the pair turned, peered behind and then back at Darrell. The man said, “Son, there’s no one there.” 

 Darrell kept staring and as he watched, the young woman walked through the older couple and stopped in front of him. This close up, her one deep blue eye—the one not blackened—seemed vacant and carried an emptiness that frightened Darrell. She again extended both pale hands, blood now covering them and dripping off her fingertips. Mesmerized, Darrell watched as fat crimson drops splattered red onto the gray sidewalk.

In her soft voice, she said again, “Please, help me. Help us.”

Darrell shook his head violently. “No. Hell, no. Not again.” Last time almost killed him.


About the author

Dr. Randy Overbeck is an award-winning educator, author and speaker, capturing state and national accolades for his work. As an educator, he served children for more than three decades in a range of roles captured in his novels, from teacher and coach to principal and superintendent. His thriller, Leave No Child Behind (2012) and his recent mysteries, Blood on the Chesapeake (2019)and Crimson at Cape May (2020) have earned five star reviews and garnered top awards and recognition from sites such as Literary Titan, ReadersFavorite.com, ReaderViews.com and N. N. Lights Bookheaven. As a member of the Mystery Writers of America, Dr. Overbeck is an active member of the literary community, contributing to a writers’ critique group, serving as a mentor to emerging writers and participating in writing conferences such as Sleuthfest, Killer Nashville and the Midwest Writers Workshop. When he’s not writing or researching his next exciting novel or sharing his presentation “Things That Go Bump in the Night,” he’s spending time with his incredible family of wife, three children (and their spouses) and seven wonderful grandchildren.

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  1. Thanks so much for the great post. Nice job all the way around with the piece.

  2. Love your creative titles, and the covers that accompany them!--Nancy

  3. This story sounds so good! Best on it!