Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Knot of This World (+ Giveaway)

Cozy murder mysteries are always fun to read so I’m delighted today to be participating in author Mary Marks’ Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for her recent release, KNOT OF THIS WORLD, the eighth installment in her Quilting Mystery series.

There’s an excerpt for your reading pleasure and a tour-wide giveaway you can enter. Let’s begin the fun.

Knot of This World
By Mary Marks
*Cozy Mystery
*8th in Series - A Quilting Mystery
*Publisher: Kensington (July 28, 2020)
*Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
*ISBN-10: 1496720512
*ISBN-13: 978-1496720511
*Digital ASIN: B07ZPJ5BLM

Quilter Martha Rose must patch together the clues to solve the murder of a cult leader in the California mountains . . .

Has Martha’s fellow quilter and dear friend Birdie Watson become unraveled? Birdie and her new husband have decided to join the Mystical Feather Society, a spiritist group living on a commune in the mountains of Ojai, California.

Before her free-spirited friend makes a huge mistake, Martha organizes a surprise visit to check out the commune. While white-robed members conduct a seancĂ© in a glass yurt, their leader—Royal St. Germain—is nowhere to be found . . . until, that is, Martha and her friends discover him shot in their Winnebago. Now Martha must track down the killer and debunk the cult—before it's bye bye Birdie . . .


Birdie reached for a cup of coffee. “I believe everyone has their own spiritual journey in this lifetime. What we don’t learn now, we’ll have a chance to learn next time around. That’s why Denny and I are going to live in the Mystical Feather commune.”

“What’s that?” Lucy put her sewing in her lap and sat at attention. Lucy claimed she had ESP and was deeply interested in metaphysics.

“It’s a spiritual discipline started in the nineteen thirties by Madam Natasha St. Germain. She was a famous medium who encountered her true spirit guide while fasting and meditating. He revealed many secrets of the spirit world and instructed her to bring those truths to the material world. When she came out of her trance, she discovered her guide left plumage—three white feathers, to be exact—on the table as a sign. So, she established the Mystical Feather Society.”

“Fascinating.” Jazz moved a little closer to Birdie. “What is a spirit guide?”

Birdie sat up a little straighter. “It’s a spiritual entity that’s assigned to each individual before birth. It manifests itself as a person, an animal, or a being of light. Its mission is to protect the individual and help them fulfill their life’s purpose.”

“You mean like a guardian angel?” Giselle snorted.

“I don’t believe in angels.”

Lucy frowned at my sister. “Don’t be so sure of yourself. There are many famous people who’ve been guided by these entities. James Van Praagh.

Alison Dubois.” She turned back to Birdie. “Who was Madam St. Germain’s spirit guide?”

Birdie smiled softly. “An albino raven.”

Giselle laughed out loud. “Hence the white feathers? Oh, come on. How can you believe all that nonsense?”

“To you it may be nonsense, dear. But not to us. Denny and I received our own sign when we went walking in the hills around Sedona at the vernal equinox in March. We spotted three white feathers on the path in front of us.”

The more she spoke, the more my gut clenched.

“Where is the commune? What, exactly, is involved in joining?”

“The actual commune is not far from here, in the mountains of Ojai, California. Denny and I aren’t getting any younger, dear, and neither one of us has any heirs. So, we’ll be selling the ranch in Oregon, our house here in Encino, and the one in Arizona. The money will go into the Mystical Feather Society Trust, which runs the commune. We’ll be well taken care of until our spirits leave our bodies.”

When my sister glanced at me, I could tell she was as disturbed as I was. Jazz also looked alarmed. Even Lucy’s smile faded. “Oh, hon, I sure hope you know what you’re doing. That’s a big commitment to make.”

Giselle murmured, “Especially on the word of an albino raven.”

Birdie seemed unflappable. Either she didn’t hear the comment or she chose to ignore it. She pointed to a photo in a silver frame of me holding my new baby granddaughter wrapped in the pink quilt I made for her. “Oh, Martha dear, Quincy’s baby is precious. What’s her name?”

“Daisy. She’s five months old and bright as a button. I practically have to pay my daughter to let me babysit.”

Birdie sighed. “I hope to see her before we move to Ojai. Once we arrive in the community, we’ll be pretty much incommunicado.”

An alarm started clanging in my head. “What do you mean? You can’t have visitors? You can’t use a phone?”

“Well, there will be an orientation period in which we’ll learn the secrets of the Mystical Feather. Then we’ll receive instruction on the techniques of meditation in order to contact our own personal spirit guides.” She smiled. “During that time, we must have no distractions from the outside world. I hope you understand.”

“When do you plan to go there?” Jazz scooped up Zsa Zsa and held her protectively against his body.

“As soon as our properties are sold. Then there will be a formal welcoming ceremony in which we turn over to the community all our earthly goods and they will embrace us as full members. We already have a buyer interested in the ranch, and our real estate agent thinks she can sell the other places within the month.”

Giselle frowned. “But, Birdie, aren’t you in your seventies? At this time of life, why is it important to meet your spirit guide? Let’s face it. Isn’t his work pretty much over?”

For once, I was grateful for my sister’s ability to shoot right at the heart of the matter. Everyone else must’ve felt the same way because all motion had stopped and all ears were focused on what our friend might say.

Birdie laughed. “Ask me that question again when you’ve reached my age, my dear. Where there’s life, there’s always a thirst for knowledge and enlightenment. Take my arthritis, for instance. It’s merely a symptom of a stressful existence. Once I’ve become an Adept, my guide will help me completely reverse the disease.”

For the rest of the day, I scarcely heard the conversations. My stomach churned and my heart sat heavy in my chest. Hadn’t Birdie just described typical cult tactics? Make outlandish promises, isolate the individuals from their normal support network until they’ve been thoroughly indoctrinated, and keep them dependent by seizing all their resources.

How could I prevent Birdie and Denver from making such a terrible mistake?

KNOT OF THIS WORLD is available for purchase at the following sites: Amazon - B&N - Kobo - Google Play - IndieBound

Meet the Author

Author Mary Marks
Born and raised in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, Mary Marks earned a B.A. in Anthropology from UCLA and an M.A. in Public Administration from the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. In 2004 she enrolled in the UCLA Extension Writers Program.

Her first novel, Forget Me Knot, was a finalist in a national writing competition in 2011. She is currently a reviewer of cozy mysteries for The New York Journal of Books at

For more on Mary and her writing, you can connect with her on the following sites:

Thanks so much for stopping by today. You can follow along with Mary on her tour by visiting the sites below. Be sure to enter the giveaway too. Would you jump in and check out anything new and “unusual” your friend was about to join?

August 17 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
August 17 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
August 17 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
August 18 – Diane Reviews Books – SPOTLIGHT
August 18 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
August 19 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW
August 19 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
August 19 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
August 20 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 20 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 20 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
August 21 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
August 21 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 22 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
August 22 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 22 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
August 23 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
August 23 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – GUEST POST
August 23 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
August 23 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

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  1. Is it wrong of me to say I wouldn't mourn for many murdered cult leaders?
    And hooray for cozy murder mysteries. It is cool and damp today - perfect cozy time.

  2. Dead cult leader - new twist. And as always, cozies have the best titles.

  3. That's a really interesting premise, Mason. There are lots of possibilities in a plot like that, too, so I can see how the story could go in more than one direction. Thanks for sharing.

  4. It sounds interesting. I don't remember ever hearing of a cozy where the victim is a cult leader.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.