Upcoming Book News and Cover Reveal

It’s been a hot minute since I had a new book out, so this is very exciting. Allow me to introduce you to The Note: A Historical Mystery.

The ebook is now available for pre-order at a reduced price and will be released August 2, 2022! The paperback won’t be far behind.

Here’s the official description:

Ariana Reyes loves finding treasures in thrift stores. Sometimes it’s a rare hat, vintage shoes, or a costume to wear for her second-grade class. But when she finds a gorgeous 1950s swing coat, she finds more than a piece of antique clothing.

Reaching into the pocket, Ari discovers a scrap of yellowing paper containing an address and a name. She doesn’t recognize the location, and seeing the chance to motivate her students with a good mystery, she investigates, expecting to find nothing more than an old building.

Instead, she finds a burned-down structure and a cellar secured with a shiny padlock. Her curiosity piqued, she breaks the lock and discovers not only a neglected space but decades-old secrets—secrets that some will do anything to keep hidden.

Maruska’s latest historical mystery checks all the boxes: entertaining characters, plot twists, and a perplexing puzzle. The Note is a quick read that will keep you turning the pages.

—Al Macy, bestselling author of Conclusive Evidence

The Note is my first novella, coming in at about half the length of a traditional novel. Beta readers have been loving it.

Great story line!!! -Beta Reader One

I love the writing. So smooth and easy to follow. I loved the topic and the mystery and how it unfolds. – Beta Reader Two

Oh my I LOVE IT! It was gripping, I didn’t want to put it down. I felt people’s emotions at different times! – Beta Reader Three

Of course there are many more comments, and beta readers also offered helpful constructive criticism. With more feedback coming and the book with the editor, it will be the best possible read I can make it.

And since you can’t preview read with a book on pre-order, here’s the prologue to keep you busy. Come August 2nd, I hope you enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it!



The cab squeaked to a stop in front of a bungalow set back from the street, its only light coming from a table lamp muted by a sheer curtain in the window. Separated from the rest of the town by half a mile, it stood as an outcast, as if unwelcome among the more respectable structures. Betty squinted into the darkness. “Is this the right place?”

“It’s the address you told me.” The cabbie twisted around in his seat. Fatigue, impatience, and age etched themselves on his face, apparent even in the cover of night. Betty may have been his last fare (and one who paid more for his trouble), but she also took him two hours out of the city, a trip he likely hadn’t anticipated. “Are we turning back?”

Swallowing, Betty peered at the house. “No. I’m sure this is it.” She reached into her coat pocket, where she’d put the scrap of paper. She didn’t need to look at the address again—she’d memorized it soon after it was scrawled, along with the name of the woman who Betty hoped would be her savior. But her reason for coming here surely warranted more than a small, dark house and a single lamp.

Her fingers searched for the scrap but came up empty.

She checked the other pocket, then returned to the first one. Where is it? She racked her mind—she hadn’t set it down anywhere; she was sure of that. The note was more than a simple paper. It was hope, one that was hers alone. Her coat was its safe place—but was she wearing this coat that day? She liked to rotate her apparel, partly to keep her look interesting and partly to show her friends that she had the means to do so. But what if she had worn this coat and the note fell onto the floor at home, threatening to expose her?

What if Rick had already found it?

Her stomach knotted.

“So, what are we doing?”

Burying her anxiety, Betty unclasped her handbag and removed the bills she’d agreed to pay the man, along with two extra, and passed them across the seat. “Can you wait a couple of minutes? I’ll wave if it’s okay.”

He took the money and offered a short grunt.

Betty stepped into the chilly air. There wasn’t a path to the house. In her pumps, she struggled across the soft ground, her steps growing heavier as she closed the distance. Combined with the weight of her purpose and that of losing the note, she was surprised to make it to the front door.

As instructed, she knocked four times.

No answer.

She tried again. Four knocks. What if no one is here?

A lock clicked, and a tall woman wearing a handmade, cream-colored house dress and with gray hair pulled into a bun opened the door. She stood in silence.

“Are you Rita?” Betty asked.

“I am.”

“I was told to come here.”

“Do you have the money?”

Betty nodded.

“Come in, then.”

Betty waved to the cabbie, who sped off, leaving her alone with her decision. She followed Rita inside.

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