“The Ashworth Mysteries,” book four in the Connie Holt Mystery Series, is here. Fans of Connie and her adventures in Virginia horse country will meet their friends from the first three novels plus other intriguing characters, including Steve Irby, a new farrier and failed country music singer from Nashville, and new doctor, Dick Fairfax. Ashworth historical characters and events are here too.
Like to know more? Here’s a brief introduction to the novel.
“The Ashworth Mysteries” is the story of an annus horribilis in the fortunes of Cary McCutcheon and his wife Pam of Bedford, Virginia. In this newest story, Cary and his wife have an unusual problem with Pam’s aunt, Pamela Ashworth, a still beautiful and mysterious woman who lives in Charlottesville. Pamela needs help from Pam and Cary. She is suffering from a heart ailment and her finances have long been in need of a review. Good business dictates that the very old Virginia family of the Ashworths be investigated before its financial situation is analyzed. But there are mysteries about the family that have never been brought to light.
Until recently, Cary and Pam had intended to work with Pam’s aunt themselves in an intensive investigation that might take six months or more. But they didn’t figure on Pam having a bad riding accident. At the beginning of the story, Pam is thrown from her horse in a jumping accident. Unconscious, Pam is transported by Pegasus, the University of Virginia helicopter, to the hospital. Depressed by the accident, Cary fails to realize he has serious business problems. Connie Holt and the rest of Cary’s staff are disillusioned and worried. A most important conversation between Steve Irby and Cary becomes the catalyst for Cary’s realization that everyone in his horse community is in trouble–including him. His particular crisis includes financial problems, the real possibility of losing his beloved thoroughbred Darkling Lord, fewer customers for his insurance business and thoroughbred breeding and sales, and the realization that he has a closed business and farm in which much of the community isn’t involved. He’s been caught in the business model of his father that is no longer viable.
In this dilemma, Cary and Pam give the problem of Pamela Ashworth to Connie. She will live in luxury at Ashworth Hall in Charlottesville with the famous lady and use her best investigative skills to find out the truth about the Ashworth family. Why did the family fail to flourish during the early years of Virginia? Who were earlier relatives who are associated with the name Ashworth? What are the facts about Pamela Ashworth and her life as a singer? What is the true history of Pam whose life story is still open to question? While Cary and his wife try to find solutions for their complex business problems, Connie will be working on the history of the family. No one realizes that the information Connie takes back to Bedford will be devastating and raise the inevitable question in cases like this: should certain family secrets never be divulged?
The population of feral horses, or mustangs, greatly decreased in the United States during the 20th century. The modernization of the countryside, extreme weather conditions, indiscriminate hunting and human pressure have all led to the slow demise of wild horses. But in an area of southern Spain, the heritage and lines of the mustangs live on.
In October 2010, photojournalist Sue Morrow volunteered to muck the stalls and stock hay at a rural barn in Athens, Ohio, called Last Chance Corral. Little did she know that this barn was one of the primary safe havens for non-pedigreed nurse mare foals and adult horses who were rescued from being killed or abandoned after breeding season.
Morrow soon began documenting the barn and its efforts to rescue non-pedigree foals who did not demonstrate “championship potential” in a film called “Born to Die.” The documentary was recently funded via Kickstarter in January with a mission to bring awareness to what Morrow calls the “cruel secret” within the breeding industries.
Stop the slaughter of horses for human consumption
Brynn and Scott Taylor Chesapeake, VA
Brynn and Scott Taylor
My name is Brynn Taylor, and I am 12 years old. I started this petition with my dad because I love horses. They are sweet, kind animals with very big hearts. They help us in so many ways, from being a great form of physical therapy for people with disabilities to providing companionship to veterans. Horses are very heroic and have been a big part of our history. Now it is our turn to help them.
In 2014 alone, more than 140,000 U.S. horses were slaughtered for human consumption overseas. The process is cruel and inhumane — the long, cramped journey to Mexico and Canada causes these animals great stress and suffering. Once at the slaughterhouse, they are shoved into a “kill box” where there is an attempt to stun them before they are killed. It often doesn’t work, and the horse remains conscious. It is time for the cruel and unnecessary killing of horses to end.
The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act of 2015 would prohibit the sale or transport of horses and other equines for the purpose of consumption. SAFE would establish Congressional recognition that equines are not domesticated for human consumption.
Even if you believe it should be okay to consume horses, US horses are treated with chemicals that make them unsafe for human consumption. The SAFE ACT recognizes these chemicals as hazardous to humans, and calls for a ban on the consumption of equine meat.
The bill has been introduced in both the House and Senate, but opponents are working hard to stop it. We need you to raise your voice to end the cruel slaughter of horses. Help me protect the animals I love and get the SAFE Act passed.
U.S. House of Representatives
President Barack Obama
Support U.S. H.R. 1942; S. 1214—The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act of 2015 and Stop the Slaughter of Horses for Human Consumption
Killer Nashville always has a dizzying array of offerings for readers and writers. But a special part the exciting events in devoted to the appearance of agents and editors who are on the lookout for writing talent. If you have a manuscript you’d like read and critiqued by a professional, Killer Nashville is your place this year.
Nine leaders of the publishing industry will share their expertise – and search for new clients – at the 2015 Killer Nashville Writers’ Conference October 29-November 1 at the Nashville Omni Hotel.
From Los Angeles to New York City, the agents include Sheree Bykofsky of Sheree Bykofsky Associates; Mary Cummings of Diversion Books; Deni Dietz of Five Star Mysteries; Susan Finesman of Fine Literary Agency; Cate Hart of Corvisiero Agency; Jennifer Johnson-Blalock of Liza Dawson Literary Agency; Paula Munier of Talcott Notch Literary Agency; Elizabeth Poteet of St. Martin’s Press; and Alec Shane of Writers House.
The agents and editors are instrumental to the four-day writers’ conference. They will serve as a valuable resource to the more than 500 conference attendees, discovering new writing talent in social settings such as Thursday night’s Killer Nashville Wine Tasting Event, Friday night’s free Sisters in Crime Party, Saturday night’s free Mystery Writers of America Cocktail Party, and the Killer Nashville Guest of Honor Dinner. Registered attendees will also get individual attention as agents and editors review manuscripts in roundtable group settings with several writers and agents working together, and through one-on-one manuscript critiques and advising, as well as informal bar chats.
“Every year the conference attracts the best and brightest agents and editors,” said Clay Stafford, founder of the Killer Nashville conference. “This year is no exception. Having quality agents and editors who are actively seeking new clients is so important to our conference mission and we provide multiple ways for writers to meet with these people, either individually or in group settings. I think that is why our author placement with agents and publishers has been so successful. We want our attendees to receive the best and most relevant industry-related advice possible. And finding traditional representation and publication for these authors is icing on the cake.”
If you have a manuscript you’d like to have read and critiqued by a professional, Killer Nashville 2015 is your special place this year. Visit www.killernashville.com for more information.