BLIND FAITH is a Kindle Daily Deal — July 12

Today only (July 12), my Blind Faith (written as Alicia Beckman), is a Kindle Daily Deal — only 2.99! Heck, the cover alone is worth that.

From the cover:

Long-buried secrets come back with a vengeance in a cold case gone red-hot in Agatha Award-winning author Alicia Beckman’s second novel, perfect for fans of Laura Lippman and Greer Hendricks.

For decades, the unsolved murder of Father Michael Leary has haunted Billings, Montana, the community he served. Who summoned the priest late one autumn night, then left his body in a sandstone gully for the ravens and other wild scavengers?

And it’s haunted no one more than Lindsay Keller, who admired and confided in him as a teenager. Compelled by his example to work for justice, she became a prosecutor. But after a devastating case left her shattered, she fled the rough-and-tumble for the safety of a desk, handling real estate deals and historic preservation projects. Good work, but not what she’d dreamed of.

Now Lindsay finds herself in possession of the priest’s wallet, the photo of a young girl tucked inside. She’s sure she knows the girl, and that it’s tied to his death. But how?

Detective Brian Donovan, a hot-shot Boston transplant, would like nothing more than to solve the county’s coldest case. Probing the life and death of Father Leary takes Lindsay and Donovan deep into long-simmering tensions in this seemingly-peaceful place.

Then another woman far away digs up unexpected clues about her own family’s past—a history rooted in a shocking truth—and her questions bring her to Lindsay and the detective. But the dangerous answers could rock the community to its very core.


Writing Wednesday — All the Scentses

Leslie’s desk

When I was writing Blind Faith, my second stand-alone suspense novel, I quickly knew that a secondary character named Irene Danich was very fond of roses. Irene was a strong-willed woman, born in 1919 in a small Montana mining town. Irene lost both her husband and her daughter early, leaving her to raise two young granddaughters—one of whom, Carrie, is a major character with her own story line and POV. Beautiful and with a strong personal sense of style, but without a lot of money, Irene loved pretty things but was rarely able to indulge in them.

What, I wondered, was Irene’s signature scent? My own mother, a little younger than Irene, was not able to help me, and the only department store in the area with a perfume counter had closed. I remembered that a Sister in Crime, Angela Saunders, had once posted on the group message board about her love of perfume. I tracked her down and peppered her with questions.

Angie helped me focus on identifying something simple, romantic and floral that would have been available in small-town drugstores in the 1930s to 50s. Drugstore perfumes flourished in that era and some, I learned, were knock-offs of pricey Parisian scents. We settled on an eau de cologne, Yardley’s Red Roses, a good brand but not fancy, also available in soap and bath powder. She might have flirted with other brands over the years, but always returned to this one.

And oh, those lovely bottles! I remembered how much I loved my own mother’s collection, watching her choose one to wear, and being allowed to dab on a precious drop or two myself. They changed over time, and Carrie keeps three of them, each different, on a display shelf in her bungalow.

The point of the cologne was not just to characterize Irene, whom we see in action just twice, but also to characterize Carrie’s memory of Irene and of their relationship, which is pivotal. Readers can’t smell the pages, of course, and they may not have any association with a classic mid-century scent. But my hope is that the mention of it, and the reference to the bottles, will help readers create their own sense of this woman, even if the scent that emerges from their memories is nothing like what arises in mine.

Maybe you can do something similar with one of your characters. A man who wears Gray Flannel is very different from one who wears Old Spice, just as a woman who dabs on a scent created at a custom perfumerie in Paris is very different from one who gives off waves of lavender and lemon grass essential oils.

BLIND FAITH, written as Alicia Beckman, is out this week in hardcover, ebook, and audio.

Long-buried secrets come back with a vengeance in a cold case gone red-hot in Agatha Award-winning author Alicia Beckman’s second novel, perfect for fans of Laura Lippman and Greer Hendricks.

A photograph. A memory. A murdered priest.

A passion for justice.

A vow never to return.

Two women whose paths crossed in Montana years ago discover they share keys to a deadly secret that exposes a killer—and changes everything they thought they knew about themselves.

Find it here: Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Indie Bound
And your local booksellers!

Read an excerpt and early reviews on my website.

Launch Day — BLIND FAITH

Blind Faith. It’s finally here, out today in hardcover, ebook, and audio.

Believe me, the phrase “blind faith” has a lot to do with the creative process, and with publishing! I started this book in the summer of 2016, worked on it between other projects, thought it was finished in 2019, and edited it again in 2020. Along the way, I questioned my ability to bring the characters to life, to handle the multiple points of view and the dual timeline, and to find the facts that would lead to the deep emotions that drive a novel of psychological suspense.

But I’d been thinking about pieces of the story for years. When I was a senior in high school in Billings, Montana, I gave a new girl a ride home. I never saw her again. Every few years, I wondered who she was, where she’d gone, and why. Blind Faith is one answer.

The novel draws on my own experiences growing up in Billings, in its Catholic community, but also on universal themes: imperfect justice, how we continually find or recreate ourselves, how we respond to obstacles, and as in many of my books, faith and women’s friendships.

Lindsay Keller, Carrie West, Father Michael Leary, and Detective Brian Donovan are all still so real to me, long after I finished writing this book. I hope that as you travel with them, while they confront deadly secrets that force them to make decisions with irreversible consequences, you too will find yourself in the forest of possibility.

Speaking of forests, my thanks to Nicole Lecht and Crooked Lane Books for the fabulous cover. And I know you audiobook fans will love the narration of Nicol Zanzarella. It was such a joy to work with her.

Blind Faith is available in hardcover, ebook, and audio from:
Barnes and Noble
Indie Bound
And your local booksellers!

If you’re in the Flathead Valley, join me this evening, Tues, Oct. 11, from 5:30 to 7:00 at the Bigfork Art & Cultural Center, in the Village (next to the library), for a party! I’ll be talking about mysteries, Blind Faith, and the creative process.

I’ll be appearing around the northwest this month and next to chat about the book, by myself and with friends. Here’s the current list. I hope to see you somewhere along the road.