Linda Rae Blair
Raleigh artist, Linda Rae Blair was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. She has used her knowledge gained during extensive travel throughout the United States and her passion for art, history, mysteries, and scenery to create compact novels with rich characters so real you'll miss them when they're gone and places you'll swear you've been. She has lived in Seattle, WA, Monterey Bay, CA, Cincinnati, OH, and retired five years ago in the Raleigh, NC area.
Her love of history is well-earned. She is a direct descendant of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins of Mayflower fame. She is also descended from a strong line of Scots-Irish immigrants to America in the 1700s. She even had a great uncle who was robbed by the infamous outlaw Belle Starr.
Her Scottish love story, “Elusive”, spans 200 years of Scottish history and intrigue via setting in 1700s Scotland and early 1900s Paris and Scotland.
An avid reader who inhales novels by Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown and others in the romance/mystery genres, her imagination takes you to a variety of places and times all in the same story.
Her travels to the beautiful southwestern states inspired her more modern historic romance combined with mystery, “100 Years of Brotherly Love”.
Her mystery series, The Preston Andrews Mysteries now has 12 published entries, beginning with “Hard Press’d” which now claims over 50,000 downloads and, most recently, the softcover print version of the series in compilation form.
Ms. Blair has spent many happy hours in Virginia Beach during off-season, when the winds blow cold and hard and the salty air whips at the weather-protected palms. This is the locale chosen for her Preston Andrews series. Locals and visitors alike find many familiar frames of reference in this series.
Her homage to her love for Poirot is via her teeny tiny mystery, “The Board Game Murders”.
Her newest series is aimed at a slightly younger and more female audience from that of The Preston Andrews series but begins in the backstory in “Pressing Reunion”.
The Samantha Hartley, PI series is lighter and features a very young and not terribly experienced private investigator just beginning her career—with a slight assist from the Director of the FBI.
One thing is for certain, she combines her passions into stories interesting to history buffs, travelers, and lovers of romance and mystery.
Where to find Linda Rae Blair online
Where to buy in print
Swinging Between The Poles
If you don't know what Bipolar Disorder means to the sufferer or those around him/her, this is for you. Here's how it has affected my life and that of those around me. With therapy, age and medication we can survive--even thrive!
Killing Without A Trace
A serial killer hits Virginia Beach on day 1 of spring break. Press's first thought is that an old nemesis has come back to haunt him. His only goal is to stop the killing before break ends and he loses more girls and perhaps the killer.
Second in the Samantha Hartley, PI mysteries series.
Sam has a new client, and she's not certain she's happy about it! Is the beautiful young woman running from a serious stalker or something else?
And, just what the heck is going on with Steve?
Murder investigation via the dog's perspective, this humorous mystery has Jones providing background information on the goings on in the Andrews household. His views on work, people and situations are bound to give the reader a giggle as Press and the rest of the Virginia team try to find the killer of a young woman who didn't exist just a very few years before she's found on Press's beach--dead!
Samantha Hartley has officially opened her private investigation office in DC. Her newest client is found dead outside his posh hotel--a "jumper".
DC cops find her business card in his pocket and want to know everything, but Sam won't talk. With the case ruled a homicide, Sam is determined to be involved in finding out why her client was murdered.
A Pressing Reunion
The Virginia Team is contacted by a young woman with whom Press has had dealings in the past.
Little does Press know that he is about to work toe-to-toe with his old nemesis, FBI Director Malcolm Probst. Rachel has to face her own demon from the past.
With all their lives in danger and two possible sources of the threat, can Press and Probst work together as a team? Is DC in danger?
Press'd To Kill
With just weeks before the biggest event of his life, everything goes wrong. In the midst of their celebration comes a terrible death, and that's just the beginning. Preston takes a life--now we have to figure out why. He could lose everything on this one!
(5.00 from 1 review)
Press has to work this one without his partner. There's been a murder entirely too close for comfort, and the whole VA team has to come together to prove Trace's innocence. Unrequited love can be a real killer!
A Pressing Issue of Murder
A young hospital administrator is found dead only three months after the suicide of his predecessor. Press and the Virginia team come together with Detective Ross Graham of the Norfolk PD to resolve an issue of murder. Then Press's favorite coroner comes unglued when a small child dies unnecessarily. How these and more all come together is a very pressing issue of murder!
Pressing The Message Home
It is spring of 2012. A brilliant, young law student is found dead in Virginia Beach and Press is not happy. Murder in his town always makes him unhappy. He'd much rather he was put out of business.
Press 'n SEAL
Admiral Poindexter has a serious problem and only his friend's son can help. If the wrong people discover that he has asked for help, someone he loved would die—quickly, horribly. Snuffed out like a candle.
The Board Game Murders
(4.00 from 1 review)
A teeny, tiny, little book of mystery. How many people can be murdered in just 75 pages? And how does mega-wealthy Charles Moneymaker and his friend and author, James Reading (of the railroad Readings, of course)figure it all out?
By inviting a group of guests with little or nothing in common, Moneymaker's old friend, Coz, has set off a string of deadly events as his guests begin to die!
Press has a very important appointment he absolutely must make. Wouldn't you know some whacko would start leaving dead bodies on his beach? Three Jane Does with absolutely nothing in common, except they're all dead. Enter a young soldier to report a missing friend. Can Press talk PFC Samantha Hartley into letting him solve the case, or will she put her pretty nose in where it doesn't belong?
Press has now thoroughly offended everyone around him. His woman is gone, his heart is broken, and he's just simply in a pissy mood!
Lt. Wallace is watching Press implode and take the Virginia Beach PD Homicide Squad down with him. Press is ordered to see the department shrink!
Soon, Press and Jones are on the road--following doctor's orders!
100 Years of Brotherly Love
It didn't begin that morning when Trick's mother found them standing in her kitchen, one with his daddy's big knife in his hand, all 3 with bloody hands. It wouldn't end, even when her panic over their blood oath faded.
It had begun nearly 100 years earlier. It would last their lifetimes and beyond, this brotherhood of theirs.
These 3 would live to stand against arson, murder, blackmail, & more!
Press'd To The Wall
3rd in The Preston Andrews Mysteries.
When his lover goes missing, his world is turned upside down. With surprising support from his nemesis, Malcolm Probst, the Director of the FBI; and his father, U.S. Senator William Andrews; Press goes hunting for Rachel and a killer.
Richard: It's In The Blood
Published for those who read "Where is Harry?" and "Claire: A Woman's Journey". This stand-alone is for you!
Part 3 of "Intersections: Love, Betrayal, Murder." Richard hails from a family of cops. Tragedy & betrayal take him to Chicago for a new start. A new job, a new friend, & a new love bring joy & challenges to his life. Chicago is not the best place for an honest cop in the 1920s!
Press'd Into Action
The 2nd of The Preston Andrews Mysteries finds Press, Trace, and Rachel trying to end a decade-long killing spree. If you are an art lover, you may be able to spot what is going on before the story gives it away--but that is doubtful. This killer is cunning.
As for his personal life, well, Press is trying to deal with his sister's surprise. Then there is a surprise visit from his dad. Oh, boy!
2ND EDITION AVAILABLE HERE AS OF 07/30/2012
Preston Andrews is admired by women for his handsome face and well-toned physique, by all for his opinion and skill. He rejects FBI recruitment efforts to remain with the VBPD.
His dad, a Senator, wants his son in the Foreign Service or politics.
His 180 lb. dog shares his mansion and fails obedience training.
His sister isn't speaking to him.
Claire: A Woman's Journey - NY Heiress - Chicago Madam
My 2nd Novel:
Part 2 of Intersections
Claire is born into wealth and New York Society. She forms a lifelong circle of friends in school in early 1900s Paris. After the murder of the man she loves, Claire and anyone close to her are threatened by the killer. Her losses mount and she and her friends escape to a new life in Chicago. But the danger to Claire and her friends isn't over yet
Where is Harry?
My 1st Novel:
Part 1 of Intersections
As beautiful Sarah discovers the truth, she loses her life and her tiny child, Katherine, loses everything she has known.
Young Mary is raised in hatred & deceit only to discover love in time to lose it, perhaps forever. Pursued by an evil man she detests, her only prayer is that her missing brother will find her & rescue her before she dies much too young.
Intersections ~ Love, Betrayal, Murder (The Chicago Trilogy)
(5.00 from 1 review)
Three Books in One!
Katherine's mother is murdered & the tiny girl's life becomes her worst nightmare. Claire is born into wealth & NY Society. After her fiancee's murder, she & anyone close to her are in danger. Young Richard,from a line of cops, loses his father & his mother is in bed with the man Richard believes is the killer.
Each will impact the lives of the others in early 1900s Chicago!
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
In 1725, a young Scottish lass made a decision that cost her everything & impacted her family for centuries. In 1912 Paris, a young woman finds that her past was a lie. The truth, hatred & greed spanning 200 years make her run for her life. She meets the man whose face has haunted her dreams since her uncle's murder. Will he save her life, or is he death in a very attractive package?
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Smashwords book reviews by Linda Rae Blair
on March 13, 2010
A great story that keeps you reading. I knew, of course, that not every hero in the story would make it through to the end...what would a good book do without a little pathos...and read each page dreading the demise of a character of which I had become so fond.
While this genre is new to me, I greatly enjoyed the story. I'll have to give more of it a try!
- Specter of The Covington Fencibles
on Aug. 18, 2011
As a lover of history, I relish stories like this one. It was well-written and told the story as if it had come right out of the family bible. It would be a lovely tale to read in front of the fireplace on a cold wintry evening with the children all sitting around. Scary enough to have the little ones shivering, real enough to have the grown-ups glad L.B. isn't still around. The photos are a lovely touch and punctuate the fact that this is a true story.
- Heather Farm
on Aug. 31, 2011
A sweet little ghost story. The only problem was that I wanted more! I wasn't ready for it to end. Definitely going to have to have more Dorte!
- Smashwords Style Guide
on Sep. 15, 2011
The new and improved version is so much easier to use. Thanks to Mark et al for all the hard work on our behalf! You're the best and so is the Guide!
- Liquorice Twists
on Sep. 22, 2011
I just LOVE the way Dorte can take you in one direction and just second later end the story with a quick twist in the other direction! She's a master a these quick little twists of murder and mayhem. A definite "to be read" for anyone with a wicked sense of humor and a love for murder mysteries. Each tale take but a few paragraphs and on to the next. Prepare for liquorice whiplash!
- Fall Leaves and the Black Dragon
on Nov. 03, 2011
I enjoyed this journey with Willy. The story is well constructed and certainly keeps the reader glued to the spot. Willy suffers the world's worst day and nightmares and is forced by his own unwillingness to discuss them and the embarrassment they cause him to stifle his problem. It is sad to think that a child had no where safe to turn--until Kenny! When Kenny comes into the story, the friendship between these two misfits is heartwarming and solid.
However there are one or two things that took some of my personal enjoyment out of it. There were quite a few editing issues that should have been caught (many small words missing, usually articles or adverbs that stilted the reading for me). It was also comma-starved. But these issues tend to catch my attention more than the average reader and definitely should NOT keep one from enjoying this story.
It has its gripping moments, it's humorous moments, periods of frustration with the lack of understand from Willy's parents. Don't want to create a spoiler, so I'll just say that the ending was a surprise to me. The author tied up all the loose ends.
- The Portal Between
on Nov. 09, 2011
This novel had all the possibilities of a really good read but was a little disappointing. I wanted to find myself enjoying the "other world" and it's characters but it fell flat. The mysterious place inside the oak doesn't have a name, doesn't have enough buy-in in the beginning for you to care about what is going on there.
I would have liked to have really cared about the other world and what happened there. It just didn't quite get me there. The author waited until the end to give you anything to care about, and it was just too little too late.
Then there is the relationship between Kate and Sam which I found unnecessary to the story. They could have been sisters, close childhood friends--but the author made them lovers which isn't my preferred reading material. If this is something you enjoy reading, you'll care deeply about these two characters and their friend Lily. There's is a very tight relationship brought to the breaking point. Them, you will care about.
Another problem I had was the emotional distance between Sam and her children. There also seems to be some distance between the author and these abandoned children. The two children who were abandoned appear to have gotten through all this with no emotional scars, while Kate's child is affected. I fear this is unrealistic and leaves me concerned for them more than Kate and Sam.
All in all, it just wasn't my "cup of tea" although I did feel it had great possibilities--it just didn't deliver.
on Nov. 09, 2011
What exquisite torture! Have the tissues ready--lots of tissues. This is a beautifully written, well thought out novel that takes you on an emotional roller coaster. You have no choice but to hang on until the ride is over. You absolutely will not put this one down!
I love stories of Scotland and France--have written one myself--so how could I have passed this one up? I couldn't! And I am so glad that I didn't. Well crafted, a tale of life and death set against historic Scotland and Paris and more modern Northwestern United States. The writer has you breathing in the mists surrounding an historic castle, walking the streets of a far from welcoming Paris and sharing of lives.
Don't miss this one!
- Tales From the Deed Box of John H. Watson MD
on Jan. 24, 2012
If you love Sherlock, Dr. Watson, Lestrade and the rest of the 221b Baker Street gang, you're going to love this! Mr. Ashton has woven stories in the Conan-Doyle tradition so that you won't know where Conan-Doyle's Sherlock leaves off and where Ashton's Sherlock begins. Truly a masterful addition to the Holmes legacy of wit, sleuthing and surprises! I'm hoping there are a lot more stories hidden away in Dr. Watson's deed box.
- The Charity Shop
on Feb. 10, 2012
Short, Quirky, Great Read!
Dorte's writing style is so unique! If you like quirky characters with even quirkier names, a mystery you'll never figure out on your own, all provided in a minimum of words and greatest of skill--well you cannot go wrong with this one, or for that matter, any of her novels. Here she has used some of her characters from "The Cosy Knave" and given them another mystery to solve. Rhapsody Gershwin and Officer Penrose are, once again, left to their own devices to solve a murder (no overtime will be paid to solve crime in this village this weekend). So, they do just as instructed and solve it! No spoiler here--what else would Rhapsody and Penrose do?
- Beneath Gray Skies
on Feb. 20, 2012
A compelling rewrite of history. Suppose Lincoln had not lived to emancipate the slaves; imagine slavery continuing in a seceded American South for which generations of Jefferson Davis's led a nation with no industry but a geographically gas-rich nation without a market. Then add the Nazis, anxiously looking for a fire-retardant fuel for their currently hydrogen-powered air ships. A great story. The character of Christopher Pole was interesting, but not terribly authentic as he was very well-spoken and, although I didn't find it unbelievable that a slave might--with encouragement--have developed skills far exceeding those of his peers, he didn't speak as one who had been kept in slavery. David was more believable, as he maintained a certain naivety that his upbringing would have manifested. As for the Jewish bride to a former slave--I cannot conceive of any changes in the Northern States that would have allowed, let alone encouraged the union, especially in the 1920s.
Despite these issues, the story is extremely interesting and had plot issues that far outweighed these character problems. It's a really good read and a very interesting premise. I was completely willing to take the leaps of faith to find out where the author took his story and was not disappointed.
I look forward to reading more of Mr. Ashton's work, especially his Holmes & Watson novellas which I know from experience to be excellent projects!
- More From the Deed Box of John H. Watson MD
on March 06, 2012
Don't miss Ashton's take on Holmes and Watson! He does a masterful job. You won't know where Conan-Doyle leaves off and Ashton begins. His language is perfection, his mystery and solution are SO Holmes and his Watson totally hits the mark. Enjoy your visit to 221b Baker Street. You're fun has just begun.
- GRANDPA HATES THE BIRD: The Battle Begins (Story #1)
on May 07, 2012
Pure genius! I just loved this one; gave it to my granddaughter and great-grandson. Birds, as anyone who has ever owned one can tell you, have a personality all their own. The author has nailed it! Laughs, uh ohs and a bird with birdatude...you cannot go wrong!
- Dissolute Kinship: A 9/11 Road Trip
on Aug. 28, 2012
This is a work I knew would be great, knew I would regret if I didn't read, knew would be painful to read--so, what did I do? I put it off, kept it neatly tucked away in my Kindle To Be Reads where it haunted me like a personal ghost. Well, I was yanked from my frozen state into action when someone else's review crossed by screen. "Coward," I called myself and reached for my Kindle. Half an hour later, with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes, a knot in my stomach, I knew I was right to read it. Glad I didn't try sooner, but glad I had finally gotten beyond my own PTS. David has done a tremendous job, putting his own perspective to this painful topic, as well as jarring us into facing our own pain in the memory. Thank you, David. It was beautiful, sad, and oh, so very accurate. And, as a southern neighbor, I am so very glad you took the trip that I have yet to face.
- More From the Deed Box of John H. Watson MD
on Sep. 07, 2012
Each of Ashton's Holmes writings is impeccably done. He has channeled Conan-Doyle.
- Day of the Living Pizza
on Nov. 13, 2012
A really fun read for kids and kids at heart! I really don't like zombies--but then who does? These were a taste (ok, pun intended) of zombies without the gore. Just right for tender hearts and chickens like me. The names of her characters are wonderful and will bring a giggle.
Enjoy on a wintery day with those you love over a pizza!
- Wheezer And the Painted Frog
on Feb. 25, 2013
The Trail of Tears--a story we hear bits and pieces about or get spoon-fed in some Western movie. Here's the heart of it! The isolation, desolation and loss so horrible that, like slavery, it is difficult for twenty-first century white man to comprehend that his fore bearers committed such an atrocity. The aftermath of this horror is brought to us in the person of a young survivor, Sasa, and her loss of all those dear to her. Left to her own devices in a culture where she is barely old enough to be considered an adult, we are shown her struggles, her fears and the dangers that still threaten her. Along comes the adorable and wise Wheezer who seems to be the savior of, not only a sad little girl, but the People as a whole. Wheezer and his friend from another life, Jackson, come to the rescue of her and her Cherokee tribe. Whether or not Jackson and brave little Wheezer can solve a murder, discover the cause of the tribe's starvation and want, as well as save themselves in the process is a story Miss Sutton spins with love and care. Don't miss this opportunity to peek inside the history this story lays before us. It is well worth the trip back in time.
- Wheezer and the Shy Coyote
on March 02, 2013
The author has taken us beyond the Trail of Tears, its torturous journey, starvation, death by the thousands, illness and degradation beyond our imagining. Now, the plot to keep desperately needed supplies from reaching those for whom the government intended, a new hell has overcome the People. Whiskey. The greed that drove the white man to decimate an entire people to get the land that was supposed to sustain them--but never could or would--continues. Now the weapon of choice is not as much starvation, while that is still being employed where it can be hidden, but death by alcohol. The People, once introduced to whiskey begin to destroy themselves. Wheezer and Sasa, with help from Jackson and his friends, step up to the plate once more. Obviously, since it is a battle still being fought in the 21st century, you, the reader, cannot expect a resolution to the real problem. However, Ms. Sutton has presented a very lively and entertaining and informative story of one more groups' attempt to destroy what will not go easily.
I look forward to more by Ms. Sutton. She tells an exquisite tale and teaches us without hitting us over the head. Reality does a good enough job of that, if we just bother to look!