To any authors/publishers/ tour companies that are looking for the reviews that I signed up for please know this is very hard to do. I will be stopping reviews temporarily. My husband passed away February 1st and my new normal is a bit scary right now and I am unable to concentrate on a book to do justice to the book and authors. I will still do spotlight posts if you wish it is just the reviews at this time. I apologize for this, but it isn't fair to you if I signed up to do a review and haven't been able to because I can't concentrate on any books. Thank you for your understanding during this difficult time. I appreciate all of you. Kathleen Kelly April 2nd 2024

27 January 2022

Frozen in Motion (Callie Cassidy Mysteries) by Lori Roberts Herbst Book Tour, Excerpt!

Frozen in Motion (Callie Cassidy Mysteries) by Lori Roberts Herbst

About Frozen in Motion


Frozen in Motion (Callie Cassidy Mysteries) 

Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series 

Setting - Colorado 

Number of Pages ~275 

More info to come including Amazon and GoodReads Links

A murder at the local hockey rink leaves photographer Callie Cassidy nursing a few injuries of her own, but that won’t stop her from trying to catch the killer—before someone else gets iced…


When hockey coach Renata Sanchez asks for Callie’s help exposing her ex-husband’s nefarious activities, Callie hesitates. After all, Renata’s brother, Detective Raul Sanchez, has been known to bristle at Callie’s interference. But with her own second-chance romance on rocky turf and her best friend’s engagement to a man Callie doesn’t entirely trust, she could use the distraction of an investigation.


Before she can even begin her research, a confrontation involving the ex, Renata, and Raul erupts right outside Sundance Studio. Then later in the day, the ex-husband literally drops dead and falls from the hockey arena catwalk—landing with a thud on top of Callie. Renata immediately takes the top spot on the suspect list, with Raul’s name not far behind. With time running out to save her friends, Callie enlists the help of her inquisitive cat and her loyal golden retriever to develop a picture of the true culprit.


Chapter One

Tiny snowflakes fluttered onto the top rail of the wooden bridge that spanned Rock Creek. The water beneath gurgled and churned across the rocks, splashing past patches of ice that glistened near the banks. Combined with the gray clouds hanging low in the sky, the scene felt both serene and ominous. I cradled my camera in the crook of my arm as I considered how best to capture the mood.

Taking a step back, I framed the shot and snapped the shutter. Then I adjusted the lens an inch to the left and snapped again. When I studied the results on the camera’s LCD screen, I smiled with satisfaction.

A glance at my watch melted the smile away fast, though. I’d agreed to meet a friend at the Rocky Mountain High coffee shop at nine o’clock, and I had only one minute to make the five-minute walk-through town. I tucked my camera in its bag, zipped it, and slung it over my shoulder.

“I hate being late,” I muttered. Still, I knew this morning’s impromptu photo shoot had been worth it. The overcast morning had generated such dramatic diffused lighting—how could any decent photographer resist?

I powerwalked across the Event Center staff parking lot, my boots crunching on the powdered gravel. Turning right, I strode down Evergreen Way. I peeked through the window of the Snow Plow Chow cafe but didn’t spot the handsome owner, my boyfriend Sam. 

Boyfriend? The word screeched in my head like fingernails on a chalkboard. It might have been appropriate for the teenage versions of ourselves who’d walked hand-in-hand through the halls of Rock Creek Village High School a quarter of a century ago. But boyfriend and girlfriend sounded too…well, juvenile to describe the rebooted romance we’d been carefully navigating this past year. But since I couldn’t figure out how else to refer to our relationship, it would have to do.

As I passed the next shop, Yoga Delight, I noticed my friend Summer Simmons seated guru-style on a mat, leading a morning class. I waved, and she wagged a finger, silently scolding me for my recent absence from meditation class. I wrinkled my nose and touched my watch, indicating that I simply didn’t have time. She pursed her lips, and I scooted off, making an internal vow to recommit. After all, the classes always improved my attitude. Why did I perpetually find ways to avoid them? Tomorrow, I said to myself. Or maybe Monday

A few steps later, I paused in front of my photo gallery. My photo gallery, I repeated to myself. I’d opened the place last year after resigning from my career as an investigative photojournalist, and I still reveled in the undiluted thrill of what I’d created. I traced the words etched on the door: Sundance Studio, Callahan Cassidy, Photographer

I examined the window display, trying to assess it as a tourist would. In keeping with the village’s current Valentine’s Day motif, I’d selected a large canvas photo of two mule deer—a buck and a doe—nuzzling in a snowy meadow. A dozen red foil hearts framed the canvas, glittering as they swayed from silver strings affixed to the overhang. Cheesy, in my opinion, but everyone else in the world seemed enchanted by Valentine’s Day, so I’d felt an obligation to go along with the pack.

Next door, the bookstore with the clever moniker A Likely Story also embraced the V-Day concept, with its exhibit of romance novels and relationship self-help tomes. But instead of a warm, fuzzy response to the display, I wrestled with a spurt of unease. I attributed my negative reaction to the store’s owner, David Parisi, who’d recently become engaged to Tonya Stephens, my lifelong best friend. Everyone in town adored the charming Italian man, but I couldn’t let go of my vague, unexplainable misgivings. There was just something about him… I didn’t have time to fixate on David, though. Another peek at my watch showed me I was now officially late, so I scurried past the Fudge Factory without so much as a glance at the marshmallow-topped s’mores brownies.

Well, maybe one glance…

At six minutes past nine, I skidded to a halt in front of Rocky Mountain High and peered through the plate-glass window. My friend wasn’t among the smattering of customers—all tourists, I surmised from their designer sweaters and ski boots. I breathed a sigh of relief that I hadn’t kept her waiting.

My cellphone vibrated in my pocket, and I pulled it out to read a text from Sam: Morning, beautiful. Thinking of you. How is your day? 

Smiling to myself, I moved to enter the coffee shop, but before I could grab the knob, the door slammed outward. A squatty, wide, Mack truck of a man in an expensive-looking navy blue parka plowed barreled out, striking my shoulder with enough force to jar the phone out of my hand.

Though the collision was clearly the stranger’s fault, I politely said, “Excuse me.” The man barely broke stride. “You’re lucky you didn’t make me spill this overpriced coffee,” he growled. “What is it with the people in this stupid town?”

I gaped. By the time a burning retort dropped onto my tongue, the man was already out of earshot, and I was left feeling angry and what was worse, weak.

I scooped up my phone and stomped into the shop, where the aromas of rich brewed coffee and sweet, yeasty pastries soothed my nerves. From behind the tile serving counter, Mrs. Finney, the shop’s proprietor, looked at me with concern.

“That boorish man practically trampled you, dear. Are you all right?”

“I’m fine,” I said, shrugging out of my coat. “Who is that guy, anyway?”

“The bloody wanker wasn’t kind enough to offer his name,” she said in her British accent. Everyone in the village knew the dialect was fake, but at this point, it was so deeply entrenched in her persona we’d be befuddled if she dropped it. “I’ve never seen him before, and I’ll be just as pleased to never see him again.” She leaned across the counter and lowered her voice. “If I were still with The Company, I’d consider ordering a covert op to teach that young man a lesson.”

I grinned. Mrs. Finney—a real live former CIA agent—had the stature of a curly-haired gray army tank trussed in a lavender pantsuit. I estimated her age to be late-sixties, but despite my well-honed skills as an interviewer, I’d been unable to get the eccentric woman to divulge specifics. Still, in the year we’d known each other, she’d served as protector, dispenser of wisdom, and above all, loyal friend.

I set my camera bag on the counter and settled onto a stool. “Well, no harm, no foul, I suppose. Maybe he’ll make it up to both of us by dropping wads of cash in our shops.”

She lifted an eyebrow. “One can hope—though he didn’t bother with a tip.” She inspected me and changed the subject. “Your cheeks are extra rosy, dear. Let’s get you warmed up.”

While she bustled around the silver coffee urns preparing my beverage, I stripped off my gloves. After a moment, she handed me a steaming paper cup of dark roast with a squirt of vanilla and a pinch of cinnamon, just the way I liked it. “Wrap your hands around this.”

I laced my fingers around the paper cup and lifted it to my nose, inhaling the steamy fragrance. My hands and cheeks tingled. “Ah, that’s nice.”

“You haven’t read the new adage.” In addition to her accent, Mrs. Finney was known for her sage axioms. She’d even made them a theme of her coffee shop, revealing a fresh one on her cups every few weeks. I read the printed inscription. “Bears are treated with respect because they demand it.

“Love it,” I said. “Perhaps the giant who just ran me over could use an interview with one of our Rocky Mountain bears.”

Mrs. Finney’s attention shifted to a customer, who gestured from one of the bistro tables. As she bustled across the room to tend to the woman, I pulled off my knit ski cap and glanced in the mirror hanging on the wall. I grimaced at the sight. My cheeks were indeed rosy and my green eyes bright, but everything else about me appeared rumpled. I tugged at my wrinkled sweater and ran fingers through my shoulder length dark hair, trying to fluff some life back into it. Useless. In a mountainside town like Rock Creek Village, hat hair loomed high on the list of winter hazards—right up there with chapped lips and flaky skin. The challenge had been real when I was a teenager, but now, at forty-four, it was fast becoming a losing battle.

Mrs. Finney returned and lifted the cover off a glass pastry dome. With a set of tongs, she selected a cream cheese bear claw, placed it on a stoneware plate, and slid it in front of me. I tore off a bite with my teeth and wallowed in the rich sweetness. “Delicious, as always,” I said, licking my fingers. “Thank you. You are a genuine artist.”

She beamed. “I appreciate that, dear. And may I say the same about you? Three customers complimented my new photo display already this morning.”

I followed her gaze to the arrangement of canvas photos on the wall: winter landscapes of snowy mountains, a herd of elk drinking from the partially frozen creek, pine trees dappled with rays of sunshine. Beneath the photos, a discreet sign touted: On loan from Sundance Studio, Callahan Cassidy, Photographer.

In a rare burst of sentimentality, I reached across the counter and grasped the woman’s hand. “Mrs. Finney, I may not tell you often enough how much I appreciate you. Your support, your friendship…I’m just so glad you’re here. You mean so much to me.” 

Her face flushed a bit, and she wiped her hands on a towel. “I feel the same, dear. Now, enough mush. I noticed you scanning the room earlier. Are you waiting for someone?”

I nodded as I popped the last bite of bearclaw in my mouth. “Renata Sanchez asked me to meet her here at nine. Said she had an important topic to discuss. Very cryptic.”

“I didn’t realize the two of you were friends.”

“We’re not besties or anything. I don’t know her that well. She’s good friends with Jessica, though, so she’s joined our group get-togethers occasionally. And…” I leaned in conspiratorially. “No one’s informed me of this officially, but I suspect she and Ethan are seeing each other.”

Ethan MacGregor was Rock Creek Village High School’s business teacher, and also Sundance Studio’s part-time marketing guru. I hoped soon he’d be my full-time partner.

“She could certainly do worse.” Mrs. Finney took my plate and dropped the crumpled napkin onto it. “Her brother was here a short time ago. I must tell you, he seemed agitated.”

I rolled my eyes. “Shocker. When isn’t Detective Raul Sanchez agitated? That man expresses cheerfulness about as often as my pets decide to behave—once in a blue moon.”

Mrs. Finney chuckled. “Be that as it may, he’s turned out to be an excellent detective. I admit, at first I wasn’t certain about his aptitude, but I’ve been pleasantly—”

Just then, the coffee shop door banged open with such force it made me jump. A gust of wind swirled inside, along with a few errant snowflakes. In their wake, Renata burst across the threshold.

Her eyes traveled around the room, dark as storm clouds. When she spotted me, she marched over and plopped down on the stool next to mine. “I swear, if that man moves here for good, I’m going to kill him.” 

About Lori Roberts Herbst

Lori Roberts Herbst is the author of the Callie Cassidy Mystery series. Her debut novel, Suitable for Framing, won first place in the Murder and Mayhem category at the 2020 Chanticleer International Book Awards. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and serves as secretary of the North Dallas chapter. She is also a member of the national Guppy chapter and Mystery Writers of America. A former educator, Lori spent much of her life writing, editing, and psychoanalyzing. Through thirty years of teaching journalism, advising newspaper and yearbook staffs, instructing budding photographers, and counseling teenagers, she still managed to hang on to a modicum of sanity. Then she retired and assumed her third career: author.

Author Links

Purchase Links
  FROZEN IN MOTION: Preorder will not be available until Dec. 14. 
  DOUBLE EXPOSURE (book 2):  

January 24 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
January 24 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
January 24 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
January 25 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 25 – Baroness' Book Trove – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 25 – Christy's Cozy Corners - GUEST POST
January 26 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 26 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 26 – My Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 27 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 27 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST
January 27 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
January 28 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 28 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 29 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
January 29 – I Read What You Write - REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 29 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews - SPOTLIGHT
January 30 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT
January 30 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT
January 30 – Brianne's Book Reviews – REVIEW 

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  1. Thank you for the spotlight! I will check back here throughout the week in case anyone has questions or comments. Lori Roberts Herbst

  2. Thank you for hosting me! I will check back here throughout the week in case anyone has questions or comments. Lori



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