This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Marla A. White will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Reclaiming her life after a devastating riding accident, equestrian Emily Conners’ world shatters again when she discovers her friend and boss laying in a stall with a smashed skull. Now jobless and with a handsome cop underfoot investigating the case, she's torn between wanting the killer found and keeping her own secrets safe.

Detective Justin Butler always gets his killer, but this victim has a stampede of enemies and few leads to go on. Stonewalled by the tight-knit equestrian world, he looks to Emily for help, but she’s strangely reluctant. Is she hiding something, or is she afraid of their growing attraction?

As the search for the murderer heats up, their hearts become entangled and their lives at risk, forcing Emily and Justin to work together to find the killer before they strike again.

Read an Excerpt

“Is that Larry’s trailer?” Lottie asked, sounding annoyed.

“The third one to leave the barn today,” Emily grumbled and studied her ragged fingernails, too afraid to meet Lottie’s gaze. “You still convinced I can do this? Take over her clients, I mean?”

“Kid, I think you can do anything you set your mind to.”

The moment hung there between them, full of potential and fear, until the chirp of Emily’s cell phone rescued her. She glanced at the screen, snorted in disgust, and shoved the device back in her pocket.

“What was that about?” Curiosity outweighed courtesy for Lottie. It was one of her traits Emily both hated and adored.

“It’s the cop who’s investigating Pam’s death. He wants me to introduce him to Ben Sanders.”

Her friend nudged Emily with her knee. “I understand the man is quite handsome.”

“Trust me, he’d be the first to tell you so.”

Lottie raised an eyebrow at her vehement response. “Why not show him around? I can imagine worse ways to spend a day. Or night.”

Blushing at the insinuation, Em stammered, “After last week’s rains? The muddy, pothole-ridden street to Ben’s place will suck the detective’s expensive little hybrid up to its windshield wipers.”

“Take Ellie May.”

“Why should I get my truck dirty? You’re welcome to—”

The obnoxious meep meep of a sports car horn cut Emily short. She glanced over her shoulder and clenched her jaw at the former beauty queen driving an expensive red convertible. Right behind her rolled Emily’s truck, glowing from a wash and fresh coat of wax. Both vehicles parked along the driveway as far from the dust kicked up by the riders in the other rings as possible.

“Oh, crap,” she muttered.

About the Author:
Marla White is a story analysis instructor at UCLA and writing coach who lives in Los Angeles. She graduated from the University of Kentucky (go Wildcats!), where she took her first horseback riding lesson. After dabbling in hunters, barrel racing, and weekly trail rides, she fell hopelessly in love with the sport of eventing. She conquered Novice level before taking a break to pursue novel writing but hopes to return to the saddle someday soon. Her first novel, “The Starlight Mint Surprise Murder,” was published in 2021 followed by the first two books in her Keeper Chronicles series. When she’s not writing, she’s out in the garden, hiking, or putting together impossibly difficult puzzles.


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  1. Horses and murder - I'm going to love this.

    1. Thanks! I hope you do, at least I know I got the horse part right after riding for nearly 30 years! The murder part was research inspired... mostly. :D The picture is of me and the actual Reese the horse in the book is modeled after. Enjoy!

  2. I love horses in my foster home many years ago we had a farm and the man next door had a special kind of horses that he brought in from another country whenever I was on the fence looking at them he would come out and yell "Get down and leave the horses alone" well then my own dad would take me for the weekend and we went to the race track and that was awesome as I could stand on the fence and yell for the prettiest horse and noone would yell at me for standing on the fence. I loved when my horse would come in of course my dad would be he would come in any place so 1st,2nd or 3rd I won and after a few hours I won enough to buy my own lunch that was to me an awesome day for many reasons. This book sounds so good and I am battling RSD so I would be buying a print and reviewing it when I am done. Thank you for taking it on tour. peggy clayton

    1. Thanks Peggy, I hope you enjoy it! The horse in the picture is my off-off-off the track Thoroughbred, Reese, who is the inspiration for my horse hero. Reese learned to gallop eventually once we got him, and once we got him on a cross-country course you couldn't stop him, but he was far too polite to make it as a racehorse. His theory seemed to be "if you guys are all in a rush, I'll wait back here, that's cool".

  3. I love horses but have to admit I don't think I've ever read an equestrian world storyline. Sounds great.

    1. The story is set in the equestrian world because it's one I know and love, but it's really driven by human emotions like greed, fear, and love. And flaws. Lots of flaws. The friendship between Emily and Lottie in the excerpt is a relationship I think everyone will be able to relate to.

  4. Great excerpt, Cause for Elimination sounds like a fantastic and intriguing book that will keep me glued to the pages!

    Thanks for sharing it with me and have a terrific day!

    1. It was my pleasure to share a little snippet from the book - I love spending time with Lottie and Emily and hope you will too.


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