Book Spotlight (and a Giveaway!): Searching for Irene by Marlene Bateman

Posted August 9, 2017 by meezcarrie in giveaway, historical, Marlene Bateman, mystery/suspense / 28 Comments

about the book

What happened to Irene?

When Anna Coughlin, a modern 1920’s woman, travels to the secluded hills of Virginia to work for wealthy Lawrence Richardson, she discovers that the previous secretary, Irene, has mysteriously disappeared. Upon arriving at the castle-like mansion, Anna finds that Lawrence’s handsome, but antagonistic son, Tyler, wants nothing more than to have her gone. And he isn’t the only one—

Caught up in a maze of intrigue in a tormented and troubled household, Anna sets out to find the truth behind Irene’s disappearance. She is helped—and often hindered—by the temperamental Tyler Richardson, who—despite her best intentions—begins to steal her heart.

But even as Anna begins to uncover dark secrets, she must continue to hide a significant one of her own. Then, her life is threatened, and Anna is left to wonder if she’ll be able to unravel the mystery before she disappears as mysteriously as the unfortunate Irene…

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GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romantic Suspense
PUBLISHER: Covenant Communications
RELEASE DATE: July 1, 2017
PAGES: 268

The tallest parts of the mansion—fanciful turrets and a circular tower—were visible only in glimpses Anna caught between lofty oaks and towering pines as her cab wound through the knolls and hills of eastern Virginia.

When the cab turned up the long driveway lined with dogwood trees in full bloom, Anna Coughlin reached for her handbag, gripping it with a tension that had knotted her muscles ever since getting on the train.

The vast estate stood on a hilltop, like a castle—and she craned her neck to better view the starkly impressive gray-stone mansion of Ashton Hall—where she hoped to be hired. With its arched, leaded windows and slate roof with numerous chimneys, the house rivaled pictures she’d seen of castles in Europe.

Instructing the driver to wait, she climbed out, patted her hat in case it was askew, then smoothed her gray suit with gloved hands in hopes of presenting a professional appearance. Anna had no confidence she was clever enough or bold enough to pull this off, but she had to try.

Her eye was drawn by a tall man—more than six feet—who came from the side of the house. Since the man was striding toward her so purposefully, Anna stopped and waited. As he drew near, Anna noted his deep-set eyes were as black as his hair. His skin was tanned, his thin, long-fingered hands brown and strong.

“Miss Coughlin?” He stretched out a hand and shook hers, but there was no warmth for her in his eyes. “I’m Tyler Richardson. Unfortunately, your services are not needed after all.” A touch of arrogance marked his manner, as though he was long accustomed to command those around him.

“Your father called only last week to have someone come out,” Anna blurted in dismay. “May I ask what caused him to change his mind?”

A fleeting glimpse of discomfiture crossed Mr. Richardson’s face. “I wasn’t consulted about his hiring another secretary to replace the one who left so suddenly. My father isn’t in good health, and the last thing we need is someone coming in and upsetting him by making a muddle of things.”

His words kindled a fire that glinted in Anna’s eyes. How dare he make such an assumption? It was difficult to hang on to her temper, but there was too much at stake to let his boorishness sidetrack her. “Since I’m here, I’m sure you won’t mind if I keep my appointment. After all, your father is the one who requested my services. I’m sure he’s expecting me.”

Her words hit home.It took a few bitter seconds, but he finally acquiesced. “Come in, then,” he muttered ungraciously before leading the way up the steps and opening the door.

Following his rigid back down the narrow hall, Anna’s brows furrowed as doubts crept in. How wise had she been to come to this remote place? Especially when the previous secretary had disappeared so mysteriously? Even her employer thought it odd that no one in this mansion seemed to know where Irene had gone or where she was now. It was as if Irene had vanished into thin air.

Check out my review here

about the author

Marlene Bateman Sullivan grew up in Utah, and graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor’s degree in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and they live in North Salt Lake, Utah with their two dogs and four cats. Marlene has been published extensively in magazines and newspapers and wrote the best-selling romance/suspense novel, Light on Fire Island. She has written three other cozy mysteries; Motive for Murder, A Death in the Family, and Crooked House, as well as the romance, For Sale by Owner.

Marlene has also written a number of non-fiction, LDS books:  Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines, And There Were Angels Among Them, Visit’s from Beyond the Veil, By the Ministering of Angels, Brigham’s Boys, Heroes of Faith, Gaze into Heaven; Near-death Experiences in Early Church History, and The Magnificent World of Spirits; Eyewitness Accounts of Where We Go When We Die.


Marlene Bateman and Covenant Communications are giving away 1 ebook (open Internationally except where prohibited by law) and 1 print copy (US only) of Searching for Irene. This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What do YOU think happened to Irene?

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28 responses to “Book Spotlight (and a Giveaway!): Searching for Irene by Marlene Bateman

  1. Shash

    Murdered? Kidnapped? Fell in a hole? Ran off with a secret love? I’m looking forward to reading the book and finding out.

  2. Stephanie

    I have no idea, but this book has me absolutely intrigued. It sounds so good. I can’t wait to read it.

    Stephanie C.

  3. Anne Rightler

    Murdered and buried in a cave in the hills…she knew too much…about what I have no idea. ??

  4. Winnie Thomas

    Hmmmm, my creative juices aren’t flowing right now. I’m too excited about CFRR and seeing/hugging everyone tomorrow, especially my BFFF! This sounds like a fascinating book, though.

  5. The premise for this novel kind of reminds me of the classic film, Rebecca (1940). I say she got pregnant and ran away from shame? Or maybe she was murdered? I definitely want to add this to my TBR pile.

  6. Vivian Furbay

    Sounds like a real mystery here in Searching for Irene ad the secrets of the new employee. Sounds like an interesting book that I would enjoy reading. Hope to win!

  7. Margaret Appel

    I have a feeling Irene met with an unfortunate end, probably at the hands of that son Tyler. Or perhaps she fell down a really long flight of stairs, and the son, not wanting an investigation of her demise upsetting his father, disposed of the apparently very clumsy Irene’s body. In a cistern on the property no doubt. Or maybe she just fell in love with the stable boy & ran off leaving no forwarding address. Nah, we know she’s dead. Very dead.

  8. Debbie Clatterbuck

    I think she was the first person to be kidnapped by aliens. LOL This books sounds so interesting and I can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the giveaway and good luck everyone.

  9. Dianne Casey

    She’s in a coma and being taken care of by a nurse in the apartment above the carriage house. Love the sound of this book and I’m looking forward to reading to reading it.

  10. Meredith Miller

    I think she retired and moved to the Virgin Islands. Just kidding, but I’m sure there was foul play involved.

  11. Arletta

    They’ve hidden her in the turret. You’ll only hear her moans late at night…. No clue actually, but it’s making me want to read the book.

  12. Connie Scruggs

    Irene is alive and trapped in the hidden tunnel behind the walls of the mansion. She is surviving off the food hidden in the tunnels in case of a war.

  13. Valerie Stoj

    I think poor Irene is gagged and tied to a chair in a secret compartment behind a revolving bookcase!

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