Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Life Without Shoes by Emma Cyrus


What are 10 things on your bucket list?

This is the first time I’ve been asked this question, so I’m kind of making it up as I go along. Because I’m almost 70 years old and partially disabled with MS, I guess it’s more important than ever to know exactly what I want to get done!

1. Finish a 5-book series of the Father Ambrose mysteries;

2. Visit France one last time (if it’s physically possible);

3. See my grand-nieces more than once (they live far away);

4. Read all the metaphysical studies books on my bookcase;

5. Live for a while in Southern California or Florida;

6. Teach a few online classes;

7. Finish all the series installments of my favorite mystery authors (a long list!);

8. Complete all the language-learning series on DuoLingo;

9. Gradually dispose of all my personal possessions so others don’t have to clean up after me when I’m gone; and

10. Study what I need to in the yogic and Vajrayana traditions in order to have an easy and peaceful end-of-life experience.

I have a feeling these will still shift a bit over time, but many of them are already deeply-held aspirations.

Thank you to Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews for hosting me today and for prodding me to make the list!


Life Without Shoes
by Emma Cyrus

GENRE: Mystery


In the great tradition of The Name of the Rose, the Brother Cadfael mysteries and Grantchester, Life Without Shoes confronts a modern-day monastic with a horrifying crime.

Father Ambrose has found a simple life leading a spiritual community in Northern California. He spends his days on guiding the farming and teaching meditation. Then, someone dumps a body in one of their orchards.

Now, the violence of the modern world has come crashing through the gates. He wants Sheriff Charlie Cormley to believe the body has nothing to do with them, but it’s not that easy. He must take on the role of sleuth to protect his community and find the truth. He finds himself moving out into the world in ways he never imagined, and life at New Life will never be the same.

NOTE: This book is on sale for $0.99.


He looked up to see Brother Jeremy leaning on the doorjamb, pale and shaking. The young monk clutched his sandals in one hand and wiped perspiration from his upper lip with the sleeve of his robe. “Father,” he gasped.

“Good Lord, what is it? Here, sit down.” Ambrose pulled a chair across the small office and urged Jeremy into it. He held up his hand to forestall the young man’s story until he’d poured out a glass of water and seen that the threat of fainting had passed.

Jeremy’s hand shook on the water glass.  He rested his forehead on the other palm. “I...I...” he started, then, closing his eyes, “Oh, God, this is awful.”

Ambrose pulled his desk chair up close and looked intently at the young man’s face. “Just keep it simple, Jeremy, so I can understand what’s happened.”

“You asked me to pick up that trash bag someone dumped in the orchard, so I went out there with the Toyota this morning....” Here, he lowered his gaze, aware that too much time had elapsed between Ambrose’s request and his taking action. Regret and guilt played around his mouth.

“Yes, you should have been out there Saturday afternoon, but let’s forget that right now. What happened?”

“Some dogs had gotten to it, torn it open...” He gulped, then rushed on. “There was an arm sticking out of the bag.” He closed his eyes again and swallowed hard.

“An arm? Are you certain?”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Emma was born in West Virginia and lived there until she was in high school, when her family moved to Pittsburgh. After high school, she went to Boston to go to college. She worked in different small and startup businesses until she moved into a yoga community in Pennsylvania. There, she’s worked on various projects and taught yoga.

She started the Father Ambrose series as a way of pulling together her love of good mystery stories with her deepening appreciation of the real-life magic and mystery of inner work. Father Ambrose has many characteristics in common with the leaders of her community, but his voice is probably hers, or at least what she thinks her voice would be, if she were living inside the parameters of his life.

She’s discovering the compelling nature of writing fiction and the surprises of working with what other writers have called their ‘muse.’ The creative process seems to have its own timetable and logic. The best results seem to come from stilling her own personal voice and allowing that ‘muse’ to speak.


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Emma Cyrus will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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