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Tuesday, March 8, 2022

The Lake Templeton Murders by HS Burney - Book Tour - Book Sale - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hi, lovelies!!  It gives me great pleasure today to host HS Burney and her new book, “The Lake Templeton Murders,” here on FAB!!  For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!  Also, come back daily to interact with HS Burney and to increase your chances of winning!!

This eBook is on SALE for ONLY $0.99 during the book tour!!  See below for more details.

Thanks for stopping by!!  Wishing you all lots of good luck in this fabulous giveaway!!

The Lake Templeton Murders

by HS Burney


GENRE:  Mystery / Thriller



A body washes up on the shores of Lake Templeton, a small town on the coast of Vancouver Island. Sharon Reese, the victim, was a dedicated government employee. Everyone liked her, but no one knew much about her. Was she hiding something? Maybe a questionable past riddled with scandal. And did it lead to her plunge to death, in a drunken stupor, off the dock outside her secluded lakefront lodge?

Was it an accident? A suicide? Or cold-blooded murder? Private Investigator, Fati Rizvi, is determined to find out.

Fati arrives in Lake Templeton to find secrets that run as deep as the City’s sewers. Everyone is hiding something and nothing is as it seems. A cult escapee. A corrupt politician. A struggling airline. A multi-million dollar public-private project to revitalize the Lake Templeton waterfront. How are they all connected?

As Fati valiantly unravels the knots, another body is found on the shore. Is it the same killer? And can Fati stop them before they strike again?



It was these waves that carried Sharon once the water besieged her lungs and she stopped breathing. Maybe her killer was hoping that the body would descend to the depths of the ocean, swallowing its secrets. It must have been a rude shock to see the evidence of their crime splashed across the morning papers.

Sharon’s body was half-reposed face-down on the wet sand, deposited on the shore like plastic waste. Clumps of hair were caught in the jagged rocks that edge the receding land, one bloated arm flung over a large boulder, as if trying to find a grip. Her legs floated behind her like windsocks. Silk shirt ballooned over the surface of the water like a parachute.

The crime scene has been cleared up. Culver Beach sparkles in the vestiges of the sinking sunlight, sand glinting like diamond dust. The only remnants of the morning’s tragic discovery - dried boot prints in the grassy sand, left behind by the police.

The nearest house is walled off by a thicket of trees and is currently empty, owned by a businessman who only spends a few months here in the summers. The beach is quiet, with not even a dog walker in sight. I walk on the sand for a few minutes, shoes in hand, reveling in the quietude. I breathe in the fresh air, slightly briny, and crisp enough to open up my nasal pathways.

No answers will be found here. Not for me.

Sergio’s house hibernates, squeezed in the warm hug of the thicket of trees that surround it. They’re evergreens so they hold on to their leaves, even in winter, until the whistling wind snatches them away and showers them on the lawn. Despite Sergio’s gallant efforts with the rake, his driveway is again covered in shrubs and branches.

I pull up behind Sergio’s car, parked in its usual spot in the driveway, the mud cracked and crusting on its back tires, windows streaked with messy wet tracks made when rain intermingled with dust. The killer must have picked him up and driven him to Pebble Beach.

Detective Singh’s police cruiser is parked neatly angled to the side of the road. As I approach the house, I see a shattered window in the front.

I haven’t seen young children living in the neighbourhood. Most houses in Sergio’s vicinity belong to empty-nester retirees and snowbirds. Was this an accident or something more sinister? Did someone smash Sergio’s window?

At the foot of Sergio’s porch stands his city recycling box. It’s filled to the brim with plastic containers and folded up cardboard boxes, as if Sergio had just finished cleaning and decluttering. I move closer for a better look. An empty bottle of Tito’s vodka, several Amazon boxes, soup cans, and yogurt containers. A box for a Blackmagic Design pro camera that costs almost thirteen thousand dollars. A black rectangular tube that housed a Chanel snowboard.

How much was the City paying Sergio?

Zed and I arrive after ten p.m. We park in an underground lot a few blocks away. Granville Street at night is a cornucopia of debauchery. Drunk girls totter on heels and too-tight skirts, giggling and holding each other. The heavy smell of sweat mixed with marijuana mixed with alcohol hangs in the air like a toxic thundercloud. The sidewalk is sticky with spilled drinks and other substances you don’t want to think about. Bedraggled bums cluster in dark corners, their life’s possessions gathered at their feet in duffel bags. They panhandle, lighting their pipes, smoking their cigarettes, and shooting their heroin without apology.

The street is dotted with black-doored establishments that advertise their presence with glowing signs and glowering bouncers. At the most popular clubs, lines of partygoers stretch, smoking cigarettes while waiting for entry. Zed and I blend into the shadows, two travelers that don’t quite belong but don’t stick out either.

This is Caleb’s world. In contrast, the clean-cut Sergio snowboarded on weekends and went running every morning. They had nothing in common besides their desire to sing. And it was this commonality that led their worlds to collide so painfully.

At Legends, the thrum of the music wafting from behind heavy curtain and chain gives away the mayhem brewing inside. The roasting interior is awash in flashing lights. The smell of stale beer and rank sweat overpowers me. I choke back my gag reflex.

Caleb is not hard to find. He is huddled with other youth, all misty eyes and lost faces, in a chemical-induced otherworld.



Overcoming Writing Obstacles

The Lake Templeton Murders, my debut murder mystery, is a labor of love – not just to my readers but to the young girl I was, desperately devouring pages well into the night, hungering to one day hold a book that I created myself.

That doesn’t mean that writing it was a perfect, fuss-free process, devoid of obstacles. In fact, it took me over fifteen years from originally deciding to write a book as an undergraduate Creative Writing student to holding a finished copy in my hands.

Coming up with ideas has never been a problem for me. The problem is to find an idea engaging enough to stick with. At the beginning of my writing journey, I wasn’t sure what genre I wanted to write in. I tried my hand at non-fiction, then general commercial fiction before getting bored and abandoning projects I had on the go. Ultimately, I chose mystery because it reflected the types of page-turners I love to read.

Once I sketched out an idea and plotted out my book, the problem became time. I have a very busy, full-time, senior leadership role in the financial services industry. By no means is it a nine-to-five job. It’s the type of emotionally draining role where you’re on the go all the time and no mental energy is left at the end of a long day to create. A rigid post-graduation focus on my financial services career is the reason I took so long to write a book in the first place!

This is where the COVID-19 pandemic came to the rescue. Suddenly, I was working from home. No more commute. No more zipping around town from meeting to meeting with my hair on fire. Most importantly – no more evening networking events, cocktail receptions, or entertaining clients.

I took advantage of this unexpected reprieve by carving out a consistent writing schedule. Every morning, I would sit down at 5 a.m. to write. Slowly, The Lake Templeton Murders started to take shape.

The writing process itself wasn’t without its challenges. Like many first-time writers, I diligently followed a structured process for outlining my novel. And then I started writing. And I realized as much as an outline is important in helping guide you, you can’t adhere to it too closely once your story takes on a mind of its own (which it will if you’re doing it right!).

My penchant for idea generation became an obstacle because my brain was firing on all cylinders. I could throw in more and more storylines, create more and more conflict and I had to pull myself back from the brink and say – enough! Months went by and I was at the end and I realized that once the killer was unmasked, my story resolution was completely different from what I set out to write. Thankfully it still worked.

And then came the editing process. By this time, I was so sick of my story, I could barely stand to look at it. But I was suddenly in charge of polishing it, adding to it, deleting the fluff, and getting it ready for a professional editor. I almost gave up. I stretched it out and procrastinated and it took a big kick in the butt from my biggest champion (and critic), my husband, to speed things up again.

Finally, my book was done. But it wasn’t over. My editor came back with a wish list of edits and at that point, I was seriously questioning my decision to write a book in the first place. And so, I had to go back the story, take out my fine-toothed comb, grit my teeth through further edits, grind and screech my way through it. I had to swallow my ego where my editor took a ruthless axe to my flashes of brilliance.

And after all that, once my book was ready and in print, and I was re-reading it, I still found typos!

The biggest thing I’ve learned from my writing journey is that writing isn’t just about following a passion. It’s commitment and discipline. It’s work. It’s not like stream-of-consciousness journaling. Structuring a story is not just a creative process; it’s mechanical too. There has to be a process. Your story can’t be a meandering mess if you hope to hold your reader’s attention. Particularly for a murder mystery, you can’t just toss clues about like confetti. They need to knit together. They need to make sense. And they need to a logical conclusion at the end.

Despite the rollercoaster of writing The Lake Templeton Murders, the process was clearly a success because I’m currently writing my next book, the next mystery involving Private Investigator, Fati Rizvi. Look out for it sometime in Summer 2022.



HS Burney writes fast-moving, action-packed mysteries set against the backdrop of majestic mountains and crystalline ocean in West Coast Canada. She loves creating characters that keep you on your toes. A corporate executive by day and a novelist by night, HS Burney received her Bachelors’ in Creative Writing from Lafayette College. A proud Canadian immigrant, she takes her readers into worlds populated by diverse characters with unique cultural backgrounds. When not writing, she is out hiking, waiting for the next story idea to strike, and pull her into a new world.





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**The Lake Templeton Murders eBook is on SALE for ONLY $0.99 during the book tour!!!**

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HS Burney will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card (Winner’s Choice!!!) to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

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**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those fabulous community outreach projects and awesome giveaways on here**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.


  1. HS Burney ~ Good morning!! Welcome to FAB!! It is so great to have you here!! Congrats on your new book and good luck on the book tour!! :)

  2. Thank you for sharing the author's guest post and book details, this sounds like an excellent read and I am looking forward to it

  3. This sounds like a great book.

  4. Great guest post, like the excerpt and the cover is great! I can't wait to read the Lake Templeton Murders which sounds like an excellent mystery for me! Thanks for sharing it with me and have an awesome day!