Release Day – Community Affairs!

It’s finally here! It’s release day for Community Affairs!

Community Affairs

Book 3 in the Jersey Shore Mystery Series.

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Click Here to Purchase on Barnes and Noble!

Community Affairs front cover

It’s neighbor vs. neighbor in this cozy mystery!  And it’s told from Bonnie’s point of view. While it is book 3 in the series, it stands on its own, with a totally different plot.  You definitely don’t have to read the other books in the series to know what’s going on.

Book Description:

A tale of kidnapping, murder, and neighbors you’d like to kidnap and murder…

Bonnie Fattori is a sexy, sassy, Italian Princess living in New Jersey. She’s loving life with a rich husband, beachfront living, and a promotion at work—until a new neighbor, Lyla Spratt, is determined to destroy her happiness.

After several run-ins with the unstable woman next door, Bonnie starts to suspect a connection between her new neighbor and the untimely death of a local resident, Polly Pitcher. She recruits her good friend Chelsey to help figure out if her suspicions are correct.

As the neighbors go head-to-head in a hilarious battle, Lyla is pushed to the brink of insanity. The more unhinged Lyla becomes, the more Bonnie’s life and the safety of her family are at risk. Can Bonnie find out what really happened to Polly Pitcher before it’s too late? A perfect read for those who like laugh-out-loud humor in their mysteries!

Reviews:

Trudi LoPreto for Readers’ Favorite says:  Community Affairs (Jersey Shore Mystery Series Book 3) by Michele Lynn Seigfried has all the elements for mystery, sleuthing and comedy written in one good story. Bonnie lives on the Jersey shore with her husband and two daughters. Bonnie has a good life until Senator and Lyla Spratt move in next door. Bonnie and Lyla instantly don’t like each other. Lyla does everything she can to make Bonnie’s life miserable, and succeeds. Bonnie believes and sets out to prove that Lyla is responsible for the disappearance and death of Polly Pitcher. This gets her into lots and lots of trouble. Bonnie tells the story while being held captive. She shares what Lyla has done, including among other things defacing her garage and spreading nasty rumors. Bonnie’s husband, the police and the FBI warn her to not get involved, but that only makes her want to solve the case even more.

Community Affairs is a mystery story with humor. Michele Lynn Seigfried has created characters that will make you laugh, worry, love and hate. I found myself reading late into the night because I couldn’t wait to find out what Bonnie would do next. It kept me involved right up to the ending I never saw coming. Community Affairs stands very well on its own merit. I highly recommend this book and anxiously await book number four.

D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Review says:  Murder and amateur sleuthing is a mainstay of the mystery genre; but less common is the inclusion of humor, a device that sets Community Affairs apart from the majority of ‘look-alike’ titles and which provides a satisfying diversion from the usually-too-serious job of sleuthing.

The story opens with a first-person reflection on the protagonist’s kidnapping, then segues quickly to two weeks earlier, when events began to build. So far, nothing extraordinary. But this isn’t just a story of a murder and kidnapping: ultimately it’s about feuding neighbors, differing viewpoints, and a motivation that leads to not just murder, but mayhem.

Bonnie is taking an oath of office, and it’s time to celebrate her big promotion: an event almost stymied by new neighbors who are moving in and arguing with each other. As Bonnie comes to believe her new neighbor is unstable, she also makes some connections between Lemon Face (as she’s impulsively named the woman) and a missing local – and it’s then that push really comes to shove in a battle of neighbors turned deadly.

As Bonnie discovers more connections between Lemon Face (a.k.a. neighbor Lyla) and Polly, the wars escalate as each woman sees in the other an enemy able to destroy her happiness.

Now, the humor that permeates the plot isn’t your slapstick affair: it surrounds the give-and-take of protagonists and is deftly portrayed in conversations, more often than not: “He answered on the second ring.  “Speak to me.”  “That’s a rude way to answer your phone.”  “Well, well, well, if it isn’t the whore who lives next door.”  “And I’m talking to the prick who was hit with the Entenmann’s stick.”  “What’s that supposed to mean?”  “It means you’re cruel and overweight. It also means you’re not too bright, being that I had to explain it to you.”  “Hey. That wasn’t nice.

There are also little comments that provide whimsical and fun moments in an otherwise-serious sequence of events: “Not long afterwards, I heard the fine dining arrive—bread and water through a doggie door.”

The well-rounded blend of tongue-in-cheek humor, observation, and amateur sleuthing involves neighbors, murderers, and hospital personnel alike in a journey that is anything but ordinary.

Unlike many a murder mystery protagonist, Bonnie doesn’t aspire to gumshoe crime-solving: she’s already a busy mother with a career, a loving husband, and a lot going on in her world. She simply falls into the role of investigator – but, what a role it is!

Community Affairs is aptly named because many members of the community engage and interact in the course of ordinary and illicit affairs and their potential impact.

Nobody knows who the killer is. And Bonnie is about to break the case wide open – if she survives.

It’s detective writing at its best: adding a dash of humor to the mix to create not just comic relief, but the personality and whimsy lacking in most stories of amateur sleuths. And that’s what makes Community Affairs not just a standout, but a top recommendation.

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Last Day to Pre-Order Community Affairs!

Today is the last day to pre-order Community Affairs!

Community Affairs front coverIf you haven’t ordered your copy yet, you can get your kindle copy at the discounted price of $2.99 by preordering here:  http://amzn.to/1qnafz3

Tomorrow, January 27th, the price goes up to $3.99.  I’m absolutely thrilled that so many of you have already pre-ordered! I hope you enjoy it and THANK YOU!

For everyone who has ordered a copy through me, my copies are on the way from the printer, and as soon as I have them, I’ll mail them out to you!

As a special treat today, the last day for pre-orders, I’ve uploaded all of Chapter 1 here!  Enjoy!

6 Days Left Until Community Affairs!

I can’t believe the release of Community Affairs, BoCommunity Affairs front coverok 3 in the Jersey Shore Mystery Series is only 6 days away!

I want to give a special thanks to the hundreds of people who have pre-ordered! I truly appreciate your support! I know you will love it!

If you haven’t ordered your copy yet, you can get your kindle copy at the discounted price of $2.99 by preordering here:  http://amzn.to/1qnafz3

The price for kindle/nook versions will be $3.99 once it is released.  The paperback version will also be available on January 27th. For everyone who has ordered a copy through me, my copies are on the way from the printer, and as soon as I have them, I’ll mail them out to you!

Here is another excerpt to hold you over!

Excerpt

At the end of the meal, our server came along with a tray of chocolates for dessert. I selected one, as did everyone at the table, and placed it on my plate. I wondered how I would eat it. I feared I’d look like a barnyard animal, picking it up with my hands and taking a bite, which was exactly what I wanted to do. But I refrained, if for no other reason than not to embarrass Jayce in front of his colleagues. It was too large to pop the entire thing in my mouth. I frowned and considered my options.

The hot air from the hospital big wigs began to blow. Um, I mean, speeches. The chairman of the hospital board made his donation pleas. The effects of the cosmos I drank were beginning to wear off, but I was buzzed enough that the chocolate in front of me seemed to be taunting me. I was a chocoholic by nature. A piece of chocolate in front of me was not likely to go uneaten, especially when my desire to keep my hourglass shape was momentarily inebriated along with me. I made a decision to cut the chocolate piece in half with my fork and knife. I thought that would be more ladylike, since I was attending such a high-class function.

I situated my fork atop the luscious-looking piece of heaven and dug into it with my knife. That evil little chocolate piece refused to be minimized. It shot out from under the knife, across the table, past the millionaire seated with us, and smacked into the back of Lemon Face’s head. She raised her hand to the back of her head and rubbed it along her hair. She must have felt something, but didn’t seem to know what it was. She didn’t seem too concerned about it.

My face glowed red in the dim dinner lighting. Not the shade of embarrassment; the shade of hidden laughter. I felt like a giggling girl at church. Why is it you always laugh harder when you aren’t supposed to be laughing?

I swiftly returned my fork and knife to their rightful positions to hide the evidence. I breathed a sigh of relief when I glanced around quickly and realized that the Lemon Face did not discover the chocolate bullet was mine. Everyone at my table was too busy watching the speeches to pay attention to me and my dessert malfunction. The crisis of having to explain my idiocy was averted! That was, until I heard laughter beside me. To my right, the chief of surgery was chuckling. I looked at him and was greeted by an “I saw that.”

Turning red once more, I giggled. “Please don’t tell anyone it was me.”

He shook his head and laughed harder. “I won’t.”

Jayce looked over at us. “What are you up to?”

I smirked and told him I’d tell him later. On the car ride home, I couldn’t stop laughing when I recounted how I shot Lemon Face with a chocolate bullet. It seemed hilarious to me. I had exacted my revenge on her without even trying.

Community Affairs – A little teaser!

Community Affairs, book 3 in the Jersey Shore Mystery Series, is only days away from being released!  I’m so excited! Are you ready for another teaser to hold you over?

You can get your kindle copy at the discounted price of $2.99 by preordering here:  http://www.amzn.to/1qnafz3

And if you haven’t read book 2 yet, it’s on sale for 99 cents! http://www.amzn.to/1exlgXR

Community Affairs front coverExcerpt

“C’mon, girls; let’s go.”

“Finally!” Callie said with sarcasm. I think she was starting to imitate me, which wasn’t necessarily a good thing.

We hopped in the car, buckled up, and headed for Big Chuck’s for breakfast. Big Chuck’s was famous for their humungous portions, yummy eats, and low prices. We sat at a booth to the left of the hostess station. A waitress handed us menus and said she’d be back to take our order. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone come through the entrance.

“Oh, no. I told you before, you’re not welcome here,” the waitress said. I turned to see what the commotion was. I saw Cason trying to talk to the waitress.

“Nicole, you are her best friend. I need to know where she is.”

“What are you talking about, Cason?”

“I’m talking about how Lyla didn’t come home last night. I know you know where she is. Did she stay at your house?”

“Do you really think I’d tell you where she is? After the way you treated her?”

“Nicole, please. I’m worried about her. I just want to know she’s okay.”

“Did you have a fight or something? Did she catch you cheating yet again?”

“No, Nicole! We didn’t have a fight. I didn’t cheat on her again. It was only that one time.” Cason’s tone changed from pleading to agitated.

“Yeah, right. I know all about your little prostitute next door.”

All the patrons were beginning to stare. Nicole and Cason were not exactly quiet. I shrank down in my seat to avoid being detected by Cason. I thought it was odd that both Jayce and Lyla didn’t come home last night. It couldn’t possibly mean that the two of them were having an affair, could it? Then, accusing Cason and me of having one. What do they call that? Projecting?

“Why is our neighbor yelling at the waitress, Mommy?” Kailyn asked.

Shhh, Kailyn. Let’s be patient.”

We turned our attention back to the scene unfolding before us.

“You need to leave, Cason. I’m at work here and you are disturbing all the customers,” the waitress said.

Cason spoke through clenched teeth. “Nicole. Nothing was going on with the neighbor. Lyla concocted that in her head. She was starting to lose it. And now I can’t find her. I’ve looked everywhere she would be. Please tell me she is okay and I’ll leave.”

Big Chuck stepped out of the kitchen in his white chef’s apron, holding a large spatula in one hand. “Is there a problem here, Nicole?”

“No, no problem at all, Chuck.” Nicole retreated to the coffee station and picked up a pot. She scurried around to various tables, freshening up people’s mugs with warm decaf. Cason followed her, seemingly unintimidated by Big Chuck’s enormous size and growing annoyance.

“Nicole, please. I’m begging you. Please tell me that she’s okay and I’ll go away.”

Big Chuck approached him from behind, placing his large hand on Cason’s shoulder. “I’m only going to ask you to leave once.” Big Chuck had a deep, booming voice that scared the pee out of me.

Cason looked back at him, disinterested, then looked back at Nicole. “Nicole, please. Just let me know if she’s okay.” Nicole ignored him.

I was on the edge of my seat in anticipation of what was going to happen next. Cason grabbed Nicole by the arm. Nicole swung around and threw the pot of hot coffee at Cason, which caused Cason to release her arm to jump out of the way.

The coffee pot sailed past Cason and shattered in a zillion pieces on the linoleum. Big Chuck grabbed Cason’s arm with his left hand, swung him around, and landed a right hook to Cason’s jaw. Cason stumbled backwards. Big Chuck swung again, making contact with Cason’s right eye. Cason fell on the ground and Big Chuck gave him a swift kick in the side. Cason scrambled to his feet and limped toward the door, slipping on the spilled coffee and landing face down in shards of glass. Scraped, bruised, and covered in coffee, Cason tried to get up, steadying himself with his hands in a downward dog position. Big Chuck went after him again, kicking him square in the rear end, forcing Cason to tumble out of the front door.

“Clean up this mess, Nicole!” Big Chuck picked up his spatula and strutted back into the kitchen.

“Right away, boss.”

I was speechless. Kailyn and Callie were dumbfounded. They hadn’t ever witnessed such violence, unless it was bestowed upon Wile E. Coyote.


Community Affairs – 11 days until it’s released!

Community Affairs front coverCommunity Affairs is only 11 days away from its release!  Here is another excerpt to keep you entertained until you can read the whole book!

You can get your kindle copy at the discounted price of $2.99 by preordering here:  http://amzn.to/1qnafz3

Excerpt

Shortly into dinner, there was a knock at the door. I could see through the glass window that it was two of Sunshine’s finest men in blue.

I inherited my father’s good looks and my mother’s twin towers. I found having big ta-tas didn’t hurt sometimes. I felt like it was going to be one of those times. I gave my push-up bra a hike from below to lift the ladies a little more.

Being beautiful and big in the right areas wasn’t a bad thing unless, of course, you wanted people to take you seriously or treat you like you had a brain. I noticed this more often with those who have dangling participles. They sometimes think with the wrong head. In those cases, I might have flaunted it a little to get what I wanted. It mostly worked. Some people called me a tease. I called it putting your assets to work for you.

I opened up the door and batted my eyelashes. “Hello, officers.”

“Ma’am, we received a complaint that your boat is too close to the neighbors’ house.”

“What’s the setback?”

They looked at me like I was talking Greek.

“Why are you here instead of the zoning officer?”

I worked for government, so I had an insider’s knowledge. The zoning officer typically handled complaints about zoning laws. Boats in driveways fell under the zoning code and the zoning officer’s jurisdiction. The fact that the police were here said to me that Lyla screamed, cried, or carried on in such a way that she got what she wanted. She wanted the police to come and she got her way. She probably used the “My husband is a senator!” line. Or maybe she had her husband called the Mayor of Sunshine directly. There was one thing I learned about politicians along the way. They thought they were gods and that they could do whatever they wanted. They especially thought they could circumvent protocol without anyone knowing.

The officers looked at me, confused again. The poor rookies didn’t know that they shouldn’t be wasting their crime-fighting hours on a boat complaint.

“We’re just doing as we were told, ma’am.”

There was that word “ma’am” again! I hated being called ma’am. It made me feel old.

I leaned forward, pretending to lean out of the house to see where the boat was. I noticed their eyes diverted downward to my au naturels. Given their eye movements and body language, I figured I could buy myself some time.

“Would it be okay if we moved the boat by Monday? I’m here all alone with my daughters and I don’t know how to move it all by myself. I need to get some help.”

“Oh yes, ma’am. That’d be fine,” the one who looked like he was eighteen said, never taking his gaze off my gigundas.

I thanked them and closed the door. I smirked as I went back to the kitchen.

“Why are the police here?” Kailyn asked.

“It’s about the boat, honey.”

“Are you in trouble?” Callie asked.

“No, sweetie. Make sure you finish those carrots. They are good for your eyes.”

Callie winced at the thought of having to finish her carrots.

We finished up dinner, and then I did the dishes. Afterwards, I logged onto the internet while the girls did their homework. I checked the zoning setback regulations for Sunshine. I found that boats were permitted in side yards, so long as they were five feet from the property line. I snatched a tape measure and went outside to measure the distance from my fence to our boat. The boat was within three inches of the regulations. Really? She’s freaking out over three inches?

I noted that I had to call the Mayor of Sunshine and complain about how I wasn’t treated like every other resident in the town. What was the point of that? Did she think the police would scare me? Lemon Face didn’t realize that I grew up in a family of cops. My uncle was retired from the Trenton Police Force. I had cousins that were sheriffs’ officers and detectives in the prosecutor’s office. Heck, I worked with the police at my current and previous jobs! Not that I saw them every day, but I certainly wasn’t afraid of the police.

I stomped back into the house, sent the girls to bed, and made myself a drink. I plopped myself onto the couch and spent the evening sipping my cosmo and watching a movie. Mindless activities for stress relief.

I tried to wait up for Jayce to come home, but I fell off to Dreamland hours before the noisy garage door woke me. I realized I hadn’t made it to bed before I dozed off.

“What time is it?” I was sleepy and trying to focus.

“It’s two,” Jayce responded.

“Why are you so late tonight?”

“Emergency craniotomy. I was the only available neurosurgeon in the hospital when the ER called. Why aren’t you in bed?”

“I was trying to wait up for you. I had to tell you about the day I had.”

“I’m sorry I’m so late. I want to hear all about your first day at work.”

“Well, that’s not exactly what I wanted to tell you about.”

“No?”

I shook my head. “I think we are in for some big trouble with our new neighbors.”

“Why would you say that?”

I started with the boat being three inches over the side setback.

“Seriously? They are complaining about three inches?” Jayce asked.

“I know, right? Someone must have smacked her with a stupid stick.”

 

 

 

2 Weeks to Community Affairs!

The release of Community Affairs, BoCommunity Affairs front coverok 3 in the Jersey Shore Mystery Series is only 2 weeks away! How about an exclusive excerpt to celebrate?

You can get your kindle copy at the discounted price of $2.99 by preordering here:  http://amzn.to/1qnafz3

Excerpt

I impatiently waited for my escape from work. I needed to vent to my friend. Chelsey was a good listener. Luckily, five o’clock rolled around before I knew it. I said good-bye to Dira and made it to Casey Prime in five minutes flat. Chelsey was waiting for me at a table next to the bar.

Casey Prime was a great steakhouse. They also had a good appetizer menu and great discounts in their bar room on weekdays between five and seven. Five to seven would be just enough time to adjust my attitude.

“I need a drink. And fast!” I hung my purse on the back of the chair and plopped down in my seat.

“Well, hello to you too.”

The bartender came over to our table and took my order. “A cosmo, please. Actually, make it two.”

“Two drinks at once?” Chelsey raised an eyebrow.

“You don’t know what I’ve been going through.”

“Well, I’m here. Talk to me.”

“My new neighbors. The husband is a senator. The wife is a recent escapee from an insane asylum.”

“For real?” Chelsey’s eyebrow was raised again.

“The senator part is.”

The bartender returned with my cosmos. I downed the first one and handed him back the glass. “Were you interested in seeing a menu?” he asked.

I didn’t need to look at the menu. I ordered the same thing every time I went to Casey Prime. “I’ll have the shrimp cocktail, sirloin crostini, and the truffle fries.”

“I’ll have the filet sliders and the Casey fries,” Chelsey said.

The bartender headed to the computer and keyed in our order.

Chelsey took a sip of her gin and tonic. “So, tell me the rest.”

“Lemon Face called my boss today.”

“Lemon Face? Is that the wife? Why do you call her that?”

“Because she has a face that always looks like she just sucked on a lemon.”

Chelsey laughed and spit out some of her drink in the process.

“Anyway, she called my boss and said that I was rude and disrespectful.”

“So, what does that have to do with your work? You don’t live in the town where you work.”

“She pretended to be a resident.”

“How do you know it was her?”

“I don’t; it’s a feeling I got. She’s been messing with me. Called the cops, saying the boat was three inches too close to the property line. Left me a bag of poop lit on fire at my front door, and called me at work, threatening me.”

“What? She called you at work too, not only your boss?”

“C’mon, Chelsey. Keep up with me.” I downed my second drink. I held up the glass for the bartender to see, and he nodded, knowing I wanted another.

I told the whole story to Chelsey in detail after I had calmed my nerves with my second drink. Chelsey’s advice was to find a way to have some common ground with Lyla. She reminded me that life could be miserable having a neighbor battle.

“How would you know? Have you ever had a rotten neighbor?”

“Once. They would let their dog run all over the neighborhood. They would get mad at me for calling animal control. I was afraid the dog would get hit by a car. One night, I heard a lot of screaming, and I almost called the police.”

“Why didn’t you?”

“I figured I’d let them kill each other. Then I wouldn’t have the dog issue any longer.”

“Real nice, Chelsey. And I thought, between the two of us, that you were the nice one.”

It’s detective writing at its best…

“It’s detective writing at its best,” says D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer for Midwest Book Reviews about Community Affairs, Book 3 in the Jersey Shore Mystery Series.

I was thrilled today when I opened my inbox and found this review of my newest mystery novel.  Here is the whole review:

Community Affairs 

by Michele Lynn Seigfried

Murder and amateur sleuthing is a mainstay of the mystery genre; but less common is the inclusion of humor, a device that sets Community Affairs apart from the majority of ‘look-alike’ titles and which provides a satisfying diversion from the usually-too-serious job of sleuthing.

The story opens with a first-person reflection on the protagonist’s kidnapping, then segues quickly to two weeks earlier, when events began to build. So far, nothing extraordinary. But this isn’t just a story of a murder and kidnapping: ultimately it’s about feuding neighbors, differing viewpoints, and a motivation that leads to not just murder, but mayhem.

Bonnie is taking an oath of office, and it’s time to celebrate her big promotion: an event almost stymied by new neighbors who are moving in and arguing with each other. As Bonnie comes to believe her new neighbor is unstable, she also makes some connections between Lemon Face (as she’s impulsively named the woman) and a missing local – and it’s then that push really comes to shove in a battle of neighbors turned deadly.

As Bonnie discovers more connections between Lemon Face (a.k.a. neighbor Lyla) and Polly, the wars escalate as each woman sees in the other an enemy able to destroy her happiness.

Now, the humor that permeates the plot isn’t your slapstick affair: it surrounds the give-and-take of protagonists and is deftly portrayed in conversations, more often than not: “He answered on the second ring.  “Speak to me.”  “That’s a rude way to answer your phone.”  “Well, well, well, if it isn’t the whore who lives next door.”  “And I’m talking to the prick who was hit with the Entenmann’s stick.”  “What’s that supposed to mean?”  “It means you’re cruel and overweight. It also means you’re not too bright, being that I had to explain it to you.”  “Hey. That wasn’t nice.

There are also little comments that provide whimsical and fun moments in an otherwise-serious sequence of events: “Not long afterwards, I heard the fine dining arrive—bread and water through a doggie door.”

The well-rounded blend of tongue-in-cheek humor, observation, and amateur sleuthing involves neighbors, murderers, and hospital personnel alike in a journey that is anything but ordinary.

Unlike many a murder mystery protagonist, Bonnie doesn’t aspire to gumshoe crime-solving: she’s already a busy mother with a career, a loving husband, and a lot going on in her world. She simply falls into the role of investigator – but, what a role it is!

Community Affairs is aptly named because many members of the community engage and interact in the course of ordinary and illicit affairs and their potential impact.

Nobody knows who the killer is. And Bonnie is about to break the case wide open – if she survives.

It’s detective writing at its best: adding a dash of humor to the mix to create not just comic relief, but the personality and whimsy lacking in most stories of amateur sleuths. And that’s what makes Community Affairs not just a standout, but a top recommendation.

~D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer for Midwest Book Reviews

Community Affairs front coverCommunity Affairs will be released on 1/27/15!

To pre-order Community Affairs for kindle at a discounted rate, click here!