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.


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Once Upon a Crime – Review

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Once Upon A Crime - WEBOnce Upon a Crime
Romantic Suspense
Published by Wings ePress (September 1, 2014)
E-Book File Size: 509 KB
Print Length: 265 pages
ASIN: B00N8AIEWU
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Synopsis:

Love isn’t always a fairy tale…and Charlotte Ross has kissed her share of frogs, but that’s all behind her. Fleeing her life for a short break, Charlotte, along with her best friend Jane Marshall, find themselves at her aunt’s home in the sleepy town of Raven’s Caw, Michigan. Charlotte hopes to recover from another breakup with her fiancé, and her friend Jane, a new mystery writer, is looking forward to somewhere relaxing. But life has different plans for the two friends and they find themselves swept up in a whirlwind of romance, mystery and murder.

Sparks fly between Jane and Charlotte’s attractive, Machiavellian cousin, Kenny. But is the attraction too good to be true or just a diversion from a mystery that has piqued her interest? Charlotte is pulled along on this roller-coaster of emotion when she meets up with her first love, as she and Jane discover links between a murder that happened twelve years earlier and a recent crime. Risking their lives and hearts, the friends race against the past in an effort to solve the crimes before one of them becomes the next victim.

My Review:

Once Upon a Crime reads more like a romance novel for the first 20% of the book–that’s when the mystery is introduced.  It is told in third person, but from two different points of view – Charlotte and her friend Jane.  There were times I felt like screaming at Jane, “Don’t get involved with Kenny! He’s bad news!” But at the same time, I wanted them to get together. It’s like Jane’s own thoughts were in my head!  I could see myself being friends with someone like Jane.  So, what does that tell me?  It says the author’s characters were very real!  A great job on the author’s part. Besides the main characters, I loved their quirky friends and Kenny’s mom is hoot as well. I was surprised at the turn of events, and can’t say I saw it coming.

A solid book that made me want to keep reading more! 4 stars!
10-18-2009 12;14;24PM

From the  Author:

I’ve been an aspiring author since high school when I wrote short stories to amuse family members. I began my first novel while attending college later in life, and while working in the offices of a major soft drink company. Even though my job, my home, and my family always took precedence, I continued to attend writing classes and work on my novels. Now, after taking early retirement, I finally have the chance to do what I love best; write full-time. While I enjoy playing the piano, being an organic gardener, and an amateur Lapidary, writing has always been my passion. I was a former member of the Agatha Christie Society and am currently a member of Sisters in Crime. I write mysteries with light romance and a little humor. My husband and I live in a suburb of Chicago along with our Black Lab/Pit Bull, Bailey.

Author Links:

Web: http://evelyncullet.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3425303.Evelyn_Cullet

Purchase Links:
Amazon B&N

Giveaway:

Win one of two signed copies of this book! Enter to Win by Clicking HERE!

Tour Participants

November 3 – The Gal in the Blue Mask – Review, Interview

November 4 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview

November 5 – Back Porchervations – Review

November 6 – Bea’s Book Nook – Review

November 7 – Lilac Reviews – Review, Interview

November 8 – Brooke Blogs – Review

November 9 – Michele Lynn Seigfried’s Blog  – Review

November 10 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – Review

November 11 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Handcuffs & High Heels – Guest Post & Giveaway!

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Guest Post – Addicted to Books

Hi, my name is J.M. Edwards, and I’m addicted to books. While other groups have anonymous meetings, toll-free hotlines and inpatient treatment programs to address their habits and compulsions, it seemed to me that biblioholics were alone in the world.

Well, as alone as one can be when you have round-the-clock access to Amazon, there’s a Barnes & Noble store within walking distance and one of the world’s best indie bookstores just happens to be down the street.

In that case, biblioholics are not alone—we are at risk. Temptation is everywhere. It’s on our phones, our laptops, our tablets. It lurks in stores, airport terminals and shopping malls. Like other addictive substances, books are available in multiple formats: digital, hardcover with deckle edge, paperback and unabridged audio. They can be delivered wirelessly, through the mail or by messenger. People give books as gifts. They loan them to you. And the public library—somewhat of an anomaly to many people in this digital world—is still skulking about like a mischievous dealer, offering free access to millions of titles.

During a recent conversation with another biblioholic, I learned about a 12-step program that outlines a course of action for recovery from this hazardous condition. Since the plan and its guiding principles were unfamiliar, I asked my friend to tell me more.

“It’s an amazing program,” she said. “For starters, the only way to truly learn about its history is to read a book!”

I gulped, leaned closer and whispered: “I want to join right away. I finished The Monogram Murders: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery this morning. I’m ready for my next fix. What’s the title?”

She explained that it was Biblioholics Anonymous: The Story of How More Than One Hundred Readers Have Recovered from Biblioholism. I admit the title didn’t grab me. But when I tracked down a copy and cracked the cover, I was hooked. I read the entire book in one night. Then I read it again the next day. My obsession for the story was so undeniable that I searched online to see if Hollywood had adapted it into a movie that I could watch while reading my copy of the book. Alas, the film has not yet been made.

While most recovery programs provide a specific 12-step approach to anyone afflicted with the addiction, BA actually encourages members to write their own incremental process. In case you’re a biblioholic looking for inspiration, I’ll include the phases that have worked for me below:

My 12 Steps to Recovery from Biblioholism

1. I admitted that I am powerless over books and my shelves at home—as well as my nightstand, the kitchen counters, the floor beside my bed, the coffee table, the trunk of the car and every other available surface, nook or cranny—had become unmanageable.

2. I came to believe that a force greater than Amazon could restore my good sense and reason.

3. I made a decision to turn my library and credit cards over to the care of a responsible individual who could help me make rational choices with the time I previously spent reading. For example: skeet shooting, taxidermy, collecting plastic spoons, raising and showing computerized pets and phlebotomy.

4. I made a searching and fearless inventory of my book collection. Since my drugs of choice include mysteries and children’s titles, I donated duplicate copies of treasured favorites to charitable organizations so that others may enjoy Goodnight Moon, The Maltese Falcon, Top Secret Twenty-One and Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.

5. I admitted the exact nature of my addiction to myself and anyone who would listen, including the local librarian until she had security escort me from the premises for speaking above a whisper.

6. I removed the Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle tattoos from my derriere.

7. I humbly asked my neighborhood Barnes & Noble to put my name and photograph beside each register along with the words: DO NOT SELL BOOKS TO THIS PERSON.

8. I made a list of all the authors I’ve been meaning to read, and made amends with them by skimming their book descriptions on Amazon.

9. I also made amends to as many local or regional authors as possible, except when doing so would make me look like a complete stalker.

10. I created a “book free zone” in my home. Many people refer to the same area as the bathroom.

11. I donated my collection of bookmarks to the Bookmark Museum. The assortment was so large it will require the addition of a new wing to the building.

12. I pledged to carry this message to other biblioholics and to apply these principles in all of my everyday affairs unless the everyday affairs coincide with the publication date of new books by one of my favorite authors. In those instances, I’ll be too busy reading to do anything else.

In closing, I want to share two more thoughts. I wish you well with your recovery. And, if you’re looking for a new cozy to read, try Handcuffs & High Heels or Death by Donut, the first two titles in my new series featuring Ruby Wisdom.

GIVEAWAY!

One lucky winner will receive an e-book from the author!  Leave a comment below with your email address and I will select one person at random to win!

Handcuffs & High Heels
by J.M. Edwards

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Handcuffs & High Heels:
A Ruby Wisdom Mystery

1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
Self Published
File Size: 1435 KB
Print Length: 201 pages

ASIN: B00M8N1LJ6
Synopsis:

Meet Ruby Wisdom. Smart and sensible. Humorous and heroic. Tough and tender. As the only private investigator in tiny Wormwood, New York, Ruby handles a wide range of cases—everything from jewel heists and cheating husbands to stolen wedding gowns, kidnapped artwork and fraudulent heirs.

In HANDCUFFS & HIGH HEELS, Ruby is hired by the wife of a millionaire when the woman suspects her husband is having an affair. And he is—several of them. But when Ruby begins connecting the duplicitous dots, the deceitful spouse ends up in a much more difficult dilemma than being caught with his hands in Cookie’s jar. And that’s when the real investigation begins.

HANDCUFFS & HIGH HEELS is a cozy mystery loaded with humor, romance, memorable characters and a sleuth who knows her way around baked goods and sweet treats as well as crime scenes and tricky investigations.

JM Edwards Pic

About This Author

J.M. Edwards loves crime. But only when it’s fictional. A lifelong fan of mystery novels, police procedurals and thrillers, J.M. has worked as a copywriter, bartender, dog walker and newspaper reporter. When it comes to reading, she has a few favorites (Robert B. Parker, Sue Grafton, Dashiell Hammett, Robert B. Parker, Lee Child), but always enjoys learning about new authors to add to the TBR pile. In addition to writing the new Ruby Wisdom cozy mystery series, J.M. spends time gardening, traveling, spoiling a small herd of cats and dogs, doing volunteer work and taking the occasional nap.

Author Link

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22854772-handcuffs-high-heels?ac=1

Purchase Links

Amazon

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/handcuffs-high-heels-a-ruby-wisdom-mystery?store=allproducts&keyword=handcuffs+%26+high+heels+a+ruby+wisdom+mystery

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/handcuffs-high-heels-a-ruby-wisdom-mystery

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id904358538

Tour Participants

October 21 – Christa Reads and Writes – Review

October 22 – Chloe Gets A Clue – Interview

October 23 – Lilac Reviews – Guest Post

October 24 – deal sharing aunt – Interview

October 25 – A Blue Million Books – Guest Post

October 26 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview

October 27 – Back Porchervations – Review

October 28 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review

October 29 – Michele Lynn Seigfried’s Blog – Guest Post

October 30 – readalot blog – Review

October 31 – Kelly P’s Blog – Guest Post

November 1 – dru’s book musings – Guest Post

November 2 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Guest Post

November 2 – OmniMystery News – Interview  

Be Careful What You Witch For – Review & Giveaway!

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COVERBe Careful What You Witch For
(A Family Fortune Mystery)

Genre: Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Berkley (July 1, 2014)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425264478
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Synopsis

Leaving a traumatic police career behind, Clyde Fortune has returned to her seemingly quiet hometown of Crystal Haven, Michigan. In spite of the psychic powers of its residents, there’s no telling what trouble is brewing in this burg…

The highlight of the fall festival in Crystal Haven is a bonfire with a witch’s cauldron resting over it. Clyde’s best friend Diana leads a ritual to divine the future, but it seems no one foresees that one of their own will drop dead—or that Diana will be a prime suspect.

Clyde already has her hands full with her eccentric family, runaway nephew, and burgeoning secret romance with a hunky homicide detective. But after another coven member is attacked, Clyde suspects there’s a witch hunt afoot and focuses her psychic and sleuthing skills to clear her friend’s name and catch a killer.

My Review

Witches, psychics, and mystery, oh my! The perfect read for this fall season! What happened to Rafe? That is the pressing question in this book and Clyde is determined to find out. This book is true to the elements of a cozy mystery novel – there is mystery, drama, and a touch of romance yet no blood/gore, no graphic language, and no graphic sexual content.  A book you’d feel comfortable giving your teenagers to read–and we all know how they like stories about the paranormal!

From the first page, I was intrigued. The drama unfolds slowly and the twists and turns keep coming, keeping you wondering who could be the murderer. I enjoyed the characters and their eccentricities.  The author writes in a way that is strangely realistic for a setting that is more “magical.” Crystal Haven seems like a town I’d like to visit.  A good, 4-star read!

Disclaimer: I was given this book in exchange for an honest interview in conjunction with the book tour for this book.

Giveaway

I have a print copy to give away to one lucky winner!! Just let me know if you’d like the book, and I’ll pick a winner at random.  I’ll contact the winner to get their mailing address.  Open to U.S. residents only!

About This Author

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Dawn Eastman is the national bestselling author of Pall in the Family, the first book in the Family Fortune Mystery Series. She lived in Michigan for many years in a house full of animals, unusual people, and laughter. She now lives in Iowa with her husband, son, daughter, and one extremely bossy small dog.

Author Links

www.DawnEastman.com

Twitter – @DawnAEastman

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DawnEastmanAuthor

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6544185.Dawn_Eastman

Purchase Links 
Amazon B&N

Tour Participants – Mini Tour

October 23 – Mysteries And Cupcakes – Review

October 24 – Michele Lynn Seigfried’s Blog – Review

October 25 – Kelly P’s Blog – Interview

October 27 – Griperang’s Bookmarks – Review

October 28 – Mystery Playground – Interview

October 29 – readalot blog – Review

October 30 – Girl Lost In a Book – Review

Gold-Diggers, Gamblers and Guns – Giveaway & Guest Post!

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I’m excited to be kicking off the book tour for Ellen Mansoor Collier today!  Thanks for stopping at my blog, Ellen! Ellen gave us a little insight into her new book with this guest post:

 

GOLD DIGGERS, GAMBLERS AND GUNS

By: Ellen Mansoor Collier

Before Las Vegas, Galveston, Texas reigned as the “Sin City of the Southwest”—a magnet for gold diggers, gamblers and gangsters.   Inspired by real people and places, GOLD DIGGERS, GAMBLERS AND GUNS is set during Prohibition in 1927 Galveston, where businessmen rubbed elbows with bootleggers and real-life rival gangs ruled the Island with greed and graft.

During Prohibition, the Beach and Downtown gangs fought constant turf wars for control over booze, gambling, slot machines, clubs and prostitution. To keep the peace, the gangs tried to compromise by dividing the Island into two halves: Bootleggers Ollie Quinn and Dutch Voight headed the Beach Gang, south of Broadway and on the Seawall. In the early 1920s, Beach Gang leader Ollie Quinn controlled most of Galveston’s vice, and operated the Modern Vending Company, leasing slot machines and gambling equipment.

The infamous but long-gone Hollywood Dinner Club on 61st Street was located in the Beach Gang’s territory, near West Beach. The Galveston Yacht Club and Lafitte’s Lair are fictitious locales, but most of the places mentioned in the novel are real and still in existence.

Colorful crime boss Johnny Jack Nounes ran the Downtown Gang, the area north of Broadway, and once partnered with Frank Nitti, Al Capone’s legendary enforcer. Nitti reportedly stole $24,000 from Nounes and his then-partner, Dutch Voight, but their men later strong-armed him into returning the money, with interest.

Known as brazen and reckless, Nounes enjoyed outrunning the Coast Guard in his speedboat, the Cherokee, during booze drops. Rum Row was an actual drop-off point 35 miles southwest of the Island, where schooners off-loaded crates of liquor from Cuba, Jamaica and the Bahamas.

The Maceo brothers, Rosario and Sam (Papa Rose and Big Sam), were Sicilian immigrants who eventually took control of the Island, known as the “Free State of Galveston” for its vice and laissez-faire attitude, for roughly 25 years, from 1927-1952, until Sam Maceo’s death. GOLD DIGGERS, GAMBLERS AND GUNS is loosely based on actual and fabricated events leading to the Maceos brothers’ gradual take-over of both gangs in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

 

22174442Gold-Diggers, Gamblers and Guns: A Jazz Age Mystery #3
Cozy Mystery
File Size: 790 KB
Print Length: 268 pages
Publisher: DecoDame Press; 1 edition (May 18, 2014)
ASIN: B00KF3TJCM

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Synopsis:

During Prohibition, Galveston Island was called the “Free State of Galveston” due to its lax laws and laissez-faire attitude toward gambling, gals and bootlegging. Young society reporter Jasmine (Jazz) Cross longs to cover hard news, but she’s stuck between two clashing cultures: the world of gossip and glamour vs. gangsters and gamblers.

After Downtown Gang leader Johnny Jack Nounes is released from jail, all hell breaks loose: Prohibition Agent James Burton’s life is threatened and he must go into hiding for his own safety. But when he’s framed for murder, he and Jazz work together to prove his innocence. Johnny Jack blames her half-brother Sammy Cook, owner of the Oasis speakeasy, for his arrest and forces him to work overtime in a variety of dangerous mob jobs as punishment.

When a bookie is murdered, Jazz looks for clues linking the two murders and delves deeper into the underworld of gambling: poker games, slot machines and horse-racing. Meanwhile, Jazz tries to keep both Burton and her brother safe, and alive, while they face off against each other, as well as a common enemy. A soft-boiled mystery inspired by actual events.

Enter the giveaway to win one of the following prizes:

E-COPY OF Flappers, Flasks and Foul Play

E-COPY OF Bathing Beauties, Booze And Bullets

E-COPY OF Gold-Diggers, Gamblers and Guns

 

Click Here To Enter!

Ellen picture deco croppedAbout The Author:

Ellen Mansoor Collier is a Houston-based freelance magazine writer and editor whose articles and essays have been published in a variety of national magazines. Several of her short stories have appeared in Woman’s World. During college summers, she worked as a reporter for a Houston community newspaper and as a cocktail waitress, both jobs providing background experience for her Jazz Age mysteries.

A flapper at heart, she’s worked as a magazine editor/writer, and in advertising and public relations (plus endured a hectic semester as a substitute teacher). She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Magazine Journalism and served on UTmost, the college magazine and as president of WICI (Women in Communications).

FLAPPERS, FLASKS AND FOUL PLAY is her first novel, published in 2012, followed by the sequel, BATHING BEAUTIES, BOOZE AND BULLETS, released in May 2013. She lives in Houston with her husband and Chow mutts, and visits Galveston whenever possible.

“When you grow up in Houston, Galveston becomes like a second home. I had no idea this sleepy beach town had such a wild and colorful past until I began doing research, and became fascinated by the legends and stories of the 1920s. Finally I had to stop researching and start writing, trying to imagine a flapper’s life in Galveston during Prohibition.”

Author Links:

Website: http://www.flapperfinds.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ellen.mansoorcollier?fref=ts

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Gold-Diggers-Gamblers-Guns-Jazz-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00KF3TJCM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1401823006&sr=1-1&keywords=ellen+mansoor+collier

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6452242.Ellen_Mansoor_Collier

Purchase Links:


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Check out the special excerpt from Gamblers, Gold-Diggers and Guns: 

At the Rusty Bucket, I followed close behind, pretending I was a real crime reporter, looking straight ahead so the police and newshounds wouldn’t try to shut me out.

Sure enough, a couple of cops tried to block my way but I simply replied, “I’m with the Gazette,” as if that explained everything. When we entered the bar, I noticed obvious signs of a struggle: tables and chairs knocked over, broken glasses, papers strewn about. Right by the front door, in all its gleaming glory, sat a brand-new nickel slot machine, a one-armed bandit displaying diamonds, spades, hearts, horseshoes and a cracked Liberty bell.

A huddle of newshawks stared at the floor and I could see the figure of a man, lying by the new machine, arms at odd angles, but I was too far away to determine his cause of death.

“Coming through,” Nathan said, forcing his way into the circle . Edging closer, I could barely make out the victim’s face—a plain man in his mid-forties, sandy hair, freckled skin.

As I changed positions, I saw a huge gaping hole in his skull, hair caked with blood and bone. My stomach lurched and I covered my mouth with both hands, trying not to upchuck.

By the man’s side lay a bloodied baseball bat—the weapon of choice for thugs and cowards and enforcers who liked to use threats and intimidation to make their point. Why would the killers leave the bloody baseball bat in plain sight, next to the victim?

Across the room, Mack stared at me, stone-faced, with an “I told you so” glare. Feeling dizzy, I made my way across the room and sat down at a small table by the piano. No one seemed to notice as I went behind the counter, searching the ice-box for water. I gulped it down, then pressed the frosty glass against my perspiring face, enjoying the cool sensation.

Still shaky, I sat down at the table, observing the crime scene from a safe distance: the reporters taking notes, badgering the sheriff for information, an M.E. squatting by the body, taking samples of hair and blood. That’s when I saw it, half-hidden under the player piano bench: An almost-new Stetson, slightly scuffed, with a clean bullet hole in the crown.

Was I hallucinating or was that Agent Burton’s Stetson under the player piano? And what in hell was it doing at this murder scene?

Lethal Lily – Guest Post, Review & Giveaway!

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GUEST POST

A World of Poisonous Plants

by Joyce Lavene

There are hundreds of poisonous plants in the world. Many people are surprised to learn that they may have some of those plants in their own backyards.

Poisonous Spring flowers that may be blooming in your area right now include:

Wisteria – Wisteria, with its beautiful white, purple, or pink flowers, can be considered a pest since it will grow on anything. But is there anything as lovely in the spring as its draping branches? Yet the plant can be deadly poisonous.

Lily of the Valley – We use lily of the valley as a deadly poison in Lethal Lily. Despite its fragile appearance, the toxin in this plant is deadly.

Hyacinth – Very few aromas can compare with that of the lovely hyacinth, but that enticing perfume can bring on a deadly asthma attack.

Azalea – Gorgeous bunches of azalea flowers can be so toxic that they can poison the bees who land there looking for pollen.

Daffodil – These merry reminders of spring’s arrival are listed as some of the most toxic plants for cats and dogs.

How to deal with poisonous plants?

If you decide to keep these deadly beauties in your house or yard, be careful. Don’t plant them where dogs, cats, or small children can easily get to them. Keep track of the poisonous plants you have in your yard. Being able to tell a doctor what poison may have been ingested can be a lifesaver!

 

 ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

1 Peggy Lee tote bag with print copies of A Thyme to Die (2013) and Lethal Lily

Click Here to Enter!

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  Lethal Lily

A Peggy Lee Gardening Mystery

Cozy Mystery

300 pages

Available on Amazon.com

 

Synopsis

Part-time garden shop owner/part-time forensic botanist, Peggy Lee is trying to discover if the death of Ann Fletcher 20 years ago was an accident – or foul play. In return, she hopes to receive more information about her first husband’s death. She knows John Lee was murdered, but questions have arisen as to why he was killed. She is working with a private detective who stumbles across his own feet, but her Internet friend, Nightflyer, says that Harry Fletcher has the answers. When Harry is murdered by convallatoxin, from the lily of the valley plant, Peggy begins to understand her role in everything. Now she has to stay alive long enough to prove her theories – and keep her son, Paul out of trouble too!

My Review

I truly enjoy reading a book that is educational as well.  I learned so much about flowers and plants while reading this.  I love that the authors put descriptions of the various plants at the beginnings of chapters.  I especially enjoyed learning which plants are poisonous.  Because I have a new puppy, I certainly took note. This book is full of mystery and intrigue.  I kept flipping pages trying to find out what was going on and who the killer was! It is absolutely a plus when a book is able to keep my attention and this one did.  A light and fun mystery, I would recommend this book.  Although I haven’t read the other books in this series, I didn’t feel like I was lost in the plot or confused with character histories/backgrounds.  It stood well on its own. Peggy is an enjoyable main character.  Take this one to the beach with you this summer for an entertaining read!

About The Authorsjoyce and jim

Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.

Author Links

www.joyceandjimlavene.com 

www.peggyleegardenmysteries.com

www.facebook.com/joyceandjimlavene 

http://amazon.com/author/jlavene 

https://twitter.com/AuthorJLavene

 

A Book Excerpt

It was after midnight. Peggy Lee had been waiting in the dark parking lot of the Tri-State Mini Storage for more than an hour.

Since she was trying to keep a low profile, she hadn’t looked at her phone or listened to music. There was still a light in the mini storage office. She knew someone was working.

A sign flapped in the warm breeze that had blown up from a tropical storm churning at the Atlantic coast. She glanced at her watch again for the third time in as many minutes.

Where was Harry?

Peggy had only met Harry Fletcher a few days ago. They’d both received emails from her online friend, Nightflyer, suggesting they should work together.
A friend of mine is investigating an old murder in Charlotte, and might call on you for help. I sent him to you because he knows part of the puzzle surrounding John’s death. I’ll speak with you when I can. ~ Nightflyer

The note had caught her attention—and held it. It had only been a few months since she’d learned that her former husband, John Lee, may have been deliberately murdered. She still wasn’t sure it was true, but she decided it couldn’t hurt to check into it.

John had been a Charlotte, North Carolina police detective when he’d been killed more than a decade ago. He’d been called out on a domestic abuse situation that he shouldn’t even have responded to. But it was on his way home, and he’d gone willingly because he was needed.

The call went bad when the man, who’d been shooting at his wife’s boyfriend, decided to shoot at the police. He’d escaped in the gunfight that had ensued, but John had been killed. The shooter was never found. John’s partner had been at Peggy’s door a few minutes later with the news.

Peggy pushed the thoughts of that night out of her head. It was a long time ago, but it still haunted her. She couldn’t let herself get trapped in the past if she wanted to know what really happened to John.

Her phone rang—startling her. She almost dropped it. “Yes?”

“I found the storage unit,” Harry Fletcher whispered. “I forgot the bolt cutters on the floor of the car. Can you bring them? I’m at Unit 34.”

She agreed to do it, and sighed. The man was terminally careless. Just in the short time she’d known him, he was always dropping something, or forgetting something. She wondered how he’d managed to stay alive while he was working as a private detective.

Harry said he’d been working as an informant for the FBI when John was killed. They’d talked about it over tea in a sunlit atrium high above downtown Charlotte, with exotic lilies perfuming the air, and fleet-footed waiters continually checking their cups.

She hadn’t wanted to bring him to her house—it was better if she was the only one who knew about it. If her son, Paul, knew she was involved in anything like this, he’d be furious. Worse, it could ruin his life. His peace had been hard won after John’s death. He’d struggled with the knowledge that no one had been arrested in the case, eventually becoming a police officer himself.
Paul had always said there was something wrong about John’s shooting. It looked as though he might be right.

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