A Day in the Life of Cindy York by Catherine Bruns

Killer Transaction“This is Cindy, how may I assist you?”

Oh, my apologies. I forgot where I was for a second. My mind is constantly in sales pitch mode these days. You see, the real estate market hasn’t been kind to me as of late. It’s really difficult trying to make a living when your co-worker keeps stealing your listings!

Yes, you heard me right. I was all set to have Mrs. Hunter sign on the dotted line this morning. That sweet, elderly woman is so forgetful, she doesn’t remember my name half the time. But I worked very hard for her as I do all my clients. In the past week alone, I’ve brought salmon for her enormous, temperamental cat while my husband Greg fixed her leaky toilet—which, by the way, is where my career is headed—all because Tiffany Roberts beat me to the punch. Again.

Tiffany is almost twenty years my junior. She’s gorgeous and one of the top agents in the entire state. She’s also deceitful, dishonest and despicable. Should I go on?

I know it may sound like I’m jealous of Tiffany, but not in the manner you might think. I’ve just had enough of her contemptible ways. I’m madly in love with my husband Greg and we have three terrific kids. Darcy’s fifteen and, like most teenagers, a bit self-centered at times. Stevie and Seth are our eight-year-old twins. They’re good boys, except when they’re trying to set the house on fire.

My best friend, Jacques, is a co-worker and complete genius when it comes to the real estate market. He’s second in sales only to Tiffany, but at least he comes by them honestly. Jacques has also been very instrumental in guiding my career at Hospitable Homes the past three years, which is a good thing, because our manager would just as soon that I didn’t have one. She’s looking for any excuse to fire me. Oh, and did I mention that Tiffany is her pet?

When I found out Tiffany had stolen the Hunter listing out from under me—well, I kind of snapped. I mean, not really snapped, but she did push a few buttons. You see, I can tolerate many things, such as the puppy peeing on the carpet, the twins flooding the bathroom, or sometimes even my mother-in-law!

No way will Tiffany get the best of me again. Greg was so proud when I told him. I arranged to meet her at the office tonight after I fed my family dinner. We had steak, by the way. It was kind of tough. (Why can’t you buy good steak anymore?)

I’m not greedy, but we do need the money. Hopefully Greg’s raise comes through soon. Darcy wants a new dress for the spring dance and the twins are outgrowing their clothes at an alarming rate. Plus, the puppy really needs to be neutered.

Okay, deep breath here. I’ve had enough. Tiffany will not treat me like a doormat. I will not settle for less than 70% of the transaction. I will not haul off and smack her. Well, maybe. Did I also forget to mention that I threatened her earlier on the phone? Yes, you heard it here first. I told her to give me back the listing—unless she wanted to die young.

She was waiting for me at the office that night. Alone. And—you guessed it—she was dead.

Now what am I going to do??

You can learn more about Cindy in Killer Transaction, the first book in the NEW “Cindy York” Mysteries, available now from Gemma Halliday Publishing.

About Killer Transaction

Real estate deals can be murder.

All struggling real estate agent Cindy York wants is the home listing that was promised to her. But her deceitful co-worker, Tiffany Roberts, has other ideas, and she always manages to get what she wants. Tired of being manipulated, Cindy tells her to back off—or else! But when Cindy stumbles upon Tiffany’s lifeless body, she suddenly finds herself front and center in a deadly investigation. Now everyone from her kids’ classmates to her monstrous mother-in-law is sold on the idea that Cindy’s guilty. Determined to find out who’s trying to frame her, Cindy enlists the help of her best buddy, Jacques, to negotiate a slew of suspects, a host of clues, and an office full of cutthroat agents…before the next contract is out on her!

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GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on November 27 for your chance to win either a print (US entries only, please) or the digital version (open to everyone) of Killer Transaction. Good luck everyone!

About the author
Catherine is the #1 best-selling cozy mystery author of Tastes Like Murder. She lives in a male dominated household that consists of her very patient husband, three sons, and assorted cats and dogs. Catherine holds a B.A. and dual major in English/Performing Arts and is a former newspaper reporter and press release writer. She writes both the “Cookies & Chance” and the “Cindy York” mysteries. Her next release, Baked to Death, is scheduled for January 2016.

You can visit Catherine atwww.catherinebruns.net, on Facebook and on Twitter

A Day in the Life of Charlie Chambers by Sally Goldenbaum

Trimmed With MurderIt was a day I won’t forget–ever.

I was driving along 128 toward Sea Harbor, thinking about my sister, and wondering if I was crazy. Rain had picked up and so had an icy wind. A great day for Eskimos. Not such a great day for Charlie.

Izzy was always the favorite in our family, at least that’s how my older brother Jack and I saw it. Maybe it’s because she didn’t screw up as often as we did. And then she went off to Harvard, which puffed my dad up until there wasn’t much air for anyone else in the room.

rainI thought of Izzy a lot while I was wandering around trying to find my soul. I wondered how her adult life had turned out. Better, for sure, than mine. Though I thought I was finally on the right track.

I guessed I’d find out soon, if she even remembered she had a younger brother, or at least one she’d want to see. I figured it was one of the worst ideas I’ve had in my thirty plus years, driving along a godforsaken road in terrible weather, showing up in a town I’ve never seen before. Unexpected. And with a good chance of being thrown out.

I almost turned back once or twice a ways back. Almost. But didn’t, and soon the exits stopped, the wind picked up and I was fighting like crazy to keep the car on the road. On all sides, trees were bending in the wind, their barren branches reaching out to grab me.

And that’s when it happened. At first I thought it was a tree moving out from the side of the road. But trees don’t have legs and this thing did. Skinny ones moving fast. And so was my car.

I slammed my foot on the pedal, the car vibrating like crazy. And all I could think of was that it was happening again. But it couldn’t be happening. . .not again. . .not now. Not today.

It was definitely a day I’ll never forget—a day that changed that changed my life forever.

You can read more about Charlie in Trimmed With Murder, the 10th book in the “Seaside Knitters” mystery series, published by Obsidian. The first book in the series is Death by Cashmere.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on November 27 for your chance to win a print copy of TRIMMED WITH MURDER. (US entries only, please.) Good luck everyone!

About the author
Sally Goldenbaum is the USA best-selling author of the Seaside Knitters Mystery series. Although she lives in landlocked Kansas, she spends as much time as possible on Cape Ann, MA, a very real and beautiful place that is also home to the fictional Sea Harbor, the seaside knitters, and their many friends. Murder at Lambswool Farm, #11, will be released May, 2016.

Visit Sally at www.sallygoldenbaum.com

A Day in the Life of Maeve Smith by Victoria Thompson

Murder on St Nicholas AvenueHello, there, I’m Maeve Smith, Sarah Brandt’s nanny. I know, you didn’t expect to hear from me, but Mrs. Brandt and Detective Sergeant Malloy are in Europe on their honeymoon. They left me in charge of everything while they’re away. Oh yes, Mr. Malloy’s mother is living with us now, too, but I take care of Mrs. Brandt’s daughter, Catherine, and make all the decisions. You might think that’s a big responsibility for someone who’s not quite eighteen yet, but I’ve been on my own for a while now. I don’t tell many people about my past, but that’s because I don’t think it’s any of their business and not because I’m ashamed. My mother ran off when I was little, or at least that’s what I’ve been told. I don’t remember her at all. My father got himself in trouble with the wrong people and ended up dead when I was about ten, so I went to live with my grandfather. He was a grifter and a good one, too. He took many a sucker in the Green Goods Game, but that’s another story. He taught me a lot of ways to cheat people, but he wanted me to live a respectable life and not have to worry about going to jail all the time. He might’ve gotten his wish, too, if he hadn’t been killed when a con went wrong. He left me a little money, but I never saw it because the lawyers got it first, so I went to live at one of those missions that are springing up all over the city while I decided what I was going to do. That’s where I met Mrs. Brandt, and when she decided to adopt little Catherine, she hired me to be her nursemaid. That was two years ago.

I have to admit, I only took the job to get away from the mission, but Mrs. Brandt turned out to be a really nice lady, and I love little Catherine dearly. Since I came to live with Mrs. Brandt, I’ve taken care of Catherine, but I’ve also learned a thing or two about finding murderers. I’m actually the one who found out who killed Mrs. Brandt’s first husband, and I’ve helped with other cases, too. So when a woman came to our door just before Christmas, asking for help because her daughter had been falsely accused of murder, how could I turn her away? Don’t worry, I had some help. Gino Donatelli is back working for the New York City police, so naturally, I asked him for advice. You might think I took advantage of him because I know he’s sweet on me, but believe me, he was only too happy to help. He’s just a patrolman, and he never gets to do anything interesting, at least no officially. But he’s smart and he’s learned a lot from Mr. Malloy, so he was a big help, when he wasn’t trying to flirt with me.

Somehow, Mrs. Brandt’s mother also got involved. Mrs. Decker is another one who never gets to do anything interesting, even though she’s a society woman and not a policeman. You probably won’t believe this, because I can hardly believe it myself, but even Mr. Decker helped out. I never would’ve thought of asking him, of course. He terrifies me. Or at least he did. But Mrs. Decker insisted, and it turns out he’s pretty smart and not nearly as mean as I thought. He didn’t even try to take over, which was really what I was afraid he’d do.

Solving the case and finding the real killer was a lot of fun for all of us, even though it was scary sometimes. We had a great story to tell Mr. and Mrs. Malloy (I have to remember that Mrs. Brandt is Mrs. Malloy now) when they got back from their honeymoon. We also had a proposition for them, but I don’t want to ruin it for you by telling you what it was or how we solved the case. You can read all about it in Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue. Oh, and Merry Christmas!

You can read Maeve’s story in Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue, the 18th installment in the “Gaslight” Mystery Series featuring midwife Sarah Brandt and published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is Murder on Astor Place.

About Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue

Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy and Sarah Brandt are not the only ones who have recently tied the knot. Family friend Mrs. O’Neill was delighted when her daughter Una wed charming millionaire Randolph Pollock. She didn’t wonder why such a wealthy man would want to marry a poor Irish girl, no matter how pretty she was. But now Mrs. O’Neill has a problem. Pollock’s servants have found their employer bludgeoned to death with Una cradling his body. Rendered mute by the horror of her husband’s death, Una cannot explain what happened, so the police have charged her with murder and locked her away in the Tombs to await trial. Mrs. O’Neill would like Frank to investigate the case and save Una, yet with Frank and Sarah still on their honeymoon, it’s up to the other members of their newly formed household to do some detective work. But solving the mystery behind Pollock’s death means first discovering the truth about who he really is. . . .

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GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on November 27 for the chance to win a print copy of MURDER ON ST. NICHOLAS AVENUE. (US entries only, please.) Good luck everyone!

Meet the Author
Victoria Thompson writes the Agatha and Edgar® Nominated Gaslight Mystery Series, set in turn-of-VickiThompsonthe-century New York City featuring midwife Sarah Brandt. The 18th book in the series is Victoria Thompson writes the Agatha and Edgar® Nominated Gaslight Mystery Series, set in turn-of-the-century New York City featuring midwife Sarah Brandt. The 18th book in the series is Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue. She also contributed to the award winning MANY GENRES/ONE CRAFT. Victoria teaches in the Seton Hill University MFA program in writing popular fiction. She lives in Central PA with her husband and a very spoiled little dog. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Novelists, Inc.

You can find Victoria at www.victoriathompson.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter @gaslightvt.

A Day in the Life of Amelia Grace by Anne Marie Stoddard

Deception at Castle RockHey, y’all! My name is Amelia, but my friends call me Ame (like Amy without the y). I’m here to tell you what a day in my life is like as the general manager and booking agent for Atlanta’s hottest concert venue, Castle Rock. A typical day for me involves processing show contracts for some of the country’s biggest bands, grabbing pizza and sangria for lunch with my best friend, Kat Taylor, and hanging out backstage in one of our two show rooms, rocking out to awesome live music.

Lately, though, my life has basically been an episode of VH1’s Behind the Musicmeets Veronica Mars—there’s music, drama, and even the occasional mystery to solve. In fact, I’m actually in the middle of trying to clear the name of my ex-boyfriend, Royal Flush drummer Mickey Ward, in a murder investigation right this minute.

As if it wasn’t enough of a challenge for me to host Mickey and the band at Castle Rock when I haven’t seen or spoken to him since I turned down his marriage proposal five years ago, the universe decided to up the ante by throwing a murder into the mix. I stumbled upon Royal Flush’s bass guitarist, Sid Malone, stabbed to death on the band’s tour bus, and now my former sweetie is sitting at the top of the suspect list. Between trying to track down Sid’s real murderer and convincing my current honey, FBI Special Agent Emmett Larson, that my relationship with my rock star ex was a one-hit wonder, I’ve totally got my hands full.

Thankfully Kat and our assistant, Bronwyn, are here to help me wade through the pool of suspects, protect the members of Royal Flush from the paparazzi, and dodge nosy and arrogant local radio deejay, Tim Scott.

The case takes us everywhere from a chaotic fan meet-and-greet to a strip club, and if we’re not careful, one of us might find herself next on the killer’s list! Never a dull moment in the rock business, that’s for sure.

To find out what happens, you can read more about Amelia in Deception at Castle Rock, the second book in the “Amelia Grace Rock ‘n’ Roll” mystery series, published by Gemma Halliday Publishing. The first book in the series is Murder at Castle Rock.

About Deception at Castle Rock

The last time Amelia Grace and her best friend, Kat, saw their college buds in the band Royal Flush, the guys had just launched a super-successful rock ‘n’ roll career. Five years later, Ame’s world-famous musician pals are back for a tour stop at Castle Rock. But things get heated during a fan meet-and-greet, leading to discord among the band members. And when Royal Flush’s bass guitarist, Sid Malone, is found dead, Ame’s ex-boyfriend, Mickey, finds himself with an all-access pass to a prison cell. Between juggling her duties at Castle Rock and assuring her FBI agent beau, Emmett, that her former romance with Mickey was a one-hit wonder, Ame is on the case to prove her ex’s innocence and expose a web of lies that goes deeper than the tracks on a rock album’s B-side.

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GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on November 26 for your chance to a $10 Amazon e-gift card. Good luck everyone!

Meet the author
Anne Marie Stoddard is an Amazon Movers and Shakers and Amazon top 100 Mystery & Suspense author who writes funny rock n’ roll-themed cozy mysteries with an edge. After studying Music Business at the Anne Marie StoddardUniversity of Georgia, Anne Marie worked for several music venues, radio stations, and large festivals before trading in her backstage pass for a pen and paper (Okay, so she might have kept the pass, too…). Her debut novel, Murder at Castle Rock, was the winner of the 2012 AJC Decatur Book Festival Writing Contest, and the 2013 Book Junkie’s Choice Award Winner for Best Debut Fiction Novel. It was also a finalist for Best Mystery/Thriller in the 2014 RONE Awards.

Aside from all things music and books, Anne Marie loves hula hooping, college football, Starbucks iced coffee, red wine, and anything pumpkin-flavored. She is a member of both the International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime organizations.

For more details about Anne Marie’s upcoming projects, giveaways, and more, visit her online and subscribe to her newsletter at www.amstoddardbooks.com. Connect with Anne Marie on social media at Facebook and Twitter

A Day in the Life with Mrs. Frugalicious by Linda Joffe Hull

Sweetheart DealI, Maddie Michaels, AKA Mrs. Frank “Finance” Michaels, AKA Mrs. Frugalicious, and now matriarch of the Reality TV hit, The Family Frugalicious, have had a surreal last year or so, to say the least.

I didn’t think things could get much for worse than the night my darling, dashing, but (as it turns out) not entirely devoted husband admitted he’d lost all of our savings in a Ponzi scheme. Seeing as he was Channel Three’s wealth-management guru, this news was not only financially devastating, but potentially career-ending as well. After all, who would watch his show, Frank Finance if Frank himself was bankrupt?

Under strict gag orders about our financial bind and obligated to keep up the appearance of what was suddenly our former lifestyle, I couldn’t exactly get a job as a cocktail waitress or really any place where I might be recognized as the formerly well-heeled wife of everyone’s trusted money expert. Seeing as about all I could do was clip coupons to make ends meet, I did just that. I also got what seemed like a brilliant idea and started mrsfrugalicious.com—a website devoted to learning and trading bargain shopping tricks.

I expected a little traffic, and, hopefully a lot of good advice. What I didn’t expect was that my blog would become a viral hit. The next thing I knew, my days were fuller than a coupon notebook as I, completely anonymous bargain hunter Mrs. Frugalicious, sniffed out the best deals. While researching “Frugasm” worthy deals on back-to-school shopping for my growing “Frugarmy” of devoted followers however, I was not only falsely accused of shoplifting by the manager of the Eternally 21, but found myself tracking down her murderer when she dropped dead at my feet. Oh, and somehow, I became the prime suspect, threatening both my true identity and my freedom. One crime solved and a holiday season later, I was knee deep in the Black Friday Eve hoopla at my local big box store when a pallet of toasters fell and crushed an outspoken critic of Mrsfruglicious.com named Contrary Claire. Once again, I found myself sleuthing for sales and murder suspects.

All the while, I was desperately trying to make sense of my personal life. You see, my dear hubby had not only lost the nest egg, but his mind over the most unexpected of beautiful blondes. Needless to say, there was big trouble in Paradise Lost! As it turned out, however, my now soon-to-be-ex was as resourceful as he was sneaky. Somehow, he managed to parlay my emotion and murder filled journey from clueless housewife to coupon clipper extraordinaire into a Reality TV show.

How, you may ask did that happen?

I, myself, wonder what that pitch meeting had to have been like. . .

Everyone loves Mrs. Frugalicious, murder, and comeback stories. What would you say if I could promise you all three. . .?

And why did I agree to what would inevitably become a circus based on anything but my true reality?

The answer, three of them really, was simple. We still had college tuitions to save for and the best interests (or so I thought) of my stepdaughter Eloise and my twin sons FJ and Trent to consider.

So, as I write to you today I am soaking in a few rays on a partly submerged chaise at the sunny, stunning Hacienda de la Fortuna where I am pretending to be happily, blissfully reunited with Frank between takes for an episode of our hit show, The Family Frugalicious. An episode that is supposed to be devoted to discount South-of-the-Border destination weddings.

And, I have just been informed, timeshare sales.

Will there be another murder to solve?

Given the events of the past year, I think I’ll have another (far too liberal) sip of my peach margarita and try not to think about the inevitable body I will trip over before this trip’s end.

After all, what would Reality TV be without things becoming entirely unreal. . .?

You can read more about Maddie aka Mrs. Frugalicious in Sweetheart Deal, the third book in the “Mrs. Frugalicious” mystery series, published by Midnight Ink. The first two books in the series are Eternally 21 and Black Thursday.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on November 25 for your chance to win a print copy of SWEETHEART DEAL. (US entries only, please.) Good luck everyone!

About the author
Linda Joffe Hull is the author of two standalone novels, The Big Bang (Tyrus Books) and Frog Kisses (Literary Wanderlust). She has also written three books in the Mrs. Frugalicious Mystery series featuring bargain hunter and sleuth, Maddie Michaels: Eternally 21 (2013, Midnight Ink), Black Thursday (2014, Midnight Ink), and the recently released Sweetheart Deal (2015, Midnight Ink). Linda currently serves on the national board of Mystery Writers of America. She is a longtime member and former board member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and was the 2013 RMFW Writer of the Year. Linda lives in Denver with her husband, daughter, and the various pets her sons left behind when they went off to college. Go Hawkeye Swimming and Diving!!!

Please visit her at www.lindajoffehull.com.