Reinvention of Retirement with Zula Fae Raines Payne by Tonya Kappes

A Ghostly DemiseHave you ever tried to take three gallons of crazy and fit it into a two galloon bucket? That is exactly what I, Zula Fae Raines Payne, have to do in my retirement years.

Emma Lee Raines, my granddaughter, is my two gallon bucket. Out of the two of my granddaughters, I figured it was Emma Lee who was fit to take over my place as the undertaker of Eternal Slumber Funeral Home in Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky,

Now don’t let me scare you away from comin’ on down and making your preneed funeral arrangements, I’ll see to it that you get exactly what is comin’ to ya and see you get to the Great Beyond, other side, big guy in the sky; whatever you wanna call it.

Well, grab one of them sweet teas off the table and sit back and use your foot to tip the rocker back and forth. This here is prime real estate and prime front porch sittin’ for all the happenings in town square over yonder. You keep an eye out and you just might see Beulah Paige, the CEO of the gossip mill here in Sleepy Hollow. She can pack a tale better than


When she woke up, she was hootin’ and a hollerin’ about seeing dead people. I was fit to be tied! You know I had Doc Clyde give her something to cover her crazy. Normally we parade crazy as if it were an accessory, but crazy isn’t good for business when your clients are trusting you to take care of their loved ones, even the ones that aren’t sucking oxygen.

Regardless, Emma’s sister Charlotte, is helping Emma run Eternal Slumber and I’ve got my fingers crossed that Charlotte will turn business around because I have decided to run for Sleepy Hollow Mayor! You ain’t gonna believe who is running against me. O’Dell Burns, as in Burns Funeral home, as in Eternal Slumber’s direct competition. This town has gone nuts and I’m here to save it!

Me and the Auxiliary woman have gotten some Vote For Zula signs and screaming my campaign slogan: You let me take care of your loved ones for the afterlife, let me take care of you while living! And me and the girls were planning to pass out buttons and signs at the traveling carnival that’s come to town, but plans changed once one of the carnie workers made fun of me. I gave him a piece of my mind and I swear I went home and went to bed. Unfortunately that same carnie worker was found dead, floating in the dunking booth with a Vote For Zula sign stuck right through his heart.

Now I’m the one who looks nuts and this better not mess up my campaign!

You can read more about Zula and her campaign in A Ghostly Demise, the third book in the “Ghostly Southern” mystery series, published by HarperCollins. The first two books in the series are A Ghostly Undertaking and A Ghostly Grave.

About A Ghostly Demise, Ghostly Southern Mystery book three

From former self-published superstar and USA Today bestseller Tonya Kappes comes the third novel in the hilarious paranormal series featuring Emma Lee Raines, a funeral home director who can suddenly see dead people! ~ HarperCollins Publisher

The prodigal father returns—but this ghost is no holy spirit

When she runs into her friend’s deadbeat dad at the local deli, undertaker Emma Lee Raines can’t wait to tell Mary Anna Hardy that he’s back in Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky, after five long years. Cephus Hardy may have been the town drunk, but he didn’t disappear on an epic bender like everyone thought: He was murdered. And he’s heard that Emma Lee’s been helping lost souls move on to that great big party in the sky.

Why do ghosts always bother Emma Lee at the worst times? Her granny’s mayoral campaign is in high gear, a carnival is taking over the town square, and her hunky boyfriend, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, is stuck wrestling runaway goats. Besides, Cephus has no clue whodunit. . .unless it was one of Mrs. Hardy’s not-so-secret admirers. All roads lead Emma Lee to that carnival—and a killer who isn’t clowning around.


GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on September 4 for the chance to win one of two print copies or one of two e-book copies of A Ghostly Demise. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Four lucky commenters will be randomly selected. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected.

About the author
For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been self-publishing her numerous mystery and romance titles with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plotlines and quirky characters, but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans. HarperCollins and Witness Impulse is thrilled to be publishing this insanely talented and wildly successful author for the first time with her hilarious and spooky Ghostly Southern series.

Be sure to sign up for Tonya’s newsletter and receive a free e-book download!

If you have read A GHOSTLY UNDERTAKING, the first novel in the Ghostly Southern Mystery Series, and enjoyed it, please vote for Tonya for 2015 Best Fiction Novel! She’d greatly appreciate it.


  1. I love this series! I so greatly enjoy the adventures of Emma Lee Raines and her ghostly visions, and excited that I don’t have to wait for the next installment.

  2. This is a fun series and I am looking forward to reading this book. Kuzlin at AOL dot com.

  3. I can’t believe how much trouble Zula gets in. I hope to have a retirement as exciting as hers! 🙂

    Congratulations on the new release Tonya!

  4. I absolutely love this series! Actually, I haven’t met a series of Tonya’s that I didn’t like! Thank you Tonya for all the enjoyment you have brought to us in this and all of your series!

  5. I so excited to read this book! True hard core fan! Tonyas work is amazing! This series keeps me reading! Can not wait to see what happens! Happy Reading!

    • Ha! Love your comment, Gram! It’s definitely not your typical “cozy”. HarperCollins has is listed as just a mystery because it really fit in that category, but loads of laughs along the way!

  6. This is a series I’ve had my eye on. Thanks to your post I’m definitely going to put it on my book list. I’m looking forward to meeting Emma Lee and the rest of her family!

  7. I have enjoyed every book that I have read byTanya Kappes; this sounds like another fun one. Thanks for the chance to win.📖📚

  8. This sounds hauntingly 👻 Can’t wait to read. I have never read anything from Tonya that wasn’t prize winning. Thank you Dru

  9. I can’t wait to feast my eyes on this book. It sounds wonderful . I surely would love to win one. Thank you for the opportunity . Keeping my fingers crossed.

  10. Southern, mystery, hilarious and quirky; A Ghostly Demise sounds like a win-win to me! Looking forward to reading this book. Thankyou for the opportunity!

  11. I just finished reading this and it was a lot of fun! If you are new to the series, be sure to read them in order for greater enjoyment! Thanks Dru and Tonya for sharing with everybody today. 🙂

  12. A wacky and wonderful series. Thanks for the chance to win. Can’t wait to read the second and third books.

  13. I loved the first book, I see that I have a little catching up to do. Thanks for the chance to win this one.

    • Thanks, Debbie! The fourth book comes out in September! They are rolling them out fast. Plus next year there are a few in the publishing train 🙂 Good luck!

  14. I am in love with Tonya’s stories & I think her writing is AMAZING! I can’t wait to read this book. I’m crossing my fingers & hoping to win. Whoever wins will be a lucky duck!! Thanks Dru & Tonya for the chance.

  15. I’ve been a fan of this series since it’s inception and laughed my ears off to the shenanigans ensuing. Needless to say, this is going to be a must read. Thanks you Dru and Tonya!

  16. I had just started to read this series and I love it. I can not stop reading it. Thank you for this amazing chance.

  17. Everything I’ve read of Tonya Kappes has been great (Charming Series). This is a new book as I’ve just begun the Ghostly Southern series. I’m hoping I’ll win a print copy of this so I can donate it to the library after I’ve read it to share with more fans. Thanks for the chance.

  18. This sounds like such a wacky fun series. I have A Ghostly Undertaking but haven’t read it yet. My TBR has gotten out of control. Now this is #3 so I better get to it. You’re a hoot on FB & I know this series will be too. I’d love to win this one. Congrats on the release!

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