Fun Times with Elliott Lisbon by Kendel Lynn

pot-luckI’m in love. Me, Elliott Lisbon, longtime director of the Ballantyne Foundation, found the kind of true love that made me giddy down to my toes, and that love was for the Adventureland Suite at the Disneyland Hotel. From the secret closet (I can’t tell you where it’s located because it’s secret) to the Tiki drum doorbell, I never wanted to leave. I normally hated rainfall showers (who wanted gallons of water pouring into their face?), but this one had lighting and sound effects. In the shower.

I wandered the grand collection of rooms, touching the silky zebra striped pillows and buttery leather chairs. Wild orchids mixed with elephant lamps. Pith helmets and felt safari hats hung on the walls, recalling the quests of 1930s explorers.

Nerves began to replace my excitement. Disneyland had always been my happy place. Edward and Vivi Ballantyne, founders of the Ballantyne Foundation in Sea Pine Island, SC, took me for my sixth birthday. My parents needed to be at a summit that month, so the ever-adoring Ballantynes whisked me into a dream. After that trip, Disneyland was my escape destination. This coming from a woman who lived on the beach.

I’ve visited dozens of times in my life, thought mostly alone. It’s difficult to share a dream with someone else, even when they’re your closest friends. Just out of high school, I went with such a friend. She didn’t feel the magic. Her imagination didn’t zing when encountering the smoke stacks of the Disneyland Railroad or the statue of Walt and Mickey in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. The day fell flat. She wanted to leave in the afternoon. The first (and only) time I’ve ever left The Happiest Place on Earth when the sun still shone. From then on, I went solo. Enjoyed the haunts of New Orleans Square, the raft ride to Tom Sawyer’s Island, the twists of the bobsled down Matterhorn mountain.

Lieutenant Nick Ransom, sexy, macho, former FBI, one who chased down bad guys and trained special agents, and the only person I’d ever allow to plan a birthday getaway for the rest of my life, was in the other room with the bellman securing our luggage. It was our second vacation in less than six weeks. I was beginning to relax. It’d been a long year and Ransom was doing his best to help me forget. The safari bed with its flowing curtain canopy helped too. He emerged from the other room. “You ready?”

“You want to go now?” I asked. “We just got here. We should unpack.” My skin started to itch at the thought of leaving my clothes crammed between layers of Ziplocs (soaps, lotions, creams). “Maybe order some food?”

He pulled me to my feet. “We’ll eat at the park. You’ve raved about the Carnation Café. Perhaps hot dogs and fries? Or Moon Burgers and churros?”

He had me at churros.

Within fifteen minutes, we’d walked to the front entrance. The crisp January air accompanied us. Friendly faces at the admission gates greeted us as we clicked through the old-fashioned turnstile. A giant Mickey Mouse face created from flowers and greenery welcomed us. We approached the arched bridge with a brass plaque affixed to the stone high above us. I slowed to read it, though I’d read it a thousand times before.

Ransom stood beside me. “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy,” he said. He placed his hands on my face and kissed me. Warm, comforting, and yet bright. “Happy birthday, Red.”

“Thank you, Ransom. For the vacation, for the suite, for everything. I hope you love it.”

He grabbed my hand and started to pull. “Where to first? I’m thinking the Indiana Jones Adventure.”

My heart swooned. It was my favorite ride. And right then, I knew it was going to be an amazing week. Who knew? Maybe all those murder investigations were behind me and this next year would amazing.

Pot Luck is the fourth book in the Elliott Lisbon humorous mystery series, published by Henery Press, December 2016.


It’s time for the Irish Spring at the Ballantyne Foundation, and charity director/PI-in-training Elliott Lisbon kicks off the annual Pot of Gold Cook-Off in shamrock style. Twenty chefs compete for the corned beef and cabbage crown but only one can win the title. The odds improve when one chef goes missing. . .until Elli finds the Ballantyne’s own Chef Carmichael standing over the body with a knife.

With pug puppies, Colonel Mustard and Mrs. White, by her side, Elli searches both sides of coastal living for a clue to the killer. From million dollar condos to a run-down trailer park, the evidence pits her against sexy Nick Ransom, and the case gets hotter than a handful of peppercorns. Something about the case smells funny—and it has nothing to do with the cook-off. The luck of the Irish is nowhere in sight, but if Elli can’t crack this one open, Chef’s goose will get cooked for good.

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About the author
Kendel Lynn is a Southern California native who now parks her flip-flops in Dallas, Texas. Her debut novel, Board Stiff, was an Agatha Award nominee for Best First Novel. It features Elliott Lisbon, a mostly amateur sleuth who is only 5000 hours away from getting her PI license. Kendel is the Vice President of Sisters in Crime and the Managing Editor of Henery Press, where she spends her days editing, designing, and reading subs from the slush pile. Pot Luck is her fourth Elliott Lisbon mystery.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card. The giveaway ends December 18, 2016. Good luck everyone!

45 responses to “Fun Times with Elliott Lisbon by Kendel Lynn

  1. Awesome prize !

  2. Enjoying Pot Luck. Looking for clues.

  3. Karlene Barger

    Liking Pot Luck!

  4. The excerpt isn’t from Pot Luck. But the summary is. BTW, awesome book.

  5. I have to say just from the awesome title of this book and the cute cover on it my interest is totally peaked to read this. I have never read anything by this author before, but really looking forward to reading this book. Thanks so much for the awesome preview dearest Dru Ann.

  6. Pauline Barlow

    I think I’d like to read Kendel Lynn’s books. An Amazon gift card might help.

  7. Barbara Hackel

    I recently started this series, and it is so much fun. I can hardly wait to finish the other books including Pot Luck. Thanks Dru Ann for today’s post and chance to learn more about Elli. Thanks Kendel for the generous give-away and therefore the chance to buy the rest of the books in the series. 😄

  8. Humorous mysteries are fun to read. I would love to win this book, thanks!

  9. Sharleen Wells

    I love a book that has Disney involved in it. Can’t wait to read it.

  10. This sounds like a great series. My book club and I are always on the look out for fun mysteries.

  11. Thank you for introducing me to Kendel Lynn’s books. The Elliott Lisbon humorous mystery series sounds great and it’s been added to my ever growing TBR list. Thank you for this chance!

  12. Ah, Disneyland! My bff and I celebrated our birthdays there in October! Thanks for the chance to win this book!

  13. Looks like I will have to begin a new author! Love it! Thanks for the chance! Merry

  14. Any series with pug puppies must be given a try! Thanks for the contest.

  15. Ooooooo! I live gift cards!

  16. Wonderful feature and giveaway. Thanks.

  17. I want to go to Disneyland.

  18. Welcome back, Elli! I’ve missed you.

  19. Loving this series!! Thanks

  20. I love pugs and just seeing the cover would draw me to check out this book. Thanks for including Pot Luck on your blog and for the giveaway. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

  21. Great giveaway, Kindel’s books are so funny.

  22. I’ve never read this series, but can’t wait to read about Elliott and Nick’s adventrues.

  23. Just bought this book and looking forward to reading it. I love this series–so much fun!! Thanks for the chance to win a gift card.

  24. elainehroberson

    I love mysteries and humor. This sounds like a series that I would like to try.

  25. Sounds like a great series. Looking forward to reading Pot Luck.

  26. Thank you for the chance! I am off to Amazon to check more of this author’s work.

  27. love to read this. looks great. thanks for sharing

  28. Kathy Gonzales

    This sounds like an interesting series, it’s going on my wish list !

  29. This is a new series to me and sounds like a fun read. Will definitely add to my TBR list. I also agree that Disneyland is one of the happiest places on earth. Love Disney around the holidays.

  30. Cheryl~pug lover!

    Love the pugs on the cover (as I own 2) and that is what drew me to your books and loving them so far! Would love the gift card to buy the latest book!

  31. Have to add this series & author to my list & read soon. Thanks for the great post & giveaway.

  32. Have wonderful memories of Disneyland. Going to go get this book right now!

  33. Sounds like fun and what a great prize! Thanks for the chance to win it.

  34. Disneyland vs DisneyWorld

  35. Can’t wait to read this!

  36. Can’t wait to read-loved Board Stiff so can’t wait to read more of your work!

  37. Sharon Forrest

    Sounds awesome! Would love to read.

  38. A must-add to my WishList……
    Thank you for the giveaway…..

  39. what a fun sounding author and series! I have got to try these books out. Thank you!

  40. I know comments are still coming in, but I wanted to say thank you for all the kind words and encouragment and comments, and to Dru Ann, THANK YOU for your support (to me and the community)!!! – Kendel

  41. This looks like a good book. I like that it’s about Disney and Elliott is the name of My Middle son spelled the same also. I’m going to check out her books. Thanks for sharing on your blog and for the chance to win.

  42. Donna Dagenhart

    I’m interested in trading her series. Sounds good and she must love pugs.

  43. Donna Dagenhart

    I’m interested in reading her series. Sounds good and she must love pugs.