bearly-departedAs manager of my parents’ Silver Bear Shop & Factory in Silver Hollow, Michigan, my day begins with the alarm ringing in my ear at seven thirty. Ugh. “Sasha, get up!” That’s my sister Maddie’s piercing call from downstairs. We live ‘above the shop’ in a renovated Victorian house.

After three or four times hitting the snooze button, I shove my sweet ‘teddy bear’ dog, Rosie (a mix of Lhasa Apso and Bichon Frise, whose muzzle is right in my face – dog breath!), aside. Crawl out of the sack, one eye open. Rosie snuggles deeper in the bed, on my pillow too, clearly grateful she has it all to herself. I head into the shower and stand under the pulsing hot water until my brain fog clears. I grab my silver tee shirt with our teddy bear logo, black jeans, sandals, and pull my still-wet hair into a ponytail.

Maddie, an unapologetic happy morning person, has already made a pot of coffee – God bless her! – and left me a toasted English muffin with cream cheese and raspberry jam. She’s already at work in the office. I enjoy a second cup of coffee while watching the morning news show. By nine-thirty, I’m in the shop checking the cash register, the shelves of bears and accessories, and ready to greet customers at ten o’clock.

Do I want to marry again and have a family? One day, I hope.

Oh no. Trouble arrives when our sales rep, Will Taylor, once again demands to know why I’ll be hosting a tour of senior citizens from the local church. It’s a waste of time, in his opinion. He’s also mad that someone keyed his sporty car in our parking lot yesterday. He’s unpopular enough with our staff, but also around the village – how would I know who might have damaged his car in a show of fury? As for the tour, I’ll keep giving them. People enjoy seeing our factory, the staff in action, how we cut the fur and sew bears, and they always buy one or several as souvenirs.

I ignore his opinion that we need to cut staff, too. He’s crazy. We can barely keep up getting all our orders filled. Maddie interrupts our argument. She’s just agreed to accept a small company’s request for a hundred silver teddy bears to reward their employees’ children. Uncle Ross barges in, waving another special order for a five-foot-tall bear. The Oktobear Fest committee wants to give it as a prize at the festival, but their budget is limited – they need it ‘at cost’.

When Will refuses to budge on anything less than retail price, my uncle backs him against the door with a clenched fist. The Silverman family has always been generous to the community, and that will never change. Will stalks out of the shop in disgust.

Uncle Ross, Maddie, and I exchange satisfied grins and get back to work.


You can read more about Sasha, the Silver Bear Shop & Factory, and Silver Hollow in Bearly Departed, the first book in the NEW “Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear” cozy mystery series.

The Silver Bear Shop & Factory might be the cutest place around, but there’s nothing warm and fuzzy about murder . . .

As manager of the family teddy bear shop and factory, thirty-one-year-old Sasha Silverman leads a charmed life. Well, except for the part about being a single divorcée with a ticking biological clock in small-town Silver Hollow. And that’s just kid’s stuff compared to Will Taylor, the sales rep who’s set on making drastic changes to the business her parents built from scratch—with or without Sasha’s approval.

But before Will digs his claws in, someone pulls the stuffing out of his plan . . . and leaves his dead body inside the factory. Reeling from shock, Sasha’s hit with more bad news—police suspect her hot-tempered Uncle Ross may have murdered him. Sasha knows her uncle would never do such a thing, and she’s launching her own little investigation to expose the truth. As she tracks Will’s biggest rivals and enemies for clues, Sasha can’t get too comfy—or she’ll become the next plaything for a killer . . .

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About the author
Award-winning mystery author Meg Macy lives in Southeast Michigan, close enough to Ann Arbor, Chelsea, and Dexter — the area she chose for the setting of her new “Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear” cozy mystery series for Kensington. She is also one-half of the writing team of D.E. Ireland for the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery series; two books have been named Agatha Award finalists. Meg’s first published book, Double Crossing, won the 2012 Best First Novel Spur Award from Western Writers of America. She’s also a graduate of Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction program. Meg loves reading mysteries, historical and contemporary, and other genre fiction. She needs more time for gardening, crafts, and watercolor painting – and a week or two on Mackinac Island. Visit the author online at megmacy.com.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Bearly Departed from Kensington Books. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends June 1, 2017. Good luck everyone!

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