Category Archives: A DAY IN THE LIFE

a place where characters give you a glimpse into their day

A day in the life with Sally Muccio by Catherine Bruns

frosted-with-revengeIt’s finally happening. After all of these years, I’m about to marry the man of my dreams, the only one I’ve truly ever loved. Our invitations have been sent out, the venue is reserved and my crazy but well-meaning parents are cooperating. . .sort of. There’s just one little problem.

Someone is trying to kill me.

My name is Sally Muccio. The last name is pronounced Mooch-EE-oo. My life comes with many blessings and a few trials that include my parents who are–well, unique, to say the least. My father’s hobby is death. Yes, you heard me right. He’s gone from planning his own funeral to driving a hearse to studying to become an undertaker. Now Dad’s the proud operator of his own “killer” blog. Mom’s a lovely woman but she’s been acting very mother-of-the-bridezillish lately. My sister Gianna is always there for me and so is Grandma Rosa, who serves up sound advice along with the world’s best cheesecake.

Josie Sullivan is my best friend and head baker at Sally’s Samples, the novelty cookie shop that I own in Western New York. And of course there’s my fiancé, who would go to any lengths to protect me from this crazy person. Mike and I first dated in high school and broke up over a stupid misunderstanding on prom night, which lead to my marriage to another man (can you say rebound?) It’s been over ten years but we’re finally back together. . .forever. Till death do us part. I just hope that comes later rather than sooner.

You see, ever since I came back to my hometown a year ago when my divorce was final, strange things have been happening. Strange as in murder. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, those blasted fortune cookies are responsible. Every customer gets a free one with their purchase and the cookies are so popular that if I discontinued them, my business would suffer. The messages come from a novelty store but always seem to come true in some shape or form. My latest one said, “Revenge is sweet.” How silly. Why would I ever want revenge on someone? I have a good life, try to be a decent person and give people the benefit of the doubt. Then I finally understood that the message was a warning. . .for me.

Suddenly, I’m suspicious of everyone. I can’t walk down the street without looking over my shoulder. Josie already decked one person she thought was the killer with a batch of her famous Whoopie pies. Maybe I can hire her as a bodyguard. Did I mention that our new delivery boy seems to have a weird obsession with me? Or that a former girlfriend of my fiancé is still carrying a torch for him and hates me? It’s horrible to be afraid.

A woman I didn’t even know is dead, because of me. The killer is communicating with my father through his death blog (appropriate, right?) To top it all off, now this maniac has ended up hurting someone I love. That’s the final straw. You don’t mess with my family and friends.

The cops don’t have any concrete leads so I’ve hatched a plan. It’s dangerous but I can’t live like this anymore. This person will be stopped. . .

If it’s the last thing I do.


You can read more about Sally in FROSTED WITH REVENGE, the fourth book in the Cookies and Chance mystery series.

From USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bruns comes the next dangerously delicious Cookies & Chance Mystery.

Sally Muccio’s walk down the aisle might be her last.

The some-time amateur sleuth and full-time bakery owner is finally marrying the man of her dreams. But during a last minute taste testing of their wedding cake, Sally and her fiancé are witnesses—and almost victims!—of a random shooting. At least they think it’s random, until an original fortune cookie message proves otherwise. Is someone after Sally? And why does the mysterious shooter want to ice the baker? Sal tries to proceed with caution, but when someone close to her is attacked, all bets are off. She’ll do whatever it takes to bring this monster to justice, even if it means sacrificing herself in the process.

Can Sal make it to the church on time. . .and alive?

Recipes included!

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About the author
Catherine is the USA Today bestselling author of the Cookies & Chance mysteries. She lives in New York with her very patient husband, three sons, and assorted cats and dogs. Catherine has a B.A. in English and is a former newspaper reporter and press release writer. She also writes the Cindy York and Aloha Lagoon (Carrie Jorgenson) mysteries.
To find out more about future releases and giveaways, you can visit her website at catherinebruns.net and sign up for Catherine’s newsletter at here. Please feel free to connect with her on social media as well at Facebook and Twitter.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win copy of Frosted with Revenge, either Kindle (open to everyone) or print (U.S. residents only), winner’s choice. The giveaway will end April 28, 2017. Good luck everyone!

Frosted with Revenge is available at online booksellers.

A day in the life of Sarah Winston by Sherry Harris

Can I have a do over? Sarah Winston here and I’ve had some bad days. Haven’t we all? But the last few days added together make one of the worst weeks of my life. Things started well enough on a lovely early May day in Ellington, Massachusetts. I was throwing my first big yard sale of the spring and had gone all out. Balloons for the kiddos, coffee and donuts, tunes playing. It was so much fun. Until one of my clients, a veteran, was murdered and his wife was seriously injured—during the yard sale!

Could the day get any worse? Oh yes. Then my brother Luke turned up at my door. That may sound like a good thing. But wait. I hadn’t seen Luke in almost twenty years and only talked to him twice during that time. And he didn’t show up for a wonderful family reunion. No. He wanted me to hide him. I’m still not sure from whom, but it didn’t sound good. His exact words were, “I’m asking—no, begging—you not to tell anyone I’m in town.” Especially not my ex, the chief of police of Ellington. Most people wouldn’t have a problem not mentioning something to their ex, but CJ and I have a complicated relationship.

So of course CJ picks that moment to knock on my door, which presented me with a huge dilemma. Hide Luke or lie by omission to CJ. Luke gave me his “help me, sis” look—the same one from when we were kids—the one I could never say no to. So I hid him in the attic space off my one-bedroom apartment.

But that wasn’t a long-term solution. It was barely a short-term one. So I began stashing Luke in various places around my apartment building for a couple of days, like he was an illicit drug I was hiding—only a lot bigger and harder to hide. Then he vanished! All I have left is his notebook with a list of veterans in it. Veterans? My murdered yard-sale client was a veteran. Could Luke’s disappearance and the murder be connected? Knowing my life, you can bet they are. And I’ve now realized that to find Luke, I’ll have to figure out who killed my client.


You can read more about Sarah in A Good Day to Buy, the fourth book in the “Sarah Winston Garage Sale” mystery series.

HER BROTHER IS NO BARGAIN
When Sarah Winston’s estranged brother Luke shows up on her doorstep, asking her not to tell anyone he’s in town—especially her ex, the chief of police—the timing is strange, to say the least. Hours earlier, Sarah’s latest garage sale was taped off as a crime scene following the discovery of a murdered Vietnam vet and his gravely injured wife—her clients, the Spencers.

BUT IS HE A KILLER?
All Luke will tell Sarah is that he’s undercover, investigating a story. Before she can learn more, he vanishes as suddenly as he appeared. Rummaging through his things for a clue to his whereabouts, Sarah comes upon a list of veterans and realizes that to find her brother, she’ll have to figure out who killed Mr. Spencer. And all without telling her ex . . .

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About the author
Sherry Harris is the author of the Agatha Award nominated Sarah Winston Garage Sale series. She honed her bartering skills as she moved around the country while her husband served in the Air Force. Sherry uses her love of garage sales, her life as a military spouse, and her time living in Massachusetts as inspiration for the series. The fourth book in the series, A Good Day To Buy, releases on April 25.

Visit Sherry at Sherryharrisauthor.com and on the Wicked Cozy Authors blog.

All comments are welcomed.

A Good Day to Buy is available at retail and online booksellers or you can ask your local library to get it for you.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of A Good Day to Buy. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends April 27, 2017. Good luck everyone!

A day in the life with Cora Chevalier by Mollie Cox Byran

I can’t believe our second craft retreat is almost upon us. We almost turned a profit during our first retreat and here’s hoping this one will do even better. I want to do our investors well! Plus I want to continue to go down this path. I believe we are making a real difference to some women. It’s an amazing feeling.

Not only are we making a difference, but we are having a good time and making new friends and making crafts. Who would have even though I could make a broom? But now that I’ve made a small hearth broom, as instructed by our last guest teacher, I use it all the time. Each time I hold it in my hand, I think of him, our first retreat, and the satisfaction that comes with making a beautiful and useful object.

Our guest at the next retreat is Marianne Wolfe, a Cherokee basket maker of national stature. Her baskets are extraordinary and Marianne was a pleasure to deal with. I just spoke with her to confirm her arrival. Next on my list is contacting the suppliers of some of the materials we’ll be using—the ones not found in nature. The upcoming retreat is wild crafting themed. We plan to hike and choose things from nature to craft with—rocks, plants, grasses, and clay. What better way to show off this beautiful state and all of it’s bounty than to get out and hike the hills and forests? We needed to get special permission to take a few things from our parks. We signed an agreement saying we’d have the rangers check over everything we take.

I also need to write a blog post today about the retreat. I’m hoping to get a few more people to sign up. I think this retreat promises to go a bit smoother than the last one. We’ve been ironing out the wrinkles, so to speak and are learning as we go along. After the last retreat, we decide it was best not to have any male teachers. They tend to change the “energy” at retreats, if ya know what I mean. Also, we’ve been very good about checking into the backgrounds of our guest teachers—we’ve even Cashel O’Malley run official background checks on the, I think we are set to go.

I’m confident thing will go better. I think we’ve thought of every possible scenario. No matter what happens, we’ll be prepared. I hope.


You can read more about Cora in No Charm Intended, the second book in the “Cora Crafts” mystery series.

Settling into her new life and career in small-town Indigo Gap, North Carolina, Cora Chevalier is preparing to host a “wildcrafting” retreat at her Victorian home. But a specter hangs over the venture when beloved local nanny Gracie Wyke goes missing. Amidst leading their guests in nature hikes, rock painting and making clay charms, Cora and her business partner, Jane, team up with Gracie’s boyfriend, Paul, to launch their own investigation into her disappearance when the local police prove unhelpful.

Cora and her crafters take Paul in, believing he is in danger and not the suspect police have made him out to be. However as they uncover new clues and a body turns up at a local abandoned amusement park, Cora and Jane begin to question their decision. With more questions than answers arising, is Cora crafty enough to untangle a knot that could put an innocent in jail—and permanently destroy her reputation?

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About the author
Mollie Cox Bryan writes cozies with an edge and romances with a slow, sweet burn. Her first book, Scrapbook of Secrets, was nominated for an Agatha award. Several of the books in her Cumberland Creek series have been honored with Library of Virginia People’s Choice nominations. No Charm Intended is the second book in her second mystery series. Her second romance novella has just come out as well—Every Fiber Of You. Her romances and mysteries feature crafters of all sorts. She spends her days working as a fact checker and researcher, her early mornings writing, and the rest of the time she’s a full-time mom and wife. She longs for the day to have the time to craft as much as her characters do.

All comments are welcomed.

No Charm Intended is available at retail and online booksellers or you can ask your local library to get it for you.

Alexa Williams takes us on a home tour by Sherry Knowlton

dead-of-springHi. I’m Alexa Williams. Can you believe that Penn’s Woods Style wants to feature my house in their Spring issue? It is a lovely old cabin – more than one hundred years old. My parents put a lot of work into it a few years back to upgrade the kitchens and the bathrooms. And, when I bought the place, I enlarged the deck. But basically, it’s still just a log cabin.

I was surprised when the magazine called me. But, I’ve been in the news quite a bit over the past few years. First, there were those shootings at the family planning clinic where I volunteered. Then, I exposed a sex trafficking ring. Who would have thought we’d have human trafficking here in rural Pennsylvania? And, this Spring, I was in the State Capitol when a Senator, make that former Senator, sailed off an upper floor balcony and ended his life at my feet. I didn’t think that being a magnet for dead bodies would enhance an attorney’s reputation. But, now my notoriety has attracted a home design magazine. Who would’ve thought?

Can I preview my house tour for you? I’ll start with the history. The original cabin has been standing for more than a century. It’s constructed in the traditional style of logs with white chinking. The living room, dining room and kitchen all have exposed log walls. My parents added the two big front windows to bring in more light. I had to replace the living room window after an incident with group of angry militia types. They shattered the window when they broke into the house. Luckily, I escaped through a back window.

I spend most of my time in the living room during the winter. It’s very cozy with big leather couches, a woodstove, and an antique oriental rug. I had to replace the previous rug after another incident. Shooting someone, even in self-defense, is a pretty traumatic experience. Replacing the rug can’t erase the trauma, but it helps a bit. That giant pillow over there in the corner is Scout’s bed. An English Mastiff, Scout is very large and loves to settle in near the woodstove in the winter.

The “new” addition to the house is up those stairs. The architect followed the slope of the mountain and elevated this bedroom wing. I love the fact that my bedroom windows look out into the tree tops. It makes me feel like I’m living in a treehouse. The previous owners did a good job of harmonizing the outside of the addition with the old cabin. This part is covered in rough hewn lumber with a live edge. Very rustic.

The best part of this cabin is the forest outside. The deck spans the entire front of the cabin and wraps around the far side. That’s where my new hot tub sits, screened from the lane. Not that privacy is a big concern. The cabin sits in the middle of many acres of uninhabited land, including a wonderful grove of old growth pines. The nearest home is miles away. So, Scout and I have the woods almost entirely to ourselves. I love to sit on the deck and listen to the sounds of the forest. Soon tiny frogs, called peepers, will begin their nightly chorus. I’ll also be moving my yoga practice and meditation out onto the deck as soon as it gets a little warmer.

I live here alone. My last boyfriend wanted to move in, but I just wasn’t ready for that commitment. He’s gone now. But Scout and I are just fine. After this last adventure in Dead of Spring, I need some time to just chill. And, this cabin is my retreat. Maybe that’s what I’ll tell the magazine: that the décor of my cabin is less important than its healing properties. Despite the incidents of violence that the cabin and I have weathered, nothing will permanently destroy the peace of mind my forest home brings me.


You can read more about Alexa’s new adventure in DEAD OF SPRING, the third book in the Alexa Williams suspense series.

When a beloved state senator plunges to his death at Alexa Williams’ feet in the Capitol Rotunda, the authorities suspect suicide. Although the powerful chair of the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee was at the center of a controversial new bill to expand hydraulic fracturing, he was also rumored to be ill. Shaken, Alexa tries to move past the disturbing incident by concentrating on work. She’s leading a senate commission on sex trafficking. Plus, she’s helping an old college roommate sue a natural gas company for their role in causing her daughter’s rare cancer.

In researching the lawsuit, Alexa becomes embroiled in the high-stakes politics of fracking. As the relationship with her state trooper boyfriend drifts onto the rocks, Alexa is drawn to a charismatic state legislator who’s leading an anti-fracking crusade. Then, the police shock Alexa with the news that she could be in danger; she’s a witness to the senator’s murder, not his suicide.

When Alexa narrowly escapes a sniper’s bullet, she must discover why she’s a target and who she can trust–before the next shot hits its mark.

With Sherry Knowlton’s trademark mix of feminism, history, romance, and fast-paced thrills, Dead of Spring skyrockets from the fracking fields of the Marcellus Shale to the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster of 1979 to the rolling hills of Tuscany to the halls of Pennsylvania state government. In this suspenseful tale of corruption and runaway greed, Alexa Williams proves, once again, that she’s a formidable heroine. The twists and turns will keep you on the edge of your seat.

“A sassy alpha-female heroine” – Steve Berry

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Meet the author
Sherry Knowlton is the author of the successful Alexa Williams series of suspense novels: Dead of Autumn, Dead of Summer and Dead of Spring. When not writing the next Alexa Williams thriller, Knowlton works on her health care consulting business or travels around the world. She and her husband live in the mountains of South Central Pennsylvania. Connect with Sherry at www.sherryknowlton.com

All comments are welcomed.

Dead of Spring is available at retail and online booksellers on April 22, 2017.

Vacationing with RCMP Sgt Ray Robertson by Vicki Delany

Vacation time!

I’m in Turks and Caicos for two weeks of vacation. And, boy do I need it.

I love my job, working with the UN, trying to introduce modern policing methods to fragile states. But it can be tough work, both physically and emotionally. First I was stationed in South Sudan and then in Haiti. I loved being in both those places, but sometimes a man needs a hot bath and a cold drink.

I loved the people (most of them) that I met there, but a man defiantly needs his family. My wife Jenny isn’t able to come on posting with me. Too dangerous for families.

She’s not too happy about that. And I understand. She’s stuck at home in Canada, managing the fort, dealing with the kids, running the details of our lives. I’m worried that she’s going to issue an ultimatum one of these days. I give up either UN policing or my marriage.

This vacation is a treat for her. Frankly, I’ve had enough of heat and sun, thank you very much. At my place in Haiti, I even have a pool (and a pool “boy” to look after it for me). Nothing I’d have loved more for my vacation than to head for the mountains of British Columbia for some good powder skiing. Feel the cold clear air on my face, hear the snow crunch beneath my boots.

But Jenny’s had enough of winter, and I knew she wouldn’t exactly jump at the idea of more of it.

So here we are. Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean. It’s a fabulous island, with great hotels, top-class restaurants, nice people, a low crime rate. Grace Bay has many times been voted the world’s best beach. Did I mention expensive? Gulp. But I figure my marriage is worth it.

Somehow, much as I try,  it seems that the job can’t leave me alone. I found that man’s body on the beach this morning, while I was out for my jog. The police are handling it. They seem like a competent lot (they should be, they were trained by Canadians!)

Maybe I’ll just give them a quick call. Check in and see what they’ve learned. Jenny’s out. If I do it now, she’ll never know.

Blood and Belonging is the third Sgt Ray Robertson novella published by Orca Press. Rapid Reads novellas are written for adults with literacy difficulties, ESL students, reluctant readers, and those just wanting a quick, fast-paced read.

RCMP Sergeant Ray Robertson is in the Turks and Caicos Islands, enjoying two weeks of leave from his job training police in Haiti with the UN. On an early-morning jog along famed Grace Bay Beach he discovers a dead man in the surf. Ray is shocked to recognize the body as that of one of his Haitian police recruits. To his wife’s increasing dismay, Ray is compelled to follow the dead man’s trail and finds himself plunged into the world of human trafficking and the problems of a tiny country struggling to cope with a desperate wave washing up on its shores.

The first Ray Robertson book, Juba Good, was nominated for an Arthur Ellis Award, A Derringer Award and a Silver Oak award from the Ontario Library Association.

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About the author
Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers. She is the author of twenty-four published crime novels, including standalone Gothic thrillers, the Constable Molly Smith series, the Year Round Christmas Mysteries, and books for adult literacy. Under the pen name of Eva Gates she is the national bestselling author of the Lighthouse Library cozy series. Her newest novel is Elementary, She Read, the first in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series.

Vicki lives and writes in Prince Edward County, Ontario. She is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada.

Connect with Vicki at www.vickidelany.com, on Facebook, and Twitter at @vickidelany and @evagatesauthor.

All comments are welcomed.

Blood and Belonging is available at retail and online booksellers or you can ask your local library to get it for you.