Tag Archives: Gemma Halliday Publishing

My Musing ~ Deadly Tails by Beth Prentice

Deadly Tails by Beth Prentice is the second book in the “Unleashed” mystery series. Publisher: Gemma Halliday Publishing, August 2017

Chloe McDermott’s life in Westport is pretty close to perfect. She has a good job, a gorgeous boyfriend, Brody, and an adorable little dog, Theo.

But when Chloe receives a gift of an old chessboard from an elderly friend, her perfect life unexpectedly falls apart. Theo is dognapped, the chessboard is stolen, and her friend apparently commits suicide in his home. But when the autopsy reveals a murder, Chloe knows something doesn’t add up, and she suspects the old game board is at the center of it all. She enlists the help of her boyfriend’s hot-headed father and her flamboyantly fabulous BFF to get to the heart of the truth. Can she solve the riddle and find a killer before Theo is added to the body count? Or will she lose her little furry friend forever?

What an amusing book that tickled my funny bone. This fast-paced light whodunit was both entertaining and engaging. The narrative hit the right spot, pulling me in as I had to know what happens next. The mystery was well-crafted with suspects and clues that kept me in tuned to every scene and action. The situations the cast got entangled with was a hoot and I can’t wait for the next book in this delightfully appealing series.

A day in the life of Lizzie Jones by Sally J. Smith and Jean Steffens

It’s been said Lizzie Jones is the very definition of an animal lover. My being a veterinary science student, a pet sitter, and volunteering at the vet clinic have made that accurate.

I’d taken extra time getting ready before heading to the clinic because my boyfriend, Tino Morales, was picking me up for lunch to celebrate his mamá’s birthday at the Lobster Pot. For the occasion, I’d worn my best and newest jeans and favorite blue sweater.

I was in the clinic’s back room, just about to put on a smock, when an agitated cry came over the intercom. “Lizzie, come quick!”

I bolted to the front. Holly, the receptionist, held the door open as Peter Buckley rushed in carrying Horatio, his German short-haired pointer.

“Lizzie,”—Peter thrust the big dog at me like the sixty-pound brute weighed no more than a sack of potatoes—“he’s hurt.”

Peter’s momentum and the weight of the dog staggered me, but I managed to stay upright, stumbling sideways like a drunken sailor before heading to an exam room.

“What happened?” I asked.

Peter fell in step beside me. His voice quivered. “We were out hunting. He went into the pond after a bird and came out bleeding—tree branch or something else cut him.”

Horatio was sopping wet and covered in mud from his nose to the tip of his tail, and since he was now plastered up against me, I was sopping wet and covered in mud too. His injured and bloody hind leg was up against my belly.

The dog shook and panted, whimpering deep in his throat. He tried to lick my face. Poor guy. My heart went out to him and Peter too.

Peter helped me lay Horatio gently on the table.

Horatio began to scrabble, trying to gain purchase on the slick stainless steel. I could see the gash on his right hind leg—trying to clot but still oozing.

Peter’s hands trembled as he tried to calm his dog.

“Doc Whitaker will take care of him.” I laid my hand on his, barely finishing before the door opened and Dr. Adam Whitaker, blond and movie-star handsome, rushed in.

He took a brief moment to question how the injury had been sustained then bent low over the dog. “Hold him for me, Lizzie.”

Poor Horatio went crazy trying to get up, like maybe he’d make a break for it. I spread myself over him. Adam examined the cut.

Now I was covered in mud and slime, and as I struggled with the terrified squirming dog, I caught a whiff of myself. I reeked of stagnant pond scum and wet dog.

Eventually Horatio’s leg was stitched up, and he was settled into a kennel until the anesthesia wore off.

I was heading to clean up the exam room when Tino walked in.

I couldn’t help noticing he looked great—hair perfect, face smooth and clean-shaven. He wore a pair of black jeans and a crisp white-collared shirt under a khaki blazer.

I spread my arms to display my favorite blue sweater and newest, best-fitting jeans in all their mud, blood, and dog hair and saliva glory.

“There was an emergency,” I said simply. “I. . .I. . .I’m so sorry. I know this day is important to you, and I feel like I’ve let you down.”

I was stone cold crazy about Tino Morales, my hot as a chili pepper, gentle as a Buddhist monk Latino, and the idea of disappointing him stung.

There was no way I could join Tino and his family. In my smelly, sorry state, I didn’t figure he’d even want me riding in his car.

“Let me down?” Tino stood blinking his beautiful brown eyes at me, his smile never wavering. “How can you think that? How’s the animal?”

“He’s doing well.”

“That’s good.”

Doc Whitaker walked out, quickly sizing things up. “Peter came in before you could change?”

I nodded.

“And you had plans for lunch?”

I nodded again.

Tino started to speak, but Doc Whitaker beat him to the punch. “Tino, how would you feel about escorting a woman dressed in scrubs to lunch?”

Tino grinned. “Scrubs? Lizzie’s beautiful no matter what she’s wearing, even mud and dog hair.”

My heart swelled.

“Lizzie,” Adam said, “why don’t you go in the back for a quick shower and pick out one of the newer sets of scrubs. That way Tino can show you off for the kind-hearted woman you are.”

“Do we have time?” I asked Tino.

“Of course,” he said.

Later when we walked into the Lobster Pot, Tino’s family was already there. No one seemed to notice the scrubs with puppies all over them—no one but the waiter.

He asked, “And what can I get for you, Doctor?”

I began. “Not doctor.”

Tino finished. “Not yet, but soon she’ll be the best veterinarian in the state.”

I leaned over, kissing him.

“Nice,” he said. “BTW, you look adorable in those scrubs.”

“Well,” I said, “at least I smell better.”


You can read more about Lizzie in Divas, Diamonds & Death, the 15th book in the “Danger Cove” (Pet Sitter) mystery series.

This little piggy may not be coming home.

This little piggy went to market. This little piggy stayed home. And this little piggy got kidnapped, and her diamond collar was swiped, and then there was a murder and false accusations. . .and. . ..and. . .oh my goodness!

Pet Sitter turned sleuth, Lizzie Jones is excited about the upcoming Second Chance Animal Rescue fundraiser. The celebrity draw, Sabrina Ramirez, is a pet psychic famous for her TV show The Critter Communicator. Sabrina arrives with her entourage that includes Rosie, an adorable teacup pig that Sabrina treats like royalty, Sabrina’s buff bodyguard, her devoted nephew, and unexpectedly, her estranged ex-husband.

When Sabrina needs a pet sitter Lizzie is thrilled to take on the job. That is until the little piglet is pignapped on Lizzie’s watch—along with her diamond collar! But things go from bad to worse when the fundraiser turns deadly and Lizzie’s granddad is high on the murder suspect list. Lizzie jumps headlong into clearing her granddad’s name and finding the pignapper and the killer. Are they one and the same, or is she looking for two separate types of swine? And will she find them first. . .or will the killer be the one frying Lizzie’s bacon?

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Giveaway: Two readers selected at random will receive their choice of any of Jean and Sally’s books (e-book, everywhere or print, US only). Leave a comment below for your chance to win. The giveaway ends August 21, 2017. Good luck everyone!

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Meet the author
Sally J. Smith and Jean Steffens, are partners in crime—crime writing, that is. They live in the Valley of the Sun in Arizona, awesome for eight months out of the year, an inferno the other four. They write bloody murder, flirty romance, and wicked humor all in one package.

Connect with them at smithandsteffens.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

All comments are welcomed.

A day in the life of Theo McDermott by Beth Prentice

This morning had started like any other day. I’d opened one eye and looked up as Chloe stirred next to me, pulling the blanket away from me as she moved, allowing the cool morning air to sweep over my body. As she threw her legs over the edge of the bed, rubbing her eyes as she did so, I figured it really was time to get up. Rolling onto all fours, I pushed my butt in the air and stretched. Once that was done, I shook myself, fluffing my glorious fur until I resembled a fluff ball. Morning routine complete. . .tick.

“Good morning Dude,” said Chloe, rubbing me behind the ears. Oooh that felt good. Just a little scratch would be better. . .yep right there. . .that’s it. I blew out a blissful sigh as she kissed the top of my head before making her way to the bathroom.

My name is Theo and apparently I’m a Chihuahua. My doppelganger was on television last night, and they kept calling him The Rock. Looking at him was almost like looking in the mirror. He was tall, strong and all the girls swooned when he smiled at them. I have that same effect on the women. One look from me and they’re putty in my little paws. Which is really how I came to live with Chloe. You see, she was supposed to hand me in to the animal shelter, but I used my big puppy dog eyes and she couldn’t resist. And really, it’s worked out the best for both of us. I get treated like a king and she gets my little kisses. Win, win!

Chloe’s a parcel courier with the local post office and most days I get to ride along with her. That means I get to travel in the van, and get to meet the residents of Westport. Today started like any other work day. We went to the sorting shed, I was given lots of treats, pats and tickles from her co-workers, and then we were on the road, the wind blowing in my face—from the air conditioning vent that is. There’s no way I’m sticking my head out the car window—what do you think I am? A dog? Pfft! The first disappointment came when Chloe stopped at Jimmy’s house and I had to wait in the car because it was raining. I quite like Jimmy. He’s retired now and has nothing better to do than buy me treats. But instead of getting spoilt, I had to stand on a stack of packages, my paws resting on the van door, pressing my nose against the cold glass window, watching them. I whimpered quietly—alright it wasn’t quiet. It was quite loud really, not that they seemed to notice me. The men sitting in the car opposite us noticed me though. They’d been watching Jimmy’s house as we pulled up, but as soon as I started to howl, they turned their full attention to me. Maybe that was the point where I should have quietened down, because I’ve since realized that sometimes in life, it’s better to go unnoticed.

You see, the day changed dramatically after that. When that same car pulled up in our street at home, and the guy got out and spoke to Chloe, I knew he wasn’t a good man. I knew that someone had to scare him away from her. I was the Rock. It was my duty to keep her safe. But Chloe had placed me inside our home, so I couldn’t get to him, to warn him that I was on the job. Thankfully, whatever Chloe said to him made him go away and life returned to normal. Until another man showed up, opening our gate and strutting up the front path. I had the perfect view looking down on him from the window seat in the bedroom. He had that look about him and I knew he wasn’t good. I needed to show him that I was the boss and I would protect Chloe, even if my life depended on it. Which it turns out, it may just.

I tried to tell the man to go away. I tried to tell him that he was not welcome. I ran down the stairs, growling, barking, and baring my teeth. I was ferocious! But instead of running away, instead of being scared, he opened the door, picked me and left, taking me with him.

As Chloe’s screams echoed in my ears, the home I loved disappeared in his rear-view mirror.

Shivering and shaking, I reassessed my plan of action. Maybe I wasn’t ferocious, maybe I wasn’t strong, but I could be darned annoying when I put my mind to it. I stepped over to the man, used my big puppy-dog eyes and tapped him unrelentingly with my paw. Give him a night of this treatment, and I’d be home before I knew it.


You can read more about Theo in Deadly Tails, the second book in the “Unleashed” mystery series.

Chloe McDermott’s life in Westport is pretty close to perfect. She has a good job, a gorgeous boyfriend, Brody, and an adorable little dog, Theo.

But when Chloe receives a gift of an old chessboard from an elderly friend, her perfect life unexpectedly falls apart. Theo is dognapped, the chessboard is stolen, and her friend apparently commits suicide in his home. But when the autopsy reveals a murder, Chloe knows something doesn’t add up, and she suspects the old game board is at the center of it all. She enlists the help of her boyfriend’s hot-headed father and her flamboyantly fabulous BFF to get to the heart of the truth. Can she solve the riddle and find a killer before Theo is added to the body count? Or will she lose her little furry friend forever?

Buy Link

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Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a signed copy of Deadly Tails. The giveaway ends August 12, 2017. Good luck everyone!

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About the author
Beth Prentice is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Westport Mysteries. Killer Unleashed, her GHP debut novel, received a bronze medal in the 2016 Readers Favorite International Book Awards.

She was born in Manchester, England, but after moving backwards and forwards across the world 13 times in 14 years she decided that at the age of 18 that Australia was to be her home. She now lives on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia where every day is a good one. She is the lucky mother of two grown up children, and, along with her ever-patient husband, she is the proud but sometimes flustered owner of four dogs, a cat, and a canary. She has always had a love of reading, and even though her background is in accounting, she has now discovered her love of writing. Her main wish is to write books you can sit back, relax with, and escape from your everyday life. . .and ones that you walk away from with a smile! When she’s not writing you will usually find her at the beach with a coffee in hand, pursuing her favorite pastime –people watching!

Connect with Beth at bethprenticenovels.com, on Facebook and on Twitter.

All comments are welcomed.

A Day in the Life of Kaley Kalua by Anne Marie Stoddard

Nothing ruins a marriage faster than finding your football star husband holding private cheerleading tryouts in your bedroom—especially when the three woman on top of him are wearing nothing but high heels and using pompoms in ways so dirty they’d make a stripper blush. Can you believe that actually happened to me? I mean, Bryan and I had been drifting apart for a while, but seeing him at the bottom of a pile of busty twenty-two year-olds in naked pyramid formation was the last straw.

Needless to say, I kicked the floozies out of our condo and gave my cheating hubby my spirit finger. After a whirlwind—and, thanks to Bryan’s NFL stardom, very public—divorce, I left my job at a clothing store in Atlanta, packed my life into an oversized Prada duffel bag, and came back to the one place that’s ever truly felt like home. So, now here I am: Kaley Kalua, twenty-seven year-old divorcee and Aloha Lagoon’s newest permanent resident.

Bless my Aunt Rikki; not only did she welcome me home with open arms, but she offered me a job as the manager of the Happy Hula Dress Boutique, the shop she owns in the merchant area of the Aloha Lagoon Resort. You’d really like Rikki—from her funky blue and black hair to her to her infectious energy and generous spirit, there’s no one else quite like her. After my parents were killed when I was twelve, she took me in and raised me like her own child. I don’t know where I’d be without her. That’s why, when one of her employees was recently murdered and Rikki found herself at the top of the suspect list, I swore I’d do whatever it took to prove her innocence.

Between juggling my day-to-day responsibilities at Happy Hula and trying not to strangle my high school rival, Harmony Kane (seriously, what was Aunt Rikki thinking hiring her?), I’ve been spending most of my days lately trying to track down the person who really killed Happy Hula’s former assistant manager, Louana Watson. It seems the woman had no shortage of enemies, not that I’m surprised—the one time I met her, she was screaming at my aunt and threatening to sue her. As it turns out, Rikki isn’t the only person that Louana treated horribly. Nearly everywhere I look, I find a new person who may have wanted her dead.

Lucky for me, I’ve got help following up on all these leads. There’s my new gal pal, Jamie Parker, the resort scuba instructor. She moved to the islands from the South, just like me, and in the few days since we met, she’s already proven to be a fiercely loyal friend. Sure, Jamie’s inhumanly perky after a night of drinking, and she’s about as subtle as a foghorn when it comes to being my wing woman—but hey, she means well. Plus, our shared love of shopping and mani pedis makes her my one of my new favorite people on the island.

Then there’s my childhood best friend, Noa Kahele, who also recently moved back to Aloha Lagoon. Noa’s funny, modest, and looks like he climbed out of the pages of a surf shop catalog—long, dark hair, rock hard abs, and dimples for days. Picture Jason Mamoa, and you’re on the right track. Mmm.

I wish I could chat for longer, but I’ve got to get back to work. After all, there’s still a killer loose on the island. That, and Detective Ray of the Aloha Lagoon Police Department seems to be building a strong case against Aunt Rikki. The deeper I pry into the lives of my potential suspects, the more danger I’m finding myself in. If I don’t find out the truth soon, I could wind up the next victim.


You can read more about Kaley in Bikinis and Bloodshed, the first book in the “Kaley Kalua” mystery series.

After a very painful—and very public—divorce from her cheating football star husband, Kaley Kalua just wants some peace and privacy. Cramming only the essentials (clothes, shoes, and makeup) into her Prada duffel bag, Kaley returns to her hometown of Aloha Lagoon to manage her Aunt Rikki’s clothing shop, the Happy Hula Dress Boutique. A new job, new friends, and a change of scenery are just what she needs to turn her life around. It doesn’t hurt that Kaley’s handsome childhood best friend, Noa Kahele, has also moved back to the small resort town.

Unfortunately, life on the island isn’t quite the peaceful paradise that Kaley was expecting. Not everyone is thrilled about her return—especially the Happy Hula’s assistant manager, who thinks that she deserves Kaley’s new job. And when the woman is found strangled by a bikini top from the boutique, the police make it clear that Aunt Rikki is their main suspect. But Kaley is determined to prove her aunt’s innocence! Between dodging a nosy local reporter and sparring with her high school nemesis, Kaley compiles her own list of suspects. In the process, she also attracts the attention of a dangerous killer. If Kaley isn’t careful, she could wind up trading her colorful wardrobe for funeral black. . .

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Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a $10 Amazon e-gift card. The giveaway ends August 7, 2017. Good luck everyone!

About the author
Anne Marie Stoddard is a USA TODAY Bestselling Author, iBooks Bestseller, Amazon Mover & Shaker, and former Amazon Top 100 Author. She writes supernatural thrillers and cozy mysteries with an edge, many of which are based on her experience working in radio and at music festivals across the U.S. Aside from writing, Anne Marie loves college football, hula hoops, music, coffee, and anything pumpkin-flavored. Connect with Anne Marie at amstoddardbooks.com.

All comments are welcomed.

A day in the life of Maria Dolores by Gin Jones

The EMTs were missing.

Two weeks earlier, on my first day as the farmers’ market’s manager, I’d thought the size of the first aid tent, easily twice the size of the individual market stalls, was overkill. What could go wrong in the buying and selling of locally produced fruits, vegetables and art? Maybe a bit of dehydration, a bug bite or perhaps an allergic reaction, but nothing that would require such a large and fully stocked medical-emergency area.

That just showed how little I really knew about my new job. We’d experienced both an earthquake and murder over the Independence Day weekend. The EMTs—collectively known as the Baxter twins, since apparently I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t tell the brothers apart—had been every bit as much in demand as my sling bag filled with non-medical-emergency supplies.

Their absence on this drizzly July Saturday was worrisome. Usually they could be found loitering outside their tent. When I’d arrived shortly before opening time, the tent and all their equipment had been set up, but the two men were gone. Not a good way to start the day, if someone had been injured enough to need not just one but two EMTs.

I could have called them, but I didn’t want to interrupt if they were responding to an emergency. Instead, I checked with all the vendors near the first aid tent. As I left the last vendor, who like the others hadn’t seen the EMTs leave, I gave silent thanks for the unflappability I’d inherited from my great-great-great-grandmother, the town’s first lighthouse keeper.

Officer Fred Fields was hurrying up from the parking lot. I intercepted him before he reached the beginning of the market stalls. “Do you know where the Baxter twins are?”

Fields’s face tightened with worry. “They should be at their station. Too bad the quilters aren’t here this week. They’d know exactly where the Baxter twins and every other town resident was.”

On major holidays, like July 4th, Labor Day and Halloween, the market expanded into an all-weekend affair and brought in additional vendors, like the quilt guild and the Second Chance Animal Rescue. But not for this Saturday-only event.

“The quilters do have one of the best grapevines in town,” I said. “But we’re on our own today. I’ll take the parking lot and historical garden, if you’ll check Two Mile Beach.”

Fred left, and I trotted around the parking lot, coming up empty. As I was leaving for the historical garden, I was stopped by Henry Atwell, an elderly and curmudgeonly woodworker.

“It’s all your fault,” he said. “My granddaughter put me on a time-out from my very own stall. She never would have done that if she hadn’t seen you do it to me two weeks ago.”

“I’ll have a chat with her later.” I continued past Henry, planning to congratulate Etta on her good sense. Henry would probably make more money while he was away than when he was in the stall, as people rushed to buy his wooden kitchenware without having to deal with his cranky attitude.

The historical garden was tucked into the space between the market and some low, rocky cliffs that sloped down to the beginning of the beach. Garden club volunteers could sometimes get a little over-zealous while protecting the heirloom vegetables there.

I caught a glimpse of movement in the rocky cliff wall near the far corner of the garden. A moment later, one of the Baxter twins emerged sideways from a crevice. His brother became partially visible as I quickly texted their location to Officer Fields.

By the time I arrived, a pair of sheepish-looking teens had also slid out, given their rescuers a quick thank you, and raced off to the beach.

“Poor kids,” one of the EMTs said with a chuckle he couldn’t hold back any longer. “They were looking for a little privacy and got stuck.”

“They’d probably still be in there if I hadn’t noticed them go in,” the other one said. “We’ve responded to a few calls there in the past. It’s a funnel-shaped formation with a number of sharp rocks pointing away from the entrance. Easy to get into, but hard to get out again. They were expecting a long lecture on safety when we showed up.”

“They won’t get one from me,” I said. “They seem to have learned their lesson, and as long as no one was hurt, I’m satisfied with how it turned out.”

That wasn’t entirely true. I wouldn’t be entirely satisfied until the rest of today and the next six Saturdays proved to be uneventful. Then I might start to believe we’d also be able to get through the next weekend-long event on Labor Day without any mischief, mayhem or murder.


You can read more about Maria in A Death in the Flower Garden, the first in the “Danger Cove Farmers’ Market” Mysteries, available now, and the sequels, A Slaying in the Orchard (August 22) and A Secret in the Pumpkin Patch (October).

It’s Independence Day weekend, and Maria Dolores, the descendant of Danger Cove’s first lighthouse keeper, is the new manager of the Lighthouse Farmers’ Market. While she may be a bit uncertain about her career change—trading financial planning for flower stalls and farm fresh produce—she’s still determined to get the market into shape and onto one of the region’s “best of” lists.

From the very beginning, though, events conspire against her. Her mentor and attractive local farmer, Merle Curtis, fails to show up to introduce her to the vendors, the stalls are all in the wrong place, and an earthquake shakes up everyone in the market! In its aftermath, Maria realizes the flower vendor is more than shaken up. . . she’s dead. Maria suddenly finds herself embroiled in a small town mystery that’s got everyone on edge. Will it all lead to the end of Maria’s new career? Or worse yet. . . her life?

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About the author
Gin Jones overcame a deeply ingrained habit of thinking and writing like a lawyer in order to write fiction. In her spare time, Gin makes quilts, grows garlic and serves on the board of directors for The XLH Network, Inc. Connect with Gin at ginjones.com.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win either a Kindle/Nook copy of A Death in the Flower Garden or a Kindle/Nook E-ARC of A Slaying in the Orchard, winner’s choice. The giveaway ends August 2, 2017. Good luck everyone!

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.

My Musing ~ Frosted With Revenge by Catherine Bruns

Frosted With Revenge by Catherine Bruns is the fourth book in the “Cookies & Chance” mystery series. Publisher: Gemma Halliday Publishing, April 25, 2017

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!

I enjoyed the latest adventures with Sally Muccio and her family. Planning a wedding should be easy, but it’s not when there is a target on her back. Sally does what Sally does best and that is looking for the person who wants her dead.

This is a fast-paced and light hearted whodunit that kept me engaged throughout the telling of this tale. The mystery was nicely done, keeping me glued to the pages as I had to know what happened next. The suspect pool was small but the author enjoyed teasing me with clues here and there that every time I thought I had a handle on the killer, she changed direction all to the betterment of this drama. The narrative was visually appealing, putting me in the middle of all the action and I enjoyed the antics of her eccentric family, especially her death-loving father and her model mother. Rounding out the cast was her grandmother, sister, her best friend and the man she planned to marry. This was the best book in the series thus far and I’m so happy that more books with this cast of characters are coming.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) from the author.

A day in the life of Helen Binney by Gin Jones

a-darling-of-death“Is there something wrong with the peas?” my dinner companion, Ambrose Tate, asked me.

“No, they’re fine.” We were supposed to be celebrating my return to the small Berkshire Hills town of Wharton after too many weeks in Boston, undergoing endless medical tests and consultations related to my lupus. I didn’t feel like celebrating anything, and the peas had taken the brunt of my irritation. It wasn’t their fault, though, so I set my fork down. “I just felt like stabbing something.”

Something or someone?” Tate held out a hand to forestall an answer. One finger sported a small bandage, presumably from a minor accident in his woodworking studio. “No, don’t tell me. I probably don’t want to know.”

Always the lawyer, I thought, anticipating how my words could be used against us both. “Inanimate objects will suffice for the moment. And I hope you appreciated that I didn’t stab the maitre d’.”

“It made my day. Although, to be honest, I’m not sure why you were so annoyed with him.”

“He practically ripped my coat out of my hands.” I wasn’t as stable on my feet as I’d like, and his sudden tug on my coat had almost knocked me over.

“Ah, yes,” Tate said. “I forgot how much you hate it when people help you without your asking for assistance. As long as you’re jogging my memory, perhaps you could explain why you’re annoyed with me too. I didn’t take your coat or even open the car door for you.”

“You came to Boston three times while I was there.” I knew I was being irrational. I hadn’t even decided yet whether I was more upset that he’d visited at all or that he’d only visited three times. “I asked you not to make the trip.”

“I had to. Vicky missed me.”

“My cat hates you.” That wasn’t unique to Tate. Vicky hated everyone except me. “She knows you advised me not to adopt her.”

Tate shrugged. “She got over it when I smuggled some treats in to her. She doesn’t hold a grudge. Unlike some people.”

“I like grudges. They give me a reason to get out of bed in the morning.”

“I thought that was what your gardening was for,” Tate said. “And your penchant for challenging violent people to kill you.”

“The garden is shut down for the season, and no one’s threatened to kill me lately.” I had a bad feeling my voice was getting whiney.

“So you’re bored.”

“Not bored, exactly.” Even when I was irritated with Tate, I appreciated the way he helped me to sort through what I was thinking. “More like restless.”

“And you think stabbing things will make you feel better?”

“I know it will.” I always felt better when I had a plan for dealing with my issues. I decided it was safe to pick up my fork again and enjoy the chicken and rice. “Perhaps I should take up fencing.”

“You did assure me you weren’t going to stab people.”

“Fake stabbing doesn’t count.”

Tate sipped his wine while he considered my words. Finally, he said, “I can’t think of anywhere around here where you could take fencing lessons. You’d probably have to go back to Boston for that, and I’m pretty sure you’ve had enough of the big city and living with your niece.”

He was right. Next time I went to Boston, it was going to be for something fun, like a museum tour, and I was staying in a hotel, not my nagging niece’s condo. I might even invite Tate to go with me.

For now, if I couldn’t learn to fence anywhere nearby, maybe there was something else I could do that would be equally cathartic. I needed to vent some of the irritation that I was even taking out on Tate, who didn’t deserve it. Even if he had made the six-hour round-trip to Boston to see me after I’d asked him not to.

Rather than stab something, perhaps I could thump something instead. A friend had recently opened a martial arts studio here in Wharton. He ought to have a punching bag I could use. First thing tomorrow, I was signing up for membership.

“Don’t worry about me,” I told Tate. “I’m already feeling less inclined to stab anything. You and your car will be perfectly safe on the drive home tonight.”

“No one is ever completely safe around you, but I’ve got years of experience with minimizing risks.” Tate reached across the table to take my hand. “Having to keep my woodworking tools locked up so you won’t stab me with them is a small price to pay for being with you.”


You can read more about Helen in A Darling of Death, the fifth novel in the “Helen Binney” Mysteries, coming March 7, 2017.

Helen Binney is frustrated with the challenges of her lupus and is desperate to hit something—anything! So what better place to go than a martial arts studio owned by a friend? Only her frustrations remain when she finds herself in a minor car accident, a female martial arts competitor mocks her physical limitations, and the studio owner won’t let her engage in any satisfyingly high-impact exercise.

But when the rude competitor is found dead in the locker room, Helen is distracted from her personal problems. She learns that the woman owned a Bed & Breakfast, and wasn’t very good at making friends. Murder suspects abound, with several ex-boyfriends, mistreated employees at her B&B, a competing B&B operator, and a romantic rival. And the murder isn’t the only mystery in Helen’s life. Her handsome ex-lawyer Tate seems to be withdrawing from their newly personal relationship, and she can’t get him to tell her what’s wrong. Can Helen keep Tate from giving up on their relationship and defend herself against a killer who was able to overpower a highly skilled martial artist? Or will this be one fight she doesn’t limp away from?

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About the author
Gin Jones overcame a deeply ingrained habit of thinking and writing like a lawyer in order to write fiction. In her spare time, Gin makes quilts, grows garlic and serves on the board of directors for the XLH Network. Connect with Gin at ginjones.com.

All comments are welcomed.

A Darling of Death is available at online booksellers.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a Kindle or Nook copy of A Darling of Death. The giveaway ends March 6, 2017. Good luck everyone!

A day in the life of Maizy Emerson by Kelly Rey

motion-for-mischiefJamie Winters mentioned that someone wanted to know about a day in her life, but since she’s really old, like in her thirties, she’s in bed asleep or something right now, so you’re getting me instead. Consider yourself lucky. Don’t tell her I said this, but if we were Batman and Robin, she’d be Robin, and who wants to know what he’s up to all day long?

I’m Maizy Emerson, I’m seventeen, and I help Jamie solve murders. She’s got a job as a glorified legal secretary for a low class law firm, and I do hard and unnecessary time in the classroom, but we rock at the detective thing. My Uncle Curt doesn’t like it much that Jamie keeps finding dead people, but he still helps out sometimes. Which is good for Jamie, because she kind of has a thing going with Uncle Curt. Besides, he’s pretty useful when we need some muscle. Or someone to drive the getaway car.

Personally, I have no time for romance. Sometimes I let Brody Amherst buy me a Sizzli, but that’s just a resource retention calculation on my part. Jamie drives the stegosaurus of cars, so we need to be able to rent Honest Aaron’s junkers when hers breaks down. Honest Aaron doesn’t care that The Man is conspiring to keep me from getting my driver’s license, and I don’t mind little things like rusted-out floors and bloodstains. It’s a symbiotic relationship.

Just because my dad’s a cop doesn’t mean I can’t shop locally.

I should probably tell you that I mostly observe the arbitrary societal norms designed to oppress free thinkers and teenagers, but I had to crash Oxnard Thorpe’s wedding because Jamie was supposedly getting paid to be the maid of honor, and if you know anything about Jamie, it’s that she hates weddings. So there was bound to be serious entertainment value there. It was only a perk that Oxnard was the Adult Diaper King of New Jersey. The situation practically required me to buy that tasteful five dollar thrift store gown and show up. I had a pretty good time, too. If you’ve never checked out a gazillionaire’s mansion, I recommend it. Don’t judge. If rich people don’t want anyone to conduct self-guided tours, they shouldn’t hold parties.

Anyway, for some reason, all the guests left after the food fight, so there was no one around when Jamie and I found the groom dead in the swimming pool. Which might’ve seemed like an accident if Oxnard hadn’t given so many people a reason to want to kill him. We got some help, (if that’s what you want to call it) in finding the killer from Eunice Kublinski, the new lawyer in town. Eunice will be fierce once she gets that fainting problem under control.

And that’s how we got involved in Motion For Mischief.


You can read more about Maizy in Motion For Mischief, the fourth book in the “Jamie Winters” mystery series.

Legal secretary and sometimes-sleuth Jamie Winters thought she’d seen it all. . . until now.

When Oxnard Thorpe, the Adult Diaper King of New Jersey and one of Parker, Dennis’s most important clients, is found dead in the swimming pool of his sprawling mansion on his wedding night, his bride gives Jamie and her teenaged sidekick, Maizy, the green light to find the killer. Could it be the faded society maven, the bridesmaid for hire, the harried housekeeper, Oxnard’s embittered twin siblings, the surly wedding planner, the groom’s sketchy colleague, or even the not-so-blushing bride herself? Just when it seems things couldn’t possibly get more confusing, they get an assist from Eunice Kublinski, the firm’s timid new attorney with a morbid fear of public speaking—which makes things much, much worse! If Jamie doesn’t unravel the truth quickly, she may just be next on the killer’s list!

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Meet the author
Kelly Rey is the author of the Jamie Winters Mysteries and co-author with Gemma Halliday of Sherlock Holmes And The Case Of The Brash Blonde. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading, working out, and avoiding housework.

All comments are welcomed.

Motion For Mischief is available at online booksellers.