Tag Archives: Julie Anne Lindsey

A day in the life of Holly White by Jacqueline Frost

When you grow up on a Christmas tree farm called Reindeer Games, in a town called Mistletoe, Maine, you learn three things. One: Holiday spirit is what you make of it. Two: It’s always a good time for snickerdoodles. Three: Family is everything. And in Mistletoe, everyone is family.

So, you can imagine my shock when I moved home last week to recover from a broken heart and discovered the body of our town’s historical society president, Margaret Fenwick, in a sleigh on my family farm. I still can’t believe it. I don’t know why a tourist would hurt her, and the killer can’t be one of us. Folks in Mistletoe aren’t violent. We’re not even rude. Competitive maybe. And, sure, the victim was a bit of a pill sometimes, but I don’t think she meant to be, and that’s not the point.

Basically, it’s been a rough few days, but Christmas is right on schedule, and like I said, holiday spirit is what you make of it. The local sheriff has finally allowed our tree farm to reopen, just in time for the Twelve Games of Christmas, so I’ve dressed in my ugliest holiday sweater, kissed Cindy Lou Who, my rescue cat, on her little chipped ear and hustled to The Hearth to make myself useful.

The Hearth is Reindeer Games’ gingerbread house-themed café. It’s where Mom makes and sells her yummiest creations. I love delivering Santa’s cinnamon tea and festive, mouth-watering treats to rosy-cheeked tree shoppers. I also sample the goods and talk with guests. It’s a great way for me to brainstorm ideas for my Christmas-themed jewelry. I melt old glass beads and bottles to make the tiny gum drop earrings and candy cane necklaces. It started as a hobby, but lately the pieces have been selling out at our tree farm gift shop, Holiday Mouse. Just ask Cookie, the shop manager and my very dear friend. Sure, she’s more than twice my age but Cookie is the greatest, and her real name is Delores Cutter, so her name’s pretty cute too. I called her Cookie Cutter for a decade before I realized it was funny.

It’s time for today’s Reindeer Game when my shift ends. Blindfolded sled racing, and I’m a judge. Guests pair into teams of two. One person rides on an old-fashioned sled with a lead attached to the front. The other member pulls the sled – blindfolded. The rider calls out directions while collecting as many stockings as possible from the snow-covered lawn without falling off or causing their blindfolded partner to break their neck. I’ll be there to bust the peekers.

After that, I’m headed to my parents’ home for the night. I don’t sleep at the guest house anymore. Too many threats on my life. Apparently, I ruffled someone’s feathers when I started asking about Mrs. Fenwick’s death, and I can’t afford to be victim number two. I have things to do and goals to accomplish. Like opening my own jewelry store or making my cheating ex-fiancé regret dumping me for a yoga instructor just two weeks before our Christmas Eve wedding. I also wouldn’t mind finding out what really happened to Mrs. Fenwick, but whoever killed her seems to have my number, and I probably shouldn’t take the call.

Okay. I’ve got to run now. I see a potential peeker on the blind sled event. If you’re ever looking for something new to do around the holidays, I hope you’ll consider a trip north to Reindeer Games in Mistletoe, Maine. I will personally serve you up some hot cider and a smile, then tell you the story of how I got justice for Mrs. Fenwick and saved the day.


You can read more about Holly in Twelve Slays of Christmas, the first book in the NEW “Christmas Tree Farm” mystery series.

When Holly White’s fiancé cancels their Christmas Eve wedding with less than two weeks to go, Holly heads home with a broken heart. Lucky for her, home in historic Mistletoe, Maine is magical during Christmastime―exactly what the doctor prescribed. Except her plan to drown her troubles in peppermints and snickerdoodles is upended when local grouch and president of the Mistletoe Historical Society Margaret Fenwick is bludgeoned and left in the sleigh display at Reindeer Games, Holly’s family tree farm.

When the murder weapon is revealed as one of the wooden stakes used to identify trees on the farm, Sheriff Evan Grey turns to Holly’s father, Bud, and the Reindeer Games staff. And it doesn’t help that Bud and the reindeer keeper were each seen arguing with Margaret just before her death. But Holly knows her father, and is determined to exonerate him. The jingle bells are ringing, the clock is ticking, and if Holly doesn’t watch out, she’ll end up on Santa’s naughty list in Twelve Slays of Christmas, Jacqueline Frost’s jolly series debut.

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Meet the author
Jacqueline Frost is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in Green, Ohio with her husband and three spunky children. Jacqueline is a member of the International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime. She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency.

All comments are welcomed.

My Musing ~ Cat Got Your Diamonds by Julie Chase

Cat Got Your Diamonds by Julie Chase is the first book in the NEW “Kitty Couture” mystery series. Publisher: Crooked Book Lane, November 2016

cat-got-your-diamondsGrandeur and opulence are everything in the famed New Orleans Garden District where pets are family and no bling is too big. Opening Furry Godmother, pet boutique and organic treat bakery, is Lacy Marie Crocker’s dream come true–until the glitter gun used to make her Shih Tzu tutus becomes a murder weapon. And Lacy becomes public enemy #1.

Now Detective Jack Oliver is hounding Lacy, and her Furry Godmother investor wants out before his name is tarnished by association. To make matters worse, a string of jewel heists with suspicious ties to the murder case has New Orleans residents on edge. To save her dream, Lacy must take a stand, put her keen eyes to work, and unravel what really happened at her shop that night. But can Lacy sniff out the killer cat burglar in time to get her tail-raising designs on the catwalk?

Witty and whimsical, Cat Got Your Diamonds, the first in a new cozy series by Julie Chase, will be the cat’s meow for fans of Rita Mae Brown and Miranda James.

This was a fun book to read and I enjoyed the mystery that was unfolded in this delightfully charming book. The author did a great job in giving us a step by step foray into the murder investigation when the lead heroine, Lacy, becomes the prime suspect. Beginning an investigation to clear her name, Lacy pokes her nose here and there and uncovers enough clues that also puts her in harm’s way. I like the pacing and the comfortable tone the author presented when describing the crux of this story. There were some laugh out loud moment as well as some interesting twists and turns that added to this lighthearted mystery that quickly became a page-turner because I had how this will all play out. Boasting a wonderful cast of characters, engaging dialogue and New Orleans as the backdrop, this was an entertaining read and I look forward to more fun times with Lacy and her friends. Bonus pet treat recipes are included.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

A Day in the Life of Lacy Marie Crocker by Julie Chase

cat-got-your-diamondsComing home to Louisiana was hard after ten years away, especially when I’d made such a big to-do about striking out on my own. Still, home is home, and New Orleans is mine. So, when I walked in on my ex-fiancé getting to know a coworker, biblically, I hiked up my big-girl pants and left them both in Virginia. I caught a plane back home and found a way to turn my two greatest passions into money by opening Furry Godmother, a custom pet boutique and organic treat bakery on Magazine Street. Now, I make gowns and costumes for a literal cat walk. With a mother who only wears couture and a beloved local veterinarian for a father, I suppose my fate was in the cards.

I hop into my car most nights and head back to Furry Godmother after dinner with my parents. Tonight is no different. I have an order for seven Shih Tzu tutus and a desperate need for distraction after the five-course lecture from my mother on the state of my tragic love life, my incessant lack of offspring, and recent humiliation by a Yankee.

I slide my car against the curb and breathe. Magazine Street is the heart of the Garden District with its miles of quaint shops and artistic boutiques. The night air is a perfect mix of café au lait, powdered sugar and fresh baked beignets. I’m revitalized the moment I leave my car in favor of the oppressive sub-tropic temperatures. Live jazz music and the steady hum of traffic puts an instant kick in my step. I almost hate to go inside.

Almost.

The interior of Furry Godmother is exactly as I’d imagined it as a little girl, when I’d made bows and bandanas for my father’s four legged patients. I flip the switch and illuminate a row of fancy white chandeliers overhead, then stride across the polished, wide-planked floors toward my stockroom where glitter and tulle are in abundance.

My arms are loaded with bolts of fabric, a tackle box of rhinestones and my trusty golden glitter gun when I hear the first unfamiliar footfalls. The heavy steps do not belong in my shop afterhours. My heart is racing and my breaths are short. I locked the door, yet I’m clearly not alone. The contradiction is baffling, but I cannot right it when my trembling limbs are demanding an escape. I’ll find out how the intruder got inside later. For now, it’s time to run.

I break for the rear exit, dropping everything except my trusty glitter gun and launch into the darkened back lot. A man bursts through the door behind me, and I spray a blinding dose of golden glitter, then flee into the night as he curses.

I run blocks on adrenaline alone before I dare a look over my shoulder. The coast is clear, and an officer on the corner offers to drive me back to Furry Godmother so I can make a proper report. That’s the way it goes in my city. Something good always comes from something bad.

I don’t even flinch when the officer asks me to wait outside, or when a striking young detective drives his giant pickup onto the sidewalk outside my shop door and gives me a sobering once over. Maybe he had plans with the nice officer and I’d interrupted by accepting the help. Who knows? Either way, I’m buying both men a round of coffees the minute the report is filed.

At least, that’s my plan until the angel-eyed detective asks me to take a look at the crime scene with him. Amidst the tangle of my discarded supplies lies a motionless man with gold glitter caked on his face and a growing halo of blood on the pavement at his temple.

The detective’s cool gaze is on me. He wants to know why I killed this man, and he raises an evidence bag with my glitter gun between us.

My next ride is to the New Orleans police station.


Cat Got Your Diamonds is book one in the Kitty Couture Mysteries Series published by Crooked Lane Books, November 2016.

Grandeur and opulence are everything in the famed New Orleans Garden District where pets are family and no bling is too big. Opening Furry Godmother, pet boutique and organic treat bakery, is Lacy Marie Crocker’s dream come true–until the glitter gun used to make her Shih Tzu tutus becomes a murder weapon. And Lacy becomes public enemy #1.

Now Detective Jack Oliver is hounding Lacy, and her Furry Godmother investor wants out before his name is tarnished by association. To make matters worse, a string of jewel heists with suspicious ties to the murder case has New Orleans residents on edge. To save her dream, Lacy must take a stand, put her keen eyes to work, and unravel what really happened at her shop that night. But can Lacy sniff out the killer cat burglar in time to get her tail-raising designs on the catwalk?

Witty and whimsical, Cat Got Your Diamonds, the first in a new cozy series by Julie Chase, will be the cat’s meow for fans of Rita Mae Brown and Miranda James.

# # # # # # # # # # #

Meet the author
Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC). She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency. Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey. Connect with Julie at juliechasebooks.com.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Cat Got Your Diamonds. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends November 9, 2016 at 11:59 AM EST. Good luck everyone!