Tag Archives: Larissa Reinhart

Cover Reveal ~ 16 Millimeters by Larissa Reinhart

I’m excited to reveal the cover for the second book in the “Maizie Albright Star Detective” mystery series from Past Perfect Press, coming October 17, 2017.

A word from Larissa. . .
While I was in Japan, Georgia became the number one place to film movies, leaping past California, New York, and Canada. And thanks to Pinewood Studios building their American headquarters a few miles from my home, my hometown has become a mini-Hollywood. I’ve returned to Peachtree City, Georgia, and now have hipsters in my Kroger and movie stars working out in the local gym (not that I would know on the last one, but my BFF saw Thor doing pushups on her way to Zumba). There’s something called Vitality Bowl next to the Kroger. It claims to only make healthy food. And the quaint (old and dirty) BBQ joint I loved has disappeared.

“Georgiawood.” This is what partly inspired my new series, another humorous mystery, but with a heroine who’s about 180 personality degrees different from my other series’ heroine, Cherry Tucker.

In the first book, 15 Minutes, ex-teen TV and reality star, Maizie Albright, returns home to Black Pine, Georgia, determined to start a new career as a private investigator, modeled after her childhood starring role in Julie Pinkerton: Teen Detective. For a license in Georgia, she needs training and there’s only one gumshoe in Black Pine: Wyatt Nash of Nash Security Solutions. He’s got a hard body, Paul Newman eyes, and no interest in having an ex-actress for an apprentice. Unbeknownst to Maizie, the reality show cast of All is Albright and her stage-monster manager also follows her to Georgia.

Maizie’s got a big learning curve to overcome—not only in private investigations but also in life as a non-celebrity—but an optimistic disposition, years of therapy, and donuts will help her become the independent thinker her manager always hoped she wouldn’t become.

Check after my excerpt for a way to win the first book in the Maizie Albright Star Detective series, 15 Minutes! I hope you enjoy it!

Title: 16 Millimeters
Series: Maizie Albright Star Detective #2
Genre: Humorous Mystery
Publisher: Past Perfect Press
Website: larissareinhart.com

In continuing her career-makeover quest as a for-real detective, ex-teen and reality star Maizie Albright has a big learning curve to overcome. A sleuthing background starring in a TV show— Julia Pinkerton, Teen Detective—does not cut the real-life mustard. It doesn’t even buy her lunch, let alone extra condiments. Her chosen mentor, Wyatt Nash of Nash Security Solutions, is not a willing teacher. He’d rather stick Maizie with a safe desk job and handle the security solutioning himself. But Maizie’s got other plans to help Nash. First, win Nash’s trust. Second, his heart.

Wait, not his heart. His respect. His hearty respect.

So when a major movie producer needs a babysitter for his hot mess starlet, Maizie eagerly takes the job. But when her starlet appears dead, and then not dead, Maizie’s got more than an actress to watch and a missing corpse to find. Body doubles, dead bodies, and hot bodies abound when the big screen, small screen, and silent screams collide. Maizie’s on the job, on the skids, and on thin ice, hunting a killer who may be a celebrity stalker. And Maizie just might be the next celebrity who gets snuffed.

Pre-Order Link


About the author
A 2015 Georgia Author of the Year Best Mystery finalist, Larissa writes the Cherry Tucker Mystery and the Maizie Albright Star Detective series. The first in the Cherry Tucker series, Portrait Of A Dead Guy (2012), is a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist, 2012 The Emily finalist, and 2011 Dixie Kane Memorial winner. The sixth mystery, A Composition In Murder was released November 15, 2016. The debut in the Maizie Albright Star Detective series, 15 Minutes was released January 24, 2017. Her family and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit, lived in Nagoya, Japan, but just moved back to Georgia. See them on HGTV’s House Hunters International “Living for the Weekend in Nagoya” episode.

Find Larissa chatting on Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads, or join her Facebook street team, The Mystery Minions.


EXCERPT

Chapter Three

#BlackPineExclusive #Camtastrophy

Music continued to thump through the porch’s floorboards. I rang, then hammered on the door again, tried the knob, and wondered what Cambria was doing with videographer kits. Maybe they were doing pre-release documentary footage for marketing and the final DVD extras. Or she had another job before Leonard’s movie started. I tore off another lemon poppyseed hunk, popped it in my mouth, and thought about leaving. I glanced behind me to the long, long, long path back to the club. Wiggled my pained toes. Considered sitting on the porch to wait. With the basket of muffins. Noted the recent tightness of my jeans. Then traipsed to the right-side window to see what Cambria was doing.

Light gleamed between the curtains and shone on a California King with rumpled sheets and a spread that had half-slid off the bed. Satin-cased pillows had been piled in the middle. Other para-phernalia had been scattered across the sheets. My lemon poppyseed chewing slowed and I felt heat suffuse my cheeks.

I didn’t want to know what kind of filming Cambria had been doing. Or not doing. I backed away from the window, turned toward the stairs, and stopped.

The kind of filming Cam-Cam might have been doing was the exact kind of “shitting up his movie,” Leonard Shackleton had been talking about. Cambria could be blowing her chance for this epic part if she and her boyfriend were getting frisky in front of a camera. A professional camera, by the look of the kit.

Why in the hell would they make a “home movie” with what looked like the kind of camera a documentary director would carry? This wasn’t a GoPro box or a camcorder. My heart thudded and blood heated to shoot up the back of my neck.

Shizzles, Cambria was going to blow her shot and my shot and Nash’s shot all in one idiotic, depraved video.

Unless I stopped her.

I spun around and pounded on the door. After waiting another beat, I tromped off the porch and circled the villa to the bedroom side window. A slope made the window too high for easy peeking, but the blinds were up and no curtains barred the view. I tiptoed around to the back of the villa. At the far end, a screen door swung out to reveal a locked, windowed door leading to the tiny kitchenette. The bathroom window revealed nothing except Cambria had a crap ton of makeup.

I stepped away, and spied a pile of logs. Found a sturdy looking piece cut evenly on both ends, hefted it against my satin blouse, and walked back to the bedroom window. Dropped the heavy log, missing my toes by an inch, positioned it below the window, and attempted to pull the splinters from my off-the-shoulder ruffles. Gave up on the splinters and cursed Cambria for her stupidity and for ruining my Juan Carlos Obando. Climbed on the log, rose to my toes, and peered in the window.

Saw the body on the floor.

And fell off the log.

Giveaway: Have you ever had a TV show or movie film in your town? What was it like for your community? Leave a comment below for your chance to win a signed copy of 15 Minutes. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends July 15, 2017. Good luck everyone!

All comments are welcomed.

My Musing ~ 15 Minutes by Larissa Reinhart

15 Minutes by Larissa Reinhart is the first book in the NEW “Maizie Albright Star Detective” humorous mystery series. Publisher: Past Perfect Press, January 2017

15-minutesWhen ex-teen star Maizie Albright returns to her Southern hometown of Black Pine, Georgia, she hoped to rid herself of Hollywood tabloid and reality show hell for a new career as a private investigator. Instead, Hollyweird follows her home. Maizie’s costar crushing, but now for her gumshoe boss. Her stage-monster mother still demands screen time. Her latest rival wants her kicked off the set, preferably back to a California prison.

By entangling herself in a missing person’s case, she must reprise her most famous role. The job will demand a performance of a lifetime. But this time, the stakes are real and may prove deadly.

I love this book. Maize has been ordered to get a job and since her TV persona played a detective, that’s the job she finds and that’s when the fun begin. I love her determination as she takes on her new role with some missteps along the way. The author did a great job in staging this mystery keeping me involved in all that was happening on the pages. Maize is a wonderful character and I love her vulnerabilities which help take her to a different level all to the betterment of her personal growth. This is a great start to a new series that boasts a quirky cast of characters, engaging dialogue and the liveliness that befits this delightfully amusing and fast-paced drama.

A day in the life with Maizie Albright by Larissa Reinhart

15-minutesOccupation: Former teen (TV) detective

You know that feeling when you’re on Space Mountain after you pass through the flashing lights of hyperspace? Climbing in total darkness, not exactly sure when you’ll hit the peak. Suddenly you plunge and spin. And plunge and spin. And plunge and spin. In total darkness. And then it’s over and some college student in a headset tells you to get out of your seat so someone else can take your place.

That’s how my day has gone.

Yesterday I thought I had taken the first major step to achieving my dream: to become a real-life investigator. I played one on TV—Julia Pinkerton, Teen Detective. Yep, that was me, teen star Maizie Albright as Julia Pinkerton, the sassiest, smartest little badass high school investigator since Buffy. Without the vampires.

Julia Pinkerton launched me onto the cover of every teen magazine and swept the Teen Choice Awards three years in a row. And then puberty hit. Big time. Which led to launching me on the cover of Maxim and Maxim Hot 100 lists. I got kicked off the show because they tired of hiding my growing body which does a whammy to the emotional health of an actress (particularly not a very good actress), leading me into multiple rehab stints. The struggle with trans fats, carbs and Pinkberry is very real, although not as sexy as heroin or gambling. My manager, Vicki, segued my hot mess into the reality show, All is Albright. Vicki’s viciously brilliant like that.

Moving home to Black Pine, Georgia, to restart a career, even on judge’s orders, is a real break. An excuse to leave All is Albright and the machinations of TV-land (and Vicki). I know real life is nothing like TV. But I’ve always been interested in private investigations. On the Julia Pinkerton set, we hired real investigators and police detectives as advisors. They took me on ride-alongs, got me into the Kids Police Academy, and let me listen to their stories. Detective Earl King took me out for ice cream every Friday. He said he never met a girl as smart as Julia Pinkerton.

I hoped someday to fill Julia Pinkerton’s shoes. After my last rehab stint, I enrolled myself into U Cal Long Beach’s Criminal Justice program. After graduation, I headed home to find a private investigator to mentor me. There’s only one in Black Pine. Wyatt Nash of Nash Security Solutions.

Turns out, Wyatt Nash does not want an assistant. Particularly, it seems, an assistant who’s a failed TV actress. But I thought I’d prove to Mr. Nash my usefulness and took on an easy surveillance that he didn’t want: watching the wife of a client. It seems the client thought she’s been cheating. But after a month, Mr. Nash couldn’t find any evidence. Mr. Nash wanted to drop the case because he said it was “hinky.” His client (a fan of post-puberty Julia Pinkerton) thought I could give it a shot. According to Mr. Nash, the wife kept to the same routine every day. All I had to do was tail her for a week and prove Mr. Nash right or wrong.

Easy peasy.

Except, I sort of lost her on day one.

That was the first major Space Mountain plunge and spin.

All because Vicki, my manager, caught me during the surveillance, distracting me from the job. Vicki showed in Black Pine with the crew of All is Albright, hoping to get me to sign the latest contract. Even knowing my probation requirements, she’d promised the network I’d be on the show. Judge Ellis clearly stated I had ten days to turn in “a pay stub that had nothing to do with show business.” Vicki’s already putting my probation in jeopardy just by bringing the TV crew to Georgia and filming me on the sly. If I break my probation, I return to California. As in, “Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.”

That’s the second Space Mountain plunge and spin.

And now I have to call Mr. Nash to tell him I just lost his client’s wife. Mr. Nash is not in a good mood as it is. Actually, I’m not sure if he’s ever in a good mood, but it seems I caught him at a bad time. His partner, Jolene, wants to sell Nash Security Systems and yesterday he found out she contracted the Black Pine Group to do it. Mr. Nash’s client works for the Black Pine Group. A conflict of interest. A conflict that will not bode well for keeping his business when Mr. Nash tells the client that his wife has flown the coop.

There’s your third plunge and spin.

Now I’m anticipating getting kicked off the ride. I need this ride. Not just to convince Mr. Nash that I can be a useful assistant. Or to show Vicki and Judge Ellis that I can get a non-Hollywood job. I need to prove to myself that I’m not just some spoiled, (once) rich has-been celebrity B-lister who can’t get her life together unless her mother—I mean, manager—orchestrates it for her.

I need this opportunity. To stay out of jail. And to reclaim my life. So I’ve got to find this missing woman. And I’ve got ten days to do it.


15 MINUTES is the first book in the NEW Maizie Albright Star Detective humorous mystery series published by Past Perfect Press, January 2017.

When ex-teen star Maizie Albright returns to her Southern hometown of Black Pine, Georgia, she hoped to rid herself of Hollywood tabloid and reality show hell for a new career as a private investigator. Instead, Hollyweird follows her home. Maizie’s costar crushing, but now for her gumshoe boss. Her stage-monster mother still demands screen time. Her latest rival wants her kicked off the set, preferably back to a California prison.

By entangling herself in a missing person’s case, she must reprise her most famous role. The job will demand a performance of a lifetime. But this time, the stakes are real and may prove deadly.

# # # # # # # # # # #

About the author
A 2015 Georgia Author of the Year Best Mystery finalist, Larissa writes the Cherry Tucker Mystery and Maizie Albright Star Detective series. The first in the Cherry Tucker series, Portrait of a Dead Guy, is a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist, 2012 The Emily finalist, and 2011 Dixie Kane Memorial winner. She loves books, food, and travel in any and all combinations.

Her family and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit, live in Nagoya, Japan, but they still call Georgia home. You can see them on HGTV’s House Hunters International “Living for the Weekend in Nagoya” episode. Visit her website, find her chatting on Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads, and sign up for her newsletter at here.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Three people selected at random will receive either a Kindle or Nook copy of 15 Minutes. Leave a comment below for your chance to win. The giveaway ends January 26, 2017. Good luck everyone!

My Musing ~ A Composition in Murder by Larissa Reinhart

A Composition in Murder by Larissa Reinhart is the sixth book in the “Cherry Tucker” mystery series. Publisher: Henery Press, November 2016

a-composition-inmurderAt Halo House, Cherry Tucker finds the tea deadly sweet. . .

With a new art teaching gig at Halo House—Halo, Georgia’s posh independent living home—and Halo society scrutinizing her family and her love life, Cherry Tucker needs to stay out of trouble. However, her sleuthing skills are sought out by Halo House’s most famous resident: Belvia Brakeman, the ninety-year-old, blind CEO and founder of Meemaw’s Tea. Belvia confides in Cherry that the family tea empire is in jeopardy. The CEO suspects her daughter has been murdered and she might be next. Her offer is hard to refuse, but will have Cherry treading on Forks County Sheriff toes, namely her personal Deputy Heartache, Luke Harper.

Amid her town troubles, can Cherry put her reputation, romance, and life on the line for the final request of a sweet tea tycoon? While she juggles senior citizen shenanigans, small-town politics, and corporate family scandals, Cherry finds the sweet tea business cutthroat in more ways than one.

I love this series which gets better and better with each new book. Once again, Cherry gets involved in another murder investigation and it’s the antics that she gets involved with that gives me some chuckles. The narrative took me on a fun ride as Cherry deals with family issues, her love life and an abundance of quirky characters that was a delight to read. The author did a great job with how well the mystery was played out with some strategically placed twists and turns that added to the telling of this fast-paced tale. Cherry is one character that I would love to have in my corner as her determination to right a wrong is her strong suit, especially when faced with adversity. Boasting a wonderful cast of characters, witty banter blooming with southern charm, this is a fantastic read and I especially love how this book ended with exciting new opportunities, making it one of the best book in this delightfully endearing series.

A Day in the Life with Cherry Tucker by Larissa Reinhart

a-composition-inmurder“Hanging with the Seniors”

I almost don’t want to tell you about Halo House because we’re almost full to capacity and even though I have about fifty more years until they’ll let me live here, I’d like to hang on to a spot. Halo House is what they call a premiere independent living experience. I call it the doggone most fun place to live in Halo, Georgia. As someone who attended Savannah College Art and Design, it’s the next best thing to living in a dorm.

I’ve got all kinds of new friends who always want to hang out and shoot the breeze. As long as Jeopardy’s not on. And an awesome new bar, the Last Call, to have a beer and chew the fat. Plus there’s a twenty-hour deli (closed midnight to four am), a full-service salon, and even a library. There’s even a bus to take you anywhere you want to go. All they way to Line Creek if you want.

My Uncle Will, Forks County’s Sheriff Thompson, got me my introduction here. I’d made a promise to Uncle Will to “cool it on the hijinks and whatnot” until my brother Cody’s trial and as Uncle Will is up for reelection, he thought serving seniors in Halo House’s activity room would help us both. I’ve always wanted to teach a drawing class. And I need the money as my studio is pretty much defunct thanks to my local nemesis, Shawna Branson—step-cousin to my not-so-secret boyfriend, Deputy Luke Harper, and self-professed art maven of Forks County.

Which she is not. Shawna doesn’t know good art from King Ranch casserole.

Ms. Krenzer calls the class I’m teaching, “Art With Miss Cherry.” However, Krenzer doesn’t understand I signed on to teach a drawing class. To prove my serious intent to bring fine art instruction to Halo House, I painted a beautiful composition: a classic reclining nude. It was meant to represent the fundamentals we’d be learning—perspective, line, shape, tone, value, and composition—and to present my skill as an instructor.

However, there’s been some confusion. Some of the seniors apparently think I’m teaching a life studies class and keep hollering on about the “nekkid models.” Maybe I went overboard with my Odalisque. They keep threatening to quit the class for something called “Hot Yoga.”

So not everything’s peaches and cream at Halo House. You get the occasional troublemaker, like my friend Ada. She’s full of sass and vinegar and excels at gossip and soon became my closest friend at Halo House. Except for Fred, who was best friends with my great Uncle Stan and I’ve known since I was knee high. Fred also excels at gossip. And bare knuckle brawling. At least, he did back in his Navy days during the Korean Conflict.

Their most recent gossip has focused on Halo House’s most famous resident, Belvia Brakeman, CEO and Founder of Meemaw’s Tea. I’m sure you’ve had Meemaw’s Tea, the jug’s in about any grocery store these days. Meemaw’s Tea is on one of those Fortune lists. Belvia is ninety and blind. Since losing her eyesight to glaucoma, she’s moved into a Halo House suite. Dictation technology helps her wield power from her desk chair-throne. She was about to retire and hand the sweet tea scepter to her daughter, Della, the COO of Meemaw’s Tea.

Unfortunately, Della was struck while jogging in a hit-and-run. My Deputy Heartbreak is in charge of investigating that suspicious death, but of course, he won’t tell me anything. To me, Della’s death seems even more suspicious considering Della was about to be crowned CEO. And Della’s estranged sister, Coralee, suddenly turned up after a thirty-year absence. Also, I’ve not heard good things about Della’s husband, who seems like a good-for-nothing fancy-pants type, or her son. Plus there’s talk of some of the Meemaw’s Tea board members looking to overthrow the Brakeman family from the extremely profitable sweet tea business.

I also learned from the quick-and-ever-spreading Halo House grapevine that Belvia Brakeman is about to change her will.

All this gives me what I call a Matlock moment. My Grandma Jo loved herself some Matlock. I did, too. Maybe all that Matlock viewing gave me my suspicious mind. But I’ve a feeling, there’s more going on with Meemaw’s Tea than an accidental death. And come hell or high water, I’ll find it out.


A Composition In Murder is the sixth book in the Cherry Tucker mystery series, published by Henery Press, November 2016.

At Halo House, Cherry Tucker finds the tea deadly sweet. . .

With a new art teaching gig at Halo House—Halo, Georgia’s posh independent living home—and Halo society scrutinizing her family and her love life, Cherry Tucker needs to stay out of trouble. However, her sleuthing skills are sought out by Halo House’s most famous resident: Belvia Brakeman, the ninety-year-old, blind CEO and founder of Meemaw’s Tea. Belvia confides in Cherry that the family tea empire is in jeopardy. The CEO suspects her daughter, the COO, has been murdered and she might be next. Her offer is hard to refuse, but will have Cherry treading on Forks County Sheriff toes, namely her personal Deputy Heartache, Luke Harper.

Amid her town troubles, can Cherry put her reputation, romance, and life on the line for the final request of a sweet tea tycoon? While she juggles senior citizen shenanigans, small-town politics, and corporate family scandals, Cherry finds the sweet tea business cutthroat in more ways than one.

# # # # # # # # # # #

About the author
A 2015 Georgia Author of the Year Best Mystery finalist, Larissa writes the Cherry Tucker Mystery and Maizie Albright Star Detective series. The first in the Cherry Tucker series, Portrait of a Dead Guy, is a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist, 2012 The Emily finalist, and 2011 Dixie Kane Memorial winner. The sixth mystery, A Composition in Murder, releases November 15th and the Maizie Albright mystery debut, 15 Minutes, on January 24, 2017. Her family and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit, now live in Nagoya, Japan, but they still call Georgia home. See them on HGTV’s House Hunters International “Living for the Weekend in Nagoya” episode.

Visit her website and join her newsletter for more book news. You can find Larissa chatting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Goodreads, or join her Facebook street team, The Mystery Minions.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card. The giveaway ends November 17, 2016 at 11:59 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

Halloween with Mystery Characters by LynDee Walker

midnight-mysteriesHalloween ranks among favorite holidays for many a mystery reader—so we gathered some of our favorite characters from the anthology MIDNIGHT MYSTERIES around the fire pit tonight to share tales of their favorite Halloweens, past and present. Grab a mug of cocoa or cider and pull up an adirondack chair—we’ll start with our favorite talkative ghost. . .

Marmaduke Dodsworth (It Takes a Ghost/Karen Cantwell): My favorite Halloween story, you say? Well, yes, that is a most fascinating question to ask a ghost, now isn’t it? First, let me introduce myself: My name is Marmaduke Dodsworth. I was born in Dartford, England in the year eighteen hundred and eighty-four. I lived a mostly content life until 1915 when I traveled to the United States of America where I was struck by a car and killed. I would not say it was a good death, but oh well, as you Americans say. One Halloween, not so long ago, I joined my living friend, Sophie on a haunted house tour. There, I met a fellow spirit by the name of Myrtle May. Myrtle tutored me in the fine art of moving objects through space. Some may consider that this is a feat which comes easily to ghosts, but I assure you, this is not the case. Myrtle, ah, fair Myrtle. She had a gift and she taught me well. In no time at all she had me levitating tea pots, tea cups, spoons, and even a lamp. Why, you should have seen the faces on the tour patrons! Wide eyes, fallen jaws. We had them trembling in their boots! Yes, it was a fine Halloween indeed.

* * * * * * * *

Cherry Tucker (Vigilante Vignette/Larissa Reinhart): My favorite Halloween memories are not from childhood since I was the sole kid wearing a handmade costume. Not that my third grade Chiquita Banana suit wasn’t brilliant—although it did cause a bit of a mess—but you have to understand when I was growing up, Pinterest didn’t exist so homemade costumes were not in vogue.

But even after Shawna Branson played Monkey in the Middle with my bananas (literally), I grew to love making costumes. And now handmade costumes are in vogue. I even get paid for them. When you’re an artist, you hustle for any kind of job.

My particular favorite was a recent Halloween party at Red’s County Line Tap. Painted a Renaissance landscape backdrop in ochres and siennas, cut a big hole in the canvas, inserted my head, and went as the Mona Lisa. Luke wore a dusty pair of Wranglers, boots, and a western shirt. In the crowded bar, Luke’s cowboy had found my Mona Lisa smile and pulled me into the gents’ bathroom before our friends and family could notice. We’re the Romeo and Juliet of Halo, if you didn’t know.

Actually more like Hatfields and McCoys.

Before we could talk, my brother-in-law Nik had kicked in the bathroom door.

His kick alerted my brother, Cody. Who, misinterpreting our bathroom cluster, threatened to kill Luke.

Which led to my sister, Casey, pitching a fit for all to hear.

And then Red booted us all from the party.

But I’ve had worse happen. I just may reprise that Mona Lisa costume yet.

* * * * * * * *

Jackson Bell (Salad Days, Halloween Nights/Eleanor Cawood Jones): I don’t talk about it much, but a big part of the reason I love dressing up for Halloween as an adult is because there were a couple of years as a kid when I didn’t get to put on a costume or even enjoy any candy. My foster parents were good to me, but strict, and Halloween wasn’t on their radar.

So when I became Chef Jackson Bell, opened my own restaurant, and Halloween rolled around, I couldn’t wait to decorate, dress up, and throw a party for new customers and their kids on Halloween eve. It started small, but now we sell out every year. We carve pumpkins, admire costumes, eat treats and pumpkin pie, and laugh a lot.

My favorite Halloween was five years ago, when I first invited all the kids in foster care in our little city to come to their own party at the restaurant. It’s an annual event now. We provide costumes and masks, and the kids trick or treat at the tables and in the kitchen, enjoy Halloween lunch, and take home a bag of treats and a little pumpkin apiece. I love it!

* * * * * * * *

Nichelle Clarke (Frightening Features/LynDee Walker): I haven’t had much luck with Halloween the past couple of years—my late Octobers seem to be stuck in a “recovering from a life-threatening injury” rut that leaves me parked on the sofa with a bag of Oreos and Anderson Cooper on my TV. But sometimes, that’s not as bad as it sounds.

I’ve always loved this holiday—costumes and spooky stories are such fun, and my mom had the only “Halloween Tree” in our neighborhood when I was a kid (we got an old Christmas tree from Goodwill and spray-painted it black. If only we’d decided to sell them, we’d be holiday millionaires today.) These days, I have a teeny one that sits on the table behind the sofa, and this year, my boyfriend (still pinching myself a little on that one) camped out to play nurse/entertainment director, and it turns out he’s pretty good at it. He even dug out my spooky light up witch and the “Munchies for Monsters” candy bowl, slicked his dark hair back and popped in some vampire teeth for the trick or treaters. And, when he wasn’t manning the door, he gave a wicked foot massage. It may just be my favorite Halloween yet, healing surgical wound and all.

* * * * * * * *

The Black Cat (Weeping Moon/Maria Grazia Swan): Halloween is a canine conspiracy. The word Halloween is a dead giveaway. Try saying it slow and with a high pitch. . .get it? It’s the sound of a dog howling. . .

Ghosts, witches and goblins is what makes the day fun they say. Ah! Is what they aren’t mentioning that matters. Black cats. . .yes, black cats.

Every witch has a black cat. I’m not saying that Lella, my human personal assistant, is a witch, although there are days—but in general she pays attention to my needs and I heard her say a firm no to some neighbor kid who wanted to ‘borrow’ me, Flash, for Halloween.

Borrow. Is that even legal? And tonight is Halloween. I get to sit and watch the parade of loud kids wearing silly costumes that will be obsolete in the morning. And what for? So they can go door to door to beg for cheap candies? Take the costume money and buy your own candies I say. So everyone would stay home and my human could rub my belly instead of wasting time opening and closing the front door.

* * * * * * * *

Samantha Sweet (Spellbound Sweets/Connie Shelton): Prior to one very special Halloween, Samantha Sweet was a 50-something woman who broke into houses for a living. Covering the bills was a stretch and she baked pastries at home to fill in the gaps. Early one autumn, she encountered a dead body in one of her break-in houses, clashed with the very handsome deputy sheriff, and was handed a magical artifact. Those three events set her life on a new course and led to the first mystery she ever solved.

Halloween will always hold a special place in Samantha’s heart because October was the month in which she finally realized her dream of opening her own pastry shop, Sweet’s Sweets, and Halloween was the first crazy-busy holiday for her new business. Each year, as autumn rolls around, the witches come out of the woodwork and when costumed kids stop by Sweet’s Sweets for decorated cookies, Sam readies for the holiday with her best baked goodies of the season.

* * * * * * * *

The Kitchen Witch (No Time to Witch/Morgana Best): “You’re kidding me, right?” I asked.

Thyme, my closest friend, shook her head. “Every Halloween, an evil demon, repelled only by pumpkins, manifests the very worst fears of the townspeople.”

I wasn’t sure if she was pranking me. “Worst fears, like snakes, spiders, being buried alive, getting peanut butter stuck on the roof of your mouth?”

“All that, and more.”

I disabled the smoke alarm and threw the burned remains of my latest attempt at baking into the sink in one fluid motion. “Mine is that my cupcakes make someone spontaneously combust.”

“I can understand that. Anyway, last year, a man forgot to place a pumpkin, and he. . .” Thyme paused to wipe a tear from her eye. “Amelia, do you have a pumpkin outside your house?”

“No!” I exclaimed, as I heard a knock at the door. “Be right back.” I opened the door, using one of my charred cupcakes as a doorstop.

The hideous demon standing there struck terror into my very soul. As he stretched out a gnarled black hand to my throat, I threw my cupcake at him. He dissolved into flames.

Thyme gasped behind me. “How did you kill the demon?”

I shrugged. “It was a piece of cake.”


You can catch up with these characters plus other favorites in the limited-edition anthology MIDNIGHT MYSTERIES, which includes all-new stories by Ritter Ames, Carolyn Haines, LynDee Walker, Larissa Reinhart, Karen Cantwell, Maria Grazia Swan, Morgana Best, Connie Shelton, and Eleanor Cawood Jones. Tell us about your favorite Halloween below, and you could win one of two kindle copies! The giveaway ends November 6, 2016 at 11:59 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

Thanks so much for having us today, Dru!

All comments are welcomed.

Cover Reveal ~ 15 Minutes by Larissa Reinhart

Thank you, Dru, for hosting another cover reveal. I’m always honored to be on dru’s book musing and particularly excited to be here today because this is the cover for 15 Minutes, the first in my new humorous mystery series, Maizie Albright Star Detective. Look for the preorder in about a month, but 15 Minutes launches January 24th!

15-minutes

It’s another Georgia setting, 15 Minutes in the mountain and lake resort town of Black Pine. However, this Georgia Peach’s imported from Hollywood. She’s brought her Gucci’s but is leaving her past behind for a detective do-over.

I reflect back on my twenties and think of all my big moves—moving to Japan, getting married, and leaving grad school to get my teaching degree are the big ones. Biologically, our mid-twenties are when our brains finish growing and developing. And though some people have begun a path at a younger age, mid-twenties are a time when many of us make big determining life decisions.

Except for those who haven’t left the parent’s basement nest at forty and still don’t want to commit to adulting. But that’s for another story.

I had this mind when I created my new character, Maizie Albright. She’s twenty-five and at a pivotal point in her life. Maizie had a strange childhood. With divorced parents, she grew up in Hollywood under the thumb of her manager/stage monster-mother, Vicki. She only saw her father—the owner of DeerNose, a popular scented hunting apparel brand—in Black Pine, Georgia during the summers when she was on hiatus. She doesn’t know much about life outside her LA bubble. And her LA life was corrupt at best, toxic at worst.

But that’s what therapists are for. And trainers, managers, and assistants.

Under Vicki, Maizie rose to stardom in several shows, but most famously in Julia Pinkerton, Teen Detective. When puberty caught up with Maizie, her teen star status crashed and burned, relegating her to B-movies, reality shows, and rehab. But Maizie clung to her favorite childhood dream: becoming a real life detective. When a judge gave her a choice of jail or return to Georgia to get a non-show business job, Maizie saw her out.

But she has ten days to get a W-4 sent to the judge or serve time in a California prison.

Ten days to convince the only private investigator in town to mentor her, Wyatt Nash of Nash Security Systems. But he’s got issues of his own, mainly an ex-wife who’s using his client to leverage him out of business. And no interest in mentoring a tabloid star.

Ten days to find a woman she lost on day two. The wife of the client trying to leverage her hopefully soon-to-be-boss out of business.

So actually, nine days to find a missing woman, clear Nash’s name, secure the job, stay out of prison. . .and not get killed.

Any major life changing decision you had to make in your mid-twenties? What do you think of the new cover? Leave me a comment to enter into a drawing for some Japanese tea and chocolates (I’m living in Japan)! The giveaway ends October 25, 2016 at 11: 59 AM EST. Good luck everyone!


15 Minutes is the first book in the New Maizie Albright humorous mystery series, coming January 24, 2017.

When ex-teen star Maizie Albright returns to her Southern hometown of Black Pine, Georgia, she hoped to rid herself of Hollywood tabloid and reality show hell for a new career as a private investigator. Instead, Hollyweird follows her home. Maizie’s costar crushing, but now for her gumshoe boss. Her stage-monster mother still demands screen time. Her latest rival wants her kicked off the set, preferably back to a California prison.

By entangling herself in a missing person’s case, she must reprise her most famous role. The job will demand a performance of a lifetime. But this time, the stakes are real and may prove deadly.

# # # # # # # # # # #

Excerpt from 15 Minutes.

I loved Julia Pinkerton: Teen Detective.

Not because the show gave me international exposure. I worked with some great actors, both my regular cast and the guest stars. Real nice people who genuinely seemed to like me. Excellent crew and sweet craft folks. Treated me like a princess. On a long running show, they say your colleagues become family. That’s true. But when a show ends, the family disperses.

And you don’t always get a new family. Especially when you’ve outgrown your cheer uniform, but everyone still thinks of you as a cheerleader. And you weren’t that great of an actress anyway.

Even in hindsight, I would have done the show all over again. But not for the reasons you might think. Julia was smart. Really clever, sometimes crafty, but still likable. The other characters underestimated her because she was a teenager, but Julia used it to her advantage. Her teenagerness was her disguise.

She began as a school narc in the first season, working with the local police department, but after falling in love with the high school basketball star/drug dealer—originally a redeemable character, but when his contract wasn’t renewed, the writers had to flip him and kill him off—Julia lost confidence in the police and decided to strike out on her own. When you’re a teen detective on TV, you can do that. It worked. For eight seasons.

That’s like two million in TV years.

Plus, I met real police officers and real security agents. Advisors to the show. They took me for ride-alongs, got me into the Kids Police Academy, and let me hang out with them on set so I could listen to their stories. My agent and Vicki encouraged it, thinking it would help me develop Julia into a more convincing character, even though the advisors were actually hired to assist the writers and director.

Quick-witted and sharp, Julia could make the experts laugh. She asked provocative questions. Detective Earl King—guy with a permanent scowl and no neck—took me for ice cream every Friday.

Detective King said he wished he had a daughter as bright as Julia.

I’ll tell you one thing. Julia Pinkerton would never have gotten socked in the nose by a nail esthetician.

I lay on the floor, holding my nose and tearing up. I was no Julia Pinkerton. I wasn’t even a very good Maizie Albright. But I had succeeded in flushing out Tiffany for Wyatt Nash. Maybe he would still give me the job.

* * * * * * * * * * *

About the author
A 2015 Georgia Author of the Year Best Mystery finalist, Larissa writes the Cherry Tucker Mystery and the Maizie Albright Star Detective series. The first in the Cherry Tucker series, Portrait Of A Dead Guy (2012), is a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist, 2012 The Emily finalist, and 2011 Dixie Kane Memorial winner. The sixth mystery, A Composition In Murder, releases November 15, 2016. The debut in the Maizie Albright Star Detective series, 15 Minutes, releases January 24, 2017. Her family and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit, now live in Nagoya, Japan, but still calls Georgia home. See them on HGTV’s House Hunters International “Living for the Weekend in Nagoya” episode. Visit her website, find her chatting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Goodreads, or join her Facebook street team, The Mystery Minions.

All comments are welcomed.

Cover Reveal ~ A Composition in Murder by Larissa Reinhart

I’m so excited to once again reveal the cover for the next book in the “Cherry Tucker” mystery series.

A Composition in Murder

Cherry Tucker’s sixth full novel, A Composition in Murder, launches November 15, 2016. With a short story in a Halloween anthology coming this fall, that will make eight Cherry Tucker stories (six books, 2 novellas) in four years. What an exciting ride it’s been and it’s all due to my readers. Thank you! I feel so privileged to share the cover with y’all, particularly on dru’s book musings. I feel like I’ve gotten to know so many of you over the last four years and I’m feeling sentimental doing this once again!

In A Composition in Murder, when Cherry Tucker volunteers to teach art at Halo’s poshest independent living home, Halo House, she’s trying her best to stay out of trouble. However, what can a nosy girl do when Halo House’s most famous resident Belvia Brakeman, the ninety-year-old CEO of Meemaw’s Tea, confides in Cherry that the family tea empire is in jeopardy and asks for help? Belvia suspects her daughter, the COO, has been murdered and she might be next. Cherry once again finds herself involved in a hometown whodunit, where the secret recipe for tea might just involve poison.

I chose a posh senior residency for the setting in Cherry’s sixth caper because growing up in a small town, I knew more elderly people than kids my own age. I grew up listening to small town stories at my Nana’s, my next door neighbor, and from other folks in my hometown. My Grandpa Bun was a master storyteller. But the best stories came from asking questions. You learn a lot about history, psychology, and storytelling when you ask your elders about their past.

Fair warning, A Composition in Murder is no story where the seniors are sick, feeble, and helpless. They’re not even that sweet. In fact, at Halo House, Cherry finds the friendly rapport of likeminded people she’s missed since college. She also finds that older doesn’t always mean wiser. Nor does it mean innocent.

Here’s a sneak peek from a scene at Halo House’s bar, the Last Call, to make my point.

The Last Call looked like a typical hotel bar. Adjoined to Halo House’s fine dining space, the bar and restaurant were open to the public, although neither were advertised in the local phone directory under “Eating Establishments.” Halo House also had a twenty-hour deli (open four a.m. to midnight), a pool bar, and room service.

“I am telling you,” I said, hopping on to a leather bar stool. “Halo House is something else. Always someone to talk to. Lots going on. Buses that take you anywhere you want to go. I just love it to death.”

“Don’t say that too loudly around here.” The bartender, a retirement-aged woman with frosted tips in her burgundy hair, had a surprisingly edgy north of the sweet tea line accent. She flashed a look around the walker and cane set, playing cards and chatting at the cocktail tables. “Or at least don’t shout it.”

She extended her hand. “I’m Rosie. You look familiar. Whose granddaughter are you?”

“I’m Cherry.” I shook her hand. “I’m Grandma Jo’s girl, but she isn’t here. Actually she passed ten years ago. Cancer.”

“So sorry. Had it myself and kicked its can in my fifties. I’m one of the lucky ones. What brings you to the Last Call?”

“Beer and company mostly. I’m teaching art here.”

“Right, you’re the painting lady. Heard that’s a popular class, although some are anxious to get to the good stuff.”

“Good stuff?” I considered the fundamentals I had covered. “We’ve done linear, one-point and two-point perspective. We’re working our way to line and plane variations using still life objects, but I thought they should master drapery to understand depth and shadow first. They’re probably anxious to get to the still lifes. Drawing cones and cubes can get tedious.”

“Sounds boring as hell, but I don’t do art.” Rosie pushed a beer toward me. “No, I’m talking about models.”

“Models? This is a fundamentals class, not a life drawing class.”

“Sweetheart, these ain’t the kind of folks who sign up for ‘Learn to Draw Tippy the Turtle’ in the back of a magazine. They like you well enough, but you’ve got to keep them interested.”

“They’re going to learn more than Tippy the Turtle in my class. Although if they are interested in illustration, I could adjust the course.” I floated a few pen and ink ideas around my brain as I sipped off my foam.

Rosie rolled her eyes. “There’s too much going on at Halo House. I heard there’s a hot yoga class starting. Those art students will drop you like a bad penny. They’ve got short attention spans when it comes to activities. Time’s precious here.”

My eyes widened. “I’ll lose my job. I can’t lose my job to something called hot yoga.”

“Don’t get all uppity with your art crap. I may be new to the area, but I’m a quick study. Just because these folks have money and a long history in the county, don’t mean they don’t want tacky titillation. They’ve lived a long time and they’re tired of minding their manners. They want a good time in their final years.”

“Making quality art is a good time.”

She poured a shot of bourbon in a wine glass and filled it with Diet Coke. “Let me show you something about quality in Halo House. People ’round here act snobbish at times, but money don’t buy good taste. Nor does it buy good sense.”

I leaned forward. I may draw the line between good and bad art, but I never drew a line when it came to hot gossip.

Rosie sipped on her cocktail and nodded toward a woman sitting in a corner by herself. She smiled and waved as people walked by, but seemed content to sit by herself and watch the scene. “That’s Eleanor.”

“She looks lonely.” I turned on my stool. “I should sit with her a bit.”

“She’s not lonely, she’s stoned out of her mind.”

“The poor thing. Is it her medication?”

Rosie chuckled. “Eleanor calls it medication. When I was growing up, we called it reefer.”

I swiveled around and almost knocked my beer over. “She’s high?”

“Not only does she roll her own, she grows her own.”

“What?”

“The community garden.”

A waiter strolled through the bar from the restaurant and deposited a basket of chips and a side of guacamole in front of Eleanor. She high-fived the waiter and dug into the chips.

“I wasn’t expecting that,” I admitted. “Grandma Jo was a strict Southern Baptist. She wouldn’t even try her sister’s homemade muscadine wine. Now Grandpa Ed has been known to dip from time to time and will drink a beer at a ball game, but that’s as far as he got on the controlled substance list.”

“Poor kid.” Rosie snorted. “Do you think your generation was the first to shock their parents? Just because you’re old, doesn’t mean you’re as straight-laced as your Granny. Hell, there’s plenty of baby boomers in Halo House. That should tell you something.”

I wasn’t sure what that was supposed to tell me, but I would give Rosie the benefit.

“What else is going on at Halo House?” I swung around on my stool to observe the crowd.

A couple had put some money in an old fashioned jukebox and were dancing to Tom Jones. Next to the jukebox a line of women had formed, some pointing out songs to their friends, others tapping their toes while they waited.

“That’s Two Dollar Frank,” said Rosie. “He’s one of our bachelors.”

“Two Dollar Frank?”

“Two bucks a dance. He makes mad money that way. And exercise to boot. He charges more for horizontal dancing, if you get my picture.”

“Good Lord. Halo House is like a college dorm. Where’s the keg hidden?”

Rosie smiled. “Now you’re getting the picture.”

Thanks so much Dru Ann for celebrating my cover reveal with me! To catch you up on the series before A Composition in Murder’s November release, I’d like to offer a Cherry Tucker Kindle or Nook e-book to one lucky commenter. Who was the senior in your life who told you the best stories of their past?


About the author
A 2015 Georgia Author of the Year Best Mystery finalist, Larissa writes the Cherry Tucker Mystery series. The first in the series, Portrait of a Dead Guy (2012), is a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist, 2012 The Emily finalist, and 2011 Dixie Kane Memorial winner. The sixth mystery, A Composition in Murder, is expected to release November 15, 2016. Her family and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit, now live in Nagoya, Japan, but still calls Georgia home. Visit her website, find her chatting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Goodreads, or join her Facebook street team, The Mystery Minions.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win. The giveaway will end July 25, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

A Day in the Life with Cherry Tucker by Larissa Reinhart

The Body in the LandscapeThere’s not much that’s sadder than a grieving animal. Even goats, the orneriest of the animal kingdom, take a punch to the gut with grief. My Grandpa Ed had a goat who lost his beard and couldn’t stand to live without it. Literally.

But it’s dogs who’ll just break your heart with their sadness. Their little doggy eyes turn pitiful and the howls’ll just about kill you with their unbearable heartache. Then there’s the dogs who’ll keep working even while their tails are drooping and noses have become dry. They might be the most pitiful of all.

I’ve gotten to know one of these stoic, yet sorrowful dogs. Buckshot. She’s a Mountain Cur. A beautiful brindle bayer with soft ears. She’s doing her best to track a humongous side of pork for some ridiculous hunters at Big Rack Lodge.

I’m there to paint the winner’s portrait in Big Rack Lodge’s Hogzilla hunt contest. My buddy Max Avtaikin paid for my ticket. To be in his entourage, not to hunt. He’ll be side-by-side with the rich and famous of the hunting world, tracking the 1,000-plus-pound wild hog terrorizing the rural area of Swinton, Georgia.

But while the hunters are tracking Hogzilla, Buckshot and I are tracking her owner’s killer.

Abel wasn’t much in the human world, but in the dog world he was loved. Folks in Swinton called him sneaky. A gossip and a drunk. Not many would have much to do with Abel. He liked to listen in on private conversations, particularly when the jawing got loose at the Double Wide bar, due to the high percentage of shine in the local hootch.

If only Abel hadn’t also liked to use that information to cause trouble. Something a dog could forgive, but not so much humans.

Particularly the one that pushed Abel into a ravine.

The fact that I found Abel’s body while landscape painting on the eve of the big Hogzilla hunt makes me very suspicious. Found dead on property after meeting several of the hunters the night before.

Somebody (or bodies) are also leaving odd threats and causing dangerous pranks. The hunters say its protestors. There is a monster-loving nutjob running around here with half a bag of screws loose, sworn to save the giant Georgian hog. He doesn’t claim responsibility. However, I think it’s all related to Abel’s death. Buckshot likely does, too.

But don’t worry. Buckshot and I’ll take care of the threat hovering around Big Rack Lodge. And I’m not talking about Hogzilla.


You can read more about Cherry in The Body In The Landscape, the fifth book in the “Cherry Tucker” mystery series, published by Henery Press.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on December 18 for your chance to win a digital edition of your choice from the Cherry Tucker series (Portrait of a Dead Guy, Still Life in Brunswick Stew, Hijack in Abstract, Death in Perspective and The Body In The Landscape).  Good luck everyone!

About the author
A 2015 Georgia Author of the Year Best Mystery finalist, Larissa writes the Cherry Tucker Mystery series. The first in the series, Portrait Of A Dead Guy (2012), is a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist, 2012 The Emily finalist, and 2011 Dixie Kane Memorial winner. The fifth mystery, The Body In The Landscape, releases December 2015. Her family and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit, now live in Nagoya, Japan, but still call Georgia home. Visit her website, LarissaReinhart.com, find her chatting on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads, or join her Facebook street team, The Mystery Minions.