Giveaway, Interview, Excerpt & Review – Remnants by Carolyn Arnold @Carolyn_Arnold @GoddessFish

  Meet today’s guest, Carolyn Arnold. She is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series and has written nearly thirty books. Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark, POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Today, she answers a few questions for us and gives us insight into her life and journey as a mystery author.

Have you ever been on a manhunt or at the scene where a dead body was found?

I took part in my local police department’s Citizen’s Academy. As part of this, I received an inside look at seventeen divisions over a ten-week period. As an added benefit, each student was afforded a ride-along. And mine… Well, I went on the perfect one for a crime writer.

My ride-along actually started out with a manhunt. I experienced the excitement of wanting to find the guy and found myself scrutinizing every male I spotted in the area just to make sure he wasn’t the one we were after. Unfortunately, the search moved to the downtown area from the eastern end of the city where the hunt had begun, and the sergeant signed off the investigation. By the end of my ride-along, about five hours later, the man still hadn’t been found.

After the sergeant left the investigation, he turned to me as he was driving and asked if I had ever seen a dead body. I told him I had at memorials and funerals and then asked why. I soon found out that our next stop involved one.

I figured I’d catch a glimpse of the deceased under a tarp or being wheeled away, but I got far more than that. I received a front-row seat to a death investigation. For hours, the sergeant and I were mere feet away from the body. I witnessed firsthand how it changed color over time, but I also found that I went into detective-mode. The forensic identification unit—essentially CSIs—was called in and arrived with collection kits. The team members gloved up, snapped photographs, took fingerprints from the deceased, and more.

The entire time that I was on scene, I noticed myself going into a detached state—the result of adrenaline. Later that evening, it began to sink in that I had spent hours with a dead body, and I was nauseated. As more time passed, I became weepy as it sank in that the deceased had been a husband, a father, a lover, a friend…a person. That night I dreamed about the man. It wasn’t a nightmare, but I was an officer trying to figure out what had happened to him.

I couldn’t imagine returning to the field the next day and having a similar experience or witnessing something even worse, like a violent murder scene or that of a fatal car accident.

What do members of law enforcement say about your books?

Many testimonials attest that I am pleasing readers in law enforcement. They love that my mysteries are accurate in that regard, and they view that alone as a sign of my respect for them.

Here are a few testimonials that I have received on Eleven (Brandon Fisher FBI series):

“I spent thirty-eight years with a major police department in Missouri, fifteen of which were in the homicide section. I also had numerous dealings with the FBI throughout my career, mostly bank robbery, interstate shipment thefts, and a few kidnappings. Eleven kept my interest piqued throughout… Loved it.”

Richard Bartram, Sergeant (retired), St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, St. Louis, MO

“I am a forty-year veteran of police work. All local, no Fed. Eleven was a great read. All the descriptors and nomenclature were spot on.”

–Joe Danna, Police Officer, Katy Independent School District Police Department, Katy, TX

“Very good! I worked as a police officer for eleven years and with the Federal Bureau of Prisons for twenty-two. I have also dealt with the FBI.”

–Richard Smith, Facilities Development Manager (retired), Federal Bureau of Prisons, Central Office, Washington, DC

“A great police procedural! … Full of twists and turns. The characters are well-developed and a mix of interesting personalities. … Holds your interest to the end!”

–Mark Davis, FBI Special Agent (retired), Washington, DC

What did you do before you became a bestselling author?

For a living, I worked in accounts receivable for a few different companies collecting from businesses. Yet, despite working full time, in 2006 I was reunited with writing. I wrote every chance I got—before work, on lunch breaks, after work, on the weekends. I became so focused on writing and the publishing world that hardly a day went by without them being a part of my life, and since the summer of 2014, I’ve been a full-time author.

How do you know so much about what criminals think?

I can’t answer that without incriminating myself… Just kidding.

Everyone has what we call a “dark side.” In writing these books, I suppose you could say I tap into this side of my psyche. Whatever I can scheme up is possible, and I write that which scares and excites me.

When did you know that you had hit the big time with your books?

When I got to say good-bye to my day job! Even before I fully resigned, I had cut back a five-day a week job to four days, then to three. It got to the point, though, that I loathed going in for that many days, and I knew it was time to make the move and become a full-time author. That was in the summer of 2014. Since then, I incorporated my own publishing company in the summer of 2015, and, at the start of 2016, my husband joined me there full time.

The Brandon Fisher FBI series is a perfect fit for you if serial killers and the FBI fascinate you, if you like getting inside the minds of killers, love being creeped out, sleeping with your eyes open, and feeling like you’re involved in murder investigations. If this speaks to you, then join FBI agent and profiler Brandon Fisher and his team with the Behavioral Analysis Unit in their hunt for serial killers.

Amazon  /  Goodreads

Remnants by Carolyn Arnold

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GENRE: Mystery

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MY REVIEW

I love thrillers, suspense, murder and serial killers, not necessarily in that order. LOL

Remnants by Carolyn Arnold has them all.

It is amazing how quickly someone can just vanish. There one minute, gone the next.

Body parts are being found in a Georgia river. A leg here, an arm there, here a skull, there a torso, but no hands or feet. Why?

The parts don’t match. How many bodies are there?

A serial killer is on the loose.

Step by step, clue by clue, law enforcement follows the path to the Unsub in a Criminal Minds fashion.

You may not want to eat before you read this. The killings are brutal, gruesome, savage.

The case became more involved than I thought it would when I first started reading. I didn’t put all the pieces together until the last part of the book and it was Carolyn Arnold that took me there. I love that I can’t figure it out early. Keeps the mystery alive. Though, if the book is well written it doesn’t matter…either way is fine with me.

There are some seriously messed up characters that deserve worse than they got.

The FBI team had issues of their own. Makes them come across as realistic people.

I love these kind of stories and would highly recommend following the stand alone series.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of Remnants of Carolyn Arnold.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  4 Stars

BLURB

FBI agent and profiler Brandon Fisher and his team are called to Savannah, Georgia, when body parts belonging to three separate victims are recovered from the Little Ogeechee River. As the case takes one dark turn after another, Brandon finds himself embroiled in a creepy psychological nightmare.

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EXCERPT

PERIMETER MALL, ATLANTA, GEORGIA

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 11:30 AM EASTERN

THE TIME HAD COME TO select his next victim. He had to choose carefully and perfectly—he wouldn’t get a second chance. The mall was teeming with life, and that made for a lot of eyeballs, a lot of potential witnesses. But he supposed it also helped him be more inconspicuous. People were hustling through the shopping center, interested solely in their own agendas. They wouldn’t be paying him—or what he was doing—much attention.

He was standing at the edge of the food court next to the hallway leading to the restrooms eating a gyro. The lidded and oversized garbage bin on wheels that was behind him would ensure that anyone who did notice him would just think he was a mall janitor on his lunch break.

The pitchy voice of a girl about eight hit his ears. “Daddy, I want ice cream.”

Trailing not far behind her were a man and woman holding hands. The woman was fit and blond, but his attention was on the man beside her. He was in his twenties, easily six feet tall with a solid, athletic build. He’d be strong and put up a fight. Yes, this was the one. And talk about ideal placement—he was across from the Dairy Queen.

He wiped his palms on his coveralls and took a few deep breaths. What he was about to do wasn’t because of who he was, but rather, because he had to do it.

And he had to hurry. The family was coming toward him.

“It’s almost lunchtime,” the woman said, letting go of the man’s hand.

“Daaaaaaddyyyyy.” A whiny petition.

The man looked to the woman with a smile that showcased his white teeth. “We could have ice cream for lunch?”

The little girl began to bounce. “Yeah!”

“Really, Eric?” The woman wasn’t as impressed as the girl, but under the man’s gaze she caved and smiled. “All right, but just today…”

“Thank you, Mommy!” The girl wrapped her arms around the woman’s legs but quickly let go, prancing ahead of her parents and toward the DQ counter.

“Brianna, we wash our hands first.” The woman glanced at him as she walked by and offered a reserved smile. Had she detected his interest in them?

Breathe. She thinks you work here, remember?

Smile back.

Remain calm.

Look away and act uninterested.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada.

Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:

Website – http://carolynarnold.net/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Carolyn_Arnold

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynArnold

And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.

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GIVEAWAY

Carolyn Arnold will be awarding a paperback copy of Violated by Carolyn Arnold to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour and comment. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. Follow the tour HERE.

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Giveaway & Excerpt -Purr M for Murder by T C Lotiempo @RoccoBlogger @GoddessFish

 Welcome to my stop for the cozy mystery, Purr M for Murder by T C Lotiempo.

Here kitty, kitty.

Amazon  /  Goodreads

Purr M for Murder by T.C. Lotempio

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GENRE:  Cozy Mystery

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BLURB

Sydney McCall left behind an ex-fiancé and a New York advertising job to return home to Deer Park, North Carolina and help her sister, Kat, run the local animal shelter, Friendly Paws. Determined to save the shelter from financial trouble, Sydney and Kat organize a cat café fundraising event at a local coffee shop. Things are looking up until their landlord, Trowbridge Littleton, threatens to shut down the event. When Sydney drops by his art gallery to make peace, she finds Kat–along with Littleton’s dead body.

Local homicide detective Will Worthington–who just happens to be Sydney’s old high school crush–is highly suspicious of the sisters’ involvement. Desperate to clear their names from the suspect list, Sydney pounces on the investigation. With the help of one of the shelter cats, a savvy orange tabby named Toby, Sydney begins poking her nose into other local businesses whose owners may have benefited from Littleton’s death–until the killer notices she’s pawing a little too closely at the truth.

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EXCERPT

We were in the doorway now.  A large desk was at the far end of what appeared to be an office.  The light was coming from a small lamp perched on the edge of the desk, and as we crossed the threshold, it flickered and then went out.  Kat shone the pencil thin beam of the flashlight around the room, letting out a sharp cry as it hit the wall nearest us.  “Lightswitch,” she squealed, and a minute later the room was filled with a harsh fluorescent light.

I glanced around.  Yes, this was definitely an office, and not a very tidy one at that.  There were several file cabinets pushed up against the far wall, and two of the drawers in the one on the left were half open. Papers were strewn across the desk, and some file folders had dropped onto the floor and were scattered across the Oriental rug.

“Good Lord,” my sister exclaimed.  “For someone always so fastidious about his appearance, he certainly likes to work in a mess.”

I frowned.  “It looks more to me like it’s been ransacked. Someone was searching for something. What do you think, Kat? Kat?”

My sister had moved over to the far corner of the room and was standing before a large wardrobe.  “Wow, this is beautiful,” she said, lifting a hand to run it over the smooth exterior. She balled her hand into a fist and rapped it against the wood. “Solid oak.  I saw a picture of one like this in a catalog.  French, dates back to the late 1800’s.  I wonder what it’s doing in his office?”

“Who knows? Maybe he keeps his suit jackets in it,” I said.  “Why do you care, anyway?”

“It’s such a beautiful piece,” my sister murmured. “Too good for that rotter. It seems out of place in this office.”

“Maybe it just came in and he’s got it here for pricing,” I ventured.

“Maybe.  I wouldn’t mind having something like this,” Kat said, running her hand once again across the smooth wood.  “It looks deep enough – I wonder if the doors swing out all the way? It would be great to put a TV in.”

I eyed the piece. “That thing looks hand-carved. He probably wants an arm and a leg for it.”

“Probably.” She gave the handle a tug. “Hm.  The doors seem to be stuck.”

I waved  my hand impatiently.  “Oh for goodness sakes, leave it alone. Must you examine it now?”Her lower lip thrust forward. “Yes.  Who knows, I might not get another chance.”

I shot her a sharp look.  “You’re not thinking of buying this, are you?”

She sighed deeply. “I suppose not.  Littleton will probably want some astronomical figure for it.  But I might never get another opportunity to see such a finely made one up close.” She shot me an appealing look.  “Give me a hand, won’t you? You’re strong. Maybe if we both pull on the handle at the same time it’ll open.”

I knew my sister. Once Kat made up her mind about something she was like a pitbull with a bone. I knew when it was futile to argue with her. “Okay, fine. But if we get this open, one quick look and then we’re out of here.”

She nodded and I placed my hand on top of hers. “On the count of three, give it all you’ve got. One, two—three.”

We both tugged at the same time and suddenly the door flew open.  We went staggering backwards at the same time the body of Trowbridge Littleton, his eyes bulging almost out of their sockets, tongue lolling to the side, hit the floor at our feet. 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic.  She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – the first volume, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, debuted Dec. 2, 2014. Followed by #2, CLAWS FOR ALARM.   #3, CRIME AND CATNIP, is out this December. She, Rocco and Maxx make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Catch up with them at www.tclotempio.com and www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com

Where to find the books:

ROCCO’s blog: www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com

Website: WWW.tclotempio.com

Amazon- Purr M for Murder

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Toni-LoTempio-125764404163823Twitter:

@RoccoBlogger

Purchase Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/purr-m-for-murder-t-c-lotempio/1124519401

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GIVEAWAY

The author will be awarding autographed copy of <i>PURR M FOR MURDER</i> (hardcover – US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Review – Onyx Webb by Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz @OnyxWebb

Onyx Webb by Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz is a combination of genres that’s filled with hours of captivating reading, and plenty of thrills and chills.

I LOVE this fabulous cover that makes me shiver and cringe in anticipation of the horrors between the pages.

Onyx Webb: Book Four: Episodes 10, 11, 12Amazon  /  Goodreads

MY REVIEW

Onxy Webb is filled with death, murder, horror, ghosts, and lots of suspense and evil…

So beware. Check your Karma and see if you dare to enter, because your actions can have repercussions far beyond your wildest imagination.

Onyx Webb is a fabulous, mystical character that keeps surprising those around her and rightly so in my book. She is complex and misunderstood, and so not deserving of what is happening. I love that she takes her ‘life’ into her own hands, not leaving her fate up to others to decide.

Many of the characters are good ‘people’. Sometimes it was hard to know who was human and who was a ghost and I loved the surprise of learning who was who, or what.

I try to be alert, waiting for the next shoe to drop, the next accident to happen, the next person to die.

The tension and suspense is stretched, keeping me waiting, anticipating, fearing for my favorite characters.

Be careful how much of your heart you give to these characters, because some may not survive. I love when the author is not afraid to kill someone off, regardless of whether I like it or not.

What’s going to happen next and who is responsible? Many lives are tainted by the evil that touches them. Of course, there are those whose misfortunes I revel in as they get their just desserts.

Onyx Webb keeps pulling on me, drawing me in deeper and deeper as I struggle to accept the tragedies heaped on the characters. There is so much going on, so many characters and so much action, that the story calls to me, demanding I read on, read more, and more.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of Onyx Webb:  Book IV by Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4 Stars

GOODREADS BLURB

A multi-genre mash-up that combines elements of supernatural suspense, crime, horror, romance, and more.

The Onyx Webb series follows the unusual life of Onyx Webb along with a central group of characters in various locations and times. The billionaire Mulvaney family, piano prodigy Juniper Cole and her brother Quinn, paranormal show hosts Cryer and Fudge, and a few others make up the core of the series. Written like a book version of a supernatural soap opera, each character’s story moves forward with most every episode. It may appear that the characters are entirely unrelated and yet episode by episode, the connections will become clearer. Like being an inch away from a spider web, with each book, the web will move further and further away revealing the full story of every character and most importantly, the stunning conclusion for Onyx Webb herself.

About Andrea Waltz and Richard FentonOnyx Webb Book Three by Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton

Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz are a married writing team. Most well known for their business fables, they’re professional speakers who teach audiences on how to overcome fear of failure and rejection.  The Onyx Webb Series is their first serious dive into fiction.

Richard and Andrea have been in love with creating stories together since they met almost twenty years ago and even spent some time in Hollywood writing screenplays, being represented by the producer of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Their favorite genres are suspense, thriller, crime and anything of a paranormal nature which is how Onyx Webb turned into a mash-up of all their favorites!

Website: www.OnyxWebb.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/OnyxWebbSeries
Twitter: www.Twitter.com/Onyxwebb
Pinterest: www.Pinterest.com/OnyxWebbSeries
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/101671769414005773146
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5835138.Andrea_Waltz

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MY REVIEWS FOR ONYX WEBB

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Friday 56 #124 – Sucker Bet by James Swain @JSwainAuthor

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The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice.The only rules are to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your ereader and find any sentence or a few ( no spoilers) that grabs you and post it.

Please join Rose City Reader every Friday to share the first sentence or so of the book you are reading along with you initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

Please include the title of the book and the author’s name.

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All I had to do is see the cover and I knew I wanted to read Sucker Bet by James Swain.

This is the cover for my hard copy, but there is another awesome one below.

Sucker Bet (Tony Valentine #3)

Amazon  Goodreads

My 56

“Shoot the pickle?” Moon declared louly. “What in bloody hell does that mean?”

(Page 56 in hardcover,1st edition, published in 2003)

Book Beginnings

The mark’s name was Nigel Moon.

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GOODREADS BLURB: A hardened ex-cop with great instincts, a sharp eye, and a short fuse, Tony Valentine still catches crooks, but a very special breed of them. He nabs hustlers who rob casinos, and finds the fatal flaw that allowed the place to get ripped off in the first place. Sometimes that means biting the hand that feeds him, but Valentine isn’t paid to sugarcoat the cold, hard truth. Along flashy strips and in seedy dives, if there’s a game to be fixed, Valentine knows how to spot the tricks, the scams, the sleight of hand. And with his new case, there’s definitely more on the table than meets the eye.

Harry Smooth Stone, head of security at the Micanopy Indian Reservation Casino in South Florida, desperately needs Valentine’s expertise. A blackjack dealer has rigged a game, dealt a player eighty-four winning hands in a row, and disappeared. Valentine’s gut tells him a different story: that the runaway dealer is alligator food and his employers are keeping secrets.

But the missing dealer is part of an even bigger, far deadlier scheme. Valentine’s trail leads him to Rico Blanco, a ruthless gangster who once worked for John Gotti, his shady, elusive partner-in-crime, Victor Marks, and a bombshell named Candy Hart, a hooker with dreams of love, a combination tailored made to double-cross. It appears they have a con going down involving a cocky, filthy rich Brit and his millions of dollars. Valentine’s challenge: to figure out how all the pieces of the seamy puzzle fit together . . . before his luck runs out and his life goes bust.

In prose that sizzles with style and a wicked sense of humor, with plot twists that could cause whiplash, James Swain takes readers behind the neon-lit scenes of casinos and the gambling trade—and reveals a colorful cast of hustlers and con men, bookies and grifters. Make no mistake about it: on the crowded shelves of fiction, Sucker Bet is a sure thing.

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Which cover do you prefer?

Sucker Bet (Tony Valentine #3)

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Giveaway & Review – A Ghostly Mortality by Tonya Kappes @tonyakappes11

A Ghostly Mortality

by Tonya Kappes

on Tour February 28 – March 30, 2017

Amazon  /  Goodreads

MY REVIEW

With the tease  at the end of A Ghostly Reunion, I knew I had to have me some more of Emma and her granny in this riproaring Ghost Whispering kind of haunting murder mystery.

A plastic Santa had fallen on Emma’s head and now she sees dead people. It’s fitting that she lives and runs a funeral home.

This Ghost Whispering sleuth lives in a small town where everyone knows your business and some considered the creepy funeral girl a bit wacky, talking to herself…or at least that’s what they think as she talks to ghosts that no one else can see.

Jack Henry is her hot cop sweetie and he jumpstarts her day with a happy feeling.

Emma’s seventy seven year old granny rides a moped. I can see her tooling around town in all her glory.

Marla and her pet hen.

Mable always has a coin for passing children.

Her new client? The only reason I saw it coming was the tease in Ghostly Reunion and I love it. I could see the ghost…whispering in her ear, laughing, talking, telling Emma to “get on with it.”

Humor, murder, mystery, family situations that made me want to laugh out loud.

Warning! Be careful where you read this. You too may be considered nuts for laughing out loud in public.

A Ghostly Mortality contains a ton of mystery, laughs and love…the total package for a cozy mystery.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of A Ghostly Mortality by Tonya Kappes.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4 Stars

Synopsis

That ghost sure looks . . . familiar

Only a handful of people know that Emma Lee Raines, proprietor of a small-town Kentucky funeral home, is a “Betweener.” She helps ghosts stuck between here and the ever-after—murdered ghosts. Once Emma Lee gets them justice they can cross over to the great beyond.

But Emma Lee’s own sister refuses to believe in her special ability. In fact, the Raines sisters have barely gotten along since Charlotte Rae left the family business for the competition. After a doozy of an argument, Emma Lee is relieved to see Charlotte Rae back home to make nice. Until she realizes her usually snorting, sarcastic, family-ditching sister is a… ghost.

Charlotte Rae has no earthly idea who murdered her or why. With her heart in tatters, Emma Lee relies more than ever on her sexy beau, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross…because this time, catching a killer means the Raines sisters will have to make peace with each other first.

Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Mystery, Paranormal
Published by: Witness
Publication Date: February 28th 2017
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 0062466976 (ISBN13: 9780062466976)
Series: Ghostly Southern Mysteries #6
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Read an excerpt:

Lawdy bee.” Granny scooted to the edge of the chair and lifted her arms in the air like she was worshiping in the Sunday morning service at Sleepy Hollow Baptist and the spirit just got put in her.

I sucked in a deep breath, preparing myself for whatever was going to come out of Zula Fae Raines Payne’s mouth, my granny. She was a ball of southern spitfire in her five-foot-four-inch frame topped off with bright red hair that I wasn’t sure was real or out of a L’Oréal bottle she’d gotten down at the Buy-N-Fly.

“Please, please, please,” she begged. “Let me die before anything happens to Emma Lee.” Her body slid down the fancy, high-back mahogany leather chair as she fell to her knees with her hands clasped together, bringing them back up in the air as she pleaded to the Big Guy in the sky. “I’m begging you.”

“Are you nuts?” My voice faded to a hushed stillness. I glanced back at the closed door of my sister’s new office, in fear she was going to walk in and see Granny acting up. I sat in the other fancy, high-back mahogany leather chair next to Granny’s and grabbed her by the loose skin of her underarm. “Get back up on this chair before Charlotte Rae gets back in here and sees you acting like a fool.”

“What?” Granny quirked her eyebrows questioningly as if her behavior was normal. My head dropped along with my jaw in the “are you kidding me” look.

“Well, I ain’t lying!” She spat, “I do hope and pray you are the granddaughter that will be doing my funeral, unless you get a flare up of the ‘Funeral Trauma.’ ” She sucked in a deep breath and got up off her knees. She ran her bony fingers down the front of her cream sweater to smooth out any wrinkles so she’d be presentable like a good southern woman, forgetting she was just on her knees begging for mercy.

“Flare up?” I sighed with exasperation. “It’s not like arthritis.”

The “Funeral Trauma.” It was true. I was diagnosed with the “Funeral Trauma” after a decorative plastic Santa fell off the roof of Artie’s Meat and Deli, knocking me flat out cold and now I could see dead people. I had told Doc Clyde I was having some sort of hallucinations and seeing dead people, but he insisted I had been in the funeral business a little too long and seeing corpses all of my life had brought on the trauma. Truthfully, the Santa had given me a gift. Not a gift you’d expect Santa to give you, but it was the gift of seeing clients of Eternal Slumber, my family’s funeral home business where I was the undertaker. Some family business. Anyway, a psychic told me I was now a Betweener. I helped people who were stuck between here and the ever after. The Great Beyond. The Big Guy in the sky. One catch . . . the dead people I saw were murdered and they needed me to help them solve their murder before they could cross over.

“I’m fine,” I huffed and took the pamphlet off of Charlotte Rae’s desk, keeping my gift to myself. The only people who knew were me, the psychic and Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, my hot, hunky and sexy boyfriend. He was as handy as a pocket on a shirt when it came time for me to find a killer when a ghost was following me around. “We are here to get her to sign my papers and talk about this sideboard issue once and for all.” Granny stared at me.

My head slid forward like a turtle and I popped my eyes open.

“I’m fine,” I said through closed teeth.

“You are not fine.” Granny rolled her eyes so big, I swear she probably hurt herself. “People are still going around talking about how you talk to yourself.” She shook her finger at me. “If you don’t watch it, you are going to be committed. Surrounded by padded walls. Then—She jabbed her finger on my arm. I swatted her away with the pamphlet.

“Charlotte Rae will have full control over my dead body and I don’t want someone celebrating a wedding while I lay corpse in the next room. Lawdy bee,” Granny griped. I opened the pamphlet and tried to ignore Granny as best I could.

“Do you hear me, Emma Lee?” Granny asked. I could feel her beady eyes boring into me.

“Don’t you be disrespecting your elders. I asked you a question,” she warned when I didn’t immediately answer her question.

“Granny.” I placed the brochure in my lap and reminded myself to remain calm. Something I did often when it came to my granny. “I hear you. Don’t you worry about a thing. By the time you get ready to die, they will have you in the nut-house alongside me,” I joked, knowing it would get her goat. The door flung open and the click of Charlotte Rae’s high-dollar heels tapped the hardwood floor as she sashayed her way back into her office. The soft linen green suit complemented Charlotte’s sparkly green eyes and the chocolate scarf that was neatly tied around her neck. It was the perfect shade of brown to go with her long red hair and pale skin.

“I’m so sorry about that.” She stopped next to our chairs and looked between me and Granny. She shook the long, loose curls over her shoulders. “What? What is wrong, now?”

“Granny is all worried I’m going to get sent away to the nuthouse and you are going to lay her out here.” The words tumbled out of my mouth before I could stop them. Or did my subconscious take over my mouth? It was always a competition between me and Charlotte, only it was one-sided. Mine. Charlotte never viewed me as competition because she railroaded me all my life. Like now. She’d left Eternal Slumber with zero guilt, leaving me in charge so she could make more money at Hardgrove’s Legacy Center, formerly known as Hardgrove’s Funeral Homes until they got too big for their britches and decided to host every life event possible just to make more money.

Excerpt from A Ghostly Mortality by Tonya Kappes. Copyright © 2017 by Tonya Kappes. Reproduced with permission from Witness. All rights reserved.

 

Author Bio:

Tonya KappesTonya Kappes has written more than fifteen novels and four novellas, all of which have graced numerous bestseller lists including USA Today. Best known for stories charged with emotion and humor and filled with flawed characters, her novels have garnered reader praise and glowing critical reviews. She lives with her husband, two very spoiled schnauzers, and one ex-stray cat in northern Kentucky. Now that her boys are teenagers, Tonya writes full-time but can be found at all of her guys’ high school games with a pencil and paper in hand.

Catch Up with Tonya Kappes on her Website 🔗, Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗

 

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