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Friday, 24 June 2016

☀ Lyrical Press Cozy Mysteries: Janet Finsilver, Lynn Cahoon

Thank you for joining us for The Lyrical Press Cozy Mysteries Tour! Our featured titles today are:

Murder at the Mansion (Kelly Jackson Mysteries, #2) by Janet Finsilver
Tea Cups and Carnage (Tourist Trap Mystery, #7) by Lynn Cahoon

Below you will find synopsis, excerpts, and purchasing links for each novel, as well as author bios and contact information.

The authors will be awarding digital copies of all of the books on the tour to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.   Please do take part: comment on our post and follow the tour where you will be able to read other excerpts (☀), and reviews (✍).


The Books | About the Authors | Giveaway & Tour Stops

The Lyrical Press Cozy Mysteries Books

Murder at the Mansion | Tea Cups and Carnage |

Murder at the Mansion by Janet Finsilver

[, Lyrical Underground, 192 pages. This is the second book in the Kelly Jackson Mysteries series.]  PREVIEW: Check out the book's synopsis and excerpt below.  Read the first two chapters with Amazon Look Inside.

Synopsis

Fortunes, fineries, and foul play . . .

It’s whale-watching season in Redwood Cove, and B&B manager Kelly Jackson’s battening down the hatches for the tourist rush at Redwood Heights—a Victorian-style estate owned by her boss. And due to recent jewelry thefts, her duties include keeping track of the many dust-covered artifacts spread throughout the property. But when Kelly finds Sylvia Porter’s lifeless body, menial tasks don’t seem so terrible.

Enlisting the help of a ragtag group of brainy retirees, aka the “Silver Sentinels,” Kelly’s on the hunt for clues hidden behind the mansion’s glamorous façade. . .and for a killer who may want to make history of her next!

Excerpt

Chapter 1

As I straightened out the Jeep after rounding a long curve, Redwood Cove popped into view. White buildings, looking like small squares, dotted a grove of trees. An aquamarine Pacific Ocean crashed against rocky outcroppings on my left, spewing foam and creating swirling mists.
      Redwood Cove. My new home.
      Excitement pushed away the weariness of long driving hours from Wyoming. My heart beat faster and goose bumps rose on my arms.
      My new home. I whispered it aloud.
      My new job. I spoke it aloud.
      Tiredness slipped away as my mind raced ahead. My foot remained steady on the gas pedal, remembering the horse trailer I pulled behind me, filled with my belongings. I turned off the song “Walking on Sunshine” playing on the radio, put the window down, and let the salty breath of the ocean pour in.
      I visualized the business cards nestled in a leather case in my purse. RESORTSINTERNATIONAL in raised letters at the top. KELLY JACKSON, MANAGER, REDWOODCOVE BED-AND-BREAKFAST artfully displayed in the middle. The cards would rest on the engraved brass holder my boss, Michael Corrigan, had sent as a welcoming gift.
      I turned off the highway and the steeple of Redwood Cove Bed-and-Breakfast stood out against the sky. As I pulled into the driveway of the B & B, I inhaled deeply, struck by the sheer beauty of the place as well as the intense sweet fragrance permeating the air. The brilliant array of flowers on the trellised vines created a kaleidoscope of color next to the elegant white sculpted pillars. Gingerbread trim adorned the two-story inn.
      I drove to the back and pulled off to the side of the parking area by the garage. The back door of the inn burst open, and a ten-year-old boy bounded down the stairs, followed by a short, heavyset basset hound.
      “Miss Kelly! Miss Kelly! Hi!” Tommy Rogers slid to a stop in front of me.“Welcome back.” His tricolored hound, Fred, jumped up and down next to him, or at least as best he could. His upper torso could only clear the ground by a couple of inches.
      I smiled. “Glad to be here, Tommy.”
      He flew by me with Fred at his heels and clambered onto the fender of the trailer.“Did you bring a horse? Did you? Did you?”
      “No, sorry, Tommy. It’s filled with my things.”
      Helen, Tommy’s mother, had followed him outside. She wiped her hands on her apron and gave me a hug. “It’s so good to have you back, Kelly.”
      I returned the embrace. She looked much better than the last time I saw her, with more color in her face and no longer gaunt and haggard looking.
      “And it’s wonderful to see you, Helen. And Tommy and Fred again, of course.” I smiled at her. “I’m excited to hear how things are going.”
      “Why the horse trailer?”
      “I decided this trailer was the easiest way for me to haul my stuff. My parents are going to come for a visit in a couple of months when the Wyoming weather at the ranch makes California sound good. They’ll take it back with them then.”
      Tommy climbed down and petted Fred, who’d been unsuccessful at jumping up on the fender of the trailer.
      “I didn’t bring a horse, Tommy, but I do have my saddle. Would you like to see it?”The last time I’d been here, Diane at Redwood Cove Stable had offered to let me ride an Appaloosa, Nezi, when the horse was available. I intended to take her up on it.
      “You bet.”
      I went over to the trailer, unlatched the tailgate, and placed it on the ground, forming a ramp. The saddle was on a wooden stand I’d secured to the wall. Tommy rushed into the trailer and began to trace the intricate tooled leather pattern with his fingers.
      “I’ll be doing some riding at a local stable,” I told him. “It’s nice to have my own saddle because the stirrups are adjusted for me and the seat fits.” And it’s part of my family life I brought with me.
      “Cool. Did you bring your bridle?”
      “No, the bits used on the bridles are specific to each horse’s need. There are lots of different types.”
      Tommy reached out and touched my leather belt, with the gold-and-silver championship barrel racing buckle. “Wow.” His eyes were wide.
      I had never heard a one-syllable word sound so long as when Tommy uttered that word. I had wrapped the belt around the saddle horn at the last minute. It wasn’t everyday wear, but I’d ridden with it for years and decided to bring it along.
      Before I could explain, my attention was drawn away to the rattling engine of an approaching vehicle. I looked down the driveway as a faded blue Volkswagen bus approached.
      I knew it well.
      The vehicle parked at the back of the inn, and tall, lanky Daniel Stevens emerged, the newly appointed manager of Ridley House, a sister property. His daughter, Allie, appeared from around the back of the bus. They were father-daughter look-alikes with their straight blue-black hair, high cheekbones, and copper-hued skin.
      Daniel gave me a quick, friendly hug. “It’s good to have you back.”
      “I’m glad to be here.”
      Allie smiled. “Hi, Kelly.”
      Tommy called out, “Allie, come look at this cool saddle and belt.”
      She left to join him.
      “How are the renovations coming?” I asked.
      “Fine. They’re on schedule,” Daniel replied. “Should be done by the beginning of next week, and Redwood Cove B and B will be ready to open.”
      “Michael asked me to do an inventory of some historic items at a place called Redwood Heights and help out with a festival this weekend.”
      “He told me,” Daniel said. “After acquiring Ridley House a couple of months ago, Michael decided to put Redwood Heights up for sale. It’s a little different from his other properties,” Daniel said.
      A glance passed between Helen and Daniel.
      What was that about?
      “I’ve been helping with some repairs to get the place ready to sell,” Daniel continued.“Michael’s got an interested buyer. It’s worked out well, since I’ve been overseeing the construction on all three places.”
      Helen chimed in. “I’ve been preparing the afternoon appetizers. Since I was available, it made sense to give the cook at the Heights a chance to have a vacation.”
      “What’s the event this weekend?” I asked. “Michael said you’d fill me in.”
      “The whales migrate this time of year,” Helen explained. “And there are some great whale watching opportunities. Communities up and down the coast host various events.”
      “What fun!”
      “We call our festival Whale Frolic,” Helen added. “There’ll be a chowder contest and the inns around town will have wine and gourmet treats for people to enjoy.Redwood Heights will be one of the places participating. The money from ticket sales benefits the local hospital.”
      Daniel watched the kids happily chattering as they examined the saddle and the belt.“There’s a social hour at five at Redwood Heights if you’d like to go tonight,” he said.“That is, if you’re not too tired.”
      “Sounds great. After all the sitting I’ve been doing, I’d enjoy some activity.”
      “We can introduce you to the manager, Margaret Hensley.” He shot Helen another quick look.
      What was going on between these two?
      A creaking noise caused the three of us to look down the driveway. A large motor home was crawling toward us, rocking gently from side to side. It drove by and parked in front of my Jeep.
      Pictures of two larger-than-life beagles covered the side of the RV. One of them wore a pink collar, the other one blue. The slogan emblazoned next to them read, “Bedbugs? Termites? If you’ve got ’em, they’ll find ’em. Call on Jack and Jill. Get the four-legged pros on the job and have a restful sleep tonight.” A phone number was underneath it.
      “Daniel?” I turned and looked at him. “Is there something you haven’t told me?”

Murder at the Mansion
Available NOW!

purchase from Amazon.co.uk purchase from Amazon.com purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo UK purchase from iTunes UK purchase from Google Books find on Goodreads

Tea Cups and Carnage by Lynn Cahoon

[, Lyrical Underground, 194 pages. This is the seventh book in the Tourist Trap Mysteries series.]  PREVIEW: Check out the book's synopsis and excerpt below.  Read the first chapter with Amazon Look Inside.

Synopsis

The quaint coastal town of South Cove, California, is all abuzz about the opening of a new specialty shop, Tea Hee. But as Coffee, Books, and More owner Jill Gardner is about to find out, there's nothing cozy about murder . . .

Shop owner Kathi Corbin says she came to South Cove to get away from her estranged family. But is she telling the truth? And did a sinister someone from her past follow her to South Cove? When a woman claiming to be Kathi's sister starts making waves and a dead body is found in a local motel, Jill must step in to clear Kathi's name--without getting herself in hot water.

Includes an excerpt from A STORY TO KILL, Lynn Cahoon's BRAND NEW series

Excerpt

Chapter 1


Is family defined by blood or is it more than that?
      I looked around the table at the June Business-to-Business meeting as attendees started to gather. Aunt Jackie stood with Mary Sullivan, her best friend. I loved hearing them talking about the cruise my aunt and her new boyfriend, Harrold, would be taking in a few months. Bill Sullivan, the committee chair and Mary’s husband, stood at the counter, refilling his cup and glancing around the room, as he took stock of the attendance. Typically, these meetings had about ten to fifteen representatives, but summer was the busy season for our tourist town. Even with the busy schedules, we had almost a full house at twenty. I’d had to send Sasha into the back to pull out a couple of boxes of cookies to serve.
      They were all here for one reason. Kathi Corbin, the newest member of our community and our committee was holding court over at the couch near the romance section. Kathi’s Texas drawl and infectious laugh had the men enthralled. I’d heard rumors the girl had been a Miss San Antonio and had been shortlisted to win Miss Texas, except something had gone awry. She hadn’t taken the crown home, ending the competition at the bottom of the top ten.
      Having only been in one beauty contest in my entire life and that on a whim, I couldn’t imagine where she’d gone wrong. She seemed to play the role well. I walked over to the couch where she was holding court and handed her a cup of coffee. “I’m Jill Gardner, South Cove business liaison to the city council and owner/manager of Coffee, Books, and More.” Or at least my aunt lets me think I’m the manager of the shop, even though she makes most of the decisions and then tells me what she’s done.
      She took the cup from me. “I love your place. I hope we can make some sort of agreement on you guys selling my products over here. If we partner, we’ll both increase our business.”
      “Let’s talk next week. I’m sure we can carve out an agreement.”I tried to source locally-made product for the shop. The treats were all made by Pies on the Fly, a local bakery. To me it made good financial sense to help another South Cove business survive. I walked back to the table and surveyed the room.
      Sasha paused next to me with a filled carafe of coffee. Sasha’s my newest employee and came to us as an intern through the Work First program last fall. The single mom had quickly fit into our small staff and Aunt Jackie and I decided to hire her after the ten-week program ended.
      “She’s quite the charmer,” Sasha whispered. Her happiness made her soft brown skin glow. “Even Josh is offering to get her more coffee.”
      I nodded. The room was separated into two groups. The women clustered around the table waiting for the meeting to start, and the men, except Bill, assembled around Kathi. An old Martina McBride song started going in my head about a woman out for fun but before I could answer Sasha, Bill clapped his hands above his head, trying to get everyone’s attention.
      “It’s five past starting time, folks. I want to honor your busy schedules as well as our host’s kind offer of her space. I’m pretty sure Jill would rather be serving coffee and this amazing Apple Caramel Cheesecake to paying customers.” He smiled at me and waved the group over to the table. “Bring your coffee with you. We’ll pass around the carafes while we’re talking.”
      Kathi sat. Josh Thomas and Dustin Austin jostled each other for the chair next to her. As they jockeyed for position, Mayor Baylor slimed into one of the chairs next to Kathi. Austin dodged and dove into the other, leaving Josh holding onto the back and steaming.
      “There’s a chair next to Jill.” Bill called out to Josh, the portly owner of Antiques by Thomas and up until a few months ago, Aunt Jackie’s gentleman caller. I waved at him and pointed to the chair. For my trouble, I got the evil eye as his shoulders slumped and he let go of the chair. Dustin Austin, owner of the bike rental shop, grinned as he tilted his grey dreadlocks toward Kathi’s ear and whispered something that made her laugh.
      Bill turned her way and Kathi shook her head. “Sorry, but you all are so entertaining. I can’t believe I didn’t move here years ago.”
      “Glad you’re enjoying your first meeting. Now that we’ve all settled in, Mary, do you want to give a summary of the upcoming Summer Beach Blast?” As Bill looked at his wife, I saw the adoration he had for the woman even after so many years.
      Mary smoothed her skirt as she stood. “As you know, summer traffic really picks up around the fourth of July, but June can be a little slow. So we’re sponsoring a festival starting tomorrow to bring in tourists and hopefully customers for your shops. Our bed and breakfast is already full for the weekend and we’re hearing that the others in town are nearing capacity.”
      A loud motorcycle roared up Main Street and Mary, along with the rest of the committee members, switched their attention to the window. All I could see was a huge bike with an equally large rider in black leathers. I could see he wore a gang patch on his leather jacket, but couldn’t read the lettering in the short time before he disappeared out of my view.
[...]

Tea Cups and Carnage
Available NOW!

purchase from Amazon.co.uk purchase from Amazon.com purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo UK purchase from iTunes UK purchase from Google Books find on Goodreads


About the Authors

Janet Finsilver | Lynn Cahoon |

Janet Finsilver and her husband live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

She loves animals and has two dogs—Kylie, a Rhodesian ridgeback, and Ellie, a boxer/coonhound mix.

Janet enjoys horseback riding, snow skiing, and cooking.

She is currently working on her next Redwood Cove mystery.

Follow Janet Finsilver:

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New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Lynn Cahoon is an Idaho expat. She grew up living the small town life she now loves to write about. Currently, she’s living with her husband and two fur babies in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. Guidebook to Murder, Book 1 of the Tourist Trap series, won the 2015 Reader’s Crown award for Mystery Fiction.

Follow Lynn Cahoon:

Visit the author's blog Visit the author's website Visit the author on Facebook Visit the author on Twitter Visit the author on their Amazon page Visit the author on GoodReads

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