Tag Archive | Happy Homicides

Super Surprise Saturday: Happy Homicides 6 Cookin’ Up Crime

Guess what? Happy Homicides 6 is officially out and I have even more prizes for you! I am excited to be a part of my sixth book with this anthology series. Because it is Down Syndrome Awareness month I wrote a story for Danny, my character with DS.   After finding out about the authors and their stories, be sure to find the Prize Guy. We have a heck of a giveaway for this one…but wait there’s more…a bonus file full of recipes from the authors. 

This is our biggest anthology yet! Fifteen multi-published and bestselling authors have written short stories to entertain, baffle, and amuse you. As always, the book includes an email address so you can send away for a bonus file full of recipes and craft ideas that go with each story.

Cooking can be murder, especially when these 15 authors get involved. These are all-new, never published stories that’ll satisfy your hunger for good, clean reads with a criminal intent.

  1. The Smoothie Operator by Joanna Campbell SlanA health fanatic dies after hassling his overweight wife. Can Kiki Lowenstein prove the woman’s innocence?
  2. Dying for Spice Tea: A Beach Tea Shoppe Mystery by Linda Gordon HengererThe curious death of a friend surprises BevAnne Wexler. Will a new method for making a frozen treat lead Alex and BevAnne to a killer?
  3. A Gift for Gus by Teresa TrentEveryone deserves a treat now and again. Danny’s Cake in a Cup proves the perfect present for everyone, except a woman determined to poison the future with a tall tale about the past.
  4. Recipe for Murder: A Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery by Terry AmbroseWhen a guest dies and her diamond necklace is stolen, a hapless dreamer is accused of the crimes. Can Rick, the owner, track down the culprit in time to save this hopeless romantic?
  5. Nectar of the Dogs by Neil S. PlakcySteve Levitan and his golden retriever Rochester make a great team. In this story, they work together to exonerate one of Steve’s high school friends who is accused of murder.
  6. Irish Texas Chili Story by Randy RawlsA famous recipe goes missing when its creator is murdered. Can Jonathan Boykin stir the pot enough to cook up a killer?
  7. Dot Didn’t Do It: A Pineapple Port Mini-Mystery by Amy Vansant Can a novice private investigator crack a bad egg in order to track down a foul crime? Charlotte Morgan wonders if the fungus amungus had a lethal after-taste.
  8. Simmer to Death by Christina FreeburnDid sibling rivalry lead to the poisoning of an up-and-coming food personality? Or were simmering hostilities among the staff the real recipe for murder?
  9. Food for Thought: A Rosalie Hart Mystery by Wendy Sand Eckel The death of a Civil War reenactor sticks in Rosalie Hart’s craw. Can she peel back the layers of history to uncover a motive for murder two hundred years in the making?
  10. Catering to Murder by Colleen HelmeCan Shelby Nichols use her special abilities to forecast the success or failure of a business venture? Maybe, but first the new owners will have to deal with the decomposing body in the deep freeze.
  11. Murder, Moonlight and Muffins by Loulou HarringtonThe never-ending hunt for merchandise to sell in their antique shop lead Jessie and Connie into a dark, deserted house complete with a crime scene?
  12. F is for Fruitcake by Micki Browning Baking fruitcake becomes an antidote for stress—and maybe something more?
  13. A Death of Customs by Vered Ehsani – A vampire, a ghost, and a reasonably normal shop owner contemplate death among the tea leaves.
  14. Silent Harmonies by Vincent O’Neil An observant food truck workers picks up a discordant note, but was it the prelude to murder?
  15. Fish Fried by R.V. Reyes The death of a protected species of fish causes Lilly a considerable amount of heartburn.


Each Happy Homicides book includes an email address so you can send away for a special bonus file full of recipes and craft ideas that go along with the stories in the books. For Cookin’ Up Crime these include: Southern Caviar, Stuffed Quahogs, Dirty Johnny, Pumpkin Muffins, Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, Peanut Butter Smoothie, Fruitcake Tempest, Kourabiedes, Spicy Cupcakes with Cinnamon Frosting, Tea Recipe, Recipe Holder, Festive Napkin Rings, Candy Halloween Hands, and others.

Cookin’ Up Crime Basket includes wire basket, dish towel set, wooden salad tongs, bamboo cooking utensils, wooden pepper grinder, peppercorns, FALL banner fig scented hand soaps, and a box of pumpkin bread mix.

                                          Click Here to Enter Our Giveaway!

The Purr-fect Crime Tour Continues! Day 7

Isn’t that little guy cute?  Today Christina Freeburn is over at Musings From an Addicted Reader.

Christina’s contribution to the anthology is The Peculiar Habits of Mister Darcy.  Meet an animal therapist whose clients are more likely to sharpen their claws on a couch than lie on one. Can this relationship between a rescue cat and his owner be saved? Purrr-haps.

Go Visit With Christina at Musings From an Addicted Reader and don’t forget to comment! It enters you for a $50 Etsy Gift Card.


Happy Homicides The Purr-fect Crime Tour Day 6

On the blog tour for Happy Homicides 5 Terry Ambrose is visiting the blog home of Danita Minnis.

Terry’s mysteries take place in Hawaii and he takes some beautiful pictures that he posts on his website. I’ve always said Texas is a little piece of heaven but Hawaii may just have that beat!  Here is a little about Terry’s story.

The Runaway Persian: A Seaside Cover Bed & Breakfast Mystery 

The Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mysteries are Terry’s new series set in a fictional town on the California coast. Richard Alcott and his daughter Alexandra recently inherited the hundred-year-old B&B where they’re learning how to run the business while they adjust to life in a small town—and solve the occasional murder.


Go to the blog Danita Minnis to read Terry’s words of wisdom and don’t forget to leave a comment to get yourself entered for a $50 Etsy card.


New Pecan Bayou Novella in the Process: A Peek Inside

Good news, Betsy fans. I will be contributing to Happy Homicides 4. The stories in this anthology will fall anywhere from Labor Day to Thanksgiving, and there are some excellent stories in this one. I can’t tell you any more other than I can’t wait to get my copy!  I can’t resist a Halloween story, so I’ve plopped Betsy and family down on Halloween with malevolent ghosts, a cemetery walk and of course, a murder mystery to solve.

While I’ve been working on other projects, I’ve started using storyboarding to work on plots. As I’ve stated before, I’m a visual thinker. A child of the television age, I have found putting each scene into a visual format is extremely helpful. Here is a panel I created for the Halloween novella I’m working on at the moment. It looks like a cartoon, but you can get the idea of it.


If you are familiar with the Pecan Bayou Mystery Series, you will probably recognize many of the characters. We have Betsy up front in the Sixties costume, with cute little Coco by her side. Behind her is Tyler, her stepson, who is in black and Zach her son in the toga. Sitting at the table is Danny, her cousin with Down Syndrome, and Aunt Maggie. I brought back the character of Howard Gunther for this story because of the paranormal element. Howard is the head of the Pecan Bayou Paranormal Society.

And the answer is NO. There will not be a comic book version of the Pecan Bayou Series!

If you can’t wait for this one, pick up a copy of Happy Homicides 3: Summertime Crime.  Betsy and her crew head for the beach to solve a mystery for dog lovers. paw-prints

Happy Homicides 2 Featured on USA Today Happily Ever After

Happy Homicides 2: Crimes of the Heart is available for pre-order and our cover reveal is today on USA Today’s blog Happy Ever After.  This delightful collection of cozy mysteries by some of the greatest cozy writer’s will be an extra little something for Valentine’s Day. But wait…that’s not all! You can enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a dozen roses.

Check out the Cover Reveal on USA Today’s Happy Ever After
We are so happy to have writers Elaine Viets, Randy Rawls, Kathi Daley, Carolyn Haines, Anna Celeste Burke and Maggie Toussaint join us for this “heartbreaking” edition!  I’m back with my story “A Heart for Murder” where I try to figure out the world’s worst Valentine’s gift a husband could give to his wife. I think I nailed it.  Have you received a humdinger of a gift? Betsy Livingston Fitzpatrick looks for diamonds but ends up with…you’ll have to read it!
Click Here To Enter the Rafflecopter Giveway for a Dozen Roses

Happy Homicides: The Valentine Edition is Coming!

heart-stamped-letterBetsy, my heroine from the Pecan Bayou Mystery Series, will be back for Valentine’s Day with another novella in the cozy mystery series Happy Homicides.  I can’t show you the cover yet, but I can tell you it will be jam packed with new authors as well as some new favorites you might have found in the last edition, Happy Homicides the Thanksgiving/Christmas Edition. With a price tag of only 99 cents, the book flew off of Amazon’s virtual shelves!

In this edition, the writer’s theme was Love Gone Wrong, and of course, the little town of Pecan Bayou does that well!  I decided for this story I would give Betsy the all-time worst Valentine’s gift…ever…in the history of true love. Can you guess what it might be?  When I do reveal the gift, I have an admission of guilt to make. I gave my husband, the patient one, a similar version of this gift for Christmas.  I haven’t received any letters from lawyers yet, so I think he has forgiven me.

Our cover reveal will be on January 29 on the USA Today blog, Happily Ever After and I will sharing the cover here as well.



Graphic found on My Cute Graphics


The Joy of Writing With Other Writers

Mystery Writer's LightbulbHow many mystery writers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

What a silly question, they want a dark and stormy night.

Last year I was tickled pink when Joanna Campbell Slan asked me if I might be interested in being a contributing writer in an anthology. Eventually the project came together as a  Christmas anthology to be named Happy Homicides. So there I was, watching the fireworks on the Fourth of July writing about Christmas. My very favorite kind of story to write has always been set at Christmas. Even before I started my Pecan Bayou series, I usually wrote a Christmas story every year.  The psychological boost I receive every Christmas season from heartwarming tales of hope and renewal is awesome, so creating my own story was just plain good for my soul. Of course, this was a mystery anthology which meant every story had to have a homicide, which is not very renewing, but that was okay. This was the first Christmas mystery I have written and truth be told, I hated to put the murder in!

I grew up loving authors like Faith Baldwin and remembered thinking Stephen King was wicked…but wonderful. So when I write my Christmas stories, I try to channel a little Faith and maybe a little faith as well.  I was writing my yearly story, but this time I was in a group of other storytellers. Here are some of the benefits I received from this project.

I found a  knowledge base of writing, publishing, and marketing in the other writers. Every question that was asked by anybody in the group led me to learn something. When writers spend time creating their own little worlds, it can be easy to forget to come out of the clouds and see the rest of world. There have been dinners when my family discussed what went on during the day, and I would tell them about what happened in Pecan Bayou.  They always gave me a look like, “You know it’s not a real place, right?”  Many of these writers in the group were bestselling authors and way up on the food chain from me.  Some of the information I gleaned from them was better than what I’ve learned at writing conferences. Then, as we grew closer to publication time, they pulled out their marketing resources. Again I was astonished.

I’ll admit, I’ve always been pretty cautious of co-writing and partnerships, but in this case it was pretty painless.  Joyfully, my readers reaped the benefits. They found a new Pecan Bayou story with Betsy Livingston, but they also discovered the characters Kiki Lowenstein, Cara Mia Delgatto, Savannah Martin, Neil Plakcy’s dogs, Nancy Jill Thames Teddy series, the wonderful prequel to a new series by Camille Minichino and so much more.

So, maybe the Beatles had it right when they sang, “Everybody come together, right now…”

Good news! If you’ve already finished the Christmas anthology, Happy Homicides, there is a Valentine’s anthology in the final stages right now. I’ll keep you posted on this one, and yes, there is new Pecan Bayou story coming, just for you.


Photo found on Morgue File and used with permission

I Will Be Maud Marks Library Celebrate Local Authors Day on Saturday

maudmarksI will be reading from A Dash of Murder on Saturday, October 24 at the Maud Marks Library in Katy. I’m scheduled for 1:45 pm YA/Adult area but will have a table set up in the library from 12:30 to 5 PM. Stop by if you are in Katy.  Here is some information you might need.

  1. Yes, I’ll have books for sale.
  2. Yes, I will talk to you about Happy Homicides: 13 Cozy Holiday Mysteries @ 99 Cents
  3. Yes, I have CANDY for you!

I will be joined by authors of children’s books, young adult, sci-fi, poetry, romance, historical, medical thrillers and more.  It’s a great way to meet some local authors and get to know their work.  Monica Shaugnessy, another cozy mystery writer will also be appearing, so check out her Catarina Mysteries!

Click here for maps and directions

Cover Reveal for Happy Homicides: 13 Cozy Holiday Mysteries


Here is our cover for Happy Homicides.  We were so excited to be featured on the USA Today Happy Ever After blog yesterday! Not only do you get 13 amazing stories, but we also included a bonus ebook filled with crafts and recipes. I shared my chocolate covered cherry cookie recipe in the bonus file which was great but check out the finger cookies. I think I’ll make those for Halloween :0

Happy Homicides: Thirteen Cozy Holiday Mysteries will be available for pre-order on Sept. 15 on most platforms for only 99 cents. Price includes a special bonus file with recipes and craft ideas. This collection of novellas and short stories is a whopping 213,000 words long! Authors include Joanna Campbell Slan, Neil Plakcy, Lois Winston, Annie Adams, Jenna Bennett, Nancy Warren, Sara Rosett, Camille Minichino, Nancy Jill Thames, Linda Gordon Hengerer, Joyce and Jim Lavene, and Teresa Trent. Release date will be Oct. 15, 2015. Visit http://tinyurl.com/13cozyholiday

Get Ready…Happy Homicides the Cozy Mystery Bundle is Coming!

I am so excited Happy Homicides is finally about to come out!

Thirteen Cozy Holiday Mysteries will be available for pre-order on Sept. 15 on most platforms for only 99 cents. Price includes a special bonus file with recipes and craft ideas. Authors include Joanna Campbell Slan, Neil Plakcy, Lois Winston, Annie Adams, Jenna Bennett, Nancy Warren, Sara Rosett, Camille Minichino, Nancy Jill Thames, Linda Gordon Hengerer, Joyce and Jim Lavene, and Teresa Trent. This collection of novellas and short stories is a whopping 213,000 words long! Release date will be Oct. 15, 2015.

Joanna Campbell Slan has worked very hard to put this all together, so thanks Joanna for the patience and inspiration that you shared with the rest of us.  I have to say it has been a pleasure spending my summer chatting with the other authors and learning from their expertise. So, here are some links for my anxious readers.

Happy Homicides Website

Our Facebook Page

Don’t forget you can pre-order this book starting on September 15 and the phenomenal price? Ho Ho Ho! 99 Cents!