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New Release | Cornbread, Ribs, and Murder (A Chocolate Martini Sisters Mystery) by Joyce Proell and Brenda Whiteside #cozymystery #newrelease #bookrec



Title Cornbread, Ribs, and Murder (A Chocolate Martini Sisters Mystery)

 

Author Joyce Proell and Brenda Whiteside

 

Genre Cozy Mystery

 

Book Blurb

 

Nicole Earp and Emma Banefield are celebrating another birthday at the Dulce Inn with the added fun of a rib cookoff in the park. Not only are chocolate martinis in their plans, Nic has her heart set on winning the cornbread contest. But as the excitement bakes, someone is stirring up trouble for the inn and its employees.

 

Strange occurrences at the Dulce are on the rise. Slashed tires, menacing phone calls, and unsavory characters add a vibe that threatens the sisters’ anticipated fun-filled stay. When the hot-headed hotel owner is caught wielding a bloody letter opener over a dead coworker, the sisters are embroiled in a caper to help the one person who finds their sleuthing as welcomed as a rattlesnake in her bed. But is she innocent?

 

The Chocolate Martini Sisters are primed to find out. First, they’ll have to eliminate a host of suspects that includes a dishonest restaurant owner, a jilted girlfriend, an ex-wife, the barkeeper, and a masseuse with a crush. If they can stay off the radar of the surly chief homicide detective long enough, they can put out the fire…unless the killer burns them first.

 

Excerpt

 

Without thinking, Emma fingered the phone in her jacket pocket and stopped. No. This was her birthday weekend, forty-eight years old, and she intended to enjoy herself. As much as she prayed to snag a literary agent, she refused to muddle her getaway with more rejections. Gosh, was that negative thinking or simply realistic? A universal truth made her smile. No matter one’s age, rejection and disappointment were a part of life.

 

Content to wait for Nic, she settled comfortably against the plush cushion. Lucky for her, people-watching never bored her—ever. What made them tick? Why did people do the things they did and often contrary to their best interests? Body language revealed so much about a person if one took the time to closely observe. Take, for example, the Azul Saloon’s head bartender, Bailey Fairview. She burst into the lobby, coming from the corridor of the administrative offices in a fast-paced stride. Everything about her, the stiff shoulders, the clamped lips, and the focused eyes suggested a woman on a mission. And if Emma’s observational skills held any merit, she’d say anger fueled the woman’s energy.

 

Bailey swept past in a fog of unwavering concentration so thick, she never noticed her seated on the sofa, watching. How unlike the typical friendly and even-keeled bartender. What had happened to put her in such a stew? Stride unbroken, the harried woman took a sharp right and disappeared into the side door of the bar.

 

“Uh-oh,” uttered a familiar voice. “Something’s landed on your radar.”

 

“Nic!” Emma broke into a smile. “I was so engaged, I didn’t see you.” She rose from the sofa and gave her sis a one-armed hug. “Once again. Congratulations.”

 

“Thanks,” Nic murmured with a slow, disbelieving shake of the head, as if she still couldn’t believe it. “Who or what had your attention?”

 

“Bailey Fairview. She stomped across the room like a huffing bull to a waving matador. I’m surprised you didn’t see her.”

 

“No, I didn’t.” Nic fingered the brim of her hat as a question formed on her fair-skinned, pretty face. “What do you suppose is going on?”

 

She shrugged. “I haven’t a clue. Maybe there’s a problem at work. We could ask her. Care for a celebratory chocolate martini?” Grinning, she attempted to arch one questioning brow, similar to the dramatic effect she’d seen in movies, but both shot up.

 

Nic chuckled. “Do you really need to ask?”

 

In silent agreement, they’d set a course to the Azul Saloon when a piercing scream rang out. Emma startled, then froze.

 

“What the heck?” Nic grabbed her hand clawing into the skin enough to make her flinch, then gulped and, noticing her pained expression, released her grip. “Sorry.”

 

The scream set a fire under the desk manager’s feet who darted from the reception area.

 

“For an older man, Oliver Stonewell sure can move.” Emma hustled after him, sprinting across the lobby, curious about what she might find at the source of the wretched scream. Nic kept pace at her side, hand flat against the top of her hat, holding it steady.

 

As they closed in on the administrative office corridor, another longer scream morphed into a painful yowl. “Hellllp.”

 

The agonized cry tripped along Emma’s spine like jagged nails scratching at her skin. She raced past Jillian’s empty office. Following Oliver, she veered into the second open doorway and halted with a gasp. Oh my God. She’d seen the raw ugliness of death before, yet it didn’t prepare her for this—lots and lots of blood blossomed across the man’s shirt. She clapped a hand to her mouth stifling a cry. Unexpectedly light-headed, dots floated across her vision. Teetering, she caught the door jamb. Her legs steadied, but her stomach threatened to revolt.

 

“Aw, jeez,” muttered Nic, echoing the horror coursing through her shaky body.

 

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub)

 

Amazon US

 

Amazon UK

 

Amazon CA

 

Series Link Amazon

 

BookBub

 

Goodreads

 

Author Biography

 

After hearing countless stories as a mental health professional, Joyce Proell retired to create her own tales. As an award-winning author, she writes historical romance and cozy mystery where all endings are guaranteed happy. She shares her home on the prairie with a husband and a little dog with a big personality. When she isn’t reading or writing, she likes to swim and finds baking almost as relaxing as a day at the spa.

 

Brenda Whiteside is the award-winning author of romantic suspense, romance, and cozy mystery. She writes children’s books under the pen name, Brenda Sue. After living in six states and two countries—so far—she and her husband have settled in Central Arizona. They admit to being gypsies at heart and won't discount the possibility of another move. They share their home with a rescue dog named Amigo. While FDW fishes, Brenda writes.

 

Social Media Links

 

JOYCE:

 

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BRENDA:

 

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2 Comments


Brenda Whiteside
Brenda Whiteside
Apr 30

As always, lovely presentation. Thanks for having me1

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N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Apr 30

Thank you for sharing your new release with us! We love your cozy series.

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