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Curses, Cats & Corpses by M.L. Bonatch is a Scary Reads for Halloween pick #99cents #paranormalcozy

Title: Curses, Cats & Corpses

Author: M.L. Bonatch

Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery

Book Blurb:

Her magic might not be up to par, but she's no killer. The question is, who is?

Marissa Hale dreams of making her mark as a charmed cocktail mixologist. But her mediocre magic skills have her putting her aspirations on ice and moving in at Gran's retirement community. And just as she's acclimating to the resident nosey witches, she's horrified when a trip to the work freezer offers up a corpsesicle.

Her resentful vampire coworker insists Marissa is a prime suspect since her hair has a new dark shade, implying a recent magical mishap. Admitting she’s been secretly practicing her cocktails and a misfire caused the color—and the ability to talk to a cat—would only stir up more trouble.

Will Marissa’s best shot at finding the culprit be enough to keep her from getting served a murder charge?


“My name is Jasper.” The cat held up a paw as if he was going to actually give me time to respond. “No tag needed. I’ll just remind you if you forget. Now can you get me something better to eat than the slop you people leave out here?”

I sat up and squeezed my eyes shut and then opened them again. My vision clearly focused on the cat continuing to complain about the slim pickings around the dumpster. Perhaps it was a good thing the communication spell had never worked with Mulder. Who’d have thought that animals might have so much to gripe about?

What I would’ve told Jasper, if he let me get a word out, was that the club drew a large number of vampires who didn’t eat, and werewolves who ate just about anything. Thus, we were lucky to have much to toss out at all.

I held up a hand. “Stop. Ok, Jasper. I’m not sure how long this spell is going to last. If indeed it’s a spell and not a curse or—I pinched my arm—I’m not passed out and hallucinating. But if you stop talking I’ll see what I can do about getting you something to eat.”

He cocked his head to the side. “Sounds good, human named Marissa. Let’s go.”

I smiled when he hopped on my lap. He was cute when he was quiet. “Mulder will love you.”

I was just as wrong about that as I was about this being an easy summer job. Gran always said that I went looking for trouble. But as you’ve just witnessed, trouble usually finds me with no effort on my part.

Luckily, when I told Jasper that I’d wake him once I found him something to eat, he curled up on my jacket in my locker and immediately fell asleep. I headed toward the kitchen to search for food to sneak to the cat. No one was at the club yet, but other employees would arrive shortly. Although for all I knew, all anyone else might hear if he woke up and started complaining before I returned was a meowing.

There were many things I might’ve expected to find in the extra freezer in the back room of the Night Moves kitchen, but a corpse wasn’t anywhere on that list. This day was getting better and better. I dropped the lid of the chest freezer and stepped back. It was just my luck that I’d shoved my entire face into the freezer in an effort to cool my sweaty skin from the furnace of Florida heat. That backfired in a hurry when I came face to face with a frosty-looking corpse.

I stared at the freezer. First a talking cat and now a corpse? Maybe I’d imagined the dead man tucked in with the frozen food. Perhaps this was all a dream and I was lying unconscious in the parking lot.

I glanced around the empty room. I better be sure before I raced out and alerted someone. That is, if anyone else was here yet. Otherwise it was just me, the dead man, and a talking cat. I stepped forward and pulled on the lid. The sucking sound as the seal broke and the gust of cool air bursting out had me tensing as if the freezer had come alive. I hesitated in case the corpse might rise up from the frozen fog. I might be a witch but I was more of a scaredy cat than Jasper.

As the cold fog dissipated, I swallowed and stepped forward to peer over the edge of the freezer. Yep. There was still a dead guy nestled in among the frozen fish and hamburger patties. A hand touched my shoulder and I let out a scream. I spun to face my assailant. “Burton! What are you doing? You nearly frightened me to death.”

My coworker, Burton, peered over my shoulder. As usual, his black hair glistened with pomade. “Like that guy?”

Burton’s tone was as flat as if he’d just announced the time and not commented on the corpse in the freezer. His emotions were few, if they existed at all. I knew he was something different from the moment I met him; I just hadn’t figured out what yet.

I pressed my hand against my galloping heart. Now would’ve been a good time for me to be free of my own pesky emotions. So what if my feelings were often overabundant; I’d take that over being the sinister-looking, silent type, like Burton, even if it made him a good listener. He’d become my sounding board during my first month as I struggled to fit in. He, of all people, understood what it was like to be compared to everyone else and come up lacking.

The nice thing about having Burton as the closest thing to a best friend that Florida offered was that I didn’t have to worry about hurting his non-existent feelings. He didn’t give a bat’s eye what anyone else thought. He was just Burton. Sure, it made him come across a little creepy to some, but his utter indifference was his best feature and something I aspired to have for myself. So far, I was failing in my quest.

I looked at my creepy coworker, unsure of how to break our silent standoff. For once, Burton knew exactly what to say. He cocked his head to the side, appearing more curious than concerned. “What happened to him?”

“How am I supposed to know?” We both peered into the freezer.

“Wait. I think I know him.” I leaned forward far enough that my toes almost left the ground and tried to envision the corpse without the frosty coating. The thick chest curls peeking from the collar of his shirt and the seventies-style handlebar mustache confirmed it. “He lives in Gran’s retirement community.”

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

On sale for .99 cents from 10/25- 11/01

What makes your featured book a must-read?

It might be the spooky season, but it’s also a great time for a magical, fun mystery. Curses, Cats & Corpses is the bewitching first book in the Charmed Cocktail Cozy mystery series. Raise your glass if you like quirky characters, sassy cats, and amateur sleuths because you'll enjoy this charming read.

Giveaway –

Enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card:

Open Internationally.

Runs October 25 – October 31, 2023.

Winner will be drawn on November 1, 2023.

Author Biography:

Maureen believes music can be paired with every mood, laughter is contagious, and caffeine and wine are essential for survival. When she’s not doing the bidding of a feisty Shih Tzu, Maureen’s a mom to twin daughters, exploring the beautiful woods of PA with her hubby and dancing as much as possible. She writes cozy paranormal mysteries and paranormal romance as M.L. Bonatch, urban fantasy, and other genres as Maureen Bonatch.

Social Media Links:

1 Kommentar

N. N. Light
N. N. Light
31. Okt. 2023

Thank you, M.L., for sharing your book sale in our Scary Reads for Halloween!

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