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New Release | Holidays & Homicide by Lucinda Race #paranormalcozy #cozymystery #newrelease



Title Holidays & Homicide

 

Author Lucinda Race

 

Genre Paranormal Witch Cozy Mystery

 

Book Blurb

 

Welcome to Pembroke Cove, where witches and murders are multiplying...


With twinkling lights and Christmas trees, the small seaside town of Pembroke Cove, Maine is dressed up for the season. Lily Michaels, bookstore owner and witch, is excited to be going to the Glow and Glide ice skating festival. This year as part of a couple with her new fiancé, Gage Erikson—who Milo, her familiar calls, Detective Cutie. It’s the holidays, what could go wrong? 


After the fun is over from the skating event Lily drives by the rink and is shocked to discover a body on the ice. Archie Dane is dead. Lily's intuition starts to twitch. When she learns there is a discarded mailbag near the body things really go wonky. Archie was a nice guy, but with claims of stolen mail parcels, was he a thief, stealing from his friends and neighbors? 


Suspects and motives are piling up faster than the crisp white snow. What is Archie’s new girlfriend, Noelle, hiding? What about his co-worker flirting with Noelle? With Lily's spell work improving and having escaped death four times in the last six months, will her luck hold while solving another murder? It’s a magical season, but will it be a merry Christmas for Lily and Gage? 

 

Excerpt

 

Tightly closing the door to my bookstore, I hurried down the brick sidewalk in the direction of the police station. But my destination, The Sweet Spot Bakery. Across the street I could see the holiday decorating committee was busy putting the final touches on the decorations around the ice skating rink. The annual holiday Winter Glow and Glide skating party was from seven to nine tonight. This was the first time Gage and I would be going as a couple. I looked at the glove on my left hand, saw a distinctive bump on my ring finger and sighed. We had been engaged for six weeks and it had been the best time in my life. The snow was blowing and creating drifts in the square, and I didn’t want to get pulled into a conversation with the volunteers. The store had been busy with holiday shoppers but I needed a quick pick-me-up, and it was easier to zip down Doenut Drive and past the police station to reach my friend William’s bakery. And if my handsome fiancé’s car, who was also a detective on the force, was in the parking lot, I’d take a quick detour and see if he wanted to join me for coffee. As I rounded the corner I noticed his parking spot was empty.

 

Pulling the hood of my wool jacket up and tugging on the laces, I braced myself against the freezing cold. The snow was picture-perfect for the holiday season and about time. I thought about how the first storm historically arrived right after Thanksgiving, but not this year. It was mid-December and this was the first measurable snowfall. A sharp toot of the horn caused me to look up, and I waved to Archie Dane, our mailman. His mail truck glided to a stop beside me.

 

“Hi, Lily, where are you headed?”

 

Archie’s wide smile always elicited a grin from me as he gave me a friendly wink. “Kinda cold out to be taking a walk.” Bright-red wool gloves were a sharp contrast to his blue uniform jacket which was neatly pressed. His short brown hair was partially covered by a blue knit hat with the USPS logo on the front. He looked as if he stepped from a recruiting poster for the post office. Well, except for the red gloves. They were downright practical for this weather.

 

“It’s refreshing and hopefully it will bring people out to skate tonight. I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but Robin’s Cafe is donating hot cider and cocoa, and The Copper Kettle and The Sweet Spot are hosting a cookie corner.”

 

“I’m looking forward to it. I’ve sharpened my skates and am ready to take a few turns around the ice.” He looked at the police station behind us. “Will you and Gage be coming?”

 

My heart sighed. It was the first year that we’d be skating as an engaged couple after all the years we’d been just best friends. It had taken me almost dying at the hands of some crazy lady, and a few close calls for us to open our eyes and state our true feelings. “We’re looking forward to it. I just hope I don’t spend more time on my backside than my feet.”

 

He said, “I’ve been walking around my house to practice wearing them again.” A wistful look splashed across his face. “If only I hadn’t lost at the state championship, who knows how far I could have gone in the world.” Tugging on the front of his jacket, he said, “But then I wouldn’t be here making sure the mail arrives on time to my friends and neighbors.”

 

I wanted to offer him sympathy that all works out for the best, but knew that no real words would comfort him. Never having experienced that type of setback, I decided to ease away from the topic. “Are you bringing someone with you tonight?”

 

The smile was back. “Noelle Webber. I met her a few weeks ago. She’s a driver at We DOT Shipping. We met delivering a package to the same place, and then I bumped into her again at the Magical Moonshine Pub in Robin’s Pointe—that’s where she lives. I think it was fate.”

 

I was genuinely pleased Archie had met a nice girl. At least I was assuming she was since he deserved someone special. “I’m looking forward to meeting her tonight.”

 

Gripping the steering wheel, he said, “I’d better get going. Mail delivery needs to get done so I can get to Robin’s Pointe and back in plenty of time to take Noelle for dinner before the Glow and Glide starts. It’s her first time skating, and I’m hoping she enjoys it.”

 

“I’m sure she will with you by her side.” If I hadn’t been paying attention, I wouldn’t have noticed the corners of his mouth deepen to a brief frown. “Yes. I need to get my coffee and get back to the store. With Christmas two weeks away, I’m in for a hectic day.”

 

Saying goodbye, Archie tapped the horn one more time as he pulled away. I watched as the small white vehicle took a left turn on Route One, leaving town and not heading where I thought his route went. I did feel bad for whatever was troubling him. The next time I got the chance, I’d ask him, just to make sure there wasn’t trouble that I could help him fix. I pulled my collar close to my face and hurried down the sidewalk. Winter in New England had finally arrived.


****


I was getting ready to lock up my bookstore for the day when the front door opened. Milo, my familiar, sat up on the front counter where I was working and said, “Well, look who’s here; it’s Detective Cutie.”

 

My fiancé was tall and well built, with the dreamiest hazel eyes and light brown hair. I could see from where I was standing his vintage cherry-red pickup was parked next to the curb. He crossed the room with a swagger full of confidence but not cocky. “Hello.” Gage’s deep voice warmed my heart. His voice held the same smile that was on his lips. Leaning in, he kissed me.

 

“Hello, yourself. I thought you were picking me up at home?”

 

His finger trailed down my cheek and gently pushed my chin up, tilting my face to him. “I couldn’t wait another minute to see you.”

 

My heart sighed as this kind of talk could potentially sway me from going skating, but I knew as a shop owner I needed to be at the event to support the town. “I’m glad you did.”

 

Milo started hacking up a hairball. “People can see you through the window.” He jumped down, trotted to his window seat, and then hopped up and settled onto the cushions.

 

Ignoring him and looking past Gage as the darkness fell, I said, “Did you see the tree in the square?”

 

He glanced over his shoulder. “You mean the lobster traps stacked to resemble a Christmas tree?” He smiled again. “It’s hard to miss with all those twinkle lights and shiny baubles.”

 

Now, I sighed loudly. “I think it’s a wonderful idea, and it will save a tree, and it’s in plain view of my shop so I can look at it until after the New Year.”

 

Cupping my cheek, he grazed my mouth with his. “I think the view inside is much better. Maybe we should stay in tonight.”

 

Laughing, I gave him a little shove. “Why, Detective Erikson, are you trying to divert my attention away from tonight’s event?” I knew that was exactly what he was trying to do. The last time there had been a major town event, someone had been killed, and of course, I started investigating. Solving it had been one of my finer moments, but Gage would never agree since I almost became a ghost.

 

Straightening, he said, “Can’t blame a guy for trying.”

 

I shooed him away from the counter. “Let me finish up, and we can go back to my house and have a quick bite of dinner. I want to get to the rink early. Archie Dane is going to introduce us to his new lady love. He said she’s from Robin’s Pointe.”

 

He wiggled his eyebrows. “I wonder what she’s like. Any idea how they met?” He took a chocolate kiss candy from the jar next to the cash register, unwrapped it before handing it to me, and then he took another for himself.

 

“They were both delivering a package to the same place, and they clicked instantly from what he said.” I popped the candy in my mouth, letting it melt on my tongue. I loved the creamy and sweet treat, and Gage indulged with me.

 

He twirled a finger around my face. “I hope Archie’s girl gets the same expression when he gives her a piece of chocolate.” He pecked my lips and a flirtatious gleam filled his eyes. “Are you sure we can’t skip skating? It’s pretty cold out, and it might snow again.”

 

“Gage, you’re incorrigible. Now, make yourself useful and either pick up dinner or sit in that wingback chair and wait for me to finish. The more you distract me, the longer this takes.”

 

Holding up his hands in surrender, he said, “Fine, fine. We’ll go skating, but you’re buying me a cocoa, maybe two.”

 

I arched my brow and gave him a look that said, really? 

 

“Or I’ll buy.” He laughed. Sitting in the chair, he asked, “How was business today?”

 

“Brisk, and not a single thing out of the ordinary happened.” I finished putting the cash in the money bag and slid it into my tote. “Okay, I’m ready. I’ll go out the back and meet you at the house.”

 

“Come on. I’ll drive you home. The roads are slick and we can pick up your car later.”

 

That was an offer I wasn’t going to refuse. My Mini Cooper was great in the snow because it sat low and wide to the ground, but riding with Gage was more appealing. “Milo, are you coming with us?”

 

“It’s better than getting wet paws tramping through the snow.” He landed with a soft thud on the floor and waited patiently next to the front door.

 

I locked up in the back room and grabbed my coat, hat, and mittens. Now I was ready. Going back into the store, I said, “Let’s get this party started.”

 

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub)

 


 

 

 

 


 

 


Author Biography

 

Award-winning and best-selling author Lucinda Race is a lifelong fan of fiction. As a young girl, she spent hours reading cozy mystery and romance novels and getting lost in the fictional worlds. While her friends dreamed of becoming doctors and engineers, her dream was to become a writer—a novelist.

 

As life twisted and turned, she found herself writing nonfiction but longed to turn to her true passion. After developing the storyline for the McKenna Family Romance series, it was time to start living her dream. Her fingers practically fly over computer keys she weaves stories with strong, quirky characters, snarky humor, and toss in a bit of romance. To date, she has published over 30 novels paranormal cozy mysteries, and romance.Lucinda lives with her two little dogs, a miniature long hair dachshund and a shitzu mix rescue, in the rolling hills of western Massachusetts. When she's not at her day job, she’s immersed in her fictional worlds. And if she’s not writing novels, she’s reading everything she can get her hands on.

 

Social Media Links

 

 

 

Lucinda’s Heart Racers Reader Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/118597305361578

 

 

Linked In

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