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Meow Missing by Lisa J. Lickel is an Indie Reads event pick #cozymystery #indiereads #giveaway



Title: Meow Missing


Author: Lisa J Lickel


Genre: Cozy Mystery


Book Blurb:


When newlywed Ivy’s mother shares disturbing news about her sister-in-law, Ivy vows to find her missing aunt and her aunt’s mysterious husband. Home in Apple Grove after a shortened honeymoon, Ivy is confronted with her first quandary of married life: admit to her husband that she picked up a piece of garbage that turns out to be the tip of the iceberg of an international smuggling ring, or toss the evidence? While seeking advice from her mom, retired criminal studies professor Geneva Preston, Ivy learns her aunt is missing in South America. Ivy happens upon a robbery and is kidnapped by desperados demanding a response to the terrible plight of itinerant coffee workers. Smugglers, itinerant coffee workers, fair trade labeling practices, Apple Fest, and more drama with Ivy’s former fiancé Stanley are the latest wrinkles in Ivy and Adam’s life. When they get to settle down to enjoy their new marriage is anyone’s guess.


Excerpt:


I nearly panicked at the sight of my bare left ring finger.


Then I remembered I’d placed my wedding band in its box so I could have the jeweler solder it to my engagement ring. Together like that, they were supposed to be more stable, with less risk of loss. Anything that provided stability was a win in my corner. The word picture, soldered together, was a nice commentary on relationships in my newly wedded state.


Adam would drop the box off at Wyler’s Fine Jewelry on his way to work at City Hall.


I unzipped my toiletries case in the bathroom of Adam’s—no, our—apartment. My name was taped inside the bag in case it ever got separated from me. Ivy Preston, and a really old e-mail address. I was going to have to get used to saying “Thompson” for my new last name, not that I hadn’t been dreaming about it over the last year and a half since Adam and I started our relationship.


Home at last after a ten-day honeymoon cruise on the Mississippi River, the thought of mundane chores like unpacking, doing laundry, or cleaning had never thrilled me before. I couldn’t wait to take care of my new home. What happened to my happy independent inner woman?


Adam’s arms wrapped me from behind and he nuzzled the side of my neck.


Mm…the real answer was that, finally, everything was right.


Thoughts of rocks through my windows, dead bodies under unworn wedding gowns, cold jail cells, and mysterious Samuel Clemens look-alikes lying on the floor flew out the bathroom vent with Adam’s loving hold.


“Good morning, Ivy, my wife.” Adam drew back to stare into my eyes, an action which had me flushing warm all over again.


“Husband.” I rolled the word around my tongue.


“Getting things squared away? You have enough space in here, or do you want another shelving unit installed?” He turned to survey the contents of my bag and the amount of room left in the cupboard bathroom of the apartment above Mea Cuppa, his—our—gourmet coffee, book, and gift store in downtown Apple Grove, Illinois.


A sigh of bliss built up in my chest. What other man would be concerned about whether he had enough room for me instead of complaining that I had too much female stuff?


“Ivy?”


“Oh, yes, there’s plenty of room.” I shook away the stars and hearts orbiting my head of fuzzy curls when he smiled again.


Then he did the watch-checking thing.


“Time for me to get down to the office.”


I tried to keep my grin from slipping, but I couldn’t fight gravity. My brand new husband had done admirably on our trip, the first time he’d spent more than a week away from his successful book and coffee shop chain store for many years. He hadn’t escaped from his mayoral duties as lightly, however, and answered texts or voice-mail at least daily.


Suck it up, Ivy, I reminded myself. You knew you were marrying the mayor. No complaining. I kissed the almost-dimple side of his mouth and adjusted the scarf he wore casually to disguise the old burn scars around his neck. “There’s a lot to do with Apple Fest around the corner,” I said. “This will be a good year for celebrating, considering all the new business and community growth.”


The light in his lovely molten metal eyes shone with understanding. “With your tech skills to keep the communications organized and up to date, not to mention the advertising, I expect we’ll pick up the slack of missing last year’s festival.”


“There was a lot going on, what with the unusual amount of murders and all,” I mumbled.


Adam just hugged me, kissed my temple, and left, whistling, down the stairs to walk the couple of blocks to City Hall, as he usually did.


A whiff of chocolate mocha wafted up from the shop below and made my stomach rumble. The temporary manager, Gina Prebble, would be here through the weekend, taking care of opening and closing and running the store. She’d agreed to stay in our apartment last week with its exceptionally convenient commute to work when Adam’s sister Marie made the arrangements for us. When we’d returned a couple of days early from the trip due to low water canceling one of the extra boating excursions we’d booked, Gina had thoughtfully moved to the fancy Prairie Hotel and Conference Center out on the highway, expenses covered, of course.


I glanced around the cream and navy blue bathroom with its sparkling fixtures. Gina was either amazingly clean or had hired someone. I still felt the need to wipe everything down. Not that I was germophobic—just the thought of another woman being the first in my space…well, you know.


After the quick bleach session, I rinsed and finished hanging up my toothbrush next to Adam’s…and felt something rattle in the empty toiletries bag. What had I left? I shook it out into my palm and was immediately transported back eleven days to the wedding, or rather, the prelude to our wedding night at Mrs. Daucett’s perfectly dreamy Victorian Bed and Breakfast in Hannibal, Missouri.


I had tripped on the hem of my wedding dress after we’d climbed the steps to the third floor turret room at the inn. Thankfully it happened privately, not in front of everyone at the actual wedding. I had landed on all fours in front of my husband who was about to open the door to our room. Well, more, like face-planted on the floor in front of Sam Clemens when I accidentally kicked his door open.


Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):




What makes your featured book a must-read?


Reviewers of the Meow mystery series say: “I liked the characters very much and always had to keep reading to see what happened next. As an added bonus, I am also a cat lover and having had grown up in a small town I particularly loved the descriptions of small-town life and the sense of community that is inherent in living one. Really good, witty humor, with coffee, chocolate and cats. What's not to like?! Ivy Preston is amazing.” If you like a little mystery for a time-out during the busy season or long cold winter, try life in Apple Grove with Ivy and her family, both human and feline.


Giveaway –

Enter to win a $35 Amazon gift card:

Open Internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to win. Runs December 13 – December 21, 2022. Winner will be drawn on December 22, 2022.



Author Biography:


Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin author of inspiring fiction who loves books, collects dragons, and travels. She loves to encourage authors. Lisa is a member of the Wisconsin Writers Association, the Chicago Writers Association, and Assistant Director and book coach for Novel-In-Progress Bookcamp and Writing Retreat, Inc. She is an avid book reviewer and blogger, editor, and manager of Wisconsin Writers Association Press. Lisa and her husband enjoy travel, gardening, and love spending time with their family. They have two grown sons, daughters-in-law, and lots of adorable grandchildren. Find more at www.LisaLickel.com.


Social Media Links:


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lisalickel

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