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New Release | Tea & Trouble: A Paranormal Witch Bookstore Cozy Mystery #newrelease #cozymystery



Title Tea & Trouble: A Paranormal Witch Bookstore Cozy Mystery


Author Lucinda Race


Genre Paranormal Cozy Mystery


Book Blurb


A fall festival, reading tea leaves and a few clues propel Lily into a new murder investigation.


Bookstore owner Lily Michaels still doesn’t know which kind of witch she’s going to be. She’s planning to read fortunes at her parents’ tea booth at the Fall Festival in the small town of Pembroke Cove, Maine. Is that her gift? Her snarky familiar, Milo, isn’t a lot of help. Lily’s mother warned her that reading the leaves would change someone’s life. Lily’s ready to make some changes of her own. Her relationship with Detective Gage Erikson—a.k.a. Detective Cutie— seems to be stuck in the perpetual friend zone. Maybe it’s time she went on a real date with someone else, like the new guy in town, Dax Peters. Gage would like nothing more than to go on a real date with Lily, but romance will have to take the back burner when he’s is called to investigate another murder. Someone cut short the life of successful rose grower, Dean Hartley. Since when does horticulture lead to homicide? Gage would be thrilled if Lily stuck to reading tea leaves and stayed out of trouble, but that’s just not in her puzzle-loving personality. Why were all the garden club members arguing with Dean at the festival? When Lily teams up with Gage once again in the race to resolve the rose-grower’s murder, can she continue to keep both her feelings and her magic a secret from Gage? Or will roses finally lead to romance for them? Tea and Trouble is the third novel in A Book Store Cozy Mystery Series, although each book can be read as standalone. A sweet and clean cozy mystery with a guaranteed the culprit is caught. Happy reading!


Excerpt


I tilted my head back, face toward the early morning sun, and drank in the crisp fall air. It was a perfect day for the annual Pembroke Cove Fall Festival. Today I was reading fortunes at my parents’ tea booth. I slowly twirled in my long deep-burgundy velvet dress. The hem of the matching cloak brushed the tops of my ankle boots as Gage Erikson, my best friend and hopefully someday my boyfriend, touched my hand. I wanted to look the part of a witch but I didn’t want to wear all black. Aunt Mimi had found this dress in an old wooden trunk which had been tucked away, unopened, in her attic for years. The bonus, it was a perfect fit, as if it was made for me. I know my aunt thought it was kismet and even with being a witch, it didn’t mean everything in life I touched was magical.


“Lily, you look beautiful.” Gage’s hand warmed mine and his smile was the real deal.


I did a mini curtsy. “Thank you, sir.” I took a long look at what was supposed to be his costume. All the people working the festival agreed to stick with the theme of their booths. “What made you come up with dressing like a farmer in overalls and flannel?”


“I’m helping Marshall Stone with his stand.” He pointed just across the town square. “I’ll be right over there and we can make funny faces at each other all day.”


I couldn’t help but laugh at the way his eyebrows wiggled when he talked. “We’re not twelve anymore.” I hated those years were long gone twenty-five years ago. He twirled me again and this time he pulled me closer to his chest. He looked into my eyes with an intensity I hadn’t seen before.


“After the last six weeks, I think we should go back to when we were kids and didn’t have anything more to worry about than fishing and going to a movie at the Lights Out Theatre. Two murders and me getting crushed under that sign at the Clam Shack has been a lot to handle.” Concern clouded his eyes. “And you did most of the heavy lifting.”


I flashed him a cautious grin. I wasn’t sure if he was referring to me levitating the sign off his body—which he still didn’t know I actually did—or the fact that I was directly involved in solving the murders of Flora Gray and Teddy Roberts. With a nonchalant shrug, I said, “It was no big deal. I like puzzles and both of those incidents were a way to exercise my brain.”


He leaned in and kissed my cheek like he always did while he said, for my ears alone, “My best friend is brilliant.”


And there it was, the perpetual friend zone. Would Gage ever look at me as more than his friend? Probably not. This had been going on for years. Maybe it was time I started dating someone else. Possibly Dax Peters, the investigator who had come to town around the time Flora was killed. He seemed to be showing more than a passing interest in me lately.


Before I responded to his compliment, I noticed my parents headed in our direction. Dad was carrying a carboard box which would hold paper teacups and other supplies for brewing various teas and my mother had a tote bag slung over her shoulder with what I guessed would be her special blend. My aunt had told me Dad was a witch, but my mom wasn’t. However, her tea blends were amazing, and today I would be reading tea leaves from a special blend she had created just for the festival. In addition, she had bags of other teas to sell in our booth.


I tugged my hand from his. “I need to help my parents. They brought more supplies for the booth.”


“I’ll come too.” He fell in step beside me and it was just one of the reasons he was a good guy, always ready to lend a hand. “Did Mindy make her special blend again this year?”


I gave him a quick side-glance. “You never miss a trick, do you?”


He puffed his chest up and strutted a bit. “It’s my job, ma’am, to notice the little details as a detective on Pembroke Cove’s police force.”


I laughed so hard a snort escaped. “Easy, Detective, you might strain the buttons on your flannel shirt.”


My parents met us halfway, and Gage took the bag from over my mother’s shoulder and the box Dad was carrying. “Hello, Reed.” He gave my mother a one-armed hug. “Mindy.” He looked at me. “Doesn’t Lily look great in her witch costume?”


Dad’s brow quirked at the word costume. Mom placed a gentle hand on his arm and said, “She looks amazing.”


Mom reached out and straightened my modified witch hat. “I like how you decorated the traditional black hat with burgundy lace and cutouts of teacups.”


“A touch of whimsy, Mom.” I linked arms with hers and we crossed the leaf-covered grass to our booth space. Parked behind the tables was a tiny silver camper from the 1970s. It was one my parents used every time they went to fairs in the northeast. Inside, we could heat water, get warm if the day was chilly, and if the day turned hot, cool off. And the best part was the fridge stocked with snacks.


Mom scanned the table setup. “I see you have everything ready to go.”


“There wasn’t much to do. You had it organized inside. All I had to do was flick out the tablecloth, put cushions on the seats, and set out the bags of tea that you want to sell.” I held up one hand and announced. “Voila.”


Gage said, “Just like magic.”


I leaned closer to Mom, and she wrapped her arm around my body, and whispered, “He doesn’t know.”


She nodded and conveyed her understanding with a concerned smile. Mom had known for years I have been in love with Gage, even if he didn’t. But I had come to terms with our relationship and for the most part accepted we would always be best friends even if it wouldn’t lead to anything more.


“Looks like it’s going to be a great day for a festival,” Dad said. “Gage, are you joining us in our booth this year?”


“No, sir. I volunteered to work at Marshall’s booth. His helper got food poisoning and Marshall needs an extra set of hands.” He set the box and bag on the corner of the display table. “Is there more in the truck?”


Dad nodded. “Ladies, we’ll be back.”


They started off in the direction of vendor parking, and Mom began to unpack the bagged tea. “Are you ever going to tell Gage that you care for him as more than a friend?”


I picked up a sleeve of paper teacups and began to set them up next to the bag of loose-leaf tea I would use for the readings. Longing to say yes, I instead looked away and said, “No. He doesn’t think of me in that way.”


Mom quirked a brow. “Are you sure about that?”


I looked at him walking next to Dad. “He’s had so many opportunities and never said anything.”


“Neither have you.” It was a gentle rebuke, but I was a bit old-fashioned and thought the man should state his feelings first. Like Gage asking me on a real date. Not like the casual, hey, let’s have dinner tonight, kind of comment.


“We’re better off as friends. If we started dating, it might not work out, and then I’d lose what we have.”


“That’s not like you, Lily, leaning into the fear of something not working out. You’ve always been an eternal optimist.” She smoothed my hair back from my face and searched my eyes. “Do you want to talk about what is really going on?”


Maintaining eye contact, I said, “I’ve made a decision to start dating. I might even ask Dax Peters if he’d like to have coffee with me.” That went against my idea of dating, but those rules only applied to Gage.


Mom’s hand cupped my cheek and she kissed the other one. “I think that is a fine idea. Get out there and have some fun.”


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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 dreams were 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 about strong women and the men who love them. To date she has published over 20 romance novels and several paranormal cozy mysteries. 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



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