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The Ballad of Buddy by Carolyn Fenzl is a Shake Off Winter Doldrums pick #romcozy #cozymystery #mustread #giveaway


The Ballad of Buddy



Carolyn Fenzl





Book Blurb:


Memory has consequences.


With a dubious history and no memory of his mysterious disappearance, Buddy Wilson’s search for answers leads to a revelation that will change his life forever.


Buddy seeks the help of a therapist to regain his memory, lost when he disappeared without a trace in small town Cave Creek, Virginia. But a string of unnerving incidents, strange packages and ominous notes seem aimed at stopping Buddy’s endeavor. And when a body turns up and he’s a person of interest, he and his new friend Sophie embark on a journey to solve the mystery while ultimately confronting the past.




His mom had always been there for him, and he knew he could always turn to her. But she had been through enough already, and he felt it was his job to protect her. He tried to keep their conversations light and free from anything that would upset her. That had become more difficult to do in the last few months, with his disappearance, amnesia, and the business with his last job. He didn’t want to talk about any of it with her.


She had been so distraught when she learned Buddy was missing. The longer he was gone, the more certain she was that some terrible accident or foul play had befallen her only child. She was ecstatic when he turned up alive and unharmed. But he just didn’t know how to answer her questions. He felt bad that he had put her through such anguish yet again, and it’s not like he knew what happened. He had no recollection of anything that took place between sitting at the Yummy Freeze and when Richard and those other guys found him weeks later and miles away in the woods.


Fortunately, once Buddy made it clear he didn’t want to talk about it, Betty didn’t press him any further. She was just so relieved to have her baby back, she was willing to respect his privacy. All she cared about was that he was okay.


“Have you been leaving the house much?” he finally asked his mom.


“Well, I go to work,” she replied. “Why?”


“One of your back tires is low on air, did you notice?”


“Why, no,” she said, blushing slightly.


“It’s nothing to be embarrassed about, Mom. I’ll fill it up before I leave today.”


“I’ve been getting a ride to work with a friend, actually,” she replied, still blushing.


“Well, that’s nice, but if your carpool doesn’t work out one day, it’s good to have your tires safe for these winter roads.”


Betty nodded and cleared her throat. “Thank you honey.”


Just then the phone rang. Buddy was sure his mom must be the last person in Cave Creek with a landline. She had a cell phone that he had purchased for her, but she still preferred her landline. She stood and picked up the receiver from where it hung on the wall.


“Well, hello!” Betty said, her tone brightening considerably. “He’s here now, we’re having brunch…okay, tomorrow then.” She sat back down without saying anything.


“Who was that?”


“Just my carpool,” Betty replied casually, waving away the question. “Just making sure we’re on for tomorrow.”


Buddy nodded and dug back into his food.


Still pleasantly full from brunch, Buddy pulled back into his parking spot at his apartment building. He walked up to his door and pushed the key into the hole. It wouldn’t turn, and he grumbled and checked the apartment number on the door to make sure he hadn’t made a mistake.


Maybe there’s ice in the keyhole, he thought as he jammed the key in again and jiggled it to try to get it to turn. But it remained locked. He looked down at his key ring, which only held his apartment key, a key to his mom’s house, a mailbox key, and his truck key. The business office was closed on Sundays, so if he couldn’t get into his apartment he’d have to drive back over to his mom’s and stay until the next day.


Frustrated, he jammed the key in a third time. This time, it turned smoothly in the lock, and he heard it click open. Relieved, he entered his apartment, hanging his keys on the hook next to the front door. The apartment seemed cold, so he checked the thermostat. It was turned down to 60 degrees.


There’s no way he would have turned the thermostat to 60 in January. Plus, he was sure the apartment was toasty warm this morning because he remembered the shock of the cold on his skin when he left his apartment. The only thing he could figure was that the maintenance crew must have entered while he was gone. He checked the coffee table and kitchen counters for a note, but there wasn’t one to find. It was strange they hadn’t left a note, but maybe one of the neighboring units had an emergency.


Buddy cranked the thermostat up to 72 degrees, hoping to warm up his apartment quickly. It wasn’t a huge space, just a kitchen and living room combo with a single bedroom and bathroom. Buddy headed into the bathroom and flicked on the light. He stopped dead in his tracks. There was a strange symbol drawn on his bathroom mirror in black marker. He knew the symbol from the hat he found in his couch and the man he saw at the bar.


“What the hell?” he exclaimed. He swallowed hard and looked at the shower curtain beside him. Steeling himself for a fight, he flung the curtain aside. But no one was there. Buddy searched his entire apartment, opening closet doors and cupboards, checking that the windows were locked, and even looking under the bed. There was no sign that anyone had been there or broken in, other than the symbol on the mirror.


Buddy’s heart was racing. Something was going on, and he felt in his gut that he was in danger.


Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):






What’s your favorite activity to shake off the winter doldrums?


I enjoy spending time during the winter learning more about my hobbies and interests. I take classes, both online and in person, and attend zoom calls to talk to others with shared interests. It keeps me from feeling “snowed in” both figuratively and literally!


Why is your featured book a cure for the winter blues?


The Ballad of Buddy will take you on your own winter adventure with unexpected twists and turns around every corner. And it will heat up the season with a little winter romance along the way. You’ll want to wrap yourself in your coziest blanket or sit in front of a crackling fire while you delve into Buddy’s winter of gathering clues and flying sparks!


Giveaway –


One lucky reader will win a $35 Amazon gift card



Open internationally.


Runs March 1 – 31, 2024


Drawing will be held on April 1, 2024. 


Author Biography:


Carolyn Fenzl is romcozy author of The Ballad of Buddy, a 2023 Indies Today Book Award Finalist, and the Lucy Vaughn Mystery Series, including The Debt Collectors and Christmas in Cave Creek. The latter received a 5-Star Review from Indies Today, won a Literary Titan Silver Book Award, received an Honorable Mention in the Women’s – Mystery category at the Fall 2022 BookFest Awards competition, and won a Gold Medal from the Dan Poynter Global Ebook Awards.

Like her protagonist Lucy Vaughn, Carolyn loves entering sweepstakes and wrote No Purchase Necessary: How I’m Beating the Odds, her memoir about the hobby. She is a current member of the Idaho Writers Guild and the National Federation of the Blind’s Writers Division.

Before she started writing books, Carolyn earned a B.A. in history from the University of Virginia and a J.D. from Vermont Law School. Carolyn lives in Idaho with her husband, cats, and a trusty guide dog. 


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3 comentários

Lisa J Lickel
Lisa J Lickel
22 de mar.



12 de mar.

I read a lot of holiday romances!


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
07 de mar.

Thank you, Carolyn, for sharing your book in our Shake Off Winter Doldrums!

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