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A KILLER LATTE CHAPTER ONE





ONE



“Quiet on the set!” yelled the man in the director’s chair, Oscar-winning producer Stephen Lemon.
Actress Daisy Lemon in all her Hollywood glamour was standing right in front of the Bean Hive
Coffeehouse, located on the renovated Lake Honey Springs boardwalk in Honey Springs, Kentucky.

My coffeehouse.
The pride swelled in my heart as I watched Daisy deliver the last lines of the big-screen movie they’d been filming over the past three weeks.
Everyone had come out to watch the final scene being taped before the big production company left town. They stood behind the police line, gasping with excitement as soon as Stephen Lemon yelled, “That’s a wrap!”
“Who knew?” my aunt Maxine Bloom asked in her long Southern drawl. “This has turned out to be such a great experience for not only Honey Springs but the entire state.”
Aunt Maxi’s short, now bleached-blond hair was sticking straight up. I was sure she used a full can of Aqua Net hairspray. She had a hot-pink feather boa draped around her neck, and it waved in the air from the big fans used on the set and blowing our way. I tucked a stray strand of my curly black hair back in the low-ponytail hairstyle I’d chosen today for my unruly locks.
Aunt Maxi was the editor in chief of Sticky Situation, the gossip column in the Honey Springs newspaper. There was no better place to get some good hot gossip than right here on the boardwalk, where they were filming the last scene on Lake Honey Springs. Aunt Maxi was ripe for some good gossip.
“People magazine?” I asked when I read a piece of paper, taped to her chest, which read, “People magazine.”
 “People magazine tweeted me back after I hashtagged them when I posted a photo of the movie set.” Aunt Maxi was pretty tech savvy, better than any mid-sixty-year-old I’d ever come across. “Writing an article for them.”
She picked up the camera, dangling from the strap hanging around her neck. She held it up to her eyes. Using her free hand, she twisted the lens until she pushed the capture button. The bangles from her elbow to her wrist jingled and jangled. “That’s gonna be a good shot.”
She dropped the camera from her eyes and looked over at Daisy Lemon, the lead actress playing the heroine in the latest Sicholas Narks romance novel. The backdrop of Lake Honey Springs, and the small town of Honey Springs, was a perfect character all on its own that would play well on the big screen. “I’ve got thousands of photos already. Gonna be hard to pick a handful.”
 “That’s great.” I couldn’t have been more pleased for her and Honey Springs. It gave us a break from reading all the gossip she stuck in her piece, mostly filled with half-truths.
“Great working with all of you and my beloved Daisy.” Stephen turned around and addressed the crew.
His words caused a flurry of activity, from the key grip putting the equipment down and the extras taking a break, to Daisy’s makeup artist patting her face, to our very own Crissy Lane making sure Daisy’s hair was perfect. Everyone rushed over to fan Daisy from the heat.
We were in full-blown spring in Kentucky. It wasn’t the normal season most of the country experienced. One day we could have summer temperatures and the next have snow. Today was a hot day.
“Daisy! Daisy!” Penney Bloom, my mother, screamed from behind the police line across from me. She was waving something in the air. “Daisy!”
Crissy shuffled a little to Daisy’s left, glancing over her shoulder at Mom, giving her a little scowl. The red freckles on Crissy’s face reddened. Crissy’s sun-washed blond hair was pulled up in a topknot. Hints of her natural red hair were apparent at the roots.
I sucked in a deep breath and headed toward my mom. I could see a storm brewing on her face. Don’t get me wrong. Penney would never have a hissy fit in public, but she would with me on the phone.
“Did you see what that Crissy Lane just did to me?” Mom snarled. “She just gave me the cold shoulder. Well, when all of this”—Mom circled her finger around, suggesting the movie set—“when all of this is all gone and Crissy still has to work at Touched By An Angel, she’ll be thinking twice about shunning me today, because I am one of her best customers. Not to mention, I did a lot of fancy paperwork to get her that loan for her house.”
 “Mom.” I greeted her with a hug. “What are you waving around?” I didn’t even acknowledge what Crissy had done. But Mom was right. When all the fancy movie folks left town and took Daisy, poor Crissy would be left with all the fried, dried, and oily hair left in Honey Springs to dig her fingers into.
“Me and the Southern Women’s Club have put together a musical CD, and if anyone knows how to get it in the stores, it’s for sure got to be Daisy Lemon.” Mom was serious. “Maxine!” Mom screamed over my head and waved the CD in the air. “If you get an interview, you give her our CD.”
“You and Aunt Maxi?” That about took my breath away. My mom and Aunt Maxi weren’t the best of friends.
“Don’t talk out of turn.” Mom didn’t even look at me when she was telling me to mind my own business in her own colorful language. “Besides, Maxine and I have come to somewhat of terms since I’ve been here.”
“Mom, I had to get married by the justice of the peace so I wouldn’t hurt your feelings or Aunt Maxi’s feelings when the preacher asked who gives away the bride.” I recalled my Halloween wedding and how I couldn’t take another fight from the two of them.
“We aren’t talking about that.” Mom threw her hand up in the air and waved the CD.
Across from us, at the other police line, a lot of people were yelling, “Daisy! Daisy!”
Other women I’d recognized, who belonged to the Southern Women’s Club, were in a collective quest to get Daisy’s attention, all of them waving the CD in their hands.
“Y’all’ve been busy,” I said with a sigh. No wonder Mom and the usual gossipy women of Honey Springs hadn’t been driving me nuts at the coffeehouse all winter. “I thought it was too cold for you to visit me at the Bean Hive during the winter months, when all along you’ve been breaking into showbiz,” I teased and scanned the police line that was blocking off this part of the boardwalk area.
“The real estate market was slow, so I used my extra time coming up with music, because I knew if I could get it in Daisy’s hands…” She abruptly stopped and pointed the CD at the far side of the police line. “Look, there’s Patrick.” She pointed to my husband.
 The big wrap party the movie crew bragged about not missing was tonight. No one wanted to miss it, including me, though I was working it. Camey Montgomery, owner of the Cocoon Hotel, where the wrap party was going to be taking place, had me serving some sweet treats and specialty coffees I’d created at the Bean Hive.
Patrick and I waved at each other across the boardwalk. He was talking to a pregnant woman and a man I didn’t recognize. Daisy walked into the very small trailer the Honey Springs Beautification Committee had placed on the boardwalk for Daisy to hang out in between takes, causing the spectators to quiet down.
“Mom,” I tsked, turning back to her. “You have the Southern Women’s Club all over this boardwalk.”
“You can give it to her.” She smacked the CD on the Bean Hive logo embroidered on the front of my apron. Daisy and Stephen Lemon had paid me handsomely to keep the production crew in coffee and sweets.
“You give it to her at the wrap party.” I pushed the CD back to her.
“You mean…” Penney gasped, gripping the CD to her chest. “You’re inviting me?”
“I do have an extra pass. Patrick has his own pass. So you might as well go with me.” I smiled.
“I know you, Roxy Bloom.” Penney shook her finger at me. “What gives?”
“Nothing.” I gave a little shrug. “Can’t I just do something nice?”
Mom squealed, bounced, and beamed.
The crowd erupted when Daisy’s trailer door opened, and she came out with a flowing maxi dress with big sunflowers all over it. The wig she’d worn to look like the heroine from the novel the movie was based on was long gone, and her long blond mane fell in curls around her face and down her back. Pale skin and red lips looked really good on her. I even caught Patrick gawking at her when she walked by him. She stopped and had her photo taken with the pregnant woman and the man Patrick had been talking to.
“What’s she handing out?” James Farley, owner of the Buzz In-N-Out Diner, had his heated-food pushcart filled with all sorts of greasy food.
 “I have no idea, but we need one.” It amazed me how Daisy had these people in a trance.
James had landed a contract with the production company to feed them breakfast, dinner, and supper.
We watched in awe at how Daisy made everyone around her melt into her hands like putty. The closer Daisy got to our side of the boardwalk, I could see she was handing out manila envelopes.
“You grab us one of those envelopes,” I told James. “I’ve got to go set up for the production’s final town meeting at All About the Details now that they aren’t filming in front of the coffeehouse. Then get stuff down to the Cocoon Hotel for the wrap party.”
“What’s the meeting about?” James asked. He didn’t take his eyes off Daisy. “She sure is pretty.”
“From what I gathered, Daisy is going to talk to the beautification committee and mayor about the production company presenting the town with a bust or something.” I ignored his comment about Daisy’s beauty.
“Is that what they are doing in Central Park?” He asked about the park located in downtown Honey Springs.
“Yeah. I think it’s going to be near the gazebo.” I watched as everyone gushed over Daisy.
As the coffeehouse owner, I’d come up with a specialty latte that I’d concocted just for the time they were in Honey Springs to film the movie. I called it the Star-Studded Latte.
The day of wrapping up had finally come, and soon my very busy life would return to my morning routine of getting up at four a.m., getting to the coffeehouse, and getting freshly baked goods made and coffee brewed before the six a.m. morning rush.
Plus, my sweet Pepper and Sassy, my and Patrick’s fur babies, who were used to coming to work with us, had been holed up in our cabin during the three weeks. With the production company filming the scenes on the boardwalk in front of the coffeehouse, it was hard to try to keep the dogs from barking, not to mention the times I needed to take them on a quick walk or to go potty. It was best for everyone that they stayed home. But I missed them terribly and really was looking forward to the production company leaving town, though it had been fun to watch how they made movies.
“Excuse me.” The faint voice was followed up by a gentle tap on my shoulder.
I turned around and was face-to-face with Daisy Lemon. James was right. Her beauty was even more stunning up close.
“Are you the one who is making those fabulous lattes?” she asked in a romantic voice that I couldn’t wait to try when she wasn’t around. “The entire crew is raving about them.”
“Yes, Mrs. Lemon.” I felt like she was a princess and I needed to curtsy or something. “Is there a problem?”
She lifted her fingers to the diamond necklace around her neck and gently fondled it with her fingertips. She leaned in and whispered, “I will come see you in a few minutes when my husband goes to the meeting.”
“Sure.” My eyes popped open. What on earth could Daisy Lemon want with me?
“Shhh.” She moved her finger from her diamonds to my lips. “It’s a secret, darling.”


A Killer Latte Preorder


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Welcome to the Bean Hive Coffeehouse where the coffee is as hot as the gossip!

“Fabulous fun and fantastic fried food! Kappes nails small town mystery with another must-read hit. Don’t miss this one!”
– Darynda Jones, New York Times Bestselling Author of Eighth Grave After Dark

Light, camera, lattes!

A film production crew is wrapping up a major movie filming in Honey Springs, Kentucky. 
Everyone is excited. The production crew has brought the bright lights to the tourist town and The Bean Hive has been supplying the production crew with unlimited treats and coffee.

When film actress Daisy Lemon comes in for a taste of the Star Studded Latte being served at the Bean Hive, Roxy Bloom is excited to serve her one. It would be good for promotion for Roxy to get a photo of the famous actress drinking her creation, only Roxy is witness to Daisy's kidnapping. 

The Star Studded Latte is now know as the Kidnap Latte, bringing national attention to the Bean Hive, attention that's not necessarily welcome. 

With production on hold and Stephen Lemon, Daisy's husband, as the number one suspect, Roxy puts back on her law hat to help Stephen not only clear his name, but find Daisy before Honey Springs is no longer known for the cute, southern, lake tourist town due to the sudden spotlight on the cozy town.

A MYSTERY writer at the NCAA Basketball Tournament . . . a lot of killing going on!



I keep getting questions about NKU and my ties to the school. First off, I got my second degree from Northern Kentucky University after I'd gotten married and had kids. BUT my first degree is from the University of Kentucky, which I LOVEEEEE that school too!

Jack, my youngest son, is the manager of the men's basketball team at NKU. He's got a lot of responsibilities and a full time student. We love watching him do his thing at all the games. I'm super proud he's also on the Dean's list and holding down a full time job. He is paid from this and he's learning a lot on how to be a great coach after he graduates. 

As you can see, as a mother, I'm very involved. Eight years ago NKU (before us) was in a different league and they switched, making them a division one basketball team. By NCAA rules, they have to be in the league for five years, even if they do win their conference title, before they are eligible for the NCAA tournament, AKA the BIG DANCE! This is everyone's dream. 

It's like the Oscars for basketball. 

The first year, three years ago, when NKU had met its eligibility, we made it to the big dance. We played UK! No joke!! That put me in a horrible spot! I bleed blue, only. . .my baby comes first. So...now we root for both, but mostly NKU because now we have season tickets and we travel with the team. 


NKU ended up winning their conference again this year, giving us an automatic bid to the big dance. I knew I had to go even though our chances were slim to winning. My mom, sister and I set out to Tulsa, Oklahoma on a road trip with our tickets in hand. 



All the fans met at a lot Tulsa bar where there were free food and drinks along with the NKU pep band and cheerleaders. It was a lot of fun before the game.

Then....the game....

Yes we lost and I was so proud of them, but I have to say that my murderous mind was a foot!
Especially when the gentleman and his friends, who were in their 70's, were sitting behind me. He politely asked me about NKU and who was my son. I told him. He smiled and said that we were the underdog. He was right.

Here is when I played over and over in my head how I could kill him...
He tells me that he wasn't there for the team we were playing, but he was going to root for them anyways since I was pulling for the underdog! Then he rooted against us! I couldn't believe it. 

Here is the scene, we played Texas Tech and they are closer to Tulsa than Kentucky! The arena was full of Texas Tech fans and only about FIFTY NKU fans. This man wasn't even there for Texas Tech and he was old enough to know better or at least be nice. 

Yes...I will kill him in a book...maybe the next camper one!!

Needless to say, NKU was very excited we even got to the big dance and hopefully will go further next year. But it sure was fun even though we lost. I'm very proud of them!!
Spoken like a proud mama! 




Who are you rooting for in the NCAA basketball tournament? Or not even watching? Leave a comment to win a Tonya Kappes DESERTS, DRIVING, & DERELICTS audio book!

See ya next Monday!
xoxox
T.


What does Canyons, Caravans, & Cadavers have to do with the ACT scandal?


Six months ago I'd started to think about the plot for Canyons. I knew I wanted Mae to get recognized for her contribution to the booming economy in Normal, but also have to put the continuing success in trouble...meaning a murder that makes tourists think twice about going there for vacation, which is what gives Mae the motivation to want to save the town...yet again!

I also knew that I wanted Mae to be asked to teach a class with an honorary degree because she didn't LOVE school when she was a child. I thought this would be great to bring in to tie her past to the present. 

That's when I decided she had to go to the high school. BUT....what would be a big scandal for a teacher to get murdered?

I had to dig back to 30 years ago when I was graduating high school and try to think what the teachers really put stake into...THE ACT! 

That's how I got the idea to use the ACT and cheating on the ACT. I clearly remember someone who paid a kid to take the ACT and they got away with it. I used that experience to plot the book. 

You can imagine my surprise and giddiness I had when the big ACT scandal broke a couple of weeks ago! I just couldn't believe it!!! It was crazy!! 

But I hope you take a chance and read A CAMPER AND CRIMINALS COZY MYSTERY SERIES. Each book can be read as a stand alone and I know you're going to LOVE Mae!!




Camp Wildcat Reenactment and Giveaway!

***GIVEAWAY OVER***
CONGRATULATIONS TO Gina Johnson!!

Hi there! I'm so glad you're visiting our little town of Normal. Right over there is where the Camp Wildcat happened between the north and the south on the morning of October 21, 1861.
I'm Queenie French the Foundation of Camp Wildcat president. We've been doing the reenactment for years and this year is going to be the best yet. 

If you take a gander at the map, you'll see you're standing where the red star is located. 
I know the battle was in the fall, but Colonel Theophilous Garrard had started to form his unit in the spring of 1861. 

Besides, the weather in Kentucky in the fall is so wonky and unpredictable, I asked the committee to change the reenactment to the spring. Plus, look at this weather. Gorgeous!


Granted, the outcome of the reenactment is the same year after year, but I have to say that the actors I've picked this year will be fantastic and on their mark. It takes a lot of skill to drop dead and lay there for an hour or two until the reenactment is over. 

I know of few of my actors are a little. . .um . . .nervous since Greaser Gadie has escaped prison and they were on the jury. I'd be nervous too if I was a juror and he turned to me and say, "I'm taking a minute to remember your face so when I get out of here I'm going to find you and kill you."
But I'm sure he's long gone by now.

Right? I mean, if I escaped from prison, I wouldn't hang around to make good on a silly promise. . .would you???


A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mysteries are bestselling
camp mysteries set in the Daniel Boone National Park,
 and each of the books includes the 
added bonus of recipes and camping hacks.


BUY MOTORHOMES, MAPS, & MURDER BY CLICKING HERE!

CAMPFIRE BANANA BOATS

Ingredients
4 small bananas
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup miniature marshmallows

Directions:

1. Leaving skin on, cut the banana down the middle without cutting through the bottom of the skin.

2. Open the banana like a taco and add some chocolate chips and miniature marshmallows.

3. Wrap the stuffed banana in foil.

4. Sit the foiled banana on a grate over the open campfire.

5. Check the banana in five minutes and continue to check until the marshmallows and chocolate chips have melted to desired taste.

Click here to download the recipe!

QUESTION:
HAVE YOU EVER GONE TO A REENACTMENT? LEAVE A COMMENT TO WIN THE PRIZE PACK BELOW! ALSO~ PUT YOUR EMAIL IN YOUR COMMENT
*ARC COPY OF DESERTS, DRIVING, & DERELICTS
*COOLER TOTE
*IT'S A SOUTHERN MYSTERY Y'ALL JAR OPENER AND MEASURING SPOON
* MUCH MORE!!!
WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED AND CHOSEN ON FRIDAY!

The creative writer and shiny sticker syndrome

People! If you don't know...I'm a planner crazy person. I love all things shiny and sparkly. When September comes around, all the planner companies are having their big reveals for the upcoming year. 
Also at this time, you can order. I'm a hot mess from September to January. . . then an even hotter mess from January until April!

Let me explain.

Look how adorable and fun this Happy Stripe Simplified Planner is!!! I had to have it...
Then...
They came out with a bigger and better Pineapple Simplified Planner  with COFFEE STICKERS! Plus it was wire bound. Oh gosh, I had to have it!

But how functional was it for me? In all honesty, I did like this planner, I don't need an everyday life planner. Now that it's just me and Eddy, we go with the flow. I don't have to keep the schedule of four little boys along with school projects, homework, or even ball practices anymore so the big daytime planner really isn't what I need. 

What I need is a good business planner with goals in it. Goals, meaning, a production schedule of all my books along with everything I have to do get the books in your hands. 

I have to write the book, schedule the editor, schedule the cover artist, write the blurb, get the preorder up on KDP, get the book up on Goodreads, get the book up on Author Central, get the book up on Bookbub, schedule the formatter, make the memes, do the edits. . .the list goes on and on. It takes me a good three weeks to get the particulars of a book completed (not counting how long it takes me to write it), and ready just to get up for the preorder. 

That's the list I need and the kind of schedule I need. All of the things that need to be done have a certain order in which you have to do them. Sometimes I forget to do it by a certain date and then I'm scrambling. 

In December, I promised myself I was going to have a great system for this year. Quickly, I soon realized that this year was the year that I was going to have to live by trial and error to see what works for my business, the writing business. After all, it's a business and has to be run like one. 


But look at all those awesome stickers! I love the stickers....but the planning has to come first. 
Sadly, it was goodbye Simplified Planner and on to something else. 

I decided to make my own planner and went with the Happy Planner disc system. Then the shiny stickers got me again. 


Talk about sticker crazy! I went nuts. Eddy would see me get out my stickers and say, "is it playtime?" I would give him the stink eye and growl at him. But he was right. I didn't and don't need all those stickers and it wasn't a productive planner for me. 


After I got some wits about me and really sat down to plan out what I truly needed for the business side of writing, I did research like any good writer and found what's called the Master Planner. The girl who came up with it was in my boat. She was looking for a functional planner that would help keep her on course for her goals and not get all google eyed when a pretty sticker popped up. 

This planner has an actual goal setting, task, and daily accountability sheet for all of those tasks that need to be complete. It's actually been a month now and I've actually grown to LOVE this planner. 

Though there are a few spots that might have a couple shiny stickers in there to scratch that sticker itch!

Do you use a planner? Do you love stickers as much as me?





 

From convict to victim!


Convict to Victim. . . .From the eyes of Greaser Gadie,
MOTORHOMES, MAPS, & MURDER

Here’s the situation. I had to get out of that prison. It was breaking my soul and the only person I knew to turn to was Brother Lester Hager, the preacher at the Normal Baptist Church in Normal, Kentucky.

I’m telling you, my soul was crushed. When Brother Lester and them church women came to talk to the prisoners, me included, I wasn’t sure about all that. After all, them bible beaters where spoutin’ off stories of redemption and love.

Then I got thinkin’. I’m redempted and I deserve love. When that pretty young thing got off that bus behind Brother Lester, I knew that she was the love I deserved. Her name was as pretty as her light brown hair and her crystal blue eyes. Julip Kaye Knox. She was smart too. She’s a map maker. There’s a fancy name for that. . . but anyways.

When she put her hand in the air to talk to some of the prisoners, I knew I had to be in her group. She came trotting into the communal area and my heart beat as fast as a turbo charged engine.

Week after week, I studied exactly what Julip had left for homework because I wanted her to notice me. The best day of my life was when the prison guard came in and told me I had a visitor. You couldn’t imagine my surprise when Julip was standing right there. Alone. And on a different day than then the normal group visit.

It was then that I came up with my brilliant plan to escape from prison. I just had to be with her outside of the bars. By the look on her face, I knew she was on board, and the most important part of my ticket out.

I wooed her for a few weeks and talked sad mouth to her about my conditions making it her idea for me to escape, which got her excited. She was the one who told me the secret about Preacher Lester Hager was keeping, but it was my idea on how to come up with the blackmail scheme.

The next time the bible beaters came to the prison, instead of getting into Julip’s group, I decided to go to Preacher Lester. During a moment of silence prayer, I whispered in his ear what I knew and if he brought me a few thousand dollars, an extra set of clothes, and a clear escape, then I’d keep my mouth shut.

It was a great idea until my ego got in the way. I’d escaped just like me and Lester planned, and it was on my way to Julip’s cabin in the woods, when lo and behold there was the Battle of Wildcat Reenactment taking place in the middle of the Daniel Boone National Park. This crazy lady in an exercise outfit and fanny pack, Queenie something or other was her name, gave me a civil war uniform and a bayonet, of all things, throwing me in the reenactment. Clearly, she thought I was someone else.

I figured I’d just pretend and play along while I made my way to the beginning of the trail using the maps Julip had made for me. After all, I didn’t want anyone to recognize me, Greaser Gadie, the escaped prisoner that all the law was looking for. But it was then that I noticed one of the jurors that help convict me and put me behind bars.

I recalled the last thing I said to him right before they hauled me off the prison, “I’m remembering your face because I’m going to come after you one day.” Now, at the time, those might’ve been just words. But when I saw his face, my blood boiled, and I knew I had to make good on my promise.

I made it look like part of the reenactment and that I stabbed a soldier from the other side. My luck would have it, there was another feller there that was on the jury and I had to make good on my promise one more time. . .

Until. . .someone recognized me. Down I went, to my demise. There were three dead, including me. But who killed me?

For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been self-publishing her numerous mysteries with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plotlines and quirky characters, but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans. Be sure to check out Tonya’s website for upcoming events and news and to sign up for her newsletter! Tonyakappes.com


Enjoy a free ebook copy of BEACHES, BUNGALOWS, & BURGLARIES  from Tonya when you sign up for her newsletter by clicking here.
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A KILLER LATTE CHAPTER ONE

ONE “Quiet on the set!” yelled the man in the director’s chair, Oscar-winning producer Stephen Lemon. Actress Daisy Lemon in...