Cover Reveal

Add Ax To Grind 
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Southern Mystery Shelf

How adorable is this book cover? I think Henery Press publishers does such a great job with my Kenni Lowry Mystery Series!

Here is the blurb:
Bestselling author Berlye Stone, the most famous citizen to ever come out of Cottonwood, Kentucky, has died and put all her worldly possessions up for auction, but not without leaving one more manuscript behind. A hidden tell-all about Cottonwood that’s got more gossip than a ladies’ luncheon.

When Beryle’s assistant turns up with an ax in her back and the only witness is in a coma, Sheriff Kenni Lowry reckons someone in town will do anything to keep the manuscript from seeing the light of day. Her poppa’s ghost returns to help piece together the life of the Beryle he once knew, but his memory’s a little foggy, and any misstep could cause them a world of trouble. With the help of Deputy Finn Vincent, can Kenni sort through the secrets buried in Beryle’s books, or will this be her final chapter?

Books in the Kenni Lowry Mystery Series:

AX TO GRIND (#3) September 19, 2017
SIX FEET UNDER (#4) Spring 2018  

Grab your copy of Fixin' To Die and Southern Fried here!


This week for baking class we had to bring a double layer cake that was already iced so we could go straight into decorating it.

I have a couple of friends who are taking the class with me. The instructor wants the icing to be stiff icing. Yep...there are levels to icing. <<<This is why I'm taking the class. Not that I'm going to teach my readers to make stiff icing but it might be something like this...

The thought of Carter being a murderer weighed heavily on my mind. With each turn  of the mixer, my mind swirled with possibilities that I might not be able to help my friend from himself from this one. I poured in another couple of teaspoons of water into the icing to thin it out a little bit. It was much to stiff to use on the vanilla bean cupcakes that Carter liked. I had to take the  perfect dessert to him....

Totally just made that up, but you get the idea....

One of my friends came over to to bake her cake and make our icing because we were going to use the same colors to design our cakes during class. She was in charge of the icing. There's a recipe we use...but our icing was still to thin for icing a double cake. She swore she used the recipe.

In the middle of the night it dawned on me...I bet she put in tablespoons of water instead of teaspoons. When I saw her at the class, I asked her about the teaspoon/tablespoon thing. I WAS RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You can see the dark spots on my cake at the round and it's a little shiny....but it still turned out okay.

Have you ever added too much of this and  that to your cooking/baking?

Happy 18th!!

I just can't believe that my baby is 18 years old today. He's a spitfire full of life and has never met a stranger. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACK!!!


I've always prided myself in being a GREAT multitasker! Is that a word?? It is now...
Anyways, I raised four boys, married, two dogs, a sweet Kitty Kappes, held down two jobs and kept a house (which involves all the cleaning and cooking and laundry and taxi service). I really took pride when people would say "I don't know how you do it."

I just did it and I never thought twice about it.

Now that I'm a weeeeee-bit older and almost empty nest, down to two dogs and only one job (writing), the house hold work has really slowed down, I can tell you that I'm not great at multitasking and I think back to that woman I was and think "how in the heck did I do that?"

My current work situation is editing three books. I've never ever had to do that. I've always written one book and edited it before I started a new one. Those were the beginning days of writing. I'm not complaining that I've got work. I'm beyond grateful, but three different books, three different dead people and three different murderers. I was beginning to get them mixed up.

I had to come up with something. As y'all know, I'm a huge planner and to-do list maker. My lists have vastly changed. Now my to-do list has times and task. It looks something like this:
6 a.m.-business stuff (blog, social media, emails etc)
7:30 a.m.- get ready for jazzercise and feed dogs
8-10 a.m.- jazzercise, shower, walk dogs and get ready for the work day
10-11 a.m.- edit one chapter (print) and type it in.
11-12 p.m.- work on development Kenni Lowry #3 edits
12- 1 p.m.- work on edits Kenni Lowry #4
1-2 p.m.- lunch and watch Days of Our Lives (stop judging!)
2 - 3 p.m.- write 2k words on Killer Coffee #2
3-4 p.m.- read
4 p.m- Eddy and kiddo home stop working

I have to literally lay out my day in order to keep me on track. Good news....I have a two month break in the summer, though I'll still be writing!

What about you? Do you multitask?

The Last One

Y'all know I've got four boys. I guess you could call them men because the fourth, Jack, will turn 18 this week. The rest are in college and out of the house during the year.

If you've been following me for long, you've seen stacks of shoes by the door, food upon food all over the house, nerf wars, cars, cars, and more cars, not to mention all the sporting events I've attended over the past twenty years.

Those days are starting to really slow down. Cody plays college soccer. This is his last year and unfortunately, he has his fourth concussion. He's going to have to forfeit his last year. I'm saddened for him, but we all know that his health is way more important.

Jack is graduating from high school, but his transition to college has been much easier because he already goes to the local university two days a week and high school three days a week. He's also the manager of Northern Kentucky University basketball team. Not only do we have season tickets (plus Jack gets a few tickets), my sister and her family have season tickets, and my parents. We're going to be busy going to their games.

But this weekend was the last prom I'll ever get one of my boys ready for. Jack and his buddies (girls included) decided to go as a group. It was so fun. Four years ago I took the top photo. The bottom photo was this weekend.

We've been blessed with Jack's group of friends. They are such good kids and all of them will be going their separate ways in the fall. They had a really good time. 

Sunday I had a lot of fun driving back to my hometown of Nicholasville, Kentucky for a baby shower for a very, very special dear to my heart. 
My sweet little Andrea. She's no longer a baby, but she was my neighbor when I was a teenager. I took her everywhere with me and her parents were so much fun. She even stayed in the sorority house with me in college as a bity little girl. Now she's going to be a mommy to a little boy, Lex Wilson Lutton.
Isn't that the cutest name? Andrea's middle name is Wilson. It's a family name and it's so fitting. 

Just a little back story about her parents. When I was student teaching in college I had a small apartment in Lexington. I had zero furniture. They came to see me. The next day a moving truck showed up at my apartment. They felt so sorry for me that they went home and bought all new furniture and sent me their old furniture, which was in amazing shape! I still have the furniture to this day. 

Their generosity didn't stop there. They were always there to talk and they came to everything I ever did. So, Andrea is super special to me and it was so much fun to get to spend the day with my parents, Andrea, her parents and my long time friends. 

How was your weekend?

Do you know who Dave Ramsey is? He's a financial guru who believes in being debt free.

In 2003, I went to one of his conferences and went through Financial Peace University. Since then, I've lived debt free except for my house mortgage, but not much left on that, so it's exciting!

When I first met Dave, his daughter, Rachel Cruz, was a teenager. Since then, she's started to work for him and travel around the US doing a Marriage and Money conference. She was coming to my church. There were only 2k tickets and I got a couple immediately. The place sold out.

Since I've loved Dave Ramsey, I wanted to go see his daughter even though I'd already done the program she was teaching. I ended up buying her book because I just think she's the cutest. 

So I'm reading her book, Love Your Life Not Theirs. 

What are you reading?

In Honor Of April

This week in baking class we had to bring a baked cake because we were going to work on icing and decorating using some of the methods we've learned.

The cake part is good for me. I can bake. It's the decorating and the knowledge that I need for research. If you don't know what research, I'm taking this baking class because I signed a new contract with Crooked Lane Publishing on the Southern Baking Mystery Series debuting in 2018.

I can bake and cook, but I don't know much about least not a few weeks ago.

I was amazed at the technique my teacher taught me on how to make the icing very smooth. Bounty paper towels and Viva. read that right! Once I got the icing on and around the cake using the rocking method with the spatula, you lay a Bounty paper towel on the iced cake and use a spatula to scrap over the paper towel. You pick the paper towel up and do it all over the cake and the sides. It makes the cake even but not without the Bounty paper towel impression. This is where the Viva comes in. You do the same technique with the Viva and it smooths out the Bounty impression...seriously cool. Seriously!!

Then the decoration. She had me pick out a picture. I picked a giraffe in honor of April and traced the outline with clear gel on a piece of parchment paper. I transferred the outline on the cake and that's how I could outline the giraffe in the yellow icing.

Now...I was supposed to do the star pattern in the middle of the giraffe like you'd see on a baby cake, but it didn't turn out that way so I used a paint brush instead.

I took it home. The decorating might not be perfect, but Brady ate it up!

Any baking tips you want to give me?

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Tidbit Tuesday

WOW! Last night my small group crafty group from church went to see The Shack.

I'd read the book and loved it. I'm always a little apprehensive about going to see a book made into a movie.

Dare I say that I loved the movie more?

Have you seen The Shack? What movie have you seen that was better than the book?

Weekend Round Up!

Gosh...the weekend flew by and it was filled with family, food, and fun.

I was so excited for the weekend. It's not only because it's Easter and I do love Easter, it's because all my little ducks were home!

Over the past week, Jack went on his last high school spring break with his friends. I don't ever recall being away from him over the past seventeen years for that long...even book signing events I'll come home for a night or day. Seven days is a long time not to see my baby. So it was so nice to have him home and safe.

Austin came home for the weekend. I told him that he didn't have to, but he told me that he wanted to come home for Easter and see his family. My heart melted and he used that opportunity to have me take him shopping!!

Brady was off work, since he's still living at home and going to college, we rarely see him because he works so much.

Cody came home for the day and he was able to show off all the fun photos he took on his trip to Spain last month.

Saturday was spent cleaning up around the yard and getting my summer office ready. I do love our pool. It's not a huge pool. It's considered a play pool. Each end is about four feet deep and it gradually goes to six feet in the  middle. It's a great pool to play volleyball and with boys, I always put physical activities at the forefront of each decision.
It's a great pool to just float in. It's saltwater which is also great for you skin!

Saturday night we went to Eddy's sister's house an hour away for a cook out. It was so nice to be able to relax and enjoy instead of cooking the food!

Sunday was amazing. I love going to church. My parents spent the night and we enjoyed my sausage breakfast casserole before we went to an amazing church service. After church, my sister and her family came over and we enjoyed a wonderful Easter lunch.

The night was a little bitter sweet as the kids and family went their separate ways. But it was When Calls the Heart night, so Eddy and I curled up on the couch to end a spectacular weekend.

Of course between the events, I got a few thousand words written! Yay!

How was your weekend??

Rereading the Written

I'm not going to lie to you. After I write a book and it's been sent off for the  final edits and approval, I kinda. . .well I do forget about it until it comes out. That can be two years from then.

I know my characters and the  basic plot, but I forget about the little details. The little details like the ghost cat at the end of A Ghostly Mortality. When I get a ton of emails about how excited they are about the cat, I have to admit that I wonder what cat?

Ah, oh! I better re-read what I wrote and what was published. . .

So I'm rereading A Ghostly Mortality because it's time to start writing that seventh book if I'm going to get it turned in on time!

What are you reading?

Easter and the Derby?

Easter is in April and the Derby is in May! But here in Kentucky and the south, we don't have Easter without the Derby pie!

Kentucky Derby Pie

(from my mama~Linda Lowry)

My mama’s Derby Pie is smack your mama good! It’s a southern pie with walnuts and chocolate chips. You can use pecans in substitute for the walnuts, but I really like my walnuts!

½ cup melted butter

1 cup sugar
½ cup flour
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup Walnuts or pecans (your choice not both!)
¾ cup chocolate chips (or more if you really want it gooey!)

Mix in the order that’s written under the ingredients. This is very important. Pour the mixture into an unbaked 9 inch pie shell. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

Enjoy this amazing video of an artist decorating eggs. 

Happy happy Easter!!

Easter Giveaway!!!! 

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Want some more southern fun? Check out the Kenni Lowry Mystery Series and the special Kenni Lowry Mystery Series website where you can meet the folks of Cottonwood and even take a virtual vacation in Cottonwood!

SOUTHERN FRIED is the second novel in the Kenni Lowry Mystery Series.
“Fabulous fun and fantastic fried food! Kappes nails small town mystery with another must-read hit. (Also, I want to live in Cottonwood, KY.) Don’t miss this one!” – Darynda Jones, New York Times Bestselling Author of the Charley Davidson Series

In the South, it’s better when the food is fried and the secrets kept buried…After the dead body of a beloved Cottonwood resident is found tangled up in an electric fence, Sheriff Kenni Lowry has a hunch that somethin’ ain’t right. Her investigation heats up with a fierce cook-off competition, a euchre game where the intel is sweeter than the brownies, and a decades old family recipe that may just be the proof in the pudding.

The icing on the cake: Kenni is fighting an attraction to her recently sworn-in deputy sheriff, and election season is hot on her tail. When the killer comes after who she holds most dear, even her poppa’s ghostly guidance might not be enough to keep her and her own out of the frying pan.

“Kappes captures the charm and quirky characters of small-town Kentucky in her new mystery…a charming, funny story with exaggerated characters. The dialect-filled quirky sayings and comments bring those characters to life. Best of all, for a mystery reader, the culprit was an unlikely suspect, but the solution made sense.” – Lesa’s Book Critiques (on Fixin’ To Die)
For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been publishing numerous mystery with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plot lines and quirky characters, but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.
Sign up for her newsletter on her website at  and receive a free Kappes ebook!

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Pulling Out The Totes

The weather in Kentucky has been warming up and up. We got from 38 to 70 degrees in a 24 hour period.

The winter to spring the strangest season change. Then we have spring for about ten minutes (really a week) until we get summer temps. I'm not complaining at all. I love writing outside. In fact, it's my most creative time of the year. I love the vivid bright colors of the outside and the bright  sun. It's so lifting to my spirit.

This week, our temps are staying in the late 60's, which is pretty great. I can wear long pants and short sleeves outside while I work. This means one thing though...dragging out my spring and summer totes of clothes and putting away my fall/winter clothes.

I'm one of those. Even though I have a walk-in closest with a dresser in and bench in it, I love to  change out my wardrobe. I love to open the totes and one at a time look at them and decide if I want to keep it or give it away. Most of the time I will keep an item and do the if I don't wear it in a month I get rid of it theory.

Now that I've dragged out my totes, I've got to find the time to change out my closet and that takes a whole new level of energy.

What about you? Do you have a wardrobe switch?

A Vicious Cycle

I love to read. I really do.
There's just one problem...
When I'm deep in writing the first draft of a book, I not only feel guilty about stopping my work to read, but I can't get into someone else's book without thinking about mine.

It's a bad situation for me. I will read another author's mystery and scratch my head wondering why they didn't do something this way or that. I critique the writing more than enjoying the story. Or I'll critique my work and feel so inadequate thinking how much better their story is than mine.

It's a vicious cycle!

Do y'all read for enjoyment? Or do you critique the writer's work as you go?

And they're off....

WOW! I had a super busy weekend. It was filled with fun and fear! 
On Saturday our son Austin was in charge of his fraternity alumni/parent weekend at Keeneland Racetrack.

Now...y'all know I love horse racing and Keeneland. I grew up going to the races and Keeneland is literally fifteen minutes from my childhood home. Friends of my family started Keeneland and still own it today. So...I'm pretty at home there. 

It was opening weekend, which meant there were probably around 40k people there. 40,000 PEOPLE!!! 

(These little jockeys are so cute. They have the names of winners on their little boards.) 

The food line is 1 1/2 hours long to stand in...not to mention the bathroom. You don't think that sounds like fun?? It is! We get there and tailgate on "The Hill." It's the cute name for the grassy area on Keeneland where you can tailgate all day long and never see a horse. But it's the thrill and inside that I love. 

There are two races an hour so there's a lot of down time between the 30 second races. I even saw some friends I'd gone to high school with. It's a lot of fun. AND we got to spend a lot of time with Austin and we spent the night with my parents. It was great!

Then....that say day....Jack and ten of his friends along with four parents drove to Florida ( a 14 hour trip). Jack was driving with three buddies and though it was a caravan, I was still freaked out. I'd been at the races all day and was tired, I couldn't close down my mind with thoughts of Jack and being on the road. 

We ended up texting every couple of hours all night long. When he was driving, one of his friends would text me. Finally around 6 a.m. he sent me a picture of the beach. They'd made it. Not me! I was up all night worried sick on the driving. 
(Jack is in the white shirt. He said they immediately went to the beach and a nice "old" lady took their picture)

We got up and left my parents pretty early, early enough to drive two hours back to our house and go straight to church. No rest though. I spent Sunday doing the business side of the writing as well as maybe napping here and there. 

How was your weekend???

Reading is Fun Friday

A few months ago I realized I hadn't been reading as much as I should. I spend so  much time writing and  working that I let that side of this business fall short. I truly missed it and felt like a part of me was missing.

It was then that I knew that I had to join a book club that catered to the books that I like to read. Cozy Mystery....duh!!! By joining a book club, I'd be more accountable to read and force myself to make time for me, which is hard for me sometimes.

I looked around and didn't find anything to fit my needs so I decided to do my own thing. I've got a lot of friends on Facebook and I knew they loved reading cozy I started a Cozy Mystery only book club.

We suggest and vote on ONE book per month. If we can, we invite the author to come join us. We also suggest and vote on a day and time of the month that's good to meet online to discuss the book.

It's been so much fun. I had no idea how much interaction an online book club would go since I was a little worried it would go well at first. But....I'm thrilled that I've found some fun peeps to share books with!

What about you, do you belong to a book club? Do you love it as much as I do?


Oh my oh my...
Last year my agent called me in November and asked me if I would be interested in writing a veterinarian cozy mystery because she'd been approached by the publisher. I jumped at the chance because I love animals!

After a couple of hours and a fresh murder mystery series in my head, she called back and said to scratch that idea because they had a better one for me...SOUTHERN BAKING MYSTERY SERIES.

Southern, check! Baking....oh no....

Okay. I can bake. I just can't decorate. No joke! I'm the one with the chocolate cake that is supposed to have white icing and the cake has mixed in with  the  icing when I'm spreading the icing so it looks gross.

The publisher loves my southern voice and as we all know we southerners love food, especially our sweets.

Fear ran through me as I stepped out of my comfort zone and tip-toed (not jumped) at the chance to write the series. The reason I agreed to  it was to go outside of my comfort zone and learn something new.

Again, it wasn't the baking that I needed to know, it's the decorating.
(Hahhaaa! We had to bake and bring six flat cookies to our first class. Tracy, my sister, made personal pan was so funny!! Hahhaa! My little cookie compared to her big cookie. The instructor couldn't stop laughing.)

I called up my sister (who is always my partner in crime) and my good friend Janice to tell them about my new adventure. Not only did I make it sound like so much fun, but I'd talked them into going to a local bakery where the owner was going to teach us how to decorate!

This week our class started. After the first hour, there were new terms in my head that clashed into each other. I spent most the time with my brows furrowed wondering what I'd gotten myself into. Not only can I not decorate with tub icing in the baking aisle from my local grocery, but I've got to buy special butter that's not yellow because it will turn my icing yellow, I can't use PAM to bake my cakes and I've got to make some sort of other thing....

Literally, that's not just the icing on the cake. There's all these tips, bags, and the couplers. The what??? Needless to say, I can make stars...

The instructor asked me at the end of class what I'd taken away from the first class to use in my book. Interesting enough, I did have my notebook with me and the ideas were coming...only it wasn't baking or murder. I came up with a fun, romantic scene in the kitchen between my protagonist and the local sheriff....yeah...there's a romance.

SQUEE!! Until next week! Don't miss a blog post. Subscribe to the free feed in the sidebar >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Do you have a fun recipe to share or baking story? I'd love to hear it.

Not So Crafty

I've always considered myself to have a lot of friends. I have four boys who played all sorts of sports and I went to every single game. It was a lot of fun hanging out with the parents and the occasional after game dinners out.

We got to know each other's family so well. Even extended family. 
Last fall I found myself in a really strange place. Very few friends! Why? Now I had three of my four kids in college, and Jack is the last at home. Brady lives at home, but he goes to the community college and works so we rarely see him. But Jack is the only one left. He doesn't play any sports but he's the sports manager at the high school and its a job. He gets paid. Plus he's a dual credit student which means that he's in college part-time of the week at Northern Kentucky University. 

With no kids playing a sport, all those "friends" are pretty much no longer. We text back and forth and say we're going to get together. We say that. Here's the thing, they are visiting their kids in college like we are and life goes on. 

I found myself struggling without having friend contact so I joined a small group from my church. Small groups at my church are really different. There's do many of them (because I go to a mega church) and they all have different themes. I decided on one that call Crossroads Crafty Chicks. 
(Here are our cans lined up!)

Crossroads is my church's name, crafty chicks describe the gals in the group. I'm my head!!!!!! 

Every week we get together on Monday night for a couple of hours and we laugh and have so much fun! It's truly become a friendship of close friends. My sister is Catholic and she's even joined. 

This week we did an Easter craft using a big tin can. I made a candle holder...did I say I'm crafty in my head?

So what's up with your WHAT EVER WEDNESDAY?

Happy happy release day!

Can you believe it? Southern Fried is here!! It's seems like so long since I wrote the  second book in the series. In fact, I'm currently editing the fourth book in the series, Ax To Grind, and just turned in the fifth book of the series. 

I'm visiting Cottonwood on a daily basis. It's a lot of fun to hang out with characters that I love. 

Have you ever done a Scavenger Hunt in a book? It's so much fun. I asked readers to send me items that have meaning in their life. I picked a few of them and sprinkled them in the novel. Now the pdf of those items is ready to be downloaded and you can play along! 

Have you ever done a scavenger hunt? 

Weekend Round Up

There is one thing that I know for sure about this whole writing gig is that I love to connect with readers. I've had to pleasure of meeting some of y'all in person and I'm sure you'd be able to say that when we met (in person), it was like we'd been friends for years. And to think that it all started on line!

I've been on so many deadlines that I found myself among the non-friendship lane when I dragged my head out of the writing cave. I've missed my daily blog and all the fun that interacting with y'all has brought me.

Over the weekend, I asked my FREE Facebook Cozy Krew Group (join here!!!) what themes they'd like to see on a blog and it was so much fun reading them!

Monday: Weekend Round Up
Tuesday: Crazy Weekly Theme

I'll start off by telling y'all about our weekend. I usually don't write on the weekends because I've got other writing business things to do that I just don't want to do during the week. Do y'all ever just  put stuff off? I DO IT ALL THE TIME!

This weekend I had to update my website, write my weekly newsletter, and get some review copies to some members of my review team.

But the weekend started off with a fun coffee visit from my sister! She came with a box of Tim Bites for my kids and a coffee for me! Gotta love a good sister! And she brought my four legged nephew and niece. As you can see Charlie and Max giving cousin kisses.

Poor Eddy. Actually, I call him poor Eddy because I'd never be as excited as he is when he takes on a new home project. The man can never sit still and binge watch Netflix like me or read a book like me! He's working on building and putting up a new deck railing before summer comes. We love spending time outside and ya know I have my outside office in the summer!

BUT to top the weekend off (this might surprise you) I got my first library card since I moved here twenty years ago. I can hear you gasping. . .

I know...but I have good reason! I generally just buy my books. If I have research, I buy the books to keep. If I have a book club book to read, I buy the book. Since I've got some new authors I've been wanting to try out, I decided I wanted to give the Overdrive app a go around. I'm pretty excited about it! I'm loving the app.

What is your weekend round up? Do you ever use Overdrive?

Welcome to the grand opening of the Old Train Station Motel and hoedown!

Hi do there! I'm Coke and I'm the owner of the Old Train Station Motel. Welcome to our grand opening. I've got you in guest room...