Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Virtual Tour Normal, Kentucky ~ A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery Series

Welcome to Normal, Kentucky~ where NOTHING is normal!
Hi, there. Let me be the first to welcome you to Normal, Kentucky. I’m Mayor Courtney Mackenzie.
I’ve been Mayor for three years. Since I’ve taken office, we’ve seen an increase in tourists to the Daniel Boone National Park, which is where Normal is located. I’ve also had the honor in being in the Battle at Wildcat reenactment that’s put on by the Park Historical Society.
I know your visiting during Christmas, but you should really come back in the spring and watch the reenactment, I’ll guarantee you’re going to love it.
Right now, I’d love to tell you a few places to visit while you’re here.
As you can see, our downtown buildings are all old homes that have been rehabbed into quaint shops. Normal was originally a coal town where pioneers would travel to different areas of the state, build a downtown and live there until the mines ran out.
Fortunately for us, Normal has survived, making visiting Normal a very desirable area.
Here is a list of a few of our locally owned shops:
The Cookie Crumble Bakery owned by Christine & Mallory Watson
Deter’s Feed-N-Seed owned by
Grassel’s Gas Station owned by Joel Grassel
Tough Nickel Thrift & General Store owned by Buck
The Laundry Club owned by Betts Hater
The Trails Coffee Shop owned by Gert Hobson
Happy Trails Campground owned by Mae West
Jazzercise Classes owned by Queenie
Normal Library with Librarian Abby Fawn
Normal IGA local grocery store
Normal Baptist Church, doors always open, service at 11 a.m. on Sunday
A Step In Time Consignment Store
Milkery Dairy Farm owned by Dawn Gentry and Mary Elizabeth
Where would y'all like to go first?

Monday, October 8, 2018

Bedtime at the Cocoon Inn in Honey Springs

Good evening. Remember I'm Camey. I was just in here starting a night time fire for you and leaving a little bedtime snack. coccon inn
It's awfully cold out there and from what I hear, you've had a big day exploring.
Why don't you put your feet up, relax and enjoy the goodies.
You deserve a good sleep.
But first, I'll join you for a little decaf. Shhh...don't tell Roxy Bloom I gave you decaf. It's just good to have to warm the bone and chit chat over. 
Did you have a good time today?
What was your favorite part?

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Would you like to get learn more about Roxy and the gang in the KILLER COFFEE MYSTERY SERIES?

Downtown Honey Springs

I dee-clare. . . who is crowdin' me while I get these mums in the ground. I swear y'all are tryin' to ruin my job as president of the Beautification Committee.
Oh, Dear. I'm sorry. I am missss-taken. I though you was someone else. Let me introduce myself. I'm Low-retta Bebe. Oh, these old pearls. Mmm. . .a good southern gal never leaves the house without her pearls or lipstick.
Honey, you could stand to use a swipe. But that's none of my business.
I'm just here minding my own business. You know more than hair is being twisted down a the Honey Comb, cause I heard you've been all over Honey Springs and that you ate a little too much of Jean Hill's Fall Mix, is that right?
gazebo 1 look like you could stand to gain a couple. Anyways, I've got to get these mums planted before the big festival. I heard that Roxy Bloom rented a brides costume to dress up in. You know what, I'll tell you but I'd never tell her crazy Great Aunt Maxine Bloom. She's all sort of crazy if you know what I mean. Roxy is going to scare Patrick Cane off if she don't drag him to the alter soon. She claims she's not ready to tie the knot. . .but if you ask me, there's more eligible woman than Roxy Bloom around her.
Don't get me wrong. She was good stock when she was a lawyer. But she turned them brains into beans. Coffee beans.
Well, anyways. You better get along. You can enjoy yourself here at the gazebo and enjoy the beautiful fall foliage. We just love how nature paints itself all over our little cozy town.
Remember, you didn't hear about gazeboRoxy's costume from me.
Or do you like to gossip? Because I'm just digging up some ground and I've got time to listen.

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Would you like to get learn more about Roxy and the gang in the KILLER COFFEE MYSTERY SERIES?

Welcome to the Bee Farm in Honey Springs

bee far
Welcome to the Bee Farm! I'm Kayla Noro. Me and my husband, Andrew, have been here a long time. We don't have no youngins' between us. These bees are our babies.
I hope y'all had a great ferry ride over and Big Bib wasn't too much of a grump. He can be that way sometimes.
Anyways, as you know, we are a little island off the main land of Honey Springs. We are a working. . .um. . .I'm sorry, I get a bit misty eyed when talking about the place.
You see, I love this farm. I love all the bees. And as you walk around and take a tour, you'll notice a few of our bee houses are vacant. The upkeep of a house costs up to $400 each and sometimes these winter months do a number on them, though we do all we can to survive.
I hate to bring it up, but if you like what you see, we are actually taking donations to help fund the Bee Farm.
There's a jar inside of the gift shop next to the register. You know Christmas is coming, so if want to gift someone a jar of honey, we are doing free shipping. So buy several jars.

bee farm 2
If you see Andrew out there, he's probably fiddlin' with some bees. Stop by and say hello. He loves to answer questions.
What is something you love to eat with honey in it?

bee farm 3


Decaffeinated Scandal Ebook

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Would you like to get learn more about Roxy and the gang in the KILLER COFFEE MYSTERY SERIES?

Takin' The Ferry in Honey Springs


Come on now. I don't have all day. I've got-a fishin' line to throw in.
Ma'am, I'm sorry. It's gettin' late and I sometimes get a little ornery by the end of the day. I understand you're visitin' and all. I'm Big Bib.
I own this here marina and as you can see we're tryin' to get all the boats winterized for the boatin' folks. Just pull your car on up, but don't drive off the front. I'll have you over to the Bee Farm in no time.
What's that? Sorry the engine is a little rumbly. It used to purr like a kitten.
The Bee Farm leaving? Well, I did hear some rumblin' about it. But you know I don't tell no tales unless it involves me. Though, I do know that Roxy Bloom has been drivin' herself nuts about somethin' goin' on around here. There was a couple of out of town highfalutin' fellars with some suits on that rode the ferry over earlier.
But like I said, I keep to myself.
Enjoy the ride.
Have y'all ever ridin' on a car ferry before? We got them all over Kentucky.
Decaffeinated Scandal Ebook
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Welcome to Hill's Orchard in Honey Springs

Hill's Orchard
Hello! Welcome to Hill's Orchard. I'm Jean Hill.
I hear y'all might be stopping by today. I'm busy getting ready for the hayrides for the Neewollah Festival. I'll be starting at the Cocoon Inn and using my horse drawn hay wagon to drive back here for the pumpkin patch.
Didn't you just love Roxy Bloom? If it weren't for her, I'm not sure the law would've figured out who killed my husband. Oh dear, I've said too much....
Why don't you gander on over to the pumpkin and get your photo taken?
(If you want your photo in the pumpkin, send Tonya Kappes a photo at She'll have your pumpkin to you right away to use on social media!)
I'll just run inside and grab a snack for you! We back shortly.
****You can see what happened to Jean Hill's husband and how Roxy Bloom helped bring his murderer to justice in Mocha and Murder by clicking here >>>>> ****
Mocha and Murder Ebook

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Honey Springs Boardwalk at Night


Roxy Bloom:
Y'all are still walking around? Oh, I hope you had fun! There's so many shops, it's hard to get through them all.
I was just locking up for the night. I have to be here by 4:30 a.m. to get those treats in the oven.
Don't you just the twinkling lights along the boardwalk? Those are provided by the Beautification Committee. Have you met Loretta Bebe yet?
Not sure?
Oh, you'd be sure if you did. I'm sure you'll see her downtown tomorrow. Didn't I hear you were going into downtown Honey Springs?
Don't miss out on going over to the Bee Farm across the lake while you're in town. You can catch the ferry down at the Marina. Tell Big Bib Roxy sent you.
Night! ~ Roxy Bloom

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Hi do! I'm Bunny!


Hi-do! Welcome to Honey Springs.
I'm Bunny Bowowski. I work at the Bean Hive for Roxy. I'm a tad bit on the older side rather than the sunny side of life, but working there in my 70's has been good for me. I do love me some good conversation.
Which reminds me. I heard you're heading down to Crooked Cat Books.
Mmmhmmm. Now Roxy finding Alexis Roarke murdered is just hearsay because I haven't really talked to her, but I heard it from Crissy down at the Honey Comb Salon. She'd know because she and Roxy were friends twelve years ago.
It seems so long ago, but it ain't. Roxy hasn't been back to Honey Springs in twelve years, but the two of them, Crissy and Roxy, they picked up like no time had passed. You know, we do that in small towns.
Oh, yeah. The police station.
Anyways, Roxy's Aunt Maxi and Alexis Roarke really don't get along too well. Didn't get along, that is. In fact, they'd just had a public spat yesterday. Roxy went down to The Crooked Cat Book Store, Alexis's store, to offer what I'd call a peace offering in the form of a cup of coffee and doughnut. This is where is gets good.
Alexis. Dead. Murdered. Not only that, but BANNED was stamped on her forehead. You know, Alexis used that stamp on the banned books in The Crooked Cats' banned book section. Mmmhhhhmmm.
Now that's just hearsay. Though I do know that Roxy is down at the police station trying to get her Aunt Maxi out of some kind of hot water. After all, just a few months ago before Roxy moved back to Honey Springs, she was one of them fancy lawyers.
Mmmhmmmm. Nothin' like this has happened in Honey Springs. . .ever.
Now, you come on back. Remember that around these parts, the gossip is just as hot as the coffee. Toodles!
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Welcome to the Bee's Knees Bakery

Good morning! I heard you were in town.
I'm so sorry! Where are my manners?
I'm Emily Rich and I own the Bee's Knees Bakery.
If it weren't for Roxy Bloom over at the Bean Hive Coffeehouse, I'd probably still be in college hating it!
My, that sounded awful...didn't it?
I mean, I was miserable going to college. I worked for Roxy while I was in high school and I loved baking. My heart is right back there in that kitchen making all sorts of delicious goodies for the good people in Honey Springs.
Roxy had talked my dad, Evan Rich~he's the president at the bank. Anyways, Roxy stuck her neck out on the line and told my dad that I wanted to be a pastry chef.
You couldn't imagine my surprise when he accepted the fact that I'd dropped out of college to go to pastry school abroad.
How did I get my shop??
Well, it use to be a tattoo shop called Odd Ink.
I'll let you something but you can't breathe a word of it. Get closer, I don't want anyone to hear because gossip spreads like melted butter on a hot biscuit around here and I'm not gossiping.
The owner, he was murdered. It was almost a year ago Christmas. True story. He wasn't murdered here in the shop. He was found under the town square Christmas tree during the Honey Springs Annual Tree Lighting.
But all that's over and done with.
Roxy's husband, Patrick Cane, he owns this building and they rent it out to me. So it all worked out. I hear you're headed to the Bee Farm, Hills Orchard and downtown today.
Say, you keep eyeballing my bee donuts. That right there is a bacon and egg donut sandwich.
Which one would you like before I let you get on with your day? You're gonna need your energy for all those places your going.

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Welcome to the Cocoon Inn in Honey Springs

Hi there! Welcome to the Cocoon Inn. I'm Camey Montgomery, the owner of the Inn and I'm thrilled you've decided to lay your head here while you visit our little lake town of Honey Springs.
Don't mind all dirt piles around the Inn. I've got my landscaper planting mums around the property so we are all ready for the festival.
Your room is ready. It's one of the suites that has it's own balcony facing Lake Honey Springs. You're going to love sitting out there in the rocking chair with one of our quilts and a complimentary cup of coffee and sweet treat from Roxy over at the Bean Hive. met Roxy. Isn't she great! When you get up in the morning, you can come on down here and right over yonder in that room is the hospitality room where you can get a coffee and pastry from the Bean Hive. Help yourself to get some and take them back up to your suite.
You won't be disappointed with the amazing fall foliage you're going to see along the view of the lake from your suite.
I hope you'll think about staying for the Neewollah Festival. The main night is going to be on the bank of Lake Honey Springs in front of the Inn, right down there.
If you need a costume, you can go over to All About the Details. I think they've got some left in your size.
But you can head on up stairs to your room. I'm sure you're exhausted from your travels into town. Plus I hear you're taking in all the shops on the boardwalk tomorrow. You're gonna need a good nights sleep.
Nighty, night, y'all <3
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Honey Springs Virtual Vacation

Welcome to Honey Springs, Kentucky!

I'm Roxanne Bloom. . .er. . .Roxanne Bloom Cane. I just recently got hitched!
I'm excited that you've decided to come to our little part of Kentucky and my little coffeehouse, The Bean Hive.

I'll tell you more about that later.

Just a smidgen about me:
I'm a divorced lawyer and twenty-nine years old.
I'm not from Honey Springs but my dad's great Aunt Maxine Bloom has lived here all her life. My daddy brought me to Honey Springs every summer break. I'd stay the summer with my Aunt Maxi and loved it here. Especially this very boardwalk your standing on. Don't get me wrong. Downtown is awesome and we'll head on over there this week, but the cozy shops here on the boardwalk are amazing!!

But before we get into all that. Why don't we get to know each other a little bit better and I'll get you a hot drink. Tell me where you're from and what kinda of coffee or tea you'd like me to make for you.
By the way. . .my friends call me Roxy. You can call me Roxy.

Would you like to get learn more about Roxy and the gang in the KILLER COFFEE MYSTERY SERIES?

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

PICK ME!!! A blog written by Pepper the Schnauzer from the Killer Coffee Mystery Series

KC schnauzer
I'm cute, right? Women love mustaches. I've been told that salt and pepper hair is a sign of maturity and some women like it. As a bonus, my hair is nice and soft, not wiry like some of my kind.
Hey, here comes someone to look at us. The lady who takes care of all of us is doing that slow walk next to all our cages. That means the woman with her might just take me home. Boy, would that be nice. I'd love to sleep in one of those beds and be able to run around again. Not that they don't take care of us here, but I have to share.
Yip! Yip! Grrr...I have to stop that jumping up. It's like my paws have their own mind. They spring up when I get excited. Stop jumping. Stop jumping. Well, at least stop jumping until we can get a home, I have to remind my paws. Then we can jump all we want.
Come on down here. You are obviously in the market for an adorable grey haired Schnauzer, I yipped louder when I saw that she'd stop down at the poodle cage. Poodle, smoodle. Come see me! I'm much happier and less maintenance. I mean, I do like to be bathed and groomed, not to mention rubbed on. Not that poodle! She's trouble with a big T.
"I don't know," the woman said. "I do want the company and it'd be fun to have companion at the Bean Hive with me."
Retreat. Retreat. My paws don't seem to be listening, they kept jumping. She said bees. Retreat!
Umm...maybe not the owner for me. I'm definitely not fond of the bee insect. Once, I'd gotten in a little scuffle with a few of them and I think they won after they made my lip swell up bigger than my head. I couldn't eat and I love to eat. I got a shot from the veterinarian and that did hurt.
"You own the Bean Hive Coffee Shop?" My caregiver asked the woman. They were still walking my way.
"I do." She has a sweet smile. Her eyes are kind. But I don't like bees.
"I heard you have the best coffee. The name of your shop, The Bean Hive, is adorable." My caregiver walked down the center aisle. The woman nodded and looked in the cages before me.
The Bean Hive. I yipped and jumped around. Not the bee hive. Shoowee, that was a relief.
"Why do you want a dog?" My caregiver always asks this question.
"I'm single. I just moved here and opened the shop. I'd like to have a companion that will alert me of customers if I'm in the kitchen of the shop or even if someone comes lurking around my cabin." The woman lovely voice perked up my ears.
Single? Did you say single? I yipped.
Don't get me wrong, if I had to live in a house with kids or other animals, I'd chew on my rawhide and make the most of it.
Hey! Hey! So I have a loud yip. What's wrong with that? See! I can protect you with this bark!
Sit, sit, sit. Thankfully my hinny listened. My little nubby tail wouldn't stop wagging back and forth. What's wrong with my head? It keeps moving left and right. Wait. Now what is wrong with my tongue. I questioned my body's reaction when the woman stopped at my cage. It was like I'd been possessed.
"Is this a Schnauzer?" She asked. I looked back at my tail in fear it was going to wag right off of me. "I heard they bark a lot."
Tongue in. Don't bark. Don't jump.
"He's a good dog. His last owner moved overseas in the military. He's been here a while. Not many people are adopting these days." My caregiver always said this.
"Really? Maybe we can do a fundraiser or adoption party between the SPCA and The Bean Hive?" The lady seems nice.
No. No jumping.
"Whoa, he can jump." The woman laughed. "What's his name?"
"Pepper." My caregiver is a nice lady but this woman seems to think I'm cute. "He's sweet. Would you like to see him?"
"I would." The lady backs away.
You want to see me? Stop it! Stop jumping. Tongue, back in my mouth. Stop wagging. What is wrong with my body? It's not listening to me! smell like food. You smell yummy. My nose smelled her shoes, her pants. You smell like heaven.
"Oh, my. He's a snuggler." The lady giggled the cutest giggle I've ever heard.
"You want to try him out?" My caregiver said that about other dogs but never me.
Try me out! Try me out! I danced around her feet.
"Pepper, you want to come home with me?" The lady couldn't get it out fast enough. I jumped right up in her arms before she could change her mind.
(I'm cute, right!?)

Do you have a pet? If so, how did you get your pet? Breeder? Pet store? SPCA? If not, no worries! Just tell me what type of animal you like! Leave a comment!

You can check out Pepper and the rest of the gang in the new Killer Coffee Mystery Series! 

Order your copy of Scene of the Grind, the first book in a new coffee mystery, A KILLER COFFEE MYSTERY SERIES.

After a bitter divorce, Roxanne Davis (her friends, though few call her Roxie) has moved back home to Honey Springs, Kentucky where she's opened the tourist lakefront town's first coffee house, The Bean Hive.
With the excitement of the Bean Hive opening and rush of business, Roxie is moving on with her life until she finds that one of her best customers, Lilia Walters, was found dead after eating one of Roxie's best-selling doughnuts after Roxie's aunt Maxine gave Lilia as a peace offering.
Gossip in Honey Springs is as hot at the coffee served at the Bean Hive and Roxie has to uncover who is behind the murder not only to save her shop, her aunt, but her life.
Happy reading!! ~ Tonya
Tonya Kappes
USA TODAY Bestselling Author has two Schnauzers, Scooter and Charlie!
Friend me on Facebook here. * Follow me on Twitter here.
Learn about my books here.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Tangled Up in Tinsel Chapter One

Book 7 Kenni Lowry #Mystery Series
There's been a murder in Cottonwood. Mama is having a #Christmassize hissy fit! Kenni Lowry must bring the killer to justice before the Grinch really does steal Christmas!

Chapter One

“Let’s get this Christmas season kicked off!” The sound of a scratching record rose about the sounds of whistle calls and festive cheers from inside of the Hunt Club’s annual Christmas Cantata. “I’m DJ Nelly. I’m excited to be the DJ at the annual Hunt Club Christmas Cantata. I’m ready to ring in the holiday season with y’all with this little ditty to start us off,” DJ Nelly said into the microphone, the black headset perched on top of her head.

You better watch out, you better not cry. The music was barely heard over the residents of Cottonwood singing along as they formed a circle in the middle of the makeshift dance floor at The Moose Lodge.

DJ Nelly from WCKK, the only radio station in Cottonwood, had more than just the regular DJ happy-go-lucky voice, she had the spirit of Christmas coursing through her veins. It was strange seeing her in person and at this hour of the night, not that it was extremely late. It was eight p.m. and on a usual night all of our small town of Cottonwood would be tucked in. Especially on this cold winter night. The fact that DJ Nelly was a morning DJ, who played toe-tapping music to get me through my morning rounds, was messing with my head.

“Here you go.” Finn Vincent walked up with a couple of bourbon and cokes to start off the festive occasion. The perfect set of white teeth underneath his mesmerizing smile sent my heart into a tailspin. “I’m looking forward to my first Cottonwood Christmas Cantata,” he said as his eyes captured mine.

“Cheers.” He held up his plastic cup to mine.

“Merry soon-to-be Christmas.” I winked as we clinked our plastic cups together before we took a drink.

The strobe lights twirled and flashed with bright colors to the beat of the Christmas tunes DJ Nelly was spinning.

“I didn’t realize so many kids would be here.” He nodded towards the dance floor at the jumping teenagers who were singing at the top of their lungs.

 “Santa Clause is Coming to Town.”

I didn’t blame them. Vivid memories of me doing the same thing were at the forefront of my mind.  I was excited to show Finn all the wonderful traditions Cottonwood had to offer now that he wasn’t just my deputy, who should love all things Cottonwood since he too served the amazing small town, but my boyfriend. The only difference between then and now: Cottonwood had grown. Cottonwood had grown over the past year and it was practically impossible to know everyone like I used to. As the sheriff of Cottonwood, I wanted to know everyone who lived here.

“I thought those two weren’t supposed to be dating?” Finn pointed towards one of the long banquet tables that was covered with a table cloth that looked like Santa had thrown up all with all the symbols of Christmas at the two heads stuck together.

“Leighann Graves and Manuel Liberty,” I mused, noticing that Leighann looked a lot more grown up than the last time I’d seen her. Then, she’d come head-to-head with my five foot five inch frame. Now she appeared to have grown taller and more mature.

Leighann’s long red hair was tied up in a ponytail with what looked to be silver tinsel that was used to decorate a Christmas tree. Every time Manuel swung her around, she threw her head back and let out a great peal of laughter that echoed all over the room. Seeing her happy did make me smile.

“Leighann is now eighteen.” I took another sip of my drink. “Since she turned eighteen, I don’t think we’ve gotten any calls from her parents.”

“I’m talking about her parents, not her.” Finn brought the cup up to his mouth and took a sip. “Look at Sean.”

He gestured to one of the tables across the room where Sean and Jilly Graves were seated, alone, and furthest away from their daughter. By the looks of disgust on their faces, neither Sean or Jilly appeared to be happy that Leighann and Manuel were still an item.

Sean had his arms folded across his chest. Jilly’s face was set, her mouth was clamped, and her eyes were fixed on the young couple. Across the way, I saw Juanita Liberty with her other two sons at a table about as far away from the Graves as you could get.

“Last time I spoke with Sean, he said they were going to try and get along.” I straightened up and sighed loudly before I took another drink to try to chase away the stress of the job for just one night. “He said that Leighann was legally an adult now so there’s really nothing they can do.”

Leighann Graves graduated last year from Cottonwood High School. She wasn’t one to conform to her parent’s rules and when she didn’t, they’d called me, Sheriff Kendrick Lowry, to go out and find her.

I wasn’t sure what they expected me to do. It wasn’t like the young couple was breaking the law. Plus, Manuel worked for Sean. It wasn’t technically trespassing like Sean would tell me. I did the best I could to try to talk to the young kids, but that’s about all I could do.

“Look at Juanita.” I pointed her out to Finn.

Finn started laughing.

“What?” I asked.

“We are always so busy assessing people and their body language that we just can’t enjoy a night off.” He shook his head and reached over to hold my hand.

“Job hazard.” I winked. “But look at them. Both families have that disgusted look on their faces.”
“Why don’t they like him again?” Finn asked.

We watched as the love birds got up from their seats and moseyed up to the refreshment table.
Manuel took a couple of plastic glasses full of the best darn punch around from one of the Sweet Adelines and handed it to Leighann. You know that delicious punch, the kind that’s made from Neapolitan ice cream with a ton of Spirit cola poured over top of it? The sweet and tart was the perfect combination.

It was a bonus if you got a little bit of ice cream in the cup too. Plus, the Sweet Adelines were serving it from a real glass punch bowl and not just a plastic one, making it taste even better.

“I think it was because she kept running away from home to stay with Manuel, plus her sneaking out at night didn’t help.” I couldn’t help but smile when I noticed my mama, Vivian Lowry, handed Manuel picked a napkin and gesture for him to use it on the little bit of punch Leighann had spilled on her chin.

Mama was always mothering someone, and, in this instance, southern manners went a long way in her book. Manuel was getting a dose of Mama’s class in southern manners about right now.  I also couldn’t help but notice Sean Graves shake his head and lean over to say something to Jilly before they both got up and walked towards the exit.

“They aren’t staying long.” Finn had truly gotten to be just like one of us.
It took a few months for him to understand our unspoken rules of family and friends and gossip. This was just ideal gossip between me and him.

“By the looks of Leighann and Manuel, Sean and Jilly better get used to seeing them together. Time sure hasn’t stopped the chemistry between them,” I said after Manuel had pulled Leighann in for a kiss.

Out of the corner of my eye, I happened to notice my Mama walk out from behind the refreshment table, collect my daddy and head right towards me and Finn.

“Over here,” I called and waved my hands in the air, acting as if I was inviting them over and not waiting on her to barge in like she always did. “Where have y’all been? Do you know how hard it is to save these seats?” I asked, even though I’d seen her through the dim lights doing her duty to her Auxiliary Women’s club list of volunteering.

Another one of Mama’s southern rules in life was to volunteer anywhere you could. She was on every committee she could fit into one day.

“You know your mama.” Dad rolled his eyes so hard, it made his nose curl. “First, she tried on several different outfits. Then when we got here, she took on more jobs than she’d signed up for and one of them was pouring out the punch.”

“Why?” I looked at Mama. “It’s the Moose Lodge. It’s the Hunt Club not the Sweet Adelines putting it on. You need to enjoy yourself every once in a while.”

“I wasn’t sure if they’d made all their money to put on the annual dance, so I was just helping out where needed.” Her southern drawl not only drew out her words to make them longer syllables, but it drew her hand up to her chest and she lightly tapped the pearl necklace around her neck.
Earlier in the year the Hunt Club puts on their annual gun show where they rent this space from the Moose and sell guns. The proceeds go to put on this annual Christmas dance where all those proceeds go towards the schools and library of Cottonwood.

“I mighswell tell you.” Mama’s lips pursed as her words ran together. These are words that you never wanted to hear from Mama. They had a deeper meaning when they came from her.

“Tell me what?” I encouraged her with a deep-knotted fear that I was going to regret it.

“I’m running for Snow Queen,” she proclaimed with pride. A squeal of joy broke from her lips.

“You’re what?” My jaw dropped.

Finn lifted his hand to his mouth in an efforts to try and cover up the smile on his face.

“The fame of being on the Culinary Channel has gone to her head and now thinks she needs to run for Snow Queen.” Daddy didn’t sound as enthusiastic about it as Mama did.

“Shush that up,” Mama scolded him. “You turn that frown upside down because people will see that you’re not happy for me. That’s negative.”

My eyes darted between my parents. No way, shape or form was daddy going to win this battle. Yet another defeat.

Daddy took my plastic cup and downed what I had left in my drink. “Come on, Finn.” Dad nudged his head towards the cash bar. “I’ll buy you a drink. I’m gonna need a double.”

Mama had a big ole smile on her face and graciously nodded at everyone walking by.

“What’s wrong with your hand?” I asked when I noticed she did some sort of flicking motion when someone walked by and said hello to her. “I’m sure Dr. Shively is here somewhere and can take a look at that for you.” I twisted around in my seat to see if I could find Camille Shively, the only doctor in Cottonwood and who could give Mama something for her twitching hand.

“Obviously you haven’t been watching any of those public broadcasting shows about the Queen and how they wave to their people.” She did it again. “I’m practicing. If I win, I’ll be in all the parades. These will be my people.” She gestured to the room. “I’m hoping to get one of the car dealerships to sponsor me and I can sit on the back of the seat of a convertible.”

“You’ve lost your mind.” I shook my head.

“What?” She drew back. “I know it’s winter, but convertible cars have heat. Besides, I’ve been eyeballing this fur down at Lulu’s Boutique and it’d go perfect with my hair coloring.” She sniffled and lifted the side of her finger under her nose. “What else do I have to look forward to this Christmas?” Her voice took a sharp turn from upbeat to tearful with a few extra sniffs to drive her point home.

 “Here we go,” I grumbled under my held breath and drank what little cocktail was left in my cup.
Now it was my turn for a good southern scolding. My Mama was going to tell me which way was up and right now I was on the top of that list.

“You bet, here we go,” she mocked me and shook her finger. “How do you think your father feels about you leaving us on Christmas? You’re our only child. And you decide that you’re going to leave us without a Christmas after all we’ve done for you. After all these years?”

 She was so mad, she could’ve started a fight in an empty house.

“I guess you wouldn’t know how your father feels because you’re still not married and I’ve got no grandchildren. Thank God for that. Hallelujah!” She threw her hands in the air. “Because it’s bad enough you’re leaving us alone for Christmas. If we had grandchildren and you took the pleasure of spending Christmas morning with them away from you, you mightswell stick me in a nursing home and never come see me.”

“Don’t worry. I’ll come see you once a year.” I teased “Or at least make sure the girls who work there will wipe your mouth after you eat.”

I patted her hand. She jerked it away from me, apparently still not amused with my jokes.
“Mama, you’ve pushed me to get a boyfriend. Now that Finn and I are dating, you’re mad.” It was a lose-lose situation with Mama if things didn’t go her way.

Mama and I had the typical southern mother/daughter relationship. It was a love/hate relationship that no matter what, in a time of need we were there for each other one-hundred percent. The problem was, she had an image of what my relationship should look like in her head, not what was real in the world.

“Yes. But I never said that you going away for Christmas was part of it. We like Finn. He’s the hunkiest male in Cottonwood.” Her words describing Finn made me feel icky inside because they shouldn’t be coming from my mother.

No denying she was right. He was heaven on earth and his tall, muscular six-foot frame was that of an angel. There was only one downfall. His northern accent threw me off sometimes, but he was starting to get a bit of a twang. Around here, we called it hillbilly.

“You know that we have traditions here. Them yankies don’t.” Mama’s face drew into a pucker.
“Mama,” I scolded her. “You can’t be calling people from Chicago yankies. He’s a northerner.”
“Northerner, yankie what’s the difference?” she spat in protest.

“The difference is, Finn Vincent is my boyfriend and he loves his family just as much as I love my family. That means that we have to visit them too. We live here, and I see you practically every day,” I reminded her. “Besides, you were okay with it a few weeks ago.”
She stuck her pointer finger up in the air.

“Christmas is once a year.” She jutted that finger towards me. “Once a year,” she emphasized. “A few weeks ago was just that. Now that we are down to the nitty-gritty of Christmas Day, I thought you’d’ve come to your senses by now and decided to stay here.”

If this would’ve been ten years ago when I was a teenager, I’d’ve tried to snap that finger off her hand.

“You two look like you’re having an intense conversation,” Finn said and sat down in the chair between me and Mama.

He had two drinks in his hand and he slid one to me. Daddy sat on the other side of Mama. She grabbed the wine out of his hand before his hind-end hit the chair.

“I’m gonna need the full bottle,” she said in a sarcastic tone.

“It’s from a box,” Daddy corrected her.

“What?” Her face contorted.

“The wine.” Daddy’s head nodded towards her glass. “It’s not from a bottle. It’s from a box up there.”

“Good Gawd.” Mama curled her lips with icy contempt. “Lord, help me. What is this world coming to?”

I shook my head and widened my eyes to let Finn know that what Mama and I had been discussing wasn’t a topic that we should be talking about. Mama had made it very clear over the past few months of her disapproval for me leaving Cottonwood during the big traditional festivities. I was going to miss being here for them since I’d not missed one since birth, but it wasn’t fair to Finn. One thing I’ve learned since dating Finn was the fact that he too had family, a big family, and they loved Christmas just as much as we did.

“Why don’t we work on your waltz since I know you’re going to win and have to do it in front of the entire town the night of the tree lighting.” Finn put his hand to Mama.

She giggled in a school girl way that made me roll my eyes before she took his hand. He guided her to her feet and she tucked her hand into his elbow, letting him lead her. She did that whole Queen wave, hand twitching gesture the whole way to the dance floor.

“She’s lost her mind,” I leaned over to my dad and whispered.

“She’s alright. She’s just trying to keep her mind occupied with you going out of town.” Dad dropped his head and looked at his glass of wine.

He wasn’t all too thrilled about me leaving for Christmas, but he’d at least accepted it.

“You know.” Dad leaned back in his chair. “I remember what it was like to leave my family for the first time at Christmas when I was dating Viv.” He glanced out at the dance floor.

Mama was having too good of a time while Finn waltzed her around the plywood floor to “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”.

“I remember how sad my own mom was, but when I left for good and moved here. That was a whole different story.” Dad had uprooted his life to move to Cottonwood and it was a story he rarely told. “The look in my mama’s eye is the same look in your mama’s eyes. It’s just a change. Viv will get used to it, but in the meantime, if she wants to be in the Snow Queen pageant to occupy her time and it makes her happy.” He smiled. “Then I support her.”

I reached over and took my dad’s hand.

“It’s only one Christmas,” I assured him and gave his hand a squeeze. “I’m actually looking forward to it.” I drew my hand back and wrapped it around my plastic cup. I’d only met his sister and I was looking forward to meeting the rest of his family. “He’s looking forward to me meeting them.”

“Honey, your Mama is worried that you’re going to go up there, love it and never come back.” Dad patted me on the arm. “By the way you look at that boy, I’m a little worried too.”

“There’s nothing to worry about.” I gulped and suddenly came to the realization that the thought of ever living outside of Cottonwood never crossed my mind.

“If Finn doesn’t want to live in Cottonwood his entire life, it’s an issue.” Dad’s words didn’t comfort me any.

I dragged the cup to my mouth as I watched Finn spin Mama in one direction. On the outskirt of the spin, Mama did that hand-ticking wave thing to whoever was watching and when Finn pulled her back in, she carefully placed her hand on his shoulder like she’d already had the Snow Queen crown on her head.

“Do we know who else is in the running for queen?” I asked because I silently wanted to offer up a little pray for their safety.

“No. And God bless their hearts who do run against her.” Daddy took a big swig of his cocktail and planted a big smile on his face when he saw Mama coming back. “She has practice this week at the fairgrounds. Then we’ll know who her competition will be.”

Once Mama gets something in her head, she doesn’t stop at any expense to get it. It was all part of our southern upbrining. I wasn’t too off that mark myself. Ever heard of the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree? Well, Mama was the tree and I was the apple. Only I hid my crazy better than she did.
Mama wanted me to go to college and find me a nice man to bring home to Cottonwood where I’d be in her clubs and volunteer alongside of her, but when I told her I was going to the police academy to follow in the footsteps of her dad, my Poppa, Elmer Sims, she threw a hissy fit bigger than a toddler wanting a piece of candy they couldn’t have that was dangling in front of them.

 “That was fun.” Mama winked at Finn. I glared at her. It was one thing for her to like my boyfriend, but to blatantly flirt with him was another. And he knew it, egging her on every time.

“My pleasure.” Finn kissed the top of the hand that she’d offered him.

He was good at manipulating her like putty in his fingers. It was only him that talked some sense into her when she’d stomped around for a few days insisting I was trying to kill her by not being here for Christmas. But now, it seemed she’d gotten back on the pity wagon about it.

“Now what about you?” He turned to me with an outstretched hand. “A dance around the floor?”
Before I could even answer, there was a big ruckus going on over at the snack table near the punch bowls. Manuel and a girl that wasn’t Leighann were screaming at each other at the top of their lungs. Manuel grabbed Leighann by the arm and jerked her back from the girl after Leighann started screaming at her too.  Finn sprinted across the room, breaking up the three in the heated argument.

“Man, you better tell her to lay off,” Manuel threatened.

“Just stop it!” Leighann screamed at Manuel and then looked at the girl. “You’ve always been jealous of me,” she said through gritted teeth. “Get out of my life! Forever!”

“No problem. You’re dead to me!” The girl turned on the balls of her feet and swung around.
 “What’s going on?” I asked after I moseyed on over, not in too big of a hurry because Finn seemed to have it under control.

“Nothing.” Manuel jerked free of Finn and tugged down on the hem of his shirt. His muscular arms flexed without him even trying. “I told you that you need to keep better friends.” His mustache quivered, and he pointed to Leighann. She was visibly upset.

Angela Durst had come to Leighann’s side and pulled out a Kleenex from the pocket of her Christmas vest. Angela was Sean Graves’s secretary at the towing company. She’d seen Leighann grow up.
Leighann wiped her eyes while Angela rubbed Leighann’s long red hair down her back. Beka, Angela’s daughter walked up and asked Manuel what was going on. He didn’t answer her.

“It’s nothing, sheriff.” Leighann gave a fake smile. “Merry Christmas.”

Manuel grabbed Leighann’s hand. “Let’s get out of here, babe.”

“Don’t babe me.” She jerked away but followed him anyways. “You’ve run off every single friend I’ve ever had.”

“You need better friends,” he said back to her.

“Are you two okay?” I asked again before they darted out the door. They didn’t bother answering me.
Finn and I looked at each other.

“Do you think they’re okay?” He asked me.

“I’m sure they’ll be fine.” Angela shrugged. “They’ve had worse fights than this.”

“It’s getting colder out there. I think the big winter storm is going to be moving in quicker than they predicted. Get this,” DJ Nelly’s excitement blurted out of the speakers and interrupted our conversation with Angela. “We just might have a white Christmas.”

The cheers from the crowd were catching on and soon everyone in the room was singing “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas”. Even me.

“No, no, no.” Finn shook his head. “No white Christmas here.”

“It’s beautiful when it snows in Cottonwood.” I smiled with fond memories of sledding and how they had horse drawn carriages for the tree lighting ceremony.

“Not if we can’t get out of here on that big bird to go see my folks.” Finn face grew stern.

“Don’t worry.” I brushed off the white Christmas and any notion the airport in Lexington would close down. “What does a DJ know about weather? She barely knows what today’s hits are, much less how to predict snow.” I laughed and tugged him out on the dance floor.

I didn’t dare say it, but it would be my luck that we’d get this big storm and here I’d be.

Friday, September 21, 2018


SURPRISE!! Decaffeinated Scandal released a few days early!!

I'm so excited to bring y'all back to Honey Springs. This series was created out of our connection to our love of conversation over a nice warm!!

No joke.

For those of y'all that follow me on my author page on Facebook, you know I greet y'all every morning with a coffee post. We have a good time over there saying good morning and I really do look forward to that. It was just natural for me to write a series where every morning my sleuth starts the small cozy town of Honey Springs with a nice cup of coffee or tea, along with a crazy cast of sidekicks and a tad bit of mystery...

Please, join me on this fun adventure! Each book can be read as a stand along...but I must say that there's a HUGE surprise in this book that might leave your jaw hanging wide open. Don't forget to shut your mouth because a fly just my get in there!

Welcome back to Honey Springs!
Decaffeinated Scandal
Book 5 in the Killer coffee Mystery Series

It's Halloween in Honey Springs and everyone has the jitters with a murder on the loose, not from drinking too much coffee from The Bean Hive books
Haven't bought your copy yet? You can read chapter one for FREE by clicking here:

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Tuesday Coffee With Tonya and Weekly Giveaway

Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you!! Happy birthday Forests, Fishing, & Forgery! Happy birthday to you!!!!
Whoop whoop!!! I'm celebrating the release of FORESTS, FISHING, & FORGERY!! I really do love this one and had a bunch of fun writing it!!
I hope you give it a buy!!

"I loved this book so much and hope the next one in the series isn’t too far behind." Goodreads Review Sandy

"Quirky characters along with southern charm in Normal, Kentucky at Happy Trails Campground will take you along on a fast paced read while enjoying some camping fun!" Goodreads Review Amy

"If you love her quirky southern characters and small town charm with a mystery to solve, you're going to love her new cozy mystery series!" Goodreads Review Mary

Click here to buy:

Speaking of Scooter...he's doing worlds better. This weekend a couple of the boys were home. Austin brought a friend home from UK (University of Kentucky) who just so happens that he met in college and is from MY small hometown! I know his family...okay, I trail off the subject A LOT. Hang with me here.
Anyways, Austin's bedroom is on the bottom level of the house (third level). There are steps going down to his room, which has another family room and it's own entrance. I keep the door shut since Eddy and I never go down there. I put a HUGE note up on the door that said KEEP DOOR SHUT! SCOOTER COULD FALL DOWN THE STAIRS.
Well.. Austin and his friend were going to be laid out all night (what I call partying and coming home late-not drinking and driving!) When they come in around 3,4,5 or when the sun is coming up, I surely didn't want them to forget and leave that door open. Of course I slept with one eye and one ear wide open. When they did come in...I'd wait for them to head there before I padded down my stairs to get to his stairs where I was happy to say the door was shut.
THEN....Austin has been driving my old in mini-van, and he had been bringing some stuff home since he's moving to a different apartment in a few weeks down in Lexington. I cook him bunches of meals to take back with him and I was happily cooking away when I heard THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP.  I ran out of the kitchen with my heart pounding to the open door and Scooter standing at the bottom. OMG....I might've said a few things that would've made the devil blush and it was on Sunday! Austin was so upset. But...Scooter was fine and he wasn't a bit scared. He continued to get around the house and back to his normal routine.
Another Scooter story...he loves car rides. He does sit in my lap (stop groaning and don't email me to tell me how dangerous it is because I'm still gonna do it.) He had his head out the window and loving it! We were going to get me a Diet Coke from Chik-fil-A. I drive a little red Fiat and we get a lot of looks in it. Naturally, when I pulled up to the people at Chik-fil-A, which they are so weird and stand there to take your order, they were all staring at me. I figured they were looking at my little car. Then the guy was a little reluctant to take my $2.07 before he asked me if Scooter's eyes were closed or missing. Then I realized they were all trying to figure out what was up with Scooter. Hahhaa!!!!

Here are a couple photos from the weekend. The She Shed is coming along and it was my mom's birthday! Don't you love that cake? It's from Nothing Bundt Cakes. It was delish!


Reader of the week:

Ann Willis 
"I take refuge in the laughter and suspense of a Tonya Kappes mystery. It is my escape. And that they take place in Kentucky is a plus."

Whoop whoop!!! Look at this fun giveaway!!!

Signed print copies of BEACHES, BUNGALOWS, & BURGLARIES AND DESERTS, DRIVING, & DERELICTS plus the fun coffee tote, camper mug, camper ornament, and camper scented candle.

How do you enter?? Click here and enter your Amazon proof that you bought Forests, Fishing, & Forgery to be entered!!! 

After you go here to enter to win:

Congratulations to last week's Amazon gift card winner Tari Hann!!! Good luck!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Tuesday Coffee With Tonya and Weekly Giveaway!

Good morning, Y'all!!
Shoowweeee. I can't lie. I have to tell you that last week was one of the roughest weeks I've had in a long time. I'm one of those people who hold in stress. I wanted to make sure Scooter didn't scratch out his staples, so for seven nights I slept on the floor or we moved to the couch with him. He isn't comfortable sleeping in my bed anymore or being upstairs since he's been blind. Plus he likes being by his water bowl.
To make a long story longer (which I'm really good at), I didn't get much sleep but Scooter did. Add upon top of no sleep, taking care of Charlie and giving him his 25 pills a day for his various illnesses, making sure Scooter is eating and writing a book.....THEN....Scooter's eye started to ooze. I about had a full blown conniption. I might've acted ugly towards people I love because I was on edge. So much so that my mama had driven two hours to stay with me. She was here to take care of the dogs while Eddy took care of all the other stuff and I could write.
Well...Y'all! That didn't work. I still had to have my hand in every pot that was boiling. This meant, I still got zero rest and my body was pushed to it's limit. Luckily, Scooter's eye was normal and it wasn't frank blood.
I woke up on Thursday and I was so dizzy, nauseous, and practically out of my head that my family pulled an intervention! First, my sister took away all my electronics including my Apple Watch. Smart girl. They put me on bed rest for a couple of days because the stress of it all had just throw me for a loop. They were right. I needed to just rest.
Saturday, Eddy drove me and Scooter to the vet to get Scooter's stitches out. He'd lost two pounds in a week and needed some fluids. Fast forward to today, he's up and moving around. Actually, happy! He's rubbing, back to chewing his bones and he even smelled one of the stray kittens under the porch when the stray was trying to figure out if Scooter was going to chase her or not. I'm rested and back to writing. Life in the Kappes household is right back on track.

In the end, it was me that was more upset about Scooter and his new reality than he was. I can't thank y'all enough for all the emails and cards you've sent. I've read them all to Scooter. As you can see below, Scooter is looking and doing great!

FORESTS, FISHING, & FORGERY will be released next week!!! YIPPPEEE!!! Click here to get your copy >>>>

Reader of the week:
Suzanne Blasi 
"I enjoy reading your books because you have a an entertaining style, that is a combination of great writing and a colorful imagination. It is fun and sometimes quirky ride with familiar characters who I can visit any time I want escape and laugh."

Enter by clicking here to win this week's $10 gift card giveaway!


I'm beyond thrilled Crooked Lane Publisher has put the first book in my SOUTHERN CAKE BAKER SERIES under my pen name, MAYMEE BELL, on sale! This is VERY rare and I hope you grab it while you can get it for only $1.99. 

Cake and Punishment is on sale for $1.99!!!
Be sure to grab your copy while you can.

In the first of a delectable new Southern-set baking cozy series, Sophia Cummings, pastry chef extraordinaire, must craft the perfect cake for an old friend’s wedding while sifting through the suspects in a murder. Bucolic Rumford, Kentucky has glowing fields of bluegrass, a fine selection of bourbons, and now a professional pastry chef. Broken-hearted Sophia Cummings has come home from New York City. She’s not there a minute before she’s charmed into making her high school friend Charlotte’s wedding cake. The kitchen at the Rumford Country Club seems perfect until Chef Emile’s body is discovered, sprawled near the stove, a cast iron skillet on the floor close by. With one look at the shiny, new frying pan, Sophia knows it’s not Emile’s. She offers her knowledge to Sheriff Carter and her talents to Evelyn, the manager, who needs an interim chef. The mood in the country club is grim: Emile’s peppery personality had burned members and staff alike. Sophia wonders which one of them burned him?

Virtual Tour Normal, Kentucky ~ A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery Series

Welcome to Normal, Kentucky~ where NOTHING is normal! Hi, there. Let me be the first to welcome you to Normal, Kentucky. I’m Mayor Co...