Thursday, June 28, 2018

Read Chapter One of Deserts, Driving & Derelicts




“Thank you for coming in.” Alison Gilbert, the young reporter from National Parks of America Magazine greeted me all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. She wore a mid-calf length red dress with small black polka dots and black sandals. Her brown hair was cut to her chin. “We are so glad you agreed to the interview. Follow me.”

She hurried down the hall at the Daniel Boone National Park office and talked over her shoulder, guiding me to the room where she was going to perform the interview. She sat her bag on the long conference table.

“Now, we can relax.” She turned slightly to look at me as she continued to walk down the hall. “I have coffee here, along with some donuts. Please, help yourself.”

I walked over to the coffee bar, catching my shadow in the glass window that overlooked a beautiful area of the National Park, and noticed my hair had grown about two more sizes on the ride over to the office. That was the problem with curly hair and humidity. The two didn’t play nice with each other.

“Thank you,” I said and pulled a handful of hair to one side over my shoulder. “Would you like a cup too?” I asked and poured a cup of coffee.

“That’d be great.” Her head was buried in her bag. She dug around for a few more minutes, finally pulling out a camera.

 “You do remember the terms to which I agreed?” I wanted to confirm before we got started.

“Yep.” Her head slowly nodded up and down. She fiddled with her phone and sat it down on the table. “No particulars about your husband or the ponzi scheme, but you’re okay with talking about how you acquired Happy Trails Campground, bringing it and more tourists to Normal during a slow economic time.”

“Ex-husband,” I muttered and walked over to the table, setting down a cup of coffee in front of her and then walking over to look at the donuts.

“Right.” She pulled in a deep breath. “I’m going to tape it on my phone, if that’s okay,” she said. “I like to go back and listen to the interview while I’m writing the piece. I want to make sure I don’t leave anything out.”

“Sure.” I grabbed one of the glazed donuts and took a modest bite. If I were alone in my camper, I’d just stuffed my face with all of it and licked my fingers after.

“Interview with Mae West, owner of Happy Trails Campground located deep in Daniel Boone National Park in Normal, Kentucky.” She smiled. “Normal,” she laughed, the tone of her voice had changed into a very professional-sounding one. “There’s really nothing that’s been Normal in Happy Trails for many years.”

I didn’t know what she wanted me to say, so I just took a sip of coffee.

“How did you acquire Happy Trails?” she asked.

“It’s no secret that I was married to Paul West.” If whoever reads this article in the National Parks Magazine hadn’t heard of my ex-husband, then they’d been literally living off the land in one of these parks with their head stuck under a rock. “Years ago, during his college years, he got possession of the campground.” I left out the part that he’d actually made a bet with the original owner, Ron Randal, who now owned the Normal Diner. Ron had made a bet with the young go-getter Paul. Paul was never one to turn down a bet, even when he thought he might lose. In this case, he won. And here I was today. “Years later, he gave me the campground.”

“Gave it to you?” She asked.

“After Paul went to jail, all of my possessions were seized, except for Happy Trails Campground and the camper where I live because they were in my name only.” There wasn’t any sense in reliving the entire story of how my lawyer had broken the bad news to me in his Manhattan office, trading my luxury car keys for a flamingo key chain with a camper key dangling off it.

I had no idea Paul had owned a campground. It was a shock to me how years before, he’d deeded the property over to me. Just one of many things I didn’t know. In fact, I didn’t even know my husband like I thought I did.

“After I found out that I owned Happy Trails, I made a visit and haven’t left. I fell in complete love with camping life and the campground itself.” I left out all the in between stuff like the shock of my new life and living arrangements. Something I was embarrassed about now, but it truly had been a scary time for me.

“You’re being modest.” Allison scooted up in the chair and rested her forearms on the edge of the conference table. “I want to get to the nitty gritty. I’ve talked to a few Happy Trails residents who have made the campground their year-round home. They tell me that Happy Trails was almost inhabitable. After I did a little digging into your married life, I have to assume it was hard for you to go from a mansion in the Hamptons to a tiny camper.”

“I admit I was taken aback when I pulled into Happy Trails the first time. The Kentucky Bluegrass had been burnt up, the lake had a mucky film over it, and the buildings were in bad shape.” There was no way denying that Happy Trails had come a long way since I moved to Normal a few months ago. “I’m happy to say that it’s fully back up on its feet and we are booked for the next three seasons.”

“That’s fascinating. I mean, you waltz into Normal this hoity-toity New York City housewife with all the luxuries the world could offer. You walked into a crazy situation where almost all the residents of Happy Trails had been victims of your husband.”

“Ex. I didn’t waltz.” My eyes narrowed as I wondered where this interview was going.

She grazed over my comment and continued to look down at her notes.

“I mean, he didn’t pay the manager for years, though he did let her live there for free. It was rundown and nothing worked, including the laundry machines. Your husband swindled a lot of Normal residents out of their retirement accounts. How did it feel to be the most hated woman in the town?” She smiled like her words were daggers.

“Well, you’ve done quite a lot of research.” I could’ve reminded her that I didn’t really want to talk about what Paul had done to the people of Normal, but I decided to deal with it head on. Seriously, how many people were reading National Parks of America Magazine? “I’m fully aware of what Paul did to the people and the town of Normal. Especially when a big chunk of their economy comes from the campground. So when I saw what a disarray Happy Trails was in, I decided it was time to make things right with the entire community.”

“That’s when you came up with the brilliant social media campaign?” She was finally getting to the true reason for the interview.

“I have to give credit to my friend Abby Fawn. She’s the librarian at the Normal County Library. As you pointed out, the laundry machines at Happy Trails weren’t working and, having driven from New York, I needed to do laundry.” The memory of my meeting the ladies of the Laundry Club was very fond. I loved telling the story. “I took my laundry to The Laundry Club.”

“The Laundry Club is a full-service laundromat located in downtown Normal. Correct?” she asked.

“Yes. Though it’s so much more than that. There’s fresh coffee, jigsaw puzzles, a book club. It’s like a community.” I couldn’t stop my smile from growing. “That’s where I met a group of women I consider my friends. It’s like meeting your friends at a coffee shop, only it’s a laundromat.”

“Tell me about the women.” She seemed to be really interested.

“First, there’s Dottie Swaggert, Queenie French, Abby Fawn, and Betts Hager.” Even though I was telling the story to her phone, she was still taking notes.
“They welcomed me with open arms and really took me under their wing. Abby is the one who took my idea about having some sort of fundraiser to help bring the campground back to what it used to be in its glory days and ran with it. She did all the social media hash tagging and it just took off.”

“That’s what brings us here today. There was so much buzz about the grand reopening of Happy Trails that you ended up booking all the lots for the entire next year. No one even seemed to care that your husband’s body floated to the top of the lake. Wasn’t he murdered?”

She had to add in the last part, didn’t she? I lowered my eyes and stared at her for a second. She fidgeted a smidgen as if she realized she was teetering on a fine line.

“Ex,” I sighed and grabbed another donut. This time, I stuffed it in my mouth just as I heard the camera click. “You aren’t going to print that one, are you?”

“You’re originally from Kentucky.” She’d obviously been digging around more than just my married life. My palms started to sweat and itch. “Why don’t you tell me about that?”

“There’s really nothing to tell. It was a lifetime ago.” I pinched a smile. “I’m happy to say that I’m back in Kentucky and enjoying living at Happy Trails Campground. We are ready for more families to join us for a terrific vacation.” I spouted off the office phone number and the website URL, which was also Abby’s doings. “We have a monthly party where we get together for food and friendship. It’s free to the public. This month’s is about this late Indian summer we are having so it has a desert theme. Dottie Swaggert is the social coordinator for Happy Trials. If you look on social media, you’ll find all the information you need using hashtag Summer Sizzler. Come one, come all.”

“Thank you for taking the time to talk to me today. I know I probably pushed a little too much, but I think everyone is going to love how you completely turned the campground around and brought a feel-good story to Normal, Kentucky.” Alison stood up and gathered her belongings. “I ran by the campground earlier and took some photos. I hope you don’t mind.”

“Not at all.” I took another donut. “Please let us know when we are in it so we can frame the article and hang it on the wall in the office.”

Little did I realize just how many people did subscribe to National Parks of America Magazine, but I was soon going to find out.



AMAZON HOT NEW RELEASE
Deserts, Driving, and Derelicts
Book Two A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery
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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Happy Release Day and Giveaway!

Happy Release Day!
I know...I know! It's a few days early, but I couldn't help it! It needed to be released and I'm so excited you now get a chance to spend a little more time in Normal, Ky at Happy Trails Campground.
Here is the blurb:
Welcome to Normal, Kentucky, where nothin' is normal! 

Mae West is getting settled into the RV lifestyle as the owner of a campground in Normal, Kentucky. Happy Trails Campground, located in Daniel Boone National Park, has started to attract late summer vacationing families who love to hike, swim, fish, and enjoy being outdoors.

Betts Hager, owner of several small businesses, is swamped with work and desperate for help with her cleaning business. Mae offers her services, happy about the prospect of a little extra cash. Heiress Tammy Jo Bentley’s mansion is the first one on her schedule.

Mae makes sure Tammy Jo’s house is spotless because the Kentucky Kennel Association's annual meeting is going to be held at the mansion. Fifi, Tammy Jo’s high pedigree, insured poodle, is going to be on display and Tammy Jo will be evaluating potential suitors to sire Fifi's offspring.

Before the annual meeting, Camille Braun, Fifi’s nanny, is stabbed to death. Everyone knows that Camille would put her life on the line *or* lay down her life for Fifi and, apparently, she did.

Mae tries her best to stay out of it. Tammy Jo begs Mae to help her; after all, she did find the last killer in Normal. Plus, it's not good for business - or Normal's revived economy - when a murderer is on the loose.

Mae has grown to love her RV community and now that she's found a place to call him, she's not going to let anybody ruin it. Mae throws all of her heart and amateur sleuthing skills into bringing the real killer to justice.

Even though this newsletter is celebrating release day, it doesn't come without a story from last week in my world. Do you see that? Yes! It's a snake! In my house!!! Last week I was taking Scooter outside and there was this really long snake near Scooter's toy box. I grabbed the box, threw the toys all over room and threw the box over top of the snake until Eddy got home. Well, I called Eddy at work and made him come home! And if that wasn't enough....I do daily meditation in my finished basement where we have a family room, bathroom, Austin's bedroom and a storage room. It's a walk out basement which makes it nice for the boys when they lived here and had friends over. Well...I was all settled in to do my daily dose of meditation (kinda nappin' really) and then I got to thinking about that snake. My papaw always said if there was one snake, there was two. His voice repeated in my head until I squinted one eye open. I swear, hand to God, there was a tiny mouse staring at me! Sitting on my carpet! Staring!!! I squealed. Jumped up and ran up the steps, slamming the door shut. I called Eddy at work. He came home with a trap. I got sad, but realized if we had a cat (because I miss and love Kitty Kappes), we wouldn't be in the mess with a snake and now a mouse. Anyways, Eddy put peanut butter on the trap and about fifteen minutes later went down there to see if he got the mouse. The mouse was sitting on the trap eating the peanut butter. I was cracking up! It was so small, it didn't trip the trap. We got a box and caught the little feller, letting him out back by the creek. Same place we put the snake. I hope the snake doesn't eat the mouse...

Have a wonderful week!
xoxoxo
T.

BEACHES, BUNGALOWS, & BURGLARIES IS ONLY .99 FOR A LIMITED TIME!
CLICK HERE

Be sure to pre-order the third book in the Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery Series. 

Forests, Fishing & Forgery CLICK HERE TO PREORDER



Reader of the week:
Kara Vaughan Marks 
"Tonya Kappes books are a great escape from everyday life and so charming!"


SOMETHING NEW IS HAPPENING ON AUTHOR TONYA KAPPES FACEBOOK PAGE!

We are continuing our fun theme week! Last week's carnival theme was so much fun. This week we're hanging out in Normal, Kentucky where the Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery Series is set! There's a ton of fun stuff going on over there and a weekly themed giveaway starting today!


Be sure you scroll down to enter to win the gift card and see all the book sales and upcoming releases! xoxoxo
T.

The winner last week was Mary Preston!! Her gift card was already sent. That's why I ask for your email. Good luck!!






Friday, June 22, 2018

Tuesday Coffee with Tonya and Amazon Giveaway

Happy Tuesday!!!
Over the weekend, I hosted a Father's Day brunch with chicken and waffles. . .that brought the boys home! Let me tell you. It was great. Eddy had a wonderful time. We also got to spend time with my dad and his dad that day, so it was a great day.

Y'all are so awesome! Thank you for all the emails asking about Scooter. We had a Dr. appointment last week to follow up on the bladder and liver infection along with his eye check up. His liver and bladder are no longer infected, so we are happy with that. Unfortunately, there was a smidgen of hope he'd gain a little sight in his right eye, but it doesn't appear that's going to be in the plan anymore. He's such a sweetie. He's still having a bit of trouble finding his way around the house, but he's getting better everyday. Plus, there's lots of treats involved which makes me happy because he did gain ONE POUND!!!! YAY!!!!! He's down about six though. His diabetes is within normal range, so I think we've got that under control. Fingers crossed!

I'm happy to report the results of last week's question about whether you'd like weekly or monthly. I was shocked that 90% of you like weekly. I'm truly honored that y'all love to hear about our crazy weeks and that the newsletter isn't just about writing. I love all of your emails and I read them all. Writing is a very lonely career, so when I sit down to write this, I truly feel as if you're sitting right here at my kitchen table having a cup off coffee with me.

Have a wonderful week!
xoxoxo
T.

Scene of the Grin is now available in audio!! Grab your copy by clicking >>>> https://amzn.to/2t2hL7n

















FREE BOOKS!!!>>>> https://books.bookfunnel.com/free_mystery





Be sure to pre-order the second book in the Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery Series. 


DESERTS, DRIVING & DERELICTS:

Welcome to Normal, Kentucky, where nothin' is normal! 

Mae West is getting settled into the RV lifestyle as the owner of a campground in Normal, Kentucky. Happy Trails Campground, located in Daniel Boone National Park, has started to attract late summer vacationing families who love to hike, swim, fish, and enjoy being outdoors.

Betts Hager, owner of several small businesses, is swamped with work and desperate for help with her cleaning business. Mae offers her services, happy about the prospect of a little extra cash. Heiress Tammy Jo Bentley’s mansion is the first one on her schedule.

Mae makes sure Tammy Jo’s house is spotless because the Kentucky Kennel Association's annual meeting is going to be held at the mansion. Fifi, Tammy Jo’s high pedigree, insured poodle, is going to be on display and Tammy Jo will be evaluating potential suitors to sire Fifi's offspring.

Before the annual meeting, Camille Braun, Fifi’s nanny, is stabbed to death. Everyone knows that Camille would put her life on the line *or* lay down her life for Fifi and, apparently, she did.

Mae tries her best to stay out of it. Tammy Jo begs Mae to help her; after all, she did find the last killer in Normal. Plus, it's not good for business - or Normal's revived economy - when a murderer is on the loose.

Mae has grown to love her RV community and now that she's found a place to call him, she's not going to let anybody ruin it. Mae throws all of her heart and amateur sleuthing skills into bringing the real killer to justice.



Reader of the week:
"I read Tonya Kappes books because of the characters, each book you get to know them a little better. The feeling of community comes through."







SOMETHING NEW IS HAPPENING ON AUTHOR TONYA KAPPES FACEBOOK PAGE!

We are continuing our fun theme week! Last week's camping theme was so much fun. This week we're hanging out at the carnival! There's a ton of fun stuff going on over there and a weekly themed giveaway starting today!


Be sure you scroll down to enter to win the gift card and see all the book sales and upcoming releases! xoxoxo
T.

GIVEAWAYS!!!

I'm hanging out at Kings River Life Magazine this month! A copy of Dead As A Doornail is up for grabs if you leave a comment there. Click here to head on over to the blog.



Thursday, June 14, 2018

Tuesday Coffee With Tonya and Weekly Giveaway

Family and the importance of family has always been the center of my books. I'm sure many of you have heard, write what you know. Well...I know that I love family (my husband, my kiddos, and my parents) so much that I try really hard for that to show through my work. It's the only way I know to give them a tribute on how much I do love.

I'd like to wish all the fathers and the men in our lives that play a big part in shaping who we are.

Below is an amazing recipe you can make for that special male figure that will tickle their tummy to death! My country sausage gravy never disappoints and I'll be making it on Father's Day.

Have a wonderful week!
xoxoxo
~T.




This week I'm going to be hanging out on two separate blogs. For those of you not on Facebook, here's your chance to enter to  win a fun giveaway!

Tomorrow, June 13th, I'm hanging out on my blog KILLER CHARACTERS. You can click here to go there in the morning and enter to win.

On Friday, I'm hanging out with my gal pals over on WICKED COZY AUTHORS. You can click here to head on over to win. 


This week Cold Blooded Brew is on sale for only .99! Be sure to grab it before it goes back to full price. 



Be sure to pre-order the second book in the Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery Series. 

DESERTS, DRIVING & DERELICTS:

Welcome to Normal, Kentucky, where nothin' is normal! 

Mae West is getting settled into the RV lifestyle as the owner of a campground in Normal, Kentucky. Happy Trails Campground, located in Daniel Boone National Park, has started to attract late summer vacationing families who love to hike, swim, fish, and enjoy being outdoors.

Betts Hager, owner of several small businesses, is swamped with work and desperate for help with her cleaning business. Mae offers her services, happy about the prospect of a little extra cash. Heiress Tammy Jo Bentley’s mansion is the first one on her schedule.

Mae makes sure Tammy Jo’s house is spotless because the Kentucky Kennel Association's annual meeting is going to be held at the mansion. Fifi, Tammy Jo’s high pedigree, insured poodle, is going to be on display and Tammy Jo will be evaluating potential suitors to sire Fifi's offspring.

Before the annual meeting, Camille Braun, Fifi’s nanny, is stabbed to death. Everyone knows that Camille would put her life on the line *or* lay down her life for Fifi and, apparently, she did.

Mae tries her best to stay out of it. Tammy Jo begs Mae to help her; after all, she did find the last killer in Normal. Plus, it's not good for business - or Normal's revived economy - when a murderer is on the loose.

Mae has grown to love her RV community and now that she's found a place to call him, she's not going to let anybody ruin it. Mae throws all of her heart and amateur sleuthing skills into bringing the real killer to justice.


Click here to preorder Deserts, Driving & Derelicts!



Reader of the week:

Nova Manske Conover

"I read your books because they are Southern, sassy & super fun to read!"






SOMETHING NEW IS HAPPENING ON AUTHOR TONYA KAPPES FACEBOOK PAGE!

Y'all obviously know I like to ramble on...yammerin'....sometimes on author's Facebook page it's all about the marketing and promoting their books. That is just a waste of time for me. Of course, I do those marketing posts because it's business, but it's not me. I love to connect with readers, so we've started something new! Weekly themes with interactive posts! This week's theme is CAMPING!! NOW...that's a whole lot of fun!


Be sure you scroll down to enter to win the gift card and see all the book sales and upcoming releases! xoxoxo
T.
The winner last week was Peggy H. Congrats!! Her gift card was already sent. That's why I ask for your email. Good luck!! <3


Tuesday, June 5, 2018




Good morning!

I hope that y'all've gotten a chance to read Beaches, Bungalows & Burglaries. I've been spending all my time in Normal, Kentucky and I've completely fallen in love with these characters! I can see many, many more books in this series beyond the five I've already planned. 

Now that Eddy and I are empty nesting, we are really finding new things we enjoy to do together. I'm not sure if y'all remember that we bought me a bike last year. Eddy likes to ride bikes, leisurely, and I've been giving it a try. We did a twelve mile bike ride on Saturday morning...of course we had to stop by the Coffee Shop on the way home. Hahhahhaa!!!

Scooter & Charlie update:
Scooter's liver and bladder infections have all cleared up. I'm so grateful for that. He's learning his way around the house since he's become blind. I had to realize that I had to just let him do it and not pick him up to go to every room. Each day he's getting better and even played a little.
Charlie had is six month cardiologist appointment. They were so excited to see him because Charlie is like that little engine that could. He keeps going and going. I'm happy to say that his report was great! There's no visible signs of active congestive heart failure. I'm so thankful for them and the care they've given him. 

Now! Don't forget to scroll down the page where you're going to see a Batter Off Dead book cover, book two in the Southern Cake Baker Series. 

Friend Friday Giveaway is also on the Tonya Kappes Books page where a author friend gives away a copy of her book.

Did you know the Cozy Krew is a private Facebook page? I hope you want to join me and other fun Krew members by clicking here!

Be sure you scroll down to enter to win the gift card and see all the book sales and upcoming releases! xoxoxo
T.
During the warmer months, we like to have desserts that are light and tasty. Here is an easy cheesecake that's not only delicious but gluten free. I hope you try it! Click here to get the cheesecake to get the recipe. OR for more southern recipes, you can go to Tonyakappes.com under the More tab.

I've joined over 40 women mystery authors on a new fun adventure. I think you're going to love it! Each author gets one week out of the year to host. I'm hosting the week of June 17 and there's a lot of fun giveaways and MORE! We are officially kicking off the group on June 12th, but you can go join today! We'd love to have you. Join by clicking here!

Have your gotten your copy of BEACHES, BUNGALOWS & BURGLARIES??












KAPPES BOOKS FOR PREORDER : Click here to preorder!




KAPPES SALE OF THE WEEK!




MYSTERY SALE OF THE WEEK 

Murder At The Mansion is FREE this week!!! Click here!!


AWWWW!!! Don't you just love this cover of Batter off Dead?? I just love the cat. The release date for this is later in the fall. I'll keep you posted.




Reader of the week:

Kory Bull

"Your books transport my to southern roots I only have in books, with endearing and quirky characters that make me laugh, cry, and forget the laundry and housework that are waiting for me outside your books."



I've joined over 40 women mystery authors on a new fun adventure. I think you're going to love it! Each author gets one week out of the year to host. I'm hosting the week of June 17 and there's a lot of fun giveaways and MORE! We are officially kicking off the group on June 12th, but you can go join today! We'd love to have you. Click here!



BATTER OFF DEAD IS WOMEN'S WORLD MAGAZINE BOOK CLUB PICK OF THE WEEK! Pick up your copy of Women's World!!!