Margaritas & Murder September 10th - 17th, 2016
Margaritas & Murder By author CeCe Osgood Genre: Cozy Mystery Release Date: September 9th 2016
Stephanie Plum meets Bridget Jones in this hilarious yet suspenseful cozy mystery featuring Sunny Truly, a brand-new apprentice private investigator in Austin, Texas.
When a long ago childhood friend is found dangling in a tree—with a dead man in her apartment—Sunny is hired to prove the friend innocent of murder. Frumpy, earnest and stubborn, Sunny goes undercover as a glam-girl to ferret out suspects at the club where her friend worked. With the aid of her wise-cracking boss, Cleve Haylock, and swoon-worthy police detective John Rock, Sunny uncovers an ugly secret with deadly consequences. Will Sunny be the next victim?
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About the Author
night ritual always started with a cup of soup—corn chowder, this time—followed
by a Cobb salad with extra bacon and blue cheese. Dessert came, as it should,
at the end. The usual choice was apple or cherry pie. “But not tonight,” Heddy
Zeller tittered as she raised the lid of the pink box. “Tonight will be
Earlier in the day, she’d heard the host of her favorite local radio show raving about a coconut cake with a special citrus glaze, which just so happened to be the signature dish of Gaia Athena, the Greek café down the block from her condo.
Never having been a dessert adventurer before, Heddy had debated with herself for hours … until the urge for an exotic treat overwhelmed her traditionalist taste buds. Decision made, she laced up her size five orthopedic sneakers and ambled down the block.
“Goodness,” she said to the cake as she took it out of the box and placed it on a marble cutting board. “You smell divine.” Using a super sharp ceramic knife, she cut off a wedge and placed it on the Marie Antoinette dessert plate she’d brought back from Paris a decade ago.
“Forgive the cliché, but let me eat cake,” she chirped, relishing her twist on the French queen’s notorious remark even though she knew most historians considered it pure poppycock.
Balancing the plate on top of a snifter of brandy, she padded across the worn Berber carpet and opened the sliding glass door leading out to her small balcony.
For the past few years she’d made it a point, weather permitting, to have dessert outside where she could enjoy the city skyline—a once splendid view, now sadly obscured by a seven-story apartment building with oversized rectangular windows and fancy-schmancy terraces. “Doggone yuppies,” she griped. “Don’t they know calling it a ‘terrace’ is simply a way to charge more rent?”
Easing her tiny tush into a white wicker rocker, Heddy set the plate on the table next to her and sipped the brandy as she gazed out at the street. At least the building owners had kept their word about not uprooting the live oak trees. Without those beauties lining the streets, this neighborhood would be intolerable, especially during the traffic heavy daylight hours.
A sleep disorder had forced Heddy to adjust her daily routine. Now her mornings started around one p.m. and she’d have lunch at six or seven in the evening, with dinner time close to midnight. She took another sip, grateful that the night was so quiet and soothing.
Setting down the glass, Heddy reached into the pocket of her apron and pulled out her “eyes,” a birthday gift from her late husband. After locating Venus—a brilliant diamond—she spotted the hazy cluster known as The Pleiades, her absolute favorite of the heavenly bodies. She’d even once bought a Subaru hatchback because “subaru” is Japanese for “Pleiades.”
Moments later, as she was returning the binos to her pocket, an eerie sound startled her. With her brows knitting together like a hooked rug, she peered up and down the tree-lined street.
The sound, fainter this time, floated in the air again. Was it a whimper? A cry? A howl?
Goose bumps welted up on her arms. She’d heard about a mountain lion sighting in the hill country west of Austin. But here in the city?
Suddenly, the live oak tree across the street shook, and from the upper branches emerged a …
“Oh, my God,” Heddy gasped.
It was a foot.
A woman’s foot … in a shiny red shoe.
The early morning sun blazed like a wildfire on my bedroom walls. It was the thing I hated most about this apartment. I could live with the crappy neighbor downstairs, the dicey air conditioning, and the lousy garbage pick-up, but the eastern sun blasting me out of bed in the morning drove me craaazy.
“Oh, Sunny,” I scolded myself, shielding my face with a pillow. “How could you forget the drapes?”
Darn things had cost me a bundle, so you’d think I’d remember to close them and not have to wake up to this blinding light on a sleep-in Sunday.
I sat up and plucked my glasses off the nightstand, hooking the dangling right arm around my ear. I’d sat on them yesterday and the glue I’d used wasn’t holding well. Once again, I’d fallen for the advertising BS. Stick It Right - It Never Fails. Yeah, right.
My contacts were in the bathroom, but I hated wearing them first thing in the morning. Oh, well, what did it matter? No one would see me with them except the orange tabby cat at the foot of my bed. I nudged her with my big toe. “You won’t judge me, will you, Loki?”
A disdainful amber eye slit open, then shut again. I snorted a laugh. That snarky look of hers always got to me.
“I should rename you Judge Loki and get you a TV show,” I said nudging her with my toe again. She ignored me again. Not ready to wake up just yet. I wasn’t either, but my rumbling stomach had other ideas.
Ideas that included jumping out of bed, exchanging my Shrek pajamas for jeans and a tee shirt, and driving to Juan In A Million, a to-die-for breakfast joint famous for its Don Juan tacos—a secret combo of spices, potato, egg, bacon and cheese in a piping hot tortilla.
“After last night, I deserve a yummy breakfast,” I muttered aloud.
Last night I’d had been forced to eat baked chicken, barely seasoned, with steamed cabbage and green beans. No potato, no rice, no carbs. All due to my sister’s new diet. I glanced at the clock on my wall. Hmm. Maybe I could sneak out, eat a couple—or three—Don Juans and be back before Lila woke up. She’d spent the night on my couch.
I yawned, stretched and was giving myself a pep talk about getting in a few pushups when my cell phone rang. Uptown Funk. The ringtone for Tiffany, my longtime best friend, who’d recently been hired by a wealthy art dealer to check out new emerging artists.
I sank back into my pillows, cell phone in hand. “You back?”
“Nope. Still in Rome. Rescheduled my return flight for Thursday. Just giving you a heads up.”
“Good. We’ll do coffee and migas. Um, Tiff, you do know it’s like waaay early here, right?”
She cackled. “Sorry. Haven’t slept in days. Rome is party central twenty-four seven.” She made kissy sounds. “See you in a few days.”
We disconnected and I rolled out of bed. I was on my way to the bathroom when a sudden pounding on my front door scared the bejeezus out of me.
About the Author
CeCe Osgood lives in Texas after many years in LA working in the film industry. Her writing career includes magazine articles and screenplays as well as being a freelance story analyst (main client HBO). She also has had two screenplays optioned. Being a novelist has been her lifelong dream, and now it’s becoming her reality. She loves red wine and hates pretzels.
CeCe’s first novel, THE DIVORCED NOT DEAD WORKSHOP, a chick-lit romantic comedy was awarded a Crowned Heart by InD’tale magazine.
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Judging More Than Just The Cover - Author Q&A Sylv all about books and films - Book Promo Post Christa Reads and Writes - Book Review/Guest Post
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