Monday, March 30, 2015

Haunted Hearts: Lana Malloy Paranormal Mystery, #1

Releases today at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Page Foundry, and Scribd for the low price of 99-cent sale price. Sale extended until April 13, 2015.

Will Lana Malloy solve the twenty-year-old double murder of her great aunt and her great aunt’s fiancé by Memorial Day? If she can, they’ll spend eternity together; if she can’t, they’ll be stuck as Haunted Hearts for another year.

"Haunted Hearts by Kim Cox is a charming . . . ghost story . . .  The ghost characters and their living relatives were all delightful and fun. And of course . . . ther is a romance as well as the mystery." - Fallen Angel Reviews

"Twists and turns abound in this suspenseful novel having the reader on the edge of their seat until the climatic conclusion." - Nancy Carty Lepri - Freelance Editor, Reviewer, and Author of Tommy's Amigo and Tiny Angel.

*Note: Haunted Hearts is a re-release. It was once part of the Enchanted Holidays Anthology.  It has been edited and new scenes have been added since the previous release.


Chapter One

“How do you like it?” Lucy Ann Malloy, stood at the top of the stairs, turned to the right then to the left as she modeled the blue and green pastel dress. “I found it in the attic with some of my old things.” She lingered in the doorway of the main floor. “Well?”

Lana Malloy looked up from editing the ad for her new PI business. “Nice,” she said and returned to her work.

Lucy moved to Lana’s side and gazed over her shoulder. “What are you working on?”

“The ad for the local newspapers and a few magazines. I’ve got to figure out how to attract some business or I’ll never make it through the first month.”

A chill filled the air surrounding Lana and she shivered, pulling her wrap tightly around her.

“I have an idea and it’s actually a pretty good one. I know who your first client can be.”

Without glancing away from her paper, Lana asked, “And who would that be?”


“You?” Her interest piqued, Lana shifted in her seat to face her aunt. “What are you talking about?”

Lucy’s white hair shone with blue highlights as if she’d just had it rinsed. She was very well preserved for someone who’d been dead twenty years. “Find my murderer so I can rest in peace. How about it?” Lana’s great-aunt had been with her since she moved into the old beach house in Charleston, South Carolina, five years ago.

“But I need cash. Who would be paying for my services?” Lana smiled, pulling her reading glasses off and laying them on her desk. She loved her great-aunt, but she could be a card. Lucy had always been a rebel, always trying to be different from everyone else. “Besides, you died over twenty years ago. That’s a cold trail for sure.”

“I got money, smarty—a lot of money that no one has found . . .” Lucy covered her mouth with both hands then removed them. “Oh well, the cat’s out of the bag now. I can’t spend it anyway.”

“But you died more than—”

“Let me finish. Shows how much you or any of those cops know.” She glided back and forth across the room as if she were dancing at her coming-out ball.


“Get out your pencil and pad and take notes.”

“Not until I’m sure what you’re telling me is the truth.” Lucy sometimes changed details to suit herself and the moment, but she’d never talked about her death before today. Lana never questioned her because she thought it may be too painful for her aunt to relive.

“Have I ever lied to you? Never mind, don’t answer that.” Lucy laughed as she stopped in midair, lowered herself down to the desk and hovered in a sitting position just above the surface. Then she crossed her legs. “It was late May. The last thing I remember, I was helping David eat his supper. He had been sick the last few days and I went over to visit. He didn’t eat much of his potato soup and I love potato soup on a cool night. You know that kind your mother used to whip up?” Lucy licked her lips. “I miss food more than anything else since I’ve been dead. There’s no need to eat anymore…no appetite.”

“Get on with your murder case, please.”

“Oh yeah. I tend to get sidetracked now and then,” she said, smiling, her eyes twinkling. “Anyway, I never left that room. Then I woke up in my own house dead and floating above my own body lying on the living room floor, right there in front of the sofa. The next morning, your mother came to see me and found me…I mean, my body. That’s it.”

“Right. You were poisoned, but your murderer was never caught,” Lana mused.

“You call yourself a private investigator? Elementary, my dear Lana. Use some logic. How did I get from Davide’s to my house?”

Lana nibbled the eraser on the end of her pencil then flipped the paper over on her spiral notebook. She jotted down a couple of notes. “So…you believe you were poisoned at Davide’s home, but someone brought you back here either just before or after you died?”

“By golly, I believe she’s got it.”

“Are you sure you didn’t just forget going home?”

“I didn’t forget. I was only sixty-five and not senile. Someone must’ve moved me while I was unconscious or after I died. Can’t you see that?”

Lana stood and paced the room. “It’s a possibility, I guess. What did the police say?”

“They said, 'The old broad croaked. No suspects.' And they investigated no further.” Lucy moved up behind Lana. “Clue number two, I’ve been reading up on my ghostly position as well. Did you know there are specific reasons why ghosts haunt places?”

“No. What are they?”

“According to this, my reason is…” Lucy took out a book, brushed the air above it until it opened to the bookmark, and then she started to read. “When someone is murdered and the murder goes unsolved, their spirit must wait around until the mystery is solved, usually around the anniversary of their death.”

“Where did you get that book?”

“Here, in this house.”

Lana sauntered into the library and fingered through the books on the shelves. “I didn’t know we had all these books on ghosts and hauntings.” Lana smiled until she saw the woeful expression on Lucy’s face. She was serious about this and Lana felt badly she hadn’t realized it sooner. She loved the woman dearly, but often, Lucy kidded around so much it was hard to tell when her aunt was genuine. “Where did these come from?”

“I found them in the attic, dusted them off and put them on the shelf last night. You believe me now?”

“I don’t know. I’ll read over some of these today and see what’s what.” Lana brought a book back to her desk as Lucy followed. “What exactly did you figure out? And if you’ve solved it, why do you need me?”

“Not everything. Just what I need to do to get to my resting place. I was killed on May 26, 1994, two weeks before Davide and I were to be married.”


“I need to find my murderer by Memorial Day this year, or I’ll be stuck here until next year, same time.”


“Because that’s when I died.” Lucy placed her hands on her hips. “Haven’t you been listening? Anyway, the book says it’s the only time I’ll have the opportunity this year to claim my eternity.” She pointed to the book Lana held. “It’s on page fifty-two.”

“Do you have any suspects?” Lana flipped through the pages. “This is interesting.”

“That old buzzard I was trying to help.”

“Davide? Your fiancé?” Lana lifted her head.

Lucy shook her head in agreement. “That’s the buzzard.”

“You two were going to be married in a few weeks. Why would he want you dead?”

“That, I don’t know. But I think he’s as good a place to start our search as any. If it wasn’t him, it was someone in his family. They were all against us marrying. Especially his son, Anthony.”

“Our search? But you can’t—”

“But I can.” Displaying a sneaky grin, she said, “I read about it in that book. I can leave anytime I want. I just haven’t wanted to badly enough until now. Plus, I need to attach myself to something in order to leave. That something, or rather someone, is you.” She laughed.

A couple of hours later, Lana regarded Lucy as she drifted into her office with a tray of food—a tuna fish sandwich with pickles and chips. She had been reading The Mysterious Hauntings.

“I thought you could use some nourishment. Seafood is brain food, you know.”

When Lucy floated back across the room, Lana glimpsed a terrified face in the window nearest the side door leading to the carport. It was her neighbor, Roxie Thomas, with curlers in her strawberry blonde hair and cold cream still covering her horrified face. When the dress glided toward a filing cabinet, Roxie’s eyes widened and her jaw dropped. The closed window muffled her screams.

Book 2: Get Out or Die - July 2015
Book 3: The Wedding Crasher - September 2015
Book 4: Christmas Cruise - November 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015

Love Those Scenic Routes

I live in the Western North Carolina Mountains and don't care to drive the Interstate highways, preferring to travel back roads and scenic routes. It doesn't matter if takes a little longer for me; although, I am looking for a faster way to work without taking an Interstate. I think I know of one but not sure if it will save time or take longer.

Part of my day job is to monitor the progress of our agency's programs, so I need to travel the four-county area of Buncombe (office location), Henderson, Madison, and Transylvania. There are many scenic routes you can take in the mountains which makes travel time more pleasant.

At first, I dreaded these drives but recently I have come to love them. Transylvania County is always a nice drive one you pass the airport on Hwy 280 into Brevard, being very relaxing and not the hectic push to speed of the Interstate. I've also loved the route to Madison County once I left I26 but even that section of Interstate from Asheville to Madison County isn't too bad.

Blue Ridge Parkway
A few months ago, I found a better route to Transylvania County, cutting out the need to go by the airport at all. I now jump onto the Blue Ridge Parkway and get off on Hwy 191 that will take me directly to Hwy 280. Love it! Isn't the image to your left much prettier than some old busy Interstate? I will admit there are also some beautiful views from the Interstate too--just not as close. On the parkway there are both the far off views as well as the up close and personal.

And this route can also be taken to Henderson County which I've driven a few times. Today, I found a new-to-me, scenic route to Madison County as well. To my right was similar to the left on the image above and to my left was a gorgeous river. My friend told me I was "so crazy" because I told her I didn't know exactly where I was but that I was in Madison County and it shouldn't take me much longer to get to her office. About ten minutes later I was driving into her parking lot. The trip actually took about the same amount of time as it would have on the Interstate. I loved it so much that I took the same way back.

I'm pretty good about getting where I need to go as long as I know if I need to go North, East, South or West. It may not be the fastest or shortest route but it is usually the nicest and the most beautiful and relaxing route--at least for me. I love my mountains.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Review: To Kill For and Blood Sport (Books 1 and 2 of The McKay Series) by AJ Carella

I just love a good mystery and these two books did not disappoint me. They drew me in at the very beginning and kept me engaged until the very end. I really liked Jamie and her brother Jake as well as their aunt Kat and Officer Finn. They were all very likable, drawn out characters that you can relate too.

In To Kill For, greed and jealousy lead to a bad decisions that could ruin one of the character's life.

In Blood Sport, children are at risk and need to be found before the villains get away for good.

There were just enough twists and turns to keep me guessing about what would happen next. A few hints are scattered throughout each one with a bit of a cliff hanger at the ends to lead to the next book in the series. I can’t wait to read the book three, Hard Time, and I purchased a copy today.

I really enjoyed both books and highly recommend them. 

To Kill For (Book 1) Blurb:

Families are murder … do you trust yours?

Money and a handsome fiancé from a good family. What more could a girl want?

Jamie McKay appears to have the perfect life but things suddenly start to go horribly wrong. A sudden death and a run in with a would-be killer leave her alone, afraid and a long way from home.

Kat McKay, long estranged from her family, returns to the small town she hasn’t been back to since she walked away as a teenager. Determined to find out what happened to her niece she must face the demons from her past, and enlist the help of the man she left behind.

Can the McKay’s survive the explosive results?

Blood Sport (Book 2) Blurb:

Kat is settling in to her new life in Brecon Point but her future with Finn looks uncertain.

Can he ever forgive her for her betrayal?

A chance encounter along a lonely road forces them together and their personal problems must be pushed aside as they uncover a terrible secret that has been flourishing on their own doorstep.

Author Bio:
AJ grew up in Switzerland but now lives by the sea on the South Coast of England.

She grew up reading mystery and suspense, romantic suspense and thrillers. These days she spends her time writing what she loves to read, suspense and romantic suspense.

To stay in touch, or contact AJ, please go via her Facebook Fan page here:

Saturday, March 07, 2015

March News

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Will Lana Malloy solve the twenty-year-old double murder of her great aunt and her great aunt’s fiancé by Memorial Day? If she can, they’ll spend eternity together; if she can’t, they’ll be stuck as Haunted Hearts for another year.

Reviews for Haunted Hearts:
“Haunted Hearts by Kim Cox is a charming . . . ghost story . . . The ghost characters and their living relatives were all delightful and fun . . . there is romance as well as the mystery.” – Fallen Angel Reviews

Readers will be thrilled . . . ” – TwoLips Reviews

. . . filled with action packed scenarios, caring and romantically filled chapters . . . ” – Coffee Time Romance

“Haunted Hearts by Kim Cox is a charming . . . ghost story . . . The ghost characters and their living relatives were all delightful and fun. And of course . . . there is romance as well as the mystery.” – Fallen Angel Reviews

“Twists and turns abound in this suspenseful novel having the reader on the edge of their seat until the climatic conclusion.” – Nancy Carty Lepri, Freelance Editor, Reviewer, and Author of Tommy’s Amigo