Wednesday, June 10, 2020

BOOK TOUR


I'm so excited to get to be a stop on the book tour for
SPRINKLES OF SUSPCION
Book 1 in the Cupcake Catering Mysteries
by Kim Davis


One glass of cheap California chardonnay cost Emory Gosser Martinez her husband, her job, and her best friend. Unfortunately, that was only the beginning of her troubles.

Distraught after discovering the betrayal by her husband and best friend, Tori, cupcake caterer Emory Martinez allows her temper to flare. Several people witness her very public altercation with her ex-friend. To make matters worse, Tori exacts her revenge by posting a fake photo of Emory in a compromising situation, which goes viral on social media. When Tori is found murdered, all signs point to Emory being the prime suspect.

With the police investigation focused on gathering evidence to convict her, Emory must prove her innocence while whipping up batches of cupcakes and buttercream. Delving into the past of her murdered ex-friend, she finds other people had reasons to want Tori dead, including Emory’s own husband. Can she find the killer, or will the clues sprinkled around the investigation point the police back to her?

Includes recipes!


CHAPTER ONE – EXCERPT – SPRINKLES OF SUSPICION
One glass of cheap California chardonnay cost me my husband, my job, and my best friend. Unfortunately, that was only the beginning of my troubles.
I slowly regained consciousness when a cold nose nuzzled my ear and then a warm, wet tongue licked my cheek. I squinted against the sunlight streaming through the small window as I tried to open my eyes, but they stopped at the halfway mark. My head pounded even more from the bright light. My face was pressed into my guest bathroom’s chilly white subway-tile flooring, and my entire body ached. I shivered when I realized I was still dressed in a sheer blouse and teeny-weeny leopard-print skirt. The ensemble had been an unwanted early birthday gift from my best friend, Tori. I groaned with the effort of trying to remember what had happened the night before but was rewarded only with brief, fleeting flashes of memory.
Piper, my golden Labradoodle, nudged my face again and whined. I couldn’t remember how I’d gotten home and had no idea how I’d ended up sleeping on the bathroom floor. I hoped my husband, Philip, hadn’t come home from his graveyard shift yet. I raised my left arm and squinted at the blurry numbers on the watch sitting on my wrist. Seven thirty. Philip would have come home an hour ago, and I prayed he’d gone straight to bed and hadn’t seen me.
Piper whined again and walked into the hallway, trying to tell me she wanted her breakfast and time outside. A moan escaped my lips when my head and stomach started feeling like they were on a Tilt-a-Whirl ride. I crawled to the sink, pulled myself up, and washed my face and mouth. Looking in the mirror, I decided my wild red hair needed a stiff brush to calm the frizzies. Piper nudged my foot with her nose and whined again, but I ignored her. Red, puffy eyes peered back at me, but what made me want to lunge for the commode was the purple, almond-shaped bruise on the side of my neck. A love bite? How in the heck did I get that?
Uh-oh. I suddenly remembered sapphire-blue eyes that made me feel warm and fuzzy. Randall. Tori’s mysterious cousin who I hadn’t even known existed until last night. How would I explain Randall to my husband when I couldn’t explain him even to myself? It would be worse if he saw me in these party clothes.
After I removed the sheer black blouse and hid it between the extra towels in the vanity cabinet, I yanked a fluffy pink bath towel off the bar and wrapped the towel around me. I hoped I could sneak into the laundry room and get dressed, preferably in something that went with a scarf wrapped around my neck, before Philip noticed me. Nope, that wouldn’t work. A scarf in August would make him even more suspicious.
The carpeted hallway muffled my tippy-toe walk while my dog practically danced beside me. When the sliding glass door that led to our condo’s patio and the postage-sized patch of grass that was part of the unit opened, Piper raced past me. The fringe on my towel caught on her collar, and suddenly, my dog became Piper the Super Dog, complete with a pink cape. I, on the other hand, was left standing in broad daylight, wearing nothing but a small lacy black bra and miniskirt that had inched up over my ample derriรจre. I didn’t need one of my neighbors seeing my lack of clothing over the half walls that surrounded our small piece of land. Why did Tori think she should give me this outfit? And how had she managed to talk me into wearing it to meet Randall? The image of his face pinballed around my head as I slunk back down the hallway. Why had Tori invited him to go out for drinks with us?
I eased the accordion laundry room doors open. I paused when one of them squeaked, then rummaged through the laundry basket sitting on top of the washer. Dirty clothes would be better than these party clothes when it came time to face Philip, my husband of seven years. After getting dressed in capri-length yoga pants and a very wrinkled, slightly stained T-shirt, I tiptoed to the kitchen and opened the cupboard, looking for antacids and pain relievers.
My head screamed, and my stomach threatened to send me running back to the bathroom. Once I popped the pills, I hunted for my purse and my emergency stash of concealer. Maybe Philip’s drowsy state and the dim lighting in the bedroom would cause him to overlook my new bruise, especially if I had enough makeup on it.
I finally found my purse hidden behind the sofa. My mind struggled to remember how it got there, but the only thing I remembered from the night before was drinking a glass of chardonnay with Tori. Oh yeah, and Randall. I would dearly love to forget he was there. My hand went to the love bite. Tori would know what happened. I needed to call her.
While I tried to cake on the concealer, Piper came back in, without her Super Dog cape, and nudged my hand with her slightly muddy nose. Breakfast time. I cut open a package of lamb-and-brown-rice dog food and dumped it into her ceramic dish. The sloppily painted dish made me smile. I remembered taking my towheaded, preschool-aged nieces to the ceramic painting store and their efforts to make Piper’s food and water bowls as colorful as possible.
After refreshing her water dish, I tiptoed back down the hallway to the half-closed master bedroom door. I slid my head into the crack and waited for my eyes to adjust to the dim light, since the blackout roman shades had been pulled down. My stomach flip-flopped when I saw our bed hadn’t been slept in. In fact, my husband, with his short wavy-black hair, was nowhere to be found. I rushed back to my purse and pulled my phone out. Had Philip left a message for me? Nothing.
Perhaps he had to work overtime and couldn’t call me. It happened once in a while, so I didn’t worry too much. Actually, I was a bit relieved, if I were honest with myself, since I needed to figure out what I’d done last night before I felt ready to face Philip. The niggling doubt that, instead of working, my husband and his partner, Officer Amy Doyle, were having an affair swirled around my brain. I had no proof, just suspicions that something or someone was tearing our marriage apart. Randall was someone I didn’t need to think about right now.
I quickly called Tori’s cell number, hoping she’d be able to tell me how I got so drunk that I blacked out. I rarely drank more than a glass of wine and had two at the most, since more than that gave me the world’s worst hangover. One party during my senior year of high school cured me of binge drinking. I had a very low tolerance for pain and suffering.
Her sultry voice, an imitation of Marilyn Monroe, announced I had reached her voice mail. “This is Tori, and you know what to do. Ciao, baby.”
I hung up without leaving a message.
Tori never, ever missed answering her phone and slept with it even when she had a boyfriend in her bed. I found it annoying when we were together and I was trying to carry on a conversation, but several times in the recent past, I was grateful she answered my call when I needed to dissect Philip’s inattention or his more frequent hurtful remarks. I wouldn’t take her advice, though. She had told me repeatedly to move on and find someone new. Perhaps that was why she had introduced me to Randall.
I waited a few minutes and called Tori again, this time leaving a message. “Tori, it’s Em. Call me as soon as you can.”
I started to get worried, letting my imagination run away from me. What if Randall had drugged us or tried to poison us? I shouldn’t let my mind wander like that, but then again, I couldn’t explain my blackout. What happened last night? After a cup of hot herbal tea and a slice of dry toast, I called Tori. Again, I reached her voice mail. Something was definitely wrong.
After giving Piper a new chew toy and telling her to be a good girl, I grabbed my purse and headed to the garage. I needed to make sure Tori was safe. When I walked into the garage, the empty space where my car should have been gave me pause. What had I done with my Honda Accord? Oh, yeah, I had left it in the parking lot where I worked as an accountant when Tori picked me up for drinks.
I eyed my rusty beach cruiser and sighed. Five miles from Huntington Beach to Tori’s house in Costa Mesa on a bike wasn’t that far unless you were already in agony. But that was what friends did for each other, and I was becoming certain Tori needed my help.
As I pedaled, I huffed and puffed while sweat dripped down my cheeks, and I cursed myself for not thinking to bring a bottle of water. When I climbed off my bike, I stood with wobbly legs at the end of Tori’s block. Her four-plex building was located six houses down from the corner where I had stopped, and I saw her red Mini Cooper parked in her driveway. My husband’s white Tahoe SUV was parked right behind it.
I wasn’t a Peeping Tom, or a Peeping Jane, if that was what they called women who peered into other people’s windows, but I knew I would have to resort to that if I wanted to find out the truth. I really wanted to think Philip was there because something bad had happened to Tori. But wouldn’t he have called me if that were the case?
Other images sprang to mind of Philip and Tori not making eye contact when all three of us spent time together, acting like they were ignoring each other. And the bottle of perfume he had given me for Valentine’s Day this year was Tori’s fragrance. A wife knew when another woman was on her husband’s mind, but how could I have been so blind thinking it could be Officer Amy Doyle? Why did Tori do this to me?
I looked up and down the street to make sure no one saw me, then tiptoed across the dying grass bordering a cracked cement walkway. I ducked under a withered ficus tree that barely provided any shelter from the hot morning sun. The tree grew next to her unit’s front window. Even though it wasn’t a good hiding spot, it was the best I could find.
I looked up and down the street again and observed no one. It was very quiet for a Saturday. I turned, stood slowly, and pressed my nose against the dusty screen and held in the sneeze that tried to erupt. I quickly ducked back down and almost cracked my head on the windowsill. My husband reclined on Tori’s sofa, which faced the window I had peeked into.
Worried he might have seen me, I waited a moment before cautiously peeking back in. Philip had his eyes closed. I stretched up onto my tiptoes and saw perfectly proportioned, size-two, platinum-blonde Tori in an intimate pose with my husband that would, unfortunately, be forever burned into my brain. I wished I could unsee it. But it was too late for that…
A sudden puff of wind swirled and caused one of the branches from the tree to hit the window with a loud clunk. I squatted down, but the wind had pushed my frizzy hair into the screen and caused it to get entangled on some of the protruding broken wires. When some of the hairs were yanked from my head, I yelped, although the pain from my scalp was nothing compared to my heartbreak. I rubbed the sore spot and then crept to the front door, ready to tell them to go to you-know-where—but in a polite way because, after all, my mother raised me to have manners.
By the time I reached the glass front door and saw them together, all thoughts of etiquette fled from my brain. Instead of knocking or ringing the bell, I twisted the door handle and burst into Tori’s unlocked house. Later, I concluded that I had experienced a red-mist moment because my actions weren’t those I would have thought myself capable of. The details were still kind of fuzzy, but somehow, after Tori fell through the screen door and stumbled down the steps, pulling me along for the fall, we ended up on the front lawn.
๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ•ฎ๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ•ฎ๐Ÿ“š

!!!GIVEAWAY!!!

1 lucky reader will win a print copy of 

SPRINKLES OF SUSPICION
and a
$25.00 Amazon Gift Card



Enter using the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post.

Winner will be chosen after June 1 at the end of the tour.

This giveaway is through Great Escape Book Tours, not Lisa Ks Book Reviews.



I couldn’t wait to read this first cozy by author Kim Davis.  I have to say, it was worth the wait.

In SPRINKLES OF SUSPICION, the introduction to the series’ protagonist was a little different from most books in the cozy genre. She didn’t start off reading like a cozy lead. The first couple of chapters read more like chick lit, and indeed had me forgetting I was reading a mystery at all. But once the author delved into the story, it was back on track with a mystery that kept me guessing.

There was so much going on in this book. Every new chapter had my head spinning, and my fingers turning the pages faster and faster. And through it all I was rooting on series lead, Emory Martinez, and watching her morph into a more confident woman.

As for the murder, I had no idea who the killer was. There were plenty of suspects to choose from. The victim, Emory’s ex-best friend, really had a lot of people out to get her. Every time I was set on who the killer was, author Davis threw in another twist and led me in an entirely different direction.

A good first in a series, SPRINKLES OF SUSPICION was a story that had me so absorbed that I didn’t even realize the sun had gone down until I could no longer see the words. With a lamp flipped on, I finished this mystery to its satisfying conclusion, and am already anxiously awaiting the next book in the series.

About Kim Davis

Kim Davis lives in Southern California with her husband. When she's not spending time with her granddaughters she can be found either writing stories or working on her blog, Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder or in the kitchen baking up yummy treats. She has published the suspense novel, A GAME OF DECEIT, and has had several children’s articles published in Cricket, Nature Friend, Skipping Stones, and the Seed of Truth magazines. Kim Davis is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Author Links: 

Purchase Links: 


a Rafflecopter giveaway


TOUR PARTICIPANTS

June 1 – Brooke Blogs - SPOTLIGHT
June 1 – Diary of a Book Fiend – REVIEW
June 1 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – REVIEW
June 2 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
June 2 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
June 2 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
June 3 – Carstairs Considers – REVIEW
June 3 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 3 – Moonlight Rendezvous - REVIEW
June 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
June 4 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
June 4 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 5 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
June 5 – Sneaky the Library Cat's Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 6 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic- SPOTLIGHT
June 6 – La libreria di Beppe – SPOTLIGHT
June 7 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 7 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 7 – Christy's Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
June 8 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
June 9 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – REVIEW
June 9 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT
June 9 – Cozy Up With Kathy - REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 10 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 10 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
June 10 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW


As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

Follow my blog by submitting your email in 
upper right hand corner of this page (on the side bar).

Reading from your phone? Scroll to the bottom of your page and click "View web version". Then follow the above directions.

11 comments:

  1. Thank you for your review on "SPRINKLES OF SUSPCION" by Kim Davis and for being part of the book tour.

    Enjoyed reading the first chapter which makes me want to read this book on my TBR list even more.

    Awesome cover!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Kay! I had so much fun creating the cover with my designer and loved that she was able to use a photo of my grand-puppy. Good luck in the contest!

      Delete
  2. I am so excited to be hosted by you, Lisa! And I can never say thank you enough for coming up with the awesome title and for your early input into making my book so much better!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This book sounds wonderful. Thanks for the review.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I would love to read this. Sounds great!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the chance to read it. It sounds like a fun read.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I enjoyed reading the first few pages on this blog. I want to read more. Thanks for the chance to win. dbahn(at)iw(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  7. Want to read this!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I loved this book! Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks so much for the chance on the giveaway ๐Ÿ˜Š

    ReplyDelete