Thursday, April 16, 2015


I'm so excited to be a stop on 
authors Joyce and Jim Lavene's blog tour for
Book 2 in the Taxi for the Dead Mystery series

Joyce and Jim are giving away a wonderful prize package.
Print copies of 
Dead Girl Blues and Broken Hearted Ghoul
a skull mug  & skull pen holder and 
a $25 Amazon gift card!
To enter the giveaway, use 
Rafflecopter at the end of this post. 
The Rafflecopter on this blog is connected to the whole tour.


When Nashville cop Skye Mertz and her husband, Jacob, are killed in a wreck, Skye is given the opportunity to come back for twenty years to raise her five-year-old daughter, Kate. With her ghostly mother-in-law’s help, Skye hopes to be there until Kate is old enough to take care of herself. But three years into her twenty-year service to Abraham Lincoln Jones, the man who gave her the extra time, Skye is beginning to think life might have been easier before she died. Abe asks her to investigate the murder of his sorcerer, Harold the Great, a man who was a victim of too many snakes. And the Life Extended People ( LEPs – a nice term for zombies) who work for Abe have begun turning into ghosts and disappearing. Only Lucas, the possibly evil, amnesiac sorcerer who lives with Skye and her family, can save her from being the next victim of the deadly curse. To make matters more complicated, Skye has found a lead in solving the riddle of her husband’s death. She has never believed Jacob died as a result of the crash, but hasn’t been able to prove it. Many other people have lost their lives in the same lonely stretch of highway that he did three years before. Skye goes against Abe’s express wishes to discover the truth with a crazy man bent on vengeance. Life was simpler when she could just take out a gun and shoot someone.

A word from Joyce and Jim

Dead Girl Blues
Making the Paranormal Seem Normal
By Joyce and Jim Lavene
More than a few times reviewers have said, “Joyce and Jim Lavene make the paranormal seem normal.” We’re not quite sure what that means but we hope it means that we can make paranormal people and events seem real.
That’s the secret to writing paranormal or supernatural characters, isn’t it? Making werewolves, zombies, or other monsters seem like real people. If you can’t do that, no one is going to like or care about your characters.
One way we try to make things seem possible and believable is to know our characters. We don’t do character sketches or anything like that, but we do know these people. We talk about them like they are family or friends.
We wonder what Skye is thinking when she faces the truth about herself and her last ‘undead’ twenty years of life. We think about what her daughter, Kate, feels about the situation she finds herself in. How will it affect her when she’s an adult to have grown up with a ghostly grandmother and a mother who has died and come back?
How does Addie, a woman used to being in charge, feel when she can’t do anything she did when she was alive? How does Jacob’s death affect them all, and tie them together?
Adding the sorcerer Lucas into the mix in this story brought on an extra dimension. Let’s say you can believe in a ghost as a grandmother. How do you feel about a sorcerer who can’t remember who he is? What about a man like Abraham Lincoln Jones who gives Skye another life?
We write very quickly, but the one thing we can’t do quickly is form these characters in our minds and think about what they may or may not do. That takes months, sometimes years, to get to know these people who live in your head. Many times a character’s true nature will come to you just as you’re falling asleep or taking a shower.
That’s when you know the character is in your head. Once that happens, understanding them is easier. You can’t forget them or mistake them, as some readers ask. They are as real as your children and the rest of your life. They only grow stronger, more confident, taking on greater personality.
And is there a part of each writer in their creations?
Maybe. But not always. Sometimes it’s just your imagination taking a stroll in the garden and coming back with a stranger. Sometimes you like them, and sometimes you don’t, but it might be hard to get rid of them!


The Taxi For The Dead series isn’t your everyday cozy. Some may argue it isn’t a cozy at all. I feel these books are semi cozies with an edge and a paranormal twist. But, if you like me, are a fan of Joyce & Jim Lavene, cozy or not, you will have to admit the writing is wonderful!

DEAD GIRL BLUES hit the ground running with Skye Mertz and her partner Debbie Hernandez on the job to bring in another LEP. . . Life Extended People. They’re boss, Abe, doesn’t like it when you call them zombies.

This second installment in this series was even better than the first book, BROKEN HEARTED GHOUL, which now includes the introductory novella UNDEAD BY MORNING. So many new elements have been added to this story. The Lavenes are taking this series beyond the zombie realm of things and creating whole new levels that will carry on through future books.

With action and surprises never in short supply, even the last sentence of this story will have you saying, I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book!

Tour Participants

April 6 – Back Porchervations - Review

April 7 – Shelley's Book Case - Review, Guest Post

April 8 – MysteriesEtc – Review*

April 9 – fundinmental – Review*

April 9 - readalot – Review *

April 10 – Babs Book Bistro - Review, Guest Post*

April 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review*

April 12 – LibriAmoriMiei - Review

April 13 – Tea and A Book - Review, Interview

April 14 – Melina's Book Blog - Review, Guest Post*

April 15 – fuonlyknew – Review*

April 15 - Lilac Reviews - Review, Guest Post

April 16 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews - Review, Guest Post

April 17 – Community Bookstop – Review*

April 18 – A Chick Who Reads – Review*

April 19 – Brooke Blogs – Review*

April 19 - Cozy Up With Kathy - Review, Interview

Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.

Learn more about Joyce & Jim Lavene


  1. Thanks for having us here today at your blog, Lisa!

    1. Hey Joyce! You know I'm always happy to have you here!

  2. I would love to win! Thanks for the chance!

    1. Glad you could be here, Julie. Broken Hearted Ghoul - the first book in this series, is free at Amazon today and tomorrow!

  3. Great post, Lisa! I'm a big fan of Joyce and Jim and love their unique take on things. I never know what to expect (but know I will always be impressed). I don't think I've read any of their books that "Wow!" wasn't a comment. :)

  4. I quit using Twitter. I keep getting notifications that someone is trying to log into my account. They were constantly making me change my password. It was just too much hassle and I didn't like using it anyway. But I do thank you for having this contest here on your page, Lisa! Thanks!

    1. Elaine, I'm sorry. I didn't create this particular Rafflecopter form. It was done by the tour's main page.

    2. Thanks for stopping by, Elaine!

  5. The Lavene's always write such fun mysteries. I'll be looking forward to reading this one.

    1. Thank you, Sue! we like to read and write fun mysteries!

  6. Can't wait to read this book! I just finished the first book, now I am ready to continue with this series! Awesome!

  7. Thank you everyone for stopping by . GOOD LUCK!

  8. Sounds interesting. Looking forward to reading.

  9. I'm new to the series and enjoyed this post very much! Sounds like something I would love to get in on! Thank you!