Thursday, December 3, 2015


MURDER FIR CHRISTMAS by Joyce and Jim Lavene 
COVER STORY by LynDee Walker

Book 1 in the Christmas Tree Valley Mystery series 
by Joyce and Jim Lavene 

Down the mountain from Sweet Pepper, Tennessee is Christmas Tree Valley, a place filled with hundreds of Christmas tree farms where generations of growers have made people’s lives brighter. Yet even here in this quiet, postcard-perfect corner of the world, darkness and murder can still stalk the night. Federal Wildlife Agent Bonnie Tuttle has always had a special gift with wild animals. It was one of the reasons she decided to train with the wildlife agency. She’s spent the last ten years in Alabama working, but her mother needs her home and she’s back despite all the bad parts of her life she hoped to leave behind. Her first day home begins with a fire on the island in Sweet Pepper Lake and the death of Harvey Shelton, the wildlife agent she’s supposed to replace. Bonnie manages to rescue dozens of animals from the fire – including a wolf pup that was shot with the same bullet that killed Harvey. Now she’s hot on the trail of Harvey’s killer and trying to reintegrate the wolf back into the wild even though he seems to want to stay with her. Yet old memories persist in the small community where she grew up, and the killer now seems to believe that she has what he killed Harvey for. All she has to do is figure out what that is before it’s too late. 
Christmas Recipes included!


MURDER FIR CHRISTMAS is one of the most beautiful books I have read in a long time. Authors Joyce and Jim Lavene have truly outdone themselves.

When I first heard about this book, and that the Christmas Tree Valley Mystery series it was a spinoff of the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade series, which is written under the Lavene’s pen name, J. J. Cook, I was beyond thrill. The Lavene written many amazing series, but the Sweet Pepper series is my favorite and holds a very special place in my heart. But nothing prepared me for just how wonderful a story MURDER FIR CHRISTMAS would turn out to be.

I loved seeing favorite characters from the Sweet Pepper series, and I hope they will continue to make appearances in this delightful series. There is also a lovely connection to another series by the Lavenes, also written under their Cook pen name, the Biscuit Bowl Food Truck Mystery series. Protagonist Bonnie Tuttle had a relationship with a character from the Biscuit Bowl books. The Lavenes often intertwine their different series, and I just love it. The new characters introduced in this series, such a Bonnie, her mother Rose, and Matthew Brown Elk are absolutely endearing. I was enamored with all of them immediately. And I defy anyone not to fall in love with the wolf pup Bonnie rescues. Sorry, you have to read the story to learn his name.  

Since there is a ghost in the Sweet Pepper series, I expected something paranormal to be part of this series as well. The mystical beauty contained in this story is not what I was expecting, but certainly is something that made my heart smile as I read MURDER FIR CHRISTMAS. The storyline has stayed with me since finishing the book, and I am already anxiously awaiting the next installment.

Masterfully written…filled with intrigue, action, laughter, joy, and a mystical beauty that touched my heart,  MURDER FIR CHRISTMAS has beat out every book this year to become my number one favorite book of 2015.

MURDER FIR CHRISTMAS left me crying for two reasons. The unexpected beauty that envelopes the story, and the fact that author Joyce Lavene passed away before she had the chance to see just how well this wonderful book has been received, and loved by her devoted readers. Then again, if this story taught me anything at all, it’s that Joyce really does know, because she sat with all of us as we read it, and I could feel her smile.   

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About the authors

Joyce and Jim Lavene write bestselling mystery fiction. They have written and published more than 60 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, and Charter Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family, Quincy, their black cat, Stan Lee their tabby and their rescue dog, Rudi.
 Visit them at
Twitter: @authorjlavene

Contact them at: 
P.O. Box 26, Midland, NC 28107

Winner will be choosen after Decemeber 15 at the end of the tour
This giveaway is through Great Escape Book Tours, not Lisa Ks Book Reviews.

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Book 5 in the Healines in High Heels Mystery series 
by LynDee Walker

It’s been a slow news month in Richmond, and crime reporter Nichelle Clarke is enjoying the downtime when ominous messages and a dead body kick things into high gear. And that’s before the guy with the rifle takes a hospital full of people hostage.
Up to the top of her knee-high Prada boots in leads, Nichelle finds her favorite detectives under pressure to make an arrest, but it doesn’t add up—and ignoring the “why” of this story could cost Nichelle the most important person in her life.
With too much to lose, a shot at the story of a lifetime, and a missing bullet that might be the key, landing this headline could save the day, but can Nichelle dig up the truth before the killer buries her with it?


I simply adore the Headlines in High Heels Mystery series written by author LynDee Walker. This newest book in the series, COVER SHOT, is like finding the perfect pair of shoes to go with your favorite outfit!

From book one, FRONT PAGE FATALITY, I have been captivated by this amazing series. Protagonist, Nichelle Clark is a wonderfull multi-layered character. I always look forward to what she’ll get involved in next.

The plot for COVER SHOT is excellent. It’s so very well written (which is no surprise from author Walker), that I found myself totally engrossed in the story. The suspense and action kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through to the exciting reveal.

I could say COVER SHOT is one of the best books in High Heels series, but that would be misleading. COVER SHOT is THE best book in this series!

Well done, Ms. Walker! 


About the Author

LynDee Walker is the author of the national bestselling Headlines in High Heels mystery series, beginning with the Agatha Award-nominated FRONT PAGE FATALITY (2013).

The newest book in the series, COVER SHOT, was published on November 10, 2015. 

Before she started writing mysteries, LynDee was an award-winning journalist. Her work has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the U.S. 

She adores her family, her readers, and enchiladas. She often works out tricky plot points while walking off the enchiladas. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, where she is either playing with her children, working on her next novel, or admiring beautiful shoes she can't wear.

Winner will be choosen after Decemeber 4 at the end of the tour
This giveaway is through Great Escape Book Tours, not Lisa Ks Book Reviews.
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  1. Both of the books sounds like great reads! Thank you for the reviews.

  2. Beautiful review of Murder Fir Christmas, Lisa. It had the same effect on me, too.

  3. Lisa, this was a lovely review of Murder Fir Christmas by Joyce and Jim Lavene. Before you even mentioned about how you felt reading this cozy with Joyce gone, I knew it had to be an emotional reading for you.

    I love it when authors intertwine their different series. I have this Christmas cozy on my TBR list. I don't put a lot of books on there, so I look forward to reading it.

  4. I love Joyce and Jim Lavene's books. Lovely review of Murder Fir Christmas!

    LynDee Walker is a new author for me ... the Headlines in High Heels Mystery series sounds great.

  5. Two more terrific books that I can't wait to read.

  6. I enjoyed immensely Jim and Joyce Lavene's new book. I've yet to be disappointed by any of their books.

  7. Two wonderful sounding books. I cannot wait to read Murder Fir Christmas.

  8. Lisa, thank you sweetie--both for the lovely words about Cover Shot (so thrilled you loved it!) and for the wonderful tribute to my amazing friend Joyce Lavene. It made me smile to share the page with her and Jim today. <3

  9. Super nice reviews, both sound awesome