A Cozy Christmas at Brooke Blogs is a celebration of wonderful cozy mystery authors and their books. Stop by daily from 12/11/16 through 12/25/16 for special posts and be sure to enter the grand prize giveaway. Curl up and get cozy this holiday season!
It’s Your Party, Die If You Want To by Vickie Fee
Liv and Di in Dixie mystery, #2
Between a riverboat gambler-theme engagement party and a murder mystery dinner for charity, Dixie, Tennessee, party planner Liv McKay is far too frenzied to feel festive. Add to the mix her duties at the annual businesswomen’s retreat and the antics of a celebrity ghost-hunting diva, and Liv’s schedule is turning out to be the scariest thing about this Halloween — until the ladies stumble across a dead body in a cemetery… As Liv and her best friend, Di, set out to dig up the truth, they’ll face the unexpected and find their efforts hampered by a killer with one seriously haunting vendetta…
**Includes party tips
Goodreads | Amazon
I knew from the ringtone that it was my mother, but I answered anyway.
“Liv, jump in your car and get over here right this minute,” she said in a panicked voice.
“Mama, what’s happened? Are you okay?”
I heard some kind of tapping sounds.
“Oh, dear Lord,” Mama said in a breathy voice before the phone went dead.
I grabbed my purse and raced down the stairs, hurrying to my car without even taking time to lock the office door.
My mom lives in a neighborhood just east of the town square, so I was in her driveway within five minutes of backing out of my parking space.
I rushed in through the kitchen door, which is never locked, and started calling for her. I ran through the house worried I might find her unconscious—or worse.
I finally found my mama, who stands almost six feet and weighs well over 200 pounds, cowering in the doorway to the back porch, her eyes transfixed. Her one hand was clutching her chest and the other was holding a hoe.
I grabbed her arm. “Mama, maybe you should sit down,” I said. “Are you having chest pains?”
“No,” she said in a quiet voice.
This worried me, since my mama never talks in a quiet voice.
“I’ll be fine just as soon as you kill that snake over there,” she said as she nodded toward a corner of the porch and shoved the hoe in my direction.
I took a closer look at the brick floor of the porch and spotted a good-sized snake coiled up near the steps to the backyard.
“Why in the world did you call me?” I said, feeling more than a little irritated. “Why didn’t you phone Earl?”
Earl Daniels is Mama’s boyfriend, although she’d never call him that.
“I tried, but Earl’s out in a field somewhere helping his brother-in-law get soybeans loaded for market,” she said.
“You’re the one with the hoe,” I said, pushing it back in her direction. “You kill it.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” she said. “You know I was traumatized as a child when I saw my brother get bit by a snake. The bite ended up leaving a big hole in his leg.”
She nudged my shoulder and gestured in the direction of the reptile, which had raised its head and was looking our way.
“But you’ll be fine, hon,” she said. “I don’t think this one’s poisonous.”
“You don’t think so?”
“Pretty sure,” she said. “If you keep an eye on it, I’ll go look up pictures of poisonous snakes in the encyclopedia just to be sure.”
She was serious.
“Oh, just give me the freaking hoe,” I said, ready for this to be over.
I took the garden implement and stepped haltingly toward the hissing creature, which suddenly looked much bigger than before.
“Hold the hoe out away from you, Liv,” Mama said. “Don’t get too close. I don’t know what I’d do if something happened to you like it did to Junior.”
I briefly thought about accidentally hitting her shin with the wooden end of the hoe.
About Vickie Fee
Vickie Fee blesses hearts and makes Jack Daniels whiskey balls that’ll scorch your tonsils. The third entry in the Liv and Di in Dixie series, One Fete in the Grave, comes out May 30, 2017 and is set at the annual Dixie Fourth of July festival. A shady town councilman gets taken out of the picture and Mama’s fiancé, Earl, is put in the frame for murder. There’s also a romantic development between Di and the handsome sheriff. Find out more about Vickie and her books at www.vickiefee.com and at Facebook.
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