Friday, June 8, 2012


National Bestselling Author, RT Reader’s Choice Award & Agatha Nominee Kari Lee Townsend lives in Central New York with her very understanding husband, her three busy boys, and her oh-so-dramatic daughter, who keep her grounded and make everything she does worthwhile…not to mention provide her with loads of material for her books.
Kari is a longtime lover of reading and writing, with a masters in English education, who spends her days trying to figure out whodunit. Funny how no one at home will confess any more than the characters in her mysteries!
Kari writes fun and exciting stories for any age, set in small towns, with mystical elements and quirky characters as Kari Lee Townsend. Kari also writes romantic comedies and women’s fiction with the same sense of humor and quirky characters as Kari Lee Harmon.

To find out more about Kari and all her books go to the end of this post and click on the links.Kari has graciously agreed to give away one copy of her book to one US reader so please leave a comment before you go.

Psychic Sunshine Meadows makes a dark discovery in the woods

After clearing her name as the prime suspect in a murder, Sunny Meadows hopes she can finally enjoy some serenity in the idyllic town of Divinity in upstate New York. She’d also like a second chance with Detective Mitch Stone. But when Mitch’s gorgeous ex-girlfriend Isabel Gonzales shows up, Sunny’s not sure she can compete. Then Isabel mysteriously disappears. When the police turn to Sunny for help, her visions lead to the discovery of Isabel’s corpse in the woods. Before she died, Isabel scrawled a message in the dirt implicating Mitch in her murder. Now Sunny must help the man she’s falling in love with as she sets out to find the real killer. But this time Sunny’s clairvoyant abilities might not save her—as what she doesn’t see can hurt her…


“Sunny, you’re the one who told Mitch you just wanted to be friends,” my best friend, Joanne Burnham, pointed out from the passenger’s seat.

We sat in my slightly rusted VW bug with the orange, yellow, and pink flowers on the side. I loved my bug, but sometimes it refused to cooperate when I needed it to the most. Like now when I would give anything to avoid a certain conversation. Grrr. I turned the key for the umpteenth time, and finally it started. Silently, I pulled out of the gym parking lot and headed for home, hoping Jo would take the hint.

Jo was a sultry, voluptuous, burgundy-haired goddess and proud proprietor of Smokey Jo’s Tavern. She had a knack for reading people and had become my own personal shrink whether I wanted to listen to her or not. Even I had to admit that ever since I’d moved from the Big Apple to the quaint upstate town of Divinity in January, I seemed to need a lot of advice.

I’d been looking forward to the quiet, slower-paced town with its ancient Victorian houses, elegant storefronts, and old-fashioned brass streetlamps. Nothing had ever happened

here until I came along. I certainly hadn’t expected to be accused of murder after giving a tea leaf reading to the town librarian who later turned up dead. But now that the murder had been solved and my name had been cleared, I was hoping for the quiet normalcy I longed for.

Hitting the gym being anything but normal for me.

Exercise was not my thing. But ever since Sean O’ Malley—Jo’s hunky blond Irish bartender with dimples to die for—charmed me into trying Zumba, I was hooked. Sean moonlighted at Wally’s World gym, but even his charming Irish self wouldn’t be enough to entice me to go back now.

Not after today.

I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to do the Zumba booty again.

“Have you changed your mind about Mitch?” Jo asked, tipping her head to the side and studying me with her smoky gray catlike eyes.

“No, absolutely not,” I scoffed. “Detective Grumpy Pants and Tinker Bell would never work as a couple. It would be insane. Ridiculous even.” I snorted, shaking my head over the absurdity of the notion. The nicknames we’d given each other said it all. “Believe me, I did us both a favor by ending ‘us’ before we even got started.”

“Riiight . . .” she purred.

I glanced at her with my lips turned down. “What do you mean ‘riiight?’ ”

“Oh, nothing. Except you are jealous as hell.”

I gaped. “Am not!”

“Uh, you might want to watch the road before we end up in a ditch there, Tink. And yes you are.”

I whipped my head up to the road and swerved back into my lane, barely avoiding The Divinity Gazette newspaper box on the corner by the bus stop. “You’re crazy.”

“No, you’re the crazy one. Crazy about one big delicious detective.”

“Even if I was—which I’m not saying I am—it wouldn’t matter. We fight all the time, and he thinks I’m a quack.” I sighed. “He’s not a true believer, Jo. Is it so wrong to want to be with someone who accepts me for who I am? For what I am?”

“Not at all.” She reached out and squeezed my arm. “I’m not blaming you, honey. I’m just pointing out that you don’t really have a right to get jealous if you’re nothing more than friends. Maybe you should try dating someone new. Take your mind off him, even though I still don’t see why you won’t give him a chance.”

“Ugh. I just hadn’t expected to ever meet his ex-girlfriend face-to-face here in Divinity. Mitch never dates anyone, so these past couple months have been easy just being friends. I guess with her living in the city, the thought of ever actually talking to her never entered my mind. She’s just so . . .”


“Yes,” I said miserably. “At least her perfectness is only skin deep. She’s been here for a week and has managed to anger half the town already. So far I’ve lucked out and avoided her. God, did you see her body? There’s not a single jiggly part on her.” I groaned. “Why did she have to go and ruin Zumba for me? Guess my jiggly parts won’t be going anywhere anytime soon because I’m never going back there.”

“Oh, please. First of all, you’re hardly jiggly. You’re adorable. I’m twice your size, but you don’t see me complaining. I like my body.”

“Who doesn’t like your body? There’s a distinct difference between big and va-va-va-voom.”

Jo laughed. “Thanks. I’ll take that. As far as the ex goes I’ll bet half her ‘firm’ parts were bought and paid for. At least your parts are real. Men like Mitch prefer parts that are real.” Jo winked.

“Doesn’t matter, because like I said, Mitch and I are just friends. If he wants to get back together with his ex, then that’s his business. We never even went out on an actual date. All we ever did was kiss, and who could blame us after nearly getting killed. He certainly didn’t waste any time moving on, though.”

“Riiight . . .”

“Stop saying that,” I growled, shoving a hand through my short blond spiky hair, and then I hoisted my chin a notch. “Besides, I might want to date someone else myself.”

“Get out.” Now she gaped at me. “You mean you’re finally going to give Sean a chance?”

“Sean is like a brother to me.” I grimaced and waved her off. “That would be too weird.”

“Sugar, you don’t have a clue when it comes to men. The way that man looks at you is anything but brotherly.”

“Again with the craziness. Sean and I have talked. He gets it. Other than you, he’s my best friend. I won’t risk screwing that up. Besides, that blue-eyed hottie can have any woman he wants and usually does.” I chuckled. “I’m talking about the new mailman, Kevin Brown.”

“Oh, yeah, I heard about him. Honey brown hair, hazel eyes, and a body that was made to wear a uniform.”

“All that and he’s sweet, too. You don’t find too many men like that these days. Now that my life is finally in order and my business is thriving, I think you’re right. Maybe it’s time I put myself out there and start dating someone I actually have hope of a future with.”

“Well, here’s your chance,” Jo said as I turned on Shadow Lane and approached my enormous Victorian house with the wraparound porch and peeling antique white paint. I used my trust fund to buy this house, and I got her for a steal since everyone thought she was haunted. “Wait, who’s that old lady he’s wrestling with? Damn. She might be tiny, but she’s obviously got spirit. Look at the fight she’s putting up. Kind of reminds me of you.”

I pulled in my driveway and parked my bug, staring through my windshield in disbelief. “Granny Gert?” I said, trying to wrap my brain around the image before me.


“My grandmother, Gertrude.”

“Oh.” Jo squinted out the windshield. “She’s so stinking cute.”

“She’s something,” I mumbled.

The petite woman with snow white hair artfully styled and curled wore a faded floral, old-fashioned apron made out of flour sacks from years ago. Having lived through tough times, Granny reused everything. Ruffles adorned the neck, and a long wooden spoon stuck out of the front pocket by her hip. An angelic smile graced her face as she played tug-of-war over my mail with the handsome mailman I had hoped to date.

“Were you expecting her?” Jo asked curiously.


“Hmmm. I wonder what she’s doing here.”

“That’s what I’d like to know,” I said, but part of me had a strong suspicion I already did. My parents, Donald and Vivian Meadows, had promised not to interfere in my life until Easter at the earliest. They hadn’t even lasted two months.

“What are you going to do?”

“Go rescue the mailman before Granny ruins my chances of him ever asking me out.”

 Kari Lee Townsend
National Bestselling Author of The Fortune Teller Mysteries TEMPEST IN THE TEA LEAVES 4 1/2 Starred RT Review
Best Amateur Sleuth of 2011, RT Reviewers' Choice Nominee, Best First Novel Agatha Award Nominee
Connect with Kari at!/karileetownsend 

What makes a story in a particular city or town memorable for you? The characters, the setting and scenery, the activities?


Anne said...

I think the scenery sets a mood, the smells, the sounds, the temperature all contribute to the mood of the characters.

C. A. Szarek said...

Wow Kari! Thanx for coming to visit us and share your book! It looks great and I look forward to reading it! Have a great w/end! :)

Ruby Johnson said...

I remember a book where cold weather and snow played a big role in the story. I almost forgot the story just wondering if the character was going to get the car started or see through the windshield because of the sleet and snow. Most of the time I prefer the characters take center stage not the setting, though it plays a role in establishing the behavior of characters,i.e a New Yorker wouldn't react like a Texan.

Laine said...

Thanks for sharing an excerpt. Your book is great. So don't enter me in the giveaway, I already have the book. I give it two thumbs up.

J. A. Bennett said...

What a great excerpt! I love the dialogue between Sunny and Jo .. so much fun and I'm all curious now about what Granny is saying to Mitch LOL. Thank you for sharing Kari, this sounds like a must read.

George said...

I admire (and learned from) how you balance narrative with dialogue. Likewise I'm jealous of how tight everything between quotation marks reads, and how much story ends up being conveyed.

Thank you for coming to the blog.

Caroline Clemmons said...

I love the cover, which would make me want to read the book even if I had never heard of you. I can't wait to read this one!

Ruby Johnson said...

The winner of Kari's book is J.A. Bennett. J.A. Your email address will be sent to Kari.
Thank you all for taking the time to comment.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Thanks guys! You're all very sweet :-) Sorry I wasn't around on the day this was posted. With 4 kids, I spent the weekend attending more lacrosse games than I want to think about.

Congrats J.A. Bennett! As soon as I have your address, I will let my publicist know so she can mail you out a book. Enjoy.

cyn209 said...

i just finished reading Tempest in the Tea Leaves & omG!!! it was fantastic!!
now i can't wait to read Corpse in the Crystal Ball!!

congrats & good luck, Kari!!!

thank you for the giveaway!!

cyn209 at juno dot com

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