Poison Contact is in stores now!

Have you been looking for another cozy mystery to read? Then today’s your lucky day, because Poison Contact just hit the shelves.

Poison Contact Cover

It starts with an order of inappropriately shaped cookies for a bachelorette party.

When Sydney Farina, professional baker and amateur sleuth, delivers the cookies, the bride-to-be drops dead in front of her. Sydney tries to convince herself the mysterious tragedy is none of her business, but the rude bride who texted her for constant updates about her order doesn’t stop texting now that she’s dead. And her ghost begs Sydney to solve her murder and clear her fiancé’s name.

Sydney isn’t so sure the fiancé is innocent, but it’s hard to ignore the desperate ghost. As she investigates the bride’s frenemies and former lovers, she finds few leads and starts to worry she’ll never solve the case.

But she must be getting close to the truth, because the killer is trying to silence her… permanently.

Poison Contact is the second book in the Texts From Beyond cozy mystery series but can be read as a standalone. Twice the length of the first book, it has more mystery, more murder attempts, and more texts from beyond the grave. Order now and start the investigation!


If you want a preview of the first chapter, click here. Otherwise, click the button below to buy.

Thanks, and happy reading!

Kristen's signature

Test your Dead Messages knowledge with this quiz

Poison Contact comes out next week, and I can’t wait for you to read it! 😀 But the first book in the Texts From Beyond cozy mystery series came out way back in January, so it’s not surprising if your memory of the plot is a little fuzzy.

Time to fix that! Take this short quiz to test your knowledge of Dead Messages and refresh your memory on any details you forgot. Just click your answer. Green means you got it right, and red means wrong. Then hit the arrow button to go to the next question

Good luck!

Dead Messages is set in a…
Bakery
Bed and breakfast
Close! It’s a bakery called Summertime Sweets.
Coffee shop
Close! It’s a bakery called Summertime Sweets.
Library
Close! It’s a bakery called Summertime Sweets.
Glenda was murdered with a…
Knife
It was a rolling pin, believe it or not.
Rolling pin
Cast-iron skillet
Close! But the correct kitchen utensil is a rolling pin.
Gun
It was a rolling pin, believe it or not.
Who does Sydney tell about her phone getting texts from a dead woman?
No one
Everyone at the bakery
Nope! She doesn’t tell anyone.
Her sister, Alex
Nope! She doesn’t tell anyone.
Her best friend, Marissa
Nope! She doesn’t tell anyone.
Caleb Bray is…
Sydney’s no-good ex-boyfriend
Glenda’s disappointment of a son
Close! He’s Glenda’s former employee and Sydney’s ex-boyfriend.
A famous and talented pastry chef
He’s not famous and is a mediocre chef at best. And he’s Sydney’s ex-boyfriend.
The police officer in charge of the murder investigation
Nope! He’s Glenda’s former employee and Sydney’s ex-boyfriend.
Who do the police first arrest for Glenda’s murder?
Logan, the restaurant owner who argued with Glenda
Faith, Glenda’s bullied daughter
Nope! It was Logan.
Marissa, Glenda’s cash-strapped employee
Close! First, they arrested Logan.
Caleb, an ex-employee who quit in a rage
Nope! It was Logan.
Who actually killed Glenda?
Marissa, Glenda’s cash-strapped employee
Logan, the restaurant owner who argued with Glenda
He’s innocent! It was Marissa.
Faith, Glenda’s bullied daughter
She’s innocent! It was Marissa.
Caleb, an ex-employee who quit in a rage
He’s innocent! It was Marissa.
After Sydney catches the murderer, she and Logan make plans to…
Go on a lunch date
Go on vacation
Nope! Just a lunch date.
Get married
Slow down! They’ve only been on one date. 😉
Write a book about their adventure
Nope! They go on a lunch date.

Thanks for playing! I hope this quiz refreshed your memory of Dead Messages, but if it didn’t, no worries. Poison Contact is designed to be friendly to readers who’ve never read Dead Messages at all, so you can still enjoy it.

Stay tuned for news of Poison Contact’s release.

Kristen's signature

Feast your eyes on the beautiful Dark and Otherworldly paperbacks

I used to release all my books in ebook format only, so I’m happy that Draft2Digital has an easy (and free) paperback option. I’ve been slowly going through my backlist and creating paperbacks for my books, and I just unboxed the Dark and Otherworldly series yesterday.

Dark and Otherworldly paperbacks

Aren’t they pretty?! 😍 Here’s a closer look:

They’re slowly going up for sale at different online storefronts, so if you’ve always wanted hard copies of the series, now’s your time.

Store links: Poison and Honey | Sting of Thorns | The Cruelest Curse

What’s your favorite book format? Ebook? Paperback? Hardcover? Audio? Let me know in the comments.

Read the first chapter of Poison Contact

Poison Contact, the sequel to Dead Messages, is coming out later next month! To whet your appetite, here’s a sneak peek at the first chapter.

Poison Contact Cover

Chapter 1: These cookies are x-rated

Sydney Farina placed a fondant mermaid tail on top of the last blueberry cupcake and stepped back to survey her work. Six perfect cupcakes stood on the tray before her. Edible glitter covered the two-tone blue and cyan frosting and gave it the appearance of a glimmering ocean, and the sea-green liners had a pattern of fish scales. They were absolutely freakin’ adorable, at least in Sydney’s biased opinion. She picked up the tray, headed out of the kitchen—

—and nearly crashed into Javier.

“Whoa!” He jumped back, almost dropping the empty napkin holder he was bringing back to refill. “Close call.”

Sydney smirked at him. “Yeah, close call for you. If you’d made me drop these cupcakes, I’d—”

I’d murder you.

The joke almost left her lips before she stopped herself. Her stomach felt cold and slimy like half-melted ice cream. Their former boss had been murdered a month earlier inside the bakery, and a little later, the killer had tried to stab Sydney just yards away from where she currently stood. Maybe someday she’d be able to make dark jokes about the experience, but it was still too soon.

“I’d kick you in the shins,” she finished after a brief pause. “Repeatedly.”

If Javier noticed her stumble, he didn’t comment. “You sure you can reach my shins?”

Continue reading “Read the first chapter of Poison Contact”

Get Your Free Copy of a Fantasy Magazine

If you like free fantasy fiction, then today’s your lucky day. Monsters & Masquerades, the 6th issue of Indie Bites, just released, and it’s got five exclusive short stories–including one by me.

Indie Bites Issue 6
Guess who designed the cover image? Spoiler: it was me. 🙂

Behind You, my short story, features mysterious deaths on a lonely mountain hiking trail and a park ranger who swears he saw a monster. What’s there to do but call Bea Romo Reyes, freelance exorcist and paranormal consultant, whom you met in my Halloween urban fantasy story The Memory of Ghosts. The monster is loosely based on the cryptid the Hidebehind, and the story is quick and action-packed.

It’s also in extremely good company. The other stories in this issue are awesome, and I’m humbled to have a piece among them. The issues includes:

Glorious Monsters by D.N. Bryn

Lead Me Not Into Temptation by Josie Jaffrey

My Granny, The Dragon by Gemma Church

Behind You by Kristen Brand

The True Tale of the Sockburn Worm by Nova Warner

And the following reviews:

Succulents and Spells by Andi C. Buchanan, reviewed by Asha from A Cat, A Book and A Cup of Tea

A Fate of Wrath and Flame by K.A. Tucker, reviewed by Rosina from Lace and Dagger Books

The stories have a wide range of tones, from funny to dark to heart-warming, and include fantasy subgenres from urban to historical. There’s something for everyone, so start reading now!

Cozy Reads for Rainy Days

Looking for a new cozy mystery to read while you wait for the sequel to Dead Messages? Check out Cozy Reads for Rainy Days, an online book fair full of cozy mystery novels that may be new to you.

Here are just a few of the over one hundred books in the fair:

Click the button below to check out the entire book fair. I hope you find a new book that you enjoy!

Kristen's signature

The Reading Habits Book Tag

Time to talk about reading habits! I came across this book tag at Quirky Pages and thought it looked like a lot of fun. I encourage you to think of your own answers as you read, and if it sounds fun to you too, consider yourself tagged!

1: Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

The sofa. I spend so much time lounging and reading on one particular spot of it that the fabric on the cushion is starting to come apart.

2: Bookmark or random piece of paper?

I have several pretty bookmarks that I’ve bought or have been gifted to me, so I wouldn’t use a boring old piece of paper unless I somehow lost them all.

3: Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/ a certain amount of pages?

I prefer to stop at a chapter or scene break, but sometimes life interrupts, and there’s no choice but to stop in the middle of a sentence.

4: Do you eat or drink while reading?

Tea, anyone?

Tea and book gif

5: Multitasking- Music or TV while reading?

Continue reading “The Reading Habits Book Tag”

Short Story: Crime and Superpowers

Chapter 1

Moreen Lee stared down the security camera as it watched her. Then she punched in the code that she’d gotten from the client. A light on the keypad blinked green, and the ornate, iron security gate across the client’s driveway swung slowly open.

Satisfied, Moreen leaned back into her car and closed the window, cutting off the scent of salty sea air. The client’s mansion was right across the street from the beach, a narrow strip of white sand that charged fifteen dollars an hour for parking. The house was three stories tall, with balconies on both the second and third floors. A kitchenette and bar were visible on the second balcony, bringing to mind extravagant parties and guests laughing over champagne. The white railing bore decorations of seahorses and starfish, and the walls were a cheery, pastel yellow that gave it a definite South Florida feel. Moreen could see two garages and guessed the place had twenty rooms at minimum.

But as she drove closer, the perfect illusion faded. Patches of shingles were missing from the roof, and water stains marred the yellow walls near the ground. The fountain that the driveway wrapped around had been turned off, and the stagnant water had gone moldy green.

Moreen killed the ignition and drummed her fingers against the steering wheel. Either the client didn’t care how the place looked—which was unlikely given the millions it must have cost—or money was too tight to fix it.

I’d better get a deposit up front, she thought. Then she got out, strode up the front steps, and rang the doorbell.

Continue reading “Short Story: Crime and Superpowers”

Check out this dark paranormal Valentine’s 99¢ sale

Looking for some darker reads this Valentine’s Day? I’ve partnered with eight other authors to bring you a sale where all books are dark paranormal stories and all are $0.99/£0.99.

It includes Poison and Honey and several other books. Here’s some (but not all) of them:

Check out all the books in the sale and see if there are any you like! Act fast because it ends soon. And happy Valentine’s Day!

Kristen's signature