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SOMETHING DEADLY ON DESERT DRIVE: Release day blog post featuring Kris Bock!

Chat with Kris Bock, author of the Accidental Detective series

Something Deadly on Desert Drive brings back Kate Tessler, an injured war correspondent forced to return home to Arizona. Kate and her quirky gang of sidekicks have new problems to solve. Kate’s father and his coffee group are worried. Their friend Larry married a younger woman who now claims he has dementia. They think she’s lying. Before they can dig out the truth, a murder raises the stakes, and Kate’s father is among the suspects. To save him and Larry, Kate must reveal the real murderer – but her investigation could put all their lives at risk.

 

What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

I’ve always enjoyed reading mysteries, starting in childhood with Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. I read all the Sherlock Holmes stories in high school. I don’t always like cozy series that strike me as cutesy, but I don’t like too much violence either, and I demand a happy ending! Series featuring main characters who are police officers, FBI agents etc. tend to be darker and more depressing. Cozy mysteries give you the intrigue of a puzzle, the fun of interesting characters, and a guaranteed satisfying ending.

 

This series is called cozy mystery, but it has aspects that could make it suspense. Why make it a cozy and how do you keep it there?

A cozy typically has an amateur detective rather than a police officer or private investigator. Kate is a journalist, which is an investigator in one sense, but so far no one is paying her to investigate these crimes. Cozies avoid swearing, sex on the page, and gory violence, which fits my series. Many cozies also feature crafts or cooking in the plot and might include recipes or craft instructions. Mine doesn’t have that, so maybe it’s more of a traditional mystery. But there aren’t really strict definitions for these subgenres. I think readers of cozies will enjoy the series for its humor and its relatable characters.


Do you write in any other genres?

I write fiction and nonfiction of all types for children and adults. As Kris Bock, I also write sweet romance and romantic suspense. My Furrever Friends series features the employees and customers at a cat café. The Accidental Billionaire Cowboys will start with The Billionaire Cowboy’s Christmas, coming Nov. 8. My romantic suspense often involves outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes (Learn more at my website or visit my Amazon US page or Amazon UK page. For other countries click here.)

I’m writing a series with my brother, scriptwriter Douglas J Eboch, who wrote the original screenplay for the movie Sweet Home Alabama. The Felony Melanie series follows the crazy antics of Melanie, Jake, and their friends a decade before the events of the movie.

In addition, I write for young people under the name Chris Eboch. I do a lot of educational publishing and have also published middle grade novels (for ages 9 to 12). I’ve even been a ghostwriter on some very well-known children’s mystery series.


How have readers responded to your Accidental Detective series?

In the humorous Accidental Detective series, a witty journalist solves mysteries in Arizona and tackles the challenges of turning fifty. 

Book 1 is Something Shady at Sunshine Haven: When patients are dying at an Alzheimer’s unit, a former war correspondent must use her journalism skills to uncover the killer and save her mother. Kate has followed the most dangerous news stories around the world, but can she survive going home? 

Something Shady at Sunshine Haven made Barnes & Noble’s list of “Handpicked Favorites You’ll Love.” Reviews have been great:

“A great start to a new series, Something Shady at Sunshine Haven by Kris Bock has a little something for everyone. Readers will enjoy this new cozy mystery and eagerly wait for more sleuthing with Kate and the Coffee Shop Irregulars!” ~Reading is my Superpower

“This is a fast-paced book that keeps you thinking. It’s a great jump start for this new series. I will anxiously await the second book.” ~Socrates’ Book Reviews

Something Shady at Sunshine Haven by Kris Bock grabbed me from the first page to the last. Ms. Bock is a new-to-me author, and I will be back to read more of her books if this showcases her caliber of writing.” ~Novels Alive

 

How about a sneak peek at the series?

Sign up for Kris Bock’s newsletter (unsubscribe any time) and get The Case of the Missing Monkey, a ten-page mystery short story set in the world of “The Accidental Detective” series. This is followed by information about the first books in the series, the first chapter of book 1, and three fun, short stories originally written for children. You’ll also get Lions and Love at the Cat Café, a thirty-page sweet romance set in the world of the Furrever Friends cat café, and “22 recipes from the cat café.”

 

Here’s an excerpt from Something Deadly on Desert Drive:

“Looks like we’re the last ones to arrive.” Dad raised his hand to acknowledge his friend’s wave. 

I followed Dad to the diner table where his friends sat. They greeted me warmly. This was only the second time I’d joined Dad’s twice-weekly coffee group in the month I’d been home. They were nice guys, but since I was living with my father again, I wanted to ensure he had a social life apart from me. This time, however, they had specifically requested my presence.

Which meant they wanted something.

I couldn’t wait to find out what. 

I’d gotten through my first week back home, after decades of traveling the world as a war correspondent, by solving a mystery at my mother’s Alzheimer’s care unit and putting away a killer. The next month had been filled with writing articles about those events. I was ready for a new mental challenge.

I already had enough of a physical one with PT and getting used to walking with a cane.

“Thanks for coming, Kate. We need your expert advice.” Joe Washington and his wife had helped with the nursing home investigation. Joe wore his white hair trimmed close to his head, forming a handsome contrast to his dark skin.

“Glad to help,” I said. “What’s up?”

The four men looked at each other. Dad nodded to one of them. “You start, Clarence. You were the first to notice something wrong.”

“We’re worried about our friend, Larry,” Clarence said. “His wife died last year, and he remarried in the spring. We have concerns about his new wife. She is very young, maybe your age.”

While I chuckled at the thought of being “very young” at 49, I had no desire to get involved in someone’s marriage, especially if his friends’ disapproval was only due to the age difference or loyalty to the old wife.

“At first, Larry seemed happy after he married Pamela,” Clarence said. “They went on a month-long honeymoon that must have cost a fortune. After they returned, I reminded Larry to revise his will if he wanted to make sure his children got some of his money. He agreed he would. That was the last time he seemed happy.”

The other men nodded.

“He hasn’t joined our coffee group in over two months,” Dad said. “Pamela says he’s getting dementia. She won’t let him leave the house.”

I could understand being protective of an ill spouse. As a younger wife, she might be embarrassed by her elderly husband’s infirmity. But when someone was old and sick, keeping him away from his friends wasn’t helpful. Was she overprotective and perhaps making bad decisions, or was something more serious happening?

“I’m glad to help if I can,” I said, “but I’m not sure how. You need to know if Larry is really suffering from memory problems, and if so, if he’s getting the right treatments.”

Joe leaned forward. “When you were investigating Sunshine Haven, you pretended to be writing a story so you could talk to the family members.”

 

About the Author

Kris Bock writes novels of mystery, suspense, and romance. She has lived in ten states and one foreign country but is now firmly planted in the Southwest, where many of her books are set. Her romantic suspense novels include stories of treasure hunting, archaeology, and intrigue. Readers have called these novels “Smart romance with an Indiana Jones feel.”  Learn more at www.krisbock.com or visit her Amazon page.

Kris’s Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series features the employees and customers at a cat café. Watch as they fall in love with each other and shelter cats. Get a free 10,000-word story set in the world of the Furrever Friends cat café when you sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter.

Kris writes for children under the names Chris Eboch and M. M. Eboch. She has published over 60 books for young people, including ghostwriting for some famous mystery series.  Her novels for ages nine and up include Bandits Peak, a survival thriller; The Eyes of Pharaoh, a mystery that brings ancient Egypt to life; and The Well of Sacrifice, an action-packed drama set in ninth-century Mayan Guatemala, used in many schools.

Kris lives in New Mexico, where she enjoys hiking, watching the sunset from her patio, and hanging out with her husband and their ferrets.

Tule Author Q&A: Kris Bock has lived around the world!

Kris Bock stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the first book in The Accidental Detective series, Something Shady at Sunshine Haven!

Welcome to Tule! Can you share a fun fact about yourself to help us get to know you?

I started my writing career in children’s literature. My first published book was The Well of Sacrifice – historical drama set in ninth-century Mayan Guatemala for ages nine and up. It’s still used in some schools when they teach the Maya. I’ve also been a ghostwriter for some popular children’s mystery series starring your favorite young detectives. I write for kids as Chris Eboch and MM Eboch.

 

Where did you get the inspiration for Something Shady at Sunshine Haven?

I was thinking about the popularity of elderly women as amateur sleuths, and also about the Phryne Fisher mysteries, where the main character has a background as an ambulance driver in World War I. Somehow the two crossed in my mind and became a woman in midlife who had decades of experience observing people and also had a dangerous job, making her fearless.

As I faced fifty, I wanted to create a mystery lead dealing with some of the same issues: aging parents, concerns about financing retirement someday, and a body that doesn’t recover like it once did. I also wanted to give Kate a reason to be adventurous, thus the background as a war correspondent. 

 

Free String Lights Hanged on Bed Frame Stock PhotoYour heroine, Kate, is back in her childhood bedroom. If you were transplanted back to your childhood/teenage bedroom, what could we expect to see?

My family lived in Saudi Arabia when I was in grade school. We moved there just before my fifth birthday and lived in an American camp for six years while my father worked for the oil company. My family camped in the desert and shopped in the nearby Arab town. Santa visited on a camel. 

After two years in Colorado, we moved to Alaska, where I went to junior high and high school. I hiked around a glacier, picked wild blueberries, and joined the junior ski patrol. Despite the unusual locations, my room probably wasn’t that surprising – lots of stuffed animals and lots of books. In high school, I had pictures of Sting and The Police on my wall.

I still have stuffed animals and books, but no rock star posters.

 

What was your favorite scene to write and why? (include a snippet)

I didn’t specifically set out to write humor, but a lot of early readers said they laughed a lot. That got me thinking about and studying types of humor. In my books, a lot of the humor is of the wry observational type, coming from the way Kate sees the world. Then you have eccentric friends and family, who can be wacky while also remaining believable and lovable. 

Another option is slapstick. I think a little slapstick goes a long way in written humor, but I do enjoy the following snippet for its visuals. Kate is investigating the staff and residents of the nursing home where her mother is: 

I turned to Tommy. “It was lovely talking to you. I hope we’ll meet again when I’m here visiting my mother. I need to speak to some other new friends now.” 

Mendelson scowled and shuffled his feet. 

I grinned. “Have a great day.” 

I felt his gaze on me as I turned to cross the room.

Between the residents, visiting family members, dogs, and their handlers, the spacious room was a swirl of activity. I waited for a woman using a walker to cross in front of me. My leg ached, so I shifted more of my weight onto my good leg and the cane. A man to my right half turned, gesturing wildly with his arms while he told a story. I flinched back to avoid being hit.

Something slammed into my left leg. I grunted in pain as my leg collapsed. My cane swung upward, goosing the gesturing man and tangling in his legs.

The next thing I knew, I was sitting on the floor in a heap.

 

What are you currently reading?

I read several books a week, so that answer changes daily. Recently I’ve enjoyed the Heathcliff Lennox series by Karen Baugh Menuhin (1920s Britain), the Professor Bradshaw Mysteries by 

Bernadette Pajer (1901 Seattle), and the Lord Edgington Investigates series by Benedict Brown (also 1920s Britain). I adore KJ Charles and have been rereading the Will Darling Adventures Series (once again, 1920s Britain). I haven’t yet been tempted to write historical mysteries, which means it’s easier to enjoy them without analyzing them as a writer.

 

About the Author

Kris Bock writes novels of mystery, suspense, and romance. She has lived in ten states and one foreign country but is now firmly planted in the Southwest, where many of her books are set. In New Mexico, Kris enjoys hiking, watching the sunset from her patio, and hanging out with her husband and their ferrets. Kris writes for children under the name Chris Eboch.

Get a free Accidental Detective short story and bonus material when you sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter. This collection includes a ten-page mystery short story set in the world of “The Accidental Detective” series, information about the series, and the first chapter of book 1. After that are three fun, short stories originally written for children. You’ll also get Lions and Love at the Cat Café, a free 30-page sweet romance set in the world of Kris’s Furrever Friends cat café sweet romance series.

Find Kris:

Website

Blog 

Twitter 

Instagram

TikTok

Facebook 

Pinterest

GoodReads Author Page

BookBub

Amazon US page or Amazon UK page.

Tule Publishing April 2022 Releases

Read more about our new releases for April!

GIVEAWAY: We will pick ONE winner to receive a digital book of their choice from the April releases. Comment down below saying which book you’re looking most forward to reading! Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY. The winner will be randomly selected at the end of the month.

 

Blood Thinners by Heather Novak (Muse)

Release Date: April 4, 2022

Love Me Dead, Book 1

The only thing more annoying than a ghost flash mob is a rogue vampire attack…

Supernatural investigator Mina Summers is only one undercover mission away from the promotion she’s worked for her entire career. Her assignment is simple: figure out why several unregistered vampires are going rogue—including one that ruined her best suit—and attacking humans. Her investigation leads her to Thinner, a new celebrity-endorsed weight loss company that’s shrouded in mystery and promises seemingly impossible results.

Mina’s convinced she’ll finish her mission in time for dinner, but when she face-plants into Carma Nicks, Thinner’s smart and sexy vice president, Mina’s suddenly out of her depth. Surely her heart is only racing due to adrenaline, right? Falling for—and sleeping with—a mark goes 100% against protocol, but Mina’s plans to keep her distance are as flimsy as the agency-issued ghost that resides in her apartment.

When Thinner’s secrets disrupt the peace between supernaturals and humans—and threaten Carma’s life—Mina’s forced to choose between protecting her dream career or saving the woman she loves.


Stuck with You by Fortune Whelan (American Heart)

Release Date: April 5, 2022

Dorseys of Conception Bay, Book 1

They’re both starting over. Fate’s determined they do it together.

NHL all-star Clark Dorsey is still at the top of his game, but he’s done with hockey. The night of the championship, Clark announces his retirement and returns to Seattle to spend time with his sick brother and figure out his next move. He needs to unwind, but his interfering brother sets him up by renting half of their shared condo to a beautiful, opinionated and fascinating woman.

Nurse Leena Lopez is done with the spotlight. When her whirlwind fairy tale romance ends in a cheating scandal, Leena’s suddenly broke, alone and hounded by paparazzi in a new city. Desperate to put down roots, Leena says yes when a patient offers her the condo he shares with his Canadian hockey star brother. She can ignore the teenage crush she had on Clark Dorsey—he won’t even be in town.

But Clark arrives and they’re both thrust back into the headlines they’ve been desperately avoiding. Can they figure out how to be alone together? Do they want to?


Something Shady at Sunshine Haven by Kris Bock (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: April 7, 2022

The Accidental Detective, Book 1

She’s pursued the most dangerous news stories around the world. But can she survive going home?

Injured in a bombing, war correspondent Kate Tessler returns to her hometown in Arizona to recover. For the first time in her life, she’s starting to feel her age of nearly fifty despite living like a teenager again: staying in her childhood bedroom with only a cat for company, trying to understand why her sister resents her so much, and running into people who still refer to her as Kitty. The hardest part? Seeing her once-sharp and witty mother stuck in an Alzheimer’s unit.

When an old friend asks her to investigate suspicious deaths at the nursing home, Kate limps into action. Is a self-appointed “Angel of Mercy” killing patients to end their suffering? Are family members hastening their inheritance? Is an employee extorting money and removing the witnesses? Kate uses her journalism skills to track clues, but the puzzle pieces simply won’t fit.

If Kate can’t uncover the truth quickly, her mother could be next on the killer’s list.


Two Nights to Forever by Rebecca Crowley (American Heart)

Release Date: April 11, 2022

Orchard Hill, Book 2

Time doesn’t heal all wounds, but love just might…

Eve Klein almost has it all: a thriving career, great friends, and adoptive parents who’ve supported her in everything—including her quest to find her birth mother. She’s hired a private investigator, and while she waits for the last piece of her history to make her whole, she focuses on the most exciting deal of her career—a controlling share in Keller and Sons, a luxury watchmaker.

To most people Keller watches are status symbols, but to Saul Keller they’re handcuffs. He thought his brother had everything under control, until a distress call from an employee forced him to leave Wall Street and move home to Orchard Hill, Missouri. A year on, he’s shifted from trying to save the family business to selling it—and finally setting himself free.

Eve is Saul’s most exciting—and alluring—professional adversary, and he’s exactly the type of high-flyer she’s sworn to stop falling for. But when she needs his help to prepare for a Passover seder with her birth mother, the lines between business and pleasure become perpetually blurred.


Cowgirl Tough by Justine Davis (Texas Born)

Release Date: April 12, 2022

The Raffertys of Last Stand, Book 4

Sometimes the line between love and hate is blurry…

Cody Rafferty and Britt Roth may have grown up on adjacent Hill Country ranches, but they’ve always been oil and water. Britt knows it’s because Cody’s a tech nerd who doesn’t get the ranch life she loves. Cody knows it’s because Britt’s a single-minded cowgirl, who lives to complain about the technology he loves. Their families claim it’s because they were born within minutes of each other.

They’ve declared one truce in their lives—when Cody’s father was KIA overseas. Neither of them expected there would be another, but when Cody suspects a crash of his test drone spooked Britt’s champion barrel racing horse, endangering her life and future, he calls a second truce. Prodded by guilt, he steps up to take care of Britt and her beloved horse. Britt balks, but Cody’s hard to refuse even for a tough cowgirl. Forced together, they learn surprising things about each other neither ever knew.

Can these two lifetime adversaries learn to get along, especially when they realize that the sparks that fly between them aren’t fueled only by anger?


Losing It by Shelli Stevens (American Heart)

Release Date: April 14, 2022

Bro Code, Book 1

Thou shalt not sleep with thy friend’s sister…

It was basically the number one rule of the bro code, and Blake Wolfe just came dangerously close to breaking it. How could he know that the gorgeous woman he made out with at a party was his friend’s little sister? Now that he knows, she is hands off…which is easier said than done.

Kristen Watson is in Seattle for a much-needed vacation after graduating college. Though she has more planned than just hanging out with her bestie—it’s also the perfect time to ditch her virgin status and have a little fun before joining the real world. But finding the perfect guy is proving harder than she expected, especially when the perfect guy is apparently off-limits.

Blake knows trying to dissuade Kristen from the plan is useless. So he does the next best thing and volunteers to be her wingman. But helping her pick “the one” might be as challenging as trying not to claim her for himself.


Only a Highlander Will Do by Gerri Russell (Muse)

Release Date: April 19, 2022

Guardians of the Isles, Book 2

Enemies and lovers are but two edges of the same blade…

Tormod MacLeod vows revenge on the MacDonalds, who brought war to his clan’s doorstep. Gathering a company of men to attack the MacDonald home, Tormod discovers a beautiful red-haired lass being taken to marry Garrick MacDonald, the clan’s heir. Tormod kidnaps the fiery beauty to be his own bride—and to torment her dastardly fiancé.

Fiona Fraser is forced to leave everything familiar when her father pledges her to a man she’s never met. But before she can meet her groom, whose cruel reputation precedes him, she’s taken hostage by a vengeful Highland rogue. Fiona’s given three days to decide her fate—marry the imposing soldier who imprisons her but ignites her passion, or choose a different MacLeod.

When Fiona hears her father is a hostage, and the MacLeods have breached the barrier between the human and fairy worlds, she’s forced to make a terrible choice to save her people and home. Can Fiona and Tormod put aside their family bonds and clan loyalty for the love they feel for each other?


A New Mantra by Sapna Srinivasan (American Heart)

Release Date: April 21, 2022

The Sood Family, Book 1

She’s always done what was expected of her. Until…

When 30-year-old Seattle-based Indian housewife Mira Sood is blindsided by her husband’s extramarital affair, her three-year arranged marriage is shattered. Humiliated, heartbroken, near-broke, and facing the united dissension of her orthodox family, Mira is desperate to rebuild her life. She moves in with her rebel cousin, searches for any job that will take her, and impulsively signs up for a half-marathon race. There’s just one problem—Mira’s experience with running starts and ends with running to catch the bus.

With herself as her biggest critic and doubter, Mira commits to the race and is assisted by entrepreneur Andy Fitzgerald, a handsome, elite marathoner who helps her create a training schedule and personal goals. When the lines of friendship begin to blur, Mira realizes she’s facing an even bigger challenge.

Can Mira embrace her stronger, more independent self—risking another heartbreak and disappointing her family—or will she once again play it too safe and let the possibility of happiness slip away?


The Montana Doctor by Paula Altenburg (Montana Born)

Release Date: April 25, 2022

Grand, Montana, Book 2

Moving on is never easy…

Small-town doctor and Endeavour Ranch co-owner Dr. Dallas Tucker has very few problems in life—other than a shortage of time and an inheritance he doesn’t believe he deserves. He loves volunteering at the local nursing home and is planning to open a clinic on the ranch. But when he discovers the woman who loved and left him has moved to Grand, Montana, he sets out to win her back.

Brewmaster Hannah Brand still regrets her impulsive mistake at her sister’s wedding. After discovering her high school sweetheart had cheated on her, she had a passionate one night stand with a charming doctor and left town. Determined to pursue her dream of opening her own brewery, Hannah moves back to Grand and is determined to move on with her life—single.

But when the same handsome doctor walks through her door—and clearly makes house calls—Hannah’s past comes flying back. When old doubts resurface, Hannah wonders if time really can heal all wounds…


The Cowboy’s Texas Sky by E. Elizabeth Watson (Texas Born)

Release Date: April 26, 2022

The Dixons of Legacy Ranch, Book 2

They have a second chance at love…if they’re brave enough to take the risk.

Fifteen years ago, Skylar Rivers fled from home after her boyfriend’s Army unit was annihilated. Now, she’s a veterinarian who’s created a foundation to honor Travis and the dreams of a ranch they shared. When a car accident lands her and her foster son in the ER, Dr. Travis Dixon arrives—seemingly resurrected from the dead. Their chemistry still flares hot, but he’s changed, and she has a troubled teen to protect.

Travis Dixon has many regrets. Most notably, losing his best friend in a battle that took his foot and nearly his life, and then turning to the bottle during recovery. He hurt everyone he loved, but is now a respected orthopaedic surgeon determined to establish a riding program for injured vets. When the blonde beauty he never forgot throws his heart and his plans into a tailspin, he realizes he wants to reconnect with his roots and find a new place in Skylar’s life.

They’ve both run from their pasts. Can Skylar make room for Travis in her future?


No Safe Haven by Melinda Di Lorenzo (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: April 28, 2022

Trinity Calhoun Mystery, Book 2

You can’t go home again…but can you return to the life you’ve made?

After a harrowing experience in her childhood town, Detective Trinity Calhoun has at last been cleared to return to her job at the Vancouver PD—but with a caveat. Her boss insists that she eases back into it by being chained to a desk. Trinity understands the request. She knows it’s reasonable. But that doesn’t mean she likes it. Or will abide by it.

And the desk, it seems, is the last place she can be. Because someone is stalking her. Baiting her. Using her long-solved domestic abuse cases to draw her out. And whoever the culprit is, they know an awful lot more about her than she does about them. Soon, everything Trinity values is on the line: her memories, her reputation, even her sanity. Nowhere is safe, and she can’t trust anyone offering her help—including her closest allies.

But is putting faith in only herself enough to stay alive?