Friday, March 20, 2015

A Ghostly Undertaking by Tonya Kappes: Guest Author, Review & Giveaway

Why a funeral home and undertaker?
by Tonya Kappes
The WHAT IF game:

Yes! Emma Lee Raines is an undertaker at Eternal Slumber in Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky.

Morbid? Maybe. Funny? YES!

Readers always ask me how did I come up with this line of work. Easy….there are no other “cozy” mysteries out there with an undertaker as the protagonist. There are so many of the same themed cozies out there that I wanted something different.
Being an undertaker is definitely different, but seeing ghosts of the people you have buried is incredibly different and funny!

Originally, it was the undertaker part of Emma Lee that caught my attention. Things like grave robbers could play in the mix or another competing funeral home, but them my mind started to go into overdrive and do what I do best.

Ask the question of WHAT IF.

I play this game with every single character, even secondary characters, in my novels. I ask them what if this or that happens and I wait for them to tell me.

My what if session turned into the ghost of Ruthie Sue Payne, the client who is currently lying in a coffin at Eternal Slumber and the CEO of the town gossip. Ruthie’s death looked like a fall because she is old and feeble. But when she shows up at her own funeral in the form of a ghost, my what if season turned into a full blown story line that puts Emma Lee in the middle to solve the crime.

Then the what if game turned into more and more ghosts that were murdered and needed to be solved in order for them to stop haunting Emma Lee, because she is the only one who can get them to the other side. . .then throw in a love interest.

Having bodies exhumed isn’t all that easy. So what if Emma Lee dates the sheriff in town, Oscar Park? Hmm. . .that throws in a whole new dimension to my haunted undertaker. How on earth will she get Oscar Park to exhume bodies? I guess you will have to read A GHOSTLY UNDERTAKING to find out. 

A Ghostly Undertaking: A Ghostly Southern Mystery
(Ghostly Southern Mysteries)
Series: Ghostly Southern Mysteries
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Witness (February 24, 2015)

Synopsis: A funeral, a ghost, a murder . . . It’s all in a day’s work for emma lee raines . . .

Bopped on the head from a falling plastic Santa, local undertaker Emma Lee Raines is told she’s suffering from “funeral trauma.” It’s trauma all right, because the not-so-dearly departed keep talking to her. Take Ruthie Sue Payne—innkeeper, gossip queen, and arch-nemesis of Emma Lee’s granny—she’s adamant that she didn’t just fall down those stairs. She was pushed.

Ruthie has no idea who wanted her pushing up daisies. All she knows is that she can’t cross over until the matter is laid to eternal rest. In the land of the living, Emma Lee’s high-school crush, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, isn’t ready to rule out foul play. Granny Raines, the widow of Ruthie’s ex-husband and co-owner of the Sleepy Hollow Inn, is the prime suspect. Now Emma Lee is stuck playing detective or risk being haunted forever.

A Ghostly Undertaking
A Ghostly Grave (March 31st)
A Ghostly Demise (August 25th)
A Ghostly Murder (October 15th)

A Ghostly Undertaking by Tonya Kappes is first book in a brand new series featuring a quirky cast of characters that will have you howling with laughter.

Set in Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky, readers are introduced to Emma Lee, who works at the family business, the Eternal Slumber Funeral Home. Her life changes when a plastic Santa falls off the icy roof of the local deli and whacks Emma Lee on the head. The first thing she sees upon waking up is a ghost, which the doctor chalks up to "Funeral Trauma". But the "hallucinations" aren't stopping. Now Ruthie the town gossip, believed to have died falling down the stairs at the Sleepy Hollow Inn, shows up at her own wake (wearing her hot pink pajamas and kitty cat slippers) and informs Emma Lee that she was murdered, and needs Emma Lee's help catching her killer. She agrees in order to shut Ruthie up, but it looks like this is only the beginning of Emma Lee being forced to deal with her new found talent!

Emma Lee is a fantastic new character, and Ruthie is an absolute hoot! (I hope we haven't seen the last of her!) I have adored all of Tonya Kappes' series, but I think this is my favorite one yet. Her books are fun, fresh, and fantastic!

About the Author: For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been self-publishing her numerous mystery and romance titles with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plotlines and quirky characters, but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans. HarperCollins and Witness Impulse is thrilled to be publishing this insanely talented and wildly successful author for the first time with

A GHOSTLY UNDERTAKING (Witness Impulse; February 24, 2015; $7.99 mass market), the first in her hilarious and spooky Ghostly Southern series.

Sign up for Tonya’s newsletter, view book trailer, and upcoming news on Tonya’s website,

Connect with Tonya on Facebook,  Twitter, TSU, Instagram


Robin said...

This sounds like a pretty spooky mystery! Undertakers do have a very interesting job. My husband was working as a morticians assistant when I met him. He had to pick up bodies from wherever the person died, bring them to the funeral home, and prep them for the mortician. Anyhow, this sounds like a great book!
- Purrs from your friends at

Karen B said...

This sounds hysterical - I'm giggling as I read the post!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Melissa...sure glad it's funny!

Hannah and Lucy said...

This is going to be a very good read and our mum was a funeral director when she was young enough to work!!
Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

Unknown said...

What a great picture! What is the story behind it?
I'd love to get the book.
Sadly, rafflecopter is very twitter-centric and I don't tweet.

meowmeowmans said...

That sounds like a really entertaining book! I've not read Tonya Kappes' works before, so thanks for your review!


I bet that is a good book and excellent review.

Texas Book Lover said...

This book sounds great. I am sure this series is going to be fantastic!

cyn209 said...

thank you for the giveaway......
cannot wait to read this!!!

Sue said...

I didn't think the work of an undertaker could be funny at all---but I think I've now changed my mind. I'd love to read this book.

Layla Morgan Wilde ( Cat Wisdom 101) said...

Years ago I considered becoming a funeral director and I love historic cemeteries. I'm not a huge cozy fan but this series could turn me into one.

pilch92 said...

I have never heard of this author, but her books sound interesting.

Two French Bulldogs said...

Looks like s good read
Lily & Edward

Verna said...

Really, really want to read this

Unknown said...

this sounds like it will be a fun and interesting series... I'll be on the lookout for them

Jeanetta said...

Sounds like a fun cozy book. I will check out the books in this mystery series.

CBarton said...

I love a cozy mystery!! I also adore your cat pics!

ReadingMama922 said...

This sounds absolutely wonderful! A hoot and a holler! And I love the kitty pictures!

Sharon Braswell said...

I love the sound of this one! The names, the funeral home and a ghost! Can't wait to read, and would love to win!!