Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Live and Let Grind by Tara Lush - Blog Tour with Character Guest Post and Giveaway


Devil’s Beach is percolating with a hot murder case, and reporter-turned-barista Lana Lewis could be the next to get beaned in Tara Lush’s third Coffee Lover’s mystery, perfect for fans of Cleo Coyle and Lucy Burdette.

Laid-off journalist Lana Lewis is thriving as the proprietor of Perkatory, a coffee shop on quirky Devil’s Beach island, Florida. She’s juggling a relationship with police chief Noah Garcia, enjoying the company of her best friend, Erica, and relishing the companionship of her golden Shih Tzu, Stanley. Only problem is her neighbor, Gus, who incessantly uses his leaf blower, disturbing everyone in the neighborhood. Lana has learned to tune it out, but Erica’s rage boils over and she confronts Gus.

Then Gus is found dead, killed when his leaf blower explodes. Erica immediately becomes suspect number one. But there are plenty of other candidates as well: Gus’s soon-to-be ex-wife, Honey Bailey, who thinks she’ll be written out of his will; Mickey Dotson and Doug Beck, who were scalded financially after purchasing a pirate-themed tourist cruise business from Gus; and plenty of angry neighbors who’ve had run-ins with him.

As the clock ticks down will Lana get someone to spill the beans on the killer so she can clear her friend’s name, or will Erica go to jail for a crime she didn’t commit?

Character Guest Post by Stanley the Shih Tzu

I am no stranger to murder.

Okay, okay, that’s a little heavy from a ten-pound Shih Tzu, but hear me out.

My name’s Stanley. I live on a Florida island called Devil’s Beach, and it’s the best place. The smells are incredible! There are squirrels, lots of birds, turtles … and even monkeys. I know all of this because my mom takes me everywhere and says I’m always sticking my nose into places it doesn’t belong.

She’s one to talk.

My mom’s name is Lana Lewis, and she’s the bestest person in the world. She gives me lots of hot dog treats and takes me to the dog beach at least once a week.

But she’s a little nosy. Like me, I guess.

I’ve lived with her since I was a puppy. My previous owner, an Italian guy whose name I don’t remember because I was too young, fell off a roof. Well, pushed off a roof. I didn’t see that, thank goodness, but shortly after, Lana rescued me. That’s what I mean about murder – it’s kind of always around on Devil’s Beach.

Or maybe my mom always gets involved with murders. No, she’s not a serial killer or anything. She’s a former reporter. I’m not sure exactly what that is but it has something to do with asking a lot of questions. And she asks tons of them, things like, “why would that woman have killed our next-door neighbor,” and, “who poisoned the guy in the coffee shop?”

I don’t pay much attention to those questions because they’re above my pay grade. I’m here to be cute! She also asks things like, “Who’s a good boy?” and then I run in circles and bark a little to let her know that yes, I am a good boy! That’s when she gives me treats.

This tactic also works with Lana’s father. I don’t know his name but he’s something they call “an old hippie.” I love staying with him at his beach house because he gives me unlimited treats. He even bought B A C O N for me. He spells it out like that because he doesn’t think I can understand, but I can. I can smell it! And boy, is it tasty!

Mom doesn’t like me eating bacon, though. Mom also doesn’t like when I roll around in algae at the beach. She says I smell like a clam, whatever that is.

She also got mad when I rolled around in turtle poop at the park, but I didn’t give a fluff. Turtle poop smells SO GOOD, and I didn’t care that it got all over my fur. I was SO MAD when Mom gave me a bath that day.

I stay with Mom’s dad when she goes out on something called “a date.” All I know is that Mom and Noah, my other favorite human, go out of the house, sometimes overnight. I hate that. The best nights are when Mom and Noah and I cuddle on the sofa. They watch a movie but they also give me lots of pets for hours. It’s the best.

I’m hoping that Noah someday moves in with us because he plays fetch with me in the yard for like an hour. Mom gets tired or busy but Noah always wants to play.

Right now Mom and Noah are tense because the man next door was murdered. He was killed by a device called “an exploding leaf blower.” I think that’s the scary machine that moves things around, and sometimes I hide under the bed because the noise is too loud.

Mom is worried because her best friend Erica might be a “suspect” in the case. That means police think Erica might have killed him. I don’t think that’s possible, though, because Erica is a good human — she also gives me lots of treats and sometimes we snuggle together.

I’m a good judge of character. I think if Mom let me loose on Devil’s Beach, I’d sniff out the killer and then I’d get all the treats…

About the Author:

Tara Lush is a Rita Award finalist, an Amtrak writing fellow, and a George C. Polk Award winning journalist. For the past decade, she’s been a reporter with the Associated Press, covering crime, alligators, natural disasters, and politics. She also writes contemporary romance set in tropical locations. A fan of vintage pulp-fiction book covers, Sinatra-era jazz, and 1980s fashion, she lives with her husband and two dogs on the Gulf coast.

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Lynn and Precious said...

I always enjoy these book reviews that you do. Thanks. The covers on the books are just too cute sometimes.

Patricia T said...

Thanks, Melissa. Sounds interesting.

Sandee said...

I'm in. Sounds like a wonderful read, Mudpie.

Have a purrfect day. My best to your mom. ♥

Celticlady's Reviews said...

Thanks for sharing! Love this cover!

Brian's Home Blog said...

That sounds very cool and the cover is adorable!

pilch92 said...

Great interview. That looks like a good book.

meowmeowmans said...

Stanley sounds like quite a character, and the book sounds great. Thanks for sharing it with us, Mudpie!

marisela zuniga said...

Thanks for sharing, sounds great

Three Chatty Cats said...

Sounds like a cute book! Thank you for sharing it.