Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Moving is Murder by Nellie H. Steele - Blog Tour with Character Guest Post and Giveaway


A new hometown. A murdered aunt. Mysterious talking animals. Divorce just turned interesting.

Ellie Byrne’s pending divorce from her cheating husband threatens to leave her broke and homeless. But when she inherits a bed and breakfast in the unique town of Salem Falls, her prayers may be answered.

That is, until she finds out her aunt didn’t just die on the property, she was murdered. And shortly after Ellie arrives, she finds herself the target of threatening messages and hostile attitudes from almost everyone in town. And after someone chucks a rock through her window, she begins to fear for her life.

Can Ellie discover which one of them offed her aunt? Or will the bed and breakfast she’d hoped would provide a fresh start put her in the grave?

If you love middle-aged heroines, talking pets, and quirky small town settings, you’ll love book 1 in this charming paranormal women’s fiction cozy mystery series.

The Day My Life Changed

By Cleo the Cat

Hi! My name is Cleo. Some of you may already know that I’m a cat. But that doesn’t stop me from doing all kinds of things, including investigating a murder.

You see, I was living my best life here in Salem Falls with my owner, Susie. We lived in a fantastic old bed and breakfast. (It wasn’t open any more, thank goodness. The last thing I’d want is a parade of people wandering into and out of my home!) But what I love about the place is the space. Three floors for me to roam around, disappear when I need to get away, and chase the dog. Though Aunt Susie really didn’t like when I did that. “Cleo,” she’d yell when we went hammering up the steps, then came thundering back down, “stop chasing that poor dog around.” But it was fun and those were good times.

But then…Susie disappeared. That’s right…I woke up from my nap, yawned, stretched and went searching for my afternoon meal. The house was quiet. Too quiet. Lola was standing down at the bottom of the stairs.

“Where’s Susie,” I said before I yawned again.

“She went out and she hasn’t come back,” Lola told me.

It was odd. The sun was already going down and Susie wasn’t back. Susie never went out at night. And then the sun went down completely. The light in the living room popped on from the timer. But no Susie.

We never saw Susie again.

Sorry, I needed a minute after that statement. Susie was my best friend. I had been her cat for seven years. She knew just how to smash my pate up in my bowl. She knew how many treats to give me and when. And she even got me extra whipped cream on my ice cream because she knew how much I loved it.

Eventually, someone found Susie. They came by the house and Lola (that’s the dog) was carrying on high, screaming at the top of her lungs. Then a bunch of police and ambulance people came. I watched them from the window. They wheeled a black bag out and put it in the back.

“She fell into the stream out back,” they said. “Drowned.”

That didn’t sit right with me. Susie wasn’t frail. She didn’t fall. Then Mac came by. He was Susie’s attorney. He made sure we were fed and all that, but it wasn’t the same. “Gotta find Susie’s heir,” he said. “She’ll be the one to take care of you. But I’ll come back in the meantime, okay?”

What could I say? I like Mac. But he’s not Susie.

A couple of days passed before Mac told us he spoke to Susie’s heir. It was her niece. Some woman by the name of Ellie. I didn’t know anything about Ellie. I’d never met her before, but Mac said she was coming to Salem Falls.

Lola and I wondered what would become of us. Would we have to move? Or worse? Would she dump us at a shelter, and we’d live out our days hoping someone walked past and liked us enough to take us home? Even worse, we’d probably be separated.

But then Mac said Ellie planned to move to Salem Falls. “Don’t worry, Cleo,” he said while he dumped my food into my bowl. “She’s going to live here. So you can stay in your own home.” He grinned at me like he was proud of that.

And sure enough, Ellie came up a few days later. Mac brought her over to the house. I crept down from my perch on the couch and eyed her up. She looked nice enough. Reminded me of Susie, except with longer hair.

I decided to take a closer look. I wound down the stairs and looked at her again before I said hello. She squatted down and held out her hand. I sniffed at it…no other cat smells. No dogs either. This lady was petless. I wondered if she’d even know how to open a can of cat food. I decided I’d stick with Mac for now.

We spent a day or two together and Ellie basically ignored us. I kept trying to talk to her but she completely ignored us. Oh, she’d talk to us, but it was nonsense. She never answered any of our questions. Lola and I started to wonder about her.

Finally, she toppled off a step ladder and smacked her noggin against the floor. When she woke up, she finally started answering us, though she acted surprised we could talk. “Of course, we can talk,” I said. “We’ve been talking to you for days.”

Anyway, it was good timing because we found out shortly after that my poor beloved Susie was murdered. I knew it all along. Susie didn’t fall and drown. Someone killed her!

And Ellie, Lola, and I set about to figure out who. Of course, Ellie couldn’t do it alone. She needed my brains to help. And Lola’s…well, Lola.

Between the three of us, we make a pretty good team. We listed out all the suspects and their motives and the means and opportunity to commit the crime and then started ruling them out one by one.

Did we find the right person in the end? Well, you’ll have to read Moving is Murder to find out. And I hope you will. It’s pretty entertaining if I do say so myself. Nellie did a nice job of capturing my sassy personality. Give it a try!

About the Author: 

Award-winning author Nellie H. Steele writes in as many genres as she reads.

Addicted to books since she could read, Nellie escaped to fictional worlds like the ones created by Carolyn Keene or Victoria Holt long before she decided to put pen to paper and create her own realities.

When she’s not spinning a cozy mystery tale, building a new realm in a contemporary fantasy, or writing another action-adventure car chase, you can find her shuffling through her Noah’s Ark of rescue animals or enjoying a hot cuppa (that’s tea for most Americans.)

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Lynn and Precious said...

The one thing I really enjoy doing is reading a simple but fun book. They're always a Mysteries and I love it when they have a cat in them.

The Florida Furkids said...

This sounds like a great book.

Brian's Home Blog said...

That was lots of fun to read, sounds like a winner!

pilch92 said...

That looks good.

meowmeowmans said...

Cleo, we enjoyed reading your blog post, and your book sounds really good! We will definitely check it out. :)

Nellie Steele said...

Thanks, everyone! I hope you'll try the book and love it!

Thanks for featuring Cleo and my book!

Leah said...

The book sounds good! The cat character caught my interest right away!