Grounds for Remorse by misty Simon Book Tour and Giveaway :)

Grounds For Remorse
A Tallie Graver Mystery #2
by Misty Simon
Genre: Cozy Mystery 

No more cheating . . .
Best friends Tallie Graver and Gina Laudermilch both seem to spend a lot of time around urns. For Tallie, they're part and parcel of the family business, Graver's Funeral Home. Even though she's traded ashes for dusting with her own cleaning business, she still works part-time for her folks and lives above the funeral parlor. For Gina, they're the vessels that con-tain her heavenly brew at her coffee shop, Bean There, Done That. And both women are learning that owning a business can make finding time for romance challenging.
But when Gina's new beau turns out to have a wife, who barges into the coffee shop to take him home, she can't contain her bitterness and loudly threatens to poison his cup or boil him in a vat of coffee. So when Mr. Wrong turns up dead at the bottom of a staircase inside Gina's locked home, she finds herself at the top of the police's suspect list. Tallie needs to sweep in to save her friend. But she'll need to watch her step, or she may go from being a funeral home employee to becoming their next client . . .

Cremains of the Day
A Tallie Graver Mystery #1

There's no reverse on the hearse . . .
For Tallulah Graver, marrying wealthy Waldo Phillips seemed like the best way out of the family business, the Graver Funeral Home. But when her marriage falls apart and Tallie is left with next to nothing, she turns to cleaning houses to make ends meet. As humbling as it is to tidy the mansions of the snobby socialites she used to call friends, at least she doesn't have to be around dead bodies. Until . . .
She discovers one of her employers lying in a closet with a knife sticking out of her chest. This unpleasant shock seems to be part of a web of weird experiences: Tallie's friend Gina's shop is broken into, her ex is stun-gunned where it hurts the most, and now she's receiving flowers from the dead woman. Granted the deliveryman is handsome, but seriously, that's enough to cast a pall over anyone’s day. Now Tallie needs to dig deep to clean up this mess—before she finds herself in a grave situation.
You’ll be cheering as the clues pileup in this creative cozy mystery.” —New York Times bestselling author Lynn Cahoon

“What in the heck are you doing here?” I nearly jumped out of my skin once I recognized Gina’s cousin, Katie Mitchner. Even with the other woman facing away from me, there was no mistaking the bright red hair or the tattoo winding around from the side of her neck, then down her arm to take on the look of a sleeve. She was draped across the wooden café table with her hair swept to the side and her head on her arm as if she was taking a rest. Her wrists and hands disappeared over the side of the small wood table. When she didn’t stir at the sound of my voice, I spoke again, louder this time. “Hey, Katie! Wakey, wakey, eggs and bakey!” Still nothing. I walked around the table to get a good look at the other woman’s face. Maybe Katie was drunk again and had come here to pass out. I couldn’t imagine Gina had let her cousin in and then let her stay when the shop was closed for the funeral, but stranger things had happened. Four steps took me in front of Katie, where I got that good look, and took two stumbling steps back, crashing into the table behind me. I should call the police. Right now. I had my phone in my hand to do just that when Katie’s eyes popped open and she started yelling behind the tape over her mouth. Okay, first I would find out what she was doing in here, then I would call the police. Katie’s eyes widened and the garbled words increased in volume as I grabbed the edge of the silver duct tape covering her mouth. Sorry,” I said before I yanked, thankful Katie was awake and alive enough to scream bloody murder. While she took great big, gulping breaths, I patted her back and said all those nonsensical things people were supposed to say when someone has been traumatized. Unfortunately, while I had plenty of experience dealing with the bereaved, I had almost no experience with the traumatized still-living. I couldn’t pat Katie’s hand and give her a tissue and offer her solace for her grief. Unless she wanted to mourn the unfortunate caterpillar of hair I’d pulled off her upper lip. Instead, I fumbled around and finally said, “I hope it didn’t hurt too much.”
“Christ Almighty, Tallie, it hurt like a bitch. I guess I won’t have to go to Andrea’s shop this week for my lip wax appointment.” She was joking, which had to be a good thing, I thought, until I saw the way Katie’s arms shook on the table. “I should call the police.”
“No!” she yelled, then seemed to pull herself back under control. “I mean, not yet. I just need a minute before people come storming in here.” I thought that was an odd response, but she was an odd person, and since all the cops I knew were over at the fire station, I figured I could indulge her request if only to get some more info for Gina. “Do want me to call Gina over? She’s just across the street.” I even pointed out the front window as if Katie had no idea where the firehouse was. I might get family dynamics, but human interaction wasn’t necessarily one of my strong points. Katie shook her head, holding up her hands. They were bound too. Yikes. Can you just get these of off me and maybe not take any more hair this time? Free lip wax I can live with, but bare arms not so much.” Quickly working the end of the yellow rope holding Katie’s wrists together, I kept a close eye on not stripping the fine hairs from the other woman’s forear ms. The knots weren’t hard to get at, which made my job that much easier. I stepped back as Katie stood and shook out her hands. Wow, my arms are tingling.” I hadn’t thought the knots were tight enough to actually cut off the circulation, but what did I know? I had no idea how long she had been sitting there, passed out. But maybe I should find out along with whether someone had taken anything from Gina’s shop while I gave Katie a couple minutes to compose herself. Gina was not going to be a happy camper, no matter how this all worked out. What happened?” I asked. As I waited for an answer, I began prowling around the shop, making sure the coffee maker and the milk steamer were all in their correct places. I didn’t have a key to the register, but knew Gina cleaned it out every day after closing the shop. Somewhere she had a safe. I didn’t know where that was and didn’t need to know. The only thing I saw out of place were some napkins strewn across the wood counter Gina stood behind six days a week. That wasn’t enough to spark my curiosity. Using the back of her wrist, Katie swiped her big hair off her forehead, then looked at me from the corner of her eye. “Obviously, I was tied up and left for dead.” Katie had always been the lead in any drama put on the stage or acted out in real life. I tried to shove down my skepticism. There was no refuting that Katie had been tied up. I would just leave the “left for dead” part alone. Okay, but who tied you up and how did you and they get in here?” The logical question seemed to stump her for a second. Perhaps I was being too harsh. Katie could be dealing with shock and I just couldn’t see the outward signs due to her bravado. I don’t know who tied me up. I was in the back alley on my way in for a few things Gina had asked me to pick up earlier, when all of the sudden I see this guy lying at my feet about a yard away from the door. I bent down to see if he was just sleeping off a drunk when another guy looms out of the darkness and shoves me into the store. He tied me up and told me to shut up when I told him I wouldn’t say anything if he’d just walk away without hurting me. And then he duct-taped my mouth shut and left out the back door.” Since my cellphone was still in my hand, I bent to unlock it before Katie drew her next breath. A body in the alley and a tied-up woman in the café was not good, no matter how it happened. I should have called the police the first time I’d mentioned it instead of letting Katie talk me into waiting. Due to my anxiety over the whole situation, I fumbled the six simple numbers of my password three times. Sure, I’d been running on adrenaline and afraid Katie wasn’t breathing, but that was not going to be a good enough excuse to keep Chief of Police Burton from railing at me for my failure to do the right thing the first time. I think you’re going to want to check out the guy in the back alley before you call anything in,” Katie said, interrupting my attempt to dial. I paused to peer at her in disbelief. She had been tied up and “left for dead” in her own words, and there could be a body out in the back alley. What more could she possibly want to talk about before I got the authorities involved? “Why would I want to do that?” Because I’m pretty sure your ex-husband is lying out there dead.” What? I couldn’t have heard her right. Waldo would never come to this part of town and certainly not to the alley. As far as the dead part—he might not be the best of people, but I couldn’t imagine anyone would actually take the time and energy to kill him. What the hell could he have done to deserve to die out there? I was not proud of that last thought. But there had been a lot going on in our marriage I had not known about. Perhaps this was just one more thing I should have been prepared for when the preacher had said for better or worse. Waldo’s worse gave a whole other meaning to the phrase. Wait,” I said, not wanting to go off half-cocked or call in some vague, possible crime based solely
on a “pretty sure” from the town’s drama queen. “Are you not sure if it’s Waldo, or not sure if he’s dead?” Both. Either.” She shrugged. I dialed the next four numbers for my password and got it right on my fourth try. After hitting speed dial number six, I kept the phone to my ear as I headed for the back of the store and the door out to the alley. I wouldn’t touch anything, I promised myself. I shouldn’t have touched Katie at all to begin with and would probably get my ass figuratively handed to me for that once the police got here. Not to mention, I had seen enough crime-scene investigation television to know not to incriminate myself. But I had to make sure it really was Waldo out there, or make sure it wasn’t. If it wasn’t, I was going to bean Katie on the head and maybe stick some duct tape to her eyebrows. See how she liked that impromptu wax for giving me heart palpitations. Using one of the messy napkins from the counter, I turned the knob on the back door and pushed slowly. I didn’t know where exactly the body was located. I certainly didn’t want to smash whoever the poor sucker was in the head with the door. He might not be dead at all, but regardless, I was not going to add insult to injury. Police station, what can I do for you?” I stopped in the open door way and gave Suzy at the police station the lowdown of what had happened, or what I had been told happened. Suzy told me to stay on the phone. I heard a beep and took the phone away from my face long enough to see who on earth was calling. Great. Gina. She was probably wondering where in the hell her sauerkraut was. Suzy, I have to answer this call. I’ll get right back to you.” Chief’s not going to like it.” Tell Burton it couldn’t be avoided.”

Misty Simon is the author of Cremains of the Day and Grounds for Remorse in the Tallie Graver Mystery series. She loves a good story and decided one day that she would try her hand at it. Eventually she got it right. There’s nothing better in the world than making someone laugh, and she hopes everyone at least snickers in the right places when reading her books. She lives with her husband, daughter and three insane dogs in Central Pennsylvania where she is hard at work on her next novel or three. 

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