by Kathleen Costa
This week we have a review of the latest Magical Cures Mystery by Tonya Kappes, along with an interesting interview with Tonya. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win either an ebook or print copy of the book, and a link to purchase it from Amazon and from an indie bookstore.
A Charming Misfortune: A Magical Cures Mystery By Tonya Kappes
A Charming Experience
In 2012 with A Charming Crime, (HERE Free on Amazon) Tonya Kappes first introduced the magical, quirky residents of Whispering Falls, Kentucky. June, appropriately named “Heal,” is convinced by a mysterious woman to relocate her homeopathic business, “A Dose of Darla” (named for her mother), to this nearby quaint little town. Along with moving oddly going well, her friend (now husband) and sheriff gets a great position with the police force and decides to move, too. There she discovers some shocking truths about her family, her own mystical abilities, and the magical talents of the other residents. She is also taken aback by her introduction to the talking crystal ball Madame Torres, a “voice to the spirits,” and Mr. Prince Charming, a bothersome fairy god-cat. Other than several personal and professional revelations, building of friendships, and changing the shop’s name to “A Charming Cure,” June gets entangled with magic, creatures, and a few suspicious deaths that put herself and her friends in “charming” peril.
A Charming Misfortune earns 5/5 Star Anise Potions…Magically Entertaining!
“Star Anise Powder. ‘Strange.’ I made a mental note about how this particular powder was used to stop misfortune. I’d used this powder only once in my life, and it wasn’t a very good memory. Maybe it would be different this time, but the ping in my gut told me something was lurking.”
Whispering Falls has its mystical shops, magical residents, and even a university at which Judy teaches a class on magical cures. Residents serve the many tourists who visit, even though the tourists are unaware of the true magic that lies beneath the surface. So, life in Whispering Falls is quite full, but June feels something isn’t right…Madame Torres is cooing, she is warned to watch out, and Mr. Prince Charming presents her with a bird charm. Could “misfortune” mean “murder”? A club of bird enthusiasts have arrived eager to capture on film and record the existence of the rare Spangled Smokey Mountain Momoko, and an accidental sighting sends the group into full exploration mode. However, it’s the dead body of a zookeeper that has June and her husband/town officer concerned. It is imperative they find the killer before suspects leave and outside law enforcement are emboldened to take over. Whispering Falls’ magical characteristics must remain cloaked from the outsiders.
More than charming…it’s totally entertaining! I am an eager fan of many of the series penned by Tonya Kappes, and always thought I’d get to her Magical Cures series soon. Well, better late than… I began with this twelfth book, and although I was a bit confused about some of the mystic, magical, and June’s “charms” references, after a few chapters, they mostly ironed themselves out, and I was hooked. Tonya’s writing style is well-paced, written from June’s perspective, and includes descriptive language, delightful humor, and dialogue that does well to illustrate setting, characters, tone, and personalities. The mystery follows a traditional cozy formula with twists, turns, and a satisfying conclusion along a delightful magical theme that works, no juvenile hocus pocus. Although the story line is intriguing, it’s the characters that are the true stars. June is strong and clever enjoying a marvelous relationship with her husband Oscar, who seems to see value in June’s contributions. The other residents are quirky, not silly, adding to the enjoyment. Truly charming! I am a fan, and thrilled that there are so many other books in the series to enjoy.
No bonuses included, but don’t despair, fans are in “delicious” luck. Tonya, too, loves Ding Dongs as much as June Heal and me, I have to admit, so she has provided her version as June’s Gems…gluten free, too. It’s available here in a June’s Gems pdf. Enjoy with your favorite tea concoction!
Be a Big Tanya Kappes Fan!
Tonya Kappes is one of my Top Ten favorite authors of some exciting ghostly, magical, and caffeinated themed series, all for which I am an eager fan! For ghosts she has the popular seven-book Ghostly Southern Mystery and seven-book Kenni Lowry series. Add some magic with this eleven-book Magical Cures Mystery and three-book Spies and Spells series. Get a little caffeinated with her six-book Killer Coffee Mystery, and for lots of fun, she has the six-book Camper & Criminals Cozy series. Under her pen name Maymee Bell, she has introduced the delightful two-book Southern Cake Baker Mystery. Something for every cozy taste!
Alert! Tonya will be releasing a new series on October 29, A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery, with the first book, Stamped Out. HERE – Link to Amazon Preorder Once again set in southern goodness with Bernadette Davis, a widow and beloved mail carrier who, due to her delivering the mail to residents of Sugar Gap Creek, also knows their “hidden secrets and obsessions.”
Our Guest…Tonya Kappes
USA Today Bestselling Cozy Mystery Author
KRL: It is great to have with us again Tonya Kappes, one of my personal favorite authors, celebrating the release of the twelfth book in her Magical Cures Mystery series, A Charming Misfortune. Can you give us a mini biography for Tonya Kappes? Who is she and what influenced her to become a writer?
Tonya: Oh gosh. I’m just a hillbilly from Kentucky! I raised four boys and now Eddy and I are enjoying a little empty nesting. It was my husband’s encouragement and my book club’s beliefs in me that got me to write the very first word.
KRL: You are one of my favorite cozy authors, and I greatly enjoy being part of your advanced reader team. I love cozies, and although your series are of the same genre, they are all a bit different. What is it about cozies that keeps you interested in writing them?
Tonya: I love the small towns and good friendships along with the cleanness of the genre. I try to make those towns it’s own character in the books, and I hope everyone who keeps coming back to them feel like they’ve come home.
KRL: Your twelve-book and three-novella Magical Cures Mystery made the USA Today Bestsellers List. It isn’t hard to see why with its delightful theme starting with A Charming Crime that readers can pick up the Kindle eBook for free HERE. I personally love June Heal and her psychic abilities and homeopathic cures and the magical nature of Whispering Falls. Can you give us some background or insights into this series and how it got started? Do you have experience with such homemade-style cures, magic or not?
Tonya: Again, it started with a small town. I knew I wanted something special about the town and why people would come to a Kentucky town for anything! Add a little magic and some cozy elements and it just came to life.
I do not have any cures…I wish!
KRL: The characters you’ve created in all of your series seem so universal. Their personalities, manner, and relationships make them seem like neighbors, family, and friends. Can we find you in June or any one of your other characters? Did you write your characters by taking from real-life people, “changing the names to…,” you get my drift?
Tonya: I admire June for her honestly, loyalty, and good heartedness. I like to think I have a few of those qualities and that’s what I like in my own family and friends. I will admit that I’ve killed some real life people….in the books, of course.
KRL: There are several cozy authors that have ventured into writing more edgy thrillers with more intense crimes. Have you entertained the idea of writing in that genre? Science Fiction, maybe, or a courtroom drama?
Tonya: No! It all goes back to the wholesome of the cozy genre that keeps me there.
KRL: Writing can be very personal and unique to each author. What is a day of writing like for you? How do you switch from one series to the next? I have the occasional “senior moment.” Have you ever had mishaps or forget which series you’re writing?
Tonya: Writing is my career. I treat it as a job. I get up in the morning like a regular job at the same time. I get ready and go to my office where I stay all day long until my husband comes home from his job. Since I work at home, it’s hard to turn it off on the weekends, but I do not work or even step foot in my office on Sundays.
KRL: You’ve teased fans with a “Coming Soon” announcement: A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery series starting with Address for Murder. How did this develop? Can you tease us with more details about the setting and characters?
Tonya: Originally it was about a widow woman who was a mail carrier. Long story short, she came into some money and bought at small town. I got this idea because there is a small town for sale near me, and I thought it would be funny…since then, the entire plot has changed. She’s still a widow with a son. She is the mail carrier for the downtown area which includes a small neighborhood, all the shops, and a nursing home. Her side kick…just might be a retired FBI agent in the nursing home. Stay tuned!
KRL: My favorite series in your repertoire is the eight-book Ghostly Southern Mystery about Emma Lee and her accidental “ghostly” connections. However, a close second is the seven-book A Camper & Criminals Cozy series. You have two more books in the series coming soon. How did this series start? Can you give us some insights?
Tonya: When starting a series I try to do a sleuth occupation that’s never been done. As a child, my family had an RV. Those are some very fond memories, so my cover artist came up with the cover idea and I went with it. I had NO idea it was going to take off like it has. I love that series!
KRL: Fans that follow you learn a lot about your family, your fur friends, and your love of coffee. You also make yourself available to fans on all the social media platforms, attend book-signing gatherings, and have a few fun events. Are you planning any fan events in which fans can join?
Tonya: I host my own event every October on a train. I truly put a lot of effort into it and make sure everyone has a great time. Of course, I’m attending several events, but you’ll have to check out my website for details.
KRL: I have learned you’re afraid of the dark and hate grocery shopping, but is there something else people would be surprised to know about you? Any guilty pleasures?
Tonya: I don’t sleep anywhere but home. So when I go on the events with readers….it’s all adrenaline.
KRL: Ok, here’s something fun, Tonya…Rapid Fire!
Ready! Set! Go!
Coffee or Tea? —coffee
Dog or Cat? —both
Carnivore or Herbivore? —herbivore
Pie or Cake? —cake
Picnic or 5-star Restaurant? — picnic
Print/eBook or Audio version? —ebook
Theater or Wait for the DVD? —Dvd
Favorite Actor? Favorite Actress? —I don’t watch a lot of movies…..
Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? —Martini extra dry
Beachfront Property or Cabin in the Woods? —both!
Active or Cuddling in a Comfy Chair? —active
Finish these sentences:
If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be…No one. I know..boring!
If I were stranded on an island, the three things I would make sure I had are…bible, paper, pen
If I had one wish, it would be…give, give, give.
KRL: This has been great connecting with you. We’ve covered so many topics and had some fun, too. Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Tonya: Thank you so much for having me! I think you’ve covered it all. xoxoxo
Thank you, Tonya, for joining us and sharing a little about yourself and your books.
To enter to win either an ebook or print copy of A Charming Misfortune, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “misfortune,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 31, 2019. If entering via comment please include your email address, if entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. AND BE SURE TO STATE IF YOU WANT PRINT OR EBOOK. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also check our our new mystery podcast! A new episode featuring a book by Kate Carlisle went up this week.
Use this link to purchase the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:
You can use this link to purchase this book from Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.