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Sneak Peek of Purloined Poinsettia by Dahlia Donovan

Chapter One

A Pineapple, a cat in a sweater, and a turtle hide in a garden in the middle of winter to avoid the clutches of the icy queen ogre.


Mildly dramatic.

More than mildly dramatic.

After living in Cornwall for almost a year, Pineapple “Motts” Mottley hadn’t anticipated returning home for the holidays. Not when home meant her overbearing mother and her mild-mannered, loving father. If it hadn’t been for the serial killer trying to complete his schoolgirl collection, she’d have stayed hidden in her little cottage on the top of the cliff above Polperro.

No one knew for certain who the serial killer was. Or if they were really after her. The police had managed to determine many of the girls in her primary school class had been murdered or died in suspicious circumstances over the past thirty-plus years.

Definitely not a coincidence.

So Motts had resigned herself to spending most of December in her childhood home. With her parents. At forty years old. She was not looking forward to any of it, considering she’d left London for a reason.

To get away from the noise and her mother.

Sometimes the noise is Mum.

Her mother meant well. She just hadn’t ever managed to adjust to having a daughter who was autistic, asexual, and biromantic. Motts had hoped at some point she would.

She hadn’t.

At least her mother had stopped trying to set her up on dates with unsuspecting men and women. Motts had enough chaos in her life. She didn’t need random strangers thinking of her romantically.

She couldn’t manage the people she already knew thinking of her romantically.

“Still hiding in the garden after all these years, poppet?” Her dad came over to sit beside her. “What’s she done now?”

“Tried to insist I go carolling with her this evening,” Motts grumbled. She lifted Cactus, her beloved Sphynx cat, into her arms to ensure his knitted sweater was on correctly. “First, I can’t sing. Second, she’s going to try setting me up on a date again. Third, why would I want to parade myself around to a bunch of strangers’ houses?”

Her mum simply couldn’t grasp that Motts wasn’t interested in falling head over heels into a romance. She had enough dating confusion with her friend, Detective Inspector Dempsey Byrne, who might be flirting with her, and Beckett Ferris, who had recently moved to Polperro to be closer to their grandparents and ran a restaurant in the village. They were definitely flirting with her.

“What happened to the Teo chap?”

“Moved to Yorkshire.” Motts missed Detective Inspector Herceg. He was lovely. Just not the one, whatever that meant. She didn’t know if she had a one. “We chat via text.”

“And Vina?”

“Vina? My best friend? Who I broke up with years ago? Who is in love with a lovely woman?” Motts stared at her father in confusion. Pravina Griffin (and her brother Nish) were two of her closest mates. They ran a café and bakery with their parents out of Polperro. “I’ve told you this.”

“Never hurts to ask.”


Sometimes it does.

Purloined Poinsettia

Motts Cold Case Mystery Book 4

by Dahlia Donovan

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Murder comes knocking when a killer hunts for budding amateur detective Pineapple “Motts” Mottley in the fourth novel of the Motts Cold Case Mystery series.

The past and present collide for Motts when two serial killer brothers barge into her plans for Christmas in London. Her desire to solve her childhood friend’s murder brings her ever closer to danger. She finds herself one fall away from the grave herself.

When one of her former primary school teachers winds up dead in her burning house, Motts realizes the mystery is far more twisted than she ever imagined.

Is she running out of time to catch not one but two killers?

What sort of macabre gift will Motts find wrapped under the tree?

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Dahlia Donovan wrote her first romance series after a crazy dream about shifters and damsels in distress.  She prefers irreverent humour and unconventional characters.  An autistic and occasional hermit, her life wouldn’t be complete without her husband and her massive collection of books and video games.  

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Sneak Peek of Tea & Sympathy by J. New

Lilly looked up just as the bell above the door rang and a familiar face walked in.

“Archie Brown!” she exclaimed, pleased to see him. “I wondered when I’d get a visit from you.”

“Sorry it’s been so long, Lilly.” He said, removing his Trilby hat and giving her a peck on the cheek. “It’s a busy life as a crime reporter, you know.”

“Have a seat and I’ll get you a drink. What do you fancy?”

“Anything to take the edge off and stop me wanting to throw things.”

Lilly raised an eyebrow. This was unlike the Archie she knew. She perused her tea selection then nodded, picking a passionflower blend noted for helping with stress. She chose Rooibos for herself and with both teas made she asked him how life at the newspaper had been since she’d left.

Archie sighed. “Awful, if I’m honest. Abigail Douglas, your replacement, is a complete nightmare. She’s ruined your column and unfortunately has discovered people are still writing to you. She knows about your letterbox outside and she’s on the war path, I’m afraid.”

“I realised there must be a problem when the column was missing from the paper, but it’s hardly my fault. I installed the letterbox because I was getting so many letters. I thought it would trickle off once they got used to Abigail. Looks like that’s not going to be the case though, doesn’t it?”

Archie scoffed. “Well, it’s hardly surprising considering she’s unintentionally ‘outed’ a couple of people in the column already. Infidelity and fraud, would you believe? Didn’t go as far as actually naming them, but gave enough clues so that they’d be recognised by their nearest and dearest. People won’t write in to her if she’s going to splash their problems all over the paper.”

“But she can’t do that, Archie! Doesn’t she realise this is a small town? You can’t walk six feet without bumping into someone you know.”

Lilly broke off for a moment to serve a couple of customers who had come in for their regular supplies.

Tea & Sympathy

A Tea & Sympathy Mystery Book 1

by J. New

Genre: Cozy Mystery


Meet Lilly Tweed. Former Agony Aunt. Purveyor of Fine Teas. Accidental Sleuth.

When Lilly Tweed former agony aunt with the local newspaper is made redundant, she takes the opportunity to pursue a lifelong ambition, to open The Tea Emporium in the small market town of Plumpton Mallet.

But with her replacement making a hash of the column, it’s not long before she is once again being sought for valuable advice.

When the body of a local woman is found drowned in the river, the contents of her pockets reveal a letter from Lilly and she’s unwillingly drawn into the case.

But is it just a tragic accident, as the police think? Lilly isn’t convinced, but pursuing her own inquiry means it isn’t long before she gets into hot water.

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J. New is the author of The Yellow Cottage Vintage Mysteries, traditional English whodunits with a twist, set in the 1930’s. Known for their clever humour as well as the interesting slant on the traditional whodunit, they have all achieved Bestseller status on Amazon. J. New also writes the Finch and Fischer contemporary cozy crime series and (coming in 2021) the Will Sharpe Mysteries set in her hometown during the 1960’s. Her books have sold over one hundred-thousand copies worldwide.

Jacquie was born in West Yorkshire, England. She studied art and design and after qualifying began work as an interior designer, moving onto fine art restoration and animal portraiture before making the decision to pursue her lifelong ambition to write. She now writes full time and lives with her partner of twenty-one years, two dogs and five cats, all of whom she rescued.

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Sneak Peek of Pickled Petunia by Dahlia Donovan

“I should probably rescue her from the deluge.” Motts went to answer the door. She didn’t know what to say. “Hello.”

That was normal, right?

“Can you find my mum?” her visitor blurted. “Please?”

That was definitely not normal.

Motts blinked a few times, trying to process the question shouted at her. “Pardon?”

“I should’ve called, shouldn’t I?” She shoved damp hair out of her face. “Mikey said you’re autistic and might appreciate a warning. I’ve just…. I’m desperate to find Mum. No one believes she’s gone missing.”

“I’m not the police.” Motts flinched when a crack of thunder crashed overhead. “Okay. Come inside. Everything makes more sense with a mug of tea. Mind the cat, he adopts strangers. Let me find you a towel.”


Motts waved her inside and pointed to the curious cat who’d come to investigate. “Cactus. Not prickly, mostly fuzzy. The kitchen’s down there. I’ll be a moment.”

Why would Mikey give her my name?

Mikey O’Connell had been the grandson of a woman found floating in the sea in June. Motts had discovered his brother and mum were behind the horrific murder. They’d stayed in touch after the investigation.

Grabbing a towel from the upstairs bathroom, Motts returned to the kitchen. She put the kettle on, grabbed two mismatched mugs, and dropped two slices of bread in the toaster. Everything would hopefully make more sense after breakfast.

“Here.” Motts offered the towel to her.

“Your auntie and my mum are great friends. I’m Paisley. Petunia Lee’s my mum.” She sat in the chair near the fire to dry off. Her whole body seemed to be shaking. “She works at one of the breweries near Looe. Her boyfriend said she left him a note saying she went on holiday.”

“But?” Motts opted for one of the non-caffeinated teas her friend Vina had brought over for her. A lovely blackcurrant-flavoured one that reminded her strongly of Ribena. “Could she be on holiday?”

“Mum’s not one to travel. I can’t remember the last time she took a trip anywhere.” Paisley began to towel dry her hair. She gratefully accepted the second one Motts handed to her. “She wouldn’t go without telling me.”

“Have you tried calling her? What about the police?” Motts wasn’t sure how she could help. “I’m not a detective. I make origami bouquets and quilling art for a living. Don’t think I’m the best first choice.”

“The police said she’s an adult. She can do what she wants.” Paisley huffed in irritation. She wrapped the second towel around herself. “Mikey said you’re great at solving mysteries.”

Mikey’s a liar.

And never invited to the cottage ever again.

Pickled Petunia

Motts Cold Case Mystery Book 3

by Dahlia Donovan

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Mystery beckons when a young woman seeks out budding amateur detective Pineapple “Motts” Mottley to find her missing mother in the third novel of the Motts Cold Case Mystery series.

Murder comes to Motts’s doorstep when a stranger asks her to investigate a suspicious disappearance. Past experience tells her to say no yet her curiosity wins out. What’s the harm in asking a few questions?

The missing person case quickly evolves into murder when a body is found in the strangest circumstances. Motts sifts through various suspects and lies, only to come face to face with danger. Things become even more personal when a killer from her childhood makes an unwelcome appearance.

How many close calls can Motts escape?

Will she survive amidst a flood of beer and a catastrophic inferno?

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Dahlia Donovan wrote her first romance series after a crazy dream about shifters and damsels in distress.  She prefers irreverent humour and unconventional characters.  An autistic and occasional hermit, her life wouldn’t be complete without her husband and her massive collection of books and video games.  

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Sneak Peek of The Ghost Camper’s Tall Tales by Elizabeth Pantley

Just as the town is magical, the home is enchanted, too. It changes over the day, the years, and the decades to suit the people who live in it. Rumor had it that the home was originally built as a castle in the 1800s, but it looked like it was built yesterday.

I ran my hand along the glistening black granite countertops as I made my way to the corner where the makings for tea were kept. To the left of the pantry, my eye caught on a new door that I had never seen before. To be precise, it was a door that never existed before.

Doors that suddenly appeared like this tended to hide surprise rooms. Case in point, the door that appeared in my bedroom recently which led to a yoga and meditation room that included a private deck overlooking the bay. It was a room I used almost daily since I’d discovered it. The home had apparently understood my stress and provided a calming room for me to retreat to. As I said, the home takes care of its occupants, of which I am now one.

The other thing that I’d learned about this house, is that a door’s appearance is an invitation. If there is a secret, the door simply would not appear to you.

This door had no doorknob, as it was a free-swinging door, so I gave it a gentle push and stepped through. There was a sudden blast of deafening noise. I stumbled backwards into the kitchen, falling through the swinging door, and landing with a plop on the floor. I was met with the gentle quiet of the sleeping house. My brain took a moment, but I realized that the sound I had heard was music, albeit extremely loud music.

I stood up and tentatively stepped in through the door. My senses were bombarded by the blaring music once again. I stepped backward into the kitchen. Total quiet. Forward through the door: loud music. I kept my body still this time and just listened. It was a song I recognized. Eminem and Rihanna singing about not being afraid of the monsters under the bed.

My eyes darted around the room. My mouth dropped open. I was standing in a large, immaculate restaurant-style kitchen. It had gleaming stainless steel appliances and a large stove and grill station. A massive prep island dominated the middle of the room, a rack of pots hanging above it. Pans, bowls, and serving platters of all sizes and types were neatly lined on shelves.

The walls that were bare of shelves were painted with bright, colorful messages: “Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” – Harriet Van Horne. “One cannot think well, love well, or sleep well if one has not dined well.” – Virginia Woolf. “I never met a meal I didn’t like.” – Miss Piggy.

I heard a man’s voice singing along with Eminem in perfect harmony. It was coming from an adjoining room that appeared to be a large pantry.

The Ghost Camper’s Tall Tales

Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Series Book 3

by Elizabeth Pantley

Genre: Magical Cozy Mystery

A mysterious old man keeps popping up to tell Hayden a series of tall tales. Who is he? And is he actually glowing? Are his stories fiction, or is he telling her the history of her family, the enchanted islands, and the witch? And why did a dead body show up . . . of someone who is already dead? Can Hayden and her quirky sidekick, Latifa unscramble this mystery before someone else shows up dead?

Hayden’s adventures in the magical world of Destiny Falls continue in this gripping story that answers your questions about the mysterious world she entered through a mirror in book one, Falling into Magic. We learn more about her missing mother, whose story begins in book two, The Disappearance of Emily.

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Elizabeth Pantley is the international bestselling author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution and twelve other books for parents, published in over twenty languages. The Disappearance of Emily is the second book in her well-received fiction series. Elizabeth lives in the Pacific Northwest and is the mother of four and Nana to one. Visit her at

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