Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Fixin' to Die by Tonya Kappes - #review #interview


Sheriff Kenni Lowry likes to think the zero crime rate in her small town in Kentucky is due to her being sheriff, but quickly discovers her grandfather’s ghost, who happened to be the town’s retired sheriff, has been scaring off any would be crime. Poppa has come back from the great beyond to be Kenni’s deputy after the beloved town doctor is found murdered.

Ghost or no ghost, time is of the essence. After all, re-election isn’t far away and Kenni doesn’t want to look for a new job anytime soon.



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MY REVIEW

If there's one thing I love more than a good cozy mystery, it's the state of Kentucky, where my family lives.  So  cozy mystery set in Kentucky, by an author from Kentucky?  Now, I might be tempted to give Fixin' to Die, of the new "Kenni Lowry Mystery" series by Tonya Kappes a couple of stars for those facts alone.  But the book more than stands on its own merits, and looks to be a great start to a new series for Ms. Kappes.

Most people still see law enforcement as a 'man's job', so the fact that Kenni is female and was elected sheriff in the small town of Cottonwood is great news.  Of course it helped that her maternal grandfather was the former sheriff, and Kenni seems to have picked up some of his investigative skills.  But she can go one better.  She has the ghost of her grandfather (Poppa) helping her out.  First he scared away the miscreants, keeping the first couple years on the job none too stressful.  Now he gives her the benefit of his experience on the job.

The occasional appearance of the ghost of Poppa is handled perfectly.  Some people believe in ghosts and some do not.  Some literature goes way out on the limb with the paranormal, almost giving caricatures of ghosts.  Not so in Fixin' to Die.  I'm not claiming to believe or disbelieve, but I know there are more things in the world than can be explained away by science.  Ghost or no, Poppa is a wonderful character.

I also appreciated the liberal sprinkling of pop culture references.  There were of course the numerous movies shown at Luke's place.  And my head went to the right place when I saw "Earl Grey.  Hot," before that particular reference was spelled out at the beginning of a chapter.

People from small towns are quite adept at getting things done, even when they have to get creative.  Movies were shown in the basement of Luke's house up against a screen, or when that was not available for some reason, against a sheet.  The sheriff's office was in some back rooms off a local diner.  When the doctor lost his driver's license (due to age-related causes), he set up shop in his home.

I'm excited to see what is next for Sheriff Kenni Lowry and the wonderful small town of Cottonwood...and her new deputy, of course. ;)

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MEET THE AUTHOR


For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been self-publishing her numerous mystery and romance titles with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plotlines and quirky characters, but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans. Be sure to check out Tonya’s website for upcoming events and news and to sign up for her newsletter! Tonyakappes.com

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INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR!

1.  Have you always lived in Kentucky? 
I have! I grew up in Nicholasville, which is in Central Kentucky right next to Lexington. I moved to Northern Kentucky twenty years ago for a job. I'm trying to get back to my hometown one day.

2.  How's Charlie doing these days?
Awe! Thank you for asking about him. He is such a trooper. Right?!! He is doing so well. For the past two years I've been nursing him from his Congestive Heart Failure, so the amputation was definitely an uexpected hit for us. He had a team of doctors there during his surgery. His cardiologist along with an amazing anesthesiologist. They made sure his heart stayed in check while they put him under for the amputation. I'm blessed they got all the cancer. Last week we went back for his six month cardiologist appointment and his heart has shrank back to normal! They call him Charlie the Wonder Dog!

3.  You write a lot of (really great) books!  How do you keep up the pace? 
I'm pretty fortunate that this is my full time job and passion. I get up in the morning like I'm going to a job and start at 6 a.m. My children are also young men now (22, 18, 18, and 17) so as long as I have food in the house, they let me work. Family comes first so they are a priority.

4.  How do you pick out character names? 
Oh! Actually, most of the character names in my novels have come from people who have crossed by path. In fact, the small town and people in Fixin' To Die are dedicated to Nicholasville.

5.  When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? 
I wanted to be a veterinarian. I love all animals and would rescue any! Then....when I realized you had to "put them to sleep" I knew it wasn't the job for me. So I got a degree in education, taught school for a couple of years before I went back to get my child therapy license. I loved doing that until writing took over full time.

6.  If you could invite any writer from history to your house for a backyard barbecue (or high tea, etc.), whom would you invite? 
I would invite Arthur Con Doyle only for the fact that I want to know all the ways he killed people and how he thought of those ingenious ways!

7.  Re: #6, what would you talk about? 
Hahhaa! It's in my answer in #5.

8.  If Fixin' to Die were made into a movie, who would be in your dream cast? 
I would love to have Alexis Bledel as the Kenni. I think she'd make a fun sleuth. For Finn....I'm not sure. Just someone hunky and sweet.

9.  Would you want to write the screenplay?  
Why? I would not! Those are so difficult and quick. I love to write and mix words. Screenplays are hard for me to communicate the idea in my head. I'd have to just write it all out.

10.  What would you like your readers to take away from Fixin' to Die? 
A good time! I started writing to help ONE reader escape the daily grind in their life. I want that one reader to walk away forgetting the stress of the day or even if they had a great day that I added to it. It's that simple for me.

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Click on the banner to go to the tour page, where you will find links to more reviews, as well as character and author guest posts and character and author interviews.  You can also find out how to become a blog host for future book tours while you are there!

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.  This post contains affiliate links.)

45 comments:

  1. Tonya! What is your favorite series you have written?

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  2. Hello all Kentucky gals! South Central Kentucky gal here! I am so excited for my fellow Kentuckian Tonya and her amazing new book. I look forward to reading it since I always seem to understand all of the Southern and Kentucky references in her books which make me crack up. Her books are like going home. They are like comfort food for your eyes.

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  3. Fantastic book to a new series!

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  4. Love Tonya's books! Already have my copy and can't wait to dive in!

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  5. Love Tonya's books! Already have my copy and can't wait to dive in!

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  6. Absolutely loved loved the book. Karen Hansen

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  7. Tonya sure gives great interviews! I'm looking forward to reading Fixin to Die!

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  8. Great blog post and interview. I loved this book.

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  9. Great Interview and review. I agree Alexis Bledel would be a good Kenni. Enjoying the book reading it now

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  10. Very fun interview and review!Tonya always seems to have just the right amount of all the different aspects in her books. Nothing is overwhelming, and everything comes together nicely. I love her writing!

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  11. I do enjoy Tonya's books--- such a great was to escape stress. I love Facebook page and other spots, she is like your best friend from school-- dishing info and fun.

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  12. I think Alexis Bledel would be a great sleuth too!

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  13. I loved this book, too. Tonya writes such a great cozy mystery - full of humor, fun characters and a well-orchestrated plot.

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  14. Love this can't wait to read the book
    Shelly Small

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  15. I absolutely can not wait to be able to sit down and finish Fixin' to Die. Tonya's books never fail to make me laugh, make me think and they keep me guessing.

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  16. I enjoyed reading your great review and loved the interview!

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  17. Love Tonya's books!! Great interview!
    Hollie R.

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  18. Love that I am seeing a new book out by Tonya!

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  19. Great new release Fixin to Die was funny and a great mystery I'm looking forward to lots more from Kenni and Finn. Great interview to :-)

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  20. Tonya, I can honestly say your books help at least ONE oerson escape everyday life for a time. I'm ONE of those individuals. servedogmom@yahoo.com

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  21. Loved reading the answers from Tonya on this blog entry. She writes great books!

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  22. Great blog and interview. I, too, would love to meet Arthur Conan Doyle. I'd love to ask him questions about his influences writing Sherlock. I can't wait to get into the new book. Ghosts? You write about them very well. Any personal experiences?
    kat8762@aol.com

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  23. First I'd like to say I really like the blog name. Next I'll say, I'm from KY too and I love how Tonya writes so that it makes me feel like I'm related to these characters. Honestly, I do know people like the characters in her books and that makes the books extra enjoyable for me to read.

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  24. Love Tonya's books and have just started this book. Love the idea of a young woman sheriff. Like strong women characters and Tonya is good at writing some great ones.

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  25. A great interview! My favorite question was about Charlie! Tonya is such a wonderful writer and also an incredible person.

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  26. Love everything Tonya writes...and enjoyed your interview with her!

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  27. Great interview, my favorite question was about Charlie. I'm reading Fixin' to Die now and loving it, of course!

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  28. I love Tonya and her books. Great interview. Loved Fixing to Die

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  29. I adore how you pick your character names from people you have met. So cool!! Charlie...he's just a sweet dog!

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  30. Read one of her first books and fell in love with the book and Tonya! Purchased several more and can't wait to read them all including this one!

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  31. Tonya Kappes is a wonderful author!

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  32. I enjoyed the interview and that the questions were varied!
    Oh, how I would love to go right back and buy the house I grew up in, in that same little street. How nice to have a hometown that you cherish.- Teri Lenz

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  33. Love the interview Tonya, congrats on the book release.

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  34. Great interview, congrats Tonya.

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  35. I loved this book! Started it early morning and just finished it. Tonya"s is are filled with charm, sass, fun, whimsy and make you laugh. Feel good books. She's one of my very favorite writers! I can't wait for book 2 in this series!

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  36. Cool interview! Can't wait to read this newest series.

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  37. Great interview. Loved the book. Another great series.

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