Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Murder Fir Christmas by Joyce and Jim Lavene (Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Murder Fir Christmas by authors Joyce and Jim Lavene!

Book Review

Murder Fir Christmas by Joyce and Jim Lavene
Book 1: A Christmas Tree Valley Mystery Series
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: PB - November 29, 2015 / eBook - December 1, 2015
Format: Paperback - 246 pages
               Kindle - 538 KB / 208 pages
ISBN: 978-1519602527
Genre: Holiday Cozy Mystery

Buy The Book:

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the authors in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours.

Book Description:

Down the mountain from Sweet Pepper, Tennessee is Christmas Tree Valley, a place filled with hundreds of Christmas tree farms where generations of growers have made people’s lives brighter. Yet even here in this quiet, postcard-perfect corner of the world, darkness and murder can still stalk the night.

Federal Wildlife Agent Bonnie Tuttle has always had a special gift with wild animals. It was one of the reasons she decided to train with the wildlife agency. She’s spent the last ten years in Alabama working, but her mother needs her home and she’s back despite all the bad parts of her life she hoped to leave behind.

Her first day home begins with a fire on the island in Sweet Pepper Lake and the death of Harvey Shelton, the wildlife agent she’s supposed to replace. Bonnie manages to rescue dozens of animals from the fire – including a wolf pup that was shot with the same bullet that killed Harvey.

Now she’s hot on the trail of Harvey’s killer and trying to reintegrate the wolf back into the wild even though he seems to want to stay with her. Yet old memories persist in the small community where she grew up, and the killer now seems to believe that she has what he killed Harvey for. All she has to do is figure out what that is before it’s too late.

Christmas Recipes included!

My Book Review:

If you are looking to read an intriguing cozy mystery story with a Christmas theme over the holidays, then look no further, Murder Fir Christmas is the book for you!

Husband and wife author team of Joyce and Jim Lavene weave a delightful holiday cozy mystery tale that transports the reader to the picturesque Great Smoky Mountain small towns of Sweet Pepper and Christmas Tree Valley, Tennessee, where they follow Federal Wildlife Agent Bonnie Tuttle as she investigates a case of arson and murder.

After ten years in Alabama working with wildlife animals, Bonnie Tuttle heads home to Christmas Tree Valley, Tennessee, to help her ailing mother on their family Christmas tree farm, and to take over for retiring Federal Wildlife Agent Harvey Shelton. But an arson on the island of Sweet Pepper Lake, the rescue of an injured wolf pup, and the murder of Agent Shelton and another person, has Bonnie caught up in an investigation to find the killer before anything else occurs.

Murder Fir Christmas is the first book in A Christmas Valley Mystery Series. This is an exciting tale that easily draws the reader into the mystery and suspense that befalls the peaceful small towns of Sweet Pepper and Christmas Tree Valley, Tennessee. The authors provide the readers with a wonderful tale full of intrigue, action, suspense, Cherokee Indian folk lore, a paranormal twist, and enough twists and turns that easily keeps them turning the pages.

I loved following Bonnie's intertwining storylines of taking care of her mother and family's Christmas tree farm with the rescuing of the injured wolf pup and the arson / murder investigation at Sweet Pepper Lake. You can't help but delve into Bonnie's story with its wonderful mixture of mystery and mystical themes, the richly vivid descriptions transported me into the center of the action, and simply kept me captivated from beginning to end. I can't wait to read the next book in the series!

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the yummy Christmas recipes that are included at the end of the book. If you want to know what the sinfully delightful recipes are, then you'll just have to read the book to find out! You can thank me later. *wink, wink*

I am a fan of reading cozy mysteries that are set in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, and Murder Fir Christmas had everything that I expected and then some. I am a new fan of the Lavenes, and I look forward to reading more of their books. My heart aches for Joyce and Jim, as Joyce passed away in October, but I know that she is looking down from heaven and smiling lovingly at Jim for continuing their legacy of weaving wonderful tales for their fans.


About The Authors

Joyce and Jim Lavene
write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.

Author Website
Goodreads - Joyce Lavene
Goodreads - Jim Lavene

Contest Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

December 2 – Back Porchervations – Review
December 3 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – Review
December 3 – readalot – Review
December 4 – Community Bookstop – Review
December 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
December 5 – Babs Book Bistro – Review 
December 6 – Moonlight Rendezvous – Review 
December 7 – Bubble Bath Books – Review 
December 7 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – Review
December 8 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review
December 9 – fuonlyknew – Review
December 10 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too ! – Review
December 10 – fundinmental – Review
December 11 – Mallory Heart Reviews – Review 
December 12 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review
December 13 – Laura’s Interests – Review 
December 14 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review
December 14 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – Review
December 15 – View from the Birdhouse – Review
December 15 – Book Babble – Review


  1. I love reading Joyce and Jim Lavene's books ... such talented authors!!

    1. Hi Peggy, thank you for stopping by my blog, I appreciate it. This is the 1st book that I read from the authors, but it won't be my last. :)

  2. I haven't read one of their books they are new to me but would love to read sounds so good . I have heard alot about their books and was told they are so good

    1. Thank you for stopping by my blog, I appreciate it. This is the 1st book that I read by the authors, and it was a wonderful story. I look forward to reading more of their books. :)