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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Fatal Fiction by Kym Roberts (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 Fatal Fiction by author Kym Roberts!

Book Review

Fatal Fiction by Kym Roberts
Book 1: A Book Barn Mystery Series
Publisher: Lyrical Underground
Publication Date: December 6, 2016
Format: Paperback - 224 pages
               Kindle - 1096 KB
               Nook - 914 KB
ISBN: 978-1601837325
BNID: 978-1601837318
Genre: Cozy Mystery

Buy The Book:
Barnes & Noble
Google Play

Buy The Series: A Book Barn Mystery Series
Book 1: Fatal Fiction
Book 2: A Reference To Murder (Pub Date: May 16, 2017)
Barnes & Noble
Google Play

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.

Book Description:

When kindergarten teacher Charli Rae Warren hightailed it out of Hazel Rock, Texas, as a teen, she vowed to leave her hometown in the dust. A decade later, she’s braving the frontier of big hair and bigger gossip once again . . . but this time, she’s saddled with murder!

Charli agrees to sell off the family bookstore, housed in a barn, and settle her estranged dad’s debt—if only so she can ride into the sunset and cut ties with Hazel Rock forever. But the trip is extended when Charli finds her realtor dead in the store, strangled by a bedazzled belt. And with daddy suspiciously MIA, father and daughter are topping the most wanted list . . .

Forging an unlikely alliance with the town beauty queen, the old beau who tore her family apart, and one ugly armadillo, Charli’s intent on protecting what’s left of her past . . . and wrangling the lone killer who’s fixin’ to destroy her future . . .

Book Excerpt:

Fatal Fiction

By Kym Roberts


Copyright © 2016 Kym Roberts
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-60183-731-8

Life has a way of putting some people in the wrong place at the wrong time. Take me, for example. I happen to be one of those unlucky souls who finds themselves in bad situations more often than not. My parents should have tattooed a bull's-eye of doom on my forehead at birth. My luck can be that bad, and today was proving how rotten my karma could be.
The cab ride to town cost thirty-eight dollars. I had forty-five dollars in my purse. There was one credit card in my matching leather wallet, but I'd charged it to the max when I'd purchased my plane ticket that morning. I'm sorry to say that tipping the cabby hurt — a lot. And my driver was less than happy with his two-dollar tip. He pulled away from the curb spitting gravel and dust all over my black dress, causing me to sputter and choke as dirt filled the dry, hot air. I turned away, hoping I still looked my best, and faced my childhood playground. The family business I swore I'd never come back to, yet here I was — standing in front of the biggest eyesore in town, while the rest of the shops looked like picturesque postcards.
Back when I was a kid, the store was kind of quaint. The Book Barn had been a blast from the past: a faded red dairy barn with the washed-out logo, "Livery & Feed Stable" painted across the face of the second-story hayloft door. It had fit in perfectly with the rest of the town's Wild West atmosphere. My parents had displayed the books in the old stable stalls, separating the categories and creating havens for me to disappear in for hours. The second-story hayloft was a thing of awe — a never-ending library of used books overlooking the center of the barn. The entire building had been decorated with antique western gear and paraphernalia. It was historic and allowed visitors to imagine what it must have been like for a cowboy who drifted into town. His first stop would be at the stable, where he'd drop off his horse for the night before crossing the dirt road to wet his whistle in the saloon.
The saloon, however, hadn't served drinks since the Prohibition era. It was now a salon that produced trademarked big Texas hairstyles and offered manis and pedis instead of shots of rotgut whiskey. No doubt they also had a tanning bed inside from the look of the leathery hide of the blonde currently exiting the store while talking on her cell phone.
My skin would never need a tanning bed, my ethnicity giving my complexion a naturally golden tone that had been the envy of every girl on the cheer squad in high school. But if I stayed in town too long, I'd have to revert back to my teen years and make an appointment for a hot oil treatment at the Beaus and Beauties salon to keep my brown curls from turning brittle in the dry Texas heat.
I turned my attention back to The Book Barn. Its newly remodeled exterior was an eye-catching monstrosity in a bright shade of fuchsia with glowing white trim. The fresh coat of paint erased all remnants of the stable's original logo and punctuated the store's new name, The Book Barn Princess. What made it unique was the cute — or tacky — armadillo that formed the letter i as it stood on its hind legs with a tiara dotting the letter, almost like a suspended halo. In effect, the new design ruined the Old West image the town had held for decades.
There was absolutely nothing picturesque about the store's current color, which was brighter than the pink purse draped across my chest. It was horrible, in a girlie kind of way ... and part of me melted. My dad had remodeled the family bookstore in my favorite color — despite the fact that the business was centrally located in the heart of downtown Hazel Rock, Texas, population 2,093, where the new color stuck out like a displaced neon sign in the middle of the Wild West show.
And he'd named it after me.
My eyes moistened. After a dozen-and-a-half-years, my dad was trying to make amends to his "little princess."
Then I remembered the cab ride that had cleaned out my wallet and allowed the pain from the past to close the door on my heart.
Pink won't erase the past, Daddy.
I ignored the speculative looks from two more blondes with big hair exiting the salon and stomped to the front door. I would've slammed the front door wide open and let it bang against the wall, but Dad had installed automatic doors that glided open with a soft swish. A little buzzer, low and unobtrusive, sounded as I stepped inside — nothing like the slap of my boots as I crossed the freshly stained concrete floor. The voice of a popular country singer who'd made it big on one of those reality TV talent search programs streamed through the store's deserted sales floor. Not a soul wandered through the rows of new and used books for sale.
Obviously some things never changed.
"Are you hiding from me? 'Cause if you brought me down here to make a laughingstock out of me, I will make sure you regret it ... Daddy." My tone wasn't pleasant. If anything, it was downright threatening.
I knew I shouldn't talk to my father that way, and part of me felt bad. The other part, the living-in-reality part, only remembered the pain I'd experienced during my junior year of high school and I couldn't let it slide. I leaned over the bright white counter, cluttered with princess knickknacks for sale in every shade of pink imaginable, expecting to find him cowering down behind it.
It was as empty as the dry creek bed I'd passed on the way into town.
I turned toward the back of the store, still stomping, making my way through the aisles of books that made me want to stop and browse. I resisted the temptation and headed for the storeroom, calling throughout the cavernous space on my way. "If you had Marlene call me so you could finally sell this place, why are you hiding?" My voice carried through the store, punctuating the fact that I was alone.
But I wasn't. I couldn't be. The store was open for business, a coffeepot was on behind the counter, and the place was filled with the aroma of my father's favorite vice: rich, dark Colombian coffee beans.
I yanked back the soft pink velvet curtain hanging across the doorway to the stockroom, the material heavy and luxurious in my hand, and got the shock of my life. Marlene Duncan, the Realtor who'd contacted me and convinced me to fly down and get my daddy out of the financial mess he'd created with the tacky remodel, was in front of me — wearing the pink bejeweled belt I'd cherished in high school.
But it wasn't around her waist. It was tightened around her neck and she was deader than a doornail.

My Book Review:

In Fatal Fiction, the first book in the Book Barn Mystery series, author Kym Roberts weaves an entertaining and fast-paced cozy mystery that follows the crazy adventures of kindergarten teacher Charli Rae Warren, when she finds herself a murder suspect after she stumbles upon the dead body of realtor Marlene Duncan in her father's bookstore, the Book Barn Princess.

Set in Hazel Rock, Texas, Charli comes back her hometown to settle her estranged father's debt by selling off the family bookstore housed in a barn. But everything goes awry and Charli suddenly finds herself a suspect of murder when she finds realtor Marlene Duncan's dead body in the bookstore, and her father is is MIA. With a motley crew of helpers, Charli is determined to find her father, the real killer, and clear her name before her future goes down the drain.

Fatal Fiction is a captivating and fast-paced cozy whodunit tale that has enough quirky characters, witty banter and humor, drama, danger, and intriguing twists and turns that will keep you guessing the identity of the murderer. You can't help but get caught up in the drama, calamity, mayhem, and cat-n-mouse games that ensues as Charli tries to solve the murder and clear her name. Charli's amateur sleuth adventure unfolds with a wonderful balance of comedy, drama, and suspense that easily kept me guessing, and left me wanting more. I can't wait to read the next book in this delightful new cozy mystery series!

Fatal Fiction is a delightful first book in a new cozy mystery series that is sure to keep you engaged and eager to follow Charli's next amateur sleuth adventures!


About The Author

Three career paths resonated for Kym Roberts during her early childhood: detective, investigative reporter, and . . .nun. Being a nun, however, dropped by the wayside when she became aware of boys—they were the spice of life she couldn’t deny. In high school her path was forged when she took her first job at a dry cleaners and met every cop in town, especially the lone female police officer in patrol. From that point on there was no stopping Kym’s pursuit of a career in law enforcement. Kym followed her dream and became a detective who fulfilled her desire to be an investigative reporter, with one extra perk—a badge. Promoted to sergeant, Kym spent the majority of her career in SVU. She retired from the job reluctantly when her husband dragged her kicking and screaming to another state, but writing continued to call her name, at least in her head. Visit her on the web at

Author Website 
Amazon Author Page
Kensington Books

Contest Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

December 5 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

December 5 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

December 6 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

December 7 – deal sharing aunt – INTERVIEW 

December 8 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

December 8 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

December 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

December 9 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

December 10 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

December 10 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

December 11 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

December 11 – Dalene’s Book Reviews – REVIEW 

December 12 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

December 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW

December 14 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

December 15 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

December 16 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT 

December 16 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW

December 17 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

December 18 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 18 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW

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