Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Blog Tour: In Hot Water by J.J. Cook (Review/Guest Post/Giveaway)

About the Book

Genre: Cozy Mystery, #3 in A Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mystery Series
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Release Date:  January 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads...
Sweet Pepper, Tennessee, has the world’s hottest and sweetest peppers—as well as a ghost that cooks and a fire chief who fights crime…


Stella Griffin should be bubbling over with joy now that she’s the full-time fire chief of Sweet Pepper, except trouble is brewing on her doorstep. An angry resident has purchased her cabin, and—with a bulldozer in tow—is ready to tear it down. But as Stella worries over the fate of her home and Eric, her ghostly roommate, there’s soon an even greater cause for alarm.

A suspicious house fire in the pricey Sunset Beach community at Sweet Pepper Lake claims the life of ex-state representative Barney Falk. The nature of the death has Stella feeling out of her depth, so she teams up with the state’s arson investigator. Moving full steam ahead with the case, they must smoke out a killer before the firebug strikes again…

My Review

Fire Chief Stella Griffin is just starting to settle into her new position in Sweet Pepper, Tennessee. She’s excited and happy until a local resident purchases her cabin and is ready to tear it down. The cabin belonged to the original Sweet Pepper Fire Chief Eric Gamlyn and he still maintains his residence there, even though he’s been dead for a very long time. Stella didn’t think she believed in ghosts until she met Eric and now has a ghost for a roommate. Stella fears for Eric’s existence if the cabin is torn down. However, that’s exactly why Bob Floyd wants to tear it down, he fears the cabin is haunted.

As Stella fights for her new home, a fire breaks out in the expensive part of town. Former state representative, Barney Falk, is found dead and arson is feared. Stella is assigned the job of investigating the fire and is joined in the search by a state arson investigator. Suspicions mount as it’s looking more and more like murder everyday. It’s not long before Stella finds her own life on the line.

I have anxiously been awaiting for the release of this book. I adore this series. It’s action-packed, filled with drama, adventure, a dash of romance and a little bit of magic. This series has it all. Each book is written to perfection and this one is no exception. I devoured this one. I stayed up late into the night as I couldn’t sleep without knowing what was happening to Stella and her friends.

It’s a fast-paced book with endearing characters. Readers will truly care what happens to the people of Sweet Pepper. The book even includes sweet pepper recipes, although I haven’t tried any. The author sneakily leaves us with a huge cliffhanger at the end and now I’m counting the minutes until the next book in this wonderful series. I just wish there was a way for Stella and ghost Eric to get together :)

FTC Disclosure: The author/publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review for this blog tour. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

Author Guest Post

Living in Sweet Pepper
By Stella Griffin

Living in Sweet Pepper, Tennessee is a lot different than living in Chicago where I grew up – I can tell you that. It took me a while to get used to the differences, and even appreciate them, but now that I have, I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

Take eating biscuits instead of rolls or toast. I never thought I’d like biscuits. Now I can’t stay away from them. I have to work out just to be able to eat biscuits, and still fit in my dress uniform. The biscuits they make at the Sweet Pepper CafĂ© are the best. I could eat their egg biscuits every day.

Another thing that was weird to get used to – men holding doors and chairs for me. Back home, sometimes you had to fight to get in the door if a man wanted to get in there first. In Sweet Pepper, men will stand there and wait for you to reach the door so they can hold it for you. They always hold chairs for you to sit down (even men you work with), and they open car doors too. I wasn’t sure what to think about that when I first got here. I was even a little offended by it, but not anymore. It’s very pleasant, even though I do feel a little old fashioned when it happens.

There are dozens of events going on here. The Sweet Pepper Festival contributes a lot to that since people work on it all year round. But there are also square dances, barbecues, charity runs – it’s something all the time. I’m not much of a dancer, but no one seems to mind that I never danced until I moved here.

I guess what I’m saying is that I love Sweet Pepper. It has its drawbacks – shopping isn’t close by, you have to drive forever to get places, and nothing is open after eight p.m. But people are friendly and happy for the most part. They worry about their neighbors and want their town to be a better place. I didn’t think you could take the city out of the firefighter but I guess you can.

Maybe there has always been a little Sweet Pepper in my soul and I just never knew it. I’m proud that this is my home now, and that I’m the fire chief. I’m proud of my fire brigade who works hard for very little recognition and no money.

Just another reason that Sweet Pepper is the best!


How would you like to win a paperback copy of  In Hot Water by J.J. Cook? Thanks to Berkley, I have one paperback to giveaway to one lucky winner.

Just a few simple rules...

1) You must fill out the rafflecopter form below.

2) Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old

3) US Residents Only

4) For one extra entry: Tweet about this giveaway.

5) For one extra entry: Leave a comment for the author.

6) For one extra entry:  Follow this blog...old followers, too!  Just let us know how you follow and under what name.

No purchase necessary.  Void where prohibited.

The giveaway begins on January 6th (midnight est) and ends on January 13th (midnight est).

The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter. The winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen. I will announce the winner here on my blog.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I would love to read this book—thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

  2. looks fantastic, hope to get a chance to read it :)

  3. I am happily catching up on some of your older works at the moment.
    Still, I would love to have this waiting on my TBR pile.

  4. Would love to read. Great cover...really catches the eye.
    Carol Smith.

  5. I would love to win a copy of this book. I read and loved the first one and just got the second one to read.

  6. Looks like a great read. Thanx for writing it. Seriously, thank your for your writing

  7. Sounds great, I love your review. Thanks for the chance to win.

  8. This book sounds fantastic! Keep up the great writing...I'm a huge book lover!

  9. I would love to win this for my daughter who happens to love any and all cozy mystery's! Thank you for the chance.


  10. Thanks for hosting us here today! We love your blog!

  11. Looks great. Can't wait to read it!

  12. This sounds like a book I would really enjoy! Thank you for the giveaway!

  13. All of J.J. Cook, aka Joyce and Jim Lavene's books are excellent reads. All of their mysteries have such unique twists to keep the reader's interest.

  14. I love the way you talk about luvin' biscuits. Makes me want one now.:)

  15. Suspicious fires and a ghostly roommate, sounds intriguing. Thanks for the giveaway.

  16. This series is on my wish list. I'm not a big biscuit fan so I hope that doesn't hurt my chances of winning. :)


  17. I have this book to discuss with a yahoo group and it is high on my reading list. I like the last books in the series.

  18. A cozy I can cozy up with ... dcgirl919@hotmail.com

  19. Looking forward to reading this one.

  20. J.J. your book In Hot Water sounds great, i would enjoy reading it. Thank you

  21. I wonder if the little dog Hero shows up in this book. This is another fun series. Thanks for a chance to win the book.

  22. Looks like another great cozy mystery.

    xzjh04@ Gmail.com

  23. I love this series, OK, I love all the series by you two.

  24. I have just heard about this series and it sounds terrific. I love cozies set in small towns like this.

  25. Gah, cliffhangers! Not my favorite literary technique. I'm glad you enjoyed the book.

  26. Love cozies and I'm not sure I've come across an arson investigator before! Looking forward to reading this one! Thanks for the warning about the cliffhanger! Not my favorite but if I expect it going in it doesn't bother me too much.

  27. congrats to JJ & continued success!!!

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. I LOVE the cover and hate cliffhangers. Sometimes the book is worth it and I think because of that cover, I would give it a shot. ^_^
    sherry @ fundinmental Friday Memes

  30. Sounds great! Looking forward to reading this! Thanks for the chance!

  31. Thank you for the contest~~the book sounds great and I love the cover!

  32. Great sounding plot. I would love to read it.
    Marilyn Watson ewatvess@yahoo.com

  33. Love the idea of the friendly, small town. I would like to live there (I think). Except for the murder aspect of course.


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