Wednesday, September 13, 2017

"Cat Got Your Secrets" by Julie Chase

Cat Got Your Secrets
(Kitty Couture Mystery Book 3)
by Julie Chase

Cat Got Your Secrets (Kitty Couture Mystery Book 3) by Julie Chase

Cat Got Your Secrets is the third book in the Kitty Couture Mystery series by Julie Chase. Also available: Cat Got Your Diamonds and Cat Got Your Cash (read my blog post).

Cat Got Your Diamonds by Julie ChaseCat Got Your Cash by Julie Chase

Cat Got Your Secrets is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Lacy Marie Crocker has settled into a comfortable groove back home in New Orleans, and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, she’s busier than ever running a thriving pet boutique, helping her mother organize the upcoming National Pet Pageant, and untangling her complicated love life. But when delivering a king-sized order of dreidel-shaped doggy biscuits for a Saint Berdoodle’s bark-mitzvah, Lacy stumbles into yet another murder scene - and the last person to see the victim alive was her own father.
It’s up to Lacy to clear her dad’s name from the suspect list before Detective Jack Oliver has to cage him for good. But just when she starts pawing at the truth, she receives a threatening letter from a mysterious blackmailer bent on silencing her with her own secrets. And Lacy’s not the only one with bones in her closet.

A sharp wolf whistle pierced the air and I smiled. Chase Hawthorne, Scarlet’s brother-in-law, clapped his hands slowly as he approached. “Darlin’, you need a sign on that dress to warn men that you’re coming. Tell me the truth. How many wives have slapped their husbands since you’ve been standing here?”
I lowered myself onto the bench outside my store and crossed my ankles. Chase made me weak in the knees. I had no intention of letting him know. His ego was too big already. The man would probably float away or fall over if his head got any larger.
He took a seat beside me and stared.
“What are you doing?”
He pointed a finger at my face and grinned. “I’m trying to be a gentleman and keep my eyes up here.”
“Fine. I’ll try to be a lady and not arch my back.”
His gaze dropped.
“That wasn’t fair,” he drawled. His bright-blue eyes twinkled with mischief. “You planted an image.”
“Don’t you have to be somewhere?” I teased.
Chase was an attorney at the Hawthorne family law practice, possibly the most powerful firm in all Louisiana— definitely the most influential in our parish. He had free reign, and I knew it.
“Yes, but I’m chasing an important lead. I need to know if you’ll be my date to your father’s fancy dinner next weekend.”
I leaned my head against his broad shoulder for a quick beat. “Mom says I have to work the dinner. She sent me a list of instructions. Actually,” I remembered, “one of my jobs is to bring a date.”
“Done. What else is on the list?”
“I didn’t open it.”
He laughed. “I accept. Half the work. Twice the fun.”
“Deal.” I lifted my head to smile at his handsome face.
Chase had left professional volleyball last year to put down roots in the district. Despite his endless charm and playboy reputation, he’d never missed a night at my place while I recovered from a broken leg. He’d kept me company, carried everything I couldn’t, and let me cry when the frustration of needing so much help had gotten the best of me. He even watched my favorite romantic comedies without complaint. I wasn’t sure how, or if, he’d found time to date during those couple months, and I didn’t ask. Truthfully, I didn’t want to know.
I hated to admit it, but Chase had cracked my betrayal-hardened heart with his unyielding presence. So much so, I’d nearly made good on a certain promise many times since Christmas. Last summer, he’d helped rescue Penelope from Pete the Cheat. The agreed-upon payment was one kiss. The only condition on the kiss was that I kissed him, and that I had to want to do it. I’d agreed in haste, only thinking of holding Penelope again, but lately, I’d toiled over the possibility more than I cared to admit. I absolutely wanted to kiss Chase, but where did it go from there? Our families were Garden District royalty. Chase and I couldn’t play around at being a couple. The inevitable breakup would leave marks and wrinkles on everything and everyone we loved. Neither of us were ready for that kind of pressure.
“Your lips are drifting toward mine,” he whispered slowly, as if not to frighten me away.
I froze, inches from his mouth. “I didn’t realize,” I whispered back. Scents of his shampoo and cologne muddled my thoughts.
“You aren’t retreating.” He smiled. “Is this the moment I’ve been waiting for? Should I meet you halfway or are you still deliberating?”
I let my lids fall shut. “Shut up, I’m thinking.”
“All right then.” His breath washed over my face and my body went slack. If he’d touched me, I’d have slid onto the sidewalk.
“Lacy?” His bottom lip brushed mine as he spoke.
“People are starting to stare. I think a guy just dropped a dollar by my feet.”
I smiled, letting my nose touch his.
A car door slammed nearby and my phone began to ring on my lap. Jack’s ringtone.
“You want to answer that?” he asked.
My eyes popped open. I pulled back to glare at the phone, suddenly furious. I’d texted Jack thirty minutes ago. He couldn’t be bothered to respond for half an hour?
Really? And how long did it take to answer my questions anyway? Why call? What if I was with a customer?
I rejected the call. Much as I needed to speak with Jack, I also needed a minute to collect my marbles.
“Lacy.” Jack’s voice echoed through the air.
I twisted at the waist, befuddled.
He closed the distance between his truck and our bench in long, pretentious strides.
I jumped away from Chase. “What are you doing?”
“What are you doing?” he parroted back. He stared down at Chase and me, hands on hips, judgmental frown on lips. Sunlight glinted off the silver detective badge hanging around his neck. “We need to talk.”

Praise for the Book
"Chase’s love of New Orleans is apparent on every page of her droll third Kitty Couture Mystery." ~ Publishers Weekly
"Chase’s light touch makes this a tale worth telling." ~ Kirkus Reviews
"The perfect cozy." ~ Fresh Fiction
"I love, love, love this series and am thrilled that book number three did not disappoint me in the least! …The pets are adorable, and the New Orleans atmosphere springs forth through the pages." ~ MyShelf

Guest Post by the Author
I Think I Worry the Government
Do you know about website analytics? Analytics are a great way to track who visits your website or blog. I keep a close eye (read: stalk) my analytics. I love to know how many people drop by each day and where they’re from. I enjoy seeing the variety of random places where visits originate, like local library systems, the Ford Motor Company and CBS. What I find especially fun is the number of regular hits I get from Alexandria. Yes. That Alexandria. I’m apparently a real attraction to the Pentagon, Department of Defense and US Army Intelligence Service Center. They visit my website often. Actually, all the big guys make regular rounds at my place. I assume some super high-tech software sends them my way. I admit to having one or two red flags. The word "murder", for example, makes a regular appearance in my text. I imagine that if I had one of those word clouds on my blog, it would probably look something like this: Murder, Murder, Death, Stab, Beat, Poison, KILL, KILL, KILL. I can see why that generates a little attention from Homeland.
It’s not just me. Mystery lovers worldwide are bound to have some unique and possibly disturbing blog content from time to time. It’s a hazard of the job. Plus, we like it. We blog about what thrills us. We relish the details of high stakes investigation, the shocking reality of true crimes and the terror of knowing it can happen to anyone.
But I write cozy mysteries. The upbeat, fun-loving cousins of traditional mysteries, but even with a few more laughs and no gore, there’s still a murder and plenty of scary moments for the heroine. I research everything before I write it, and I think I worry the government. My interests may run dark on occasion, but in reality, I love a good thrill, a tricky puzzle and a laugh, so cozy mysteries are a perfect fit. Who knows? Maybe I’ll gain a few readers from DC along the way. Whatever the outcome, mystery writers must waste a ton of the government’s time. I giggle every time I think about it.

About the Author
Julie Chase
Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three spunky children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime. She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
Julie Chase also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a great prize pack (US only).