Smokin’ With Sweet Pepper Fire Chief Stella Griffin by J.J. Cook

that old flameby J.J. Cook

I never expected to be fire chief. As a generational member of a fire fighting family, we all know it’s enough that we serve. My station house in Chicago is crowded with plenty of firefighters with ambitions. I wasn’t one of them.

Circumstances change. My boyfriend and I had . . . well, let’s call it an argument that involved me finding him in bed with a good friend and my fist contacting his face when he got up to tell me that it meant nothing.

That, and an injury that was keeping me out of work, made me hop on my Dad’s old Harley and head down to Sweet Pepper, Tennessee. I saw an ad that the small town in the Smoky Mountains was looking for a temporary fire chief who could train their new volunteer fire brigade.

I got more than I bargained for, believe me.

The ad didn’t say that the old fire house was falling down and that the fire engine hadn’t been started in thirty or so years. Tagger, the only volunteer who knows anything about firefighting, hasn’t done the work since before I was born.

Other recruits include Banyin, a local librarian, and Petey, a 90-pound waitress. Kent is a truck driver and Rickey’s grandfather taught him to outrun federal agents looking for his moonshine still. Bert Wando is the Sweet Pepper Cougars’ star quarterback, and the mayor’s son.

There’s also Officer John Trump, one of Sweet Pepper’s finest. He’s an interesting recruit with emergency experience and a really cute dimple in his chin. I think he likes me a little, you know, romantically, but I’m kind of wary right now.

Wait! I’m forgetting the best part! The cabin Sweet Pepper officials gave me to live in is haunted. That’s right. And not by one of my Irish aunt’s ghosts from 200 years ago either.

I’ve been living with the ghost of the last Sweet Pepper Fire Chief, Eric Gamlyn. He’s something of a folk hero around here. From what they tell me about him, he’s a combination Paul Bunyan and Thor. He started the first Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade forty years ago. It folded after he died.

It’s creepy, I’m telling you. You don’t know where he’s going to be next or what he’s going to do. Maybe the worst part is that people keep saying they’re surprised I’ve lasted this long. Usually Eric the ghost drives everyone away. It seems he likes me, maybe because I’m bringing back his fire brigade. He’s hard on computers and other electrical devices, but I think we’re coming to an understanding.

I wasn’t supposed to actually fight fires here, but it’s happened. I lost a good friend I’d made here to a fire. I had to determine it was arson – no local arson investigator either!
I’m determined not to leave Sweet Pepper until I figure out what happened to her.

I know I’ll only be here a short time. I have to make it work for me. I’m also focused on making this little group the best volunteer fire brigade in Tennessee.

Despite all the wonderful hospitality the people have shown me, my home is back in Chicago. I’ll take back some great memories of this three months living in these beautiful mountains, learning to love biscuits, and helping out with the Sweet Pepper Festival. I even ate some chocolate-covered hot peppers and candied some Tennessee Teardrop peppers.

Well, I didn’t candy those peppers by myself. Eric the ghost helped me, and then he saved my life.


Thanks to Penguin, I have one (1) copy of THAT OLD FLAME OF MINE to give away. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. Contest ends April 4; US entries only per publisher’s request.


You can read more about Stella in That Old Flame of Mine, the first book in the new “Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade” mystery series.

Meet the author
J.J Cook is a pseudonym for a married couple that writes award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction. They have written and published more than 60 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. Visit them at www.jjcook.net or on Facebook.

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.
thatoldflameofmine

29 responses to “Smokin’ With Sweet Pepper Fire Chief Stella Griffin by J.J. Cook

  1. This sounds so good. I will be looking for the first one. Dee

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  2. I can’t wait to read it!

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  3. This sounds good! I’d love to win it! Thank you!

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  4. I can’t wait to start this new series. Thank you for the chance to win it.

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  5. I am looking forward to reading this one!

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  6. Nancy Hill Bradford

    This sounds like a book that I will love!

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  7. Lisa Garrett

    What a fun book!

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  8. Oh I love the title of this book. Sounds like a series I will enjoy! THanks

    Risa

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  9. A new series that sounds terrific – yay!!

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  10. Great cover! I love the cozies with a slight supernatural touch – looking forward to reading this one. Thanks.

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  11. Would love to win a copy of THAT OLD FLAME OF MINE. J & J write the best books. Thanks for having this contest. 🙂

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  12. Kathy Gonzales

    This book sounds extremely interesting ! Would love to read it !

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  13. Lisa Richardson

    I would love to read this, and I am sure I will, even if I don’t win!!

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  14. Nancy Roessner

    This book sounds interesting and fun!

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  15. Thank you for another giveaway of a great cozy!!!

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  16. This sounds like a great read!

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  17. sound like a new series that I would like.

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  18. I will be reading this one soon. Looking forward to the series.

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  19. I would love to read this! Thank you for the opportunity.

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  20. Judy Donofrio

    I’ve worked at a fire department as a secretary and a female chief we had not. It will be interesting to read an account of one. Thanks for the drawing. judydee22002@yahoo dot com

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  21. Reserved copy at library . Looking forward to this new series, since I enjoy all of the other series!

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  22. I love the cover and can’t wait to read this one.

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  23. Firefighters and ghosts — and irresistable combo. I’d love to read this book.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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  24. “Three months living” there. Right! As if she’s going to leave after three months. I doubt Eric would allow it.

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  25. Sounds like a good book. Can’t wait to read it.

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  26. I like this title, thank you for the chance to win the book.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

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  27. Yes Dru, I want this book… one way or another I want it in my hot sweaty hands.

    NoraAdrienne(at)gmail(dot)com

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  28. Stacie Amelotte

    Looking forward to reading this series. I love everything that the J & J write. Thanks for the giveaway! Fingers crossed. 🙂

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  29. Contest is closed, but comments are always welcome

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