Tag Archives: Christy Fifield

Spending Time With Ernie Jourdain and Felipe Vargas by Christy Fifield

Murder Ties The KnotErnie Jourdain and Felipe Vargas have established themselves as two of the most trusted and respected businessmen in Keyhole Bay, and they have done it while maintaining their own personal relationship. In a state where the phrase “marriage equality” was still fighting words, they held on to both their dignity and friendliness, a tall order for anyone.

Recently, however, things have changed in the State of Florida, and it could mean profound consequences for two of Glory’s closest friends.

But let them tell you in their own words:

We’re seated on a small patio outside the couple’s home. Like the interior, the patio is decorated like an upper-middle-class home from the middle of the last century, complete with lovingly restored high-back metal lawn chairs and a pierced brick wall. “Our lives are just like anyone else’s,” Ernie says. He leans forward, resting his elbows on his knees, his expression earnest. “We get up in the morning, take our showers, drink our coffee, and go to work. We come home and have dinner. The most unusual thing about our evenings is that because we work together we don’t have to ask how each other’s day went.”

“It’s true. A typical day around here is really pretty boring. Unless Glory turns up a dead body,” Felipe chuckles. He sits close to his partner on the pale green loveseat, and the two exchange an affectionate glance. Felipe continues, “Otherwise we’re like the poster children for old married people.”

“Except that we aren’t married.” Ernie’s tone is wistful, but there’s an undertone of anger and a scowl momentarily clouds his elegant features.

“It isn’t that we don’t want to get married,” he continues. The moment of anger has passed and his expression turns thoughtful. “But we don’t want to have to run away to do it, like it’s something shameful.”

“For the longest time we didn’t talk about it,” Felipe says. “We both knew it wasn’t possible, so there was no point in even thinking about it. Even when things first began to change—when we could have gotten married in Massachusetts—it seemed out of reach.”

“We’ve been a couple for nearly twenty years,” Ernie says, wrapping one long arm around his partner’s shoulders. “And we never thought we’d live to see this day.” He smiles, and it’s like the sun coming out from behind a cloud.

Felipe meets his partner’s smile with one of his own, them quickly turns serious. “I think what put the idea back in our minds was hearing about what Sly went through. When he told us his story, back…” his voice rises with a question and he looks at Ernie, “last year?”

“Longer than that, I think. Might have been a couple years.” Ernie nods, as though answering an unasked question. “Yes, we have been talking about it that long.”

Felipe shakes his head. Not denial so much as amazement it has been that long. “Time flies,” he shrugs and goes back to his story. “Anyway, when we heard Sly’s story, and realized how much it had cost him, we started to talk about maybe getting married somewhere else. Still wouldn’t matter to the state of Florida, though.”

“And then with Karen and Riley getting married—again—well, it just kind of felt like the universe was sending us a message, telling us it was time to get serious about it.”

“We could have gone anywhere in New England at that point,” Ernie says. “But that would have meant not having our friends and family with us. We wanted them to share that day with us. Especially after sharing in Karen and Riley’s wedding; it really made it plain how much that meant to both of us.”

A grin split Felipe’s face, wider and sunnier than before. “Amazing what a single day can do,” he says. Joy fills his words. “One day. January sixth, two thousand fifteen.

“The day out dream of being able to get married at home came true.”

Ernie is smiling too. “We haven’t set a date, or told anyone yet. We want to let Karen and Riley get settled down, and then have the chance to tell them all at once, you know?”

Felipe cut in. “You’ll keep out secret, won’t you? Just until we can tell our friends?


You can read more about Ernie and Felipe in Murder Ties The Knot, the fourth book in the “Haunted Souvenir Shop” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The other books in the series are Murder Buys A T-Shirt, Murder Hooks A Mermaid, and Murder Sends A Postcard.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 p.m. eastern on March 31 for the chance to win a print copy of Murder Ties The Knot. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. Make sure to check your SPAM folder.

About the author
Chris has never met a genre she doesn’t like, and has published mystery (Christy Fifield and Christy Evans), romance, adventure, fantasy and science fiction (Christina F. York).

Mystery has always been her favorite though, since her great uncle introduced her to the “Perry Mason” books when she was a child. She read each new book as her uncle finished them and passed them along. The die was cast, she either had to become a lawyer, or a mystery writer. As fate would have it, mystery writer won. Chris lives on Oregon’s Pacific shore with her writer-husband J. Steven York under strict feline supervision.

She has a Facebook group ChristyMystery, and can be found online at ChristyMystery.com.

My Musing ~ Murder Ties the Knot by Christy Fifield

Murder Ties The KnotMurder Ties the Knot by Christy Fifield is the fourth book in the “Haunted Souvenir Shop” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, March 2015

It’s winter in Keyhole Bay, Florida, and while the tourist trade is slow, souvenir shop owner Glory Martine is busy with her best friend’s wedding. But between managing preparations, the bride’s in-laws, and a haunted parrot named Bluebeard, Glory makes plans to catch a killer.

As her friends Karen and Riley approach their wedding day, Glory could use a break from the nuptial madness. She takes a peaceful drive to Alabama’s piney woods to pick up the wedding quilt she ordered from a supplier. But the supplier, Beth, has disappeared along with the quilt and her husband, Everett.

Glory learns that two men were found murdered near Beth and Everett’s home and that the couple is wanted for questioning. Believing they are innocent, Glory convinces them to cooperate with authorities. But when they’re thrown in jail, Glory vows to catch the real killer before one happy couple walks down the aisle and another gets sent up the river.

I enjoyed this fast-paced and action-filled drama. The mystery was well-written and I like how every scene flowed nicely from chapter to chapter giving us enough of the story to keep my interest high. The author did a great job in presenting this with puzzle that was fun to put all the pieces together. The six friends are back again and I like the new directions they will all be facing. The best part of the book was Glory and the exciting changes in store for her and the conclusion that left a satisfying smile on my face. This was one of the best in this delightfully charming series and I look forward to more adventures in Keyhole Bay, Florida.

Karen Freed’s Day In The Life by Christy Fifield

Murder Sends a PostcardI am constantly amazed at the number of people who think they want to be celebrities. You wouldn’t believe how many of them, when they find out I’m on the radio. Want to know my “secret.” I can’t seem to convince them that Karen Freed, “Voice of the Shores,” isn’t rich and famous – and dying to teach them the secret handshake.

If I’m a celebrity (and I’d argue that isn’t true) it’s of the Big-Fish-Small-Pond variety. True, I know everybody in town, talk to the entire Keyhole Bay region on my daily news broadcasts, and have my nose in everybody’s business, but the reality isn’t nearly so grand.

Know everybody in town? That’s a lot easier when the population hovers around 7,000 and I’ve lived here since I was a kid. And that “Keyhole Bay region” thing? It’s few square miles, a lot of it water, or swampland, or sparsely-populated backwoods.

As for getting in everybody’s business, well, that much is true. But that’s just my job. A job I absolutely love. And one that comes in handy when my best friend, Glory Martine, gets herself in trouble.

Glory likes getting in everybody’s business, too. Her excuse is that gossip is the official hobby of Keyhole Bay, but she doesn’t exactly fight it, if you get my drift. Problem is, she has a knack for meddling with dead bodies, and for landing herself in the hospital. If I didn’t know better, I’d say she had a thing for doctors (but I happen to know she has a thing for book store owners, one in particular).

I could be a celebrity – or a bigger celebrity, if you actually count the B-F-S-P thing – but I’ve turned down several offers in the past. Tampa, Jacksonville, even Atlanta. Yeah, that Atlanta. It’s my secret, one I haven’t shared with Glory or anyone else. I turned down a shot at some serious celebrity.

I thought that was what I wanted, once upon a time when I was a journalism major. I couldn’t imagine living every day in a small town, doing the same things and seeing the same people.

The people. That’s the real secret. The people I love are here, and I see them every day. That’s a day in my life, and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Even celebrity.

You can read more about Karen in Murder Sends a Postcard, the third book in the “Haunted Souvenir Shop” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is Murder Buys a T-Shirt. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

GIVEAWAY: Comment on this post by noon EST on January 18, and you will be entered for a chance to win a copy of Murder Sends a Postcard. One winner will be chosen at random. Unless specified, U.S. entries only.

Meet the author
Chris/Christy also writes under other names, including her own and Christy Fifield, depending on the genre and series. Chris has never met a genre she doesn’t like, and has published mystery, romance, adventure, fantasy and science fiction.

Mystery has always been her favorite though, since her great uncle introduced her to the “Perry Mason” books when she was a child. She read each new book as he finished with it and passed it on. The die was cast, she either had to become a lawyer, or a mystery writer. As fate would have it, mystery writer won.

Christy lives on Oregon’s Pacific shore with her writer-husband J. Steven York.

Visit Christy website, Facebook or on Twitter

Murder Hooks a Mermaid by Christy Fifield

Murder Hooks MermaidMurder Hooks a Mermaid by Christy Fifield is the second book in the “Haunted Souvenir Shop” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, December 2012

Nestled in Keyhole Bay, Florida, Glory Martine’s souvenir shop, Southern Treasures, is supposed to trap tourists—not ghosts. But a possessed parrot may be just what Glory needs to solve a murder.

Inheriting her great-uncle Louis’s bayside souvenir shop should have been a breeze for Glory. Instead it’s been one headache after another—with a lot of them generated by Bluebeard, a parrot with a mouth like a sailor and a personality a lot like her late great-uncle. But Glory’s troubles pale in comparison to those of her best friend Karen, whose ex may still have the personalized key chain to her heart, but whose brother-in-law is about to get locked up.

A diver has been found with a gaff hook in his chest, and Karen turns to Glory to help get her brother-in-law off the hook for his murder. But casting the net for the real killer won’t be easy. Glory and Bluebeard are about to find out that the secrets in Keyhole Bay run deeper than anyone ever imagined.

Glory and Karen dived into their role as amateur sleuths when Karen’s ex-brother-in-law becomes the prime suspect in murder. With help from their feathered friend, Glory will have to dig deeper to find a killer before he finds them.

This was an enjoyable read that kept me turning the pages and the more I read, the more I had to know what happens next. The mystery was good and every time I thought I had it figured out, the author changed the direction which made me hastened my desire to solve this puzzling case. The interactions that Glory has with her friends are great and I welcome the blossoming relationship between Glory and Jake. With a lovable cast of characters, good conversations and a great setting, this well-written book is a terrific read. Bonus recipes are included.

Junkyard Dogs by Christy Fifield

Murder Hooks MermaidWhen you live in a place long enough, it gets to be a part of you. Keyhole Bay – and my little corner of it in particular, the junkyard inherited from my daddy – is that place for me. Name’s Sylvester, but call me “Sly.” All my friends do.

I tried to move away once, but that was a long time ago, and the world was a different place then. I saw a lot of that ol’ world, and there weren’t anywhere made me want to set down roots and stay.

My uncle, Uncle Sam, he tried to show me the rest of the world. He sent me to cold and foggy Fort Ord, then some steamy jungles in Asia, and on to a German hospital for a short time. Ain’t none of those places I wanted to go back to.

So I came back to Keyhole Bay, to the people and the place I knew. To the place that was a part of me.

My life here is good. Wasn’t always; being a black man in the South had what they call issues, and there were some good ol’ boys who didn’t think much of me, even if I was a vet. But there were some good people too, people like Miss Glory’s Uncle Louis.
Nowadays I spend my time in the junkyard with Bobo, the best dog a man ever had. Sometimes I get a visitor, like how I met Miss Glory, but not so often as to be a nuisance.

Most days it’s just me and Bobo, keeping the yard clean and organized, and filling the orders that come from all over. That’s the part most people don’t know: there’s a fax machine in my office that spits out parts orders from clear across the country. Me and Bobo pull the parts, and I send ’em out quick as I can.

My house is done up the way I like, I’m comfortable here, and mostly folks let me be.

Well, except for that Fowler fellow. He’d like me to sell him my place and move on. Stops by every couple weeks, saying I ought to retire and enjoy what he calls my “golden years.” Just goes to show you how much he knows. Hell (pardon my French), I am enjoying my years, golden or not.

And there ain’t no way he’s ever getting his hands on my property. I intend to stay here until I die. Old Mister Wilson knows what to do when I’m gone, and Fowler won’t like it no better than he likes it now.

But for now I have a good life here, me and Bobo. And now that we have Miss Glory and her friends, it’s even better.

It’s like Judy Garland said in that old movie, “There’s no place like home.”

So tell me, friend, where’s home for you? What place is in your blood and won’t let you go?

** Thanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of MURDER HOOKS A MERMAID to give away. Contest open to US residents only and ends January 17 . Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher. **

Meet the author
Christy Fifield, author of the Haunted Gift Shop Mysteries is just one of writer Christina F. York’s many alter egos.

Fifield’s latest from Berkley Prime Crime, Murder Hooks a Mermaid, released on December 31, a sequel to her March release, Murder Buys a T-Shirt. And look for Murder Sends a Postcard in 2014.

As Christy Evans she wrote the Lady Plumber series (Sink Trap, Lead Pipe Cinch, Drip Dead), also for Berkley Prime Crime.

She also writes science fiction, fantasy, and romance as Christina F. York.

They all live in sight of the Pacific Ocean, with husband and fellow writer J. Steven York (Panorama Beach Mysteries, Tsunami Ridge Publishing) and their feline overlords.

Visit Christy at her website, on Twitter or Facebook.

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

Murder Buys A T-Shirt by Christy Fifield

Murder Buys A T-Shirt by Christy Fifield is the first book in the new “Haunted Souvenir Shop” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin), March 2012

Glory Martine has inherited her great-uncle’s souvenir shop, Southern Treasures–along with a supersize headache. Nestled in Keyhold Bay, Florida, the shop is stuffed not only with collectibles and mementos of times gone by, but with ghost who, like her customers, refuse to let go of the past.

Glory always dismisses ghost stories–until she inherits her great-uncle Louis’s souvenir shop, where items seem to rearrange themselves and her pet parrot, Bluebeard, is suddenly uttering phrases he couldn’t have picked up from customers. If Glory told anyone the shop was haunted, they’d think the fresh sea air has gone to her head.

Then, at an end-of-summer party, local football hero Kevin Stanley dies, and the store starts to go haywire. Glory finally shares her secret with her best friend, who takes it seriously–and is convinced the ghost is trying to send a message. Kevin’s death was no accident, and it’s linked to Glory’s very own great-uncle Louis. Now Glory must dig through the junk to find the truth, before someone leaves her with a deadly souvenir of her own.

I love this book. Glory lives in Florida with her parrot Bluebeard. When one of the local sports player is killed in a car accident, Bluebeard has something to say and it’s not “Polly want a cracker”, instead it may be a message from her long-dead uncle. This was a fun read and I enjoyed meeting Gloryanna and her friends. The mystery was good as it kept me guessing in this page-turning and well-crafted novel. The tone of the story was very comfortable and the setting of a souvenir shop was a perfect backdrop to this lighthearted tale. With a fun-loving cast of characters and entertaining dialogue, this was a great read and I can’t wait to read the next book in this charmingly appealing series. Also includes recipes based on traditional Southern cooking.

Full Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of this book

A Day In The Life Of Gloryanna Martine by Christy Fifield


My life seems to revolve around it.

That’s what greets me every morning. When I come down to my store — Southern Treasures Gift Shop — from my apartment overhead, I carry my second, or sometimes third, cup of coffee because I need my caffeine.

And every morning Bluebeard begs for coffee. I have to tell him, every day, that parrots don’t drink coffee. It’s dangerous for them. But it doesn’t stop him from asking. Thing is, I don’t really think it’s Bluebeard asking. Because lately I’ve been forced to admit I’m sharing my home with more than a parrot.

I have a ghost.

My great uncle Louis left me Southern Treasures, but I don’t think he ever really left. I think Uncle Louis is still hanging around, talking to me, messing with stuff in the shop, and generally causing trouble. Part of it is his vocabulary, which is sometimes quite, um, colorful. And part of it is that he flirts with the pretty girls; Bluebeard has an impressive wolf whistle.

Coffee is part of another morning ritual. About a year ago Jake Robinson bought Beach Books, across the main drag of Keyhole Bay from Southern Treasures. Jake is a bit of an attraction; tall, dark hair, and really smart (hey, he owns a book store, doesn’t he?). Now, when we have a lull in customers, Jake and I meet at Lighthouse Coffee next door to me for lattes and scones. I’ve discovered Jake is a check-grabber, but I know there is a lot more I don’t know about him.

Thing is, Bluebeard — well, Uncle Louis — thinks he needs to interfere where Jake is concerned. He always has to make some comment, every time I have coffee with Jake. And when he says “Pretty boy,” you can bet he’s not talking about himself.

There’s a lot I don’t know about Uncle Louis, too. He died when I was only ten, and my memories of him are jumbled. He seemed really old to me, but now I realize he was only in his sixties. I thought he was quite exotic; he served in Europe and the South Pacific during WWII. He was a single man in a small town where family was everything. Now I realize how little I know about him. Just like Jake.

Actually, Uncle Louis left me fifty-five percent of Southern Treasures. He left the other forty-five percent to my cousin Peter. Peter lives in Montgomery, and just because he has a Master’s degree, he thinks he knows everything. His degree is in Engineering, but that doesn’t stop him from sharing his wisdom about how to run Southern Treasures. Recently he tried to convince me to add a coffee bar, even though the best coffee shop in town is right next door. Believe me, I know where to get my coffee, and I know how to run my business.

My BFF, Karen Freed, can be counted on to know all the best drive-thru coffee in the county, since her job as a reporter for the local radio station takes her everywhere. She’s always glad to introduce me to a new spot, and to help me out in whatever adventure comes our way.

See, my life really does revolve around coffee. But it also revolves around mystery.

Bluebeard got me involved with the mystery surrounding the death of local star quarterback Kevin Stanley. And somehow I have a hunch Bluebeard and Uncle Louis will see to it that I get involved in more mysteries in the future.

But there are other mysteries in my life, and I want to solve them, too. Uncle Louis and Jake are just the beginning. There’s the SouthernTreasuresShop.com website that needs a lot of work, and the mystery of what to do about Peter, oh, and just exactly what is my relationship with Jake.

Every day I face the mysteries in my life, and try to unravel them. It’s what keep me going.

That, and a big dose of coffee.

You can read more about Gloryanna in MURDER BUYS A T-SHIRT, the first book in the new “Haunted Souvenir” mystery series.

** Thanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of MURDER BUYS A T-SHIRT to give away. Contest open to residents of the US only. Contest ends March 10. Leave a valid-email address with your comment. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher. **

Meet the author
Christy Evans and Christy Fifield are the mystery-writing alter egos of romance and sci-fi novelist Christina F. York. Together they live with national best-selling novelist, and husband, J. Steven York, within the sound of the surf that pounds the scenic Central Oregon Coast.

Evans is the Berkley Prime Crime author of the popular Lady Plumber Mystery series (SINK TRAP, LEAD PIPE CINCH, DRIP DEAD), and Fifield is writing the Haunted Gift Shop series for Berkley, which debuts with MURDER BUYS A T-SHIRT. York has published sweet romance (DREAM HOUSE) and has several romance novels out from indie publisher Tsunami Ridge (www.TsunamiRidge.com).

Christy can be found at www.ChristyMystery.com, or www.YorkWriters.com. You can follow her on Twitter as christymystery or as christinafyork.

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.