Spotlight & Giveaway: Preserving the Evidence by Kaz Delaney

Posted May 25th, 2022 by in Blog, Spotlight / 13 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Kaz Delaney to HJ!

Hi Kaz and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Preserving the Evidence!


To start off, can you please tell us a little bit about this book?:

This is the second book in the Hart of Texas Mysteries and Rosie Hart feels she has finally found where she is accepted and belongs. So, it’s a no-brainer when she dives in to prove the innocence of the very people who supported her when she’d been accused of murder just months before – and reunite a community divided by innuendo and lies. Surely she can do it? Surely she can fit it in alongside settling into her new farmhouse, building her ‘From the Hart’ baking business and coping with long, sultry Texan summer as well as that tall, Texan cowboy. Of course she can – she’s Rosie Hart. Wink.

Please share your favorite lines or quote(s) from this book:

This was really difficult, so rather I’m sharing something that always makes me laugh, and will hopefully make those reading it smile. These words are spoken by one of four very cheeky nonagenarian characters known affectionately as the Fab Four. “No need to speak ill of the dead, Martha,” E.T chided. “Just because he was a side-winding, yellow-bellied snake with beans where his brains should be when he was alive, is no reason to disrespect him now he’s passed over.”


What inspired this book?

I think in many ways this series is a culmination of a whole lot of things that I love and care about. I’m one of the millions who love to cook and bake, so being able to include that was a huge buzz. Of course, I’d been an Agatha Christie fan since my early teens (a long time ago), so creating cozy mysteries has been pure joy. Pulling it all together is the community of Airlie Falls – the setting for this series. In this largely cyber age, that sense of physical community, of belonging, is something we have lost to some degree, and yet it’s so important and something I treasure. I sense this feeling echoed from my readers. So many tell me they want to live there in Airlie Falls – even though people are getting murdered! Ha! Seriously though, as humans we are drawn into communion with others, and that’s what the small communities offer. These are the things that inspire me for each book in this series, and for this story we add the long lazy days of summer


How did you ‘get to know’ your main characters? Did they ever surprise you?

Possibly due to the answers to question #3, my protagonist, Rosie Hart is more like me than any other character in over 70 something books. The only surprise was that I didn’t realize it at first, and it had to be pointed out to me by an author friend. Of course, Rosie is younger, way prettier, smarter and much wiser than I am. Thankfully she has her own flaws, though, which is probably better than having some of mine! However, murderers aside, I feel very connected to all the residents of Airlie Falls. They might be sticky beaks but those people know how to look out for their neighbors. They care for each other and are the heart of the series. Even though this isn’t a romance, Rosie has her own romance with a very gorgeous cowboy slash builder. Jonah is strong, only really speaks when he has something important to say – and patient. At times that patience is tested by Rosie who is guided more by heart than head, and will always go that extra mile – or ten – for those she loves.


What was your favorite scene to write?

From a writing perspective, I had loads of scenes that were a joy to write during the creation of this book. Every scene, for example with the Fab Four just makes me smile; Sheriff Frank Kinnead is another beautiful character to write, with his somewhat paternal crusty exterior and heart of marshmallow and I really love the give and take between him and Rosie. And of course the scenes with Jonah and Rosie – watching their relationship develop were again all equally fun to write. So, this scene isn’t so much a favorite as it is a scene where Rosie learns of the discovery of the body and passes the news to her house-mate and best friend Midge, the editor of the local paper. I like that it draws someone close to Rosie into the murder, and will be an impetus for Rosie to throw herself into the investigation.

On my way to the B&B, I called Jonah who was on a job about twenty minutes
away, and then put in three calls to Midge. On the third call, she answered and it was
evident she was either drugged and being held captive—or she was half asleep.
It was the latter.
“Where are you?” I almost screamed. “I’ve been worried sick! I haven’t seen you
for days.”
“Hi, Mom,” she answered sarcastically.
Despite my worry I grinned. Obviously she was okay. “Sorry. You know me and my imagination. So, I’m guessing you’re at the office?”
I sensed her nod through the fluctuations of her noisy yawn. “All night. Better
internet here—and besides all my notes are here.”
“Your car isn’t there. Frank checked.”
Her sigh was deep and I figured she was shaking her head. Probably even
contemplating banging it on her desk. “You had Frank try to find me?”
“Actually he was looking for you first.” She didn’t immediately respond to that and I moved on. “So where’s your car and what’s kept you up all night? Notes on Frederick Clausen?”
“Car’s in getting that oil leak fixed.” She yawned again. “And uh-huh re Clausen.
It’s pretty interesting. I expected whispers of corruption, and I can’t find much at all.
There’s the mystery of his wife of course, and his sister…”
“And the mystery of his death,” I added.
I wished I was there with her. Silently I counted the three. One: Momentary
confusion. Two: Dawning comprehension. Three: Got it!
“What?” All signs of her weariness had disappeared. “Dead? But… How? Why?
“Yes, dead. How? Head injury. Why?” I sighed. “Really? Do we have that much
time? When? I’m assuming last night.”
“Head injury?” she repeated. “So, he fell?”
I shrugged. “Not unless he fell onto a blunt instrument that was coincidentally
being propelled at him at great speed.”
I heard her gasp. “Are you saying he was murdered?”
“Yes indeed I am, ma’am. At least that’s what Frank Kinnead said,” I added more
soberly. “And, Midge? He—Frank, the sheriff—came out to the farm to find you. Said he
needed to talk to you. I’m guessing he wants to pick your brain on what you’ve
The answering silence on the other end was so drawn out I had to check she was
still there.
“Yes, sorry. Got lost in my head for a moment.” She drew in a breath. “Yes, let’s
hope that’s what he wants to talk about.”
Her tone was so serious I was immediately on alert. “Midge? Is there another
reason he might want to see you?”
Again, her reply was long coming. “Unfortunately, Rosie, there is…”


What was the most difficult scene to write?

I’d intended offering a snippet from the black moment here as it was a scene of emotional balances, but I realized it possibly gave away too much. So, I’ve chosen a scene not too far before that moment where Rosie, as a newly minted member of the Volunteer Fire Service, has been fighting a brush fire that’s threatened a local farm. Most of the township is there helping out; the storm that’s been threatening has finally broken, allowing everybody a moment’s respite – and it’s in one of these moments that Rosie spies the mysterious woman she’s been trying to track down for days. A woman she believes is responsible for the murder; the murder than had wrongfully landed her best friend, Midge in jail.

Dropping my garden hoe, I slunk further into the shadows, darting way back
behind the scattered cars, and worked my way back to my mystery woman. The semi-circular route brought me to her from the rear. Even from behind, I could see the tension in her shoulders as she hunched forward, peering—I suspected—into the night. Looking for someone? Or hiding from someone?
The door wasn’t locked, and I read the regret in her eyes as soon as she saw me. Despite her grappling to wrench it from my hands and pull it closed again, I held firm. “I know who you are!”
Her grip slackened and I sensed a strange calm come over her. “You do?” It was asked conversationally, not in surprise, not in accusation.
And that was chilling.
Very chilling.
It rippled down my spine, bringing everything further into focus. Stupidly, I looked toward the figures in the distance, outlined only by random flashlights. All with their backs to me; none facing in this direction. Rain still fell, forming a curtain between me and them; effectively creating a noise barrier. Momentarily, I closed my eyes. I’d cut myself off from everybody else, in the dark—with a possible murderess.
After last time, I’d vowed not to be so foolhardy—and yet there I was doing it all over again.
Opening my eyes, I flicked a glance back at the woman before me. Again those
eyes glittered in the night like those of a cat. She broke eye contact with me to also flick a glance forward—and then return her gaze to me.
And smile—a white flash in the darkened interior of the car.
Just like she’d read my mind.
My heart rate built to a deafening thud. Flee or fight?
The decision was ultimately made by her. “If you know so much, you know I’m the Lipskies’ cousin, visiting from out of town.”
Her voice was calm, cultured, educated. Just as I’d expect of an associate of
Clausen’s. And somehow that made her all the more frightening. Her confidence bore the air of someone who’s used to getting what they want; ruthlessness just below the surface. Or maybe not even that deep. Midge was sharp, but in a courtroom this woman would be sharper. And that made me mad.
Rain pattered noisily on the roof of the car, competing with the din of my heartbeat. The storm trapped the smoke, keeping it low, but the acrid taste in my mouth came from my own anger.


Would you say this book showcases your writing style or is it a departure for you?

After a long career spent writing for children and young adults I was surprised to find just how ‘right’ this felt. I think in many ways this is where I would call ‘home’. Sitting down to work feels like pulling on those fluffy-lined slippers or that old sweater that always feels so comforting. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, just that it feels right. I don’t even know what that means other than maybe I’m where I’m meant to be right now.


What do you want people to take away from reading this book?

I want them to feel the time they’ve spent with me was worthwhile – that they’ve been entertained, challenged by the puzzle, yet included in its ultimate solution and most of all been wrapped in the warm hug that is Airlie Falls.


What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned?

It’s pretty busy – and loads of fun – in Rosie-land! I am currently working on the fifth book in the Series, entitled: Cupid, Cupcakes and Carnage. That’s due to be released in February ’23, but before that we have two more Hart of Texas Mysteries releases – Candy-Coated Conspiracy will release in July, and we have a Christmas set mystery entitled, Murder Below the Mistletoe due out in Oct. And I couldn’t be more excited!


Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: An ebook copy of Preserving the Evidence + 3 Tule ebooks


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: When reading a mystery, what is your modus operandi? Like, do you just like to go along for the ride, or do you find yourself trying to out-sleuth the sleuth and beat them to the reveal? And why is that?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Excerpt from Preserving the Evidence:

Texas summers take no prisoners; they’re full-on from day one. At only seven in the morning, a sheen of perspiration already dotted the brow of my houseguest, Midge Moylan, as she wandered up the wide front steps leading to the porch. Her concentration was taken completely by the newspaper she held in her hand, and her face alternately frowned and cleared as she perused each article or heading.
“Happy?” I looked up from the list I was making of jobs that had to be done that day. From the Hart—my dessert stand at the Airlie Falls Craft and Farmers’ Market—had taken off like there was a hungry big cat after it, and I was having trouble keeping up supplies. So I was looking for things that would freeze ahead to help bulk out all the non-freezables I would create fresh for the stall.
Deep and shady, the porch was one of my favorite places in the farmhouse home I’d inherited—well, one of two houses—from Miss Alice Auchinschloss who’d passed away early last spring. Midge took one of the padded wicker chairs at the matching round table and reached for the coffeepot that sat between us. As owner and editor of the Airlie Falls Gazette, our weekly newspaper, Midge was always anxious on publication day, scouring the paper from beginning to end, searching for mistakes.
She shrugged, the cotton T-shirt she wore with her soft pj bottoms slipping off her shoulder as she did. “So far, so good,” she answered somewhat absently. “I’m not sure how Clay’s going to take this challenge to his mayoral position, though. It’s looking like election time in Airlie Falls is going to be a very different affair this time around.”
“Someone’s running against Clay Fencott for mayor?”
She nodded, passing the paper over for me to read. “Frederick Clausen,” I read out loud. “Representing a bright and prosperous future. Promising wealth and success for Airlie Falls by bringing it into the twenty first century.” I looked across at her. “What does he even mean by that? And do we want to be brought into the twenty-first century? I mean, we’re not exactly locked in the past, but I figured it was the old-fashioned values and slower pace that drew people here—and kept them here. I know it works for me.”
“It works for most people around here, Rosie—but it was a big, full-page, paid ad and I’m not financially secure enough to turn it away. Besides, who would vote against Clay?”
A heaviness settled over me as I read. In a very short time I’d come to view Clay as a father figure, and I was obviously very fond of him. His son, Jonah, was my boyfriend. We’d only been together for a few months, but we both had hopes of this building into a forever thing—and so far, so good. My support for Clay ran deeper than as the father of the man I loved, though. He and his wife, Fiona—Jonah’s mother, who’d become one of my closest friends—had welcomed me with open arms during one the scariest times of my life, when I’d been accused of murder. And I would always owe them for that.
“He’s been mayor for twenty years!” I said unnecessarily. “The town loves him. And Fiona. Between them they’ve turned Airlie Falls into a thriving community.”
“I know, and that was one of the reasons I gave myself for accepting the advert. As you just said, everybody loves them, so what could it hurt? Trust me, money was a motivator, but I had to satisfy my conscience as well. Besides—it’s a free country and all… Bill of Rights. First amendment. Democracy. Et cetera, et cetera.”
I really felt for her; running a small-town—very small-town—newspaper was always going to be fraught with conflicts like this. The community members became like family, and so to report against them was very tricky. She and I had bonded over murder of all things, and when her rented accommodation needed urgent repairs I’d offered one of my spare rooms out here at the farm, and that had stretched into months—and so far we were both enjoying the setup.
“You’ve done the right thing, Midge,” I reassured her. “I might not personally like the content, but it had to be included.”
Her eyes opened wide as she listened, and as always I was struck by the likeness we shared. Both small boned and dark haired, blue eyed, and what others had described as having delicate features. Being rather clumsy myself, that description never sat well with me—but, ironically, I could see how it fit Midge.
As my mind jumped around, my anxiety over the mayor situation eased and I began to giggle. “Do you think this Clausen guy has any idea what he’s up against? Clay is an institution. And obviously Clausen hasn’t met Fiona. He’d be one tough dude if he could face her and stick around to take her on for round two.”
Midge chuckled her agreement from her side of the table.
I adored Fiona, but she had a reputation. In her late fifties, Jonah’s mom was tall and stately, drop dead gorgeous, had a heart as big as Texas, and was adored by everyone who encountered her. She also had an iron-strong will that wouldn’t bend in the most violent of tornadoes. And that made her a fierce opponent.
“So, what chance do we give him? Clausen, I mean.”
Midge tilted her head to one side as she thought it out. “If he gets ten votes, I’d be putting money on the fact that he paid for nine of them.”
The clump of boots momentarily startled us both out of our discussion. We hadn’t heard Jonah’s truck because he’d parked down by the road and walked up the long drive, although I suspected our laughter might have drowned it out anyway.
His boots hit the steps heavily as he made his way to us, scraping out a chair and reaching for the coffeepot before he even said hello. Tiny, who’d been lying at my feet, whimpered and crawled on her belly to greet her old master. Poor baby. If ever a dog needed a pet psychiatrist for guilt issues—it was this one. Grinning, I watched her make such a fuss of seeing Jonah, reaching to him with her huge plate-sized paws—like she was making up for defecting to me when Jonah had loaned her as a guard dog several months before when a murderer had targeted me.
“Does this mean we’re officially taking each other for granted?” I asked cheekily as he poured the piping coffee into a mug. “You haven’t even kissed me.”
He grinned and leaned across to right his wrong and lifted a salute to Midge. “No, Rosie darlin’, it means I’m officially the owner of two new healthy calves whose mothers both had difficult births and I sat up all night keeping the vet company.”
“Yay!” Shrugging, I added, “Oh, okay, so not yay about having been up all night, but yay on the two new babies being born safe and well.”
His answering grin was tired. “So, what were you lovely ladies gigglin’ about when I arrived?”
I think we both felt the burn of embarrassment. “Your mom and dad facing off with Fred Clausen,” Midge admitted.
“How is Clay?” I asked. “Coping?”
He took a long draw of coffee and leaned back in the chair. “Y’all know Dad,” he began, “he’s being philosophical about it all. Reckons that if it’s time for someone else to take over, then so be it. He’ll bow out gracefully and give the other guy—or gal—his full support.”
Typical Clay. “And Fiona?”
Now he took more time answering. “She’s fine for the most part. She’d be happy for Dad to pull back a bit. Being a dedicated mayor and the town dentist for all these years has taken its toll.”
There was a but coming, and I was pretty sure I knew what it would be. I’d gotten to know Fiona very well over the past months. “But she’s worried Clausen isn’t the right person to take the reins?”
“Got it in one,” he said, lifting his cup to drain the last of his coffee. Holding it out as I offered a refill, he added, “Mom makes it her business to know everybody, and it’s thrown her off course to realize there’s someone in town she doesn’t know. That would be bad enough—but someone she doesn’t know who wants to take over as mayor? That’s got her in a spin.”
“So, what’s the deal there?” I asked. “Can anybody just turn up and set himself or herself up as a candidate? I thought there’d be more to it than that?”
Midge nodded. “There is. I checked him out before I put the ad through. To sit on Council the person has to be a resident and have lived here for a prescribed time. It appears Clausen owns some property about ten or fifteen miles out of town. He’s owned it for years.”
“Just owned it, or lived there?”
“Well,” Midge answered slowly, “that’s where it gets tricky. It’s a substantial property and there are several dwellings on it, and the thing is, while I couldn’t irrefutably prove he has lived out there, I also couldn’t prove he hasn’t. There are regular utility bills in his name and he gets mail delivered there.” She shrugged. “Yet—”
“Yet,” I finished for her, “I bet none of us has ever seen him in town, right? And you can’t find anybody who has?”
She nodded, her mouth set in a line of grim acceptance.
“Quite frankly,” I said, “I have to wonder why someone would want to become mayor of Airlie Falls. We’re not exactly a hub of commerce or a potential jewel in any political crown.”
“No argument from me. And y’all know my mom—these are the things that are botherin’ her,” Jonah said. “His mayoral duties aside, Dad takes things in his stride, believing the truth will surface and worrying when there’s an obvious need to worry. Whereas Mom does the worrying first and doesn’t give up on the worrying until she’s satisfied everything’s as it should be.”
Nodding, I went back to the paper lying on the table. Fred Clausen’s photo stared back at me, and I tried to imagine if I’d vote for him if I didn’t have all this extra knowledge or emotional attachments to Clay and Fiona. Of course it was an impossible task—we can never unknow what we know.
The photo showed him to be possibly Clay’s age—late fifties, early sixties. He certainly didn’t have Clay’s looks or presence—both of which Jonah had inherited in spades—and he also didn’t have that sense of calm authority and warmth. Also things that Jonah had inherited.
No, Fred Clausen—while certainly good looking—was more polished and worldly. Slick. Clay was a stunning man to look at, but he wore those looks with humor and humility. Clausen’s features were tight; his mouth was curled into a smile that had a kind of cruel quality about it that some women went crazy for. Not me. Plastic—that was what I saw. And I just hoped his ethics and his dedication to the community he’d be representing were more substantial.
Jonah tilted his coffee cup toward Midge. “Guess you’ll also be writing up that mysterious body story this week.”
That jolted me out of my reverie. And when we both leaned forward, he grinned. He knew we were both hooked on mysteries. It was one of the reasons Midge had become a journalist. I had no such noble rationale for my curiosity; I was purely and simply a cozy-mystery junkie. “Body?” I managed to get out first. “And you’re just telling us now.”
“Mysterious body?” Midge added. “Where? Who?”
Tired as he was, the cheeky grin was firmly in place. “Well, I’d say that’s why it’s a mystery. They don’t know.”
I narrowed my eyes feigning beastly intent. “Okay, cowboy. Spill.” My hand darted toward him. “Or I take the coffee.”
Laughing, he settled back, petting Tiny, who now had her head lying in Jonah’s lap. “You two and your mysteries. They sucker you in every time.” He paused and drew breath. “Okay, though I’ve gotta warn you, I don’t know much. Eric told me—”
“Eric?” I asked. Not wanting to miss a teeny bit of this story.
“Vet,” they answered in unison.
“Janet Falkes’s son,” Midge expanded. “Sheriff Kinnead’s nephew. His mama is the sheriff’s sister; the receptionist cum dispatcher down at the sheriff’s department.”
I nodded. I’d met Janet several times, and I really liked her. “So?”
“So,” Jonah continued, “Eric heard from his mom that one of the farmers found a body out on Redrock Road.”
“No ID?”
He shook his head. “That’s one of the puzzling things. On the surface it looks like he died an accidental death, and yet he had no identification.”
“Drifter?” I offered.
Jonah tilted the brim of his ever-present Stetson to cut the angle of the sun that was becoming more determinedly cheerful. “Apparently he’d be a very well-dressed drifter if he was,” he answered.
Midge put her mug down, and I could tell she was already writing the story in her head. “You said ‘one of the puzzling things’? There was more?”
“Yeah, this is probably the zinger. According to the sheriff, the body had been moved.”
“Why move a body if the death was accidental?” Midge asked, though I figured it was a self-directed question.
“Someone in the wrong place? Maybe he stopped to, you know.” Jonah inserted a little whistle where words should have been.
I frowned. “To pee? Then what? Someone conked him on the head and he fell into a ravaging poison ivy and it killed him?”
“Or maybe he was moved to protect someone or something? Or deflect attention from a certain area?” Jonah shrugged. “Those are the big questions.”
I nodded, my mind conjuring all the reasons he might have been moved. “And why it’s a mystery. If he hadn’t been moved, it would simply have been deemed accidental.” We all sat and pondered that for a moment until I asked, “So, how specifically did he die? Was he old or young?”
He answered the last question first. “Young guy. Late twenties. As for cause of death, early reckoning is some kind of bite. Or maybe it’s a flora thing. There’s definitely some kind of allergy associated with his death—so your crazy guess about poison ivy wasn’t that far off the mark. Apparently it looked like he was severely allergic and was bitten, consumed something, or encountered something that set it off.”
“Gee,” Midge muttered. “Next time you say you don’t know much, remind me to grab a pen and ream of paper.”
I was on a different track. “Tragic,” I said softly. Somehow that allergy fact had made it all a bit too real. Sure, Midge and I were caught up in the salacious details of a mystery right here on our doorstep; however, we couldn’t forget this was a real person, not a character in a book. A real person who’d died a sad and probably painful death. A young life cut short. Reading my mind, Jonah reached across to cover my hands with his. “At least he wasn’t alone, I guess…” I whispered.
They both looked at me. “Well,” I explained, “if he was well dressed but had no ID and there’s no vehicle to identify and he was moved—he wasn’t alone.”
“Unless,” Midge said slowly, “here’s another possibility: He was moved after he died. Like, as if someone found him and moved him to a different place.”
Tragedy aside, it was this part of any puzzle that drew me in. “But why take the ID?”
“To slow up the identification process?” she offered. “Why?”
Jonah set his cup back on the table. “You two are making this way too complicated.”
I shrugged—I didn’t think so. And one look at Midge confirmed she was with me on that. We pumped Jonah for information for a few more minutes, finally satisfied he had nothing more to offer.
I stretched, feeling my T-shirt start to cling, even at this early stage of the day. “Gosh,” I continued, “what a week for sleepy little Airlie Falls! The mysterious death of that poor young man, and a late election challenge!”
Jonah grinned. “It’ll be standing room only in Merline’s this week.”
Yep, like most small towns, the hotbed of gossip was the beauty parlor. Merline herself admitted that any time a disaster or scandal hit Airlie Falls her business tripled, so she’d be geared for a big week. And in a weird way it one of those quirks I loved about this town.
The sound of a chair scraping brought me back to the present. Midge was going up to shower and change, and I decided Jonah needed something more than just coffee if he intended to get any work done. I flicked a kiss at his forehead, laughing when Tiny cocked her head for one as well. “I’ll go get you some scrambled eggs and sausage. And no,” I said as he started to rise, “I don’t need help. You stay here in the sun and catch a few Zs while I get that food.”
Tiny was on her feet instantly, ready to follow me. If there was one human word she recognized it was food.
For once, though, Jonah stayed where he was. He didn’t always comply when I issued orders, but I could see his exhaustion was really catching up. His building company always had a lot of projects he had to juggle, and on top of that, lately, all his spare time had been spent helping me get this house renovated and the overgrown yards into some kind of working order.
I was thrilled by my new vegetable gardens and the work we’d put in to breathe new life into the fruit orchards—to say nothing of my simply stunning state-of-the-art kitchen and luxurious bathrooms.
The calves that had kept him awake last night were part of his hobby farm and had nothing to do with me, but suddenly I felt the weight of guilt that he hadn’t had much downtime lately. I’d have to make sure he got more of that.

Promising to call it quits early, Jonah left and I cleaned up, and after ensuring Tiny had enough water and food, I made my way to Brenda Kinnead’s place, on a big parcel of land on the edge of town. Not acreage, just enough space for a small orchard, trained berry vines, and thriving vegetable gardens. Most of which she used for the produce for her market stall. Her husband was Frank Kinnead, the sheriff who had his office right here in Airlie Falls. We’d gotten to know each other when he’d suspected me of murder earlier in the year.
At the time, Brenda had become quite famous for her jams and preserves, and demand was high but all the work was taking its toll, and when I’d been cleared of the murder, I offered to help her out.
However, as I traveled to help Brenda that morning, my mind wasn’t solely on the wonders we might create. Electoral placards were dotted around town and as yet-another smiling image of Clay whizzed by my side window I felt an arrow of concern spear through me. All the times in the past weeks that I’d driven past all the campaign signs reminding people to vote for Clay, I’d barely registered them. Clay was mayor, and he would stay mayor. Who could do a better job? No other candidates had thrown their hats into the ring; it was, as apparently it had been for years, a one-horse race.
Until now.
Less than a week until the election and someone had joined the race. It was ludicrous, really. Did this guy actually expect to win? The election was timed to coincide with the market weekend because farm and ranch folk would be in town. What could you do in a week to change the thinking of a whole town?
My thoughts slowed. What could you do, indeed? Especially with a dead body to distract and confuse the issue.
I wasn’t sure how reflecting on the election challenge had so smoothly taken me back to the conversation about the mysterious body, but, barely noticing the shift, it was what now took center stage.
My own words at the time drifted back. I’d marveled at the juxtaposition of two random—yet significant—events in our peaceful little town. I’d even made a joke about it, but now, in the quiet of the car and with more clarity, it suddenly seemed that maybe the two incidents weren’t as random as I’d first imagined.
Adding the puzzling facts surrounding the discovery of the body triggered an uncomfortably familiar churning in my stomach. I hoped I was having a drama queen moment.
Because surely the other scenario flitting around in my head couldn’t be true, could it? The scenario that was whispering crazy suggestions. Like, that maybe there was nothing random about the discovery of the body, that the timing was deliberate.
And to consider that meant there was nothing accidental about that man’s death…

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Book Info:

In this small town, not everyone is who they claim to be…

When amateur baker, and now amateur sleuth, Rosie Hart finds herself embroiled in another mystery in rural Airlie Falls, Texas, she can’t believe her bad luck. Soon the town is reeling from a murder, an unidentified body, a late mayoral challenge, missing town money, and a strange group of socialites gathered at a mansion out of town.

With so many of her new friends suspected of wrongdoing, Rosie can’t sit on the sidelines any longer. She’s convinced these strange occurrences are connected, but she’s running out of time to prove how. She’ll need to unmask a murderer before there’s another body to add to the tally.

Snooping around undercover is harder than it looks, and Rosie will be lucky to get out of this one without more casualties than a batch of burned Buried Treasure Cookies.

Book Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | Google |

Meet the Author:

Award winning YA & children’s author, Kaz Delaney, and her alter ego, have currently sold 73 titles between them over a 26 year career.

Her books have won many awards, among them the prestigious Aurealis Award for best paranormal and ARRA (Australian Romance Readers Association) awards. Her novel ‘Dead, Actually’ (Allen & Unwin) was nominated for a Davitt Award, (Best crime novel, Sisters In Crime) in the YA section. Dividing her time between teaching and writing, Kaz formerly tutored Creative Writing for CSU’s Enrichment Program as well as teaching and creating courses for the Australian College of Journalism.

Having always had a love of cozy mysteries, Kaz is having so much fun writing her Hart of Texas Mystery Series for TULE Publishing, that she worries it’s not legal!

With their family grown and gone, Kaz lives with her wonderful husband at beautiful Lake Macquarie, Australia, a place she describes as a strip of land between the ocean and lake. Like Rosie, Kaz loves to bake and grow vegetables and unlike Rosie, manages to make a mess of every crochet task she undertakes.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | GoodReads |




13 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Preserving the Evidence by Kaz Delaney”

  1. Amy R

    When reading a mystery, what is your modus operandi? out-sleuth the sleuth and beat them to the reveal – I like to guess when reading

  2. Patricia B.

    I do a bit of both. It depends a bit on the book. With cozy mysteries, I kind of go with the flow seeing where it is leading and guessing as I go. With “serious” mysteries, I concentrate a bit more on the characters and mystery and definitely get involved in the search for the culprit trying to figure out what is happening and who did it.

  3. Kim

    I start going along for the ride, but then I often find myself trying to figure out whodunit.