Welcome to my stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Christmas Lights and Cat Fights: A Jules Keene Glamping Mystery by Heather Weidner. Stop by each blog on the tour for interviews, guest posts, spotlights, reviews and more!
Christmas Lights and Cat Fights: A Jules Keene Glamping Mystery
by Heather Weidner
Christmas Lights and Cat Fights: A Jules Keene Glamping Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Level Best Books (October 17, 2023)
Print length : 285 pages
Christmas has come to Fern Valley, and the town’s decked out with enough glitter and sparkle for a month’s worth of celebrations, each more over-the-top than the previous one. The idyllic setting, filled with laughter, carols, and sweet treats, is shattered, along with some of the decorations, when the current wife and the ex-wife of a big-cat showman have a knock-down, drag-out fight in the center of town. Jules Keene, owner of the Fern Valley Glamping Resort, tries to keep peace among her guests and with the town council, but it turns into a catastrophe when Tabbi Morris, winds up dead in one of her ex-husband’s tiger cages.
And if the murder wasn’t enough, Jules discovers that some of the big cats are missing, but the owner and his family insists that nothing is wrong.
Curiosity gets the best of her, and she has to solve the murder and figure out if the owner of Cal’s Cats is pussy-footing around or whether it’s something more sinister before it ruins the holiday season and her business.
My review of Christmas Lights and Cat Fights
Christmas Lights and Cat Fights by Heather Weidner is the third book in the Jules Keene Glamping Mystery series. I’ve read them all, and this one is just as enjoyable as the first two. It’s the Christmas season in Fern Valley, and the town has 3 weekends of Christmas events planned. It’s one of the ways Jules and the town council have come up with to help bring year round revenue to Fern Valley. Her vintage trailer and tiny house glamping grounds, Fern Valley Glamping Resort, is packed full of visitors and vendors.
The delightful festivities are going great. There’s a parade with all of the cool stuff you’d find in a Christmas parade (Santa, of course), and as a special treat, a big-cat showman has his big cats and cubs in the parade. But Jules suspects that something crooked is going on when two of the cubs go missing, and the owner insists that they were never there. Then the body of his ex-wife is found in an empty cage, so poor Jules has to deal with having another murder happen on her grounds!
The more of the series I read, the more I love the characters. Jules’s aunt has grown on me the most. I wasn’t sure about her at first, but now that she’s in a steady relationship, I think she’s more secure in who she is. I love Lester. He is an older man who takes care of the grounds and maintenance. He also loves listening to the police scanner and keeping Jules informed about crimes in Fern Valley. Pixel is another side character, and I love her. She’s basically a really skilled hacker who can find things out for Jules, and now she may have a job with the FBI! We’ll find out! I love Jules, Jake, Bijou (Jules’s dog), the sheriff, his deputy…they’re all entertaining! Weidner just writes great characters! I’m looking forward to reading their next story!
I adore the setting even though it’s freezing cold during this time of year in Fern Valley. Jules’s upcycled vintage trailers and themed tiny houses give this cozy mystery a cozy feeling in spite of the cold weather. Fern Valley’s downtown adds to the cozy feel too. Since it’s such a small town, everyone knows everyone…basically, it feels like a Hallmark Christmas movie set!
The mystery is as full of twists and turns as the mountain roads are! There are so many people who couldn’t stand the victim, so the suspect pool is large. I really had no idea who the murderer was until very close to the end. I enjoyed tracking the clues along with Jules. It’s always fun when you can see them falling into place and figuring out whodunit!
I really am looking forward to the next book! I highly recommend Christmas Lights and Cat Fights (and the other Jules Keene books!) for its amazing characters, delightful setting, and puzzling mystery! I think cozy mystery lovers will enjoy it as much as I did.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.
Read this FUN guest post from the author! As a Gen-Xer myself, I totally loved reading it! Ah, the good old days!
Author Guest Post: What I Learned about the Writing Life from 1970s Cartoons
Heather Weidner, Author of the Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries, The Mermaid Bay Christmas Shoppe Mysteries, The Pearly Girls Mysteries, and the Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries
Thank you so much for letting me visit your blog and talk about cartoons and mysteries!
I’m first-generation Sesame Street and M-TV. I’m a Gen-Xer who watched way too much television in the 1970s and 80s, but all those hours in front of the magic box (with no cable or remote) taught me some things about mysteries and the writing life.
I have been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo, Josie and the Pussycats, and The Funky Phantom. Saturday morning cartoons were part of every week’s ritual, along with the required bowl of overly sugared cereal. The sleuths in these shows were everyday kids (or a dog or a ghost). These cartoons showed me that you didn’t have to be an adult with a lot of training to solve a mystery and right wrongs. You could be heroic at any age. You just needed your wits and some creativity.
Here are some things I learned:
Use Your Assets – In most of these shows, the kids used what they had in the moment. Start with what’s already in your toolbox. You just need to put in the time and energy to hone your skills and build your platform.
Everyone Needs Friends – Find Your Group – Scooby and Shaggy, Archie and Jughead, the Super Friends, Speed Buggy, and the Groovie Ghoulies – The writing journey is a long (often solitary one), you need friends, mentors, coaches, and cheerleaders. Find your crew and support each other. Make sure that you’re an active participant with the writing community. You don’t have to do everything, but you need to do something. Share ideas, experiences, and contacts. Provide feedback and guidance and make sure to support other writers.
People (or Dogs, Ghosts, Ghoulies) Are Willing to Help – The Writing Community is full of authors at different stages in their careers who are gracious with their time and advice. Find your writing allies and cherish them.
Often It’s Scary – How many scary monsters did the Mystery Inc. group battle in Scooby-Doo? (Hundreds!) Most of them turned out to be evil adults who were thwarted by a bunch of kids and Great Dane. There are some rough patches and scary stuff along the writing journey. Rejections, bad critiques, and nasty reviews aren’t pleasant. Learn what you can from them and keep going.
Be Flexible and Resourceful – Most of the characters on Saturday morning cartoons were amateurs, and not everything went according to plan (Wile E. Coyote, Hong Kong Phooey, The Hair Bear Bunch, Pebbles and Bam-Bam, …) You are going to run into all kinds of roadblocks and dead ends. Figure out ways to move forward and to advance your goals. Use your gifts. Be creative and find your way out of the spooky castle, the creepy swamp, or the eerie abandoned theme park.
Writing and publishing are a business. Your writing life is a rollercoaster of a journey just like those cartoons from decades ago. It’ll be chock-full of thrills and anticipation along with a few dips and hair-raising twists and turns. Arm yourself and hone your skills for the adventure.
About Heather Weidner
Through the years, Heather Weidner has been a cop’s kid, technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager. Christmas Lights and Cat Fights is the third in her cozy mystery series, the Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries. She also writes the Delanie Fitzgerald mystery series and the Mermaid Bay Christmas Shoppe Mysteries (2023).
Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, Deadly Southern Charm, and Murder by the Glass, and her novellas appear in The Mutt Mysteries series.
She is a member of Sisters in Crime and active in the Central Virginia, Chessie, Grand Canyon Writers, and Guppies Chapters, International Thriller Writers, and James River Writers.
Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.
Website and Blog: http://www.heatherweidner.com
Amazon Authors: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HOYR0MQ
Purchase Link – Amazon
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Christmas Lights and Cat Fights TOUR PARTICIPANTS
November 14 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
November 14 – My Reading Journeys – CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 15 – Lady Hawkeye – RECIPE
November 16 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, AUTHOR GUEST POST
November 16 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
November 17 – Mystery, Thrillers, and Suspense – SPOTLIGHT
November 17 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 18 – Reading Is My SuperPower – AUTHOR GUEST POST
November 19 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
November 20 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
November 21 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
November 22 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee – SPOTLIGHT
November 23 – THANKSGIVING U.S.
November 24 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
November 24 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
November 25 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 25 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
November 26 – Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – SPOTLIGHT
November 26 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT
November 27 – My Journey Back – SPOTLIGHT
November 28 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
November 29 – Rebecca M. Douglass, Author – REVIEW, AUTHOR GUEST POST
November 29 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT