Thursday, December 5, 2013

Mocha, Moonlight, and Murder by MaryAnn Kempher -- Excerpt and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. MaryAnn will be awarding an autographed print copy of the book (international giveaway) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Instead of feeding her late-night appetite, a midnight food run nearly gets 28-year-old Katherine O’Brian killed. She’s the only person to see the man who brutally murdered a local woman, and the killer is hell-bent on making sure she doesn’t talk.

Scott Mitchell left a broken engagement behind when he moved to Reno, and the last thing he needs is more melodrama. But when he and Katherine are paired for a college project, that’s what he gets. It can be very distracting when someone is out to kill your lab partner. Together, they try to figure out what the police haven’t been able to—the identity of the murderer. Passion flares, but with Katherine’s life in danger, romance seems like more than a bad idea.

Scott and Katherine will face jealousy, misunderstandings, lust, and rivals, not to mention attempted murder—and all before their first real date.

Here's an excerpt to enjoy:

The following night, Katherine got a call from Scott.

“Hey, I did some research on the lady who got killed.”

“Oh, good.”

“Don’t get your hopes up. I probably didn’t find out anything you didn’t already know. I’m gonna come over.”

“Okay, I’ll see you in a little bit.”

Five minutes later, Scott arrived. He walked to the kitchen table where Katherine was sitting.

“Hey,” he said, “so here’s what I have so far. The woman’s name was Jeanette Churchill. She’d lived in the house for twenty years. She worked for a company called CTS. The police say it’s being treated as a robbery gone badly.”

“That’s it?”

“No. I know a few people who work where she did, reliable people. They say there were rumors she was embezzling from the company.”

Katherine sat forward, her elbows resting on the table. “Do you think the police have heard those rumors, too?”

“Well, they wouldn’t have heard them from the people I know, but yeah, it’s likely they have.”

“Sounds like a motive for murder to me.”

“Sure, but she’d worked for that company twenty years, so I’m not sure I’d believe she was stealing. Plus, if she was, it seems like the obvious killer would be the owner, and he’s a real big shot. The people I’ve talked to seem to think he’s the person most likely pulling in favors and putting pressure on the police to find her killer.”

Katherine looked skeptical. “But if that’s the case, wouldn’t it be kind of risky to fund an investigation into a murder you committed?”

Scott sat down across from Katherine. He pulled his coat off before answering. "This isn’t the movies. I don’t know if she was stealing or not, but I think the police are probably right. Someone tried to rob her and something went wrong. I have a friend who’s a cop. Not in Reno, but maybe he can find something out.”

“Amy said they have a suspect. Did you hear anything about that?”

“No, I didn’t hear anything like that.”

“Thanks for all this, Scott.”

“Aw, I didn’t do anything. So, you and Michael—you two hitting it off?” he said, trying to sound casual.

“So far. He does wear me out, though.”

“Please, no details—you’re like a sister to me.”

“That’s not what I meant, you perv. I just mean when we get together, it’s usually for something active.”

“When are you going to buy a bike? It’s great weather right now for biking, not too hot, not too cold. I go out as often as I can, which isn’t often enough.”

“I can’t afford a nice bike right now. Maybe when I get my tax refund back. I get out plenty enough as it is. You know, Michael actually talked me into going kayaking on the Truckee River.”

“Are you nuts?”

“Hey, it’s nearly April.”

“In two months!”

“Close enough, and it’s been warmer than usual this year. We did go to see a show downtown. At least that was indoors.”

“Again? Didn’t you two go see a show not that long ago?”

“Yes, we’ve been twice now, and I don't know how many more half-naked people wearing feathered headdresses I can take.”

“Feathered headdresses, huh? You haven’t gone kinky on me, have you? Please say yes, please say yes.”

“Yeah, real kinky. We even have safe words. Mine is sugar cookie. Who has time to be kinky anyway? Except for the shows, we hardly spend any time indoors. How’s Verna?”

“Fine. She likes to read those real-life crime books, so if I mysteriously kick the bucket—”

“I'll thank her,” said Katherine, laughing.

About the Author:
MaryAnn Kempher's writing is infused with romance and mystery. Her love of romance stories goes back to her teen years spent living in Reno NV where Mocha, Moonlight, and Murder is set. MaryAnn's travels have taken her to beautiful cities in Italy, Southeast Asia and the sultry desert country of Qatar. She met her husband on one of her romantic misadventures. She has two children and currently lives in Florida where she and her family share their home with two dogs and a cat. Her writing influences include favorite authors Jane Austen and Agatha Christie. She's also a huge fan of the Hercule Poirot mysteries.

Her guilty pleasures include any and all sweets, including a good cup of Mocha.

For more about MaryAnn Kempher, visit
Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.


  1. Sounds like a great read!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  2. Very nice excerpt

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com


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