Christmas Lights and Cat Fights
Christmas Lights and Cat Fights: A Jules Keene Glamping Mystery
by Heather Weidner
About Christmas Lights and Cat Fights
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
Digital ASIN : B0CJQKWK3F
GoodReads Link Coming Soon
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.
Enjoy an Excerpt
“Jules. Hey, Whoohoo Jules!” A shrill voice echoed above all the noise in the town square. A svelte woman in a leopard-print ski jacket waved her arms and ran in heels toward Jules Keene.
Jules paused with her setup preparations and pushed a red curl that had escaped from her ponytail off of her face. “Hi, Tabbi. What can I do for you?”
“Your partner for this town holiday festival thingy is so unreasonable. In fact, she’s arbitrary and capricious. I paid my vendor fees, and I shouldn’t be treated like this.” Tabbi put both hands on her hips, planted her feet, and shook her long brown curls that framed her face like a lion’s mane. Her puffy parka and black stiletto suede boots projected a hipster vibe, but the tiny parentheses surrounding her mouth gave away her true age.
“I’m sorry. What are you talking about?” Jules closed the three-ring binder that had the assigned locations for all the vendors for Fern Valley’s Christmas extravaganza.
Tabbi Morris made a harrumphing sound and let out a deep breath. “That woman – Elaine is impossible. I paid to have four trailers here, and I’ve committed to having workers staff them for the entire weekend. And now, she’s telling me that I can’t use the sidewalk. She put me on the edge of the square where there’s virtually no traffic. She’s policing the grass and sidewalks. She doesn’t like my extension cords either. I told her I had to have electricity to create the right ambiance for my gear.”
Before Jules Keene, owner of the Fern Valley Luxury Camping Resort and president of the town’s business council, could answer, Elaine James waddled up to the pair. Her poofy blond bouffant added about four inches to her height. Jules smiled when she thought of Elaine’s motto, the taller the hair, the closer to God.
Elaine paused and took a deep breath. “There you are. I asked your worker, the guy with curly black hair who looks like a young Fabio to start moving your trailers, and he refused. You’re in the wrong spot. This is not right.” Elaine set her mouth, and the stare from her deep blue eyes bore into the taller woman.
“We pulled the trailers where your guy in the vest pointed to this morning. I paid for four vendor spaces, and you put us in the worst location. My team is doing our best to maximize the potential. And you’re being draconian with all these rules,” Tabbi whined and glared at Elaine.
Elaine glared back and pursed her lips. When she wagged her finger, her whole body, including her tall hair, wiggled like a Jello mold. “Those rules are important. We must have order. Besides, I told you twice that you all were in the wrong spots. You’re on Candy Cane Alley with the food vendors. Your trailers should be on the other side, on Elf Lane. You have four spots by the stop sign, two on each side of the street. It’s marked off in green chalk. Spots one through four.”
“What? You want me to move? My team has already done most of the prep work. And both of my Christmas-themed trailers, the As Seen on TV one, and the Big Cat Souvenirs took forever to get situated.”
“No, you can’t be on the food vendors’ side. It will ruin everything.” Elaine huffed and put her hands on her hips. She puffed out her cheeks and her fuzzy white coat made her look like a giant snowball. “I would think you would want the better spots.” Elaine’s eyebrows disappeared in her well shellacked bangs.
Trying not to show her impatience and hoping to keep the peace, Jules stepped in. “Maybe we could get some volunteers to help you break down and move. I think you’ll probably have better sales on the vendor side. You’ll be front and center at the entrance. That’s a coveted spot.”
Tabbi rolled her eyes but considered the idea. “I guess we can move if you think the location is better. We’ve got a bunch of top-tier merchandise. I drove all the way from Berryville for this, so I hope your festival lives up to the hype. If it doesn’t, you’ll hear about it. And so will everyone else.” The woman turned and stomped down the sidewalk.
Elaine made a face. “I told her twice that she was in the wrong place. Some people.” She threw her hands in the air and bustled off in the opposite direction.
Jules was glad to have Elaine’s help to organize the festival, but sometimes, the owner of the Birds and Bees nature store was a little prickly. Elaine brought organization to anything that needed planning, but it always came with a side of drama.
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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