Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The Drop Dead Temple of Doom - A Guest Post & Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Lila Hamilton-Alvarez to Cozy Up With Kathy today. You can find Lila on the pages of the Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries. The Drop Dead Temple of Doom is the eighth book in the series and will be released tomorrow.

Lila Hamilton-Alvarez Speaks Out

As the CEO of the family-run, Silicon Valley-based detective agency, Discretionary Inquiries, it is a rare day I am able to be a part of one of my daughter, Liana’s, cases. She is the in-house investigator for our business and is quite successful at what she does. Recently, in The Drop-Dead Temple of Doom, I had an opportunity to experience and share her day-to-day investigative protocols and procedures. It is something I am never, ever going to be a part of again.

My daughter takes after her father, Roberto Alvarez, my late and very much missed husband. Liana is – as was her father – impetuous, intuitive, smart, and determined. She will even wear navy-blue with black, something he did time after time, no matter how much I protested. This is painful for me to see, as I am a firm believer that which separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom is our ability to accessorize.

Even though I love her to distraction, I’ve had to face the fact that there is very little of me in my daughter. It’s not just her temperament and sense of humor, but she even has her father’s coloring. While I am ash blonde, blue-eyed, and fair-skinned, Liana has dark, almost black hair, twilight-colored eyes, and just a touch of gold to her skin tone.

I have great respect for her sleuthing abilities, as I did with her father. While I was spending most of my time recently in the jungles of Guatemala donning insect repellent and checking the dew point, she seemed to have a fairly good idea of the deviltry going on around us. And being tenacious, she never gave up until she got to the bottom of it.

That’s not to say I didn’t do my part. I have my skills, appropriately attired in an Abercrombie and Fitch safari outfit, complete with matching pith helmet. Right before we flew from Palo Alto, California, to the wilds of El Mirador, Guatemala, I’d finished a two-week wilderness survival training course. I built a fire and knew my compass directions. But I had no idea what skills both my daughter and I would need when we were trapped in the king’s tomb under a pyramid right after an earthquake. But I am getting ahead of myself. And telling too much of the story. It was an adventure unlike any I’d experienced before. Roberto would have loved it.


 The Drop-Dead Temple of Doom (The Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries) by Heather Haven

About The Drop-Dead Temple of Doom

The Drop-Dead Temple of Doom (The Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery 8th in Series
Setting - Ancient Mayan ruins, El Mirador, Guatemala
Publisher - The Wives of Bath Press (September 15, 2021)
Number of Pages - 332


Ace detective Lee Alvarez is perfectly cozy at home with her cats when she and her former Navy SEAL husband receive a panicky call from JJ, an archeologist cousin, who’s on assignment deep in the Guatemalan jungle. The news? JJ is pregnant-- and the father of her child has gone missing in the wilderness. The site director won’t let JJ call the police, so she asks Lee to travel to the jungle and track down her missing man.

Begging for help from Lee Alvarez sure makes sense--Lee’s family runs Discretionary Inquiries, a ritzy Silicon Valley P.I. firm. Lee is the star detective, her Uncle Tio’s on staff as the genius chef, and Lee’s brother, Richard, is a whiz at all things technology. Not to mention the presence of Lee’s very high class, upscale, and frankly scary mother Lila. Who--by the way—steamrolls her way onto Lee’s jungle trip.

A beleaguered Lee, the judgmental and prissy Lila, and Lee’s gorgeous SEAL husband (turned partner-in-crime) depart on the adventure of a lifetime, perfect for cozy mystery armchair travelers. And, once in the jungle, the already-gripping story takes a grisly turn: the three investigators have barely arrived in the lush, verdant wilderness when they discover a dead man--the assistant to JJ’s missing husband--dressed in traditional Mayan warrior garb with a poisonous frog crammed in his mouth.

And that’s just for starters: author Haven concocts a wild ride through the jungle that’s simultaneously fun, potentially fatal, and always entertaining.

Fans of cozy authors like CeeCee James, Hope Callaghan, and of course Janet Evanovich, will discover a new favorite series! Lee’s gang will also appeal to lovers of female PIs, especially those with lots of colorful friends and relatives, like Linda Barnes’ Carlotta Carlyle and Lisa Lutz’s Izzy Spellman. A near certainty: If you like THE SPELLMAN FILES, you’ll love the Alvarez family!


About Heather Haven

After studying drama at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida, Heather went to Manhattan to pursue a career. There she wrote short stories, novels, comedy acts, television treatments, ad copy, commercials, and two one-act plays, produced at several places, such as Playwrights Horizon. Once she even ghostwrote a book on how to run an employment agency. She was unemployed at the time.

One of her first paying jobs was writing a love story for a book published by Bantam called Moments of Love. She had a deadline of one week but promptly came down with the flu. Heather wrote "The Sands of Time" with a raging temperature, and delivered some pretty hot stuff because of it. Her stint at New York City’s No Soap Radio—where she wrote comedic ad copy—help develop her longtime love affair with comedy.

She has won many awards for the humorous Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries, Persephone Cole Vintage Mysteries, and Corliss and Other Award Winning Stories. However, her proudest achievement is winning the Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY) 2014 Silver Medal for her stand-alone noir mystery, Murder Under the Big Top.

As the real-life daughter of Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey circus folk, she was inspired by stories told throughout her childhood by her mother, a trapeze artist and performer. The book cover even has a picture of her mother sitting atop an elephant from that time. Her father trained elephants. Heather brings the daily existence of the Big Top to life during World War II, embellished by her own murderous imagination.

Author Links:  

Website: www:heatherhavenstories.com  

Blog - http://heatherhavenstories.com/blog/  

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/HeatherHavenStories  

Twitter - https://www.twitter.com/Twitter@HeatherHaven  

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