Category Archives for "Paranormal Mystery"

Becoming Friends With Your Favorite Characters

Sometimes it's the unlikeliest pair who form a bond, as in my new paranormal cozy series, Enchanted Inquiries. In Book 1: Tea & Croakies, we're introduced to a magically gifted cat and a frog that's possessed by the spirit of a wronged witch.

Unlikely friends? Yes. But friends none-the-less. Circumstances, mutual relationships, and natural affinities all work together to create a bond that withstands treachery, mishap, and deadly challenge to strengthen a natural connection into something inexplicable but good.

Other relationships are less inexplicable…erm…more explicable? LOL I'm talking about the relationship between you and the book characters you learn to love. That's part of the magic in a well-written book. You can find new friends, immerse yourself into their lives and root for them, cry for them, laugh with them until you form such a bond you can't wait to see them again.

That's what it means when you hear readers lament, “I didn't want it to end!” Writers sometimes overlook the importance of that sentiment. We have limited time, limited resources, and stories banging together in our heads trying to escape. We can't write everything for everybody. It's just not possible. Sometimes we have to make an emotional decision to end a series. Sometimes it's a purely business one. But whatever the reason, we do ourselves a disservice not to heed the cries of people who've bonded with our characters. We need to cherish that bond. Rejoice in it. Because it means we've truly touched the hearts of our readers.

An awesome thing.

There's one relationship element you might not consider as a reader. The writer's bond with the characters. You see it in the progression of a series. The way the characters grow, become three- and four-dimensional, and the way the author treats them as they move through their days, their lives, the phases of their stories.

We bond with our characters too.

This is why first books in series don't usually rate as well as subsequent books. In the beginning, we're just getting to know our characters like you are. No matter how much thought we put into them before we write them, they don't stick to the dossier we have of them in our heads. They evolve and morph as we put them through their paces. They grow into their own people. The story changes them into what they were always meant to be.


So embrace those book friendships. They're fun and healthy and ultimately oh so satisfying. But understand that authors deal with much the same thing when we create our characters. In many ways, they're our friends, our confidants, our not-so-cheap therapy! LOL And when we share them with you, we're entrusting you with a little piece of our hearts. I mean, isn't that what friends do?

Happy sleuthing, everybody! xx


Begin the Journey – Grab a Copy of Tea & Croakies

I knew when I woke up with a migraine that things were going to get interesting. As a magical artifact wrangler, it’s not an unusual way to start my day. But I had no idea how bad it was going to get.

Until I found a frog sitting in my teacup.

Even that, I could explain to myself if I had to. After all, I have a creative mind. But when the frog started talking to me, yeah, I was pretty sure I’d taken the wrong kind of pill that morning for my headache. If only I’d realized then what I know now. The talking frog was just the beginning of my problems. And quite a beginning it was!

Spunky Bumpkin – Releasing 7/23/19 as part of Summer Snoops Unleashed

Book 3 of my fun Country Cousin Mysteries is part of a 14 Author collection of brand new mysteries entitled, Summer Snoops UNLEASHED. I'm proud to be part of this great collection of mysteries! Helping senior dogs is a cause that I not only cherish, but I also can identify with. Over the years, my husband and I have rescued several senior animals. You can't imagine the feeling of love and happiness these wonderful pets give you. Yes, there are challenges. But there are challenges with anything you do that's worthwhile.

I hope you'll buy a copy of Summer Snoops UNLEASHED today if you haven't already. And if you have, please consider supporting the shelters we've selected for our proceeds (shown below). These are wonderful, worthy organizations that are really making a difference for homeless, needy pets.

Bless you and thank you so much for your support for this important cause! ❤️❤️


The Frog! A short excerpt from Tea & Croakies!

Something emerged from the shadows. The shape didn’t move like a cat. It wasn’t graceful. In fact, it sort of shuffled rather than walked. I suddenly feared that my sweet kitten had hurt himself. “Are you okay, buddy?”

The shape reached the light and I found myself staring into a pair of bulging black eyes, surrounded by a scaly green head and a fat, squishy body.

I yelped, jumping back in surprise as the frog leaped into the air and thumped against the underside of the shelf.

“A frog!” I squealed, backpedaling as fast as I could on my knees until I bumped up against the base of the counter.

More thumping ensued. Then Wicked’s head emerged and he glowered at me. “Meow!”

I felt strangely compelled to defend myself. “What do you want me to do?”

The cat yowled unhappily, disappearing back underneath the shelf with a final snap of his tail.

Thump. Thump. Thump.

I sighed. The frog was clearly stuck under the shelving. Every time he tried to hop out from under there, he bashed against the underside of the shelf. “I just…” I scrubbed a hand over my face, wondering who I could call to extricate him.


“Sprite’s trousers, Wicked!” I exclaimed in frustration. “I don’t touch frogs. You know this. We’ve discussed it at length.” Not that he’d understood any of it. But he seemed determined to force me into touching this one so I felt the need to remind him. “They’re slimy and give me hives.”

I wasn’t sure that latter was strictly true. But panic was making my pulse race and I had to tell myself something.

Thump. Thump.

The poor thing was going to give itself brain damage. Wait. What was I saying? Frogs don’t have brains. Do they?


“Ugh!” I exclaimed, “I’m coming!”

I repositioned myself on the floor, glancing along the line of shelves. Maybe I could just cut the shelf down the middle so he could hop out.


Growling unhappily. I pressed my cheek against the carpet and looked underneath again. The bulging black eyes seemed to be closer to the edge. Maybe he’d managed to move himself, I thought excitedly. Maybe he didn’t need me after all.

The black eyes slowly blinked and the frog’s body quivered. He looked so sad. I stared into those protruding eyes and something inside me shifted. I felt…pity.

“Trolls boogers,” I murmured unhappily, knowing what I had to do.

I pulled air into my lungs and tugged a wisp of calming magic forward, unsure I’d be able to do it. My hand inched closer and stopped as the black, unfathomable gaze pinned me in place. The frog’s body swelled and shrank as it breathed, and its tiny feet shifted uncertainly as my hand came close.  

My fingers twitched. My hand stilled in midair. All I could think about was the last and only time I’d touched a frog. It had been cool and slimy to the touch, and its slime had painted my hand, giving me an unsightly rash that had lasted for weeks.

Nothing I’d done had helped the rash. Until I’d accidentally gotten blasted by a ray of healing magic.

I couldn’t count on a random witch shooting healing magics at me a second time. Or, considering my unhealthy relationship with the Quillerans, a non-random one either.


I sighed, dropping my head to the floor in defeat. “Okay, chillax you two. I’m doing this.”

Before I could change my mind, I quickly extended my hand and wrapped my fingers around the thick, squishy body, jerking it toward me and then releasing it with a squeal and another awkward crawling retreat.

The frog hunched on the carpet, staring at me with its throat working, its puffy body looking iridescent under the overhead lights. I rubbed my hand against my jeans, grimacing, before realizing my hand wasn’t slimy. Not at all. And the touch memory of the frog’s soft, warmish skin still clung to it.

“Ribbit,” the frog said. It gave an experimental hop in my direction and stopped as I twitched with disgust. “Ribbit.”

Mr. Wicked suddenly appeared at my elbow. He gave me soft eyes and rubbed against my knee as I stared in horror at the frog. It had just occurred to me that my trauma wasn’t over. I still had a frog in my bookstore.

“Now what am I going to do with you?” I murmured. I had no idea what frogs needed to live. I wasn’t equipped to deal with amphibians. I was totally a dry land kind of girl. What did they eat? Did they need water to survive?

A spec of black buzzed past me and Wicked’s paw shot up, swiping at the fly. The unfortunate insect dodged sideways to avoid the threatening paw, and flew directly into deadly frog territory.

Quick as a wink, the frog’s tongue snapped out and snatched the fly right out of the air. He seemed to shudder as if even he was disgusted by the action.

“Well,” I said, grimacing. “I guess the food thing’s taken care of for the moment.”

I shoved to my feet. “Tomorrow, I’ll ask Sebille to take you to her family in the woods. You can live on their pond,” I inexplicably explained to the frog and the cat.

With that decision made, I felt better. But just in case, I went into the bathroom and grabbed Wicked’s water dish, filling it up and carrying it out to place in front of the frog. “If you need a drink or…you know…a bath or something.”


“Yowl!” Wicked gave me stink eye.

I shrugged. “Hey, it was your bright idea to save him. I guess you’re going to have to take this one for the team.”

A Chat with Flo from Silver Hills

Hi! I'm Flo from Silver Hills. I'm so glad to meet you, hun. I don't have a lot of time because Agnes and I are about to go to yoga class and we need to make sure to get a spot at the front of the class. Why, you ask? Oh, you haven't read Dose Vidanya yet have you? LOL All jokes aside, that was a very trying time for us. Finding that dead guy so close to the Book Club cookie table just about did Agnes in. Especially when some well-meaning person told her they thought dead-guy spores might be airborne. I don't think I've ever seen Agnes regret eating cookies before. Oh, you've never met my friend Agnes? She's a great friend and very loyal. But there are challenges to being around her. For one thing, she's never met a crime scene she couldn't debauch. A fact that has tested young Detective Peters' anger management skills many times.

In Freezer Bernie, Agnes was at the top of her game. When she accidentally dumped lemon gelato into the victim's gunshot wound…well…let's just say it was a good thing Detective Peters didn't have easy access to his weapon on that one!

Being around Agnes can occasionally get a bit slap-sticky. But that's half of her appeal, hun. The fact that she's a genuinely kind person is definitely the other half. Sam injects humor in almost all her stories, but she puts an extra little punch of it in the Silver Hills books. She says the humor is as much a part of the plot as solving the mystery. I think she's right because I've made so many good friends since the series started. People feel like they know us after reading the books, and they tell me they want to move into Silver Hills!Oh, by the way, did you know there was a new Silver Hills book available? There is! Fowl Campaign hit the shelves a couple of days ago. And the best news is that right now it's only $2.99, in honor of the new release. If you enjoy a great murder with fun characters and a healthy dose of humor, you should grab a copy while it's still on sale. Thanks for visiting with me, hun. I hope to see you in the pages of a Silver Hills book soon! 


“Once I started this newest Silver Hills adventure, I couldn't put it down! What a rollercoaster ride this book is!!!! I laughed out loud and had my blood pressure elevate at several points. Sam Cheever has done it again!!!!!”

The More Things Change…

Come to Silver Hills. Where fowl plans can either mean dinner out, or the deadly designs of a chicken-livered killer.

When Vlad’s opponent for the Silver City mayoral race succumbs to fowl deeds, he seriously changes the pecking order in Vlad’s favor. But the victim’s death has made Vlad king of the roost, so the Silver Hills night manager quickly becomes the obvious suspect.

Plucky investigators Flo and Co. are certainly no strangers to Vlad’s evil ways. But they’re also not egg-xactly convinced he did it. So, when Flo learns that the victim, a wealthy local chicken farmer, had been trying to reach her when he was killed, she’s more than a little curious why.

Will their investigation shine a light on a killer’s fowl deeds before he flies the coop? Or will Flo chicken out when the villain threatens to go all cock-a-doodle-do on her bad self? There’s only one way to find out. And you already know what it is… Yep, Flo and Co. are goin’ in, tail feathers high!

Fowl Campaign is Book 8 in my fun Silver Hills Cozy Mysteries. For many of you, your first experience with a Sam Cheever book was Flo Charts,
the series prequel.  Lots of things have changed since those first days
when Flo and Agnes met and jumped into their first mystery together.

New characters have appeared, old characters have grown and changed, and relationships have taken interesting turns. But one thing has never
changed throughout this series. Flo's and Agnes's friendship. When all is
said and done, I believe that's what makes these books so much fun.

Sure, it's entertaining to see the new and different ways Agnes finds to get into trouble. And yeah, it's educational to watch Flo navigate through all the challenges and personalities, using a strong intellect, pure old-fashioned stubbornness, and a dose of substitute teacher pluck to solve every problem. But I believe the real gold of the books is in the way the two women get along. Their affectionate ribbing. The respect they have for each other. And the way they have each other's backs through even the murkiest problems.

That's what makes you feel good as you read the last sentence in every book. Because you know you might be leaving them behind for a minute. But they won't be alone. And neither will you! All you need to do is turn the page of another Silver Hills book to be right there among friends again.

I hope you'll pick up a copy of Fowl Campaign and join the fun. And if you're so inclined, drop a brief review on Amazon so that others will know it's a good book to read. 

As always, I appreciate you! 

When Nothing’s Familiar – Everything can be Lost

When the boundary between worlds is breached, lives are at risk, balance is disrupted and nothing is the same.

I closed my eyes, drawing the energy that sizzled in my core into my fingers and allowing it to ease into Becksmart’s flesh. I controlled the speed of its insertion, knowing that it would be easy to lose control if the energy waiting within the husk of his body was hostile or hungry.

I looked for a spark of life that I could grasp. It was unusual for every bit of life energy to be evicted from the body immediately upon death. A small portion of magic usually remained for a while, a residual energy that I was able to tap into if I was lucky. That remainder was what I would use to read the deceased’s final moments.

Unfortunately, I’d never tried to read a human soul. Because that was what the energy translated to in a human. What was a life force made of pure supernatural energy in a magic user, was something much more ethereal in a human. Something that went beyond magic and was tethered to the spiritual realm.

I had no idea if my energy could even meld with that insubstantial force, let alone pull something out of it. When nothing immediately happened, I increased the energy, sending my explorative tentacles deeper. I probed more meticulously in my search for that spark of remaining energy.

Rummaging around in there for several moments, I found nothing.

Then suddenly, something changed. I touched a spark, seeing an internal flare of light as the energy pulsed into life, contracting and drawing away from my foreign power.

I went very still, retracting the probing energy slightly so I didn’t cause Becksmart’s life force to retract again. I waited, expanding my sensors in an attempt to identify the tiny speck of energy. It was very different from what I was used to. Purer, less stark. Like a golden thread floating gently in a pool of mercury. I got the sense it would like to be set free. I needed to be very careful that I wasn’t the vehicle it used to gain that freedom.

Aside from not knowing what residual effects that might have on me, I needed to read the energy before it fled the world for good.

A hand touched my shoulder. “LA, are you all right?”

I shook off Deg’s touch, frowning. On the outside edge of my awareness, I knew I was breathing really hard, and that sweat trickled down between my shoulder blades, but I still felt as if I had some level of control.

That feeling didn’t last very long.

The fearful speck of energy that had cowered away from my touch suddenly pulsed stronger and exploded into a painfully bright and burning essence. It flashed out and scorched my energy like fire, causing me to scream and pull away. But the energy followed, shooting toward me as I retreated, and I realized what it was doing.

Just before it would have ridden my magic into the ether, escaping me for good, I forced myself to stop retreating. Gritting my teeth against the agony to come, I wrapped the tentacles of my magic around Becksmart’s life force and held on as it writhed and pulsed in an attempt to escape.

Its touch was pure torture, sizzling against my unprotected power and burning it away as fast as I could send more to hold it there. My throat hurt. On some level I was aware I was screaming, beyond the ability to hold it in.

Deg wrapped himself around me and added his energy to mine, reinforcing my hold of Becksmart’s soul. He tensed against me and I heard his hiss of pain. But sharing the discomfort made it more bearable, and I slammed my lips shut on the screams that throbbed there.

I focused on reading the energy. Looking for a signature of the foreign power Tollman suspected had killed the reporter.

There was something hiding behind the painful brightness of the soul. Something darker and more familiar. I sensed its latent energy skulking there but couldn’t get a proper read with all the interference between us.

I couldn’t feel its essence or read the DNA of its magical makeup, but I felt its hostility like a low level hum behind Becksmart’s soul. With a start, I realized the foreign magic was shoving the piece of human soul at me, trying to push me out.

Do you feel that? I asked Deg through our internal communication channel. I felt his nod in my head. 

We need to get past the soul, he ground out, clearly in a lot of pain. I realized in that moment that he was taking on the brunt of it so I could do what I needed to do.

But I won’t be able to read his last moments if I do that.

It’s one or the other, he gasped in my head.

He was right. We could either try to see Becksmart’s last moments, or we could attempt to identify his killer. It was a risk either way. With the reporter’s soul doing such a good job of blocking, we could fail to uncover the deadly magic and lose everything. Or I could try to read his last moments and not be shown the killer. I couldn’t script what I’d be shown. What was there was what I’d see.

I had to decide. And I had to do it fast. I could feel Deg’s energy failing him more with every passing second.

Then the decision was ripped away. Becksmart’s soul flared again, sizzling against our combined energy, and Deg screamed, the agony-filled sound like razors over my skin. My magic faltered and fell away, retreating so quickly I didn’t have time to adjust as it shoved Deg and me so hard we flew backward and smashed up against the far wall.

“Tollman!” I screamed, as a pale yellow whisper of energy trickled from Becksmart’s gaping lips and shot toward the ceiling.

To his credit, the Angel was quick on the draw. His hand shot out and he grabbed for the wisp of soul, wrapping one big hand around it and drawing it in.

The wisp of yellow mist sunk into his palm, and his skin glowed brightly beneath it. I pushed to my feet, my gaze locked on the Angel.

He stood very still, his eyes closed and his head back. The skin of his outstretched palm rolled beneath some kind of impossible force.

How could so much power be captured in such a small amount of energy?

Suddenly, Tollman’s head snapped up and his eyes shot open. His fingers jerked straight, and his entire hand flashed a bright, silver aura, the energy snapping like a raging fire before extinguishing in a soft gasp of air.

I shoved hair out of my face and rubbed my back where I’d slammed into the wall. “Did you get anything?” I asked the Angel.

For a moment, he didn’t seem to hear me, then his gaze slid slowly to mine. His eyes were glassy, and I knew he wasn’t really seeing Deg and Me.  

“Tollman?” Deg said, coming up beside me. “Are you okay?”

The Angel blinked. He looked at his hand and slowly squeezed the fingers closed before answering. “It was something dark. Ugly. But I couldn’t get a signature.”

His voice was soft, breathy. He stared at his hand as if whatever he’d experienced had affected him strongly.

“Was it human or magical?” I asked, feeling dread like a lump of clay in my belly.

His mahogany brows lowered. He unfurled his fingers and stared at the skin I’d watched shifting under Becksmart’s soul energy a moment earlier.

He finally dropped the hand and jerked his gaze to us. “I have to go.”

As he hurried past, I lifted a hand to stop him, but the hand inexplicably missed, cutting through empty air. Before I had time to blink, Tollman was through the door and it had slammed closed behind him, causing me to jump under the violence of its closing.

I looked at Deg. “What just happened?”

He shook his head. “I have no idea. But whatever it was, I think it’s a pretty good bet that it wasn’t a positive development.”

Grab Your Copy of Nothing Familiar at a discounted release price!






Help! I’m being Uslurped!

Hi. My name is Caphy, short for Cacophony. My best friend Joey named me that because I make a lot of noise when I'm hungry, or want to play ball, or see a squirrel, or a car, a bird, a speck of dirt blowing across the floor…

Geez, I used to think she was being overly sensitive about the noise thing. But now that I look at it, she might have something there.

But anyway…

Joey doesn't know I'm here. Ixnay on the ewsnay. She'd be mad if she knew I was whining in your ear. But something must be done. Our author's out of control. She's ruining my fictional life!!! Whiiiiiiinnnnnneeeee!

I've been Joey's best friend for years, ever since she and her Uncle Dev rescued me from that ditch alongside the road. We're inseparable and, other than my second-best friend Hal Amity (who launches a mean tennis ball) we've been a team of two for that whole time. 

I like it that way.

But now Sam's throwing a wrench into the works. Or should I say, a cranky cat? I don't like this cat. She's mean and spits at me a lot. Joey won't let me eat her, so what's a sweet, slightly scared of spitting felines, pibl to do? All that's left for me is hiding under and behind the furniture. I've been sucking hairballs for a whole week now and I hate it. 

Please help me talk Sam out of making Joey keep this nightmare on soundless feet. If LaLee stays around I'm going to need serious therapy. I'm talking hours of tennis ball chasing, copious amounts of rolling in stinky stuff, and boxes full of my favorite dog treats. 

Look, I'm not heartless. I know the cat just lost her owner. Good boy do I know! She was swimmin' wid' da fishes in Joey's pond. But that doesn't mean I need a furever sister, does it? 

No! It doesn't. So please, do me a solid, send Sam a note and beg her not to saddle me with the cat. Pleeeeaaassseee…whiiiiiinnnnnneeeee! I'll be your third best friend furever if you do. 

Caphy (shhhhh!)

Flo and Agnes give us Their New Year’s Resolutions

Yep, it's that time of year again. The time when everybody thinks it's a good idea to make New Year's Resolutions. This year, I asked Flo and Agnes about their resolutions. The following is what they told me. Though I'm not holding my breath on any of it!

Flo's 2019 Resolution

Hello. This is Florence Bee. If you've followed my stories, you already know that when I decide to do something, I do it. Some might call me bull-headed, but I prefer determined. I always have to be the responsible one. The one who everybody can count on. It gets dang tedious, let me tell you, but there you have it.

So my New Year's resolution is that I will try twice as hard to keep Agnes out of trouble. Now, mind, I'm not making any promises. I'm only human. And Agnes is like a giant, magnetic field in a room filled with needles, just sucking that trouble right to her. Things just automatically fall apart when she comes within ten miles of a crime scene. She's helpless against the pull to destroy evidence. But it's my duty, as her friend, to try to keep her out of trouble.

Plus, we owe it to TC. If that girl's ever going to get married and have cute little TC mini-me's, we need to stop causing trouble between her and that handsome detective she likes so much.kes so much. 

Agnes's 2019 Resolution

Hey everybody! This is Agnes Willard from Silver Hills. Yeah, I heard what Flo's resolution is. I don't understand the problem. I don't mess up Detective Peters' crime scene's on purpose. If stuff happens when I'm there, it's not my fault. Things happen for a reason, right?

For example, I refuse to take the blame for that Count Dracula fella's head getting caught in that trap door. It was unfortunate it got flattened that way, but nobody told me I shouldn't press the button, so it wasn't my fault. Who among us could resist pressing a big, shiny red button? Who?

Also, I didn't mean to knock that dead guy off the camel's back.

And how did I know Detective Peters would misconstrue powdered donut sugar for illicit drugs?

You know that floor in Scarlett's living room was half rotted. It's not my fault I fell right through and pulled TC with me.

So what is my New Year's Resolution? I'm going deep undercover to prove something very important. I'm determined to catch Vlad in the act of draining the blood from one of his victims if it's the last thing I do. I mean, Silver City can't have a vampire for a Mayor, can we? Yes, everybody knows politicians are soulless blood-suckers, but Vlad takes that to a whole ‘nuther level!

Oh, and I'm going to lose the three pounds that are keeping me from being absolutely perfect. I'm figuring if I cut my pie intake to one a day, that should do it. I can always up my cookie intake so my blood sugar doesn't tank. But no more walking club with TC. Uh, uh. Not me. I'm all for a healthy lifestyle, but let's not get carried away. A girl could do serious damage to herself plodding around on concrete like that!

Yeah, that's 2 Resolutions. I'm an overachiever. It's just how I roll.