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Joyce and Jim Lavene

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Writing as Joyce and Jim Lavene

Taxi for The Dead Paranormal Mysteries

Retired Witches Mysteries

Missing Pieces Mysteries

Renaissance Faire Mysteries

Peggy Lee Garden Mysteries

Sharyn Howard Mysteries


Writing as J.J. Cook

Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mysteries

Biscuit Bowl Food Truck Mysteries

Writing as Ellie Grant

Pie in the Sky Mysteries

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cover for Dead Girl Blues

Dead Girl Blues

When Nashville cop Skye Mertz and her husband, Jacob, are killed in a wreck, Skye is given the opportunity to come back for twenty years to raise her five-year-old daughter, Kate. With her ghostly mother-in-law’s help, Skye hopes to be there until Kate is old enough to take care of herself.

But three years into her twenty-year service to Abraham Lincoln Jones, the man who gave her the extra time, Skye is beginning to think life might have been easier before she died.

Abe asks her to investigate the murder of his sorcerer, Harold the Great, a man who was a victim of too many snakes. And the Life Extended People ( LEPs – a nice term for zombies) who work for Abe have begun turning into ghosts and disappearing. Only Lucas, the possibly evil, amnesiac sorcerer who lives with Skye and her family, can save her from being the next victim of the deadly curse.

To make matters more complicated, Skye has found a lead in solving the riddle of her husband’s death. She has never believed Jacob died as a result of the crash, but hasn’t been able to prove it. Many other people have lost their lives in the same lonely stretch of highway that he did three years before. Skye goes against Abe’s express wishes to discover the truth with a crazy man bent on vengeance.

Life was simpler when she could just take out a gun and shoot someone.

Book #2 Taxi For The Dead series


Taxi for the Dead Series:

“This brand new series starts off with a bang. What a great premise for a series. Who wouldn’t want to live another 20 years! This is a well plotted, page-turner of a read.” ~ Cheryl Green


 Cover image for Gator Bowl

Broken Hearted Ghoul 

 Book #1 Taxi For The Dead series

Former Nashville police officer Skye Mertz uses her training to solve mysteries for her new boss, a sorcerer named Abraham Lincoln Jones. Abe brought Skye back to life for twenty years after she signed his contract to serve him for that time.

Now Skye picks up Abe’s zombie workers—like herself—when their time is up. She takes care of her daughter, Kate, with the help of her ghostly mother-in-law, Addie, and Lucas, a sorcerer with amnesia.

In between, she searches for what really killed her husband, Jacob. The police say he died in the same wreck that killed her, but Skye knows better. She has twenty years to prove that his death was no accident.


5.0 out of 5 stars Unique, light paranormal cozy with an underlying depth

 "I loved the Lavene's Telltale Turtle and their Missing Pieces series, so when I saw this self-published paranormal cozy, I snatched it up right away. Broken Hearted Ghoul is a light, fun read. It does not go as in depth into characters and motivations as in the Missing Pieces series, but it is exactly the kind of book I need when I am in between complex urban fantasies and my nerves need to cool down. There is still lots of action and character interaction, and a unique concept to boot. Despite it's light nature, it is not fluff. There are deep underlying concepts that raise the question of how we (were we to be in Skye Mertz's shoes) would choose to live life, and how we would choose to die." ~Alice in Vunderland