Saturday, March 16, 2013

Karie Lee Townsend and her Fortune Teller Mystery

Hi Kari! It's great to have you here today. I love this cover. Whoever designed it did a wonderful job!

Kari is giving away a paperback copy of Trouble in the Tarot to one lucky commenter. Sorry, to US residents only. So, please be sure and leave one for her. In addition, I'll give away a PDF copy of any of my releases to one commenter--winner's choice.

How Trouble in the Tarot came about

I’ve always loved the paranormal. It’s so fascinating to me, especially fortune-telling. Years ago I went with a friend to a psychic fair, and we had our palms read and I was hooked. Then later I went to a tea-leaf reader’s home and had my tea leaves read. And still later I went to a chapter meeting for a writing organization I belong to and I had a past-life reading done. Each time the readings were so accurate they were uncanny. And not just for me, but for those around me as well. I am sure there are frauds out there, but there are also too many cases where things can’t be explained.

When I decided I wanted to write a paranormal cozy mystery series, I knew I wanted to write about a psychic. I didn’t want her to just be a psychic, so I thought having her use fortune-telling tools to help interpret her visions would be a lot of fun. And still further, having each book focus on a different fortune-telling tool made my research that much more interesting.

For book 1, we decided to focus on tea leaves because it hadn’t been done before. That book was a success, so I asked my editor what tools she wanted me to focus on next. She said crystal balls and tarot cards. So for book 2, I chose crystal balls because that tool worked better for the plot I had in mind. And now in book 3, the tarot cards were a perfect fit for Sunny to give readings in the park at the Summer Solstice Carnival. Here’s a little excerpt to show you how it all pans out…

TROUBLE IN THE TAROT (book 3 of the Fortune Teller Mysteries – March 5, 2013)
For psychic Sunshine Meadows, sometimes fortunes can be deceiving…

Lately Sunny has been experiencing a period of big opportunity: her business in Divinity, New York, is thriving, and Detective Mitch Stone has finally agreed to take Sunny on a date. But thanks to her clairvoyant abilities, Sunny knows better than anyone that life deals out bad cards along with the good.

When Sunny agrees to read tarot cards at the annual summer Solstice Carnival, she meets her Granny Gert’s “arch nemesis” Fiona Atwater, and is overcome by a vision of Fiona in a violent argument. Sunny knows trouble is brewing when Granny and Fiona start having squabbles all over town. But the fighting comes to a head when a local baker gets run over by a big white Cadillac—and Granny and Fiona are found at the crime scene.

Sunny knows she should step aside and let Mitch handle the investigating, but she’s not about to ignore her visions and leave her granny’s life in fate’s hands…

Chapter One
       “The cards predict a very long week ahead of us, Morty,” I said as I laid out my fortune-telling supplies on a table inside the gazebo in Mini Central Park.
My big, white, beautiful, arrogant cat scowled and gave me a look--as much as a feline can give a look--that said, Duh! Ya think? 
How did I let her talk me into this?” I asked.
Cat or no cat, his scowl deepened, and I swore I could see the brow he didn’t have arch sky-high.
“Fine. Not me, us,” I added, making a set of air quotes. “And don’t give me that look, mister. You can’t say no to her any more than I can.” 
I shook my head at the ridiculous traditional, turban-style fortune-teller hat she’d tied to his head because I’d refused to wear one. I was a real psychic and simply used fortune-telling tools to help interpret my visions. I didn’t care to add to the stigma already attached to my profession. 
As usual, Granny was clueless and made it clear she thought I was being silly. She thought Morty looked adorable and that his attire added to our authenticity. I didn’t have the energy to argue, so I’d let it go. At least it was an improvement over the god-awful bow ties she usually dressed him up in.
Morty rolled his jet black eyes, leapt onto the railing, and stretched out in the early morning sunshine. I could see he would be absolutely no help whatsoever.
Just peachy. 
 The small town of Divinity, located in upstate New York, kicked off the summer every year with its Summer Solstice Carnival. This year June twenty-first fell on a Friday, so the carnival would start today, continue all week with an auction to boot, and end on Sunday, June thirtieth, with the widely-popular bakeoff.
         My grandmother Gertrude was a member of Trixie’s Sewing Circle, and they were in charge of the carnival this year. Somehow, I’d let Granny Gert talk me into reading tarot cards under the gazebo. All for a good cause, mind you, she’d said, pointing out the money the carnival raised would help the local animal shelter. The carnival committee chose a different charity every year to help support through the carnival proceeds, and this one just happened to be near and dear to my heart.
        As cunning as my cat, Granny had pounced. You find such joy in Morty. Why not help others find an animal to love? If we don’t raise enough money to get Animal Angels going, they might have to shut down before they even get started. Just think of what might happen to those critters if they don’t get adopted, she’d said, knowing the word euthanize wasn’t in my vocabulary. So here I was...
Nine A.M. on a Friday morning, setting up shop in the park.

I hope you enjoy the book. Good luck in winning the giveaway, and don’t be afraid to drop me a line and or post a review. I love to hear what my readers think of my books. Thanks again for having me here.

A Little About Kari:

Kari Lee Townsend lives in central New York with her understanding husband, her three busy boys, and her oh-so-dramatic daughter :-) She is the National Bestselling Author, Agatha & RT Reviewer's Choice Award nominee for her Fortune Teller Mystery series. Kari also writes romance under the name Kari Lee Harmon. Small towns, mystical elements, quirky characters and a few chuckles along the way are what her books are all about. To find out more about Kari and all of her books, check out her websites at: 

Buy Links for Trouble in the Tarot

Barnes & Noble

Don't forget to leave Kari a comment to be entered in her drawing and a comment to be entered in mine.

Happy Reading and Writing!



  1. This is such a fun series. Keep writing.

  2. What a fascinating concept! A few times Taro readers joined us at the writer retreats I used to host, and everyone loved the insights the readers gave each of us on our personal lives, but no one ever came up with the idea to use the Tarot as a basis for a mystery--at least that I know of. Best of luck with your series, Kari.

  3. Gorgeous photo in your blog header, Linda.

    Kari was on my blog and I loved her book. Best wishes to you both.

    1. Thanks, Caroline. I wish I could say I took the picture but alas I didn't, One of those purchased photos.

  4. A subject near and dear to my heart. Loved the excerpt and can't wait to read more.

  5. Awww thanks guys! Hope you enjoy reading Trouble in the Tarot :)

  6. I love cozy mysteries! I'm definitely going to check your series out!

    Hi Linda...I agree...the cover is delightful!


  7. Kari,

    Had my first Tarot reading last fall. I did it for fun, but found it shocking how accurate the cards were. Look forward to reading your book.

  8. Hi Kari,
    This is a terrific theme! I heard about your trilogy via Authors by Moonlight, and it sound so good. I like the tea leaves the best -- have always wondered how that works!
    Kate Donovan

  9. It sounds like a wonderfully fun book! I'm so glad I was introduced to your work.
    Thank you, Linda for having Kari on your blog.

  10. Thank you everyone. You guys are great! I just love writing this series.