Friday, January 15, 2021

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Death and Decluttering (Sparks and Joy #1) by Nancy McGovern

Death and Decluttering banner
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Death and Decluttering by Nancy McGovern. This blog tour was organized by Lola's Blog Tours. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a guest post from the author. There's also a tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card or a print copy of the book. Be sure to visit the rest of the stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
Death and Decluttering
Title: Death and Decluttering
Series: Sparks and Joy #1
Author: Nancy McGovern
Publication Date: June 23rd 2020
Print Length: 224 pages
Genre: Cozy Mystery

Joy Russo loves chaos. From her life as a busy reporter to her brawling, coffee-obsessed Italian family, there’s nothing she loves more than her messy, little life. Then the weird, slightly out-of-this-world Aurora Sparks arrives, whose life seems to revolve around creating order out of chaos. 

The two of them have somehow ended up as roommates in the small Upstate New York town of Bent River, and the old adage that says “opposite attract” couldn’t be further from the truth! Sparks fly & tempers flare as each young lady tries to deal with the other’s eccentricities while not compromising their own values. Much easier said than done. 

But when a man is found dead and Joy’s father is the prime suspect, the two must put aside their differences if they want to help him. They soon find that Joy’s tough, no-nonsense demeanor and Aurora’s ordered, structured nature perfectly complement each other when it comes to ferreting out clues. And, thankfully so, as the danger threatens to escalate unless they can sort through the facts and solve this mystery in a hurry! 

Death & Decluttering is the first cozy mystery adventure in Nancy McGovern’s new series, "Sparks & Joy”!

Joy shot up out of bed as she heard the phone ring. The digital alarm clock beside her bed read 3:04am. Ricci House was one of the few houses in Bent River to still have a landline, mainly because her Nonno had insisted on it. He’d liked the fact that it was tied down in one place. A mobile phone was far too easily lost in the mountain of clutter all around the house.

Now, Joy realized with a sigh that the phone was still in her Nonno’s room. The room she’d hardly ever entered after he died. The room she’d thoughtlessly let Aurora settle into earlier that day.

The ringing stopped. Joy shrugged on a robe and tied the belt around herself. Her hazy mind had begun to clear, and panic was marching its icy feet down her spine. A call at 3am could only mean bad news. Gearing herself up mentally, Joy walked down the hallway and rapped on what was now Aurora’s door.

Aurora swung it wide open almost immediately. Her eyes were wide and panicked. “Joy…it’s…it’s for you.” She pointed behind her and Joy raced to pick up the phone. She closed her eyes for a second and took a breath - the fear that something bad had happened was now certainty.

“Joy, sweetheart.” It was her mother. Oh no. “Something terrible has happened.”

“It’s Dad, isn’t it?” Joy’s throat was so tight she could barely talk. Aurora came up behind her and put a sympathetic hand on her shoulder.

“It’s…me, actually,” her mother said. “I’m calling from the police station. Oh, Joy…could you come? Quickly? I think I might need a lawyer, too. I just...”

“You’re at the police station?” Joy blinked. “What?

“I’m being questioned,” her mother said. “Joy…it’s not looking good.”

You? Questioned by the police?” Joy was baffled. “At 3am?”

“Chip Goggins is dead.” Her mother’s voice was strangely emotionless and flat.

“Where’s Dad?” A new suspicion had begun to dawn on Joy.

“I don’t know. The police have gone to get him, too. Joy, can you please just come? Tell Uncle Pietro and the others, will you?”

“Sure. Sure. Of course,” Joy said. “Don’t you worry, Mom. We’ll sort everything out soon. Just stay strong.”

“Your time is up,” an official sounding voice said in the background.

“Just one more min-” Joy heard her mother protest just as the phone was cut off.

Aurora gave her a questioning look as Joy placed the phone down.

“I have to go,” Joy said, pushing past her and rushing to the door. No…wait…she had to call her uncles first. Struggling to remember where she’d put her purse, Joy ran to her room and began searching around. Her phone, wallet and keys - she really needed them right now. 

Right. Now.
Alibis and ArrangingSuspects and Sorting
Alibis and Arranging (Sparks and Joy #2) by Nancy McGovern
You can buy Alibis and Arranging on Amazon

Suspects and Sorting (Sparks and Joy #3) by Nancy McGovern
You can buy Suspects and Sorting on Amazon
Nancy McGovern
I'm a mother, wife, homemaker, pet lover, teacher, student, reader, writer, drinker of tea & wine (depending on the time of day) and sleep-deprived dreamer. I live in Northern New Jersey with my husband (a veterinarian and writer), our three children and too many furred & feathered friends to list!

- What true life mystery has you the most baffled?

For the past twenty-plus years I have been captivated and heartbroken by the JonBenet Ramsey case. While I’ve always been obsessed with unsolved mysteries, in general, there are so many factors in this case that make it the most puzzling and upsetting of any I’ve ever studied. And I have studied this one quite a bit. I’ve read books & articles. I’ve watched interviews & documentaries. I’ve even watched the movies. And, yet, after all that I’ve learned, I have to admit that I still have no idea what happened. I wonder if anyone ever will.

Nearly everything about the case is perplexing to me and just doesn’t fit what you’d imagine when considering a murder case. JonBenet was an adorable, six-year old beauty queen - not the typical victim of a vicious murder within her own home. It happened on Christmas morning, when most of us are in as positive a state of mind as we have been all year and certainly not contemplating the murder of an innocent child. The family was apparently fairly well-off and lived in a safe, beautiful neighborhood in Boulder, Colorado. And, yet, despite all of these factors that we typically believe should insulate us from such a tragedy, JonBenet was found brutally murdered in the basement of her home. And, to make it worse, her own family almost immediately drew the focus of the police when the facts of the case just didn’t seem to add up. 

As impossible as it is for me to imagine as a mom, many people, including many of the investigators involved in the case, feel JonBenet’s mother was to blame. Others suspect JonBenet’s brother of the crime and believe the parents were guilty of covering up whatever happened. And, without any proof pointing in a specific direction, the potential for an outside party’s involvement has to remain a possibility.

But it’s been nearly twenty-five years since the crime occurred and it seems no one is any closer to solving the case than on that first day. JonBenet’s mother has passed away, taking any information she may have had, knowingly or unknowingly, to the grave. Her brother has been living his life in privacy, save for an awkward interview with Dr. Phil that, for some, only served to increase their suspicion of him. And her father is remarried and sticking to his story that JonBenet’s killer is still out there and will someday be caught.

I don’t know who or what to believe. I don’t know if the case will ever be solved. I just wish it could’ve been a story in a book rather than a real life tragedy that cut a beautiful, little girl’s life short.
ONE WINNER: $50 Amazon gift card
THREE WINNERS: Print copy of Death and Decluttering by Nancy McGovern
(US only)
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