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My newest book releases April 22, 2024 so I'm sharing with you a sneak peek.

An audio file with the name Play Me appeared on my computer screen.

I hesitated. Someone had hacked into my computer in front of the only sponsor willing to give me a chance after a massive scandal. I would be crazy to play the file.

“Ms. Fortune, if you have nothing else, I’m glad to have met you. Coming up with nine podcasts on a short notice is impressive.” Mrs. Josephine Redman held her hand out, and I saw my dream vanish again.

“I have one more idea,” I said as I double clicked on the file, and my heart hammered in my chest fearing I might’ve made the worst mistake in my life.

Mrs. Redman sat and played on her phone like she had done and passed on each podcast. As she settled, an unfamiliar voice played through my speakers.

“Hello, fellow murder enthusiasts! I’m Kenzie Stuart, for Help Me Solve My Murder, and I’m dead.”

What the fuck? I thought, and I paused the track.

Mrs. Redman shifted her cell away from her face, staring at me with her piercing green eyes. “Play more,” she said.

I obliged, and Kenzie’s voice started again.

“I need your help finding my killer. Before we begin, take a moment to compile a list of those who would want you dead. Whose name appears at the top? Would anyone in your family make the list?”

I stopped the file and let the breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding onto out. Kenzie could make her own podcast, and she didn’t need me as a co-host.

“Is there more?” Mrs. Redman asked me.

“Yes,” I answered after glancing at the audio player. One minute remained. I wouldn’t tell her the truth because after this clip I had nothing else. I had never met Kenzie and never learned if she died or not.

“You want a co-host? After everything that happened to you?” Mrs. Redman sounded unsure.

“Ms. Stuart isn’t like anyone else.” She had helped me in a tight jam. I could take this brilliant idea and use someone else after I received their family’s approval.

“She better not be if she’s dead.” Mrs. Redman laughed at her own poor joke. She stood this time with her phone left on her chair and handed me one of her business cards. She never handed them out unless she intended to work with the person.

I stopped myself from jumping for joy as I took her card.

“My assistant will call you soon to set up your contract meeting and also your first studio session,” Mrs. Redman said.

“Thank you, Mrs. Redman.” The urge to hug her swept through me, and I refrained myself. Tears sprang into my eyes. I stuffed her card into my pocket and put my laptop away. I swiped at my tears away from her view. After I had lost my podcast, I promised myself no one would see me cry over it.

“Kaya, call me Josephine. You have a much bigger future than with Murderaholics.”

“Thanks, Mrs. Redman. I mean Josephine.” My cheeks heated at the mention of her kind words and at the name of my old podcast.

“I have big expectations from you.” Josephine led me out of the conference room and pointed toward the first right.

Me too. At least I used to. My life had been a nightmare, but I finally crawled out of my depression. I had considered starting a podcast on my own, but with my funds being low, I couldn’t even afford a horrible microphone. I found the auditions for Redman Entertainment and went for it. The administrative assistant had called me, saying I’d meet with Josephine today.

I waved to the receptionist and headed toward the elevator. After I pressed the button for the basement parking, I glanced at the door to the stairs, contemplating to run down the fourteen flights after a thousand questions flipped through my mind. I had a lot of tasks and limited time before the assistant contacted me. Would they call me in a day or a week? Could I find Kenzie Stuart by then and get her family’s permission?

The elevator dinged, and a hot guy stepped out. His cologne of sandalwood and vanilla filled my nose. Of course, he also smelled good.

I smiled at him and stepped inside.

He snarled at me, taking off down the hall.

Whatever. He could not ruin my good mood. Nothing mattered except Kenzie Stuart’s existence. I could find another murder victim, give them a voice, and possibly solve their murder. The point of my podcasts was to help people.

When the elevator doors opened to the basement, I sprinted to my car and took out my laptop. I connected to the internet and searched for Kenzie while her voice played through my speakers.

“For the last year, the police haven’t solved my murder. My case has gone cold, which is a fancy term for they have no new evidence.

“I attended my second year at the University of Garfo in North Dakota and lived at a sorority house, Phi Beta, with my sisters, sorority sisters. I added their twenty names to my list, but would they kill me for spending too much time in the bathroom?”

I found many details on Makenzie Stuart online, but none on Kenzie, except for a business. She had been a college student. What did every student have? A social media account. I searched for her on the popular one and scrolled through names upon names. For some unknown reason, the fourteenth Kenzie Stuart stood out to me. I clicked on the pretty brunette’s profile.

She wore a black winter cap and had done her makeup for her picture. Upon closer examination, the image seemed manipulated, as if she appeared too flawless with her lengthy eyelashes. Kenzie had been pretty and probably popular like me.

Messages upon messages of RIP and words missing Kenzie filled her page. I opened the obituary someone had tagged her in. On a scrap piece of paper, I wrote her birthdate, death date, and parent’s names like I did whenever I started a murder case. I hadn’t figured out if I would represent her story. Finding someone else for the AI voice was possible, but it felt unsettling. Could the real Kenzie have contacted me beyond the grave, or had someone simply messed with me?

Kenzie had only been nineteen when she died. If I didn’t do her podcast, I could at least look into her murder. At her age, I had attended college and found my passion. I had years to do it. She missed the chance to follow her dream and live.

My eyes were hot, and I searched for a tissue in my glove box, dabbing at my eyes.

Someone had posted a tribute video to Kenzie. I skipped it for now. How would I explain crying in a parking lot after getting a new job?

Kenzie had her mother listed under her family members, along with a dozen other girls as sisters on her social media account. Her obit listed no siblings in the survived by or proceeded in death sections. I found they were her sorority sisters by the Phi Beta chapter page on the university’s website.

Her mother had mentioned a few posts with her dad. Their smiles had been stolen last October, right after they lost their daughter. Kids were never supposed to die before their parents.

An anger began to boil inside of me. I had seen countless stories like Kenzie, but I had never felt close to them like I did with hers. Perhaps because we shared similarities. Or maybe because she had contacted me after death.

I shook the idea away. Emotions never broke a story. Besides, I didn’t feel this way last year. I vaguely remembered the story on the news, but I hadn’t paid too much attention to it, since I had my own problems. How could one death compare to four at a much larger college and of course, covered by my nemesis? The new cheerful co-host caused vomit to fill my mouth. My old podcast replaced me with someone too happy every second of every day.

I pushed those notions away and focused on Kenzie. Her story deserved to be told, not placed on the back pages only to be forgotten. Even if not by me, by someone. Maybe the police couldn’t catch her killer because no one knew she had died.

The Garfo Forum released the first story on Kenzie’s death with virtually no information. Someone had strangled her and tied her up in her room at her sorority house. I wrote roommate with a question mark to ask her parents or the sorority advisor. Despite there being twenty or more women present, no one had heard or seen anything.

The next story stated basic facts of Kenzie being found by a sorority sister, Haleigh Morris. She was a twenty-one-year-old blonde senior, according to her social media account. She had posted a nice tribute to her dead friend.

I found another article, but it only mentioned a $10,000 reward from the university for details about Kenzie’s killer. Had anyone come forward? Would the police even tell me?

When I became popular with my former podcast, higher ups in the police department would suggest that their captains share information, since millions of viewers would hear and I portrayed the police in a good light. I also never shared information they didn’t want, unlike my ex-co-host.

Kenzie’s mother posted an opinion piece a few days ago. She gave her daughter a voice. Kenzie had loved to dance and attended school to become a nurse. She had a massive interest in her family’s ancestry. For her mother’s fortieth birthday, she had spent hours digging through an online database until she found pictures of her great grandfather and him signing at Ellis Island when he arrived in America. Something, according to her mom, she would always cherish.

After the tear jerker article, I watched the tribute video. It started off with pictures of Kenzie as a baby, building up through her toddler, teenage, and college years. Upon starting her life at Garfo University, she shared a story and laughed.

The urge to run and hide swept through my body. Kenzie’s voice matched the one on the Play Me file.

If you're wondering what Help Me Solve My Murder is about...

After failing every pitch, podcast host Kaya Fortune has one last chance when a Play Me audio file appears on her computer. She plays it in front of the only sponsor willing to give her a chance after a scandal, and the voice of the dead girl asks Kaya to help solve her murder.

The sponsor loves the idea and gives Kaya a contract with the stipulation her co-host is dead. Kaya has never met the girl and isn’t certain if she’s dead. Kaya must determine why the deceased girl reached out to her from beyond the grave.

Along for the investigation is Kaya’s hot producer, Tobias Carr, who dislikes Kaya because of the scandal and insists on being involved in every process, including the research. The more they dig into the dead girl’s murder, the more suspects they cross off.

With the help of an odd computer whiz, tension turning into steamy with Tobias, and a whacky cat, Kaya may solve her co-host’s murder.

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I super excited to announce my newest book, Help Me Solve My Murder. This is my podcast/murder mystery/paranormal obsession all rolled into one book.

Book is on presale until 4/22/2024.

After failing every pitch, podcast host Kaya Fortune has one last chance when a Play Me audio file appears on her computer. She plays it in front of the only sponsor willing to give her a chance after a scandal, and the voice of the dead girl asks Kaya to help solve her murder.

The sponsor loves the idea and gives Kaya a contract with the stipulation her co-host is dead. Kaya has never met the girl and isn’t certain if she’s dead. Kaya must determine why the deceased girl reached out to her from beyond the grave.

Along for the investigation is Kaya’s hot producer, Tobias Carr, who dislikes Kaya because of the scandal and insists on being involved in every process, including the research. The more they dig into the dead girl’s murder, the more suspects they cross off.

With the help of an odd computer whiz, tension turning into steamy with Tobias, and a whacky cat, Kaya may solve her co-host’s murder.

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Here is my latest book. Find out why Ivory was never chased by monsters before she moved to Los Roshano.

Ivory Ames searches the campground and finds her best friend Maria dead on the beach with two bite marks on her neck. Ivory and Harmony Lundy look for clues. They learn someone or something is stalking the campers, and if they’re not careful, they may be next.

Chapter 1 Missing

“Hey, Maria, are you in there?” I knocked on the bathroom door and chewed my bottom lip. No light seeped through the cracks. She could’ve left the light off to keep the princess in the other bedroom asleep.

After Maria didn’t answer, I tried the doorknob, it turned, and the latch released from the frame. I knocked again, calling her name in the process. When she didn’t respond, I pushed the door open, expecting to see her in there. The room was the size of a tiny closest. Besides the toilet and a sink, it was empty. Where had she gone? She wouldn’t have left without telling me. I turned around and almost jumped out of my skin. Someone stood behind me.

“Ivory Ames, what’s the matter with you? Why are you making so much noise? You woke me up.” Harmony, the princess, flicked on her bedroom light and stifled a yawn.

“If you closed your door, you wouldn’t have heard me.” I crossed my arms to allow the fear inside of me to subside. I couldn’t believe she had freaked me out.

“Are you using the bathroom or going back to bed? I need my beauty sleep, and you’re being loud. You are rude.”

“I’m looking for Maria. Is she in your room?” Even as I said those words, I knew the answer.

“Why would she be? I need my own space. We’ve discussed this.” Harmony frowned and her eyebrows furrowed. We arrived at the cabin yesterday afternoon. She called dibs on her own bedroom the moment she walked inside. Maria and I were forced to share a room.

“Have you seen Maria?” I changed the topic. I didn’t want another conversion on why Harmony needed the bigger and only room. She could argue for hours. She was exhausting. Instead of being a lawyer, she would most likely become one of those rich housewives, who lived in a big city and married a basketball star or a professional football player.

“Maria may be at the women’s restroom. Why do we have to camp? Can we pack everything up and go to a nice hotel in the cities?” Harmony mentioned Minneapolis and Saint Paul, a two-hour drive from our current location.

“Maria left without telling me.” I ignored Harmony’s other questions on purpose. She and Maria could afford a better week-long vacation, but I couldn’t. I spent months saving up for this trip, and it was split three ways. This was my first getaway in my whole life.

“You’re not Maria’s mom, and she’s an adult now. She may want some privacy. Have you tried calling her?”

“Her cell’s in our room. I’ll go look for her. She shouldn’t have left without telling me,” I said. A knot formed inside my belly. I was way more nervous than I’d thought. Something didn’t sit right with me. She wasn’t the type to flake on me.

“You’re such a worrywart. I’m going back to bed. Don’t bother waking me when you’ve found her.” Harmony turned around, disappearing inside her room.

“I’m heading to the shared restroom. If Maria isn’t there, I’ll check the beach afterward.” She was a great swimmer, but she wouldn’t go alone because she could get a cramp and drown.

“Hold on, you’re leaving me alone?”

“What part of ‘I’m heading to the shared restroom’ did you not understand? Bye now. Have a good slumber.” My tone was filled with sarcasm. I couldn’t believe Harmony would go back to bed. Okay, I could. She was the queen bitch at our high school who only cared for herself.

I grabbed a flashlight from a drawer on the kitchen island. By the time I arrived at my destination, the sun should be rising. I wouldn’t need the flashlight anymore. I flicked the switch, testing it to make sure it worked.

“We shouldn’t go. Some creep could be hiding in the dark. We wouldn’t see him. He would grab us and murder us.” Harmony appeared in her doorway. Her voice was etched with fear, and she played with the ends of her hair.

“You’ve been reading too many books or watching a lot of TV. Our friend isn’t here, and I’m worried.” I kept my snide comment at bay and headed toward the entrance.

“Don’t leave me. I need to change my clothes and do my hair. I’ll be ready in thirty minutes or an hour.”

“I’m not waiting for you. Maria may be hurt.”

“Why are you such a bitch?” Despite Harmony’s harsh words at me, her face softened.

“Why are you such a freakin’ princess?” I asked her. Anger surged through me, and I wanted to strangle her. Why did I have to go on vacation with her?

“I’m not a princess. I’m a queen.” Harmony strolled over to me and puffed out her chest.

“After you, Your Highness.” I opened the door, bowing in front of her. I enjoyed teasing her a little too much.

“Finally, you’re treating me better.” Harmony flounced through the doorway. She didn’t understand I messed with her.

I gave up, shutting the door behind me and switching on the flashlight. Since Harmony stood on the first step on the deck, I walked around her and hopped onto the sidewalk. I stopped on the pathway from our cabin. Glancing over at the one next to us, the light was on. We should speak to our neighbors to see if they had seen Maria.

“Where are you going?” Harmony grabbed a hold of my elbow, stopping me.

“I’m checking with the guys. They may have seen Maria.” I pulled my arm away from her grasp.

“Paul can’t see me like this.”

“You’re fine.” I shined the flashlight near her face. Another frustration part about Harmony was her capability of looking good all the time. My blonde hair was frizzy. Most days, I stuck it in a ponytail.

“My hair and makeup are a mess.” Harmony touched her perfect brown hair with blonde highlights. It fell in the way a haircut should, wavy. No strand was out of place. Her brown eyes were rimmed with black mascara. Her skin glowed. She might get pimples for sleeping in her makeup.

“No one is forcing you to come with me,” I told her. Inside my mind, I begged her to return to our cabin. I could’ve spoken to Stuart or Paul and walked halfway to the restroom by now.

“Are you trying to get rid of me?” Harmony asked.


“No wonder you don’t have any friends besides Maria. You’re mean to everyone.” A twig snapped, Harmony screamed, and she tightened her hold on me. “What…what is over there?”

“Someone probably didn’t put out their fire. It’ll die on its own. The park rules said they should’ve used water to douse the flames.”

“Did you put out our fire last night because of the rules?” Harmony asked.

“Duh, a forest fire is not a good thing. We’re surrounded by trees. Do you remember the fire in Canada? It turned our skies hazy. The weather is dry right now. One flame could ignite everything,” I answered.

“Our camping area and everyone else’s are not surrounded by trees. We have open space.”

“A breeze could carry an ember to the shrubs. Although, I heard we were in for some rain today.” I couldn’t imagine being locked inside with her on the longest day of the summer. Maria should be at the restroom. She couldn’t go home because I drove us here.

“You’re such a know-it-all.” Another twig snapped, but Harmony didn’t shriek this time.

I shook my head and resumed my mission with her holding onto me the whole time. She let me go when we arrived at the door. I knocked on it.

“Hey, what are you doing here? Weren’t we hanging out later today?” Stuart asked after he answered a couple of minutes later. I didn’t remember his last name.

“Have you seen Maria? She isn’t at our cabin,” I said. My mouth ran dry and I licked my lips. Did I sound desperate to him? I liked the guy, but showing up at his cabin uninvited wasn’t a great idea. I pushed the nervous feelings aside. I needed to find my friend, which was a good excuse and I wasn’t here to see him.

“No, I haven’t seen her. How long has she been missing?” Stuart asked.

“Not sure. We went to bed right after the bonfire. I woke up a few minutes ago and she wasn’t there. We’ll see you—” I said.

“Where’s Paul?” Harmony interrupted me.

“He’s inside his room changing. We’re headed to the beach for an early morning swim. Do you want to talk to him?” Stuart asked.

Harmony sighed with relief.

“Do you want to talk to him?” Stuart asked again. He glanced behind him and then at me. The poor guy didn’t know what to do.

“I don’t want to see him,” Harmony whispered in my ear. Her fake fingernails bit into my skin as she tightened her hold on me.

“Harmony doesn’t want to talk to Paul because she looks like crap,” I said to Stuart.

“Ivory, don’t tell him those words,” Harmony said, angrily. She released me and hit me on my shoulder.

Stuart scratched at his temple, tilted his head to one side, and pursed his lips together. He was cute confused.

“I’m joking. Harmony always looks like she’s headed to a beauty pageant. How soon are you headed to the beach?” I rubbed the marks blossoming on my arm. If he left soon, he could keep an eye out for Maria.

“I’m not sure. Paul takes forever to change,” Stuart answered.

“I get it.” I motioned at the person behind me. We grinned at each other.

“Do you want to come with us? The smaller beach will be more fun if you do,” Stuart said.

“We can’t. We need to find Maria,” I told him.

“I’m sorry, I forgot. Is there anything you want me to do?” Stuart ran a hand through his short brown hair.

“Can you call me if you see her? She might take a different path from the restroom, and I don’t want to miss her,” I said.

“My phone’s dead. I didn’t plug it in last night,” Stuart said.

“Here’s mine.” I pulled out cell, showing him the passcode and holding it out for him to take. Harmony would never give hers away. Hers costed more than what I made in a single paycheck.

“Is Harmony in your contacts?” Stuart asked. His question was valid since we didn’t get along at our bonfire last night. We were clearly not friends.

“She’s under princess,” I muttered. My cheeks heated. I wasn’t mean to people on purpose, but she rubbed me the wrong way and made me feel like I was an idiot. I was valedictorian of our class.

“Do you think I’m royalty?” Harmony asked me.

“Nope, you act one,” I answered, truthfully.

Stuart laughed and covered his mouth with his large hand. A snort escaped. His face turned bright read.

“We need to find Maria. I’ll see you later,” I said to him.

“Tell Paul I said hi,” Harmony said.

“Please send a text if you find your friend.” Stuart gave me a small smile.

After I waved goodbye, we left him. No one was on the path to the restrooms this late or early, considering it was morning already.

“What’s over there?” Harmony asked, scared. She pointed in the direction of a small grove of dark trees.

“Nothing.” I shinned the flashlight. The light illuminated the leaves and bark only.

“I swear I saw something.”

I didn’t say a word. The limit of my irritation level had reached the maximum. The sun started to rise while we walked. The horizon turned into the colors of fire.

Harmony kept on pointing out every possible place for a person or animal to hide in the shadows. It took a long time for us to arrive at the restrooms. The lights were on and I turned off my flashlight. I only had it on to appease Harmony and her fears.

“Maria?” Harmony entered the women’s restroom. She glanced around and shrugged at me when she didn’t see anyone.

I checked under the door to the first stall for legs and opened it. Maria wasn’t inside. On my third, Harmony opened her first. The six we searched were empty. The knot in my belly turned into a thick piece of tangled rope.

“Maria’s not here. What do we do now?” Harmony asked, her words etched with concern now.

“Check the beach?” My legs shook and I used the sink for support. Maria should be here. Where was she?

“Are you coming?” Harmony held the door open.

“Yeah, give me a minute.” I took a step and found out I could walk.

We exited the restroom, hanging a left. The restrooms sat on a hill, and cement stairs led to the beach.

I placed my hand on the rail, walking down the first few steps. My gaze scanned the shoreline. Something was near the edge of the water, but I couldn’t tell what it was. I kept going, hit the middle portion of the stairs and recognized the purple shirt. My purple shirt. Maria loved to borrow it.


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