Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Book Blast & Giveaway: Cocktails & Casualties (Crooked Cove Mystery, #1) by Carly Wayne

A Crooked Cove Mystery
Carly Wayne

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: MoonShine Caravan
Publication Date: July 1, 2023
Page count: 288 pages

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.
Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.



Teddy Aarons is a nomad, using her bartending skills as an excuse to move to a new luxury resort with each change of the season. But when she finds herself stuck on the remote island of Mahina Cay, she finds refuge in the quirky little Township of Crooked Cove.

Crooked Cove is a village of expatriates from various countries, and the people are welcoming, but she only intends to stay long enough to make the money to get off the island and back to her real life.. However, when one of the village’s most distinguished citizens turns up dead, it’s up to her to either solve the case or become a permanent resident of the slammer!

With her new friend Jasmine at her side, Teddy will do whatever it takes to shake out the truth and stir up the real killer to clear her name. Will she manage to keep herself out of lockup, or will she end up under the influence of the Mahina Cay Prison?



“So, you were saying that the boat just left without you, huh?” Hawk spread more butter on his hot pancakes.

“Well, to be fair, they warned everyone when we debarked that if we went off on our own that the ship would not wait for us. I should have started back to the port long before I did. Maybe I would have at least been in Maradiaga before the ATV broke down.” Teddy shrugged and shoved a forkful of scrambled eggs into her mouth.

It was nine in the morning, and the restaurant was empty except for Teddy and Hawk, and the two of them sat at the bar having breakfast.

“Well, you’re welcome to use my office to call the cruise line and try to make arrangements. The phone in your room will make you enter a credit card number to call long distance, and that cell phone you’re carryin’ won’t get a signal around here.”

“Really? No cell phone signal?” She was shocked.

Hawk laughed. “No, you might find a sweet spot around the lake, but I wouldn’t bet my life on it. We don’t carry cell phones around here. Some folks got a satellite phone, but they are darn expensive.”

“Wow. We really are off the beaten path down here, huh?”

“You got that right,” Hawk agreed.

“So, do you ever sleep? You were working when I left last night and you’re already here this morning,” Teddy told Hawk as he refilled her coffee.

“I’ll have plenty of time to sleep when I’m dead,” Hawk joked. “For now, there is too much living to do. Besides that, we are down one waitress because of maternity leave, and my bartender ran off two months ago with a traveling theater group from Canada.”

Teddy laughed. “My goodness, you do have staffing problems!”

“It ain’t all that bad, we manage…Where’re you from, Teddy? I think I can hear a little southern twang in your voice.”

“I grew up in Florida, but I haven’t lived there since I was eighteen, well, except for a few months at a time.”

He took a bite of his pancakes to mask a spark of triumph. “What do you do for work?” he asked absently.

“Actually, I’m a bartender,” she looked at him out of the side of her eyes.


5 stars!

A fun setting and engaging characters puts this new cozy mystery series debut at the top of the “Not To Miss” list!
Cocktails and Casualties is the debut novel kicking off author Carly Wayne’s new Crooked Cove Mystery series, and with its fun premise, tropical island setting, and engaging protagonist, it is one to put at the top of your “Not To Miss” list. Once I started reading, I was hooked; I didn’t want to put it down!

Bartender Teddy Aarons is stranded on Mahina Cay when she misses the departure of the cruise ship she arrived on, and while a lesser woman may have fallen apart, Teddy falls into a new job, a new home, and a new family at the local inn/restaurant. I loved the warm and welcoming vibe at the Seven Stars Inn and the proprietor’s willingness to help Teddy overcome some overwhelming difficulties. 

In this cozy, the small island nation of Mahina Cay replaces the traditional small-town setting, and the closed-minded sheriff represents local law enforcement that the lead character must best or face a future behind bars when she’s arrested for a crime she didn’t commit. However, Teddy and her new best friend, Jasmine, are more than equal to the task, and I thoroughly enjoyed their investigation and friendship.

With shocking plot twists, a couple of competing love interests, and a number of suspicious local side characters who have clear motives for murder, I was completely wrapped up in the story from start to finish. I recommend COCKTAILS AND CASUALTIES to cozy mystery readers ready for a fun new series to enjoy.


Carly Wayne first discovered her love of storytelling as a child when she would create alternate endings for all of her favorite fairy tales. As she grew, her fascination developed into a passion for writing about the characters and worlds she imagined.
Now, Carly has returned to her ancestral home deep in the woods of Jacksonville, Florida, not too far from the ocean. She fills her days pursuing her bliss by writing, creating, and exploring nature.

Carly holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Psychology.


The author is awarding 4 prizes to randomly drawn winners (a leather bound diary and pen, a set of 4 drink coasters, a pewter necklace of a Quetzal bird, a copper compass). 


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting and reviewing today.

Carly Wayne said...

Thanks, Guatemala Paula for hosting and for the lovely review! I'm so excited you enjoyed my story! I look forward to answering any questions today...