Looking for a great cozy to read this weekend? Look no more. I am thrilled to welcome authors, T’Gracie and Joe Reese, here to introduce their fascinating new Nina Bannister mystery, Sea Change, available on Amazon.
A little bit about the book … Bay St. Lucy is a sleepy little Gulf Coast community––and that’s the way its residents like it. Most of them generally ignore the monstrous old Robinson mansion that sits in the center of town, until one day, insane old man Robinson dies and leaves the house and its accompanying fortune to the town. The residents are ecstatic and begin planning improved schools and cultural centers.
Local retired school teacher and village elder Nina Bannister is sent to the man’s funeral in New Orleans and to represent Bay St. Lucy at the reading of his will. However, Nina returns from her trip saddened to report that a long lost Robinson relative has appeared to claim the entire inheritance. Almost immediately, the new owner – flamboyant Eve Ivory – arrives and announces her own plans to turn Bay St. Lucy into a extravagant vacation resort, not plans that anyone in this small town like at all and ones that will quickly lead to murder.
A little bit about the authors …
Pam ‘T’Gracie’ Reese is an assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW). Nina Bannister was created while T’Gracie was a doctoral student at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. She now misses exploring Acadiana, dancing the Cajun waltz, catching beads at Mardi Gras and listening to French on the radio. Geaux Cajuns!
Joe Reese is a writer and teacher. He’s only partially responsible for the six Nina Bannister mysteries (co-written with his wife, T’Gracie), but he has to take full blame for Kate Dee and Katie Haw: Letters from a Texas Farm Girl and the play Lunacy: A Play for Our Times.
He and his wife have three children: Kate, Matthew, and Sam. The two of them now live in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where each teaches at IPFW.
A Day in the Life… Nina Bannister
Hi! My name is Nina Bannister. I have lived my whole life in Bay St. Lucy. I suppose the first thing I should tell you is—oh darn, excuse me, I’ve got to go and let my cat Furl out.
Okay, I’m back. I’m a retired high school principal, but most of my best memories are from when I was a high school English teacher. Thirty two years. How time flies. Seems like yesterday when I…but you probably don’t want to hear much more about that. Better to talk about ‘now’ than ‘then.’ Just a minute. I’ve got to let Furl back in.
Furl and unFurl, Furl and unfurl, in and out, in and out. That darn cat.
Most days I spend my mornings at Elementals: Treasures from the Earth and Sea. My best friend Margot Gavin owns the shop, and we used to work there together, puttering around and rearranging this and that, mostly drinking coffee out in the garden section—but Margot got married a year or so ago and now runs a bed and breakfast in northern Mississippi with her new husband.
I do miss her, but she comes back to town from time to time for a visit, and we catch up on what’s been happening here on the gulf coast. Really not too much happens in Bay St. Lucy. We have several nice restaurants and lovely shops that the tourists visit. We’re not extremely well known, and we like it that way. The tide comes in, the tide goes out, the tourists come in, the tourists go out, and life rambles on at a slow pace, which seems commensurate with the in and out of the daily ocean currents. But Bay St. Lucy is home, always has been, and Furl and I love it here.
I suppose I should tell you about some of the small problems that I’ve been involved in. We have had a few brutal murders—just five, no big deal—well, actually six, if you count the new book that’s coming out in October. (It’s called Sex Change, and it’s NOT WHAT YOU’RE thinking!). It’s just in time for the November elections. It’s very strange that I always seem to become involved in these murders. We have a great police department, headed by a competent and caring Moon Rivard. Sometimes I seem to get involved because of my late husband Frank’s law partner Jackson Bennett. It’s not intentional on his part. He’s a great friend and advisor to me (and was, a few years ago, one of the best running backs in the history of LSU). Other times I’ve become involved because my good friends have been accused of being murderers.
And that’s just ridiculous!
To think that Macy Peterson, sweet blue eyed Macy, could ever have taken a letter opener and…
…but there I go, getting ahead of myself again. Suffice to say that I have a very gentle circle of friends, and they could never have done the terrible things they always seemed to be accused of doing. Even though, I must say, there have been some pretty evil characters in Bay St. Lucy in the past couple of years, and if anybody ever deserved to be murdered, well…but no, I’m a good Methodist, and should not be even thinking such things!
But if you really want a normal day—minus the murders—it’s something like the following: wake up, let Furl out, go to Bagatellis’ Bakery (WONDERFUL CROISSANTS!), walk back to my beach front shack, let Furl back in, eat and have coffee on my deck, count the dolphins that I can see swimming by, take my Vespa into town and to Elementals, do whatever needs to be done, come back home, let Furl out again, have a small lunch, read (Dorothy Sayers? Jane Austen?), let Furl back in, take a nice nap, and then, in the late afternoon, go fishing with my friend Penelope (it is true Penelope speaks only in obscenities, but I’ve known her so long it doesn’t bother me anymore) and, most days, catch dinner.
Some days I might eat out with Allanna Delafosse, John Giusti and Helen Reddington, or Jackson and his daughter Alyssa, one of my Lady Mariners basketball players (point guard) the year that I coached. We can choose from Sergio’s by the Sea or any one of a number of seafood restaurants. Sometimes I might go to a concert at the Auberge des Arts (the old Robinson Mansion, which you know about if you’ve read Sea Change).
Every evening ends with a walk on the beach and a chat with Frank (who, even though he is not here in the flesh, will always occupy a large part of my mind and soul). As for life in general, I’m reminded of what Jane Austen tells me every day: “A mind lively and at ease can do with seeing nothing and can see nothing that does not answer.” I want to keep my mind lively but NEVER let it be at ease. Thanks for sharing my day and remember you are invited to drop in on Furl and me at any time you choose.
Sea Change, the Nina Bannister cozy mystery is available on Amazon, and FREE if you’re a member of KindleUnlimited.