Playing with FirePublisher: Berkley (January 7, 2014)
(A Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade) 2nd in Series
(A Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade) 2nd in Series
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book File Size: 2197 KB
Welcome to Sweet Pepper, Tennessee. Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains, it’s home to the hottest and sweetest peppers in the world—as well as at least one ghost and a hotbed of secrets…
Fire Chief Stella Griffin is working to solve the mysterious death of her predecessor, Eric Gamlyn—who also haunts her cabin. Yet the more she learns, the more burning questions she must answer. Just as Stella thinks she has a lead from Deputy Chum, someone snuffs her hopes—and the lawman.
Adding fuel to the fire, Stella’s parents soon arrive—with her ex-boyfriend—hoping to persuade her to return to Chicago. Now Stella is torn between the life she left behind and uncovering what happened to her ghostly friend. But she’d better think fast or more than her investigation could go up in flames…
This series just keeps getting better and better, and I love how J. J. Cook leaves you hanging at the end of each story so that you absolutely cannot wait for the next book! I love Stella, she is such a strong character. I also like her relationship with Eric, who happens to be ghost! This book absolutely left me guessing and I had no idea in which direction it was going to go. I think there are still some answers to be found in Eric's death. I am anxiously awaiting the next book in this series, please hurry. Great job!
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
About J.J. Cook
J.J. Cook’s first mystery, That Old Flame of Mine, became an instant bestseller in 2013. Playing with Fire is the second book in that series. They write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as Joyce and Jim Lavene, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.
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Interview Questions for J. J. Cook
1. Where did you get the idea for this series?
We were on vacation in Tennessee three years ago, and watched a tiny volunteer firefighting group practicing in front of their station. Watching them, and feeling the exhilarating presence of the Smoky Mountains, made us want to write a story about the two. Everything else came after.
2. Do you believe in ghosts and if so, have you had any experiences with them?
We both believe in ghosts, and have had experiences with them. We joined a group of ghost hunters for a while after having childhood experiences. How anyone can say that ghosts don’t exist is beyond us. Go out some night with one of these real-life groups, and they’ll make a believer out of you.
3. Who is the character, Stella, based on?
Stella Griffin, our fire chief from Chicago, is actually based on Joyce’s great-grandmother who married the first firefighter in her family. She was pretty tough. This was around 1900, when the Chicago fire wagon was drawn by white horses. Her great-grandmother actually drove the wagon one day during an emergency – though it was vehemently denied afterward by the men. Women weren’t firefighters back then but not because they couldn’t handle the job.
4. Who is the character, Eric, based on?
Eric is based on a friend of ours who we knew when we lived in Minnesota. He was a tough lumberjack with a big heart who died too young in a tragic accident.
5. Has either of you ever been a firefighter?
Yes, Jim was a volunteer firefighter for many years. Joyce wanted to be a professional firefighter when she was a teen, but it was unthinkable at the time. She wanted to follow in the lives of her great-grandfather and grandfather plus uncles and cousins, but ended up writing about them instead.
6. How did you celebrate the Christmas and New Years holidays this past year?
We celebrated with our family. We have day-long events for putting up Christmas trees in each other’s houses and traveling from house to house for Christmas Eve to open gifts and eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. On New Year’s Even we celebrate with fireworks and a huge bonfire that consumes the old trees. It’s a wondrous time of year!
7. What is your favorite holiday?
Our favorite time of year is from September to the end of December. It’s one amazing moment after another!