Kathy's unconventional path to publication can certainly be described as the "road less traveled." A pioneer for women in law enforcement, she was one of the first female state troopers in Iowa, and she learned two valuable lessons that have served her well in her pursuit of a professional writing career: never give up and never stop laughing.
Kathy is the award-winning author of the Calamity Jayne Mystery series. She's been a Romantic Times American Title finalist, a Golden Heart finalist, and a finalist in the prestigious Daphne Du Maurier Award of Excellence contest, among other writing accolades.
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Calamity Jayne Mysteries
Calamity Jayne Mysteries book #1
How does a blonde spell "Farm"?
Tressa Jayne Turner has had it up to here with the dumb-blonde jokes and a childhood nickname that's harder to get rid of than her favorite pair of cowboy boots. Thanks to one Rick Townsend, Iowa Department of Natural Resources officer, local hottie, and general pain in Tressa's behind, everyone knows her as "Calamity Jayne". Just because she may be a little accident prone and trouble seems to sometimes find her, Tressa can't get anyone in her small town to take her seriously. That is, until Tressa finds a seriously dead body and an opportunity to get "Ranger Rick" and a skeptical citizenry to see that she's no longer that skinny kid with scraped knees. How? By resurrecting her job as a reporter for the hometown paper and solving a murder no one else believes happened... no one, that is, except the killer. Now Tressa is one not-so-dumb blonde who's out to gain a little hometown respect—or die trying.
Calamity Jayne and the Fowl Play at the Fair
Calamity Jayne Mysteries book #2
What do you call a blonde in a freezer?
A frosted flake.
Tressa Jayne Turner, known in her hometown as "Calamity Jayne" for her unconventional exploits, is the newest reporter at the Grandville Gazette. And after a whirlwind start to her new job, she's ready to enjoy the final weeks of summer at The Iowa State Fair. The homegrown good-time is Tressa's favorite time of year—donuts, funnel cakes, cotton candy, turkey legs. It's also her Uncle Frank's busiest. His ice cream stand is in a prime location, and he's poised to scoop the competition. But when a soft-serve saboteur appears at the same time her cousin goes missing, it's another fine, sticky mess she's gotten herself into.
With a string of malicious pranks, psycho dunk-tank clowns, two geriatric Jessica Fletcher wannabes, one hot state trooper, and a guy in a chicken suit, it's mayhem on the midway! Throw in one Ranger Rick Townsend, the Don Juan of the Department of Natural Resources and bestower of the hated "Calamity Jayne" moniker, and Tressa's got her hands full! The only question is, can she solve the crime and save the day... or will this blonde be enjoying her final fair?
Calamity Jayne and the Haunted Homecoming
Calamity Jayne Mysteries book #3
What do you call a blonde skeleton in the closet?
Last year's hide-'n'-seek champ.
It's autumn in the heartland, where football rules, homecoming royalty reigns, and full moons don't just refer to a passing high school varsity bus. But this year, Tressa Jayne Turner isn't just enjoying the candy corn, popcorn balls and caramel apples. This reporter is on a mission to sniff out a serious story that will impress not only her skeptical family and friends, but also her boss at the Grandville Gazette.
And it turns out "Calamity Jayne" is in luck! Eccentric and reclusive bestselling writer, Elizabeth Courtney Howard is coming to little ol' Grandville to conduct some family business and finish her latest book. So, what's stopping Tressa from scoring this journalistic coup? A blackmailing, six-foot-two-inch homecoming queen candidate with all the charm of Frankenstein in taffeta, a rival reporter out to scoop the competition, a séance-hosting grandmother, and the sexy Ranger Rick Townsend who could tempt a nun to rethink her vows. Suddenly Tressa better watch her step, as her exposé uncovers skeletons in everyone's closets and a haunted house that's too creepy for comfort.
Calamity Jayne and the Campus Caper
Calamity Jayne Mysteries book #4
What does a blonde get on her intelligence test?
Ace cub reporter Tressa Jayne Turner is carrying a full load—and we're not talking post-holiday pounds. Back in college for the fourth time (but who's counting!?), "Calamity Jayne" is looking to nab a raise from her stingy boss at the Gazette, Stan. So, what's to stop her from making the grade? Well, for starters her grandmother turned roommate rekindling an old flame, maid of honor madness run amok, a botched betrothal that's more than just schoolyard gossip, and a campus criminal who is out to teach the student body a lesson...one crime at a time. As Tressa navigates the halls of higher education, she finds herself torn not only between homework and investigating, but also between a man who likes her for herself and another man who wants to save her from herself. It's a case of murder and mayhem by the books...and failure is so not an option.
Calamity Jayne in the Wild, Wild West
Calamity Jayne Mysteries book #5
Did you hear about the blonde coyote?
It got stuck in a trap, chewed off three legs, and was still stuck.
Tressa Jayne Turner, Grandville, Iowa's own little "Calamity Jayne," is headed for the Grand Canyon State—and a wedding! Tressa's goofy Gammy is gettin' hitched, and Tressa is looking forward to a little down time in the desert. But her sunny vacation is suddenly about to have more strings attached than a dreamcatcher! Her cousin's keeping secrets, the roguishly hot Ranger Rick's sending mixed signals—more of the smokin' than smoke variety—and a "Kookamunga," a butt-ugly fertility figurine Tressa picked up at a roadside stand as a wedding gift, is turning out to be more trouble than tribal treasure. This wacky wedding's about to become a southwestern scavenger hunt of Amazing Race-meets-The Da Vinci Code proportions, featuring a washed-up actress out to kick-start her career, a suspect spiritual adviser, locals with a cause, and a ten-year-old who's a chip off a certain ranger's blockhead.
It'll be a vision quest to make Thelma and Louise's southwestern spree seem like amateur night at the OK Corral. May the best spirit guide win.
Calamity Jayne and the Hijinks on the High Seas
Calamity Jayne Mysteries book #6
What's a blonde pirate always looking for, even though it's right behind her?
Ahoy, mateys! With her grandma wedded and bedded (ew!) Tressa Jayne Turner is looking forward to the weeklong cruise that follows. Good food. Warm beaches. Romantic sunsets. A swashbuckling ranger-type, Rick Townsend, who shivers her timbers. Nothing can take the wind out of "Calamity Jayne's" sails this time.
Nothing, that is, except that this particular Love Boat has "Iceberg ahead!" written all over it. Why? It's a lo-cal "biggest loser" cruise, Tressa's bad-boy faux fiancé and his marriage-minded Aunt Mo are stowaways, and Tressa's barely got her sea legs before a dastardly murder plot bobs to the surface. It's a foul wind that's blowin' to be sure...and not from the exercise-obsessed passengers. Throw in one whale of a Bermuda love triangle, and Tressa knows just how Jack Sparrow feels when the rum is gone.
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of V-8! Arrr!
Calamity Jayne and the Trouble with Tandems
Calamity Jayne Mysteries book #7
What's the hardest part of learning to ride a tandem?
It's late July, and Tressa Jayne Turner's summer is as sizzling as Ranger Rick Townsend! But is Tressa in love or lust with the hot ranger? There's not time to find out as Tressa's boss at the Gazette, Stan Rodgers, wants his Ace Cub Reporter to cover TribRide—the state's ginormous bicycle ride across the state—but not from the sidelines. This assignment is a little more...hands on. Hands on the handlebars, that is. Not only that, but Tressa's ticket to ride is on a bicycle built for two! And at the tandem's helm? Sleazy rival reporter Drew Van Vleet, aka, "the missing link."
Could things get any worse? You decide. Tressa's parents are on the outs. Her sister is on the warpath. Van Vleet's insisting on a Star Trek theme. And Tressa is the number one suspect in a series of SO-not-funny pranks targeting reality TV star Keelie Keller. Talk about strange new worlds! Tressa is about to go where no "Calamity" has gone before—and where the ultimate wedgie is bound to be the least of this uneasy rider's worries! Hang on, folks. It's gonna be a bumpy ride. (I am a Vulcan. I feel no pain.)
Calamity Jayne and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Lawn Gnome
Calamity Jayne Mysteries book #8
What do you call a fly in a blonde's brain?
A space invader.
Ace Cub Reporter Tressa "Calamity" Jayne Turner is back in Grandville and ready to enjoy the slower pace of with small town life and begin building a dating resume with one handsome ranger. It's Frontier Days at the Historical Village, but mischief's afoot—of the malicious variety—when vandals target the area, stealing and damaging property and leaving behind spray-painted signatures in the form of hot pink tornadoes.
So what else besides a gang of local thugs threatens Knox County's frontier festivities? Only a cross-dressing aunt bent on a reunion "gotcha," two-relationships in crisis, three dates from hell, an eccentric local with an ET obsession, five burning questions for a man-o'-mystery, and a missing lawn gnome that makes Chucky seem benevolent by comparison.
It's a countdown to a showdown where strange lights in the sky, "signs" on the trees, and horses of a different color are only the beginning of this close encounter of the Calamity Jayne kind. And Tressa Jayne? She's ready to believe.
Calamity Jayne Mysteries Boxed Set (books 1-5)
From nationally bestselling author Kathleen Bacus comes a compilation of 5 full length, humorous romantic mysteries, including:
Calamity Jayne (Calamity Jayne book #1)
Calamity Jayne and the Fowl Play at the Fair (Calamity Jayne book #2)
Calamity Jayne and the Haunted Homecoming (Calamity Jayne book #3)
Calamity Jayne and the Campus Caper (Calamity Jayne book #4)
Calamity Jayne in the Wild, Wild West (Calamity Jayne book #5)
Calamity Jayne Mysteries Boxed Set (books 6-8)
From nationally bestselling author Kathleen Bacus comes a compilation of the next 3 full length, humorous romantic mysteries in the Calamity Jayne Mysteries series, including:
Calamity Jayne and the Hijinks on the High Seas (Calamity Jayne book #6)
Calamity Jayne and the Trouble With Tandems (Calamity Jayne book #7)
Calamity Jayne and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Lawn Gnome (Calamity Jayne book #8)