Wednesday, May 13, 2020

A Sweet Home Alabama novel excerpt plus #mystery on sale! #YAlit #comedy #MFRWhooks

Below you'll find an excerpt from the Sweet Home Alabama novel my brother Doug and I wrote. But did you know our mom (now age 80) is also a writer? Check out our cozy mystery Mother's Day sale. Both mysteries are on sale for 99 cents (Kindle US and UK) each until May 15.
Murder on the West Glacier Trail by Sharon Eboch: If Kate Foland had known how her bed and breakfast guest would change her life, she might have left her at the airport. Murder on the West Glacier Trail is a cozy mystery full of the local flavor of Juneau, Alaska, including the scenery, the culture, and some tasty recipes.

What We Found by Kris Bock (Chris Eboch):
22-year-old Audra Needham is back in her small hometown, ready to work hard, fit in, and help her younger brother. Going for a walk in the woods with her former crush, Jay, seems like a harmless distraction … until they stumble on a body. What We Found is a romantic mystery set in New Mexico.

Sweet Home Alabama novel by Douglas J. Eboch and Kris Bock

​​Before Melanie Smooter became hot fashion designer Melanie Carmichael, she was known as Felony Melanie, the teenage troublemaker of Pigeon Creek, Alabama. Aching to escape the boredom of small-town life, she gets into many reckless adventures. Her boyfriend, Jake, is always by her side – and the local sheriff is usually close behind.

Excerpt: Melanie has challenged Eldon to a contest. Can she throw a rock and hit the cans lined up on the railing at the old moonshiner's cabin in the woods?

“Any time now, Princess,” Eldon said.

“You in some kind of hurry to lose five bucks?” But he was getting in her head. Five dollars was a week’s allowance.

Jake swaggered over to her.

“Stop toying with the poor boy, baby. Put him out of his misery.” He kissed her forehead and whispered in her ear, “You got this.”

His voice calmed her. And he was right. She’d been playing catch with her daddy since before she could remember, being the son he never had. They’d made up all kinds of games, too, trying for silly trick shots. She wound up and hurled the first rock.

PANG! A can went flying. Melanie pumped her fist, trying not to look surprised.

Wade and Lurlynn clapped. Clinton guzzled beer.

Eldon shrugged. “Lucky throw.”

Ooh, that jerk! She could go for the next three cans, but even if she hit them all, he’d find some way to laugh at her. And if she missed …

She had to make a trick shot so outrageous no one else would even think of trying it.

Melanie glanced around. The firelight glinted on glass in the weeds. She picked up a shard of broken bottle and turned her back to the cabin.

“You watch this.” She held up the shard, turning it left and right, trying to make out images in the reflection.

Clinton shook his head. “Girl, you ain’t right!”

“Maybe, but I’m going to be five bucks richer in a moment.” Dang, she couldn’t find the reflection she wanted. Ghostly images stretched and twisted in the curved glass as the fire’s flames danced behind her.

Finally the porch rail appeared in the reflection. She tossed a rock up and down in her hand. This was crazy. A one in a million shot.

Which meant she had a chance.

A moment of calm settled over her. She could do this.

It was difficult to throw behind her. She would have to arc the rock. But that was where her softball experience would give her an edge. She took a deep breath, and with the exhale, hurled the rock over her shoulder.


She did it! She jumped into the air in triumph, pumping her fist, then turned around to gloat.

But wait – that hadn’t been the sound of a rock hitting a can.

The bourbon bottle no longer sat on the edge of the porch. Brown glass lay scattered across the rocks of the fire pit. Rivulets of liquid shone in the dancing light, and the molasses-sweet smell of bourbon filled the air.

“You broke the booze,” Eldon wailed.

“But I hit something.” It came out meek and apologetic, and she mentally kicked herself.

Nobody paid attention to her. A spark from the fire pit jumped to a trickle of spilled bourbon. Flame shot along the rivulet and fanned out where the bourbon had splashed across the cabin’s porch.

Jake gasped. “Hell’s bells. You’ve done it now!”

For this entire scene, sign up for our newsletter and get Felony Melanie Destroys the Moonshiner's Cabin. These first two chapters from the novel Felony Melanie in Pageant Pandemonium stand alone as a short story. In the future, you'll get fun content about upcoming Felony Melanie novels and other romantic comedy news and links.

Felony Melanie in Pageant Pandemonium: The Teenage Adventures of Felony Melanie

When Melanie qualifies for the Miss Alabama Princess Pageant Southern Regional in the big city of Mobile, the first prize scholarship could be her ticket out of Pigeon Creek. But can her homemade dresses compete against the expensive gowns, and can a "trailer trash" girl survive when a haughty debutante will do anything to destroy the competition.

Meanwhile, Jake thinks beauty pageants are silly, but he’ll be there to support Melanie – as long as he can avoid getting kicked out by hotel security. Then Jake and his friends start to suspect someone is sabotaging the whole pageant. They try to follow the clues, but it isn't easy when everyone dismisses you as redneck kids.

Melanie needs to prove herself on stage. Jake and the gang need to make sure she gets the chance. Can they show they're more than what people see on the surface? 


  1. Ooh--I love cozy mysteries. Sounds great! I hope I'll be writing at 80 years old!!
    JQ Rose

  2. Uh oh - that's not a good mix - fire and bourbon.

  3. What an amusing scene. She did hit something to produce chaos

  4. I love the southern flavor of the dialogue! Let's have a moment of silence for the bourbon...and the cabin, apparently.

  5. First, I've actually seen this movie—and since I'm not much a movie watcher, that seems like a lovely coincidence, hahaha. That was a great scene, and certainly leaves me wanting to know what happens next!

  6. I love cozy mysteries! I confess, I have to laugh every time I see the words "Felony Melanie". What a great title!

  7. Disaster follows Melanie like ducklings their mama duck.

  8. You wrote this with your brother? I can't imagine doing that! But then, I don't have a brother . . .

  9. If it weren't for those meddling kids and their dog! ♥ Love the excerpt