Ava Dunne believes that love is both fun and funny. She mixes romance with comedy, mystery, fantasy, myth, and more. She also publishes under a half a dozen names in fiction and non-fiction! Her light, witty, somewhat sarcastic tone is perfect for romantic comedy.
The Nautical Namaste Mysteries
A Contemporary, Comic, Romantic, Not-Quite-Cozy Series
Savasana At Sea (Book 1)
Smart. Intelligent. Sexy. Funny. Compassionate. Ex-event planner/current yoga instructor Sophie Batchelder is all these things and doesn’t realize it, especially after her studio abruptly fires her and her fiancé dumps her for her nemesis. Accepting a job on a cruise ship when their yoga instructor dies during the cruise, Sophie embarks on a new chapter of self-discovery in every way, encompassing comedy, romance, and mystery. Discovering that her predecessor’s death was murder and not an accident sets her off to find out why.
The series of contemporary mysteries salutes the cozy while breaking ever-tightening formula, and takes Sophie around the world on the Diamond Charisma, a luxury cruise ship. Her relationship with ex-cop Sebastian Anger, now one of the ship’s engineers after his own life crisis, grows, along with friendships and rivalries among the different factions. Names, eyes, and living the path of yoga are important to Sophie, and, therefore, constantly challenged.
Available digitally here.
Visit the Nautical Namaste website for everything you want to know about the series, meet the crew, meet the passengers, and learn about the wonderful, exotic locations on which they travel.
(Note: the Nautical Namaste Website is being rebuilt and moved to this new host. Stay tuned for the link when it goes live)
Visit the Nautical Namaste Mysteries on Facebook.
THE TWINKLE TAVERN MYSTERIES
(Comic mystery with romantic elements)
Plot Bunnies — a Twinkle Tavern Mystery
Someone killed the Easter Bunny – so who’s dancing around the Village Green in his suit?
Welcome to Twinkle, Vermont. When her husband is killed in a car crash after a rendezvous with his mistress, Gloria Dunkirk and her teenaged son move in with her mother-in-law. Gloria goes to work at the historical Twinkle Tavern & Green Gate Inn. When her son and his friend discover the body of the man who dresses up for holiday events, they wonder who’s impersonating him at the town’s Easter Egg event at that very moment? The upside is that Gloria gets to spend time with the sexy Dean Eastlake, Twinkle’s favorite detective. The downside is stopping the killer before he strikes again – in minutes.
A short mystery with an amateur sleuth, containing elements of comedy and romance.
“Nobody murdered the Easter Bunny.” I shoved an annoying strand of red hair out of my face. I had to get it cut—no matter how busy I thought I was.
“But Moo-ooo-oom.” Max glared at me. My twelve-year-old son didn’t just share my red hair and gray eyes, but also my stubborn temperament.
“He’s right there.” I pointed at the poor sod hired to clump around all morning in a bunny suit at the town’s Easter celebration. It could be worse. Raining. Or snowing. Which wasn’t that unusual for an Easter Sunday in Vermont.
“Then his twin in a rabbit suit’s lying behind the shed,” Max insisted. “Not drunk, either. There’s no pulse.”
“You touched him?”
“I wanted to see if it was worth doing CPR.”
I never should have let him take those Red Cross training classes. But they were taught by Dean Eastlake, with black hair and blue eyes…one of the most gorgeous men I’d ever seen. We were new in town, and I wanted to get to know Dean Eastlake. So I let Max take the classes because it was too late for him to try out for the baseball team until summer season, and now he went around trying to revive corpses. I didn’t want to go there.
“Mrs. Dunkirk, it’s not a joke.” Stan Grenlish, Max’s first friend in town, slid his black-framed glasses back up his nose and blinked rapidly through them at me. “There’s a guy in a rabbit suit lying back there behind the shed.” He pointed toward the town hall.
“Obviously, he got up since you saw him.” I skipped over the “no pulse” part. “He’s prancing around, flirting with Francie Dufresne.” Who just happened to be married to Robert Dufresne, one of the richest men in town. And who spent her spare time flirting with Dean Eastlake. I looked at the two boys, staring at me earnestly. “If this is a joke,” I warned.
“I know my humor’s a little questionable sometimes, Mom, but this is no joke.” Max tossed his baseball in the air and caught it. Over and over again. It was an annoying habit he’d picked up from his father.
Just Jump in and Fly: A Holiday Tale by Ava Dunne
Samantha Wright has a problem. The attractive Kris Teague crash- landed his sleigh and eight not-so-tiny reindeer in her driveway. His uncle Nick happens to be THAT Nick – as in Claus – and they need Samantha Wright’s help to turn back the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse at one of the Universal Gates not only to save Christmas, but keep Earth turning. A fresh, romantic comedy turn on Yuletide myths and traditions!
“Hey, what’s happened at the foot of our driveway?” Liam leaned forward. “It looks like an accident.”
I pulled into the lip of the driveway to the red Colonial I’d bought in the summer. Snow was stacked up against the fence. In the snowbank was what looked like an overturned sleigh and a bunch of livestock. I pulled out my phone to call 9-1-1. Nothing. No signal.
“Are those reindeer?” Liam’s mouth dropped open.
“I’m not sure.” I got out of the car on my side. Liam got out on his side, and Simon shouldered his way over the seats and out of Liam’s door. As we got closer to the livestock, I saw they had antlers and large, liquid brown eyes. Some of the harnesses broke, and they stepped through the snow, the bells on the remaining strips jingling. None of them looked as though they were hurt, thank goodness.
I turned to Liam. “I think they are reindeer.”
“Cool,” Liam responded. I wasn’t so sure it was cool. Yes, I had a barn. I even had a trio of rescued horses in it and supplies. I counted — eight — where the heck could I put EIGHT reindeer?
Eight. Reindeer. I was getting a really bad feeling about this.
“Mom! Simon’s trying to get under the sleigh!” Liam struggled through the snow towards the overturned heap. Simon lifted his head to give out a series of thundering barks and he scrabbled at a particular spot.
I struggled to join him. The sled was enormous, much bigger than it initially looked, out of what felt to be some sort of wood, painted a dark red, with gold and dark green trim.
“I think someone’s trapped under it,” said Liam, “and he might be hurt.”
Oh, please do NOT be a big, fat man in a red suit. I could not cope.
“Plot Bunnies” and “That Man in Tights” were included in KILLER QUINTET, which was published by Amber Quill Press.
“Holiday Wish List” was available as a free download from December 24, 2008 – January 6, 2009. The story featured Aunt Doris and Cassio as they spent their first Christmas together in Paris, while back in Congress Corners, Liza dealt with the appearance of shady relatives who claimed Lucifer. This story is no longer available. I will post here if it is re-issued.
“Impressions” was published by Emerging Women Writers in April 2005. It’s the tale of a grant writer who escapes her life in Manhattan, with her dogs, for a new life on the salt marshes of Cape Cod.
Glamorous Hearts, set in New York and Newport in 1921, was commissioned by Hereafter, a Canadian Company, in 2004.
“Driven to Change”, about a woman facing divorce, was published by Emerging Women Writers in December 2004.
“Dream Layers” was published by Emerging Women Writers in November 2004.
Contact Ava Dunne at adunne – at – devonellingtonwork – dot- com.