Gifts, Glamping, & Glocks By Tonya Kappes

Review by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

It’s Where You’re Meant to Be Mae West would have been the last to believe in destiny after being sent on her way by the Feds with only a beat up old trailer and deed to a rundown campground. It may have been due to her, now late, ex-husband’s illegal financial doings, but she’s found that Normal, Kentucky, with its beauty, its people, its friendships, is where she was meant to be. The Happy Trails Campground has since become her home, a lucrative vacation spot, a boon for not only Mae but the town as well, the center of many events and gatherings of friends and family, and the place Mae met her now fiancĂ© Hank Sharp, a local PI. The one glitch in all this “meant to be” is the appearance of too many suspicious deaths. In her determination to protect friends, family, and herself from wrongful arrest, she gained some investigative experience, a reputation with law enforcement, and respect among the Normal residents. So, again, destiny just might have a keen sense of where and what Mae is meant to be…especially during the holiday season!

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Gifts, Glamping, & Glocks Earns 5/5 Santa Suits…Engaging Holiday Cozy!

Betts Hagar’s ex-husband and ex-preacher Lester Hagar had a long list of “good deeds” to perform, but a stint in prison and a terminal disease cut down the amount of time he had left to finish them, so Betts, along with her Laundry Club Ladies, has decided to complete as many as possible. First up is hosting a “Gifts and Glamping” event to ensure there’d be gifts for the many visiting and local children. The campground was transformed into the best rendition of the North Pole, albeit in a forest not the frozen tundra, and Santa’s office, one of Mae’s vintage trailers, would be the jewel of the experience: sitting on Santa’s lap, convincing him you’d been good, and receiving a Christmas gift from those donated by friends and family.

Otis Gullette agreed to be the “right jolly old elf,” but Mae is shocked to find Otis drunk instead of costumed and ready to fulfill some youngster’s Christmas dreams. Luckily Ken Heidelman, her insurance agent, had arrived and agreed to step in and play Santa, but only if Mae agreed to more seriously discuss with him the impending lawsuit against Happy Trails Campground. However, when Otis wakes up and sees his replacement, he throws a fit which needs some Dottie intervention. Oh, what else could go wrong? Well, another dead body is normal…Ho, Ho, Homicide!

Santa-rrific! Tonya Kappes has delivered the fun wrapping it in a Christmas box and tying it up with an engaging murder mystery ribbon. Too much? No way! There are several storylines in this twenty-ninth ‘couldn’t put down” drama, but it’s easy to follow: a couple of murders, of course, an annoying lawsuit, future mother-in-law angst, adoptive mother’s complaints, Betts’s efforts to finish her ex-husband’s “mea culpa” list, and Christmas is all around. You always think you’ve got a handle on the crime and it’s solution, then “Wham!”, there’s a twist you didn’t see coming. Sugar has some supply chain issues putting one candy cane company in conflict with another, but is it connected to the murders? Of course, not without some dangerous predicaments, the solution is punctuated with a very creative final arrest. Mae is on overload with the holidays and family pressures, aren’t we all, but adding a lawsuit with a suspicious plaintiff wanting the campground for compensation isn’t in tune with the Christmas spirit. Tonya’s writing style is clever and enjoyable and filled with varied personalities from smart and determined like Mae to pure southern fun like Dottie. There’s plenty of holiday talk and goings on befitting the season as well as angst to keep you on your toes. But it’s all entertaining!

Extra Treat! This series always has some tasty treats and helpful ideas for any level of camper whether you’re in a national park or the backyard. Recipes and Camping Hacks from Mae West and the Laundry Club Ladies at Happy Trails Campground include (1) Crockpot Candy Bark and (2) Camper Crockpot Christmas Cinnamon Rolls, and Camping Hacks include (1) adding the scent of Christmas and (2) holiday decorating.

Amazon Preorder Alerts! The next mystery for Mae and company is the thirtieth book, Zoning, Zealots, & Ziplines, set for a February release. Then, book thirty-one, Hammocks, Handguns, & Hearsay, is set for an April release. Don’t miss a single A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery!

Be a Big Tonya Kappes Fan!

Southern Hospitality with a Smidgen of Homicide! USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes pens a variety of series. along with this Camper & Criminals Cozy series, she also has a Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery and Holiday Cozy Mystery series along with some exciting ghostly-, magical-, and caffeinated-themed series. For ghosts, there’s the Ghostly Southern Mystery and Kenni Lowry series. Add some magic with Magical Cures Mystery and Spies and Spells series. Finally, get a little caffeinated with her Killer Coffee Mystery. She also has an enjoyable online presence and various events enticing fans to gather to talk, share, and partake in the fun!

Facebook – Author Tonya Kappes

Join the “Cozy Krew”

Become a Member at the Website – Tonya Kappes

YouTube — Tonya Kappes

To enter to win either an ebook or print copy(winner's choice) of Gifts, Glamping, & Glocks, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "glamping,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 31, 2022. You must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new Christmas episode went up this week.

You can use this link to purchase the book or click here. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. This seems a popular series. Count me in!

  2. Sounds like a good read. Good to see
    somebody land on their feet after a
    disaster. thanks

  3. I've heard a lot about this series but have never run across any. It sure sounds interesting.

  4. Glamping - the only way to camp!
    Especially when you are over 70 years old.
    Merry Christmas KRL readers

  5. I'd like to be included!

  6. would love to have a chance to win! thanks! sparkle40175(AT)hotmail(DOT)com

  7. would love a chance! thanks!

  8. I’ve read several books in the series and love the stories, I’d love to win a copy of this book. And even if I don’t win I’d like to thank you for writing such interesting books. Merry Christmas! Diane

  9. I'm a big fan of the Camper Series. I have most of the books and they are all entertaining.

  10. welcome today. thanks for sharing about this book. I would love to read a mystery in a campground. this would be a new to me. quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

  11. I would love a chance to win a copy of Gifts, Glamping & Glocks. It sounds great. lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  12. This sounds like a fun book that would enjoy reading. Count me in.

  13. My husband and I love Tonya Kappes books. Thank you the chance to win.

  14. I love the Camper series!

  15. Already read her and love this series!

  16. Thanks for the chance. This is a fantastic series. Woodstock216 at

  17. Thanks for the post! I would love to win a print copy! lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com

  18. I love Tonya's books, I own a few and wish I could afford to buy all of them. I'd love to win this giveaway to grow my collection.

  19. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham


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