Wednesday, January 29, 2014



A killer is attacking respectable citizens in picturesque Hubbard, NY, and leaving corpses on their front steps in the middle of the day. Detective Fowler isn’t certain who causes him to lose the most sleep, a certain sexy reporter with bouncing curls and sparkling black eyes, or the elusive psychopath creating panic in his small-town community. Together, the detective and the reporter race to find the monster in their midst and return the town to the desirable place where people come to raise their families in peace and contentment. Can they sort through their differences to find romance even as they search for a determined stalker with murder on his mind? The clock ticks down on a man in a rage with a deadly mission.


This was a great read!  It is fast-paced, funny at times, sad at times.  More importantly, even as the story unfolds, it is hard to figure out who is committing these murders, even though the next victim is clear enough. There is no obvious motive, though there are hints of an anniversary of some kind. There is no hard evidence, but the murders keep stacking up.  Add to that the romantic rollercoaster of Fowler and Beverly as they both deal with doubts. Although cast as the writer of the gossip column, from the upper crust, Beverly is down to earth and searching for herself, not sure what life with cop would be like. Fowler knows being a cop is all is important, and can't imagine Beverly with his friends and coworkers. Both are likable and as with the ancillary characters, Janis Lane has done an exemplary job of giving them depth.  

Don't forget the GIVE-AWAYFrom 1/26-1/31, anyone who comments on this blog will be entered into a random drawing for a copy of Murder at Cold Creek College - 5 copies (kindle or print) will be gifted through Amazon! Your comment can be on either the 1/26/2014 post or this post 1/29/2014 --- but it must be posted by 1/31/2014 - winners will be notified and posted on 2/1. Be sure to leave contact information and preferred format in your comments! Sorry, limited to US!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

GIVE-AWAY, Excerpt, and Update!

So hard to believe that January is almost at an end! Almost as hard to believe that it has now been 3 months since the release of Murder at Cold Creek College!!!

To celebrate, I'm having a GIVE-AWAY! From 1/26-1/31, anyone who comments on this blog will be entered into a random drawing for a copy of Murder at Cold Creek College - 5 copies (kindle or print) will be gifted through Amazon (so I will need your email and preferred format, please!)! Your comment can be on this post or the review being posted on 1/29 of Murder in the Neighborhood (Janis Lane) --- but it must be posted by 1/31/2014 - winners will be notified and posted on 2/1. Sorry US only!

Please remember that whenever you read a book it is helpful if you take the time to post an honest review on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, Booklikes, or anywhere else.


Sheridan Hendley is a professor and psychologist, not a sleuth. As the person charged with handling crises on campus, though, she gets pulled into the investigation when her colleague, Adam, is murdered. Her department head gives her the chore of helping the State Police Detective, Brett McMann, find faculty members and generally help him get the information he needs. Unfortunately, her good friend, Kim, had just renewed her relationship with Adam and was in the Rec Center working out when his body was found. As a result, she becomes the prime suspect and Sheridan is further motivated to help solve the case and prove Kim isn’t guilty. That she finds the Detective rather attractive is an added bonus. Sheridan’s curiosity and logical mind, along with her love of mysteries have her putting pieces together. The Detective’s questions lead her to ask more questions. In fact, as Sheridan tries to connect all the people in Adam’s life, she finds that many women have a motive for Adam’s murder.

Here is a brief excerpt (Chapter 1):

I nodded and then checked the next open door. Unfortunately, it was Max’s office. I knocked. He swiveled around, his black hair somewhat uncontrolled and in need of a cut. I must have startled him.  His brown eyes opened wide.
“Sheridan, you wouldn’t believe. I ‘m trying to get this experiment going, and somehow the materials I ordered haven’t come in. Terra told me I didn’t have enough money in my account, and that’s not right! I don’t know what her problem is,” was his opening tirade. Max was the other experimental psychologist and the most interested in research of the faculty in the department.
“Yeah, well, Terra and Ali do the books. They would know. Maybe you didn’t figure right what you had in your lab account. I bet they can give you a full accounting,” I suggested. Max tended to have these tantrums a lot. He was relatively young and had come to Cold Creek straight from graduation the year after me. He had big dreams of doing enough research to get to a better university.
“You doing okay otherwise – you know with the rec center and all,” I asked.
“Oh, I gave up on the rec center last year. Too crowded. I joined a private club where I don’t have to deal with the students. At the rec center, they always tried to talk to me. Are you looking for a place to work out?” he asked, oblivious to the excitement on campus. But that was not unusual for Max. Unless it was going to directly affect him, he didn’t seem to know about it. Now, if he had wanted to work out today, he might have been more interested.
“Uh, Max, someone died at the rec center this morning,” I offered as gently as I could.
Jumping out of his seat, he proclaimed, “I knew it, I knew there were safety problems. I knew those students would wreck something! See what I mean?”
“Max, someone was murdered. It wasn’t an accident,” I added. I wondered that he hadn’t asked the obvious question of who?  It was certainly the question I wanted answered.
“Oh. Well, it better not get in the way of my lab work. I’d love to chat with you Sheridan, but I have work to do,” he responded. With that, he sat back down and turned back to his computer. Good thing or he would have seen me shake my head in disbelief. 

Max is one of my favorite characters with his own unique perspective on work, life, and people. Max, Mitch, Brett, and Kim continue to have prominent roles in the second in the series - yes, there is a second!  Almost 7 chapters are now drafted and I am working on fleshing out the "villain".  In his guest post earlier this month (1/13/2014), R. Michael Phillips talked about the importance of names...  Any suggestions for a name for the villain?  

Remember to leave a comment between 1/26 and 1/31 for the Give-Away!!!  Don't want to wait for the Give-Away?  Amazon

Saturday, January 25, 2014

GUEST POST: New YA Paranormal Release! SUNDER

Tara Brown

YA Paranormal
Release Date: January 25, 2014

**Buy Links**
Amazon -->  
Smashwords -->

Every town has its secrets. Secrets that hold it, and the people who live there, together.

When Liv Daniels moves to Wolfville, Maine with her father, she discovers the small town has more than its fair share.

But the quaint, coastal townsfolk aren't the only ones with secrets.

Liv has one too.

Hers is buried deep inside of her, where even she doesn't know it exists.

But someone does, and he's not going to give up until he breaks it free from her.

But how do you free someone from a secret they don't know they have?
What do you do when the person you're supposed to destroy becomes the one thing you can't live without?

Don't miss this suspenseful new YA romance!

"Fans of Twilight will love this story!! ~~Bookend 2 Bookend"

**Author Bio**

I am not going to talk in the third person. It feels weird.
I am a Bestselling author of Paranormal Romance, Post Apocalyptic, Contemporary, Romance, and Fantasy novels. I write a lot of books and jump Genres all the time. Mostly because I think I have Writers ADD, I like to call it WADD. It might be a real thing.

I write YA some of the time but mostly New Adult, my books have sexual content (Heck yes) and Swearing. You have been warned. Now enjoy!

I have a beagle named Buster, a husband who I force to read everything I write and two girls who want so badly to be a character in my books. And not in that order.

I am mid thirties so be prepared for the chick lit novel this year. I am calling it my Ode to my Midlife Crisis. I'm kidding. It's actually called The Single Lady Spy Series and it is an adult romantic-thriller series. The first book, The End of Me is due out April of 2013 (out now!). It is a sexy and fresh series with the lightest touch of erotic naughtiness.
I have been writing since I was old enough to lie. So for some time. If you're wondering about the hat, it's my 'Hey I'm Canadian Toque'

Welcome to my world. Please enjoy the ride. If you would like to reach me for whatever reason, please visit me at my facebook page - You can also email me
Thanks for checking me out and I hope you got lost in something I wrote or it made you so MAD/HAPPY/SAD/BLISSFUL/TURNED ON/ANGRY/EXCITED/FRIGHTENED/HORRIFIED that you couldn't believe it.

Have a great day!!!

**Stalker Links**

Monday, January 20, 2014

Review: No One Lives Twice : A Lexi Carmichael Mystery (Julie Moffett)

Book Review:  No One Lives Twice (A Lexi Carmichael Mystery)

Synopsis (from Amazon):

I'm Lexi Carmichael, geek extraordinaire. I spend my days stopping computer hackers at the National Security Agency. My nights? Those I spend avoiding my mother and eating cereal for dinner. Even though I work for a top-secret agency, I've never been in an exciting car chase, sipped a stirred (not shaken) martini, or shot a poison dart from an umbrella.
Until today, that is, when two gun-toting thugs popped up in my life and my best friend disappeared. So, I've enlisted the help of the Zimmerman twins—the reclusive architects of America's most sensitive electronic networks—to help me navigate a bewildering maze of leads to find her.

Along the way, my path collides with a sexy government agent and a rich, handsome lawyer, both of whom seem to have the hots for me. Hacking, espionage, sexy spy-men—it's a geek girl's dream come true. If it weren't for those gun-toting thugs...

This was a fun read and Lexi is a great character.  She works for NSA, a secret that is not so secret since almost everyone in her suburb seems to work there. But she isn't the usual type one thinks of when envisioning someone at NSA - she is a computer geek.  Lexi is held at gunpoint, kidnapped, her apartment trashed, her privacy invaded despite new security, and then befriended by the person who asked Lexi's BFF to translate a document.  It all comes together with twists and turns, a chuckle or two, and lots of possibilities.  This is the first in the series and I will definitely read the other three already published: No One to Trust, No Money Down, No Place Like Rome.  All are now on my TBR list. Hmmm... maybe an interview with Julie Moffett is in order!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Blog Tour: Passage of Crime - R Michael Phillips

First stop on the Blog Tour and it's a pleasure to have R. Michael Phillips for a guest post! 
What’s in a name? 

By: R. Michael Phillips 

          You would think naming a character would be relatively easy task. We are surrounded by names of all sorts–heavy in regional or foreign origin; plain as the nose on your face; barely pronounceable; etc. So, what’s the big deal? The big deal is you most certainly want your character to be memorable to your readers and, perhaps, beyond. Maybe it’s the Dickensian spirit in me, but I believe the mere utterance of a name should conjure up a visual of the character it relates to, or at least give the reader a glimpse into what is to come. This is never more important than with supporting/tertiary characters.
         When I do the character mapping for a supporting character in a book the last thing I pen is the name. I’ve found this to be the easiest way. Done right, the name almost presents itself. In Along Came A Fifer I had a tertiary character that, though only briefly presented in the book, had an important roll in establishing the character/motives of two of the main characters through sub-text. For this, his character description was of the utmost importance, and from there his name. He’s only briefly included in three chapters, but is mentioned by name throughout the book. For that reason he needed to carry his character along with him. This is where the right name comes in.

          In my mapping of this character he is described as such: 

          He was a vile little man, devoid of friend and conscience. He was just short of five feet, but every inch meaner and lazier than the one below it. His character was as crooked as his smile, but he was well known in the London underworld as a source of information. Anyone wishing to extract that information from him did so with contempt and then made every effort to leave behind any recollection of the transaction. To say he read the daily papers is an understatement. He dissected them, line-by-line and word-by­-word. He could read an obscure article in the classifieds relating to a grieving woman’s attempt to locate a lost article, and by the time he was done he would know who had nicked it and how much they had gotten for it. Anyone else of questionable character would parlay this kind of knowledge into a handsome income, but to him, the gathering of information was nothing more than a hobby that filled his otherwise empty afternoons.
           Women found him most unnerving, cringing at the sight of his lascivious glare and fending off his endless advances. They certainly wouldn’t have him over for high tea, but if someone nicked their silver tea service it’s a good bet he’d know where to take the fairy cakes. He very rarely left his flat in the church building, so a person would have no other choice but to inquire for him there. To anyone outside the murky puddle of villains he associated with he was just a rambling fool of little or no social value.
            So, what would you name this character in keeping with the description above? It took about an hour of perusing the digital thesaurus, but I came up with what I thought best framed this vile little man–Maunder. First name? Last Name? It didn’t much matter, in the book he is just Maunder.

maun·der [mawn-der] 
verb (used without object) 
1. to talk in a rambling, foolish, or meaningless way. 
2. to move, go, or act in an aimless, confused manner: He maundered through life without a single ambition
Origin: 1615–25; origin uncertain 

           In the first book he’s there and then gone, but Along Came A Fifer is part of the Ernie Bisquets Mystery Series. Developing tertiary characters like this allows me to call on them again in future books to fulfill similar rolls.
           Not all are this difficult to establish. In Rook, Rhyme and Sinker an old friend of Ernie’s gets himself into a bit of a jam. He’s a pick pocket/confidence man like Ernie, but still on the wrong side of the law. I called him Simon Railes. His street name is “Slippery”, Slippery Railes. That name came to me while listening to a weather report and the reason for the local train delays due to a surprise snowstorm. It isn’t hard to imagine his place among the characters. He’s returning in a new story, but that’s a post for another day.

Review of Passage of Crime:
A British background, a serial killer reminiscent of Jack the Ripper who returns after 8 years, the stubborn Inspector who is sure he knows who the Slasher is but doesn't have the evidence despite the help of the well-known man's valet, and the well to do Patterson who provided Ernie the opportunity for a new start make for a great cast of characters.  Amidst all the upper crust, Ernie makes his way and sets out to help the Inspector catch the Slasher, for a change on the other side of the constabulary.  He enlists some old friends (and their friends) that add just a bit more color to the characters.  Not to be forgotten, Phillips includes a touch of romance - for Patterson and for Ernie.  The story has all the required elements and the ending is a logical conclusion to the facts presented.  This is the third in the series; the range of characters lends itself to a continuing series.

About the Author:
Michael is a classically trained artist who has been painting for over 25 years. By combining his creative talents with a passion for mysteries he conceived the fictional world of the East London Adventurers Club, home to The Ernie Bisquets Mystery Series. Michael has completed 3 books in the series and has plans for at least five additional books following the adventurers of London’s most remarkable pickpocket. Michael is a proud member of the Crime Writer’s Association and Mystery Writers Of America. His short story “Oranges and Lemons” was recently published in Suspense Magazine, January 2011

Passage Of Crime
(The Ernie Bisquets Mysteries) (Volume 3)

Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Locked Door (August 2, 2013)
Paperback: 284 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0615854922
E-Book File Size: 433 KB

Author Links


Purchase Links
Amazon B & N

Be sure to check out the rest of the stops on the tour!
January 15 – Psychotic State Book Reviews
January 16 – Kelly P’s Blog
January 17 – readalot blog
January 18 – A Blue Million Books
January 20 – Thoughts in Progress
January 22 – Books-n-Kisses
January 23 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading
January 24 – Latte Da!
January 25 – dru’s book musing 

Follow This Link for GiveAway!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Blog Tour: Playing with Fire by J J Cook


Welcome to Sweet Pepper, Tennessee. Nestled in the Great Smokey Mountains, it''s home to the hottest and sweetest peppers int he 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's better think fast of more than her investigation could go up in flames...


Small town politics, family legacy, ex-boyfriend, strong female, missing $30 million, and the ghost of the murdered fire chief.  Stella has successfully re-established the volunteer fire brigade; the job she went to Sweet Pepper to do is done, but she is still there.  Her parents and some in Sweet Pepper start asking her when she is going back to Chicago, including the ghost of Eric Gamlyn.  Until there's a fire in the fire house he built, everyone thought he died in the line of duty, but his bones are found in the walls of the fire house that hasn't been used for many years and it is now known that he was murdered.  He continues to haunt his house - the same one Stella is staying in, but only she can see and talk to him. Who killed Eric?  Who is buried in Eric's coffin?  Who killed Deputy Chum? What was the role of Ben Carson, Stella's grandfather, in all this?  Where does Stella want to live - Sweet Pepper or Chicago?  Lots of twists and turns with many likable and unique characters and relationships (including the one between Stella and Eric).  The way it ends suggests another one coming....  That Old Flame of Mine is the first in the series and there is a novella, Hero's Journey, that I may have to read in the meantime.

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.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Exciting Times!

Next week I will be the guest author on Evey's Writers Blog (! Do stop by and visit any time next week (1/13-19)...  You'll get to learn a little more about me, about Murder at Cold Creek College, and you get an excerpt!  Evey's Writers Blog has been hosting various authors since 2012, so you might find some other posts of interest as well.

In the meantime, I am still working on the next one in the series...  managed to add about 2000 words last week, but have written myself into a puzzle and need to find my way out. Hmmm! Then my computer decided to turn that scary shade of blue -- now typing on a new one, and that has further hampered the writing efforts...  

The next week is busy, with the guest post on Evey's Writers Blog and two blog tour stops: 

Sunday January 12th: Playing with Fire  (J J Cook)

Tuesday January 14th: Passage of Crime  (R Michael Phillips)

Exciting times for sure!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Review: The Root of All Trouble: A Nina Quinn Mystery by Heather Webber


When a spring storm rolls through Freedom, Ohio, landscape designer Nina Quinn expects to get her hands dirty with the mess left behind.
But after high winds uproot a tree, revealing the corpse of a man inside its rotted hollow, Nina quickly realizes that cleaning up after Mother Nature’s fury is the least of her worries.

It soon becomes clear that there is no lack of suspects in the man’s untimely death. As a shady contractor and philanderer, he’d angered a lot of people before he disappeared, including some of Nina’s closest friends.
With the help of her police detective ex-husband, a mysterious coroner’s investigator, her formerly-felonious employees and her zany neighbors, Nina sets out to uncover a killer...before another victim ends up planted six feet under.    


All the work set to go on the next makeover is put on hold following a storm and a dead body is found when cleaning up an uprooted tree. It seems that the murder is solved until a second person is murdered and others injured. Nina, along with her husband and her cousin, Ana, investigate to find the real murderer. Nina is smart and likable amateur sleuth. The relationships between the characters are believable with conflicts and secrets. Nina seems to think there is something very familiar about the coroner, yet another mystery that she has to figure out as well.

Although this is the latest in the series, it can be read and enjoyed as a stand alone. Webber spins a good tale with strong and interesting characters so I strongly recommend you start at the beginning (A Hoe Lot of Trouble) and read the others in the series first.

Other titles in the Nina Quinn Mystery Series:

A Hoe Lot of Trouble
Trouble in Spades
Digging up Trouble
Trouble in Bloom
Weeding out Trouble
Trouble Under the Tree

About the Author:
Heather Webber (aka Heather Blake) is the author of more than a dozen mystery novels and has been twice nominated for an Agatha Award. She's a total homebody who loves to be close to her family, read, watch reality TV (especially cooking competition shows), drink too much coffee, crochet, bake (mostly cookies), and occasionally leave the house to travel to the beautiful mountains in the northeast. Heather grew up in a suburb of Boston, but currently she lives in the Cincinnati area with her family and is hard at work on her next book. |