Thursday, July 31, 2014

Book Review: DEATH IN PERSPECTIVE (A Cherry Tucker Mystery) by Larissa Reinhart

Synopsis:

The curtain rises on Cherry Tucker’s debut as a high school set designer at the posh Peerless Day Academy. Cherry’s been hired for an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, but the drama director is hoping Cherry can also turn the spotlight on a malicious social media bully who’s sending poisonous texts to the faculty. The director’s got his own drama to hide, and the phantom texter seems eager to spill school secrets. When the principal’s secretary commits suicide, Cherry suspects foul play.

Deputy Luke Harper is ready to return as Cherry’s leading man. He’s eager to assist in finding the phantom culprit, but Cherry fears family secrets offstage may doom them to the role as star-crossed lovers. With the bully waiting for a murderous encore and her own family skeletons to hide, Cherry scrambles to find her brother and the mysterious texter before the phantom decides it’s curtains for Cherry and forces her to take a final bow.

Review:
This is the fourth in the Cherry Tucker Mystery series (released in June) and is every bit as enjoyable as the others (yes, I have read them all).  The "characters" at the private school for the arts are unique but appear to be dealing with the latest problem of cyberbullying through texts and the school's own social media.  A student suicided the previous year and now the principal's secretary?  Not likely. But Cherry is determined to find the texter or murderer.

Then there's the rivalry between the music program whose leader (Tinsley) hires Cherry to produce his set and the art teacher.  In the meantime, on the home front, the family feud continues to create drama and dismay between Luke and Cherry - their very own version of the Hatfields and McCoys or Romeo and Juliet.  A fun read and a bit of stretch to imagine Tinsley's version of Romeo and Juliet underwater with bubbles.  


The previous books in the series:
Portrait of a Dead Guy (#1)
Still Life in Brunswick Stew (#2)
Hijack in Abstract (#3)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Blog Tour for Murder at Cold Creek College Jul 28-Aug 8


Here's the full schedule!  Be sure to check out these great blogs!!!!  

Tour Participants

July 29 – Kaisy Daisy's Corner - Review
July 30 – readalot blog - Review
July 31 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! - Review
August 1 – Back Porchervations - Review
August 2 – Deal Sharing Aunt - Review
August 3 – Queen of All She Reads - Review
August 4 – Cicero's Children - Review
August 5 – Shelley's Book Case - Review, Interview
August 6 – The Book Junkie - Review
August 7 – Brooke Blogs - Review
August 8 – A Blue Million Books - Interview

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Great Escapes Blog Tour: GRANNY SKEWERS A SCOUNDREL (A Fuschia Minnesota Mystery) by Julie Seedorf




This Laugh out loud whodunit will have you reading past your bedtime.


Synopsis
Granny has a new addition to her arsenal of crime fighting weapons as Fuchsia, Minnesota’s most colorful detective. Now, along with her famous crook-hooking umbrella, she’s acquired a scoundrel-skewering knitting needle. And just in time! Residents of Fuchsia seem to be dropping dead like flies! First, it’s Granny’s neighbor Sally (who gives up the ghost in her weed-filled front yard), followed by Esmeralda Periwinkle (the squirrel lover on Main Street), and then, Mr. Nail, owner of the local hardware store (who is squashed when dozens of bags of fertilizer fall on top of him). Granny is baffled. Who is behind this murder spree?

Granny enlists the help of her sort of boyfriend franklin Gatsby, the town’s police chief Cornelius Stricknine (or “The Big Guy”), her reality-show loving neighbor Mavis, and her own son Thor. And, of course, the special assistance of her menagerie of pets — including Mr. Bleaty, the goat. Soon Granny is hot on the trail of this dastardly murderer. Unfortunately, when Granny herself is poisoned, everyone insists that she cool her crime solving ways and stay indoors and out of harms way. Of course, that’s never going to happen! Not when Granny knows all the secret passageways and tunnels that run underneath Fuchsia. Out she goes–and watch out, you evil doers! Granny will solve this mystery–you can bet your pink undies, she will!

Review
Hermoiny Vidalia Criony Fiddlestaat (aka Granny) is not your usual Granny.  As you might guess, her friends and animals are not quite ordinary either. Although perceived as senile and of concern to her children, Granny has her ways of solving crimes.  This is the second in the Fuschia, Minnesota series and continues Granny's sleuthing despite those concerns. The characters are quirky and extraordinary, the plot a bit twisty, and altogether a fun read.  Hopefully, there will more Fuschia Minnesota Mysteries in the future.

About This Author

Julie grew up in a small Minnesota community. She knows the value of neighbors looking out for neighbors.

Julie has worn many hats during her lifetime. She has been a waitress, barmaid, activities assistant, store clerk, office manager and for the last 14 years has worked in computer repair, and finally owning her own computer repair business. In January 2014 she closed her computer business to write full time.

Her most important career in her estimation has been wife, mother and grandmother. Nothing could equal the gift of nurturing and watching her children and grandchildren grow.

Julie is also a columnist for the Albert Lea Tribune. Her column “Something About Nothing” brings a little fluff to an unfluffy world. She believes there is always something underlying in the nothings we talk about. In 2011 she self-published “Whatchamacallit? Thingamajig?. It is a book about grandmothers and grandchildren. It was a collaboration between her grandchildren and Julie. Along with a glossary and lots of weird words, it is a mystery that reveals to the characters grandchildren who Grandma used to be.

In 2013 Julie signed a contract with Cozy Cat Press for the publication of her Cozy Mystery “Granny Hooks A Crook.” It fulfilled one item on Julie’s bucket list. Granny lives in the fictional town of Fuchsia, Minnesota. The Fuchsia, Minnesota books is a series. Granny Skewers A Scoundrel, book two in the series was released in March 2014. The Fuchsia books are unusual cozies with a little satire about small communities and an over the top Granny that gives a new meaning to old. Julie also writes free lance for the Courier Sentinel and the Albert Lea Tribune. She also is designing a line of shirts, cups and other material to complement her books.

Never quit dreaming is Julie’s motto. Dreams are the gateway to fun, fantasy and the future.

Author Links

http://www.julieseedorf.com,http://www.sprinklednotes.com,http://www.facebook.com/sprinklednotes,http://www.facebook.com/grannyfromfuchsiaminnesota, Twitter: @julieseedorf

Purchase Links

AMAZON B&N

Tour Participants

July 14 – Shelley’s Book Case - Review
July 15 – Kelly P’s Blog - Interview
July 16 – My Recent Favorite Books – Review
July17 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Guest Post
July 18 – readalot blog – Review
July 19 – Christa Reads and Writes – Review
July 20 – Latte’ Da! – Review, Guest Post
July 21 – Author Michele Lynn Seigfried’s Blog – Guest Post
July 22 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Guest Post
July 23 – Back Porchervations – Review
July 24 – Teresa Trent Author Site – Review, Interview
July 25 – Omnimystery News – Interview -
July 26 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review
July 27 – a chick who reads – Review
July 28 – deal sharing aunt – Interview

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Review: TO CONSPIRE by Sara E. B. Gauldin

Synopsis (from Amazon)

To Conspire is a fast paced mystery and crime drama that brings the element of conspiracy at all levels of public infrastructure into question. The story is based on a Detective who is ordered by her commanding officer to investigate the disappearances of several bankers off of the record. She is teamed up with a gentleman who ultimately causes her to question the simplistic view she has on crime.

Review

This is a fast-paced story and Avery is a likable protagonist.  I found her honesty refreshing. She is teamed up with Kain, a man who is not your typical guy, and may be a bit paranoid. But, oh, those twinkling eyes.  A quick read, there is a lot of action, good guys, bad guys, and some who may be in limbo. There is a touch of conspiracy theory, investment scams, and, yes, a budding romance.  I hope Gauldin has more in store for Avery and Kain.  


Monday, July 7, 2014

Book Review: PECKED TO DEATH (A Sadie Cooper Mystery #1) by Vanessa Gray Bartal

Synopsis
Nothing could compel Sadie Cooper back to her hometown, back to the father she can't get along with and the best friend she betrayed--nothing but death. When her beloved neighbor and mentor dies, Sadie returns home in disgrace after humiliating herself in front of the nation. She intends to stop at home, pay her respects, and start anew somewhere else. But then the will is read, and Abby has left something unusual for Sadie in her will--a request to solve her murder.

Luke Sawyer has finally put his life back on track; he's finally put his old best friend, Sadie Cooper, out of his mind. And then she comes in like a hurricane to rip his careful life apart again. She won't give up her ridiculous quest to solve a murder that doesn't exist, and she won't stay out of Luke's head. The fastest way to get her out of town is to help her figure out what happened to Abby, but the only way to do that is to get close to her again.

Together, Sadie and Luke must team up to figure out what's going on. They'll get closer than they ever wanted to be to each other, and closer to a killer than they know.


Review
A nice combination of romance and suspense, Sadie Cooper is determined that her mentor, Aunt Abby, was murdered. But that's not the way Luke Sawyer sees it.  Her determination can get her in trouble and her failings are readily pointed out by her father.  There's also the complicated relationship that she and Luke had and his determination not to have his heart broken again.  

This is the first in this series with well-developed characters and plot. SLUMBERED TO DEATH is the second, followed by SALVAGED TO DEATH.  

Vanessa Gray Bartal is also the author of the Lacy Steele Mysteries and  I would recommend them as well.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Book Review: MURDER FOR GLACIER BLUE (HIGH SEAS MYSTERY SERIES #3) by Diane Rapp

SYNOPSIS (from Amazon)
Painted in 1907, “Glacier Blue” is an oil painting recently appraised at 2 million pounds. Reginald C. Pierpont, the artist who created the stunning masterpiece, studied with the Impressionists in Europe and bold visionaries in the Americas. The sole heir to a family fortune, Reggie used his vast holdings and leisure time to experiment with new techniques and daring ideas to create his art. Although the masterpiece failed to turn heads during his own time period, Reggie’s secret method triggers larcenous schemes among modern crooks.

Genuine Fakes, an auction company that sells “authorized copies” of famous paintings, arranges to hold six charity auctions of fakes during a voyage to Alaska. Million-dollar originals will be displayed next to the Genuine Fakes during each auction—six opportunities for international thieves to steal a valuable piece of art. The president of Constellation Cruise Lines, Emily Schultz suddenly needs her new crack security team to guard the paintings.

When one of the fakes gets stolen from the buyer’s cabin, a discrete search for the missing canvas begins. The stakes rise when a body is found next to the missing fake, and the investigation suddenly takes a deadly turn. The investigators learn more about "Glacier Blue" and realize it’s no ordinary work of art. The painting’s special secret already provoked one murder, and it gets easier to kill again.

Emily begs Kayla and Steven to work for a few days before their wedding on Glacier Bay. They expected a stress-free cruise up the Inside Passage of Alaska, filled with glaciers, wildlife, and stunning scenery, but an art heist and murder might interrupt their romantic plans. To ramp up stress levels, Steven’s ex-wife, Cynthia, shows up for the cruise on the arm of Steven’s school chum—and Kayla feels hate-at-first-sight.

The young couple must entertain future in-laws while trying to outsmart murderous outlaws. As the ship navigates through icy waters, truth lies hidden from plain view, like the treacherous underwater portions of dangerous icebergs. Greed, jealousy, and envy generate potent motives for murder.


REVIEW
Genuine Fakes has chosen this Alaskan cruise as the site for the auction of commissioned copies that have been intentionally made, side by side, with the original works of art worth millions.  The fakes are also worth a lot and Emily has recruited her friends Kayla and Steven to provide security.  This is also their wedding cruise so other friends, also in security, as well as Steven's father, a retired cop, are aboard.  When one of the "fakes" goes missing and the artist who painted that fake is found dead, major concerns rise with regard to whether it is the fake that is missing or the original. Kayla and Steven split their time between wedding preparation and working with their friends to ensure the paintings are secure so that Emily doesn't suffer a major financial loss.  To do that, they have to solve the murder.

The characters of Emily, Kayla, Steven, Natalie, Jason and others are likable and "real"; the character of Cynthia is equally as negative, Phillip weak. In all, Rapp provides characters with depth and humanity.  The plot is well developed and there are some obvious and not so obvious potential suspects for the murder and theft.  An added bonus is the description of the various stops and sights from Ketchikan to Sitka to the Glacier National Park.  Quick paced, this is an enjoyable read.

This is the third in the High Seas Mystery Series, and it can be read as a stand alone. A word of warning though, reading it first will clue you to endings of the first two!  


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Book Review: THE TROUBLE WITH MURDER by Catherine Nelson

Synopsis

Zoe Grey is between jobs, between boyfriends, and between crises. Things seem to be looking up. Until all she's looking at is trouble.

Before she knows it, witnessing a brutal stabbing leads to a dead guy in her living room, and a target on her back. Then she lands herself smack in the middle of Detective Ellmann's homicide investigation, becoming the only suspect.

Now Zoe must stay ahead of those who want her dead and chase down her answers while working around Ellmann. As her determination to find justice for an innocent victim drives her on, she can feel the heat from the bullets flying in her direction. No stranger to trouble, Zoe just might find herself in over her head this time.

Review

It's hard to say who is the more likable character - Zoe or (Alex) Ellmann.  Zoe has a history that flashes back when she is in danger or someone else is in danger.  All it takes is watching a video of her response in a murder situation and it's obvious she can take care of herself and Detective Ellmann wants to know why.  With the second homicide connected to her and her history, she has no choice but to figure out what's happening and why.  Complicating all of this is hostility from co-workers at the Realty Office and her mother and brother, both of whom she feels responsible for.  And then there's Ellmann's apparent ability to know just what she's going to do next. 

This was a good read; I enjoyed it and immediately started (and finished) the sequel, THE TROUBLE WITH THEFT.  As Zoe continues to explore her career choices and her relationships, I hope there will be a third one in this series.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Release Blitz: ADJOURNMENT by Emersyn Vallis

Synopsis
When Sidney Chandler chooses to leave home she walks away from her life as she knows it… her family…

Him…

She stepped back, allowing them all to heal… move on… live without her…

Now at the age of twenty nine and almost a decade behind her, she is a master of disguise. Long gone is the timid girl who lived blinded by the ideas of love. 

Until fate decides to intervene and the one man she has struggled to evade at all costs is pushed back into her life. He knows the real girl behind the fa├žade, only he can pull her out of her self-imposed exile… breathing life back into her cold, protected heart.

Fate will do what fate wants and Sidney’s choices are no longer her own… but were they ever really hers to begin with?

Buy Now

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Excerpt


Turning around to go back inside my laughter stops. I don’t feel the crystal dish slip from my fingers. I just stand here… frozen.

There’s yelling and noise but it’s all muffled… like that night. 

I close my eyes. 

Breathe… Breathe… 

My heartbeat pounding through me the muffled sounds become clear and I hear Morgan screaming at me.

“Jesus, Sidney! Do you want Mom to kill you?” 

Blinking feverishly I look down to see she caught it just as it was about to smash. I can’t bring myself to worry about that right now. I look back up and watch as Simon, the boy I was so in love with just moments ago pulls away from a girl that up until this point was my best friend. A girl I thought I was going away to college with, a girl who knew how I felt about him. 

This is not happening… at my party no less…

“Breathe… You’re in control…” Molly whispers, her hand connecting with my back startles me. 

You know when you witness something and you know you should look away but you can’t because it’s one of those moments, those damn life changing moments that your brain makes sure to take notes on so that nothing is missed, no detail is overlooked, and nothing is ever forgotten. It’s one of those moments in life that you know instantly will repeat itself over and over in your head until it eventually causes you to change. It will break you and from those pieces in that moment will rebuild you. I thought that night was my moment, but I guess that was just a giant stepping-stone to this. Maybe I was wrong about fate… maybe it forgot about me.

My pulse continues to beat through my body in a deep throbbing rhythm, the darkness of a black out building up. He steps back from her, slightly turning his head in my direction and I know he knows I’m standing here, he just refuses to turn and look at me. I’m so dumb, I should have seen this coming. I mean did I really think I was so different from any of my predecessors? Women, real women, who have actually given themselves to him completely only to find out the next morning they’re just one in a crowd of many. Nothing special and forgotten about as soon as he received whatever it was he wanted from them. 

I did… because he told me I was. We had a plan…


MeetTheAuthor
 

Emersyn Vallis is a first time author with Adjournment being the first book in the Fated Series. Currently residing on the east coast with her husband and three children she is typically mistaken for being quiet and reserved her friends often describe her as a spastic spider monkey and always the first to be there with her quick wit to pull you back up when you’re feeling down. After reading as a hobby for most of her life it wasn’t until she had discovered R. L. Mathewson’s ‘Neighbor from Hell Series’ and Tara Sivec’s ‘Playing with Fire Series’ that she came up with the idea to fuse comedy and suspense together and her passion for writing was born.





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