Thursday, December 31, 2015

Reflections on 2015 and Looking Ahead to 2016

New Year's Eve is always a time for looking back and looking ahead. As a writer, 2015 has been a good year and I accomplished a lot:

  • I "met" some great fellow authors and learned a lot from them through Clean Indie Reads, Rave Reviews Book Club, and twitter - their knowledge and support has been wonderful!
  • The number of followers on the blog has increased and I receive many more requests for book reviews as well as continuing to participate in blog tours
  • I changed out the covers with professional ones - thank you Victorine Lieske!
  • I finished and published the third book in the Cold Creek series - MURDER AT THE GRILL (released 11/15/2015)
  • I improved my marketing skills as evidenced by increased sales - my royalties for 2015 are more than for 2014 though I need to keep my day job
  • I became a tweeter and it amazes me how many followers I have and how many tweets I have tweeted
What do I plan for 2016?
  • I plan to continue to support my fellow indie authors on twitter, FB, and the blog
  • I have a blog tour scheduled for MURDER AT THE GRILL - Great Escapes once again - and I'm excited about that!
  • I have blog tours scheduled, but cutting back to about once per week to focus my efforts on writing
  • Book 4 of the Cold Creek series is started with hopes to complete it (draft, editing, beta readers, editing, more editing) by November 1, 2016 
  • I have an idea for a new series (young adult) and started the first -- my hope is to finish that one as well by November 2016
  • The last two mean less time gaming online and more time spent writing 

  • On a personal note, of course the usual - eat better, exercise more, and find something positive every day 
I liked the suggestion of some unknown person to write down something positive that happened each each week in the coming year and then read them all next New Year's Eve...  I'm going to give that a try!

How about you? What are your hopes and dreams for 2016? I hope it is a happy, healthy and productive 2016!

Saturday, December 19, 2015


Today I am pleased to have Suzanne Burke, author of a children's book trilogy, as my guest.  If you are a dog-lover like me, you will enjoy this post (and probably the books!)

A Dog Inspires a Children’s Book Trilogy, by Suzanne Burke

I never planned to be an author, but a greyhound changed all that ten years ago! In 2002 I decided to adopt a “rescue dog” and remembered Zeus, a greyhound who had crossed my path on Thanksgiving day years earlier in a most unusual way as an escaped greyhound. I helped a young girl safely capture Zeus hours after escaping from his backyard. This event inspired me to look more into the greyhound as a pet. I did some research on the Internet and found a local adoption group in Dallas, Texas, Greyhound Adoption League of Texas, and met my first greyhound, Allie who I eventually adopted.

After experiencing this wonderful intelligent, regal and docile breed, I became hooked. I jumped into volunteering and fostering with the Greyhound Adoption League of Texas to help retired racing greyhounds. I never anticipated that a dog would change my life so dramatically, but a greyhound named Sam entered my life in 2005 in the most unexpected way and what he taught me was so life changing that I had to tell others so, they too, would know a secret that would lead to a much more abundant and happy life.

Sam was a large, sweet fawn colored male greyhound with a positive and confident air. He loved everyone! In the Spring of 2005, Sam escaped from his foster home through an open backyard gate. I became involved with his search and rescue effort that would last six weeks. This effort was a true test of patience and faith for many volunteers who spent countless hours posting missing dog flyers, and searching through woods and brush in a lake community in Dallas, Texas. It was amazing to watch a community come together through this lost dog. Everyone knew of Sam. Volunteers searching for him never gave up hope of finding the beloved greyhound.

As a last resort, five weeks into the search a huge humane trap was set up at the edge of a wooded area in the lake community in hopes of capturing Sam. Volunteers were scheduled to replenish the trap with the most alluring food possible morning and night only to find wild animals caught each morning. One morning a raccoon and her babies were caught and of course released. It was a true test of patience, ending in frustration each morning when Sam did not appear.

One evening a volunteer and I were scheduled to bait the greyhound trap. As we finished our chore and took a rest on a park bench to watch the sun set, we noticed a unique formation of a large fluffy cloud in front of the sun. It wasn’t just any formation, but one I will never forget. The cloud shaped before our eyes in the form of a greyhound’s head with its unique long needle nose and relaxed ears. We wondered if the cloud image had significance and both of us walked away that evening with a feeling that something was about to change.

The following day at noon, I received a phone call from the volunteer screaming in my ear that Sam had been found safe – on a ranch, thirty miles from the lake where the trap had been set up. How in the world would a greyhound end up thirty miles from the area where we consistently received sightings?

Logan’s Secret tells of this true-life story told from the canine’s perspective. It is about a dog that wanted nothing more than to know a home filled with love, warmth, and happiness. Sam experienced unbelievable challenges and odds to find his forever home. And it was his story that inspired me to begin writing. This is a delightful book with a happy ending where a greyhound with one wish for a loving forever home comes true and is given the new name of Logan. Through the illustrated story, Logan teaches readers about the art of positivity, decision making, and perseverance like no human or dog before. 

The book became popular with dog lovers and children and I was asked to write another story about Logan. An idea was formed, and I started a book series teaching children (and adults) about the different historical periods in which greyhounds held importance. The stories are illustrated time travel historical adventures to periods such as Ancient Egypt and Medieval Europe to peak the interest of readers to not only teach important social issues, but also history lessons. 

Logan and the Mystical Collar which is the second illustrated book in the series, teaches not only lessons about bullying and courage, but also historical facts about Ancient Egypt in an interesting and fun way for children and adults. In August, 2015, Logan and the Mystical Collar was awarded dual medals in the 2015 Global E Book awards, one of which was for “best illustrated children’s story”.

Book three in the trilogy, titled The Rise of the Phoenix, is in production and is expected to launch the first quarter of 2016. The Rise of the Phoenix, set in Medieval Europe, is an exciting adventure that includes Logan, a wizard, a large imposing dragon, and Tess, a royal greyhound, who are brought together to save a kingdom from an evil black mist that has plagued the countryside and threatens all of humanity. There are clues on Logan’s collar that lead the team to unlock the mystery of a 500 year old secret – the phoenix, which is their only hope to annihilate the killer black mist. Look for this richly illustrated story to be launched on Amazon.

More stories are on the horizon to teach important life lessons and history for readers. Logan’s Secret and Logan and the Mystical Collar are available on in both print and Kindle versions. To learn more about the stories, the greyhound’s history, and about this breed as a pet, visit

Brief bio and links for Suzanne Burke

Suzanne Burke, a native of Richmond, Virginia currently lives in a suburb of Dallas, Texas, with her retired racing greyhounds. She has more than ten years’ experience working with the greyhound breed as a volunteer for the Greyhound Adoption League of Texas. Suzanne also has more than 15 years’ experience in the information technology field in project management and technical writing.


Buy links:

Logan’s Secret

Logan and the Mystical Collar

Monday, December 14, 2015

Blog Tour: Interview with TERESA A LARUE, author of A TALENT FOR MURDER

Today it is my pleasure to have Teresa LaRue as my guest.  She agreed to answer some questions...

How long have you been writing?

Since I’m holding at twenty-nine, I can’t give you an exact number of years. Let’s just say, it’s been awhile. I started writing as a hobby, something to occupy my mind while raising three rambunctious kids. I managed to publish a few items, which gave me the courage to tackle a novel. A Talent for Murder is my third novel. The other two are gathering dust in my file cabinet.

What inspires you to write?

I think stories are in my DNA. Growing up, I often wrote little skits for my girlfriends to perform. We needed an audience, so we bribed the neighborhood boys to attend with promises of food.

How long did it take you to write A TALENT FOR MURDER?

I only work two or three hours a day, and I did extensive rewrites, so it took me about four years to complete.

What was your favorite scene to write?

The scene where Kate sneaks up on Happy and Lula Mae while they’re breaking into a house. They’re so frightened, they begin squealing like a couple of pigs, then try to attack her.

The subtitle, A Flower Patch Mystery, suggests this is a series. Is that the plan? If so, when do you expect the next one to come out? How do you anticipate your characters growing and changing as the series progresses?

I’m already working on a second book. Whether it’s picked up by my publisher - I guess that depends on how well A Talent for Murder does.

I’m sure Kate will eventually marry and set up housekeeping with her new husband. As they grow older, they’ll face new challenges. One thing you can be sure of: Happy, Lula Mae, and Kate will find themselves in the middle of another murder investigation.

How similar are you to Kate Spencer?

Physically, we’re nothing alike. She’s tall - five eight. I’m short - five two. She has curly brown hair; mine is brown and ruler-straight. But like her, I understand what it’s like to deal with a strong-willed mother. But I’m pretty sure my love of chocolate far exceeds hers.

What are your favorite things to do besides writing?

I love to watch movies and work in my garden. But my favorite pastime is reading. Mostly, mysteries and thrillers.

Who is your favorite author and why?

I love so many authors it’s hard to narrow it down to one. I suppose my favorite would be Carolyn Hart. I’m a big fan of all three of her series: Annie Darling, Henri O, and Bailey Ruth. Her main characters are strong women, who don’t wait around for someone else to solve their problems. She does a great job of bringing her settings to life. And there are enough plot twists to keep me guessing.

Anything else, my readers might want to know about you or your new series?

I got the idea for A Talent for Murder from my daughter, who stormed into the living room one afternoon and declared she was never going anywhere with her grandmother again. That she and her sister were just too embarrassing! (I believe that was the time one of them sprayed her dress with an anti-static spray in the middle of the store.) Which got me to thinking . . . what if a thirty-some-year-old woman got caught up in a murder investigation, only her mother and aunt kept bumbling around in her way, and her ex-cop-boyfriend got assigned to the investigation . . . .

Thank you so much for sharing with my readers. I, for one, hope it doesn't take another 4 years before the second book in the series comes out!

About the Author
Teresa A. LaRue grew up in a small town along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She fell in love with the mystery genre in fourth grade. She’s worked as a secretary, assistant manager of an audio book store, and manager of a fashion jewelry store. She is an avid reader, gardener, and movie buff. She lives across the lake from New Orleans with her family, which includes a dog named Bones and a cat named Chloe.
Author Links


A Talent for Murder is a cozy, southern mystery filled with humor and colorful characters, with a touch of romance thrown in for added fun.

When Kate Spencer learns her aunt’s fiancé is two-timing her with an old rival, she has no choice but to pass along the information to her mother. They are as shocked as the rest of the town when the rival turns up dead and the two-timing fiancé disappears.

Making matters worse, the lead investigator happens to be Kate’s old boyfriend. If her aunt has any hope of being cleared, the trio must conduct their own investigation. Even if they have to alienate a few friends and tell a few lies to discover the truth.
Purchase Links

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Blog Tour: THE BODY IN THE LANDSCAPE by Larissa Reinhart

“Anyone who likes humorous mysteries will also enjoy local author Larissa Reinhart, who captures small town Georgia in the laugh-out-loud escapades of struggling artist Cherry Tucker.” –Fayette Woman Magazine

Cherry is a quirky spitfire who lights the match that sets her little town on fire.” – Dru’s Book Musings

When Cherry Tucker’s invited to paint the “kill portrait” for the winner of Big Rack Lodge’s Hogzilla hunt, it seems like a paid vacation. Back home in Halo, a Hatfield-McCoy-style standoff builds between Luke and Cherry’s families. She’s ready for a weekend away, hobnobbing with rich and famous hunters, where she can forget her troubles and nobody knows her name.

As Georgia sunshine turns to bleak December rain, Cherry’s R&R goes MIA when she finds a body in the woods. While the police believe the local drunk took an accidental spill, Cherry has her doubts, particularly when a series of malicious pranks are targeted at the rifle toting contestants. With loyal companions at her side—sort-of-ex-husband Todd and a championship bayer named Buckshot—Cherry tracks suspects through a forest full of pitfalls and perils. And all the while, a killer’s stalking the hunt party with a bead on Cherry.
Cherry Tucker's life is anything but boring. The family feud continues to thwart the rocky relationship between Cherry and Luke, but at least she has a painting ordered. What sounds like a dream job - hang out while the hunters do their thing and then paint the winner - turns sour when Cherry finds a dead body. Her interactions with the man are at odds with what townsfolk and police say about him. They are all willing to accept an accident, but not Cherry. And the hunt goes on, despite pranks and near misses. 

As with the other books in this series, Cherry's personality shines and her antics bring a smile.  The characters are well-developed, especially Todd. The story progresses at a good pace with twists, turns, and quirky personalities. All in all, Reinhart has once again managed to spin a humorous who-dun-it sure to please. Although this is the fifth in the series (and I've read them all), this can be read as a stand-alone. I hope the sixth is not far behind.

Books in the Cherry Tucker Humorous Mystery Series:


About The Author:

After teaching in the US and Japan, Larissa enjoys writing, particularly sassy female characters with a penchant for trouble. She lives near Atlanta with her family and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit. Visit her website or find her chatting on Facebook. THE BODY IN THE LANDSCAPE is the fifth book in the bestselling Cherry Tucker Mystery series. The first, PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY, is a Daphne du Maurier finalist, Emily finalist, and Dixie Kane Memorial winner.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

BookBlast : CITY OF GOLD by Carolyn Arnold

CITY OF GOLD large banner640

CITY OF GOLD by Carolyn Arnold

Hardcover: 314 pages 
Publisher: Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc (November 27, 2015) 
ISBN-13: 978-1988064666 ASIN: B016LLDQIY


Action-adventure books for the mystery lover. In this series, modern-day archaeologist and adventurer Matthew Connor travels the globe with his two closest friends to unearth treasure and discover legends the world has all but forgotten. Indiana Jones meets the twenty-first century.
CITY OF GOLDFinding the Inca’s lost City of Gold would be the discovery of a lifetime. But failing could mean her death...
Archaeologist Matthew Connor and his friends Cal and Robyn are finally home after a dangerous retrieval expedition in India. While they succeeded in obtaining the priceless Pandu artifact they sought, it almost cost them their lives. Still, Matthew is ready for the next adventure. Yet when new intel surfaces indicating the possible location of the legendary City of Gold, Matthew is hesitant to embark on the quest.
Not only is the evidence questionable but it means looking for the lost city of Paititi far away from where other explorers have concentrated their efforts. As appealing as making the discovery would be, it’s just too risky. But when Cal’s girlfriend, Sophie, is abducted by Matthew’s old nemesis who is dead-set on acquiring the Pandu statue, Matthew may be forced into action. Saving Sophie’s life means either breaking into the Royal Ontario Museum to steal the relic or offering up something no one in his or her right mind can refuse--the City of Gold.
Now Matthew and his two closest friends have to find a city and a treasure that have been lost for centuries. And they only have seven days to do it. As they race against the clock, they quickly discover that the streets they seek aren’t actually paved with gold, but with blood.


CAROLYN ARNOLD is the international best-selling and award-winning author of the Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher, and McKinley Mystery series. She is the only author with POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT.™
Carolyn was born in a small town, but that doesn’t keep her from dreaming big. And on par with her large dreams is her overactive imagination that conjures up killers and cases to solve. She currently lives in a city near Toronto with her husband and two beagles, Max and Chelsea. She is also a member of Crime Writers of Canada.

Carolyn Author Photo 2013 ColorConnect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:

Website - 
Twitter - Facebook - 
 And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at

Purchase Links

Tour Participants
December 1
December 2

Monday, November 30, 2015


LotV Release Banner

Happy Cyber Monday! In honor of the biggest internet shopping day of the year, or at least one of them, Faith Blum decided to do a blog tour release of her newest novel, Lily of the Valley. There are two giveaway opportunities and lots of fun interviews and excerpts.

About the Book

Howdy, Teacher! You don’t know me, but my kids talk bout you a lot. I been lookin fer a wife and mother fer a few years and was wonderin iffen we cood meet and get to no each other a bit. I’ll come after skool to git yer answer. Grover Miller
Lily of the Valley Front

Unruly schoolchildren, three suitors, and too many things to do. When Ruth Brookings rejects one of the suitors, he refuses to accept no for an answer. To make matters worse, when she prays for guidance, she’s answered with a challenge instead: To encourage her friend to find a wife—whether he wants one or not. Will she lose her friend just when she needs a friend the most? Will she be able to weather the storms she’s about to face? 

    After finishing the last of the essays, Ruth stood up, picked up Jeremiah’s essay, and sat in the desk next to him. “Can you explain your behavior this morning?”
    Jeremiah shrugged. “No.”
    “So you have no idea why you brought the frog inside or ruined Grace’s lunch?”
    “I wanted to.”
    Jeremiah grunted and crossed his arms. “Grace is annoying. She’s always acting like she’s better’n everybody else.”
    Ruth tapped her fingers on the desk. “Who made you the judge of that?”
    Jeremiah wrinkled his nose, but didn’t answer.
    Ruth sighed. She would have to talk with his father about this and let him deal with it. “And how do you explain this?” She held the paper with his name on it.
    “It’s invisible ink.”
    “Even invisible ink leaves indentations, Jeremiah.” Ruth sighed. “You will stay here after school and sit in your desk writing your essay as well as a note to give to Grace tomorrow. The note will have an apology and also say three nice things about her. And make sure those nice things are things she would think are nice.”
    Jeremiah looked up at Ruth with wide eyes. “Miss Brookings, please…”
    Ruth held up her hand. “No, Jeremiah. You are not getting away with this. I will also have a talk with your pa this afternoon. When your essay and note are finished, we will both walk down to the sheriff’s office together.”
    “Miss Brookings…”
    “Nothing you say will deter me from this punishment.”
    “But I had plans to study with Clem and Chancy.”
    “You’ll have to do it another time,” Ruth replied as she stood up. “Go ring the bell, please.”
    Jeremiah bowed his head and obeyed in sullen rebellion.

 Purchase on Amazon:

About the Author

Author Picture 2015-2016 bFaith Blum started writing at an early age. She started even before she could read! She even thought she could write better than Dr. Seuss. (The picture doesn't show it well, but there are scribblings on the page of Green Eggs and Ham). Now that she's grown up a little more, she knows she will probably never reach the success of Dr. Seuss, but that doesn't stop her from trying. When she isn't writing, Faith enjoys doing many right-brained activities such as reading, crafting, writing, playing piano, and playing games with her family. One of her dreams is to visit Castle City, Montana someday to see the ghost town she chose for her characters to live in. She currently lives on a hobby farm with her family in Wisconsin.

Free Book

BTMV Free Promo 11 

 Today is the last day to get Be Thou My Vision (Hymns of the West #2) free! Here is the link:


Faith has a Goodreads giveaway going on through November 30th! Be sure to check it out and enter to win one of two signed paperback copies of Lily of the Valley.  

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Lily of the Valley by Faith Blum

Lily of the Valley

by Faith Blum

Giveaway ends November 30, 2015. See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

In addition to the Goodreads giveaway, Faith is also giving away all four of her paperback novels to one lucky winner!

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Bloggers involved
November 29: Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections-Tour introduction Shanna Hatfield-Book Spotlight 
November 30: Musings of Inspiration-Author Interview/Book Spotlight C.K.Rich-Book Spotlight Singing Librarian Books-Book Review/Author Interview Writing Dreams-Author Interview/Character Interview/Book Spotlight Tara Ellis - Wife. Mother, Indie Author and Photographer-Book Spotlight Christa Reads & Writes-Book Spotlight Rebekah Lyn Books-Book Spotlight The Overactive Imagination-Author Interview Wildflower Acres-Book Review/Spotlight Jaye L. Knight-Book Spotlight Zerina Blossom's Books-Book Review/Spotlight God's Peculiar Treasure Rae-Book Spotlight Tamie Dearen’s Blog-Book Review/Spotlight Clean Indie Reads

Friday, November 27, 2015

Blog Tour: EMPTY NEST (A Birds of a Feather Mystery) by Marty Wingate


If you love Laura Childs, Ellery Adams, or Jenn McKinlay, don’t miss Marty Wingate’s charming Birds of a Feather series! In Empty Nest, Julia Lanchester’s life is interrupted by a murder most foul—and a killer who’s watching her like a hawk.

Manager of a tourist center in a quaint British village, Julia Lanchester finds herself with more ideas than time. Her boss is the Earl Fotheringill himself, but apart from him, she doesn’t mix well with the aristocracy. Unfortunately, toxic mold forces her from her cottage and into one of the earl’s countless spare rooms at the Hall. She tries to get a handle on her overload of work, while she finds herself arguing with dinner guests, chaffing at the sudden interest the earl’s son has in running the estate, and missing her new beau, Michael Sedgwick.

Her life goes from bad to sinister when Julia discovers poisoned sparrowhawks on the expansive estate grounds. And soon after, she finds one of the Hall’s visitors murdered—felled by the same poison. While simultaneously both spooked and angry, she still can’t keep herself from snooping, and dragging Michael along into her investigation. But will she find the culprit before her own wings are clipped?


This is another strong mystery by Wingate. Julie is working hard at promoting the Fotheringill estate with various activities and promotions. She is living on the estate while her cottage is not inhabitable and chooses to ignore Lord Fotheringill's possible motives for suggesting this arrangement. Her boyfriend Michael however picks up on those motives quickly. Add to that the prodigal son who returns, his antique dealer friend who winds up dead, the suspicious estate agent, and dead sparrow hawks - there is plenty of action. 

The pace is quick, the characters are well-developed, and the plot has many twists and turns. Julie and Michael's relationship adds a little romance to the mix.  I've read other of Wingate's novels and this one did not disappoint. I realized I have another of Wingate's novels on my kindle/TBRList from her other series - The Potting Shed Mysteries - and I just moved it up along with THE RHYME OF THE MAGPIES, the first in this series. Although EMPTY NEST is the second in the series, it can easily be read as a stand-alone. 

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review as part of this blog tour. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.

About the Author
Marty Wingate is the author of two previous Potting Shed mysteries, The Garden Plot and The Red Book of Primrose House. Her new Birds of a Feather Mystery series debuted with The Rhyme of the Magpie. Wingate is a regular contributor toCountry Gardens and other magazines. She also leads gardening tours throughout England, Scotland, Ireland, France, and North America. More Potting Shed and Birds of a Feather mysteries are planned.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Blog Tour/Review: THE CASE OF THE DEFUNCT ADJUNCT by Frankie Bow

Publisher: Hawaiian Heritage Press (December 1, 2015)
Publication Date: December 1, 2015
~~Special preorder price 0.99. Returns to 3.99 at release. ~~ 

A forbidden kiss. A death in plain sight. And the faculty meeting’s just begun.

Forced to attend the Student Retention Office’s summer retreat, Professor Molly Barda brings her game of buzzword bingo to fend off boredom. But when the lecherous Kent Lovely, Mahina State’s one-man hostile work environment, collapses face-first into his haupia cheesecake, the afternoon goes from dull to disastrous. Now Molly has to fight to keep an innocent out of prison—and herself off the unemployment line.

The Case of the Defunct Adjunct is the spoiler-free prequel to the Molly Barda mysteries, a cozy mystery series set in remote Mahina, Hawaii. If you like Dorothy Parker, Sarah Caudwell, P.G. Wodehouse, or E.F. Benson’s Mapp and Lucia stories, you’ll enjoy this tale of passion, pilferage, and petty politics.

Molly didn't get out of town for the summer and now she finds herself with more work and no pay. She wants to stay out of it, but she gets involved with solving the murder of Kent Lovely to help her friend Emma and Emma's brother Jonah. Jonah has been fired after "whistle blowing" shady business with the victim's department. That makes him the prime suspect, but maybe what Jonah found out about is the real motive. 

This is the prequel to a new series by Frankie Bow, featuring Molly, a faculty member at an out of the way college in Hawaii. Along with the murder to be solved, there is wit, humor, and sarcasm, sometimes from unexpected people. This was a fun read from beginning to end. As a college faculty member, Bow's description of some aspects of the academy is right on. 

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hope that I would post an honest review. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.

About the Author

Like Molly Barda, Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike her protagonist, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, a loving family, and a perfectly nice office chair. She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining. In addition to writing murder mysteries, she publishes in scholarly journals under her real name. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally.

Author Links
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Monday, November 16, 2015

Review - NEW RELEASE: FIVE SPOT by Cindy Blackburn


Say hello to the next screwball Cue Ball!

At long last! Jessie Hewitt is about to take her rightful spot in the Hall of Fame. No, not the one for pool sharks. This is the Romance Writers Hall of Fame. Jessie's so excited she's even convinced über-hunky cop Wilson Rye to tag along for the induction festivities. But things don't go exactly as planned. How could a conference called Happily Ever After take such a wrong turn? Take a guess.

Jessie (and Tessie) are back and in the world of pink at the Happily Ever After celebration where Jessie is to receive her cupid as Adelé. Penelope is poisoned but Jessie may have been the target. Wilson's protective side is engaged while tickets are being sold to be his Paramour for the day. 

Jessie, Tessie and Wilson alone guarantee some laughs while trying to solve a murder. Add in the Glee club and the two book agents fighting over deals, and the other three award recipients and spouses...  For a cue-ball mystery, there isn't very much pool, but there is definitely conflict, humor, and crazy fans, at this Romance Writers Meeting and not everyone is in love with the "pink" people.  

As for the mystery, lots of choices for the killer. The unique characters, their idiosyncrasies, and even their names add to the humor and plot.  The sleuthing team is fantastical! The story moves along at a quick pace. On a more serious note, I didn't figure out the whodunit, but the ending did make sense when revealed.

Although part of the series, you can read this as a stand-alone. If you've read the others and loved them, you'll enjoy this one as well. If this is your first read by Blackburn, keep in mind that screwball mysteries aren't everyone's cup of tea (or Korbel) so be prepared for some fun rather than suspense in this cozy mystery. A fantastical, fun read!

Buy Link

Previous Books in the Series
Playing with Poison
Double Shot
Three Oddballs
Four Play

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Blog Tour: A DICKENS OF A MURDER by Joyce and Jim Lavene

Christmas at Canterville!

Lisa Wellman and Simon Canterville are surprised to find a dead man on their roof in the midst of rushing to open the Canterville Book Shop in time for the holidays. And not just any dead man – Ebenezer Hart – the man who opposed the book shop opening in Olde Town, Portsmouth, Virginia.

What might be more surprising is when Daniel Fairhaven – Lisa’s ex – turns up at the door of the three-story Victorian house to head the police investigation. She hasn’t seen him in years but the sparks start to fly as soon as they are in the same room together.

Simon and Lisa are obviously the best suspects for the murder. Each of them had something to gain by Hart’s death. Then an attempt on Simon’s life throws that theory into a tailspin.

But the biggest surprise yet comes when the ghost of Charles Dickens turns up to help Lisa with the murder investigation – and writing the mystery novel she has been working on for years.

Without a doubt, Daniel and Dickens in Lisa’s life means trouble. And there’s still the matter of trying to get the book shop open with a killer on their heels.

All Lisa has ever wanted was to read books and perhaps write a book. With a forced life change, Simon provides the opportunity for her to partner in a book store, complete with a loft room for her to live in.  Then there's Hart's body found on the roof outside her window, her ex-husband as the Detective in charge, and the ghost of Dickens who wants to help her as an author. Lisa tries to find others with motive for Hart's murder, but it looks like the true target may be Simon. In the mean time, she needs to get rid of the ghost and avoid Daniel.

This book has a bit of everything - mystery, romance, and, yes, the ghost of Dickens. A fun read with twists and turns readers have come to expect from Joyce and Jim. 

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review as part of this blog tour. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.

About The Authors 
Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, 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.

It goes without saying that Joyce will be missed by readers and fellow authors like.

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