Thursday, December 29, 2016

Review: DEAD MAN CODE by R Weir


Cases come and cases go, but private detective Jarvis Mann can't land an easy one these days.

The cops are unhappy Jarvis digs into a murder case they closed, uncovering a crooked tech company, hell-bent on stealing their customers' IDs and US government secrets. Soon Russian mobsters and Chinese government goons arrive to bribe, threaten, beat, and finally kill, in an attempt to stop him and safeguard their criminal enterprise. Can he protect the life of the widow who hired him to find her husband's killer? Will the founder's beautiful and sexy ex-wife provide the key he needs to crack the case, as Jarvis 
slugs and shoots his way to a pulse-pounding conclusion…


Jarvis is back but not without regrets from his last case and his break up with Melissa.  He agrees to look into the possible murder of a computer nerd - the police aren't thrilled as they want to close the case as a robbery gone bad. How complicated could that be? Some how, once Jarvis finds out the hard way that some Russians don't want him investigating and then the Chinese put him on notice as well, he's inclined to believe murder over robbery. 

In the meantime Melissa can't forgive him, but works for the lawyers who show up to bail out the Chinese and the Russians. Then there's Jarvis' usual charm and escapades with the ladies - Lindi comes through with information to help and April is certainly vying for his attention. In the meantime, the real hot shot hacker comes through.  Action-paced, not an obvious resolution, and Jarvis all the way. If you've liked the others in the series, Weir doesn't disappoint. This can be read as a stand alone. 

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book but this has not affected the content of my review in any way.

Be sure to check out the other Jarvis Mann PI stories:

Blood Brothers

Twice As Fatal

Tracking A Shadow

The Case of the Missing Bubble Gum Card

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Happy Holidays! Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Chanukah! and Merry Christmas!

This is truly the season of holidays and it is not too often that they overlap as they do this year.  

On December 24th some will have already lit the menorah with the first candle of Chanukah as others make their way to midnight Mass and leave cookies and milk for Santa. 

Chanukah will continue through Christmas and Kwanzaa begins on December 26, also with lighting of candles.  Both Kwanzaa and Chanukah end with the start of 2017.

Different cultures, different belief systems, but all of these are rich in traditions and hope.  A time to gather with friends and family.  And, of course, gifts!

Whether you contemplate the story of Chanukah, the birth of Christ, or reflect on the principles of Kwanzaa, I hope we can all take a moment to think of others and ways to ensure:

Peace on earth, goodwill toward all!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Review: KILLER CHRISTMAS (Holiday Series Book 1) (Emma Wild Mystery with Recipes)

Another holiday cozy mystery novella for you...


After breaking up with hunky movie star Nick Doyle, superstar singer Emma Wild returns to her hometown for Christmas to get away from it all. In Hartfield, a small town in Ontario, Canada, she gets caught up in a murder case after a fan's drink is poisoned at the Chocoholic Cafe, owned by Emma's sister Mirabelle.

Who is the killer and was the drink originally intended for Emma? To add to the chaos, Sterling Matthews is the detective on the case. He'd shattered her heart nine years ago and inspired all her hit singles, but now they must work together to find the murderer before the murderer finds Emma.

This is the first book in the Emma Wild 4-book Holiday Series.

Book 1: Killer Christmas
Book 2: New Year's Slay
Book 3: Death of a Snowman
Book 4: Valentine's Victim


It's Christmas and Emma returns to her hometown - she hasn't been back in a while but wants time away from the media frenzy as she mends her broken heart.  A fan recognizes her as they both order at the Chocoholic Cafe. Because they have the same name (Emma), their drinks are mixed up and the fan is dead. Emma has to wonder if the poison was meant for her - and who would want to kill her?  Is renewed romance in the air?

An easy, fun read, Killer Christmas is a quick read for the fireside. Plus, there are recipes! The series continues with New Years, the snowman festival, and Valentine's Day.  


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Review: A DAMSEL FOR SANTA : A McKENNA MYSTERY (Trouble in Paradise #7) by Terry Ambrose

Here's a Christmas cozy novella for you:


Not even the freak hurricane bearing down on Honolulu can dampen Wilson McKenna's holiday spirit. His girlfriend is coming to town, and they'll be celebrating their first Christmas together. Everything changes though when Chance Logan shows up and begs McKenna to help with a big charity event.

Chance wants his best friend to take the role of Santa in the Christmas play he's directing. The previous Santa claims to have malaria, and dress rehearsal is only hours away. McKenna agrees to help, but trouble strikes during rehearsal when the storm hits town. There's a city-wide power outage, the phone lines and traffic are snarled, and when the lights come on, one of the elves is dead.

When McKenna and Chance decide to investigate, the child star insists on being Santa’s helper. Now, McKenna has questions galore and no answers. Is the killer the Shakespeare-quoting Scrooge? The secretive Jack Frost? Or the way-too-friendly elf with more personalities than he can count? Should he give Assistant Elf Investigator Holly the promotion she's demanding? And what should he do about the Santa suit? It's giving him itches in places he can't even mention in public.

This year, Hawaii's best amateur sleuth has a short Christmas wish list. He wants to find a killer before the curtain comes down on this production. And, he'd kill for a sturdy backscratcher.


McKenna reluctantly gives in to playing Santa in the dress rehearsal only to have to deal with a dead elf. With no power and phone lines down, he takes on the job of sleuth with the help of the child star who plays "Holly"  (the damsel) in the play.  Aside from all the quirky characters and tensions, there's something going on with the Santa Suit and McKenna is stuck.

Lots of twists and turns, the holiday spirit, and some humor along the way.  If you're up for a holiday treat that's short and sweet, you'll enjoy this novella.  Although part of a series, this is easily read as a stand alone.


Monday, December 12, 2016

Blog Tour: OFFed STAGE LEFT by Joanne Sydney Lessner

Paperback: 260 pages
Publisher: Dulcet Press (October 27, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0998133201
E-Book ASIN: B01M3R8OD6

There’s one role you don’t want a callback for: Prime Suspect. Aspiring actress Isobel Spice lands her first regional theater job, playing a supporting role and understudying the lead in Sousacal: The Life and Times of John Philip Sousa. A series of minor backstage accidents culminates in the suspicious death of the leading lady on opening night. When Isobel takes over the role, her mastery of the material makes her more suspect than savior, and she realizes the only way to clear her name is to discover the identity of the murderer—before he or she strikes again.

This was a fun, easy read.  The pace is quick and the idea of Sousacal is unique. Isobel Spice is an up and coming actress in her first regional show focuses on the experience, despite how bad the script and lyrics are for this musical about Sousa.  This is the fourth in the Isobel Spice series and Isobel's becoming quite the sleuth.  In this one, the murders are not related to a temp position, but an unexpected plot in the theater.  That said, this can be read as a stand-alone. 

Isobel is determined to do well and hopes to get noticed by producers and critics. The other characters, including her good friends Delphi, Sunil, and Hugh, each have their own voice and their own motivations. Some are likable, others not so much.  If you like cozy mysteries with enough suspects to keep you guessing, you will enjoy OFFed Stage Left.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.

About The Author:
Writer, singer, and actor Joanne Sydney Lessner draws on her own experiences pursuing a performing career in New York City for her acclaimed Isobel Spice Mysteries: THE TEMPORARY DETECTIVE, BAD PUBLICITY, AND JUSTICE FOR SOME, and OFFED STAGE LEFT. With humor and a bit of romance, Isobel juggles auditions and temp jobs, solving murders along the way, while Joanne’s inside knowledge provides a window into the realities of breaking into show business (as well as a forum to share every humiliating audition experience she and her friends ever had.) Joanne’s debut novel, PANDORA’S BOTTLE, was inspired by the true story of the world’s most expensive bottle of wine and was named one of the top five books of 2010 by Paperback Dolls. With her husband, composer/conductor Joshua Rosenblum, she has co-authored several musicals, including the cult hit FERMAT’S LAST TANGO and EINSTEIN’S DREAMS, based on the celebrated novel by Alan Lightman. Her play, CRITICAL MASS, received its Off Broadway premiere in October 2010. Joanne is also a regular contributor to OPERA NEWS and a graduate of Yale University.

Author Links:

Purchase Links:
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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Cozy Mystery Giveaway!

Win up to 30 Cozy Mystery eBooks!

(2) Grand Prize "Gift Baskets" of ALL eBooks!
(30) Winners of Individual eBooks (randomly selected titles)

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Blog Tour: WHAT FRESH SMELL (Marissa Scott Myteries) by Jeffrey Marks


There’s Murder in River City – Daycare that is.

When Marissa learns that a teacher at the daycare center has been murdered, she comes to the realization that she really didn’t know much about the people who worked there, especially the murdered woman. She’ll now have to manage her son, her mother, her mother’s Scottish terrier, and an ex-boyfriend as she tries to hunt down the people behind a robbery ring and the person who killed a daycare teacher. If she’s not careful, she might meet the same fate.


Marissa's real job, aside from being mother to Josh, is in retail at the mall.  When a teacher at Josh's daycare is murdered, she takes on the job of sleuth to figure out the robbery ring that may be the motive for the murder.  In the meantime, her mother comes to stay and help take care of Josh and Marissa rehashes her relationship with Gavin.

The story line is interesting, has multiple twists, and no clear suspect other than Pamela.  The pace is steady and the subplots support the story.  The ending makes sense, but isn't obvious.  If you like cozy mysteries, you will probably like this one. This is the second in the Marissa Scott mysteries, but can be easily read as a stand alone.  

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.

About the Author:

Jeffrey Marks is a long-time mystery fan and freelancer. After numerous mystery author profiles, he chose to chronicle the short but full life of mystery writer Craig Rice.

That biography (Who Was That Lady?) encouraged him to write mystery fiction. His works include Atomic Renaissance: Women Mystery Writers of the 1940s/1950s, and a biography of mystery author and critic Anthony Boucher entitled Anthony Boucher. It was nominated for an Agatha and fittingly, won an Anthony. He won a Malice Domestic Grant for The Scent of Murder, which has spurred the Marissa Scott series. What Fresh Smell is the third novel in the series.

His work has won a number of awards including the Barnes and Noble Prize and he was nominated for a Maxwell award (DWAA), an Edgar (MWA), three Agathas (Malice Domestic), two Macavity awards, and three Anthony awards (Bouchercon). Today, he writes from his home in Cincinnati, which he shares with his spouse and three dogs.

Website: (blog is a link from the site),


Purchase Links


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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Blog Tour & Review: BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE by Debbie De Louise


Librarian Alicia McKinney has put the past behind her…

Two years ago, Alicia discovered both a terrible truth and lasting love with John McKinney in the small town of Cobble Cove, New York. Now a busy mother of twin babies and co-author of a mystery series, Alicia couldn’t be happier.

Alicia’s contentment and safety are challenged…

Walking home alone from the library, Alicia senses someone following her, and on more than one occasion, she believes she is being watched. Does she have a stalker? When the local gift shop is burglarized, the troubling event causes unrest among Alicia and the residents of the quiet town.
John and Alicia receive an offer they can’t refuse…

When John’s sister offers to babysit while she and John take a much-needed vacation in New York City, Alicia is reluctant to leave her children because of the disturbances in Cobble Cove. John assures her the town is safe in the hands of Sheriff-elect Ramsay. Although Alicia’s experience with and dislike of the former Long Island detective don’t alleviate her concern, she and John take their trip.

Alicia faces her worst nightmare…

The McKinneys’ vacation is cut short when they learn their babies have been kidnapped and John’s sister shot. Alicia and John’s situation puts them between a rock and a hard place when the main suspect is found dead before the ransom is paid. In order to save their children, the McKinneys race against the clock to solve a mystery more puzzling than those found in their own books. Can they do it before time runs out?


The small town of Cobble Cove is quiet and safe, but as the holidays move closer, first a burglary, and then Alicia and John's lights are vandalized.  The town thinks hiring a Sheriff will help maintain their safety, but the only candidate is Ramsay. Alicia isn't sure he truly has changed. Then the unthinkable happens.  But who in this small town could be burglar and kidnapper?  This is a suspenseful story with subplots that add to the tension. The resolution makes sense but is not obvious until the very end. Although the second in the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series, this can be read as a stand alone.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.

About The Author

Debbie De Louise is a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island and has been involved with books and writing for over thirty years. She received the Lawrence C. Lobaugh, jr. Memorial Award in Journalism for her work as Features Editor on the Long Island University/C. W. Post student newspaper, the Pioneer. More recently, Debbie received the Glamour Puss Award from Hartz Corporation for an article about cat grooming that appeared on She has published a short mystery in the Cat Crimes Through Time Anthology and two novels, CLOUDY RAINBOW and A STONE’S THROW, the first book of her Cobble Cove cozy mystery series. Her short stories, THE PATH TO RAINBOW BRIDGE and DEADLINE appear in the anthologies, REALMS OF FANTASTIC STORIES and PROJECT 9, Vol. 2 published by Solstice Publishing. She is currently working on a psychological thriller, the third Cobble Cove Mystery, and a new pet-related cozy series. She lives on Long Island with her husband, daughter, and two cats.

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Saturday, December 3, 2016


Rosie Genova, author of the Italian Kitchen Mysteries, serves up a new dish this week with the release of her e-book holiday novella, The Seven Course Christmas Killer: A Holiday Novella from the Italian Kitchen. Priced at .99, the e-book will be available on Amazon and most other retailers.

The story takes place on Christmas Eve, as Vic and the gang prepare the traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes for their annual holiday party. But before you can say “shrimp scampi,” Mayor Anne McCrae takes a nasty fall that may not be an accident. Add a nosy reporter, guests with grudges, and a missing kitchen knife—and Vic suddenly has all the ingredients for murder!

On Christmas Eve, someone might be sleeping with the fishes. . .

It’s December at the Casa Lido, which means only one thing: the Rienzi family’s traditional Christmas Eve celebration, including wine, song, and seven Italian seafood courses. As Victoria and Tim prep scungilli and calamari, Nonna directs the cooking until all is in readiness for the big night.

But the holiday cheer is interrupted by the attempted murder of Mayor Anne McCrae, who asks Vic to investigate. Trouble is, there are as many suspects as there are fishes on the Christmas Eve menu . . .

Author Bio:

A Jersey girl born and bred, national bestselling author Rosie Genova left her heart at the shore, which serves as the setting for her cozy series, the Italian Kitchen Mysteries. Her debut, Murder and Marinara, was voted a Best Cozy of 2013 by Suspense Magazine and was a finalist for a 2014 Daphne Award. Her books have been described as blending “mystery with comedy, romance, family drama, a vivid and affectionate portrayal of the Jersey shore and…oh yes, cooking.”

The proud mama of three grown sons, Rosie still lives in her home state with her husband and a charming mutt named Lucy. She also writes women's fiction as Rosemary DiBattista.

You can reach Rosie:



Purchase Link:


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Blog Tour: Swim Season by Marianne...

Swim Season Blog Tour

Book blurb:

The swim team is ripped apart when two girls vie to break a longstanding school record with a 50,000-dollar scholarship prize.

Sometimes winning is everything. 

Champion swimmer Aerin Keane is ready to give up her dreams of college swimming and a shot at the Olympics. As she starts senior year in her third high school, Aerin's determined to leave her family troubles behind and be like all the other girls at Two Rivers. She's got a new image and a new attitude. She doesn’t want to win anymore. She's swimming for fun, no longer the freak who wins every race, every title, only to find herself alone.

But when her desire to be just one of the girls collides with her desire to be the best Two Rivers has ever seen, will Aerin sacrifice her new friendships to break a longstanding school record that comes with a $50,000 scholarship?

Author Bio: 
During swim season, you can find Marianne Sciucco, a dedicated Swim Mom for ten years, at one of many Skyline Conference swim meets, cheering for her daughter Allison and the Mount Saint Mary College Knights. 

Sciucco is not a nurse who writes but a writer who happens to be a nurse. A lover of words and books, she dreamed of becoming an author when she grew up but became a nurse to avoid poverty. She later brought her two passions together and writes about the intricate lives of people struggling with health and family issues.

Her debut novel Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer’s love story, is a Kindle bestseller; IndieReader Approved; a BookWorks featured book; and a Library Journal Self-e Selection. She also has two short stories available on Kindle, Ino's Love and Collection.

A native Bostonian, Marianne lives in New York’s Hudson Valley, and when not writing works as a campus nurse at a community college.

Purchase Links:

Swim Season is currently only available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback.

Amazon US:

Amazon UK: UK-Sciucco-ebook/dp/B01JVHIW3O

Amazon Canada:

Amazon Australia:

Author Links:

Why did I write a book about girls’ varsity swimming? An interview with Marianne Sciucco






Aunt Mags didn't say a word on the way to the high school and neither did I. We were up and out too early for anything more than, "Got everything?" "Uh huh," and "Let's go." We'd left the house before her first cup of coffee and she was not in a talkative mood.

It was just after dawn, the moon still visible as the sun peeked out over the horizon. A chill in the air hinted at summer's end. I regretted leaving my sweatshirt behind, although after swim practice the sun would be shining and we'd be back to the mid-August heat.

We arrived at the school and a deserted parking lot. Mags parked her minivan at the athletics entrance.

"Are you sure it starts at 6:45?" she asked.

"Positive," I said.

She yawned. "Looks like you're the first one here."

"I doubt it."

Today was the first day of swim season. Tryouts started at 7 a.m. The coach had instructed all wannabe swimmers to be on the pool deck no later than 6:45. My experience as a varsity athlete told me that anyone with any degree of competitiveness had already arrived. I had five minutes to spare.

"Want me to walk in with you?" Mags asked.

My horror at her suggestion must have been all over my face, because she said, "Sorry. Having a teenager is new to me. My girls would beg me to walk them into that big, scary building." We looked at the three-story hodgepodge put together to house Two Rivers High School.

"I can take it from here." I was sure I’d remember the meandering route to the pool area from the tour we took when we registered for my senior year.

She still looked anxious. "Sure you're all right?"

"Don't worry. I've got this routine down pat." Two Rivers would be my third high school. I played the role of new girl so well I deserved an Oscar.

I opened the door and hopped out. "Don't hang around waiting for me to call for a ride home," I said, reaching back to grab my bag. "I'm not sure when I'll get out, and I don't want to mess up your day. I'm okay to walk."

Aunt Mags nodded, and I shut the door.

"Don't forget we're going back-to-school shopping later on," she said through the open window.

"Got it."

“Go get 'em, Aerin." She gave me a thumbs-up.

I shot her a grin, hoisted my bag over my shoulder, and went off to join the Two Rivers High School Girls Varsity Swim and Dive Team.


Minutes later, I stood on the pool deck with an odd blend of girls vying to earn a place on the team. I spotted the usual huddle of newbies benched together at the far end of the bleachers, glancing at each other nervously and at the seasoned swimmers with something like awe. On the opposite end were the members of last year's championship team, all wearing team T-shirts and chatting like old pals, ignoring everyone else. In the middle was a bunch who looked like they wanted to go back to bed, the ones whose parents pushed them into a sport and who chose swimming because we did it indoors and it looked easy. Most of them wouldn't make it.

I found a place to stand against the wall and blocked out the curious glances shot my way, using the time before practice began to check out my surroundings. Aunt Mags had said the natatorium, built just a few years ago, was state-of-the-art.

Banners hung from the rafters and on clean white walls, touting the team's success, and an enormous leaderboard listed all of their champions and their accomplishments.

A wall of windows on the farthest side and a ceiling loaded with skylights filled the room with light.

The six-lane pool had blue and white flags and lane lines, and the Trailblazers logo – a torch - was laid out in blue tiles on the bottom.

The floor tiles were a mosaic of white and three shades of blue.

The air was thick with the smell of chlorine.

I checked my expression, not wanting anyone to catch me gaping over the finest natatorium of any team I'd joined. The thought of swimming in it, of calling it "home" for the next few months caused a thrill of excitement in my belly. Around me, the other girls talked and laughed, none of them seeming to appreciate the beauty of the pool and the privilege to use it.

"Good morning girls." A man's voice cut through the chatter, and each girl sat up at attention. "Let's get started."

The voice belonged to an older man, with bushy white hair and bifocals, dressed in the school's colors: navy blue shorts and a white polo shirt. Coach Steven Dudash. I hadn't met him yet – he was out of the building when my father and I visited the high school – but Maggie and her husband, Pat, gave him high praise. He’d coached the Two Rivers boys and girls swim teams for more than twenty years, and they were both winning teams.

He pulled a chair behind him, positioned it in front of the bleachers, sat down, and organized the pile of paperwork on his clipboard. “Good morning,” he said again, studying us over the rim of his bifocals. “I'm happy to see last year’s team back for another year. And welcome to those of you here for the first time. I’m glad you decided to give us a try.”

He took a swig from an extra tall cup of coffee before continuing. “For those of you new to the team, meet Coach Denise.” He gestured toward the young woman who accompanied him. “She's my daughter. I coached her for six years when she swam for Two Rivers and got her name on the leaderboard."

I checked out the leaderboard and saw she held the record in the 200 IM and the 100 breaststroke. Good creds.

“This is her second year as assistant coach," he said. "She did a terrific job last year so I invited her back.”

The young blonde smiled at him and the swimmers cheered.

"Yay Coach D!" a few seniors shouted.

“It’s great to be back,” she said. “Ready to win another championship?”

The shouts and applause were deafening.

"During the next two weeks,” Coach said when the noise died down, “you'll all be working hard, doing drills both in the pool and in the weight room, four hours a day, six days a week. During the season, you'll be practicing from after school until five or six every weekday, and four hours on Saturday. Sunday is a resting day. And, of course, you will compete in swim meets at least twice a week. So, if you don't think you can make it through the first two weeks, you might as well leave now." He paused, waiting for anyone to opt out before we even got started. No one moved.

"Okay," he continued. "Most of you know that Two Rivers won the Division Championship last year, and the two years before. I plan to win again. When we do, and I say when, not if, we will be the first team in the division to ever win four consecutive division titles.”

Last year’s team broke out in wild applause and cheers. Coach waited for the outburst to die down before he continued.

“I need performers,” he said, “swimmers who aren't afraid to push themselves, to try new things and discover where they best support the team. So, in practice you're all going to swim every stroke, you're all going to swim distance, and you're all going to swim sprints. Each person will do all she can to defend our title."

Silence filled the pool deck as the girls looked each other over, wondering where each would fit in.

"That's the good news." He paused for effect. No worries. He had everyone's riveted attention. "But I've got some bad news. For years, the school board has been supportive of our team, and we've reciprocated by working as serious athletes and turning in winning records. Most years, the team can support as many as thirty-eight swimmers. This year, due to a budget crisis in our school district, our funds have been cut, and I can only put twenty-eight girls on the team."

Raised eyebrows and shocked inhalations followed this bit of news. I counted bodies: thirty-six.

"Yeah, eight of you will be cut, either at the end of this week or the end of next. Anyone want to leave now?"

Again, no one moved.

Coach Dudash smiled. "I like your level of commitment. Let's see if you can keep it under pressure."

He spent the next half hour reviewing team policies and the season’s schedule. I'd heard such talks before from other coaches and tuned him out while I studied the other girls, trying to figure out what their positions might be.

Most of them focused on Coach’s every word, but last year's champs ignored him and whispered among themselves. One of them, a lanky girl with sun-bleached hair and a killer tan, looked over the group of wannabes and held up her fingers one to five, scoring them, I guess, on whether or not they had a chance. Her friends snickered, trying to act as if they were paying attention to Coach instead of fooling around.

At last, the lanky girl's frosty blue eyes rested on me, and I met her gaze straight on. We stared at each other for a few seconds before she looked away first, then held up three fingers. It seemed she was ambivalent. I could go either way.

I was ambivalent too. I joined this crowd as a walk-on, someone with no history with the team and questionable ability. In their eyes, I was no better than a wannabe who needed to prove herself to gain a spot on the team and the other girls' respect.

I showed up because it's what I did at the start of every school year. Swimming was my only sport, and I was good at it. Really good. Still, I almost skipped tryouts today. The truth was, I didn't have the energy to join a new team, in a new school, for the third time. If anyone found out I’d won championship titles in club and varsity last year they'd expect great things from me, and I didn't want the pressure. Swimming was no longer the focus of my life. It was my therapy, and I wouldn’t let anyone mess that up.

The glimmer of challenge in the way the lanky girl looked at me caused a stirring in my gut, and I shot it down. I didn't come here to get involved in any personal challenges. I came here to swim, and not make any waves. My plan was to get through the senior year and go away to college, away from my troubles, and on to a new life that I could control.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Blog Tour & Review: MURDER AT MISTLETOE MANOR by Holly Tierney-Bedord

Klarinda Snow is the innkeeper of a beautiful, historic bed and breakfast in Windy Pines, Idaho. Guests come to Mistletoe Manor to escape from their troubles while enjoying the scenic mountain town.

When all seven rooms of the inn get booked on a Tuesday night in December, Klarinda is excited about having so much business, but a little confused as well. After all, her inn normally isn’t exactly a destination hotspot.

The guests have barely settled in before strange things begin happening. Is this the most accident prone group of travelers ever, or is someone out for revenge?

Klarinda is surprised and appropriately leery when her inn, Mistletoe Manor, is fully booked with no obvious connection between the reservations. It quickly becomes apparent there are at least some connections - someone invited these guests - all expenses paid - but who? Then the guest start dying. Between closed roads and accidents, the small town police are quick to call the deaths "accidents" but as the body count rises, that seems less likely.  

This is a quick read - a novella - and the story moves at a quick pace.  Like Benji in the story, from the name, I expected a little more "holiday" theme, maybe even a little mistletoe, but that's not really what the story is about. Those looking for a quick read with the suspects narrowed down as the invitees die off will enjoy this story. I liked Klarinda though there isn't a lot of history on her provided and I really hope Pumpernickel found a new home. I wouldn't mind "visiting" Windy Pines again if this turns into a series.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.

Buy the Book:
About the Author: Holly Tierney-Bedord


Holly Tierney-Bedord is the author of over a dozen books. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband Bill and their dog Tyler.

Visit all the Tour Stops:
November 20th
Book Lover in Florida - Book Excerpt Post 
Hello...Chick Lit - Book Excerpt Post
November 21st
My Novelesque Life - Author Guest Post 
Steamy Book Momma - Book Review 
November 22nd
Reviews by Crystal - Book Excerpt Post 
Imaginary Book Club - Book Review
November 23rd
Lilac Diaries - Author Guest Post 
Thoughts on Books - Book Review 
November 24th
Jenabooks - Book Review
November 25th
Bookaholic Babe - Author Guest Post 
Appletree Books - Book Review
November 26th
Reading To Unwind - Book Review 
4TeenReaders - Author Q&A

Tour arranged by:

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Blog Tour & Review: YANKEE TENACITY (Mayson-Dickson Mystery Series) by Jocie McKade

Yankee Tenacity (Mayson-Dickson Mystery Series)

Cozy Mystery

2nd in Series
Wrench & Quill (September 15, 2016)
Paperback: 216 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1537480329

Following the latest cryptic message that might lead them to the truth about their parents, Emme Mayson and Jackie Dickson are pulled into another murder investigation when a man dressed in a kilt falls from the sky onto their truck.

As if a dead body isn’t enough, FBI Special Agent Chris Meechum and sexy caretaker Sam Fender try to rein in their sleuthing, but the sisters are determined to solve this murder. Men in kilts, Renaissance Faires, and a few mobsters in all the wrong places complicate the case.

Emme Mayson is a Southern charmer from Alabama. Jackie Dickson is a straight-forward professional from Boston, they aren’t exactly a match made in heaven. The only thing keeping them from starting another war between the states is the mystery surrounding their parents, and their own lives.


When the lives of a stereotypical southern belle and a Boston bred Yankee cross, nobody is safe.  The two women have been thrown together with the belief that they are sisters - something that came up with the death of their parents and the involvement of federal agents trying to keep them safe. 
The bigger mystery is what were their parents involved in and why are they in danger now.  As they try to figure that out and follow leads, a man dressed in rather odd attire lands on their car. 

Emme and Jackie aren't too thrilled, but the FBI agent Meechum assigned to their case is even less thrilled.  Fender, who also is providing protection (but unknown to the women) also isn't thrilled.  Neither woman seems to get that the idea that being in witness protection means keeping a low profile. Southern or Yankee, they keep on. The Renaissance Faire adds a novel setting for organized crime and Zach's technological skills are impressive. 

As far as the dead body on the car, this can be read as a stand alone, but the history of how Jackie and Emme met is important. I'd recommend you start at the beginning with MAYSON DICKSON so you know all the players.  The mystery of whether they are really sisters and what their parents were into is still unsolved, so hopefully there will be a Book 3 in the future.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.
About the Author

Jocie McKade is an award winning, Amazon bestselling author of twelve books and novellas. She writes romantic comedies, and humorous cozy mysteries, and has been accused of making readers laugh out loud at inappropriate moments.

Besides writing fun fiction, Jocie pens articles for national publications. The senior news editor for a reader’s news blog, she is part of an award winning production team where she writes video scripts, press releases, and blog posts.

When not writing, she is plotting military maneuvers against hostile dust bunnies.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Spotlight: THE MINISCULE MONK : (A Lizzie Borden Girl Detective Mystery by Richard Behrens


The Miniscule Monk 
A Lizzie Borden, Girl Detective Mystery by Richard Behrens

· Print Length: 251 pages
· Publisher: Nine Muses Books; 1 edition (July 19, 2015)
· Publication Date: July 19, 2015
· Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
· Formats: print and e-book 
· Language: English
· ASIN: B0125PZ3VI

Introducing Miss Lizzie Borden of Fall River, Massachusetts, a most excellent girl detective and the most remarkable young woman ever to take on the criminal underworld in late 19th century New England.

When a dead body mysteriously appears in the basement of her father’s furniture store, 15 year-old Lizzie Andrew Borden immediately takes on the case. Accompanied by an eccentric millionaire who campaigns to extend the vote to animals; a Boston terrier trained to sniff out crooked politicians; and a boy detective who believes the entire universe to be inside his own head, Lizzie follows a trail of taxidermy tools and Civil War bushwhackers to the Minuscule Monk, a legendary gunslinger whose mummified body will bring a punter’s pot to anyone who can deliver it to the New York gangster who has been hunting the Monk for decades. With such high stakes, everyone has a motive for murder, yet everyone seems innocent. Or perhaps, as Lizzie suspects after attending a dinner party with non-existent food and meeting a horse that has turned into its opposite, none of it is even real. Lizzie Borden, the Girl Detective of Fall River, is at her most spirited in The Minuscule Monk, a comic mystery that paints a portrait of Fall River at the height of its splendor and its most infamous citizen at the start of her most excellent career.

Also available on Amazon as e-books:
Lizzie Borden Girl Detective
Mini-Mysteries Series
1. The Agitated Elocutionist
2. The Forlorn Maggie
3. The Purloined Curio
4. The Melancholy Scion
5. The Sculling Boat
6. The Exhausted Amanuensis


“Lizzie Borden: Girl Detective, is clever and appealing. Every story brings the reader to the streets and characters of Fall River as if you were there with them and of course Lizzie Borden. Congratulations to Richard Behrens for his Victorian creativity and imagination.”

Len Rebello, Author of Lizzie Borden: Past & Present

“In Lizzie Borden: Girl Detective Richard Behrens skillfully captures the essence of historic Fall River, bringing the city to life through the adventures of the youthful, intrepid sleuth, Lizzie Borden. The fictional Lizzie is an absolutely delightful character; she is fearlessly cunning, charismatic, and thoroughly enchanting! A must read for all those intrigued by Fall River history, mystery and, of course, Lizzie Borden.”

Michael Martins, Curator of the Fall River History Society / Co-Author of Parallel Lives: A Social History of Lizzie A. Borden and Her Fall River

“This is Lizzie Borden as you never imagined her; lively, intrepid and clever as a budding detective on the hunt! The stories are a magic carpet ride to another time – old Fall River in all its glory. The settings, the clothing, the language all showcase a young Lizzie Borden against a background of mystery and intrigue with some twists and turns along the way. Move over Nancy Drew, and make room for Miss Lizzie, Girl Detective- so much fun, it’s nearly criminal!”

Shelley Dziedzic, Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts


Richard Behrens is the co-founder of Nine Muses Books and author of the Lizzie Borden, Girl Detective series of mysteries. He is a contributor to The Hatchet: A Journal of Lizzie Borden and Victorian Studies as well as The Literary Hatchet, both available from PearTree Press. He produces and hosts The Lizzie Borden Podcast, the only podcast devoted to Lizzie Borden and the Borden Murders of 1892. He is a regular lecturer on eccentric Victorian women and silent film comedy. A native New Yorker, now living in New England, Richard is working on several more Lizzie Borden, Girl Detective mysteries including two more short story collections.


Ricard Behrens c/o
Nine Muses Books
P.O. Box 342
Keene, NH 03431 USA