Tuesday, April 18, 2017

COVER REVEAL: MRS. TEDESCO'S MISSING COOKBOOK: A Hannah and Tamar Mystery by Christa Nardi & Cassidy Salem

It is so exciting ...  the second in the Hannah and Tamar Mystery Series is available for pre-order!  Only one week until release!


A simple request opens up a savory mystery.
Hannah never imagined her high school service project with the elderly would draw her into another mystery. Mrs. Tedesco, a lonely widow who loves to bake, has just one simple request — that the teen retrieve her cookbook from her old house. Easier said than done. The house has been ransacked and the coveted cookbook is nowhere to be found. Eager to help the woman, Hannah and her sister, Tamar, are driven to locate the cookbook and uncover its secrets. But the teens aren’t the only ones seeking the cookbook’s hidden treasures, and the other side is playing for keeps.



Now available for pre-order at special price of just $0.99. Soon after release on April 25th the price will be going up! Click here to reserve your copy today. 

Prefer paperback? Mrs. Tedesco's Missing Cookbook is available in paperback here.


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Review: MRS. ODBODDY UNDERCOVER COURIER by Elaine Faber

Synopsis:
Asked to accompany Mrs. Roosevelt on her Pacific Island tour, Agnes and Katherine travel by train to Washington, D.C. Agnes carries a package for Colonel Farthingworth to President Roosevelt.

Convinced the package contains secret war documents, Agnes expects Nazi spies to try and derail her mission.

She meets Irving, whose wife mysteriously disappears from the train; Nanny, the unfeeling caregiver to little Madeline; two soldiers bound for training as Tuskegee airmen; and Charles, the shell-shocked veteran, who lends an unexpected helping hand. Who will Agnes trust? Who is the Nazi spy?

When enemy forces make a final attempt to steal the package in Washington, D.C., Agnes must accept her own vulnerability as a warrior on the home front.

Can Agnes overcome multiple obstacles, deliver the package to the President, and still meet Mrs. Roosevelt’s plane before she leaves for the Pacific Islands?

Mrs. Odboddy: Undercover Courier is a hysterical frolic on a train across the United States during WWII, as Agnes embarks on this critical mission.


Review:

Mrs. Odboddy is at it again, and still seeing Nazi's and spies everywhere. She isn't too sure who to trust and and Katherine isn't the only one who's wondering about her mental health. Katherine becomes a bit more of a believer when it appears someone is trying to steal the package though she really doesn't want Irving to be a spy. Charles comes to her rescue, the package is delivered but with an unexpected twist. 


As with the first in the series, there is a touch of nostalgia about WWII with growing concerns and a desire to get the boys home safely. This is a fun, quick read and Mrs. Odboddy carries the show. 

About the Author:

Elaine Faber's short stories are published in magazines and multiple anthologies. She is an active member of Sisters in Crime, Inspire Christian Writers and Cat Writers Association.

Black Cat's Legacy, Elaine's debut fantasy cat-mystery novel., is the first in a series of three Cat Mysteries involving Thumper, who solves mysteries with the aid of his ancestors' memories.

Elaine lives in Elk Grove, CA, with her husband. They share their home with four house cats, and usually more, counting those at the door night and morning looking for a hand-out.

Mrs. Odboddy - Hometown Patriot is the first in Elaine's WWII humorous mystery series. Mrs. Odboddy fights the war from the home front, seeing conspiracies and spies around every corner. When Mrs. Roosevelt comes to town to attend a funeral, Agnes Odboddy's fears become a reality and she must prove she is, indeed a hometown patriot.


AMAZON

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

NEW RELEASE & Review: REMNANTS (Brandon Fisher FBI Series) by Carolyn Arnold

RELEASE DATE: APRIL 11, 2017

Synopsis:

All that remains are whispers of the past…

When multiple body parts are recovered from the Little Ogeechee River in Savannah, Georgia, local law enforcement calls in FBI agent and profiler Brandon Fisher and his team to investigate. But with the remains pointing to three separate victims, this isn’t proving to be an open-and-shut case.

With no quick means of identifying the deceased, building a profile of this serial killer is more challenging than usual. How are these targets being selected? Why are their limbs being severed and their bodies mutilated? And what is it about them that is triggering this person to murder?

The questions compound as the body count continues to rise, and when a torso painted blue and missing its heart is found, the case takes an even darker turn. But this is only the beginning, and these new leads draw the FBI into a creepy psychological nightmare. One thing is clear, though: The killing isn’t going to stop until they figure it all out. And they are running out of time…


Review:

Brandon Fisher is an FBI agent in the Behavioral Analysis Unit. His job and that of his partners is to profile and pursue serial killers. In this, the 6th in the Brandon Fisher FBI Series, Savannah is the setting and the FBI is called in as bones surface, not just once, but multiple times. As Brandon and crew investigate, the reader gets glimpses of perspectives by the killer and victims. 

Emotionally charged, the story line is well-developed and fast-paced. Although part of a series, this can easily be read as a stand-alone.  If you're a fan of Criminal Minds and suspense/thrillers in general, you'll like this book though it may give you nightmares. 

About the Author:

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series--Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures--and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

http://carolynarnold.net

AMAZON

Friday, April 7, 2017

Blog Tour and Review: WHEN THE GRITS HIT THE FAN by Maddie Day

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Kensington (March 28, 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-1617739293
E-Book ASIN: B01GBAIXGK
Synopsis

Despite the bitter winter in South Lick, Indiana, business is still hot at Robbie Jordan’s restaurant. But when another murder rattles the small town, can Robbie defrost the motives of a cold-blooded killer?

Before she started hosting dinners for Indiana University’s Sociology Department at Pans ‘N Pancakes, Robbie never imagined scholarly meetings could be so hostile. It’s all due to Professor Charles Stilton, who seems to thrive on heated exchanges with his peers and underlings, and tensions flare one night after he disrespects Robbie’s friend, graduate student Lou. So when Robbie and Lou go snowshoeing the next morning and find the contentious academic frozen under ice, police suspect Lou might have killed him after their public tiff. To prove her friend’s innocence, Robbie is absorbing local gossip about Professor Stilton’s past and developing her own thesis on the homicide—even if that means stirring up terrible danger for herself along the way . . .


Review

South Lick is small town with quirky and diverse characters and, of course, a murder. The relationship between the characters, especially Robbie and Lou and Robbie and Abe add the personal touch. There are a number of suspects, including Lou, and someone has invaded Robbie's space. 

There are twists and turns that keep the pace moving, romance, humor, and oh, yes, lots of food. Characters and plot are well-developed. This was my first visit to South Lick and the Country Store Mysteries, but I've added the first two in the series to the TBR list.

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

Maddie Day is a talented amateur chef and holds a PhD in linguistics from Indiana University. An Agatha Award-nominated author, she is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America and also writes award-winning short crime fiction. She lives with her beau and three cats in Massachusetts.

As Edith Maxwell, she write the Local Foods Mysteries (Kensington Publishing) and the Quaker Midwife Mysteries (Midnight Ink).

You can find all Maddie’s/Edith’s identities at www.edithmaxwell.com. She blogs every week day with the other Wicked Cozy Authors at wickedcozyauthors.com. Look for her as Edith M. Maxwell and Maddie Day on Facebook and @edithmaxwell and @maddiedayauthor on Twitter.

Purchase Links

Amazon B&N
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Review: THE BITTER TASTE OF BETRAYAL :An Angel Lake Mystery (Walking Calamity Cozy Mystery Book 2) by CeeCee James

Synopsis:

The only thing worse than a ship overrun with Elvis Impersonators is having to find the missing one. And the killer is out to find you.


When Elise Pepper decides to take a long overdue vacation, she discovers that her Caribbean cruise isn't going to be quite the relaxing trip she'd hoped for.

Instead of enjoying a quiet getaway, she finds herself in the middle of a theme party. Who knew there were so many Elvises and Marilyn Monroes in the world?
But when an Elvis goes missing and it turns out he was a wealthy philanthropist Elise is dragged into the mystery as the last person to see him.

As she tries to convince everybody of what she saw, her frustration turns to fear when she realizes that she's trapped on board with a killer who will stop at nothing to silence her.

So drop into the cozy cafe and have a doughnut and a sip of lemonade. See for yourself that living in the country isn't always about the quiet life but sometimes is filled with riveting suspense and deception with second guessing right to the end.

Review:

Elise needs some healing (from the ex) and her best friend Lavina has just the solution - a relaxing cruise in the Caribbean.  Only the cruise has a theme and isn't very quiet. Besides Elvis impersonators, there's the cabin steward and the deck hand, the Captain, and a general cast of questionable characters. When it looks like the wealthy Elvis who latched on to Elise maybe minutes before, has disappeared, Elise and Lavina try to sort out what's happening on this cruise. 

This was a fun read and the cruise setting was played well. The Elvis/Marilyn Monroe theme added to the story. This is the second in the Angel Lake Mystery Series: Walking Calamity Mysteries. It can easily be read as a stand-alone, but you might as well enjoy them all.


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Blog Tour & Review: DYING ON THE VINE by Maria Cooper


Dying on the Vine
by Marla Cooper
Dying on the Vine: A Mystery (Kelsey McKenna Destination Wedding Mysteries)
Series: Kelsey McKenna Destination Wedding Mysteries (Book 2)
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books (April 4, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250072559
E-Book ASIN: B01L7BD9VM

Synopsis

When wedding planner Kelsey McKenna goes to the Wine Country Wedding Faire, the last thing she expects to do is take on new clients. After all, she’s just there to help out her friend Brody and maybe score some free cupcakes. But when a young couple in a pinch asks for her help, she just can’t say no.

There’s only one problem: they’d been working with Babs Norton, the self-proclaimed Queen of Wine Country Weddings—and things did not end well. Kelsey wants to make sure there are no hard feelings, but unfortunately she never gets the chance. When she goes to Babs’ office, she finds the wedding planner dead on the floor.


Babs’ high-strung assistant Stefan knows exactly who killed Babs: Kelsey. At least, that’s what he very publicly accuses her of at Babs’ funeral. When Kelsey decides to do a little sleuthing to clear her name, she uncovers a myriad of secrets and lies. And when a second wedding planner is attacked, Kelsey begins to wonder if she might be next.

Set against the stunning backdrop of California wine country, Marla Cooper’s Dying on the Vine is a mystery brimming with gossip, wine, and, of course…murder.


Review

The wine country is a great setting for a cozy mystery, and DYING ON THE VINE doesn't disappoint. Kelsey is a wedding planner but doesn't have access to the vineyard venue - that venue is tied up by Babs and her maybe partner Stefan Pierce. She has the opportunity though when one of Babs' clients decides to switch wedding planners just 4 weeks before the wedding. Stress on to get everything arranged, Kelsey ends up the one to find Babs' body. Brody and her other friends join in the sleuthing to clear Kelsey and make the wedding happen, not to mention the possibility of more vineyard weddings. Kelsey has a lot of suspects to choose from, including the temperamental vintner. 

This was a fun read over spring break - enough action, quick pace, yet light and easy to follow.  Some of the characters, like the vintner, are quirky, and the commentary on wedding planning and bridezillas add a touch of humor. This is the second in the series, but can easily be read as 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

As a freelance writer, MARLA COOPER has written all sorts of things, from advertising copy to travel guidebooks to the occasional haiku. But it was while ghostwriting a nonfiction guide to destination weddings that she found inspiration for her current series starring destination wedding planner Kelsey McKenna. Originally hailing from Texas, Marla lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and her polydactyl tuxedo cat.

Author Links

Webpage – www.marla-cooper.com

Blog: www.chicksonthecase.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Marla.Cooper.Author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kindacozy

Purchase Links

Amazon B&N

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Blog Tour: THE LAST SIN by KL Murphy

The Last Sin

by KL Murphy

on Tour March 13 - April 14, 2017

Synopsis:


Detective Mike Cancini has seen some dark days, but his skills are put to the test when a priest is discovered, brutally murdered in a run-down church in Washington, D.C. The man who discovered the body is none other than Cancini's longtime friend and confidant, Father Joe Rossi. The murdered priest, Father Matthew Holland, was adored by the congregation, and it seems clear that this was a crime of opportunity in a deteriorating neighborhood. However, Cancini soon learns some shocking details from the church secretary, and begins to suspect that Father Holland was not as saintly as he may have appeared. This new information leads to a trail of bribes and decades of corruption polluting the church. Cancini must confront his own struggles with his faith and uncover the truth of the conspiracy before more people are killed.

Review:

In this latest Detective Mike Cancini mystery, Father Holland returns to his roots with dreams of improving the lives of those in his old neighborhood.  His to-do list catalogs the improvements he will make to the church from repairs to the stain glass to landscaping, only he's murdered. He gets an anonymous tip to "follow the money" and does just that. A key character and potential source of information is Cancini's friend and father-figure, Father Rossi. Bound by the sanctity of the confessional, Rossi isn't talking. Unfortunately, someone thinks he knows something and he becomes the next target - Cancini takes that personally. 

This was a compelling read - I had a hard time putting it down. The pace was steady and the twists and turns kept coming.  Detective Mike Cancini is complex and in this story he deals with jealousy of Rossi's relationship with Holland, his feelings for his father, his avoidance of romantic commitment, and his ambivalence toward religion since his mother's death. The multiple subplots create distraction and, while the resolution makes sense, it is not easily predictable. If you like suspense, you will not be disappointed, but don't plan on reading it a little at at time - it's addicting. This is my first in the series, but won't be my last.  THE LAST SIN can easily be read as a standalone.  


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

Book Details:
Genre: Mystery & Detective / Police Procedural
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: March 2014
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780062491633
Series: Detective Cancini Mysteries #3

Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

Sunday, February 21st: The Day Of
The smell of incense lingered in the air, temporarily masking the odor of rotting wood. Father Matthew Holland inhaled. The bitter scent stung his nose. Three years had passed since he’d taken over the church and nothing had changed. Even with the increased attendance and community outreach, the church offerings remained meager. Without offerings—without money—the parish church would die.
The priest sat down on the front pew, his robes gathered around his feet. His gaze shifted to the empty pulpit. Two large and colorful plants graced the altar, but they weren’t enough to hide the worn carpet or faded paintings, nor could the soft candlelight make him forget the plywood that covered the cracked stained glass. There was so much to do, so much need. He sighed and looked to the cross over the altar. Not for the first time, he asked for forgiveness, for understanding. There would be money now—he’d made sure of that—but at what cost? He’d done it for the church. His pulse quickened and his stomach clenched. Bending forward, he forced himself to take one deep breath after another until the moment passed.
He loosened his cleric collar and yawned. The evening’s mass had been long and difficult. The drunks in the back of the church had refused to leave, in spite of the old deacons' best efforts.
“S'our right to be here,” the man with the long, stringy hair had said. His words slurred, he’d leaned forward as though he might topple straight into the next pew. “Worshipin’ God,” he'd said, although it had sounded like something else judging by the gasps from the congregation. The drunk had pointed a dirty hand toward the altar. “Here to see Father Holland. Tol' us to come anytime.”
The drunk had swayed again, and his companion had reached out with a strong arm to catch him. Father Holland’s mouth had gone dry at the sight of the tattoo on the man’s forearm—a black dagger plunged into a white skull. Three drops of blood extended in a single line from the tip of the dagger to the man’s wrist. He knew that tattoo, knew what it meant.
The awkward moment had passed although not before Father Holland caught the disdain on the faces of the ladies in the choir. Still, none of the parishioners had said a word, all looking to him instead. He’d hidden his trembling hands in the folds of the heavy cassock and swallowed. “St. William is open to everyone, our members and our guests. However, since we are about to have communion, I would ask that everyone who is not singing remain quiet. Guests may come forward for a blessing, of course.” He'd been careful to keep his voice steady. Thank the Lord it had been enough. The man with the oily hair had quieted down and then stumbled out during the Eucharist. His friend with the tattoo had stayed a moment longer, then followed.
Silence filled the sanctuary now. Father Holland rubbed his hands together and shivered. He could still feel the cold eyes of the tattooed man and the curious glances from the congregation. The man’s presence at the evening mass had been no accident and no drunken whim. The message had been clear.
After the church had emptied, he’d walked to the corner market and made the call. He’d done the best he could. Money changed everything. It always did. He opened his hand and stared at the crumpled paper with the phone number. He was not a stupid man. Nothing came without a price. He murmured a prayer until his shoulders relaxed and the drumbeat of his heart slowed.
His stomach growled, the gurgling loud and rumbly, and he realized it had been hours since he’d eaten. Breaking the quiet, a sound came from the back of the church, a click and a swish as the heavy outer door swung open. He stood and smoothed his cassock. Dinner would have to wait. He strained to see, but the vestibule was dark. “Who's there?” he asked.
The door clanged shut and heavy steps sounded on the dingy marble floor. Father Holland replaced his collar and ran his fingers through his hair. There was only silence. The hair on the back of his neck prickled. “Is somebody there?” he asked again.
A figure shrouded in black stepped out of the dark.
Father Holland stiffened. “Why are you here?”
From the shadows, the eyes of the visitor glittered in the candlelight. “I’m a sinner, Father.”
Father Holland’s shoulders slumped. “We are all sinners in God's eyes.”
***
Excerpt from The Last Sin by KL Murphy. Copyright © 2017 by Witness Impulse. Reproduced with permission from Witness Impulse. All rights reserved.
 

Author Bio:

K.L. MURPHY was born in Key West, Florida, the eldest of four children in a military family. She has worked as a freelance writer for several regional publications in Virginia, and is the author of A Guilty Mind and Stay of Execution. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, four children, and two very large, very hairy dogs.

To learn more about the Detective Cancini Mystery series or future projects, visit her Website , Twitter , & Facebook  pages.


Don't Miss Your Chance to WIN:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for KL Murphy and Witness Impulse. There will be 3 winners of one (1) code for a BlueFire eBook copy of The Last Sin by KL Murphy. The giveaway begins on March 13th and runs through April 16th, 2017.

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Blog Tour/Review: BEGINNERS LUCK by


Camel Press (November 1, 2016)
Paperback: 232 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1603813815
ASIN: B01MAXTV1R

Synopsis



As eldest son, Eoin O’Brien is expected to take over the management of his family pub, the Lion O’Brien in the Bronx. Despite his da’s disapproval, he has achieved his dream of becoming a police detective. He also longs to have a family, but his wife Vivian left him three years ago to pursue her own dreams of working in an art gallery.

Now Vivian is back from California. When the gallery where she works is robbed and vandalized, their paths cross again. It turns out the attack on the gallery was personal. After Vivian is almost run down by a car, it is clear that she herself is the target, though she can’t think of anyone who would wish her harm. Eoin and Vivian circle each other warily, each feeling the pull of the past and their still powerful attraction. But there will be no easy reconciliation. First she find a way back into the O’Brien family’s good graces. Eoin, in turn, sees that he is partly to blame for her flight. Like his father, he is too quick to anger, too domineering. He must learn to give the independent Vivian her space. But above all, he has sworn to protect her. And if he gives her too much space, she may end up dead.

Says Corinne, “My first time in a New York Irish pub, I was struck by the strong feeling of family and tradition. And so the idea of the O’Briens was born. I could picture this big Irish family pouring drinks and sharing stories, all with an adorable brogue. They seemed so real I had to make them come to life.”


Review:

Eoin is living his dream, much to his father's dismay, and ready to move on from his heartbreak, but his first case involves his not yet ex-wife, Viv. The burglary and vandalism seems over the top and Eoin is committed to protect Viv at all costs - it's his job, his duty, and he's still in love with her. Even after three years, Viv has to be careful not to fall into his Irish charm - to keep true to her determination to sever the marriage. 

This is a romantic suspense with the Irish Pub as the back drop for the Eoin's family. There are subplots, including Eoin's petite partner, the featured artist, and Viv's friend and roommate, that keep the story interesting.
And of course, who is after Viv remains a mystery until the end. If you enjoy romantic suspense with a bit of heat and Irish brogue, you'll enjoy BEGINNER'S LUCK and may just have found a new series. The language and descriptions are best suited for an adult audience.


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

Corinne Scott was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. Her parents were teachers, so of course she grew up to be a teacher as well, proving that the apple does not fall too far from the tree. Corinne has a bachelor’s degree from Texas State University and a master’s from the University of North Texas. She is passionate about books, which led her to her current occupation as a librarian and author. For more information and links to social media, click here.

Website – http://www.authorcorinnescott.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/coryscott333

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AuthorCoriScott

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/coriscott333/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/authorcorinnescott/

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13818891.Corinne_Scott

Purchase Links 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Blog Tour Book Review: A FINE YEAR FOR MURDER by Lauren Carr



Synopsis:

After months of marital bliss, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are still discovering and adjusting to their life together. Settled in their new home, everything appears to be perfect … except in the middle of the night when, in darkest shadows of her subconscious, a deep secret from Jessica’s past creeps to the surface to make her strike out at Murphy.

When investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells the couple about her latest case, known as the Pine Bridge Massacre, they realize Jessica may have witnessed the murder of a family living near a winery owned by distant relatives she was visiting and suppressed the memory.

Determined to uncover the truth and find justice for the murder victims, Jessica and Murphy return to the scene of the crime with Dallas Walker, a spunky bull-headed Texan. Can this family reunion bring closure for a community touched by tragedy or will this prickly get-together bring an end to the Thorny Rose couple?

Buy the Book: Amazon ~ Add on Goodreads

Book Trailer:





Review

Jessica and Murphy are the major characters in this mystery. Jessica has suppressed memories from when she was 10 that trigger nightmares whenever there is a brutal murder of a young woman. It is serendipitous that Dallas has been asked by a small town sheriff to consider the cold case of a brutally murdered family more than a decade ago in her job as investigative reporter. As Dallas shares this new project, Jessica's nightmares escalate and all three prepare to investigate and make the nightmares cease with the identification of the murder or murderers.

The tale is well-told and there are twists and turns, including the older woman with long white hair who may or may not be a ghost - except Jessica, Murphy, and Dallas don't believe in ghosts. Add to that the assistance of Nigel and Tristan from a distance, computer hacking, southern small town politics, and more than a bit of corruption, and the story moves along a quick pace. I have to say at least one of the outcomes was unexpected. Although Archie convinces Mac Faraday to take a back seat and let Murphy take the lead, this is every bit as good as others in the series. It will be interesting to see all the ways the series progresses with Murphy, Jessica, Dallas, and David (not to mention Gnarly, Spencer/Candi and the other dogs) and the virtual friends Nigel has established.  

I should (again) note that I am a fan of this series. Although the series is extensive, A FINE YEAR FOR A MURDER 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. 

Author's Bio:

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with Lauren: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Review: FACIALS CAN BE FATAL (A Bad Hair Day Mystery) by Nancy J. Cohen

Synopsis:

During the frenzy of the December holidays, the last thing salon owner Marla Vail needs is a dead body slathered in a green facial mask at her new day spa. The victim, Valerie Weston, had been a major donor for Friends of Old Florida, a nonprofit historic preservation society. Marla's stylists are scheduled to work backstage at their upcoming gala fashion show, but Val's demise might put a crimp in their plans.

Hoping to salvage her reputation, Marla determines to track down the suspects. Although Val had been well liked by most people, she may have stumbled onto secrets that others would kill to keep. What are the connections between a greedy land developer, a dress designer whose husband may have links to the Asian mob, a mortician who might be involved in the human hair trade, and members of the nonprofit group's board of directors? Are the latter as dedicated to their cause as they'd like Marla to believe, or do they have their own self-interests at heart?

Sparks are sure to fly when this smart stylist joins forces with her sexy detective husband to solve a decades-old mystery that includes a secret journal, pirate tales, and shipwrecks along the Florida coast. With the rollercoaster excitement, you might need a trip to the day spa to relax.


Review:

Marla Vail has a lot going on - new family, new business venture, and a gala fashion show to prepare for - but the person who selected Marla and her business to work the fashion show dies in Marla's day spa. Marla doesn't really think the beautician who worked on Val killed her intentionally, but she needs to find out who took advantage of Val's spa experience to kill her.  

With a mix of humor and light suspense, unveiled connections, and an old mystery somehow connected, the pace is maintained as Cohen adds more pieces to the puzzle.  If you enjoy humor in your cozy mystery, you'll like FACIALS CAN BE FATAL. This book is part of a series, but 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. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.



About Nancy J Cohen:

Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have made the IMBA bestseller list, been selected by Suspense Magazine as best cozy mystery, and won third place in the Arizona Literary Awards. Nancy has also written the instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery. Her imaginative romances, including the Drift Lords series, have proven popular with fans as well. A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who's Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. When not busy writing, she enjoys fine dining, cruising, visiting Disney World, and shopping. Sign up for her newsletter at http://nancyjcohen.com/newsletter/

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Blog Tour & Guest Post : Lauren Carr

It is my pleasure to have Lauren Carr as my guest today:

Five Best Tips for Authors 

By Lauren Carr 

“What advice would you give to a budding writer?”

Without any doubt, this is the question I am most often asked. Depending on my mood, or what may be on my mind at that moment, I may not always give the same answer. So, here, I have comprised my most FA (Frequent Answers)!

1) Write every day. Even if you aren’t feeling like it or don’t think the words you are typing on your laptop are literary gems--write. Athletes have to train every day. Even though you may only be exercising your mental and creative muscles, you are training to. Also, just like athletes, you can’t kick back and let yourself go after having “made it.” You need to continue training even after you have finished writing your masterpiece—and getting it released.

Just like with athletes, the more writing you do, the better you will get. Also, you will be surprised when you go back to read stuff that you had thought was less than adequate at the time you wrote it. Out of that pile of rocky words, you could find a shiny gem!

Several years ago, I wrote the rough draft of a book that I knew I would not be publishing before I even got halfway through it. The mystery and plotline were good, but there was a problem with the characters. Years later, after completing Shades of Murder, I realized that this book was the perfect vehicle for the first Lovers in Crime Mystery. In a matter of days, I edited the rough draft I had written and released it as Dead on Ice.

2) Read. It is easy for writers to want to spend every spare moment they have creating their own literary masterpieces. Yet, the truth of the matter is that there is no better way to learn how to be a great writer than to read what has already been written—whether that writing is good or bad.

As an editor, I once worked with a writer who had a serious issue with stopping everything when she introduced a new character to tell her readers that character’s entire backstory. I explained her problem to her many times but she failed to understand what I was trying to tell her until she read a book in which another writer did the exact same thing. Seeing her mistake made by another writer showed her what she was doing wrong and she’s never had this issue again.

3) Write what you want to write, not what’s hot right now. When you write what you know and are passionate about, the words will come naturally, which will make for easy reading for your readers. However, if you write what is selling right now, or what you think will get you a big publisher or agent or movie deal, then the words will not come so easily because—wait for it—those words aren’t yours. They’re the words of publishers, agents, and movie producers. this is one sure way to get writer’s block!

4) Live Life. By nature, writers are introverts. That’s why self-promotion is so hard for us. It is extremely easy for us to retreat into our literary world. While you may be churning out great work, you also risk getting out of touch with the world around you—which contains a wealth of inspiration for your current and future work-in-progress.

My greatest story ideas have come from getting out there, meeting people, and learning things about the world around me. My plotline for Real Murder was the result of falling off a horse and getting a concussion. The germ of my idea for A Small Case of Murder came from a conversation with the owner of an antique shop.

5) If you want a career in writing, treat your writing like a career. That means embracing my tips above and then some. If you have a day job, make time to write in the evening—just like you would if you had a second job. Approach your writing as a second job that you want to make your primary career. That means embracing all those little unpleasant tasks that come with any career—like self-promotion, learning new writing techniques, and taking advice from those who have gone before you—even if you may not like it.

This last tip may seem like a “duh, yeah!” piece of advice, but I can’t tell you how many talented writers I have worked with who were in positions that I would have killed for when I graduated from high school and/or college and wanted to be an author. More than one protégé were in positions in which they had parents, grandparents, or spouses bank rolling them while they pursued their dreams—only to have them play around on social media, write a few pages of their work-in-progress and then ask me to meet them for lunch to ask why their careers are going nowhere.

The difference between a hobby and a career is in the attitude. The writer who dives into the world of writing and publishing, learning how to identify his own darlings so that he can slay them before they go to the editor (even though it’s not pretty and fun!) and investing the time in learning the ins and outs of the ever-changing world of book publishing will end up with a career as an author—and loving it! 


Author's Bio

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with Lauren: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Here is information on the latest of her books and a giveaway:

Synopsis

After months of marital bliss, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are still discovering and adjusting to their life together. Settled in their new home, everything appears to be perfect … except in the middle of the night when, in darkest shadows of her subconscious, a deep secret from Jessica’s past creeps to the surface to make her strike out at Murphy.

When investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells the couple about her latest case, known as the Pine Bridge Massacre, they realize Jessica may have witnessed the murder of a family living near a winery owned by distant relatives she was visiting and suppressed the memory.

Determined to uncover the truth and find justice for the murder victims, Jessica and Murphy return to the scene of the crime with Dallas Walker, a spunky bull-headed Texan. Can this family reunion bring closure for a community touched by tragedy or will this prickly get-together bring an end to the Thorny Rose couple?

Buy the Book: Amazon ~ Add on Goodreads

Book Trailer:







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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Blog Tour: THE DRAWING GAME by Deirdre Verne

 The Drawing Game (A Sketch in Crime Mystery)

Release Date – December 25, 2016
Gatekeeper Press

Synopsis

A lover of all things green, CeCe Prentice is not impressed when a fully-sustainable development, Green Acres, pops up next to her family’s homestead. It’s not so much the ridiculous price tag of the million dollar homes built entirely from re-usable materials and powered by the sun, but rather the new neighbors who think they can simply buy a green lifestyle.

To make matters worse, one homeowner turns out to be CeCe’s high school nemesis, Phoebe Purcell, a hair-tossing vamp who tried to break up CeCe and her long-time boyfriend, Charlie.

Already disillusioned by the so-called eco-friendly development, CeCe’s family home is threatened when a series of power-outages at Green Acres kicks off a rash of home invasions. When neighbors start showing up dead, the mood at Green Acres turns south. But when Charlie, CeCe’s on-again, off-again love interest is implicated in the murders, CeCe springs into action when she discovers the only clue – a portrait she painted years ago.


Review

The Prentice family is rather interesting in their own right. This story has it all - the ex-boyfriend and the new boyfriend at odds over a murder, an old beau of her mother's, and the very upscale, supposedly eco-friendly, Green Acres with blackouts and neighbors who aren't so neighborly.  CeCe is an artist and freegan and has a great memory for detail. Her relationship with Frank and the local police this time around is both romantic and as a sketch artist.  

This was a unique read from the start. CeCe is interesting and complex as a character, and her voice is strong - and at times entertaining. The story moves quickly, with many turns and complications, some expected and some not so much. This can be read as a stand alone - I haven't read DRAWING CONCLUSIONS of DRAWING BLOOD, though I may pick them up. 

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

Deirdre Verne is the author of Drawing Conclusions (2015), Drawing Blood (Feb 2016) and The Drawing Game (Dec 2017). Deirdre’s interest in green living inspired her to create an off-the-grid character, CeCe Prentice, who Dumpster dives her way through the Sketch in Crime mystery series. “Verne’s mystery is a winner…” Kirkus Reviews. A member of Sisters in Crime, Deirdre’s stories appear in all three NY chapter anthologies – Murder New York Style, Murder New York Style: Fresh Slices and Family Matters.

Author Links

www.deirdreverne.com

www.facebook.com/deirdreverneauthor

https://twitter.com/DeirdreVerne

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8276614.Deirdre_Verne

Purchase Links
Amazon B&N


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