Saturday, August 12, 2017

Blog Tour: COWBOYS, CASTLES, AND CRADLES by Loralee Lillibridge


Cowboys, Castles and Cradles
By Loralee Lillibridge
Genre: Contemporary Western Romance
Release Date: February 21, 2017
Length: 306 Pages

Synopsis:


When GRACIE CASTLE agreed to be a surrogate mother to twins, she never expected to become their full-time mom. Thankfully, that’s when she discovers she inherited a large Texas ranch from a grandmother she’s never met. Clueless but desperate, she’s managing to hold her own until the babies decide to make an unexpected appearance.

Enter WHITMAN LOVETT, III a wealthy businessman who needs to lease three thousand acres of the Castle Ranch. He expects an easy deal, with the Castle Ranch in financial straits. He isn’t expecting to deliver a baby calf in a rainstorm or Gracie’s twins at the ranch. But Gracie and the babies manage to get under Whit’s skin and into his heart. The very thing he doesn’t want.



Review:

Taking a break from mysteries and murder with a romance today and a new author, Loralee Lillibridge... 

Gracie is doing her best to figure out what it takes to run a run-down ranch while pregnant with twins.  She's stubborn, determined to be independent, and in dire need of help that her two geriatric ranch hands simply can't do.  She inherited them along with the ranch.  All she wants is to get on with her life.

Whit, on the other hand, just needs to close this one deal that will make his father and brother very rich and very happy, and he can get on with his life and get out of the greed business. All he needs is a signature, presumably from a widow in financial straits.  Only Whit can't walk away from Gracie - he also can't seem to find a way to tell her why he's really come to Castle ranch.  

What makes this story? The characters - not just Gracie and Whit, but the suspicious ranch hands and the housekeeper who cooks a mean meal.  The pace is quick and there is conflict and history to be shared between them.  Well written, I've already picked up another of Lillibridge's books.

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 Loralee Lillibridge





Writing romance and cozy mysteries with a Texas twang and a touch of humor, Loralee Lillibridge (aka Lora Lee), loves to tell stories with believable characters, small towns where everybody knows your business and quirky, but lovable, neighbors.


A native Texan, Loralee has called West Michigan home since her marriage, but still misses seeing the bluebonnets in the Spring. Her love of travel took her to Ireland to celebrate her 80th birthday. As a child with a vivid imagination, her library card was a treasured possession. Although encouraged by her high school English teacher to put her imagination into stories, Loralee’s first published novel, Accidental Hero for Harlequin, didn’t debut until after marriage and raising a family. Since then, she’s had a cozy mystery published by Bell Bridge Books and three romance novels published by Tell-Tale Publishing. Her greatest love, however, will always be her family.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Blog Tour and Review: ICED: A Resort to Murder Mystery by Avery Daniels

Blazing Sword Publishing Ltd. (May 24, 2017)
Paperback: 284 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0999031803
E-Book ASIN: B071LFD6JV
Synopsis
Julienne has her ideal job as an event planner at a prestigious resort. During a luncheon event she coordinated, a renowned celebrity pastor is killed next to the buffet. All eyes turn to her as the suspect. If she wants to stay out of jail or even keep her job, Julienne needs all the help she can get to solve the crime.

She has her work cut out for her with a vengeful high school rival now reporter, the public demanding she be fired, plus family who knows what’s best for her, and a boyfriend who doesn’t understand her. She turns to friends and a new ally to uncover who wanted to put the pastor on ice.

Julienne goes undercover and investigates a local swingers group as she follows the trail of clues before they go cold. Can she gather enough suspects and motives to convince the police to widen their investigation? Can she do it before the killer sets his murderous sights on her? Will her personal life ever be as simple as unveiling a murderer?



Review
Julienne can't seem to catch a break - she's the prime suspect in the Pastor's murder, she breaks up with her boyfriend and he doesn't waste any time finding a replacement, and she isn't too sure about the dashing new neighbor Mason. Unable to do nothing, Julienne is collecting evidence, and as is often the case in a murder mystery, uncovering sordid secrets about the Pastor. Luckily for Julienne, she has an alibi when someone else is murdered with her name tag as the calling card. 

There's a lot to be said for the story line and Julienne is a likable character. I never had a neighbor as attentive or charismatic as Mason. It's easy to see how this could have a sequel or be a start of a new series. The resort certainly has a lot of promise. 

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
Avery Daniels was born and raised in Colorado, graduated from college with a degree in business administration and has worked in fortune 500 companies and Department of Defense her entire life. Her most eventful job was apartment management for 352 units (plenty of fodder for stories there!). She still resides in Colorado with two brother black cats as her loving companions. She volunteers for a cat shelter, enjoys scrapbooking and card making, photography, and painting in watercolor and acrylic. She inherited a love for reading from her mother and grandmother and grew up talking about books and history at the dinner table. Her first try at writing a fully developed story was as a teen was a tale of a girl trying to nurse a fawn back to health and then release it into the wild again. She is plotting her next Resort to Murder novel and struggling over which Colorado resort should be her setting
Author Links

Web – Avery-Daniels.com

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

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/Avery-Daniels;

Purchase Links

Amazon



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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Cover Release - MURDER AND A WEDDING : Cold Creek Series Book 5

MURDER AND A WEDDING 
Now available for pre-order, with release on August 10, 2017! 
Special Price through August 15th $0.99


Synopsis
Solving a murder wasn't on the wedding planner's checklist.

Professor Hendley can’t seem to stay away from murder even on a morning run. With so many changes in her life, sleuthing is the last thing on the mind of Cold Creek College’s amateur sleuth. Unbeknownst to her, the victim was the manager of Hidden Oaks, a picturesque wedding venue – the precise location the wedding planner had suggested for her upcoming nuptials. When Sheridan visits Hidden Oaks, she senses there is more underfoot than meets the eye. Can she put the pieces together and have her wedding, too?

The Series:

Murder at Cold Creek College
Murder in the Arboretum
Murder at the Grill
Murder in the Theater

Excerpt from Chapter 1:

... The four of us took off down the popular trail. Surrounded by pine and maple trees, a recent spell of warm weather had spurred the onset of renewed growth after the long winter. We saw several runners ahead of us, and encountered others jogging or walking back to the parking lot. People smiled as they passed us, content to enjoy the fresh air and exercise. 

We left the trail at my usual stopping place with Charlie. Our favorite bench was occupied by two older ladies, so we moved toward the bench farthest from the trail. Before Brett could get the water bottles out of his pack, Charlie pulled toward the tree line and growled. I tried to soothe her and we all looked around to see what triggered her reaction. 

“I can barely hold her. Should we see where she wants to go?” 

Brett peered toward the dense woods before he answered. “Maddie, can you stay here with the backpack while we check it out?” 

Maddie glanced at Charlie and nodded. I let Charlie pull me. The closer we got to the trees, the harder she dragged me along. She turned back to look at me, just before she tried to dive into the woods. Brett caught me before I fell over. 

“Stay here and keep hold of Charlie. I’ll see if I can find what has her so excited.” 

I nodded and shortened the leash, holding my dog. She shook like never before. She stopped growling but whimpered, and tried to pull away. Brett came back out a few minutes later, already talking on his phone. 

“We’re at Plantation Park. The GPS says the nearest cross street is Shenandoah. We came in from the South entrance, the main trail. I’m not sure which way has easiest access for emergency vehicles.” 

After a pause, Brett continued. “No ambulance needed. Coroner.” 

Another pause. “We’ll stay here and wait for you. I think Sheridan’s dog scared off anyone or any animals that might have been here. She’s stopped growling now.” 

He clicked off his phone and nodded toward the bench and Maddie. “There’s a body back there. I don’t know who or what Charlie scared off. As long as she’s not growling, we can go wait with Maddie until Hirsch gets here to secure the area.” 

We walked to the bench and gave Charlie some water. She stretched out under the bench panting. 

“What was making Charlie go crazy?” Maddie asked. 

“There’s someone back in the woods and he’s hurt. I think Charlie sensed that. I’m going to go back and make sure no one bothers him. You and Sheridan need to stay here and wait for the police to get here. Okay?” 

We both nodded, and Brett walked back to guard the body. 

“Charlie sensed there was a bad person back there, didn’t she? She was protecting us and the person who’s hurt.” 

“Yes, Maddie that’s right. Now she’s calm, so we’re safe.” 

We heard the sirens in the distance and then from behind us. Chief Hirsch and Officer Matthews were the first to arrive. Maddie and I stood and waited for them to reach us. Charlie recognized them and pulled at the leash, tail wagging. I texted Brett the cavalry had arrived. 

“Morning, Sheridan. Brett called.” Hirsch looked at Maddie and raised an eyebrow. 

“Chief Hirsch, Officer Matthews, I’d like to introduce Madison, Brett’s daughter. You may have met her at Brett’s birthday celebration in July.” They nodded and Maddie nodded back. 

“Let me show you where Brett entered the woods.” 

I led them to the edge of the woods, and they disappeared. I was back at the bench with Maddie when Brett texted “Watch for the ambulance – they should be coming across the grass from the North.” 

“Look, Sheridan. They’re here.” 

I approached the ambulance and explained what I could to the responders. They grabbed their gear and the stretcher and disappeared into the woods. We waited. 

It seemed like forever before Brett and Hirsch emerged, followed by the two ambulance attendants with the stretcher, and Matthews pulling up the rear. Maddie and I watched as they loaded the stretcher and the ambulance left. As Brett, Hirsch, and Matthews walked toward us, I caught the end of the conversation. 

“…too bad Charlie didn’t get a piece of whoever did this. Nasty business.” Matthews mouth opened again, like he was going to continue. I cleared my throat and pasted a smile on my face. 

Brett interrupted whatever his next comment might have been. “Have you met my daughter?” 

“Yes, Sheridan introduced us. You were all out here for a walk?” Hirsch slipped back into Chief mode and Matthews studied the ground. 

“We went for a run to celebrate, but Charlie needed a rest. Then she started growling and barking and almost dragged Sheridan into the woods.” Maddie explained. 

“Did you see anyone else?” 

Maddie shook her head. I clarified, “Not once we left the trail. We passed a bunch of other runners and walkers on the trail. There were two older ladies on the bench closer to the trail when we got here. I didn’t recognize them. They left – I didn’t notice when.” I shrugged, sorry I hadn’t paid more attention. 

“Once Charlie started barking and we got closer, she suddenly settled down. I think she scared them off. You saw the markings like someone had cut through the woods before. I’d guess that’s how they left the park. Any idea where it comes out?” “Afraid not. Matthews and I’ll go back, get more pictures, and find out though. You folks enjoy the rest of the day. I’ll give you a call later on and come by with statements for you to sign.”

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Book Review: HIS GUILT : The Amish of Hart County by Shelley Shepard Gray

Genre: Fiction, Amish Fiction
Published by: Avon Inspire/HarperCollins
Publication Date: July 4th 2017
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 0062469134 (ISBN13: 9780062469137)
Series: The Amish of Hart County #2 | It is a stand-alone novel

Synopsis

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray delivers the next novel in her Amish of Hart County series—a suspenseful tale of an Amish man who will risk all to protect the woman he loves.

Mark Fisher has returned home to Hart County, determined to put the past behind him. Two years ago, after being wrongly accused of assault, he left the Amish community, though never forgot his home. When the one person who had helped him through his rough times asks for help, Mark returns. But it is pretty Waneta Cain who makes him want to stay...

Neeta is one of the few people in Hart County who doesn’t believe Mark is guilty of hurting anyone. However, his worldliness and tough exterior do make her uneasy. As she begins to see the real man behind all the gossip and prejudice, she wonders if he is the man for her.

Just when Mark starts to believe a new life is possible, a close friend of Neeta’s is attacked. Once again, everyone in the community seems to believe he is guilty. But what hurts most is Neeta’s sudden wariness around him. When another woman is hurt, a woman who is close to both Neeta and himself, Mark fears he knows the real culprit. And time is running out. Will Mark be able to find him before Neeta becomes his next victim?


Review

Mark Fisher returns to Hart County to help out the one person who always supported him, but the others in the community still believe the worst and that makes it hard for him. He may not be guilty of the assault two years prior, but he carries guilt for other things, including not being able to protect his brother Calvin. Neeta befriends Mark but then the more young women are assaulted.

This is a very well-written story of prejudices based on perception rather than fact, of loyalty and friendship, and the romance between Mark and Neeta. The suspense builds as another and then another is assaulted.  Who is beating up these women? Mark and Neeta are both strong characters and there is a synergy among the others - Amish and English alike. There are obvious references to the Amish community and English ways, but not in a preachy way. 

This is the second in The Amish of Hart County Series, the third due out in November. 


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.


Purchase Links
 Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Goodreads 


Read an excerpt

Chapter 1
Horse Cove, Kentucky
August 4

He was watching her again.
As she handed her customer change across the counter of the Blooms and Berries nursery, Waneta Cain did her best to pretend that their newest employee was not inordinately interested in everything she did. He was simply observant.
Surely, it was just her imagination playing tricks on her anyway. Mark Fisher was probably trying to see how she handled the checkout counter. She used to watch Mr. Lehmann all the time when she’d first started at the nursery.
That had to be the reason.
“Thanks for your help, Neeta,” Mr. Killian said, interrupting her thoughts. “I’d be lost without you.”
“I’m simply glad I could help ya,” she told the Englisher with a bright smile as he lifted his box of seedlings from the wide well-worn countertop. “See ya soon.”
The man tipped his ball cap. “You sure will if I can’t get these to bear fruit. Wish me luck.”
“Good luck and good blessings, too.” After helping him with the door, she let it close behind her with a satisfying thunk.
She chuckled to herself. That Mr. Killian was a terrible gardener but a frequent customer. She sincerely hoped that one day he would develop that green thumb he wanted so badly.
“Do you always act that way?”
A shiver coursed through her as she turned.
Meeting Mark’s dark-brown eyes, which seemed to be studying her intently, she struggled to appear calm. “Like what?”
Mark stepped away from the row of metal shelves located in the back of the store. He’d been unpacking boxes and restocking shelves for the last hour. Methodically sorting and organizing merchandise while she helped customers. “Like they’re your friends,” he replied. “Like you’re so happy to see them.” Stepping closer, he lifted his shoulder. “Is that how you really are… or is that just an act?”
She didn’t care for the way he seemed to be insinuating that she wasn’t genuine. “It’s not an act. Mr. Killian is in her a lot. He’s nice. We are friends.”
“He’s English and must be fifty years old.”
“I don’t see how that matters. I can like people who are different than me.”
“Maybe you can. But you were sure smiling at him a lot. Or do you do that on purpose? To make sure that he will return?”
His question made her uncomfortable, but his sarcastic tone made her angry. “I don’t know why you are asking such things. I really don’t like what you are suggesting. I’m not doing anything out of the ordinary or smiling at customers in any special way. I’m just being my regular self.”
“Huh. So you treat everyone with smiles and kindness. You are friends with all sorts of people. Even people who are different from you. Except me.”
“I’ve been perfectly amiable to you,” she retorted. Except, of course, that was a lie.
“I don’t think so,” Mark murmured. “I’ve been her seven hours, four of them barely six feet away from you.”
She knew that. She’d known exactly where he was every moment they’d been together. “And?”
“And during all that time you’ve hardly said ten words to me. You sure aren’t smiling at me.”
She opened her mouth, closed it again. What could she say? He wasn’t wrong.
Mark stepped closer, invading her space. She could see the fine brown hairs on his forearms now. Noticed that he hadn’t shaved in a day or two.
“Is it because I was taken in for questioning?” he asked quietly, his dark-brown eyes watching her, as if he feared she would run. “Or, is it just me? Do you not want anything to do with me, Waneta?”
Her palms were sweating. She fisted both as she tried to come up with an answer. He was right on all accounts. She was uneasy around him.
Fact was, Mark Fisher was a large man. Tall and well-muscled. He had a rough way about him, too. It was disconcerting.
Of course, she’d always felt uneasy around him. He’d been an angry teenager, always glaring and short-tempered with most everyone. After he finished school, he’d worked for a few people around town. Rumor had it that his brother, Calvin, had taken off as soon as their mother did. Mark had even lived in Mr. Lehmann’s home for a time, until he was taken in for questioning about Bethany’s assault.
And after he was questioned, then let go for insufficient evidence, he disappeared for two years.
Now he was back.
Mr. Lehmann assured her that Mark hadn’t done anything wrong, but a lot of people in the community still believed that he was the masked man who’d beaten Bethany Williams. It wasn’t much of a stretch. Bethany had told lots of people that her assailant was over six feet tall and was very strong. But she also said she wasn’t able to identify the man.
Few other details had circulated after that. Then Bethany and her family moved up north, practically the moment she was released from the hospital.
Realizing Mark was still waiting, Waneta said, “I haven’t spoken to you much because we don’t’ know each other.”
His eyes narrowed. “But that’s not really true. We knew each other once. We did go to the same Amish school.”
“You were ahead of me in school. We hardly talked then.” He was only three years older than herself, but they were miles apart in terms of how they’d lived their lives. He’d also been the kind of boy she’d been a little scared of. He was rough and always seemed so angry.
For a second, he looked dumbfounded. “So, you do remember.”
“Of course I remember you and your brother, Calvin. Our school wasn’t that big, Mark.” Feeling pretty good about how self-assured she was sounding, Neeta folded her arms across her chest. “But that was a long time ago. Years have gone by.”
“Yeah. You’re right,” he said slowly. “Years have gone by. Practically a whole lifetime.”
He sounded so sad. She wondered what was going through his head. Did he regret hurting Bethany? And what had been doing for the two years since it all happened? Why had he even come back to Horse Cave? Surely, there were other, far better places to start over.
The door jangled as a couple came in. Like Mr. Killian, they were regular customers. James and Katie Eicher were Amish and lived on a large farm on the outskirts of town.
Glad for the reprieve, she smiled at them. “Hiya, Katie. James. How can I help you?”
Just as Katie was about to answer, her husband put a hand on her arm. “Go wait in the buggy, Kate.”
Katie looked at her husband in confusion, then blanched when she caught sight of Mark. Without a word, she turned and walked back out the door.
When it closed again, James glared at Mark. “What are you doing here?”
Mark lifted his chin. “I work here.”
“Is that true, Neeta?” James asked. “Did Henry actually hire him?”
“Jah. Today is Mark’s first day.” Unsure how to handle his anger, she cleared his throat. “Now, um, how may I help you?”
“Where is Henry?”
She looked around the room, which was a ridiculous exercise, seeing as it was perfectly obvious that Mr. Lehmann was not there.
“He’s out back,” Mark said, pointing to one of the four large greenhouses behind the retail store. “You want me to go get him for ya?”
“I don’t want you to do a thing for me,” James said. “I’ll go find him myself.”
Mark rocked back on his heels. “Suit yourself.”
Neeta winced at his flippant tone.
James, however, looked irate. Pointing a finger at him, James said, “I’m telling you now, Fisher. You stay far away from my wife. Don’t talk to her. Don’t even look at her.”
Instead of looking cowed, the corners of Mark’s lips lifted. “Or what?”
“Or I’ll do everything I can to ensure that you leave here for good.”
Mark narrowed his eyes. “Are you threatening me?”
Ignoring Mark again, James turned to her. “I can’t believe you are working in here with him. Do your parents even know?”
Before she could say that they did not, James strode out the door. It slammed in his wake.
For a good couple of seconds, Neeta stared at the door. She tried to calm herself, especially since she’d just realized that her hands were shaking.
Why was she so rattled? Was it because she was afraid of Mark Fisher?
Or because James’s anger had been so scorching?
“You never answered him,” Mark said from behind her, startling her out of her dark thoughts. “Do your parents know that you are working here with me?”
“Nee.”
“Why not?” he asked. “Is it because you’re afraid that they’ll want you to stay far, far away from the dangerous Mark Fisher, too?”
Before she could answer, the door opened again. This time it brought in Mr. Lehmann.
He looked from Mark to her and signed. “I came to check on how you two are doing after James Eicher’s visit. It doesn’t look like you’re doing too gut.”
“I’m fine, Mr. Lehmann,” she said. “But, um, well, it’s four o’clock.”
“Which means it’s time for you to get on him,” he said with a kind smile. “Grab your things and get on your way. We’ll see you tomorrow.”
She smiled weakly as she turned toward the back storage room, where her belongings were stowed. For the first time since she’s started working at the nursery, returning to work filled her with dread.
She didn’t trust Mark. Worse, she didn’t trust herself when she was around him.
Excerpt from His Guilt by Shelley Shepard Gray. Copyright © 2017 by Shelley Shepard Gray. Reproduced with permission from Harper Collins. All rights reserved.
   

Author Bio

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.
 
Catch Up With Ms. Gray On 

Website , Goodreads , Twitter , & Facebook !

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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Shelley Shepard Gray and HarperCollins. There will be 4 US winners of one (1) print edition of His Guilt by Shelley Shepard Gray. The giveaway begins on July 10 and runs through August 10, 2017.
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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Blog Tour: TOO MANY WOMEN IN THE ROOM (A Guilda Greco Mystery) by Joanne Guidoccio

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
The Wild Rose Press, Inc (May 19, 2017)
252 Pages
E-Book ASIN: B06XXNPRXS
Synopsis

When Gilda Greco invites her closest friends to a VIP dinner, she plans to share David Korba’s signature dishes and launch their joint venture—Xenia, an innovative Greek restaurant near Sudbury, Ontario.

Unknown to Gilda, David has also invited Michael Taylor, a lecherous photographer who has throughout the past three decades managed to annoy all the women in the room. One woman follows Michael to a deserted field for his midnight run and stabs him in the jugular.

Gilda’s life is awash with complications as she wrestles with a certain detective’s commitment issues and growing doubts about her risky investment in Xenia. Frustrated, Gilda launches her own investigation and uncovers decades-old secrets and resentments that have festered until they explode into untimely death. Can Gilda outwit a killer bent on killing again?


Review

David Korba and his wife Susan charm Gilda from the start and she is only too happy to help launch Xenia, a Greek Restaurant with David as chef. Something makes her keep it all a secret from her mother, her best friends, and her love interest. She thinks David understands this, but he has told his friend and invited him to the VIP dinner. Unfortunately, most of the women in the room are less than pleased to see Michael Taylor. One person takes the ultimate revenge and kills him. Gilda finds herself on the outs with her friends, a possible suspect in the murder, and likely taking a loss on the investment. 
The plot moves along at a steady pace with subplots adding to the tension. The characters are well-developed - some likable, some not so much, the victim in the latter group. The murderer and resolution is logical and the loose ends are tied up neatly. This is the second in the series, but easily can be read as a stand alone. If you like inquisitive female sleuths with lots of conflicts, you'll enjoy this story.

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

In 2008, Joanne took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romance, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Where to find Joanne…

Website: http://joanneguidoccio.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/joanneguidoccio
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjoanneguidoccio
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joanneguidoccio
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jguidoccio/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7277706.Joanne_Guidoccio

Purchase Links

Amazon (US): http://amzn.to/2q3Cjez

Amazon (Canada): https://is.gd/1pX3Bn

Kobo: https://is.gd/5VwbTf

Indigo: https://is.gd/o3ZKRW

The Wild Rose Press: https://is.gd/1mns8Q

Barnes & Noble: https://is.gd/NFHdlS


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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Book Review: GUARANTEED TO BLEED : Country Club Humorous Mystery Series by Julie Mulhern

Synopsis

With his dying breath, Bobby Lowell begs Ellison Russell, “Tell her I love her.” Unable to refuse, Ellison struggles to find the girl the murdered boy loved. Too bad an epically bad blind date, a vindictive graffiti artist, and multiple trips to the emergency room keep getting in the way.

Worse, a killer has Ellison in his sights, her newly rebellious daughter is missing, and there’s yet another body in her hostas. Mother won’t be pleased.

Now Ellison must track down not one but two runaway teenagers, keep her promise to Bobby, and elude the killer—all before her next charity gala committee meeting.


Review


Ellison takes to heart her promise to Bobby to give the right person his message, even as she becomes a target. There are certainly a lot of suspects, starting with the girl who wishes she was Bobby's girl and her dysfunctional family. But there are lots of dysfunctional families here.

While trying to find the girl, Ellison has to deal with her own family issues - her mother's continued efforts to marry her off and her daughter's rebellious attitude.  Then, of course there's Anarchy and his protective bent. 

This is the second in the series and as enjoyable as the others. I've read them out of order, only now doubling back to pick this one up. This is a well-written mystery with bits of humor and a believable ending. If you like cozy mysteries, you'll enjoy this one - and likely the whole series.

Books in the Country Club Murders Humorous Mystery Series:

THE DEEP END (#1)
GUARANTEED TO BLEED (#2)
CLOUDS IN MY COFFEE (#3)
SEND IN THE CLOWNS (#4)
WATCHING THE DETECTIVES (#5)




Sunday, June 25, 2017

REVIEW: THE CASE OF THE INVISIBLE SOULS : A Jarvis Mann Short Story by R Weir

For a change of pace, here's to R Weir's latest in the Jarvis Mann series:

***THE CASE OF THE INVISIBLE SOULS SYNOPSIS***
With Christmas a few weeks away and happy these last few months had been quiet, Jarvis Mann decides to take on an interesting case. A homeless veteran knocks on his door with a story of how several of his homeless companions have been bribed and taxied away never to return. Taking pause to the man’s story at first, Jarvis digs deeper learning of plans to clear out the homeless. When the man is attacked, and seriously injured, Jarvis goes undercover, learning more about life on the streets than he ever knew, becoming one of the Invisible Souls in search of an answer.


Check out the other Jarvis Mann Detective Stories:

Dead Man Code: A Jarvis Mann Detective Novel #5
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LY8JZND

Blood Brothers: A Jarvis Mann Detective Novel #4
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B019S6AQXW

Twice As Fatal: A Jarvis Mann Detective Novel #3
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XTNTHWW

Tracking A Shadow: A Jarvis Mann Detective Novel #2
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MQHVKJA

The Case of the Missing Bubble Gum Card: A Jarvis Mann Short Story #1
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JGEZNSU



REVIEW:

This is a well-written depiction of the vulnerability and struggles of the homeless, the back story for many of them. Parker seeks out Jarvis when his friends are being lured away from their shared space for some unknown job and never return - they just disappear. Jarvis does a little investigating and breaks a nose or two. He goes undercover to find the motive and uses the system to help them. A short read with a big message.

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.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Book Tour: STORMY WEATHER by Glen Ebisch

From Multi-Published Mystery Author
Glen Ebisch
A mysterious death involving a meteorologist...
Can she weather the storm brewing in the horizon?
Stormy Weather
STORMY WEATHER
Glen Ebisch
Genre:†Mystery
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: January, 2017
A dead meteorologist leads to stormy weather.
When the body of Travis Lambert, senior meteorologist, is found buried in a shallow grave next to the house of Stormy McCloud, junior meteorologist, things look bad.
The station hires Chance Malone to investigate the murder, but her situation doesn't improve. Malone is attractive, charming, and funny, all qualities that her past experience with men has led her to avoid. It doesn't help that Stormy has little interest in religion, while Malone is the unusual detective that keeps a Bible in his desk drawer instead of a bottle of scotch.
When Stormy's estranged mother appears on the scene, things become even more complicated. As they discover more about the dark secrets of Travis's life, Stormy is forced to reconsider her view of men, her mother, and her future.
Author Glen Ebisch's mystery suspense crime novel, Stormy Weather is a first-rate thriller. I found a solid story-line, well-written, with well-developed characters, and plot lines which will hold the readers interest.
- verasbookreviewsandstuff, Amazon Reviewer
This book has quite a bit of mystery of where you reveal each piece a layer at a time. You learn one thing about the victim from his co-workers and then you dig a little deeper and you learn something else.
- Seraphia, Amazon Reviewer

Purchase Links

Available now for $4.99 only. Grab your copy today.

Giveaway

WIN
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Prizes up for grabs:
$10 Amazon Gift Card
5 copies of Stormy Weather (US - Print, International - eBook)
Contest runs from June 19 - 28, 2017.

About†Glen Ebisch

Glen Ebisch
Glen Ebisch taught philosophy in college for over twenty-five years and has been writing mysteries for almost as long. He has been fortunate enough to have over twenty published. He lives with his wife in western Massachusetts and now focuses full time on writing, exercise, and travel.
Official website:http://www.glenebisch.com
Connect with Glen Ebisch†on social media:

Book Tour Schedule

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Follow the book tour from June 19 - 24, 2017.
Discover more features, excerpts, reviews, interviews, fun facts and other extras on the tour.
To check the latest tour schedule, visit the Stormy Weather Book Page at Book Unleashed.

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Book Blast: CRIME OF PASSION FRUIT (A Bakeshop Mystery) by Ellie Alexander


Cozy Mystery

6th in Series
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (June 27, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250088079
E-Book ASIN: B01MRU56AS
Synopsis

Torte―everybody’s favorite small-town family bakeshop―is headed for the high seas, where murder is about to make a splash. . .
Jules Capshaw is trying to keep her cool as Torte gets set to make its transformation from quaint, local confectionary café to royal pastry palace. Meanwhile, Jules’s estranged husband Carlos is making a desperate plea for her to come aboard his cruise ship and dazzle everyone with her signature sweets. She may be skeptical about returning to her former nautical life with Carlos but Jules can’t resist an all-expense-paid trip, either. If only she knew that a dead body would find its way onto the itinerary. . .

“A warm and inviting atmosphere, friendly and likable main characters, and a nasty murder mystery to solve!” ―Fresh Fiction

Now, instead of enjoying tropical drinks on deck between whipping up batches of sea-salted chocolates and flambéing fresh pineapple slices in the kitchen, Jules is plunged into dangerous waters. Her investigation leaves her with more questions than answers: Why can’t anyone on board identify the young woman? And how can she help Carlos keep passengers at ease with a killer in their midst? Jules feels like she’s ready to jump ship. Can she solve this case without getting in too deep?

“A perfect mix for fans of Jenn McKinlay, Leslie Budewitz, or Jessica Beck.”
―Library Journal


About The Author

Ellie Alexander is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.



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Friday, June 16, 2017

Guest Post: BETTY JEAN CRAIGE Author of the Witherston Murder Mysteries


Post by Betty Jean Craige, author of Dam Witherston and other Witherston murder mysteries published by Black Opal Books


A critic called my first novel, Downstream: A Witherston Murder Mystery (2014), an "environmental mystery." I admitted that it was. I had originally titled it "We All Live Downstream," but Black Opal Books suggested that "Downstream" would be more suitable for a whodunnit, and I agreed. The mystery involves the pharmaceutical pollution of our rivers by a longevity drug named Senextra that keeps people alive and healthy for well over a hundred years, though with some unanticipated side effects.


My second mystery in the series, Fairfield's Auction (2016), involves the sale of artifacts from the Cherokee civilization that dominated the mountains of north Georgia and western North Carolina for a thousand years before our state and federal governments sent a majority of them west to Oklahoma on the 1938-39 Trail of Tears. The mystery features a chicken truck stranded in Witherston during a blizzard and the liberation of the hundreds of caged chickens. And an African Grey parrot named Doolittle, who unintentionally provides clues to the murderer's identification. And a Cherokee village. And murder.

My third mystery, Dam Witherston (2017), involves three interracial (white-Cherokee) rapes and murders, one in 2017 and the other two in 1977 and 1828, which DNA tests disclose.

What do all three "Witherston Murder Mysteries" have in common? Most obviously, the mysteries all take place in a fictive town named Witherston, Georgia, twenty miles north of Dahlonega. Witherston got its name from the long line of rich Withers who obtained their wealth in the 1928 Georgia Gold Rush and the 1932 Georgia Land Lottery. The mysteries all include the same eccentric characters. The mysteries all allow the reader to participate in the detection through an online newspaper and documents such as maps, deeds, letters, and DNA ancestry results, as well as the narration.

But the mysteries have something else in common: an ecological view of the world, that is, a vision of nature and culture as an interconnected whole. If we view the world as an interconnected whole we see that we (people and non-people) are all dependent on the well-being of each other, that what we folks do here affects what other folks (and animals and plants and ice and rivers) do elsewhere. In other words, there is no outside. So we should be kind to each other and to the land, for our own well being.

This conviction motivated my teaching and research for decades at the University of Georgia, and it motivates my writing in my retirement.
My close friends called my first novel "preachy." They also criticized me for naming the animals. Thanks to a group of distinguished biologists we understand now that all mammals and birds, and some other animals such as octopuses, have consciousness. (See 2012 "Declaration on Consciousness.") So I say that the animals we know deserve names. In Fairfield's Auction and Dam Witherston, I strove not to preach, but I still named the animals.

Dr. Betty Jean Craige is University Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature at the University of Georgia. She has lived in Athens, Georgia, since 1973. Her first non-academic book was Conversations with Cosmo: At Home with an African Grey Parrot (2010).

Dr. Betty Jean Craige has published books in the fields of Spanish poetry, modern literature, history of ideas, politics, ecology, and art. She is a scholar, a translator, a teacher, and a novelist. http://www.bettyjeancraige.com/

Buy links:
Dam Witherston AMAZON
Downstream AMAZON
Fairfield’s Auction AMAZON



Saturday, June 10, 2017

Showcase: DREAM A LITTLE DEATH : A Dreama Black Mystery by Susan Kandel

Dream A Little Death

by Susan Kandel

on Tour May 23 - June 23, 2017

Synopsis:

From critically acclaimed author Susan Kandel comes a charming new mystery featuring Dreama Black and a cast of zany LA-based characters.


The first time I set eyes on Miles McCoy, I worried he might try to eat me. He was the size and girth of a North American grizzly, with long, silver-tipped hair, a long silver-tipped beard, and small dark eyes that bore into me like I was a particularly fine specimen of Chinook salmon. It couldn't have helped that I'd used a honey scrub the morning we met. I should've known better. Not just about the scrub, but about a lot of things.
Like braving the freeway during rush hour.
Like thinking you can't get a ticket for parking at a broken meter.
Like racing up to his penthouse in gladiator sandals, and expecting not to twist an ankle.
Like watching his fiancée shoot herself, and assuming it was suicide, instead of murder.
Meet Dreama Black. A 28 year-old, third-generation groupie trying to figure out who she is after being publicly dumped by the rock god whose mega-hit, "Dreama, Little Dreama" made the name and the girl world-famous. Now Dreama supports herself by running custom-designed, themed tours of her hometown of L.A. When she is hired by a Raymond Chandler-obsessed rap producer to create a "L.A. noir" tour as his present to his soon-to-be bride, Dreama gets pulled into the middle of a possible murder, corrupt cops, and an unforgettable pair of femme fatales.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: May 23rd 2017
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 0062674994 (ISBN13: 9780062674999)
Series: A Dreama Black Mystery, 1
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Goodreads 

Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1
The first time I set eyes on Miles McCoy, I worried he might try to eat me. He was the size and girth of a North American grizzly bear, with long silver-tipped hair, a long silver-tipped beard, and small dark eyes that bore into me like I was a particularly fine specimen of Chinook salmon. It couldn’t have helped that I’d used a honey scrub the morning we met. I should’ve known better. Not just about the scrub, but about a lot of things.
Like braving the freeway during rush hour.
Like thinking you can’t get a ticket for parking at a broken meter.
Like racing up to his penthouse in Balenciaga gladiator sandals, and expecting not to twist an ankle.
Like watching his fiancée shoot herself, and assuming it was suicide, instead of murder.
But I’m getting ahead of myself, which is another thing I should know better about. Because if I’ve learned anything at all from my study of film noir (which got me into the whole sordid Miles McCoy mess to begin with), it is to tell the story in the precise order in which it happened.
The trouble started the day before, which was Valentine’s Day, a pagan holiday named after the Roman priest who defied Claudius II by marrying Christian couples. After being hauled off in shackles, the soft-hearted cleric was beaten with clubs, stoned, and when that didn’t finish him off, publicly beheaded. Makes you think.
It had poured rain for eight days running, which isn’t what you sign on for when you live in Los Angeles. But that morning, as I stepped outside for a run, the sun was blinding—so blinding, in fact, that I didn’t see the fragrant valentine my neighbor’s dog, Engelbart, had left on the stoop for me. Not that I minded spending the next twenty minutes cleaning the grooves of my running shoe with a chopstick. It was a beautiful day. The rollerbladers were cruising the Venice boardwalk. The scent of medical marijuana was wafting through the air. Engelbart’s gastrointestinal tract was sound.
An hour later, I hopped into my mint green 1975 Mercedes convertible, and made my way up Lincoln to the freeway. I was headed to Larchmont, an incongruous stretch of Main Street, USA, sandwiched between Hollywood and Koreatown. This was where studio executives’ wives and their private school daughters came for green juice, yoga pants, and the occasional wrench from the general store that had served Hancock Park since the 1930s. It was also where my mother and grandmother ran Cellar Door, known for its chia seed porridge and life-positive service. I helped out whenever my coffers were running low. Which was most of the time.
You are probably frowning right about now. Surely a young woman who owns a classic convertible—as well as Balenciaga gladiators—should not be perennially low on funds. But it’s true.
The car came from my grandmother, who received it as part of her third (fourth?) divorce settlement and gave it to me as a gift when I strong-armed my mother into rehab for the fourth (fifth?) time. The sandals I purchased online in a frenzy of self-loathing shortly after watching my ex-boyfriend the rock god serenading his current girlfriend the supermodel on an otherwise uneventful episode of Ellen. I’d tried to return the sandals, but one of the studs had fallen off, making them damaged goods. Like their owner. Not that I’m hard on myself. It’s just that my career—I take clients on custom-designed, private tours of my hometown of L.A.—wasn’t exactly thriving, which is why I was easy prey for the likes of Miles McCoy. But I’m getting ahead of myself again. Here comes the good part. The part where I’m driving like the wind and almost don’t notice the flashing lights in my mirror. I knew I should have fixed that taillight.
I pulled over, cut the motor, handed the cop my license and registration. He looked down, then did a double take. “Dreama Black?”
That would be me.
“The Dreama Black?” he continued. “As in ‘Dreama, Little Dreama’?”
Perhaps I should explain.
I am a twenty-eight-year-old, third-generation rock ’n’ roll groupie—or “muse,” as the women in my family like to put it.
My grandmother, a fine-boned blonde who never met a gossamer shawl or Victorian boot she didn’t like, spent the sixties sleeping her way through Laurel Canyon, winding up in a house on Rothdell Trail (a.k.a. “Love Street”) purchased for her by a certain lead singer of a certain iconic band whose name is the plural of the thing that hits you on the way out.
My mother, blessed with thick, dark tresses and a way with mousse, was consort to many of the pseudo-androgynous alpha males of American hair metal, her chief claim to fame an MTV video in which she writhed across the hood of a Porsche wearing a white leotard and black, thigh-high boots. She also bought Axl Rose his first kilt.
As for me, well, I was on my way to freshman orientation when this guy I’d been seeing, who’d played a couple of no-name clubs with some friends from summer camp, intercepted me at LAX, put his lips to my ear, and hummed the opening bars of a new song I’d apparently inspired. Instead of boarding the plane for Berkeley, I boarded the tour bus with Luke Cutt and the other skinny, pimply members of Rocket Science. Four world tours, three hit albums, two Grammys, and one breakup later, “Dreama, Little Dreama”—an emo pop anthem that went gold in seven days and has sold eleven million copies to date—had made me almost famous forever.
“Step out of the car, please.”
The cop removed his sunglasses. Peach fuzz. Straight out of the academy. “So.”
He wanted to get a picture with me.
“I’d love to get a picture with you,” he said.
I smoothed down my cut-offs and striped T-shirt, removed my red Ray-Bans, ran my fingers through my long, straight, freshly balayaged auburn hair. The cop put his arm around me, leaned in close, took a couple of snaps on his phone. Let me guess. He’d had a crush on me since tenth grade, when he saw me in a white tank and no bra on the cover of Rocket Science’s debut C.D., and now he was going to post the pictures on Instagram to show all his buddies.
“Awesome.” He gave me a brotherly punch on the arm. “No way is my wife going to believe this. She’s crazy about Luke Cutt. Hey, is he really dating that Victoria’s Secret Angel? She is smoking hot.”
At least I didn’t get the ticket.

Excerpt from Dream A Little Death by Susan Kandel. Copyright © 2017 by Susan Kandel. Reproduced with permission from HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

An Agatha, Edgar, and SCIBA nominee, Susan Kandel is the author of the nationally best-selling and critically acclaimed Cece Caruso series, the most recent of which, Dial H for Hitchcock (Morrow), was named by NPR as one of the five best mysteries of the year. A Los Angeles native, she was trained as an art historian, taught at NYU and UCLA, and spent a decade as an art critic at the Los Angeles Times. When not writing, she volunteers as a court-appointed advocate for foster children, and loves to explore secret, forgotten, and kitschy L.A. She lives with her husband in West Hollywood.


Catch Up With Our Author On: Website, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook! 


Tour Participants:

5/23 Showcase Romance Under Fire
5/24 Guest post 
The Book Divas Read
5/24 Showcase Celticladys Review
5/25 Showcase  Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy;, Too!
5/26 Showcase Bookalicious Traveladdict
5/27 Review Book Reviews from an Avid Reader
5/28 Showcase Bound 2 Escape
5/30 Interview Deal Sharing Aunt

5/31 Showcase A Bookaholic Swede
6/01 Review Blogging with A
6/05 Interview Books Chatter
6/07 Interview CMash Reads
6/10 Showcase Christa Reads and Writes
6/12 Showcase Thoughts in Progress
6/13 Review BookLove
6/14 Showcase The Bookworm Lodge
6/15 Review Cheryls Book Nook

6/15 Showcase The Reading Frenzy
6/16 Guest post Jane Reads
6/17 Showcase Chill and Read
6/19 Review Jane Reads
6/20 Review Cozy Up With Kathy
6/21 Showcase The Pulp and Mystery Shelf
6/22 Review A Room Without Books is Empty
6/22 Review JBronder Book Reviews
6/23 Review just reviews

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