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


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.


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.

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Monday, February 6, 2017

Blog Tour: 15 MINUTES : A Maizie Albright Star Detective Humous Mystery by Larissa Reinhart

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Past Perfect Press (January 24, 2017)
Paperback: 341 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0997885323
E-Book ASIN: B01N77ZK94

#10days #findthewoman #getthejob #doNOTfallinlove

When ex-teen star Maizie Albright returns to her Southern hometown of Black Pine, Georgia, she hoped to rid herself of Hollywood tabloid and reality show hell for a new career as a private investigator. Instead, Hollyweird follows her home. Maizie’s costar crushing, but now for her gumshoe boss. Her stage-monster mother still demands screen time. Her latest rival wants her kicked off the set, preferably back to a California prison.

By entangling herself in a missing person’s case, she must reprise her most famous role. The job will demand a performance of a lifetime. But this time, the stakes are real and may prove deadly.

“I was already a huge fan of Larissa Reinhart’s “Cherry Tucker” series, but in her new mystery series, FIFTEEN MINUTES, she had me at the end of the first line: “Donuts.” Maizie Albright is the kind of fresh, fun, and feisty “star detective” I love spending time with, a kind of Nancy Drew meets Lucy Ricardo. Move over, Janet Evanovich. Reinhart is my new “star mystery writer!” — Penny Warner, Author of DEATH OF A CHOCOLATE CHEATER and THE CODE BUSTERS CLUB

“Hollywood glitz meets backwoods grit in this fast-paced ride on D-list
celeb Maizie Albright’s waning star—even as it’s reborn in a spectacular
collision with her nightmarish stage mother, her
deer-pee-scented-apparel-inventing daddy…and a murderer. Sassy, sexy, and
fun, 15 Minutes is hours of enjoyment—and a wonderful start to a fun new
series from the charmingly Southern-fried Reinhart.”
— Phoebe Fox, author of THE BREAKUP DOCTOR series

“Larissa Reinhart’s newest heroine, Maizie Albright, is at once na├»ve and worldly. As a former child star, she craves life in the real world by becoming a PI, just like the TV character that made her famous. Armed with humor, charm, and stubborn determination, Maizie is a breath of fresh air. I adored every second of 15 Minutes. Viva la Maizie!” — Terri L. Austin, bestselling author of the ROSE STRICKLAND MYSTERIES and the NULL FOR HIRE series.


A new series, 15 MINUTES features a Hollywood Starlit who tries to escape her agent/mother who knows no boundaries by returning home to her all-natural home grown conservative father. Maizie is there by court order and has a limited number of days to become employed.  She played the role of a teen detective in Hollywood, got a degree in criminology, so the obvious job is working for the local PI.  

Needless to say, Maizie isn't ready for prime time PI work and the PI she wants to work for isn't exactly thrilled. Things get dicey with many twists and turns and embarrassing (for Maizie) situations.  This was a fun read - Maizie is definitely unique. I've enjoyed the "Cherry Tucker" series, and look forward to watching Maizie's growth and future exploits. 

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.


Mystery and Maizie Albright Star Detective series. The first in the Cherry Tucker series, Portrait of a Dead Guy, is a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist, 2012 The Emily finalist, and 2011 Dixie Kane Memorial winner. She loves books, food, and travel in any and all combinations.

Her family and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit, live in Nagoya, Japan, but they still call Georgia home. You can see them on HGTV’s House Hunters International “Living for the Weekend in Nagoya” episode. Visit her website, find her chatting on Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads, and sign up for her newsletter at

If you enjoy her books, please leave a review. She sends you virtual hugs and undying gratitude for your support!

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Saturday, February 4, 2017

GUEST POST: Interview of Bobbie Baxter (Cassie Baxter Mysteries)

Today it is my pleasure to have a guest post and interview of Bobby Baxter of the Cassie Baxter Mysteries and a giveaway courtesy of author Cindy Blackburn:

Hi! I’m Maxine Tibbitts, and I write a weekly column in the local paper for Lake Elizabeth, Vermont, detailing all the latest news around town. Some folks claim I’m a gossip columnist, but I only report the facts. No, really! Heaven knows I don’t need to exaggerate to make my column exciting. It may be teeny tiny, but there’s always something going on in Lake Elizabeth. We have lots of fascinating residents, but the most interesting of all is Cassie Baxter. And isn’t it convenient that I live next door to the Baxters? That’s Cassie and her father Bobby Baxter.

Take my advice and read Unexpected and Unbelievable, to get Cassie’s opinion about everything and anything, (including a couple of murders!). When you do so, you’ll notice that Cassie has much to say about living with her father. She claims Bobby drives her nuts, but between you and me, I think Cassie is Looney Tunes with or without her father’s help! So when Christa asked me to submit an interview from a resident of our little town, I chose Bobby. High time the man got to tell his side of things!! Here goes…

Maxine: So Bobby, according to what we hear from your daughter, you drive her nuts. But I’ll ask the opposite question: Does your daughter Cassie drive you nuts? After all, it’s a little unusual that a 40-something woman is living with her seventy-year-old father.

Bobby: Thank you for asking! Yes! Cassie does indeed drive me nuts. For instance, the girl insists she’s not a morning person and complains each and every morning when I wake her up before 5 a.m. But Cassie knows that deep down inside we Baxters are all morning people.

Maxine: Did you just say, before 5 a.m.? Did you just say, each and every morning?

Bobby: I did! It’s the best time of day! Once Cassie stops complaining, she proves to me, each and every day, that she IS a morning person. I sit down on the rocking chair at the foot of her bed, and we discuss the latest plot twist of my latest Chance Dooley story. Cassie is so good at getting Chance out of all the pickles he gets into. I only wish she were better at getting herself out of her own pickles. You have heard about the latest murder?

Maxine: Whoa! Back up! Let’s start with Chance Dooley. Explain to our readers, please.

Bobby: I’m a retired English teacher, and when I retired and moved up here to Vermont, I took up writing science fiction stories. Chance Dooley is the hero and star of these stories. He owns and operates Dooley’s Delivery Service: The Delivery Service That Delivers Where No Delivery Service Has Ever Delivered Before! Chance is a whiz-bang pilot, and he flies his Spaceship Destiny here, there, and everywhere throughout the Hollow Galaxy. But the Destiny, though it be state of the art technology for the 51st Century, is a tad temperamental—she has a bad habit of breaking down at the most inopportune times and in the most remote corners of the galaxy. That’s why Chance finds himself in so many pickles, you see.

Maxine: Umm, and you say Cassie helps you plot these stories?

Bobby: She’s a great help! And now so is little Truman. The child is so imaginative. He fits right in with us Baxters.

Maxine: Perhaps you should tell us about this latest addition to your household.

Bobby: Truman? Another fine example of how Cassie drives me nuts! Just the other day, she comes home with a five year child, right out of the blue, and tells me she’s agreed to take care of him, because he’s in need of a temporary guardian. Out of the blue! The child is absolutely no relation to us, and Cassie is not even a kid-person! Why do these things always happen to her? She manages to get into more pickles than Chance Dooley. Pickle, after pickle, after pickl—

Maxine: Speaking of pickles, I hear Cassie is involved in yet another murder investigation?

Bobby: I told you the girl drives me nuts. But, alas, I’m quite proud of her also. She has a good heart—the way she’s helping Truman being a good example of that, and she does seem to have a knack at solving murders.

Maxine: Which brings us to Cassie’s love life, doesn’t it? Is she or isn’t she involved with that handsome state trooper I see over at your house all the times of the day and night?

Bobby: You mean Captain Jason Sterling. Cassie swears there’s nothing going on there, other than this most recent murder investigation. Personally, I don’t know what to think, because the girl is head over heels about Joe Wylie. And he feels the same way about her.

Maxine: For those who don’t know, Joe Wylie is another neighbor. Cassie and Joe have been quite an ‘item’ in our little town, haven’t they, Bobby?

Bobby: Indeed. But Cassie insists I stay out of her love life. I try to give advice, but Cassie says that drives her nuts.

Maxine: Oh my! Things do seem to be even more exciting than usual over at your house—what with romantic entanglements, unsolved murders, and a five year old child! Perhaps we should direct folks to Unexpected to learn the whole story?

Bobby: Excellent idea, Maxine. We’re having a very busy autumn hereabouts, so come on up to Lake Elizabeth, Vermont, where the water is growing colder, the leaves are turning orange, and my daughter, Cassie Baxter, is going nuts.


Learn more about Cassie, Bobby, Truman, Maxine, and the whole lovable gang at Lake Elizabeth, Vermont in UNEXPECTED, the second Cassie Baxter Mystery. New release! Here’s the scoop:

Small sleuth, tiny town, unfailing fun.

Welcome to Lake Elizabeth, Vermont, where the water’s growing colder, the leaves are turning orange, and Cassie Baxter is going nuts. Who wouldn’t go nuts with this latest unexpected development? Meet five-year-old Truman Tripp. Cassie, who is most definitely not a kid person, can’t understand why his mother left the child with her. But some even more perplexing problems soon present themselves, and Cassie’s already Looney Tunes life gets even loonier. Expect the unexpected when Lake Elizabeth’s most unlikely duo, Cassie and Truman, team up to catch a killer.

The Cassie Baxter Mysteries: They’re not Cue Balls, but they are screw balls.

Meet the Author

Cindy Blackburn writes cozy mysteries because she thinks grim reality is way overrated. When she’s not thinking up unlikely plot twists and ironing out the quirks and kinks of her lovable characters, Cindy is feeding her fat cat Betty or taking long walks with her cute hubby John. A native Vermonter who hates snow, Cindy divides her time between the south and the north. 
Most of the year you’ll find her in South Carolina. But come summer she’ll be on the porch of her lakeside shack in Vermont. Yep, it’s a place very similar to Lake Elizabeth. Cindy’s favorite TV show is The Big Bang Theory, her favorite movie is Moonstruck, and her favorite color is purple. Cindy dislikes vacuuming, traffic, and lima beans. 


** Cindy is giving away a digital copy of UNEXPECTED. Contest ends February 11, 2017. Leave a comment to be entered in the random drawing. The e-book will be sent directly by the author. **

Learn more about Cindy Blackburn and her books at Cindy can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Blog Tour/Review: A PALETTE FOR MURDER (An Aurora Anderson Mystery) by Sybil Johnson

Cozy Mystery

3rd in Series
Henery Press (January 31, 2017)
Paperback: 268 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635111415
E-Book ASIN: B01M74ZIL3


A killer heat wave settles over Seagull Lane…

Summer’s sizzling in Vista Beach, the home of computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson. The abnormally high temperatures are hard on everyone in the quiet Los Angeles county beach community, especially the city’s homeless population. Residents are doing everything they can to stay cool, including leaving windows open to catch the faintest breeze. Not the best idea when a string of burglaries is plaguing nearby towns.

Still, Rory doesn’t expect to find her neighbor’s body just a few doors down. When suspicion falls on a friend and fellow painter, Rory must discover the truth before the police paint the wrong picture and send her friend away permanently.


When there is a murder and some think her good friend might be the killer based on an argument, Rory starts investigating despite the nice Detective's frequent requests that she stop. Then her friend Kit is found under the dock unconscious, a victim as well. Kit is homeless and has muttered something about the night of the murder and the victim, but it's not looking good for him. Rory arranges for the care of his dog, Buddy, and tries to find any relatives or the girl named Zoe. 
In her quest for the killer and Kit's history (not to mention who hit him in the head), she stumbles on a lot of clues. 

This is an enjoyable read with interesting characters and plot turns. There are the usual suspects, but Johnson keeps you guessing until the end. The good and bad energy is well-balanced and the pace is steady.  Readers of cozy mysteries will enjoy this one. This is the third in the Aurora Anderson Mystery series, but can be read as a stand alone without any problem.  

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


Sybil Johnson’s love affair with reading began in kindergarten with “The Three Little Pigs.” Visits to the library introduced her to Encyclopedia Brown, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and a host of other characters. Fast forward to college where she continued reading while studying Computer Science. After a rewarding career in the computer industry, Sybil decided to try her hand at writing mysteries. Her short fiction has appeared in Mysterical-E and Spinetingler Magazine, among others. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in Southern California where she enjoys tole painting, studying ancient languages and spending time with friends and family.
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