Sunday, July 14, 2019

Book Review: NEGATIVE EXPOSURE : Killer Shots Mysteries #1 by Lisa Thomas

Synopsis

Wendy Fairmont needs a reset button for her life.


When she's accused of murder and loses everything, Wendy moves back to her hometown to start over. But when she suspects the stain on her neighbor's floor is blood and not spaghetti sauce, she’s sucked into an investigation that has the neighbors turning up their noses.

Not only that, but her high school enemy is now married to the small town’s sheriff, and she’s determined to make Wendy’s life miserable. All this, as well as a stray cat who seems to read her mind, makes Wendy’s fresh start more like a dead end!

Negative Exposure is the first book in the Killer Shots Mysteries. If you enjoy a whodunit with plenty of twists and turns, you'll love this clean series with its snarky humor, quirky characters, and intriguing plot.


Review

Wendy has lots of baggage as she moves into her grandparents' home, not just in the moving van. And things are not going well, not for her or for Harold Attwood, recently deceased. Somehow the neighbors aren't quite as harmless as she remembers, and Jake is much hotter, but a bit secretive. Then, there's Cricket the cat, and her arch enemy from High School.

This was a fun read. I found myself smiling at some of the situations Wendy got herself in and at the other characters. The pace is steady with enough twists and a bit of personal angst for Wendy to keep it interesting. Adding to it all, it's not always clear who the good guys are. A good start to a cozy mystery series by Thomas. 

Killer Shots Mysteries
Freeze Frame
Picture Imperfect

Monday, July 8, 2019

Blog Tour and Review: LEFT FUR DEAD : A Jules & Bun Mystery by J. M. Griffin


Synopsis

On Fur Bridge Farm, Jules cares for rescued rabbits. But when a killer strikes, she’ll need a rabbit to rescue her . . .

Juliette “Jules” Bridge prides herself on the tender rehabilitation she provides for injured or abused rabbits on her New Hampshire rescue farm, but she has a very special relationship with one bunny in particular. Bun is a black-and-white rabbit who happens to have the ability to communicate through mental telepathy. Once she got over the shock, Jules found her furry friend had a lot to say.


One frigid March morning on their walk together, Bun spots a body. The police identify the frozen stiff as Arthur Freeman, aka Arty the Mime. Jules and Arty knew each other on the children’s party circuit, where he’d perform magic tricks and she had an educational rabbit petting pen. With Bun egging her on, Jules decides it’s time they hop to it and put their heads together to discover who silenced the mime. But their investigation leads them down a rabbit hole of more suspects and lies, while a killer sets a trap for them . . .


Review

Jules and Bun are interesting characters, and yes, Bun is a rabbit with a telepathic connection to Jules, and occasionally a few others. The whole rabbit rescue is a feel good bonus to this book. Only unfortunately, Jules stumbles on Arty's body and is worried she will be arrested. As the reader soon discovers, Jules is only a sleuth with Bun's prodding. 

Jules is not a very socially aware individual. Her whole life is centered on the rabbit rescue and ensuring the rabbits are well cared for with the help of her friend, Jess. Jess is finishing Vet school and will open a clinic on the grounds. To help with expanded service, Jules hires a new helper. Only someone doesn't want the rabbit rescue to be successful and that places the bunnies at risk. Jules is so isolated she doesn't readily pick up the clues without help from Bun. She is surprised and devastated when she does figure it out.

This was a fun read, and as someone who supports various animal rescue groups, I enjoyed the discussion of the educational and rescue aspects. The story is paced evenly with consistent action intermixed with setting the scene, not only for this, but future books in the series. 

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 the Author

J. M. Griffin is the bestselling cozy mystery author of sixteen novels, including the Vinnie Esposito series. She lives in rural Rhode Island with her husband and two very mysterious cats. Visit her at jm-griffin.com.

Author Links

WebsiteFacebookBlog


Purchase Links 


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TOUR PARTICIPANTS


July 8 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 8 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 8 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

July 8 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 9 – Mochas, Mysteries, and Meows – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 9 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

July 9 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

July 9 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

July 10 – I’m All About Books – GUEST POST

July 10 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

July 10 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

July 10 – That’s What She’s Reading – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

July 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 11 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 11 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 12 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

July 12 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT

July 12 – The Cozy Pages – REVIEW

July 13 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW

July 13 – Here’s How It Happened – CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 13 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

July 13 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 14 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

July 14 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, EXCERPT

July 14 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

July 15 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW

July 15 – Books Direct – GUEST POST

July 15 – Author Teresa Watson – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 16 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

July 16 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

July 17 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

July 17 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

July 17 – Eskimo Princess Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT



Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Book Review: BREAKING FREE: SEAL Team Heartbreakers #1 by Teresa Reasor


Today's review is a military romantic suspense for a change of pace...

Synopsis

When LIEUTENANT ADAM “HAWK” YAZZIE rescues ENSIGN BRETT “CUTTER” WEAVER during a mission in Iraq, his faith in his team’s loyalty is shaken. Someone in the team attacked Cutter and left him for dead. But who?

ZOE WEAVER races to her brother Brett’s bedside. He stood by her while she fought her way back from a devastating injury, and she’s determined to do the same for him. Though drawn to Hawk’s good looks and steady strength, she’s reluctant to get involved with a man in uniform. But with Brett lying in a coma, Hawk may prove the key to what happened to her brother.

Hawk is torn between loyalty to his men and his need to see justice done. When he tries to save a troubled teammate’s career, he unwittingly puts Zoe’s life in danger. Can he lead the rest of the team in a rescue operation to save her? Or will one of Hawk's brothers in arms destroy the woman he loves?


Review

Zoe is a physical therapist, in part due to an accident she had when she was 7 and leaves Kentucky when her brother, Brett, a Navy Seal is hospitalized in a coma in California. She's a military brat, and already lost her father to the military, and now her brother. And of course, no one will tell her what happened on the Seal mission.  Hawk, the LT of the Seal unit feels responsible for Brett's injury, especially since he can't figure out how Cutter (Brett) got injured. It's ruled an accident on paper, but there is a lot of doubt. And that means someone on the team hit Brett in the head and left him for dead. Everyone is suspect and Hawk discovers he doesn't know his team as well as he thought.

The tension is always present with additional twists and turns, heightened by the growing attraction between Zoe and Hawk. The pace is quick and charged emotions keep it that way. There is adult content, in my opinion handled well. This is the first in a series, and I've already added the 2nd one to my TBR list. 

Friday, June 28, 2019

Book Review: GRANNY BRICKS A BANDIT A Fuchsia Minnesota Mystery #6 by Julie Seedorf

Synopsis

Granny and her cohorts are at it again! When Granny and her neighbor Mavis, go water-skiing and discover a dead body, Granny’s sleuthing instincts take over! She is determined to identify the corpse and find the killer. But wait! No sooner are Granny and her cohorts on the murderer’s trail, then Mavis’ husband George suddenly disappears! Could he be the killer’s next victim? Or could he be the killer? When the gals take a side trip to the Mall of America, they find a man fell to his death on a climbing wall––and Mavis is certain she spots George nearby! What does it all mean? Will Granny get to the bottom of it, with the help of her entourage of buddies and pets?


Review

Visiting Fuchsia Minnesota is always a fun trip, and this 'visit' doesn't disappoint. No surprise Granny and Mavis find the body. The twist here is that Mavis’ gentleman friend, George, may be the killer though no one seems to be able to identify a clear motive and he's disappeared. 

There's laughs and mysteries from the shenanigans at the Mall of American with Granny’s sister Amelia, to the town’s push for Granny to run for Mayor – against her very straight-laced brother who wants all the nonsense to stop. And, of course, that includes Granny and her friends sleuthing. And then there’s Angel, Granny’s little granddaughter, 6 years old, who helps to solve cues and find bricks with messages on them. 

As usual, the pace is good, the writing is good. Angel is a great addition. I tried to visualize Granny on water skis and that made me laugh. Then again, the contrast between Granny and her brother, and Amelia is pretty extreme and the antics, as always, bring a smile. A fun read.


AMAZON

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Blog Tour and Review: LOVE LIES AND AZURE EYES

 
Synopsis

Elated by Annie’s response, Johnny caved to his impulse and pressed his mouth to her sweet lips, sparking a surge of electricity that ricocheted through his entire body, and for one glorious moment swept him up in a wave of emotion that meteorically whisked him to the edge of the universe, past swirling spirals of brightly burning stars — white dwarfs, red giants, entire galaxies. Caught in the rapture, he shed his cocoon of darkness and experienced the light — the wonderful, warm, life-affirming light. He reveled in it, felt alive. He almost believed he was. Almost.

* * *

West Coast journalist Annie Sinclair’s career, not to mention her love life, has been on the skids far too long, when she returns to Logan Point, her small, Indiana hometown. She’s back to make amends with her elderly father, and to delve into the 25-year-old, unsolved murder of her high school classmate for a writing gig with a national tabloid.

Annie’s plans soon go awry, and her mettle is tested — first when her father warns her against digging into the past; and again, when she meets the Logan Point Ledger’s handsome, but exasperating, new editor; and again still, when she reconnects with her first love, who clearly wants to rekindle what once was.

But Annie’s most arduous test appears in the form of the earthbound spirit of a boy she once knew — the boy with the azure eyes accused of the murder she is looking into. He needs her to prove his innocence, so he can break the ties that bind him to the darkness. In exchange, he will set Annie free to realize that the love she yearns for is just within her reach … if only she will open her heart.

Review

I'm not a big fan of paranormal, but you can't help but to hope for Johnny - the boy who loved Annie, was belittled by the town hero, killed in an accident and blamed for that, and then finally blamed for the death of a classmate. What starts out for Annie as nothing more than a way for her to regain some recognition as a journalist, quickly becomes more personal. Annie's not too keen on Johnny's visits, sends him away, and soon realizes he is the only one she can trust. 

The story is well-written, and other than Johnny as the innocent, it's not easy to eliminate suspects.  There are old wounds re-opened, old loves re-visited, and the surprise ending isn't just about the murder. Fast paced, with lots of personalities, if you like cozy mystery and small town drama, you'll enjoy this - even if paranormal isn't on the top of your list.

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 the Author



Janis Thornton is the author of a true crime/oral history/memoir, Too Good a Girl, as well as two cozy mysteries, Dust Bunnies & Dead Bodies and Dead Air & Double Dares. She also is the author of two local history books and contributor to Undeniably Indiana. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Authors Guild, and the Indianapolis Writers Center. She lives in her Indiana hometown in the same house where she grew up.


Author Links

Website: www.janis-thornton.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janisthorntonauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JanisThornton
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6482161.Janis_Thornton

Purchase Link
Amazon


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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Book Review: BAGELS AND BLACKMAIL Maple Lane Mysteries #2 by C.A. Phipps

Synopsis

Maddie’s cat is missing!
Why would someone steal Big Red?
More than a pet…
… so much more, it turns out that he’s not the only one taken. It’s a catastrophe for the owners who, like Maddie, considers them family members.
Where are they being hidden?


While the Sheriff, who happens to be her ex-boyfriend, is doing what he can to solve the mystery, Maddie can’t sit by and watch.
Going against her darling Gran’s wishes, she once again decides to do her own detective work—with a little help from her friends.

Review

Settled back in to her hometown and her best girl friends, otherwise referred to as the Girlz, Maddie doesn’t miss New York. So what if people think she’s a little weird because has a fairly large Maine Coon cat, Red. Only now Red is missing, he has been the only comfort she had during some rough times. And other pets are missing and then the mayor is killed. In the meantime, the evil wheeler dealer Findlay is back and Maddie is sure he is up to no good. Police chief Ethan warns Maddie to stay out of the investigations – and we all know that doesn’t happen.

The mystery moves along at a good pace and I liked the plot, characters and writing. If you have pets – even if you aren’t a cat person – you can easily relate to Maddie’s anxiety when Red is missing. And his role in the story’s end. The romance between Maddie and Ethan? It has to move forward or fade away – guess I’ll have to read the next one to find out. This is the second in the series, and there are a few references, mostly related to Findlay, but they don’t interfere with this story. This can easily be read as a stand alone. If you like a good cozy mystery, you'll enjoy this one.


Maple Lane Mysteries
Book 1: Apple Pie and Arsenic
Book 2: Bagels and Blackmail
Book 3: Cookies and Chaos
Book 4: Doughnuts and Disaster

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Blog Tour and Review: THE CORPSE WORE STILLETTOS by MJ O'Neill


Synopsis
SHE WORE A DONNA KARAN MARKED FOR REPOSSESSION

Since Kat Waters’s father took a trip to the slammer on what she’s sure are trumped-up racketeering charges, life’s been tough. All their assets are frozen, and she’s down to the last few pairs of Jimmy Choos she can swap for rent. To keep her family out of the homeless shelter, the former socialite took a job at the local morgue—a job she’s about to lose when the body of a murder victim goes missing on her watch.

HE WORE A CAPTIVATING SMILE

While Kat’s processing the latest victim in the prostitute serial killings, ex-Special Forces soldier Burns McPhee strolls in with an air of confidence, expecting access to the Jane Doe. While Burns tries to flirt his way into examining the latest victim, whom he thinks is connected to the death of his best friend, someone else steals the body right out from under them.

THE CORPSE WORE STILETTOS

Dodging questions from the cops and kidnapping attempts from a body-snatching psycho, Kat and Burns forge a deal. He’ll clear her name and keep her safe if she gets him information on her peculiar coworkers, one of whom he’s certain is involved with the body heist. But digging up secrets can lead to a lower life expectancy. The unlikely team will need all their talents not to end up as the morgue’s next clients while they hunt for a murderer, the missing corpse, and a pair of diamond-studded stilettos.


Review

Kat is doing her best to deal - or not deal - with her father's imprisonment and the betrayal of her wealthy friends when she, her grandmother, and mother have to move to a not-so-great neighborhood. She needs to get a job to keep the basic bills paid. She's definitely a "shoe fashionista" and she is slowly selling off shoes to some local "women" who specialize in male entertainment. The only job she can get is in the morgue, and she even turns that into a plus, getting past the blood and guts to treating them with respect. That is until McPhee and Flint show up and the Russian steals the corpse, and of course it is all Kat's fault. Her friend DC, the reporter, and Neutron round out the characters - well, except for the Russians and the detective.

This is well-written, and the characters you're supposed to like are multi-dimensional and likable. Although Kat at times seems younger than her age, that is balanced by her wits and problem-solving. If nothing else, her habit of quoting trivial facts when stressed confuses the bad guys. Things get complicated when it appears that somehow the 'misunderstanding' that landed her father in jail is connected to the death of a journalist and the missing corpse. Lots of suspects and tension keep the reader's attention. Personally, I can't wait for the sequel.
  
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 the Author

As the owner of a boutique chocolate factory in Atlanta, MJ O’Neill loves to write lighthearted, romantic mysteries with a sweet twist. She has a degree in business communications from North Carolina State University. When she’s not spinning a sweet yarn or creating delicious confections, she spends time with her husband, their kids, a hyperactive cocker spaniel named Devo (after the band), a princess tabby cat named Twilight (before the book stole her name) and a collection of stray fish. The whole gang can be found tooling around the back roads of the South in their RV where MJ uses the downtime to hatch her next sweet plot.

Author Links

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

Twitter – https://twitter.com/melindajONeill

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

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/mj.oneill.52

Purchase Link – Amazon


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