Sunday, February 23, 2014


It has been a busy week, with 3 reviews posted in the past week and more to come in the next weeks.  In the meantime, Murder in the Cold Creek Arboretum is coming together slowly but surely.  If you haven't had a chance to get a copy of Murder at Cold Creek College, here's another giveaway opportunity!

One week left!  3 copies of Murder at Cold Creek College will be given away on a Goodreads Giveaway!!!  Better hurry!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Murder at Cold Creek College by Christa Nardi

Murder at Cold Creek College

by Christa Nardi

Giveaway ends February 28, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Friday, February 21, 2014



Cupcake-loving croupier Tiffany Black is determined to leave her job at the casino for good. She's one small step away from acquiring her Private Investigator license, and has her eye on the prize.

Accepting her first real case - investigating the murder of casino-mogul Ethan Becker - should be exciting. Instead, things spiral out of control and Tiffany finds herself in over her head, as she confronts secretive suspects, corrupt casino henchmen and her mysterious, ex-Special Forces bodyguard.

Tiffany's poker-hustling Nanna and pushy parents want her to find a nice man and settle down, but Tiffany just wants to track down the real murderer before he finds her first...

The first in a new series, Innocent in Las Vegas features a casino dealer who is the only PI - well, almost PI - willing to take on Ethan Becker's wife as a client after she is charged for his murder. Most everyone else believes Sophia is guilty and her hiring of a PI is just a ploy to help her at trial.  Tiffany starts to ask questions and follow leads and needs the protection of a security firm - enter Stone.  She finds that another murder occurred about the same time and believes the two are connected.  Now she has to find the connection if there is one.  The characters are well developed - Nanna is a hoot, offering to take Tiffany shopping at Victoria's Secret to help her relationship with Stone; Stone of course is a bit mysterious; the love-interest cop is introduced late in this story but likely to show up again; her friend Emily has a bit of mystery about her; and of course the thugs and glam of Las Vegas.  I will be adding the second in the series Secrets in Las Vegas to my TBR pile when it is released.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

New Release: MURDER A LA CHRISTIE (Marilyn Levinson)

Professor Lexie Driscoll is conducting the first meeting of the Golden Age of Mystery book club in her best friend’s swanky mansion when another friend is murdered. More members are knocked off as Lexie unravels secret after secret, leading her to believe she's living in Christie's novel, And Then There Were None. Using Miss Marple’s knowledge of human nature and Hercule Poirot’s cunning, Lexie reveals the murderer.

Agatha Christie fan?  Murder a la Christie is set in a small town, with Lexie Driscoll, college professor, visiting old friends and house sitting for the summer as she deals with financial issues.  Because she and others in  Old Cadfield are fans of the tried and true mystery, she is asked to lead a book club and starts with some of the classics of Agatha Christie.  Although not a resident of Old Cadfield  she has met the members of the book club before through her friend Rosie.  She is startled to hear Gerda threaten Sylvia before the first meeting about a book Sylvia has written.  Sylvia dies before the first club meeting is over, and all but Lexie attribute it to Sylvia’s poor health.  Lexie may have been reading too many Agatha Christie murders or not.  She contacts the detective in charge and advises him of her concerns despite the admonitions of her friends.  So now she is not just an outsider, but basically accusing various members of the small community of murder, one at a time, in true Christie fashion.  So who kills first Sylvia, then Gerda and then Anne?  Is the other newcomer to Old Cadfield really interested in Lexie or does Allistair have ulterior motives to romancing her?  Levinson spins a mystery with multiple twists and turns, complex and multi-dimensional characters, and potential romance.  Whether you are an avid Christie fan or not, this is an enjoyable read that keeps you guessing to the end.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Blog Tour: SINISTER SITCOM CAPER (Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol Mystery Series) by Sally Carpenter.

About Sally Carpenter:

Sally Carpenter is native Hoosier now living in Moorpark, CA. She has a master’s degree in theater from Indiana State University. While in school her plays “Star Collector” and “Common Ground” were finalists in the American College Theater Festival One-Act Playwrighting Competition. “Common Ground” also earned a college creative writing award and “Star Collector” was produced in New York City. 

Carpenter also has a master’s degree in theology and a black belt in tae kwon do. She’s worked as an actress, freelance writer, college writing instructor, theater critic, jail chaplain, and tour guide/page for a major movie studio. She’s now employed at a community newspaper.

Her initial book in the Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol series, “The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper,” was a 2012 Eureka! Award finalist for best first mystery novel.  

Her short story, “Dark Nights at the Deluxe Drive-in,” appears in the anthology “Last Exit to Murder.”

“Faster Than a Speeding Bullet” was published in the “Plan B: Vol. 2” e-book anthology.  Her short story “The Pie-eyed Spy” appeared in the Nov. 23, 2013, issue of Kings River Life ezine. 

Keep in touch with Sally Carpenter through these links:






Sandy Fairfax, former teen idol and star of the ‘70s hit TV show “Buddy Brave, Boy Sleuth,” is now a middle-aged recovering alcoholic who realizes that making a comeback can be murder. He’s the guest star on “Off-Kelter,” a corny family situation comedy, and the lowest rated TV show of the 1993 fall season. Before rehearsals barely begin one of the actors drops dead at Sandy’s feet. He investigates, enlisting the aid of two of his new cast mates: a dwarf and an animal actor. During his snooping, we meet Sandy’s ex, his parents and his teenage son, all with their own “situations” going on. During rehearsals Sandy also encounters a beautiful choreographer—could this be love? Will Sandy solve the murder before the Friday night taping of “Off-Kelter” or will the elusive killer cancel our hero before the final credits? This book was inspired by the author’s experience working as a tour guide/page at Paramount Pictures in Hollywood.

This is the second in the Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol Mystery Series.  Sandy Fairfax is a "has been" trying to make a come back.  He finds himself in cast as a guest star in a sitcom and involved in a murder.  Now, he's been cast as a detective before, so why not get involved in solving the murder.  The other characters are all unique and the quick humor that characterizes a sitcom flows through the story. This is a good combination of humor and mystery, a fun read. 

Checkout the other Blog Stops for interviews, excerpts, and giveaways!

February 17 – Chloe Gets a Clue – Interview
February 17 – Christa Reads and Writes – Review
February 18 –StoreyBook Reviews – Review
February 19 – Kelly P’s Blog – Interview
February 20 –Queen of All She Reads – Review – Guest Post – Giveaway
February 21 –rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review – Guest Post
February 22 –off
February 23 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
February 24 – Books-n-Kisses – Review
February 25 – Omnimystery News – Interview
February 26 – readalot blog – Review
February 27 – Community Bookstop – Review – Giveaway
February 28 – Read Your Writes – Spotlight
March 1 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
March 2 –off
March 3 –Brooke Blogs – Review

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Samantha Sweet breaks into houses for a living--all perfectly legal as a caretaker for the USDA. But her real dream is to open her own pastry shop, Sweet's Sweets.

Life is a little crazy for Sam right now. At one of her break-in properties a dying woman insists that she take a small wooden box. Sam doesn't realize that the old woman was known locally as a bruja, a witch, until she begins to feel some strange effects from the box, herself.

Meanwhile, at another property, she finds an unmarked grave and the authorities come to investigate. The property owner disappeared a few months earlier and Sam wonders--who is the body in the grave? A small mural in the house leads to a connection with a famous artist; a bogus will points to possible fraud; and the handsome deputy investigating the case seems completely enchanted with Sam.

While Sam scrambles to fill bakery orders and keep her properties in order, she's equally intrigued with the idea of a new romance. It all makes for a delightful romantic mystery with elements of the paranormal.

Sam is a hardworking, motivated woman trying to get ahead, and life keeps throwing her curve balls.  The tale spun by Shelton has a bit of everything. A dead body buried in a back yard.  New art work by a famous artist gone missing many years ago. The prodigal daughter who returns home. Some kind of spell from a wooden box that gives Sam more energy to get all she needs done. And the handsome detective.  Sweet Masterpiece grabbed my attention and I had trouble putting it down.  I just hope that some of the loose ends get tied up in the second in the series, SWEET'S SWEETS!  (now on my TBR list!) It looks like there are 6 in the Samantha Sweet series so far. 

This is a second series by Connie Shelton.  Her first series (10 in all) featured Charlie Parker. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Blog Tour: SPIDER CATCHERS by Marilyn Larew - Giveaway!


Sex, money, and terrorism

What do the violent takeover of Fez brothels and a new stream of terrorist funding have to do with the disappearance of Alicia Harmon from the Fez office of Femme Aid Maroc? When CIA analyst Lee Carruthers tries to find out, she is swept into a tangled web of dirty money and human trafficking, and people will kill to find out what Alicia knew. If only Lee knew. She’s working blind, and in this case, ignorance is death. Her search takes her through the slums of the Fez medina to the high-rises of the new city and finally to a terrorist camp in the Algerian desert.

Definitely not a cozy mystery, Spider Catchers takes the reader to a third world country with different cultural morals. As a woman, working to protect other women from abuse and rape, Lee set up Femme Aid Maroc many years before.  At a point in her career when she seriously thinks of leaving the CIA for a normal life, she is sent back to Femme Aid Maroc when the woman who was working there disappears.  Alicia had been asking a lot of questions and as Lee tries to find out what happened to her she is not only dealing with potential human trafficking and two women left to die.  It looks like money is being invested in terrorist activity by some high level individuals.  Marilyn Larew weaves a complex tale, but keeps the pace quick with a strong female protagonist in Lee.

About Marilyn Larew
Marilynn Larew was born in Omaha, NE, and after a living in a number of places, including the Philippines and Japan, she finally settled in southern Pennsylvania, where she and her husband live in an 150 year old farmhouse. She has taught courses about the Vietnamese War and terrorism at the University of Maryland and travelled extensively in Europe and Asia. She likes to write about places she has been or places she would like to go. She has published non-fiction about local history, Vietnamese history, and terrorism. This is her first novel.

You can find out more about Marilyn at:
Twitter: @marilynn_larew

GiveAway!!!  One paperback copy of Spider Catchers will be given away - winner will be randomly selected from the comments - be sure to check back on 2/10 to see if you are a winner!!!  Sorry, limited to US mailing addresses.  Also check out the rest of the stops on the tour, many with guest posts and interviews, as well as other opportunities for the Giveaway:

Tour Participants
February 1 – Reviews By Karen
February 2 – Thoughts in Progress
February 3 – Kelly P's Blog
February 4 –The Book Junkie
February 5 –Community Bookstop
February 6 – Christa Reads and Writes
February 7 –Queen of All She Reads
February 8 –dru's book musing
February 9 – A Blue Million Books
February 11 – readalot
February 12 - Dalene's Book Reviews
February 14 - Omnimystery News

Saturday, February 1, 2014

GiveAway Results

Woohoo!! Winners!!!

Martin, Misty, Ella Grounds, Jess, and Barbara!!!   Please be sure to let me know your email address (or mailing address if you want a paper copy)!  In comments here or email me at

I hope you enjoy the book!