Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Book Review: CHRISTMAS BIZARRE: Mina Kitchen Cozy Comedy Series #2 by Lizz Lund


Synopsis (sort of) from Amazon

READERS' FAVORITE 5-STAR REVIEW !

What do Santa’s Sidekick, a dead lawyer and a geriatric vampire have in common? Meet Mina Kitchen--a forty-something single who finds trouble quicker than she can whip up a batch of breakfast breads. Plural. Her catering disorder runs neck-and-neck with her weird luck, and her cat’s weirder tendency toward gnawing elf gear. Okay, and getting kidnapped a couple of times in one week is a little strange, too.

Her next door neighbor Vito's past as ex-leader of the Moils, the Jewish-Polish Family from Bumville, New Jersey, comes to light and throws a dollop of dilemmas into an already simmering plot.

Top it all off with a counterfeiting ring, a county-wide dearth of holiday wrapping tape, and a mass of pets running loose at the local mall, and what do you have? A recipe for disaster that Mina whips to a froth.

If you're looking for funny novels for women, packed with humor, cozy animals (in the guise of pets) -- and recipes -- look no further. The second book in the hilarious Mina Kitchen Comedies, Christmas Bizarre will keep you smiling when you’re not shouting up a belly laugh. It delivers a LOL tour of Lancaster, “Pee-Ay”, where you’ll discover a lively cast of characters, funny dialogue and lots of twists and turns.

Review


This was a cute fun read, with or without the Christmas theme and elf-shoe eating cat or the sudden panic when there is no tape for wrapping the presents (duct tape, anyone?).  Mina manages, once again, to find a body and all her cooking and baking takes a while to simmer and unravel all the moving parts. It doesn't have to be the holiday season to enjoy the silliness and unique characters Lizz Lund has created.


Friday, March 8, 2019

Blog tour and Review: FINAL EXAM : A Witch City Mystery by Carol J. Perry


Synopsis

A cold case update in Salem, Massachusetts . . .

Life at the house on Winter Street is abuzz with preparations for Aunt Ibby’s 45th high school reunion, and Lee Barrett is happy to pitch in, tracking down addresses and licking envelopes. But as a field reporter for Salem’s WICH-TV, her priority is to be on top of the town’s latest news before anyone else.

When the local police dredge up a vintage sports car containing human remains, Lee is thrilled to be the first reporter on the scene. Once she learns the car is connected to the cold case her boyfriend Pete happens to be working on, her powers of investigation are quickly alerted. But it’s her Aunt Ibby’s emotional reaction to Lee’s TV report that puts her on the case. With the help of O’Ryan, her psychic feline sidekick, she’ll have to unravel a tangled past of secrets and promises to stop a killer from making history again . . .


Review

Lee Barrett is a field reporter for the local television station, and along with her sidekick camera person, Francine, get the story of a lifetime. Only the story also involves Lee's Aunt Ibby and her 45th high school reunion. Lee and police boyfriend Pete work the cold case from different perspectives. Neither of them, nor Aunt Ibby, really understand her visions - actually her cat, O'Ryan, seems to the have the best handle on their importance, but they eventually lead Lee or Pete to look at things differently.

This was an interesting combination of cold case, love lost, and secrets leading to more potentially more killing. There are complications and twists and turns that keep the story moving. Perry also entwines emotions and reactions of the characters that gives them personality or leaves them flat and unknown like Penelope. The ending makes sense, but I didn't have the mastermind nailed. If you like a good cozy mystery with a hint of the paranormal, you'll enjoy this one.

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

Carol J. Perry knew as a child that she wanted to be a writer. A voracious reader, whose list for Santa consisted mostly of book titles, she never lost sight of that goal. While living in Florida, Carol was on assignment for Southern Travel Magazine, preparing an article on the world’s largest sand castle which was being built near her home. That combination of events inspired her first young adult novel, Sand Castle Summer. That book was soon followed by half a dozen more.

Carol has always been an avid reader of mysteries. Her debut mystery novel is set in Salem and involves O’Ryan, a most mysterious cat, several witches and some strange Halloween happenings. Appropriately enough, this Salem-born author celebrates her birthday on Halloween Eve! Carol and her husband Dan live in the Tampa Bay area of Florida with two cats and a Black Lab. Visit her at www.caroljperry.com.

Purchase Links

Amazon B&N Kobo Google Play 


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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
March 4 – The Montana Bookaholic – CHARACTER GUEST POST

March 4 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

March 4 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW

March 5 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, RECIPE

March 5 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 5 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 6 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

March 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

March 6 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

March 7 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

March 7 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT

March 7 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

March 8 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW, RECIPE

March 8 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

March 8 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

March 9 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

March 9 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 9 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

March 10 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

March 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 10 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW



Friday, March 1, 2019

Guest Post by Tina Kashian, Author of One Feta in the Grave


Today, it's my pleasure to have Tina Kashion as my guest. Not only do we get to find out about her book, but she shares a cookie recipe, too.

Thank you for featuring me as a guest today!

I love to cook all types of cuisine. I grew up in a family-owned restaurant in New Jersey, and my Kebab Kitchen Mystery Series is set in a Mediterranean restaurant at the Jersey shore.

In One Feta in the Grave, Lucy Berberian is a recovering lawyer who returns to Ocean Crest, NJ and her family’s restaurant, Kebab Kitchen. To celebrate a successful summer season, the town plans a beach festival. But things soon take a turn for the worse when an arrogant businessman gets in a screaming match with Lucy’s best friend, Katie, over a sand castle contest. And when the same businessman is found shot dead under the boardwalk, things don’t look good for Katie. It’s up to Lucy to investigate before the wrong person gets skewered.

One of the recipes featured in the book is for date stuffed cookies. I have two girls who won’t touch a date, but when I made this Armenian recipe, then actually thought it was chocolate and loved it. Now, I admit, I didn’t confess the cookies were stuffed with dates until after they had their second cookie. I used this funny experience when writing One Feta in the Grave. Lucy, my sleuth, makes this recipe and gives a cookie to her ten-year-old niece who bites into a cookie and believes it’s filled with chocolate. When she’s told it’s not chocolate, but dates, her eyes widen and her mouth forms an O. It made for a great scene.

I’m happy to share my family’s recipe.


Tina Kashian’s Date Stuffed Cookies 

For the dough:

½ pound unsalted, softened butter
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons sugar
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup warm water

For the filling:

1 ½ to 2 pounds pitted and chopped dates
1 tablespoon unsalted, softened butter
1 cup hot water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the egg wash:

1 egg, slightly beaten
Powdered sugar to sprinkle on cookies after they are baked


        Use an electric mixer on medium speed to mix butter, oil and sugar. Add flour, baking powder, and water and mix on medium speed. The dough should be a soft, pliable consistency. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set it aside for thirty to forty-five minutes at room temperature.

        Now you are ready to prepare the date filling. Combine dates, butter, hot water, sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl and mix on medium speed until well combined.
Flour a work surface to prevent the dough from sticking. Roll out dough until about 1/8 inch thick. Use a two-inch round cookie cutter or a water glass to cut out a circle shape. Place one rounded teaspoonful of date filling in the center of each circle shape. Fold into a half-circle shape. Using a fork, gently press the edges together to seal.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray baking sheets with cooking spray. Place cookies on baking sheets. Brush each cookie with egg wash. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Cookies should be golden, not brown. 
Lift cookies with a spatula and place them on cooling racks. Sprinkle with powdered sugar Makes about two dozen cookies. 

Thank you again and enjoy the cookies!


ONE FETA IN THE GRAVE
SYNOPSIS

As summer comes to an end in her Jersey Shore town, Lucy Berberian continues to manage her family’s Mediterranean restaurant. The Kebab Kitchen also has a food tent at this year’s beach festival. But now a local businessman is under the boardwalk—dead by the sea . . .

With a sand castle contest and live music, Ocean Crest bids a bittersweet farewell to tourist season. Summer will return next year . . . but Archie Kincaid won’t. The full-of-himself store owner has been fatally shot, soon after a screaming match with Lucy’s best friend. Katie’s far from the only suspect, though, since Archie had some bitter rivals—as well as some relationships no one knew about. It’s up to Lucy to look into some seedy characters and solve the case before the wrong person gets skewered . . .

Recipes included!

“A delectable read.”

—Bestselling author Shelley Freydont

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2UxFd8q

iBooks: https://apple.co/2B9EAsI

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2Bbbuta

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2C8zA9M

Google Books: https://bit.ly/2RTDl8r


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tina Kashian is an attorney and a former mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. Tina spent her childhood summers at the Jersey shore building sandcastles, boogie boarding, and riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel. She also grew up in the restaurant business, as her Armenian parents owned a restaurant for thirty years. Tina still lives in New Jersey with her supportive husband and two daughters. Please visit her website at www.tinakashian.com to join her newsletter, receive delicious recipes, enter contests, and more!
You can also connect with Tina at:

Website: www.tinakashian.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TinaKashianAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TinaKashian1

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tinakashian/


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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Hallmark Movies & Mysteries: "Chronicle Mysteries: Vines That Bind"

Something a little different today...

Hallmark Movies & Mysteries: "Chronicle Mysteries: Vines That Bind"
Premiering this Sunday, March 3rd at 9pm/8c



Stars: Alison Sweeney and Benjamin Ayres 

The latest edition of Alex McPherson’s true crime podcast leads her and the Chronicle staff to nearby Macklin, where they investigate a death ruled as an accident by the local police. Before Alex can get to the bottom of what she feels was a murder, another member of the family is felled by a bullet. She and her colleagues soon amass a formidable roster of suspects, all of whom had the motive and opportunity to commit the crimes.  


Catch your interest? For more information...




Thursday, February 21, 2019

Book Review: FOREVER DEVOTED: Forever Bluegrass #8 by Kathleen Brooks

I needed a change of pace - so not a cozy mystery today, but romantic suspense...

Synopsis

Layne Davies needed a break—a break from the busy bodies in her small town of Keeneston, Kentucky and a break from dating men who turned into scared little boys upon meeting her father. That’s why she was so excited to have been invited to speak at a medical conference in Charleston, South Carolina. Never did she think her whole life would change the second she stepped on that stage.

Walker Greene can’t talk about his job. He can’t talk about what happened that one night off the coast of Nigeria when his team was ambushed. No one would believe him even if he could talk about it. But his training kept him alive until he was able to sneak back into his small hometown of Shadows Landing, South Carolina. But when people show up looking for Walker, he has no choice but to listen to his best friend, Dr. Gavin Faulkner, and turn to a total stranger for help.

Layne may be Gavin Faulkner’s estranged cousin, but that doesn’t mean she’ll drop everything to work with someone who Gavin refuses to tell her anything about . . . until she sees Walker Greene. All her protective instincts come alive upon seeing the wounded soldier and Layne knows there’s only one place to keep him safe—Keeneston. Walker becomes a hunted man, and Layne is determined to keep him safe as she finds herself drawn to him more and more each day.


Review

It's been a while since I indulged in a "bluegrass" romantic suspense by Kathleen Brooks, and this one did not disappoint. 

Layne is a physical therapist getting hit on at a medical conference and isn't interested.  She already knows that Luke will whimper and run if he ever were to meet her family back in Kenneston, KY.  She is no wilting or weak female - she can take on most men, intellectually and in hand-to-hand combat. Her passion is working to rehab injured vets. In Charleston, a cousin she doesn't know - Gavin Faulkner - is a physician and at the same conference. When Gavin's good friend, Walker shows up injured and on the run - betrayed by a comrade in arms - Gavin knows that Layne is Walker's best shot at optimal recovery. Walker's a SEAL in a special unit, and the only other survivor of his team besides the one who killed his brothers and shot him. He's a threat to Jed and Jed wants him dead. Next thing Gavin knows he's spirited away by Layne to Kenneston, KY and her very large, very military connected family and the Rose sisters. Amidst the romance, the reconnection of a grandmother with her brothers and all their collective kids, and the tension of being hunted, there are some laugh out loud moments. 

This is the 8th in the 3rd "bluegrass" series... the story is a stand alone mystery and the first I've read in this series. Brooks' writing is engaging and the plotline is easy to follow. Even though you know the good guys will win out, she pulls you into the story and you want to finish reading it (even if it is after midnight and you have to get up early). That said, I'd strongly suggest you start at the beginning with the Bluegrass Series (BLUEGRASS STATE OF MIND) and ease into the family and characters.  Then you can move on to the Bluegrass Brothers, and Forever Bluegrass. The newest one is Shadows Landing and is Gavin's story. I'm going to have to go back and read all the ones I missed in Kenneston first. I'm only sorry that there is no real place of Kenneston, KY - I want to visit and meet the Rose sisters!  Great book, great three-tiered series.  Definitely not a cozy and some scenes will either offend your senses or make you laugh.


Saturday, February 16, 2019

Book Review: END OF THE LANE :A Dear Abby Cozy Mystery Book 1 by Sonia Parin

Synopsis

Abby Maguire’s first day in a new town and new job could be her last. Instead of writing about the weekend bake sale, she has to give a statement to the police. It seems the small town of Eden is not the idyllic place she'd imagined it to be. There's a killer on the loose but the finger of suspicion is pointed at Abby.

Clean read: no graphic violence, sex, or strong language but lots of fun, quirky dialogue & characters.

Review

Abby Maguire needs a new life and a new job. She's all set to start a job on the small town newspaper in Eden.  On her way to the Eden, she rescues a pup and then sets off to meet her new boss, only he's dead. Abby is already set up with a room above the pub, but with Dermot Cavendish's demise it's not clear what will happen with the paper. Although a stranger and a suspect, the people in the pub and bookstore, support Abby and the pup she doesn't have. 

Eden isn't quite Eden, and the first hint might be the roads that intersect at Edgar Allen Poe. The crew at the pub make up a quirky bunch for sure, but also a friendly warm group. The story is well written, with a steady pace, and not an obvious ending. This is the first in the series. Be Still My Heart will be on my TBR list. Psst. At least as of this posting, End of the Lane is only $0.99.


Other books in the series:
Be Still My Heart
The Last Ride

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Blog Tour & Review: GRAND SLAM MURDERS A Bridge to Death Mystery by R. J. Lee


Synopsis

After four bridge players are poisoned, newspaper reporter Wendy Winchester sets out to catch a killer who’s not playing with a full deck . . .

When the four wealthy widows who make up the venerable Rosalie Bridge Club never get up from their card table, this quiet Mississippi town has its first quadruple homicide. Who put cyanide in their sugar bowl? An aspiring member and kibitzer with the exclusive club, Wendy takes a personal interest in finding justice for the ladies.


She also has a professional motivation. A frustrated society columnist for the Rosalie Citizen, she’s ready to deal herself a better hand as an investigative reporter. This could be her big break. Plus, she has a card or two up her sleeve: her sometimes boyfriend is a detective and her dad is the local chief of police.


Partnering up with the men in her life, Wendy starts shuffling through suspects and turning over secrets long held close to the chest by the ladies. But when a wild card tries to take her out of the game, Wendy decides it’s time to up the ante before she’s the next one to go down . . .


Review

Wendy is following her dream to be an investigative reporter, with the help of her maybe boyfriend Ross and her father. She herself was on her way to being admitted to the very selective Bridge Club and even observed some of the Gin Girls bridge games to learn the rules. And of course, now there is no chance for the Gin Girls to win the grand slam bridge title. 

Wendy's first task is to find out as much as she can about the four women by talking to their families and getting as much history and dirt as she can. The four women and their adult children are all very unique and although revered in some ways, not the most likable of women.

There are multiple layers to this mystery set in Mississippi with a young society-columnist striving to become much more. The relationships of the four women are complex and motives are not apparent. The more information Wendy uncovers, the closer she gets and the solution comes to her. An interesting read with a twist on high society women and their behaviors. The layers are unraveled in due time at a steady pace. 


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

R. J. Lee follows in the mystery-writing footsteps of his father, R. Keene Lee, who wrote fighter pilot and detective stories for Fiction House, publishers of WINGS Magazine and other ‘pulp fiction’ periodicals in the late ’40’s and ’50’s. Lee was born and grew up in the Mississippi River port of Natchez but also spent thirty years living in the Crescent City of New Orleans. A graduate of the University of the South (Sewanee) where he studied creative writing under Sewanee Review editor, Andrew Lytle, Lee now resides in Oxford, Mississippi.

Author Link – Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/bridgetodeathmysteries/

Purchase Links

AmazonB&NGoogle PlayIndieBoundKobo

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Friday, February 1, 2019

Blog Tour and Guest Post by D. E. Haggerty, Author of PICTURE NOT PERFECT: The Not So Reluctant Detectives Book 2

Today, it's my pleasure to have D. E. Haggerty as my guest to talk about writing PICTURE NOT PERFECT. Welcome to my blog.


How Writing Picture Not Perfect was Different 

Guest Post – Great Escapes Blog Tour 
Picture Not Perfect 

D.E. Haggerty 

We all have busy lives. Although I consider writing my full-time job, I sometimes let life take over and writing falls to the background. During the past year and a half, that’s happened a lot as I was heading a non-profit volunteer organization. When that obligation ended (besides jumping for joy!), I decided I wasn’t going to let other obligations get in the way of my writing. Nope! I was getting my writing done no matter what! 

That resolve was tested when our business in Germany ran into a huge hiccup. The managers left. (They also trashed the place, but that’s a different story – only to be told with a huge glass of wine in hand.) In addition to a week of renovations, we found ourselves driving to Germany every weekend. It’s a four-hour drive one way. Exhaustion once again became my middle name. But what about my writing? 

I’m pretty proud of the writing routine I’ve used over the years. I get up early (6 a.m.) and write for three hours. My goal is to finish at least one chapter a day. I average four chapters a week this way. As my books average around thirty chapters, I can usually finish an extremely rough draft in two months. But this routine wasn’t working when I was driving to Germany and dealing with the business there. It didn’t help that I was exhausted and emotionally drained. What to do? 

I’ve always considered myself more of a plotter than pantser. I keep a notebook for each of my novels and it’s full of chapter ideas and a general outline. But this general outline was doing me no good when I was constantly exhausted and being interrupted by the problems in Germany. And I didn’t have time to re-read what I’d already written before beginning to write again. Something needed to change. 

I decided my outlining techniques needed a re-work if I was going to keep my resolve to write even when life got busy. Instead of a general one-page outline for the entire book, I outlined ten chapters at a time. I also made an outline of the chapters already written with clues, romance, and red herrings highlighted in different colors. In this way, I could make sure I was sprinkling the various aspects throughout the novel. No longer did I waste valuable time re-reading chapters to get back into the story each time I managed to sit down to write. I also didn’t worry that I wouldn’t know what to write. I knew exactly what to write because my outline told me so! 

Using this improved outlining method, I was able to finish writing Picture Not Perfect in two and a half months despite spending a week in Germany as well as driving back and forth to Germany more than twenty times in those months. 

My goal for 2019 is to publish three books. How am I going to manage this? I’m going to plot and outline the heck out of every book I write. I’m already working on the outline for book 3 in the series now. Writing Picture Not Perfect was thus not only different than writing other novels, but I’ve also developed an entire new routine for writing.

Thanks for joining us today and sharing your writing experiences. Here's additional information on Picture Not Perfect.


Synopsis

A picture tells a story. But is it the truth?

When the police find pictures of Melanie hanging up at her murdered colleague’s house, they’re convinced he was stalking her. Maybe she even killed him. Melanie was not being stalked! And she certainly didn’t kill her supposed stalker – as if. But Mel – always up for a bit of drama – jumps at the chance to go search for the real killer. When Mel’s ex-boyfriend, Owen, discovers her plans, he pulls out all the stops to ensure she’s safe and to win her back. No matter what happens with the murder investigation, he’s not letting her go. With the police setting their sights on Mel, he may need to jeopardize his own career on the police force to protect her. 


Will Mel find the real killer before the detectives arrest her for murder?

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Thursday, January 24, 2019

Spotlight: BROKEN HEART ATTACK : A Braxton Campus Mystery by James J. Cudney

About the Book


When an extra ticket becomes available to see the dress rehearsal of King Lear, Kellan tags along with Nana D and her buddies.

When one of them dies of an apparent heart attack in the middle of second act, Nana D raises her suspicions and asks Kellan to investigate the death. With family members suddenly in debt and a secret rendezvous between an unlikely pair, Kellan learns that the Paddingtons might not be as clean-cut as everyone thinks.

But can Kellan find the killer, or will he get caught up his own stage fright?

About the Author


James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College with a degree in English literature. I spent fifteen years building a technology career in the retail, sports, media, and entertainment industries. I enjoyed my job, but a passion for books and stories had been missing for far too long. I’m a voracious reader in my favorite genres (thriller, suspense, contemporary, mystery, and historical fiction), as books transport me to a different world where I can immerse myself in so many fantastic cultures and places. I’m an avid genealogist who hopes to visit all the German, Scottish, Irish, and British villages my ancestors emigrated from in the 18th and 19th centuries. I frequently blog and publish book reviews on everything I read at ThisIsMyTruthNow via WordPress.

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind, and my body. I decided to pursue my passion by dusting off the creativity inside my head and drafting outlines for several novels. I quickly realized I was back in my element growing happier and more excited with life each day. My goal in writing is to connect with readers who want to be part of great stories and who enjoy interacting with authors. To get a strong picture of who I am, check out my author website or my blog. It’s full of humor and eccentricity, sharing connections with everyone I follow—all in the hope of building a network of friends across the world.

When I completed the first book, Watching Glass Shatter, I knew I’d stumbled upon my passion again, suddenly dreaming up characters, plots, and settings all day long. I chose my second novel, Father Figure, through a poll on my blog where I let everyone vote for their favorite plot and character summaries. It is with my third book, Academic Curveball,, the first in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, where I immersed myself in a college campus full of so much activity, I could hardly stop thinking about new murder scenes or character relationships to finish writing the current story. Come join in the fun!

List of Books & Blog

Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (April 2018)

Braxton Campus Mysteries

Academic Curveball - #1 (October 2018)

Broken Heart Attack - #2 (November 2018)

Flower Power Trip - #3 (Early 2019)

Websites & Blog

Website: https://jamesjcudney.com

Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

Social Media Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamesJCudneyIVAuthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BraxtonCampusMysteries

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/james-j-cudney

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamescudney4

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jamescudney4

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescudney4

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jamescudney4

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Purchase Links

Amazon

Tour Participants

January 17 – Here's How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

January 17 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

January 18 – Valerie's Musings – REVIEW

January 18 – The Book's the Thing – GUEST POST

January 19 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

January 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book - SPOTLIGHT

January 20 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

January 20 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

January 21 – Mallory Heart's Cozies – REVIEW

January 21 – Cassidy's Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT

January 22 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

January 22 – Bobo's Book Bank – SPOTLIGHT

January 23 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 23 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 24 – Jane Reads – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

January 24 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT

January 25 – Brooke Blogs - SPOTLIGHT

January 25 – Laura`s Interests = SPOTLIGHT

January 26 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW




Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Review: MRS ODBODDY : And Then There Was a Tiger: A WWII Tale of Conflict and Carnivals, Turmoil and Tigers by Elaine Faber

Synopsis

While the ‘tiger of war’ rages across the Pacific during WWII, eccentric, elderly Agnes Odboddy, ‘fights the war from the home front’. Her patriotic duties are interrupted when she is accused of the Wilkey’s Market burglary.

A traveling carnival with a live tiger joins the parishioner’s harvest fair at The First Church of the Evening Star and Everlasting Light. Accused again when counterfeit bills are discovered at the carnival, and when the war bond money goes missing, Agnes sets out to restore her reputation and locate the money. Her attempts lead her into harm's way when she discovers a friend's betrayal and even more about carnival life than she bargained for.

Granddaughter Katherine's turbulent love triangle with a doctor and an FBI agent rivals Agnes’s own on-again, off-again relationship with Godfrey.

In Faber's latest novel, your favorite quirky character, Mrs. Odboddy, prevails against injustice and faces unexpected challenges . . . and then There Was a Tiger!

Review

Mrs. Odboddy is once again at her quirky best and following her own version of Murphy's Law. She's consistently at the right place at the wrong time, and it is not surprising she's the common denominator. Not enough evidence for an arrest but in a small town... Godfrey's return seems to be the bright spot and she is able to help with the war bond effort, and may just be cleared of the counterfeiting, until the old trench coat is donated and she tries to find it. 

This is a fun read with some surprises and unanswered questions - at least for Mrs. Odbuddy. The tiger is an added touch. So far, this is my favorite in the series, and it can be read as a stand-alone mystery. If you haven't read the others though, you should get to know Mrs. Odboddy and Godfrey's stories first. 

Books in this series:


Friday, January 4, 2019

Book Review: SO ABOUT THE MONEY : Holly Price Mystery Series #1 by Cathy Perkins

Synopsis

When Holly Price trips over a friend's dead body while hiking, her life takes a nosedive into a world of intrigue and danger. The verdict is murder--and Holly is the prime suspect. Of course, the fact that the sexy--and very pissed off--cop threatening to arrest her is JC Dimitrak, Holly's jilted ex-fiancé, doesn't help matters.

To protect her future, her business...and her heart...the intrepid forensic accountant must use all her considerable investigative skills to follow the money through an intricate web of shadow companies, while staying one step ahead of her ex-fiancé. She better solve the case before the real killer decides CPA stands for Certified Pain in the Ass...and the next dead body found beside the river is Holly's.


Review

Nothing seems to go right - her casual boyfriend Alex takes her for a hike, only he's really hunting pheasant and she's definitely not good enough for his mother. Then there's the dead body of her friend and Tim's wife accusing her of interfering with her life. And the detective in charge is her ex. She came home to help her mother, but her mother keeps flaking out on her. The one thing Holly has going for her is that she knows how to follow the money, not always staying on the straight and narrow. Somehow she can't seem to avoid JC though and has to worry about not only being a suspect but her re-awakened feelings for him. 

I liked Holly and her internal struggles over JC, his protectiveness and her angst. She's forced to deal with clients and personal relationships, possible corruption and infidelity, and the pulls of her small town and her prestigious position in Seattle. This is the first in the series and a good start. I'll be adding the next in the series to my TBR list.

The Holly Price Mystery Series
So About the Money 
Malbec Mayhem
Double Down
In It For the Money

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019!


It's that time of the year once again - a time to reflect on the good and the not-so-good.  Overall, 2018 was a good year on all work levels - the day job and the writing. Lots of accomplishments for sure and hopefully more to come in 2019. 

On the plus side, publications in 2018 included: 
  • Malicious Mischief (A Hannah and Tamar Mystery #4)
  • A New Place, Another Murder (Sheridan Hendley Mystery Series #1)
  • Foundations, Funny Business & Murder (Stacie Maroni Mystery Series #2)
Plans for 2019 include the next in each of those series... I suspect that will keep me busy (and out of trouble)!


At a more global level, the frequency of hate, violence and terrorism hasn't improved. As a year ago, with all the turmoil here at home and abroad, I will strive to:
  • Be more positive and thoughtful of others
  • Be an advocate and help out others as best I can
  • Remember to engage in random acts of kindness
  • Be respectful of others and their opinions, even when I disagree 
On a personal level, I can't avoid the tried and true:  Eat better, exercise more, lose weight... I'll add in there, take some time to relax.  And since I'm behind, catching up on the books I've read, but not yet reviewed. 

What about you? What will you be working on in 2019?

Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year

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