Tuesday, June 30, 2020

SHAKE DOWN An Elliott Lisbon Mystery #5 by Kendel Lynn


Ballantyne Foundation Director and PI-in-training, Elliott Lisbon, is enjoying her idyllically slow life on Sea Pine Island, South Carolina. It’s the week before the annual Beach Ball and she’s sipping Bellinis on the sidelines. Her committee involvement is limited to securing the centerpieces: scrumptious two-tiered masterpieces from the Cake & Shake. But when the head baker (and owner’s maid of honor) goes missing, Elli’s calm life gets a major shakeup. She takes the case and soon learns that missing is a relative term. These two bffs were once rivals on a local dating show. Perhaps the free spirit had reason to wander off on her own. Or perhaps she wasn’t the only woman scorned. As Elli walks the delicate line between a woman finding herself and a woman needing to be found, the days speed up and she knows something’s about to go down. From drug runners to whistleblowers to sea turtle sabotage, Elli stirs up secrets and inadvertently whips a desperate killer into a frenzy. If she doesn’t find a way out of the heat, she’s going to get burned.


Elli has back to back events - the Ballatyne Beach Ball and her friend's wedding, all using the same venue with a single set up. Only the week before the wedding, the maid of honor disappears and someone tears up the beach area to be used, and Ellie has two problems - find a new location and find Daphne. Add in the shared history of a version of the Bachelor/Reality TV director and just about everything that could go wrong does, and Elli needs to step up her investigative skills while still pulling off the event of the year. Her relationship with Ransom (detective) doesn't help her as it's a different jurisdiction. 

The story has many twists and turns and complications. Tucker and Juliette's ideal wedding, the turtles, chasing down leads, and traveling to Atlanta and Charlotte. The ending is not expected.  The Elliott Lisbon Mystery series is a fun series and Elli is definitely a force to be reckoned with. Although the 5th in the series, it is easily read as a stand-alone mystery. 

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Book Review: MIST AT THE BEACH HOUSE : A Beach House Mystery by Victoria L K Williams

Synopsis (from Amazon)

Murder, Mermaids Legends, & a Kitten from the Mist.

Morgan Seaver returns to her family home on Pearl Island, expecting a warm welcome. Instead, she finds her aunt has been murdered, and accusing fingers are pointing her way.

Soon she finds more than a murder needs to be solved. Her family has a history with the island, one that she is finding brings the legends of mermaids and her ancestors to the present.
She must solve the murder to clear herself and come to terms with a past that has a hold of her future.


Life took an unexpected turn for Morgan Seaver and she returns to her aunt's home on Pearl Island to recover. She only gets to see her aunt briefly before the body is found in the dunes, murdered. While the officer in charge, Jenny White, is on her side, the other officer, Stanley Newman and a wild woman, Sirena Storm, plant seeds that Morgan killed her aunt. Aunt Meredith and the mist visit Morgan as she studies the history of the island that is now threatening her. Gary is also a function of that history, along with a not-quite-stray cat, and pearls. 

Morgan is amazed at all she never knew about Pearl Island and is more than a little unbelieving of her new role in the future of the island or the mermaid history. Stanley and Sirena do their part to divert attention to her as the killer and do her harm, while Jenny and Gary, and many others in the island historical society are on her side. And the mist appears to protect her as well. Mermaids and pearls on an island paradise.

The story is well-written and the characters of Morgan and Gary, and even Aunt Meredith, are likable and have depth. Morgan hasn't yet resolved the issues she left behind at the book's end, though. This is the first of six and a strong start for the series.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Blog Tour Spotlight: CATCHING THE COWBOY by Shanna Hatfield

A change of pace here, with a light western romance...


She’s fresh out of jail . . .

He’s fresh out of luck.

Spoiled billionaire heiress Emery Brighton indulges in one mimosa too many, attempts to steal a horse, and winds up in jail. A sentence of community service leaves her at the mercy of strangers on a remote ranch near a small town in Oregon. Adjusting to country life is hard enough, but she has no idea how to handle her growing affection for a surly cowboy and his adorable daughter.

Steady and dependable as the day is long, rancher Hudson Cole just wants to raise his little girl and be left alone. When his grandmother invites a lawbreaker dressed in Louis Vuitton to Summer Creek Ranch, Hud is convinced Grammy has lost her ever-loving mind. Determined to detest Emery, he instead finds himself doing the one thing he vowed would never happen again: falling in love.

With one foot out the door, will love be enough to convince Emery to stay?

This sweet romance offers a funny, delightful happily ever after adventure in a quirky small town. Don’t miss out on a meandering goat named Ethel, meddling matchmakers, and a community that feels like home in a story filled with heart, humor, and hope.

Book Links:

Read an excerpt:
    For a moment, Hud studied the men his grandmother spoke with, noting the resemblance between them. He assumed they were brothers. Suddenly, the name jolted something loose in his memory. Henry Brighton had been a good friend to his grandfather and used to come hunting every autumn. But Henry hadn’t been to the ranch in years, not since before Grandpa passed away.
    Curious what brought the judge and his brother to Summer Creek Ranch, Hud stowed his gloves in his back pocket and walked over to offer a word of welcome.
    “Hud, honey, you remember Judge Henry Brighton, don’t you?” Nell said, tugging on his arm to pull him closer to where she stood with the men and young woman.
    “Welcome, sir. It’s been a while, but I’m pleased to see you again.” Hud shook Henry’s hand then turned to his brother.    
    “You must be Henry’s brother. I’m Hudson Cole.”
    “That’s right. James Brighton. Last time I saw you, you were about this big,” the man said, holding his hand about two feet off the ground. He smirked and his eyes twinkled with mirth. “You’ve grown a bit since then.”
    Hud grinned, aware his size could be intimidating to some. “Yes, sir, I suppose I have.” Slowly, his gaze drifted over the young woman, taking in her delicate beauty, perfectly styled hair, and makeup that appeared to have been applied by a professional. Intriguing blue eyes held a guarded look behind unnaturally long eyelashes. Rosy cheeks could have been from the slight wind or too much blush, he couldn’t tell.
    Her oval face was flawless, gorgeous, and therefore of no interest to Hud.
    From the top of her head to the toes of her designer shoes, she reeked of money. No doubt her diapers had been made of hundred-dollar bills. Most likely, she’d spent her entire life spoiled and pampered, indulged and coddled.
Years ago, a pretty little rich girl had turned his head, entangled his heart, and caused him enough pain to last ten lifetimes. He certainly wasn’t stupid enough to make that mistake twice.
    “This is my daughter, Emery,” James said, nudging the woman forward. “We can’t thank you enough for taking her in like this. If there is ever anything I can do to repay your kindness, I hope you’ll let us know.”
     Hud’s right eyebrow hiked upward so high, it disappeared beneath the brim of his dusty cowboy hat. He swiveled his head around until his gaze clashed with his grandmother’s. She looked only slightly guilty as she smiled pleasantly and clenched his arm with both hands, as though she intended to restrain him from saying anything about James’ announcement that took him completely by surprise.
    His grandmother’s elbow connected with his ribs. “We’re more than happy to have Emery stay with us for as long as she needs to. Isn’t that right, Hud?”
    Rather than answer, he offered a noncommittal grunt and gave the woman another once-over. He’d be surprised if she lasted a day on the ranch before she hightailed it back to Portland or wherever it was she’d come from. From experience, he figured the first nail she broke or the first waft of manure blowing around her face would send her running for civilization.

Excerpt from Catching the Cowboy. Copyright © 2020 All rights reserved.

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield writes character-driven romances with relatable heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”

Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, this hopeless romantic is out to make it happen, one story at a time. When she isn’t writing or indulging in chocolate (dark and decadent, please), Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.

Shanna is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, and Romance Writers of America.

Contact Information


Enter the Giveaway for a chance for $50 Amazon Giftcard

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Blog Tour and Book Review: SNOWED UNDER A Maggie McDonald Mystery #6 by Mary Feliz


When professional organizer Maggie McDonald finds a body in a snowdrift outside her friend’s ski cabin, she must plow through the clues to find a cold-blooded killer . . .

Lake Tahoe in February is beautiful, but Maggie can’t see a thing as she drives through a blinding blizzard with her friend Tess Olmos and their dogs, golden retriever Belle and German shepherd Mozart.Maggie has offered her professional decluttering skills to help Tess tidy up her late husband’s cabin in preparation to sell. She also plans to get in some skiing when her husband Max and their boys join them later in the week.

What she doesn’t plan on is finding a boot in a snowdrift attached to a corpse. The frozen stiff turns out to be Tess’s neighbor, Dev Bailey, who disappeared two months ago. His widow Leslie expresses grief, but Maggie can’t help but wonder if it’s a snow job. As more suspects start to pile up, things go downhill fast, and Maggie must keep her cool to solve the murder before the killer takes a powder . . .


Maggie McDonald is back, this time helping her good friend,Tess, clean out a house that has many memories. The motivation is the recent death of Tess's husband, whose family has had the house for years. The plan is to get it cleaned out and ready for sale quickly so that Maggie's husband and son and Tess's son can come up for some weekend skiing. Only a blizzard or two and the dead body Maggie finds when she tries to park her car provide lots of distraction. The small neighborhood includes an elderly woman and a dog, along with some other neighbors. They all know each other and the discovery begins a tail spin about the same time as the next snow and power failure. Pies are abundant and Belle and Mozart have a great time. 

This is well-written and well-paced. There are interesting characters, as well as human emotion and grieving. I like Maggie and Tess and their interaction, and of course the dogs. The women engage in sleuthing and Maggie uses her organizational skills in the process. If you like cozy mystery, you can chill out with the snow and skiing easily with this one. It is the 6th in the series, but easily read as a stand alone mystery.

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
Mary Feliz writes the Maggie McDonald Mysteries featuring a Silicon Valley professional organizer and her sidekick golden retriever. She’s worked for Fortune 500 firms and mom and pop enterprises, competed in whale boat races and done synchronized swimming. She attends organizing conferences in her character’s stead, but Maggie’s skills leave her in the dust.

Author Links

Website  Blog  Facebook  Twitter


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Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Book Review: A KINK IN THE ROAD : A Deadline Cozy Mystery #7 by Sonia Parin

Synopsis (from Amazon)

Humorous Cozy Mystery. Clean read: no graphic violence, sex, or strong language but lots of fun characters and quirky dialogue.

Eve’s new inn is about to open, with or without a name. As a new local business owner, Eve thinks it would be a splendid idea to attend a local town meeting. Little does she know she’s been excluded from them for a good reason. She’s been labeled a troublemaker. Now there is a new resident in Rock-Maine Island and she’s been warned to stay away from him.

One look at William Hunter the Third is enough to convince Eve she wants nothing to do with the man. Despite everyone’s efforts to keep Eve away from him, the inevitable happens and he lands on her doorstep.

To make matters worse, the billionaire brings along an entourage which includes his ex-wives, his friends and… a killer.

There have already been two deaths at the house she’s turned into an inn. Another death makes it three. Thinking disasters come in threes, she hopes this will complete the cycle. But what if she’s on a treadmill and doomed to play host to murder and mayhem? The town will surely rise up against her…


As advertised this cozy mystery has quirky characters and humor. Eve is convinced that something will go wrong and her best friend, Jill, is there to keep watch and be sure Eve is accused of the murder that hasn't happened yet, and then once the billionaire's assistant is murdered, to keep her out of trouble. Both women are dating police officers, and Jack and Josh do their part to keep a lid on the situation. Only the entourage comes with it's own quirky characters, the billionaire included, not to mention Mira and her editor, and Elsie who eventually vows not to publish anything she and her side kick have witnessed. A

The story is fast paced with twists, turns, and false leads galore. No one liked the victim and he seemed to have something on everyone associated with William Hunter III. Although this is the 7th in the series, it can be easily read as a stand alone. If you like cozy mysteries with a humorous side to murder and quirky characters, you'll enjoy this one, and probably the rest of the series as well.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Blog Tour & Review: SPRINKLES OF SUSPICION A Cupcake Catering Mystery by Kim Davis


One glass of cheap California chardonnay cost Emory Gosser Martinez her husband, her job, and her best friend. Unfortunately, that was only the beginning of her troubles.

Distraught after discovering the betrayal by her husband and best friend, Tori, cupcake caterer Emory Martinez allows her temper to flare. Several people witness her very public altercation with her ex-friend. To make matters worse, Tori exacts her revenge by posting a fake photo of Emory in a compromising situation, which goes viral on social media. When Tori is found murdered, all signs point to Emory being the prime suspect.

With the police investigation focused on gathering evidence to convict her, Emory must prove her innocence while whipping up batches of cupcakes and buttercream. Delving into the past of her murdered ex-friend, she finds other people had reasons to want Tori dead, including Emory’s own husband. Can she find the killer, or will the clues sprinkled around the investigation point the police back to her?

Includes recipes!


Emory has a talent and passion for creating cupcakes in very original flavors, including some that are adult only. She goes out with her friend, Tori, for an early birthday celebration. Only it isn't what it seems and Emory can't remember anything. Then a picture shows up on facebook and she walks in on a situation, and soon enough Tori is murdered. Right after Emory threatens her in a cat fight. 

Emory soon discovers that she's being framed, and whoever it is does a very good job. In the meantime, Emory continues to bake cupcakes and cater events, loses her job, and attempts to fend off her mother's criticism and attempts to get her back with her husband. There are some redirections and more than once, other characters comment on how clueless she is. Her trusting nature definitely gets her into sticky situations and makes her an easy mark. The pace is steady and her cluelessness adds a touch of humor. An enjoyable read. 

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.

bout Kim Davis

Kim Davis lives in Southern California with her husband. When she's not spending time with her granddaughters she can be found either writing stories or working on her blog, Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder or in the kitchen baking up yummy treats. She has published the suspense novel, A GAME OF DECEIT, and has had several children’s articles published in Cricket, Nature Friend, Skipping Stones, and the Seed of Truth magazines. Kim Davis is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Author Links:

Website: http://kimdavisauthor.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kim-Davis-Author-1532277473479031/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Kookiesandbooks
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kimdavishb/

Purchase Links: Amazon

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