Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Book Review: TALL TAILS SECRET BOOK CLUB The Secret Library Cozy Mysteries Book 1 by CeeCee James

Synopsis (from Amazon):

A mysterious mansion, a suspicious death, and a cat too smart for its own good… 

When Laura Lee took the summer job as a housekeeper at the old Thornberry Estate, she knew it was a creepy place, but she had no idea how creepy. Mrs. Fitzwater warned her to keep her mind on her work and her nose in her own business, but one thing after another leads her astray, between the manor giving up its puzzles as she goes about her work, fun secrets to share with the clever ladies in her book club who are always up for a mystery, and a cat that seems to know more than she does. 

The death of a chauffeur just outside the estate gates changes everything and suddenly creepy turns to deadly as Laura Lee finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. When the police seem unable to solve the crime, can Laura Lee and her intrepid club find the killer before the killer finds Laura Lee?


This was an interesting read. The hidden rooms, Hank the cat mysteriously showing up and scaring Laura Lee, and the grouchy matron of the house, Mrs. Thornberry, banned books. Laura Lee manages to make friends with everyone and is spooked by the talk of ghosts, though she never encounters one. She and Mary make quite the pair as they not only find the missing item, they reveal the murderer. 

The characters and the mansion are what make this story so interesting. There are secrets galore and the only one who seems to know them all is the cat, Hank. The pace is good with puzzle pieces revealed that all come together nicely in the end. Unfortunately, Mrs. Thornberry still wants books banned, so the ladies will have to keep their secret library to read and discuss the classics. 

If you like cozy mysteries with quirky characters, you will enjoy this one. Definitely kept my interest.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Book Review: CATCH A FALLING STAR Eden Mysteries Book 1 by Laurel Heidtman


Missing treasure, criminals, cops, co-worker hostility, and the surprise appearance of an ex-lover — definitely not what mystery novelist Kate Rawlings expects when she accepts a summer teaching position at her alma mater in the peaceful college town of Eden, Kentucky. 

Michael Mabry was Kate’s lover in college, but did she ever really know him? Thirty years later, he’s on the run from his partners in a Chicago museum heist in which a valuable ancient Indian artifact called the Shooting Star was stolen and two people killed. Michael escaped with the Star and his life, but he needs money to get out of the country. After so long, Eden should be the last place anyone would think to look for him, but his partners and an insurance investigator with his own agenda are hot on his trail. Kate finds herself suspected of involvement in the heist, but when a murder occurs in Eden, she also finds herself suspected of murder.


A mystery novelist, still involved with her college sweetheart, Kate can acknowledge Michael is not marriage material. Still, she doesn't grasp the extent to which he has engaged in illegal activities for the past thirty years. And she never questioned his disappearances and reappearances. Add in the professor, the insurance investigator, the police chief, and Kate's best friend who is head of college security. The last pieces are the others who Michael wronged so many years ago and the people he crossed when he disappeared after the botched heist of the star.

The pace is good and though it is apparent that Michael is the con and Kate the victim, the addition of the mob and other personalities add the suspense and round out the story line. This was a well-written mystery, with twists and turns. As the first in the series, Kate is positioned to be involved in additional mysteries, and perhaps, a romance.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Blog Tour and Book Review: A BROKEN SPINE A Beloved Bookroom Mystery by Dorothy St. James


The first in an exciting new series featuring Trudell Becket, a spunky librarian who will stop at nothing to save her beloved books and catch a killer!
Trudell Becket, book-loving librarian, finds herself in a bind when the library where she works is turned into a state-of-the-art bookless library. In a rare move of rebellion, Trudell rescues hundreds of her library's beloved books slated for the recycle center. She sets up a secret book room in the library's basement and opens it to anyone who shares her love of the printed book.

When the town councilman, who was the vocal proponent of the library's transformation into a "futuristic technological center," is crushed under an overturned shelf of DVDs, Trudell becomes the police's prime suspect for his murder. She was the only person in the library at the time of his death, or so the police believe. But that's not true. For the past month, Trudell had been letting a few dozen residents into the building through the basement entrance so they could read and check out the printed books.

But if she tells the police about the backdoor patrons who were in the library at the time of the murder, she'd have to explain about the secret book room and risk losing the books. In order to protect herself from being arrested for a murder she didn't commit, Trudell--with the help of a group of dedicated readers--decides to investigate. She quickly discovers you can't always judge a book by its cover.


Without a doubt, the characters drive this story. Tru is a single, introverted, librarian who is passionate about the printed page and the classics. She's also a rule follower, who when pushed breaks a few.  Although insecure, Tru won't let go of the secret bookroom with print books and classics, speaks her mind, often to her own detriment. She also adopts a cat, Raven, and keeps bringing him or her to work.

The supporting characters each have a story from her best friend, Tori, and Flossie to Charlie, Tori's latest love interest, and Jace, the jock-now-cop, who broke Tru's heart in high school and returns to Cypress after some issues in New York. At times, it's hard to figure out who are the good guys and who Tru should be careful around. When it all comes together, it makes sense and I, at least, hadn't figured it out before Tru. 

The story has a steady pace once the foundation is set. If you like cozy mysteries in a small town and love books as much as Tru, you'll enjoy this one, especially the "hero" of the day at the end.

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

Mystery author Dorothy St. James was born in New York but raised in South Carolina. She makes her home on an artsy island community in South Carolina with her husband, a crazy dog, and fluffy cat. Though writing has always been a passion for her, she pursued an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and a graduate degree in Public Administration and Urban Planning. She put her educational experience to use, having worked in all branches and all levels of government including local, regional, state, and federal. She even spent time during college working for a non-profit environmental watchdog organization.

Switching from government service and community planning to fiction writing wasn't as big of a change as some might think. Her government work was all about the stories of the people and the places where they live. As an urban planner, Dorothy loved telling the stories of the people she met. And from that, her desire to tell the tales that were so alive in her heart grew until she could not ignore it any longer. In 2001, she took a leap of faith and pursued her dream of writing fiction full-time.

* Dorothy St. James is the alter-ego of award-winning multi-published author, Dorothy McFalls. She enjoys writing in several different genres. Her works have been nominated for many awards including: Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, Reviewers International Organization Award, National Reader's Choice Award, CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Award, and The Romance Reviews Today Perfect 10! Award. Reviewers have called her work: "amazing", "perfect", "filled with emotion", and "lined with danger."

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January 19 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW 
January 19 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT 
January 19 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW January 19 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – REVIEW 
January 20 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
January 20 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW 
January 20 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, GUEST POST January 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW January 20 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW 
January 21 – Here's How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT 
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January 21 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW 
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January 23 – Baroness' Book Trove – CHARACTER INTERVIEW January 23 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW 
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January 24 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic - GUEST POST January 24 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST January 24 – Brianne's Book Reviews – REVIEW 
January 24 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT January 24 – StoreyBook Reviews - REVIEW 
January 25 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT 
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January 25 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST 
January 25 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT 
January 25 – Melina's Book Blog – REVIEW 
January 25 – Thoughts in Progress – SPOTLIGHT  

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Blog Tour: Spotlight THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL by Kat Martin

Book Details:

Book Title:  The Ultimate Betrayal (a Maximum Security Novel) by Kat Martin
CategoryAdult Fiction (18 yrs +),  464 pages
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Thriller
Release date:   December 29, 2020
Tour dates: Jan 6 to Jan 26, 2021
Content Rating:  R. The "F" word is used 12 times in the book. There are some explicit consensual sex scenes.
"With plenty of suspense, The Ultimate Betrayal is exactly the kind of escape you've been craving." - BOOKTRIB

Book Description:

When her father is accused of espionage and treason, journalist Jessie Kegan has no doubt the man she looked up to her entire life is innocent. Worse yet, before Colonel Kegan can stand trial, he’s found dead of a heart attack…but Jessie knows it was murder. Forcing aside her grief, she’s determined to use her investigative resources to clear her father’s name. But going after the truth means Jessie soon finds herself in the crosshairs of a killer who wants that truth to stay buried with her father. Protecting Jessie Kegan is a job bodyguard Brandon Garrett can’t refuse. Jessie isn’t just a client at Maximum Security—she’s the sister of his best friend, Danny, who was killed in Afghanistan. With dangerous enemies gunning for Jessie from every angle, keeping her safe will mean keeping her close, and Bran finds their mutual attraction growing, though being Danny’s sister puts Jessie out of bounds. With their backs against the wall, Jessie and Bran will have to risk everything to expose her father’s killer—before his legacy dies with his daughter.

Buy the Book:
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Meet the Author:

Bestselling author Kat Martin, a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, currently resides in Missoula, Montana with Western-author husband, L. J. Martin. More than seventeen million copies of Kat’s books are in print, and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Fifteen of her recent novels have taken top-ten spots on the New York Times Bestseller List, and her novel, BEYOND REASON, was recently optioned for a feature film. Kat’s latest novel, THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL, a Romantic Thriller, was released in paperback December 29th.

Connect with the author:  

Interview with Kat Martin:

What do you love about the setting of your book THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL? 
I love Colorado. Beautiful mountains and extreme climates provide plenty of interesting scenery and challenges. 

I was impressed by the amount of technical data in THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL. What kind of research was required for this book? 
I spend a lot of time researching my books, though I always hope the information just blends in. Because this story was set around a military base, it took an exceptional amount of work. I mean, what the heck do I know about an army base? A lot more now than I did then! I was grateful for the input of an author friend of mine, a former Green Beret, Colonel Thom Nicholson, who helped me get the terms right and watched for any errors that I might have made. 

Who was the hardest character to write? Who was the easiest? 
The hardest character is always the bad guys. Brandon was the easiest because he was in two earlier books, which meant I knew him well. 

How long have you been writing? 
I’ve been writing for over 30 years. 

What’s one thing you wish you knew more about? 
The stars and planets. Fascinating.  

Would you rather always be an hour early or be constantly twenty minutes late? I’m always early. 

What is one of the funniest things that has happened to you? 
Getting the back of my skirt stuck inside my stockings. Luckily we don’t wear them anymore. 

What’re the most frustrating things about being an author? 
Being unable to control your cover, pub dates, and phases of marketing. 

Why did you choose to write in the romantic suspense genre? 
I love action adventure movies and I love romance. The combination fits me perfectly. 

How can readers reach you? 
You can find me on Facebook and Instagram at Kat Martin Author or contact me through my webpage I always answer if I get an email. 

Tour Schedule:

Jan 6 – Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 6 - BookishKelly2020 – book spotlight
Jan 8 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 11 – Books Lattes & Tiaras – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
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Jan 13 - Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 14 – Stephanie Jane – book spotlight / giveaway
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Jan 15 - Locks, Hooks and Books – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 19 – Splashes of Joy – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 20 –The Obsessed Reader - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 21 – Jazzy Book Reviews - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 25 – 100 Pages A Day – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 26 – I'm All About Books – book spotlight / giveaway

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Monday, January 11, 2021

Blog Tour and Book Review: WEDDING BEAR BLUES A Teddy Bear Mystery #4 by Meg Macy



When a heartless killer ruins a Valentine's Day wedding, teddy bear shop manager Sasha Silverman vows to solve the crime . . .

 At the Silver Bear Shop and Factory, Sasha will be selling plenty of bride and groom teddy bears come springtime. But this Valentine's Day weekend, she'd take any of those silent, stuffed couples over the real thing. Sasha and her sister Maddie are bridesmaids at Cissy Davidson’s upcoming wedding in Silver Hollow. Cissy is fuming over the worst choice of best man—the jerk who broke her sister Debbie's heart—and the groom-to-be won't budge in his decision. At the rehearsal dinner you could cut the tension with a wedding cake knife. 
That is, until best man Dylan is found dead, impaled with an ice pick. Although jilted Debbie is the most likely suspect—the blood on her dress doesn't help her case—the bride begs Sasha to prove her sister's innocence. If anyone's going to walk down the aisle, Sasha will first need to find the cold-hearted killer who iced Dylan . . . 


Sasha and Maddie work hard in the family bear factory, with special bears, all made behind the showroom. It's the weekend of Valentine's Day and the Valentine's bears are a hit. With Cissy's wedding coming up, they're thinking of wedding bears as the next specialty bear. Sasha isn't sure why she agreed to be in the wedding party. Maddie is the one friends with Cissy, not her, and Cissy is the bridezilla of weddings. Honestly, I expected her to be the victim.

The wedding connects many of the characters, with all the bridesmaids and groomsmen. Adding to the tension, Cissy's sister, the maid of honor, has history with the best man, Dylan. In fact, not too many, other than the groom, Gus, seem to like Dylan. That makes it tricky, when he's murdered. Although not part of the wedding party, Sasha's ex also makes an appearance with his new bride-to-be. 

The characters are well-developed and there are some surprises along the way, including a second murder. There's also a fundraiser to benefit research for brain cancer in children and teddy bears being used for child pornography - the ones made by a competitor. 

All in all, this was an engaging read with interesting subplots and an interesting cast of characters. If you like cozy mysteries, you will enjoy this one. Although the fourth in the series, it's the first one I've read. It can be easily read as a stand alone. 

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 Meg Macy

Award-winning mystery author Meg Macy lives in Southeast Michigan, close enough to Ann Arbor, Chelsea, and Dexter -- the setting of her "Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear" cozy mysteries for Kensington. She is also one-half of the writing team of D.E. Ireland for the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins mysteries; two books, Wouldn't It Be Deadly and Get Me to the Grave On Time were Agatha Award finalists for Best Historical. Meg's first published book, Double Crossing, won the 2012 Best First Novel Spur Award from Western Writers of America. Meg loves reading historical and cozy mysteries, gardening, crafts, and watercolor painting.

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January 4 – Thoughts in Progress – SPOTLIGHT 
January 4 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT 
January 5 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW 
January 5 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
January 6 – Christy's Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT
January 7 - Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 7 - I Read What You Write – REVIEW 
January 8 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW 
January 8 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – REVIEW 
January 9 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
January 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW 
January 10 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT   
January 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST 
January 11 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
January 12 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT 
January 12 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW 
January 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW 
January 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW 
January 14 – ebook addicts – SPOTLIGHT 
January 14 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf - SPOTLIGHT   
January 15 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT 
January 15 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT 
January 16 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST 
January 17 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW 


Thursday, January 7, 2021

Book Review: SHOOT THE BREEZE Detective Kate Rosetti Mystery Book 1 by Gina LaManna


Welcome to St. Paul, Minnesota—home to strong coffee, deadly winters, and Detective Kate Rosetti—a rising star in the local homicide department. When a young woman turns up dead along the Mississippi River in her latest assignment, Detective Rosetti quickly realizes it’s the work of a notorious cross-country serial killer. 

To complicate matters, Kate’s troublemaking sister turns up out of the blue in need of a place to live. A strikingly handsome FBI agent appears at the crime scene, convinced this case belongs to him. And a certain British billionaire is a little too interested in the murder… and in Kate. 

As she begins to close in on the killer, the investigation takes a turn for the personal. It’s one riddle after the next, and if Kate can’t sort out the murderer’s identity before his next kill, she’ll be up next on the autopsy table.


This was a quick, fun read with some interesting characters, from Kate and her sister, Jane, to the handsome FBI agent, Russo, and Gem, the billionaire. Then there are all the "characters" in the night clubs Kate ventures into trying to find the killer. The pace is steady, there's humor and tension. Kate's job might have been easier if she had some social sense. The end includes a Christmas party with Kate not accepting the advances of either man pursuing her.  

This is the first in the series of four books, and my first Kate Rosetti mystery. I'm not sure Kate is willing to let down her defenses and let Russo or Gem in, but I'm pulling for Russo. Warning: Some readers might find some of the night club activities offensive. 

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Blog Tour Showcase- THE THINGS THAT LAST FOREVER : A Vic Lenoski Mystery by Peter W. J. Hayes

After a house fire hospitalizes his partner and forces him onto medical leave, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police detective Vic Lenoski starts a desperate search for the woman who set the blaze. She is the one person who knows what happened to his missing teenage daughter, but as a fugitive, she’s disappeared so thoroughly no one can find her. Risking his job and the wrath of the district attorney, Vic resorts to bargaining with criminal suspects for new leads, many of which point to North Dakota. He flies there, only to discover he is far from everything he knows, and his long-cherished definitions of good and bad are fading as quickly as his leads. His only chance is one last audacious roll of the dice. 

Can he stay alive long enough to discover the whereabouts of his daughter and rebuild his life? Or is everything from his past lost forever? 

 "The mystery plot itself is riveting...a captivating and emotionally intelligent crime drama." Kirkus Reviews  

Book Details: 
 Genre: Mystery: Police Procedural 
Published by: Level Best Books 
Publication Date: August 1, 2020 
Number of Pages: 294 
ISBN: 978-1-947915-56-5 
Series: A Vic Lenoski Mystery; Pittsburgh Trilogy #3 
(Each is a Stand Alone Mystery) 

Purchase Links: 

Author Bio: 

Peter W. J. Hayes worked as a journalist, advertising copywriter and marketing executive before turning to mystery and crime writing. He is the author of the Silver Falchion-nominated Pittsburgh trilogy, a police procedural series, and is a Derringer-nominated author of more than a dozen short stories. His work has appeared in Black Cat Mystery Magazine, Mystery Weekly, Pulp Modern and various anthologies, including two Malice Domestic collections and The Best New England Crime Stories. He is also a past nominee for the Crime Writers Association (CWA) Debut Dagger Award. 

Peter can be found at: 

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Peter W.J. Hayes. There will be 4 winners for this giveaway. Two (2) winners will each receive one (1) Gift Card and two (2) winners will each receive one (1) physical copy of The Things That Last Forever by Peter W.J. Hayes (US Only). The giveaway begins on January 1, 2021 and runs through March 2, 2021. Void where prohibited. 

01/03 Review - Book Reviews From an Avid Reader 
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