Posted in 3 1/2 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on October 18, 2017

Death Overdue: A Haunted Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Crooked Lane Books (October 10, 2017)
Hardcover: 336 pages

Synopsis

Carrie Singleton is just about done with Clover Ridge, Connecticut until she’s offered a job as the head of programs and events at the spooky local library, complete with its own librarian ghost. Her first major event is a program presented by a retired homicide detective, Al Buckley, who claims he knows who murdered Laura Foster, a much-loved part-time library aide who was bludgeoned to death fifteen years earlier. As he invites members of the audience to share stories about Laura, he suddenly keels over and dies.

The medical examiner reveals that poison is what did him in and Carrie feels responsible for having surged forward with the program despite pushback from her director. Driven by guilt, Carrie’s determined to discover who murdered the detective, convinced it’s the same man who killed Laura all those years ago. Luckily for Carrie, she has a friendly, knowledgeable ghost by her side. But as she questions the shadows surrounding Laura’s case, disturbing secrets come to light and with each step Carrie takes, she gets closer to ending up like Al.

Now it’s due or die for Carrie in Death Overdue the delightful first in a new cozy series by Allison Brook.

Review

As a book lover, how could I not enjoy a book set in a library?! I did of course. This is a new series set in a small town in CT and Carrie is thinking about leaving town but is offered a job in the library…one of my dream jobs!

The book has some interesting characters and the surface is just scratched on a few including a long time friend and new landlord for Carrie. There is also the library ghost, a former employee, but we don’t know why she is still tied to the library and hasn’t moved on. Interesting that Carrie and a young family member are the only two that can see her. But she comes in handy when Dorothy, the ghost’s niece, gets out of line and information about her is used to bring Dorothy back in line.

There are a couple of mysteries to unravel – a retired police detective, Al, and Laura Foster. Al thinks he knows who killed Laura after all these years, but he is murdered before revealing the truth about Laura’s death all those years ago. The killer has to be someone in the town. Not a lot of clues are revealed to help us solve it until near the end. I am not sure if I suspected this character, but they did act a little suspicious at times.

Overall a good start to a new series and I look forward to the next installment.

We give this 3 1/2 paws

About the Author

Allison Brook is the pseudonym for Marilyn Levinson, who writes mysteries, romantic suspense and novels for kids. She lives on Long Island and enjoys traveling, reading, watching foreign films, doing Sudoku and dining out. She especially loves to visit with her grandchildren on FaceTime.

Website * Amazon Author Page * Facebook * Goodreads * Twitter * Pinterest

 

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Check out the other blogs on this tour

October 14 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW

October 14 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT

October 14 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

October 14 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST

October 15 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

October 15 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 15 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 15 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW

October 16 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 16 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

October 16 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW

October 16 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST

October 17 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

October 17 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

October 17 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 17 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

October 18 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

October 18 – Varietats – REVIEW, GUEST POST

October 18 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

October 18 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

October 19 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 19 – Bea’s Book Nook – REVIEW

October 19 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW,

October 20 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

October 20 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – REVIEW

October 20 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW

October 20 – That’s What She’s Reading – GUEST POST

Posted in animals, christmas, excerpt, Holiday, romance on October 18, 2017

Synopsis

Sit! Stay! Speak! author Annie England Noblin’s novel takes one woman starting over, adds an aging pug named Teddy Roosevelt, and proves the power of a well-baked dog treat.

All she wants is a settled-down life.

What she gets is a dog—and a whole new normal . . .

There he stood in the doorway: overweight, depressed and nearly homeless—a pug named Teddy Roosevelt. Teddy was Brydie Benson’s latest problem, arriving on top of her messy divorce and sudden move. Brydie needed a place to start over, so this rent-free home seemed a great idea. She just never counted on Teddy, or his owner, the Germantown Retirement Village’s toughest customer, Pauline Neumann.

And because rent-free doesn’t mean bills-free, Brydie gets a night-shift job at a big-box grocery. Whoever guessed there were so many people who wanted baked goods after midnight?

Then, she gets an idea—why not combine her baking skills with her new-found dog knowledge? And so her store Pupcakes is born. Along with a new start comes a possible new love, in the form of Nathan Reid, a local doctor with a sassy Irish Wolfhound named Sasha. And as fall turns to winter, and then to Christmas, Brydie begins to realize that life is a little bit like learning a new recipe for puff pastry—it takes a few tries to get it just right!

Amazon * B&N * BAM * iBooks * Google Books * Indiebound

Excerpt

After dinner, Nathan refilled their wineglasses and led her into the living room. Sasha and Teddy had settled there as well, and when Nathan built a fire in the fireplace, Teddy dropped right in front of it and started to snore. Sasha wasn’t far behind him.

“The living room at Mrs. Neumann’s house has a fireplace, too,” Brydie said. “I thought about lighting it the other night, but it hasn’t been lit in ages.”

“I’m sure she wouldn’t appreciate it if you burned her house down trying to light the fireplace,” Nathan replied.

“No, I can’t imagine that would make her too happy.”

“Listen,” Nathan said, scooting closer to her on the couch. “I’m sorry if I asked too many intrusive questions earlier. I’m hopeless at small talk, and when I get nervous, I tend to fall back into doctor mode. I swear I didn’t mean to interrogate you over chicken.”

“That’s okay,” Brydie replied. “It was actually kind of nice to talk about it with someone who doesn’t know anything about my life before I moved here.”

“How do you like Memphis so far?”

“It’s getting better,” Brydie said with a sly grin. Between the wine and the fire, she felt deliciously warm.

“I’m glad to hear it.”

Brydie watched him watching her. She liked the way his curly black hair fell in his eyes when he was concentrating. She liked the way his T-shirt fit, not too loose or too tight. She liked the way he asked her questions—soft, curious, but not intrusive. It made her want to tell him everything, anything, just to keep him looking at her. Paying attention to her.

But more than that, she realized, there was something familiar about him, comfortable. She couldn’t put her finger on what it was, but despite the constant butterflies in her stomach, he made her feel calmer somehow. She could understand why people would be drawn to him as a doctor. She could even understand why a woman might visit her elderly aunt in order to be near him.

Nathan moved a hand up to Brydie’s face, tucking a wandering strand of damp hair behind her ear. It sent a bolt of electricity through her, and when he moved his hand away, Brydie felt herself grabbing a fistful of his T-shirt and pulling him closer to her until her mouth was on his, and she could taste the wine on his lips.

Brydie fell back into the couch and pulled Nathan down on top of her. She could feel his hands exploring her body underneath her T-shirt, and she burned with a need she hadn’t known existed until that very moment.

“Do you want—” Nathan began in between frenzied kisses, but before he could finish, the ringing of his phone in his pocket cut him off.

“Ignore it,” Brydie murmured.

“I can’t,” Nathan said, pulling himself away from her with a groan. “I’m on call at the nursing home tonight.”

About the Author

Annie England Noblin lives with her son, husband, and three dogs in the Missouri Ozarks. She graduated with an M.A. in creative writing from Missouri State University and currently teaches English and communications for Arkansas State University in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Her poetry has been featured in such publications as the Red Booth Review and the Moon City Review. She spends her free time playing make-believe, feeding stray cats, and working with animal shelters across the country to save homeless dogs.

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Posted in Fantasy, Giveaway, Interview on October 17, 2017

Synopsis

Dahlia, a centuries old genie, lies hopelessly trapped in a damaged golden locket charm attached to an ankle bracelet. Its owner, sixteen-year-old Liana, wears it for the first time during her father Jamison’s opening night illusion spectacular. Not only does its presence cause Jamison to folly his performance, but it also starts a chain of bizarre events that lead to a showdown with Dahlia’s mortal enemy, Stefan, and an unsuspecting romance between Liana and his son.

Interview with Matt

How did you do research for your book?

I did most of my research online. I had a lot of ideas that I wanted to incorporate into the genie/djinn folklore, but I didn’t want them to be completely without foundation. My goal was to create a world that was intriguing to those who had no knowledge of genies, aside from Disney’s Aladdin, and true to those who hold may this folklore dear to their heritage.

In your book you make a reference to quantum physics. How did you come up with this idea?

While I was writing the first draft, I stumbled upon an online news article about a new discovery where particles seemingly knew what was going to happen before it actually happened. This theory more or less answered the question: If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to see or hear it, does it still fall/make a sound? The answer, according to this theory is, No; the tree only falls/makes a sound if someone/something in the future knows that another will witness it. I used this theory as an explanation of genie powers and how they are able to make the impossible, possible.

There are many books out there about genies, what makes yours different?

I incorporated two things that I thought would set this story apart from typical genie stories: the idea of a half genie/half human entity and the very real possibility that the entire mythology of the djinn is a product of mental illness.

Your book is partially set in the Middle East. Have you been there?

I have not been there, but my brother in-law is from Syria, so I have a decent amount of exposure to the culture.

What is the last great book you’ve read?

While I’ve liked Kurt Vonnegut for some time, I recently read his “The Sirens of Titan” and loved it.  I think a lot of people feel that they have been used by others and feel that their worth is summed up by the cliché, “what have you done for me lately.” And while this sentiment may cause great despair, the book reminds us of the alternative: “The worst thing that could possibly happen to anybody, would be to not be used for anything by anybody.”

Do you have another profession besides writing?

Yes, I am the co-founder and Vice President of a boutique medical billing firm in New York City.

About the Author

Matt Dallmann has a background in acting and holds a BFA from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. His films and screenplays have been featured at film festivals across the United States including Cinequest, Big Apple Film Festival, Seattle’s True Independent Film Festival, DragonCon and Zero Independent Film Festival. His piano compositions have been published for commercial use and he is a member of ASCAP. Matt is also the Co-Founder and Vice President of the boutique medical billing firm VGA Billing Services, Inc. in New York City. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters.

Amazon Author Page * Goodreads

Giveaway

Prizes: ​ Win a print copy of Tribal Affairs + $10 Amazon gift card, one winner will also get a print copy of Arabian Nights Tales (6 winners total, open internationally to any country where Amazon.com delivers)
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Posted in Holiday, Spotlight on October 17, 2017

A SEASON OF YOU

By Emma Douglas

St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Price: $7.99

Synopsis

It’s Christmastime in the quaint island town of Cloud Bay, where love is always in season…

Will has believed in love at first sight since the day he first laid eyes on Mina Harper five years ago. There was only one problem: She was happily married. Then, when Mina’s husband was killed by a drunk driver, Will figured she’d want nothing to do with a guy who owns a whiskey distillery. So he’s kept his feelings locked away, knowing that not even a Christmas miracle would be enough to melt Mina’s heart. . .

Mina believes her days of true love are behind her. Since losing her husband she’s kept to herself, content to do her own painting and stay out of the limelight that comes with her famous family. But when, after a freak accident, Will comes to her rescue, Mina can’t quite get him out of her mind. As curiosity turns into a fling during Cloud Bay’s first Christmas Festival, she finds it harder to convince herself that her feelings for Will are just mistletoe-inspired. Could Mina be ready to lay the past to rest and finally admit that what she really wants for Christmas—and forever—is Will?

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About the Author

Emma Douglas would love to live in a world where professional napping was a thing. But until then, she thinks writing books is a pretty awesome alternative. When not writing about imaginary people, she can be found reading, doing something crafty, binge-watching TV, playing her latest song crush on repeat, or singing badly in her car. She lives in Melbourne, Australia in a tiny house stuffed full of books, too many craft supplies and two cats who take up more space than you would expect.

Website

CHRISTMAS AT TWO LOVE LANE

By Kieran Kramer

St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Price: $7.99

Synopsis

The best gift of all is the one you share with someone else. . .

From the moment he strode through the iron gate and into the offices of Two Love Lane on a crisp December day, it was obvious that Deacon Banks was something different. He wasn’t a Charleston native, not with that adorable Yankee accent. And unlike the usual client at the elegant matchmaking agency, he had no interest in finding a woman to marry—just a few no-strings dates while he was in town.

Macy Frost takes her professional services very seriously—how could she not, when she’s rumored to be a direct descendant of Cupid? Tech entrepreneur Deacon says he’s just trying to make his social-climbing aunt happy by being seen out and about with a few prominent beauties, but Macy insists she can make her client fall in love…for real. And Deacon can’t help but think she might be right. As charming as the palmetto trees and magnificent harbor may be, it’s the beautiful, breath-of-fresh-air Macy who’s become Deacon’s favorite part of the scenery. But can the hopelessly romantic Southern belle stop trying to fix him up and just let Cupid do his work on her own heart?

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About the Author

Kieran Kramer, author of the Impossible Bachelors series, was born in Washington, D.C. to an Air Force pilot father and actress/singer mother. She grew up mainly on Johns Island, a rural sea island near Charleston, South Carolina, where she helped build her family’s log home. Having worked for the CIA and as journalist for The Charlotte Observer, Kieran is now a stay-at-home mom. She once won $34,000 on Wheel of Fortune, and also won on Family Feud. She’s been married to her naval officer husband, Chuck, for twenty-one years, and they have three children.

 

CHRISTMAS IN KILTS

By Terri Brisbain, Lecia Cornwall, Brownwen Evans, Lavinia Kent, May McGoldrick

Swerve

Publication Date: October 31, 2017
Price: $4.99

Synopsis

Tis the season to fall in love! These five bestselling authors bring you great tiding of highlanders and romances this holiday season!

A HIGHLANDER’S HOPE by Terri Brisbin
A village harlot who would never dream she could have a different life meets a Highlander who visits for the holidays and brings with him an offer and hope.

A HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS WAGER by Lecia Cornwall
When a snowstorm forces a charming lass hiding a broken heart to take shelter in a castle with three fine Highland lairds just days before Christmas, there’s a game afoot—who will be the first to win a kiss and maybe her heart.

A SCOT FOR CHRISTMAS by Bronwen Evans
She’s ready to embrace her life and future as a spinster, he’s trying to have one last hurrah before he gives into his family’s wishes and proposes marriage to his neighbor, but fate has other ideas when the lady and the Scot meet at a holiday house party in the wilds of Scotland.

LEFTOVER MISTLETOE by Lavinia Kent
What happens when a highlander finds himself stranded, maybe kidnapped, with an English lady around Christmas… maybe the mistletoe will help answer that question.

SWEET HOME HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS by May McGoldrick
An encounter between an English officer and a desperate aunt trying to keep custody of her young niece leads to a little magic during the holidays.

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DECK THE HALLS

By Donna Alward

Swerve

Publication Date: October 3, 2017

Price: $3.99

Synopsis

With shades of It’s a Wonderful Life, one man must face his past to find his future this Christmas.

In the last year, George’s life has drastically changed. The formerly homeless veteran now has a job he likes, a family in the residents of Darling, VT, and for the first time in years, a home. But while his present is good, he’s still haunted by the past, a past that appears shortly before Christmas when the older sister of his brother-in-arms hunts him down and finds him in Darling, working at the Ladybug Garden Center.

Amy’s looking for closure for her family after her brother’s death in the Middle East, but the serious man she finds working in Vermont doesn’t resemble the soldier she remembers from years before. This man is hardened and yet somehow fragile, too, and in her desire to find out what really happened to her brother, she learns more about George than she ever expected.

With a little Christmas magic and the whole town supporting them, can these two bruised hearts make a future together?

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About the Author

A busy wife and mother of three (two daughters plus the family dog), Donna Alward believes hers is the best job in the world: a combination of stay-at-home mom and romance novelist. Donna loves being back on the East Coast of Canada after nearly twelve years in Alberta where her romance career began, writing about cowboys and the west. She is the author of Somebody Like You, Somebody’s Baby, and Someone to Love.

 

HOPE AT CHRISTMAS

By Nancy Naigle

St. Martin’s Griffin

Publication Date: October 10, 2017

Price: $15.99

Synopsis

Sydney Ragsdale is divorced, but her husband is still calling the shots. In an attempt to shake free from his hold, she and her daughter, RayAnne, head for tiny Hopewell, North Carolina to the only asset her ex has no control over – a decaying farmhouse that once belonged to her grandparents. She finds solace at The Book Bea, the bookstore she’d loved as a child during her summer stays.

Kevin MacAlea, Mac to his friends, is the local high school history teacher and baseball coach. Father of a twelve-year-old son, he’s Hopewell, North Carolina’s most sought after bachelor. His young bride abandoned him and his son just before Christmas and has never come back. It has left his son bitter about Christmas which is hard for Mac who loves the magic of the season. He’s been the Santa here in Hopewell since the year Seth was born.

When a catastrophe forces The Book Bea to close before the end of the year, everyone in the small town is feeling the loss. While Sydney is already off-balance by the bad news, her ex-husband breaks a promise to their daughter that sends Ray Anne running away. As Sydney tries to figure out what her next steps are she discovers all of the answers are right here in Hopewell.

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About the Author

USA Today bestselling author NANCY NAIGLE whips up small-town love stories with a dash of suspense and a whole lot of heart. Now happily retired, she devotes her time to writing, antiquing, and the occasional spa day with friends. A native of Virginia Beach, she currently calls North Carolina home. Nancy is the author of Christmas Joy.

 

THE CHRISTMAS COWBOY HERO

By Donna Grant

St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Publication Date: October 31, 2017

Price: $7.99

Synopsis

New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant returns to Texas, where a small-town legend just might find the greatest gift of all. . .

’Tis the season for ex-Navy SEAL Clayton East to come home for the holidays—even if the mood at home is anything but festive. His father is ill. The East Ranch is in financial trouble. And now it’s on Clayton, the prodigal son, to make sure his family doesn’t lose everything.

Headstrong Abby Harper is like a mother to her younger brothers, who she’s helped raise since she was a teenager. Keeping them in line is no small task while she’s also working toward her college degree. And now that one of her brothers has been arrested for stealing cattle at the East Ranch, Abby is at her wits’ end. But there is a silver lining: Clayton East. He believes in second chances, and is willing to give one to her brother this Christmas. Letting beautiful Abby—and the inescapable longing in his heart—off the hook, however, is a whole ’nother story. Could it be that the woman of this local hero’s dreams has been back at home all along?

Buy the Book 

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. She’s written more than thirty novels spanning multiple genres of romance including the bestselling Dark King stories, Dark Craving, Night’s Awakening, and Dawn’s Desire. Her acclaimed series, Dark Warriors, feature a thrilling combination of Druids, primeval gods, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children, a dog, and four cats in Texas.

 

WITH THIS CHRISTMAS RING

By Manda Collins

Swerve

Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Price: $3.99

Synopsis

A wallflower determined to fulfill a dying promise, the rogue she jilted years ago, and an orphaned baby are all brought together amidst the magic of Christmas in this new novella from Manda Collins.

Miss Merry Parks makes a deathbed promise to a schoolfriend that her infant daughter will be taken to her absent father. There’s only one problem—to find the baby’s father, she’ll have to consult his cousin, Viscount Wrotham, the man she jilted five years ago. The man she couldn’t forget.

Alex Ponsonby, Viscount Wrotham, is stunned to find Merry Parks—looking more lovely than ever–on his doorstep with an infant in her arms. His shock soon turns to dismay when he learns his own cousin William is the man who abandoned his wife and child. As head of the family he’s duty bound to see right is done. But he can’t let this opportunity pass. He’ll take Merry and the baby to his cousin, but he’ll woo her back in the process.

Merry agrees to travel with Alex and the baby to Wrotham Castle, where the entire Ponsonby family has gathered for Christmas, but her plans to see the baby settled then leave are ruined by a snowstorm. After five years apart, Alex and Merry will spend the week getting reacquainted. Perhaps it’s the spirit of the holiday, or the magic of the season, but there could be something else in the air this Yuletide…A Christmas Reunion.

 Buy the Book

About the Author

Manda Collins is the author of the Studies in Scandal series, The Lords of Anarchy series, The Ugly Duckling series and the Wicked Widows series as well as several other Regency-set romances. She spent her teen years wishing she’d been born a couple of centuries earlier, preferably in the English countryside. Time travel being what it is, she resigned herself to life with electricity and indoor plumbing, and read lots of books. When she’s not writing, she’s helping other people use books, as an academic librarian.

Posted in Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery, suspense, Thriller on October 16, 2017

HIDDEN SEA

by

MILES ARCENEAUX

  Genre: Mystery / Thriller / Suspense

Date of Publication: November 2017

Number of Pages: 384

Scroll down for giveaway!

Charlie Sweetwater saw Mexico—especially the Mexican Gulf Coast—as a spiritual second home. He’d worked, played and lived there for much of his life, and thought the country suited him better than anywhere this side of his home on the Texas Coast.

But now a worrisome and potentially dangerous development has shown up on Charlie’s radar. Young Augustus Sweetwater, affectionately known as Augie, hasn’t reported in after completing a south-of-the-border sales trip for Sweetwater Marine. Raul, Augie’s father and Charlie’s nephew, is worried sick. Drug cartel violence in Mexico has reached epidemic proportions and Augie’s path took him through the heart of the narcotraficantes’ territory.

Charlie figures Augie just went off the grid to do some well-deserved fishing, surfing and beer-drinking at the end of his trip. He’d done the same in his time. But as Augie’s unexplained absence grows, Charlie and Raul become increasingly alarmed and set off for Mexico to bring their boy home.

What they unearth is far more than the sum of their fears. The familiar and friendly Gulf of Mexico has turned into a hidden sea plagued by smugglers, human traffickers, crooked politicians and even pirates. And Augie is lost somewhere in the middle of it all.

Charlie and Raul must summon an unlikely cast of characters to aid them, including a hilariously dissolute ex-pat musician, a priest whose faith struggles against the rising tide of refugee migration, a Mexican tycoon who may have secrets of his own and a beautiful maritime “repo man”. At the end of their quest, as the deepest secret of all is revealed, Charlie Sweetwater learns that neither Raul and Augie, nor the Gulf of Mexico, nor even himself, will ever be the same again.

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Praise for Hidden Sea

“A riveting story from Texas that wanders down the cartel-invested Gulf Coast of Mexico and drifts across to lawless Cuba. The characters are as salty as the sea and the plot pulls you along as powerfully as the loop current.” – W.F. Strong, Stories from Texas, Texas Standard Radio Network

“Hidden Sea is a total blast: smart, funny, and riveting, with unforgettably colorful characters and a world so alive that you’ll swear you’re really there.” – Lou Berney, Edgar Award-winning author of The Long and Faraway Gone

“In Hidden Sea, Miles Arceneaux tosses us in the drink of a timely contemporary adventure tale with the Sweetwater clan, complete with pirates, slave ships, family secrets, and the mother of all plot twists, in his patented Gulf Coast noir style.” – Michelle Newby Lancaster, Contributing Editor, Lone Star Literary Life, NBCC Literary Critic

Miles Arceneaux on Writing the Gulf Coast

(First published, May 5, 2016, Mystery People Blog)

The dilemma of writing mysteries set on the Texas Gulf Coast isn’t an absence of compelling characters to drive the plot and flesh out the scenery. On the contrary, there’s too damn many of ‘em to ever winnow down, even over the course of four (so far) novels.

It’s an embarrassment of riches, folks. What the Texas coast lacks in terms of sun-kissed white sand beaches, beautiful people and tony resorts (instead of Donald Trump’s sumptuous Mar-A-Lago, we’ve got the No Esta Aquí Lounge, featuring u-peel-‘em shrimp and cockfights on Sundays), we make up for in local color. Always have.

The stomping ground for my characters is Texas’ Coastal Bend, which runs roughly between Galveston and Corpus Christi. It’s a complex and fascinating array of bays, barrier islands, estuaries and wetlands that has been a magnet for dingbats and reprobates ever since Texas’ first tourist, Spanish castaway Cabeza de Vaca, stumbled ashore near Galveston in 1528, only to encounter our first Chamber of Commerce, in the form of the six-foot tall, tattooed, alligator grease-coated, ritualistically cannibalistic Karankawa Indians.

Since then the area has been as popular as Padre Island to spring breakers among a historically diverse human subset of pirates, freebooters, smugglers, colorful drunkards, pennyante empire builders, refugees and fugitives of every description, silver-tongued conmen (and women), top-shelf bullshit artists, and congenitally lying fishermen. There have been female temptresses who can turn gold wedding bands into cheap pewter with a glance, and men who have changed their names and fled to sea to escape them.

Let’s put it this way: If Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, the Coen Brothers, Molly Ivins (RIP), Gabriel Garcia Marquez and any local fishing guide sat on the deck of a Port Aransas oyster bar pounding Papa Doble daiquiris for, oh, all night, they might have come up with my fictional counterpoints of the real-life characters who give the Coastal Bend its savor.

It’s close to a photo finish, but I’d say on the balance I enjoy writing about the women of the Texas Coast more than their male counterpoints. The women not only have to put up with the men, they frequently have to force Joe Bob et.al. to confront, sometimes under extreme duress, the better angels of their nature.

In one of my tales, a particularly enterprising fry cook picked up a cast iron skillet and did a Joe DiMaggio off the skull of a B-list gangster. In other areas of the country, this might be construed as assault. In my part of the world it’s considered behavior modification. As a West Texas buddy of mine once remarked, he never understood all the fuss about Women’s Lib: “All the chicks I know are armed,” he remarked.

BookPeople, MysteryPeople and especially Scott Montgomery have been surpassingly supportive since my debut thriller starring the Sweetwater clan, Thin Slice of Life, was published in 2012. Likewise, with LaSalle’s Ghost, Ransom Island and, most lately, North Beach. I’m humbly grateful. Still, with all respect to Scott and MysteryPeople, I’m not certain these epistles fall neatly into any “mystery” category. They are not locked-room mysteries by any means, neither are they noir, hard- boilers nor whodunits. I guess “comedic novel of suspense” about covers it, though that takes up a lot of real estate on a book jacket. Still, it’s a mystery to me what’s gonna happen to all these rascals when I start out on a new one, so there is that.

Though the issues in my books, including the clash of cultures, the erosion of time, the nature of friendship and loyalty, might (I hope) seem nuanced, the characters at the heart of the story are pretty simple. I write about men and women you can root for and enjoy hanging out with, bad guys who are low-down sons of bitches who get what’s coming to them and supporting characters who make you laugh, shake your head or maybe both.

We’re not talking Dostoyevsky here.

In the end, to paraphrase our former future governor (cq) Kinky Friedman, I write to entertain Americans in their airports, by their swimming pools and on their skiffs when the fish aren’t biting.

There is a thing called a “Texas Fairy Tale.” A regular fairy tale, say about Cinderella and them, starts out “Once upon a time…” A Texas fairy tale, on the other hand, begins, “You ain’t gonna believe this bullshit…”

So that’s me: Miles Arceneaux, Texas fairy tale writer. Let’s drink to that.

 

“Miles Arceneaux” is the pen name of three long-time Texas friends. James R.  Dennis is a former attorney turned Dominican friar who lives in San Antonio. Brent Douglass is an international businessman from Austin. John T. Davis, also of Austin, is a journalist and author. Together, as “Miles,” they have been featured authors at the Texas Book Festival, the San Antonio Book Festival, and the Lubbock Book Festival.

Website * Facebook * Twitter

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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!

Grand Prize: Autographed copies of all five Gulf Coast series books by Miles Arceneaux + a copy of Geoff Winningham’s Traveling the Shore of the Spanish Sea — The Gulf Coast of Texas and Mexico

Two Runners-Up: Each win an autographed copy of Hidden Sea

October 11-October 20, 2017

U.S. Only


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Check out the other blogs on this tour

10/11 promo Texas Book Lover
10/12 Review Forgotten Winds
10/12 ICYWW #1 Bibliotica
10/13 Review Missus Gonzo
10/14 Excerpt 1 Syd Savvy
10/14 Author Interview A Page Before Bedtime
10/15 Review Texan Girl Reads
10/16 Guest Post StoreyBook Reviews
10/16 ICYWW #2 Chapter Break Book Blog
10/17 Review Hall Ways Blog
10/18 Excerpt 2 Books and Broomsticks
10/18 Playlist The Page Unbound
10/19 Review Reading By Moonlight
10/20 Review Tangled in Text
10/20 ICYWW #3 The Librarian Talks

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Posted in Giveaway on October 15, 2017

 

I have been going through my books and have been getting rid of many…not that I don’t like the books, I just have tooooo many on my shelves!  Plus this makes my husband happy.

While I’m not sure if these are spooky, cozy mysteries are always a little suspenseful!  I am giving away the first 4 books in the Bed & Breakfast series by Mary Daheim

So if you live in the US, enter below to win a book! Then visit one of the many other blogs below to win books from them too!

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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on October 15, 2017

The Case of the Clobbered Cad (Nosy Parkers Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Journey Fiction (August 4, 2017)
Paperback: 302 pages

Synopsis

Inspired by the famous Girl Detective, the members of the Olentangy Heights Girls’ Detective Society, affectionately known as the Nosy Parkers, spent their formative years studying criminology, codes, and capers. Unfortunately, opportunities to put their unique skills to work were thin on the ground in the post-war boom of their little corner of suburbia and they eventually grew up to pursue more sensible careers. Until…

Heather Munro’s youthful devotion to The Girl Detective led to a passion for digging around in history. Now pursuing her Master’s Degree in Celtic Studies, Heather must balance exploring Edinburgh with her determination to excel in her all–male classes at the University. Unfortunately, on her first night working in the Archives room, she discovers the dead body of a visiting professor, the same would-be lothario she’d hoped never to see again.

As clues come to light, it’s clear someone hopes to frame Heather for the murder. Besides her quirky landlady, whom can she trust? How can she clear her name? The police and the American Consul have plenty of suspects, but only two seem to have both motive and opportunity: Heather and the quiet Scottish historian she longs to trust.

 

Guest Post

Okay readers! You are all big fans of mystery and suspense, right? But how well do you know your authors and their work? I’ve brought a self-test. Five groups of eight authors from many subgenres over the last century.  It’s a great reminder of the broad spectrum of stories that fall in the mystery genre!

Keep track of your points and let us know in the comments. If any of you say 40 points, then I will wonder if you are a librarian or stretching the truth!  Along with points, let us know what stories here you’d love to read and which one you’d most recommend.

My recent release, The Case of the Clobbered Cad, is set in 1956 Edinburgh, and my heroine is a young woman who, as a young teen, was a big fan of The Girl Detective. It’s one thing to read adventures, and another to have to face a murder yourself! Written for grown-up fans, The Nosy Parker series blends classic mystery, amateur sleuth and a touch of romantic suspense. Come sleuth with us!

About the Author

Debra E. Marvin tries not to run too far from real life but the imagination born out of being an only child has a powerful draw. Besides, the voices in her head tend to agree with all the sensible things she says. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Sisters in Crime, and serves on the board of Bridges Ministry in Seneca Falls, NY. She is published with WhiteFire Publishing, Forget Me Not Romances, and contracted with Journey Fiction, and a judge for the Grace Awards for many years. Debra works as a program assistant at Cornell University, and enjoys her family and grandchildren, obsessively buying fabric, watching British programming and traveling with her childhood friends.

Twitter * Facebook * Website * Pinterest * Amazon Author Page * Instagram

 

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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on October 14, 2017

Mining for Justice (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Midnight Ink (October 8, 2017)
Paperback: 384 pages

Synopsis

Chloe Ellefson is excited to be learning about Wisconsin’s Cornish immigrants and mining history while on temporary assignment at Pendarvis, a historic site in charming Mineral Point. But when her boyfriend, police officer Roelke McKenna, discovers long-buried human remains in the root cellar of an old Cornish cottage, Chloe reluctantly agrees to mine the historical record for answers.

She soon finds herself in the center of a heated and deadly controversy that threatens to close Pendarvis. While struggling to help the historic site, Chloe must unearth dark secrets, past and present . . . before a killer comes to bury her.

Guest Post

Keeping It Local

I grew up on the east coast, and it never occurred to me that I’d end up in the Upper Midwest.  After one trip to Wisconsin, I applied for a job at a living history museum, packed my rusty Ford Pinto (this was 1982), and moved.  In the thirty-plus years since then, I like to think I’ve become a true Midwesterner.

So it’s not surprising that when I began creating what became the Chloe Ellefson Mystery series, I decided to set the series right here.   Protagonist Chloe is a curator at Old World Wisconsin, the historic site where I worked for twelve years.  As the series has developed, different books take Chloe to other historic sites and museums in Wisconsin and, occasionally, surrounding states.

Some of my own favorite authors – Margaret Maron, William Kent Krueger, the Hillermans – write/wrote with a strong sense of place.  I love getting to know their characters’ terrain in increasing detail as each series progresses.  I love visiting what are obviously beloved landscapes, and learning about different cultural aspects of each.

I try to instill those same elements in each Chloe Ellefson mystery. Old World Wisconsin, the nation’s largest museum dedicated to the history of rural life, is featured in several books. Chloe has taken readers to an old lighthouse on an island in Lake Michigan and to all of the Laura Ingalls Wilder homesites.  Settings have also included traditional museums, such as Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Iowa and the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis.

The series also celebrates Wisconsin’s diverse ethnic heritage.  Strands of historical fiction, braided with Chloe’s contemporary plotline, have featured Norwegian, Swiss, Danish, Polish, and German characters. The stories honor everyday people – the challenges they faced, the foods they ate, the folk arts they practiced.

The 8th book in the series, Mining For Justice, delves into the lives of Cornish miners and their families, who arrived in Southwest Wisconsin in the 1830s to mine lead.  It was difficult for the immigrants to find their way in the rough “diggings,” but they did – and managed to create a community from the rough frontier.

The Cornish arrived in the territorial period, a decade or more before Wisconsin became a state.  Some of those settlers’ homes have been restored at Pendarvis Historic Site in Mineral Point, WI.  When Chloe Ellefson arrives to spend a week as a guest curator, she is eager to learn more about the early Cornish women, who were largely illiterate and so left no handy diaries or letters behind.

Finding a skeleton in the root cellar of Cornish stone cottage gets the week off to a rocky start!  And it soon becomes clear that Chloe’s investigation into the life of a immigrant named Mary Pascoe is leading her straight into danger.

I hope that readers find Mining For Justice a rollicking good read.  If the book gives them a new glimpse of the fascinating state I call home, so much the better!

About the Author

Kathleen Ernst is a social historian, educator, and author. Her Chloe Ellefson mysteries reflect the decade she spent as a curator at a large outdoor museum, and feature historic sites in the Upper Midwest.  Library Journal says, “Ernst keeps getting better with each entry in this fascinating series.” Kathleen has also written many mysteries for young readers.  Honors for her work include a LOVEY Award and Agatha and Edgar nominations.  Kathleen lives and writes in Wisconsin.

Website * Facebook * Blog

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Check out the other blogs on this tour

October 5 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 5 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

October 6 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW

October 6 – Girl with Book Lungs – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 7 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

October 8 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

October 9 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

October 10 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

October 11 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

October 11 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

October 12 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

October 13 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

October 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

October 15 – Lori’s Reading Corner – GUEST POST

October 16 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW*

October 16 – Readeropolis – INTERVIEW

October 17 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 18 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on October 13, 2017

Murder on the Toy Town Express: A Vintage Toyshop Mystery
Cozy Mysterry
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
Crooked Lane Books (October 10, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages

Synopsis

Liz McCall has come to love running her father’s vintage toyshop back home in East Aurora, NY, so when the Train and Toy Show comes to town, she’s all aboard for a fun toy-filled weekend. The only hitch is that her childhood bully Craig McFadden, now local business rival, has set up a booth next to hers. But the fun and games are over when Craig falls from the ceiling in a publicity stunt gone wrong.

What was initially thought to be a fatal accident proves much more sinister. Pulled into the case by her feelings for both Ken, the police chief, and Jack, her high school sweetheart whose brother is one the prime suspects, Liz dives headfirst into the investigation. But as she digs deeper, she’s shocked to learn her father may have been the intended target.

The trouble train is barreling down and Liz may have just bought herself a first class ticket in Murder on the Toy Town Express, Barbara Early’s delightful second installment in her Vintage Toyshop mysteries.

Amazon * B&N * BAM *  INDIEBOUND * Book Depository

Guest Post

Why set a mystery series against the backdrop of a toy shop?

Well, it all started with a place. When I wrote the Bridal Bouquet Shop series (as Beverly Allen), I came to love the fictional town in Virginia where the story took place. But one thing always bothered me. I kept waiting for an eagle-eyed Virginia reader to tell me I messed something up. So I checked and double-checked everything. Was it soda or pop…or something else? Middle school or junior high? So many common expressions vary by geography, and it was giving me fits. Fortunately, I had a few locals I could message and get good answers, because it’s not always convenient to hop in the car and drive to Virginia.

When developing a new series, I wanted to stay a little closer to home. The village of East Aurora, NY, is one of the coziest towns I’ve ever encountered. There’s a quirky five-and-dime with a proclivity for puns, and an array of mom-and-pop Main Street shops and eateries that would stand up to any fictional cozy town. Of course, when I was scouting it out, I might have gotten a few odd looks when I said things like, “Now this would be a great place to find a body.”

Once I had the location, I needed to decide what business or occupation my amateur sleuth would specialize in—at least when she wasn’t stumbling over those dead bodies. I toyed with several ideas. (Ha! Pun unintentional.) I was browsing through the Chamber of Commerce website when I learned that the village was sometimes called Toy Town, based on its long history of toy manufacture. So first I thought toy shop, then the thought struck. Vintage toys.

Soon I learned that there was such a thing as vintage toy shows. When I went to my first, I became a fan. It’s hard not to ooh and aah over all those toys from my childhood, many I might have not thought about in years. It’s really more about nostalgia sometimes than it is toys. Not all of us have a vintage toy collection, but most of us have fond memories of our childhood playthings!

It was just such a show that became the inspiration for the backdrop of Murder on the Toy Town Express, which features the death of a comic book dealer at a Train and Toy Show—very similar to one that takes place near me twice a year.

Except nobody has died at the real one, at least I hope not!

About the Author

Barbara Early earned an engineering degree, but after four years of doing nothing but math, developed a sudden allergy to the subject and decided to choose another occupation. Before she settled on murdering fictional people, she was a secretary, a school teacher, a pastor’s wife, and an amateur puppeteer. After several years living elsewhere, she and her husband moved back to her native Western New York State, where she enjoys cooking, crafts, classic movies and campy seventies television, board games, and posting pictures of her four cats on Facebook. She writes the Vintage Toyshop series and the Bridal Bouquet Shop Mysteries (as Beverly Allen).

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

Author Newsletter * Cozy Cafe * Killer Characters

Giveaway

There are 2 giveaways today – I am lucky enough to give away one of these prize packs which includes a brightly colored vintage toyshop tote bag, key ring, train whistle, bookmarks, and assorted fun toyshop swag (color and selection will vary).

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The second giveaway is a tour wide giveaway

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Check out the other blogs on this tour

October 9 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 9 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 10 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

October 10 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY

October 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

October 11 – Writing Pearls – REVIEW

October 12 – The Power of Words – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

October 12 – Blogger Nicole Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

October 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST,  GIVEAWAY

October 13 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY

October 13 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – GUEST POST

October 14 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

October 14 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

October 15 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

October 15 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

October 16 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

October 16 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

October 17 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

October 18 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

October 18 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

October 18 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Trailer on October 12, 2017

Game Changer by Charissa Stastny

Meridee Mansford wants nothing to do with the popular crowd. She’s comfortable being invisible. But that doesn’t stop her from dreaming about the hunky football player who visits the campus ice cream shop where she works. Still, she’s smart enough to know he’d never notice a girl like her, and she’d never want him even if he did. Too much unwelcome attention.

Parker Harrington basks in the glory that’s been his since the game-changing passes he caught that pushed his team into the national spotlight. Sticky Fingers is his media moniker now, and the cheerleaders who used to ignore him when he sat the bench have become his most devoted fans. But when he accidentally crashes into a quiet coed and covers her in orange chicken, it throws off his offensive game.

As fate, ice cream, and orange chicken throw the opposites together, will Parker continue keeping company with women he knows are only using him for his fame, or will he change up the game and risk his heart on a genuine girl who despises the attention he craves?

Praise for the Book

“A fun and flirty new adult romance. It’s a sweet indulgence that keeps you turning pages. The start to what is sure to be a great new series. – Jennifer Peel, author of Pianos and Promises series

“Opposites attract when the overlooked sweet girl lands herself the popular football star in this quasi-Cinderella story. It’s the perfect read to keep you up way past your bedtime…”Taylor Dean, author of Chasing Fireflies

 

 

Excerpt

Twiddling my fingers, I waited for Ken to make up his mind. I hoped he’d order without looking up so he didn’t recognize me. Not that he would. But just in case, I kept my chin tucked as I stared at the counter.

“Um, let’s see.” His head stayed bowed. “I’ll have a triple waffle cone with a scoop of caramel cashew and…” He paused and scratched his head as though solving a physics problem. “…a scoop of huckleberry ripple, and, umm…I guess I’ll try a scoop of that…”

When he paused, I peeked up to see if he pointed at a flavor. Instead, I found him staring at me.

“Y-you,” he sputtered.

I cringed and wished a hole could open up in the floor and swallow me.

“You’re the girl I crashed into in the CUB yesterday, aren’t you?”

My cheeks burned and my throat felt like sandpaper. “W-what was the last flavor you wanted?” He hadn’t finished ordering.

“Oh, uh, yeah. Um…” His gaze dropped, but shot right back up to stare at me again.

“What’s your last flavor?” I determined to keep him on task.

His brows furrowed. “I guess I’ll have the licorice since it’s new.”

I shuddered, and attempted to ignore the infuriatingly sexy man gaping at me as though I had horns sprouting from my head. The tightening in my chest and labored breathing proved I tried in vain.

 

 

About the Author

Charissa Stastny is an avid reader, happy writer, wasp-hater, iris-lover, and food connoisseur (especially sushi and chocolate, but not together). She was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, but has never pulled a handle of a slot machine and can’t shuffle cards to save her life. She is married to her high school sweetheart and has four children that make her smile and laugh all the time. She called Idaho her home for years, but has recently moved to Utah, where she was thrilled to discover dozens of flavors of hot chocolate to keep her happy in the winter. The cherry one might be her favorite (this week). She is the author of five books and ‘imagine-eer’ of many more.

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amazon or paypal$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 11/5/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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