Posted in 4 paws, Blog tour, contest, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery on October 18, 2013

banner large Murder at the maples

 

murder at the maples

Murder at the Maples (A Flora Lively Mystery: Book 1)
Mirrorball Books (September 16, 2013)
Genre: Cozy mystery
Number of Pages: 274

Synopsis

A tragic death. A reluctant sleuth. A childhood prank that went horribly wrong.

When Flora Lively inherits her father’s business she’s totally out of her depth. Shakers Removals is in trouble, and manager Marshall isn’t helping one bit – the ex-pat American delights only in winding her up. But Flora has other things on her mind, like Joy: surrogate grandmother and resident of the Maples Retirement Village. When Joy’s pet pug has a brush with death, Flora is pulled into a series of bizarre incidents at the Maples, where fear is starting to take hold.

Could harmless old Mr. Felix really be the boy from Joy’s past, determined to exact his revenge, or is it Joy’s guilty mind playing tricks on her? And what about the Captain’s death? Accidents happen, even to the most careful people, but Flora’s not convinced the old man simply fell down the stairs … Playing detective seemed like a good idea at first, but before long Flora realises the stakes are far higher than either she or Joy imagined.

Full of warmth and humour, this gripping puzzle will appeal to fans of M. C. Beaton and Edie Clare.

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Review

Murder at the Maples is a cozy set in England and is about a moving company that seems to specialize in moving seniors from their homes into a retirement community.  Running the company after her father’s death, Flora has some big shoes to fill and has a manger, Marshall, that while related somehow, is from the US and sees business differently than Flora.  Not that either is right or wrong, they just have opposing viewpoints on how to run the company.  Flora has a degree in psychology and it comes in handy when dealing with the seniors that are moving into the Maples retirement home, in fact she has befriended Joy and is maybe a little too invested in the happenings at the home.  However, this comes to be a benefit when seniors start dying and Flora starts questioning what is really happening.

This book did take a little for me to get in to, but once I did and fell into a rhythm, I couldn’t wait to read what might come next.  Some of the “evil” characters were rather obvious to me, but may not be to everyone.  I think I knew that they were bad in some respect but didn’t know all of the details as to why.  It is a good start to a new series and we give it 4 paws.

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About The Author

Joanne PhillipsJoanne Phillips lives in Shropshire, England with her husband and young daughter. She’s the author of commercial women’s fiction Can’t Live Without and The Family Trap, and the Flora Lively series of cozy mysteries. Can’t Live Without was an Amazon top 100 bestseller in 2012 and her books regularly appear on category bestseller lists.

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I received a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.

Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, mystery, Review on October 14, 2013

murder strikes a pose

 

Synopsis:

Yoga instructor Kate Davidson tries to live up to yoga’s Zen-like expectations, but it’s not easy while struggling to keep her small business afloat or dodging her best friend’s matchmaking efforts.

When George, a homeless alcoholic, and his loud, horse-sized German shepherd, Bella, start hawking newspapers outside her studio, Kate attempts to convince them to leave. Instead, the three strike up an unlikely friendship.

Then Kate finds George’s dead body. The police dismiss it as a drug-related street crime, but Kate knows he was no drug dealer. Now she must solve George’s murder and find someone willing to adopt his intimidating companion before Bella is sent to the big dog park in the sky. With the murderer on her trail, Kate has to work fast or her next Corpse Pose may be for real.

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Review:

This is the first in a new series and was not too bad.  I am not sure how well the characters were developed but they were likeable and I can see a lot of potential for the storyline.  I was surprised to see a “cozy” span a month or longer in the time frame, usually most cozy books are 1-2 weeks depending on the circumstances.  It was interesting to learn a little about yoga and the instructors belief system – to have a calming influence on their own lives and those around them.  You could see this come into play when dealing with George the homeless man and the compassion for him and his dog Bella.  I love dogs so anytime there is a dog involved I want to read the book!  Bella was a mess but well loved by George and in turn by Kate.  I thought it was funny how her friend conspired with the pet store owner in setting her up on a date, have to give them kudos for their conniving since it was in Kate’s best interest!

Overall we give it 4 paws

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About the Author:

My writing is an expression of the things I love best: yoga, dogs, and murder mysteries.

I’m a certified yoga teacher and the founder of Whole Life Yoga, an award-winning yoga studio in Seattle, WA. I enjoy sharing my passion for yoga and animals in any form possible.

My husband and I live with our challenging yet amazing German shepherd Tasha and our bonito flake-loving cat Maggie. When I’m not writing, I spend my time teaching yoga, walking Tasha, and sipping Blackthorn cider at my favorite local ale house.

I am a member of Sisters in Crime, The Pacific Northwest Writers Association, and the Dog Writers Association of America.

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I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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Comments Off on Mystery Monday: Murder Strikes a Pose by Tracy Weber @TracyWeberTypes
Posted in 5 paws, Blog tour, contest, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery on October 1, 2013

 

rocky road

Tour Schedule

Rocky RoadRocky Road

It was supposed to be a girls’ weekend in scenic St. George, Utah that would include shopping, trying out the local cuisine, and participating in a breast cancer fundraiser. The fact that one of the organizers of the fundraising event, a local doctor, disappeared two months ago was not supposed to be Sadie’s problem. In fact, she refuses to participate in the grassroots investigation her friend Caro, and Caro’s cousin, Tess, have put together prior to her arrival. But then she meets the ex-wife of the missing doctor. How could she not ask a few questions . . . that lead to a few more questions . . . that lead to a small town and yet even more questions. Before she knows it, Sadie is in the middle of yet another murder investigation and trying to piece together a convoluted trail of good intentions, hidden motivations, and philanthropy turned big business.

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Excerpt

As soon as she stepped outside, the heat was forgotten due to the amazing smells coming from the two Dutch ovens. One had chicken and the other a potato type casserole. Sadie had to swallow in order to keep her enthusiasm in check. Really, her food obsessions were a bit out of hand.

“This is wonderful,” Sadie said after Paul slid into his seat at the head of the table. She’d already enjoyed a few bites of both the chicken and the potatoes. They were both delicious.

Paul grinned his appreciation for the compliment but said nothing, probably because his mouth was full. She waited for him to finish before asking about the recipe, which he said he’d be happy to share. Sadie would have to buy a Dutch oven and make it for Pete sometime. Maybe after they were married. Zing.

“Oh, I forgot the rolls.” Tess jumped up and headed for the kitchen, returning seconds later with a basket of rolls that completed the meal perfectly. Tess also put a small bowl of what looked like strawberry cream cheese in the center of the table.

“When we got married Paul’s mom gave me a whole cook book full of her families favorite recipes including this one,” Tess explained as she returned to her seat. “It’s from a restaurant called Maddox in Northern Utah—that’s where Paul’s from. They’re especially good with raspberry butter.”

Raspberry butter, not strawberry cream cheese.

Sadie was happy to give the rolls a sampling and spread both halves with a generous helping of the raspberry butter. “These are delicious,” Sadie said one bite later. “Is it a batter roll?” The roll was so light it couldn’t possibly be from a traditional kneaded dough.

“It is a batter roll. They’re my go-to roll recipe—so easy to whip up and so good. I’m glad you like them.”

Review

While this may be the 10th book in the series, this is only the 2nd book that I have read by Josi.  I will admit that I did not like the previous book, Baked Alaska, a whole lot.  It wasn’t bad, just wasn’t my favorite book.  But I always like to read a second book by authors just in case…and am I VERY glad that I did!  I LOVED this book!   I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out what happened to the missing doctor and how Sadie was going to solve this one.  There were some good twists and turns and I never expected the book to turn out how it did.  I liked how Sadie tried to let the police solve the case…until they asked for her help.  I don’t think the police knew what they were getting in to when they asked for her help, but it is a good thing they did ask!

There are also some yummy recipes in this book, I might just have to try one out to see how it fares in my kitchen!

We give this book 5 paws and highly recommend it if you are a fan of cozies!

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Author Josi S. Kilpack

Born and raised in Salt Lake City Utah, I met my husband in high-school–well, he wasn’t my husband then, just the cute guy in weight training with the permed mullet–and we married in 1993. I wrote my first book while on bed rest with my third child and have gone on to publish 20 novels, the most recent being part of The Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series.

I currently live in Willard, Utah with my husband, children, and cat.

 

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Culinary Mysteries by Josi Kilpack

culinary mysteries

 

Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 10/6/13

 

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, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Posted in Cozy, Monday, mystery on September 30, 2013

Have you heard of author Jana DeLeon?  She writes a several fun series and today I’m bringing you book one in the Miss Fortune series….AND to celebrate the release of the third book (Swamp Sniper), Louisiana Longshot is being offered for $0.99 on Amazon , iTunes and Barnes and Noble and probably other places too!

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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00001]

 

Synopsis

It was a hell of a longshot…

CIA Assassin Fortune Redding is about to undertake her most difficult mission ever–in Sinful, Louisiana.

With a leak at the CIA and a price on her head by one of the world’s largest arms dealers, Fortune has to go off grid, but she never expected to be this far out of her element. Posing as a former beauty queen turned librarian in a small, bayou town seems worse than death to Fortune, but she’s determined to fly below the radar until her boss finds the leak and puts the arms dealer out of play.

Unfortunately, she hasn’t even unpacked a suitcase before her newly-inherited dog digs up a human bone in her backyard. Thrust into the middle of a bayou murder mystery, Fortune teams up with a couple of seemingly-sweet old ladies whose looks completely belie their hold on the little town. To top things off, the handsome local deputy is asking her too many questions. If she’s not careful, this investigation may blow her cover and get her killed.

Armed with her considerable skills and a group of old ladies referred to by locals as The Geritol Mafia, Fortune has no choice but to solve the murder before it’s too late.

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Excerpt – from Jana DeLeon’s website

I stepped off the Learjet at the private airfield just before dawn. I’d been on the plane exactly seventeen hours, twenty-six minutes and fourteen seconds, wearing the same eight-hundred-dollar dress I’d worn when I killed a man twenty-five hours earlier. One of my shoes hadn’t made it out of the desert, and I clutched what remained of the other shoe in my right hand and my nine millimeter in the left. Apparently, eight-hundred-dollar dresses didn’t come with pockets or holsters, and I didn’t have the kind of cleavage that made a viable hiding place.

A black Cadillac DTS with limo-tinted windows waited at the end of the runway, so I took a deep breath and headed for the car, steeling myself for the ass-chewing I knew was coming. But when I opened the door and slid into the passenger’s seat, the angry, balding man I’d expected to see was nowhere in sight. Instead, a slightly overweight, fiftyish, African-American woman frowned at me, shaking her head.

“Girl, you are in one heap of trouble,” said the driver, Hadley Reynolds, CIA executive assistant extraordinaire.

“Did he have a heart attack when he heard?” I asked, wondering why the director had sent Hadley instead of coming himself. “I figured he’d be here to run me over with the car.”

“He had a moment there during that phone call when I wondered. His face turned so red, I thought he was going to pop, but then he rushed out yelling at me to pick you up and take you to meet him as soon as you arrived.”

I sighed, my fleeting thoughts of a real meal and decent clothes slipping from my mind. Not only had the plane been stocked with healthy food, it hadn’t contained an ounce of alcohol. “I guess picking up a burger and six-pack on the way is out of the question?”

“It’s six a.m.”

“Not in the Middle East,” I pointed out.

“This is Washington, D.C., not some giant sandbox. Besides, you’re meeting at a café. You can have all the fat and carbs you want.” Hadley looked down at her own plump figure then over at me and frowned. “You know, I rarely ask for anything although I do a lot of favors—and God knows, I’m never going to fit in one of those size-four dresses they put you in—but why can’t you be kind to the shoes?”

I looked down at what was remaining of the Prada shoes and felt a bit guilty. When I’d opened the box containing the shoes at CIA headquarters, I thought Hadley was going to pass out. She’d stared at them as if they were magical. My reaction hadn’t been exactly the same. “I’m sorry.”

Hadley raised one eyebrow.

“I swear. I’m sorry. That entire situation got a little out of hand. I didn’t plan on ruining the shoes.”

Hadley sighed and patted my leg, like she’d done since I was a little girl. “Honey, I know you didn’t, but you keep having these situations. I’m afraid that one day I’m going to be picking you up in a box.”

“It’s my job.”

“The risks you take are not your job and you know it.” She paused for a couple of seconds. “You don’t have anything to prove…not to him or anyone else.”

I just nodded and looked out the window, not wanting to get into a discussion about my late father, the “him” in her statement. Even though he died when I was fifteen, I could still see him frowning at me and shaking his head. Unfortunately, I couldn’t blame him. Super CIA agent Dwight Redding had never made a mistake, never blown his cover, and never killed someone who wasn’t on the hit list.

Dwight Redding had been perfect. The golden boy at the CIA.

Changing mental channels, I focused on the current situation. “Why a café?”

“The director didn’t say.”

I studied Hadley’s expression, but she was telling the truth, which worried me even more. If Director Morrow wanted to meet with me somewhere other than CIA headquarters that could mean only one thing—he was letting me go.

I sucked in a deep breath and blew it out slowly, trying to prepare my defense argument. Best to hit him with it first, before he could pull the trigger—play to his sympathies. Yeah, that was it. If, of course, I could figure out exactly what his sympathies were before we got to the café. Eight years of working for him hadn’t provided a single clue.

Hadley made a sudden turn and pulled up in front of a dingy storefront with the day’s special painted right on the grimy window. “You sure he’s not going to kill me?” I asked, giving the neighborhood a quick once-over. It looked like the kind of place where no one would blink over the sound of gunshots.

Hadley shook her head. “If the director doesn’t kill you, the food in there probably will.”

“Thanks for the vote of confidence.” I climbed out of the car, leaving the broken shoe behind, and headed into the café.

I spotted Director Morrow and another agent, Ben Harrison, in a booth at the back of the single room. Otherwise, it was completely empty. Morrow frowned as soon as he saw me walk in. As I got closer, he noticed my bare feet and downed his entire glass of water. I glanced over at Harrison, trying to get a read on Morrow’s state of mind, but he gave me an imperceptible shake of his head. Not good. Time for defense mode.

“I had to kill him,” I said as Harrison rose and allowed me to slide into the booth across from Morrow. “I didn’t have a choice.”

Harrison made a choking sound, sat down next to me and had a fake coughing fit into his napkin.

“Your personnel file,” Morrow said, “is full of those ‘no choice’ situations. Your hit count makes Attila the Hun look like a pacifist.”

“But he was going to sell that girl to the sheikh. She was only twelve years old and -”

“I don’t care if he had Siamese twins with puppies. You always maintain cover.” He held up two fingers. “Two years worth of work blown in less than a minute. It’s a new record, Redding.”

“I can still salvage it. Just put me back in.”

“How do you propose I do that? You were supposed to be the distributor’s new eye-candy. All you had to do was deliver the money, collect the drugs, and leave. But no, you had to kill the brother of the boss…an arms dealer who shot his wife for walking in front of the television during American Idol. Do you really think he’s going to give you a pass on killing his only sibling?”

“Not to mention,” Harrison added, “that most hoochies don’t go around killing people with their shoes. He’s probably figured out you’re not some ditzy gold digger.”

I glared at Harrison, who only seemed to have diarrhea of the mouth when it involved me. “There wasn’t any place on my body I could hide a gun—not with that sleazy dress I had to wear. And that shoe had a spike on it. What the hell else is it good for?”

“Jesus, Redding.” Harrison laughed. “Haven’t you seen a movie, a magazine ad…another woman in public? Stilettos are common among people with estrogen.”

“Which explains why you know what they are, and I don’t. Why don’t you play the girl on the next mission? You’re obviously better suited.”

“There is no next mission,” Morrow said, cutting off the argument altogether.

I whipped around to face the director. “You’re firing me? You can’t do that.”

“I could do that if I wanted to, but that’s not the problem. We got news from Intel this morning. Your face has been distributed to every drug and arms dealer that does business with Ahmad’s organization. He’s offering one million to anyone who brings your body to him. Ten million if someone brings you in alive.”

“Jesus,” Harrison said, all antagonism gone.

I felt the blood start to drain from my face, and mentally tried to force it back up.  “So? It’s not the first time an agent has had a price on their head,” I said, hoping my voice sounded stronger than I felt.

Morrow shook his head. “We’ve never had a case this bad. Seeing you dead has become the personal agenda of one of the biggest arms dealers of the decade. I have no choice but to make you disappear.”

“No way am I going into witness protection. They’ll stick me in some bank teller job in Idaho.”

“I agree that witness protection is out, but not because I care what job you’d be asked to perform.” Morrow leaned across the table, his expression a combination of serious, concerned, and just a hint of fear. It was the fear part that made my breath catch in my throat.

“There’s a leak,” Morrow said, his voice low. “I know it’s coming from inside the CIA, but have no idea how high up it goes.”

I gasped, my mind trying to grasp what he’d said. It wasn’t possible. A traitor in the agency?

“No way!” Harrison jumped up from the booth and paced in front of it. “I don’t believe it.”

Morrow sighed. “I didn’t want to believe it, either, but the reality is, someone put Ahmad’s people onto Redding before she ever set foot on that boat. That whole scene with the girl was intentional—trying to force Redding to blow her cover so they could be certain. They knew she didn’t have a gun, but apparently didn’t factor in how dangerous she was in high heels.”

“Shit,” Harrison said and slumped back down in the booth.

Morrow looked at Harrison then back at me. “Both of you know that information about the mission could only have come from our office. According to Intel, Redding wasn’t supposed to make it off that boat at all, much less alive. And that whole shoe incident upped the stakes astronomically.”

“She can have plastic surgery,” Harrison said. “It’s done all the time, right?”

“No way!” I argued.

Morrow held up a hand to stop the exchange. “You’ve been watching too many Hollywood movies. Plastic surgery can’t change her height or her bone structure, not enough, anyway. Ahmad’s security equipment is top of the line. A single photo taken by one of his cameras, and they’d have the bone structure pinned right back to Redding. We still have another operative inside. We can’t afford the risk.”

“So, what am I supposed to do?” I asked, the gravity of the situation finally sinking in. “You’re telling me I’m not even safe at CIA headquarters? Where am I supposed to go?”

Morrow pushed a folder across the table. “I have an idea,” he said somewhat hesitantly. “It wouldn’t be official. Only you, me, and Harrison would know about it. That’s why I’m speaking to the two of you here. I can’t trust anyone else, and there’s the possibility that my office is bugged.”

Harrison glanced over at me and nodded. “Whatever you think, sir. I’ll do whatever you need.”

“All I need from you, Harrison, is to keep your mouth shut and remember this information in case something happens to me. For the obvious reasons, there will be no paper trail. Redding, on the other hand, is going to have to do a bit of maneuvering to pull this off.”

“Pull what off?”

“My niece just inherited a house from her maternal great-aunt. She’s scheduled to spend the summer at the place, going over the contents and getting it ready to sell. She’s never been there before, and my understanding is the aunt wasn’t the picture-hanging kind of gal, so there’s very little risk of anyone catching on.”

“Catching on to what, exactly?”

Morrow blew out a breath. “I want to send my niece to Europe for the summer, and I want you to go to Louisiana and pretend to be her. It’s the perfect cover. No one will be looking for you there, and no one in the town has ever met my niece. They just know she’ll be arriving sometime this summer to settle things.”

“Louisiana…you mean swamps and alligators and hicks?”

“I mean a small town with lovely people and a slower pace. Just until we’ve removed Ahmad. The hit on you is personal. Without Ahmad in charge, the hit will likely go away.”

My mind began to whirl again. “But that could be weeks…months. You can’t expect me to live in the middle of a swamp for that long. What in the world would I do? They probably don’t even have cable television. Is there electricity? Oh my God, isn’t that where they filmed Deliverance?”

Morrow shot me a dirty look. “You’ve spent days crawling through the desert with only a rifle and a bottle of water. Don’t tell me a couple of blue-haired old ladies and some mosquitoes are going to be the death of you. This is a vacation compared to your norm.”

He pointed to the folder. “This is some background information I put together on my niece. Her aunt probably talked about her, so the townspeople will be looking for someone meeting that description.”

“What about the Internet?” Harrison asked. “Most people are all over it.”

Morrow shook his head. “She had a stalker situation when she was a teen that scared her senseless. She’s been diligent about keeping herself off the Net. I’ve already checked and it’s clean.”

Morrow looked at me. “I need you to be ready to leave by tomorrow.”

I reached for the folder, making note of the fact that Morrow was looking off at the wall behind me rather than looking me in the eye. Not good. A feeling of dread washed over me as I opened the folder and started to read.

Sandy-Sue Morrow. Good God, the name alone stopped me cold.

I kept reading and felt the blood drain from my face. Finally, I looked up. “I can’t do this.”

Harrison, sensing something was seriously screwed, looked from Morrow to me, waiting for the dam to break. “You’re a professional,” Harrison said. “You’re a genius at undercover work—well, sorta.”

“This,” I said and shook the file, “is not undercover. This would require a reincarnation.”

“Now, Redding,” Morrow began.

“She’s a librarian,” I interrupted. “The last thing I read was an article on making a silencer out of a Q-tip, unless you count autopsy reports.”

“You’re going to inventory a house, not run a library” Morrow pointed out. “No one’s likely to ask you for reading recommendations.”

“She knits.”

“So you’ll learn, just in case. It wouldn’t hurt you to have a hobby besides racking up bodies.”

Harrison shook his head. “I don’t know, sir. I’ve seen those knitting needles. Do you really think you should turn Redding loose on an unsuspecting population and give her a weapon? Remember that incident in Egypt with the #No. 2 pencil?”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” I snapped. “That was a Pentel, not a #No. 2.”

Morrow cleared his throat. “I’m sure Redding will find a way to contain herself.”

I tossed the folder back across the table. “She was a beauty queen!”

“Holy shit.” Harrison dissolved into a fit of laughter. “No way is Redding pulling that one off. Look at her. Her hair’s shorter than mine.”

“My hair is convenient for my job,” I said, running a hand over inch-long, blond locks that had been trapped under a hot wig the day before, “and besides, I thought short hair was fashionable.”

“Short, yes,” Harrison said, “but you’re sporting the Britney Spears Nervous Breakdown style. Not a hit among men or the beauty pageant circuit.”

I threw up my hands. “This…this person has single-handedly set the women’s movement back ten years. Knitting? Librarian? Beauty queen? Please tell me I can kill her next.”

Morrow rose from the booth and glared down at me. “That will be enough. My niece is a lovely woman. And until further notice, you will become that lovely woman, or I will shoot you myself.”

“You could try,” I mumbled.

“What?”

I bit the inside of my lip and clenched my hands. “No problem.”

“Good. Your afternoon is booked. You’re getting acrylic nails, a pedicure, hair extensions, and learning how to apply makeup and wear high heels without killing someone.”  He gave me a broad smile then walked out the door.

Harrison gave me a sideways glance and inched away from me in the booth. His hand hovered over his weapon as he made a break for the door behind Morrow.

Fake hair? Fake nails? Someone touching my feet? Oh, God, they were going to paint my toenails pink, weren’t they?

I groaned and placed my head on the table, covering it with my arms. This was going to be even harder than the time I killed that drug lord with a Tic Tac.

And not nearly as satisfying.

 

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Posted in 4 paws, cooking, Cozy, Monday, mystery on September 23, 2013

This week I bring you books 1 and 2 of the Gourmet De-Lite series by author Peg Cochran.  The first book is Allergic to Death and the second book is Steamed to Death.  Loved both of them….but once again, food was involved but this time more health conscious!  I enjoyed both books and give them both 4 paws!

 

allergic to death

 

Synopsis:

Preparing calorie-conscious meals for the dieters of Woodstone, Connecticut, Gigi Fitzgerald knows a cheater when she sees one. And when murder is on the menu, she’s ready to get the skinny on whodunit…

Business is looking up for Gigi’s Gourmet De-Lite, thanks to her newest client, restaurant reviewer Martha Bernhardt. Martha has the clout to put Gigi’s personal meal plans on everyone’s lips. But instead of dropping a few pounds, Martha drops dead from a severe peanut allergy…right after eating one of Gigi’s signature dishes.

When the distractingly debonair Detective Mertz identifies traces of peanut oil in Martha’s last meal, Gigi suddenly finds her diet catering business on the chopping block. Now she’ll have to track down who tampered with her recipe before her own goose is cooked.

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steamed to death

 

Synopsis:

Gourmet health food caterer Gigi Fitzgerald is used to helping dieters drop a dress size. But when her clients start dropping dead, she’s ready to switch her chef’s hat for a detective’s cap and track down a killer. . .

Aging soap star Felicity Davenport is looking to revamp her image, and she’s using Gigi’s Gourmet De-Lite to help her shed a few of those unwanted pounds. Having such a high-profile client is definitely good for business, but when Felicity is found murdered in her sauna, things start getting too hot for Gigi to handle.

The list of suspects is a mile long, and Gigi’s best friend, Sienna, is at the top. Refusing to let her friend get blamed for a crime she didn’t commit, Gigi is determined to hunt down the real killer. But, as the case reaches a boiling point, Gigi will have to be careful or she could be the next one getting burned.

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Posted in Book Blast, contest, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery on September 21, 2013

 

Rocky Road

Rocky Road

It was supposed to be a girls’ weekend in scenic St. George, Utah that would include shopping, trying out the local cuisine, and participating in a breast cancer fundraiser. The fact that one of the organizers of the fundraising event, a local doctor, disappeared two months ago was not supposed to be Sadie’s problem. In fact, she refuses to participate in the grassroots investigation her friend Caro, and Caro’s cousin, Tess, have put together prior to her arrival. But then she meets the ex-wife of the missing doctor. How could she not ask a few questions . . . that lead to a few more questions . . . that lead to a small town and yet even more questions. Before she knows it, Sadie is in the middle of yet another murder investigation and trying to piece together a convoluted trail of good intentions, hidden motivations, and philanthropy turned big business.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble

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Author Josi S. Kilpack

Born and raised in Salt Lake City Utah, I met my husband in high-school–well, he wasn’t my husband then, just the cute guy in weight training with the permed mullet–and we married in 1993. I wrote my first book while on bed rest with my third child and have gone on to publish 20 novels, the most recent being part of The Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series.

I currently live in Willard, Utah with my husband, children, and cat.

 

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Tour Schedule

Culinary Mysteries by Josi Kilpack

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BookBlast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 10/6/13

 

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, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Posted in 4 paws, Blog tour, contest, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on September 20, 2013

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ChiliConCarnage


Genre: Cozy Mystery
Published by Berkley Prime Crime
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Number of Pages: 296
BRAND NEW SERIES

Synopsis

Romance is supposed to be the spice of life. But Maxie Pierce is so done with bad relationships . . . well, almost. She just has to get rid of the latest loser, Roberto. Besides, she has more important things to worry about. Her dad, Texas Jack Pierce, king of the chili cook-off circuit, has been missing for nearly six weeks. In his place, she must team up with her irritating half sister, Sylvia,to promote the family business at the Taos Chili Showdown.

But when Maxie discovers Roberto’s body in a chef’s trailer–only hours after publicly breaking up with him–she suddenly finds she’s the one in the spotlight as the police pepper her with questions. Now this Chili Chick needs to kick up the search to catch the real killer and get back to finding her father.

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 Review

I’ve been lucky to get in some blog tours for new cozy series.  I LOVE mysteries especially cozies, so I feel honored when I get to try out a new series. I have read a book or two by Kylie, but did not know she wrote the Pepper Martin series.  What can I say….so many authors and books, not enough time!  I’m in Texas and we  know chili here….so this definitely interested me to see what recipes might be included…sadly only 1 chili recipe but it has some interesting ingredients.  Anyway, on to the book!

Maxie and Sylvia are typical siblings – they love each other but hate each other, so it brings a nice tension at times between the two.  Then you have Nick, a hunky security guard who has to try and save Maxie from herself when she sets out to investigate Roberto’s murder especially since Sylvia is accused of the murder!  There are other minor characters that form the Showdown gang – a traveling group that showcases chili cook-offs and sells chili paraphernalia….including Puff the “bean” seller and Tumbleweed the head honcho of the Showdown.  I don’t want to give away too many secrets and spoil the book but there are several twists and while you may figure out part of the murder, trust me you won’t figure out the rest!  Although near the end I had my suspicions but it took awhile to figure it out.

We enjoyed the book and are giving it 4 paws.  Definitely worth checking out and hey, you can enter to win a copy below!

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Casey for Marcon About Kylie Logan

Kylie Logan has loved mysteries since she was a kid. Her dad was a Cleveland Police detective and he introduced her to Sherlock Holmes stories and gave her investigating experience when on his days off, they’d pile into the car and hit the streets to look for stolen cars. When he retired from the force, Dad became head of security for the Cleveland Public Library.

Crooks and books! Kylie comes by her love of mysteries honestly.

Kylie began her career writing historical romance and her book, “Devil’s Diamond,” was nominated for a RITA award as historical romance of the year by Romance Writers of America. She’s also written contemporary romance (as Connie Lane), young adult horror (as Zoe Danielsand Connie Laux) and she writes the popular Pepper Martin Mysteries as Casey Daniels.

Kylie is currently writing three different mystery series: the Button Box Mysteries(newest book is “Panic Button”), the League of Literary Ladies mysteries (“Mayhem at the Orient Express “) and now, the Chili Cook-Off mysteries. She can’t pass up an antique shop…there might be buttons in there! She can’t put down a classic book . . . even if she already knows the story. And she can’t say no to a good bowl of chili. Luckily, her husband is the world’s greatest chili maker.

When she’s not writing, she’s usually with her family and their two dogs, Ernie, an adorable Airedale, and Oscar, a rescued Jack Russell who came for a short-term stay and ten years later, is still around. Kylie says that those of you who have ever met/lived with/had dealings with a Russell will certainly understand how knowing him has increased her propensity for murder.

Links

Webpage as Kylie Logan *   As Casey Daniels

Purchase

Amazon                 B & N                      Book World                 Book Depository
The Giveaway:

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Tour Participants

September 20StoreyBook Reviews Review, Guest Post & Giveaway
September 22 – books-n-kisses Review,  Interview & Giveaway
September 23 – A Year of Jubilee Reviews Review & Giveaway
September 25 – readalot Review & Giveaway
Septmber 26 – Books Are Life – Vita Libri Review & Giveaway
September 27 – Thoughts in Progress Review, Interview & Giveaway
September 29 – Melina’s Book Blog Review,  Guest Post & Giveaway
September 30 – Girl Lost In a Book Review & Giveaway
October 1 – Mochas, Mysteries and More Review, Guest Post & Giveaway
October 2 –
My Recent Favorite books Review & Giveaway

Posted in Cozy, Guest Post on September 20, 2013

 

ChiliConCarnage

Name: Maxie Pierce

Age: 28

Relationship Status: Single ever since Edik (world’s hottest rock band lead guitarist) cleaned out her bank accounts and maxed her credit cards.

Hair: dark and spiky

Eyes: dark

Height: Just a tad taller than way too short

Occupation: Chili Chick, and heroine of “Chili Con Carnage,” book #1 in Kylie Logan’s Chili Cook-Off mysteries

Oh sure, it sounds like fun and games . . . dressing as a giant red chili pepper and dancing in front of Texas Jack Pierce’s Hot-Cha Chili Seasoning Palace in stilettoes and fishnet stockings to attract customers. But let me tell you folks, the life of the Chili Chick is not all it’s cracked up to be.

For one thing, I’m working with Sylvia. Yeah, the pretty blonde behind the Palace counter. The one who’s hair is always perfect and whose smile is as white as if she starred in toothpaste commercials. Sylvia thinks she’s God’s gift to the chili spice business, and she’s not going to let me forget it. Then again, she is good at keeping the books straight and the food truck we take on the chili cook-off circuit neat and well-stocked. But Sylvia is also hidebound and prissy. She ups prices on our chili spice mixes without consulting me. She makes business decisions without asking my opinion. And she’ll never in this lifetime or the next let me forget that her mother was once the Chili Chick and that my mother (who took over the dancing and proudly became the Chick) stole her father from her mother.

Get it? Sylvia and I are half-sisters and we’re nobody’s definition of one big happy family.

Of course things were different when Jack was still around, but–

What? I haven’t explained about Jack? It’s kind of a long story, but here’s the upshot: Back in Abilene about six weeks ago, Jack went missing. The cops said there was no sign of foul play and since Jack has a reputation as a ladies man, nobody’s too worried. Well, nobody but me. In fact, Jack’s sudden disappearance id exactly why I left Chico (good timing what with Edik and all) and met up with the Chili Showdown in Taos, New Mexico. Somebody needs to keep the Palace up and running until we can locate Jack again. And somebody needs to figure out why Sylvia’s suddenly pretending to be the perfect, caring daughter and carry out Jack’s wishes to have the two of us take over his business.

And then, of course, there’s the murder. I know I didn’t mention that, either, but then again, it’s all pretty complicated what with the Showdown roadie, Roberto, getting stabbed through the heart just hours after I had a big fight with him and conked him over the head with the Chick costume. Then I found out that Sylvia actually knew Roberto a long time ago and that they’d parted on very bad terms.

Like I said, complicated. What it all comes down to is that now, Sylvia and I need to work together to find the real killer so we can get back to what’s really important, figuring out what happened to Jack.

I’m convinced we can do it, too. That is, if we don’t kill each other first.

Posted in Cozy, Monday, mystery on September 16, 2013

Today I bring you Bonnie of Evidence by author Maddy Hunter.  This is the 8th book in the Passport to Peril cozy mystery series.  Maddy was on hiatus for quite some time after book 5 or 6, but I am soooo glad she is back with this series!  You can also keep up with her on Facebook.

 

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Bonnie of Evidence

A Passport to Peril Mystery
By Maddy Hunter
Paperback
Midnight Ink
Feb. 2013

WHO KILT THE TOUR GUEST?

Having survived the Dutch trip with only a few bumps and bruises, Emily concocts a marketing scheme to drum up interest in her travel agency’s latest tour. Putting a twenty-first century spin on the old practice of scavenger hunting, and promising a free trip to the winner of the contest, Emily and Etienne set out to lead Nana, both Emily’s parents, and the rest of the intrepid band of Iowa seniors on a memorable trip through the Scottish highland and islands, treasure hunting along the way.

Cat-fighting and back-stabbing break out almost immediately as a handful of female guests compete for the attention of the tour’s most eligible bachelor. When one of the ladies turns up dead, Emily convinces herself there’s no reason to suspect foul play. But is she right, or is she deliberately choosing to ignore the animosity the dead woman stirred up when she flouted the rules of the game? Could a legendary blood feud between opposing clan members on the tour have factored into the woman’s death? Or did the woman seal her own fate when she stole an ancient relic that’s purported to be cursed?

Cursed?

From Edinburgh and Braemar, to Loch Ness and the Orkney Islands, the Iowa gang encounter one crisis after another. When another guest ends up dead, Emily is forced to flirt with the idea that curses can be real – until she learns that certain guests have a lot more to hide than she realized.

As one of the gang is hauled off to jail under a veil of suspicion, Emily rallies the troops to help her track down the real killer, but when the troops begin to mysteriously disappear, she needs to take the high road and the low road to save the next victim from certain death.

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Posted in 4 paws, Blog tour, contest, Cozy, Giveaway, Review on September 13, 2013

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DesignedToDeath COVER 2
Genre: Cozy Mystery – 2nd in Series
Published by: Henery Press
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Number of Pages: 288

Synopsis

Faith Hunter planned the perfect event at her grandmother’s shop, Scrap This, featuring local scrapbooker and Life Artist Diva, Belinda Watson. But the extravaganza goes up in a cloud glitter when Belinda and her cousin, Darlene, brawl over scraplifted designs. Faith attempts to break it up, but only makes things worse. Then when Belinda turns up dead behind the Scrap This store, Faith’s involvement goes viral.

As accusations against her turn vicious, Faith sets out to prove her nemesis, Darlene, committed the crime, only to realize they are both innocent. Now they must team up or the murderer’s plan will come together seamlessly with the frenemies sharing a jail cell—or worse, a funeral.

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Review:

Since I can’t read books out of order, I purchased the first book, Cropped to Death, for my Kindle.  I really enjoyed it and couldn’t wait to get to the second book since I love scrapbooking.  Of course, Faith is right in the middle of this murder and has to help the police solve the case without getting herself killed.  We also see her make a decision about Steve and if she wants a relationship with him or not.   Sometimes I have an idea of who the killer is, but in both of these books I haven’t had a clue.  I like when I can’t figure out who the criminal is before he/she is revealed to the reader.  I wouldn’t say he/she came out of left field but almost!

This is a fun read (as most cozies are!) and we give it 4 paws up.  Definitely a fun series to check out next time you are looking for some new books to read.

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About Christine Freeman

Christina FreeburnThe Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery series brings together Christina Freeburn’s love of mysteries, scrapbooking, and West Virginia. When not writing or reading, she can be found in her scrapbook room or at a crop. Alas, none of the real-life crops have had a sexy male prosecutor or a handsome police officer attending.

Christina served in the JAG Corps of the US Army and also worked as a paralegal, librarian, and church secretary. She lives in West Virginia with her husband, children, a dog, and a rarely seen cat except by those who are afraid or allergic to felines.

 

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cropped to death

Cropped to Death (First Book in This Series)  (as of 9/9 the ebook was $0.99 on Amazon and runs through 9/16 at this price!)

The Giveaway:

A copy of Designed to Death, winners choice of print or eBook (Nook or Kindle versions).  Open to US residents only!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tour Schedule:

September 10 – Chloe Gets A Clue Interview & Giveaway
September 11 – A Blue Million Books Interview
September 12 – Mommasez… Review, Guest Post & Giveaway
September 13 – StoreyBook Reviews Review & Giveaway
September 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy Interview
September 16 – Mochas, Mysteries and More Guest Post
September 17 – Queen of All She Reads Review, Guest Post & Giveaway
September 18 – Books Are Life – Vita Libri Review & Giveaway
September 19 – Brooke Blogs Review & Guest Post
September 20 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading Review & Guest Post