Posted in Blog tour, Cozy, mystery on March 7, 2013

tangledtodeathtour

 

Synopsis:

Danger lurks at every turn for Katie Greer.

Having escaped death in the past, Katie Greer has taken residence in a New Hampshire town where life appears idyllic, but is far from it. Teaching tangled doodling classes in her art studio allows Katie to reach out to people who require a semblance of peace and tranquility in their lives. If only she could maintain those two things for herself, Katie would be completely happy.

After finding the dead body of the town’s infamous, and most mean spirited, gossip frozen on the bench outside her Tangled Wings Studio, Katie realizes her efforts to hide her true identity and live a normal life are for naught. As the prime suspect of ruggedly handsome Detective Jonah Kilbride, Katie searches for the killer in order to prove her own innocence. Much to her dismay, Katie’s attraction for the relentless detective steadily grows, despite their continuous battles.

Past events threaten Katie at every turn, catching her unaware, and creating havoc in a life she’s desperately tried to establish in the town where she’d briefly found happiness. Can she survive or will she become the next victim on the killer’s list?

Review:

I love a good mystery and I love them even more when I can learn about something new…in this case, a form of art called Zentangle.  Apparently it is a cross between meditation and doodling (but I’m sure those that practice this would insist it is NOT doodling!).  Anyway, I thought this was a pretty good book…yes some parts were not realistic (do people really fall head over heels in love in such a short period of time)?  And this was a cozy to me, which means someone else solves the crime and doesn’t share information with the police….in fact, Katie (despite the fact that she says she loves Jonah) can be hard-headed…but then what female sleuth in a novel isn’t this way?  It wouldn’t be a cozy if that wasn’t a trait of the main character.  I thought there was a good back story on how Katie came to town, it made for an interesting twist to the story.

All in all I really enjoyed this book and hope that it is the first in a new series.  I guess we’ll see if J.M. comes out with more books with this main character.  I give it 4 paws and recommend it if you like cozy mysteries.

pawprintpawprintpawprintpawprint

 

Buy the book:  Amazon * B&N

 

About the Author:

JM GriffinWith her books sold worldwide, J.M. Griffin is one of today’s popular women sleuth’s authors.

J.M. is known best for her Vinnie Esposito series. The series, set in Rhode Island, the smallest state in the USA, is brought to life by a colorful cast of characters. Every novel has a blend of humor, mystery, and romance. J.M.’s latest novel in the series, Cold Moon Dead, is the fourth in the Esposito series.

Stepping away from Rhode Island’s scenery, J.M. set Faerie Cake Dead on the coast of Maine. Filled with humor, faeries, sweet cupcakes, murder and a yummy hero, the villain is someone you’ll least expect.

J.M.’s release, Murder on Spyglass Lane, takes place on the west coast of Florida in the Sarasota area. This cozy mystery has a unique and hilarious blend of characters, a sexy hero, and a psychic heroine.

Tangled to Death was a mystery inspired by J.M.’s favorite art style, Zentangle. She set the story in New Hampshire with an unexpected corpse in the first scene. Wit and fun fill the pages of this novel.

J.M., her husband, and two wacky cats reside in a countryside village in western Rhode Island, where life is anything but mundane.

You can find her here:  Facebook * Blog * Twitter * Goodreads

 

 | 
Comments Off on Blog Tour & Review: Tangled to Death by J.M. Griffin
Posted in Cozy, Florida, Monday, mystery on March 4, 2013

Author Mary Jane Clark has two mystery series that are very good!  This weeks feature is her Wedding Cake cozy series (at least I consider it more cozy than the Key News thrillers!) and the 3rd book in that series, Footprints in the Sand.  The first book is To Have and To Kill and the second is The Look of Love.

footprints

Synopsis:

It’s the dead of winter and struggling actress and wedding-cake decorator Piper Donovan is thrilled to be in warm and romantic Sarasota, Florida, enjoying the powdery white beaches, soothing seas, and golden sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico. She and her family are there to celebrate her beloved cousin’s wedding. Not only is Piper creating the sugar-sand-dollar-festooned wedding cake, she’s also the maid of honor.

But a cloud seems to be hovering over the whole affair. Shortly after a bridesmaid mysteriously disappears, a kindly neighbor’s car is run off the road and a prospective witness, an innocent Amish teenager, is threatened to keep silent. Then a body is found on the beach where the wedding will take place. With the nuptials threatened, it falls to Piper to unmask a killer. Could it be the wedding planner with something to hide? A doctor and his wife who collect unusual Japanese figurines? The best man, an ex–drug dealer with lecherous eyes and roving hands? What about her cousin’s future stepfather—or even the bridegroom himself?

As Piper gets close to figuring out who’s been covering his guilty footprints in the sand, the cunning killer has already set his sights on Piper as his next victim!

 | 
Comments Off on Mystery Monday: Footprints in the Sand by Mary Jane Clark
Posted in Cozy, Monday, mystery on February 25, 2013

Today’s feature brings you the start of a new series by author Kylie Logan (AKA Miranda Bliss and Casey Daniels).  This book was written in 2011 but I just picked it up recently.  I have read all of the books in the Miranda Bliss series and had NO idea this was the same author.

buttonholed

Synopis:

Working out of her button shop in a Chicago brownstone, Josie Giancola has become one of the country’s leading experts on buttons. Her reputation draws a Hollywood starlet to the Button Box to shop for one-of-a-kind buttons to adorn her made-to-order wedding gown.

But after the Button Box is ransacked and the actress murdered, Josie’s cozy world is thrown into chaos—and a killer is out to keep Josie’s lips buttoned up…permanently.

 | 
Comments Off on Mystery Monday: Button Holed by Kylie Logan
Posted in Book Blast, contest, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery on February 21, 2013

 

Baked Alaska by Josi S. Kilpack

An Alaskan cruise is the setting for amateur detective Sadie Hoffmillers latest adventure. Sadie plans to spend time relaxing with her two grown children, Breanna and Shawn, and her boyfriend, Pete, while enjoying the luxury and cuisine of an elegant cruise ship and helping to plan her daughters upcoming wedding. But even as the crew prepares to leave port, Sadie has suspicions about the voyage ahead and the relationship between her normally easygoing son and a mysterious female passenger he obviously knows but refuses to discuss. When the woman is discovered unconscious during the second night at sea, Sadies apprehension escalates. Over the last few years, Sadie has developed an extreme dislike for secrets and it would seem her son is keeping one from her. *Includes eight new mouthwatering recipes, tested and approved by the official bakers of Sadies Virtual Test Kitchen.
Praise for Baked Alaska

Josi Kilpack has done it again. You would think that all these events that occur in Sadie’s life wouldn’t be natural, but Josi Kilpack has a way of making you believe that it just “happens” and it is normal. I have grown to love Sadie’s character, even if she is a busybody, you can’t help but cheer for her as she attempts to solve a mystery or crime. One of my favorite series. 🙂

~Goodreads Reviewer Lacey McNeill

 

 

Author Josi S. Kilpack

Josi S. Kilpack grew up hating to read until she was thirteen and her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and credits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began her first novel in 1998 and hasn’t stopped since. Her seventh novel, Sheep’s Clothing, won the 2007 Whitney Award for Mystery/Suspense, and Lemon Tart, her ninth novel, was a 2009 Whitney Award Finalist. Josi was the Best in State winner in literature for 2012 and currently has two books (Banana Split and Tres Leches Cupcakes) as finalists in the 2012 Whitney awards.

Josi currently lives in Willard, Utah, with her family.

 

Tour Schedule

Book Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 3/17/13

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 http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Cozy, Monday, mystery on February 4, 2013

Author Cleo Coyle writes a cozy series called the Coffeehouse Mysteries.  Today’s highlight is the twelfth in the series, Holiday Buzz.

 Untitled-15

 Synopsis:

Holiday time is party time in New York City, but after a sparkling winter bash ends with a murder, Village Blend coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi vows to put the killer on ice… At the Great New York Cookie Swap, pastry chefs bake up their very best for charity. Clare is in charge of the beverage service, and her famous Fa-la-la-la Lattes make the gathering even merrier. But her high spirits come crashing down to earth when she discovers the battered body of a hard-working baker’s assistant. Police suspect a serial attacker whose escalating crimes have become known as “The Christmas Stalkings.” Clare’s boyfriend, NYPD detective Mike Quinn, finds reason to believe even more sinister forces are involved. Clare isn’t so sure, until she finds a second bludgeoned baker and becomes a target herself. Now Clare must investigate “Saint Nick,” crash a pro-hockey party, and dodge a pair of reality TV divas–because she’s not going to rest until justice is served.

 

Coffehouse Trailer

 

 | 
Comments Off on Mystery Monday: Holiday Buzz by Cleo Coyle
Posted in Cozy, excerpt, Monday, mystery on January 28, 2013

Murder is a Piece of Cake is the 8th book in the Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper series by author Elaine Viets.

murderisapieceofcake

Synopsis:

Mystery shopper Josie Marcus is thrilled to be getting married. But when a deranged bride meets a grim end, Josie will have to catch a murderer before she tosses the bouquet…

As a bride-to-be, Josie’s latest assignment is absolutely fitting—investigating wedding flowers and wedding cakes. Josie can’t wait to pick out the details to make her own wedding perfect, even as her fiancé Ted’s outrageous mother has plans to turn the celebration into an over-the-top extravaganza. Still, the pistol-packing Lenore does come in handy when she draws her gun on Molly—a homicidal bridezilla who threatens to kill Ted unless he agrees to marry her—and saves the day.

Josie thinks the worst pre-wedding disaster is behind her—until Molly is shot and Lenore becomes the prime suspect. With her mother-in-law behind bars and her wedding on hold, Josie’s about to become fully engaged in finding the bridezilla killer and getting her own wedding back on track…

 

Excerpt (from the author’s website):

Chapter 1

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

“Joshcy.” The man’s voice was followed by a crunch like a roof caving in. “Hwcjsh wejing ghocinng?”

Josie Marcus was pretty sure she wasn’t getting an obscene phone call at nine in the morning. Then the man added a wet slurp, followed by another massive crunch. What was he doing with that phone?

“Excuse me?” Josie asked. “Who is this?”

The gulp sounded like a boa constrictor swallowing a whole pig, followed by juicy smacking. “That was good,” he said.

Now Josie recognized the caller – Harry the Horrible, her boss at Suttin Services. Josie mystery-shopped for the company’s St. Louis office.
Harry repeated his question. “I asked how’s the wedding going? You and Dr. Ted ready to tie the knot?”

“Almost. It’s five weeks away,” Josie said. “What are you eating?”

“A deep-fried cheeseburger.” Satisfaction oozed from Harry’s voice. Even Josie’s phone seemed greasy. She wanted to wipe it down. She wanted to wipe out the picture of Harry forming in her mind: Her boss had a thick brown pelt all over his body – at least the parts Josie had had the misfortune to see. Harry had hair on his flabby arms, fish-belly ankles and stubby hands. Hair peeked through his straining shirt buttons, but so far Josie had been spared the full view of his chest.

Only Harry’s dome was follicle free. Mother Nature had compensated by giving him a luxuriant unibrow.

“Thanks for your wedding invitation,” Harry said. “I can’t come, but I got you a present. Wait till you hear what it is.”

“You’re going to tell me before I unwrap it?” Josie asked.

“You don’t have to unwrap this gift,” Harry said. “It’s your latest mystery-shopping assignment. I want you to shop wedding flowers and wedding cakes for a St. Louis wedding Web site. You can go as yourself – a bride shopping for her wedding.”

He paused dramatically, like a game show host announcing a gigantic prize.

Harry’s serious, Josie thought. He really is giving me a good assignment as a present. Well, it is a gift. Working for Harry has been awkward since I reported that surly sales assistant. I didn’t realize Saber was his niece. She deserved to get fired.

Since then, Harry had given Josie nothing but bad assignments. She even had to mystery-shop pig ear sandwiches – and eat one.

Niece or no niece, Josie lived by her code. Her mission was to protect Mrs. Minivan, her name for the backbone of America’s shoppers. Mrs. Minivan was overlooked, ignored and disrespected. Josie fought to right those wrongs against the average shopper.

“You want me to mystery-shop wedding flowers,” Josie said. “Do you mean all the flowers – the bouquets and boutonnieres, church flowers and reception centerpieces?”

“Naw, just the whatchamacallits for the reception,” he said. “The centerpieces. That’s why this assignment is a gift. It’s easy.”
It would be easy, Josie thought. She’d spent hours deciding whether her bridesmaids should carry bouquets or wear wrist corsages. International trade treaties were signed after less debate.

She’d take this gift – and hope Harry’s anger had finally cooled.

“I’ll do it,” Josie said.

“Good,” Harry said. “I’ll fax you the details. I need you to start today with a flower shop called Denise’s Dreams. They sell other stuff, but our client only cares about the flowers.”

“That’s near my house,” Josie said.

“See, I told you it was a present,” Harry said.

Josie heard a rustling noise and guessed Harry was stuffing his take-out box into his office trash.

“Did you really eat a deep-fried cheeseburger for breakfast?” she asked.

“You need protein for the first meal of the day,” Harry said. “I need man food. The Carnival Diner makes deep-fried cheeseburgers. The chef used to work at the state fair. You should try his chicken-fried bacon.”

“Does he deep-fry the patties?” Josie asked. “How does he keep the cheese from melting away?”

“The chef takes the whole cheeseburger,” Harry said. “Meat, cheese, pickles, bun and all – batters and deep-fries it. The cheese turns into a warm pocket of melted goodness. His french fries are sensational.”

“They’re battered, too?” Josie asked.

“Of course not,” Harry said. “That would be stupid. You gonna go to work? That shop opens at nine thirty. You’re supposed to be a bride on a budget at Denise’s Dreams. At the other two, you have to say money is no problem.”

“I’ve had plenty of experience with wedding budgets,” Josie said. She and her veterinarian fiancé, Ted Scottsmeyer, had agreed to follow a budget. But their plan kept encountering unexpected expenses. Josie knew their wedding cake would cost about seven hundred dollars, but she hadn’t factored in the fifty-dollar delivery fee. This job would help pay for the cake and the delivery.

She dressed quickly, pulled the still-warm mystery-shopping paperwork out of her fax machine, read it, and tucked the pages into her purse.
On the way to Denise’s Dreams, she passed Ted’s veterinary clinic and checked the parking lot. It was crowded with cars, but the big blue St. Louis Mobo-Pet van was gone. Ted was making house calls today while his partner, Christine, handled the clinic patients.

She turned the corner and saw Denise’s Dreams. The shop looked like a midcentury bride’s dream: a one-story white rambler with ruffled tie-back curtains and a picket fence.

Inside, the front room was devoted to flowers. The hothouse flower smell was sweetly overpowering. A big cooler along one wall was crammed with cold, colorful blossoms. Pink roses and blue hydrangeas were massed around the counter. On closer inspection, Josie saw those flowers were silk.
A young blonde in a ruffled dress with blue ribbons in her hair was behind counter, arranging pink gladioli in a glass vase.
Behind her, Josie could see a room with snow drifts of bridal veils. In a third room labeled “Hair Jewelry,” Josie glimpsed a blue velvet Victorian sofa and a showcase sparkling with tiaras and jeweled combs.

The beribboned and ruffled blonde smiled and said, “May I help you? My name is Molly.”

At first Josie thought the slender saleswoman was a girl. But the harsh morning light showed tiny lines around her eyes and mouth. Molly was at least thirty, but she dressed like a little girl going to a birthday party.

“I’d like some information about flowers for my wedding reception,” Josie said. “I’m getting married in five weeks. I’ve chosen everything but the reception flowers.”
“Are you on a budget?” Molly asked.

“Definitely,” Josie said. Two points in Molly’s favor, she thought. She’d greeted me promptly and asked if I was interested in budget offerings.

“May I suggest silk flowers for your reception?” Molly said. “These look real and after the wedding, you’ll have a lasting memento.”

“I like live plants,” Josie said.

“We have a fine selection of tropical plants you can rent,” Molly said. “You can also rent the vases for your centerpieces. That will save money, too. Let me show you.”

She plunked a heavy binder with sample photos on the counter and they paged through it. Josie was impressed with Molly’s sales pitch. She didn’t pressure, but she gave several useful options. Josie selected one and Molly prepared a contract.

“I can’t sign it until I show it to my fiancé,” Josie said.

“That’s fine. Denise, the owner, or Rita, the other sales associate, will be happy to help you when you come back,” Molly said. “I’m getting married next week. This is my last day at work. I’m going to be a full-time homemaker, the career I’ve always wanted.”

“Who’s your fiancé?” Josie asked.

“Ted,” Molly said, her eyes turning dreamy soft. “He’s so kind and handsome. He loves animals.”

“I’m engaged to a Ted, too,” Josie said. “He’s a veterinarian. Next week Channel Seven is coming to his clinic to tape a pilot for his new show, Dr. Ted’s Pet Vet Tips. Each week, Ted will talk about how to care for pets. His first show is how to clip a cat’s toenails.”

“I don’t like Channel Seven – or cats,” Molly said, and made a face. “I’m sure my Ted would have nothing to do with that awful TV station. And cats are sneaky.”

Josie didn’t like this double insult, but she was on the job. She searched for a polite answer. “Channel Seven does sensationalize the news,” she said. “But Ted’s show will be part of their community service programming. Once his show gets going he can move to a better station. I wasn’t a big fan of cats, either, until we got our cat, Harry. Now my daughter and I love him. He’s funny.”

“I’ll take your word for it,” Molly asked. “I’m a dog lover. I have a little white Maltese, Bella. When is your Ted’s TV show taping?”

“Next Tuesday at eleven,” Josie said.

“That’s my wedding day,” Molly said.

Josie could see she was lost again in bridal dreams.

“Congratulations,” she said. “I think you were such a big help because we have so much in common.”

Next Tuesday, Josie would find out exactly how much they had in common.

 | 
Comments Off on Mystery Monday: Murder is a Piece of Cake by Elaine Viets
Posted in cooking, Cozy, Monday, mystery on December 31, 2012

I thought I would introduce you to a new author (to me) and the first book in a new series.  You have no doubt noticed that I look mysteries that center around food and this one is no exception!  Today’s highlight is A Spoonful of Murder by author Connie Archer.  The second book in this series is called A Broth of Betrayal.

 

spoonful

Synopsis:

Winter is big business in small town Snowflake, Vermont. Tourists arrive to hit the ski slopes – and what could be more satisfying after a chilly day of carving powder than a steaming bowl of soup?

When Lucky Jamieson inherits her parents’ soup shop, By the Spoonful, she realizes it’s time to take stock of her life. Should she sell her parents’ house or move in herself? Does she really want to run a restaurant business? And what about her grandfather Jack, who seems to be showing signs of Alzheimer’s?

But her life decisions are moved to the back burner after an icy blonde tourist is found frozen to death behind the soup shop. And Lucky is bowled over when her soup chef, Sage DuBois, is led out of the kitchen by the police. As suspicion and speculations snowball, Lucky decides that the only way to save her employee and her business is to find out herself who iced the tourist – and landed her chef in the soup.

 | 
Comments Off on Mystery Monday: A Spoonful of Murder by Connie Archer
Posted in Cozy, Monday, mystery on December 24, 2012

Yes you have seen several books by this author lately….but what can I say, her books are good!  Deadly Patterns is the third book in the Magical Dressmaking Mystery series.  The first is Pleating for Mercy and the second is A Fitting End.

Synopsis:

Bliss, Texas, is gearing up for its annual Winter Wonderland festival, but when a mysterious Scrooge ends the merriment with murder, it’ll take more than a ghost from Christmas past to set things right.

Designing a holiday fashion show set in the town’s most prominent historic mansion seems like a job tailor made for dressmaker Harlow Jane Cassidy. But with the mansion’s restoration still in progress and threatening weather on the horizon, she’s feeling on pins and needles more than reveling in holiday cheer.
Having volunteered to play Santa in this year’s festival, Dan Lee Chrisson was ready to move on after his divorce—until Bliss became his final resting place. Discovering his body puts Harlow at the scene of the crime. She’ll need plenty of help from friends and even her late great-grandmother’s spirited sleuthing if she’s to have a ghost of a chance of catching a killer who’s just jumped to the top of the naughty list….
Posted in Cozy, Monday, mystery on December 17, 2012

When the Cookie Crumbles is the third in the Cookie Cutter Shop Mystery series by author Virginia Lowell.  The first book was Cookie Dough or Die and the second was A Cookie Before Dying.

Synopsis:

Olivia Greyson is the proud owner of The Gingerbread House—a quaint shop that specializes in all things cookie—and her best friend, Maddie, is her sidekick, baking up scrumptious treats for their parties. But the real-life version of their magnificent gingerbread house is about to crumble to pieces…

Tensions are running high as Chatterley Heights’ 250th birthday celebration approaches, and Olivia and Maddie are working feverishly to finish a gingerbread house modeled after the famous Chatterley Mansion. When Paine Chatterley, presumed to be dead, shows up to claim his father’s house, the town gossips are driven into a tizzy. And when he refuses to allow visitors to tour the mansion during the celebration, all the preparations seem for naught.

Then Paine is found lifeless in the bathtub, his wife hysterical and their precious heirlooms destroyed. The hidden lives of the prestigious Chatterley family members begin to surface, and Olivia must unravel their dark past. As it turns out, the town’s history isn’t all that sweet…

 | 
Comments Off on Mystery Monday: When the Cookie Crumbles by Virginia Lowell
Posted in Cozy, Monday, mystery, Texas on December 10, 2012

Popped Off is the 2nd installment in the Stay at Home Day mystery series by author Jeffrey Allen (aka Jeff Shelby).  I posted about the first book in his series, Stay at Home Dead and I think this is going to be a winner of a series!

 

Synopsis:

For stay-at-home dad Deuce Winters, the cutthroat world of suburban kiddie sports leagues is unavoidable. In his small town, Moises Huber is known at the King of Soccer. But it seems the king may have fallen from his throne when he disappears–along with $73,000 of the youth soccer association’s registration fees.  Deuce calls foul and begins a bizarre search that leads him to a high-stakes gambling ring, a band of shrewd smugglers, and one heckuva Texas-sized mega church.  As he closes in on the truth, Deuce has only one goal in mind: stay on the ball and out of the penalty zone before his opponent can make a killer pass – and still have dinner ready on time.

 | 
Comments Off on Mystery Monday: Popped Off by Jeffrey Allen