Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on May 13, 2017

A Good Day to Buy (A Sarah W. Garage Sale Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Kensington (April 25, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496707512
E-Book ASIN: B01JEJCA4G

Synopsis

HER BROTHER IS NO BARGAIN
When Sarah Winston’s estranged brother Luke shows up on her doorstep, asking her not to tell anyone he’s in town—especially her ex, the chief of police—the timing is strange, to say the least. Hours earlier, Sarah’s latest garage sale was taped off as a crime scene following the discovery of a murdered Vietnam vet and his gravely injured wife—her clients, the Spencers.

BUT IS HE A KILLER?
All Luke will tell Sarah is that he’s undercover, investigating a story. Before she can learn more, he vanishes as suddenly as he appeared. Rummaging through his things for a clue to his whereabouts, Sarah comes upon a list of veterans and realizes that to find her brother, she’ll have to figure out who killed Mr. Spencer. And all without telling her ex . . .

Amazon * B&N * IndieBound

About the Author

Agatha award nominated author, Sherry Harris, started bargain hunting in second grade at her best friend’s yard sale. She honed her bartering skills as she moved around the country while her husband served in the Air Force. Sherry uses her love of garage sales, her life as a military spouse, and her time living in Massachusetts as inspiration for the Sarah Winston Garage Sale series.

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Check out the other blogs on this tour

May 1 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

May 1 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – INTERVIEW

May 2 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

May 2 – View from the Birdhouse– SPOTLIGHT

May 3 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

May 3 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW

May 4 – Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting – REVIEW

May 4 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

May 5 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

May 6 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

May 7 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW – no post

May 8 – Michelle’s Romantic Tangle – REVIEW

May 8 – Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST

May 9 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW

May 9 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 10 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

May 10 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

May 11 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW

May 11 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

May 12 – Rainy Day Reviews – REVIEW

May 12 – Classy Cheapskate – REVIEW, GUEST POST

May 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 13 – Girl with Book Lungs – INTERVIEW

May 14 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

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Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, Monday, mystery, Review on May 8, 2017

Magick & Mayhem (An Abracadabra Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
New Series
Publisher: Lyrical Underground (May 2, 2017)
ASIN: B01JWDZSQQ

Synopsis

What’s in a murderer’s bag of tricks?

Twenty-something Kailyn Wilde has learned to embrace her unpredictable life as a descendant of small-town New Camel’s most magickal family. She just didn’t expect to inherit her mother and grandmother’s centuries-old shop, Abracadabra, so suddenly. The surprises keep coming when Kailyn goes to finalize the estate at the local attorney’s office—and stumbles over the body of her best friend Elise’s husband . . .

As a brash detective casts the blame on Elise, Kailyn summons her deepest powers to find answers and start an investigation of her own. What with running a business, perfecting ancient spells, and keeping up with an uninvited guest of fabled origins, Kailyn has her hands full. But with the help of her uncanny black cat Sashkatu and her muumuu-clad Aunt Tilly, she’s closing in on a killer—who will do anything to make sure she never tests her supernatural skills again!

Review

Paranormal/witch/magic type books are usually hit or miss with me but this one was a hit! I loved the characters especially Merlin – yes that Merlin. He someone gets to modern time and is like a kid in a candy store sopping up the advances that have been made since his time. I think he really made the story and sometimes stole the spotlight. That isn’t to say the rest of the characters aren’t good because they do round out the cast and help make the story.

When it comes to the mystery portion – whoa what a shocker when the killer was revealed. While this person is something of a suspect, when you find out why the local attorney is killed you won’t be surprised at why he was killed. Can’t say too much because you need to read the book and see if you can figure out who and why.

There is a lot of misdirection and red herrings to keep the story hopping and interesting. A series I plan to keep my eye on.

We give this 5 paws up

About the Author

I started writing stories as soon as I learned how to put letters together to form words. From that day forward, writing has been a part of my life whether it was my first attempt at a novel in seventh grade or the little plays I wrote for my friends to perform for neighbors and family. After college, when I was busy teaching French and Spanish to high school students, I was also writing poetry — some of it in French.

After several years, I left teaching to be a full time mom, and when my two children started school, I went back to writing. To my delight I found that the muse was still there, still waiting patiently for me to come around. My first novel, Ghostfire, was published at that time. It went on to be condensed in Redbook magazine (the first paperback original the magazine had ever condensed.) Then came The God Children and The Portal. Redbook also published my first short story, which was subsequently sold to several foreign magazines. With two great kids, a golden retriever and a loving, supportive husband (whom I’d met at the beach when I was fourteen — but that’s a story for another day), I felt like I was exactly where I was meant to be in my life. But fate had another plan for me, and it went by the name of “breast cancer.”

Looking back, I realize how fortunate I was that the cancer was discovered at such an early stage, but at the time it was all very overwhelming. Once I was back on my feet, I wanted to help other women who were newly diagnosed, worried and afraid. I became a Reach to Recovery volunteer for the American Cancer Society and went on to run the program for Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island. A number of years later, with the help of my surgical oncologist and two other volunteers, I started Lean On Me, a nonprofit organization that provides peer support and information to breast cancer patients. When Lean On Me celebrated its tenth anniversary it no longer required as much of my time, and I once again found myself free to pursue my first love — writing.

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check out the other blogs on this tour

May 1 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

May 1 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

May 2 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

May 2 – Books Direct – SPOTLIGHT

May 3 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 3 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – INTERVIEW

May 3 – Bubble Bath Books – REVIEW

May 4 – Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT

May 4 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

May 5 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

May 5 – The Broke Book Bank – REVIEW

May 6 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

May 7 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

May 7 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW

May 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

May 8 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

May 9 –  A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

May 10 – Book Babble – REVIEW

May 10 – Varietats – REVIEW

May 11 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW

May 11 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 12 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

May 13 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

May 13 – Deal Sharing Aunt – SPOTLIGHT

May 14 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on May 6, 2017

A Stone’s Throw
Solstice Publishing (March 8, 2017)
Paperback: 322 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1625265463
ASIN: B06XGNXQCS

Synopsis – Book 1

Widowed librarian Alicia Fairmont needs answers…

After her husband is killed in a hit and run accident, Alicia travels upstate to his hometown of Cobble Cove, New York, hoping to locate his estranged family and shed light on his mysterious past. Anticipating staying only a weekend, her visit is extended when she accepts a job at the town’s library.

Secrets stretch decades into the past…

Assisted by handsome newspaper publisher and aspiring novelist, John McKinney, Alicia discovers a connection between her absent in-laws and a secret John’s father has kept for over sixty years. But her investigation is interrupted when she receives word her house has burned and arson is suspected, sending her rushing back to Long Island, accompanied by John.

Back in Cobble Cove, cryptic clues are uncovered…

When Alicia returns, she finds a strange diary, confiscated letters, and a digital audio device containing a recording made the day her husband was killed. Anonymous notes warn Alicia to leave town, but she can’t turn her back on the mystery—or her attraction to John. As the pieces begin to fall into place, evidence points to John’s involvement in her husband’s accident. The past and present threaten to collide, and Alicia confronts her fears…

Between A Rock and a Hard Place
Publisher: Solstice Publishing (October 12, 2016)
Paperback: 316 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1625264534
E-Book ASIN: B01M59PPBY

Synopsis – Book 2

Librarian Alicia McKinney has put the past behind her…

Two years ago, Alicia discovered both a terrible truth and lasting love with John McKinney in the small town of Cobble Cove, New York. Now a busy mother of twin babies and co-author of a mystery series, Alicia couldn’t be happier.

Alicia’s contentment and safety are challenged…

Walking home alone from the library, Alicia senses someone following her, and on more than one occasion, she believes she is being watched. Does she have a stalker? When the local gift shop is burglarized, the troubling event causes unrest among Alicia and the residents of the quiet town.
John and Alicia receive an offer they can’t refuse…

When John’s sister offers to babysit while she and John take a much-needed vacation in New York City, Alicia is reluctant to leave her children because of the disturbances in Cobble Cove. John assures her the town is safe in the hands of Sheriff-elect Ramsay. Although Alicia’s experience with and dislike of the former Long Island detective don’t alleviate her concern, she and John take their trip.

Alicia faces her worst nightmare…

The McKinneys’ vacation is cut short when they learn their babies have been kidnapped and John’s sister shot. Alicia and John’s situation puts them between a rock and a hard place when the main suspect is found dead before the ransom is paid. In order to save their children, the McKinneys race against the clock to solve a mystery more puzzling than those found in their own books. Can they do it before time runs out?

Written in Stone
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Solstice Publishing (April 3, 2017)
Print Length: 215 pages
ASIN: B06Y1JTHJ8

Synopsis – Book 3

Alicia McKinney is confused . . . .

Was the strange email her husband received from the fictional detective in their mystery series a threat? Did the killer mistake the woman shot in the library for Alicia or the victim’s twin sister?

Cat vs. Dog . . .

After Sneaky goes missing from the library, will he turn up before a young girl becomes ill with worry over his disappearance? And will he return in time to outsmart Fido by being first to find the perpetrator’s smoking gun?

Alicia is worried . . .

While waiting for the killer’s next move, Alicia has other concerns. An old flame of John’s is in town and her friend, Gilly, has adopted the role of Miss Marple to aid her sheriff boyfriend in his investigation.

When all clues point to one of her co-workers, Alicia joins Gilly in searching for the answers to the mystery.

Will they survive . . . .

or is their ending written in stone?

Guest Post

When Your Pet is Missing, A Part of You is Lost

Have you ever lost a pet? It’s an awful feeling to wonder what became of your fur baby who ran out of the house for the first time or just didn’t come back from his or her usual nightly ramblings. Having always had animals, I’m more than familiar with this heartbreaking experience.

When I was ten, a gray and white cat came to our door. My mother, who had a soft heart for stray and feral animals, took her in and tried to find her owners. However, after noticing her bulging stomach, we realized she was pregnant and that was most likely the reason she had been evicted from her home. Not surprisingly, she wasn’t claimed. We kept her, and I named her Kitty. After a short time, she gave birth in our closet to three kittens – two boys and a girl. It was near Halloween, and I named one of the male cats Pumpkin, even though he was gray and not orange. Although my mother said we could keep all the cats, Pumpkin was the one to whom I grew most attached. I still remember the day he and his brother left our hour and never came home. My mother said that they had probably followed a female cat’s trail and lost their way. I was upset with her that she let him roam. I was worried he’d been hit by a car or met some other horrible end. My only consolation was that I still had Kitty and her daughter. My mother spayed them both and kept them inside. They lived with us for 15 and 16 more years.

Another cat of mine went missing when I was much older and already married with a daughter. Although he was strictly a house cat, Stripey enjoyed sitting on the window when the screens were on to let in the nice warm air during the spring and summer. One day, we accidentally left the window open when we went to work, and Stripey knocked out the screen and escaped. My experience with Pumpkin returned to me as I faced my crying daughter when she found out Stripey was missing. I helped her put up signs on telephone poles in the neighborhood and at the library where I worked. We searched for him under bushes, near houses, and through surrounding streets with no luck. What made it harder was that it had recently rained, and I worried that the scent that helps cats find their ways home would have washed away. At the suggestion of my neighbor who knew our cat was missing, we placed some cat food on a paper plate by the back door of our screened-in porch and opened it wide enough for a cat to fit through. The inner door to our house was locked overnight. When I woke in the morning, Stripey was standing there looking at me through the glass. My daughter and I were overjoyed that he was back.

Having experienced both the loss and recovery of a missing cat, I knew that I could use those real-life memories to portray what happens to Sneaky the library cat in my third Cobble Cove Mystery, Written in Stone. When Sneaky disappears from the comforts of his upstairs cat room that is accessible from the staff lounge through a cat flap, Alicia and Laura, the two librarians closest to him, are consumed with both worry and guilt. Alicia, my main character, can’t get him off her mind as she walks through town. She is particularly worried about the effects of his disappearance on a young girl, Angelina, who is fighting leukemia and who enjoys seeing him at the library’s storytimes. The girl’s father, also concerned for his ill daughter, puts up a reward for information leading to Sneaky’s recovery. Even as more pressing matters occur in the book including a murder, a threat on her life, and the appearance of a beautiful woman from her husband’s past, the missing cat remains uppermost on Alicia’s mind. Will Sneaky be lost forever like Pumpkin; or, like Stripey, will he be reunited with his Cobble Cove friends?

About the  Author

debbie-delouiseDebbie De Louise is a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island and has been involved with books and writing for over thirty years. She received the Lawrence C. Lobaugh, jr. Memorial Award in Journalism for her work as Features Editor on the Long Island University/C. W. Post student newspaper, the Pioneer. More recently, Debbie received the Glamour Puss Award from Hartz Corporation for an article about cat grooming that appeared on Catster.com. She has published a short mystery in the Cat Crimes Through Time Anthology and two novels,CLOUDY RAINBOW and A STONE’S THROW, the first book of her Cobble Cove cozy mystery series. Her short stories, THE PATH TO RAINBOW BRIDGE and DEADLINE appear in the anthologies, REALMS OF FANTASTIC STORIES and PROJECT 9, Vol. 2 published by Solstice Publishing. She is currently working on a psychological thriller, the third Cobble Cove Mystery, and a new pet-related cozy series. She lives on Long Island with her husband, daughter, and two cats.

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Check out the other blogs on this tour

May 5 – My Journey Back – SPOTLIGHT

May 5 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

May 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

May 6 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

May 7 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 8 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT

May 8 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 9 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT

May 10 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

May 11 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

May 12 – deal sharing aunt – INTERVIEW

May 13 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, Movie, mystery, Review on May 5, 2017

For a long time I have wanted the Hallmark channel, but more importantly, the Hallmark Movie & Mystery channel.  Thanks to a deal I struck with the cable company I started receiving these channels in March…and that was the downfall of my reading!  I have heard of various cozy books that have been made into movies and once I had this channel the TiVo was set up to record all of them.  This made for great binge watching weekends!

The first series I decided to watch was The Garage Sale Mysteries by author Suzi Weinert.  These movies star Lori Loughlin as Jennifor Shannon, owner of an antique type store that frequents garage sales and estate sales for bargains….never expecting she would stumble across a murder (or two).  With her eye for detail she is able to help the police solve the crime but not without putting herself in a little danger along the way.

There are 7 movies out as of this date and I am hoping there might be more to come!  (I can’t believe there were 7, didn’t seem like I watched THAT many!)

Photo from Hallmark Movie & Mystery Channel website

Garage Sale Mystery

Jennifer Shannon (Lori Loughlin) can always find a diamond in the rough – when it comes to garage sales, that is! Whether it’s a new antique to sell at her consignment shop, an Atari game for her son or a piece of furniture for her handy husband Jason (Rick Ravanello) to refurbish, she has made a career out of her treasure hunting prowess. But, when a string of burglaries hits her town, Jennifer must use her keen eye for detail and her natural problem solving instincts to help her piece together the clues and catch the criminal, before it’s to late!

Working with Detective Adam Iverson (Andrew Dunbar), Jennifer puts together a theory that the perpetrators of the burglaries are fellow garage sale regulars. The case escalates to dangerous levels when Jennifer discovers the dead body of her friend. And, even though the vicitms husband, Ben Douglas (Cameron Bancroft), finds nothing missing in their house, and the police label the death as accidental, Jennifer suspects that the death may be related to the burglaries.

So, with her treasure hunting skills and problem solving instincts, Jennifer finds and pieces together clues to the burglaries and her friend’s death. But as she gets closer to the truth, Jennifer learns that crime solving can be far more dangerous than any garage sale! Can she uncover the “Garage Sale Mystery” before it’s too late, or will her investigation create problems that not even Jennifer can solve.

If you click on the links it will take you to Hallmark’s Movie & Mystery website and you can see previews of each movie.

Garage Sale Mystery: All That Glitters

Jennifer Shannon (Lori Loughlin) has a gift for finding rare treasures hidden in garage sales that she can resell at her consignment store, Rags to Riches. But her keen eye for finding valuables also gets her involved in the criminal investigations that happen at the very second-hand sales she frequents. When Jennifer’s friend and self-storage facility owner Martin (Michael Kopsa) turns up murdered just hours after auctioning off an abandoned storage unit full of unique items to Jennifer, she is immediately pulled on the case as a key eyewitness. Working with Detective Lynwood (Kevin O’Grady), Jennifer helps single out a disgruntled customer as the prime suspect, while she and her business partner, Danielle (Sarah Strange), sift through boxes from the auction. As her husband Jason (Steve Bacic) worries about her safety, Jennifer starts to get over her head when there is a break-in at her store and a run-in with Martin’s angry wife. Then, Jennifer and Danielle discover their new merchandise contains the sparkly evidence they needed all along to nail the surprising real culprit. They must race to save a life and put their own on the line. Will they succeed before times runs out?

Garage Sale Mystery: The Deadly Room

Jennifer Shannon uses her sharp eye when finding rare garage sale treasures to resell at the consignment store she owns with business partner, Dani. When her friend dies trying to disprove rumors that a multi-million dollar home she is trying to sell has a deadly curse, Jennifer puts these intuitive skills to the test. Though a police investigation led by Detective Lynwood finds no evidence of foul play – even on the webcam footage from the night of the death – Jennifer has an ominous feeling that her friend has been murdered. Putting her keen instincts to work, Jennifer researches the history of deaths that all occurred in the room where her friend died, and examines a few key suspects with motives to murder. Jennifer’s husband Jason worries about her safety, but supports her efforts as she continues to investigate. As Jennifer uncovers clues that bring her closer to the truth, she also puts her own life in danger.

Garage Sale Mystery: The Wedding Dress

Jennifer Shannon (Lori Loughlin) has made a career of finding rare garage sale treasures to resell at the consignment store she owns with her business partner, Dani (Sarah Strange). When she finds a wedding dress that was worn on the day a groom went missing, Jennifer uses her knack for solving puzzles to investigate this unsolved cold case. After meeting the dress’s original owner, Helen (Cheryl Ladd), and finding traces of blood on the dress, Jennifer digs deeper into the decades-old mystery with the help of Detective Lynwood (Kevin O’Grady), and the support of her husband, Jason (Steve Bacic). With every clue that Jennifer uncovers, she gets closer to either finding the long-missing groom, or uncovering a wedding day murder.

Garage Sale Mystery: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Jennifer Shannon has an eye for antiques and a mind for solving mysteries. Her old friend from college, Sandra, has an antiques store that is closing. An ecstatic Jennifer gets first pick on all the goodies. She expects to find a few exquisite pieces for her store, “Rags to Riches,” but she doesn’t expect to find a dead body. To make matters worse, Sandra is arrested for murder. Jennifer has no choice but to get involved and find the real killer to prove her friend’s innocence. This won’t be an easy case to crack, because cleverly planted clues all point to Sandra.

Garage Sale Mystery: The Novel Murders

Jennifer Shannon (Loughlin) is a garage sale shopping expert whose sharp observation skills allow her to uncover valuable antiques, as well as help her local police department investigate crimes and solve mysteries. When an impoverished man enters Rags to Riches – a consignment shop where Jennifer sells the gems she’s found at garage sales – and asks to have an item home-delivered, Jennifer agrees. Upon her arrival at his run-down apartment, Jennifer finds the man murdered. As the police survey the crime scene, Jennifer cannot help but think there is something familiar about the details of the killing – and soon realizes that the victim’s cold- blooded demise is a re-enactment of a murder in a classic mystery novel.

Garage Sale Mystery: Art of Murder

Jennifer Shannon is a garage sale shopping expert whose sharp observation skills allow her to uncover valuable antiques, as well as help her local police department investigate crimes. While arranging a charity garage sale event, Jennifer finds a body in the attic of a local residence. While working to crack the case, Jennifer offers support to her loving husband, Jason, whose upcoming birthday has sparked a mid-life crisis. As Jennifer prepares to buy him the perfect gift, she receives an urgent voicemail from Tina, pleading for her immediate assistance. When she responds, the garage sale-expert-turned-sleuth finds herself standing face-to-face with a killer.

Review

I really enjoyed all of the movies, some more than others, but all were enjoyable.  I have never read this series so I don’t know how much the movies might differ from the books.  I thought the actors chosen to play each character were very believable and likable (unless they were then the villain then of course we don’t like them!).  I was amazed at what I learned about how to look at different items at sales and who knows what sort of treasure that you could find just waiting around the corner.

Each movie drew me in to the case and also the personal lives of the characters.  What they dealt with from friends, family and work situations and how it impacted those around them.

I’m not sure that there is an order to watch these but I think  you have to start with the first one to get a bit of background and their personal stories develop with each subsequent movie.

We give it 5 paws up!

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Posted in Cozy, Guest Post, mystery on May 3, 2017

Till Dirt Do Us Part by Teresa Trent
Cozy Mystery
Pecan Bayou #7

Approximately 219 pages

Synopsis

Not everything stays buried. When Betsy, a notorious brown thumb gets roped into a gardening contest sponsored by the Pecan Bayou Gazette, she finds herself digging up more than weeds. She is ridiculed by the garden club ladies, and now her heart breaks for a newly single mom whose world has just collapsed. The Happy Hinter is back so take some time to revisit the cozy little town Pecan Bayou, Texas. Grab a glass of sweet tea before you turn the dirt in the garden and sit a spell with all your favorite characters who dole out heartfelt caring and compassion with a side of humor. Till Dirt Do Us Part includes bonus recipes and helpful hints from Betsy’s column!

The book is FREE during the tour, so download your copy now!

Guest Post

Everyone Has a Story To Tell

By Teresa Trent

 

It always amazes me whenever I tell someone I’m a writer that within a few minutes they tell me about a book they have bubbling up inside of them. It seems everybody has a story to tell, but they don’t know where to begin to tell it.  Sometimes, their first thought is to have me tell it, but my mind is too crammed full of my own stories!  Here are some ideas for would-be, wanna-be, wish-to-be storytellers.

  1. Take your story idea to the mat. Time to ask the hard questions. Be mean and find the holes. For instance, you have this great idea about a dog that solves crimes. Ask yourself—how does he tell anyone what he has deduced? How does he defend himself against a killer? What happens when a squirrel interferes with his thought processes?
  2. Write the story from start to finish. I’m not talking book-length, but a few pages. There will be plot holes in your story, but that’s okay. This is your first road map. One thing you should know about writing is you’re never really finished. I’m sure some day my tombstone will read, “Teresa Trent—Currently in her second draft in her eternal existence.”
  3. Once you have written your story, find someone who will give supportive, constructive criticism. Don’t let anybody stomp on your dream.
  4. Revise your story again to fix problems and then you are ready to start the writing process. This means breaking that story down into scenes. I write scenes first and then assign them to chapters.

This all sounds so simple, right? Writing is a simple thing, but organizing, tweaking, and finding inspiration is something else.  Now it’s time to move from inspiration to discipline. Writing a book can take months that can lead to years. Writing for me is work, but it’s a job I dearly love. So, go ahead and let that story inside of you come bubbling out. Who knows? Maybe you’ll knock me down a peg on the Amazon sales list!

About the Author

Teresa Trent lives in Houston, Texas and is an award-winning mystery writer.  She writes the Pecan Bayou Mystery Series, is a regular contributor to the Happy Homicides Anthologies. Teresa is happy to add her Henry Park Mystery Series to her publishing credits with Color Me Dead, the first book in the series. Teresa has also won awards for her work in short stories where she loves to dabble in tales that are closer to the Twilight Zone than small town cozies. When Teresa isn’t writing, she is a full-time caregiver for her son and teaches preschoolers music part-time. Her favorite things include spending time with family and friends, waiting for brownies to come out of the oven, and of course, a good mystery.

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Check out the other blogs on this tour

May 1 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

May 1 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

May 1 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 1 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW

May 2 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

May 2 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW

May 2 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW

May 2 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 3 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

May 3 – Rainy Day Reviews – REVIEW

May 3 – Books,Dreams,Life –  REVIEW, INTERVIEW

May 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

May 4 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT

May 4 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT

May 4 – The Self-Rescue Princess –  CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 4 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

May 5 – Valerie’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

May 5 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 5 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 5 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on May 1, 2017

Bed and Breakfast and Murder (Fiona Fleming Cozy Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Patti Larsen Books (January 28, 2017)
Print Length: 189 pages
ASIN: B01N6W3JKN

Synopsis

A Poo Poo Kind of Morning

I tried not to look down the mouth of hell staring back at me from inside the glaringly pristine outer ceramic shell of the white throne, my throat catching, stomach doing half flips and a rather impressive rollover routine that would have gotten at least a 9.5 even from the Russian judges. Instead, I forced myself to smile and swallow and remind myself the elbow length yellow rubber gloves grasping the handle of the standard issue plunger were all that stood between me and Pooageddon.

Suck it up, Fee. Big girl panties and adulting and all that.

“At what point,” I waved the dripping plunger, wincing as droplets of yuck flew, “did I think owning a bed and breakfast was going to be glamorous and romantic?”

Fiona Fleming hasn’t lived in Reading, Vermont in over a decade, her escape from small town living leading her to New York City and a life of adventure. An adventure that has left her with no career, an ex who cheated on her and zero plans for the future. Her grandmother’s death grants her a new chance–inheriting Petunia’s, Iris Fleming’s bed and breakfast, seems like the ideal fresh start. But when Fee finds out ownership of the property Iris willed her might be in question, she’s drawn into the seedy underbelly of the cutest town in America after being singled out as the main suspect in a murder.

Amazon * Kobo * B & NiTunes * Google Play

Review

I always love reading new cozy series to see if they can match the mark left by so many authors before them. This series has a good mix of humor and mystery all rolled into one. There is even a little bit of potential romance brewing that I expect will be explored in future books.

The mystery itself – who killed Pete – was a total shocker when the killer was revealed. I catch myself saying this a lot when it is someone totally unexpected – but I did not see that reveal coming! The details fit and explain a lot but I don’t think there were any clues to point me in the direction of this character. I suspected other people, and while they were guilty of other things, murder was not one of them.

I think this series is going to be a hoot and look forward to reading more about Fee and this cozy little town in Vermont.  We give it 4 paws up.

About the Author

Patti Larsen is an award-winning author with a passion for the voices in her head. Now with over 80 titles in happy publication, she lives on the East coast with her patient husband and multitude of pets.

Webpage * And my NEW blog 😀 Magic, Mayhem and Murder * FacebookTwitterAmazonGoodReads

Giveaway

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check out the other blogs on this tour

April 24 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT

April 24 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT

April 25 – Carole’s Book Corner – SPOTLIGHT

April 25 – Books Direct – GUEST POST

April 26 – Queen of All She Reads – SPOTLIGHT

April 26 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

April 27 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – INTERVIEW

April 27 – My Reading Journeys  – SPOTLIGHT

April 28 – Books,Dreams,Life – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

April 29 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST

April 30 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST

May 1 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

May 1 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

May 2 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

May 3 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 4 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 4 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

May 5 – My Journey Back –  REVIEW

May 6 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 7 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on April 22, 2017

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Date of Release: 13 April 2017
Number in Series: 1
Publisher: Beaverstone Press
Number of Pages: 352

Synopsis

Movies. Muffins. Murder.

Maggie Doyle moved to Ireland to escape her cheating ex and crumbling career in the San Francisco PD. When the most hated woman on Whisper Island is poisoned at her aunt’s Movie Theater Café, Maggie and her rock-hard muffins are hurled into the investigation.

With the help of her UFO-enthusiast friend, a nun, and a feral puppy, Maggie is determined to clear her aunt’s name. Can she catch the murderer before they strike again? Or will her terrible baking skills burn down the café first?

Cozy, quirky, and fun, this tongue-in-cheek mystery is a delicious introduction to the Movie Club Mysteries Series. Grab a cocktail and join Maggie as she takes her detective skills across the pond in Dial P For Poison.

Review

I enjoy a good mystery and this one is set on a small island in Ireland and is a place I wouldn’t mind visiting especially because the cafe is a refurbished theater – the kind you see in movies from the 50’s or you might see in a small town. It is a creative way to refurbish an abandoned movie theater!

Maggie spent summers on Whisper Island with her aunt Noreen, so she has ties to the community and some of the residents. She is here to figure out what she wants to do with her life and Aunt Noreen has kindly offered her a place to stay. Of course Maggie is supposed to fill in at her aunt’s cafe but here is the catch, she doesn’t know how to cook and gets a 1 day crash course. It makes for some amusing scenes but at least the residents take some pity on her.

Of course it wouldn’t be a mystery without someone dying and in this case it is Sandra – probably the most despised woman in town between her attitude and writing a blind gossip column that while doesn’t name specific people, it is a small community and most can be figured out. Once I learned more about Sandra and her actions, it is no surprise she ended up dead. I won’t spill the details but trust me that you won’t like her much either. I was totally surprised at who the murderer was because it was never someone on my radar. I had different people in mind until they were cleared and then I had no real idea who to suspect.

This book/series has a lot of potential between the humor and potential romance between Maggie and the new detective from the main island. And Maggie’s UFO/Alien chasing friend adds a quirky twist to the town. And of course who knows what is going to happen next.

We give this book 4 paws up!

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Zara Keane grew up in Dublin, Ireland, and spent her summers in a small town similar to the fictional Smuggler’s Cove, the setting of her new cozy mystery series.

She currently lives in Switzerland with her family. When she’s not writing or wrestling small people, she drinks far too much coffee, and tries – with occasional success – to resist the siren call of Swiss chocolate.

WebsiteFacebook * Twitter * Facebook Reader GroupGoodreads

 

Giveaways

There are two giveaways on this tour.

I was lucky enough to be chosen to giveaway a Kindle copy of Dial P for Poison

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Click on the image or on the link below to enter the other giveaway 

Zara Keane’s Movie Club Mysteries Launch Giveaway

check out the other great blogs on this tour

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on April 16, 2017

When the Grits Hit the Fan (A Country Store Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Kensington (March 28, 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-1617739293
E-Book ASIN: B01GBAIXGK

Synopsis

Despite the bitter winter in South Lick, Indiana, business is still hot at Robbie Jordan’s restaurant. But when another murder rattles the small town, can Robbie defrost the motives of a cold-blooded killer?

Before she started hosting dinners for Indiana University’s Sociology Department at Pans ‘N Pancakes, Robbie never imagined scholarly meetings could be so hostile. It’s all due to Professor Charles Stilton, who seems to thrive on heated exchanges with his peers and underlings, and tensions flare one night after he disrespects Robbie’s friend, graduate student Lou. So when Robbie and Lou go snowshoeing the next morning and find the contentious academic frozen under ice, police suspect Lou might have killed him after their public tiff. To prove her friend’s innocence, Robbie is absorbing local gossip about Professor Stilton’s past and developing her own thesis on the homicide—even if that means stirring up terrible danger for herself along the way . . .

Praise

Once again I was glad to escape to the rolling hills of southern Indiana, and the joys of running the Pans ‘N Pancakes country store and restaurant. I have loved this series from the start, but this book was especially great!  ~Classy Cheapskate

If you’re looking for a well thought out mystery with suspense and characters you can’t help but root for, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of When the Grits Hit the Fan by Maddie Day. I think it is one you’ll be sure to enjoy.  ~A Cozy Experience

WHEN THE GRITS HIT THE FAN was a mystery full of more twists and turns than a funnel cake.  ~ Lisa Ks Book Reviews

About the Author

edith maxwellAgatha-nominated and Amazon best-selling author Edith Maxwell writes the Quaker Midwife series, the Local Foods Mysteries, the Country Store Mysteries (as Maddie Day), and the Lauren Rousseau Mysteries (as Tace Baker), as well as award-winning short crime fiction. Maxwell lives north of Boston with her beau and three cats, and blogs with the other Wicked Cozy Authors.

Website * Wicked Cozy Authors * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * Amazon * Pinterest

Giveaway

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check out the other blogs on this tour

April 3 – Classy Cheapskate – REVIEW

April 3 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

April 4 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW

April 4 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

April 4 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT

April 5 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW

April 5 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

April 6 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

April 6 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

April 7 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

April 7 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

April 8 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

April 9 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

April 9 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – INTERVIEW

April 10 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

April 11 – Varietats – SPOTLIGHT

April 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 13 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

April 13 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

April 14 – Rainy Day Reviews – REVIEW

April 14 – Queen of All She Reads – SPOTLIGHT

April 15 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 16 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

April 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, Historical, mystery on April 15, 2017

Called to Justice (A Quaker Midwife Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Midnight Ink (April 8, 2017)
Paperback: 312 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738750323
Kindle ASIN: B01FOR0YRW

Synopsis

Quaker midwife Rose Carroll is enjoying the 1888 Independence Day evening fireworks with her beau when a teenaged Quaker mill girl is found shot dead. After a former slave and fellow Quaker is accused of the murder, Rose delves into the crime, convinced of the man’s innocence. An ill-mannered mill manager, an Irish immigrant, and the victim’s young boyfriend come under suspicion even as Rose’s future with her handsome doctor suitor becomes unsure. Rose continues to deliver babies and listen to secrets, finally figuring out one criminal – only to be threatened by the murderer, with three lives at stake. Can she rescue herself, a baby, and her elderly midwifery teacher in time?

Guest Post

Re-creating Everyday Life

My Quaker Midwife Mysteries take place in a bustling New England mill and carriage factory town in the late 1880s – which happens to be the town I live in. The family my midwife Rose Carroll lives with resides in my house, or the way my house was when it was brand-new and built for workers who toiled in the textile mill a block down the hill. By now it has had two additions to the back, but the heart of the home remains.

We bought this house five years ago, and my boyfriend has renovated the entire structure, right down to the studs. We now have new plumbing, new wiring, insulation, smooth walls and ceilings, but we kept the original wide pine floors and the window and door trim. We’ve tried to keep the additions reminiscent of the period when the house was built, so the kitchen has old-timey looking subway tiles for backsplash, as does the bathroom.

We opened up the kitchen to the sitting room, and I love to perch on the couch and gaze into the kitchen, imagining Rose and her teenage niece Faith cooking and cleaning for the family. But what would it have looked like back then? This is a modest three-bedroom house, not a big fancy Victorian with maid’s quarters and a deluxe dining room.

I have visited several museum homes of the period. One was Orchard House, where the Alcott family lived. It’s only an hour from my home. I also stayed at living history farmhouse in Maine where the public is invited for 24-hour live-in experiences, from the wood cookstove to the chamberpot under the bed! And I often peruse Miss Parloa’s New Cook Book and Marketing Guide, where she speaks extensively of what a hygenic kitchen needs.

Rose’s kitchen would have had a wide soapstone sink and running water from a pump. The wide wooden table would have been used for food preparation as well as eating meals, and the cabinet space would have been limited. They might have had gas lighting on the walls, but not yet a gas stove. Certain places in town were starting to be electrified, but definitely not Rose’s home. Refrigeration would have been an icebox. The door to the outside was fitted with a screen door beyond, a new invention that did wonders for keeping the bugs out but letting a breeze circulate in a hot July when Called to Justice takes place.

The family did hire out the washing, and by Book Three in the series (Turning the Tide, 2018) Rose has convinced her widower brother-in-law to hire a kitchen girl, too. Rose has a busy midwifery practice, and Faith works full time in the Hamilton Mills, and Rose argued that it wasn’t fair to either of them to have to do all the housework, too.

I also often think of the Laura Ingalls Wilder series, which I read several times over as a child. Those stories take place primarily on the prairie and the frontier, certainly, but many of the everyday household tasks would have been the same.

Readers: Do you have any fabulous late Victorian research sources? Knowledge of everyday life from back then? Please share!

About the Author

edith maxwellAgatha-nominated and Amazon best-selling author Edith Maxwell writes the Quaker Midwife series, the Local Foods Mysteries, the Country Store Mysteries (as Maddie Day), and the Lauren Rousseau Mysteries (as Tace Baker), as well as award-winning short crime fiction. Maxwell lives north of Boston with her beau and three cats, and blogs with the other Wicked Cozy Authors.

Website * Wicked Cozy Authors * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * Amazon * Pinterest

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


check out the other blogs on this tour

April 5 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

April 5 – My Journey Back – REVIEW

April 6 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW, INTERVIEW

April 6 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, GUEST POST

April 7 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

April 7 – Books,Dreams,Life – INTERVIEW

April 8 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

April 8 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

April 9 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

April 9 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, GUEST POST

April 10 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

April 10 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

April 11 – Rainy Day Reviews – REVIEW

April 11 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST

April 12 – Book Babble – REVIEW

April 12 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

April 13 – Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting – REVIEW

April 13 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

April 14 – Leigh Anderson Romance – REVIEW

April 14 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – SPOTLIGHT

April 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

April 15 – deal sharing aunt – INTERVIEW

April 16 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, GUEST POST

April 16 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on April 11, 2017

Give the Devil His Due (A Tarot Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Midnight Ink (April 8, 2017)
Paperback: 360 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738742243
Kindle ASIN: B01FOR0Z9Y

Synopsis

Reformed con artist-turned-tarot reader Alanis McLachlan gets paid for predicting the future—too bad she didn’t see all the trouble in hers. First a figure from her past tries to drag her back into the life of crime she thought she’d left behind. Then a new suitor tries to sweep Alanis off her feet, forcing her on-again, off-again romance with hunky teacher Victor Castellanos to hit the skids. And then there’s the little matter of the client who gets an ominous reading from Alanis . . . and is promptly murdered. Danger is in the cards for Alanis, and she’ll need all her skill at reading people and reading tarot if she’s going to survive.

Guest Post

Novel Advice
By Steve Hockensmith

There are downsides to being a published author. One: the groupies. It’s almost impossible to sustain a healthy marriage when legions of lovestruck fans are throwing themselves at you every day. I try to keep their numbers down by avoiding the bestseller lists, but I still can’t walk past a bookstore without someone throwing their panties at me. Or, occasionally, their tighty whities. A never-ending supply of free underwear could be a perk, I suppose, but I’d be happier if people kept their pants on and contented themselves with autographs.

Another downside: Authors are supposed to be smart. Publish a book and all of a sudden we’re expected to know how it’s done — and, worse, to tell everyone about it. Is there a writer alive who hasn’t been forced to churn out a “How to – “ column about “their craft”? Even James Patterson still does it from time to time, and his “craft” consists of dictating titles to other writers while soaking in a diamond-studded bathtub. (“I’m thinking we’ll go with the ol’ adjective-noun for this one, Rogers. Fatal Bond, Lethal Intent, Perspicacious Equanimity, Whatever Whatever…you know the drill. Give me 75,000 words by Wednesday. And hand me the Mr. Bubble.”)

Even I’ve done it when I was hard-up enough for something to write about. The most popular post on my blog is “50 Dos and Don’ts for Wannabe Writers,” which is basically 500-ish words of tap dancing around the fact that I’m NOT all that smart when it comes to writing and publishing. Boil the whole thing down and it’s just me shouting “Oh, for god’s sake…if you wanna write just go do it already!”

But guess what, friends. I’m in the middle of a blog tour. I’m supposed to write 187 blog posts in three days (or something like that). So….

Hockensmith’s Four Little Rules for Big-Time Publishing Success

(1) Write stuff people want to read

Want to move units? Give the people what they want. They’re not reading for their health, you know. In fact, most of them aren’t reading at all. Who’s got time for book-books when there’s Facebook? The one in a million who will pick up a novel from time to time don’t want to read your tender coming of age tale or heartfelt romance or gimmicky tarot-themed mystery or whatever. If the Amazon rankings are to be believed, they want Loch Ness monster erotica and lots of it. So fire up an In Search Of…, get in touch with your wild side and start typing something that moves your unit.

(2) Read stuff people (especially you) want to write
James Patterson was an ad man before he started writing (or dictating titles, anyway). Lee Child was a TV producer. J.K. Rowling was unemployed. Gillian Flynn drove an ice cream truck. Jonathan Franzen was a Chippendales dancer. Very different backgrounds — yet all of these bestselling authors have two things in common. First, before they were writers, they were readers, preparing themselves for literary superstardom by discovering what they themselves love about books. Second, they’re all members of the Illuminati, the shadowy cabal that secretly controls the world. Which gives them a bit of an edge, competition-wise. Still…read, people! It’s good for you!

(3) Land a powerful agent, get a huge book deal and become a bestseller
Preferably in that order.

(4) Honor your commitments
Let’s say, for example, that you’ve agreed to write 187 blog posts in three days. Well, by cracky, you’d better do it, even if it means churning out a lot of ridiculous bunk. If you’re lucky, no one will notice….

 

About the Author

Steve Hockensmith’s first novel, Holmes on the Range, was a finalist for the Edgar, Shamus, Anthony and Dilys awards. He went on to write four sequels as well as a pair of bestselling follow-ups to the international publishing sensation Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. More recently, he wrote (with collaborator “Science Bob” Pflugfelder) the middle-grade mysteries Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab and Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


check out the other blogs on this tour

April 5 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW

April 5 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST

April 6 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

April 7 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – REVIEW

April 7 – Sleuth Cafe – GUEST POST

April 8 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

April 9 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 10 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

April 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

April 12 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

April 13 – Varietats – REVIEW

April 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – INTERVIEW

April 15 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 15 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST

April 16 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW