Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on November 22, 2016

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5dog

Five Dog Voodoo (Mae December Mystery) 
Camel Press (November 15, 2016)
Paperback: 266 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1603812481

Synopsis

As Halloween approaches, engaged couple Mae December and Sheriff Ben Bradley have devoted all their energy to Ben’s campaign for reelection as sheriff of Rose County, Tennessee. The race is already too close to call when the sheriff’s office is hit with yet another maddeningly tricky murder case. In recent years the town of Rosedale has had more than its fair share of murders, a fact Ben’s smarmy opponent is all too eager to exploit.

Investigator Dory Clarkson and her friend, Counselor Evangeline Bon Temps, are visiting the mysterious Voodoo village when a resident tells them her granddaughter, Zoé Canja, is missing. Her dog, a Weimaraner nursing four pups, escapes the house and finds the young woman’s body in a shallow grave. Evangeline becomes Sheriff Ben Bradley’s unofficial consultant because her grandmother in Haiti and later her mother in New Orleans practiced Voodoo. A threatening symbol is left on the pavement by Dory’s front door, effectively banning her from the case. Evangeline and the sheriff’s office ask too many questions, and Evangeline soon wears out her welcome. Voodoo curses aside, Ben’s job is at stake, and no one associated with the case is safe until the killer is found.

Book 5 in the Mae December Mystery series, which began with One Dog Too Many.

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Guest Post

Writing with my Daughter, Lisa

 one-dog  two-dogs  three-dog  four-dog  five-dog

 

Question 1: Many people ask us where the idea came from for our first book? The initial idea for what became “One Dog Too Many” came from an article my co-author and daughter Lisa read about widening a local lane—a historic scenic road near her home. The Road Commissioner was intent on broadening the roadway in the wake of one too many minor accidents. In a local newspaper article, he stated that he had delayed his retirement once and would do so again if necessary to achieve his goal. One of the women who lived on the lane had been fighting the project by filing injunctions and lawsuits.

“This is interesting,” Lisa handed me the newspaper. “Take a look.”

“I read a lot of murder mysteries,” I said after reading the article, “and if this was the plot of a mystery, someone would bump lady off.”

“Mom,” Lisa’s eyes were sparkling, “let’s write it!”

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We sat down that day and began the creation of the characters of the book. Both of us were interested in writing a mystery, but one with a low violence factor, much like the old Agatha Christie mysteries. We didn’t even know at the time that this genre of mystery is called a “cozy.” We began by creating our protagonist. Lisa wanted to call her May December as a play on words, but we spelled it Mae, which is short for Maeve. We are both animal lovers and we gave Mae a business boarding and breeding dogs. We also came up with our victim, Ruby Mead Allison, the daughter of a prominent family who had inherited a large piece of valuable property that bordered on the street we decided to call Little Chapel Road. Mae finds Ruby’s body while out exercising her boarding dogs. One of her feet is bare and on the other she’s wearing a red boot.

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We realized early on that the “small town mystery” of Agatha Christie fame would not work set in today’s world where sheriff’s offices are comprised of well-trained officers and labs for analyzing trace evidence and even DNA. So having one civilian solve the crime was not feasible. We needed a partnership between our protagonist and law enforcement. In time that partnership becomes a romantic one and in “Four Dog’s Sake,” Mae and Sheriff Ben Bradley get engaged.

Question 2: How do two people living in different states ever write a book together? Thank the Lord for email! We take turns writing a chapter or two and then sending them to the other half of Lia Farrell, who continues the process. We were about half-way through the first book, “One Dog Too Many” when we realized we were each thinking different people committed the murder! After that we decided we needed to agree on the general plot and the perpetrator in advance. We also decided to have four people tell each story and Lisa writes the chapters told by Ben Bradley, the sheriff, and Mae December, the protagonist. Each book features a different fourth character and I write that person as well as Chief Detective Wayne Nichols.

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Question 3: How did we get published? There are so many avenues for getting published these days that you need to decide whether you want to be traditionally published or indie published. For those not completely in the know, traditionally published means getting a literary agent who then obtains a publisher. Indie publication normally refers to what used to be called self-publishing. There is an excellent indie publishing option by Amazon called Create Space. It’s completely free and you can get your book in your hands in about a week. I have used it for four of my YA (Young Adult) fantasy books. The end product is terrific and you can design your own covers.

 songs-of-skygrass  songs-of-skygrass-2  songs-of-skygrass-3  songs-of-skygrass-4

 

If your dream is to have a traditional publisher, you need to search first for a literary agent. And put your big girl panties on before starting. Literary agents are overwhelmed today by the volume of submissions and they normally reject 96% of them. Plus, you often have to wait months for your rejection. We found our agent, Dawn Dowdle from Blue Ridge Literary, using an on-line resource called Publisher’s Marketplace; a search engine for agents and publishers. It costs $25 per month so it adds up quickly. Once you have an agent and get a contract (the agent takes 15% of the profit from book sales) s/he looks for a publisher for you. I recommend asking your agent to send you all the rejections. They usually come with feedback you can use to strengthen your submission. We were lucky our agent got us a three-book contract (extended to six after publication of our first book) with Camel Publishing and they have done a superior job for us. However, even the big publishers these days expect authors to do most of the marketing. So prepare to switch from writing to selling. You will need a web site, a presence on social media, options for presenting at bookstores, monthly newsletters and willingness to sell books at art fairs.

Question 4: Why did you use the penname Lia Farrell? Both of us, Lyn Farquhar and Lisa Fitzsimmons, have the same initials. We decided we didn’t want two names on the cover. Some authors do, but to us it looked busy. So we decided on a penname using the initials L.F. and Lia Farrell was born.

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About the Authors

Lia Farrell is the nom de plume for a mother/daughter duo of writers. Mom Lyn Farquhar and Daughter Lisa Fitzsimmons have been collaborating on the Mae December mystery series for four years.

ABOUT LYN

lynLyn Farquhar taught herself to read before starting school and honed her story telling abilities by reading to her little sister. Ultimately, her mother ended the reading sessions because Lyn’s sister decided she preferred being read to over learning to read herself. She fell in love with library books at the age of six when a Bookmobile came to her one-room rural elementary school. The day the Bookmobile arrived, Lyn decided she would rather live in the bookmobile than at home and was only ousted following sustained efforts by her teacher and the bookmobile driver.

Lyn graduated from Okemos High School in Michigan and got her college and graduate degrees from Michigan State University. She has a master’s degree in English literature and a Ph.D. in Education, but has always maintained that she remained a student for such a long time only because it gave her an excuse to read. Lyn holds the rank of Professor of Medical Education at Michigan State University and has authored many journal articles, abstracts and research grants. Since her retirement from MSU to become a full time writer, she has completed a Young Adult Fantasy trilogy called Tales of the Skygrass Kingdom. Volume I from the trilogy is entitled Journey to Maidenstone and is available on amazon.com. Lyn has two daughters and six step children, nine granddaughters and three grandsons. She also has two extremely spoiled Welsh Corgi’s. Her hobby is interior design and she claims she has the equivalent of a master’s degree from watching way too many decorating shows.

ABOUT LISA

lisaLisa Fitzsimmons grew up in Michigan and was always encouraged to read, write and express herself artistically. She was read aloud to frequently. Throughout her childhood and teenage years, she was seldom seen without a book in hand. After becoming a mom at a young age, she attended Michigan State University in a tri-emphasis program with concentrations in Fine Art, Art History an Interior Design.

Lisa, with her husband and their two children, moved to North Carolina for three exciting years and then on to Tennessee, which she now calls home. She has enjoyed an eighteen year career as a Muralist and Interior Designer in middle Tennessee, but has always been interested in writing. Almost five years ago, Lisa and her mom, Lyn, began working on a writing project inspired by local events. The Mae December Mystery series was born.

Lisa, her husband and their three dogs currently divide their time between beautiful Northern Michigan in the summertime and middle Tennessee the rest of the year. She and her husband feel very blessed that their “empty nest” in Tennessee is just a short distance from their oldest, who has a beautiful family of her own. Their youngest child has settled in Northern Michigan, close to their cabin there. Life is good.

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November 9 – Readeropolis – REVIEW

November 10 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

November 11 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

November 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

November 13 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

November 14 – T’s Stuff – REVIEW

November 15 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

November 16 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

November 17 – 3 Partners in Shopping,Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – REVIEW

November 18 – fuonlyknew – REVIEW

November 19 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST

November 20 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

November 21 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 22 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, Monday, mystery on November 21, 2016

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yankeetenacity2

Yankee Tenacity (Mayson-Dickson Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Wrench & Quill (September 15, 2016)
Paperback: 216 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1537480329
E-Book ASIN: B01LW9AWB3

Synopsis

Following the latest cryptic message that might lead them to the truth about their parents, Emme Mayson and Jackie Dickson are pulled into another murder investigation when a man dressed in a kilt falls from the sky onto their truck.

As if a dead body isn’t enough, FBI Special Agent Chris Meechum and sexy caretaker Sam Fender try to rein in their sleuthing, but the sisters are determined to solve this murder. Men in kilts, Renaissance Faires, and a few mobsters in all the wrong places complicate the case.

Emme Mayson is a Southern charmer from Alabama. Jackie Dickson is a straight-forward professional from Boston, they aren’t exactly a match made in heaven. The only thing keeping them from starting another war between the states is the mystery surrounding their parents, and their own lives.

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Guest Post

Hey all!  Today Jocie is tell us about the Mason Dixon line…I may live in Texas but I was born up north and not sure where my allegiance lies, but loved reading the history on the Mason Dixon line and what it truly represents.

The REAL Mason – Dixon Line

When people hear Mason – Dixon and they immediately think of it as a line between the Northern states and the Southern states.  While that has become an accepted fact, it is not historically true.

Way back in 1632 when land grants were being given to the American colonies by Britain, that line moved a bit here and there. Of course, it wasn’t yet known as the Mason-Dixon line. When things got testy between the colonies of Maryland, Delaware,  Virginia, and Pennsylvania, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, were changed with surveying the area and ending the cat fight between those states.

There was a political dispute (political disputes go WAY back) and Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore in an agreement with the heirs of William Penn, said he renounced his claim to land in Delaware. A short time later, he said he didn’t say that. (Sound familiar?)

This lead to a little known war – Cresap’s War erupted between settlers in the contested areas, complete with property disputes, law enforcement issues, and I’m sure, who paid taxes to what colony. The militia was called in. Things got so bad King George II had to get involved and order a cease fire to end the bloodshed, because who wants to be in Delaware when you could be living in Maryland. This was when Mason-Dixon were enlisted to survey the line. They surveyed the entire area between 1763 and 1767. There was a lot of area to be surveyed.

However, it wasn’t until 1779 that Pennsylvania and Virginia finally agreed to the line. “To extend Mason’s and Dixon’s line, due west, five degrees of longitude, to be computed from the river Delaware, for the southern boundary of Pennsylvania, and that a meridian, drawn from the western extremity thereof to the northern limit of the said state, be the western boundary of Pennsylvania forever.” And we thought legalese was a new thing!

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Image of the Mason Dixon Marker

During the Civil War, the line approximated the separation of slave states and free states, which lead to its popular usage as the most recognizable term for North versus South. Which leads me to segway into my mystery series, Mayson-Dickson.

Following the latest cryptic message that might lead them to the truth about their parents, Emme Mayson and Jackie Dickson are pulled into another murder investigation when a man dressed in a kilt falls from the sky onto their truck.

As if a dead body isn’t enough, FBI Special Agent Chris Meechum and sexy caretaker Sam Fender try to rein in their sleuthing, but the sisters are determined to solve this murder. Men in kilts, Renaissance Faires, and a few mobsters in all the wrong places complicate the case.

Emme Mayson is a Southern charmer from Alabama. Jackie Dickson is a straight-forward professional from Boston, they aren’t exactly a match made in heaven. The only thing keeping them from starting another war between the states is the mystery surrounding their parents, and their own lives.

About the Author

jocie-mckade-picJocie McKade is an award winning, Amazon bestselling author of twelve books and novellas. She writes romantic comedies, and humorous cozy mysteries, and has been accused of making readers laugh out loud at inappropriate moments.

Besides writing fun fiction, Jocie pens articles for national publications. The senior news editor for a reader’s news blog, she is part of an award winning production team where she writes video scripts, press releases, and blog posts.

When not writing, she is plotting military maneuvers against hostile dust bunnies.

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November 17 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

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November 18 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

November 18 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

November 19 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 20 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

November 21 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

November 21 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT

November 22 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT

November 23 – Sleuth Cafe – GUEST POST

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on November 19, 2016

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the-invasive-species-cover

The Invasive Species: (Professor Molly Mysteries Book 4)
File Size: 855 KB
Print Length: 242 pages
Publisher: Hawaiian Heritage Press (April 30, 2016)
ASIN: B01E6WR8RK

Synopsis

Professor Molly Barda is thrilled to be included in a grant to investigate attitudes toward biotechnology. But she immediately finds herself embroiled in the deadly fight between big biotech and anti-GMO activists. When Molly and her best friend Emma Nakamura stumble onto the scene of a brutal murder, they realize that everyone has something to hide–and there are some questions you don’t ask.

The Professor Molly mysteries are the first campus murder mysteries set in Hawaii.

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About the Author

frankie bowLike Molly Barda, Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike her protagonist, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, a loving family, and a perfectly nice office chair. She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining.

In addition to writing murder mysteries, she publishes in scholarly journals under her real name. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally.

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November 16 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

November 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

November 18 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST

November 19 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 20 – Jane Reads – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 21 – Sleuth Cafe – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 22 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

November 23 – T’s Stuff – CHARACTER INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

November 24 – Thanksgiving – U.S.

November 25 – deal sharing aunt – INTERVIEW

November 26 – Jemima Pett, Author – REVIEW

November 27 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 28 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

November 29 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Cozy, mystery, Spotlight on November 18, 2016

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maggie-doves-detective-agency

2nd in Series
Alibi (November 8, 2016)
E-Book ASIN: B01AERZS0A
Approximately 225 pages

Synopsis

As Susan Breen’s compelling cozy mystery series continues, Maggie Dove’s budding detective agency has given her a new lease on life. Only one thing stands in the way of success: her clients—or lack of them.

After catching the killer who shook her small Hudson River town, former Sunday School teacher Maggie Dove stumbled onto an exciting new career and found a way to take her mind off her own tragic past. Now, despite her best efforts to promote the agency, Maggie can’t seem to land any new cases—until Racine Stern, one of the village’s wealthiest residents, offers her a thousand dollars to convince her “evil” sister, Domino, to stay out of town.

While Maggie’s business partner thinks she’s crazy for turning down a potential client, she doesn’t want her agency to get a reputation for accommodating bizarre requests. However, Maggie is soon caught up in the family drama anyway. Racine may fear for her life—and her inheritance—but it’s Domino who takes the fall when she plunges to her death from a tower at Stern Manor. Was it an accident or something more sinister? Maggie’s investigation will test her faith—and her ability to survive.

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About the Author

susan-breenSusan Breen is the author of The Fiction Classher debut novel that won the Washington Irving Book Award. Her stories and articles have appeared in many magazines, among them The Best American Nonrequired Reading, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Compose, Writer’s Digest, and The Writer. She teaches at Gotham Writers in Manhattan; is on the faculty of the New York Pitch Conference, South Carolina Writers Workshop, and the Women’s National Book Association; and is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters-in-Crime. Breen lives in a small village on the Hudson River with her husband, two dogs, and one cat. Her three children are flourishing elsewhere.

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Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery, Review on November 14, 2016

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death-at-first-sight

Death at First Sight (A Bay Island Psychic Mystery)
NEW SERIES
Berkley (November 1, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425282748
E-Book ASIN: B01BK0SQBS

Synopsis

FIRST IN A VISIONARY NEW MYSTERY SERIES.

It doesn’t take a crystal ball to see that something’s not right on Bay Island…

Since she left her psychiatric practice in New York City to open up a psychic shop in her hometown on Bay Island, Cass Donovan has given her fair share of readings to conflicted customers. But what she sees in Ellie Callahan’s future doesn’t bode well.

When Ellie’s mother, Marge, publicly confronts Cass about the reading, the embarrassment makes her want to curl up and die. And when she later stumbles across Marge’s body—and is a suspect in her murder—Cass is suddenly the star of Bay Island’s rumor mill.

Cass is determined to prove her innocence and save Ellie from meeting the fate in her unfortunate vision. But even with the help of her friends Bee and Stephanie, Cass will have to channel some serious sleuthing instincts to find the real killer…

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Review

A mystery that surprised the heck of me when the killer was revealed!

If you are familiar with mysteries at all there is some back and forth with clues that might implicate one character or another…in fact, I suspected a character that wasn’t even close to being the killer. The author did a great job of hiding this character’s guilt and I’m not sure there were even any hints. Let’s just call it a twist you don’t see coming.

Ok, now that I have that out of the way, the book was good and I was left wondering if Cass might be a little more intuitive than she thinks. Like most psychics, they do a lot of guess work just by how a person looks or is acting. However, there are times when Cass seems to see something a bit more. I hope that it is explored in future books.

There is even a hunky stranger, Luke, that leaves Cass all confused when in close proximity. Perhaps he could be a potential love interest? Or is he hiding something more? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

I like Cass’ friends Bee and Stephanie, they round out this trio of friends nicely and each has their own quirks that make the story fun.

Good first book for a new series.

We give this 4 paws up.

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Guest Post

Do You Believe in Ghosts?

By Lena Gregory

Whether or not ghosts exist is a big debate in my house. My daughter and I firmly believe in ghosts, while my husband and one of my sons do not. My youngest son, Logan, who is only five years old now, has no firm opinion yet, but he is part of the reason I believe so strongly. Of course, I had other…encounters before these, but that’s another story.

My younger brother, Chris, passed away when my son was only four months old. Chris and I shared a love of reading, especially mysteries, and I often feel his presence while I’m writing. Chris always had the best hair, thick, full, and loaded with natural highlights. And he always kept it long, at least past his shoulders, even after he became an air traffic controller.

Late one night—we don’t keep normal hours in my house—I was sitting on my bed writing.

My youngest, who was about two at the time, was lying across the bottom of the bed watching his iPad. He looked over, then past me, and frowned. “Who’s that?” he asked.

I turned around but didn’t see anything. “Who’s what?”

“That guy with the long hair?”

I jumped and spun toward the direction he indicated—because, you know, that freaked me out a little—but I still didn’t see anything.

He just shrugged and went back to watching his show as if nothing unusual had happened.

I continued writing, a little spooked but kind of comforted too. I’d always felt Chris’s presence, but Logan kind of confirmed it.

Four generations of my family lived in the same small town, and most of those who have passed on are buried in the local cemetery, so Logan and I often walk through the cemetery, and Logan collects rocks and sticks to leave on the headstones.

One day, while we were walking, he pointed toward a small, closed, locked storage shed in the middle of the cemetery, not far from my mother-in-law’s grave. “I want to go in there,” he said.

“In where?” I asked.

“In that house where the lady just went.”

I’m not gonna lie. We left, then. Quickly. Because believing in ghosts in an odd, detached sort of way is one thing, but I can assure you, having your two-year-old point out a woman entering a locked building in a completely deserted cemetery is something else entirely.

While writing Cass’s story, I tried to keep that debate in mind. Cass sort of believes in ghosts, but she doesn’t believe she actually talks to them. She thinks she uses years of psychiatric training and her uncanny ability to interpret people’s feelings to form a logical opinion and turn it into a “reading.” Of course, her customers think otherwise.

Her friend, Stephanie, believes completely.

Bee is another story. He swears he doesn’t believe in any of that mumbo-jumbo, but he really goes out of his way to avoid anything otherworldly. So, is he a true non-believer, or is he terrified ghosts might actually be real? I’ll leave it up to you to figure it out.

So, what do you think? Do you believe in ghosts? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think and if you’ve had any experiences that contributed to your opinion.

But I don’t think it’s that clear cut for everyone.

 

About the Author

lena-gregory-portraitLena lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children.

When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.

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November 1 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

November 1 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

November 2 –  The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

November 2 –  The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 3 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 3 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW

November 4 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 4 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 5 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 5 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

November 6 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW

November 7 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

November 8 – The Mysterious Ink Spot – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 8 – Sleuth Cafe – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 9 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

November 9 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 10 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

November 11 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 12 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

November 13 – Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! – REVIEW

November 13 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

Posted in 3 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on November 12, 2016

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deadly-dog-days

Deadly Dog Days (A Dog Days Mystery)
by Jamie M. Blair
Series: A Dog Days Mystery (Book 1)
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Midnight Ink (November 8, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0738750187
E-Book ASIN: B01APSYPTS

Synopsis

New to the historic town of Metamora, Indiana, Cameron Cripps-Hayman is looking to make friends with her neighbors. What she isn’t looking for is one of their bodies floating in the canal.

When she and her estranged husband, the town sheriff, are both named suspects for the murder, Cameron takes solving the crime into her own hands, teaming up with her eccentric co-workers who dub themselves The Metamora Action Agency.

As if hunting for a murderer with two high school geniuses, the town drunk, and an elderly kleptomaniac isn’t hard enough, Cameron adopts the five mangy guard dogs of her deceased neighbor. But maybe a stint at playing gatekeeper is just what she needs to come face-to-face with the killer and save another neighbor from being the next victim.

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Review

This was a good start to a new series set in a dying tourist town in Indiana. and of course the title mentions dogs, so I was naturally intrigued as I am a dog lover.

The pace started off slow to me but did pick up about halfway through. There are a myriad of characters, all have their issues, but for the most part are good characters.

Cameron is a bit of a wild child – not much in the house other than cookies. oh and it is a house given to her and her husband by his mother….who is VERY controlling and is taking bits and pieces of the house to sell. Irene (the MIL) is not a very likable character. I think she is used to getting what she wants and no one stands up to her. She doesn’t like Cameron much, but I lay that blame at her husband Ben’s feet. Ben needs to stand up for Cameron with his mother. Sure they may be estranged right now, but they still talk and are trying to work out their relationship.

The mystery wasn’t anything I might have solved because the killer wasn’t anyone anywhere close to my radar. I think I’m still a bit unsure why this person was the killer.

The story was enjoyable and I am curious as to how future books will play out for Cameron, Ben and Mia (Ben’s daughter).

We give it 3 paws up.

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jamie-blairAbout the Author

Jamie Blair (Ohio) is the award-winning author of young adult and romance books, including Leap of Faith (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and Lost to Me.

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November 8 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

November 8 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

November 9 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

November 9 – The Girl with Book Lungs – SPOTLIGHT

November 10 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

November 10 – Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! – REVIEW

November 11 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

November 11 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

November 11 – The Broke Book Bank – REVIEW

November 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

November 13 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

November 14 – A Date with a Book – REVIEW

November 14 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

November 15 – Book Babble – REVIEW

November 16 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

November 16 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

November 17 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT

November 18 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 19 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 20 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

November 20 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery, Spotlight on November 11, 2016

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Fortune Favors The Witch
(A Witch Cozy Mystery)
(Main Street Witches #2)

Book info: 250 pages, paranormal cozy mystery (witch), strong romance storyline, no explicit sex.

 

Synopsis

Fortune teller Luanne LaRue, is trying to build a new life in the haunted town of Banshee Creek and the last thing she wants is a conflict with super-sexy Sheriff Sean Stickley. But when a mysterious fraud spreads through town (along with a dead body) she has no choice. She has to find the culprit and clear her name fast before her new life (and new love) is destroyed.

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Guest Post

Hi, my name is Ani Gonzalez. I write paranormal romantic comedy and cozy mystery and StoreyBook Reviews has kindly agreed to host the book tour for Fortune Favors the Witch, the second book in my Main Street Witches cozy mystery series.

Main Street Witches is a spin off of my haunted town romantic comedy series, Banshee Creek.  Three witches head to America’s Most Haunted Town to open up business and find romance and mystery along the way. The series was inspired by my love of all things witchy (just like Banshee Creek arose out of my enthusiasm for all things haunted).

As a writer, I find inspiration in popular cultures, and I often end up writing the story I want to read, but can’t find anywhere. In this case, a witchy romantic mystery with tons of obscure paranormal detail (in this case UFOlogy, cartomancy, and astrology). Television and movies are a huge influence on me, and here are some of the shows and films that inspired the book.

Madame Antoine – I loved this fantastic Korean drama where a successful fortune teller and a skeptical psychologist butt heads. The fortune telling office is dreamy and it definitely inspired Luanne’s alcove in the Banshee Creek Botánica.

Supernatural – This is one of my favorite television shows, so I wasn’t surprised when Honoria Delacourt, the teenage ghost that haunts Luanne’s cottage (yes, it’s called The Most Haunted Town in the USA for a reason) turned out to be a huge Supernatural fan. She’s definitely #TeamSam.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind – The support group for alien abduction survivors that invades Banshee Creek is based on this movie. And, guess what? There’s actually a television show based on the same concept coming up this month. It’s called People of Earth, and I’m definitely watching it.

Charmed – Best. Show. Ever. The whole concept of the Main Street Witches series is based on this series. The series will eventually have three witches protecting the town of Banshee Creek, with the third guardian, Fiona, introduced in the next book, Some Like it Witchy. Strange things happen in Banshee Creek, so one witch is not enough.

Houdini and Doyle – I loved this BBC series depicting Harry Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle as Victorian detectives investigating supernatural mysteries. The period atmosphere and historical details were amazing. I was heartbroken when it was cancelled.

About the Author

ani-gonzalezAni Gonzalez: I write paranormal romantic comedy and cozy mystery (whew, that’s a mouthful!) set in Banshee Creek, Virginia, The Most Haunted Town in the USA. My books feature feisty funny heroines dealing with a host of paranormal critters (ghosts, cryptids, pagan gods…the sky’s the limit) and mysteries. They find magic, love and laughter and readers get to follow them every step of the way.

I love quirky towns with spooky stories, and, thanks to my books, I get to “live” in one year-around. In real life I live in a Minneapolis suburb (which is sadly lacking in ghosts) with my husband and three children and I’m still trying to adjust to the cold.

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Check out the other great blogs on this tour

November 2 –  Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

November 2 –  Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

November 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW

November 4 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 5 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 6 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 7 – Sleuth Cafe – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 8 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 9 – Community Bookstop –  GUEST POST

November 10 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

November 10 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

November 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on November 11, 2016

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Key to a Murder: An Antique Hunters Mystery
4th in Series
Cozy Cat Press (August 12, 2016)
Print Length: 176 pages
ASIN: B01KD97TK6

Synopsis

A mysterious woman appears on the doorstep of Great Aunt Sybil’s Attic in the middle of the night. Owner Anne Hillstrom lets her in, only to have the woman die in her arms. With no final words, and only an old lantern clutched to her chest, the dead woman provides Anne and her partner CC precious few clues to discover her murderer or why she spent her last moments in their antique store. The two Antique Hunters search for clues, finding themselves entangled in a centuries-old mystery leading them to a cemetery in Ireland where a ghost from the past has left them a cryptic message, and a killer has left them no choice but to discover his identity before he kills again. On their journey, the two best friends encounter antiques, romance and the key to a murder.

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Guest Post

I’m often asked where my ideas stem from for the antique hunters series. I have to respond everyday life. I am surrounded by ideas, only limited for time. The most recent book, Key to a Murder, includes references to a historic Chicago event and the last book, Killer Finds, involves a mystery surrounding the famous Georges Seurat painting, Sunday on La Grand Jatte.

Each year in grade school, we would take a trip to the Art Institute of Chicago and stroll among the impressionists. There I would study Seurat’s example of pointillism and marvel at his use of color, shade and texture to convey emotion. It is truly a masterpiece and deserves its place amongst the Monets, Van Goghs and Gaugins.

My entire life has been seeped in history whether it be at the Art Institute or further away from my home. Each summer, we would take a family vacation traveling around the country. We visited Concord and Lexington, the birthplace of American freedom. We wandered around Williamsburg, joining the revolutionary militia. We traveled north to Fort Henry, learning about the French trappers.

Those history lessons intertwined with visits to authors’ homes. It was in Concord where we toured Louisa May Alcott’s home, Orchard Place. Not only was she the author of the Little Women series but also a gothic novelist. It is while in Canada that we trekked to Prince Edward Island and discovered the home of L.M. Montgomery. My father bought me the complete collection of Anne of Green Gables books. All these books had strong female characters and were set in the author’s current days.

My antique hunting series has two strong female characters. It chronicles the adventures of Anne Hillstrom and CC Muller, two best friends who enjoy shopping and stumble upon murder.  They are loosely based on my two best friends, two strong women who both define themselves in different ways. Like in the books, the real life Anne loves to shop and has never met a sale she could resist. The real-life CC is an intrepid journalist who strives to share her knowledge.

Their tales intersect with my own real life adventures. My husband and I traveled to Nashville last summer, and that journey is shared in Pickin’ Murder, the second book in the Antique Hunters series. I love to combine real life locations with fictional events.

I, nor my close friends, Anne and CC, have never encountered a murder in real life, but we do share many adventures. We have attended a Downton Abbey costume exhibit at the Driehaus Museum, a barn sale in the middle of nowhere and several estate sales, including one of a long-time Illinois elected official. Bits of these adventures work their way into my stories and often provide me with inspiration.

Where will the next inspiration come from? I am always curious to find out. I love looking for  pieces of history, the more unusual the better, when I go to area estate sales, auctions or even garage sales. I stop and look, hoping to find source material for the next adventure for my two antique hunters, Anne and CC. I hope you’ll join them.

About the Author

vicki vassWith a passion for shopping and antiques, Vicki Vass turned in her reporter’s notebook to chronicle the adventures of Anne and CC, two antique hunters who use their skills to solve a murder case.

Vicki has written more than 1,400 stories for the Chicago Tribune as well as other commercial publications including Home & Away, the Lutheran and Woman’s World. Her science fiction novel, The Lexicon, draws on her experience in Sudan while writing about the ongoing civil war for World Relief.

She lives in the Chicago area with her husband, writer and musician Brian Tedeschi, son Tony, Australian shepherd Bandit, kittens Terra and Pixel, seven koi and Gary the turtle.

Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter

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Check out the other great blogs on this tour

November 1 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

November 2 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW

November 3 – Grace. Gratitude. Life. by Marie McNary – REVIEW(Killer Finds)

November 3 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 4 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too ! – SPOTLIGHT

November 4 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 5 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

November 6 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 7 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

November 7 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST

November 8 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 9 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

November 10 – Book Babble – REVIEW

November 11 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

November 12 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

November 13 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 14 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

Posted in Book Blast, Cozy, mystery on November 7, 2016

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If Words Could Kill: A First Ladies Mystery
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Darkhouse Books (September 24, 2016)
Print Length: 220 pages
ASIN: B01LZXHEOJ

Synopsis

IF WORDS COULD KILL is a mystery. Liv owns the First Lady White House Dollhouse store in Minneapolis, and has a doctorate in American history, specializing in the First Ladies. Liv is the last person to see a Mary Lincoln impersonator who is found dead right outside of her store. The impersonator presented clues as to where the fiery speech gave by former President Lincoln, the Lost Speech, may be located. As Liv investigates, she is trailed by someone who makes a habit of murdering people once a new clue is deciphered. The whereabouts of the only copy of Abraham Lincoln’s Lost Speech, a fiery speech on abolitionism delivered in 1856, propels Liv into beating the killer to the pricey speech. Who will locate it first?

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About the Author

Barbara Schlichting was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota where her First Ladies Mystery Series is set. Dolley Madison: The Blood Spangled Banner. Barbara graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School in 1970. Later, she and her husband moved their family to Bemidji. She attended Bemidji State University where she earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in elementary education and special education.

Barbara also likes to write in other genres. Whispers From The Wind is her first poetry book which has poems for all ages.

Barbara has been known to travel too much, and read while not paying attention to her husband. However she has had an English penpal for over fifty years.

WebsiteFacebook * Amazon * Goodreads * Twitter * First Lady Blog

 

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, Monday, mystery on October 31, 2016

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Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Publisher: Henery Press (October 25, 2016)
Paperback: 246 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635110814
E-Book ASIN: B01J499OUE

Synopsis

Haunted houses are scary enough without knife-wielding clowns. Especially murderous knife-wielding clowns. So thinks Ellison Russell, single mother, artist, and reluctant sleuth.

Now death wears a red nose and Ellison is up to the blood-stained collar of her new trench coat in costumes, caffeine, and possible killers. Who stabbed Brooks Harney? And why? Money? Jealousy? Drugs?

With Mother meddling, her father furious, and her date dragged downtown for questioning, turns out Ellison’s only confidante is Mr. Coffee.

Books in the Country Club Murders Humorous Mystery Series, available on Amazon

* The Deep End (#1)
* Guaranteed to Bleed (#2)
* Clouds In My Coffee (#3)
* Send In The Clowns (#4)

Barnes and Noble – iBooks – Kobo 

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Guest Post

Welcome Julie!  With today being Halloween and the title of the book includes the word Clowns – I started thinking about the recent clown coverage in the media.  I am pretty sure Julie didn’t plan this!  Today she is sharing escapades from her daughter’s after-party.  We all did stupid stuff like this when we were younger…what were we thinking is what I want to know?!

Recently I took leave of my senses and gave permission for my teenage daughter to host a post-homecoming after-party.

Homecoming fell on the night of my husband’s high school reunion.

I figured I’d go to the celebratory dinner with him then hurry home to chaperone the party. He could stay and catch up with old friends

Twenty teenagers.

I was a teenager once. How hard could it be to keep them in line?

By 10:00 I knew I was in trouble. I walked into the dining room and spotted a young man helping himself to my husband’s scotch.

Let it be known that he was pale and sweating by the time I got done reading him the riot act.

I returned to the upstairs.

At 10:30, I descended the stairs and let the dog out. As I stood in the driveway, I noticed that the party had moved to the front yard. And the street. And someone was driving with a boy spread eagle on the hood of his car.

“STOP! Have you lost your mind?” I had visions of smashed skulls, broken bones, endless lawsuits.

The car stopped. The boy on the hood slid off, ran to the side of the car, and jumped in. The car raced away.

At 10:45 the car was back. Parked in front of the house.

At 11:00 I made another pass through the downstairs. The song playing was (I kid you not) Dance like a Stripper. I bit my tongue, covered my ears, and went upstairs to text my husband.

Come home. Please.

He did.

The whole experience gave me a new appreciation for single mothers.

The heroine of The Country Club Murders is a single mother and in Send in the Clowns, Ellison is dealing with a questionable young man who Grace adores. Unlike me, Ellison can’t text the cavalry. There is no cavalry. Also, since Send in the Clowns is set in 1974, she can’t text.

My hats off to single mothers who—like Ellison—deal with a child who misses her curfew, crushes on a boy who’s totally unacceptable, and stretches the truth. I don’t know how you do it!

About the Author

Julie MulhernJulie Mulhern is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is—she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

Website * Goodreads * Facebook * Twitter

Giveaway

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check out the other great blogs on this tour

October 24 – A Date with a Book – REVIEW

October 24 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

October 25 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

October 25 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW

October 26 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

October 26 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 27 – Queen of All She Reads – SPOTLIGHT

October 27 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy,  Too! – SPOTLIGHT

October 28 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 28 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

October 29 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

October 29 – Grace. Gratitude. Life. by Marie McNary – REVIEW

October 30 – Nadaness In Motion – EXCERPT

October 31 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

November 1 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST

November 1 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW,

November 2 – I Wish I Lived in a Library – REVIEW

November 2 –  Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

November 3 – Cassidy Salem Reads & Writes – GUEST POST

November 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

November 4 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, EXCERPT

November 4 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

November 5 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 6 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

November 7 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

November 7 – The Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW, EXCERPT