Posted in Cozy, excerpt, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery, paranormal on October 30, 2016

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doggone-it
Genre – Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Series: A Dreamwalker Mystery (Book 3)
Hardcover – 292 pages
Publisher: Five Star Publishing (October 19, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-1432832315 

Synopsis

Dreamwalker Baxley Powell can’t remember the last time she had such a crappy weekend. A twilight encounter with a ghost dog left her numb and disoriented, her dreamwalker abilities are wiped out, and the sheriff just summoned her to a double homicide.

With no access to the spirit world, Baxley bluffs her way through the crime scene where a movie star’s assistant and a charter boat captain were strung up and bled dry. In a haunted house, no less. Figuring out who killed these people will be a real challenge without her ability to speak to the dead.

Just when Baxley thinks her powers are returning, her dreamwalks malfunction. With the sheriff pushing her to solve the case quickly, Baxley teams up with a dognapping medium to boost her powers.

Suspects include the captain’s good-for-nothing brother, the assistant’s replacement, and, of course, his stalker. All of Sinclair County is on edge, and the media circus isn’t helping. At stake are the movie’s funding, the sheriff’s job, and Baxley’s senses.

Can Baxley safeguard her abilities and solve the case before the killer strikes again?

Haunted houses, lost pirate treasure, conniving in-laws, supernatural baddies, and a determined ghost dog test amateur sleuth Baxley Powell’s mettle in Book Three of Toussaint’s Dreamwalker Series.

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Excerpt

I stared at my best friend, alarmed. “We’re going in the haunted house? Count me out. I didn’t sign on for breaking and entering. I can’t do that. I’ll lose my job as a police consultant.”

Charlotte shone her light on the weathered façade of June’s Folly. “No breaking required, Baxley. The front door is open.”

I added my beam to hers. Sure enough, the paneled door with the centrally located doorknob gaped on its hinges. “Dang. You’re right. Still, this place belongs to someone. We don’t have the right to stroll inside. We’ll be trespassing.”

“Just a peek inside. If the ghost is here, it should repel us at the door, or so goes the legend. Speaking of ghosts, is anyone talking to you? Maybe shaking some chains or speaking in French?”

“All I’m hearing is a desperate reporter.” Cautiously, I touched the banister to see if it was secure. It was. I used the railing for support as I carefully trod the rotten, squeaking steps. Drifts of thickened air stirred my hair and sighed through the pines. Charlotte halted. “You hear that?”

Her voice sounded too high. “The wind?”

“Chains clanking. And a sad, mournful song in another language.”

“Truly?” I heard nothing of the sort. Was Charlotte’s imagination getting away from her? Was there a ghost?

Charlotte sank to the porch decking, her gear clunking as she landed heavily on her rear. “I, uh, need a minute.”

“Okay.” I sat on the top step beside her. Other than feeling dread and a shiver against the elements, I seemed normal with no sign of sensory overload. I marveled that I was still functioning. A little maturity and a little extrasensory training and I had a whole new perspective on this place.

“Don’t you feel it?” My friend’s teeth chattered. “I’m freezing.”

I estimated it was nearly eighty degrees and humid enough for spiders to dance on the air. Puzzled, I touched Charlotte’s arm. Her skin felt cold to the touch. Ordinarily, Charlotte would be griping about the heat and the humidity. Something was crossing her wires.

“Look at you! Working those earlier ghost sites must have unleashed a latent talent.” I gazed at her with frank admiration. “You’re the ghost detector tonight, Char. I’m not picking up anything.”

“Are you looking?”

She had me there. “Nope. I don’t want to have to call my father to come get me again. That would be embarrassing.”

“I thought you were doing this to prove yourself as a full-fledged dreamwalker.”

“My main thought is that you have your answer to the ghost question. Chains and mournful singing support the drowned slave legend. Time to go home.”

“There’s more to this, I know it,” she insisted. “Help me prove it. You can handle whatever it is I’m feeling. I haven’t passed out or anything.”

Like that would reassure me. But there was a certain logic to her claim. I was being a wimp by keeping my senses and my body shielded.

Charlotte had called me out. Worse, she was right. Just because I never heard ghosts before was no reason not to listen for this one.

My talents and my shielding abilities were much more finely tuned now. I’d been talking to the dead for months. I didn’t have to let childhood fears dictate my actions. And, the sooner I gave Charlotte what she wanted, the sooner we could go home.

With that, I closed my eyes and opened my senses to the night. Immediately, I plunged into a freezing fog bank.

Guest Post

Today I welcome Maggie Toussaint to StoreyBook Reviews.  She shares with us the friendship of Baxley and Charlotte in her books.  I have had many dear friends over the years and totally identify with them.

Besties

By Maggie Toussaint

Some of us are lucky to have best friends. It’s rare to have multiple best friends simultaneously, but I’ve been blessed to have two best friends my entire life. They are sisters, and they were my next door neighbors forever.

We grew up sharing scraped knees, Barbies, favorite songs, and chicken pox. We listened to rain on a tin roof, caught blue crabs in tidal creeks, and confided our deepest darkest secrets to each other. We forged friendships that have spanned more than fifty years.

So, when I decided to create a character foil for my amateur sleuth Baxley Powell, I wanted her to have the same rich and enduring friendship I’ve had. Newspaper reporter Charlotte Ambrose appears in every book of the Dreamwalker cozy mysteries, but she was in Baxley’s life long before the series.

In firming up their backstory, I decided this pair had been inseparable since grade school. Charlotte struggles with her weight, with confidence, and with upward career mobility. As a fulltime employee at a weekly paper, she can get title promotions, but the job remains the same, no matter the label. Meanwhile, Baxley struggles with her unusual skill of communicating with the dead, her burning desire to be normal, and her decision to suppress her psychic abilities for most of her life.

As children, teens, and adults, Charlotte and Baxley needle each other when they need an extra push. They support each other when things go wrong and cheer for each other’s successes. They’re in and out of each other’s houses all the time. Charlotte is the sister Baxley never had, and Baxley’s parents are Charlotte’s second set of parents.

This closeness works out well for best friends in real life and for characters in stories. For instance, when everyday things that happen to us, we turn to our friends first. Our friends are our sounding boards and our barometers. They tell us when we’re messing up, and they rat us out to our folks when we need it. The same goes for Baxley and Charlotte.

In book one of the series, Gone and Done It, Charlotte helps Baxley through the decision to become the Dreamwalker. She helps Bax when the admission of power totally whitens Baxley’s forelock. On the flip side, Baxley clues her friend into the first murder the county has had in forever. That’s solid gold and pure adrenaline for an ambitious reporter like Charlotte.

In the second Dreamwalker mystery, Bubba Done It, Charlotte gets first dibs on reporting the banker’s death, but her astute observations shape the overall police investigation. There’s a lot of give and take in their relationship and a squabble or two for good measure. As always, Charlotte remains the brains of the pair and Baxley the pluck.

And now we’re to book three in the series, the subject of this book release blog tour, Doggone It. With several months of dreamwalking under her belt, Baxley enjoys a more formal relationship with the sheriff’s department. The increased work and pay make her life as a single mom easier, but the more cop work she does, the less she can confide in Charlotte in real time. With Charlotte being a member of the press and Baxley on the side of law and order, a rift in their friendship threatens.

In addition, Charlotte’s reporting of two previous murder cases shakes up the pecking order at the paper and gains her notice throughout the state. She’s sure her next murder story will springboard her to a bigtime career. While Charlotte pursues fame and fortune, Baxley keeps a low profile. The people she meets are either dead, criminals, family of the dead, or cops. Her dreamwalking clients drop by at all hours of the day and night, leaving her little time for her friend.

Adjustments must be made if Baxley and Charlotte are to remain close friends.

Read more about Baxley and Charlotte in Doggone It!

For fun, share something you enjoy doing with your best friend. Also, remember to enter the giveaway.

About the Author

maggietoussaintFormerly a contract scientist for the U.S. Army and a freelance reporter, mystery and suspense author Maggie Toussaint has thirteen published books. Her recent mystery releases include Gone and Done It, Bubba Done It, Death, Island Style, and Dime If I Know. Her latest mystery, Doggone It, is Book Three in her dreamwalker series about a psychic sleuth.

Maggie won the Silver Falchion Award for Best Cozy/Traditional Mystery. Additionally, she won a National Readers’ Choice Award and an EPIC Award for Best Romantic Suspense. She was twice nominated for the Georgia Author of the Year Award and finaled in the Beacon and the Readers’ Crown Contest.

Maggie lives in coastal Georgia, where secrets, heritage, and ancient oaks cast long shadows.

 

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October 20 – Teresa Trent Author Site – REVIEW

October 21 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW

October 22 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – REVIEW

October 23 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

October 24 – Community Bookstop – GUEST POST

October 25 – fuonlyknew – REVIEW

October 26 – T’s Stuff – REVIEW

October 27 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

October 28 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

October 29 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST

October 30 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

October 30 – deal sharing aunt – REVIEW

October 31 – Jane Reads – REVIEW

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on October 29, 2016

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Murder in the Theater
(Cold Creek Book 4)
Series: Cold Creek
Paperback: 222 pages
Publisher: Self Published (August 13, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-1535244268
E-Book – ASIN: B01J0050DW

Synopsis

The drama program has never been so dramatic.

It’d be the season to be jolly if only someone hadn’t set the stage for murder. When a student is arrested for the crime, Professor Sheridan Hendley is cast in the role of amateur sleuth. Tensions run high, friendships are strained, and the college administration is beginning to panic. As the plot thickens Sheridan is yet again drawn deeper into danger. Will she find the truth before the final curtain call?

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About the Author

ChristaNardiChrista Nardi is and always has been an avid reader. Her favorite authors have shifted from Carolyn Keene and Earl Stanley Gardner to more contemporary mystery/crime authors over time, but mystery/crime along with romance and scifi/fantasy are her preferred choices for leisure reading. Christa also has been a long time writer from poetry and short stories to the Cold Creek series, Christa has joined many other reader/writers in writing one genre she enjoys reading – the cozy mystery. The series started with Murder at Cold Creek College; Murder in the Arboretum is the second in the series. Murder at the Grill is the third. Christa Nardi is a pen name for a real life professor/psychologist from the Northeast who is well published in nonfiction and technical venues.

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October 19 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

October 19 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

October 20 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW

October 21 – A Holland Reads – INTERVIEW

October 22 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST

October 22 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

October 23 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

October 24 – Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST

October 25 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

October 26 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 27 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

October 28 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

October 29 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on October 27, 2016

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Body on the Bayou by Ellen Bryon

2nd in Series
Genre – Cozy Mystery

Series: A Cajun Country Mystery (Book 2)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (September 13, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-1629537689
E-Book – ASIN: B01H082DPY

Synopsis

 The Crozats feared that past murders at Crozat Plantation B&B might spell the death of their beloved estate, but they’ve managed to survive the scandal. Now there’s a très bigger story in Pelican, Louisiana: the upcoming nuptials between Maggie Crozat’s nemesis, Police Chief Rufus Durand, and her co-worker, Vanessa Fleer.

When everyone else refuses the job of being Vanessa’s Maid of Honor, Maggie reluctantly takes up the title and finds herself tasked with a long list of duties–the most important of which is entertaining Vanessa’s cousin, Ginger Fleer-Starke. But just days before the wedding, Ginger’s lifeless body is found on the bayou and the Pelican PD, as well as the Crozats, have another murder mystery on their hands.

There’s a gumbo-potful of suspects, including an ex-Marine with PTSD, an annoying local newspaper reporter, and Vanessa’s own sparkplug of a mother. But when it looks like the investigation is zeroing in on Vanessa as the prime suspect, Maggie reluctantly adds keeping the bride-to-be out of jail to her list of Maid of Honor responsibilities in Body on the Bayou.

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Review

This is still a new series (as this is only book 2), but what a great series. I will say that I have family that lives in South Louisiana in this general area, so I can relate to the crazy families, Cajun food and Zydeco music. But I don’t let that influence me….much!

Maggie is still trying to figure out her life but has somehow gotten roped into being Vanessa’s maid of honor. Now normally for most of us, that wouldn’t be a big deal…but Vanessa is just like those reality TV shows you see that don’t put brides in a good light, especially if they are Bridezillas like how Vanessa is acting. Maggie puts up with more than most people would for her.

That aside, the mystery portion has not 1 person being killed, but 2. Neither are good characters and when everything is revealed, maybe it isn’t such a bad thing that they are dead. The murderer was a little hard to figure out until we got near the end and I really had eliminated everyone but this character. I didn’t know the why, but we find that out as part of the reveal.

Then there is the budding romance between Maggie and Bo. It has its ups and down in this book, as most relationships encounter, but at least they are working towards figuring it out.

I do hope that Maggie does follow her dream of painting, she has talent but just hasn’t figured out how to market herself and her works. I think that could be coming in future books!

We give it 5 paws up.

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Check out my review of the first book, Plantation Shudders!

About the Author

ellen byronEllen’s debut novel, PLANTATION SHUDDERS: A Cajun Country Mystery, has been nominated for an Agatha Best First Novel award, a Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery, and a Daphne Award for Best Mainstream Mystery.

Ellen’s TV credits include Wings and Just Shoot Me; she’s written over 200 magazine articles; her published plays include the award-winning Graceland and Asleep on the Wind. Ellen Byron is a native New Yorker who lives in Los Angeles and attributes her fascination with Louisiana to her college years at New Orleans’ Tulane University.

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October 21 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW

October 21 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

October 22 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

October 22 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

October 23 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

October 23 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

October 24 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

October 24 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW

October 25 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

October 25 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

October 26 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, GUEST POST

October 26 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 27 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

October 27 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

October 28 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

October 28 – 3 Partners in Shopping. Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

October 29 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

October 29 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 30 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

October 30 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

Posted in Cozy, Guest Post, mystery, Spotlight, Texas on October 26, 2016

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The Good, the Bad and the Guacamole (A Taste of Texas Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Berkley (November 1, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425275948
E-Book ASIN: B01BK0SQ72

Synopsis

Tex-Mex waitress and part-time reporter Josie Callahan is about to serve up some Lone Star justice in this spicy Taste of Texas Mystery from the author of Here Today, Gone Tamale.

Tourists are pouring into the town of Broken Boot for the annual Homestead Days Music Festival. Opening the celebration at Two Boots dance hall is smooth-talking country singer Jeff Clark, the ex-boyfriend of Josie’s best friend, Patti Perez. When the charming Clark woos Patti onstage in an attempt to rekindle some sparks with his old flame, Josie fears her friend will end up as just one more notch on the singer’s guitar strap.

To impress her editor at the Broken Boot Bugle, Josie and her Chihuahua, Lenny, pursue the singer to Patti’s house, hoping for an interview. Instead, they discover Clark facedown in a bowl of guacamole with a bloodied guitar at his side. With Patti suddenly a murder suspect, Josie must use her reporter skills to find out who had a chip on their shoulder—before the killer double dips….

INCLUDES TEX-MEX RECIPES!

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Guest Post

As a blogger living in Texas, you can’t go to far without running into guacamole.  In fact, I used to not like the stuff…now, I can eat it by the bowlful.  My brother even taught me how easy it is to make a good tasting guac (as we like to shorten it).  So I thank Rebecca for stopping by StoreyBook Reviews today with her take on the yummy green stuff!

 

Guacamole: Too Good to Be Bad

by Rebecca Adler

Author of The Good, the Bad, and the Guacamole

When I set out to write the second installment of my Taste of Texas Mystery Series, I jumped at the chance to highlight one of my all-time favorite foods. Guacamole.

If you’re anything like my family you can’t get enough of this scrumptious spread. And we’re not the only ones. Americans consume approximately 1.2 billion pounds of avocados every year. On two special days those numbers soar into the stratosphere. Can you name them?

If you said Cinco de Mayo, you’re right. Now think tailgate parties, football…got it yet? If you said the Super Bowl, you’re an expert. Approximately 12 million avocados will be turned into dip on Super Bowl Sunday this year.

Guacamole, or ahuaca-mulli, and the Aztecs who created it were discovered by the Spaniards in Central Mexico in the 1500s. In fact, those explorers loved it so much they tried to recreate the dish when they returned to Spain. Alas, these delicious fruits grow best in the climate of South-Central Mexico.

The healthy avocado is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and good fats. And there’s enough fiber in this savory berry–yes, berry–to fight off hunger for up to three hours after eating only half of one for lunch.

Avocado trees were introduced to California in 1871. Recipes for guacamole began appearing in the 1940s; and by the 1950s, that fruit-bearing state was growing 25 different varieties. The rest, as they say, is history.

Delicious guacamole, the rich tradition of Tex Mex cuisine, the stark Chihuahuan Desert, and the highest mountain range in Texas are all part of the world inhabited by the characters in my new story, THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE GUACAMOLE.

I hope you’ll come and visit. Whether you swing gently in a hammock under a gigantic sky full of stars, or ride a mechanical bull named Diablo at Two Boots Dance Hall, Josie and the entire Martinez family will make you feel at home.

And they’ll cross their fingers no mysteries crop up while you’re in Broken Boot. Wouldn’t want to scare you away from a good time and all the Tex Mex, and delicious guacamole, you can eat.

¡Hasta luego!

Rebecca Adler

About the Author

gina-lee-nelsonRebecca Adler grew up on the sugar beaches of the Florida Gulf Coast. Drawn to the Big Apple by the sweet smell of wishful thinking, she studied acting on Broadway until a dark-eyed cowboy flung her over his saddle and hightailed it to the Southwest.

Prior to writing women’s fiction, Gina always found a way to add a touch of the dramatic to her life: dinner theatre in Mississippi, can-can club in Florida, and playing a giant Furskin in the New York Toy Fair, plus the occasional play and musical.

She’s currently content to pour her melodramatic tendencies into writing her Taste of Texas culinary mystery series. Set in far West Texas, her humorous stories are filled with delicious suspense and scrumptious Tex-Mex recipes. Her alter ego, Gina Lee Nelson, writes sweet contemporary romances with a sweet, Southern-fried flavor.

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check out the other great blogs on this tour

October 24 – Sleuth Cafe – CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 24 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW

October 25 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

October 25 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

October 26 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT

October 26 – Grace. Gratitude. Life. by Marie McNary – REVIEW

October 27 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 28 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

October 28 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

October 29 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 30 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW

October 31 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

October 31 – Readeropolis – REVIEW

November 1 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

November 1 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 2 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

November 2 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – REVIEW

November 3 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

November 4 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW

November 4 – Varietats – GUEST POST

November 5 – Community Bookstop –  REVIEW

November 6 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW

 

 

Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, Monday, mystery, Review on October 24, 2016

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Synopsis

Manhattan socialite Isabella “Izzy” Lewis is in desperate need of a fresh start. Ending up on the wrong side of a nasty divorce, jobless, and pretty much homeless, she’s hit rock bottom. So when the father she never knew asks her to visit him in Iowa, she figures she has nothing more to lose—until she arrives at his home and promptly stumbles (literally) over a dead body.

Now her missing father is murder suspect number one, and Izzy’s in the crosshairs of the local sheriff who’s convinced she’s somehow involved. After being reluctantly adopted by a local group of Jessica Fletcher wannabes, Izzy resolves to find her missing father and the killer. A job that proves harder than she thought as she juggles running down clues to the killer’s identity, her hot but suspicious new next door neighbor, keeping the sleuthing senior citizens out of trouble, and above all, going at least one day without being nearly dead in Iowa.

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Review

Iowa can be deadly! This is a good start to a new series about Isabella who heads to Iowa to meet a father she has never known, while escaping from a marriage that is ending. What she doesn’t expect to find is a dead body in her father’s home or that he is missing and presumed that he killed his best friend.

The mystery is finding out who killed Stan and Isabella jumps into that feet first because she wants to clear her father. She has a group of older ladies, called the Q’s, helping her out by snooping and asking questions wherever possible. Isabella (or Izzy as she is sometimes called) manages to put herself in some not so great situations – but it wouldn’t be a cozy if she didn’t.

I didn’t figure out who the murderer was, but the clues were there…I just went down the wrong path!

There are several intriguing twists that I won’t describe because it makes the story more rounded, but you might be able to figure out a few things as you read the book.

And of course there is a love interest with Gabe. He lives next door to her father and at first you think he doesn’t like Izzy, but we are proved wrong later in the book.

We give this 4 paws up

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About the Author

Wendy has a Masters in Social Work and worked in the child welfare field for twelve years before she decided to pursue her dream of writing.

Between teaching college classes, trying to get her morbidly obese cat to slim down, and tempering the will of her five-year-old granddaughter, who’s determined to become a witch when she turns six so she can fly on her broom to see the Eiffel Tower and put hexes on people—not necessarily in that order—somehow Wendy still manages to fit in writing. She spends the remainder of her days inflicting mayhem on her hero and heroine until they beg for mercy.

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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery, Spotlight on October 23, 2016

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The Corpse with the Ruby Lips (A Cait Morgan Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
TouchWood Editions (November 1, 2016)
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1771511957

Synopsis

Quirky criminology professor Cait Morgan is invited to be a guest lecturer at a Budapest university, and although she’s hesitant to go without her husband and trusted sidekick, Bud, who must stay home to care for his aging parents, she decides to make the month-long trip on her own.

Soon after arriving, one of her new students, Zsofia, pleads with Cait to help her uncover any clues about her grandmother’s unsolved murder, which happened decades ago on the campus of Cait’s own home university in Canada. Cait agrees, but when she is repeatedly hassled by an creepy colleague, and as bizarre details about Zsofia’s family members come to light, Cait is beset by uncertainty.

As she gets closer to the truth, Cait’s investigation puts the powers-that-be on high alert, and her instincts tell her she’s in grave danger. Bud races to Budapest to come to Cait’s side, but will it be too late?

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Guest Post

Welcome Cathy to StoreyBook Reviews!  I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and give us some insight into your newest book in the Cait Morgan series.

Thanks for having me along today, and for giving me the chance to talk about the eighth Cait Morgan Mystery, THE CORPSE WITH THE RUBY LIPS.

I’m going to take the chance to refer to something that comes up a good deal in the book – our ability as human beings to do what turn out to be bad things, for good reasons. I’m guessing most people reading this have told the odd “white lie”…you know the sort of thing I mean – we tell a little untruth, or don’t reveal the entire truth, for what we believe are the best of reasons.

Most of us know to not ask things like “Does my bum look big in this?” because we – probably quite rightly – don’t expect to get an honest answer (unless I’m asking my sister, in which case I’ll get an absolutely truthful one!). And most of us will be effusively kind when we’re complimenting a person, on their appearance or their choice of home décor for example, even if our true feelings are somewhat different. It’s how we all manage to rub along, nicely.

But what about taking things a step further? What about not saying something we’re tempted to say, and that omission changing the course of a person’s life? Or what about saying aloud that which is in our heart, without any thought about how destructive our words might be? There’s a fine line between helping and hurting in both cases…and, sometimes, it’s difficult to know where that line is, or should be, drawn.

In this book a young woman believes her chance for true happiness is blighted by her mother’s inability to discuss the murder of her grandmother, so she turns to our sleuth – professor of criminal psychology…and rabid foodie…Cait Morgan – for help. Cait has to tread a path along the almost invisible lines of what should and shouldn’t be said, and to whom, as she navigates the extraordinary family dynamics she encounters. Please consider coming with Cait to Budapest, where she finds herself mired in mysteries, and caught in a web of deceit…some of which has been woven from threads of what people believed were kindness, but which binds just as tightly for all that.

About the Author

cathy-ace-2Cathy Ace loves crime! It’s true – she discovered Nancy Drew in her local library, then found Agatha Christie on her Mum’s bookshelves, and she never looked back. Cathy happily admits that the characters she met between the book-covers as a child have influenced her writing. “Nancy Drew was plucky, strong and independent, and Agatha Christie’s puzzles engaged me every time. I love the sort of book that mixes intricate plotting with a dash of danger, and that’s what I’ve tried to create with my Cait Morgan Mystery Series. Beginning my new series, featuring the women of the WISE Enquiries Agency, I have been able to indulge my love of stately homes, village life and the interplay between characters that can take place in that sort of setting.”

Born and raised in Swansea, South Wales, Cathy is, like her heroine Cait Morgan, now a Canadian citizen. “Cait’s Welsh Canadian, as am I. They say ‘write what you know’, so a short, plus-sized Welsh woman, who’s quite bossy, fits the bill! But Cait and I are not one and the same: she’s got skills and talents I don’t possess,and I’m delighted to say that I don’t usually encounter corpses wherever I go! I’ve also chosen to burrow even deeper into my roots by creating a new cast of characters in the WISE women who come from all four corners of the United Kingdom and work in a uniquely British setting – a ducal estate set in the rolling Welsh countryside of the Wye Valley in Powys, where I spent a good deal of time when I was young.”

With a successful career in marketing having given her the chance to write training courses and textbooks, Cathy has now finally turned her attention to her real passion: crime fiction. Her short stories have appeared in multiple anthologies. Two of her works, “Dear George” and “Domestic Violence”, have also been produced by Jarvis & Ayres Productions as “Afternoon Reading” broadcasts for BBC Radio 4.

Cathy now writes two series of traditional mysteries: The Cait Morgan Mysteries (TouchWood Editions) and The WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries (Severn House Publishers).

Cathy is proud to be Chair of Crime Writers of Canada,  a member of Sisters in Crime, the Crime Writers Association, and Mystery Writers of America.

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October 18 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST

October 18 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW

October 19 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

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

October 20 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW

October 21 –  Community Bookstop – INTERVIEW

October 22 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW, GUEST POST

October 23 – Varietats 2010 – INTERVIEW

October 23 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

October 24 – Cassidy Salem Reads & Writes – GUEST POST

October 25 – deal sharing aunt – INTERVIEW

October 26 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

October 26 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

October 27 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Historical, mystery, Spotlight on October 21, 2016

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Deadly Wedding (The Deadly Series Book 2)

Genre – Cozy Historical Mystery 
JDP Press (October 17, 2016)
E-Book 266 pages
ASIN: B01LW0HO5L

 

Synopsis

Why murder a dying man?

Olivia Denis is hesitant to help an old family friend get ready for her wedding outside London. The so-called friend is a master at using people. As a young widow trying to find her way through a new romantic relationship, Olivia would rather avoid the large party.

She definitely didn’t plan to find the bride’s grandfather stabbed to death. The cruel, enormously rich aristocrat had changed his will only the day before, angering all his children.

As Olivia is forced to investigate the murder, she’s called away by her employer, the owner of an influential London daily newspaper. She must carry out another secret assignment, one that will take her to Vienna, now part of Nazi Germany.

With war on the horizon and attacks on the old man’s family increasing, can Olivia find a way to save lives in two countries?

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Praise

The author did a good job in capturing the time and place in which the story takes place. Her characters were well developed and likeable. ~A. Holland Reads

The Author did a very great job with the details of the story and the characters were very believable. ~Books, Dreams, Life

You will be captivated by this beautifully written story and the characters come to life right from the start. ~Shelley’s Book Case

About the Author

kate-parkerKate Parker has wanted to travel to 1930s England since she read her mother’s Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers mysteries when she was a schoolgirl. After many years of studying science, she decided a time travel machine was out of the question so she found herself limited to reading about the period and visiting historic sites. Her love of this fascinating and challenging period led her to the research from which the Deadly series grew. Eventually, she found it necessary to spend several days in the British Library reading old newspapers, which meant another trip to England. Near Christmas. A sacrifice she’d gladly make every year.

The first story in the series is Deadly Scandal, released January 14, 2016.

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October 17 – Back Porchervations – Review

October 18 – A Holland Reads – Review, Giveaway

October 19 – Books, Dreams, Life – Review, Spotlight

October 20 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Giveaway

October 21 – The Power of Words – Review

October 21 – StoreyBook Reviews – Spotlight, Giveaway

October 22 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review

October 23 – Brooke Blogs – Guest Post, Spotlight, Giveaway

October 23 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & sissy, Too! – Spotlight, Giveaway

October 24 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review

October 25 – Island Confidential – Interview, Giveaway

October 26 – Deal Sharing Aunt – Review, Giveaway

October 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Cozy Wednesday

Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on October 20, 2016

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Synopsis

A lost work of art linking India to the Italian Renaissance. A killer hiding behind a centuries-old ghost story. And a hidden treasure in Italy’s macabre sculpture garden known as the Park of Monsters… Can treasure-hunting historian Jaya Jones unmask a killer ghost?

Filled with the unexpected twists, vivid historical details, and cross-cultural connections Pandian is known for, Michelangelo’s Ghost is the most fast-paced and spellbinding Jaya Jones novel to date.

When Jaya’s old professor dies under eerie circumstances shortly after discovering manuscripts that point to a treasure in Italy’s Park of Monsters, Jaya and her brother pick up the trail. From San Francisco to the heart of Italy, Jaya is haunted by a ghost story inexorably linked to the masterpieces of a long-dead artist and the deeds of a modern-day murderer. Untrustworthy colleagues, disappearing boyfriends, and old enemies—who can Jaya trust when the ghost wails?

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Praise for Gigi Pandian’s Jaya Jones Mysteries

“Charming characters, a hint of romantic conflict, and just the right amount of danger will garner more fans for this cozy series.” – Publishers Weekly on Quicksand

“Pandian’s sprightly prose celebrates the pleasures of Italian painting, food, and landscape. The light touch, swift pace, and verve maintained throughout the novel disguise the deeper thought and scholarship underpinning the story, which like the stage props of a conjurer, make the magic happen.”– Linda Lappin, Author of Signatures in Stone: A Bomarzo Mystery

Review

In this series I have read the first book and this most recent release, but not read books 2 and 3. While they aren’t necessary to read this book, I do think that it would be helpful because of references to events in those books. There is enough to sort of fill in the holes, but not enough for my personal preference. But then I’m one that likes to read books in order. If there had been a bit more time, I would have read the other two books first.

Anyway, aside from my issues of reading books in order, this was a very good book! The amount of research that had to go into forming the story about this artist (that does exist according to the author’s notes) and then creating a story around it was genius. I know authors do it all the time, but to just imagine the time it takes is mind boggling. I won’t even get into the food descriptions, makes me want to visit Italy very soon.

Jaya and Lane are in a secret romance (and is she in love with her friend Sanjay too?) and even her brother has a new woman in his life. Now there are things I guessed about Ava (or halfway guessed, I was wrong on part of it) and I wonder if we will see more of her in future books. Time will tell. The mystery has several twists and turns and there is a moment at the end that I thought “oh no” but things will be turned around very soon. Academia is a tough business.

Enjoyable book, definitely check this series out.  We give it 4 paws up.

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About the Author

gigi-pandianUSA Today bestselling author Gigi Pandian is the child of cultural anthropologists from New Mexico and the southern tip of India. She spent her childhood being dragged around the world, and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Gigi writes the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mysteries, the Accidental Alchemist mysteries, and locked-room mystery short stories. Gigi’s debut novel, Artifact, was awarded a Malice Domestic Grant and named a “Best of 2012” debut by Suspense Magazine. Her fiction has been awarded the Lefty Award and short-listed for Macavity and Agatha Awards.

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Giveaway

One grand prize winner will receive:

– Signed copies of the first 3 books in the series
– 6 book-themed recipe cards from the locations where each book is set (Italy, Scotland, India, France, and the US)
– $20 gift certificate to the winner’s favorite bookstore

Open to USA & Canada
Giveaway ends on Oct 29

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Posted in 3 1/2 paws, Book Release, Cozy, mystery, Review on October 18, 2016

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Synopsis

After Simone Ryan is stood up at the altar by her fiancé, Elliott, she decides to enjoy her would-be honeymoon in paradise alone. She checks into the Aloha Lagoon Resort’s bridal suite and promptly begins to drown her sorrows in champagne. But when Simone steps out onto the balcony to take in the glorious Hawaiian scenery, she gets an even better view. Hot local baker, Liam Bentley, is out for a stroll on the beach. Maybe being single isn’t so bad after all.

But when Elliott makes a surprise appearance at the resort—with a younger woman in tow—things turn deadly, and suddenly Simone finds herself not in the role of newlywed but prime murder suspect! Fighting for her life—not to mention her dignity—Simone must uncover secrets from her ex-fiancé’s past which may just have killer consequences for her own future. With the help of the ever-so-tempting Liam, his feisty grandmother, and the quirky Aloha Lagoon staff, Simone finds herself tracking down a murderer who may just be closer to home than she thinks…

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The Aloha Lagoon Mysteries

Ukulele Murder (book #1)
Murder on the Aloha Express (book #2) coming in Aug!
Deadly Wipeout (book #3) coming in Sept!
Deadly Bubbles in the Wine (book #4) coming in Oct!
Mele Kalikimaka Murder (book #5) coming in Nov!
Death of the Big Kahuna (book #6) coming in Jan 2017!
Photo Finished (book #7) coming soon!

About Aloha Lagoon

There’s trouble in paradise…

Welcome to Aloha Lagoon, one of Hawaii’s hidden treasures. A little bit of tropical paradise nestled along the coast of Kauai, this resort town boasts luxurious accommodation, friendly island atmosphere…and only a slightly higher than normal murder rate. While mysterious circumstances may be the norm on our corner of the island, we’re certain that our staff and Lagoon natives will make your stay in Aloha Lagoon one you will never forget! visit us at alohalagoonmysteries.com

Review

I’m not sure where the title came from because there isn’t really any wine in the story….but that aside, the story was engaging and enjoyable. Simone is the jilted bride that takes her honeymoon anyway (nothing wrong with that in my book!) and who shows up, but the groom…who ends up dead and of course Simone is a suspect.

There are many interesting characters and the killer was a huge surprise! I never suspected this person and the story that unfolded never would have crossed my mind!

I don’t know if Simone & Liam will be back in future stories, but there could be more to that budding relationship.

We give it 3 1/2 paws.

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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on October 18, 2016

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An Act of Murder (Professor Prather Mystery)

Series: Professor Prather Mystery (Book 1)
Setting – South Dakota
Paperback: 236 pages
Publisher: Camel Press (October 15, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-1603813754

Synopsis

In the sleepy college town of Copper Bluff, South Dakota, English professor Emmeline Prather is enjoying the start of a new semester. But when one of her students dies working on the fall musical, it disrupts life on the small, quiet campus. Although the police rule the death accidental, Prof. Prather has good reason to suspect foul play.

Unmasking the murderer proves much more challenging than finding dangling participles, so Em recruits fellow English professor Lenny Jenkins for assistance. Together, they comb the campus and vicinity for clues, risking their reputations and possibly their jobs. After an intruder breaks into Em’s house, Lenny advises caution–and perhaps a change of address. Em, on the other hand, is all the more determined to forge ahead, convinced they’re on the brink of an important breakthrough.

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About the Author

mary-angelaLike her protagonist in the Professor Prather mystery series, Mary Angela lives on the Great Plains and teaches college writing and literature. When she’s not grading papers (when is she not grading papers?), she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She and her husband have two amazing daughters, one adorable dog, and a cat who would rather not be limited by an adjective.

 

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October 15 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

October 16 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

October 17 – Island Confidential – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

October 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 19 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

October 20 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

October 21 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

October 22 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

October 23 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

October 24 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW

October 25 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

October 26 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

October 26 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

October 27 – Jane Reads – REVIEW

October 28 – Varietats – GUEST POST