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 (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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check out the other great blogs on this tour

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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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.

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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.

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

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send-in-the-clowns

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.

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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

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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check out the other great blogs on this tour

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