Posted in 3 1/2 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, Monday, mystery on September 25, 2017

Gone with the Wings (Meera Patel Cozy Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Self Published
Publication Date: June 3, 2017
Paperback: 269 pages

Synopsis

Author Leena Clover announces a brand new cozy mystery series set in a small Oklahoma college town. Mystery readers will enjoy this culinary cozy murder mystery featuring plenty of yummy recipes like Masala Fried Chicken and Shish Kabob Blue Plate Special.

Meera Patel is back home with the family after she dropped out of graduate school. Now she shelves books for a living and rustles up fusion recipes at Sylvie’s Cafe & Diner. Everything is fine until her old nemesis Prudence Walker floats up in the local pond. Meera is accused of murder! Well, she did publicly declare Prudence would drop dead.

Meera cries foul and screams police harassment. But she has no defense when she is accused of a second crime. Flanked by pals Tony and Becky, Meera puts in the leg work, trying to solve clues and discard red herrings.

Fall in Oklahoma has never been more exciting.

Cozy mystery fans will love this new mystery series featuring an Asian American amateur sleuth. There is a full cast of characters with a professor father, young sibling, old grandparents, loyal friends and a candid glimpse into South Asian culture.

Review

There was a lot to like for this first book in this series. What i liked about it was that it was set in OK in a small college community town and where there seems to be a large Indian (Asian not Native American) population. The family is close knit and they are always eating…that may sound strange but I love food and all of the dishes that were described in the book sounded delicious. I also liked that the murder was solved in a roundabout way and really wasn’t the main focus, or it doesn’t appear to be the main focus most of the time.

There are some unknowns that might be addressed more in future books, such as, why did Meera drop out of school to work at the local college library? What happened to Meera’s mom all those years ago in the tornado? (side note, I think there might be some foreshadowing happening in this book at the end that might address that in future books).

I do think at times the writing seemed choppy and some words were used that didn’t seem right such as calling a car trunk a boot. That is the British word and Meera is American so would have used the word trunk unless her family always called it a boot and she picked it up that way.

This series has great potential and I look forward to reading them at some point.  We give it 3 1/2 paws.

About the Author

Leena Clover is the author of the brand new Meera Patel Cozy Mystery Series, starring a 20 something Desi girl as the protagonist. The series is set in a small Oklahoma college town Meera calls home.

Leena Clover offers plenty of clues for her readers so that they can solve the mystery as they read along. Readers can expect a unique look into Indian/ South Asian culture and plenty of yummy recipes.

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September 18 – Student of Opinions – REVIEW

September 19 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

September 19 – Readsalot – GUEST POST

September 20 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 20 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

September 21 – Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting – REVIEW

September 21 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

September 22 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW

September 22 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 23 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

September 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

September 24 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 25 – Book Babble – REVIEW

September 25 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

September 26 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

September 26 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

September 27 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

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

Posted in Christian, Giveaway, Spotlight on September 25, 2017

THE DAY THE ANGELS FELL

by

SHAWN SMUCKER

  Genre: Psychological Fiction / Christian

Publisher: Revell

Date of Publication: September 5, 2017

Number of Pages: 320

Scroll down for giveaway!

Shawn Smucker will capture readers’ imaginations with this masterfully written debut novel that combines elements of mystery and magical realism.

It was the summer of storms, strays, and strangers. The summer that lightning struck the big oak tree in the front yard. The summer his mother died in a tragic accident.

Twelve-year-old Samuel Chambers would do anything to turn back time. Prompted by three strange carnival fortune-tellers and the surfacing of his mysterious and reclusive neighbor, Samuel begins his search for the Tree of Life—the only thing that could possibly bring his mother back. His quest to defeat death entangles him and his best friend, Abra, in an ancient conflict and forces Samuel to grapple with an unwelcome question: could it be possible that death is a gift?

Haunting and hypnotic, The Day the Angels Fell is a story that explores the difficult questions of life in a voice that is fresh, friendly, and unafraid. With this powerful novel, Shawn Smucker has carved out a spot for himself in the tradition of authors Madeleine L’Engle and Lois Lowry.

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Praise for The Day the Angels Fell

“Neil Gaiman meets Madeleine L’Engle. I read it in two days!” —Anne Bogel, Modern Mrs. Darcy

“Shawn Smucker enchants with a deftly woven tale of mystery and magic that will leave you not only spellbound but wanting more.” —Billy Coffey, author of There Will Be Stars

 

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Have you always wondered what authors listen to while writing?  Well wonder no more, you can get a peek into what Shawn was listening to as he wrote The Day the Angels Fell.

I think I might have to go check out a few of these songs myself!

Shawn Smucker lives with his wife and six children in the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The Day the Angels Fell is his first novel.

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September 17-26, 2017

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9/17 Character Interview The Page Unbound
9/18 Review Books and Broomsticks
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9/21 Review A Page Before Bedtime
9/22 Excerpt 2 Texan Girl Reads
9/23 Review Forgotten Winds
9/24 Author Interview The Librarian Talks
9/25 Playlist StoreyBook Reviews
9/26 Review Tangled in Text

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Historical, romance on September 23, 2017

Title: Last Gentleman Standing

Author: Jane Ashford

Pub Date: September 5, 2017

Synopsis

A fortune hunter’s dream…

Miss Elisabeth Elham is an unlikely heiress. She never knew the curmudgeonly uncle who died suddenly and left her a fortune. She’s proud, outspoken and independent—a definite challenge for London’s fortune hunting suitors.

As various determined gentlemen vie for her attention at balls, routs, picnics and parties, Elisabeth finds herself embroiled with a charming rake, a mysterious nabob, and an elegant neighbor. This would all be great fun, if only she wasn’t so fascinated by the one man in London who’s not trying to woo her…

Rediscover this classic Regency romance!  Originally titled Bluestocking, this classic story has been unavailable for over 25 years and is now returning from the vault!

 

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Excerpt

Elisabeth had recrossed a stile and was traversing an open field when she heard hoofbeats behind her. Turning, she was just in time to see the rider urge his magnificent chestnut up and over the fence she had just climbed. The form of both was flawless, and she forgot herself in her admiration of the jump, watching unself-consciously, as the horseman approached her.

The chestnut had white feet and was one of the most beautiful and spirited animals she’d ever seen. He moved with the ease and power of a true thoroughbred and might have made almost any rider appear insignificant, but the man on his back matched his quality. He looked to be tall, and his figure was well-molded and athletic. His buckskin breeches fitted him to perfection, and his coat fairly cried out its fashionable origin in the workrooms of a Weston or a Stultz. Elisabeth had seen a few gentlemen of the haut ton in Bath, and she knew enough to recognize that the deceptive simplicity of the folds of his cravat and the carefully casual arrangement of his hair were the signs of a veritable tulip, a top-of-the-trees corinthian. At that moment, she met his slightly mocking gaze and looked down in confusion, recalling herself with annoyance. She had been gaping like a schoolgirl, she thought.

The rider pulled up before her. “I almost feel I’ve been in a competition,” he said. His voice was deep and resonant. “I hope you gave me full points for that jump.”

Elisabeth looked up. His eyes were pale blue, she noted, in spite of his black hair and rather dark complexion. “I was staring quite rudely, I know,” she replied. “I beg your pardon. But I was transfixed by the way your horse took that fence.”

The man patted the chestnut’s neck, “He’s wonderful, is Tristram.”

“Tristram?” repeated Elisabeth, smiling. “That’s an uncommon name for a horse. Do you take it from Tristram Shandy?”

The rider looked at her with much more interest than he’d first shown. “Yes, I’m fond of Sterne.”

“Oh, it is my favorite of all books. I thought hardly anyone read it now.”

He smiled back at her somewhat quizzically. “And I should hardly have thought it fit reading for young ladies.” He surveyed her. He was the despair of his mother and several aunts, who had all at one time or another introduced to him dazzling debutantes calculated to urge him into marriage. But though he’d treated them politely, he’d been extremely bored in their company and really had very little notion of what to say to conventional young women. Seeing that Elisabeth was a bit uncomfortable under his gaze, he continued, “But then I rarely find young ladies wandering about my land unattended. So I can’t quite make you out. Are you someone’s governess, perhaps? Do you teach your pupils from Sterne?” His amused smile faded as he went on before she could answer. “No, that doesn’t seem right.”

Looking down at her drab garments, Elisabeth laughed. “I’m sure I don’t know why you say so. I do look very like a governess. In fact, until a few weeks ago, I was a teacher at a seminary for young ladies. Now that my uncle has obligingly left me his fortune, I shall have to change my style of dress.”

“Uncle?” he asked. His eyes narrowed. “You can’t mean old Anthony Elham? I heard of his death.”

“Yes. I am Elisabeth Elham. Though it is not at all the thing to go about introducing oneself to strange men,” she told herself reflectively.

The rider laughed. “I hope I’m not strange. But I beg pardon. I should have made myself known to you immediately. I am your neighbor, Derek Wincannon. Do you mean to say that old Elham has left you Willowmere?”

Elisabeth shrugged. “It is part of the estate. And a very ramshackle part, I must say. I have never seen so neglected a house.”

“It’s the scandal of the neighborhood,” said Mr. Wincannon. “Your uncle was a shocking landlord and a worse neighbor.”

“From what I heard of him,” answered Elisabeth,  “he was uniformly shocking. I’m rather sorry I never met him.” The man laughed again. “But in any case, you may inform the neighborhood that I shall be putting the place to rights as soon as I may.”

“That’s good news. Will you be settling there?”

“No. At least, not immediately. I shall live in London for a time, at Elham House.”

“For the season, I assume.”

“Yes, I’ll be bringing out my cousin.”

“You are bringing out someone? I’d have thought it would be the other way about.”

“Oh, no,” Elisabeth smiled. “I’m beyond that sort of thing. Quite on the shelf, in fact,” she added lightly.

“I see it now,” he responded dryly, “a veritable antique. How can I have mistaken you for girl in her twenties?”

She laughed. “Well, I daresay I shall attend a few parties also, if I’m asked.”

He smiled. “There can be little doubt of that, I should think. You’ll wish to sample the gaities of the season and attend the assemblies at Almack’s.”

“Almack’s? Oh, no, I shouldn’t think so.”

He raised his eyebrows.

“My father used to tell me stories about London, and he was most severe on Almack’s. He called it the Marriage Mart and painted such a vivid picture of the trials young girls undergo as they are catalogued and labeled according to their faces and fortunes that he gave me quite a horror of the place. I don’t at all wish to go there now.”

Mr. Wincannon’s interest was definitely caught. “Now?”

“Well, of course I might have done so some years ago had I been offered the opportunity,” Elisabeth explained obligingly. “When one is thrown penniless upon the world at the age of nineteen, one is willing to try any shift to come about again. I was very willing then to marry to make my fortune. But I wasn’t given the chance, and how fortunate that was, really. For now, you see, there is no need.”

Derek Wincannon laughed. “You are a most unusual girl,” he said.

“Because I prefer to order my own life now that I have the means to do so?” asked Elisabeth. “I’m persuaded you can’t really think so. Would you give up your independence without need? No indeed. When I was desperate and might have married, no one dared offer for me. I certainly won’t encourage anyone to do so now that I have an income.”

“Much good that will do you, I should say.”

About the Author

Jane Ashford discovered Georgette Heyer in junior high school and was captivated by the glittering world and witty language of Regency England. That delight led her to study English literature and travel widely in Britain and Europe. Her historical and contemporary romances have been published in Sweden, Italy, England, Denmark, France, Russia, Latvia, Slovenia, and Spain, as well as the U.S. Twenty-six of her new and backlist Regency romances are being published by Sourcebooks. Jane has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by RT Book Reviews. She is currently rather nomadic.

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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on September 22, 2017

Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Lyrical Underground (September 12, 2017)
Print Length: 247 pages
ASIN: B01MT0HN6F

Synopsis

Ruby Lake, North Carolina, might be the perfect place to go birdwatching during autumn, but it’s also a habitat for murder . . .

As Birds & Bees owner Amy Simms guides a halfhearted birding group around Ruby Lake, rumors soon start flying about the annual Fall Festival’s classic car and tractor show. Local eccentric Chick Sherman—boasting the hottest ride in town—has ruffled feathers by mysteriously entering the contest, and curious Amy hatches a plan to sneak a glimpse at the phantom automobile before the big event kicks off . . .

But competition turns deadly when Amy finally spots the sleek ’56 El Morocco—and it’s on top of Chick’s very dead body. With her neighbor and business partner framed as the murderer and priceless Audubon prints suddenly missing from Chick’s home, only Amy can identify the telltale markings of a killer before another hapless victim is plucked from the flock . . .

 

About the Author

J.R. Ripley is the pen name of Glenn Meganck, the critically acclaimed author of the Tony Kozol mystery series. As a member of the Mystery Writers of America, he has chaired the Edgar committee for Best Original Paperback novel and served on the Best Short Story Committee. As a member of the International Association of Crime Writers, he has served on the Hammett Award committee for Best Novel. When not writing books, Glenn is writing songs, often singing them to the consternation of his audience and neighbors, or involved in one of his many passions, none of which have involved any of the dead bodies that seem to keep cropping up in his mysteries.

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September 11 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

September 11 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

September 12 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

September 12 – Queen Of All She Reads – REVIEW

September 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 13 – A Blue Million Books – SPOTLIGHT

September 14 – Valerie’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

September 15 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT

September 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

September 17 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

September 18 – Varietats2010 – REVIEW

September 18 – Deal Sharing Aunt – SPOTLIGHT

September 19 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

September 20 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

September 21 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

September 22 – Storeybook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Historical, romance on September 21, 2017

Title: The Last Outlaw

Author: Rosanne Bittner

Series: Outlaw Hearts, #4

Pub Date: September 5, 2017

Synopsis

True Love Never Dies

Times have changed, and the old Wild West is a thing of the past. Nestled in his beautiful Colorado ranch, surrounded by family, infamous former outlaw Jake Harkner’s hung up his guns for good and finally found a measure of peace—but dark memories haunt the woman who has always been his strength, and not even Jake is certain he can save his beloved Miranda this time.

All he can do is swear to remain by her side. But it takes more than a hope for peace to outrun a past defined by violence, and it isn’t long before Jake is embroiled in a rescue mission he simply can’t refuse. Life has brought him back full circle as he rides into Mexico to save a young girl from a dreadful fate…leaving Miranda behind one final time, fearing that the man she loves more than anything is destined to die the way he’s always lived—by the gun.

 

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Excerpt

A note from Rosanne: THE LAST OUTLAW opens with a love scene between the hero (Jake Harkner, a notorious gunman) and his wife Miranda (Randy).  Because of a prologue to this first chapter, readers will know a gang of bank robbers is headed for Boulder, Colorado, which is where Jake and Randy are on a shopping trip and staying in a hotel. They will know Jake is bound to get involved in the gunplay that follows. 

In this opening, readers realize these two, whose love story is incredibly beautiful, are having personal problems stemming from an event in Book #3, LOVE’S SWEET REVENGE.  You will have to read that book to learn what happened, but I think here you will sense the incredibly loving relationship these two share, Jake’s adoration of his long-suffering wife, and you will realize something needs to happen later in this story to “fix” the current underlying problems they are having.  I think readers will be surprised later in the story to find out how this problem is solved.  It’s VERY sexy, and also very beautiful.

 

Jake trailed his tongue over his wife’s skin, trying to ignore his fear that she could be dying. Her belly was too caved-in, her hip bones too prominent.

She’ll get better, he told himself. The taste of her most secret place lingered on his lips as he moved to her breasts, still surprisingly full, considering, but not with the same breasts he’d always loved and teased her about, with the enticing cleavage that stirred his desire for her.

He would always desire her.  This was his Randy.  She was his breath.  Her spirit ran in his veins, and she was his reason for being.  God knew his worthless hide had no business even still being on this earth.

He ran a hand over her ribs, which were too damn easy to count.  Sometimes he thought he’d go mad with the memory of last winter, the reason she’d become more withdrawn and had nearly stopped eating.

He met her mouth, and she responded.  Thank God she still wanted this, but something was missing, and he couldn’t put his finger on it. He thought he’d made it all better, thought he’d taken away the ugly.  He’d feared at first she might blame him for what happened, but it had been quite the opposite.  She’d become almost too clingy, constantly asking if he loved her, not to let go of her, asking him not to go far away.

He pushed himself inside of her, wanting nothing more than to please her, to find a way to break down the invisible wall he felt between them, to erase the past and assure her he was right here, that he still loved her.  How in hell could he not love this woman, the one who’d loved him when he was anything but loveable…all those years ago?  She’d put up with his past and his bouts of insanity and all the trouble and heartache he’d put her through…this woman who’d given him a son and daughter who couldn’t make a man prouder and who loved him beyond what he was worth … six grandchildren who climbed all over him full of such innocent love for a man who’d robbed and killed, and worst of all … killed his own father.

He moved his hands under her bottom, pushing himself deep inside her, relishing the way she returned his deep kisses and pressed her fingers into his upper arms in an almost desperate neediness.

That was what bothered him.  This had always been good between them, a true mating of souls, teasing remarks back and forth as they made love. But now it was as though she feared losing him if she didn’t make love often, and that wasn’t the sort of man he was. It had always been pure pleasure between them. He’d taught her things she would never have thought of, helped her relax and release every sexual inhibition. He knew every inch of her body intimately, and she’d loved it.

This was different.  And it was harder now, because not only did he hate the idea of feeing like he was forcing her, but he was also terrified he would break something.  She was so thin and small now.  He out-weighed her by a good hundred and fifty pounds by now; she couldn’t have weighed more than eighty or ninety pounds.

He surged deep in a desperate attempt to convince himself he wasn’t losing her. And through it all, he was screaming inside.  Sometimes he wanted to shake her and make her tell him what else he could do to bring back the woman he’d known and loved for nearly thirty-two years. He missed that feisty, bossy woman, the only person on this earth who could bring him to his knees.

He’d faced the worst of men as a lawman in Oklahoma, and run with the worst of men the first thirty years of his life.  He’d spent four years in prison under horrible conditions.  He’d been in too many gunfights to count, taken enough bullets that he had no right still being alive.  He’d ridden the Outlaw Trail and defied the odds. His reputation followed him everywhere, and a reporter had even written a book about him – Jake Harkner: The Legend and the MythMyth was more like it.  And the legend wasn’t one he was proud of.

And this woman beneath him … this woman he poured his life into this very moment … she’d been there for most of it.

He relaxed and moved to her side.

“Don’t let go yet, Jake.”

 

About the Author

RosanneBittner

 

USA Today bestseller and award-winning novelist Rosanne Bittner is known as the “Queen of Western Historical Romance” for her thrilling love stories and historical authenticity. Her epic romances span the West—and are often based on Rosanne’s personal visits to each setting. She lives in Coloma, Michigan, with her husband and two sons.

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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on September 20, 2017

Hair Brained (The Bad Hair Day Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
14th in Series
Orange Grove Press (September 12, 2017)
Print Length: 342 pages
E-Book ASIN: B072XVHPPH

Synopsis

Was the car crash an accident or a deliberate attempt to run Marla’s friends off the road?

When hairstylist Marla Vail’s best friend is hurt in a suspicious car accident, Marla assumes guardianship of her infant son. No sooner does Marla say, “Baby want a bottle?” than she’s embroiled in another murder investigation. Her husband, Detective Dalton Vail, determines the crash may not have been an accident after all. But then, who would want Tally–or Ken in the car with her–out of the way? As Marla digs deeper into her friends’ lives, she realizes she didn’t know them as well as she’d thought. Nonetheless, it’s her duty as their son’s guardian to ensure his safety, even if it means putting her own life at risk. Can she protect the baby and find the culprit before someone else ends up as roadkill?

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Guest Post

Killing Off a Character in Your Book by Nancy J. Cohen

Fiction readers, same as TV series fans, hate to see their favorite characters die. It could mark a series death when a writer terminates a main character like a promising romantic lead. I’d be annoyed at the writer myself and maybe wouldn’t pick up her next book. But killing off the villain or an irritating relative no one likes or a minor secondary character is acceptable, as long as it isn’t your sleuth’s faithful sidekick.

One reason I didn’t start watching Game of Thrones was because I’d heard they beheaded a character everyone liked. I didn’t want to get vested in someone only to lose him.

Reader reactions may depend upon the genre as well. In a thriller, you expect more folks to get bumped off, and a lot of the suspense comes from not knowing who will survive and who won’t. But in a romance, you don’t want to disappoint readers with an unexpected death, and the same goes for cozy mysteries. Just as you don’t kill the cat or dog in a cozy, you don’t eliminate someone readers truly adore.

In the recent Wonder Woman movie [spoiler alert!], I was shocked when Steve didn’t reappear. True, the movie’s action shifted from World War I to the present to frame the shot from the beginning, but I still felt let down. The action in the comics had taken place during World War II, and Steve played a large role in those stories. So where will this remake go now?

But other secondary characters are fair game, and I take advantage of this situation in Hair Brained, #14 in The Bad Hair Day Mysteries. The tone of this story is more somber than my prior books. This one has some humorous scenes, but the general theme could be said to enjoy what you have now because it could be gone tomorrow, and to prepare for when that day comes. I didn’t feel great pangs about killing off a secondary player. Maybe I’d never really liked the person to start. But a lot of suspense comes from the threat to a character we do hold dear. Will she or won’t she make it out alive by the story’s end?

Marla, my hairstylist sleuth, has to deal with the fallout when her friends Tally and Ken go missing in Hair Brained. She and her husband Dalton go to Tally’s house to pick up her son Luke from a babysitter. Here’s an excerpt with her reaction:

Marla slung the diaper bag’s strap over her shoulder. Holy highlights, that thing weighed a ton! How did mothers do it? Back in the living room, she shot a panicked glance at Dalton as he shut the door on the babysitter’s retreating back.

“Wait, how will I know what to do?”

Dalton rounded on her, his eyebrows arched and his gray eyes like polished pewter. “What’s there to know? You change the kid’s diapers, feed him, and put him to sleep.”

Oh, yeah. Easy for you to say. You’ve been through it once with your daughter.

“Put him to sleep in what? We don’t have a crib in our house.”

“That’s okay; we’ll rig something up that will work for tonight. This shouldn’t last too long. Tally and Ken will reappear at some point.”

“Yes, but what if they don’t? I mean, we’re not equipped to handle an infant. Our house isn’t child-proofed. We don’t have a crib or a changing table or any of the other stuff.”

“Including a car seat, now that you mention it. I’ll look in the garage. Maybe Tally’s BMW is still inside.” He loped off in that direction, hollering a few minutes later that Tally’s car was parked there, and he’d retrieve her equipment.

Meanwhile, Marla wondered what she would do if Tally failed to show up in a timely manner. She had clients scheduled at the salon, as well as other commitments.

Dear Lord. Her throat closed until she reminded herself this wasn’t about her. It was about caring for Luke.

So how do you feel about recurrent characters who die in the midst of your favorite series?

 

About the Author

Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have made the IMBA bestseller list and been selected by Suspense Magazine as best cozy mystery. Nancy has also written the instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery. Her imaginative romances, including the Drift Lords series, have proven popular with fans as well. A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. When not busy writing, she enjoys fine dining, cruising, visiting Disney World, and shopping.

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September 12 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

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September 14 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

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September 16 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 17 – A Holland Reads –  GUEST POST

September 18 – Deal Sharing Aunt –  INTERVIEW

September 18 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

September 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST

September 19 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

September 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

September 20 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

Posted in Children, Giveaway, Middle Grade, Spotlight on September 20, 2017


The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby

Violet Barnaby searches for the joy in life after losing her mother in this sweet and funny follow-up to The Charming Life of Izzy Malone.

Violet Barnaby is a having a blue Christmas. She’s still grieving the loss of her mother, and to make things worse, her dad has just married Melanie Harmer, a.k.a. the meanest teacher at Dandelion Hollow Middle School. But on the day Violet and her dad are packing up and moving into the new house they’ll share with Melanie and Melanie’s two children, Violet finds a letter her mother wrote to her before she died, asking Violet to enjoy Christmas, along with a Christmas Wish List—things her mom wants her to do during the holiday season. On the list are exactly the kinds of things Violet doesn’t want to do this year, like Be Someone’s Secret Santa; Give Someone the Gift of Your Time: Volunteer; and Bake Christmas Cookies.

Violet shows the letter to her friend Izzy’s Aunt Mildred, who calls a meeting of the Charm Girls, a club Izzy and Violet belong to along with their friends, Daisy and Sophia. Aunt Mildred decides she will give them each a charm to put on their bracelet if they do all of the tasks on the Christmas Wish List, which Violet is not too happy about. She’d rather forget about the list completely, but feels compelled to honor her mother’s wishes.

And when Izzy’s crush confides a big secret to Violet, Violet feels like she is stuck between her best friend and the boy who she just might have a crush on, too…

 

Praise for The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby

“[an] emotionally perceptive novel of grief and recovery.” – Kirkus

You’ll fall in love with Violet and love every minute of living in her wondrous world! – Stephanie Faris

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * IndieBound

 

About the Author

Jenny Lundquist was born and raised in Huntington Beach, California, where she spent her time unsuccessfully learning how to surf. When she was younger, she wanted to be either a rock star or a published author. After she taped herself singing and listened to it on playback she decided she’d better opt for the writing route. Jenny is the author of multiple YA and Middle Grade titles including Seeing Cinderella, The Charming Life of Izzy Malone, The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby and the forthcoming The Carnival of Wishes and Dreams (2019).

Website * Facebook * Twitter

 

 

amazon or paypal$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 10/10/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Historical, romance on September 19, 2017

Title: Highland Flame

Author: Mary Wine

Pub Date: September 5, 2017

ISBN: 9781492602538

Synopsis

NEWLY MINTED LAIRD SEEKS WIFE, PREFERABLY RICH

Laird Diocail Gordon has just inherited his uncle’s run down castle and rag-tag clan. He knows the sorry sight of the castle would send any woman running, but is determined to find a wife to help return his home to its former glory.

Widowed lady Jane Stanley is determined to return to England, even if she has to tromp through the Scottish Highlands on foot to get there. Her travels lead her straight into the midst of a troop of dangerous Highland warriors. The mysterious, brawny laird forbids his men to harm her, and the spark between them is immediate. The only way Diocail can keep her safe is to take her home with him, but will the miserable state of his clan douse her newly ignited Highland flame?

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble |

Kobo | Chapters | iBooks | Indiebound

 

Historical facts you should know

  1. A reverence was the proper greeting for this era, sometimes called courtesy. You stepped back with one foot, bent at the knee, keeping your back straight and ‘lowered’. If you were the higher ranking person, you would do the same and it was called ‘offering courtesy’, meaning it was a polite way of greeting one another. Even Queen Elizabeth Tudor lowered herself before the archbishop of Canterbury.
  2. Every house had a buttery….it was where the butts of ale were stored.
  3. A butler was the man who kept the keys to the buttery. In this period, he was huge and someone who could defend those keys with his brawn because ale was essential to survival in winter.

Excerpt

They both fell silent again as they consumed more of the food and faced a topic neither of them had any experience with. Not many a man did. It was why men wed, and women too, because together a man and woman might combine their knowledge to make a successful home. He’d been taught the logistics of defense and negotiation needed to foster relationships with other lairds.

But how much fare to put on the tables?

He had no idea or even how to go about making sure there were ample hands to prepare the food. Diocail felt his brain throbbing as he contemplated all the things needed to run a kitchen, and those were only what he knew about. What truly nauseated him was that he knew damned well how lacking his knowledge was. He knew how many men to ride out with, how many horses, and his education continued on to include how many blacksmiths it took to make sure those horses were shoed, how many stable lads it took to make certain those animals were fit to ride, how much feed and what sort was needed to maintain a horse’s strength.

A hundred details, and a kitchen was no different. No wise man made the mistake of thinking it an easy thing to keep running smoothly. Their current circumstances were proof of that surely enough.

“Ye need a wife, one raised with the education to see this place set right. No’ that any decent girl would have this house as it is,” Muir added. “Try to contract one, and she’ll run home to her father the moment she sees the condition this castle is in. But ye need one. A wife, that is.”

“I hoped to have a bit of time before getting down to that part of being laird,” Diocail groused.

“Best set yer secretary to sorting through the offers in Colum’s study.” Muir didn’t offer him any respite.

“Do nae hold out any hope,” Diocail replied. “There is a decade of letters sitting there. Any offers are long past their time of opportunity.”

His new lairdship was proving to be far more challenging than he’d ever thought it might be. Somehow, in all the times his mother had spoken to him of the day he’d take over the Gordon clan as laird, she had never mentioned just how complicated the duty was. There was building to consider, horses, men, training—and the list went on. All things he’d been taught as a man.

Now there was the kitchen, and God only knew what else went along with running one

smoothly.

Well, not God.

He let out a grunt. Here was something he knew less about than the Lord above.

Women.

And, more precisely, a lady and the duties she would have been trained to do.

There were reasons a laird wed a woman from a highborn family, and one was that she would come with an education as diverse as any given to a laird’s son. Running a kitchen was more than turning bread; it was knowing how much bread to set out to rise in the morning so that the supper table was full and how much grain was needed to make it through the winter and how many hands were needed to produce it all. His head began to ache. He didn’t know what went into bread, much less how much was needed to see an entire castle through a day, but as laird, his duty was to make certain the tables were laid with fare.

Nor did he know anything at all about helping a lady settle into the place he hoped she’d make into a home.

Muir was correct; she would run back to her father before sunup.

Diocail took another swig of the whisky, wishing it would dull his senses.

But all it did was warm him enough to make him conscious of the draft coming through the holes in the roof. He tipped his head back and discovered stars peeking at him where tiles were missing, likely from the winter storms. Colum was a bastard for leaving his people to such circumstances.

Laird of the Gordons. Diocail’s mother’s dream.

And his nightmare, it would seem.

About the Author

Acclaimed author Mary Wine has written over 30 works of Scottish Highland romance, romantic suspense and erotic romance. An avid history-buff and historical costumer, she and her family enjoy participating in historical reenactments. Mary lives in Yorba Linda, California with her husband and two sons.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway

Two bundles of Mary Wine’s Highland Weddings series
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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, Monday, mystery on September 18, 2017

Body on Baker Street: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (September 12, 2017)

Synopsis

Gemma Doyle and Jayne Wilson are busy managing the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium on Baker Street and adjoining Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room in anticipation of the store’s upcoming book signing with the illustrious Renalta Van Markoff, author of the controversial Hudson and Holmes mystery series. But during the author Q&A session, dedicated Sherlockian Donald Morris verbally attacks Renalta and her series for disgracing Sherlock’s legacy, only to be publicly humiliated when the author triumphantly lashes back and gains the upper hand. That is until Renalta collapses on the table―dead.

Donald insists he didn’t do it and pleads to his friends to clear his name. Fortunately, Gemma and Jayne have no shortage of suspects between author’s bullied personal assistant, her frustrated publicist, the hapless publisher, a handsome rare book dealer, an obsessively rabid fan, and a world of other Sherlock enthusiasts with strong objections to Renalta’s depiction of the Great Detective. It’s up to the shrewd sleuthing duo to eliminate the impossible and deduce the truth before the West London police arrest an innocent man in Body on Baker Street, the second Sherlock Homes Bookshop mystery perfect for fans of Miranda James and Kate Carlisle.

Guest Post

Stocking the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium

By Vicki Delany

Great Escapes Book Tour Sept. 2017

When I first had the idea of creating a cozy series around a Sherlock Holmes Bookshop, I thought the idea would be fun but a bit far-fetched.   It’s been rather surprising to discover it really would be possible to have an entire store of nothing but Sherlock Holmes.

I dove into the crazy world of Sherlock, and I’ve had a lot of fun stocking my fictional shop.

First, the stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  There were sixty original Sherlock Holmes stores, including four novels. Not a lot with which to stock an entire store, but the legions of books they’ve inspired is incalculable, what’s call the pastiche – novels and short story collections in which Sherlock and Dr. Watson are characters, in some form or another (e.g. Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell series).  I expanded the bookshelves by including a section of Gaslight novels, meaning books set in the Victorian or Edwardian eras, most of which are mysteries (e.g. Gaslight series by Victoria Thompson or the Molly Murphy series by Rhys Bowen). We also have a non-fiction section for books about Sir Arthur, his writing, his contemporaries, and their life and times.

And then we can stock merchandize.  DVDs of TV shows and movies, posters, life-sized cut-outs, puzzles, games, coloring books, mugs, cups, tea towels.  The list is practically endless.

All of the stuff sold in the Sherlock Holmes bookshop can be found in the real world.  All, that is, except for the books in the Hudson and Holmes series by Renalta Van Markoff, for reasons which shall become clear in Body on Baker Street, the second book in the series.

I’ve enjoyed finding Sherlock pastiche and gaslight books and dropping their names into the books. It’s been a hoot trying to match a real book to a fictional character who comes into the shop.

After engaging in a frenzy of shopping, my customers have to go someplace for refreshments and where better than next door to Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room.  There they can enjoy a cream tea or full afternoon tea, perhaps served in a Sherlock themed tea pot and cups.  Quite a few of the things Jayne serves in the tea room have been made by me at some time, or at least eaten by me!

Research is tough but someone has to do it.

About the Author

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers. She is the author of twenty-three published crime novels, including standalone Gothic thrillers, the Constable Molly Smith series, and the Year Round Christmas Mysteries.  Under the pen name of Eva Gates she is the national bestselling author of the Lighthouse Library cozy series.

The first in Vicki’s Sherlock Holmes bookshop series, Elementary She Read, will be released in March 2017 from Crooked Lane Books.

Vicki lives and writes in Prince Edward County, Ontario. She is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada.

Website * Facebook * Twitter (Vicki) * Twitter (Eva)

Giveaway

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Check out the other blogs on this tour

September 11 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 11 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 12 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW, GUEST POST

September 12 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

September 13 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 13 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

September 14 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

September 14 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW

September 15 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

September 15 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW

September 16 – Varietats2010 – REVIEW

September 16 – Carole’s Book Corner – REVIEW

September 17 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW, GUEST POST

September 17 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 18 – CelticLady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

September 19 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

September 19 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, GUEST POST

September 20 – Book Babble – REVIEW

September 20 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

September 21 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

September 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

September 22 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – INTERVIEW

September 22 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

September 22 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW

September 23 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

September 23 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 24 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 24 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on September 17, 2017

Cat Got Your Secrets: A Kitty Couture Mystery 
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (September 12, 2017)

Synopsis

Lacy Marie Crocker has settled into a comfortable groove back home in New Orleans, and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, she’s busier than ever running a thriving pet boutique, helping her mother organize the upcoming National Pet Pageant, and untangling her complicated love life. But when delivering a king-sized order of dreidel-shaped doggy biscuits for a Saint Berdoodle’s bark-mitzvah, Lacy stumbles into yet another murder scene—and the last person to see the victim alive was her own father.

It’s up to Lacy to clear her dad’s name from the suspect list before Detective Jack Oliver has to cage him for good. But just when she starts pawing at the truth, she receives a threatening letter from a mysterious blackmailer bent on silencing her with her own secrets. And Lacy’s not the only one with bones in her closet.

Amazon * B&N * BAM!* IndieBound

Guest Post

What’s So Funny About Murder???

Definitely nothing. Nothing is funny about murder, but I’m a huge fan of humor, so I put it in all my murder mysteries. I also apply it regularly to my life, but I especially enjoy humor in books. The little chuckles provide a break from all that tension, and it feels really good to me as a reader, so I never skip it as a writer.

Something else I love about cozy mysteries? The murder and crime scene are secondary to the story. Yes, the murder is the catalyst, but cozies aren’t really about the murder. They’re about the adventure that follows and the unraveling of a great mystery.

Which leads me to my favorite thing about cozies. An amateur sleuth always solves the crime. Someone just like me (but infinitely braver) steps in to find justice and three hundred bumbling pages later, she does it! Can you imagine solving a crime? I can’t. I don’t like rocking the boat, being nosy, pushy or too forward. But my heroines do! They love asking questions and digging around for clues. Every day heroines are smart, sassy, resourceful and so much fun. I’d read the stories of their adventures any day.

When your local librarian, consignment shop or pet boutique owner steps in to chase the clues, the results are fantastic, and you’re guaranteed to have a good time.

If you’re in the mood for a new author, book or series, I hope you’ll give my Kitty Couture Mysteries a try.

About the Author

Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC). She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency. Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

 

Giveaway

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Check out the other blogs on this tour

September 12 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

September 12 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW

September 12 – Community Bookstop – INTERVIEW

September 13 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

September 13 – Books Direct – GUEST POST

September 14 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW

September 14 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

September 15 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, GUEST POST

September 16 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

September 16 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

September 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

September 17 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

September 18 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

September 18 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

September 19 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

September 19 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW

September 19 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

September 20 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

September 20 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

September 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – COZY WEDNESDAY

September 21 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

September 21 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – INTERVIEW

September 22 – Jane Reads – REVIEW, GUEST POST

September 22 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 23 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 23 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST

September 24 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

September 24 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

September 25 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW

September 25 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT