Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on March 23, 2017

Elementary, She Read: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery
by Vicki Delany
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (March 14, 2017)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683310969

Synopsis

Gemma Doyle, a transplanted Englishwoman, has returned to the quaint town of West London on Cape Cod to manage her Great Uncle Arthur’s Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. The shop–located at 222 Baker Street–specializes in the Holmes canon and pastiche, and is also the home of Moriarty the cat. When Gemma finds a rare and potentially valuable magazine containing the first Sherlock Homes story hidden in the bookshop, she and her friend Jayne (who runs the adjoining Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room) set off to find the owner, only to stumble upon a dead body.

The highly perceptive Gemma is the police’s first suspect, so she puts her consummate powers of deduction to work to clear her name, investigating a handsome rare books expert, the dead woman’s suspiciously unmoved son, and a whole family of greedy characters desperate to cash in on their inheritance. But when Gemma and Jayne accidentally place themselves at a second murder scene, it’s a race to uncover the truth before the detectives lock them up for good.

Guest Post

Creating a Character: Gemma Doyle and the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Series

By Vicki Delany

When I first came up with the idea for the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series, I planned on creating a standard cozy in which the main character owns a book store that specializes in anything to do with Sherlock Holmes.

But by around page two, she began to morph from a pleasant young woman into a modern Sherlock Holmes. I guess you could say that Gemma Doyle took over control of her character from me, the supposed writer.

I’m glad she did, as I’ve had a lot of fun trying to imagine Sherlock as a modern young woman. She’s as intelligent, as quick-witted, and as perspective as The Great Detective, but I have made her (found her to be?) softer and not quite as abrasive, although she can still be lacking some of the, shall we say, finer points of social skills.

The book store is located at 220 Baker Street, in West London, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. I’ve stocked it with all the novels and short story collections of the Holmes pastiche, the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle books, modern essays and interpretations, as well as a shelf full of gaslight mysteries and tons of Sherlock memorabilia. It’s been rather surprising to me to discover just how much of that stuff there is. It really would be possible to have an entire store with nothing but Sherlock Holmes.

Gemma Doyle has, unlike Sherlock Holmes, actual friends. One of whom is Jayne Wilson, who owns Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room located next door at 222 Baker Street.

She also has romantic interests. She was on the verge of getting engaged some years ago, but the proposal never happened.

In this scene, she remembers why their engagement never came to pass:

  “You’re wearing your best suit and a brand new tie, if I’m not
mistaken. You’ve gone to the trouble of shaving after work
which you normally don’t do. You’ve even polished your
shoes. You have a touch of sweat on your brow but this room
isn’t hot. Somewhat to the contrary, I think. They’ve turned the
air conditioning on too early. The bulge in your jacket pocket is
the size and shape of a ring box. You gave the waiter an
unobtrusive nod that had him grinning like a fool, and if I’m not
mistaken, he’s bringing the champagne now, Veuve Clicquot,
excellent choice.”

                                                Elementary, She Read by Vicki Delany

 

Now, he’s back in town. And he’s the lead detective for the local police.

When Gemma finds a rare old copy of the world’s most expensive magazine, Beeton’s Christmas Annual of December 1887, hidden in the shop, she can’t help herself from investigating.

And the game, most definitely, is afoot.

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

March 13 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW

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

March 13 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – SPOTLIGHT

March 14 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

March 14 – Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf – REVIEW

March 15 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

March 15 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

March 16 – Rainy Day Reviews – REVIEW

March 16 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

March 17 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

March 17 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

March 18 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

March 18 – Girl with Book Lungs – GUEST POST

March 19 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

March 20 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

March 20 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

March 21 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

March 21 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

March 22 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 22 – Carole’s Book Corner – REVIEW

March 22 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

March 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

March 23 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

March 23 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

March 24 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

March 24 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 25 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

March 25 – Island Confidential – spotlight

March 26 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

March 26 – Girl Lost In a Book – REVIEW

Posted in Giveaway, Guest Post, nonfiction, Pets on March 22, 2017

Synopsis

Bringing a new dog into the household should be one of life’s happiest events. The process always starts with excitement and high expectations. Too often, though, it ends in disappointment. The new puppy wakes everyone three times a night, gnaws on furniture, piddles everywhere, knocks the children down. The new adolescent dog is too wild. The new adult dog growls at your neighbors. And where did all this dog hair come from?

Most people spend hours researching a new mattress, days researching a new car, and weeks researching a new home or job. Yet for a new dog, a companion for the next 10-15 years, the most they do is visit the nearest shelter or pet shop and buy whatever looks cute and appealing. It’s no wonder they end up disappointed.

Whether you are looking for a purebred puppy or a charming mixed-breed, the type of dog you bring into your home matters. A quiet owner will struggle to keep up with a high-energy labrador mix, for instance, while an active outdoor family will be impatient with a snoozy bulldog. And finding the right kind of dog means becoming the right kind of owner—a task that takes some forethought and planning.

How To Find Your Dream Dog is here to fix the disconnect of dog ownership. It walks you step-by-step through the process of choosing the right type of dog for you—not only exploring the canine qualities that can determine your perfect puppy, adolescent, or adult dog, but also assessing your lifestyle to make sure you’re a good match for the dog, too. The book also looks at good (and bad) sources for finding healthy and sound pet dogs, gives guidelines for evaluating individual puppies, and warns of some red flags to watch out for during your dog search. With this guidebook in hand, you can be confident that the next puppy or dog you bring home will be the right companion and friend for you for the rest of its days.

​Dixie Tenny is a Certified Training Partner with the Karen Pryor Academy of Animal Training and Behavior. During her 30+ years spent working with people and their pets, she has seen again and again how mismatches between dog and owner can create “behavior problems” that never would have happened if the right dog had been matched to the right owner in the first place. She wrote this book to help puppy buyers and dog adopters start out on the best possible foot with their new pet dogs, and stay on that path for years to come.

Guest Post

Two Great Ways to Keep Your Dog Busy Indoors
​by Dixie Tenny

When the weather outside is frightful, how do you keep your dog happy and entertained indoors?

Here are two ideas that will bring indoor fun to any dog, any type, any size, any age.

Find-it games
Every dog can learn to use its nose to find treats or toys, and the search can be as fun as the goodie at the end. Teach your pooch to play “find-it” like this:

First, while holding your pup in place, toss a treat so that it lands in plain sight. Say “find it!” and release your pup to run and eat the treat.

After a few repetitions, try tossing the treat so that it lands barely out of sight, behind furniture. Say “find it,” and release your pup. Most will seek out the goodie; if yours needs help, walk toward the treat yourself and be patient. She will get it after a few more repetitions.

Put your dog away and place a treat in plain sight. Bring your dog into the room, holding its collar, say “find it!” and release. Now the dog doesn’t have your throwing arm to watch, but by this time the cue “find it!” should let her know that there is a goodie in the room.

When she has mastered this, put a paper towel over the treat before bringing her out to “find it!” The paper towel is a new object in the room so she is very likely to go investigate it, smell the treat under it, and dig it out. This introduces the idea that the treat might actually be out of sight, so that she will start hunting for them with her nose. Next, put out two paper towels, one with a treat under it and one without.

Place a treat next to a piece of furniture for her to find. Then place it slightly under or behind the furniture…

Continue until she will hunt for a treat whenever you say “find it.” Eventually my Welsh terrier reached the point where he would hunt all over the house while I sat and read a book! The key is to progress in very slow, gradual steps, and always be willing to patiently repeat any step a few times until it’s clear that your dog is ready to move on.

Puzzle toys

Puzzle toys are one of the greatest inventions for dogs and their people ever. This is a wide range of toys that incorporate treats. With a simple puzzle toy, you just put treats, biscuit pieces, or other dog-friendly goodies into the toy and let your dog enjoy the process of working to get them out. The Kong is probably the most well-known simple puzzle toy. A Kong looks like an inverted triple-scoop ice cream with a hole in the bottom. Break up pieces of biscuits, use your dog’s own food, add a couple high-value treats like freeze-dried liver pieces; take a spoonful of cream cheese and mix it all together, then push the mixture into the hole in the Kong. You can give this to your dog as is, or freeze it for future use. Most dog trainers have several frozen Kongs in their freezers at all times!

You can also fill a Kong with canned dog food or any number of other fillings. Just be careful to avoid human foods that are dangerous to dogs such as chocolate, onion, raisins, and more.

If your dog doesn’t know what to do with this great-smelling but puzzling thing, start by filling it loosely enough that the goodies fall out when your dog rolls the toy around. Gradually make it harder for him to get the treats out as he becomes more experienced.

If your dog empties a Kong in record time, consider moving him up to the more challenging puzzle toys. There are dozens of these: my favorite include:
Toys that feed entire meals, such as the Kong Wobbler, the Tug-a-Jug, and the Tricky Treat Ball;
Toys that hold the treats inside so the dog must figure out how to remove them, such as the Busy Buddy Barnacle or Squirrel Dude, or the Bob-a-Lot Treat Dispenser.
For the maestro, try toys that require the dog to manipulate the puzzle by lifting latches, pushing little doors open, and more. These include the Dog Activity Flip Board, the Dog Twister, and the Mad Scientist Puzzle.

Consider trying some Find-it and picking up a few puzzle toys. Your dog will thank you for making her days indoors more interesting!

About the Author

Dixie Tenny has been helping people and their dogs find each other and form successful partnerships since the early 1980s. She founded two rescue organizations: Purebred Dog Rescue of Saint Louis in 1984, and Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue, Inc. in 1987. Dixie was the Director of Training for the Greater St. Louis Training Club, Inc., for five years, creating classes and overseeing the work of 40 head and assistant trainers. In 2003 she and another experienced trainer created Dogs Unleashed, LLC. They traveled to clients’ homes and worked with behavior and training issues.

Dixie’s professional credentials include trainer certifications from the prestigious Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behavior, and the Association for Pet Dog Trainers. Dixie formed her own business, Human-Animal Learning Opportunities, LLC (HALO) in 2013. HALO hosts continuing education seminars for dog trainers.

Dixie has lived with a wide range of dogs over the years including mixed breeds, Australian Shepherds, Welsh and Cairn terriers, and more. While in Seattle, Dixie raised a labrador puppy for Canine Companions for Independence, Inc. (CCI). Currently Dixie lives with a Beauceron and an elderly Papillon, as well as four cats. When not doing things related to animals, she reads widely, enjoys the company of her three grown children, follows baseball and English Premier League football, and travels the world.

Giveaway

Prizes

Win one of 5 Dream Dog prize packages! Each package includes a copy of How to Find Your Dream Dog, a $15 Amazon Gift Card and Outward Hound Slow Feeder Dog Bowl) Open to USA & Canada
Ends April 8

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Posted in Cozy, Craft, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on March 16, 2017

Off the Beadin’ Path (Glass Bead Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Vetrai Press (March 11, 2017)
230 Pages

Synopsis

Jax O’Connell and her friend Tessa have no idea what challenges await them when they head to the small town of Carthage to take a glass blowing class with Marco De Luca, a famous Italian glass artist. While Jax loves melting glass to make beads, she discovers that standing in front of the glass furnace’s inferno frightens her.

After the first night of class, Tessa sees a dead body through the water-streaked window of the studio. The next morning there’s no sign of Marco—dead or alive—and one of the studio owners is also missing. The local sheriff doesn’t take the disappearance seriously, so Jax and Tessa take matters into their own hands.

Jax must face her fears to find the body, track down the clues, and uncover the killer—and do it all before another life is shattered.

Off the Beadin’ Path is the third book in the Glass Bead Mystery series.

Guest Post

A Day in the Life of Jax O’Connell

The Main Character in Off the Beadin’ Path,
Book Three in the Glass Bead Mystery Series
by Janice Peacock

Hi there! My name is Jax O’Connell, and I live in Seattle, the Emerald City—not because of how lush the landscape is, but because of all the green Starbucks signs everywhere you look. I love it here, not just for the coffee, but because Seattle is a mecca for glass art. I make glass beads for a living by melting slender rods of colorful glass that I sculpt using a 2,000 degree torch. I use the beads I make to create handmade jewelry that I sell at local shops.

When I inherited a bungalow from my Great-Aunt Rita in this glass-loving city, I left Miami behind. I can say without a doubt that I don’t miss the hurricanes or the jumbo-sized bugs. Several years ago, my great-aunt split her house down the middle to create a duplex. I live in one side of the house and Val lives in the other. I’ve lived next door to her for nearly three years now, and they have been some of the best in my life. Val is enormous in every way—big red hair, big bones (I say with the utmost tact), and big jewelry—the glitzier, the better. Oh, and she’s a science-fiction fan girl, but that’s too complicated to explain right now.

On most usual days, I’d get up and pull the beads I’d made the day before from the kiln. It’s always fun to see how everything turns out and decide what I want to work on next. Then I’d head down the hall to the kitchen, where my cat Gumdrop would be impatiently pacing back and forth. I’d pull out a green ice cube from the cute pink plastic tray in the freezer and pop it into the cat’s empty food bowl. As soon as Gumdrop saw the frozen cube of catnip, he’d go wild, jumping on the bowl, and skidding across the hardwood floor into the hallway. While Gumdrop enjoyed his treat, I’d usually make a big pot of coffee, and enjoy the first of many cups of the day.

But today is not a usual day. My best friend, Tessa, spent the night, and what a night it was! She and I are taking a glassblowing class at Old Firehouse Studio in the little town of Carthage about a forty-five minute drive from here. I was excited at the prospect of taking a glassblowing class, but once I stood in front of the furnace’s inferno, I knew I would never be able to blow glass with any confidence, if I had the guts to do it at all.

Marco de Luca, our teacher, was hitting on one of the pretty young women in class and he’d had just a little too much to drink by the end of the evening. So, once we finished our lesson, Tessa and I both wanted to get out of town, and fast. While we were driving home, Tessa realized she’d left her cell phone at the studio. Since Tessa can’t live without her phone, I turned back, during a downpour, no less. I waited in the car while Tessa ran to the studio. She tried the door, but it was locked. She peered in the studio window, then turned and ran faster than I’ve ever seen her move.

She jumped in my car and told me the shocking news: She had seen a dead body in the studio through the rain-streaked window! Tessa was certain it was our instructor, and was sure he was dead. Not knowing what else to do, I sped away while Tessa called 911. I parked at the other end of town, and we waited until a sheriff arrived. And, I’ve got to say, the sheriff did not inspire confidence. He sent us home, promising he’d check out what Tessa saw at the studio, though I think it was equally likely he’d do nothing of the sort.

After our long drive home, we ate far too many oatmeal cookies, provided to us by my neighbor Val, who is becoming a better cook day by day.

This morning Tessa and I both felt like we had hangovers, but not from drinking—from those darn oatmeal cookies. I thought oatmeal and raisins were supposed to be healthy. I guess all the sugar that holds them together is what makes my stomach feel so awful. I poured myself a giant cup of coffee and one for Tessa. Once she was up we were going to need to call the studio and find out what happened last night.

Had Tessa really seen a dead body? And who was it?

 

About the Author

Janice Peacock decided to write her first mystery novel after working in a glass studio full of colorful artists who didn’t always get along. They reminded her of the odd, and often humorous, characters in the murder mystery books she loved to read. Inspired by that experience, she combined her two passions and wrote High Strung: A Glass Bead Mystery, launching a new cozy mystery series featuring glass beadmaker Jax O’Connell.

When Janice isn’t writing about glass artists-turned-amateur-detectives, she makes glass beads using a torch, designs one-of-a-kind jewelry, and makes sculptures using hot glass. An award-winning artist, her work has been exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collections of the Corning Museum of Glass, the Glass Museum of Tacoma, WA, and in private collections worldwide.

Janice lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two cats, and twelve chickens. She has a studio full of beads…lots and lots of beads.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Pinterest * Amazon * Goodreads

 

2 Giveaways!

The first giveaway is open internationally since it is an eBook set!

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Check out the other blogs on this tour

March 15 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

March 15 – My Journey Back – REVIEW

March 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

March 16 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

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

March 17 – Books,Dreams,Life – INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

March 18 – Sleuth Cafe – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

March 18 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT

March 19 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

March 20 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 21 – Varietats – REVIEW

March 21 – Queen of All She Reads – GUEST POST

March 22 – Book Babble – REVIEW

March 22 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

March 23 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

March 23 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW

March 24 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on January 27, 2017

15 Minutes: A Maizie Albright Star Detective Humorous Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Past Perfect Press (January 24, 2017)
Paperback: 341 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0997885323
E-Book ASIN: B01N77ZK94

Synopsis

#10days #findthewoman #getthejob #doNOTfallinlove

When ex-teen star Maizie Albright returns to her Southern hometown of Black Pine, Georgia, she hoped to rid herself of Hollywood tabloid and reality show hell for a new career as a private investigator. Instead, Hollyweird follows her home. Maizie’s costar crushing, but now for her gumshoe boss. Her stage-monster mother still demands screen time. Her latest rival wants her kicked off the set, preferably back to a California prison.

By entangling herself in a missing person’s case, she must reprise her most famous role. The job will demand a performance of a lifetime. But this time, the stakes are real and may prove deadly.

Praise

“I was already a huge fan of Larissa Reinhart’s “Cherry Tucker” series, but in her new mystery series, FIFTEEN MINUTES, she had me at the end of the first line: “Donuts.” Maizie Albright is the kind of fresh, fun, and feisty “star detective” I love spending time with, a kind of Nancy Drew meets Lucy Ricardo. Move over, Janet Evanovich. Reinhart is my new “star mystery writer!” — Penny Warner, Author of DEATH OF A CHOCOLATE CHEATER and THE CODE BUSTERS CLUB

“Hollywood glitz meets backwoods grit in this fast-paced ride on D-list celeb Maizie Albright’s waning star—even as it’s reborn in a spectacular collision with her nightmarish stage mother, her deer-pee-scented-apparel-inventing daddy…and a murderer. Sassy, sexy, and fun, 15 Minutes is hours of enjoyment—and a wonderful start to a fun new series from the charmingly Southern-fried Reinhart.” — Phoebe Fox, author of THE BREAKUP DOCTOR series

“Larissa Reinhart’s newest heroine, Maizie Albright, is at once naïve and worldly. As a former child star, she craves life in the real world by becoming a PI, just like the TV character that made her famous. Armed with humor, charm, and stubborn determination, Maizie is a breath of fresh air. I adored every second of 15 Minutes. Viva la Maizie!” — Terri L. Austin, bestselling author of the ROSE STRICKLAND MYSTERIES and the NULL FOR HIRE series.

Guest Post

Today we welcome Maizie Albright to StoreyBook Reviews.  I loved hearing what she had to say about being a detective!

Recently I’ve been aware of a certain black Sprinter van following me. I’m used to being followed, so I’ve gotten pretty good at noticing this sort of thing. Before you start to think I’m paranoid, let me explain. I’m Maizie Albright, once known for the starring role in hit kid shows like Kung Fu Kate and more famously, Julia Pinkerton, Teen Detective. You might recognize my adult self from All is Albright.

Sorry about All is Albright. It was Vicki’s project. She thought it a great idea spinning my bad press—those unfortunate club busts resulting in my rehab stints—into a reality show. Celebrity voyeurism is not my thing, I understand why it wouldn’t be yours.

But back to the van. Paparazzi stalking is just a regular Tuesday for a celebrity in LA. But in Black Pine, Georgia—where I’ve gone back to live with my father to prove I’ve given up my “celebrity lifestyle” (Judge Ellis’s words, not mine)—I don’t expect there to be paparazzi. I’m not celebrity lifestyling in Black Pine. I don’t even own a car anymore. I’m driving the dirt bike I got for my fifteenth birthday. But I’m following my dream of becoming a private investigator by working for Wyatt Nash of Nash Security Solutions.

While riding a dirt bike to surveillance assignments. But a dream’s a dream.

However, something’s up with this black van. I have a feeling it’s one of two terrible things.

It turns out that Mr. Nash’s latest client, Mr. Waverly, works for the financial company, Black Pine Group. Mr. Waverly wanted Nash to watch his wife for cheating. That’s just a Tuesday for a private investigator in Black Pine, by the way. No biggie. Except Nash just found out that his partner, Jolene Sweeney, wants to sell Nash Security Solutions and is using Black Pine Group to handle the sale.

That’s what we call a conflict of interest.

After a month of surveillance, where Mrs. Waverly kept to the same schedule every single day, Mr. Waverly’s wife disappeared. On my watch. First day on the job. A job in which I had no training.

And I sort of really wasn’t on the job either. The day before I lost her, I kind of forced my way into spying on Mrs. Waverly after Nash announced he wanted to quit the job for Mr. Waverly. Up to that point, Mr. Nash couldn’t find any evidence of Mrs. Waverly straying and told Mr. Waverly there wasn’t any point to it.

Yep, the day before she disappeared, Mr. Nash tried to quit working for the man who’s a partner in the company that wants to sell Mr. Nash’s business. Mr. Nash calls that “hinky.” And now Mr. Waverly’s doing his own PR spin on it, using not just the local Black Pine paper, but all Atlanta media outlets. And that spitball of news has grown into a giant media storm thanks to my notoriety. Hence the black van following me around and taking pictures. Which has not helped Nash from saving his company. Kind of does the opposite.

However, there could be one other reason for the van. And this one is even worse than the PR campaign against Nash Security Solutions. Vicki has come to Black Pine to convince me to sign on for another season of All is Albright, even though she knows that would breaking my probation requirements. Vicki never takes no for an answer. So much so that she dragged the crew and cast of All is Albright to Black Pine. So not only do I need to find Mr. Waverly’s wife to save Nash’s company, I’m dealing with Vicki machinations.

Machinations that could involve a black Sprinter van filming my investigation. Which sounds even more paranoid than telling you that there’s a black van following me.

But that’s just a Tuesday in the life of Maizie Albright.

About the Author

larissaAfter seeing Paper Moon as a child, Larissa Reinhart fell in love with stories about confidence capers. QUICK SKETCH is the Cherry Tucker prequel to PORTRAIT in the mystery anthology THE HEARTACHE MOTEL. HIJACK IN ABSTRACT is the third in the Cherry Tucker Mystery Series from Henery Press, following STILL LIFE IN BRUNSWICK STEW (#2) and PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY (#1), a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist. She lives near Atlanta with her minions and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit.

 Website * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads * Pinterest * Facebook Street team * Amazon

 

 

Giveaway

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check out the other blogs on this tour

January 24 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

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

January 25 – The Broke Book Bank – REVIEW

January 25 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 26 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

January 27 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST

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

January 29 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

January 30 – Book Babble – REVIEW

January 31 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

February 1 – Jane Reads – REVIEW, GUEST POST

February 2 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

February 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW

February 4 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT

February 5 – Varietats – REVIEW

February 5 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

February 6 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW

February 6 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

February 6 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on January 24, 2017

One Dead, Two to Go (An Eddie Shoes Mystery)

Series: Eddie Shoes Mystery (Book 1)
Publisher: Camel Press (April 15, 2016)
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1603813112
E-Book ASIN: B01DURRHSM

Synopsis

Private Investigator Edwina “Eddie Shoes” Schultz’s most recent job has her parked outside a seedy Bellingham hotel, photographing her quarry as he kisses his mistress goodbye. This is the last anyone will see of the woman… alive. Her body is later found dumped in an abandoned building. Eddie’s client, Kendra Hallings, disappears soon after. Eddie hates to be stiffed for her fee, but she has to wonder if Kendra could be in trouble too. Or is she the killer?

Eddie usually balks at matters requiring a gun, but before she knows it, she is knee-deep in dangerous company, spurred on by her card-counting adrenaline-junkie mother who has shown up on her doorstep fresh from the shenanigans that got her kicked out of Vegas. Chava is only sixteen years older than Eddie and sadly lacking in parenting skills. Her unique areas of expertise, however, prove to be helpful in ways Eddie can’t deny, making it hard to stop Chava from tagging along.

Also investigating the homicide is Detective Chance Parker, new to Bellingham’s Major Crimes unit but no stranger to Eddie. Their history as a couple back in Seattle is one more kink in a chain of complications, making Eddie’s case more frustrating and perilous with each tick of the clock.

Amazon * B&NiTunesKobo 

 

Life In Western Washington by Eddie Shoes (with a little help from Elena Hartwell)

I moved to Bellingham, Washington a couple of years ago. It’s a great place to live. Mostly it’s quiet, although we have had a few more murders than usual in the last year. I hope that’s not a trend. I did notice it coincided with my mother, Chava, moving in with me, but I try not to think about that too much.

The Pacific Northwest isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I moved here from Spokane, which is about as far east as you can go and not be in Idaho. Spokane is much drier than everything west of the Cascade Mountain range. It’s also hotter in the summer and colder in the winter. There are a lot of wonderful things about Eastern Washington. For example, some of the best wines in the world come from east of the Cascades. But now I call Western Washington home.

When I first moved to this side of the mountains, I lived in Seattle. Seattle is a great town. There are fabulous restaurants, marvelous bars, and spectacular views of the Olympic Mountains across the water. You can take a ferry boat to an island, out to the peninsula, or even as far as Canada. There are otters in the Aquarium and bald eagles often soar over the city.

There are lots of reasons to visit Seattle, from the Space Needle to the Pike Place Market, but I’m happy to be living in Bellingham.

Bellingham is home to Western Washington University, which keeps our population young and vital. We have a sweet little downtown area, where it’s easy to park and buildings aren’t more than a few stories tall, so skyscrapers don’t block out the sky.

We have live music at night from local bands and our own share of tasty restaurants and exciting nightlife. Plus, as an added bonus, we get less rain than Seattle. Okay, maybe just by a couple of inches, but still, a little less rain.

I like the rain, though. It keeps washing the world down, like a cleansing ritual for the environment. Water falls to earth before it runs to the sea. There’s a nice, cyclical rhythm to that, which appeals to me. It’s hard to hide dirt in a world where the sky always washes things clean. That’s good for a private investigator.

My mother complains a lot about the weather here. She lived for a lot of years in Las Vegas and the cold, wet climate isn’t her idea of fun. But I think my town is starting to rub off on her. She definitely appreciates our beautiful summers, with long days of golden sunlight. She’s less thrilled about winter, which stays dark from about four o’clock in the afternoon to eight o’clock the next morning. I see it as a tradeoff, however, to having daylight until almost ten o’clock at night in the summer.

Chava is doing a lot better now that she’s working at the casino. After all, you can’t tell what the weather is doing when you’re inside a place like that.

All in all, Bellingham is a brilliant little town. You should come and visit us out here soon. I’ll buy you a great cup of coffee and tell you all about those recent murders. I have to admit, I was involved with most of them, in one way or another. Stay a spell, and I’ll fill you in.

About the Author

After twenty years in the theater, Elena Hartwell turned her dramatic skills to fiction. Her first novel, One Dead, Two to Go introduces Eddie Shoes, private eye. Called “the most fun detective since Richard Castle stumbled into the 12th precinct,” by author Peter Clines, I’DTale Magazine stated, “this quirky combination of a mother-daughter reunion turned crime-fighting duo will captivate readers.”

In addition to her work as a novelist, Elena teaches playwriting at Bellevue College and tours the country to lead writing workshops.

When she’s not writing or teaching, her favorite place to be is at the farm with her horses, Jasper and Radar, or at her home, on the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River in North Bend, Washington, with her husband, their dog, Polar, and their trio of cats, Jackson, Coal Train, and Luna, aka, “the other cat upstairs.” Elena holds a B.A. from the University of San Diego, a M.Ed. from the University of Washington, Tacoma, and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.

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January 23 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST

January 24 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT

January 25 – Readeropolis – REVIEW*

January 26 – The Editing Pen – INTERVIEW

January 27 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW, GUEST POST

January 28 – The Power of Words – REVIEW*

January 29 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW

January 30 – Varietats – REVIEW

January 31 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVEW, SPOTLIGHT

February 1 – Turning the Pages – REVIEW

February 2 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

February 3 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – REVIEW*

February 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

February 5 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW

Posted in Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery, Spotlight on December 17, 2016

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What Fresh Smell (Marissa Scott Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Self-Published (August 9, 2016)
Paperback: 164 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1535456913
E-Book ASIN: B01IYX5V3A

Synopsis

There’s Murder in River City – Daycare that is.

When Marissa learns that a teacher at the daycare center has been murdered, she comes to the realization that she really didn’t know much about the people who worked there, especially the murdered woman. She’ll now have to manage her son, her mother, her mother’s Scottish terrier, and an ex-boyfriend as she tries to hunt down the people behind a robbery ring and the person who killed a daycare teacher. If she’s not careful, she might meet the same fate.

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Guest Post

Hello, you’ve been reading my adventures for a while now, but I’ve never had the occasion to address my fans directly. I’m thrilled for the chance to do so.

I’m Marissa Scott, the sleuth in a series of mysteries set around the place I work, Kantor’s Department Store. I’ve gotten into a bit of trouble at the store a few times. My mouth tends to run away with me – which doesn’t make me a favorite of my management. Even so, I do have a number of friends at the store, including my best friends, Ellen, the head of store security, and Anne, another working mother.

The author would always have you believe that he’s in charge, but I’ve definitely put my imprint on this series. For starters, I started out a little prickly. I’ve mellowed over time, which might be one reason why the series has taken such a long time to pick up speed. Time heals all wounds, or so they say. I’ve hopefully matured over time, and I’ve finally come to peace with the fact that my ex- will be in my life until our son is 18 – or longer. A few fans have mentioned that I seem more relaxed than I had been in earlier books.

Also, I’ve had my say on what happens in the series. For example, the author had the nerve to try to bump off one of my friends in an earlier book. I put my foot down and said that I would be far too busy grieving to finish the book and solve the crime. He finally listened; he can be as stubborn as I am at times, but I won that battle. With that argument, I was able to save my friend and have a few more adventures with her, which is always fun. I’ve had to put him straight on a few other things as well, but I don’t want to spoil the series by saying too much.

He’d also planned to make this a trilogy, like his historical mystery series. However, a fortunate short story request from Happy Homicides gave me the chance to prove I was good for a number of new stories as well. As a result, you’re going to see a few more short stories and a new novel in the not-too-distant future. I’m happy to be back for a new novel and more opportunities to solve the crimes of Cincinnati. I did point out that these books can be written far faster than the historicals. First drafts of my adventures only take a matter of weeks to complete; the historicals are measured in months if not years.

While authors will proudly tell you that they’re in charge, don’t believe it for a minute. We all know who runs the show here, and it’s not him. I hope you take some time to find my books and read one. I think you’ll enjoy it, if I do say so myself.

– Marissa Scott

About the Author

jeff_marksJeffrey Marks is a long-time mystery fan and freelancer.  After numerous mystery author profiles, he chose to chronicle the short but full life of mystery writer Craig Rice.

That biography (Who Was That Lady?) encouraged him to write mystery fiction. His works include Atomic Renaissance: Women Mystery Writers of the 1940s/1950s, and a biography of mystery author and critic Anthony Boucher entitled Anthony Boucher. It was nominated for an Agatha and fittingly, won an Anthony. He won a Malice Domestic Grant for The Scent of Murder, which has spurred the Marissa Scott series. What Fresh Smell is the third novel in the series.

His work has won a number of awards including the Barnes and Noble Prize and he was nominated for a Maxwell award (DWAA), an Edgar (MWA), three Agathas (Malice Domestic), two Macavity awards, and three Anthony awards (Bouchercon). Today, he writes from his home in Cincinnati, which he shares with his spouse and three dogs.

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December 7 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

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December 8 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

December 8 – Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT

December 9 – T’s Stuff – GUEST POST

December 9 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

December 10 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

December 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW

December 12 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf -INTERVIEW

December 12 – Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! – SPOTLIGHT

December 13 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

December 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST

December 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 15 – Cassidy Salem Reads & Writes – GUEST POST

December 16 – The Power of Words – SPOTLIGHT

December 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST

December 18 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

 

 

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery, Spotlight on December 15, 2016

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death-on-the-lily-pond

Death on Lily Pond Lane (Hamptons Murder Mysteries)
Publisher: Dunemere Books (September 19, 2016)
Paperback: 404 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0997270150
E-Book ASIN: B01J28570I

Synopsis

Springtime in the Hamptons comes late, but it’s worth it! Brisk walks on the bright chilly beach, cinnamon buns at tea time, blooming forsythia and….murder?

Innkeeper Antonia Bingham has hit her stride as the proprietor of East Hampton’s Windmill Inn. After solving a series of murders, Antonia has taken on more work as an estate manager, giving her entree her into some of the area’s most glamorous homes. Once inside, Antonia checks the heat, looks for leaks or damage, and finds the occasional dead body. As the police can’t be trusted, it’s up to Antonia—a modern day Miss Marple, with an overly enthusiastic adoration of carbs and a kamikaze love-life—to put her skills of deduction to use. Nestle in with a steaming mug of your favorite tea and get ready to peek behind the gates of the mansions of the Hamptons, as Antonia Bingham solves another shocking and devastating murder.

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Guest Post

Today’s guest post is by Carrie Doyle, author of Death on Windmill Way and Death on Lily Pond Lane, welcome Carrie!

When you read my books in the Hamptons Murder Mysteries series, you can tell immediately that I love food! I love cooking, and I am a huge fan of “Top Chef.” I love to read about food too, and I look forward to “Food and Wine” and “Bon Appetit” magazines every month. I think we’ve turned into a foodie nation and people enjoy reading about dishes and recipes. I also think that the whole concept of feeding people and baking conjures up happy and yummy thoughts, and it was important to me that Antonia Bingham, the main character (a chef, innkeeper, and amateur sleuth), bring that out in readers.

The books are set in East Hampton, NY where I have spent summers for all of my life, and the setting flavors all the books and even shaped Antonia. In college I worked for Ina Garten at the Barefoot Contessa, which was a legendary gourmet food store in East Hampton and spawned a hugely successful brand of cookbooks, TV shows, and even packaged foods at one point. I worked in the bakery section and had a chance to sample all of Ina’s amazing sweets. It was impossible not to! (Although I did learn a trick: if I didn’t eat anything within the first hour of work I would not be tempted all day. It was as if inhaling the fumes was enough to sate me. But if I sampled something within the first hour I was a goner—snacking all day long.) Ina Garten was an incredible boss—warm, generous, a real champion for her staff. I think some of Antonia is inspired by her.

I’m sharing one of my favorite holiday recipes today. Antonia will be making it in my holiday-themed Hamptons Murder Mystery, due out fall 2017. This sauce can be made ahead, and stored in a jar for a month. In a pretty mason jar with a ribbon, it makes a great gift.

Antonia Bingham’s Aunt Pat’s Hot Fudge Sauce

Ingredients

2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate

2 tbs. salted butter

¾ cup of granulated sugar

1 cup of heavy cream

2 teaspoons vanilla

Instructions

  1. Melt butter and chocolate over low heat in a heavy bottomed pan and stir until smoothly combined.
  2. Add sugar and stir well.
  3. Add heavy cream and mix (it will look like hot chocolate).
  4. Allow the mixture to come to a boil and then turn the heat down to keep the mixture at a low simmer until it thickens (approximately half an hour).
  5. Turn off heat, add vanilla and stir well. Allow to cool somewhat before serving or it will melt the ice cream.

Serve over ice cream or, even better, over warm glazed donuts with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the middle.

About the Author

carrie-doyleCarrie Doyle was the founding Editor-in- Chief of the Russian edition of Marie Claire Magazine. She is currently a Contributing Editor of Hamptons Magazine and has written extensively for Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country and has also written for Women’s Health and Avenue on the Beach. With Jill Kargman, Carrie co-wrote the film Intern (which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1999), as well as several screenplays sold to Showtime, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Films and the Oxygen Network. Carrie and Jill co-wrote five books together, including three teen books for HarperCollins and two bestselling women’s fiction books, The Right Address and Wolves in Chic Clothing (Broadway Books). Carrie also penned the popular novel The Infidelity Pact (Broadway Books). Carrie lives in New York City with her husband and two children and is currently at work on an animated series for broadcast as well as her new series, the Hamptons Murder Mysteries.

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December 12 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW

December 12 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

December 13 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

December 14 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

December 14 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

December 15 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

December 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

December 16 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

December 16 – Deal Sharing Aunt – REVIEW

December 17 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW

December 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST

December 18 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – REVIEW

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, Monday, mystery, Spotlight on December 12, 2016

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Egg Drop Dead (A Cackleberry Club Mystery)
Series: A Cackleberry Club Mystery (Book 7)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Berkley (December 6, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0425281703
E-Book ASIN: B01CZCW4MW

Synopsis

In Laura Childs’s New York Times bestselling mystery series, Suzanne, Petra, and Toni—co-owners of the Cackleberry Club café—are back to track down another bad egg…

Maintaining good personal relationships with their suppliers is one of the secrets of the Cackleberry Club café’s success, so Suzanne doesn’t mind going out to Mike Mullen’s dairy farm to pick up some wheels of cheese. She’s looking forward to a nice visit with the mild-mannered farmer before heading back to their hectic kitchen.

But when she arrives, Mike’s nowhere to be found. The moaning of his cows leads her to look in the barn, where she discovers a bloodcurdling sight—the farmer’s dead body. Apparently not everyone was as fond of Mike Mullen as the Cackleberry Club.

Churning with grief and outrage, Suzanne, Petra, and Toni vow to find the farmer’s murderer—but as they get closer to the truth, the desperate killer gets whipped into a frenzy and plans to put the squeeze on them…

RECIPES INCLUDED!

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Guest Post

It is my pleasure to welcome Laura Childs to StoreyBook Reviews today!  I’ve read many of her books bu twill admit I’m a bit behind in this series.  I need to catch up that is for sure!

Thanks so much for inviting me to visit StoryBook Reviews. I am very excited to tell you about Egg Drop Dead, the seventh book in my New York Times bestselling Cackleberry Club series.

Located in Kindred, a fictional mid-western town, the Cackleberry Club is a farm-to-table café operated by three close friends, each with a different skill set and very different personalities. Suzanne has a keen head for business and an insatiable curiosity about everything and everyone. She also converted a small room on one side of the café into a Book Nook filled with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves jam-packed with all types of books. To meet a browser’s needs, comfy chairs are set on a faded but still attractive Oriental rug. Petra is a whiz in the kitchen and also teaches a Hooked on Knitting class in the cozy Knitting Nest corner of the café. Sparkling with a jaunty personality and a “look at me” wardrobe, Toni is everyone’s favorite waitress.

With Halloween fast approaching, the ladies decide to throw a gala costume party, cramming the celebration into their already crowded schedule. Suzanne is glad to have a break from the hectic pace of the café and takes a leisurely drive to pick up some cheese wheels from her dairy supplier, Mick Mullen. Tragically, she finds Mike dead on the floor of the barn in the midst of a herd of cows complaining loudly that they are long overdue to be milked.

Devastated at finding Mike’s battered and bloody body, Suzanne’s curiosity pushes her to work to find his killer, much as Sheriff Doogie would rather she stay out of his investigation. Encouraged by Petra and Toni, who occasionally help in her snooping, Suzanne has lots of starts and stops in her search for the “why” and the “who” of Mike’s murder. Still she manages to follow clues while organizing elegant tea parties and keeping her romance with the handsome town doctor on track.

Come visit the ladies of the Cackleberry Club.  I know you will enjoy their company and there are plenty of delicious recipes that I’m sure you’ll want to try.

About the Author

laura-childsLaura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fund raising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

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December 4 – Varietats – Review

December 5 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW

December 5 – Varietats – REVIEW

December 6 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

December 6 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW *

December 7 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW

December 7 – Readeropolis – REVIEW *

December 8 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 8 – Queen of All She Reads – GUEST POST

December 9 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

December 9 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

December 10 – The Editing Pen – REVIEW*

December 11 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW *, INTERVIEW

December 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW *

December 12 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

December 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

December 13 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

December 14 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

December 14 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

December 15 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW *

December 16 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW *

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

December 18 – Booklady’s Booknotes – REVIEW

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

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Offed Stage Left (Isobel Spice Mysteries)
(Volume 4)
Paperback: 260 pages
Publisher: Dulcet Press (October 27, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0998133201
E-Book ASIN: B01M3R8OD6

Synopsis

There’s one role you don’t want a callback for: Prime Suspect. Aspiring actress Isobel Spice lands her first regional theater job, playing a supporting role and understudying the lead in Sousacal: The Life and Times of John Philip Sousa. A series of minor backstage accidents culminates in the suspicious death of the leading lady on opening night. When Isobel takes over the role, her mastery of the material makes her more suspect than savior, and she realizes the only way to clear her name is to discover the identity of the murderer—before he or she strikes again.

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Guest Post

I’ve Got a Little List

By Joanne Sydney Lessner

“As someday it may happen that a victim must be found, I’ve got a little list.”   –W.S. Gilbert

I’m planning to kill my neighbor.

Lest you fear that I’ve just made you an accessory before the fact, rest assured that no actual blood will be spilled, although I do have a particularly gory end in mind for this guy. He’s one of those of selfish, antagonistic neighbors who has no consideration for anyone else, yet complains constantly about the rest of us. And so, he must die. In my next book.

In the first installment of my Isobel Spice mystery series, The Temporary Detective, Isobel arrives in New York City eager to pursue her acting career. On the first day of her first temp job, she stumbles across an obnoxious, overbearing secretary dead in a bathroom stall, a pair of scissors buried in her ample bosom. So who was this secretary really? Why, the woman who got me fired from my first temp job, of course! She thought I spent too much time yakking on the phone to my friends, which, admittedly, I did. I had the idea for my series shortly after that, although I didn’t write the book for almost twenty years. I guess you could say I hold a grudge, because even after all that time, she was still my first victim. I put her on the page—and then I killed her. [Insert maniacal laugh.]

In the second Isobel Spice novel, Bad Publicity, Isobel temps in a public relations firm, where a troublesome consultant drinks poisoned coffee before a meeting. Wanna guess? That’s right: a demanding client who made my colleagues and me miserable, and then fired us. Off he goes into the great beyond, dispatched with a not-so-accidental drug overdose. Next up was someone I don’t know personally, but whose antics angered me so much, I felt the need to be judge, jury, and executioner. And so, in And Justice for Some, a judge with an interest in a private juvenile prison meets a very gory, very public end. I will confess that almost all the professional actors I’ve worked with have been lovely, generous people. But there are divas out there, so in my latest book, Offed Stage Left, the victim is a composite of people I’ve only heard about.

One of the great things about being a writer is having the power to create your own world and populate it with whomever you want. It’s a particular perk of the mystery novelist that you get to regularly de-populate it as well. From now on, every time I find myself trapped in the elevator with my neighbor, I can relish the secret knowledge that—at least on paper—he’s going to get what he deserves.

About the Author

joannelessnerWriter, singer, and actor Joanne Sydney Lessner draws on her own experiences pursuing a performing career in New York City for her acclaimed Isobel Spice Mysteries: THE TEMPORARY DETECTIVE, BAD PUBLICITY, AND JUSTICE FOR SOME, and OFFED STAGE LEFT. With humor and a bit of romance, Isobel juggles auditions and temp jobs, solving murders along the way, while Joanne’s inside knowledge provides a window into the realities of breaking into show business (as well as a forum to share every humiliating audition experience she and her friends ever had.) Joanne’s debut novel, PANDORA’S BOTTLE, was inspired by the true story of the world’s most expensive bottle of wine and was named one of the top five books of 2010 by Paperback Dolls. With her husband, composer/conductor Joshua Rosenblum, she has co-authored several musicals, including the cult hit FERMAT’S LAST TANGO and EINSTEIN’S DREAMS, based on the celebrated novel by Alan Lightman. Her play, CRITICAL MASS, received its Off Broadway premiere in October 2010. Joanne is also a regular contributor to OPERA NEWS and a graduate of Yale University.

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December 5 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

December 6 – Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT

December 7 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

December 8 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 9 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

December 10 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

December 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

December 12 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

December 13 – Lori’s Reading Corner – CHARACTER GUEST POST

December 14 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

December 15 – Omnimystery News – GUEST POST

December 16 – Readeropolis – REVIEW

December 16 – deal sharing aunt – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

December 17 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

December 18 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT

December 18 – Dalene’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

Posted in Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery, Spotlight on December 10, 2016

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Between A Rock and a Hard Place by Debbie De Louise
Publisher: Solstice Publishing
Approximately 330 pages

Synopsis

Librarian Alicia McKinney has put the past behind her…

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

Alicia’s contentment and safety are challenged…

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

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

Alicia faces her worst nightmare…

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

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The Story Behind the Cobble Cove Mystery Series

When I present author talks at libraries and bookstores, people often ask how I got started in writing. Since I’ve been writing for over thirty years, the answer is often lengthy and a bit convoluted as I’ve written in many forms and mediums throughout different periods of my life. I would much rather discuss how I came to publish my first mystery series.

 A Stone’s Throw did not start out as the first book of the Cobble Cove mysteries. I initially thought of it as a standalone romantic suspense novel; but, after it was published, readers reviewed it as a cozy mystery. Then, as people kept asking if I was planning to continue the story, I decided to write a sequel. Between a Rock and a Hard Place was published this past October by Solstice Publishing. I have almost finished writing the next book tentatively titled Written in Stone. I feel the uniformity of the common phrases and euphemisms involving rocks and stones and their correlation to the storylines of each mystery further unite the books

In A Stone’s Throw, the title refers to how all locations in the small town of Cobble Cove are only “a stone’s throw away.” The title of Between a Rock and a Hard Place symbolizes the struggle the characters face in a situation that seems insurmountable no matter what they do. For Written in Stone, I chose the title because the plot resolves heavily around writers.

A Stone’s Throw takes place near Thanksgiving and introduces the main characters, the town, and a library cat, Sneaky, and golden retriever, Fido, who play minor but charming roles in the books and also help with clues on occasion. Between a Rock and a Hard Place occurs a year and a half later during December. It introduces more characters including two babies, a couple of college students, and a young girl who is ill. Many of the characters from the first book return; two of them with interesting personality changes. This book involves three crimes – robbery, kidnapping, and murder – not necessarily by the same perpetrator. In the upcoming book, there are new characters again mixed in with the regulars as some of their stories further develop as the new mystery unravels. As cozies, all three books feature no violence or sexual explicit scenes and focus on the characters.

The Cobble Cove mysteries basically evolved through reader request and the quirky and creative characters who seemed to insist that their stories continue. I don’t know how many more books there will be in the series, but I have lots of ideas and hope that there will be many more.

In addition to writing the series, I’ve also created a blog hosted by Sneaky, the Siamese library cat in the books. He “interviews” cat characters from cozy mysteries and other types of cat books. Visit Sneaky’s blog.

I’ve also just begun the monthly Cobble Cove Character Chats on Facebook where, on the first Wednesday of each month, a new character from the series answers questions posted by readers.

About the  Author

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

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