Posted in excerpt, mystery, Spotlight, suspense on August 13, 2017

Synopsis

No good deed goes unpunished. When Jane Larson—a hot-shot litigator for a large firm in New York City—helps out a friend, she is sucked into the unfamiliar world of divorce and child support.

Jane’s discovery of the deadbeat dads hidden assets soon unravels a web of lies, drugs, and murder that keeps getting more dangerous.

Soon, Jane is involved in a high stakes race to recover a missing suitcase of cash and catch the murderer before she becomes the next victim.

Praise

“A sleuthing lawyer returns to the streets of New York in this mystery of drugs, murder, and financial skullduggery… the husband-wife team of Rothman-Hicks and Hicks has again produced a fast-paced, engaging story… overall, this is a satisfying read. An enjoyable romp involving a shady attorney and the mob that should make readers look forward to the next Jane Larson caper.” – Kirkus

“Weave a Murderous Web is an enthralling murder mystery. It gets your heart pounding with action and passion, while simultaneously entangling your mind with its ambiguity…. Engaging. Witty. Fast paced. As the plot progresses, the intensity heightens, catapulting you into a surprising twist, then plummets you into a sudden, yet satisfying end.” – 5 Stars, Cheryl E. Rodriguez, Readers’ Favorite

“Jane Larson is the kind of character that will be loved by many readers… The plot is well thought out and masterfully executed, laced with numerous surprises to keep readers turning the pages. This is one of those books that should occupy an enviable place in your shelf if you are into fast-paced thrillers and compelling investigative stories.” – 5 Stars, Ruffina Oserio, Readers’ Favorite

Excerpt

From Chapter One

I was in my office at Adams & Ridge talking on the telephone when Francine entered. At the moment, my friend, Lee, was on the other end of the wire, yakking up a storm in my ear. Her rant covered already familiar terrain. My man, my David, was drifting dangerously away from me while I did nothing to win him back. As we say around the courts, Oy.

Francine tiptoed forward and placed on my desk a two-day-old copy of The Daily News opened to the item concerning Mark Samuels’ death.

“I gotta go, Lee,” I said.

While Francine waited for me, she had backed into a corner of my office, leaned against the wall, and tried to make her six feet of lanky body less noticeable. Two large metal buttons were pinned to her heavily braided cotton sweater. One read Stop Fracking New York and the other protested against the annual Canadian seal hunt with a scarlet X through an image of a baby seal whose brains had been battered to a pink pulp.

I pointed at the newspaper and gave her a questioning glance, but she quickly averted her eyes to stare at the floor.

“Have you been listening to me at all?” Lee demanded. Her voice rose to a kind of exasperated wail. “David has been dating someone. I think he may be getting serious.”

“David was born serious, Lee,” I said.

“Stop it, Jane,” she shouted so I had to hold the phone away from my ear. Even Francine raised an eyebrow. “You know what I mean.”

“I’m sorry, Lee.”

“I don’t understand why you’re taking this so nonchalantly. You know you still love him. You could get back together in a heartbeat if you’d just spend a tenth as much time on a relationship as you spend on your career.”

“I’m a lawyer, Lee. Not a—”

A sharp intake of breath followed. “Not a baby maker?” Lee demanded. Anger replaced the plaintive wail. “Is that what you were going to say?”

Would I ever admit that the word had been on the tip of my tongue?

“No. I was going to say, ‘not a librarian’, or the owner of some other nine-to-five job. The hours come with the territory, Lee. David knows that, but deep down in that wonderful heart of his, he also thinks the hours spent at the office are A-okay for the guy, but not for the girl. In any event, Martha didn’t raise her daughter to compete over a man.”

The sound of a whale breaching the surface erupted from the phone. “You’re maddening, Jane.”

“No, I’m busy,” I replied.

Lee sighed. “Well, I have to go too. Laurie is home sick and I’m taking her to the doctor. We’ll talk more later, Jane. I’m not going to sit back and let this happen to my two best friends in the world. I’m going to fight, Jane.”

“Goodbye, Lee.”

She disconnected.

Actually, I wasn’t busy at all, or I wouldn’t have spent even that much time on the phone being lectured by Lee. She’s an old friend from Columbia Law, but enough is enough.

A major litigation I had been working on had settled just a day before and the client and powers-that-be at Adams & Ridge were very happy with me—especially Seymour Ridge. The old man himself had hammered out the settlement shortly after I made the CEO of the party suing our client look like a doofus on the witness stand. So, I had some time on my hands until I was given another assignment.

 

About the Authors

Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks have been collaborating on books for forty-six years.  Their first joint effort was a student project while Anne was at Bryn Mawr College and Ken attended Haverford. Since then, they have written over twenty books together. They are members of International Thriller Writers. They live and work in New York City, where many of their books are set.

Their Jane Larson series of mystery/thrillers involves a high-powered New York City attorney with a penchant for getting involved in situations that she would be better off leaving alone. These novels have been praised by reviewers for their gritty portrayals of city life, lively characters, fast action, surprise endings and highly polished prose. Jane is cynical and rebellious, but she finds herself drawn to the simple life her deceased mother lived as an attorney who served women unable to afford legal services. The series includes Weave A Murderous Web, Praise Her, Praise Diana, and Mind Me, Milady.

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Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, Monday, mystery, Review on August 7, 2017

Vangie Vale and the Murdered Macaron (The Matchbaker Mysteries Book 1)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Montana
Hummingbird Books (July 21, 2017)
Paperback: 362 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1548024437
E-Book ASIN: B073ZLKBZT

Synopsis

Small towns and gossip go together like flaky crust and sweet pastry cream. Between the police scanners, social media, and the senior center, it’s like a zombie apocalypse where the undead consume people’s secrets instead of living flesh.

But Vangie Vale wants nothing more than to stay under the radar…especially the police radar.

So when her new bakery becomes linked to a murder investigation, nothing will stop the gossip mill from connecting her to the dead body. Can’t have that.

Forced into the role of investigator, this new-in-town bakery owner has to become the very thing she hates–a nosy, small-town gossip–in order to clear her good name, and keep her face off the front page. But when a dating debacle brings her face-to-face with the Sheriff, Vangie can’t ignore the fact that one of her macarons was involved in a murder. She has to find the who-dun-it.

Book One in a cozy culinary mystery series from USA Today Bestselling Author, R.L. Syme.

Review

I think this was the first time I read a cozy set in Montana and after reading this book (and the author’s notes), I want to visit! It sounds like a calm and peaceful place to visit – assuming you don’t stumble across a murder!

Vangie is a minister that has been sent to Montana as part of a reconciliation. We really don’t know what happened in NC to get her sent to Montana or what the church council has been told. We find a little bit out at the end, but for me that just left me wanting to know more! It is hard to like Pete Mayhew from the church council because he seems to have it in for Vangie and reports her to the bishop for all these minor things – like standing on the corner of her property next to the Sheriff’s land to be able to use her cell phone. Granted the Sheriff is complaining but we don’t know why because she isn’t technically on his property. And then when her store window gets broken, Pete seems to think it is her fault some how. Like I said, not very likable and has way to much time on his hands!

Then there is the Sheriff who doesn’t like her for some reason and we never really find out why. He does seem to soften his attitude towards her in the end when she helps him solve the mystery of who killed Claire, but he doesn’t seem very happy about it! Perhaps because his beliefs were challenged especially when he was wrong.

Then there is the mystery – who killed Claire and why? The author does a great job in leading us down various paths and hinting at suspects…I was very surprised when it was all revealed because it was not a character i was suspecting…I was close but no cigar. And as with most cozies, Vangie finds herself in the middle of the investigation whether she wanted to be there or not!

I read a copy of the book that to my understanding was changed a bit – nothing too substantial but I am waiting to find out how this one incident changes the book. Either way the book was enjoyable and I liked reading the Macaron receipe at the end. I don’t know that I’ll try making any but they sure do sound yummy!

We give it 4 paws up!

About the Author

Rebecca Syme writes small town romance as Becca Boyd and cozy mystery as R.L. Syme. She is a long-time foodie and loves fancy cheese. Becca calls the mountains of Montana her home and draws inspiration from the beautiful vistas and heartwarming people. She is the USA Today bestselling author of the Line of Fire series of sweet romances and part of the Chick Tales series set in Somewhere, TX. You can find her on Twitter talking #fancycheese or #Chopped, and on Facebook with her fans in Becca Nation.

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August 3 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW, GUEST POST

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August 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

August 9 – The Power of Words – SPOTLIGHT

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August 10 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

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

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August 12 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

August 13 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW

August 13 – Girl with Book Lungs – CHARACTER GUEST POST

August 14 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

August 14 – Jane Reads – REVIEW, GUEST POST

Posted in Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on August 6, 2017

A Margin of Lust (The Seven Deadly Sins) 
1st in Series
Fawkes Press, LLC (May 10, 2017)
Paperback: 346 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1945419218
E-Book ASIN: B0719CMTFF

Synopsis

Gwen Bishop, wife, mother, and struggling real estate agent, has two big fears: claustrophobia and being buried in suburban obscurity. When she signs her dream listing, a multi-million dollar beachfront property in Laguna Beach, California, she’s sure her problems are behind her. And they would be, if it wasn’t for the secret in the basement and the body in an upstairs bedroom.

When the crime scene tape comes down, Gwen enlists the aid of a handsome co-worker with a background in construction to help her ready the house for sale and bolster her flagging courage. But every time they’re ready to put it back on the market, something goes horribly wrong. She must face old fears and new ones, temptations and buried truths. Gwen is determined to sell the dream house—or die trying.

About the Author

Greta Boris is the author of the 2017 releases, A Margin of Lust and The Scent of Wrath, the first two books in her 7 Deadly Sins domestic suspense series. She’s also the Director of O.C. Writers, a community of over 800 published and aspiring authors in Orange County, California.

She’s published articles on culture, health, and entertainment for a variety of national magazines including Victorian Homes, Zombies, 50 Scariest Movies, Exodus, and Women of the Bible. She’s also the author of the Amazon Kindle Bestseller The Wine and Chocolate Workout – Sip, Savor, and Strengthen for a Healthier Life.

You can visit her website where she describes her work (and her life) as an O.C. housewife meets Dante’s Inferno.

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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on August 5, 2017

Dadgummit
Series: Dreamwalker Mystery (Book 4)
Publisher: Camel Press (August 1, 2017)
Paperback: 312 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1603815932

Synopsis

Amateur sleuth Baxley Powell is on vacation at Stony Creek Lake in the north Georgia mountains. Her parents, best friend, and ten-year-old daughter are camping with her. Almost immediately, a young man’s body is found beside the lake. Strangely, there’s no apparent cause of death. The local police have heard about Baxley’s skill at closing unusual cases, and at their urging she agrees to help.

Her psychic sleuthing leads the police to a halfway house. There they encounter eight comatose victims and an odd man named Jonas, who also has supernatural abilities. Baxley senses Jonas cruelly drained their life force energy. Jonas escapes, taking the sheriff as a hostage. Deputy Sam Mayes, a Native American, leads the manhunt, and he keeps Baxley close, knowing she’s the key to capturing this powerful criminal.

Baxley’s paranormal talent of dreamwalking, which she uses to traverse the veil of life, draws the unwanted attention of beings believed to be Cherokee folklore. Jonas stole a treasured artifact from them, and they want it back. They hold Baxley’s best friend and two others because they know Baxley can help them. As the clock ticks, Jonas taunts this crime-fighting duo and proves to be a wily adversary.

With the body count rising, Baxley and Mayes realize they are up against an entity who appears to be invincible. Do they have the power to subdue an energy vampire, turn the tide of evil, and save the day?

Guest Post

Am I a scaredy cat?

By Baxley Powell, amateur sleuth

Since I’m a dreamwalker and therefore “different,” people think I don’t have normal reactions. I’m here to tell you that’s a complete falsehood. I cry when I stub my toe. I laugh at puppies frolicking in the park. I weep when a friend dies too young. I get nervous when I see a cop with a radar gun. (I get nervous about their Tasers too, but that’s another story.) I get misty-eyed when I see a couple in the first blush of love.

What I’m trying to say is that I’m as normal in my emotional reactions as everybody else. I’m completely human, but I have a few extras under the hood. I didn’t ask for these unusual talents. They came to me by virtue of my genetic heritage. Long ago I learned that denying what you are doesn’t change a thing. You are what you are.

These days I’ve added police consulting to my resume, along with pet sitting and plant care. Consulting sounds so benign, so office-y and safe, but it never works out that way. When I consult on a case, I use all the resources at my fingertips in this world – and the next. Let me tell you, some of the people and spirits are pretty scary.

As a kid I got trapped in the drift, that’s the limbo between here and there, so every transition I face a remnant of that primal fear. Once on the other side of the veil, I don’t always find the spirit I seek. There are tricksters, bad boy spirits, demons, and I’m sure there are other terrors I haven’t discovered yet. You might say fear keeps me on my toes.

There are unwritten rules about spiritual encounters I’ve learned through practical experience. For instance, spirits can’t tell me straight out who killed them, but they are allowed to show me scenes from their lives which may be relevant to their demise. Most of the time, they aren’t allowed to talk to me or answer my questions.

I think of my forays into the afterlife as tactical missions: get in, do my job, and get out. That’s more of a goal because dreamwalks rarely go that smoothly. In addition to spirits that don’t want to be found, spirits that are uncooperative, and harmful spirits, there’s also my Other World guide and mentor, Rose.

Mentor makes one think of a kindly, helpful person. Perhaps one who is older and wants to share the benefit of their experience. Rose is nothing like that. She’s got an agenda, and she’ll use whoever she wants to achieve it. Allegedly, Rose is undercover in the demon world and she’s an angel, but I’ve begun to doubt her story.

Three times now I’ve reached out to Rose during life or death situations. Three times she’s helped, but she demanded an hour of my life in return for each favor.

The thought of Rose being in charge of my body for three hours scares the tar out of me. However, since either I or a loved one would be dead otherwise, I believe the decision to accept Rose’s help was the only decision I could make. Now I’m stuck with fear of when she’ll collect the debt, and where it will happen, in my world or hers.

To try to regain some semblance of balance and normalcy in my life, my family is headed to the Georgia Mountains for a camping getaway before school starts again. Far as I know, Rose will still know where I am, thanks to her cross-worlds tattoo tracking system, but I’m not inviting her to join us for any of our revelry. Rose can party on her own time, with her own friends, thank you very much.

Because whatever we are, we are not friends. I am flat-out scared of her.

[For more about Baxley’s vacation in the Georgia Mountains, check out her latest appearance in Dadgummit by Maggie Toussaint]

About The Author

Southern author Maggie Toussaint writes mystery, suspense, and dystopian fiction. Her work won the Silver Falchion Award for best mystery, the Readers’ Choice Award, and the EPIC Award. She’s published seventeen novels as well as several short stories and novellas. The next book in her paranormal mystery series, Dadgummit, releases August 2017. Maggie serves on the national board for Mystery Writers of America, is President of Southeast Mystery Writers of America, and is Co-VP of Low Country Sisters In Crime.

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Posted in 3 1/2 paws, Cozy, mystery, Review on August 2, 2017

Synopsis

Gertrude has been called a lot of things: a hoarder, an odd duck, and a crazy cat lady—but she’s never been called a gumshoe. Until now. When her neighbor goes missing, she can’t help but get involved, no matter how many people ask her not to.

Review

A shorter book but quite a quirky main character. Gertrude doesn’t seem to be the brightest bulb but manages to solve who murdered her neighbor…but not without putting herself in danger!

I like that Gertrude, while I don’t think she is a senior citizen, is older and uses a walker. This does make it little harder for her to get around. At one point she decides to climb a lattice trellis. I really don’t know what was going through her brain that she could do that if she has issues walking without a walker! But it just adds to the humor of the book.

This will be a funny cozy series for sure.  We give it 3 1/2 paws

About the Author

Robin Merrill is an award-winning writer and performance poet from rural central Maine where she lives with her husband, their two children, and several furry friends. She is the author of several books, and her individual poems, essays, and short stories have appeared in hundreds of publications.

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Posted in 4 paws, excerpt, mystery, Sale on July 31, 2017

Title: As the Liquor Flows
Author: Angela Christina Archer
Publisher: Long Valley Press
Genre: Historical Romance (Sweeter/Lower Heat Level)
Pages: 256
Publication Date: March 19, 2016
ISBN: 978-0692660546

Synopsis

Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929, the day the stock market crashed, and the day Evelyn Ford will never forget.

With the untimely death of her parents and the loss of their only income, Evelyn, and her brother, Frank flee to a make-shift hovel built in Central Park.

After Frank mysteriously goes missing, bare cupboards force Evelyn to seek employment anywhere she can find work, even if that means working at a burlesque theater.

Catching the attention of Don Vincent Giovanni, a Kingpin in the New York mafia, Evelyn discovers that Frank is serving time in prison for running hooch and he owes Vincent a lot of money. In order to pay off her brother’s debt, Evelyn is thrown into the world of mobsters and bootlegging.

Between running hooch all over the city of New York and trying to save her brother, Evelyn finds herself drawn to Max Catalano, Vincent’s Consigliere. Even with secrets of his own, he’s the only one she can trust when she entangles herself in the middle of the New York mafia crime wars.

The book is on Sale for $0.99 from July 31 – August 4

Read my 4 paw review here

Excerpt

“Does it matter if I am doing all right or not?”

“It matters to me.”

Nervous energy itched through my skin.

It mattered to him?

“I don’t know how I’m supposed to stay here,” I said, ignoring his admission. “Any one of those bullets could have hit me by accident and a . . . a young man lost his . . . the three of you murdered him.”

“I never hit him. I never hit any of them. I shot in his direction, but it wasn’t my bullet that killed him.”

“How do you know that?”

“Because I know. I’m trained to know.”

“Well, I don’t care. All I care about is getting out of here. I’ve to get out of here. I’ve got to get away from Vincent and this house and whatever business that he’s involved in.”

I shoved past him and his arms wrapped around my waist. His shoulders towered over mine with an intense strength, and yet, a concerned passion and honesty that left me gasping for breath, He drew me into him. My heart thumped hard. My body trembled in his arms.

“You know you can’t leave.”

“How am I supposed to just pretend that nothing is wrong?”

“You pretend for Frank’s sake. You pretend to keep him alive and to keep you alive.”

Two truths I already knew, and yet, didn’t want to admit to myself. I wanted Vincent to pay for what he’d done to my family. I wanted him to sit in a prison cell behind iron bars like Frank, whose crime wasn’t even one-tenth as horrific as the crime he committed yesterday. I wanted him to squirm as he sat in a courtroom and listened as a judge sentenced him for murder.

Yet, no matter how much I wanted it, I knew the Kingpin, the boss of bosses, the powerful Vincent Giovanni would never see one ounce of punishment.

“I don’t know how I can,” I whispered.

Without any ounce of hesitation, his hands slid up my neck, cradling my cheeks. His body so close to mine, he pressed into me, weakening my knees. His lips brushed against my forehead for a moment, giving me a soft kiss before they traced down the side of my temple. His hot breath warmed my skin.

I closed my eyes and held my breath.

He jerked away from me, shaking his head as though someone had slapped him.

“I’m sorry, Evelyn. I shouldn’t have done that.”

“It’s all right,” I whispered, fighting my disappointment.

 

About the Author

Angela lives on a ranch with her husband, two daughters, and many farm animals. She was born and raised in Nevada, and grew up riding and showing horses from hunter jumper, English equitation, western pleasure, trail, and halter. While she doesn’t show anymore, she still loves to trail ride her paint horse, Honky. In December of 2007, she and her husband moved to Oklahoma.

From a young age, she always wanted to write a novel. However, she never believed she could write anything well enough for a publisher to even consider her. Every time the desire flickered, she shoved the thought from my mind until one morning, in 2009, she awoke with the determination to follow her dream.

In December 2014, Angela launched Long Valley Press.

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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on July 29, 2017

Cat About Town
Minotaur Books (August 1, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250072061
E-Book ASIN: B01N0Z4ZDP

Synopsis

The first novel in a frisky new mystery series set in a small New England town, where an unlikely citizen is called in to solve the purrfect crime. . .

Maddie James has arrived in Daybreak Island, just off the coast of Massachusetts, eager to settle down and start her own business—and maybe even fall in love. When a stray orange tabby pounces into her life, she’s inspired to open a cat café. But little does Maddie know that she’s in for something a lot more catastrophic when her new furry companion finds the dead body of the town bully. Now all eyes are on Maddie: Who is this crazy cat-whisperer lady who’s come to town? If pet-hair-maintenance and crime-fighting weren’t keeping her busy enough, Maddie now has not one but two eligible bachelors who think she’s the cat’s pajamas . . . and will do anything to win her heart. But how can she even think about happily-ever-after while a killer remains on the loose—and on her path?

 

About the Author

Cate Conte is the alter ego of Liz Mugavero. Liz is the author of the Pawsitively Organic Mystery series from Kensington Books, the first of which was an Agatha nominee for Best First Novel. As you can imagine, her canine and feline rescues demand the best organic food and treats around. She is a member of Sisters in Crime National, Sisters in Crime New England, Mystery Writers of America, and the Cat Writers’ Association. She currently lives in Connecticut.

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August 4 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW

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

Calamity at the Continental Club (Washington Whodunit)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Camel Press (July 1, 2017)
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1603813358

Synopsis

The Mayflower Society is about to hold its annual meeting at Washington D.C.’s swanky gathering place for the elite, the Continental Club. That means Kit Marshall’s upper-crust future in-laws, Buffy and Winston Hollingsworth, are coming for a visit. Annoyed that Kit has not set a date to marry Doug, Buffy wants her to commit to a high society wedding at the club. Kit, though chief of staff for a congresswoman, feels uncomfortable with Buffy and Winston’s crowd.

Kit receives an unexpected reprieve in the form of murder. En route to her morning jog, she encounters the corpse of the leader of the Mayflower Society, conservative multimedia tycoon Grayson Bancroft. On the security cameras, no one was seen entering or leaving the club, which means the culprit had to be an overnight guest. Little love was lost on Bancroft, but the police have their prime suspect: Doug’s father.

Buffy and Winston, formerly disdainful of Kit’s sleuthing, urge her to investigate. With her future in-laws’ freedom and reputations at stake, Kit sets out once again to solve a murder mystery, this time aided by her fiancé Doug in addition to her friends Meg and Trevor and her dog Clarence. Her search for clues will take her from the club to the Smithsonian Museum, the National Archives, and Mount Vernon.

Book 3 of the Washington Whodunit series, which began with Stabbing in the Senate and continued with Homicide in the House.

Guest Post

Museums, Archives, and Historical Homes:  Oh My!

The third installment of the Washington Whodunit series finds our amateur sleuth extraordinaire, Kit Marshall, in unfamiliar territory. Kit is a congressional staffer who deeply understands the haunts and characters of Capitol Hill. In Calamity at the Continental Club, Kit solves the murder of a billionaire Washington, D.C. cultural philanthropist. Consequently, her chase to find the killer takes her to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, the National Archives, and Mount Vernon. The cast of characters couldn’t be more different from the politicians she’s used to dealing with – but that doesn’t mean they’re less deadly.

I wrote this book at a time when I was making a transition in my own career. From 2005 until 2015, my “day job” revolved around providing policy analysis and support to Members of Congress. I worked in the United States Senate for almost three years and seven more at the Congressional Research Service. But then I switched gears and accepted a senior leadership position at the Library of Congress, focusing on the consolidation and promotion of the Library’s successful public programs. The new gig enabled me to learn about the challenges of cultural institution management, including exhibit design, visitor services, development, and educational/scholarly support. There’s still a lot to learn, and most days offer opportunities for growth and creativity. Above all, I like that my job is focused on finding ways that Americans of diverse backgrounds can interact with the Library’s tremendous collections and resources.

When I began to sketch the plot of my next mystery, it made a lot of sense to incorporate several of my favorite local cultural institutions. As part of the preparation for writing the book, I scoured each of the locations as a typical tourist, absorbing the sights and experiencing the crowds. Each site provides Kit with one or more clues about the identity of the killer, so be sure to pay special attention when she visits these historic Washington, D.C. gems.  I hope you like reading Calamity at the Continental Club as much as I enjoyed the on-the-ground research!

About the Author

colleen shoganColleen J. Shogan is a senior executive at the Library of Congress. She is the former deputy director of the Congressional Research Service and previously served as a staffer in the United States Senate. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American government at Georgetown University, Penn, and George Mason. Colleen is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She received her BA from Boston College and her doctorate from Yale. A member of Sisters in Crime, she lives in Arlington, Virginia, with her husband Rob Raffety and their rescue mutt, Conan. Her first book, Stabbing in the Senate, won the Next Generation Indie Award for Best Mystery in 2016.

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July 15 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

July 16 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

July 17 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

July 18 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 19 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

July 20 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

July 21 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

July 22 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

July 23 – Off

July 24 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

July 24 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

July 25 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST

July 26 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

July 27 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, GUEST POST

July 28 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on July 21, 2017

Killer Party (A Tourist Trap Mystery) 
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Lyrical Underground (July 18, 2017)
Paperback: 188 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1601836366
E-Book ASIN: B01M9EM56U

Synopsis

After a few months of living with her boyfriend Greg, Jill is still getting used to sharing such close quarters, but she’s got no hesitation about joining him for a weekend at South Cove’s most luxurious resort. While Greg and his college pals celebrate their buddy’s upcoming wedding, Jill intends to pamper herself in style. But when the groom is found floating facedown in the pool, Jill must find the killer fast, or she might not have a boyfriend to come home to any more . . .

Review

I’m not sure what it is with mysteries that I have read lately…but I never see the killer coming! (and yes I have said this several times lately!) With this book I’m trying to figure out who was involved and why, however I never figured this one out. The author does a great job of hiding clues (and there are some looking back) and throwing many red herrings in your path.

And of course I love seeing Jill and Greg’s relationship grow now that they have moved in together. There are a few moments where Jill continues to question the relationship, but she is coming along and accepting it more and more.

And it looks like there will be some new residents to South Cove.  Exciting!

We give this book 5 paws up.

About the Author

CahoonUSA Today and New York Times, best-selling author, Lynn Cahoon is an Idaho native. If you’d visit the town where she grew up, you’d understand why her mysteries and romance novels focus around the depth and experience of small town life. Currently, she’s living in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. She lives with her husband and four fur babies.

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

July 17 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

July 18 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

July 18 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

July 19 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW

July 19 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

July 20 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 20 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT

July 21 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

July 22 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW

July 22 – Brooke Blogs  SPOTLIGHT

July 23 – deal sharing aunt – SPOTLIGHT

July 24 – Varietats – REVIEW

July 24 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 25 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

July 25 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

July 26 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

July 27 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

July 27 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

July 28 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT

July 29 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

Posted in Guest Post, mystery, paranormal on July 20, 2017

New Sins for Old Scores
by Tj O’Connor
Black Opal Books (May 27, 2017)
Paperback 370 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1626946750
E-Book ASIN: B071S213GB

Synopsis

Murder, like history, often repeats itself. And, when it does, it’s the worst kind of murder.

Detective Richard Jax was never good at history—but, after years as a cop, he is about to get the lesson of his life. Ambushed and dying on a stakeout, he’s saved by Captain Patrick “Trick” McCall—the ghost of a World War II OSS agent. Trick has been waiting since 1944 for a chance to solve his own murder. Soon Jax is a suspect in a string of murders—murders linked to smuggling refugees out of the Middle East—a plot similar to the World War II OSS operation that brought scientists out of war-torn Europe. With the aid of a beautiful and intelligent historian, Dr. Alex Vouros, Jax and Trick unravel a seventy-year-old plot that began with Trick’s murder in 1944. Could the World War II mastermind, code named Harriet, be alive and up to old games? Is history repeating itself?

Together, Jax and Trick hunt for the link between their pasts—confronted by some of Washington’s elite and one provocative, alluring French Underground agent, Abrielle Chanoux. Somewhere in Trick’s memories is a traitor. That traitor killed him. That traitor is killing again. Who framed Jax and who wants Trick’s secret to remain secret? The answer may be, who doesn’t?

Guest Post

Who’s Sinning and Who’s Settling Old Scores?

Tj O’Connor

New Sins for Old Scores is my latest murder mystery with a paranormal twist—the twist is that one of the lead characters is dead. Yup, read it again. He’s dead. And this story is packed with a band of characters, each with their own agenda, and each trying to either sin or settle an old score. A couple are doing both. The secret to the story is, as you might guess, who’s sinning and who’s settling scores. When you find out who’s doing both, you’ll know who the killer(s?) is/are.

You see, I’m one of those authors who plot out the story and ready a cast of characters to do my dirty work. Schemers and dreamers, haters and lovers, do-gooders and killers. Unlike most authors, there are also the present-day players and the historic players—dead ones, too.

Like you’ve probably heard other authors say, once I start writing, my characters takeover and do what they want. No really, it happens. I start out with a cast and each one has a story to tell—the story I plotted out for them. By the time I’m done with the first draft, they’ve gone their own way and created their own stories, often ignoring me completely. Some of them do a better job than I can, too. Some of them I had high-hopes for have become evil and dastardly and have gone and sinned on their own. Others, well, they are in the midst of settle scores that I didn’t even know existed.

Before I give you a snapshot of these page-players, let me explain what New Sins for Old Scores is about—at least, on the surface:

Murder, like history, often repeats itself. And when it does, it’s the worst kind of murder.

Detective Richard Jax was never good at history. Now, after years as a cop, he was about to get the lesson of his life.

As Jax lay dying after being ambushed at an old inn on a stakeout, he’s saved by Captain Patrick “Trick” McCall—the ghost of a World War II OSS agent. Trick has been waiting since 1944 for a chance to solve his own murder and prove he wasn’t a traitor. Soon, Jax is a suspect in a string of murders. The murders are linked to smuggling refugees out of the Middle East—a plot similar to the World War II “Operation Paperclip,” an OSS operation that brought scientists out of war-torn Europe. With the aid of a beautiful and brilliant historian, Dr. Alex Vouros, Jax and Trick unravel a seventy year-old plot that began with Trick’s murder in 1944. Could the World War II mastermind, code named Harriet, be alive and up to old games? Is history repeating itself?

Together, they hunt for the link between their pasts, confronted by some of Washington’s elite and one provocative, alluring French Underground agent, Abrielle Chanoux. Somewhere in Trick’s memories is a traitor. That traitor killed him. That traitor is killing again.

Who framed Jax and who wants Trick’s secret to remain secret? The answer may be, who doesn’t?

New Sins for Old Scores is my fourth published novel. It was written a few years ago in the middle of another series I was writing—Oliver Tucker’s Gumshoe Ghost (I hate that moniker) mysteries. Since, I’ve also completed my thriller, The Consultant: Double Effect that will be out in May, 2018 from my new publisher, Ocean View Publishing. Each of these stories has been plot driven with strong characters that always have secrets to hide. In each, I provided the plot and my characters jump in and do the rest. Oh, I give them all names like Jax and Trick (New Sins), Tuck and Angel (The Gumshoe Ghost), and Jonathan Hunter who is The Consultant.  With each of these, I drafted the outline and the characters drove the story chapter-by-chapter and character-by-character. By the end of my novels, the characters had become people I didn’t even recognize—the good ones and the evil ones. New Sins for Old Scores was no exception. Let me give you a peak at who’s who in my stories.

Special Agent Richard Jax and OSS Captain Patrick “Trick” McCall: New Sins centers on these two accidental partners joined in the chasm of 75 years. Jax must come to terms with being the chief suspect in a double murder. He’s lost his love, his best friend, his career, and perhaps his mind—he’s seeing and taking advice from the spirit of Capt. Trick McCall, after all. Yet, Trick doesn’t quite see their friendship as a problem what so ever. Sure, he’s dead and all, but he’s a 1940’s man and who else can help solve a 75 year old murder case? Especially when it’s his! Trick must adjust to the modern day—2011—with computers and cell phones, the internet, and of course, the casual, often risqué lifestyle of the 21st century. Both men are hunting killers. The question is, is it the same one?

Surrounding Jax’s homicide investigation is the Virginia Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) Task Force. Once his friends and colleagues, they’re now a collection of the trusted and the devious. First, there’s Mike Martinez, the BCI chief. He and Jeremy Levin—a Princeton Lawyer who oddly joined the state police—are under the spell of FBI Agent H.P. MacTavish. MacTavish is a duplicitous figure who arrived right after Jax’s ambush with claims of WWII treason and all the while hiding behind the veil of national security. Then there’s Detective Dylan Finch, a local sheriff’s deputy thrown into the mix. Finch clearly doesn’t want to be part of the circus. He doesn’t trust any of the BCI agents and while he’s worried about the BCI finding the killer, he has his own agenda that is more important. The wild card on the Task Force is Christie Krein. She’s young, pretty, smart, and doesn’t believe for a moment that Jax is a murderer. She also doesn’t believe he’s seeing ghosts. Throughout the story, each of these characters is hiding secrets and each has their own reason to be chasing the killer—or protecting him. They all have one thing in common: they think Jax is a little crazy.

Just when Jax thinks he understands what’s happening around him—Trick McCall included—Professor Alexandra “Alex” Vouros appears. Alex is as beautiful as she is brilliant, and yes, she has her own agenda, too. Alex is searching for evidence to prove or disprove Trick McCall’s innocence as a traitor and murderer back in 1944. She’s in league with John H. Singleton—one of the few survivors from Trick’s failed attempt to capture Harriet, the elusive double-agent responsible for smuggling illegal Nazi’s into the US during the war. Singleton, along with other OSS survivors, all have a stake in the outcome of Alex’s research. The trouble is each one wants a different outcome, for a different reason. Each is willing to do anything to get their way. Not all of them want Harriet’s true identity discovered. All of them want the past to remain in the past. Secret. Gone. Dead.

Finally, there is young Ameera, a pretty Afghani refugee being secreted from safehouse to safehouse by a gang of Latino thugs. She and her family are on the run and their only protection is the dangerous street gang, the Salvadorian Muchachos. Ameera faces danger at each turn and she’s not sure which is the most threatening, those hunting her or the Muchachos protecting her. But she knows the secrets connecting 1944 and Richard Jax—who the murderer is and who was there to cover it up.

Now, after reading about these characters in New Sins for Old Scores, you might be thinking I’ve got too many characters. I don’t think I do. In a murder mystery, having too few makes it easy to figure out whodunit. Right? In New Sins, because of the historical subplots, you have to figure out whodunit now and whodidit then. So the more characters the better.

Of this band of characters—past, present, and those living and dead—there are those still sinning and those settling old scores. The question is—who’s who? The answer is not what you think.

About the Author

Tj O’CONNOR IS THE GOLD MEDAL WINNER OF THE 2015 INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS BOOK AWARDS (IPPY) FOR MYSTERIES. He is the author of New Sins for Old Scores, from Black Opal Books, and Dying to KnowDying for the Past, and Dying to TellHis new thriller, The Consultant, will be out in May 2018 from Oceanview Publishing. Tj is an international security consultant specializing in anti-terrorism, investigations, and threat analysis—life experiences that drive his novels. With his former life as a government agent and years as a consultant, he has lived and worked around the world in places like Greece, Turkey, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, and throughout the Americas—among others. He was raised in New York’s Hudson Valley and lives with his wife and Lab companions in Virginia where they raised five children. Dying to Know is also the 2015 Bronze Medal winner of the Reader’s Favorite Book Review Awards, a finalist for the Silver Falchion Best Books of 2014, and a finalist for the Foreword Review’s 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award.

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July 10 – Student of Opinions – REVIEW

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July 13 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 14 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

July 15 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

July 16 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

July 17 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

July 18 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW

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

July 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

July 21 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

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