Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on November 16, 2017

Murder by the Barrel (A Libby Sarjeant Murder Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
18th in Series
Accent Press Ltd (October 5, 2017)
Paperback: 320 pages

Synopsis

A new title in the popular cosy crime series by bestselling author Lesley Cookman

When the sleepy village of Steeple Martin announces its first beer festival, the locals are excited. Beer, sun and music, what could possibly go wrong?

But when an unexpected death shakes the village, it’s up to Libby Sarjeant to solve the puzzle.

Was it just another rock star death or is there something more sinister afoot?

About the Author

Lesley started writing almost as soon as she could read, and filled many exercise books with pony stories until she was old enough to go out with boys. Since she’s been grown up, following a varied career as a model, air stewardess and disc jockey, she’s written short fiction and features for a variety of magazines, achieved an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Wales, taught writing for both Kent Adult Education and the WEA and edited the first Sexy Shorts collection of short stories from Accent Press in aid of the Breast Cancer Campaign.  The Libby Sarjeant series is published by Accent Press, who also publish her book, How to Write a Pantomime, with a foreword by Roy Hudd.   Lesley is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors and the Crime Writers’ Association.

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

November 13 – Valerie’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

November 14 – Varietats – REVIEW

November 14 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

November 15 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

November 15 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

November 16 – Deal Sharing Aunt – SPOTLIGHT

November 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 17 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – REVIEW

November 18 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

November 19 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, Monday, mystery, Review on November 13, 2017

Canal Days Calamity (A Dog Days Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Midnight Ink (November 8, 2017)
Paperback: 240 pages

Synopsis

Cameron Cripps-Hayman is taken aback when she stumbles upon another murdered neighbor, this time behind her sister’s shop, Dog Diggity. The timing couldn’t be worse, as there’s only a week left before the store’s grand opening during Canal Days, the biggest festival of the year.

When the police arrest her handyman, Cameron knows they’ve got the wrong suspect, so the Metamora Action Agency sets their sights on cracking the case. With one solved murder under their belts, how hard could a second be?

With a flood warning and a murderer on the loose threatening the start of Canal Days, can Cameron and her crew save the town’s annual dog and pony show from being canceled?

Review

I remember reading the first book and thinking this was going to be a good series…and I was right! The second book was a little better than the first (in my opinion), the characters a little more fleshed out and a continuing story line with Cam, her husband Ben, her sister Monica, her stepdaughter Mia and a few other wacky characters.

Part of what I like about this book are all the dogs…but in this particular book there is Mike the Duck that steals the spotlight. I think he is trying to become a part of the pack!

There is murder, romance and even some fortune telling! And let’s not forget the dog treat recipes at the end of the book. I must try these sometime for my dog, I know she would love them.

I also really liked that after the mystery was solved there was quite a bit more that happened in relation to Canal Days and the town. Sometimes books stop soon after the mystery is solved but this one tied up some loose ends.

We give it 4 paws up.

jamie-blairAbout the Author

Jamie Blair (Ohio) is the award-winning author of young adult and romance books, including Leap of Faith (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and Lost to Me.

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November 8 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

November 9 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

November 9 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

November 10 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

November 10 – Mythical Books – GUEST POST

November 11 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

November 11 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

November 12 – The Montana Bookaholic – SPOTLIGHT

November 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

November 13 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

November 13 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

November 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 14 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT

November 15 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

November 16 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 16 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

November 17 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

November 17 – Books a Plenty Book Review – REVIEW

November 18 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

November 18 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 19 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

November 19 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 20 – Valerie’s Musings – INTERVIEW

November 21 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST

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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on November 12, 2017

King Harald’s Snow Job (King Harald Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Conger Road Press (August 1, 2017)
Paperback: 302 pages

Synopsis

It’s early December and Andy Skyberg is itching to blow town for a weekend of holiday cheer with old friends—including a date with an attractive divorcée who thinks he’s hot.

But first, Aunt Bev needs a teensy bit of help. She’s managing the Girls’ Weekend Out event at the Beaver Tail Resort and could use some extra muscle. Andy figures he can spare a few hours before hitting the road.

Mother Nature, though, has other plans. A giant blizzard makes an unexpected turn. Andy and his pooch King Harald find themselves snowbound—in a hotel full of hard-partying women, stranded travelers, a hockey team, a man-eating novelist, a belligerent blogger, and one violent, devious jewel thief.

Before you know it, man and mutt are up to their noses in another case. It’s a winter wonderland of fast-paced fun and merry madness, as the sleuthing duo dig out from King Harald’s Snow Job.

Guest Post

Blizzard Buddies

In my newest mystery, my human and doggy sleuths find themselves snowbound at a luxury resort when a powerful blizzard makes an unexpected turn and socks them in. As they investigate a jewelry theft and assault in the resort, outside the snow is going sideways and piling up inch-by-inch and dangerous wind chills set in. Roads are closed and no one is going anywhere for a while.

Anyone who’s lived in a northern climate—as I have all my life—knows what it’s like when a foot or two of snow comes blasting in. With modern weather reporting, we have enough advance warning to gas up the snow blower, pull out the roof rake, and buy enough food to feed a Super Bowl party. As the white stuff comes down, and keeps coming, a certain resentment arises in one’s breast. How dare Mother Nature keep me away from the symphony concert tonight! Doesn’t she know I have important things to do?

But watching the billions of flakes (probably a lot more, actually) coat everything in white is a bit like taking a natural tranquilizer—it slows your tempo and induces calm. You accept that there’s nothing you can do until the storm winds down. It’s a great time for popcorn and a double feature. Or a cozy-reading marathon. Or whipping up a feast. Or yakking on the phone with friends.

Actually, my favorite part comes when the action’s over and weather radar’s big blue blob has moved on east. Then I get to sally forth with my orange plastic shovel (I prefer plastic; snow slides off easier) and commiserate with the folks I call my “blizzard buddies.” Some of them are neighbors I rarely see, so we get to catch up a little. Others just like to chew the fat, as we stand leaning on our shovels. I have fond memories of good post-blizzard chats with neighbors now long gone.

I especially remember the guy down at the south end of our alley, where I would trudge to clear the alley mouth. (That’s where you are most apt to get stuck in snow, transitioning from alley to street.) We talked about all kinds of stuff, from the work we were doing to his days in the navy back in WWII. I still kind of miss him. Funny thing was, though, après-blizzard was the only time I talked with him. Otherwise, it was just a wave driving by.

A good blizzard—however inconvenient—is much like Robert Frost’s celebrated fence that makes good neighbors. It brings us closer together, with a mutual cause, for at least a day. And unlike things like hurricanes and tornadoes and floods, it’s not likely to kill you, unless you take foolish risks.

And a big ol’ blizzard makes a great conversation piece that lasts a lifetime. I mean, did I ever tell you about the Great Halloween Blizzard of ’91? I went out and measured 34 inches in my backyard. It took days to shovel all that white stuff. Why, we were stuck in the house so long that…

About the Author

RichardAudryRichard Audry is the pen name of D. R. Martin. As Richard Audry, he is the author of the King Harald Canine Cozy mystery series and the Mary MacDougall historical mystery series. Under his own name he has written the Johnny Graphic middle-grade ghost adventure series, the Marta Hjelm mystery, Smoking Ruin, and two books of literary commentary: Travis McGee & Me; and Four Science Fiction Masters.

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November 1 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – COZY WEDNESDAY

November 2 –  Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 3 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

November 4 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

November 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

November 6 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

November 6 –  Queen of All She Reads  – SPOTLIGHT

November 6 –  View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

November 7 – Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf – REVIEW

November 7 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

November 8 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW

November 8 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

November 9 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

November 10 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

November 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

November 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on November 12, 2017

Much Ado About Murder: A Shakespeare in the Catskills Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (November 7, 2017)
Hardcover 265 Pages

Synopsis

Costume designer Charlotte Fairfax has another murder on her hands as she prepares for the latest performance of the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company, Much Ado About Nothing. The company’s steady growth enables them to cast star British actress Audrey Ashley, who arrives on scene to play the lead role of Beatrice. But things immediately get more complicated when Audrey insists the company replace the current director with new, up and coming British director Edmund Albright.

Edmund plans to change the popular romantic comedy, which alienates several people associated with the production. And the list of people he upsets only grows: the laid off former director, the hotel owner’s secretary, and even Audrey herself. Just as Edmund’s plans are about to come to fruition, his body is discovered on his sofa, holding a gun in his hand. His death is quickly ruled a suicide but Charlotte thinks otherwise. Why would Edmund, on the brink of greatness, kill himself? And in such an American way?

With a whole cast of characters to investigate, Charlotte is determined to unmask each one before it’s final curtain call on the whole production in award-winning author Elizabeth J. Duncan’s third Shakespeare in the Catskills mystery, Much Ado About Murder.

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Guest Post

How Charlotte Fairfax and the Catskills Shakespeare Company came to be

The germ of the idea for Charlotte Fairfax, costume designer/amateur sleuth in the Shakespeare in the Catskills series, came when I was dog walking in Toronto with my friend Marlene. Occasionally we spotted a friendly-looking, middle-aged woman walking a little terrier, and Marlene pointed her out to me.

“That’s Sandra,” Marlene said. “She used to work in the costume department at Stratford.” That’s Stratford, Ontario, Canada, not Stratford Upon Avon, England, but never find. The Stratford Festival in Ontario mounts a season of fine Shakespeare plays every summer.

A woman who works in classical theatre, in costume design. Hmm. Now that’s an intriguing idea for a main character, I thought.  Fabrics? Interesting. Shakespeare? Bottomless. And she’d be at the heart of the theatre company, creatively involved, able to go anywhere, talk to anyone, and yet she’s in the background. Not quite invisible, and not quite front and centre, as an actress would be. Just there.

I pictured this character in her workroom, fitting a costume on an arrogant actor, while he completely ignored her. Or offering a bit of comfort to an unhappy actress, and slipping in a few pointed questions alongside the tea and sympathy.

What you’re looking for in a protagonist is a deep well from which to draw, and a compelling assortment of possibilities that all come together to excite you as an author. If they don’t, this character probably isn’t going anywhere.

I was excited about this character, and wanted to work with her, but had no projects where I could use her, and didn’t even have a name for her. But I made a few notes, and then tucked her away, knowing that her time would likely come. The great thing with writers is that few ideas are ever wasted.

And then, a couple of years later, Crooked Lane Books was looking for a new series, and I was invited to pitch a few ideas. I offered several concepts, including a proposed series that would feature a costume designer in the Shakespeare theatre in Stratford, Ontario.

Crooked Lane liked the costume designer, liked the Shakespeare, but suggested that the series be set in the Catskills. When I did a little research, and realized how revitalized and up and coming the Catskills are, the setting turned out to be perfect.

So I fleshed out my costume designer. She’s English, and began her career with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford Upon Avon.  She’s in her early forties. She’s smart and attractive. I like her. And finally, I gave her a name. I decided to call her Charlotte Fairfax. It just seemed to suit her.

So if you’ve ever wondered where authors get their ideas, sometimes it all starts with a friend pointing out a woman across the street walking her small dog.

Unfortunately, Sandra moved away before any of the Shakespeare in the Catskills books were published, and I never got the chance to thank her for being the inspiration for the amateur sleuth in my new series.

But as a little tribute, Charlotte Fairfax has a small dog, and if you visit Jacob’s Grand Hotel in upstate New York, home of the Catskills Shakespeare Company, you may just catch a glimpse of the two of them. If you do, be sure to give them a little wave.

 

About the Author

Elizabeth J Duncan is the author of two mystery series – Shakespeare in the Catskills and the Penny Brannigan mystery series set in North Wales. She is a two-time winner of the Bloody Words Award for Canada’s best light mystery and lives in Toronto.

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November 2 –  Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 3 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

November 4 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 5 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

November 6 – Valerie’s Musings – INTERVIEW

November 7 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

November 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

November 9 – Bea’s Book Nook – REVIEW

November 10 – The Montana Bookaholic – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 11 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

November 13 – Varietats –  GUEST POST

November 13 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

November 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 14 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 15 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on November 11, 2017

Of Spice and Men: A Pancake House Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Alibi (November 7, 2017)
Print Length 280 pages

Synopsis

Lights. Camera. Murder? Wildwood Cove’s star turn is soured by a sneaky killer in this delicious cozy mystery from the USA Today bestselling author of The Crêpes of Wrath.

Bonus content: includes original recipes inspired by the Flip Side Pancake House menu!

With a Hollywood film crew in town to shoot a remake of the horror classic The Perishing, the residents of Wildwood Cove are all abuzz. Even Marley McKinney, owner of The Flip Side Pancake House, can overlook the fact that the lead actress, Alyssa Jayde, happens to be an old flame of her boyfriend. After all, the crew loves Marley’s crêpes—so much so that Christine, the head makeup artist, invites her onset for a behind-the-scenes tour. But when Marley arrives, the special-effects trailer is on fire . . . with Christine inside.

The cops quickly rule Christine’s death a murder, and Alyssa a suspect. Marley’s boyfriend insists that the actress is innocent, but when Marley sticks her nose into the complicated lives of The Perishing’s cast and crew, she discovers more questions than answers. It seems that everyone has a hidden agenda—and a plausible motive. And as the horror spills over from the silver screen, Marley gets a funny feeling that she may be the killer’s next victim.

Sarah Fox’s addictive Pancake House Mysteries can be enjoyed together or à la carte:
THE CRÊPES OF WRATH | FOR WHOM THE BREAD ROLLS | OF SPICE AND MEN

Guest Post

The Pancake House Mysteries follow the adventures of Marley McKinney, amateur sleuth and owner of The Flip Side pancake house in the seaside town of Wildwood Cove, Washington. Marley searches for clues and solves murders while serving meals and chatting with customers. The Flip Side’s chef, Ivan Kaminski, is a wizard in the kitchen, and diners have a long list of delicious breakfast foods to choose from whenever they come in for a meal. While I have several favorite dishes from The Flip Side’s menu, the following are my top four.

Maple Pecan Sticky Rolls

When Ivan added these to The Flip Side’s menu, they were an instant hit. Deliciously gooey with an incredible blend of cinnamon, maple, and pecans, Marley has serious trouble resisting these sticky rolls whenever a batch comes out of Ivan’s oven, and I can’t blame her one bit.

Strawberry Vanilla Pancakes

I have to make these at least once each year during strawberry season. The flavors of the fresh strawberries and vanilla blend perfectly together. Delicious with or without maple syrup, I will happily eat these pancakes for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Pumpkin Waffles

These waffles are a fall favorite of mine, although I’ve been known to indulge in them at other times of year as well. They have just the right amount of pumpkin flavor and when topped with maple syrup they’re absolutely scrumptious. I probably eat these waffles for dinner as often as I do for breakfast. At The Flip Side, pumpkin waffles are a popular seasonal item, available from the beginning of October into December.

Pumpkin Pie Crêpes

This is probably my all-time favorite item from The Flip Side’s menu. Another seasonal item, these crêpes keep the customers coming back for more and more and more. I love to eat these crêpes for brunch or dessert, but they can be enjoyed as a sweet breakfast as well. Topped with whipped cream, The Flip Side’s pumpkin pie crêpes are absolutely heavenly.

If you’d like to enjoy these delicious breakfast foods, the recipes for The Flip Side’s strawberry vanilla pancakes and maple pecan sticky rolls can be found in the second Pancake House Mystery, For Whom the Bread Rolls. The recipes for pumpkin waffles and pumpkin pie crêpes can be found in the third and latest book in the series, Of Spice and Men.

About the Author

Sarah Fox was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she developed a love for mysteries at a young age. When not writing novels or working as a legal writer, she is often reading her way through a stack of books or spending time outdoors with her English Springer Spaniel.

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November 6 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

November 6 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

November 7 – A Blue Million Books  – INTERVIEW

November 8 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

November 8 – Book Babble – REVIEW

November 9 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 9 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

November 10 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

November 10 – Reading Reality – REVIEW

November 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

November 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

November 12 – Varietats – REVIEW

November 12 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

November 13 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

November 13 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

November 14 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

November 14 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT

November 15 – Writing Pearls – REVIEW

November 15 – deal sharing aunt – INTERVIEW

November 16 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

November 16 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW

November 17 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

November 18 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 19 – Carole’s Book Corner – REVIEW

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

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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on November 11, 2017

Dressed To Kill: An Antique Hunters Mystery
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Tedeschi Publishing (October 12, 2017)
Print Length: 177 pages

Synopsis

In 1865, Elizabeth Keckley, Mary Todd Lincoln’s dressmaker, conspired to change the course of the Civil War. Crossing lines between North and South, the band of conspirators wove a plan that remained undiscovered for more than 150 years until Antique Hunter Anne Hillstrom finds one of Keckley’s gowns. She and fellow Antique Hunter CC Muller unravel the mystery that has left a trail of dead bodies, leading to the doorstep of their antique store, Great-Aunt Sybil’s Attic.

Dressed to Kill is the fifth book in the Antique Hunters Mystery Series. Rooted in history, the series reimagines real-life events blurring the line between fact and fiction.

About the Author

vicki vassWith a passion for shopping and antiques, Vicki Vass turned in her reporter’s notebook to chronicle the adventures of Anne and CC, two antique hunters who use their skills to solve a murder case.

Vicki has written more than 1,400 stories for the Chicago Tribune as well as other commercial publications including Home & Away, the Lutheran and Woman’s World. Her science fiction novel, The Lexicon, draws on her experience in Sudan while writing about the ongoing civil war for World Relief.

She lives in the Chicago area with her husband, writer and musician Brian Tedeschi, son Tony, Australian shepherd Bandit, kittens Terra and Pixel, seven koi and Gary the turtle.

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November 1 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

November 2 –  Valerie’s Musings – INTERVIEW

November 3 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 4 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 5 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

November 6 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

November 7 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 8 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 9 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 10 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – GUEST POST

November 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

November 13 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW

November 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 14 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on November 9, 2017

Broken Promises (A Past Imperfect Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Between the Lines Publishing (August 15, 2017)
Print Length: 212 pages

Synopsis

Julia was in a search of a way out…a way back to herself.

The passing of her favorite aunt sends her to the small artist town of Grand Marais, nestled along the northern coast of Lake Superior. There she starts to weave the tattered threads of a new life, rediscovering her love of sketching, while running the antique shop, Past Imperfect. Everything is finally going right. Until a mysterious package arrives, tucked inside is an ornate silver letter opener bearing the initials E.C. along with an even more mysterious note. Julia’s natural curiosity piqued, but before she can discover who sent the letter opener, it’s found embedded in Tom Peterson’s chest. The tapestry of her new life begins to unravel as she is named a prime suspect. Now, left with few clues and a past not willing to let her go, Julia works to solve the mystery and the murder.

Infidelity through time and a curse that only she can break – once she figures out how.

Guest Post

Hi, I’m Julia Crawford and I own the Past Imperfect Antique shop in Grand Marais. If you’d told me a year ago that I would move to the North Shore, living just fifty feet from Lake Superior, to run an antique shop, I would have told you, you were crazy. Then again, maybe that’s how she wanted to happen. The she, I refer to is my Aunt Sadie. She owned the shop before passing away a few months ago. That’s how I came to be here. She left it to me. Aunt Sadie was a special lady. She just knew what someone needed, even if they didn’t know themselves. In my case, she knew I needed a change from an unhappy marriage. Have you ever found yourself doing something you swore you’d never do? Well, that’s what my marriage to Graham was. I was an artist, well-received by a few galleries and a full scholarship for graduate school in New York. It was like a dream come true. The idea of being in the middle of New York City, studying art and art history, and spending time at the Met. It was everything I wanted, but I never got there. Instead, I allowed myself to give in to Graham’s gently expressed concerns. That was the day I started to disappear. Julia the artist become Julia the wife. Being a wife isn’t a bad thing, but you should have something for yourself. My sketch pad and paints were replaced with china.

Ten years later, enter Aunt Sadie. I was devastated when I got the call about her unexpected death. She was the one person who understood and celebrated me for me. She loved antiques and used to make up stories about them when I was a child. I could happily listen to her stories for hours. Aunt Sadie pushed me to apply for graduate school. I think she could see what I was blind to. It’s true what they say, changes in latitude can bring changes in attitude. It took only a few days among the wonderful people here, for me to discover home.

Now sitting on the large flat rocks of Artist Point, I feel her sitting next to me, watching the afternoon tide crash against the rocks and saying, “It’ll all be alright now.” She’s right, I call this small artist community home. If you find yourself driving north along Highway 61, stop by and visit. The shop has something for everyone. If you find the “gone fishing” sign in the window, take the short walk to the water break, you’ll find me sitting on the largest red stone with my sketch pad. I’m happy to open the shop up anytime.

About The Author

Anne has always loved the North Shore, especially Lake Superior near Grand Marais. She lives there with her husband and two children. When bringing the Past Imperfect series together, Anne couldn’t think of a better place to have Julia’s shop. If you find yourself traveling through, stop by Artist Point, you may just find her sitting on the rocks.

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November 6 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

November 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

November 7 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

November 7 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

November 8 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

November 8 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 9 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 9 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

November 10 – Deal Sharing Aunt – INTERVIEW

November 10 – Lori’s Reading Corner – GUEST POST

Posted in Giveaway, mystery, romance on November 8, 2017

BOMBSHELL

(What Doesn’t Kill You, #9)

An Ava Romantic Mystery

by

PAMELA FAGAN HUTCHINS

  Genre: Romantic Mystery / R-Rated

Publisher: SkipJack Publishing

Date of Publication: July 11, 2017

Number of Pages: 236

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Temp worker by day, lounge singer by night, single mom Ava is having a hard time breaking up with her long-distance boyfriend and making it without the support of her parents on the island of St. Marcos. Things improve dramatically when she lands a too-good-to-be-true job at a virtual currency exchange, where she meets a seriously sexy man, and goes to work for a boss so incredible he sponsors her on a trip to New York to record a demo. But when Ava stumbles across the raped and murdered body of a young woman, she recognizes her from a shared trauma back in their school days. Ava is devastated and throws herself into avenging the girl’s death. From that moment on, it’s one bombshell after another, going off closer and closer to Ava and the people she cares about most.

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PRAISE FOR BOMBSHELL:

“Just when I think I couldn’t love another Pamela Fagan Hutchins novel more, along comes Ava. She’s smart and sassy, with a story full of juicy plot twists. I enjoyed Bombshell from cover to cover!” — Marcy McKay, author of Pennies from Burger Heaven 

“To finally get a whole book of Ava’s beautiful voice and attitude was so much fun. And then to see that her outer armor was mixed with the very real insecurities and struggles that we can all relate to was magical. She personifies bombshell in every sense of word and I can’t wait to have her voice in my head again in Stunner.” — Tara Scheyer, Grammy-nominated musician, Long-Distance Sisters Book Club

“Entertaining, complex, and thought-provoking.” — Ginger Copeland, power reader 

Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes overly long e-mails, award-winning and best-selling romantic mysteries, and hilarious nonfiction from deep in the heart of Nowheresville, Texas and way up in the frozen north of Snowheresville, Wyoming.

Her What Doesn’t Kill You romantic mystery series is Janet Evanovich meets Sandra Brown and a smidge of Alice Hoffman’s practical magic, featuring a revolving lineup of interrelated female amateur sleuths. She is passionate about great writing and smart authorpreneurship as well as long hikes with her hunky husband and pack of rescue dogs, riding her gigantic horses, experimenting with her Keurig, and traveling in the Bookmobile.

Website * Blog * Pinterest * Facebook * Twitter

    Instagram *  Goodreads * Amazon Author Page

 

AWARDS

2017 WINNER Silver Falchion Award, Best Mystery

2016 WINNER USA Best Book Award, Cross Genre Fiction

2015 WINNER USA Best Book Award, Cross Genre Fiction

2014 USA Best Book Award Finalist, Cross Genre Fiction

2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-finalist, Romance

2013 USA Best Book Award Finalist, Business: Publishing

2012 Winner of the Houston Writers Guild Ghost Story Contest

2012 WINNER USA Best Book Award, Parenting: Divorce

2011 Winner of the Houston Writers Guild Novel Contest, Mainstream

2010 Winner of the Writers League of Texas Manuscript Contest, Romance

 

—————————————–

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1-Nov Character Interview Hall Ways Blog
1-Nov Guest Post Books in the Garden
2-Nov Review Texan Girl Reads
3-Nov Video Interview Texas Book Lover
3-Nov Guest Post Books and Broomsticks
4-Nov Review Momma on The Rocks
5-Nov Review Tangled in Text
6-Nov Excerpt Reading by Moonlight
6-Nov Guest Post Forgotten Winds
7-Nov Review Syd Savvy
8-Nov Scrapbook Page StoreyBook Reviews
8-Nov Scrapbook Page The Librarian Talks
9-Nov Guest Post Blogging for the Love of Authors & Their Books
10-Nov Review Chapter Break Book Blog
10-Nov Review Missus Gonzo

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Posted in Cozy, excerpt, Giveaway, Monday, mystery on November 6, 2017

Scrapbook of Murder (An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Self Published (October 2, 2017)
Print Length: 171 pages

Synopsis

Crafts and murder don’t normally go hand-in-hand, but “normal” deserted craft editor Anastasia Pollack’s world nearly a year ago. Now, tripping over dead bodies seems to be the “new normal” for this reluctant amateur sleuth.

When the daughter of a murdered neighbor asks Anastasia to create a family scrapbook from old photographs and memorabilia discovered in a battered suitcase, she agrees—not only out of friendship but also from a sense of guilt over the older woman’s death. However, as Anastasia begins sorting through the contents of the suitcase, she discovers a letter revealing a fifty-year-old secret, one that unearths a long-buried scandal and unleashes a killer. Suddenly Anastasia is back in sleuthing mode as she races to prevent a suitcase full of trouble from leading to more deaths.

Excerpt

“Lupe called me at work this afternoon,” I told Zack. We had escaped after dinner to his apartment. Situated above my detached garage, it afforded us a spot out of earshot of my mother-in-law Lucille, whose contempt for Zack grew exponentially with each passing day. Being permanently saddled with the woman was hard enough on a good day. Today was not a good day.

Zack finished pouring two glasses of chardonnay and handed one to me. I wandered over to the sofa and curled up in the corner. He followed, taking a seat next to me. The seconds ticked by. He shifted his body to face me. I suppose he was waiting for me to say something further, but my brain had stopped sending signals to my mouth.

Zack continued to wait. And wait. And wait some more. Finally he asked, “Should I run an errand during this extremely long, pregnant pause, or are you planning to elaborate sometime soon?”

I heaved a sigh, then polished off half my wine before answering him. “She asked if she could come over this evening to talk.”

“About?”

I speared him with my best duh! look. “Isn’t it obvious?”

“You have to stop blaming yourself, Anastasia. You’re not responsible for what happened.”

Right. And the captain of the Titanic wasn’t responsible for steering his ship into a giant iceberg. “Carmen is dead because of me. How can Lupe not blame me?”

Lupe Betancourt is Carmen Cordova’s daughter. She grew up down the street from me. Years ago she occasionally babysat my boys. Now they often babysit her kids. Or they did. I doubt Lupe will want any of us Pollacks in her home ever again.

Two-and-a-half weeks ago Lawrence Tuttnauer, my mother’s sixth and latest husband, was arrested for orchestrating the cold-blooded murders of two of my neighbors, Lupe’s mother Carmen and Betty Bentworth. He’d never met either of them. His hit man had chosen them at random because Lawrence wanted my attention diverted from the suspicious death of his daughter Cynthia. I didn’t know it at the time, but I’d poked my nose into the wrong person’s business.

As it turned out, so had Cynthia, but she’d gone a step further and threatened her old man. So Lawrence did what any connected guy in New Jersey would do—he took out a contract on her. No Father of the Year Award for him.

Although I had no regrets over the role I’d played in bringing Lawrence Tuttnauer to justice, guilt consumed me regarding the deaths of Betty and Carmen—especially Carmen. Not that nasty Betty Bentworth deserved a bullet to the skull, but no one had shed any tears over her demise, unlike the neighborhood’s reaction to Carmen’s gruesome death days before Halloween.

It doesn’t help that every time I look at Lupe, I see a younger, thinner version of her mother. She’s a living reminder of my culpability in her mother’s death.

Mama and Lawrence married a month ago after a whirlwind courtship. She said he owned a commercial laundry. Turns out his enterprise laundered greenbacks, not linens, and he serviced only one client—the mob.

My name is Anastasia Pollack, and less than a year ago I led the life of a typical suburban, middle-class working mom. That all changed the day my husband dropped dead in a Las Vegas casino. I thought he was at a sales meeting in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I also thought we were debt-free with a comfortable nest egg squirreled away.

Instead, I discovered Karl Marx Pollack, now dubbed Dead Louse of a Spouse, had carried on a long-standing affair with Lady Not-So-Lucky. Karl not only gambled away our savings and our teenage sons’ college funds, he’d taken out a second mortgage on the house, failed to pay our taxes for the last few years, maxed out our credit cards, and allowed his life insurance policy to lapse.

Strapping me with debt equal to the gross national product of Uzbekistan wasn’t the worst of his sins, though. Nor was the homicidal loan shark he’d stiffed for fifty thousand dollars who demanded I pay up—or else. No, Karl’s worst sin was sticking me with a communist mother-in-law from Hades.

I stared into my half-empty wineglass, avoiding eye contact with Zack, and forced my brain out of stall-mode. “I asked Lupe to meet me here.”

“In my apartment?”

“I hope you don’t mind.”

The apartment used to be my home office. Zack is an award-winning photojournalist. Possibly a spy. Probably both. Anyway, prior to moving above my garage, he lived in Manhattan. However, he’d suffered through one too many police raids due to suspicious neighbors claiming he was operating a meth lab in his darkroom. He was on the hunt for a quiet suburban location without shared walls; I was desperate for rent money. The apartment over my garage fulfilled both of our needs.

Less than a year ago we were complete strangers. Now we’re much more—the one and only good thing to come out of Dead Louse of a Spouse’s betrayal.

“Do you want me to stay, or should I go run that errand?” asked Zack.

“You really have an errand to run?”

“No, but I’m sure I can find something to do.”

“Are you kidding? Don’t you dare leave me alone. I need all the moral support I can get.”

About The Author

USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry. newsletter at

Website * Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog * Twitter * Pinterest * Goodreads * Newsletter

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November 1 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

November 2 –  My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

November 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT

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

November 5 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 7 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT

November 8 – Varietats – REVIEW

November 9 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

November 10 – Jane Reads – REVIEW

November 11 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

November 12 – deal sharing aunt – INTERVIEW

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

November 14 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

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Comments Off on Excerpt & #Giveaway – Scrapbook of Murder by Lois Winston #MysteryMonday @Anasleuth
Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, Guest Post, Monday, mystery, Review on November 6, 2017

A Deadly Éclair: A French Bistro Mystery
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Crooked Lane Books (November 7, 2017)
Hardcover: 320 pages

Synopsis

It’s always been Mimi Rousseau’s dream to open her own bistro, but it seems beyond her grasp since she’s been chased back home to Nouvelle Vie in Napa Valley by her late husband’s tremendous debt. Until her best friend Jorianne James introduces her to entrepreneur Bryan Baker who invests in promising prospects. Now, working the bistro and inn until she’s able to pay it off and call it her own, Mimi is throwing the inn’s first wedding ever.

The wedding will be the talk of the town, as famous talk show host Angelica Edmonton, daughter of Bryan’s half-brother, Edison, has chosen the inn as her perfect venue. Anxious, Mimi is sure things are going to turn south, especially when Edison gets drunk and rowdy at the out-of-towners’ dinner, but by the evening, things begin to look up again. That is until six AM rolls around, and Bryan is found dead at the bistro with an éclair stuffed in his mouth. And the fingers point at Mimi, whose entire loan is forgiven in Bryan’s will.

Now it’s up to Mimi to clear her name and get to the bottom of things before the killer turns up the heat again in A Deadly Éclair, the scrumptious series debut by Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber.

Review

If it is possible to gain weight by reading a book then this might be the book that could make it happen! The restaurant is a French bistro and the food is inspired by the French so you know it has to be good. The descriptions had my mouth watering and imaging the dishes being served.

The story flows along quite well and the cast of characters seems to be well fleshed out and adds depth and dimension to the mystery plot. I think my favorite character might be Jo, she is a force to be reckoned with as Mimi’s manager and all around go to woman. She is a woman with a plan and doesn’t stop to question what might go wrong.

The mystery itself has multiple layers and many moving parts. There were many people to suspect for various reasons and the how and why that was revealed at the end was a surprise (to me at least).

I think this is going to be a great new series and especially since there are many recipes at the end of the book for us to try.

We give it 5 paws up.

Recipe

Traveling Meal

Madeleine cookies

For A Deadly Éclair, I wanted to include a cookie recipe that was simple to make yet pretty. I think cookies are always a bestseller at any party, don’t you?

I was reading up on French classics, and Madeleine cookies came to mind. They are cakelike cookies that are baked in special molds. I found my mold at William Sonoma—12 to a tin. The mold gives the cookie a delicate shell shape.

Now, according to one “account” (we know not all accounts are true), Louis XV named the cookie Madeleine to honor his father-in-law’s cook Madeleine Paulmier. He first tasted them in Lorraine in 1755 and introduced them to court, and they became the rage. True or not true? Do you care?

They are a perfect ending to a perfectly French meal.

FYI, this is our last stop on the traveling meal. Indulge yourselves! I’ve provided a regular and a gluten-free recipe. It’s also in the book! You have an exclusive first-look.

Last but not least, what is cardamom? I discovered that is a spice made from the seed pods of various plants in the ginger family. It has a strong, pungent flavor.  A substitute for cardamom is equal parts cinnamon and nutmeg.

Orange Cardamom Madeleines

(Makes 12)

For the cookies:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs

For the glaze:

  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

Directions

Brush molds of a madeleine pan with butter; set aside.

Make the batter:

  • Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat, and stir in honey and vanilla. Let cool 10 minutes.
  • In a small bowl whisk flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt; set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees, setting the rack in the center.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together sugar and eggs. Gently fold in the flour mixture until combined. Add the butter mixture and fold until combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared madeleine pan, filling each mold halfway. Tap pan on work surface to eliminate air bubbles. If necessary, use moistened fingers to press the batter into the mold.
  • Bake until cookies have puffed and the edges are golden, 7 to 8 minutes.
  • Transfer the madeleine pan to a wire rack; let the cookies cool slightly. Unmold the cookies onto a rack, and let cool completely.

Make the orange glaze:

In a small bowl, stir together sugar and orange zest and juice until the glaze is smooth and thick. Using a small pastry brush, paint the ridged side of each cookie with the glaze. Let set 15 minutes.

Cookies can be stored in a single layer in an airtight container up to 3 days.

 

Orange Cardamom Madeleines

Gluten-free Version

(Makes 12)

For the cookies:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sweet rice flour (or a gluten-free blend you enjoy)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum

For the glaze:

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

Directions

Brush molds of a madeleine pan with butter; set aside.

Make the batter:

  • Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat, and stir in honey and vanilla. Let cool 10 minutes.
  • In a small bowl whisk gluten-free flour, baking powder, cardamom, salt, and xanthan gum; set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees, setting the rack in the center.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together sugar and eggs. Gently fold in the gluten-free flour mixture until combined. Add the butter mixture and fold until combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared madeleine pan, filling each mold halfway. Tap pan on work surface to eliminate air bubbles. If necessary, use moistened fingers to press the batter into the mold.
  • Bake until cookies have puffed and the edges are golden, 7 to 8 minutes.
  • Transfer the madeleine pan to a wire rack; let the cookies cool slightly. Unmold the cookies onto a rack, and let cool completely.

Make the orange glaze:

In a small bowl, stir together sugar and orange zest and juice until the glaze is smooth and thick. Using a small pastry brush, paint the ridged side of each cookie with the glaze. Let set 15 minutes.

Cookies can be stored in a single layer in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Facebook Giveaway

From Daryl:

I’m offering a book giveaway (winner’s choice of 1 from my published paperbacks) every day of this traveling feast. To enter today, tell me what is your favorite cookie?

BY THE WAY, don’t miss out on the French Bistro-themed BOX I’m giving away on my Facebook Author page.

About the Author

DARYL WOOD GERBER writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mystery series featuring a cookbook store owner who is an avid reader and admitted foodie, set on the coast of California. As AVERY AAMES, she pens the Agatha Award-winning, nationally bestselling Cheese Shop Mystery series featuring a cheese shop owner amateur sleuth, set in the fictional town of Providence, Ohio. Daryl’s short stories have been nominated for the Agatha, Anthony, and other awards. Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense: Days of Secrets and Girl On the Run. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl has appeared in “Murder, She Wrote” and more.

Find Daryl here: Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

Find Avery here: Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

 

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November 1 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews

November 2 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

November 3 – Brooke Blogs

November 4 – A Holland Reads

November 5 – Jane Reads

November 6 – StoreyBook Reviews

November 7 – Back Porchervations