Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on November 4, 2017

Seashells, Spells & Caramels by Erin Johnson
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Self Published
Release Date – October 29, 2017
286 Pages

Synopsis

Imogen’s spent her twenties in Seattle, saving every penny and missing every party, to follow her dream of opening her own bakery.

When that dream goes up in flames, she accepts a spot in a mysterious baking contest—one she doesn’t remember entering. She travels to a bustling, medieval village off the coast of France and discovers an enchanting world of magic and mystery, and learns that she, too, possesses powers.

Unable to so much as cast a spell, Imogen struggles to keep up with the other witches and wizards who have come from all over the magical world to the Water Kingdom’s big competition. She juggles relationships with a sweet new friend, a snarky baking fire, and a brooding, handsome baker. As Imogen falls for this bewitching world, she fears she won’t master her magic in time to win the job of Royal Head Baker, and will be forced to return to the shambles of her non magical life.

It only gets worse, when a competitor drops dead in the middle of the big white baking tent, and Imogen’s the prime suspect. Now, she’ll not only have to survive the vampire and psychic judges, but also clear her name by finding the real murderer, before they strike again.

With a killer on the loose, a missing prince, and the Summer Solstice Festival fast approaching, Imogen will have to bake like her life depends on it- because it just might.

Review

I really enjoyed this first book in a new series. It is whimsical and intriguing at the same time. Plus it didn’t hurt that it was a easy and fast read. I didn’t want to put it down at night!

I can’t imagine going through life being adopted but not feeling really connected to anyone. That is the position Imogen is in…and then she meets some interesting people that convince her to enter a baking contest. Doesn’t matter that she has never heard of the country, she creates a delectable dessert and manages to win a spot. Of course it is one issue after another before she actually reaches where she needs to be for the contest. I don’t want to spoil anything so am not sharing too many details there. In a way it is like Imogen’s life is a mess but this could be a fresh start.

Imogen is definitely going through a discovery place in her life and ending up at the Water Kingdom is just a small part of it. There are mythical creatures and people that add character, so if you like paranormal you will probably enjoy this book. Imogen learns a lot about herself but not too much…I am hoping that perhaps her parents are from this Kingdom/world and she will find out more in upcoming books.

We give it 5 paws up!

Recipe

Erin was kind enough to share one of the recipes from the book with me to share with you!  These look delicious and I need to try them soon.

About the Author

A native of Tempe, Arizona, Erin spends her time crafting mysterious, magical, romance-filled stories that’ll hopefully make you laugh.

In between, she’s traveling, napping with her dogs, eating with her friends and family, and teaching Pilates (to allow her to eat more).

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October 29 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

October 29 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

October 29 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 30 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – INTERVIEW

October 30 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT

October 30 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

October 31 – Readsalot – RECIPE, SPOTLIGHT

October 31 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 31 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

November 1 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 1 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

November 1 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

November 1 – Celebrating Authors – SPOTLIGHT

November 2 –  The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW

November 2 –  Varietats – REVIEW

November 2 –  Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

November 3 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW

November 3 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – RECIPE

November 3 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 4 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW, RECIPE

November 4 – A Holland Reads – RECIPE, SPOTLIGHT

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

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, paranormal, Spotlight on November 2, 2017

DEATH IN D MINOR

by

ALEXIA GORDON

  Genre: Paranormal Mystery / African American Sleuth

Publisher: Henery Press

Date of Publication: July 11, 2017

Number of Pages: 236

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Gethsemane Brown, African-American musician and expatriate to an Irish village, solved a string of murders and got used to living with a snarky ghost. She can rest easy now. Right? Wrong. The ghost has disappeared, her landlord’s about to sell to a developer, and her brother-in-law’s come to visit. She scrambles to call her spectral roomie back from beyond and find a way to save the cottage from destruction. But real estate takes a backseat when her brother-in-law is accused of stealing a valuable antique. Gethsemane strikes a deal with an investigator to go undercover at a charity ball and snoop for evidence of a forgery/theft ring in exchange for the woman’s help clearing him. At the party, she accidentally conjures the ghost of an eighteenth-century sea captain, then ends up the prime suspect in the party host’s murder. She races to untangle a web of phony art and stolen antiques to exonerate herself, then the killer targets her. Will she bring a murderer to justice, or will her encore investigation become her swan song?

 

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PRAISE FOR DEATH IN D MINOR

Gethsemane Brown is everything an amateur sleuth should be: smart, sassy, talented, and witty even when her back is against the wall. In her latest adventure, she’s surrounded by a delightful cast, some of whom readers will remember from Gordon’s award-winning debut and all of whom they won’t forget. Gordon writes characters we want resurrected. – Cate Holahan, author of The Widower’s Wife and Lies She Told

Erstwhile ghost conjurer and gifted concert violinist Gethsemane Brown returns in this thoroughly enjoyable follow-up to last year’s Murder in G Major. Facing eviction from the historic seaside cottage she calls home, Gethsemane must clear her brother-in-law’s name – as well as her own – when a priceless artifact goes missing and the wealthy dowager to whom it belonged is “helped” over a high balcony railing.  With the help of a spectral sea captain she accidentally summoned, Gethsemane tries to unravel the mystery as the murderer places her squarely in the crosshairs. – Daniel J. Hale, Agatha Award-winning author

A writer since childhood, I put literary endeavors on hold to finish medical school and Family Medicine residency training. Medical career established, I returned to writing fiction. I completed SMU’s Writer’s Path program in Dallas, Texas. Henery Press published my first novel, Murder in G Major, book one of the Gethsemane Brown mysteries, in September 2016. Book two, Death in D Minor, releases July 11, 2017.

Murder in G Major won the Lefty Award for Best Debut Novel, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best New Novel, and was selected one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Debuts. I listen to classical music, drink whiskey, and blog at www.missdemeanors.com, voted one of Writers’ Digest magazine’s 101 best websites for writers, and featured on Femmes Fatales.

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GRAND PRIZESigned Copy of Death in D Minor + Whisky Field Guide, Sea Salt & Bay Rum soy candle, Notepad, $20 Starbucks Gift Card

2ND PRIZE: Signed Copy of Death in D Minor, Ceramic Skull Coffee Mug, $20 Amazon Gift Card

 

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25-Oct Review Hall Ways Blog
25-Oct Notable Quotable Texan Girl Reads
26-Oct Top 5 List Books and Broomsticks
27-Oct Review Momma On The Rocks
27-Oct Playlist 1 Texas Book Lover
28-Oct Review Chapter Break Book Blog
29-Oct Excerpt A Page Before Bedtime
30-Oct Author Interview The Librarian Talks
30-Oct Review Forgotten Winds
31-Oct Playlist 2 Syd Savvy
1-Nov Review Tangled in Text
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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on November 2, 2017

The Tarkington Treasure (The Charlotte Ross Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Self Published
Paperback: 338 pages

Synopsis

“In the world of logic, it’s always our assumptions that lead us astray.”

A spooky old house, rumors of a hidden Civil War treasure, a neighbor’s murder, and an ex-fiancé falling unconscious at her feet—Charlotte Ross has her hands full when she’s invited to stay at her friend, Jane Marshall’s home while her apartment is being renovated.

Jane and her new fiancé have sold everything to move to the large estate she’d just inherited near the small town in Illinois, where she grew up. She’s always loved the house, but the cost of living in, and fixing up, a deteriorating old mansion is more than both their incomes combined. If she can’t come up with the money for the next property tax payment, she’ll be forced to give it up.

Charlotte is intent on winning back her ex, but her efforts are stymied when he’s suspected of murder.

The two couples soon discover the rambling old house holds more than one secret when they join forces to find the real killer—and the elusive, Tarkington treasure.

Guest Post

Today we welcome Evelyn and she gives us her thoughts on if it is possible to get away with murder.  

How Do You Get Away With Murder?

I have to confess, as a mystery author I have no idea. When I write a mystery, I always have the solution in mind before I begin, and then I write the story around it, so that my villains never get away with murder. If they did, it wouldn’t be a very good end to the story… or would it? Characters in a novel sometimes do. In Agatha Christie’s, And Then There Were None, the murderer does get away.

As a former member of the Agatha Christie Society, I’ve dissected many of her novels. It was interesting to see how she thought about murderers. According to her, most murderers are thoroughly nice people. Just ordinary folks like you or me. Very often it turns out these nice, ordinary people were in a tight place, or they wanted something very badly and had to kill to get it because there seemed to be no other way.

What about hatred as a motive for murder, you might ask? She says: Highly unlikely. You wouldn’t go around murdering people just because you disliked them. You might feel like it, but you wouldn’t actually go through with the evil deed.

Would a jealous hatred be different? Yes: That arises out of passion and frustration. People more often kill those they love than those they hate. Possibly because only the people you love can make your life truly unbearable.

And then there are times when murder turns out to be purely accidental.

I’m sure you’ve read mysteries containing one of these motives for murder: people caught in a tight place, a jealous hatred, or a murder that was accidental. Each of my mysteries has at least one of these motives. The Tarkington Treasure, has two of them, but I’m not going to tell you which two they are. You’ll have to find that out for yourself.

About the Author

Evelyn Cullet has been an author since high school when she wrote short stories. She began her first novel while attending college later in life and while working in the offices of a major soft drink company. Now, with early retirement, she can finally write full time. As a life-long mystery buff, she was a former member of the Agatha Christie Society, and is a current member of the National Chapter of Sisters In Crime. She writes cozy mysteries with warm romance and a little humor. When she’s not writing mysteries, reading them or reviewing them, she hosts other authors and their work on her writer’s blog.  She also plays the piano, is an amateur lapidary, and an organic gardener.

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October 30 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

October 30 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

October 31 – Books,Dreams, Life – SPOTLIGHT

November 1 – Connie’s History Classroom – REVIEW

November 2 –  StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

November 3 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 4 – Laura’s Interests – GUEST POST

November 5 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

November 6 – Varietats – REVIEW

November 7 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

November 8 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on October 30, 2017

16 Millimeters: A Maizie Albright Humorous Mystery
Cozy Mystery/Romance
2nd in Series
Past Perfect Press (October 17, 2017)
Print Length: 320 pages

Synopsis

#StillAWannabeDetective In continuing her career-makeover quest as a for-real detective, ex-teen and reality star Maizie Albright has a big learning curve to overcome. A sleuthing background starring in a TV show— Julia Pinkerton, Teen Detective—does not cut the real life mustard. It doesn’t even buy her lunch, let alone extra condiments. Her chosen mentor, Wyatt Nash of Nash Security Solutions, is not a willing teacher. He’d rather stick Maizie with a safe desk job and handle the security solution-ing himself. But Maizie’s got other plans to help Nash. First, win Nash’s trust. Second, his heart.

Wait, not his heart. His respect. His hearty respect.

So when a major movie producer needs a babysitter for his hot mess starlet, Maizie eagerly takes the job. But when her starlet appears dead, and then not dead, Maizie’s got more than an actress to watch and a missing corpse to find. Body doubles, dead bodies, and hot bodies abound when the big screen, small screen, and silent screams collide. Maizie’s on the job, on the skids, and on thin ice, hunting a killer who may be a celebrity stalker. And Maizie just might be the next celebrity who gets snuffed.

Guest Post

“Georgiawood” Georgia: the new Hollywood

This is a story of how Hollywood can sneak up on you and the little world you live in. And how you can take the following events and about twenty years later use them in a book series.

About four miles from my house is Senoia, Georgia. When I first moved to the area from Atlanta back in 1999, Senoia — an old whistlestop town — had a few antique shops, a mom and pop hardware, a mom and pop furniture store, and a coffee shop on the main boulevard. At the time, Senoia was famous for a handful of movies — Fried Green Tomatoes and Driving Miss Daisy, namely. There was a small film studio there, Raleigh Studios, but you wouldn’t live in Senoia to break into the movie business. Most couldn’t tell you what Raleigh Studios did. You lived there because you were born there, homes were affordable, and/or you wanted to live in a quaint small town that had kept its Southern roots.

More movie people came. They made Sweet Home Alabama and a few other films. More businesses came to Senoia. We were thrilled to have a few restaurants and more shops. Other folks might have known AMC had scouted the location. I had no idea.

My family moved to Japan for two years in 2009, and when we returned, Senoia had a new line of buildings on the main street, built to look old in keeping with the town’s flavor. I had my professional author pics taken there because I loved Senoia and hoped to get some of that Southern flavor in the background (we mainly used an old brick wall while I’d hoped for a veranda).

Around that time, I heard this show Drop Dead Diva was filmed in my town, Peachtree City. I had never heard of the show, but I saw their fake courthouse every time I ate at one of my favorite restaurants, Mimi’s. Mimi said TV folks came in to eat. Wasn’t that interesting? We nodded and agreed. Although we never did see the TV people. We didn’t think. But at a local Starbucks, we did meet two young actresses who wanted to pet our puppy, Biscuit. My husband asked them if they had future career goals other than acting (because why would you be in our little neck of the world if you were an actress?) They smiled, said no, and moved on.

About 2011, the zombie people had moved to Senoia. They’d been filming around Georgia the year before —mainly Atlanta  — but the filming around Senoia was still relatively unknown. The next year, Zac Brown of Zac Brown Band opened a bar with live music to bring in income for his Camp Southern Ground Foundation charity. Senoia had two Southern Living Homes in two years. We vied for tickets to take tours of the homes. One, a brick townhouse with an elevator (!), was rumored to have been used by a director. Or a producer. Or someone in some kind of film business. We didn’t know. But it was pretty cool.

The Walking Dead took off in a big way. Little Senoia was suddenly cool.

We would go to Senoia to eat or shop and see the signs asking people not to mow their grass, because you know, no time for mowing during a zombie apocalypse. The main street was used in the town of Woodbury for the show. There was an actual fake building between real buildings. New houses were built on the other side of the tracks. And about three years later, a wall of corrugated metal was built around those homes. For the show. The set had changed. And suddenly there were tourists. Not the regular tourists who like to visit old towns in Georgia. These were fans of the show. They descended on Senoia like…hoards of zombies.

It was just so bizarre.

The local paper said that Pinewood Studios (we all had to look up Pinewood Studios —except my husband who remembers such trivia and recognized the name from Star Wars filming) was building a few miles away in the other direction. Near Fayetteville. And they were going to make movies there. Big movies. Like Spiderman, the Avengers, maybe an Angelina Jolie movie (I’m a little unclear if that was postulating by a friend or real). They bought a HUGE tract of land and a school. The school was new but not needed because of a shift in population. So we were happy the school went to good use and went on with our lives.

I learned the renters across the street were movie people after they moved out. My friend who works for Porsche USA said they were using the new Porsche headquarters for an Avengers set. And he saw all the Avengers. From far away. But he still saw them. However, Porsche USA is in Atlanta. And Atlanta has all kinds of stars. We were still removed. But then there was talk that maybe Sony Pictures was going to move in down here, too.

What was going on here? It was a little unreal. Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) and Chad Coleman (Tyreese) from TWD waved at my daughter’s bus as she passed by a temporary location set on her way to school. She didn’t know them, but other kids did. They’d built a temporary wall in front of our old subdivision. To keep out zombies.

About that time, I began to write 15 MINUTES. The first in my Maizie Albright Star Detective series, where the ex-celebrity returns to her hometown in rural Georgia. And learns she can’t escape Hollywood because Hollywood had moved to rural Georgia.

My family moved to Japan again for two years (something of a habit for us) and we returned this past May. Senoia has more new/old buildings and more shops and restaurants, including one owned by six of The Walking Dead folks. My BFF saw Thor (the actor who plays Thor) working out in her gym. When I shop in my Kroger, I spot hipsters and the organic section has grown four-fold. We heard AMC was buying little Raleigh Studio.

And in Senoia, there are more hoards. And tours. And the wall is still there, but now there are guards, keeping all these zombie tourists from getting into the walled area. Also, prices and traffic have increased. Everything looks a little more polished. There are moms at my children’s schools who look a little more flashy (but maybe that’s the old mom in me talking and that’s just how young moms look now).

And I find it all ripe for the picking in my Maizie Albright series. In my mind, money, power, and fame bring bigger crimes, although thankfully that hasn’t happened and hopefully it won’t, except in Maizie Albright’s Black Pine.

Thanks so much for having me on Storeybook Reviews. Has anything similar happened in your community?

SBR – Larissa so great to have you here today!  I’m in Texas and they do a lot of filming all across the state. Usually not too much of a problem, except when they block off streets in downtown Dallas or Fort Worth during a business day.  Makes it hard to get out and go home.  Thankfully that did not happen often.  And I loved that show, Drop Dead Diva!  I didn’t realize it had been filmed in Peachtree City.

larissa

About the Author

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

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October 17 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW

October 18 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW

October 18 – Celebrating Authors – SPOTLIGHT

October 19 – My Reading Journey – REVIEW

October 20 – Valerie’s Musings – GUEST POST

October 21 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

October 22 – Lori’s Reading Corner – GUEST POST

October 23 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 24 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT

October 25 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – COZY WEDNESDAY – INTERVIEW

October 26 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

October 26 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

October 27 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 27 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

October 28 – Jane Reads – REVIEW, GUEST POST

October 29 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

October 30 – Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

October 30 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

Posted in Cozy, mystery, Spotlight on October 25, 2017

Best-Laid Plants: A Potting Shed Mystery
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Alibi (October 17, 2017)
Print Length: 294 pages

A trip to the English countryside turns into a brush with death for Pru Parke, the only gardener whose holiday wouldn’t be complete without a murder to solve.

Pru and her husband, former Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse, are long overdue for a getaway. So when Pru is invited to redesign an Arts and Crafts garden in the picturesque Cotswolds, she and Christopher jump at the chance. Unfortunately, their B&B is more ramshackle than charming, and the once thriving garden, with its lovely Thyme Walk, has fallen into heartbreaking neglect. With the garden’s owner and designer, Batsford Bede, under the weather, Pru tackles the renovation alone. But just as she’s starting to make headway, she stumbles upon Batsford’s body in the garden—dead and pinned beneath one of his limestone statues.

With such a small police force in the area, Christopher is called upon to lead the investigation. Pru can’t imagine anyone murdering Batsford Bede, a gentle man who preferred to spend his time in quiet contemplation, surrounded by nature. But as her work on the garden turns up one ominous clue after another, Pru discovers that the scenery is more dangerous than she or Christopher could have anticipated.

Marty Wingate’s captivating mysteries can be enjoyed together or separately, in any order.

 

About the Author

marty wingateMarty Wingate is the author of two previous Potting Shed mysteries, The Garden Plot and The Red Book of Primrose House. Her new Birds of a Feather Mystery series debuted with The Rhyme of the Magpie. Wingate is a regular contributor to Country Gardens and other magazines. She also leads gardening tours throughout England, Scotland, Ireland, France, and North America. More Potting Shed and Birds of a Feather mysteries are planned.

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Check out the other blogs on this tour

October 16 – Carole’s Book Corner – REVIEW

October 16 –  Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

October 18 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

October 19 – Reading Reality – REVIEW

October 20 – Christ Reads and Writes – REVIEW

October 21 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

October 22 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

October 23 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

October 24 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 25 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 26 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST

October 27 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

October 28 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

October 29 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on October 25, 2017

Cold As Ice (The Country Club Murders)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Henery Press (October 17, 2017)

Synopsis

Ellison Russell’s life resembles a rollercoaster ride. And rollercoasters make her ill. Her daughter Grace has a crush on a boy Ellison doesn’t trust and she’s taken to hosting wild parties when Ellison goes out for the evening. Worse, the bank which represents Grace’s inheritance from her father may be in trouble.

When a meeting with the chef at the country club leads to the discovery of a body, Ellison can’t afford cold feet. She must save the bank, find the killer, and convince Grace (and herself) that powerful women don’t need men to rescue them.

Related subjects include: cozy mysteries, women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), amateur sleuth books, book club recommendations, humorous murder mysteries, historical mysteries.

Books in the Country Club Murders Humorous Mystery Series:

Deep End (#1)
GUARANTEED TO BLEED  (#2)
CLOUDS IN MY COFFEE (#3)
SEND IN THE CLOWNS (#4)
WATCHING THE DETECTIVES (#5)
COLD AS ICE (#6)

About the Author

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders. She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

 

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October 16 –  Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

October 16 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST

October 17 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

October 17 – Blogger Nicole Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 18 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

October 18 – Books Direct – GUEST POST

October 18 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

October 19 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 19 – Maureen’s Musings – GUEST POST

October 20 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW

October 20 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT

October 21 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

October 22 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

October 23 – Dee-Scoveries – INTERVIEW

October 23 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

October 24 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW

October 25 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW, INTERVIEW

October 25 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 26 – Laura’s Interests  – REVIEW

October 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

October 27 – Varietats – REVIEW

October 28 – My Funny View of Life – REVIEW

October 29 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, Monday, mystery, Review on October 23, 2017

Synopsis

When radio reporter Carol Childs is called to a crime scene in the Hollywood Hills at five thirty in the morning, she’s convinced it must be a publicity stunt to promote a new movie. That is, until she sees the body hanging from the center of the Hollywood sign. The police are quick to rule it a suicide, but something doesn’t add up for Carol. Particularly after a mysterious caller named Mustang Sally confesses to the murder on the air and threatens to kill again.

With the help of an incorrigible PI, her best friend, and a kooky psychic, Carol is drawn into the world of contract killers and women scorned. As she races to find the real killer, she finds herself faced with a decision that will challenge everything she thought she knew.

Related subjects include: women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), amateur sleuth mysteries, book club recommendations, suspense, noir.

Books in the Carol Childs Mystery Series:

SHADOW OF DOUBT (#1)
BEYOND A DOUBT (#2)
WITHOUT A DOUBT (#3)
ROOM FOR DOUBT (#4)

Review

I have a few favorite series and this is one of them. I am not sure what it is about the characters or the setting, but I always find the books intriguing and they even leave me on the edge of my seat at times.

Carol always manages to find herself in the thick of events, probably because she is a radio journalist and I don’t see how she could avoid those news stories. I do feel like she puts herself in harms way too often and feels it is necessary to omit pertinent details to others that might be involved in the situation.

This book does deal with abuse and how a vigilante group chooses to handle those men found guilty (but not by a court) and dealing with them in their own way. I think many would say that by the time a court would step in help the abused woman it is too late. This group takes it out of the court’s hands and inflicts their own brand of justice.

There is a new character in this book, Chase. He is a local PI that Carol is working with on this case. There is definitely some chemistry between the two and I suspect he will be around a lot more and perhaps a romance will bud between the two.

We give this 5 paws up.

About This Author

nancy silvermanNancy Cole Silverman credits her twenty-five years in news and talk radio for helping her to develop an ear for storytelling. But it wasn’t until 2001 after she retired from news and copywriting that she was able to sit down and write fiction fulltime. Much of what Silverman writes about today she admits is pulled from events that were reported on from inside some of Los Angeles’ busiest newsrooms where she spent the bulk of her career. In the last ten years she has written numerous short stories and novelettes. Today Silverman lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Bruce and two standard poodles.

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Posted in Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on October 21, 2017

In It For The Money (A Blu Carraway Mystery)
Mystery/Suspense
1st in Series
Henery Press (September 12, 2017)
Paperback: 278 pages

Synopsis

Lowcountry Private Investigator Blu Carraway needs a new client. He’s broke and the tax man is coming for his little slice of paradise. But not everyone appreciates his skills. Some call him a loose cannon. Others say he’s a liability. All the ex-Desert Storm Ranger knows is his phone hasn’t rung in quite a while. Of course, that could be because it was cut off due to delinquent payments.

Lucky for him, a client does show up at his doorstep—a distraught mother with a wayward son. She’s rich and her boy’s in danger. Sounds like just the case for Blu. Except nothing about the case is as it seems. The jigsaw pieces—a ransom note, a beat-up minivan, dead strippers, and a missing briefcase filled with money and cocaine—do not make a complete puzzle. The first real case for Blu Carraway Investigations in three years goes off the rails.

And that’s the way he prefers it to be.

Guest Post

I enjoy writing about my characters eating in restaurants because my wife and I have a lunch date most Saturdays. It helps us stay connected as both of us work busy day jobs as well as all the things we do for my writing career. I find that the food choices my characters eat says something about them.

While I lived in Charleston, my dish was shrimp and grits at the Boathouse restaurant at Breech Inlet on the Isle of Palms. After moving away and getting married, I’ve grown to really enjoy my wife’s favorite food—Italian. One of our favorites is Carrabba’s Italian Grill. I usually order the grilled pork chops or the Italian Classics. I’m also a sucker for good barbeque. In the south, we are not lacking in this regard.

I like that my new protagonist, Blu Carraway, prefers peel-and-eat shrimp and wiping his mouth with a roll of paper towels. And that his girlfriend knows this and is surprised when he takes her to a place with cloth napkins.

Blu doesn’t have any pets in the traditional sense. What he has is a small herd of scraggly Carolina Marsh Tackey horses. Two of them, perhaps the less intelligent of the group, stand between Blu and his front door waiting for treats. He named them Dink and Doofus and sometimes gets caught short, forgetting about the two-carrot-fee.

Mick Crome, Blu’s business partner, likes burgers and fries. He’s not picky, but he does tend to frequent McDonald’s if he’s on the job. Otherwise, he prefers sitting at a bar with a longneck and a shot, and his cheeseburger plate.

My other protagonist, Brack Pelton, seems partial to breakfast at three a.m. Preferably with his better half. His dog, Shelby, eats Eukanuba while with Brack, and anything his dog sitter Trish cooks for him. That’s right, she cooks for the dog.

My wife and I look forward to our Saturday lunch every week. Normally by Wednesday, we’re talking about what we might want on Saturday. We haven’t always had the best service or been served exactly what we ordered, but we’ve learned to take the good with the bad.

What’s your favorite restaurant and meal?

SBR here – I think my favorite meal is lunch and living in Texas, Mexican food is always a top choice!  So as David asked, what is your favorite restaurant/meal?

 

About the Author

Lowcountry Private Investigator Blu Carraway needs a new client. He’s broke and the tax man is coming for his little slice of paradise. But not everyone appreciates his skills. Some call him a loose cannon. Others say he’s a liability. All the ex-Desert Storm Ranger knows is his phone hasn’t rung in quite a while. Of course, that could be because it was cut off due to delinquent payments.

Lucky for him, a client does show up at his doorstep—a distraught mother with a wayward son. She’s rich and her boy’s in danger. Sounds like just the case for Blu. Except nothing about the case is as it seems. The jigsaw pieces—a ransom note, a beat-up minivan, dead strippers, and a missing briefcase filled with money and cocaine—do not make a complete puzzle. The first real case for Blu Carraway Investigations in three years goes off the rails.

And that’s the way he prefers it to be.

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October 16 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

October 16 –  Celebrating Authors – SPOTLIGHT

October 17 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 18 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

October 19 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

October 20 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

October 21 – Varietats – REVIEW

October 21 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

October 22 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

October 23 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

October 24 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 25 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 26 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 27 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

Posted in 3 1/2 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on October 18, 2017

Death Overdue: A Haunted Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Crooked Lane Books (October 10, 2017)
Hardcover: 336 pages

Synopsis

Carrie Singleton is just about done with Clover Ridge, Connecticut until she’s offered a job as the head of programs and events at the spooky local library, complete with its own librarian ghost. Her first major event is a program presented by a retired homicide detective, Al Buckley, who claims he knows who murdered Laura Foster, a much-loved part-time library aide who was bludgeoned to death fifteen years earlier. As he invites members of the audience to share stories about Laura, he suddenly keels over and dies.

The medical examiner reveals that poison is what did him in and Carrie feels responsible for having surged forward with the program despite pushback from her director. Driven by guilt, Carrie’s determined to discover who murdered the detective, convinced it’s the same man who killed Laura all those years ago. Luckily for Carrie, she has a friendly, knowledgeable ghost by her side. But as she questions the shadows surrounding Laura’s case, disturbing secrets come to light and with each step Carrie takes, she gets closer to ending up like Al.

Now it’s due or die for Carrie in Death Overdue the delightful first in a new cozy series by Allison Brook.

Review

As a book lover, how could I not enjoy a book set in a library?! I did of course. This is a new series set in a small town in CT and Carrie is thinking about leaving town but is offered a job in the library…one of my dream jobs!

The book has some interesting characters and the surface is just scratched on a few including a long time friend and new landlord for Carrie. There is also the library ghost, a former employee, but we don’t know why she is still tied to the library and hasn’t moved on. Interesting that Carrie and a young family member are the only two that can see her. But she comes in handy when Dorothy, the ghost’s niece, gets out of line and information about her is used to bring Dorothy back in line.

There are a couple of mysteries to unravel – a retired police detective, Al, and Laura Foster. Al thinks he knows who killed Laura after all these years, but he is murdered before revealing the truth about Laura’s death all those years ago. The killer has to be someone in the town. Not a lot of clues are revealed to help us solve it until near the end. I am not sure if I suspected this character, but they did act a little suspicious at times.

Overall a good start to a new series and I look forward to the next installment.

We give this 3 1/2 paws

About the Author

Allison Brook is the pseudonym for Marilyn Levinson, who writes mysteries, romantic suspense and novels for kids. She lives on Long Island and enjoys traveling, reading, watching foreign films, doing Sudoku and dining out. She especially loves to visit with her grandchildren on FaceTime.

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October 14 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW

October 14 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT

October 14 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

October 14 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST

October 15 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

October 15 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 15 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 15 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW

October 16 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 16 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

October 16 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW

October 16 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST

October 17 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

October 17 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

October 17 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 17 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

October 18 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

October 18 – Varietats – REVIEW, GUEST POST

October 18 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

October 18 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

October 19 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 19 – Bea’s Book Nook – REVIEW

October 19 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW,

October 20 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

October 20 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – REVIEW

October 20 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW

October 20 – That’s What She’s Reading – GUEST POST

Posted in Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery, suspense, Thriller on October 16, 2017

HIDDEN SEA

by

MILES ARCENEAUX

  Genre: Mystery / Thriller / Suspense

Date of Publication: November 2017

Number of Pages: 384

Scroll down for giveaway!

Charlie Sweetwater saw Mexico—especially the Mexican Gulf Coast—as a spiritual second home. He’d worked, played and lived there for much of his life, and thought the country suited him better than anywhere this side of his home on the Texas Coast.

But now a worrisome and potentially dangerous development has shown up on Charlie’s radar. Young Augustus Sweetwater, affectionately known as Augie, hasn’t reported in after completing a south-of-the-border sales trip for Sweetwater Marine. Raul, Augie’s father and Charlie’s nephew, is worried sick. Drug cartel violence in Mexico has reached epidemic proportions and Augie’s path took him through the heart of the narcotraficantes’ territory.

Charlie figures Augie just went off the grid to do some well-deserved fishing, surfing and beer-drinking at the end of his trip. He’d done the same in his time. But as Augie’s unexplained absence grows, Charlie and Raul become increasingly alarmed and set off for Mexico to bring their boy home.

What they unearth is far more than the sum of their fears. The familiar and friendly Gulf of Mexico has turned into a hidden sea plagued by smugglers, human traffickers, crooked politicians and even pirates. And Augie is lost somewhere in the middle of it all.

Charlie and Raul must summon an unlikely cast of characters to aid them, including a hilariously dissolute ex-pat musician, a priest whose faith struggles against the rising tide of refugee migration, a Mexican tycoon who may have secrets of his own and a beautiful maritime “repo man”. At the end of their quest, as the deepest secret of all is revealed, Charlie Sweetwater learns that neither Raul and Augie, nor the Gulf of Mexico, nor even himself, will ever be the same again.

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Praise for Hidden Sea

“A riveting story from Texas that wanders down the cartel-invested Gulf Coast of Mexico and drifts across to lawless Cuba. The characters are as salty as the sea and the plot pulls you along as powerfully as the loop current.” – W.F. Strong, Stories from Texas, Texas Standard Radio Network

“Hidden Sea is a total blast: smart, funny, and riveting, with unforgettably colorful characters and a world so alive that you’ll swear you’re really there.” – Lou Berney, Edgar Award-winning author of The Long and Faraway Gone

“In Hidden Sea, Miles Arceneaux tosses us in the drink of a timely contemporary adventure tale with the Sweetwater clan, complete with pirates, slave ships, family secrets, and the mother of all plot twists, in his patented Gulf Coast noir style.” – Michelle Newby Lancaster, Contributing Editor, Lone Star Literary Life, NBCC Literary Critic

Miles Arceneaux on Writing the Gulf Coast

(First published, May 5, 2016, Mystery People Blog)

The dilemma of writing mysteries set on the Texas Gulf Coast isn’t an absence of compelling characters to drive the plot and flesh out the scenery. On the contrary, there’s too damn many of ‘em to ever winnow down, even over the course of four (so far) novels.

It’s an embarrassment of riches, folks. What the Texas coast lacks in terms of sun-kissed white sand beaches, beautiful people and tony resorts (instead of Donald Trump’s sumptuous Mar-A-Lago, we’ve got the No Esta Aquí Lounge, featuring u-peel-‘em shrimp and cockfights on Sundays), we make up for in local color. Always have.

The stomping ground for my characters is Texas’ Coastal Bend, which runs roughly between Galveston and Corpus Christi. It’s a complex and fascinating array of bays, barrier islands, estuaries and wetlands that has been a magnet for dingbats and reprobates ever since Texas’ first tourist, Spanish castaway Cabeza de Vaca, stumbled ashore near Galveston in 1528, only to encounter our first Chamber of Commerce, in the form of the six-foot tall, tattooed, alligator grease-coated, ritualistically cannibalistic Karankawa Indians.

Since then the area has been as popular as Padre Island to spring breakers among a historically diverse human subset of pirates, freebooters, smugglers, colorful drunkards, pennyante empire builders, refugees and fugitives of every description, silver-tongued conmen (and women), top-shelf bullshit artists, and congenitally lying fishermen. There have been female temptresses who can turn gold wedding bands into cheap pewter with a glance, and men who have changed their names and fled to sea to escape them.

Let’s put it this way: If Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, the Coen Brothers, Molly Ivins (RIP), Gabriel Garcia Marquez and any local fishing guide sat on the deck of a Port Aransas oyster bar pounding Papa Doble daiquiris for, oh, all night, they might have come up with my fictional counterpoints of the real-life characters who give the Coastal Bend its savor.

It’s close to a photo finish, but I’d say on the balance I enjoy writing about the women of the Texas Coast more than their male counterpoints. The women not only have to put up with the men, they frequently have to force Joe Bob et.al. to confront, sometimes under extreme duress, the better angels of their nature.

In one of my tales, a particularly enterprising fry cook picked up a cast iron skillet and did a Joe DiMaggio off the skull of a B-list gangster. In other areas of the country, this might be construed as assault. In my part of the world it’s considered behavior modification. As a West Texas buddy of mine once remarked, he never understood all the fuss about Women’s Lib: “All the chicks I know are armed,” he remarked.

BookPeople, MysteryPeople and especially Scott Montgomery have been surpassingly supportive since my debut thriller starring the Sweetwater clan, Thin Slice of Life, was published in 2012. Likewise, with LaSalle’s Ghost, Ransom Island and, most lately, North Beach. I’m humbly grateful. Still, with all respect to Scott and MysteryPeople, I’m not certain these epistles fall neatly into any “mystery” category. They are not locked-room mysteries by any means, neither are they noir, hard- boilers nor whodunits. I guess “comedic novel of suspense” about covers it, though that takes up a lot of real estate on a book jacket. Still, it’s a mystery to me what’s gonna happen to all these rascals when I start out on a new one, so there is that.

Though the issues in my books, including the clash of cultures, the erosion of time, the nature of friendship and loyalty, might (I hope) seem nuanced, the characters at the heart of the story are pretty simple. I write about men and women you can root for and enjoy hanging out with, bad guys who are low-down sons of bitches who get what’s coming to them and supporting characters who make you laugh, shake your head or maybe both.

We’re not talking Dostoyevsky here.

In the end, to paraphrase our former future governor (cq) Kinky Friedman, I write to entertain Americans in their airports, by their swimming pools and on their skiffs when the fish aren’t biting.

There is a thing called a “Texas Fairy Tale.” A regular fairy tale, say about Cinderella and them, starts out “Once upon a time…” A Texas fairy tale, on the other hand, begins, “You ain’t gonna believe this bullshit…”

So that’s me: Miles Arceneaux, Texas fairy tale writer. Let’s drink to that.

 

“Miles Arceneaux” is the pen name of three long-time Texas friends. James R.  Dennis is a former attorney turned Dominican friar who lives in San Antonio. Brent Douglass is an international businessman from Austin. John T. Davis, also of Austin, is a journalist and author. Together, as “Miles,” they have been featured authors at the Texas Book Festival, the San Antonio Book Festival, and the Lubbock Book Festival.

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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!

Grand Prize: Autographed copies of all five Gulf Coast series books by Miles Arceneaux + a copy of Geoff Winningham’s Traveling the Shore of the Spanish Sea — The Gulf Coast of Texas and Mexico

Two Runners-Up: Each win an autographed copy of Hidden Sea

October 11-October 20, 2017

U.S. Only


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10/11 promo Texas Book Lover
10/12 Review Forgotten Winds
10/12 ICYWW #1 Bibliotica
10/13 Review Missus Gonzo
10/14 Excerpt 1 Syd Savvy
10/14 Author Interview A Page Before Bedtime
10/15 Review Texan Girl Reads
10/16 Guest Post StoreyBook Reviews
10/16 ICYWW #2 Chapter Break Book Blog
10/17 Review Hall Ways Blog
10/18 Excerpt 2 Books and Broomsticks
10/18 Playlist The Page Unbound
10/19 Review Reading By Moonlight
10/20 Review Tangled in Text
10/20 ICYWW #3 The Librarian Talks

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