Jul 262017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
Today I am featuring the latest Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery!


Lions and Tigers and Murder, Oh My (Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Missouri
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (July 4, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451477774
Kindle ASIN: B01M22OKS0

 

 

Opening up a dime store in her hometown of Shadow Bend, Missouri, Devereaux “Dev” Sinclair thought she’d left the wilds of city life behind her. But she’s about to discover that even rural life can be beastly. . . 

Handsome private investigator Jake Del Vecchio has rented the office space on the second floor above Devereaux’s dime store, and Dev now finds herself embroiled in his first case, which involves Gabriella Winston, the missing wife of wealthy philanthropist Elliot Winston.

Elliot is determined to open a wildlife park on the edge of town but is facing all sorts of angry opposition—including Gabriella. After the Winstons have a bitter fight, Gabriella disappears, and their house is ransacked. The authorities are quick to claim Elliot killed his wife, but Dev’s not so sure. One thing is certain: Claws are out in Shadow Bend. . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jake Del Vecchio has rented space above Devereaux “Dev” Sinclair’s store for his private eye business. He has even encouraged her to get her P.I. license because they work so well together. They also get along very well every other time they are together too and Jake hopes she will make up her mind soon on whether she wants to be with him or Dr. Noah Underwood. Jake plans to spend as much time as possible with Dev.

When Sheriff Kincade send him his first case he asks Dev to help with investigation. It is an interesting case, Elliot Winston has reported his wife missing but he seems ore concerned about his new wildlife park project. The police think he probably killed his wife or she just took off to get away from her husband because she opposed him spending money on such a pipe dream, Dev and Jake think there is more to the story.

Devereaux “Dev” Sinclair is a wonderful protagonist. A woman with “curves”, beautiful inside and out. She and her father are getting closer every day. I love that he works for her at the dime store and that he is getting more comfortable since his release from prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Her mother is off again trying to find yet another husband but Dev just wants to be sure to choose the right man this time. Is she ready to give her heart again?

Growing up in a small town with a dime store and a drug store with a soda fountain makes it super easy for me to picture Devereaux’s Dime Store and Gift Baskets. The author’s descriptions fill in all the blanks. I enjoy hearing about her gift baskets and laughed out load at her “Naughty” and “Nice” Halloween displays. My mouth waters when she describes all the treats Dev serves including the ones she brings in for the special group meetings. She has turned her store into a fantastic community gathering place, a place where she can listen and ask questions to help her learn interesting things about her current case.

The current case has many twists. I changed my mind more than twice on how I thought the story was going to play out and was not disappointed, it was one bizarre ending.  I absolutely love it.

The mystery and the romance get equal time in the story and blend together perfectly. This is my favorite book in the series!!

Mystery, romance, drama and humor abroad within in these pages. Don’t miss out on the fun.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author
Denise Swanson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Scumble River Mysteries, including Murder of a Cranky Catnapper and Murder of an Open Book, and the Devereaux’s Dime Store Mysteries, including Between a Book and a Hard Place and Dying for a Cupcake. Dead in the Water (Welcome Back to Scumble River Book 1) will be released September 5,2016.

She worked as a school psychologist for twenty-two years before quitting to write full-time. She lives in Illinois with her husband, classical music composer David Stybr, and their cool black cat, Boomerang.


Coming September 5!

Find all of Denise’s books on Amazon here.


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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Jul 252017
 


Shadow Girl (An Afton Tangler Thriller)

Suspense/Thriller
2nd in Series
Setting – Minnesota
Berkley
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Release Date – August 1, 2017
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425281789
Kindle ASIN: B01MXHV6CL

 

 

The brutal murder of a business tycoon leaves Afton Tangler and the Twin Cities reeling, but that’s just the beginning of a gruesome crime spree…

Leland Odin made his fortune launching a home shopping network, but his millions can’t save his life. On the list for a transplant, the ailing businessman sees all hope lost when the helicopter carrying his donor heart is shot out of the sky.

Now with two pilots dead and dozens injured, Afton Tangler, family liaison officer for the Minneapolis Police Department, is drawn into the case. As she and her partner investigate family members and business associates, whoever wants Leland dead strikes again—and succeeds—in a brazen hospital room attack.

The supposedly squeaky clean millionaire has crossed the wrong person—and she’s not finished exacting her revenge. The case explodes into an international conspiracy of unbridled greed and violence. And as Afton gets closer to unearthing the mastermind behind it, she gets closer to becoming collateral damage…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this follow up to Little Girl Gone we find Afton Tangler tangled up in another police investigation. Something she loves as she hopes to become a full fledged detective instead of a family liaison officer.

A helicopter bringing a donor heart from Madison, Wisconsin is shot down out of the sky crashing down on a college campus. Afton and Detective Max Montgomery were nearby for a neighborhood meeting so they become some of the first responders.  Deputy Chief Gerald Thacker assigns Afton to work with Max on this difficult case.

Mom Chao Cherry ordered the hit on the helicopter. She is out for revenge but the police know nothing about her or even that she and her team plan to keep terrorizing the victims she chooses.

Ms. Schmitt takes us into the story from various characters points of view to drag us deep into the gritty and at times terrifying story.  This story involves many more people than the first book but I had no trouble following. I really enjoyed following the investigation to its conclusion. It grabbed my attention right away and held it to the very end.

I found both Afton and Max to be very engaging in the first book and they have grown to be very comfortable working together in this one. All the officers working on the case and the Deputy Chief realize Afton has talents to bring to the table. She doesn’t always follow Max’s orders but when she doesn’t she seems to have a good reason.

The content of the story was very well written and researched. This series brings a totally different type of story than I have seen from her alter ego Laura Childs. The language and events are raw and rough at times but rings true for these characters in this setting. It is fun to see this author bring us this thrilling story and a darker side of life while still giving us characters to root for.

Warning  – do not start this book late in the day. The author writes in a short chapter format that will have you saying “just one more chapter” several times until you realize you have read the whole darn book.

This book is part of a series but can be read on its own. To really know Afton and Max you should start with Little Girl Gone. I am already looking forward to the next Afton Tangler Thriller.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Gerry Schmitt is the author of the Afton Tangler Thrillers, and, writing under the pseudonym Laura Childs, the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty-five novels, the Tea Shop, Scrapbooking, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. She is the former CEO of her own marketing firm, has won TV and radio awards, and produced two reality TV shows. She and her professor husband enjoy collecting art, travel, and their two Shar-Pei dogs.

Author Links –
Webpage – Facebook 

To find books written as Laura Childs click here.

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
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Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Jul 242017
 

A Toast to Murder (Mack’s Bar Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (July 25, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496701725
Kindle ASIN: B01M6AOYKL

Mack Dalton has named plenty of murderers since she and her barstool detectives began cracking cold cases. But as a new year looms, time is ticking on the hunt for her craftiest villain yet . . .

As Milwaukee counts down to New Year’s Eve, bar owner Mackenzie “Mack” Dalton has but one resolution—unmask the dangerous mastermind who has been taunting her and killed bouncer Gary Gunderson. Mack and her fellow barflies have fleshed out a suspect and arranged an invite-only party to put a cork in the murderer’s game for good. But when the clock strikes midnight and their suspect is found cold and stiff on the basement stairs, it seems the celebration may have come too soon. Now Mack must rely on her special talents to find the real criminal among the crowd of revelers—or someone won’t survive until last call . . .

About The Author

Allyson K. Abbott is a pseudonym used by suspense writer Beth Amos. Beth has enjoyed a varied writing career that included a stint as a book reviewer and several years of nonfiction freelancing. Now she writes only fiction, and in stark contrast to her “day job” as an ER nurse, where she gets to save lives, the one common factor in her fiction, no matter what name it’s written under, is that someone always dies. Allyson K. Abbott is my little insider joke at having to pick yet another pseudonym. It’s not coincidence the initials are what they are.  Check out her webpage here and on Facebook here.

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away! 

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

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Contest Will End August 7, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
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Click Here For Entry Form

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jul 222017
 

Knit Your Own Murder (A Needlecraft Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
19th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (August 2, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425270127
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages  (July 4, 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-0425270134

E-Book ASIN: B00X593GXQ

In the USA Today bestselling Needlecraft Mysteries, Betsy Devonshire has her hands tied between running her needlework shop and turning her sharp eye for deduction to solving crimes…

The Monday Bunch and other local knitters are participating in a fund-raising auction to save a community center, creating a growing pile of stuffed animals and toys right in front of the auctioneers as the audience bids. Among those contributing the most knitted goods is temperamental businesswoman Maddy Hanover—who keels over halfway through the event.

After she is pronounced DOA, an autopsy reveals that Maddy had been poisoned. But how? And by whom? One of the prime suspects is her ruthless business rival Joe Mickels, who lost a bitterly contested property bid to Maddy.

When Mickels pleads his innocence to Betsy, she reluctantly believes him. But if Betsy is going to uncover the real murderer’s identity, she must first untangle the knots Maddy made in her relationships throughout her life…

You can find out more about Monica and her books on her webpage here. 

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 1 paperback copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Contest Will End August 5, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
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Click Here For Entry Form

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jul 222017
 

I filled in for another blogger on Tuesday but today is my scheduled day 🙂

Too Many Women in the Room (A Gilda Greco Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
The Wild Rose Press, Inc (May 19, 2017)
252 Pages
E-Book ASIN: B06XXNPRXS

When Gilda Greco invites her closest friends to a VIP dinner, she plans to share David Korba’s signature dishes and launch their joint venture—Xenia, an innovative Greek restaurant near Sudbury, Ontario.

Unknown to Gilda, David has also invited Michael Taylor, a lecherous photographer who has throughout the past three decades managed to annoy all the women in the room. One woman follows Michael to a deserted field for his midnight run and stabs him in the jugular.

Gilda’s life is awash with complications as she wrestles with a certain detective’s commitment issues and growing doubts about her risky investment in Xenia. Frustrated, Gilda launches her own investigation and uncovers decades-old secrets and resentments that have festered until they explode into untimely death. Can Gilda outwit a killer bent on killing again?

Praise for Too Many Women in the Room
by Joanne Guidoccio

The plot moves along at a steady pace with subplots adding to the tension.
~ Christa Reads and Writes

Too Many Women in the Room is the perfect blend of mystery, suspense, romance, and humor. The premise is intriguing, and kept me guessing.
~Jane Reads

About The Author

In 2008, Joanne took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romance, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Where to find Joanne…
Website          Twitter          Facebook           LinkedIn           Pinterest    Goodreads

Purchase Links


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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jul 212017
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

I was scheduled to read this book last year when a cold through a bump in my reading schedule. With the next book in the series, Dressed to Confess, coming out August 1 I had to get this one read asap. 


Masking for Trouble (A Costume Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Nevada
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery(October 4, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC

ISBN-13: 978-0425278291
E-Book ASIN: B01AHKXIHY
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 
 
 
 
 

Halloween conjures up big business for Margo Tamblyn’s costume shop, Disguise DeLimit, but this year, the holiday comes knocking with serious trouble. Venture capitalist Paul Haverford plans to rezone historic downtown into a glitzy commercial area which would push out local business. Margo is set on saving her family’s store, especially after a nasty run-in with the chain-store tycoon, but after Haverford’s body is discovered during a spooky party at the derelict Alexandria Hotel, Margo finds herself dressed as the police’s prime suspect.

Anxious to clear her name, Margo begins hunting down anyone who might have wanted Haverford dead. Between all of his malicious maneuverings, the murdered mogul had buckets of people anxious to see him gone. Now, Margo will have to use every trick in the book to find a cloaked killer—before someone else winds up wearing a death shroud…

Dollycas’s  Thoughts

Halloween in Proper City, Nevada is a huge deal. It is a week long event all leading up to a big party. This year Proper City has its own version of the Grim Reaper. Paul Haverford has come to town and has been buying up land, homes and businesses all to put his grand plan in motion to kill all of the downtown shops. He wants everything rezoned so he can bring in chain stories, restaurants and gambling. Something the founder of the town and most of the current residents are against.

Margo becomes involved when she learns Haverford is buying the Alexandria Hotel that has been uninhabited for years and the place where the Halloween festivities are scheduled to take place. He also informs her that the costumes from Disguise DeLimit are not allowed in the costume contest. This could majorly affect her bottom line.  She doesn’t allow this man to ruin her plans to attend the first night party. She shows up the Alexandria Hotel in costume, but she should have stayed home. She is the one that finds Haverford’s dead body and becomes the prime suspect in his murder.

We were introduced to Margo, her dad, her cat, Soot, Ebony and her dog Ivory, Tak Hoshiyama, Bobbie Kay and Kirby in A Disguise To Die For. They are all back in this story and I grew to love them even more. Margo always makes me smile with her daily attire. The woman is most comfortable in a costume almost 365 days a year. Kirby plays a major role in this story as he gets his whole swim team, in costume, to help at the store at the busiest time of the year. One costume involving sheets had me laughing out loud and telling my family all about it. Margo depends on him so she can check things out to find a better suspect than herself. There turns out to be quite a few.

Diane Vallere has whipped up quite a mystery. Red herrings galore led me way astray. I was completely off when it came to pinning down the real killer.

I enjoyed realistic dialogue and relationships. The relationship between Margo and her dad really warms my heart. They have been through a lot over the years and it has made them and their relationship strong. I was concerned about the relationship between Margo and Tak but by the end they and I came around.

If you like you cozies to tickle your funny bone, this is a story for you. Ms. Vallere has balanced the mystery with plenty of humor.  A Perfect Escape Read!

I can’t wait for Dressed to Confess, to visit all these characters again.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

 

DianeVallereAuthorPhoto_color_croppedAbout The Author

I’m a former fashion buyer turned mystery writer, trading fashion accessories for accessories to murder. I was bit by the mystery bug as a kid reading Trixie Belden, Connie Blair, and The Three Investigators. Now I’m writing three series: the Style & Error Mysteries, the Mad for Mod Mysteries, and the Material Witness Mysteries.

The Costume Shop mysteries debuted with A DISGUISE TO DIE FOR, which introduces Margo Tamblyn, costume shop owner, who helps solve a murder after one of her clients is found dead at his own costume party (dressed as Sherlock!). MASKING FOR TROUBLE, the second in the series, will be out in October 2016, just in time for Halloween.

The Material Witness mysteries feature Polyester Monroe, who inherits the fabric shop where she was born. Books include SUEDE TO REST  and CRUSHED VELVET . The third, SILK STALKINGS,  was just released.

The Style & Error Series features former fashion buyer turned amateur sleuth Samantha Kidd. Books in that series include DESIGNER DIRTY LAUNDRYBUYER, BEWARETHE BRIM REAPER ; and SOME LIKE IT HAUTE . (A short story, “Just Kidding ,” tells the story of how Samantha first met shoe designer Nick Taylor). Book 5, GRAND THEFT RETRO, will be out in 2016.

The Madison Night Mysteries feature a modern day interior decorator who specializes in midcentury design (studying Doris Day movies to get the look right). Books are PILLOW STALK ,THAT TOUCH OF INK , and WITH VICS YOU GET EGGROLL . A prequel novella, “Midnight Ice,” can be found in OTHER PEOPLE’S BAGGAGE .

Author Links

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GIVEAWAY
I am giving away my review copy!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
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Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Jul 202017
 

My turn on this tour today!

Calamity at the Continental Club
by Colleen J. Shogan


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

 

 

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

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

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

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

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Congress is in recess and Doug’s parents, Buffy and Winston Hollingsworth, are in town for a meeting of the Mayflower Society. They have invited Kit and Doug to join them at the Continental Club for a couple of days in hopes of getting a firm wedding date set and to get started planning the expected high society event. Buffy is the one worried about the wedding, Winston’s mind is on becoming the next president of the Mayflower Society.

Wedding plans take a backseat when the current Mayflower Society president, Grayson Bancroft’s, body is found by Kit before she heads out for her morning run. Police check all the security cameras and they see no one coming in or going out of any of the club exits. That means the killer has to be someone staying at the club, like Winston Hollingsworth.  He wanted Grayson’s job and he didn’t make it a secret. Both Doug and Buffy have asked Kit to investigate and pledged to help her in any way they can. So she calls in Meg and Trevor to help her track down the killer. Even her dog Clarence makes a vital assist.

Readers follow Kit and her friends all over D.C. as they chase down clues to prove Winston’s innocence and try to catch the killer. It is quite a clever tale. There is a lot of circumstantial evidence against her future father-in-law and his only alibi is Buffy.

Ms. Shogan has filled this story with many twists that keep the plot moving right along. The subplot romance between Doug and Kit and dealing with his parents brings humor to the story. All four characters evolve over the course of the story.  I didn’t like Buffy at first but by the end she was starting to grow on me.

I really enjoyed getting away from the Capitol to a new D.C. location. Even though she didn’t have much clout in the place Kit was determined to make the police listen to her. The way the mystery played out was logical and pure Kit. She can be quite convincing and with Meg by her side pretty funny too.

The way the author sets each scene gives us the treat of virtually “seeing” not only the Continental Club, but the Smithsonian and the National Archives. She and Doug even take a quick tour of Mount Vernon, a place our family visited in the late 90’s. Her words transported right back there.

Each story in this series tops the last, all 3 are great reads. As before Colleen Shogan’s knowledge of D.C. shines brightly in this story and again I didn’t want the story to end even though I loved the ending.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About The Author

Colleen Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American politics at Yale, George Mason, Georgetown, and Penn. She previously worked in the United States Senate and for the Congressional Research Service. She’s currently a senior executive at the Library of Congress, working on great outreach initiatives such as the National Book Festival. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob Raffety and their beagle mutt, Conan.

Author Links

Webpage Facebook Twitter  GoodReads 

Purchase Links

Amazon  B&N

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Jul 182017
 

I am filling in for another blogger today but hoe to read and review this book soon.

Too Many Women in the Room
by Joanne Guidoccio

Too Many Women in the Room (A Gilda Greco Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
The Wild Rose Press, Inc (May 19, 2017)
252 Pages
E-Book ASIN: B06XXNPRXS

When Gilda Greco invites her closest friends to a VIP dinner, she plans to share David Korba’s signature dishes and launch their joint venture—Xenia, an innovative Greek restaurant near Sudbury, Ontario.

Unknown to Gilda, David has also invited Michael Taylor, a lecherous photographer who has throughout the past three decades managed to annoy all the women in the room. One woman follows Michael to a deserted field for his midnight run and stabs him in the jugular.

Gilda’s life is awash with complications as she wrestles with a certain detective’s commitment issues and growing doubts about her risky investment in Xenia. Frustrated, Gilda launches her own investigation and uncovers decades-old secrets and resentments that have festered until they explode into untimely death. Can Gilda outwit a killer bent on killing again?

In Praise of Handwriting

For decades, I eschewed cursive handwriting in favor of keyboarding and printing. That’s right—printing. After several students had complained about my illegible board work, I switched to printing on the blackboard and inputted almost everything else onto digital devices. I did sign report cards, checks, and other legal documents, taking extra care with my penmanship.

Since retiring, I’ve rediscovered the benefits of expressing my ideas the old-fashioned way. I have Julia Cameron to thank for that epiphany. A fan of Julia’s books, among them The Artist’s Way and The Prosperous Heart, I found myself incorporating Morning Pages into my daily regimen. At first skeptical, it didn’t take me long to realize the wisdom of her logic: “When we write by hand, we go slowly enough to record out thoughts with accuracy. On a computer, we whiz along, dashing our thoughts to the page.”

Other benefits of handwriting include…

Better Cognitive Skills

Writing longhand stimulates the Reticular Activating System (RAS) in our brains. The RAS acts as a filter, giving more importance to the information being processed. Also, writing in cursive script enables us to use both parts of our brain. Writing in small letters boosts left brain (analytical) activity that improves attention to detail. Large writing and sweeping doodles stimulate the creative right brain and also provide stress-busting benefits.

Fewer Distractions

Unless we are super-disciplined, it’s almost impossible not to succumb to the many distractions that exist on the World Wide Web: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, video games…Each year, the list gets longer. Sitting with pen and paper allows us to write with more laser precision. It may appear slower, but we are able to identify more relationships between ideas and come up with creative solutions.

Improved Writing

 Many famous writers prefer to write by hand. Novelist Truman Capote refused to use a typewriter while writing his first draft. In an interview, he commented: “I write my first version in longhand (pencil).Then I do a complete revision, also in longhand.

Susan Sontag, American writer, film-maker, teacher, and political activist, also preferred the analog method. In a 1995 interview with the Paris Review, she said: “I write with a felt-tip pen, or sometimes a pencil, on yellow or white legal pads, that fetish of American writers. I like the slowness of writing by hand.

A 2009 study from the University of Washington supported these preferences for longhand writing: “Elementary school students who wrote essays with a pen not only wrote more than their keyboard-tapping peers, but they also wrote faster and in more complete sentences.”

About The Author

In 2008, Joanne took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romance, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Where to find Joanne…

Website          Twitter          Facebook           LinkedIn           Pinterest    Goodreads

Purchase Links

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Kobo   Indigo:   
The Wild Rose Press   Barnes & Noble

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Jul 162017
 

I am filling in for another blogger today but I hope to read and review this story very soon!

Engaged in Trouble
by Jenny B. Jones

Funny and fast-fast paced, this is a great cozy.
~The Book’s the Thing

Engaged in Trouble was a super fun and quirky cozy mystery!
The story/plot fast paced full of twists and turns and surprises that kept this reader captivated from the very beginning.
~My Reading Journeys

This book is a combo of chick lit and cozy mystery. Humor is spread throughout the book with mystery and a touch of romance. It’s a quick read with “laugh-out-loud” fun.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews…

Sylvie and Frannie might be two of my favorite characters ever.
~Bubby at Bubble Bath Books

Paisley was really funny, down to earth, and relate-able. Beau was a great character also. I enjoyed his sense of humor and he brought a level of mystery to the book in addition to the murder mystery.
~Bookworm Cafe

A perfect combination of chick lit rom-com (with enough heat) and cozy mystery, perfect for all small town genre readers.
~Laura’s Interests

Engaged in Trouble … smart, Southern, and sassy. I’ve found a new favorite author in Jenny B. Jones, one who captivates me with her storytelling, characterization, and lyrical writing.
~The Power of Words

Engaged in Trouble (An Enchanted Events Mystery Book 1)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Sweet Pea Productions (March 30, 2017)
Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0998109800
E-Book ASIN: B06XX5VT7J

When a washed-up pop star inherits a wedding planning business, it’s all bouquets and bliss until a bride turns up dead.

Paisley Sutton shot to stardom as a teenage rock sensation, but ten years later that star has fizzled out, just like her bank account. When she unexpectedly inherits her aunt’s wedding planning business, Paisley leaves the glamour of Los Angeles for a charming small town in Arkansas. Thinking she’ll arrive in Sugar Creek and liquidate the moldly property, Paisley’s shocked to find Enchanted Events has experienced a major makeover and is now the place for brides. She’s got two months to keep Enchanted Events afloat if she wants to sell and rekindle her music career with the profits.

Paisley’s tossed into a world of vows and venues, but her most difficult challenge comes in the form of one demanding bride. When this Bridezilla’s found facedown in her cake, all fingers point to Paisley as the prime murder suspect. And she does not look good in prison orange.

This former pop princess will need the help of her gun-toting, ex-CIA grandmother and her handsome neighbor, Beau Hudson, to unravel the mystery and clear her good name. As she and her unruly posse dig into Bridezilla’s life, she discovers the woman had a long list of enemies. The closer Paisley gets to the truth, the more her own life is in danger.

Love is in the air this wedding season, but before Paisley can help the ladies of Sugar Creek say, “I do,” she’s got to unveil a killer. Or find herself the next target.

Engaged in Trouble is the first book in the long-awaited Enchanted Events cozy mystery series by award-winning author Jenny B. Jones. If you like laugh-out-loud adventures, small-town romance, unforgettable, sassy characters, and a mystery to keep you guessing, then you’ll love this new page-turning series.

 

I’m Paisley Sutton, former pop star of the hit girl band Electric Femmes and now star of the drama that’s become my life. Let me catch you up to date really quickly. I’m broke. I had to temporarily leave my beloved Los Angeles to move back to Sugar Creek, Arkansas, and my new neighbor? My old nemesis Beau Hudson. Let’s take a peek at when I first see Beau again—after many years of some blessed time apart.

I pulled up to a darkened house and briefly rested my head on the steering wheel in the quiet of the night.

Six weeks.

I had to stay in this town six weeks.

There had to be a way around that. To get what I wanted and return to L.A. before my beloved city had forgotten me. But the terms of the will, something I’d read at least twenty times, stated that I had to keep my great-aunt’s business afloat for two months, then I was welcome to sell. The business itself wouldn’t be worth a dime, but the old building in the growing downtown area would bring in some much-needed cash.

Yanking a suitcase from the backseat, I slammed the car door shut and heaved the best of my belongings toward a gray two-story with black shutters and enough Victorian charm to have personality, but not intimidate. Sylvie owned a handful of rent houses in Sugar Creek, and this one boasted two side-by-side front doors. I tried the key I’d finally gotten in both doors, but to no avail. Seriously? I just wanted a bed, to slip beneath cool sheets and let my worry-ridden head drift into a fluffy pillow.

Leaving my bags, I walked around the back of the house, using my phone for a flashlight. Crickets chattered and mosquitoes rudely buzzed their welcome in my ear. I tripped on a step to the back deck, but climbed on up, only to be faced, yet again, with two doors. The key refused to fit in one door, but the weathered door on the left opened with no effort at all. I could practically feel the cool, crisp sheets already.

My flashlight illuminated a small kitchen with granite countertops, white cabinets, and a dining set tucked into a nook. The hardwood floor beneath my feet creaked as I stepped into the room and—

A large shadow flickered a millisecond before five hundred pounds of solid bulk slammed into my body and threw me to the ground.

Lightning exploded in my head as it hit the floor, and my scream pierced the air. I kicked and struggled, desperate to get this intruder off me, while panic overrode any rational thought. I’d taken a self-defense class years ago, but I couldn’t recall a single move. Still screaming, I kicked wildly and tried to use my nails to claw this person’s face, but he took my hands captive.

“Get off me!” I yelled. “My husband’s in the car! He has a gun!”

The intruder stilled. With one large hand still wrapped around both my wrists, he reached for my dropped phone and shined the light right in my face. My galloping heartbeat couldn’t drown out the loud sigh from the person hovering over me.

“Husband, huh?” A deep voice said. “Maybe we should wait for him.”

Oh, geez.

I was pretty sure I knew that voice.

My attacker released my hands and rolled to his feet, the light revealing one familiar face.

“Beau Hudson.” My volume escalated with each word.  “What in the name of all that’s holy are you doing in my house?”

“You’re in my house, Paisley Sutton.” He flicked on the light, illuminating a tableau I would forever call The Time I Faced Death and Didn’t Wet Myself.

“This is my grandmother’s home, and I have the keys to it.” I pulled myself to a seated position, my skull throbbing.

This interloper was my childhood best friend’s brother.  His hair was the color of toffee, and those eyes, blue as sea glass. Back in the day, just to look upon him made a girl want to write poetry and compromise every moral she had. None of that had changed. He’d been the hero of the Sugar Creek football team years ago, before picking up his high school diploma and heading off to the Army. He was tall and trim, his body contoured with muscles he clearly still maintained since his military days. I only spoke to his sister about once a year, but she always gave me a Beau update. I knew he’d come back to Sugar Creek within the last few years, lucky to be alive, yet as his sister put it, “Not quite the same.”

Beau had been the older, mature fourteen to my twelve. After sharing a plate of macaroni and fried chicken, he’d kissed me at a church social, then ran back to school to tell everyone it had been a slobbery disaster.

He took a knee beside me, and I scooted away.

“Let me see your head.” His voice was as gruff as the scraggly beard on his face. I’d just been attacked by a lumberjack. “Quit squirming.” He reached out a hand and traced it over my cheek, my temple, his eyes intense on my face. “I could’ve hurt you.”

My skin tingled beneath his touch. “You did hurt me.”

His hand began an inspective crawl into my hairline. “I mean I could’ve killed you.”

I rubbed my aching shoulder. “I was two seconds from ruining your life with a well-placed knee to your squishy parts, so I don’t think so.” Though my pulse had yet to return to normal. I tried to shrug out of Beau’s grip, but he wasn’t having it. “I’m okay.”

Those blue eyes still on mine, Beau’s fingers slowly slid through my hair to the back of my head. “Does this hurt?”

“I. . .I think I’ll live.”

His gaze darkened. “You want to tell me what you’re doing in my house?”

“It’s my grandmother’s house, and I’m living here for a few months.” Good heavens, his fingers were magic. “So I think I’m the one who should be asking the questions.”

He gave that gusty sigh again. “So you’re the new neighbor Sylvie was so cagey about.”

I frowned, certain I had the right address. “Neighbor?”

“The house is two units. The back door you came in? It’s mine. I assume you’re living in the other half.”  

I slapped away his hands and attempted to stand.

“Easy.” One strong arm curled around my waist. “We should probably get you to the E.R. Have someone look at your head.”

I was related to Sylvie. We were used to people suggesting we have our head’s examined. “I’m fine. I just want to get to my side and sleep. Apparently Sylvie gave me the wrong keys.” Probably on purpose.

“I can get you in there.”

“Is this going to involve brute force as well?”

Brow furrowed, Beau gave my form another assessing look before walking away, a slight limp marring his gait. He returned shortly holding a silver key. “Let’s get your bags.”

A few minutes later I stood behind him as he opened the door, carrying three bags like they were no heavier than my purse.

He took a few steps inside. “Welcome home.”

I stood in the doorway, my feet unable to carry me any further.

Welcome home.

This town had been home. Before I got plucked from a high school choir competition to round out a girls’ band. Before I traveled the world and lived large. Before life said, “Never mind!” and kicked me off the train of success.

“I hope you’re not waiting for me to carry you over the threshold,” Beau said, interrupting my maudlin thoughts.

“You’d do anything to cop a feel.” I mustered up a smile.

“Paisley?”

“Yes?”

“It’sgoing to be okay.”

About The Author

Award-winning, best-selling author Jenny B. Jones writes romance, cozies, and YA with sass and Southern charm. Since she has very little free time, Jenny believes in spending her spare hours in meaningful, intellectual pursuits, such as eating ice cream, watching puppy videos, and reading celebrity gossip. She lives in the beautiful state of Arkansas and has worked in public education for half of forever.  She loves bluegrass, a good laugh, and strong tea. She adores hearing from readers.

Author sites and social media:

Webpage: www.JennyBJones.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/jennybjones/
Twitter: @jenbjones

Instagram: @JennyBJonesAuthor
Good Reads: www.goodreads.com/JennyBJones

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July 10 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
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Jul 152017
 



A Panicked Premonition (Psychic Eye Mystery)
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
15th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (July 4, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451473905
Kindle ASIN: B01N2GHRJC

In New York Times bestselling author Victoria Laurie’s newest Psychic Eye mystery, Abby Cooper has one rule to follow: don’t panic!

Professional psychic and FBI consultant Abby Cooper has used her inner visions to get her out of many a scrape—and solve many a crime—but she’s about to face a murder scene that will put all her powers to the test. Abby’s husband Dutch has a side business providing security and building panic rooms for wealthy clients. One morning, one of Dutch’s partners, Dave, goes missing on his way to meet a client. Abby’s intuition tells her something terrible has happened to him.

Then two of Dutch’s clients are found brutally murdered…inside their brand new panic room, and most of the evidence points to Dave as the killer. With the authorities racing to find and arrest him, Abby’s got to use all her intuitive prowess to get to Dave first, discover the real killer, and save her husband’s business. This is one case where Abby is positive there’s far more to this mystery than meets her inner eye…

You can find out more about Victoria and her books on her webpage here. Join her fan group on Facebook here.

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Drawing Conclusions (A Sketch in Crime Mystery) by Deirdre VerneBUY TODAY
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