Dec 192018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to share my thoughts on the latest Maine Clambake Mystery today!


Steamed Open (A Maine Clambake Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Maine
Kensington (December 18, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496717945
ISBN-13: 978-1496717948
Kindle ASIN: B07BV3RCDG

It’s summertime in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, and the clamming is easy—or it was until a mysterious new neighbor blocks access to the beach, cutting off the Snowden Family Clambake’s supply. Julia Snowden is just one of many townspeople angered by Bartholomew Frick’s decision. But which one of them was angry enough to kill?

Beachcombers, lighthouse buffs, and clammers are outraged after Frick puts up a gate in front of his newly inherited mansion. When Julia urges him to reconsider, she’s the last to see him alive—except the person who stabs him in the neck with a clam rake. As she pores through a long list of suspects, Julia meets disgruntled employees, rival heirs, and a pair of tourists determined to visit every lighthouse in America. They all have secrets, and Julia will have to work fast to expose the guilty party—or see this season’s clam harvest dry up for good.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Busman’s Harbor, Maine is in an uproar as Bartholomew Frick shuts down Sea Glass Beach access on a property he is set to inherit from the much-beloved resident Heloise “Lou” Herrickson. Julia is worried about having enough crabs for their Snowden Family Clambake’s and about the clammers that are losing their income. The tourists aren’t happy either especially a couple that was booked to spend a few nights in the nearby lighthouse. Soon after Julia tries to meet with the man to try to come up a plan to reopen the beach he is found dead. There are plenty of suspects as he had angered plenty of people. Just who was mad enough to commit murder? Julia plans to find out.

It was so nice to escape to Maine in the summertime as the cold weather here tries to chill us to the bone.

This time in addition to the beach being closed off preliminary plans have been drawn for repairing and renovating Windsholme, the mansion on Morrow Island that been empty since the 1920s. The mansion on the beach that Bartholomew Frick was inheriting was built by the same builder so the architect and designer are anxious to get a peek as they continue to finalize the plan. Julia and her boyfriend Chris are having some issues but she opens her will finally open up and tell her more about the secret she knows he is keeping.

This was a really fast read for me. The death of “Lou” Herrickson sets off a chain of events that had my pages absolutely flying. Her family tree and her will designations were very surprising to the people of Busman’s Harbor.

All my favorite characters were back and some new characters that definitely fit the “quirky” definition were introduced. One couple traveling by RV is trying to see or sleep in all the lighthouses in the U.S. What a fun idea!

I liked that we delve into Chris’ past in this story and start to understand him better. He has had a complicated life and the author is finally allowing Julia and us readers in on his past.

The entire story is very well-written with subplots the blend perfectly into the main plot. Twists, turns, and some exciting moments take place as Julia does her best to solve this mystery.  There is a clear “edge of your seat” moment near the end that had my heart racing.

I love the way Barbara Ross tells a story. She drew me in, set a brisk pace, and took me on a wonderful little trip complete with delicious food descriptions with recipes and a top-shelf mystery.

Each book in this series can be read on its own but for maximum enjoyment, I recommend reading them in order.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


About The Author

Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries, including the Agatha-nominated Best Contemporary Novel Clammed Up, as well as Boiled Over, Musseled Out, Fogged Inn, Iced Under and Stowed Away Steamed Open is the latest book in this series. Her story “Nogged Off” appears in the holiday novella collection Eggnog Murder along with stories by Leslie Meier and Lee Hollis. Barbara blogs with the Wicked Cozy Authors and Maine Crime Writers. In the summer, she writes on her big front porch overlooking the water in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. You can visit her website at http://www.maineclambakemysteries.com


 


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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Sign Up for Barbara’s Newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries!

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End January 2, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

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.”

Dec 182018
 

‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas (Christmas Tree Farm Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Maine
Crooked Lane Books (November 13, 2018)
Hardcover: 309 pages
ISBN-10: 168331803X
ISBN-13: 978-1683318033
Kindle ASIN: B078LZ5T7X

It’s out of the cupcake tin, into the fire for Holly White’s best friend, Caroline. Can Holly clear Caroline’s name in time to go caroling?

When a body turns up in a larger-than-life candy bowl filled with peppermints on the town square, Holly White is horrified to learn her best friend Caroline is the main suspect. Everyone in town, including Mistletoe, Maine’s sheriff, saw Caroline fighting with the victim on the night of his death. Worse, a custom kitchen knife, engraved with Caroline’s initials was found with him.

Now, just ten days before Christmas, Holly’s up to her jingle bells in holiday shenanigans and in desperate need of a miracle. Juggling extra shifts at her family’s Christmas tree farm and making enough gingerbread jewelry to satisfy the crowd is already more than she can handle―and now she has to find time to clear her best friend of murder. Add in her budding relationship with the sheriff, and a personal stalker dressed as Santa Claus, and Holly’s ready to fly south until springtime.

But her Sherpa-lined mittens come off when Caroline is taken into custody. Can Holly wrap up the case in time for Christmas…even after she gains the true killer’s attention?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mistletoe, Maine, the perfect place to celebrate Christmas. Holly White’s family’s tree farm is a magical place this time of year with its Reindeer Games. All kinds of treats and festivities are planned and a contractor named Christopher has promised their new inn will be ready to open by Christmas Eve.

The first big Mistletoe event is the annual tree lighting. Everyone is gathered in the town square but when the big moment arrives the night turns from Merry to Scary. There, next to the tree is a huge candy dish full of peppermint candies and a dead body. The man was stabbed with a monogrammed custom made knife. A knife that belongs to Holly’s best friend Caroline. The deceased is the same man that got handsy with Caroline at a recent dinner and the whole town was witness to her dressing him down. With all the evidence it isn’t long before Caroline is behind bars. Holly knows her friend is no killer, she just has to prove it. But the killer is watching every move Holly makes and leaving her special warning gifts. When the gifts escalate to real harm Holly just hopes she will survive until the killer is caught.

I loved the first book in this series, Twelve Slays of Christmas last year, so I put this book on my reading calendar several months ago. I was so excited to start reading and the author exceeded all my expectations.

The White family are such wonderful characters. They make everyone feel right at home and try to make their tree farm experience as merry as possible. Holly hands her hands full as she has been put in charge of all the building choices for the new inn, in addition to helping her mother in the cafe and making her glass jewelry, a business that has really taken off.

I wanted to sit back with a couple of cups of hot chocolate and savor my visit to Mistletoe, but there is so much happening that was impossible. The author sets a brisk pace and fully draws the reader in. Chasing down clues, running from a creepy Claus, keeping up with the tourists, Holly takes on a wild ride, at times literally! The pages were flying.

Ms. Frost’s descriptions really take us there. A sleigh ride around the tree farm was described in such vivid detail, I was enjoying the scenery and after a scary moment, I was feeling chilled to the bone and was pulling a blanket over myself. The blindfolded games played were also described so well. I easily pictured what was happening and was laughing at loud. Great ideas for family get-togethers too. I also enjoyed the details along the way as the inn neared completion and the entire subplot was heartwarming. I am ready to call in my reservation today.

This was an exciting holiday read, cozy mystery lovers will be overjoyed. It will also get you truly into the holiday spirit. Fun and entertaining, a book you will not want to put down. I loved it and I can’t wait for next year. I already have saved a date on my calendar and added this story to my Best Reads List for 2018.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Jacqueline Frost is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three spunky children. Jacqueline is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC).

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.”

 

Dec 172018
 

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be visiting Texas and Kentucky this week! 

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas: A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery
by Jacqueline Frost
Release Date – November 13, 2018
Setting – Maine
My review will be up tomorrow!


Steamed Open (A Maine Clambake Mystery)
by Barbara Ross
Release Date – December 18, 2019
Setting – Maine
I will feature this book this week on Cozy Wednesday!


The Whispered Word (Secret, Book & Scone Society)
by Ellery Adams
Release Date – November 27, 2018
Setting – North Carolina
My review will be up Thursday!

Current Escape


Fear No Truth
by LynDee Walker
Release Date – December 17, 2018
Setting – Texas
For Review

Scheduled Escapes


Batter Off Dead: A Southern Cake Baker Mystery
by Maymee Bell
Release Date – December 11, 2018
Setting – Kentucky
For Review

With Christmas and New Year’s quickly approaching my Reading Calendar is pretty open through the end of the year. It is a time when I can grab anything I want off the shelf and read as fast or as slow as I want, even taking a night completely off.

Future Escapes

In addition to Steamed Open above and One Taste Too Many that I have already reviewed these books are being released this week.


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Dec 162018
 

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The Sunday Salon used to be a meme but was getting so huge it became unmanageable, so it is now a Facebook group that has become an
informal week in review gathering place for bloggers.

It is also a place to share our thoughts about things of a bookish nature.

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by
Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer
~ It’s a chance to share news~
A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

HAPPY SUNDAY EVERYONE!

WordPress Frustration

If you use WordPress to create your blog you know the BIG editor revamp was released on December 6. I was excited by all the hype and ready to learn all about the “block based” format. I looked over all the information leading up to the launch but still wasn’t prepared for such a huge change. I am not exactly a novice at computer/blog works but this new release made me feel like a complete idiot.

After hours spent trying to compose just 1 post, I was so thankful for Classic Editor Plugin. I installed it and activated it and completed my post in just minutes. Classic Editor is an official WordPress plugin, and will be maintained until at least 2022. That gives me plenty of time to either learn the new version or maybe they will have an entirely new idea by then for the technologically challenged people like me.

Maybe December was not the month to release this “gift”. The stress of finding everyone the perfect present is enough, I didn’t need the extra stress of learning how to create my blog in a whole new way. 

If you had a different experience I would love to hear all about it. 

~Lori/Dollycas


Weekly Rewind December 10 – 15, 2018

Monday – My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #50 2018

Plus – #BookBlast – Darkest Before the Dawn (Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series) by Mike Martin

Tuesday – #Review / #Giveaway – With a Little Bit of Blood (The Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mysteries) by D.E. Ireland – Great Escapes Book Tour

Wednesday – #Special Guests – Teresa Inge, Heather Weidner, Jayne Ormerod, and Rosemary Shomaker – Authors of To Fetch A Thief – Great Escapes Book Tour

Plus – Cozy Wednesday with Debra H. Goldstein – Author of One Taste Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery) – #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @KensingtonBooks

Thursday – #Review / #Giveaway – Just Plain Murder (An Amish Mystery) by Laura Bradford @BerkleyMystery

Plus – #SpecialGuest – Dianne Ascroft – Author of A Timeless Celebration (Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries) – Great Escapes Book Tour #Giveaway

Friday – #Review – TANGLED UP IN TINSEL (A Kenni Lowry Mystery) by Tonya Kappes @HeneryPress

Plus – #SpecialGuest – Rosalind Barden- Author of Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case – Great Escapes Book Tour #Giveaway

And – 2018 Midwinter’s Eve #Giveaway Hop!! December 15th – 31st

Saturday – #SpecialGuest – Debbie De Louise – Author of Love on the Rocks (Cobble Cove Mystery) – Great Escapes Book Tour #Giveaway

Happy a great week everyone!! 

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Dec 152018
 

Love on the Rocks (Cobble Cove Mystery)
by Debbie De Louise


Welcome, Debbie!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a librarian at a public library. I’m married with a teenage daughter and have three cats (two kittens were just added to our home) and a fish.

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

Before I became a librarian and author, I was a secretary. 2. I’ve lost 65 pounds on Jenny Craig and by exercising daily. 3. I own and manage a pet memorial Center in the virtual world of Second Life.

What is the first book you remember reading?

Although it wasn’t the first book I read, the first book that made a big impression on me was The Winter People by Phyllis Whitney. I was around 11 or 12, and it was a Christmas gift from my older brother. It started my love of gothic romances that lasted throughout my teens in which I devoured books my Phyllis Whitney, Victoria Holt, and Barbara Michaels.

What are you reading now?

I just finished Mitch Albom’s The Next Person you Meet in Heaven, and then I’m starting Christmas at the Cat Café by Melissa Daley for a little holiday reading.

What made you decide you want to write?

I’d always loved reading from a young age and also loved telling stories. My teachers and family encouraged me when I showed a talent for writing. In college, I wrote for the student newspaper and then I joined the Cat Writer’s Association to which I still belong and wrote articles for pet magazines. My first novel was published in 2008. I took a break from writing and then started again in 2015 and now have six published books, a novella, and a dozen or so short stories.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

I write at the computer in my living room, but some of the ideas for my writing come to me when I wake up in the morning or when I’m doing other things and are struck with inspiration. I have a notebook where I jot these ideas down to return to later.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Pretty much everywhere – other books (not that I copy anything, but I read a variety of genres and learn a lot from other authors; TV shows and movies; everyday life; my past and present experiences; my imagination).

What books have most inspired you?

As I mentioned above, I was entranced by gothic romances as a teen. I also went through a period of reading cozy mystery series featuring cats by such authors at Carole Nelson Douglas (Midnight Louie); Rita Mae Brown (Sneaky Pie); Shirley Murphy (Joe Grey), etc. I also love to read time-travel tales. Some of my favorite books have included The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger; Time and Again by Jack Finney; and The Eight by Katherine Neville.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Finding the time to do it. The more I publish, the more I need to promote, and the less time I can devote to writing. It’s a big challenge, and one I know most authors who work full-time share.

What do you think makes a good story?

The plot, of course, but I feel the characters are the most important aspect of any story. Readers need to relate to, empathize, and identify with characters to enjoy a book. I also feel that a few subplots and twists enhance novels, especially if they’re mysteries.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Most of my main characters are like me, especially Alicia, the librarian and author in my Cobble Cove mystery series.

Why did you pick your particular genre?

I actually write several genres, but my favorite are my cozy mysteries and my general mysteries. I like them because they’re also the types of books I like to read most. I enjoy creating and solving puzzles and giving “birth” to characters and watching them grow from book to book or from the beginning of the story to the end. I also like staging murders and introducing clues that are not always obvious but can be explained at the end.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

I feel my cozy mysteries aren’t traditional in the sense that they are more complex and multi-layered than your usual cozy. There are often serious themes, although they also feature some humor. The first book, A Stone’s Throw, is very much like a romantic suspense novel.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

I’m looking for an agent because I’d like to publish my books in a wider format than eBook and paperback and have them reviewed in popular journals that I, as a librarian, order from at work so that they reach a wider audience. I have two unpublished titles, the first of a new cozy series and a psychological thriller that I’m seeking representation for. I’m also hoping to finish a gothic-type novel that I’m halfway through. Of course, I want to continue my Cobble Cove mysteries with Solstice Publishing who are absolutely wonderful and have been so supportive of my work. My fourth title in that series, Love on the Rocks, was recently released, and some themes introduced in it open the door for future books.

Thank you, Debbie, for stopping by today. 

Keep reading to find out about Debbie’s new book, Love on the Rocks.

About the Book

Love on the Rocks (Cobble Cove Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Solstice Publishing (October 17, 2018)
Paperback: 241 pages
ISBN-10: 1625268505
ISBN-13: 978-1625268501
Digital ASIN: B07JHV9FJC

It’s February in the small town of Cobble Cove. Love is in the air . . . but so is murder!

When Alicia helps plan a Valentine’s Day Party at the Cobble Cove library that also includes a surprise for her newlywed friend, Gilly, things go wrong when a mysterious box of chocolates addressed to the director turns out laced with poison.

Clues Lead to A Dead Suspect

Although Alicia promised John she’ll no longer meddle in crime investigations, she and Gilly set out to find the person threatening Sheila who murdered the courier of the deadly candy. The three people they suspect include the professor from California who’s been romancing Sheila while she assists him with research for his book; the obnoxious patron Rhonda Kleisman who threw coffee at the director after refusing to pay for a damaged book; and a visiting widow staying at Gilly’s inn who’s unnaturally curious about Sheila and earns the nickname of Madame Defarge for her interest in knitting.

New Cat in Town

While Alicia and Gilly are trying to solve this new Cobble Cove mystery, Sneaky is introduced to Gilly’s new kitten, Kittykai, a calico she brought home from her honeymoon in Hawaii. It’s not like at first sight, but the two cats eventually become friends. They also both play a part in foiling the killer’s murder attempts, but will Alicia and Sheila survive unscathed?

About the Author

Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island. She is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, International Thriller Writers, Long Island Authors Group, and the Cat Writer’s Association. She has a BA in English and an MLS in Library Science from Long Island University. Her novels include the three books of the Cobble Cove mystery series: A Stone’s ThrowBetween a Rock and a Hard Place, and Written in Stone. Debbie has also written a romantic comedy novella, When Jack Trumps Ace, a standalone mystery thriller, Reason to Die, and a paranormal romance, Cloudy Rainbow. She lives on Long Island with her husband, Anthony; daughter, Holly; and cat Stripey.

Author Links

Facebook    Twitter     Goodreads    Amazon Author Page    Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up

Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog    Debbie’s Character’s Chat Facebook Group

Purchase Links: eBook & Kindle Unlimited: mybook.to/cc4
Paperback: mybook.to/cc4pap
___________________________________

Free Offer from Debbie DeLouise

The characters from Debbie De Louise’s Cobble Cove cozy mysteries gather in the Cobble Cove library to celebrate the holidays. Each character receives a gift from the author, and Alicia, the main character, reads some excerpts from the first book, A Stone’s Throw, and the new release, Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

It will be free from Thursday, December 13 to Monday, December 17!

________________________________

Purchase Links

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
December 10 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
December 10 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
December 11 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 12 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
December 13 – T’s Stuff – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 14 – My Reading Journeys – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 15 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
December 16 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 16 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 17 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
December 17 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 18 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 19 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

 

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Dec 142018
 

2018 Midwinter’s Eve #Giveaway Hop!!

December 15th – 31st

Hosted by Bookhounds

After you have bought the presents for everyone else,
you need to start the new year with some gifts for yourself! 

Maybe a book or two! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to visit all the giveaways!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Dec 142018
 

Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case
by Rosalind Barden


Welcome, Rosalind! 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m hopelessly creative, with a whimsical way of looking at the world, when I’m not looking at the world with a pair of satirical glasses, that is.

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

Yes, my hair is real; 2) I’m a decades-long vegetarian/mostly vegan; 3) No, I don’t understand why I’m not thin.

What is the first book you remember reading?

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” by Dr. Seuss, and “Put Me in the Zoo,” by Robert Lopshire. In a burst of de-cluttering awhile back, I gave away “Put Me in the Zoo,” and have regretted it ever since.

What are you reading now?

I typically read several books at the same time. The first book I’m reading is the short story collection “Arithmophobia” by Ruschelle Dillion. It’s published by Mystery and Horror LLC, which also published “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case.” I’m enjoying the darkly humorous, well-constructed stories in “Arithmophobia” that weave around the theme of numbers. Intriguing stuff.

I’m also re-reading two books I picked up on a whim from the Homer Bookstore: “Tails of a Dogsitter” by Karen Roush, and “Invisible Ink,” an anthology of short stories by Homer authors edited by Joyce Baker Porte. I think these two books have possessed me. By the way, it’s worth going to Homer, Alaska for this bookstore, in my opinion. Homer is an interesting place.

I regularly re-read books that I’ve enjoyed in the past. That’s why I find it so hard to give them away even though I probably should be “de-cluttering” them. I like being surrounded by interesting books.

What made you decide you want to write?

I always assumed I’d be a writer. I liked telling stories and reading stories from as far back as I remember. My Mom was a big influence on me. She was a creative person who did some writing too. She always encouraged my creative pursuits and believed in me. I remember our frequent trips to the library where me and my siblings camped out in the children’s section, while she headed to the biographies, her favorite section. She’d buy us kids plenty of books too, even though we lived on a tight budget (“Put Me in the Zoo,” for example). I was raised with books. Not everyone is, so I’m really lucky to have had a Mom like that.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

I have my laptop on a table where it fits. I write where I can. I also write long-hand in paper notebooks if I’m out and about. Got tired of lugging my laptop around. Plus, I worry about someone snatching my laptop (and all my writing-in-progress!). There’s not a lot of resale value in used paper notebooks, so less snatching worries there. I do have a fantasy of a dedicated writing office with a sublime view, lots of shelf space for my books, and a couch where I can drowsily dream of new ideas.

Do you write at the same time every day?

No. For me, that’s not practical. I write when I can.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Everywhere. The seed of an idea will come into my head, and then I let my mind wander from there. I usually don’t remember where the original little bit of an idea came from. There are exceptions. For “American Witch,” I vividly remember watering the backyard where I used to live, and it was like the character of George came right up beside me. So, of course, I had to write his story. I’ve never had another character come to me so strongly. “American Witch” probably is the best I’ve written, and I wish it’d gotten a wider readership. But that’s the challenge of self-publishing. It’s tough to promote, which is something I learned from that book. I’m making more of a promotion effort nowadays!

What books have most inspired you?

It’s challenging to narrow my list down, because I read so much and am inspired and impressed by so many books and writers. I may have a different answer tomorrow, but today, here goes: “King Rat” by James Clavell and “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller for their dark satire. Same for “Bonfire of the Vanities” by Tom Wolfe. Tom Wolfe’s writing style amazes me. His words bounce off the page with impertinent glee. I confess I have been known to “borrow” some of his favorite style bits. Douglas Adams and P.J. Wodehouse inspire me for their satire of the lighter variety. The first two “Harry Potter” books by J.K. Rowling are my favorites from the series. “Five Children and It” by Edith Nesbit because it’s slyly subversive. I enjoy older humorous books and short stories, like Robert Benchley’s essay collection, “My Ten Years in a Quandry,” Josephine Dodge Daskam’s short story “A Study in Piracy,” and cozy mystery “The Haunted Bookshop” by Christopher Morley. “Ghosts, A Treasury of Chilling Tales Old and New” selected by Marvin Kaye also comes to mind. Douglas Clegg’s books are dark and impossible to put down. Going back to my early reading years, “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak influenced me. I desperately wanted to take that boat to the island with the Wild Things. I did rig up a “boat” and hoped I’d have the same result as Max in the book, but no such luck. Maybe I’ll try again later.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Finding the time. That’s the toughest. Not many people understand that a writer needs a lot of time to sit down, create, revise, plus daydream about the concept in the first place. It’s hard to tell a friend I can’t do something over the weekend because that’s the only free weekend I’ve had in awhile and I desperately want to stay in to write. People tend to become upset.

And the promotion. In this day and age, writers also have to be marketers. It eats up precious writing time, and to me, it’s harder than doing the writing itself. The exception is meeting readers in person at book signings. That’s fun. But trying to puzzle out promotion dos and don’ts? Not so fun. Because I write in different genres, my “brand” is elusive, which is a big frowny-face in book marketing. I remain hopeful that readers with a sense of humor will discover my work and be patient that I don’t fit neatly within a brand.

What do you think makes a good story?

Wanting to turn the page and keep going. Also thinking about the book, the characters, the scenes long after I’ve finished reading. Deciding to give the book another read after a couple of years, or couple of months. Third read, then fourth read. I once told another writer that I’d read “Bonfire of the Vanities” twenty times. She didn’t believe me, but it’s true. Tom Wolfe is a word master and I love his sentences!

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

I’m in every story I write, sometimes more, sometimes less. For “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case,” there’s a lot of Sparky in me. Sparky is resourceful, adventurous, but misunderstood, which I think describes me.

Why did you pick your particular genre?

I’ve been toying with mysteries for a long time. They’re challenging to write, because they have the puzzle solving element. But that’s what makes mystery writing interesting. “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case” grew out of my short story “The Monkey’s Ghost,” which appears in the short mystery anthology, “History and Mystery, Oh My!” published by Mystery and Horror LLC in 2015. Some of the characters are the same, though I made Marigold older in “Sparky.” The main characters in “Sparky” are new, except silent screen vamp, Tootsie, who is pulled from another, unpublished short story of mine. That story explains Tootsie’s early, pre-stardom days that are only eluded to in “Sparky.”

Of course, I also write horror and sci-fi, because I enjoy reading them. My novel “American Witch” is dark satire because, again, I enjoy reading satire. I love picture books, which explains why I wrote and illustrated “TV Monster.” Picture books are an art form in their own right. I love to read many types of books, which leads me to write many types!

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

I don’t think there’s another humorous, noir, 1930s, Los Angeles, Young Adult mystery novel out there besides “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case.”

What’s next on the horizon for you?

I’m currently writing book two in the “Sparky of Bunker Hill” series, tentatively titled, “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the No Nose Knucklehead.” After that, “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Monkey Island Murder.” Sparky bumps into one challenge after another in both books.

In “No Nose Knucklehead,” life gets really real, really fast for Sparky. Bobby, the bum, is out of town with his cozy family so is no help whatsoever. She’s got to handle the mess (it’s a big mess) on her own. And find out who the real cannibal is.

In “Monkey Island Murder,” she goes back to school, which is tough for independent, smarty-pants Sparky. Will any of the other kids ever talk to Sparky? And what’s with the escaped gorilla?

Thank you, Rosalind, for visiting today. 

Keep reading to find out about Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Case Kid

 

About the Book


Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case
Young Adult Mystery
Mystery & Horror, LLC (October 9, 2018)
Paperback: 216 pages
ISBN-10: 1949281027
ISBN-13: 978-1949281026
Digital ASIN: B07H49P46T

Lots of characters have it bad, in my Bunker Hill neighborhood smack dab in the middle of Los Angeles, but I’ve had it rougher than most.
There may be something to this 13th business.

That’s my birthday, and I’m learning to dread seeing it roll around. My mother died on one birthday. The cousins dumped me on my last. This year, 1932, I found a dead kid on a park bench. It’s my eleventh birthday, and the day me, Sparky, ended up on the run, wanted for murder.

If the dead girl wasn’t enough, the dirty newspapers pinned every body in LA on me, and even blamed me for the Great War. I wasn’t even born then. The price on my head got bigger by the day.

It was up to me to find out who killed the girl and why I got framed, before I ended up dangling from the hangman’s rope.

Praise for Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case
by Rosalind Barden

What a fun, exciting adventure book! . . You just can’t help loving Sparky and her way of thinking and talking.
~Here’s How It Happened

About the Author

 

Over thirty of Rosalind Barden’s short stories have appeared in print anthologies and webzines, including the U.K.’s acclaimed Whispers of Wickedness. Mystery and Horror, LLC has included her stories in their anthologies History and Mystery, Oh My! (FAPA President’s Book Award Silver Medalist), Mardi Gras Murder, and four of the Strangely Funny series. Ellen Datlow selected her short story “Lion Friend” as a Best Horror of the Year Honorable Mention after it appeared in Cern Zoo, a British Fantasy Society nominee for best anthology, part of DF Lewis’ award-winning Nemonymous anthology series. TV Monster is her print children’s book that she wrote and illustrated. Her satirical literary novel American Witch is available as an e-book. In addition, her scripts, novel manuscripts, and short fiction have placed in numerous competitions, including the Writers’ Digest Screenplay Competition and the Shriekfast Film Festival. She lives in Los Angeles, California. Discover more at RosalindBarden.com

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Dec 142018
 

TANGLED UP IN TINSEL (A Kenni Lowry Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Kentucky
Henery Press (September 25, 2018)
Hardcover: 236 pages
ISBN-10: 1635113997
ISBN-13: 978-1635113990
Paperback: 236 pages
ISBN-10: 1635113962
ISBN-13: 978-1635113969
Kindle ASIN: B07FH6V113

Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle…

It’s Christmastime in Cottonwood, Kentucky, and Sheriff Kenni Lowry is determined to keep the peace. Vivian Lowry, Kenni’s Mama, is having a Christmas-size hissy fit because Kenni plans to spend Christmas in Chicago with her Deputy Sheriff-turned-boyfriend Finn Vincent and his family.

Plus, the snowstorm of the century is headed right toward Cottonwood, leaving the residents in a frantic frenzy and potentially derailing Kenni’s Christmas plans with Finn.

If that’s not enough to dampen the Christmas spirit, the ghost of Kenni’s grandfather—the ex-sheriff—makes an appearance, and that means only one thing: there’s been a Christmas murder, and there’s a tinsel-wrapped victim at the center of it.

Relying on her Poppa more than ever, Kenni uses him as the Ghost of Christmas Past to help solve the murder, but will it be in time for her to save Christmas in Cottonwood and hop on her plane to meet Finn’s family?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sheriff Kenni Lowry only has one thing on her mind, spending the holidays with Deputy Sheriff, now boyfriend, Finn Vincent, and his family in Chicago. No matter what the meteorologists or the rest of Cottonwood says about the huge snowstorm on the way, Kenni is not going to let it dampen her spirits or change her plans. When her grandfather, former sheriff, currently a ghost shows up she realizes MURDER may be the one thing that can tangle up her plans royally.

A young woman goes missing after the Hunt Club Christmas Cantata. Her parents are frantic and her boyfriend is worried. When her vehicle is found all hope is gone when she is found inside. It initially looks like a suicide but Kenni knows that if her Poppa is there the girl did not kill herself.

Kenni with the assistance of her Poppa, Deputy Finn, and the temporary deputy there to fill in for her while she is on her trip, band together to put the killer behind bars before the snowstorm hits. While her mama may be happy she is stuck in Cottonwood Kenni hopes her plans to spend Christmas in the windy city don’t fall through.

Christmas in Cottonwood means family to Vivian Lowry as long as it is her family getting together. She is not happy that her daughter has Christmas plans away from her. As the day gets closer she tightens the screws more and more in hopes that Kenni will change her mind. Of course, a young woman’s death was not in her plan. She just wanted Kenni to stand up to Finn and make him choose not to leave. Vivian Lowry is a woman to be reckoned with, crossing her is not advised. The way that the author has crafted this character and all the others is totally believable. Their Southern charm just rolls off of them. Even Finn is starting to fit right in.

I really love the ghostly presence of Kenni’s grandfather. He can only be seen and heard by Kenni and her lovable dog Duke. With each new installment of this series, it gets harder and harder for Kenni to keep her secret from Finn. So much humor comes from the moments of Kenni with her Poppa, his outlandish comments and her trying to cover up when someone overhears her side of the conversation,

The death of Leighann Graves is heartbreaking and to have it happen so close to Christmas was even more wrenching. The suspects are all residents of Cottonwood. Some secrets come out to twist the case toward one person but then turns another way to incriminate someone else and the twists and turns keep coming right up until the very end. I can’t believe how fast I read this story. I just couldn’t wait to reach the end to find out who killed Leighann? does the storm of the century hit Cottonwood? did Finn and Kenni catch their plane to Chicago?

This book was so enjoyable to read. I am glad I saved it to read during the hustle and bustle this holiday season. It is one I recommend adding to your holiday reading lists as well. Totally entertaining!

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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.”

Dec 132018
 

A Timeless Celebration (Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries)
by Dianne Ascroft

Welcome, Dianne!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hello everyone. I’m Dianne Ascroft. I grew up in Toronto, Canada and moved to Britain more than a quarter of a century ago. I’ve been gradually downsizing from city to town to countryside until I’m now settled on a farm in rural Northern Ireland with my husband and an assortment of strong willed animals. I enjoy the outdoors so when the household chores are completed (my least favourite part of life) and I’m not writing, I go for long walks and also spend time with our pets. For many years, we had a pair of goats as companions until the last one died three years ago. Now our closest companions are a pair of cats. There’s not much difference really: the stubbornness and determination is just in a smaller package.

I wrote historical fiction, often with an Irish connection, for several years before veering off into cozy mysteries. A Timeless Celebration is my first cozy mystery novel and my first book set in my homeland. Writing a story set in Canada has been a nostalgic journey for me and I enjoyed every minute of it.

What are three things most people dont know about you?

For approximately two decades, I played the Scottish bagpipes and loved playing and competing with a pipe band in parades and piping contests in Canada, Northern Ireland and Scotland. I’m the only right-handed person in my family. I’ve never dyed my hair.

What is the first book you remember reading?

Dick and Jane grade school readers. Dr Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham also stands out vividly in my mind.

What are you reading now?

I always have a ‘stack’ of books waiting on my Kindle but the one I’m currently reading is The Moon Sister by Lucinda Riley. Every year I pre-order the next book in The Seven Sisters series and eagerly wait for it to be released.

What made you decide you want to write?

I’m an only child and my mother and grandfather were voracious readers so I learned to love reading early. I think it was a natural progression from reading to writing my own stories. I was also a prolific pen pal and, during my teen years, I regaled my penfriends with long accounts of my life in Toronto. The longest letter I ever penned was 64 pages long, written to a friend during the couple of days when I was recuperating after having my wisdom teeth removed.

In my early 30s I moved to Belfast and worked in the university bookshop for several years. Meeting local authors regularly, I began to wonder whether I could also write fiction. So when a short story I submitted to a writing contest on Belfast’s Downtown Radio was selected for broadcast, I was thrilled and this small success encouraged me to pursue my interest in writing. In hindsight, I know that the story needed polishing but it was my first ‘publication’ and I was delighted. Although I never let anyone listen to it, there is a cassette copy of the broadcast still buried somewhere in the bottom of a drawer at home. The story was about a piper experiencing stage fright. Since I wrote that first story I’ve always wanted to bring the pipe band world into my writing again. I did that in a small way in A Timeless Celebration as Lois, the main character, is a piper and is introduced to Fenwater’s pipe band.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Where I write isn’t a place that would be my first choice – it’s just the place in our house where I can sit and work. I write at the dining room table, often with a cup of tea on the table beside me, and one of our cats draped across my knee (or sitting beside me tapping my leg with her paw). My husband is next door in the living room so, if he misses me, he can pop his head through the doorway to reassure himself that I’m still there. There’s a small window on the wall opposite and a patio door beside me so the room is bright and cheery. But, since they look out onto the side lawn and the farmyard respectively, the view doesn’t distract me – unless, of course, a hare hops through the farmyard and stops to glance around, or a cow escapes from a field and comes wandering over for a nosy at me through the patio door (both have really happened).

Do you write at the same time every day?

I wish I could. I like to write early in the morning. I’m always the first one up each morning so the house is quiet and there’s no distractions, other than the cats clamoring for their breakfast. In this atmosphere it’s easy to gather my thoughts and put them on paper before my mind gets filled with the other tasks that I have to tackle that day. But it’s not always possible to put my fingers to the keyboard before my daily tasks overtake me so often I have to scribble away whenever I get a few minutes. I set word count to meet each day but I don’t manage to write at a set time.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

The ideas for my stories are sparked by incidents that happen to me, random thoughts that cross my mind and bits of trivia that catch my attention. I’ve found inspiration in many different places. My World War II historical fiction series was inspired by the area where I live in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. The county has a rich and varied wartime history and, after I moved to the area more than a decade ago and learned about this history, I became fascinated by it. I started rooting in books, original newspapers and personal accounts to learn about the era, and many of the ideas for my stories were sparked by snippets of information I stumbled across during my research.

But the seed that sowed my first cozy mystery was quite different – and took much less research. I don’t know where the idea came from, but one day I suddenly had a quirky idea for where a stolen watch could be hidden. Then I worked back from that idea to decide why the watch was important, where it was stolen from, and how and why my main character, Lois Stone, would search for it and get it back. That one random thought about where it might be possible to hide a stolen item got my imagination working and A Timeless Celebration was born.

What books have most inspired you?

There are loads of books that I could name, but an Irish author Jennifer Johnston’s Shadows On My Skin made a huge impact on me when it was first released in the late 1970s. The author’s ability to breathe life into characters and unveil a story in an understated way, as well as her skilful use of language, are wonderful skills that I aspire to emulate. I also admire Diana Gabaldon’s storytelling skill and her ability to interweave stories that unfold over several books. Both authors have taught me valuable lessons.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Probably the most difficult aspect of the process for me is deciding what the theme of the story is and how the plot has to develop to reflect this. I spend time thinking about a new story and jot down my ideas before I begin to construct the plot. Once I have a list of ideas and information about the characters and the events in the story, I try to pull them together into a coherent plot. The theme then blends into the background but guides the development of the plot. As I pull the plot together, I check to be sure the story flows in a believable way and each character’s actions and the reasons behind them make sense. As I write the story I frequently refer back to my plot outline to be sure it is still on course.

What do you think makes a good story?

I think a story needs to be compelling, one that will matter to the characters and the reader. This doesn’t mean that it has to be a larger than life blockbuster that includes a huge cast of characters and many flashy settings. It can be set in a small place with characters that live relatively ordinary lives. But there must be a significant problem or conflict for them to solve, and events must drive relentlessly forward until the problem or conflict is resolved. As well as the underlying problem or conflict, the characters in the book need to touch readers’ hearts and make readers want to root for them.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

I know that Lois Stone, the main character in A Timeless Celebration, is very like me in many ways. After years of doing detailed historical research for my previous books, I decided that my first cozy mystery wouldn’t involve a huge amount of research. So as I wrote Lois, I deliberately used some of my own likes and dislikes to make her real. That made it very easy for me to bring her to life. Lois and I have had different experiences but there’s more of me in her than in any other character I’ve ever created.

Why did you pick your particular genre?

For the past few years I’ve written Second World War fiction, set in Northern Ireland. Then last summer, I decided to have a change of pace. I had an idea for a mystery series, Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries, and I knew a small town in Canada that would be the perfect setting for it. I think that part of the enjoyment of reading a cozy mystery is losing oneself in a pleasing setting. So I fictionalised the small town that I knew as Fenwater and my novel evolved from there. I wanted to create a place that beckons readers to step in and stay a while, and cozy mysteries allow me to explore the place as well as the mystery at the heart of the story.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

I would describe my cozy mystery stories as heartwarming with a hint of history. For me it’s important that the characters and place both appeal to the reader. I usually focus on characters that are people readers might meet and the kinds of places that everyone knows. The world of powerful corporations or the rich and famous isn’t for me. I don’t want to write larger than life places or people – just ones I hope readers will connect with. I want to warm readers’ hearts and put smiles on their faces. My mysteries have tension and drama, but perhaps in a more understated way than some books do.

Also, I guess it goes back to my beginnings as a historical fiction author, but I can’t help throwing historical elements into my stories. In A Timeless Celebration, it’s an artifact from the Titanic that is stolen. And in Out of Options, a novella that is almost ready to release, the story is set in a community divided over whether to continue to uphold their ‘dry’ status almost a century after the town voted to ban the sale of alcohol in the town. The story in Book 2 of the Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries will feature a historic quilt as an important part of the plot.

Whats next on the horizon for you?

Since I’m convinced that the real town Fenwater is based on is the perfect place to set a cozy mystery, I want to write more stories set in my fictional version of it. So that’s my plan for the immediate future: to write the second book in the Century Cottage Mysteries series and the next one and the next one…Book 2 should be ready to release next summer or early autumn.

I’m also working on a prequel novella, set in 1983, in the last area of Toronto to still prohibit the sale of alcohol (continuing without a break from the days of Prohibition in the 1930s) to give readers a glimpse into Lois Stone’s life before she moved to Fenwater, and reveal what prompted her move to the small town. The novella, “Out of Options”, will be available this month. All of that will keep me busy for the foreseeable future.

Thank you, Dianne, for visiting today! 

Now let me tell you about Dianne’s A Timeless Celebration.

 

 

About the Book


A Timeless Celebration (Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Self Published (October 25, 2018)
Print Length: 245 pages
ASIN: B07HF847NN

A small town, a big party, a stolen gift. When an artefact from the Titanic is stolen before her town’s 150th anniversary celebration, it’s up to Lois Stone to catch the thief.

Middle-aged widow Lois has moved from bustling Toronto to tranquil Fenwater and is settling into her new life away from the dangers of the city. Then two events happen that shatter her serenity: her house is burgled and an antique watch belonging to a Titanic survivor is stolen from the local museum. Her best friend, Marge, was responsible for the watch’s safekeeping until its official presentation to the museum at the town’s 150th anniversary party, and its disappearance will jeopardise her job and the museum’s future. Lois won’t let her friend take the blame and the consequences for the theft. She’s determined to find the watch in time to save her best friend’s job, the museum’s future and the town’s 150th anniversary celebration.

And so begins a week of new friends, apple and cinnamon muffins, calico cats, midnight intruders, shadowy caprine companions and more than one person with a reason to steal the watch, set against the backdrop of century houses on leafy residential streets, the swirling melodies of bagpipes, a shimmering heat haze and the burble of cool water.

Praise for A Timeless Celebration (Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries)
by Dianne Ascroft

The first thing I observed about the book was the writing. It is poetic and charming. I loved Ascroft’s storytelling style – unique and precise.
~The Book Decoder

. . . it is a heartwarming delight with really well-developed characters and such a beautiful setting.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

 

About the Author

Dianne Ascroft is a Torontonian who has settled in rural Northern Ireland. She and her husband live on a small farm with an assortment of strong-willed animals.

A Timeless Celebration is the first novel in the Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries series.

Her previous fiction works include The Yankee Years series of novels and short reads, set in Northern Ireland during the Second World War; An Unbidden Visitor (a tale inspired by Fermanagh’s famous Coonian ghost); Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves: A Collection of Short Stories (contemporary tales), and an historical novel, Hitler and Mars Bars, which explores Operation Shamrock, a little known Irish Red Cross humanitarian endeavour.

Dianne writes both fiction and non-fiction. Her articles and short stories have been printed in Canadian and Irish magazines and newspapers. When she’s not writing, she enjoys walks in the countryside, evenings in front of her open fireplace and folk and traditional music.

 

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Dec 132018
 


Just Plain Murder (An Amish Mystery)
 by Laura Bradford
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Berkley (November 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0440000408
ISBN-13: 978-0440000402
Kindle ASIN: B07BD1Y18R

Claire Weatherly and her beau, police detective Jakob Fisher, learn that when it comes to murder, evil can hide in plain sight in this all-new addition to the national bestselling Amish Mysteries.

Jakob and Claire have been enjoying more time together in lovely Heavenly, PA. With Claire’s help, the detective is making slow progress reconnecting with the members of his Amish family who shunned him when he left to pursue a career in law enforcement. Jakob’s mentor, Russ Granger, the long-retired police chief who inspired him to become a cop, is back in town. Claire has always wanted to meet the man who changed the course of Jakob’s life. But not long after he arrives in Heavenly, Russ is murdered.

Jakob can only imagine that his old friend must have been killed by someone outside of the Amish community. He and Claire soon find that things are not as they seem–and that Russ may have stumbled into something sinister before he was killed. The answers they uncover are closer to home and more shocking than they ever expected.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The lines become a little more blurred between the English and the Amish as Jacob Fisher’s mentor returns to Heavenly only to be killed before the two men can reconnect. The family that has shunned him knows how much this man meant to him. Claire is trying to bring his family closer while doing her best to be there for him herself, but he is carrying a heavy load of burden. This awful crime happened in his town and on his watch. He can’t believe anyone in Heavenly would be behind the heinous act, but he needs to get to the truth and find out what his friend stumbled into that got him killed.

Laura Bradford has written quite a mystery in this long-awaited return to Heavenly Pennsylvania. She gives us a clearer picture of Jacob Fisher and why he left the Amish way of life to become a police officer. Because he did it after he was baptized he has been shunned by his family. He paid that high price because he found his true purpose in law enforcement. Sadly, a man he respected, his mentor, has been killed and Jacob needs to step away from his pain and grieving to bring a killer to justice. The author brings Claire into the picture as support in a tender way, as a helpmate to lean on and a sounding board and partner in solving the crime. Her intuition and ability to get closer to the Amish make them a great team.

The amateur sleuth really came out of me while reading this story. It was very complex and surprising. There was a subplot about a rebellious Amish teen on rumspringa that twisted into the main plot and by the end, the teen played a key role and had an awakening of their own.

Ms. Bradford’s storytelling talents were out in full force for this story. By the end I cared more for characters I already cared for greatly. She brought out my mothering feelings regarding that teen and I genuinely was concerned about his life and hope he is included in future stories. The characters in this story continue to be some of my favorites. They continue to grow and their lives move forward and I feel blessed to follow them on their life journeys.

I have loved the town of Heavenly and it’s uniqueness since book 1 and I hope we will not have to wait as long to visit again. I look forward to many more stories with Claire, Jacob, their friends, and their families.

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About The Author

While spending a rainy afternoon at a friend’s house more than thirty years ago, Laura Bradford (a.k.a. Elizabeth Lynn Casey) fell in love with writing over a stack of blank paper, a box of crayons, and a freshly sharpened number two pencil. From that moment forward, she never wanted to do anything else.

Today, Laura is the national bestselling author of the Amish Mysteries, the Jenkins & Burns Mysteries, the Tobi Tobias Mystery Series, The Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries and the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries (written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey).

In June 2018, Laura debuted her first-ever women’s fiction novel, Portrait of a Sister.

Laura is a former Agatha nominee and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award in romance. In her free time, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, traveling, baking, and visiting the sea lions at the Central Park Zoo. For more information and all the latest book news, visit her website at www.laurabradford.com.

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