Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge Thoughts You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Small Town Can Be #Murder (Whistle Stop Mysteries) by Julie Seedorf #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @julieseedorf

A Small Town Can Be #Murder (Whistle Stop Mysteries)
by Julie Seedorf

About A Small Town Can Be #Murder


A Small Town Can Be #Murder (Whistle Stop Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Skye Bridge Publishing (December 21, 2019)
Paperback: 196 pages
ISBN-10: 0578605481
ISBN-13: 978-0578605487
Digital ASIN: B082YLDW43

You have all heard the story: big-city girl moves to small town and lives happily ever after. That’s not the forever-after Angel Delaight found when she moved to Whistle Stop, Minnesota. First her realtor is found dead in her new house, which is also rumored to be haunted. Then homeless animals began showing up at her door, along with a bevy of townspeople who seem to know what she is doing at all times. Not to mention a secret journal turning up during renovation, revealing more secrets hidden in this small community.

Will those secrets from the past put Angel’s life and those of her friends and family in danger? When the big-city girl meets a small town, it can be murder.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Life is a small town, there is nothing like it. Angel Delaight is about to learn all about it when she moves from Chicago to Whistle Stop, Minnesota. When her realtor is found dead in her new home not only the police arrive. Nope, a cacophony of Whistle Stop residents, a homeless pet or two or three, maybe even a ghost or two all find their way to Angel’s door. She is also surprised when her daddy shows up in town. When another dead body is found she becomes a firm believer that A Small Town Can Be #Murder!


Wow! Wow! Wow! I am used to and love Ms. Seedorf’s humorous cozy mysteries. While there is some humor in this story, this is truly a different fare from this author and as expected she truly excels.

Readers are introduced to a vast number of characters. They are all rich, unique and for the most part genuine and the dialogue fits the locale. What I really love is that Angel Delaight is a strong heroine that worked for her father’s construction firm before leaving Chicago. Having worked in the field myself I know how hard that can be. She is also a woman with a plan, and a vision and now finds herself wrapped in a murder investigation. The author has left plenty of room for character growth but her character development for this first book in a series is top-notch.

Also rare for the first book in a cozy series is a complex mystery but she has delivered that as well. Is the house haunted? You will have to read the story for yourself. Seedorf fills the book with action and twists. The story never lags, the pacing is absolutely perfect. I had a little niggling about the guilty party but how the story played out was a total surprise.

Whistle Stop is a great setting as is Angel’s Victorian home with all its nooks and crannies. I have always wanted to live in one of those unique painted ladies. It seems Angel has made a wonderful find. The author describes the home, yard, carriage house, and every place we visit in Whistle Stop “brilliantly”. I felt like I was on the scene with a bird’s eye view of all the happenings. This history of the town and places was fascinating. I really enjoyed the extra author’s notes.

A Small Town Can Be #Murder was so much more than I imagined when I read the synopsis. I truly escaped totally into this story. I already miss the characters and I am so excited about the continuation of this series. Thank you, Julie Seedorf! This is one of my Best Reads of 2020!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Julie Seedorf

A Bit About Me As An Impassioned Writer

As human beings, we are always a work in progress. From birth to death we live, hurt, laugh, cry, feel, and with all of those emotions we grow as people, as family members, and as friends. I am a dreamer and feel blessed to have the opportunity in my writing to pass those dreams on to others. I believe you are never too old to dream and to turn those dreams into a creative endeavor. I live in rural Minnesota and I am a wife, mother, and grandmother.

I have worn many hats throughout my life such as working as a waitress, nursing home activities person, office manager and finally a computer repair person eventually owning my own computer sales and repair business. I never forgot my love of writing and quit my computer business in 2012 after signing a contract with Cozy Cat Press for Granny Hooks A Crook, the first book in my Fuchsia, Minnesota Series.

Adding five more books to the Fuchsia Series, adding a Brilliant, Minnesota Series and writing a column for local newspapers feeds my writing creativity. This year the Whistle Stop series was born. Small towns have my heart and I hoped to convey that in my new series.

I also dabble a bit in watercolor painting and hope to eventually add pictures to my children’s book series, Granny’s In Trouble.

Oh, and did I tell you I like to be a little bit silly.

Author Links – Website – Facebook  –  Twitter  – Instagram –  Pinterest – Amazon –  YouTube –  Goodreads 

Purchase Links –

Amazon – KoboBarnesandNoble.comSmashwordsApple – Skye Bridge Publishing
Also by This Author



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Great Escapes Praise for A Small Town Can Be #Murder (Whistle Stop Mysteries)
by Julie Seedorf

The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and these descriptions pulled me into the story right from the very beginning. The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read.
~MJB Reviewers

This book is not light on mysteries to solve! . . . I really enjoyed the complexities of this story. I never felt like there were lulls in the story and while I didn’t guess the killer, I did have some suspicions about a few of the town residents.
~Storeybook Reviews

This was a fabulous beginning to a brand new series! . . . I loved this fascinating mystery! Julie Seedorf’s pacing was perfect and there was never a dull moment, with plenty going on.
~Brianne’s Book Reviews

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please Visit All The Stops.
March 31 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 31 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
April 1 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – GUEST POST
April 2 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 3 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST
April 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
April 4 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
April 5 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
April 6 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 7 – I’d Rather Be At The Beach –  REVIEW
April 8 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 9 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
April 10 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW
April 11 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 12 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
April 13 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

 

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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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Staging Wars (A Laura Bishop Mystery) by Grace Topping – Author Interview / #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @gtoppingauthor


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am thrilled to feature Staging Wars by Grace Topping today!

Staging Wars (A Laura Bishop Mystery)
by Grace Topping

About Staging Wars 


Staging Wars (A Laura Bishop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Publisher: Henery Press (April 28, 2020)
Hardcover: 254 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115949
ISBN-13: 978-1635115949
Paperback: 254 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115914
ISBN-13: 978-1635115918
Digital ASIN: B084BT29GG

Laura Bishop’s new home staging business is growing in popularity, though not with her nemesis. Laura has long suspected established interior designer Monica Heller of sabotaging her fledgling company—and having an affair with her late husband.

 

When the ultra-chic Monica is caught at the scene of a murder, Laura is plenty happy to imagine her languishing in a prison cell with bedsheets far from her normal 600-thread Egyptian cotton. But her delight is short-lived.

 

When Laura’s friends land on the police’s radar, Laura must overcome her dislike of Monica to help solve the crime. Not an easy task since Laura and Monica have been at war since the second grade.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Laura Bishop’s new business, staging homes is really taking off, but it seems interior designer Monica Heller would like to stop that, going so far as doing a little sabotage. Then Monica has other concerns on her hands when Laura and 3 other witnesses walk in on her killing her new client. She claims she didn’t do it, it’s all a mistake but the woman is spending some quality time behind bars while a mutual friend begs Laura to clear Monica of the crime.

Grace Topping continues to bring strong characters to her mysteries. Laura, Nita, and all their friends continue to evolve. One has a great amount of power over this certain group of people and knows how to use it to their advantage. I love the real teamwork feel of these amateur sleuths. Even Aunt Kit helps out and takes a new look at her niece’s choices.

The mystery gets off fast with first one body and then another, both killed in the same manner but no other apparent connection.  I was surprised by how much time and effort Laura puts into not only helping Monica regarding the murders but in keeping her business afloat too. Laura is a much better person than me. I would have held a grudge. These women have been foes FOREVER!

The romantic aspect of this book is kinda cute. Laura is completely oblivious that Detective Spangler has feelings for her. I am happy that the author is taking the time to lay a firm foundation for this relationship. I think it will make it so much stronger in the long run.

I really enjoy the home staging theme of this series. It is creative and feels very fulfilling to help homeowners sell their homes faster and usually for a better price. It is like playing with full-size dollhouses. I love that Laura is building her wares enough to have more choices and the need for a large warehouse storage space. Each chapter starts with a staging tip. They could be useful for more than just staging a home. The tips are great to give your own home a little freshening.

Staging Wars is filled with great characters and a substantial mystery that kept me engaged and entertained from beginning to end. I am excited to see what Laura stages next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Staging Is Murder here

 

Hi Grace, welcome to Escape With Dollycas!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a recovering technical writer and IT project manager, accustomed to writing lean, boring documents. Now that I’ve retired, I am creating murder mysteries and killing off characters who remind me of some of the people I dealt with during my career. Fictional revenge is sweet. I’m using some of the experience I gained helping friends stage their homes for sale as the inspiration for my Laura Bishop mystery series. I’m a member of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime, SINC Guppies, and Mystery Writers of America. I live with my husband in Northern Virginia.

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

  • I was born in Atlanta, Georgia, but raised in Altoona, Pennsylvania
  • I served in the Navy as a WAVE for seven years
  • While stationed in England, I married an Englishman who calls himself a GI War Bride

What is the first book you remember reading?

My mother had a book of Bible stories that she had brought to Pennsylvania from the farm she grew up on in George. The book was falling apart, but I loved to leaf through the pages looking at the black and white illustrations. I’m embarrassed to say that I colored some of the illustrations with crayons. As I got a little older, I was able to read the stories that went with the illustrations—which had been nicely enhanced by me.

What are you reading now?

I usually have several books going at one time, depending on what mood I’m in. Right now I’m reading One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski, Game of Scones by Mary Lee Ashford, and Fields Guide to Abduction by Julie Mulhern. Different types of stories to fit different moods.

I’m also a huge audiobook fan, so I listen to audiobooks while driving, cooking, or when I can’t sleep. I’m currently listening to An Artless Demise by Anna Lee Huber.

What books have most inspired you?

I especially enjoy books that have characters who are wise and make wise observations—the kind of book that makes you want to underline passages. I find characters like that in books by Jacqueline Winspear and Anne Perry. They often inspire me to be a better person or have a better outlook on life.

I also enjoy books that teach me something new. Cozy mysteries where the main character has a business or interest frequently teach me new things. For example, I learned a lot about clocks reading Julienne Holmes’ Clock Shop Mystery Series.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

Like most mystery writers, I chose to write mysteries because that is what I read. I enjoy the puzzle a traditional mystery presents. How I decided to write one is one of those strange quirks of fate. A friend asked me to go with her to Malice Domestic, a mystery conference for fans of traditional or cozy mysteries. I had never heard of Malice Domestic, but when I discovered it involved mysteries and that some of my favorite authors would be there, I couldn’t sign up fast enough. I went as a fan but found it so inspiring I left as a wannabe mystery writer. Lots of years later, I am attending Malice in May as a nominee for an Agatha Award for Best First Mystery. Anything can happen when you are inspired.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Most of the time I write in my office, which is a bedroom I inherited from one of my daughters when she left home. But when the weather is good, I love to work on our screened porch that looks out over woods. There is something about being out in nature, feeling a fresh breeze, hearing the birds chirping and the squirrels scurrying up trees, that helps me relax and lets my imagination take over.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

I had a friend who used to say that she got her ideas from the Idea Store. I haven’t been lucky enough to find that place, so I have to look around me for ideas. In my first book, Staging is Murder I had watched so many episodes of home staging shows on HGTV, I felt I had learned enough about home staging to have my main character start her own home staging business. I got the idea for the 19th century home she stages and the setting for the murder from a historic home in my hometown. In Staging Wars, I set the story in a small town arts group, based on the stories my sister told me about heading her arts group—dealing with everything except murder.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

I enjoy writing. I even enjoy rewriting. What I find challenging is proofreading my own work. After reading it numerous times, I begin to see what I expect to see, and I miss mistakes. That’s where beta readers are helpful. The story is fresh to them, so mistakes jump out at them more easily. One beta reader for Staging Wars noted that I had used the wrong name for a character in one place. I had totally missed catching that after reading my manuscript multiple times. It’s also a challenge keeping things straight from one book to another. In my second book, I referred to Laura selling her Lexus in the first book to help fund her business when she had actually sold her Volvo.

What do you think makes a good story?

One thing I look for in a good story is character growth. I want to see the characters evolve and come out of the story better people than they were in the opening chapters. Romance writer Susan Elizabeth Phillips is a master of this. In each of her books she has her main characters facing their demons or recognizing their flaws and dealing with them. One of the first things I learned about writing was to give characters a flaw that they would have to deal with during the story. Nobody likes a main character who is perfect. One of Laura’s flaws is that she has an aversion to good-looking men. Anytime someone hurt or embarrassed her, took credit for her work, or generally made her life a misery, a handsome man was usually involved. It was enough to have her avoiding them.

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

When I first started writing, I felt a bit awkward and self-conscious creating my main character because I felt people would think I was writing about myself. To compensate, I made my main character tall, I’m not; thin, I’m not; and a lot younger. But saying all that, I guess my main character, Laura Bishop, is the most like me. On the other hand, I made Laura’s mother sound so awful that I felt I should add a disclosure at the beginning of the book, saying that Laura’s mother was not based on my mother, who is wonderful.

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

The one thing that might be different from other cozy mysteries is that Laura Bishop is not only an amateur sleuth, she is also an extremely reluctant one. In Staging is Murder when her young assistant is accused of murder and his grandmother beseeches Laura to help find the killer, Laura acknowledges that she doesn’t have any skill in identifying killers and that she would do the grandmother a disservice if she agreed to help and then couldn’t do anything. She does not want to be looking for a killer. Another flaw is that she can’t say no to people who come to her for help, and she is drawn into the case—but reluctantly.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

After I spend a fair amount of time this spring promoting Staging Wars, I will begin working on the third book in the series, continuing the adventures of Laura Bishop and her best friend, Nita Martino. In May, I will be attending the Malice Domestic mystery conference, where I’ll find out if Staging is Murder won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Exciting times.

Thank you, Grace, so much for visiting today!

More About Grace Topping

Grace Topping is a recovering technical writer and IT project manager, accustomed to writing lean, boring documents. Let loose to write fiction, she is now creating murder mysteries and killing off characters who remind her of some of the people she dealt with during her career. Fictional revenge is sweet. She’s using her experience helping friends stage their homes for sale as inspiration for her Laura Bishop mystery series. The series is about a woman starting a new career midlife as a home stager. The first book in the series, Staging is Murder, is a 2019 Agatha Award nominee for Best First Novel. Grace is the former vice president of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime, and a member of the SINC Guppies and Mystery Writers of America. She lives with her husband in Northern Virginia.

Author Links –  Website – Twitter – Facebook – GoodReadsBookBub – 

Purchase Links – Amazon  B&N   Kobo  

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
April 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 5 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
April 6 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
April 7 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
April 7 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
April 8 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 9 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
April 10 – The Book Decoder – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 20 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
April 20 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
April 21 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
April 21 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
April 22 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
April 23 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
April 24 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – REVIEW
April 25 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

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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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Deep Fried Revenge (A Farm-to-Fork Mystery) by Lynn Cahoon #Review @LynnCahoon @lyricalpress

Available Today!

Deep Fried Revenge
Deep Fried Revenge (A Farm-to-Fork Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Idaho
Publisher: Lyrical Underground (April 7, 2020)
Paperback: 184 pages
ISBN-10: 1516109902
ISBN-13: 978-1516109906
Kindle ASIN: B07Z5NFN5T

Angie Turner is all prepped to face Boise’s culinary best when she enters her restaurant, The County Seat, into a big State Fair challenge. Instead, she gets dunked into a new murder investigation after a killer starts scrapping her competition . . .

 

The Idaho State Fair is in full swing and chefs are lining up to enter Boise’s Best Restaurant contest, including Angie and her County Seat crew. They might be the hometown favorite, but the competition is steeper than a funhouse floor. And when a top contender is felled following a heated confrontation over a corn dog recipe, winning suddenly becomes a matter of life or death. With a foul foodie on the prowl, it’s up to Angie to dig into the case and put a murderer on ice.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I love a state fair, don’t you? At the Idaho State Fair, they are holding a culinary competition and Angie Turner has entered her team from The County Seat to participate. The Boise’s Best Restaurant contest has several rounds with restaurants being eliminated after each round. One contestant, a top contender, is eliminated permanently shortly after the first round. Another is rushed to the hospital after the next round. Winning now has become a matter of life or death and Angie and Felicia rally their troops while Angie, Ian, and others get deep into the case to catch a killer. Ian also brings a new person in to join The County Seat crew and she has an interesting story.

________

Again Lynn Cahoon gives readers a great mystery to sink our teeth into. I really enjoyed this one because of the way the plot and subplots blended together so seamlessly. Thankfully while the revenge may be deep friend, none of the victims are, poison is the method of death and it is tough to ascertain where it actually came from. It was also hard to pare down the suspects. I found myself circling back around a couple of times.

The characters are this series have become some of my faves, both the humans and the animals. I absolutely love Angie’s, Saint Bernard Dom. I was also happy to have Mrs. Potter return in this book but she may be leaving the canvas again and that is okay knowing what she may be facing. The addition of a homeless teenager was a pleasant surprise. I loved the way everyone rallied around to protect her and take her under their wings. These characters truly have a family feel as close friends and co-workers tend to evolve into giving the story a very realistic feel.

At just 184  pages, Miss Cahoon packs in a lot of details and wonderfully descriptive writing. For me, the pace was measured to start with but picked up nicely about halfway through the story. The carnival food had my mouth watering and making me think that with the tragic virus in the world today most of our summer fun and yummy treats will be missed this year.

Deep Fried Revenge is a nice treat as this fun series continues. I recommend this whole series for foodie cozy mystery lovers.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

ABOUT LYNN CAHOON:

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

Author Links

Goodreads – Twitter –Facebook Website –Amazon Author Page

 

Also by Lynn Cahoon


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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Wonton Terror: A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien #Review / #Giveaway @StMartinsPress

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 am on a mission to get caught up on this series!

wonton terror
Wonton Terror: A Noodle Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (August 27, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250228344
ISBN-13: 978-1250228345
Kindle ASIN: B07NCWBQRQ

Wonton Terror, the fourth in Vivien Chien’s Noodle Shop delicious mystery series, Ho-Lee Noodle House is ready to take the Cleveland night market by storm—until a brand-new food venue literally explodes onto the scene.

 

Lana Lee is all smiles when the first evening of Cleveland’s Asian Night Market kicks off the summer. The weekly festival is always good for business, packed with locals and tourists, and this year, some stiff new food-truck competition. Wonton on Wheels, run by old friends of Lana’s parents, promises to have customers lining up for their delicately wrapped delights—until the truck blows up at evening’s end.

 

Lana’s boyfriend, Detective Adam Trudeau, had been planning a birthday getaway for the two of them but, lo and behold, Lana must assume the role of amateur sleuth yet again. With one proprietor of Wonton on Wheels dead, it’s beginning to look more like murder and less like an unfortunate accident. And as they begin to unwrap layers of disturbing secrets, Lana’s own family erupts into new drama. Will Lana be able to solve this crime—or has she jumped from the wok right into the fire?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It is time for the Cleveland Night Market and Lana Lee is thrilled her Ho-Lee Noodle House will be serving up its delicious Chinese food. The first night goes very well but wraps up with a huge KABOOM! A food truck belonging to some old friends of her parents explodes killing the husband Ronnie Chow and injuring the wife, Sandra.

On top of that Lana’s mother’s sister, Grace arrives in town for a visit and her boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau is planning a romantic trip for her birthday.

So there is plenty of family drama and some undercover sleuthing going on, but Lana better tread carefully or she may be the next one getting burned.


Lana continues to grow in each book and this time she really doesn’t back away from the challenge of finding who blew up that food truck. She goes back time and time again questioning suspects and anyone that may have any information. From the elderly Mahjong Matrons to reconnecting with her childhood friend, Calvin Chow, who may be her number 1 suspect, or his uncle Gene. She really came across as brave this time. She is also learning that to avoid some of the family drama is to take a pass on the family dinners once in a while, but her overbearing mother won’t let that happen often. This tight-knit family is what really sets this series apart. With all the drama you can see the love behind it all. This time grandma has some wise words for her daughters, making Lana and her sister Anna Mae have a bit of an awakening too.

Ms. Chien has served up a very twisted mystery here. It was a challenging mystery to solve, in fact, there is a huge twist at the end that turned all my theories inside out. The pace felt a lot faster this time than in the previous books, my pages were flying.

I have enjoyed every book in this series so far. Egg Drop Dead is waiting not so patiently on my Kindle and Killer Kung Pao will be released on August 25.

Wonton Terror is a wonderful addition to this series! I would encourage you to start the series from the beginning but the author does a great job at including enough background to read each story on its own.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Death by Dumpling here,  Dim Sum of All Fears here
and Murder Lo Mein here

About the Author

VIVIEN CHIEN was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio where she grew up in a mixed-race home, making for some very interesting cultural experiences. She found her love of books and the written word at an early age while writing short stories about her classmates in elementary school. Currently, she writes side-by-side with her toy fox terrier who refuses to sit anywhere else. When she’s not writing, Vivien enjoys frequenting local Asian restaurants, frolicking in the bookstore, and searching for her next donut. (From Amazon)

 

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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.”

 

 

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Stolen Letter: A Scottish Bookshop Mystery by Paige Shelton #Review @MinotaurBooks


The Stolen Letter: A Scottish Bookshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Scotland
Publisher: Minotaur Books (April 7, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1250203872
ISBN-13: 978-1250203878
Kindle ASIN: B07XX1JBJS

Delaney Nichols is confident she’s doing what she loves—case in point, just one day after returning from her fabulous European honeymoon, she’s eager to get back to the Cracked Spine, the bookstore where she works. But as she disembarks her bus and hurries toward the shop she and another woman collide, sending a stack of books the woman is carrying to the ground.

Delaney’s hapless victim’s name is Mary, and the two women can’t help but notice that they bear an uncanny resemblance to one another. According to Mary, they both also look like the long-beheaded Mary Queen of Scots. Even stranger, Mary believes she is the reincarnation of the Scottish queen. But peculiar as Delaney’s doppelganger is, she doesn’t have time to dwell on it: on her arrival to the bookshop, she learns the Edinburgh city council wants to close the Cracked Spine, citing code violations, and she’s determined to stop them.

But when Mary’s husband dies in a car explosion—and Delaney learns he was the very member of city council who proposed that the city take a closer look at the bookshop’s construction—she starts to wonder if her meeting with Mary wasn’t an accident. Edinburgh has become as filled with intrigue and deception as any European court, and Delaney is determined to get to the bottom of this royal mystery.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Delaney Nichols has returned from her honeymoon and can’t wait to get back to work at The Cracked Spine. But she is waylaid and she collides with a woman carrying a large stack of books. As she helps the woman. Mary, pick up the books she realizes the woman could be her doppelganger. Their resemblance is remarkable and the woman was also on her way to The Cracked Spine. Mary tells Delaney that they both resemble Mary Queen of Scots and that she firmly believes she is a reincarnation of the Scottish queen. Delaney is totally confused and taken aback by this but she is in for another even bigger shock when she arrives at her beloved bookshop. It seems the city council of Edinburgh is closing down the shop for unknown code violations. No one can even remember an inspector coming into the shop or receiving notification of any violations. Delaney jumps right into action trying to save the store.

She does accept a dinner invitation from Mary where she meets her husband, Henry. The next day he dies in a car explosion and Delaney finds out he was the member of the council behind the pressure to close The Cracked Spine.  This leads her to believe her meeting with Mary was not coincidental at all. She is going to do everything to save the bookshop and be sure the right person is booked for murder too!

______

I do love the way Paige Shelton tells a story. They are so easy to escape right into.

This time we see Delaney get fierce when her dream job is in jeopardy, in fact, all of the characters really step up.  Owner of the shop, Edwin MacAlister, is a little overwhelmed at first but does rally when Delaney makes it clear his help is truly needed and he pulls in a big gun. It was truly cool the way the story played out.

This author’s descriptive writing is just wonderful. Vivid images overtake my mind and take me right to Scotland allowing me to follow right in Delaney’s footsteps. From her amateur sleuthing to settling into to married life and getting ready to move into their new home. She is always able to give her stories a unique twist making it stand out in this genre.

The Stolen Letter is a great addition to this series. The characters are engaging and genuine. The mystery is twisty and entertaining. It checks all my cozy boxes to make it a Perfect Escape!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

 

About The Author

Paige Shelton is the New York Times Bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries. She’s lived lots of places but currently resides in Arizona. Find out more at www.paigeshelton.com



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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday – Featuring A Fatal Yarn (A Knit & Nibble Mystery) by Peggy Ehrhart #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am happy to feature A Fatal Yarn by Peggy Ehrhart today!


A Fatal Yarn (A Knit & Nibble Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Publisher: Kensington (March 31, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496723643
ISBN-13: 978-1496723642
Kindle ASIN: B07R4Q58WM

Pamela Paterson and her Knit and Nibble club must clear the name of one of their knitters when he’s accused of murdering the mayor . . .

 

The trees in Arborville, New Jersey, have started sporting sweaters. Part of the trend of public knitting art? Not exactly. An anonymous activist has been wrapping trunks in yarn to cover red X’s that mark certain trees for removal by the town so they don’t interfere with power lines. When the town’s mayor—who supports cutting down the trees—is murdered, Pamela wonders if the tree hugger committed homicide to prevent arborcide. A knitter is arrested, but it’s one of Knit and Nibble’s own—the harmless Rolland DeCamp, who was seen arguing with the mayor. Pamela is sure the police are barking up the wrong tree. With the help of her reporter friend Bettina, she branches off on her own investigation to root out the real killer . . .

Knitting tips and delicious recipe included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

The Knit and Nibblers are back and trying to figure out who is wrapping tree trunks in knit scarves to cover up the red x’s designated the trees to be destroyed to protect the power lines above. The town’s mayor supports the project and when he is murdered Pamela wonders if the tree hugger is responsible. But the police arrest fellow knitter Rolland DeCamp because he was witnessed arguing with the mayor. Pamela and Bettina cast on a wider net of suspects and do their best to knit together the clues to purl the right culprit behind bars.


We follow Pamela through her daily life as she works from home as an editor for “Fiber Craft Magazine,” and does a little sleuthing on the side with friend, neighbor, and yarn and nibbler Bettina.  Bettina is very pushy trying to get Pamela to date another neighbor but Pamela keeps putting her off. She is just not interested. I am surprised it hasn’t caused more strain in their friendship. It seems that issue has wrapped in this installment and that makes me very happy.

I do enjoy Ms. Ehrhart’s descriptive writing style. She tells the story in a way that brings the reader right into each scene, from her home office with her working on such interesting sounding articles, to the items being knit and the food being eaten. I love the camaraderie between the characters and the way they support each other. The conversations are realistic and you can tell they truly care about each other.

The mystery is on the light side and I did figure it out early in the story but all the drama and daily life kept me entertained right up to the final word. These are characters I love visiting and am looking forward to the next book.

A Fatal Yarn is a great addition to this series. Fix yourself something to nibble on and enjoy.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

You can read my review of Murder, She Knit here, Died in the Wool here, Knit One Die Two here, and Silent Knit, Deadly Knit here.

PEGGY

About the Author

Peggy Ehrhart is a former English professor who writes mysteries and plays blues guitar. She holds a doctorate in Medieval Literature, and her publications include a prize-winning book dealing with classical mythology in the Middle Ages. Her Maxx Maxwell mysteries, Sweet Man Is Gone (2008) and Got No Friend Anyhow (2011), feature a blues-singer sleuth.
Peggy is currently writing the Knit and Nibble mystery series for Kensington Books. Set in the charming (fictional) town of Arborville, New Jersey, it features amateur sleuth Pamela Paterson, founder and mainstay of the town’s knitting club. Peggy is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She plays guitar with the Still Standing Band. (From Amazon)

Find out more about Peggy on her website here.


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a U.S. 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!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 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 April 15, 2020, 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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Who’s Dead, Doc? (A Jules & Bun Mystery) by J.M. Griffin #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

Who's Dead, Doc?
Who’s Dead, Doc? (A Jules & Bun Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New Hampshire
Publisher: Kensington (February 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 149672058X
ISBN-13: 978-1496720580
Kindle ASIN: B07TT4FFZ1

Things get pretty hare-y when rabbit rescue and rehab expert Jules Bridge and her brilliant bunny go undercover to catch a murderer hiding in plain sight . . .

 

When Juliette “Jules” Bridge began caring for rabbits on her beloved Fur Bridge Farm in rural New Hampshire, she never imagined she’d be solving murders with one of them. Not only can her black-and-white rabbit, Bun, communicate with her telepathically, he happens to be a pretty sharp sleuth. Bun comes along as part of a petting pen for a birthday celebration—but for one of the guests, the fun is soon over. Evelyn Montgomery is found lying in the bushes with a knife in her chest, and the distraught hostess begs Jules to help . . .

 

To her surprise, so does Sheriff Jack Carver—who usually discourages Jules from getting involved in criminal investigations. But now she’s drafted at the last minute to fill in for Evelyn as a judge at a rabbit show, and Jack wants her to go undercover. Yet as she and Bun expose the dark—albeit fluffy—underbelly of the world of rabbit competition, a killer is ready to act as judge, jury, and executioner . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Juliette “Jules” Bridge and her very special rabbit, Bun, are back and are hopping right into another murder case.

Jules brings her bunnies to a child’s birthday party but before the cake is even served one of the adult guests is found dead in the bushes.  Evelyn Montgomery was well known in the rabbit world and Jules had met her when she inquired about having one of her rabbits, Petra, participating in an upcoming contest. With Evelyn out of the picture, Jules has been asked to take her place as a judge for the event. Sheriff Jack Carver is thrilled to have her on the scene with most of his suspects and actually asks her to keep her eyes and ears open and report back to him. Little does he know it will be Bun going undercover in places Jules can’t. His special talents put him in unique places where he uncovers some vital clues.


When I started Left Fur Dead a rabbit sidekick took a little getting used to but starting Who’s Dead, Doc? it seemed absolutely normal. Bun communicates with Jules telepathically but can do so much more. He is also one smart bunny, with clever ideas. Bun does find himself in a perilous situation the hikes up the suspense nicely. His rescuer Jules clearly loves all her rabbits and takes such good care of them but Bun is her special pet. Fur Bridge Farm is quite a place with a vet on-site and a wonderful yarn shop. Veterinarian Jess and Jules have become great friends. In fact, there share some delicious sounding meals quite often. Jules also has a couple of young helpers with fantastic ideas. The characters have all grown since the first book and continue to evolve. The dialogue is realistic, but the interactions between Jules and Bun are priceless.

Who’s Dead, Doc? takes us into the world of Rabbit Shows. I didn’t even know these were a thing but shouldn’t really have been so surprised. The victim crossed paths with many in the rabbit world that really weren’t melancholy about her being dead.  The plot twisted around revealing several suspects. There were also some “hare-raising” moments that turned things in a new direction. I loved that the sheriff and Jules worked together for the most part. His wife seemed to influence him to see Jules in a new light and that was refreshing.

Ms. Griffin has written a very entertaining story with charming characters. Who Dead, Doc? is a fine addition to this series and I am looking forward to my next visit with Jules and Bun.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent 

About the Author

J. M. Griffin is the bestselling cozy mystery author of sixteen novels, including the Vinnie Esposito series. She lives in rural Rhode Island with her husband and two very mysterious cats. Visit her at jm-griffin.com.

Author Links – Website – Facebook – Blog


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!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End April 14, 2020, 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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Frozen Stiff Drink: A Kellan Ayrwick Cozy Mystery (Braxton Campus Mysteries) by James J. Cudney #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Frozen Stiff Drink:
A Kellan Ayrwick Cozy Mystery (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
by James J. Cudney

About Frozen Stiff Drink

Frozen Stiff Drink: A Kellan Ayrwick Cozy Mystery
(Braxton Campus Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Publisher: Gumshoe – A Next Chapter(March 18, 2020)
Digital Edition – ~270 Pages
ASIN: B0849MJH6H

A winter blizzard barrels toward Wharton County with a vengeance. Madam Zenya predicted the raging storm would change the course of Kellan’s life, but the famed seer never could’ve prepared him for all the collateral damage. Nana D disappears after visiting a patient at Willow Trees, leaving behind a trail of confusion. When the patient turns up dead and a second body is discovered beneath the snowbanks, Kellan must face his worst fears. What tragedy has befallen his beloved grandmother?

 

Kellan’s brother Hampton learns essential life lessons the hard way after his father-in-law accuses him of embezzlement. While trying to prove his innocence, Hampton digs himself a deeper hole that might lead to prison. Sheriff Montague wants to save him, but she receives the shock of her life as the past hurtles forward and complicates her future.

 

Between locating Nana D and solving the scandalous murder of another prominent Braxton citizen, Kellan and April’s worlds explode with more turmoil than they can handle. Too bad neither one of them knows what to do about the psychic’s latest premonition. The suspicious deaths happening around town aren’t ending anytime soon.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Winter in Wharton County is not something to mess with especially when Madam Zenya has predicted the storm would change Kellan’s life. It sure has him worried when his Nana D. goes missing. She was last seen visiting a patient at Willow Trees. Later that patient is found dead. The bodies start to pile up when another is found frozen stiff in a car that had plowed into a snowbank.

In addition to the dead bodies, Kellan’s brother Hampton’s marriage is on the rocks after his father-in-law accuses him of stealing money from his company. Sheriff April Montague is juggling the deaths but her personal life is in flux as she tries to handle something from her past that now has a shot at ruining her future. She is also trying to help Kellan find his grandmother.

A missing person, dead bodies, a surprise visit, embezzlement, some bad reviews, and more. Someone has shaken the Braxton snowglobe and created chaos everywhere. They will all need a good stiff drink to thaw them out of this frozen tundra of mayhem.

______

I have enjoyed every book in this series and Mr. Cudney continues to top himself.

This time my favorite character Nana D. was in peril and I was totally enthralled by the search to find her. Madam Zenya sets the story off with her prediction and she pops up throughout the story to try to help Kellan. Hampton, his wife, and inlaws are center stage in this story. Kellan’s folks have taken the kids to Disney World but their vacay may not end as they had planned. April and Kellan are really trying to move their relationship forward but hit a huge roadblock. The family dynamics in this series continue to evolve and is what draws me in every time. They are authentic and the dialogue pops. I am invested in these characters and always excited to see what is going on in their lives, including the murder and confusion.

Mr. Cudney has written an intricate story that is multifaceted with subplots twisted together and Kellan in the middle of them all. I love that even with serious events the author expertly sprinkles humor in all the right places. Full of twists and misdirections, the pace is at a constant high. The ending was exciting and full of surprises. It was very entertaining to follow each clue and twist. There is one person that really rubbed me the wrong way but you will have to read the book to see if they were actually implicated in any crime.

While new crimes are wrapped up by the end of the book, there are plotlines that carry on from one book to the next. You know you get the feeling of accomplishment when the story ends. Well, I have learned to hold on tight at the end of these books because the author always gets his readers excited for the next book with a cliffhanger and this one rocked the world!! You listen here, James J. Cudney! Book 7 better be released soon!! 

Frozen Stiff Drink was frigidly cold Perfect Escape! Grab a blanket before you start reading this book because a Braxton winter will have you shivering right along with its residents.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About James J. Cudney

 

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College. I’ve spent twenty years building a technology career in the retail, sports, media, and entertainment industries. I enjoyed my job, but a passion for books and stories had been missing for far too long. I’m a voracious reader in my favorite genres (thriller, suspense, contemporary, mystery, and historical fiction), as books transport me to a different world where I can immerse myself in so many fantastic cultures and places. I’m an avid genealogist who hopes to visit all the German, Scottish, Irish, and British villages my ancestors emigrated from in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind, and my body. I decided to pursue my passion by dusting off the creativity inside my head and drafting outlines for several novels. I quickly realized I was back in my element growing happier and more excited with life each day. My goal in writing is to connect with readers who want to be part of great stories and who enjoy interacting with authors. To get a strong picture of who I am, check out my author website or my blog. It’s full of humor and eccentricity, sharing connections with everyone I follow—all in the hope of building a network of friends across the world.

When I completed the first book, Watching Glass Shatter, I knew I’d stumbled upon my passion again, suddenly dreaming up characters, plots, and settings all day long. I chose my second novel, Father Figure, through a poll on my blog where I let everyone vote for their favorite plot and character summaries. It is with my third book, Academic Curveball, the first in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, where I immersed myself in a college campus full of so much activity, I could hardly stop thinking about new murder scenes or character relationships to finish writing the current story. I can’t believe I’ve finished writing the sixth book in this series. Come join in the fun…

Author Links

Website    Blog

Amazon    Twitter    Author Facebook    Series Facebook

Bookbub    Instagram    Goodreads    LinkedIn    Pinterest

 

Braxton Campus Mysteries – Purchase Links 


Author’s Other Books

 

List of Published Books

Watching Glass Shatter (Contemporary Fiction / Family Drama)

The wealthy Glass family lost its patriarch, Benjamin Glass, sooner than expected. Benjamin’s widow, Olivia, and her 5 sons each react to his death in their own way while preparing for the reading of his will. Olivia receives a very unexpected confession from her late husband about one of their sons that could shatter the whole family. Prior to revealing the secret to her children, Olivia must figure out which boy Ben refers to in the confession he left her in his will. While the family attorney searches for the mysterious Rowena Hector whom Ben says holds the answers, Olivia asks her sons to each spend a week with her as she isn’t ready to let go of the past. When Olivia visits her sons, she quickly learns that each one has been keeping his own secret from her. Olivia never expected her remaining years would be so complex and life-altering, but she will not rest until her family is reunited after Ben’s untimely death. We all need family. We all want to fit in. We’re all a mix of quirky personalities. Will Olivia be able to fix them, or will the whole family implode? What will she do when she discovers the son behind Ben’s secret? Check out this ensemble cast where each family member’s perspective is center stage, discovering along the way who might feel the biggest impact from all the secrets. Through various scenes and memories across a six-month period, you’ll get to know everyone, learning how and why they made certain decisions. Welcome to being an honorary member of the Glass family where the flair for over-the-top drama pushes everyone to their limits. Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (Contemporary Fiction / Family Drama)

Between the fast-paced New York City, a rural Mississippi town and a charming Pennsylvania college campus filled with secrets, two young girls learn the consequences of growing up too quickly. Amalia Graeme, abused by her mother for most of her life, longs to escape her desolate hometown and fall in love. Contemplating her loss of innocence and conflicting feelings between her boyfriend and the dangerous attraction she’s developed for an older man, Amalia faces life-altering tragedies. Brianna Porter, a sassy, angst-ridden teenager raised in New York City, yearns to find her life’s true purpose, conquer her fear of abandonment, and interpret an intimidating desire for her best friend, Shanelle. Desperate to find the father whom her mother refuses to reveal, Brianna accidentally finds out a shocking truth about her missing parent. Set in alternating chapters two decades apart, the parallels between their lives and the unavoidable collision that is bound to happen are revealed. FATHER FIGURE is an emotional story filled with mystery, romance, and suspense. Father Figure (April 2018)

BRAXTON CAMPUS MYSTERY SERIES

Academic Curveball: Death at the Sports Complex (#1)

When Kellan Ayrwick, a thirty-two-year-old single father, is forced to return home for his father’s retirement from Braxton College, he finds the dead body of a professor in Diamond Hall’s stairwell. Unfortunately, Kellan has a connection to the victim, and so do several members of his family. Could one of them be guilty of murder? Then he finds a second body after discovering mysterious donations to the college’s athletic program, a nasty blog denouncing his father, and a criminal attempting to change student grades so the star baseball pitcher isn’t expelled. Someone is playing games on campus, but none of the facts add up. With the help of his eccentric and trouble-making nana weeding through the clues, Kellan tries to stay out of the sheriff’s way. Fate has other plans. Kellan is close to discovering the killer’s identity just as someone he loves is put in grave danger of becoming victim number three. And if that’s not enough to wreak havoc on his family, everything comes crashing to a halt when his own past comes spiraling back to change his life forever. In this debut novel in the Braxton Campus Mystery Series, readers discover a cozy, secluded Pennsylvania village full of quirky, sarcastic, and nosy residents. Among the daily workings of Braxton College and the charming Ayrwick family, Kellan weighs his investigative talents against an opportunity to achieve a much sought-after dream. When this first book ends, the drama is set for the next adventure in Kellan’s future… and it’s one you won’t want to miss. Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)

Broken Heart Attack: Death at the Theater (#2)

When an extra ticket becomes available to attend the dress rehearsal of Braxton’s King Lear production, Kellan tags along with Nana D and her buddies, sisters-in-law Eustacia and Gwendolyn Paddington, to show support for the rest of the Paddington family. When one of them appears to have a heart attack in the middle of the second act, Nana D raises her suspicions and asks Kellan to investigate who killed her friend. Amidst family members suddenly in debt and a secret rendezvous between an unlikely pair, Kellan learns the Paddingtons might not be as clean-cut as everyone thinks. But did one of them commit murder for an inheritance? Kellan is back in his second adventure since returning home to Pennsylvania. With his personal life in upheaval and his new boss, Myriam, making life difficult, will he be able to find a killer, or will he get caught up in his own version of stage fright? Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)

Flower Power Trip: Death at the Masquerade Ball (#3)

Braxton College is throwing the Heroes & Villains Costume Extravaganza to raise money for renovations to the antiquated Memorial Library. While attending, Kellan stumbles upon a close family friend standing over a dead body that’s dressed as Dr. Evil. Did one of Maggie’s sisters kill an annoying guest at the Roarke and Daughters Inn or does the victim have a more intimate connection to someone else on campus? As Kellan helps the school’s president, Ursula, bury a scandalous secret from her past and unearth the identity of her stalker, he unexpectedly encounters a missing member of his own family who’s reappeared after a lengthy absence. When all the peculiar events around town trace back to the Stoddards, a new family who recently moved to Wharton County, the explosive discovery only offers more confusion. Between the special flower exhibit that’s made an unplanned stop on campus and strange postcards arriving each week from all around the world, Kellan can’t decide which mystery in his life should take priority. Unfortunately, the biggest one of all has yet to arrive at his doorstep. When it does, Kellan won’t know what hit him. Flower Power Trip – #3 (March 2019)

Mistaken Identity Crisis: Death on the Cable Car (#4)

A clever thief with a sinister calling card has invaded Braxton campus. A string of jewelry thefts continues to puzzle the sheriff given they’re remarkably similar to an unsolved eight-year-old case from shortly before Gabriel vanished one stormy night. When a missing ruby is discovered near an electrified dead body during the campus cable car redesign project, Kellan must investigate the real killer to protect his brother. Amidst sorority hazing practices and the victim’s connections to several prominent Wharton County citizens, a malicious motive becomes more obvious and trickier to prove. As if the latest murder isn’t enough to keep him busy, Kellan partners with April to end the Castigliano and Vargas crime family feud. What really happened to Francesca while all those postcards showed up in Braxton? The mafia world is more calculating than Kellan realized, and if he wants to move forward, he must make a few ruthless sacrifices. Election Day is over, and the new mayor takes office. Nana D celebrates her 75th birthday with an adventure. A double wedding occurs at Crilly Lake on Independence Day. And Kellan receives a few more surprises as the summer heat settles in Wharton County. Mistaken Identity Crisis – #4 (June 2019)

Haunted House Ghost: Death at the Fall Festival (#5)

It’s Halloween, and excitement is brewing in Braxton to carve jack-o’-lanterns, go on haunted hayrides, and race through the spooky corn maze at the Fall Festival. Despite the former occupant’s warnings, Kellan renovates and moves into a mysterious old house. When a ruthless ghost promises retribution, our fearless professor turns to the eccentric town historian and an eerie psychic to communicate with the apparition. Meanwhile, construction workers discover a fifty-year-old skeleton after breaking ground on the new Memorial Library wing. While Kellan and April dance around the chemistry sparking between them, a suspicious accident occurs at the Fall Festival. Soon, Kellan discovers the true history and dastardly connections of the Grey family. But can he capture the elusive killer – and placate the revenge-seeking ghost.   Haunted House Ghost – #5 (October 2019)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Great Escapes Praise for Frozen Stiff Drink:
A Kellan Ayrwick Cozy Mystery (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
by James J. Cudney

5 out of 5 stars
This was a really great book! The suspense was just right and I had only a small inkling of who the villain MIGHT be.
~Valerie’s Musings

The story is well-written and James Cudney does a great job pulling all the storylines together to give us a wonderful conclusion.
~Carla Loves to Read

Frozen Stiff Drink by James J. Cudney is a complex plot with multiple crimes and intriguing characters.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit every stop. 
March 18 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
March 18 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER GUEST POST – unable to post
March 19 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
March 19 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST
March 20 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
March 20 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
March 21 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT
March 21 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
March 22 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 23 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW – unable to post
March 23 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
March 23 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
March 24 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 24 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
March 25 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
March 25 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 26 – eBook addicts – REVIEW
March 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
March 27 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
March 27 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

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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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Revenge Is Sweet (Vintage Sweets Mysteries) by Kaye George #Review / #Giveaway @lyricalpress

Welcome to Cozy Mystery!

I am happy to feature Revenge Is Sweet by Kaye George today! 

revenge is sweet
Revenge Is Sweet (Vintage Sweets Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Texas
Publisher: Lyrical Underground (March 10, 2020)
Paperback: 193 pages
ISBN-10: 1516105435
ISBN-13: 978-1516105434
Kindle ASIN: B07TS1KJ4T

In the picturesque tourist town of Fredericksburg, Texas, Tally Holt has opened a new candy store with a vintage twist . . .but there’s no sugar-coating a nasty case of murder . . .

 

Tally Holt has poured her heart, soul, and bank account into Tally’s Olde Tyme Sweets, specializing in her grandmother’s delicious recipes. Tally’s homemade Mallomars, Twinkies, fudges, and taffy are a hit with visiting tourists—and with Yolanda Bella, the flamboyant owner of Bella’s Baskets next door. But both shops encounter a sour surprise when local handyman Gene Faust is found dead in Tally’s kitchen, stabbed with Yolanda’s scissors.

 

The mayor’s adopted son, Gene was a handsome Casanova with a bad habit of borrowing money from the women he wooed. It’s a sticky situation for Yolanda, who was one of his marks. There are plenty of other likely culprits among Fredericksburg’s female population, and even among Gene’s family. But unless Tally can figure out who finally had their fill of Gene’s sweet-talking ways, Yolanda—and both their fledgling businesses—may be destined for a bitter end . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Newly opened Tally’s Olde Tyme Sweets in Fredericksburg, Texas is a popular place. The vintage shop uses Tally’s grandmother’s recipes to make treats from the past like Mallomars, Clark Bars, and Twinkies along with taffy and fudges. Her friend Yolanda Bella owns Bella’s Baskets right next door. They are in and out of each other’s shops several times each day. Tally has two part-time workers Mart and Andrea who tend to customers while Tally creates her delicious goodies. When the women need and handyman, Gene Faust is the man they call. Gene is the adopted son of the mayor. He is a real ladies’ man who has a penchant for borrowing money his girlfriends, usually right before he dumps them.

Tally left Gene repairing her refrigeration unit in the kitchen while she served customers at the front of the store. When she closed up and went into the kitchen she found Gene dead on the floor from an apparent stabbing. She’s confused because several people went through the kitchen before she did. There is no way they missed his body. Could one of them be the killer or did the murderer come and go through the back door without her knowing? Yolanda, Andrea, and Mart all seemed to have their issues with Gene, but she can’t believe they would kill him. How many other women has Gene hurt? Or could it be someone else he pushed too far?


The cover of this book grabbed me as soon as I saw it. I love the vintage candy store theme. It is always so much fun to visit one. The author has a nice descriptive writing style so it was very easy to visualize everything, especially Tally’s Olde Tyme Sweets Shop and all the yummy treats.

Ms. George introduces a vast cast of characters. It was easy to keep everyone straight but we don’t get to know them well enough to truly get invested in them. Gene had quite a checkered past and by the end, it was pretty fleshed out but the rest of the characters are still one-dimensional for me.  Since this is a series, I know we will learn more in future stories but wished they were more developed in this story. One character I did fall hard for is a big Maine Coon cat named Nigel. I do have a soft spot for those big kitties.

The mystery was well-plotted with plenty of suspects. I did hone in on the culprit early but the motive wasn’t clear until the end. I did enjoy that the story swapped points-of-view between Yolanda and Tally. Sometimes it was confusing because it switches mid-chapter, but I think my problem may be attributed to the digital advanced copy I was reading. I am hoping in the finished book there was better spacing without the paragraphs running together.

I was excited that the Twinkie recipe was included at the end of the story.

Ms. George has laid a nice foundation for her series in Revenge Is Sweet. I am looking to Deadly Sweet Tooth, which will be released on June 2, 2020.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Kaye George is a novelist, and a short story writer whose story, HANDBASKETS, DRAWERS, AND A KILLER COLD, was nominated for a 2010 Agatha Best Short Story award. It can be found in the collection, A PATCHWORK OF STORIES, available on Amazon and Smashwords as an ebook, and Amazon and Createspace in trade paperback.  She is agented by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency LLC.

The first mystery novel in the Imogene Duckworthy series, CHOKE, received a nomination for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2011. It was followed by SMOKE and BROKE. EINE KLEINE MURDER, the first in the Cressa Carraway Musical Mysteries was published by Barking Rain Press in the spring of 2013. It was a Silver Falchion Finalist and was followed by REQUIEM IN RED. DEATH IN THE TIME OF ICE, the first in the People of the Wind Neanderthal Mysteries, is published by Untreed Reads. It received an Agatha nomination for Best Historical. The sequel is DEATH ON THE TREK. The Fat Cat cozy series, set in Minneapolis and featuring a pudgy but adorable cat named Quincy, achieved Barnes & Noble’s best-seller status with all three books. Her new Vintage Sweets cozy series is set in Fredericksburg, TX.

She reviews for “Suspense Magazine” and writes a column for “Mysterical-E Magazine.” Other articles occasionally appear in newsletters and online. Her short stories appear in several anthologies and around and about. She is a member of Sisters in Crime (including the Guppies Chapter and the Smoking Guns chapter), Short Mystery Fiction Society, Authors Guild of Tennessee, and Knoxville Writers Group.

She lives in Knoxville, TN.

Visit her webpage, KayeGeorge.com for more information. Or catch her at TravelsWithKaye.blogspot.com, her solo blog. She also joins other writers at http://makeminemystery.blogspot.com/ and https://writerswhokill.blogspot.com/.


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Revenge Is Sweet!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

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!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End April 8, 2020, 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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Who Rescued Who by Victoria Schade #Review / #Giveaway

who rescued who
Who Rescued Who
Women’s Fiction
Setting – England
Publisher: Berkley (March 24, 2020)
Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 0593098838
ISBN-13: 978-0593098837
Kindle ASIN: B07TSWP85J

Where can you turn when the world turns against you? When Elizabeth Barnes’ life fell apart she never imagined that she’d be rescued by a new friend on four paws. 

 

The plan was simple: Elizabeth would ignore the fact that she was unjustly fired from her dream job, fly across the pond to settle an unexpected inheritance in her father’s home country and quickly return to reclaim her position among the Silicon Valley elite.

 

But when Elizabeth stumbles upon an abandoned puppy, she’s shocked to realize that her brief trip to England might turn into an extended stay. Her strict itinerary is upended completely by the pup’s dogged devotion, and soon the loveable puppy helps her to connect with a tight-knit community of new friends on two legs and four, from the aunt and uncle she didn’t know existed, to a grumpy coffee shop owner to two very opinionated sheep. Along the way Elizabeth is confronted by long-kept family secrets, hard truths about her former life and a new romance that might lead her to question everything she knows about love. Because sometimes rescue magic happens on both ends of the leash.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I needed a change of pace in my reading and picking up this book was the perfect choice.

Elizabeth Barnes was flying high until she wasn’t. Fired from a job she loved she was at loose ends until she finds out she had family she knew nothing about and an inheritance to boot. We follow Elizabeth across the pond as she settles her father’s affairs. She had planned just a quick trip so she can get back home and find new employment. But a cute little homeless puppy has her extending her stay. She starts to feel at home in this unique community especially when she feels a romantic spark with one of the town’s residents. Finding her family and learning the truth about her father’s distancing while learning some truths about herself could change her life.

It was the cover that really caught my attention. As a mom to two border collie/blue heeler mixes, one who looks a bit like the dog on the cover, I just couldn’t say no to those eyes. What I found between the covers was delightful.

Elizabeth was a workaholic driven by likes and clicks who was forced to slow down upon arrival to the English countryside with limited internet access. She doesn’t adjust easily but finds several things to fill her time including a border collie mix pup and a handsome co-owner of a local brewery. She also takes on a huge task for her newly-found uncle that reveals something they have in common. All the characters in the book are well crafted and really evolve over the course and right up to the end of the story. The story has a slow build so readers really get to know the wonderful people of Fargrove.

Ms. Shade finds a great balance between family life, romance and some lovable 4 legged creatures. All the twists are so well-plotted. The story feels much more based in reality than other romantic comedies I have read of late. The author also describes each setting so clearly, and there are many. I felt like I was getting a bird’s eye view of all of the action, walking right along in my wellies taking in everything the setting had to offer.

This story gave me the warm and fuzzies. This book actually rescued me and gave me a nice break from some things I was dealing with. Thank you, Ms. Shade, for the Perfect Escape.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Victoria Schade is a dog trainer and speaker who serves as a dog resource for the media and has worked both in front of and behind the camera on Animal Planet, as a co-host on the program Faithful Friends and as a trainer and wrangler on the channel’s popular Puppy Bowl specials. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, her dogs Millie and Olive, and the occasional foster pup.

who rescued who

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.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End April 7, 2020, 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.”