Dec 062019
 


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.


A Batter of Life and Death: A Bakeshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Oregon
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (June 30, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1250054249
ISBN-13: 978-1250054241
Kindle ASIN: B00QQ1GKRE

Welcome to Torte-a small-town family bakeshop where the coffee is hot, the muffins are fresh, and the cakes are definitely to die for…

It’s autumn in Ashland, Oregon-’tis the season for a spiced hot apple cider with a serving (or two) of Torte’s famous peach cobbler. It’s also the perfect time for Jules Capshaw to promote her family’s beloved bake shop by competing in The Pastry Channel’s reality show, Take the Cake. The prize is $25,000. But as Jules quickly learns, some people would kill for that kind of dough. Literally.

Then, just as Jules dusts off her Bavarian Chocolate Cake recipe and cinches up her apron, the corpse of a fellow contestant is discovered-death by buttercream. What began as a fun, tasteful televised adventure has morphed into something of a true-crime detective show for Jules and everybody else on set. Who could have killed Chef Marco, and why? Can Jules sift out the killer before someone else gets burned?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Can Jules Capshaw Take the Cake? The Pastry Channel’s show has come to Ashland, Oregon and she is representing the family’s bakeshop, Torte, as a contestant against four other pastry chefs. Her family sure could use the $25000 prize to continue their improvements to their business.

Jules has baked a Bavarian Chocolate Cake for the day’s challenge but when she arrives on the set she finds one of the competing chefs dead. The powers that be commit to continuing the show as soon as the police release the set, but Jules wants to know – Who killed the chef? Are the rest of the chefs in danger? and most importantly – Is one of the chefs the killer? She starts doing a little snooping on her own to find answers before another chef gets frosted.

___

Ms. Alexander’s characters are so likable. Jules, her mom, their employees, Thomas, the Professor, and more all make me wish I could visit Torte and meet them all. All are genuine and believable. They are joined this time by a group of pastry chefs that are diverse in their specialties along with the small crew from The Pastry Channel who each have something to prove. All these new visitors are viable suspects and seem to have secrets. I liked that some of the chefs ended using Torte’s kitchen to create their show entries. It allowed both Jules and us readers to get to know them better. It also made clear how patient  Jules and mom, Helen could be with strangers in their kitchen. They also handled a little strife between two employees with time and patience.

Readers are treated to a little romance too, as relationships evolve through normal everyday life. Jules is still trying to sort things through will Carlos as the clock ticks down on their break.

I love watching shows like Take the Cake so I was thrilled with this theme. The author created a marvelous whodunit around that theme giving Jules plenty of opportunity to sift through the clues and follow them as need be. Several twists spin to keep everyone guessing. With Helen and Jules’ tight connection to the chief of police, aka, The Professor and Detective-In-Training, Thomas, they keep them informed in everything they find and don’t hesitate to call for help when needed. I like that.

I can’t forget to mention the food. Most of the luscious pastries and desserts. I say most because there are a couple that clearly were not baked by the chef that presented them. Daily life at the bakeshop also adds more delightful treats and morning breakfast ideas. The schedule and the workings of the shop are also interesting. The realistic fact it is a hard business on a tight budget is also appreciated and grounds the whole series in reality.

Awesome characters, a fantastic setting, and a wonderful mystery all make A Batter of Life and Death a delectable cozy mystery and A Perfect Escape. The sample taste of On Thin Icing included at the end of the story has whet my appetite to read more of this series soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Meet Your Baker here. 

About the Author

Ellie Alexander (aka Kate Dyer-Seeley), author of the Bakeshop Mystery Series (St. Martin’s Press), is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

Author Links –  Facebook     Twitter      Instagram    GoodReads

Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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 December 20, 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

*This book was from my personal collection. 

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Dec 052019
 

A Fatal Fondness (Mary MacDougall Mysteries)
by Richard Audry

 

About A Fatal Fondness

A Fatal Fondness (Mary MacDougall Mysteries)
Historical Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Minnesota
Conger Road Press (November 15, 2019)
Paperback: 268 pages
ISBN-10: 0985019697
ISBN-13: 978-0985019693

Digital ASIN: B08158Y78D

It’s September 1902, and Mary MacDougall has fulfilled her greatest dream—opening her own detective agency. But this achievement doesn’t come without complication.

Mary’s father insists that an older cousin come to work with her—as both secretary and minder. Jeanette Harrison pledges to keep the plucky sleuth away from danger, as well as from her unsuitable suitor Edmond Roy. This arrangement, embarrassingly, makes Mary the only detective in the state with a chaperone.

The new agency’s first cases hardly seem to portend danger or significance. There’s the affair of the nicked napkin rings…the problem of the purloined pocket watch…and the matter of the four filched felines.

Mary and Jeanette have not the slightest notion that one of these modest little jobs will blow up into the most consequential and perilous case of the heiress-sleuth’s budding career. What begins in triviality mushrooms into disappearance, betrayal, international intrigue, and murder. As she learns more and more, Mary’s prospects for making the acquaintance of an assassin’s blade improve exponentially.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Mary MacDougall is back and she is now opening up her very own detective agency. Her new independence comes with a condition from her father, her older cousin, Jeanette Harrison will be employed as her secretary with the true job of keeping Mary out of trouble. She has also been tasked with keeping Mary away Edmond Roy, a man she has become close to even though her father finds him unsuitable for his daughter. Jeanette’s job is not going to be easy. Mary is a headstrong woman who does what she wants, even sticking her nose in a case a local detective has instructed her to stay away from.

Surprisingly the agency quickly has four cases. Some stolen napkin rings, four catnapped felines, a missing pocket watch, and a con man trying to fleece a talented young woman. But that isn’t enough for Mary. She learns of a drowning while handling the napkin ring case and as the body is identified she finds there may be a connection to one of her other cases. Mary realizes this is the case the detective warned her about, a case she now realizes has international ramifications. A case that could lead to her death if she doesn’t back off.

____

Mary MacDougal is a strong protagonist. At times, she is wise beyond her 19 years, others she acts like the young heiress she is without the sense to be fully aware of the danger. I really enjoyed Jeanette and her love of her Remington typewriter. She does her best to stand up to Mary but can’t totally reel her in. They are very entertaining as they sort out the details of this new business.

We catch up with Aunt Tena from afar and she has some fun news that sends Mary’s father into a tizzy that has him traveling to meet with her. Edmond Roy also returns with some big ideas of his own. The characters are all richly written and are easily envisioned.

The story this time starts slowly and builds to a very intriguing mystery. Mary has good instincts but she continues to put herself in risky situations. I really enjoyed following both her sleuthing process and her travels around town following every clue.  The ending was exciting but heartbreaking too.

Reading A Fatal Fondness was a delightful way to spend a couple of evenings. The first two books in this series are novella length, A Daughter’s Doubt was longer at 204 pages, this one comes in at 268 pages and I feel the longer length gives space for more details and character development. I have enjoyed the entire series but this one is my favorite. I am already looking forward to the next installment to see what Mary MacDougall gets herself entangled in next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my reviews of A Pretty Little Plot and The Stolen Star here.

You can read my review of A Daughter’s Doubt here

About Richard Audry

Richard Audry is the pen name of D. R. Martin. He is the author of the Mary MacDougall historical mysteries (four titles) and the King Harald canine cozy series (three titles). Under his own name, he has written the Johnny Graphic ghost adventure trilogy, the Marta Hjelm hardboiled mystery Smoking Ruin, and two books on some of his favorite authors: Travis McGee & Me and Four Science Fiction Masters.

Facebook    Website

Purchase Links – Amazon

Also by Richard Audry

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December 3 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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December 11 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
December 12 – Here’s How It Happened – 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.”

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Dec 042019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

The new Coffeehouse Mystery is out and I am thrilled to give you my thoughts!

Brewed Awakening (A Coffeehouse Mystery)
by Cleo Coyle

About Brewed Awakening


Brewed Awakening (A Coffeehouse Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
18th in Series
Berkley (December 3, 2019)
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 0451488873
ISBN-13: 978-0451488879
Digital ASIN: B07GQHK51D

From Cleo Coyle, the New York Times bestselling author of Shot in the Dark and Dead Cold Brew, comes a delicious new entry in the “fun and gripping” (The Huffington Post) Coffeehouse Mysteries.

When coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi awakens on a bench in Washington Square Park, she has no idea she’s been missing for the past week, or that her friends and family have been frantic with worry. Now that she’s back, everyone is overjoyed, including a handsome NYPD detective who claims to be her fiancé. But to Mike Quinn’s crushing distress, Clare doesn’t remember him, or much of anything about the last decade of her life.

Clare’s missing memory is tied to a crime she witnessed. An acquaintance of Clare’s elegant employer–and fellow member of an exclusive Gotham circle known as “The Ladies Who Brunch”–invited Clare to her posh hotel to sample gourmet wedding cakes. The pair took a stroll after their indulgent tasting and, according to security camera footage, a masked figure snatched the hotel heiress at gunpoint with Clare looking on. Did the kidnapper take Clare, too? The camera went dark, just like Clare’s memory. Soon authorities grow suspicious. Is Clare really a victim? Or merely acting like one? Evidence is mounting that she set the woman up.

To clear her name, Clare must find a way to reclaim her memories and rescue the heiress before this high-stakes crime ends in tragedy. Otherwise, instead of walking down the aisle, Clare may find herself perp-walking to prison as an accomplice to kidnapping and murder.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

This time Cleo Coyle turns things inside out when our protagonist becomes the victim. Clare Cosi has been missing for a week when she wakes up on a bench in Washington Square Park, disoriented and scared, she wanders the area finally finding the Village Blend coffeehouse. Her friends, family, and employees are all thrilled to have her back but realize she has no memory of several years. She thinks her daughter is still a youngster waiting for her to come home. That her divorce was recent and the anger at her ex, Matt, is still vivid. But worst of all she has no memory of Mike Quinn, the man who loves her so much. A man she was ready to marry.

Everyone believes her memory loss is due to a tragic event. She had been meeting with hotel heiress/owner, Annette Brewster, to taste wedding cakes. After the tasting, both women disappeared. While now Clare has been found, Annette is still missing. Evidence shows Clare may have been in on a kidnapping. Without her memory, she has no way to clear her name. She is willing to do anything to get her memory and her life back even working with her ex, who she really hates at the moment.

___

Never deny the power of coffee!

Cleo Coyle has brewed up a truly stellar story. Over the course of this series, fans have come to love these characters. Putting the star in peril really perks up all of our antennas. We are rooting for her more than we ever have.

What I loved is that she hasn’t lost her love of coffee and her talent of discerning every bit of its flavor profile. She also hasn’t lost her sleuthing ability and the need to find the truth.   Not sure who she can really trust she is tentative at first. But she knows she not only needs to recover her memory for herself but there is another woman out there that needs to be found.

The author has given readers a mystery that is impossible to put down. There is action and suspense with the requisite humor required by the genre. I was totally captivated by Clare’s memory loss and the treatment it received within these pages. There are plenty of twists and surprises as the clues started to fall into place, including an old case that is not what it seemed to be.

While the Village Blend is an excellent backdrop for a mystery I liked that this time the mystery and keeping Clare safe took us on quite a journey, New York, New Jersey, and for one character farther up the coast. We also get to visit a grand home. Oh my word, it sounded like quite a place.

I absolutely love this series and these characters. Each new book becomes my new favorite. This time Cleo Coyle has really topped herself. This story is derived from the research of true amnesia cases. It felt fresh and new and was explored in a caring way while twisting it into a fascinating mystery. All the cozy touches expected were there including all the coffee and food descriptions fans of the series have come to expect.

Well-plotted, well-written, with wonderful characters, Brewed Awakening is truly one of the best books I have read this year. I started it late on Thanksgiving Eve and was only able to read a few chapters. Thankfully 🙂 with Thanksgiving the next day and Mr. Dollycas in charge of the meal, I was able to get right back to it and finish it up before our dinner was served.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Cleo Coyle

CLEO COYLE is the pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini.  CLEO COYLE grew up in a small town near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After earning scholarships to study writing at Carnegie Mellon and American Universities, she began her career as a cub reporter for The New York Times. Now an author of popular fiction and New York Times bestselling media tie-in writer, Cleo lives and works in New York City, where she collaborates with her husband (also a bestselling author) to pen the Coffeehouse Mysteries for Penguin. Together Cleo and her husband also write the Haunted Bookshop Mysteries under the name Alice Kimberly. When not haunting coffeehouses, hunting ghosts, or rescuing stray cats, Cleo and Marc are bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for NBC, Lucasfilm, Disney, Fox, Imagine, and MGM. In their spare time, they cook like crazy and drink a lot of java. You can learn more about Cleo, her husband, and the books they write by visiting www.CoffeehouseMystery.com.

You can also friend or follow Cleo on Facebook as well as Twitter and Pinterest

Purchase Links

Amazon     B&N     Kobo   Google Play  IndieBound

Click on covers for more book information or to order from Amazon.

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December 2 – Laura’s Interests – 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.”

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Dec 032019
 


Keeping Secrets: (Glen Falls Mystery)
Romantic Mystery (Paranormal)
1st in Series
Setting – Scotland
Independently Published (January 30, 2017)
Number of Pages – 220 Pages
Kindle ASIN: B01MSDB4V7

Running from her past lands Kat in a whole lot of trouble in the present!

Fleeing from her past and determined to make a fresh start, Kat heads for the picturesque town of Glen Falls. Opting to ignore the tourist hype about spooky goings-on (it’s all make believe anyway, right?), Kat gets a job in a shop selling magical candles, charms and crystals. Discovering her new boss is a real witch who actually casts spells to ward off evil, Kat starts to wonder whether running from her old life has landed her in even more trouble in the present…

With a fiery feud threatening to destroy the town, things soon get ugly and Kat wades into sleuthing mode, attempting to battle love spells, magic wrongdoings, sabotage and a whole lot more before things can spiral dangerously out of control.

Nursing a broken heart and with more than enough crazy stuff already on her plate, risking a new romantic involvement is the last thing she needs right now, but then she meets the gorgeous and mysterious Alex, a man who seems to be keeping even more secrets about his current life than Kat is about her past. She’s not stupid, she knows she should keep as far away from him as possible. Unfortunately, with circumstances beyond her control, that’s proving rather difficult to do…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Kat finds herself in Glen Falls trying to start over. She has two jobs, one selling crystal and charms for a real witch, and the other, delivering sandwiches for a local deli. Summer, the witch she works for is part of a Save the World group protesting against companies wanting to develop more land in the area. Kat’s two jobs seem to collide when the deli gets a new customer, a developer building houses at the edge of town. The development has been vandalized and Kat is afraid Summer’s group is responsible. Kay is further twisted into the mystery as she starts to have feelings for Alex, the manager at the construction site. Another twist is added when the ex she left behind arrives in Glen Falls to win her back. Secrets and spells are making it hard for Kat to make a fresh start but she hopes to put all the clues together so she can have the life she deserves.

___

I really enjoyed meeting the residents of Glen Falls, which has its fair share of witches. Zanna Mackenzie is an author from the U.K. so some terms may take a little getting used to, but the writing is so rich I could almost hear the Scottish accents. Kat had quite a journey through this story. She interacts with so many people and seems to become quick friends with almost everyone she meets. The characters were very well developed for the first book in a series.

I felt the story had a nice flow. The romance was the main part of the story with magic and mystery entwined. I did enjoy that the author brought in concern for the world and the environment. I wish that would have had more depth. The mystery was interesting and wrapped up nicely. The author added the perfect amount of humor too.

This series is off to a nice start. Keeping Secrets is a lighthearted paranormal romantic mystery with characters I would like to get to know better. I am looking forward to another visit to Glen Falls.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent


About the Author

I live in the UK (Derbyshire/ Leicestershire border) with my husband, 5 dogs, a vegetable patch that’s home to far too many weeds and an ever-expanding library of books waiting to be read

Being a freelance writer and editor of business publications is my ‘day job’ but, at every opportunity, I can be found scribbling down notes on scenes for whatever novel I’m working on. I love it when the characters in my novels take on minds of their own and start deviating from the original plot.

I enjoy walking the dogs, gardening, and reading.

Author Links –  Webpage – Blog – Facebook –  Twitter  GoodReads

Find more books by Zanna MacKenzie here.


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

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 December 17, 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: This book was from my private collection.

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Nov 272019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to feature Potions are for Pushovers today!


Potions Are for Pushovers (An Eleanor Wilde Mystery)
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – England
Publisher: Kensington (November 26, 2019)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496719638
ISBN-13: 978-1496719638
Kindle ASIN: B07PCHV2KP

It may have been a ghost that led Eleanor Wilde to set up shop in a quaint English village. But now that she’s established herself as the town witch, Ellie’s contentedly casting spells on anyone desperate enough—or gullible enough—to request her mysterious potions…

Selling mystical elixirs and tantalizing tonics is a pretty good way for a fake medium to earn a living. Or at least it’s Ellie’s main source of income—until a villager turns up dead. The cause? Murder by poisoning. And though Ellie’s concoctions don’t include anything worthy of a skull and crossbones, suddenly she’s the prime suspect. Her only recourse is to find the culprit who did do away with Sarah Blackthorne. No one liked the mean old battle-axe. But did anyone hate her enough to kill her?

It’s enough of a mystery to make Ellie hang up her witch’s hat and take millionaire beau Nicholas Hartford up on his offer to keep her afloat. Except Ellie is not the kind of woman to lean on a man—least of all a man she adores but whose place in her life is uncertain. Besides, Ellie’s taken on two young witches-in-training—apprentices if you will—and both of them are convinced a werewolf is the murderer.

Just as Ellie’s wondering if there really is something otherworldly going on, animals suddenly begin to disappear—including her beloved cat, Beast. Now Ellie’s on the warpath to uncover the wicked truth about the people and the place she’s only just begun to call home…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Werewolves aren’t my thing at all, in fact I have turned down books for review as soon as I saw them mentioned in the synopsis or stopped reading books where they have appeared unannounced but after reading the first book in this series Seances Are For Suckers and loving it I trusted author Tamara Berry to keep things cozy and intriguing without ruffling my feathers. I can report that while I did learn some werewolf lore I was right.

Eleanor Wilde has set up her business in a mistress cottage on the Hartford family estate and become quite close with Nicholas Hartford III after using her “powers” to clear “ghosts” out of the Hartford castle. He knows she is a fake and is fine with that. She has clients who believe in her and buy her potions and elixirs, but when Sarah Blackthorne is poisoned she loses what clientele she did have and also becomes the number one suspect.

New in town she didn’t know that basically everyone hated the woman that was killed which eases her mind as far as the authorities but overwhelms her as her suspect list includes almost everyone she knows. She also finds herself with two young apprentices who due to another death and some missing animals including Ellie’s cat, Beast, believe a werewolf is responsible for the deaths. Ellie even starts to buy into their theory.

____

I really like Ellie and the way she finds her way in this community of characters as the story continues. She has her issues like a leaky roof and the responsibility for her apprentices all while she tries to investigate a murder. I really appreciated that Ellie’s sister Winnie is still a very important part of her life. I also enjoyed the way her relationship with Nichols is progressing. We have learned quite a bit about our protagonist but Nicholas is still mostly a mystery himself.

The plot of this mystery is complex and filled with twists and turns and a very hairy individual. The death of a neighbor’s animal was a little gory but was critical to the progression of the story. I enjoyed that the young girls played key roles in solving part of the mystery and that she got a little help from an unusual source.  I was caught off guard when the actual killer was revealed. A person completely off my radar. I should have realized after reading the first book to expect the unexpected. Ms. Berry has proven to be excellent at keeping this reader captivated by the story and totally surprising me at the end.

Potions Are for Pushovers is a great addition to what I hope is a long-running series. It is very well-written and the cast of characters continues to grow and evolve. The drama is balanced by humor in all the right places and the romance is still a minor point at this point. I am really excited to see what the author has in store next. Please, no vampires 🙂

This story can be read on its own but recommend reading both books in order for maximum enjoyment.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Seances are for Suckers here.

 

About the Author
Tamara Berry is a part-time author and part-time freelance writer/editor. She has a B.A. in English Literature from Eastern Washington University. In addition to books, she has mad love for all things TV, movies, and pop culture. Visit her at www.tamaraberry.comFacebook – Twitter

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.

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 December 11, 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.”

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Nov 262019
 

The Wipeout Affair (Red Frog Beach Mystery)
by Rachel Neuburger Reynolds

Character Guest Post 

June 2

TO:                  Lexie Milano

FROM:            Lloyd Wilson, Ananke Laboratory

Isla Colon, Bocas del Toro

RE:                   I’ve heard about your relocation

PRIORITY:        High

VIA EMAIL

———————————————-

I was surprised and shockingly pleased to hear that you are relocating from New York to this Panamanian archipelago. Bold, as I thought, maybe you would be one day. After almost dying and solving an almost perfect crime, I can’t tell if your decision is madness or genius. Only time will tell.

I appreciate calculated spontaneity.

Which brings me to why I am getting in touch with you, not just laying out a welcome wagon. As you can see from the above paragraph, I have what one might call a filter missing when talking or corresponding with people.

Since the death of our mutual contact in April, I find the main source of investment in Lloyd Wilson Enterprises shriveled up like a past-its-prime carved pumpkin. I’m currently seeking venture capital for my newest endeavor, Ananke. I’m obviously not looking for investment from you, as I can with probability guess your financial state of affairs.

See? Filter missing. I can now identify it, but I can’t stop my train of thought. It has left the station.

The ladies love me. Lord knows why.

Though initial interest in the company was high, it seems that I am offending the people with the money. I’ve been called condescending, offensive, and often a downright [expletive] [expletive].

With your limited funds and from what I understand of nature of the part-time work you’ve lined up on the island, I’d surmise you’d needing some cash. Working at a surf camp on Bluff Beach won’t exactly keep you in mink bikinis.

I’d like to offer you part-time work at Ananke, working with me on correspondence with the potential investors. First, in written material to take what I’ve written and make it sound. Less. Like. Me. We’ll cross the in-person meeting bridge when we come to it.

One thing I recall is that you had was a way with words. I observed that people found you charming. Too humble for your own good, but likable.

My company is a medical research facility. Bocas del Toro being an almost unknown island chain, there is the potential for amazing exploration of plants and species that don’t exist in the rest of the world. We’ve also come across new and strange poisons in our quest to advance the world of medicine. Up your alley, I’d say.

This offer expires at the end of the month. You’ll find the salary more than generous. There will be a non-disclosure agreement to sign before you start, of course.

Benefits include one of the only places on the island with air conditioning. You don’t know how attractive that will be as summer carries on.

I look forward to working with you.

And as I always say to you, Lexie, you can run, but you can’t hide.

Warm personal regards,

Lloyd Wilson, Ph.D., MD, MBA

About The Wipeout Affair 


The Wipeout Affair (Red Frog Beach Mystery)
Cozy Mystery/ Chick-Lit
2nd in Series
Setting – Bocas del Toro
Jeepers Way Press (October 17, 2019)
Number of Pages: ~300
ASIN: B07TBGQFN4

There’s trouble in paradise, in the hilarious second book of the Red Frog Beach Mystery Series.

Ready to go back to the beach?

Lexie Milano left her heart in Bocas del Toro, and the new and improved New Yorker makes the big choice to move to the laid-back Caribbean island permanently. Piña coladas, white sand beaches, and a little cabin of her own on the edge of the rainforest complete her picture of the perfect tropical future awaiting her. But if it looks too good to be true, it usually is. . . .

When the body of a beautiful wealthy local is found at an isolated surf camp, the owner calls on Lexie to help him figure out who did it in this delicious whodunit. Reluctant sleuth Lexie first turns to the police, but her sudden access to a treasure-trove of island secrets convinces her it’s time to solve another murder on her own.

Favorite characters from Drowning Lessons return to grace the pages of this comedic mystery, including Migs, the handsome photographer; Lloyd, the genius with the cryptic past; and Lexie’s new best friend, Detective LaGuardia. Between old friends, new associates, and the added potential of shark attacks, The Wipeout Affair will leave you laughing and guessing until the very end.

This is the second in the series but can be read as a stand alone novel.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Alexandra ‘Lexie’ Martone’s first visit to Bocas del Toro was as maid of honor for her friend Olivia and let’s just say that wedding didn’t go as planned. She returned to New York but it isn’t long and she is back on the island and this time she is planning to stay. She rents a little cabin and gets not one but two jobs and makes herself at home.

But just like the last time, a murder mucks up her plans. She is shocked to learn her friend Jazz, was found dead at a local surf camp where Lexie works one of her jobs. The owner is pegged as the prime suspect and he begs Lexie to help him find the real killer. She agrees and she tries to keep the local police abreast of everything she learns but they aren’t very receptive until they find they need her to solve the case.

___

I was so excited to get ahold of this book and I was not disappointed. Rachel Neuburger Reynolds takes her readers right to Bocas del Toro. We proceed on a journey with Lexie that at one time or another takes us from one side of the island to the other and almost everywhere in between. Lexie does have a vehicle but there are very few roads and the ones that are marked are rough. There is a bus that Lexie takes occasionally but that ride sounds like a bucking bronco so for the most part, Lexie walks and the author describes everything so well we are able to walk right along with her.

Lexie has become very independent but she is still trying to conquer her fear of water. Jazz was working with her before her death to get past her fear. She was trying to get Lexie in and under the water telling her about all the undersea beauty, she would see if she would just “slide” into the Carribean. While I can swim I still can identify with Lexie. Several years ago I was on vacation in Mexico and we decided to go snorkeling. My husband and our friends all had a great time. I just couldn’t get the hang of it. It was so bad, the guide told me to get back in the boat because I was ruining it for everybody else. 🙂 I would love to try again someday maybe with a patient guide like Jazz.

Lexie’s fear of water doesn’t hold her back from her sleuthing. In fact, she puts herself in some crazy and sometimes dangerous predicaments. Like most amateur sleuths sometimes she leaps before she thinks things through. She has a few suspects on her list and follows the clues wherever they lead. In book one, I said Lexie had the patience of a saint and that helps this time because everyone seems to have a secret or two and things aren’t as they first appear and she doesn’t give up. What makes it hard is that some of the suspects are people she cares about and she realizes she doesn’t know who she can truly trust.

What I really enjoy is the humor the author weaves generously throughout the entire story. As with book one Drowning Lessons, the story is a dramedy, full of drama and comedy. Well-written, well-plotted, and well-developed characters. The Wipeout Affair is A Perfect Escape. Let Rachel Neuburger Reynolds’ story take you to the beach while the snow flies outside.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Drowning Lessons here


Praise for Drowning Lessons, Book One in the Red Frog Beach Mystery Series:

This series is one that I will be watching.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

This story is much more than a cozy mystery. It is a dramedy where literally everything that can go wrong does. Twists, turns, craziness, and good old mayhem fill these pages all on an idyllic chain of islands . . . This was a fun book to read and a great start for this series.
~Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

Drowning Lessons is filled with humor from beginning to end, not to mention several twists along the way. It’s the perfect beach read.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews

Great debut for this new series: a compelling plot, a spectacular setting, and bizarre characters, nothing is missing.
~LibriAmoriMiei

Praise for The Wipeout Affair, Book Two in the Red Frog Beach Mysteries Series: 

I have to comment that a cozy set in the Carribean is awesome. The islands in this setting are almost a character in themselves with such wonderful detail about the daily life of the locals strewn throughout the story.
~I Read What You Write

The author has a flair for mixing humor with mystery to create a story that kept me intrigued until the very last page. Not to mention that she did a wonderful job of transporting me to this beautiful island.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews…

About Rachel Neuburger Reynolds

Rachel Neuburger Reynolds is the author of the Red Frog Beach Mystery Series. Book 1, Drowning Lessons, was released on May 21, 2019, and the second in the series, The Wipeout Affair, was released on October 17, 2019. She’s also working on a separate series, The Evelyn Bay Murder Mystery series, and has written book one The Death Of A Classic. If all goes as planned you’ll be reading this in 2020. This is the first of book of seven in the series. Two of her plays have been produced in recent years. The Silencer, a cautionary tale about the perils of online dating, premiered at the Edinburgh Festival, followed by a run in New York. Nepenthe, a one-woman show about the 1960’s Hollywood-fication of the Holocaust had its premiere in London, and she is currently in talks about a film adaptation in 2021. Previous to her life of putting pen to paper, she produced theatre in New York City for fifteen years. Though she bounces back and forth between London in New York my headquarters is in Crowhurst on the South Coast of the UK. Please check out more at RachelNeuburger.com

Author Links

Webpage and Blog: RachelNeuburger.com

Twitter: @rainyday11 FaceBook

Instagram: @rainydaywrites   Goodreads    Pinterest

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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.”

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Nov 222019
 


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.


Nuts and Buried (Nut House Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Texas
Publisher: Berkley (November 3, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0425261484
ISBN-13: 978-0425261484
Kindle ASIN: B00SI026AG

Lindy Blanchard has enough on her hands at her family’s Texas nut farm with her new strain of pecan trees dying. Trouble is, people are dying too. In a nutshell, it’s murder—from the author of Snoop to Nuts…

The Blanchards are invited to the gala event of the season. Lindy’s wealthy friend Eugene Wheatley—who’s just nuts about his new bride—is throwing a party to introduce his wife Jeannie to Riverville, Texas, society. The celebration is in full swing when Eugene is found shot dead.

Jeannie and her unscrupulous kin are the prime suspects, but the Blanchards aren’t convinced. Lindy and her meemaw Miss Amelia have heard just about enough from the local gossips gathering at the Nut House family store to realize that Jeannie needs their help. And when somebody shoots at Lindy during the investigation, things get real personal. Lindy and Miss Amelia are determined to unmask the killer party crasher and shell out some Texas-style justice…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This series wraps up with the murder of Eugene Wheatley. Following the accidental death of his first wife, the wealthy and influential Wheatley is throwing a party to introduce his new bride, Jeannie, to his friends in Riverville. The whole Blanchard family, Lindy, Meemaw Miss Amelia, sister Bethany, brother Justin and mother Emma are all in attendance when a shot rings out and the groom is found dead in his office. The killer tried to make the death look like a suicide but none of the Blandchards are buying it.  They also realize the new Mrs. Wheatley is in over her head as her new sister-in-law bulldozes over her to make funeral plans and settle the estate. It doesn’t help that her gold-digging mother and just released from prison brother are in town and are prime suspects on some people’s lists.

Lindy and Miss Amelia are determined to help Jeannie and help Lindy’s boyfriend/police officer Hunter Austen catch the true killer. But Lindy keeps getting sidetracked by Peter Franklin, a scientist that also studies pecans who has become best friends with Eugene’s sister. When Lindy gets shot it is time to crack some nuts and turn up the heat to serve up some Texas justice and put that killer behind bars.

All the characters in this series are quirky in one way or another and I love that. Miss Amelia is my favorite character. She is a wise woman and doesn’t back away from a problem. She has a logical way of looking at things and is a great help to Hunter as he sorts through all the clues. She also is the perfect person to give Lindy the push and shove needed to get on with her life and see what is right in front of her. Lindy is a strong, smart woman as well. I love how dedicated she is to her research, trees and the family pecan farm and keeping it going and profitable. She has a huge heart too, she sees someone who needs help and acts. This brings the elderly, 80+, Chancey sisters, twins, Miranda and Melody. They are an absolute hoot and also have huge hearts.

Ms. Lee has written a multifaceted mystery with a couple of interesting subplots that make a story that is hard to put down. She blends together daily life on the pecan farm, the family store, and all the things Lindy and her family are involved in including Hunter and Lindy’s relationship along with more than one mystery to solve. Twister like turns keeps readers on their toes. I loved following along as each twist and clue was revealed.

I was late to this the party for this series and I am upset this series ended because these stories were full of Texas spunk and lovable, believable, and entertaining characters. The author did leave the characters in a good place even though I am sure she had more of their stories to tell. That being said, don’t miss the 3 books in this great series!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of A Tough Nut To Kill here and Snoop to Nuts here


Elizabeth Lee also writes as Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli

 


I am giving away my review copy!

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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.”

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Nov 212019
 

Ghosts of Painting Past (An Aurora Anderson Mystery)
by Sybil Johnson

About Ghosts of Painting Past

Ghosts of Painting Past (An Aurora Anderson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Henery Press (November 19, 2019)
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115590
ISBN-13: 978-1635115598
Digital ASIN: B07XC3DXGN

>

It’s Christmastime in the quiet Los Angeles County city of Vista Beach, home of computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson. The magic of the season fills the air as residents enjoy school concerts, a pier lighting ceremony and the annual sand-snowman contest.

During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Rory plans on painting ornaments to sell at the local craft fair and joining in on the holiday fun. But she finds the season anything but jolly after the house across the street is torn down, revealing a decades old crime. Past meets present when her father is implicated in the murder.

Fearing for her father’s future, Rory launches her own investigation, intent on discovering the truth and clearing his name.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Christmas in California should be bliss for Rory Anderson but all the holiday magic is sucked out of the atmosphere when a skeleton is found on the property across the street from her house and another is found on the beach. It appears the deaths are connected and Rory’s father is right in the middle of it. Rory is bound and determined to show her father is not involved. Clearing his name means digging up his past which he has always painted with a pretty broad brush. She learns a lot about her parents but knows her father is no killer.

____

This time Rory’s family, friends, and neighbors all get in on the investigation. There were a few funny moments as Rory and the rest of the nosy neighbors tried to see what the big discovery was on their street. When they found out it was a skeleton and again when the skeleton was identified the story took a more somber tone. The situation really tugged on this mother’s heartstrings.

Ms. Johnson has created a wonderful cast of characters. The recurring characters continue to grow while the new characters bring new energy to the story. I really enjoyed reading about how Rory’s parents met and their love story. Rory has the perfect job for an amateur sleuth, working from home, in charge of her own time, allowing her to drop everything at a moment’s notice to follow a lead.

The story was filled with twists and moved along nicely. I loved that the past and present were tied together in a top-notch mystery.

Celebrating Christmas without any snow would be hard for me but it was fun to read about all the festivities. The author does an excellent job of bringing the various scenes to life. The lighted trees lining the pier, the snowman contest on the beach and even the craft sale.

Ghosts of Painting Past is a great addition to this series. It checks all my cozy boxes and left me excited for the next book in the series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Sybil Johnson

Sybil Johnson’s love affair with reading began in kindergarten with “The Three Little Pigs.” Visits to the library introduced her to Encyclopedia Brown, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and a host of other characters. Fast forward to college where she continued reading while studying Computer Science. After a rewarding career in the computer industry, Sybil decided to try her hand at writing mysteries. Her short fiction has appeared in Mysterical-E and Spinetingler Magazine, among others. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in Southern California where she enjoys tole painting, studying ancient languages and spending time with friends and family.

Author Links

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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.”

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Nov 202019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am thrilled to feature A Murderous Tangle by Sally Goldenbaum today! 

The book hits store shelves next Tuesday, November 26, 2019. 


A Murderous Tangle (Seaside Knitters Society)
3rd in Series (with this publisher)
Setting – Massachusetts
Publisher: Kensington (November 26, 2019)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496711084
ISBN-13: 978-1496711083
Kindle ASIN: B07P7CZ44F

Birdie, Nell, Cass, and Izzy are prepping their coziest handiwork for a holiday gathering in Sea Harbor, Massachusetts. But as murder makes waves in their tightly knit coastal village, can the Seaside Knitters prevent a deadly trend from catching on?

While the Seaside Knitters get ready to showcase their new Danish-inspired event, locals can’t stop talking about Tess Bean—a bright-eyed environmental activist with a way of charming both animals and humans alike. Birdie’s granddaughter is mesmerized by ethereal Tess’s passion for saving the earth and ocean, and even Izzy’s old Irish setter becomes attached to the young woman’s gentle touch . . .

Except not everyone is a fan of Tess and her strong opinions, especially after she starts questioning the “clean” practices of small-business owners. So when a popular bar owner whom Tess publicly calls out for bad practices is found dead from a fall off his club’s deck, it’s not long before she tops the suspect list for murder . . .

In addition to a murderer walking their streets, the knitters are also grappling with an unusual wave of thefts up and down Harbor Road. Now, as Birdie’s granddaughter struggles to protect her mentor’s reputation, the Seaside Knitters must solve a dangerous mystery that not only threatens to unravel the fabric of their community and the approaching holiday, but also the lives of those they care about the most . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Climate change is real and environmental activist Tess Bean hopes to get the folks of Seaside Harbor to get on board with her ideas. Birdie’s granddaughter, Gabby is all-in on the efforts but Harbor Club owner Bobby Abbott is not a fan of Tess or her efforts. When Bobby is found dead on the beach below the bar’s deck Tess becomes suspect numero uno. Birdie, Nell, Cass, and Izzy learn their friend Gracie, owner of Easy Lobster and Soup Café is also on the suspect list.

The Seaside Knitters are also planning a Holiday event giving them time to gather and ponder other suspects as they try to get a murderer behind bars before the Christmas Bells ring. The knitters are also concerned about some thefts the local shop owners are dealing with. They don’t think the thefts are connected to the murder, but you never know, they could be.

___

The Seaside Knitters, their spouses, children, and friends gather together regularly for food and fellowship, but sometimes their dinners are focused on the latest local murder. In this small town, where everyone knows everyone, it is hard not to get involved. Let’s face it, they do have an excellent track record. With Gabby so involved with Tess and Gracie a suspect, they have no choice but to do some investigating of their own.

I have enjoyed this series from the beginning. The cast of characters is large but the author gives new readers a list at the beginning of the book to assist them in getting to know how everyone fits together. I love these characters and frankly, I would read their stories even if there wasn’t a murder mystery included. They have become old friends. I can easily picture myself pulling up a chair and knitting right along with them, discussing all the events of the day around town and in their home lives. I would also love to be invited to the Friday night dinners at Ben and Nell’s. This tight-knit group is what makes this series great.

Even though I said it was unnecessary, Ms. Goldenbaum always writes an intriguing mystery and I love that she focuses on a hot topic in the world today. Tess is passionate about her cause but would she kill someone? Would Gracie? There are plenty of clues, twists, and turns to untangle. The group works together to ferret out the answers needed and it is fun to follow them each and every step of the way. I have come to believe that following complex knitting patterns gives these women the brainpower and the temperament needed to solve these mysteries. I didn’t even come close.

Even in the winter Sea Harbor sounds like a wonderful place. There is always something happening. Heck, picking up garbage on the beach even sounds like fun as long as there are no dead bodies 😀

One little thing that really tugged on my heart is that Izzy is dealing with an elderly dog. I have two border collies that are 16 years young but are dealing with the aches and pains of aging too. Izzy meets Tess when she takes her dog to the vet. Tess basically takes over the visit meeting Izzy at her car, carries the dog in, sets the dog down and immediately starts massaging the dog in an amazing and soothing way. You could tell the dog enjoyed the treatment and felt better after. Most humans love their aching muscles massaged so why wouldn’t dogs.

This is another spectacular book from Sally Goldenbaum. The author’s descriptive writing style draws the reader in for a story that unfolds at a comfortable pace. A Murderous Tangle is a mystery filled with cozy characters in a charming small town that will have you a little sad when it ends and anxious for your next visit.

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About The Author

Sally Goldenbaum was born on the shores of Lake Michigan, in Manitowoc, WI, to a homemaker mother and a ship-building father. Although she now lives in landlocked Prairie Village, KS, her longing for lakes and the sea is satisfied in part by writing the USA Today bestselling Seaside Knitters Mystery series, set on Cape Ann, MA. She is a sometime philosophy teacher, a knitter, and an editor, and the author of more than thirty novels. Her fictional knitting friends are teaching her the intricacies of women’s friendship, the mysteries of small-town living, and the very best way to pick up dropped stitches on a lacy knit shawl. Murder Wears Mittens is the first book in the Seaside Knitters Society series. How to Knit a Murder was just released. A continuation of the Seaside Knitters Mystery Series.

Follow Sally
Webpage
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You Can Pre-Order Your Copy Today!


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.

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5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End December 4, 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.

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.”

 

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Nov 192019
 

Turkey Basted to Death (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
by Jodi Rath

About Turkey Basted to Death


Turkey Basted to Death (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
2.5 in the Series –  A Holiday Book
Setting – Ohio
MYS ED LLC (November 15, 2019)
Number of Pages 133 pages
Digital ASIN: B07WRJXBLX

Thanksgiving is here, and Jolie Tucker has had quite the year! She is ready to sit back and relax with family and friends. But this is Leavensport, OH—so get ready for intense therapy sessions, dysfunctional family holiday gatherings, uninvited guests, and an inner-city teen advocate found DEAD—stabbed in the ear with the turkey baster!

Welcome to Leavensport, OH, where DEATH takes a DELICIOUS turn!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Leavensport Ohio is planning a Thanksgiving event to celebrate Thanksgiving together. Jolie is working on turkey recipes to serve the masses when she is approached by the mayor about a problem that has come up. He needs to add a group of inner-city teens to the guest list. She handles the additions with ease until the big day arrives. Before dinner is even served the woman, a teen advocate working with the kids is found dead in the kitchen. The sight was gruesome, a turkey baster shoved in her ear.  Jolie is heartbroken as she really believed in what the woman was doing and knows they would have become good friends. She wants to be sure the killer is caught and will only be thankful when they are behind bars.

___

Again, Jodi Rath has packed these pages full of great characters and intrigue. At 133 pages Turkey Basted to Death sets a fast pace full of twists that can be read all in one sitting. She is excellent at working with a large cast of characters. The recurring characters continue to grow and the new characters are diverse and very well written. It is very easy to connect with all of them. The dialogue is believable and rings true.

Ms. Rath’s entire story embodies the theme of Thanksgiving too. Be grateful for what you have and be open to welcoming new people into your life at all times. She brought together people who may have never met if not for this event and the people of Leavensport didn’t disappoint.

I have enjoyed all three books in this series. Don’t be fooled by the novella length, they are all well-written and well-plotted with surprising reveals. They also have some great recipes to try.

The next book in the series, Blueberry Cobbler Blackmail is set to be released February 28, 2020, with Cast Iron Stake Through the Heart to follow at the end of May. I can’t wait!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Author Interview

I am so excited to have Jodi stop by today!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m an odd duck in that I am creative, but I’m also logical as well. So, I work from both my right and left brain. It can get chaotic in there at times—conflict and all! This is why I have a business that incorporates working in higher education as an online adjunct, writing on deadline for educational blogs, affiliations, and publishers, while also writing a culinary cozy mystery series—The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series.

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

  1. I practice Kenpo, which is a combination of kickboxing and martial arts.
  2. I have eight cats now, and over 17-years we’ve had 16 cats. All 16 will be on the cover of my books.
  3. I’ve been in race cars in CA at Laguna Seca.

What is the first book you remember reading?

A Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book.

What are you reading now?

Bailey Cates Cookies and Clairvoyance

What books have most inspired you?

In terms of mystery: Sara Paretsky, Agatha Christie, Amanda Flower, Heather Blake, Bailey Cates, Elaine Viets—these are all authors I love reading any and all their books. They help me in my writing.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

I love puzzles, and I feel all of life is a mystery.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

I write everywhere—on my deck, on my screened-in porch, in my family room, kitchen, bed, office, restaurant, at a family gathering—the oddest place I’ve ever written was one time I went to take recycling and the trucks were there dumping out the bins—so I parked and got my laptop out and wrote while they finished. I take journals and laptops everywhere. One time I wrote in a movie theater during the previews.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Life, I taught high school for twenty years. I take themes from everyday life—I taught that way as well. It’s important to me to create a world that has diversity in it where people struggle and are constantly trying to find ways to be better and find ways to effectively communicate.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

I said earlier I have cats—I use all my cats in my series. The ones that have passed away, remain alive in the series—it is difficult to write about them at times.

What do you think makes a good story?

I think it’s important as an author to be sure what you are writing allows for an escape—while still addressing universal topics that we all go through. As a reader, I read to escape from my life—but I find that part of that means being able to relate to topics and characters as well. It sounds like a contradiction but it’s really not.

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

My protagonist, Jolie Tucker, is based off me. She’s not completely me, but a lot of her history and internal struggles come from my life.

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

There aren’t many cast iron skillet mystery series out there. Also, I do a two-minute mystery a month for those that subscribe to my newsletter for an opportunity to win things—I use my characters in those mysteries. I hit on topics like urban sprawl, gentrification, cultures, transgender, homosexuality, and I incorporate diversity into my series—with the hope that as the series progresses the people in the city/village of the series will continue to find solutions and ways to effectively communicate and make things work within their communities.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

In 2020, I have four more books in this series coming out. February 28th, Jolie and Ava head to Santa Domingo in Blueberry Cobbler Blackmail.

Thank you Jodi for visiting today! 

More About the Author

 

Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her seven cats.

Author Links:  Webpage FB Author Page: Author Jodi Rath Twitter @jodirathGoodreads   Bookbub    Pinterest

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November 14 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
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November 15 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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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.”

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