Apr 202019

I am so happy to have Barbara Barrett visit today!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Some might call me a snowbird; I prefer the term “seasonal.” My mom was the snowbird. I grew up, carried out my career and raised a family in Iowa. When I retired a while back, I became a Florida resident, although I return to Iowa for summers. I’m a wife, mother and grandmother. I trained to be an instructor in American History; both my undergrad and graduate degrees are in that discipline. When I was unable to find a full-time job in teaching, I took a position in human resources for Iowa State government. There, I learned how to develop and validate employment tests, classify jobs and determine appropriate pay grades. At the end of my career, I was the state’s program manager for workforce planning. For my romance novels, I considered the jobs of the hero and heroine almost secondary characters; I even named my website “Romance at Work” until I started writing cozy mysteries.

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

  1. I learned to play the violin when I was in fourth grade and continued until I graduated from high school. I was concertmistress of our high school orchestra my junior and senior years.
  2. I love Trivia games. Watching “Jeopardy” has become a nightly ritual with my husband and me. On one of my favorite TV programs, “Midsomer Murders,” they call it their “pop quiz.” For the longest time, I thought they were talking about some class in school.
  3. I’m a big fan of Oscar night. I’ve missed very few. Until my recent diet, it also used to be a fun pig-out night. My favorite treat, buttered popcorn with M&Ms or some kind of chocolate. Just a faint memory now.

What is the first book you remember reading?

Readers: can you remember the first book you read? I can’t, at least with certainty. I remember Golden Books like The Poky Little Puppy and The Little Engine that Could, but I think those were read to me by teachers. My first clear memory of a book I read was either Heidi or a Nancy Drew book. A few years later, when I was around thirteen, I read Exodus. It was one of the longest books I’ve ever read, and I took great pride in the fact that I finished it.

What are you reading now?

I just finished reading The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson for my book club. I loved the twists. My goal is to craft the same caliber of twists in my own stories. I will soon begin Becoming by Michelle Obama for book club. Looking forward to it. I am also reading other cozy mysteries, currently, To Bead or Not to Bead by Janice Peacock.

What made you decide you want to write?

I feel like I should be wearing my purple feather boa to answer this question because the inspiration came from a soap opera character, Felicia Gallant on “Another World,” who wrote romance novels and had these wonderful adventures along the way. And wore feather boas while she worked. When I was in my late thirties (please don’t ask me how long ago that was), I wanted more challenge in my life, as if raising two growing children, being a good wife and trying to be a competent cook, attempting without a lot of success to keep our three-story house clean and surviving work politics weren’t enough. Felicia seemed to be doing pretty well in her writing career, so I reasoned maybe I could be a successful author too. I was kidding myself, but by the time I realized my folly, my first book had been published.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

In my dreams, I’m typing away on my laptop in a cozy cabin in the woods or a beach bungalow. In real life, I added a few chapters to my new book while on a cruise through the Panama Canal a few months ago. But mostly, I prefer my offices in both homes. We’ve dedicated guest bedrooms for my writing both in Florida and Iowa. Both have a sofa for lounging (when I need to “brainstorm,” of course) and a television set because I can’t break the habit that’s been with me since high school of having it on while I’m working.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

These days, the ideas start with the game of Mah Jongg, since my four protagonists met playing this game and continue to play weekly, said game being featured at the beginning of the story and at the end. The titles incorporate Mah Jongg terms. Aside from that, since my protagonists live in a central Florida town and are retired, many of the activities I write about are those things I know about from my life in Florida like senior education classes, planning cruises, having coffee together and fundraisers like a follies.

What books have most inspired you?

Let’s start with the Holy Bible. It grounds me and provides the moral center of my life.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I discovered Agatha Christie at the library. I can’t recall which book I read first, but among the ones I devoured during that period were The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, The Mysterious Affair at Styles and The Murder at the Vicarage. Although I read the Hercule Poirot books, I liked Miss Marple better. This is where my love of the cozy mystery started. Years later, when I began writing, I started first with romance novels because the chances for publication seemed better. Only recently, after publishing eleven romance novels and two romance novellas, have I returned to the cozy.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Devising plausible suspects. It’s one thing for a person to dislike another, even hate them, but enough to murder them? A major leap. The real murderer’s motivation has to be credible. Of course, keeping the identity of the murderer in plain view and yet disguised enough so the reader doesn’t see it until near the end is also difficult.

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

My Mah Jongg Mystery stories feature four protagonists. The same one took the lead in the first two books, but now I’m alternating that role amongst all four with succeeding books. Each character is distinguished from the others with at least one different personal characteristic: leadership, analytical abilities, creativity, and planning. That characteristic is the overriding factor in how each new case is pursued.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

I want to do at least two more books in the Mah Jongg Mystery series, hopefully, more, but I’m also considering a new series. The rights to some of my romance novels should be reverting to me in the next year; when that happens, I plan to reedit, update and self-publish them. This year I’m attending two, possibly three mystery/crime conferences to expand my readership. There might even be a play or a screenplay in my future, because I love to write dialogue.


More About the Author


Barbara Barrett started reading mysteries when she was pregnant with her first child to keep her mind off things like her changing body and food cravings. When she’d devoured as many Agatha Christies as she could find, she branched out to English village cozies and Ellery Queen.

Later, to avoid a midlife crisis, she began writing fiction at night when she wasn’t at her day job as a human resources analyst for Iowa State Government. After releasing eleven full-length romance novels and one novella, she returned to the cozy mystery genre, using one of her retirement pastimes, the game of mah jongg, as her inspiration. Not only has it been a great social outlet, it has also helped keep her mind active when not writing.

Bamboozled, the second book in her “Mah Jongg Mystery” series, features four friends who play mah jongg together and share otherwise in each other’s lives. None of the four is based on an actual person. Each is an amalgamation of several mah jongg friends with a lot of Barbara’s imagination thrown in for good measure. The four will continue to appear in future books in the series.

Anticipating the day when she would write her first mystery, she has been a member of the Mystery/Romantic Suspense chapter of Romance Writers of America for over a decade. She credits them with helping her hone her craft.

Barbara is married to the man she met her senior year of college. They have two grown children and eight grandchildren.

Author Links

Website – Facebook – Twitter – Pinterest – GoodReads –  Subscribe Cozy Newsletter   


About the Book

Connect the Dots (Mah Jongg Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Bowker (February 2, 2019)
Paperback: 278 pages
ISBN-10: 194853214X
ISBN-13: 978-1948532143
Digital ASIN: B07NCB5199

How could a thirty-something man fall to his death from a fourth-floor balcony he knows is defective? That’s the question freelance writer Micki Demetrius is asked to answer by the man’s grieving mother, Clarissa White, who refuses to believe his death was an unfortunate accident. But when the authorities determine it was homicide, Micki is shut out of her investigative efforts.

Giving up is easier said than done for Micki. She can’t resist a mystery, and suspicious characters won’t leave Clarissa alone, from the woman claiming a stake in the victim’s life to a cagey character who wants his business. As the threat to Clarissa grows, Micki feels compelled to help her in spite of the danger.

Micki’s three mah jongg pals—Sydney Bonner, Marianne Putnam and Katrina, Kat, Faulkner—are drawn into the mystery, but the retirees have their own challenges. Syd and husband Trip do grandparent duty while their daughter deals with marital issues. Marianne “finds herself” by writing a one-act play. And Kat must decide how public to go with her growing friendship with the sheriff. Together, they must connect the dots in a nefarious web of greed, neglect, secrecy and murder.

Praise forConnect the Dots (Mah Jongg Mysteries)
by Barbara Barrett

This is another great book that showcases friendship possibly even more than murder!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

Connect the Dots by Barbara Barrett is a five-star read that kept me entertained and wanting to know what happens next . . . Ms. Barrett’s mystery, characters, and the setting were fabulous.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

Purchase Links
Amazon   B&N 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
April 16 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
April 16 – Here’s How It Happened – GUEST POST
April 17 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
April 18 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 19 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST
April 20 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
April 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 21 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
April 21 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 22 – My Reading Journey – REVIEW
April 22 – I’m All About Books – GUEST POST
April 23 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
April 23 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
April 24 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
April 25 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST


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Apr 062019

Death Waits in the Dark (A Writer’s Apprentice Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Berkley (April 2, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0451491912
ISBN-13: 978-0451491916
Kindle ASIN: B07FC45PJZ

Writer’s apprentice Lena London is back and better than ever when her friend bestselling suspense novelist Camilla Graham needs help solving a town murder that hits a little too close to home…

It’s summertime, and Lena and Camilla are busy working away while a town vandal runs amok. Things get even more complicated when Jane Wyland pays Camilla a not-so-friendly visit and gives her an ultimatum: reveal Camilla’s husband James’s family secret, or she will. Lena assures Camilla that nothing will come of the woman’s threats, since the family has no secrets to hide.

When Jane Wyland is later found dead, they’re convinced that whatever secret she was planning to expose led to her death. With Lena’s assistance, Camilla is determined to solve the case before the finger points at her…

About the Author
Julia Buckley is a Chicago writer. She has two series with Berkley Prime Crime, along with a variety of mystery novels available on Kindle.

Her hobbies are reading, writing, binge-watching tv series on Netflix, and hanging out with her husband, sons, four cats and one giant Labrador.

Visit Julia at her website, JuliaBuckley.com or her Facebook page, Julia Buckley Mystery Novels, or see her on Twitter @juliabucks or follow her on Instagram at jellenbuckley.

Also by Julia Buckley

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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something you like here and become a follower.

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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
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Apr 062019

I will be reviewing this book later this month!

Flower Power Trip
(Braxton Campus Mysteries)
by James J. Cudney


About the Book

Flower Power Trip (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Creativia (March 30, 2019)
Print Length: 270 pages
Digital ASIN: B07NDK76WF

At a masquerade ball to raise money for renovations to Memorial Library, Kellan finds a dead body dressed in a Dr. Evil costume.

Did one of Maggie’s sisters kill the annoying guest who’d been staying at the Roarke and Daughters Inn, or does the victim have a closer connection to someone else at Braxton College?

As Kellan helps school president Ursula bury a secret from her past and discover the identity of her stalker, he unexpectedly encounters a missing member of his family. Everything seems to trace back to the Stoddards: a new family who recently moved in.

Between the murder, a special flower exhibit and strange postcards arriving each week, Kellan can’t decide which mystery in his life should take priority. But unfortunately, the biggest one of all has yet to be exposed – and when it is, Kellan won’t know what hit him.

About the Author

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 with a degree in English literature. I spent fifteen 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. I frequently blog and publish book reviews on everything I read at ThisIsMyTruthNow via WordPress.

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. Come join in the fun!

Website    Blog

Amazon    Twitter    Author Facebook    Series Facebook

Bookbub    Instagram    Goodreads    LinkedIn    Pinterest

Purchase Links


List of Books & Blog

Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (April 2018)

Braxton Campus Mysteries

Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)

Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)

Flower Power Trip – #3 (Early 2019)

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April 5 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
April 5 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 6 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
April 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
April 7 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 8 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
April 8 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
April 9 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT
April 9 – Books Direct – GUEST POST
April 10 – Jane Reads – REVIEW
April 10 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT
April 11 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
April 11 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
April 12 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
April 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 13 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
April 13 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
April 14 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 15 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
April 15 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT


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Mar 302019

Released Today!

Dyeing Season (Dewberry Farm Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Gray Whale Press (March 30, 2019)
Print Length: 227 pages

The eggs aren’t the only things dyeing in Buttercup…

It’s springtime on Dewberry Farm, and homesteader Lucy Resnick is busy putting together her wares for the Easter Market. She’s just finished potting the last of her herb starts when a tornado rips through her farm, destroying her crops, scattering her livestock and tearing up the barn. As Lucy searches for two kids lost in the storm, she makes a grisly discovery: her neighbor’s home health aide, Eva, strangled with a hand-knitted scarf.

While investigating the young woman’s death, Lucy discovers that blood isn’t always thicker than water… and that somebody may be taking advantage of the town’s more vulnerable citizens. When a second body turns up, drowned in a vat of dye, the whole town is walking on eggshells. Will Lucy find the killer in time?

Or has dyeing season just begun?

About the Author

Karen is the housework-impaired author of multiple mystery series, and her victims number well into the double digits. She lives in Austin, Texas with her sassy family and a menagerie of animals, including twenty-three fish, two rabbits, and a rescue dog named Little Bit. When she’s not chauffeuring children or coming up with creative ways to kill people, you can usually find Karen hiding away with a book, dodging laundry, playing in the kitchen, or attending martial arts classes. She also teaches writing classes.

To join Karen’s Readers’ Circle and download a free book, please visit her at www.karenmacinerney.com. Not only will you be first to hear about new releases, but you’ll receive behind-the-scenes tidbits, deleted scenes, recipes, and even short stories! You can also find Karen on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AuthorKarenMacInerney. For quick updates on new releases, follow her on Bookbub at https://www.bookbub.com/authors/karen-macinerney

The Entire Series

Also by This Author

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Mar 232019

This is one of my favorite series!
I am a little bit behind but doing my best to get caught up 🙂

I am thrilled to shine the spotlight on
Chocolate Cream Pie Murder and thankful
for Kensington sponsoring the giveaway and providing the recipe for me to share!

Chocolate Cream Pie Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
24th in Series
Setting – Minnesota
Kensington (February 26, 2019)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496718860
ISBN-13: 978-1496718860

Not even Lake Eden’s nosiest residents suspected Hannah Swensen would go from idealistic newlywed to betrayed wife in a matter of weeks. But as a deadly mystery unfolds in town, the proof is in the pudding . . .

When The Cookie Jar becomes the setting of a star-studded TV special about movies filmed in Minnesota, Hannah hopes to shine the spotlight on her bakery—not the unsavory scandal swirling around her personal life. But that’s practically impossible with a disturbing visit from the shifty character she once believed was her one and only love, a group of bodyguards following her every move, and a murder victim in her bedroom. Now, swapping the crime scene in her condo for her mother Delores’s penthouse, Hannah and an old flame team up to solve a case that’s messier than an upended chocolate cream pie. As suspects emerge and secrets hit close to home, Hannah must serve a hefty helping of justice to an unnamed killer prowling around Lake Eden . . . before someone takes a slice out of her!

Chocolate Cream Pie

This pie is a pudding pie with whipped cream and does not bake in the oven.

The Crust:

8-inch or 9-inch prepared crushed chocolate wafer or crushed Oreo pie crust.

Hannah’s 1st Note: You can also use a prepared crushed cookie pie crust, a graham cracker pie crust, or a shortbread pie crust.  You can even use a regular pie crust as long as you bake and cool it first.

The Chocolate Filling:

6 large egg yolks (save the whites to make your favorite meringue cookies)

3/4 cup white (granulated) sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

3 cups light cream (Half n’ Half)

1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, finely chopped (measure AFTER chopping)

1/2 stick (4 Tablespoons, 1/4 cup, 1/8 pound) salted butter

The Whipped Cream Topping:

1 and 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/4 cup powdered (confectioners’) sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Decorations: (optional)

shaved chocolate

chocolate curls

maraschino cherry halves

butterscotch or caramel ice cream topping to drizzle on top


Place the egg yolks in a medium-size saucepan, off the heat.

Whisk the egg yolks until they are well combined.

Add the white, granulated sugar and the cornstarch.  Whisk everything together, off the heat, until the ingredients are well incorporated.

Turn the stovetop burner on MEDIUM-HIGH heat and add the 3 cups of light cream (half and half) SLOWLY, whisking continuously while the mixture is heating.

Whisk and cook until the mixture is slightly thickened.  (This will take from 3 to 4 minutes.)

Stirring constantly, boil mixture for 3 minutes.

Hannah’s 2nd Note: This is much easier to do if you have a hand mixer turned to LOW speed, but you’ll have to make sure that all areas of the saucepan are being mixed.  If you miss an area, your chocolate filling may scorch and you’ll have to start over!

Whisk in the finely chopped mini chocolate chips and the half-stick of salted butter.  Keep your whisk moving the entire time!

Lower the temperature of the burner to LOW and continue to whisk until the mixture is as thick as pudding. This should take about 5 to 6 minutes.

When the chocolate mixture has thickened, remove the saucepan to a cold stovetop burner and let it sit for five minutes.

Use a heat-resistant rubber spatula to transfer the contents of your saucepan to the pie crust of your choice and smooth the top with the heat-resistant spatula.

Cover the surface of the chocolate layer with plastic wrap and place your partially completed Chocolate Cream Pie in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.  (Overnight is even better, too.)

To Make the Whipped Cream Topping:

Hannah’s 3rd Note: If you’re tired or in a hurry and want a shortcut, simply thaw a small tub of Original Cool Whip and stir in butterscotch ice cream topping or caramel ice cream topping. It will hold its shape better than homemade whipped cream and you can put it on your chilled filling an hour or so before your guests arrive, rather than whipping the cream at the last minute!

Using an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.

Turn the mixer off and sprinkle the powdered sugar on top of the whipped cream.

Mix on HIGH until the powdered sugar is mixed in.

With the mixer running on HIGH, sprinkle in the half-teaspoon of vanilla extract and mix it in.

When everything has been thoroughly incorporated, shut off the mixer and take out the bowl with the whipped cream topping.  Give it a final stir with a rubber spatula and set it on the kitchen counter.

Get the pie crust with its chocolate filling out of the refrigerator and set it next to the mixer bowl with the whipped cream topping.

Peel the plastic wrap off the chocolate filling and use the rubber spatula to transfer mounds of whipped cream to the surface of the chocolate filling.

Work quickly to dot the entire surface of the chocolate filling with whipped cream.  Continue transferring the whipped cream until the mixer bowl has been emptied.

Using the rubber spatula, spread the mounds of whipped cream together to cover the entire surface of your Chocolate Cream Pie.  Make sure the whipped cream topping goes all the way out to the edge of the pie crust.

Using the flat edge of the rubber spatula, press it against the surface of the whipped cream topping and pull it up quickly.  This should cause the whipped cream to form a point on top.  Make “points” over the entire surface of your Chocolate Cream Pie.

Choose the decorating topping you wish to use on top of the whipped cream.  You can use more than one topping to really make it look fancy.

If you choose shaved chocolate, use a sharp knife to “shave” the edge of a bar of sweet chocolate.  Place the shaved pieces in a bowl and, using your impeccably clean fingers, sprinkle the shaved chocolate over the surface of your pie.

If you choose chocolate curls to decorate the top of your pie, simply run a sharp knife down the long edge of a bar of sweet chocolate.  If you don’t lift the knife blade, it will form a curl of chocolate.  Use these chocolate curls to decorate the top of your Chocolate Cream Pie.

Maraschino cherries are always colorful on top of a pie.  Cut the Maraschino cherries in half vertically and transfer the halves to the surface of the whipped cream topping, rounded side up.  Make a large circle of cherry halves around the edge or a design of your own making using the cherry halves.

If you choose butterscotch or caramel ice cream topping, simply drizzle it all over the surface of your pie in a pretty design.

Refrigerate your Chocolate Cream Pie for at least 2 hours before serving.

To serve, cut your Chocolate Cream Pie into 8 pieces and remove the pieces with a triangle-shaped spatula.  Place each piece on a dessert plate and serve with a carafe of strong, hot coffee or tall glasses of milk.

Yield: This pie will serve 8 people . . . or 7 if you invite Mother.  She’ll tell you she couldn’t possibly eat more of something so rich, but you won’t have to twist her arm to get her to agree to a second helping.


About the Author

JOANNE FLUKE is the New York Times bestselling author of the Hannah Swensen mysteries, which include Double Fudge Brownie Murder, Blackberry Pie MurderCinnamon Roll Murder, and the book that started it all, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder. That first installment in the series premiered as Murder, She Baked:  A Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel. Like Hannah Swensen, Joanne Fluke was born and raised in a small town in rural Minnesota but now lives in Southern California. Please visit her online at www.JoanneFluke.com.

Thanks to the publisher I have 3 copies 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!

Leave a comment for the author for 5 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 5, 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

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Mar 192019

Prussian Counterpoint:
A Joseph Haydn Mystery
by Nupur Tustin

About the Book 

Prussian Counterpoint: A Joseph Haydn Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Publisher: Foiled Plots Press (March 1, 2019
Paperback: 270 pages
ISBN-10: 0998243043
ISBN-13: 978-0998243047
ISBN-13: 9780998243047
Digital BN ID: 2940156243365

When an enemy makes overtures of friendship, is anyone safe?

An unexpected invitation from wily King Frederick causes composer Joseph Haydn to fear he’s walking into a trap. After all, the Prussian King has never had any use for Haydn’s music. His Majesty seems more intrigued at Haydn’s being the son of a market-judge.

Worse still, the invitation appears to stir up suspicion in the highest quarters in Vienna. So much so that a mysterious, cloaked lady visits Haydn’s Music Room and issues a thinly veiled threat.

Now Haydn is convinced there’s mischief afoot. But not even he can foresee that he will stumble upon the corpse of the imperial ambassador a day after his arrival in Frederick’s Prussia, along with evidence that His Lordship may have been a common thief.

Can Haydn salvage the imperial ambassador’s reputation—and find his killer?

Praise for the Joseph Haydn Mysteries

“A standout in the genre of historical mysteries. An encore is requested!”
Midwest Book Review

“Tustin occupies a unique niche in the historical mystery world.”
Edith Maxwell, Agatha-nominated Author, Quaker Midwife Mysteries

“Wonderful read for fans of historical cozy mysteries. . .The characters are strong and the writing is smooth. . .”
Books a Plenty Book Reviews

“An interesting journey and Haydn is a likable main character.”
Christa Reads and Writes

“Vivid historical descriptions, intricate details, and a fascinating central character kept me turning the pages. Bravo!”
Amanda Carmack, award-winning author of The Elizabethan Mystery Series

The author’s love of classical music and this era comes through clearly in Prussian Counterpoint. The entire book has an authentic feel—from the dialogue to the descriptions to the actions of the characters.
~Mysteries with Character

PRUSSIAN COUNTERPOINT is a fascinating political mystery. Sumptuous period detail and exacting historical research add to the intellectual nature of the novel while rich characterization brings heart.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Special Post

Introduction: For a man who loved music as much as Frederick the Great did—he played the flute quite well and even composed—his musical tastes were remarkably limited and old-fashioned. The English music historian Charles Burney commented on this when he traveled through the kingdom. Unlike most of his contemporaries, Frederick didn’t think very much of Haydn’s music. And as far as Mozart was concerned, the King remained unimpressed.

Frederick’s fondness for his Italian greyhounds was also quite unusual.


“What think you of our opera, my dear Haydn?” The King, who had insisted the Kapellmeister be seated next to him, tapped him on the knee. The Italian greyhound at his feet shifted, flopping itself onto Haydn’s feet.

The Kapellmeister stiffened. He had nothing against dogs. On the hunting fields, no animal could be more useful. But what kind of man brought a dog into an opera house? God forbid, the creature should do its business on his shoes!

On the stage, Medea complained of having lost the love of Jason. A most unsuitable subject for the occasion, Haydn privately thought. This opera about a woman who forced her unfaithful husband to devour his children. But it was not the sort of remark one made to a King.

“It is a most intriguing subject, Your Majesty,” was all he could think of saying.

“Indeed.” A pair of piercing blue eyes fastened themselves upon Haydn’s features. “And why is that?”

Haydn took a deep breath and took the plunge. “One wonders how a man would react under the circumstances, Your Majesty.”

“A man would simply cut his losses and move on, Haydn. But women rather than accepting their fate try to interfere, thus spoiling everything.”

Haydn’s eyes flickered involuntarily to the Empress. Was that the King’s assessment of Her Majesty, then?

“My remarks appear to have hit the mark.” The King’s softly uttered words pulled Haydn’s gaze back. His Majesty’s well-formed lips were curving into an amused smile. “You have the misfortune of being acquainted with such a woman, I suppose, Haydn.”

The Kapellmeister felt his cheeks burn at the insinuation. His nostrils flared. “Your Majesty is mistaken,” he said as calmly as he could manage. The sound of teeth clicking against metal reached his ears.

The infernal greyhound was chewing on the buckles of his shoes.

“Pepi!” The King called sharply, giving Haydn a start. But it was only the dog that His Majesty was addressing. So, the hound was christened Joseph, too! God be thanked, the King had not seen fit to nickname the creature Sepperl.

A few minutes later, the King leaned closer to the Kapellmeister again. “What would your father, the Marktrichter, think of such a crime, Haydn?”

“Your Majesty!”

“A woman driven to commit a heinous act against her children by her husband’s infidelity. Is such a crime deserving of punishment?”

Haydn gripped the arms of his seat. “My father never had occasion to judge such a crime, Your Majesty. The theft of a man’s goods, the swindling of an honest housewife, these were the petty crimes he examined.”

His Majesty regarded Haydn for a moment. “And such are the crimes you specialize in, I imagine.”

What was the King getting at? “I have looked into one or two matters. But it is music that I specialize in, Your Majesty.”

* * *

About the Author

About the Author

A former journalist, Nupur Tustin relies upon a Ph.D. in Communication and an M.A. in English to orchestrate fictional mayhem.  The Haydn mysteries are a result of her life-long passion for classical music and its history. Childhood piano lessons and a 1903 Weber Upright share equal blame for her original compositions, available on ntustin.musicaneo.com.

Her writing includes work for Reuters and CNBC, short stories and freelance articles, and research published in peer-reviewed academic journals. She lives in Southern California with her husband, three rambunctious children, and a pit bull.

3 Free Stories onhttp://bit.ly/Haydn_Taste_of_Murder

Webpage:    Blog:    Free Haydn Mystery at Taste of Murder:

Facebook:   Goodreads:   Bookbub:

Purchase Links    Kobo    Nook    Apple    Kindle

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Mar 162019

I am delighted to shine the spotlight on Paula Darnell’s 1st DIY Diva Mystery today!

Death by Association:
A DIY Diva Mystery
by Paula Darnell

About the Book

Death by Association: A DIY Diva Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Cozy Cat Press (January 1, 2019)
Paperback: 271 pages
ISBN-10: 1946063681
ISBN-13: 978-1946063687
Digital ASIN: B07MQ73LJQ (215 Pages)

DIY Diva Laurel McMillan learns that the high walls and guarded gates of Hawkeye Haven can’t protect her community. When Laurel takes her pampered, chocolate Labrador retriever, Bear, for an early morning walk, she finds her friend, security guard Bessie, bleeding and unconscious at her guardhouse post. If the attack on Bessie isn’t enough to set the residents’ nerves on edge, the murder of Victor Eberhart, the unpopular president of the powerful homeowners’ association, certainly does the trick. Despite teaching DIY classes and writing project instructions for her latest book, DIY for Dog Lovers, Laurel manages to squeeze in time for some DIY detective work. But as she gets closer to the truth, Victor’s killer would like nothing better than for the DIY Diva to take a dive.

About the Author

An instructor at five colleges over the years, Paula Darnell most often taught the dreaded first-year English composition classes, but she’s also been happy to teach some fun classes, such as fashion design, sewing, and jewelry making. Paula has a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, and a Master’s degree in English from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Like Laurel, the main character in Death by Association, Paula enjoys all kinds of arts and crafts. Some of her memorable projects include making a hat and a cape to wear to Royal Ascot, sewing wedding gowns for both her daughters, exhibiting her textile and mixed-media artwork in juried art shows, and having one of her jewelry projects accepted for inclusion in Leather Jewelry, published by Lark Books. She sells some of her jewelry and hair accessories in her Etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/PaulaDJewelry.

Paula’s interest in DIY craft projects and fashion led to her writing hundreds of articles for print and online national publications.

Living in a guard-gated community governed by a homeowners’ association gave Paula the idea for the setting of Death by Association. She finds that residing in an HOA community can be both a blessing and a curse. A Happy-New-Year greeting from her community association called on residents to “start the new year by reviewing your Rules and Regulations booklet,” something unlikely to top anyone’s list of New Year’s resolutions.

Paula lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her husband Gary and their 110-pound dog Rocky, whose favorite pastime is lurking in the kitchen, hoping for a handout.

Praise for Death by Association: A DIY Diva Mystery
by Paula Darnell

Fun and interesting characters, an original setting in a gated community (Oh, the trials of an HOA), Bear the dog, and great writing all make DEATH BY ASSOCIATION a story worth reading, and a great debut for Darnell.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

Author Links – Author’s website – Twitter Goodreads Pinterest Etsy shop

Purchase Links – Amazon  Amazon Paperback

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March 11 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
March 12 – CelticLady’s Reviews – RECIPE POST
March 13 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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March 19 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 20 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
March 21 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
March 22 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
March 24 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 24 – Laura’s Interests – GUEST POST
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Mar 162019

Mrs. Jeffries Delivers the Goods (A Victorian Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
37th in Series
Berkley (March 12, 2019)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 0451492226
ISBN-13: 978-0451492227

When poison fells an arrogant and rude businessman in public, Mrs. Jeffries and Inspector Witherspoon both realize they are looking for a deranged maniac in this all new installment in the beloved Victorian Mystery series

On a cold night in February, the popular Lighterman’s ball festivities are cut short when a guest of honor, Stephen Bremmer, goes into spasms and abruptly collapses. Once again Inspector Witherspoon returns to the Wrexley Hotel to investigate a murder.

The victim was considered a boorish snob who felt entitled to anything and anyone he wanted. Yet despite his Oxford education, he was barely literate, lazy, and prone to make stupid mistakes – his last mistake turned out to be crossing a killer.

The owners and management of the Wrexley Hotel clearly don’t welcome the return of Inspector Witherspoon but he has his job to do, and Mrs. Jeffries, and the rest of the household must do their best to catch a murderer who shows no signs of slowing down…

from AnazonAbout The Author

Emily Brightwell was born in the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia. Her family moved to Southern California in 1959 and she grew up in Pasadena. After graduating from California State University Fullerton, she decided to work her way around the world and started in England. She didn’t get any further because she met future her husband there, got married and moved back to California. While living in Long Beach, she decided to pursue her dream and become a writer – despite having two children and a full-time job. She began the Mrs. Jeffries series in 1993 with “The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries” and has written thirty-four more mysteries in the series in the following twenty-one years. Now that her children are grown and have left home – Emily and her husband live in the Bay Area.

Find out more about the author on her webpage here.

Click here for the complete series of Mrs. Jeffries Mysteries on Amazon.


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

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

Contest Will End March 30, 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


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Mar 092019

Broken Bone China
(A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs

This is the 20th book in this series.
Congratulations, Laura Childs
for reaching this huge milestone!

About the Book

Broken Bone China (A Tea Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
20th in Series
Berkley (March 5, 2019)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 0451489632
ISBN-13: 978-0451489630

Theodosia Browning serves tea and solves crimes in Charleston, a city steeped in tradition and treachery in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

It is Sunday afternoon, and Theodosia and Drayton are catering a formal tea at a hot-air balloon rally. The view aloft is not only stunning, they are also surrounded by a dozen other colorful hot-air balloons. But as the sky turns gray and the clouds start to boil up, a strange object zooms out of nowhere. It is a drone, and it appears to be buzzing around the balloons, checking them out.

As Theodosia and Drayton watch, the drone, hovering like some angry, mechanized insect, deliberately crashes into the balloon next to them. An enormous, fiery explosion erupts, and everyone watches in horror as the balloon plummets to the earth, killing all three of its passengers.

Sirens scream, first responders arrive, and Theodosia is interviewed by the police. During the interview she learns that one of the downed occupants was Don Kingsley, the CEO of a local software company, SyncSoft. Not only do the police suspect Kingsley as the primary target, they learn that he possessed a rare Revolutionary War Union Jack flag that several people were rabidly bidding on.

Intrigued, Theodosia begins her own investigation. Was it the CEO’s soon-to-be ex-wife, who is restoring an enormous mansion at no expense? The CEO’s personal assistant, who also functioned as curator of his prized collection of Americana? Two rival antiques’ dealers known for dirty dealing? Or was the killer the fiancée of one of Theodosia’s dear friends, who turns out to be an employee—and whistle-blower—at SyncSoft?


About the Author

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop MysteriesScrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Laura’s Links:

Website – Facebook

Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N  Kobo   Google Play

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Praise for Broken Bone China
(A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs

I appreciate Laura Childs wonderful descriptions of the Indigo Tea Shop, Charleston, the beautiful antiques, books, Haley’s tasty dishes and the entrancing teas (I can just imagine how they would smell).
~The Avid Reader

I loved the twists throughout the book . . . This is a well-done book! Congratulations to Theodosia on 20 mysteries solved and to the author who helped her do it! 5 stars!
~Reading Authors

The action in this story starts from the first page and continues right until the end.
~A. Holland Reads


TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops.
March 5 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
March 5 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 6 – Reading Authors – REVIEW
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March 7 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW
March 7 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
March 8 – My Journey Back-The Journey Back – REVIEW
March 8 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
March 9 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 9 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 10 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
March 10 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 11 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 11 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
March 12 – Nadaness In Motion – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 12 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT
March 13 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT  
March 13 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
March 14 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, GUEST POST
March 14 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
March 15 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW
March 15 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
March 16 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
March 16 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
March 17 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 17 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
March 18 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
March 18 – The Montana Bookaholic – GUEST POST
March 18 – Lisa Ks Book Review – REVIEW


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Mar 082019

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

I was unable to get a Flashback Friday book read last week. I think missing my Sunday evening read time to watch and live tweet the new Chronicle Mysteries the past 3 weeks caught up with me. I really enjoyed the movies though. If you missed them they are going to be on again Friday, March 15 on the Hallmark Movie and Mysteries Channel

So that means this week will just be a Spotlight with a Giveaway.
I have plucked a book from my To-Be-Read bookcase.
My lost could be your gain! 

A Not So Model Home (An Amanda Thorne Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Kensington (December 3, 2013)
Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-10: 0758206410
ISBN-13: 978-0758206411
Kindle ASIN: B00FQRO6R0

Open House for Murder

The real estate market is tanking, even in posh Palm Springs. So when Ian Forbes, the eccentric head of an international hair care empire, offers luxury realtor Amanda Thorne a chance to list his palatial Spanish style pad, she reluctantly agrees–even if it means appearing on the bizarre reality dating show he’s starring in.

With so much at stake, a throng of attractive contestants descend on the mansion in hopes of winning Ian’s heart–and his fortune. The competition is fast and fierce, and it’s almost no surprise when two of Ian’s prospective lovers turn up dead. Amanda quickly discovers that everyone has a conceivable motive for murder. And now that there are two more realtors competing with her for the lucrative listing, it seems the killer won’t be the only one who’s out for blood. . .

“The fun part of this mystery is James’ snarky, sneaky sense of humor that keeps his lively cast of characters believable.” –Mystery Scene

“Once again, James charms.” –Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Mildly celebrated author David James divides his time between L.A. and Palm Springs handling sales of mid-century and modern homes by day, while working on spec TV scripts at night. He is extremely accomplished at folding fitted sheets.

The entire time this book sat on my shelf I thought it was the 1st book in the series. While creating this post I learned it was the 2nd and last book in the series. The first book is available digitally for $1.99 and through secondary sellers in mass market paperback. 

I am giving 1 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.

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

Contest Will End March 22, 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


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One Feta in the Grave (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery) by Tina Kashian Order Your Copy Today! MMP Just $5.03
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