Posted in Cozy Wednesday Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Literary Escapes Reviews 2013

Special Thursday Edition of Cozy Wednesday with Author Josie Belle (Super Giveaway too!)

cozy wednesday

This month has been crazy for incredible cozies!!

Let’s find out a little bit about Josie Bell!

Head shot - Jan 2012

1. What was your inspiration for the Good Buy Girls Mysteries?

The Good Buy Girls series is actually a writer-for-hire series, which means that Berkley Prime Crime had an idea for a bargain hunter series and was looking for a writer to write it. When I heard the premise, being a thrifty soul, I knew I had to write it. I changed pretty much everything about their original idea but they were happy with the changes and so a partnership was formed.

2. Are you a Good Buy Girl? (Coupon Clipper, Discount Diva)

OMG! The Hub says I can only buy something if I can say, “I scored it for 75% off, can you believe it?” It used to drive him nuts, but now, I think he understands that bargains are like a contact sport for me. How can you not feel the rush when you find a pair of designer shoes in your size for 90% off. I live for that, truly.

3. You have written under a couple of different pseudonyms, is this your choice or the publishers?

I have three series that were my original ideas under the name Jenn McKinlay, but I broke into the mystery world by taking a writer-for-hire project about a decoupage artist and that series is under the name Lucy Lawrence. Because the publisher owns the copyright for the writer-for-hire books, I had to use a different name. Both of my pen names come from mixing my grandmother’s names and my pets’ names, so they are still in the family.

4. What are you reading for fun right now?

In my day job, I work part-time in Youth Services at the Phoenix Public Library. This works out wonderfully as I don’t read mysteries when I’m writing them for fear that I might begin to sound like the author I am reading. So, I read young adult novels and I have a weakness for fanstasy/paranormal series books. My latest reads are Cinder by Marissa Meyer and Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. I highly recommend both books. My library teens have been bugging me to write a YA paranormal, so that is underway. It’s been fun to try something new!

Eiffel Tower Picture at Night5. If money was no object and you could escape to anywhere in the world to write where would you go and what do you think the book would be about?

WOW! That is an excellent question. When my hooligans are completely driving me mental (like the time I caught them hoarding water balloons to sneak attack the mailman – Oy!) I always picture myself on a balcony in Paris with my laptop open, a glass of wine to my right, and a view of the Eiffel Tower as evening leads the city into night. Sadly, I have no idea what I’m writing, but I bet I get more than a paragraph done without hearing , “Mooooooom!” Honestly, the Hub and the hooligans inspire me so much, I doubt I’d get much done in a quiet room, but the idea is a nice meditation when the burping, farting, yelling and wrestling get to be too much.

Thanks so much for inviting me to chat! Happy New Year, Lori!

I am so thrilled when you stop by!! Thank you so much Jenn!!!

Now let me tell you about this wonderful story!!

a deal to die for

A Deal to Die For
(Good Buy Girls)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (December 31, 2012)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425251850
E-Book File Size: 551 KB
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by Sarah Oberrender

A Deal to Die For (Good Buy Girls, #2)

Maggie Gerber needs just the right merchandise to give her secondhand shop, My Sister’s Closet, the edge over her vindictive rival Summer Phillips’ new store that has opened right across the street. The Good Buy Girls have heard that Vera Madison will be selling off her vintage clothing at the St. Stanley flea market and they plan to be first in line.

And that’s right where there are when all hell breaks loose. Vera has left her daughter in charge of her booth while she runs a quick errand. But Vera will not be returning. She was just found dead and it has been ruled a murder.  The Good Buy Girls learn Vera had more than a few skeletons in her closet and more enemies than shoes. If Maggie wants to get her store open they are going to have to bag a killer before they bag any bargains.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am loving these Good Buy Girls and the Good Guys are not bad either. Summer Phillips is just plain mean and joined with the evil Courtney sets the reader up for a very entertaining ride. 

The mystery was complex and the secrets are revealed in such a way that keeps the reader guessing right up to the very special moment where everything falls into place. 

I like the romantic tension/triangle very much. Do you go back to the heartthrob of your youth or try something mature and new? Maggie is cautious and unsure and I hope the author takes her time experimenting with the couples a bit before Maggie falls hard for one or the other.  We are left guessing at the end and I refused to read ahead in the teaser chapter for Buried In Bargain because I just don’t want to know yet. Plus you know how these stories work, there has to be twists and turns, so I will not so patiently wait to read the entire thing when book #3 is released. 

A Deal to Die For should be at the top of your shopping list!

a perfect escape


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To Find Out More About Josie Bell/Jenn McKinlay Visit Her Webpage Here.

Thanks to the author I have a Super Giveaway!!!
She has sent me 5 Autographed Copies of

Some Bookish Swag To Give Away!!!

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.

Leave a comment for Josie for 5 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 February 7, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By
Winners 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.”

Posted in Reviews 2012

50% OFF MURDER by Josie Belle

50 off murder

50% Off Murder
(Good Buy Girls)

Brand New Series

A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Company
Published by The Penguin Group’
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by Sarah Oberreader
Available Now!!

Meet the Good Buy Girls – Maggie Gerber, St. Stanley native. Her husband, Charlie, was a deputy for the St. Stanley Sheriff’s Department. He was killed in the line of duty when their daughter, Laura, was just a toddler. Laura is now a sophomore at Penn State and Maggie has opened her home to her niece Sandy and her son Josh. Sandy’s husband is deployed in Afghanistan and Sandy is studying to become a nurse. Maggie helps with Josh and does billing part-time for a local doctor.

Ginger Lancaster, another St. Stanley native, same age, same dress and shoe size as Maggie. Ginger is outspoken and funny. She runs her own accounting business. Her husband has a corporate sales job and they have four teenage boys.

Clare Freemont is in her mid-30’s, she moved from Baltimore and is a librarian with a very dry sense of humor, her biggest extravagance is gourmet pet food for her cat, Mr. Tumnus. Maggie invited Clare to join the group when she found out they shared a mutual love for books and bargains.

Joanne Claramotta is the newest member of the group. Together with her husband Michael they own and operate the More Than Meats Butcher Shop and Deli. They moved to St. Stanley from Brooklyn about 10 years ago.

Maggie and Ginger started the Good Buy Girls Club to share coupons, discounts and bargain tips over 20 years ago when they were newlyweds expecting their first babies. The club membership has varied over the years with Ginger and Maggie as self-proclaimed life time members. Maggie’s house is home base for the club.

Maggie takes Josh to story hour at the library. While he is playing with friends Maggie visits with Clare. She decides to help her move some donated books to the library basement. When they reached the bottom of the stairs they are scared to death. There is body on the floor with a knife in his chest. Turns out Clare recognizes the man, someone from her past.

The handsome new sheriff who happens to be a man from Maggie’s past sets his sights on Clare as his prime suspect. It will take more than a clearance sale for the Good Buy Girls to get their friend out of this jam.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This is a wonderful debut to this brand new series.

Josie Belle is a pseudonym for Jenn McKinlay author of the Library Lover’s Mystery Series and the Cupcake Mystery Series. She also wrote the Decoupage Mysteries under the name Lucy Lawrence.

In this series she has created wonderful characters in the Good Buy Girls but also in the supporting characters. The sheriff Sam Collins, Max who is so much more the the guy who works at the Frosty Freeze, Summer Phillips the thorn in Maggie’s side, and the suspects, there are many more than just Clare.

She has also developed a very engaging who-dun-it that keeps bringing the man Maggie wants to avoid more than paying retail into her path. Why did he have to come back to St. Stanley? Things were going so well.

Who doesn’t love a good bargain? Josie Belle has taken a theme we all can relate to and turned it into what I know will be a very successful series. 50% Off Murder equals 110% of fun!! I can’t wait for the next big sale! Keep you elbows to yourself and your eyes on the prize, three…two… one…go!!!!!



Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.”