Mar 072019
 

As Directed
(A Maggie O’Malley Mystery)
by Kathleen Valenti

About the Book


As Directed (A Maggie O’Malley Mystery)
Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Midwest, United States
Henery Press (March 12, 2019)
Hardcover: 286 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114705
ISBN-13: 978-1635114706
Digital ASIN: B07LB6N22B

In the shadow of a past fraught with danger and tainted by loss, former pharmaceutical researcher Maggie O’Malley is rebuilding her life, trading test tubes for pill bottles as she embarks on a new career at the corner drugstore.

But as she spreads her wings, things begin to go terribly wrong. A customer falls ill in the store. Followed by another. And then more.

The specter of poisoning arises, conjuring old grudges, past sins, buried secrets and new suspicions from which no one is immune.

As Maggie and her best friend Constantine begin to investigate, they discover that some of the deadliest doses come from the most unexpected places.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Customers are dropping like flies and Maggie O’Malley is always the one to find them. She thought things would be calm and routine at the local drug store where she is working as a pharmacy technician, but instead, murder victims are falling at her feet. They have been poisoned and both Mallory and her boss have been questioned. Her boss has closed down his store until the answers are found and the person responsible is in custody. Without having to work every day, Mallory and Constantine (Gus) have plenty of time to investigate but the path is twisted and secrets are uncovered.

Maggie is still recovering from an injury that occurred in an earlier book, but she doesn’t let the headaches and memory lapses keep her down. Also on her plate in her wedding to Constantine. No date yet but his aunt and hers are bulldozing as many plans forward as they can, even inviting themselves to a cake tasting Mallory hoped she and Gus could handle on their own. An old foe is stalking her and she has acquired a new one. A “TWO-FER” as Gus calls it. She also brings home a four-legged furry friend who worms his way into her heart. She drives a 1962 Studebaker Lark too. I like everything about Miss Maggie O’Malley.

As with the previous stories in this series, the author has put forth a very complex mystery with tangents going in several directions. The deaths are scary, was there tampering? Did Maggie or her boss make a mistake? When another customer is found dead at home, the local news guy is pointing fingers, trying to get the scoop, and being a real pain. That presses Maggie to work harder and faster to get answers. Nothing is really clear and the case has a lot of moving parts. At times it feels like she is going in circles but I was captivated every step of the way.

The story has a real ripped from the headlines feel (remember the Tylenol murders) and the ending packs a real punch. Action, danger, drama, are tempered with just a little bit of humor in the proper places. The book is balanced with Mallory’s real-life experiences. I really love the way Ms. Valenti tells a story. It’s not straight forward in your face. There are layers that need to be peeled and each little reveal moves the story along at just the right pace until everything tragically falls into place.

For me, this story was just what the doctor ordered, a Perfect Escape!

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About the Author

Kathleen Valenti is the author of the Maggie O’Malley Mystery Series, which includes her Agatha- and Lefty-nominated debut novel, Protocol. When Kathleen isn’t writing page-turning mysteries that combine humor and suspense, she works as a nationally award-winning advertising copywriter. She lives in Oregon with her family where she pretends to enjoy running. Learn more at www.kathleenvalenti.com.

Author Links – Website – Facebook – Twitter – GoodReadsBookBubInstagram 

Purchase Links – Amazon Barnes & Noble  iTunes  Kobo

Protocol is on sale for $1.99 right now.

Thanks to the author I have 1 digital copy to give away! 

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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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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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Feb 282019
 

This book is available TODAY!!


Fields’ Guide to Voodoo (The Poppy Fields Adventures)
Mystery/Suspense (Humorous)
3rd in Series
Setting – Louisiana
J & M Press (February 28, 2019)
Print Length: 248 pages
ASIN: B07N34V34S

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

The pleasure of your company is requested at the most over-the-top wedding New Orleans has ever seen…

When Poppy Fields, Hollywood IT girl and super-secret agent, agreed to be a bridesmaid, she anticipated gallons of Sazerac, memorable parties and handsome groomsmen. Instead, she’s dodging bullets.

Juggling wedding showers, exploding buildings, picnics, black magic, lunches in the Vieux Carré, and murder can be tough on a girl. Good thing Thor is there to escort her—until he disappears.

Poppy must outwit smugglers primed to flood the U.S. with a dangerous new drug (one Poppy knows all too well), save Thor, and get to the church on time. If she fails, she may end up dead. Or—worse—late to the wedding.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Poppy Fields is back and taking on New Orleans!

Our Hollywood It girl was set to relax at all the parties leading up to her college roommate Adele’s wedding before she headed off to her super-secret agent training, but while meeting at the Columns Hotel for drinks chaos erupts when a G-Wagon spins out of control. Behind it, a Range Rover stops and men with guns pile out and start shooting. Many are hit, some die, but Adele and Poppy are safe. Adele, a nurse, rushes to help. Poppy rushes to the first officer that arrives and shares all she can about what happened. And we are only midway through Chapter 1!

Poppy tries to attend to all her wedding commitments but she had to let her new secret agent boss know what happened especially what she did at the end of Chapter 1. He sends the cavalry in the form of Thor (not his real name/Chris Hemsworth’s doppelganger).  Good thing too, because we have just scratched the surface of Poppy’s time in NOLA, she is there for 2 weeks and danger seems to follow Poppy everywhere she goes!

I absolutely love this series! The first two books in this series made my Best Reads List of 2018 and this one is headed to this year’s list. Ms. Mulhern continues to top herself. She takes suspense and turns it inside out with antics that will have you laughing out loud.

While in New Orleans Poppy is staying in a house that appears to have a resident ghost. She meets a Voodoo priestess, gets in numerous shootouts and car chases, a building explodes, takes on drug smugglers, some who want her dead after what happened in Mexico, (book #1), has to search for Thor and Jake, of course, he’s in town too! All I can say is that I am so thankful she learned a few fantastic things from her father, like Krav Maga and amazing gun skills. She also learned a few things from her mother and looking so much like her celebrity mom doesn’t hurt either.

I have learned one thing about this series. When you start reading you will not be able to stop so plan accordingly. Lightning fast pace, characters that you want to root for, action, twists, turns, and fabulous dialogue that will have you in stitches. Poppy is a fantastic protagonist and when partnered with Mark (Thor) they are unstoppable.

Come for the wedding, watch out for those flying bullets, use all those luncheons and dinners to get information, and oh yeah, stay alive to see your friend say her I do’s. What an awesome time! I loved every minute!! I can’t wait for the next adventure!! and maybe a little training if she can squeeze it into her busy schedule. 🙂

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You can read my review of Fields’ Guide to Abduction here. 

You can read my review of Fields’ Guide to Assassins here. 

Book 1 is free right now!

About the Author

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders and the Poppy Fields Adventures She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. 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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Jan 242019
 

Murder of Ravens (Gabriel Hawke)
by Paty Jager

I am happy to spotlight this new book/series by Paty Jager today!

About the Book

Murder of Ravens (Gabriel Hawke)
Mystery
1st in Series
Windtree Press (January 20, 2019)
Paperback: 302 pages
ISBN-10: 1947983822
ISBN-13: 978-1947983823
Digital ASIN: B07KZ612BY

The ancient Indian art of tracking is his greatest strength…

And also his biggest weakness.

Fish and Wildlife State Trooper Gabriel Hawke believes he’s chasing poachers.

However, he comes upon a wildlife biologist standing over a body that is wearing a wolf tracking collar.

He uses master tracker skills taught to him by his Nez Perce grandfather to follow clues on the mountain. Paper trails and the whisper of rumors in the rural community where he works, draws Hawke to a conclusion that he finds bitter.

Arresting his brother-in-law ended his marriage, could solving this murder ruin a friendship?

Praise for Murder of Ravens (Gabriel Hawke)
by Paty Jager

I loved the story. Halfway through the book, the identity of the perp is revealed but the ending turned out to be quite surprising.
~The Book Decoder

Murder of Ravens is a fresh and unique mystery by new-to-me author Paty Jager. This traditional mystery, book #1 in a new series, has good character depth and features a strong Native American character.
~The Power of Words

MURDER OF RAVENS is an intriguing mystery set in Eastern Oregon, in the mountains, along the rivers, and in small close-knit communities (read, everybody, knows everybody else’s business).
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

The blend of nature tracking, clues, and the animals makes for a fascinating mystery that is hard to put down.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Some interesting history is also revealed as we get drawn into the seedy underside of greed and power.
~Laura’s Interests

A solid mystery with a lovely backdrop and some dabs of romance made this one a fun read for me.
~FUONLYKNEW

About the Author

Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 35 novels, 8 novellas, and numerous anthologies of murder mystery and western romance. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Her Shandra Higheagle mystery series has been a runner-up in the RONE Award Mystery category, and a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier.

Author Links 

Website   Blog   Facebook   Amazon

Pinterest   Twitter   Goodreads   Newsletter- Mystery   Bookbub 

Purchase Links –

Amazon

Also by Paty Jager

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January 15 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
January 15 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
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January 16 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
January 17 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
January 17 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
January 18 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT  
January 18 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 19 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
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January 20 – Mythical Books – SPOTLIGHT
January 21 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW
January 22 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 23 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW
January 24 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
January 24 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
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January 25 – My Reading Journeys – CHARACTER GUEST POST

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Jan 082019
 


Do No Harm: A Dr. Katie LeClair Mystery
Mystery/ Amateur Sleuth
2nd in Series
Setting – Michigan
Crooked Lane Books (December 11, 2018)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1683317874
ISBN-13: 978-1683317876
Kindle ASIN: B078M3J4FK

Small-town doctor Katie LeClair is drawn back into an old murder investigation, a mysterious disappearance, and a dark undercurrent of violence.

The idyllic town of Baxter, Michigan, seemed like the perfect place for Dr. Katie LeClair to settle down after years toiling in medical school—until the murder of a patient shattered the peace she had found. Now on the mend and balancing the responsibilities of a new house and the joys of a new romance, Katie is finally ready to start enjoying life. But danger arrives just as the town is gearing up for its annual Halloween festival—and once again, this doctor-turned-sleuth will have to unmask a killer in their midst.

Trouble comes in threes this Halloween. Katie sees a new patient who has just been released from prison for a murder he says he didn’t commit. Inexplicably, the patient suddenly goes missing. And matters take an even more sinister turn when a college student who had been investigating Katie’s old murder case is found dead in the woods near Baxter.

Could Katie’s involvement with the case be responsible for the student’s violent death? Is her new patient truly a cold-blooded murderer? Is this Halloween about to become a real-life horror show?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Dr. Katie LeClair is settling in and getting comfortable in Baxter, Michigan. Circumstances in book 1 have left the clinic shorthanded but Katie’s doctor boyfriend is filling in and picking up the slack.

Set in late October we meet Katie’s new patient Eugene Lowe, who has just been released from prison for a murder he still claims he didn’t commit. We also learn a young college student who had previously worked with Katie is missing. Taylor Knox just happened to be researching Lowe’s case for one of her classes when she went missing. After the girl’s body is found Eugene goes missing knowing he will be the prime suspect. Katie believes Eugene didn’t kill Taylor and probably didn’t kill the first woman either, she just has to prove it. With her brother Caleb techy knowledge and skills, she may be able to find the real killer.

I really like Katie LeClair, she is not only strong and smart she is compassionate and caring. She is not quick to judge and strives to get the true facts. Her brother Caleb has her back and is a great sounding board. New boyfriend Matt, also a doctor, wishes she would leave matters to police but knows Katie will not back away from the case so he also helps in any way he can. These characters are realistic and people I would like to know in real life. Ms. Eastman has also created a wonderful cast of secondary characters as well that clearly could be found in any small Midwestern town.

The mystery twists around and connects to Katie in different ways giving her the means to insert herself in key ways to follow up on clues and other information she has uncovered. I particularly enjoyed the way the police chief appreciated Katie’s input. The story had a rapid pace and elements that take this land this in the traditional mystery category. There was suspense in all the rights places and the author takes us on a great journey.

While this story can be read as a stand alone I believe the series should be read in order for maximum enjoyment. There are spoilers in this book if you plan to go back and read Unnatural Causes after reading this book.

Dawn Eastman has a writing style that I really enjoy. This is a great addition to this series.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Unnatural Causes here


About the Author

National bestselling author Dawn Eastman was a family medicine physician in Michigan. Now she lives in Iowa with her husband, son, and daughter. When not writing, she keeps busy catering to the whims of a bossy bichon-shih tzu mix who wants to rule the world. This is her first Dr. Katie LeClair mystery. She is also the author of THE FAMILY FORTUNE MYSTERIES.

Author Links

Webpage – Facebook – Goodreads

Twitter – @DawnAEastman


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
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Contest Will End January 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

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 142018
 

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


Welcome, Rosalind! 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

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

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

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

What is the first book you remember reading?

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

What are you reading now?

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

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

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

What made you decide you want to write?

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

Do you have a special place you like to write?

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

Do you write at the same time every day?

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

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

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

What books have most inspired you?

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

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

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

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

What do you think makes a good story?

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

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

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

Why did you pick your particular genre?

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

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

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

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

What’s next on the horizon for you?

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

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

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

Thank you, Rosalind, for visiting today. 

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

 

About the Book


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Author

 

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

Author Links
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Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N

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#Spotlight – Murder Knows No Season: 4 novellas featuring Cait Morgan, the WISE Women & DI Glover by Cathy Ace

 Spotlights  Comments Off on #Spotlight – Murder Knows No Season: 4 novellas featuring Cait Morgan, the WISE Women & DI Glover by Cathy Ace
Nov 302018
 

NEW FROM CATHY ACE

Murder Knows No Season: 4 novellas featuring Cait Morgan, the WISE Women & DI Glover
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Women Sleuths
Four Tails Publishing Ltd (November 17, 2018)
Paperback: 273 pages
ISBN-10: 1775175448
ISBN-13: 978-1775175445
Kindle ASIN: B07KNFWKYM (455 Pages)

FOUR DELICIOUSLY DIFFERENT SHORT NOVELS, ONE FOR EACH SEASON OF THE YEAR

WINTER: The Corpse with Eight Faces – A Cait Morgan Mystery
Trapped in a snowbound lodge in the Canadian countryside, Cait is faced with a corpse, and a group of eight suspects. A classic closed-circle mystery featuring Cait Morgan.

SPRING: The Case of the Desperate Duchess – A WISE Enquiries Agency Mystery
Lady Jacintha Wraysbury calls in the WISE Enquiries Agency to hunt for a missing girl. Join the private investigators as they scour West London for a florist who’s in more danger than any of them imagine.

SUMMER: Out and About in a Boat – A standalone thriller
Meet an average Canadian family. Dad Dave takes his son and daughter for a weekend at a local lake. What could go wrong in just thirty hours? When there’s a dead body involved, quite a lot.

AUTUMN: The Fall – A DI Evan Glover Case
When a Welsh rugby legend’s body is found at the bottom of a cliff, the question ‘Did he jump, or was he pushed?’ is one of national significance. Sadly, DI Evan Glover’s inquiries reveal his hero might not have been the man he thought he was.

About The Author

Born and raised in Wales, now-Canadian Cathy Ace is the author of the Cait Morgan Mysteries, featuring her Welsh Canadian criminology professor sleuth who travels the world tripping over corpses, and The WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries, featuring a quartet of female PIs, working from a Welsh stately home. Both series are traditional, entertaining, and have been well reviewed.

Also by Cathy Ace

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Oct 302018
 

Available Today!

Seances Are for Suckers (An Eleanor Wilde Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – England
Kensington (October 30, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 149671962X
ISBN-13: 978-1496719621
Kindle ASIN: B079KSY8LN

When something goes bump in the night . . . it’s most likely a plumbing problem, or something equally mundane. But fake medium Eleanor Wilde is happy to investigate and cleanse your home of spectral presences—for a fee. Hey, it’s a living . . .

Ellie has an ailing sister to care for, and working as a ghost hunter who doesn’t believe in ghosts helps cover the bills for both of them. When she’s lucky, it also pays for the occasional tropical vacation. Her brother doesn’t exactly approve, but Ellie figures she’s providing a service. On her latest job, though, she may be in for some genuine scares.

The skeptical, reserved, and very rich Nicholas Hartford III has flown her all the way to his family’s ancestral estate in England—supposedly haunted by a phantom named Xavier. Nicholas thinks it’s all just as much a crock as Ellie’s business is, but the fact remains that something is causing the flashes of light, mysterious accidents, and other apparent pranks in the chilly, eerie castle. His mother is sure that Xavier is real, and he’s willing to employ Ellie if she can get to the bottom of it and put a stop to the nonsense.

While the food and accommodations are somewhat disappointing (dorm-room furniture? Really?), Ellie is finding it an adventure to get to know this eccentric family and their houseguests, and to poke around in the nearby village for clues. But when an actual dead body appears—and subsequently disappears—at Castle Hartford, she’ll have to apply her talent for trickery and psychological insight to solve a flesh-and-blood murder.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this 1st book of this series, we meet Eleanor Wilde, a self-proclaimed fake medium. She is a ghost hunter that doesn’t believe in ghosts. Eleanor is turning peoples fears into profits to help pay the bills for her sister in a long-term care facility. Her current job takes her to a musty old castle in England. Nicholas Hartford III doesn’t believe in ghosts either but he is hoping Ellie can convince his mother that her ghost, Xavier has left the building. Ellie is up for the job but the rest of the Hartford, staff, family and their guest takes crazy to a whole new level. She is surprised by her accommodations and the food served is horrible, but she needs the money and she is not a quitter. Even after she stumbles upon a real dead body she doesn’t give up. In fact, solving a real murder could be quite interesting . . . if she lives to tell about it.

I really enjoyed the twist of a ghost hunter that knows she is a fake even though her customers may not. I also enjoyed the way this character evolved throughout the story. We learn why she has this job. People will pay exorbitant amounts of money to have “ghosts” removed from their lives and she has a very good reason for needing the money. A strong woman with fantastic observation skills that has not had an easy life, but still has a great sense of humor. She also has a connection, a secret, something I truly appreciated.

Enter Nicholas Hartford III who has his own motives for employing Ellis’s services. This character made me feel a gambit of emotions as the story continued. His mother was a very interesting character and at times made me laugh out loud. The rest of the supporting characters are all cleverly created and help to take this mystery through many twists and turns.

The castle is a fun setting for the book. The staircases, hidden spaces, long hallways, rooms, and gardens all have a truly creepy feel.

The story unfolds at a perfect pace and like our protagonist has many layers. The story was much more than I expected and was full of surprises. Especially the very end. So much happens within the pages and I found myself slowing down to savor the story to be sure I did not miss a single thing. At points the word that popped into my head was mayhem. I learned quickly to really expect the unexpected. This time a cat plays a crucial role. A cat we didn’t even meet until we were well into this story.

I was surprised by how much I came to care about Ellie and her sister Winnie. Her brother played a part too, but I was very attuned to the sisters.

If you love mysteries cozy or traditional this is a fun read you really need to pick up today. It is really different from the usual cozies I read.

I am very excited about this series and where the author will take Ellie next after the way the book concluded. Potions Are for Pushovers will be released next December. I hate having to wait that long but if this story was any indication it will be well worth the wait.


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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.com. FacebookTwitter

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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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Oct 132018
 

Fields’ Guide to Assassins (The Poppy Fields Adventures)
Mystery/Suspense
2nd in Series
Setting – France
J & M Press (September 25, 2018)
Print Length: 248 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07H19BCJH

Poppy Fields, Hollywood IT girl extraordinaire, accompanies her A-list mother to Paris, and why not? It’s PARIS!

What her mother doesn’t know is Poppy’s on assignment. Her mission? To help bankrupt a drug cartel. To do that, she must access encrypted account numbers, evade a drug lord with a grudge, dodge a Russian oligarch, and align herself with a man who looks like a Norse god. Oh, and there’s that plot—the one to launch a massive attack on the City of Lights.

If Poppy’s not careful, La Vie en Rose might just turn funereal black.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Poppy Fields is back and has traveled to Paris with her mother. Movie star Chariss Carlton is in town to shoot a movie and after Poppy’s trip to Mexico, she wants to keep her close. What Chariss doesn’t know is Poppy has been recruited to help break up a drug cartel. Her handler makes it sound like a piece of cake. Thankfully while living with her dad in Montana he taught her how to protect herself because the agency hasn’t given her 1 minute of training. Even with “Thor” (not his real name) as her bodyguard, her life was in danger the entire time. But who wants her dead, the guy whose plan she blew up in Mexico or someone related to her new mission?

Just like the first book in this series I was saying Wow! Wow! WOW! all the way through.

Julie Mulhern has done it again! She set the bar high with Fields’ Guide to Abduction and she equaled or maybe even surpassed it in Fields’ Guide to Assassins. These stories have a rapid pace and once you start reading they are absolutely impossible to put down. In Assassins, we follow Poppy, her friends, Thor, and the police around to all the tourist hot spots in the area trying to uncover the plot that may launch a huge attack. Poppy knows something major is going to happen but even after several attempts on her life, no one believes her.

Edge of my seat, yes, several times.

Ms. Mulhern descriptive talents are superb. I have never been to Paris but I could picture everything, I mean everything so clearly in my mind. The City of Lights and the dark underbelly of the city came alive.

Scary and breathtaking, yes, very much.

She also knows how to add her signature humor to the story in all the right places. The dialogue is quick and spectacular.

Laugh out loud, yes, more times than I could count.

With characters that leap off the page and situations that had my heart racing, Julie Mulhern has landed another book on my Best Reads of 2018 list. I cannot get enough of Poppy Fields! I truly cannot wait to see where her next adventure takes her! I just know she is finally going to get some training!!

Please write fast, Julie Mulhern!

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You can read my review of Fields’ Guide to Abduction here

About the Author

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders and the Poppy Fields Adventures She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

 


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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Aug 212018
 

As a fan of Julie Mulhern’s Country Club Mystery Series, I knew I had to read this book. I slotted it as fast as I could into my reading schedule. I hate having to wait so long after the release date to share this book with you. 

Fields’ Guide to Abduction (A Poppy Fields Adventure)
Mystery/Suspense
1st Book in Series
Setting – Mexico
J&M Press (May 28, 2018)
Paperback: 248 pages
ISBN-10: 1720872201
ISBN-13: 978-1720872207
Kindle ASIN: B07D4R881K

Poppy Fields, Hollywood IT girl extraordinaire, agreed to a week at the newest, most luxurious resort in Cabo. After all, what’s better than the beach when a girl is feeling blue? When Poppy is abducted, she’ll need all her smarts, all her charm, and a killer Chihuahua, to save herself. 

Dead body #1 found in bed, with me. That was a shock.
Dead body #2 found in bed, not with me. That was a relief.
Dead body #3 died telling me I’m a lousy actress. I already knew that.
Dead body #4 died trying to kill me.
Dead body #5 died kidnapping me.
Dead body #6 died guarding me.
Dead body #7 was a really bad man.
Dead body #8 was an even worse man.

That’s a lot of dead bodies for a girl looking for a week’s relaxation in Cabo. And, I’m probably leaving a few out–math isn’t my thing. Unless I can escape the cartel, I might be the next dead body.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Wow, Wow, Wow! I sat down to start this book last Monday evening and I didn’t look away until I finished the whole thing.

This is not a cozy mystery. This is a wild ride of action and suspense.

Poppy Fields escapes to Mexico after enduring a harrowing event. She plans to lie on the beach, make one public appearance and relax. Well, that didn’t happen. The dead bodies start to pile up at a rapid pace and then she is abducted. And then there are even more dead bodies!

Full of crazy twists and turns poor Poppy finds herself in all kinds of dangerous situations. I love Poppy, that girl needs to think on her feet and she does for the most part, but there are some situations you just need to let happen and hope and pray there will be another way out.

Ms. Mulhern has topped herself and knocked this way out of the park! She partners suspense with humor in a way I believe only she can. She has created a fantastic protagonist. I was cheering for Poppy the whole way. The pace was fast, the plot was fabulous, and the dialogue was fluid. Such as exciting read!

This story has moved to the top of my Best Reads of 2018. I can’t wait for the next installment! Bring on more Poppy Fields as soon as possible!

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About the Author

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders and the Poppy Fields Adventures She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

 


*This book is in my private collection, purchased from Amazon.
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Jul 052018
 

Bad Time To Be In It (A Blu Carraway Mystery)
by David Burnsworth

About the Book


Bad Time To Be In It (A Blu Carraway Mystery)
Mystery/Suspense
2nd in Series
Setting – South Carolina
Henery Press (July 10, 2018)
Paperback 254 Pages
ISBN 9781635113587

The past is never past. Sometimes it repeats itself. And sometimes it comes back to pay a visit. Blu Carraway, flush with cash and back in business, never had it so good. Or so he thought. The reality is his love life is in shambles, his business partner is spending too much time with women half his age and not enough time on the job, and someone close goes missing. Blu’s business partner goes off the rails, his friends show their true colors, and he realizes that getting closure sometimes means walking away from everything. With a case from the past gone wrong twice, a loved one in trouble, and an unanswered marriage proposal, it’s a bad time to be in it for Blu Carraway Investigations.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A kidnapping sends Crome over the edge and out of control. Blu wants to help his friend and partner but he sure isn’t making it easy. Blu rallies his friends and sources, Tess and Harmony, who are freelance reporters and even calls Brack Pelton in on the case. When a body is found and another kidnapping occurs they pull out all the stops to save the victims and try to figure out who is behind the crimes before anyone else ends up dead.

This series is a spin-off of the author’s Heat series and in this 2nd installment, many characters from that series visit this one. Brack and Blu are similar characters, war vets dealing with the trauma of their service while trying to get on with their lives. Mr. Burnsworth’s characters are so strong and leap off the page. They are a diverse group banded together unconventionally by a series of events. While I have read and enjoyed that series and this one, at times there were just too many characters to keep everyone straight. I did like catching up with Brack and hope he has his own story again soon. He doesn’t seem to enjoy life on the sidelines and it always ready to jump in when Blu calls.

The story starts out with a flashback that will then play into the main events of this story. There is another flashback later in the book but the transition was a little clunky and broke the steady climbing trajectory the book was taking. I enjoyed the way previous events impacted the plot, the transitions just needed to be a little smoother. There was plenty of action and again horses have their moment to shine, bringing a huge smile to my face. Blu again went above and beyond. Crome with his him against the world attitude was crazy. Thankfully his friends did everything they could to save him from himself and his enemies.

The author continues to take us to those dark gritty places with fantastic characters and just the right amount of suspense. Blu’s personal life is still up in the air at the end of this story, setting up interest to see what happens next in the 3rd story. Heaven only knows what trouble Blu will find himself up against as this saga continues. I hope we don’t have to wait too long to find out!

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About the Author

David Burnsworth became fascinated with the Deep South at a young age. After a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and fifteen years in the corporate world, he made the decision to write a novel. In It For The Money is his fourth mystery. Having lived in Charleston on Sullivan’s Island for five years, the setting was a foregone conclusion. He and his wife call South Carolina home.

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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Designs On Murder: A Ghostly Fashionista Mystery by Gayle Leeson Order Your Copy Today!
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