May 142019
 

Staging is Murder
(A Laura Bishop Mystery)
by Grace Topping

About the Book


Staging is Murder (A Laura Bishop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Henery Press (April 30, 2019)
Hardcover: 268 pages
ISBN-10: 163511490X
ISBN-13: 978-1635114904
Paperback: 268 pages
ISBN-10: 163511487X
ISBN-13: 978-1635114874
Digital ASIN: B07N96J65X

Laura Bishop just nabbed her first decorating commission—staging for sale a 19th-century mansion that hasn’t been updated for decades. But when a body falls from a laundry chute and lands at Laura’s feet, replacing flowered wallpaper becomes the least of her duties.

To clear her young assistant of the murder and save her fledgling business, Laura’s determined to find the killer. Turns out it’s not as easy as renovating a manor home, especially with two handsome men complicating her mission: the police detective assigned to the case and the real estate agent trying to save the manse from foreclosure.

Worse still, the meddling of a horoscope-guided friend, a determined grandmother, and the local funeral director could get them all killed before Laura props the first pillow.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Grace Topping starts this book/series out with a big thump. While curbing the clutter in the huge 19th-century mansion, her protagonist Laura Bishop heads to the cellar with a box only to have her client’s body fall from the laundry chute right at her feet. Victoria Denton was difficult but who would have done such a thing?

The police decide Laura’s assistant, Tyrone is their prime suspect. He accidentally broke a vase sending Ms. Denton into a tizzy. She also is on the committee holding Tyrone’s fate in her hands as he waits to hear if he will be awarded a college scholarship. The woman threatened to basically blackball him everywhere and police assume he retaliated. Laura defends the young man but when his grandmother begs for her help she knows she has to do more. Detective Alex Spangler thinks he has his man so Laura grabs her friend Nita Marino and tries to use all the knowledge she has gleaned from reading cozy mysteries to start investigating.

There are such strong characters in this debut. Laura Bishop has left her IT career behind and opened her own business staging homes to help home sellers get the best price and the quickest sale of their homes. She is also new to investigating and admits it which was a big plus for me. She is a very kind person and for the most part, makes really good decisions. Her best friend Nita is the Watson to Laura’s Holmes and they make a good team. The character I liked best was Tyrone. He’s a college student studying design and clearly has talent. He is a hard worker. He has 3 jobs earning money both for school and to help his grandmother. He has such a positive attitude even when things are going wrong. Even behind bars, he was a breath of fresh air. I also loved meeting Inky, Laura’s rescue kitty.

The story flowed well for me. There are several suspects and some great twists. Tossing the victim down the laundry chute was a bit eerie. I love big old homes that have them. My aunt had one in her newer home but the opening was nowhere near large enough to stuff a body through. I enjoyed following along with Laura and her investigation while she continued to work on the mansion to get it ready for an open house. The mansion needed a lot of help and I was surprised by all Laura did with the help of so few people. The author found a nice balance between solving the mystery and everyday life. Humor was also incorporated in a very thoughtful way.

Each chapter starts with a staging tip and the staging theme was super interesting to me. Not that I’ll ever need to stage a home, but several tips made sense to brighten up the home I have.

This series is off to a great start. The characters have plenty of room to grow. The theme provides endless possibilities. I am really looking forward to book #2.

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About the Author

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

 Author Links –  Website – Twitter – Facebook – GoodReads – 

Purchase Links – Amazon  B&N   Kobo  

Praise for Staging is Murder (A Laura Bishop Mystery)
by Grace Topping

The writing flows smoothly in this well-paced story and the characters are well drawn. . . .There’s plenty of suspects and red herrings, and the murderer’s identity wasn’t easy to solve.
~The Power of Words

Staging is Murder was a fun and exciting mystery that was a sheer delight for this reader.
~Moonlight Rendezvous

Wow! The planning and misdirections in this first book remind me of the Golden Age murder/mystery writers!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

STAGING IS MURDER sets the stage for a solid mystery series. There’s an interesting plot and engaging characters, with just enough zaniness to promote laughs, but keep things real.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Staging is Murder by Grace Topping is a fun mystery with a reluctant amateur detective. This book is a wonderful start to a new series. I can’t wait to see what Laura and Nita get into next.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

Staging is Murder has a friendly protagonist, a charming town, witty commentary, good friends, a frisky feline, a client who has gone to meet her maker, and one cunning killer.
~The Avid Reader

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
Part One
April 25 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
April 25 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
April 26 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
April 26 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
April 27 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 28 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 28 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
April 29 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

Part Two
May 6 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
May 6 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT
May 7 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 8 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
May 8 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
May 9 – Carole’s Book Corner – SPOTLIGHT
May 10 – Teresa Trent Author Site – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 11 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
May 11 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 12 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
May 13 – That’s What She’s Reading – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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May 082019
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome Annette Dashofy to Escape With Dollycas today!

 


Hi Annette,

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I write the Zoe Chambers Mystery Series about a paramedic/deputy coroner in rural southwestern Pennsylvania, where I’ve lived all my life. Cry Wolf, the seventh in the series, is an Agatha Award nominee for Best Contemporary Novel of 2018 (my fourth nomination). My newest release is Fair Game, the eighth in the series.

What are three things most people don’t know about you? That’s a hard question. I’m largely an open book, which drives my husband crazy because he’s ultra-private. Does that count as one? Okay, two more. I once owned and operated a photo studio, Dashofy Photography, with my husband. And I once shook hands with our local SWAT team’s bomb robot. That’s three.

What is the first book you remember reading? Oh, my. Cat in the Hat, perhaps. Or Green Eggs and Ham. I started young!

What are you reading now? Hank Phillippi Ryan’s Trust Me.

What books have most inspired you? In addition to those by Mary Higgins Clark and Agatha Christie, which I mention below, I deeply admire those by Julia Spencer-Fleming (the Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne series) and Craig Johnson (the Walt Longmire series). I love their use of language and emotion.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries? As a kid, I was writing all genres until I read Where Are the Children by Mary Higgins Clark. From that point on, I was hooked on crime fiction. And I fell in love with Agatha Christie’s mysteries. After a failed attempt at writing romantic suspense, I discovered a passion for creating puzzles for my readers to solve.

Do you have a special place you like to write? I do the bulk of my writing in my home office on my desktop computer, surrounded by forensics books and sticky notes.

Where do the ideas for your books come from? Everywhere! News stories. Overheard conversations. Random thoughts that pop into my head. For instance, the first chapter of Fair Game grew out of a frustrating and sleepless night in a mystery conference hotel room. The walls were paper thin, and our next-door neighbors were having a party. I could quite literally hear every word they said, and some of it was stuff I didn’t think they’d want repeated! I wanted to yell through the wall, “I can hear you!” Instead, I started thinking, what if they were talking about murdering someone? (They weren’t, FYI.) And that’s what inspired the opening to this book!

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging? The beginning. And then the middle. And then the end. It’s all challenging, but that’s what makes it so much fun.

What do you think makes a good story? As a reader, I want interesting, complex characters. They should have flaws, but I want to like them enough to spend time with them. I also want a thought-provoking plot that raises questions and makes me want to turn the page to find the answers. As a writer, I try to create the same things I like as a reader.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you? Zoe, of course. She’s a paramedic. I used to be an EMT. She has a horse. I used to have horses. We’re both farmgirls. However, she’s had a much rougher life than I have. She comes from a troubled family, while my family is quite boring! Oddly enough, although Zoe may be most like me, Pete is the easier character to write.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre? I believe it’s the paramedic aspect. I don’t know of any other paramedic mysteries out there. If there are, please tell me! I’d love to read them!

What’s next on the horizon for you? I’m finishing up writing the ninth Zoe Chambers Mystery, tentatively titled Under the Radar. It should come out early next year, but I don’t have a release date yet. And I’m noodling with murder possibilities for the tenth in the series.

Thank you, Annette, for taking the time to visit today!

Keep reading for my thoughts on Annette’s new book.

About the Book 


Fair Game (A Zoe Chambers Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Henery Press (May 14, 2019)
Hardcover: 286 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115027
ISBN-13: 978-1635115024
Paperback: 286 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114993
ISBN-13: 978-1635114997
Digital ASIN: B07NSBHMRR

Paramedic Zoe Chambers hoped a week at the Monongahela County Fair, showing her horse and manning the ambulance, would provide a much-needed diversion from recent events that continue to haunt her.

An old friend, a bossy nemesis, and a teenage crush from her 4-H days fail to offer the distraction she had in mind. But ever the caregiver, she soon bonds with a troubled teen and a grieving father.

Back in Vance Township, a missing woman turns up dead, leading Police Chief Pete Adams into a journey through her mysterious final hours. With each new clue, the tragic circumstances of her death grow increasingly muddied.

A cryptic phone call leads Pete to join Zoe for an evening at the fairgrounds where the annual school bus demolition derby concludes with a gruesome discovery and a new case that may or may not be connected to the first.

Pete’s quest for the motive behind two homicides—and Zoe’s stubborn determination to reunite a family—thrust them both onto a collision course with a violent and desperate felon.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

County fairs are so much fun. Zoe Chambers is not only at the Monongahela County Fair as a paramedic, she is also there as a participant, showing her horse, Windstar. She is surprised that someone from her own 4H days is there in the capacity of judge. She also meets the son of another old 4H member. She learns his mother is not the best parent and she tries to take the young man under her wing. Meeting a grieving father also brings out her compassion.

While Zoe is at the fair Police Chief Pete Adams has a case that turns from a missing person to murder after her body is found. The investigation brings Pete to the fair. A fair where a second body is found right after the school bus demolition derby ends. Unsure if the deaths are connected to each other and to other events Zoe and Pete find themselves on a quest to find out and solve all the mysteries.

Annette Dashofy again takes us on a wild ride as she crams all 286 pages full of a mystery the latches on and won’t let go.

Paramedic/Deputy Coroner and Police Chief Pete Adams barely get a moment to breathe. Zoe has her fair activities, an autopsy to view along with all the followup, has been recruited to keep her eyes on a troubled teen, her cousin Patsy Greene, who is also showing her horse, is having man trouble, the farm she inherited still needs a lot of work, and an old crush makes her an offer she may not be able to refuse. Pete is working his case and then another when the second body is found. He is also getting pressure to take a step that could change his life and Zoe’s. He also tries to find time to spend with Zoe at the fair. Oh! and there is an election coming up that could change both their jobs.

Ms. Dashofy has written a complex mystery with many moving parts and many suspects. I always love following these characters on each and every journey. The excitement of the fair was a great setting. Getting to see Zoe in her horsey element was fun along with meeting the people from her past. The people are strong characters but very flawed and some are dealing with heavy issues that affect not only themselves but other people in their lives. While some heavy topics are addressed the author knows just when to add a little bit of necessary humor.

I also enjoyed learning about showing horses and learning about youngsters joining 4H today. I belonged many years ago, but I was a city kid so my fair entries were more of them craft variety instead of the animals. We have enjoyed many fairs with our family over the years. Mostly the music stars for the adults but we always take a trip through the animal barns with the kids and the food and rides are always a hit.

Well-written and well-plotted. The core characters continue to grow and star in this top-notch mystery. I can’t wait for the next book to be released.

These books are best read in order but the author provides enough background to start with any book in the series.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best-selling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series about a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania’s tight-knit Vance Township. CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE was a finalist for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2014 and BRIDGES BURNED was nominated for the 2015 Agatha for Best Contemporary Novel.

Author Links

Website–    Blog–  Facebook–  Twitter–  

Purchase Links – AmazonAmazon Hardcover/PaperbackB&NKoboIndieBound

Praise for Fair Game
(A Zoe Chambers Mystery)
by Annette Dashofy

This is a wonderful series with great, realistic characters. I love Zoe and Pete. They are both intelligent, caring, loyal and somewhat emotional.
~Carla Loves To Read

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
May 6 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
May 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
May 7 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
May 7 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
May 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 8 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
May 9 – I’m All About Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 9 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
May 10 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
May 10 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
May 11 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
May 11 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
May 12 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
May 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 13 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT
May 13 – Elizabeth McKenna Romance Author – SPOTLIGHT
May 14 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 14 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

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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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Apr 302019
 


Flower Power Trip (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
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.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Poor Kellan, he finds another dead body. This time in the courtyard at the Memorial Library during the fundraiser masquerade ball. Crime sure has been on the rise since he came back to town. The body may tie into a situation Braxton’s school president is facing. The school is also hosting a special flower exhibit, one of Kellan’s siblings is back in town, Nana D is running for mayor, and Kellan’s not so dead wife is sending him postcards from places they had traveled together.

Kellan Ayrwick is a protagonist pulled in so many directions this reader almost got whiplash. Thankfully he handles it all pretty well. Some really big things happen in this book in addition to the murder and I need to be very careful because I don’t want to spoil anything.

The story sets a quick pace from the beginning and doesn’t let up even at the end because there is a heartstopping cliffhanger.  A story full of twists, the book is practically impossible to put down. I think I suspected everyone at some point in the story, except maybe Kellan. His parents were surprisingly absent from the masquerade ball but that didn’t mean one of them wasn’t hiding in the courtyard. So they were on my list too, like I said, everyone was a suspect in my mind. The author did a great job of keeping his readers guessing.

The characters Mr. Cudney has created are top-notch and continue to grow as this series continues. Nana D. continues to be my favorite. I love the relationship she has with both Kellan and Emma. His parents are actually missing him now that he has moved to his grandmother’s guest house. Kellan’s relationship is evolving in a surprising way with another character. It gets kinda humorous in places.

While the main mystery of this story reaches a very satisfactory conclusion, a continuing storyline hits a major arc by the final page. I loved that and I hated that. It has become a trait of this author that I just have to get used to. 🙂 Thankfully the author has the next book Mistaken Identity Crisis set to be released on June 30, so I won’t have to wait too long to see what happens next.

I have seen James J. Cudney writing chops grow in each of the books in this series. He is clearly finding his footing as each book is better than the last. I recommend reading the series in order for maximum enjoyment, but each one can stand on its own.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Academic Curveball here and Broken Heart Attack here.

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

Amazon 

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.
Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Contest Will End May 14, 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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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

Amazon 

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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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
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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Feb 262019
 

My personal reading schedule was full when this book toured with Great Escapes.
All the great reviews had me dropping it into the first available space, today!


Broken Heart Attack (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
 Creativia (November 25, 2018)
Paperback: 270 pages
ISBN-10: 1731310501
ISBN-13: 978-1731310507
Digital ASIN: B07KGGJX1T

When an extra ticket becomes available to see the dress rehearsal of King Lear, Kellan tags along with Nana D and her buddies.

When one of them dies of an apparent heart attack in the middle of second act, Nana D raises her suspicions and asks Kellan to investigate the death. With family members suddenly in debt and a secret rendezvous between an unlikely pair, Kellan learns that the Paddingtons might not be as clean-cut as everyone thinks.

But can Kellan find the killer, or will he get caught up his own stage fright?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Kellan has a wonderful relationship with his Nana D which means her friends, the Septuagenarian Club, are up in his business and he in theirs. Pushed into attending an early performance of King Lear with the group he finds himself seated to Gwendolyn Paddington. The matriarch of the Paddington family. Her family built the theater and she is now the family representative and very involved in all the facets. When her head topples to his shoulder he thinks she has fallen asleep, until he realizes she is dead and he calls for the performance to be stopped. It is assumed she has had a heart attack but she recently confessed to Nana D and Kellan that she thought someone in her family was trying to kill her. Her sister-in-law Eustacia begs Kellan to solve the murder as he had recently done at the college. Nana D accepts for him and he finds himself up to his ears with the Paddington family. The all have secrets and not everyone is happy about his continued presence. Hopefully, he can get to the bottom of the case before he ends up joining Gwennie at the pearly gates.

Kellan also has his hands full with family drama. He recently learned his deceased wife’s family was mobbed up and now that he has moved his daughter to Pennsylvania from California they are making his life miserable.

James J. Cudney has created such terrific characters. From his 6-year-old daughter, Emma, who just like my granddaughter is 6 going on 30, to the 70+-year-olds and everyone in between. We learn more about Kellan’s family and meet some new members. His relationship with his parents is evolving. They love have their granddaughter around. His deceased wife’s family, represented by his pushy, controlling mother-in-law got me fuming to say nothing of the mob element that really had my blood boiling. The Paddington family has so many issues. To says their lives are complex is an understatement. There are some good ones, but plenty of bad ones too. College life took a little bit of a backseat this time, but Kellan’s boss is not happy to have him in her department.

Mr. Cudney has jam-packed these pages absolutely full. Twists and turns on top of more twists and turns. Kellan is being pressed from so many different directions I am surprised at how he handles it all. The story keeps from getting too heavy by the antics of Nana D and the wonderful precocious Emma. Cudney sets a nice pace and his explanations and descriptions are tighter than in book one and the story flows like the breeze.

This story wraps up revealing Gwennie’s killer in a fantastic way. A little ice seems to be melting between two characters which was surprising.  But hold on to your Kindle because there is a huge cliffhanger. A cliffhanger that has me super enthused for Book #3. Flower Power Trip releases March 30!!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Academic Curveball here.

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!

Author Links

Website    Blog

Amazon    Twitter    Author Facebook    Series Facebook

Bookbub    Instagram    Goodreads    LinkedIn    Pinterest

Purchase Links

Amazon 

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.
Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

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 March 12, 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.”

Share
Jan 192019
 

I am pleased to shine the spotlights on this book today.
I will be reviewing it in the future.


Broken Heart Attack (Braxton Campus Mysteries)

by James J. Cudney

About the Book


Broken Heart Attack (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Creativia (November 25, 2018)
Paperback: 270 pages
ISBN-10: 1731310501
ISBN-13: 978-1731310507
Digital ASIN: B07KGGJX1T

When an extra ticket becomes available to see the dress rehearsal of King Lear, Kellan tags along with Nana D and her buddies.

When one of them dies of an apparent heart attack in the middle of second act, Nana D raises her suspicions and asks Kellan to investigate the death. With family members suddenly in debt and a secret rendezvous between an unlikely pair, Kellan learns that the Paddingtons might not be as clean-cut as everyone thinks.

But can Kellan find the killer, or will he get caught up his own stage fright?

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!

Author Links

Website    Blog

Amazon    Twitter    Author Facebook    Series Facebook

Bookbub    Instagram    Goodreads    LinkedIn    Pinterest

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Purchase Links

Amazon 

Flower Power Trip – #3 (Early 2019)

Tour Participants
January 17 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
January 17 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
January 18 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
January 18 – The Book’s the Thing – GUEST POST
January 19 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
January 20 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT
January 20 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
January 21 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
January 21 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT
January 22 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 22 – Bobo’s Book Bank – SPOTLIGHT
January 23 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 23 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 24 – Jane Reads – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 24 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT
January 25 – Brooke Blogs  – SPOTLIGHT
January 25 – Laura`s Interests = SPOTLIGHT
January 26 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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Jan 162019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Today I am happy to feature James J. Cudney’s Academic Curveball
as part of his Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour!

Academic Curveball (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
by James J. Cudney

About the Book


Academic Curveball (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Independently Published (October 14, 2018)
Paperback: 281 pages
ISBN-10: 172877876X
ISBN-13: 978-1728778761
Digital ASIN: B07HMYSQFH

When Kellan Ayrwick returns home for his father’s retirement, he finds a dead body in Diamond Hall’s stairwell.

Unfortunately, Kellan has a connection to the victim, and so do several members of his family. Soon after, the college’s athletic program receives mysterious donations, a nasty blog denounces his father and someone attempts to change students’ grades.

Someone is playing games on campus, but none of the facts add up.

With the help of his eccentric and trouble-making nana, Kellan tries to stay out of the sheriff’s way. But who is behind the murder?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We meet Kellan Ayrwick, who works on true crime dramas in Hollywood. He has come home to attend his father’s retirement party and meet with a woman who has done some research for an upcoming season on his television show. Near the end of the party, Kellan makes a tragic discovery. One of the professors appears to have fallen to her death down a flight of stairs. Evidence quickly points to murder and the top suspects include people close to Kellan. Kellan is encouraged to do a little investigating and the finds one curve after another before he hits it out of the park and uncovers whodunit.

We rarely have male protagonists in cozy mysteries and I liked Kellan right away. A single dad living and working in California. He is clearly not happy with his boss. His relationship with his parents is complicated, they are a unique pair, but he sure loves his Nana and their relationship was so heartwarming. Kellan is smart, funny and sarcastic is a delightful way. He comes across as very laid back and confident. His arrival home and the subsequent murder lands him right in the middle of everything going on at the college.

The author has written a mystery that encompasses a wide variety of people. Professors, students, and staff of the Braxton Campus are all entangled in the murder investigation. Another death hits close to Kellan and his family and I was heartbroken when he found the body. All of the characters feel real and believable. Campus life is truly portrayed with an emphasis on the athletic department. Twists and turns kept me guessing right up until the end.

The pace was good but it was wordy in places and that bogged it down a bit. I think a little tightening up would make it fly. The character development was great and left plenty of room for growth. I hope to get to know Kellan’s daughter better in future stories. The world building clearly gave me a sense of time and place.

This series is off to a wonderful start. I found the story entertaining and enjoyable. I look forward to future installments.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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!

Praise for Academic Curveball (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
by James J. Cudney

. . . a nice, significant mutation in the main character stereotype and succeed to give us a very, very nice and original piece of cozy mystery.
~Mythical Books

The main characters are a lot of fun. They’re well-rounded, well-thought-out, complex, and full of personality. I just love Nana D!
~Valerie’s Musings

The mystery is plausible, with twists and turns galore. The multiple red herrings kept me guessing, and I was surprised by whodunit.
~Jane Reads

This book had a little bit of everything. There was humor, tension, suspense, sarcasm, and family drama all rolled into a great book.
~MJB Reviewers

I enjoyed the college setting of Academic Curveball, and it was a nice change of pace to read a cozy featuring a male sleuth.
~The Book’s the Thing

Author Links

Website    Blog

Amazon    Twitter    Author Facebook    Series Facebook

Bookbub    Instagram    Goodreads    LinkedIn    Pinterest

 

Purchase Links

List of Books

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)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ACADEMIC CURVEBALL TOUR PARTICIPANTS
January 7 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
January 7 – Mythical Books – REVIEW
January 7 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
January 8 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT (No Post)
January 8 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT
January 9 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
January 9 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 9 – Bobo’s Book Bank – SPOTLIGHT
January 10 – Jane Reads – REVIEW
January 10 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
January 11 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 12 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
January 12 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
January 13 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
January 14 – Carla Loves To Read – CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 14 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
January 15 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT
January 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 15 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!


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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Jan 032019
 


Gown with the Wind (A Wedding Planner Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Kensington (December 18, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496717511
ISBN-13: 978-1496717511
Digital ASIN: B07BV3K4N8

Professional wedding planner Mallory Shepard knows her job is challenging under any circumstances. But when the groom is your ex and someone invites murder, there may never be another tomorrow . . .

Mallory’s fine—really—handling the wedding arrangements for her ex, Keith. But his fiancée, Becca, has at the last minute decided to switch from a Japanese-cherry-blossom theme to a Gone with the Wind theme. She wants to honor her ailing grandmother, who owns an impressive collection of GWTW memorabilia—and who is fiercely at odds with the groom’s mother over the nuptial plans.

But among other complications, Becca gets into a fight with an old childhood rival over a replica Scarlett O’Hara wedding gown. She wins the dress—but soon becomes a murder suspect when the other woman is found dead in Becca’s swimming pool. And it’s up to Mallory to solve the mystery behind this unhappy occasion, before a different kind of civil war breaks out . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Juggling should be listed as a key talent for a wedding planner.  Mallory Shepard has many balls in the air, two weddings, a Mother’s Day tea, a partner that wants to book more non-wedding events. All that before the murder.

Becca, her ex’s new bride has planned a Japanese Cherry Blossom wedding but then the groom’s mother steps in to put her own spin on the festivities. Becca finally decides she wants a Gone With the Wind theme to honor her grandmother and tells Mallory to plan accordingly. She even finds the perfect dress. Until a fight breaks out in the bridal salon with a childhood friend/enemy. She wins the dress but loses the war when the other bride is found floating in Becca’s pool. Of course, she is the prime suspect. Becca and her grandmother come to depend on Mallory to not only clear Becca but also handle another event.

This was a delightfully fast-paced read.

Mallory Shepard is a great protagonist. With all that is thrown at her she rarely gets rattled. I mean dealing with the wedding of an ex is tough but have to plan it and go with the flow of all the changes is beyond hard and she keeps it together for the sake of her business. Her sister Rachel also seems to always be pushing her buttons and the envelope with a more, more, more attitude when it comes to their business. Strong women that do make a good team but they need to be aware of their limits.

Again this installment brings in a batch of new characters that were very well developed. The author gave us great descriptions that easily brought them to life within the story. With the theme of this series, new characters are a must and really keeps each edition fresh. It also gives new readers to jump in to this series anywhere.

The mystery is very well plotted and written with many twists and turns. The subplots were entangled perfectly into the mystery. The story completely held my interest, making it a difficult book to put down.

I have enjoyed each visit Thistle Park B&B and look forward many more.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

About the Author

A native Pittsburgher, Stephanie Blackmoore now lives in Missouri, with her husband, son and two-spirited cats. She was an attorney in Pittsburgh and a librarian in Florida before becoming a writer. Stephanie is a fan of everything black-and-yellow. She is hard at work on her next Wedding Planner mystery. Connect with Stephanie at the links below.

Social Media Links:  Website    Facebook    Twitter


Coming September 24, 2019
Marry Christmas Murder (A Wedding Planner Mystery Book 5)

GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

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

 Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 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 January 17, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: 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 132018
 

Just Plain Murder (An Amish Mystery)
 by Laura Bradford
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Berkley (November 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0440000408
ISBN-13: 978-0440000402
Kindle ASIN: B07BD1Y18R

Claire Weatherly and her beau, police detective Jakob Fisher, learn that when it comes to murder, evil can hide in plain sight in this all-new addition to the national bestselling Amish Mysteries.

Jakob and Claire have been enjoying more time together in lovely Heavenly, PA. With Claire’s help, the detective is making slow progress reconnecting with the members of his Amish family who shunned him when he left to pursue a career in law enforcement. Jakob’s mentor, Russ Granger, the long-retired police chief who inspired him to become a cop, is back in town. Claire has always wanted to meet the man who changed the course of Jakob’s life. But not long after he arrives in Heavenly, Russ is murdered.

Jakob can only imagine that his old friend must have been killed by someone outside of the Amish community. He and Claire soon find that things are not as they seem–and that Russ may have stumbled into something sinister before he was killed. The answers they uncover are closer to home and more shocking than they ever expected.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The lines become a little more blurred between the English and the Amish as Jacob Fisher’s mentor returns to Heavenly only to be killed before the two men can reconnect. The family that has shunned him knows how much this man meant to him. Claire is trying to bring his family closer while doing her best to be there for him herself, but he is carrying a heavy load of burden. This awful crime happened in his town and on his watch. He can’t believe anyone in Heavenly would be behind the heinous act, but he needs to get to the truth and find out what his friend stumbled into that got him killed.

Laura Bradford has written quite a mystery in this long-awaited return to Heavenly Pennsylvania. She gives us a clearer picture of Jacob Fisher and why he left the Amish way of life to become a police officer. Because he did it after he was baptized he has been shunned by his family. He paid that high price because he found his true purpose in law enforcement. Sadly, a man he respected, his mentor, has been killed and Jacob needs to step away from his pain and grieving to bring a killer to justice. The author brings Claire into the picture as support in a tender way, as a helpmate to lean on and a sounding board and partner in solving the crime. Her intuition and ability to get closer to the Amish make them a great team.

The amateur sleuth really came out of me while reading this story. It was very complex and surprising. There was a subplot about a rebellious Amish teen on rumspringa that twisted into the main plot and by the end, the teen played a key role and had an awakening of their own.

Ms. Bradford’s storytelling talents were out in full force for this story. By the end I cared more for characters I already cared for greatly. She brought out my mothering feelings regarding that teen and I genuinely was concerned about his life and hope he is included in future stories. The characters in this story continue to be some of my favorites. They continue to grow and their lives move forward and I feel blessed to follow them on their life journeys.

I have loved the town of Heavenly and it’s uniqueness since book 1 and I hope we will not have to wait as long to visit again. I look forward to many more stories with Claire, Jacob, their friends, and their families.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Check out my review of Portrait of a Sister, an Amish story released
by Laura Bradford on June 26, 2018, here.

About The Author

While spending a rainy afternoon at a friend’s house more than thirty years ago, Laura Bradford (a.k.a. Elizabeth Lynn Casey) fell in love with writing over a stack of blank paper, a box of crayons, and a freshly sharpened number two pencil. From that moment forward, she never wanted to do anything else.

Today, Laura is the national bestselling author of the Amish Mysteries, the Jenkins & Burns Mysteries, the Tobi Tobias Mystery Series, The Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries and the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries (written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey).

In June 2018, Laura debuted her first-ever women’s fiction novel, Portrait of a Sister.

Laura is a former Agatha nominee and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award in romance. In her free time, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, traveling, baking, and visiting the sea lions at the Central Park Zoo. For more information and all the latest book news, visit her website at www.laurabradford.com.

Author Links

Website     Facebook     Twitter   Pinterest



Also by Laura Bradford


 


Click here for more books by Laura Bradford.

Click Here for books written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey.

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End December 27, 2018, 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.”

Share
Dec 072018
 

A Midwinter’s Tail (Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Kensington (November 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496717333
ISBN-13: 978-1496717337
Digital ASIN: B07B7C8XQY

To bark or not to bark . . .

Professional pet sitter Daphne Templeton loves the holidays in Sylvan Creek, Pennsylvania. And nothing gets her into the spirit more than the town’s annual Bark the Halls Ball. The whole community will be there to wag their tails, especially this year’s special guest—Celeste “CeeCee” French, founder of a national chain of pet care franchises, who’s returning home to announce plans for a bright new flagship store.

But not everyone’s celebrating CeeCee’s homecoming. Daphne’s friend Moxie Bloom, owner of Spa and Paw, a unique salon for people and their pets, has plenty to growl about. So when CeeCee is found face down under Sylvan Creek’s town Christmas tree, stabbed with a distinctive pair of professional-grade pet shears, suspicion lands squarely on Moxie. Despite Daphne’s promises to Detective Jonathan Black, she quickly reprises her role as amateur sleuth. Ably assisted by her basset hound sidekick, Socrates, she must hurry to prove her friend’s innocence before a killer barks again . . .

Includes recipes for homemade pet treats!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The people of Sylvan Creek, Pennsylvania are wild about their pets. A pet bakery, a pet clothing store, a hair salon that has human and pet clients, and right now they are getting ready for the Bark the Halls Ball where people and their pets deck out in their finest attire to dance the night away and enjoy each other’s company.  Former resident, Celeste “CeeCee” French is coming home to be the special guest for the affair. She has taken her love of pets nationally with her pet care franchises. But all the tails stop wagging when they learn she is about to set up a store in Sylvan Creek. That would put many town shops out of business.

While the town is barking mad about the prospect of a big box pet store, someone has taken the matter into their own hands and presented the town with CeeCee’s dead body right under the town’s Christmas tree. The discovery is made by professional pet sitter Daphne Templeton and Detective Jonathan Black. Daphne later learns the woman was stabbed with a pair a pet shears. Pet shears that appear to have been taken from the Spa and Paw owned by her friend Moxie Bloom. The good detective asks Daphne to leave the investigation to him but a certain pet keeps dropping clues at her feet, literally. She knows Moxie is innocent so with the help of her basset hound, Socrates and another mysterious pup she sets out to find the real killer.

This is such a fun series. Daphne is a fantastic protagonist, the “conversations” she has with Socrates are very realistic. I talk to my dogs all the time, never about anything as important as murder, but dogs are attentive and great sounding boards – sometimes they can sniff and lick and bark out the perfect answer. Moxie is a true gem. The friendship between her and Daphne always makes me smile. The “relationship” between Daphne and Jonathan is moving slowly but forward with itsy-bitsy steps.  We are introduced to two new canines in this story and one is a real treasure/scene stealer and the other has quite the wardrobe.

The animals bring so much to this story. They are not just pets that are fed and petted and left at home when their people go out or to work. They are involved in the mystery and play important roles. The author’s love for these wonderful creatures shines within her words. We met two very interesting and different pups this time and Socrates falls completely into puppy love. All the dogs in this series have found a place in my heart and it is now impossible to pick a favorite. There is another pet in this story that has not found a place in my heart but the owner seems very happy with it and that is what really matters.

Cleverly written, Ms. Blake gives us another mystery to sink our teeth into, full of twists and turns, suspects with motives and opportunities, and a few red herrings to boot. I loved it! I didn’t solve this one early. I was completely captivated to the very end.

I have enjoyed every book in this series. Bethany Blake is such a talented writer. Pet lovers will love this mystery, curl up with yours and enjoy this Midwinter’s Tail. You will thank your Lucky Paws that you did.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my reviews of Death by Chocolate Lab here, Dial Meow for Murder here,
and Pawprints and Predicaments here.

 

About the Author

Bethany Blake lives in a small, quaint town in Pennsylvania with her husband and three daughters. When she’s not writing or riding horses, she’s wrangling a menagerie of furry family members that includes a nervous pit bull, a fearsome feline, a blind goldfish, and an attack cardinal named Robert. Like Daphne Templeton, the heroine of her Lucky Paws Mysteries, Bethany holds a Ph.D. and operates a pet sitting business called Barkley’s Premium Pet Care.

Author Links 
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Purchase 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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