LOST UNDER A LADDER by Linda O. Johnston (and a giveaway!)

 Linda O. Johnston’s first published fiction appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and won the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award for Best First Mystery Short Story of the year.   Since then, Linda, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, has published more short stories, novellas, and 37 romance and mystery novels, including the Pet Rescue Mystery Series, a spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, plus Harlequin Romantic Suspense as well as the Alpha Force paranormal romance miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne. Her latest cozy mystery series, the Superstition Mysteries from Midnight Ink, kicks off in October 2014 with LOST UNDER A LADDER.  Linda believes that reading the Superstition Mysteries will bring good luck! And we are lucky today because Linda is joining us for the final day of her tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. Enjoy her post, leave her a comment or ask her a question and for a chance to win a copy of LOST UNDER A LADDER, go HERE.

Creating A Town

Those of you who are familiar with my mysteries know that my two prior series, the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mysteries, and its spinoff, the Pet Rescue Mysteries, are both set in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles.  That’s not too surprising, since it’s where I’ve lived for a long time.

But I’ve created a new town as the setting for my latest series, the Superstition Mysteries.  The stories are set in Destiny, California, a town that is all about–what else?–superstitions!  Superstitious beliefs are a way of life there.  The townsfolk all make their livings off superstitions, teaching the plentiful tourists about them and selling them related products.

The background for the series is that my protagonist Rory Chasen arrives in Destiny at the beginning of the first story, LOST UNDER A LADDER, seeking information and closure.  Do superstitions really come true?  Maybe so, or maybe it was a coincidence that her fiancé died soon after walking under a ladder.

With Rory is her black and white dog Pluckie.  As Rory takes her first walk in town, Pluckie pulls on her leash, insisting that Rory accompany her into the back room of the Lucky Dog Boutique.  That turns out to be a good idea since the store’s owner, Martha, is lying ill on the floor.  But Martha is conscious and says she knows she’ll be fine since seeing a black and white dog is lucky.  And Martha soon asks Rory to stay and manage her store at least for a while, which isn’t too far out of line since Rory is an assistant manager at a chain pet supply store back home in L.A.  Of course Rory agrees, especially after her arm is also twisted by the town’s police chief Justin Halbertson, who’s like a son to Martha.

Yes, there’s a murder.  It’s a cozy mystery, after all.  And since Martha’s the main suspect Rory has to help her.

Meanwhile, there are lots of tourists in Destiny who walk the downtown sidewalks avoiding the cracks in the pavement and picking up lucky heads-up pennies left there by the shopkeepers to encourage their customers.  The shops in town all have superstition themes, unsurprisingly–establishments like the Lucky Dog Boutique, of course, and also the Broken Mirror Bookstore next door owned by the man who wrote the premiere book on superstitions, The Destiny of Superstitions, and his partner.  Others include the Black Cat Inn, Beware-of-Bubbles Coffee Shop, Shamrock Steakhouse, Apple-A-Day Cafe,  Heads-Up Penny Gift Shop, and even the Break-A-Leg Theater.

I’d like to visit Destiny someday.  Hey, in fact, I’ve already visited it often–in my head!  It has been great fun creating the town, visualizing it, mapping it in my mind, even coming up with the story of why it was founded years ago by two Forty-Niners who panned for gold and actually found some at the end of a rainbow, leading them to believe in superstitions.

I hope you visit Destiny, too–in LOST UNDER A LADDER and its sequels.  And, hey, I believe it’ll be good luck to read the Superstition Mysteries!  At least I’m crossing my fingers that all my readers experience the best of luck.

Thanks to Rantin’ Ravin’ and Reading for hosting me here during my Great Escapes Blog Tour!

SYNOPSIS

Lost Under a Ladder
(A Superstition Mystery)

Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: MIDNIGHT INK (October 8, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-0738740775
Is it luck or is it . . . Destiny?

Are superstitions real? Rory Chasen doesn’t think so–until her beloved fiance walks under a ladder and is killed by a car five minutes later. Needing closure, Rory takes her dog Pluckie to a town called Destiny, where superstitions are a way of life.

Rory’s visit to Destiny takes an unexpected turn when Pluckie saves the life of Martha, the owner of the Lucky Dog Boutique. To show her gratitude, Martha offers Rory a job at the pet store. But when Martha becomes the prime suspect in the murder of the local bookshop owner, Rory refuses to believe that she would do it. Rory is convinced the real killer still roams Destiny’s streets, and she must uncover the truth before Martha is hauled off to jail.

MY REVIEW

I love starting a new series and this one looks like it will be a lot of fun. A little quirky, but fun. Are you superstitious? I always leave by the same door I entered and a lot of other foolish things so I suppose I am. But nothing like the people of Destiny! The police will come out to investigate over spilled milk and no one ever steps on a crack.  Rory doesn’t believe, or thinks she doesn’t, until her fiancé is killed. After walking under a ladder. So she goes to Destiny to learn about superstitions because everything from the business names, attire and walking down the street is all about superstition. Lots of great characters and wonderful writing means I will be on the lookout for the next in this series, it is ♥♥♥♥♥

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

September 29 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows - Review, Interview
September 30 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf - Guest Post
October 1 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard - Review
October 2 – Books-n-Kisses – Review
October 3 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – Guest Post
October 3 – readalot blog – Review
October 4 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review, Guest Post
October 5 – deal sharing aunt - Interview
October 6 – Shelley’s Book Case - Review
October 7 – Brooke Blogs – Guest Post
October 7 – Kaisy Daisy’s Corner - Review
October 8 – Back Porchervations – Review, Interview
October 9 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post
October 10 – Chloe Gets A Clue - Interview
October 11 – Community Bookstop – Review
October 12 – rantinravin’ and reading – Review, Guest Post

 

A CRAFTY CHRISTMAS by Mollie Cox Bryan (and a giveaway!)

Mollie Cox Bryan writes the Cumberland Creek Mysteries, published by Kensington. The first book, Scrapbook of Secrets, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2012; the next one Scrapped, was published in January 2013. Death of an Irish Diva was the third in the series. Plans for the series include two more novels and two novellas—the first one Scrappy Summer will be available in summer 2014. She writes, gardens, runs, and scrapbooks in Waynesboro, Va. with her husband and two daughters. Today is the third stop on Mollie’s tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for A CRAFTY CHRISTMAS. Read about it below and to enter to win a copy, just go HERE.

AUTHOR LINKS

SYNOPSIS

A Crafty Christmas
(Cumberland Creek)

Publisher: Kensington (October 7, 2014)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758293565

Christmas is just around the corner, and the ladies of the Cumberland Creek Scrapbook Crop are thrilled when Sheila wins the first place prize in a scrapbooking design contest: a ten-day scrapbook-themed cruise in the Caribbean. Vera and Paige decide to tag along, which should pose the perfect opportunity to learn some new techniques, mingle with fellow croppers, and get in some rest and relaxation before the chaos of Christmas. But when Sheila finds a famous crafter dead, and investigators determine she was poisoned, the luxury cruise veers toward disaster as Sheila becomes the number one suspect – or was she really the intended victim? Just as the croppers begin un-wrapping the truth, a storm strands them at sea, and they’ll find it’s harder than ever to survive the holidays with a killer on deck…

MY REVIEW

I really enjoyed this book. From its arrival – a book, not an ebook, and one with such a lovely cover, it got me right into the Christmas spirit! I did spend some time wondering who the protagonist was. It seemed to be Sheila but then when Annie was called to consult, I wondered could it be her and she just couldn’t make this cruise. Then I decided it didn’t matter. Perhaps the “protagonist” was actually an ensemble cast – all the members of the scrapping group. A clever idea. I also wondered a bit about background that was mentioned but I didn’t fully get, not having read the previous books. But it didn’t hurt the current story – just made me want to go back and read the earlier ones. At the back of the book is a very handy glossary of scrapbooking terms, tips on scrapbooking your holidays, scrapbooking essentials for the beginner and the first chapter of DEATH OF AN IRISH DIVA.  A CRAFTY CHRISTMAS is a great way to start getting into the holiday spirit and I think you should go right out get it and let the season begin! ♥♥♥♥♥

PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon B&N

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

October 7 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Guest Post

October 7 – Chloe Gets A Clue – Interview

October 8 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review

October 9 – rantinravin’ and reading – Review

October10 – Griperang’s Bookmarks – Review

October 11 – A Chick Who Reads – Review

October 12 – Books Are Life – Vita Libri – Review

October 13 – Shelley’s Book Case - Review

October 14 – Thoughts in Progress – Review

October 14 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview

October 15 – fuonlyknew ~ Laura’s ramblins and reviews – Review

October 16 – Mystery Playground – Guest Post*

October 17 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – Review, Guest Post

October 18 – Cicero’s Children – Interview

October 19 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review

October 20 – Dalene’s Book Reviews – Review

CATWALK by Sheila Webster Boneham (and a giveaway)

SHEILA AND  DOGDrop Dead on Recall, the first in the series, won the Dog Writers Association of America Maxwell Award for Best Fiction Book. Sheila Webster Boneham is also the author of 17 nonfiction books, six of which have won major awards from the Dog Writers Association of America and the Cat Writers Association. For the past two decades Boneham has been showing her Australian Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers in various canine sports. She has also bred top-winning Aussies, and founded rescue groups for Aussies and Labs. Boneham holds a doctorate in folklore from Indiana University and resides in Wilmington, N.C. Today, Sheila is with us as she tours with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the third Animals in Focus Mystery, CATWALK. And now Sheila will compare tracking and writing for us. Be sure to leave her a comment or any questions and for a chance to win a copy of CATWALK, go HERE.

Tracking Down the Story

Tracking down a story can be challenging for a writer, just as tracking down quarry can be challenging for a dog. When I start my first mystery, Drop Dead on Recall, I had been writing nonfiction for decades and wasn’t sure I could write fiction. And although I can’t ask her to verify, I’m pretty sure that when my dog Lily started training for her tracking title, she wasn’t sure she could track a stranger, either, at least not in the precise fashion required by the rules. The analogy may seem a little far-fetched, but I hope you’ll bear with me. I often see parallels between writing and canine sports.

Catwalk, my latest Animals in Focus Mystery opens with Jay, the leading dog, searching a kidnapping victim with Janet MacPhail, the 50-something protagonist of my series. So the notion of writing as a kind of tracking makes sense to me.

Writers begin with some basic tools. We have fabulous words and we have grammar to help us arrange them into meaningful order. Above all, we have the universal human instinct to frame experience as “story.” We explain, excuse, argue, teach, and entertain through narratives that we structure with beginnings and endings, suspense and surprise. Beyond that, a story always finds an audience, because we human beings love to have plots and characters and wordplay presented to us. Whether we listen to them over coffee or read them in bed, we love stories.

 Even very young puppies can begin tracking training. I started training my Labrador Retriever, Lily, when she was seven weeks old. Here’s Lily tracking a strange person’s scent at twelve weeks of age.

Even very young puppies can begin tracking training. I started training my Labrador Retriever, Lily, when she was seven weeks old. Here’s Lily tracking a strange person’s scent at twelve weeks of age.

Dogs also begin with some basic tools. They have fabulous noses some 125 to perhaps 300 million scent receptors, depending on the breed (compared to our measly fifty million). Unlike a newborn puppy’s eyes and ears, which remain sealed for the first ten days to two weeks while they finish forming, the nose works delightfully well at birth. I used to breed Australian Shepherds, and I’ve seen puppies follow their twitchy little noses to the milk bar before they’re fully out of the birth canal. “Smells good, Mom. Yip!” Our puppies learned within the first few minutes to identify their mothers and their pack – including my husband and I – purely by scent, and a stranger’s scent, even within a few hours of birth, would elicit a startle response. In fact, a puppy’s olfactory abilities are way ahead of a child’s story-telling skills for a good few years!

Back to the original story…. when I decided I wanted to try writing fiction, and I wasn’t at all sure I could make up a story, especially a big enough story to make a novel. And then one day I was driving home from a canine obedience trial, and an opening line popped into my head. It was brilliant! And not only did I have a brilliant opening line, but I could see the whole brilliant book – not the cover or spine, but the guts! I had a story. All I had to do was write it….

Lily and Sheila tracking Jim Huang’s “missing” daughter Miranda at a meeting of the Speed City Sisters in Crime in 2009. Photo courtesy of Brenda Robertson Stewart.]

Lily and Sheila tracking Jim Huang’s “missing” daughter Miranda at a meeting of the Speed City Sisters in Crime in 2009. Photo courtesy of Brenda Robertson Stewart.]

Like most writers, I do a lot of other things besides write. I paint, I hike, and for many years I’ve trained and competed with my dogs. While I was working on my first novel (in between nonfiction books), I was also competing in obedience with my Aussie, Jay, and starting my Labrador puppy, Lily, in obedience and tracking. Lily took to tracking like, well, a Lab to water. But just as I had to learn new writing skills in order to craft a story that people might want to read, Lily had to learn to follow the scent trail that I wanted her to follow so that she could find something I wanted her to bring me. (And I had to learn to trust that we were both on the right tracks!)

Lily earned her American Kennel Club Tracking Dog (TD) title before she was two years old. I finished my first mystery when I waswell, never mind! That brilliant first line is long gone, but I’m now three books into the Animals in Focus series, with number four in the works. I’m pretty excited about that. Lily, now eight years young, still thinks lost gloves are more interesting the piles of paper, although she does nap beside me while I write.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website – www.sheilaboneham.com

Blogs – www.sheilaboneham.blogspot.com

www.animalsinfocus.blogspot.com

Catwalk_600SYNOPSIS
Agility can be murder for cats, dogs, and people!

Animal photographer Janet MacPhail is training for her cat Leo’s first feline agility trial when she gets a frantic call about a “kidnapping.” When Janet and her Australian Shepherd Jay set out to track down the missing party, they quickly find themselves drawn into the volatile politics of feral cat colonies and endangered wetlands.

Janet is crazy busy trying to keep up with her mom’s nursing-home romance, her own relationship with Tom, and upcoming agility trials with Jay and Leo. But the discovery of a body on the canine competition course stops the participants dead in their tracks—and sets Janet on the trail of a killer.

MY REVIEW

Yet another series you will want to follow. I noticed the series because I am a dog lover. I love the series because it is well written and the mystery is well thought out and plotted. The book works perfectly as a stand alone if this is your introduction, but I always add the caveat, start from the first and work your way through the series, it makes for a much richer experience. Once again, Sheila has brought us a winner with ♥♥♥♥♥

PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon B&N

 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

October 1 – Back Porchervations – Review

October 2 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review, Guest Post

October 3 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – Review

October 4 – Kelly P’s Blog – Guest Post

October 5 – Chloe Gets A Clue – Interview

October 6 – readalot blog – Review

October 7 – rantinravin’ and reading – Review, Guest Post

October 8 – A. Literary Mafia – Interview

October 9 – Kaisy Daisy’s Corner – Review

October 10 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Interview

October 11 – Brooke Blogs – Guest Post

October 12 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview

October 13 – Community Bookstop – Review

October 14 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Guest Post

 

Spotlight on FIT TO BE DEAD by Nancy G. West

spotlights

ABOUT THIS AUTHOR

I’ve been writing since age seven: poems back and forth with my mom. I had a real poem published in the Library Journal, Pegasus, at age fifteen. At eighteen, I wanted to study journalism and English literature, but friends who chose that college route were making minimum wage or selling lingerie. Being practical, I earned a business degree. After marriage and two children, I decided I HAD to study literature and write. I wrote non-fiction articles, a biography, and a suspense novel in 2004. That’s when whimsical Aggie Mundeen cut through the suspense, popped into my head and demanded her own series. The Aggie Mundeen mystery capers were born. Aggie must have been right:FIT TO BE DEAD is a LEFTY FINALIST 2013 for best humorous mystery, nominated by Left Coast Crime.

SYNOPSIS

Fit To Be Dead
(An Aggie Mundeen Mystery Book 1)

E-Book File Size: 477 KB
Publisher: Henery Press (July 24, 2014)
ASIN: B00M4KIX44
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Henery Press(July 29, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-1940976372

Aggie Mundeen, single and pushing forty, fears nothing but middle age. When she moves from Chicago to San Antonio, she decides she better shape up before anybody discovers she writes the column, “Stay Young with Aggie.” She takes Aspects of Aging at University of the Holy Trinity and plunges into exercise at Fit and Firm.

Rusty at flirting and mechanically inept, she irritates a slew of male exercisers, then stumbles into murder. She’d like to impress the attractive detective with her sleuthing skills. But when the killer comes after her, the health club evacuates semi-clad patrons, and the detective has to stall his investigation to save Aggie’s derriere.

MY REVIEW

I already have number two in the series and it is next up on my TBR pile because this is a series you can really get into. Great characters – you will be wondering what will happen with Sam and Angie when/if her past and her part in his is revealed. And there are lots of tips on fitness from “Aunt Aggie” but they are fun – did you know that in the absence of disease, maximum life span is 120 years?  I learn so much reading cozies LOL This was an excellent first outing and I highly recommend it ♥♥♥♥

AUTHOR LINKS

Chat with Aggie and Nancy on their blog: www.stayyoungwithaggie@wordress.com.

Author’s Webpage: http://www.nancygwest.com/

Author Page at Henery Presshttp://henerypress.com/authors-humorous-mystery-series-authors/nancy-g-west/

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6442929.Nancy_G_West

Purchase Links

Amazon  

B&N Nook   |   Kobo   |   iTunes   |   Google Play

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

September 28 – The Gal in the Blue Mask – Review, Interview

September 29 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – Review

September 30 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Interview

October 1 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – Review

October 2 – rantinravin’ and reading – Review

October 3 – MysteriesEtc – Review

October 4 – My Recent Favorite Books – Review

October 5 – off 

October 6 – A Chick Who Reads – Review, Interview

October 7 – Back Porchervations – Review, Interview  

October 8 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Interview

October 9 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review

October 10 – Dalene’s Book Reviews – Review

October 11 – Christa Reads and Writes – Review

October 12 – deal sharing aunt – Interview

 

RELEASE DAY!!: GOING FOR KONA by Pamela Fagan Hutchins

spotlights

Pamela and friend (Pamela is the one with the hat)

Pamela and friend (Pamela is the one with the hat)

Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes award-winning and bestselling romantic mysteries and hilarious nonfiction, and moonlights as a workplace investigator and employment attorney. She is passionate about great writing, smart authorpreneurship, and her two household hunks, husband Eric and one-eyed Boston terrier Petey. She also leaps medium-tall buildings in a single bound, if she gets a good running start.

If you like Sandra Brown or Janet Evanovich for fiction or Erma Bombeck for nonfiction, you’re going to love Pamela.

2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist
2013 USA Best Books Business: Writing & Publishing Contest
2012 Houston Writers Guild Ghost Story Contest
2012 USA Best Books Parenting/Divorce
2011 Houston Writers Guild Novel Contest
2010 Writers League of Texas Romance Contest

Visit her website http://pamelahutchins.com , or follow her on Twitter (@PamelotH) or Facebook http://facebook.com/pamela.fagan.hutchins.author or buy the book here.

konaSYNOPSIS

When her husband is killed in a hit-and-run bicycling accident, it takes all of Michele Lopez Hanson’s strength not to burrow into their bed for the rest of her life. But their kids need her, and she promised herself she’d do the Kona Ironman Triathlon in Adrian’s honor, and someone seems to be stalking her family, so she slogs through the pain to keep herself on track. Her dangerously delirious training sessions become a link between her and Adrian, and she discovers that if she keeps moving fast enough to fly, she can hold onto her husband—even as she loses her grip on herself and faces her biggest danger yet.

MY REVIEW

I thought I was going to be reading another installment in the fantastic Annalise series so GOING FOR KONA was a surprise. A very pleasant surprise. Michele is not a funny character like Katie but she is one you will grow just as fond of. She is dealing with a lot. Her husband dies in a hit and run. Her step-daughter goes away to live with her grandparents. And her son is a suspect of the cops in the hit and run. She deals with this more like you or I than a mystery heroine. She buries herself in training for a triathalon. At the 48% point, even though her son is a suspect she doesn’t go looking for the real killer. She keeps on training. It wasn’t until the 60% point that Michele decides the cops aren’t cutting it so she calls a PI (Katie no less, making a cameo) to get advice about investigating herself. You are going to love this one, its ♥♥♥♥♥

 

 

EMBELLISHED TO DEATH by Christina Freeburn  (and a giveaway!)

Joining us today is Christina Freeburn who is on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the release of her latest mystery, EMBELLISHED TO DEATH. Be sure to leave Christina a comment below then head over Rafflecopter Code: HERE for a chance to win a copy of the book.

FROM END TO BEGINNING

By Christina Freeburn

The muse is a strange creature. Some days, it arrives so full ideas and raring to go that I have a hard time keeping up with the words flowing out of my brain. My wrists start aching, and I lose some sentences here and there as my words-per-minute typing speed isn’t as quick as my mind. These are beautiful days, and I cherish each and every one, trying to savor them as I know it won’t last forever.

Other days the creativity slugs along acting like it wants to be elsewhere, and after awhile I feel the same. Sitting at my desk is less appealing than gathering up dirty clothes for the washer or cleaning the oven. My writing day consists of completing a sentence then deleting it. Write another, then make that one disappear also. Instead of being a writer, I feel like I’m a magician. Sentence done. Abracadabra! Poof it’s gone!

When I first started writing, I was what is termed a pantsterI sit down and start writing with no real direction of where the plot is going and how my character will get there. I knew the setting, the main plot, just not all the details and whys and how that made up the book. In pantsing, I wrote in a linear fashion. Chapter One, word one. I didn’t move on to the next chapter or scene until that section was complete word by word. Of course, it was almost impossible to write any other way as I didn’t have a clue on what could possible come next. The story unfolded as I typed, and while a great idea for a later scene popped into my head on occasion, I wouldn’t skip ahead to write it down because I didn’t know where it would go.

My process now is a mix of outlining and pantsing, and my muse lately is forcing me to leave my well-loved writing box of beginning-to-end style. I like starting from the beginning and moving forward. It’s hard enough to figure my characters out when I’m going from the beginning of the chapter to the end, as they like stepping off the trail I created (my outline) and find a path they like better. Usually the path they prefer is dark, overgrown, filled with people I don’t know. I have no idea why that trail is in my story in the first place. Now, the muse wants me to create it from the end to the beginning. The last sentence of a chapter will come to me and then I build from the end to the beginning. I hear the sarcastic reply of my heroine, but have no idea why she said it. I see the heroine in a dire situation, but have no idea how she arrived in the predicament in the first place.

In a way, this new writing method mimics the mystery plot. A mystery is built on the premise of the sleuth knowing the outcome – murder – and spending the book figuring out who did it by uncovering the actions and motivation that lead up to the death of the victim. It’s hard fighting the muse, so I’ve been going with it. I begin the chapter knowing what happens at the very end, and write backwards to discover the reason the last sentence occurred. Writing in this method is a little out of my comfort zone, but since it’s working I’ve gone with the flow instead of fighting it.

ABOUT THIS AUTHOR

The Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery series brings together Christina Freeburn’s love of mysteries, scrapbooking, and West Virginia. When not writing or reading, she can be found in her scrapbook room or at a crop. Alas, none of the real-life crops have had a sexy male prosecutor or a handsome police officer attending.

Christina served in the JAG Corps of the US Army and also worked as a paralegal, librarian, and church secretary. She lives in West Virginia with her husband, children, a dog, and a rarely seen cat except by those who are afraid or allergic to felines.

SYNOPSIS

Embellished to Death
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Henery Press (September 23, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-1940976273
When Faith Hunter agrees to help PI Bob Roget find an identity thief at a local scrapbook retreat, her friendly croppers’ weekend quickly morphs into a dangerous one. As croppers share their own memories, a killer collects them for her new identity, and doesn’t appreciate Faith in the picture. Faith struggles to balance her professional, detecting and personal lives as threats and secrets keep her off-balance. Things turn deadly when a woman is killed and Faith is blackmailed. Truth and lies collide when Faith discovers croppers aren’t the only ones embellishing, and the results might end her life.

MY REVIEW

I read the first two books in this wonderful series and it has almost gotten me to start scrapbooking, the only craft I don’t do! In this outing, Faith Hunter is after an identity thief, hiding a secret of her own, getting blackmailed, and so much more in this fast paced mystery. You will be breathless! This is another ♥♥♥♥♥

AUTHOR LINKS

Webpage: www.christinafreeburn.com

Blog: www.theselfrescueprincess.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christina-Freeburn-Author/245592138834150

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChristinaFreeb1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/ChristinaFreeburn

Purchase Link
AMAZON

Tour Participants

September 23 – Mommasez… – Review, Guest Post

September 24 – Books Are Life  – Vita Libri – Review

September 25 – Mystery Playground – Guest Post

September 26 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review

September 27 – Community Bookstop – Review

September 28 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review, Guest Post

September 29 – Brooke Blogs – Review

September 30 – rantinravin’ and reading – Review, Guest Post

October 1 – Back Porchervations – Review, Interview

October 2 – a chick who reads – Review

October 3 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Interview

 

STIRRING THE PLOT by Daryl Wood Gerber (and recipes and giveaways!!!)

Daryl Wood Gerber is on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the release of number three in her Cookbook Nook Mystery Series, STIRRING THE PLOT. Leave a comment below for a chance to win 1 print copy of Winner’s Choice of Final Sentence, Inherit the Word, or Stirring the Plot. And for a chance at a really big prize (all three in this series plus five in The Cheese Shop Mysteries) go HERE.  And here is Daryl to give us one of her delicious recipes:

If you’ve read the Cookbook Nook or Cheese Shop mysteries, you know that they are culinary cozy mysteries, and they have recipes in them that I’ve created. I had no idea when I started writing mysteries that I’d have to cook. Luckily, I did.

In the Cookbook Nook mysteries, the protagonist Jenna isn’t a cookyet. She’s learning. But she adores food.  In the Cheese Shop mysteries, Charlotte is a good cook, and she makes a specialty quiche every day in The Cheese Shop.

This recipe, which is right out of DAYS OF WINE AND ROQUEFORT, the 5th in the Cheese Shop Mysteries, is a perfect fit for Jenna because it’s simple with only a few ingredients. It’s one of Charlotte’s favorite. Jenna, who is an avid reader, stocks culinary mysteries as well as cookbooks in the shop. She could actually find this recipe in her store. Are you seeing how my fictional worlds crisscross? J

Enjoy!

pear

Roquefort Bosc Pear Quiche

(Serves 6)

  • 1 pie shell (homemade or frozen)
  • 2-3 ounces (about 1/3 cup) Roquefort cheese (or good blue cheese)
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • Pinch: nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger
  • Pinch: salt and pepper
  • 1 Bosc pear, peeled, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Remove the Roquefort cheese from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.

In 425 degree oven, bake the pie shell for 12-14 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from oven. Let cool.

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, mush the Roquefort cheese with 2 tablespoons of the whipping cream. Add the rest of the cream and beat for 1 minute.

Add the eggs and beat until the mixture is blended, but not whipped to a froth. Add the sour cream, milk, spices and mix until blended.

Peel, core, and slide the Bosc pear in 6-8 slices. Arrange the slices on the bottom of the baked pie shell. Drizzle with honey. Put the pan on a baking sheet. Stir the egg and cream mixture once, then pour the mixture on the pears. Carefully move the baking sheet to the oven.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until the quiche is puffy and lightly brown on top.

Remove from oven and cool slightly for about 10 minutes. Serve warm.

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Below is a tidbit about STIRRING THE PLOT, the next in my Cookbook Nook mysteries. It comes out September 30!  FYI, though I write a series, each book is a stand-alone and can be read first, even if you haven’t read the others in the series.

SYNOPSIS:

Halloween in Crystal Cove, California, is a big deal, involving a spooky soiree where the Winsome Witches, a fund-raising group, gather to open up their purse strings and trade superstitions. But party magicians, fortune-tellers, and herbalists are only the beginning of this recipe for disaster…

Jenna Hart has packed The Cookbook Nook chock-full of everything from ghostly texts to witchy potions in anticipation of the annual fund-raiser luncheon. But there’s one unexpected addition to the menu: murder.

When the Head Priestess of the Winsome Witches is found dead under mysterious circumstances, there’s no logical answer and plenty of blame to go around. With her aunt, Vera, unable to call on her ability to foresee the future, Jenna will have to use more than just sleight of hand and a few magic tricks to conjure up the truth…

ABOUT THIS AUTHOR

DARYL WOOD GERBER writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mystery series featuring a cookbook store owner who is an avid reader and admitted foodie, set on the coast of California.  As AVERY AAMES, she pens the Agatha Award-winning, nationally bestselling Cheese Shop Mystery series featuring a cheese shop owner amateur sleuth, set in the fictional town of Providence, Ohio. Daryl’s short stories have been nominated for the Agatha, Anthony, and other awards. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl has appeared in “Murder, She Wrote” and more.

MY REVIEW

Yet another series I have to go back and start from the beginning. Not that this book does not stand alone, it does, but it was just so good I want to read the rest! Appealing characters. A well crafted mystery. Fun setting. Recipes in the back (need I say more?) Another classic cozy for you to add to your collection, this one is ♥♥♥♥♥

Author Links

Visit Daryl or Avery atwww.darylwoodgerber.com.

“They” blog on www.mysteryloverskitchen.com as well as www.killercharacters.com

http://www.darylwoodgerber.com

http://www.averyaames.com

http://www.mysteryloverskitchen.com

http://killercharacters.com

Facebook:

Daryl http://www.facebook.com/darylwoodgerber

Avery http://www.facebook.com/averyaames

Twitter: @AveryAames @DarylWoodGerber

Goodreads: 

Daryl Wood Gerber https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4750535.Daryl_Wood_Gerber

Avery Aames https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3153786.Avery_Aames

Purchase Links
Amazon B&N

Tour Participants

September 23 – Books-n-Kisses – Review, Recipe

September 24 –Brooke Blogs – Review, Recipe

September 25 – rantinravin’ and reading – Review, Recipe

September 26 – A Chick Who Reads – Review, Interview, Recipe

September 27 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review, Recipe

September 27 – Escape With Dollycas – Review

September 28 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review, Interview, Recipe

September 29 – Back Porchervations – Review, Interview, Recipe

 

 

FALLING IN LOVE WITH THE FALLS

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You may or may not know this about me, but I have a serious addiction. Well, a couple. I’m addicted to Days of Our Lives, Downton Abbey, Dallas and Hell on Wheels. But I can survive without TV (except for DOOL). I cannot however survive without books. There are a lot of books and series that I like, but there is only one series I am addicted to, THE FALLS by George Jackson. It is my crack. And lucky for me, Mr. Jackson is a most prolific writer and puts out books at a rate most authors would envy. His latest, The Falls: Boneyard (The Falls small town mystery series Book 16), has been out since August so I am long overdue mentioning it on the blog. Once again this is a ♥♥♥♥♥ outing so if you have been following this series and didn’t know 16 was out, rush and get it because I am sure that 17, The Falls: Coldblooded, will be out soon. There is a good setup for us at the end of 16 but I won’t say anything more…  And if you haven’t been following The Falls, I suggest you start at the beginning, THE FALLS: IN THE DEAD OF WINTER. I’ve never given any thought to whether or not the books work as stand alones, I can’t imagine not following the series from the beginning. Why I have watched Jeremy grow up and I want to keep peeking in on his life! There is a scene in this book where Jeremy and his sister, Lorraine, discuss deciding to stay in The Falls after Jeremy has finished college that just tore me up. You really come to feel you know these characters. The mystery is very secondary. It is the lives of the people in this town you will follow. It’s kind of like a soap opera. Like I am wondering what will happen to Cash and Yamoto. Will there ever be a romance between the two or would that be jumping the shark? Whether it is time for you to catch up or time for you to start, The Falls is a series you want to be following. But be warned, it is highly addictive!

COVERSYNOPSIS

It’s the beginning of summer and old Brutus the coon hound finds a bone in the recently renovated landfill. Brutus loves bones, but this one just happens to be human. As the bones pile up, it brings to town a world famous forensic pathologist and anthropologist. There’s also a terrible accident on the mountain involving two of The Falls’ best liked citizens and a sneak peek at the beginning plot for the 17th Falls novel, The Falls: Coldblooded, is exposed. A twenty year old cold case is unearthed, with a victim that’s closely tied to Sheriff Cash Green. Return to the Falls with Cash Green, Yamato, Horace, Doc and Meg Monroe. Pour yourself an iced tea and put your feet up while you enjoy the colorful characters and heartwarming stories of a small town in Vermont!

ABOUT THE AUTHORGeorge jackson

George spent 40 years in education as a teacher (11 years) and a principal (29 years) in both Vermont and New Mexico. He and his wife Carolyn, who taught for 30 years, have five children, eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren in their combined family. He is also an artist in oils and loves reading, video games, fishing and the ocean. George and his wife now live in Tradition, Florida. Besides THE FALLS series he writes dragonrider fantasies and humorous short stories about kids and schools. He has even written a children’s book, The Twilight Tea Party, also at the Kindle store.

AUTHOR LINKS

Capture

 

 

DEADLY ASSETS (An Allison Campbell Mystery Book 2)  by Wendy Tyson

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bio picABOUT THE AUTHOR

Wendy Tyson’s background in law and psychology has provided inspiration for her mysteries and thrillers.  Wendy lives near Philadelphia with her husband, three sons and two muses, Labs Molly and Driggs.
Killer Image (Henery Press, October 1, 2013) is Wendy’s first novel in the Allison Campbell mystery series.  Her mystery The Seduction of Miriam Cross was published this past fall and is also the first in a series.

cover
SYNOPSIS

An eccentric Italian heiress from the Finger Lakes. An eighteen-year-old pop star from Scranton, Pennsylvania. Allison Campbell’s latest clients seem worlds apart in every respect, except one: Both women disappear on the same day. And Allison’s colleague Vaughn is the last to have seen each.

Allison’s search for a connection uncovers an intricate web of family secrets, corporate transgressions and an age-old rivalry that crosses continents. The closer Allison gets to the truth, the deadlier her quest becomes. All paths lead back to a sinister Finger Lakes estate and the suicide of a woman thirty years earlier. Allison soon realizes the lives of her clients and the safety of those closest to her aren’t the only things at stake.

MY REVIEW

I loved the first book in this series, KILLER IMAGE, and the second outing for Allison, DEADLY ASSETS, did not disappoint. Two, unrelated, clients disappear and Vaughn is a suspect So Allison must get involved. Wendy Tyson’s other series is a cozy (that leans to a bit more hardcore mystery in my opinion) but there is nothing cozy about this series. It is a bit different from the more hardcore mysteries written by women though. Sue Grafton or Patricia Cornwall’s protagonists have jobs (OI, medical examiner) that give them a reason to be involved in investigations. Allison is an image consultant. Not a job you would expect to have a criminal investigation component to it. Not unlike cozy protagonists. But once again, make no mistake, this is not a cozy. For those who read the first book, Allison is trying to work on a reconciliation with Jason but her investigating puts a strain on the relationship. And Mia is questioning her relationship with the much younger Vaughn. If you haven’t read the first book, DEADLY ASSETS stands well on its own but I would read the first book as well anyway because they are both ♥♥♥♥♥

AUTHOR LINKS

Website

Facebook

BUY THE BOOK

 

 

GRANNY IS BACK IN “GRANNY SKEWERS A SCOUNDREL”!!!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

julieJulie Seedorf is a Minnesotan. She calls dinner, supper, and lunch, dinner. She has had many careers over her life time but her favorite career was that as mother to her children. In later life she became a computer technician, opening her own business. In 2012 Julie signed a contract with Cozy Cat Press. Julie writes a column for southern Minnesota area newspapers called “Something About Nothing. “Granny Hooks A Crook” her first Cozy Mystery for Cozy Press takes place in the fictional town of Fuchsia, Minnesota. The Fuchsia Minnesota Series and other writings such as her children’s book “Whatchamacallit, Thingamajig” follow her theory that we all take ourselves too seriously and we need to have a little fun. Her second book, Granny Skewers A Scoundrel, highlights the fact that in the midst of life we have to find the humor in bad situations to keep us going. Julie secretly yearns to be like the Granny characters in her books. Visit her website at http://www.julieseedorf.com. Her blog Sprinkled Notes is a little scattered like Granny but lends itself to wisdom and occasional flip flops about life. http://sprinklednotes.com. Follow her on twitter @julieseedorf. Learn more about her books.

granny scoundrelSYNOPSIS

  • Print Length: 227 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1939816386
  • Publisher: Cozy Cat Press (March 20, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00J5MYD84

Granny has a new addition to her arsenal of crime fighting weapons as Fuchsia, Minnesota’s most colorful detective. Now, along with her famous crook-hooking umbrella, she’s acquired a scoundrel-skewering knitting needle. And just in time! Residents of Fuchsia seem to be dropping dead like flies! First, it’s Granny’s neighbor Sally (who gives up the ghost in her weed-filled front yard), followed by Esmeralda Periwinkle (the squirrel lover on Main Street), and then, Mr. Nail, owner of the local hardware store (who is squashed when dozens of bags of fertilizer fall on top of him). Granny is baffled. Who is behind this murder spree?

Granny enlists the help of her sort of boyfriend franklin Gatsby, the town’s police chief Cornelius Stricknine (or “The Big Guy”), her reality-show loving neighbor Mavis, and her own son Thor. And, of course, the special assistance of her menagerie of pets — including Mr. Bleaty, the goat. Soon Granny is hot on the trail of this dastardly murderer. Unfortunately, when Granny herself is poisoned, everyone insists that she cool her crime solving ways and stay indoors and out of harms way. Of course, that’s never going to happen! Not when Granny knows all the secret passageways and tunnels that run underneath Fuchsia. Out she goes–and watch out, you evil doers! Granny will solve this mystery–you can bet your pink undies, she will!

MY REVIEW

Granny… Granny is… Well, Granny is different. I can just see a classroom full of college students analyzing Granny. (Which would have Granny in stitches!) 1) Granny is elderly and halfway senile but still enough there to let her be on her own and handle minor tasks – which is why her sleuthing would not sit well with her children. 2) Granny is actually a fifty something hot mama who disguises herself as an elderly grandmother to fight crime. Excuse me, that ‘fight crime’ had me guffawing all over the place, as it would Granny, I am sure. Kinda makes me picture Granny in tights and a cape. I call this series Lemony Snicket for adults. (Of course I read Lemony Snicket even though I profess to be an adult.) Start with the first book, Granny Hooks A Crook (Fuchsia, Minnesota Book 1), so you have a real feel for the town and all the characters. Then it is on to Granny Skewers A Scoundrel (Fuchsia, Minnesota Book 2) which will leave you floored when you discover who the villain is. So if you still have a sense of whimsy about you and you love a bit of slightly silly fun, with a well structured mystery at the core, it is time to take a trip to Fuchsia, Minnesota and meet Granny. These reads are ♥♥♥♥♥

AUTHOR LINKS

thankfuljoy.com   

justalittlefluff.com

sprinklednotes.com