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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

 

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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.

* * *

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

 

 

THE WEDDING SOUP MURDER by Rosie Genova (and a giveaway!)

I am thrilled to have Rosie Genova stop by today on her tour for her latest book, THE WEDDING SOUP MURDER. Rosie is here to tell us about the real Jersey Shore – you know, the one without Snookie. So I hope you enjoy it. And be sure to leave a comment for Rosie, maybe ask her a question about her Jersey, and then go HERE because she is giving away some really great prizes along with signed copies of the book. Take it away Rosie!

The real Jersey shore

It wasn’t that long ago that the words “Jersey shore” were not synonymous with over-tanning, hair gel, bad behavior, and even worse accents. Before the advent of a certain reality television show, the shore towns along the coast of my home state were associated with the natural beauty of sand dunes and sea grass and miles of boardwalk fun. That is the Jersey shore that I attempt to capture in my series, the Italian Kitchen Mysteries.

In fact, what is wonderful about the different shore communities is the wide variety of what they offer visitors—everything from history to architecture to beautiful beaches. Many of us who live here go “down the shore” every summer, either as day visitors or renters. In my series, the fictional setting of Oceanside Park is inspired by a number of those towns: Point Pleasant, Ocean City, and perhaps most of all, Asbury Park as it was in its heyday.

Long before a certain guy named Bruce made Asbury Park famous, the community had been a vacation destination since the 19th century. In my family, going to Asbury in the summer had been a tradition since World War II.

rosie insert

Photo credit: Robert L. Erath, courtesy Evelyn and Neil Erath

The photo here was taken with a Kodachrome camera in the summer of 1941. This is the Asbury Park of my mother and grandmother’s time. The old-time cars, the men in their summer whites, and the little girl in her cotton dress and hair bow, all evoke a time that is long gone. But the swan boat in the foreground remained in operation throughout my childhood, as did the Ferris wheel in the background, and in fact inspired the image on the cover of the first book in the series, Murder and Marinara. There’s a scene in the book in which my main character, Victoria Rienzi, takes a ride on that Ferris wheel with an attractive man who may or may not be a murderer, though she is more afraid of the ride than she is of the suspect!

In the real world, of course, things change, and the places we love are no longer as we remember. But they can be preserved in stories. So I hope you’ll take a trip with me to Oceanside Park, where you’ll experience the real Jersey shore—and perhaps solve a murder or two!

BLURB

The Wedding Soup Murder: An Italian Kitchen Mystery
Series: An Italian Kitchen Mystery (Book 2)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Signet (September 2, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0451415159
ISBN-13: 978-0451415158

Victoria Rienzi came home to the Jersey Shore to write a new book, learn the family restaurant business, and practice the fine art of Italian cooking. But when delicious dishes are paired with murder, Vic has a little too much on her plate…

When Vic asked her nonna for more responsibility in the kitchen, she didn’t mean making a thousand tiny meatballs by hand for the family’s famous wedding soup. The dish is to be served at the reception for a close family friend at the exclusive Belmont Country Club. And once there Vic has to deal with a demanding bridezilla and clashes in the kitchen—between the staff and servers, between two egocentric head chefs, and between the country club president andwelleveryone.

The wedding comes off without a hitch—until the body of the club’s president is found on the beach below a high seawall. Now Vic will need to use her noodle to find out who pushed whom too farbefore she’s the one who lands in the soup!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A Jersey girl born and bred, national bestselling author Rosie Genova left her heart at the shore, which serves as the setting for much of her work. Her new series, the Italian Kitchen Mysteries, is informed by her appreciation for good food, her pride in her heritage, and her love of classic mysteries from Nancy Drew to Miss Marple. Her debut novel, Murder and Marinara, was named a 2013 Best Cozy by Suspense Magazine and is a finalist for a 2014 Daphne Award.  An English teacher by day and novelist by night, Rosie also writes women’s fiction as Rosemary DiBattista. She still lives in her home state with her husband and the youngest of her three Jersey boys.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website: www.rosiegenova.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RosieGenova

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6462450.Rosie_Genova

PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon   B&N

MY REVIEW

I missed out on the tour for the first book in this series but now I just have to go back and read it because THE WEDDING SOUP MURDER was just so much fun. And needless to say, I can’t wait for number three. The characters are a lot of fun, people you would enjoy having as friends. The backdrop of a family restaurant in New Jersey works really well. Food always makes a good mix with murder. Especially when there are recipes at the back! Vic should be the next protagonist that makes her way to your TBR pile. This one is ♥♥♥♥♥

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

September 2 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – Review

September 3 – Back Porchervations – Review, Interview

September 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book  – Spotlight

September 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review, Guest Post

September 6 – Brooke Blogs – Review

September 7 – Chloe Gets A Clue – Interview

September 8 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review

September 9 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review, Guest Post

September 10 – rantinravin‘ and reading – Review, Guest Post

September 11 – deal sharing aunt – Review, Interview

 

DEEP IN DEATH by Colleen Helme (and a giveaway!)

Colleen Helme is on tour with her latest Shelby Nichols Adventure. Be sure to leave a comment for Colleen below then you can enter to win one of three signed copies of DEEP IN DEATH by going HERE.

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Running “errands” for her mob-boss employer, Joey “The Knife” Manetto, often ends with Shelby in trouble, making her cautious about continuing her association with him. Instead, she focuses on a new client who hires Shelby to find her missing mother. What seems like a routine case turns into something more sinister and deadly than she ever imagined.

In the meantime, Uncle Joey has summoned Shelby to his office, where she runs into her former nemesis. Shelby inadvertently hears something that makes her fear for the lives of Uncle Joey and his hit-man, Ramos. This time, Uncle Joey is not sure he wants to involve Shelby in something he knows could get her killed. Keeping Shelby’s involvement to a minimum has disastrous results, sending Shelby on a dangerous path. As her investigation unfolds, Shelby finds death at every turn, and soon realizes she is in over her head. Can she escape from danger in time? Or will she find herself deep in death?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

As the author of the Shelby Nichols Adventure Series, Colleen is often asked if Shelby Nichols is her alter-ego. “Definitely,” she says. “Shelby is the epitome of everything I wish I dared to be.” Known for her laugh since she was a kid, Colleen has always tried to find the humor in every situation and continues to enjoy writing about Shelby’s adventures. “I love getting Shelby into troubleI just don’t always know how to get her out of it!” Colleen lives in the Rocky Mountains with her family. Besides writing, she loves a good book, biking, hiking, and playing board and card games with family and friends. She loves to connect with readers and admits that fans of the series keep her writing.

AUTHOR LINKS

http://www.colleenhelme.com
https://www.facebook.com/ColleenHelmeAuthor
http://www.shelbynicholsconsulting.com
https://twitter.com/ColleenHelme
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/105805.Colleen_Helme
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22676443-deep-in-death

PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon    B&N

MY REVIEW

Loved it. Could not put it down. This is the 6th outing for Shelby Nichols which means I really have to find the time to go back and read the first five. Shelby reads minds as a result of being shot in the head during a bank robbery. She uses this unusual talent to help both the police and the mob. She has a husband and two kids but finds herself strongly attracted to a hit man. Am I bad for wanting my own personal hit man too? Love that little moral ambiguity in the story. One of her kids, Samantha, can’t understand how her mother always gets in trouble since, as a mind reader she should see it coming. Smart kid LOL. I have only one complaint – the cover. I usually don’t mention covers but this one looks like a romance, not a mystery. But the story is so good, it loses no points for that. This one is a solid ♥♥♥♥♥

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

September 1 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review
September 2 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
September 3 – readalot – Review
September 4 – Kelly P’s Blog – Interview
September 5 – Darla King Series – Review
September 6 – Brooke Blogs -Interview
September 7 – off
September 8 – rantinravin’ and reading – Review
September 9 – Community Bookstop – Review
September 10 – Books-n-Kisses – Review
September 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Spotlight
September 12 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – Interview
September 13 – off
September 14 – Dalene’s Book Reviews – Review
September 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review

 

 

AND ALL THAT MADNESS

KATE:  Joan Merrill is stopping by on her book tour today and I am thrilled to have her here. Hi Joan. You must LOVE producing Jazz shows. I used to work the Newport Jazz Festival every year so I have met a lot of the stars. So I know you have some great stories (I have great Buddy Rich ones – he was a PIA but I had a blast the year I was his ‘minder’). Tell us one of your favorite ‘star stories’.

Joan:  I’ve heard the Buddy Rich story about the jazz musician who never tired of calling Rich’s home to hear he had died.

My most memorable moments are the in person interviews I did for NPR’s Jazz Profiles with artists such as Rosemary Clooney and Anita O’Day.  I met Rosemary in her Beverly Hills home in her huge living room with photos all over every table surface. She wore a sweat suit , no makeup and was very down to earth.

I saw Anita in a sort of senior center in a totally impersonal space. She was very outspoken and funny, causing me to laugh several times during the interview, much to the chagrin of the editor who had to remove it from the final piece. Each of them thanked me enthusiastically for the interview, which mattered to me a great deal.

Kate:  Thanks for stopping by Joan, and all you readers might like to listen for a while to an excerpt from her book:

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Publisher:  CreateSpace (February 20 2013) Category: Mystery
ISBN: 13: 9781 489278981
Tour Dates: September, 2014
Available in: Print , Audio, and E-book, 227 Pages

AND ALL THAT MADNESS is a Casey McKie mystery. When the New York Jazz Society acquires a fifty-year old letter from Georgia Valentine, questions arise over the legendary vocalist’s death. Did she give herself a fatal dose of heroin, as the original investigators ruled, or did someone kill her? And if it was murder, what was the motive?

Casey moves her operation from San Francisco to New York to investigate the cold case, questioning Georgia’s musician friends, her widower, a drug dealer, a Broadway actress, a mafia boss and the authorities who declared the death a suicide. This quest takes Casey to New York’s most venerable jazz clubs, a Harlem nursing home, a mob-owned Italian restaurant, a lesbian bar and One Police Plaza, home of the NYPD.

She joins forces with an attractive detective from the Organized Crime unit, and, as the case progresses, so does their relationship. With no shortage of suspects, Casey ultimately uncovers evidence revealing a surprising killer.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joan Merrill has written five Casey McKie mysteries, all taking place in the world of jazz: And All That Murder (2009), And All That Sea (2010), And All That Stalking (2011). And All That Madness (2012), And All That Motive (2014).

All books (except Motive, which will be published in early fall), are available at amazon.com and KindleAnd All That Madness is available as an audio book, narrated by long-time KCSM radio host, Alisa Clancy. To download, go to audible.com or iTunes.com or for the CD version, go tojoanmerrill.com. An audio book of And All That Stalking is under production.

Joan Merrill has worked in the jazz field for over twenty years, producing fourteen shows for NPR’s Jazz Profiles and four shows for the Smithsonian/PRI series Jazz Singers. She’s represented various jazz singers; produced the video documentary “Saying It with Jazz” featuring Carmen McRae and others; and produced three CDs under her own label. She also created and curates the website: carmenmcrae.com.

Merrill is currently producing a musical revue tribute to Doris Day, entitled “Que Sera! Celebrating Doris Day” with Kristi King. See QueSeraTheMusical.com Paperback versions of the Casey McKie mysteries may be purchased at reduced rates from the website: joanmerrill.com.

Joan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoanMerrill20

BUY AND ALL THAT MADNESS:

Amazon
joanmerrill.com
Barnes and Noble
Book Depository

MY REVIEW

Really enjoyed this one. Casey spends her tie solving a 50 year old cold case while worrying about her biological clock. I learned a lot of jazz history but it was done in such a way as not to be distracting to the mystery. There was also some interesting information about the early days of drug prohibition, a topic I am very interested in. The solution to the mystery was a bit unusual but I deffinately will be reading more of Ms. Merrill’s books. ♥♥♥♥

virtual logo

And All That Madness  Web Tour Schedule

So Many Precious Books Sept 2 Review & Giveaway

Reads and Writes Sept 3 Review

rantinravin’ and readin Sept. 4  Review & Guest Post

Sapphyria’s Book Reviews Sept 5 Giveaway & Excerpt

Elizabeth McKenna Romance Author Sept 8 Interview

Lady in Read Sept. 9 Review & Giveaway

Pinky’s Favorite Reads Sept. 10 Interview

Mary’s Cup of Tea Sept.12 Review & Giveaway

Deal Sharing Aunt Sept. 16 Review & Interview

Cassandra M’s Place Sept. 19 Review & Giveaway

Back Porchervations Sept 22 Review & Interview

What U Talking Bout Willis? Sept 23 Review, Giveaway, & Excerpt

Musings from Sri Lanka Sept 24 Review

JBronder Book Reviews            Sept. 26 Review

Amethyst Daydreams  Sept 29 Guest Post

CATHY ACE PRELEASE TOUR AND A GIVEAWAY!

Cathy Ace is doing a Prelease Tour of the latest in the Cait Morgan Series, THE CORPSE WITH THE PLATINUM HAIR, with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. I am very pleased she is kicking the tour off here, today, and has a guest post for us (be sure and check for the giveaway below)… Take it away Cathy.

It’s great to have the chance to visit again, but I’m very aware that, this time, I don’t have Kate “holding my hand”! That’s what being interviewed feels like, to me—the structure is set by the interviewer, so I am free to chat around a theme, so to speak. This time, it’s a “Guest Post” which, to this author, are two words that strike terror in my heart. You see, to be perfectly honest, I’m not convinced that either I or my life are terribly interesting, so coming up with a topic is always a challenge.

So I’ve picked a topic I’m familiar with, and which I hope will interest others: Vegas, baby, Vegas! Okay, it’s not a stretch—THE CORPSE WITH THE PLATINUM HAIR is the fourth Cait Morgan Mystery and it’s pre-ordering now (ready to hit your bookshelf in October) and, yes, it’s set in Vegas. Now, there are a lot of books set in Sin City—hardly surprising given its reputation for criminal activity (and a particularly popular CSI team!)—so I admit I was in two minds about walking along this well-trod path with Cait. But I admit I have a bit of a thing for Vegas, so I decided to risk it, but to try to “Do It My Way” (first of the obligatory Frank Sinatra references!). You know what I mean—like those houses they have in real-estate “shopping” shows where the innocent potential purchasers are told that by having to repaint the whole place and knock down a few walls they can “put their own stamp on it”? Yes, that’s what I mean.

So I’ll ‘fess-up: my husband and I visit Vegas about half a dozen times a year. Yes, I know it sounds like a lot, and it probably is, but we only go for weekends, and it’s just over a two-hour flight away from Vancouver, so it’s very d-able and, when I get there—nothing! I don’t have to think, or even function much. The shows are exceptional, and my OH and I are great fans of stand-up comedy, so we take the opportunity to see some of the best in the world, up-close and personal, on the wonderful, intimate, Vegas stages. But it’s the food that calls to us! Vegas used to be about the gambling, now it’s about the food. Many of the world’s top restaurants are on The Strip in Vegas. Many of the world’s top chefs work there, have restaurants there, and train tomorrow’s top chefs there too. Ingredients are flown in from around the world, and there seems to be NOTHING you cannot have, if your pockets are deep enough, and your desires wide enough. But we don’t live like that, and you don’t have to to enjoy the Vegas we enjoy. A lazy Saturday poolside, followed by a wash and brush up for pre-show drinks, then the mind boggling spectacle we’ve chosen, then, inevitably, a late dinner. Followed by a few more drinks, to allow dinner to be digested, of course. Yes, they turn into late nights, but that’s not the end of the world, because we can start the next day slowly, revitalize at the pool again, thenwell, okay, repeat, sans show.

Two days together of indulgence in the sun. Two days together lying at the pool hearing “music”, where every word is unintelligible, and which we know we’re at least three decades too old to attempt to “shake a leg” to. Two days of sipping a martini, or a glass of champagne (maybe both?) beneath the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, watching the fountains dance to the sound of Catherine Zeta Jones (another Swansea girl, like me) belting out “All That Jazz”, then savoring duck confit, skate wing, and white chocolate bread pudding. Two days of giggling at the mini-Elvis chatting up a girl in a “Hello Kitty” outfit, as Darth Vader wanders by, his giant helmet under his arm as he prepares to catch the bus back home after his on-Strip shift. Two days wondering if the young man with the drink shaped like an electric guitar (so big it requires a strap to attach it to its drinker) managed to make it back to his hotel at all, and puzzling over why the girls bother to wear heels so high they have to take then off and carry them after about ten minutes.

My favourite hobby in life is “Watching the world go by”. I promise you there is nowhere better to do this than in Vegas. And, oh my, what a world it is! Of course, if you want to find out what’s below that skin, if you want to understand what it’s like to live your life in a city that never, ever sleeps, then you might want to join Cait Morgan and Bud Anderson for Bud’s birthday celebrations in Vegas, when he gets to eat at an exclusive, private dining roomand when Cait gets to work out which person locked into that restaurant with her and Bud killed the casino owner. THE CORPSE WITH THE PLATINUM HAIR will peel back the rhinestone-encrusted velour, but it might reveal a different Vegas than the one you expect. It’s the Vegas I have spent ten years coming to know, a Vegas where people earn a living honestlybut then, well, it is a murder mystery, so I won’t say too much!

GIVEAWAY

Cathy is giving away two print copies of THE CORPSE WITH THE PLATINUM HAIR. For a chance to win, leave a comment for Cathy, below, then go HERE.

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“Look! Somebody’s skewered Miss Shirley to her seat with a silver saber.”

When Cait Morgan arrives in Las Vegas, her only plans are to celebrate a birthday with Bud, her significant other. But then Miss Shirley—a casino owner better known as the “Queen of the Vegas Strip”—is murdered during Bud’s birthday feast. A security lockdown seals Cait and Bud in a private dining room with a corpse, an unidentified murderer, and a group of nervous, potential victims.

As the bodies pile up and tensions mount, Cait’s list of suspects dwindles. Fearing for her life and for Bud’s, Cait knows she must
solve the mystery. But can she reveal the killer before she, too, is mercilessly murdered?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Originally from Wales, now-Canadian Cathy Ace writes the Cait Morgan Mysteries. In The Corpse with the Silver Tongue her foodie criminologist sleuthed in the south of France. The Corpse with the Golden Nose found Cait sniffing out a killer in BC’s vineyards. The Corpse with the Emerald Thumb met her when she was meddling in murders in Mexico. This time Cait is caught up in a true closed-room mystery in a classy casino restaurant in Las Vegas. When not helping Cait solve traditional, closed-circle mysteries, Cathy’s a keen gardener, ably assisted by her green-pawed chocolate Labradors.

Website:  www.cathyace.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cathy-Ace-Author/318388861616661

Twitter: @AceCathy

GoodReadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3913679.Cathy_Ace

Preorder the book:  Amazon B&N

MY REVIEW

What can I say? Ms. Ace clearly cannot write a bad book. I loved it. I enjoyed the deeper look at the “process” Cait uses with her eidetic memory – I LOL at the humming, especially in the toilet (for no particular reason, know no one who does that). And I just plain enjoy Cait – a woman of a certain age who likes good food, a cup of tea, a good drink, smoking, carries a few extra pounds (once again, no particular reason LOL). And in this visit with Cait we have a true locked room mystery. The victim, the murderer as well as all the suspects, are all locked in a room along with Cait and Bud – for quite a while. Go preorder this one because you are really going to love it too.  ♥♥♥♥♥

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

September 1 – rantinravin’ and reading – Review, Guest Post

September 2 – MysteriesEtc – Review

September 3 – Kelly P’s Blog – Interview

September 4 – Queen of All She Reads – Review

September 5 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review

September 6 – Community Bookstop – Review

September 7 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview

September 7 –  Brooke Blogs – Review

September 8 – Melina’s Book Blog – Guest Post

September 9 – Dalene’s Book Reviews – Review,

September 10 – dru’s book musing – Guest Post

 

 

UNDERTAKING IRENE by Pamela Burford (and a giveaway!)

 

Pamela Burford is on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour with her new release UNDERTAKING IRENE. Read my review and be sure to leave a comment below and go HERE for a chance to win a copy.

UNDERTAKING IRENE by Pamela Burford
Cozy Mystery – 250 Pages

Synopsis

Jane Delaney does things her paying customers can’t do, don’t want to do, don’t want to be seen doing, can’t bring themselves to do, and/or don’t want it to be known they’d paid someone to do. To dead people. Life gets complicated for Jane and her Death Diva business when she’s hired to liberate a gaudy mermaid brooch from the corpse during a wake. Well, a girl’s got to make a living, and this assignment pays better than scattering ashes, placing flowers on graves, or bawling her eyes out as a hired mourner. Unfortunately for Jane, someone else is just as eager to get his hands on that brooch, and he’s even sneakier than she is. Just when she thinks her biggest problem is grand theft mermaid, things take a murderous turn. But hey, when you’ve teamed up with a neurotic seven-pound poodle named Sexy Beast, how can you lose?

pam-burfordAbout This Author

Pamela Burford is the best-selling author of 15 works of mystery, contemporary romance, and romantic suspense. She has received four RITA and Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award nominations and is a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences and workshops. Her books have sold millions of copies, received outstanding reviews, and been translated into more than a dozen languages. Pamela is the founder and past president of Long Island Romance Writers, a chapter of Romance Writers of America. Fun fact: her twin sister Patricia Ryan, a.k.a. P.B. Ryan, is also a published novelist

My Review

This is a book that reads easy and quick – because it is so much fun. Definitely gets the award for “Most Unusual Profession In A Cozy”. Jane does anything regarding a funeral that you don’t want to do yourself. Don’t want to get caught doing yourself is more like it. LOL Her very first job was stuffing the ashes of the departed into shotgun shells. Some of the things are so hysterical and I won’t spoil it by telling you – but think what you would like to be your ‘parting shot’, good or bad, as it were. The victim in this book is Jane’s best customer so carrying on in this profession may be more difficult in future books. The ending is one that keeps on giving – it’s not over til it’s over! I hope Martin is along for the ride in book 2, and I can’t wait for it because this one is definitely ♥♥♥♥♥

Author Links 

http://www.pamelaburford.com

http://www.facebook.com/pamelaburford

https://twitter.com/PamelaBurford

https://www.goodreads.com/PamelaBurford

http://pinterest.com/pamelaburford

 

Purchase Links:
Amazon
B&N
KOBO 
iTunes

 

Tour Participants

August 18 – readalot blog – Review

August 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview

August 20 – Queen of All She Reads – Review

August 21 – Kelly P’s Blog – Interview

August 22 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review

August 23 – Mystery Playground – Interview

August 24 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review 

August 25 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – Interview

August 26 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review

August 27 – rantinravin’ and reading – Review

August 28 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – Interview

August 29 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Interview

August 30 – deal sharing aunt – Spotlight

August 31 – Dalene’s Book Reviews – Review