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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.

BLURB

“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

DEATH IN PERSPECTIVE by Larissa Reinhart (and a giveaway!)

A relatively new favorite author, Larissa Reinhart may hold the record for visits to the blog and I am thrilled she is here again today. After teaching in the US and Japan, Larissa enjoys writing, particularly sassy female characters with a penchant for trouble. She lives near Atlanta with her family and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit. Visit her website or you can find her chatting on Facebook. Death in Perspective is the fourth book in the best selling Cherry Tucker Mystery series. The first, Portrait of a Dead Guy, is a Daphne du Maurier finalist, Emily finalist, and Dixie Kane Memorial winner. Larissa recently returned from a vacation in Japan. You know how some people absolutely hate hearing about peoples vacations? Well not me! I love it! So lets all vicariously visit Japan today. Be sure to leave a comment for Larissa, one of you will win an e-copy of any book from the series that you choose and if you go HERE you have a chance to win a Barnes & Noble gift card and some swag. Welcome,  Larissa.

Hey Kate! Thanks for having me on again and I’m so glad you didn’t get bored with my reports from Japan!

How long has it been since you visited Japan prior to this visit?

For my girls and I, it’s been three and a half years since we moved back. My husband (lucky guy) gets to travel there a lot on business. I think he was there six times last fall and winter!

What part(s) of the country did you visit?

We were mainly visiting friends on this trip, so we spent most of our time in Nagoya, which was the city we previously lived in. We took a side trip to Kyoto and Nara with the girls for three nights for some family time. My husband and I used to live near Kyoto (ages ago), so it’s always fun for us to revisit old haunts and see the changes. Japanese cities are constantly evolving, although Kyoto and Nara have preserved a lot of their own neighborhoods as well as the historic sites. They were two of the few cities not bombed during WWII, so it’s hard to find those medieval and pre-modern homes and shops in other parts of Japan.

Did you find a lot had changed and particularly, did you notice the effects of the world wide recession or are they over it?

Our neighborhood had changed a lot (to us). A spaghetti shop we used to visit was gone. It was pretty decrepit, but had really great spaghetti. And only spaghetti on the menu, all kinds. Not even a salad (if you ask for a salad, you’re offered vegetable juice). I digress… But all the new construction was a good sign for economic recovery. Japan was in an economic depression last time we lived there. And of course, the Tohoku earthquake hit the economy really hard. We moved just before that happened.

I have read about the Japan cultures love of ‘cuteness. Is it really as over the top as some press makes it seem or confined to small segments of society?

OH MY GOODNESS. Japan’s cuteness is so over the top adorable. The newest trend in cuteness is hamster butts. Yes, you read that right. If you look at a hamster butt, they are quite cute. We saw a whole section in a bookstore dedicated to books with photos of cute hamster butts. There’s always something trending and that trend is constantly changing. Krispy Kreme is also trending. I was happy to see that. They’re almost as popular as Starbucks. But not quite. Hello Kitty also still reigns supreme, which will make a lot of people happy. But there, she is Kitty-Chan.

Speaking of cute, did you bring back a bento box or kimono for your dog?

Haha! You saw my pictures! No, Biscuit would not appreciate a bento or a kimono. In fact, Biscuit got nothing. Poor dog. But he’s not much on treats and a kimono would really drive him insane. He was very happy to see us, though. Our return was his gift.

I am always interested in the book reading habits of other countries. The American style cozies are rare in Ireland for example but they were making a big splash in China (in English, mind you) for a while. The Swedish mysteries seem big in America at the moment. Did you visit any book stores on your trip? Do they read cozies? What does seem popular?

Bookstores are really popular in Japan. You find them all over the place. Japanese readers still prefer books to e-readers and they read a lot on trains and subways, so the books have always been paperback and kind of hand sized. And because of the writing, the books are very slim. Anyway, Japanese readers love mysteries and Agatha Christie is still a favorite. In fact, their public broadcasting channel, NHK, did an animated Agatha Christie series starring Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, and a girl named Mabel with a duck. Besides Mabel and the duck, the mysteries were pretty true to the original stories. You also see a lot of mysteries on TV, particularly detective stories. I think there is a love of crime drama because there’s not a lot of crime, so it’s very entertaining. That’s just a hypothesis though.

Can I just say, Mabel and the duck. Does it get any better?

Before you go, what can we expect next after Death in Perspective ?

I’m writing The Body in the Landscape now (#5), which will come out sometime next year. Cherry’s hired to do a “kill portrait” for a Hogzilla hunting contest at Big Rack Lodge and finds a body while painting a landscape in the first line (hence the title). I’m so thrilled for the chance to write about Hogzilla. They are something of a true legend around here. A 1,000+ pound feral hog was killed close to where I live a few years ago. And of course, there’s Cherry and the mystery. Seven bow hunters trapped in a bunkhouse in the middle of a hunting preserve during a November storm. Which one will die next and which one’s the killer? Fun, fun.

BLURB

A Cherry Tucker Mystery #4
Cozy Mystery
Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: Henery Press; First edition (June 24, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-1940976181
E-book File Size: 594 KB
ASIN: B00L5Q7AYW

The curtain rises on Cherry Tucker’s debut as a high school set designer at the posh Peerless Day Academy. Cherry’s been hired for an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, but the drama director is hoping Cherry can also turn the spotlight on a malicious social media bully who’s sending poisonous texts to the faculty. The director’s got his own drama to hide, and the phantom texter seems eager to spill school secrets. When the principal’s secretary commits suicide, Cherry suspects foul play.

Deputy Luke Harper is ready to return as Cherry’s leading man. He’s eager to assist in finding the phantom culprit, but Cherry fears family secrets offstage may doom them to the role as star-crossed lovers. With the bully waiting for a murderous encore and her own family skeletons to hide, Cherry scrambles to find her brother and the mysterious texter before the phantom decides it’s curtains for Cherry and forces her to take a final bow.

MY REVIEW

Fun. Fun. Fun. Cherry is like Lucy and Ethel all rolled into one Southern package. Rather timely, this deals with bullying. I enjoyed the whole Tara storyline (Luke’s ex/stalker). Shawna is busy giving Cherry you know what on Facebook. Cherry is a bit down in this installment. Her love life with Luke is a continuing problem. As anyone who reads this blog knows, I haven’t liked Luke from the beginning. I see Cherry with Max. The whole Branson connection (and Cody) is heating up and should be interesting in upcoming books. Oh yeah, the mystery is top notch too but I just read this series for the characters LOL! If you haven’t started yet, go right now and get the first in the series and catch up with the rest of us! ♥♥♥♥♥

Author Links:

Website: http://larissareinhart.com/

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1qMwr29

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RisWrites

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/RisWrites

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5806614.Larissa_Reinhart

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/LarissaReinhart/

Purchase Links
Amazon B&N

Tour Participants

June 24 – Mommasez… – Review, Interview, Giveaway
June 25 – readalot blog – Review, Giveaway
June 26 – Chloe Gets A Clue – Interview
June 27 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Giveaway
June 28 – Carole’s Book Corner – Review
June 29 – off
June 30 – deal sharing aunt – Interview, Giveaway
July 1 – Traci Andrighetti’s blog – Review
July 2 – A Chick Who Reads – Review
July 3 – Michelle’s Romantic Tangle – Review, Interview
July 4 – off
July 5 – rantinravin’ and reading – Review, Interview, Giveaway
July 6 – Back Porchervations – Review
July 7 – Traveling With T – Review, Interview, Giveaway
July 8 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Giveaway
July 9 – Community Bookstop – Review

MURDER IN MERINO by Sally Goldenbaum (and a giveaway!)

Sally Goldenbaum is a sometime philosophy teacher, a knitter, and an editor, and the author of more than thirty novels. Sally became more serious about knitting with the birth of her first grandchild and the creation of the Seaside Knitters mystery series. Her fictional knitting friends are teaching her the intricacies of women’s friendship, the mysteries of small-town living, and the very best way to pick up dropped stitches on a lacy knit shawl. Sally is stopping here today with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours because she has a new book in The Seaside Knitters Mystery series, MURDER IN MERINO. She’s giving away a hardcover copy (US only) so be sure and leave a comment for her below. Welcome, Sally.

My Irish mother is, for whatever reason, into the old Nordic or Fair Isle type of knits. I am traditional Aran with my cables and bobbles, although with some rather modern designs. So what type of knitting do you like to do?

I would love to see samples of your knitting. I suspect it’s more sophisticated than my own. I like fairly simple knitting with soft, silky, lovely yarns. I don’t like to have to think a lot. I DO like cables, though I’m not very good at Fair Isle. I have trouble keeping the colored strands from looking messy.

Where do you get your plot ideas?

Sometimes I get ideas from walking she shores and small towns that dot Cape Ann, where the Seaside Knitters Mysteries are set. I listen to the people, ‘hanging out and keeping my eyes open.’ The area is populated by wonderful and interesting folks—fishermen, artists, shopkeepers and people who left the bustle of cities to enjoy the beauty of seaside living. They are all inspirations, along with the situations that make up their lives.

Things I see while spending time in the area are also fodder for plots. ANGORA ALIBI, for example, was inspired by a walk my husband, daughter, and I took along Niles beach where we spotted an abandoned infant car seat. It was there in the same spot for several days and made us all very curious—even slightly concerned because we never spotted a baby or a mother. Hmmm. Where were they….? And so the mystery in ANGORA ALIBI began.

I rarely if ever know the whole plot when I begin a book. I have a ‘seed’ of an idea (like the infant car seat in ANGORA ALIBI or the mysterious stranger in MURDER IN MERINO who never knew her past). I usually know who is going to be murdered before I get very far into the story. But most often I don’t know why or who did it. I depend on my characters to lead me along. Some days they are more cooperative than others, but they always come through in the end.

What is your daily writing routine?

I try to structure a normal workday for writing—9 to 5.  Usually I retreat to a library, a coffee shop, my back porch (in perfect weather) or a writing friend’s deck (when we are both on similar schedules). When deadlines loom, my days grow longer and weekend are no longer for leisure, but I suppose that is true of many professions.

How long does it take you to write a book?

It’s a little like a pregnancy. Appropriate, I think! Not every minute of the nine months is spent writing, though. I mull over ideas, brainstorm with a couple of friends who know the series well, research online, etc. Sometimes I write essays about new characters, trying to get to know them as I place them in situations and see how they work their way out of them. I talk to myself sometimes, too, (though not in the library; they frown on that!) I usually take breaks for long walks and hope no one sees the crazy lady talking to herself as she walks through the park.

Now three things I ask everyone:

  • What is your favorite food?  As you can probably tell from the seaside knitters mysteries, I love to cook AND to eat. (Nell’s kitchen is my dream kitchen.) And you can probably also tell that I love pasta, anything with lemon, seafood and fresh vegetables (especially grilled or roasted). I guess that’s more than one favorite, isn’t it? Oh dear….
  • What is your favorite TV show?   The Good Wife. SO good!
  • What is your favorite music?  My husband is a classical violinist and guitarist and because of that, I have been exposed to the Spanish compositions that Julian Bream and Segovia play. But I also love oldies—the Beatles, Paul Simon, etc. And I like Norah Jones, Adele, Sarah McLachlan. And depending on my mood (and what scene I am writing in a book) I often listen to Soundtracks from movies like As Good As It Gets, When Harry Met Sally, etc.  (And my granddaughter Ruby has introduced me to Frozen, insisting I download it onto my iPhone….)

It’s been great to have you here today. Is there anything else you would like to say to your readers before you go?

Kate, you are wonderful for inviting me to spend time here. Connecting with readers is one of the very best parts of writing. Readers’ support, helpful notes, and expressions of interest and caring make what is sometimes a lonely profession, a most satisfying one. I enjoy hearing readers’ thoughts after reading one of my mysteries. I will be most interested to hear you weigh in about Jules Ainsley, a woman who wanders into Sea Harbor in the newest mystery, MURDER IN MERINO. I didn’t like her at first.  But then…

Well, let me know what you think. And thank you for being here!

BLURB 

It’s autumn in Sea Harbor and as the tourists leave a mysterious guest arrives. When she’s implicated in a crime the Seaside Knitters must quickly table their knitting project and search out a motif for murder.

Fall is usually a relaxing time in Sea Harbor, but it’s turning out to be a busy season for Izzy Chambers Perry. Not only is she helping the Seaside Knitters make a magnificent throw to celebrate the fortieth wedding anniversary of her aunt and uncle, she and her husband are finally selling the cottage she lived in before they married and had a darling baby girl. To Izzy’s surprise, newcomer Julia Ainsley seems determined to buy the home—although she’s never set foot inside.

But on the day of the open house, things take a tragic turn. A body is uncovered in the cottage’s backyard. When the police find Julia’s name and phone number in the victim’s pocket, this slender thread of evidence makes her a person of interest. Soon the spotlight of suspicion widens to include old friends and town leaders, as a tragic happening, long buried in the sleepy seaside town, is slowly brought to the surface.

Before the Endicotts’ joyful anniversary celebration can be realized, the Seaside Knitters must work to unravel the real reason Julia Ainsley has come to their town and the tangled and tragic ties from the past that bind friends and townsfolk together.

AUTHOR LINKS

https://www.facebook.com/authorsallygoldenbaum?ref=hl

twitter.com/sallygoldenbaum

www.sallygoldenbaum.com

PURCHASE LINKS 

AMAZON        B&N 

MY REVIEW 

I read an earlier book in this series but somehow, never found the time for any others. After reading this latest installment, I will go back and read them all. There are wonderful characters and I want to see where they started and how they evolved to this point. These are people you would want to know. There is also a wonderful sense of place, wonderful description. This is a place you will want to visit. Enough talk of food and knitting to be interesting without being overbearing. I was at about page one fifty something when I was sure I knew the killer. Getting closer to the end, I was sure I had been right about who, just wrong about why. Turns out I was wrong on all counts! And that always makes a mystery more fun, when I’ve been fooled. There is a cast of characters in the front. Handy, I know so many readers like that. And in the back you will find a recipe and a pattern for the afghan talked about throughout the book. This one is ♥♥♥♥♥


TOUR PARTICIPANTS

May 6 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Giveaway

May 7 – Our Wolves Den – Review, Giveaway

May 8 – Books-n-Kisses – Review, Interview

May 9 – Griperang’s Bookmarks – Review

May 10 – rantinravin’ and reading – Review, Interview, Giveaway

May 12 – Books Are Life – Vita Libri – Review

May 13 – deal sharing aunt – Review, Giveaway

May 14 – Back Porchervations – Review

May 16 – Community Bookstop – Review

May 17 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review, Interview, Giveaway

May 19 – Watching the Words – Review

May 20 – A Chick Who Reads – Review

May 21 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – Review

May 22 – Brooke Blogs – Review

 

 

 

 

 

THE CORPSE WITH THE EMERALD THUMB by Cathy Ace (and a giveaway!)

Cathy Ace has been here on the blog before, but she is on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the release of her latest in the Cait Morgan Mystery series, THE CORPSE WITH THE EMERALD THUMB, so I am very pleased to welcome here again. Born, raised, and educated in Wales, Cathy enjoyed a successful career in marketing and training across Europe, before immigrating to Vancouver, Canada, where she taught MBA and undergraduate marketing programs at various universities. Her eclectic tastes in art, music, food, and drink have been developed during her decades of extensive travel, which she continues whenever possible. Now a full-time author, Cathy’s short stories have appeared in multiple anthologies, as well as on BBC Radio 4. She and her husband are keen gardeners, who enjoy being helped out around their acreage by their green-pawed Labradors. I am very pleased to have Cathy here once again, as she makes the last stop on her tour. Do take the time to listen to Cathy reading an excerpt, enjoy her interview and be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a Kindle copy of The Corpse with the Emerald Thumb.

This presents a problem. We talked about writing before. And I know a fair bit about her from being Facebook friends and in some of the same groups. So… no choice but go tabloid and get personal here. Welcome Cathy and buckle up 😉

I was going to say that it’s great to be here again Kate . . . but now I’m beginning to worry about it! In any case, I have buckled up, and let’s hope it’s not a bumpy ride 😉

You may not be a sleuth like Cait Morgan but you certainly are a bit of an adventurer. It takes a certain kind of person to leave country and family behind. I mean when your country isn’t being ravaged by tyranny, war or famine. And I want you to know I am insanely jealous because I tried for Canada but apparently I have no discernable skills. But why did you leave everything behind and what about you made you able to do such a scary, to most people, thing?

I left Wales after university, and I’d lived in London, in the UK, for the better part of two decades, but had traveled extensively for both business and pleasure during that time. By 1999 I had sold my business (Europe’s largest privately owned post-graduate marketing training college) and was considering spending more time in the south of France, where I usually spent a few months each year. The University of British Columbia “imported” me to teach marketing on their MBA course. I’d never worked in the academic world before, and I saw it as a way to give back. Maybe because I was such a frequent traveler (I was spending only a couple of months a year at my London home then) I didn’t see the move to Canada as scary at all. I sort of “commuted” between London and Vancouver for about a year, then decided to sell my home in London and was able to buy a place in Canada.

Tell us a little about the family you left behind. What was it like then and what is it like now, where are they, are there lots of new ones, and do you see them often?

My Mum and my sister still live in Wales. Luckily for me, my Dad was able to visit my new home in Canada a few times before he died. My Mum and sister still visit once a year, and I visit them a couple of times a year.

I have had people tell me that emigration is easier today with FaceTime and Skype and Facebook – not that they have experienced it, but they know. LOL I’m not sure I agree. I think my heart breaks a little every time I see what my friends and family are up to without me. How do you feel about it? Do you think the technology makes it easier or do you think it was easier in the old days when it was a clean break, just the odd letter now and then?

I can only really tell you how it is for me. I speak to my Mum and my sister every day, I email them every day, and my sister and I connect online. There are a few friends I keep in touch with in various parts of the world, but I never had huge groups of friends in any case, and I don’t feel we all “miss” each other—we keep in touch as we can, and see each other, somewhere in the world, as we can. I’m not one for regret. If I can be somewhere to share something, I will do it. If I can’t I send my love and hope everyone else has a blast 😉

What is wonderful about Canada? What has it given you that you wouldn’t have found in Wales? Do you think you would have become a writer in Wales?

To me, Canada is about open space, fresh air, the silence you need to hear your own thoughts, and a home with a wonderful garden! I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have become a writer if I’d stayed in Wales. I left Wales to work, and through that work I became someone who wrote for a living, albeit I was writing for advertising and public relations campaigns. We never know how one decision affects our lives, or effects our lives. But we make decisions based on the knowledge we have at the time, and trying to weigh all the options. My parents, like most parents, wanted me to have a better life than they had. They taught me to give 200%, to always do my best. I try to live up to that. Who knows where that would have taken me in Wales, or London, or anywhere else? I am very happy with my life right now. I believe I am the most fortunate person in the world!

Tell us about your personal life (as if this wasn’t personal enough! LOL). I’ve seen pictures of your wedding – it was on a beach or something wasn’t it? Is your husband Canadian? Do you have children? Grandchildren?

You have eagle eyes! Yes, last year I posted our wedding photo on Facebook to mark our anniversary. We were married standing barefoot in a waterfall in Hawaii. Idyllic, and as beautiful as it sounds. It was just us two—with family scattered about all over the place, it would have been far too complicated for everyone to come together in one place, so we just went and did it. Not an elopement, just a quite ceremony. I married when I was 44, so have no children. But my husband, who is also Welsh, and who I met when I was 11 years old (yes, sweet!), has a wonderful son and daughter. I am lucky enough that I get to fill four grandchildren with sugar and hand them back to their loving parents!

It has been a pleasure having you here again, Cathy. You’re probably already worrying what I might ask when your next book but in the mean time, is there anything else you would like to tell your readers before you go?

This has been quite an experience! Thanks so much for having me along. I hope that readers enjoy traveling with Cait Morgan, and me. This time, in THE CORPSE WITH THE EMERALD THUMB, she’s in Mexico. In September 2014 she gets to visit Las Vegas, in THE CORPSE WITH THE PLATINUM HAIR. Maybe you’ll have me back again then—though I am already worried about what you might ask! Thanks for having me!

BLURB 

The Corpse with the Emerald Thumb
(A Cait Morgan Mystery)

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: TouchWood Editions (April 15, 2014)
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1771510639 

Criminologist and foodie Cait Morgan was looking forward to her dream vacation in Mexico with her boyfriend Bud Anderson. She wasn’t anticipating a fresh corpse on the floor of a local florist’s shop, and she definitely wasn’t expecting Bud to become the prime suspect.

With Bud’s freedom, and maybe even his life, at stake, Cait has to fight the clock to work out which member of the small community living in the seemingly idyllic municipality of Punta de las Rocas might have killed the locally respected florist, and why. Needing to investigate under the watchful gaze of the local police, Cait has to keep her relationship with Bud a secret, and she soon discovers she’s not the only one with something to hide. Peeling back layers of deceit to reveal even more puzzles, Cait struggles with a creeping sense of unreality, desperate to save Bud . . . and, ultimately, herself.

In the third book in the beloved Cait Morgan Mysteries, The Corpse with the Emerald Thumb, travel to the idyllic Mexican countryside as Cait Morgan works against the clock to clear her wrongly accused partner of murder. 

MY REVIEW 

Do I even need to give a rating at this point? I expect a great read from Cathy Ace and once again she has delivered. In a strange country, Cait finds herself alone and over her head trying to save Bud who has been accused of murder – and who, she discovers, is not who she thought he was. We get a shock about half way through when Cait herself is arrested as an accomplice. How will she get both of them out of this? You will enjoy finding out. Once again this is ♥♥♥♥♥

AUTHOR LINKS 

Website = www.cathyace.com

Twitter  = @AceCathy

Facebook = https://www.facebook.com/cathy.ace.author?fref=ts

 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

April 22 – dru’s book musing

April 23 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – Review, Interview

April 24 –Chloe Gets A Clue – Guest Post

April 25 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review

April 26 – Kelly P’s Blog – Interview

April 27 – Little Whimsy Books – Review

April 28 – readalot blog – Review

April 29 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post

April 30 – Kaisy Daisy’s Corner – Review

May 1 – Books-n-Kisses – Review

May 2 – Back Porchervations – Interview

May 3 – Brooke Blogs – Review

May 4 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Guest Post

May 5 – Queen of All She Reads – Review, Guest Post

May 6 – rantinravin’ and reading – Review, Interview

 

 

THE CODE OF THE HIILS an ozarks mystery, by Nancy Allen (and a giveaway!)

on Tour April 14 – May 16, 2014

 

91bg7VDixqL._SL1500_Book Details:

Genre: Legal Thriller
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Number of Pages: 400
ISBN: 9780062325945

Purchase Links:

Synopsis:

A powerful debut thriller set in the Ozark hills, about a young female prosecutor trying to do right by her vulnerable clients-but by breaking their silence, she herself may fall victim to THE CODE OF THE HILLS.

Elsie Arnold may not always have it all together, but a raucous night at the bar now and then is just how she blows off steam after a long week of hard-fought trials. When she is chosen to assist on a high-profile incest case, Elsie is excited to step up after four years of hard work as an attorney for the prosecutor’s office, and ready to realize her ambition of becoming the Ozarks’ avenging angel. There might even be media attention.

But as soon as Elsie she begins to sink her teeth into the State of Missouri vs. Kris Taney, things start to go wrong -which is when her boss dumps the entire case on her. The star witness and victim’s brother, who has accused Taney of sexually abusing his three daughters, has gone missing. The three girls, ages six, 12, and 15, may not be fit to testify, their mother won’t talk, and the evidence is spotty. To make matters worse, it seems that some people in town don’t want Elsie to lock Taney up – judging by the death threats and chicken parts left for her to find.

Elsie is determined to break the code of silence and find out what really happened, refusing to let a sex offender walk, but the odds – and maybe the community – are against her. Even as Elsie fights the good fight for her clients, she isn’t so different from them: her personal life is taking a one-two punch as her cop boyfriend becomes more and more controlling. And amidst all of the conflict, the safety of the three young Taney girls hangs in the balance.

My Review

I am sure this was a difficult book to write, it is to read. The writing is wonderful, it is the subject matter, incest. Elsie Arnold is an attorney in the Prosecutor’s Office. The book opens with her hungover after a bit too much celebrating over winning a felony assault trial. Elsie is a bit of a party girl, in a lousy relationship with a cop, has a boatload of self doubt, and her boss is a bitch and a political appointed prima dona. But Elsie is all three little girls have to protect them from their father. I think this was an excellent read. I have no idea if Elsie is planned to be a series character but if she is, I will be right there waiting as each new book comes out. I do question if readers will accept her. They have no problem with a male alcoholic as protagonist (i.e. Jesse Stone) but I wonder if they will be as accepting of a female. I do look forward to finding out however, and as far as I am concerned, this one is ♥♥♥♥♥

Read an excerpt:

Tiffany picked up the tiny pink plastic brush and ran it through the Barbie’s silky hair. Smoothing the blond hairdo with her hand, she turned the new doll around to closely inspect every detail of its face and figure. She’d never owned a new Barbie before, just had to make do with cast-off dolls her older sisters passed down: old Barbies with missing clothes and limbs and ragged hair.

This doll was a Christmas gift, but it had to be a secret, because Tiffany’s daddy wouldn’t like it. Daddy didn’t hold with Christmas; he said it was a waste of money. When it came to presents and such, they kept their mouths shut if they knew what was good for them.

But the PTA ladies from Tiffany’s school delivered a basket on Christmas Eve, when Daddy was out. Mom wouldn’t have been allowed to open the door to them if he was home, because Daddy and Uncle Al didn’t like people snooping around.

So when they spied the new Barbie in the box sitting on top of the canned goods, her mom told her to grab it and get it out of sight, because Daddy would take it back to the store and swap it for money if it was still in its plastic box.

Tiffany got it out in the nick of time, right before Tiffany’s daddy and Al came home with a bottle. The men sat on the front steps, drinking and laughing until the liquor ran out. Then the fighting started, and Daddy beat Al up pretty good. Storming from the house with his face dripping blood, Al yelled about getting even. Mom said the commotion was likely to bring the police down on them. Then Daddy said he’d teach her a lesson about back-sassing.

Tiffany ran upstairs so she wouldn’t have to watch it. She took the Barbie to bed with her and stuck it under her T-shirt for safekeeping.

The next afternoon, on Christmas Day, Tiffany hid with her new Barbie, whispering secrets into her plastic ear. Huddled against the tattered back of the couch, she heard heavy footsteps stride through the living room. Tiffany froze, hardly daring to breathe, as her dad stomped into the kitchen.

The feet returned to the living room. She could see his scuffed toes when she peeked under the couch.

“Where the hell is Charlene?” he demanded.

Tiffany’s mom called from the kitchen. “She’s out back. What do you want her for?”

“I want a rubdown.”

“She don’t like to,” her mom responded in a hoarse whisper, tiptoeing into the room. The silence that followed was terrible. Tiffany could imagine the expression on his face. When he said, “I ain’t gonna tell you again,” her mom went to the kitchen window and called for Charlene.

Charlene came inside. When he took her to the bedroom and shut the door, she didn’t put up a fight. It was just as well. Charlene would have to do it anyway, and she’d buy trouble if she made a fuss. Still, noises came from behind the door. Tiffany stuck her fingers in her ears and hid her face on her knees. She could stay right in that spot and no one would know she was there. She wouldn’t make a sound.

###

The ringing woke Elsie from a restless sleep. She rolled over on her side, registering a nagging headache, a terrible thirst, and a sense of chagrin. Dear God, she thought, I’ll never drink again.

Fumbling for the phone on her bedside table, she checked the caller ID: PRIVATE. “Forget it,” she said, and rolled back over.

She closed her eyes and tried to drift off again, but her thirst wouldn’t let her rest. Soda, she thought. It might jump-start her recovery.

Groaning, she tossed off her quilt and trudged into the kitchen. Opening the refrigerator door, she pushed aside a jar of Hellmann’s to reach for her medicine: the box containing shiny silver cans of Diet Coke.

With a sigh of relief, she pulled one from the box and popped the top. It slid down her throat tasting like the nectar of the gods, and she gulped gratefully.

Making her way to the living room, Elsie thought she’d check to see whether she’d made the morning news. Reporters from the local TV stations had been at the courthouse when the jury returned its guilty verdict in the felony assault trial she’d won the night before. She squinted at the digital clock on her cable box: 8:46 A.M. She’d missed it; the morning news ran at eight o’clock on Saturday.

Well, hell, she thought. Looking around, she surveyed the damage that a week of neglect had wreaked in her apartment. Though she couldn’t see clearly without her contact lenses, it was easy to make out the dirty coffee cups, the congealed pizza on the coffee table, and the stacks of files and wadded sheets of discarded arguments for the prosecution littering the floor. Maybe I’ll clean up today, she told herself, adding, later. She was too tired to contemplate labor. The hangover was an unwelcome reminder that thirty-one was not twenty-one. She felt as old as the hills.

Elsie headed to the bathroom in search of her glasses. Digging through a drawer of jumbled cosmetics, she was conscious of the bitter taste that the Diet Coke failed to wash away. The taste brought back memories of the prior night, and she grimaced at the thought. After the jury had returned its guilty verdict in her hard-fought trial, she had joined a group of cops at Baldknobbers bar. Flush with victory, she led the pack in rounds of beer, downing one Corona after another.

After that, her recall became fuzzy. She knew the party ended when she slipped on a slick spot on her way to the restroom and landed on her back on the dirty barroom floor. Her tumble earned her a hasty departure and a ride home from Ashlock.

Now, cringing at the recollection, she wished she hadn’t played the drunken fool with Bob Ashlock there.

Ashlock was an old-fashioned law-and-order pro, a straight arrow. He was powerfully built, like a boxer, and conveyed authority with his erect military posture, no-nonsense manner, and the jut of his square Irish jaw. Juries loved him, and she liked and respected him immensely. Not forty yet, he had already served as Chief of Detectives for the Barton P.D. for nearly eight years, following a stellar decade on patrol. In her four years in the Prosecutor’s Office, his careful investigative work and ease on the witness stand had turned the tide for her in many cases.

As she sat on her couch, wondering what she would say when she encountered Ashlock at the courthouse, and contemplating how long Noah would pout, her cell phone rang. “Leave me alone,” she muttered, even as she grabbed her purse and fumbled to answer.
“Hello,” she said without enthusiasm, wondering what inconsiderate oaf would call a working girl before nine o’clock on a Saturday morning.

“Elsie, it’s Madeleine. I’ve been trying to reach you.”

No, no, no, no. An early morning call from her boss, Madeleine Thompson, was not likely to be good news. She slumped down on the couch and squeezed her eyes shut. “Hey, Madeleine, what can I do for you?”

“Will you be coming into work today?”

Elsie was speechless for a moment. “Madeleine, it’s Saturday.”

“I know what day it is. Did you plan on coming in?”

“Well, no, I didn’t,” she said. She heard an apologetic note in her voice, and hated herself for it. “I just finished up the jury trial on that assault case last night. I’ve been burning the midnight oil all week. I thought I’d take it easy today.”

“Is that right? I’ve been over here at the courthouse since eight o’clock. I’m working on the Taney case. Do you know who Taney is?”

“Sure. He’s the guy who was messing with his daughters. The new incest case.”

“That’s the one.” Madeleine’s tone grew friendlier. “I need a second chair on this case, I think. I made a commitment to the voters in McCown County to aggressively pursue these abuse cases. Everyone says you have a real gift for handling young witnesses and developing rapport with children. Elsie, I want to bring you on board to assist me.”

“Great.” She sat up straight on the couch, feeling a twinge of excitement; she certainly believed in locking up sex offenders. It was the reason she’d decided on law school in the first place. And she wasn’t above appreciating that the Taney case had already sparked media attention. It would be high profile, and she was flattered to be chosen to assist. If her boss had expressed an interest in the outcome of the trial she won yesterday, she would be even more flattered.

“The preliminary hearing is next week,” Madeleine said, “but we have a witness interview scheduled at ten o’clock. Can you be here in thirty minutes?”

“Sure, thirty minutes is no problem,” Elsie replied, and then added, “I got a guilty verdict last night. The jury recommended twenty years.”

“Oh. Too bad you didn’t get more prison time. Well, see you in half an hour.


When the call was over, Elsie stared at the phone in her hand. “Bitch.” She shuffled to the bathroom and had picked up her toothbrush when she was struck by a recollection that nearly made her drop it. She didn’t have her car. It was in the parking lot of Baldknobbers bar.

Author Bio:

Nancy Allen is a member of the law faculty in the College of Business at Missouri State University. She practiced law for 15 years, serving as Assistant Missouri Attorney General and as Assistant Prosecutor in her native Ozarks. When Nancy began her term as prosecutor, she was only the second woman in Southwest Missouri to serve in that capacity. During her years in prosecution, she tried over 30 jury trials, including murder and sexual offenses, and she served on the Rape Crisis Board and the child protection team of the Child Advocacy Council. THE CODE OF THE HILLS is her first novel.

 

Catch Up With the Author:

Giveaway:

This is a Rafflecopter giveaway for 10 individual promo codes for a free download of the book. Winner must have access to Bluefire Reader and have an Adobe account to receive free download. For a chance to win, go HERE.

Tour Participants:

4/14 Guest Post @ The Book Divas Reads
4/15 Review @ Melinas Book Blog
4/17 Showcase @ Bookalicious Traveladdict
4/21 Interview @ Words by Webb
4/22 Review & Giveaway @ Words by Webb
4/23 Showcase @ 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too!
4/27 ~ Showcase @ The Opinionated Me
4/28 Guest Post & Excerpt @ Lauries Thoughts and Reviews
4/28 Guest Post @ Writers and Authors
4/29 Review & Giveaway @ rantin ravin and reading
5/01 Showcase @ Deal Sharing Aunt
5/03 ~ Guest Post @ Omnimystery News
5/10 ~ Showcase @ Hott Books
5/12 Guest Post, Review & Giveaway @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews

SMALL TOWN SPIN :: review and a giveaway!

You can find the giveaway HERE.

Synopsis

When a superstar athlete’s son turns up dead in a tiny town on the Virginia coast, crime reporter Nichelle Clarke gets the inside scoop. But she quickly spies a gaping hole her inner Lois Lane cannot ignore.

Determined to unravel the mystery, Nichelle fights off paparazzi cameras and an unexpected rival. She uncovers an illegal moonshine operation, a string of copycat suicides, and a slew of closets stacked with more skeletons than slingbacks. Chasing a killer who’s a breath from getting away with murder, Nichelle realizes too late the culprit has her number—and it might be up.

About LynDee Walker

LynDee Walker’s award-winning journalistic work has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the nation. After nearly a decade covering crime, courts, and local politics, she left full-time reporting for motherhood with a side of freelancing and fiction writing. Small Town Spin is the third in her bestselling Headlines in High Heels Mystery series. The fourth arrives January 2015.

LynDee adores her family, her readers, and enchiladas. She often works out tricky plot points while walking off the enchiladas. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, where she is either playing with her children or working on her next novel (but probably not cleaning her house).

 Author Links

www.lyndeewalker.com

www.facebook.com/lyndeewalkerbooks

Twitter @LynDeeWalker

My Review

Nichelle and her Jimmy Choos are back!!!! This series just keeps getting better. Bootleg liquor was at the heart of this episode. No, not historical, now – I learned something new, it seems it is on the rise these days. When the son of a famous athlete dies, Nichelle is the only member of the media with access to the family. Was it suicide, accidental, murder? We know by now we can depend on Nichelle to get to the bottom of it. Some great characters in this one and of course… Joey. I said from the beginning, I’m team Joey! Another ♥♥♥♥♥

Tour Participants

April 8 – Mystery Playground – Interview

April 9 – readalot blog – Review

April 9 – Escape With Dollycas – Cozy Wednesday

April 10 – Kelly P’s Blog – Interview

April 12 – deal sharing aunt – Interview

April 14 – Community Bookstop – Review

April 15 – Beth’s Book Reviews – Guest Post

April 16 – rantinravin‘ and reading – Review

April 17 – Chloe Gets A Clue – Interview

April 18 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review

April 19 – Books-n-Kisses – Review

April 20 – Brooke Blogs – Interview

April 21 – Queen of All She Reads – Review – Guest Post

April 22 – A Chick Who Reads – Review

 

Death on Eat Street – a Biscuit Bowl Food Truck mystery (and a giveaway!)

J.J. Cook writes award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, Joyce and Jim Lavene, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family. And I am very pleased that Joyce is here today to tell us about the research they for the book. (Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of the book.) Welcome Joyce.

Doing research for the Biscuit Bowl Food Truck Mysteries was both delicious, and amazing. We spent time with several food truck owners, shadowing them through their days. It’s incredible what they can do in such small spaces.

Food truck drivers get up early for the best spots. Getting there first can mean the difference between a good sales day, and a day where you don’t break even. So most people get up at four or five a.m. They usually get some of the food ready in a stationary kitchen before they leave for the day, like Zoe bakes her biscuits before she leaves her diner.

Inside a food truck, everything is very compact. Owners have to know where each item is so they can find it quickly and easily. They know they can be checked at any time by health inspectors so they have to be very careful with their refrigerators and cooking utensils. Sometimes the space in a food truck is at a premium, especially when there is more than one person working in the kitchen.

Most food trucks pick specific menus for each day. They don’t have enough space to change the food they’re making. If the menu says chicken salad, that’s probably what you’re going to get. But because they are only making chicken salad – wow! It’s the best!

Zoe picks one or two types of savory fillings for her biscuit bowls each day, and one or two types of sweet fillings. She can’t make exceptions because that’s all she has with her. Her biscuits are deep-fried and kept warm, but only in small batches. They will go soft quickly. She usually only carries one type of drink.

We tried to pattern Zoe and her Biscuit Bowl food truck on real-life food truck owners. Of course, Zoe’s life is fiction, so sometimes that shows up. We didn’t meet any food truck drivers that had large cats like Crème Brulee with them when they went out – although we did meet a few foodies who brought dogs with them.

Zoe is a hard worker, as are the food truck operators we met. For many of them, they are hopeful that their food truck is a stepping-stone to a restaurant. Not all feel that way. Many are just happy following their dreams, working for themselves with their favorite food. 

Death on Eat Street (Biscuit Bowl Food Truck)
BRAND NEW SERIES
COZY MYSTERY
Series: Biscuit Bowl Food Truck (Book 1)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley (April 1, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-0425263457
E-Book ASIN: B00F9EZAUW

Synopsis
Zoe Chase always wanted to own her own restaurant—but first, she’ll have to serve up a heaping helping of meals on wheels, with a side of mystery. When she’s once again passed over for a promotion at work, Zoe decides to take the big leap and go for her dream. She quits, gives up her fancy digs, and buys a fixer-upper diner in a shady part of town. To keep above water during the renovation, she buys a used food truck to serve the downtown and waterfront of Mobile, Alabama. Zoe starts to dish out classic Southern food—but her specialty is her deep-fried biscuit bowls that blow traditional bread bowls away. After a promising start, things start to go downhill faster than a food truck without brakes. First, someone tries to rob the cash register. Next, Zoe is threatened by the owner of a competing food truck for taking their spot. And when the owner ends up dead inside Zoe’s rolling restaurant, Zoe and her sole employee, Ollie, find themselves hopping out of the frying pan into the fryer. They need to find the real killer, before both of them get burned.

My Review

I have only one complaint about this book. Well, two. It is going to cost me time and money. Time experimenting making biscuit bowls and money for the groceries. Oh yeah, there is a third thing. Listening to my husband complain about how good they are so please stop making them or he will have to spend half the day in the gym. In other words, I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! And my husband loves biscuit bowls. As a fan in real life of food trucks, I knew they would soon become part of a cozy series. And what a great start this food truck mystery is off to. Zoe is an appealing character. And all the secondary characters are interesting and you know you will want to see them all again. Most of all, it was a good mystery. I thought I had guessed the killer (and a pretty good twist if I do say so) but alas, or gladly, I was wrong. Bigger, better twist and better ending. From the wonderful cover to the recipe at the end, this is a solid ♥♥♥♥♥ and I can’t wait for the next in this new series.

 Author Links

www.tellingstoriesthrupictures.blogspot.com

www.jjcook.net

@authorjlavene

https://www.facebook.com/BiscuitBowlFoodTruckMysteries

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18492486-death-on-eat-street

Purchase Links
AMAZON       B&N      Book World

Tour Participants

March 31- Psychotic State Book Reviews – Review, Interview
April 1- fundinmental – Review
April 2- Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
April 3- Brooke Blogs – Review
April 4- Beth’s Book Reviews – Review
April 5- Books-n-Kisses – Review, Interview
April 6- Steph The Bookworm – Review
April 7- Deal Sharing Aunt – Review
April 8- Thoughts in Progress – Interview
April 9- Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – Review, Interview
April 10- Community Bookstop – Review
April 11- Queen of All She Reads – Review, Guest Post
April 13-Cozy Up With Kathy – Review, Interview
April 14 – rantinravin’ and reading – Review, Guest Post
April 15 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – Review

 A Book Excerpt

It hadn’t been more than thirty minutes or so since I’d climbed out of the food truck. How did Terry get there after me? And what was he doing here? Had he followed me back to give me more grief over parking in “his spot” on Dauphin Street?

“What’s up out here, young ’un?” Ollie came out of the diner, still holding the sword.

“I don’t know. This is Terry.”

He nodded. “From the infamous tacky taco truck?”

“Yes. I don’t know what he’s doing here. I think he may be drunk or something.”

Ollie bent down and put his hand on Terry’s neck. “I don’t know either, but he ain’t goin’ no place else.”

“What do you mean? I can call him a taxi or something.”

“No, Zoe. You don’t get it. The man’s dead. A taxi won’t do him any good now.”

Dead? That made even less sense to me. Maybe I was too tired to think straight.

Why was Terry—alive or dead—in my food truck?

“We gotta hide him somewhere.” Ollie glanced around. “We gotta get rid of him before someone sees him here.”

“We can’t do that. We should call the police. That’s what you do when you find a dead body.”

“Oh? ’Cause you’ve got so much experience finding dead people?” He chuckled. “You better believe me, Zoe. You think you got trouble now, tell the police there’s a dead man in your food truck. You’ll be in for a heap more trouble.”

I knew he was wrong. If something had happened to Terry, regardless of how he got into the Biscuit Bowl, the police needed to be informed. If there was one thing I knew besides cooking, it was the law.

My mother was one of the most prominent attorneys in Mobile. There was even some talk of her getting a judgeship. She’d fed me the law with my pureed carrots and pears when I was a baby. She’d hoped I was going to follow in her footsteps someday.

I was kind of a disappointment in that area.

I took out my cell phone. “I’m sorry, Ollie. I have to call. If you’re worried about being here, you should go to back to the shelter. I can handle this.”

“I ain’t worried about me, Zoe. It’s you I’m concerned for. What do you think the police will make of you having a dead man in your vehicle?”

I thought about it. “What can they make of it? I didn’t do anything. Someone must have put him here. Or he climbed in and died. I’ll be fine. Don’t worry.”

Famous last words.

 

Murder in the Dog Park/Dog Spelled Backwards by Jill Yesko :: review (and a giveaway!)

Murder in the Dog Park

Mystery
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Baxter World Publishing (May 28, 2012)
ISBN-13: 978-0985485207
File Size: 242 KB
Print Length: 128 pages
ASIN: B00A10IU7O

Synopsis

Discovering a brutally murdered boy in a rainy dog park sends misanthropic private detective Jane Ronson on a journey through Baltimore’s gritty underbelly. Aided by a sexy cop, a bad-ass bull terrier, and an only-in-Baltimore cast of characters, Jane must use her computer-hacking and street-fighting skills to save her only family member from being framed as the killer.

Dog Spelled Backwards: An Unholy Mystery

Mystery
Paperback: 210 pages
Publisher: Baxter World Publishing (August 17, 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-0985485214
File Size: 1355 KB
Print Length: 118 pages
ASIN: B00FDXQVO8

Synopsis

Private investigator Jane Ronson suffers from oppositional defiant disorder, the uncontrollable urge to punch first then ask questions later. When a rabbi with a shady past offers her a bag of cash to spy on a rival rabbi, Jane jumps at the chance to make what think will be easy money. To get her cash, Jane impersonates an Orthodox Jewish woman and infiltrates a black market kidney ring in Baltimore’s Orthodox community. Between Russian gangsters and double crosses, Jane is number one on everyone’s hit list. To save her life, she forms an alliance with a religious woman and confronts a family.

About This Author

Jill Yesko’s 20+ year writing career has included stints as a sport writer, NPR commentator and investigative reporter. She’s written about everything from body piercing to human pyramids in Spain. After a solo trek around the world, Jill was profiled as an “adventurous traveler” in O, the Oprah magazine. Before becoming a writer, Jill was a national-class cyclist and graduate and cartographer. A New Jersey native, Jill now patrols Baltimore’s dog parks with her basset hound.

 Author Links

www.murderinthedogpark.com
http://murderinthedogpark.blogspot.com
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18386998-dog-spelled-backwards-an-unholy-mystery
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15826419-murder-in-the-dog-park

My Review

Dog Spelled Backwards is the book that is the new release but the first book in the series was offered as well to the reviewers. I hate not starting a series at the beginning so I took Murder In The Dog Park to read as well. Actually, it turned out to be a good idea because these are both novellas and you would need to read both to get a book out of it.Unfortunately, and I never mention this, the price does not reflect the fact that these are not books. Ms. Yesko is skilled as a writer. She does however need an editor. The first book goes back and tells all about when the protagonist, Jane, left college and why. I won’t tell you to leave some element of mystery. Suffice to say that while it revealed a lot about the protagonist, it took up far too much space in a novella. Which in a sense was good in that there was no mystery. A body was found. By Jane. By coincidence, BIG coincidence, Jane’s cousin Lenny took a picture earlier clearly showing the murderer. The bit of padding to make it look like Lenny did it is just that, padding to create a mystery. If this was a short story, I would say 4♥s for the story but because of the padding, I would say only 3 as a novella. And of course, as I said, there was no mystery. Now the second novella had a bit more promise. There actually is a mystery, a good one, on an unexpected topic, and there is a bit of a sting going on. Once again we have an overly long, angst filled going into Jane’s past to learn why she is an outcast. Good to get to know her IF this was a book. No room for that here. So despite a good mystery, as a novella this is another 3.

HOWEVER, if novella one, with its non-mystery which would be a good secondary plot line, were combined with novella two and its very good mystery, mix in a good editor, and voila! you would have a book worthy of ♥♥♥♥♥

There is a giveaway of each of the novellas which you can enter by going here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Participants

April 14 – rantinravin’ and reading – Review
April 15 – Mommasez… – Review, Guest Post
April 16 – readalot blog – Review
April 17 – Kelly P’s Blog – Interview
April 18 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – Guest Post
April 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
April 21- deal sharing aunt – Guest Post
April 22 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review
April 22 – fuonlyknew ~ Laura’s Ramblins and Reviews – Review
April 23 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers  – Review
April 24 – fundinmental – Guest Post
April 25 – Thoughts in Progress – Review, Interview
April 26 – Chloe Gets a Clue  – Interview
April 27 – Melina Book Blog – Guest Post
April 28 – Teena in Toronto – Review
April 29 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – Review
April 30 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Guest Post

 

TIP OF A BONE (and a giveaway!)

Christine Finlayson borrowed from her “past lives” as a waitress, barista, environmental educator, and water scientist when creating her debut mystery novel, Tip of a Bone—a tale that takes place on the stormy Oregon coast. In her spare time, Christine loves to run on forest trails, watch waves break, compete in triathlons, and photograph anything Northwest-weird or wild. She’s now working on her second book, a novel of suspense and she’s an active member of Sisters in Crime, Friends of Mystery, Oregon Writers Colony, and Willamette Writers. And today Christine is making a stop on her tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours to talk to us about writing what you know. Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of the book. Welcome Christine. 

Write What You Know?

In every writing class I’ve attended, some instructor will say, “Write what you know.”

It’s sage advice. Have you ever picked up a book set in your hometown, where it seems the author has never visited the place? As a parent, I’ve laughed over a novel where the main character’s kids miraculously went down for naps every time the mom needed to go out. If only!

So when I started writing my first mystery, Tip of a Bone, I intended to write what I knew. After all, I’d visited Newport, Oregon (the book’s coastal setting) many times. I’d made the main character, Maya Rivers, new to town so she didn’t need know everything. I could use my background in environmental science to craft the quirky eco-activist characters, and flash back to my early days waitressing for Maya’s scenes in the Clam Strip Café.

Write what you know. No problem.

But once the plot took shape, I started to panic. I’d created a taxidermist character, but knew nothing about taxidermy. My eco-activists needed to be authentic, but I’d never lived in a tree or blockaded streets with a protest. And I hadn’t worked in a seafood restaurant like the Clam Strip.

Somehow “write what you know” had become “don’t worry—you can always find out!” It was time for research.

Surprisingly, I discovered I loved the investigation and learning part of writing as much as the creative, fingers-to-keyboard, developing plot and characters part. It was great fun to interview people, tour new places, and research things online. Really, it was like going back to school—but this time, I could study whatever I wanted.

For Tip of a Bone, I watched YouTube videos to learn how to prepare deer and ducks for mounting (that pesky taxidermy character). I poked around a restaurant kitchen to develop Maya’s workplace and photographed Dungeness crabs at the fish market. And I visited Newport again and again, asking questions, documenting settings, and observing local events.

I learned that people love to talk about their jobs and hobbies. They, too, want me to “get it right.” So in addition to formal interviews, I’ve searched out writing partners who know interesting things. Among them, there’s a zookeeper, a perfume expert, an aficionado of Westerns, two world travelers, an organic gardener, two French speakers, a scuba diver, a sailor, and a former police officer. A world of knowledge to explore in future books!

Now that I’m writing my second novel, research is still playing a large role. I gave myself a challenge: a murder scene that requires a very specialized, technical investigation. So far, it’s led to a fascinating interview with three police officers, who helped me brainstorm ideas for solving this fictional crime.

My mind is already buzzing with new questions. But that’s okay. To me, doing the research is half the fun of writing a book.

BLURB

Buried bones, a missing eco-activist, and a deadly fire? It’s not what Maya Rivers bargained for when she moved to the coastal city of Newport, Oregon to reunite with her brother, Harley. Yet when Harley is accused of an unthinkable crime, Maya insists on adding “amateur sleuth” to her career options. It isn’t long before she discovers an eerie clue . . . but the closer she gets to the truth, the closer a murderer follows.

MY REVIEW 

Eco-terrorism or eco-activism? What was Harley’s connection to Sara? Who is watching Allison? Maya has only two weeks to prove Harley wasn’t an arsonist so maybe Allison will keep the bakery.  But she goes from trying to prove he wasn’t an arsonist to questioning – perhaps he was. This reads like a cozy but has a bit more edginess to it. This promises to be a very good series. ♥♥♥♥♥

AUTHOR LINKS

PURCHASE LINKS

AMAZON      B&N      Book World

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

March 25 – fuonlyknew ~ Laura’s Ramblins and Reviews – Review, Giveaway
March 26 – readalot blog – Review
March 27 – Books-n-Kisses – Review
March 28 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review, Guest Post
March 29 – Deal Sharing Aunt – Review, Interview, Giveaway
March 31 – Reviews By Molly – Review, Giveaway
April 1 – Queen of All She Reads – Review, Guest Post
April 2 – Brooke Blogs – Review
April 3 – Kelly P’s Blog – Interview
April 4 – rantinravin’ and reading – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway