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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Kylie Logan--Chili Con Carnage Review and Guest Post

Book Details:
Genre: Cozy Mystery

Published by Berkley Prime Crime
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Number of Pages: 296
Romance is supposed to be the spice of life. But Maxie Pierce is so done with bad relationships . . . well, almost. She just has to get rid of the latest loser, Roberto. Besides, she has more important things to worry about. Her dad, Texas Jack Pierce, king of the chili cook-off circuit, has been missing for nearly six weeks. In his place, she must team up with her irritating half sister, Sylvia,to promote the family business at the Taos Chili Showdown.
But when Maxie discovers Roberto’s body in a chef’s trailer–only hours after publicly breaking up with him–she suddenly finds she’s the one in the spotlight as the police pepper her with questions. Now this Chili Chick needs to kick up the search to catch the real killer and get back to finding her father.
My Review:
Another great cozy.  I love cozies because they don't have a lot of sexual content and there is some language, but nothing bad, they are how people really are.  This one was no exception.  I really enjoyed it.  A great start to a great series.  Maxie was determined to prove that her "half" sister was innocent, and her journey to that discovery was sometimes pretty funny.  She had a lot of people to suspect and she also had to fend off a jealous woman who wanted to tear her apart. This book was very well written, and kept my attention the whole way through.  I couldn't wait to find out who the killer was, and I wasn't disappointed at all.  Great job Kylie.  I look forward to more in this series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review. 

About Kylie Logan
Kylie Logan has loved mysteries since she was a kid. Her dad was a Cleveland Police detective and he introduced her to Sherlock Holmes stories and gave her investigating experience when on his days off, they’d pile into the car and hit the streets to look for stolen cars. When he retired from the force, Dad became head of security for the Cleveland Public Library.
Crooks and books! Kylie comes by her love of mysteries honestly.
Kylie began her career writing historical romance and her book, “Devil’s Diamond,” was nominated for a RITA award as historical romance of the year by Romance Writers of America. She’s also written contemporary romance (as Connie Lane), young adult horror (as Zoe Daniels and Connie Laux) and she writes the popular Pepper Martin Mysteries as Casey Daniels.
Kylie is currently writing three different mystery series: the Button Box Mysteries(newest book is “Panic Button”), the League of Literary Ladies mysteries (“Mayhem at the Orient Express “) and now, the Chili Cook-Off mysteries. She can’t pass up an antique shop…there might be buttons in there! She can’t put down a classic book . . . even if she already knows the story. And she can’t say no to a good bowl of chili. Luckily, her husband is the world’s greatest chili maker.
When she’s not writing, she’s usually with her family and their two dogs, Ernie, an adorable Airedale, and Oscar, a rescued Jack Russell who came for a short-term stay and ten years later, is still around. Kylie says that those of you who have ever met/lived with/had dealings with a Russell will certainly understand how knowing him has increased her propensity for murder.
Webpage: Also,
Guest Post by Kylie Logan
What’s Your Chili IQ?
Chili...whether you like it hot or mild, with beans or without, heavy on the grease or light on things like ground turkey and tofu, chili is everyone’s favorite cold-weather dish.
That goes double for Maxie Pierce, heroine of my new Chili Cook-Off mystery series. The first book, "Chili Con Carnage" hits store shelves on October 1 and follows Maxie’s adventures as she tries to solve the murder of a Chili Showdown roadie. There are plenty of plot twists and turns, plenty of craziness what with Maxie spending her days at the Showdown as the Chili Chick, dressed as a giant red chili pepper (complete with fishnet stockings and stilettoes) and enough suspects to keep the pot boiling! There’s plenty of information about chili, chili spices and cooking, too, and that got me to thinking . . .
How much do you know about chili? Take the quiz and find out! Answers are the end, but no cheating! See if you’re a Chili Chick!
1. Which city has three times as many chili parlors as McDonald’s restaurants?
A. Tulsa
B. Cincinnati
C. Taos
2. Which famous outlaw refused to rob a bank in McKinney, Texas, because his favorite chili parlor was there?
A. Jesse James
B. Al Capone
C. Billy the Kid
3. Where was the first chili cook-off held?
A. Houston, Texas
B. Phoenix, Arizona
C. Terlingua, Texas
4. What unit measures the heat of a chili pepper?
A. Scoville Unit
B. Thermal Unit
C. Capsaicin Unit
5. What’s the best way to cool off your mouth after you heat a too-spicy chili pepper?
A. A big glass of cold water
B. Eating a slice of bread
C. Drinking milk
1. B. Cincinnati. Skyline Chili is famous there, and it’s served over spaghetti.
2. A. Jesse James, who once said, "any place that has a chili joint like this ought to be treated better."
3. C. Terlingua, Texas in 1967. Every year on the first of November, the Chili Appreciation Society International holds a cook-off there.
4. A. Scoville Heat Units measure the heat of chili peppers. To give you an idea, the Bhut jolokia (ghost pepper) contains 1 million SHU. A bell pepper has 0.
5. C. Mouth on fire? Drink a glass of milk. Dairy products help cool down the capsaicin, the ingredient that makes peppers hot.


Friday, September 27, 2013

Kathleen Bauer--Before the Dawn and Sweet September

About the books: When the world around you falls apart, could it be that God is giving you a second chance? This is just one of the questions on Charlotte Stevenson's mind as she brings her three grandchildren to live on the family farm in Guidepost Books' Home to Heather Creek series.

Before the Dawn begins just one week after the funeral of Charlotte's daughter, Denise. Denise's three children barely have time to process the death of their mother before they must move to the Heather Creek Farm they have never visited with grandparents they barely know. At age 16, Sam is fiercely protective of his younger siblings. Emily is 14 and desperately misses her friends. Young Christopher is only 8 and just wants to fit in. While Charlotte tries to help her grandchildren adjust to their new life, she also wrestles with her own grief and the enormous task of bringing her family together. Bob believes the fastest path to adjustment is a firm routine, with structure and chores, the same way they raised their own kids. However, that route led to Denise running away from home as a teenager and an estranged relationship with her family. Charlotte is worried about making the same mistakes she made with Denise. Is this her chance to make things right?

It is spring when the children arrive, and as Charlotte looks around the farm, she hopes the new life around them will signify hope and healing. The miracle of new life, along with God's healing touch, reminds all of them that it's always darkest just before the dawn.

My Review:

This is the first book in the Home to Heather Creek series.  Each book in the series is written by a different author, using the pen name Kathleen Bauer.  In the first book, Before the Dawn, Charlotte and Bob's estranged daughter, Denise, has been killed in an automobile accident.  She left custody of her three children, Sam, Emily, and Christopher to them.  They are not happy to leave San Diego and travel to rural Nebraska to a farm.  This book was written really well and showed the real struggle that the kids had to go through to adjust to their new surrounding.  It also showed Charlotte's real struggle as she had to adjust to having three children again and try to keep up at home.  Her husband, Bob, sometimes thinks that it isn't a good idea to keep the kids at the farm.  Then there is Charlotte and Bob's son, Pete, who still helps with the farm.  He and Bob don't always see eye to eye.  Denise's horse is still at the farm, and the kids, especially Emily, form a bond with the horse.  Will a near tragedy bring the family together or push them further apart?  If you are looking for a fast read that is real and gets to the heart, then this is the book for you.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

Sweet September picks up at harvest time, as the children are settling into a new school year. While the harvest should be an exciting time, the children don't seem to be getting into the spirit. Emily is struggling with farm life, Christopher spends most of his time alone, and Sam is failing school. Trying to learn from what did and didn't work with her own kids, Charlotte is determined to get her grandchildren back on track.

As tenuous family bonds threaten to break apart, a mystery on the farm might be the one thing that can bond the family together. Charlotte sets out to uncover the truth, and as the kids unite to find answers, this cobbled-together family learns more about one another and the love that binds them together.

The lives of the Stevensons and their grandchildren unfold in this captivating story of the remarkable change that comes from the love of family, the kindness of others, sheer persistence and unshakable faith. As readers follow the Stevensons' inspiring stories, it's almost impossible not feel a part of this friendly, loving community, where God's grace can be seen in every circumstance.

Purchase the books here:

My Review:

I also enjoyed this book, the next in the Home to Heather Creek Series.  Even though a different author wrote this book, it still went well with the first book.  It continues the story and struggle of Charlotte and her grandkids trying to adjust to life.  All three children are still struggling to adjust to farm life and life in a rural area.  The author portrayed that struggle very well.  I look forward to reading more about this charming family in upcoming releases in this series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

About the Author: Kathleen Bauer is the pen name for a team of writers who have come together to create the Home to Heather Creek series.
Landing page: 


Guideposts Books is thrilled to announce their brand new series, Home to Heather Creek, by Kathleen Bauer. The first two books, Before the Dawn and Sweet September, launch this month and Guideposts Books is celebrating with a Paperwhite Kindle Giveaway!


One winner will receive:

  • A Paperwhite Kindle
  • Before the Dawn and Sweet September by Kathleen Bauer
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 5th. All winners will be announced October 7th HERE.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit the Litfuse blog on the 7th to see if you won! (Or better yet, subscribe to their blog [enter your email in the blog sidebar] and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)

Fired Up--Mary Connealy

About the book: Rollicking Wild West Adventure and Romance from Bestselling Author Mary Connealy

Dare Riker is a doctor who saves lives, but someone seems determined to end his. It may have something to do with the traitors he dealt with during the Civil War, or it might be related to the recent incident with Flint Greer and the ranch. Whoever the culprit is, he or she seems really fired up, and Dare can't let his guard down for a moment, which is a challenge, since right now he's trying to win the heart of the recently widowed Glynna.

Glynna Greer came west as a mail-order bride and ended up in a bad situation. Now her husband, Flint, is dead, and she's determined to care for her son and daughter on her own. She wants to believe Dare Riker is as decent as he seems, but she's terrified to lock herself into another marriage. She plans to support her small family by opening a diner---never mind that cooking is not her greatest talent. The men in Broken Wheel, Texas, are so desperate for home cooking that they seem willing to overlook dried-out beef and blackened biscuits.

Glynna can't help but notice that danger follows Dare wherever he goes. There's the avalanche. And then the fire. But things really get out of hand when someone plunges a knife from Glynna's diner into Dare's back. Are Flint's cronies still plotting revenge? Is Glynna's son engaged in a misguided attempt to protect his mother? Is a shadowy outsider still enraged over past injustices? And can Dare survive long enough to convince Glynna to take another chance on love?

Purchase a copy:

My Review:

This is the second book in Mary's Trouble in Texas Series, but you really wouldn't have to read the first book in the series to really like and understand this one.  I really enjoyed this book.  It had a little romance, and a lot of action.  There was a little mystery to it also.  Mary's books are so easy to read.  They flow so well.  This is series is packed full of great characters and we get to meet a new character in this story, Jonas' sister, Tina, she seems like a firecracker and I am hoping the next book in the series is about her.  This book was about Glynna, who the regulators saved from her abusive husband.  It is kind of funny that Glynna decides to open a diner, and she can't cook at all!  She promised her children she wouldn't get married again without their blessing, and when there are sparks between her and Dare, her son is not happy.  Then Dare's life is threatened several times, it take the whole group to figure out who is after Dare.  If you like a fun, action packed, faith filled book, this is the book for you.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

Meet Mary: Mary Connealy writes fun and lively "romantic comedy with cowboys" for the inspirational market. She is the author of the successful Kincaid Brides, Lassoed in Texas, Montana Marriages, and Sophie's Daughters series, and she has been a finalist for a Rita and Christy Award and a two time winner of the Carol Award. She lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her husband, Ivan, and has four grown daughters.

Connect with Mary:


Landing page: 


Mary Connealy is back with the second book, Fired Up, in her Trouble in Texas series, and she's celebrating with a Kindle Fire giveaway and a LIVE author chat party on October 8th.


One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire HD
  • Swept Away  and Fired Up by Mary Connealy
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 8th. Winner will be announced at the "Fired Up" Live Webcast Event on October 8th. Connect with Mary for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Mary will also be taking questions from the audience and giving away books and fun gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of Fired Up and join Mary and friends on the evening of October 8th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 8th!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Joanna Campbell Slan--Death of a Schoolgirl Review and Guestpost

First in Series
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade (August 7, 2012)
Genre: Historical Romantic Suspense
In her classic tale, Charlotte Brontë introduced readers to the strong-willed and intelligent Jane Eyre. Picking up where Brontë left off, Jane’s life has settled into a comfortable pattern: She and her beloved Edward Rochester are married and have an infant son. But Jane soon finds herself in the midst of new challenges and threats to those she loves…
Jane can’t help but fret when a letter arrives from Adèle Varens—Rochester’s ward, currently at boarding school—warning that the girl’s life is in jeopardy. Although it means leaving her young son and invalid husband, and despite never having been to a city of any size, Jane feels strongly compelled to go to London to ensure Adèle’s safety.
But almost from the beginning, Jane’s travels don’t go as planned—she is knocked about and robbed, and no one believes that the plain, unassuming Jane could indeed be the wife of a gentleman; even the school superintendent takes her for an errant new teacher. But most shocking to Jane is the discovery that Adèle’s schoolmate has recently passed away under very suspicious circumstances, yet no one appears overly concerned. Taking advantage of the situation, Jane decides to pose as the missing instructor—and soon uncovers several unsavory secrets, which may very well make her the killer’s next target…
My Review:
I absolutely loved this book.  It kept my attention from the time I picked it up till I put it down.  I loved reading about Jane Eyre.  I haven't read Jane Eyre, but I till really loved this book.  This series starts out after Jane and Edward Rochester marry.  They have a son Ned.  Edward's ward Adele is in a girls school in London and they receive some letters from her that startle them.  Jane decides to go to London to find out what is going on.  She first goes to stay with a family friend, Lucy Brayton.  Jane goes to the school and there has been a death of one of the students.  Jane ends up staying at the school to figure out the mystery.  This mystery kept me guessing.  I had know idea who had killed the schoolgirl.  I really liked the historical accuracy of this story.  Very well done Ms. Slan, I thoroughly enjoyed this story and hope that the series will continue. 
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

About The Author
Award-winning and National Bestselling author Joanna Campbell Slan is the creator of the Kiki Lowenstein Mysteries (an Agatha Award Finalist) and The Jane Eyre Chronicles (Winner of the 2013 Daphne du Maurier Award). This fall will see the debut of the Cara Mia Delgatto books, a new mystery series set on the Treasure Coast of Florida, featuring a young woman who runs a recycling/repurposing shop. In her past life, Joanna was a television talk show host, an adjunct professor of public relations, a sought-after motivational speaker, and a corporate speechwriter. She is the mother of Michael Slan, a professional poker player, and she is married to David Slan, CEO of Steinway Piano Gallery-DC. The Slans and their two dogs make their home on Jupiter Island, Florida. Visit Joanna’s website at
Purchase Links
 AMAZON             B&N                 Book World                 Book Depository            Powell’s Books


Why Jane Eyre Still Matters, 166 Years Later

A guest post written exclusively for Melina’s Book Blog

By Joanna Campbell Slan


Yes, that’s why Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre matters, why it still has relevance 166 years after it was first published.

You see, our blog hostess Melina has chosen to work toward her degree, even though she’s a busy wife and mother—and she’s juggling a part-time job. She believes in the power of education.

Charlotte Brontë would have approved. In fact, she would have applauded. Charlotte knew what a difference an education could make in a life. She’d seen it firsthand. Her father was a poor Irish immigrant who was clever enough to be admitted into Cambridge. When his last name—Brunty—was misspelled on his book of poems, he adopted Brontë, perhaps finding it more elegant. Because of his education—and he was by all accounts a brilliant scholar—he was able to secure a living as a minister in Haworth.

The Reverend Patrick Brontë and his wife Maria had six children. But when Maria died of cancer, the Rev. Brontë found himself with six young children, five daughters and a son, and no way to educate them. His position required much more of him than one might suppose, and we read that in one day alone, he officiated at no less than eight funerals. Then the Clergy Daughter’s School at Cowan Bridge opened, and after he visited, he thought the school would be a good fit for his four oldest daughters. Sadly he was mistaken. The two oldest girls, Maria and Elizabeth, became ill, were sent home, and died, in part because of the poor living conditions at Cowan Bridge.

Despite grieving for her sisters, Charlotte continued to believe in the power of education. She and her three remaining siblings read everything they could, from newspapers to literary magazines. They went weekly to local library and checked out books. Eventually Charlotte and her sister Emily traveled to Brussels to continue their studies. When they came home, they opened their own school, which proved a dismal failure.

And through it all, Charlotte continued to believe in the power of education for women. In fact, she uses her book as a soapbox, a place to preach this gospel. As Jane tells us, “The means of an excellent education (was) placed within my reach…I availed myself fully of the advantages offered me.”

Erratic and unconventional as it was, Charlotte’s education supplied her with the raw materials she needed to write Jane Eyre. To say that the book was a sensation is an understatement.

I chose to continue Charlotte’s classic with my book Death of a Schoolgirl, because I, too, have seen the power of education in my life. At one time, my sisters and I were on welfare. We were our church’s charity family! I had no idea how I’d manage to go through college. But I found part-time jobs and took out loans, eventually managing to graduate cum laude. Today, I have a wonderful life. I could have never dreamed how far my education would take me.

I believe in the power of Jane Eyre.


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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 23, 2013

Cover Reveal--Romancing the Million $$$ Ghost

About the Book:

Eccentric tobacco tycoon Rodger Hawthorne III can have anything his heart desires except his dead wife, Sarah.  Feeling responsible for the car crash that killed her twenty years earlier, he offers one million dollars to anyone who can find her spirit and bring it to him within one week or the money is forfeited.  Six spiritually-challenged—but highly intuitive—women find his ad over the Internet and accept his challenge only to embark on a journey they didn’t quite expect that covers astral traveling, past life regressions and spiritual encounters of the unworldly kind.  While this book is lightly based on a true story of a real man who is offering one million dollars to anyone who can prove that spirits exist, this story is purely fictional.  Or is it?

Coming October 2013!

About the Authors:



HEIDE AW KAMINSKI is the mom of three very successful children, and she lives in southeast Michigan with her partner, her son and her stepson. She teaches English in a high school for juvenile delinquent boys, as well as co-directs the Sunday school program for an Interfaith Center. She is also the editor-in-chief for the Interfaith Center’s monthly 16-page newsletter.  She is currently the author of five books, ADHD and ME , Get Smart Through Art, The Ability Gang (a novel for upper elementary readers), Von Riesiggross bis Klitzeklein (a German children's book), and South of Eden (a not so serious novel about life in Heaven). She has also published stories in 15 anthologies, including Chicken Soup for the Divorced Soul.

Kaminski was born and raised in Germany, and after spending a year as an exchange student in the USA, she ended up marrying an American and has been a permanent resident in the U.S. since 1984, as well as a citizen of the U.S. since 2007. After dedicating many years to being there for her children first, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in English communications at the ripe age of 50 and her English teaching certificate two years later.



Pam Ryan is a writer and professional psychic from Northwestern Ohio. She is the mother of two and has been a widow for the last five years. Her writing career began back in high school where she wrote a column for the Sylvania Sentinel Newspaper in Sylvania, Ohio. Pam was also the first page editor of the high school newspaper as well as doing the public relations for the high school musicals At the University of Toledo she helped to create the Public Relations Department for the Department of Theatre and Speech, worked as a reporter for the college paper, The Collegian, and was assistant to the Public Relation Director of a local Toledo, Ohio, theatre group, Lynro Productions. After college Pam went to work for the United States Government and part of her duties were to write, and publisher a newspaper for the Migrant Opportunity Program in Phoenix, Arizona. Back in Ohio she lent her talents to the local Muscular Dystrophy Association, Make A Wish of Northwestern Ohio, worked on newsletters for Grace Lutheran Church and Christ the King Church, both in Toledo, and did public relations for the Parent Organization of Lake Elementary School. Pamela Ryan, as she is known professionally, began her professional psychic career in 1990. She presently does private readings and parties, and is also available at Lite the Way,Lambertville, Michigan, and The Healing Oasis in Clay Center, Ohio. Pam has recently completed classes and become a Certified Hypnotherapist and has completed the Master’s level for hypnotherapists. Publication is tentatively set for 2013, for her book, “My Dearest Children”, channeled by Mary Magdalene, and is presently working on a biography of world renowned journalist, Ruth Montgomery and a series of books about a fictional psychic medium. The first one is called, "The Macrame Cross".



Dorothy Thompson is the owner/founder of Pump Up Your Book, an innovative public relations firm specializing in online book promotion and social media marketing for authors.  Pump Up Your Book was voted #1 in the Preditor's and Editor's Readers Poll in 2012.  She is also the co-author/compiler of Romancing the Soul, an anthology which proves soul mates exist and has appeared in USA Today, Chicago Times and other publications.  Dorothy loves the paranormal and is spatial clairsentient.  She lives on the beautiful island of Chincoteague, Virginia.


Together, they make the writing team of  Romancing the Million $$$ Ghost.  Visit the official book blog at or like them on Facebook at

Heide, Pam & Dorothy are giving away these fabulous prizes!

One Halloween party kit (valued at $49) or Paypal Cash!
Two $25 Amazon Gift Cards or Paypal Cash!
One FREE psychic phone reading from one of the authors, Pam Ryan!
One Romancing the Million $$$ Ghost ebook gifted from Amazon Kindle Store!
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive a Halloween Party Pack for 18, an eBook copy of Romancing the Million $$$ Ghost gifted via Amazon only, one psychic phone reading from Pam Ryan and two winners will be chosen to receive $25 Amazon Gift Cards (or Paypal Cash)!
  • This giveaway begins September 2 and ends September 27.
  • Winner will be contacted via email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. EST September 27 2013.
  • Winner has 24 hours to reply.
  • Each blogger who participates in this promotion is eligible to win.
  • Visit each “stop” daily for more entries.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Eventide by Shelley Shepard Gray

About the Book: A young Amish woman harbors a difficult secret. Does she dare share the truth with the man she hopes to marry?

Elsie Keim doesn't want to be left behind. Her twin sister, Viola, and her older brother, Roman, have both found love and are building lives of their own. But Elsie? She's still stuck at home, being treated like a child. No one seems to consider her a capable woman-all they see are the thick lenses of her glasses, constant reminders that Elsie suffers from keratoconus and is slowly going blind.

Elsie knows there's much more to her than her disease. That's why when a new neighbor, Landon Troyer, shows some interest in her, she doesn't want anything to scare him away . . . even if it means keeping her condition a secret.

Landon is ready to start a new life and feels like Elsie may just be the right woman to start it with. But when Roman steps in and shares the truth about Elsie's illness, Landon is floored. His job is demanding and takes him away from home, sometimes for days at a time. How could he keep up with his responsibilities and take care of Elsie?

Purchase your copy:

My Review:

I thought that this was the best book in this series.  I really enjoyed it.  I especially liked how strong and independent Elsie was, or wanted to be.  Because of her eyesight, her family tried to shelter her and protect her. She wanted to live her life just like her siblings.  Finally, the family comes to realize that Elsie needs to make her own decisions, especially when Landon wants to court her.  But when Elsie's doctor gives her some options, will she push everyone away with her decision.  Also, Pappi Aaron and Mammi Lovina head to Pennsylvania to tie up some loose ends in their life.  Will they find the peace they have sought.  Classic Shelley Shepard Gray.  She writes in a way that makes you feel that you know the characters and you feel their pain.  Great job.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

Meet Shelley: Shelley Shepard Gray is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the "Sisters of the Heart", "Seasons of Sugarcreek", "Secrets of Crittenden County", and Families of Honor series. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.

Connect with Shelley here:

Landing Page:


Shelley Shepard Gray is celebrating the release of the final book in The Days of Redemption series, Eventide, by giving away FIVE sets of the series. 


Five winners will receive:

  • Daybreak, Ray of Light and Eventide by Shelley Shepard Gray
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 21st. All winners will be announced September 23rd at Shelley's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit Shelley's blog on the 23rd to see if you won one of the book sets!

The Eggstone Murders by Herb Smith Review and Guest Post

Cozy Mystery
Date Published: 7/2013

A thick-headed sheriff, a young, unsure, wannabe detective, and a savvy older criminal-turned-investigator, are only the beginning of the cast of characters included in this story of small-town life in southwestern Iowa, set in 1952.

Enjoy the storms, the intrigues and the mid-western hospitality – including the wonderful food –
of Hillville, Iowa as its down-to-earth folks work their way through the dailyness of their quiet lives.  There are the murders, of course, which cause dismay, but the con-man turned detective, Guy, is able to resolve them after a few bumps, and the guilty are punished – or, as is sometimes Guy’s choice, forgiven.

As a whole, it’s a pleasant outing on an Iowa summer’s day.
My Review:
This was a book that once I started it, I could not put it down.  This book was very well written.  I like to read about the early part of the 20th century and this story took place in 1952.  It was a more simple time, but, as the book shows, it really wasn't all that different than now.  Guy and Caleb are asked by Gordon Eggstone to go over his books because he thinks someone is "cooking" them.  After they leave, one of the workers of the farm is found murdered.  Guy and Caleb then help the Sheriff to look into the murder.  Guy, who is an embezzler himself, uncovers a lot of lies and deceit at the Eggstone Farm.  This was a very fast read, I finished it in a few hours.  I really enjoyed this book and look forward to more in this series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

Herb Smith

Guest Post
Some of My Recent Reads and Why I Like Them
Herbert L. Smith, author of The Eggstone Murders
Thanks for hosting my book on the tour!  It’s good to find people who are interested in reading and are willing to pass information about new books – and new authors – along!
I’ve modified the topic just a little because I like most of the books I choose, and I find that I can write about the latest things I’ve read with perhaps a little more vigor.
My list includes:  Paris,  Edward Rutherford,  In An Antique Land,  Amitav Ghosh,  A Walk Across France, Miles Morland,  World Without End, Ken Follett,  The Arab-Israeli Wars,  Chaim Herzog, and A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Betty Smith. (I read this last one about sixty years ago, and thought it was time for  a re-visit.)
I’ve read all of these since the beginning of June.  I read a lot these days, as well as spend about three hours writing every day.  The tiles cover a variety, and the style of each writer is very different.  I like that.  It gives me a better perspective on the world.  I will continue to read in the coming years, as well as write, because it is stimulating!
If I had to choose a favorite among the titles I’ve listed it would have to be the Herzog book.  I can hardly believe that myself, but it was entirely, completely, absolutely different from anything I had ever read!  And it carried me along. 
The book was loaned to me by a friend whose husband died about two years ago.  We’ve (my wife and I) know them for over fifty years – we often joke that we are their oldest friends – and now he’s gone.  Heart attack.  She told me that the Herzog book was what he was reading just before he died, and I decided to have a look at it.  It’s a military-with-a-human-face account of the wars Israel has fought over the past sixty-plus years.  In truth, they are in a constant state of war.   I was fascinated by the way Herzog reported the events and the intricacies of battles as well as his humanity- based reaction to all of them, and what seems to be  respect for the enemies that surround his people yet, as well as a pride in the military capability of his own nation.  He doesn’t degrade his enemies, but makes the whole thing rather like a puzzle that he’s still attempting to solve.
Another interesting book is Morland’s travel memoir about the walk across France he and his wife took some years ago.  They walked from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic, a distance of 553 Km.  That’s 343 miles!  It took them a month.  The story is filled with personal references and observations about the things they experienced as well as insights into their  ‘other’ life.   It’s fun, and fast to read.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Trudy, Madly, Deeply by Wendy Delaney Review and Giveaway

Book Details:
Trudy, Madly, Deeply
(Working Stiffs Mystery Series)

Publisher: Corvallis Press (July 27, 2013)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Number of Pages: 260 (ebook)
This book is due to come out in print to coincide with this tour.
After human lie detector Charmaine Digby scores a job as the County Coroner’s new investigative assistant, the unthinkable happens—a doctor reports the suspicious death of Trudy, a family friend and one of several elderly patients at the hospital whose heart mysteriously stopped.
With no physical evidence of foul play, Char’s on the case, much to the irritation of Detective Steve Sixkiller, who doesn’t want her to stick her pretty nose for trouble in his investigation. But she’s a woman on a mission to uncover the truth, and she’d better keep her eyes open or the next body on the way to the morgue could be hers.

My Review:

This was a surprising cozy to me.  It deals with a type of murder that probably happens all to often, and one we don't really think a lot about.  I really enjoyed this read, it was very well written and had some humorous parts in it.  Charmaine is working at her aunt and uncle's diner, when she makes a delivery to the courthouse, the coroner, Frankie, sets up a job interview for her to be an assistant.  She gets the job and on her first day, Frankie sends her to the hospital to take a statement from the doctor on duty about a suspicious death.  Charmaine then starts looking into the deaths of several elderly people in the last year.  When her aunt is suddenly taken to the hospital will Charmaine be able to keep her safe and figure out what is really going on.  During her investigations she is continually be warned to stop investigating by the local detective, Steve Sixkiller.  There is a lot of chemistry between the two also.  I say great job with this story Wendy.  I look forward to reading more in the Working Stiffs Mystery Series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
About This Author
Wendy Delaney writes fun-filled cozy mysteries and is the author of Trudy, Madly, Deeply, the launch book of her Working Stiffs Mystery series. A long-time member of Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America, and Mystery Writers of America, she’s a Food Network addict and pastry chef wannabe. When she’s not killing off story people she can be found on her treadmill, working off the calories from her latest culinary adventure. Wendy makes her home in the Seattle area with the love of her life and has two grown sons.
Purchase Links:
Amazon                 B&N


Wendy has graciously agreed to giveaway one E-book copy of Trudy, Madly, Deeply per blog.  Just leave a comment with your email address (I need the email address to contact the winner).  I will pick a winner on the 18th.

Also, there is a tour wide giveaway.  It is a rafflecopter.  You just have to answer one question to enter the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Plum Deadly by Ellie Grant--Review, Interview and Giveaway


Book Details
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Published by: Gallery Books
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Number of Pages: 304
Unjustly accused of cooking the books, Maggie Grady is forced to retreat from her high-flying New York financial career to the town where she grew up. Her aunt Clara greets her with open arms and a job at the family-owned business that has baked the best pies in the South for over forty years. Unfortunately, while Maggie is determined to return to banking, her reputation there seems permanently in the pits. That is, until her old boss, Lou, visits with news that he’s found the real crook. Before he can reveal the details, though, Maggie finds his body right behind the pie shop.
With only her own word that Lou planned to exonerate her, Maggie is in the spotlight. The police seem to suspect that Aunt Clara’s damson pie may not be just dangerously delectable, but downright deadly. Maggie doesn’t just have her own name to clear; she has to make sure that her aunt’s beloved business isn’t harmed, either. Yummy local reporter Ryan Summerour appears eager to help, and Maggie can’t help hoping that it’s not just the police who find her a person of interest—but Ryan, as well. She’d thought it challenging to make the perfect pie crust that Aunt Clara demands, but that turns out to be nothing compared with finding a murderer. . . .
My Review:
Well, Jim and Joyce have done it again.  This was such a charming cozy mystery.  Maggie was a banking executive in New York till she was accused of embezzling from the bank.  She goes home to Durham, NC to help at her aunts Pie Shop.  Her boss from the bank comes to tell her he knows she is innocent and knows who the embezzler really is, but when Maggie goes to take the trash out that evening, she finds him dead on the back step.  This is the first cozy I have read that was about pies.  I am not a pie eater, but I will admit some of them sounded really good.  I also liked Maggie, she was a great character, as was her Aunt Clara.  Clara was a little absent minded about some things, but Maggie was there to straighten her out.  Maggie also meets Ryan, who writes and runs the local paper.  They work together to try to find the killer and the embezzler.  Some of there mishaps are pretty funny.  This book left me guessing as there are a couple of possible suspects, but who the killer was totally threw me for a loop.  Great job "Ellie".  Can't wait for the next book in this series, and there is a teaser to the next book at the very end.  Also, this book is filled with great pie recipes. 
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review. 

About This Author
Ellie Grant writes award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook and Joyce and Jim Lavene. They have written and published more than 60 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.
Author Links:

Purchase Links
AMAZON          B&N               Book World                  Book Depository                    Powell’s Books

Interview with Ellie Grant


1.      Where did you get the idea to write this book?


We went to a pie eating contest and it looked like so much fun! The next thing we knew, we were writing about a pie shop.


2.      This series is about a pie shop, what are your favorite pies?


 Our favorite is cherry but we also love blueberry and lemon meringue.


3.      How many books do you plan for this series?


We’ve written two so far. We’ll let you know when the publisher tells us!


4.      You write so many different series of books, how do you come up with all of your ideas, what are your inspirations?


Our inspirations are anything and everything. There are so many ideas that we don’t have time to write. We put them in a future pile and take them out to look at them from time to time. That’s the curse of being a writer – so many stories – not enough time.


5.      What is your favorite thing, besides a cozy mystery, to write about?


We also love to write science fiction and fantasy. We’ve written a few. Still practicing!


6.      What is your favorite setting for all of your series?


We don’t really have a favorite. There are so many great settings and characters. It would be impossible to have a favorite.


7.      Where is your favorite place to vacation?


The mountains. The beach is ok too but we really enjoy the mountains.


8.      Besides writing, what are your other interests, what do you like to do in your spare time?  


Joyce enjoys watercolor painting and gardening. Jim enjoys putting computers together to give away. We both love long rides on rural roads as well as spending time with our family and our pets.

GIVEAWAY:  Ellie Grant has graciously agreed to giveaway one print copy of Plum Deadly per blog.  Just leave a comment, with your email (if you don't leave your email, we can't contact you) and I will pick a winner on the 16th. Good luck!