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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Boca Undercover by Miriam Auerbach

Boca Undercover
by Miriam Auerbach

Boca Undercover: The Dirty Harriet Mystery Series (Volume 4)
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books (October 30, 2014)
Paperback: 160 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1611945584
Patients at a posh Boca Raton rehab center are ending up stiffer than a Boca babe’s smile. Tough PI Harriet Horowitz, once a bedazzled babe herself, signs in at The Oasis at the request of a frightened friend.
As a pattern emerges in the murders, it’s clear the killer is targeting patients with an unusual addiction. How did they end up with the same drug problem at the same time and in the same rehab together? Harriet’s sleuthing leads her down a path of secrets and danger, and what she learns could lead her undercover assignment to a dead end.
About This Author
Miriam Auerbach is the author of a satirical mystery series set in Boca Raton, Florida and featuring Harley-riding, wisecracking female private eye Harriet Horowitz. Her debut novel, Dirty Harriet, won the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best First Series Romance. Miriam can only assume that this is because the heroine kills her husband on page one. In a parallel universe, Miriam is known as Miriam Potocky, professor of social work at Florida International University in Miami. She lives in South Florida with her husband and their multicultural canines, a Welsh Corgi and a Brussels Griffon.
Author Links:
GoodReads: Miriam Auerbach –
Purchase Links
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Boca Under cover will be on sale for $2.99, ending today, and the first two in the series are $1.99.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Body in the Birches by Katherine Hall Page

The Body in the Birches: A Faith Fairchild Mystery
Cozy Mystery
22nd in Series
Publisher: William Morrow (May 12, 2015)
Hardcover: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0062310828

At home on Sanpere Island, Maine, caterer and amateur sleuth Faith Fairchild discovers that real estate can be murder, especially when it’s all in the family, in this twenty-third book in the popular mystery series.
The Fourth of July is one of the hottest on record and even the breeze off Penobscot Bay can’t seem to cool things down for Faith Fairchild and the rest of the folks on Sanpere Island. But the fireworks are just beginning. After the celebrations are over, Faith discovers a body in the woods near The Birches, an early twentieth-century “cottage.”
The body is identified as The Birches’ housekeeper, who seems to have succumbed to a heart attack. The death is only one of the dramatic events upending the historic house. A family gathering has been called to decide who will inherit the much loved, and very valuable, estate that has been in the Proctor family for generations. With this much money involved, it’s just a matter of time before trouble arises.
Faith is juggling her own family problems. Her teenage son, Ben, has started a new job as a dishwasher at The Laughing Gull Lodge—learning things that could land him in very hot water. And her daughter Amy is worried about her new friend, Daisy Proctor. Daisy is terrified—convinced that someone is trying to eliminate her mother from getting a share of The Birches. To protect her children, Faith has to find a possible murderer—before he strikes too close to her own home.
What I Thought:
I enjoyed this book, although it had more family drama in than murder mystery.  The book was very well written and flowed really well, which made it an easy read.  It kept my attention throughout.  The Procter offspring have been summoned to Sanpere Island to find out which one will inherit The Birches.  There are more "mysteries" going in this book than just who is going to inherit, and you don't even realize that some of the things are "mysteries".   This book had a very good ending which I wasn't even expecting.  This is book is also set during the Fourth of July so that makes it a great Summer read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
About This Author
   Katherine Hall Page is the author of twenty-two previous Faith Fairchild mysteries, the first of which received the Agatha Award for best first mystery. The Body in the Snowdrift was honored with the Agatha Award for best novel of 2006. Page also won an Agatha for her short story “The Would-Be Widower.” In addition, she has been nominated for the Edgar Award, the Mary Higgins Clark Award, and the Macavity Award. She lives in Massachusetts and Maine with her husband.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Called to be Amish

About the book:
Called to Be Amish (MennoMedia, February 2015)

Fewer than one hundred outsiders have joined the Old-Order Amish---and stayed---since 1950. Marlene C. Miller is one of them.

In this rare memoir, Marlene recounts her unhappy and abusive childhood, how she throws herself into cheerleading and marching band, and how she falls in love with Johnny, the gentle young Amish man who helps her lace her ice skates.

Against the wishes of both sets of parents, Marlene and Johnny get married and begin a family. Follow the author on this unusual journey to find out how God's love called her out of bitterness and depression and into the warm embrace of her new Amish community.

Accompany her as she dons an Amish dress and prayer covering and gets baptized. Learn how she endures the strain of ten children, a hundred-acre farm, and accidents and tragedy, and find out how she comes close to walking away from it all. Turning Amish has proven to be anything but plain and simple for this former majorette. But nearly fifty years later, Marlene is still living out God's call as an Old Order Amish woman.

Purchase a copy:

About the author:

Marlene C. Miller
joined the Amish as an adult and has been a member of the Old Order Amish for almost 50 years. She and her husband of 48 years live on a farm in Ohio surrounded by their nine children, more than 40 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
What I Thought:
This was both an informative and entertaining book.  It gave a real glimpse of what it would be like to become Amish.  I have read some fiction books where "English" become Amish, but this true account was so much better.  It is also a heartwarming story.  I found it very moving.  I felt so bad for Marlene when she recounted her growing up years and her struggles in her family.  This is a must read for anyone who loves to read about the Amish, true or fiction.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

Pleasant Day by Vera Jane Cook, Review and Giveaway

Vera Jane CookPublisher: Moonshine Cove Press  (February 1, 2015)
Category: Contemporary Fiction/ Women’s Fiction/ Southern Fiction
Tour Date: February-March, 2015
Available in: Print & ebook,  285 Pages

With murder in common friendship is inevitable:

As fifteen year old Pleasant Day struggles with her mother's distance, her father's infidelity and the death of her best friend, she draws closer to Clarissa, an older woman with the secrets to heal her. But Clarissa has struggles of her own as she faces betrayal and seeks to come to terms with old wounds. With her unpredictable but psychic ability to 'read people' Clarissa uncovers the answers to a deadly crime and to Pleasant's true identity. In the end, both Pleasant and Clarissa's worlds are transformed by the truths they're forced to accept.

Praise for 'Pleasant Day' By Vera Jane Cook:

"Absolutely unputdownable, a real page turner. Be prepared to clear your schedule for the day. You're going to read this one straight through! This is Vera Jane Cook's best one yet!" -Wall to Wall Books

"A beautiful blend of past and present with loveable, memorable characters and a page turning pace, I was sorry I couldn't read it in one sitting." -Jenn Doyle, Books & Life. 

"A beautiful piece of southern fiction...a great page turner...this book is filled with delightful characters, charm, warmth, love and last but certainly not least, wonderful humor."-Arlene Uslander, Editor and writer.

What I Thought:

This story had more twists and turns in it than a back country road.  It will really keep you on the edge of your seat.  The main character, Pleasant Day, sure is unique.  The relationships in this book are complex and there are many secrets being kept. 

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

About Vera Jane Cook:Vera Jane Cook

Winner: Eric Hoffer Award for publishing
excellence and the Indie Excellence Award for
notable new fiction!
5 Star Clarion ForeWord Review!

Vera Jane Cook, writer of Award Winning Women’s Fiction, is the author of The Story of Sassy Sweetwater, Lies a River Deep, Where the Wildflowers Grow, Dancing Backward in Paradise and Annabel Horton, Lost Witch of Salem.

Jane, as she is known to family and friends, was born in New York City and grew up amid the eccentricity of her southern and glamorous mother on the Upper West and Upper East Side of Manhattan.

An only child, Jane turned to reading novels at an early age and was deeply influenced by an eclectic group of authors. Some of her favorite authors today are Nelson DeMille, Calib Carr, Wally Lamb, Anne Rice, Sue Monk Kidd, Anita Shreve, Jodi Picoult, Alice Walker and Toni Morrison. Her favorite novels are too long to list but include The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, Cheri and The Last of Cheri, The Picture of Dorian Grey, Wuthering Heights, Look at Me, Dogs of Babel, The Bluest Eye, The Art of Racing in the Rain, Body Surfing, Lolita, The Brothers Karamazov, She’s Come Undone, Tale of Two Cities, etc., etc., etc.,

Vera Jane Cook’s Website:

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Buy 'Pleasant Day' by Vera Jane Cook:

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Follow the Tour:

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Apr 7 Spotlight & Giveaway

Bound 4 Escape Apr 8 Review

Confessions Of A Reader Apr 9 Interview

What U Talking Bout Willis? Apr 13 Review

Mythical Books Apr 14 Interview

Room With Books Apr 15 Review & Giveaway

Winter Reads Apr 17 Interview & Giveaway

Elizabeth McKenna Romance Author Apr 20 Excerpt

Wall To Wall Books Apr 21 Review

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Apr 22 Review

From Isi Apr 27 Review

Writer In Progress Apr 28 Review & Giveaway

Sapphyria's Book Reviews Apr 29 Excerpt

The Book Diva's Reads Apr 30 Review & Excerpt

Suko's Notebook May 5 Review                                                                  

Deal Sharing Aunt May 6 Review & Giveaway

Lightning Chronicles May 12 Review, Interview & Giveaway

Indie Review Behind the Scenes May 14 live I 6 pm cst

Melina's Book Blog May 19 Review & Giveaway

Cassandra M's Place May 21 Review & Giveaway

Jersey Girl Book Reviews May 22 Review & Excerpt

The Mama Games May 25 Review

Pinky's Favorite Reads May 26 Review

Pinky's Favorite Reads May 27 I & G

Bassgiraffe's Thoughts May 28 Review


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Ruined Abbey by Anne Emery


Ruined Abbey

A Collins-Burke Mystery

It’s 1989. The Troubles are raging in Ireland, bombs exploding in England. In this prequel to the Collins-Burke series, Father Brennan Burke is home in New York when news of his sister’s arrest in London sends him flying across the ocean. The family troubles deepen when Brennan’s cousin Conn is charged with the murder of a Special Branch detective and suspected in a terrorist plot against Westminster Abbey. The Burkes come under surveillance by the murdered cop’s partner and are caught in a tangle of buried family memories. 
From the bullet-riddled bars of Belfast to an elegant English estate, Ruined Abbey combines a whodunit with a war story, love story, and historical novel, while exploring the eternal question: what is fair in love and war? It all starts with a ruined abbey.
What I Thought:
Anne Emery is an author who really does her research.  This novel is filled with so much Irish history, you will think you are taking an Irish History course.  She also has a unique writing style.  Sometimes her writing is hard to understand, but all in all this is an interesting book. 
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Carolyn Haines Guest Post




            Growing up in a very small town (Lucedale, Mississippi), books were my best friends. I recently gave a talk at a Creative Writing awards ceremony and as I was working on my speech, I remember those long ago days when I could fall into a book and forget everything around me. Even though I lived in rural Mississippi, I traveled all over the world with exciting characters who were far smarter and bolder than I was. I was an insatiable reader, and as a writer, I have had the pleasure of writing in multiple genres, from general fiction to horror. But mysteries hold a special place in my heart.

            When I wrote THEM BONES, the first Sarah Booth Delaney book, I didn’t actually set out to write a mystery. I was sitting at my computer when I heard Sarah Booth (the main protagonist) and Jitty (a Civil War era ghost with fashion sense and a quick humor) arguing. Jitty was concerned that Sarah Booth was unwed and without an heir. The Delaney family plantation, Dahlia House, in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, was about to be foreclosed on by the bank.

            Sarah Booth (double names are commonly used in the South) had recently returned to Mississippi after trying, and failing, at a Broadway career. When a former high school acquaintance hires Sarah Booth to find out the secrets of one very handsome man, Sarah Booth discovers that while she may not be a Broadway actress, she is a pretty darn good sleuth.

            Once I had hold of the characters—and they are a fun group to write about--I was off and running. I had read mysteries all of my life, beginning with Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, Sherlock Holmes, Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling creations, and dozens more. While I’d loved reading mysteries, I wasn’t certain I could plot a mystery. All I knew was that I was writing about my home state, a place I love madly, and about characters who quickly became my close friends. In other words, I was in hog heaven for a writer.

            The book coming out May 19, BONE TO BE WILD, is the 15th in the series of books featuring Sarah Booth and her friends. It’s a story about a sexy blues guitarist and a blues club at a crossroads that is a target for an anonymous killer. And it’s a story about murder and the importance friendship.

            While the Sarah Booth mysteries don’t need to be read in order, many people enjoy the development of the friendships between the characters. In my real life, my friends have played a huge role in my joys, successes, and the sad parts, too. So in the world of Zinnia, Mississippi, friendships are equally important. Sarah Booth’s love life is a total mess, and she isn’t one to listen to reasonable advice from her friends or even from the ghost who haunts her home.

            As Jitty would say, “Bless her soul, she tries.”

            A word here about Jitty. She is a ghost who wears the most outlandish outfits and offers Sarah Booth advice and sometimes a message from “the Great Beyond” where Sarah Booth’s parents are. (They died when she was 12.) But Jitty plays no role in solving the mystery. She is Sarah Booth’s guiding angel (and sometimes a devious little devil) but her role is to offer Sarah Booth personal advice, not to engage in solving the mystery. She is also a thorn in Sarah Booth’s side because she’s smart and sassy and unwilling to accept less than a hundred percent from her charge.

            BONE TO BE WILD incorporates many story elements that I love. Who can go wrong writing about the blues in the very place they were born—the cotton fields of Mississippi. There is also a threat from the past, a murder and an attempted murder, a friend finds true love, a fiendish little dog is rescued, a prissy and arrogant woman gets her comeuppance, and Sarah Booth finds a rare moment for a horseback ride across the barren cotton fields on a brisk November day (with a handsome man).

            I live on a small farm where I am the chief bottle washer at Good Fortune Farm Refuge, a 501c3 rescue. I care for dogs, cats, and horses. When I was growing up, my two ambitions were to be Nancy Drew and a cowgirl. It didn’t work out exactly as I planned—but I wouldn’t trade a minute of any day.

            I hope you’ll give the books a try. Kick your heels up, grab a book and a beverage, and have a good, long read.




Carolyn Haines is the author of over 70 books in many genres. BONE TO BE WILD is the 15th book in the Sarah Booth Delaney series. Haines is the recipient of the Harper Lee Award for Distinguished Writing and the Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence. The series has also been named best female sleuth by Romantic Times. She is currently at work on #16, LULLABY BONES, which will be published May 2016 by St. Martin’s Minotaur. You can learn more about Carolyn, her rescue, or her crazy life at  Or join her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.




Medium Dead by Paula Paul

Medium Dead

About Medium Dead
On Sale: April 14, 2015
Pages: 188
Published by : Alibi
Sure to delight readers of Jacqueline Winspear and Ellis Peters, Medium Dead features Queen Victoria herself—and she’s rumored to have slain a local psychic in Newton-upon-Sea. Now the task of clearing her name and catching the real killer falls to Dr. Alexandra Gladstone.
Under Victoria’s reign, women are barred from calling themselves physicians, but that hasn’t stopped Alexandra Gladstone. As the first female doctor in Newton-upon-Sea, she spends her days tending sick villagers in the practice she inherited from her father, with her loyal and sometimes overprotective dog, Zack, by her side.
After the corpse of village spiritualist Alvina Elwold is discovered aboveground at a church boneyard, wild rumors circulate through the charming seaside village, including one implicating a certain regal guest lodging nearby. Tales of the dead Alvina hobnobbing with spirits and hexing her enemies are even more outlandish—but as a woman of science and reason, Alexandra has no doubt that a murderer made of flesh and blood is on the loose.
Finding out the truth means sorting through a deluge of ghostly visitors, royal sightings, and shifty suspects. At least her attentive and handsome friend Nicholas Forsyth, Lord Dunsford, has come to her aid. Alexandra will need all the help she can get, because she’s stumbled upon dangerous secrets—while provoking a deadly adversary who wants to keep them buried.
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What I Thought:

Could Queen Victoria have been a killer?  That is what Alexandra Gladstone has to figure out in this mystery.  This was the first time I had visited Newton-upon-Sea.  I enjoyed this visit, it was filled with interesting characters and a story that kept my attention and kept me guessing.

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

Purchase Links

5000597About Paula Paul

Award-winning novelist Paula Paul was born on her grandparents’ cotton farm near Shallowater, Texas, and graduated from a country high school near Maple, Texas. She earned a BA in journalism and has worked as a reporter for newspapers in both Texas and New Mexico. She’s been the recipient of state and national awards for her work as a journalist as well as a novelist. Her previous novels featuring Dr. Alexandra Gladstone, including Symptoms of Death, have appeared on bookstore and online bestseller lists. She is also the author of the Mystery by Design series, which she wrote as Paula Carter. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
To learn more about Paula, visit her WEBSITE.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Bite the Biscuit by Linda O Johnston, Review and Guest Post


Bite the Biscuit
(A Barkery & Biscuits Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
New Series
Publisher: Midnight Ink (May 8, 2015)
Paperback: 312 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738745039

Carrie Kennersly, a veterinary technician, has become known for offering healthy and popular dog treats at the clinic where she works. When the local bakery’s owner moves away, Carrie jumps at the chance to convert it into the Barkery, a shop to make and sell her canine delights.
But Myra Ethman, co-owner of another pet product store, hates the new competition. At the Barkery’s opening party, she badmouths Carrie’s homemade dog biscuits, insisting she’ll find a way to shut the place down. So when Myra is found dead with a Barkery biscuit beside her, Carrie must prove she didn’t do it before she’s collared for murder.
What I Thought:
Linda has done it again.  She has created a captivating cozy with great characters who truly love animals.  I love how she writes about people who love animals and treat them as equals.  I enjoyed this cozy from the time I started it, till I finished it.  It kept me guessing till the very end, which is what I love in a cozy.  I like how Carrie ran a baker and a barkery, I think that would be an excellent idea for a shop.  I look forward to more in the Barkery and Biscuits mystery series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

About This Author
Linda O. Johnston’s first published fiction appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and won the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award for Best First Mystery Short Story of the year.   Since then, Linda, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, has published more short stories, novellas, and 38 romance and mystery novels, including the Pet Rescue Mystery Series, a spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, and Harlequin Romantic Suspense as well as the Alpha Force paranormal romance miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne.  She additionally writes the Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink.
    Her latest cozy mystery series, the Barkery and Biscuits Mysteries also from Midnight Ink, kicks off in May with BITE THE BISCUIT.

Author Links:
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My Take On Cozy Mysteries

By Linda O. Johnston


(Melina's Book Blog, May 10, 2015

Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour)



I love writing cozy mysteries.  In fact, I'm currently writing two cozy series, and I previously wrote two other cozy series.


I'm asked often what constitutes a cozy mystery series.  According to Wikipedia, cozy mysteries are a "subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community."  That's a fair general definition although nothing it says is engraved in stone.  I've seen some cozies that are sexier or more violent than others, for example.  Plus, my first two cozy series took place in Los Angeles, not a small community.


But one thing that tends to be true about cozies is that the protagonist is an amateur sleuth, dragged into solving at least the first crime--which is almost always murder--because she or a close friend or family member is the primary suspect.  And yes, notice that I said "she" since most protagonists of cozies are female.


Cozies tend to run in series, so that the amateur sleuth winds up solving more than one crime over the course of time.  And one really fun thing about them is that there's almost always an underlying theme to each cozy series: a certain type of handicraft or aspect of cooking, for example.


Mine all involve dogs. 


Sometimes there are other pets, too, but I adore dogs and love writing about them.  My new series, the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries, is about a veterinary technician, Carrie Kennersly, who jumps at the entrepreneurial opportunity to buy a friend's bakery and turn half of it into a barkery, where she gets to bake and sell the healthy dog treats she developed at her first job.  She has a dog named, appropriately, Biscuit.  She gets to sell treats to owners of dogs as well as people treats for humans.  And she also still works part time as a vet tech.  Oh, and yes, in the first story BITE THE BISCUIT Carrie's a murder suspect when someone in town is murdered after arguing that the Barkery and Biscuits shop is an unworthy competitor to her family's local pet store.


Currently, I'm also writing the Superstition Mysteries, about the fictional town of Destiny, California, which is all about superstitions.  The protagonist Rory Chasen goes there to learn whether superstitions are actually true after her fiancĂ© walks under a ladder and dies soon afterward.  She travels there with her dog and learns that black and white dogs like Pluckie are good luck when Pluckie helps save the life of the owner of the local pet boutique--which Rory winds up managing.  Rory also helps when that sweet senior boutique owner winds up being a murder suspect.


I've also written the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mysteries and its spin-off Pet
Rescue Mysteries.


In all of my cozies, my protagonists develop love interests, some more intense than others.  But if they wind up in bed with their guyfriends, that part is off the page. 


And if they happen to see the murdered body there may be blood around, but the description is never extremely graphic.


All of that is a long way of saying that, to me, cozy mysteries are those where there is in fact a mystery or two to solve and an amateur sleuth is drawn in to solve them.  That sleuth has an job or background or hobby that provides an additional reason for readers to choose areas of interest to them while getting the opportunity to read a hopefully fun mystery.


By the way, in case you want to check, the quote above from Wikipedia can be found at,



Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Final Reveille by Amanda Flower, Review and Guest Post

The Final Reveille
(A Living History Museum Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
New Series
Publisher: Midnight Ink (May 8, 2015)
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738744735

As the director of Barton Farm, a living history museum in Ohio, Kelsey Cambridge is underpaid and underappreciated, but she loves every minute of it. Determined to keep the struggling farm open, she plans to impress the museum’s wealthy benefactress, Cynthia Cherry, with a Civil War reenactment on the farm’s grounds.
Unfortunately, the first shot in the battle isn’t from a period soldier. It’s from Cynthia’s greedy nephew, Maxwell, who fires a threat at Kelsey to cut the museum’s funding. The next morning, things go from bad to worse when Kelsey discovers Maxwell dead. Now Kelsey is the police’s number one suspect, and she must start her own investigation to save Barton Farm . . . and herself.
What I Thought:
I really enjoyed this book.  I am interested in Civil War history and I love cozy mysteries, so when a cozy mystery is set in a Civil reenactment, I just had to read it.  This one did not disappoint me.  Amanda did well with the writing and with the research.  I would love to visit a living history museum like Barton Farm.  I also really like getting to know the protagonist Kelsey.  She was someone who I could relate too.  This book had a lot of action and it kept my attention from the time I picked it up, till I finished it, it also kept me guessing as there were a lot of possible suspects.  I look forward to more in the Living History Museum Mystery Series. 
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
About This Author
Amanda Flower, a two-time Agatha Award-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as national bestselling  author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.
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Fond Memories Make Great Mysteries

By Amanda Flower


I love being a librarian and an author, but my favorite summer job as a young adult was being a historical interpreter for a small living history museum in Ohio. I only worked there one summer, the summer before my senior year of college, and I loved every minute of it, from telling visitors about Ohio history to making crafts like they did back in 1800s to dressing up in period clothing for a Civil War ball. I also loved my coworkers because many of them were quirky, peculiar, and loved American history as much as I did. I have since lost touch with all of those people, but I remember them fondly. This was back in 2001 before the advent of Facebook and social media. In fact, I didn’t even have cell phone at the time. That’s hard to imagine. Today, I guess we would have been Facebook friends and kept in cyber-touch that way.


Because I lost connection with all those people, I think back on that job as a brief snapshot in time, and one I desperately wanted to write about because I knew even at age twenty-one, it was the perfect setting for a cozy mystery. It had the perfect recipe: quirky people with a wide range of backgrounds, spooky historical buildings, and plenty of murder weapons.


I finally decided I would write the novel ten years later after I was already a published mystery author. I wrote a proposal, but before my agent could send it out, I got two great offers to write the Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series and the Appleseed Creek Mystery Series within weeks of each other. So that I could write those series, the Living History Museum Mystery Series was tucked away.


Even while writing those other mysteries, which I loved, I never forgot about living history museum idea, so when the Appleseed Creek Mysteries ended, I asked my agent to send out the original proposal. I was ecstatic when Midnight Ink picked up the series, and it’s been a joy to write.


Fourteen years after I had that summer job, The Final Reveille, loosely based on my experience from that summer (I say that because no one has ever been murdered at the real museum) releases. I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I did reliving the memories.



Amanda Flower, a three time Agatha-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland. She also writes as National Bestselling Author Isabella Alan.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Seven Threadly Sins by Janet Bolin, Review and Guest Post


Seven Threadly Sins (A Threadville Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Publisher: Berkley (May 5, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425268001

Fashion turns killer in the latest novel from the national bestselling author of the Threadville mysteries…
Threadville, Pennsylvania, is famous for its fabric, needlecraft, and embroidery, so it’s only natural that it would become the home of the Threadville Academy of Design and Modeling. While Willow Vanderling has certainly never wanted to be a model, here she is, voluntarily strutting her stuff in a charity runway show in outrageous clothing, all to support the Academy’s scholarship fund.
But the lascivious, mean-spirited director of the academy, Antonio, is making the fashion show a less-than-fabulous affair. After Antonio plays a shocking prank on Willow and her friends that doesn’t exactly leave the ladies in stitches, he mysteriously winds up dead—and someone is trying to pin the blame on Willow.
Now, she must do whatever it takes in order to clear her name, even if it means needling around in other people’s secrets…

What I Thought:

I enjoyed visiting Threadville again, even though I do not sew.  I really enjoy this series, the characters, and the setting.  I really enjoyed this book, it kept my attention from the time I picked it up till I finished it.  I kind of thought I knew who the killer was, but Janet did a good job making me second guess myself.  Willow sure does get herself in some sticky, and stinky situations in this book!  Sometimes, I found myself laughing out loud (LOL). 

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

About This Author
Janet Bolin enjoys sewing, machine embroidery, all sorts of other needlecrafts and handcrafts, reading, writing, and walking with her two dogs, who are strangely like the dogs in the Threadville Mysteries. SEVEN THREADLY SINS, the fifth book in the Threadville Mystery Series, comes out May 5.

Author Links:
Twitter: @JanetBolin
Purchase Links:
Amazon   B&N    Book Depository   Kobo
List of booksellers on Janet’s website:

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It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time


Later, it’s not always easy to pinpoint when things started going wrong. When did our plans begin to slither away from our original vision? Was there a moment in time when we could have pulled back, rearranged, headed in a slightly different direction, averted a tragedy?


Take Willow in my latest Threadville Mystery, SEVEN THREADLY SINS. When Willow was first asked to participate in a charity fundraiser fashion show, she was enthusiastic. The money would go toward scholarships at the newly opened Threadville Academy of Design and Modeling.


The Academy’s director, Antonio, will provide Willow and her Threadville friends with sketches for the outfits they are to make and model in the show. Willow and her friends love to design and create their own clothes, but what could be better than receiving guidance from a real fashion designer?


However, the sketches Antonio gives Willow disappoint her. One outfit is gaudy, one is to be made in an unflatteringly dull shade of brown, one is ludicrous, and the fourth one would have to be glued to her skin to stay on. Maybe this is her first clue that the fashion show is not going to be quite everything she expected it to be…


She’s game, though, and tweaks the outfits to make them wearable. She’s happy to help raise scholarship funds, and the fashion show should be fun, shouldn’t it, even though she’s afraid she’ll do something clumsy or silly? At least it’s being held in a beautiful place, a conservatory brimming with tropical plants.


Before the fashion show’s dress rehearsal, Willow overhears something that could be another clue that things may not go as well as she’d hoped.


And then, during the rehearsal, it becomes clear that the staff at TADAM, including Antonio’s wife, do not like each other.


During the fashion show, Antonio’s narration is surprisingly imprecise. Shouldn’t a fashion expert mention at least a few details about the garments?


And then, after the fashion show is nearly over and Willow figures she’s gotten through it without making too many horrid blunders, Antonio stages an unpleasant prank.


But that isn’t all. The real trouble occurs during the post-show reception.


Antonio pinches one of the models. Willow has to prevent Mrs. Battersby, a friend’s rather crotchety mother, from clobbering Antonio. No one touches the man, but he collapses anyway. Suddenly the project that Willow eagerly embarked on has gone terribly wrong, and Antonio’s wife accuses Willow and Mrs. Battersby of murdering Antonio.


It’s too late to alter the tragedy, but Willow wonders what she could have said or done to prevent it in the first place…


SEVEN THREADLY SINS is the fifth book in the Threadville Mystery series. When Janet Bolin isn’t plotting all sorts of mayhem, she reads, writes, sews, plays with her embroidery machine, and walks her dogs on the shore of Lake Erie.



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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Coffee is Murder by Carolyn Arnold


Coffee is Murder
(McKinley Mysteries Book 9)

Cozy Mystery
File Size: 641 KB
Print Length: 155 pages
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

You might want to rethink your morning routine.
A cup a day won’t kill you, but a few might.
Their first case as private investigators have Sean, Sara, and Jimmy neck-deep in coffee beans trying to find a killer. With their client certain that her mother was poisoned through her coffee of the month club, it has them setting out to Williamsburg, Virginia. But instead of approaching matters from the traditional standpoint, Sean and Sara brew a robust plot and stir Jimmy into the blend, all to get close to their top suspect and grind out the truth.
Going undercover at Tasty Beans, the coffee company, the three of them work to expose the culprit before anyone else dies.
What I Thought:
This was a very fast read.  It was okay, pretty entertaining, but I wish there would have been a little more to it.  This is the first book I have read in this series, and I think I was a little lost.  It is so short that it doesn't give a lot of background on the characters.  I did like the characters and the premise of the book, but I wish it would have been a little longer.  But, it was still a good, quick read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
About This Author
Carolyn Arnold is an award-winning and International bestselling author, a blogger, and is published in IUeMag, a distinguished online magazine dedicated to inspiring people. She is also the proud founder of the Shining Soul site that is geared to healing, motivation, and self-empowerment.
Since she published in 2011, her books have been sold and downloaded well over half a million times. Titles in her Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, and McKinley Mystery series have all hit bestselling lists. Her work ranges from cozy mysteries to hard-boiled detective and FBI procedurals.
Born in a small town, Carolyn enjoys returning to her roots and spending time in the country reflecting on life and letting her imagination run wild. She currently lives in a city near Toronto with her husband and two beagles, Max and Chelsea.
Carolyn Arnold is an award-winning and International bestselling author, a blogger, and is published in IUeMag, a distinguished online magazine dedicated to inspiring people. She is also the proud founder of the Shining Soul site that is geared to healing, motivation, and self-empowerment.
Author Links:
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