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Monday, September 28, 2015







A Ghostly Demise:
A Ghostly Southern Mystery 

Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Witness (August 25, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0062374912
E-Book ASIN: B00PQRWLRC
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The prodigal father returns—but this ghost is no holy spirit
When she runs into her friend’s deadbeat dad at the local deli, undertaker Emma Lee Raines can’t wait to tell Mary Anna Hardy that he’s back in Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky, after five long years. Cephus Hardy may have been the town drunk, but he didn’t disappear on an epic bender like everyone thought: He was murdered. And he’s heard that Emma Lee’s been helping lost souls move on to that great big party in the sky.
Why do ghosts always bother Emma Lee at the worst times? Her granny’s mayoral campaign is in high gear, a carnival is taking over the town square, and her hunky boyfriend, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, is stuck wrestling runaway goats. Besides, Cephus has no clue whodunit…unless it was one of Mrs. Hardy’s not-so-secret admirers. All roads lead Emma Lee to that carnival—and a killer who isn’t clowning around.
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 What I Thought:

This was a great installment to a great series.  Emma is an undertaker who can see the dead.  This time she sees Cephus Hardy.  He wants her to solve his murder of course.  But Emma doesn't have time for all that with all that is going on in Sleepy Hollow.  This as well written and humorous and while it is part of a series, it could also be a stand-alone.

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

The next book in the series is:



A Ghostly Murder:
A Ghostly Southern Mystery

Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Witness (September 29, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0062374936
E-Book ASIN: B00RTMCOPQ
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Emma Lee raines knows there’s only one cure for a bad case of murder
I told you I was sick, reads the headstone above Mamie Sue Preston’s grave. She was the richest woman in Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky, and also the biggest hypochondriac. Ironic, considering someone killed her—and covered it up perfectly. And how does Emma Lee, proprietor of the Eternal Slumber Funeral Home, know all this? Because Mamie Sue’s ghost told her, that’s how. And she’s offering big bucks to find the perp.
The catch is, Mamie Sue was buried by the Raines family’s archrival, Burns Funeral Home. Would the Burnses stoop to framing Emma Lee’s granny? With an enterprising maid, a penny-pinching pastor, and a slimy Lexington lawyer all making a killing off Mamie Sue’s estate, Emma Lee needs a teammate—like her dreamboat boyfriend, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross. Because with millions at stake, snooping around is definitely bad for Emma Lee’s health.
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About The Author –
Tonya Kappes is a USA Today Bestselling Author.
I write fun humorous fiction, some with romance and some with a little mystery.
More than anything I love to connect with readers! I’m a huge fan of them and LOVE getting to know them. Making readers smile, and remembering not to take life too seriously is how I like to write. I’m addicted to coffee, McDonald’s Diet Coke, and Red Hots Candy to keep her going!
When I’m not writing about quirky characters and even quirkier situations, I’m busy being the princess, queen and jester of my domain which includes my BFF husband,  three teenage boys, two dogs and one ornery cat.
Author Links:
And be sure to stalk me on Facebook,  Twitter, TSU, Instagram!

Giveaway:

THE AUTHOR IS GOING TO GIVE AWAY 1 E-COPY OF EITHER OF THE ABOVE BOOKS, JUST LEAVE A COMMENT WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS AND I WILL PICK A WINNER BY FRIDAY.  NO EMAIL, NO ENTRY.

Second to Nun

Second To Nun
(A Giulia Driscoll Mystery Book 2)

Cozy Mystery
Paperback: 270 pages
Publisher: Henery Press (September 22, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-1941962930
E-Book ASIN: B010BUDQVI
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Synopsis
“Exciting and suspenseful.”
Publishers Weekly (on Nun Too Soon)

“How much trouble can a snarky, no-nonsense ex-nun stir up while investigating a potentially haunted lighthouse? Plenty! Between a fireside arsonist, a murderous ghost, and a deadly family legend, Giulia Driscoll has her hands full. Alice Loweecey has once again crafted a delightful, sassy, smart tale that will send the hair on the back of your head skyward and keep your eyes glued to the page. I loved it!”
– Jessie Chandler, Author of the Award-Winning Shay O’Hanlon Caper Series
The Other Side has hired Driscoll Investigations. The owner of Stone’s Throw Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast insists that a tarot reading told her to hire Giulia to evict the family ghost. Since the ghost is cutting gas lines and flooding cellars, Giulia and her husband Frank head to the B&B to discover the real perpetrator.
The client also has a family legend: A highwayman who stole a pile of gold. Giulia has a pile of suspects, including a psychic the client hired to conduct weekly séances. So much for romance with Frank at this getaway.
Instead, Giulia’s juggling arson, creepy clown dolls, and the psychic going all Exorcist on her. Then the ghost tries to push the client off the lighthouse and throw Giulia down three flights of stairs. It should’ve known better than to mess with an ex-nun. Giulia has connections and she’s about to use them.
Related subjects include: cozy mysteries, women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), humorous murder mysteries, book club recommendations, private investigator mystery series.
Books in the Giulia Driscoll Humorous Mystery Series:
  • CHANGING HABITS (prequel short story)
  • NUN TOO SOON (#1)
  • SECOND TO NUN (#2)
  • NUN BUT THE BRAVE (#3) July 2016

What I Thought:

This was an enjoyable story about a former nun turned investigator.  She is still trying to adjust to married life.  This book was well written and the main character is very witty, I really enjoy her interactions.  She is hired this time to find out what is going on at the Stone's Throw Lighthouse.  What could be better than a former nun having to dabble in the supernatural with seances, tarot readings,and ghosts.  A very enjoyable read.

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

About The Author –
Baker of brownies and tormenter of characters, Alice Loweecey recently celebrated her thirtieth year outside the convent. She grew up watching Hammer Horror and Scooby-Doo Mysteries, which might explain a whole lot. When she’s not creating trouble for Giulia Falcone-Driscoll, she can be found growing her own vegetables (in summer) and cooking with them (the rest of the year).
Author Links:
Website: www.aliceloweecey.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alice.loweecey
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AliceLoweecey
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4166880.Alice_Loweecey
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Friday, September 18, 2015

Thoreau in a Phanton Bog





Thoreau in Phantom Bog
(A Henry David Thoreau Mystery)

3rd in Series
Mystery
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Kensington (August 25, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0758290274
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Synopsis
Henry David Thorea’s impassioned activism in the Underground Railroad leads him away from the banks of Walden Pond into a morass of murder…
In the spring of 1848, Thoreau returns to Plumford, Massachusetts, in search of a fellow conductor on the Underground Railroad, who has gone missing along with the escaped female slave he was assigned to transport. With the help of his good friend, Dr. Adam Walker, Thoreau finds the conductor—shot to death on a back road.
When the two men discover that Adam’s beloved cousin Julia has given the slave safe harbor, their relief is counterbalanced by concern for Julia, who has put herself in grave danger. Another conductor has been murdered in a neighboring town and a letter has been found from someone claiming to have been hired to assassinate anyone harboring fugitive slaves. With all of them now potential targets, the need for Thoreau and Adam to apprehend the killer is more urgent than ever…

What I Thought:

This is the first time I have heard of this series, but there are two more books in the series before this one.  I didn't really need to read those first two to understand what was going on, but it would have been nice to have read them.  The writing of this story was superb.  Sometime, historical cozy mysteries can be a little tedious, but this one was really good.  It flowed well, which made it easy to understand and read. 

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

About The Authors –
  1. B. B. Oak is the pen name of Beth and Ben Oak, who met in a literature course at Boston University and have been enthralled with Henry David Thoreau (and each other) ever since. They are members of The Thoreau Society and Old Sturbridge Village, a living museum which recreates life in rural New England and served as the model for the book’s fictional town of Plumford.
 Author Links
http://www.bboak.com/
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6579683.B_B_Oak


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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Threads of Evidence by

 
 
 
 

Threads of Evidence
(A Mainely Needlepoint Mystery)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Kensington (August 25, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-1617730061
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Synopsis
It’s hard to imagine anything bad ever happening in picturesque Haven Harbor, Maine–until a famous face rolls into town and unthreads some very dark secrets. . .
Angie Curtis and the Mainely Needlepointers are all too familiar with the Gardener estate. The crumbling Victorian mansion, known as “Aurora,” has been sitting vacant for nearly twenty-five years–and some say it’s haunted by the ghost of Jasmine Gardener, the teenage girl who died there in 1970 under mysterious circumstances…
Harbor Haven is abuzz with excitement when Hollywood actress Skye West decides to buy Aurora and sell off its furnishings. And Angie is intrigued when Skye asks her to appraise the estate’s sizable collection of needlepoint pictures. But the more she examines the pieces, the more they seem to point toward Jasmine’s murder–and the murderer–and it’s up to her to stitch the clues together. . .
But can Sunshine and Aine put aside their differences to stop the murders without tearing each other apart?

What I Thought:

This was my second visit to Haven Harbor, Maine and I enjoyed it as much as I did the first.  Even though this is the second book of a series, you don't need to read the first book to understand what is going on.  Angie stumbles upon a 45 year old murder.  This makes for some very interesting reading.  I like Lea Wait's writing style and I like how she writes about unsolved murders from many years ago.  If you are looking for a good cozy that will keep you guessing and keep you entertained, then this is the book for you.

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

About This Author
Lea Wait lives on the coast of Maine. A fourth generation antique dealer, and author of the Agatha-nominated Shadows Antique Print mystery series, she loves all things antiques and Maine, and she’s learning to do needlepoint. She also writes historical novels for young people set in (where else?) nineteenth-century Maine. Lea adopted her four daughters when she was single; she’s now the grandmother of eight, and married to artist Bob Thomas.
http://www.leawait.com/

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Girl Meets Class





Girl Meets Class
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Paperback: 266 pages
Publisher: Henery Press (September 8, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-1941962855
E-Book ASIN: B00ZD1VIXO
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Synopsis:
The unspooling of Toni Lee Wells’ Tiffany and Wild Turkey lifestyle begins with a trip to the Luckett County Jail drunk tank. An earlier wrist injury sidelined her pro tennis career, and now she’s trading her tennis whites for wild nights roaming the streets of Rose Hill, Georgia.
Her wealthy family finally gets fed up with her shenanigans. They cut off her monthly allowance but also make her a sweetheart deal: Get a job, keep it for a year, and you’ll receive an early inheritance. Act the fool or get fired, and you’ll lose it for good.
Toni Lee signs up for a fast-track Teacher Corps program. She hopes for an easy teaching gig, but what she gets is an assignment to Harriet Hall, a high school that churns out more thugs than scholars.
What’s a spoiled Southern belle to do when confronted with a bunch of street smart students who are determined to make her life as difficult as possible? Luckily, Carl, a handsome colleague, is willing to help her negotiate the rough teaching waters and keep her bed warm at night. But when Toni Lee gets involved with some dark dealings in the school system, she fears she might lose her new beau as well as her inheritance.
 
What I Thought:
 
This was an entertaining story about a spoiled, little, rich girl who has to go out an make it on her own.  The writing in this story was superb.  The main character as not likable at first, which made the story interesting.  I like how Karen told this story about how Toni had to go work in an inner-city school.  It made this story seem real.
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
 
About The Author –
Karin Gillespie is national bestselling author of five novels and a humor columnist for Augusta Magazine. Her nonfiction writing had been in the New York Times, The Writer Magazine and Romantic Times. She maintains a website and blog at Karingillespie.net. Sign up for her newsletter on her website, follow her on Twitter or connect with her on Facebook.
Purchase Links
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GIVEAWAY:  THERE IS GOING TO BE ONE E-COPY OF THIS BOOK GIVEN AWAY, JUST LEAVE A COMMENT WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS, NO EMAIL NO ENTRY.  I WILL PICK A WINNER BY SEPT 21.
 
Guest Post:
 
When Fiction Is Inspired By Real Life
It happens to every writer. You’re at a cocktail party, grazing contentedly on canapés, contemplating whether or not you can stuff a few in your purse without anyone noticing, when a guest corners you.
“So I hear you’re a writer,” he or she says.
You’re tempted to fib because you recognize the hungry gleam in the guest’s eye. Sadly you know what’s coming next.
“Have I got a story for you!”
For the next half hour you find yourself backed up against a wall as the guest tells you every tragic event that’s ever happened to her—everything from illegitimate babies to stalkers to mistreatment by her evil twin. And then, after an hour or so, comes the punch line: “If you write my story, I’ll give you half the profits!”
“So deeply tempting,” you say, “but no thank you.”
Why? Because as most writers know a series of events (no matter how dramatic and eye-popping) does not a novel make.  Fiction is only a metaphor for life. Real life events are often too messy and random to make for a satisfying reading experience. Also there’s a tendency to become hemmed in by real-life events.  Any author who finds himself saying, “but that’s how it really happened” is favoring truth over effective storytelling.
And that’s why I’ve always avoided writing about real life…until a couple of years ago.
I used to teach special education at an inner-city high school. Ninety-eight percent of my students qualified for free lunch, most lived in housing projects, many came to me straight from youth detention centers. Almost all had severe learning difficulties or behavior problems.
During that decade my life was a series of crazy events. Kids arrived at school with bruises and cigarette burns. Many smelled because they had no running water. Some lived in condemned housing. As for me, I was assaulted twice, and one of my special education colleagues was stabbed numerous times and later died from her injuries. Every Friday afternoon, I’d gather with my peers, and over a few beers, we would try to make sense of a milieu that was beyond the average person’s comprehension.
Then, after ten years of teaching, something truly terrible happened which caused me to leave the school. After I quit, I started writing novels.
Never once did I consider writing about my teaching career. My novels were buoyant and humorous, and I intended to keep them that way.
After my fifth novel, I enrolled in an MFA program in Creative Writing and, in order to graduate, I had to write the first one-hundred pages of a novel or as my professors called it, a thesis. Something about the word thesis seemed to demand gravitas, and I felt I couldn’t write my usual fluffy fare.
“Why not write about teaching?” my husband suggested. I resisted. It seemed too large of a leap to go from writing light, funny fiction to writing about extremely complex social problems. And what about my readers? Would they follow me on this journey?
“Maybe not,” I told myself, “But it’s only a hundred pages.  I don’t have to finish it if I don’t want to.”
I started to write my school novel, picking and choosing what real-life events would go into the narrative to best serve the story. There was one caveat: I’d definitely include the awful event that made me quit the school. It was the most dramatic episode of my teaching life and it seemed to sum up my experiences.
Because my subject matter was so serious, I tried to make my prose solemn and weighty, even though I’m typically not a very ponderous person. Sadly my strategy backfired. The novel read like a slog through a swamp in lead army boots. After extensive revisions, Girl Meets Classended up being fairly lighthearted, despite the dark nature of my experiences.
And what about that awful incident* that made me quit?
It didn’t make the final cut. The intelligence of the narrative took over and it no longer fit. It wasn’t my story anymore; it belonged to my character Toni Lee Wells. At the beginning of Girl Meets Class Toni Lee is a much worse teacher than I, but in the end, she comes away with an understanding of her circumstances that eluded me during my stint at the inner-city school. As author John L’Heureux says, “The writer distorts reality in the interest of a larger truth.”

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Gone But Knot Forgotten by Mary Marks

 
 
 
 
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Kensington (August 25, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0758292094
E-Book ASIN: B00QDYVA38
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Synopsis
Sorting through the estate of a wealthy recluse may sound like a fascinating task, but when the skeletons in the closets turn out to be real, Martha and her quilting pals wish they’d stuck to basting and batting. . .
Martha Rose is stunned when she hears that her best friend from high school has passed away. Her shock doubles when she learns that Harriet Oliver made her the executor of her estate. But when investigators determine that Harriet was murdered, Martha recruits her fellow quilters to help find the culprit. She’s mastered the art of piecing together blocks to create intricate quilts, but piecing together her friend’s murder will prove far more challenging. . .
 
What I Thought:
 
This book grabbed my attention from the beginning and kept it the whole way through.  Martha just can't keep away from dead bodies. In this story, she is contacted by a lawyers office and finds out she has been made the executrix of a long lost friends will.  The friend, Harriet, had been dead for more than ten months in her home before anyone found her.  Martha, of course, knew there was foul play before the authorities ever did.  So she sets out, with the help of her quilting buddies, Birdie and Lucy, to find out the truth.  Of course, there has to be a quilt involved.  On top of it all, Martha's love life is on the rebound, but she isn't sure what she wants.  This is a great read.  Good job Mary.
 
I received a complimentary copy for my honest review.
 
About the Author
Born and raised in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, Mary Marks earned a B.A. in Anthropology from UCLA and an M.A. in Public Administration from the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. In 2004 she enrolled in the UCLA Extension Writers Program. Her first novel, Forget Me Knot, was a finalist in a national writing competition in 2011. She is currently a reviewer of cozy mysteries for The New York Journal of Books at www.nyjournalofbooks.com.

Readers can visit her at www.marymarksmysteries.com and https://www.facebook.com/mmarks2013
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Friday, September 4, 2015

Cancans, Croissants, and Caskets by Mary McHugh


Cancans, Croissants, and Caskets
(A Happy Hoofers Mystery)

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Kensington (August 25, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-1617733635
E-Book ASIN: B00QDYYJR2
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Synopsis:
You can’t tiptoe when murder’s afoot…
It’s Bastille Day in Paris. The Happy Hoofers—Tina, Janice, Pat, Mary Louise, and Gini—are all set to kick off the fete by dancing the cancan on a beautiful sightseeing cruise down the Seine. As the leggy ladies soak in the magic of the city of lights, everything is magnifique…until a very important patron goes belly-up on the top deck.
On the heels of their French debut, murder takes center stage. The five daring dancers will need to step lively to stop the crafty killer fast…or their grand finale will turn out far more explosive than the fireworks over the Eiffel Tower…
Includes Fashion Tips And Tasty Recipes
 
What I Thought:
 
This is the third Happy Hoofer Mystery.  The Happy Hoofers get to go on many great excursions, and this time they are in Paris.  This one is a little different as most of the time they are entertaining on something that is traveling, like a boat or a train.  They also seem to get themselves caught up in murders a lot.  I like how each book is told from a different Hoofer's perspective, which lets the readers get to know each Hoofer a little better.  The writing was great as always, and the story flowed well.  I enjoy he relationship between the Hoofers also, they are really good friend to each other.  This one kept me guessing till the very end.   I always enjoy traveling with Happy Hoofers and look forward to their next adventure. 
 
About This Author
  • Mary McHugh graduated from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, with a B.A. in English literature and studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. She is the author of the first two books in the Happy Hoofers series, Chorus Lines, Caviar, and Corpses and Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities; 19 nonfiction books; and two other novels. She was a contributing editor for Cosmopolitan, an articles editor at Woman’s World, Travel Holiday, and Bridal Guide, and has written articles for The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, and Family Circle.  She loves to tap dance and to travel—two passions that inspired her to write the Happy Hoofers series. She lives in the New York area.
Author Links:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22891459-cancans-croissants-and-caskets
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mary.mchugh.77
Purchase Links:
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