Monday, April 17, 2017

Cat Got Your Cash by Julie Chase - #review #giveaway


Lacy Marie Crocker’s whimsical pet couture has gained a following in New Orleans’s cozy Garden District, and word of mouth has traveled all the way to her favorite fashion designer, Annie Lane. Lacy’s thrilled when Annie schedules a private session at her home to discuss a companion line for her evening wear, but when Lacy arrives for the appointment, she enters the kitchen to two mewling Siamese cats–and one very dead Annie.

Friday, April 7, 2017

No Getting Over a Cowboy by Delores Fossen - #review


Series: A Wrangler’s Creek Novel (Book 2)
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: HQN Books (March 28, 2017)

The golden cowboy of Wrangler’s Creek returns home to Texas to discover some old flames never fizzle… 

There are plenty of things Garrett Granger hadn’t counted on losing—his child to miscarriage, his wife to another man and the family business thanks to a crooked CFO. He also hadn’t counted on moving back to the family ranch, where he’s met by another surprise—former flame Nicky Marlow, who is renting his grandmother’s old house.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Treasure in Paradise by Kathi Daley - #review


Tj Jensen and her family head to Turtle Cove Resort for summer vacation, but their plans for rest and relaxation are thwarted when they find a dead treasure hunter in the attic of the resort’s main house. Initially vowing not to get involved, Tj quickly changes her tune when the Gull Island deputy on the case closes it after a bare bones investigation. All evidence points to foul play, and Tj’s determined to uncover what the deputy wants to keep hidden. With the help of her best friend and a chatty parrot, Tj digs up a centuries old legend, a hidden map, and secrets buried deeper than pirate’s treasure.

GoodReads * Amazon (pre-order until the 11th)

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Books in the Tj Jensen Mystery Series:


MY REVIEW

TJ is back and her fans are in Paradise!  Huzzah!  She and her family are taking a vacation and she is looking forward to a little peace and quiet. (Insert evil movie villain laugh here.)  Yeah.  We know that's not going to happen!  But no cozy reader expects that to happen - and, truth be told, no self-respecting cozy reader wants it to happen!

So, the discovery of a dead treasure hunter in the main lodge leads to old legends, treasure maps, and even the quintessential pirate's bird - a talking parrot - who turns out to be quite the detective's assistant (and one of my favorite cozy mystery animals since I discovered the genre).

I don't know if TJ's ability to sniff out bodies or slightly slacking local LEO's is more highly developed, but she is very talented at both outcomes...

Almost as talented as Kathi for authoring a number of series, each with a great heroine, and a number of adventures in each series.  It's like she discovered a hush-hush "cozy perfect recipe" during the writing of one of her mysteries and will pass it along when the next student presents herself (or himself).  What I'm trying to say (awkwardly, of course) is that Kathi Daley is one name that I can see on a book that will send it automatically to my TBR, even before I've read the title!

Treasure in Paradise is a wonderful addition to the "TJ" series in particular and the author's body of work in general.  There are three cases in which Treasure makes an especially good read:
  1.   you are on vacation.
  2.   you wish you were on vacation.
  3.   the name of the day (in English) has a "y" in it.

Nuff said.  Go forth and read.

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MEET THE AUTHOR





Author of the Zoe Donovan cozy Mystery Series, Tj Jensen Paradise Lake Mystery series, Whales and Tails Cozy Mystery Series, Sand and Sea Hawaiian Mysteries, and Seacliff High Teen Cozy Mystery Series.

Come for the murder, stay for the romance.

Kathi lives in the beautiful alpine community of Lake Tahoe with her husband Ken and dog Echo. When she’s not writing she enjoys hanging out on the beach with her children and grandchildren. During the summer she enjoys hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, wakeboarding, and sunset cruises on the lake. During the winter she enjoys cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and curling up by a fire with a good book.

Kathi uses her mountain home as inspiration for her books, all which include appearances by the wildlife she shares her life with.

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

May Cause Love by Kassi Underwood - #review


In this powerful memoir, a fiercely honest and surprisingly funny testament to healing after abortion, a young woman travels across the United States to meet a motley crew of spiritual teachers and a caravan of new friends.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Dying on the Vine by Marla Cooper - #review #giveaway


When wedding planner Kelsey McKenna goes to the Wine Country Wedding Faire, the last thing she expects to do is take on new clients. After all, she’s just there to help out her friend Brody and maybe score some free cupcakes. But when a young couple in a pinch asks for her help, she just can’t say no.

There’s only one problem: they’d been working with Babs Norton, the self-proclaimed Queen of Wine Country Weddings—and things did not end well. Kelsey wants to make sure there are no hard feelings, but unfortunately she never gets the chance. When she goes to Babs’ office, she finds the wedding planner dead on the floor.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Single Malt Murder by Melinda Mullet - #review


When Abi inherits her uncle’s quaint and storied single malt distillery, she finds herself immersed in a competitive high-stakes business that elicits deep passions and prejudices. An award-winning photojournalist, Abi has no trouble capturing the perfect shot—but making the perfect shot is another matter. When she starts to receive disturbing, anonymous threats, it’s clear that someone wants her out of the picture. But Abi’s never been one to back down from a fight.


Arriving on the scene with her whisky-loving best friend, Patrick, and an over-sized wheaten terrier named Liam, Abi seems to put everyone in the bucolic village on edge—especially her dour but disturbingly attractive head distiller. Acts of sabotage and increasingly personal threats against Abi make it clear that she is not welcome. When one of Abi’s new employees is found floating face
down in a vat of whisky, Abi is determined to use her skills as an investigative journalist to identify the cold-blooded killer and dispense a dram of justice before he strikes again. But distilling truth from lies is tricky, especially when everyone seems to have something to hide.


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MY REVIEW

Single Malt Murder by Melinda Mullet already has three things going for it before you even open the cover:  Scotland, scotch and Scots!

All kidding aside, there was a very genuine feeling to the village where Abi's uncle lived and ran a distillery.  It must have been quite a jolt for the globe-trotting photojournalist.  And making whiskey, especially a coveted single-malt Scotch, is worlds away from simply bending your elbow to take a shot.

Abi's taking enough shots anyway.  Someone (or someones) do not want her there.  For one thing, she's a city person, and things work differently in the country.  Then there's the fact that she is a woman, even if she is Ben's niece.  Some of villagers don't think Abi should run the distillery because making scotch is 'man's work'.

Things get real when Abi starts discovering 'warnings' in her path: the dead bird on her doorstep, notes that mysteriously appear with mild-to-worse threats and the dead flowers she finds on her kitchen counter upon returning to her uncle's supposedly locked house.  Don't even get me started on the fire at the distillery - or the dead employee discovered head-down in one of the vats.

Single Malt Murder is a tasty tipple in its own right.  The fact that this is the beginning of a series will keep my spirits high for years to come!

One of my favorite quotes EVER comes from an old SNL sketch and seems quite apropos for this book:

"Scotch is a drink; Scots are a people...but we're both quite tasty!"

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MEET THE AUTHOR



Melinda Mullet was born in Dallas and attended school in Texas, Washington D.C., England, and Austria. She spent many years as a practicing attorney before pursuing a career as a writer. Author of the Whisky Business Mystery series, Mullet is a passionate supporter of childhood literacy. She works with numerous domestic and international charities striving to promote functional literacy for all children. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her family.

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GIVEAWAY!!!

Please go to the tour page (click the banner below) to enter a giveaway for one of 3 e-copies of Single Malt Murder!

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Click on the banner above to go to the tour page, where you will find links to more reviews of Single Malt Murder. as well as guest posts and interviews by the author.  You can also find out how to become a blog host for future book tours while you are there!

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.)

Monday, March 27, 2017

Old Bones Never Die by Lesley A. Diehl - #review #giveaway


Just before Walter Egret is killed in a hit-and-run, he phoned his half-brother Sammy to report that he’d unearthed their missing father’s pocket watch, along with a pile of human bones. The project is put on hold until it can be determined if the site is an Indian burial ground. Then the bones disappear.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Woman Who Knew Too Much by Tom Savage - #review


Galina Rostova, the hot new star of Moscow’s theater scene—and mistress to a powerful Russian general—has reached out to the CIA. In exchange for information vital to U.S. security, she requests asylum in America. The Company’s top pick for the mission is Nora Baron. The wife of a CIA operative, this Long Island mother and drama teacher has proven to be an asset in the field before. And as an actress herself, her cover will be convincing.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Renegade's Pride by B.J. Daniels - #review



The renegade cowboy returns 

It’s been nine years since Trask Beaumont left Gilt Edge, Montana, with an unsolved crime in his wake, and Lillian Cahill has convinced herself she’s finally over him. But when the rugged cowboy with the easy smile suddenly shows up at her bar, there’s a pang in her heart arguing the attraction never faded. And that’s dangerous, because Trask has returned on a mission to clear his name and win Lillie back.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Monday Booking Things

     


   

Thanks to Stephanie of Tynga's Reviews, Kathryn at Book Date, Ramona at Create With Joy and Janice at Mostly Blogging for hosting these respective link-ups!  (Click on the buttons to go to the respective blogs.)

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STACKING THE SHELVES

     

It was a slow book week, but that's ok.  I've been clear-cutting my gmail, as they stopped me from sending or receiving emails due to being over the storage limit!  So I missed all those "book deal" emails I usually get. ;p

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IT'S MONDAY! WHAT ARE YOU READING?

   

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INSPIRE ME MONDAYS


Cherry Cake and a Cadaver by Susan Boles - #review



Lily Gayle and the gang set out to find a killer after local baker Luxen Natolovich is found dead hours before the grand opening weekend at the new Bed and Breakfast in town, Midnight Dragonfly. As Lily Gayle deciphers the clues around Luxen’s death she uncovers a conspiracy of lies and half truths that could very well be tied to a refugee camp in Mississippi during World War II. The deeper Lily Gayle digs, the deeper the conspiracy runs, and the closer she comes to being the killer’s next victim.


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MY REVIEW

I was so glad to get the chance to read Cherry Cake and a Cadaver, having read Death of a Wolfman (the 1st Lily Gayle Lambert Mystery) during August of last year.  The gun rack is full of wacky characters once again, some continuing from the first installment in the series and some brand new for this book.  And I say 'wacky' with a little bit of pride as a quote from the tv show Designing Women comes to mind.  Julia said (paraphrasing) ... "Here in the South, we don't hide away our crazy relatives and friends, and never talk about them.  We bring 'em out and show them off!"

Extra seriousness is introduced in Cherry Cake, as there could be some ties to a WWII refugee camp in Mississippi.

That's one complicated recipe for a book that includes cherry cake, a murder and regional history from 50-odd years ago.  Luckily, Ms. Boles is a master baker of cozy mysteries.  The multiple story elements are mixed together just right and make Cherry Cake and a Cadaver a worthy addition to the series and a tasty read in its own right.

I look forward to see what Lily Gayle gets into in the future!

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MEET THE AUTHOR



Susan calls McNairy County, TN her home ground even though she has moved away. It was here, at Bethel Springs Junior High School that she began her writing career with two friends. They formed their own little writers group that was so secret they were the only ones who knew it existed. She still has some of the stories they wrote carefully preserved in a loose leaf binder and tucked away for safety.

She has worked in retail management, briefly for the Census Bureau and for many years in the investment/insurance industry in the regulatory compliance arena. All of which are left brain activities. So she exercises her right brain activity with reading and writing…just to keep both sides even.

Reading has been a passion since she was very young. As a toddler, her mother read to her from her ‘baby books’ and her Mother tells a story about her holding one of them upside down and ‘reading’ by repeating the story verbatim from memory.

Death of a Wolfman is the first in the Lily Gayle Lambert mystery series. Her previously published romantic suspense novel, Fated Love, is a contemporary paranormal romantic suspense (with a twist of paranormal) set in Memphis, TN. Her first novel, Kate’s Pride, is a historical women’s fiction set in West Tennessee in the aftermath of the Civil War. The novel is loosely based on her own Great Grandmother and published under the pen name Renee Russell.

Life got in the way of writing for many years but now she’s come back to her early love.

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xx

Click on the banner above to go to the tour page, where you will find links to more reviews, as well as guest posts and interviews with the author and book characters!  You can also find out how to become a blog host for future book tours while you are there!

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.)


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Elementary She Read by Vicki Delany - #review #giveaway


Gemma Doyle, a transplanted Englishwoman, has returned to the quaint town of West London on Cape Cod to manage her Great Uncle Arthur’s Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. The shop–located at 222 Baker Street–specializes in the Holmes canon and pastiche, and is also the home of Moriarty the cat. When Gemma finds a rare and potentially valuable magazine containing the first Sherlock Homes story hidden in the bookshop, she and her friend Jayne (who runs the adjoining Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room) set off to find the owner, only to stumble upon a dead body.

Monday, March 13, 2017

All the News I Need by Joan Frank - #review


All The News I Need probes the modern American response to inevitable, ancient riddles—of love and sex and mortality.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Holden by Delores Fossen - #review


When a baby goes missing, a Texas marshal and a woman from his past discover there’s a whole lot more behind this kidnapping… 

Holden Ryland certainly didn’t become a marshal just to end up busting his ex, Nicky Hart, for taking files from Conceptions Fertility Clinic. But only Nicky knows just what was really stolen: a newborn being held for ransom. A newborn who is kin to both her and Holden. The missing boy is only the start of a mystery that snakes through Texas, winding its way through their families. Bad blood may linger between them, but Holden can protect his nephew back at the Silver Creek Ranch. If they can lay their past to rest to rescue this child, is it possible for them to have a future together?

Friday, March 3, 2017

No Way Home by Annette Dashofy - #review


A relaxing trail ride turns tragic when Paramedic and Deputy Coroner Zoe Chambers discovers the body of a popular county commissioner in her Pennsylvania woods. Inconsistencies surround the horrible accident, but before she can investigate further, she’s pried away by a plea for help from her best friend whose son has been deemed a person of interest in a homicide over a thousand miles away. When he vanishes without a trace, his mother begs Zoe to help clear him and bring him safely home. The task takes Zoe out of her comfort zone in a frantic trip to the desolate canyons and bluffs of New Mexico where she joins forces with the missing boy’s sister and a mysterious young Navajo.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Pork Pies by Judy Nichols - #review


Crusty British transplant Ian Dodge is back on the beat, this time in the service of Her Majesty, otherwise known as Laura Lane, the Food Queen, star of a popular TV cooking show. A blackmailer has threatened to expose her sordid past as a con artist, so she turns to Ian Dodge to get it sorted.

When her blackmailer is found stabbed to death in his hotel room, Her Majesty is the prime suspect. It’s Ian’s job to untangle a web of deception and pork pies (lies) to find the real culprit, all the while dealing with the antics of his twin sons, Jesse and Mac.

Monday, February 27, 2017

An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear - #review


With the country in the grip of economic malaise, Maisie Dobbs is relieved to accept an apparently straightforward assignment to investigate a potential land purchase. Her inquiries take her to a picturesque village in Kent during the hop-picking season, but beneath its pastoral surface she finds evidence that something is amiss. Mysterious fires erupt in the village with alarming regularity, and a series of petty crimes suggest a darker criminal element at work. A peculiar secrecy shrouds the village, and ultimately Maisie must draw on her finely-honed skills of detection to solve one of her most intriguing cases yet.


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MY REVIEW

The fifth in the series?  Where have I been all of Maisie Dobbs' life?  (I mean, if she were a real person and not 100 years old (or so), I'd probably want to have Maisie meet my son! *lol*)

Ms. Winspear scripted a delicious tension in the story from beginning to end.  There's the whole 'I'm not getting the full story here' vibe, tension between the locals and Londoners, the Roma against - well - everybody, and the townspeople against a boorish land owner.  The village, as well, has one whopping big secret that will eventually out.

I also especially enjoyed the character of the old Roma 'Auntie'.  She had amazingly clear vision while all around her saw things the way they wanted them to be, or didn't like what they did see.

And I'm going to have to find another 12 spaces on my TBR shelf for the rest of the series.  Or build a new shelf.  Because not reading the rest of the series is as unthinkable as an entire English village swearing off tea.


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MEET THE AUTHOR



Jacqueline Winspear is the author of the New York Times bestselling Maisie Dobbs series, which includes In This Grave Hour, Journey to MunichA Dangerous PlaceLeaving Everything Most LovedElegy for Eddie, and eight other novels. Her standalone novel, The Care and Management of Lies, was also a New York Times bestseller and a Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalist. Originally from the United Kingdom, she now lives in California.

Find out more about Jacqueline at her website, www.jacquelinewinspear.com, and find her on Facebook.

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Click on the button to go to the readalong page, where you can find revieww for many of the "Maisie Dobbs" titles.  You can also find out how to become a readalong host for future events!

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of An Incomplete Revenge from the author and publishers via TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.)

Friday, February 17, 2017

When Last We Spoke (Book and DVD) - #review


With the heart and humor of Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes and Rebecca Wells’s Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, author Marci Henna introduces you to the Cranbournes—a mostly lovable and undoubtedly nutty family who’ve had more than their fair share of hard times.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Monday Bookish Things

     


   

Thanks to Stephanie of Tynga's Reviews, Kathryn at Book Date, Ramona at Create With Joy and Janice at Mostly Blogging for hosting these respective link-ups!  (Click on the buttons to go to the respective blogs.)

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Recently Finished


With the country in the grip of economic malaise, and worried about her business, Maisie Dobbs is relieved to accept an apparently straightforward assignment from an old friend to investigate certain matters concerning a potential land purchase. Her inquiries take her to a picturesque village in Kent during the hop-picking season, but beneath its pastoral surface she finds evidence that something is amiss. Mysterious fires erupt in the village with alarming regularity, and a series of petty crimes suggests a darker criminal element at work. As Maisie discovers, the villagers are bitterly prejudiced against outsiders who flock to Kent at harvest time—even more troubling, they seem possessed by the legacy of a wartime Zeppelin raid. Maisie grows increasingly suspicious of a peculiar secrecy that shrouds the village, and ultimately she must draw on all her finely honed skills of detection to solve one of her most intriguing cases.

Thoroughly enjoyable.  The blog tour stops here on February 27 (two weeks from today).

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Holden Ryland certainly didn't become a marshal just to end up busting his ex, Nicky Hart, for taking files from Conceptions Fertility Clinic. But only Nicky knows just what was really stolen: a newborn being held for ransom. A newborn who is kin to both her and Holden. The missing boy is only the start of a mystery that snakes through Texas, winding its way through their families. Bad blood may linger between them, but Holden can protect his nephew back at the Silver Creek Ranch. If they can lay their past to rest to rescue this child, is it possible for them to have a future together?

Another goodie, especially if you like your reading on the spicy side.

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Currently Reading


The stark naked body was lying in the tub. Not unusual for a proper bath, but highly irregular for murder -- especially with a pair of gold pince-nez deliberately perched before the sightless eyes. What's more, the face appeared to have been shaved after death. The police assumed that the victim was a prominent financier, but Lord Peter Wimsey, who dabbled in mystery detection as a hobby, knew better. In this, his first murder case, Lord Peter untangles the ghastly mystery of the corpse in the bath.

Having a little trouble with this one.  Got it for a vintage reading challenge, and I remember I think a BBC series that looked like it had promise.  Lord Peter is a little vacuous for my taste.  But I will keep a stiff upper lip and soldier on.

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Gemma Doyle, a transplanted Englishwoman, has returned to the quaint town of West London on Cape Cod to manage her Great Uncle Arthur's Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. The shop--located at 222 Baker Street--specializes in the Holmes canon and pastiche, and is also the home of Moriarty the cat. When Gemma finds a rare and potentially valuable magazine containing the first Sherlock Homes story hidden in the bookshop, she and her friend Jayne (who runs the adjoining Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room) set off to find the owner, only to stumble upon a dead body....

So far, so good!  (I'm Crab Orchard's BIGGEST Holmes fan! :O)  My date on the tour is Wednesday, March 15.

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Next Ups


Galina Rostova, the hot new star of Moscow’s theater scene—and mistress to a powerful Russian general—has reached out to the CIA. In exchange for information vital to U.S. security, she requests asylum in America. The Company’s top pick for the mission is Nora Baron. The wife of a CIA operative, this Long Island mother and drama teacher has proven to be an asset in the field before. And as an actress herself, her cover will be convincing.

I requested this title from NetGalley, because I've read and reviewed this author's work before (A Penny for the Hangman, and Mrs. John Doe).  I'm hoping to like this one as well as the others ... and since I have a background in theatre, it's got that going for it as well!  

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Frances Ferguson is a lonely, sharp-tongued widow who lives in the wine country. Oliver Gaffney is a painfully shy gay man who guards a secret and lives out equally lonely days in San Francisco. Friends by default, Fran and Ollie nurse the deep anomie of loss and the creeping, animal betrayal of aging. Each loves routine but is anxious that life might be passing by. To crack open this stalemate, Fran insists the two travel together to Paris. The aftermath of their funny, bittersweet journey suggests those small changes, within our reach, that may help us save ourselves—somewhere toward the end.

I have a tour date of Thursday, March 16th for this title.

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And to finish, here's a wee bit of wisdom for your week:

(found on the web here)

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

Taking myself out of the equation, who is one of your favorite book bloggers and why?  Feel free to leave a link with your comment. :O)

Have a great week, y'all!