Wednesday, May 23, 2018

A Hasty Grave

Amateur Sleuth

Finding a large hole on one’s property is one thing; finding a body in it the following day is quite another.

Rona and her ex-husband, Johnny, also discover a sheet of paper at the gravesite, symbols looking like code or treasure hunting glyphs.  What’s it mean?  Does it have any bearing on the man’s death?

Add to this mix the old Finley-Tennet feud and an elderly Finley’s nebulous recollection of James/Younger outlaw days. Does she have the clue to the cache’s location?

When a second death pushes Rona and Johnny into a deadly game of hide-and-seek with the killer, she learns—nearly too late--just how deeply Johnny still loves her.

MY REVIEW
A really enjoyable mystery. This could almost be called a cozy but it has all of the twists and turns of a somewhat more complex plot. This time Rona and her ex seem a bit closer and McAlan keeps you hoping all the way through that they’ll get back together. However, that’s something you’ll have to find out by reading the book; at least as far as this reviewer is concerned. There are once again a few historical hints in this book as there were in the first one. I’d call it historical flavor more than anything else. I loved all of its hidden messages and the puzzles that Johnny and Rona try to solve. Don’t get me wrong, this was not a deep subject, or a hard to read, heavy book. It is a fun read that will keep you wondering who is the bad guy or girl, along with of course, a few dead bodies. You know…all the things a mystery is supposed to have.
Jessie McAlan seems to be as good at describing her characters and keeping them alive as she was in the first book.  The small town of Klim and its inhabitants are still working and playing and of course spreading gossip faster than a speeding bullet. And then there’s Linn House. It sounds as beautiful as ever with its beautiful Mississippi river accompaniment flowing by and McAlan does it justice by her beautiful descriptive writing.   
This is the 2nd book in her series called “The Linn House Mysteries” and it is as good as Book 1 titled “The House on Devil’s Bar”.  Wonder when Book 3 is due?

***This book was provided to me free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

EXCERPT
She’d set her laptop on the coffee table and was getting out dessert plates and mugs when the bell to the side door rang. She cracked open the window, saw it was Johnny, then ushered him inside.

“First time in quite a while I’ve been given the eye.” He gave her a light kiss on the cheek. “Wouldn’t a peep hole in the door work better?”

“I just wanted to be certain it was you. Can you install a peep hole?”

“Nothing to it, especially for a man who’s put in those picture windows in his shop.” He flung his cap onto the kitchen table and shrugged out of his jacket. “Why the precautions all of a sudden?”

“It’s a long story.”

“I’m not busy the rest of my life. Except for October 28th. I’ll be occupied with the gallery’s opening that day. But the other ten thousand nine hundred fifty days are yours.”

“How long is that?
“Thirty years, give or take a leap day or two. I want to make sure I’m not skimping on our time together.”

“You plan on living to one hundred seven?”

“I don’t see why not. I have to make up for our year of separation and divorce.” He dished two servings of the pudding cake into the bowls, set them and the mugs on the tray, and took them into the den. “So, what’s this long story that requires precautions? I love stories. I was brought up on stories.”

“This isn’t Little Red Riding Hood. Sorry to disappoint you.”

“So it’s something else with a big bad wolf.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:  Jessie McAlan will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

A family trip to the Big Spring area in the Missouri Ozarks introduced Jessie to the wonders
of nature.  Her summer stints as a camp counselor and canoeing instructor cemented her enthusiasm.  This love of the natural world and the river flows through her Linn House mysteries.

In 2001 Jessie graduated from Webster University with a BA degree and departmental honors in English.

She lives in the St Louis, MO area, and spends as much time as she can writing mysteries and watching the barges on the river.











Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Strawberries and Strangers

Cozy Mystery


Exclusive beach party takes a murderous turn.

Dumped by her cheating husband, Jenny King is trying to build a new life in the small seaside town of Pelican Cove. Locals are lining up at the Boardwalk Café for her tasty cakes and muffins. But when her aunt is accused of killing a stranger, Jenny is forced to set her apron aside and put on her sleuthing cap.

Jenny battles with the cranky local sheriff and quirky local characters to get to the truth. Aided by her new friends, she will move heaven and earth to find out who the dead stranger was and what he was doing in Pelican Cove.

If you like cozy murder mysteries with friendly small towns, scenic settings, yummy food and a touch of romance, you will like Strawberries And Strangers.

Buy now and get hooked on the brand new Pelican Cove Cozy Mystery Series. Book 2 and Book 3 are coming soon in May 2018.


MY REVIEW
Cute cozy in the small town of Pelican Cove. Jenny is a fantastic cook who came to live with her Aunt Rebecca, who now wants to be called Star. If you’re wondering if Star was once a hippie, you got it. After breaking off a really bad marriage, Jenny cooks in a restaurant called Boardwalk Café. This is a cute mystery so there has to be a dead guy, right? Well this one happens to have Star’s paintbrush in his hand.
This is just a fun, easy read. It has all of your characters present for a cozy setting in a small town. The sweet café owner, Petunia, the good friend, the snoopy ladies group as well as a snooty ladies group and of course, a handsome cop. The characters came alive and the town was described so well I wanted to live there. I thought there were a few times that Jenny seemed a little over-ardent about clearing her aunt, but then I think you have to have a reason for your amateur detective to keep “detecting” or you’d have no plot.

Leena Clover has two series available online.  This is Book 1 of the Pelican Cove Cozy Mystery series. Better check them all out.

***This book was provided to me free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

EXCERPT
The Newburys were the richest family in the town of Pelican Cove. Although they didn’t share the honor of being the ‘first family’, they tried to make up for it with plenty of wealth. Rumor had it their coffers were full of gold, gold they had dug up from the sea. They had a sprawling ocean facing estate spread over ten acres. Unlike most houses in town, it was newly built. Anything built in the last fifty years was considered new in Pelican Cove.

“But you’ve been open twenty five years, haven’t you, Petunia?”

“That’s just how long I owned this café, dear. It was around a long time before that.”

“So the Newburys never came to the Boardwalk Café?”

“They got rich in the great storm,” Petunia whispered, leaning forward. “And they built that big castle of theirs.”

“Upstarts!” Star snorted.

Petunia rolled her eyes and turned toward Jenny.

“They got rich and uppity, I tell you. I guess they thought coming to this café was beneath them.”

“Then why have they hired us now?” Jenny asked.


Leena Clover will be awarding  a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Leena Clover grew up reading mystery books. Some of her favorite authors are Agatha Christie, M C Beaton and Donna Andrews. Now she is trying her hand at writing whodunnits, making them as nail biting as possible while keeping them cozy. Her love for food is evident in all her books. Readers can find yummy treats in the pages of her books, along with friends that last a lifetime.

Connect with Leena at her website http://leenaclover.com or write to her. She looks forward to hearing from you.


The book will be on sale for only $0.99.

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Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Last Prejudice

Mainstream Drama (GLBT)

When Ed Connor slips into a coma his wife, children and their families arrive at the hospital to await his recovery. They gather around his bedside and begin reminiscing about the good old days but as the hours pass stress begins to take its toll causing long held family secrets and unresolved issues to surface. A disagreement over a DNR order put Ed’s sons, Steve and Peter, at odds and the family speculates that their anger is really about an event that led to their falling out when they were teens. While in his coma, Ed exists somewhere between life and death and wonders what he could have done differently when Steve tried to tell him that he was gay. The family is drawn into the bitter battle between Peter and Steve, and they fear things will never be right between them again. It’s now up to the family to devise an intervention as a last ditch effort to bring these two battling brothers back into the family.


MY REVIEW
Out of the mouth of babes... Children say the darnedest things now and then…

Really a tear jerker at times. But… a good story with some reminders about life and how quickly we can miss what we really meant to do. This is a life lesson but not one in a preaching mode. It’s a really intense storyline. Sometimes it will make you angry and sometimes it will make you sad. Others, will make you laugh. It’s about how prejudice and arguing within one’s family can make us all  miss some of the most important moments of our lives. How a small difference can hurt and can involve each and every person in our family, no matter what age. 

Much of this story is based on memories and what family members didn’t realize about one another. Almost all of the setting is in a hospital room. Sounds impossible doesn’t it? However, I think because the dialog is written so well, the scene or setting only adds to helping the story become more passionate at times. It also takes excellent character definition to tell a story this way and Blodgett seems to have done it quite well.  

Bill Blodgett has 3 or 4 other books all with good reviews. Each one looks like a different genre. Takes a good author to write in such different genres and get good reviews. Better check him out.

***This book was provided to me free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

EXCERPT
The coffee cup shattered when it hit the white porcelain kitchen sink. She had just poured it and added a splash of half and half before she looked out the kitchen window to check on him. Oh well, if it makes him happy. Some things I just can’t change, she thought. Then he slumped over the steering wheel of the lawn mower. Fortunately the mower’s safety mechanism shut the mower down when he fell to the side and onto the newly mowed lawn.

The shattering of the cup had barely quieted before she was through the screen door and at his side. She pulled him the rest of the way off the mower and felt for a pulse. She found it. Thank God.

“Ed! Ed, can you hear me? Don’t do this to me, you stubborn old fart. I told you not to be mowing this damn lawn.”

His eyes opened when she cradled his head in her lap, and he mumbled something. She leaned closer. “… broken…” was all she heard.

“Broken? Ed, what’s broken?”

When he didn’t respond, she pulled back to look at him. His eyes went vacant and then slowly rolled back and closed.

“Help me, please… Anyone, please help me!”

She shrieked until someone heard her. Within minutes Beth, her neighbor, was at her side. “Jan, my God, what’s happened?”



“Call 911.”

Bill will be awarding an digital copy of Unrequited to 5 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. (see below)

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

I still live in the community where I met and married my lovely wife, Janice. Actually, she lived around the corner from me and we both ignored each other until our teen years when the hormone thing kicked in and we suddenly realized that the cute little girl skipping rope and that goofy boy riding a bike had both grown up.
We are the proud parents of April and Lindsay; both of whom are now married. April married Darren and they have two beautiful boys, Brian and Owen. Lindsay married Tim and they have two beautiful children: Kailyn and Evan.

 I enjoy hiking, kayaking, camping with my family, golfing, making candles, and restoring my antique European sports car, a 1972 MGB.

They say to write from what you know, so I do. I write of love, life and relationships.


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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Brewer and Reut


Read about this book and see the GIVEAWAY and EXTRA FREE GIVEAWAYS             by clicking HERE





Read about this book and see the GIVEAWAY by clicking HERE




Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Unbreakable Bond

Paranormal Romance

Sometimes fate gets it all wrong.

Zoey Kent has lived with that fact ever since she turned eighteen and learned that the man she loved could never be hers. He’s a born shifter, a wolf, and she’s a mere human. Fate doesn’t care if on paper they’re a perfect pair. She isn’t his fated mate and she’s resigned herself to the knowledge that someday, she’ll have to watch Michael mate with another. It’s never crossed her mind that there might be someone else out there for her, that she would be the one to mate another, to choose another over everything she’s ever known or wanted.

Sometimes fate gets it all right.

Rafe Hudson left his pack behind years ago. Physically and mentally scarred from an attack that left his parents and twin dead, he walked away from his responsibilities as Alpha. He never intended to return but lone wolf or not, he can’t leave Michael open to an attack he’s learned is coming for his only brother. What he didn’t know was that going home would mean scenting his mate, the one person in the world that could make him whole again, that could give him everything he thought he’d lost. His pack, his home and his family.

But fate always has a plan.

There’s no way Michael’s brother is her future, is there? Just like there’s no way that the girl his brother has loved since they were kids, was always meant to be his, right?

Only fate knows why they were brought together but there is one thing for sure, the sparks between Zoey and Rafe are undeniable. The bond between them is unbreakable. And together… they’ll change the face of the pack forever.

MY REVIEW
This was really not my genre but in truth, it was really a page turner. I am a very “black & white” person so believing and reading about the paranormal never sits quite right with me. On the other hand, I read Sci-Fi through many years and I don’t suppose one is more believable than another.  While this may be paranormal, it is also a story of caring and loving and it has a lot of action. Except for the shifting thing, it was almost as if a native tribe was trying to steal another tribe’s land.

One thing Jess Bryant accomplished that I find really hard to believe, is that in my mind, I constantly had a picture of what characters looked like and what they looked like after shifting. Before I read this book I would have told you that was not possible.


Did Bryant make a believer out of me? Romance and paranormal are still not my favorite genres but am I glad I read this book? Sure I am.

***This book was provided to me free of charge in exchange for an honest review.


EXCERPT
Zoey felt her jaw fall open. Rafe. Michael had called him Rafe again. Add in what he’d just said about the pack being his and that meant he was exactly who she’d thought he was when she got that first good look at him.


Her mind was whirling, “Michael? What’s going on? Tell me. Now. Because what my head is telling me can’t possibly be right… can it?”

Michael sighed, started to reach for her again and then must have thought better of it considering the threat hanging in the air. He swiped his hand across his jaw instead. When he met her eyes again, there was more than just concern there this time. There was also a good portion of sadness.

“Zoey, you remember my brother?”

“Rafael.” Her gaze automatically shifted back to him when Michael confirmed what she’d already put together, “Rafe.”

That flash of recognition hit her again along with something else. It had been a long time. She’d barely been a teenager the last time she saw him. He’d taken off after the accident that took his parents life and the life of his twin brother, the same accident that had made Michael Alpha of the pack.

It was the something else that distracted her though, the thing that definitely hadn’t been there when she’d known him before. The instant attraction to him was new. So was the urge to move towards him, to let him protect her, the belief that he was the one offering safety, comfort and home. None of that had been there when she’d known him before… before she’d turned eighteen, she realized.

Her head was still trying to figure out what that meant, how that was possible, when Michael’s next words confirmed what her heart had been trying to tell her all day. 

This was the important part. The impossible part. The part she never could have seen coming because it changed everything.

“He thinks you’re his mate.”

Jess will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. (see below)

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jess Bryant is an avid indoorswoman. A city girl trapped in a country girl's life, her heart
resides in Dallas but her soul and roots are in small town Oklahoma. She enjoys manicures, the color pink, and her completely impractical for country life stilettos. She believes that hair color is a legitimate form of therapy, as is reading and writing romance. She started writing as a little girl but her life changed forever when she stole a book from her aunt's Harlequin collection and she's been creating love stories with happily ever afters ever since.

Jess holds a degree in Public Relations from the University of Oklahoma and is a lifetime supporter of her school and athletic teams. And why not? They have a ton of National Championships! She may be a girlie girl but she knows her sports stats and isn't afraid to tell you that your school isn't as cool as hers... or that your sports romance got it all wrong.

For more information on Jess and upcoming releases, contact her at JessBryantBooks@gmail.com or follow her on her many social media accounts for news and shenanigans.

Links


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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A Trail to Love

Historical Romance

Jack Billabard, mourning the loss of his wife and baby in childbirth, vows to never to love again. After their funeral at Fort Laramie, he rides into the Wyoming hills beyond the ranch he built for his wife. Through his grieving tears, an ancient tree appears, giving him the hope he doesn't believe is possible. For the next four years, he acts as a guide on the Oregon Trail, taking families to a new life while his looms lonely and stagnant.

The night before her abusive husband’s death, an ancient tree appears in Sarah Nickelson's yard as she agonizes over how to survive her marriage. The tree gives her hope she can’t help but reject. After all, a tree doesn't just appear out of nowhere. After her husband 's death, and with no options as a widow in Independence, Missouri, Sarah decides to travel to Oregon City as a Mail Order Bride.

During their trek west on the Oregon Trail, Jack and Sarah encounter one another, each afraid of being hurt again. Can they survive dogs and puppies, wind and rainstorms, Indians and unfavorable fellow passengers, while their love blossoms? Will the tree fulfill its promise?

MY REVIEW
Mail-order brides. A thing of stories and never really true? Mail-order brides existed and still do in many countries today. This happens to be a story about one of the 1800’s type. It’s genre is listed as Historical Romance. It seemed to have a touch of western flavor to me. I thought that just added color. This story also contains the genre “Romance”. I must say it was a very enjoyable read to me. Romance is not a genre I always enjoy but there is no explicit sex in this story; just a story about strong women, their lives, their families and their loves.

While fiction, this is also a very well-portrayed story of the position women could be put in back in that time. We lost our first names and definitely our birth surnames when we married. We became Mrs. So and So and in many circumstances our property was thought of as the husband’s property. When you hear people say “things are much worse than they used to be”, this is a cruel reminder of how untrue that statement could be.
This was a good storyline with interesting and well-developed characters. Some of them you could just picture because of the great description by this author. You could picture the good as well as the bad. You know…you have to have a few bad guys in any good story don’t you? There isn’t much description of the actual wagon train trip out west to Oregon but that is not the center of this book. This is a book about hardships, loves, family, kids, and relationships. This was just a sweet story that keeps you turning the pages. 
Tina Susedik also has several other books, all of which appear to have great reviews. Looks like they are all worth checking out to me.

**This book was provided to me free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

EXCERPT
Since Peter had heard Tommy singing one afternoon, his pure, clear voice filling their house, he had the lamebrained idea of having him literally singing for their supper. The last thing she wanted was for Tommy to spend another night learning the ways of men and women in Independence's taverns. And with their booming town of three thousand people, there were plenty dens of iniquity to choose from.

In a few months, the city would swell as people wishing to start a new life in the west swarmed in with wagons, oxen, horses, and families. Taverns would explode with men's last opportunities to get drunk, which meant more crime, fights, and guns going off. Things a young boy didn't need to see.

Despite her disappointing marriage to Peter, she was content to stay in the two-bedroom log home she'd inherited from her parents when they'd died of the fever. Every once in a while, her husband talked of heading west to Oregon City. Lately, more often than not, she dreamed of him leaving her and Tommy alone and free from his outbursts.

"Darn it, woman, give me the boy. You're coddling him."

Behind her, Tommy whimpered against her back. "Shh, Tommy. It'll be all right." Her hand brushed against the fireplace poker. Could she hold Peter off with it? He was older, stronger, and angrier. Maybe she could reason with him. She huffed out a breath. As if that had ever worked before.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:  Tina Susedik will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. (see below)

Tina Susedik is an award-winning, multi-published author with books in both fiction and non-fiction, including history, children’s, military books and romances. Her favorite is writing romance stories where her characters live happily ever after. She lives in Northwestern Wisconsin and is a member of Romance Writers of America, Wisconsin Romance Writer's of America, Wisconsin Writer’s Association, and Sisters In crime. Her twentieth book will be released in November with her Chandler County book, Missing My Heart.  Tina also write spicier romances as Anita Kidesu.

Buy link for The Trail to Love: http://a.co/8IPpl7M

Social Media Links for Tina Susedik


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Monday, May 14, 2018

Off Season

Fiction
Dottie woke up wondering where she was and why she was so cold. The first thing she noticed was that she must be outside – she was lying on cold ground and snow was hitting her in unusual places. That’s when she noticed the second thing. Her skirt was pulled up past her waist and her panties were gone. Damn those bastards. It started to come back to her.

Dottie is now on an odyssey; a journey not of her choosing; a journey of healing, integration, and reconciliation that will involve her partner, her friends, her enemies, her church, her whole community. And her rapists. As she fights her way through social stereotypes about rape and rape victims, she also finds the strength to overcome society’s messages of who she should be and lays claim her true self. But the memories, the loss, the anger – and the fears – never go away. No woman chooses to be raped. I asked Dottie why she chose to tell me a story of rape. She said that millions of women, hundreds every day, have stories of rape that never get told. She told her story because she could. Because she had to. Because maybe people would hear in a work of fiction a Truth that they could not hear in any other way.

EXCERPT
Mostly what Dottie remembered is that they kept giving her choices. Blood or vaginal exam first. Left or right arm for the blood draw. Keep her clothes or change into the comfortable, impersonal sweats the SACC counselor had brought. Should they call her church. She tried to appreciate what they were trying to do. But I’m so tired, she thought, and still a little cold and god my headache is getting worse. And all these decisions don’t help. Didn’t I hear something on NPR about decision fatigue? Or something like that.

She remembered a book from her youth. The Captain. The new skipper of an ocean-going tugboat couldn’t handle all the arbitrary decisions, so he just alternated “yes” and “no” answers. It seemed to work for him. She tried it.

“Do you want soup?”

“Yes.”

“Do you want coffee?”

“No.”

“Do you want us to call someone at your church?”

“Yes.” Damn!! Did I just say that? I love those judgmental bitches, but they’re the last people I need to see right now.

She wasn’t doing much better when Mandy showed up and said all the wrong things. How could this happen? Why weren’t you more careful? Are you sure you weren’t at some level asking for it?


“NO! Why the hell would I ask for this? I don’t even like men!” SHIT! shit shit shit shit shit shit shit. She just outed herself to her church. She had a feeling the rape was going to start all over again.

Read E.S. Interview: Click HERE


AUTHOR Bio and Links: Author E.S. Ruete will be giving away One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. (see below)

E.S “Ned” Ruete is an author, speaker, group facilitator, women’s rights activist, LGBTQIPA+ ally, lay preacher, guitar picker, and business analyst. He is the author of Seeking God: Finding God’s both/and in an either/or world and Lead Your Group to Success: A Meeting Leader’s Primer.

Now retired, Ned lives in Niantic, Connecticut with his second wife. He continues to offer pro bono group facilitation and facilitation training to schools, churches, community groups and not-for-profit organizations. He has led strategic planning retreats for United Action Connecticut (UACT), Fiddleheads Food Co-op, and ReNew London. He is actively involved in LGBTQIPA+ advocacy and annually attends and presents sessions at the True Colors Conference. He is a member of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) formerly served on the Association Coordinating Team (ACT, the IAF Board of Directors). He was associate editor of Group Facilitation: A Research and Applications Journal and has contributed articles to Group Facilitation, The Facilitator, and other publications on group facilitation and management consulting.

Off Season is Mr. Ruete’s first fiction work

See his consulting products at MakingSpaceConsulting.com

The book is $0.99 during the tour









Saturday, May 12, 2018

Cold Revenge

COLD REVENGE by Jo Hiestand

My Review
This is a good mystery, a little touch of the British, easy to read. I didn't get one other thing done while I was reading it because I didn't want to put it down. There’s a little bit of everything in this McLaren mystery…he’s a former cop, now a laborer, a repairer of stonewalls and one who likes his solitude. Yet he is still a friend to some of the Constabulary and very much needed for his intellect and instincts. There are good friendships and a touch of love or passion in the book. This character, Michael McLaren, that I am so crazy about while moody, is also a very caring person.
I am a mystery nut and one thing that makes all of the difference to me about a good mystery is the ability of the author to create a character, maybe a rascal, maybe a little bit of a rebel, maybe someone that thinks those little sarcastic things in their mind that I'm thinking, just someone I'd like to meet. And Jo Hiestand does that with Michael McLaren in this series, appropriately called the McLaren Series. Hiestand puts plenty of twists and turns in this book and she describes her settings (which I think of as scenes), as well as she does her characters. She has you sitting right in the midst of the story with her characters. She has a way with words that can make you see as if you are right next to her character. Not always beautiful descriptions, most mysteries aren’t always beautiful but always distinct, clear cut visions. Writing like that causes you to become a part of the story.  When that happens, you don’t want to put it down. This is Book 1 of the series. I won't miss another book.

about my review...
This is an author whose every book I have loved; one who I have begged for every McLaren book I could get after I discovered them. A writer whose character development and whose descriptive writing is above many. Also a very truly nice person. Is my review biased? I don't think so. You see, books and reading are so very important to me that I don't think an actual person could overcome them. Wow, I have an extremely skewed personality don't I, but I wanted you to get an idea of what was in my mind when I wrote my review.  


about Jo...
Books, Girl Scouts and music filled Jo's childhood.  She discovered the magic of words and the worlds they create: mysteries, English medieval history, the natural world.  She explored the joys of the outdoors through Girl Scout camping trips and summers as a canoeing and swimming instructor and camp counselor.  She had the usual childhood pets: cats, hamsters, turtles, a chicken...and a skunk.  She's vacationed in many countries but not Bermuda, as yet, which is something she'd like to try.  Her travels have introduced her to a variety of food, and as fond as she is of Scotland, she's not tried haggis or Drambuie (in or
out of coffee).  Brought up on classical, big band and baroque music, she was groomed as a concert pianist until forsaking the piano for the harpsichord.  She also plays a Martin guitar and has sung in a semi-professional folkgroup in the US and as a soloist in England.

     This mixture formed the foundation for her writing.  A true Anglophile, Jo wanted to create a mystery series that featured a British police detective who left the Force over an injustice and now investigates cold cases on his own.  The result is the McLaren Mysteries, featuring ex-police detective Michael McLaren.  Her insistence for accuracy -- from police methods and location layout to the general “feel” of the area -- has driven her innumerable times to Derbyshire.  These explorations and conferences with police friends provide the detail filling the books.

     In 1999 she returned to Webster University to major in English.  She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honors.  Her love of writing, board games and music came together when she and a friend invented a mystery-solving game, P.I.R.A.T.E.S., which uses maps, graphics, song lyrics, and other clues to lead the players to the lost treasure.

     Along with fellow mystery author Pam DeVoe, Jo teachs a mystery writing course at St. Louis Community College.

     Jo founded the Greater St. Louis Chapter of Sisters in Crime, serving as its first president.  In addition, she's also a member of Mystery Writers of America.  Besides her love of mysteries and early music, Jo  enjoys photography, reading, crewel embroidery, and her backyard wildlife.  Her cat, Tennyson, shares her St. Louis home.

Find Jo here:

https://www.johiestand.com/

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=jo%20hiestand%20-%20mystery%20author