Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Speaker



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Andi O'Connor will be
awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Fantasy
The Vaelinel Trilogy continues with this absorbing sequel to Silevethiel! Alone and hunted by the Drulaack, Irewen takes advantage of her only option for survival. Pushing her concerns aside, she lets the dead keep her.

But her refuge doesn't last long. Driven out of their hosts by Laegon, a handful Drulaack have returned to the Spirit World. No longer having the protection of the dead, Irewen is forced to return to Vaelinel.

​Finally reunited with her companions, the burdens placed on them are taking their toll. Thoughts of suicide and mistrust plague the company. Slowly unravelling, they must conquer their personal battles before standing against the evil threatening the land.

​For the Corrupter thirsts for revenge. And he'll stop at nothing to satisfy his hunger.

Read an excerpt
Slipping her arm out from beneath her cloak, Irewen reached for her dagger. Her fingertips met the smooth ivory handle, and she paused before sliding them around the hilt and gripping it tightly in her hand. Tears pooled in the corners of her eyes. Silevethiel didn’t need her. No one needed her.

Her breath caught in her throat as reality crashed down upon her.

Oh, but they did.

That was the real cause behind her urge to end her life. They needed her just as much as she needed them. She couldn’t handle the pressure. The fear of failure had consumed her so much she’d rather kill herself than take the risk of not succeeding. This didn’t fall under the adage of ‘if you fail, get up and try again.’ She wasn’t afforded a second chance. She had one opportunity to save her people. If she failed, she didn’t get to try once more.

She squeezed the dagger tighter.

That the world would fall because of her own weakness was the most terrifying thought of all. If she stood against this evil, her chances of victory were slim. She still hadn’t become familiar with her abilities, and she certainly hadn’t mastered anything. So far, she’d been learning as she went. She doubted she’d be able to repeat any magical attacks she’d done in the past.

Luck.

The word continued to resurface like a villain in a nightmare.

Luck.

Everything she’d accomplished since leaving Dargon could be contributed to chance. She wasn’t talented. She wasn’t skilled. She wasn’t strong magically, emotionally, or physically. What she’d contributed thus far had been a fluke—powers bestowed upon her because of her mother’s bloodline. They’d surfaced because of the direness of the situations in which she’d found herself, but she he had no idea how to willingly summon her magic. Even now, months after the chase through Mistwood, she still hadn’t been able to duplicate the spell she’d used when she defied orders and rode to aid Silevethiel and the other Guardians.

Yes, it had saved them all at the time, but the skill couldn’t be relied upon. She couldn’t be relied upon. Yet, everyone was doing just that. Everyone expected her to challenge the Corrupter and emerge victorious. According to Elthad, even the wizard had faith in her capability.

The dagger felt heavy in her hand. It called to her, daring her to drive it into her heart. She lifted her hand slightly, letting it hover above the ground while she battled the urge to give in.

All these people had faith in her. But she didn’t find that at all reassuring.

She had no faith in herself.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Andi O'Connor is the award-winning author of The Dragonath Chronicles, The Vaelinel Trilogy, and The Legacy of Ilvania. Her critically acclaimed novel, Silevethiel, is the 2015 Best Indie Book Award winner for Science Fiction/Fantasy and the 2015 New Apple Official Selection for Young Adult. Silevethiel was also named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2013. The Speaker is the 2018 Independent Press Award Winner for Fantasy and a Finalist
in the 11th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards. Andi’s novel, Awakening, is a 2018 Independent Press Award Distinguished Favorite for Fantasy.

You can frequently find Andi as an exhibitor and guest panelist at Comic Cons throughout the country including the Rhode Island Comic Con, Awesome Con, Philcon, Conclave, WizardWorld, and Chessiecon. You can connect with Andi on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For more information, visit Andi’s website.

Social Media Links:

Purchase Links:




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Death Over Easy


Death Over Easy by Maddie Day


MY REVIEW

To begin with, I love this series not only because it’s a fun read, but also because it is based right in southern Indiana near good ole Beanblossom. Only a southern Indiana Hoosier and/or an Indiana University alumna would recognize Beanblossom or the small town she has named South Lick. Maddie Day has put Robbie’s handsome Italian dad in the book again.  She had just found out who he really was in the last book and…he’s an IU alumni which we know makes him a pretty good guy anyway. Along with  all of this, her country breakfast store called Pans and Pancakes has people lining up for a table. Wow. Between happy families, Italian visitors and Bluegrass music what could you possibly need in a mystery? Oh, yeah, a few bodies. They’re in here too.
From the previous paragraph you can obviously already tell I think Maddie Day is great at describing scenes and people. She makes me feel like I know her characters. They are well-defined, each having a distinct personality of their own. Her characters are fun, some even become your friends, at least the good guys do.  This is an easy read but well-written and it kept my interest all the way through.
Death Over Easy is the 5th book in this series titled “Country Store Mystery”. All this series has great reviews. I hope Maddie’s writing Book 6 as we read.


Sunday, July 29, 2018

A Promise Remembered

Fantasy

Two souls entangled in an eternal echo of true love…

Rowan and James have been drawn together in every existence since the beginning of time. But love's sweet promise is cut short after an unthinkable tragedy strikes two young families, shattering the bond in this lifetime.
Is love stronger than death? Can Rowan and James find another way to each other? Against all odds, a forgotten promise is remembered and kept, reuniting two souls destined to be together.

MY REVIEW
This is another Soul Mate Tree book.  If you are a very black and white practical person like I am, you would not normally read what I’ll call a paranormal romance like this. But this was such an entertaining read. I don’t think this is a book where the most important part is whether you believe in paranormal happenings. I think this is a great storyline about love and caring, about finding friends and losing them and about living with things we may always regret.  That covers a lot I know, but this relatively easy read encompasses all of those emotions.

I must admit I had a little trouble figuring out “who was who” at the beginning of this book. However, I think that might have been part of what the author meant to achieve. Once I was used to Riley’s characters, the story flowed well. Overall, it was an enjoyable read. A sweet book like the kind we all need sometimes.


This is Book 6 in the Soul Tree Mate series.  Erin S. Riley has many more books listed and all have good reviews. Check them out.

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


EXCERPT

Rowan opened the closet door, jumping back as the hinges squeaked, and gazed around the empty space. It was an old fashioned small closet with a single hanging bar and a shelf on top. There were no visible signs of rodents.

Scratch, scratch, scratch.

The sound was coming from under the floor, it seemed. She knelt carefully, keeping her can of compressed air at the ready, as she examined the wooden floorboards. Looking closer, she furrowed her brow. The blemish was nearly seamless, but she could tell the floorboards had been cut. Despite her fear of the rodents, her curiosity was piqued. Was there actually a secret compartment hidden in the closet floor?

Rowan used her fingernails to pry up the end of one of the floorboards, peering down warily in case the mouse decided to jump out at her. After removing two more boards, she used the flashlight on her phone to examine the dark hole. No beady red eyes stared back her. The secret compartment in the floor contained only what appeared to be a dusty shoebox.

Rowan sprayed some compressed air around to be safe, then pulled it out the box marked Airwalks, men’s size twelve. Carrying it closer to the window, she sat down on the floor to lift the lid.

There wasn’t much in it. A crumpled pack of Marlboros, so old the tobacco had fallen out of the cigarettes. A lighter. Several baseball cards. A pencil drawing of a large tree, drawn by someone who was by no means an artist. A well-worn Playboy magazine with Pamela Anderson on the cover. Rowan glanced at the date—1997.

A wave of sadness washed over her. She must have found the secret stash of Bella’s long-dead brother. Poor kid. It seemed oddly intrusive touching the private things of a dead boy, and Rowan hastened to put everything back where she found it. But the sound of something rolling in the box caught her attention, and she peered in.

A stick? A small twig half the size of her pinkie was in the bottom of the shoebox. Why had the dead boy put a stick in his secret shoebox? Despite herself, she reached in to pick it up.

A wave of energy prickled through her body, like a shot of expresso, quickening her pulse and her breathing. She heard a noise behind her that sounded like a gasp of surprise, and turned sharply to find she was no longer alone in her bedroom. Rowan screamed as she leapt to her feet.

A man stood in the middle of her bedroom, blocking her only exit. Tall, dark haired, lean yet muscular, he was nearly naked, wearing what appeared to be bicycle shorts. How had he gotten in her room? What was he going to do to her? With a sick sense of panic, Rowan remembered Bella saying her ex had been a crazy stalker. Had he returned to kill them both?

“What the . . .?” The man’s voice was deep and grumbling as he glared at her with displeasure. “How the hell did you get in my house, Rowan?”

Rowan backed up, still gripping the stick, and desperately looked around for a weapon. “How do you know my name?” she squeaked.

He stepped closer, his broad shoulders and naked chest now very close to her face. She got a whiff of aftershave as she peered up into angry green eyes that seemed startlingly familiar. Blinking in confusion, she dropped her gaze for a moment, which unfortunately landed on his ripped abs and the trail of fine hair that lead down toward the low waistband of his bike shorts.

Oh, they weren’t shorts. They were underwear. An angry man who somehow knew her name was standing in her bedroom wearing nothing but a tight pair of boxer briefs.

“How do I know your name?” he echoed unbelievingly. “Are you on something?” Confusion lanced his face as he looked around the room. “What did you do to my bedroom?”

He took another step in her direction, reaching out as though to touch her. Rowan screamed, dropping the stick, and bent to pick up the discarded can of compressed air with the intention of bashing him in the face with it. But when she looked up, he was gone.

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


Erin S. Riley has an undergraduate degree in psychology, a graduate degree in clinical counseling, and is a board-certified lactation consultant. Since Erin was a child, she has
been fascinated with human nature and what motivates behavior. She enjoys writing suspenseful, complicated love stories that take the reader on an emotional journey and end in happy tears. Erin is the author of the Sons of Odin Series: Odin’s Shadow; A Flame Put Out; and Oath Breaker; as well as a paranormal romance, A Promise Remembered.

http://tinyurl.com/TSMT6 (link for A Promise Remembered)















Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Clock Flower



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Barbara Casey will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Mackenzie Yarborough, one of the three FIGs—Females of Intellectual Genius—finds herself facing a terrifying death of an ancient evil dragon while in China working on a secret research project and trying to discover the truth of her birth parents.


Read an Excerpt:

Carolina Lovel tearfully watched the plane carrying her girls away as it nosed into take-off position. She slowly lowered the sign she had made for the occasion—SEE YOU IN 108 DAYS.

Her girls—

Dara Roux, abandoned when she was seven years old by her mother. Exceptionally gifted in foreign languages. Orphan.

Mackenzie Yarborough, no record of her parents or where she was born. Exceptionally gifted in math and problem-solving. Orphan.

Jennifer Torres, both parents killed in an automobile accident when she was sixteen. Exceptionally gifted in music and art. Orphan.

The three FIGs—Females of Intellectual Genius—as they were called at Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women, probably couldn’t even see the sign, but holding it made Carolina feel slightly better about everything. It kept them connected just a little while longer.

As the plane began picking up speed down the runway, Larry squeezed her hand, sensing how she must be feeling. “They will be fine,” he reassured her for the umpteenth time since early that morning. Even though it meant getting one of his teacher’s aides to take over his morning classes at the university in Chapel Hill, he had volunteered to take Carolina and her three students to the Raleigh-Durham airport and be with Carolina to see them off. She had been completely stressed out for days thinking about the FIGs leaving Wood Rose and each going her separate way—to different universities, in different states, and beyond her protective eye. He knew the FIGs were just as stressed out for the same reason.

Carolina watched the plane lift off the ground and point toward the sky. On an impulse, she waved and once again held up her sign until the plane disappeared from view. Then she burst into sobs. Larry knew it was coming. He wrapped his strong arms around this woman he loved, his soul mate that destiny had brought into his life, and held her, realizing that was all he could do. As the son of a Gypsy King, he knew that words simply wouldn’t help.

The past year had been an unbelievably strange journey for them beginning when Carolina was hired to be totally responsible for three “incorrigible,” as the headmaster described them, teenage girls their final year at Wood Rose, all three orphans with intelligence quotients in the genius range. FIGs they called themselves, along with everyone else at Wood Rose—Females of Intellectual Genius. Being only a few years older, however, Carolina immediately filled the role that was more than a mentor and teacher; she became a big sister and friend to the incorrigibles, not finding them that way at all, even if they did occasionally need to express themselves creatively in the middle of the night.

As far as the FIGs were concerned, she was their Carolina; she was one of them—a kindred spirit. And with everything that they had experienced in that brief time they had been together, a permanent bond of love had been forged between them that would intertwine their lives forever.

It all started with Carolina learning that she had been adopted, and then later discovering her birth mother in Italy—a gypsy. Then there was the deadly curse that was placed on Carolina, which eventually led to the connection between a letter she had inherited from her biological father and the most mysterious document in the world—the Voynich Manuscript.

And then, only a few weeks later, they located Dara’s mother in New York City, hiding underground beneath Grand Central Terminal where she lived in some sort of secret subculture with three homeless men. It was remarkable, really, and something that only the FIGs, with their genius and special talents, and Carolina, with the blood of a choovihni—a wise woman who possessed the knowledge of all things through all times running through her veins, could have accomplished. Through it all, Larry had been there for them, offering his support and using his innate instincts as the Gypsy King’s son to gather information that would help them.

Larry held Carolina tighter as her sobs quieted. He would tell her later what Mackenzie had asked him to do just before boarding the plane. After he had a chance to see what he could find out. Meanwhile, Carolina pulled out her phone, thinking about the pact she and the FIGs had made the night before. If any one of them got into serious trouble, they would text the word “Thurgood”—the given name of Wood Rose’s headmaster—to all of the others. That meant no matter what, they would all return to Carolina at Wood Rose, because whatever was going on, Carolina and the FIGs would be able to straighten it out. Together.

Leaving the protective walls of Wood Rose and uncertain about how they could function in any other environment had created a tremendous amount of anxiety for Carolina and the FIGs. So much so that even their creative expressions in the middle of the night had brought little relief to the FIGs in spite of the fact they had caused serious havoc by completely upsetting the natural rhythm of the entire orphanage, not to mention the order of things.

The whole idea of having a pact before leaving Wood Rose and going their separate ways had started out as a silly game to help relieve some of that anxiety—at first. Deciding on the so-called secret code word they would use, however, became a challenge. Dara suggested using a word from Sanskrit, which Mackenzie simply could not pronounce. Mackenzie wanted to use a mathematical term, which Jennifer said she would never remember. And Jennifer wanted to use an obscure musical notation which Dara said sounded more than a little vulgar. It was Carolina who came up with the idea of using the headmaster’s given name “Thurgood.” After all, it was a name none of them could ever forget. With the secret word chosen, the seriousness of what the pact actually meant became more evident and more real; a desperate attempt to keep them connected even when they were apart. And when the three FIGs left Carolina’s bungalow and returned to their dormitory suite that night, knowing what was facing them the next day when they left Wood Rose and would no longer be considered student-residents there, they were glad Carolina had come up with the idea.

As the plane reached cruising altitude, shoulder bags placed under the seats in front of them within easy reach, Dara, seated between Mackenzie and Jennifer, as usual was the first to say out loud what each of them was thinking.

“OK, this is what I think we ought to do.” Arching her right eyebrow, she glanced at her two best friends to make sure she had their attention. “We will give this so-called pursuit of advanced studies a try, even though it means being separated. “But if things don’t work out by winter break—for any one of us—then I say we come up with another plan. A plan where we can be together. Deal?”



About the Author:
Originally from Carrollton, Illinois, author/agent/publisher Barbara Casey attended the University of North Carolina, N.C. State University, and N.C. Wesleyan College where she received a BA degree, summa cum laude, with a double major in English and history. In 1978 she left her position as Director of Public Relations and Vice President of Development at North Carolina Wesleyan College to write full time and develop her own manuscript evaluation and editorial service. In 1995 she established the Barbara Casey Agency and since that time has represented authors from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. In 2014, she became a partner with Strategic Media Books where she is involved in acquisitions and day-to-day operations and oversees book production.



Ms. Casey's two middle-grade/young adult novels, Leilani Zan and Grandma Jock and Christabelle (James C. Winston Publishing Co., Trade Division) were both nominated for awards of excellence by the SCBWI Golden Kite Award, the National Association of University Women Literary Award and the Sir Walter Raleigh Literary Award. Shyla's Initiative (Crossquarter Publishing Group), a contemporary adult novel (occult romance/mystery), received a 2003 Independent Publisher Book Award and also an award of special literary recognition by the Palm Beach County Cultural Council. The Coach's Wife (ArcheBooks Publishing), also a novel for adults (contemporary/mystery), was semi-finalist for the 2005 Dana Award for Outstanding Novel and listed on the Publisher’s Best Seller List. The House of Kane (ArcheBooks Publishing), released in 2007, was considered for a Pulitzer nomination. Another contemporary novel for adults, Just Like Family, was released at Christmas 2009 when it received “Special Recognition from the 7-Eleven Corporation,” and The Gospel According to Prissy, also a contemporary novel written for adults, received a 2013 Independent Publishers Book Award for Best Book in Regional Fiction.



The Cadence of Gypsies, a novel written for young/new adults, was released in 2011 and was reviewed by the Smithsonian Institute for its List of Most Notable Books. In 2012, The Cadence of Gypsies was expanded into a four-book mystery series called THE FIG MYSTERIES: The Wish Rider (2016), The Clock Flower (2018), and The Nightjar’s Promise (to be released in 2019).



Ms. Casey also writes book-length nonfiction for adults. Kathryn Kelly: The Moll behind Machine Gun Kelly was released in 2016 and has been optioned for a major movie. In 2018 her book Assata Shakur: A 20th Century Escaped Slave was released and it has been signed for a major movie.



Ms. Casey's award-winning science fiction short stories for adults are featured in The Cosmic Unicorn and CrossTime science fiction anthologies. Ms. Casey's essays and other works appear in The Chrysalis Reader, the international literary journal of the Swedenborg Foundation, 221 One-Minute Monologues from Literature (Smith and Kraus Publishers), and A Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation). Other award-winning articles, short stories, and poetry for adults have appeared in both national and international publications including the North Carolina Christian Advocate Magazine, The New East Magazine, the Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer, the Rocky Mount (N.C.) Sunday Telegram, Dog Fancy, ByLine, The Christian Record, Skirt! Magazine, and True Story. A thirty-minute television special which Ms. Casey wrote and coordinated was broadcast on WRAL, Channel 5, in Raleigh, North Carolina. She also received special recognition for her editorial work on the English translations of Albanian children’s stories.



Ms. Casey is a former director of BookFest of the Palm Beaches, Florida, where she served as guest author and panelist. She has served as judge for the Pathfinder Literary Awards in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Florida, and was the Florida Regional Advisor for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators from 1991 through 2003. She is a frequent guest lecturer at universities and writers’ conferences around the country including the SCBWI Regional Conference, the Harriett Austin Writers Conference in Athens, SIBA (Southeastern Independent Book Sellers Association), Florida Writers Association, and the University of Auburn, Montgomery.



In 2018, Ms. Casey received the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award for her extensive experience and notable accomplishments in the field of publishing and other areas. She makes her home on the top of a mountain in northwest Georgia with her husband and Benton, a hound mix who adopted her.



Website: http://www.barbaracaseyagency.com/


http://www.barbaracaseyagency.com


https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/697572.Barbara_Casey


https://www.linkedin.com/in/barbara-casey-a9527667/



https://www.amazon.com/Clock-Flower-FIG-MYSTERIES-Book-ebook/dp/B078HSW97D/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1532012448&sr=1-1&keywords=barbara+casey+the+clock+flower




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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Bluebonnet Ballerina



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Carol Kilgore will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.



Gracie Hofner returns, and chaos reigns—including a couple of ghosts trying to save their granddaughter. But as Gracie dances from problem to problem, she’s unaware the music has been orchestrated into a murderous symphony.



When a different melody reaches Gracie’s ears from a guitar played by the new tenant living in her garage apartment, her tension vanishes. She listens unseen, cocooned in the shadows on her patio, and wonders who he’s longing for—and how it would feel for someone to crave her that much.



She can’t dwell on those thoughts, however. Problems of murder and missing prisoners abound. To say nothing of the ghosts. No one ever said being a law enforcement consultant would be easy.



Bluebonnet Ballerina follows Jalapeno Cupcake Wench and is the second book in The Amazing Gracie Trilogy.


Read an Excerpt:



Twenty minutes later, Gracie parked at Papito’s. It was mid-afternoon and not many cars were in the lot. Two servers were working, neither of them Dee Shepherd. The bartender looked lonely, so Gracie went over and sat on a stool.



He smiled. One of his front teeth was chipped, and it gave him a watch-this-y’all look. “What can I get for you?”



“Guacamole and a club soda with lime.” She’d never noticed him before, but she and Nick, her former SAPD partner, never sat at the bar, either.



“Coming up.” He entered her order on the register and placed the ticket face down in front of her. A few seconds later, he returned with her club soda.



She raised the clear plastic bubble-filled glass. “Cheers.”



He grinned. “Wish all my customers were as easy as you.”



“I’m not always easy. You just caught me on a good day.”



“I’ll remember that.”



Someone from the kitchen wearing a paper hat and an apron brought her guacamole.



“Thanks.”



He nodded and beat a hasty retreat, but not before she saw the prison ink on his hand and arm. The barkeep sliced limes about a foot from her food. They smelled delicious.



Gracie stuck her fork into the guacamole, her mouth already watering. “You know this is some of the best guac around, right?”



“That’s what I hear. I don’t really like avocados, so I haven’t tried it.”



“You should. It’s good enough to change your mind.”



“I’ll remember that, too.”



About the Author:

Carol Kilgore is the award-winning author of The Amazing Gracie Trilogy. In addition, she is the author of In Name Only (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008FC8OG2), Solomon’s Compass (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C0F8DZ2), and Secrets of Honor (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NH0QTO6), three standalone romantic suspense novels set along the Texas Gulf Coast.



She and her husband live in San Antonio, the setting for the Amazing Gracie books, with two quirky herding dogs who still require help opening the food bin and the door.



You can learn more about Carol and be the first to know when the third book in the Amazing Gracie Trilogy will be released by visiting her website and subscribing to her newsletter at http://www.carolkilgore.net or connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.



Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carolkilgore.author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/carol_kilgore



Carol is a member of Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime.



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Monday, July 23, 2018

Castle and Sideris

Mystery (Light-hearted)

Newly minted lawyer Corrie Locke has taken a vow of abstinence. From PI work, that is. Until her best friend Michael finds his bully of a boss stabbed in the back after confronting him earlier that day. Michael panics, accidentally tampering with the crime scene...Sign up for aGiveaway and read more about this great book here...




Contemporary Romance
Kassandra never thought she’d be in another committed relationship, but now she’s living with her boyfriend Josh. Things can’t get any better. But they can get worse.   
Sign up for a Giveaway and read more here... 




Sunday, July 22, 2018

Shelved Under Murder




MY REVIEW

Well, this was most certainly fun to read. To begin with it has a little art culture and of course a library and being a retired librarian I love to read about libraries. Truthfully there is very little about books or a library here; it is rather just a setting of the atmosphere. But this is a small, nice and of course, nosy town with good people and bad people; like mysteries should have. And they are right in the middle of planning their Fall Harvest Festival. Every small town has a festival right? But does every small town have a murder, a stolen painting, and the mob sneaking around? I’m not actually sure. Mine always seemed to have some sly characters and this one sure did too.

“Shelved Under Murder” is the 2nd book in a series titled “Blue Ridge Library Mystery”. It has really identifiable characters, most of which you will love… most. Victoria Gilbert did a great job of adding plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing. Don’t get me wrong, she never once makes this confusing. It is an enjoyable well-written cozy. I think this book can definitely stand alone as far as reading it. The only reason I was disappointed by not reading Book 1 first is that this was good and now I’ll have to go back and read the first one.
I notice all of the books in this series have good reviews. There is also now a third book out. Definitely an author worth checking out.

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



Thursday, July 19, 2018

Margaritas, Mayhem, and Murder

Mystery
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Mary will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.




Andi’s step-mother is a real piece of work! But is Ruby a murderer?

Andi Anna Jones, so-so travel agent/amateur sleuth, puts aside her resentment of her father’s widow and books a 60th birthday cruise to Cancun for Ruby and three friends. Never does Andi imagine the cruise will lead to the murder of a has-been lounge singer—or that Ruby will be the main suspect.

Flirting with more than danger after arriving in Mexico, Andi connects with the charming local sheriff, Manual Rodriquez. After an embarrassing night involving the sheriff, too many margaritas, and a Mariachi band, a chance to check out an eyewitness to the murder leads her to Las Vegas.

In Vegas, a mysterious meeting in the Bodies Exhibition, a body preserving in the prep-room, and an evasive owner of a dance studio, give Andi clues to help Ruby. But when Andi is mercilessly drugged and locked in a storage room, she realizes dear old step-mom isn’t the only one in jeopardy.



EXCERPT
I jumped when the phone rang in the middle of grinding beans for my second latte. For a moment, I considered letting the call go, but that damned nagging promise made to Dad about watching out for his second wife, forced me to answer.

“Yeah?”

“Miss? Are you there?”

Well, this isn’t Ruby. Nice baritone. “I’m here. Who’s this?”

“Manuel Gonzales of the Cancun Sheriff’s Department, Miss…?”

“Jones. But then I imagine you already know since you called me.”

“Miss Jones, I wanted to get you up to speed. I inspected the scene of last night’s, uh, apparent homicide. Regarding Ruby Jones, the suspect, she is currently being…”

A commotion in the background caught my attention. “Wait. Who’s screaming? Is that Ruby?”

The phone reception had improved because Ruby sounded like she was standing in my kitchen. For the first time since this nightmare began, I found myself smiling when I heard, “You can’t do this to me! I have rights as an American citizen! Remember the Al-a-moooo….” 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Author, Mary Cunningham, grew on the northern side of the Ohio River in Corydon, Indiana. Her first memories are of her dad’s original bedtime stories that no doubt inspired her imagination and love of a well-spun “yarn”.

Childhood experiences, and a recurring dream about a mysterious attic, inspired characters, Cynthia and Augusta Lee, for her award-winning middle-grade series, Cynthia's Attic. The
setting is in her childhood home in Southern Indiana. Family stories and ancestors comprise the storylines. There are currently five books in the series: The Missing Locket, The Magic Medallion, Curse of the Bayou, The Magician’s Castle, and Legend of Lupin Woods.

Through a horrifying stint as a travel agent, the character, Andi Anna Jones, travel agent/amateur sleuth, inspired her latest adult mystery series. Book # 1, Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder was released Nov. 30, 2017. The author is currently writing Book # 2 of the series, along with another middle-grade series, The Adventures of Max and Maddie, a historical time-travel, and the biography of a former Army brat/University of Connecticut women’s basketball player who started a non-profit foundation to create scholarships for children of deployed veterans.

Cunningham is a member of The Georgia Reading Association, and the Carrollton Writers Guild.

When she gives her fingers a break from the keyboard, she enjoys golf, swimming and exploring the mountains of West Georgia where she makes her home with her husband and adopted, four-legged, furry daughter, Lucy.


Review Blurbs for Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder!

“If Evanovich's Stephanie Plum were a travel agent, she'd fit right in working this case alongside Andi, a wanna-be detective readers are sure to love.” —Regan Black, USA Today bestselling author of the Escape Club Heroes and Knight Traveler novels.
Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder...WOW. Snappy dialog, quirky characters, opens with a curious bang and yanked me through the pages. A fun, fantastic read. —Jean Rabe, USA Today Bestselling author, Piper Blackwell Mysteries.
“Grab a margarita and hold on tight; you're in for a wild ride.”
—Karen MacInerney, Agatha Award nominee and author of the Dewberry Farms Mysteries


“Charming, lively, and unpredictable, Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder excels in a vivid story mystery fans will relish.”—Diane Donovan, Senior Editor Midwest Book Review


Purchase Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder:

 Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076N6KBM3


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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A Whisper of Water

from the Linn House Mysteries series by Jessie McAlan

My Review of a great book.  Any questions feel free to leave a question. I'm sure I can get Jessie McAlan to answer.

In this third book of the Linn House Mysteries series, Rona Murray seems to have really dug her heels in and decided to make a well-known business of her beautiful Linn House. She still has her B&B and her delicious bakery.  She serves lunches for a few of the clubs in the area, but she’s added the Linn House Events Center too.  Jonny happens to still be around working on his art gallery but there can be no question his heart is set on winning back Rona, his ex-wife. There is just so much going on in Klim, Missouri. There is a great Festival. The theater group is trying to present Macbeth and seems to run into one problem after another. Is it the Macbeth curse? Is this throwing another shadow on Rona’s beautiful Linn House? Rona begins to get some cancellations…again.

Jessie McAlan is on top of her game once again. Her descriptive writing helps you become a part of her story and makes you want to see the beautiful banks of the Mississippi. Sometimes I catch myself going back over a paragraph and reading it out loud because I want to feel the flow and rhythm of her words.

Her characters come alive as they always seem to do for her and while some become your friends, she has you wondering whether it is friend or foe that performed the dastardly deeds. Something I guarantee you won’t figure out til the end.

If I can’t make a reservation at the Linn House B&B and watch the boats drift by on the Mississippi, I sure would like to have Book 4 to read. Hope it’s coming soon.




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.








Sunday, July 15, 2018

K Street Killing


Mystery
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions

Colleen J. Shogan will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


                 BLURB: At a fancy Washington political fundraiser for Congresswoman Maeve Dixon, Kit and her best pal Meg do their best to woo wealthy lobbyists for campaign donations. When a powerful K Street tycoon mysteriously tumbles off the rooftop, Kit must spring into action to discover who killed the notorious Van Parker before Dixon's candidacy sputters.

MY REVIEW:
Who would think it…a political cozy who done it?  A really good picture of Washington DC, it’s Congressional workings, and the lowly paid staff that work so hard for a Congressperson and/or for a political campaign. Something that really struck me that has never occurred to me - if the Congressperson you work for doesn’t win another election, you are out of a job. You learn something in every book, don’t you?

As I said, Shogan did a good job of describing and painting the life of the staff and of her characters.  This is very suitable as a YA mystery. Sort of a Nancy Drew goes to Washington DC theme. I don’t mean this as an insult. This was a nice, clean, fun cozy mystery. Suitable for any age to read.  I will say I read enough about hair styles, make-up and designer clothes to last me for a lifetime but that might be my age showing :)   Other than that, a very enjoyable book.

This is book 4 of Shogan’s series titled “A Washington Whodunit”. All of the books in the series have pretty good reviews so try them out. 


Read an excerpt:
We squeezed around his computer as he pressed “play” on the YouTube video. The title of the video was “Personal Foul.” Not a good start. I braced myself.

Mack Hackensack’s face appeared on screen. Standing in the middle of a basketball court, he sported a UNC “Champions” polo shirt and wore a whistle around his beefy neck. An image of the American flag with an embroidered “USA” decorated his baseball hat. My politically astute brain churned. Without saying a word, the image conveyed “winner” and “patriot” in a single swoop.

But Coach didn’t stay silent for long. “I’ve always played by the rules. Work hard, play hard. Those are my values. I’m not afraid of making the tough calls or staying late for practice.” Then he walked toward center court, where the national championship trophy rested on a table.

He put his hand on the trophy before speaking again. “When my players do something wrong on the court, the referee calls a personal foul.”

Then the camera shot tightened. “The voters of the seventh district in North Carolina are the referees. Watch closely how my opponent, Maeve Dixon, plays the game.”

The image flashed to a still image of Maeve, standing in front of the Great Wall of China. His voice continued in the background. “While the people of North Carolina were struggling with the economic recession, where was Maeve Dixon? Traveling the world with her liberal colleagues.”

The next photo showed our boss in front of Big Ben. She was smiling for the camera, her brown hair whipping in the wind. “You deserve better than being represented by a member of Congress who treats her job like a vacation,” said the Coach.

“We shouldn’t have tweeted out pictures from her trip to London,” I muttered.

The ad returned to Coach Hackensack next to the trophy. “Voters, there’s only one smart choice.” He pointed to the camera and blew his whistle. “Call a personal foul on Maeve Dixon. Elect me as your next Congressman!”

After putting my head in my hands, I could only manage two words. “Game over.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Colleen J. Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six. She writes the Washington Whodunit series published by Camel Press and Harlequin. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American politics at Yale, George Mason University, Georgetown, and Penn. She previously worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative staffer in the United States Senate and is currently a senior executive at the Library of Congress, working on great programs such as the National Book Festival. Colleen won the Next Generation Indie Award for Best Mystery for her first novel, Stabbing in the Senate. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob and their beagle mutt Conan.

Twitter:  @cshogan276






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