Book Reviews · Reading and Reviewing

Dark Side of the Loon by Twin City Sinc Members

51PNDbVTVNLWhere History Meets Mystery. Dark Side of the Loon is an anthology of short stories by my friends and colleagues from the Twin Cities Sisters In Crime. Alas, I am a part of this organization but…I do not have one of my stories in this book. Why? Because I am very shy about trying to write a short story. I am so wordy I am not sure I could do this but my Sisters and some Brothers in Crime write the perfect stories in the perfect settings.

Dark Side of the Loon highlights historical places and happenings in Minnesota. Fur trappers, pioneers, train robbers and just strange Minnesotans. That is a compliment. We Minnesotans like our quirkiness. Ya, you betcha we do. And this book has it’s quirky Minnesota moments.

I enjoyed each and every story in this book. Yes, I know many of the authors but if you know me, that does not make me leave a good review. If I don’t like something I don’t review it. I would give this anthology five stars not just for the writing but the surprises along the way. At the end of the book I wanted more and more and…more!

This would make a perfect gift or a wonderful book for discussion at a book club or a Sunday summer read or a winter by the fireplace read. It is an all-seasons book.

While you are at it make sure you take time to search out the  other books by these authors. I will provide links. Five stars websites_1Sisters and Brothers in Crime!

 

 

 

51PNDbVTVNLDark Side of the Loon

”Minnesota nice” casts a long shadow. Dark emotions and even darker thoughts seep from these murky depths, harvested by writers whose stories take us down in flames, up in smoke, and leave us helplessly entranced by the haunting call of the loon.

Foreword by Ellen Hart, award-winning author of the Jane Lawless and Sophie Greenway series, and MWA Grand Master.

Stories by Lori L. Lake, Marlene Chabot, Michael Allan Mallory, Carol Huss, Marcia Adair, Natalie Fowler, Barbara Merritt Deese, A.W. Powers, Cheryl Lewis, Christine Husom, Cheryl Ullyot, Karl W. Jorgenson, Marcie Rendon, Sherry Roberts, Midge Bubany, M.E. Bakos, Greg Dahlager, T.S. Owen, and Judy Kerr.

Twin Cities Sisters In Crime Website

Twin Cities Sisters In Crime Facebook Fanpage

Sisters In Crime National

Ellen Hart

Lori L. Lake

Marlene Chabot

Michael Allan Mallory

Carol Huss

Marcia Adair

Natalie Fowler

Barbara Merritt Deese

A. W. Powers

Cheryl Lewis

Christine Husom

Cheryl Ullyot

Karl W. Jorgenson

Marcie Rendon

Sherry Roberts

Midge Bubany

M. E. Bakos

Greg Dahlager

T. S. Owen

Judy Kerr

Sheyna Gaylon

Christina Glendenning

Doug Dorow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Reviews · Guest Authors

Best Staged Plans by Claire Cook

It is no secret 26047381_10155060885697611_5873356279400153772_nAuthor Claire Cook is one of my favorites, so I was over the moon when I won her book “Best Staged Plans.”51u6AWVTKNL._SY346_ It  was autographed too. Can you feel my excitement? Her books seem to fit where I am at this stage in my life. The first book  I read by MS Cook was “Never Too Late Your Roadmap for Reinvention.” After that I devoured the books my library had and now I am into buying her books to keep forever. This doesn’t happen very often for me except with Catherine Coulter and J. T. Ellison. I actually gifted “Never Too Late Your Roadmap for Reinvention to a couple of my best friends.

Best staged plans never usually work out for me and the road is bumpy right now for the main character, Sandy Sullivan. She wants to let go of her house and reinvent her life but the other members of her family who  share her life can’t seem to get on the same page. Her husband and son seem to tune her out when she needs help staging the house for sale. She is a professional and stages houses for a living so she knew what needed to be done to sell her house and to move on so she and her husband could become empty nesters.  Frustrated with the progress she accepts a job out-of-town and leaves a list to be finished while she is gone. Does it happen? Does she find what she is looking for while she is on a designing journey? You will have to read the book to find out.

I happen to be on this frustrating journey right now. I would love to sell our four bedroom home and let go of all the maintenance that comes with an older home freeing us the responsibility that home ownership requires.  I too have a husband who is dragging his heals.  I resonated with Sandy but I must admit I love the premise of the main character staging homes. I am a HGTV lover and wannabe home stager in my dreams.

I would definitely give “Best Staged Plans” five stars.

About Claire Cook taken from her Amazon author page: Thanks so much for discovering my books! Reinvention is the story of my books and my life. I wrote my first novel in my minivan at 45. At 50, I walked the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of the adaptation of my second novel, Must Love Dogs, starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. I’m now the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of 18 books. It’s Never Too Late to Shine On!

I’ve reinvented myself again by turning Must Love Dogs into a series and writing my first nonfiction books Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention (#1 Amazon Bestseller Women’s Personal Growth!) and Shine On: How to Grow Awesome Instead of Old to share everything I’ve learned on my own journey that might help you in your own.

Some of the nice things that have been said about my work: “The exuberant and charming Claire Cook is one of the  and funniest creators of contemporary women’s fiction,” according to The Times-Picayune. People magazine said my writing “goes down as easy as it sounds,” Good Housekeeping called it “laugh-out-loud,” Redbook “gleefully quirky” and the Chicago Tribune “funny and pitch perfect.” Shelf Awareness said, “Claire Cook (Must Love Dogs) has built a brand writing light-hearted women’s fiction blending kernels of the absurd and comedic in compulsively readable combinations.”

I was a teacher for sixteen years before writing my first book. I was born in Virginia, and lived for many years in Scituate, Massachusetts, a beach town between Boston and Cape Cod. My husband and I have recently moved to the suburbs of Atlanta to be closer to our two adult kids, who actually want us around again!

I have the world’s most fabulous readers, and I’m forever grateful to you all for giving me the gift of this career.

Be the first to hear about new releases, giveaways and insider extras at ClaireCook.com/newsletter. Hang out with me on Facebook (ClaireCookauthorpage), Twitter (ClaireCookwrite) and Pinterest (ClaireCookwrite).

Best Staged Plans

Sandy Sullivan is a professional home stager who lives and works in the Boston suburbs. So getting rid of her own house and downsizing should be a breeze, right? Well, best staged plans and all, Sandy’s husband, Greg, is dragging his feet and their son, Luke, has returned home and moved into the “bat cave” in the basement. Sandy reads them both the riot act and takes a job staging a boutique hotel recently acquired by her best friend’s boyfriend. The good news is that she can spend time in Atlanta with her recently married daughter, Shannon. The bad news is that Shannon soon receives a promotion and heads back up to Boston for training, leaving Sandy and her Southern son-in-law, Chance, as reluctant roommates. And Sandy finds herself in another delicate situation when she suspects her best friend’s boyfriend may be seeing another woman on the side. Fixing up houses may turn out to be easier than fixing up lives.

You can find Clair Cook at:

Amazon

and her website: Claire Cook

 

Happy Reading! And thank you Claire Cook for entertaining us with your writing.

Book Reviews · Reading and Reviewing

Murder In Vail by Judy Moore

51EXvWdU5+LMurder In Vail by Judy Moore

Sally Braddock’s serene lifestyle atop a mountain in Vail, Colorado, changes drastically each year when her three spoiled children and their spouses visit her – and her money – for Christmas. They live off their trust funds, which are disappearing quickly, and spend most of the holidays bickering and hitting up their mother for money.

This year, Sally makes an announcement that sends her children into a tizzy, an announcement so extreme that it pushes someone in the house to murder. The storm inside the house

My Review

Judy Moore is a new author to me. It was one of those books that I downloaded on my Kindle and was wishy-washy about reading it. I tend to read authors  I am familiar with first when picking a book, and seem to put those I am not familiar with on my to-read list, sometimes removing it from the Kindle before I read it. I am glad I did not do this with Murder In Vail.

It drew me in right away. I had a few days of trying to to get through another book and not being able to get into it so I was pleasantly surprised when I didn’t want to put this book down.

I liked the characters and thought the family dynamics were interesting. It was a good story on what pulls families together or what pulls them apart. Along with highlighting no matter how much we differ or we fight we seem to defend our families and the Braddock family in this book is no different.

The plot was easy to follow but the mystery was not so easy to solve. I kept flopping back and forth trying to decide the guilty party. The easy style of the writing drew me in, kept me focused so much that I finished this in an afternoon. I could also identify with Sally and her questioning her parenting decisions. Don’t we all do that with our adult children?

I good read. A new author for me to explore. I can’t ask for anything more.

To find out more about Judy Moore and her books visit her Amazon page.

Book Reviews · Reading and Reviewing

Meet Author Karen Shughart

A New Cozy Author.

B1dqRR8IRuS._US230_Karen Shughart, a new author with Cozy Cat Press, has a new book called Murder In The Museum.

Murder In The Museum51oDncYUWXL._SY346_

Early one gray November morning, retired Lighthouse Cove, NY police chief, Edmund DeCleryk, finds Emily Bradford’s body on the beach at the base of the bluff where the local museum and historical society stands. At the same time, a break-in has been reported at the museum, and Emily’s coat and purse are found hanging on a peg in the museum’s gift shop where she worked. Was her death the result of a burglary gone bad or something more sinister?

When the police chief is called out of town for a family emergency, he hires Ed, now working as a criminal consultant, to assist deputy police chief, Carrie Ramos, with the murder investigation. After several leads don’t pan out, the chief, now back in Lighthouse Cove, decides to close the case. Confident that with more time the murder can be solved, Ed is determined to continue investigating on his own, with encouragement from his wife, Annie the museum’s executive director.

One morning while in the basement of the museum, the couple discovers a copy of a map dated 1785, and Ed’s instincts tell him it may be connected to Emily’s death. On a hunch, he and Annie travel to Toronto, Canada, where he learns of the original map and a manuscript written in 1847 that was unearthed during an archaeological dig. The manuscript contains information about a ship that capsized during a fierce storm on Lake Ontario — in 1785. Now Ed has clues as to why the murder occurred, but he still doesn’t know who committed the crime. Or does he?

About Author Karen Shughart

Karen Shughart has worked professionally as a journalist, writer, editor, publicist and non-profit executive. Her passions include her family, cooking, gardening, writing, photography, walking, and learning new things. Karen’s first novel, Murder in the Museum: An Edmund DeCleryk Mystery (Cozy Cat Press, April 2018) is the first in a series that takes place in Lighthouse Cove, NY on the southern shores of Lake Ontario. It is available in all Amazon formats. In addition, she is the author of two non-fiction books: The Pennsylvania Bed and Breakfast Guide and Cookbook; and Creating Special Events, from Dollars to Dessert.

My Review

This mystery takes place in Lighthouse Cove, NY. From the opening pages until the end this well-written book will keep you captivated. I especially was intrigued by the Prologue and the way the characters were introduced in the first few chapters. A museum murder and a mystery tied to happenings many years ago weave together a  plot that is perfect for a mystery tied to a museum.

You can find Karen’s book on her Amazon page.

Visit her website at Karen Shughart.com

Book Reviews · Guest Authors · Reading and Reviewing · Releases

Meet Cozy Mystery Author Susan Boles

I am excited to have 91WqGLYNLsL._US230_Author Susan Boles as my guest today. Susan is the author of the award-winning Lily Gayle Lambert Mystery Series. And out soon, her book, Death On The Beach is part of a part of the boxed set, Summer Snoops and Cozy Crimes, 12 Mysteries of the Dog Days of Summer. All proceeds from this boxed set will go to support to Non-Kill Animal Shelters.unnamed.png

 

Let’s meet Susan.

Who is Susan Boles?

I love writing books! Which is a given under the circumstances! I love reading all genres and also poetry. So, even though I write cozy mysteries, and some romantic suspense, I really enjoy reading a lot of other things too. My day job is in the investment and insurance industry and I monitor regulatory changes at the state and federal level. Pretty dry and boring. But it’s always changing so there’s job security in that! LOL. Until I moved to Mississippi six years ago, I was a seventh generation Tennessean. I love genealogy and have worked on my own family history for over twenty years. I love animals and have a rescue mini-dachshund named Lucy and a rescue cat named Zimba.

What was the first thing you ever wrote that made you think perhaps you would like to be a writer?

When I was in junior high school I began writing poetry and short stories. I was crazy about horses and wanted one of my own and all of my short stories were centered around a teenage girl and her adventures while out riding her horse in the country. I knew all the way back then that I wanted to be an author, but it took a very long time before I wrote my first book and even more time before it got published.

What tweaks your creativity?

That’s an interesting question because it’s a lot of things rather than one thing in particular. I might see something on TV that makes me go Hmm. That would make a great story! Or hear a song and have the same reaction. Or a friend may say something that gets my imagination saying What if?

Tell us about your latest book.

I’m currently working on a novella for a box set of cozy mysteries that will be released in late July. My novella is part of my Lily Gayle Lambert series D1nCADq78JS._SL250_FMpng_and takes place at the beach. One of my favorite places!! Even on vacation Lily Gayle and Dixie stumble onto a murder victim. I’m also currently at work on a romantic suspense novella for the Brotherhood Protectors Kindle World. It will be a crossover from the Lily Gayle Lambert series with some of those characters appearing in the romantic suspense. That one will be released on June 26th! My plate is pretty full right now.

 

What is the favorite thing about your main character?

Her insatiable curiosity. I’m a big believer that being curious and learning all throughout life are positive things.

What are your characters most serious flaws?

Her inability to control that endearing curiosity. But if she could, there would be no books, right?

How many series do you have out and how do they differ from one another?

Right now, the Lily Gayle Lambert books are the only series I have out. I am going to be publishing regularly in the Brotherhood Protectors Kindle World, this year so I think that may fall into the category of a series. Or maybe not. But the Brotherhood books are romantic suspense instead of cozy mystery like the Lily Gayle books. I also have ideas for a couple more cozy mystery series that I’d like to work on later this year. So, hopefully, there will be a new series out in 2019.

You are a champion of animal rescue. Can you tell us about the boxed set of books that will be available soon and where the proceeds go and why you chose this particular platform?

I am so honored to have been asked to be a part of this box set. I am a huge advocate of animal rescue. There are so many animals out there that need loving homes. I am active with a local rescue group in Memphis, TN and see how very hard the members of the group work to take care of these animals and to make sure that go to loving homes. This box set, Summer Snoops and Cozy Crimes,  includes twelve authors of cozy mystery. Some of the books, like mine, are part of an existing series and some are something new the authors wanted to try out in the set. Revenue will go to two no-kill shelters we chose. AniCira is one. It’s a group in Virginia. www.anicira.com The other is Jefferson SPCA. Which is in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. http://www.jeffersonspca.org Both of these groups are very committed to finding forever homes for lost and/or abandoned animals. It’s available for pre-order already on all the big e-book retailer sites.

What makes you smile?

Lucy and Zimba. Sunshine on water. Flowers growing in my garden. The smell of the earth after a heavy rain. A cup of hot tea and a good book on a rainy afternoon. A rocking chair or swing on a big front porch.

What makes you mad/sad?

Seeing an animal or a child being mistreated. Those really get me.

Writers get discouraged at times. Have you ever been discouraged and what do you do about it?

Oh my, yes! I am my own worst critic and I sometimes think every word I’ve written is crap. And I have to restrain myself from just deleting everything. My friends are the best. When I get discouraged they talk me off the ledge. I walk away and come back with a calmer frame of mind and take a hard look. Sometimes big sections do need to be deleted. But never all of it.

What advice would you give to new authors or those dreaming of becoming an author?

Write. Write. Write. Often. Every day if you can. And Read. Read. Read. You need to read really good books and really bad books to see how they are put together and what works and what doesn’t.

What are you working on now? My novella for the cozy mystery box set. It’s titled Death on the Beach. My novella for the Brotherhood Protectors Kindle World. It’s titled Persuading Piper. And Book 4 in the Lily Gayle Lambert series. It’s titled Death said the Gypsy Queen and, hopefully, will be out in late August or early September. Then there

I like to end my interviews with an author’s favorite quote. What is yours?

Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get. ~ Forest Gump

My Review of  Susan’s book Death at the Midnight Dragonfly:

This is the first I have read of Susan Boles LIly Gayle Lambert series but it won’t be my last. A sleepy Mississippi town, quirky characters, a dead on the doorstep body, two best friends sleuthing where they shouldn’t be and an old possible heartthrob coming back to town have the mysteries details leading the reader down an intriguing road. And it all happens during the Christmas season.   What could be better than a holly jolly redly deadly Christmas? Lily Gayle, the main character, wasn’t in the Christmas mood anyway so a few threats on her and her best friend Dixie’s life just might perk up her mood.

This was a well-written, enjoyable book that kept me reading and kept me interested from beginning to end.

More about Susan:

Susan is the award-winning author of the Lily Gayle Lambert Mystery Series and a contributing author to the Brotherhood Protectors Kindleworld.

A lifelong long love of all things mysterious led Susan to write cozy mysteries. Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden were the first to show her that girls can be crime solvers. Agatha Christie showed her that even small towns have big secrets. And Phryne Fisher showed her lady detectives can be outrageously individual. She lives in Mississippi with her rescue mini dachshund, Lucy, and her rescue cat of no particular breed, Zimba.

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Lucy (9) adopted when she was six.
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Zimba (4) – adopted as a kitten

She currently writes the Lily Gayle Lambert mystery series set in the fictional town of Mercy, Mississippi featuring a multi-generational cast of female sleuths and romantic suspense in the Brotherhood Protectors Kindle World.

 

Stay in touch for upcoming releases!

Susan writes mysteries and set in the big city of Memphis, TN and the fictional small town of Mercy, Mississippi.

CONTACT SUSAN;
Susan loves to hear from readers and book lovers! Visit her website at www.susanbolesauthor.com Or drop her a line at Susan at susanbolesauthor.com

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Anicira

Jefferson spca

Amazon: http://bit.ly/SummerSnoopsAmazon
Apple: http://bit.ly/SummerSnoopsonApple
Nook: http://bit.ly/SummerSnoopsNook
Kobo: http://bit.ly/SummerSnoopsonKobo

 

Releases

An Interview with Author Allen Boyer

DSCF4006I welcome my friend and  Author Allen Boyer to my blog. His latest book The Blair House Cat Mystery was recently released by Cozy Cat Press. It is the second in the Dupree Sisters Series. C1cfWNtDtrS._SL250_FMpng_

I am always intrigued by the quirky behavior of cats. So when the Dupree Sisters find a cat on their doorstep and it has a spot of blood on it, one wonders what the cat has been into. We soon realize this stray cat knows more than it’s meowing indicates and the Dupree Sisters are kept busy unraveling a mystery surrounding our nation’s capital.  What secrets are the Washington elite keeping? I am not quite finished with the book as I just got it but I am enjoying it immensely.  I hope to finish it later today.  I haven’t guessed whodunnit yet and probably won’t because this book is skillfully written. So far I give it five stars. Now, remember if I can’t give a five or four star review on this blog I don’t post it.

Let’s meet Author Allen Boyer. 

Tell us a little bit about your life? 

It’s a balancing act as a writer and a father of three children.  Daily commitments take priority over writing time, which is okay.  In an odd way, they actually complement each other.  When I work on a book, sometimes I need a break and throwing a baseball or playing ping pong with my kids is a good way to let my mind fire on some creative ideas.  Getting time away from the laptop also helps to maximize my writing time.  When I sit down to write I know exactly what I’m going to do.

You have two series out the Bess Bullock Series and the Dupree Sisters series. The longer a series goes on, is it more difficult to write the next book because you might worry about readers not liking it as well as the others?

Yes, I thought about that.  Another concern for me was how some book series lead to the eventual killing off of regular characters.  I didn’t want to go down that road, which is why it’s taken such a long time to get another Bess Bullock story ramped up.  The next book, Discreet in the Heat, will be out later this year.  The theme of the book will be about the concept of “home” and how each person defines home in a different way.  Also, part of the storyline will involve a new life being brought into Bess’s world and the ripples it creates.

What was your inspiration for the Dupree sisters? ]

I had a friend name Charlotte Bouton, who has since passed away.  She was in her eighties when I knew her.  She had worked in the House of Representatives for many years.  Worked with historical figures like John Kennedy and Al Gore Sr.  When I knew her she was always perfectly dressed and sweet to talk to, but when the topic of politics came up she would be tough as nails on politicians and candidates she considered “lightweights.”  I liked that contrast of having this person with a grandmotherly appearance but, under the surface, having these great political experiences and this tough mindset about how Washington D.C. worked.

Tell us about your latest book, Blair House, Cat Mystery. 

It begins with a stray cat that keeps following the sisters home from church.  Of course, they begin to feed the cat, leading to it coming around more often.  One day, when the cat arrives with some blood on it, that’s when the story takes them to a dead body and love letters from an unknown author.  So the Dupree sisters have to connect the clues to learn the truth about what happened.

What is the most quirky character trait of the DuPree Sisters? 

Ruth Dupree, the younger of the two sisters, has presidential quotes that she likes to pull out for a variety of occasions.  I think she does it to impress other people, but it drives her sister, Charlotte crazy.  I think Charlotte has probably heard the same quotes too many times.

What are your characters most serious flaws? 

They don’t have a thick skin all the time.  Things happen that get them upset, or angry and sometimes their emotions can cloud their judgment.  There are many fictional characters who are emotionally distant and nothing ever bothers them.  We’re all people and we all have to deal with our emotions.  Ruth and Charlotte are no different.

Why Washington DC as the setting for mysteries?

Part of it goes back to the fact that my friend Charlotte Bouton worked there.  Another reason is that I live a few hours from D.C. and my wife and I like to take our children there during the summer for day trips.  It is a beautiful city with many layers to explore.  Checking out all the museums, buildings, monuments, and restaurants make for interesting trips.

What makes you smile? 

  My kids.

What makes you mad/sad?

Kids again, but fortunately there are many more smiles in the day.

Are you a full-time writer? If not what is your career and how does it lend it to your mysteries? 

I’m a technology teacher at an elementary school.  I have a good eye for observing people and I think that benefits me as a teacher and a writer.

Tell us about your Bess Bullock Series and how it differs from the Dupree Sisters. And do you have any other books out? 

Bess Bullock is Sherlock Holmes in a retirement home.  She notices the little details.  She has a good eye for people and will spot curious behaviors to investigate.  So in a typical Bess Bullock book, she’ll find a number of little mysteries to investigate and resolve.  The reading is light and the stories focus on human nature.  Charlotte and Ruth Dupree aren’t that observant.  They are longtime socialites so they have a lot of social connections to reference whenever they get stuck in an investigation.  The Dupree Sisters Series takes more of a traditional approach of having one death to investigate.

What is next for Allan Boyer? 

I have a goal of finishing the next Bess Bullock book, Discreet in the Heat, by June.  So I’m pressed for time to finish it, but I’m more than halfway there.  I’ve never released two books in the same year so that’s a new goal to meet.  After that, I’ll be going up to Canada for a week with the family to get away.  I’ll be putting away the laptop and grabbing lots of notebooks to fill while I sit by a lake in the middle of nowhere.

Did I forget to ask anything you would like us to know?

Just that I find it very satisfying to create a story that gives people an escape from their job, or worries, or routine of the day.  It really is a privilege to do that.

I like to end my interviews with an author’s favorite quote. What is yours?

“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”  Mathew 6:34

61nal+JmmEL._AC_US218_Blair House Cat Mystery

There are three things distracting Ruth and Charlotte Dupree from enjoying the usual pleasures of Washington D.C. social circles. A stray cat with a spot of blood on its fur. A set of love letters from an unknown author. A dead body. Join the Dupree Sisters as they employ their usual charm and good manners to uncover the truth behind The Blair House Cat Murder, the second installment in the Dupree Sisters Mystery Series.

More About Allen Boyer

Allen B. Boyer lives near Hershey, Pa with his wife and three children. He also lives near a retirement home that he visits with his children and his dog, Buster. If you enjoyed Gumshoe Granny Investigates, please check out Bess in her second book, Clues Over Croissants, as well as Married To Mysteries, Whispers In Winter and Suspicions at Sunset.

A second mystery series was begun with Death at The Presidents Church, the first installment that features two elderly sisters who use their social connections in Washington D.C. to solve mysteries. The first book dealt with the death of a homeless man. The second book in the series, The Blair House Cat Mystery, is just released.

You can find Allen at these links:

Amazon

Allen’s Blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to meet Allen. Happy Reading.

Book Reviews · Uncategorized

Virtual Enemies by Sharon Mierke

It is no secret I am a fan of Sharon Mierke and her writing. I read Virtual Enemies a couple of years ago and I decided to read it again. Beryl Swallows goes back home to attend the funeral of a classmate who committed suicide. She hadn’t seen her classmate or her friends in years. It seemed everyone had a secret and that included her dead classmate Mary Lou.

I find Sharon Mierke books comfortable reads. By that I mean they take you along with characters as if you fit into their lives and are standing right there observing everything. Not only did this mystery remind me we occasionally find the people who used to be important in our early years may change so you can’t really go back home. The book moves along easily but at no point could I guess whodunnit and believe me as a mystery writer I like to figure it out early in the book.

I am moving on again to her other books, the ones I have read and the ones I haven’t put on my kindle yet. Take the time and see what Author Sharon Mierke has to offer. You won’t be disappointed if you like Cozy Mysteries.

51lYcrtg2fL._AC_US218_Virtual Enemies

When Beryl Swallows attended the funeral of a former schoolmate, Mary Lou Sanders, she had no idea that instead of renewing old friendships, she would be making new enemies. She also did not know that she would find herself immersed in a murder investigation – hired for big bucks by Mary Lou herself. The question was: Was Mary Lou murdered or did she really commit suicide as her note indicated? After not seeing her former friends, Lydia, Julia and Esther, for almost thirty years, they were virtually strangers or as she was to find out, virtual enemies.

B1pPGxbFAAS._UX250_Sharon Mierke

Sharon Rose now writing as Sharon Mierke!

Sharon Mierke’s mother was a writer and her father, a photographer, so it seemed natural to drift into the writing field and also keep her love for photography. She began writing many years ago but it wasn’t until her four children had left home that she began to do some serious writing. While taking a three-year writing course, she had several short stories published and two novels: Who Needs Enemies? and Missed by a Hair (both now out of print). Sharon enjoys writing mysteries and historical fiction.

Her book, Virtual Enemies, is a mystery and introduces readers to Beryl Swallows, a retired police officer and now private investigator. In Virtual Enemies she is hired to solve a murder – by the victim herself. A mystery within a mystery. This is the first in the Beryl Swallows Mysteries. In the second, Case Closed.not, Beryl finds one of her mother’s old diaries and it takes her back into a past she never knew existed. Was her own mother a murderer?

Sharon has four current books in the Mabel Wickles mystery series: Deception by Design, Calamity by the Car Wash, Cold Case Conundrum, and Frozen Identity. Mabel is good at finding trouble; however, along with her friend, Flori, and other Parson’s Cove citizens, she always seems to find the way out. And find the guilty party.

Besides writing mysteries, Sharon writes historical fiction. Her first historical fiction, Sarah’s Valley, carries us on a journey from the east coast of the United States, through the Midwest, and up into Canada. Her second historical fiction, The Widow’s Walk, centers around life in the early 1800s on the Texas Panhandle and down to the island of Galveston. The sequel to Sarah’s Valley, Return to Sarah’s Valley, is now available on Amazon. Now it is Patrick’s turn to tell his life story to one of Winnipesaukee’s descendants.

Sharon’s books contain no graphic violence, sexual content, or coarse language.

Sharon Rose Mierke and her husband live in Manitoba, Canada, where the summers are hot and the winters, cold. They have four grown children and four grandchildren. Sharon’s hobbies include reading, scrapbooking, and photography.

Visit Sharon At:
Book Reviews · Guest Authors

Fatal Flip by M.E. Bakos

619dW7BCKsL._UX250_M. E. Bakos is a new author and Fatal Flip is her first book in the Home Renovator Mystery Series.

How many of us find ourselves in the midst of a life change? How many of us have the courage to follow our bliss?  Katelyn has lost her job and she is in the midst of a career change. Of course, changes do not always run smooth. Becoming a Rehab Specialist in Minnesota she runs into a snag when she finds a dead body in the middle of her first project. Let the hijinks begin.

I like stories about rehabbing houses. I always, being a mystery writer too, imagine what the homes could say if they could talk. M.E. Bakos does a very good job of weaving a tale of mystery and leading us through the clues and mystery surrounding the residents of Crocus Heights, Minnesota. Her characters and pets throw an interesting mix into the story.  I look forward to her next book.

51cg4SIQ+KLFatal Flip

Flipping houses can be fatal! When Katelyn finds a dead body in her first home renovation project, she seriously doubts her decision to “follow her bliss.” After getting fired from her steady job, her plan to flip houses takes a hit when she becomes a suspect. After all, possession is nine points of the law, isn’t it? Especially, when it’s a dead body.
To keep herself in pizza, peanut butter, good coffee, and her stray cat, Boots, in kitty chow she takes survival jobs as a wine sample hostess and market researcher. Meanwhile, Sheriff Don is kind of hunky, and her ex-husband, Eddy (it’s complicated) is back in her life sleeping on her sofa. How’s a girl supposed to solve dead body mysteries, make a living, and find love?

M. E. Bakos

M.E. Bakos has published several short stories in national women’s magazines. Her love of mysteries has led to writing cozies. Her first mystery short story, “Carpe Diem or Murder at the Carp Fest” appeared in the Festival of Crime, a SINC Anthology. Her second, “Perfect Storm . . . Perfect Murder” will be in Dark Side of the Loon, May, 2018 also a SINC Anthology.
Her first cozy, FATAL FLIP, A Home Renovator Mystery has several home improvement tips for the reader.
Mary is a member of Twin Cities Sisters in Crime, the SINC Guppies Group, and an alumna of the University of Minnesota. She is a lifelong resident of Minnesota and resides in Minneapolis with her husband, Joe Sebesta, and their spoiled Morkie.

Links to M. E. Bakos:

Amazon

Book Reviews

Murder of Course by Diane Weiner

B1DEGTNeYKS._UY200_This new series by Author Diane Weiner is my favorite. Her first book, A Deadly Course  in the Sugarbury Falls Series introduced us to Emily and Henry Fox who moved to Sugarbury Falls to kick back a little from their city life. Murder of Course continues on with life in Sugarbury Falls but as we all know small-town life has its secrets and its issues too. Emily and Henry find that out when a murder happens almost next door. Add a teenager, animals and good characters and you have a mystery worth reading. There are surprises at every turn.

This series is my favorite of Diane’s books. There is something about Sugarbury Falls that makes me wish I could spend some time there and meet the people who live and work in the community, perhaps even the murderers. The mystery is well written. I give this book Five Stars.

51tcIIiDevLMurder Of Course

Middle-aged couple Emily and Henry Fox moved to Sugarbury Falls, Vermont to enjoy a quiet life, but when their neighbor pounds on their door at the crack of dawn pleading for help, they can’t refuse. A dead woman lies on the floor of their neighbor’s rental cabin. Who is she and what brought her to town? While struggling with the mystery, Emily also struggles with an impossible new boss at the quaint college where she teaches–a boss who may be guilty of her own heinous crime.

About Diane Weiner

Diane Weiner is a veteran public school teacher and mother of four children. She has enjoyed reading for as long as she can remember. She has fond memories of reading Nancy Drew and Mary Higgins Clark on snowy weekend afternoons in upstate New York and yearned to write books that would bring that kind of enjoyment to her readers. Being an animal lover, she is a vegetarian and shares her home with two adorable cats and a little white dog. In her free time, she enjoys running, attending community theater productions, and spending time with her family (especially going to the mall with her teenage daughter and getting Dairy Queen afterward). Murder in the Middle is the third book in her Susan Wiles School House Mystery series and she has plans for many more.

Links to Diane:

Amazon

Website

Book Reviews

Mistletoe Murder by Karen MacInerney

71FRLNGMNHL._UX250_Karen MacInerney is fast becoming one of my favorite authors with her Dewberry Farm Mysteries. I haven’t read them in order but it hasn’t made a difference to my enjoyment. I want to live at Dewberry Farm and grow vegetables, make soap and live in Buttercup. Her characters make me care about them. Her mysteries leave me wanting more. This mystery takes place at Christmas time. We all know things are not always as they seem at this time of year and Lucy Resnick, newcomer to Buttercup always seems to have the misfortune of falling right into the middle of the conundrum of circumstances. Add a little romance and suspense to the Christmas holiday and settle in for the festivities. I give this book five stars.

61d4doeB1DLMistletoe Murder ( A Dewberry Farm Mystery)

It’s beginning to look a lot like… Murder. It’s Christmastime, and farmer Lucy Resnick is living the life she’s always dreamed of. When she’s not selling her jams, soaps, and mistletoe bundles at the Buttercup Christmas Market, she’s enjoying cozy evenings by the fire with her knitting group–or her handsome veterinarian boyfriend Tobias Brandt. But less than a week before Christmas, a pall falls over the festive atmosphere when local man Randy Stone turns up with a knife in his back… and a sprig of mistletoe in his hair. Local sheriff Rooster Kocurek, never the brightest bulb on the string, is convinced it’s an open-and-shut case–murder by jealous wife–but Lucy suspects otherwise. She soon discovers that Randy’s life was more tangled than last year’s Christmas lights… and that unless she wraps up the case fast, there might be more than one funeral this holiday season.

Karen MacInerney

Karen is the housework-impaired author of multiple mystery series, and her victims number well into the double digits. She lives in Austin, Texas with two sassy children, her husband, and a menagerie of animals, including twenty-three fish, two rabbits, and a rescue dog named Little Bit. When she’s not chauffeuring children or coming up with creative ways to kill people, you can usually find Karen hiding away with a book, dodging laundry, playing in the kitchen, or attending martial arts classes. She also teaches writing classes.

To join Karen’s Readers’ Circle and download a free book, please visit her at www.karenmacinerney.com. Not only will you be first to hear about new releases, but you’ll receive behind-the-scenes tidbits, deleted scenes, recipes, and even short stories! You can also find Karen on Twitter at @karenmacinerney and Facebook at www.facebook.com/AuthorKarenMacInerney or www.facebook.com/karenmacinerney (where she spends an inordinate amount of time). You are more than welcome to friend her there — and remind her to get back to work on the next book!