It is no secret Author Claire Cook is one of my favorites, so I was over the moon when I won her book "Best Staged Plans." It was autographed too. Can you feel my excitement?
Posts from the ‘Book Reviews’ Category
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
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.
A New Cozy Author.
Karen Shughart, a new author with Cozy Cat Press, has a new book called Murder In The Museum.
Murder In The Museum
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.
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
I am excited to have 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!
Who doesn’t love books by Author, Abby Vandiver? “A Tiny Collierville Murder” is no exception. Her quirky characters, her writing style and now a tiny house series. I love tiny houses so a series with tiny houses as a feature in this cozy mystery series make it a winner. Add to the fact that it holds twists, turns and surprises you won’t expect along with a great cozy mystery. I don’t want to give away any secrets so read the blurb for information. I give it five stars and as always I can’t wait to read more of Abby Vandiver’s books.
There’s nothing tiny about murder!
Watch Tiny House on HGTV? Well, some of those miniature abodes are built on the Carter Ranch in Collierville, Tennessee, or so Nixie Culpepper has just been told, and she thinks they are just the cutest things! But her excitement is short lived when, not long after she lands at the ranch, she gets embroiled in a murder!
Nixie, a polyglot and black belt martial artist, is also addicted to designer wear. And while she can protect herself, and her little furry mixed-breed, Alfie, from danger, her credit cards are always being assaulted. She’s got a Japanese paternal grandmother who wants to be a YouTube star, and a Yugoslavian maternal grandfather who not only thinks he’s royalty, but loves Elvis, has an arsenal of corny jokes, and corresponds with Nixie regularly on FaceTime. But the murder of Big Willie Carter puts a halt to everything, and it’s up to Nixie to find out whodunit if she wants to leave Collierville and get back home to Connors Grove, New York with her brand new tiny house.
A fun new cozy series with Nixie Culpepper traveling the country with her dog and tiny house in tow.
Author Abby Vandiver
WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR, Abby L. Vandiver has always loved to write, combining that with her gift for telling stories, and mystery she became an author.
All of her books have been Amazon #1 bestsellers. Her debut novel, In the Beginning and its sequels, Irrefutable Proof and Incarnate are fact mixed with fiction, mystery/sci-fi novels not written as action packed or fast paced, but as “what-if” alternative history stories. After those books were published, Abby switched to writing cozy mysteries. Finding much success, she has three series so far, Logan Dickerson Cozy Mystery, Normal Junction Cozy Mystery and Tiny House Mysteries. In 2017, she contracted with Henery Press in a 3-book deal to pen the series Romaine Wilder Mysteries. The first book, Secrets, Lies and Crawfish Pies comes out in June, 2018.
Although she writes mostly mystery, Abby has co-written a historical/women’s fiction novel with author and friend, Kathryn Dionne under the pen name Kathryn Longino, and a Kindle World, historical fiction book, Countdown to Atlantis. That book was inspired by the A.G. Riddle book, The Atlantis Gene.
Abby, a former lawyer and college professor, has a bachelor’s degree in Economics, a master’s in Public Administration, and a Juris Doctor. A lifetime resident of Cleveland, Ohio, Abby spends all of her time writing and enjoying her wonderful grandchildren.
Abby’s got many more books to come, so stay tuned!
The beautiful cover of The Frosty Taste of Scandal drew me to buy and open the book. The first chapter pulled me in instantly and I didn’t look back.
This book has it all, a good mystery, likable characters, a little romance, food, and friendship. One of the highlights for me was the addition of Lucy, a teenager who is going through a rough spot and taken in by our main character, Elise. It reminded me the difference a mentor can make to a young person. I give this book five stars.
About the author:
CeeCee James is a wife, mom of four kids and pet mom to two mini-dachshunds. She’s always loved to read and always had her nose in a book– getting her into trouble at school when she’d sneak it in her textbooks.
Writing has been a lifelong passion. Her first works were published in middle school in a local newspaper, and she won several short story and poetry competitions throughout her life. Her published works include the Angel Lake Cozy Mystery series, nonfiction Ghost No More, and Wrecked and Yours, a sweet romance series.She loves writing about love, humanity’s struggles and the celebration of life. Sometimes there is beauty even in the chaos of a messy moment. For her, writing is about
Elise Pepper has had her share of bad dates, but she’s never had a dead body crash one before. Mr. Hamilton, the renowned Ice-man, purveyor of shady mortgages does just that when Elise finds him dead at the ice-rink. The scene of the crime is no coincidence, either. The Ice-man meets an icy end. And a freak power outage is only impeding the police.
When Elise’s coworker, Sue, begs for help, Elise is surprised to discover Sue was related to the man. And her family is fighting over his will and the appearance of an illegitimate son. It doesn’t take long to discover everyone in town had reason to benefit from the banker’s death.
When even the king and queen of the local high school’s Winter Ball come under suspicion, Elise wonders if they’ll ever find out who did it.
This may be the first case where the killer walks away.
You can find out more about CeeCee and her books on her Amazon page.