Posted in 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.

Posted in 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.

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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

Posted in 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

 

Posted in 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.

Posted in Book Reviews

A Tiny Collierville Murder by Abby Vandiver

Abby1Who 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.

 

A Tiny  Collierville Murder
A Tiny Collierville Murder

A Tiny Collierville Murder (A Tiny House Cozy Mystery #1)

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!

Visit her: www.abbyvandiver.com
Email her: abbylvandiver@aol.com
Follow her: @AbbyVandiver
Keep up with new releases: www.bookbub.com/authors/abby-l-vandiver

Posted in Reading and Reviewing, Releases

Jezabelle is on a Blog Tour

My blog tour started on December 7. I am touring with Lori Caswell and Dollycas Tours.  I hope you will join me and Jezabelle Jingle from the Brilliant, Minnesota Cozy Mystery Series. You might learn more about Jezabelle as she blogs about her life in Brilliant or when she shares some of the recipes from her book. I might put my two cents worth in for a time or two. And then there are the reviews. I quake and shake when I know they are critiquing my work. Here is the schedule. Bookmark it and follow along. Be sure to share with your friends when you visit these sites as there are drawings. And for this month all my Kindle books are available for $.99. The set makes a great gift. But don’t forget they are all available in paperback too to buy for those you love at Christmas time. If you want a signed copy please email me and I will mail it to you direct and work out payment details. Smile, laugh and relax with a good book.

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

December 7 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE – E-Book Giveaway 

December 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

December 9 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

December 10 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

December 11 – T’s Stuff – INTERVIEW – E-Book Giveaway 

December 12 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

December 13 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST – Print Book Giveaway 

December 14 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

December 15 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW, GUEST POST

December 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT – E-Book Giveaway

December 17 – The Self-Rescue Princess – REVIEW

December 18 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 19 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

December 20 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

 

Posted in Reading and Reviewing, Releases

Who Is Jezabelle Jingle?

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Jezabelle Jingle

It’s official! The Penderghast Puzzle Protectors has a new cover, a new publisher, and a new printing company. One might ask why I decided to make some changes with the first book in the Brilliant, Minnesota, Cozy Mystery Series. And if you weren’t  asking,  I will tell you anyway.

I feel The Penderghast Puzzle Protectors is perhaps the best book I have written so far. My readers keep asking for more Granny (Hermiony Vidalia Criony Fiddlestadt)

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Hermiony Vidalia Criony Fiddlestadt

and there will be more, but I felt the fictional communities of Minnesota needed another series and so the Brilliant Series was born, but it hasn’t taken off as well as I would like, thus the new cover and a new release.

First a little bit about the new cover. In searching for the perfect Victorian House for my main character Jezabelle Jingle, I came across a picture my friend and Author Sherri Hansen posted of her Victorian Bed and Breakfast and Teahouse, The Blue Belle Inn and knew it was perfect for Jezabelle. Sherri generously gave me permission to use the picture and I feel a connection to it.

Jezabelle Jingle is not quite as silly as her name portrays although she has her quirks and doesn’t suffer fools lightly. She grew up in Brilliant, left for a few years and came back to some of her old friends, Police Chief Hank Hardy and Lizzy Langer. Moving into the Penderghast neighborhood of Victorian Houses she loved her retired life, making her famous cheesecakes and keeping an eye on her interesting but quirky neighbors. But fate thrust her into the history and secrecy the Brilliant Brothers built into the town.

Of course, there has to be a connection to Fuchsia, Minnesota, and Granny, from the Fuchsia Series, and it comes in the form of Granny’s friend, Delight Delure, who is Jezabelle’s niece.

Jezabelle is not a sleuth like Granny but when her neighbor’s lives are threatened by unique goings on and deaths, Jezabelle, along with her neighbors, are forced to investigate and they form the Penderghast Puzzle Protectors. Can her neighbors be trusted?

Jezabelle is not above flirting with her cute garbage collector, Hick Rafferty. She is not too old to have a secret admirer or to keep the Police Department on their toes. Her heart has been broken a few times by secrets in her past and…by losing pets, but new pets seem to find her whether she wants them or not.

As the series progresses you will find a community riddled in mystery with actual puzzles needing to be solved, funny situations and a town that looks out for their own despite their differences.

Jezabelle is a conglomeration of fun, silliness with drops of sense and sensibility, all wrapped up in cheesecakes, cupcakes, and intrigue.

The second book in the Brilliant Series is coming soon. It should be out in October. The title is The Discombobulated Decipherers. Not only is there a dead elf wrapped in Christmas lights, but a Christmas puzzle to solve along with more insight into the quirky lives of the Brilliant residents.

Penderghast_Puzzle_Protectors_jpgHere is a little excerpt from The Penderghast Puzzle Protectors.

“What are you doing here, HH?” Jezabelle used her nickname
for the Police Chief. “Didn’t know you covered floor failures
too. I kept telling Warbler he needed to lose some weight—
too many of those banana splits from the Creamy Cow, but he
didn’t listen. I warned him these old houses have weak floors
in places.”
Hank Hardy and Red Hannahan shared a concerned look
between them before Hank answered Jezabelle. “It was no accident, Jezzy. It looks like someone cut a large square out of
the floor. The strange thing was that they must have known
how the house was built.”
“That’s impossible,” replied Jezabelle. “That house, like mine
and all the others on the street, are over one hundred years old.
And they’ve always been in good shape. The owners have kept
them up. Are you telling me we have a one-hundred-year-old
cutting up floors?”
“Here’s the thing.” Red Hannahan interrupted. “That exact
square of floor was framed in a square, not like the normal
joists in a house. That frame was made for exactly that piece
of floor.”
Hardy nodded his head in agreement. “The perpetrator
pulled up that particular floor board without disturbing the
ceiling below. That’s why Warbler didn’t notice it from the
living room underneath the bedroom.”
“And when they did, they pulled the area rug over to hide the
hole. Mr. Warbler stepped on the rug and went right through
the floor. The square was just big enough for part of his rotund
body to go through, but the solid framing of the floor and his
stomach wouldn’t give way for the rest.” Red Hannahan smiled,
remembering the picture of Mr. Warbler hanging through the
ceiling.
Jezabelle wrinkled her nose, puzzled by the events of the
day. “Do you suppose the entire floor is framed like that? And
why would someone want a piece of Mr. Warbler’s floor?”
Hank Hardy ignored the question and answered with one of
his own. “Did you see anything suspicious or anyone you didn’t
recognize around Mr. Warbler’s house today?”
“Other than Miranda Covington actually putting her
garbage out at the correct time so she didn’t have to run down
the street after the garbage truck in her high heels and scanty
nighties? Nope, can’t say I did.” Jezabelle smiled sweetly at the men, remembering that Mr. Warbler was the only one she saw
doing something suspicious the day before. Jezabelle decided
to keep that little bit of news to herself so she could investigate
before she told the police. After all, she didn’t want to put Mr.
Warbler in a bad light, them being neighbors and all. “Nope,
nothing.”

The Blurb:

The Brilliant Brothers founded Brilliant Minnesota, and then they disappeared. The residents of Brilliant didn’t know the brothers left a puzzle needing to be solved. A chain of unexpected present-day events shakes up the Penderghast neighborhood of Brilliant: Mr. Warbler hanging between floors after stepping through a hole cut in his floor by a floornapper, then a dead body in Annabelle Avery’s empty house. To the dismay of Police Chief Hank Hardy, Jezabelle Jingle and her quirky neighbors form their own sleuth group under the guise of the Penderghast Puzzle Protectors to solve the puzzle before any of them end up in pieces or—worse yet—dead. Will they be able to figure out if the same person who is causing the mysterious happenings is also Jezabelle’s secret admirer, or is another mystery unfolding to complicate their investigation? Is the entire town in danger of a pernicious puzzle waiting to be solved?

This is what one reader had to say about the Penderghast Puzzle Protectors: The Penderghast Puzzle Protectors is the first in the new Brilliant Minnesota Mysteries by Julie Seedorf. This new series is just as funny as The Fuchsia Minnesota Series! Julie’s stories are so imaginative and creative. The characters are so much fun! I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and look forward to the next one.

If you want to find out more or if you want to check out the reviews it is available in paperback on Amazon or BarnesandNoble.com

As a Kindle Read or Audiobook

 

 

Posted in Guest Authors, Reading and Reviewing

Another Granny? Author Matt Ferraz

I am excited to have Author Matt Ferraz1535502_859713800773510_2150689483235988986_n-1 on my blog today. He is the author of The Convenient Cadaver. I love the name of the cozy mystery. Let’s get to know Matt and his characters a little better.

Please share a little insight as to who Matt Ferraz is?

Most of the time I’m a reader, a watcher, a listener and an observer. By doing a lot of this, I’ve become a writer. I’ve tried to write in most genres, but there was always that voice in my head telling me I was put on this Earth to write about locked room murders, eccentric detectives and unsolvable mysteries being solved.

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

When I was five years old, my mother was helping my brother with his homework, and I was disturbing them to get attention. Mum gave me a sheet of paper and a pencil and told me to do some drawings. I then wrote a story about a wizard named Merlin – because I thought every wizard was named Merlin – who wants to find a magic crown that will give him unlimited power. That was my first story, and I haven’t stopped ever since.

What tweaks your creativity?

Little things. Every time I’m in a strange situation or a place I wasn’t supposed to be, I decided to look around and take some idea out of it. For example, every day I take a bus that goes on the same road. I’ve been on that road hundreds of times, but once the bus had to stop in an unusual place, and looking out of the window, I realized there were imprints of a dog’s paw on the road pavement. At some point, while the asphalt was fresh, a dog walked over it and left those marks. I passed by it all the time, but only then I noticed those imprints. I love that kind of thing.

Tell us about your latest book.

The Convenient Cadaver is the first volume of Grandma Bertha Solving Murders, a cozy mystery series. It tells the story of an old lady – Grandma Bertha – living in a remodeled garden shed in the backyard of her son Todd. Like most old people, Grandma Bertha isn’t happy to be dismissed like she has nothing to offer. There’s just so much she still wants to do in this life! And she has the chance to prove her worth when a mysterious murder happens near the family house. Grandma Bertha decides to become a detective and solve that mystery before everyone else.

What is the favorite thing about your main character?

She’s just so easy to write! Grandma Bertha is positive, upbeat, joyful and colorful, and never stops until she sees justice done. It’s good for the soul to write about someone like that.

What are your characters most serious flaw?

Sometimes Grandma Bertha is so obsessed by her investigation she doesn’t see it’s harming the people she loves the most. And even when she sees it, she doesn’t stop. That can be hard on her family, especially her daughter-in-law. Many of my readers hate Lydia for not coping with Grandma Bertha, but she’s just trying to do what’s best for her husband and son, and if we were in her place, we might do the same.

What makes you smile?

Nice stuff happening to nice people. Playing with my dog and my kittens. Tasting something I’ve just cooked or baked and realizing it tastes good. Spending the afternoon with my grandmothers.

What makes you mad/sad?

People doing something they know it’s wrong, and preparing the apologies they know they’ll have to ask later.

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

Oh, yeah! I’m Brazilian, so I spent a lot of time writing in Portuguese. Unfortunately, even though we have a rich and wonderful literature, and millions of wonderful readers, the Brazilian publishing market is awful to new writers. The best response I’ve ever had was from a publisher who took two years to read my manuscript, and wanted fourteen-thousand reais (more than three thousand dollars) out of my pocket to publish it! By that time I was already writing in English, with much better results.

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

Know the business. I cannot stress this enough. Know how publishing works. Know how literary agencies work. Learn about self-publishing and traditional publishing. Spend money on books and courses about these subjects. You’re gonna thank me later.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on the second Grandma Bertha book, which will be a collection of short stories. It’s been great to revisit this character. I’m also working on two other projects. One is a sci-fi book I’m co-writing with another author, and the other is a book about cinema which will be written in Portuguese. In other words, I’m pretty busy!

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

There’s an interview with my favorite film director, Pier Paolo Pasolini, where they ask him how he likes to be called professionally. Pasolini responds, in French, “Dans le passport, je écrit simplement l’écrivain.” In English: “In my passport, it just says writer”!

 

51NRXZ0az9L._SY346_The Convenient Cadaver

by Matt Ferraz

When Grandma Bertha moved to her son’s place, she brought along three dogs, several cases of beer and many, many horror film DVDs. While her daughter-in-law insists on the idea of sending Grandma Bertha to a retirement home, a dead girl appears near the house, shot three times in the back. Many years ago, Grandma Bertha let a murderer escape for not trusting in her own detective abilities. Now, armed with her wit and wisdom, she decides to solve that crime before the police. Could this crazy dog lady be a threat to a cold-blooded killer? And for how long can the family stand that situation?

About the author

Author of all trades, Matt Ferraz has written thrillers, sci-fi, cozy mysteries and a lot of witty e-mails that sadly can’t be published. With a degree in journalism and a masters in biography, Matt has works published in English, Italian and Portuguese, and loves trying out new genres.

‘Killing Dr. Watson’ was released in March 2016 by MX Publishing. The book deals with TV series fandom, and follows the misadventures of a TV geek with no social life and a Sherlock Holmes actor past his prime who team up and become the most unusual detectives in the business.

With ‘The Convenient Cadaver’, Matt is starting the ‘Grandma Bertha Solving Murders’ series, starring an old lady who loves beer, dogs, horror movies and a good murder to solve. Grandma Bertha was based on Matt’s own grandmothers and on an elderly friend, all of whom loved to be turned into a literary character.

Matt won’t stop writing, and right now he’s working on the next installment of ‘Grandma Bertha’ and on a LitRPG book, which will be out next October.

My Review

I always love a Granny and Granny Bertha is not a disappointment. She is cunning and wily and keeps her family on her toes. The cast of characters is quirky and fun and the mystery will keep you guessing. If you like to laugh and love a good mystery and of course a Granny who gets into trouble you will love this mystery.

Contact Matt at:

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads

 

 

Posted in Guest Authors, Reading and Reviewing

The Deadly Art of Love & Murder

Today I welcome a guest post by Author Linda Crowder. She gives us a sneak peak at her new book coming out this summer. I can hardly wait as I loved her first book in this series, The Deadly Art of Deception. Welcome, Linda.

Guest Post by Linda Crowder61ZvkdfHghL._UY200_

“If I’d known I was going to find a dead body, I would have stayed in bed.”

That’s how art gallery owner, Caribou King, starts off her second adventure, The Deadly Art of Love & Murder. Cara is mid-twenties and more comfortable in business than social situations. She leads with her heart even when it gets her into serious trouble. In the second Deadly Art novel, she’s trying to solve the maybe-murder, maybe-suicide of a kindly older woman while juggling the romantic advances of not just one, but two of Coho Bay’s eligible men. With the solution buried deeper than Alaskan permafrost, and somebody willing to kill to keep it hidden, winter isn’t the only thing that’s closing in on Cara.

Love and Murder will hit the bookstores this summer, but for now, here’s a snippet…

Arriving at the house feeling a bit like an icicle, I closed the door against the wind and stomped my feet in the entry, hoping to pound feeling back into them. It wasn’t much warmer inside and I grimaced to think how cold it must be under the house. I left my coat on and walked into the kitchen, expecting to find the keys on the counter and a note from Mrs. Nash. What I didn’t expect to find was Mrs. Nash herself, but there she was, in the living room, slumped sideways on the couch, half covered in snow. My mouth had already opened to say hello when my brain realized what I was seeing. Her skin was as white as the snow and her face was… missing. The window beside her was broken, effectively turning the room into a deep freeze.

I am not normally a screamer, but when the impact of what I was seeing hit me, I screamed. It was no damsel in distress little scream, either. Rooted to that floor in horror, I made a sound I didn’t know could come from a human being. My mother would have called it sound that would wake the dead, but it didn’t have any effect on Mrs. Nash, which was probably a blessing because I really did not need this to be the start of the zombie apocalypse. After my fit of primal screaming, I did what any self-respecting modern woman of the world would do. I got the heck out of there.

What happened next is blurry, but I might have screamed all the way from the Tilamu house to City Hall. I’m not sure but I do know I was screaming when I got there. When I burst through the door, Coho Bay’s part-time receptionist and full-time matchmaker, Tammy Atumwa, threw the stack of papers she’d been holding into the air and started howling along with me. It didn’t seem to matter that she had no idea why I was screaming. She’d never been one to let a technicality stop her. Dan running from his office, gun drawn, ready to handle whatever bomb was exploding in his lobby.

About the Author

Linda Crowder is best known for her Jake and Emma Mystery series available through 307 Publishing. Set in her adopted hometown of Casper, Wyoming, the series features a pair of accidental detectives who join forces with the local police to track down killers. Her books are a delightful blend of mystery, relationships, humor, and tears. Linda fell in love with Alaska on her first trip north in 2014. Her love of the Inside  Passage led her to place her Caribou King Mystery series, available through Cozy Cat Press, in the mythical cruise ship town of Coho Bay.

Follow Linda at www.lindajcrowder.com

Posted in Guest Authors, Reading and Reviewing

Guest Spot with Author Gilian Baker

I am happy to have Author Gilian Baker sharing a guest post on my Mysterious Musings Blog today. Welcome, Gillian.

 

Researching Murder is a Killer

 I can dream up all types of interesting ways to kill off a character. The tricky part is to ensure the murder method is believable. That’s when careful research comes in. But researching murder can be a killer!

While writing the debut book in the Jade Blackwell cozy mystery series, I decided early on that I wanted to spice things up by including juxtaposition between the theme and the murder method. The world in which Jade lives and works is a modern one. She’s a blogger, and the book centers on the theme of cyber-crime. So, I thought it would be fun to offset the modernity by killing off the victim with an old-fashioned, natural poison.

Deciding on the murder method is fun and fairly easy. But the question becomes whether or not the method you’ve dreamed up will meet all the criteria you’ll need for your plot to function correctly.

For example, with poison as the murder method, you need to know things like:

  • How long does it take the poison to act?
  • What symptoms does it cause?
  • How much of it is needed to kill a person?
  • Does it have a taste or smell that will make the victim suspicious?
  • How easy is it to get? Where can you get it?

With hemlock, my chosen poison for the victim in Blogging is Murder, I had to research:

  • Does it grow wild in Wyoming? (The setting of the series)
  • Where does it grow wild? How widely available it is?
  • Which parts of the plant are poisonous?
  • Do homeopathic herbalists still use it to treat illnesses? Which ones?
  • What symptoms does it present?
  • Is it still poisonous when dried?
  • What time of the year does it grow in Wyoming?
  • Is it frost-hardy?

Before I started writing the story, I researched some of the questions above. I needed to know right away if hemlock even grew in Wyoming. It didn’t matter what kind it was—there are lots of different varieties of the plant. I just needed it to be readily available in South-Eastern Wyoming.

As I got further into writing the book though, I came up with other ideas for the plot that were dependent on aspects of the poison. Back I went to research the plant further. Some of my ideas I got to keep. Others, sadly, I had to delete. If I wanted to keep hemlock as the murder method, I had to make its properties plausible in the story.

One of my ideas for the final chapters was to add in a freak snowstorm to build tension. I’d already started typing the scene when it dawned on me—I didn’t know how frost-hardy hemlock was. Even though I knew that Wyoming often gets snow during the spring, would all the wild hemlock be killed in such a storm? Could the killer use dried hemlock instead? And where in the heck would they get such a thing?

These questions led me to another realization. I’d written a couple of chapters that included light frosts overnight. Jade’s spring bulbs had already come up so she’d been diligently checking them to make sure they’d survived. But wait! If hemlock isn’t frost-hardy, it wouldn’t even survive the light freeze I’d already written into the story.

See how researching murder can be a killer? Sometimes it takes an author back to the drawing board. The research process never really ends. In this case, I had to go back and change the entire setting to a later time in spring to avoid overnight frosts. That meant rewriting those scenes where Jade worries about her spring bulbs.

Even though researching murder can be frustrating and can kill off great ideas, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Cozy mysteries are all about giving the reader a puzzle to figure out. Murder methods give cozy mystery writers puzzles too.

 

 

Gilian Baker is a former English professor who’s gone on to forge a life outside of academia by adding blogger, ghostwriter and author to her C.V. She currently uses her geeky superpowers only for good to entertain murder mystery readers the world over. When she’s not plotting murder for her Jade Blackwell cozy mystery series, you can find her puttering in her vegetable garden, knitting in front of the fire, snuggling with her husband watching British TV or discussing literary theory with her daughter.

Gilian lives in Columbus, Ohio with her family and their three pampered felines. In her next life, she fervently hopes to come back as a cat, though she understands that would be going down the karmic ladder.

Get the first chapter of Blogging is Murder for free! http://gilianbaker.com/blogging-murder-first-chapter/

 

You can find Gillian at:

Thank you for joining us Gilian. Please visit her other media sites and learn more about this author.