Release Spotlight & Giveaway: LIES, SPIES, AND THE BAKER’S SURPRISE by Terry Ambrose

Have you heard about Lies, Spies, and the Baker’s Surprise? It’s the latest addition to the Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery series by Terry Ambrose. I have yet to read this one, but I enjoyed two of the earlier books in the series. Adding it to my TBR list.

About the Book

Rick Atwood is happy to welcome Henry and Tara Nicholas to his Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast. Henry owns a bakery and Tara, a bookstore. They seem like a nice couple—until Rick’s daughter Alex overhears Henry talking on his cellphone to his real wife. The situation blows up the following morning when Tara discovers Henry has been lying to her—thanks in part to Alex’s interference. Tara disrupts the entire breakfast service. She then demands Rick evict Henry.

After finding Henry a room at the town’s motel, Rick hopes the drama is over. But when Henry is found dead the following morning, Rick feels partially responsible. He and Chief of Police Adam Cunningham launch an official murder investigation. They quickly find multiple witnesses who saw Tara in Henry’s room at the time of the murder.

Alex, convinced Tara is innocent, launches her own undercover investigation. Her discovery puts her in a deadly showdown with a sociopath on a bluff near the Seaside Cove Lighthouse. What happens on the bluff could make or break the official murder investigation.

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win a $35 Amazon gift card from the author.

About the Author

Once upon a time, in a life he’d rather forget, Terry Ambrose, tracked down deadbeats for a living. He also hired big guys with tow trucks to steal cars—but only when negotiations failed. Those years of chasing deadbeats taught him many valuable life lessons such as—always keep your car in the garage.

He has written eighteen books, several of which have been award finalists. In 2014, his thriller, “Con Game,” won the San Diego Book Awards for Best Action-Thriller. His series include the Trouble in Paradise McKenna Mysteries, the Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mysteries, and the License to Lie thriller series.

You can learn more about Terry and his writing at terryambrose.com.

Author links:
Website    Facebook      Twitter     Instagram     BookBub     Goodreads    Amazon

Purchase links: Amazon

Spotlight & Giveaway: BEAR WITNESS by Lark O. Jensen

Today’s post marks the release of Bear Witness (An Alaska Untamed Mystery) – the first book in a new cozy mystery series by Lark O. Jensen. And it’s set in Alaska – a place I dream of visiting some day. I guess reading about it will have to suffice for now.

About the Book

Alaska tour boat guide Stacie Calder faces the deep freeze in this scenic cozy series debut perfect for fans of Paige Shelton.

No nine-to-five cubicle career will suit Stacie Calder—the naturalist much prefers working in the great outdoors. Specifically, the spacious and spectacular Alaskan wilderness, whose rugged charms she shares with sightseers on the top deck of the tour boat where she works. But one May afternoon, Stacie’s passengers see more than glittering glaciers, frolicking harbor seals, climbing bears and soaring seabirds…they also witness a man lying dead in the frigid Alaskan waters. And it seems likely that someone gave him a fatal push.

Stacie didn’t know the unfortunate victim, but he sure wanted to know a lot about her. He spent most of his final afternoon bombarding her with questions quite awkward to answer. And when he wasn’t in her hair, he was arguing incessantly with the boat’s beleaguered crew. Which makes for a suspect list about as long as the passenger manifest. Furthermore, as police helicopters relentlessly circle her boat in search of any clues, Stacie is shaken to find herself on that suspect list.

Before the tour boat reaches shore Stacie—accompanied by her beautiful blue-eyed husky, Sasha—must deduce just who sent the testy tourist tumbling into the turgid waters and have the authorities take custody. Because if she can’t, then the killer might aim a fatal ice-cold stare at Stacie.

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win a Kindle copy of Bear Witness from the author.

About the Author

Lark O. Jensen is the pseudonym of Linda O. Johnston, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer. Lark has written Bear Witness, the first Alaska Untamed mystery for Crooked Lane. Linda has written the Barkery & Biscuits Mystery series and the Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink and the Pet Rescue Mysteries and Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. Linda also writes for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, and her stories often involve dogs.

Author Links

·    Website: www.LindaOJohnston.com

·   Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LindaOJohnston/

 Purchase: Amazon    Barnes & Noble 

Visit the tour page for additional stops for reviews, interviews and more.

Review: A VILLA IN SICILY by Liona Grace

If, like me, you enjoy mysteries and have seen the articles and ads for the 1 dollar or 1 euro houses on offer in a variety of remote locations in Italy, then you’ll understand what prompted me to dive into this book. That and my half-Italian heritage. And A Villa in Sicily: Olive Oil and Murder, is the first of six books in a cute cozy series by Liona Grace.

About the Book*

Audrey Smart, 34, is a brilliant vet—yet fed up by her demanding clients who think they know more than her and who don’t care about their animals. Burnt-out with the endless hours, she wonders if the time has come for a new direction. And when her 15th year high school reunion (and her hopes for re-sparking on old flame) end in disaster, Audrey knows the time has come to make a change.

When Audrey sees an ad for a $1 home in Sicily, it captivates her. The only catch is that the house requires renovation, something she knows little about. She wonders if it could be real—and if she may really be crazy enough to go for it.

Can Audrey create a life and career—and the home of her dreams—in a beautiful Sicilian village? And perhaps even find love while she’s there?

Or will an unexpected death—one that only she can solve—put an end to all of her plans?

Are some dreams too good to be true?

* Description as appears on Amazon

My Review

Audrey has an amazingly adventurous spirit. After all, not many of us would pack up and move to a new place – without seeing the house or village. Obstacles abound (almost anything that could go wrong does), yet she perseveres. Her story is told in a light conversation manner with a great deal of humor. The mystery aspect of the story – who killed the contractor – takes somewhat of a back seat to her overall adventure. Usually that would bother me, but in this case I didn’t mind. It was an enjoyable read, and the eventual resolution of the whodunnit part worked nicely. And there are cute animals, too.

And an added bonus – it was free on Amazon the last time I looked 🙂

Review: WATCH OUT FOR HER by Samantha M. Bailey

A mystery I read recently released today – Watch Out for Her – by Samantha M. Bailey. I enjoyed it. If you are a fan of psychological thrillers/mysteries, be sure to check it out.

Description*

Wherever you go…
she’ll be watching.


Sarah Goldman, mother to six-year-old Jacob, is relieved to move across the country. She has a lot she wants to leave behind, especially Holly Monroe, the pretty twenty-two-year-old babysitter she and her husband, Daniel, hired to take care of their young son last summer. It started out as a perfect arrangement—Sarah had a childminder her son adored, and Holly found the mother figure she’d always wanted. But Sarah’s never been one to trust very easily, so she kept a close eye on Holly, maybe too close at times. What she saw raised some questions, not only about who Holly really was but what she was hiding. The more Sarah watched, the more she learned—until one day, she saw something she couldn’t unsee, something so shocking that all she could do was flee.

Sarah has put it all behind her and is starting over in a different city with her husband and son. They’ve settled into a friendly suburb where the neighbors, a tight clique of good citizens, are always on the lookout for danger. But when Sarah finds hidden cameras in her new home, she has to wonder: has her past caught up to her, and worse yet, who’s watching her now?

A spine-tingling, page-turning novel from USA TODAY and #1 national bestselling author Samantha M. Bailey, Watch Out for Her is psychological suspense at its very best—a chilling look at trust, voyeurism, and obsession in the modern age, and how far we will go to watch out for those we love.

*Publisher’s description as appears on Amazon

My Review

This well written novel presents an intriguing tale centered on the personalities of two women. Both are somewhat emotionally unbalanced yet for very different reasons. They both seek a sense of security, love, and validation. Holly is desperate to become part of a loving family at any cost, and Sarah is cast in the role of surrogate mother to the troubled young woman. Holly and Sarah get along well. That is, until a series of events lead to a falling out. As the story unravels, the extent of their respective psychological issues becomes apparent and the questions surrounding who is/was watching whom are answered.

The author’s choice of voice was interesting, with the point of view alternating between Sarah’s (1st person) POV after the move and Holly’s POV (in 3rd person) before the move. Felt odd to me at first, but it works. Overall, the pace was pretty even thoughout, picking up pace near the end leading to a speedy resolution. I enjoyed the book and will be on the look out for future work by this author.

FTC disclosure: I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley and have voluntarily posted this honest review.

Release Spotlight & Giveaway: DEATH ON THE SET by Rose Kerr

Today’s spotlight shines on the first book in a new cozy mystery series Rose Kerr – Death on the Set (A Brenna Flynn Mystery).

About the Book

Former high school guidance counselor turns amateur sleuth to save herself from murder charge on reality show.

Brenna Flynn, returns home to Bayview City after the sudden death of her husband. Unable to find work in her field, she signs up with a temp agency to find employment. Sent on an interview for a cooking reality show, she aces it and gets the job of a production assistant.

On her second day at work, Brenna discovers a body in the studio. She soon learns she’s the police’s primary suspect. Determined to clear her name, she uses some skills she’s honed as a guidance counselor to learn more about the victim. Drawing people out comes naturally to Brenna, and she becomes a confidante to cast and crew on the show.

The stakes are raised with threatening notes, poisonings, and blackmail. Can Brenna uncover who the killer is before someone else dies?

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win a special prize package from the author.

About the Author

Rose Kerr grew up in a small community in Nova Scotia. A graduate of Acadia University’s Bachelor of Arts Degree, Recreation and Physical Education, Rose worked for several organizations: Nova Scotia Figure Skating Association, Synchro Swim Nova Scotia, Northern Options for Women, and Contact North|Contact Nord. She traveled from Newfoundland to British Columbia and most provinces in between for work.

Rose and her husband settled in a small town, on the shores of Lake Superior in Northern Ontario to raise their family. A strong believer in lifelong learning, Rose took creative writing courses and began writing mysteries.
More recently, Rose, her husband, and their dog Jake have moved to Southern Ontario. When she isn’t writing, Rose and her husband enjoy exploring the new region.

Rose is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Guppy Online Chapter of Sisters in Crime, and Crime Writers of Canada. For more info visit www.rosekerr.com

Author Links:

Purchase Links – Amazon – Amazon Canada – Kobo – B&N

Visit the tour page for additional stops on the tour for reviews, interviews, and more.

Book Blast & Giveaway: THE FALL OF JAKE HENNESSEY by PJ MacLayne

Today’s post introduces the recently released The Fall of Jake Henn- A Harmony Duprie Story by PJ MacLayne.

About the Book

Jake Hennessey deals in selling fine jewelry of an illegal nature. The thrill of getting away with it is his addiction. When he hears a rumor about a rare old book in the personal collection of a small-town librarian, he gets the urge to try a new game.

After all, even jewel thieves get bored.

But the librarian, Harmony Duprie, isn’t what he expected and the challenge becomes serious business.

In order to win, Jake’s going to have to play by a new set of rules—and make them up as he goes along—because this time, he’s playing for the rest of his life.

Read an Excerpt

Getting in had been easy. The owners had an overly-friendly dog and they’d left the doggy-door in the back entrance unfastened. Their weekly housekeeper, a heavy-set older woman who he’d spent several hours plying with alcohol and attention, had given him the basic details of the layout. He’d lured the cocker spaniel outside with bacon-flavored treats, then picked the lock on the back door.

The housekeeper hadn’t mentioned the motion-detection system in the living room. It hadn’t triggered when he went upstairs to the second floor but sounded as he came back down with the topaz and gold jewelry in a small bag tucked inside his shirt. He must have brushed through a stray beam.

Jake had covered his tracks by locking the back door on the way out. An expert could spot the scratch marks left behind by his tools, but first, they needed to look for them.

He made it outside before the cops arrived, and almost to the neighbor’s yard. Now, covered by the darkness of night, he crouched behind a bush, hoping the spaniel didn’t want his attention. Luckily, the pooch was busy trying to get the cop to play fetch with a rubber squeaky toy.

The cop’s radio squawked. He held a quick conversation, then was joined by a second officer. With the dog at their heels, they rattled the knob on the back door. It held firm. But the dog dashed inside through the doggy door and emerged with a different toy in its jaws

Giveaway

P.J. MacLayne will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via a rafflecopter during the tour.

About the Author

Born and raised among the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, P.J. MacLayne still finds inspiration for her books in that landscape. She is a computer geek by day and a writer by night who currently lives in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. When she’s not in front of a computer screen, she might be found exploring the back roads of the nearby national forests and parks. In addition to the Harmony Duprie Mysteries, she is also the author of the Free Wolves adventures.

P.J. MacLayne can be reached on:

Find the book on Amazon

Guest Post, Spotlight & Giveaway: GAMBLING WITH MURDER by Lida Sideris

It is my pleasure to have Lida Sideris as my guest today as she celebrates the release of Gambling with Murder: A Southern California Mystery.


How I Write by Lida Sideris

I’m a pantser, not a plotter, meaning I tend to write by the seat of my pants. I don’t bother with outlines, note cards or a compass when writing that finicky first draft. I forge ahead, nearly clueless about what’s going to happen next. I figure if I’m taken by surprise, so will my reader. How’s that going for me? So-so. It’s like searching for buried treasure…with half a map.

Sometimes, it’s the bomb to be a pantser. I can’t wait to discover what comes next. Other times, I ask whaaaaaaat? That won’t work. Back to the drawing board.

As my Southern California mystery series progressed, I made a few adjustments in order to maintain my sanity, which I prize quite highly these days. I complete my first draft as a pantser, writing head first, plunging ahead. But after crossing the finish line, I go back and outline each chapter. It’s about as much fun as polishing silver, but I feel a certain sense of direction. I still forge ahead, but retrace my steps with iron boots to travel back and forth on the path more easily. Plus, it helps me conquer the yips, brought on by asking does this even work?

With Book Four, Slightly Murderous Intent, I was happy with the first chapter. With Book Five, Gambling with Murder, not so much. It felt wrong, which made me go back and travel in a different direction. That’s when the chapter summaries came in handy.

I’m constantly on the lookout for offbeat situations for heroine Corrie Locke and her case-cracking sidekicks. They’re always up for it since nabbing bad guys beats the mundane day job every time.

I usually start out writing each scene straight and then I keep revisiting the scene until I can mold it into something more amusing. I need constant action… and humor… on the pages, or it’s just not entertaining for me.

Maybe I’ve become a planster. Whenever I reach a scene that doesn’t sit well, I review the chapter outline and either move scenes around, scrap them, and/or write something entirely different. That seems to work. It’s becomes a game with moving pieces that I get to arrange and rearrange to ensure the most fun for myself, and hopefully, for my readers.


About Gambling with Murder

A late-night call is all it takes for rookie lawyer Corrie Locke to kiss her day job at the movie studio goodbye, and do what she does best: flex her sweet P.I. skills and go undercover to find a senior who’s missing from a posh retirement community. One small stumbling block: skirting past security to gain inside access to the exclusive Villa Sunset. Time to call in the heavy artillery. Besides former security guard turned legal assistant—now wannabe P.I.—Veera, Corrie relies on a secret weapon: her mother, a surprisingly eager addition to Corrie’s team. Armed with enough pepper spray to take down a band of Navy Seals, Mom impersonates a senior to infiltrate the Villa, Corrie and Veera in tow. Turns out the job’s not as easy as they’d thought. These seniors have tricks tucked up their sleeves and aren’t afraid of using them.

The action gets dicey when the missing senior case turns into attempted murder by a criminal mind who’s always one step ahead. Corrie’s hot on the trail, but finds more than she bargained for…when her mother becomes a target.

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card.

About the Author

Lida Sideris’ first stint after law school was a newbie lawyer’s dream: working as an entertainment attorney for a movie studio…kind of like her heroine, Corrie Locke, except without the homicides. Lida was one of two national winners of the Helen McCloy Mystery Writers of America Scholarship Award and a Silver Falchion Award Finalist. She lives in the northern tip of Southern California with her family, rescue dogs and a flock of uppity chickens. To learn more, please visit: www.LidaSideris.com

Author Links

Purchase Links – Amazon 

Visit the tour page for reviews, interviews and more.

Review: THE MATCH by Harlan Coben

Harlan Coben is one of my favorite authors when I am in search of mystery and suspense. I was lucky enough to receive an advance review copy of The Match from the publisher via NetGalley. Today, I’d like to tell you a bit about the book, which released last week.

About the Book*

After months away, Wilde has returned to the Ramapo Mountains in the wake of a failed bid at domesticity that confirms what he’s known all along: He belongs on his own, free from the comforts and constraints of modern life.

Suddenly, a DNA match on an online ancestry database brings Wilde closer to his past than he’s ever dreamed, and finally gives Wilde the opening he needs to track down his father. But meeting the man brings up more questions than answers. So Wilde reaches out to his last, most desperate lead, a second cousin who disappears as quickly as he resurfaces, having experienced an epic fall from grace that can only be described as a waking nightmare.

Was his cousin’s downfall a long time coming? Or was he the victim of a conspiracy as cunning as it is complex? And how does it all connect to the man once known as The Stranger, a treacherous fugitive with a growing following whose mission and methods have only turned more dangerous with time?

*As per publisher’s description on Amazon

My Review

This book brings the return of Wilde, a unique character introduced earlier in the series – the boy who was found in the woods as a child. Now an adult, he has yet to find out who his parents are or how he ended up in the woods. In keeping with the times, Wilde submits his DNA to an online family search database, which generates two familial matches. One of the matches appears to be a cousin who reaches out to Wilde. He is in trouble and Wilde decides to try to help him. The result is a complicated story that exposes complex relationships and criminal activities, as well as some unique insights into the world of reality TV. Wilde and his mysterious background provided an intriguing basis for storyline, helping readers better understand Wilde’s behavior and lifestyle choices. I really enjoyed the book, although I must say that it was less fast-paced, with a slightly different feel than other books I have read by this author.

FTC disclosure: I received an ARC from the publisher and have voluntarily written this honest review.

A Conversation with Author Cassidy Salem

I Read What You Write!

IR- What does it mean to you to be called an author?

CS- Difficult question. I have always had great respect for authors and their ability to invent and tell a story. I have written and published stories so I, too, am an author. When I wrote my first novel, it was the result of a challenge I had set for myself – a self-dare of sorts. For me, being called an author is a source of pride and a sense of accomplishment.

IR- Which book are we talking about today?

CS- Dead amid the Dogwoods, a standalone novella in the Adina Donati, Accidental Sleuth mystery series. This time Adina’s plans for a stress-free weekend getaway in rural Pennsylvania take a deadly turn with the appearance of an uninvited and decidedly unwelcome corpse.

IR- What inspired the idea for your book?

CS- No specific person or thing. The first…

View original post 1,234 more words

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: SAVING LA FAMILIA by Donna Del Oro

This post introduces a recently released contemporary romantic suspense novel Saving La Familia by Donna Del Oro. An enjoyable read.  

About the Book

A romantic suspense comedy set in Silicon Valley, a young Latina teacher, Dina Salazar, is asked by her Mexican-born grandmother to rescue her cousins from a dangerous Mexican drug cartel. After all, her stern grandmother tells her, she is the “smart one” in the family. To do so, she has to recruit help from her hated ex-fiance. What’s a girl to do when “la familia” calls?

SAVING LA FAMILIA by Donna Del Oro is about a latina teacher who’s recruited by her Mexican-born grandmother to save her cousins from a dangerous Mexican drug cartel. It’s a romantic-suspense comedy with many “buen dichos”!

Excerpt

It took five years—six, counting my teaching credential— to work my way through college and, oh yeah, I lost my fiancé along the way—according to Mama and Abuelita, my only chance at happiness. Their idea of happiness meant you married young, spent the next twenty years changing diapers, cooking and cleaning for a man you seldom saw because he was working two or three jobs to pay for all the mouths you’d brought into the world… 

¡Gracias a Dios!

Horrors, in my opinion.

That was the world they knew, anyway, and they didn’t have the imagination to picture me in another, I suppose. I had another vision of the world. And myself. After all, I was Dina Salazar, not Dolores—the rambunctious little girl I used to be, saddled with what I thought to be a horrible name and all it implied. I was certain my family considered me the smirky smartass, the brazen wise-ass. No matter what, I was going to scratch and crawl my way into the American middle class, and if I lost whatever family status I had or whatever love came along, so be it. 

After all, according to them, I had una cabeza dura. Hard-headed. And they were right. 

Get the book: https://www.extasybooks.com/Saving-La-Familia or https://www.amazon.com/Saving-Familia-Donna-Del-Oro-ebook/dp/B09PN7K2S8/FREE for limited time only

My Review

I liked Dina. She is not your typical schoolteacher. She is spunky and determined, though a bit overly reckless at times. And very slow to forgive her ex-fiancé, who despite his past mistakes is a great catch. They make a good couple. Dina’s warm and caring family – with its mix of illegal and legal immigrants – highlights the complexities of what is probably a more common situation than many realize.

The romantic suspense side of things definitely dominated the storyline, with the adventure and action not coming to the forefront until more than half-way through the book when Dina, her family, and friends join forces to save her cousin who is hiding out in Mexico. I would like to have seen more of the suspense related to “saving la familia” building earlier. That said, I enjoyed this book.

FTC disclosure: I received an ARC of this book. This has not affected the content of my review.

Giveaway

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC a Rafflecopter giveaway.

About the Author

Donna Del Oro lives in Northern California with her husband and three cats. She taught high school and community college English classes for 30+ years and is now happily retired. When not doing research, writing novels, or reading voraciously, she travels and sings with the medal winning Sacramento Valley Chorus.

Donna is a member of Capitol Crimes, the Sacramento chapter of Sisters in Crime in addition to the Valleyrose chapter of the RWA. She has judged RITA entries and does developmental editing on the side. Two of her novels, Operation Familia and Born To Sing, have won national and international awards.

Contact Donna at: