Guest Post, Spotlight & Giveaway: THE CORPSE IN THE GAZEBO by Debra Sennefelder

As part of a virtual tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, Debra Sennefelder has stopped by to talk about her latest release – The Corpse in the Gazebo – and where she gets her the ideas for her cozy mysteries.


WHERE I GET MY IDEAS by Debra Sennefelder

One of the most asked questions I get is – where do your ideas come from. Every writer’s answer will be different. In fact, a group of writers could be shown a photograph as a writing prompt, and each writer would have a different story idea. I know because I was a part of that group. And even if two writers had the same story idea, their story would be unique to her and her genre. As you can tell by now, this isn’t an easy question to answer. But I think (I hope) that you’ll enjoy the explanation of my process.

The idea for THE CORPSE IN THE GAZEBO came from thin air. Seriously. I was at my computer with a Word document open because I had to write summaries for the books I pitched to my editor. The other book I was writing a summary for was last year’s release, THE CORPSE WHO KNEW TOO MUCH. I’d wanted to write a story about a true-crime podcast and a cold case. With that summary completed, I needed another idea. I sat back and thought…for a long time. Finally a thought popped into my mind about one of Hope’s neighbors being killed. Then I considered Hope becoming a suspect. Yes!

The thing about ideas is that they are a dime a dozen. Ideas come to authors all the time. The trick is to identify which ones can actually carry a 300-page book.

A few years ago I took my Shih Tzu shopping. First, we went to the local pet shop to buy food and birdseed. Our next stop was what used to be a state-run psychiatric hospital for a walk. The property, over 180 acres, was purchased by the town I live in and is being re-purposed. But the project isn’t complete, and there are still abandoned buildings on the property.

 Let me just say now that there is a creepy history to the property. The stories are endless since the buildings that housed and cared for hundreds of patients were connected by underground tunnels. Let that sink into your mind for a bit. Get the picture? Creepy. Anyway, the property is slowly being turned into a space where residents can walk, run, bike, ride horseback, and open fields for sports. It’s also the place for concerts and art shows. But for a writer, like me, it’s also a place for ideas.

Back to the walk. We reached a building and my pup wanted to get closer. I tried to distract her. After all, we had a walk to continue on with. She wasn’t budging. She wanted to get closer to the building. Now my imagination is kicking in. Did she hear something? Smell something? Sense something? I allowed her to continue forward. She sniffed her way up the steps and around the side of the building. I let her continue on while my mind started turning over a story question – what if….and that led me to begin asking whatif. What if a protagonist is out walking her dog at a similar location, and the dog leads her to a dead body, and it’s the first of several as a serial killer emerges. Boom! Story idea!

That is how writers get ideas. From innocent walks with dogs, ordinary trips to the grocery store and even the nightly news. There’s a story idea practically in everything a writer sees, hears, or experiences. 

Thank you for visiting with me today as I celebrate the release of THE CORPSE IN THE GAZEBO.


About The Corpse in the Gazebo

Food blogging is turning Hope Early into a household name. But the dead body down the block makes her a #1 suspect . . .

It seems everyone loves Hope’s blog these days, and she’s busier than ever volunteering to help other women create their own paths to success. So she’s shocked when a neighbor petitions to run Hope right out of her small Connecticut town! Set in her ways, apparently Birdie Donovan doesn’t like the chaos Hope’s sleuthing creates, the police activity and crime scenes, and it’s happening way too often lately. Eager to make amends, Hope bakes Birdie a batch of her best muffins. The delicious treats might have smoothed things over—until Hope discovers Birdie dead in her gazebo the very next day . . .

Now instead of worrying about holding on to her beloved home, Hope is trying to stay out of jail. Because suddenly she’s the lead suspect in the case. Not even her boyfriend, Police Chief Ethan Cahill, is promising he can clear her name, much less discuss the investigation with her. It’s up to Hope to get to bake new ground on the case before the lifestyle brand she’s created—and her whole life—crumbles . . .

Includes recipes from Hope’s Kitchen!

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win a copy of The Corpse in the Gazebo.

About the Author

Debra Sennefelder is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery.

Her first novel, THE UNINVITED CORPSE (A Food Blogger mystery) was published in 2018.In addition to writing the Food Blogger mystery series, she writes the Resale Boutique Mystery series. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person.

Born and raised in New York City, where she majored in her hobby of fashion buying, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She’s worked in retail and publishing before becoming a full-time author. Her writing companion is her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih Tzu, Connie.

Author Links

Purchase Links – AMAZON – BARNES & NOBLE – KENSINGTON – KOBO – GOOGLE – INDIEBOUND – 

Visit other stops on this tour for reviews, author interviews, and more.

Review: LOVE, LAUGHTER & HAPPILY EVER AFTER

If you enjoy sweet romance and are looking for fun reads, then this recently romantic comedy collection is just for you.  Wide range of novellas from diverse group of authors.

Description

Escape with 20 Sweet Romantic Comedies with all the feels!

✔ Flirty & swoony heartthrobs

✔ Funny & sassy heroines

✔ Off-the-charts chemistry & charm

✔ Sweet kisses & happily ever afters

This sweet romcom collection contains 20 original humorous novellas from best-selling authors that are heartwarming, feel-good, and laugh out loud funny.

Between the pages, you’ll find tropes such as enemies to lovers, second chance romance, high school sweethearts, opposites attract, friends to lovers, fake dating, and more.

Don’t miss this limited edition box set, featuring some of your favorite authors, that will leave you reeling with laughter:

  • Ellie Hall – An Unwanted Love Story
  • Summer Dowell – Her Plus One
  • Liwen Y. Ho – Head Over Stilettos
  • Meg Easton – Looking for Love (sort of)
  • Rachael Eliker – Lassoed into Love
  • Sophie-Leigh Robbins – Take a Hike
  • Rachel John – Worst Neighbor Ever
  • Jennifer Griffith – Elevator Pitch
  • Cami Checketts – The Sassy One
  • Sarah Gay – Once Upon a Midnight Swim
  • Jennifer Youngblood – Cold Feet
  • Kimberly Krey – Five Days With My (Super Hot) Ex
  • Ellen Jacobson – Smitten with Candy Canes
  • Cindy Roland Anderson – Breaking All the Rules
  • Taylor Hart – Secret Wedding Date
  • Carina Taylor – Jude and the Matchmaking Llama
  • Gigi Blume – Baby You Can Drive My Car
  • Amy Sparling – Julie and the Fixer-Upper
  • Johanna Evelyn – I Think Maybe I Lied
  • Melanie Jacobson – The Backup Plan

* Description from Amazon.

My Review

This collection provided a pleasant diversion – sweet  romance novellas, each with different style and storyline. Something for everyone. Each story short enough to read in one or two settings.  Although I enjoyed this anthology as a whole, with 20 authors, inevitably I like some more than others.  And I can’t exactly provide detailed revies of each and every one. However, there were a few that stood out in particular -“Elevator Pitch” for its Tolkien references, fan fiction of a sort; and Her Plus One, which had me laughing out loud on more than once occasion.   “Smitten with Candy Canes” was also a fun holiday-themed read.  Enjoy.

Review: HER DEADLY TOUCH by Lisa Regan

Today’s post highlights a new thriller from the talented Lisa Regan – Her Deadly Touch (Detective Josie Quinn Book 12). I have read and enjoyed several of the books in this series and was lucky enough to get a review copy from NetGalley.

Description*

The woman is kneeling at a gravestone, her hair blowing in the breeze, a bunch of wilting yellow daffodils on the grass beside her. Her eyes are fixed on the ground and her mouth is parted in a silent prayer. But the wax dripping from her cold blue lips means it’s already too late to save her…

On her first day back with the Denton PD after a major trauma, Detective Josie Quinn is on the hunt for a missing woman, Krystal Duncan, the mother of one of five children killed in a devastating school bus crash. Hours later, Josie finds Krystal’s body beside her daughter’s grave, her lips sealed together forever with wax.

Forensics match the wax to one of the candles lit in memory of the sweet little souls who died, giving Josie her first lead to a support group made up of the parents who lost children in the crash. Painstakingly dissecting the lives of these grieving couples, it’s clear to Josie that each of them is hiding something about the day of the accident—but whose secret is worth killing for?

The case takes an agonizing turn when the body of another young mother is found near the site of the bus crash. Someone connected to the accident is out for revenge. As the members of the support group are picked off one by one, every second counts for Josie to save the lives of these loving parents who have already suffered the loss of those they treasured most…

* from Amazon book page for Her Deadly Touch

My Review

Josie is back in another well-paced thriller/police-procedural mystery. Returning to work after extended leave following her grandmother’s murder, Josie’s first case is a challenging one that involves multiple persons of interest and potential next victims. I admit I had a bit of trouble keeping track of all the characters (dead and alive) at first – there are a lot of them – however they soon sort out, so it was worth it. As the investigation proceeds, an intricate web of secrets emerges – all centered around the events leading up to a fatal school bus crash two years prior. Unexpected plot twists and dead bodies pop up around each corner, making for a suspense-filled read.

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

Book Blast & Giveaway: PHOTO BOMBED by Daria White

As part of a virtual tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions, today’s post is all about a new release from Daria White – Photo Bombed, a cozy mystery for your reading pleasure.

About the Book

When a corpse crashes the party, Bianca is on the case.

Bianca Wallace is a work from home mom raising her teenage daughter as a single parent. She’s determined to stand on her own two feet in Edenville, Texas after her bitter divorce. When the town’s wedding of the year stars her friend as the bride, Bianca can’t wait to celebrate the nuptials. Neither she nor the guests expect a corpse! When the police suspect the bride, Bianca’s determined to prove her friend’s innocence.

Lamar Sims, the new police detective in Edenville, is investigating the murder case. Bianca’s “interference” is not helping, but she won’t stop when her friend’s freedom is on the line. He makes it clear he wants her to let the police do their job, so she has to find ways around him.

No one in Edenville is safe until the killer is behind bars. Bianca won’t let Detective Sims dismiss her hunches. They may have to work together before another dead body shows up.

Scroll down to read an excerpt …

Hot Tip: Photo Bombed is currently available for only $0.99! Grab your copy before the price goes up. (Scroll down for buy links.)

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card from the author.

About the Author

Daria started writing as a teenager. Since she loves romance novels, she figured why not write them too? She also writes Christian fiction along with cozy mysteries! Daria graduated with a degree in healthcare management, so writing was not in the cards for her. It’s rare that you won’t catch her reading. Aside from that, she loves Turner Classic Movies, painting, Pilates, the piano, and chocolate.

Connect with Daria:

Buy links:

Read an Excerpt

“Bianca!” Nicole shrieked.

Bianca embraced her friend. “You look amazing!”

Nicole planted her hands on her slim hips. Her sundress flowed to her knees and flattered her waist. Long blonde hair, five seven, and flawless ivory skin. Her blue eyes shined. The woman could have been a model if she wanted to, but found her passion as a beauty blogger. “Thank you. Come on in.”

Looping her arm with hers, Bianca walked with Nicole to the kitchen after setting her gift on the designated table. When they entered the kitchen, Bianca spotted Judy.

“Bianca! Welcome.” Her red hair shined as always.

“Let me help you, Judy. I can’t just stand around and let you do all of this for me.” Nicole stood in front of a plate of ham and grabbed the butcher knife from Priscilla’s, Chad’s mother, kitchen set.

“Nicole.” Judy sighed. “You’re the bride. You should be mingling with your guests.”

“There will be plenty of time for that.” Nicole nudged her shoulder and sliced the meat onto a serving tray.

Bianca made herself comfortable on a bar stool. “Having fun so far? You seem more relaxed now.” That was a good sign.

Nicole beamed. “I am. I can’t believe the wedding is next weekend.” She exhaled. “I’m so nervous.”

“Not about marrying Chad, I hope,” Judy said as she tossed the salad.

“Can I help?” Bianca stood.

Judy pointed for her to sit down. “No, I won’t have the both of you helping. Nicole’s the bride so she can get away with it.”

Bianca returned to her seat and folded her hands in her lap. She figured Judy was in her zone so she wouldn’t offer again to help her in the kitchen. “Everything looks amazing.”

Judy touched a hand to Nicole’s shoulder. “I can’t tell you what it means to me that you asked us to cater your wedding. Thank you.”

Nicole smiled. “Are you kidding? I wouldn’t have anyone else cooking for me.”

Bianca’s heart warmed at the friendly exchange. With Nicole marrying into the high society Davis family, she could have chosen top-notch caterers to serve her reception meal. Yet, she’d chosen Edenville’s best. There was no one better than Judy, who could cook and bake along with her husband, Richard.

“I do have a question for you my friend.” Nicole directed her attention to Bianca.

“What?” Bianca asked.

“I think you could get along with at least one of Chad’s—”

Bianca held up a hand to stop her. “Before you start setting me up with all of the groomsmen, I’ll pass.”

“Oh, Bianca. Really?” Nicole huffed.

“I’ll let you know if I change my mind.” Bianca winked at her.

Nicole paused in her slicing of the ham when her phone rang in her dress pocket. She stared at the screen but didn’t answer.

Cover Reveal: THE FRIDAY NIGHT MYSTERY CLUB by Joanna Campbell

A New Book from Joanna Campbell Slan

A Novel Featuring a Female Amateur Sleuth and Her Friends …

Decatur, Illinois – 1986 …

Release Date September 18, 2021

The Friday Night Mystery Club

A nasty divorce leaves Cragan Collins with a mountain of bills and her grandmother to support. She takes a job as an ad salesperson for The Gazette. The market is tough, but Cragan finds a mentor in business reporter, Robert Smithson. One icy January day, Robert is found dead in a city park. His murder is dismissed as gay-on-gay crime. Cragan asks The Friday Night Mystery Club to find justice for Robert. Will Cragan’s quest for the truth land her on the obituary page?

About Joanna Campbell Slan

“Our best friend, our next-door neighbor, and ourselves with just a touch of the outrageous.” That’s how RT Book Review describes Joanna’s protagonist, Kiki Lowenstein. The truth is that’s a pretty good description of Joanna Campbell Slan as well.
Joanna is a New York Times Bestselling, USA Today Bestselling, and Amazon Bestselling author as well as a woman prone to frequent bursts of crafting frenzy, leaving her with burns from her hot glue gun and paint on her clothes. And the mess? Let’s not even go there.
Otherwise, Joanna’s a productive author with more than 80 written projects to her credit. Her non-fiction work includes how to books, a college textbook for public speakers, and books of personal essays (think Chicken Soup for the Soul).
Currently, she writes five fiction series: The Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series (Agatha Award Finalist, contemporary, St. Louis setting, crafting), the Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series (contemporary, Florida setting, DIY, and recycling), the Jane Eyre Chronicles (Daphne du Maurier Award Winner, 1830s England, based on Charlotte Brontë’s classic), the Sherlock Holmes Fantasy Thrillers (late 1800s, based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s books), and the Zen Cozy Mystery Series (launch 2021).
A former TV talk show host, college teacher, and public relations specialist, Joanna was one of the early Chicken Soup for the Soul contributors. She won a Silver Anvil for her work on the original FarmAid concert to benefit farmers.
In her ongoing quest never to see snow again, Joanna lives with her husband and their Havanese puppy, Jax, on an island off the coast of Florida. You can email her at jcslan@joannaslan.com or visit her website at https://linktr.ee/jcslan.

Author links:  Website  *  Facebook  *  Twitter  *  BookBub  * Pinterest

Book Blast & Giveaway: NEVER SAY CHAI by Kirsten Weiss

Look what released today! A new cozy mystery from Kirsten Weiss, brought to you as part of a blog tour organized by Goddess Fish Productions.

About the Book

It’s Halloween season in small town San Borromeo, and Abigail and Hyperion are determined to make Beanblossom’s Tea & Tarot spooktacular. But when Hyperion’s boyfriend, Detective Tony Chase, is arrested at Beanblossom’s for murder, the duo is certain someone’s playing a nasty trick. And when the official investigation turns into a witch hunt, the stakes to unearth the truth are raised…

But a clever killer has plans to squash their investigation… and the two amateur detectives. If they don’t solve this puzzle—and fast—it will be out of the cauldron and into the fire for them both.

Never Say Chai is the fourth book in the Tea and Tarot cozy mystery series. A fast-paced and funny cozy mystery, packed with quirky characters, pets, and murder! Perfect for fans of Jana DeLeon, Janet Evanovich, and Donna Andrews. Buy the book and start this hilarious caper!

Tearoom recipes in the back of the book!

Read an Excerpt

There are some things that should go without saying. For example, don’t leave a coffin in your business partner’s driveway. It’s just not done.

But there was a coffin in my driveway. And it had wheels. I looked from the black coffin to the yellow bungalow. Yep, it was my house. Just above the peaked roofline, fog blurred a watery sun.

“Do you have any idea why there’s a coffin in my driveway?” Because there was really only one person who would put one there. I tore my gaze from the wooden coffin to Hyperion. “And why is it on wheels?”

He shifted his weight. “Didn’t I mention the coffin race?”

“No.”

“Why’d you think I had a t-shirt cannon?”

“I still have no idea why you’ve got one.”

“For the coffin race.” He patted the coffin’s hood.

I waited.

“I entered Beanblossom’s in the race,” he said patiently. “We’re going as the Death card. I’ve got a scythe and everything.”“A scythe at high speeds. What could go wrong?”“It’ll be like in one of those Italian medieval morality parades. Did you know those parades most likely spawned the Tarot’s major arcana cards?”“Oh, boy.”

“Or was it the Renaissance?” He shook his head. “They were in Italy. I know that much.”

Giveaway

To celebrate the book’s release the author is offering a $10 Amazon gift card to a lucky winner of a Rafflecopter giveaway.

About the Author

Amazon bestselling author Kirsten Weiss writes laugh-out-loud, page-turning mysteries. Her heroines aren’t perfect, but they’re smart, they struggle, and they succeed. Kirsten writes in a house high on a hill in the Colorado woods and occasionally ventures out for wine and chocolate. Or for a visit to the local pie shop. Kirsten is best known for her Wits’ End, Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum, and Tea and Tarot cozy mystery books. So if you like funny, action-packed mysteries with complicated heroines, just turn the page…

Connect with the author:

Buy Links for Never Say Chai:

Review: TO FETCH A KILLER by Maria Hudgins, Teresa Inge, Heather Weidner, and Jayne Ormerod

As part of blog tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, I recently had the pleasure of reading To Fetch a Killer, Four Fun “Tails” of Chaos and Murder by Maria Hudgins, Teresa Inge, Heather Weidner, and Jayne Ormerod.

About the Book(s)

It’s a dog-meet-dog world as a pack of canines team up with their humans to solve mysteries and track down killers. Four mutt-loving authors join their talents in creating this collection of canine-themed novellas which will transport you into the chaotic world of hero dogs who have a nose for murder. Grab a leash and hang on tight…the mutts are on the loose again!

This anthology includes four novellas.

“Sandy Paws” by Maria Hudgins
The Sand Fiddler’s Writers Group has rented a beach house for its annual retreat, but the writers and their canine friends can’t get much done after murder rears its ugly head.

“A New Leash on Death” by Teresa Inge
Catt Ramsey, owner of the Woof-Pack Dog Walkers, has a knack for finding dead bodies, but when she and her pups are on the case, there’s no way the killer will get away with murder.

“Wags to Riches” by Heather Weidner
When a prickly guest ends up dead in his booth at the rummage sale, track owner, Cassidy Green and her Rottweiler Oliver have to sniff out clues and find the killer before another murder is forever linked to her business.

“Bone Appetit” by Jayne Ormerod
A dead guest at private chef Molly Perkins’s dinner party draws her and house dog Tater in a chaotic search for the secret ingredient to murder.

My Review

As a dog lover, I definitely enjoyed these “tails.” Although all of the stories were interesting and well written, the writers each have their own style. Each of the stories is set in a different milieu, with its own characters – from writers, to dog walkers, to a private chef. I particularly enjoyed “A New Leash on Death,” with its ambitious and likable main character, its loveable dogs, and the occasional laugh out loud moments. Catt is making admirable efforts to launch her new business and the latest corpse is not making it easy. Of course, a story about a dog walking business is bound to include lots of dogs. I also found “Wags to Riches” to be an interesting and original read, set against the unique backdrop of family-owned racetrack.

Overall, this anthology is a great choice for dog lovers who enjoy light mysteries.

FTC disclosure: I received an advance review copy of this book. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win one of five digital copies of To Fetch a Killer.

About the Authors

MARIA HUDGINS is a mystery writer from coastal Virginia and a lover of animals. She writes the Dotsy Lamb Travel Mysteries and the Lacy Glass Archaeology Mysteries. Her short stories appear in such publications as Virginia is for Mysteries, Fifty Shades of Cabernet, Murder by the Glass, and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. The two dogs, Trey and Kim, featured in this story are based on Hudgins’s beloved Bichons, Holly and Hamilton, now gone but never forgotten.

TERESA INGE grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries. Combining her love of reading mysteries and writing professional articles led to writing short fiction and novellas.

Today, she doesn’t carry a rod like her idol but she hot rods. She juggles assisting two busy executives at a financial firm and is president of the Sisters in Crime, Mystery by the Sea chapter. Teresa is a contributing author to the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, Mutt Mysteries series, Coastal Crimes, and Murder by the Glass, Cocktail Mysteries.

She resides in Southeastern Virginia with her husband and two dogs. She can be reached on all social media or by posting a comment on her website.

Heather Weidner has been a cop’s kid, technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager. She writes the Delanie Fitzgerald mystery series set in Virginia (Secret Lives and Private Eyes, The Tulip Shirt Murders, and Glitter, Glam, and Contraband). Her new cozy series with vintage trailers and tiny houses, the Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries, launches in October 2021.

Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, Deadly Southern Charm, and Murder by the Glass, and her novellas appear in The Mutt Mysteries series (To Fetch a Thief, To Fetch a Scoundrel, To Fetch a Villain, and To Fetch a Killer).

She is a member of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, Sisters in Crime – Chessie, Guppies, International Thriller Writers, and James River Writers.

Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.

JAYNE ORMEROD grew up in a small Ohio town then went on to a small-town Ohio college. Upon earning her degree in accountancy, she became a CIA (that’s not a sexy spy thing, but a Certified Internal Auditor.) She married a naval officer and off they sailed to see the world. After nineteen moves, they, along with their two rescue dogs Tiller and Scout, have settled into a cozy cottage by the Chesapeake Bay. Jayne’s publishing credits include two novels, five novellas, and eight short mysteries, with more coming soon. A complete list can be found on her website.

MUTT MYSTERIES 

Purchase Link – Amazon – Apple Books – Nook – Kobo 

Click here to visit additional stops on this tour for more reviews, author interviews, and guest posts.

Review: THE PUCCINI CONNECTION by Sam Bond

A music lover myself, I recently read the first book in a musically-themed cozy mystery series by Sam Bond – The Puccini Connection (A Milkwood Murder). A fun read.

About The Book

An idyllic English village, a lovable heroine, and a Puccini-inspired murder. Who knew opera could be so deadly?

British expat, Josie Monroe, returns to the idyllic village of Milkwood and finds herself chief suspect in a family murder. Surrounded by cricket greens, duck ponds and lies, Josie must discover the culprit if she wishes to return to the US and Lady Belle DeCorcy is just the pal to help her.

Josie is a down-to-earth, classical music-loving pianist. Belle is a flighty, beautiful and slightly unhinged debutante, making the two amateur sleuths an unlikely and comically inept, team. As if Josie doesn’t have enough problems, she is also dealing with the “Witches of Milkwood,” an elderly trio convinced that Josie is the murderer and that Belle is one sandwich short of a picnic.

Living with a cantankerous cat named Elgar and her aunt’s handsome, but seemingly untrustworthy, lodger, Josie is also coming to terms with resurging feelings for her childhood sweetheart, Detective Inspector Adam Ward. Luckily, tea and tenacity will see her through, even if every time Josie hears Puccini she risks discovering another body.

The Puccini Connection is a cozy English murder mystery with a classical music-loving amateur female sleuth in a picturesque English village with quirky, lovable characters and an extremely grumpy cat. No cliffhangers, gore, graphic violence, sex or overtly strong language.

My Review

Josie arrives in Millwood just in time to find her aunt’s body, and the villagers are quick to cast her as the main suspect. She knows she didn’t do it, so she sets out to find out who killed the aunt she remembers with such great fondness, except her memories don’t jibe with the sentiments of the locals. At every turn, she uncovers another suspect, with another motive.

As the story unfolds, you meet a full cast of quirky, endearing characters as befitting a cozy mystery set in an English village. The first-person narrative has a light, conversational tone and Josie’s sense of humor, at times self-deprecating, makes this an entertaining read.

And, of course, this music lover enjoyed the integration of a musical theme.

FTC disclosure: I received a review copy of this book. This has not affected the content of this review in any way.

Release Spotlight & Giveaway: MURDER ON HONKY-TONK ROW by Rita Moreau

Today’s post shines the spotlight on a new paranormal mystery – Murder on Honky-Tonk Row (A Ghost & Camper Kooky Mystery) by Rita Moreau.

About the Book

Will camping in the country music capital have Mabel kicking up some saw dust… or line-dancing to her doom?

Despite their good deed in Savannah, Mabel Gold’s ghostly friend Irma remains stuck in Purgatory. So when the plucky sixty-something divorcée pulls her haunted vintage camper into a Nashville campground, she’s expecting Irma to accompany her on the tour of the Grand Ole Opry. But as they two-step into a honky-tonk for some live tunes, they’re shocked to encounter two lost spirits stranded there for the past twenty years after their double homicide.

Though St. Peter hints that solving the long-closed case could get Irma through the Pearly Gates, Mabel has little time to uncover the culprit before she’s due to boot-scoot off to the Badlands. But when shady financials surface and threaten to ruin the honky-tonk owner’s run for governor, trying to help the poor souls pass on could land the fearless sleuth in a whole heap o’ trouble.

Can Mabel collar the killer before she’s singing country-western with choirs of angels?

Murder on Honky-Tonk Row is the second book in the lighthearted Ghost & the Camper kooky mystery series. If you like wacky characters, quick-witted banter, and crooners with a twang, then you’ll love Rita Moreau’s clever caper.

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win a print copy of Murder on Honky-Tonk Row from the author.

About the Author

Rita Moreau is the author of the Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery series and the Ghost & Camper Kooky Mystery series.

A workaholic by nature, upon retirement, Rita Moreau began work on her bucket list, writing a book. Traveling the national parks with her husband George in a vintage Bluebird motor home, (on George’s list), Rita completed her first novel Bribing Saint Anthony. Back home she completed Nuns! Psychics! & Gypsies! OH! NO, Feisty Nuns and The Russian & Aunt Sophia and The House on Xenia. Last year when we entered the Twilight Zone Rita wrote the first two new novels in the Ghost & the Camper series. Rita and her husband live in a postcard called Florida where he has fun telling everyone he is the author’s husband. When not writing she joins PatZi Gil on the Joy on Paper radio program with Book Buzz Mysteries, or you can find her teaching SilverSneakers fitness classes and doing her best to keep busy. She loves connecting with readers. Visit her at http://www.RitaMoreau.com or find her on Facebook at facebook.com/RitaMoreauAuthor. She would love to hear from you.

Author Links

Website – Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – Radio – GoodReads 

Purchase Link – Amazon

Review & Giveaway: THE QUEEN OF SECOND CHANCES by D.M. Barr

Time for a change of pace. Instead of my usual fare (mysteries), as part of a blog tour organized by Providence Book Promotions, I recently dove into recently released sweet romance – The Queen of Second Chances.

About the Book

Carra’s memoir-writing class teaches seniors to resolve the regrets of their past. But to win over elder attorney Jay, will she follow her own advice? Carraway (Carra) Quinn is a free-spirited English major confronting an unreceptive job market. Desperate for cash, she reluctantly agrees to her realtor stepmother’s marketing scheme: infiltrate a local senior center as a recreational aide, ingratiate herself with the members, and convince them to sell their homes. Jay Prentiss is a straitlaced, overprotective elder attorney whose beloved but mentally fragile Nana attends that center. More creative than mercenary, Carra convinces Jay to finance innovations to the Center’s antiquated programming. Her ingenuity injects new enthusiasm among the seniors, inspiring them to confront and reverse the regrets of their past. An unlikely romance develops. But when Carra’s memoir-writing class prompts Jay’s Nana to skip town in search of a lost love, the two take off on a cross-country, soul-searching chase that will either deepen their relationship or tear them apart forever.

My Review

A fun read. I really liked Carra and could relate to her efforts to find her own way, despite the real pressures she faces to do what she knows would be wrong. Jay would seem to be an odd match for her – older and much more sophisticated – except once you get to know him, you can see how there might be potential. For one thing, they seem to both love puns, which add a light tone to their banter. As befitting any good romance, the attraction is mutual; then there a few misunderstandings and obstacles that threaten to derail their relationship… until the happy ending. Overall, an entertaining, very punny light escape.

FTC disclosure: I received an advance reader copy as a part of this blog tour. This has not affected the content of this review.

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win $10 gift card from the author.

About the Author

By day, a mild-mannered salesperson, wife, mother, rescuer of senior shelter dogs, competitive trivia player and author groupie, happily living just north of New York City. By night, an author of sex, suspense and satire.

My background includes stints in travel marketing, travel journalism, meeting planning, public relations and real estate. I was, for a long and happy time, an award-winning magazine writer and editor. Then kids happened. And I needed to actually make money. Now they’re off doing whatever it is they do (of which I have no idea since they won’t friend me on Facebook) and I can spend my spare time weaving tales of debauchery and whatever else tickles my fancy.

The main thing to remember about my work is that I am NOT one of my characters. For example, as a real estate broker, I’ve never played Bondage Bingo in one of my empty listings or offed anyone at my local diet clinic. And I haven’t run away from home in fear that my husband was planning to off me.

But that’s not to say that I haven’t wanted to…

Find the Author Online:

DMBarr.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @DMBarr
Twitter – @AuthorDMBarr
Facebook – @AuthorDMBarr
Instagram – @AuthorDMBarr

Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads

Visit the tour page for an excerpt, author interviews, and more reviews.