Review & Giveaway: DYING ON EDISTO by C. Hope Clark

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As part of a tour organized by Silver Dagger Book Tours, I recently had the pleasure of reading Murder on Edisto by  C. Hope Clark. 

About the Book

DYingOnEdisto-coverOne death. Two detectives. And unexpected backup.

A Callie Morgan and Carolina Slade crossover! (A standalone mystery)

When a renowned—and now dead—travel blogger washes ashore on the banks of Indigo Plantation, Police Chief Callie Morgan of Edisto Beach agrees to head the investigation as a favor to the county sheriff, whose reasons are as questionable as the death itself.

When death turns to murder and a watchdog from the county makes her investigation difficult, Callie reluctantly turns to Carolina Slade and Wayne Largo, vacationing agents with the Department of Agriculture. Because poison is growing on this plantation, and someone knows how to use it well.

“Page-turning…[and] edge-of-your-seat action…crisp writing and compelling storytelling. This is one you don’t want to miss!” —Carolyn Haines, USA Today bestselling author

“Her beloved protagonist, Callie, continues to delight readers as a strong, savvy, and a wee-bit-snarky police chief.”—Julie Cantrell, NY Times and USA Today bestselling author

Goodreads * Amazon

My Review

A dead body is never good for business. And when it is found by vacationing  federal investigators Carolina Slade and Wayne Largo while Police Chief Callie Morgan happens to be visiting the newly opened resort, the potential for conflict is no surprise.  Especially when it is outside their respective jurisdictions and the local detective is not a nice guy.    The author provides the reader with insights into both Callie and Slade, their  motivation, their pasts, and their relationships with others.

The plot was intricate and well developed, with twists and turns leading to a satisfying resolution and vivid descriptions of a picturesque southern community. An enjoyable mystery.

This was my first time reading anything by this author.  I liked this book, though I suspect it might be easier to get into for fans of both series who are already acquainted with the two main characters.  That said, I just might go back and read the earlier books in those series.

FTC Disclosure:  I received a review copy of this book as part of this blog tour.  This has not affected the content of my review in any way. 

Giveaway

Click here to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

About the Author

C. Hope Clark_393x400C. Hope Clark has a fascination with the mystery genre and is author of the Carolina Slade Mystery Series as well as the Edisto Island Mysteries, both set in her home state of South Carolina. In her previous federal life, she performed administrative investigations and married the agent she met on a bribery investigation. She enjoys nothing more than editing her books on the back porch with him, overlooking the lake, with bourbons in hand. She can be found either on the banks of Lake Murray or Edisto Beach with one or two dachshunds in her lap. Hope is also editor of the award-winning FundsforWriters.com.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Amazon * Goodreads

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

Spotlight: DOGS AND MORE DOGS, ANOTHER MURDER by Christa Nardi

Just over a week ago,  Christa Nardi released the second book in her Sheridan Hendley Mystery Series – if you are a fan of cozy mysteries, you won’t want to miss it.  And if you’re a dog lover, even better.

Description

DogsDogs_ChristaAn abandoned house, an abundance of dogs. And a dead body or two.

Sheridan Hendley’s volunteer position at Pets and Paws takes a new turn when more than twenty malnourished dogs are found at a rundown house on the outskirts of town. When the body of an elderly woman is found amidst mountains of clutter in the house, a search of the property leads to startling revelations. And another body. While Herman Stoneham’s death is deemed natural causes, his wife’s is not. Where did all the dogs come from and who’s responsible for Justine’s untimely death? Are the two connected? With dogs and murder at stake, Sheridan can’t help but get involved in the investigation.

About the Author

Christa Nardi (pen name) is an accomplished writer and an avid reader. Her love of mysteries began with Nancy Drew and other teen mysteries, as well as Perry Mason and similar detective series on television. Her favorite authors have shifted from Carolyn Keene and Earl Stanley Gardner to more contemporary mystery and crime authors over time. Christa has authored the 5-book Cold Creek cozy mystery series with the new spinoff series featuring the protagonist, Sheridan Hendley, a professor and psychologist. When not reading or writing, Christa enjoys travel with her husband, and playing with three dogs and three grand-daughters.

Read an Excerpt

The holiday decorations were packed away, the house no longer festive. I’d procrastinated much longer than any other year and now even New Year’s was a memory. Married to State Police Detective Brett McMann and stepmom to his teenaged daughter, Maddie, about six months now, it was sad to put our first Christmas as a family behind us. Still, I was truly relieved the hustle and bustle was over. Juggling two families had been stressful, though time with my parents and sibs, Kaylie and Kevin, was good. Drinking my never empty coffee, I relished the quiet and uncluttered living area.

“Sheridan, can I go skating with Nedra and Willie? Miss Melina is taking us.”

“Is your room clean? And what time will you be home?” Melina and I both volunteered at the local dog shelter, and her daughter, Nedra was in Maddie’s eight grade class. Little did Maddie know, Melina had texted me already about taking them skating. She knew I was volunteering at Pets and Paws today and this would give Maddie something to do. Winter break is great for a few days and then it gets old.

“Yes, my room is clean. I’ll be home before dinner.”

“Okay. Let’s make sure you have everything and you’re ready when they get here to pick you up.”

I followed her to her room, Charlie and Bella padding behind us. Sometimes Maddie’s teen version of a clean room and mine didn’t quite look the same. At least on the surface, this time we were on the same page. Even Bella’s toys were all assembled in her bed.

“Heavy socks so you don’t get blisters? Extra layers or a coat? It can get cold out there with the wind.” The weather had been pretty mild for Virginia in January so far, with only a few nights of frost, and mostly in the 40s.

The eighth grader made a face. “Jeesh, I’m not a child. Besides extra layers make me look fat.”

“But you’ll be warm. What about the thermals? They’re thin and help retain heat and then you might get by without a jacket.”

“Okay. Okay. Can you get my skates?”

“On it. Skates, gloves, scarf and hat coming up.” I ignored her eye roll and gathered everything together as Melina pulled up.

“Hurry up. They’re here.” She bustled out of the room, grabbed everything and was out the door. I waved to Melina from the door.

Only a few more days and Maddie would be back at school and I’d be back to work at Millicent College teaching on Wednesdays and Fridays. I finished my coffee and cleaned up. After letting Charlie and Bella out, I headed for Pets and Paws.

Smiling, I remembered the way Mrs. Chantilly had all the dogs decked out in bells, bows, and bowties before Christmas. Pets and Paws was in an old colonial home. Mrs. Chantilly lived upstairs and the dogs were downstairs. With Luke’s help, she’d decorated the house, inside and out. She’d always reminded me of Mrs. Claus and for two weeks she dressed the part and bounced around with abundant enthusiasm. More than one of the dogs managed to destroy her holiday trappings around the place from time to time, but she took it in stride.

The house was on the news and people came from all over to view it. She’d go out and invite them in to see the rest of the decorations – and the dogs. Not unintentional by any means, she managed to get many dogs adopted.

I chuckled to myself, recalling when she’d tried singing traditional holiday songs. Unlike me, she had a beautiful voice. The problem was some of the dogs. They tried to sing, too, only the howling was not quite in tune. Sure enough, as I pulled up in front of the house I noticed the decorations were gone from Pets and Paws now, too.

Luke was moving boxes and grunted hello as I arrived. A high school student with some bad habits, like the stray and rescue dogs Mrs. Chantilly collected, Luke was a restoration project. His legal issues led to his “volunteering” at Pets and Paws. When he first started his community service there, he scowled a lot and made me nervous. He was still an entitled beachboy type.

He’d made some attitude adjustments in the past few months and I was glad to see it. I still didn’t quite trust him despite Mrs. Chantilly always singing his praises. Mrs. Chantilly met me at the door, grandmotherly, soft, and light, only without the Mrs. Claus attire. I also noted the bounce in her step was gone. Even though she had to be in her sixties, she always seemed to have energy and a happy face.

“Isn’t this weather just delightful? Sunny, not too, too cold. I heard it’s going to freeze tonight and maybe snow. Those abandoned dogs wouldn’t survive if that happened.”

Now used to her manner of speech, I simply asked, “What abandoned dogs?”

“Over at the Stoneham place of course, near Blake Buchanan’s. Have you ever been to his home? It is beautiful. A mansion fit for a king. His wife, Ava, studied interior decorating you know.”

“No, I didn’t know. Did they find dogs at the Stoneham’s?”

“That’s what I said. Nobody ever bothered the Stoneham’s for many years. Older couple and all, their children grown and gone, they kept to themselves. Justine and Herman didn’t live there when I was growing up here. Someone else did though. Never knew who they were.”

Mrs. Dora Chantilly had left Clover Hill after high school and she’d only returned when her grandmother died and left her the house, now Clover Hill Pets and Paws.  Her grandmother had taken in strays and the place was a mess. I was about to ask again about the dogs, and an SUV pulled up.

“Here they are with more of the dogs. Poor things. Luke and I already fed and bathed the first group Blake brought over. I’m sure glad you’re here to help.”

I followed her as she hurried to the car and greeted Blake Buchanan, former mayor of Clover Hill. He took her in his arms and then seemed to realize I was there. He and Mrs. Chantilly had been an item in high school and they renewed their friendship when she returned.

“Dora, we uncovered a mama and pups.” He shook his head. “One of them didn’t make it. Dane mix. Where’s Luke? Even malnourished, it’ll take two of us to get her and her pups inside.” Mrs. Chantilly rushed to open the door and see to the animals.

“Mr. Buchanan, can you fill me in? Mrs. Chantilly hasn’t had a chance yet.”

He smiled and his eyes twinkled. We both understood that sometimes she was a bit hard to follow. Almost like putting a puzzle together. Me, I prefer things to be in order when someone is telling me a story.

“Last night, I was sitting on the deck and my dog, Bridgit, showed up with a puppy, not in good shape. As soon as I took the pup, she darted in the direction of the Stoneham place. I called to my wife, put the pup in a blanket, and took off after her.”

He paused for effect.

“The house was dark but Bridgit stood at the front porch and dug to get further underneath. I knocked at the door and no one answered. I called Chief Peabody and then with my flashlight got a look at dogs huddled together from the cold under the porch. With help, we extracted six dogs and two more puppies and brought them here.”

He shuddered. “Such bad shape. Bridgit still wasn’t happy, but that was all we could do last night. Four of us have been on the property this morning. Brought four more dogs earlier. Butch and Bridgit, my best dogs, are helping us wade through it.”

“Huh? What do you mean ‘wade through it’ – is the house that much of a mess?”

“That’s a mild description. Stuff stacked on top of stuff on top of stuff, and the smell.” He shuddered again. “This mama and pups were in the kitchen. We could hear yelping from other parts of the house.”

“Here comes Luke. We need to get these dogs  inside. Sheridan, can you start some formula going? These pups are near starved to death. And we’ll have to keep them isolated until the vet can check them out.”

Luke lumbered up and his eyes about popped out as he looked from Blake to the Dane and pups. “Where are we going to put all these dogs?”

Mrs. Chantilly’s face fell. “Mama and pups in the house. The side room on the right is empty now with all the adoptions. We put the first bunch in the room on the left. You were just in the garage. Is there room in there? Grandpa used to work out there so I think there’s electric heat if we need it and a bathroom, too. Blake, how many more dogs?”

He pulled her close. “Remember, we need to keep these dogs separate from your other dogs. Let me check out the garage. We can always pull your car out. Work on getting them some food and water. Luke, come with me.”

They disappeared. I turned to Mrs. Chantilly, “You stay with them. I’ll go get water and start the bottles going.”

As I walked in to the house, I glanced down at the concrete floor, painted blue slate and sealed. At least if the dogs made a mess, there wouldn’t be any damage. It was about an hour later when we finished relocating the Pets and Paws residents to the larger back room. The two new mamas and pups were situated on one side of the kitchen. They’d been bathed and fed and each family rested on a palette.

That left space in the other side room for any smaller dogs that might come in. If the new arrivals were medium to large sized dogs we moved them to the unattached garage. They’d been fed and some had been bathed, now settled into crates. The heat was on and that at least took the chill off. Not exactly warm, but the dogs would all be out of the wind.

Blake hinted there still would be more dogs coming. With Mrs. Chantilly’s blessing, I sent an email out to all the volunteers with a short note about the dogs coming in and needing assistance if they were available. Whatever supplies were needed, starting with towels and blankets, I was confident Blake would take care of them.

Excerpt from Dogs and More Dogs, Another Murder ©2019 Christa Nardi

 

Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: WHERE SLEEPING LIES LIE by M. Naidoo

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As part of a virtual book blast organized by Goddess Fish Promotions, today the spotlight shines on  Where Sleeping Lies Lie, a recently released romantic suspense novel by M. Naidoo.

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“Two men… two worlds… one desperate promise…”

If Anna had only known how the simple push of a button would turn her life upside down, she would never have pressed ‘Play.’

Just 22 seconds into the recording she’s hit by the realization that, if the voice in the thick German accent is right, she has been living with an unthinkable lie for the past thirty years.

There is only one way to find out: Follow the instruction left by a dead person and head back to Germany, to a life Anna has next to no conscious memory of.

To her surprise, she finds an unexpected ally in Peter, an old childhood friend whose law degree and language skills prove to be more than useful. Besides, he has the most gorgeous blue eyes and the uncanny ability to push Anna’s buttons without the slightest effort. At every turn, their search for answers is littered with more lies and revelations.

Anna must ultimately decide whether even the noblest of ends, truly justify the means and whether some secrets should better stay buried.

“Mystery, history, and a twist at every turn. Brilliant characters and prolific storytelling… irresistible!”

Scroll down to read an excerpt.

Giveaway

Enter to win a $15 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway.

About the Author

M. Naidoo lives in Northern California with her husband, two daughters, and three dogs. Born and raised in Germany, she was able to draw on a wealth of memories and passed down stories for Where Sleeping Lies Lie.

When she is not in front of her computer, pounding out story lines and characters, she enjoys reading, movies, spending time with her family, and long walks on the beach – her proverbial ‘happy place’. M’s love for the shore line and ocean shine through in the vivid descriptions of the coast in her debut novel The Pelican.

“Juggling my life as a writer and a full-time ‘real’ job has its challenges. I don’t get to spend half as much time as I’d like doing what I love, and there are never enough hours in the day. Still, I feel extremely lucky to be following my passion, and I am enjoying every minute of it. Getting here has been one heck of a ride!”

Like and follow M. Naidoo on social media:

For information about the author, her blog, upcoming releases, and more visit www.mnaidoo.com.

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NL34N26

Read an excerpt:

“I don’t know if I can do this.” She took a deep breath, ” If I wanna do this…”

“Getting cold feet?”

“Wondering what good could possibly come from this. Does it really matter?” Anna turned to look at Peter, waiting for an answer.

“The truth always matters.”

“Spoken like a lawyer again.”

“I take this as a compliment. No seriously, that’s what you came here for, didn’t you?”

Anna nodded. Why did he always have to be right?

“If you don’t do this now, you’ll kick yourself later. Besides, you can’t invite me to the show and drop the curtain before the main act.”

“You’re right.” Anna hated to admit it.

“I know.”

Damn! Why couldn’t he just accept the fact that she agreed with him? Did he have to rub it in?

“I need to get out,” Anna said flatly. The house suddenly felt as if it had shrunk to half its size, making it hard to breathe. Maybe going for a run would help settle her nerves. She was almost at the door when Peter called after her, “Want me to come?”

“I’m okay, thanks.” Yet, another lie.

Excerpt from Where Sleeping Lies Lie. Copyright © 2019. All rights reserved.

Review: THE WEDDING GUEST by Jonathan Kellerman

About the Book

51h8peoixxlAPD Lieutenant Milo Sturgis is a fine homicide detective, but when he needs to get into the mind of a killer, he leans on the expertise of his best friend, the brilliant psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware. While Sturgis has a knack for piecing together the details of a crime, Delaware can decipher the darkest intents driving the most vicious of perpetrators. And there’s no better place for the doctor’s analytical skills to shine than a rowdy hall full of young men and women intoxicated on life and lust . . . and suddenly faced with the specter of death.

Summoned to a run-down former strip joint, Delaware and Sturgis find themselves crashing a wild Saints and Sinners–themed wedding reception. But they’re not the only uninvited guests. A horrified bridesmaid has discovered the body of a young woman, dressed to impress in pricey haute couture and accessorized with a grisly red slash around her neck. What’s missing is any means of identification, or a single partygoer who recognizes the victim. The baffled bride is convinced the stranger snuck in to sabotage her big day—and the groom is sure it’s all a dreadful mistake. But Delaware and Sturgis have a hundred guests to question, and a sneaking suspicion that the motive for murder is personal. Now they must separate the sinners from the saints, the true from the false, and the secrets from those keeping them. The party’s over—and the hunt for whoever killed it is on.

My Review

A long time fan, I  enjoyed reacquainting myself with Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis as they attempted to find out the identity of the victim and why she was killed.  They are so different and yet remain the best of friends. Nonetheless,  I found that the plot lacked depth and momentum, and the characters were not as well developed as in Kellerman’s earlier works.  An okay read, but nowhere near as enjoyable as previous books in this series.

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

Review, Spotlight & Giveaway: DEAD LAWYERS DON’T LIE by Mark Nolan


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As part of a tour organized by Silver Dagger Book Tours, I recently had the pleasure of reading Dead Lawyers Don’t Lie by Mark Nolan.  This action-filled thriller is the first book in the Jake Wolfe series.

About Dead Lawyers Don’t Lie

Attorney by day, assassin by night.

Dead-Lawyers-Don't-Lie-EBook-1563x2500_375x600Jake Wolfe is a young lawyer who leads a secret life. Trained by the CIA, he now wants peace and quiet, practicing law and living on a boat with his war dog. But when his city is shocked by a serial killer and he’s framed for the murder of a friend, Jake must race against time to find the killer before he strikes again.

Drawn into a deadly game of cat and mouse; at every step Jake and his loved ones are being hunted by the clever, twisted madman. As the city is gripped in fear of the seemingly random shootings that could strike anybody, Jake investigates and uncovers ominous clues until a shocking reversal of fortune changes everything.

With the clock ticking and lives at stake, will Jake be able to find and stop the killer in time, or will he become the next victim?

Buckle up for a wild ride as Jake Wolfe and his exceptionally intelligent dog, Cody, return to action in this page-turning thriller in Mark Nolan’s bestselling series that has earned thousands of 5-star ratings on Amazon and Goodreads.

Goodreads * Amazon

My Review

Jake is a good guy. Even if he has in the past killed people for a living.  He has skills. Investigative and military, and he uses them to his advantage.  However, some of the action-packed scenes and the ease with which Jake triumphed did require a suspension of disbelief.  The story is told from multiple points of view, which sometimes created confusion, as the narrative hopped back and forth between various characters’ thoughts.  (I loved the dog and his insights.) It was also a very long book.  I think I’d have enjoyed it more if some of the descriptions/back story had been more concise. Nonetheless, the fast-paced and interesting plot made it hard to put it down, with the temptation to read just another chapter winning out until way past my bedtime.

FTC Disclosure:  I received a review copy of this book as part of this blog tour.  This has not affected the content of my review in any way. 

About Vigilante Assassin, Jake Wolfe Book 2

Every marriage has a secret, but this one is deadly.

VigilanteAssassin_1563x2500_375x600Lauren Stephens wakes up to find her husband, Gene, has vanished during the night. His phone is dead. Desperate, she hires Jake Wolfe and his war dog, Cody. They search the house and discover something so disturbing that Jake won’t allow Lauren near it. “No, if you see this, there is no unseeing it.”

Lauren thought she had it all: a loving partner, two great kids, a successful business, and a beautiful home in the San Francisco hills. But all of that is about to come crashing down, due to a missing husband, a hidden past, and a frightening secret that will shock a trusting wife to the core. Gene has enemies, and now they want something from Lauren.

Jake Wolfe is a flawed man who has a habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He wants to leave his secret, violent past behind him, but when Lauren and her children are threatened, his protective instinct takes command. Jake soon finds himself involved in a dangerous conspiracy, targeted for death, and engaged in battle with a powerful, unseen group who will stop at nothing to get what they want.

Jake’s going to have to think fast and fight hard to protect Cody, Lauren and her kids.

Vigilante Assassin is “Jake Wolfe book two” in the ongoing series. It can be read as a stand-alone, or you can start with book one, titled: Dead Lawyers Don’t Lie.

Both of these Kindle Unlimited books in the Jake Wolfe mystery thriller novel series are available to read for free with your subscription to Kindle Unlimited.

Goodreads * Amazon

About Killer Lawyer, Jake Wolfe Book 3

Attorney by day, assassin by night.

KillerLawyer_eBook_1600x2560_375x600Jake Wolfe is a young lawyer who leads a secret life. Trained by the CIA, he now wants peace and quiet, practicing law and living on a boat with his war dog. But when his city is shocked by a serial killer and he’s framed for the murder of a friend, Jake must race against time to find the killer before he strikes again.

Drawn into a deadly game of cat and mouse; at every step Jake and his loved ones are being hunted by the clever, twisted madman. As the city is gripped in fear of the seemingly random shootings that could strike anybody, Jake investigates and uncovers ominous clues until a shocking reversal of fortune changes everything.

With the clock ticking and lives at stake, will Jake be able to find and stop the killer in time, or will he become the next victim?

Buckle up for a wild ride as Jake Wolfe and his exceptionally intelligent dog, Cody, return to action in this page-turning thriller in Mark Nolan’s bestselling series that has earned thousands of 5-star ratings on Amazon and Goodreads.

Goodreads * Amazon

Mark_400x390About the Author

Mark Nolan is the author of Dead Lawyers Don’t Lie, the sequel titled Vigilante Assassin, and book 3 in the series: Killer Lawyer. He’s currently writing book 4. Mark also tries to make time every day to answer emails from readers. You can reach him and subscribe to his newsletter at marknolan.com.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Giveaway

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a $25 Amazon GC giveaway!

http://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/killer-lawyer-book-tour-and-giveaway

Review: AS DIRECTED by Kathleen Valenti

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As part of a blog tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, I recently had the pleasure of reading As Directed, the third book in the Maggie O’Malley Mystery series by Kathleen Valenti. 

About the Book

AsDirected-cover-front-REV-663x1024In the shadow of a past fraught with danger and tainted by loss, former pharmaceutical researcher Maggie O’Malley is rebuilding her life, trading test tubes for pill bottles as she embarks on a new career at the corner drugstore.

But as she spreads her wings, things begin to go terribly wrong. A customer falls ill in the store. Followed by another. And then more.

The specter of poisoning arises, conjuring old grudges, past sins, buried secrets and new suspicions from which no one is immune.

As Maggie and her best friend Constantine begin to investigate, they discover that some of the deadliest doses come from the most unexpected places.

My Review

From the first page, suspense is in the air. Even before you meet Maggie and the main characters, the prologue has you hooked and you want know what is happening and why.  Then, when customers at the pharmacy start to drop, you share in Maggie’s angst as she tries to identify the source of the poisoning.  Her charming would-be bridegroom, Constantine, is at her side – helping her investigate, while they both fend off family demands to set a date and plan a fancy wedding.  After all,  how can she can think about weddings when people are dropping all around her.  As Maggie’s investigation progresses, the story takes unexpected directions along the way to a satisfying resolution. An enjoyable and well-paced read with an intricate plot.

This was my first time reading anything by this author. Although part of a series, this book can definitely be read as a standalone.

FTC Disclosure:  I received an advance review copy from the publisher.  This has not affected the content of this review. 

About the Author

kvpromoshot-300x300Kathleen Valenti is the author of the Maggie O’Malley Mystery Series, which includes her Agatha- and Lefty-nominated debut novel, Protocol. When Kathleen isn’t writing page-turning mysteries that combine humor and suspense, she works as a nationally award-winning advertising copywriter. She lives in Oregon with her family where she pretends to enjoy running. Learn more at www.kathleenvalenti.com.

Author Links

Purchase Links:  Amazon Barnes & Noble  iTunes  Kobo

For additional stops on this tour, click here.

Cozy Happenings – March 2019

MysLoversSale3This month’s  “Cozy Happenings” post highlights a few new releases from my author friends from recent months.

And if you’re looking for great bargains to fill up your e-reader, check out the Mystery Lovers Virtual Bookshop  – all the featured books in the multi-author promotion are free or only 99 cents this weekend only!

And there’s also a great collection of  99 cent mysteries to be found as part of the mystery sale over at Fun & Flirty Mysteries this weekend.

Recent and Upcoming Releases – Check’em Out!

March_NR-KathiDaley  March_NR-catitude    March_NR-smalltown  March_NR-FETA March_NR-cEEcEE  March_NR-BADPICK

Happy reading!

Spotlight & Giveaway: ONE FETA IN THE GRAVE by Tina Kashian

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As part of a blog tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, today’s post features a new release from Tina Kashian – One Feta in the Grave (A Kebab Mystery).

About the Book

One-Feta-In-The-Grave-MM-626x1024As summer comes to an end in her Jersey Shore town, Lucy Berberian continues to manage her family’s Mediterranean restaurant. The Kebab Kitchen also has a food tent at this year’s beach festival. But now a local businessman is under the boardwalk—dead by the sea …

With a sand castle contest and live music, Ocean Crest bids a bittersweet farewell to tourist season. Summer will return next year … but Archie Kincaid won’t. The full-of-himself store owner has been fatally shot, soon after a screaming match with Lucy’s best friend. Katie’s far from the only suspect, though, since Archie had some bitter rivals—as well as some relationships no one knew about. It’s up to Lucy to look into some seedy characters and solve the case before the wrong person gets skewered …
Recipes included!

About the Author

Tina-Gabrielle-Author-Photo-199x300Tina Kashian spent her childhood summers at the New Jersey shore, building sand castles, boogie boarding, and riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel. She also grew up in the restaurant business where her Armenian parents owned a restaurant for thirty years. She worked almost every job—rolling silverware and wiping down tables as a tween, to hosting and waitressing as a teenager.

After college, Tina worked as a NJ Deputy Attorney General, a patent attorney, and a mechanical engineer. Her law cases inspired an inquiring mind of crime, and since then, Tina has been hooked on mysteries. The Kebab Kitchen Cozy Mystery series launches with Hummus and Homicide, followed by Stabbed in the Baklava and One Feta in the Grave by Kensington Books. Tina still lives in New Jersey with her supportive husband and two young daughters. Please visit http://www.tinakashian.com and join her Newsletter to enter free contests to win books, get delicious recipes, and to learn when her books will be released.

Giveaway

Click here to enter a rafflecopter for a chance to win a print or Digital Copy of One Feta in the Grave.

Author Links

Purchase Links

Amazon –   iBooks –  Barnes & Noble –  Kobo –   Google Books

For a full list of stops on this tour, click here.

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: DANGEROUS FLAWS by Susan Hunter

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As part of a book tour organized by Partners in Crime, I recently had the pleasure of reading Dangerous Flaws by Susan Hunter, the fifth book in this talented author’s Leah Nash Mystery series.

About the Book

A chilling murder shocks a small Wisconsin town.

DangFlawsCoverTrue crime writer Leah Nash is stunned when police investigating the murder of a beautiful young college professor focus on her ex-husband Nick. Leah has no illusions about her ex, but despite his flaws, she just can’t see him as a killer. Reluctantly, she agrees to help Nick’s attorney prove that he isn’t.

But Nick’s lies make it hard to find the truth, and when a damning piece of evidence surfaces, Leah plunges into doubt. Is she defending an innocent man or helping a murderer escape? She pushes on to find out, uncovering hidden motives and getting hit by twists she never saw coming. Leah’s own flaws impede her search for the truth. When she finds it, will it be too late to prevent a devastating confrontation?

Scroll down to read an excerpt.

My Review

This book was a great read.  Leah Nash, a likeable, no-nonsense heroine, battles conflicting feelings as she tries to solve a murder – could the man she had once loved be capable of murder?  This latest installment in the series has a very intricate plot with two separate murder investigations underway. The red herrings and intriguing twists kept me wondering, and the final resolution came as a surprise.  The clues may have been there, but I didn’t see it coming.  A fast-paced, interesting and enjoyable read.

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

About the Author

dangerous-secrets-by-susan-hunter-authorSusan Hunter is a charter member of Introverts International (which meets the 12th of Never at an undisclosed location). She has worked as a reporter and managing editor, during which time she received a first place UPI award for investigative reporting and a Michigan Press Association first place award for enterprise/feature reporting.

Susan has also taught composition at the college level, written advertising copy, newsletters, press releases, speeches, web copy, academic papers, and memos. Lots and lots of memos. She lives in rural Michigan with her husband Gary, who is a man of action, not words.

During certain times of the day, she can be found wandering the mean streets of small-town Himmel, Wisconsin, looking for clues, stopping for a meal at the Elite Cafe, dropping off a story lead at the Himmel Times Weekly, or meeting friends for a drink at McClain’s Bar and Grill.

Catch Up With Ms. Hunter On:
leahnashmysteries.com, BookBub, Twitter, & Facebook!

Giveaway

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Read an Excerpt

Prologue

How did everything go so wrong? But then again, why did she ever think that this could come to anything but disaster? She knows now there are only a few ways this can end and none of them are good.

She sighs, then bends down to put the leash on Tenny, her crazy little mixed-breed dog, looking up at her with big brown eyes. He’s so happy and so oblivious. Despite her sense of coming catastrophe, she can’t help smiling at him. He begins wagging his tail, then dancing around eagerly in anticipation of his nightly run. She can barely get the leash hooked.

“Come on, then, you heartless beast. I’m in the worst situation of my life, and all you can think about is getting out and having fun. Tell me again why I bother with you?”

They leave and walk down the road—no sidewalks here—toward the county fairgrounds, an expanse of 80 acres just a short distance away. She loves the odd mix of town on one side of her home and country on the other.

She shivers a little. Her exhaled breath leaves a small trace of vapor in the air. Under the silvery light of the full moon, everything stands out in crystalline splendor: the piles of snow left by the plow, untouched yet by the dirt and grime of passing cars; bare branches of trees shimmering with frost; the stars themselves, flashing and glittering like sparkling beads sewn on the black night sky. It is incredibly beautiful. But she barely notices. She is too lost in thought.

Should she do as she threatened, confess and bring everything to a head? If she does, there’s no going back. And she isn’t the only one who will suffer—or be saved. Because isn’t it possible that freedom, not tragedy, will be the outcome? Things do, sometimes, turn out better than we expect. She feels a momentary spark of optimism, but it fades. This is too important for wishful thinking. She must be realistic. Once the truth is out, the consequences will be devastating. But this—the way she’s living now, lying, denying, pretending that everything is fine—is crushing her. So intent is she on her thoughts that she doesn’t hear the crunch of footsteps behind her.

Doesn’t notice the increasing agitation of her little dog. Doesn’t recognize the impending danger.

“I finally caught up with you.”

Startled, but not alarmed—she recognizes the voice—she turns.

“What are you doing here?”

“We didn’t finish. I need to know you understand.”

She doesn’t want to have this conversation. Not tonight. Not when her mind is so filled with jumbled and conflicting thoughts. Her reluctance shows on her face.

“You said you want to do the right thing. I do too, but you’re wrong about what it is. Please, let’s talk.”

“Tomorrow would be better. I—”

“No! It wouldn’t be!”

The words are said with such force that she takes an involuntary step backward. Tenny growls softly at her side.

“I’m sorry. But we’re talking about my life! Don’t I deserve a few minutes at least? I’ll walk with you. Please?”

She sighs. But now Tenny is pulling at his leash, eager to run free on the frozen surface of the pond.

“All right.” She slips off her gloves and bends down to release the dog. Her cold fingers fumble and his eager jumping makes it hard work. He spies something on the ice and springs forward with excitement. Both the collar and the leash come loose in her hands, and he dashes away.

She tucks them into her pocket as she stands. It’s then that she notices the barricades around a large hole in the frozen pond.

“I forgot about the Polar Plunge tomorrow. Let’s go that way, in case Tenny gets too close. The barriers should keep him out, but he’s a wily little devil.”

They walk around the edge of the pond. She is silent; she doesn’t interrupt. But she isn’t persuaded. Her focus turns inward, as she searches for the right words to explain. All the while she knows they will be unwelcome. As she struggles for a way to be both truthful and kind, she misses the rising tension in her companion’s voice. She doesn’t register the transition from desperation to danger.

A loud series of barks causes her to look up. Tenny is chasing a muskrat across the ice. Both of them are heading toward the barrier-shielded hole in the frozen pond. For the muskrat, it will mean escape. For Tenny, it will mean calamity.

“Tenny, no! Come here!” She runs out on the ice, calling him, moving as fast as she can on the slippery surface, trying to distract the dog. But intent on his prey, he ignores her. He dashes under the barricade just as the muskrat slips into the water to safety. Tenny slides to a stop, gives a few frustrated yips, then turns toward her. His expression clearly says, “Thanks a lot. I almost had him.”

She reaches the edge of the barricade and pushes it aside, holding out the leash and collar.

“Tennyson, come here right now.”

He makes as if to obey, but when she leans to get him, he scampers away. She calls him again.

He comes tantalizingly close, then eludes her grasp and retreats with a cocky grin on his face.

He likes this game.

She sets the collar and leash down on the ice. She gets on one knee and reaches in her pocket.

When her hand emerges, it’s holding a dog treat. In a honeyed, coaxing voice, she says, “Hey, Tenny. Look, sweetie! Your favorite, cheesy bacon.”

She stays very still as he approaches. When he gets within range, she intends to scoop him up, scold him, and never let him off the leash again. He moves slowly, maintaining eye contact with the treat, not her. She stretches her hand out ever so slightly. He streaks forward, snatches it from her open palm, and runs away across the pond. Then his attention is caught by a deer just reaching the middle of the ice. He gives chase.

She sighs with relief. At least he’s away from the open water. She starts to rise. Without warning, a strong shove from behind sends her sprawling. Her head hits the ice. She’s dazed for a second. Then terrified as another shove pushes her forward and into the hole cut in the pond.

The shock of hitting the water takes her breath away. The weight of her clothes pulls her down.

She struggles back to the surface, disoriented and confused. Her breathing is shallow and quick—too quick.

She swallows a mouthful of water and starts to choke. Panic rises. Her arms flail.

One hits something hard. The edge of the ice. Her fright lessens as she can see a way out.

She works her body around so she can grab the icy lip of the opening in the pond. She begins to move her legs, stretching out as though she were floating on her stomach. As she transitions from vertical to horizontal, she’s able to get one forearm on the ice. She tries to lift her knee. If she can get it on the ice—she’s too weak. The weight of her water-logged clothes pulls her back into the water. She feels the panic rising again. She pushes back against it with her desperate determination to survive.

She tries again, kicks her legs again, stretches out again, gets her forearms on the ice again.

But this time, she doesn’t try to lift herself. Instead, she begins to inch forward with a writhing motion, like a very slow snake crawling on the ground. She fights for every awkward, painful inch of progress. How long has it been? Five minutes? Ten? Twenty? It feels like forever.

Her arms are numb. Tiny icicles in her hair slap gently against her face as she twists and turns her body out of the water. Tenny is nearby. He’s barking, and then he’s by her left arm, tugging at her sleeve.

“No, no, Tenny, get back.” She thinks she is shouting, but the words are a whisper. She has to rest, just for a minute. She stops. She closes her eyes. But as her cheek touches the ice,

Tenny’s bark calls her back to life. She will not give up. She will not die this way, this night.

Again, she begins her hesitating progress forward. She can do this. She will do this. Almost her entire upper body is on the ice now. Just a little longer, just a few more inches, just another—hands grab her shoulders. Someone has come. Someone is pulling her to safety. As she turns her head to look up, she realizes the hands aren’t pulling, they’re pushing, pushing, pushing her back.

No, no, no, no! She tries to fight, but she has nothing left. She’s in the water.

The hands lock onto her shoulders like talons. They push her down, down, down. Water enters her mouth; her throat closes over. She can’t breathe. The last sound she hears from far, far away is Tenny’s mournful bark. Then darkness closes in.

Excerpt from Dangerous Flaws.  All rights reserved.

Spotlight & Excerpt: DROP DEAD CRIME

drop dead crime banner

As part of a tour organized by Silver Dagger Book Tours, today’s post shines the spotlight on Drop Dead Crime, a boxed set of mysteries from Lisa Regan, Leslie Wolfe, Colleen Helme, Amy Vansant, and Julie Smith.  Sounds like a promising read!

About the Book

Five women. Five sublime authors of crime fiction. One stunning book.

Gripping thrillers, packed with deviously executed crimes and in-depth investigations are some of the most popular reads available on  traditional and virtual book shelves today.

Now, you can sample some of the best female writers of crime fiction, in Drop Dead Crime, a collection of novellas packed with the twisted plotlines and memorable characters that excite readers and leave them demanding more.

Lisa Regan, Leslie Wolfe, Colleen Helme, Amy   Vansant, and Julie Smith are among the most skilled and prolific writers of the genre today, and each one knows exactly how to tease a story to  maximum effect. Their use of strong female leads, combined with delicately balanced plots, means suspense is always kept at a fever  pitch—ready to boil over at any second.

Lisa Regan’s Over The Edge is guaranteed to keep you up at night. When P.I. Jocelyn Rush witnesses a young mother jump from a bridge, she is determined to solve the mystery of why, and what she finds is a complex web of secrets and lies so shocking it could destroy the people left behind.

Leslie Wolfe introduces FBI Agent Tess Winnett in
Not Really Dead, a fast-paced, intense thriller about a serial killer who makes a terrible mistake.

Colleen Helme stuns with Behind Blue Eyes. A grisly murder along with a new client hiding a deadly secret is just the beginning for Shelby Nichols, mind reader extraordinaire. Don’t miss this exciting thriller!

In Amy Vansant’s exclusive novella Parental Kilt, the stars of her “Kilty” romantic suspense series, Catriona Phoenix and Brochan the Highlander, find themselves trapped in a serial killer’s maze during a movie wrap-party gone wrong. The serial killer was supposed to be dead, but the bodies are piling up…

Julie Smith brings a dazzling story of suspense, The Big Crazy. Detective Skip Langdon, NOPD, while navigating a world of chaos and betrayal after Hurricane Katrina, takes on a gang of rogue cops who may be acting as self-appointed executioners.

Lisa Regan’s Over The Edge is guaranteed to keep you up at night. When P.I. Jocelyn Rush witnesses a young mother jump from a bridge, she is determined to solve the mystery of why, and what she finds is a complex web of secrets and lies so shocking it could destroy the people left behind.

Get your copy:   Only 99 cents – Goodreads * Amazon

About the Authors


Lisa Regan is the USA Today & Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the detective Josie Quinn series as well as several other crime fiction titles. She has a  Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master of Education degree from Bloomsburg University. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, and Mystery Writers of America. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband, daughter, and Boston Terrier named Mr. Phillip.


Colleen Helme is the author of the bestselling Shelby Nichols Adventure Series, a wildly entertaining and highly humorous series about Shelby Nichols, a woman with the ability to read minds. When asked if reading minds is something Colleen wishes she could do she says, “No way! It gets Shelby into so much trouble that I would never want that ability.” Known for her laugh since she was a kid, Colleen has always tried to find the humor in every situation and continues to enjoy writing about Shelby’s adventures. Besides writing, she loves reading, biking, hiking, and playing board and card games with family and friends. She loves to connect with readers and admits that fans of the series keep her writing.

Amy Vansant is a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author, specializing in fun, comedic reads about accident-prone, easily distracted women with questionable tastes in men. 

So, autobiographies, mostly. Ha! But seriously… She writes happy,  occasionally slightly twisted, thrilling, romantic comedies, mysteries, and urban fantasies.

Julie Smith is the author of more than twenty mysteries, most set in New Orleans and starring one or the other of her detective heroes, a cop named Skip Langdon, and a PI named Talba Wallis. (Both female, both tough and wily.) She also has two series set in San Francisco.
Her novel, NEW ORLEANS MOURNING, won the Edgar Allan Poe award for best novel. She changed direction in 2010, with her start-up digital publishing company, booksBnimble (www.booksBnimble.com), beginning with four books by friends. She later added other authors and got the rights back to her own books, Then in 2015 booksBnimble spun off bbnmarketing (www.bbnmarketing.com), with the aim of helping self-published authors find their audience and backlist print authors find their way back into the game.
Twelve years after Hurricane Katrina; Skip Langdon returned last year in MURDER ON MAGAZINE. But so many readers have asked–what did she do when Katrina struck? That story’s THE BIG CRAZY.
Website * Facebook * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Leslie Wolfe’s novels break the mold of traditional thrillers. Fascinated by technology and psychology, Leslie brings extensive background and research in these fields that empower and add texture to a signature, multi-dimensional, engaging writing style.
Leslie released the first novel, Executive, in October 2011. It was very well received, including inquiries from Hollywood. Since then, Leslie published numerous novels and enjoyed growing success and recognition in the marketplace. Among Leslie’s most notable works, The Watson Girl (2017) was recognized for offering a unique insight into the mind of a serial killer and a rarely seen first person account of his actions, in a dramatic and intense procedural thriller.
A complete list of Leslie’s titles is available at http://wolfenovels.com/titles.
Leslie enjoys engaging with readers every day and would love to hear from you. Become an insider: gain early access to previews of Leslie’s new novels!

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

Giveaway

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Read an Excerpt

Excerpt From Over the Edge: A Jocelyn Rush Story
Lisa Regan

Molly
Five Years Ago

My feet pound along the packed-earth Wissahickon Creek trail. Sweat drips from the nape of my neck, down the length of my spine, and into the back of my shorts. It beads on my nose, falling as I run, and turns my hair, pulled tightly into a ponytail, slick and heavy on the back of my neck.

I’ve been running along this path four times a week for six months, and once every few times out, I manage to overtake him on the trail. I tried not to notice him, but all that lean muscle called out to me. I knew he saw me too. Then one day, as I ran past him, I turned and met his eyes. Blue fire. He smiled. I smiled back. I ran ahead. He followed.

From then on, it’s been a game we play.

This section of the creek trail is called Forbidden Drive. The irony isn’t lost on me the day something finally happens. The morning is fresh and dewy, sunlight slipping through the canopy of trees overhead, dappling everything around me. I see his back. Today he is shirtless, and every muscle in his back and shoulders ripple, glistening with sweat. I run up beside him, closer this time. When I turn to catch his eye, there is something there that wasn’t before. An acknowledgment. I see you, those fiery blue eyes seem to say. I know what you want. I run ahead.

Far ahead but not so far that he loses sight of me. I veer off the trail at a break in the trees, my feet crushing the brush beneath them. I hear a snapping twig behind me, and I know he’s there.

I stop when I reach a kind of clearing. It’s big enough, private enough. I put my hands against a tree trunk, leaning over, my breath coming fast and hard from the slightly uphill run through uneven terrain. He doesn’t talk. Hands grip my hips, digging into the flesh. Hot breath slides down the nape of my neck. It doesn’t take long. We’re not wearing much to begin with, and our bodies are already shiny and wet with sweat. Once we’ve both shuddered with satisfaction, we part ways, wordless.

It happens a few more times after that. No words. No names. Then the winter sets in, and I turn to the treadmill for my daily jog. Sometimes at night, lying in bed, I close my eyes and remember how he felt, the way his blue eyes caught me in their snare. I  remember the way my body reacted to the things he did. The risks I took.

I’m glad it’s over. It was only a dream. A kinky fantasy. Fleeting. Gone forever.

I think I won’t ever see him again.