Review & Giveaway: FATALITY BY FIRELIGHT by Lynn Cahoon

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As part of a blog tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, I recently had the pleasure of reading, Fatality by Firelight, by Lynn Cahoon.

Description

fatality-by-firelight-compCat Latimer’s Colorado bed-and-breakfast plays host to writers from all over. But murder is distinctly unwelcome . . .

To kick off a winter writing retreat, Cat and her handyman boyfriend, Seth, escort the aspiring authors to a nearby ski resort, hoping some fresh cold air will wake up their creative muses. But instead of hitting the slopes, they hit the bar—and before long, a tipsy romance novelist named Christina is keeping herself warm with a local ski bum who might have neglected to tell her about his upcoming wedding.

Next thing Cat knows, her uncle, the town sheriff, informs her that the young man’s been found dead in a hot tub—and Christina shows up crying and covered in blood. Now, between a murder mystery, the theft of a rare Hemingway edition, and the arrival of a black-clad stranger in snowy Aspen Hills, Cat’s afraid everything’s going downhill …

My Review

Having read A Story to Kill, I enjoyed reacquainting myself with Cat as she welcomes the participants of the second writers’ retreat into her home. I like Cat, she’s good-hearted and hard working. When a local man is killed and one of the writers is a suspect, Cat takes it upon herself to prove the young woman’s innocence.  The central plot – the murder – is resolved in a satisfying manner, with a few twists along the way.  At the same time, in a recurring intricate subplot, Cat continues to delve into her late ex-husband’s secrets and the mystery surrounding his death.  This was an enjoyable and well written mystery. I look forward to following Cat’s story in the future.

FTC Disclosure:   I received a complimentary 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 one of two signed copies of Fatality by Firelight.

About the Author

11825971_978468272183542_2684765768435970795_nLynn Cahoon is the author of the NYT and USA Today best-selling Tourist Trap cozy mystery series. Guidebook to Murder, book 1 of the series won the Reader’s Crown for Mystery Fiction in 2015. She’s also pens the recently released, Cat Latimer series. A STORY TO KILL, book 1, came out in mass market paperback September 2016.She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies. Sign up for her newsletter at www.lynncahoon.com

Author Links

Purchase Links

Review: MURDER BY THE BOOK by Devorah Fox

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As part of a Blog Tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, I recently read Murder by the Book – a mini-mystery by Devorah Fox.

Description

An ordinary work day at the western Massachusetts Sugarloaf Inn turns more chilling than the winter weather when staff member Candy Wadsen makes a gruesome discovery. Her day goes from bad to worse when Candy realizes that Detective Sergeant Dan Petrowski suspects her of committing the crime.

My Review

This was a light read. Candy seems to be a good person, and I would have liked to get know her better. Although the answer to the question – the identity of the murderer – made sense, the path to the culprit’s discovery was a bit too fast. But I tend to prefer longer, more-developed mysteries. If you enjoy short reads, you’ll easily  read this mystery in a single setting.

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

About the Author

“What if?” Those two words all too easily send Devorah Fox spinning into flights of fancy. Best-selling author of an award-winning literary historical fantasy series and several thrillers, she also penned Mystery Mini Short Reads and contributed short stories to popular fantasy anthologies. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she now lives on the Texas Gulf Coast with rescued tabby cats … and a dragon named Inky. Visit the “Dee-Scoveries” blog at http://devorahfox.com

Author links:

Review & Giveaway: ONE DEAD, TWO TO GO by Elena Hartwell

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As part of a Blog Tour organized by Great Escapes Free Virtual Book Tours,  I recently had the pleasure of reading One Dead, Two to Go,  the first book in a new cozy mystery series.

Description

518jlzfmhml-_sx311_bo1204203200_Private Investigator Edwina “Eddie Shoes” Schultz’s most recent job has her parked outside a seedy Bellingham hotel, photographing her quarry as he kisses his mistress goodbye. This is the last anyone will see of the woman… alive. Her body is later found dumped in an abandoned building. Eddie’s client, Kendra Hallings, disappears soon after. Eddie hates to be stiffed for her fee, but she has to wonder if Kendra could be in trouble too. Or is she the killer?

Eddie usually balks at matters requiring a gun, but before she knows it, she is knee-deep in dangerous company, spurred on by her card-counting adrenaline-junkie mother who has shown up on her doorstep fresh from the shenanigans that got her kicked out of Vegas. Chava is only sixteen years older than Eddie and sadly lacking in parenting skills. Her unique areas of expertise, however, prove to be helpful in ways Eddie can’t deny, making it hard to stop Chava from tagging along.

Also investigating the homicide is Detective Chance Parker, new to Bellingham’s Major Crimes unit but no stranger to Eddie. Their history as a couple back in Seattle is one more kink in a chain of complications, making Eddie’s case more frustrating and perilous with each tick of the clock.

My Review

First of all, I loved the main character’s name (and its origins) and enjoyed learning about her personal journey.  As Eddie tells her story,  she shares her feelings and thought processes with the reader in a candid way – no holds barred.  She is for the most part level-headed, although her quirky mother’s arrival on the scene does lead her into making some not-so-smart decisions. And the dynamic between the two women evolved as they spent time together and Eddie learns more about her past.  The mystery itself kept me wondering what was really going on and the plot took several turns before coming to a satisfying resolution.  An occasional touch of silliness and humor make this an enjoyable light mystery and a great start to a new series.

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

Giveaway

Click here to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for the chance to win one of seven print copies of One Dead, Two to Go.

About the Author

hartwellAfter twenty years in the theater, Elena Hartwell turned her dramatic skills to fiction. Her first novel, One Dead, Two to Go introduces Eddie Shoes, private eye. Called “the most fun detective since Richard Castle stumbled into the 12th precinct,” by author Peter Clines, I’DTale Magazine stated, “this quirky combination of a mother-daughter reunion turned crime-fighting duo will captivate readers.”

In addition to her work as a novelist, Elena teaches playwriting at Bellevue College and tours the country to lead writing workshops.

When she’s not writing or teaching, her favorite place to be is at the farm with her horses, Jasper and Radar, or at her home, on the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River in North Bend, Washington, with her husband, their dog, Polar, and their trio of cats, Jackson, Coal Train, and Luna, aka, “the other cat upstairs.” Elena holds a B.A. from the University of San Diego, a M.Ed. from the University of Washington, Tacoma, and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.

Purchase Links:
Amazon   B&N iTunes  kobo 

Spotlight & Giveaway: FATAL ROMANCE by June Shaw

a-fatal-romance-large-banner322Today’s post turns the spotlight on a new cozy mystery by June Shaw.  The first book in a new series, A Fatal Romance features twin sisters as its main characters. Sounds like a good read.  

Description

Fixing up homes can be tricky.
Finding true love can be even trickier.
But finding a killer can be plain old deadly . . .

a-fatal-romanceTwin sister divorcees Sunny Taylor and Eve Vaughn have had their fill of both heartaches and headaches. So when they settle down in the small Louisiana town of Sugar Ledge and open a remodeling and repair company, they think they’ve finally found some peace—even though Eve is still open for romance while Sunny considers her own heart out-of-business.

Then their newest customer ends up face-down in a pond, and his widow is found dead soon after. Unfortunately, Sunny was witnessed having an unpleasant moment with the distraught woman, and suspicion falls on the twins. And when an attempt is made on Eve’s life, they find themselves pulled into a murder mystery neither knows how to navigate.

With a town of prying eyes on them, and an unknown culprit out to stop them, Sunny and Eve will have to depend on each other like never before if they’re going to clip a killer in the bud.

Giveaway

Click here to enter a Rafflecopter for a chance to win an e-copy of A Fatal Romance.

About the Author

From the bayou country of South Louisiana, June Shaw previously sold a series of humorous mysteries to Five Star, Harlequin, and Untreed Reads. Publishers Weekly praised her debut, Relative Danger, which became a finalist for the David Award for Best Mystery of the Year. A hybrid author who has published other works, she has represented her state on the board of Mystery Writers of America’s Southwest Chapter for many years and continued to serve as the Published Author Liaison for Romance Writers of America’s Southern Louisiana chapter. She gains inspiration for her work from her faith, family, and friends, including the many readers who urge her on. For more info, please visit juneshaw.com.

A Fatal Romance is available on Amazon.

Review: A KILLER LOCATION by Sarah T. Hobart

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As part of a Blog Tour organized by Great Escapes Free Virtual Book Tours, today I’m happy to tell you about Killer Location: A Home Sweet Home Mystery  by Sarah T. Hobart.

Description

As this captivating cozy mystery series featuring real estate agent Sam Turner continues, a dream home turns into a crime scene when murder intrudes on an open house.

a-killer-locationThanks to a few sales and a self-help book on becoming a super-agent, Sam Turner is well on her way to becoming real estate royalty in Arlinda, her eccentric hometown on the Northern California coast. And after settling into her new house with her teenage son, she’s finally a homeowner, too. Sure, things aren’t perfect—for example, her sister still doesn’t know that Sam is dating her ex, police chief Bernie Aguilar—but perfect is boring. And Sam’s life is never boring.

When Sam’s boss, Everett Sweet, assigns her an open house in Arlinda’s most exclusive neighborhood, she brushes up on her super-agent tips, hoping to wow potential buyers. But there’s nothing in the manual about stumbling upon the owner’s dead body halfway through the tour. When suspicion falls on her boss, Sam and her co-workers are suddenly out of work, their real estate licenses suspended. Now, with her job on the line and a mortgage to pay, Sam will need every trick in the book to clear Everett’s name.

My Review

Not having read the first book in the series, I enjoyed getting to know Sam and how she copes with the challenges of making ends meet as a fledgling real estate agent. She is likeable and  easy to identify with.  She is good hearted even if at times she doesn’t make the smartest or most realistic decisions – some of which have humorous consequences.  She is fortunate to have good friends and neighbors, who support her and add color to the story.  I liked the light conversational tone as Sam tells her story as if she is confiding to you, a friend. The plot moved along at a nice pace, with the requisite twists to keep you wondering who the murderer might be, leading to a satisfying resolution.  All in all, a light and easy cozy read.

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

About the Author

Sarah Hobart is a real estate agent and former newspaper reporter in Northern California, where she lives with her husband and two children in a majestic fixer-upper overlooking State Highway 101.

Purchase Links:   Amazon      B&N 

9 Reasons why you should never check a writer’s search history #amwriting #writing

Great and humorous post by Georgina Cromarty–Maybe we writers should clear our search history more often..

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We writers love to google stuff. If we’re not writing, or staring into space, or messing about on Facebook, or—Okay you get the idea—then there’s a good chance we’re googling something to do with our latest Work in Progress. Let this article serve to comfort both our loved ones (who should really know better than to check our search history anyway), or police investigating a missing person (because hey, we may be a writer, but we do draw the research line way before it gets close to reality. And that missing person case is totally different to the one we wrote about in our last book).

So, why you should never check a writer’s search history.

1. The shock: Looking up baby names doesn’t mean the family is about to expand. No, there are no new puppies or babies on the way—unless there are, which is technically possible because even writers procreate and…

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Calling all cozy mystery lovers

Summer is a great time for reading, whether at the beach or curled up on the sofa in the comfort of your air-conditioned home.  To celebrate the 4th of July and the onset of summer, 21  authors have organized an amazing winner-takes-all giveaway – 21 cozy mysteries and $210 in Amazon gift cards.
Click here to enter the rafflecopter (now through July 4th).

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BTW, I haven’t been posting as often lately because I’ve been concentrating on finishing my next cozy mystery – Dying for Data.  I’m excited to report that it is almost done – expect a cover reveal soon and a release later this summer . If you’d like to be notified when the book becomes available, sign up for my mailing list.