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

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

About the Book

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

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

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

Giveaway

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

About the Author

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

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

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

Author links:
Website    Facebook      Twitter     Instagram     BookBub     Goodreads    Amazon

Purchase links: Amazon

Spotlight & Giveaway: BEAR WITNESS by Lark O. Jensen

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

About the Book

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

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

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

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

Giveaway

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

About the Author

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

Author Links

·    Website: www.LindaOJohnston.com

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

 Purchase: Amazon    Barnes & Noble 

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

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

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

About the Book

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

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

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

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

Giveaway

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

About the Author

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

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

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

Author Links:

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

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

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

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

About the Book

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

After all, even jewel thieves get bored.

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

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

Read an Excerpt

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

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

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

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

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

Giveaway

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

About the Author

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

P.J. MacLayne can be reached on:

Find the book on Amazon

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

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


How I Write by Lida Sideris

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


About Gambling with Murder

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

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

Giveaway

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

About the Author

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

Author Links

Purchase Links – Amazon 

Visit the tour page for reviews, interviews and more.

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

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

About the Book

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

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

Excerpt

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

¡Gracias a Dios!

Horrors, in my opinion.

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

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

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

My Review

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

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

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

Giveaway

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

About the Author

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

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

Contact Donna at:

Review & Giveaway: TRUST ME by Kelly Irvin

As part of a tour organized by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours, I am pleased to feature Trust Me, a recent release by Kelly Irvin. The great cover drew my attention immediately.

About the Book

When her best friend is murdered the same way her brother was, who can she possibly trust?

A decade ago, Delaney Broward discovered her brother’s murdered body at the San Antonio art co-op he founded with friends. Her artist boyfriend, Hunter Nash, went to prison for the murder, despite his not-guilty plea.

This morning, Hunter walks out of prison a free man, having served his sentence.

This afternoon, Delaney finds her best friend dead, murdered in the same fashion as her brother.

Stay out of it or you’re next, the killer warns.

Hunter never stopped loving Delaney, though he can’t blame her for not forgiving her. He knows he’ll get his life back one day at a time, one step at a time. But he’s blindsided to realize he’s a murder suspect. Again.

When Hunter shows up on her doorstep asking her to help him find the real killer, Delaney’s head says to run away, yet her heart tells her there’s more to his story than what came out in the trial. An uneasy truce leads to their probe into a dark past that shatters Delaney’s image of her brother. She can’t stop and neither can Hunter—which lands them both in the crosshairs of a murderer growing more desperate by the hour.

In this gripping romantic suspense, Kelly Irvin plumbs the complexity of broken trust in the people we love—and in God—and whether either can be mended.

My Review

Delaney’s world is shaken again when her best friend is murdered 10 years after her brother’s death. And to make things worse, Hunter – who was conficted of killing her brother – was released that same day. He contends that he was framed and she doesn’t know what to believe. Reluctantly, Delaney joins forces with Hunter to find out what happened to her friend and determine whether the two deaths are connected. As they unroot the culprit, their trust is gradually restored. The murder mystery is an interesting one that moves along at a nice pace, with some twists along the way. Overall, enjoyable mystery.

That said, although I have no problem with a touch of religion or spirituality in a good book, I found the discussions of finding god and faith were too numerous and somewhat repetitive. I get that Hunter found religion in prison, but I would have preferred it not feature quite so prominently in their interactions.

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

Giveaway

Click here to enter for your chance to win a copy of Trust Me from the author.

About the Author

Kelly Irvin is a bestselling, award-winning author of over twenty novels and stories. A retired public relations professional, Kelly lives with her husband, Tim, in San Antonio. They have two children, three grandchildren, and two ornery cats.

Visit her online at:

For more great reads, check out Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours.

Spotlight & Giveaway: WHAT HAPPENED ON BOX HILL by Elizabeth Gilliland

Today’s post spotlights a recently released cozy mystery by Elizabeth Gilliland – What Happened on Box Hill -An Austen University Mystery).

About the Book

What would happen if you combined all of Jane Austen’s characters into one modern-day novel?

Murder, of course.

When Caty Morland’s roommate, Isabella, falls to her death on Initiation night, Austen University is quick to cover up the scandal and call it a tragic accident. But avid true-crime lover Caty remains convinced that Isabella didn’t fall; she was murdered. With the help of Pi Kappa Sigma President Emma Woodhouse, Caty organizes a dinner party with the most likely suspects, including familiar faces such as Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet, Knightley, and Marianne Dashwood. The theme of the night is murder, and Caty has three courses to find out what happened to Isabella–and to try to keep the killer from striking again.

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win a print copy of What Happened on Box Hill.

About the Author

Elizabeth Gilliland teaches English at the university level, putting as much Austen into her syllabi as she can get away with. In 2018, she completed her Ph.D. from Louisiana State University, where she wrote her dissertation on Jane Austen adaptations and fever-dreamed this series in a caffeine-induced haze. She is a proud member of the Jane Austen Society of North America, and excerpts of the Austen University series have won awards through JASNA and Jane Austen & Co/The Jane Austen Summer Program. She lives in Alabama with her husband and son.

Author Links

Purchase Link – Amazon 

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

Release Spotlight & Giveaway: THE PERILS OF PARIS by Ana T. Drew

As part of a blog tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions, it’s time to help celebrate the release of The Perils of Paris, a new Provence cozy mystery by Ana T. Drew.


About the Book

When someone tries to kill her sister, it’s time for Julie Cavallo to don her sleuthing cap!

The Provence sweet shop owner rushes to the home of her twin sister in Paris. Julie’s main question is: Who would want Cat, a professional medium, dead? Unfortunately, Cat doesn’t have a clue. But since when has the absence of clues deterred Julie?

Soon enough, she uncovers a suspicious death, unsolved disappearances, and a spiritual community with a dark secret to protect. By the time Julie realizes she opened a big can of worms, she’s in too deep. And her life is in danger.

Cue the handsome captain Gabriel Adinian, Julie’s longtime crush. Why is he in Paris? Probably on assignment for the Gendarmerie Nationale. Or maybe a private matter unrelated to Julie. But what if he’s taken leave to watch over her? Then, Julie hopes he’ll do a little more than watch—professionally and… otherwise.

Can Julie, with the help of her friends, solve the far-reaching case and cheat death once again?

About the Author

Ana T. Drew is the evil mastermind behind the recent series of murders in the fictional French town of Beldoc. When she is not writing cozy mysteries or doing mom-and-wife things, she can be found watching “The Rookie” to help her get over “Castle”. She lives in Paris but her heart is in Provence. Visit ana-drew.com for a free cookbook and a game!

Giveaway

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

Excerpt from The Perils of Paris:

Locked doors have always done to me what waving a red rag does to a bull.

They make me want to ram through. They make me feel like it’s absolutely vital that I find out what’s behind them.

And if past experience is anything to go by, in the end I usually do.

Book Blast: MESSAGE IN A BULLET by Owen Thomas

Today, I am happy to let you know about a new mystery – Message in a Bullet (A Raymond Mackey Mystery – Book 1) by Owen Thomas. I haven’t read it yet, but it sounds interesting. Enjoy.

About the Book

Raymond Mackey is a struggling crime writer. His friends call him Mack. But friends are in short supply these days. Mack’s thirty years as a homicide detective came to the kind of abrupt, ignominious end that tends to make friends dry up and blow away. It matters little that Mack was never actually a mole working for a shadowy, seemingly omnipresent mob boss. Somehow, the evidence was there anyway and the scandal ended everything for him overnight. Lucky to stay out of prison, Mack lives in a netherworld of forced retirement, spinning his memories of old homicide cases into pulp fiction and working part time as a shopping mall cop. His wife Marlo, the greatest criminal investigator Mack has ever known, has been dead of pancreatic cancer for nearly five years. That leaves his ancient Smith-Corona Corsair, a pack of Camels, a bottle of Old Forester, and Marlo’s bourbon-loving cat, Phil, as Mack’s only company. 

Almost. Because Mack also keeps himself company. The psychiatrists call it Depersonalization-Derealization Disorder. Mack calls it Triple-D. But crazy also works. It means he watches himself, usually from an overhead perspective, as though someone has tied a floating camera to a back beltloop on a long string. It makes him feel watched, and not by someone inclined to judge him kindly. So Raymond Mackey comes complete with his own Greek chorus. “Watch yourself, Mack,” people tell him. He has no choice.

When one of Mack’s old informants goes missing and Mack’s face turns up in a dead man’s camera, his past comes roaring painfully back to life. Now the police want him for questioning, the mob want him dead and it’s increasingly difficult to tell who, exactly, is working for who. As a mercilessly hot Chicago summer finally breaks and it starts to rain bodies, Mack finds himself past his prime for this kind of action. Retirement has added weight and subtracted agility. He hasn’t fired a weapon in years. His antiquated cell phone will not stop ringing with a mysteriously blocked number. In the end, as Mack watches himself from above, it is razor-sharp instinct, cheap consumer electronics and his dead wife that offer his only hope.
Link to purchase:  Amazon