venerdì 8 novembre 2019

Review & Giveaway: Apple Cider Slaying by Julie Anne Lindsey

Apple Cider Slaying 

(A Cider Shop Mystery)

by Julie Anne Lindsey

About Apple Cider Slaying

Cozy Mystery 
1st in Series 
Kensington (October 29, 2019) 
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages 
ISBN-10: 1496723473 
ISBN-13: 978-1496723475 
Apples are at the core of the family business run by Winona Mae Montgomery and her Granny Smythe. But this year’s crop is unseasonably ripe with murder . . .
Blossom Valley, West Virginia, is home to Smythe Orchards, Winnie and her Granny’s beloved twenty-five-acre farm and family business. But any way you slice it, it’s struggling. That’s why they’re trying to drum up business with the “First Annual Christmas at the Orchard,” a good old-fashioned holiday festival with enough delicious draw to satisfy apple-picking locals and cider-loving tourists alike—until the whole endeavor takes a sour turn when the body of Nadine Cooper, Granny’s long-time, grudge-holding nemesis, is found lodged in the apple press. Now, with Granny the number one suspect, Winnie is hard-pressed to prove her innocence before the real killer delivers another murder . .
Includes Recipes!
My Review
The cover, the plot, the setting prompted me to read this story and I wasn't disappointed. Apples, orchards, Christmas, family, murder how can you not love this story.
Winnie tries to save the family business by creating new apple cider and opening a shop to sell them. To do this they need funding but a corpse is found in the cider press which is the grandmother's number one enemy and Granny is the biggest suspect. Winnie has to investigate to save her grandmother and their orchard, irritating, however, the sheriff and the murderer.
Winnie is a great protagonist, she loves her family and their orchard, she has a wonderful relationship with her grandmother and she misses her grandfather who is no longer there. She is very sweet but also determined, intelligent. I also like her relationship with the sheriff especially as it changes throughout history.
It's written very well, there's a lot of suspense, twists and lots of little clues. I loved the setting this small rural town full of gossip but also of friendly and welcoming people.
Great debut for this new series, I can't wait to read the new adventures of Winona and her grandmother and above all I hope for new tasty recipes to try.
If you love cozy mysteries, apple cider and small rural communities this is the perfect book for you

About Julie Anne Lindsey

Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. When she's not creating new worlds and organizing the epic adventures of fictional characters, Julie can be found carpooling her three kids around Northeastern Ohio and plotting with her shamelessly enabling friends. Today, she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime.
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Review & Giveaway: Christmas Cupcakes and a Caper by D.E. Haggerty

Christmas Cupcakes and a Caper

 (Death by Cupcake) 

by D.E. Haggerty

About Christmas Cupcakes and a Caper

Cozy Mystery Novella 
4th in Series 
Independently Published (November 1, 2019) 
Number of Pages: 80

It’s all candy cane cupcakes and peppermint coffee until you find a dead elf on your doorstep.
Only the elf wasn’t a real elf, because elves don’t actually exist – not even at Christmas time. A college student dressed like an elf decided taking a nap in sub-zero winter temps was a good idea. It wasn’t. Anna, the pink-haired baker extraordinaire of Callie’s Cakes, is convinced the student’s death was not an accident. She drags Callie and Kristie along with her as she attempts to discover who killed the elf … um… student.
Will the gals of Callie’s Cakes find the killer before Christmas is ruined?
Cupcakes not included, although you’ll find recipes for all the delicious Christmas cupcakes Anna baked.
My Review
It was a short but very funny read, there are some hilarious scenes.
Anna, Callie and Kristie are very busy producing cupcakes and cookies for the holiday season when they find an elf on their door. At first they think he's drunk but they soon find out he's dead. He's a Callie student and he goes to Kristie's college but they don't know him so well. When the autopsy reveals that it was a murder, Anna cannot help but investigate even if she is overwhelmed with work. And her friends - colleagues can't leave her alone.
I really enjoyed reading about the relationship of the three women with their overprotective boyfriends. Although Callie is not having a good time with Ben. Anna is a stubborn and determined woman, Kristie is sweet and romantic.
I loved every single page, every chapter starts with a request to Santa and is full of delicious sweets, I have been mouth-watering from beginning to end. There is mystery, humor, romance, nothing is missing.
I can't wait to try the cupcake recipes
I recommend it to those who love cozy mysteries, cupcakes and short and fun stories

About D.E. Haggerty

I grew up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom's Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic before returning to the law. But practicing law really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out running a B&B wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where, in between tennis matches and failing to save the world, I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.
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sabato 2 novembre 2019

Review & Giveaway:Beware the East Wind by Barbara Barrett

Beware the East Wind

 (The Mah Jongg Mysteries) 

by Barbara Barrett

About Beware the East Wind

Cozy Mystery 
4th in Series
Bowker (August 17, 2019)
Paperback: 254 pages 
ISBN-10: 1948532182 
ISBN-13: 978-1948532181 
Digital ASIN: B07WJ7KYSW

Beware the east wind! It’s hurricane season in Florida, and everyone’s attention is focused on preparing for the latest tempest. But in Serendipity Springs, mah jongg pals Marianne, Sydney, Micki and Kat are caught in a different kind of whirlwind—a mesmerizing murder case involving a slain hypnotist/chef and the woman police suspect of doing her in, her embittered catering partner, Portia.
My Review
 was happy to read a new adventure of these four very nice friends. This time they have to solve a murder in the complicated hurricane period
Marianne neglects her friends a little, is often late and lost in her thoughts because of her plays. While Kat is neglected a little by Rick, the sheriff, who has to work overtime for a murder that took place in the city. The dead woman is Alice the hypnotist that Kat and her friends had seen the night before the murder at a fund-raising dinner.
It can be read as stand alone even if it is the fourth book in the series and even if you don't know Mah Jongg
It was a pleasant read, with lovable and realistic characters, a fascinating setting and a well written and engaging plot

About the Author

Barbara Barrett started reading mysteries when she was pregnant with her first child to keep her mind off things like her changing body and food cravings. When she’d devoured as many Agatha Christies as she could find, she branched out to English village cozies and Ellery Queen.
Later, to avoid a midlife crisis, she began writing fiction at night when she wasn’t at her day job as a human resources analyst for Iowa State Government. After releasing eleven full-length romance novels and one novella, she returned to the cozy mystery genre, using one of her retirement pastimes, the game of mah jongg, as her inspiration. Not only has it been a great social outlet, it has also helped keep her mind active when not writing.
Bamboozled, the second book in her “Mah Jongg Mystery” series, features four friends who play mah jongg together and share otherwise in each other’s lives. None of the four is based on an actual person. Each is an amalgamation of several mah jongg friends with a lot of Barbara’s imagination thrown in for good measure. The four will continue to appear in future books in the series.
Anticipating the day when she would write her first mystery, she has been a member of the Mystery/Romantic Suspense chapter of Romance Writers of America for over a decade. She credits them with helping her hone her craft.
Barbara is married to the man she met her senior year of college. They have two grown children and eight grandchildren.
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mercoledì 30 ottobre 2019

Release Blitz & Giveaway of Soul Bound II: The Wounded by Jas T. Ward

Soul Bound II: The Wounded

by Jas T. Ward 
Publication Date: October 30, 2019
  Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy, Gothic Romance

Cheat death and price is your life. Happiness… Jace Camden believed he had finally seized hold of that elusive concept. His life was brimming with love, friendship, and peace. Not only had he faced the demons of his past, he beat Death at its own game. Or so he thought... But when a woman Jace has never met wakes from a coma long enough to carve his name into her flesh, the “Dead Man’s Crew” is called to Ohio to investigate the case. Can the Soul Warrior save an innocent stranger from the deadly secret she is shackled to? Or will the icy talons of Death finally claim their long awaited prize? This time there is far more than life on the line, and Death… still doesn’t give a f*@k. Soul Bound is not just about the Happily Ever After… It’s about Surviving the Read. Again.

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About Jas T. Ward

Born and raised in Texas, Ward is a mixed bag of creativity spinning tales of paranormal, urban fantasy and even dark romance and horror; wrapped within a love story. She’s been dared to write a few contemporary romances but even those reads have characters that are real and twisted by their creator. Mother of three diverse and independent bold children, Ward prides herself for being the “Queen Niche’ Bitch” which is a handy way of saying she sucks writing to market. But her readers don’t seem to mind.

domenica 20 ottobre 2019

Review & Giveaway: Handmade Ho-Ho Homicide by Lois Winston

Handmade Ho-Ho Homicide 

(An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery)

by Lois Winston


About Handmade Ho-Ho Homicide

Cozy Mystery 
8th in Series
Independently Published 
Print Length: 212 pages 
Digital ASIN: B07VG2QZXV

Two and a half weeks ago magazine crafts editor Anastasia Pollack arrived home to find Ira Pollack, her half-brother-in-law, had blinged out her home with enough Christmas lights to rival Rockefeller Center. Now he’s crammed her small yard with enormous cavorting inflatable characters. She and photojournalist boyfriend (and possible spy) Zack Barnes pack up the unwanted lawn decorations to return to Ira. They arrive to find his yard the scene of an over-the-top Christmas extravaganza. His neighbors are not happy with the animatronics, laser light show, and blaring music creating traffic jams on their normally quiet street. One of them expresses his displeasure with his fists before running off.
In the excitement, the deflated lawn ornaments are never returned to Ira. The next morning Anastasia once again heads to his house before work to drop them off. When she arrives, she discovers Ira’s attacker dead in Santa’s sleigh. Ira becomes the prime suspect in the man’s murder and begs Anastasia to help clear his name. But Anastasia has promised her sons she’ll keep her nose out of police business. What’s a reluctant amateur sleuth to do?
Christmas craft projects included.
My Review
Christmas, cozy mystery, craft, how can I not love this book? Humor, twists and turns, adorable characters make this story truly engaging from the first to the last page.
Anastasia Pollack is a widow, her husband left her full of debts. The only positive note was Zack, her tenant who, in addition to bringing her an income, brought a little joy to her heart. Her most recent problem is her half brother-in-law Ira who makes her find a house full of Christmas lights that seems to be at the Rockefeller Center. When she tries to bring back his decorations she finds his house exaggeratedly full of lights, Christmas decorations and with deafening music and Ira surrounded by angry neighbors, one of whom hits him with a fist. The next morning Anastasia returns to finally leave the Grinch and the other characters but finds a corpse in Ira's sled. Ira is obviously the biggest suspect. Will Anastasia succeed in not investigating how she has promised his sons?
I loved Anastasia because she isn't a woman with super powers but a simple person with her flaws and her limits. She has two sons, a boyfriend Zack, a perfidious eighty-year-old communist mother-in-law with her terrible dog Mefisto, a troublemaker half brother-in-law.
I loved every page of this story, it's fun, fast paced with lots of humor, Christmas atmosphere, suspense, brilliant dialogues.
Although it is the eighth book of the series you can read it easily as a standalone, I had no problems.
This book is perfect for those who love Christmas and cozy mysteries.

About Lois Winston

USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick-lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is a former literary agent and an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry.
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giovedì 17 ottobre 2019

Review & Giveaway: Read and Buried by Eva Gates


Read and Buried: 

A Lighthouse Library Mystery 

by Eva Gates


About Read and Buried

Cozy Mystery 
6th in Series 
Crooked Lane Books (October 15, 2019) 
Hardcover: 325 Pages
ISBN-10: 1643852337 
ISBN-13: 978-1643852331 
Digital ASIN: B07P9MQV3F

Librarian Lucy Richardson unearths a mysterious map dating back to the Civil War. But if she can't crack its code, she may end up read and buried.
The Bodie Island Lighthouse Library Classic Novel Book Club is reading Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne while workers dig into the earth to repair the Lighthouse Library's foundations. The digging halts when Lucy pulls a battered tin box containing a Civil War-era diary from the pit. Tucked inside is a hand-drawn map of the Outer Banks accompanied by a page written in an indecipherable code.
The library is overrun by people clamoring to see the artifact. Later that night, Lucy and Connor McNeil find the body of historical society member Jeremy Hughes inside the library. Clearly Jeremy was not the only one who broke into the library--the map and the coded page are missing.
Lucy's nemesis, Louise Jane McKaughnan, confesses to entering the library after closing to sneak a peek but denies seeing Jeremy--or his killer. When Lucy discovers that fellow-librarian Charlene had a past with Jeremy, she's forced to do what she vowed not to do--get involved in the case. Meanwhile, the entire library staff and community become obsessed with trying to decode the page. But when the library has a second break in, it becomes clear that someone is determined to solve that code.
My Review
I have chosen to read this story fascinated by the setting, a bookcase in a lighthouse, really suggestive, the ideal job.
During the restoration of the lighthouse the workers find a tin box containing a very old notebook with strange contents, some pages seem written in code and seem to refer to a treasure map. The small town goes crazy, everyone wants to see it and try to decipher the code. The next morning, Lucy, the owner, and Connor, the mayor with whom she had an appointment, find the body of Jeremy, the new head of the Historical Society, and the map is gone. Even if Lucy wants to stay away from investigations every day she gets more and more involved and can't help but investigate.
It's a really compelling story that keeps you glued from the first pages, the plot is really well developed, there are many  interesting stories, many suspects and different twists. The characters are many and well developed, some adorable, others bizarre, other cheaters. All together they create a cozy, bizarre town, full of life of secrets and gossip.
Even if it's the sixth book of this series you can read it easily as standalone, I didn't have any difficulties
Highly recommended for those who love cozy mysteries

About Eva Gates

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than thirty books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing four cozy mystery series: the Tea By The Sea mysteries for Kensington, the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Penguin Random House, the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series and, as Eva Gates, the Lighthouse Library books for Crooked Lane.
Vicki is a past president of the Crime Writers of Canada and co-founder and organizer of the Women Killing It crime writing festival. She lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario.
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sabato 5 ottobre 2019

Release Blitz & Giveaway: Dating the DILF by Amali Rose

Title: Dating the DILF
Author: Amali Rose
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 4, 2019


A reality tv show filled with beautiful women vying for one hot daddy? And, cue scandal...

After years spent concentrating on raising his daughter, Miles Kent is pitched a chance at true love on a new reality dating show. It’s an opportunity so enticing that he’s willing to risk his heart on national television. What follows is a staged disaster that paints him as a cheating scumbag and earns him the title of The Most Hated Man in America.

Determined and tenacious, Charlotte Reed’s life revolves around work and her dream of becoming partner at Chicago’s most esteemed law firm. But the heart and brain often long for different things, as Charlotte quickly learns after a chance encounter with Miles. Falling for him hard and fast, she is soon dreaming of a future with him, and an angelic two-year-old with an unfortunate potty mouth.

Then, she stumbles across the footage and snarky sound bites from the show, and finds herself wondering which version of Miles is real. Will she allow his bad press to turn their lives into must-see tv? Or can she direct her own happily ever after?

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Vibrant blue eyes meet mine, full of mischief, and I allow myself a moment to imagine what it would feel like to look into eyes like that every day. The thought startles me and the moment comes to a quick end when he clears his throat and his teeth sink into his full bottom lip in, what I can only assume is, an attempt to fight the smile quirking his full lips. 
A fight he is losing.
A wave of fresh embarrassment washes over me and I duck my head in an effort to avoid his gaze.
“Don’t you just hate it when they don’t have your favorite flavor?” I force a smile and turn to move away, desperate to leave this moment of disappointment and mortification behind, when the deep timbre of his voice stops me.
“Trust me, nobody feels more passionately about ice cream than I do.” 
I glance up and take in his easy expression. He’s running a hand through his slightly unkempt, dark blond hair, a grin stretching across his face. I notice that his hair isn’t artfully tousled. You know the kind of messy that guys spend far too long on, in an effort to make it look effortless? Instead, it looks as though he spends his days running his hand through it, with zero care for his appearance. I try not to question why that endears this stranger to me.
“If they don’t have my Cherry Garcia, I will burn this place to the ground.” He leans toward me conspiratorially. “Can I trust you to have my back if shit goes down?” 
My answering laugh is loud and unexpected. Somehow this guy has managed to put me at ease and soothe my awkwardness. 
“Of course. Who better to have by your side at a time like that than a fellow ice cream annihilator, stranger or not,” I reply, my face the picture of earnestness.
“See, now, you get it!” He shakes his head gravely. “Not many people do.”

Author Bio

Amali Rose is an Australian author, and former blogger, who released her debut novella in 2017.

A self confessed bookworm, her love affair with the written word began as a child, with The Magic Faraway Tree. Her tastes have grown and evolved over the years, and after stumbling into the indie community a few years ago, she discovered her passion for romance with a side of smut.

When not reading or writing Amali enjoys baking, yoga, cheesy pop music & netflix marathons; and believes strongly that pink, puppies and chocolate make the world a better place!

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venerdì 4 ottobre 2019

Review & Giveaway: Galliano Gold by Traci Andrighetti

Galliano Gold

(Franki Amato Mysteries) 

by Traci Andrighetti


About Galliano Gold

Cozy Mystery
5th in Series 
Limoncello Press (October 1, 2019) 
Print Length: 327 page 
Digital ASIN: B07XXDC6X9
It’s Mardi Gras season in New Orleans, but PI Franki Amato has too many problems to celebrate. A proven Sicilian lemon tradition hasn’t landed her a proposal, so her nonna has amped up the meddling to get her married, and pronto. Franki’s also under pressure to solve the strange murder of a family friend’s nephew, Nick Pescatore, who was found on a Mississippi River steamboat rumored to be haunted. When the sinister old boat sets sail on an overnight gambling cruise, Franki goes undercover with a motley crew, including a Mark Twainophile captain with a murderous past and a slimy galley chef with a mobster brother, not to mention an ex-stripper landlady with a newfound career as a memoir writer and all-too public speaker. Franki has to figure out what missing Civil War gold, a playing card, and a mysterious woman on roller skates have to do with Nick’s death. If she doesn’t, it’s anchors aweigh for Franki—down to Davy Jones’ locker.
My Review
I love this author, every book of hers is a pleasant discovery, a perfect mix of laughter, romance and mystery.
Franki Amato must find out what happened to the nephew of a family friend, he is mysteriously missing . To do this she must work undercover on a haunted ship. Meanwhile, she is waiting for the much-desired marriage proposal
The characters are really colorful and bizarre, adorable. Franki and her crazy Italian family are the must of fun, especially Nonna.
It is the first book in this series that I read, I had no difficulty but I am very curious to read Franki's previous adventures.
The plot is very engaging that once started it is really hard to put it down, there are many twists, lots of romance but above all lots of laughs
For those who love cozy funny mysteries it is a must read.

About Traci Andrighetti

Traci Andrighetti is the USA TODAY bestselling author of the Franki Amato Mysteries and the Danger Cove Hair Salon Mysteries. In her previous life, she was an award-winning literary translator and a Lecturer of Italian at the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics. But then she got wise and ditched that academic stuff for a life of crime--writing, that is. Her latest capers are teaching mystery writing for Savvy Authors and taking aspiring and established authors on intensive writing retreats to Italy with LemonLit.
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October 2 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
October 2 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
October 3 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT - Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book October 4 – T's Stuff – RECIPE POST
October 4 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 5 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
October 5 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
October 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 7 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
October 8 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 9 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
October 10 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – GUEST POST
October 11 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST
October 11 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
October 12 – Cassidy's Bookshelves – REVIEW
October 12 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 14 – Laura's Interests – CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 14 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

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