September 20, 2017

Cat Got Your Secrets by Julie Chase - Spotlight and Giveaway

Book details
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (September 12, 2017)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683312833

About the book
Lacy Marie Crocker has settled into a comfortable groove back home in New Orleans, and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, she’s busier than ever running a thriving pet boutique, helping her mother organize the upcoming National Pet Pageant, and untangling her complicated love life. But when delivering a king-sized order of dreidel-shaped doggy biscuits for a Saint Berdoodle’s bark-mitzvah, Lacy stumbles into yet another murder scene—and the last person to see the victim alive was her own father.

It’s up to Lacy to clear her dad’s name from the suspect list before Detective Jack Oliver has to cage him for good. But just when she starts pawing at the truth, she receives a threatening letter from a mysterious blackmailer bent on silencing her with her own secrets. And Lacy’s not the only one with bones in her closet.

Meet the author - Julie Chase
Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three spunky children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime. She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey. Learn more about Julie Anne Lindsey here.




September 12 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
September 12 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW
September 12 – Community Bookstop – INTERVIEW
September 13 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
September 13 – Books Direct – GUEST POST
September 14 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW
September 14 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
September 15 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, GUEST POST
September 16 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
September 16 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
September 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
September 18 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
September 18 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
September 19 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
September 19 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
September 19 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
September 20 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
September 20 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
September 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – COZY WEDNESDAY
September 21 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
September 21 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – INTERVIEW
September 22 – Jane Reads – REVIEW, GUEST POST
September 22 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 23 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 23 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
September 24 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
September 24 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
September 25 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW
September 25 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT

September 19, 2017

A Cajun Christmas Killing by Ellen Byron - Guest post and giveaway

Book details
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (October 10, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683313052

About the book
Maggie Crozat is back home in bayou country during the most magical time of the year. In Pelican, Louisiana, Christmastime is a season of giant bonfires on the levee, zydeco carols, and pots of gumbo. Except, this year, the Grinch has come to stay at the family-run Crozat Plantation B&B. When he floods travel websites with vicious reviews, Maggie thinks she’s identified him as rival businessman Donald Baxter. That is, until he’s found stabbed to death at Maggie’s workplace. And Maggie and her loved ones become top suspects.

The Crozats quickly establish alibis, but Maggie’s boyfriend, Detective Bo Durand, remains under suspicion. With Bo sidelined during the investigation, Maggie finds herself forced to work with an unlikely ally: longtime family enemy Rufus Durand. Her sleuthing uncovers more suspects than drummers drumming, and lands her in the crosshairs of the murderer.

The sleigh bells are jingling, and the clock is ticking for Maggie and Rufus, who must catch the killer or it will be the opposite of a Joyeux Noël in A Cajun Christmas Killing, the recipe-stuffed third installment of USA Today bestselling author Ellen Byron’s Cajun Country mysteries.

Meet the author - Ellen Byron
Body on the Bayou, the second in Ellen’s Cajun Country Mystery series, won the Left Coast Crime Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery, and was nominated for a Best Contemporary Novel Agatha Award. Her debut book in the series, Plantation Shudders, made the USA Today Bestsellers list, and was nominated for Agatha, Lefty, and Daphne awards. Ellen is also a recipient of a William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant from the Malice Domestic Convention. Her TV credits include Wings, Still Standing, and Just Shoot Me, as well as network and cable pilots. As a journalist, she’s written over 200 magazine articles for national publications. Her plays, published by Dramatists Play Service, include the popular Graceland and Asleep on the Wind. A native New Yorker and graduate of Tulane University, Ellen lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband, daughter, and the family’s spoiled rescue dogs.

Author Links

Purchase Links
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Guest post

I’ve been a television writer for (puts hand over mouth to hid how long) years. Mostly I’ve written for sitcoms like WINGS and JUST SHOOT ME. I recently finished a lengthy gig writing the animated Nickelodeon series, FAIRLY ODD PARENTS and BUNSEN IS A BEAST. I’ve written pilots for all the major networks and some cable ones as well. People often ask me what the difference is between writing for television and writing mysteries The answer? Everything.

First of all, I have a partner for writing television – we’re a female writer/producer team and that’s how we’re marketed by our reps. My CAJUN COUNTRY MYSTERY series is totally my own thing. But if I sold it to a network or studio, my writing partner and I would pen the script adaption of it together.

Writing for television is a social occupation. Writing novels is solitary. Although I’ve done dramas, my career has mainly been in comedy, so I’ll focus on that. As a sitcom writer-producer, I’m part of a staff that can be anywhere from a half dozen to a dozen or more writers offering various levels experience. I’ve worked on staffs that have fifteen writers. We work as a room to break stories. With most shows, once a story is broken, it’s assigned to someone on staff who goes off and writes a first draft. If there’s time in the production schedule, the writer will get notes and do a second draft. The entire staff then punches up the script, adding jokes, fixing story problems, etc.

When you’re in production, you’ll have three trains running – a story train, a production train, and a rewrite train. Multi-camera shows like BIG BANG THEORY are almost like plays. You go to run-throughs, and then come back to the writers room to rewrite based on what worked and what didn’t. There’s a studio run-through and a network run-through, and you have to address the notes given by the various executives. Then you shoot the show before a live audience. Sidebar: (BIG BANG THEORY follows a model where scripts are group-written in the room by the staff.)

My mysteries are totally my babies until they go to the publisher. It’s just my computer and me until I have a draft I want to share with beta reader friends. Once that’s polished, I send it to the publisher, who responds with developmental and copy edit notes. I get to revise and polish up until the book goes to print – and now with e-books, I’ve even made changes a year after publication!

I love having the combination of both writing experiences in my life. It provides a wonderful balance, and exercises different parts of my brain. Have I mentioned I also write plays and am a freelance journalist? But we’ll save that for another post…



September 17 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 18 – Valerie’s Musings – GUEST POST
September 18 – Bibliophile Reviews – INTERVIEW 
September 19 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST
September 20 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 20 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW
September 21 – My Journey Back – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
September 22 – Readeropolis – INTERVIEW
September 23 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
September 24 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 25 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 25 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 25 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
September 26 – The Mysterious Ink Spot – REVIEW
September 26 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
September 27 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
September 27 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 28 – I Wish I Lived in a Library – REVIEW
September 28 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
September 29 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 29 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – REVIEW
September 30 – Varietats – REVIEW
October 1 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
October 1 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW, GUEST POST

Passport to Murder by Mary Angela - Review and Giveaway

I received this book free from the publisher

Book details
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Camel Press (September 15, 2017)
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1603816533

About this book
Start with an unlucky number. Throw in a romantic location. Include a dashing Frenchman and an uncompromising professor. And you have all the ingredients for a passport to murder.

This semester, it seems that Professor Prather’s dreams are about to come true. Ever since she was a young girl, she’s imagined going to France, and her French colleague, André Duman, has finally made that trip possible. Over spring break, she and André are to lead a group of students and faculty to Paris to explore the City of Light. But before she can utter her first bonjour, a professor dies, and they are stuck in Minneapolis. She returns to Copper Bluff with an unstamped passport and a mystery to solve.

When André becomes the prime suspect, Emmeline puts her research skills to good use, determined to find out who really killed the professor and spoiled their spring break plans. With thirteen travelers assembled, the possibilities are varied and villainous. Luckily, her dear friend and sidekick, Lenny Jenkins, is close by. Together, they will sort through the conflicting clues even if it costs them time, trouble, or tenure.

Meet the author - Mary Angela
Like her protagonist in the Professor Prather mystery series, Mary Angela lives on the Great Plains and teaches college writing and literature. When she’s not grading papers (when is she not grading papers?), she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She and her husband have two amazing daughters, one adorable dog, and a cat who would rather not be limited by an adjective. For more information, go to

Author Links
Webpage Blog GoodReads Facebook Twitter

Purchase Links
Amazon B&N

My thoughts
I have not read the first book in this series but I was not in the least bit lost. This is a fun new series to me. I felt bad for Emmeline when her trip to Paris got cancelled as that is a dream of mine to go there. Then to have Andre become a suspect that had to be the icing on the cake so to speak. I liked how the author developed the characters and how they all play off of each other. Her descriptions of places were very detailed and you can feel a part of the story. I had a hard time figuring out who "did" it due to the number of suspects but that is part of what made this book fun for me. I will be reading more books by this author. 



September 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 15 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
September 17 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
September 18 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
September 19 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW 
September 20 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW 
September 20 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
September 21 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
September 22 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 23 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW 
September 24 – Varietats2010 – REVIEW
September 24 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
September 25 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW 
September 26 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW
September 26 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW

September 18, 2017

The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living by Amit Sood, M.D., M.Sc.

Book details
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong Books; 1 edition (December 24, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0738217123
ISBN-13: 978-0738217123

About the book
Have you ever driven several miles without noticing anything on the road, or read a page in a book without registering any of it? Do the day's worries and disappointments crowd your mind as you're trying to fall asleep at night? Do you feel stressed much of the time and aren't sure how to find peace? In this book, Amit Sood, M.D., M.Sc., a Mayo Clinic specialist in stress and resiliency, reveals how the mind's instinctive restlessness and shortsightedness generate stress and anxiety and presents strategies for living a more peaceful life. The book is based on the highly popular stress management program offered at Mayo Clinic that Dr. Sood developed after two decades of work with tens of thousands of people.

Drawing on groundbreaking brain research, Dr. Sood helps you understand the brain's two modes and how an imbalance between them produces unwanted stress. From this basis, you learn skills that will help you:

Develop deep and sustained attention
Practice gratitude, compassion and acceptance
Live a meaningful life
Cultivate nurturing relationships
Achieve your highest potential

All of these concepts are weaved into a practical and fun journey that has been tested in numerous scientific studies, with consistently positive results. Take the first step to discover greater peace and joy for you and your loved ones.

My thoughts:
I thought this was a good book. It gave me some good tips on how to deal with certain things in my life. The plan is to use these tips in my daily life.  One of the things I liked about this book was how the author got his points across by including stories of real people who have the same problems you do. He even shares things he deals with in his own life. I suggest keeping this book on hand in case you need to go back for some reminders. Myself, I plan on reading this book a second time. I wish I lived closer to the Mayo clinic as I think his workshop would be beneficial. I look forward to reading the Mayo's guide to happiness as well. 

September 17, 2017

Hair Brained by Nancy J. Cohen - Guest Post and Giveaway

Book details:
Cozy Mystery
14th in Series
Orange Grove Press (September 12, 2017)
Print Length: 342 pages

About this book:
Was the car crash an accident or a deliberate attempt to run Marla’s friends off the road?

When hairstylist Marla Vail’s best friend is hurt in a suspicious car accident, Marla assumes guardianship of her infant son. No sooner does Marla say, “Baby want a bottle?” than she’s embroiled in another murder investigation. Her husband, Detective Dalton Vail, determines the crash may not have been an accident after all. But then, who would want Tally–or Ken in the car with her–out of the way? As Marla digs deeper into her friends’ lives, she realizes she didn’t know them as well as she’d thought. Nonetheless, it’s her duty as their son’s guardian to ensure his safety, even if it means putting her own life at risk. Can she protect the baby and find the culprit before someone else ends up as roadkill?

Meet the author - Nancy J. Cohen
Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have made the IMBA bestseller list and been selected by Suspense Magazineas best cozy mystery. Nancy has also written the instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery. Her imaginative romances, including the Drift Lords series, have proven popular with fans as well. A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. When not busy writing, she enjoys fine dining, cruising, visiting Disney World, and shopping.

Author Links:
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Purchase Links:
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Guest post:

What’s in a Name? by Nancy J. Cohen

It’s important for fiction writers to choose character names that don’t sound alike. This is one of the hardest things for me to do. Some writers keep spreadsheets of the main characters and the secondary cast that shows up in different series volumes. I’ve tried this technique but it gets too complicated for me. So I keep my own Continuing Cast for the recurrent characters, and my list of suspects for each individual novel.

No matter how hard I try, I still end up with names like these in Hair Brained, #14 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries:


Is it worth the effort to change a name when you notice this indiscretion down the line? Sometimes it isn’t possible because you’ve introduced a person in a previous book. You can’t do anything about that one. You can only alter the names assigned to a newer story.

For example, in Trimmed to Death, my current work-in-progress, I started out with a food critic named Alton Paige. Then I noticed characters named Alyce and Arnie in the story. Whoops. I changed the food critic’s first name to Carlton. These slip-ups happen to me all the time as witnessed in Hair Brained. Here’s an interchange between Darryl and Dalton. Since these two people aren’t together too often in the story, I decided to leave it as is. Hopefully the suspense will keep readers turning pages rather than noticing the name similarities. Darryl is a suspect, while Dalton is a homicide detective. He’s also the husband of hairstylist and sleuth Marla Vail.

“Hey, guys, what are you doing here?” Darryl gazed at them in surprise. He’d forsworn his business attire for a sport shirt and shorts with boating shoes. He wore a baseball cap on his gray hair.

Dalton regarded the blonde in a bikini on the account executive’s arm. “We were hoping to speak to you in private.”

“Is that so? I’ll do the paperwork for my rental, and then you can have a few. Babe, why don’t you wait on that bench over there? I won’t be long.”

“We were wondering what you can tell us about Ryan,” Dalton began, when the three of them stood under the shade of a coconut palm on a grassy swale.

Not far away stood the familiar Bahia Mar resort, its white structure an icon in the area and the mecca for the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show. Valet parking at that stellar event cost sixty dollars per day. Was this the crowd Darryl emulated to join?

Darryl kicked at a pebble on the ground. “Ryan is a good kid. He’s personable with our clients, returns phone calls promptly, and gets the job done. I don’t see him staying in that position for any length of time.”

“What’s the alternative?” Dalton asked.

“He’ll jump ship as soon as a better offer comes along.”

“You don’t think he covets your role or Shawna’s?”

“We’re not going anywhere, so he’d have to seek a promotion at another place. His position is better suited to someone like Jeri, who’s content to get a salary with benefits and do the job. Ryan is on a career track. He makes no secret about it.”

“I understand his mother has Alzheimer’s disease. How can he afford to take care of her and own an expensive car?” Marla inquired. “I notice he has the latest tech gadgets, too.”

“Maybe his old lady has savings? I’ve never asked. As for the car, how do you know he owns it? He could have a lease.”

“That’s true.” She gave Dalton a thoughtful glance. “We were wondering if Ken found any irregularities among those two. You know, Jeri has an ill daughter. They both have the duty of caring for a loved one.”

Darryl glowered at her. “Ken wouldn’t tolerate any discrepancies in the books, if that’s what you mean.”

I find it infinitely more confusing when a writer gives a character an opposite gender name like Sam for a woman. Then I am constantly pondering the sex of this person until I get to know them better. A unisex name can be just as confusing. Is Chris a man or a woman? How about Alex? It helps to have some other way to identify this person.

Does it bother you when too many character names sound alike or don’t you notice?



September 12 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
September 12 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
September 13 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 13 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
September 14 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
September 14 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
September 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
September 15 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
September 16 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
September 17 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
September 18 – Deal Sharing Aunt – INTERVIEW
September 18 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
September 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST
September 19 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW
September 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
September 20 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 16, 2017

The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin - Review

I received this book free from the publisher

Book details
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Harmony (September 12, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1524760919
ISBN-13: 978-1524760915

About this book
In this groundbreaking analysis of personality type, bestselling author of Better Than Before and The Happiness Project Gretchen Rubin reveals the one simple question that will transform what you do at home, at work, and in life.

During her multibook investigation into understanding human nature, Gretchen Rubin realized that by asking the seemingly dry question "How do I respond to expectations?" we gain explosive self-knowledge. She discovered that based on their answer, people fit into Four Tendencies: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels. Our Tendency shapes every aspect of our behavior, so using this framework allows us to make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress, and engage more effectively. 

More than 600,000 people have taken her online quiz, and managers, doctors, teachers, spouses, and parents already use the framework to help people make significant, lasting change.
The Four Tendencies hold practical answers if you've ever thought...

· People can rely on me, but I can't rely on myself.
· How can I help someone to follow good advice?
· People say I ask too many questions.
· How do I work with someone who refuses to do what I ask—or who keeps telling me what to do?

With sharp insight, compelling research, and hilarious examples, The Four Tendencies will help you get happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative. It's far easier to succeed when you know what works for you.

Meet the author - Gretchen Rubin
Gretchen Rubin is one of the most thought-provoking and influential writers on the linked subjects of habits, happiness, and human nature. She's the author of many books, including the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers, Better Than Before and The Happiness Project. A member of Oprah's SuperSoul 100, Rubin has an enormous following, in print and online; her books have sold more than two million copies worldwide, in more than thirty-five languages, and on her popular daily blog,, she reports on her adventures in pursuit of habits and happiness. She also has a highly ranked, award-winning podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin. Rubin started her career in law, and was clerking for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor when she realized she wanted to be a writer. She lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.

My thoughts
Gretchen Rubin has a way of helping you figure out who you are and how to make changes in your life to better yourself. This book goes into specific details for each of the personality types she has talked about in her other books and podcast. You can take the test at the beginning of the book or on her website to find out what type of personality you have then come back to the book to learn what this means in your life. I like her writing style and how she makes things easy to understand. I also like that this book goes into detail for each tendencies and gives you a little more insight that her other books have on this issue. As with her other books I have read I felt better for having read them and will use the tips in my life. I think it could be read multiple times as you could come away with more with each reading. 

September 14, 2017

The Summer That Made Us by Robyn Carr - Review

I received this book free from the publisher

Book details
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: MIRA (September 5, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0778330869
ISBN-13: 978-0778330868

About this book
The brand-new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr that Kirkus calls "a blissful beach read." The Summer That Made Us is an unforgettable story about a family learning to accept the past, to forgive and to love each other again.

That was then…

For the Hempsteads, summers were idyllic. The lake was a magical place, a haven where they were happy and carefree. All of their problems drifted away as the days passed in sun-dappled contentment. Until the summer that changed everything.

This is now…

After an accident turned the lake house into a site of tragedy and grief, it was closed up. None of the Hempstead women speak of what happened, and relationships between them are uneasy at best to hurtful at worst. But in the face of new challenges, one woman is determined to draw her family together again, and the only way that can happen is to return to the lake and face the truth.

Robyn Carr has crafted another beautifully woven story about the complexities of family dynamics and the value of strong female relationships.

Meet the author - Robyn Carr
Robyn is the author of more than 50 novels, including 11 #1 New York Times bestsellers, as well as the beloved Virgin River and Thunder Point series. In 2016, she was awarded the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award from Romance Writers of America. Robyn and her husband live in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can visit Robyn Carr’s website at

My thoughts
I don't think I have read a Robyn Carr book that I have not loved. She has a way of making you feel as if you are at home in the pages of her books. The author makes the character feel so real. This story could be your own family. She takes real life situations and makes them end in a happy way. I liked how this story pulled at your heartstrings while reading it. It takes you on a emotional roller coaster as you read it. It took Meg getting sick to bring a family back together that was torn apart by a tragedy. Each of the ladies in this story have their own issues in their lives and going back to the lake can be a way to make things better. The way this book was written you felt as if you were along on the journey with the girls. As I always I highly recommend Robyn Carr's books to my book friends. 

The Soldier's Return by Laura Libricz - Spotlight

Book details
Publication Date: September 15, 2017
eBook & Paperback
Series: Heaven’s Pond Trilogy, Book Two
Genre: Historical Fiction

About the book
The year is 1626. A senseless war rips through parts of Germany. Ongoing animosity between the Catholics and the Protestants has turned into an excuse to destroy much of the landscape situated between France, Italy and Denmark. But religion only plays a minor role in this lucrative business of war.

The young dutchman, Pieter van Diemen, returns to Amsterdam in chains after a period of imprisonment in the Spice Islands. He manages to escape but must leave Amsterdam in a hurry. Soldiers are in demand in Germany and he decides to travel with a regiment until he can desert. His hope of survival is to reach Sichardtshof, the farm in Franconia, Germany; the farm he left ten years ago. His desire to seek refuge with them lies in his fond memories of the maid Katarina and her master, the humanist patrician Herr Tucher. But ten years is a long time and the farm has changed. Franconia is not only torn by war but falling victim to a church-driven witch hunt. The Jesuit priest, Ralf, has his sights set on Sichardtshof as well. Ralf believes that ridding the area of evil will be his saving grace. Can Pieter, Katarina and Herr Tucher unite to fight against a senseless war out of control?

The Soldier’s Return is the second book in the Heaven’s Pond Trilogy and will be released on 
September 15, 2017.

Available on Amazon

Meet the Author - Laura Libricz
Laura Libricz was born and raised in Bethlehem PA and moved to Upstate New York when she was 22. After working a few years building Steinberger guitars, she received a scholarship to go to college. She tried to ‘do the right thing’ and study something useful, but spent all her time reading German literature.

She earned a BA in German at The College of New Paltz, NY in 1991 and moved to Germany, where she resides today. When she isn’t writing she can be found sifting through city archives, picking through castle ruins or aiding the steady flood of musical instruments into the world market.

Her first novel, The Master and the Maid, is the first book of the Heaven’s Pond Trilogy. The Soldier’s Return and Ash and Rubble are the second and third books in the series.

For more information, please visit Laura Libricz’s website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

September 13, 2017

Highland Peril by Amy M. Reade - Guest Post and Giveaway

Book details
2nd in Series
Lyrical Underground (September 5, 2017)
Paperback: 218 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1516100187

About the book
Trading the urban pace of Edinburgh for a tiny village overlooking a breathtaking blue loch was a great move for budding photographer Sylvie Carmichael and her artist husband, Seamus—until a dangerous crime obscures the view . . .

Sylvie’s bucolic life along the heather-covered moors of the Highlands is a world away from the hectic energy of the city. But then a London buyer is killed after purchasing a long-lost Scottish masterpiece from Seamus’s gallery—and the painting vanishes. As suspicion clouds their new life, and their relationship, Sylvie’s search for answers plunges her into an unsolved mystery dating back to Cromwellian Scotland through World War I and beyond. And as she moves closer to the truth, Sylvie is targeted by a murderer who’s after a treasure within a treasure that could rewrite history . . . and her own future.

Meet the author - Amy M. Reade
Amy M. Reade is a cook, chauffeur, household CEO, doctor, laundress, maid, psychiatrist, warden, seer, teacher, and pet whisperer. In other words, a wife, mother, and recovering attorney. But she also writes (how could she not write with that last name?) and is the author of The Malice Series (The House on Candlewick Lane, Highland Peril, and Murder in Thistlecross) and three standalone books, Secrets of Hallstead House, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, and House of the Hanging Jade. She lives in southern New Jersey, but loves to travel. Her favorite places to visit are Scotland and Hawaii and when she can’t travel she loves to read books set in far-flung locations.

Author Links


Purchase Links
Amazon B&N

Guest Post
What Got Left Out of Highland Peril 

I’ve been very lucky to have visited Scotland twice in the past several years; both visits were partially for research on the first two books in my Malice series—The House on Candlewick Lane and Highland Peril.

Except for the first scene of the book, The House on Candlewick Lane is set in the Lothians, a rural area outside Edinburgh, and in Edinburgh itself. I was awed by the city when I first visited, and I worked hard to bring the sights and rich history of the ancient burg to my book.

But as much as I enjoyed Edinburgh, the place I long to return to is the Scottish Highlands, where the rugged landscape, the deep, cold lochs, and the heathery moors captured my heart like few places have ever done.

This is the place where much of Highland Peril is set. Oh, sure, I had to send the main characters to Edinburgh and London for short stints, but they love the Highlands as much as I do and they were always ready to head back home.

Today I want to share with you some of my photos of the Highlands and other parts of Scotland—places that didn’t make it into the book. I hope you enjoy the virtual tour!

From top to bottom, these are the village of Fortrose, in Rosemarkie, Fairy Glen, a place of almost mythical beauty not far from town, and the Dragon Teeth on Rosemarkie Beach. The “teeth” are only visible at low tide.  

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September 4 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
September 5 – Nadaness In Motion – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
September 6 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
September 7 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT – evacuated for hurricane
September 8 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
September 8 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
September 9 – The Editing Pen – INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
September 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
September 10 – The Power of Words – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
September 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy– INTERVIEW
September 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
September 13 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
September 14 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

Neespaugot by John Mugglebee - Review and Guest Post

I received this book free from the publisher

Book details
Publisher: Brandt Street Press (May 29, 2017)
Category: Historical Fiction, Native American Fiction, African American Fiction
Tour dates: Sept-Oct, 2017
ISBN: 978-0974260792
Available in Print & ebook, 378 pages

About the book
Melba Blue Jay, sixteen, scrambling up a snow-filled mountain path, her knife at a child’s throat. Archie Chung at the helm of the South Pacific Belle, foremast snapped like a toothpick, barreling toward a coral reef. Spindly Lydia Freeman, skin the color of dark ale, feeding tea made of birch bark to an Irish murderess. Zeke Roxxmott teetering at three hundred feet on the five-inch ledge of his penthouse, bent on a flawless destruction.

Adventurers, inextricably linked by a bloodline… and an Indian’s coin.

Where history and imagination meet!

John Mugglebee’s Neespaugot is based on the real-life exploits of his own ancestors. A sweeping historical saga of his Native American, African American, Scots-Irish, Chinese, Russian Jewish family, it spans three centuries with adventures that keep you turning page after page. You’ll fall in love with these characters, who stay with you long after you’ve put the book down.

Meet the author - John Mugglebee

John Mugglebee is a racial and ethnic jigsaw puzzle. His heritage, in chronological order, includes Native American, African American, Scots-Irish, Chinese and Russian Jew. John has said there were two major factors that shaped him as a person and a writer. One was “Being colored but not knowing which color.”

The other was upheaval. Born in Massachusetts, at age eleven he was uprooted to Southern California in the midst of the ’60s race riots. Growing up, John was told family stories that had been passed down for generations. Neespaugot is loosely based on those stories.

He currently lives in the South of France, where he heads a language laboratory for French Civil Aviation. John graduated from Dartmouth and earned a master’s in creative writing from Colorado State University. His previous novel, Renaissance in Provence, was published in 2004.


Buy Neespaugot: Legend of the Indian’s Coin by John Mugglebee

My thoughts:
I thought this was a very interesting book. It was a little different at first but the more I read it the more I enjoyed it. How each of the situations are all linked by the legend of the coin was kind of thought provoking. Then when you realize that these are all based on true events makes you really stop and think. I liked the details that the author included and that the stories spanned more than one generation. For me the Native American aspect is what drew me to the book. If you want a story about historical legends then this is the book for you.

Guest post
FOOD FOR THOUGHT, by John Mugglebee

Food conversations in France are as prevalent as weather comments in the United Kingdom. So, leave it to a couple of French friends to tease me over “a lack of gastronomy” in my historical novel Neespaugot. “Pourquoi? Don’t you appreciate fine cuisine?”

It was an interesting question. As a fiction writer, where did I stand on food scenes of any kind, gourmet or ham and potatoes? In general, eating can be an effective means of forwarding the action but, like sex, probably should be dosed with moderation lest it become cloying to the reader. Then, there’s the obvious point that what a character eats should fit his background every bit as much as his clothing and speech. The protagonists of Neespaugot, who are just trying to survive, eat for sustenance, not pleasure, hence the lack of fine cuisine.

Which leads to a cultural question: In Neespaugot, are the food scenes saying something about the history of American eating habits? I’d say yes. Starting from our first Thanksgiving, the act of partaking has always been central to American celebrations, with food as an ancillary pleasure. It is not what one eats but rather where and with whom one eats it.

I enjoy as much as the next person a good pot-au-feu, a goose cassoulet, a leg of lamb, a slice of foie gras or a bouillabaisse, washed down with a glass of red Châteauneuf-du-Pape, white Burgundy or chilled rosé from Provence. But the fact remains that my most memorable eating experiences have been as much about the unique venues and the good company as the fine food.

I hadn’t been in France long when Jean, the manager of the semi-professional rugby club I played for, invited me to visit his ancestral village 200 miles away, a tiny hamlet snuggled away in the rolling foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains, where Jean’s 75-year-old mother lived. Mimi tended a tidy garden of plum, apple and fig trees, melon, squash and lettuce patches and neat rows of tomato plants, and the air was perfumed with the scent of fennel. Mimi also had hutches, and as she showed me her rabbits, she asked me which one I liked. A city boy, I thought she meant which one was the cutest. Not wishing to disappoint, I singled out a rabbit at random. Mimi pulled out the animal and deftly dispatched it with a forceful karate chop to the back of the neck. Then, she repeated the act with another unfortunate creature, before skinning both and hanging them up to dry. Two days later, half the hamlet turned up bearing melons, charcuterie, tossed salads, tomato and onion dishes, cassoulets, cheeses, fresh strawberries, sweets and, of course, wines of all color and taste. The day was warm and bright and we gathered in the garden, around a banquet-sized table offering an unobstructed view of the high Pyrenees. Mimi brought out her rabbit-in-red-wine dish (civet) to a round of applause -- I paid secret penance to the sacrificial critters. Then, we dug in. The meal was delicious, but my strongest images are of spending a wonderful afternoon with some really good people. It was my first four-hour sit-down lunch.

A particular dinner in Tunisia evokes similar memories. We were packed into Ali’s pick-up truck, bouncing through the fertile valley of Dougga, passing donkeys and farmers wearing gelabas, destination El Krib, 100 miles southwest of Tunis. There were four of us making the trip: Ali, who worked construction half the year in France and half in Tunisia; Gwen, his English girlfriend; Raewyn, Gwen’s New Zealand friend; and me. We climbed through dusty barren hills, arriving at an isolated clearing just as the sun dipped behind the Atlas Mountains. Ali’s family home was in the middle of nowhere, a clay hovel attached to a series of rickety stables and mangers for sheep, cows, donkeys, goats and chickens, all guarded by several enormous dogs which we weren’t allowed to approach because they were more dangerous than the wolves they chased away each night. Ali’s family, some fifteen of them, greeted us as if we were the Heads of State. The women were dressed in colorful costumes, without veils or shawls. We washed our hands in a well bucket and sat on a dirt floor around an iron tub of couscous with vegetables and the lamb that had been slaughtered for the occasion. Later, stuffed to the gills, we stepped outside where the night air was cool, the star-lit heavens brighter than the dark silhouette of rolling hills. The howl of wolves had the dogs snarling, the sheep braying, the donkeys honking. It was like a scene out of the Bible, beautiful, mystical. The entire evening was a feast for the five senses.

These and similar experiences have taught me that, under certain circumstances, a meal can be a canvas allowing several emotions to play out. In Neespaugot, a fireside meal à deux in the forest leads a former prostitute into making actual love for the first time in her life; a picnic at the beach results in a couple of middle-aged virgins declaring a long-buried mutual love; and a wedding reception with former slaves becomes a celebration of freedom. When we partake of a meal, we share more than food. Together we become actors in a moment in time that can become life-defining and unforgettable.

Tour participants

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Sept 12 Interview & Giveaway
A Holland Reads Sept 13 Review & Guest Post
Between the Beats Sept 15 Review & Excerpt
My Reading Journeys Sept 18 Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway
The Page Turner Sept 19 Review, Excerpt, & Guest Post
Penny Amazon Reviewer Sept 20 Review
Lisa’s Writopia Sept 26 Review & Guest Post
Dolores Amazon Reviewer Oct 5 Review
Sheila’s Guests and Reviews Oct 11 Review & Guest Post
JBronder Book Reviews Oct 25 Review

Body on Baker Street by Vicki Delay - Spotlight

Book details
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (September 12, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683312994
E-Book ASIN: B06XW3K7F5

About the book
Gemma Doyle and Jayne Wilson are busy managing the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium on Baker Street and adjoining Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room in anticipation of the store’s upcoming book signing with the illustrious Renalta Van Markoff, author of the controversial Hudson and Holmes mystery series. But during the author Q&A session, dedicated Sherlockian Donald Morris verbally attacks Renalta and her series for disgracing Sherlock’s legacy, only to be publicly humiliated when the author triumphantly lashes back and gains the upper hand. That is until Renalta collapses on the table―dead.

Donald insists he didn’t do it and pleads to his friends to clear his name. Fortunately, Gemma and Jayne have no shortage of suspects between author’s bullied personal assistant, her frustrated publicist, the hapless publisher, a handsome rare book dealer, an obsessively rabid fan, and a world of other Sherlock enthusiasts with strong objections to Renalta’s depiction of the Great Detective. It’s up to the shrewd sleuthing duo to eliminate the impossible and deduce the truth before the West London police arrest an innocent man in Body on Baker Street, the second Sherlock Homes Bookshop mystery perfect for fans of Miranda James and Kate Carlisle.

Meet the author - Vicki Delany
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 twenty-five books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. Under the name of Eva Gates, she writes the Lighthouse Library cozy series for Penguin Random House. Her latest book is Body on Baker Street, the second in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series from Crooked Lane.

Vicki is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada. Her work has been nominated for the Derringer, the Bony Blithe, the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak, and the Arthur Ellis Awards. Facebook: Vicki Delany & Eva Gates and twitter: @vickidelany and@evagatesauthor

Purchase Links
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September 11 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 11 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 12 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW, GUEST POST
September 12 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
September 13 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 13 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
September 14 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
September 14 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
September 15 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
September 15 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW
September 16 – Varietats2010 – REVIEW
September 16 – Carole’s Book Corner – REVIEW
September 17 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW, GUEST POST
September 17 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 18 – CelticLady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
September 19 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW
September 19 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, GUEST POST
September 20 – Book Babble – REVIEW
September 20 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
September 21 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
September 22 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – INTERVIEW
September 22 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
September 22 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW
September 23 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 23 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 24 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 24 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW