Thursday, February 23, 2017

BOOK TOUR: Planted (The Penningtons Investigate #1) by C.T. Collier

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Book Information
Genre: Cozy Mystery
  • Series: The Penningtons Investigate
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 9, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1533221642
  • ISBN-13: 978-1533221643

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Synopsis: It’s Monday of spring break when Professor Lyssa Pennington’s backyard garden project unearths a loaded revolver. With no record of violence at their address and no related cold case, the Tompkins Falls police have no interest. But the Penningtons and a friend with the State Police believe there's a body somewhere. Whose? Where? And who pulled the trigger? 

The Penningtons’ canvass of their quiet neighborhood turns up disturbing secrets about the family that lived in their house for decades and another ill-fated family a few doors away. No one can say where the two families' only sons are. Lyssa follows the money story and finds twenty million dollars, a neighbor who’s not what he seems, and a long-buried rivalry. Kyle goes after homicide data in six states and finds a body. Their next surprise is a murderer who will go to any length to conceal the crime. 


Purchase Links
Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/huqsd54

Review: This was a great read--the plot is well-developed, as are the characters. The pacing is such that it keeps you reading to find out what is going to find out next. It was also impressive that the characters are allowed to be human, with real flaws: alcoholism and recovery, panic attacks, irritation, intimidation, presumption, and arguing. There is also a fascinating group of supporting characters from the small college town where they live. Some of the action in the book seemed a little far-fetched, but it was overall an energetic, exciting read.

**I received a copy of this book with no expectation of a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

Rating: Four stars

About the author
 photo CT-Collier-author_zpsypcvui5t.jpg C. T. Collier grew up in Seneca Falls, NY, left the area for college and jobs, and always wanted to return to the Finger Lakes. Today she lives in a beautiful small city on one of the prettiest of the Finger Lakes, not unlike fictional Tompkins Falls on lovely Chestnut Lake. Most days you’ll find her writing in her tiny office looking out on a woods populated with fox, deer, wild turkeys, and songbirds. In her career as a tech-savvy college professor, she has been endlessly fascinated with campus intrigue. Entirely fictional, Tompkins College is no college and every college.  

Contact Information
Facebook: /kate.collier.315
Twitter: @TompkinsFalls

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Pick Your Potion (Witch's Brew Cozy Mystery, #1) by C.C. Dragon

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Book Information
  • Series: Witch's Brew Cozy Mystery
  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 12, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1542914582
  • ISBN-13: 978-1542914581
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Synopsis: Gypsies, vamps, and weres…these are just some of the people powerful witch Claudia Crestwood and her friends protect. In the city of Hartford, Connecticut—years before Salem, there were witch trials. Now the paranormal coexist with humans, more or less. With the help of her hippie aunt and cousins, her gypsy uncle, and other paranormal friends, Claudia stands on the line between humans and paras—helping to keep the peace.


When a human customer dies after an incident at the coffee shop, Claudia must dig into the case to protect the cafe and the coven. Threats have been made and what’s worse, she’s harboring a hunter wanted by the police in her basement. A hot and powerful wizard starts showing up in the shop when Claudia needs help and is at her worst. Intriguing and annoying… She isn’t sure she can trust him and his reclusive family but it’s time for her to dig deeper into the magical world.



Pre-Order/Purchase for 99¢: Kindle | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

156 pages | Prices goes up to $2.99 on Feb 28th


Review: As soon as I read the synopsis of this book, I was hooked. A paranormal cozy centered around a coffee shop--what a great idea. And I must say the story lived up to my expectations. 

Claudia is an easy to like character, with a lot of responsibility on her shoulders. Not only does she have to keep the coffee shop running, but she is also the witch responsible for keeping the peace between humans and paranormals, which is never an easy task. Add in trying to solve a murder of one of her human customers, and having her grieving husband accuse the coffee shop of being involved....and it all adds up to a fast-paced ride.

You'll find elements of fantasy, paranormal, mystery, suspense, humor, and romance in this story, and will have a tough time putting it down once you start reading. I can hardly wait to get to know the characters better, and to find out about Claudia's secret.

**I received an early review copy of this book with no expectation of a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

Rating:  Four stars


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About the author
A loyal Chicago girl who loves deep dish pizza, the Cubs, and the Lake, C.C. Dragon is fascinated by mysteries, sleuthing, as well as the supernatural. The southern connection comes in because her sister moved down there and the material was too fun and entertaining not to set a series there.

C.C. loves creating characters, especially amateur sleuths who solve crimes in their spare time. A coffee and chocolate addict who loves fast cars, she’s still looking for a hero who likes to cook and clean…so she can write more!

Sign-up for news and special offers from C.C. Dragon and receive three free books!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Winter's Tail (Whales and Tails #11) by Kathi Daley

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Book Information
Genre: Cozy mystery
  • Series: Whales and Tails Cozy Mystery
  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 14, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1542563585
  • ISBN-13: 978-1542563581

Synopsis: Three secrets, first revealed in Grimm's Furry Tail, A Tale of Two Tabbies, and The Cat of Christmas Present, collide in a single horrific moment that leaves one person dead and one fighting for their life. This fast paced cozy mystery will have you glued to the page as Cait and Cody join forces with a cat named Moirai in a race against time to track down a killer.

Review: As stated in the synopsis, this story involves secrets which were revealed in three prior stories, so I highly suggest you read those before jumping into this one. 

I love this series and seeing some of these secrets being revealed to the right people at the right time was a great payoff for the characters as well as the readers. At least one of the secrets doesn't involve a happy ending, however, so be prepared for that as well. 

The mystery in this story was a trickier one than usual, IMO. The things that seemed like clues turned out not to be, and the red herrings seemed to outweigh the real clues. I was totally surprised by the reveal of the killer, and saddened by the events which prompted that person's actions. 

The end of this story seems to point toward some new characters for future stories, so I can't wait to see how that all works out. I hope it will bring some happiness to one of members of the "Scooby Gang," who truly deserves it.


Rating: Four stars

About the author
 photo 7278377_zpsrbaidukn.jpg Author of the Zoe Donovan cozy Mystery Series, Tj Jensen Paradise Lake Mystery series, Whales and Tails Cozy Mystery Series, Sand and Sea Hawaiian Mysteries, and Seacliff High Teen Cozy Mystery Series. 

Come for the murder, stay for the romance.

Kathi lives in the beautiful alpine community of Lake Tahoe with her husband Ken and dog Echo. When she's not writing she enjoys hanging out on the beach with her children and grandchildren. During the summer she enjoys hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, wakeboarding, and sunset cruises on the lake. During the winter she enjoys cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and curling up by a fire with a good book.

Kathi uses her mountain home as inspiration for her books, all which include appearances by the wildlife she shares her life with. 

Visit Kathi Daley:

Blog - http://kathidaleyblog.com 

Facebook at Kathi Daley Books, www.facebook.com/kathidaleybooks 

Kathi Daley Teen - www.facebook.com/kathidaleyteen 

Kathi Daley Books Group Page - https://www.facebook.com/groups/569578823146850/

Kathi Daley Books Birthday Club- get a book on your birthday - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1040638412628912/ 

Kathi Daley Recipe Exchange - https://www.facebook.com/groups/752806778126428/ 

Webpage - www.kathidaley.com 

E-mail - kathidaley@kathidaley.com 

Recipe Submission E-mail - kathidaleyrecipes@kathidaley.com 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7278377.Kathi_Daley

Twitter at Kathi Daley@kathidaley - https://twitter.com/kathidaley 

Tumblr - http://kathidaleybooks.tumblr.com/

Pinterest - http://www.pinterest.com/kathidaley/ 

For weekly updates and contests sign up for her newsletter The Daley Weekly at (http://eepurl.com/NRPDf)or by accessing the link on her Facebook page or website.

Magicless in Nevermore (Witches of Nevermore Book 1) by Violet Merriweather

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Book Information
Genre: Paranormal cozy mystery
  • File Size: 1064 KB
  • Print Length: 283 pages
  • Publication Date: July 30, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01JE26JD6

Synopsis: TONIGHT SHE’S GOING TO FIND HER MAGIC OR DIE TRYING—HOPEFULLY IN THAT ORDER. AND WITHOUT DYING. 

Cassandra Holly is just your average witch living in Nevermore. Except for the witch part. To be a witch, to stay in Nevermore—and in enchanting distance of her family—she needs to find her magic.

Now.

Against all odds, she does.

Sort of.

FINDING HER MAGIC IS WHEN EVERYTHING GOES WRONG.

Coming into her magic is a dream come true. Stumbling onto a crime scene where the most powerful—and crankiest—witch in Nevermore’s history has been murdered? Not so much. Being hired by the witch’s ghost to find the killer? Verging into nightmare territory.

Ordinarily, Cassie would have left the crime solving to the experts. But it turns out the ghost is not only well-versed in cranky, but coercion as well, and she isn’t going to take no for an answer.

GHOSTLY DESPOT ASIDE, WHAT IF THE MURDER WAS SIMPLY A RED-HERRING?

The more Cassie learns about the murder, the more she realizes something more nefarious is afoot. And if she doesn’t figure out the true mystery in time, she’ll lose her magic, her family, her home.

And quite possibly herself.
 

Review: First in a new paranormal cozy series, this is a fun read. There is magic, humor, murder and even romance. 

Cassie is an interesting character: she is a bit immature at times, but she is relatable and also grows in maturity as the story unfolds. 

The entire town of Nevermore and the premise of a place hidden from the nonmagic folk is fascinating, as are the descriptions of the variety of talents displayed by the inhabitants. Cassie's parents and siblings are an important part of her life, and of the story, as is her good friend Willow. 

The cranky ghost of Maude is hilarious throughout the story, but she offers invaluable clues to the solving of her murder. 

The final reveal is well done, and quite a surprise. There is also a hint at the end of the second story to come, which I look forward to reading very soon.

**I received a copy of this book from the author with no expectation of a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

Rating: Four stars

About the author
Violet grew up on a diet of fables, fiction, and fairy tales. Now that she’s older, she’s discovered a taste for murder, mystery, and magic. Visit violetmerriweather.com to learn more.

Monday, February 20, 2017

NEW RELEASES/FREE AND BARGAIN BOOKS Weekly Link Up


Sharing the Love of Books
Enjoy our selection of New Releases / Free & Bargain Books this week

Authors please feel free to add your own books
Readers please free to add your own finds
(any genre except erotica welcome)

This weekly link up is hosted by Beck Valley Books & these awesome book loving blogs...
Monday
 Leels Loves Books | IrishdaisylovesRomance | Book Babble
Tuesday
Celticlady's Reviews | First Time Mommy Adventures 
Wednesday
Beck Valley BooksCinnamon Hollow Reviews
Thursday
Miki's Hope | Nicki's Nook
Friday
Ebook Addicts | I Love Romance |
Colorimetry
Saturday
3 Partners in Shopping | I Create Purty Thangs | Wishful Endings 
Sunday

For Pre-orders post - PRE-ORDER / genre / title /author
For New Releases post - NEW / genre / title / author
For Free Books post - FREE / genre / title / author / end date 
For Bargain Books post - SALE / price / genre / title / author / end date
(Strictly no Erotica please.  Steamy romance is fine but watch those covers people, incase any underage child is viewing it!)

Here is this weeks awesome selection!

Would you like to share our linkup on your site? click here
Would you like to become a weekly host? sign up here


Come back and check out the new selection every week x


Saturday, February 18, 2017

BLOG TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: Death In Advertising (Tobi Tobias #1) by Laura Bradford

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Death in Advertising (A Tobi Tobias Mystery)
1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Lyrical Underground (February 7, 2017)
Approximately 300 PAGES
ASIN: B01FBZXSFW


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Synopsis: When Tobi Tobias decided to open her own ad agency, having to moonlight in a pet shop wasn’t part of her vision . . . of course, neither was murder.
 
Sometimes when opportunity knocks, the door you open leads to a closet. That’s certainly the case for Tobi, whose weekends spent cleaning cages in her best friend’s pet shop may soon be over. She’s just landed her first big break—Zander Closet Company needs a catchy campaign slogan ASAP, and Tobi thinks she’s got the right hook to knock ’em dead: “When we’re done, even your skeletons will have a place.”
 
But when a real dead body topples out of a showcase closet, she’s about to discover there is such a thing as bad publicity. To save her fledgling business and not get killed by the competition, Tobi takes on a new pet project: solving the murder. But with a stressed-out parrot as the only witness to the crime, Tobi will really have to wing it to put the cagey killer behind bars.


Review: I have read other books by this author and enjoyed them immensely, so I was thrilled to hear that she was beginning a new series, and jumped at the chance to read it. I was not disappointed...in fact, I think this is now my favorite of the many series she has written.

The main character, Tobi Tobias, is quirky and fun. She worries about the snort in her laugh, has a minor addiction to Cocoa Puffs and eats at McDonald's--definitely things I can relate to (especially if you substitute Lucky Charms for Cocoa Puffs!). She runs an advertising agency, but is having some trouble getting it off the ground, so she works part-time at a friend's pet shop to help make ends meet. Oh, and because of her name, people who don't know her are generalHly expecting to meet a man, not a woman.

Her circle of friends is full of quirky and relatable characters as well. I love her interactions with her neighbors Carter and Miss Rapple and was impressed with the friendship she has with Sam, the teen photographer.  Grandpa Stu is also a real hoot, and I hope we'll see more of him in the future.

The plot of the story is fast paced and well developed. I enjoyed the budding romance--and had a suspicion midway through the book who the mystery man from the pet shop was going to be. The murder mystery was not quite so easy to figure out, however...I went in a couple of wrong directions prior to the reveal.

**I received an ARC of this book with no expectation of a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

Rating: Four stars

About the author
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While spending a rainy afternoon at a friend’s house more than thirty years ago, Laura Bradford (a.k.a. Elizabeth Lynn Casey) fell in love with writing over a stack of blank paper, a box of crayons, and a freshly sharpened number two pencil. From that moment forward, she never wanted to do anything else.
Today, Laura is the national bestselling author of the Amish Mysteries, the Jenkins & Burns Mysteries, and the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries (written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey). A new cozy mystery series will be added to the mix in 2016 with the release of The Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries. Laura is a former Agatha nominee and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award in romance. In her free time, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, traveling, baking, and visiting the sea lions at the Central Park Zoo. For more information and all the latest book news, visit her website at www.laurabradford.com.
Author Links
Twitter:  @bradfordauthor
  Purchase Links:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Big Overnight (Stella Reynolds Mysteries #3) by Libby Kirsch

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Book Information
  • Series: Stella Reynolds Mystery Series
  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Sunnyside Press; 1 edition (October 30, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0996935037
  • ISBN-13: 978-0996935036

Synopsis: Sometimes The End is just The Beginning. 

When the suspect in a Knoxville shooting confesses on camera, police say the case is closed. But then TV reporter Stella Reynolds gets an anonymous email that changes everything. 

As she picks her way through a field of untruths and half-lies, she discovers everyone around has secrets they’re desperate to keep—including the people closest to her. With the body count rising, Stella won’t stop digging until she lays all the secrets bare. It will cost her friendships and might even put her life in danger. 

Her work and personal lives collide in this exciting third installment of the Stella Reynolds Mystery Series. Start reading now to find out if she can track down the real killer before she reaches the ultimate deadline.


Review: This is a fun and fast-paced cozy mystery which will keep you glued to your seat and rapidly turning pages to find out what will happen next and how it all plays out. Although it is the third in the series, it is a stand alone novel, as are the others in the series (which I have not read, but have purchased since reading this one!). There are a few mentions of people and events from the past, but not enough to distract from this story if you haven't read the others. 

Stella is a very determined character, and you know fairly early on that she won't stop till she gets all the details of this case sorted out. She has some rather hilarious moments at work and in her personal life, as well as a few suspenseful ones, all of which add to the enjoyment of reading the book.

The supporting characters, both in and out of the newsroom, also add to the story in a variety of ways. Her roommate, Janet, is one of my favorite supporting characters, as is Lucky, the racecar driver. I look forward to seeing from the first two books how those relationships started, and hope they both continue to develop in future stories.

**I received a copy of this book from the author, with no obligation to provide a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

Rating: Four stars

About the author
 photo edd67ae68603b6f9209e96e4105c32d9_zps5z0jtzt7.jpeg
 Libby Kirsch is an Emmy award winning journalist, with over ten years experience working in television newsrooms of all sizes.  She draws on her rich history of making embarrassing mistakes on live TV and is happy to finally indulge her creative writing side, instead of always sticking to the facts. 
Libby lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her husband and three children.  In between writing chapters, she can be found having dance parties in the kitchen, riding bikes to the park, and waiting for coffee to brew.

Monday, February 13, 2017

NEW RELEASES/FREE AND BARGAIN BOOKS Weekly Link-Up


Sharing the Love of Books
Enjoy our selection of New Releases / Free & Bargain Books this week

Authors please feel free to add your own books
Readers please free to add your own finds
(any genre except erotica welcome)

This weekly link up is hosted by Beck Valley Books & these awesome book loving blogs...
Monday
 Leels Loves Books | IrishdaisylovesRomance | Book Babble
Tuesday
Celticlady's Reviews | First Time Mommy Adventures 
Wednesday
Beck Valley BooksCinnamon Hollow Reviews
Thursday
Miki's Hope | Nicki's Nook
Friday
Ebook Addicts | I Love Romance |
Colorimetry
Saturday
3 Partners in Shopping | I Create Purty Thangs | Wishful Endings 
Sunday

For Pre-orders post - PRE-ORDER / genre / title /author
For New Releases post - NEW / genre / title / author
For Free Books post - FREE / genre / title / author / end date 
For Bargain Books post - SALE / price / genre / title / author / end date
(Strictly no Erotica please.  Steamy romance is fine but watch those covers people, incase any underage child is viewing it!)

Here is this weeks awesome selection!

Would you like to share our linkup on your site? click here
Would you like to become a weekly host? sign up here


Come back and check out the new selection every week x


Monday, February 6, 2017

#BabyLove: My Toddler Life by Corine Dehghanpisheh

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BOOK INFORMATION
  • Age Range: 2 - 5 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Series: #BabyLove
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: My Art to Inspire (September 20, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 099789850X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0997898507

Synopsis: In #BabyLove: My Toddler Life, a new children’s picture book by Corine Dehghanpisheh, a curious toddler loves to play… especially with his mommy’s smartphone!

When Mommy finds him using her phone without permission, it’s the perfect teaching moment.  Mommy reminds her little one that what matters most in life is time together filled with love and attention.

Her simple reminder:  Put down our phones.

#BabyLove: My Toddler Life is the second book in Corine’s #BabyLove Book Series.  The first book in the series, #BabyLove: My Social Life, won the Next Generation Indie Book Award for Picture Books 0-5.


Review: This is an easy to follow story, written in poetry, with bright cheerful illustrations which help to enhance the story. The main message of the story is aimed more at the parents than the children, in that it shows how important it is to do things in moderation AND to model that for your child. The main focus of this story is the smartphone, but the lesson can be applied in many other areas of our lives as well. 

Rating: Five stars

About the author
 photo 5818539_zpslq89yfgz.jpg Corine Dehghanpisheh is an award-winning author, whose own family life serves as inspiration for her fun and engaging children’s books. She holds a Master’s Degree in Creative Arts Therapy & Creative Development from Pratt Institute in New York City. 

Ms. Dehghanpisheh currently resides in Dallas, Texas with her family. There she continues to write the #BabyLove series, focused on the blending of modern technologies with classically familiar child-raising situations.

The 2nd book in the series #BabyLove: My Toddler Life is now available along with #BabyLove: My Social Life, which is a Next Generation Indie Book Awards winner.

Her debut children's book Can We Play Again? is a Mom's Choice Awards® Silver Recipient and a Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist for her debut children's book Can We Play Again? Corine's inspiration for this book came from her work as a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist in NYC.

NEW RELEASES/FREE AND BARGAIN BOOKS Weekly Link-up


Sharing the Love of Books
Enjoy our selection of New Releases / Free & Bargain Books this week

Authors please feel free to add your own books
Readers please free to add your own finds
(any genre except erotica welcome)

This weekly link up is hosted by Beck Valley Books & these awesome book loving blogs...
Monday
 Leels Loves Books | IrishdaisylovesRomance | Book Babble
Tuesday
Celticlady's Reviews | First Time Mommy Adventures 
Wednesday
Beck Valley BooksCinnamon Hollow Reviews
Thursday
Miki's Hope | Nicki's Nook
Friday
Ebook Addicts | I Love Romance |
Colorimetry
Saturday
3 Partners in Shopping | I Create Purty Thangs | Wishful Endings 
Sunday

For Pre-orders post - PRE-ORDER / genre / title /author
For New Releases post - NEW / genre / title / author
For Free Books post - FREE / genre / title / author / end date 
For Bargain Books post - SALE / price / genre / title / author / end date
(Strictly no Erotica please.  Steamy romance is fine but watch those covers people, incase any underage child is viewing it!)

Here is this weeks awesome selection!

Would you like to share our linkup on your site? click here
Would you like to become a weekly host? sign up here


Come back and check out the new selection every week x


Sunday, February 5, 2017

BOOK TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: Child's Play (An Elle Harrison Thriller) by Merry Jones

Child's Play by Merry Jones

Child's Play

Merry Jones

February 1-28, 2017 Tour

Synopsis:

Child's Play by Merry JonesSince her husband’s murder two years earlier, life hasn’t been easy for Elle Harrison. Now, at the start of a new school year, the second grade teacher is determined to move on. She’s selling her house and delving into new experiences―like learning trapeze.
Just before the first day of school, Elle learns that a former student, Ty Evans, has been released from juvenile detention where he served time for killing his abusive father. Within days of his release, Elle’s school principal, who’d tormented Ty as a child, is brutally murdered. So is a teacher at the school. And Ty’s former girlfriend. All the victims have links to Ty.
Ty’s younger brother, Seth, is in Elle’s class. When Seth shows up at school beaten and bruised, Elle reports the abuse, and authorities remove Seth and his older sister, Katie, from their home. Is Ty the abuser?
Ty seeks Elle out, confiding that she’s the only adult he’s ever trusted. She tries to be open-minded, even wonders if he’s been wrongly condemned. But when she’s assaulted in the night, she suspects that Ty is her attacker. Is he a serial killer? Is she his next intended victim?
Before Elle discovers the truth, she’s caught in a deadly trap that challenges her deepest convictions about guilt and innocence, childhood and family. Pushed to her limits, she’s forced to face her fears and apply new skills in a deadly fight to survive.

Review: This is my favorite book so far this year. It sent me on several false leads as to who did what....and the reveal at the end scared the heck out of me!

Elle is an interesting character. While she appears level-headed and responsible most of the time, she also has moments when she gets lost in her own head, which her friends refer to as "pulling an Elle." She also sees and hears her dead husband, as well as several of the murder victims from this story--but realizes they are figments of her imagination.

The supporting cast of her three best friends...Susan, Jen and Becky...are perfect foils for Elle. Their personalities complement each other and they make a wonderful friendship circle.

While this is the third book in the series, it works perfectly well as a stand-alone. There are some references to past events, but not enough to make it difficult to follow along.

**I was given a copy of this book with no expectation of a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

Rating: Five stars

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller, Suspsense
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: January 3rd 2017
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 1608091910 (ISBN13: 9781608091911)
Series: Elle Harrison Thriller #3 (Each can be read as a Stand Alone Novel)
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Goodreads 

Read an excerpt:

I was the first one there.
The parking lot was empty, except for Stan’s pickup truck. Stan was the custodian, tall, hair thinning, face pock-marked from long ago acne. He moved silently, popped out of closets and appeared in corners, prowled the halls armed with a mop or a broom. In fourteen years, I couldn’t remember a single time when he’d looked me in the eye.
Wait—fourteen years? I’d been there that long? Faces of kids I’d taught swirled through my head. The oldest of them would now be, what? Twenty-one? Oh man. Soon I’d be one of those old school marms teaching the kids of my former students, a permanent fixture of the school like the faded picture of George Washington mounted outside the principal’s office. Hell, in a few months, I’d be forty. A middle-aged childless widow who taught second grade over and over again, year after year, repeating the cycle like a hamster on its wheel. Which reminded me: I had to pick up new hamsters. Tragically, last year’s hadn’t made it through the summer.
I told myself to stop dawdling. I had a classroom to organize, cubbies to decorate. On Monday, just three days from now, twenty-three glowing faces would show up for the first day of school, and I had to be ready. I climbed out of the car, pulled a box of supplies from the trunk, started for the building. And stopped.
My heart did triple time, as if responding to danger. But there was no danger. What alarmed me, what sent my heart racing was the school itself. But why? Did it look different? Had the windows been replaced, or the doors? Nothing looked new, but something seemed altered. Off balance. The place didn’t look like an elementary school. It looked like a giant factory. A prison.
God, no. It didn’t look like any of those things. The school was the same as it had always been, just a big brick building. It seemed cold and stark simply because it was unadorned by throngs of children. Except for wifi, Logan Elementary hadn’t changed in fifty years, unless you counted several new layers of soot on the bricks.
I stood in the parking lot, observing the school, seeing it fresh. I’d never paid much attention to it before. When it was filled with students, the building itself became all but invisible, just a structure, a backdrop. But now, empty, it was unable to hide behind the children, the smells of sunshine and peanut butter sandwiches, the sounds of chatter and small shoes pounding Stanley’s waxed tiles. The building stood exposed. I watched it, felt it watching me back. Threatening.
Seriously, what was wrong with me? The school was neither watching nor threatening me. It was a benign pile of bricks and steel. I was wasting time, needed to go in and get to work. But I didn’t take a single step. Go on, I told myself. What was I afraid of? Empty halls, vacant rooms? Blank walls? For a long moment, I stood motionless, eyes fixed on the fa├žade. The carved letters: Logan School. The heavy double doors. The dark windows. Maybe I’d wait a while before going inside. Becky would arrive soon, after she picked up her classroom aquarium.
Other teachers would show up, too. I could go in with them, blend safely into their commotion. I hefted the box, turned back to the car. But no, what was I doing? I didn’t want to wait. I’d come early so I could get work done without interruption or distraction before the others arrived. The school wasn’t daring me, nor was I sensing some impending tragedy. I was just jittery about starting a new year.
I turned around again, faced its faded brown bricks. I steeled my shoulders, took a breath and started across the parking lot. With a reverberating metallic clank, the main doors flew open. Reflexively, I stepped back, half expecting a burst of flames or gunfire. Instead, Stan emerged. For the first time in fourteen years, I was glad to see him. Stan surveyed the parking lot, hitched up his pants. Looked in my direction. He didn’t wave or nod a greeting, didn’t follow social conventions. Even so, his presence grounded me, felt familiar.
I took a breath, reminded myself that the school was just a school. That I was prone to mental wandering and embellishing. And that children would stream into my classroom in just three days, whether I was ready or not.

Merry JonesAuthor Bio:

Merry Jones is the author of some twenty critically acclaimed books, both fiction and nonfiction. Her work has been translated into seven languages. Her previous Elle Harrison novels have been THE TROUBLE WITH CHARLIE and ELECTIVE PROCEDURES. Jones lives with her husband in Philadelphia.

Catch Up with Merry online: Website , Twitter , & Facebook 

 

 

 

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Saturday, February 4, 2017

BLOG TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: A Fatal Romance (Twin Sisters Mystery #1) by June Shaw

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A Fatal Romance (A Twin Sisters Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Publisher: Lyrical Underground
Publication Date: January 24, 2017
Paperback – ISBN13: 9781516100958
E-Book ASIN: B01F0YVQEE

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Synopsis: Fixing up homes can be tricky.
Finding true love can be even trickier.
But finding a killer can be plain old deadly . . .
 
Twin sister divorcees Sunny Taylor and Eve Vaughn have had their fill of both heartaches and headaches. So when they settle down in the small Louisiana town of Sugar Ledge and open a remodeling and repair company, they think they’ve finally found some peace—even though Eve is still open for romance while Sunny considers her own heart out-of-business.
 
Then their newest customer ends up face-down in a pond, and his widow is found dead soon after. Unfortunately, Sunny was witnessed having an unpleasant moment with the distraught woman, and suspicion falls on the twins. And when an attempt is made on Eve’s life, they find themselves pulled into a murder mystery neither knows how to navigate.
 
With a town of prying eyes on them, and an unknown culprit out to stop them, Sunny and Eve will have to depend on each other like never before if they’re going to clip a killer in the bud.


Review: I love the unique premise of this novel and series. Identical twins with very different personalities should provide a multitude of plots and twists for future stories.

Eve is the more outgoing twin, while Sunny has a much more unique personality. She shies away from romance, and when she gets scared she hums and sings Christmas carols--which can be highly inappropriate and hilarious at the same time.

The supporting cast includes a group of gossipy senior citizens. They never leave the Home, but they seem to know everything about everyone in town. 

The plot is well-developed and the story is well-written. The reveal was a total surprise, after many twists and turns to get us there. I look forward to reading more about these characters in the future.

**I received a copy of this book from the author with no expectation of a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

Rating: Four stars

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