Wednesday, March 22, 2017

BLOG TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: Off The Beadin' Path (Glass Bead Mysteries #3) by Janice Peacock

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Off the Beadin’ Path (Glass Bead Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Vetrai Press (March 11, 2017)
230 Pages
E-Book ASIN: B01N6FUCPN



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Synopsis: Glass beadmaker Jax O’Connell and her friend Tessa have no idea what challenges await them when they take a glassblowing class with Marco De Luca, a famous Italian glass artist—and infamous lothario. 

After the first night of class, Tessa sees a body through the rain-streaked window of the studio. The next morning there’s no sign of Marco, and one of the studio owners is also missing. The local sheriff isn't taking the disappearances seriously, but Tessa knows what she saw. To complicate matters, Officer Shaw and Detective Grant are both vying for Jax’s attention as she tracks down clues in a small town that's been keeping more than one secret. 

Jax and Tessa must face their fears to find the body and uncover the killer before another life is shattered. 

Off the Beadin’ Path is the third book in the Glass Bead Mystery Series. 


Review: I am a huge fan of this series, and this book reminds me of all the reasons why: the friendship between Jax and Tessa, the brief but fun interactions with Tessa's kids, Jax's neighbor who can always be counted on for sweets, Jax's complicated relationships with Zach and Ryan, and, of course, Jax's cat, Gumdrop.

This time around, the murder mystery centers around a well-known Italian glass artist, Marco De Luca, who has a past with Tessa, due to her one-time relationship with his brother, Dario.

The information about glass blowing and bead making continues to amaze and impress me. I love learning about this, and am glad that the author is so educated on the topic.

The murder mystery will keep you guessing for a long time, and send you off in wrong directions more than once. I loved this book from beginning to end!

Rating: Four stars

About the author
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Janice Peacock decided to write her first mystery novel after working in a glass studio full of colorful artists who didn’t always get along. They reminded her of the odd, and often humorous, characters in the murder mystery books she loved to read. Inspired by that experience, she combined her two passions and wrote High Strung: A Glass Bead Mystery, launching a new cozy mystery series featuring glass beadmaker Jax O’Connell.
When Janice isn’t writing about glass artists-turned-amateur-detectives, she makes glass beads using a torch, designs one-of-a-kind jewelry, and makes sculptures using hot glass. An award-winning artist, her work has been exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collections of the Corning Museum of Glass, the Glass Museum of Tacoma, WA, and in private collections worldwide.
Janice lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two cats, and twelve chickens. She has a studio full of beads…lots and lots of beads.
Author Links
Webpage – www.janicepeacock.com,
Facebook – www.facebook.com/JanPeac,
@JanPeac on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest
Purchase Link
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Monday, March 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 | Traci Hayden
Tuesday
Celticlady's Reviews | First Time Mommy Adventures 
Wednesday
Beck Valley Books | Jude Ouvrard
Thursday
Miki's Hope | Nicki's Nook
Friday
Ebook Addicts | I Love Romance |
Colorimetry | J.C. Clarke
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


Thursday, March 16, 2017

KINDLE SCOUT NOMINEE (PLUS GIVEAWAY): Tiago by Catia Skye

~ $25 Amazon Voucher Giveaway ~

Tiago, by Cátia Skye, YA Contemporary Romance

Two shattered hearts. One unstoppable love.

Nominate Tiago, by debut YA Romance author Cátia Skye, for consideration by Kindle Scout and you could win a $25 Amazon Gift Voucher, and you could get to read the book for free! Scroll down for excerpts, blurb, author info and, of course, the giveaway!
Tiago, by Cátia Skye, Book Cover

New York, USA
Kezra, sixteen, dumped by her boyfriend of six months after he took her virginity, shocked by revelations about her father, falls into an abyss of panic and anxiety. On doctor's orders, she is sent on a vacation to get away from pressures.
Lisbon, Portugal
Tiago, seventeen, has lost more than most lose in a lifetime, believes implicitly in the inevitable Portuguese Tragedy, has left the thug-life, has left school, is just trying to survive each new day.
Neither of them is looking for love…

Categories:
  • Teen & Young Adult > Romance > Contemporary
  • Romance > Series
  • Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction > Coming of Age
  • Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction > Geography & Cultures > Europe

Excerpts

Kezra

The Edge of Seventeen (2016)

I am no looker.
I'm not a dog either. But I am no looker.
Aylin used to say I was precocious. "Precocious when it comes to boys," she'd say.
By the time I was done dating Conor, I said I was nothing but a fool.
I started dating too early. Antoni was the first guy I ever saw. I was fourteen, close to fifteen, sporting braces on my teeth. We shared a kiss, nothing passionate, innocent.
Until he touched my breasts and I went cold.
Fourteen. Was he a freaking idiot?
Dawson happened after that. It lasted three months. I was more grown up, more developed. My breasts, especially, were more developed.
I hate my breasts.
But it was Conor who would thrust me into the black world of adulthood with an indignant slap I am certain I will never forget.
I write because I am lonely.
I write because I hurt.
I write while tears drip from my eyes, turning the screen of my tablet into splotches of pixelated rainbows.
The way I was brought into this world has nothing to do with how I feel about love.
It has everything to do with how I feel about myself.
How much horror can a mind endure?
Are the pains of a sixteen-year-old laughed at by those older then her?
What pain did my mother suffer? ("Sometimes I went without food so that I wouldn't have to take that bastard's money, Kez.")
My pain is nothing compared to what hers must have been. And yet, the pain I feel is phenomenal.

Tiago

P.S. I Love You (2007)

Just before the sun rises, when the world is silent and the River Tejo laps gently at the stone steps leading to the giant Praça do Comércio square, leaves of golden sunlight shimmer above the surface of Lisbon's great river. This is my favorite time to sit on these steps, flicking stones into the water, letting my gaze drift west toward the ocean.
And I think of her.
I do not weep anymore. My eyes are dry. I have wept this entire river twice over and still that will not bring her back.
The seagulls taunt me, cawing in accusation. I should have moved faster, they say. I should not have been so complacent with my joy.
I never deserved that joy. I know it.

Tiago

Deadly is the Female (1950)

It is the week for meeting Americans. And if I thought my encounter with Dahlia went bad, then I can only compare my meeting with the one called Kezra to something just short of a nuclear war. It's my fault, mostly. But it's also her fault.
I would love to say that our first encounter is quaint and sweet, that it is the type of first-meeting you expect from a Rom-Com.
It is not.
It is a disaster.
And I am nothing short of a hungover bastard.
But let's call a spade a spade. Guilt must be placed where guilt belongs. And this chick is a real stinker of a piece of work too.
I guess you could say I started it.
I did.
But she contributes gladly to the atomic chain reaction which follows.
Dare I say, I think she even revels in it.
Copyright © 2017, Cátia Skye. All Rights Reserved.

Giveaway!

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About Cátia

Cátia Skye Avatar
Cátia Skye is a New-York-born, Portuguese-American gal who now resides in the romantic heart of Lisbon, Portugal. She is the single mother of one rambunctious little boy, and pens romance novels between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. each night when her boy finally falls asleep.
Tiago is her first novel.
Visit Cátia's Website

Monday, March 13, 2017

NEW RELEASES/FREE AND BARGAIN BOOKS Weekly Linkup


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


Friday, March 10, 2017

BLOG TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: Purr M For Murder (A Cat Rescue Mystery) by T.C. LoTempio

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BOOK INFORMATION
Purr M for Murder: A Cat Rescue Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Crooked Lane Books (March 14, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683310921
Kindle ASIN: B01N6P3WYP


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Synopsis: Sydney McCall left behind an ex-fiancé and a New York advertising job to return home to Deer Park, North Carolina and help her sister, Kat, run the local animal shelter, Friendly Paws. Determined to save the shelter from financial trouble, Sydney and Kat organize a cat café fundraising event at a local coffee shop. Things are looking up until their landlord, Trowbridge Littleton, threatens to shut down the event. When Sydney drops by his art gallery to make peace, she finds Kat--along with Littleton's dead body.

Local homicide detective Will Worthington--who just happens to be Sydney's old high school crush--is highly suspicious of the sisters' involvement. Desperate to clear their names from the suspect list, Sydney pounces on the investigation. With the help of one of the shelter cats, a savvy orange tabby named Toby, Sydney begins poking her nose into other local businesses whose owners may have benefited from Littleton's death--until the killer notices she's pawing a little too closely at the truth.


Review: I'm a HUGE fan of this author's Nick and Nora series, so I was thrilled to learn she was releasing a new series. As hard as it may be to believe, I think I'm going to love this one even more. The cat shelter, and the fact that it is no-kill, are predominant parts of the story, which makes it near and dear to my heart as a cat lover.

Like Nick in the other series, there is a cat who plays a part in helping Sydney solve the murder...Toby the orange tabby, who is definitely working his way into my heart as well. 

We also get the hint of romance between Syd and the new detective in town, Will Worthington, who was a friend of hers in school. 

The cast of supporting characters is well-developed as well, and I look forward to getting to know more about them as well as Syd, Kat and Will.

The plot is well-written, and although I had several suspicions about the murderer throughout the book, I wasn't totally sure until the actual reveal. Already can't wait to read the next book in the series.

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

Rating: Four stars

About the author
 photo Toni-LoTempio-Credit-to-Clifton-Animal-Shelter-245x300_zpsz1ria6ir.jpg
While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic.  She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – the first volume, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, debuted Dec. 2, 2014. Followed by #2, CLAWS FOR ALARM.   #3, CRIME AND CATNIP, was released in December. She, Rocco and Maxx make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Catch up with them at www.tclotempio.net and www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com

Where to find them:
ROCCO’s blog:
Website:
 facebook:
Twitter:
Purchase Links:


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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

BOOK TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: Hurricane In Paradise (Florida Keys Mystery #10) by Deborah Brown


Book Information
Series: Florida Keys Mystery Series
  • Series: Paradise Series
  • Paperback: 446 pages
  • Publisher: Paradise Books, LLC (December 12, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 099844040X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0998440408



Synopsis: Set against the steamy backdrop of Tarpon Cove's sun-kissed, tropical waters, sexy sleuths and best friends Madison and Fab are at it again dealing with the occasional dead body. Hidden just below the surface of the small town lies an underworld, one steeped in deceit, corruption, and deadly secrets. It's only a matter of time before Madison and Fab find themselves on a collision course with the police, who consider them likely suspects in a murder.

Ride along on their adventures when the duo realizes that a family member is missing and pull themselves away from all jobs to track him down. Theories: walked away, freak accident, kidnapped? If so, then why no ransom demand?

Hurricane in Paradise is book ten in the thrilling and humorous provocative Paradise series, which finds the two waist-deep in mystery and romance. It is a smart, adventurous read that delivers heart-thumping, non-stop action. Join Madison and Fab as they solve the most twisted of cases, through unconventional ¬– and highly entertaining – measures… sometimes in flip-flops.

The Paradise series, are Florida Keys mysteries, “great as stand-alone reads, but they're like chips...you won't be able to devour just one!”

Review: This is my all-time favorite mystery series. I have read all ten books, and they just keep getting better as the series continues. Madison and Fabiana are back at it again, along with the usual cast of supporting characters.

This time around, the main story revolves around a hurricane that causes them to evacuate the Keys---and then they return to find squatters living in their house, claiming they are legally renting it. When one of the squatters is murdered, Madison is the prime suspect. Will the gang be able to solve the murder before she's locked up for life?

As if that weren't enough to deal with, her brother Brad disappears without a trace, and they put all their resources toward tracking him down.  This book is action packed from beginning to end, and I'm already anxious to read the NEXT one!

Rating: Five stars


Available to buy from.....

"Deborah Brown's Florida Keys mystery series is highly addictive! The characters are quirky & amusing. The dialogue is snappy. The plot highly entertaining & thrilling. All the oddball cast of characters are back as well as Mad's & Fab's deliciously hunky loves, Creole & Didier." 


"Madison and Fab are so much fun to read about along with their better halves. This time there's murder (of course), a missing family member and a crazy grandma! You'll love this book so much!"

"Once again Deborah Brown has written a wonderful humorous highly entertaining book."
Above reviews from Amazon

About the Author
I've been writing, in one way or another for as long as I can remember; writing poetry, short stories, a romance novel secretly stashed under the bed and sappy love letters. Fiction should be fun. I wanted to create the perfect beach book, to make the reader laugh, cry and cheer... and then run out and tell their friends about it.

My love of reading began when I was seven, the day I opened the cover of my first Mrs. Piggle Wiggle book. Mrs. P gave lessons to other children in how to behave and to me I learned to love the written word. I live with my family and demon children aka rescue cats in South Florida.

Find the author on the following sites...

Also available in the Paradise Series
              


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I received this book through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.

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Monday, March 6, 2017

BLOG TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: Kneaded to Death (A Bread Shop Mystery #1) by Winnie Archer

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Kneaded to Death
(A Bread Shop Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
New Series
Kensington (February 28, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496707727
Kindle ASIN: B01GBAG7KO
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Synopsis: Everyone swears by Yeast of Eden, the Mexican bread shop in town. But tonight, the only thing on the menu is la muerte . . .

Struggling photographer Ivy Culpepper has lots of soul-searching to do since returning to seaside Santa Sofia, California. That is, until the thirty-six-year-old enters a bread making class at Yeast of Eden. Whether it’s the aroma of fresh conchas in the oven, or her instant connection with owner Olaya Solis, Ivy just knows the missing ingredients in her life are hidden among the secrets of Olaya’s bakery . . .

But Ivy’s spirits crumble when a missing classmate is suddenly discovered dead in her car. Even more devastating, the prime suspect is Olaya Solis herself. Doubting the woman could commit such a crime, Ivy embarks on a murder investigation of her own to prove her innocence and seize the real killer. As she follows a deadly trail of crumbs around town, Ivy must trust her gut like never before—or someone else could be toast!


Review: This is a wonderful first book in a new cozy series. The writing draws you into the story from the very start and keeps you engaged until the last word. The descriptions of the various breads at Yeast of Eden are mouthwatering--and there are two recipes included at the back of the book!

The town of Santa Sofia has some very interesting residents. Ivy and Olaya are the main characters, but we also get to know the members of the baking class (feisty Mrs. Branford is my favorite!) as well as Ivy's father and brother--and her brother's girlfriend, who is also Ivy's best friend AND the local law enforcement.

There are plenty of clues to lead you to the killer's identity, but you have to be paying very close attention in order to catch them. Quite a bit of the book shows how consumed Ivy is with her grief, but I believe that solving her mother's murder will lessen that for her in future stories.

This is definitely a book worth reading.

Rating: Four stars

About the author
 photo Melissa-Bourbon-Ramirez-357x500_zpsrhtidflm.jpg
The indefatigable Winnie Archer is a middle school teacher by day and a writer by night. Born in a beach town in California, she now lives in an inspiring century old house in North Texas and loves being surrounded by real-life history. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with both yoga and chocolate, adores pumpkin spice lattes, is devoted to her five kids and husband, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams.
Visit Winnie online:
WinnieArcher.com
Winnie Archer is the pseudonym for national bestselling author Melissa Bourbon. Learn more at http://melissabourbon.com.
Twitter @MelissaBourbon
Purchase Links:
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NEW RELEASES/FREE AND BARGAIN BOOKS Weekly Linkup


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, March 4, 2017

BLOG TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: Fatality By Firelight (Cat Latimer Mystery #2) by Lynn Cahoon

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Fatality by Firelight (A Cat Latimer Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Kensington (February 28, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496704375
E-Book ASIN: B01GBAG6VO
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Synopsis: Cat Latimer’s Colorado bed-and-breakfast plays host to writers from all over. But murder is distinctly unwelcome . . .

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

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


Review: This is the second book in the Cat Latimer series, and I am already hopelessly hooked--although I'm not sure I'd ever want to attend one of her writer's retreats!  :D

Although none of the retreat attendees were killed this time, one of them was a person of interest when a murder occurred at the local ski resort--and everyone was questioned about the theft of a rare book from the college library. On top of that, Cat learns some fascinating information about Covington College which had somehow managed to escape her attention up to this point.

In other words, there are a lot of things going on in this book, but most of it gets tied up neatly by the end. We're still left wondering exactly what was going on with Cat's former husband and whether or not his death was a murder--but I have a feeling that is going to play out over several more books.

It was nice to see the relationship between Cat and Seth growing, slowly but surely. Shauna and Uncle Pete play a big part in this book as they did in the first one, and we get to know them each a little better. 

This is a fun read with a great mystery/mysteries to solve. I would highly recommend it.

Rating: Four stars 

About the author
 photo 11825971_978468272183542_2684765768435970795_n_zpsxecvusrg.jpg Lynn Cahoon is the author of the NYT and USA Today best-selling Tourist Trap cozy mystery series. Guidebook to Murder, book 1 of the series won the Reader’s Crown for Mystery Fiction in 2015. She’s also pens the recently released, Cat Latimer series. A STORY TO KILL, book 1, came out in mass market paperback September 2016.She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies. Sign up for her newsletter at www.lynncahoon.com

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BOOK TOUR: Ghostly Mortality by Tonya Kappes

A Ghostly Mortality

by Tonya Kappes

on Tour February 28 - March 30, 2017

Synopsis:

A Ghostly Mortality

That ghost sure looks . . . familiar

Only a handful of people know that Emma Lee Raines, proprietor of a small-town Kentucky funeral home, is a “Betweener.” She helps ghosts stuck between here and the ever-after—murdered ghosts. Once Emma Lee gets them justice they can cross over to the great beyond.
But Emma Lee’s own sister refuses to believe in her special ability. In fact, the Raines sisters have barely gotten along since Charlotte Rae left the family business for the competition. After a doozy of an argument, Emma Lee is relieved to see Charlotte Rae back home to make nice. Until she realizes her usually snorting, sarcastic, family-ditching sister is a... ghost.
Charlotte Rae has no earthly idea who murdered her or why. With her heart in tatters, Emma Lee relies more than ever on her sexy beau, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross…because this time, catching a killer means the Raines sisters will have to make peace with each other first.

Review: I LOVE this series, and this book only serves to illustrate why. Emma Lee's work as a "Betweener" gets intensely personal this time around, as the ghost she needs to help cross over after a murder is her only sister, Charlotte Rae. 

It's sad that the sisterly relationship seems to improve after Charlotte Rae dies...they both seem to understand each other better as they work to solve the murder mystery. I feel sad for both of them that they won't be able to make use of what they learned and have a better sibling relationship.

Granny's emotional reactions to the loss of her granddaughter are heartbreaking. The whole book, honestly, is a very emotional story for me in so many ways.

The murder mystery is very well developed, and even though I wasn't entirely surprised by the identity of the murderer, I couldn't stop reading.

Rating: Four stars

Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Mystery, Paranormal
Published by: Witness
Publication Date: February 28th 2017
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 0062466976 (ISBN13: 9780062466976)
Series: Ghostly Southern Mysteries #6
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Read an excerpt:

Lawdy bee.” Granny scooted to the edge of the chair and lifted her arms in the air like she was worshiping in the Sunday morning service at Sleepy Hollow Baptist and the spirit just got put in her.
I sucked in a deep breath, preparing myself for whatever was going to come out of Zula Fae Raines Payne’s mouth, my granny. She was a ball of southern spitfire in her five-foot-four-inch frame topped off with bright red hair that I wasn’t sure was real or out of a L’Oréal bottle she’d gotten down at the Buy-N-Fly.
“Please, please, please,” she begged. “Let me die before anything happens to Emma Lee.” Her body slid down the fancy, high-back mahogany leather chair as she fell to her knees with her hands clasped together, bringing them back up in the air as she pleaded to the Big Guy in the sky. “I’m begging you.”
“Are you nuts?” My voice faded to a hushed stillness. I glanced back at the closed door of my sister’s new office, in fear she was going to walk in and see Granny acting up. I sat in the other fancy, high-back mahogany leather chair next to Granny’s and grabbed her by the loose skin of her underarm. “Get back up on this chair before Charlotte Rae gets back in here and sees you acting like a fool.”
“What?” Granny quirked her eyebrows questioningly as if her behavior was normal. My head dropped along with my jaw in the “are you kidding me” look.
“Well, I ain’t lying!” She spat, “I do hope and pray you are the granddaughter that will be doing my funeral, unless you get a flare up of the ‘Funeral Trauma.’ ” She sucked in a deep breath and got up off her knees. She ran her bony fingers down the front of her cream sweater to smooth out any wrinkles so she’d be presentable like a good southern woman, forgetting she was just on her knees begging for mercy.
“Flare up?” I sighed with exasperation. “It’s not like arthritis.”
The “Funeral Trauma.” It was true. I was diagnosed with the “Funeral Trauma” after a decorative plastic Santa fell off the roof of Artie’s Meat and Deli, knocking me flat out cold and now I could see dead people. I had told Doc Clyde I was having some sort of hallucinations and seeing dead people, but he insisted I had been in the funeral business a little too long and seeing corpses all of my life had brought on the trauma. Truthfully, the Santa had given me a gift. Not a gift you’d expect Santa to give you, but it was the gift of seeing clients of Eternal Slumber, my family’s funeral home business where I was the undertaker. Some family business. Anyway, a psychic told me I was now a Betweener. I helped people who were stuck between here and the ever after. The Great Beyond. The Big Guy in the sky. One catch . . . the dead people I saw were murdered and they needed me to help them solve their murder before they could cross over.
“I’m fine,” I huffed and took the pamphlet off of Charlotte Rae’s desk, keeping my gift to myself. The only people who knew were me, the psychic and Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, my hot, hunky and sexy boyfriend. He was as handy as a pocket on a shirt when it came time for me to find a killer when a ghost was following me around. “We are here to get her to sign my papers and talk about this sideboard issue once and for all.” Granny stared at me.
My head slid forward like a turtle and I popped my eyes open.
“I’m fine,” I said through closed teeth.
“You are not fine.” Granny rolled her eyes so big, I swear she probably hurt herself. “People are still going around talking about how you talk to yourself.” She shook her finger at me. “If you don’t watch it, you are going to be committed. Surrounded by padded walls. Then—She jabbed her finger on my arm. I swatted her away with the pamphlet.
“Charlotte Rae will have full control over my dead body and I don’t want someone celebrating a wedding while I lay corpse in the next room. Lawdy bee,” Granny griped. I opened the pamphlet and tried to ignore Granny as best I could.
“Do you hear me, Emma Lee?” Granny asked. I could feel her beady eyes boring into me.
“Don’t you be disrespecting your elders. I asked you a question,” she warned when I didn’t immediately answer her question.
“Granny.” I placed the brochure in my lap and reminded myself to remain calm. Something I did often when it came to my granny. “I hear you. Don’t you worry about a thing. By the time you get ready to die, they will have you in the nut-house alongside me,” I joked, knowing it would get her goat. The door flung open and the click of Charlotte Rae’s high-dollar heels tapped the hardwood floor as she sashayed her way back into her office. The soft linen green suit complemented Charlotte’s sparkly green eyes and the chocolate scarf that was neatly tied around her neck. It was the perfect shade of brown to go with her long red hair and pale skin.
“I’m so sorry about that.” She stopped next to our chairs and looked between me and Granny. She shook the long, loose curls over her shoulders. “What? What is wrong, now?”
“Granny is all worried I’m going to get sent away to the nuthouse and you are going to lay her out here.” The words tumbled out of my mouth before I could stop them. Or did my subconscious take over my mouth? It was always a competition between me and Charlotte, only it was one-sided. Mine. Charlotte never viewed me as competition because she railroaded me all my life. Like now. She’d left Eternal Slumber with zero guilt, leaving me in charge so she could make more money at Hardgrove’s Legacy Center, formerly known as Hardgrove’s Funeral Homes until they got too big for their britches and decided to host every life event possible just to make more money.
Excerpt from A Ghostly Mortality by Tonya Kappes. Copyright © 2017 by Tonya Kappes. Reproduced with permission from Witness. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Tonya KappesTonya Kappes has written more than fifteen novels and four novellas, all of which have graced numerous bestseller lists including USA Today. Best known for stories charged with emotion and humor and filled with flawed characters, her novels have garnered reader praise and glowing critical reviews. She lives with her husband, two very spoiled schnauzers, and one ex-stray cat in northern Kentucky. Now that her boys are teenagers, Tonya writes full-time but can be found at all of her guys’ high school games with a pencil and paper in hand.

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