Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Spotlight & Giveaway on BED AND BREAKFAST AND MURDER BY PATTI LARSEN

Today is my turn on the Bed and Breakfast and Murder book tour.  I am spotlighting the first book in a new series by Patti Larsen and there is a fantastic giveaway of the first three books in the series!

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Patti Larsen Books (January 28, 2017)
Print Length: 189 pages
ASIN: B01N6W3JKN

Synopsis

A Poo Poo Kind of Morning
I tried not to look down the mouth of hell staring back at me from inside the glaringly pristine outer ceramic shell of the white throne, my throat catching, stomach doing half flips and a rather impressive rollover routine that would have gotten at least a 9.5 even from the Russian judges. Instead, I forced myself to smile and swallow and remind myself the elbow length yellow rubber gloves grasping the handle of the standard issue plunger were all that stood between me and Pooageddon.
Suck it up, Fee. Big girl panties and adulting and all that.
“At what point,” I waved the dripping plunger, wincing as droplets of yuck flew, “did I think owning a bed and breakfast was going to be glamorous and romantic?”


Fiona Fleming hasn’t lived in Reading, Vermont in over a decade, her escape from small town living leading her to New York City and a life of adventure. An adventure that has left her with no career, an ex who cheated on her and zero plans for the future. Her grandmother’s death grants her a new chance–inheriting Petunia’s, Iris Fleming’s bed and breakfast, seems like the ideal fresh start. But when Fee finds out ownership of the property Iris willed her might be in question, she’s drawn into the seedy underbelly of the cutest town in America after being singled out as the main suspect in a murder.



Meet the Author




Patti Larsen is an award-winning author with a passion for the voices in her head. Now with over 80 titles in happy publication, she lives on the East coast with her patient husband and multitude of pets.
Author Links
And my NEW blog 😀 Magic, Mayhem and Murder
Twitter – http://twitter.com/PattiLarsen (@PattiLarsen)
Purchase Links
Amazon – Kobo – B & N  iTunes Google Play

Also by this author
A Multiple Drink Kind of Night

Why was it fancy Valentine’s Day drinks were always tinted red? Reminded me more of gore and mayhem than anything to do with romance. Which said a lot, I suppose, for my state of mind when it came to relationships and dating.
No bitterness in Fiona Fleming toward the opposite sex or anything.
I sipped carefully at the mimosa the bartender smilingly handed me and shrugged off the sweetness. It had alcohol in it, so I guess it would do. A few of these and I might even find a way to enjoy myself tonight. Yeah, right.
Fiona Fleming would rather be home, at her bed and breakfast with her pug Petunia snuggled up to her while everyone else celebrates Valentine’s Day without her, thank you very much. Instead, she’s been recruited to attend another of Mayor Olivia Walker’s Reading, Vermont tourism promotion events. But when the young majority stakeholder in the White Valley Ski Lodge ends up dead, she’s ready and willing to help Sheriff Crew Turner and her father uncover who killed their victim while a snowstorm cuts them off from the rest of the world.
Books 3 and 4 Coming Soon!

Tour Participants
April 24 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT
April 24 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW
April 25 – Carole’s Book Corner – SPOTLIGHT
April 25 – Books Direct – GUEST POST
April 26 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW  
April 26 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
April 27 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – INTERVIEW
April 27 – My Reading Journeys  – SPOTLIGHT
April 28 – Books,Dreams,Life – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 29 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST
April 30 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
May 1 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
 May 1 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW


May 2 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
May 3 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 4 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 4 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW  
May 5 – My Journey Back –  REVIEW
May 6 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 7 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

GIVEAWAY
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Book Review: THE BODY IN THE ICE BY AJ MACKENZIE (Historical Murder Mystery)



Published by Zaffre on 20 April 2017

On the frozen fields of Romney Marsh stands New Hall; silent, lifeless, deserted. In its grounds lies an unexpected Christmas offering: a corpse, frozen into the ice of a horse pond.

It falls to the Reverend Hardcastle, justice of the peace in St Mary in the Marsh, to investigate. But with the victim's identity unknown, no murder weapon and no known motive, it seems like an impossible task. Working along with his trusted friend, Amelia Chaytor, and new arrival Captain Edward Austen, Hardcastle soon discovers there is more to the mystery than there first appeared. 

With the arrival of an American family torn apart by war and desperate to reclaim their ancestral home, a French spy returning to the scene of his crimes, ancient loyalties and new vengeance combine to make Hardcastle and Mrs Chaytor's attempts to discover the secret of New Hall all the more dangerous.


The Body in the Ice is the second in the Hardcastle and Chaytor mystery series - the first The Body on the Doorstep I reviewed here.

I loved the first book and I eagerly looked forward to reading this and wondered whether it would be as good ..... and I'm so pleased to say that it is every bit as good as the first book.

It was wonderful to be back in the company of the irascible Reverend Hardcastle and the ingenious Mrs Amelia Chaytor as they attempt to discover the identity of the frozen body in the icy pond of New Hall on Christmas Day 1796 and why they were murdered.

Hardcastle is now the Justice of the Peace which has curtailed his drinking and his argumentative nature somewhat but then when his sister turns up unexpectedly to stay at the Rectory he becomes his usual grumpy self. One of my favourite scenes is when she invites Mrs Chaytor for tea and they act like two adversaries checking each other out.  Brilliant writing!

The desolate and empty New Hall is at the centre of this story, the murder was committed there, a family return to live there after many years away, some of them involved in the Americas War which caused a family feud.  Why have they returned now, is it connected to the dead body, and what secrets does the New Hall contain?

Rev Hardcastle and Mrs Chaytor try to find all the answers by coming up against old foes, old acquaintances, lies and secrets. 

They make an unusual and unlikely team but it really works.  You don't need to have read the first book as this is a standalone story.

This was an enjoyable and clever storyline, slow suspense with twists and shocks and surprises with great characters, lots of historical detail and even a dog called Rodolpho that was one of the stars of the story.

I can't wait for the next mystery with the Hardcastle and Chaytor duo.

Also, I must just mention how I love maps of areas in books and this had not only a map but a floor plan of New Hall and a family tree.  So useful to refer to and which added to my enjoyment.



Thanks to the publishers Zaffre and Net Galley for giving me the chance to read this book.

Available to buy from Amazon UK - Amazon US - Book Depository



Meet the Authors

AJ MacKenzie is the pseudonym of Marilyn Livingston and Morgen Witzel, an Anglo-Canadian husband-and-wife team of writers and historians.

They write non-fiction history and management books under their own names but 'become' AJ Mackenzie when writing fiction.

They can be found at their website - twitter 




Monday, 17 April 2017

Book Tour, Review & Giveaway: DIAL P FOR POISON BY ZARA KEANE (Irish Cozy Mystery)

Today is my stop on the Dial P for Poison virtual book tour.  I loved this book and my review is below, together with a fantastic giveaway





Genre: Cozy Mystery
Date of Release: 13 April 2017
Number in Series: 1
Publisher: Beaverstone Press
Number of Pages: 352

Synopsis

Movies. Muffins. Murder.
Maggie Doyle moved to Ireland to escape her cheating ex and crumbling career in the San Francisco PD. When the most hated woman on Whisper Island is poisoned at her aunt’s Movie Theater Café, Maggie and her rock-hard muffins are hurled into the investigation.
With the help of her UFO-enthusiast friend, a nun, and a feral puppy, Maggie is determined to clear her aunt’s name. Can she catch the murderer before they strike again? Or will her terrible baking skills burn down the café first?
Cozy, quirky, and fun, this tongue-in-cheek mystery is a delicious introduction to the Movie Club Mysteries Series. Grab a cocktail and join Maggie as she takes her detective skills across the pond in Dial P For Poison.




Dial P for Poison is the first in the Movie Club Mysteries Series and is set on a small island called Whisper Island near the coast of Ireland.
Maggie hadn't set foot on Whisper Island for over ten years, her father had been born there and she had spent many happy childhood summers visiting her relatives, especially her aunt Noreen who's cafe she would be helping in while Noreen recovered from surgery.  It was a perfect idea ..... what could possibly go wrong?

The local newspaper columnist Sandra Walker is not well liked on the island due to her nasty gossip column but who would hate her enough to kill her?  Actually, there's no shortage of suspects whose lives she could ruin and when Aunt Noreen is wrongly arrested by the bungling local police it's up to Maggie to find out the real killer.

This was such a fun and light-hearted read, I liked Maggie and her inept baking skills when she nearly burned down the cafe.  With an assortment of island characters, including alien spotters, buried treasure, and a little flirting, this is a great start to a new series and I look forward to more of Maggie's sleuthing on Whisper Island!



Check out the other bloggers on the tour


Tour Participants
April 13 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
April 13 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY  
April 14 – Books,Dreams,Life – INTERVIEW
April 15 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
April 15 – Lori’s Reading Corner – GUEST POST
April 16 – Readeropolis – INTERVIEW
April 17 – Carole’s Book Corner – REVIEW
April 17 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT
April 18 – Book Babble – REVIEW
April 18 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
April 19 – My Journey Back – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
April 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 20 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – INTERVIEW
April 21- Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW
April 22 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY  
April 23 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 25 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW  
April 26 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY  

Meet the Author

USA Today bestselling author Zara Keane grew up in Dublin, Ireland, and spent her summers in a small town similar to the fictional Smuggler’s Cove, the setting of her new cozy mystery series.
She currently lives in Switzerland with her family. When she’s not writing or wrestling small people, she drinks far too much coffee, and tries – with occasional success – to resist the siren call of Swiss chocolate.
Author Links

GIVEAWAY

For a chance to win a box of 4 paperback cozy mysteries, 1 signed copy of Zara Keane's 'Dial P For Poison', and a $100 Amazon.com gift certificate, enter the Movie Club Mysteries Launch Giveaway!  Just click the link below

https://gleam.io/ZItEy/zara-keanes-movie-club-mysteries-launch-giveaway







Saturday, 15 April 2017

Book Review: THE ROANOKE GIRLS BY AMY ENGEL



Published by Hodder & Stoughton on 7 March 2017

THE ROANOKE GIRLS
BY
AMY ENGEL


Beautiful.
Rich.
Mysterious.

The Roanoke girls seem to have it all. But there's a dark truth about them which is never spoken. Every girl either runs away, or dies.

Lane is one of the lucky ones. When she was fifteen, over one long, hot summer at her grandparents' estate in rural Kansas, she found out what it really means to be a Roanoke girl. Lane ran, far and fast. Until eleven years later, when her cousin Allegra goes missing - and Lane has no choice but to go back.

She is a Roanoke girl.

Is she strong enough to escape a second time?


This beautiful flowery book cover hides a dark family secret, one that has been covered up for many years and for many reasons.  
At the beginning of the book there is a family tree of all the girls in the Roanoke family which I kept referring to throughout the story - I do love maps and family trees in books!
The story is mainly narrated by Lane whose mother committed suicide and left her all alone in New York ..... or so she thought .... until she discovered she had grandparents and a cousin, Allegra, in Kansas who were more than happy to look after her - why had her mother never talked about them?
The story travels back and forth in time between Lane first arriving on the farm and then in the present when we learn that she left the farm ten years ago and has now been asked to go back as her cousin Allegra has disappeared.
Also interspersed with Lane's story are the voices of the other Roanoke girls who either died or disappeared.  Very eerie and which added so much to the back story.

I liked Lane, she was a complex character who was more comfortable with cruelty than with kindness due to her loveless upbringing by her single mother, and I warmed to her slowly over the story.  She wanted to do right by Allegra.

Even though the secret was revealed quite early on there was so much going on in this story that made me keep turning the pages eagerly wanting to know what had happened to Allegra.

It is a story of obsession, love, healing and hope.  Recommended reading.

My thanks to Louise Swannell at Hodder & Stoughton for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

Available to buy from Amazon UK  -  Amazon US  -  Book Depository


Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Spotlight on WORTHY OF THIS GREAT CITY BY MIKE MILLER Virtual Book Tour

Today it's my turn on the book tour for Worthy of this Great City by Mike Miller



WORTHY OF THIS GREAT CITY
BY
MIKE MILLER

Literary / Satire
Date Published: October 2016
 Publisher: JAM Publishing

Ruth Askew, a minor celebrity, is spouting some highly incompetent philosophy about the end of virtue. Con Manos, a journalist, is attempting to uncover a political scandal or two. Add some undistinguished members of City Council, an easy listening radio station, a disorganized charity, a prestigious Philadelphia newspaper, and any number of lawyers and other professional criminals. In Worthy Of This Great City the compelling stories of two stubborn individualists intertwine in a brisk, scathing satire that invites you to question everything you think you think about today's most discussed issues: populism and elitism, the possibility of truth, the reach of profound stupidity, and the limits of personal responsibility in these post-truth, morally uncertain times.







Meet the Author

If you know my website and Twitter addresses (asmikemiller.com and asmikemiller, respectively), you must realize Mike Miller is only an author name. It's not a matter of privacy or secrecy; anybody can find me with minimal effort. It's about keeping things separate. My writing is about what appears on the page. It's not about my personal politics or religion or history. 

Worthy Of This Great City is a B-game book. I'm ambiguous about this, being interested in money like most people, but I don't want to compete with a slick professional cover or smooth editing so I've stuck to a sort of reasonable, human middle ground. I value those things for what they are, of course, but I see them as artifacts, part of a system of publishing that fought like hell for a week's worth of shelf space, that fought to catch the eye, not the mind or heart. 

As my character Con Manos says: "It's a revolution, isn't it?" I say: Why fight on the side of the enemy? Why imitate and thus perpetuate a business model that stifles originality? Just to show you can? Unless, of course, you're fighting to attract the eye, not the mind or heart.

I've played a joke with this novel - my first, incidentally. Played with the idea of narration and who can be speaking after all. It's all very literary.




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