Posted in Reviews

Review for The Lost Summers of Newport by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White

*****5-stars

*Note: This book was an advanced reader’s copy from Net Galley. It will be published in May, 2022, but is available for pre-order now. https://amzn.to/3OsH4Hv

This book attracted me because it takes place in Newport, Rhode Island, a place I’m hoping to visit one day. Written by three popular authors, the story is broken up into three time periods: current day (2019); 1899, and 1957. It follows the Sprague Family who own a mansion in Newport. In the present time, the mansion is the focus of a television show called Makeover Mansion. One of the people involved in its production, Andie, is a single mother to her sister’s son. She takes on the project hoping to show viewers how a run-down old house can be renovated without changing its charm. However, the studio requests that she uncovers family scandals and the legend of the Lady in White, a ghost said to haunt the place. She and her crew have been given strict rules not to approach the owner of the home, Lucky “Lucia” Sprague, with any questions. They are also forbidden to film near the home’s boathouse. These rules are given by Lucky’s son, Lucas. His sister, Hayden doesn’t even approve of the show.

While working on the episode, Andie finds herself attracted to Lucas, although he’s the type of guy she’s avoided in the past due to a previous broken relationship. As she finds out more about the family, readers are shown events taking place in the past that reveal two secrets that changed the lives of Lucky and her relatives.

In 1899, a music teacher was hired to instruct Maybelle Sprague, the heir to the Sprague fortune, a “copper” heiress as they called her. The object of her music lessons was to enchant an Italian prince her step-brother hoped to marry her off to, so that he and his family could afford to continue to live in the mansion. In 1957, after Maybelle (now known as Nonna) escapes Italy with her granddaughter Lucky and returns to Sprague Hall, Lucky and her husband have marital problems due to his alcoholism and adultery. He also accuses her of having an affair with Teddy, a friend from Italy. While this isn’t true, Lucky has always been close to Teddy. As both the 1899 and 1957 events come to dramatic climaxes, the reader and Andi learn of two terrible secrets that have followed the generation of Spragues.

It was difficult to put this story down. While I had some difficulty following the changes in years and characters, it all made sense in the end. There were several twists I didn’t see coming. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mysteries, historical fiction, tales about mansions and rich people, alternating time periods, and interesting characters.

Posted in Freebies and Special Offers

Spring and Easter Sale Books

I have two books on sale this month. My medical thriller, Memory Makersis on sale for 99 cents through April 20. I also have a cozy mystery, purr-fect for Easter weekend. KittyKai’s Easter Mystery is free from April 15 through April 18. Pick up one or both of these for less than a $1.

Twenty-five years ago, Lauren Phelps and her sister Patty were kidnapped from their backyard on Long Island. Lauren escaped her captor, but Patty was killed.

Ever since, Lauren has suffered from nightmares of the “Shadow Man.” Trying to recall his face and avenge her sister’s murder, Lauren, now a kidnapping investigator, enrolls in a clinical trial for a new memory drug.

At the offices of Memory Makers in California, she receives the injections of the Memory Makers’ serum, and begins to experience flashbacks of repressed memories. Along with the flashbacks, she receives threats from an anonymous source that point back to her childhood trauma.

Soon, Lauren becomes involved with a fellow trial participant who seeks to recall his own traumatic past. But can Lauren discover the identity of the “Shadow Man” before history repeats itself?

Purchase Link: mybook.to/memorymakers

During an Easter egg hunt at the Cobble Inn, a ring is found on the grounds by Alicia’s daughter, Carol. When the sheriff has it examined, he discovers it belonged to him and Gilly’s neighbor, Gretchen Miller, who disappeared the month before. An investigation leads to the discovery of Mrs. Miller’s body buried on the site of the inn’s new construction.

As Alicia and Gilly set out to solve this new mystery despite their husbands’ discouragement, Sneaky and Kittykai, the library and inn cats, secretly lend them a paw.

Purchase Link: mybook.to/KKEaster

Hermione and I would like to thank everyone who voted for her in America’s Favorite Pet Contest. Although the results are not yet posted, it’s likely she came in fourth place in the contest. It was a tough competition, but we were thrilled that she made it to the Finals. Keep an eye out for more details and the final results of the contest when they are posted at https://americasfavpet.com/

I hope you all have a healthy and happy Easter and Passover.

Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery, Spotlight

Spotlight and Blog Tour of A Yarn that Binds: The First Clear Creek Cozy Mystery by Rebeca McKinnon


The Yarn That Binds (Clear Creek Mysteries)
by Rebecca McKinnon

About The Yarn That Binds


The Yarn That Binds (Clear Creek Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – A small town in the Rocky Mountains
Independently Published (April 14, 2022)
Number of Pages: 258
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09PLLK412

A Rocky Mountain Yarn with Small Town Charm

Jemma hasn’t been to the tiny Rocky Mountain town of Clear Creek in years, but when her grandmother tells her something strange is going on, Jemma drops everything to return and help untangle the clues.

She arrives to flashing lights, a house full of police, and the news that her grandmother has been killed with her own yarn. After learning she inherits everything, Jemma is faced with the choice of casting on a new life by reopening her grandmother’s yarn shop, or returning to her live-out-of-a-suitcase life as a travel vlogger.

One thing’s for sure — she’s not leaving town until the mystery of her grandmother’s death has unraveled. But when the deputy in charge of the investigation ignores clues Jemma stumbles upon, she decides to do her own poking around. Because her grandmother was right — there is something strange happening in Clear Creek.

About Rebecca McKinnon

Rebecca McKinnon enjoys playing with her imaginary friends and introducing them to others through her writing. She dreams of living in the middle of nowhere but has been unable to find an acceptable location that wouldn’t require crossing an ocean.

Author Links

Website: www.rebeccamckinnon.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/rebeccamckinnon_author/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaMcKinnonAuthor/?ref=hl

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4993788.Rebecca_McKinnon

Purchase Link: Amazon

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

April 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

April 6 – Nellie’s Book Nook – REVIEW

April 6 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 7 – My Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST

April 7 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 8 – Drink Coffee and Read Books – REVIEW

April 8 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST

April 9 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT

April 9 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

April 10 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

April 10 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

April 11 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 11 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

April 12 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 12 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

April 13 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

April 13 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

April 14 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

April 14 – Girl with Pen – SPOTLIGHT

April 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

April 15 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT

April 15 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

April 15 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Freebies and Special Offers

Memory Makers on Sale Through April 20.

Memory Makers is on sale for 99 cents now through April 20. 

Twenty-five years ago, Lauren Phelps and her sister Patty were kidnapped from their backyard on Long Island. Lauren escaped her captor, but Patty was killed.

Ever since, Lauren has suffered from nightmares of the “Shadow Man.” Trying to recall his face and avenge her sister’s murder, Lauren, now a kidnapping investigator, enrolls in a clinical trial for a new memory drug.

At the offices of Memory Makers in California, she receives the injections of the Memory Makers’ serum, and begins to experience flashbacks of repressed memories. Along with the flashbacks, she receives threats from an anonymous source that point back to her childhood trauma.

Soon, Lauren becomes involved with a fellow trial participant who seeks to recall his own traumatic past. But can Lauren discover the identity of the “Shadow Man” before history repeats itself?

*****5-stars “I highly suggest that you read this one–the twists and turns will keep you reading!”

*****5-stars “This book is one I found very difficult to put down. It just kind of enveloped me and then sucked me into the world of Lauren, her family and friends and subsequently her enemies. I found myself totally mesmerized by the crime commited against her and her sister as a child and the way this horrible act had affected so many different peoples lives.”

*****5-stars “Loved the characters.”

Purchase Link: mybook.to/memorymakers

Posted in Reviews

Book Review for This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub

****4 stars

*Note: This book was an advanced reader’s copy from Net Galley. It will be published in May, 2022 but is available for pre-order now. https://amzn.to/3Km8Kvp

I love time-travel tales, and this is yet another take on that theme. This isn’t just a time-travel story. Its other themes include grief, loss, and family relationships. Alice Stern is the daughter of Leonard Stern, the author of a popular time-travel series that was made into a television show. On her fortieth birthday, fearing the loss of her father who is in the hospital dying, Alice accidentally travels back in time to her sixteenth birthday. Seeing her father as a healthy, young man, she hopes to change time by making other choices for herself and convincing him to make other choices such as eating healthier, exercising, writing a new book, and dating another woman besides her mother who left him years ago.

While Alice learns that she can’t change Leonard’s fate, she is able to make a few changes. She also discovers that Leonard traveled through time, too.

Readers will gather some insights from this book about life, aging, grief, and relationships. The time-travel element seemed secondary to the theme, but I’d recommend this read to time-travel fans and those who might benefit from learning how to live in the moment.

Posted in Cozy Mystery, Interview

Interview of Nellie H. Steele, author of Ghosts, Lore & a House by the Shore

Today, it’s my pleasure to interview Nellie H. Steele, author of Ghosts, Lore & a House by the Shore. Nellie is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Hi, Nellie. Can you tell us how long you’ve been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.

I published my first book in late 2019 as in Indie with my own publishing label, A Novel Idea Publishing (which I co-own with my mom!).  I currently have six series on the market.

Lily & Cassie by the Sea is a cozy mystery series following mother/daughter duo, Lily and Cassie, as they move into the most talked about house in Hideaway Bay, Whispering Manor.  The debut novel in the series, Ghosts, Lore & a House by the Shore explores the legends of Whispering Manor.  More Lily & Cassie stories are coming soon!

Clif & Ri on the Sea is a high seas pirate adventure series and a spin off of the Lily & Cassie by the Sea series.  The characters Clif and Ri first appear in Ghosts, Lore & a House by the Shore. You can learn more about them in their own series, starting with Book 1, Rise of a Pirate.

The Cate Kensie Mysteries series is a cozy mystery series following Lady Catherine Kensie as she journeys to Scotland to take up residence in a mysterious castle.  Cate’s series currently has four books out with more on the way!

Shadow Slayers Stories is a magical realism/supernatural suspense series.  Follow the Shadow Slayers as they battle the darkness that threatens to take over the world.  This series currently has four books out with more on the way, too!

Maggie Edwards Adventures is an Indiana Jones-style adventure series set in the modern-day and following spunky heroine, Maggie Edwards, as she trots across the globe discovering ancient secrets.

The Duchess of Blackmoore Mysteries series is a historical mystery series with a supernatural twist.  Orphan-turned-duchess Lenora Fletcher can communicate with the dead.  Her unique ability often puts her at the heart of several mysteries.

My gosh! You’re very prolific. I can’t imagine being able to keep up with all those series. I’m starting a second cozy series and am hoping I can manage it.

Tell us a little bit about your books — any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.

I’ve got lots of things in the works!  The spinoff series to Ghosts, Lore & a House by the Shore is coming May 10, 2022.  You can follow the adventures of Clif & Ri (two minor characters in the Lily & Cassie series) in their first book, Rise of a Pirate.

The second Duchess of Blackmoore book is completed and due out July 19, 2022.  Letter to a Duchess is available now to preorder.

The third book in the Maggie Edwards adventure series is complete and going through the editing cycle.  It’ll make its debut later this year with a to-be-determined date.

And I’m currently writing Book 5 in the Cate Kensie Mystery series along with a few other top secret projects!

Wow! You’re very busy. I’m glad you had time for this interview.

Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?

I plan to expand my catalog by adding a few new series and continuing to write in my current series.  I’d really love to continue bringing characters to life that readers already enjoy and new ones they’ve yet to meet.  I keep to a rigorous writing schedule to achieve this and I plan to continue taking course to learn best practices for my craft along with methods to connect with more readers!

That’s a great goal. I hope I can continue both my Cobble Cove series and my new one.

What type of reader are you hoping to attract?  Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?

Anyone who loves a good story with a great character.  I try to take a lot of time to build my characters (warts and all!) into people readers will enjoy following through their journey.  Most of my writing centers around the mystery genre, but I try to give unique stories throughout all my series.  Any mystery reader who loves a different take on the traditional genre will enjoy my catalog!

Sounds very interesting. I must look into them. As a librarian and an author, I love discovering new writers.

What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?

Keep writing!  And write what you’re passionate about!  It can be extremely easy to give up, but each time you sit down at your computer, typewriter or journal, you’re practicing your craft.  And with practice comes enhanced skills.

Nice advice.

What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?

When I started writing (and even now!), I was balancing a full-time job on top of the writing.  It can make it very challenging to find the time to write, edit and do all the things required to be a published author.  Though I wouldn’t change anything!

Working full-time, I can relate to that, as I’m sure many others can, as well.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I belong to lots of author groups that discuss a variety of topics ranging from writing to publishing to marketing.  I also have my own group pertaining to cozy mysteries called The Cozy Collaborative.  It is a Facebook group designed to help Cozy Mystery Authors at all stages of their career connect and share best practices.  (Of course, we’re open to any writers).

Oh, I must join.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I have an animal rescue.  I love helping pets in need.  Currently, I have 14 pets in my rescue home (they are all mine, they won’t be adopted out).  We work to rehab them from challenging or abusive situations into a normal home life where they can enjoy their lives pain-free and in a stress-free environment.

Wonderful! I’m a big animal lover myself. I’ve had cats all my life and included them in most of my books and stories. One of my recent rescues, my three-year-old calico, Hermione, is currently running in America’s Favorite Pet Contest. She made it to the finals after several tough rounds thanks to votes by Facebook users who have supported her by daily votes and PAWS votes that go toward raising funds for the PAWS Foundation to help pets. We’re hoping she wins Thursday night when the contest ends at 9 pm EDT. If you or any of my blog readers would be kind enough to vote for her, we need all the votes and shares we can get. Here is her voting page: https://americasfavpet.com/2022/hermione-cf74

What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?

I love creating worlds and characters.  It’s really a fun thing to immerse yourself into a world of your own creation and tell a story.  My least favorite thing is marketing.  It can be so hard to “sell” your self and your work to others!

Toughest challenge is definitely getting bad reviews.  It can really be crushing when someone dislikes your work (and then expounds on how thoroughly they dislike it in a scathing review).

I definitely agree about the challenges of marketing and disappointing reviews. As a librarian, I read a lot of reviews, and I’ve noticed that even bestsellers get some bad ones. Everyone has their own taste, and not everyone will like every book, but it’s hard not to take it personally.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I love the warm, cozy feel of cozy mysteries.  I love the happy endings and the general sense of “safety” they convey as you read or write them.  They’re really pleasant, easy stories to get into!

I think most cozy mystery readers feel that way. I like the fact that my characters become fictional friends as people discover their quirks through my books and stories about them.

Can you share a short excerpt from your latest title or upcoming release?

“There’s no need to explain at all. We understand.” She took a sip of her tea as awkward silence fell over the room. “Speaking of signs, I noticed your Whispering Manor sign dangling sideways from the lamppost sideways. I’m not sure if you saw it.”

“Yes,” Lily answered. “We hung it just before lunch and the chain snapped. We’ll need to fix it later. I insisted we have some lunch before Cassie climbed that ladder again.”

“Ah, yes. A faulty chain.” Tinsley offered a knowing glance. “I’m glad to see you are both so level-headed and didn’t give in to the lore.”

“Lore?” Cassie inquired.

“Oh, yes,” Tinsley said with a slow nod of her head. “I’m surprised Lucy didn’t tell you. Though, then again, she wanted to make the deal, no doubt. And I suppose she’s not really required to disclose it. It IS only a rumor. And technically the death wasn’t IN the house.”

“Death? Disclose what?” Cassie asked.

“Oh,” Tinsley said flicking her hand at Cassie and shaking her head. She puckered her lips and narrowed her eyes. “Nothing, nothing. Just…” She paused and added a dramatic shrug. “Some people would have read the snapping sign as a harbinger of bad things to come because…”

Cassie raised her eyebrows and cocked her head.

Tinsley glanced side-to-side before leaning forward and pressing her hand to the side of her mouth. “The house is haunted,” she whispered.

Very nice. Thanks for sharing.

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you or your books?

I’ve got a lovely “try me” boxset available.  The boxset contains the first-in-series for my first four published series (Cate Kensie Mysteries, Shadow Slayers Stories, Maggie Edwards Adventures and Duchess of Blackmoore Mysteries).  For $9.99, it’s a great introduction to the series for readers!

That sounds great. I’m going to look into that myself. In the meantime, I’m sharing your blog tour and giveaway. Thank you for the interview, and best wishes on the first book in your Lily & Cassie By the Sea cozy mysteries.


Ghosts, Lore & a House by the Shore: A Mother/Daughter Cozy Mystery
(Lily & Cassie By the Sea Mysteries)
by Nellie H. Steele

About Ghosts, Lore & a House by the Shore

Ghosts, Lore & a House by the Shore: A Mother/Daughter Cozy Mystery
(Lily & Cassie By the Sea Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Number of Pages: 306 pages
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09PMDT2TL

A new town.
A haunting legend.
New beginnings or the beginning of the end?

After Cassie MacGuire’s husband dies in a plane crash along with her father, both her and her mother, Lily Bennett, are left as widows. Looking to make a new start, they move together to the quiet seaside town of Hideaway Bay. But their new home, Whispering Manor, has a reputation stretching back centuries. Legends of ghosts, paranormal disturbances and pirate treasure are all associated with the former sea captain’s mansion, starting with the death of its first mistress, Henrietta Blanchard.

When Cassie stumbles upon Henrietta’s journal and Lily uncovers a more recent tragedy in the home, they begin to wonder if the stories may be fact instead of fiction. When the strange occurrences turn dangerous, Lily and Cassie will have to investigate to save their home and possibly even their very lives!

Ghosts, Lore & a House by the Shore is the charming first installment in this small, seaside town mother-daughter cozy mystery series by Nellie H. Steele.

About Nellie H. Steele

An Indies Today finalist for Best Book of the Year 2020 with Cleopatra’s Tomb, Nellie H. Steele made the leap from science to art with her first book, The Secret of Dunhaven Castle.

An animal enthusiast, Nellie often features a version of one of her fourteen rescue animals in her stories, though the fictional pets are usually better behaved than her own fur-babies! A literary split personality, Nellie’s work ranges from cozy mystery to supernatural suspense to riveting adventure.

She lives in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. When she isn’t writing or engaging in animal care, she enjoys teaching Statistics and Data Science at a local university.

Check out all Nellie offers at www.anovelideapublishing.com/novels or at her blog, Nellie’s Book Nook, available at www.nelliesbooknook.com!

Author Links

Publisher Website: anovelideapublishing.com

Blog: www.nelliesbooknook.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/nelliehsteele

Instagram: www.instagram.com/nelliehsteele

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nelliehsteele1

Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@nelliehsteeleauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19769743.Nellie_H_Steele

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/nellie-h-steele

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Nellie-H.-Steele/e/B07Z9PD3YN

Purchase Link: Amazon: (eBook preorder is currently live. Book will be offered in eBook, paperback, hardcover, and audio).

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

April 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

April 5 – Books Blog – SPOTLIGHT

April 5 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 6 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 6 – Drink Coffee and Read Books – REVIEW

April 7 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

April 7 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

April 8 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

April 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

April 8 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 9 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT

April 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

April 10 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

April 10 – Eskimo Princess Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 11 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

April 11 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW

April 11 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

April 12 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST

April 12 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

April 13 – Angel’s Guilty Pleasures – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 13 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

April 14 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT

April 14 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
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Posted in author news

April Author News and Cat Contest Update

It’s hard to believe that it’s April already. I look forward to visiting gardens, parks, and spending more time outdoors but have had some knee and ankle issues and hope they improve soon, so I can enjoy long walks again.

I’ve been working on several writing projects. Two of them have been accepted by one of my publishers, but there’s been a delay on production. I’ve heard that I should have edits for the first book of my new cozy series, The Case of the Cat Crazy Lady, this month. I’m also finishing a short story, Sneaky’s Supernatural Mystery, that will be compiled in a print book of Cobble Cove stories (see graphic below. Note that this won’t be the cover of that book). I posted more information about my upcoming releases in my Mid-March updates.

I’ll be sharing an excerpt from the new cozy in my April author newsletter coming out next week. If you don’t subscribe, you can join the email list by filling out the pop-up form on this website: https://debbiedelouise.com. The newsletter also features a Cozy Corner; Author of the Month column; Recommended Reads; Character Spotlights; sales; giveaways: and more.

On another note, my cat, Hermione, has made it to the final round of America’s Favorite Pet Contest. If you’ve been voting for her, thank you so much. Please keep voting and sharing. The contest ends this Thursday, April 7, at 9 pm EST. If you’re on Facebook, you can vote daily for free or buy PAWS votes.

Today, Saturday, April 2, all PAWS votes count double and go twice as far to support Hermione and to raise funds for the PAWS Foundation to help other pets. Thank you for your support. For Hermione’s voting page, please visit this link: https://americasfavpet.com/2022/hermione-cf74