Posted in Cozy Mystery, Reviews

Review of Kitty Confidential, Pet Whisperer P.I. #1 by Molly Fitz

*****5-stars

Kitty Confidential is the first book of the Pet Whisperer P.I. cozy mystery series. It introduces Angie Russo, the proud holder of seven Associate Degrees who lives in the small town of Blueberry Bay, Maine. When Angie accepts a temp job as a paralegal, she experiences an electric shock when turning on the office coffee machine. This shock somehow renders her with the ability to hear what a tabby cat with the long moniker Octavius Maxwell Ricardo Edmund Frederick Fulton says. The cat, whom she nicknames Octo-Cat, enlists her help to solve his human’s murder. This is a fun, quick read with Octo-Cat stealing the show with his catitude. Cat lovers and cozy mystery fans will enjoy this book. I look forward to continuing the series.

About the Author

While USA Today bestselling author Molly Fitz can’t technically talk to animals, she and her doggie best friend, Sky Princess, have deep and very animated conversations as they navigate their days. Add to that, five more dogs, a snarky feline, comedian husband, and diva daughter, and you can pretty much imagine how life looks at the Casa de Fitz.

Molly lives in a house on a high hill in the Michigan woods and occasionally ventures out for good food, great coffee, or to meet new animal friends.

Check out her social media links and website where you can find out how to chat with Octo-Cat and join her mailing list:

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MollyFitzMysteries/

Facebook reader group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CatsDogsBooks/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mollymysteries/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Molly-Fitz/e/B07N96W9G5/

Website: https://mollymysteries.com/

Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery, New Releases

Spotlight and Blog Tour for Frozen Stiff Drink, A Braxton Campus Mystery, by James J. Cudney

Frozen Stiff Drink:
A Kellan Ayrwick Cozy Mystery (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
by James J. Cudney

About Frozen Stiff Drink

Frozen Stiff Drink: A Kellan Ayrwick Cozy Mystery
(Braxton Campus Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Publisher: Gumshoe – A Next Chapter(March 18, 2020)
Digital Edition – ~270 Pages
ASIN: B0849MJH6H

A winter blizzard barrels toward Wharton County with a vengeance. Madam Zenya predicted the raging storm would change the course of Kellan’s life, but the famed seer never could’ve prepared him for all the collateral damage. Nana D disappears after visiting a patient at Willow Trees, leaving behind a trail of confusion. When the patient turns up dead and a second body is discovered beneath the snowbanks, Kellan must face his worst fears. What tragedy has befallen his beloved grandmother?

Kellan’s brother Hampton learns essential life lessons the hard way after his father-in-law accuses him of embezzlement. While trying to prove his innocence, Hampton digs himself a deeper hole that might lead to prison. Sheriff Montague wants to save him, but she receives the shock of her life as the past hurtles forward and complicates her future.

Between locating Nana D and solving the scandalous murder of another prominent Braxton citizen, Kellan and April’s worlds explode with more turmoil than they can handle. Too bad neither one of them knows what to do about the psychic’s latest premonition. The suspicious deaths happening around town aren’t ending anytime soon.

About James J. Cudney

 

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College. I’ve spent twenty years building a technology career in the retail, sports, media, and entertainment industries. I enjoyed my job, but a passion for books and stories had been missing for far too long. I’m a voracious reader in my favorite genres (thriller, suspense, contemporary, mystery, and historical fiction), as books transport me to a different world where I can immerse myself in so many fantastic cultures and places. I’m an avid genealogist who hopes to visit all the German, Scottish, Irish, and British villages my ancestors emigrated from in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind, and my body. I decided to pursue my passion by dusting off the creativity inside my head and drafting outlines for several novels. I quickly realized I was back in my element growing happier and more excited with life each day. My goal in writing is to connect with readers who want to be part of great stories and who enjoy interacting with authors. To get a strong picture of who I am, check out my author website or my blog. It’s full of humor and eccentricity, sharing connections with everyone I follow—all in the hope of building a network of friends across the world.

When I completed the first book, Watching Glass Shatter, I knew I’d stumbled upon my passion again, suddenly dreaming up characters, plots, and settings all day long. I chose my second novel, Father Figure, through a poll on my blog where I let everyone vote for their favorite plot and character summaries. It is with my third book, Academic Curveball, the first in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, where I immersed myself in a college campus full of so much activity, I could hardly stop thinking about new murder scenes or character relationships to finish writing the current story. I can’t believe I’ve finished writing the sixth book in this series. Come join in the fun…

Websites & Blog

Website: https://jamesjcudney.com/

Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

Next Chapter Pub: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/james-j-cudney

Social Media Links

Amazon: http://bit.ly/JJCIVBooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamesJCudneyIVAuthor/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BraxtonCampusMysteries/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jamescudney4/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamescudney4/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jamescudney4

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescudney4

List of Published Books

Braxton Campus Mysteries – Purchase Links

Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)

Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)

Flower Power Trip – #3 (March 2019)

Mistaken Identity Crisis – #4 (June 2019)

Haunted House Ghost – #5 (October 2019)

Frozen Stiff Drink – #6 (March 2020)

Author’s Other Books

Watching Glass Shatter (Contemporary Fiction / Family Drama)

The wealthy Glass family lost its patriarch, Benjamin Glass, sooner than expected. Benjamin’s widow, Olivia, and her 5 sons each react to his death in their own way while preparing for the reading of his will. Olivia receives a very unexpected confession from her late husband about one of their sons that could shatter the whole family. Prior to revealing the secret to her children, Olivia must figure out which boy Ben refers to in the confession he left her in his will. While the family attorney searches for the mysterious Rowena Hector whom Ben says holds the answers, Olivia asks her sons to each spend a week with her as she isn’t ready to let go of the past. When Olivia visits her sons, she quickly learns that each one has been keeping his own secret from her. Olivia never expected her remaining years would be so complex and life-altering, but she will not rest until her family is reunited after Ben’s untimely death. We all need family. We all want to fit in. We’re all a mix of quirky personalities. Will Olivia be able to fix them, or will the whole family implode? What will she do when she discovers the son behind Ben’s secret? Check out this ensemble cast where each family member’s perspective is center stage, discovering along the way who might feel the biggest impact from all the secrets. Through various scenes and memories across a six-month period, you’ll get to know everyone, learning how and why they made certain decisions. Welcome to being an honorary member of the Glass family where the flair for over-the-top drama pushes everyone to their limits. Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (Contemporary Fiction / Family Drama)

Between the fast-paced New York City, a rural Mississippi town and a charming Pennsylvania college campus filled with secrets, two young girls learn the consequences of growing up too quickly. Amalia Graeme, abused by her mother for most of her life, longs to escape her desolate hometown and fall in love. Contemplating her loss of innocence and conflicting feelings between her boyfriend and the dangerous attraction she’s developed for an older man, Amalia faces life-altering tragedies. Brianna Porter, a sassy, angst-ridden teenager raised in New York City, yearns to find her life’s true purpose, conquer her fear of abandonment, and interpret an intimidating desire for her best friend, Shanelle. Desperate to find the father whom her mother refuses to reveal, Brianna accidentally finds out a shocking truth about her missing parent. Set in alternating chapters two decades apart, the parallels between their lives and the unavoidable collision that is bound to happen are revealed. FATHER FIGURE is an emotional story filled with mystery, romance, and suspense. Father Figure (April 2018)

BRAXTON CAMPUS MYSTERY SERIES

Academic Curveball: Death at the Sports Complex (#1)

When Kellan Ayrwick, a thirty-two-year-old single father, is forced to return home for his father’s retirement from Braxton College, he finds the dead body of a professor in Diamond Hall’s stairwell. Unfortunately, Kellan has a connection to the victim, and so do several members of his family. Could one of them be guilty of murder? Then he finds a second body after discovering mysterious donations to the college’s athletic program, a nasty blog denouncing his father, and a criminal attempting to change student grades so the star baseball pitcher isn’t expelled. Someone is playing games on campus, but none of the facts add up. With the help of his eccentric and trouble-making nana weeding through the clues, Kellan tries to stay out of the sheriff’s way. Fate has other plans. Kellan is close to discovering the killer’s identity just as someone he loves is put in grave danger of becoming victim number three. And if that’s not enough to wreak havoc on his family, everything comes crashing to a halt when his own past comes spiraling back to change his life forever. In this debut novel in the Braxton Campus Mystery Series, readers discover a cozy, secluded Pennsylvania village full of quirky, sarcastic, and nosy residents. Among the daily workings of Braxton College and the charming Ayrwick family, Kellan weighs his investigative talents against an opportunity to achieve a much sought-after dream. When this first book ends, the drama is set for the next adventure in Kellan’s future… and it’s one you won’t want to miss. Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)

Broken Heart Attack: Death at the Theater (#2)

When an extra ticket becomes available to attend the dress rehearsal of Braxton’s King Lear production, Kellan tags along with Nana D and her buddies, sisters-in-law Eustacia and Gwendolyn Paddington, to show support for the rest of the Paddington family. When one of them appears to have a heart attack in the middle of the second act, Nana D raises her suspicions and asks Kellan to investigate who killed her friend. Amidst family members suddenly in debt and a secret rendezvous between an unlikely pair, Kellan learns the Paddingtons might not be as clean-cut as everyone thinks. But did one of them commit murder for an inheritance? Kellan is back in his second adventure since returning home to Pennsylvania. With his personal life in upheaval and his new boss, Myriam, making life difficult, will he be able to find a killer, or will he get caught up in his own version of stage fright? Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)

Flower Power Trip: Death at the Masquerade Ball (#3)

Braxton College is throwing the Heroes & Villains Costume Extravaganza to raise money for renovations to the antiquated Memorial Library. While attending, Kellan stumbles upon a close family friend standing over a dead body that’s dressed as Dr. Evil. Did one of Maggie’s sisters kill an annoying guest at the Roarke and Daughters Inn or does the victim have a more intimate connection to someone else on campus? As Kellan helps the school’s president, Ursula, bury a scandalous secret from her past and unearth the identity of her stalker, he unexpectedly encounters a missing member of his own family who’s reappeared after a lengthy absence. When all the peculiar events around town trace back to the Stoddards, a new family who recently moved to Wharton County, the explosive discovery only offers more confusion. Between the special flower exhibit that’s made an unplanned stop on campus and strange postcards arriving each week from all around the world, Kellan can’t decide which mystery in his life should take priority. Unfortunately, the biggest one of all has yet to arrive at his doorstep. When it does, Kellan won’t know what hit him. Flower Power Trip – #3 (March 2019)

Mistaken Identity Crisis: Death on the Cable Car (#4)

A clever thief with a sinister calling card has invaded Braxton campus. A string of jewelry thefts continues to puzzle the sheriff given they’re remarkably similar to an unsolved eight-year-old case from shortly before Gabriel vanished one stormy night. When a missing ruby is discovered near an electrified dead body during the campus cable car redesign project, Kellan must investigate the real killer to protect his brother. Amidst sorority hazing practices and the victim’s connections to several prominent Wharton County citizens, a malicious motive becomes more obvious and trickier to prove. As if the latest murder isn’t enough to keep him busy, Kellan partners with April to end the Castigliano and Vargas crime family feud. What really happened to Francesca while all those postcards showed up in Braxton? The mafia world is more calculating than Kellan realized, and if he wants to move forward, he must make a few ruthless sacrifices. Election Day is over, and the new mayor takes office. Nana D celebrates her 75th birthday with an adventure. A double wedding occurs at Crilly Lake on Independence Day. And Kellan receives a few more surprises as the summer heat settles in Wharton County. Mistaken Identity Crisis – #4 (June 2019)

Haunted House Ghost: Death at the Fall Festival (#5)

It’s Halloween, and excitement is brewing in Braxton to carve jack-o’-lanterns, go on haunted hayrides, and race through the spooky corn maze at the Fall Festival. Despite the former occupant’s warnings, Kellan renovates and moves into a mysterious old house. When a ruthless ghost promises retribution, our fearless professor turns to the eccentric town historian and an eerie psychic to communicate with the apparition. Meanwhile, construction workers discover a fifty-year-old skeleton after breaking ground on the new Memorial Library wing. While Kellan and April dance around the chemistry sparking between them, a suspicious accident occurs at the Fall Festival. Soon, Kellan discovers the true history and dastardly connections of the Grey family. But can he capture the elusive killer – and placate the revenge-seeking ghost. Haunted House Ghost – #5 (October 2019)

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

March 18 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

March 18 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER GUEST POST

March 19 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

March 19 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST

March 20 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW

March 20 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

March 21 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT

March 21 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

March 22 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 23 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW

March 23 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

March 23 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

March 24 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 24 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

March 25 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

March 25 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 26 – eBook addicts – REVIEW

March 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

March 27 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

March 27 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Cozy Mystery, Interview

Spotlight of A.R. Kennedy, Author of Sleuth on Safari, A Traveler Cozy Mystery

It’s my pleasure to chat with a fellow Long Island writer, author A R Kennedy from Long Beach, NY, about herself and her new release, Sleuth on Safari. 

How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.

I began self-publishing in 2013, with the first in The Nathan Miccoli Mystery Series. The series ended last year, at eight books.

I have a standalone novel, Saving Ferris. It is a legal thriller that makes us consider what, exactly, pets mean to us.

Sleuth on Safari, the first in The Traveler Cozy Mystery Series, release date is March 24, 2020. It is available for pre-order now.

The second in the series, R.I.P. in Reykjavik, is also available for pre-order now.

I’m currently working on the third in the series. Naomi travels to Australia!

Excellent. Those sound like interesting books.

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?

My initial goal, when I published Gone But Not Missed, was to sell 100 books. Well, I’ve exceeded that!

My goal now is to write full-time. I hope to achieve this in the next 5 years.

Very nice. I would also like to write full-time once I retire from my work at the library.

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

I hope to attract a reader that’s looking for adventure!

I’m sure most readers look for that in their reading.

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

Perseverance is key. You’re going to get rejections. You’re going to get bad reviews. Sometimes you have to just write for yourself.

Good advice.

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

For each of my novels (the first book in my first series—Gone But Not Missed, my standalone legal thriller—Saving Ferris, and the first book in my new series—Sleuth on Safari), I received lots of rejections. (I have the list and could give the exact number of rejections. But I’d rather not. 🙂

I felt I had run out of traditional publishing options, so I chose self-publishing. I’ve been lucky to find an excellent editor, formatter and cover artist to produce a quality novels that I’m proud of.

I’m glad it worked out for you.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

Sisters in Crimes, including the Guppy Chapter

I am also a member of both.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I’m a huge baseball fan!

And I love dogs. You can see lots of cute pictures of my pup, River, on my Instagram account.

I’m sure he’s adorable. I’m a cat lover, and I also post plenty of photos of my three cats on Instagram and Facebook.

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

I love the writing, the research, and the brainstorming.

The marketing takes me away from the stuff I love plus it forces me to interact with people I don’t know, which is always a challenge.

I feel the same way, and I think many authors do also.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

The Nathan Miccoli Mystery series follows NYPD detective, Nathan Miccoli. I spent a lot of time researching police procedure. I strived to get the details right. Writing a cozy series, I don’t have to get bogged down with procedure—with DNA results, toxicology results, autopsies— because Naomi doesn’t have access to that.

That’s a good point. With cozies, amateur sleuths do the investigating.

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

The Flights

For fifteen minutes, we stood at the conveyor belt, waiting for my luggage to arrive. The constant trail of luggage became a trickle and I began to worry. I had a vision that my vacation slideshow would be me in my Supernatural TV series T-shirt and jeans, with a soundtrack of my sister’s voice saying, “I told you so.”

I glanced at Charlotte. After a fifteen-hour flight, Charlotte had emerged refreshed. I was a little worse for wear. She gave me a dismissive look and I wiped a few crumbs from breakfast off my jeans.

She smiled briefly and the other expression returned.

“You know you look like Mom when you’re annoyed,” I told her.

She glared at me and whipped around. She and her bright pink luggage stormed off. Her pink flowy top wafted over leggings with a black-and-pink chevron pattern. I had to admit, she did look nice. And did not look like she had spent almost a day traveling. I looked down at myself. The same could not be said. My wrinkled black T-shirt and torn jeans, paired with Converse sneakers with tips that used to be white, made me cringe. Nothing about me said glamour.

I didn’t worry about being left in a foreign country by myself. I could find her a mile away with that highlighter pink gear.

I said a quick prayer before turning back to the luggage belt. I exhaled and smiled. She didn’t see the last bag to drop onto the conveyor. My worn tan duffle bag.

Fifteen minutes, and two wrong turns later, I arrived at the domestic airlines check-in line.

“Naomi! Over here.” Charlotte waved her fingers at me and I waved back, from the end of the line. “Come up here!” I was fine having fifteen people between us but she was not. “Could you let my sister through, please?” She plastered on her best smile and they conceded. The travelers cleared a path and I slithered through with a feeble smile. “Her luggage was delayed. Thank goodness she got it!” She grabbed me when I was within reaching distance and pointed at my T-shirt. “Can you imagine having to wear that for your whole vacation!”

No one hid their smiles and a twentysomething man, who had helped her with her luggage earlier, openly laughed.

The next agent became available and we handed her our passports. Charlotte looked at my bag as I placed it on the stand to be checked.

“What is that?” she asked, pointing to the shiny gray strip along the side of my bag.

“Duct tape. The tool of champions.”

She shook her head. “No wonder Dad got you in the divorce.”

Boarding passes in hand, we cleared security and headed to the gate. The short flight would be departing soon and then our vacation, a safari, would officially begin.

I handed her my backpack and made for the bathroom.

“Really? You’re not going to change?” Despite being three years younger, she always ordered me around. Or at least tried to.

“Into what?” I asked. My luggage, like hers, was headed to our next flight. I said a silent prayer as I gave it to the airline’s check-in agent that I would see it at the next airport. Charlotte was right. I did not want to spend the entire trip in jeans and a T-shirt. Even a T-shirt with cute guys on it.

She opened her carry-on. I peered in. She had more clothes in there. I didn’t know how she could fill so much, neatly, into that small space. “Let me give you something.”

“Why? Once we get there, we’re going to bed.”

“No, we’re having dinner around the fire when we arrive.” She pulled out the travel agent’s itinerary from a front compartment. Mine was somewhere crumpled at the bottom of my backpack. She pointed to the line, “Welcome Dinner.”

I didn’t want dinner. I wanted sleep.

“Plus,” she leaned in and whispered, “the people on the tour with us have to be on this flight.”

I looked around the small gate area and had to agree. To appease her, I grabbed my cosmetics case out of my backpack. It was better than putting on that frilly yellow top she was holding out for me.

Charlotte was pleased, especially when she saw it was the one she had given me for Christmas and that it was in good condition. I had never used it.

In the bathroom, I brushed my teeth and splashed water on my face. I ran my fingers through my hair. I looked at my makeup case, hoping it had dry shampoo in it, but knowing it didn’t. My sister’s case would. My pride wouldn’t allow me to ask her for it. However, my pride did not keep me from returning to my sister in faded, ripped jeans, a wrinkled sci-fi themed T-shirt, and sneakers.

Even though she no longer was carrying her hot pink luggage, she was still easy to locate. Her “Meet People” voice, the one she had learned from our mother, could be heard twenty feet away. I hid several rows away, in view of the boarding gate, until our flight was called.

“It took you all that time and you look like that?” she asked. “You’re going to feel silly at dinner looking like that.”

I rolled my eyes.

In the same tone I had used earlier, she added, “You look like our mother when you do that.”

Great excerpt. Thanks for sharing.

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

I hope Sleuth on Safari inspires readers to travel!

I’m sure it will even if it’s armchair traveling.

Thanks for the interview. I’m sharing your blog tour and giveaway below. Best wishes with your new series.

Sleuth on Safari: A Traveler Cozy Mystery
by A R Kennedy

About Sleuth on Safari


Sleuth on Safari: A Traveler Cozy Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Independently Published (March 24, 2020)
Print Length 267 Pages
Digital ASIN: B082XKK3TD

A bargain deal on a safari + one dead body = An adventure no one could plan for.

Naomi and her estranged sister are off on a trip of a lifetime—an African safari, a bucket list trip for Naomi on which she got a last-minute deal. Naomi thinks traveling with her sister will be the worst part of her African safari until she finds one of their fellow travelers, the unlikable Dr. Higgins, dead. She gets more adventure than she bargained for when she starts investigating what she thinks is murder but the luxury lodge says was a tragic accident. She only has a few vacation days, and a few game drives, to find the killer.

About A. R. Kennedy

A. R. Kennedy lives in Long Beach, New York, with her two pups. She works hard to put food on the floor for them. As her favorite T-shirt says, ‘I work so my dog can have a better life’. She’s an avid traveler. But don’t worry. While she’s away, her parents dote on their grand-puppies even more than she does. Her writing is a combination of her love of travel, animals, and the journey we all take to find ourselves.

Author Links

Website – http://arkennedyauthor.com

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/A-R-Kennedy/e/B00GOKCWHE

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ARKennedyauthor

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ark_author

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7382548.A_R_Kennedy

Bookbub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/a-r-kennedy

Purchase Link – Amazon

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

March 5 – I Read What You Write – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

March 5 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

March 6 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST

March 6 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 7 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

March 8 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

March 9 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 10 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

March 10 – My Journey Back-The-Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST

March 11 – That’s What She’s Reading – GUEST POST

March 11 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

March 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

March 12 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST

March 13 – TBR Book Blog – REVIEW

March 13 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

March 14 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW

March 15 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW

March 16 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 17 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

March 17 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

March 18 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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Posted in Cozy Mystery, New Releases

Recipe and Spotlight for Blueberry Cobbler Blackmail, A Cast Iron Skillet Mystery by Jodi Rath

Blueberry Cobbler Blackmail (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
by Jodi Rath

About Blueberry Cobbler Blackmail


Blueberry Cobbler Blackmail (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
3rd In Series
Publisher: MYS ED LLC; 1 edition (February 28, 2020)
Print Length ~140 Pages
Digital ASIN: B07YX8Y1VM

Welcome to Leaven—oh wait—Santo Domingo, where DEATH takes a DELICIOUS turn!

Family bombshells, sibling rivalries, blackmail, and a trip that could be deadly…and the new year has only just begun! After a disastrous Thanksgiving, Jolie Tucker is beside herself and feeling the walls closing in around her. She feels like she needs to escape Leavensport before she loses her mind. She unexpectedly gets her wish when her best friend and co-owner of Cast Iron Creations, Ava Martinez, gets a terrifying email revealing that her papa, Thiago, is in danger in Santo Domingo. The girls are off on a dangerous adventure in new territory. Will they be able to save the day before danger finds them?

Blueberry Cobbler (*This recipe came from www.thecookingchanneltv.com )

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon minced dried lavender

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup whole milk

1 cup granulated sugar plus 1 tablespoon

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 scraped vanilla bean

2 cups blueberries

Vanilla bean ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and transfer to the preheated oven to melt.
  2. Meanwhile, mix together the flour, baking powder, lavender and salt in a bowl. Stir in the milk, 1 cup sugar, the lemon juice, zest and vanilla to combine. Mix together the remaining tablespoon sugar and the blueberries in another bowl. Remove the hot skillet with the melted butter from the oven and pour in the batter. Top with the sugared blueberries. Bake until brown and the batter has risen up and around the fruit, about 30 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly. Serve with vanilla bean ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream.

About Jodi Rath

Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her seven cats.

Author Links: Webpage: https://www.jodirath.com/ FB: https://www.facebook.com/jodirath FB Author Page: Author Jodi Rath Twitter @jodirath

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jodi-rath

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jodirath/

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

February 26 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST

February 26 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – CHARACTER GUEST POST

February 27 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

February 27 – TBR Book Blog – REVIEW

February 28 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER GUEST POST

February 29 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

March 1 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 2 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

March 2 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

March 3 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

March 3 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

March 4 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

March 4 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

March 5 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 5 – My Devotional Thoughts – REVIEW

March 5 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

March 6 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

March 6 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – REVIEW

March 7 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

March 7 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

March 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

March 8 – Readeropolis – GUEST POST

March 9 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 10 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 10 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Authors, Cozy Mystery

Author Spotlight Interview of Maria DiRico, Author of Here Comes the Body: A Catering Hall Mystery

It’s great to have author Maria DiRico (Ellen Byron) here today from Los Angeles, California, to talk about herself and her new release, Here Comes the Body: A Catering Hall Mystery.

How long have you been published, Maria?

My first mystery came out in 2015. Before that I was a playwright and television writer for series like WINGS and JUST SHOOT ME.

Interesting.

What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher?

The Cajun Country Mystery series: Plantation Shudders, Body on the Bayou, A Cajun Christmas Killing, Mardi Gras Murder, and Fatal Cajun Festival. All as Ellen Byron for Crooked Lane Books

The Catering Hall Mystery series: Here Comes the Body, as Maria DiRico, for Kensington.

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

Here Comes the Body, the first book in my Catering Hall Mystery series, launched February 25th. Here’s a little bit about the series: After being cleared as a person of interest in her husband’s presumed death, Mia Carina moves back home to Queens, where her father Ravello, a capo with the Boldoni crime family, has been tasked with running a rundown banquet hall that was surrendered to him by a broke gambler. Mia has always wanted her father to go straight and she’s determined to help him run the place, with its view of Flushing Bay and the LaGuardia Airport runway, as a legitimate business. Who knew working for a catering hall could be as dangerous as working for the Mob? The Catering Hall Mysteries offers up a mystery series you can’t refuse.

Sounds wonderful.

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 hope to continue both series and then launch two more that I’m excited about. I’d also like to get a draft of a stand-alone mystery I wrote in great shape, and then send it out in the world for publication, I hope, I hope. How do I plan on reaching these goals? Work, work, work!

As a fellow author, I know how much work it takes to meet those goals. Good luck!

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

Honestly, I’m happy to attract anyone who enjoys diving into a cozy mystery where anything ugly happens off the page and justice always prevails.

I’m sure that covers a wide range of readers.

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

Learn how to listen to and distill feedback. Notes and critique are invaluable when they’re good. Keep working on becoming the best writer you can be and keep plugging away at finding an agent and a publisher. Don’t jump into self-publishing too fast. Doing it really well is much, much harder than it looks.

I can relate to that, as I’m still looking for an agent and a larger publisher.

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

Even having won a William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic grant, and with my many TV and playwriting credits, it took me nine months to find a literary agent and then my first book never sold. That was a rough year-plus. Not giving up was a struggle. I’d been a professional writer for years and it felt like I was starting from scratch. Luckily, while the first book was out on submission, I wrote a second mystery, Plantation Shudders, and that sold.

You’re an example of how persistance pays off for authors.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

Not a critique group. I’m a member of the WGA West (Writers Guild of America); TAG (The Animation Guild); MWA (Mystery Writers of America), and Sisters in Crime.

We are fellow Sisters in Crime members.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

Reading, of course! I also adore needlepoint. It’s my go-to hobby. I do a couple of other crafts, like decoupage and jewelry making, but those are more sporadic. And I live for our little doggy, a chihuahua mix who’s the light of my life.

Awww. I’m a fellow animal lover. My three cats are my babies, although I also have a teenage daughter.

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

I love writing. I can’t not write. I heard an author once say she’d retired. I can’t see me ever doing that. I’m always writing, if not on paper than in my head. The toughest challenge is staying focused when I’m powering through a draft. I set a word count for the week that I force myself to meet. But the internet is dangerous siren, always sending a come-hither wave from my computer. Very distracting!

I can relate to that, too. It’s very hard to find the time to deal with social media, promotion, and writing.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries? I can’t write a sex scene to save my life. And when I’m writing cozies, I don’t have to!

Lol. I’m with you. I feel very uncomfortable writing those type of scenes.

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

I adore writing them. I hope you adore reading them! And do sign up for my newsletter at ellenbyron.com. I send it out monthly, and it always includes some fun stuff and a recipe. I also do contests a few times a year.

I’m sure my readers will consider that, as will I.

Thanks so much for the interview. I’m sharing your blog tour and giveaway for Here Comes the Body below:

Here Comes the Body (A Catering Hall Mystery)
by Maria DiRico

About Here Comes the Body


Here Comes the Body (A Catering Hall Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Kensington (February 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 page
ISBN-10: 1496725344
ISBN-13: 978-1496725349
Digital ASIN: B07R8WYLSC

After her philandering husband’s boat went down, newly single Mia Carina went back to Astoria, the bustling Queens neighborhood of her youth. Living with her Nonna and her oversized cat, Doorstop, she’s got a whole new life—including some amateur sleuthing . . .

Mia is starting work at Belle View, her father’s catering hall, a popular spot for weddings, office parties, and more—despite the planes that occasionally roar overhead on their way to LaGuardia and rattle the crystal chandelier. Soon she’s planning a bachelor party for a less-than-gentlemanly groom. But it goes awry when the gigantic cake is wheeled in and a deadly surprise is revealed . . .

Since some of her family’s associates are on the shady side, the NYPD wastes no time in casting suspicion on Mia’s father. Now, Mia’s going to have to use all her street smarts to keep him out of Rikers Island . . .

Italian recipes included!

About Maria DiRico

Maria DiRico was born in Queens, New York, and raised in Queens and Westchester County. She is a first-generation Italian-American on her mother’s side. On her father’s side, her grandfather was a low-level Jewish mobster who disappeared in 1933 under mysterious circumstances. She also writes the award-winning, bestselling Cajun Country Mystery series under the name Ellen Byron.

Website – https://www.ellenbyron.com/catering-hall-mysteries

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/CateringHallMysteries/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ellenbyronla

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cajuncountrymysteries

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/ellen-byron

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/maria-dirico

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

February 24 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, EXCERPT

February 24 – This Is My Truth Now – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

February 24 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

February 25 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

February 25 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST

February 25 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – REVIEW

February 26 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

February 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

February 26 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

February 27 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

February 27 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

February 27 – Jane Reads– GUEST POST

February 28 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

February 28 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, RECIPE

February 29 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

February 29 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW

March 1 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

March 1 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

March 2 – That’s What She’s Reading – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

March 2 – TBR Book Blog – REVIEW, EXCERPT

March 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, RECIPE

March 3 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

March 4 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

March 4 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

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Posted in Cozy Mystery, Spotlight

Spotlight and Blog Tour for Bonbon Voyage: An Adventures of Gladys Mystery by Katherine H. Brown

Bonbon Voyage (Adventures of Gladys)
by Katherine H. Brown

About Bonbon Voyage


Bonbon Voyage (Adventures of Gladys)
Cozy Mystery Novella
1st in Series
Independently published (December 31, 2019)
Paperback: 213 pages
ISBN-10: 1653633166
ISBN-13: 978-1653633166
Digital Print Length: 129 pages
ASIN: B083BZLF22

Gladys gets more than she bargains for when she climbs aboard her first cruise and witnesses a murder. Armed with wigs and wits alone, she determines to get to the bottom of things.
This cozy mystery is a spinoff from the Ooey Gooey Bakery Mystery series.

About Katherine H. Brown

Katherine H. Brown is from the tiny community of New York, Texas. Booklover (some might say book addict) and weaver of words, Katherine desired to be a writer from childhood, embarked on her first publishing adventure in 2017, and in 2019 said audios to her cozy office job to leap into a career as an author full-time.

When not found between the pages of a book or tapping keys on her laptop, Katherine loves to watch baking shows with her stepdaughter or cuddle up with her husband Patrick. Katherine and family prepare to welcome a new baby girl into the family in March 2020.

Author Links

Facebook Author Page

Website

Instagram

Goodreads

BookBub

Amazon Author Page

Purchase Link: Amazon

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

February 21 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

February 21 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW

February 22 – This Is My Truth Now – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

February 22 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST

February 23 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

February 24 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

February 24 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

February 25 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

February 25 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

February 26 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST

February 26 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

February 27 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

February 27 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT

February 28 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

February 28 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW

February 29 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW

February 29 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

March 1 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

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Posted in Cozy Mystery

Review for The Book of Candlelight, A Secret, Book, and Scone Society Novel by Ellery Adams

*****5-star Review

THE BOOK OF CANDLELIGHT

Author: Ellery Adams

Genre: Cozy Mystery

This review was first published in Booklistonline.com on 1/24/20: (https://www.booklistonline.com/The-Book-of-Candlelight/pid=9729902)

The third book in the Secret, Book, and Scone Society series serves up an appetizing dish for mystery lovers who enjoy books about bookstores, small towns, and female friends. The unrelenting spring rain in Miracle Springs, a small town in North Carolina, has brought increased business to Nora Pennington’s bookstore. To replenish her stock of shelf enhancers, Nora visits a local flea market, where she purchases a pottery piece created by a man known as Cherokee Danny. The next day, Nora discovers Danny’s body in the churning waters of the Miracle River near a rock painted with a symbol of a red cardinal. Nora enlists the help of three women who are fellow members of the Secret, Book, and Scone Society to help her catch Danny’s killer. When another body is found near the river and an old diary casts suspicion on the new owners of the town’s inn, Nora works with the sheriff to trap the killer into confessing. The ending ties up several subplots.