Posted in Cozy Series, Reviews

Review of Academic Curveball : A Kellan Arywick Cozy Mystery (Braxton Campus Mysteries #1) by James Cudney IV

Purchase Links:

eBook (and Kindle Unlimited): https://amzn.to/2LOOc2g

Paperback: https://amzn.to/2RMjXNs

Audio: https://amzn.to/35eaDWk

Five Stars *****

Academic Curveball is the second book I’ve read by James J. Cudney and the first of his Braxton Campus cozy mysteries. Having enjoyed his first novel, the standalone family saga Watching Glass Shatter that I reviewed here, I was curious to see how he would handle a cozy mystery. I wasn’t disappointed. The characters in Academic Curveball were all well portrayed. I especially liked Kellan, the main character, a widower with a young daughter who was called home for his father’s retirement party as president of Braxton College. Upon his return, Kellan who is currently working for Dark Realities, a television reality crime show, plans to meet Professor Abby Monroe who has material for the second season of his show after his father’s party. Unfortunately, he never gets to do so because Abby’s dead body is found during the party by his father’s assistant Lorraine Candito.

A number of people, some close to Kellan including his own father, are suspects in Abby’s murder, but the murder weapon is missing along with two other items, one that was intended as a gift to Kellan. The motive is believed to have involved the changing of a grade for an athlete so he can compete in a game that a college scout will attend. But when another murder occurs and they find the possible weapon hidden in Kellan’s father’s desk, Kellan has even more reason to solve the case despite the warnings by the town’s female sheriff who refers to him as “Little Arywick.”

Aided by his sassy grandmother, Nana D. and his old school friend Connor who is dating both his sister Eleanor and his college girlfriend Maggie, Kellan sets out to find the person responsible for the murders. Although I had a funny feeling about the character who the killer ended up being, I didn’t know the identity of the murderer until it was unveiled . . .  and then it all made sense. What surprised me even more was the cliffhanger at the end of the book that was totally unexpected. I won’t reveal any spoilers, but I love double twists. This one was done exceptionally well. I can’t wait to read the second book where it should be explained. My only criticism of this book was that the plethora of characters were introduced close together which made it somewhat difficult to keep them all straight initially. Otherwise, I highly recommend this series to those who like academic settings, a variety of interesting characters including a male protagonist, and cozy mysteries with lots of subplots and twists.

In addition to being a talented writer, Cudney also has a terrific WordPress blog called This is My Truth Now.

Posted in Cozy Mysteries, Cozy Series, Spotlight

Spotlight for A Bad Hair Day Cookbook by Nancy J. Cohen

A Bad Hair Day Cookbook:
Recipes from Nancy J. Cohen’s Cozy Mystery Series
by Nancy J. Cohen

About the Book


A Bad Hair Day Cookbook: Recipes from Nancy J. Cohen’s Cozy Mystery Series
Cozy Cookbook
Orange Grove Press (November 19, 2019)
Paperback: 324 pages
ISBN-10: 099979325X
ISBN-13: 978-0999793251
Digital ASIN: B07XSH6C7B

Are you having a bad hair day? Whip out your whisk, snatch up your spoon, and prepare your palate. Inside the pages of this cookbook are recipes that will bring you good cheer.

Enjoy 160+ tasty recipes from Nancy J. Cohen’s popular Bad Hair Day cozy mystery series. Included in this cookbook are excerpts, cooking tips, and anecdotes written by hairstylist and savvy sleuth Marla Vail. From appetizers to desserts, Marla offers cooking tips and tricks along with commentary about the dishes she prepares for her family. Whether you’re a skilled cook or an eager novice, this cookbook will unravel the mystery of cooking. Put on your apron and plan to make some killer recipes. Bonuses Include:

•Meet the Sleuth
•Introduction by Marla Vail
•Cooking Tips
•Excerpts from Series Titles
•Themed Menu Suggestions
•“A Sabbath Dinner” by Nancy’s Mother

For Home Cooks, Food Lovers, Mystery Fans and Cookbook Collectors

Recipes are listed in these categories:

APPETIZERS
BEVERAGES
BREADS
SAUCES
SOUPS
ENTREES – BEEF
ENTREES – LAMB
ENTREES – POULTRY
ENTREES – FISH
ENTREES – VEGETARIAN
SIDE DISHES
DESSERTS

“Reading through this cookbook has revived my interest in getting back in the kitchen.” Rhonda Gilliland, Author and Editor of the Cooked to Death Series

“Designed for busy cooks who may not be out solving crimes, but whose time is equally challenged.” Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

“Mysteries and cookbooks belong side by side on readers’ shelves. A Bad Hair Day Cookbook serves up both food and justice.” Christine A. Jackson, Ph.D., Author of Myth and Ritual in Women’s Detective Fiction

APPLE RUM CAKE

I like this recipe that uses an easy cake mix and prepared pie filling. When you don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen, convenience matters. Whip this up to impress your dinner guests and serve with vanilla ice cream for extra pizzazz.

Ingredients

15.25 oz. box spice cake mix

21 oz. can apple pie filling

3 eggs

¾ cup light sour cream

¼ cup rum

2 Tbsp. canola oil

1 tsp. almond extract

2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar

1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon

⅔ cup powdered sugar

2 tsp. reduced fat milk

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set aside 1 Tbsp. cake mix and 1½ cups of pie filling. In a large bowl, combine eggs, sour cream, rum, canola oil, almond extract, remaining cake mix and pie filling. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour half the batter into a greased fluted cake pan. In a separate small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, reserved 1 Tbsp. cake mix and pie filling. Spoon over batter. Top with remaining batter. Bake for 45 minutes.

Cool on rack. Invert cake onto plate. In a small bowl, mix powdered sugar and milk. Dribble over cake as a glaze. Slice and serve.

About Nancy J. Cohen

Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have been named Best Cozy Mystery by Suspense Magazine, won a Readers’ Favorite gold medal, placed first in the Chanticleer International Book Awards and third in the Arizona Literary Awards. Nancy’s instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery, was nominated for an Agatha Award and won a gold medal at the President’s Book Awards from the Florida Authors and Publishers Association. When not busy writing, Nancy enjoys cooking, fine dining, cruising, visiting Disney World, and shopping.

Author Links

Website: https://nancyjcohen.com

Blog: https://nancyjcohen.com/blog

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nancyjcohen

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

Instagram: https://instagram.com/nancyjcohen

Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/njcohen/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/nancy-j-cohen

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

Purchase Links – Amazon Kindle Amazon Print Apple Books Nook Kobo Books2Read BookBub Goodreads

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

November 20 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST

November 20 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

November 21 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

November 21 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

November 22 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

November 22 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

November 22 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT

November 23 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 23 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT

November 23 – Ruff Drafts – RECIPE, SPOTLIGHT

November 24 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST

November 24 – Nadaness In Motion – SPOTLIGHT

November 25 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

November 25 – This Is My Truth Now – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 26 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW, RECIPE

November 26 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

November 26 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

November 27 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 27 – eBook addicts – REVIEW

November 27 – Diary of a Book Fiend – REVIEW

November 28 – THANKSGIVING – OFF

November 29 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, RECIPE

November 29 – Celticlady’s Reviews – REVIEW

November 30 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 30 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Cozy Series, Reviews

Review of Mrs. Morris and the Ghost, the first of a new cozy mystery series by Traci Wilton

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1496721519/

I picked up this paperback book because I thought it would make a nice Halloween read, but I think people would enjoy it any time of year. Taking place in Salem, Massachusetts, the main character is Charlene Morris, a recently widowed, fortyish lady who moves from Chicago to Salem to open a bed and breakfast in a Victorian mansion. There are a nice assortment of characters including a handsome ghost, the previous owner of the house who can’t move on until his murder is solved. Charlene decides to take on this task. It’s a charming book that will keep you guessing, and it also features a cat. The second book of the series is previewed at the back.

 

Posted in Cozy Series, New Releases

Book Blast: Natural Thorn Killer: A Rose City Mystery by Kate Dyer-Seeley

BOOK BLAST

About the Book

Natural Thorn Killer (A Rose City Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Kensington (March 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496705136
Digital ASIN: B073NPHX8Z

Cut down among the flowers . . .

Britta Johnston might be a late bloomer, but after leaving her deadbeat husband and dead-end job, she’s finally pursuing her artistic passion at her aunt Elin’s floral boutique, Blooma, in Portland, Oregon. It’s on the banks of the Willamette, in a quaint district of cobblestone paths and cherry trees. The wine bar featuring Pacific Northwest vintages is a tasty bonus, offering another kind of bouquet to enjoy. But things aren’t as peaceful as they look.

For one thing, someone’s been leaving dead roses around—and a sleazy real estate developer who wants the waterfront property has put a big-money offer on the table. Then, after a contentious meeting of local business owners, he’s found on the floor of the shop, with Elin’s garden shears planted in his chest. And before the police decide to pin the crime on her beloved aunt, Britta will have to find out who arranged this murder . . .

About the Author

Kate Dyer-Seeley aka Ellie Alexander writes multiple mystery series, all with a Pacific Northwest touch. She lives in the PNW with her husband and son, where you can find her hitting the trail, at an artisan coffee shop, or at her favorite pub. Better yet—at all three.

Author Links

Facebook Twitter Instagram GoodReads

 

PRE-ORDER LINKS
Amazon B&N Hudson Booksellers IndieBound BAM

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Posted in A Stone's Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Cozy Series, Freebies and Special Offers, Written in Stone

Holiday Promo – 3 books, 3 days only – 99 cents each – December 1, 2, & 3

The Cobble Cove mystery series is on sale for 99 cents per book. Don’t miss this holiday special running December 1, 2, and 3.  Purchase them all for less than $3. Great to give as gifts, too.

myBook.to/Stonesthrow2

The first book of the series featuring librarian Alicia Fairmont who travels to the small town of Cobble Cove, New York in search of answers about her dead husband’s family and the mysterious hit and run accident that killed him . . . or was it actually murder?

myBook.to/CobbleCove2

It’s holiday time in the small town of Cobble Cove, New York, but the mood is anything but merry because three crimes have hit the town including the kidnapping of baby twins. myBook.to/CC3ebook

A dead body in the library’s mystery section . . . . A missing cat . . . . A strange, beautiful woman who has returned from Alicia’s husband’s past. How are these all connected? Find out in Book 3 of the Cobble Cove mystery series.

Posted in Cats, Cozy Series

Sneaky the Library Cat Talks Books, Blogs, and Groups

I’m proud to have the library cat from my cozy mystery series here to talk about our books and fill my readers in on the latest Cobble Cove news. Hi, Sneaky. thanks for dropping in on my blog.

Hi, Debbie. It’s mice to be here for a change.  For those who don’t know, I have my own blog where I interview cats and other pet characters as well as real-life pets of authors. I’ve had some really interesting guests including a group of llamas recently. You can read and subscribbe to my blog here: https://sneakylibrarycat.wordpress.com

That sounds great, Sneaky. So tell me what’s going on in Cobble Cove. Any news you’d like to share?

Well, you should know more than me, Debbie, because you’re the author, but I have heard some rumors that a fourth book of the series is in the works.

That’s true. I’ve just started writing the fourth Cobble Cove Mystery. I’m not quite ready to give away any hints about it yet, but maybe you’d like to say something about the first three books since you are featured in all of them.

Yep. I’m a regular character along with Alicia, the librarian; John, the newspaper publisher/mystery author; Fido, my dog co-star, and a bunch of other really fun folks who all live in the small upstate town of Cobble Cove, New York, where most of the action takes place. But, let me tell you, for a cozy small town, this place turns out to be a hotbed of crime; and, by “hotbed,” I don’t mean the warm in the sunny bay window type of hotbed. 

In the first book, A Stone’s Throw, there are a few scenes on Long Island where Alicia, like you, is originally from. One of the settings of the second book is New York City during the holidays; and in our latest, Written in Stone, we are back on Long Island for a bit. 

Since I don’t like to give away spoilers, I will just give a brief overview of each book.

In my first adventure, I am introduced as the library cat of the Cobble Cove Library. I help Alicia uncover clues to a very old mystery in the secret room above the library. It isn’t exactly secret because a previous librarian had stayed there, but I like to add a little drama to my descriptions. 

A Stone’s Throw

ebook: myBook.to/Stonesthrow2

paperback: myBook.to/stonesthrow2paper

In the second Cobble Cove mystery, I appear in a children’s storytime at the library. I don’t really help solve the three crimes of burglary, kidnapping, and murder featured in this book, but I provide a bit of comic relief which is an important role in any story.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

ebook: myBook.to/CobbleCove2

paperback: myBook.to/CC2paper

In my latest mystery, I play a big role. Not only do I go missing from the library, but I turn up clues that lead to the person who killed the lady in the library who was wearing the same blouse as Alicia. I also convinced you to let our publisher put my likeness on the cover.  Aren’t I handsome?

Written in Stone

ebook: myBook.to/CC3ebook

paperback: myBook.to/cc3paper

You certainly are, Sneaky, and quite modest. Is there anything else you’d like to say about yourself or our books?

Not purr-ticularly, but I hope I’ve piqued some people’s curiosity and that they check out our series on the links I’ve added underneath the cover of each book. If they want to know more about me or any of the other characters, they can join the Cobble Cove Character Chat group that is hosted each month by a different Cobble Cove resident. I’ve hosted twice and am the current host for September. Each host answers questions from group members, posts excerpts from their scenes in the book, and sponsors a contest for a prize. The winners and new hosts are chosen at the end of each month. https://www.facebook.com/groups/748912598599469/

Thanks for letting the readers know about that, Sneaky. We’re always looking for new members, and I know you are always seeking new pet and pet characters for interviews on your blog.

Yes, Debbie. I love cat chatting with guests. It was fun to talk on your blog, but I must get back to Cobble Cove to help you finish writing our next book and make sure you give me some pawsome scenes. 

I promise I will try, Sneaky. Now for a shameless plug by your author for her other books of various genres that feature cats (sorry, Sneaky).

Check out my Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Debbie-De-Louise/e/B0144ZGXPW. Connect with me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author and Twitter: https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian

Don’t forget to join my author newsletter for updates and monthly contests. Sign up on my website: https://debbiedelouise.com

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Authors, Books, Cozies, Cozy Chat, Cozy Mystery, Cozy Series

Cozy Chat with Peg Cochran

cozycatpicToday’s guest for a Cozy Chat is Peg Cochran about her Farmer’s Daughter Series.

Hi, Peg. Thanks for joining us on Cozy Chat. Have a seat and help yourself to some tea while we talk.

NoFarmNoFoulCan you tell us a little bit about the Farmer’s Daughter series? What gave you the idea for it?

My agent and I tossed various ideas around. She had the idea for a farmer who blogs, and I really liked the concept.  I decided I wanted to do something a little different so I made her a young widow with an almost teenaged daughter and an eight-year-old son.  She blogs about cooking, farming, raising children and life in general which, on Love Blossom Farm, is sometimes a little crazy!

Sounds nice. Do you have any advice to other authors about writing cozies or writing in general?

Never give up! I had 400 rejections on three projects I’d been circulating to agents for two years when I finally got my “big break” thanks to a writing buddy who put me in touch with her agent about a project. Another bit of advice—network with other writers through on-line writers’ groups.  You never know who might open a door for you.  As for writing cozies, the key is a strong “hook.”

Wow! That’s impressive. Being persistent is definitely important for authors. I’m currently looking for an agent myself and, although I haven’t sent out nearly as many queries as you mentioned, I don’t let the rejections deter me.

What are you currently working on?

I just received the copy-edits from my editor for the third Cranberry Cove release, Dead and Berried. The second Farmer’s Daughter book, Sowed to Death, is scheduled for release in 2017. The first one, “No Farm, No Foul”  is scheduled for release today, September 6, and I’m working on the fifth book in my e-book Lucille Series coming out through Beyond the Page Publishing.

Sounds like a full schedule. I also juggle several books and other writing projects. Do you write any other genres than cozies?

Right now I am very busy with my cozies, but I’m doing research for a proposal for a historical mystery, and I’d love to try my hand at suspense. I like a challenge!

I think that’s great. Can you tell me how you got started in writing?

By reading. Reading Nancy Drew gave me the urge to write a mystery although my first writing, done when I was around seven, was plays that I forced my cousins to perform at Christmas dinner!

Nice story. What are your hobbies besides writing?

Reading, of course, and I love to cook.  I’m hopeless at needlework of any kind, and forget scrapbooking—the only pictures that have made it into albums are through 1984!

LOL. It’s hard to find the time for hobbies when you write, but reading is always helpful.

Is there anything else you’d like readers of this blog to know about you and/or your books?

IMG_2845I love hearing from readers! They can contact me through my website: pegcochran.com. 

Thanks for the interview, Peg, and best wishes on your upcoming cozies and other books.