Wednesday, April 18, 2018

MALICIOUS MISCHIEF : A Hannah and Tamar Mystery

RELEASE DAY!

Synopsis:

Social media, smoke bombs, and a secret society.

When a popular jock senses something’s up with his younger sister, he turns to local teen sleuths, Hannah and Tamar, for help. At the same time, a rash of smoke bombs attacks across Rosedale has the community on edge. Are these events connected and could someone at Rosedale High be involved?

Join Hannah and Tamar as they uncover malicious mischief and forge new friendships in this mystery for teens and young adults.

Read an excerpt:


It was the end of the day and as the bell rang, the halls erupted with students and noise. Hannah rushed through the crowd to her locker and grabbed her jacket. Her sister, Tamar, waited on her in the parking lot and she was not known for her patience.

Hannah felt someone collide with her and tried to keep going to no avail. She turned to see what the problem was and faced a very tall, stocky male. His hand was hooked through the strap of her backpack. He yelled to someone, “I know. I’ll see you there, Jake.”

He turned to Hannah. “You’re Hannah Bertolet, right?”

Hannah nodded.

“This way. I need to talk to you.”

When Hannah held her ground, he looked around and whispered, “Honest, I’m not gonna hurt you. I need your help.” He pleaded, “Please, this way.”

Her curiosity won out over her better judgment, and she allowed him to guide her in the direction of the gym and into an empty classroom. Once inside, he let go of her backpack and slid into a chair. Seated and slumped over, he was a lot less threatening than when he was towering over her. He had a baby face and dark hair that stuck out in tufts, reminding her of a bear. She sat down next to him and waited for him to speak.
“I’m Miles Rothstein. My grandmother told us all about how you and your sister solved a mystery for one of her pals at Parkview Heights. That’s why I need your help.” His voice was low and quiet, like he shared a secret.

Hannah racked her brain and it finally clicked. Stella Rothstein, the gossip at Parkview Heights. “What’s wrong? Is Mrs. Rothstein alright?”

“She’s fine – well, at least as fine as ever. I’m the one who needs your help. You’ll help me, right?”
“What? I don’t know if I can.”

“You just have to help me. I… I don’t know who else can.”

The door to the classroom opened and students started walking in, along with Coach Summer.
Miles straightened up and extended his hand. In a louder voice, he dismissed her. “Thanks for agreeing to tutor me. I need to keep my grades up to play. I’ll call you to set up times.”

With a quick glance, Hannah realized the whole football team was pouring into the room. She nodded and left. She still didn’t have a clue what Miles needed help with though she was sure he’d be in touch.
***
Hannah looked at her watch and ran to the parking lot. The Bertolet’s green Subaru Outback was nowhere to be seen. She checked her phone to see if there was a message. No message. She clicked on Tamar’s name and waited for her to answer.

“Tamar, where are you? I’m in the parking lot.”

“You didn’t come out so I figured you must have made other plans.”

“Right. Well, you can come right back here and get me. I wasn’t that late so you can’t be all that far from here.”

“Alright, alright. I’ll be there in about five minutes.”

Hannah waited impatiently and tried to imagine what Miles might want. She was pretty sure it wasn’t tutoring. She shook her head as Tamar pulled up.

“What are you shaking your head about? Why were you late? Studying with Scott?” she teased.

“If only. One of the football players grabbed me – he wanted to talk to me about something, but then the rest of the team showed up.” Hannah shrugged. “No idea what the problem was, I only know Mrs. Rothstein is his grandmother.”

“Oh, gosh. If he’s anything like her…” She groaned.

“I know. I also know he wasn’t trying to ask me for a date. When the team showed up he made comments about tutoring him in math. Only before that, he made a point of mentioning our solving the mystery at Parkview. He said he needed our help.”

“Was he cute? Not that the jocks would be interested in dating nerds.”

“What about Matt? Or Dylan?”

Matt and Dylan were friends from Vermont. The sisters hung out with them when they visited their grandparents for the holidays. The foursome would go skiing or skating or out for a movie or dinner. More recently, Matt and Hannah or Dylan and Tamar might do something on their own.

“Hannah, people in VT – even Matt and Dylan – don’t see us every day or in school. They don’t know you’ve been taking college level classes for two years and I’m taking some now. All they know is we’re the granddaughters of one of their own. Besides when we’re there, it’s all about the holidays or vacation – not how smart we are or our grades.”

“Are we really not nerdy or geeky when we aren’t in school?”

“I don’t think we’re labeled that way. Besides, thanks to Gramps, Matt, and Dylan, we actually know about sports and stuff other than school subjects. Most girls don’t even understand the games.”

“You realize you just admitted we’re even geeks about sports.” Hannah chuckled.

Tamar rolled her eyes. “But was this guy cute? Another quarterback for you? You never answered me.”

“Miles? Definitely not a quarterback. I don’t know for sure what position he plays. We can look it up later. He’s tall and big. Not just because I’m on the short side. Taller than Matt. And stocky. I’m not sure he’d have to do much more than hold his position to block someone. I’d guess he plays defense or maybe he’s a linebacker. Okay looking, I guess.”

“Oh, well. I still bet Scott will be jealous if you start hanging out with him.”

“I keep telling you, Tamar, Scott and I are just friends. We’re study buddies. Yes, we went out on one date. That’s it.” Hannah shook her head. “I could say the same thing about you and Kyle you know. You eat lunch together every day and he took you to homecoming last fall.”

“Okay, okay. Kyle and I aren’t even study buddies. Miles may not want you to tutor him, but that’s the motivation for Kyle. He wants to stay on my good side so I can help him with his English lit. He and Bella are on again, off again – that’s the only reason he asked me to Homecoming.”

Tamar sighed. Kyle was awesome. His blonde hair, blue eyes, and easy smile got to her every time. No chance with him though. Bella had his heart or at least his hormones. On the dance team, she was athletic with curves in all the right places and very social. An attractive girl of average height with straight, dark brown hair and hazel eyes, Tamar’s slim figure couldn’t compete with Bella’s curves.

Tamar pulled the car into the driveway of their home in Rosedale, Virginia. The sisters exchanged worried glances when they parked next to their father’s silver Lexus.

“What’s dad doing home so early? Or are we that late?”

Hannah looked at her watch. “He’s early. I wonder what’s going on?”

Excerpt from Malicious Mischief by Christa Nardi & Cassidy Salem. Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved.

To celebrate the release, both Malicious Mischief and The Mysterious Package are on sale through April 24th for $0.99!   




Purchase Links:



Monday, April 16, 2018

Review: SHARPE TURN : Maycroft Mystery Series Book 4 by Lisa B. Thomas

Synopsis:
Sharpe Turn (Maycroft Mystery Series Book 4)

SHE WANTS TO WRITE A MYSTERY. INSTEAD SHE’S EMBROILED IN ONE.
When a famous author agrees to teach a writing course at the library, amateur sleuth Deena Sharpe eagerly signs up. But on the second day of class, the author’s wife dies in a car crash, and the police suspect foul play. Is it a hoax to teach his students about plotting a murder mystery? Not likely.

Deena dives into the investigation when a friend is accused of the crime. With her brother’s help, she must clear their friend’s name and stay out of trouble with the town’s newest detective. As if that weren’t enough, it’s her husband’s birthday and her pushy mother-in-law is coming to town. What’s a Southern gal to do?

Sharpe Turn is Book 3 in the Maycroft Mystery Series. If you like a savvy sleuth and a twisty plot, this clean whodunit may be your new favorite cozy mystery.

Review:

Deena is once again involved in a murder mystery, this time of a famous mystery writer. Everyone is excited he's going to teach a class, including the librarian. When his wife dies in a suspicious wreck, her friend is a suspect. Even her brother ventures outside his comfort range to help. Deena's husband Gary is away at a conference and there's a new detective on the case - and not one she particularly has had good interactions with before. Amidst all the mystery, the crisis facing Deena is making Gary's birthday cake to impress his mother that she really can cook. 

This is the fourth in the Maycroft Mystery Series, a fun series. Each can be read as a stand alone mystery with characters re-occurring across books. I've managed to read them out of order without any problems. This is also a clean read, so if you like your mystery without the gore and graphic descriptions, you won't be offended by this one, or the others in the series. 

AMAZON BUY LINK for Sharpe Turn

Sharpe Shooter #1
Sharpe Edge #2
Sharpe Mind #3
Sharpe Turn #4
Sharpe Point #5
Sharpe Cookie #6
Get Sharpe #7

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Blog tour: THE SILVER GUN by



Synopsis

New York City, 1936. In the midst of the Great Depression, the Big Apple is defiantly striving toward an era infused with art, architecture, and economic progress under the dynamic Mayor La Guardia. But those in City Hall know that tumultuous times can inspire both optimism and deadly danger . . .

It’s been six months since Lane Sanders was appointed Mayor Fiorello “Fio” La Guardia’s new personal aide, and the twenty-three-year-old is sprinting in her Mary Janes to match her boss’s pace. Despite dealing with vitriol from the Tammany Hall political machine and managing endless revitalization efforts, Fio hasn’t slowed down a bit during his years in office. And luckily for Lane, his unpredictable antics are a welcome distraction from the childhood memories that haunt her dreams—and the silver gun she’ll never forget.


When Lane gets attacked and threatened by an assailant tied to one of most notorious gangsters in the city, even the mayor can’t promise her safety. The corrupt city officials seem to be using Lane as a pawn against Fio for disgracing their party in the prior election. But why was the assailant wielding the exact same gun from her nightmares?

Balancing a clandestine love affair and a mounting list of suspects, Lane must figure out how the secrets of her past are connected to the city’s underground crime network—before someone pulls the trigger on the most explosive revenge plot in New York history . . .

Review

Lane was raised by her aunt after her parents died and she almost died. Now she's working in the Mayor's office with the usual jealousy - especially with Fio's relationship with her aunt and his morning stops at their home for breakfast. The political opposition is believed to be behind the recent crime including the murder. They are getting more and more bold, so much so that she seeks the assistance of the well known (and feared) gangster with a promise that she'll find the killer. Amidst all this, Lane has recurring nightmares that include a silver gun, and now she's seen the real thing. What she finds out is unexpected and only adds to the mystery.

The characters are unique in their antics and personalities. The story includes subplots and red herrings to distract the reader.  The pace is steady and I enjoyed the book. This is the first in the Art Deco Mystery series and I look forward to reading more of these as Lane matures. 


About the Author
L .A. Chandlar is the author of the Art Deco Mystery Series with Kensington Publishing featuring Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and a fresh take on the innovation and liveliness of 1930s New York City. Her debut novel, The Silver Gun released August 29, 2017, and the sequel, The Gold Pawn, will release September 25th, 2018. Laurie has been living and writing in New York City for 16 years and has been speaking for a wide variety of audiences for over 20 years including a women’s group with the United Nations. Her talks range from NYC history, the psychology of creativity, and the history of holiday traditions. Laurie has also worked in PR for General Motors, writes and fund-raises for a global nonprofit, is the mother of two boys, and has toured the nation managing a rock band.

Watch for the Cover Reveal for the 2nd book in this series on April 23!

Author Links

Website: http://www.lachandlar.com

Social Media Quick Link to all my social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Newsletter): http://www.lachandlar.com/social

YouTube for Behind the Scenes Tours: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOc8aw0RmT-MTKuCGKJ7dOw?view_as=subscriber

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7656965.L_A_Chandlar


Purchase Links

Amazon B&N Kobo Google Play BookBub


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tour Participants

April 9 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – CHARACTER GUEST POST

April 10 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 11 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

April 12 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW, GUEST POST

April 13 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST

April 14 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

April 15 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 16 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

April 17 – Carstairs Considers – REVIEW

April 17 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST

April 18 – Jane Reads – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

April 19 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, EXCERPT

April 20 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

April 21 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

April 22 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Guest Post: Carl Brookins, Author of GRAND LAC

Today, it's my pleasure to welcome Carl Brookins, author of Grand Lac and his take on amateur sleuths. 


AMATEUR DETECTIVES IN THE FICTIONAL REAL WORLD 

I’ve been participating in a local SISTERS IN CRIME chapter panel on amateur detectives. From that experience I have gleaned a number of useful ideas which I share here, thanks to my fellow sisters and my own experience. I do not maintain that these suggestions are in any way endorsed by Sisters In Crime. That doesn’t make them any the less useful for the writers who may read this piece, looking for a few pointers.

Amateur sleuths need to be special, in the sense that they have a higher level of interest or motivation. That interest can come from a very wide range of sources. My unlicensed detective, Alan Lockem, was Military Intelligence in an earlier life. His companion was a very intelligent and talented exotic dancer.

Some amateurs have friends who are cops like Betsy Devonshire, owner of a needlecraft shop, whose customers and knitting friends, and the cops bring her into crime solving. When an amateur detective has good relations with local law enforcement—and some don’t—it can add another dimension to your story. Amateurs are often able and willing to engage in questionable behavior to aid police and help solve the crime.

In the area of the paranormal, or spirit world, amateur sleuths may draw on that uncertain world for clues that ordinary citizens wouldn’t recognize. Occasionally a small group of otherwise ordinary individuals may pool their talents and boost access to the spirit world through their multiplicity of strengths. Such a group is called No Ordinary Women, a series in which the five characters refuse to accept things at face value, which leads them into danger and crime-solving of many sorts.

Nosiness is a helpful attribute. An inherent unwillingness to accept circumstances at face value is vital. Another useful attribute is life circumstance. My unlicensed detective referred to above is financially independent, as is his companion, Marjorie Kane. Thus, in GRAND LAC they can fly off to Idaho at a moment’s notice to aid Marjorie’s relative, accused of murder. Your amateur investigator must have a spouse or companion, or a career, which allows him or her to pivot to nearly full-time attention to the case (or body) that intrigue’s her. Presumably they have a normal job and life to return to after solving the case.

There are only so many relatives asking for help and so many law officers who will put up with amateur meddling, which mean an author ought to spend some time figuring out the context, social, professional and otherwise, presuming that a series will result, in a situation which does not provoke readers and reviewers like me to throw up our hands in frustration at the unlikely circumstances engaging the protagonist. 

In sum, amateur detectives are mostly (but not always) sheer invention. Those with true talent and ability often end up working as professionals for law enforcement. The others often go gently into that good night.

Brief bio and links for Carl Brookins:
Before he became a mystery writer and reviewer, Carl Brookins was a counselor and faculty member at Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Brookins and his wife are avid recreational sailors. He is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and Private Eye Writers of America. He can frequently be found touring bookstores and libraries with his companions-in-crime, The Minnesota Crime Wave.

He writes the sailing adventure series featuring Michael Tanner and Mary Whitney. The third novel is Old Silver. His new private investigator series features Sean NMI Sean, a short P.I. The first is titled The Case of the Greedy Lawyers. Brookins received a liberal arts degree from the University of Minnesota and studied for a MA in Communications at Michigan State University.


http://www.carlbrookins.com/
https://www.facebook.com/carl.brookins?fref=ts
@carlbrookins

Buy links:

Grand Lac
Reunion


Monday, March 26, 2018

Book Review: The Penderghast Puzzle Protectors (Brilliant, Minnesota Mystery #1 by Julie Seedorf


Synposis (from Amazon)

The Brilliant Brothers founded Brilliant Minnesota, and then they disappeared. The residents of Brilliant didn’t know the brothers left a puzzle needing to be solved. A chain of unexpected present-day events shakes up the Penderghast neighborhood of Brilliant: Mr. Warbler hanging between floors after stepping through a hole cut in his floor by a floornapper, then a dead body in Annabelle Avery’s empty house. To the dismay of Police Chief Hank Hardy, Jezabelle Jingle and her quirky neighbors form their own sleuth group under the guise of the Penderghast Puzzle Protectors to solve the puzzle before any of them end up in pieces or—worse yet—dead. Will they be able to figure out if the same person who is causing the mysterious happenings is also Jezabelle’s secret admirer, or is another mystery unfolding to complicate their investigation? Is the entire town in danger of a pernicious puzzle waiting to be solved?

Review

The theft of pieces of flooring in houses in the Penderghast neighborhood lead to questions about the history of Brilliant and the Brilliant brothers who founded the town and built these old houses. Whatever the secret of the flooring, it has resulted in one death and another accident. As Jezabelle and her neighbors track each others' movements, there seem to be some other puzzling occurrences. You have to feel sorry for Police Chief Hank Hardy who tries to keep these puzzlers out of his investigation, but he doesn't have all the pieces either. 

With this new series in Brilliant, MN, Seedorf introduces the rather unique and quirky characters in a lighthearted cozy mystery. These characters are just as much fun as Granny in Fuchsia, MN and there seems to be a competition between the same towns. I look forward to reading more in this series.


The second in the Brilliant, Minnesota Mystery series - The Discombobulated Deciphers is available as well AMAZON LINK

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Review: THE POWER OF LOVE AND MURDER (Love and Murder Series #4) by Brenda Whiteside

Synopsis

For thirteen years, Penny Sparks has managed to hide from the political powers who murdered her family. When she unwittingly exposes her true identity, not only is she marked for death, but the people closest to her risk meeting the same fate.

Jake Winters is out of rehab and coming to grips with his demons. When he meets his sister’s roommate, Jake believes Penny might be that someone who can help him find life after rock star status…until her secrets blow up his world.

With a government agent turned hit man closing in on her, Penny and Jake race to expose the presidential contender behind the murders of her family. Even if they win the race with death, the murder that stands between them could end their hope for a new life.


Review

A suspenseful read, this is well-written on many levels. Both Penny and Jake are complex characters, both dealing with demons. Jake's sister Mandy took Penny in when she showed up in Flagstaff 13 years before, without even a jacket for warmth, to start a new life. Having lived too much of the good life of a rock star, Jake lands at Mandy's as he is working on starting a new life in recovery. The impending holidays are rocky for both of them. Despite a previous encounter, this time around Penny and Jake connect - until Penny does the one thing her father warned her not to do - try to connect with anyone from her previous life. Now the people who killed her family are after her. The tension is palpable and the pace is steady. Even the secondary characters have depth and there is an emotional charge to their interactions. 

This is my first read by Whiteside, but it won't be my last. Although this is the 4th in the Love and Murder Series, it can easily be read as a stand alone.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley in the hopes that I would post an honest review. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Blog Tour and Character Guest Post: SIX FEET UNDER by Tonya Kappes

Today it is my pleasure to have Poppa or Sheriff Sims (from SIX FEET UNDER by Tonya Kappes) as my guest:

Character Interview
Character’s full name: Poppa or Sheriff Sims

A short bio on this character: I’m not your typical character. I was the sheriff of my small town of Cottonwood, Kentucky for longer than I count. But that don’t matter now. What matters is that my granddaughter, Kendrick Lowry- Kenni Bug for short, was elected to sheriff in Cottonwood. You see, I’m dead. I died of a massive heart attack before she was elected, so I made it my ever-after mission to keep her safe. I’ve been busy! I’ve been scaring off any would be criminals for the past two years. It wasn’t until recently that I realized I couldn’t be in two places at once when someone killed Doc Walton and broke into White’s Jewelry. So when I showed up at Kenni Bug’s house in my ghost form, she didn’t take it so well. Needless to say, I ain’t leaving and since Deputy Lonnie Lemer retired, Kenni Bug needs a new deputy. Might as well be me.

1. How did you first meet your writer? Tonya was watching Longmire and she thought it would be cool to have a girl sheriff. Of course I knew it would be a lot more fun if she included me, so I tiptoed into Tonya’s head and the rest is history.

2. Want to dish about him/her? Awe, I like Tonya well enough. She’s got a lot going on in that head of hers so I have to push people out of the way to get my story told.

3. Did you ever think that your life would end up being in a book? No! I am a simple man from a small town. I like to stop and talk to everyone at the Cowboy’s Catfish diner, play a little craps down on the river and maybe sip a beer or two. Simple man.

4. Tell us about your favorite scene in the book. I love when Kenni Bug first realizes that I’m there and ready to help her. You know I can just ghost right on through a wall and see things people on the outside can’t.

5. Did you have a hard time convincing your author to write any particular scenes for you? Nah. Tonya listens and if she doesn’t listen to me, then I can make sure she writes herself into a corner so it forces her to go back and fix it.

6. What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere? I like to sit in Kenni Bug’s back yard with Duke, her dog that I bought her and play fetch with him.

7. What are you most afraid of? I’m afraid my Kenni Bug is going to get into a situation I can’t help her with. Her heart! There’s this young man, Finn Vincent, from the Kentucky State Reserve that has been sent in to help Kenni Bug and he is a big talker. I can see it in her eyes just like I saw it in her mama’s eyes before she married Kenni’s daddy.

8. Describe the town where you live. Cottonwood is a place you can walk down the street and wave to anyone coming by. We like to stop and ask about family. We look out for each other. We might have some difference, but in hard times we come together. We don’t have any of those fancy stores. Just some, home-grown shops along with some really good diners. Now don’t mind the Auxiliary women. They are a bit nosy so they will question you without a care in the world.

9. Will you encourage your author to write a sequel? Will I? She is! She’s got a ten book contract and it’s only getting better from here!

Now to talk about SIX FEET UNDER...


SIX FEET UNDER
A paranormal cozy mystery
Kenni Lowry Mystery Series 
Book 4

Synopsis



Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth. And let me tell you, this broth is in trouble. Get ready for a Southern showdown.

The residents of Cottonwood, Kentucky are sent into a tizzy when the Culinary Channel comes to town to film an episode of Southern Home Cookin’ with celebrity chef Frank Von Lee.

Especially Sheriff Kenni Lowry.

Her mama’s award-winning chicken pot pie is what brought Frank to town, and they don’t make hair in the South bigger than her mama’s ego after the news.

When Frank Von Lee is found dead from food poisoning and the most likely culprit is Mama’s chicken pot pie, Kenni’s poppa, the former sheriff, comes back from the Great Beyond to assist in the investigation.

But nothing’s prepared Kenni for such a personal tie to a case, and she finds herself pushing the limits of the laws she’s sworn to protect.

This book’s so delicious it’ll make your mouth water and leave you hankerin’ for more.

About the Author

For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been publishing numerous mystery and romance titles with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plot lines and quirky characters, but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.

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