September 25, 2018

Final Roasting Place by Devon Delaney - Review


Book details
Series: A Cook-Off Mystery (Book 2)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Kensington (September 25, 2018)
ISBN-13: 978-1496714459

Book description
Sherry Frazzelle is back to being Sherry Oliveri, her divorce all but final and her new life in full swing. Her part-time job is helping her father with his hooked-rug business, and her full-time passion is competitive cooking. But murder is about to rock their little Connecticut town . . .

Erno Oliveri made sure to be on set for his daughter’s cook-off appearance on Sunny Side Up with Brett and Carmell. Or as it’s now known, Sunny Side Up with Carmell and Brett—since the ambitious young Carmell seems to have the producer and station owner eating out of her hand. But the important news is that Sherry has bested the competition with her Spicy Toasted Chickpea and Almond appetizer and clinched the spatula-shaped trophy. It’s her shining moment—until everything goes dark.

A quick-moving storm has knocked out power to the studio—and when the lights come back up, Carmell is at her desk with a sharp object lodged in her neck. The weapon is an unusual tool, used by craftsmen who make hooked rugs. Has someone taken corporate backstabbing to a new level, and framed Erno in the process? If Sherry’s going to protect her dad and their family name, she has to find out where he was when the lights went out . . .

Includes Recipes from Sherry’s Kitchen!

Meet the author - Devon Delany
Devon Delaney is a wife, mother of three, accomplished cooking contester, recent empty nester and lifelong resident of the Northeast. She has been handsomely rewarded for her recipe innovation over the last twenty-plus years. Among the many prizes she has won are a full kitchen of major appliances, top cash prizes and four trips to Disney World. She has also won the Grand Prize in a national writing contest for her “foodie” poem “Ode to Pork Passion.” The art and skill of writing a winning recipe lends to her ability to clearly organize her words and ideas in print. The popularity of food competitions, like the Pillsbury Bakeoff (which she has competed in 3 times) and TV programs like Chopped (which she auditioned for) and Top Chef, prove the market is currently sizzling for this subject matter. Her goal is to share her unique expertise and perspective through an entertaining cozy murder mystery series.

Website: https://www.devonpdelaney.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/devonpdelaney/

My thoughts
This is the first book I have read in this series and I really enjoyed it.  I did not feel one bit lost by starting with the second book although now I want to go back and read the first one. I enjoyed the cook-off theme to this story. It made me hungry thinking about the food. The recipes in this book also sounds good and I will have to give them a try. The author did a good job in developing the characters. I felt as if I could be friends with Sherry and cheer her on in her competition. I look forward to more books in this series. 

A Catered Cat Wedding by Isis Crawford - Spotlight


Book details
Series: A Mystery With Recipes (Book 14)
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Kensington (September 25, 2018)
ISBN-13: 978-1496714961

Book description
Sisters Bernie and Libby Simmons run a catering business in their upstate New York town, and they’re ready and willing to handle any wedding—even one where the bride and groom have tails . . .

Susie Katz is known as the crazy cat lady of Longely, New York, and goes out of her way to earn the title, right down to her cat T-shirts and porcelain Hello Kitties. She’s a fanatic for anything feline. Humans, not so much.

So when she decides to put up a tent on her property and hold an extravagant wedding ceremony for her two Russian blues, she makes sure to include a few two-legged guests—primarily to raise some hackles. All her favorite enemies will be there: her bird-loving neighbor, a rival cat breeder, a local animal rights activist, and the niece and nephew who stand to inherit her considerable fortune . . . if she doesn’t spend it all on cat tchotchkes first. Susie can’t wait for them all to watch as Boris and Natasha slink up the aisle in their very expensive diamond-studded collars, before everyone starts digging in to the poached salmon and caviar provided for the occasion by Bernie and Libby.

But chaos erupts when a wedding gift is unwrapped and a mischief of mice jump out of the box—followed by the disappearance of all the pampered partygoers. Just a few hours later, Susie is stabbed in the back while searching for her missing kitties near the now-empty tent—and it’s up to the Simmons sisters to sniff out the killer . . .

Includes Original Recipes for You to Try!

Meet the author - Isis Crawford
ISIS CRAWFORD was born in Egypt to parents who were in the diplomatic corps. When she was five, her family returned to the States, where her mother opened a restaurant in Upper Westchester County and her father became a university professor. Since then Isis has combined her parents’ love of food and travel by running a catering service as well as penning numerous travel-related articles about places ranging from Omsk to Paraguay. Married, with twin boys, she presently resides in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, where she is working on the next Bernie and Libby culinary mystery.

Website: https://isiscrawford.com/



September 24, 2018

Season of Wonder by RaeAnne Thayne - Review

I received this book free from the publisher. All opinions are my own

Book details
Paperback: 320 pages
Haven Point #9
Publisher: HQN; Original edition (September 25, 2018)
ISBN-13: 978-1335947932

Book description
It’s a long way from New York to Idaho…but could they have found a home at last?

Dani Capelli has never truly belonged anywhere. And from her earliest days as a foster child in Queens, she would have been lost if it weren’t for her love of animals. Until high school, when she fell hard for the wrong boy, and found herself pregnant—and married—by graduation. Two daughters later, Dani realized her mistake and filed for divorce, and with the help of scholarships and loans—and a lot of macaroni and cheese dinners—she enrolled in vet school. Things were finally looking up…until her ex-husband became her late husband, in the most notorious way possible.

Now Dani and her daughters need an out-of-town pass more than ever. So when the retiring Haven Point veterinarian offers her a chance to settle in the small Idaho town and take over his practice, she jumps at it. But adjusting to the charming mountain community isn’t easy; thirteen-year-old Silver begins acting out while six-year-old Mia is growing too attached to Haven Point and everything in it, especially their next-door-neighbor, Deputy Sheriff Ruben Morales. And Dani can’t blame her. Ruben is everything she’s secretly wanted—and everything she can’t bear to risk loving…and losing.

As the holidays draw near, their shared concern for Dani’s daughters brings them closer together, giving Ruben the chance to show this big-city woman just how magical Christmas in Haven Point can be...and that the promise of a home at last is very real in the most wondrous season of the year…

Meet the author - RaeAnne Thayne
New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including six RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and Career Achievement and Romance Pioneer awards from RT Book Reviews. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.raeannethayne.com.

My thoughts
This was a nice installment to add to the Haven Point series. I enjoyed getting to go back to Haven Point. It is almost like visiting family when you start reading this author's books. I liked getting to know Dani and her family. Then the way Dani and Ruben played off of each other added to the story line for me. This was an easy to read book. I just wanted to curl up with it all day and forget the outside world. I am looking forward to the next book in this series. 

September 23, 2018

Forever Fudge! by Nancy Coco - Review


Book details
Series: A Candy-coated Mystery (Book 6)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Kensington; Reissue edition (September 25, 2018)
ISBN-13: 978-1496716064

Book description
When a film crew comes to Mackinac Island, the last thing fudge shop owner Allie McMurphy expects to find is a murder victim . . .

SHOT ON LOCATION

It's Labor Day weekend, the official end of tourist season, and the beginning of a whole batch of trouble. First, the island is invaded by a TV crew filming a murder mystery pilot, and handsome Hollywood heartthrob Dirk Benjamin needs Allie’s help to prep for his role as local cop Rex Manning. Then, Allie’s bichonpoo Mal sniffs out a real murder in the alley behind the Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop, a man shot in the head—with a note challenging amateur sleuth Allie to catch the culprit. Like it or not, the fudge maker has to square off against a crazy killer—but this time she may have bitten off more than she can chew . .

Meet the author - Nancy Coco
Nancy Coco is the byline chosen by popular author Nancy J. Parra for use exclusively with the Candy-Coated Mysteries series. With degrees in engineering, journalism and a MA in Writing Popular Fiction, Nancy has published in cozy mystery, romantic suspense, and sweet western historical romances. An Air Force veteran who rose to the rank of sergeant, Nancy is a member of an on-line group of female veterans who are authors—“Military Women Who Have Turned Sword to Pen.” The group’s website is www.romvets.com. Nancy is also a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She has given workshops on a number of writing topics and enjoys doing author panels at fan conferences such as Malice Domestic and Bouchercon. She lives in Oregon with her dog—a bichonpoo affectionately known as Little Dog on Nancy’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Website: https://www.nancyjcoco.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nancyjcoco
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nancyjparra

My thoughts
This has been a fun series to read and I was happy to get the chance to read this latest installment.  I enjoy the author's writing style as she makes the words just flow off the page. You never know what Allie and her pup are going to be up to next. I liked how in this one the actual murder resembled the show they were filming in Allie's town. You thought you were just going to hear about the show and the next thing you know Mal has sniffed out a murder victim. Then you are led on a series of twists and turns while Allie is trying to solve the case. Just when you think it is all solved her comes another twist. I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to more by this author.

Murder Flies the Coop by Jessica Ellicott - Spotlight


Book details
Series: A Beryl and Edwina Mystery (Book 2)
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Kensington (September 25, 2018)
ISBN-13: 978-1496710529

Book description
One would hardly call them birds of a feather, but thrill-seeking American adventuress Beryl Helliwell and quietly reserved Brit Edwina Davenport do one thing very well together—solve murders . . .

Sharing lodging in the sleepy English village of Walmsley Parva has eased some of the financial strain on the two old school chums, but money is still tight in these lean years following the Great War. All of Beryl's ex-husbands have proven reluctant to part with her alimony, which is most inconvenient.

So when the local vicar—and pigeon-racing club president—approaches them with a private inquiry opportunity, the ladies eagerly accept. There's been a spot of bother: the treasurer has absconded with the club's funds and several prized birds.

Beryl and Edwina hope to flush out the missing man by checking his boardinghouse and place of employment at the coal mine. But when they visit the man's loft, they find their elusive quarry lying in white feathers and a pool of crimson blood, stabbed to death—the only witnesses cooing mournfully.

After a stiff gin fizz, the ladies resume their search for the missing funds and prized birds—and now a murderer. Beryl and Edwina aren't shy about ruffling a few feathers as they home in on their suspects. But they had better find the killer fast, before their sleuthing career is cut short . . .

Meet the author - Jessica Ellicott
Jessica Ellicott loves fountain pens, Mini Coopers and throwing parties. She lives in northern New England where she obsessively knits wool socks and enthusiastically speaks Portuguese with a shocking disregard for the rules of grammar.

Website: https://www.jessicaellicott.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jessicaellicottauthor/

Feral Attraction by Eileen Watkins - Spotlight


Book details
Series: A Cat Groomer Mystery (Book 3)
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Kensington (September 25, 2018)
ISBN-13: 978-1496710604

Book description
Cat groomer Cassie McGlone tails a killer gone wild over feral felines. . .

Cassie's good friend Dawn is part of an organization that's trying to protect a colony of stray cats on the property of a condo community in Chadwick, New Jersey. The residents have got their backs up over the cat invasion, and Dawn has come to Cassie's grooming and boarding shop, Cassie's Comfy Cats, to ask her help in talking sense to them.

Not everyone's against the cats. Eccentric Sabrina Ward feeds them and has even created makeshift shelters for them in the nearby woods, infuriating her neighbors. Following a heated community meeting—in which Cassie and Dawn come up with a proposal—Sabrina's body is found in the woods. The police are calling her death an accident, but Cassie smells a rat. Narrowing down the list of suspects may be tougher than herding cats, but Cassie is determined to collar the killer before another cat lover has a fatal accident . . .

Meet the author - Eileen Watkins
Eileen Watkins worked for daily newspapers for most of her career, writing and editing stories on fine art, architecture, interior design and home improvement. She also has published paranormal mystery and suspense novels. A confirmed “Jersey Girl,” she prefers older houses, has always shared her home with at least one cat and makes frequent visits to the nearest riding stable. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.

Website: www.efwatkins.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EileenWatkinsAuthor/

September 18, 2018

The Matrimonial Advertisement by Mimi Matthews - Spotlight and Giveaway


Book details
The Matrimonial Advertisement by Mimi Matthews
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Perfectly Proper Press
Paperback & eBook; 317 Pages
Series: Parish Orphans of Devon, Book 1
Genre: Historical/Romance

Book description
She Wanted Sanctuary… Helena Reynolds will do anything to escape her life in London, even if that means traveling to a remote cliffside estate on the North Devon coast and marrying a complete stranger. But Greyfriar’s Abbey isn’t the sort of refuge she imagined. And ex-army captain Justin Thornhill—though he may be tall, dark, and devastatingly handsome—is anything but a romantic hero. He Needed Redemption… Justin has spent the last two decades making his fortune, settling scores, and suffering a prolonged period of torture in an Indian prison. Now, he needs someone to smooth the way for him with the villagers. Someone to manage his household—and warm his bed on occasion. What he needs, in short, is a wife and a matrimonial advertisement seems the perfect way to acquire one. Their marriage was meant to be a business arrangement and nothing more. A dispassionate union free from the entanglements of love and affection. But when Helena’s past threatens, will Justin’s burgeoning feelings for his new bride compel him to come to her rescue? Or will dark secrets of his own force him to let her go? 

 Praise for The Matrimonial Advertisement

"Matthews' (The Pug Who Bit Napoleon, 2018, etc.) series opener is a guilty pleasure, brimming with beautiful people, damsels in distress, and an abundance of testosterone...It's a well-written and engaging story that's more than just a romance. The author chooses to draw on dark moments in British history to create Justin's and Helena's complicated pasts...It's an unexpected narrative addition that works well, as Matthews seamlessly blends some grim history with light and frothy fiction. An enjoyable love story that dares to dip a toe into bleak social and political history." -Kirkus Reviews

"I don't have enough words to say how unbelievably incredible this book is...I am a huge fan of Ms Matthews, her writing is always flawless and articulate, but this simply is in a league of its own... 'The Matrimonial Advertisement' is a lot darker that what we have come to expect from Ms Matthews, but for me this is Gothic Victorian story-telling at its best. This is how this genre is supposed to be written!...Ms Matthews has out done herself with this, by far one of the best books I have read--ever!...This is a hauntingly beautiful, gripping and heart-wrenching story. It is simply spellbinding!" -Chicks, Rogues and Scandals 

"This is an irresistible romance with the added frisson of gothic fear. At a time in Victorian Britain when a woman belonged entirely to her father, guardian or husband, can Helena ever be free to love and live as she wishes? Mimi's writing style is engaging, and we are plunged immediately into Helena's predicament. Secrets are gradually revealed, adding depth to our understanding of the main characters. This is Miss Matthews' best book so far and it is only the first in a new series!" -Lizanne Lloyd, Lost in a Good Book 

"This delightful Victorian love story took me away to another time and another place for a few blissful hours. Mimi Matthews is a wonderful storyteller. She creates very likeable, memorable, layered characters that quickly feel like friends. Her style is naturally elegant and warmly flowing, full of historical detail and charm...this is the second of her fictional works that I've devoured and I'm looking forward to more." -Jayne Fresina, bestselling author of Once Upon a Kiss 

"Since I first read the sample chapters, I've been eager to read this book. Mimi Matthews does not disappoint. She lures the reader in for an emotional journey. Full of romance and heart, The Matrimonial Advertisement takes a marriage of convenience, a pinch of Beauty and the Beast, and some truly engrossing social history and brings to life a satisfying romantic tale. I look forward to more from this talented author!" -Lena Goldfinch, bestselling author of The Unexpected Bride 

"The Matrimonial Advertisement is a Victorian romance in all its glory...Mimi Matthews definitely knows how to present historical facts effectively and without sounding bookish...a delightful treat for Jane Austen and historical fiction fans." -Readers' Favorite, 5-Stars 

"If I could only have one book for the rest of my life, it would be this one. This is my first time reading anything by Mimi Matthews, but rest assured, I now need anything that this incredible author has ever written. The characters were outstanding, developed with complexity and a humanity all their own. The setting and scenery were described with such perfection that I was able to see the circumstances through the characters' eyes with ease. Both Helena and Justin are forever etched onto this reader's heart, and I greatly look forward to expanding my Mimi Matthews library." -Stacie, NetGalley 

Meet the Author -  Mimi Matthews
Mimi Matthews (A Victorian Lady's Guide to Fashion and Beauty, The Lost Letter) writes both historical non-fiction and traditional historical romances set in Victorian England. Her articles on nineteenth century history have been published on various academic and history sites, including the Victorian Web and the Journal of Victorian Culture, and are also syndicated weekly at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes an Andalusian dressage horse, two Shelties, and two Siamese cats. For more information, please visit Mimi Matthews' website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, BookBub, Pinterest, Google+, and Goodreads.

Giveaway
During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a signed copy of The Matrimonial Advertisement! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 18th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to US residents only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. The Matrimonial Advertisement

Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday, September 4 Review at Passages to the Past 
Wednesday, September 5 Feature at Donna's Book Blog 
Thursday, September 6 Review at Based on a True Story 
Friday, September 7 Review at A Chick Who Reads Feature at What Is That Book About 
Saturday, September 8 Feature at The Book Junkie Reads 
Monday, September 10 Feature at The Lit Bitch Review at For the Sake of Good Taste 
Tuesday, September 11 Feature at To Read, Or Not to Read 
Wednesday, September 12 Feature at The Caffeinated Bibliophile 
Friday, September 14 Feature at Maiden of the Pages
Saturday, September 15 Review at Naomi Finley's Blog 
Sunday, September 16 Interview at T's Stuff 
Monday, September 17 Character Interview at Love Books Group 
Tuesday, September 18 Feature at A Holland Reads Review at Library of Clean Reads