Thursday, May 14, 2015

!!!WINNERS!!!

Daniele - dmskrug3 

Christina Riggs
Congratulations ladies!
Check your email inboxes!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLOG TOUR
and
GIVEAWAY



I'm so excited to be a stop on 
Sparkel Abbey's blog tour for
DOWNTON TABBY
Book 7 in the Pampered Pets Mystery series


Sparkle Abbey aka authors 
Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter
are giving away 
2 $10.00 Amazon Gift Cards!


Just leave a comment for your chance to win!

A word from Sparkle Abbey

Meeting a New Book

First off, a big thank-you to Lisa for letting us stop by. As readers as well as authors we are amazed by all the new books out there. There are so many great choices and it can be difficult to pick a new book to read. It’s a bit like meeting someone new for the first time.

When we first pick up a new book (especially a cozy mystery) we’re hopeful this is the beginning for a great long-term relationship. Because we’re always looking for that next new series to fall in love with.

So where does a book relationship start?

For us, most often with the cover. We love what our publisher does with our covers. At a recent mystery conference, a reader said the covers reminded her of a Cary Grant movie like To Catch a Thief. We were thrilled. That’s exactly the feel of the books. Mystery with a light-hearted but sophisticated twist.

What do you look for next? We always go for the back cover blurb. Something that tells us a little bit more about the storyline. Our friend, Susan Boyer’s book, Low Country Boil says this:

Liz Talbot thinks she’s seen another ghost when she meets Calista McQueen. She’s the spitting image of Marilyn Monroe. Born precisely fifty years after the ill-fated star, Calista’s life has eerily mirrored the late starlet’s – and she fears the looming anniversary of Marilyn’s death will also be hers.

Okay, so we know: mystery, ghost, sounds like there’s some humor. We like it!
And here’s the back cover blurb for Downton Tabby, our upcoming book:

Anyone for tea and crumpets . . . and murder? 

Caro Lamont, amateur sleuth and well-respected animal therapist to Laguna Beach’s pampered pets, works with office mate and tech wizard, Graham Cash, whose beloved Scottish Fold tabby cat, Toria, is purported to have anger management issues. But when Caro drops by the charming Brit’s Tudor-inspired mansion to return Toria, she finds his business partner dead and Cash missing. 

Caro is left with the cuddly cat and a lot of unanswered questions. Is Cash the killer, or has he been kidnapped? What’s up with the angry next door neighbor? And what about Cash’s girlfriend, Heidi, who isn’t sharing everything she knows with homicide detective Judd Malone? 

Suddenly there are more secrets and intrigues than there are titles in England. Add in a stranger in a dark SUV stalking Caro, feisty senior sidekick, Betty, hiding in restaurant shrubbery, and wannabe investigative reporter Callum MacAvoy who seems to be constantly underfoot, and you’ve got a cat and mouse mystery of the first order. 

Again, mystery and humor but also pets. Is that enough for a reader to say, “Here’s a new book I’d like to get to know better?”

Maybe. Especially for pet-loving mystery readers.
If still in doubt after checking out the cover and the back cover blurb, we’re big believers in first lines.  Here’s the first line in Susan’s book: “The dead are patient.” We ask you, who could not read more?

The first line in Downton Tabby is: “The Irish Setter and I had a lot in common, and I don’t just mean hair color.” We hope that line also makes you wonder what comes next!

In contrast, Nancy Pickard’s The Scent of Rain and Lightning begins: “Until she was twenty-six, Jody Linder felt suspicious of happiness.” A much different feel to this story. Definitely a must-read-on beginning, but you know this is not so light-hearted. Still we fell much like Dorothy in the movie Jerry Maguire, “Nancy Pickard, you had us at hello.”

Those are the three things that help us figure out what to read next.
If you’re like us, you never feel like you have enough time to read. So when you take a chance on a new book, it’s with the hope of maybe finding a new cast of characters to spend time with.

How do you choose? What makes you pick up a new book?

Comment below for a chance to win one of two $10 Amazon gift certificates to use to “meet a new book.” 

MY REVIEW


Pet therapist, Carolina “Caro” Lamont, is back and better than ever in this seventh installment of the Pampered Pets Mystery series. Author Sparkle Abbey have penned another wonderful story. The author's sense of humor shines through as well as her fantastic way with crafting an entertaining mystery.

Fast moving, but not so much as to be confusing, DOWNTON TABBY was as tight as a newly would ball of yarn and just as fun to unravel. With each turn of the page the questions kept coming, making this mystery even more intriguing, right until the surprising reveal.

This was such an addicting read, I couldn’t stop reading it! Now I know how cats must feel about catnip! Cat lovers and mystery fans will be in their glory with this excellent read. DOWNTON TABBY will leave you purring in delight.

And make sure to check out the two great cat treat recipes at the back of the book!


About the authors


Sparkle Abbey is the pseudonym of two mystery authors (Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter). They are friends and neighbors as well as co-writers of the Pampered Pets Mystery Series. The pen name was created by combining the names of their rescue pets—Sparkle (Mary Lee’s cat) and Abbey (Anita’s dog). They reside in central Iowa, but if they could write anywhere, you would find them on the beach with their laptops and, depending on the time of day, with either an iced tea or a margarita. 
Visit them at sparkleabbey.com.

Remember to leave a comment for your chance to win one of two Amazon $10.00 Gift Cards!

75 comments:

  1. Looking forward to reading Downton Tabby. Enjoyed the previous books in this series.

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    1. Thanks so much, Patricia. Glad you're enjoying the books!

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  2. Usually I look for a new book because I've seen something in a blog or post or read a review, one book leads to another to another. Of course I have favorite authors and series, and a cover that grabs my attention at least gets a second look.

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    1. It's sort of word-of-mouth in the cyber-world, isn't it? We have favorite authors, too, but finding a new series is always exciting!

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  3. This sounds great! Thanks for the chance to win.

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  4. This sounds like so much fun. A must read for me.

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    1. Thanks, Mary. We have a lot of fun writing the books!

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  5. Congrats on your new release.
    I am similiar to you when choosiing a new book. I look at the cover and the blurb. But, then I look at the negative reviews and the price. I am much more likely to take a chance on a free or under $2.00 book just because I am on a fixed income and cannot afford many higher priced books, so I buy what I know I like if it is higher priced.
    I look at the negative reviews to see if there is anything in the book that will turn me off to reading it. Plus, some are really entertaining to read.

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    1. Jen, those are great points! We also sometimes look at the negative reviews as well, though, sometimes what turns someone else off is not the same for us. For instance, one of our fav authors got a low rating by one reviewer because of her asides about the main characters parents. We love those asides. :-)

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  6. Thank you for the chance to win :)
    jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

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  7. Thanks for introducing me to such a delightful book. And recipes for my kitties as well.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

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    1. Debby, hope your kitties enjoy the recipes!

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  8. I love a catchy title! But honestly, I usually want to read most of the books I come across - I just don't have enough time! Thanks for the opportunity!
    sharonbabyme@yahoo.com

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    1. Julie, so true! Always more great books than there is time to read.

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  9. With so little time to read I will download a sample and look for two things: Is it clean (no profanity - no explicit sex) and does the story sound interesting enough to keep my attention? Your series sound wonderful!
    jillthames@gmail.com

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    1. Thanks, Nancy! That's a great point, the sample read feature is a great way to tell if a particular book is your cup of tea.

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  10. Cover art and title are important when considering a physical book (something has to catch my eye on the shelf), but really it's about the blurb and reviews, though I take them with a grain of salt, word of mouth, authors I already follow, etc. Thanks for the giveaway! dmskrug3 at hotmail dot com.

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    1. Daniele, the title and cover art are SO important and both of those are totally outside of an author's control. LOL So far we've been able to keep all of our titles. And we love that our publisher has done something a little different with our covers. (And we especially like the book number on the collar.)

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  11. So many things interest me in a new book: the cover, the author, the type of mystery it is or sometimes just because it sounds good! I think this new one is going to be a fun read and one I will be anxious to find.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

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    1. Good points, Deb. You're right, sometimes it just sounds like the right book at the right time. :-)

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  12. Love stories with pets involved. Thanks for the chance to win. Looks and sounds like a good read.
    Carol Smith
    penelope223(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  13. Honestly, I picked up your book Fifty Shades of Greyhound strictly for the title...I used to have greyhounds. Loved it, and would like to read some more!

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    1. Thanks, Ellen. Glad you enjoyed the Fifty Shades of Greyhound book. It was such a fun book to write and we learned so much about greyhounds while doing the research. A couple of greyhound owners were kind enough to share their experiences.

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  14. This is delightful and special. The blurb and the author are the initial things which I check. Then reviews. Thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  15. The cover and title must appeal to me. Friends recommendations also send me to a new author. And the first few pages must make me want to know about the characters.

    afarage (at) earthlink . net

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    1. Alicia, we're great believers in those first few pages. If it makes us interested in the characters in the story, we're going to read on.

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  16. What a cool giveaway and very generous.

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  17. My first selection criteria is the author. If it's somebody I've read before and enjoyed I will select the book. Then I go with the reviews. If the story sounds interesting and has a subject I'm interested in - then I'll try it. If the reviewer likes the book and it's a subject I've not gotten into - then I may try it. This would be a new series for me and I'd like to try it. thanks. txmlhl@yahoo.com

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    1. Mary, those are great methods. So very true that the subject matter has to be something of interest. We love the mysteries where it's a great read and you also learn something new!

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  18. The cover is what attracts me first to the book, then I turn it over to read the blurb. Usually that determines whether I want to buy and take home to escape into a new world. jmvarner50@hotmail.com

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    1. Such a great way to put it, Joan! That's what it's like...escaping into a new world.

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  19. This looks like a great series!
    Y2kMerlin@aol.com

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  20. Sounds like a book I want to meet! Thanks for the chance!
    angelhwk68@yahoo.com

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  21. A furtastic premises for a book. Congratulations ladies on your new release.
    whistleinthewind74@hotmail.com

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  22. For me, choosing a book starts with the fact that I am looking for cozy mysteries and those based on good plot, believable characters, and some older than not, and I also like to read about food, beverages and pets. Some locals also interest me. Once I know those things, I do notice covers a lot but would not refuse to buy a book due to a cover that didn't appeal to me, but some covers do lure a buyer for sure. I then read the description of the book and also rely on bloggers like Lisa to have told me more or interviewed the author and talked about the characters, story line, etc. I do like to begin series from the first book, as I believe in trying to get a new author to get their book out there and I will always comment online about the book afterwards too. If I find a new author to me, and there are many books previous to this one that I am reading about, I decide then what to do. I used to try to get all the previous books in a series and get them read in order, but with so many new books and authors now, I do not have time, and just hope that if this is not a relatively new series that I can read it as a stand alone and that the author has given me some basic information about what happened previously. One thing that I did find hard when I first began cozies is the fact that some authors have a series out with one name and then use another name for another series and if you do not realize their pen names you may not want to begin another series by an "unfamiliar" author.
    All in all, I rely on a few special bloggers such as Lisa and Dru Ann Love to let me know about all the new books and go from there.
    Thank you for including me into your giveaway.
    Cynthia
    ceblain(AT)tmlponline(DOT)net

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    1. Cynthia, you're so right. Bloggers such as Lisa and Dru Ann provide great information about books and authors, and help us choose books that fit our taste. They also provide authors with a way to reach readers who may be interested in our books. A big shout-out to Lisa and Dru and the other book bloggers!

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    2. Thank you so much for the reply ladies. The list of good and fun blogs is a fairly long list and there are others, but I just mentioned the two ladies that I check more often than not as they write about cozies almost exclusively which is what I am also most interested in. Hoping that I may be lucky enough to win your book. Thanks again. Cynthia

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  23. The cover art and the title need to be cute---so that I know it's a cozy mystery----then I look to see if I want to buy the book. Thanks for the giveaway.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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    1. You're welcome, Sue. Good luck on the drawing!

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  24. The cover and title of a book draws my attention. I also read the summary on the back cover to see what the book is about. Very rarely do I get a book that doesn't hold my attention. Thank you for the chance to win this giveaway. rurhmazur46@gmail.com Ruth Lyons Mazur

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  25. The covers of cozies are usually what makes me pick up a book, more than anything. The clever titles help a lot, too, to draw me to it at a bookstore. Then I read the blurb. The book sounds very good!

    ElaineE246 at msn dot com

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  26. Hey y'all! I'm grinning from ear to ear--thank you so much for the shout out for Lowcountry Bombshell! I'm honored to be mentioned by ladies I so admire, and in such wonderful company! I love the back cover copy and first line for Downtown Tabby--and of course the awesome name! And, of course I choose books exactly the same way. Congratulations on your upcoming release!!

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    1. Thanks, Susan! {{{Hugs}}} until we can hug you in person!

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  27. Thanks, Lisa! Somehow, Sparkle Abbey/Mary Lee & Anita always look like they're having fun! For a new cozy author, the cover gets my attention and then I read the book's description. If the book has animals, loved by the main character, so much the better!

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    1. We agree, Patricia, animals are a lovely bonus!

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  28. Oh how I would love this series! Even if I were to start in the middle. Would love to win one of the cards and at least get one of this wonderful series! jeaniedannheim (at) ymail (dot) com

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    1. Thanks, Mama Cat! Best of luck to you in the drawing.

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  29. That title is so clever, I would definitely stop and pick it up off a bookshelf in a store to check it out! Thanks for the chance to win!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

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  30. Looking forward to reading this one.

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  31. I have to say, if it's an author I already have read and like, I just grab the book. If it's a new to me author then the title or picture catches my eye to pick it up and check out what it's about. Now with a few of the blogs and authors I follow my list has expanded greatly.
    momzillasteel at gmail dot com

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  32. I plan on starting this series this weekend. This book and the whole series sound great.
    Moonbay7399@gmail.com

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    1. Super, Candace! Hope you enjoy Caro & Mel's adventures.

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  33. I'm really enjoying the Pampered Pets Mysteries! Thanks for the opportunity to win a gift card!
    rw620ATaolDOTcom

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    1. So glad you're liking the books, Robin!

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  34. Thank you Lisa for having Sparkle and Abbey with you today! They are new-to-me authors and your blog as well as some others are how I get info on cozy mysteries that I might want to read. Also, the cover has to "strike me" just right before I decide on if it's going to be a keeper. Thanks for the chance at the give-a-way!
    Sandy in So. Cali
    sxygrndma48{at}yahoo{dot}com

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  35. I have read and enjoyed the other books in the Pampered Pets Mystery series. Appreciate the give away opportunity. servedogmom@yahoo.com

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  36. What an awesome cover! The blurb was amazing! This sounds like a fascinating book! Thank you for the great post and contest!

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  37. I'm familiar with these authors since they're Iowans like I am :) I love this series & I'm excited for this newest book!! Thanks for the chance to win a copy!!

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  38. For your books it is easy because I follow the series but the things that caught me to begin with where the play on words with the title, the cover, and the blurb. Your stories always have such twists that any description is going to catch me. This is the same pattern I use when I encounter new books with new authors. I also check a variety of reviews to see if there is some element I can relate to and I usually find it within the 1st four reviews. I look at both positive and negative reviews but unless a negative review directly addresses something that specifically matters to me, I pay little attention.

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  39. I want to thank Sparkle Abbey for coming by and the great giveaway! You ladies rock!
    And thank you to everyone who left a comment. You are entered to win one of the two Amazon Gift Cards. I'll announce the winners here and on my Facebook pages and Twitter, as well as other cozy group pages. by 5pm EST Friday15. Please be on the look out for your name!

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  40. I tend to find new series from what is recommended to my when I buy off amazon. If it sounds interesting, into the cart it goes!

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  41. Lisa - Thank you so much for letting us stop by! We've enjoyed reading the different views on finding new books. Best of luck to everyone on the drawing!

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  42. Shoot looks like I'm late. Been in the ER most the night with my hubby. What makes me choose a book usually is actually the cover. I know, don't judge a book by its cover. Really its what will catch my eye enough for me to pick it up to read what the book might be about, then an authors name will come next. Well, just had to drop in and say hello. I am off to bed. Night y'all.

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  43. is it too late to be entered?????
    story of my life......day late, dollar short......

    have a great weekend!!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

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  44. Allcomments to this point will be entered. Any comments after this point will not. Good Luck everyone!

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