Monday, July 28, 2014

Where is my bookmark today? 
I have two bookmarks working. 

The first book I'm reading is 
by Kathi Daley

Amid a backdrop of zombies on the run and Halloween festivities, animal control officer Zoe Donovan is faced with losing something she loves in order to save someone she loves when she finds a dead body in the basement of a haunted house just two days before Halloween. With the help of her best friends, Levi and Ellie, and her dog Charlie, she delves into a mystery as complex and multilayered as the feelings she develops for her ex-nemesis Zak Zimmerman. Halloween Hijinks is the perfect recipe, combining holiday fun with a touch of humor, a pinch of romance, and a dollop of murder.

HALLOWEEN HIJINKS is the first book in the Zoe Donovan mystery series. I'm really enjoying this book. Author Kathi Daley has a fun, easy writing style that keeps you turning the pages. 
(Oh, I like that! I'm going to use it in my review! ;-) )

My second bookmark is in

Teenage detective Nancy Drew uses her courage and powers of deduction to solve the mysterious happenings in an old stone mansion.

I'm having a great time getting to know Nancy Drew again. It's been far too long since we hung out and solved some mysteries together. 

I'd like to offer some advice to my readers today. 
Start the first book in a new series, by a new author this week. Be it a brand new author or an established author that is new to you. 

And read an old favorite. I suggest something from your childhood. Re-reading Nancy Drew is bringing me so much joy. I would love for you to experance that feeling as well. 

So, that's what I'm reading. How about you?
Please leave me a comment and let me know what you're reading today. 

Or just leave me a comment and let me know what you think about my blog. Your comments make me happy and keep going. 

Hate my blog? I can take it. Tell me what you don't like or what you would like to see.

Happy Monday! 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Interview and Giveaway
with author 
Kate Parker 

Kate is the author of the 
Victorian Bookshop Mysteries. 
Her first book in the series, THE VANISHING THIEF, was also Kate's debut novel! 
How lucky we are she choose the mystery genre! 

Kate is giving away 2 copies of her new book 
THE COUNTERFEIT LADY, the second book in 
the Victorian Bookshop Mysteries 
which releases August 5! 

Enter using  Rafflecopter 
at the end of the interview!

LKBR: Hi Kate. It’s wonderful to have you here.

KP: Hi, Lisa. Thanks for having me. And hello to everyone joining us.

LKBR: THE VANISHING THIEF, the first book in your Victorian Bookshop series, was not only the debut of a new series, but also the debut of your first novel. Congratulations! What was it like seeing your book on the store shelves for the first time?

KP: Wonderful. I'd gone into my local bookstore to pick up a book and when I glanced at the top shelf of New Mysteries, there was The Vanishing Thief. It wasn't supposed to be out for another week! I ran out to the car and had my husband come in to take my picture next to the shelf, pointing at my books. He was grinning as much as I was.

LKBR: How long did it take you from the inception to the publishing of THE VANISHING THIEF?

KP: Nearly two years. I'm a fast writer, so it was six months from inception until the series was sold, but at that time, The Vanishing Thief was too short. Berkley wanted more background on my characters. They were right. Developing the characters made the story more interesting. And then came line edits and copy edits and designing a cover. Publishing a book is a long process.

Kate standing at the back of Buckingham Palace

LKBR: What was your inspiration for the story?

KP: I've always loved ensemble stories. Think the CSI and NCIS franchises where there are several important investigators. I wanted to do that in the late Victorian period in London. Then I saw a sign welcoming the Archivist Society, and I thought, "it sounds like a Victorian detective agency." And so Georgia and her friends were born.

LKBR: Your second book in the series, The COUNTERFEIT LADY releases August 5. Would you be willing to share anything about the book and what Georgia Fenchurch will be facing that isn’t on the back cover blurb?

KP: I had a great deal of fun sticking Georgia in two worlds at once. She wants to stay in her familiar world in charge of her bookshop, but she has to travel in high society to solve the murder. Watching her interact with Phyllida and Emma and the duke in a Mayfair townhouse and then at a country house party is fun for the reader, but Georgia is a nervous wreck. She has to learn to trust her friends to help her with her bookshop.

And then there is the heat wave. Appropriate for an August release. Before air conditioning, summer heat waves in cities were brutal. I've heard stories of people sleeping in the parks at night while the police patrolled, keeping watch for looters while all the houses were empty.

Photo Courtesy of Kate Parker
The building under repair will be recognized by everyone who's
 watched Agatha Christie's Poirot on PBS. 

LKBR: What are three things you would like readers to know about you?

KP: I grew up in a household of readers, all of whom adored history and biography and mysteries. As a child I loved to listen to stories of bygone eras.
          I think writing is the best job in all the world. It took me a dozen years of serious effort before I sold my first novel, and I believe all that work was totally worth it to have the career that I've dreamed of.
          And I love to travel, particularly to Europe. Viewing old castles and cathedrals and houses and anything else old is my idea of heaven.

LKBR: Is there anything else you like to share with us?

KP: You can find me on facebook at and on twitter at

My next story will be a change of pace. It'll be a Regency Christmas mystery novella in an anthology called Christmas Wishes.

LKBR: Thank you so much for being here, Kate. Best wishes on THE COUNTERFEIT LADY!

KP: Thank you, Lisa, for hosting me today. It was a pleasure being here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Ready to learn about a new old series?

Today I am featuring author Sammi Carter who wrote the Candy Shop Mystery series. 

This series contains 5 books.

No visit to Paradise, Colorado, is complete without a stop at Divinity Candy Shop for a little taste of heaven. For owner Abby Shaw, it was a sweet deal, too - inheriting Divinity gave her the opportunity to leave her career as a corporate lawyer and dump her cheating husband. But Abby's new life sours when a fellow merchant dies in a fire, with all clues pointing to arson . . . and Abby's brother as the number one suspect.

Includes candy recipes

When poisoned bon-bons end the life of a town trouble-maker, candy shop owner Abby Shaw finds herself trapped in an extremely sticky situation.

No one's happy when wealthy Felicity Asbury names herself director of the local arts festival. But when she's found dead, all evidence points to candy shop owner Abby Shaw, who must put aside her sweets to discover the twisted killer.

When corporate-lawyer-turned-candy-maker Abby Shaw witnesses a stranger being gunned down on the highway, she's convinced she's seen a murder. Problem is, there's no body. But days later, when a body does turn up, wishy-washy witnesses make things sticky. Even elbow-deep in hot syrup at Divinity candy shop, Abby is determined to find out the truth. And it's not as if she can take her sweet time figuring it out...

Includes Candy Recipes

Abby Shaw's life is sweet. She's settling into running the candy shop she inherited from her aunt, dealing with her busybody family, and maintaining a solid-if-slow relationship with local police detective Pine Jawarski. But Abby's smooth sailing turns into a rocky road when a friend asks her to audition for a musical with some considerably talented locals. Abby pops her head into the chaotic audition -- and finds a dead star center stage.

These books are no longer available in paperback. But you can find them on Nook and Kindle.  

I haven't read this series. 
Have you?

Remember to check back every Thursday 
for more great Throwback cozy titles!

Want to Follow my blog? 
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And please, leave a comment. 
I always love hearing what you have to say!


Answer to Whodunit Wednesday

The Postman Rings Once - Solution

   "If it wasn't suicide," said Thomas, "then any one of us could have killed him. No one has a good alibi."

   "True," Wilson agreed and turned to Sherman Holmes.

   "True," Sherman agreed. "But..." And he raised a pudgy finger. "Only one of you lied about when you checked the mail". He lowered the finger, pointing it at Nigel Liggit. "You, Nigel, actually entered the front hall between 2:30 and 2:50. You steamed open the letter and read it's frightening contents. You got rid of the letter--a bad job, I must say--then loaded your uncle's gun and tracked him down."

   "Bravo," Nigel said with a sneer. "But you could make up a similar story about either on of my brothers."

   Sherman smiled. "Let's see Thomas's letter from that bill collector." Thomas pulled it from his pocket and handed it over. "Notice the shoe print?"

   "That's mine," said Gerald, "from when I came in and stepped on the mail."

   "And the water ring? Where did that come from?"

   "Not from me," said Thomas. "My hands were full of luggage. I went right upstairs and unpacked."

   Sherman turned to face Nigel and his incriminating martini. "When you checked the mail, you put your glass on top of Thomas's letter. That means you didn't check it at three p.m., but earlier--between the time of Gerald's shoe print and Thomas's removal of the collector's letter. "

Did you guess correctly?
Check back next Wednesday for another exciting case!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Whodunit Wednesday!

Do you like to solve mysteries?
Do you love to win prizes?
If you said yes to both questions,
you're in the right place! 

It's easy.
Read the following story and if you think you know
Whodunit, enter your answer into 
the Rafflecopter form below.

One lucky winner will win a

This giveaway is brought to you by me, 
a poor but happy blogger. ;-)
So, your prize could be a cozy mystery. Or it could be a notepad, magnet, key chain or something that's just fun or cute.

This giveaway is open to the US and Canada. 

Sound fun?
Well then, get reading!

The Postman Rings Once

   Sergeant Wilson found the letter and envelope torn up and crammed into the bottom of a wastebasket. Reassembling it while wearing plastic gloves proved difficult. 

   "It's from Henry Liggit's lawyer," he finally said, looking up from the jigsaw-like puzzle. "It outlines Mr. Liggit's proposed new will, disinheriting his three nephews and leaving everything to charity."

   Sherman stood behind the sergeant, peering over his shoulder. "What do you think?" Wilson asked him.

   "Hmm. It doesn't take a Sherman Holmes," said Sherman Holmes, "to suspect that Mr. Liggit's suicide wasn't really a suicide."

   "My thoughts exactly," the officer agreed.

   Sherman and the sergeant were in Henry Liggit's library, just yards from where the millionaire lay slumped in his chair with a gun in his hand and a hole in his head.

   "Our first job, my dear Wilson will be determining which devoted nephew opened Liggit's mail and discovered the threat to his inheritance". With that, Sherman led the way into the front hall where the nervous nephews stood waiting.

   All three nephews lived in the Liggit house; all three had been at home at the time of the shot. None, or so they swore, had the least idea Uncle Henry had been about to cut them out of his will.

   "Uncle Henry had been depressed," said Nigel, the eldest, in mournful tones. He was sipping a martini and Sherman suspected it wasn't his first of the day. "I spent all afternoon at home. About three p.m. I walked into the front hall. I was checking the mail on that side table when I heard a gunshot."

   Sherman observed a few pieces of mail on the table. "When did the mail arrive, my good fellow?"

   Gerald, the youngest nephew, raised his hand. "When I got home around 2:30, the mail was already on the hall floor. I walked right across it before noticing. I picked it up and put it on the hall table".

"Did you check through it?"

   Gerald nodded. "Yes, but there was nothing for me. I went straight out to the garden and sat by the pool. I, too, heard the gunshot. Around three, as Nigel said."

   "I looked through the mail," volunteered the middle nephew, Thomas. "I'd just got home from a trip. I put my bags down in the hall, sorted through, and found a letter for me. I put it in my pocket, then went up to my room."

   "What time was this?"

   "Ten minutes to three, or thereabouts. I was unpacking when I heard the shot."

   "Is the letter still in your pocket?"

   With some hesitation, Thomas reached into his jacket and produced the unopened envelope. Sherman noticed a faint shoe print, a water ring, and a curious return address. "It's from a bill collector," Thomas confessed. "I've got a cash flow problem."

   "Can anyone verify your arrival at the house at 2:50?"

   "I can," said Gerald. "You can see the driveway from poolside. Thomas's car pulled in about ten minutes before poor Uncle killed himself.

   "Yes," said Sherman. "We'll talk about suicide in a minute. Did any of you notice a letter addressed to your uncle from his lawyer?"

   The nephews all shook their heads.

   "Then that settles it," said Sherman. "One of you is lying. One of you knew about your uncle's plans to change his will and killed him before he could do it."

   "I don't know what you're talking about," said Nigel.

   "Join the club," laughed Sergeant Wilson. "I don't know what he's talking about half the time, either. But he's usually right."

   Who killed Henry Liggit? 

Please only leave your guesses 
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As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

Become a Follower of my blog by 
clicking on the link in the 
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Saturday, July 19, 2014


Interview and Giveaway 
with author 
Barbara Jean Coast
aka...Andrea Taylor & Heather Shkuratoff 
authors of the Poppy Cove Mystery series!

Andrea and Heather are giving away a signed copy of their newest 
Poppy Cove Mystery 

Enter using the Rafflecopter form after
 the interview for your chance to win! 

LKBR: Hello ladies. It's great to have you here!

AT:  Hi Lisa!

HS:  It's so nice to be here :-)

LKBR:  Why did you choose the 50's for your novels?

AT:  We chose the 50's for our series because it was an interesting time of great confidence with the post-war suburban boom.  There was a sense of idealism combined with underlying tension-filled dark shadows.  Of course, the fabulous, feminine fashions complete the picture.

HS:  Being that Poppy Cove is a dress shop/design atelier, we wanted to set it in a time when those skills were valued, yet common place in the average town or neighborhood.  It was also a very social time, when manners and mores were so very important and although there were wild times, they were full of allusion and innuendo, fun for thought and misunderstandings of suggestive behavior, rather than blatant language or actions.

Andrea Taylor

LKBR:  What sort of research did you do for your setting, the era and the fashions?

AT:  Our research sources were varied. Old movies, advertising journals, magazines, websites about manners, etiquette and lifestyles in relationship to men, women, marriage, domestic issues.  We also have spoken with historians of the Santa Barbara region who provided us with photos, maps, stories and articles about our chosen time period to help shape the descriptions of our world.

HS:  There was so much influence from consumerism -- it's hard to tell which was the bigger directive -- the consumer upon advertising or advertising shaping the public.  Personal history also helped us.  We talked with family and friends, looking back at old photos and asking questions about their experiences and impressions of the time as well.

Heather Shkuratoff

LKBR:  Is there any part of either of you in Daphne or Margot?

AT:  I think that there is a part of each of us in Margot and Daphne.  I also feel the girls help us bring out things in ourselves.

HS:  We do learn a great deal about ourselves through those two!  I would say that Andrea is more like Daphne, sporty, impulsive and spontaneous, while I am more like Margot, a bit contemplative and introverted, more interested in what happens behind the scenes rather than being in the spotlight.

LKBR:  Who of the two of you is a bigger fashionista?

AT:  We are both fashionistas in our own ways.  Heather has an eye for style, design, color and technical aspects.  She was actually a professional designer and dressmaker.  I have also had a keen interest in fashion which included writing a column for a newspaper in the past.  I love accessories, especially handbags and hats.  We share a passion for the styles of the 50's that were gorgeous, flirty and fun.

LKBR:  Please share a little about your new Poppy Cove mystery.

AT:  We're happy to announce our second book in the Poppy Cove Mystery Series, DEATH OF A BEAUTY QUEEN, published by Cozy Cat Press, is now available on Amazon and Kindle.

HS:  It starts with the Fall Fashion Show and poor Miss Santa Lucia, Nora Burbank, meets an early demise soon after.  Mix in glamorous beauty, royalty, jewels and cat fights, plus romance and you've got DEATH OF A BEAUTY QUEEN!

LKBR:  Are there any plans for a new series or stand alone book?  

AT:  Heather and I have a few ideas about a couple of other series premises that we are just tossing around at the moment that we feel would be fun to write together.  We also want to build and maintain a website for Poppy Cove.  

HS:  I'd also like to play with making some of the designs come to life as real garments.  The challenge right now?  Finding the time to make that happen!

LKBR:  Please tell us something about yourselves you would like the readers to know.

AT:  There is nothing like writing a good story and sharing it with readers.  Research is fascinating and there's always plenty of chatter, laughing and plain old fun when we write our stories.

HS:  We really do have a great time plotting and planning out our stories.  Our hope is that others enjoy reading them as much as we do writing them.  Also, we have some great plans for our girls.  Stick with us to learn how Santa Lucia's social set grows and changes.  We have plans to unearth past histories of some characters and evolve others in future novels.  It's gonna be a fun (and a titch murderous!) ride. 

LKBR: Is there anything else you'd like to mention?

AT:  We'd also like to mention that we are so grateful for all the support that Barbara Jean has received.  What fun it is to have her in our lives!

Want to learn more about Barbara Jean Coast? 
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