Thursday, July 23, 2015

It's always fun when I have a new 
to me author visiting the blog.

Maria Grazia Swan
is the author of the 
Mina's Adventures series. 

Today she's giving one lucky winner a chance to win a Kindle copy of her newest book 
Book 5 in the Mina's Adventures series. 

Mina Calvi's new Furry Friends Foundation is a dream come true for the formerly footloose young woman. Her no-kill shelter rescues and places dogs and cats into new forever homes, and it gives Mina a purpose in life. 

But changes are looming on a perfect Sunday afternoon at the Dana Point Marina where she is minding the adoption booth. 

A Greek heiress, young, petite and beautiful, shows up on the arm of the love of Mina's life, Diego Moran. And worse, she wants to adopt Mina's calico cat, Houdini. The spoiled woman will not take no for an answer. Why is she so insistent on getting Houdini when she already owns a look-alike cat? 

When Houdini is cat-napped, the cat-sitter murdered, and the ransom demand sent to the heiress, Mina has to keep her wits about her to get her beloved cat home safely, and to keep her heart from getting broken again by Diego, who inexplicably pops up at every turn of the unfolding drama. 

Enter to win using the Rafflecopter form 
at the end of this post


A CAT TO DIE FOR was a delightful book and sure to win over cat lovers.

It’s a bit different from other cozies I’ve read. It is the first one I’ve read in this series or by the author. Looking at the covers of the four books that came before, I’m not completely sure what category they fall into. All that being said, I really did enjoy this story.

Mina Calvi is an interesting protagonist. She’s unlike others I have read in cozies. In this installment of the series, she runs the Furry Friends Foundation which is a no kill shelter for cats and dogs. It seems that in the rest of the series, Mina is a little all over the place. I hope the series continues on this theme because it really is quite good.

Author Maria Grazia Swan has a wonderful writing style that results in a very fluid read that flows at a nice pace. This was a well plotted mystery that really held me interest and left my surprised at the reveal.

If the next book in the Mina’s Adventures series is as good as this one, I look forward to reading it!

Note: There is a minor amount of cursing in this book.

About the author

National Bestselling author Maria Grazia Swan was born in Italy, but this rolling stone has definitely gathered no moss. She lived in Belgium, France, Germany, in beautiful Orange County, California where she raised her family, and is currently at home in Phoenix, Arizona--but stay tuned for weekly updates of Where in the World is Maria Grazia Swan?

As a young girl, her vivid imagination predestined her to be a writer. She won her first literary award at the age of fourteen while living in Belgium. As a young woman Maria returned to Italy to design for--ooh-la-la--haute couture. Once in the U.S. and after years of concentrating on family, she tackled real estate. These days her time is devoted to her deepest passions: writing and helping people find happiness. 

Maria loves travel, opera, good books, hiking, and intelligent movies (if she can find one, that is). When asked about her idea of a perfect evening, she favors stimulating conversation, Northern Italian food and perfectly chilled Prosecco--but then, who doesn't? 

Maria has written short stories for anthologies, articles for high profile magazines and numerous blogs tackling love and life. She engaged her editorial and non-fiction skills for Mating Dance: Rituals for Singles Who Weren't Born Yesterday. Her first 3 books of the Mina's adventures series are, #1 Love Thy Sister, #2 Bosom Bodies and #3 Italian Summer. #4 Ashes of Autumn. All available at

Her latest literary adventure is a new series published by Gemma Halliday Publishing. Book 1, Murder Under the Italian Moon, just won the prestigious Holt Medallion award. Book 2 Death Under the Venice Moon, was released July 2014

Contact Maria:
On Facebook

As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

Follow my blog by 
clicking on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you, Lisa, for your review and for introducing me to a new author: Maria Grazia Swan. I will add the book to my TBR list. Thank you for the giveaway.

  2. Sounds like a good book and a new author to read.

  3. Excited to read this. I love any mystery with cats in it. :-)

  4. Enjoyed reading this and am adding this book to my ever growing TBR list. I appreciate you letting the reader know that there is some minor cursing in the book ... that's very thoughtful of you. Thank you for this chance to win a Kindle copy of "A Cat to Die For."

  5. I love the name of the cat in these books. Houdini holds as much mystery as the book itself. Thanks for sharing on your blog the info about the author as well as the book.

  6. I love cat cozies so will be reading this one. Will be a new author for me!!!

  7. Thank you, Lisa! Being an avid cat lover (and lover of cats in cozies), this is a book for me! Plus, I had not heard of Maria.

  8. New author for me. Looking forward to reading.

  9. This is a new to me series as well. It sounds like fun, and thanks for the great review.

  10. Lisa, thank you so much, and yes, you pretty much nailed Mina's personality. She is finally growing up and the shelter theme is here to stay. It's modeled after the shelter where I volunteer. Mille grazie, ciao.

  11. I have read some of Maria's books! Loved them! Thanks for the chance to win one!

  12. Wow, what a life Maria has led! I haven't read any of her books yet, but I am going to look them up on Amazon. I am not really into cats (because I'm allergic), but I'm sure I would enjoy A Cat To Die For - without all the sneezing and wheezing ;) Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

    1. Hi Vivian, thanks for giving my books with or without cats a chance to be liked.

  13. I haven't read any of this series yet. I would love to start with this book! Thank you for having this contest.

  14. As always, thanks for the review, Lisa! The book sounds great! And it sounds like you don't have to start at the beginning of the series.

  15. Book review is great, sounds like a very cool series.

  16. I'm a member of a book club that read the first Mina book. I loved it. Also, it had chocolates, which is my favorite food group. That got me started reading all of the Mina books as they came out. I've read all of the Lella York books too. I love Maria Grazia Swan's writing style. Sometimes I laugh a lot and sometimes I get a little angry with knuckle-headed men in her stories. After reading these reviews, I ordered this installment too. I'm looking forward to reading it.

  17. I adore every one of the Mina books. I also love Lella York as she's closer to my age! Haha! Maria G Swan is a great writer. I like her quirky humor she add to take my mind of the murders, mischief, & romance. I think everyone should read her books. I also read & loved her autobiographical Tales My Grandfather Told Me. I think she's a tremendous writer.

    1. Oh, you're too kind, reading this while having my first coffee, you really made my morning brighter. Grazie,