Wednesday, October 7, 2015

I love taking part in the Great Escapes Book Tours. 
Today I managed to over book, 
so I will be hosting two authors. 
If these wonderful ladies don't mind, I sure don't. 
And I bet you don't either!

First up I have the wonderful author 
Beverly Allen! 
Beverly's newest book came out yesterday. 
Book 3 in the Bridle Bouquet Shop Mystery series.

In the latest Bridal Bouquet Shop mystery, florist Audrey Bloom creates an arrangement for a one-of-a-kind wedding, but ends up pruning a one-of-a-kind criminal…

As the co-owner of the Rose in Bloom Flower Shop, Audrey knows how to put together unique wedding bouquets, but this one takes the cake. The daughter of a local historian is getting married in a medieval-themed, hand-fasting ceremony, and Audrey is responsible for providing period-accurate blooms. 

But making sure she gets her roses right turns out to be the least of Audrey’s problems. Shortly after the vows are exchanged, the father of the groom suddenly drops dead. When Audrey discovers the man’s death stems from monkshood poisoning, it’s a clear-cut case of murder. Now, faced with a suspect list that rivals the guest list, Audrey needs to root out the toxic killer…

A word from Beverly Allen

Floral Depravity: Cat Edition

I’ll let you in on an editorial secret. I tried to cut a scene in one of the earlier books in the Bridal Bouquet Shop Mysteries. It was a cute shared time between Audrey Bloom and her gray tabby Chester, but I worried that readers might get bored with it and want to get on with the mystery.

But my editor didn’t want to take it out. Her words, paraphrased in my own sarcastic tone, were something like, “Hellooo? Can’t take that scene out. There’s a cat in it.”

Yes, cat’s and cozies go together like peanut butter and jelly. And peanut butter and chocolate. And peanut butter and bananas.  And peanut butter and spoons. (Noticing a trend here?) And if you’re a cat lover like me (I have four cats right now in real life, and am trying to lure a feral tuxedo cat into the safety of the house), you’ll be happy to know that in Floral Depravity, Audrey Bloom’s Chester gets a playmate when Audrey adopts a feral black kitten.

But writing a mystery where the main character is a florist with an affinity for cats is particularly challenging.

Why? Well, contrary to the cover of Floral Depravity, I’m a little wary of taking the cat to the shop. I just feel that the dangers of a cat accidentally eating a toxic plant—and there are many of them to be found—outweigh any advantages gained by bringing them into those scenes. I’m rather adamant about it, in fact. Which is a little odd considering that Audrey’s cats and the shop are…well…fictional.

But I learned early on, when I took a floral design course while researching for the series, that cats love flowers. They like to smell them, sit next to them, and yes, they like to eat them. (When you go to floral design school, ‘The cat ate my homework’ is a valid excuse.)

So I put the flowers in a place the cats couldn’t get to. Meanwhile I frantically Googled each flower and leaf included in the design to make sure it wasn’t toxic to cats.  (I also learned that there’s no such thing as any place in the house the cats can’t get to.)

And I do try to pattern the cats in the books after my own cats, which means they’re adorable, but extremely naughty. Don’t look to my little guys to solve the mystery or even answer commands. They’re more interested in doing cat things: chasing each other, coughing up hairballs, breaking stuff, and licking their private parts.

But they’re good for a snuggle or two when things are going wrong.  Like when the suspects pile up, the clues seem perplexing, and danger looms around every corner. It’s a mystery, after all.


FLORAL DEPRAVITY is the most beautiful bloom in an already stunning garden.

The Bridal Bouquet Mystery series became a favorite of mine when the first book, BLOOM AND DOOM was first released. I’m thrilled to see it is on its third installment and I eagerly look forward to even more!

Author Beverly Allen has managed to once again pen a story of the highest caliber. She blends mystery, humor, and charmingly fun characters together to form the perfect bouquet for her readers to enjoy.

The murder in FLORAL DEPRAVITY has more suspects than a rose has thorns. Ms. Allen kept the questions coming and the suspense building right up until the surprising reveal. Series lead, Audrey, also as a secondary storyline to deal with. It was great seeing how she dealt with both situations.

Without giving anything away, one of my favorite exchanges in FLORAL DEPRAVITY went as follows. “…But how did you know I was in trouble?” “Are you kidding? I saw you ride off on a horse.” That honestly made me laugh out loud. I was seriously cracking up.

Brava, Beverly Allen. This series just keeping getting better!  5 stars are just not sufficient. I give you a dozen long stemmed stars for this wonderful story! 

Beverly is giving away a copy of 
to one lucky winner! 
Use the Rafflecopter form below. 
Giveaway open to US only.
This giveaway is through Great Escape Book Tours, not Lisa Ks Book Reviews. While I will be selecting a winner through random draw, the winners name will be turned over to Lori of Great Escapes Book Tours, and prizes will be mailed out shortly after the tour is over on October 11. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Beverly Allen writes cozy mysteries with a healthy dose of comedy and sometimes a splash of romance. Bloom and Doom and For Whom the Bluebell Tolls, the first two books in the Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery series, are now available. Floral Depravity will release in October. Beverly grew up in the suburbs of Buffalo, NY. When not reading or writing, she enjoys cooking, crafts, home-improvement projects, and spending time with her husband, daughter, and four naughty, but adorable cats.


Next up is a new comer to the cozy mystery genre author Meera Lester!
Meera's new book released September 29.
Book 1 in the Henny Penny Farmette Mystery series

From peacekeeper to beekeeper…

After an injury forced her to leave the police department, Abigail Mackenzie started a second career as a farmer. Raising chickens, harvesting honey from her bee colony, and growing heirloom vegetables on her farmette in the beautiful Bay Area town of Las Flores, Abby has embraced all the benefits of a peaceful life.
But when she attempts to deliver her trademark honey to local pastry chef Jean-Louis Bonheur and finds him dead in his shop, her old investigative instincts kick in. After the coroner rules the death a suicide, the chef’s handsome French-Canadian brother insists on hiring Abby to find out who really killed Jean-Louis. 
With the patience of a farmer and the industriousness of a bee, Abby sorts through a swarm of suspects, including the chef’s landlord, his protégé, an eccentric homeless woman, loan sharks, and a brawny biker. But as she closes in on the truth, she’ll need more than her beekeeper suit to protect her from a killer’s sting…
Includes farming tips and delicious recipes!


Author Meera Lester makes a sweet debut with, A BEELINE TO MURDER, book one in her Henny Penny Farmette Mystery series!

One of the things I really enjoy about cozy mysteries is reading about the different professions and hobbies of the characters in the series. In A BEELINE TO MURDER, I found myself fascinated with protagonist Abigail “Abby” Mackenzie. She is bee keeper and farmer, a part time investigator, and she’s an ex-police officer. I had a lot of fun learning about the ends and outs of bee keeping, and the different things that she did on her farm. There is also more to learn by way of Ms. Lester starting each chapter with tidbits from the Henny Penny Farmette Almanac, and ending each chapter with tips and great recipes!

With a tight plot, and a strong cast of characters, A BEELINE TO MURDER held my attention and captured my imagination. Fast paced without being rushed, Ms. Lester’s descriptions caused me to be drawn into the story as though I truly was a part of it. The mystery aspect of the book is extremely well done, and kept me guessing the whole way until the end.

Congratulations to Meera Lester. She has a real hit on her hands with this book.  I look forward to following this series for many years to come!

2 Print copies

Two lucky winners will chosen by random draw through Rafflecopter at the end of the tour on October 20. 
Please us the Rafflecopter form below.
This giveaway is through Great Escape Book Tours, not Lisa Ks Book Reviews.


Meera Lester is the author of nearly two dozen nonfiction books and the proprietress of the real Henny Penny Farmette, located in the San Francisco Bay area. Raising chickens and honeybees, she draws on her life at her farmette as the basis of her Henny Penny Farmette mysteries. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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let me know what you think!

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  1. Thank you Lisa for the reviews and giveaways! I have to say I want to read both Floral Depravity and Beeline to Murder for they sound wonderful.

    I like that Abby is a bee keeper and a farmer. My family and I go to a bee farmer to buy organic raw honey (in bucket containers). Awesome stuff.

    Thank you for the chance to win.

  2. Thanks so much for the fabulous review!

  3. QUESTION FOR AUTHOR: Do you ever suffer writer’s block and, if so, how do you overcome it?

    1. Power through it, usually. A lot of times writer's block is really procrastination, sometimes because you're unsure where a story is supposed to go. Things seem to work out when you put words on the page.

  4. Thanks, Lisa. I'm looking forward to reading both.

  5. Thank you for your review and introduction to this new series. I appreciate getting to know a new author and their books.

  6. Thank you for your reviews and the contest!

  7. Thanks for all your lovely reviews. It's fun to get acquainted with the authors!

  8. Thanks for the giveaway! Your review is terrific!

  9. Glad you over-booked. Get to find out about more new books faster.

  10. I'd love to read your book. Our daughter's Critical Care physician (recently retired), is a bee keeper. He generously sends us a jar of honey every winter. delicious.

  11. I love to start a new series and this one sounds great. Thanks for the contest!

  12. I am even more excited to read after your wonderful reviews! Thanks!

  13. Thanks for all the reviews! My husband doesn't thank you so much, though, because it just means I want more books!

  14. I have to agree with some of the others, your review makes me want to read it more than I did. Beekeeping sounds fascinating although I don't know if I could do it. I enjoy cozies as well because you can learn about so many other professions or hobbies & enjoy a good mystery as well.

  15. Della at Enjoyed the review. Looking forward to a good read. Thanks for this chance at ti.