Sunday, January 31, 2016


Book 3 in the Fairy Tale Fatal Mysteries 
by Maia Chance 

From the author of Cinderella Six Feet Under, a beauty must solve a beastly murder.

Variety hall actress Ophelia Flax knows how to win over an audience. That’s why she’s accepted the marriage proposal of the brutish Comte de Griffe to nettle her occasional investigative partner—and romantic sparring partner—the pompous if dashing Professor Penrose. 

But with his boorish table manners, wild mane of hair, and habit of prowling away the wee hours, the comte has shredded Ophelia’s last nerve. She intends to disengage from her feral fiancé at his winter hunting party—until Penrose, his lovely new fiancée, and a stagecoach of stranded travelers arrive at the comte’s sprawling château. Soon she can’t tell the boars from the bores.

When one of the guests is found clawed and bloody in the orangerie, Ophelia is determined to solve the murder before everyone starts believing the local version of Beauty and the Beast. But until the snows melt, she can’t trust her eyes—or her heart—since even the most civilized people hold beastly secrets...


An imaginative retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast fable.

Author Maia Chance has taken on the challenge of transforming beloved fairy tales into mysteries. I must say, she is more than capable of the task.

BEAUTY, BEAST, AND BELLADONNA once again follows intrepid protagonist, Ophelia Flax. Ophelia wants out of her engagement to beastly Comte de Griffe, but many obstacles keep barring her way. The biggest obstacle of all? Murder!

Creative and intriguing, author Chance has penned a delightful tale of nineteenth century mystery, intertwined with a timeless fairy tale. Superb writing and an admirable understanding of the speech and ways of the 1800’s serve to elevate a theme that otherwise may have fallen flat.

BEAUTY, BEAST, AND BELLADONNA is as perfect cross genre story appropriate for readers of mystery, historic, and young adult genres.

Check out the back of the book for an excerpt from, SNOW WHITE RED-HANDED (Note: The books says this is the “next” in the series. However it is the first.)


Book 3 in the Second Chance Cat Mysteries
by Sofie Ryan 

The New York Times bestselling author of Buy a Whisker offers another adventure with secondhand shop owner Sarah Grayson and Elvis the rescue cat.

Spring has come to charming North Harbor, Maine, and with the new season comes a new haul for Second Chance, the shop where Sarah Grayson sells lovingly refurbished and repurposed items. Sarah is turning her keen eye to the estate of collector Edison Hall, hoping for fabulous finds for Second Chance—but when her rescue cat Elvis discovers a body in the kitchen, everything goes paws up. 
The body belongs to an appraiser who had been hired to check out Edison’s wine collection. When Edison’s sister shows up at Second Chance, she hires Sarah’s friends—the kooky and charismatic trio of ladies who call themselves Charlotte’s Angels and work out of the shop—to solve the murder, Sarah knows she and Elvis are only going to get deeper into the case. But as it becomes a cat and mouse game of lies, cons, cheats, and family squabbles, can Elvis and Sarah claw their way to the truth before the killer slinks away forever?


Sarah and Elvis are back in this delightful installment of the Second Chance Cat Mysteries.

Author Sophie Ryan has penned another enjoyable story with A WHISKER OF TROUBLE. It’s always fun to spend time with main character Sarah and her feline friend Elvis, as well as the other wonderful characters from this wonderful series.  And I simply adore the store in this series, Second Chance. I love that it isn’t just a thrift store, but a store that sells repurposed items. I would love to see repurposed project ideas with instructions included with these books.

Crisp writing along with a terrific plot made for an enjoyable read. Each chapter I read brought more twists and turns, more questions that kept me reading as I tried to discover the truth. All led to an end I found to be very unanticipated.

If you are a fan of cat cozies, you’re going to love A WHISKER OF TROUBLE!

Make sure to take a peek at the back of the book for an excerpt of CURIOSITY THRILLED THE CAT, book one in the Magical Cat Mysteries by Sofie Ryan writing as Sofie Kelly!

Both available February 2!
Pre-order today!

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

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Saturday, January 30, 2016

A TURN FOR THE BAD by Shelia Connolly
NO CATS ALLOWED by Miranda James

Book 4 in the County Cork Mysteries 
by Sheila Connolly 

The New York Times bestselling author of An Early Wake returns to Ireland where Sullivan’s Pub owner Maura Donovan gets mixed up with smugglers.

After calling Ireland home for six months, Boston expat Maura Donovan still has a lot to learn about Irish ways—and Sullivan’s Pub is her classroom. Maura didn’t only inherit a business, she inherited a tight-knit community. And when a tragedy strikes, it’s the talk of the pub. A local farmer, out for a stroll on the beach with his young son, has mysteriously disappeared. Did he drown? Kill himself? The child can say only that he saw a boat. 

Everyone from the local gardai to the Coast Guard is scouring the Cork coast, but when a body is finally brought ashore, it’s the wrong man. An accidental drowning or something more sinister? Trusting the words of the boy and listening to the suspicions of her employee Mick that the missing farmer might have run afoul of smugglers, Maura decides to investigate the deserted coves and isolated inlets for herself. But this time she may be getting in over her head...


Author Sheila Connolly has once again pulled me in with her masterful storytelling.

After reading A TURN FOR THE BAD, it’s plain to see why author Connolly is a New York Times Bestselling Author. I’m a fan of both her Orchard, and Museum Mysteries. But her County Cork series is a style all its own.

A great cozy, yet different from your average cozy mystery stories, A TURN FOR THE BAD, set in County Cork, Ireland, finds American protagonist Maura Donovan involved in a strange mystery when one man disappears, and another is found dead. The subject of smuggling comes into the story, and makes for a very exciting twist. Also, Maura finds out something about one of her friends that could ruin more than one friendship.

An amazing story, magnificently written, I finished this book in a matter of hours. Every paragraph I read felt more and more like I was play a part in a phenomenal story worthy of not just the printed word, but a classic mystery film.

All I can say is, Ms. Connolly, you have a lifelong fan in me!

Available February 2! 
Pre-order today!


Book 7 in the Cat In The Stacks Mysteries 
by Miranda James

In the latest mystery in the New York Times bestselling Cat in the Stacks series, librarian Charlie Harris and his Maine Coon cat Diesel must clear a friend when the evidence is stacked against her…
Springtime in Mississippi is abloom with beauty, but the library’s employees are too busy worrying to stop and smell the flowers. The new library director, Elwyn Dillard, is a brash, unfriendly Yankee who’s on a mission to cut costs—and his first targets are the archive and the rare book collection.
As annoying as a long-overdue book, Dillard quickly raises the hackles of everyone on staff, including Charlie’s fiery friend Melba—whom Dillard wants to replace with someone younger. But his biggest offense is declaring all four-legged creatures banned from the stacks. 
With enemies aplenty, the suspect list is long when Dillard’s body is discovered in the library. But things take a turn for the worse when a threatening e-mail throws suspicion on Melba.
Charlie is convinced that his friend is no murderer, especially when he catches sight of a menacing stranger lurking around the library. Now he and Diesel will have to read between the lines, before Melba is shelved under “G” for guilty…


Charlie and Diesel are back with a new murder. This time it looks like murder is stacked against one of the libraries own!

I’m still rather new to the Cat in the Stacks Mysteries. The thing that has surprised me most with the ones I have read, has been the lack of action during the reveals in the books. However, in reading NO CATS ALLOWED, it occurred to me that an action packed ending doesn’t make or break a story. It’s the writing that is important, and the writing in this series is superb. So, please forgive me Maranda James for searching out something that didn’t need to be found.

Enjoyable characters, both human and feline, an excellent plot, and writing that draws a reader in are all present and accounted for in NO CATS ALLOWED. Author James captures the imagination with this clever tale of murder, making it a real page turner. A true mystery in every sense of the word, I was reminded of classic mystery heroes who use brain power, observation, and deduction to solve the crime.

Fan of this series are sure to be delighted with this newest installment!

Available February 23!
Pre-order today!

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

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Friday, January 29, 2016

Cozy Food Friday 

That means it's time to share a recipe from 
another great cozy mystery!

Today I'm featuring a recipe from
Book 17 in the Tea Shop Mysteries
Laura Childs

The New York Times bestselling author of Ming Tea Murder serves up heists, homicides, and herbal blends in the latest in the Tea Shop mysteries.
Catering a high-class trunk show at Heart's Desire Jewelry is a shining achievement for Theodosia and the Indigo Tea Shop. After all, a slew of jewelers, museums, and private collectors will be there to showcase their wares and sip some of Theo's best blends. But just as Theo settles in to enjoy the fruits of her labor, the party is crashed by a gang of masked muggers who steal the precious gems and jewels on display. The thieves disappear almost as quickly as they arrived, leaving shattered glass, scattered gemstones, and a dead body in their wake.  
Although the last thing Theo wants is to get involved, she can't help but intercede when her dear friend Brooke, aunt of the victim and owner of Heart's Desire, begs for help in figuring out who committed the brutal burglary. Though the FBI believes this daring "smash and grab" is the work of an international gang of jewel thieves, Theo is convinced that the felon is someone much closer to home...


Available March 1!
Pre-Order now!

Visit Laura on her website!

On to the recipe!



½ cup water 
2 cups potatoes, diced 
1 cup carrots, sliced
1 cup celery, chopped 
1 tsp. salt 
¼ tsp. pepper 
2 cups cream-style corn 
1½ cups milk 
2/3 cup Cheddar cheese, grated


In a saucepan, combine water, potatoes, carrots, celery, salt, and pepper. 
Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. 
Add cream-style corn and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. 
Add milk and grated cheese and stir until heated through (do not boil).

Yields 4 servings.

How easy is that? 
And doesn't it look yummy?

Want to make it even heartier?

All photos courtesy of Google Images. 
Your dish may vary in appearance.

Serve it in a bread bowl!
Perfect for a cold winter's meal!

Please keep reading and check out my 
installments of 
Book Beginnings on Fridays
The Friday 56


My Book Beginnings and Friday 56
 for this week are also from 

Book Beginnings on Fridays is a meme hosted by Rose City Reader
Share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading.

My Book Beginnings...

Crusted with emeralds, diamonds, rubies, and amethysts, the butterfly brooch glittered enticingly before Theodosia Browning's eyes. Perched in its own glass case, looking as if it had just landed on some tasty, succulent flower, the butterfly's lithe wings were a virtual aurora borealis of precious gems. 

The Friday 56 is a meme hosted by Freda's Voice
Rules: *Grab a book, any book. *Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that's okay.) *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grab you. *Post it.

My Friday 56...

The agents shuffled toward the table, looking stodgy and staid. They realized they were somehow being handled by this small Southern woman, but weren't sure what to do about it. 


Laura Childs has bagged me again with this fantastic mystery steeped full of action and intrigue!  

Talk about a book starting off with a bang. DEVONSHIRE SCREAM had me gasping in shock only a few pages in. Seriously, I sat up straighter in my chair, and remember saying out loud, “No way!” 

DEVONSHIRE SCREAM takes the reader through a jewel hyst and murder, and carries us through as investigation brewing with ever increasing questions, all leading to an intense conclusion that left me absolutely breathless!

Book after book, author Laura Childs continues to write brilliant stories in this delightful series. Each new story is fresh, entertaining, and fun.

Returning fans, and new readers of the Tea Shop mysteries are in for a wonderful treat with this latest installment.

Make sure to check out the back of this book for recipes, Tea Time Tips, Tea Resources, and an excerpt of LITTLE GIRL GONE, a thriller y Laura Childs writing under her own name, Gerry Schmitt!

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

Follow my blog by 
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upper right hand corner of this page.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A DISGUISE TO DIE FOR by Diane Vallere
A FAMILIAR TAIL by Delia James 

Book 1 in the Costume Shop Mysteries 
by Diane Vallere 

Someone is dressed to kill in the debut Costume Shop Mystery from the national bestselling author of the Material Witness mysteries.
No sooner does former magician’s assistant Margo Tamblyn return home to Proper City, Nevada, to run Disguise DeLimit, her family’s costume shop, than she gets her first big order. Wealthy nuisance Blitz Manners needs forty costumes for a detective-themed birthday bash. As for Blitz himself, his Sherlock Holmes is to die for—literally—when, in the middle of the festivities, Margo’s friend and party planner Ebony Welles is caught brandishing a carving knife over a very dead Blitz. 
For Margo, clearing Ebony’s name is anything but elementary, especially after Ebony flees town. Now Margo is left to play real-life detective in a town full of masked motives, cloaked secrets, and veiled vendettas. But as she soon learns, even a killer disguise can’t hide a murderer in plain sight for long.



There is no disguising the fact that author Diane Vallere has penned a winner of a mystery!

I was introduced to Diane Vallere’s writing through her Material Witness Mystery series. I really enjoy the flow of that series, so I was delighted when I heard about her new costume Shop Mysteries. She didn’t disappoint.

It was a lot of fun getting to know series lead, Margo Tamblyn, and the other characters in A DISGUISE TO DIE FOR. I found the costume shop, Disguise DeLimit to be a unique setting, and I can see where it will lend itself to many entertaining books to come. And you’ll love the way Margo dresses!

A cleverly written whodunit, I read this book very quickly. I didn’t want to put it done until I had all the answers. I never would have guessed the culprit in this one. Very well done.

If you’re looking to start a new series, pick up A DISGUSIE TO DIE FOR. And if this will be your first book by author Vallere, I recommend you also pick up her books, SUEDE TO REST and CRUSHED VELVET, the first to books in her Material Witness Mystery series.

Fun recipes, mystery costume ideas, and the excerpt for MASKING FOR TROUBLE, book two in the Costume Shop Mysteries, can all be found at the back of the book!


Book 1 in the Witch's Cat Mysteries 
by Delia James 

Magic and meows meet in the first enchanting Witch’s Cat mystery!
Unlucky-in-love artist Annabelle Britton decides that a visit to the seaside town of  Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is the perfect way to get over her problems. But when she stumbles upon a smoky gray cat named Alastair, and follows him into a charming cottage, Annabelle finds herself in a whole spellbook full of trouble.
Suddenly saddled with a witch's wand and a furry familiar, Annabelle soon meets a friendly group of women who use their spells, charms, and potions to keep the people of Portsmouth safe. But despite their gifts, the witches can’t prevent every wicked deed in town....
Soon, the mystery surrounding Alistair’s former owner, who died under unusual circumstances, grows when another local turns up dead. Armed with magic, friends, and the charmed cat who adopted her more than the other way around, Annabelle sets out to paw through the evidence and uncover a killer.


Something witchy this way comes in this magical first installment of the para-cozy series, the Witch’s Cat Mysteries

When I first started reading cozy mysteries, there weren’t very many “para-cozies” out there. When I did start running across them, I didn’t think they’d be my kind of reading. Having been asked to review a few, my opinion has slowly been changing about them, thanks going to talented authors such as, Delia James.

In A FAMILIAR TAIL, readers get to meet Annabelle Britton and follow her on a life changing journey of enchantment . . . and murder.

I flew through the pages of this book. A wonderful story with so many twists and turns, I was constantly surprised with each new chapter. A suspenseful reveal led to an excellent ending, promising more mystical fun to come.

If you like your mysteries with a touch of magic, and a feisty feline companion, you’re going to want to add A FAMILIAR TAIL to your to-be-read list!

February 2!

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

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clicking on the link in the 
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