Wednesday, October 11, 2017


I'm so excited to be a stop on the 
blog tour for author
Barbara Early
on her release of
Book 2 in the Vintage Toyshop Mysteries

Liz McCall has come to love running her father’s vintage toyshop back home in East Aurora, NY, so when the Train and Toy Show comes to town, she’s all aboard for a fun toy-filled weekend. The only hitch is that her childhood bully Craig McFadden, now local business rival, has set up a booth next to hers. But the fun and games are over when Craig falls from the ceiling in a publicity stunt gone wrong.

What was initially thought to be a fatal accident proves much more sinister. Pulled into the case by her feelings for both Ken, the police chief, and Jack, her high school sweetheart whose brother is one the prime suspects, Liz dives headfirst into the investigation. But as she digs deeper, she’s shocked to learn her father may have been the intended target.

The trouble train is barreling down and Liz may have just bought herself a first class ticket in Murder on the Toy Town Express, Barbara Early’s delightful second installment in her Vintage Toyshop mysteries



Winners will be chosen after October 18
at the end of the tour

One lucky reader will win an amazing
Gift Package

(See the Giveaway #1 Rafflecopter form for photo)


Enter using the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post.

US Only

This giveaway is through Great Escape Book Tours, not Lisa Ks Book Reviews.

Q&A With Barbara Early

LKBR:  Hi, Barbara! Thank you for being here today!

BE: Thanks, Lisa! Always a pleasure.

LKBR: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

BE: Later than a lot of writers, I think. I go to conferences and hear other writers answer, and it seems like many of them have been writing since before they were potty trained! I was well in my 40s when I started writing, initially just for fun. The longer I did it, the more serious I became about it, and the more I challenged myself to learn how to do it better. Even when I started sending out query letters to agents and editors, it was a mix of an aspiration and a lark.

LKBR: What was your inspiration for this series? Where did the name come from?

BE: I wanted to set a new series a little closer to home for me. The Vintage Toyshop Mysteries are set in a fictionalized version of East Aurora, NY, a charming and cozy town not far from where I live. I did fictionalize it because I don’t want to suggest the residents and business owners are killers! But I did do my best to capture the charm and character of the town. When I was researching the history, I learned on the Chamber of Commerce site that the town was sometimes called Toy Town, based on the long history of toy manufacture. So toys seemed like a good hook, but older toys—and the nostalgia they seem to create in so many—was even better! MURDER ON THE TOY TOWN EXPRESS both gives a nod to Agatha Christie, but also calls back to the town’s nickname.

LKBR: Do you ever get writer’s block? If you do, how do you work through it?

BE: Writer’s block, where I sit down at the computer and nothing comes—that’s not typically a problem for me. I do, sometimes, allow other business—promotion, family stuff, whatever, to eat away at my time until I have to rush to finish. And nothing cures that kind of “writer’s block” better than deadlines.

LKBR: Do you have a favorite place to do your writing?

BE: I have a home office, but I honestly rarely use it. Instead, my laptop, while I sit on the couch in the family room, seems to be where I get most of my writing accomplished. Or the table on my deck on a nice day. I call that my outdoor office.

LKBR: What is your writing schedule like? Do you write a certain number of hours a day, or go by word count?

BE: I tend to write in 1000 word spurts, and then I need a mental break. If the deadline is far off, I might do one of those. If it’s close, maybe two, three, or even four!

LKBR: What is the hardest part of writing? What is the easiest part?

BE: After answering these questions, I’d guess the hardest part for me is time management! But I don’t think I’ve missed a deadline yet, so no major failures in that area. Maybe the multi-tasking necessary to balance writing and promotion and other aspects of the business. The easiest part? Generating ideas, maybe. I have maybe half a dozen books I’d like to sit down and write, someday.

LKBR: Do you have plans for a new series?

BE: Ha! I have long-range plans for at least three new series! But this is the second of a three-book contracted series, unless the publisher decides they want more. But I might have a few things simmering on the back burner.

LKBR: What book are you reading?

BE: I just finished reading Rhys Bowen’s On Her Majesty’s Frightfully  Secret Service, and am about to read Laura Levine’s Death of a Bachelorette.

LKBR: What are three things you want your readers to know about you?

BE: 1. I’m not only a cozy writer, but a cozy reader--and was one before I had any aspirations to write. Sadly, I’ve heard a few writers talk disparagingly about their own genre, as if they lowered themselves to write a cozy. (No, not telling who.) That’s not me. I’m proud to be a cozy writer, and will do my best to write the best cozies that I’m able to, as long as people want to publish them.

2. I love to meet readers. Don’t feel shy about coming up to me at conferences. I might not recognize you, even if we’re friends on Facebook or if we’ve met once in the past. (I like to say I’m good at names and faces, but just not putting them together!) But remind me who you are, and you might just get a hug. Or send me an email. I love hearing from readers.

3. Like my main character, I’m a board game junkie. An afternoon or evening (or both) of play with family and friends is probably the best recipe for a perfect day.

LKBR: Thank you so much, Barbara for letting us get to know you better!

BE: Thanks, Lisa. Thanks so much for a chance to visit!




One lucky reader will win a great prize package containing . . .

1 - Vintage Toyshop Tote bag
1 - key ring
1 - train whistle
assorted fun Toyshop swag
(colors, and selection will vary from photo)

Giveaway #2 photo

Winners will be chosen after October 18
at the end of the tour

Enter using Giveaway #2 Rafflecopter form
at the end of this post.



Conductor . . . I mean author Barbara Early takes her readers on the ride of a life time! Toot Toot!

Having loved the first book in this series, DEATH OF A TOY SOLDIER, I couldn’t wait to hop on board book two, MURDER ON THE TOY TOWN EXPRESS. Oh my goodness! It was well worth the wait!

Like a kid to a toy store, Barbara Early lured me into this second installment of the Vintage Toyshop Mysteries. From the first line of this book that had me laughing, the exciting mystery throughout, until the last line which left me sighing contentedly, I read this book straight through.     

I am besotted with the characters in this murderously delightful series. Liz McCall, and her father, Hank, have a wonderful relationship that causes my heart to smile. Another favorite of mine is Liz’s sister-in-law, Cathy. I would so love working with them in their toyshop, Well Played. I could see us becoming fast friends.

MURDER ON THE TOY TOWN EXPRESS was an exceptional mystery. Even with the victim being someone who deserved what he got, I was wrapped up in the investigation of who killed him and why. Following along one twisting and turning dead end track after another, when I finally reached the end of the line in this story, I couldn’t have been more surprised. Game well played, Ms. Early.  

Don’t let anything derail you from reading MURDER ON THE TOY TOWN EXPRESS!


Barbara Early earned an engineering degree, but after four years of doing nothing but math, developed a sudden allergy to the subject and decided to choose another occupation. Before she settled on murdering fictional people, she was a secretary, a school teacher, a pastor’s wife, and an amateur puppeteer. After several years living elsewhere, she and her husband moved back to her native Western New York State, where she enjoys cooking, crafts, classic movies and campy seventies television, board games, and posting pictures of her four cats on Facebook. 

Author Newsletter: 


Giveaway #1



October 9 – Socrates' Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 9 – A Blue Million Books - CHARACTER INTERVIEW
October 10 – Babs Book Bistro - SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
October 10 – Island Confidential - CHARACTER INTERVIEW
October 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews - INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
October 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
October 11 – Writing Pearls – REVIEW
October 12 – The Power of Words - REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
October 12 – Blogger Nicole Reviews - SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
October 13 – StoreyBook Reviews - GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
October 13 – My Reading Journeys - REVIEW, INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
October 13 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – GUEST POST
October 14 – A Holland Reads - GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
October 14 – Laura's Interests - REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
October 15 – Melina's Book Blog – REVIEW
October 15 – Sleuth Cafe - SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
October 16 – View from the Birdhouse - REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
October 16 – Cozy Up With Kathy - REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
October 17 – Brooke Blogs - CHARACTER GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
October 18 – Celticlady's Reviews - SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
October 18 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews - SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY October 18 – Valerie's Musings - REVIEW, INTERVIEW


Giveaway #2

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

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  1. Thanks, Lisa and Barbara! Great interview. Happy Wednesday!

  2. Thanks again for hosting--and for the great review!! You're the best! <3

  3. Thanks for the interview and review. I now want to read MURDER ON THE TOY TOWN EXPRESS more than ever!

  4. Thanks for sharing your wonderful post Lisa.

  5. Really enjoyed this post. Both of them. I really appreciate the Q & A Like knowing a little something about those who's books I read. Makes them more interesting. T am so hoping. Really looking forward to reading the books. Della at deepotter (at) peoplepc (dot) com

  6. Have been wanting to read this series!! Love antiques!!

  7. I love toys and having 4 sons had many toys in my house.Ruth Nixon

  8. I love toys and having 4 sons lots of trains in my life real and toys Ruth Nixon

  9. Looks like a great book--I'd love to win it!

  10. Thanks for the giveawyas and Happy Book Birthday!

  11. This was a great post- I loved the interview! Looking forward to the book🤓
    Kelly Braun

  12. This books sounds great. I love the cover!