Wednesday, January 31, 2018

I'm so excited to join Berkley in celebrating the
February 6 paperback release of 
by author
Sofie Ryan

is book 5 in the Second Chance Cat Mysteries

Sarah Grayson and her trusty companion, Elvis, race to tail the right suspects in the fifth installment of the New York Times bestselling Second Chance Cat Mysteries.

Sarah Grayson owns Second Chance, a shop that sells lovingly refurbished items, in the charming town of North Harbor, Maine. But she couldn't run the store without the help of her right-hand man, Mac--or her dashing rescue cat, Elvis.

Mac's life before North Harbor has always been a little bit mysterious, but it becomes a lot more intriguing when a woman from his past shows up in town, and then turns up dead. Suspicion falls on Mac, but Sarah--and Elvis--know he can't be the killer, and they hope they can prove his innocence quick as a whisker.


A Recipe from Sofie Ryan

The characters in the Second Chance Cat mysteries like to eat. Although Sarah is still working on her cooking skills, Rose Jackson is a talented cook and thanks to her there’s always something sweet in the break room at the library. My own mother didn’t like to cook. But she had a good friend, Mrs. V., who did, and who encouraged my early baking efforts. This is about as close as I’ve been able to come to her molasses oatmeal cookie recipe, adapted from a recipe in an old Betty Crocker cookbook.

Mrs. V.’s Molasses Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/3 cup molasses
2 eggs
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup raisins*

Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, whisk together sugar, butter, molasses and eggs until smooth and creamy. Stir in remaining ingredients except raisins until well blended. Drop dough by rounded spoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto cookie sheets lined with parchment. (Batter will spread as they bake.)

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or just until set. Cool for one to two minutes; remove from cookie sheets to a rack.

This makes between 36 and 42 dark, chewy cookies. What can I say? I never seem to make tiny cookies. These are about two and a half inches in diameter.

*Note: I have some people in my house who don’t like raisins in their molasses cookies. (That makes no sense to me.) So I bake half the cookies, and then add raisins to the remaining batter.


About Sofie

 I’m married with one teenage daughter. We live on the east coast less than two hours drive from the ocean. I like living somewhere with all four seasons, although there are times in the middle of January that living on a Caribbean island starts to sound like fun.

I have a degree in Biology as well as an Education degree. I honed my research skills working on my Biology degree. My Statistics professor really emphasized asking lots of questions about any piece of information. And I had a Molecular Biology prof who believed we learn more from our mistakes than our successes—which was good because my lab partner had a habit of setting our experiments on fire.

 I love cats. I like their independent spirit. I don't have one because my husband is extremely allergic to them. (If he dies first I'm getting a cat. People laugh when I say that because they think I'm kidding.) Even though I don’t have a cat myself, I do have “cat friends”—cats in my neighborhood that I spend time with so I can get my kitty fix.

As always, please leave a comment and 
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Tuesday, January 30, 2018


I'm so excited to be a stop on the 
blog tour for author
R.L. Syme
and her new book
Book 3 in the Matchbaker Mysteries

Just when Vangie Vale’s life was getting back to normal after a murder that rocked her little Rocky Mountain tourist town, she found herself in the middle of another murder... as the chief suspect.

Vangie stood shocked on the side of the curb as the sheriff stretched yellow crime scene tape around the front of her new bakery. Wouldn’t this make a lovely headline in next week’s paper: Local Baker Kills Parishioner With Pudding. Vangie’s road back to good graces as a part-time pastor was bumpy enough already. This would be a road block. Can't have that.

Just when she hoped her Sherlocking days were done.



Winners will be chosen after February 9
at the end of the tour

1 Luck reader will win an autographed set of the

Matchbaker Mysteries!

USA only

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

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



VANGIE VALE AND THE STRANGLED STRUDEL drew me in with its fast moving plot, and interesting characters.

Death by rice pudding! Or was it? Protagonist Vangie sure looks good to the police for this murder. Of course, she knows she didn’t do it, and struggles to find the killer, while trying to clear her name.

Author R.L. Syme really kept me on my toes during this fast moving read. The story kept me guessing from the beginning to the reveal. And the ending was one I certainly didn’t see coming.

This was my first book in the Matchbaker Mysteries, but I don’t see VANGIE VALE AND THE STRANGLED STRUDEL being my last last!


About R.L. Syme

R.L. Syme is a USA Today best-selling author of cozy mystery and small tow=n romance. She writes cozy culinary mysteries as R.L. Syme and small-town romance as Becca Boyd and. She is a writer of amateur sleuths worth loving and villains worth hating. Lover of fancy cheese, binge-watching, strawberries, and hope. A foodie and a baker herself, Becca grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries passed on by her grandmother. A Tweeter and Pinner of things. She loves to connect with readers via social media.

Author Links: 
Twitter: @beck_a_tron
Amazon Author Page:
Purchase Link


January 30 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 30 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 31 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
February 1 – Valerie's Musings - REVIEW, GUEST POST
February 1 – Jane Reads - CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 1 – Queen of All She Reads – GUEST POST
February 2 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
February 3 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
February 4 –A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
February 5 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
February 6 – Laura's Interests - REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 7 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST
February 8 – My Reading Journeys - CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 9 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

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.

Monday, January 29, 2018

I'm so excited to join Berkley in celebrating the
February 6 paperback release of 
by author
Laura Childs

is book 18 in the Tea Shop Mysteries

In this reprint of New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs's latest Tea Shop Mystery, Theodosia Browning attends a "Rat Tea," where the mice will murder.

When Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is invited by Doreen Briggs, one of Charleston's most prominent hostesses, to a "Rat Tea," she is understandably intrigued. As servers dressed in rodent costumes and wearing white gloves offer elegant finger sandwiches and fine teas, Theo learns these parties date back to early twentieth-century Charleston to promote better public health.But this party goes from odd to chaotic when a fire starts at one of the tables and Doreen's entrepreneur husband suddenly goes into convulsions and drops dead. Has his favorite orange pekoe tea been poisoned? Theo smells a rat. And as she reviews the guest list for suspects, she soon finds herself drawn into in a dangerous game of cat and mouse...


One lucky reader will win a print paperback copy of
Enter using the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post.
USA only
This giveaway was made possible by Berkley Mystery.



From my hardcover edition review

Eighteen books in and the Tea Shop Mysteries by Laura Childs are still strongly brewed and refreshing!

What can I say about PEKOE MOST POISON that hasn’t already been said about the other seventeen books in this series? I think all of the positive adjectives have been used, and rightly so. The one thing I can say . . . the very fact that this is book eighteen speaks to the brilliant writing talent of Laura Childs. Her middle name must be diversity, because she always manages to make each book in this series unique.

One thing for sure that I can say about this book is, rats! Yes, like the rodent. Author Childs introduces us to the tradition of a Rat Tea. It’s a fascinating piece of history that I knew nothing of. (You’ll learn about it when you read this book!) It also happens to be where the victim in this book is murdered. Very original idea!

This excellent installment of the Tea Shop mysteries had a wonderfully complex plot. With more than a few suspects surfacing in the murder investigation, and business at Indigo Tea Shop being as brisk as ever, protagonist Theodosia “Theo” Browning, and her friend and tea sommelier Drayton really had their hands full trying to solve this murder, and keep things at the shop running smoothly. By the end of the book I was breathless from all the perfectly planned twists in the plot.

And as always, the fun isn’t over after the story is. The back of the book contains recipes, and Tea Time Tips!


Paperback edition now available for pre-order
Release date:
February 6


About Laura

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fund raising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries - set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries - set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Time to enter the giveaway!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

I'm so happy to host author
Gilian Baker
on my blog today, and  help her celebrate her new book
Book 3 in the Jade Blackwell Mysteries

Former English professor turned blogger, Jade Blackwell, is enjoying her predictable routine when trouble comes knocking in the form of an old friend and colleague. Unbeknownst to Jade, Gwendolyn Hexby is no longer the successful academic she once knew and trusted—she is now following a new calling as a psychic medium, a contentious career that flies in the face of the logic and deductive reasoning Jade values.

At first, Jade welcomes the visit, but things soon turn bizarre as Gwendolyn brings only disorder, danger and disruption. When a murder is prophesied, and a beloved pillar of the Aspen Falls’ community winds up dead, Gwendolyn becomes Sheriff Ross Lawson’s prime suspect.

To get Gwendolyn out of hot water, and more importantly, out of her house, Jade attempts to prove her friend’s innocence. Jade believes she’s finally discovered the truth, but is soon brought back to reality when she learns all is not as it seems in the realm of the metaphysical. Not even murder.


A Word from Jade Blackwell

Has My Writer Lost Her Marbles?

I’ve been concerned about my writer, Gilian Baker, for a while now. I really think she’s gone around the bend this time. In our two previous murder cases, life was chaotic, sure, but not totally creepy and weird. This time, I fear for her sanity. She’s brought an old friend and former colleague back into my life, which I know sounds normal enough. But it turns out, Gwendolyn Hexby left the logical world of academia for woo-woo land—she’s now a psychic medium.

Yes, you read that right. What could have possessed Gilian to turn a rational woman into a medium who shows up at my home and holds a sΓ©ance that very same night? At my dining room table, no less. Oh, and did I mention Gwendolyn had been advertising this event online? People in Aspen Falls, Wyoming don’t go to sΓ©ances. Or so I thought.

But that’s not even the worst part! Gilian decided it would be a good idea for Gwendolyn to announce a murder at this sΓ©ance. Do you see what I mean? She’s lost it.

Gilian knows I love my routine as an online entrepreneur. I left academia behind so I could work in peace and quiet, secluded in my home office. I blog and run a successful ghostwriting company. I simply don’t have time for all Gwendolyn’s shenanigans.

And, it gets worse. When the sheriff, Ross Lawson, learns about the sΓ©ance after the murder occurs (Don’t ask how Gwen knew that. I still haven’t figured it out.) and shows up at my door, Gwendolyn talks him into looking closer at what he thinks is just a tragic accident. She claims it’s murder. And don’t you know it? She’s right.

You know what that means, right? Gwendolyn’s short visit turns into an extended stay because she’s a prime suspect.

I can’t blame Sheriff Lawson. I’d ask Gwendolyn to stay in town too. I mean, come on. Gwendolyn brought her familiar, a horrible Siamese cat named Athena (And she’s no goddess, let me tell you!), gives guidance using tarot cards and talks non-stop about things like spirit guides and astral bodies. What’s an amateur sleuth to do?

Solve the murder, of course. Hey, I had to. I needed my guest and all the chaos she brought with her out of my house. I have a life, you know. In between the sΓ©ance and solving the murder, lots of other craziness occurred. I won’t go into all that now, because I want to come back to my original concern.

Do these situations sound normal to you? What danger is Gilian going to be willing to drop me into next? I shutter to think! How can a sane person dream up such dastardly deeds…and then go on to force her creation to live through them?

I’ll tell you what. Since I’m truly concerned for her mental health, maybe you’ll read Murder Over Medium and tell me what you think. Has my dear writer gone over the edge? Should I fear for my life? I’m not sure how much more of this I can take, and I need an outsider’s perspective. I’m counting on your help. Go here to read the whole sorted mess. I look forward to your suggestions. My life may depend upon it!

Mysteriously Yours,

Jade Blackwell


About Gilian

Gilian Baker is a former English professor who finally threw in the towel and decided to just show ‘em how it’s done. She’s gone on to forge a life outside of academia by adding blogger, ghostwriter and cozy mystery author to her C.V. She currently uses her geeky superpowers only for good to entertain murder mystery readers the world over. When she’s not plotting murder for her Jade Blackwell cozy mystery series, you can find her puttering in her vegetable garden, knitting in front of the fire, snuggling with her husband watching British TV or discussing literary theory with her daughter. 

Since childhood Gillian’s been told she was nosy, though she prefers to think of herself as inquisitive. It’s long been a secret dream of hers to be paid to snoop, but she’s given up on being a real live gumshoe and has happily settled on living vicariously through her protagonist. As a literature professor, Gilian considered her one and only vice to be reading cozy mystery books before bed instead of well-thumbed classics.

Gilian Baker lives in Columbus, Ohio with her family and their three pampered felines. In her next life, she fervently hopes to come back as a cat, though she understands that would be going down the karmic ladder.

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.