Sunday, July 31, 2022

Taking one more day to just do not much of anything. 
Love to all and hope I you have a blessed day.

Saturday, July 30, 2022


I'm sorry I was a no show Friday. And today I haven't prepared anything. 

I'm afraid I allowed my mind to focus on my brother's birthday and I just didn't have the ambition.

Thank you all for the support you give me every day. 

I'll be back tomorrow with our regularly scheduled program. πŸ˜‰

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Today's post has nothing to do with cozy mysteries, nothing to do with reading. This is a sad, selfish post that I needed to write for me. I'm telling you this so you can click out now if you don't want to read my self-indulgent ramblings.

Today I want to wish my brother, 
Larry Maxwell Kelley, a Happy Birthday. 
Larry would have been 65 today.

Larry passed away June 1, 2016 of brain cancer.
I had the honor to be one of his caregivers during that time. I was with him the day he passed, as were my other siblings. 

Before I go on, Larry would hate that I was posting this. He'd be mad I was sharing his business, and would not at all be happy with how hard I'm crying as I write this. He would tell me to stop. 
Sorry Larry. 

In his element.
Larry and my friend Michelle. It was always a fun time when Michelle and Larry were together. The things those two would talk about! Larry cutting Michelle's hair the first time they meant was how I came to be friends with Michelle. She needed as asst. manager where she worked, Larry told her about me, and the rest as they say was history.
Larry was a hairstylist. A great hairstylist. He was the only person to cut my hair since I was around 15. He tried sooner, but I went to a lady hairdresser, because what teenage girl wants her brother loose on her head with a pair of scissors?! I no reason to be concerned. He always made me look and feel great. Even through my curly perm days when I would call him at 7am crying because I looked like a poodle. He was always patient and would have me come to his house to get the mess I made under control. Like magic, he had it looking great. In the six years since Larry has been gone, I have had my hair cut 3 times. He would think that was stupid. But what can I say, I'm spoiled.

About 8o% of Larry's cliental were elderly. They were called his Blue Hair group. He always had them laughing. At Larry's service, the isles of the chapel, no lie, were lined with walkers in every shape, color, and size. It was hard for his Blue Hairs to get around, but they made it out that day to show their love and say goodbye one last time.

Larry loved two places more than anywhere else.

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

We always vacationed there as kids. My sister worked at a place called The Gladstone Inn when she was a teen, so my family started staying there. Eventually my mom would be the manage and my younger sister worked with her. Then I worked the with Mom. Daddy and all the siblings would come down anytime they wanted during the summer, and stay. I call it my second home. 

Though it had changed hands some years before, Larry, just a few years before he pasted, had started staying there again on his vacations. He'd rent the front apartment.

The Gladstone Inn. 
Larry rented the apartment on the far left front.

During the end of July, Larry loved going to the Delaware State Fair.

The Fair is actually running right now, so no doubt he would have been down there tonight to celebrate his birthday with his main reason for attending . . . a sausage, onion and pepper sandwich. 

I haven't even scratched the surface of who Larry was. He loved his family, he loved his work, he loved God, he loved and was loyal to his friends. Oh, and he loved stopping at yard sales. Everyone who met Larry loved him. He was always good for a story and a joke. 

Last but very far from least, Larry was my brother (I mostly called him Bother, and he mostly called me Sister instead of out names), and I loved him. I still love him, and I will never stop missing him. 

 90's us

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

πŸ ™πŸ ™πŸ ™πŸ ™

So, what's that all about overhead?

YouTube has FREE Cozy Mystery Audio Books!

Go to YouTube and type in
Cozy Mystery Audio Books. You'll find a lot more, plus trailers, and interviews. All sorts of cozy mystery fun!

I've shared a few down below.
Just click under the book covers.

Let me know which ones you want to listen to!

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

Follow my blog by submitting your email in 
upper right hand corner of this page (on the side bar).

Reading from your phone? Scroll to the bottom of your page and click "View web version". Then follow the above directions.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022


 I'm excited to be a stop on the blog tour for

Book 1 in the Friday Night Mystery Club Mysteries
Joanna Campbell Slan

Decatur, Illinois/1986 - A nasty divorce leaves Cragan Collins with a mountain of bills and her grandmother to support. She takes a job as an ad salesperson for The Gazette. The market is tough, but Cragan finds a mentor in business reporter, Robert Smithson. One icy January day, Robert is found dead in a city park. His murder is dismissed as gay-on-gay crime. Cragan asks The Friday Night Mystery Club to find justice for Robert. Will Cragan's quest for the truth land her on the obituary page?

A Day in the Life of Cragan Collins

By Joanna Campbell Slan

“Croydon?” The man holding my business card mispronounced my name.

“Cray-gin,” I explained. “My name is Cragan.”

“Kay-don?” He stared at me through bifocals that were smudged with fingerprints. I wondered how he could see through the fog. Actually, the dirty glasses were the least of his problem. Mr. McKinney needed a trip through a car wash while sitting in a convertible. But he is a business owner, the guy behind Bug-Not, a pest removal company. I am an advertising salesperson. Because I want his business, I will endure his ordure.

I decided that “Kay-don” was close enough. Time to move on. Giving him my most winning smile, I said, “Mr. McKinney, what would you like to advertise this month? Do you have any specials? We have a space 2 columns wide and 4 inches long to fill.”

I didn’t add that we needed to fill it fast because I had to get back to The Gazette for a sales meeting at ten, thirty minutes from now.

After shoving my business card in his pants pocket, Mr. McKinney pinched the bridge of his nose. He seemed forlorn. “Can’t rightly think of anything.”

Oh, boy. I fought to keep the smile on my face. If he couldn’t come up with something to advertise, he might stop his ads. If Mr. McKinney stopped his ads, I might not meet my sales goal. If I didn’t meet my sales goal, my adopted cat, Sher Kahn, and I might starve.

Nothing like the threat of an angry Siamese cat to jolt your brain into high gear. “Oh-kay,” I said slowly, drawing out the two syllables. “Is there any particular pest that people are reporting right now? Could you have a special on a certain, um, critter?”

His hand rose to stroke his chin. Not surprisingly, he needed a good shave. I hoped the motion indicated he was giving my question serious thought. I waited. And waited. And waited.

“Well, now that you mention it. I’ve been getting calls right and left about deer eating people’s flowers.”

I nodded, thinking back to the pink-and-white-striped petunias I’d recently planted. Now I had nothing but a few masticated stems where the flowers had been. “What can you do about that? I mean, you can’t go out and shoot the deer, right?”

“No, missy, I can’t. But I can use my secret potion on customers’ plants. One squirt and it keeps them deer away for days. Until it rains at least,” he said, crossing his arms over his chest. His expression was one of great satisfaction.

“Really? So this is a liquid? And you apply it?” I had my notepad out now so I could jot down details, using them to concoct an ad.

“It surely is that. I can apply it or the customer can. You got deer problems?”

“I sure do.”

“Let me give you the details for the ad and then I’ll grab you a sample of my concoction. You can see for yourself how it works,” he said. His face had turned positively jovial.

Ten minutes later, I was in my car, driving back to the newspaper. I had the ad and a small glass bottle of “Deer-Go-Bye-Bye.” A curious name, but hey? Whatever works, right? I was halfway to the paper when I was stopped by one of the seven railway operations that run through Decatur, Illinois. This particular train went on and on. I got bored. I picked up the bottle of “Deer-Go-Bye-Bye.” I wondered, What does this smell like? How can it be so bad that deer run away? Cautiously, I unscrewed the top.

Ding-ding-ding! The crossing gate lifted. The car behind me revved its engine and tapped my bumper. The entire bottle of “Deer-Go-Bye-Bye” drenched the front of my navy dress. The smell was horrible. I needed to change. But I couldn’t because I had to attend the sales meeting. As it was, I’d be lucky to get there on time. All I could do was carry on with the hope that the smell would wear off.

Once I made it to the paper’s meeting room, there was only one seat left. It was the spot right next to our boss, Yakov Pavolich, aka “Yakky” or “the Yakster.” As befits his nickname, Yakky loves to hear himself talk. I slipped into the chair beside him right as the clock struck ten.

Yakky wrinkled his nose. He turned to stare at me. His nostrils flared. Frantically, he looked around the room. Because the meeting was mandatory, the place was packed.

I’d gone nose-blind to the smell. But Yakky was hit hard by it. So hard that he finished our meeting in five minutes, a record for the Yakster.

Back at my desk, I called Mr. McKinney. “I know your formula is a secret, but I dumped the bottle on myself. I need to know if I can simply wash it out? You said it works until there’s a rain. Do I need to get medical attention? Is it safe? I promise not to tell anybody. Swear on the Bible.”

He started laughing. Over the phone, I heard him slap his leg. “Yup, it’s safe all right. That stuff ain’t nothing but wolverine pee.”

Using the form at the end of today's post, to enter for a chance to win this great prize!

About Joanna Campbell Slan

Joanna is a New York Times Bestselling, USA Today Bestselling, and Amazon Bestselling author as well as a woman prone to frequent bursts of crafting frenzy, leaving her with burns from her hot glue gun and paint on her clothes. And the mess? Let’s not even go there.

Otherwise, Joanna’s a productive author with more than 80 written projects to her credit. Her non-fiction work includes how to books, a college textbook for public speakers, and books of personal essays (think Chicken Soup for the Soul).

Currently, she writes six fiction series: The Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series (Agatha Award Finalist, contemporary, St. Louis setting, crafting), the Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series (contemporary, Florida setting, DIY, and recycling), the Jane Eyre Chronicles (Daphne du Maurier Award Winner, 1830s England, based on Charlotte BrontΓ«’s classic), the Sherlock Holmes Fantasy Thrillers (late 1800s, based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s books), the Tai Chi Mystery Series (featuring a mature female amateur sleuth!) and the Friday Night Mystery Series (set in Decatur, IL in 1986 with a spunky female heroine.)

A former TV talk show host, college teacher, and public relations specialist, Joanna was one of the early Chicken Soup for the Soul contributors. She won a Silver Anvil for her work on the original FarmAid concert to benefit farmers.

In her ongoing quest never to see snow again, Joanna lives with her husband and their Havanese puppy, Jax, on an island off the coast of Florida. You can email her at or visit her website at

Author Links 
  Newsletter sign up: 
  Street Team sign up: 
  Amazon Author Page — 
Purchase Link 


July 25 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 26 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews - REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 26 – Christy's Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
July 26 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
July 27 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
July 27 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 27 – Cassidy's Bookshelves – GUEST POST
July 28 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
July 28 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
July 28 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 29 – Jane Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 29 – Books to the Ceiling – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 29 – Novels Alive - REVIEW
July 29 – Novels Alive - SPOTLIGHT
July 30 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT
July 30 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 31 - Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT
July 31 - #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
July 31 - BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT    

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

Follow my blog by submitting your email in 
upper right hand corner of this page (on the side bar).

Reading from your phone? Scroll to the bottom of your page and click "View web version". Then follow the above directions.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Win a book? Yes, please!
Check out the cozy mysteries you could win from 
(Use the link below the blurb of each book for a chance to enter it's giveaway) 

I know Goodreads giveaways can be hard to win because of the volume of people who enter them. But stick with it. I have won a few titles, and you can too.

Since it can be hard to win,
I'm still entering each giveaway as well!
If I win, one of you will win!

I have entered each giveaway I have posted today. If I win a book, I will have a giveaway here and one of you will have another chance to win the book . . . from me! I like knowing that your my friends will have that second chance to win.

So, GOOD LUCK to you!
And wish a GOOD LUCK to me (for you)!
As always, please leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Follow my blog by submitting your email in 
upper right hand corner of this page (on the side bar).

Reading from your phone? Scroll to the bottom of your page and click "View web version". Then follow the above directions.

Sunday, July 24, 2022


It's the last day of
Mary Jane Maffini Weekend!
It went by way too fast! 

Saturday, Mary Jane sort of had no choice but to share a letter to character, Charlotte. 
Friday, in case you missed it, Mary Jane shared a recipe with us for 
Cozy Food Friday. 

Today I'm sharing my review of Mary Jane's newest book, 

When her mother disappears, professional organizer Charlotte Adams will have to take off on a very disorganized trip across Europe to save her life . . .

It’s not unusual for Esme Adams to dash off overseas with no warning, but when weeks pass and Charlotte still hasn’t heard from her, she begins to worry that her mother’s in danger and has gone into hiding. Before she can even begin to guess where to start looking, though, Charlotte finds her own home ransacked and then set ablaze. Determined to escape a more serious attack while the police investigate, she sets off for Europe, hoping to track down her mother at one of her secluded getaway spots.

As Charlotte follows a winding trail of clues through Paris, Lisbon, Milan and beyond—narrowly missing her mother in each city, and just as narrowly eluding her pursuers—secrets begin to emerge about her mother’s shadowy past. A history of ties to criminal organizations, an infamous bank heist, and a gentleman thief who may have been her one true love all raise questions about her mother’s true identity and the peril she faces. As Charlotte processes the dizzying implications about her mother, her own childhood memories, and the father she never knew, she’ll have to work fast to catch up with her mother, before her mother’s past catches up with them all . . .

“[The author] carefully doles out clues from Charlotte’s mysterious childhood, which adds to the layers of intrigue surrounding the current-day disappearance of her famous author mother. The fast-moving plot kept me turning pages . . .” —
Cinnamon and Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder

Travel Organizing Tips Included!

DEATH PLANS A PERFECT TRIP was the perfect book for me to plan to read.

Written by author Mary Jane Maffini, this sixth installment in the Charlotte Adams Professional Organizer Mysteries was a great read cover to cover.

With her wonderful gift for storytelling, author Maffini knows how to write to keep readers engaged. Murder, mystery and mayhem run amok in this book. From the start of Charlotte’s trip to find her mother, until the very last page, I was glued to my seat. Seriously, with all the twists and turns in this whodunit, there would have had to been an emergency to get me to put the book down.

Rather you’re a returning fan to the series or this is the first you’ve read, you’re going to really enjoy, DEATH PLANS A PERFECT TRIP!

Oh, I almost forgot to mention . . . Not only is there a recipe at the end of the book, but each chapter starts off with tips from Charlotte on organizing and planning.

Lapsed librarian and former mystery bookseller Mary Jane Maffini is the award-winning author of the Camilla MacPhee mysteries, the Fiona Silk capers and the Charlotte Adams series. Her Charlotte Adams professional organizer mysteries have recently been optioned for television. The fifth book, The Busy Woman’s Guide to Murder won the RT award for Best Amateur Sleuth. The latest, Death Plans a Perfect Trip, has just been released. As Victoria Abbott, MJ collaborated on the five book collector mysteries with her daughter, Victoria. Book Four, The Marsh Madness, won the 2015 Bony Blithe for mysteries that make us smile. MJ lives and plots in Manotick, Ontario with a pair of rescued dachshunds at her feet. Her husband sleeps with one eye open.

I can't believe
Mary Jane Maffini Weekend
is over.

A big thank you to Mary Jane for spending the weekend with us. I hope she'll come back sometime!

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

Follow my blog by submitting your email in 
the upper right hand corner of this page 
(on the side bar).

Reading from your phone? Scroll to the bottom of
your page and click "View web version". Then follow 
the above directions.