Saturday, June 10, 2017

Marriage Is Pure Murder
by Staci McLaughlin

This is a well thought out cozy murder mystery … I enjoyed the supporting cast and family who, against their better judgement, help Dana discover clues.
~Laura’s Interests
This book had the perfect mix of suspense, mystery, and humor. I had a hard time putting the book down so I could get other things done.
~Bookworm Cafe
This was a fast-paced and enjoyable cozy.
~Brooke Blogs

Marriage Is Pure Murder (A Blossom Valley Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Kensington (May 30, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758294920
E-Book ASIN: B01LJKQFH6
Wedding bells are ringing at the O’Connell Organic Farm and Spa in California’s postcard-perfect Blossom Valley. The entire staff is pitching in to send one of their own down the aisle. But no one knew the nuptials could turn up so many secrets—or that marriage and murder could go hand in hand . . .
Dana Lewis is marrying Jason Forrester, a talented reporter and the love of her life. She couldn’t dream of a better venue than the farm where she works, and her friends are determined to give her the wedding of her dreams. Even her florist, Bethany Lancaster, is making sure she has just the right flowers. But Dana’s happiness wilts when she finds Bethany shot dead—and discovers her friend was a busybody with a blackmail list longer than a cathedral veil. With so many enemies, finding Bethany’s killer seems all but impossible. And when Dana herself is eyed as a suspect, she’ll have to chase down the culprit faster than she can say, “I do”—or she’ll be trading in her wedding dress for prison stripes . .


About The Author

Staci McLaughlin graduated from the California State University, East Bay before becoming a technical writer for a number of years. Now she is a stay-at-home mom and a cozy mystery writer in my spare time (Ha!). Once she can wrangle the kids into bed, my husband and I enjoy watching scary movies and playing both board games and video games. 
She is currently a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, as well as a contributor to the LadyKillers blog at http://www.theladykillers.typepad.com/. She lives with my family in the San Francisco Bay Area. 
Author Links:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Staci-McLaughlin-161577987251041/


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I was quite impressed with this cozy mystery. I loved the small town atmosphere and wanted to go to the ice cream shop and taste every flavor there.  The author really did a great job of making her characters real and interesting. I found Dana  the main character to be very smart and I loved reading about her job. Who wouldn't want to work at an organic farm and spa?

What I like the most about this book is how the mystery is well written with subtle hints of who the killer might be. There were a few funny moments but not so silly that the characters start to become boring. I loved how the story moved along at a good pace with details that were not overwhelming. The book has several characters but not so many that the reader gets lost in trying to remember them all.

I was quite intrigued by the wedding that Dana was planning. It was going to be a great day for her and her soon to be husband Jason. I liked that Jason was protective of Dana when she decides to do a bit of detective work. How could she not, since she seems to be a suspect? The victim was not liked by some of the people in the town. She had a habit of finding out secrets about people and using that to her advantage. I at first was so clear who the killer was, but was pleasantly surprised by who it turned out to be. The ending is good and has a great scene that involves some mud throwing in a way. It definitely was fun to read and I'm happy to say a very well written ending to a story that I loved.

I received a copy of this book from The Great Escape Book Tour . The review is my own opinion.


 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Participants
May 30 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
May 31 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
June 1 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW  
June 1 – Queen of All She Reads – SPOTLIGHT
June 2 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW
June 2 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT
June 3- Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
June 3- Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
June 4 – Teresa Trent Author Site – SPOTLIGHT
June 5 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
June 6 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW
June 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
June 7 – My Journey Back – REVIEW
June 8 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  
June 9 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
June 10 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
June 10 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST
June 11 – Varietats – REVIEW
June 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW
June 12 – Girl with Book Lungs – SPOTLIGHT
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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Bearly Departed
by Meg Macy



Bearly Departed (A Teddy Bear Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Kensington (May 30, 2017)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496709639
E-Book ASIN: B01LJKQI7I
The Silver Bear Shop and Factory might be the cutest place around, but there’s nothing warm and fuzzy about murder . . .
As manager of the family teddy bear shop and factory, thirty-one-year-old Sasha Silverman leads a charmed life. Well, except for the part about being a single divorcée with a ticking biological clock in small-town Silver Hollow. And that’s just kid’s stuff compared to Will Taylor, the sales rep who’s set on making drastic changes to the business her parents built from scratch—with or without Sasha’s approval . . .
But before Will digs his claws in, someone pulls the stuffing out of his plan . . . and leaves his dead body inside the factory. Reeling from shock, Sasha’s hit with more bad news—police suspect her hot-tempered Uncle Ross may have murdered him. Sasha knows her uncle would never do such a thing, and she’s launching her own little investigation to expose the truth. As she tracks Will’s biggest rivals and enemies for clues, Sasha can’t get too comfy—or she’ll become the next plaything for a killer . . .


About The Author

Award-winning mystery author Meg Macy lives in Southeast Michigan, close to Ann Arbor, Chelsea, and Dexter — the area she chose for the setting of her new “Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear” cozy mystery series for Kensington. She is also one-half of the writing team of D.E. Ireland for the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery series; two books have been named Agatha Award finalists. Meg’s first published book, Double Crossing, won the 2012 Best First Novel Spur Award from Western Writers of America. She’s a graduate of Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction program. Meg loves reading mysteries, historicals, and other genre fiction, and also enjoys gardening, crafts, and watercolor painting.
Purchase Links:  Amazon      B&N   Apple iTunes     Kobo   Google Play


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The minute I saw the cover, I knew I had to read the book.  What can I say? I adore teddy bears. There is something so comforting about them. The author has done a good job on her debut Cozy Mystery series.  I loved the town she described with so many cute little themed shops. It is a tourist's dream to visit a town like this. From the beginnng I was enthralled with the story of a bear shop with the bear factory behind it. I thought the author did a fabulous job of detailing the different bears and how they are made.

Sasha is a delightful character who runs the family  shop while her sister Maddie does the books. They have employees that seem to be happy working at the factory but there is always someone who wants to change things up even though everything is fine. Enter into the story Mr. Will Taylor. I didn't like him at all. He was arrogant and so full of himself. Who does he think he is wanting to lay off workers and have production sent overseas? So what if he is their salesman and thinks the company will be better off with their product being done in China? I could here the grumblings among the employees as rumors spread about loss of jobs.

Uncle Ross is a great character and will not stand for any nonsense about the family business. His big mistake was running his mouth one night with threats against Will. Can you guess who is found dead at the factory soon after? I did like the authors creative way to use stuffing from a bear to perhaps end someone's life. It is only fitting since it is a bear factory. I did laugh because I found it brilliant writing. As in most cozy mysteries there is always one front runner as the suspect. Sasha decides she is going to find out who the killer is and off to the races we go.

The list of suspects start to grow as some people didn't exactly care for the deceased. There is a lot going on in the book that at times, I found to be too much. I wanted more focus on the mystery  and less on Sasha's ex-husband. One of the best things I liked was the bear hospital. How cute it would be to take a bear there for repairs and watch a child light up when their bear was healed? I wasn't surprised at who the killer was, so that was disappointing. As a first in the series I believe the author has great potential and  I will look forward to reading the next book in the series. I do feel the need to go get a teddy bear now.

I received a copy of this book from The Great Escapes Book Tour. The review is my own opinion.



Tour Participants
June 1 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  
June 1 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 1 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW
June 2 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW
June 2 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
June 3 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT
June 4 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
June 4 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
June 5 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
June 6 – Books Direct – SPOTLIGHT
June 6 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
June 7 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
June 7 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
June 8 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
June 8 – Book Babble – REVIEW
June 9 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW
June 9 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
June 10 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW  
June 11 – Varietats2010 – REVIEW
June 12 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

 The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race Blog Tour and $75 Amazon Giveaway with Mike Mizrahi  Take a ride through 1895 Chattanooga as it's turned upside down when a young woman has the audacity to ride a bicycle-in bloomers-in Mike H. Mizrahi's new book, The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race! Anna Gaines, 19, struggles to conquer her insecurities after a horrible fall years ago from her beloved horse, Longstreet. On a visit to Brooklyn, she's drawn to the new pastime of bicycling. But back at home, cycling is a scandalous sport for a proper lady. Anna has her eye on Peter Sawyer, president of the Cycling Club. As community outrage grows, an unexpected turn of events pits Anna against Peter in a race between the sexes.



Celebrate the release of Mike's new book by entering to win his $75 Amazon gift card giveaway!


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race
  • A $75 Amazon gift card
Enter today by clicking the banner below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on June 14. The winner will be announced June 15 on Mike's blog.





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I was so excited when I had the opportunity to read this book. The cover was intriguing and I just knew this would be a story filled with history and adventure. The author takes us to the late 1890s where women were just starting to find their voice. I really enjoyed the history that was spread throughout the book. He even had quotes from famous historical figures  which I thought really added definition to the story.

Anna is a delightful character. She is recovering from an accident that has left her feeling unsure of herself. I loved watching her grow emotionally as she decides that she wants to cycle. I found it very interesting that cycling by women  was frowned upon in those days. I'm sure it had to do with the attire Anna wore. The town was aghast at this young lady wearing bloomers and showing her legs. I loved  this story so much because it brought up how much women had to fight for their rights. This story is really well written and delves into the spunk of a young lady who was determined to show people that women should be allowed to cycle with freedom.

There is another story going on in the book besides women's rights that I found was very powerfully written. Wait till you meet a woman and her children that live in what I can only describe as  filth and deplorable conditions. Anna has a big heart and will do anything to help others. Will she be able to save this family? What will others think when they find out who the family is?

Throughout the story we meet characters that are so set in their ways they start to cause trouble for Anna. I can't imagine what it must have been like for women in this time period. They had to endure narrow minded people who wouldn't listen to anyone. I was quite surprised that several women were against Anna riding her bike. Most of them thought that a woman's place was at home, cooking, cleaning and raising children. The book is a real eye opener for me and made me realize how far we have come since the early days when women had no rights at all. Will Anna be banned from ridding her bike? How does all the gossip affect her?  What happens when she meets Peter who is the president of the Cycling Club? Thank you for writing a story filled with history and a strong character who wasn't afraid to stand up for her rights.

Sometimes.... to want something is not enough. A fight may be necessary to achieve the desire of our hearts. The struggle can help us grow if that desire is pure. "

I received a copy of this book from LitFuse. The review is my own opinion.


Tour Schedule:


6/1  

Billy | Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer
Colleen | ColleenRichman.com
Debra | 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too !
Jalynn | A Simple Life, really?!
Stacey | Books,Dreams,Life
Vik Tory | Manuscript Tunes
6/2  
Gayle | BOOKS REVIEWS ETC
Vicky | deal sharing aunt
6/3  
Margaret | The World As I See It
Mitzi | A Niche To find
6/4  
Amy | A Nest in the Rocks
Lady | Little Lady Plays
Molly | Cafinated Reads
6/5  
Cassandra | Cassandra M's Place
Kristie | Moments
Maureen | Maureen's Musings
6/6  
Amanda | Inklings and notions
Deana | Texas Book-aholic
Nancy | sunny island breezes
Veronica | Veronica's 'Views
6/7  
Amy | Seasons of Opportunities
Beth | For The Love of Books
Kathleen | Reviews From The Heart
Sally | Proverbial Reads
6/8  
Becky | Living Outside the Lines
Karen | Karen''s Korner
Carrie | Reading Is My SuperPower
Sydney | Singing Librarian Books
Wendy | Life at Rossmont
6/9  
Amy | Pause for Tales
Keri | My Table of Three
Lisa | Seeking with All yur Heart
Stephanie | Have A Wonderful Day
Stephanie | Finding My Yellow
6/10  
Jennifer | Adventures in Unsell Land
6/12  
Amanda | The Talbert Report
Andrea | Two Points of Interest
Barbara | I'm Hooked on Books
Lena Nelson | A Christian Writer's World
Madelyn | Literary Cafe
Marjorie | The Writer's Tool
Rebekah | Backing Books
6/13  
Dela | Pastries and Novel Thoughts
Kim | Window To My World
LeAnne | Rockin' My Mom Jeans
Mindy | A Room Wihtout Books is Empty
6/14  
Bethany | The Perfect beginning
Meagan | Meagan Davenport
Leah | As We Walk Along the Road
Michelle | To Everything There is a Season