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Murder in Real Time by Julie Anne Lindsey – Guest Post and Review

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FTC Disclosure: I received an advanced e-copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

It is my pleasure to welcome Julie Anne Lindsey to the blog today. It was great fun getting to know more about her and her heroines.

 

Food, Fashion & Fun in Mystery – Julie Anne Lindsey

My heroines are a lot like me. They have their own sets of my strengths and weaknesses, but essentially they’re multiple versions of myself. What does that say about me? I’m not sure, but Freud would probably have a field day. I think the main reason I use personal traits to create my heroines is because I understand them right away. The other characters take time to evolve and get to know, so it’s nice to have someone to connect with from the start. Plus, I live vicariously through these women. Their lives are so much fun.

I toss in other details from my reality, too. For example: My heroines all love food, fashion and fun. Most, like me, aren’t great at cooking or making outfits worthy of a runway, but they all enjoy the art and entertainment of both.

In my Patience Price Mysteries series, my heroine sports a girl next door wardrobe. She lives on an island, so there’s little use for some of the things she loves, like high heels, but it’s a worthy trade-off. The island is beautiful, quaint and also her childhood home. I still get to talk about clothes, though. Her best friend works at the FBI and frequently arrives in stunning style.

Honestly, Patience’s old wardrobe would be a tight fit today, even if she did have the opportunity to wear more snazzy pieces. Why? Two words: Island. Food. When I visited Chincoteague, Virginia in 2008, I was enamored by the scenery, culture and food. That hasn’t changed. I couldn’t write about the island without including details on the amazing fresh seafood, vintage ice cream parlor or local cafes. Food is a consistent part of the stories. It had to be because like me, Patience has a tough time resisting.

The Island Creamery is a real island staple. In my books, I call it the Tasty Cream. Patience eats there often. Hey, cooking for one is hard. Plus, she mostly keeps health food in her fridge due to wishful thinking and keeping dreams alive, but the Tasty Cream is right across the street. The scents of fresh grilled burgers and seasoned fries call to her like Fred Flintstone on a whiff of brontosaurus stew. What can she do? She’s only human.

Patience – who, by the way, has never earned her namesake, is a high strung, type-A personality and food is just one of the many things that test her daily. So, in Murder in Real Time, I increased the temptation a few notches. (Intentional goading is funny when it isn’t happening to me). Following the murders of two D-list reality show “celebrities,” her town is overrun with gawkers, reporters and food trucks.

To be fair, there is a salad truck, Fork in the Road, but let’s be honest, she doesn’t want a salad. There are gourmet-ice-cream-sirens calling her and a pancake truck called Baby Cakes with tall stacks of fluffy hotcakes and a buttery cloud of heaven confounding her brain.

Wow. When I started writing this blog post, I thought I’d head off on a fashion tangent. I’m typing and smiling in Ohio because I want to write more about the food. I can practically smell the charcoal grills, taste the scallops and feel the texture of a Tasty Cream malt on my tongue. *deep contented sigh* Island food, followed closely by food truck food make me incredibly happy. No wonder this installment of the Patience Price Mysteries was my favorite.

I hated to see the series wind down, but I gave it lots of delicious food, silly shenanigans and intrigue to keep readers guessing what really went down that night, I hope. With any luck, readers will be glad they stopped by Chincoteague with me. I hope you’ll visit soon.

Murder in Real Time

With the chaos of summer tourists and fall birders out of town, counselor Patience Price is looking forward to the quiet life she remembers. She longs for some peace. And an apple fritter. But the calm is cut short when a reality show sets up camp to film a special about ghosts on her little island. Now fans, reporters and crew have flocked to sleepy Chincoteague. Who knew ghost hunters had an entourage?

When two cast members are killed in a room at the local B&B—a room usually occupied by Patience’s FBI agent boyfriend, Sebastian—she finds herself on the case. Sebastian doesn’t want Patience ruffling any feathers but, as always, she can’t help herself.

Patience promises to let Sebastian handle the investigation—he is FBI, after all—but after a drive-by shooting, her wicked curiosity gets the best of her. And with the TV show forging ahead with filming, the list of suspects (and the line of food trucks) only grows. But has the shooter already flown the coop? And how do you find a killer when you don’t know who the target is?

Amazon       Barnes&Noble       Carina Press

 

About Julie:

Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. She’s a self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for words and proclivity for fun. Julie lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Today, she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world.

Murder in Real Time is the conclusion to The Patience Price Mysteries series, from Carina Press.

Learn About Julie at:

Julieannelindsey.com

Find Me on Facebook!

Tweet Me!!

Read with me on Goodreads

Pin with me on Pinterest

Blogging at Musings from the Slush Pile

 

Capturing life on Instagram

 

My Thoughts on Murder in Real Time.

One of the things I enjoy about being a part of the Great Escape Virtual Book Tours is that I frequently discover new to me authors and series. The Patience Price Mysteries are one that I am definitely adding to my must read list of cozy mysteries.  Murder in Real Time is book number three in the series.  Even though I have not yet read the other two in the series, I was still able to easily follow the story.  However, after meeting Patience and Claire, I certainly want to read the first two books.

Patience lives in a small tourist community.  Ms. Lindsey has painted such a wonderful picture of Chincoteague that I have a strong desire to run away to a small island for an extended stay.  Despite all the chaos that is going with the invasion of The Watchers reality show and it’s fans there is an underlying peacefulness to the community that I found truly appealing.  I also really like Patience. She’s a no nonsense heroine. She’s more grounded than some of those surrounding and I like that in my heroines.  She’s a counselor and I know it’s part of her job, but I really liked how people seemed to just rely on her advice and direction.

As for the mystery, it’s an engaging one that will keep the reader hooked all the way to the end. I’m not going to go into great detail here. Ms. Lindsey provided a great summary in her guest post. So as I tell my students – if you want to know what happens you HAVE to read the book. Seriously, I highly recommend you read the book.  My to be read list is out of control and there’s not much room to add more, so when I say that I’m adding a series to my must read list (you know the list of authors/series that you always buy?) then you know the book is a must read.

If you’d like a chance to win a set of Patience Price e-books  visit Escape With Dollycas to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Review: A Crafty Christmas by Mollie Cox Bryan

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FTC Disclosure:  I received an advanced readers copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Summary:  Christmas is just around the corner, and the ladies of the Cumberland Creek Scrapbook Crop are thrilled when Sheila wins the first place prize in a scrapbooking design contest: a ten-day scrapbook-themed cruise in the Caribbean. Vera and Paige decide to tag along, which should pose the perfect opportunity to learn some new techniques, mingle with fellow croppers, and get in some rest and relaxation before the chaos of Christmas. But when Sheila finds a famous crafter dead, and investigators determine she was poisoned, the luxury cruise veers toward disaster as Sheila becomes the number one suspect–or was she really the intended victim? Just as the croppers begin un-wrapping the truth, a storm strands them at sea, and they’ll find it’s harder than ever to survive the holidays with a killer on deck. . .

My thoughts:  I was delighted to be selected as a stop on this tour. I LOVE this series. I was first introduced to this series the last time the author was part of a Great Escapes Tour. I was hooked and ran out and got the other books in the series.

What I like best about this series is the way Bryan has created a wonderful ensemble of characters. They really fit together as a team. And surprisingly (for me anyway) there isn’t a character I don’t like. I hate to say it, but many wonderful cozy mysteries have one character that is so annoying – the nemesis I guess.  But all of the characters in the Cumberland Creek Mysteries are wonderful and likable.  I would love to be a part of this scrapbooking group.

Bryan adds an edge to her mysteries, covering weighty topics such as mental illness (as we see in A Crafty Christmas) while still creating an upbeat read that keeps the reader engaged until the end. In A Crafty Christmas we also get a look into the business side of the world of scrapbooking. I’ve enjoyed scrapbooking in the past – I even have a closet dedicated to all the supplies. I should probably have Sheila come tell me how to get myself organized so I can finish all my projects. Scrapbooking is serious business, but until A Crafty Christmas I had not considered just how serious it is. We get a little glimpse of that in this book.

If you love mysteries and scrapbooking, you must read this series. Be sure to check out the scrapbooking tips included at the end of the book.

There is a great rafflecopter giveaway as part of the tour. Visit the tour page here to enter.

 

About This Author

Mollie Cox Bryan writes the Cumberland Creek Mysteries, published by Kensington. The first book, Scrapbook of Secrets, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2012; the next one Scrapped, was published in January 2013. Death of an Irish Diva is the third in the series. Plans for the series include two more novels and two novellas—the first one Scrappy Summer will be available in summer 2014. She writes, gardens, runs, and scrapbooks in Waynesboro, Va. with her husband and two daughters.

Author Links

http://www.molliecoxbryan.com

Twitter: @molliecoxbryan

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/molliecoxbryanauthor

Pinterest  http://pinterest.com/molliecoxbryan/boards/

Purchase Links
Amazon B&N

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Catwalk by Sheila Webster Boneham – Review and Guest Post

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FTC Disclosure: I received an advanced readers e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

It is my pleasure to welcome Sheila Webster Boneham, author of the Animal’s in Focus Mystery Series, to the blog today.

 

Pet Hair and Mysteries

 

by Sheila Webster Boneham

 

A few days ago I popped into a local department store to look for a sweater. I found what I wanted, and headed for the check out. When I handed my credit card to the cashier, a rather prim older woman, I noticed the pained look on her face. Then she said, “There’s hair all over your shirt. What is that?” Granted, I was wearing a black pull-over and had cuddled my yellow Lab, Lily, earlier, but from the woman’s tone, you’d have thought I was spattered with blood!

 

I have killed people, but only in my books. Blood is not always involved. Hair (or technically fur in some cases), on the other hand, usually is, since they are Animals in Focus mysteries. My protagonist, Janet MacPhail, is a professional animal photographer, amateur dog-sport enthusiast, and cat lover. And in the newest book, Catwalk, Janet and her tabby Leo compete in feline agility! Yes, it’s a real sport, and yes, most cats love it.

 

Janet and I have a lot more in common than hair. I’ve been active for more than two decades in canine activities, competitive and not – sort of a down-sizing of my younger days showing horses (hunters, jumpers, equitation). For me, as for Janet, animal activities are a hobby, but animals are also part of our professional lives. Janet takes pictures, and I write books (seventeen non-fiction books about dogs and cats and rescue), focused on animals.

 

At first glance it may seem that showing animals and writing are completely different sorts of pursuits, but they have more in common than you might think. Assuming that I’m a reasonably consistent human being (potentially a topic for another time), I figure that dog sports and writing must have elements in common to keep me so passionate about them for so many years.

 

The first element that comes to mind is aesthetic appeal. Beauty, yes – a well-turned phrase, a gorgeous head. But there’s more to aesthetic appeal than beauty. There’s rhythm, function, timing, and all the other things that come together to make us respond emotionally and intellectually. A dog may be beautiful in itself, or in its performance, or – ideally – in both, just as a piece of writing may be beautiful for its language and rhythm, or the way it moves us, or – ideally – both.

 

Then there’s the challenge of doing well in either arena. Training an animal to compete successfully is a lot of hard work for trainer and trainee alike. Learning to write well is also a lot of hard work. This is, of course, true of anything we want to do well. To the casual observer of the finished product – the book, the competitive performance – it may look easy, but trust me, it isn’t. In fact, novices in both fields are often amazed to discover that they have to work, and work hard, to make what they do look effortless.

 

Of course, no matter how good you are, you don’t win every time. Editors say no thanks. Someone else wins the class. Reviewers write bad reviews. Dogs and people trip and fall and make dopey mistakes. Rejection is part of both games, and rejection sucks. But here’s the thing…. the people who win a lot – with book contracts and in canine competitions – have also lost a lot. You just keep playing, and learning to play better, and eventually you win more often.

 

 

Janet MacPhail experiences similar joys and disappointments in the Animals in Focus mysteries, with a bit of murder and mayhem mixed in. And that’s not all we have in common. Janet’s Australian Shepherd Jay and her orange tabby Leo are nothing if not furry, and I suspect that Janet has horrified a cashier here and there, too, with her fur-spattered clothing.

 

 

Bio:

 

Sheila Webster Boneham is the author of the Animals in Focus Mystery series. Drop Dead on Recall, the first in the series, won the 2013 Dog Writers Association of America Award in Fiction, Mystery, or Humor. Sheila has also published 17 nonfiction books, six of which have won major awards from the Dog Writers Association of America and the Cat Writers Association. For the past two decades Boneham has been showing her Australian Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers in various canine sports. She has also bred top-winning Aussies, and founded rescue groups for Aussies and Labs. For more information, please visit Sheila online at:

Sheila’s website and writing blog – www.sheilaboneham.com

Sheila’s Writers & Other Animals blog for readers & writers who love animals, and animal lovers who read – www. writersandotheranimals.blogspot.com

On Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/sheilawrites and https://www.facebook.com/groups/writersandotheranimals/

Autographed copies of Sheila’s books are available from Pomegranate Books – ordering information at http://www.sheilaboneham.blogspot.com/p/autographed-books.html

Also available in paperback, ebook, Audible, and large print formats from your local bookseller and online.

 

 

Blurb: Catwalk

Agility can be murder for cats, dogs, and people!

Animal photographer Janet MacPhail is training for her cat Leo’s first feline agility trial when she gets a frantic call about a “kidnapping.” When Janet and her Australian Shepherd Jay set out to track down the missing party, they quickly find themselves drawn into the volatile politics of feral cat colonies and endangered wetlands.

Janet is crazy busy trying to keep up with her mom’s nursing-home romance, her own relationship with Tom, and upcoming agility trials with Jay and Leo. But the discovery of a body on the canine competition course stops the participants dead in their tracks—and sets Janet on the trail of a killer.

 

Thanks Sheila!  I loved getting to know you a little and I absolutely loved Catwalk.

My thoughts:  I have to be honest. I almost passed on the opportunity to review this book and participate in the blog tour. I’m a dog person and I gave up reading “cat” books when Lillian Jackson Braun stopped writing The Cat Who Mysteries. It was the fact that Janet is a photographer that caught my interest. Photography is one of my hobbies and I’ve been looking for a mystery series centered around a photographer. I’m glad I found this one.  I really enjoyed this book. I usually have a hard time when the first book in a series I read is not actually the first book in the series, but not this time. Readers new to this series can easily follow along without have read the previous books. However, I suggest they join me and go snag a copy.

I’m not sure who I like more, Janet or her wonderful animals. Janet is a very realistic character, easy to identify with. Boneham’s writing style is very smooth. The story just flows, keeping the reader engaged until the very end. Most importantly, she has created characters that the reader will want to get to know better.  I look forward to reading more about them.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys mysteries and animals.   And if you would like to win a copy for yourself hop on over to the Escape With Dollycas for a chance to win.

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Review: The Case of the Stolen Sixpence by Holly Webb

sixpence The Case of the Stolen Sixpence by Holly Webb

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book from the Amazon Vine Program in exchange for an honest review.

 

Goodreads Summary: When George, the butcher’s boy, is fired for stealing coins from the till, Maisie knows in her heart he is innocent. With her little dog Eddie as the Watson to her Sherlock Holmes, Maisie uses her budding detective skills to solve the mystery of the stolen sixpence, vindicate her old friend, and even help a new friend in need.

 

My thoughts: This first book in a series is a great addition to any school or classroom library. It is a great way to introduce young readers to mysteries. Maisie it a delightful character and I look forward to learning more about her and Eddie.

 

Recommended for Grades 4 and up.

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Review: We Were Liars by e. lockhart

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We Were Liars by e. lockhart

Goodreads Summary:

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

 

My thoughts:  This was one of my summer reads. It was amazing, thrilling, suspenseful and bit creepy. I loved the writing. I had me hooked from page one all the way through to the end. I truly felt for Cadence. And though I felt a twist of some sort was coming, I was truly surprised when it did. I don’t want to give any spoilers, so you’ll have to read the book for yourself. It’s a quick read and certainly worth adding to your TBR list. I hate to say this, but I can imagine this book as a movie and if they don’t dork it up, it would be a good movie.

 

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Swapoween Blogger Signups!

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The wonderful ladies over at Chaotic Goddesses have come up with another excellent blogger swap. The theme is Halloween – one of my favorite holidays.  How could I resist signing up? Here are the details:

Your Swap Objective
Fill a package with at least 5 goodies for your partner that you, yourself, would love to receive.  The package must include items that are Halloween-related.  
 
Dates to Remember:
  • Sign-Ups Start:  Monday, September 8th
  • Sign-Ups End: Monday, September 15th
  • First Post MUST be Posted by: Monday, September 15th
  • Partners assigned: Wednesday, September 17th
  • Packages Shipped By: Saturday October 11th
  • Show-Off Linky Opens: Wednesday, October 15th
  • Show-Off Linky Closes: Friday, October 31st
Swapoween Rules
  • After being accepted, you must post on your blog saying you’re participating.  Post must include the button/link back to the sign-ups and must be posted on or before September 15th.
  • Packages must contain at least 5 items that are related to Halloween, and fit your partner’s preferences.
  • You must respond to emails from the swap hosts within a timely fashion.
  • Packages MUST be mailed on or before October 11th!
  • You must send a tracking number for your package to your partner and to Chaotic Goddess Swaps.
  • You MUST post and link up your swap reveal post (linky goes live October 15th). This is non-negotiable.
 Interested in participating? There’s still a little time left to sign up. Hop on over to Chaotic Goddess Swaps and sign up.
 
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Posted by on September 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Local Flavor Swap Show Off

I participated in Chaotic Goddess Local Flavor Swap.  They have some awesome swaps and you get to meet some very nice people.

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I was paired with Terri LeBlanc from Second Run Reviews.  Terri is from Iowa and is a bookworm like me. I love her blog and I highly recommend you check it out. You got a love a girl who loves Ramona.

Terri sent me a wonderful package from Iowa.

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The package included chocolate (my favorite), cooking oil, magnets, a beautiful bookmark, a postcard I plan to have framed, a passport journal in my favorite color (pink), a book from a local author, lots of great information on Iowa and my absolutely most favorite item – a the wooden block with the picture of a camera on it. That is going right next to the hedgehog figurine one of my favorite students gave me.

I really enjoyed getting to know Terri and I’m looking forward to following her blog.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on August 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 
 
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