Great Escapes Tour: The Icing on the Corpse by Liz Mugavero



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

The Icing on the Corpse.inddThe Icing on the Corpse (A Pawsitively Organic Mystery)
3rd in Series
Series: A Pawsitively Organic Mystery
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Kensington (March 31, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0758284822



Kristan “Stan” Connor is thrilled to be invited to the Groundhog Day festivities in quirky Frog Ledge, Connecticut. Her organic, home-baked pet treats are a big hit at the annual celebration, though an important guest is curiously absent . . .

When Helga Oliver, the town’s elderly historian, is found crumpled in the basement of the Historical Museum, the close-knit town is devastated. But after some tenacious digging, Stan discovers Helga was pushed down the stairs–and that this picture-perfect New England town may hide some dark secrets . . .

Stan’s dogged determination reveals Helga’s ties to an unsolved death in 1948 . . . but how does that connect to Adrian Fox, who’s just arrived in town to shoot an episode of Celebrity Ghost Hunters? Stan is going to have to be very careful in chasing down the killer–if she wants to live to see another winter . . .

Includes Gourmet Pet Food Recipes!

Inside3About This Author

Liz Mugavero is a corporate communications consultant and animal lover from the Boston area, whose canine and feline rescues demand the best organic food and treats around. Her short stories have been published in the UK and Australia, and her essays have appeared in national publications Skirt! and Sassee Magazine for Women.

Author Links;;;;

Purchase Links
Amazon  Indie Bound B&N Book Depository



MY THOUGHTS:  I had not read any of Liz’s books before signing up to participate in this tour. When I started reading my review copy, I knew that I wanted to read the whole series – that this would be one of those series that I would add to my standing always read list. I quickly snagged the first two books from Amazon. You can easily read this third installment in the series without having read the first two, but I’m certain that after you read it, you’ll want to read the others, too.

I loved everything about this book. Stan is one of my new favorite mystery characters. Sometimes she’s a bit too curious but that makes for good mysteries. I especially love that she loves animals so much and that she has such a hard time saying no when someone needs her help.

The Icing on the Corpse has a little something for everyone: organic pet recipes, an old mystery, a hint of a ghost story and humor. Liz has written a great mystery that will keep you hooked until the last page.  I highly recommend this book (and the others in the series) for anyone who enjoys a great mystery with animals.

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Posted by on March 24, 2015 in Uncategorized


Book Blast – Numbers Game by Rebecca Rode

Numbers-GameNumbers Game by Rebecca Rode

Treena is nervous for Rating Day. A single number will brand her forever—a valuable citizen, or a pathetic waste of space. Her top-Rated boyfriend is confident their scores will coincide so they can attend the academy together. But when the big day arrives, her true number shocks everyone.

To get her life—and boyfriend—back, she must go undercover and expose a military spy. Doesn’t sound too hard, except that someone wants her dead. And then there’s Vance, the mysterious soldier with a haunted past and beautiful brown eyes. Together, they discover a dark numbers conspiracy, one that shatters the nation’s future. Treena must join up with Vance if she is to survive the dangerous game of numbers—and the terrible war that rages within her heart.





“Your Rating is wrong,” Vance said. “Their precious Rating system says absolutely nothing about you and what you’re capable of.”

I shook my head. “So far, everything I’ve done has proven my number absolutely correct.”

“Treena.” His tone softened. “I don’t know why you that happened to you. But I do know one thing.” He stopped on the step below me, and I whirled to face him. We were the same height now, and his expression was fierce. “You are the most loyal, the most determined, and the most fascinating girl I’ve ever met. No number could ever describe you.”

The deadness inside cracked, and the pain came flooding back. I felt like a five-year-old again. Falling, grasping for a handhold, for something to save me. “It doesn’t matter now. Tali’s dead.”

He gave me a long look. Then he sat down, right on the steps, easing me down next to him. I lay my head on his shoulder and let him pull me close. The warmth of his embrace felt completely and utterly right. For a long moment, I allowed myself to forget about the past few days. There was no empress, no punishment mode, and no mission. There was just us. The world was cool and dark, and his touch sent my heart pumping as if it had just awakened from hibernation.

“Dying isn’t the worst thing to happen to someone,” he continued thoughtfully. “Anyone coward can die. The hardest thing is being left behind, trying to make sense of a world without them.”

I tilted my head back and allowed myself to look up into Vance’s eyes. They were dark, pulling, as if absorbing all the light that entered, saving it for some future purpose. His eyebrows were choppy, untrimmed, and his lips chapped. But somehow, it worked. It was simply . . . him. No surgeries, no tallies of volunteer hours and checklists. Vance just took life one day at a time, keeping his family safe, trying to put the pieces of himself back together. I could see it, the pain in his heart. It was something we shared now.

A warm feeling spread through my chest until I thought it would burst. This was who he really was. The tumultuous battle within him seemed to have trickled away, leaving one gallant, vulnerable boy. A boy who was looking at me as if I were something precious—who looked at me, instead of at my Rating. His eyes flitted between mine, his confidence replaced with uncertainty.

“It feels good to finally choose sides, doesn’t it?”

“Whose side are you on, then?”

His chin was just above mine, and he lowered it until our eyes were level. Then his hand tilted my chin upward toward his. His fingers brushed the side of my face, cradling it gently in his firm hand. I felt his breath on my face, felt the battle within him as well as I felt it in myself. But something pulled me toward him.

“Yours,” he said. He closed the distance between us, slowly, then paused.

And our lips met.

                                                 ADD TO GOOD READS

Praise for the Book

“Gripping, from beginning to end . . . a tale as action-packed as Divergent yet as introspective as The Giver. . . . Sure to be an instant classic in the genre.” –R.J. Craddock, author of The Children of Cain series

“Fluent and engaging . . . brimming with fabulous characters and intrigue that will keep you flipping pages. Can’t wait to read the next book in this series!” –Adrienne Monson, author of the Blood Inheritance trilogy

“Had me hooked from the first page to the last . . . Thoroughly enjoyable. I highly recommend!” -Randy Roberts, BoredShorts TV (Kid History/Kid Snippets)


REBECCA RODE is an award-winning author and journalist. She is the author of the inspirational book, How to Have Peace When You’re Falling to Pieces, and writes for Deseret News,, FamilyShare, and Provo Daily Herald. However, her true love is writing for teenagers. She enjoys playing with her four children, traveling, reading, and martial arts, and she has a ridiculous addiction to her husband’s chocolate-banana shakes.


Website   Facebook    Twitter   Blog






Click here for a chance to enter for a chance to win $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash.

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Posted by on March 24, 2015 in Uncategorized


Review: Red, A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall


Red  Red, A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall

Goodreads Summary
Red has a bright red label, but he is, in fact, blue. His teacher tries to help him be red (let’s draw strawberries!), his mother tries to help him be red by sending him out on a playdate with a yellow classmate (go draw a nice orange!), and the scissors try to help him be red by snipping his label so that he has room to breathe. But Red is miserable. He just can’t be red, no matter how hard he tries! Finally, a brand-new friend offers a brand-new perspective, and Red discovers what readers have known all along. He’s blue!


My thoughts: I loved this book. As an educator I have seen many children struggle with the labels they have been given and/or unreasonable expectations. This heartwarming story highlights the importance of being true to yourself. I don’t usually like picture books with “messages”.  But I love this one. Some might consider the message to be rather heavy handed, but I found it to just be simply straightforward.

I checked this book out from the public library because my students really enjoyed The Day The Crayons Quit. I was hoping this would be another book they would enjoy. So far, each of the classes I’ve shared the book with have thought it was awesome. I have already ordered a copy for the school library and a copy for myself as well.

It’s a must have for any school or classroom library.

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Posted by on March 12, 2015 in Uncategorized


Drawing Conclusions by Deidre Verne – Guest Post and Review


great escape tour banner large drawing conclusions640

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

Drawing Conclusions
by Deidre Verne

Drawing ConclusionsDrawing Conclusions
(A Sketch in Crime Mystery)

Paperback: 312 pages
Publisher: MIDNIGHT INK (February 8, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0738741314



Cece dumpster dives her way through this suspense-filled murder mystery…

Cece Prentice is a most unusual young woman. Heiress to a large fortune thanks to her doctor father, who is the head of a genome company on Long Island, Cece is also a freegan—ecologically-minded and socially conscious. If that happens to include dumpster diving for half an old hamburger, previously started by someone she has never met, then so be it.

Cece would still be going about her ordinary, albeit weird, life had her beloved twin brother Teddy not been murdered. Drawn into the police investigation, CeCe uses her sketching abilities and knowledge of her father’s company to provide Detective DeRosa with the clues he needs to ferret out what happened to Teddy. But she soon realizes that this mystery is much more complicated than she ever imagined.


About This Author

Deirdre Verne (Scarsdale, NY) is a college professor and an active college blogger. A writer for the millennium crowd, Deirdre’s interest in green living inspired her to create an off-the-grid character who Dumpster dives her way though a suspense-filled mystery series. A member of Sisters in Crime, Deirdre’s short stories appear in all three New York chapter anthologies – Murder New York Style, Murder New York Style: Fresh Slices and Family Matters.


Author Links (web page)



Purchase Links
Amazon  B&N


Tour Participants

February 8 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview

February 9 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Giveaway

February 10 – Brooke Blogs – Guest Post, Giveaway

February 11 – Omnimystery News – Interview 

February 12 – 3 Partners in Shopping,Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – Guest Post, Giveaway

February 13 – readalot – Review, Giveaway

February 14 – Lori’s Reading Corner – Guest Post 

February 15 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review, Guest Post

February 16 – A Blue Million Books – Interview, Giveaway

February 17 – Kelly P’s Blog – Guest Post

February 18 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review, Giveaway

February 19 – Chloe Gets A Clue – Interview

February 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review, Giveaway 

February 21 – deal sharing aunt – InterviewD


It is my pleasure to welcome Deidre to the blog today.

Balancing Family and Writing

I have a full-time job, a family and I write mystery novels. In the beginning of my writing career I was able to work out elaborate plots in my head. It seemed like the perfect solution for a working mom with an interest and passion for writing. I could make dinner, change the bedding and drive to work while developing story lines in my head. That worked for a few years until I realized that I would actually have to transfer my comprehensive fantasy world onto paper if I wanted to be a published author. Saying you have a great idea for a book is one thing, but writing it out is, well, nearly impossible if you can’t find the time.

I’ve learned to carry my writer’s notebook with me everywhere I go on the outside chance I’ll be able to write. I’ve got it open now but I have to admit, I’m slightly distracted. Christina Aguilar’s ‘Genie in a Bottle’ is blasting, a neon-light show is flooding the room, and the sole of my shoe is stuck on something questionable.

I’m in a bowling alley, by the way. It’s one o’clock in the afternoon. I’ve left work early to entertain and supervise my kids and their friends on a random school holiday. It appears, like a dozen other moms, that I’m not the only one who had this idea. As a result, very few bowlers are over three feet tall, and I haven’t seen a single game score over twenty. The kid in the chair behind me just put his head down for a nap.

It occurred to me that I may be nuts. There is no credible way to balance all of the responsibilities I’ve got going. But wait, I did finish one book, and I’ve got a second manuscript near completion. While I’ve been sitting at lane eighteen, I’ve sketched out ten blog post ideas. The balancing act hasn’t been pretty, but I’ve made progress. And that kid napping behind me? He just woke up…..and vomited!

Can I deal with these distractions? You bet I can. In fact, the writing keeps me focused. It forces me to set goals and be efficient with my time. Turns out, that writing pad was a good investment!

 Thanks Deidre! I, for one am very glad you found a way to balance everything and finish that first book. I’m especially glad to hear that the next book is almost complete. I can’t wait to read it.

My thoughts: I love it when I discover a new series at the beginning. I really enjoyed this book. I have to be honest though, I wasn’t too sure about the fact that CeCe is a dumpster diving freegan. I’ve run across freegans before in other books. Not that I’m germaphobe, but the thought of dumpster diving always just gives me the willies. I don’t know how police investigators manage to do it when they are investigating a case, much less how anyone does it by choice.  I know, I need to be more open minded. One of the things I liked about Drawing Conclusions is that it actually gives the reader more information about the freegan lifestyle. I felt a bit more enlightened after reading the book.

But what I liked most about the book were all the twists and turns. I love a mystery that keeps me on my toes. I also enjoy being able to solve puzzlers myself. It’s especially enjoyable when I can solve a puzzler or two and still be surprised.  Deirdre certainly has a talent for plot twists.

I also really liked CeCe. She seems like a very complex character. I’m intrigued by her talent for capturing faces and her ability to handle discovering her family and life are not what she thought it was.

This is a great new series. I can’t wait for the next installment. If you only add one new series to your reading stack this year, I highly recommend you add this one.

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Posted by on February 15, 2015 in Uncategorized


Chaotic Goddess Books ‘N Bloggers Swap Reveal



I was very lucky to be paired with Karen of The Well Read Pirate Queen for the Chaotic Goddess Swaps’ Books & Bloggers Swap!  It’s scary how similar our tastes in books are.  We both love cozy mysteries and young adult/middle grade reads.

If you’ve never done one of these swaps, this is how, it works.  Each blogger is paired with another.  Participants agree to  ship 3 books : 1 that we love, 1 that was on our partners wishlist, and 1 that we want to read but haven’t. Shopping for Karen was so much fun because we have such incredible similar reading tastes! Also fortunately for me, the swap took place during my school’s book fair at B&N, which was kicked off with a book signing by my author friend Darby Karchut, author of the Finn MaCullen series. I was able to snag some autographed copies to fit the “book I loved” category. Ok, one of the books n her wish list also fit that category so it was a double win for me.

Karen sent me an awesome package. Not only did she send me books, but cute little extras that went with the theme of the books. The book from my wish list is Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexnaderwhich was paired with cute little cupcake clips. The book she loved was Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen, the first in a series that has been on my radar for some time now. She paired it with some delicious chocolate. And the book she’s always wanted to read is Snow Way Out by Christine Husom, which she paired with some adorable snowflake cupcake liners. I can’t wait to start reading.

Book Swap


Posted by on February 4, 2015 in Uncategorized


Gilt By Association by Karen Rose Smith – Guest Post and Review

It is my pleasure to welcome Karen Rose Smith, author of the Caprice De Luca mysteries to the blog today.

great escape tour banner large gilt by association 640

The Best Places to Visit in my Cozy Town 

by Karen Rose Smith


Since my sleuth Caprice loves animals and takes in strays, PERKY PAWS is one of her favorite businesses in Kismet to shop in. The shop is animal friendly. The front case carries an assortment of biscuits: peanut butter nuggets, gingerman-sized ginger biscuits, pumpkin biscuits, and cheese and bacon biscuits. Colorful dog cookies also decorate the case and are adorned with yogurt icing. Her pup, Lady, notices them, too, and stands at the case as if she expects one to jump out at her and she could eat it. At PERKY PAWS, Caprice can pick up anything she needs from a kitty bed to good food for her furry friends to eat.


The BLUE MOON GRILLE holds memories for Caprice. She shared a romantic date there with Dr. Seth Randolph. The line for seating sometimes stretches through its reception area on the first floor of an arts and crafts mall and practically out the front door. Stairs lead to the second floor dining area and the deck outside. Chatter in the main dining room is loud sometimes around the bar but there is a gas fireplace that makes it cozy on wintry nights. Sliding glass doors open to the outside deck. There is always a vase of wildflowers on the tables. Black wrought iron chairs with rounded backs have cushy cushions tied to the backs and the seats. The glass-topped tables hold white placemats, silverware and crystal. The outside deck is lovely on a moonlit night. The night Seth and Caprice have dinner there, Seth arranges for a guitarist to play Caprice’s favorite music from the 60’s and 70’s. The restaurant is especially known for its huge soft pretzels with crab and cheese topping.


The De Lucas are Catholic and Caprice’s faith is important to her. They attend Mass and other services at St. Francis of Assisi Church. Behind the church there is a garden with a statue of St. Francis of Assisi, who is considered the patron saint and protector of animals. Caprice’s admiration for St. Francis must play a part in her love for animals. Her sister calls her a “stray magnet” and she finds homes for the strays she takes in. When Caprice needs to think through a situation, she sometimes sits in the St. Francis garden. The statue always has seasonal flowers planted around it from daffodils and hyacinths in spring, to geraniums in summer to mums in the fall. It’s a peaceful and relaxing spot with a cement bench that fits three.


Caprice is a retro girl. Her house was built in the 1950’s. She has decorated her house with 1950’s furniture and 1960’s colors. Her Nana Celia collected Fostoria crystal through the years and handed it down to Caprice’s mom. Caprice often uses antiques in house stagings. One of her favorite shops to peruse–from furniture to antique jewelry is OLDER AND BETTER owned by Isaac Hobbs. Isaac often gives Caprice important gossip and information about collectibles that helps her solve murder cases. In his shop she can weave in and out of primitive cupboards, pie safes, and hand carved rockers.


ALL ABOUT YOU is a unique dress shop opened by Caprice’s good friend Roz Winslow. In the first book of the series STAGED TO DEATH, Roz was a suspect in her husband’s murder investigation. Once all the dust settled, she decided to use her fashion sense to open a store where all women (not just those who are a size 2) can find fashions they like. In book 3, GILT BY ASSOCIATION, Caprice finds a forties style fuchsia dress for the Valentine’s Day dance.

All About You is located in what Kismet residents called Restoration Row. It is a street of row houses in an old section of town. Officially a developer named the street Bristol Row when his company refurbished the houses, sand blasting brick, refacing the fronts, putting siding over clapboard, adding black shutters, and making the street respectable once again. Roz rented one of the houses for All About You.

The store has an unusual layout, with two stories and separate rooms for specific types of fashions. The back entrance has an inside stairway with a chair lift for anyone disabled who wants to shop there. There is a ramp out back, too, for the first floor, and limited parking. Roz has gone to a lot of trouble to make this boutique exactly the way she wanted with women shoppers in mind.

You can read more about Caprice, her family and her penchant for solving murders in the Caprice De Luca Home-stager Mystery series—STAGED TO DEATH – December 2013, DEADLY DECOR – June 2014, and GILT BY ASSOCIATION – February 2015, DRAPE EXPECTATIONS – August 2015, all published by Kensington Books.

 Meet the author

Award winning and best-selling author, Karen Rose Smith’s plots are all about emotion. She began writing in her early teens when she listened to music and created stories to accompany the songs. An only child, she spent a lot of time in her imagination and with books–Nancy Drew, Zane Gray, The Black Stallion and Anne of Green Gables. She dreamed of brothers and sisters and a big family like her mother and father came from. This is the root of her plotlines that include small communities and family relationships as part of everyday living. Residing in Pennsylvania with her husband and four rescued cats, she welcomes interaction with readers on Facebook at KarenRoseSmithBooks, on Twitter @karenrosesmith and through her website

Karen, thank you so much for joining us today. I loved learning more about Kismet. It certainly sounds like some place I would like to visit.

Gilt By Association

by Karen Rose Smith

Gilt By Association Mech.inddGilt by Association
(A Caprice DeLuca Mystery)

• Series: A Caprice DeLuca Mystery
• Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
• Publisher: Kensington (January 27, 2015)
• ISBN-13: 978-0758284884





Between training her new puppy, helping her sister with her baby, and searching for the perfect vintage dress for Kismet’s Valentine’s Day dance, home-stager Caprice De Luca has a lot on her to-do list.  But she’s never too busy to do a little staging, and she’s looking forward to thawing February’s frozen real estate market with her Hearts and Flowers Open House.  Her client Louise Downing’s romantically decorated home practically staged itself.  But when Louise is found murdered, Caprice is forced to turn her attention from sweethearts to suspects.  And as the truth comes out in stages, she discovers that Louise had more secrets than a box of chocolate truffles…



About This Author

Award winning and best-selling author, Karen Rose Smith’s plots are all about emotion. She began writing in her early teens when she listened to music and created stories to accompany the songs. An only child, she spent a lot of time in her imagination and with books–Nancy Drew, Zane Gray, The Black Stallion and Anne of Green Gables. She dreamed of brothers and sisters and a big family like her mother and father came from. This is the root of her plotlines that include small communities and family relationships as part of everyday living. Residing in Pennsylvania with her husband and four rescued cats, she welcomes interaction with readers on social media.



Author Links:







My thoughts: I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is my first visit to Kismet and my first introduction to Caprice and her family/friends. This is the third book in the series, yet it is easy to follow along without having read the previous books.  However, I’m sure that like me, you will want to go back and read the first two books if you have not done so already.  I’d like to learn a bit more about Caprice’s family and her relationships with Grant and Dr. Seth.

Gilt by Association is an engaging read.  There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes.  I love that Caprice is an animal lover and is in to vintage/retro style. The love theme Caprice is incorporating in to the home staging makes this a great February read. If you are looking for a good solid cozy mystery read, then I recommend you read Gilt by Association. And you might want to join me in checking out the first two books in the series:  Staged to Death and Deadly Decor.

If you would like to win a print copy of this book, visit the Great Escapes Tour Page for a chance to win.



Posted by on February 1, 2015 in Uncategorized


Review: As Gouda As Dead by Avery Aames

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

Author & Illustrator

gouda as deadAs Gouda as Dead

Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley (February 3, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0425273319




Someone is cheesed off . . .

Providence, Ohio, is celebrating Valentine’s Day with weeklong events, including lovers’ baskets with heart-shaped cheeses at Fromagerie Bessette. Charlotte Bessette is celebrating by finally walking down the aisle with the man of her dreams, handsome artisanal cheese farmer, Jordan Pace. But when a beloved bar owner is discovered murdered on Jordan’s farm, he believes they should reschedule their wedding given the grim turn of events.

Charlotte is heartsick over the postponement. This killer crossed the wrong woman. No one, but no one, is ruining her wedding plans!

My Thoughts:

First let me apologize for the lateness of this review. I had planned to post this on Tuesday when I posted Avery’s guest post. But the electrician came out to connect of the hot tub and we were out of electricity for quite a while and then WordPress went wonky on me. So I thought I would try to post it from school, but they are doing something to the district internet. For most of the week it’s been freezing and other weird things. It’s been working ok for the last half hour so I’m quickly trying to post while I have the chance.

I’m sure I mentioned on Tuesday that this is one of my favorite cozy mystery series. I am just thrilled to be a part of the blog tour. When people ask me for mystery recommendations, Avery’s books are one of the top five series I recommend.

As Gouda As Dead is a wonderfully written mystery that will keep the reader engaged until the end. I love Charlotte because she is so down to earth and sensible. She’s the kind of person I would love to have a friend. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that she owns a cheese shop. Except reading about all that cheese sure does make me hungry, but it also gives me ideas for new cheeses to try.

With love in the air all over Providence, this is an excellent read for February. Jordan leaving little notes for Charlotte has inspired me to do the same for my husband (Shh! Don’t tell him. I want it to be a surprise.)

I especially enjoyed reading about all of Charlotte’s friends and family. I love the twins! I’ve been doing some heavy reading for work and have only had a handful of enjoyable reads in the last few months. Reading As Gouda As Dead was a nice break from all the “required reading.” It felt like going home.

As I said, this series one that I recommend often, even to my mystery loving friend who can’t stand cheese. (Can you believe such a person exists?)   If you are looking for a good enjoyable mystery, then this is one you don’t want to miss.

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Posted by on January 29, 2015 in Uncategorized


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