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Saturday, March 31, 2018

BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: Cinco de Murder by Rebecca Adler (Cozy Mystery)


Greetings Friends!

Today I am hosting a BOOK REVIEW as part of the blog tour for CINCO DE MURDER by Rebecca Adler, the third book in A Taste of Texas mystery series.


SYNOPSIS

It's fiesta time in Broken Boot, Texas, and tourists are pouring into town faster than free beer at a bull roping for the mouthwatering Cinco de Mayo festivities. Tex-Mex waitress Josie Callahan, her feisty abuela, and even her spunky Chihuahua Lenny are polishing their folklorico dances for Saturday's big parade, while Uncle Eddie is adding his own spicy event to the fiesta menu: Broken Boot's First Annual Charity Chili Cook-off.

But Uncle Eddie's hopes of impressing the town council go up in smoke when cantankerous chili cook Lucky Straw is found dead in his tent. And when Josie's beloved uncle is accused of fatal negligence, she, Lenny, and the steadfast Detective Lightfoot must uncover who ended the ambitious chilihead's life--before another cook kicks the bucket.



BOOK EXCERPT

Chapter 1

Folklórico Rehearsal

On such a gorgeous May morning, what could be better than a power walk to Cho’s cleaners with my long-haired Chihuahua, Lenny? The morning sun had tossed a wide blanket of gold over the Davis and Chisos mountains, awakening the piñon pines and the weeping junipers from their slumber, illuminating the bluegrass and scrub so they looked like desert jewels. The plan had been to retrieve my abuela’s folklórico costume and burn some extra calories. And though we made good time—considering the length of my canine sidekick’s pencil-thin appendages—the morning sun galloped down Broken Boot’s cobbled streets while I paid Mr. Cho with a crumpled five-dollar bill and a coupon for a dozen free tamales. 
“Yip.” Lenny lapped from the pet fountain in front of Elaine’s Pies, soaking his black-and-white coat. 
“¡Vámonos, amigo!” If we were late to the final dance rehearsal before the   Cinco de Mayo parade, God only knew when Senora Marisol Martinez, our matriarch, would permit me to call her abuela again. 
During my first few months back home, I was elated to find I could accomplish tasks in far less time than in the crowded thoroughfares of Austin. Almost a year later, I was forced to admit the slower pace of our dusty little town didn’t aid me in my quest to check things off my list. It merely encouraged me to meander. 
On that happy thought, Lenny and I raced down the sidewalk toward Milagro. Suddenly I tripped over the plastic clothes bag, nearly kissing the pavement with my face. “Whose great idea was it to rehearse this early?” 
“Yip.” 
“That’s what I was afraid of.” 
When we barreled through the front door of Milagro, the best, and only, Tex-Mex restaurant on Main Street, I expected the folklórico rehearsal to be in full swing. Instead my best friend, Patti Perez, glared at me, which only made me smile. I was wise to her marshmallow center, in spite of her ghostly Goth appearance. 
“Sorry,” I mouthed. After all, it had been my idea for all of us to join the local folklórico troupe—my way of embracing life back in good old Broken Boot, Texas. 
“About time,” she chided as I draped Senora Mari’s costume over a stack of hand-painted wooden chairs. In my absence, the other dancers had cleared the dining room to create a dance floor on the beautiful Saltillo tiles. 
“I would have called,” I began. 
“But I was trapped in a dead zone,” we said in unison. Service was so bad in Broken Boot and its outlying communities that folks were slower here than in the rest of the country in ditching their landlines. 
“Where’s Anthony?” When our headwaiter offered his newly formed mariachi band to play for our first performance, I didn’t have the heart to say no. Beggars can’t be choosers, or look a gift band in the mouth. 
“Tsk, tsk.” Across the room, Anthony’s new fiancée placed her hand over the bar phone’s mouthpiece. Though christened Lucinda, we’d quickly dubbed her Cindy to avoid calling her Linda, my aunt’s name, and vice versa. “He says his truck has a flat tire.” She scowled at whatever Anthony said next and responded with a flurry of Spanish. 
“Who doesn’t keep a spare in the desert?” Patti, whom I referred to as Goth Girl if for no other reason than to hear her snort, delivered this line with a deadpan expression and a flick of her rehearsal skirt. 
“Yip,” Lenny said, chasing after her ruffles. 
Goth Girl snapped her head in my direction and gave me the stink eye. “Tell me you replaced your spare.”  
“Uh, well, not yet, but I will after Cinco de Mayo.” Money was a bit tight, what with the loss of tourists during the winter months. 
To my right, Aunt Linda, a stunning middle-aged woman with warm chestnut hair, modeled her bright-colored skirt better than any fashionista in Paris. “That’s what you said about Valentine’s Day.” She was my late mother’s older sister. She might look great in her Wranglers, but she and rhythm had never been introduced. 
“And Saint Patrick’s,” chimed in Senora Mari, executing a double spin. This morning she wore a rehearsal skirt of black-tiered lace along with her Milagro uniform of peasant blouse, gray bun at her nape, and large pink flower behind her ear. No matter how much I rehearsed, none of my moves could compare to her sassy head turns and flamboyant poses. Who knew my seventy-something, four-foot-eleven   abuela would turn out to be the star of our ragtag troupe?  
A sharp clapping interrupted our chatter. “Let’s try it on the counts,” cried Mrs. Felicia Cogburn, mayor’s wife and self-appointed dance captain. 
“Yip,” Lenny agreed. 
“Why is that dog here?” Mrs. Cogburn demanded, her hands raised in mid-clap. 
“He has a key role, remember?” My abuela smiled, an expression so rare on her dear weathered face it made folks uncomfortable. 
Mrs. Cogburn blinked several times. “Of course.” Before she could begin, a small truck landed at the curb with a bed full of musicians, trumpets and guitars in full serenade. The band stopped playing long enough to hurry inside. 
“¡Ay, Dios! Senora, I had to borrow a spare. Mine was flat.” Anthony waved his friends into a semicircle just inside the door. 
Senora Mari thrust a finger into the air. “So you say.” She snapped her head dramatically to the side. “Play.” 
With a worried look, Anthony counted off, and the group of dark-haired men and boys began to play the "Jarabe Tapatío", the Mexican hat dance. I spied a familiar face on trumpet. Anthony’s little sister Lily gave me a wink and a nod. 
As the trumpets and guitars played, Mrs. Cogburn called out, “And one, two, three, four.” 
“Where’s your skirt?” Patti asked as we twirled first right and then left. 
“Ah, chicken sticks.” I dodged the dancers, ran up the stairs to my loft apartment, and retrieved my long skirt from a chrome dining chair. 
“Yip, yip, yip,” Lenny cried from the bottom of the stairs. 
“Sorry.” I found his straw hat on the yellow Formica table and made it downstairs without mishap. “Here you go, handsome.” I perched the hat on his head and tightened the elastic under his chin. As we danced, Lenny would spin in place on his back legs, melting the hearts of the crowd faster than fried ice cream in August.


RATING



Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publication Date:  April 2018



REVIEW


I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review.

A few years ago when the first book in this series, Here Today, Gone Tamale, came out, I was absolutely charmed. Born and raised in South Texas, I loved the small town atmosphere, the Tex-Mex vibe, and the amazing family dynamics. I unfortunately never got around to the second book, The Good, the Bad, and the Guacamole, so when this book popped up for review, I had to jump on the tour!

Although it had been a while since I read the first book, Adler's writing style creates such a casual and welcoming experience that is hard to forget and I was immediately swept back into this endearing locale. Josie is still so self-deprecating, likeable, and fiesty, and through her narration, she vividly captures this colorful community, while also remaining staunchly loyal to her family. Her journalism background and instincts gives her amateur sleuthing skills authenticity as well as playing on the antagonistic relationship between the media and law enforcement who would much rather she mind her own business on all levels! 

Lenny, her adorable sidekick, is a chihuahua who sounds the alarm with yips and yaps to get Josie's attention as he aids her in their fight against crime. You'll definitely have cravings for Mexican food while reading, so do yourself a favor and have some chips and salsa with a Dr. Pepper nearby or use the provided recipes to cook up something tasty on your own. 

From the hilarious banter to the well-plotted mystery, this book is a solid choice for any cozy culinary mystery fan! I also look forward to seeing whether the dash of romance we saw serves up something warm for Josie in the next book!



ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Rebecca Adler grew up on the sugar beaches of the Florida Gulf Coast. Drawn to the Big Apple by the sweet smell of wishful thinking, she studied acting on Broadway until a dark-eyed cowboy flung her over his saddle and hightailed it to the Southwest.

Prior to writing women's fiction, Gina always found a way to add a touch of the dramatic to her life: dinner theatre in Mississippi, can-can club in Florida, and playing a giant Furskin in the New York Toy Fair, plus the occasional play and musical. She's currently content to pour her melodramatic tendencies into writing her Taste of Texas culinary mystery series. Set in far West Texas, her humorous stories are filled with delicious suspense and scrumptious Tex-Mex recipes. Her alter ego, Gina Lee Nelson, writes sweet contemporary romances with a sweet, Southern-fried flavor. 

You can connect with her on:


FACEBOOK  |  TWITTER  |  WEBSITE


GIVEAWAY INFO!


Enter for your chance to win a print copy of the book!

Best of luck!



Many thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours and Rebecca Adler! It was an absolute pleasure reading, reviewing, and hosting. And be sure to check out the other stops on the BLOG TOUR for more opinions and author extras!

TOUR PARTICIPANTS 

March 22 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 22 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST
March 22 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
March 23 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
March 23 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 24 – Varietats – REVIEW
March 24 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
March 24 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 25 – T's Stuff – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 25 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
March 25 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 26 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
March 26 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
March 27 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
March 27 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT
March 28 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
March 28 –Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 28 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
March 29 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
March 29 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 30 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
March 30 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW
March 31 - That's What She's Reading – REVIEW
March 31 - Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

BOOK REVIEW + GUEST POST: Body of the Crime by Jennifer Chase (Thriller)


Greetings Friends!

Today I have a BOOK REVIEW for BODY OF THE CRIME, the first book in the Chip Palmer mystery series, featuring a forensic scientist. Author Jennifer Chase has also graciously provided a GUEST POST discussing how investigators can determine whether a crime scene has been staged!


SYNOPSIS


From the multi award-winning author of the Emily Stone Thriller Series, comes a new kind of forensic hero:

Three grisly murders linked to five old cold cases, dubbed the Flower Girl Murders, pushes detectives to their limit to find a clever and extremely brutal serial killer, leaving a California town demanding justice. The District Attorney's Serial Special Task Force retains the help of the reclusive Dr. Chip Palmer, a forensic expert and criminal profiler, to steer them in the right direction. Palmer is known for his astute academic interpretations of serial and predatory crimes, along with his unconventional tactics that goes against general police procedures. He is partnered with the tough and beautiful D.A. Inspector Kate Rawlins, a homicide detective transplanted from Phoenix, and the chemistry ignites between the team--both good and deadly.

The Flower Girl Murders leaves three homicides, five cold cases, two seasoned detectives, three suspects, and one serial killer calling all the shots. The investigation must rely on one eccentric forensic scientist to unravel the clues to solve the case. But at what cost?

CLICK TO PURCHASE ON AMAZON



BOOK EXCERPT

I HATED THE CURIOUS AND often skeptical looks, which came from the audience in the gallery. I gently eased my body into the chair and faced them directly. It felt more like I was a participating target in a firing squad than a courtroom proceeding.
Shifting from side to side in the cushioned seat, I fidgeted with my tie. It was the only thing I could do under the circumstances.
I waited patiently trying not to nervously tap my fingers.
At least the chair was comfortable as I rested my forearms and hands on the armrest. It was not easy to avoid looking at the two burly sheriff deputy bailiffs stationed at the back corners of the room. They watched everyone with an extreme somber, statue-like presence. I was not even sure if they actually blinked or not. 
All eyes in the courtroom fixated on me.
The room fell into complete silence. The audience readied themselves waiting for the show to begin. At least that was what I had imagined in my own mind. 
I realized when the prosecutor had finally called my name to testify and the bailiff escorted me into the courtroom that I had forgotten to change my shoes. Dirt and mud had affixed deep into the crevices of the heavy-duty rubber soles, which donated little chunks of dried soil as I walked from the back of the courtroom to the witness area. There were little piles of mountain soil left behind with every stride. It looked like I had stolen shoes from a homeless person.
It was only yesterday that I had taken an extra-long walk down a wooded path that was barely passable even for the native wildlife, but I did not let the rugged terrain scare me out of adding another specimen to my collection of California sediment. In the process, my shoes sunk deep into the mud. At one point my foot had slipped from the left shoe and then plunged my sock-clad foot directly into the sticky muck.   
I was all too aware of how disheveled I looked only two months before my fortieth birthday. It was not appealing. My appearance did not give the impression that I was an expert at anything, but somehow I managed to muddle through with an air of authority.
Crime scenes never lied, and it was my job to explain the scientific facts to the non-scientific community; but in the end, it was up to the jury to make the right choice of guilt or innocence. Twelve good people ultimately shouldered the justice burden, and I was just the messenger of facts—good or bad.    


 RATING



Genre:  Mystery, Thriller
Publication Date:  May 2016


REVIEW


I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review.

If you've been reading my blog for even a minute, you are well aware that I love reading serial killer stories, so when I heard about this book, I had to read it! Plus, I recently read and reviewed the author's latest book in her Emily Stone thriller series and absolutely LOVED it, so I had some pretty high expectations for this one. You can check out my review of Dead Cold HERE.

Within this book, there were multiple antagonists, points of view, and storylines that certainly added layers to the story; however, at times, it was more a case of too much going on that took attention away from the serial killer and understanding his motivations and triggers. While there was plenty of action and drama throughout, toning down some of those aspects would have perhaps heightened the suspense towards topics better served for future installments in the series.

But personal preference aside, Chip and Kate's strong personalities and dedication to service in solving these crimes creates a fast-paced and intriguing story. I am such a fan of how the author uses her experience in criminology to craft compelling cases and characters from both the investigative and criminal sides. While I would have liked to read more from the killer's perspective, the story did provide many great examples of how forensics and profiling work, making it a satisfying read for any fan of true crime or crime thrillers. I'll definitely be on the look out for the next book in what has the potential to be quite a riveting series!



GUEST POST


When is a Crime Scene Staged? 

For anyone who loves writing murder mysteries or reading them. Have you ever wondered when is a crime scene staged? There are many reasons.  

The most difficult task is to recognize some of the subtle appearances to indicate that a crime scene has been staged. Fires are an example of a type of potential staged crime scene; it’s usually to cover up a previous crime that had been committed such as murder or insurance purposes for profit.
Every detective or forensic investigator must use their own subjective skills along with experience to determine if a crime scene has been staged. It’s important to preserve all evidence and document everything in proper order. Notes, sketches, and photographs are extremely helpful to help determine staged crime scenes.    

These signs from burglary and/or homicide investigations should alert detectives that something is potentially suspicious:

  • No sign of a forced entry
  • Forced entry is clearly evident
  • No search for any valuables is apparent
  • No items have been stolen
  • Only one particular item has been stolen
  • Drawers have been pulled out and dumped to make it look like a “ransacked” (out of ordinary) appearance
  • Drawers have been pulled out carefully and neatly stacked in order to protect certain items
  • Victim had life insurance   
  • Victim’s death was profitable for family members other than life insurance
  • To simply illustrate what a staged crime looks like, investigators must look for any evidence that appears as if it doesn’t belong.

Points of Entry

This is the most common staged crime scene element, usually an open or broken window.  Examine these areas closely and determine whether or not it’s plausible or if there are other trace evidence such as blood, fingerprints, broken glass, etc.

Weapons Left or Removed

A firearm is the most common staged crime scene weapon. Was this weapon left initially? Did it cause the injury? What’s its purpose?

Movement of Body

One of the least common staged elements is the movement of the body to a secondary crime scene. Examine the clothing, shoes, bloodstains, and hair of the victim to determine if the body has been moved and why. Rigor mortis (stiffening of joints), livor mortis (pooling of blood), blood and trace evidence, along with any type of drag marks can help assist the investigator to determine if the body has been moved.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning crime fiction author and consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology and criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.

You can connect with her on:


FACEBOOK  |  TWITTER  |  WEBSITE


Many thanks to Pump Up Your Book and Jennifer Chase! It was an absolute pleasure reading, reviewing, and hosting. And be sure to check out the other stops on the BLOG TOUR for more opinions and author extras!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

BOOK BLITZ: DAM NATION by Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall (Historical)


DAM NATION 
BOOK RELEASE BLITZ 
Bonnie and Clyde #2
by
CLARK HAYS AND KATHLEEN McFALL
Genre: Historical / Alternative History / Romance 
Publisher: Pumpjack Press
Date of Publication: March 24, 2018
Number of Pages: 266


Bonnie and Clyde: Defending the working class from a river of greed.


The year is 1935 and the Great Depression has America in a death grip of poverty, unemployment and starvation. But the New Deal is rekindling hope, with federally funded infrastructure projects, like Hoover Dam, putting folks back to work. So, why is someone trying to blow it up? That’s what Bonnie and Clyde set out to uncover in the novel Dam Nation by Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall, the second book in a provocative speculative fiction series that re-imagines the outlaws’ lives. 

"A rollicking good read!" -- Midwest Book Review 



EXCERPT

WHAT IF?

The Texas Ranger looked up at Sal, a mixture of fear, respect and revulsion in his eyes. “Let’s pretend for a minute it wasn’t Bonnie and Clyde in that ambush,” he said. “Why? Why would it be different people in that car?”
“How would I know?” Sal asked. “I work for the government. I trust that the government has my best interests at heart. I follow orders. You didn’t.”
“I won’t be quiet about this unless you can tell me why anyone would try to save them outlaws.”
“If they were still alive, I would tell you that everyone has a purpose in life, and perhaps they are fulfilling theirs. And if they were still alive, I would tell you that you don’t use good dogs to guard the junkyard, you use the meanest goddamn dogs you can get a collar around.”

       
ABOUT THE AUTHORS



Clark and Kathleen wrote their first book together in 1999 as a test for marriage. They passed. Dam Nation is their sixth co-authored book. 


BONNIE AND CLYDE: DAM NATION COMING TO
LONE STAR BOOK BLOG TOURS
MAY 17-26, 2018

   blog tour services provided by
  

Friday, March 16, 2018

GUEST POST: Author Emily Winslow of LOOK FOR HER on Writers with Pets!


Greetings Friends!

Today I welcome author Emily Winslow in conjunction with the Partners in Crime online book tour for her latest novel LOOK FOR HER. She has graciously provided a guest post discussing writers and their pets!


Two Cats, Six Dogs, and a Parrot: writers with pets
Emily Winslow, author of Look For Her
www.emilywinslow.com
Pets are a special solace to those who work at home. They are also expert at getting in the way.
It was great day when our old cat and our new kitten finally, after months, got along well enough to sit together. Unfortunately, they chose my lap to sit on. I didn't want to disturb their harmony, but where was my laptop supposed to go??
Now we are sadly down to just the one cat, but she is now big enough to do the getting-in-the-way of two. We have an uneasy truce: she can sit on the arm of my chair or my lower legs, while the laptop gets the lap to itself.


   
Only one pet has ever come up as a character in my crime novels: a retired cadaver dog entangled in the mysteries of The Red House. Perhaps the reason my cat keeps fighting for my attention is because she'd like to be in my next book!
I've asked authors Helen Moss, Eliza Graham, Kristina Riggle, and Jenny Gardiner how their pets “participate” in the writing process. The first three anecdotes I received were about dogs. The last one was a surprise...


Helen Moss, author of the Adventure Island and Secrets of the Tombs series



Snowman (Snowy, for short), my parents’ Parsons Russell, often came to stay with us for his holidays. Unlike our own two dogs, who sleep under my desk while I’m working, Snowy preferred a more paws-on approach. I spent so much time looking at the back of Snowy's head that his ears—one brown, one white with black spots—found their way into the Adventure Island books, firmly attached to the character Emily’s trusty dog, Drift.


Eliza Graham, author of The One I Was
All our Scottish terriers have enjoyed being involved in the creation of new books. Because work space is sometimes limited in our cottage, I sit on the floor to lay out manuscripts and mark them up, sometimes with a thesaurus too, as you see words differently when they’re printed off. Isla (pictured) has long been fascinated by the thesaurus.
But it was my early twentieth-century Baedeker guide to Germany, glued together using animal-based adhesives, that was lovingly torn apart by Bridie, a now-deceased Scottie, so she could lick the horse glue off the spine.


Kristina Riggle, author of Vivian in Red
We adopted an energetic goofball of a Jack Russell mix puppy in July, when she was seven months old. I've read reports about how sitting for long periods can be just as bad for you as smoking. Well, Daisy is saving my life! She does not tolerate me sitting for hours at a stretch and can be counted on to need to pee, chase squirrels, dig holes or for me to toss a tennis ball, with regularity. She will also bark ferociously through the chain link fence at my retired neighbor, requiring me to go out and shoo Daisy away, thus drawing me into a conversation with said neighbor and also saving me from social isolation! She's such a considerate pup to be so very concerned for my health and welfare. In fact, she's whining to go out right this minute! When I just let her back in three minutes ago! What a little angel...

Jenny Gardiner, author of the It’s Reigning Men and Royal Romeo series
Our cat, Sushi, has a free pass for life for being care free (except demanding endless head-scratches while I write, which does make it tricky typing, not to mention plenty of fur on the keyboard). Albert the bunny, well, the one thing going for him is that he’s quiet, which sort of makes him out of sight, out of mind. Our Labrador Sassy, who passed away last year, was mostly calm and cooperative except when nudged into naughtiness by our Australian cattle dog dingo-esque mutt Bridget, who we lost two years ago and almost until the end had a wild streak that knew few bounds.
But none of our pets has been quite as masterful at that as has Graycie, our African Grey parrot that was a gift to us in 1990 and has now, to all of our surprise, been with us for 27 years—some of them longer than others.
Graycie will not ever allow me to just sit down at my desk—not particularly strategically located in our open floor plan kitchen/living room/dining room, where she, too, resides—without her demanding that she be freed from her cage to perch atop a large “tree” perch.
She will either drag her beak across the metal bars of the cage like an ornery prisoner thrown in the drunk tank on an episode of Gunsmoke, or pluck the bars with her beak incessantly, like some audio form of Chinese water torture until she gets her wish. But granting that wish can take precious time, because she doesn’t just walk from cage to branch. No. She wants bribes, in the form of peanuts, and for me it is a test of wills to see who wins. Long ago our vet warned us to use peanuts sparingly, and that they’re bad for the bird’s health and can clog arteries. So I try to lure her with veggies, but what self-respecting bird with the cognition of a 3-year old would settle for health food when she can wield her powers of annoyance to win the junk food prize?
Instead what she ends up doing is climbing down the cage, onto the floor, click-clacking her little black clawed-feet across the hardwoods, walking backwards while looking over her shoulder, as if some cloak-and-dagger spy, ensuring she won’t be caught. Her goal? To get to the cabinet where the peanuts are stored. If she won’t get them from me, then dammit she’ll just have to help herself. I may have mentioned, parrot beaks are destructive. I have the scars to prove it. And they can do a number on hardwood cabinets, shoe-molding electrical cords, you name it. So while I doggedly refuse to accede to the demands of a petulant parrot, cutting my nose to spite my face since this interaction is cutting into my writing schedule, she has time on her hands and nothing better to do.
My family all shrug and shake their head at me, wondering why I engage with a veritable 27-year old toddler on such a regular basis, particularly when I have deadlines constantly looming with my editor often drumming her fingers awaiting my latest submission. And I can’t even find a legitimate excuse for my own obstinacy, except that I refuse to be outwitted by a bird-brained, well, bird. I suspect the darker truth is its all part of my own inherent procrastination tactics, and she’s become a conspirator in my own efforts to sabotage my writing progress. Sometimes I just need to remind myself it’s best to ride the horse in the direction it’s galloping, and then maybe I’ll actually produce some copy!


ABOUT EMILY



Emily Winslow is an American living in Cambridge, England. She trained as an actor at Carnegie Mellon University’s prestigious drama conservatory and earned a master’s degree in museum studies from Seton Hall University. For six years she wrote for Games magazine, creating increasingly elaborate and lavishly illustrated logic puzzles. She lives with her husband and two sons. She is the author of four novels and a memoir.

You can connect with her on:


FACEBOOK  |  TWITTER  |  WEBSITE  |  GOODREADS


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/006257258X/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=thatswhatsh00-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=006257258X&linkId=4f7e220a05667d72d90c0da07d215123


SYNOPSIS

Everyone loves a beautiful missing girl… a gripping psychological thriller that delves into the grief, jealousy, and unresolved mystery surrounding a cold case kidnapping, in the vein of Gilly MacMillan and Mary Kubica. 
Just outside of Cambridge, Lilling seems like an unassuming idyllic English village, but it’s home to a dark history. In 1976, a teenage girl named Annalise Wood disappeared while riding her bike home from school. Though her body was later discovered in a shallow grave, the culprit was never found. Decades later, Annalise maintains a perverse kind of celebrity in the small town, and is still the focus of grief, speculation, and for one young woman, a disturbing, escalating jealousy. 
When DNA linked to the Annalise murder unexpectedly surfaces, cold case investigator Morris Keene realizes he may now have the chance of his career. Morris and his former partner, Chloe Frohmann, hope to finally solve this perplexing mystery, and bring closure to a traumatized community. But the new evidence that should be the simple solution instead undoes the case's only certainty: the buried body that had long ago been confidently identified as Annalise may be someone else entirely, and instead of answers, the investigators face only new puzzles. 
Whose body was unearthed all those years ago, and what happened to the real Annalise? Could she have had a secret child? Is someone interfering with the investigation? And is there a link to a present-day drowning with eerie connections? 

BOOK EXCERPT

From Chapter One
Annalise Williams (Wolfson College),
University Counselling Service,
recorded and transcribed by Dr. Laurie Ambrose
My mother picked the name Annalise for me because of a girl who was killed. Her name was Annalise Wood, and she went missing when she was sixteen. My mother was the same age when it happened. Annalise was lovely, much prettier than my sister and I ever became. She was the kind of girl you look at and think, "Of course someone would want to take her."
Don’t look at me like that. I know that what happened to her was awful. It just seems a very fine line between being the kind of person that others want to be with and be like and treat well, and being the kind of person that some others, just a few, sick others, want to take for themselves. That’s the same kind of person, isn’t it? The loved and lovely. Isn’t that from a poem somewhere? That’s what she was like. That’s the risk when you’re the kind of person who’s wanted. Good people want to be close to you, but the bad people want you too.
There were two photos of her that the media used most: her most recent school portrait, and a snapshot of her laughing, with the friends on either side cropped out. Taken together, they presented the two sides of a beautiful and perfect person: poised and thoughtful, and spontaneous and bubbly. The kind of person who deserves help and attention.
Realistically, if they wanted these pictures to help strangers identify her if they saw her out and about with the bad man, they should have used photos of her frowning or looking frightened. Either there weren’t any (which may well be the case; who would take a photo of that?), or they couldn’t bring themselves to advertise a version of her that was less than appealing. The narrative is important. If you want the “general public” to get worked up, you have to persuade. Attractiveness and innocence must be communicated, even if emphasising those traits makes the real person harder to recognise.
In the end, she was already dead, so it’s a good thing, I suppose, that they used the nice photos. They’re the images that everyone remembers. My mum was a teenager when those pictures were in the paper every day for weeks, then weekly for months. Annalise Wood was the most beautiful girl in the world. Everyone cared about her. It’s what any mother would wish for her child, to be the kind of person that everyone would care about and miss if she disappeared.
It wasn’t until Mum was over thirty that what really happened to Annalise Wood was discovered.
***
Excerpt from Look for Her by Emily Winslow. Copyright © 2018 by Emily Winslow. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.


You can also check out my REVIEW of Look For Her HERE!


GIVEAWAY INFO!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Emily Winslow and William Morrow. There will be 1 winner of one (1) physical copy of each of the 1st three books in the Keene and Frohmann Series: The Whole World, The Start of Everything, and The Red House AND there will be 5 Winners of one (1) physical copy of their choice of ONE of the 1st three books in the Keene and Frohmann Series: The Whole World, The Start of Everything, and The Red House. The giveaway begins on February 12 and runs through March 18, 2018. This giveaway is open to US & Canada residents only.
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Many thanks to Partners in Crime Tours and Emily Winslow for this great opportunity! It was an absolute pleasure hosting. And be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more opinions and author extras!

02/12 Review @ Mrs. Robinson’s Library
02/12 Showcase @ Tome Tender
02/13 Review @ The World As I See It
02/14 Review @ Cheryls Book Nook
02/14 Showcase @ Bound 2 Escape
02/15 Showcase @ The Book Divas Reads
02/16 Interview @ Aurora B’s Book Blog
02/17 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
02/18 Review @ A Dream Within A Dream
02/19 Review @ Chill and read
02/20 Review @ It’s All About the Book
02/21 Review @ Booked on a Feeling
02/22 Showcase @ The Pulp and Mystery Shelf
02/23 Interview @ Quiet Fury Books
02/25 Review @ Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin
02/26 Showcase @ Julie’s Bookshelf
02/27 Interview @ A Blue Million Books
02/28 Showcase @ BooksChatter
03/01 Review @ A Bookaholic Swede
03/01 showcase @ The Bookworm Lodge
03/02 Review @ View from the Birdhouse
03/04 Review @ Curling up by the Fire
03/05 Guest post @ Colloquium
03/05 Review @ FUONLYKNEW
03/07 Guest post (pre-written) @ Loris Reading Corner
03/08 Review @ Words And Peace
03/10 Review @ Simply Kelina
03/12 Review @ Colloquium
03/13 Review @ Mystery Suspense Reviews
03/14 Review @ Mrs Mommy Booknerd’s Book Reviews
03/15 Blog Talk Radio w/Fran Lewis
03/15 Review @ A Room Without Books is Empty
03/15 Review @ Thats What Shes Reading
03/16 Guest post (pre-written) @ Thats What Shes Reading
03/16 Review @ Just Reviews

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