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Friday, July 12, 2019

BOOK SPOTLIGHT + CHARACTER GUEST POST + GIVEAWAY: No More Time by Suzanne Trauth (Cozy Mystery)

A Dodie O'Dell Mystery #5

Suzanne Trauth
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Lyrical Underground
Date of Publication:  July 23, 2019
Number of Pages:  214

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DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY Restaurant manager Dodie O’Dell has found her niche in the cozy New Jersey town of Etonville, creating menus that make a delicious double-act with the community theater’s productions. Now she’s ready for a vacation at the Jersey Shore town she called home before a hurricane hit. Sun, salty air, and seagulls make for a nostalgic escape from regular life—until a contingent from Etonville arrives to compete in a Jersey Shore theater festival. Roped into helping her former boss cater the event, Dodie also gets a visit from her old flame, Jackson, who’s hoping to revive his charter boat business and is looking for a place to crash. Before Dodie can tell him that ship has sailed, Jackson’s partner is found murdered on his boat. Dodie knows her ex is a mooch, but she’s sure he’s no killer. But as she follows a trail of evidence that leads into her own past, Dodie stumbles on a dangerous conspiracy theory that could bring the festival to a shocking finale…

The Jersey Shore! Yay! Whew…it’s been quite the summer in Etonville, New Jersey. It started off with a bang—the Etonville Little Theatre produced Bye, Bye, Birdie under the stars in the town park but before the show could open, the accompanist was found dead in her car on the side of the road…you guessed it: murdered. It was a scramble to replace her but the show did, in fact, go on and I was able to assist the investigation thanks to my now-infamous instincts. 
     Then Bill, my current squeeze and Etonville’s police chief, threw me a surprise birthday party…I’m a Gemini. It was so sweet of him and my Etonville friends to help me celebrate. But the best part? A gift certificate from Bill worth two weeks at the Jersey Shore.  In a rented bungalow in Candle Beach where I was raised and lived until Hurricane Sandy drove me north to manage the Windjammer restaurant in Etonville, a stone’s throw from New York City.
     We arrived the week before Labor Day…time enough to enjoy the sun and sand and seagulls as the summer wound down. I love this time of the year at the Shore—the water is finally starting to warm up, the temperature hovers in the eighties, the breezes off the ocean do battle with the humidity. A day on the beach leaves you feeling warm and woozy and ready for happy hour, your skin tingling from the heat, your mind relaxed…
     I love Candle Beach where I grew up with my parents and younger brother Andy. As a kid, I took summers on the ocean for granted—swimming, boating, tramping up and down the boardwalk, filling the late afternoon and evening with trips to the game arcade. And popping over to Ocean Port on my bike, a nearby shore town where my favorite great aunt Maureen lived. She was a pip! Besides writing an advice column for the local newspaper, she created the most beautiful garden in town—it always made the Ocean Port garden crawl—and on lazy afternoons when the heat kept us on her screened-in porch, aunt Maureen taught me how to play poker. A skill I have passed on to my Etonville buddies. I miss my aunt who passed on some years ago…
     Candle Beach has made a comeback from the Hurricane Sandy destruction, the boardwalk rebuilt, the sand on the beach replenished. I couldn’t think of a better place for a romantic vacation. Just Bill and me and our bungalow. Days on the beach, delicious seafood dinners…
     Best laid plans. My parents, whom I dearly love, decided that the end of the summer was also the best time to visit old friends whom they missed since their departure to Naples, Florida five years ago. And to drop in on Bill and me. They hadn’t had much opportunity to get to know him, with the exception of a quick trip to Florida at New Years. So…the four of us were going to be in Candle Beach at the same time! It was fun. Bill and Dad exchanged opinions on New Jersey/New York sports’ teams: The Jets, the Giants, the Yankees, the Mets. They had a ton to talk about. And of course, Bill and Mom traded culinary secrets and favorite recipes. Needless to say, Bill is the uber-boyfriend according to my parents. 
     They left yesterday and I’m looking forward to a leisurely week of beach fun. No family or Etonville friends. Bill and I spent the afternoon on the sand and then gorged ourselves at the titki bar with drinks and food. We strolled to our bungalow, planning a romantic evening on the screened-in porch…
     But making himself at home on said porch was Jackson, my ex-boyfriend! I nearly passed out. He was supposed to be selling farm equipment with his brother in Iowa, where he landed after the hurricane. Now, broke, he needed a place to crash for the night. I gave in…Bill was being a good sport about it all. Jackson agreed. Just one night…
     Still fuming, I decided to call it a day and try to get some sleep. I no sooner locked the front door than my cell pinged—a text coming in from Lola my BFF and artistic director of the Etonville Little Theatre. The theater had been invited to the NJ Community Theater Festival being held next weekend in Candle Beach. Etonville was headed down the shore!
     I groaned aloud…yikes!

By noon we were both hot and famished. I suggested a break from the sun at the tiki bar and we gathered our beach gear and trudged through the sand to the Polynesian music. We were halfway through our bucket of steamed clams when an elderly twosome at a table next to ours gasped in shock. We couldn’t help noticing.
     “Is everything okay?” I asked gently.
     The woman’s head bobbled and her wide-brimmed sunhat swung from side to side. She picked up the newspaper she’d been reading, the Candle Beach Courier, a local rag, and shoved the front page at us. “He was such a nice boy. We knew his parents years ago.”
I smiled sympathetically and scanned the sheet. Then I gasped.
     “Dodie, what’s the matter?” Lola said.
“Were you acquainted with him too?” the woman asked.
     I nodded numbly. Was I ever. The headline read LOCAL MAN DEAD. Underneath was a photo of the victim: It was Vinnie C. I rotated the paper so Lola could see the front page. “It’s him,” I said hoarsely.
     Lola blinked. “Vincent Carcherelli,” she read.
     I scanned the story. Apparently his body had been washed up on the beach sometime overnight and was discovered by a jogger early today in time to make the mid-morning edition. The police were calling it a drowning and speculating that he’d fallen off his boat, The Bounty, which had drifted half a mile off the shoreline. No foul play suspected at the moment but the investigation was ongoing.
     I offered to return the newspaper but the couple refused to accept it, saying the story was too upsetting. They picked up their bill and left.
     “Wow. What a coincidence. We were talking about how Jackson saw him yesterday …” Lola stopped. A light bulb went on. “The police will want to speak with Jackson. He might have been one of the last people to see Vinnie alive.”
     It was Lola’s last word that brought me up short: alive. Jackson had been steamed during that meeting on the boardwalk. Did he know anything about Vinnie’s last hours? If Bill were here he’d tell me to mind my own business, let Jackson alone, let the police determine the actual cause of death. Bill was right, of course. But something about the whole event didn’t sit right with me. Why did Jackson lie about what happened when he met Vinnie?

Suzanne Trauth is a novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and a former theatre professor at a university. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, the Dramatists Guild, and League of Professional Theatre Women. When she is not writing, Suzanne coaches actors and serves as a celebrant performing wedding ceremonies. She lives in Woodland Park, New Jersey.



a Rafflecopter giveaway  Best of luck! 

Many thanks to Great Escapes Book Blog Tours and Suzanne Trauth! It was an absolute pleasure hosting! And be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more opinions and author extras!

July 9 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
July 10 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
July 10 – T’s Stuff – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 11 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
July 11 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 12 – That’s What She’s Reading – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 13 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST
July 15 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
July 15 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 16 – Laura’s Interests – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 16 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT
July 17 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 17 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
July 18 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
July 18 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 19 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 20 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 21 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
July 22 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
July 22 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

BOOK SPOTLIGHT + EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY: Left Fur Dead by J.M. Griffin (Cozy Mystery)

Left Fur Dead
A Jules & Bun Mystery

J.M. Griffin
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Kensington
Date of Publication:  June 25, 2019
Number of Pages:  304

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On Fur Bridge Farm, Jules cares for rescued rabbits. But when a killer strikes, she’ll need a rabbit to rescue her . . . Juliette “Jules” Bridge prides herself on the tender rehabilitation she provides for injured or abused rabbits on her New Hampshire rescue farm, but she has a very special relationship with one bunny in particular. Bun is a black-and-white rabbit who happens to have the ability to communicate through mental telepathy. Once she got over the shock, Jules found her furry friend had a lot to say. One frigid March morning on their walk together, Bun spots a body. The police identify the frozen stiff as Arthur Freeman, aka Arty the Mime. Jules and Arty knew each other on the children’s party circuit, where he’d perform magic tricks and she had an educational rabbit petting pen. With Bun egging her on, Jules decides it’s time they hop to it and put their heads together to discover who silenced the mime. But their investigation leads them down a rabbit hole of more suspects and lies, while a killer sets a trap for them . . .


My name is Juliette Bridge, better known as Jules. I’m the owner of Fur Bridge Farm, where I raise rabbits, find good homes for them, and care for others that have been rescued from difficult and often abominable situations. Bun, my best buddy, lives in my farmhouse as my resident housemate. He has a personality that warms my heart, that is, when he’s not poking his sweet little nose where it doesn’t belong.
Not your average rabbit, Bun’s smart, sociable, talkative, and very talented. His specialty is pure nosiness. He communicates with me by way of mental telepathy, which adds another dimension to an ongoing list of my problems. I know, it sounds ludicrous, but when Bun talks, I’ve learned to listen. I never thought I’d have a talking pet, but there you have it. He’s never mentioned how this ability came about, and I’ve never asked. Uncertain if everyone can hear him, I can only assume they aren’t willing to acknowledge his ability.
We’ve shared the farmhouse for the past couple of years, after I rescued him from a despicable family with no respect for animals. They were glad to see him go, saying he was in league with the devil. I figure they could hear him talk.
The first time I heard his voice, a soft, lilting, somewhat musical sound, I wondered if I’d imagined it. As time went on, he kept talking to me, and I continued to ignore him. One morning, about a year ago, we were taking our usual walk, when I ran into Margery Shaw. Margery had been Bun’s previous keeper and there was no love lost between us.
Having seen Margery coming before I did, Bun had huddled down inside the sling, burrowing as far as he could, trying to disappear. I heard a warning to take care before there was only silence.
The woman marched up and asked if I’d heard the rabbit talk. That was the dawning realization that Bun could, and often did, communicate with me. Unwilling to admit it to Margery, I shook my head and asked if she was imagining things. Her anger evident over my remark, I left her standing on the path as I jogged off, holding Bun close to my chest.
From that day forward, Bun and I have conversed on a regular basis. I doubt I can answer him telepathically and haven’t tried. I’m careful where and when I speak aloud to him. It doesn’t look good to prospective rabbit owners if I’m blathering on about something to Bun when they’ve come to the farm in search of rabbits of their own.

J. M. Griffin is the bestselling cozy mystery author of sixteen novels, including the Vinnie Esposito series. She lives in rural Rhode Island with her husband and two very mysterious cats.


a Rafflecopter giveaway  Best of luck! 

Many thanks to Great Escapes Book Blog Tours and J.M. Griffin! It was an absolute pleasure hosting! And be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more opinions and author extras!

July 8 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 8 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 8 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
July 9 – Mochas, Mysteries, and Meows – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 9 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
July 9 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
July 10 – I’m All About Books – GUEST POST
July 10 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 10 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
July 10 – That’s What She’s Reading – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
July 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 11 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 11 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 12 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW
July 12 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT
July 12 – The Cozy Pages – REVIEW
July 13 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW
July 13 – Here’s How It Happened – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 13 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT
July 13 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 14 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 14 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, EXCERPT
July 14 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
July 15 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
July 15 – Books Direct – GUEST POST
July 15 – Author Teresa Watson – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 16 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  
July 16 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
July 17 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
July 17 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
July 17 – Eskimo Princess Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

LSBBT PROMO + GIVEAWAY: Chasing Hope by Dana Wayne (Contemporary Romance)

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Book Liftoff
Date of Publication: June 10, 2019
Number of Pages: 295

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Max Logan longs for the joys of home and family he missed growing up in foster care. He fills that emotional void by becoming a kick-ass Marine, and for eighteen years, led his band of brothers from one hell-hole to another…until the one that nearly destroyed him. Sixteen months of therapy and rehab put his body back together, but some wounds can’t be seen. Some can’t be healed.

Skylar Ward dreams of a life that includes someone beside her. Someone to share her life with, to be a father to her young daughter. But if she learned anything from her failed marriage it was that you don’t rush into a relationship. Options in her small town are limited, and those who approach her lack appeal. Only Max Logan sparks her interest. But the handsome, brooding war hero remains aloof.

Intelligent and intuitive, seven-year-old Maddie overhears a neighbor tell her mother she needs a male companion, so she Google's it to see what it means. Convinced her mom needs a boyfriend and Max needs a girlfriend, Maddie sets out to make it happen. He needs a family. They need him. If she can make them see that.

Can one precocious child be the catalyst that heals a wounded warrior’s soul and brings joy back into her mom’s heart? Or will ashes of the past bury hope once and for all?


"The pace was fast, the love was simple yet energetic, and the dialogues were lively enough to make me want to know more about the characters. To say that I loved this novel is not enough! Absolutely beautiful. It deserves these 5 stars." – Readers’ Favorite

"I could not put Chasing Hope down! From the first few sentences, I was hooked and read over half of it the first night finishing it the following night. The main characters, Sky and Max, intrigued me right off the bat but feisty little Maddie wormed her way into my heart immediately! What a breath of fresh air." - Mary McCormack, ARC reader


Chasing Hope from Dana Wayne on Vimeo.

Dana Wayne is an award-winning author and 6th generation Texan. She resides in East Texas with her husband (and biggest fan) along with a Calico cat named Katie, three children, and four grandchildren. She routinely speaks to books clubs, services organizations, writers’ groups, and other organizations on writing and publishing, and is a frequent guest on numerous writing blogs.

"I grew up listening to my father read passages from the stack of paperback westerns beside his chair. I was fascinated at how someone could paint a picture with words so vivid, I saw it in my mind. That's when I knew that one day I would be a writer. It wasn't until I retired in late 2013 that I was able to devote the necessary time to achieving my goal. I published my first book in 2016 and never looked back. My stories are heartwarming, a little spicy, and all about the romance because I believe romance is more about emotion than sex, and the journey is more important than the destination."

A staunch supporter of new authors, she is a member of Romance Writers of America, Texas Association of Authors, and Writers League of Texas as well as several local writers' groups.


FIRST PRIZE:  Signed Copy of Chasing Hope  + Swag bag including fan, tote bag, and throw blanket
SECOND PRIZE: eBook Copy of Chasing Hope + $10 Amazon Gift Card
THIRD PRIZE: eBook Copy of Chasing Hope + $5 Amazon Gift Card
(US Only)
July 9-19, 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway  Best of luck!

Many thanks to Lone Star Book Blog Tours and Dana Wayne! It was an absolute pleasure hosting! And be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more opinions and author extras!

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