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Thursday, November 21, 2019

BOOK REVIEW + GUEST POST + GIVEAWAY: Hazards in Hampshire by Emma Dakin (Cozy Mystery)

The British Book Tour Mysteries, #1
Emma Dakin

Genre:  Cozy Mystery 
Publisher:  Camel Press
Date of Publication:  October 15, 2019
Number of Pages:  190


Moving to a quiet English village should have been tranquil, but Claire Barclay learns that even an invitation to tea can be deadly.

Who killed Mrs. Paulson, the president of the local Mystery Books Club? Was the motive for murder located in the archives of the book club? The members of the books club might have reason to want Mrs. Paulson’s out of the way. She had lived in the village all her life, been involved in many organizations and societies and knew many secrets of the villagers. Was one secret too dangerous for her to keep? She had been wealthy and left her money to a member of the club. Could the legatee have been impatient for her inheritance? Who cared enough to want her dead? Claire, an expert in solving problems in her job as a tour guide, decides to delve into the archives and into the lives of the villagers—and find out.

I received a copy of this book for free. This is my honest and thoughtful review.

"I had expected my hostess at the tea party to be boring. I hadn't expected her to be dead."

After spending many years living around the world, Claire decides to move to the English Countryside to pursue her dream of owning a book tour company featuring famous authors and the inspirations of their writing. When Claire is invited to tea by a friendly neighbor and finds a body, she becomes suspect as the only outsider who just happened to come into a sudden fortune.

From the opening line, Claire sets herself as a straight-forward character with little reason to leave readers questioning her integrity and authenticity. I loved getting to know her neighbors as well as this quaint and cozy village right alongside her. There are quite a few interesting individuals with their own quirky reasons for being suspicious. And once her tour group arrives and they become intrigued by the murder investigation as well, it was fun to watch all the amateur sleuths create motives and lists of unknowing suspects as the detective looked on. You just knew he was rolling his eyes the whole time! It was all very meta, but completely engaging! Claire's investigative juices really start flowing, and she becomes even more determined to solve the case.

This is definitely a book lover's dream read:  a town book club for mystery readers, bookish tours, pets with novel names, a private library housing a collection of Agatha Christie letters, and all the charm of the English landscape. This was an absolutely fantastic concept and a great start to a promising series that I can't wait to read more of!

Highly recommended for fans of bookish cozies as well as anyone looking for a place to start in the world of cozy mysteries!

As Emma Dakin, I get many emails and enquiries from new authors who find writing and publishing a challenge. It is. It always is. It doesn’t matter if you have twenty books in trade publishing and another ten in Indie publishing, each new manuscript is daunting. First, the writing takes effort, time, a strong ego and energy to produce. Then, it takes discipline to re-write it and pull out all those lovely, overdone phrases and unnecessary words, respond to beta readers, respond to editors and finally let it go to the printers. Then, you need to deal with printer glitches, computers that break down just when your publicity campaign is starting, computer repair people who have a waiting list of clients a dentist would envy, lost messages, post office deliveries of books that were expected last week, and all the business of writing. Some of this is under your control, particularly if you are self-publishing, so you have a conviction that, eventually, you will deal with it all. Some of it is not when you are with a publisher. You need to stay in communication with your publisher and trust that they are as committed to your book as you are and are doing their best. I have found that to be so. They do want the book to do well, so even some aspects of the delays and glitches are out of your hands, someone is looking after them. 

Is it worth it? Yes of course. When you open your book, and read the first page, an automatic grin begins. It is satisfying to find your characters living on those pages. It is as if you have birthed them. I suppose that metaphor explains the pain of it all. 

When the first book is finally published, in this case Hazards in Hampshire, the second, Crimes in Cornwall, has been edited and is in line at the publisher’s office, and the third, Perils in Yorkshire, is in the re-write stage on my desk. Once I delve into the troubles Claire is having in Yorkshire, I forget about the attention I will need to pay to getting the book out to readers. When the readers respond to it, I get to indulge in Claire’s world over and over. What could be better?

This is Emma Dakin’s first series, set in Britain the homeland of Emma’s grandparents. Emma channels her mother’s inherited English culture along with the attitudes and sayings of the modern Brits. She travels widely in England and at one point this May while travelling through the Yorkshire Moors she had all the tourists in a tour bus looking for a good place to hide a body. As Marion Crook, she has published many novels of adventure and mystery for young adult and middle grade readers as well as non-fiction for adults and young adults and non-fiction on social issues. Firmly in the cozy mystery genre now, and committed to absorbing the culture and changing world of Britain, she plans to enjoy the research and the writing of cozies.

a Rafflecopter giveaway  Best of luck!

Many thanks to Great Escapes Book Tours and the author! It was a pleasure reading, reviewing, and hosting! And be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more opinions and extras!

November 11 – Reading Is My SuperPower – CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 11 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
November 12 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
November 13 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
November 14 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
November 14 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
November 15 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW, RECIPE
November 15 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
November 16 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE
November 17 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 19 – Carole’s Book Corner – GUEST POST 
November 19 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
November 20 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
November 21 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW, GUEST POST
November 21 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
November 22 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW, RECIPE
November 23 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT 
November 24 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
November 24 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Monday, November 18, 2019

LSBBT PROMO SCRAPBOOK PAGE: Singapore Fling by Maida Malby (Contemporary Romance)

Carpe Diem Chronicles, #2

Genre:  Contemporary Romance / Multicultural 
Publisher:  EOT Publications
Date of Publication:  October 21, 2019
Number of Pages:  267


One alluring French-Filipina beauty. One sexy US Air Force officer. One torrid weekend affair.

Maddie Duvall should be living it up at her challenging new job in glamorous Singapore. But two months after her wild weekend with Aidan Ryan, she’s still yearning for him. She craves the passion only he can ignite in her. 

Aidan’s job takes him around the world, yet he can’t get Maddie out of his mind. When he returns to his assignment in Singapore, he seeks her out with a proposition she can’t turn down.

Intensely enamored with one another, their relationship takes off. But when Aidan’s mission exposes treachery by someone close to Maddie, lines blur and wires get crossed. Can their growing love survive the intrigue?

Singapore Fling is Book 2 of Carpe Diem Chronicles, a series of multicultural contemporary romance novels. The stories celebrate the rich cultures of exotic Southeast Asian islands through languages, food, and festivals.


“This second full-length volume in her Carpe Diem Chronicles is sexy, quick to read, and full of well-rounded, interesting characters. Family ties and female friendship add to the depth of the world and make you want more books.” ~ Catherine Stein, Award-winning Author of How to Seduce a Spy

“This book was great. Everything from the well-rounded characters to the interesting foods and exciting locale drew me in as a reader. I could clearly picture, hear, and smell/taste the story. The plot was perfect and the romance had just the right amount of intrigue and crisis. ~ Danielle Bellwood, Author of Daring (The Candomble Book 1)

“This book is a great deal of fun and the hero and heroine are both likable and realistic people. As usual, Malby’s writing shines best when writing about Singapore, particularly the culture and the FOOD!! ~ Gena Gilliam, Amazon Reviewer


Universal Link     Kobo     Barnes & Noble      Amazon Google Play     Smashwords


I lived and worked in Singapore twice. The first time was from 2001-2002. I was an associate director for an American media communications company, handling a regional account. This is one of the reasons why I consider Singapore Fling an #ownvoice novel.  

Top - Me in front of Raffles Hotel, home of Singapore Sling, the inspiration for the title of the book. Bottom - Me in front and back of the Merlion in Sentosa Island. This inspired the cover.

From 2003 to 2005, I was a director for a business unit of a media communications company, leading a multicultural staff.

Left - Me in a Filipino barong blouse and sarong skirt, showing off a temporary henna tattoo on my ankle. Maddie has ankle tattoos of Scorpio symbols. Middle - Me in a cheongsam during a performance at a company event. Hand on hip is my signature pose as well as Maddie’s. Right - Me wearing an orchid garland at an event in Siloso Beach, Sentosa Island. Orchid is the prominent flower in Singapore Fling.

My last visit to Singapore was in 2012 to celebrate a milestone birthday.

Views of Chijmes, Marina Bay, and Singapore Botanic Gardens. These places are mentioned in the book.


Maida Malby writes, reads, reviews, and lives Romance. Through her multicultural contemporary romance stories, she takes readers on trips to her favorite places in the world and shares her experiences of their rich cultural heritage. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA), San Antonio Romance Authors (SARA), Cultural, Interracial, Multicultural Special Interest Chapter of the Romance Writers of America (CIMRWA), and several romance book clubs. Her To-Be-Read Mountain and reviews of romance novels are featured on her website. When not writing, reading, or reviewing books, Maida consults her husband on word selection, debates with her ten-year-old son regarding the Oxford comma, cooks the dishes she features in her stories, procrastibakes using Baileys as her secret yummy ingredient, and watches golf and food shows on TV


1ST PRIZE (US only)
Kindle Fire 7 + Signed Copy of Singapore Fling
2ND PRIZE (US only)
Signed copies of Boracay Vows and Singapore Fling + charm bracelet
3RD PRIZE (US only)
Signed copy of Singapore Fling + spice paste packets (Hainanese Chicken Rice and Laksa)
4TH PRIZE (international)
 eBooks of all three books in the Carpe Diem Chronicles series
NOVEMBER 12-22, 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway  Best of luck!

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

Top Five
Bonus Post
Author Interview
Guest Post
Scrapbook Page
Guest Post

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