Saturday, March 31, 2012


Author Terry Spear has a way of making the151034506 paranormal seem everyday ordinary with an intriguing twist that comes off normal.

Her latest release, A SEAL IN WOLF’S CLOTHING, features a feisty female protagonist who puts on a brave front despite her weaknesses. Returning fans of the Heart of the Wolf series will be happy to see Meara Greymore get her own storyline, while new readers will find the character fun, lovable and a bit annoying as only a kid sister can be.

The male protagonist, Finn Emerson, is a hunky Navy SEAL and an alpha wolf. He’s a buddy of Meara’s brother, Hunter. He’s sexy, protective and has a tender side that makes him adorable even with his he-man image.

While Hunter is away on his honeymoon, Meara decides to have a little fun and search for a mate at the same time without her over-protective brother interfering. Meanwhile, Finn decides being the only responsible alpha male around, he’ll keep an eye on Meara for Hunter. He maybe overqualified to baby-sit, but he finds his hands full with Meara and her antics.

The story moves along smoothly and at a good pace. The bantering between Meara and Finn will have you laughing. As the sparks between them begin to fly, you’ll be turning up the AC. While all is not calm and quiet around the compound, there’s underlying trouble brewing and an assassin is on the lose.

In addition to the vast wolf knowledge Spear includes in her story, she gives vivid details of the Oregon coast scenery. With the lush descriptions, readers can almost smell the salty ocean breeze drawing them further into the story.

A SEAL IN WOLF’S CLOTHING is a delightful and tantalizing read. The characters are spirited and realistic causing you to believe in their unique abilities. Once you start reading, you’ll be captivated. You’ll be transported to a world of sexy werewolves, loyalty, intrigue, a bit of danger, and a lot of fun. This series never fails to entertain and surprise me.

Author Terry Spear’s website is

A Seal in Wolf’s Clothing by Terry Spear, A Heart of the Wolf, Sourcebooks Casablanca, @2012, ISBN: 978-1402258909, Paperback, 352 pages

FTC Full Disclosure - I requested this book and it was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Hope you’ve had a fun week and was able to read to your heart’s desire. I hope to be back around blogdom next week. Take care, have a great day and thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mysteries, Mysteries and Mysteries

As warmer weather slowly begins to spread throughout the US, it’s a perfect time to relax and unwind with a cozy murder mystery.

Berkley (Prime Crime) and Obsidian Mysteries have a vast number of new releases out this month including one of my all-time favorite authors with a new series and two other new series, one of which the author’s background I found particularly interesting (see if you can tell why).

CAT’S CLAW by Susan Wittig Albert

A Pecan Springs Mystery9780425245279
Berkley, 320 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780425245279
Hardcover, $25.95 

I’ve been a fan of author Susan Wittig Albert’s China Bayles series since the beginning. Now she delights readers with a new series, A Pecan Springs Mystery, featuring Police Chief Sheila Dawson and including China Bayles.

When Pecan Spring’s computer guru, Larry Kirk, is found dead, Police Chief Sheila Dawson believes it’s suicide, perhaps triggered by his painful divorce. However, further investigation reveals that Kirk’s death wasn’t self-inflicted. And the truth is reinforced by her friend China Bayles’ news—Larry recently asked her for legal advice in regards to a stalker. 

As a police chief in a male-dominated force, Sheila meets many challenges, especially when her theories rock the boat in high profile cases like that of George Timms. He was caught breaking into Larry’s computer shop to steal his own computer back because of dangerous personal information it contained. Now that Larry is dead, she’s sure it’s connected to the burglary. And she’s also sure she’ll get plenty of resistance on her assessment.

Timms’s time to turn himself in to the police comes and goes, and he’s nowhere to be found. In her investigation, Sheila uncovers secrets, terrible secrets that would drive anyone to kill. So who then? It’s up to Sheila to prove she’s got what it takes to hunt down the predator that’s loose on the streets of Pecan Springs.

Once again Albert brings readers interesting characters and an intriguing storyline. With the feel of a small town, Pecan Springs provides a great backdrop for murder, mystery and mayhem, along with a lot of fun and friendship. This is a fun new series to follow along with the China Bayles Mysteries.

Author Susan Wittig Albert’s website is
ADRIFT ON ST. JOHN by Rebecca M. Hale

9780425246658A Mystery in the Islands
Berkley, 320 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780425246658
Paperback, $7.99

Normally author Rebecca M. Hale’s writing features a cat, but her new series, A Mystery in the Islands, takes a different turn.

No one knows better than resort manager Pen Hoffstra that the idea of a tropical paradise is an illusion. So when a young woman named Hannah Sheridan disappears and a water taxi sinks mysteriously off the island of St. John, she is not surprised that all is not what it seems to be. 

Pointing out Hannah’s resemblance to the Amina Slave Princess from the 1733 Slave Revolt on St. John — whose ghost is rumored to haunt the island — the local community quickly latches on to the belief that her spirit is behind the sinking and disappearance. Only one person on the island knows the whole truth, and it’s not what anyone suspects.

A delightful new series with interesting twists and turns and a cast of interesting characters.

Author Rebecca M. Hale’s website is

MURDER BUYS A T-SHIRT by Christy Fifield

A Haunted Souvenir9780425246665
Berkley, 288 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780425246665
Paperback, $7.99 

An enchanting new series that looks at souvenirs, mementos of the past, a ghost and of course, a murder. 

Glory Martine has inherited her great-uncle’s souvenir shop, Southern Treasures, located in Keyhole Bay, FL. The shop is stuffed with not only collectibles and mementos of times gone by, but with a ghost who, liker her customers, refuses to let go of the past.

Glory had always dismissed ghost stories until she inherited the souvenir shop where items seem to rearrange themselves and her pet parrot, Bluebeard, is suddenly uttering phrases he couldn’t have picked up from the customers. If Glory told anyone the shop was haunted, they’d think the fresh sea air had gone to her head.

Then, at an end-of-summer party, local football hero Kevin Stanley dies, and the store starts to go haywire, Glory finally shares her secret with her best friend, who takes it seriously and is convinced the ghost is trying to send a message. Kevin’s death was no accident and it’s linked to Glory’s very own great-uncle Louis. Now Glory must dig through the junk to find the truth, before someone leaves her with a deadly souvenir of her own.

Who wouldn’t love a murder mystery set in a funky souvenir shop with zany characters and an unusual parrot? Fifield has created a fun new series to follow. Readers are drawn in with the first paragraph and held spellbound until the last page.

Christy Fifield is the pseudonym for Christy Evans, who is a mystery pseudonym used by northwest writer Christina F. York. Mystery has always been her favorite though, since her great uncle introduced her to the “Perry Mason” books when she was a child. She read each new book as he finished with it and passed it on. The die was cast, she either had to become a lawyer, or a mystery writer. As fate would have it, mystery writer won. For more on the author, visit her website at

9780425246672A Professor Sophie Knowles Mystery
Berkley, 304 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780425246672
Paperback, $7.99 

Author Ada Madison returns with her intriguing protagonist Dr. Sophie Knowles for the second installment in the Professor Sophie Knowles Mystery series.

Sophie is a professor with a way of making even the most complex math problems fun for her students. She’s busy dreaming of a getaway with her boyfriend and medevac pilot, Bruce Granville, when someone is taking away from the Emily Dickerson Library in an ambulance.

Turns out it was her friend and the school’s beloved librarian, Charlotte Crocker. She was found shot to death in the library. Sophie soon learns that her friend was more complex than she ever knew. Now, Sophie must take on some rigorous deduction homework before the chances for another murder on campus increase exponentially.

Readers are treated to another delightful story with Sophie and her unique way of solving problems. The books also includes math puzzles and games. This is a stand alone read, but the first installment in this series is THE SQUARE ROOT OF MURDER (July 2011).

Author Ada Madison is the pseudonym for Margaret Grace, which is the pseudonym for Camille Minichino. For more on the author and her writing, visit her website at


A Dog Walker Mystery9780451236272
Obsidian, 336 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780451236272
Paperback, $7.99 

The world of cozy murder mysteries will not be the same without more books by the late Judi McCoy. The latest book in her Dog Walker Mystery series was in the process of being released when the author passed away.

It’s Fashion Week in New York and Professional Dog Walker Ellie Engleman is in charge of the dogs’ modeling outfits that match their mommy-models for a fashion competition. Ellie quickly learns the designer’s life can be murder.

But before the first round closes, one of the designers drops dead of anaphylactic shock, her Epipen useless because someone’s tampered with it. The designer’s peanut allergy was as well-known as her dress designs.

With a little psychic help from the designer’s miniature schnauzer, Ellie and her canine sidekicks sort through the backstabbing rivals and bitter enemies to nab the killer. This is a fun story that will delight any dog lover. Readers get a glimpse behind the scenes at a fashion show and are treated to bits of humor throughout the story.

This is the sixth installment in the series, but is a stand alone read. Other installments include: HOUNDING THE PAVEMENT (March 2009), HEIR OF THE DOG (October 2009), DEATH IN SHOW (June 2010), BEGGING FOR TROUBLE (March 2011), and TILL DEATH DO US BARK (August 2011).

Author Judi McCoy’s website is

FIRE ENGINE DEAD by Sheila Connolly

9780425246702A Museum Mystery
Berkley, 304 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780425246702
Paperback, $7.99 

Author Sheila Connolly brings protagonist Nell Pratt, president of the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society, back for another intriguing mystery.

When the entire collection of the Fireman’s Museum ironically goes up in flames, Nell Pratt discovers one of the charred pictures isn’t the one that was originally exhibited. 

But getting to the bottom of the mystery is bound to get Nell burned. Things heat up even more for Nell when FBI Agent and prospective boyfriend, James Morrison, taps her for insider knowledge of museum administrators to find the truth behind the smoke screen.

This story will entertain returning fans and new ones alike. The story flows smoothly and keeps you guessing.

This is the third installment in the Museum Mystery series, but is a stand alone read. Other installments in the series include: FUNDRAISING THE DEAD (October 2010) and LET’S PLAY DEAD (July 2011).

Author Sheila Connolly is the pseudonym for Sarah Atwell. For more on the author and her writing, visit her website at
FTC Full Disclosure - These books were sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review them. However, receiving these complimentary copies did not influence my reviews

Hope you found something here today to tempt your interest. Did you guess which author’s background I found particularly interesting and why? Thanks so much for stopping by.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Author Elizabeth Bailey Talks About Writing

I’m thrilled to have author Elizabeth Bailey join us to
talk about her writing as she prepares for the April 3 release of her delightful new book, THE DEATHLY PORTENT (Berkley Prime Crime Trade Paperback Original, 978-0-425-24567-5, $15), in which a charming yet cunning sleuth faces another mystery. 

Here’s a brief synopsis of the book: The village of Witherley is aghast after a violent murder takes place. The town believes a witch is behind it, doing the devil’s work, and soon a witch hunt escalates out of control. 
Ottilia, once a lady’s companion and now bride to Lord Francis Fanshawe, rapidly uncovers numerous suspects all with grudges against the dead man. Ottilia must wade through the growing hysteria to unravel the mess and determine the one true menace. 

Elizabeth has graciously answers several questions for me about her writing and the inspiration behind this latest release.

Mason - What inspired you to write murder mysteries set in this era?
ELIZABETH - It’s the same era I chose for my historical romances. I’ve mostly avoided the later Regency period because that era is quite tightly circumscribed with real characters and events from the past. Whereas the earlier time is much looser and I can build my own world for the characters to inhabit. I also love the late Georgian world, which was a good deal rougher and more passionate than the later time. For example, men were allowed to cry in public – “not a dry eye in the house” refers to the House of Commons, not the theatre – and it was far less restrictive on females, which is helpful for my sleuth. It was all rather more swashbuckling, and I love that. 

Mason - Do you ever catch yourself including something modern in your story and then having to rewrite the scene?
The Deathly PortentELIZABETH - It’s all too easy to slip in anachronisms in terms of attitudes, I find. There’s a fine balance to be drawn between what was actually general thought in the period and what will be acceptable to a modern audience. One is not writing for an 18th century reader, so you have to build a story that will appeal now, and that includes attitudes. I don’t think I’ve had to rewrite a scene because of it, but I have had to temper or adjust occasionally. 

Mason - Do you consider research a chore or something you enjoy?
ELIZABETH - I love research, and am all too liable to get lost in it and forget to write! Because I’ve been involved in writing in this era for so long, I’m enough immersed in it to be able to write first and research later for details. But I do have to research aspects of the crime ahead, because that’s all new to me, and new research arises from that. 

For example, I had to find out about a blacksmith’s forge before I could write scenes set within it. I always do check my illustrations for my settings – I trawled for villages before I decided just how Witherley would be set out. And I have a marvelous book of 18th Century maps covering the entire country, which I use beforehand to set the whereabouts of the area. It tells me where the post roads were and which towns had post inns, and I always use the names as they appeared in that map, even if they have evolved into a modern take. Nun Eaton instead of Nuneaton. This sort of research could keep me occupied for hours – but the book has to be written. 

Mason - What one piece of writing advice have you received that you would pass on to writers just getting started?
ELIZABETH - “A writer writes.” When I read this, it changed my whole attitude to writing, and I was still a newbie and “trying”. I stopped trying. I just started to write. My advice is always to just write. Don’t think too much, write. Don’t get caught up in story arcs and inciting incidents and all those strange terms that writing guidance has thrown up over the years. Write as fast as you can and let the inner writer do the work. Only stop and think if you need to work out the next bit of plot. Otherwise, just get at it until you have a first draft. You can’t edit a blank page.
Mason -  What can fans expect next from you?
ELIZABETH - I’m working on a story that’s a bit of an oddball for Ottilia. She isn’t sure whether a murder has been committed or not, and meanwhile she’s contending with a girl fit for Bedlam and a houseful of secrets and hostile strangers – and all this against the discomfort and mood swings of early pregnancy. She’s never been so much in need of Francis’s care and support, if only she could stop herself carping. The dowager is back too, and we finally meet Ottilia’s doctor brother Patrick, who has been such an influence on her ability to read a corpse.
Elizabeth, thanks so much for answering these questions and giving us a look at ‘behind-the-scenes’ of a writer. I love your advice, “just write” - perfect.

Now for a bit of background on Elizabeth. An avid reader from an early age, Elizabeth grew up in colonial Africa under unconventional parentage and with theatre in the blood. Back in England, she trod the boards until discovering her true métier as a writer in her thirties, when she fulfilled an early addiction to Georgette Heyer by launching into historical romance. Eight years and eight books later, Elizabeth joined the Harlequin Mills & Boon stable, fuelling her writing with a secondary career teaching and directing drama, and writing plays into the bargain.

With 18 historicals published, she began to concentrate on the mainstream and in 2005, Elizabeth’s novel FLY THE WILD ECHOES was released in both the UK and the US simultaneously by Unlimited Publishing. The novel was a contender in the Booker list for that year. A mystery – a whodunit of the mind, as one reader has it – the book explores the interwoven lives of three women and investigates the possibility of past lives. 

Now retired from teaching, Elizabeth directs for a local theatre group where she lives in West Sussex. Recently, however, even this foray into drama has had to take a back seat as she changed direction to enter the world of crime. 

Still thoroughly involved in her favourite historical period, Elizabeth placed her female sleuth in the late Georgian world of intrigue, elegance, aristocrats and rogues, where privilege rubbed shoulders with the harsh realities of making ends meet. While Ottilia moves into the upper echelon, she is thoroughly at ease in the lower, which allows Elizabeth to cross boundaries with impunity. Not content with mere authorship, Elizabeth launched as an independent publisher with Timeless Books created on the Lulu website. She also runs an assessment critique service for writers. For more on Elizabeth and her writing, visit her website
Do you enjoy books set in the Regency era? Do you find it fun to step back in time when reading, step into the future or stay in the present era? Thanks so much for  stopping by today.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Author Jodi Thomas: New Release, Writing And A Giveaway

I’m delighted to welcome New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Jodi Thomas back to Thoughts in Progress as she prepares for the release of the fourth novel in her award-winning Harmony series, JUST DOWN THE ROAD

Here’s a brief synopsis of the book: When Tinch Turner lost his wife, he gave up on living. Now he spends his nights brooding, boozing and brawling. When one of his escapades lands him in the ER, he finds himself staring up at the beautiful new doctor in town. For the first time in years, he feels a spark, but Addison Spencer wants nothing to do with the unruly rancher—or any man for that matter. She’s only in Harmony four months, long enough for the trouble she left behind to be over. But then a vulnerable little boy barrels into both of their lives, forcing them out of the
past —and into a future where love is just down the road… 

Thanks to Jodi, I have a copy of JUST DOWN THE ROAD to giveaway to a lucky visitors who comments on this post by 8 p.m. (EST) on Monday, April 2. The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. only. Be sure to leave your email address in the comment, if it’s not included in your profile.

Jodi joins us to talk about her new book and her writing. 
JUST DOWN THE ROAD is my 36th novel and I believe one of the best I’ve ever written. Whenever I write I always think about the kind of story I love to read. I want to laugh and cry and fall in love. I want to care. I want to stay with the story longer than planned because I just have to know what happens next.  

JUST-DOWN-THE-ROADI think, as you read JUST DOWN THE ROAD that I will take you on that journey. You’re going to love my people, not because they’re rich or famous, or powerful, but because they’re kind. They’re trying to survive in a world where doing what is right matters. 
Whenever I begin to plot I like to mix my stories together so that one plot forms out of the life of several people. In JUST DOWN THE ROAD I have the beginnings of young, first time, love and the sweet love of two people who thought they were destined to live their lives alone. 

In the opening I introduce two people who are running, one from life and the other toward it. One, because of fear, thinks she’s never lived and the other feels his life is over. They are not a couple anyone would put together but as they grow to love each other. Tinch and Addison realize they’re a perfect match. And, for a man just learning to live again, Tinch has to also realize that there are some things in life worth risking his life for. 
I’d like to welcome you to step into my town, Harmony, Texas, and get to know the people. The streets of Harmony, the ranches and farms around, the vast open land that molds a special kind of people, all form together in my head as real as a road map.  

My characters, spurs and all, step into my imagination, “have a set” and tell me their stories. They are as real to me as family and friends and they’ll come alive to you also. Who knows, when you finish the book, you might just feel like you have another home town. 
Remember, always be kind to one another, and enjoy my newest story.

Jodi, thanks so much for returning and sharing about your upcoming release. JUST DOWN THE ROAD (ISBN: 978-0425246924) is slated for release on April 3 by Berkley. Does that cover just invite you to pick it up and meet new friends?

Here are a couple of quick quotes about the book: “Extremely powerful and gripping writing...full of passionate moments, hidden secrets, and likable Characters.”  ~  Roundtable Reviews 

“Even for readers new to the series, the intricate relationships between these affable men and eccentric women are easy to follow and even easier to love.” ~ Publishers Weekly 

Now let me share a bite about Jodi.  A fifth generation Texan, Jodi chooses to set the majority of her novels in her home state. With a degree in Family Studies, she is a marriage and family counselor by education, a background that enables her to write about family dynamics. Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Jodi enjoys interacting with students on the West Texas A & M University campus, where she currently serves as Writer In Residence. When not working on a novel or inspiring students to pursue a writing career, Jodi enjoys traveling with her husband, Tom, renovating a historic home they bought in Amarillo, and "checking up" on their two grown sons. 

WELCOME TO HARMONY, the first book in her series, won a RITA Award from the Romance Writers of America in June 2011. SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY, the second in the series, won the Reviewers Choice Award from

For more on Jodi and her writing, visit her website at or find her on Facebook at or on Twitter at

Get a sneak preview of the book through this lovely book trailer for JUST DOWN THE ROAD.

Do you enjoy a small town atmosphere in the books your read? Do you enjoy feeling like you know the characters when you finished the book? Thanks so much for stopping by today. Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of JUST DOWN THE ROAD.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Salon: Celebrity in Death by J.D. Robb

Coffee_and_newspaperThanks for stopping by. Pull up a comfortable chair, make sure your cup is filled to the brim with your favorite beverage and let’s discuss the wonderful world of books during another Sunday Salon.

Though I’ve been absent from the blogdom this past week (life gets crazy sometimes), I’ve had the chance to listen to several interesting thrillers. Among the audios I’ve recently finished is the newest addition to a favorite series.


Author J.D. Robb once again tantalizes readers and listeners with the latest release in her Eve Dallas series, CELEBRITY IN DEATH.

Lt. Eve Dallas and her team are in the spotlight, sort of. A former case is being turned into a movie. It feels odd seeing herself re-enact the case, but finding her partner Peabody’s look-alike dead is even more distributing for Dallas.

As Dallas and her team investigate the murder, they find the world of Hollywood holds many secrets and much hatred.

Robb packs a lot of intrigue and suspense in this latest release, while adding bits of humor. The story moves along at a steady pace with twists and turns and another a murder or more along the way. As the story progresses, fans also get a little closer look at the cast of familiar characters.

While a huge fan of the series, I am so because of the combined talents of Robb and narrator Susan Ericksen. Susan brings the characters to life giving each their own unique voice and emotions. Her cadence is smooth and enticing, but filled with the proper emotions when necessary. She has you believing there are several narrators instead of just one.

CELEBRITY IN DEATH is a stand alone read and new readers of the Eve Dallas series aren’t left in the dark. However, for those new to the series, The Icove Agenda refers to a cunning father-son murder mystery Dallas and her team solved in ORIGIN IN DEATH and well worth reading or listening to.

Dallas, Roarke, Peabody and the rest of the team will take you on another interesting adventure into the world of life and crime in New York in the future.

Author J.D. Robb’s website is

Celebrity in Death by J.D. Robb, An Eve Dallas series, Read by Susan Ericksen, Brilliance Audio, @2012, ISBN: 978-1455818259, Unabridged, 11 Discs, Listening Time 14 Hours 

FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
What was on your reading list this past week? Thanks again for stopping by. Please join me tomorrow when delightful author Jodi Thomas stops by to talk about the fourth novel in her Harmony series, JUST DOWN THE ROAD. Have a wonderful and safe Sunday.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


I enjoy a series that is strong enough to support stand alone installments, but intriguing enough to entice me to seek out the earlier books.

cvr9781442346239_9781442346239New York Times Bestselling Author J.A. Jance’s latest release, LEFT FOR DEAD, is just such an installment. This is the 7th book in the Ali Reynolds Series but can be read (or listened to) alone.

Santa Cruz County Deputy Sheriff Jose Reyes has been shot and left for dead. The shooting happened during a routine traffic stop. But when officers investigate the scene, they find evidence Reyes may be a dirty cop dealing in drugs.

Ali Reynolds and Reyes went to the Arizona Police Academy together. Reyes earlier helped Ali with a troubled friends. Now it’s Ali’s chance to return the favor as Reyes and his wife are expected a child anytime. Besides, Ali can’t see Reyes as a drug dealer.

Meanwhile, a young ‘Jane Doe’ has been tortured, raped, and left in the desert for dead. She’s found by a border patrol officer who doesn’t believe she’s an illegal immigrant like the other officers do. A rose tattoo is the only clue to her true identify.

As the two cases work their way together, a third story unfolds. A postal worker cares for his wife who refuses to leave their home after the death of their daughter years earlier. The postal worker is found murdered and his wife taken into custody, but his secret life could have bearing on the Reyes case.

The author does a wonderful job pulling all the stories together for a dramatic conclusion. As the story weaves back and forth, the reader (or listener) is never lost as the plot flows smoothly and at a fast pace.

Karen Ziemba does a delightful job of narrating this intriguing tale. She gives each character their own unique voice bringing the emotions of the story to the forefront. Her cadence is pleasant and easy to listen to.

LEFT FOR DEAD will keep you guessing while keeping you on pins and needles until the end.

Author J.A. Jance’s website is

Left For Dead by J.A. Jance, An Ali Reynolds Novel, Read by Karen Ziemba, Simon & Schuster Audio, @2012, ISBN: 978-1442346239, Unabridged, 9 Discs, Listening Time 10 Hours, 30 Minutes 

FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Do you enjoy stories that bring 2 or more plots together? Thanks so much for stopping by.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

When Searching For Cozy Mysteries ...

You can never go wrong with Berkley Prime Crime/Obsidian when looking for a cozy murder mystery to satisfy your need for a fun read. Each month they release a number of intriguing books and March is no exception.

Among the books released this month is an interesting new series from New York Times bestselling author Denise Swanson.


A Devereaux's Dime Store Mystery9780451236180
Obsidian, 272 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780451236180
Paperback, $7.99 

In this debut installment of the Devereaux’s Dime Story Mystery series, readers are introduced to protagonist Devereaux Sinclair. Dev is the happy new owner of the adorable old-fashioned five-and-dime shop in her small Missouri town.

However, when a revenge-crazed cop accuses Dev of murdering her ex’s fiancèe —  and the murder weapon is found with her fingerprints all over it — Dev’s store, and her life, quickly turn from charmed to troubled. Desperate to clear her good name, Dev enlists her two longtime pals, Poppy and Boone, to help investigate. The sexy new guy in town, Jake Del Vecchio, decides to help as well and it doesn’t hurt that he’s a deputy U.S. marshal.

However, Dev has to fight her attraction and find the real killer because is she doesn’t, this five-and-dime owner will be serving twenty-five to life. 

This is a fun read with a protagonist and group of friends you’ll want to know more and more about. Author Denise Swanson has created a zany new series that promises to be a laugh a minute.
Author Denise Swanson’s website is
Another wonderful release this month is the second installment in the delightful Library Lover’s Mystery series.

DUE OR DIE by Jenn McKinlay

9780425246689A Library Lover's Mystery
Berkley Prime Crime, 304 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780425246689
Paperback, $7.99 

Protagonist Lindsey Norris, Briar Creek’s library director, returns in the second installment in the Library Lover’s Mystery series. 

Answering tricky reference questions is excitement enough for the library director. Until a murder is committed in her cozy hometown of Briar Creek, Connecticut, and the question of who did it must be answered before someone else is checked out—for good. 

Carrie Rushton, the president of the Friends of the Library has been accused of murdering her husband. The evidence is stacking up against Carrie, but neither Lindsey nor the Briar Creek crafternoon club is buying it.

When a nor’easter buries the small coastal town, the police are too busy digging out the locals to investigate the murder. With the help of her crafternoon friends and an abandoned puppy they name Heathcliff, Lindsey has to solve the question of who murdered Rushton before the killer closes the book on Carrie.

Once again author Jenn McKinlay returns us to the wonderful world of Lindsey and her library. This is a fun, fast-pace read that will keep you guessing. The book also features reading group recommendations; a sneak peek at the next installment in the series, BOOK, LINE, AND SINKER; and recipes including one for ‘Nancy’s Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits.’

Jenn McKinlay is the pseudonym for author Lucy Lawrence. The author’s website is
The other book in this delightful series is BOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING (July 2011).

One of my favorite sidekicks returns this month in the third installment of the Portrait of Crime Mystery series.


A Portrait of Crime Mystery9780425246696
Berkley (Prime Crime), 304 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780425246696
Paperback, $7.99 

Rory McCain never needed a partner to create a likeness of a suspect when she was a police sketch artist. But now working as a sleuth, she’s got the ghost of Zeke Drummond to help illustrate her investigation. Zeke’s no rookie at the work, he’d been a marshal 134 years earlier.

When the “Way Off Broadway Players” get swept up in a flash flood while sightseeing in Arizona, Rory’s aunt Helene and her fellow amateur thespians survive—with the exception of Preston Wright. The victim was actually a womanizing scam-artist who duped nearly everyone in the troupe, as well as an ex-con who operated under various aliases. 

While Preston’s death was deemed to be an “act of nature,” Rory can’t discount the possibility that human nature may have contributed to his drowning. But even as she investigates the cast of characters to find out which one played the villain, Rory is finally on the verge of solving a cold case—the murder of her ghost partner, Zeke. 

This is a delightful story with a enjoyable protagonist and a lovable ghost sidekick. The banter between the two is endearing making the story believable despite Zeke’s condition. Finding answers to both murders brings closure for one and more understanding for the other.

The other books in this series include: SKETCH ME IF YOU CAN (August 2010), and TO SKETCH A THIEF (June 2011).

Author Sharon Pape’s website is

FTC Full Disclosure - These books were sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review them. However, receiving these complimentary copies did not influence my review.

Hope you find something here to grab your interest. Thanks so much for stopping by.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Forever’s Western Blog Tour and Giveaway

Cowboys have always been a favorite of mine so for that reason I’m delighted to be a part of Forever’s Western Blog Tour featuring the lovely Katie Lane, author of CATCH ME COWBOY, and lovely R. C. Ryan, author of QUINN, A Wyoming Sky Novel.
Western Blog Tour banner
The ladies are offering a special giveaway. Thanks to the talented authors and the good folks at Forever, I have 3 book packages which includes a copy of CATCH ME COWBOY and QUINN to giveaway. Please see the end of the post for the giveaway guidelines.

Here’s a brief synopsis of CATCH ME COWBOY: Shirlene Dalton has it all: a dream marriage to alane.catchmeacowboy.mm1 man who spoils her rotten and the most outrageous mansion Bramble, Texas, has ever seen. But when her husband unexpectedly dies, Shirlene finds herself right back where she started-in a rundown trailer on the wrong side of the tracks. Never the type to let a little bad luck and a whole heap of heartache get her down, Shirlene is ready to prove to the local gossips she can make it on her own . . . until she ends up living next door to the most tempting cowboy in town.

Billy Wilkes has a score to settle and a plan to wipe Bramble right off the map. But when his sexy, redheaded neighbor figures out what he's up to, his good ol' boy charm won't be enough to save him. With the town on his tail, Billy will have to come clean quick-or kiss Shirlene goodbye.

Here’s a brief synopsis of QUINN, A WYOMING SKY NOVEL: The Truth Can Be an IrresistibleRyan_Quinn_MM Temptation . . . 

As a young boy, Quinn Conway was shattered by his mother's mysterious disappearance. Today, as the oldest of the Conway brothers, his only concern is protecting his family and their ranch. One look at beautiful, strong-willed Cheyenne O'Brien tells him she's also no stranger to tragedy. A series of increasingly dangerous "accidents" are plaguing her and her land, and Quinn can't stand idly by while a woman is in danger. 

Fiercely independent, Cheyenne isn't one to lean on others, yet she can't deny her attraction to the rugged rancher offering help. Soon, the passion building between them proves as wild and untamed as the land she loves-and just as impossible to resist. But a relentless enemy is about to make one final devastating move. To survive, Quinn and Cheyenne must put their cherished freedom-and their hearts-at risk.

Both authors have graciously answered some questions for me.

Mason - How has the publishing industry changed since you first began writing?

KATIE - In one word—eBooks. Not only have they changed the way the readers get their books, but they’ve opened up more avenues for writers to get their work published. Do I think that printed books and bookstores are going to become obsolete? I hope not. I love going to libraries and bookstores and browsing the shelves. I love to hold a hardcover or paperback in my hands and feel the crisp pages as I turn them.

R.C. - Huge changes. The most obvious is the closing of so many brick-and-mortar bookstores and the proliferation of eBooks. The Internet has changed the rules of the game. 

Mason - Do you think books containing western themes have grown or declined in popularity in the past few years? 

KATIE - Grown. Just look at bookstores or online. Hot cowboys are everywhere. Yee-haw!

R.C. -  I don't know the statistics, but from the response of my readers, they seem hungry for a good western story.  (thank heavens.)  I think, like most genres, the pendulum swings back and forth. But even when a different genre gains in popularity, readers will embrace a good story that is well-told.

Mason - What can fans expect next from you?  

KATIE - I have a contemporary Christmas novel, HUNK FOR THE HOLIDAYS, coming out September 2012. No cowboys, but a really hot construction worker. And I just finished TROUBLE IN TEXAS (plenty of cowboys) and it should be out in late 2012.

R.C. -  Book 2, JOSH, and Book 3 JAKE will follow (in October.

Thank you ladies so much for answering these questions for me. Katie, I’m with you on hoping printed books don’t become obsolete. R.C., I also agree the Internet has changed the rules of the game.

Here are five fun facts about Katie.
*  Katie can’t country two-step. (She always wants to lead.)
*  Katie got her idea for her hero, Colt Lomax, in MAKE MINE A BAD BOY at a ROT (Republic of Texas) motorcycle rally in Austin, Texas. (What’s hotter than a good-looking man straddling a slick machine?)
*  Kate loves the Dallas Cowboys. (She’s a Witten kitten.)
*  Katie once knitted a 20-foot scarf. (Things can never be too long.)
*  Katie is on Facebook. (She says, "I think I now have eleven friends. What’s the limit?") 
Here’s a bit of background on New York Times
bestselling author R. C. Ryan. She has written more than 90 novels, both contemporary and historical. Quite an accomplishment for someone who, after her fifth child started school, gave herself the gift of an hour a day to follow her dream to become a writer. THE UNQUIET, an anthology of stories by J. D. Robb, Mary Blayney, Patricia Gaffney, Mary Kay McComas, and R. C. Ryan writing as Ruth Ryan Langan, was published in fall 2011 and became a New York Times bestseller.

In a career spanning more than 20 years, R.C. has given dozens of radio, television, and print interviews across the country and Canada, and has been quoted in such diverse publications as the Wall Street Journal and Cosmopolitan. She has also appeared on CNN News, as well as Good Morning America. 

Now the giveaway guidelines. To enter this giveaway, send me an e-mail ( Your subject line should read, “Win Western Tour Set.” Your message should include your name and mailing address. The contest is open to residents of the U.S. only and no post office box addresses can be accepted. In addition, the publisher is advising winners that they will be subject to the one copy per household rule, which means that if they win the same title in two or more contests, they will receive only one copy of the title (or one set in the case of grouped giveaways) in the mail. (Winners here have always be great about letting me know if they have already won the book somewhere else so another winner can be selected. However, this announcement is something that has to be passed along from the publisher). And, just so you know, I don’t share the mailing information or use it for any other purpose. The deadline to enter this giveaway for a chance at one of the 3 book packages (CATCH ME COWBOY and QUINN) will be 8 p.m. (EST) on Wednesday, April 4.

What are your thoughts on cowboys and intriguing reads that portray them? Thanks so much for stopping by today. Sorry that I’ve been AWOL from the blog and blogdom but you know how life gets sometimes.