Friday, August 7, 2020

Tea & Treachery (+ Giveaway)

It’s a pleasure today to be a part of author Vicki Delany’s Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for her recent release, TEA & TREACHERY, the first book in her new Tea by the Sea Mysteries series.

We have the pleasure of a visit from Simon McGracken, a gardener from Cape Cod, to tell us about ‘Gardening on Cape Cod.’

Tea & Treachery
By Vicki Delany
*Cozy Mystery
*1st in Series - Tea by the Sea Mysteries
*Publisher: Kensington (July 28, 2020)
*Hardcover: 304 pages
*ISBN-10: 1496725069
*ISBN-13: 978-1496725066
*Digital ASIN: B07ZPKGT3R

In this charming new cozy mystery series from nationally bestselling author, Vicki Delany, a New York City expat-turned-Cape Cod tea shop owner must solve the murder of a local real estate developer to help her feisty grandmother out of a jam . . .

As the proud proprietor and head pastry chef of Tea by the Sea, a traditional English tearoom on the picturesque bluffs of Cape Cod, Roberts has her hands full, often literally. But nothing keeps her busier than steering her sassy grandmother, Rose, away from trouble. Rose operates the grand old Victorian B & B adjacent to Lily’s tea shop . . . for now. An aggressive real estate developer, Jack Ford, is pushing hard to rezone nearby land, with an eye toward building a sprawling golf resort, which would drive Rose and Lily out of business.

Tempers are already steaming, but things really get sticky when Ford is found dead at the foot of Rose’s property and the police think she had something to do with his dramatic demise. Lily can’t let her grandmother get burned by a false murder charge. So, she starts her own investigation and discovers Ford’s been brewing bad blood all over town, from his jilted lover to his trophy wife to his shady business partners. Now, it’s down to Lily to stir up some clues, sift through the suspects, and uncover the real killer before Rose is left holding the tea bag.

Let’s give a warm welcome to Simon. Welcome, Simon.

I don’t know what I’ve gotten myself into here, mate, but I’m happy to give it a try!

I came over from the UK for a summer job in New York City. Let’s just say the job wasn’t exactly as advertised, so I didn’t stick it out any longer than the first morning. I was at a loss, the summer pretty much shot, and ready to head back to England to try and salvage some of the gardening season, when I got a call from my Uncle Gerry, me mum’s brother, who I haven’t seen since I was in short pants.  Uncle Gerry’s also a gardener, and he’s been working at a big property on Cape Cod for donkey’s years. It seems Uncle Gerry met a lady and he decided THAT VERY DAY to go to Florida with her.  He called Rose Campbell, his employer, as they drove off the cape to tell her he quit.

It’s not easy, either in the US or the UK, finding a gardener able to work full time at the end of June.  But Uncle Gerry gave Mrs. Campbell my number, and I decided to drive up on my bike and have a look. 

It’s not a particularly big property, but it’s going to be a challenge. They’re on the sea, at the top of a windy bluff, facing over Cape Cod Bay. Lots of sand in this soil and lots of salt in the air.  Being as Mrs. Campbell’s B&B, Victoria-on-Sea, is supposed to be some sort of a replica of an English country home, she wants a traditional English garden, adapted slightly for the climate and the weather.

Uncle Gerry kept the place in pretty good shape, so all I need to do, to start, is to maintain it. I’ve had harder jobs.

Rose didn’t interview me for the job, she left that up to her granddaughter, Lily Roberts, who helps in the B&B as well as running her own tea room, Tea by the Sea.  It just so happens that I’m no stranger to a bowl of scone dough meself. My mum ran a catering company for years, and my dad worked as a gardener. I never even considered being anything other than a baker or a gardener.

I was offered the job on the spot, and I took it on the spot.  It’s only for the summer and then I’m back to the UK. In the meantime, I’m hoping to get to know the aloof Lily better. Much better.

Simon, thanks for joining us today and giving us this insight into gardening on Cape Cod.

Meet the Author:

Author Vicki Delany
Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than thirty-five books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy.

She is currently writing four cozy mystery series: the Tea by the Sea mysteries for Kensington, the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series for Crooked Lane Books, the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Penguin Random House, and the Lighthouse Library series (as Eva Gates) for Crooked Lane.

Vicki is a past president of the Crime Writers of Canada and co-founder and organizer of the Women Killing It Crime Writing Festival. She is the 2019 recipient of the Derrick Murdoch award for contributions to Canadian crime writing.

Vicki lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario. For more on Vicki and her writing, you can connect with her at the following sites:
Website –

TEA & TREACHERY is available to purchase at the following sites: Amazon – B&N – Kobo – Google Play – IndieBound

You can follow along with Vicki’s tour by visiting the following links. Be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of the post.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Doesn’t Cape Cod sound like a fascinating place to visit? Have you ever thought about operating a Tea Shop?

July 27 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf - CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 27 – This Is My Truth Now - REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 27 – The Bookwyrm's Hoard - REVIEW, GUEST POST
July 28 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
July 28 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW  
July 28 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog - REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 29 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
July 29 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
July 29 – Moonlight Rendezvous - REVIEW, GUEST POST
July 30 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
July 30 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
July 30 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT
July 31 - Cozy Up With Kathy - REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 31 - Here's How It Happened - SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
August 1 - Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 1 - Christy's Cozy Corners - REVIEW, GUEST POST
August 2 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST
August 2 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW
August 3 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
August 3 – The Book Diva's Reads - GUEST POST,
August 3 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
August 4 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW  
August 4 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
August 4 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 5 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
August 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
August 6 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
August 6 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW
August 7 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT
August 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
August 9 – Melina's Book Blog - REVIEW
August 9 – Author Elena Taylor's blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Hard Knox (+ Giveaway)

Hard Knox
by Amber Malloy
* (Perfect Stats, #2)
* Publication date: June 16th, 2020
* Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Book two in the Perfect Stats series
Everything comes easy to quarterback Gavin Knox—women, football, even money. However, the only thing he truly wants but can’t win is the beauty of his dreams, Remy Bell. 

A simple favor to save the girl turns into the quarterback losing his heart.

As beautiful as she is fun, Remy Bell has only one problem—a psychotic killer with political power wants her dead. Always a ‘two steps ahead’ type of gal, she plans to outrun the maniac. Marriage and a sweet life in the football star’s hometown in Canada would give her the cover she needs, but Remy doesn’t stick around long enough to find out. She travels all over the world, photographing the most beautiful and devastating events, but her now-husband’s tabloid activities lead her to the one place she should avoid…back home.

Superstar Gavin Knox wins at everything. However, once he scores the girl of his dreams, he’s suddenly in danger of losing the one thing he has always needed. Before she can slip through his fingers, he offers her a deal she can’t refuse—marry him for Canadian citizenship, which will protect her, and after five years, they can divorce. Knox is positive that she will fall head over heels in love with him, but it doesn’t happen. After six years of marriage, two playoff titles and a third on the way, Knox is forced to contend with a successful wife almost more famous than he is.

Determined to get exactly what he wants, which includes having Remy and a family, he devises a stupid scheme that puts everything he’s worked so hard for in jeopardy.

Here's an excerpt for your reading pleasure.

With less than a minute on the clock, Gavin Knox faked right and threw the ball to his running back. His teammate’s gravity-defying catch took place in the end zone, resulting in their game-winning touchdown. As the band played the school’s fight song, the student body of Michigan Institute of Technology flooded the field.
Letting out a ferocious howl, Knox snatched off his helmet. For the second time in a row his team was headed to the championships. With only one more year left in college, Knox looked forward to the Heisman Trophy Ceremony and a single digit position in the professional draft.
It may have seemed arrogant on his part to assume that he had a right to any of those things, but he had worked his ass off. He had mapped out his whole career since the age of twelve. In his freshman year of high school, Knox had transferred to America from Canada to secure his spot in the pros. He’d then followed it up with enrollment at a Big Ten college.
Intending to get drunk off his ass, Knox scanned the crowd for his best friend, Hawk. On his way past a couple of his teammates, he slapped their heads as he moved closer to the stands—and that was when he saw her. A chocolate-colored honey ran straight at him. Her letterman jacket showcased her body-hugging, tight sweater and perfect tits. Since she was focused on something over her shoulder, Knox felt safe to peruse her banging-ass body without judgment.
However, once she turned those big, almond-shaped eyes in his direction, his whole world came to a sudden and glorious halt. Shiny black curls bounced up and down, framing her heart-shaped face. Simple and utter perfection barreled straight at him.
As she licked her full lips, instant wood clouded his mind. Even if he wanted to, he couldn’t seem to stop himself. Fate had other plans. Flashes of what life would be like if he didn’t talk to her propelled him into action. Knox reached out to snag her around the waist, bringing the beauty inches from his mug.
“Where did you come from?” he asked her.
Confusion shuttled across her stunning face before she tilted her head to the side and smiled. “Nowhere.”
“So you just fell out of the sky?” It might have sounded lame, but he meant every word of it.
“Technically, you grabbed me. So, what happened here?” She checked out the field. “Did you win something big?”
“If the answer’s ‘you’, then sure.” As he looked into her eyes, he almost forgot the last few minutes of his life.
“Do you mind?” She glanced down at the ground. “The air’s kind of thin up here in Giantsville.”
Though he was reluctant to let her go, he set her down.
“So, what…? Are you like the main guy?” she asked, looking totally serious.
Knox laughed. He couldn’t help it. Obviously she didn’t care about football. “Something like that.”
“Which makes you a supastar, right?”
Positive that she didn’t have a bra on under her soft, cream-colored sweater, he desperately wanted to feel her body against his one more time.
“Are you going to tell me your name?” he asked abruptly. She glanced over her shoulder at something. For a split second he wondered if she had a boyfriend, but, truthfully, he didn’t care.
“And make it easy for you? No, but”—she raised onto her tiptoes and Knox leaned down to meet her halfway—“dream about me, okay? Then just maybe…” The warmth of her candy-scented breath heated his cheek.
Tempted to tip his head down a little farther to intercept her lips, he froze and hit the dreaded blue screen.
“Hey, man, congrat-u-fucking-lations!” His friend Hawk grabbed him in a big bear hug. When the melody of her laughter kicked him into gear, he realized that the beauty had disappeared.
Knox searched the crowd but couldn’t find her. “Where did she go?” he asked.
“Who? What the hell are you talking about? I didn’t see anybody.”
Positive that she’d given him a hint to her name, he ran through the possibilities in his head.
“The press wants to talk to you. Then we’re going out to celebrate.” Hawk patted him on the back and led him toward the locker room. Still shell-shocked by his encounter with the hottest girl he had ever laid eyes on, he reluctantly followed his friend. 

Meet the Author:

Amber Malloy dreamed of being a double agent but couldn’t pass the psyche evaluation. Crushed by despair that she couldn’t legally shoot things, Amber pursued her second career choice as a pastry chef. 

When she’s not writing or whipping up a mean Snickers Cheesecake, she occasionally spies on her sommelier. Amber is convinced he’s faking his French accent.

For more on Amber and her writing, you can connect with her on the following sites: 

Thanks for stopping by today. Doesn't this sound like an intriguing plot?


Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop

As the days and weeks continue to be a bit troublesome, it’s a pleasure to tell you about this fascinating new book, VANESSA YU’S MAGICAL PARIS TEA SHOP by Roselle Lim.

Just the title itself, VANESSA YU’S MAGICAL PARIS TEA SHOP (Berkley Trade Paperback Original; August 4, 2020), brings to mind fun thoughts.

Roselle Lim is also, the author of Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune (2019). Roselle was inspired to pen her delicious debut by a childhood cooking alongside her father, as well as the culinary richness of her Filipino-Chinese culture.

Her newest novel is just as full of heart, heritage, and an array of tasty food. In it, a reluctant fortuneteller aims to take control of her unruly supernatural abilities by moving to the most magical city of all: Paris.

Vanessa Yu has been blurting out the fortunes—or misfortunes—of others since she was five years old, and she’s hated it ever since. While some call her abilities a gift, Vanessa thinks of it as a curse—she can’t control her predictions, and constantly serving up bad prophecies to her family and friends makes her miserable.

What’s worse, she’s unhappily single, and it looks like there’s no love in her future. But after delivering the worst misfortune to someone she loves; Vanessa finally decides she’s had enough—it’s time to get this “gift” under control. She enlists the help of the family fortune telling expert, her aunt Evelyn. The only catch? Aunt Evelyn is moving to Paris to open a teashop.

Vanessa has no choice but to journey to the city of love to change her destiny. And when she arrives, she not only finds a handsome stranger who seems to accept her for who she is, but the opportunity to reunite her aunt with a long-lost lover from her youth. What started off as Vanessa’s quest to rid herself of clairvoyance turns into an opportunity to use her skills for good—and maybe even to find love herself along the way.

Meet the Author:

Author Roselle Lim, photo credit Shelley Smith
Roselle Lim was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Canada as a child. She lived in north Scarborough in a diverse, Asian neighborhood.

She found her love of writing by listening to her lola (paternal grandmother's) stories about Filipino folktales. Growing up in a household where Chinese superstition mingled with Filipino Catholicism, she devoured books about mythology, which shaped the fantasies in her novels.

An artist by nature, she considers writing as "painting with words."

For more on Roselle and her writing, you can connect with her on her website at

Thanks for stopping by today. Don’t you agree that this sounds like the delightful, heartwarming, and magical read we could all use during these stressful times?