Friday, August 18, 2017

Blog Tour and Review: SHOPPING IS MURDER by Carolyn Arnold

Synopsis:

They find more than a bargain…

Black Friday should be all about shopping and discounts, but when Sean and Sara only have a few more items left to buy, screams fill the mall—and for good reason. A man has fallen to his death from the second level.

But what exactly happened isn’t that straightforward, and normally, Sean and Sara would leave this matter to the police, but the widow was a childhood friend of Sara’s. While the police are leaning toward the belief the man intentionally took the leap, the widow is adamant her husband would never jump and asks Sara for her help.

Despite the fact there is an unresolved past between the friends—in which Sara feels she let her down—Sara can’t turn her back on her now. Fueled by guilt and the need to find answers, Sara convinces Sean they should look into the man’s death.

But the answers aren’t all coming quickly. Mall security has dropped the ball and there’s no seeming motive for murder. To find out the truth will take unconventional means, a little undercover work, and the help of their friend Jimmy. And if it all comes together, they just might have this case wrapped up in time for the holidays. Maybe even with a pretty little bow.



Review:

The two former police now engaging in private investigation, informally of course, are involved in a suspicious death, initially ruled a suicide.  It is the husband of ---'s childhood friend, ---, and --- feels the need to be there for her friend, suicide or foul play. Only --- insists --- did not commit suicide. Still harboring guilt for missing one important event in her friend's life, --- agrees to investigate.  The more --- and --- look into the situation though, the more questions they have.  

This is the -- in the series, but can be read as a stand alone.  Unlike many other cozy mysteries,  ---- and --- are not amateur sleuths - they use their investigation skills and inside contact with the police department, Jimmy, to solve crimes. The relationship with Jimmy is highlighted in the story with hints of his continued involvement in books to come. 

Having left the police department after inheriting millions, they live and dress according to their wealth, but don't bill for their services. Their clients are asked to make a donation to help others instead of paying them. If you were a fan of the television show, Hart to Hart, this series has a similar feel. 

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review as part of this blog tour. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.




Major Retailer Links for this book: Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo Apple Google Play

Series Information:
Romance. Humor. Murder. Are you looking for a murder mystery without all the graphic violence and foul language? Something that you can enjoy in an afternoon and walk away feeling good about afterward? How about a dash of humor and romance? If so, meet former detectives Sean and Sara McKinley. When a billionaire leaves them all his money, they no longer have to work, but they find themselves sticking to what they’re good at—solving murders. Undercover, off the books, and around the world, they’ll get to the bottom of things…and romance it up along the way.

This is the perfect book series for fans of Hart to Hart, Castle, Colombo, Monk, Rockford Files, Psych, and Magnum PI.

Author Bio:

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada.

Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:

Website – http://carolynarnold.net/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Carolyn_Arnold

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynArnold

And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.
a Rafflecopter giveaway




Saturday, August 12, 2017

Blog Tour: COWBOYS, CASTLES, AND CRADLES by Loralee Lillibridge


Cowboys, Castles and Cradles
By Loralee Lillibridge
Genre: Contemporary Western Romance
Release Date: February 21, 2017
Length: 306 Pages

Synopsis:


When GRACIE CASTLE agreed to be a surrogate mother to twins, she never expected to become their full-time mom. Thankfully, that’s when she discovers she inherited a large Texas ranch from a grandmother she’s never met. Clueless but desperate, she’s managing to hold her own until the babies decide to make an unexpected appearance.

Enter WHITMAN LOVETT, III a wealthy businessman who needs to lease three thousand acres of the Castle Ranch. He expects an easy deal, with the Castle Ranch in financial straits. He isn’t expecting to deliver a baby calf in a rainstorm or Gracie’s twins at the ranch. But Gracie and the babies manage to get under Whit’s skin and into his heart. The very thing he doesn’t want.



Review:

Taking a break from mysteries and murder with a romance today and a new author, Loralee Lillibridge... 

Gracie is doing her best to figure out what it takes to run a run-down ranch while pregnant with twins.  She's stubborn, determined to be independent, and in dire need of help that her two geriatric ranch hands simply can't do.  She inherited them along with the ranch.  All she wants is to get on with her life.

Whit, on the other hand, just needs to close this one deal that will make his father and brother very rich and very happy, and he can get on with his life and get out of the greed business. All he needs is a signature, presumably from a widow in financial straits.  Only Whit can't walk away from Gracie - he also can't seem to find a way to tell her why he's really come to Castle ranch.  

What makes this story? The characters - not just Gracie and Whit, but the suspicious ranch hands and the housekeeper who cooks a mean meal.  The pace is quick and there is conflict and history to be shared between them.  Well written, I've already picked up another of Lillibridge's books.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review as part of this blog tour. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.





About Loralee Lillibridge





Writing romance and cozy mysteries with a Texas twang and a touch of humor, Loralee Lillibridge (aka Lora Lee), loves to tell stories with believable characters, small towns where everybody knows your business and quirky, but lovable, neighbors.


A native Texan, Loralee has called West Michigan home since her marriage, but still misses seeing the bluebonnets in the Spring. Her love of travel took her to Ireland to celebrate her 80th birthday. As a child with a vivid imagination, her library card was a treasured possession. Although encouraged by her high school English teacher to put her imagination into stories, Loralee’s first published novel, Accidental Hero for Harlequin, didn’t debut until after marriage and raising a family. Since then, she’s had a cozy mystery published by Bell Bridge Books and three romance novels published by Tell-Tale Publishing. Her greatest love, however, will always be her family.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Blog Tour and Review: ICED: A Resort to Murder Mystery by Avery Daniels

Blazing Sword Publishing Ltd. (May 24, 2017)
Paperback: 284 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0999031803
E-Book ASIN: B071LFD6JV
Synopsis
Julienne has her ideal job as an event planner at a prestigious resort. During a luncheon event she coordinated, a renowned celebrity pastor is killed next to the buffet. All eyes turn to her as the suspect. If she wants to stay out of jail or even keep her job, Julienne needs all the help she can get to solve the crime.

She has her work cut out for her with a vengeful high school rival now reporter, the public demanding she be fired, plus family who knows what’s best for her, and a boyfriend who doesn’t understand her. She turns to friends and a new ally to uncover who wanted to put the pastor on ice.

Julienne goes undercover and investigates a local swingers group as she follows the trail of clues before they go cold. Can she gather enough suspects and motives to convince the police to widen their investigation? Can she do it before the killer sets his murderous sights on her? Will her personal life ever be as simple as unveiling a murderer?



Review
Julienne can't seem to catch a break - she's the prime suspect in the Pastor's murder, she breaks up with her boyfriend and he doesn't waste any time finding a replacement, and she isn't too sure about the dashing new neighbor Mason. Unable to do nothing, Julienne is collecting evidence, and as is often the case in a murder mystery, uncovering sordid secrets about the Pastor. Luckily for Julienne, she has an alibi when someone else is murdered with her name tag as the calling card. 

There's a lot to be said for the story line and Julienne is a likable character. I never had a neighbor as attentive or charismatic as Mason. It's easy to see how this could have a sequel or be a start of a new series. The resort certainly has a lot of promise. 

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review as part of this blog tour. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.



About the Author
Avery Daniels was born and raised in Colorado, graduated from college with a degree in business administration and has worked in fortune 500 companies and Department of Defense her entire life. Her most eventful job was apartment management for 352 units (plenty of fodder for stories there!). She still resides in Colorado with two brother black cats as her loving companions. She volunteers for a cat shelter, enjoys scrapbooking and card making, photography, and painting in watercolor and acrylic. She inherited a love for reading from her mother and grandmother and grew up talking about books and history at the dinner table. Her first try at writing a fully developed story was as a teen was a tale of a girl trying to nurse a fawn back to health and then release it into the wild again. She is plotting her next Resort to Murder novel and struggling over which Colorado resort should be her setting
Author Links

Web – Avery-Daniels.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AveryDanielsAuthor

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/Avery-Daniels;

Purchase Links

Amazon



Rafflecopter Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Cover Release - MURDER AND A WEDDING : Cold Creek Series Book 5

MURDER AND A WEDDING 
Now available for pre-order, with release on August 10, 2017! 
Special Price through August 15th $0.99


Synopsis
Solving a murder wasn't on the wedding planner's checklist.

Professor Hendley can’t seem to stay away from murder even on a morning run. With so many changes in her life, sleuthing is the last thing on the mind of Cold Creek College’s amateur sleuth. Unbeknownst to her, the victim was the manager of Hidden Oaks, a picturesque wedding venue – the precise location the wedding planner had suggested for her upcoming nuptials. When Sheridan visits Hidden Oaks, she senses there is more underfoot than meets the eye. Can she put the pieces together and have her wedding, too?

The Series:

Murder at Cold Creek College
Murder in the Arboretum
Murder at the Grill
Murder in the Theater

Excerpt from Chapter 1:

... The four of us took off down the popular trail. Surrounded by pine and maple trees, a recent spell of warm weather had spurred the onset of renewed growth after the long winter. We saw several runners ahead of us, and encountered others jogging or walking back to the parking lot. People smiled as they passed us, content to enjoy the fresh air and exercise. 

We left the trail at my usual stopping place with Charlie. Our favorite bench was occupied by two older ladies, so we moved toward the bench farthest from the trail. Before Brett could get the water bottles out of his pack, Charlie pulled toward the tree line and growled. I tried to soothe her and we all looked around to see what triggered her reaction. 

“I can barely hold her. Should we see where she wants to go?” 

Brett peered toward the dense woods before he answered. “Maddie, can you stay here with the backpack while we check it out?” 

Maddie glanced at Charlie and nodded. I let Charlie pull me. The closer we got to the trees, the harder she dragged me along. She turned back to look at me, just before she tried to dive into the woods. Brett caught me before I fell over. 

“Stay here and keep hold of Charlie. I’ll see if I can find what has her so excited.” 

I nodded and shortened the leash, holding my dog. She shook like never before. She stopped growling but whimpered, and tried to pull away. Brett came back out a few minutes later, already talking on his phone. 

“We’re at Plantation Park. The GPS says the nearest cross street is Shenandoah. We came in from the South entrance, the main trail. I’m not sure which way has easiest access for emergency vehicles.” 

After a pause, Brett continued. “No ambulance needed. Coroner.” 

Another pause. “We’ll stay here and wait for you. I think Sheridan’s dog scared off anyone or any animals that might have been here. She’s stopped growling now.” 

He clicked off his phone and nodded toward the bench and Maddie. “There’s a body back there. I don’t know who or what Charlie scared off. As long as she’s not growling, we can go wait with Maddie until Hirsch gets here to secure the area.” 

We walked to the bench and gave Charlie some water. She stretched out under the bench panting. 

“What was making Charlie go crazy?” Maddie asked. 

“There’s someone back in the woods and he’s hurt. I think Charlie sensed that. I’m going to go back and make sure no one bothers him. You and Sheridan need to stay here and wait for the police to get here. Okay?” 

We both nodded, and Brett walked back to guard the body. 

“Charlie sensed there was a bad person back there, didn’t she? She was protecting us and the person who’s hurt.” 

“Yes, Maddie that’s right. Now she’s calm, so we’re safe.” 

We heard the sirens in the distance and then from behind us. Chief Hirsch and Officer Matthews were the first to arrive. Maddie and I stood and waited for them to reach us. Charlie recognized them and pulled at the leash, tail wagging. I texted Brett the cavalry had arrived. 

“Morning, Sheridan. Brett called.” Hirsch looked at Maddie and raised an eyebrow. 

“Chief Hirsch, Officer Matthews, I’d like to introduce Madison, Brett’s daughter. You may have met her at Brett’s birthday celebration in July.” They nodded and Maddie nodded back. 

“Let me show you where Brett entered the woods.” 

I led them to the edge of the woods, and they disappeared. I was back at the bench with Maddie when Brett texted “Watch for the ambulance – they should be coming across the grass from the North.” 

“Look, Sheridan. They’re here.” 

I approached the ambulance and explained what I could to the responders. They grabbed their gear and the stretcher and disappeared into the woods. We waited. 

It seemed like forever before Brett and Hirsch emerged, followed by the two ambulance attendants with the stretcher, and Matthews pulling up the rear. Maddie and I watched as they loaded the stretcher and the ambulance left. As Brett, Hirsch, and Matthews walked toward us, I caught the end of the conversation. 

“…too bad Charlie didn’t get a piece of whoever did this. Nasty business.” Matthews mouth opened again, like he was going to continue. I cleared my throat and pasted a smile on my face. 

Brett interrupted whatever his next comment might have been. “Have you met my daughter?” 

“Yes, Sheridan introduced us. You were all out here for a walk?” Hirsch slipped back into Chief mode and Matthews studied the ground. 

“We went for a run to celebrate, but Charlie needed a rest. Then she started growling and barking and almost dragged Sheridan into the woods.” Maddie explained. 

“Did you see anyone else?” 

Maddie shook her head. I clarified, “Not once we left the trail. We passed a bunch of other runners and walkers on the trail. There were two older ladies on the bench closer to the trail when we got here. I didn’t recognize them. They left – I didn’t notice when.” I shrugged, sorry I hadn’t paid more attention. 

“Once Charlie started barking and we got closer, she suddenly settled down. I think she scared them off. You saw the markings like someone had cut through the woods before. I’d guess that’s how they left the park. Any idea where it comes out?” “Afraid not. Matthews and I’ll go back, get more pictures, and find out though. You folks enjoy the rest of the day. I’ll give you a call later on and come by with statements for you to sign.”