Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Cupid Strikes Cranberry Cove? #Giveaway

By Gina Albertson
From Peg Cochran’s Cranberry Cove Series
                I’m Gina Albertson and I own an aromatherapy shop in Cranberry Cove where my son and step-daughter live.  It’s a nice little town with a main street called Beach Hollow Road where there are a number of shops including Bart’s Butcher, Gumdrops, the Cranberry Cove Diner and a place called Twilight run by Tempest Storm.  It’s a new age shop and if there’s any place the locals are less likely to visit than an aromatherapy shop, it’s a new age shop.

                We do okay though thanks to the tourist trade.  It’s June and people are beginning to come to town although the temperature of Lake Michigan is still too cold to tempt me into the water.

                I was rearranging my vials of essential oils when the door opened and Tempest breezed in.  She was wearing a dark blue caftan and had a large amulet hanging from a silk cord around her neck.

                “Look what I’ve brought,” she said as she approached me. 

                She reached into her oversized tote bag and pulled something out.

                “What’s that?”  I said, pointing to the box in her hand.

                She gave a wicked smile.  “A Ouija board.”

                I laughed.  I remembered playing with one of those when I was a kid.  Betty Sue next door and I used to ask it to tell us who we were going to marry.  One time it spelled out the name George and poor Betty Sue burst into tears because the George in our class was short with pimples and glasses.

                Tempest moved aside some things on the counter and set up the board.

                “What are we going to ask it?” I said.

                She made a dramatic gesture.  “I feel as if romance is in the air, don’t you?”

                “I did just meet the most delicious man in Book ‘Em the other day.  He’s a writer.”

                “Let’s see what the board says then.”

                Tempest rested her fingers on the planchette and closed her eyes.  “Is there going to be a romance in Cranberry Cove?” she said in a serious voice.

                The planchette began to move.  I wondered if Tempest was moving it herself to fool me.  Slowly the word yes was spelled out.  We thought it had stopped moving, but it began to move again and this time pointed to the numeral 2.

                “See,” Tempest said, opening her eyes.  “Not one romance but two.” 

                She put her fingers back on the planchette and closed her eyes again.  Once again, it began to move, this time spelling out the word wedding.

                Tempest gasped.  “Looks like there’s going to be a wedding in Cranberry Cove,” she exclaimed.

                I pointed at the Ouija board.  “Two if that thing is to be believed.” 
Have you ever played with a Ouija board?  What did it tell you?
Look what came in the mail! 
Dead and Berried will release May 2 but I am offering one copy to someone who leaves a comment below!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Old Billy in Leap

by Billy Sheahan, from Sheila Connolly's Cruel Winter (County Cork #5), released last month.

Maura’s been tellin’ yeh that it’s been near a year since she came to Leap and found herself runnin’ a pub she’d never heard of. I’m proud of the girl—she’s done her gran proud.

I’ll take a bit of the credit meself. Yeh see, I knew her her family, years ago, here in this corner of Ireland. Her gran, Nora Donovan, was widowed young, and took herself and her young son to America, hopin’ fer a better life. It was the right thing to do, I thought, although it couldn’t have been easy fer her.

Things went well, until her Tom died in an accident, leavin’ a wife and a small child—that would be Maura. And then the wife took herself off without a word and Nora never heard from her again. She was left to raise Maura and keep a roof over their heads, which she did. She did right by Maura.

And she planned fer Maura’s future. Old Mick, who’d owned the pub here as long as anyone could remember, was a cousin of sorts. He had no one to leave his property to, so he and Nora fixed it that Maura would get it all. Maura arrived a year ago because her gran had asked her to, and found she owned a pub. And a house as well. It was no sure thing that she’d stay, but she decided to try to make a go of runnin’ the place, even though she’d never seen Ireland in her life, nor had she run a business of any kind. 

Maura's pub

But Maura’s smart—not in the book sense, but in understandin’ people and how things work. She’s done more than keep the place goin’—she’s brought in new business. She’s made friends. And she knows when to ask fer help if she needs it—that’s a rare thing. I hope I’ve been able to help her, and I’m pretty sure her gran is lookin’ out fer her.

Outside the pub

About Cruel Winter: Snow is a rarity in Maura Donovan's small village in County Cork, Ireland, so she wasn't sure what to expect when a major snowstorm rolled in around Sullivan's pub. But now she's stranded in a bar full of patrons--and a suspected killer in a long-ago murder.

Maura’s been in Ireland less than a year and hasn't heard about the decades-old unsolved crime that took place nearby, let alone the infamous suspect, Diane Caldwell. But the locals have, and they're not happy to be trapped with her. Diane, meanwhile, seeks to set the record straight, asserting her innocence after all this time. And since no one is going anywhere in the storm, Maura encourages Diane to share her side of the story, which she’d never had a chance to do in court.

Over the next few hours, the informal court in Sullivan’s reviews the facts and theories about the case--and comes to some surprising conclusions. But is it enough to convince the police to take a new look at an old case? 


Monday, April 24, 2017

Going to the Mainsail Art Festival! #BOOKGIVEAWAY!


Character:      Savannah Webb
Series:           Webb’s Glass Shop Mysteries
Author:          Cheryl Hollon

Hi there, I’m Savannah Webb, owner of Webb’s Glass Shop on Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida. I'm planning to visit the Mainsail Art Festival on Sunday afternoon. This long-running event marks the end of our glorious winter season and the beginning of the hot days of summer. 

Mainsail Art Festival started in 1976 when the city's Bicentennial Committee, the Saint Petersburg Recreation Department and the new Saint Petersburg Arts Commission joined forces to sponsor the "First Annual Saint Petersburg Sidewalk Arts and Colonial Crafts Festival." 

For the second show, the name was shortened. "Mainsail" was chosen in 1977 to convey the event's importance, its excitement and marina setting on the waterfront South Straub Park.

This year marks the 42nd Anniversary of the festival. More than 100,000 visitors come to enjoy and purchase quality art and enjoy top name entertainment. The Mainsail committee of hard-working volunteers produces this festival exhibiting artists competing for $60,000 in prize money. 

Mainsail will be held on Saturday 9AM - 6PM and Sunday 10AM - 5PM. The weather forecast is perfect. Sunny, but cool with low humidity. I hope to see you there!


You can read more about Savannah in Cracked to Death, the third book in the Webb’s Glass Shop Mysteries, published by Kensington Books. Available at your favorite book vendor.

About Cracked to Death:

When a treasure hunt leads to deadly plunder, it’s up to glass shop owner Savannah Webb and her trusty investigative posse to map out the true motives of a killer . . .

It's the dog days of summer in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Webb's Glass Shop proprietor Savannah Webb has an eco-friendly plan to help locals escape the heat--a recyclable bottle-crafting workshop taught by reticent store manager Amanda Blake. Turns out, the class is a bigger smash than expected, thanks in part to a pair of staggeringly old bottles brought in by snorkeler Martin Lane . . .

Linked to a storied pirate shipwreck, the relics definitely pique Savannah's interest. But intrigue turns to shock when Martin's lifeless body washes ashore the next morning, another glass artifact tucked in his dive bag. With cell phone records connecting Amanda to the drowning, Savannah must voyage through uncharted territory to exonerate her colleague and capture the twisted criminal behind Martin's death . . .


There's a #BOOKGIVEAWAY! Leave a comment and your email address in the form of name(AT)server(DOT)com to avoid the SPAM bots. Do this by midnight on April 25 for the chance to win a signed copy of your choice of Pane and Suffering, Shards of Murder, or Cracked to Death. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes.

Meet the author:

Cheryl Hollon writes full time after she left an engineering career designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and India. Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. In the small glass studio behind the house, Cheryl and her husband George design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass and painted glass artworks.

Visit Cheryl and her books at her WebsiteFacebook or Twitter

Sunday, April 23, 2017

You Can’t Keep a Good Ghost Down

by Kath Rutledge from the Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries by Molly MacRae

Have you ever tried concentrating while someone’s flying around the room? I mean, literally, Geneva is flying around and around and around the room. I’d ask her to stop (because she’s beginning to make me dizzy) but how can I do that? She’s so excited—or in her words (at the top of her lungs)—“I HAVEN’T BEEN THIS HAPPY SINCE THE DAY BEFORE I DIED!”

Well, okay, that sounds kind of macabre, but it’s probably true. Geneva’s the ghost who came to stay at The Weaver’s Cat, my fiber and fabric shop in Blue Plum, Tennessee. She was pretty depressed when I met her in Last Wool and Testament. But through the adventures we’ve shared, in four other books, she’s gradually been coming to terms with her “situation.”

But why is Geneva so excited today? Because we have news to share, and I promised her that she can be the one to tell you. Be prepared, though, because she’s still flying around the room. Are you ready, Geneva?   
So there you have it. We’ll all be back and solving mysteries again in Crewel and Unusual and Yarned and Dangerous. We ask your patience, though, because our author has to write the books before you can read them. But we’ll keep you posted on her progress. Now here’s Geneva, again. She has one more thing she’d like to tell you. 
Molly MacRae is the author of the award-winning, national bestselling Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries and the Highland Bookshop Mysteries. Visit Molly on Facebook and Pinterest, connect with her on Twitter @mysteryMacRae, or find her the first Monday of each month at Amy Alessio’s Vintage Cookbooks and Crafts

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Meet Gertie - Labrador pup and detective's Cathy Ace

Hello, I'm Gertie

Hello from Gertie, black Labrador puppy extraordinaire!

Welcome to my home, the village of Anwen-by-Wye. Yes, I’m a Welsh dog, even though I’m a Labrador (I understand that’s a place somewhere in Canada, but I don’t know what that means). 

My litter mate, Rosie
My mum is Annie Parker. I live with her in a little thatched cottage that overlooks the village green. We walk across the green to visit my litter mate Rosie who lives with Tudor Evans at the Lamb and Flag pub. My coat is gleamy and smooth and black, Rosie’s coat is yellow and a bit rougher than mine – I shine in the sun, she doesn’t. 

We’re lucky to live so close to each other, and we’re lucky our Humans are friends. We also both get to play with McFli – he’s not like us; we’re just pups but he’s old, and usually a bit grumpy. We’ve been with our Humans for less than a year; he’s been with his for over twelve years, a long time for a dog. 
McFli runs a lot, even though he's old

His Human is a dowager duchess, and she works with my Human – they’re detectives, and sometimes we all get to go detecting with them. Not always, because – so they say – it’s too dangerous for pups. I don’t know what that means, but sometimes Annie comes to get me and gives me a big hug and tells me how glad she is I stayed away from the trouble she’s been in. 

That happened to McFli not long ago too – everyone hugged him and hugged his Human even harder; they all cried and said how glad they were she was safe and sound, and how things could have been much worse for her. No one will tell me what that means, not even when I look my cutest and try to get it out of my Human. If I keep trying, maybe I’ll break her one day soon.
Me and my sister - best friends and detective dogs!

Find out what happens to Gertie’s Human, and McFli’s Human, in The Case of the Curious Cook: click here for more

Cathy Ace is the Bony Blithe Award-winning author of The Cait Morgan Mysteries (#8 The Corpse with the Ruby Lips was released on November 1st) and The WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries (#3, The Case of the Curious Cook, was released in hardcover in the UK on November 30th and in the USA & Canada on March 1st).  You can find out more about Cathy, her work and her characters at her website, where you can also sign up for her newsletter with news, updates and special offers: 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Leave It To Cleaver New Cover! #bookgiveaway

By: Jaymie Leighton
From: Leave It to Cleaver
Series: Vintage Kitchen Mysteries
Publisher: Beyond the Page
Pub. Date: June 2017
Webpage: Victoria Hamilton Mysteries

Have you ever had one of those days, when everything in your life changes in a snap? That's what happened to me a few months ago, and now my life is about to get wonderfully complicated!

I'll leave it at that for now, but there is something important I learned at the same time; even when everything in your life changes, simultaneously, nothing changes. The dishes still need to be done and the dog walked, work still beckons and friends still call, family still needs you and bills still need to be paid.

So... I'd be interested in knowing from you... what was the most momentous occurrence of your life, and how did it change - or NOT change - everything?



CLICK to see larger!!
I'm so excited about my the new cover for Leave It To Cleaver, book #6 of the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries, which is coming out in JUNE! I don't have pre-sale links yet, but I can tell you that it will be available as an ebook everywhere, and as a print book in trade paperback size from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I hope to have news about an audio book at some point.

To celebrate, I'd love to give away a copy of any past title of my Vintage Kitchen Mysteries!

To enter, comment on the blog post by Midnight, April 23rd, and leave your first name, as well as your email address; yourname (at) yourserver (cot) com is a good format to fool the spam bots.

Entries are welcome from anywhere worldwide; if I have a copy of the book and the entry is from Canada or the United States, I'll send out an autographed copy. But... if I don't have the book, or the entry is from somewhere else, I'll be sending it via the Book Depository, and I'll also send you a signed postcard and bookmark.

And... tell me what you think of my NEW cover?? I'm so excited about it!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

New England Spring

By Ruth Clagan, from the Clock Shop Mystery series by Julianne Holmes

Spring in New England is a fickle master of my emotions. I can ignore warm days in February, knowing that they are a gift I need to savor. I know they aren't here to stay, that the water will turn back to ice, that layers of clothes are still my future.
The first warm days in March flirt with me, promising sunny days ahead. But they are a tease, usually followed by snow and sleet. I forge ahead, strong in my belief that winter will end at some point. There are days I lose hope, but time marches on.
April is particularly cruel. The days get longer, and the sun is brighter. The snow starts to melt. For a day, maybe two, a coat is optional. Then a hot day comes. Not warm, hot. Sweat rolling down your back, short wearing, turn-on-the-fans hot. It is glorious. Moira and I paint our toenails, convinced that sandal weather is finally here. Comforters are replaced with summer throws. Wool sweaters are put back in the cedar closet. The winter coat is sent to the dry cleaners. Screens are put halfway down in the windows.
And then April breaks my heart. Tonight it is 39 degrees. Thirty. Nine. Degrees. I am not prepared for this breakup with spring. I zip my lining back into my trench coat. Double check that I have gloves in my pockets. I put an extra blanket back on the bed. The windows are closed again. Wool hats and scarves stay put away, but lighter knits are redeployed. I refuse to turn the heat back on, but nights like tonight I am tempted. Sorely tempted.
If spring is defined as a prolonged stretch of warm weather, it hasn't arrived in Orchard yet. We're two thirds of the way through April.
I may have to hold out for May. May hasn't let me down yet. Spring may only last a few days, but I'm waiting.  In the meantime, I'm sleeping with socks and a sweatshirt on. As long as I can't see my breath, spring is settling in.