New Quaker Midwife Mystery and Research Guest Post: Called to Justice by Edith Maxwell

>>>Enter to Win a Print Copy<<<

Praise for Delivering the Truth
by Edith Maxwell (Book 1 in this series)

Ms. Maxwell weaves a sturdy cloth from the stories of the various characters in Delivering the Truth.
~Back Porchervations

I enjoyed every minute of this book…
~Shelley’s Book Case

This was a very entertaining read. I really enjoy reading Edith Maxwell’s writing as it flows so well.
~Melina’s Book Blog

…a different type of historical cozy…I enjoyed reading a book where the protagonist is a midwife and of the Quaker faith…
~Storeybook Reviews

Rose is a smart character and the history of the story is done well.
~A Chick Who Reads

The author takes us into Rose’s life, making us feel as though we are right there with her in every situation. The mystery is well-developed and leaves the reader guessing right to the end.
~Book Babble

Quaker midwife Rose Carroll is enjoying the 1888 Independence Day evening fireworks with her beau when a teenaged Quaker mill girl is found shot dead. After a former slave and fellow Quaker is accused of the murder, Rose delves into the crime, convinced of the man’s innocence. An ill-mannered mill manager, an Irish immigrant, and the victim’s young boyfriend come under suspicion even as Rose’s future with her handsome doctor suitor becomes unsure. Rose continues to deliver babies and listen to secrets, finally figuring out one criminal – only to be threatened by the murderer, with three lives at stake. Can she rescue herself, a baby, and her elderly midwifery teacher in time?


Runabout, Phaeton, Brougham, Rockaway?

 I had the great fortune to go riding in a carriage last summer with a woman who really knows her stuff.  I’m always looking to improve the details in my late nineteenth-century Quaker Midwife Mysteries, and Susan Koso is one way to do it.

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She owns a mare named Hope. She owns a number of horse-drawn vehicles that my midwife Rose Carroll might very well have ridden in. She knows what kind of bridles and tack were used in 1888. And she’s written academic published papers on the roads, the carriage industry, and the economics of the late 1800s. How could I go wrong?

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I first met Susan at a couple of years ago at an Amesbury Carriage Museum event, where this not-young woman showed herself to be more agile and flexible than me, crawling around helping to secure carriages the museum was moving down from a second-floor loft.

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In late June when the flies and mosquitoes were all hatched and bothersome, I drove to our riding appointment a few town’s south of here, and I met her horse, Hope. Hope’s crocheted ear guard is similar to those horses would have worn to keep the bugs out of their ears and eyes. Susan hitched Hope to a beautiful restored runabout (an open two-seater conveyance with four wheels pulled by one horse), handed me a helmet, and off we went.

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We wandered around Essex County Greenbelt Association trails, rode all through Appleton Farm (which used to be my walking route when I lived in that town), and moseyed back, talking all the way. I got to experience Hope trotting, I hung on for dear life on bumpy trails and around corners, and I generally soaked up the atmosphere.

On a couple of trails, Susan said, “This would have looked exactly the same in Rose Carrols’s day.” I had to agree!
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As when I went riding the year before, I wore my long linen skirt and low boots to get a small feel for the clothing of the day.
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I never stopped picking Susan’s considerable brain. I learned more about all the different kinds of vehicles: phaetons, broughams, traps, and Rockaways, among others. She said the dash board in front of our knees – named to prevent hooves from dashing mud up onto passengers and drivers – might have been covered in patent leather. She told me a horse pushes a carriage rather than pulls it (which I still don’t quite get). I even heard about the “fifth wheel” – but that one’s going to need further study before I use it in a book.

She suggested a couple of convenient ways for a malicious villain (oh, I guess that’s redundant) to do away with someone by cutting almost through an important strap or to cause a horse to be a runaway. This is a woman after my own heart. Susan had also finished reading Delivering the Truth, and kindly pointed out a couple of small errors in horse-and-carriage procedure. I thanked her, of course. And then she read the manuscript for Called to Justice within a couple of days’ time and corrected me on several points in that book, too.

I’m so delighted and grateful to have found a subject matter expert willing to share her extensive knowledge with me. Guess who’s getting a complimentary copy of each book in the series as long as it runs?


About The Author  


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New Southern Paranormal Cozy and #Giveaway: Southern Fried by Tonya Kappes

In the South, it’s better when the food is fried and the secrets kept buried…

After the dead body of a beloved Cottonwood resident is found tangled up in an electric fence, Sheriff Kenni Lowry has a hunch that somethin’ ain’t right. Her investigation heats up with a fierce cook-off competition, a euchre game where the intel is sweeter than the brownies, and a decades old family recipe that may just be the proof in the pudding.

The icing on the cake: Kenni is fighting an attraction to her recently sworn-in deputy sheriff, and election season is hot on her tail. When the killer comes after who she holds most dear, even her poppa’s ghostly guidance might not be enough to keep her and her own out of the frying pan.


Name: Kenni Lowry
Job: Sheriff of Cottonwood, Kentucky
Gender: Female Age: 28
Residence: Cottonwood, Kentucky

About Me: There’s one thing you should know…I love my Poppa. He was the reason I went to the police academy. He was the sheriff of our small town of Cottonwood, Kentucky and a great one at that! When I was a child and until the day he died, we did a lot of back and forth on the small crimes that happened in and around our small town. We loved to banter back and forth about what if this happened and this is why or all the other fun details we’d come up with on why someone did the crime. I always felt like I was his unofficial deputy. Of course there was never a murder…until I became sheriff after the passing of my Poppa.
I live in my Poppa’s old house on free row, really Broadway Street. We call it free row because most people who live on my street are on commodity cheese or check the system in some way. There are junker cars on cement blocks and broken washing machines on the porch, but deep down their good ole folk. And with the sheriff living on the street, they aren’t going to do much harm. My best friend is Jolee Fischer and my bloodhound Duke. And…I just might have a hankerin’ for my new deputy, Finn Vincent. Have you seen him???

Be sure to check out the exclusive website for the Kenni Lowry Mystery Series where you can take a virtual vacation in Cottonwood. Check out the recipes and adult coloring sheets! There’s so much fun in Cottonwood. Click here!


About the Author

For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been self-publishing her numerous mystery and romance titles with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plotlines and quirky characters, but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans. Be sure to check out Tonya’s website for upcoming events and news and to sign up for her newsletter! Tonyakappes.com

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New Wedding Planner Mystery: Dying on the Vine by Marla Cooper

>>>Enter to win a hardcover copy of Dying on the Vine<<<

When wedding planner Kelsey McKenna goes to the Wine Country Wedding Faire, the last thing she expects to do is take on new clients. After all, she’s just there to help out her friend Brody and maybe score some free cupcakes. But when a young couple in a pinch asks for her help, she just can’t say no.

There’s only one problem: they’d been working with Babs Norton, the self-proclaimed Queen of Wine Country Weddings—and things did not end well. Kelsey wants to make sure there are no hard feelings, but unfortunately she never gets the chance. When she goes to Babs’ office, she finds the wedding planner dead on the floor.

Babs’ high-strung assistant Stefan knows exactly who killed Babs: Kelsey. At least, that’s what he very publicly accuses her of at Babs’ funeral. When Kelsey decides to do a little sleuthing to clear her name, she uncovers a myriad of secrets and lies. And when a second wedding planner is attacked, Kelsey begins to wonder if she might be next.

Set against the stunning backdrop of California wine country, Marla Cooper’s Dying on the Vine is a mystery brimming with gossip, wine, and, of course…murder.


Aloha Marla, and thanks for stopping by! Can you tell us a little about your protagonist? 

Marla Cooper: Kelsey McKenna is a destination wedding planner who lives in San Francisco. She has a fun job that’s the envy of everyone she meets—but it’s not all international flights and champagne toasts. She also has to deal with tricky family dynamics… and an occasional murder.

How much of you is in Kelsey?

MC: There’s a lot of me in Kelsey. I love planning and organizing, and we also share the same sense of humor. Her best friend Brody is based on two of my real-life BFFs, and I love writing scenes where they’re together, because they banter in the exact same way we do. If I ever met her, we’d probably have tons of fun—or we’d find each other completely annoying in that way you do sometimes when you meet someone who is too similar.

Have you ever thought of killing someone that you know in real life—on the pages of a murder mystery?

MC: Absolutely! In Dying on the Vine, a certain high-strung wedding planner is based on a former co-worker, and in Terror in Taffeta, the bridesmaid who dies may or may not share the same first name as my college roommate who was just as impossible as her fictional counterpart.

How realistic are your settings? Do you take liberties, or are you true to life?

MC: Each book in my series takes place in a different real-life location, and I love to give the reader a real sense of the setting. Terror in Taffeta is set in San Miguel de Allende, and you can’t write about it without mentioning the cobblestone streets, the gothic church that looms over the town plaza, or, of course, the tequila donkey (a local wedding tradition). Dying on the Vine is set in the California wine country, and although I didn’t use their actual names, each winery, restaurant and bed and breakfast is based on a real place.

When the movie or TV series is made, who plays the major parts?

MC: I like the way you say “when” instead of “if”! The first book in the series, Terror in Taffeta, is actually under option right now, so someone could be sitting in a room discussing this very topic at this very moment. I usually pick Cristin Milioti to play Kelsey, but I just saw a movie with Anna Kendrick and I think she could pull off the humor really well. (Anna, if you’re reading this, call me!)

What’s the worst and best advice you’ve heard or received as an author?

MC: There’s something I’ve seen bandied about on Twitter a lot, and someone liked it enough to turn into a graphic, but it’s never resonated with me at all: “Writers write. Every single day. Period.” I’m a writer, and I don’t write every single day. Sometimes you’re between projects. Sometimes you’re out experiencing life so that you have something to write about. Sometimes you’re in the hospital undergoing a minor surgery, or perhaps driving across country. If you told me I really did have to write every single day, I’d turn in my laptop right now.

On the flip side, there is a kernel of truth in that rather strict maxim. When you’re in the middle of a project, you should write consistently so that you don’t lose momentum. And you should definitely learn to write even when you don’t feel like it—because sometimes you’re just not going to feel like it. So yes, if you want to be a writer, you do have to actually do the writing. But please, take a weekend off every once in a while.


About The Author  

As a freelance writer, MARLA COOPER has written all sorts of things, from advertising copy to travel guidebooks to the occasional haiku. But it was while ghostwriting a nonfiction guide to destination weddings that she found inspiration for her current series starring destination wedding planner Kelsey McKenna. Originally hailing from Texas, Marla lives inOakland, California, with her husband and her polydactyl tuxedo cat.

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New Bed and Breakfast Mystery and #giveaway: Cherry Cake and a Cadaver by Susan Boles

>>>Enter to win a Kindle Fire and a bunch of other amazing prizes<<<<>

Lily Gayle and the gang set out to find a killer after local baker Luxen Natolovich is found dead hours before the grand opening weekend at the new Bed and Breakfast in town, Midnight Dragonfly.
As Lily Gayle deciphers the clues around Luxen’s death she uncovers a conspiracy of lies and half truths that could very well be tied to a refugee camp in Mississippi during World War II. The deeper Lily Gayle digs, the deeper the conspiracy runs, and the closer she comes to being the killer’s next victim.


Lily, welcome to Island Confidential. Tell our readers a little bit about yourself–maybe something they might not guess?

Lily Gayle: I’m 48 years old. I left Mercy after high school to attend Ole Miss. I can tell you I had some really good time on that campus (wink wink) and I met my husband while I was there. We had some real good years together. No kids though. It was a sadness for both of us. He’s gone now. Killed in a car wreck coming home from a meeting in Nashville, TN. Once that happened, the only thing I wanted to do was just bury myself under a rock. My old friend, Dixie, showed up at my door one day and started packing up my stuff. Never even asked me. Next thing I knew I was back home in Mercy living in the old house my grandparents left to me a while back. Once Dixie got me to start living again, I got into the business of making gowns for ladies who do re-enactments and attend conferences. I’ve been sewing since I was a little thing. And I had been doing genealogy for years. But not professionally. So I started that up too. Next thing I knew, I was back to living.

Then I stared getting mixed up in some mysteries in town. Mostly minor stuff. Kids getting up to mischief. And found out I like that a lot. My cousin, Ben, is the county Sheriff and I help him solve cases. But he’d tell you I get in his way and stick my nose into things that aren’t my business. But I don’t pay him any mind – even when he calls me a Nancy Drew wanna be. Nope. I just have a knack for this kind of work and I’m gonna help him all I can. My best friend, Dixie, is right there by my side. Why there’s nothing we can’t figure out. And, then Miss Edna, the town busybody, decided to get in on the action. So now there’s three of us.

Something readers might not know about me. Hm. Well….I’m an only child and I always wished I had brothers and sisters. But, I guess that’s why my cousin, Ben, and I get along like we do. He’s an only child too. We fight and make up just like regular siblings. And we were born on the same day. And our Mama’s were twins. So, I reckon that makes the two of us almost twins.

Who’s the character you get along with the best?

LG: That would be Dixie. We’ve been best friends ever since we met back when we were in diapers. Think and thin. Best of friends. That’s always been us. She’s always been there for me. Even when I was up to something we both knew we shouldn’t be doing. She’d do it with me and suffer the consequences right by my side. Come to think on it, she still does! LOL.

Which other character do you have a conflict with?

LG: I get along with most everybody. But I sometimes have little spats with my cousin, Ben. He’s really the only one who just finds my last nerve and stands on it with all his weight. Been that way since we were kids. Always thinking he can run th show. Guess that’ why he ended up being sheriff. He can run other people’s shows now. But still can’t run mine.

Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?

LG: She’s a smart cookie! Got a good head on her shoulders. And the ability to think things through and to spot things that don’t quite makes sense. She makes me look really good. So what else can I say? She loves a great mystery, just like me. And she’s into all the crafts. Sewing, knitting, crocheting. And, now that it’s Spring, she’s loving all the flowers from bulbs she planted last fall and planning an expansion of her gardens.

What’s next for you?

More beautiful gowns for the ladies. A girl’s gotta pay the bills, you know. And maybe getting into business with Miss Edna’s niece. I’d like to help her out after everything she’s been through. And, of course, I’m thinking there will more mysteries to solve!


Susan

About the Author

Susan calls McNairy County, TN her home ground even though she has moved away. It was here, at Bethel Springs Junior High School that she began her writing career with two friends. They formed their own little writers group that was so secret they were the only ones who knew it existed. She still has some of the stories they wrote carefully preserved in a loose leaf binder and tucked away for safety.
She has worked in retail management, briefly for the Census Bureau and for many years in the investment/insurance industry in the regulatory compliance arena. All of which are left brain activities. So she exercises her right brain activity with reading and writing…just to keep both sides even.

Reading has been a passion since she was very young. As a toddler, her mother read to her from her ‘baby books’ and her Mother tells a story about her holding one of them upside-down and ‘reading’ by repeating the story verbatim from memory.

Death of a Wolfman is the first in the Lily Gayle Lambert mystery series. Her previously published romantic suspense novel, Fated Love, is a contemporary paranormal romantic suspense (with a twist of paranormal) set in Memphis, TN. Her first novel, Kate’s Pride, is a historical women’s fiction set in West Tennessee in the aftermath of the Civil War. The novel is loosely based on her own Great Grandmother and published under the pen name Renee Russell.

Life got in the way of writing for many years but now she’s come back to her early love.

Stay in touch for upcoming releases!

Author Links:

www.susanbolesauthor.com

@SusanBAuthor

https://susanbolesauthor.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/people/Susan-Boles-Author/100010974857065

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susan-boles-author-a4075484

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14866595.Susan_Boles


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New Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery and #Giveaway: Elementary, She Read by Vicki Delany

>>>Enter to Win a print copy<<<

Gemma Doyle, a transplanted Englishwoman, has returned to the quaint town of West London on Cape Cod to manage her Great Uncle Arthur’s Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. The shop–located at 222 Baker Street–specializes in the Holmes canon and pastiche, and is also the home of Moriarty the cat. When Gemma finds a rare and potentially valuable magazine containing the first Sherlock Homes story hidden in the bookshop, she and her friend Jayne (who runs the adjoining Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room) set off to find the owner, only to stumble upon a dead body.

The highly perceptive Gemma is the police’s first suspect, so she puts her consummate powers of deduction to work to clear her name, investigating a handsome rare books expert, the dead woman’s suspiciously unmoved son, and a whole family of greedy characters desperate to cash in on their inheritance. But when Gemma and Jayne accidentally place themselves at a second murder scene, it’s a race to uncover the truth before the detectives lock them up for good.

Fans of Sherlock Holmes will delight in the sleuthing duo of Gemma and Jayne in Elementary, She Read, the clever and captivating series debut by nationally bestselling author Vicki Delany.


About the Author

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers. She is the author of twenty-three published crime novels, including standalone Gothic thrillers, the Constable Molly Smith series, and the Year Round Christmas Mysteries.  Under the pen name of Eva Gates she is the national bestselling author of the Lighthouse Library cozy series.

The first in Vicki’s Sherlock Holmes bookshop series, Elementary She Read, will be released in March 2017 from Crooked Lane Books.

Vicki lives and writes in Prince Edward County, Ontario. She is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada.

www.vickidelany.com  Facebook:  Vicki Delany & Eva Gates  and twitter: @vickidelany and @evagatesauthor


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A New Eve Appel Mystery: Old Bones Never Die by Lesley A. Diehl

>>Enter to win your choice of Eve Appel e-book<<<

Just before Walter Egret was killed in a hit-and-run, he phoned his half-brother Sammy to report that he’d unearthed their missing father’s pocket watch, along with a pile of human bones. The project is put on hold until it can be determined if the site is an Indian burial ground. Then the bones disappear.Now Sammy and his brother’s three orphaned children want Eve Appel to go pro, applying her innate snoopiness to the trade of private investigator.

Eve already has her hands full with her two consignment stores. What is she going to do? Sammy and Walter are Miccosukee Indians, and Walter was employed as a backhoe operator on a construction site for a sportsmen’s resort. Was Walter’s death murder or an accident? If the bones belong to Sammy’s father, how did they get there? Delving into these mysteries, Eve is aided by her usual crew of friends and family. This adventure will not only up the stakes for Eve as an investigator, but it will also open her eyes to life possibilities she never imagined.


Welcome to Island Confidential! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

Grandy: I’m Eve’s maternal grandmother always referred to as “Grandy” by Eve, her friends and mine. I’m originally from Connecticut which is Eve’s home also. When younger, I worked for a wealthy Hartford family and fell in love with the family’s son and he with me. We didn’t marry because his family would not hear of their son marrying the hired help, although he would have gladly sacrificed his family’s support for me, but I knew it would later become a problem for us.

I raised Eve because my daughter (Eve’s mother) and my son-in-law were killed in a sailing accident. Everyone thought Eve’s subsequent rebellious behavior was because she couldn’t deal with her grief over the loss of her parents, but I knew was made of tough stuff (she’s just like me) and she would find her own way from her feelings of loss. In personality Eve and I are alike, both snoopy, in-your-face kind of women with a penchant for doing as we like. IN looks, we couldn’t be more different: I am short and chubby while Eve is tall and skinny and likes to emphasize her height by always wearing stiletto heels.

My present husband and I now run a fishing charter boat out of Key Largo, Florida, but because of Max’s recent heart attack, we are considering giving up the boat and retiring to rural Florida. Max seems to be getting into fishing the Big Lake and my freezer is full of speck, bass and catfish.

I help Eve with the consignment shop she runs with her best friend Madeleine. I have to admit that Eve needs all the help there she can get because she’s so often off chasing the bad guys around the swamps!

Who’s the character you get along with the best?

Grandy: Eve and I may lock horns because we are so alike, but I love her like mad. I get along with everyone, but I adore Nappi Napolitani, our mob boss friend. I know that sounds funny, but Nappi is a true friend, always there when you need a hand or a gun or some big guys. He’s a perfect gentleman with a flair for fashion. I’ve never seen a man dress so well or eat so neatly. He tucks into a rack of ribs and rarely leaves a trace of sauce on his lips. I feel fortunate to have him in my corner and particularly in Eve’s corner because she can get herself into some dandy jams.

Which other character do you have a conflict with?

Grandy: I’ve never been a fan of Eve’s ex-husband Jerry. I knew better than to tell her not to marry the guy, and she came to her senses and finally divorced him. He was always chasing women and finally got himself in trouble with of all people Nappi when it looked as if Jerry and Nappi’s daughter had hooked up and were pregnant. It turned out not to be true, but that’s the kind of irresponsible man Jerry is. He’s become a better person now that he’s paying off his affront to Nappi by becoming his gofer. I hope he’s learned his lesson, but I’m not convinced he’s completely over being a jerk.

Just between you and me: What do you really think of Lesley? 

Grandy: Well, now that you ask, she’s okay I guess, but she’s kind of boring. She doesn’t have the panache that Eve and I have, but she does make a good friend. I think she’s like Eve’s friend Madeleine, a nice person, dedicated to her protagonists, reliable and honest, but…boring. I can’t see her running through the swamps saving anyone, but she’s willing to have Eve do that. She has a good imagination, but no gumption when it comes to getting out there herself and chasing down any bad guys. Maybe that’s why she writes sassy protagonists. She’s got a good eye for men. She’s cooked up some mighty hunky love interests for Eve. If I didn’t have Max and I was thirty or forty years younger, I’d love a go at Alex or that handsome Miccosukee Indian, Sammy. Lucky for me, she wrote me as a pip of a grandmother with an appreciation for the male figure.

What’s next for you?

Grandy: Eve is interested in becoming a PI and that has some appeal to me. I know I’m not a youngster, but I’m better at handling a gun than Eve—actually she hates guns—and I have the same eagerness to take on people who hurt others and some of the folks around here who don’t appreciate the lovely wildness of this place and destroy living and breeding habitat for plants and animals. Well, maybe I’d do well in the environmental protection field. There’s nothing I’d like better than chasing some of these developers into the swamps and let the gators have a go at ‘em. I’m a darn good rider, too, so I’m thinking of getting myself a little cracker pony to ride while Max is out fishing the lake.


About the Author

Lesley retired from her life as a professor of psychology and reclaimed her country roots by moving to a small cottage in the Butternut River Valley in upstate New York. In the winter she migrates to old Florida—cowboys, scrub palmetto, and open fields of grazing cattle, a place where spurs still jingle in the post office, and gators make golf a contact sport. Back north, the shy ghost inhabiting the cottage serves as her literary muse. When not writing, she gardens, cooks and renovates the 1874 cottage with the help of her husband, two cats and, of course, Fred the ghost, who gives artistic direction to their work.

She is the author of a number of mystery series (Microbrewing Series, Big Lake Mystery Series, Eve Appel Mystery Series and the Laura Murphy Mysteries), a standalone mystery (Angel Sleuth) and numerous short stories.

Visit her on her website: http://www.lesleyadiehl.com
Webpage: http://www.lesleyadiehl.com
Blog: http://www.lesleyadiehl.com/blog
Twitter: @lesleydiehl
Facebook: Lesley.diehl.1@facebook.com

Buy on Amazon


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New Tea Shop Mystery: Pekoe Most Poison by Laura Childs

>>>Enter to Win a Print Copy of Pekoe Most Poison<<<

In the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs, Theodosia Browning attends a “Rat Tea,” where the mice will play…at murder.

When Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is invited by Doreen Briggs, one of Charleston’s most prominent hostesses, to a “Rat Tea,” she is understandably intrigued. As servers dressed in rodent costumes and wearing white gloves offer elegant finger sandwiches and fine teas, Theo learns these parties date back to early twentieth-century Charleston, where the cream of society would sponsor so-called rat teas to promote city rodent control and better public health.

But this party goes from odd to chaotic when a fire starts at one of the tables and Doreen’s entrepreneur husband suddenly goes into convulsions and drops dead. Has his favorite orange pekoe tea been poisoned? Theo smells a rat.

The distraught Doreen soon engages Theo to pursue a discreet inquiry into who might have murdered her husband. As Theo and her tea sommelier review the guest list for suspects, they soon find themselves drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse…

INCLUDES RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS


About the Author

laura-childs-from-facebook

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fund raising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Visit Laura’s webpage or find her on Facebook.


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New cozy cat mystery: Purr M for Murder by T.C. LoTempio

>>>Enter to Win a Print Copy<<<Sydney McCall left behind an ex-fiancé and a New York advertising job to return home to Deer Park, North Carolina and help her sister, Kat, run the local animal shelter, Friendly Paws. Determined to save the shelter from financial trouble, Sydney and Kat organize a cat café fundraising event at a local coffee shop. Things are looking up until their landlord, Trowbridge Littleton, threatens to shut down the event. When Sydney drops by his art gallery to make peace, she finds Kat–along with Littleton’s dead body.

Local homicide detective Will Worthington–who just happens to be Sydney’s old high school crush–is highly suspicious of the sisters’ involvement. Desperate to clear their names from the suspect list, Sydney pounces on the investigation. With the help of one of the shelter cats, a savvy orange tabby named Toby, Sydney begins poking her nose into other local businesses whose owners may have benefited from Littleton’s death–until the killer notices she’s pawing a little too closely at the truth.

 


About the Author

While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic.  She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – the first volume, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, debuted Dec. 2, 2014. Followed by #2, CLAWS FOR ALARM.   #3, CRIME AND CATNIP, was released in December. She, Rocco and Maxx make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Catch up with them at www.tclotempio.com and www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com

Where to find them:

ROCCO’s blog | Website | Amazon | Twitter

 

 


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New Paramedic Mystery and Guest Post from Annette Dashofy

>>>Enter to win a signed print copy of No Way Home<<<
A relaxing trail ride turns tragic when Paramedic and Deputy Coroner Zoe Chambers discovers the body of a popular county commissioner in her Pennsylvania woods.
Inconsistencies surround the horrible accident, but before she can investigate further, she’s pried away by a plea for help from her best friend whose son has been deemed a person of interest in a homicide over a thousand miles away. When he vanishes without a trace, his mother begs Zoe to help clear him and bring him safely home. The task takes Zoe out of her comfort zone in a frantic trip to the desolate canyons and bluffs of New Mexico where she joins forces with the missing boy’s sister and a mysterious young Navajo.
Back at home, Vance Township’s Chief of Police Pete Adams must deal not only with the commissioner’s homicide, but with an influx of meth and a subsequent rash of drug overdoses in his rural community. Bodies keep turning up while suspects keep disappearing. However little else matters when he learns that half a continent away, a brutal killer has Zoe in his sights.


Guest Post: A Fish Out of Water

Last fall, I participated in a library tour as part of a local authors panel. As the only panelist writing a series, one question repeatedly directed to me was, “What would you do differently in book #1 if you could go back?”

While first creating a series character, we authors try to give them a history, some secrets, and a few loveable quirks. These get rewritten many many times over the years it takes to find a publisher. But once the book is in print, you’re locked in. No more changing a name. No more tweaking those loveable quirks, which can—over time—become annoying habits.

Kind of like with spouses.

Wait. Did I say that? Moving on…

First of all, I would not have named the county coroner Franklin Marshall. It’s a great name, except that both names could be first or last. Paramedic and Deputy Coroner Zoe Chambers, who’s closer to him personally, thinks of him as Franklin. Chief Pete Adams thinks of him as Marshall. I fear some folks start to wonder if they’re two different guys.

Secondly, I’m not so sure if Zoe’s quirk of being a deputy coroner who can’t stand the smells in autopsy, as well as her whole inner turmoil about that career choice, was a good idea. I’ve gradually transitioned her away from the problem, although I can’t completely ignore her issues. Readers may think her growing competence has to do with her character development (and who am I to argue?), but between you and me, I simply became annoyed by what was becoming less of a quirk and more of a weakness.

The biggest change I would have made is I would have started the series earlier in Pete and Zoe’s relationship. By the time we meet them in Circle of Influence, Pete has been the police chief of rural Vance Township for a number of years, having previously been a city cop in Pittsburgh. I wish I’d shown him as more of a fish out of water playing against Zoe, the lifelong resident and farm girl.

You see, I’m really enamored of the whole fish-out-water scenario. In No Way Home, Zoe finally has a case with the coroner’s office she can dig her investigative teeth into, but her best friend Rose begs her to travel out west, where Rose’s son and his girlfriend are missing. The trip means leaving her case—and Pete—behind and plunging into the unfamiliar badlands of New Mexico where she has no sense of direction and no idea of whom she can trust.

As a lifelong Pennsylvania farmgal myself, I drew on my personal experiences from my first trip out west a few years ago. Like Zoe, I said “wow” about a hundred times, annoying the heck out of my traveling companions. Like Zoe, I had a horrible time with distance and direction. And like Zoe, I fell in love with the wide-open spaces.

Now I’m wondering if Zoe might not someday return to the Land of Enchantment. She could still be that fish out of water. After all, I’ve been out there four times now and still manage to get lost.


About The Author  

Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best-selling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series about a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania’s tight-knit Vance Township. CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE, published by Henery Press, was afinalist for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel and for the David Award for Best Mystery of 2014. LOST LEGACY, was released in September 2014 followed in April 2015 by BRIDGES BURNED, which has been nominated for the Agatha for Best Contemporary Novel. BRIDGES was followed by WITH A VENGEANCE. NO WAY HOME is the most recent book in the series.

Keep up with Annette

Blog  | Facebook  | Website | Twitter | Henery Press | Amazon | B&N | Kobo

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New academic mystery, #Review, and character interview: The Art of Vanishing

Review

I’m always on the lookout for a good campus mystery, and was delighted to discover Cynthia Kuhn. She obviously knows academia, and writes about it in an entertaining and accessible way. The Art of Vanishing is a light, fun, cozy, but Kuhn has built an impressive and convincing world complete with undiscovered mystery authors and egotistical literary legends. In fact, I spent quite a few minutes searching online for a certain early-20th-century writer, only to discover Kuhn had made her up. Highly recommended!

When Professor Lila Maclean is sent to interview celebrated author and notorious cad Damon Von Tussel, he disappears before her very eyes. The English department is thrown into chaos by the news, as Damon is supposed to headline Stonedale University’s upcoming Arts Week.


The chancellor makes it clear that he expects Lila to locate the writer and set events back on track immediately. But someone appears to have a different plan: strange warnings are received, valuable items go missing, and a series of dangerous incidents threaten the lives of Stonedale’s guests. After her beloved mother, who happens to be Damon’s ex, rushes onto campus and into harm’s way, Lila has even more reason to bring the culprit to light before anything—or anyone—else vanishes.


Professor Maclean, welcome to Island Confidential! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

LM: Hello! I’m Lila Maclean, an English professor at Stonedale University. It’s my first year here, and I’m trying to fit in.  But— just between us—it’s been a challenge.

Being the new kid is hard–do you have any supportive coworkers? 

LM: My cousin Calista—we grew up together. Never imagined back then that we’d be colleagues in the same department! Adore her.

Is there anyone on campus you don’t get along with so well?

LM: The chancellor. Let’s just say that he is very concerned with people doing whatever he wants whenever he wants it, and I’m not quite as committed to that objective.

Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?

LM: She sure does like to type!

What’s next for you?

Make it through the semester. Rumor has it that there are more mysteries to be solved at the university. I’m not surprised—Stonedale seems to be full of secrets!


About The Author  

Cynthia Kuhn writes the Lila Maclean academic mystery series. Her work has appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Literary Mama, Copper Nickel, Prick of the Spindle, Mama PhD and other publications. She teaches English at Metropolitan State University of Denver and serves as president of Sisters in Crime-Colorado. Visit her at cynthiakuhn.net or @cynthiakuhn.

Author Links

Amazon | B&N  | iTunes | Kobo | Website |Blog | Facebook | Twitter


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