Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spotlight & Giveaway - Garden of Death

I'd like to shine a spotlight today on a new release. Garden of Death by Chrystle Fiedler is the third in the Natural Remedies Mystery series and was just released March 24th.

Suspicion is unearthed when an outspoken surgeon turns up dead in Willow McQuade’s medicinal herb garden.

A bitter battle has sprouted in the village of Greenport on the eve of the annual maritime festival: Willow McQuade has transformed a vacant lot alongside Nature’s Way Market & CafĂ© into a beautiful garden of healing plants—as much a tribute to her late aunt Claire, the shop’s beloved founder, as an enlightening educational center. The town board awarded Willow the plot fair and square, but that’s not how some folks see it—including Dr. Charles White, who invested in plans to develop a high-end hotel on the property. When the belligerent surgeon publicly threatens Willow during the festival, Willow’s boyfriend, Jackson Spade, ratchets up the hostile confrontation to defend the woman he loves, sowing seeds of guilt that take root by the time Dr. White’s corpse turns up amongst Willow’s chamomile and ashwaganda plants. To prove Jackson’s innocence, she must dig deep to bring a killer to light.

CHRYSTLE FIEDLER is the author of the previous Natural Remedies mysteries, Scent to Kill, and Death Drops, as well as six nonfiction books on natural healing and herbal remedies. Also a freelance journalist specializing in alternative health topics, her work has appeared in Natural Health, Spirituality & Health, Mother Earth Living, Green Living, Better Homes & Gardens, Vegetarian Times, and Remedy. She lives in Greenport, New York with her 3 dachshunds and 2 cats, three of which are rescues. Visit www.chrystlefiedler.com, or follow her on Facebook, and Twitter.


The author has graciously offered a paperback copy of Garden of Death to one lucky reader. In order to be entered to win, simply leave a comment on this post telling about your favorite natural remedy. Be sure to leave your e-mail address to that I'm able to contact you, should you win. Leave your comment no later than 11:59 pm EST Friday, April 3, 2015. I look forward to reading about your natural remedies! Good luck.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Think Interview

I'd like to welcome Cassidy Salem to the blog today. Cassidy writes the Adina Donati Mystery series.

Kathy: Setting plays such an important role in a mystery. How did you choose Washington DC as the setting for Think Murder?

CS: I wanted to choose a location with an international and metropolitan flavor. Besides, Washington D.C is one of my favorite cities. I spent a few years there immediately after college, and remember it well.

Kathy: You enjoy historical fiction. Do you have a favorite time period?

CS: That’s a tough question. If we are talking about American history, then the Civil War period. But I also like books set in 18th century Europe – A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is one of my absolute favorites.

Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

CS: I enjoy all kinds of crime fiction, including traditional mysteries, police procedurals, and cozies. Cozies are fun and usually entertaining. I enjoy trying to follow the plots set forth by other writers in hopes of identifying the culprit.

Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

CS: Not yet.

Kathy: Tell us about your series.

CS: Think Murder is the first novel in the Adina Donati Mystery Series, a series of standalone mysteries featuring a young college graduate and her experiences living alone in Washington, D.C.

Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?

CS: I guess Adina would be my favorite character – she is independent and determined. I also really like her supportive friends, Bruce and Michelle. (They will be back in the second book.)

Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

CS: The decision to write a novel was my way of challenging myself. After I had completed it, publishing was the natural next step for me.

Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?

CS: Maya Angelou, Agatha Christie, Mark Twain, and John Grisham.

Kathy: What are you currently reading?

CS: My son complains that I read too many mysteries so in a departure from my cozy mystery addiction, I am reading “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?

CS: I love music – almost all genres – and I sing in an a cappella ensemble.

Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.

CS: I probably shouldn’t admit it – Diet Coke, chocolate, peanut butter, and ice cream. Now you know where Adina’s terrible eating habits come from.

Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?

CS: I have just started working on the second book in the Adina Donati Mystery Series.

Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?

CS: The immense sense of accomplishment as I hold the final published version of the book in my hand.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Shopping Challenge

I've always been quite varied in my reading habits, although always tending to read more mystery, romance, and paranormal. However, since starting this blog I have been reading mostly mysteries, with periodic stops at other genres. I don't have enough time to read all the cozies I need and want to read, let alone all of the other wonderful books out there.

I met a friend at a bookshop the other day and was browsing through the entire store. I was "good" and only bought one book-and it wasn't a mystery. It was a book about garlic-it's history, lore, and more! I haven't had a chance to read it yet, and who knows when I will, but it's mine and I know I'll savour it when the time is right.

I decided to give myself a challenge. As an Easter present for myself instead of only buying cozy mysteries, which would be so easy and worthwhile to do, I'm going to branch out. Here's my challenge-and I challenge you to do the same. I will be buying 5 books, all from different sections of the bookstore. (I chose 5 purely for monetary reasons-I would love to choose more, but I can only spend so much money.) Although I will gladly peruse the entire bookstore, I intended to choose my 5 genres beforehand. However my last choice was difficult as I had several other sections I wanted to use, so the 5th will be dependent upon what catches my eye. It may be YA, Craft, Children's, Romance, or a magazine. Or something else entirely!

I will buy one book from each of the following bookstore sections: Mystery (I just have to have one), Local History, New Age/Religion, Food, and TBD.

I will report back on my specific choices. Now I want to hear from you. In what sections will you be shopping? Tell me your genres and titles-let's broaden each other's reading choices.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Review - Broken Hearted Ghoul


Broken Hearted Ghoul by Joyce and Jim Lavene
The First Taxi for the Dead Novel

Joyce and Jim Lavene start a new series with Broken Hearted Ghoul. It's a little darker, a little grittier, and quite compelling. Skye Mertz is not your average cozy heroine. She's a former cop and a current zombie. Not the mindless shuffling sort, but a zombie nonetheless. Skye was near death after a horrible car crash which left her husband dead when she was approached by Abe, a zombie master, who gave her an option other than death-work for him and live for 20 more years. Unwilling to see her daughter an orphan she took the deal. Now she raises her daughter, Kate, with the help of her mother-in-law, who happens to be a ghost, and drives a taxi for the dead-picking up fellow zombies whose 20 years are up and returning them to Abe.

Something is not quite right, neither with her perky new partner's family life or her job as zombies are being murdered before their time is up.Then an amnesiac sorcerer appears out of the blue, seeming almost too good to be true. Is he?

I enjoyed this not so cozy cozy. A little darker, showing that life isn't always pleasant. Sometimes you have to make tough choices and buckle down and just do what needs to be done in order to survive. I love the many layered characters-each a mystery unto themselves. Is Addie only cranky because she's dead? Or because of her son's death and the fact that she never approved of Skye? Who exactly is Lucas? A sorcerer from the past? How and why did he come to the present? What is Brandon's story and what the heck is going on in Debbie's house? I can only hope we get to peal back more layers and learn about these multifaceted characters. By the end of the book we've solved the mystery of who was killing Abe's zombies before their time, but the Lavene's leave us with more puzzles.

Joyce and Jim Lavene deliver a pulse pounding paranormal mystery incorporating a  unique and varied cast of characters. If you're looking for a cozy that's a little darker and a little different, you've come to the right place in Broken Hearted Ghoul.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading Demise in Denim by Duffy Brown. This book is the fourth in the series and follows what I consider book 3.5, the short story e-book only, Dead Man Walker.

Demise in Denim takes over right where Dead Man Walker left off, with Boone on the run, the prime suspect of a murder, and Reagan reeling from his kiss. Conway Adkins, the newly murdered lawyer, had plenty of enemies and Reagan is determined to find the real killer. She manages, however, to find herself in more than one tight spot, with the "help" of Aunt KiKi, Chantilly, and Mercedes. Will she be able to figure out what's really going on? Or will she die trying?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spotlight - Grimm's Furry Tail

Grimm's Furry Tail by Kathi Daley
The Third Whales and Tails Mystery

Caitlin’s friend Cody buys the old newspaper and discovers a previously unpublished edition that details a murder that occurred decades ago. The fact that the story was written but never published piques the curiosity of the friends, who decide to delve into a cold case that reaches back fifty years. When the truth is discovered they struggle with the ramifications of what they have uncovered. They know that revealing it will rock the small island community to its core. When they find the body of the only other person who knows the truth, they realize that the decades old mystery may be linked to a modern day plot with consequences too disturbing to even consider.
Join Cait, Cody, Max, and Emily (the tiny kitten Tansy has sent to help) as the weed through the evidence and search for an answer. 

For a chance to win a copy of Grimm's Furry Tail tell us what cold case you'd like to solve. Leave your comment, along with your e-mail address, on this blog post no later than 11:59pm EST Friday, March 27, 2015 for a chance to win.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spotlight - A Wee Murder in My Shop

Today I'd like to shine a spotlight on a new series. A Wee Murder in My Shop by Fran Stewart is the first in the ScotShop Mystery series and was just release this month.

From the back cover:

Hamelin, Vermont, isn't the most likely place for bagpipes and tartan, but at Peggy Winn's ScotShop, business is booming...

While on a transatlantic hunt for some authentic wares to sell at her shop, Peggy is looking to forget her troubles by digging through the hidden treasures of the Scottish Highlands. With so many enchanting items on sale, Peggy can't resist buying a beautiful old tartan shawl. But once she wraps it around her shoulders, she discovers that her purchase comes with a hidden feature: the specter of a fourteenth-century Scotsman.

Unsure if her Highland fling was real or a product of an overactive imagination, Peggy returns home to Vermont-only to find the dead body of her ex-boyfriend on the floor of her shop. When the police chief arrests Peggy's cousin based on some incriminating evidence, Peggy enlists her haunting Scottish companion to help figure out who really committed the crime-before anyone else gets kilt...