Friday, May 27, 2022

Danger on the Atlantic - A Review

 Review


DANGER ON THE ATLANTIC by Erica Ruth Neubauer
The Third Jane Wunderly Mystery

Jane Wunderly finally has her chance. Redvers' supervisors have allowed her to officially be part of an investigation. She and Redvers, posing as husband and wife, have boarded a ship headed to America. Their mission is to find a spy selling secrets to the Germans. Jane soon gets involved with another passenger, a woman who claims her husband has disappeared. While the crew thinks she's just a hysterical woman whose husband never existed, Jane saw the man and is determined to help, despite Redvers' misgivings. Certain she can pursue both mysteries at once, Jane's not as confident in her ability to deal with her relationship with Redvers, a prospect that's both thrilling and frightening.

An elegant cruise across the Atlantic in 1926 in first class accommodations with a dashing man who values your intelligence and instincts; what's not to love? Indeed I love everything about this book. From the detailed descriptions and the well developed intriguing characters to the finely plotted mystery, the third Jane Wunderly novel had me enthralled from start to finish. 

While the mystery, well, mysteries, are at the forefront, what's just as compelling is the character and relationship development. When doubts were cast I felt the disillusionment and heartbreak, and hoped things would right themselves. Jane is savvy and self sufficient, yet also vulnerable making her a protagonist you admire and feel for. Redvers continues to be a dashing man of mystery, but we get to learn more of what makes him tick. All of the secondary characters, and I do mean all, are finely crafted, each suspicious and worthy of note.

With memories of World War I and the sinking of the Titanic still fresh in their minds, a hunt for a spy aboard a luxurious ocean liner is at once glamorous and worrying. DANGER ON THE ATLANTIC delivers an emotionally charged, perception challenging, thrilling adventure at sea. I can't wait to see what happens next!




Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading Murder She Wrote: Killer on the Court by Jessica Fletcher and Terrie Farley Moran. This book is the fifty-fifth book in the Murder She Wrote series and was released last week.

With her latest manuscript sent off to her editor, Jessica Fletcher is free to spend time with her favorite nephew and his family. Flying to Rockaway Beach, New York, Jessica joins the family vacationing in a bungalow courtesy of Donna's employer. While a beach retreat seems an ideal place to relax, tensions are running high with the corporate family. When Donna finds the eldest son dead on their private tennis court it appears he's the victim of a malfunctioning tennis ball machine. Jessica, however, is certain it's murder.



Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Something Shady at Sunshine Haven - An Interview & Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Kris Bock to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Kris write the Accidental Detective Mystery series. Something Shady at Sunshine Haven is the first book in the series and was released last month.


Kathy: In Something Shady at Sunshine Haven we meet Kate Tessler, an injured war correspondent forced to return home. Have you ever had to return home as an adult?

KB: Not like Kate does! I spent summers back home when I was in college, and that created challenges in establishing a new relationship with my parents as an adult. It might be easier if you’d been apart for thirty years, but I think many people fall back into the parent-child relationship during visits, which isn’t always healthy. It takes work and respect to establish new patterns between two equal adults.


Kathy: Kate's mom is on an Alzheimer's unit. Do you have personal experience with this illness?

KB: My grandmother had Alzheimer’s. There’s a lot of it in my husband’s family as well, although not (yet) in the people I spend time with. I know people who are afraid of that as they grow older. It can sometimes be hard to tell if an older person is getting dementia, has trouble hearing, has the normal poor memory many of us have, or simply wasn’t paying attention.


Kathy: This book is described as a cozy, but it certainly has themes conducive to a thriller. Why make it a cozy and how do you keep it there?

KB: At the most basic level, a cozy has an amateur detective rather than a police officer or private investigator, and cozies avoid swearing, sex on the page, and gory violence. Many cozies also feature crafts or cooking in the plot and might include recipes or craft instructions. Mine doesn’t have anything like that. Kate is a journalist, which is an investigator in one sense, and Kate thinks about becoming a private investigator later in the series, so maybe it’s more of a traditional mystery. But it’s not like there are really strict definitions for these things. I think readers of cozies would enjoy the series.


Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

KB: I’ve always enjoyed reading mysteries, starting in childhood. I read all the Sherlock Holmes stories in high school. I’ve even been a ghostwriter on some very well-known children’s mystery series. I shy away from cozy series that are very cutesy, but on the other hand, I don’t like too much explicit violence or gore. Series featuring main characters who are police officers, FBI agents etc. tend to be darker and more depressing. I want to feel good when I finish the book! Cozy mysteries give you the intrigue of a puzzle, the fun of interesting characters, and a guaranteed satisfying ending.


Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

KB: I write fiction and nonfiction of all types for children and adults. As Kris Bock, I also write romantic suspense, often involving outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. I write sweet romance, such as my Furrever Friends series, which features the employees and customers at a cat café. (Learn more at my website or visit my Amazon US page or Amazon UK page. For other countries click here.)

In addition, I write for young people under the name Chris Eboch. I do a lot of educational publishing and have also published middle grade novels (for ages 9 to 12).


Kathy: Tell us about your series.

KB: In the humorous Accidental Detective series, a witty journalist solves mysteries in Arizona and tackles the challenges of turning fifty.

Book 1 is Something Shady at Sunshine Haven: When patients are dying at an Alzheimer's unit, a former war correspondent must use her journalism skills to uncover the killer and save her mother. Kate has followed the most dangerous news stories around the world, but can she survive going home?

Future books follow Kate and her quirky gang of sidekicks as they tackle new problems in the greater Phoenix area. Because Kate is a journalist, people bring her problems, so she doesn’t have to accidentally stumble over dead bodies all the time.

Something Shady at Sunshine Haven made Barnes & Noble's list of Handpicked Favorites You'll Love! Jane Porter on BookBub said, “I couldn't put it down. I loved reading a story where the heroine is so fascinating, as fascinating to me as the mystery. This promises to be an exciting series and I can't wait for the next!"


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

KB: Kate is the most like me, and since I’m writing in first person, I feel close to her. But I also adore her gentle father, her sister Jen, who is trying hard to focus her intense drive somewhere new now that her kids are older, and their father’s coffee group. I loved bringing these older characters to life, with their desire to help and their humor. I want the audience to laugh with them, not at them. Too often older characters are presented as jokes or pests.


Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?

KB: Kate was inspired by my own experiences. Okay, the part about turning fifty, not traveling the world as a war correspondent. I traveled a lot when younger, but not to war zones. But as I faced 50, I wanted to create a mystery lead dealing with some of the same issues: aging parents, concerns about financing retirement someday, and a body that doesn’t recover like it once did. I gave Kate the background as a war correspondent because I wanted her to be adventurous and fearless.

I didn’t necessarily intend to write humor, but early readers said they laughed a lot. That comes from how Kate sees the world, which is how I see the world. Laughter helps with the pain.


Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

KB: I’ve been a professional writer in one way or another for over twenty years. For this series, I landed with a great small publisher, Tule, which is really supportive and excited about the series. Four books are in the pipeline with two more under contract.


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

KB: Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers were both members of Detection Club, formed in 1930 by a group of British mystery writers. They'd be interesting. Maybe add Arthur Conan Doyle, who could grouse about the popularity of Sherlock Holmes, and PG Wodehouse, who wrote so many entertaining humorous novels.


Kathy: What are you currently reading?

KB: I’ve been rereading lately, possibly because my mind is too tired to process completely new info. Most recently I’ve been rereading some books by KJ Charles (historical mystery, paranormal and romance) and the Magic in Manhattan series by Allie Therin.


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

KB: I enjoy hiking with friends, and my husband and I try to do archery once or twice a week. We have ferrets, which are a fun pet. Most of my free time is spent reading though.


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

KB: Chocolate, tea, taco fixings, and popcorn or similar salty snacks.


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

KB: I’m writing a five-book sweet romance about cowboys who become billionaires when they win a huge lottery. The first book, which has a Christmas theme, will launch in the fall. The Accidental Detective series will have at least six books and hopefully more. I also have another mystery, set in Hollywood, but I haven’t found a publisher for it yet.

To hear about future releases, sign up for my newsletter. You’ll get a free Accidental Detective short story and bonus material, plus Lions and Love at the Cat Café, a free 30-page sweet romance set in the world of the Furrever Friends cat café, and “22 recipes from the cat café.”

I’m also writing a series with my brother, scriptwriter Douglas J Eboch, who wrote the original screenplay for the movie Sweet Home Alabama. Follow the crazy antics of Melanie, Jake, and their friends a decade before the events of the movie. Sign up for our romantic comedy newsletter and get Felony Melanie Destroys the Moonshiner’s Cabin. Or find book 1 at Amazon US or All E-book retailers.


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

KB: I get to work from home, in my small town, setting my own schedule, and I get to learn so many wildly different interesting things through my book research. Ostrich farming, the effects of strangulation, and laws about keeping big cats in America! How hackers can copy your fingerprints, license plate tracking, and small-town corruption cases! Like many writers, I just have to hope that if the FBI checks my browser history, they realize I’m a writer.

***********************************************************************

 Something Shady at Sunshine Haven (The Accidental Detective) by Kris Bock

About Something Shady at Sunshine Haven

Something Shady at Sunshine Haven (The Accidental Detective)
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series
Setting - Arizona
Tule Publishing (April 7, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 324 pages

She’s pursued the most dangerous news stories around the world. But can she survive going home?

Injured in a bombing, war correspondent Kate Tessler returns to her hometown in Arizona to recover. For the first time in her life, she's starting to feel her age of nearly fifty despite living like a teenager again: staying in her childhood bedroom with only a cat for company, trying to understand why her sister resents her so much, and running into people who still refer to her as Kitty. The hardest part? Seeing her once-sharp and witty mother stuck in an Alzheimer's unit.

When an old friend asks her to investigate suspicious deaths at the nursing home, Kate limps into action. Is a self-appointed "Angel of Mercy" killing patients to end their suffering? Are family members hastening their inheritance? Is an employee extorting money and removing the witnesses? Kate uses her journalism skills to track clues, but the puzzle pieces simply won’t fit.

If Kate can't uncover the truth quickly, her mother could be next on the killer's list.

About Kris Bock

Kris Bock writes novels of mystery, suspense, and romance, many with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. Get a free Accidental Detective short story and bonus material when you sign up for her newsletter. You’ll also get a free 30-page sweet romance set in the world of the Furrever Friends cat café and a printable copy of the recipes mentioned in the cat café novels

Kris is also writing a series with her brother, scriptwriter Douglas J Eboch, who wrote the original screenplay for the movie Sweet Home Alabama. Follow the crazy antics of Melanie, Jake, and their friends a decade before the events of the movie. Sign up for our romantic comedy newsletter and get Felony Melanie Destroys the Moonshiner’s Cabin. Or find the books on Amazon US or All E-book retailers

Find Kris:  

Website   

Blog   

GoodReads Author Page  

BookBub  

Amazon US Author page or Amazon UK page

 Twitter 

 Instagram 

 TikTok Facebook 

 Pinterest  

Purchase Links - Tule Publishing Amazon Kindle - Amazon Kindle UK B&N Nook Apple Books Kobo Google Play 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Old Bones and Ice Cream Cones - A Review & Giveaway

 Review

 OLD BONES AND ICE CREAM CONES by Elizabeth Pantley
The Sixth Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Book

Concern over her missing boyfriend, Han, leads to shock when he reappears looking differently. His appearance has been enhanced and he has no memory of his missing time. As a conduit to the magic in Destiny Falls Hayden is certain that dark magic is involved. While she, along with her family and friends, attempt to get to the bottom of his transformation they happen upon another mystery. Hayden and Han discover human remains in an old boat. The skeleton has no head so identification will be challenging. Do these old bones have anything to do with Gladstone Island or Han’s mysterious disappearance? Is Han in even more danger? Will Hayden be able to save him?
 
Destiny Falls is an amazing place and I love every minute I spend on this enchanted island.  I love seeing more of Bob and the fact that he slowly getting through to Nessie. Meanwhile, the new villain is becoming even more villainous! I adore the cats and love how eager they are to get involved. I can still see the members of the SCS club dancing around and getting even more involved in investigating the mystery. Baby Lola is so sweet and I am curious to see her personality develop as she grows up. The humans are pretty wonderful too and the love they so freely share is wonderful to see, especially as today's real world is more reminiscent of Gladstone Island.

As with all the books in the series there are two mysteries-one specific to the current book and the other, the overlapping mystery encompassing all of Destiny Falls. I had my suspicions about a few Destiny Falls residents and learned even more secrets, but the conclusion was a jaw dropping spectacle. As for the overlapping mystery, I love how it cements Hayden's relationship with Han and especially how it's her destiny to rescue him. Destiny Falls and Gladstone Island are slowly revealing their secrets as we get to know more about their residents, but I know there will always be more surprises around the bend.

OLD BONES AND ICE CREAM CONES is a feel good adventure. There's drama, mystery, and plenty of laughs that had me captivated from the start and eager for the next installment.

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 Old Bones and Ice Cream Cones: Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Series by Elizabeth Pantley

About Old Bones and Ice Cream Cones



Old Bones and Ice Cream Cones: Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Series
Paranormal Cozy Mystery 6th in Series
Better Beginnings, Inc. (May 20, 2022)
Print length ‏ : ‎328 Pages

A boyfriend who’s missing. Or was. . . Or is. . . A boat full of old bones. A community ice cream social. A friend in trouble, a spiteful witch, and an angry villain. The mysteries and fun abound in Destiny Falls. Hayden, Latifa, and their family and friends are up for the excitement and adventure.

Old Bones and Ice Cream Cones follows the series format of combining two stories that blend into one. A murder mystery and the island mystery.

The Island Mystery: Hayden’s boyfriend Han is missing. But she swears she saw him zoom by in his car. She’d thought it was a surprise, and that he was home early from his secret service case. She was wrong. The surprise is that his signal isn’t pinging, and no one knows where he is. There appears to be black magic behind his disappearance. Can they learn who’s responsible and bring Han safely home?

The Murder Mystery: A pile of old bones is found in an ancient fishing boat. They could be tied to the disappearance of two young women years ago, back when many of the Destiny Falls people where in high school. Many of the citizens had bad history with the missing students. Do the bones belong to them, and what happened? Were the they murdered? And could the murderer be living among them?

Hayden and Latifa’s many adventures in Destiny Falls will keep you guessing with each book in this fun and intriguing series.

About Elizabeth Pantley

Elizabeth Pantley says that writing the Destiny Falls Mystery and Magic book series is the most fun she's ever had at work. Fans of the series say her joy is evident through the stories she tells. Elizabeth is also the internationally bestselling author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution and twelve other books for parents. Her books have been published in over twenty languages. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, the beautiful inspiration for the enchanted Destiny Falls world.

Author Links
Purchase Link - Amazon -
 

Friday, May 20, 2022

Fatal Flowers - A Review

 Review


FATAL FLOWERS by Jess Dylan
The Third Flower House Mystery 

Always looking to expand her business, Sierra Ravenswood is pleased at the opportunity to provide the flowers for the wedding of the mayor's daughter. Shocked that the wedding is only a few weeks away and surprised that the bride appears blasé, Sierra nonetheless is excited to join in. While the bride and her mother are gracious Taz, the wedding planner, is arrogant and condescending. A meeting of the wedding vendors turns into a crime scene when Sierra finds his body. Known for her investigative talents as well as her flowers, Sierra will try to uncover the secrets Taz had as well as who had enough of the pompous wedding planner.

An unhappy bride, an insular group of wedding vendors, as well as the status of the wedding, make the story rife with drama, like a pressure cooker ready to pop open. Adding to the drama, someone appears to be targeting Sierra and she is questioning her relationship with Calvin. I admit that I am concerned about some of his ideas.

Appalachian folk wisdom is interspersed throughout the mystery bringing a wonderful sense of place. Combined with Deena's decadent floral themed treats and a sweet dog, I long to visit Aerieville and will have to content myself to waiting for the next book to be released.

FATAL FLOWERS is a smart engaging mystery that captivates with Appalachian charm, wonderful characters, and a clever plot.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Currently Reading...

I’m currently reading Old Bones and Ice Cream Cones by Elizabeth Pantley. This book is the sixth in the Destiny Falls Mystery and Magic series and was released this week.

Concern over her missing boyfriend, Han, leads to shock when he reappears looking differently. His appearance has been enhanced and he has no memory of his missing time. As a conduit to the magic in Destiny Falls Hayden is certain that black magic is involved. While she, along with her family and friends, attempt to get to the bottom of his transformation they happen upon another mystery. Hayden and Han discover human remains in an old boat. The skeleton has no head so identification will be challenging. Do these old bones have anything to do with Gladstone Island or Han’s mysterious disappearance? Is Han in even more danger? Will Hayden be able to save him?


Tuesday, May 17, 2022

A Fatal Overture - A Review

 Review



A FATAL OVERTURE by Kathleen Marple Kalb
The Third Ella Shane Mystery

Forced to postpone her opera company's London run, Ella Shane is relaxing at home in New York City.  While she's disappointed not to be seeing her beau, it gives her time to consider the consequences should she marry. She's stunned when Gil's mother and aunts arrive at her doorstep. Instead of being opposed to the match, they've come to ensure the nuptials! A murdered man in their bathtub at the hotel gives Ella and Gil, who has followed his relatives to New York, pause. The trio didn't know the man, they certainly couldn't be involved, could they? They certainly seem to know something. As Ella and Gil attempt to come to an agreement about marriage, strange accidents and illnesses keep occurring, and Ella's aunt warns of fire. Will Ella overcome her doubts? Or will she lose everything, including her life?

I absolutely love this series and this third entry is a wonderful addition. There's danger, cunning, and strong women aplenty. I love how Gil's aristocratic family is accepting and welcoming, providing quite a different reception than Ella could have faced. I admire their practicality and hope to see more of them.

A FATAL OVERTURE shines a light on the plight of women in service at the turn of the century. It also shows how desperate and despicable men can be when they can't have the woman they want. Sadly, these issues remain prominent today, well into the next century.

With protection a key theme A FATAL OVERTURE combines romance and adventure in a smartly written mystery.