Thursday, May 24, 2018

A Barnabas Tew Interview, Review, and Giveaway

I'm ever so pleased to welcome Columbkill Noonan to the blog today.  Columbkill pens the Barnabas Tew Mystery series. BARNABAS TEW AND THE CASE OF THE MISSING SCARAB is the fist book in the series and will be released June 3rd.

Kathy: BARNABAS TEW AND THE CASE OF THE MISSING SCARAB is set in Victorian London. How did you choose this location and time period?

CN: I've always loved London (AND been fascinated with the genre of British detectives in Victorian London...thanks to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I'm sure!) I'm also fascinated with mythology, and when I had the thought of putting a somewhat neurotic, quintessentially British detective smack in the center of the Egyptian afterlife...well, it struck me as a situation with a lot of potential for fun.

Kathy: Historical mysteries require an extra special brand of research. What's your favorite method to research this time period?

CN: I'm old-school, so I go straight to books. I order histories from Amazon, and I also use the library at the university where I teach. You'd be amazed at the obscure historical moments that scholars have written dissertations on!

Kathy: I've always had an interest in Egyptology and was delighted to see that Anubis is a character in your mystery. Have you always been interested in Egyptology as well?

CN: I've always loved all mythology: Egyptian, Greco-Roman, Vikings, Mayans...I'm fascinated by them all. In fact, Barnabas' next adventure will take him to Valhalla and the Nine Worlds of the Vikings, and the one after that has him working with the Mayans.

Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

CN: Well, I like mysteries and thrillers, but sometimes you need something a bit more lighthearted. Cozy mysteries are perfect for those times. There's excitement, but you also know that nothing truly awful is going to happen.

Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

CN: I like to throw some fantasy/mythology into almost everything I write. I see no reason why a cozy mystery has to be confined to the world as we know it!

Kathy: Tell us about your series.

CN: Barnabas is an adorably neurotic character, who gets terribly nervous when things aren't just so. So, when he's thrown into the mix with a pack of slightly crazy Egyptian gods, he has a bit of difficulty adjusting, to say the least! Luckily, he has his trusty assistant Wilfred with him to help him solve the case.

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

CN: Definitely Barnabas. He's got an anxiety disorder, for sure, but he manages. It's not always smooth, and he's definitely not cool, but he keeps trying, and that's what's important.

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

CN: Not really, the idea just came to me one day: why not insert a Victorian detective into a mythological setting? I chose Egyptian mythology for the first book because there are so many gods and goddesses, which gave me no shortage of characters to chose from. The idea is for Barnabas to go to a different afterlife with each book.

Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

CN: There was never a question of NOT publishing. I couldn't just leave Barnabas and Wilfred to languish in the depths of my computer, could I? They needed to go out and meet the world.

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

CN: Janet Evanovich, because she's hilarious. Leo Tolstoy, because he's not. What would those two talk about? Could she get him to lighten up, or would he have her mired in a quagmire of bleak social observations? Third would have to be Stephen King, to add some scariness to the mix (although he does have a quirky sense of humor too, doesn't he?) Lastly would be Clive Barker; his imagination is so vivid and delighfully odd, so I'd love to see what he'd make of the conversation between the other three!

Kathy: What are you currently reading?

CN: "The Raven Boys", by Maggie Stiefvater. It's the first book of hers I've read, and it's really great.

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

CN: I have a horse that I got from a rescue farm, and I love to hang out with her. When I got her she was all skin and bones, and now she's so spoiled that she'll only eat apples that are organic, and then only if they're sliced just so. It makes me so happy that she's come this far; I think it means I've done something right!

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

CN: I'm a vegan, so this might be a weird list. Cabbage, homemade ginger-beet juice, tofu, and vegan "bacon" from Sweet Earth .

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

CN: Oh yes! Barnabas' Viking adventure is coming out September 4 of this year, and his Mayan adventure should be next year. After that I'm not sure where he'll go, but I know he'll go somewhere!

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

CN: Seeing a review on Amazon from someone that loved the book. It's so surreal to me that people I don't know are reading what I wrote, and that they like it! Every time I see a new review I run over to my husband and read it to him. It never gets old (well, to me, at least..he might have a different opinion on that!)


by Columbkill Noonan
The First Barnabas Tew Mystery

Barnabas Tew had visions of becoming the next Sherlock Holmes. Apart from having an amiable assistant and a kindly landlady, Barnabas Tew was, sadly, nothing like Sherlock Holmes. In fact, he simply wasn't a good detective at all. However, he did have one satisfied customer who recommended his services. Unfortunately, said services were recommended to Anubis, Egyptian god of the dead, who had no problem bringing Barnabas to the Underworld to solve a kidnapping. Now Barnabas and his assistant, Wilfred, have to deal with a variety of difficult gods in order to prevent the destruction of the world!

I love this delightfully different book. I have always had an interest in Egyptology and enjoy the Victorian time period. Connect these two, add some humor and a mystery and I'm sold! One of my favorite things about the book is the humor. I was chuckling at the situations, and the dialogue, more than once, had me laughing out loud. Great characterization humanizes not only our detectives, but the assortment of gods they encounter. As silly as things sometimes get, there remains a depth of feeling. Barnabas and Wilfred try their best and we admire them and root for them to succeed and be happy.

BARNABAS TEW AND THE CASE OF THE MISSING SCARAB is highly entertaining and immensely pleasurable, if somewhat preposterous. A fussy, not too terribly clever Victorian detective is thrown into the Egyptian Underworld and forced to deal with capricious gods. It is simply great fun!

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading Cobra Clutch by A.J. Devlin. This book is the first in the "Hammerhead" Jed Mystery series.

Jed Ounstead walked away from the world of professional wrestling, but gets a blast from his past when his former tag team partner comes to him asking for help. Someone has kidnapped Johnny Mamba's beloved pet snake, Ginger. With no chance of Johnny taking no for an answer, Jed reluctantly agrees to help, despite not being a PI, although he does run errands for his PI father. Now "Hammerhead" Jed is forced to go back into the world he left behind. With his innate ability to piss people off along with his determination to help Johnny, Jed soon has a sleazy promoter and a biker gang gunning for him. He does have a former member of the IRA along with his dad's protegee on his side, but will that be enough? Will Jed live to enjoy another banana milkshake?

If you missed it, be sure to check out my interview with author, A.J. Devlin.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Hightail it to Kinsey Falls - Book Blast

Hightail It to Kinsey Falls (Kinsey Falls Series) by Gayle Leeson

About the Book

Women's Fiction 1st in Series  
Grace Abraham Publishing (May 22, 2018) Print Length: 139 pages 
All work and no play make Jade a dull girl.
Jade Burt can do without her grandmother’s meddling in her love life. But when Millie finds an abandoned baby possum, it leads her to Caleb Young. Caleb would be perfect for Jade! When Jade meets Caleb, it’s hard to argue with her grandmother’s choice. Still, Jade is determined to push Caleb away, but his friendship with Millie concerns her. What if he’s a slick con man trying to take advantage of a sweet old lady? Jade needs to figure Caleb out before he breaks her grandmother’s heart…and Jade’s too!

About the Author


Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series.

I live in Virginia with my family, which includes my own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I'm having a blast writing this new series! But, never fear, I'm also working on a new cozy mystery series as well.


Purchase Links: Amazon Kobo Apple

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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Cozy Up With Kathy's Scavenger Hunt

I'm always looking for new and different way to promote books and their authors. I love for things to be interactive and fun and so I came up with an idea. Why not have a scavenger hunt? It would have to be a modified version of a hunt, but why not?

The Cozy Up With Kathy Scavenger Hunt requires participants to take photos which meet certain specifications. Each photo that successfully meets the criteria will earn the reader one credit. Readers can earn up to 10 credits, but it only takes one to win!

The Scavenger Hunt is open to people world wide! One winner will receive the Grand Prize prize: a book costing $8 US or less from either Amazon or the Book Depository.  There will be two runner up prizes as well for people with US addresses. These will be swag bags.

I have set up 10 tasks for readers to complete, taking a photo of themselves, or a token that represents them, with a book and an item that represents that book! I decided to ask for a photo of the person or token so that people wouldn't just grab photos off the web, but actually have the items in hand. I'd love for you to play along!

Here is the basic description, along with the rules:

It's a Scavenger Hunt! Now, since we're online, things are a little different. You'll need a camera (or some device that can take a photo), some books (e-books are fine), some items relating to mystery books, and some creativity. I'm going to list "10 things". You will need to photograph YOURSELF or a token that represents you with the mystery book and its related item. No pulling pics off the internet, you must take them (or someone takes them for you). When finished send 1 e-mail with all the photos with descriptions to me at cozyupwithkathy @

1. A photo of yourself (or token) with the book you're currently reading. This is the only book that does NOT have to be a mystery/thriller.
2. Do you live in a location where a mystery is set? Take a photo of yourself or the same token, something indicating your location, and the book set there.
3. A picture of you or the same token, something indicative of a culinary mystery, and the book to which it relates.
4. A picture of you or the same token with something paranormal and said paranormal mystery.
5. You or the same token participating in a craft, game, or hobby, and the corresponding mystery book.
6. You or the same token with an animal and a mystery that features that type of animal.
7. You or the same token with some sort of holiday accoutrements and a mystery set during that holiday (or a mystery that features that holiday).
8. You or the same token with a beverage and the mystery that features that beverage.
9. You or the same token with a book from your favorite mystery series or by your favorite mystery author and something that relates to that book or author.
10. Choose a book I featured on my blog during March or April 2018. Take a picture of yourself or the same token, that book, and something that relates to it.

You will receive one entry for each photo that meets the requirements. However, they must all be sent at the same time! One e-mail only. One winner will be selected to win a book costing $8 or less from Amazon (US) or the Book Depository (Worldwide). Two runners up with US addresses will receive swag envelopes. Entries must be received by 11:59pm EDT Thursday May 31, 2018. Not responsible for misdirected e-mail.

I have also created a Facebook Event Page where people may post their photos throughout the event. Just remember, posting them here doesn't count as an entry, but rather it's a way to share in the fun! 

I hope you'll consider joining in the fun!

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Persian Always Meows Twice - Review


The First Cat Groomer Mystery

Cassie McGlone recently moved to Chadwick, New Jersey and opened Cassie's Comfy Cats, a cat grooming and boarding business. While most clients come to her shop, Cassie made the exception for millionaire George DeLeuw and his lovely Persian, Harpo. When she arrives for a grooming appointment, she finds the front door open and a scared Harpo outdoors. Inside she finds George's murdered body. Cassie is determined to keep Harpo safe, and if that means finding George's killer, so be it!

There are so many things I like about this book. I love that Cassie specializes in grooming cats, and wish I could have taken my semi-longed haired cat, Seneca, to her.  I also like how she uses her psychology background to help train cats. I enjoy the fact that Cassie doesn't start out trying to solve the murder, but rather she does what any animal lover would do- help Harpo. Of course, in trying to both protect Harpo and find him a good home she eventually ends up working to discover the murderer. There are plenty of diverse characters and enough red herrings to keep readers guessing.

THE PERSIAN ALWAYS MEOWS TWICE is an intelligent realistic mystery which shares responsible pet advice while providing plenty of thrills.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Currently Reading...

I just finished reading The Persian Always Meows Twice by Eileen Watkins. This book is the first in the Cat Groomer Mystery series.

Cassie McGlone recently moved to Chadwick, New Jersey and opened Cassies Comfy Cats, a cat grooming and boarding business. While most clients come to her shop, Cassie made the exception for millionaire George DeLeuw and his lovely Persian, Harpo. When she arrives for a grooming appointment, she finds the front door open and a scared Harpo outdoors. Inside she finds George's murdered body. Cassie is determined to keep Harpo safe, and if that means finding George's killer, so be it!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A Visit & Giveaway with Lissa Marie Redmond

I'm pleased to welcome Lissa Marie Redmond back to Cozy Up With Kathy. Lissa's first full length novel, A COLD DAY IN HELL, was released in February. It is the first in the Cold Case Investigation Mystery series.

Kathy: A COLD DAY IN HELL was your first full length novel. How has life changed for you after its publication?

LMR: It’s been a very eye-opening journey. I was overwhelmed by the support of my family and neighbors here in the city of Buffalo, my new online friends, and in the writing community. Changing speeds from cop to writer has definitely improved my health, helped me make new friends, and has broadened my world.

Kathy: In regards to writing, what's the best thing that has happened to you since being published?

LMR: I appreciate all the people I have gotten a chance to meet at book signings, libraries, and book clubs. I still can not believe they want to hear what I have to say! But I also enjoy listening to my readers' stories as well. I’m amazed at the different ways readers have connected with my characters. I love to hear what they took away from my book. It’s the ultimate compliment to a writer.

Kathy: Authors are required to do a lot of their own marketing, especially for a new release. What's your favorite part of marketing your work? What do you dislike about marketing?

LMR: I don’t mind making appearances, doing book signings, or being a guest on blogs (although I have a comma problem that I’m very self-conscious about and try to run everything through a second reader). The only thing I dislike about marketing is there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to get everything done.

Kathy: When it comes to writing I understand there are 2 general camps-plotters, who diligently plot their stories, and pansters, who fly by the seat of their pants. Are you a plotter, a panster, or do you fall somewhere in between?

LMR: My first book, A COLD DAY IN HELL, was totally by the seat of my pants. Book two, which I’m working on, is a little less so, but book three has already been plotted out. So I’m evolving from a pantser to a plotter as I go.

Kathy: Are you able to share any future plans for Detective Lauren Riley?

LMR: Lauren has at least two more appearances in two subsequent books. She seems to attract a lot of trouble where ever she goes, so there may be even more stories in the works for her. She’s a fun character to write, because she is so unlike me. I get to take some risks with her that I wouldn’t take myself. And I love to take her in some totally new directions.

Kathy: Will you share any other upcoming books?

LMR: The second book in my Cold Case Investigation series is set to come out in February, 2019. Lauren and many of the characters from A COLD DAY IN HELL make it into the book, but I can tell you they don’t all make it to book three!

Kathy: What's one piece of advice you'd give to an aspiring writer?

Write every single day. Even if it’s only a paragraph. Even if you don’t feel like it. Even if you don’t think you’ve got anything to say. Get in the habit of writing and the words will come. Will everything you write be a masterpiece? No, but you’ll learn something from it, even if it’s what not to do. And don’t give up. Writing is a tough business. You have to believe in yourself and your work.

Keep in touch with Lissa Marie Redmond with these links:

Twitter: @Lissa_Marie_Redmond

One lucky reader will receive an autographed copy of A COLD DAY IN HELL. (Sorry, due to postal costs US addresses only.) Simply leave a comment on this blog post no later than 11:59pm EDT Wednesday, May 16, 2018 answering the following question: Since Detective Lauren Riley has such a rotten love life, should she keep looking for Mr. Right or get a dog? Be sure to include your e-mail address so that I can contact you should you win.