Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Murder Knocks Twice - A Review

Review


MURDER KNOCKS TWICE by Susanna Calkins
The First Speakeasy Mystery

Times are tough in 1929 Chicago. With her father unable to work, Gina Ricci takes a job as a cigarette girl at a speakeasy called The Third Door. Gina needs the money and is determined to prove she's no rube and that she's tough enough to handle anything thrown at her. While taking a break she hears a noise, only to discover the speakeasy's photographer has been attacked. With his dying breath he gives her his camera telling her to hide it. Scared, Gina keeps quiet, but resolves to find out what Marty wanted her to hide and why. As she slowly starts to uncover the many secrets hidden by The Third Door Gina discovers that life is about to get a lot more dangerous.

MURDER KNOCKS TWICE starts slowly with the author throwing in lots of slag from the era making the dialogue sound a bit trite. The story, however, is compelling and the characters interesting. I found the narrative more and more compelling as I read on and by the end I was completely enamoured by it.

Gina Ricci is a likeable gum chewing protagonist who can take care of herself. When she finds herself out of her depths, she takes steps to rectify the situation. In this first Speakeasy Mystery she learns about her past, her family, and makes steps to ensure her own future.

MURDER KNOCKS TWICE is a keen historical mystery that brings the prohibition era to life. I enjoyed my immersion into the glamour, desperation, and mob influence of the times and I look forward to going back. I believe Billy Bottles has a Mary Pickford with my name on it!


Monday, July 22, 2019

A Summer Snoops Guest Post & Giveaway

I'm turning the blog over to Ava Mallory today. Ava is one of the authors contributing to the boxed set Summer Snoops Unleashed:14 Furr-ocious Mysteries and Cozy Crimes which will be released tomorrow.



High Heel Homicide by Ava Mallory

And the Winner Is… An Interview with Holly Woods


Tell us something most people would never guess about you.

Everyone thinks my name is a play on Old Hollywood, but that’s not true. I was born on December 25th, a Christmas baby, and I was supposed to be a boy. My name was supposed to be Henry, after my grandfather, but obviously, that wouldn’t work. My mother absolutely refused to name me Henrietta because my grandfather’s favorite pig’s name is Henrietta, so she went with something else. Actually, she went with the first name a student nurse could think of – Holly. Woods is my family name, so that’s how that goes. Do me a favor and tell people that story because I’m tired of doing it myself.

When did the acting bug bite you?

I knew I wanted to be an actor when I was in preschool. I loved life on the farm and all the time I got to spend with my grandfather. Preschool got in the way, so I used to fake an illness. As soon as I realized that worked, I was hooked. This whole acting thing was my calling.

Are there any roles you will not take?

That’s a tough question because I haven’t had many roles outside of local plays and one commercial, I did with my best friend Ayla for her family business. I suppose I’d avoid anything that involved pickles or Sloppy Joe’s. You don’t want to know why.

If acting doesn’t work out for you, do you have a contingency plan?

Acting is my only plan. I can’t see myself doing anything else. Not that I can’t do anything else but acting is the only thing I want to do. If that means I have to take odd jobs until I get my big break, so be it. I’m not quitter. I’m probably jinxing myself by saying that, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take.

Wait a minute. Can I take that back? Snakes. I don’t do snakes. I won’t take a role with snakes… or bears… or alligators… or… Maybe I should rephrase that. I’m not good with animals… unless they’re dogs or cats.

You and your boyfriend have been together ten years. Why have you not married yet?

Ha! Married? Me? The short answer is he hasn’t asked me. The longer, more important answer is I’m not sure I’m cut out for marriage. I mean, I like it in theory, but I have goals. I want to see if I can do something on my own before I even think about marriage.

Would you marry him if he asked you a few years from now?

Who? Colby? Um, maybe?

What made you say yes to a gig so far away from home?

That’s a good question. I suppose because I like to live dangerously. Who knew?

How would you describe your style?

Farm girl meets Paris runway on a budget – a very, very tight budget.

Why do you live with your grandfather?

I’ve always lived with my grandfather. My mom lived in my grandparents’ home when I was born. My father left right before I was born, so my grandfather filled that role for me. My mom moved across the country the day after I graduated from high school. My grandmother passed away when I was in middle school. My grandfather is all I have. I take care of him and rolls his eyes and gets exasperated with me. It works for us.

Using one word, describe your friendship with Ayla.

Chaotic.

What’s next for you?

More acting gigs, and hopefully, no more murder investigations.

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Check out all of Ava Mallory’s cozy mysteries on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KEAgsG

About Ava Mallory:

AVA MALLORY has been a grade school teacher, a psychiatric technician, a dementia unit nurse manager, a hospice nurse, and now a USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author.

She has embarrassed herself in front of handsome celebrities, won vocal contests, survived a major earthquake, and nearly drowned when she mistakenly thought a YMCA lifeguard asked her to dive into the deep end on her first day of swim lessons. She and her "brood" share their home with a massive collection of books and a never-ending supply of wacky ideas.

She writes cozy mysteries, paranormal mysteries, and sweet romance mysteries under her main name and manages several pen names for other genres including thrillers, romantic suspense, humorous nonfiction, and women's fiction.

In addition to writing fiction, AVA runs the Tales from the Brood blog, a personal blog about single-parenthood with teens and young adult children and all the foibles that come with it.

You can stay up-to-date with everything going on in her book world by subscribing to her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/dsjcvz

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Social Links:

Website: Ava Mallory's Website

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/avawrites/

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AvasCozyMysterieswithHeart/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/avamallorypens

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/WriterAvaM/

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Summer Snoops Unleashed: 14 Furr-ocious Mysteries and Cozy Crimes by Judith Lucci Anna Celeste Burke, Colleen Mooney, Fiona Quinn, Maria Grazia Swan, Kelly Hashway, Kim Hunt Harris, Susan Boles, Lisa B. Thomas, Emily Selby, Ava Mallory, Chelsea Thomas, Sam Cheever, and Joanna Campbell Slan

About the Book


Cozy Mystery Independently Published  
Release Date - July 23, 2019

 

Summertime Murders are RUFF

ALL BRAND NEW STORIES!

Looking for cool cozies for hot summer days? Then you'll love this purr-fectly paw-some cozy mystery boxed set from fourteen USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Amazon best-selling authors.We've pulled out all the stops with Summer Snoops Unleashed! Enjoy hours of fun sniffing out clues on sandy beaches, shimmering waterways, and at small-town celebrations in these brand-new stories full of wily sleuths, cagey plots, and un-fur-gettable tails!Fetch your copy now to get these furr-ocious new cozy mysteries and woof it up with us!

They're howlingly good reads!

All preorders support best lives for pets!


Here’s a sampling of stories…
WSJ and USA Best Selling Author Judith Lucci – The Most Glittery Crime of the Year: The Jewel Heist – An Artzy Chicks Mystery
WSJ and USA Today Best Selling Author Anna Celeste Burke ¬- Radical Regatta! Corsario Cove Cozy Mystery #4
WSJ & USA Today Best Selling Author Colleen Mooney - Fireworks, Forensics & Felonies
USA Today Best Selling Author Fiona Quinn - YOURS. No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
Amazon Best Selling Author Maria Grazia Swan - Pies, Lies and a Last Goodbye
USA Today Best Selling Author Kelly Hashway - You Can't Judge a Crime by its Aura
WSJ & USA Today Best Selling Author Kim Hunt Harris - Yankee Doodle Deadly: A Trailer Park Princess Novella
WSJ & USA Today Best Selling Author Susan Boles – Death in Mercy
Best Selling Author Amazon Lisa B. Thomas – Sharpe Pain: A Corpse in the Cabin
Amazon Best Selling Author Emily Selby - Death and Taxes on a Cloud
Amazon Best Selling Author Joanna Campbell Slan - Ruff Justice: Second Chance Adventure #5
WSJ and USA Today Best Selling Author Ava Mallory - High Heel Homicide: A Holly Woods Mystery Novella
Amazon Best Selling Author Chelsea Thomas - A Knead to Kill
WSJ and USA Today Best Selling Author Sam Cheever - Spunky Bumpkin

CLICK GRAPHIC BELOW TO READ THE FIRST CHAPTERS OF EACH STORY

 

About the Authors

Dr. Judith Lucci is a Wall Street Journal and USA Today best-selling author. She is the award-winning author of the Alexandra Destephano Medical Thriller and the Michaela McPherson “Two Sleuth’s and a Dog” Crime series. She also writes psychological fiction. Her cozy series, The Artzy Chicks Mysteries focuses on a group of eccentric, talented but zany artists in their Art Gallery at a Five Star Mountain Resort in the Virginia mountains.
In 2017, ‘Viral Intent’ (Book 3) Alexandra Destephano Series) was awarded a Gold Medal by Readers’ Favorites for ‘Best Political Thriller’. as was her crime thriller ‘The Case of Dr. Dude’ (Michaela McPherson #1) for a Gold Medal for ‘Best Amateur Sleuth for 2017. ‘The Most Wonderful Crime of the Year‘ won an additional gold medal for ‘Best Holiday Read’ of 2017.
Her favorite things are reading, writing, and art. In her spare time she teaches painting, loves up on animals and raises money for needy causes. Judith lives with her 4 dog family in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. She loves to connect with her readers and is available at judithlucciwrites@gmail.com. Check our her website at judithlucci.com. and sign-up for a free copy of Chaos at Crescent City Medical Center.
Anna Celeste Burke is a USA Today & Wall Street Journal bestselling author who lives in the desert near Palm Springs with her beloved husband and loudmouthed Siamese cat. A retired professor who once worked as a Disney chef, you'll find her snooping into life's mysteries with fun, fiction, and food!
Colleen Mooney was born and raised in New Orleans along with everyone else in her family. She is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal Best Selling Author and writes a cozy mystery series set in New Orleans called The New Orleans Go Cup Chronicles. The 7th book in her series is Fireworks, Forensics and Felonies will be in Summer Snoops Unleashed. Her Politicians, Potholes and Praline released in March 2019 and is available on Amazon and KU.
Since January 2017 Colleen organized a Sisters In Crime chapter in New Orleans and is not planning a Mystery Writers Conference in November in New Orleans. She is currently working on her next book in the series.
In New Orleans, she’s been a member and active in many Mardi Gras Krewes, Super Krewes, and organizations. Colleen says she has never met a parade she didn’t like.
She’s an ardent animal lover and the Director for a breed rescue, Schnauzer Rescue of Louisiana for the last fifteen years. She has rescued and placed over 350 abandoned or surrendered Schnauzers. She loves to write and writes about what she loves. Colleen says, “New Orleans is where it all happens for me.”
Fiona Quinn is a four-time USA Today bestselling author, a Kindle Scout winner, and has been listed as an Amazon Top 100 author in: Romantic Suspense; Mystery, thriller, and suspense; Mysteries, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror.
Maria Grazia Swan
Award-winning author Maria Grazia Swan was born in Italy. She’s lived in Belgium, France, Germany, Southern California and Arizona—all juicy places that fuel her stories and characters.
These days, Maria Grazia volunteers at the animal shelter seeking the perfect family for homeless pets. Her deepest passions? Writing and being the matchmaker for people and pets who are waiting to find each other.
Maria loves travel, opera, good books, hiking, and intelligent movies. Her idea of a perfect evening? Stimulating conversation, Northern Italian food, and chilled Prosecco.
She loves to hear from her readers! Feel free to contact her through her website: www.mariagraziaswan.com.
Kelly Hashway fully admits to being one of the most accident-prone people on the planet, but luckily she gets to write about female sleuths who are much more coordinated than she is. Maybe it was growing up watching Murder She Wrote that instilled a love of mystery, but she spends her days writing cozy mysteries. Kelly’s also a sucker for first love, which is why she writes romance under the pen name Ashelyn Drake. When she’s not writing, Kelly works as an editor and also as Mom, which she believes is a job title that deserves to be capitalized.
Kim Hunt Harris is the USA Today and Wall Street Journal best-selling author of the Trailer Park Princess Christian cozy mystery series.
Kim knew she wanted to be a writer before she even knew how to write. When her parents read bedtime stories to her, she knew she wanted to be a part of the story world. She started out writing children’s stories, and her stories grew as she did. She discovered a gift for humor and a love for making people laugh with her tales, and the Trailer Park Princess series was born.
Kim loves to not only make her readers laugh and entertain them with a good mystery, but also to examine the issues the everyday people face…well, every day. Issues such as faith and forgiveness, perseverance and tolerance. Set in Lubbock, Texas, the fun books feature a cast of quirky characters, outrageous situations, a drama queen of a dog, and from time to time, a tear or two.
Kim lives with her husband of more than thirty years and two teenage kids in Lubbock, TX.
Susan Boles is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author who lives in Mississippi with her rescue mini Dachshund and rescue cat of no particular breed. You’ll find her writing mysteries centered around small southern towns with lots of great characters.
Lisa B. Thomas
Born and raised in Texas, I always knew I wanted to be a writer. Finally, after thirty-three years as a high school journalism and English teacher, I released my first novel. Having grown up reading Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, and Agatha Christie, I was drawn to the mystery genre.
I write clean, classic whodunnits with realistic characters and situations. It’s probably because my first book was based on a true-life murder mystery from my own family. That book, Sharpe Shooter, led to the Maycroft Mysteries. I also write Killer Shots Mysteries and the Beachside Bookshop Magical Cozy Mysteries (co-written with Paula Lester.) I call my books “Mysteries with Heart & Humor,” and that’s just what you’ll get.
When not writing, I enjoy my grown husband and dog, my children, grandchildren, grandpets, photography, traveling, and antiquing (aka. buying and selling used junk).
Follow Lisa Online: Website - Facebook - Twitter
Emily Selby is a Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author who lives between France and New Zealand with her husband, daughter and a multilingual rescue cat. She loves writing and reading cozy mysteries with a sprinkle of romance, full of quirky characters and set in charming little towns.
Joanna Campbell Slan
National bestselling and award-winning author Joanna Campbell Slan has written and/or edited 40 books, including both fiction and non-fiction works. In addition to being included in Amazon’s list of Top 100 Mystery Authors, Joanna was one of the early Chicken Soup for the Soul contributors, and her stories appear in five of those New York Times bestselling books. Her first non-fiction book, Using Stories and Humor: Grab Your Audience, was endorsed by Toastmasters International, and lauded by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speechwriter. She’s the author of three mystery series. Her first novel—Paper, Scissors, Death (Book #1 in the Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series) --was shortlisted for the Agatha Award. Her first historical mystery—Death of a Schoolgirl: Book #1 in the Jane Eyre Chronicles—won the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence. Her contemporary series set in Florida continues this year with Second Chance at Faith (Book #4 in the Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series). In addition to writing fiction, she edits the Happy Homicides Anthologies and has begun the Dollhouse Décor & More series of “how to” books for dollhouse miniaturists.
Ava Mallory is a multi-genre USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author of what she affectionately calls Mysteries with Heart. When not dreaming up stories full of twists and turns, she's spinning heartwarming tales of love, laughter, and a healthy dose of mystery.
Chelsea Thomas is technically two people... Married writing team Chelsea and Matthew Thomas. Chelsea and Matt have spent the last 9 years living in Los Angeles, where they have worked as screenwriters. There, they have worked with such companies as CBS, SONY, and Nickelodeon. Now, with the completion of their first cozy mystery novel, Apple Die, they are proud to say that they are novelists, too.
Sam Cheever is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author who writes mystery and suspense, creating stories that draw you in and keep you eagerly turning pages. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Sam is the award-winning author of 80+ books.
 
Purchase Links
AMAZON, NOOK, KOBO, & APPLE: https://www.summersnoops.com/
Individual Links AMAZON KOBO APPLE NOOK

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Sunday, July 21, 2019

Cliff Hanger - A Guest Post & Giveaway

I'm happy to welcome Mary Feliz to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Mary writes the Maggie McDonald Mystery series. CLIFF HANGER is the fifth book in the series and was released last week.

Meet the Neighbors

When my husband and I moved to a condo on Monterey Bay several years ago, we knew it would take time to meet the neighbors. We had no idea we’d have so much fun doing so.

Some of the area’s most famous celebrities were easy to identify: Gray Whales, the magnificent Blue Whales, Sea Otters, Harbor Seals, and Pacific White-Sided Dolphins. With the exception of the Blue Whales who were only occasional visitors, we saw the others daily on our walks.

But many were flighty, elusive, and difficult to get to know though they lived within steps of our front door. We were patient, letting them set the pace. Now, after living here full time through all the seasons, we know many of them well. We look forward to their arrival and sorrow when they move on.

Here are a few of our new best friends: (all photos by Mary Feliz)

Blue Heron

Snowy Egret

 “The Neighborhood” and the setting for Cliff Hanger—the shore of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Green Heron


 Curlew

Sanderlings


Red-legged Stilt

I’ve grown fond of the Yellow-rumped Warbler, also known as a Butter Butt. Stifling a snort, I when visitors ask “What’s that wading bird with the yellow legs called?” The answer: “It’s a Yellow Legs.”

So far, most of the hawks look alike to us, as do the sparrows and finches, including an adorable one that looks like it’s wearing a bicycle helmet.
We’re learning and having a blast. It turns out some of our human neighbors like the avian visitors as much as we do.

What kinds of unusual neighbors do your readers have on their blocks? Do they change with the seasons?  

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Cliff Hanger (A Maggie McDonald Mystery) by Mary Feliz

About the Book


Cozy Mystery 5th in Series 
Lyrical Underground (July 16, 2019)  
Paperback: 215 pages 
When a hang-gliding stranger is found fatally injured in the cliffs above Monterey Bay, the investigation into his death becomes a cluttered mess. Professional organizer Maggie McDonald must sort the clues to catch a coastal killer before her family becomes a target . . .
Maggie has her work cut out for her helping Renée Alvarez organize her property management office. Though the condominium complex boasts a prime location on the shores of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, aging buildings and the high-maintenance tenants have Renée run ragged. But Maggie’s efforts are complicated when her sons attempt to rescue a badly injured man who crashed his ultra-light on the coastal cliffs. Despite their efforts to save him, the man dies. Maggie's family members become the prime suspects in a murder investigation and the target of a lawsuit. Her instincts say something’s out of place, but solving a murder won’t be easy. Maggie still needs to manage her business, the pushy press, and unwanted interest from criminal elements. Controlling chaos is her specialty, but with this killer’s crime wave, Maggie may be left hanging . . .

About the Author


Mary Feliz writes the Maggie McDonald Mysteries featuring a Silicon Valley professional organizer and her sidekick golden retriever. She's worked for Fortune 500 firms and mom and pop enterprises competed in whale boat races and done synchronized swimming. She attends organizing conferences in her character's stead, but Maggie's skills leave her in the dust. Her first book, ADDRESS TO DIE FOR, received a Kirkus Star and was named a Best Book of 2017 by Kirkus Reviews.

Author Links: WebsiteBlogFacebookTwitter  

Purchase Links: Amazon B&N Kobo Google Books

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