Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading A Gentlewoman's Guide to Murder by Victoria Hamilton. This book is the first in a new historical mystery series and was released earlier this month.

Regency England may be remembered for its romances and lovely people living a life of frivolity and indulgence. But, that was the life of members of the ton. In reality, life was harder and much darker, especially for those on the lowest rungs of the service ladder. Miss Emmeline St. Germaine is a woman with a mission, as well as a double, if not triple, life. In public she's a proper, if unmarried woman. As The Rogue, she writes articles for a newspaper, bringing light to scandalous gossip and social injustices. But her most dangerous role is that of The Masked Avengeress, who ventures out to save young girls and boys from abuse. After rescuing a young maid about to be raped by her employer, she's stunned when the man is found brutally slaughtered the next morning. With the majority of the public blaming The Masked Avengeress, Emmeline determines to find the real killer, before she's exposed...and found guilty of murder!

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Eclairs, Scares, and Haunted Homes - A Spotlight

Today I'm happy to shine a spotlight on Eclairs, Scares, and Haunted Home Repairs by Erin Johnson. This book is the ninth in the Spells and Caramels Mystery series and was released last week.

Eclairs, Scares & Haunted Home Repairs by Erin Johnson

About the Book

Cozy Mystery 9th in Series  
Self Published (February 15, 2019)  
Print Length: 298 pages 
A bakehouse in the making. A dangerous ghost in the tower. Will their welcome to the neighborhood be short-lived? Imogen wants nothing more than to complete her sweet dream. With her adoring fiancé Hank at her side, the witch and her friends dive into renovations for their new home and soon-to-be bakery. But all their efforts seem futile when they wake to find the house eerily ripped apart all over again… As Imogen examines her humble abode's shady history, she discovers evidence for a malevolent spirit living inside. But with less-than-welcoming neighbors keeping a close, suspicious watch, she wonders if it’s not the dead but the living who pose the biggest threat… Will Imogen root out the culprit, or will her culinary future collapse under the weight of an unsolved murder? Eclairs, Scares & Haunted Home Repairs is the ninth book in the charming Spells & Caramels paranormal cozy mystery series. If you like lovable characters, chilling twists, and enchanting adventures, then you’ll love Erin Johnson’s marvelous tale. Buy Eclairs, Scares & Haunted Home Repairs to solve a magical whodunit today!

About the Author

Erin Johnson is a native of Tempe, Arizona, Erin spends her time crafting mysterious, magical, romance-filled stories that’ll hopefully make you laugh. In between, she’s traveling, napping with her dogs, eating with her friends and family, and teaching Pilates (to allow her to eat more).


Purchase Link – Amazon

Friday, February 22, 2019

A Minor Deception - A Review


The First Joseph Haydn Mystery

Life isn't easy for the kapellmeister. Not only does Franz Joseph Haydn have to compose special music for the Empress' upcoming visit, he must manage his musicians and deal with an overbearing estates manager as well as his shrewish wife! Add to his burdens the violinist recommended by his brother is proving to be a disaster. While a virtuoso on the violin, he's a rude, arrogant bully in person who seems bent on getting himself fired. When the musician disappears, taking a priceless violin with him, Haydn decides to track down the man himself. What he finds are volatile musicians, an illicit affair, and political intrigue.

A MINOR DECEPTION transports readers into the eighteenth century to the world of court musicians and political intrigue. The book is, however, more scholarly in nature, more of an intellectual puzzle, and I was not emotionally invested. There appeared no true danger to Haydn, or any of his intimates, whether he discovered the truth behind his musician or not. I did like Haydn and his brother, Johann. Both were nice, decent men managing a variety of challenging characters. Poor Haydn dealing with his wife, Marie Anna. She did, however, give me plenty of chuckles. I also really liked the maids, Rosalie and Greta and their determination to help the kapellmeister. Rosalie, in particular, is a smart enterprising woman. Haydn would do well to work more closely with her.

This first Joseph Haydn mystery is methodical and a bit slow moving. There's a measured pace, just as you'd find in one of Haydn's symphonies. I loved how the mystery transformed itself as new information was brought to light. There were plenty of surprises along the way, keeping my interest. What started as simply a missing disgruntled employee and theft lead to political intrigue and murder.

A MINOR DECEPTION is an intriguing mystery filled with historical facts and details capturing a portion of court life in the Habsburg Empire.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading One Feta in the Grave by Tina Kashian. This book is the third in the Kebab Kitchen Mystery series and will be released February 26, 2019.

It's beach festival week for the Jersey Shore town of Ocean Crest and Lucy Berberian and her best friend, Katie, are working to make it a success. With a myriad of entertainments including a sand sculpture contest and wine and food tasting event, visitors and residents alike have plenty of activities to choose from and enjoy. Tempers flare with the heat however, as  trouble making newcomer Archie Kincaid gets into public arguments not only with his business rival, but Katie as well. When Lucy finds Archie's body under the boardwalk, she realizes she has more on her plate than baba ganoush and moussaka. With Detective Clemmons eyeing Katie as a prime suspect, Lucy begins to subtly search for the real killer, all while managing the Kebab Kitchen and dealing with her developing relationship with her hunky chef.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Herbs and Homicide - An Interview, Review, and Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Astoria Wright to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Astoria pens the Faerie Apothecary Mystery series. HERBS AND HOMICIDE is the first book in the series.

Kathy: In HERBS AND HOMICIDE we enter the world of the fae and meet house elves, sprites, leprechauns, and other faeries. What sparked your interest in the fae and why did you decide to feature them in your series.

AW: I am a fan of the paranormal. I listen to the Paranormal Podcast, Mysterious Universe, the Scary Fairy Godmother and Fairy Folklore on Youtube, and even watched Ancient Aliens when it was on TV. This doesn’t mean I believe everything, but it’s fun to think about hidden worlds and this idea that there are, as Shakespeare said, “More things on Heaven and Earth than are dreamt of” in our philosophies.

Kathy: Carissa Shea runs the Seelie Tree Apothecary Shop. I've always been a proponent of the healing powers of herbs, even if not distributed by an elf, or half-elf. Do you use herbs yourself?

AW: Absolutely! My parents strongly believe that nutrition and natural remedies were the first step to good health. I kept that belief, so even today I cook with turmeric and other healthy spices, use a clove-based mouthwash, take ajowan caraway any time I get a stomach ache, and so on. That doesn’t mean I won’t take regular medicine if I need it, but if I can take a more natural route I’m likely to try that first. (Note: I’m not a doctor – please don’t take anything in the books as medical advice!)

Kathy: In writing the Faerie Apothecary Cozy Mystery series did you incorporate a lot of faerie lore, or did you rely more on your imagination? What is the best way to research faeries?

AW: I tried to incorporate as much lore and mythology as I possibly could. I knew some of it already and what I didn’t know I looked up in books and on the internet. The best sources so far have been Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns, and Goblins: An Encyclopedia by Carol Rose and a book by Lady Gregory called ON GODS AND FIGHTING MEN about the Tuatha de Danann and their fights with the human Milesians who eventually won the land of Ireland from them (sorry for the historical spoiler – humans won). Lady Gregory’s book is in the public domain and is available free by Project Gutenberg:

Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

AW: I discovered the genre a couple years ago when life had gotten busy and stressful. I just needed some light reads to relax and I came across MURDER STRIKES A POSE by Tracy Weber. I liked it so much I bought her next one and a few other cozies. I had read some mysteries like Agatha Christie’s years ago, but I never realized there was a whole subgenre for mysteries that are cozy like hers. The stories were light reads that allowed for a breather from work stress so I was hooked.

Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

AW: Yes, I have a science fiction series I’m hoping to release sometime this year. I also want to write fantasy and children’s books. I consider all the work I write “imaginative fiction” meaning that I enjoy world building and creating places that are very different from the real world we all live in (most of the time).

Kathy: Tell us about your series.

AW: The Faerie Apothecary Mysteries explores an island of humans and faerie neighbors whose community is shaken up by a string of crimes. As a half-elf, apothecary shop owner Carissa Shae, has insight into the human and fae community members that proves helpful in calming the town and makes her the perfect sleuth to solve these crimes.

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

AW: In terms of main characters, it’s actually Chaos. I know Carissa is the main character, but the nature faerie, Chaos, has spunk and is more important than her size would make her seem.

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

AW: Well, I can tell you how the stories started: with a twig on the ground. Literally, in a parking lot after a rainstorm there was a branch that looked oddly person-shaped. I immediately thought: What if that wasn’t a branch at all, but a faerie? What if everyone passes it by because faeries blend in with the background? What if they weren’t in the background, but right in our own neighborhoods? That’s how my writer brain thinks – it starts with a what if and then ventures down tangents until a story forms…I was working on a science fiction story at the time, but my mind kept going back to the branch and saying there’s a story there so eventually I had to listen and write it down.

Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

AW: If I never published in my life, it would become one of those “what ifs” that would haunt me at the end. When I finally scrounged up the money and found time to make a go of writing, I took the opportunity. I’ve already had a few people who enjoyed my books so I feel like it was a good decision. I have a lot more stories so I want to keep putting them out into the world.

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

AW: It would be fun to have an epic paranormal mystery brainstorming session over dinner with Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, JRR Tolkein, and Joseph Campbell. It’s evenly split between two brilliant minds for mystery writing and two geniuses of world and character building. What story ideas we could think up! Well, they could probably come up with the ideas without my help. I could provide the dinner.

Kathy: What are you currently reading?

AW: I’m in the middle of NEVERWHERE by Neil Gaiman and enjoying it!

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

AW: Writing was my hobby for a long time, but now I am hoping to make that a career. I love reading (naturally!) and when I’m not writing or reading, I love listening to podcasts or watching YouTube videos on mysterious or interesting things. I’m also a huge fan of organizing and completely reorganized when I read Marie Kondo’s (KonMari) LIFE CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP. I also enjoy meditating and running or hiking. I’m not a fast runner and I don’t compete or anything but I find that when I am going for a run or hiking I can let my mind wander and creative ideas will come to me.

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

AW: Spices – a lot of them and a wide variety, Salad items (including the croutons!), fruit for smoothies or juices, and coffee. Actually, scratch the rest of the list. I try to keep the other items in stock at all times, but I never run out of coffee.

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

AW: I have planned 7 books for The Faerie Apothecary Mysteries and I’m currently on Book 4: CHARMS AND CHANGELINGS. I’m also hoping to release some science fiction this year.

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

AW: I love being a storyteller. Stories have occupied a spot in my mind since I was a child and until now have existed in the form of scribbled notes in notepads shoved into the back of my filing cabinet. My favorite thing is that I’m finally getting those stories out into the world and sharing them with other people.


HERBS AND HOMICIDE by Astoria Wright
The First Faerie Apothecary Cozy Mystery

No one is more stunned than Carissa Shae when curmudgeonly Miss Morgan drops dead in the Seelie Tree Apothecary Shop. There's more to her death than meets the eye and Cari soon finds herself in the middle of the investigation. With a surly Sidhe guard investigating the crime, and various folk acting oddly, fae and human alike, Cari sets out to not only prove her innocence, but find the true murderer, and protect Moss Hill.

The Faerie Apothecary mysteries brings humans and fae together in a lovely island community off the coast of the United Kingdom. Undertones of diversity and inclusion add relevance and a bit of gravity to an otherwise lighthearted mystery. I love how the author incorporates actual faerie lore and mythology into this cozy mystery. I find myself wanting to look for sprites in my garden come springtime and wishing I could visit Cari's shop.

Carissa Shae is an intriguing protagonist. Half human, half elf she bridges both worlds yet is unsure of her true abilities as she is called, not only to solve a murder, but protect Moss Hill. She's down to earth, resourceful, yet somewhat clueless when it comes to emotions and least for herself. I find myself quite intrigued by Varick and like the addition of Alden to the cast of very unique characters. I am most fond of Chaos and her love of cherries and cherry flavored popsicles, as well as her chocolate cosmos plant (and yes, I intend to scour gardening catalogs to find one of my own..the plant, not the nature faerie).

HERBS AND HOMICIDE is a charming mystery filled with unique characters and faerie lore.


Herbs and Homicide (The Faerie Apothecary Cozy Mystery) by Astoria Wright

About the Book

Cozy Mystery 1st in Series  
Novelwright Mysteries (September 27, 2018)  
Paperback: 217 pages 
Looking for a unique paranormal cozy mystery series that's lighthearted and fun?
Settle into the cozy countryside of Moss Hill, where house-elves rent rooms, sprites live in gardens, a leprechaun is the best tailor in town, and a half-elf/half human named Carissa Shea owns a pharmacy known as The Seelie Tree Apothecary shop. Life couldn't be more idyllic for Cari, but healing humans and fae folk proves challenging at times, especially when secrets unfold in The Faerie Apothecary Mysteries.
About Book 1: Herbs and Homicide In the small town of Moss Hill, customers of all kinds visit Carissa Shea's Seelie Tree Apothecary Shop. That includes tall and short, young and old, human and faerie. Being half-elf/half-human herself, Carissa personally knows and cares for them all. So, when a grumpy brownie, a type of house faerie, named Miss Morgan dies in her shop, Carissa is devastated. As she learns more about her customer's death, she realizes Miss Morgan might have been the only thing standing between the Seelie, faeries of light and goodness, and the Unseelie, faeries of darkness and evil. On top of it all, the Sidhe guard, protector of all fae residents, rule it a murder and name Carissa as a suspect! Now she must prove her innocence and find the real culprit before it's too late - not just for her but for all of Moss Hill.

About the Author

Astoria Wright is the author of The Faerie Apothecary Mysteries, including the bestselling prequel novella Chaos in the Countryside. Intrigued by myths and inspired by cozy mystery writers before her, Astoria tries to combine two worlds with human and faerie neighbors trying to solve puzzling crimes on the fictional island of Moss Hill. She’s also a poet, which shows in the Moss Hill poetry anthology “written” by the characters in the series. Her goal is to bring Moss Hill to life in her stories, because who doesn’t wish we lived in a town with magical faeries as neighbors?
  • Author Links

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Monday, February 18, 2019

Death by a Whisker - A Review & Giveaway

To celebrate the paperback release of DEATH OF A WHISKER by T. C. LoTempio I'm reposting my review.


The Second Cat Rescue Mystery

The Friendly Paws Animal Shelter is gearing up for a big media event, when the author planning to attend is hurt in an accident. A replacement is quickly found, another Deer Park native and current shopping host megastar and new author, Ulla Townsend. While Sydney McCall and her sister Kat are pleased to have a replacement, especially one who will also donate a portion of the book sales to the shelter, Maggie is aghast and vows to be nowhere near the event. Ulla and her entourage ooze scandal, vindictiveness, and a proclivity for backstabbing so when Ulla dies at the event there are plenty of suspects...including Maggie. Syd is bound and determined to prove Maggie's innocence and help her detective boyfriend solve the case. But is she risking her future by looking into Ulla's past?

One of my favorite aspects of this book is that the setting centers around an animal shelter. I appreciate the dedication and hard work necessary to provide a haven and a chance at a new life for animals in need and am glad that this series shines a light on it, even though it doesn't really touch on the sadness and harsh realities also found there. The cats here are real characters with personalities and ties to the action and plot. They're also plain lovable. I want to hang out with Toby and give him another Melvin the Magnificent Mouse. I am also sorely tempted to adopt Annie Reilly myself, even if she is fictional!

DEATH BY A WHISKER is a cautionary tale dealing with bullying and how the past impacts both the present and future. Can we fully escape our past? How do we move on...or do we? Crisp writing and a fast paced storyline kept me quickly turning the pages easily following the multiple suspects and many motives. This second Cat Rescue Mystery was a fun read and I look forward to hearing  more from Syd and the residents of Deer Park, North Carolina. Meanwhile my cats want to know where they can get their own Melvin toys!


Death by a Whisker: A Cat Rescue Mystery by T. C. LoTempio - Paperback Edition

About the Book

Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series  
Crooked Lane Books (February 13, 2018) 
Paperback: 320 pages
Getting used to life back home in Deer Park, North Carolina, Sydney McCall and her right-hand tabby, Toby, are helping her sister Kat run the local animal shelter. Syd and Kat are all excited about the prospect of the shelter’s newest fundraiser: shopping channel queen Ulla Townsend. Shelter admin Maggie Shayne vehemently refuses to have anything to do with the woman, but the fundraiser ensues as planned. That is, until Ulla turns up dead in the middle of the event.
The cause of death is determined to be an allergic reaction, but Syd and Toby are sniffing out something fishy. When Syd met Ulla, it was clear she was distasteful and rude. And right before the event, Syd spotted some behind-the-scenes drama between Ulla and her manager. As they begin to investigate, they realize there is no shortage of suspects, and Maggie is at the top of the list.
Now Syd and Toby must claw their way to the truth before everything goes paws up at their animal shelter in Death by a Whisker by national bestselling author T. C. LoTempio.

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 and

Where to find them:  

ROCCO’s blog:  
Twitter: @RoccoBlogger -  

Purchase Links: Amazon B&N Google Play

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Sunday, February 17, 2019

On Being a Main Lady in a Cozy Mystery - A Guest Post & Giveaway

I'm happy to welcome Lacy Purdy to Cozy Up With Kathy today. You can find Lacy on the pages of the Running Store Mystery series by T. C. Wescott. Running from Arrows is the second book in the series and was released last month.

by T. C. Wescott

My name is Lacy Purdy. I don’t like to give my age, but I’m fond of saying that I’m still in the Nielsen Ratings’ preferred 18-49 demographic, albeit not for much longer. I moved to Cedar Mills, OK from Kansas City, MO almost two years ago and following a rather disheartening divorce from my husband of too many years. I don’t have kids, but I do have Meatball—my chubby Russian Blue kitty. We live alone in a small two-bedroom in a quiet, old neighborhood, not far from Main Street.

You could say Main Street is the nerve center of my life. The small insurance office I work at is off a shady turning, but my favorite place is dead center of the street—Run For It, a local running store owned and operated by Marti and Chase Reynolds, two great people. I don’t shop there all the time (a woman can buy only so many sports bras and shoe inserts) but I love the people, and twice a week I’m in charge of one of the running groups that take out from the store. The running groups help prepare runners for upcoming 5k, 10k and marathon runs in the area. I learned so much going through the training that I’m thrilled to be able to pass the knowledge on to newbies.

It was here at Run For It that I made my two best friends. Stax came along just when I needed her. I was new in town and even newer in the running group when she extended the hand of friendship. Well, what she actually did was follow me on runs telling me everything I was doing wrong. It was annoying and mildly offensive so to keep her off my back I took her suggestions and next thing you know I was running faster, longer, and maximizing my lung capacity. So, I let my guard down and let her into my life. We’ve been pretty inseparable since. She owns an indie bookstore on Main Street that is another of my regular hangouts.

It was also at the bookstore that I met a woman I am pretty sure will change my life if she hasn’t already. Her name is Ruby Maplethorpe, but you might know her better as Pearl Oakley, the author of over 20 mystery novels in the 50s and 60s. Since widowed and retired, Ruby decided to take up long distance walking to remain in shape. What she didn’t count on was murder.

Around the time I met Ruby a fellow runner from our group went missing under the most mysterious circumstances imaginable. If that wasn’t enough, someone was leaving pairs of scissors in very conspicuous places. When the runner turned up dead, I found myself cast as a prime suspect. If not for the brilliance of Ruby and the tenacity of Stax and a very capable (and handsome) detective, I might have been strung up for a crime I never committed. But being the great friends they are, they came through. I relay the harrowing events of this murderous adventure in Running from Scissors.

This Valentine’s Day has been even more trying. Not one, not two, but three people have been murdered. And, lo and behold, I’ve got a secret admirer. There’s a maniac called the Cupid Killer at large and for all I know he and my admirer are one and the same.

But I trust myself and my friends to get to the bottom of this mystery, as perplexing as it is. There’s something about Cedar Mills that makes it hard for bad people to flourish. And if I know Ruby, she’ll figure out who our invisible killer is and save the day once again.

I just hope she does so before I become the Cupid Killer’s latest victim!

To find out what happens, be sure to check out Running from Arrows in Kindle, paperback, or Audible format now!


Running from Arrows (A Running Store Mystery) by T.C. Wescott

About the Book

Cozy Mystery/Romance/Humor 2nd in Series  
Better Mousetrap Books (January 7, 2019)  
Print Length: 192 pages 
One of Lacy's beaus has a bow. Unlike Cupid, his arrows kill. There's more than romance in the air this Valentine's Day!
Running from Arrows is the fun, twist-filled, romantic cozy mystery romp you've been waiting for!
Valentine's Day is coming up and Lacy is single. If that's not bad enough, she has a secret admirer. Is it the compassionate, haunted detective, the ruggedly handsome businessman, the suave maître de, the guy in her running group who likes to stare, or maybe someone who's not on her radar? She'll find out soon enough because he's invited her to dinner. Now the question isn't how long Lacy will remain single but how long she'll remain alive.
During the Sweetheart Run through the town of Cedar Mill a fellow runner is murdered and a notorious burglar called the Black Cat is found dead with an arrow sticking out of him. Somehow these strange murders are connected to the ladies of Run For It - Lacy the divorcee, Stax the quirky bookseller, and Ruby the old-time mystery novelist. They're back in a race against time to catch an invisible killer and exonerate an innocent man!
If you love a delicious mystery dripping with romance, humor, and chills - and a Valentine's Day dinner no reader will ever forget - then buy Running from Arrows now and run it right to the top of your TBR pile!
You'll want to tell all your friends about Running from Arrows, but whatever you do, DON'T TELL THE SECRET OF THE SECRET ADMIRER.
Running from Arrows is part two in a series but can be read as a stand-alone.

About the Author

T.C. Wescott was born in Missouri but has lived in Oklahoma most of his life. Like pretty much every author who has ever breathed, he is an avid reader. His favorites are classic mysteries from the Golden Age, as well as just before or just after that period (which is widely considered the period between the two World Wars). His first mystery novel, Running from Scissors, was published in July 2018 and will be the first of at least three books in the Running Store Mystery series.
The Christmas Village Mystery series was launched in November with the debut title Slay Bells. The formula for his books is simple – mixing the classic, traditional detective fiction standards with all the trappings of the modern cozy mystery.
Wescott is also (under another name) the author of two award-winning non-fiction books as well as a slew of essays and articles.
Purchase Link – Amazon

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Friday, February 15, 2019

Past Due for Murder - A Review & Giveaway


PAST DUE FOR MURDER by Victoria Gilbert
The Third Blue Ridge Library Mystery

Folklorist Ramona Raymond has descended upon the Taylorsford public library with her cadre of university students researching the mysterious mountain lights. A missing student, an evasive boyfriend, and ties to a mystery a hundred years before lead library director Amy Webber on a search of her own. Will she be able to tie these threads together, or will the legend of the mountain lights claim more deaths?

After reading the first two books in the Blue Ridge Library Mysteries I grew to really like the characters. But I found myself not as enamoured with them as this third entry began. Amy is plagued by inadequacy and doubt for a good portion of this book. Her clinginess is annoying, yet suspicion is warranted as Richard is no longer acting the part of the model boyfriend. His attitude and behaviors certainly indicate that something is up and he becomes quite unlikable for a while. I also found myself wanting to smack Amy as I quickly realized something to which she was totally blind. That being said, by the end of the novel their behaviors improved and both Amy and Richard are back in my good graces. This actually says a lot for the author as she's able to get readers to care about her characters. While the relationships of Amy, Richard, and even Sunny proved irksome at times, I really love the blossoming relationship between Lydia and Hugh and hope we get to see more of it. My favorite character has to be Kurt Kendrick who adds quite a bit to not only plot, but character development.

I enjoyed the mysteries found in PAST DUE FOR MURDER, especially the ties to the mystery of the lost girls in the late 1800s. Clues were in laid out, allowing readers to figure out a good portion of the modern day mystery...and possibly yelling at Amy who couldn't see the forest for the trees!

PAST DUE FOR MURDER explores self doubt and trust while asking how much we really know about those we love, or loved. The end of the novel is uplifting and makes me look forward to the next installment.


Past Due for Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery by Victoria Gilbert

About the Book

Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series 
Crooked Lane Books (February 12, 2019)  
Hardcover: 304 pages
Has a curse fallen on the small town of Taylorsford, Virginia? After a young woman goes missing during a spring bonfire, library director Amy Webber must wade through the web of lies only to find a truth that she may not want to untangle.
Spring has sprung in quaint Taylorsford, Virginia, and the mayor has revived the town’s long-defunct May Day celebration to boost tourism. As part of the festivities, library director Amy Webber is helping to organize a research project and presentation by a local folklore expert. All seems well at first—but spring takes on a sudden chill when a university student inexplicably vanishes during a bonfire.
The local police cast a wide net to find the missing woman, but in a shocking turn of events, Amy’s swoon-worthy neighbor Richard Muir becomes a person of interest in the case. Not only is Richard the woman’s dance instructor, he also doesn’t have an alibi for the night the student vanished—or at least not one he’ll divulge, even to Amy.
When the missing student is finally discovered lost in the mountains, with no memory of recent events—and a dead body lying nearby—an already disturbing mystery takes on a sinister new hue. Blessed with her innate curiosity and a librarian’s gift for research, Amy may be the only one who can learn the truth in Past Due for Murder, Victoria Gilbert’s third charming Blue Ridge Library mystery.

About the Author

Raised in a historic small town in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Victoria Gilbert turned her early obsession with books into a dual career as an author and librarian.
Victoria’s first cozy mystery series, the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series, garnered her a three-book deal with Crooked Lane Books, which has since been expanded to five books. The first two books in the series have been optioned by Sony Pictures Television, and the first three were or will be produced in audiobook by Tantor Media.
Victoria also just inked a 2-book deal with Crooked Lane for a new cozy series, the Booklovers B & B series, set in historic Beaufort, NC.
A member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and Sisters in Crime, Victoria is represented by Frances Black at Literary Counsel.

Author Links:
Facebook author page:  

Purchase Links: Amazon B&N Kobo Indie Bound GooglePlay

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Strange Blood - A Spotlight & Giveaway

As a departure from the usual Valentine's Day fare, I'd like to shine a spotlight on a work of non-fiction. STRANGE BLOOD: 70 ESSAYS ON OFFBEAT AND UNDERRATED VAMPIRE MOVIES edited by Vanessa Morgan. This book will be released April 2019.

Cover design: Gilles Vranckx


This is an overview of the most offbeat and underrated vampire movies spanning nine decades and 23 countries.

STRANGE BLOOD encompasses well-known hits as well as obscurities that differ from your standard fang fare by turning genre conventions on their head. Here, vampires come in the form of cars, pets, aliens, mechanical objects, gorillas, or floating heads. And when they do look like a demonic monster or an aristocratic Count or Countess, they break the mold in terms of imagery, style, or setting.

Leading horror writers, filmmakers, actors, distributors, academics, and programmers present their favorite vampire films through in-depth essays, providing background information, analysis, and trivia regarding the various films. Some of these stories are hilarious, some are terrifying, some are touching, and some are just plain weird. Not all of these movies line up with the critical consensus, yet they have one thing in common: they are unlike anything you've ever seen in the world of vampires.

Just when you thought that the children of the night had become a tired trope, it turns out they have quite a diverse inventory after all.


Publisher: Moonlight Creek Publishing

Author bio:

Vanessa Morgan is the author of several fiction and non-fiction books in the horror genre. Three of her stories (THE STRANGERS OUTSIDE, NEXT TO HER, and A GOOD MAN), have become movies. When she's not working on her latest book, you can find her reading, watching horror movies, digging through flea markets, or photographing felines for her blog Traveling Cats (

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Vanessa Morgan has graciously offered an e-copy of her first previous book, WHEN ANIMALS ATTACK to one lucky reader. Simply comment on this post telling us your favorite vampire film. In order to qualify, leave the comment no later than 11:59pm EDT Friday, February 15, 2019 and make sure you include your e-mail address so that I can contact you should your comment be picked. Good luck and Happy Valentine's Day!