Sunday, February 27, 2022

Murder Faux Paws - A Guest Post & Giveaway

I'm pleased let Nora Charles take over Cozy Up With Kathy today. You can find this Nora on the pages of the Nick and Nora Mystery series by T. C. LoTempio. MURDER FAUX PAWS is the fifth book in the series and was released this past week.

Hello, my name is Nora Charles and yes, my parents did name me after Nick Charles’s wife in The Thin Man. Many people have said that I live up to my name!

After graduating college with a degree in journalism, it was off from sunny California to the Windy City of Chicago for me, where I landed a job on the Chicago Tribune. I worked my way up and eventually got the true crime beat and even had my own column, Dark Streets! After my mother passed away, though, I returned to my hometown of Cruz to take over the family business – a sandwich shop called Hot Bread! What prompted me to give up what lots of people called an exciting career? Well, frankly, after so many years I was burned out – besides, there was no one else. I knew my sister Lacey wouldn’t want it. So it all came down to me. I still kept my hand in writing though. I do occasional articles for Louis Blondell’s online crime magazine, Noir.

Now here’s where things got interesting.

One night my BFF Chantal and I heard a scratching at the shop back door. We opened it to find a large, black and white cat there! He saschayed in and made himself right at home – and after some urging from Chantal, I decided to keep him – at least until I could locate his owner. I named him Nick (after Nick Charles of course). Little did I know that this cat would more than live up to his name! From our first adventure together, MEOW ITS MURDER, to our most recent, MURDER FAUX PAWS, Nick has become my partner in crime solving! Plus, he’s saved my hide on more than one occasion!

In our latest adventure, Violet Crenshaw’s gift of PI lessons for me sparks another mystery when an old friend resurfaces and wants me to delve into the mystery of her fiance’s supposed suicide. Seems the guy was a PI, and she doesn’t believe for one second that he’d take his own life. Nick and I begin investigating, and after a second PI turns up dead, we found ourselves drawn into a plot that involves a local politician, missing campaign funds and a possible bogus real estate deal. But small town thievery soon takes a backseat to whispers of a threat to national security!

And how did that all end? Well, you’ll just have to read MURDER FAUX PAWS to find out! (Hint: Nick plays savior once again!)


 Murder Faux Paws: A Nick and Nora Mystery

by T. C. LoTempio

About Murder Faux Paws

Murder Faux Paws: A Nick and Nora Mystery
Cozy Mystery 5th in Series
Setting - California
Beyond the Page (February 22, 2022)
Print length: ‎ 273 pages

Dead men tell no tales, but in the riveting new Nick and Nora Mystery, they sure leave a lot of clues . . .

When a local PI’s untimely death is ruled a suicide by the police, budding sleuth Nora Charles has no intention of letting sleeping dogs lie—or sleeping cats, for that matter. Certain it was a case of foul play, Nora rouses her trusty sidekick Nick and launches an investigation of her own. Then a second PI is murdered, and Nora knows the two men were on to something—and that she’s on to something too.

Following the enigmatic clues left by her late predecessors, Nora soon uncovers a plot that involves a local politician, missing campaign funds, and what could be a bogus real estate deal. But when hints of treason surface, what started as small-time thievery soon balloons into a matter of national security. With the uncanny Nick sniffing out—and spelling out—leads, Nora follows a trail that will take her to the heart of a shadowy conspiracy, and into a trap set by a conniving culprit that will have her wishing she had Nick’s nine lives . . .

About T.C. LoTempio


T.C. Lotempio is the national bestselling author of the Nick and Nora mystery series, as well as the Pet Shop Mystery Series and the Cat Rescue mysteries. She lives in sunny Phoenix Arizona along with her two cats, Maxx and ROCCO, who is a talented blogger himself. Cat-ch up with them at her website,, or ROCCO's blog,  




Twitter: @RoccoBlogger  

Purchase Link - Amazon - B&N - Google Play - Apple iBooks - Kobo - Smashwords  


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 25, 2022

Jousting and Justice - A Review & Giveaway


Jousting and Justice by Elizabeth Pantley
The Fifth Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Book 

All of Destiny Falls is excited. Everyone is invited to a medieval festival on the forbidden island. Given the opportunity to see her parents, how can Hayden resist? Since her even her grandmother is going it must be safe. Mustn't it? Her exuberance is dampened when Hayden makes an awful discovery. Her office has been ransacked and there's a dead body in the back. Whoever broke in was looking for something, but what? Who is the murdered man? Will Hayden and her family and friends solve the murder and still enjoy a festival away from Destiny Falls? Or does a certain witch have other plans?

A medieval faire! What fun. Having been to a faire or two in my time I was as excited to read about one as the citizens of Destiny Falls were to actually attend one. Excitement and energy suffuse the pages by vivid descriptions and engaging storytelling. I was fully immersed in the story with its fun characters and intriguing storyline.

As in previous books in the series, there is a self contained mystery which is resolved by the end of the story and an over arcing mystery which continues to develop, flourish, and grow through each book. While I enjoy each mystery, I am enthralled by the bigger mystery that is Destiny Falls. The author is also very clever in formatting her series in this way. The primary mystery is solved, so readers are content, but she's still able to leave cliff hangers so readers, like me, are desperate to know what happens next and are ready to devour the next book whenever it is released.

The fifth Destiny Falls Mystery is full of surprises. Secrets are slowly revealed, some in jaw dropping ways. New revelations about a villain come to surface and we have more of a clue of just who is pulling the strings...maybe.

JOUSTING AND JUSTICE is a book that stirs the heart strings, values friends and family for better or worse, makes you grin, and keeps you coming back for more. I can't wait to read what happens next!


 Jousting and Justice: Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic by Elizabeth Pantley

During the launch weeks there will be Amazon promotions running:

February 16 – 20 – Book 1 FREE - Falling into Magic February 21 – 27 – Book 2 at 99 cents - The Disappearance of Emily

About Jousting and Justice

Jousting and Justice: Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic
Paranormal Cozy Mystery 5th in Series
Better Beginnings, Inc. (February 15, 2022)
Number of Pages 315

An invitation to a medieval festival. A ferry ride to a mysterious island. A scheming, inept witch. An office break-in, an unidentified body, and a string of suspects. Can Hayden, her brave, sassy cat, Latifa, and the people of Destiny Falls solve the mystery and enjoy the festival?

Jousting and Justice follows the series format of combining two stories that blend into one. A murder mystery and the island mystery.

The Island Mystery: Hayden and all her friends get an invitation to a medieval festival - but it's on "the forbidden island." It's too enticing to pass up. Of course, strange things will happen once they get there! . . . You'll also learn the truth about the witch's sister!

The Murder Mystery: A dead body shows up in the most shocking place. First, they need to figure out who this dead guy is. Then, who killed him and why. There are so many twists and turns on the way to the answers! But we know that Hayden, Latifa, and their family and friends will figure it out and justice will be served.

Hayden’s many adventures in Destiny Falls will keep you guessing with each book in this 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



Newsletter Sign-up:  






Series link:  

Purchase Link - Amazon -  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading Murder Through an Open Door by Melissa Bourbon. This book is the third in the Book Magic Mystery series and was released earlier this month.

Pippin is learning to live apart from her twin Grey, but she's hardly alone. Her inn is almost always fully booked, leaving her grateful for Hazel, a traveling innkeeper, who has come to help out. She also has her friends, as well as Jamie and his daughters. But until she can break the family curse there's no place for romance. Is there? Could a dead body in Jaime's bookshop and a discovery about Pippin's necklace mean that she and Grey will be able to actually break the curse? Or does it only mean that more trouble is heading their way?

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

The Secret in the Wall - An Interview & Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Ann Parker to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Ann writes the Silver Rush Mystery series. THE SECRET IN THE WALL is the eighth book in the series and was released last week.

Kathy: The Silver Rush Mystery series is set in the late 1800s. Why did you choose this era for your series?

AP: The late 1800s was a time of rapid change in the West. When my series opens in 1879, the silver rush is ramping up in Leadville, Colorado. People from far and wide are pouring into this remote area of the Rocky Mountains, hoping to get rich quick. The social upheavals accompanying such boom-and-bust cycles intrigue me. Also, in the latter part of the 19th century, women such as my protagonist, Inez Stannert, found greater opportunities in the West compared to the eastern U.S., including more liberal divorce laws and the freedom to reinvent themselves.

Kathy: Historical mysteries require a special type of research. What's your favorite method?

AP:I love pouring over historical maps and doing "on the ground" research. When on location, I search out landmarks from the past that still exist, such as San Francisco's Palace Hotel and Lotta's Fountain I also note "timeless" sensory details, such as the weather, the seasonal slant of the sun, and so on, and search out local experts and historical societies. 


Kathy: Inez Stannert was a saloon owner and card sharp in the rough silver boomtown of Leadville, Colorado. Do you play cards?

AP: Not so much now. One fond childhood memory is playing poker with my best friend and her mother for toothpicks. Card games such as Go Fish and Hearts were staples when my children were young. With poker, we played for M&Ms so we could eat our winnings.

Kathy: THE SECRET IN THE WALL finds Inez moving to San Francisco and finds a skeleton with a bag of Civil War-era gold coins. Are you a Civil War buff?

AP: I find the War intriguing, particularly given the timeframe of my series. Nearly all of my characters either fought or lived through it, and many are still dealing with the repercussions in the 1880s. I owe much to a local Civil War reenactor who reached out to me after my first book, SILVER LIES, was published and let me know I'd made an error with one of the firearms (oops!). We had a wonderful chat about the Civil War, and he later invited me to a reenactment. What I learned there provided inspiration for my second book, IRON TIES.

Kathy: What first drew you to historical mysteries?

AP: Escaping to the past through stories is something I've done since I was a child. I suppose I found those long-ago times exotic and exciting compared to my humdrum mid-20th century childhood. My first brush with historical mysteries was probably the Bobbsey Twins books, which were written before I was born. Later on, I devoured Sherlock Holmes and the tales of Edgar Allan Poe. Additionally, as a young'un I loved TV westerns such as Gunsmoke, The Big Valley, and The Wild Wild West (which included elements of mystery and espionage).

Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

AP: The past is still my preferred fiction-writing playground. However, I have written some contemporary short stories, just to stretch myself. "Purged" appears in Low Down Dirty Vote, Volume 2. "Winning by a Whisker: A Pawlitical Tale" (my experiment in writing humorous whimsey with a bite) appears in Volume 3, which will be published May 2022.

Kathy: Tell us about your series.

AP: The Silver Rush series, set in the 1880s, features Colorado saloon-owner Inez Stannert—a woman with a mysterious past, a complicated present, and an uncertain future. In recent books, Inez has moved west to San Francisco, California, and re-invented herself as a music-store manager and a 19th-century "angel investor" for women-owned small businesses.

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

AP: I never tire of writing my protagonist Inez—a strong woman who knows her own mind (if not necessarily her heart). I also have a special fondness for Inez's young ward, Antonia Gizzi, who first appeared in WHAT GOLD BUYS. It's been fun to explore the world from Antonia's point-of-view, especially in the newest book,

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

AP: I wanted to bring the past to life for readers, and examine what life was like for women in the "Victorian West" of the United States.

Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

AP: As a voracious reader and a science writer in my day job, I wanted to try my hand at writing fiction. After I'd researched, written, edited, and polished SILVER LIES—which took three years—it felt natural to take the next step and query publishers.

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

AP: Willa Cather, for certain, as well as author/illustrator Mary Hallocke Foote, whose work portrayed life in the late-19th-century mining communities of the American West. Let's add Edgar Allan Poe and (because I am a such a fan-girl of his books!) Martin Cruz Smith.

Kathy: What are you currently reading?

AP: AND ONLY TO DECEIVE by Tasha Alexander for a mystery book group discussion. Great fun!

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

AP: I love to walk and take close-up photos of plants and urban landscapes. There's also my cat, Mia (#DivaMissMia on Facebook), who keeps me on my toes and doesn't let me stay up past my bedtime.

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

AP: Coffee, first and foremost, as being well-caffeinated is a daily necessity! I'm the "snacky" sort, so stockpile chips (potato, tortilla); roasted almonds; and chocolate (in many forms).

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

AP: I am mulling several ideas for the Silver Rush series, and have an exciting possibility in mind for a different (but still historical) series.

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

AP: I love hearing from readers! Like many authors, I spin my tales, release them into the world, and then wonder: Do they "speak to" or resonate with anyone? So, feedback from readers is always appreciated!


 The Secret in the Wall: A Novel (Silver Rush Mysteries) by Ann Parker

About The Secret In The Wall

The Secret in the Wall: A Novel (Silver Rush Mysteries)
Historical Mystery 8th in Series
Poisoned Pen Press (February 15, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 400 pages

Sometimes you can't keep your gown out of the gutter...

Inez Stannert has reinvented herself—again. Fleeing the comfort and wealth of her East Coast upbringing, she became a saloon owner and card sharp in the rough silver boomtown of Leadville, Colorado, always favoring the unconventional path—a difficult road for a woman in the late 1800s.

Then the teenaged daughter of a local prostitute is orphaned by her mother's murder, and Inez steps up to raise the troubled girl as her own. Inez works hard to keep a respectable, loving home for Antonia, carefully crafting their new life in San Francisco. But risk is a seductive friend, difficult to resist. When a skeleton tumbles from the wall of her latest business investment, the police only seem interested in the bag of Civil War-era gold coins that fell out with it. With her trusty derringer tucked in the folds of her gown, Inez uses her street smarts and sheer will to unearth a secret that someone has already killed to keep buried. The more she digs, the muddier and more dangerous things become.

She enlists the help of Walter de Brujin, a local private investigator with whom she shares some history. Though she wants to trust him, she fears that his knowledge of her past, along with her growing attraction to him, may well blow her veneer of respectability to bits—that is, if her dogged pursuit of the truth doesn't kill her first . . .

About Ann Parker

Ann Parker is a science writer by day and fiction writer by night. Her award-winning Silver Rush Mysteries series, published by Poisoned Pen Press, a Sourcebooks imprint, is set primarily in 1880s Leadville, Colorado, and more recently in San Francisco, California, the “Paris of the West.” The series was named a Booksellers Favorite by the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association, and Ann is listed in the Colorado Authors' Hall of Fame. The Secret in the Wall is the eighth and newest entry in the series.

Author Links: 






Purchase Links - Amazon - IndieBound - Barnes & Noble - Books-A-Million - Nook - Kobo

  Visit Towne Center Books Website for Signed/Personalized copies  


a Rafflecopter giveaway