BLOG TOUR – Murder at the River Bend Retirement Resort – REVIEW

4 out of 5 stars.

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Today I’m happy to be bringing you another Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. This time, I’m featuring Murder at the River Bend Retirement Resort by Stan Schatt. For the most part, I really enjoyed this book.

MURDER AT THE RIVER BEND

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Synopsis

When a very disagreeable resident of the exclusive River Bend Retirement Resort is murdered, bestselling mystery writer Miriam Lipsky has to find the real killer to save her dear friend from prison. She finds the retirement home seethes with intrigue, passion, and jealousy. To make matters worse, it’s hard to distinguish what residents actually saw from what they imagined.

Miriam finds she has to search for the killer while juggling an autistic grandson, a divorced daughter with a tendency to choose the wrong man, her best friend’s overly friendly husband, and a stalker who leaves her more and more threatening notes. To make matters worse, her rabbi who won’t take no for an answer when it comes to fixing her up.

Miriam, a widow after a disastrous marriage, has given up on love. Just when she is sure that part of her life is over, someone new appears from a very unexpected place.

Murder at the River Bend Retirement Resort is a cozy mystery with a sleuth who has to learn on the job. Despite her best intentions, Miriam makes mistake after mistake and yet moves ever closer to discovering a cold-blooded killer who has no remorse.

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Review

For the most part, I really enjoyed this book. It was a fun read.

I enjoyed our two major characters, Miriam and the sheriff. They play well off of each other and it was a change to have a sheriff who was okay with the amateur talking to people and trying to gather clues. That was a refreshing change. It was nice not to have the sheriff/police chief at odds with the amateur detective.

The plot line was good, but I did feel that it bogged down a little in the middle. I felt as tho’ there were places where the subplot got in the way of the main story. That’s why I only rated it a 4 star book.

It was still a fun book to read and I’ll read more in the series as I really like Miriam and Sheriff Rhodes.

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About the Author

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Stan is the author of over 40 books including the Frankie and Josh mysteries. He has published books on career changing, technology, and writers that include Michael Connelly and Daniel Silva.

Author Links

Webpage: www.stanschatt.com

Twitter: @stanschatt

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/search?q=Stan+Schatt

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Thanks for joining me today on this latest Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. If you wish to visit other stops on the tour, please click on the banner below. That will take you to the main tour page where you can find a list of participants!

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BLOG TOUR – Cat Got Your Secrets – REVIEW

4.5 out of 5 stars

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Though I am a bit late, today I’m thrilled to be bringing you a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Cat Got Your Secrets by Julie Chase. I really love this series!

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Synopsis

Lacy Marie Crocker has settled into a comfortable groove back home in New Orleans, and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, she’s busier than ever running a thriving pet boutique, helping her mother organize the upcoming National Pet Pageant, and untangling her complicated love life. But when delivering a king-sized order of dreidel-shaped doggy biscuits for a Saint Berdoodle’s bark-mitzvah, Lacy stumbles into yet another murder scene–and the last person to see the victim alive was her own father. It’s up to Lacy to clear her dad’s name from the suspect list before Detective Jack Oliver has to cage him for good. But just when she starts pawing at the truth, she receives a threatening letter from a mysterious blackmailer bent on silencing her with her own secrets. And Lacy’s not the only one with bones in her closet. Time’s running out in this deadly cat-and-mouse game in Cat Got Your Secrets, the delightfully funny third novel in Julie Chase’s Kitty Couture mystery series, perfect for “all those feline fanciers who love to read Rita Mae Brown” (Suspense Magazine).

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Review

I loved this newest installment of the Kitty Couture mysteries. Lacy still gets me a little riled sometimes when she does stupid things without thinking, but she’s gotten at least a little better at that than she was before. Not much, but a little.

While it was true that we had a murder in this one, the blackmail was really the intriguing part of the mystery. The story moved along at a decent pace and stayed on track nicely.

I look forward to seeing what else Lacy gets into in further installments in the series!

** Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC I received. I was not compensated for my review. All opinions and conclusions are my own. **

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About the Author

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Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three spunky children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime. She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey. Learn more about Julie Anne Lindsey here.

Webpage: http://juliechasebooks.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JulieChaseAuthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14957369.Julie_Chase

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JulieALindsey

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Thanks for joining me today for a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Cat Got Your Secrets. If you wish to visit other stops on the tour, please click the banner below. The banner will take you to the main tour page where there is a list of participants!

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BLOG TOUR – A Cajun Christmas Killing – GUEST POST

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Hello! Today I’m happy to be bringing you a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for the novel A Cajun Christmas Killing by Ellen Byron. Ms. Byron sent me a guest post to share with you. Links to the book on Goodreads and purchase links can be found at the end of the post.

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Ellen Byron’s Guest Post

I’m not just a mystery author, I’m a mystery reader. In a big way. I read pretty much all of Agatha Christie’s novels by the time I was fourteen. My favorite current authors are Louise Penny, Jacqueline Winspear, Rhys Bowen, and G.M. Maliet, to name just a few. I try to read one book by every mystery author I befriend, so my TBR is through the roof! Well, through the virtual roof since I’m trying to adapt to a Kindle to save space and money. But my all-time favorite book is a classic – Wuthering Heights. I spent a good number of years with a literary crush on Heathcliff. Until recently, that is…

 Here’s how I came upon the book. When I was a moody, disaffected teen who could have used a heavy dose of anti-depressants, my family vacationed in Vermont. We eventually happened upon The Haunted Mansion Bookshop. Housed in a spooky Victorian home across from a cemetery, the used bookstore was run by a man with only one arm. As I wandered through the dusty, packed aisles, the one-armed man approached me and used his remaining arm to hand me a book. “I think you’ll like this,” he said. The book was Emily Bronte’s classic tale of passion, Wuthering Heights, and boy, was he right. Emily Bronte’s gothic romance blew me away. I fell madly in love with Heathcliff, the passionate, brooding breakout star of the novel. Could there be a hotter literary hottie? Not to fourteen-year-old me.

But my attitude toward Heathcliff recently changed. I re-read Wuthering Heights because I wanted to use my personal obsession with the book as back story for a character. And the way-older-than fourteen-year-old-me had a completely different reaction to the original anti-hero. Heathcliff is a horrible human being! He’s physically and emotionally abusive, callous, cruel, and basically a stalker. I realized he made a terrible role model for sexy male love interests in my books. It was sending the wrong message to my characters and readers. So Bo Durand, the eye candy in my debut novel, Plantation Shudders: A Cajun Country Mystery, may look a little like Heathcliff with his jet-black hair and deep brown eyes, but he’s sensitive and kind. Women attracted to him had better be prepared to take a back seat to Bo’s autistic son, Xander, the light of the divorced detective’s life.

Still, Emily Bronte’s passionate prose never ceases to move me. And when you’re together as long as Heathcliff and I were, you can’t just go cold turkey on each other. He’ll still color my characters.  My men will always be a little mysterious. Occasionally, one or two may brood. I could never do a total 180 on the relationship because then the men in my books could become something that Heathcliff never was: boring.

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WRITING FOR TELEVISION VERSUS WRITING MYSTERIES

I’ve been a television writer for (puts hand over mouth to hide how long) years. Mostly I’ve written for sitcoms like WINGS and JUST SHOOT ME. I recently finished a lengthy gig writing the animated Nickelodeon series, FAIRLY ODD PARENTS and BUNSEN IS A BEAST. I’ve written pilots for all the major networks and some cable ones as well. People often ask me what the difference is between writing for television and writing mysteries The answer? Everything.

First of all, I have a partner for writing television – we’re a female writer/producer team and that’s how we’re marketed by our reps. My CAJUN COUNTRY MYSTERY series is totally my own thing. But if I sold it to a network or studio, my writing partner and I would pen the script adaption of it together.

Writing for television is a social occupation. Writing novels is solitary. Although I’ve done dramas, my career has mainly been in comedy, so I’ll focus on that. As a sitcom writer-producer, I’m part of a staff that can be anywhere from a half-dozen to a dozen or more writers offering various levels experience. I’ve worked on staffs that have fifteen writers. We work as a room to break stories. With most shows, once a story is broken, it’s assigned to someone on staff who goes off and writes a first draft. If there’s time in the production schedule, the writer will get notes and do a second draft. The entire staff then punches up the script, adding jokes, fixing story problems, etc.

When you’re in production, you’ll have three trains running – a story train, a production train, and a rewrite train. Multi-camera shows like BIG BANG THEORY are almost like plays. You go to run-throughs, and then come back to the writers room to rewrite based on what worked and what didn’t. There’s a studio run-through and a network run-through, and you have to address the notes given by the various executives. Then you shoot the show before a live audience. Sidebar: (BIG BANG THEORY follows a model where scripts are group-written in the room by the staff.)

My mysteries are totally my babies until they go to the publisher. It’s just my computer and me until I have a draft I want to share with beta reader friends. Once that’s polished, I send it to the publisher, who responds with developmental and copy-edit notes. I get to revise and polish up until the book goes to print – and now with e-books, I’ve even made changes a year after publication!

I love having the combination of both writing experiences in my life. It provides a wonderful balance, and exercises different parts of my brain. Have I mentioned I also write plays and am a freelance journalist? But we’ll save that for another post…

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Thank you for joining me today for a stop on the Great Escape Virtual Book Tour for A Cajun Christmas Killing by Ellen Byron! Below are the purchase links, a link to Goodreads, the Rafflecopter Giveaway, and the Author’s Links. If you wish to visit other stops on the tour, click on the banner at the very end and that will take you to the main tour page which will provide you with a list of tour participants.

CAJUN CHRISTMAS KILLING

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BLOG TOUR – Chickadee Chickadee Bang Bang – SPOTLIGHT

Today I’m happy to bring you a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for J.R. Ripley’s Chickadee Chickadee Bang Bang, which is the 5th book in the Bird Lover’s Mystery series.

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Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Lyrical Underground (September 12, 2017)
Print Length: 247 pages
ASIN: B01MT0HN6F

 

Ruby Lake, North Carolina, might be the perfect place to go birdwatching during autumn, but it’s also a habitat for murder . . .

As Birds & Bees owner Amy Simms guides a halfhearted birding group around Ruby Lake, rumors soon start flying about the annual Fall Festival’s classic car and tractor show. Local eccentric Chick Sherman—boasting the hottest ride in town—has ruffled feathers by mysteriously entering the contest, and curious Amy hatches a plan to sneak a glimpse at the phantom automobile before the big event kicks off . . .

But competition turns deadly when Amy finally spots the sleek ’56 El Morocco—and it’s on top of Chick’s very dead body. With her neighbor and business partner framed as the murderer and priceless Audubon prints suddenly missing from Chick’s home, only Amy can identify the telltale markings of a killer before another hapless victim is plucked from the flock . . .

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JRRipley Kensington author photoAbout The Author

J.R. Ripley is the pen name of Glenn Meganck, the critically acclaimed author of the Tony Kozol mystery series. As a member of the Mystery Writers of America, he has chaired the Edgar committee for Best Original Paperback novel and served on the Best Short Story Committee. As a member of the International Association of Crime Writers, he has served on the Hammett Award committee for Best Novel. When not writing books, Glenn is writing songs, often singing them to the consternation of his audience and neighbors, or involved in one of his many passions, none of which have involved any of the dead bodies that seem to keep cropping up in his mysteries. For more information about him, visit www.jrripley.net

Author Links

Purchase Links: Amazon – B&N  kobo
Other Books in this Series

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Thanks for joining me today for my stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Chickadee Chickadee Bang Bang. If you wish to visit other participants in the tour, please click on the banner below. It will take you to the main tour page where you will find a list of tour participants.

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AWARD – Awesome Blogger Award

I’ve been nominated for another award! Woo hoo! 🙂 This time it’s the Awesome Blogger Award. Thank you to Roda from Growing Self for nominating me. If you haven’t checked out Roda’s blog yet, you really need to. She’s got great life advice and lots of fun stories about her farm. 🙂

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What Is the “Awesome Blogger Award”? 

This award was created by Miss Maggie over at dreaming of Guatemala! And she says :

“This is an award for the absolutely wonderful writers all across the blogging world. They have beautiful blogs, are kind and lovely, and always find a way to add happiness and laughter to the lives of their readers. That is what truly defines an awesome blogger.”

The Rules

• Thank the person who nominated you. Include the reason behind the award. Include the banner in your post.

• Tag it under #awesomebloggeraward in the Reader.

• Answer the questions your nominator gave you.

• Nominate at least 5 awesome bloggers.

• Give your nominees 10 new questions to answer.

• Let your nominees know that they’ve been nominated!

 

Roda’s Questions: Let’s try something fun with the questions!!

1. One thing you love? Since Roda specified a “thing”, I’m going with my Kindle Fire. I love having so many books at my fingertips.

2. Two favorite colors? Purple (just in case you couldn’t tell 😉 ) and Midnight Blue.

3. Three words you love to use? “I love you.” To friends, family, etc. Not generally to strangers. 😉 

4. Four places you have traveled? Finland; Buffalo, NY; Colorado (Denver/Boulder area); and Washington D.C.

5. Five favorite foods? Pizza, popcorn, quinoa, ice cream, black beans – I could be perfectly happy living on those 5 things along with a few condiments, different pizza toppings, and water.

6. Six musicians or bands you love? The Piano Guys; Trans-Siberian Orchestra; Peter, Paul & Mary; Moody Blues; Yo-Yo Ma; and Metallica.

7. Seven survival items you would take while visiting out-of-town relatives over the holidays? Hmmm.. this one’s hard as most of my relatives live near me. For a general road trip/vacation, let’s see… 

  • Warm clothes (I hate being too cold, especially at night)
  • My phone/charger
  • My tablet/charger
  • My camera/charger
  • Headphones/Earbuds
  • My own pillows & stuffed animals (yes, I still have a couple stuffed animals I sleep with. One of my mental illnesses causes me to need them.)
  • Books! Lots and lots of books – both physical and on my Kindle.

8. 4+4=8. Four favorite vegetables? Four favorite fruits? Veggies: Broccoli, Green beans, Red peppers, and Cucumbers.  Fruits: Apples, Grapes, Cloudberries (unfortunately, only available as jam in the U.S. but I love the berries themselves), and Cantaloupe. 

9. Nine words that describe you? Kind, Intelligent, Compassionate, Thoughtful, Generous, Creative, Fat, and according to my best friend, Brave and Beautiful (neither of which do I feel like I am but she does). And just so you all know, I don’t mind the word fat. I despise the word obese, but I don’t mind fat. I am fat. It’s just the truth. 

10. 10-9=1. One thing you love most about YouMy eyes – they’re a pretty blue. 

 

My Nominees

I realize that not every one chooses to participate in award nominations. If you choose not to, that’s fine (but I hope you will). Just keep blogging. 🙂

  1. Books & Biscuits
  2. Mischenko from Read, Rant, Rock & Roll
  3. Susan Loves Books
  4. Marie at Drizzle & Hurricane Books
  5. May from Forever and Everly
  6. Marcia Strykowski
  7. Dee’s Rad Reads and Reviews

 

My Questions for my Nominees:

1) What is your favorite genre(s) to read (pick up to 3)?

2) What are the top 3 books you’ve read in the last year?

3) If you could spend one day with anyone – fiction/nonfiction, dead/alive – who would it be and why? (This does not have to be someone famous – just whomever you want to spend a day with.)

4) If you could travel to *one* place in the world and spend a week there (all expenses paid) – where would you go and why?

5) What song(s) has/have meant the most to you over the last 3 years (pick up to 3)?

6) Cookies, cake, or cupcakes? Why?

7) If you could travel to a fantasy world that is *NOT* Harry Potter’s world and *NOT* Middle Earth, which one would you choose and why?

8) What sound or noise do you love to hear?

9) What sound or noise do you hate to hear?

10) Tell us something unique about yourself that people may not know about you.

 

Thank you again to Roda from Growing Self for my nomination!