BLOG TOUR – Murder is a Dirty Business – GUEST POST

MURDER-IS-A-DIRTY-BUSINESS-BANNER-640

Welcome! Today I’m featuring a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Murder is a Dirty Business, the first in the new A Grime Pays series by Tricia L. Sanders.  Ms. Sanders has graciously provided a guest post for today. Information about the book, including purchase links and a Rafflecopter Giveaway are below the guest post!  Enjoy!

magnifyingglassdivider

Guest Post from Tricia L. Sanders

Hi and thanks for having me. I’m kicking off 2018 with a recommitment to my passions. I’m identifying my goals and finding ways to make them happen.

My evenings have always been about the R’s: relaxing, rejuvenating, and re-grouping. Basically, sitting around the house and getting some much-needed rest. After the hustle-bustle of the day, I deserved it. On most evenings you could find me curled up with a book on the craft of writing or the latest list of upcoming conferences and a steaming cup of Earl Grey. Each new year my resolution was the same, write my novel. My goal was to get those pesky characters out of my head and onto a page. However, I wasn’t working toward my goal.

One good writing book would give way to another and another and another. Rationalizing the need to study up on dialogue, I’d rush out and find a book on creating engaging dialogue. When I turned to the last page, I’d be giddy with excitement. Now I knew how my characters should converse. But what if my plot stalled, or my protagonist was weak, or my pacing was off? Get the drift. My shelves overflowed with writing books, but not one novel in my bookcase with my name on it.

Then one November, I accepted a challenge along with a few members of my critique group—write 50,000 words in a month. I knew 50,000 words did not a novel make, but it was a darn good start. On the surface it sounded easy—simply write a little over 1600 words per day for thirty days. I could whip out a 2000-word essay in no time flat, so that should be easy. Right?

Oh, boy! Talk about the need for willpower.

Before I began, I made a schedule of writing times, keeping in mind the Thanksgiving holiday. I taped a huge sign over my computer that said, “NOVEL OR BUST.” I told everyone I knew about my mission—nothing like adding a little peer pressure. Every night after supper, I eyed my comfortable chair and the writing book du jour, but instead raced up the stairs to work on my novel. And you know what?  I did it. On the last day of November at 6:01 p.m., I reached my goal. My novel consisted of 50,003 words.

Was it complete? No, but it had a beginning, a middle and an end. Had I given up my “R” evenings? No, I still had work to do, but instead of relaxing, I revised. Instead of rejuvenating, I re-wrote. And in the end, re-grouping gave way to rejoicing! My dream of publication came true in November of 2017. I haven’t stopped reading my books on the craft of writing or attending workshops and conferences, but I put my passion first.

A wise friend once asked me, “If it doesn’t pertain to your passion, why are you doing it?” I ask myself that all the time and it has become my mantra. The best way to keep my passion in mind, is to display it prominently in my office, on the screen saver of my laptop, phone, and tablet, and with a sticky note on my mirror and on the fridge. When I find myself procrastinating, I only need look at my passion to get me back on track. I challenge each of you to work toward your passion this year, whether it’s writing, painting, organizing your life, or traveling. Is this the year your dream comes true?

My 2018 goals are to continue marketing my 2017 novel, publish my second novel, travel, and attend my first RWA conference. When I find myself cleaning out a closet, or lollygagging on the sofa, I ask myself if this is helping me achieve my goal.

Define it and live it.

I hope 2018 brings great rewards for you.

BearsDoingChores-CuteClrs



Murder is a Dirty Business
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Soul Mate Publishing, LLC (November 15, 2017)
Print Length: 254 pages
ASIN: B076KVQ4WR

Purchase Links: Amazon

Rafflecopter Giveaway

When Cece Cavanaugh’s husband empties their joint bank account, steals her designer luggage, and runs off with a younger woman, Cece must decide whether to ask her manipulative mother-in-law for a handout or get a job. Choosing the easier path, Cece lands a job cleaning a crime scene where a high school coach was murdered. When his wife is implicated—a young woman Cece practically raised—Cece finds herself mopping floors, balancing an empty checkbook, and ferreting out a killer.

Amid all this messy business, Cece bumps heads with a handsome detective. She tries to ignore her growing attraction to the detective, but he gives new meaning to the term “hot flash.”

After she stumbles onto a clue that could vindicate her friend, her elation turns to panic when she haphazardly confronts the killer. Through the danger and romance, Cece discovers self-reliance and inner strength.

And that crime—at least, someone else’s—does pay the bills.

magnifyingglassdivider


Tricia L. Sanders writes about women with class, sass, and a touch of kickass. A former instructional designer and corporate trainer, she traded in curriculum writing for novel writing, because she hates bullet points and loves to make stuff up. And fiction is more fun than training guides and lesson plans.

When she isn’t writing, Tricia is busy crossing dreams off her bucket list. With all 50 states checked, she’s concentrating on foreign interests. She’s an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, so don’t get between her and the television when a game is on. Currently, she is working on a mystery series set in the fictional town of Wickford, Missouri. Another project in the works is a women’s fiction road trip adventure.

Her essays have appeared in Sasee, ByLine, The Cuivre River Anthology and Great American Outhouse Stories; The Whole Truth and Nothing Butt. She is a proud member of The Lit Ladies, six women writing their truths into fiction.

Author Links

Website: http://www.triciasanders.com/

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36458199-murder-is-a-dirty-business

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXRJSRSmTjg

BearsDoingChores-CuteClrs
©Cute Colors

Thanks for joining me on this Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour! If you wish to visit other sites on the tour, please click on the banner below which will take you to the main tour page which has a list of participants!

MURDER-IS-A-DIRTY-BUSINESS-BANNER184

 

BLOG TOUR – Vangie Vale & the Strangled Strudel – REVIEW, GUEST POST

vangie vale and the strangled strudel banner640

Welcome to another day and another tour! I love doing these Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours! They expose me to great authors and new series. Today’s tour is for Vangie Vale and the Strangled Strudel, the third book in the The Matchbaker Mysteries by R.L. Syme. I had mixed feelings about this book, which I’ll share below the guest post that R. L. Syme generously provided me! Enjoy!

jumbled chocolate muffin and frosted heart cookies line

R.L. Syme’s Guest Post

On Facebook, I have a wonderful group of Vangie’s friends who all congregate with me to talk about the books and our lives. We occasionally talk about Vangie, and as I was preparing for this book tour, I asked them if they had any topics for me to talk about in my guest posts. I borrowed some of their questions to write about. Here are some of the ones they posted.

* Why can’t Vangie and the sheriff get along…?

I wondered if this would be a popular question, among the fans of the books. Vangie and Malcolm have sort of a love/hate relationship in the first three books, but there are definitely a swath of fans who are rooting for them to get past their differences and start a romantic relationship.

And I don’t blame them one bit. Malcolm is a hottie.

But of course, so is Derek. Her current boyfriend.

But let me take a serious stab at answering this question. I want to be honest in that Malcolm’s issues are just as much at play here as Vangie’s. In fact, maybe even more so. I think Vangie is curious about her neighbor, the Sheriff, and she finds him interesting. She finally feels like they are friends. But Malcolm is not a church guy, and he specifically has issues with pastors. You’ll find out more about those issues later. For Vangie’s part, though, she’s dating Derek.

* Where did she get her quirky charm?

That is a great question. I feel like it’s a combination of using sarcasm to deal with the difficult things in her life, and her personality making her different. She has a quick mind, too, so she does find herself speaking quickly, because she’s thinking quickly. That’s probably what I would attribute it to.

* What was her relationship with her mother like?

This is a great question. She lost her mother when she was a teenager, so she did have several years with her. But she had a solid relationship with her mom. She and Priscilla were both close with their mother, and it was part of what made the girls so close as they got older. She’s not very close with Laura—the woman her father married a few years after her mother died—and she doesn’t consider Laura to really be her stepmother, since Laura didn’t really raise her. But she’s glad her dad is happy.

These were great questions. It was a lot of fun seeing what Vangie’s fans wanted to know about her.

jumbled chocolate muffin and frosted heart cookies line
© Cute Colors

Thank you to R.L. Syme for providing me with the guest post for today! Here’s information about the book followed by my review!


Vangie Vale & the Strangled Strudel (The Matchbaker Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Montana
Hummingbird Books (January 4, 2018)
Print Length: 330 pages
E-Book ASIN: B077GK124B

Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

Rafflecopter Giveaway

jumbled chocolate muffin and frosted heart cookies line

You could call it the straw that broke the camel’s back but it was more like a Montana forest timber.

Just when Vangie Vale’s life was getting back to normal after a murder that rocked her little Rocky Mountain tourist town, she found herself in the middle of another murder… as the chief suspect.

Vangie stood shocked on the side of the curb as the sheriff stretched yellow crime scene tape around the front of her new bakery. Wouldn’t this make a lovely headline in next week’s paper: Local Baker Kills Parishioner With Pudding. Vangie’s road back to good graces as a part-time pastor was bumpy enough already. This would be a roadblock. Can’t have that.

jumbled chocolate muffin and frosted heart cookies line

Review

4.0 out of 5 stars.

As I said above, I had mixed feelings about this book. I like Vangie as a character. I like Derek and I really love Malcolm. But Vangie’s tendency to be impulsive and not THINK when she goes to investigate drives me batty. I’ve read through all three books in this series hoping that over time she’d learn to at least stop to THINK before she rushes headfirst into danger, but so far she hasn’t.

The book is well-written and the plot line was great. I had no real ideas about who had done the crime until it was revealed at the end. Ms. Syme did a really great job with the villain. I don’t want to give anything away, but it’s not easy to write the type of villain that she had in this story and Ms. Syme did a fantastic job with it.

I haven’t decided if I’m going to continue with the series at this point. But I don’t want to dissuade my readers from it because it IS well-written and the characters are great. I just hate heroines who don’t think before rushing into danger. That’s my personal preference and has no bearing on my rating of the writing. If that type of heroine doesn’t bother you, then I recommend this series highly!

jumbled chocolate muffin and frosted heart cookies line

Thanks for joining me today! If you wish to visit other sites on the tour, please click on the banner below to visit the main tour page!

vangie vale and the strangled strudel banner184

 

 

 

BLOG TOUR – Survival of the Fritters – REVIEW

SURVIVAL-OF-THE-FRITTERS-BANNER-640

4 out of 5 stars.

Today, I’m hosting a spot on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Survival of the Fritters, the first in the new Deputy Donut series by Ginger Bolton. It was a pretty good book and I’ll definitely going to be reading more in the series!

Survival of the Fritters (A Deputy Donut Mystery)
by Ginger Bolton


Survival of the Fritters (A Deputy Donut Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Kensington (January 30, 2018)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496711878
E-Book ASIN: B071HKMK38

Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Line of chocolate donuts with sprinkles

Synopsis

Emily Westhill runs the best donut shop in Fallingbrook, Wisconsin, alongside her retired police chief father-in-law and her tabby Deputy Donut. But after murder claims a favorite customer, Emily can’t rely on a sidekick to solve the crime—or stay alive.

If Emily has learned anything from her past as a 911 operator, it’s to stay calm during stressful situations. But that’s a tall order when one of her regulars, Georgia Treetor, goes missing. Georgia never skips morning cappuccinos with her knitting circle. Her pals fear the worst—especially Lois, a close friend who recently moved to town. As evening creeps in, Emily and the ladies search for Georgia at home. And they find her—murdered among a scattering of stale donuts . . .

Disturbingly, Georgia’s demise coincides with the five-year anniversary of her son’s murder, a case Emily’s late detective husband failed to solve before his own sudden death. With Lois hiding secrets and an innocent man’s life at stake, Emily’s forced to revisit painful memories on her quest for answers. Though someone’s alibi is full of holes, only a sprinkling of clues have been left behind. And if Emily can’t trace them back to a killer in time, her donut shop will end up permanently closed for business . . .

Line of chocolate donuts with sprinkles

Review

*** Please forgive me but this is going to be shorter than usual. I have a pretty nasty migraine tonight and am writing this quickly before going back to bed. ***

I enjoyed this book. The characters are interesting. I enjoyed Emily, Brent, Lois, Tom and the rest.  They’re well-developed and well-written.

The plot line was good. There were enough red herrings to keep me guessing as to who the villain was. I didn’t put it together before it was revealed. It was very well done.

I’m definitely looking forward to more in the series!

Line of chocolate donuts with sprinkles

About the Author

Ginger-BoltonGinger Bolton writes the Deputy Donut mystery series–cops, crime, coffee, donuts and one curious cat. When Ginger isn’t writing or reading, she’s crocheting, knitting, sewing, walking her two rescue dogs and generally causing trouble. She’s also fond of donuts, coffee, and cafes were folks gather to enjoy those tasty treats and one another’s company.

 

Author Links

Webpage: http://gingerbolton.com/

Ginger has joined Killer Characters! http://www.killercharacters.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ginger_bolton

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16834862.Ginger_Bolton

Line of chocolate donuts with sprinkles
© Cute Colors

Thanks for joining me today. If you wish to visit other spots on the tour, please click on the banner below to go to the main tour page!

SURVIVAL-OF-THE-FRITTERS-BANNER184

BOOK REVIEW – Eaves of Destruction

4 out of 5 stars.

Eaves of Destruction is the fifth book in the Fixer-Upper Mystery series by Kate Carlisle. I enjoyed this book, but I think the fourth book, Deck the Hallways is still my favorite.

EavesOfDestruction

GoodReads Button

Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

Synopsis

At the annual Victorian Home and Garden Tour, Lighthouse Cove, California’s premier contractor, Shannon Hammer, realizes that the competition is about to turn deadly….

Shannon is in high demand among rival homeowners, who will do anything to win Best in Show. One-upmanship and even espionage break out among neighbors, construction crews, decorators, and landscapers. Thanks to several new hires, Shannon is sure she can handle the extra load–until murder throws a wrench in the works.

The small town’s corrupt building inspector is found dead on one of Shannon’s jobsites, and soon plenty of suspects are coming out of the woodwork. When another body is discovered, Shannon calls on her team of close friends and devilishly astute thriller writer Mac to help her nail down the details and build a case against the killer before the door shuts on someone else–for good.

ToolLine-GrphGdn
©Graphic Garden

Review

Generally, when you think of a Home and Garden tour, murder is NOT the first thing that comes to mind, but we’ve got plenty of it in Lighthouse Cove this time around! It’ll take serious sleuthing by Shannon, Mac, and their friends to find the culprit this time around. Villains abound where you least expect them.

Well-written, interesting characters are what keep me reading a series and the characters in this series are great. I enjoy Shannon and Mac tremendously. Shannon’s crew are also great. I’m looking forward to getting to know the newest member more as well.

While I had wondered about the actual villain, I really didn’t focus on them until closer to the end. There were plenty of red herrings in this book to keep you guessing on who the villain really was. However, the book still moved along at a decent pace and wasn’t too slow, even with all those extra misleading clues.

I can’t wait for the next one in the series next year! I do recommend starting at the beginning of the series if you want to read the series. Each book can be read as a stand-alone but you’ll understand the interpersonal dynamics a little better if you read from the beginning, starting with A High-End Finish.

ToolLine-GrphGdn

BLOG TOUR – A Murder for the Books – REVIEW

A MURDER FOR THE BOOKS large banner 640

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Greetings! Today I’m hosting another Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour stop. This tour is for A Murder for the Books, the first in a new series by Victoria Gilbert. I absolutely loved the book. It didn’t quite have the pizzazz that put it up to a 5-star read for me, but it is definitely a solid 4.5!

murderforthebooks-cover-art

GoodReads Button

Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Synopsis

Fleeing a disastrous love affair, university librarian Amy Webber moves in with her aunt in a quiet, historic mountain town in Virginia. She quickly busies herself with managing a charming public library that requires all her attention with its severe lack of funds and overabundance of eccentric patrons. The last thing she needs is a new, available neighbor whose charm lures her into trouble.

Dancer-turned-teacher and choreographer Richard Muir inherited the farmhouse next door from his great-uncle, Paul Dassin. But town folklore claims the house’s original owner was poisoned by his wife, who was an outsider. It quickly became water under the bridge, until she vanished after her sensational 1925 murder trial. Determined to clear the name of the woman his great-uncle loved, Richard implores Amy to help him investigate the case. Amy is skeptical until their research raises questions about the culpability of the town’s leading families… including her own.

When inexplicable murders plunge the quiet town into chaos, Amy and Richard must crack open the books to reveal a cruel conspiracy and lay a turbulent past to rest in A Murder for the Books, the first installment of Victoria Gilbert’s Blue Ridge Library mysteries.

line of books - some stacked, some standing, some leaning - books are blue, brown, red, green, and yellow
©Graphic Garden

Review

As I stated above, I absolutely loved this book!  A book that makes me laugh from the very first sentence is definitely worth my time to read. I’m a librarian so I’m interested in all cozy mysteries with a library setting and this one did not disappoint!

I really enjoyed our two main characters, Amy and Richard. They’re both well-rounded, developed characters. Their chemistry together is amazing. I’m looking forward to learning more about them and seeing their relationship blossom in further books in the series.

The setting descriptions were just right – not too little, but not too much either. I could easily imagine the town, the buildings we were in, the surrounding countryside, all of it. I like the setting. The town sits close enough to various larger towns/cities so there are all types of people who are included in the town. It’s a nice variety.

This plot moved along at a pretty steady pace. There were lots of subplots that were entangled with the main plot, but I was able to keep everything straight in my head so the subplots were a nice addition. I wondered briefly about the villain, but I really didn’t think it was them until it was revealed. It’s amazing the motives that make people kill. This was one motive I just couldn’t wrap my head around. I mean, I understood what the author meant, it just seemed like a not-so-good reason to commit murder!

I highly recommend this book if you like cozy mysteries! It’s a great start to a new series!

line of books - some stacked, some standing, some leaning - books are blue, brown, red, green, and yellow

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

A MURDER FOR THE BOOKS large banner 184