Archive | July 2016

BTB Spotlight and Giveaway: The Spirit of Grace by Terry Lynn Thomas

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Sarah Bennett doesn’t remember the night her mother tumbled down the stairs at Bennett House. Although she allegedly witnessed the incident, she knows in her heart that she did not give her mother that fateful push. When she becomes the subject of dark whispers and sidelong glances, Sarah’s family sends her to The Laurels, an exclusive asylum in San Francisco. Now, one year after her mother’s death, Sarah is summoned home. When she returns, another murder occurs, and Sarah is once again a suspect. In order to clear her name, Sarah must remember what happened the fateful night her mother died. But as Sarah works to regain her memory, the real murderer watches, ready to kill again to protect a dark family secret.

 

An expert from “The Spirit of Grace”:

I had just put the silver away and was in the process of laying the used dish towels near the stove so they could dry overnight, when I saw Zeke in the back corridor. Something stopped me from speaking to him or asking what he was doing back here. He must have gone upstairs and come back down again on the servant’s staircase, which no one ever used except Anca and me.

I ducked behind a huge parka and watched as Zeke bent over Grace’s camera bag, unzipped it, and slipped out a black canister of film, all in one quick fluid motion. After he did that, he took another canister of film out of his pocket and slipped that into the camera bag in place of the film he had taken. He didn’t see me standing in the shadows spying on him. He headed back up the stairs, his footsteps quiet as passing time.

I walked back into the foyer and up the main staircase to my own room. Once inside, I locked the door behind me. I changed out of the black dress, fumbling with one hand. The image of Zeke switching the film in Grace’s camera bag ran over and over in my head. I tried to convince myself that he hadn’t been doing anything harmful. Maybe he just needed to borrow some film. But I knew what I had seen. I knew what I had heard this afternoon—Zeke speaking flawless German on the telephone.

The magic I had felt earlier, the possibility of a future with him had been clouded now. Our future together wouldn’t be a happy one. How could it be? I had fallen in love with a spy.

Buy THE SPIRIT OF GRACE on AMAZON

Headshot for BOBOriginally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Terry Lynn Thomas married the love of her life, who promised to buy her a horse if she relocated to Mississippi with him. Now that she has relocated, she has discovered that she can be happy anywhere as long as she has her man, her horse and time to write. Terry Lynn devoured novels by Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, and Daphne Du Maurier as a child. These gothic mysteries captured her imagination, never let go, and influence her writing today. When she is not writing or riding her horse, she visits historical houses and cemeteries, hunting for story ideas.

Click to enter to WIN one of 10 EBOOKs FROM TERRY LYNN THOMAS!

Visit Terry!

http://terrylynnthomas.com/

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Save Our Cozies READaTHON

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The fabulous manager at the Indian Lakes Barnes and Noble store, sorting the bookmarks we brought in this morning.

So, my daughter have been out and about all morning and afternoon spreading the cozy mystery goodness in our fare state of Tennessee.  We have not only been yapping online but also went to our favorite Barnes and Noble in Hendersonville Tennessee to pass out a boo-coo of bookmarks for them to hand out to those who pass through their store.  The amazing and awesome manager went right to work sorting and putting them in the books they represented. How much do you love that?  I love that a ton!

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One of the fun challenges today at the “Save Our Cozies READaTHON” that I have liked was the “What Character Sleuth Are You?”  I found out I was most like a character I had never read from an author I have never read, MC Beaton.  Here was the description:

You got: Agatha Raisin
From the Agatha Raisin series by M.C. Beaton! The first book in this series is The Quiche of Death. Agatha is facing a change in her life, a newcomer, determined, and can be a little brash. But ultimately Agatha Raisin has a heart of gold. She is retired and solves any mysteries she comes across. Does this sound like you?

So, still unsolved mysteries as to new books I haven’t discovered.  And…my “to be read” list grows.  I love it!  Happy READaTHON sleuths.

 

Save Our Cozies READathon

13690613_306391963026599_308016324513905570_nWith the news that some of our favorite cozies getting the ax, we have banned together as readers, bloggers and even authors (who also read and blog) to come together for one day and read some of these book series that are in peril.  There are many, which is sad. They span across many publishers.  My hope is that these get picked up by other publishers so we can continue on our adventures with our favorite heroines, cats, dogs and continue to knit along as we help solve a mystery.  We have so many things to 8bfa7e_d363a24be1654109bd029cb48012d6e5.jpg_srz_p_228_330_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzstill do with these characters.  They are our family, friends and in some cases, characters we LOVE to hate.  You know who you are.

I will be home reading and blogging most of the day tomorrow, Saturday the 16th as we pay homage to these artists of the pen.  Below are some links you can follow.  It’s going to be like a big family gathering via the internet and it will be amazingraisin the dead

29867784Goodreads Link:https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/191144-save-our-cozies-readathon

Facebook Link:https://www.facebook.com/groups/726103940858234/

 

So, what’s the OFFICIAL word on this READathon?  Here ya go!

Purpose of the Readathon:

Due to mergers among publishing companies, several beloved cozy mystery series have either been cancelled or are in danger of being cancelled. Depending upon an individual author’s contract, he or she may not even be able to self-publish or take the series to a new publisher. The Save Our Cozies Readathon seeks to:

  • Raise the reading public’s awareness of this issue across a range of social media platforms.
  • Introduce the reading public to these series.
  • Encourage publishers to rethink their decision to cancel cozy mystery series.
  • Create and support a community of readers and authors.
  • Read lots of quality, fun cozy mystery books!

 

FAQ

What is a cozy?

A sub-genre of mystery or crime fiction in which the violence is downplayed or happens “off screen”. The books tend to focus on non-professional crime solvers and contain little or no sex or foul language. For a complete definition visit the excellent Cozy-Mystery.com at http://www.cozy-mystery.com/Definition-of-a-Cozy-Mystery.html

 

What is an online cozy readathon?

An online readathon is an online 24 hour event that brings together a community of readers and authors to participate in all things cozy. This includes reading, posting frequently on social media, visiting author’s websites, posting reviews, visiting book blogger’s websites, and/or participating in fun challenges/activities. The amount and type of participation is up to the individual.

 

 

Canceled Series and Books by Publishers:

51WdpWVmJ6L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Penguin Random House
Avery Aames – Cheese Shop mysteries
Beverly Allen – Bridal Bouquet Shop Mysteries (not renewed) Now writing Vintage Toyshop Mysteries for Crooked Lane as Barbara Early.
Janet Bolin – Threadville Mysteries
Melissa Bourbon -Magical Dressmaking. Is thinking of self publishing but not anytime soon. Source: Author’s FB page.
Jacklyn Brady – Piece of Cake mysteries
Lucy Burdette – Key West Food Critic series
Amanda Carmack – Kate Haywood Elizabethan mysteries
Maia Chance – Fairy Tale Fatal
Erika Chase – Ashton Corners
Peg Cochran – Gourmet DeLite
Laura DiSilverio – Mall CopMall Cop
Monica Ferris – Betsy Devonshire Needlework series. Is shopping for new publisher and has plans for future books.
Christy Fifield – Haunted Souvenir. Owns rights, plans to self-publish.
Shelley Freydont – Celebration Bay
Eva Gates – Lighthouse Library (not renewed, possibly still hope). Is writing the Sherlock Holmes Bookstore and Emporium series for Crooked Lane under the name Vicki Delany. The year-Round-Christmas series by Vicki Delany is still continuing with Berkley.
Rosie Genova – Italian Kitchen mysteries
PickledVictoria Hamilton – Vintage Kitchen mysteries (she is continuing the series with another publisher, ebook only.)
Mary Ellen Hughes – Pickled and Preserved mysteries.
Annie Knox – Pet Boutique
Elizabeth Lee (Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli) Nut Shop Series
Meg London – Sweet Nothings Lingerie
Molly MacRae — Haunted Yarn Shop (plans to continue the series)
Leigh Perry – Family Skeleton. Shopping for a new publisher.
Cate Price – Deadly Notions
Paige Shelton – Farmer’s Market and Country Cooking School
Christine Wenger – Comfort Foods Mysteries (NAL, which was merged into Berkley); is considering self-publishing.Peril by Ponytail

FIVE STAR (Gale Cengage)
Five Star has dropped their entire mystery lineup.
Nancy Cohen – Bad Hair Day
Maggie Toussaint – Dreamwalker Mysteries
Susan Van Kirk- Endurance Mysteries
Limitless Publishing
A E H Veenman – Marjorie Gardens Mysteries (Limitless Publishing)

Kensington
Anna Loan-Wilsey – Hattie Davish

Move your blooming corpseMacmillan / St. Martin’s Press
D.E. Ireland – Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins (switching publishers)

Some Killer Time with Vicki Vass-Guest Post and Review!

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Author Vicki Vass

What are you reading?

I hear this question frequently and never quite know how to respond. I am a voracious reader and used to be able to read almost a book a day. Of course, that was before I began writing fiction. Now I am lucky if I read a book a week between writing my cozies, working full time and caring for a 10-week-old puppy. The puppy makes reading difficult as he wants to chew the pages while I turn them.

With all these demands, I still try to make time to read and am deep into several different books.

And, many of the books I am reading are research for the cozies I am working on. Right now on my nightstand, I have several books about the Vanderbilts, including the Glitter and the Gold by Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan, Fortune’s Children: The Fall of the House of Vanderbilt by Arthur Vanderbilt and the First Tycoon: the Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt. If you’ve read my antique hunters mystery series, you can guess based on these titles where my heroines, Anne and CC, are traveling to next.

We recently spent a week in Asheville, N.C., home of the Vanderbilt’s Biltmore estate. Of course, my mind started spinning with ideas of the trouble that Anne and CC could get into within these amazing grounds and walls. Anne, of course, is particularly enthralled with the setting. The estate has a marvelous history and would create an elegant setting for a book on antiques.

Then on the bookshelf in my office I have the newly published Romanovs, Stories of Famous Precious Stones and measuring at 700+ pages A Lifelong Passion: the letters of Nicholas and Alexandra Romanov. These are research for the second book in the Alex Kustodia mystery series. Alex is Russian, a gem hunter and I find the perfect inspiration within these books for scenarios that might lead her closer to finding the lost Romanov fortune.

Those are my upstairs bookshelves. Now on the lower level I have my lighter selections. I am halfway through John Grisham’s the Testament. I keep starting and stopping it as I believe I have already read it but cannot quite remember. I am reading a Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan. I love the way she weaves Chinese history with modern-day Chinese American immigrants. It wasn’t until I saw the movie the Joy Luck Club that I fully appreciated her writing.

On my kindle app, I have a number of cozy mysteries that I breeze through typically when I am waiting places such as doctor’s offices and other appointments. I have no patience for waiting so I appreciate having books that I can carry around with me to pass the time.

It never seems like there is enough time to do all the reading that I would like to do. Sometimes I would like to lock myself away and spend my day reading. When I was younger and didn’t have responsibilities, I used to do that. I would take a book and go sit by the river or lock myself in my bedroom. Now unfortunately life gets in the way.

 

BTB’s Review of Killer Finds

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If you think shopping for expensive and one of a kind antique for your clients is stressful, you should sit next to a dead guy on an airplane for six hours straight. So much for enjoying your wine in first class, right? Poor Anne Hillstrom just wanted to get some good deals for her and fellow Spoon Sister, CC, to be able to tell their antique fan base about. This is what she has to endure on the ride home from Paris.

Back from their extravagant Paris trip, something seems odd about the death of Bernie Gladstone as increasingly strange things start to occur around Anne and CC. First, Anne finds and item in her orange Prada bag. Honestly, I was drooling over the bag because I have wanted a replica of this exact bag for forever! Sure, the mystery item is fascinating, but that bag! Delicious Anne!

From broken locks to being followed on antique trips ,the ladies realize something strange is going on. This would be a good time for CC’s young cousin from Munich, Ingrid, to come for a visit, right? Of course! The excitement increases when they get an opportunity to go to the estate sale of Bernie’s and buy a few items that look unimportant. Isn’t that always the case? Read this part carefully. It’s really good and detailed.   I feel like I was going through the items with Anne and CC without it becoming wordy or boring which can be hard for a writer I imagine. The choices of words were perfect.

If you love antique sales, you get to attend some with the Spoon Sisters and see some behind the scene action and drama. Oh yes, Betsy Buttersworth comes in and does some major mental damage to Anne and the scenes are so well played. I was embarrassed, enthralled and clasping my hand over my mouth. Buttersworth! She’s quite a piece of work and I love her a lot. What a troublemaker you are lady. Never change.

So we are given a dead guy at the beginning but Ms. Vass gives us a bonus dead body to help with the plot. Isn’t that sweet of her? That was a hint by the way. You’ll have to read the book, come back and look at this statement again to get the joke. Then, laugh really hard. It’s funny.

I also liked that I got some real art history thrown in with art fiction and a conspiracy theory via an antique they find and bring back from Paris. I actually went and did research to see if this was fact or fiction. Well-played Vicki! I love it when reality and fiction collide so well and you don’t know when one starts and the other ends. This part of the story makes you scratch you head. Loved it!

Some romance is thrown in the story, but I didn’t see that it did much for the story line. Of course, that’s just me. I’m not a big romance fan. I just want to find the dead bodies and who put them there. My poor husband. Anyway, the rest was perfection and was needed for everything to come together. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am looking forward to another Spoon Sister adventure. This book was a killer find. See what I did there?

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Clem loves Killer Finds!

 

About Vicki

With a passion for shopping and antiques, Vicki Vass turned in her reporter’s notebook to chronicle the adventures of Anne and CC, two antique hunters who use their skills to solve a murder case.

Vicki has written more than 1,400 stories for the Chicago Tribune as well as other commercial publications including Home & Away, the Lutheran and Woman’s World. Her science fiction novel, The Lexicon, draws on her experience in Sudan while writing about the ongoing civil war for World Relief.

She lives in the Chicago area with her husband, writer and musician Brian Tedeschi, son Tony, Australian shepherd Bandit, kittens Terra and Pixel, seven koi and Gary the turtle.

Vicki’s Links 

Website – http://www.vickivass.com/

Blog – https://vickivass.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/heading-home/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/vickivassauthor

 

Now it’s time for you to enter a little contest.  Just click the link below and thank for joining me and Vicki on her Great Escapes virtual book tour here at Booth Talks Books!

 

ENTER —–> Rafflecopter giveaway<——-

 

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Murder Mystery Week with Kathi Daley

12496477_565634180278287_257102746663682290_oJoin us on our Booth Talks Books Facebook page as we join together with Kathi Daley  and our other favorite authors and bloggers to help give YOU a fun and interactive Murder Mystery!

Monday:

https://www.facebook.com/CozyUpWithKathy/

Tuesday:

Scavenger Hunt
Wednesday:

Thursday:

Friday:

OUR clue will be posted on Tuesday.  Good luck and stay…..alive.