Friday, October 19, 2018

Bickering Birds




The Cozy Corgy Series by Mildred Abbott



Title: CRUEL CANDY (Book 1)
Author: Mildred Abbott
Publisher: Wings of Ink Publications LLC
Pages: 282
Genre: Cozy Mystery

BLURB:
Estes Park, Colorado: picturesque mountains, charming shops, delightful bakeries, a cozy bookstore… and murder.

Winifred Page and her corgi, Watson, move to Estes Park to hit the Reset button on life. Fred is about to open her dream bookshop, and the only challenges she anticipates are adjusting to small-town life, tourists, and living close to her loveable mother, Phyllis, and hippy stepfather, Barry.

When Fred steps into her soon-to-be-bookshop for the first time, she expects dust bunnies and spiders… not the dead body in the upstairs kitchen. The local police have an easy suspect—Barry.
Determined to prove quirky Barry innocent of murder, Fred puts on her detective hat, and with Watson by her side, she explores her new town and gets acquainted with her fellow shopkeepers. Could one of her friendly neighbors be the real culprit? And what would be the motive for killing the owner of the Sinful Bites candy store? The secrets Fred discover put her at odds with the local police sergeant and threaten her cozy future in Estes.

With snow falling outside, all Fred wants to do is curl up by the fire with a good book and Watson snuggled at her feet. But before she can begin her new life and put her plans for her bookshop into action, Fred and Watson have a mystery to solve…

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One

“Oh, Watson, what have I gotten us into?” I stared at the shop through the safety of my car window. It was smaller than I remembered. I leaned forward, bumping my forehead on the glass. Fairly tall, though, at least two storeys. With the dark-stained log siding and forest-green trim and shutters, it looked like a log cabin had been sandwiched between the other stores of Estes Park.
And it was mine.
The thought ushered in a wave of excitement. A tingle of nausea too, but more excitement than anything. At least that was what I told myself.
The death grip I had on the steering wheel of my Mini Cooper said otherwise. I tore my gaze away and turned a forced smile toward the passenger seat. I needed to be brave for Watson.
He arched a brow lazily at me, not bothering to lift his head from his curled-up position. Managing to pull one of my hands free from the steering wheel, I slipped the car into Park, then scratched behind his pointed fox-like ears.
“We’re here. It’s been a long day, and you’ve been a great copilot.” A grumpy copilot, but that was normal for Watson. A quality that probably wouldn’t be as endearing if he wasn’t so stinking cute. “I’d say you deserve a treat. What do you think?”
At what was unquestionably his favorite word, Watson bounded to a standing position and began bouncing on his two front legs. His stubby corgi legs didn’t make him that much taller, though the bouncing helped.
“And this is why we work, you and me. Food is king, behind books, of course.” I snagged a dog bone out of the glove compartment, started to request for Watson to sit first—demands never worked—then decided it wasn’t worth the effort, and held it out to him. Despite his voracious appetite, which even a shark would envy, Watson avoided removing my fingers and made short work of the snack.
After a couple of minutes, Watson cocked that judgmental brow of his once more. His thoughts were clear: The prolonged staring is creepy, lady. But I’ll forgive you for another treat.
He had a point. I was putting off the inevitable. Which was silly. I was excited, happy. Time to launch into an adventure.
I turned toward the shop again, took a breath, and opened the car door. Here goes nothing.
My knees popped as I stepped onto the sidewalk, and I sucked in a breath at the tweak in my back. I supposed a drive halfway across the country was a reasonable excuse, even if I was still two years away from forty. I glanced back at Watson, who had curled back into a ball. “Seriously? The ten-hour nap wasn’t enough?”
After a few more seconds of glaring, Watson acquiesced, stood, and stretched. He raised his knobbed-tail of a butt in the air, just letting me know he was still in charge, and then leisurely crossed the console and hopped out beside me.
“Thanks for joining me, your highness.” I shut the car door and looked up at the shop. It seemed a little larger once I stood in front of it. It would be charming. My gaze flicked to the sign above the door that read Heads and Tails. Would being the operative word. Who knew what horrors lay behind the papered-over windows. I’d never envisioned a behind-the-scenes look at a taxidermy business, but it seemed I hadn’t been aware of a lot about my future. Well, whatever. If it was too horrible, I’d just pay one of those junk companies to come in and haul everything away.
That thought brought a sense of relief, but then another swept it away. I was thinking like a city girl. I doubted a town the size of Estes Park had a junk-removal business.
And again, I decided, whatever.
I had a feeling I was going to be saying that a lot.
Movement caught my eye from the store window to the left of my shop. Before I could make out a figure, I was captured by the crimson script over the glass, Sinful Bites.
Perfect. Some fortification would be needed in the very likely chance I was getting ready to walk into a store filled with petrified dead animals. I veered off to the left, giving a quick pat to my thigh. “Come on, Watson. Mama deserves a—” I almost said treat. “—reward too.”
A pleasant chime sounded as I opened the door to Sinful Bites and allowed Watson to waddle through. I cast a quick glance around. The store was done in my favorite colors—the walls, cabinets, and displays all in various shades of rich earth tones. It felt homey, comfortable. Exactly what I would be going for when I redid the god-awful taxidermy shop. That boded well for my relationship with my neighbor.
A woman with short, spiraling brunette hair looked up in surprise from behind the cash register. Her brown gaze glanced at me in confusion, then moved to the front door, and back.
I offered a hesitant smile, feeling like I’d messed up somehow. “Everything okay?”
“Yes!” The woman smiled back, wide and bright. “I’m so sorry. We just closed. I could’ve sworn I locked the door,” she said, her tone apologetic.
“Oh. Well, I can come back another time.” Despite myself, I couldn’t keep my gaze from traveling over the gleaming cases filled with candy.
“Not at all! My fault for not locking the door, and I haven’t started putting things away yet, so I insist.” Another smile.
“Thank you. I promise I’ll be quick.” I moved closer to the cases, unsure if I would be able to keep that promise. Though slightly picked over, the display was magnificent. Gleaming fruit tarts in golden brown crusts, hand-size brownies filled with nuts, caramel, and chunks of candy. Fudge of every flavor, truffles of various shapes and colors, and chocolate. So much chocolate that I was suddenly aware I’d smelled it since I walked in the door. No wonder I felt at home. Chocolates done in nearly every imaginable way—almond bark and turtles, covering pretzels, marzipan and nougat.
Heaven, I decided. I’d died and gone to heaven. I managed to tear my gaze away from the smorgasbord of delights and look at the woman. “I think I’m in love.”
The woman chuckled good-naturedly and held out her hand. “I’m Katie. Always nice to meet someone who appreciates dessert more than cardio.”
I stiffened for a heartbeat, wondering if I should be insulted. But at the twinkling of Katie’s eyes, I couldn’t help but laugh. I felt an instant kinship with the woman. “Yes, I’ll take dessert any day over fitting into a size eight. Though my real weakness is carbs, not candy. Give me a hot loaf of fresh bread and I can die a happy woman.” I took Katie’s hand.
“Me too, actually. I might work in a candy shop, but bread is what I do best.”
“Then I am definitely glad to meet you, Katie.” I released her grip and gestured down to Watson, who stared up at me, salivating. “My little corgi friend is Watson, and I’m—”
“I’m telling you, Lois, if you would just use actual sugar in your baking instead of all the stupid substitutions—” Two elderly women walked through the back door of the shop, cutting me off. They both halted at the sight of Watson and me. The blonde cast a quick glare at Katie. “I thought we closed.”
Katie flushed. “I apparently didn’t lock the door. Sorry. But I believe—” It seemed she was searching for my name. “—our friend here is in need of some chocolate.”
The blonde looked at me and cast another glare down at Watson, but by the time she met my gaze once more, her smile was wide, even if it didn’t reach her eyes. “Well, of course! You’ve come to the right place. Sinful Bites has the best chocolate in town.”
The other woman’s eyes narrowed, but she didn’t say anything.
Katie cleared her throat, cutting the brief tension that had filled the place. “Do you know what you’d like? If you’re not sure, I can get you a sample.”
Getting-to-know-you time was most definitely over. Which was doubly sad, as at any other time I would’ve taken Katie up on the offer of samples. Under the inspection of the blonde, however, I didn’t dare. “You know, I just drove into town, and I really should get home. Why don’t you give me an assortment of the ones you like best.” Chances were high such a thing would end up being more expensive than I’d intended to spend on candy, but since I was going to be neighbors with the shop, it was clear I needed to put my best foot forward as quickly as possible.
“Home?” The third woman finally spoke. “Do you live here? You must be new in town. I don’t think I’ve seen you around.”
“I just moved in. Quite literally, in fact.” I smiled at the woman, who seemed nicer than the blonde. “I’ve visited several times. I have family who live here.” I nodded at Katie as I spoke, trying to include her again and continue the introductions. “I’m Fred, and this is Watson. We just made the long drive from Kansas City to Colorado. This was our first stop in town.”
The woman gave a chuckle. “Fred? I don’t believe I’ve ever met a woman named Fred.” She gestured to herself and the blonde. “I’m Lois Garble, and this is my sister, Opal. Opal owns this candy shop, and I own the one two doors down, Healthy Delights.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you both.” Sisters? The two women definitely didn’t look like sisters. Although, now that I thought about it, they had the same features. It was only everything else that was different. Lois had naturally graying hair, a clean and wrinkled face, and she wore a plain cotton dress. Opal had dyed, highly stylized blonde hair, copious amounts of makeup, a brightly colored dress, and tons of jewelry. “My true name is Winifred Page, but everyone calls me Fred.”
“Well, I think that is simply adorable. And it suits you.” Lois shrugged playfully. “Like I said, I’ve never met a woman named Fred, but if I could imagine one, she’d have beautiful auburn hair just like yours. I’ve always thought Opal would look ravishing in that color.” She cast a sidelong glance toward her sister’s coiffed blonde hairdo.
Opal didn’t comment about becoming a redhead. “Page? Your last name is Page, and you have family in town? I don’t remember a family with that name.”
I nodded, though for some reason I was tempted to lie. “Yes. My mother grew up here. Phyllis Oswald, though now she’s Phyllis Adams.”
Both Katie and Lois seemed to take a step back, but Opal didn’t budge, instead folding her arms over her ample bosom. Any semblance of welcome or friendliness vanished, not that there’d been much from Opal. “I thought I’d heard your name before.” If looks could kill. “So that means you’re the one taking over Sid’s taxidermy shop.”
Again, lying seemed the intelligent thing to do. “Yes. Though I won’t be doing taxidermy. I’m going to be changing it to a bookshop. It’s going to be called the Cozy—”
“I’m sorry, but we’re closed.” Opal sniffed, nostrils flared. “And for future reference, I don’t allow dogs in my business.”
I halted, unsure what to say. One of the things I’d always liked about the town was Estes Park’s dog-friendly nature. I started to glance at Katie and then thought better of it. The last thing I wanted to do was get the shopgirl in trouble. I gestured back toward the door. “Sorry for….” What was I sorry for exactly? “Watson and I will just be going.”
Lois gave a loud good-natured laugh and swatted playfully at Opal, which Opal avoided with a glare. “Please forgive my sister. It’s her intake of sugar and butter and things the good Lord never intended us to eat. It makes her cranky.” She managed to deliver the line with a cheerful air, making it sound more like an endearing quality than an insult. Lois headed around the counter and slipped a birdlike arm through mine. “You come with me. I’ll get you some sweets that are natural and nourishing, and I have homemade dog-bone biscuits.” She looked down at Watson, then back at me. “I didn’t notice. How adorable. He’s a redhead like you.” Without waiting for a response, she looked back down once more. “What do you say… Watson, was it? Do you want a treat?”
Watson bounced on his two front paws again at the word, causing Lois to chuckle. The only thing I really wanted to do at that point was get away, but Watson’s reaction settled it. Plus, how could I deny the woman without seeming rude?
I allowed myself to be led toward the front door and cast a glance back, offering a quick smile to Katie and a final apologetic grimace to Opal.
Lois led me out of the shop, around the front of Heads and Tails, then pulled out her keys to usher me into Healthy Delights. “Sorry, I already shut the place down, but I’ll get you an assortment of things from the back. Give me one second, dear.” She flicked on the lights and then headed through the back door to disappear with a small wave.
The tingle of nausea rose again. My shop sat directly between these two sisters. Lois seemed sweet enough, but Lord knew what I was getting myself into with these two. Pushing the thought away, I spared a glance at Lois’s store. It was the exact same layout as Opal’s, just flipped, but the similarities stopped there. Where Opal’s candy shop felt cozy, warm, and friendly—despite the woman herself—Lois’s was done in a garish combination of pastel colors, sickeningly sweet pinks, and yellows. My stomach gurgled.
Watson didn’t seem to notice. He chuffed and looked up at me.
“Your treat is coming. Calm down.” I shook my finger at him. “And I blame you for pulling me into this.”
He chuffed again, and this time bounded so his paws landed on my foot, clearly telling me to shut up and get on with the treat giving.
“You’re ridiculous.” As if watching a car crash, I looked back at the shop. It didn’t make any sense at all. How could the sister who owned the cozy and delicious-smelling candy shop be so irritable, while the one who designed the monstrosity that looked like Easter on speed was the kind one?
Before the color palette had a chance to permanently scar my corneas, Lois returned with a large brown bag in one hand and a massive dog bone in the other. “I’m sorry I have to rush. I’d love to get to know you and your precious pup, but Opal and I have dinner plans, and I don’t want to keep her waiting.” She thrust the bag into my grip. “For future reference, I make everything Opal does, just a healthy, all-natural version. It’s fun to mix and match.”
I forced a smile. I hadn’t been able to identify what smell seemed to linger in the air, but it wasn’t pleasant. If the desserts were edible, I’d be shocked. “Thank you. I appreciate your kindness. I’m sorry if I did anything to offend—”
Lois waved me off, whipping the dog bone in the air, a large crumb flying across the room. In a rare show of speed, Watson zoomed away in pursuit. Lois didn’t seem to notice. “Never you mind. That’s just how Opal is. You see, she and I were hoping to purchase the taxidermy shop after Sid passed, but your mother wouldn’t consider selling. Said her daughter was taking it over.” Though her chipper tone didn’t fade, Lois’s smile did, a touch. “I won’t hold that against you, dear.” Another hand pat. “But if you decide you want to sell, we’d appreciate it if you would let us know.” Leaning closer, her voice dropped to a whisper. “Lots of people move to Estes Park, captured by its beauty and charm, only to discover they feel a little trapped in the mountains and constricted by small-town life. Chances are it will happen to you too. Of course, I hope not, but”—and yet another pat—“when it does, remember my sister and me.”
I opened my mouth to respond, but was utterly at a loss for words.
Words didn’t seem to be required. Lois wrapped her arm around my shoulders, which was no small feat, considering I was several inches taller than the woman, and led me toward the door. She shoved what was left of the dog bone at me. “This is made from peanut butter I ground myself, and organic grains. They are five dollars apiece, but this one’s on the house.” She opened the door for me and stood aside. “Welcome to town, Fred.”
“Thank you, Lois.” I clutched the paper bag and waggled the dog bone in Watson’s direction, capturing his attention. “Come on, buddy. Let’s go.” Watson tore off from where he’d been sniffing in the back corner of the shop. I nodded my thanks to Lois once more, then walked to the car. I changed my mind a few paces away from my burnt-orange Mini Cooper. Turning around, I headed back toward the front door of the taxidermy shop. I’d been so excited to see inside, to get lost in the planning of what my bookstore would look like, that I had driven straight here when we got into town.
After locking her front door, Lois crossed in front of Heads and Tails, gave a final friendly wave, and disappeared into Sinful Bites once more.
Pushing the odd sisters out of my mind, I addressed Watson as we stopped at the front door. “I’m sure you’ll love all the smells you’re going to find in there, but just remember, if we come across a dead animal and I scream, you’re forbidden from telling anyone. If you do, there won’t be any treats for a week.”
Watson gave a quick, sharp bark.
“Crap. I said treat, didn’t I?” At the repeated word, Watson resumed bouncing, his dark brown eyes wild with excitement and looking like a deranged bunny.
I couldn’t help but chuckle as I lifted what was left of the dog bone. “Luckily, we have one. You can get it as soon we’re inside.”
I paused at the lockbox hanging from the door handle, then set the bag of healthy candy—what a thought that was—at my feet. Catching my reflection in the window, the paper behind the glass causing it to act nearly as effectively as a mirror, I couldn’t help but scowl. My hair was a complete mess, and a sheen of light caught the gleam from dog hair. I glanced down at my peasant blouse. Life with a corgi meant I was in constant need of a lint roller, but after the day in the car, things had gotten to a nearly ludicrous level. To make matters worse, I gave my brown broomstick skirt a flick with my wrist and sent a fresh wave of dog hair spiraling around me. Wonderful. So much for putting my best foot forward. Meeting three of my neighbors while looking like I was part corgi myself.
Well, whatever. Too late to be helped now. Besides, it wasn’t like I’d ever actually be dog-hair-free anyway. Pushing the concern away, I pulled out my cell and scrolled through text messages from my mother until I came across the lockbox code. I punched in the four digits and gave a yank. There was no click and the lock didn’t budge. Clearing it, I tried again. Same reaction. I checked the text, confirming I had the numbers right, then tried a third time. When I was still denied, I tapped my mother’s name and lifted the phone to my ear.
It rang several times, then finally clicked to a message saying my mother’s voice mail was full and could no longer accept messages. What else was new? I tried the lockbox one final time. For a moment, I considered breaking the window on the front door and reaching in. It was my shop, after all.
What a way to start a new adventure, breaking and entering. Patience had never been a virtue I fostered, but letting out a resigned huff that sounded more like a corgi than a woman, I stuffed my cell back into my pocket. “Looks like we’re thwarted at the moment, Watson.”
Retrieving the paper bag, I led us back to the car, held the door for Watson to hop in, then followed.
I’d been so ecstatic about opening the bookshop, I hadn’t even considered who my neighbors might be. Being directly between Lois and Opal was going to be…. Well, I was afraid I didn’t have a word for exactly what that was going to be. I doubted it would be all that pleasant.
Watson chuffed.
“You feel it too, don’t you, boy? Who knows what we’re going to have to face with those two. At least we have each other.”
He let out a long pitiful whine.
“Aww, look at you being all empathetic. What’s gotten into—”
I realized Watson’s frantic gaze was focused on my hand, not looking deep into my eyes and sharing a moment. “Oh, I forgot.” I handed him what remained of the all-natural dog biscuit with a sigh.










 




Traitorous Toys

Title: TRAITOROUS TOYS (Book 2)
Author: Mildred Abbott
Publisher: Wings of Ink Publications LLC
Pages: 2278
Genre: Cozy Mystery


It’s Christmas in Estes Park, Colorado: cozy fires, twinkling lights, soft snowfall, and… murder.
The winter holidays in charming Estes Park lulls Winifred Page and her corgi, Watson, into thoughts of spiced chai and gingerbread as they settle into their new home. Fred’s dream bookshop is becoming a reality, and with Christmas only days away, her only concerns are spending time with family, enforcing Watson’s diet, and finding the perfect gifts.

The toy store beckons Fred and her friend Katie, who dash in out of the cold, during a shopping spree to discover handmade toys, cuddly stuffed animals… and a dying man on the floor.

When Katie’s desperate attempts to save the man ends in her being taken in for his murder, Fred once again dons her detective hat. She puts aside her Christmas list and—with Watson sniffing around—begins a list of suspects. But as quickly as clues point to one person, new discoveries shift the spotlight to another.

With Katie’s freedom in the balance, Fred has little time to think about gifts or to enjoy the holiday lights and music. A killer is on the loose, one who became violent in a picture-perfect Christmas toy shop, and Fred and Watson can’t begin to predict what might happen next…

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Winifred (Fred) Blake is creating a new life for herself and her Corgi, Watson, in Estes Park, Colorado, having moved close to her family. This includes her uncles, her mother, stepfather and an assortment of step-family including multiple twins.Taking some time to enjoy holiday decorations and do some Christmas shopping with her new BFF, results in a precarious situation.There is a murder, discovered by Katie and Fred, with strange ties to Fred's family. The investigating cop seems to have a grudge against Fred and anyone associated with her.
Of course that means Fred and Watson must nose out the true evidence!

Bickering Birds

Title: BICKERING BIRDS (Book 3)
Author: Mildred Abbott
Publisher: Wings of Ink Publications LLC
Pages: 280
Genre: Cozy Mystery

BLURB:
Rocky Mountain National Park has it all: rugged peaks, pine-scented forests, enchanting bird-watching locations, and… murder.

The Cozy Corgi bookshop finally opens, and Winifred Page and her headstrong corgi, Watson, are ready to welcome their first patrons. With her new best friend, Katie, creating heavenly pastries in the bakery on the top floor of the store, Fred’s dreams are all coming together in delicious and unexpected ways.

When Katie caters a meeting of the Feathered Friends Brigade and drags Fred along, they expect nothing more than loquacious chatter about birds as they endeavor to build a professional relationship with the owner of the wild bird shop. Fred and Katie are quickly roped into a moonlight snowshoeing hike in hopes of spotting a rare owl. While the endangered bird proves elusive… the murdered man in the snow is hard to miss.

Fred’s growing relationship with Sergeant Wexler hits a snag when he forbids her from donning her sleuth hat yet again. But Fred is a lot like her corgi—she doesn’t like being told what to do, even if it puts an end to a possible romance.

As Fred and Watson delve into the lives of the ornithological club members, the tangled birds’ nest of an investigation makes Fred wonder if she should have left this one to the police. But when feathers begin to fly, Fred has no choice but to flush out a killer…

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The open house for the grand opening of the Cozy Corgi Bookstore is a rousing success. All of the neighbors, shop keepers and many customers came out to celebrate, get to know the store and bakery.
Among the guests is the local bird club, for the protection of and preservation of bird species.
Referred to as "Myrtle and her disciples" this group of eclectic individuals all have their quirks.
Each seems to have their own agenda for belonging to this exclusive club. 
Myrtle is not easy to like, but Katie and her talent for trivia make a favorable impression, ensuring that Fred and Katie are welcome at birding events. Unfortunately it is at one of these events that a member is murdered.
Fred's decision to start a fresh life closer to family has been marred by several murders.
She is making an impression on local law officers, as well as a park ranger.
It is a good thing she has Watson by her side.

Savage Sourdough

Title: SAVAGE SOURDOUGH (Book 4)
Author: Mildred Abbott
Publisher: Wings of Ink Publications LLC
Pages: 296
Genre: Cozy Mystery


Opening the Cozy Corgi in Estes Park is a dream come true: small-town charm, fresh-baked bread, hours by the fire reading mysteries, and… murder.

For Winifred Page and her devoted corgi, Watson, the puzzle pieces of life are falling into place as they settle into their home in the Colorado mountains. Surrounded by family and friends, Fred begins to relax into the charm and beauty of being the owner of a bookshop and bakery.

The buzz of possible romance—though Fred wasn’t looking for a relationship—has quieted as one of her suitors is no longer a viable option while the other has moved into the friend zone. But all thoughts of romance, wanted or not, fly out the window when Fred finds a dead body in the Cozy Corgi bakery… again.

Things get stickier when Fred’s main suspect turns out to be a family member of one of the local police officers—the one who already despises Fred and her little dog. Determined not to let past grievances cloud her judgment, Fred tips her detective hat and pokes deeper into the murder investigation. But in a mystery that becomes smoke and mirrors, nothing is as it seems.

The revelations Fred unveils threaten not only her picture-perfect world but her very life….

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Scornful Scones

Title: SCORNFUL SCONES (Book 5)
Author: Mildred Abbott
Publisher: Wings of Ink Publications LLC
Pages: 302
Genre: Cozy Mystery


With summer approaching, Estes Park is abuzz with flowers, baking, tourists, and… murder.
Tourist season is about to begin, and the lovely weather has Winifred Page and her corgi sidekick, Watson, leaving the comfort of the Cozy Corgi Bookshop and Bakery to reluctantly attend a celebration at the Black Bear Roaster coffee shop. But a chill of uncertainty settles over Fred when a choking death doesn’t seem so accidental—despite the dry, hazardous scones.

As Fred and Police Sergeant Branson Wexler rekindle a possible romance, Fred shares her suspicions. But is she seeing murder at every turn? Learning to trust her gut feelings, Fred risks the ire of the coffee shop owner to investigate not one, but two, deaths.

As suspects and motives abound, old resentments are uncovered, and Fred and Watson build new friendships even as they follow the crumbs to find clues to a killer.

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Chaotic Corgis

Title: CHAOTIC CORGIS (Book 6)
Author: Mildred Abbott
Publisher: Wings of Ink Publications LLC
Pages: 213
Genre: Cozy Mystery


At the height of the summer season, Estes Park explodes with people, wildlife, fireworks, and… murder.

The Cozy Corgi Bookshop and Bakery is buzzing with tourists, and Winifred Page and her quirky corgi, Watson, celebrate the Fourth of July picnicking with family and friends—of the human and four-legged variety. As summer blooms with romance for Fred and Sergeant Branson Wexler, murder lurks around the corner.

With a friend’s life in danger, Fred and Watson doggedly pursue the investigation, even as Fred finds herself once again at odds with the police department. But caring for two chaotic corgis while navigating emotions from the past in the midst of solving a mystery might be too much, and Fred hits a roadblock.

As relationships are tested and secrets exposed, Fred might lose more than one person she loves…

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Quarrelsome Quartz

Title: QUARRELSOME QUARTZ (Book 7)
Author: Mildred Abbott
Publisher: Wings of Ink Publications LLC
Pages: 340
Genre: Cozy Mystery


A New Age conference comes to Estes Park, Colorado, bringing a cacophony of tie-dye, crystals, and murder…

As summer draws to a close, the Spirit, Health, and Heart Conference arrives, just in time for Winifred’s sisters to open their store next to the Cozy Corgi Bookshop. To Fred’s surprise, Chakras turns out to be a beautiful addition to the delightful mountain town. The shop even has a room so pleasing in its crystal tranquility that Fred’s corgi, Watson, approves—and hardly anything impresses him.

But not everyone is charmed by the crystals, tarot readings, and messages of personal enlightenment. When a famous spiritualist is found dead, Chakras and the entire town is plunged into a conflict that touches the lives of those closest to Fred.

Although she is hesitant to become involved, it is simply not in the cards for Fred to sit out the investigation. As she and Watson embark on a journey that forces them to take a look into the darker shadows of Estes Park, Fred soon finds herself digging into the secrets of those she loves…

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Wicked Wildlife

Title: WICKED WILDLIFE (Book 8)
Author: Mildred Abbott
Publisher: Wings of Ink Publications LLC
Pages: 217
Genre: Cozy Mystery


Poaching becomes an ever more pervasive problem within the National Park. When Fred discovers a body, of the human variety, while on a hike, she and Watson are pulled into another mystery. Over the days that follow, everything in Fred’s world gets turned on its head and the secrets that are revealed shake her to her core.

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Reading the Cozy Corgi series is pretty much all you need to know about Mildred. In real life, she’s obsessed with everything she writes about: Corgis, Books, Cozy Mountain Towns, and Baked Goods.  She’s not obsessed with murder, however. At least not at her own hands (nor paid for… no contract killing here). But since childhood, starting with Nancy Drew, trying to figure out who-dun-it has played a formative role in her personality.  Having Fred and Watson stroll into her mind was a touch of kismet.

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MURDER SHE SENT SUBSCRIPTION BOX


Murder, She Sent Subscription Box



Murder She Sent mainly works with Penguin Random House and Kensington to offer a Cozy Mystery or First in a Series box each month.

It is a cozy mystery subscription box with a new release cozy mystery paperback book, 4 homemade/handmade artisan items from small US-based businesses, exclusive author content and exclusive discounts. 

 First in a Series box is the first book in a cozy mystery series, either an Alfred Hitchcock or Ellery Queen magazine, an exclusive keychain, and 1 artisan item.


 

Billie Jenrette.
 Owner and curator for Murder, She Sent. 39 years old. Have had this subscription box company for a year in September.
  The logo. His name is Fletcher the cat. He's named after Jessica Fletcher of Murder, She Wrote.
  Billie's Links: www.facebook.com/cozysubbox. twitter.com/sent_she. www.instagram.com/murdershesent

Purchase Links: www.cratejoy.com/murder-she-sent AND murder-she-sent.cratejoy.com

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MURDER SHE SENT TOUR PARTICIPANTS
October 15 –
 
October 16 –
October 17 –
October 18 –
October 19 –

A CRAFTER KNITS A CLUE BOOK TOUR


A Crafter Knits a Clue: A Handcrafted Mystery by Holly Quinn

 

About the Book


NEW COZY MYSTERY SERIES SET IN WISCONSIN
Crooked Lane Books (October 9, 2018) 
Hardcover ISBN-10: 1683317718 
ISBN-13: 978-1683317715 
Digital ASIN: B078LZ5ZM5

For fans of Betty Hechtman and Maggie Sefton, the latest craft frenzy is Holly Quinn’s Handcrafted series debut.
Sammy Kane just moved back to her hometown to run a craft store. But when the owner of a nearby yarn shop is murdered, Sammy will needle little help finding the killer.
When a heartbroken Samantha “Sammy” Kane returns to her hometown of Heartsford, WI, for her best friend Kate’s funeral, she learns that Kate’s much-loved craft store is in danger of perishing with its owner. Confounding all her expectations of the life she would live, Sammy moves back home with her golden retriever and takes over Community Craft. A few doors down Main Street, fellow new arrival Ingrid Wilson has just opened the Yarn Barn, a real “purl” of a shop. But when Sammy strolls over to see if Ingrid could use a little help, she finds Ingrid’s dead body—with a green aluminum knitting needle lodged in her throat.
Detective Liam Nash is thrown for a loop as every single citizen of Heartsford seems to have a theory about Ingrid’s murder. And nearly everyone in town seems to be a suspect. But the last time Sammy did any sleuthing was as a little moppet. And this is not fun and games. Sammy is eager to help the handsome Liam—who seems to be endlessly inventive in finding reasons to talk with her—and when Liam arrests affable woodworker Miles Danbury, Sammy puts everything on the line to help clear Miles.
As the case comes dangerously close to unraveling, Sammy must stitch the clues together. But the killer has other plans—and if Sammy’s not careful, she may wind up in a perilous knot in A Crafter Knits a Clue, the first warm and woolly yarn of Holly Quinn’s new Handcrafted mysteries.



The first book in a new series has a lot of information to cover. Holly Quinn does a wonderful job of introducing us to the Heartsford, WI community. This book centers around a store that not only showcases and sells hand crafted items made by community members, but is also a gathering place for meetings and support to those in need. 
Samantha Kane never really planned to run Community Craft but does so in memory of her best friend Kate, who died in a tragic accident.
When Sammy was younger, she and her older sister and cousin played girl-detectives. They never really solved any cases, but enjoyed investigating.

Sadly, Sammy stumbles upon a murdered shopkeeper. When a loyal craftsperson is implicated in the crime, Sammy can not sit back and let an innocent man take the heat. She encourages her fellow female accomplices to again collect evidence, since the local police seem too busy to do a thorough job. Besides the unwanted help by Sammy and friends, there is additional tension between Sam and the new detective in town. 

I enjoyed the twists and turns this book took. There were a few questions left unanswered, so I am hoping the next book arrives soon!


About the Author


 Holly Quinn is both an avid reader and crafter. Holly sells her artistic creations locally and dreamed of one day opening a gift shop to sell local artist’s handiwork. Instead, she began writing about it and thus her journey of the Handcrafted Mystery series was born.
 Visit her @ www.authorhollyquinn.com

  Author Links - Website - www.authorhollyquinn.com
  Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/HollyQuinnbooks/
  GoodReads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7940795.Holly_Quinn 

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Purchase Links Amazon B&N IndieBound BAM Powell's Walmart BookBub

  TOUR PARTICIPANTS
  October 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
  October 8 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
  October 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
  October 9 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
  October 10 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
  October 10 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
  October 11 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
  October 11 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
  October 12 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
  October 12 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
  October 12 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – RECIPE POST
  October 13 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
  October 13 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
  October 14 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
  October 14 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
  October 15 – Mallory Heart's Cozies – REVIEW
  October 15 – The Montana Bookaholic - REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
  October 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
  October 16 – Socrates' Book Reviews – REVIEW
  October 17 – The Book's the Thing – REVIEW
  October 17 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
  October 17 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews - REVIEW
  October 18 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW
  October 18 – Readeropolis – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
  October 18 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
  October 19 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
  October 19 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW
  October 20 – The Book Diva's Reads – GUEST POST
  October 20 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
  October 21 - Melina's Book Blog – REVIEW


October 21 - StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW Have you signed up to be a Tour Host? Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

 




Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Clean Romance $100 Giveaway


$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Just think how many books you could buy with $100! Or maybe you need a new Kindle! Or maybe you want to try Kindle Unlimited! Or maybe you want to buy a gift for someone! Or maybe you just need an extra $100! Just look at this list of Sponsoring Authors. There is a great combination of longtime favorites mixed with new found friends. We are giving away another $100 thanks to these incredibly generous authors! Each of these authors writes clean wholesome romance.
Giveaway Sponsors
  Please show these amazing authors some love! Visit their sites. Sign up for their newsletters. Download their books. Review their books. Follow them on Social Media. There are so many ways you can support them!  

Giveaway Details

One winner will be awarded $100 in Paypal Cash or a $100 Amazon Gift Code! Winning entry will be verified! Make sure you actually subscribe and confirm your entries so you don’t get disqualified. If you already subscribe to an author’s newsletter you can, of course, claim the entry! Ends 11/9/18
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner may be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter, Amazon, Paypal or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. The giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader/Clean Wholesome Romance and sponsored by the participating authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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