Sunday, May 31, 2020

Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse

Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse (A Marygene Brown Mystery) by Kate Young

 Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse


Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series 
Publisher: Kensington (May 26, 2020) 
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages 
ISBN-10: 1496721470 
ISBN-13: 978-1496721471 
Digital ASIN: B07W4MRDKR

On Georgia’s picturesque Peach Cove Island, a killer is serving up a two-for-one special . . .
After their mama's passing, Marygene Brown returned to Peach Cove Island to help her sister Jena Lynn run the family diner, renowned for its homemade peach desserts. But Mama is never too far away—her sassy spirit haunts the island, and more specifically Marygene. Lately Mama has been warning her that the dead will seek her out to solve their murders, an idea Marygene is far from peachy keen on.
But that prophecy appears to be coming true when she goes skinny-dipping off the island and swims right into a woman's charred corpse floating in the waves. And when Marygene and her brother Sam come upon a second burned body in a wine cellar at an event they're catering, it appears they have a double homicide on their hands. It soon turns out the victims have more in common than their charred remains, and Marygene will need to double down to find a killer who has no aversion to playing with fire. Good thing Mama has her back . . .
Includes Seven Recipes from Marygene’s Kitchen!

About Kate Young

  Kate Young writes Southern mystery novels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Guppy Chapter. 
Kate lives in a small town in Georgia with her husband, three kids, and Shih Tzu. 
When she is not writing her own books, she’s reading or cooking.

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Saturday, May 30, 2020

No Filter (Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery) by Heather Day Gilbert

No Filter (Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery) by Heather Day Gilbert

No Filter

Cozy Mystery 1st in Series 
Publisher: WoodHaven Press (May 26, 2020) 
Number of Pages: ~280 Pages 
Digital ASIN: B085BX4N96

Welcome to the Barks & Beans Cafe, a quaint place where folks pet shelter dogs while enjoying a cup of java...and where murder sometimes pays a visit.
Fed up with her go-nowhere job, newly single Macy Hatfield moves back to her small hometown in West Virginia. She joins forces with her brother Bo in his crazy new venture—the Barks & Beans Cafe, which caters to dog lovers and coffee drinkers alike.
When a golf instructor is murdered at the nearby spiritual center, Macy winds up adopting his Great Dane. Just after Macy finds a mysterious message sewn under the dog's collar, her Dane is dognapped. She launches into a relentless search for her newfound canine friend, but along the way, she digs up a cruel and confident killer.

When Macy Hatfield's brother Bo invites her "home" after her divorce, to ion him in a new business, she imagines regular hourss and blissful days romping with dogs and making new friends.
She never imagined she would adopt a dog as big as a horse, only to have him stolen and her heart broken again!
Then in her search for her new best friend and canine companion to become involved in international affairs and discover her brother's long held secret.
A five star read with charcters you quickly claim as some of your favotres and a dog you will love.
Yes, he will return.
This book will keep you guessing and the mystery, while wrapped up nicely, allows for continuation on various planes, including romance.

Join siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield as they sniff out crimes in their hometown...with plenty of dogs along for the ride! The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series features a small town, an amateur sleuth, and no swearing or graphic scenes.

The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series in order:

Book 1: No Filter

Book 2: Iced Over

About Heather Day Gilbert

  HEATHER DAY GILBERT, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, writes contemporary mysteries and Viking historicals. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren't afraid to protect those they love.
Like her amateur sleuth heroines, she enjoys reading Agatha Christie, playing video games, dogs, and coffee.
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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

HOME by Alison Neuman


By Alison Neuman

Fluffy, the cat, knew the minute she met Levi that he would become fast friends with the friendly mouse using a special wheelchair. In the third installment of their adventures, join Fluffy, Levi, and his family on their final leg of adventure to find their forever homes together.


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It was a playful neighbourhood dog named Buster, and a winter storm that had brought Fluffy, the Persian cat, to a warehouse where she’d met a little mouse named Levi. Levi had taken his new friend to meet his family who made their home in an old car. Now Fluffy, Levi and his entire mouse family were headed to Fluffy's home, in a swing the cat had made his new little friend to help transport him and his custom-made wheelchair.
 “I’m going to miss this car. It’s been a good home to us, but staying here is no longer safe for our growing family,” Levi’s dad said.
The area the mice lived in was patrolled by a cat whose job it was to hunt them.
 “Me too. But at least we’ll be together at Fluffy’s,” James, Levi’s big brother, squeaked.
 “No sign of that mouse-eating cat! Best to get going while the coast is clear,” their friend Charlie the Sparrow chirped, pointing his wing in the direction of Fluffy’s house. “I’ll keep an eye out until you’re at the fence.”
“Thanks, Charlie,” Levi’s dad squeaked, as they all started across the large field ahead.

This is part of a series of books that shares how even those who are different from each other can become friends. Kids may understand it best if they have been introduced to the main characters from earlier books, but I am sure they will catch on quickly. The mice have been living in a car but it is time for their friend, a cat, to return to her home. She decides they are no longer safe where they are and takes them with her. It is a very short book with a good message about friendship and kindness.

Alison Neuman is a writer, author, choreographer, and dance artist, who is passionate about sharing underrepresented voices. She holds a Bachelor’s of Applied Communications Degree, a diploma in Professional Writing, and a Master of Arts degree with a focus on Educational Studies.



Monday, May 25, 2020

A Cornish Summer Holiday at The Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green

A Cornish Summer Holiday at the Little Duck Pond Café

The Little Duck Pond Cafe girls are looking forward to a well-earned break in the Cornish seaside town of Pengully Sands, where Sylvia’s sister, Aggie, owns a holiday home. With the glorious golden sands, sparkling azure sea and an ice-cream parlour only yards away, it seems like the perfect location to relax and watch the surfers riding the waves (and maybe even have a go themselves). But when they arrive, the girls find it’s not quite the seaside idyll they were expecting. 

The house is less ‘holiday home’ and more ‘creepy, dilapidated haunted house.’ Gracie, who runs the ice-cream parlour, has problems of her own and the last thing she needs is a bunch of high-spirited girls arriving to disturb the peace and isolation she craves. And when a handsome stranger looks set to destroy her livelihood, it seems like the last straw. Will Gracie get her happy ending - and maybe even make friends with the girls next-door? This wasn’t the relaxing break the Little Duck Pond Cafe girls were expecting, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be the holiday of a lifetime!

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Rosie Greene writes comfort and escape. It is more than the novels, it is the places and people she wrtes. They become a part of you. You look forward to visitng and escaping from your daily grind, even if only for a few moments or an hur or two. Rosie always adds some surprises and a touch of romance.
This is a book with some grief. Mothers and daughters and complicated relationships. Friendships and loyalties being tested. And a ghost!
With a baby on the way and relationships stetched to critical positioning, the girls from the Little Duck Pond need some time to themselves and just be girlfriends.

Looking for peace and quiet is not in the cards as they find themselves involved in a construction project of their own, while on vacatioon. What is a good vacation with some romance? Or does the gorgeous and flirtaceous Madison have more going on than her friends know about?

Why is the girl next door who is supposed to run a cold dessert shop seeming to discourage customers? She seems so sad and happy to be alone. Who is that mysterious man at the beach?  Is there really a ghost haunting their rental cottage?  SO many secrets.

And such a wonderful book.

Rosie has been scribbling stories ever since she was little.

Back then, they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by 'the baddies'.

Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger involved at all - unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love.

Her series of novellas is centred around life in a village cafe. The latest, ‘Lemon Drizzle Mondays at the Little Duck Pond Cafe', is out now.

Rosie is currently writing a full-length book, ‘Lucy’s Great Cornish Escape’, which – in a fun twist – will feature favourite characters from the Little Duck Pond Café series.
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Thursday, May 21, 2020


Killing Time (A Dodie O'Dell Mystery) by Suzanne Trauth

 Killing Time

Cozy Mystery 6th in Series 
Publisher: Lyrical Press (June 2, 2020) 
Number of Pages: 215 
Digital ASIN: B07W8ZX8JV

With Halloween just around the corner, Dodie O’Dell is making preparations to transform the Windjammer Restaurant on the Jersey Shore into a haunted house, while the Etonville Little Theatre is staging Dracula. But casting the titular Transylvanian is proving challenging. The amateur actors in the company are not shy about chewing the scenery, but who among them can convincingly sink their fangs into a victim's neck? When a mysterious newcomer with a transfixing Eastern European accent lands the part, rumors that he might be an actual vampire start to take flight—not unlike the bat who's recently been spotted in the town park.
But everyone’s blood really runs cold when a stranger is found in the cemetery with a real stake in his heart. Dodie decides to put her Halloween theme menu on the back burner and stick her neck out to bring the killer into the light of day. She'd better keep her wits about her, though—or Dodie may be the next one to go down for the Count . . .

 Killing Time

Character Guest Post for – Great Escapes Tour

     I love fall in Etonville, New Jersey. My home for the past four years since Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey Shore where I grew up. Leaves turn colors, fireplaces burn brightly, a steaming mug of coffee or tea or hot chocolate warms your hands after a brisk walk around town… Okay let’s face it. I love all of those things but this year what I love the most is Halloween!
     As manager of the Windjammer restaurant it’s my responsibility to keep the patrons happy and ride shotgun on the staff. This year I decided to add a little fun to their work day on Halloween by having everyone dress up in costume. When I came up with this idea a few weeks ago, bartender Benny was enthusiastic, our sous chef Enrico consented to be a good sport, though he was rarely in the dining room, waitress Gillian rolled her eyes, then spent two hours surfing online for a costume. Windjammer owner/chef Henry shook his head emphatically: No! Eventually he came around and agreed to wear a half-mask and a chef’s hat and apron. Minus the mask, I reminded him that that was his daily costume. And me? Wonder Woman!
     I tried the get-up on for Bill last night and my fiancé’s eyeballs bugged out of his head—red sparkly bodice with a dash of cleavage, blue mini skirt, white knee-high boots. I looked like a tricked-out version of the American flag. As police chief of Etonville, New Jersey, Bill threatened to arrest me for disturbing the peace.
     Anyway I had a lot to do earlier today to get ready for tonight’s festivities. The Windjammer supplied donuts and apple cider for the kiddie costume parade down Main Street and I helped set up the town costume party in the Episcopal Church basement. I had been persuaded to join the planning committee, my civic duty everyone said, though it felt like collaborating with the enemy. Henry’s cross-town nemesis, La Famiglia, has catered the event. To avoid any in-house friction, I steered clear of any decisions regarding food and offered to work on entertainment. In addition to bobbing for apples, carving pumpkins, and counting the candy corns in a jar, I set up a makeshift stall where a newcomer to Etonville, Bella Villarias, is reading palms. I decided to cut the line of my Etonville friends—Lola, Benny, Mildred—and check on Bella’s booth.
     I didn’t intend to have my palm read. I already knew my future… But Bella asked to see my hands. Not wanting to offend, I sat. I laughed awkwardly and she took my hands in hers.
     She turned them over, then back, then over again, staring into my palms. She traced several lines in my right hand. “Heart line, head line, life line,” she said.
     “Glad to see I have all three.” I attempted playfulness.
     She studied my palms, tilted her head, her eyes probing my face. Her bracelets jingled as she moved her fingers around my palm. “I see that you are not content with your love life and are looking for a change.” Her voice was barely above a whisper.    
     I leaned in. “I am?”
     “You have an enthusiasm for life while you are confronting an emotional crisis. See these?”
     Bella pointed to crosshatching on my palm. “Be careful. You are about to make momentous decisions. This line? Your fate. Do you see where it joins with the life line? At this point your interests must be surrendered to those of others.”
     I was speechless. In my head I had convinced myself that reading palms was a parlor game; in my heart, however, her talk of “discontent with my love life,” “momentous decisions,” and “surrendering my interests” brought me up short. Was this about Bill? In the midst of the excitement about my upcoming marriage had I given enough thought to how my life might change? Permanently? And what was that “discontent” about? I resisted the thoughts. Calm down, I told myself.
     “Remember, your palm doesn’t control your fate. You do.” Bella’s concentration sharpened as she studied my expression.
I beat it out of there.

“It sure looks haunted,” Edna murmured to no one in particular, to the cast of Dracula in general. They were grouped around her on the sidewalk that ran past the old Hanratty place that Carlos and Bella had rented. I’d never been inside though once I’d driven by it when I first moved to Etonville on my way out of town.

The house stood on half an acre of scruffy lawn with patches of dried dirt, surrounded by a few straggly trees—minus leaves at this time of the year—and no neighbors. The nearest houses were on a side street some distance away. The three-story building looked as if it might collapse at any moment, its outer walls covered with weathered, gray shakes, the steps to the front door supported by concrete building blocks. There was no handrail. Light leaked out of windows on the first floor. Curtains covering small, circular panes on the third story—an attic room?—quivered. Was someone up there watching us? I shivered. A turret rose upward from the right side of the structure, giving the house a smidge of outdated dignity. A drain pipe dangled loosely from the gutter.
“Let’s go.” Penny corralled actors and nudged everyone forward to the front door. There were six company members, Renfield saying he’d be along later, plus Penny, Lola, Pauli, and me. Strength in numbers.
We crept across the porch cautiously, aware of the creaking beneath us as the flooring shifted with each individual’s footsteps. Penny put out a hand to knock on the door. Before she could hit knuckles to wood, it flew open. “Welcome everyone!” Bella stood in the doorway, a silhouette backlit by muted foyer lighting.
Behind her Carlos stood silently, observing the group huddled in his entryway, like deer caught in headlights.
Lola took the lead, moving graciously into the house. “Thank you. So nice of you to invite us to your home.”
I’m not sure what the members of the Etonville Little Theatre were expecting.

Given the exterior and location of the Hanratty homestead, I anticipated something out of a late-night classic horror film.

About Suzanne Trauth

Suzanne Trauth, Harvard Studio, Montclair, NJ. 06/27/2014 Photo by Steve Hockstein/

Suzanne Trauth is a novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and a former theatre professor at a university. 
She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, the Dramatists Guild, and League of Professional Theatre Women. 
When she is not writing, Suzanne coaches actors and serves as a celebrant performing wedding ceremonies. 
She lives in Woodland Park, New Jersey.

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