Saturday, August 17, 2019

McKinley Mysteries by Carolyn Arnold

Romance. Humor. Murder.  

Are you looking for a murder mystery without all the graphic violence and foul language? Something that you can enjoy in an afternoon and walk away feeling good about afterward?
 How about a dash of humor and romance? If so, meet former detectives Sean and Sara McKinley. When a billionaire leaves them all his money, they no longer have to work, but they find themselves sticking to what they’re good at—solving murders.
 Undercover, off the books, and around the world, they’ll get to the bottom of things…and romance it up along the way.

 This is the perfect book series for fans of Hart to Hart, Castle, Colombo, Monk, Rockford Files, Psych, and Magnum PI.

  Book Overview (in published order)
  1. The Day Job is Murder (2014)
  2. Vacation is Murder (2014)
  3. Money is Murder (2014)
  4. Politics is Murder (2014)
  5. Family is Murder (2014)
  6. Shopping is Murder (2014)
  7. Christmas is Murder (2014)
  8. Valentine’s Day is Murder (2015)
  9. Coffee is Murder (2015)
  10. Skiing is Murder (2016)
  11. Halloween is Murder (2017)
The Day Job is Murder
The bad guys aren’t the only ones on his radar…
For Albany PD homicide detective Sean McKinley, catching killers is the easy part of his job. Working next to his beautiful partner, Sara Cain, is what’s difficult. It might have something to do with the fact that he’s fallen in love with her, though. Fortunately, she feels the same way about him. But she’s convinced they should just be friends.
If only there was some way to change her mind…
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  Vacation is Murder
This wasn’t in the travel brochure…
There’s only so much relaxation two former detectives can handle—even if they’re on their honeymoon. With their recent fall into money, Sean and Sara McKinley should be living it up, enjoying the sun and beaches of Cancun. But heading into their third week they’ve had just about enough lying around.
When the husband of a couple they’ve befriended is kidnapped and held for ransom, it has the McKinleys putting their experience to use. As they set out in the unfamiliar landscape of paradise, the investigation will have them risking their lives to stop a killer.
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  Money is Murder
It’s in the fine print…
Old Man Quinn left Sean more than his billions–he left him a murder to solve.
Inside the chest given to him from the executor of Quinn’s Will, Sean finds a key and implicit instruction that the contents are for his eyes only. After Sean discovers where the key fits, he finds another letter–Quinn wants a closed case reopened, and Sean is shocked to learn who the victim was.
As Sean and his wife, Sara, uncover clues, it leads them from the back rooms of Quinn’s corporation to the streets of New York City, but they will stop at nothing to get to the truth.
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  Politics is Murder
There’s no time for a debate…
Sean and Sara’s popularity as a murder-solving duo has gained momentum. But it’s not until it comes time for a local television interview that they meet Reanne Mable and end up finding themselves involved with a high-profile investigation.
Reanne is the sister-in-law of Albany’s Mayor Davenport and his daughter, Halie, has gone missing from her university campus. With a desire to keep the matter out of the media spotlight, Davenport turns to Sean and Sara to find her. But with the police already investigating the matter, taking this case would pit them against their friends from the police department, including their former sergeant Jimmy Voigt.
As time moves on, though, the fate of the girl is not up for a vote, and the McKinleys set out to find out what really happened. With the mayor taking the heat for a recently passed zoning bylaw, is an enraged small business owner behind Halie’s disappearance? Or did she simply grow tired of living in her father’s limelight and run away?
To get the answers, Sean and Sara will need to use all the resources at their disposal and may have to call upon their good friend Jimmy for help, after all.
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  Family is Murder
If only there were someone to clean up this mess…
Sean and Sara McKinley put out an ad for a maid, but they never expected Sara’s birth mother to apply—or at least that’s who the woman is claiming she is. While Sean is suspicious of her true identity and motive, Sara opens her heart to the woman. But when a dead body turns up soon after Sara’s supposed mother takes off without so much as a good-bye, they both start to question the truth.
Could they have welcomed a killer into their home and not even known it?
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  Shopping is Murder
They find more than a bargain…
Black Friday should be all about shopping and discounts, but when Sean and Sara only have a few more items left to buy, screams fill the mall—and for good reason. A man has fallen to his death from the second level.
But what exactly happened isn’t that straightforward, and normally, Sean and Sara would leave this matter to the police, but the widow was a childhood friend of Sara’s. While the police are leaning toward the belief the man intentionally took the leap, the widow is adamant her husband would never jump and asks Sara for her help.
Despite the fact there is an unresolved past between the friends—in which Sara feels she let her down—Sara can’t turn her back on her now. Fueled by guilt and the need to find answers, Sara convinces Sean they should look into the man’s death.
But the answers aren’t all coming quickly. Mall security has dropped the ball and there’s no seeming motive for murder. To find out the truth will take unconventional means, a little undercover work, and the help of their friend Jimmy. And if it all comes together, they just might have this case wrapped up in time for the holidays. Maybe even with a pretty little bow.
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  Christmas is Murder
Mistletoe and mischief…
Albany’s the perfect image of a winter wonderland, and Sean and Sara’s friend Jimmy is going to be Santa Claus for the upcoming Christmas parade. The trees and decorations have been selected and the gifts have been purchased. The season has truly cast its magical spell–until Sean and Sara’s neighbors die in a horrible house fire.
While the fire department ruled holiday-related hazards as the cause, Sara suspects there’s more to it. Her determination to find the truth has her and Sean toeing the line between what’s legal and what’s not.
As they sort out fact from fiction, the McKinleys make the final decision about whether or not they should open a private investigation firm.
Major Retailer Links for this book: Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo Apple Google Play

  Valentine’s Day is Murder
Cupid’s arrow may have missed its mark…
Jimmy finally takes a vacation–and a chance on love–only to be abducted. His female companion originally thinks he had cold feet about their relationship, but Sean and Sara know there’s more to it. Jimmy isn’t the type to just up and disappear, let alone leave a lady stranded.
Setting out on their private jet, Sean and Sara reach the tropical paradise of Ocho Rios, Jamaica with sightseeing as the last thing on their minds.
With a gold coin being their initial tie to Jimmy’s kidnapper, Sean and Sara even speculate about the involvement of pirates. Yet as the hours pass, and there’s no word from Jimmy’s captors, Sean and Sara will need to figure out the real motive before it’s too late.
With help from their friend, Adam, back in Albany, the pieces come together and not a moment too soon.
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  Coffee is Murder
A cup a day won’t kill you, but a few might.
Their first case as private investigators have Sean, Sara, and Jimmy neck-deep in coffee beans trying to find a killer. With their client certain that her mother was poisoned through her coffee of the month club, it has them setting out to Williamsburg, Virginia. But instead of approaching matters from the traditional standpoint, Sean and Sara brew a robust plot and stir Jimmy into the blend, all to get close to their top suspect and grind out the truth.
Going undercover at Tasty Beans, the coffee company, the three of them work to expose the culprit before anyone else dies.
Major Retailer Links for this book: Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo Apple Google Play

  Skiing is Murder
They’re ready to hit the slopes when things go downhill…
Sean and Sara are supposed to have a relaxing vacation in Vail, but it all goes up in a puff of powder when there’s a suspicious death on the mountain. And the deceased is not just anyone; it’s Adrian Blackwell, a two-time Olympic skiing gold medalist.
Rumor has it Adrian died in a skiing accident, but he was too skilled for Sara to accept that as fact. But she doesn’t want to disappoint Sean by ruining his ski trip, even though she’s convinced Adrian was murdered and she’s itching to find the killer.
Sean has never been able to say no to Sara, but this time he plans to. However, all it takes is a call from their PI firm back in Albany to change his mind. A job’s come in to investigate Adrian’s death, and his agent is the one footing the bill, leaving Sean with more questions than answers.
Yet one major problem remains: their New York State PI licenses hold no legal authority in Colorado. They still can’t help but look into Adrian’s death on the sly, though. This case will definitely involve some underhanded tactics, all while trying to dodge the local police over the course of the investigation.
Major Retailer Links for this book: Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo Apple Google Play

Halloween is Murder
Beware of all that goes bump in the night…
Sean and Sara McKinley are excited about the haunted house they’ve set up as a Halloween charity fund-raiser, but things take a ghoulish turn when the reporter covering their story is found dead. With the media keeping mum about how she died, Sara’s curiosity is piqued, and she convinces Sean to take on the investigation through their PI firm. But this case is not without its challenges. The police are actively investigating it, as well, and it’s not even clear that the woman was murdered. It will take a little cloak-and-dagger, dress-up, and finesse for the McKinleys to get to the bottom of it, but they aren’t the kind to give up. As they troll for leads and work through the skeletons in the reporter’s closet, they unearth a few suspects, but they’ll need to carve out the whole truth if they’re going to find her killer. If they do so fast enough, there might even be time for a little trick-or-treating.
Major Retailer Links for this book: Amazon Universal Barnes & Noble Apple iBooks Kobo Google Play   Goodreads

 CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures. Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.
 Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.
 She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada.
 Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:
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  And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at

  Tour Participants
  August 1 - I'm All About Books – THE DAY JOB IS MURDER GUEST POST
  August 1 - Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW – VACATION IS MURDER
  August 2 – Elizabeth McKenna - Author – SPOTLIGHT – ALL BOOKS
  August 3 – Readeropolis – VACATION IS MURDER GUEST POST
  August 4 – Sapphyria's Books – REVIEW – THE DAY JOB IS MURDER
  August 6 – Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! – MONEY IS MURDER GUEST POST
  August 7 – Lisa Ks Book Review – GENERAL AUTHOR INTERVIEW CHOICE
  August 9 – Babs Book Bistro - SPOTLIGHT – ALL BOOKS
  August 10 – Laura's Interests – POLITICS IS MURDER GUEST POST
  August 11 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW, EXCERPT – MONEY IS MURDER
  August 12 – Mallory Heart's Cozies – REVIEW – COFFEE IS MURDER
  August 13 – ebook addicts – REVIEW – VACATION IS MURDER, MONEY IS MURDER
  August 14 – Sapphyria's Books – REVIEW – VACATION IS MURDER
  August 15 – Literary Gold – VACATION IS MURDER POST
  August 16 – T's Stuff – FAMILY IS MURDER GUEST POST
  August 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SHOPPING IS MURDER POST
  August 18 – OFF
  August 19 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – SKIING IS MURDER GUEST POST
  August 20 – Sapphyria's Books – REVIEW – MONEY IS MURDER
  August 21 – Island Confidential - SPOTLIGHT – ALL BOOKS
  August 22 – My Devotional Thoughts – REVIEW – THE DAY JOB IS MURDER
  August 23 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf - SPOTLIGHT – ALL BOOKS
  August 24 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – HALLOWEEN IS MURDER GUEST POST #1
  August 25 – OFF
  August 26 – Mallory Heart's Cozies – REVIEW – HALLOWEEN IS MURDER
  August 27 – OFF
  August 29 – Mysteries with Character – HALLOWEEN IS MURDER GUEST POST #2
August 29 – Sapphyria's Books – REVIEW – POLITICS IS MURDER
  August 30 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT – ALL BOOKS

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Friday, August 16, 2019


Dreamed It (Dreamwalker Mystery) by Maggie Toussaint


About the Book

Paranormal Cozy Mystery 6th in Series 
Camel Press (August 13, 2019) 
Paperback: 248 pages
ISBN-10: 1603817824
ISBN-13: 978-1603817820

Justice for the dead and solace for the living is Baxley Powell’s creed, but she faces uncharted territory in this sixth book of the Dreamwalker Mystery Series. The Suitcase Killer has struck again, only this big city menace is now a problem for Baxley’s hometown. As that investigation heats up, a local woman is reported missing. The sheriff orders Baxley to work the missing person’s case.
Listening to the dead is familiar ground for Baxley but finding a missing young lady isn’t in her skill set. Besides, her dreams rarely follow a timeline. With the clock ticking, can this crime consultant discover a way to reach the living?
Her main source of help in the afterlife, a mentor named Rose, is unavailable. Instead, Baxley must rely on her wits and her Native American boyfriend, Deputy Sam Mayes, to find leads. Each shared dreamwalk and energy transfer binds them closer together, creating another issue. Mayes wants to marry Baxley but it isn’t that easy. They’re hampered by their community roles in opposite ends of the state.
Baxley juggles the pressure of two high-profile cases, a determined suitor, and expanding her limits. One thing is certain. Without her extrasensory sleuthing, the missing woman will die.

A sudden jolt propelled me to consciousness. I gazed upon a vast darkness and wheezed air into my lungs. Time passed as I steadied my breathing and slowed my racing heart. Flat on my back, I took stock of my situation. Numb limbs indicated an extended dreamwalk, but I had no memory of any such excursion.
I’d spent a quiet Sunday evening at home with my daughter and Sam Mayes, my Native American boyfriend, who was down from North Georgia for the weekend. I’d gone to sleep in my own bed and awakened here, wherever here was.
Was I alone?
I called upon my flagging energy to do a life signs scan. Using my extra senses, I virtually ranged out from my prone position. Mayes was to my immediate left, and from his low energy levels, as wiped out as I was. He was a dreamwalker, same as me. And from the cold energy pressing against my leg, my ghost dog watched over us. He’d bark on the spirit plane if someone or something approached, though my scan assured me we were alone.
The void in my memory worried me. My debilitated condition pointed to an extrasensory event, but danged if I remembered contacting a spirit on the Other Side. Strange, because I remembered every other dreamwalk I’d ever made. Why not this one?
So much for me being an expert on the paranormal.
Just when I thought I had the hang of my unusual profession of communicating with the dead, it socked me in the teeth. Crossing over to the spirit realm was something I did often, but the veil between the living and the dead nearly won this time.
This had been no ordinary dreamwalk. Instead of it being a spirit-only event, somehow our bodies had also undergone the shift. That defied the laws of physics, but here we were, body and spirit. Impossible and yet my reality.
Tears misted my eyes, and I blinked to sharpen my vision. A woodsy aroma filled my nose, so we were outdoors. The darkness suggested it was night. My thoughts drifted into a self-healing meditative trance focusing on the breath. Gradually, clarity returned.
As numbness yielded to tingling nerves, sensation seeped into my rigid body. Fatigue rolled in next, and with it, the riptide of bone-deep exhaustion. Despite my weariness, I took heart. This reaction was normal after an extended dreamwalk.
Oliver lapped happily at my face, his whip-thin tail wagging his entire ghostly form. Good dog, Oliver, I managed as I joined him on the spirit plane. While here in spirit only, I still maintained awareness of my physical surroundings.
My ghost dog materialized as a misty image of a jet black Great Dane, his body aquiver with happiness. Earlier this summer I rescued Oliver from virtual chains and too-tight collar at a haunted house. No amount of urging had prompted him to the afterlife, and his essence attached to mine. At this bereft moment, I was delighted by his presence.
Oliver showed us the way home through the drift, I realized. It wasn’t the first time he’d rescued me, and I owed him so much already.
Despite my dry-as-cotton mouth, I cooed over him while I tried to pinpoint my location. Stars twinkled overhead, framed by tall oaks and pines. Not my treetops, not my yard.
I heard a moan to my left. Felt the urgency as Mayes whispered my name. “Baxley.” With a final rub of the ears for Oliver, I integrated fully into the physical plane.
Mayes whispered again, his tone deeper and freighted with authority. “Bax. You okay?”
“Yeah.” I managed. “What happened to us?”
“Got no clue.”
Sam Mayes had become a fixture in my life, though I’d only known him for three months. I wished I was in his protective arms right this very second.
“I feel like I got run over by a truck,” I said. “Last thing I remember is getting ready for bed.”
“That’s right.” His voice roughened. “I shared your toothpaste before we crawled under the covers.”
My face heated as memories surfaced. “I remember the before-sleep part fine, but between there and here is a big, fat zero. Except for Oliver. He guided us home through the drift.” I tried to sit, but my limbs weren’t fully responsive yet. I remained prone.
“I have the same mental gap. I believe we were taken, body and spirit, from your house.”
Hearing the words made it real. The impossible had happened. Nothing else explained our physical displacement, the prolonged recovery time, and the shared memory gaps.
My teeth ground together as I made another connection. “Unless some other entity kidnapped us, my money’s on Rose. Her abilities go beyond the possible. I’ve never met another spirit entity as powerful.”
Allegedly, my otherworld mentor, Rose, worked undercover in the spirit realm, but she claimed to be an angel. Seeing her dark, powerful wings had made a believer out of me. That physical manifestation, her ability to do impossible feats, and her total hold on me proved she was more than a powerful spirit. She’d banished demons, fetched folks from beyond the point of no return, wrestled with selkies, quelled spirit rebellions, and more.
Trouble was, Rose kept changing the rules of our association. By sheer willpower, I managed to draw one hand close enough to study in the starlight. From the faint glow of my watch, it was three a.m. The rose tattoo on my hand was still there. Rose put three tattoos on my body to indicate the hours of my indenture to her. Rats. If she’d gone to the trouble of kidnapping us and erasing our memories, her prominent brand indicated I still owed her the hours of my life I’d willingly exchanged during life-or-death situations of loved ones.
That’s right. Rose charged for her supernatural favors, and I’d begged for her help three times. Each time the terms had been the same. A favor in exchange for an hour of my life. I’d agreed due to the dire nature of the situations, but darn-it-all if I wanted Rose to collect. With her rule-bending nature, I could turn into a mass murderer or worse on either side of the veil.
“I keep reminding you, Rose is not your friend,” Mayes said.

Dreamwalking is so much more than being psychic. For Baxley Powell and now boyfriend, Deputy Sam Mayes, things are soon to become more strange and involved as things happen quickly and a larger groups of crimes and law enforcement groups become involved. There is a serial killer on the loose, or could it be copy-cats? Can they find a killer and prevent more deaths? What is going on with Rose, Bax's other worldly guide and tormentor?

A thrilling mystery written so real you can believe anything is possible.
You won't figure out how all the puzzle pieces fit until the end... but wait! There is more.

About Maggie Toussaint

Southern author Maggie Toussaint evolved into a mystery author after getting her feet damp in romantic suspense and dystopian fiction, with twenty fiction novels and two nonfiction novels to her credit. Her work won two Silver Falchions, the Readers’ Choice, and the EPIC Awards. She’s a past president of Southeast chapter of Mystery Writers of America and an officer of Lowcountry Sisters In Crime. She lives in coastal Georgia, where secrets, heritage, and ancient oaks cast long shadows

Author Links Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads | LinkedIn | Pinterest | Booklover's Bench | Amazon Author Central | Website | Bookbub

Purchase Link - Amazon

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

BLIND SIGHT (Lucille Pfiffer Mystery Series)

BLIND SIGHT (Lucille Pfiffer Mystery Series) by Tanya R. Taylor


About the Book

BLIND SIGHT (Lucille Pfiffer Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series
Self Published (July 28, 2019)
Number of Pages: 200
Digital ASIN: B07RVF7W99

Lucille Pfiffer sees, but not with her eyes. She lives with her beloved dog Vanilla ("Nilla" for short) in a cozy neighborhood that is quite "active" due to what occurred in the distant past. Though totally blind, she plays an integral role in helping to solve pressing and puzzling mysteries, one right after the other, which, without her, might remain unsolved. The question is: How can she do any of that with such a handicap?

 More than a murder mystery this is a book about good vs evil, right vs wrong, overcoming fears, and about relationships. All kinds of relationships.
An unusual sort of heroine and special talent. There are ghosts but it is yet to be seen how they will play into this series.

About Tanya R. Taylor

Tanya R. Taylor has wowed readers with her riveting plots and compelling themes.
She is the author of several #1 bestsellers on Amazon and published her first book titled: 'A Killing Rage' as a young adult. She has worked in the Financial arena and is also a seasoned ghostwriter. Her book 'Cornelius' climbed to #1 in the Teen & Young-adult Multi-generational Family Fiction category. And her supernatural, suspense/thrillers - 'CARA' and 'INFESTATION: A Small Town Nightmare' are multiple times #1 international bestsellers. Tanya writes in various genres including Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Thrillers, Science-fiction, Mystery and Suspense. She has a passion for the welfare of children and animals. Her hobbies include Reading, writing, and researching.

Author Links

  Purchase Link - Amazon 

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  August 7 –The Book's the Thing – REVIEW
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  August 10 – Elizabeth McKenna - Author – SPOTLIGHT
  August 11 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
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Tuesday, August 13, 2019


About Apples and Alibis

Apples and Alibis (A Down South Cafe Mystery Book) Cozy Mystery 4th in Series Grace Abraham Publishing (August 13, 2019) Print Length: 188 pages ASIN: B07V1X8SW3
That's the last time Amy agrees to do a favor for a stranger... Down South Cafe owner, Amy Flowers is in over her head. Operating a cafe while hosting the first Farmers' Market in Winter Garden has her swimming in apples. And when an elderly woman calls the cafe, pleading for a delivery for her upcoming party, Amy relents, feeling compelled to help the desperate customer. But when she arrives, the woman is slumped over her kitchen table, and Amy is catapulted into the middle of a small town crime. Guilt-ridden for not arriving earlier to save the woman, she sets out to unravel the mystery surrounding the woman. Now, between running the cafe and dealing with the chaos of the farmers' market, Amy is squeezing in a murder investigation, a run-in with her boyfriend's mom, and her own mother's quirky life decisions. Life can't get any worse...or can it? This cafe owner needs a break--in the case.

About Gayle Leeson

About the Author

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee.
As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series.

 The cake decorating series features a heroine who is starting her life over in Southwest Virginia after a nasty divorce. The heroine, Daphne, has returned to her hometown of Brea Ridge to open a cake baking and decorating business and is wrestling with the question of whether or not one can go home again.
She enjoys spending time with her sister, nephew, and niece, but she and her mother have a complicated relationship that isn’t always pleasant.
Daphne has also reconnected with her high school sweetheart and is pursuing a rekindled romance while desperately trying to put her past behind her.

 Kerry Vincent, Hall of Fame Sugar Artist, Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show Director, and Television Personality says the series is “a must read for cake bakers and anyone who has ever spent creative time in the kitchen!”
 Says Dean Koontz, #1 New York Times bestselling author, “One day I found myself happily reading . . . mysteries by Gayle Trent. If she can win me over . . . she’s got a great future.”

 The Embroidery Mystery series features a heroine who recently moved to the Oregon coast to open an embroidery specialty shop.
Marcy Singer left her home in San Francisco, along with the humiliation of being left at the altar, in order to move to Tallulah Falls and realize her dream of owning her own shop. She takes along her faithful companion, a one-year-old Irish wolfhound named Angus O’Ruff. She makes many new friends in Tallulah Falls, but she also makes a few enemies. Thankfully, her best friend Sadie MacKenzie and her husband Blake run the coffeehouse right down the street from Marcy’s shop, the Seven-Year Stitch; and Detective Ted Nash always has her back.

 Publishers Weekly says, “Fans of the genre will take kindly to Marcy, her Irish wolfhound, Angus O’Ruff, and Tallulah Falls. This is a fast, pleasant read with prose full of pop culture references and, of course, sharp needlework puns.”
 Pat Cooper of RT Book Reviews says, “If her debut here is any indication, Lee’s new series is going to be fun, spunky and educational. She smoothly interweaves plot with her character’s personality and charm, while dropping tantalizing hints of stitching projects and their history. Marcy Singer is young, fun, sharp and likable. Readers will be looking forward to her future adventures.”
(RT Book Reviews nominated The Quick and the Thread for a 2010 Book Reviewers’ Choice Award in the Amateur Sleuth category)

 I live in Virginia with my family, which includes my own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series!

  Purchase Links - Amazon B&N Kobo


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Sunday, August 11, 2019


Risky Biscuits (A Sugar & Spice Mystery)

by Mary Lee Ashford


About the Book

Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series
Setting - Iowa 
Lyrical Underground (July 9, 2019)
Paperback: 190 pages 
ISBN-10: 1516105079
ISBN-13: 978-1516105076
Digital ASIN: B07JDXFM7G

Former magazine editor “Sugar” Calloway’s life has taken a delicious twist since she launched a community cookbook publishing business with blue-ribbon baker Dixie Spicer. Now these amateur sleuths must solve a small-town murder—without getting burned . .

Sugar and Spice Cookbooks’ newest project is a fundraiser organized by the St. Ignatius Crack of Dawn Breakfast Club, famous for their all-you-can-eat biscuits and gravy events. But when a group member is found dead, Sugar and Spice’s priorities change from raising dough to figuring out who put murder on the menu.
The return of former badboy Nick Marchant has stirred the town’s gossips too. Add a few grudges and some old-fashioned greed over a land deal into the mix, and it’s a recipe for mayhem. And when someone serves up a second helping of murder, Sugar and Spice need to sift the guilty from the blameless, or their next breakfast may be their last . . .

* Includes delicious recipes! *

Sugar Calloway, Sugar and Spice Mysteries, Kensington Books

Risky Biscuits by Mary Lee Ashford

Hello there, Sugar Calloway here. It’s so nice to meet you all. I’d love to sit and have a coffee or tea with you, but, my stars, it has been a busy morning already!

And now, I’ve only got a few minutes because I’m off to visit my landlady, Greer, at The Good Life retirement village. Bless her heart, she is all wound up because her friend Alma has gone missing. So please excuse my manners if I have to dash off.

I’m guessing you probably could hear a bit of my southern roots in my voice and so you may have guessed by now that I’m not a local here in St. Ignatius, Iowa. My southern comes through mostly when I’m excited and there’s been a lot of excitement here in the past couple of days. You see yesterday it was another lady, Bunny, who was missing from The Good Life. The ladies were all worried because without her they didn’t have enough people for their weekly pinochle game. Well, after driving around a bit, I found the dear walking home. You see Alma had taken her to the post office and forgot to come back and get her. These “golden girls” at The Good Life are beginning to worry me.

Hopefully we can locate Alma just as quickly and I can get back to the office because there’s plenty of work to be done there. You see, my friend Dixie and I run our own business. I used to be an editor at a big glossy food magazine, but I was down-sized right out the door. It wasn’t all bad though, because it gave me the chance to create a partnership with my friend and blue-ribbon baker, Dixie Spicer.

A side note: Some people in town call Dixie, Spicy. She says she got the nickname because of her red hair, but I’m pretty sure it’s also a comment on her personality. Dixie is very much a straight-forward, take-it-or-leave it, kind of person and I love that about her. Her nickname also worked well in helping us come up with a catchy name for our business – Sugar and Spice Cookbooks.

And speaking of which, at Sugar & Spice we publish community cookbooks – the kind your church or your kid’s soccer team puts together, usually using the sale of the books as a fund raiser. We’re currently working on a cookbook for the Crack of Dawn Breakfast Club right here in town. The club is made of mostly of retirees and they want to do the cookbook as a fund-raiser to refurbish the shelter house at the city park. A perfect project for us!

Dixie often tests the recipes for the cookbooks in the kitchen at the Sugar & Spice shop and I sure hope she’s got something cooking today. I’ve had nothing but my morning coffee and I am starving! Now Dixie is a great cook, but me not so much. So some mornings, if I have time, I run by the Red Hen Diner which is just across the town square from our shop. Toy George, the owner, makes the best blueberry muffins. But this morning I got the call from Greer about Alma and I was all discombobulated so no muffin for me.

The Red Hen is only one of the fun shops around the square. In the center is the Jameson County Courthouse, a beautiful structure built from native limestone, which I’m told was built in the late 1800s. The businesses that surround the square are mostly locally-owned from the aforementioned, Red Hen, to Graceland Wines, Travers Jewelry, Tressa’s Tresses, Quilting Time, nationally-known quilt shop, and Flashback, a memorabilia store with a rather colorful owner named, Disco.

Can you tell that I love my newly adopted hometown? St. Ignatius is one of those small towns where everyone knows everyone else… and most of the time that’s a good thing.

Well, I’m sorry to rush, but I’ve got to get to The Good Life and see what’s up before Greer has a hissy fit wondering where I am. She told me she and the other ladies called the county sheriff’s office but were told Alma couldn’t be considered a missing person until she’s been missing more than forty-eight hours.

I’d call up Sheriff Griffin and let him know what I think about that rule, but the man already has a burr in his saddle over the last time Dixie and I got involved in a situation that in his words was something “for law-enforcement to handle.”

So, until we can chat again, take care and keep your fingers crossed that today’s missing senior is found safe and sound.

Although RISKY BISCUITS is the second book in A Sugar & Spice Mystery series by Mary Lee Ashford, it reads just as well all on its own. Just like “Sugar” Calloway’' I felt right at home in the small community of St. Ignatius, Iowa. 

While the business Sugar runs with her partner, Dixie,"Spice" Spicer, is not open to the public, like other shops on the main street, the delicious smells coming from Dixie's kitchen keeps a steady stream of visitors walking in their door. And with them comes town news and gossip.

Sugar is renting a house from an elderly woman. In return, they have a friendship that has extended to the other residents of the independent living retirement community in which Greer lives. That includes offering rides and a helpful hand at times. Sugar and Spice are also working on publishing a cookbook of recipes from those same elderly residents, and members of The Crack of Dawn Breakfast Club. Fortunately for us, several of the top recipes are included at the end of this book!

When one of the elderly women goes missing and the police won't take it seriously for at least 48 hours, Sugar is recruited to help the other women investigate. After all, it isn't breaking and entering if you know where the key is kept, is it?

Lots of small town hijinx history, high school remembered romances, and a bad boy returned home, without this leopard changing his spots, it seems, as well as colorful idioms and phrases inspired by Sugar's Aunt Cricket, make this a fun read as well as a well shrouded mystery. When you feel you have it figured out, something else comes to your attention.

I can't wait for my next visit!

About Mary Lee Ashford

  Mary Lee Ashford is a lifelong bibliophile, and avid reader, and supporter of public libraries.
In addition to writing the Sugar & Spice mystery series for Kensington Books, she also writes as half of the writing team of Sparkle Abbey, author of the national bestselling Pampered Pets mystery series from Bell Bridge Books.
 Prior to publishing Mary Lee won first place in the Daphne du Maurier contest, sponsored by the Kiss of Death chapter of RWA, and was a finalist in Murder in the Grove’s mystery contest, as well as Killer Nashville’s Claymore Dagger contest. She is the founding president of Sisters in Crime – Iowa and a current board member of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest chapter, as well as a member of Novelists, Inc., Romance Writers of America, Kiss of Death the RWA Mystery Suspense chapter, Sisters in Crime, and the SinC internet group Guppies.
 Mary Lee has a passionate interest in creativity and teaches a university level course in Creative Management to MPA candidates, as well as presenting workshops and blogging about creativity. She loves encouraging other writers and is a frequent presenter on a variety of topics at workshops, conferences, and writers’ groups.
 In her day job, Mary Lee is a Deputy Chief Information Officer.
She currently resides in the Midwest with her husband, Tim, and Sparkle, the rescue cat namesake of the Sparkle Abbey pseudonym.
Her delights are reading and enjoying her family and especially her six grandchildren.

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