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Wonderful Book Tour Stops and Giveaway for Oh Holy Fright

The tour continues which means I have more book tour stops to give you a chance to enter my giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card! If you haven’t downloaded my book yet is only free until Tuesday at midnight.

I hope you take the time to visit the little town of Pecan Bayou this Christmas–but bring some cotton for your ears when Enid starts singing her solo!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A FREE COPY OF OH HOLY FRIGHT

 

November 24 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 24 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 24 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

November 24 – Mysteries with Character – SPOTLIGHT

 

 

Oh Holy Fright is FREE on Kindle! It’s a Black Friday Miracle :)

Well, maybe it’s not a miracle but it is free! Oh Holy Fright will be free from today until midnight on Tuesday, November 27.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD OH HOLY FRIGHT

But wait…there’s more…

My virtual book tour starts today and I will be at these four sites where you can enter for your chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

November 23 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

November 23 – Varietats – SPOTLIGHT

November 23 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

November 23 – Carla Loves to Read – REVIEW

Cozy Prizes Friday: Reason to Doubt

Just imagine if your daughter brought her new boyfriend to dinner and you realize he has a striking resemblance to a killer? This would go at the tippity top of my awkward moments list. Nancy Cole Silverman’s latest Carol Child’s mystery looks like it’s full of suspense and some interesting characters!  Be sure to enter the giveaway below 🙂

About the Book


Reason To Doubt (A Carol Childs Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Henery Press (November 6, 2018)

Carol Childs is in the middle of one of the biggest stories of her life. Her daughter Cate has returned from college with a boyfriend in tow. A photographer who police suspect to be The Model Slayer, responsible for the murder of three young women.

Not since the Hillside Strangler has Los Angeles been so on edge.

And when the police arrest Cate’s boyfriend, Carol’s personal life and professional worlds collide. A tattooed cocktail waitress calls the radio station and asks to speak with Carol off the record. She knows the true identity of the real Model Slayer because she says she killed him.

Tensions mount as the clock ticks. The police are convinced they have the right man. Mother and daughter aren’t talking. Carol can’t reveal to investigators all she knows, and unless Carol can find the real killer before the trial begins, an innocent man may spend the rest of his life in prison or be executed for a crime he didn’t commit.

You can find Reason to Doubt at these online retailers

AmazonB&NKobo

About the Author

Nancy Cole Silverman credits her twenty-five years in radio for helping her to develop an ear for storytelling. In 2001, Silverman retired from news and copywriting to write fiction full time. In 2014, Silverman signed with Henery Press for her new mystery series, The Carol Childs’ Mysteries. The first of the series, Shadow of Doubt, debuted in December 2014 and the second, Beyond a Doubt, was July 2015. The third, Without A Doubt, was released May 24, 2016. Room for Doubt was released on July 18, 2017, Reason to Doubt hits stores November 6. For more information visit www.nancycolesilverman.com

 

Author Links
FacebookGoodReads Twitter: @NancyColeSilve1

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Cozy Prizes Friday: Thread Herrings

Welcome to November’s first cozy Friday! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to buy something at a yard sale and find something much more valuable within it? That’s what happens in Thread Herrings, Lea Wait’s newest Mainely Needlepoint Mystery.

  Be sure to enter Lea’s giveaway for your chance at a print copy of Thread Herrings. 

About the Book

Thread Herrings (A Mainely Needlepoint Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series

Angie’s first auction may turn out to be her last—when she bids on a coat of arms that someone would literally kill to possess . . .

Tagging along to an estate sale with her fellow Needlepointer, antiques shop owner Sarah Byrne, Angie Curtis impulsively bids on a tattered embroidery of a coat of arms. When she gets her prize back home to Haven Harbor, she discovers a document from 1757 behind the framed needlework—a claim for a child from a foundling hospital. Intrigued, Angie is determined to find the common thread between the child and the coat of arms.

Accepting her reporter friend Clem Walker’s invitation to talk about her find on the local TV news, Angie makes an appeal to anyone who might have information. Instead, both women receive death threats. When Clem is found shot to death in a parking lot, Angie fears her own life may be in jeopardy. She has to unravel this historical mystery—or she may be the next one going, going . . . gone . . .

You can find Thread Herrings at these online retailers

AmazonB&NKobo

About the Author

Lea Wait lives on the coast of Maine. A fourth-generation antique dealer and the author of the Agatha-nominated Antique Print Mystery series, she loves all things antiques and Maine. She also writes historical novels for young people set in (where else?) nineteenth-century Maine. Visit her at leawait.com.

Follow Lea on Facebook and GoodReads

 

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Cozy Prizes Friday: Death, Diamonds and Freezer Burn

Are you a someone who piles up things, meaning to get to them someday? I can be, but luckily the voices of my mother and grandmother are looping in my mind telling me to sort that stack out before the neighbor rings the doorbell and sees me using old newspapers as a footstool. Tricia Sander’s second book in her Grime Pays Mystery Series has Cece cleaning up after a hoarder. So much stuff, so many mysteries to solve! 

Scroll down for your chance to enter Tricia’s giveaway of a direct to Kindle copy of Death, Diamonds and Freezer Burn.

 

About the Book


Death, Diamonds, and Freezer Burn (Grime Pays Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Approximately 254 pages

An unwelcome visitor, an unrequited love, and a dead body create chaos in a middle-aged woman’s plan for a productive summer.

Despite a looming divorce, an empty checkbook, and a struggling cleaning business, Cece Cavanaugh is determined to land on her own two feet. Adamant about staying a safe distance from the handsome detective who has her fantasizing about violating the morals clause in her prenuptial agreement, Cece dives headlong into her work.

Even though she has no free time to spare, Cece finds herself guilted into cleaning a hoarder’s home. Her discoveries in the condemned house are too shocking to ignore. Diamond-laden pachyderms, a secret cache of money, and a dead body lure Cece into launching an investigation that places her in direct contact with the one person she’s desperate to avoid–hunky Detective Case Alder.

With clues in hand, Cece runs down leads and eliminates suspects one by one. Her conclusion and brave accusation put a friend’s life in peril forcing Cece to hatch a plan to outsmart the killer. A daring move could either save Cece and her friend or lead to their demise.

You can find Death, Diamonds and Freezer Burn at  Amazon

About the Author

Tricia L. Sanders writes cozy mysteries and women’s fiction. She adds a dash of romance and a sprinkling of snark to raise the stakes. Her heroines are humorous women embarking on journeys of self-discovery all the while doing so with class, sass, and a touch of kickass.

Tricia is an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, so don’t get between her and the television when a game is on. Currently, she is working on a mystery series set in the fictional town of Wickford, Missouri. Another project in the works is a women’s fiction road trip adventure.

A former instructional designer and corporate trainer, she traded in curriculum writing for novel writing, because she hates bullet points and loves to make stuff up. And fiction is more fun than training guides and lesson plans.

 

Author Links

Website: www.triciasanders.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authortricialsanders/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/tricialsanders

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/tricialsanders/

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

Newsletter Sign Up: https://mailchi.mp/23a87d715dc3/tricia-l-sanders-sleuthscoop

 

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Cozy Prizes Friday: The Spirit in Question

Today we have a cozy mystery that is set in a haunted theater. Have you ever been in a dark theater all alone? It is seriously creepy! Cynthia Kuhn is visiting us this Friday with The Spirit in Question, the third book in her Academic Mystery Series. Cynthia is an Agatha Award winner for a best first novel, and if you don’t know about the Agatha’s think Emmy’s but for cozy mysteries.  So let’s meet Cynthia and don’t forget to enter her giveaway for your choice of books and a $25 Amazon gift card.

A few words with Cynthia

ck2x3How did you come with an idea for your book?

Tolliver Ingersoll is a character I loved to write who had been cut out of both of the first two books, so I decided to center The Spirit in Question on him. He is a playwright, so I began with a play, then imagined what trouble could happen at the theater and went from there.

What scene do you hope your readers enjoy the most?

I can’t name it without giving too much away. It’s supposed to be unexpected when it happens. How about: I hope they’ll enjoy multiple scenes!

What other things have you written or what projects might we see in the future?

The first two books in the Lila Maclean Academic Mystery series are The Semester of Our Discontent and The Art of Vanishing. I’ve also written fiction, poetry, and essays. In addition, I have blogged with Mysteristas and Chicks on the Case. In the future, more mysteries, I hope!

If you could write any other genre what would that be?

Mystery is my favorite genre. I do have an idea for a book that would probably be classified as fantasy.

Is there a giveaway or promotion with this book?

Yes! Thank you for asking (and thank you so much for having me on your blog). There’s a giveaway for one Lila book associated with this book tour.

Where can readers leave reviews of your book?

Most readers seem to gravitate toward Amazon, Goodreads, Library Thing, and Barnes and Noble.

Please share the link for readers to add your book on Goodreads!

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/cynthiakuhn

About the Book

The Spirit in Question (A Lila Maclean Academic Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Henery Press (October 2, 2018)

English professor Lila Maclean knew drama would be involved when she agreed to consult on Stonedale University’s production of Puzzled: The Musical.

But she didn’t expect to find herself cast into such chaos: the incomprehensible play is a disaster, the crumbling theater appears to be haunted, and, before long, murder takes center stage.

The show must go on—yet as they speed toward opening night, it becomes clear that other members of the company may be targeted as well. Lila searches for answers while contending with a tenacious historical society, an eccentric playwright, an unsettling psychic, an enigmatic apparition, and a paranormal search squad.

With all of this in play, will she be able to identify who killed her colleague…or will it soon be curtains for Lila too?

You can find The Spirit in Question at these online retailers

Amazon B&N Kobo BookBub

About the Author

Cynthia Kuhn writes the Lila Maclean Academic Mystery series: The Semester of Our Discontent, an Agatha Award recipient for Best First Novel; The Art of Vanishing, a Lefty Award nominee for Best Humorous Mystery; and The Spirit in Question. She teaches in Denver, serves as president of Sisters in Crime-Colorado, and blogs with Chicks on the Case. For more information, please visit cynthiakuhn.net.

Author Links

Webpage: cynthiakuhn.wordpress.com

Blog: mysteristas.wordpress.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/cynthiakuhnwriter

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/cynthiakuhn

Twitter: @cynthiakuhn

 

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Cozy Prizes Friday: A Crafter Knits a Clue

Is anybody hungry? This Friday not only do we have Holly Quinn here with her crafting mystery, A Crafter Knits a Clue, but she brought us a recipe!  Marilyn’s Sweet Tooth Celebratory Cake has all the things I like–chocolate, coffee, and sugar. I’m in. Better yet, check out Holly’s mystery that includes a craft shop and a knitting store. Now that is my kind of downtown development!  Be sure to enter the giveaway for your chance to win a signed print copy, a tote bag, and a bookmark.

 

About the Book

A Crafter Knits a Clue: A Handcrafted Mystery
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.

Find A Crafter Knits a Clue at these online retailers.
Amazon B&N IndieBound BAM Powell’s Walmart BookBub

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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Cozy Prizes Friday: The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller

REVIEW

She walked into my office lookin’ like a million bucks of bounced check…

Welcome to Cozy Prizes Friday and this week we have none other than Cleo Coyle and her latest, The Ghost and the Bogus Bookseller. I have to say my favorite part of this book was the resident ghost Jack and his wonderful 1950s private eye lingo! 

Be sure to enter the giveaway for your chance at a signed copy, a tote bag and $15 gift card.

About the Book


The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller (Haunted Bookshop Mystery)
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Berkley (September 25, 2018)

Penelope Thornton-McClure and her bookshop’s ghost-in-residence Jack Shepard are back on a new case in this delightful paranormal mystery from New York Times bestselling author Cleo Coyle.

A big bestseller leads to small town trouble.

Bookshop owner Penelope Thornton-McClure didn’t believe in ghosts, until she was haunted by the hard-boiled spirit of 1940s private investigator Jack Shepard. Now Jack is back on the job, and Pen is eternally grateful…

After an elegant new customer has a breakdown in her shop, Penelope suspects there is something bogus behind the biggest bestseller of the year. This popular potboiler is so hot that folks in her tiny Rhode Island town are dying to read it–literally. First one customer turns up dead, followed by another mysterious fatality connected to the book, which Pen discovers is more than just fiction. Now, with the help of her gumshoe ghost, Pen must solve the real-life cold case behind the bogus bestseller before the killer closes the book on her.

You can find the The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller at these online retailers:

Amazon B&N Kobo Google Play BookBub

My Review 5 Stars

What a great mystery full of humor and characters you will never forget. When a bestseller titled Shades of Leather is stolen by a woman who claims it is her in the author picture, Penelope is after her and stumbles over murder, but she isn’t working alone. She is accompanied by Jack, the ghost of a dead gumshoe from the fifties who helps her out with every 1950’s expression ever written. I found myself laughing out loud! I found this book well written, funny and multilayered.

About the Author

Cleo Coyle is a pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. Both are New York Times bestselling authors of the Coffeehouse Mysteries–now celebrating nearly fifteen years in print. They also write the nationally bestselling Haunted Bookshop Mysteries, which were originally published under their second pseudonym, Alice Kimberly (The Ghost and Mrs. McClure, The Ghost and the Dead Deb, The Ghost and the Dead Man’s Library, The Ghost and the Femme Fatale, The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion). Alice has worked as a journalist in Washington, DC, and New York, and has written popular fiction for adults and children. A former magazine editor, Marc has authored espionage thrillers and nonfiction for adults and children. Alice and Marc are also bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for Lucasfilm, NBC, Fox, Disney, Imagine, and MGM. They live and work in New York City, where they write independently and together. You can learn more about Cleo, her husband, and the books they write by visiting www.CoffeehouseMystery.com.

Author Links

Visit Cleo online: www.coffeehousemystery.com

Friend Cleo on Facebook:www.Facebook.com/CleoCoyle

Follow Cleo on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cleocoyle/

 

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Cozy Prizes Friday: Trimmed to Death

Here it is Friday and time to visit with our favorite beautician Marla Vail. I guess when she’s not doing hair she’s baking coconut fudge pie. Her talented author has written 15 books in the Bad Hair Day Series and if you are an aspiring cozy mystery writer she has an excellent how-to book Writing the Cozy Mystery.  The giveaway for this book is a Fall Festival Basket so scroll down and find the prize guy.

About the Book


Trimmed to Death (Bad Hair Day Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
15th in Series
Orange Grove Press (September 25, 2018)

Mix together a cocktail for murder, add a few salty suspects, toss in a dollop of sweet humor, and you have the recipe for Trimmed to Death, #15 in the Bad Hair Day cozy mystery series.

Savvy hairstylist and amateur sleuth Marla Vail enters a charity bake-off contest at a fall festival sponsored by a local farm. While she waits to see if her coconut fudge pie is a winner, Marla joins a scavenger hunt where people playing character roles are the targets. Instead of scoring points with a live person, she finds a dead body planted face-down in the strawberry field. Who would want to cut short the life of food magazine publisher and fellow bake-off contestant Francine Dodger? As she investigates, Marla learns there’s no shortage of suspects. A celebrity TV chef, food critic, olive oil importer, food truck owner, pastry chef, and cookbook author may be stirring up more than their next recipe. Can Marla unmask the killer before someone else gets trimmed from life?

Recipes Included!

You can find Trimmed to Death at these online retailers:

Universal Link Amazon B&N iBooks Kobo

About the Author

 

Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have made the IMBA bestseller list and been selected by Suspense Magazine as the best cozy mystery. Nancy has also written the instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery. Her imaginative romances, including the Drift Lords series, have proven popular with fans as well. A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. When not busy writing, she enjoys fine dining, cruising, visiting Disney World, and shopping.

Author Links:

Website: http://nancyjcohen.com

Blog: http://nancyjcohen.wordpress.com

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

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/nancyjcohen

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/91508.Nancy_J_Cohen

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/njcohen/

Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nancyjcohen

Booklover’s Bench: http://bookloversbench.com

Newsletter Sign-Up: http://nancyjcohen.com/newsletter/

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And now here’s an interview with MARLA VAIL: beautician, stylist, and amateur sleuth!

Please tell us about your latest adventure.

I entered my coconut fudge pie into the bake-off contest at a local farm festival. While waiting for the judges to announce the winners, I discovered another contestant dead in the strawberry field. As I got to know the people involved, I realized Francine Dodger, food magazine publisher, had numerous acquaintances whose secrets she might have discovered. I decided to help my husband, Detective Dalton Vail, solve the case so we could move on to more important things, like expanding our family.

Do you have any friends/sidekicks helping you out?

My friend Tally’s opinion has always been helpful. She’d recovered from a bad accident and encouraged me to enter the bake-off. She’s handy at reviewing suspects and providing a fresh perspective.

Do you have any special skills to fight crime?

Working as a hairstylist, I have to be a skilled conversationalist and an acute listener. I’m much less threatening than my husband, a police detective. So suspects will often reveal things to me that they know I might pass on to the cops. Whereas Dalton takes a direct approach in questioning people, I can be more subtle and encourage folks to chat in a friendly way.

Are you a full-time detective or do you do something else?

I own a hair salon and day spa, and I still have my own clients as a stylist, so I work full-time behind the chair. But I make time for my sleuthing exploits.

What are you most frightened of in this story?

All of the suspects have something to hide. Someone has killed twice to guard their secret. I might be next on his or her list.

Is there anything funny that happens to you or another character in this story?

I loved playing the Find Franny live scavenger hunt game until I found Francine lying face-down in the strawberry field. We had to find people playing roles such as Patty Pepper, Eddie Eggplant, Tommy Tomato, and Betty Blueberry, among others. I learned interesting facts about food from each person. Too bad the outcome wasn’t better.

If I were to choose an actor or actress to play your part in a movie, who would that be? Do you see any other characters in your story as actors or actresses that our readers might know?

Some of these folks may be older by now, but for Marla I’ve had my eye on the following:

Shenae Grimes-Beech from various TV movies; Italia Ricci who plays Emily Rhodes in Designated Survivor; Taylor Cole from “The Art of Us” Hallmark movie; Lyndsy Fonseca from Nikita; and Erica Dorrance from Smallville. For Dalton, I’ve noted Carlos Fonnegra from Continuum, but that show was a while ago and I’d rather leave Dalton to my imagination.

 

Do you have other mysteries you would like to tell us about? Is this the first book in the series, or have you cracked a few other cases?

Trimmed to Death is number 15 in the Bad Hair Day series. You can jump in at any point, but the first book is Permed to Death if you want to start at the beginning. Also, the first four books so far are in audiobook format.

Do you have any final words you would like to leave with our readers?

Please consider leaving a review if you like how I solve the mystery. It’ll help me get other cases. And if you need to get your hair done, stop by my salon. I guarantee you’ll be pleased with the results.

Let’s give your author a chance to speak. Anything you would like to add?

Yes, speaking of other books…In addition to eight scifi romance novels, I’ve written a nonfiction instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery. An expanded second edition is coming Nov. 12. This book will teach you how to write a cozy mystery. It has tips for seasoned authors in maintaining and keeping a series fresh. For readers, it’ll give you insight into the plotting process and other writing secrets. Consider adding these books to your holiday gift bags. Thank you for giving Marla a chance to meet you!

Where can we find your author online?

Social Media

Website:  https://nancyjcohen.com

Blog: https://nancyjcohen.wordpress.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nancyjcohen

Linked In:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/nancyjcohen

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/nancy-j-cohen

Instagram: https://instagram.com/nancyjcohen

Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/njcohen/

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+NancyJCohen/

Booklover’s Bench: https://bookloversbench.com

YouTube: https://bit.ly/1djD5nY

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/nancyjcohen

 

Buy Links

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/nancyjcohen

BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/nancy-j-cohen

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/artist/nancy-j.-cohen/id411505950

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/search/search.html?q=Nancy J. Cohen

Audible: https://adbl.co/2gMlVw1

 

 

 

Book Blast Tuesday: Bamboozled

Bamboozled (The Mah Jongg Mysteries)
by Barbara Barrett

Today we get to meet Katrina Faulkner, one of the four protagonists in the Mah Jongg Mystery Series. She’s a lottery winner who plays mah jongg and helps to solve mysteries with her fellow players. Barbara is giving away one digital copy of Bamboozled for each tour stop so someone who enters here will WIN!

About the Book

Bamboozled (The Mah Jongg Mysteries)
Cozy Mysteries
2nd in Series
Self Published (April 3, 2018)
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1948532037
Digital ASIN: B07C9CLL4R

Essential oils distributor Dorcas Wiley is the boss everyone loves to hate. So when she turns up dead, killed by her own trophy, disgruntled saleswoman Cathy Broderick is the obvious suspect in her murder. Despite opportunity, motive and incriminating evidence, Cathy declares her innocence and enlists her mah jongg pals—Sydney Bonner and her cronies Marianne, Micki and Kat—to help save her from the death penalty.

Hot off a recent and nearly deadly investigation, the women are cautious about putting themselves in peril again. Syd’s spouse isn’t thrilled about another mystery in their lives, either, but he can’t resist the plea of Cathy’s husband. Soon, Syd is leading the way as they tangle with grumpy salespeople, the victim’s estranged husband and boyfriend, a mysterious housekeeper, a litigious customer, an annoyed sheriff and Cathy’s own arrogant lawyer.

The women have their own issues to deal with in their central Florida town of Serendipity Springs. Kat faces a health challenge, Micki fields a mysterious inquiry from her ex, Marianne has a chaotic anniversary and Syd wrestles with her husband over who’s really in charge. But nothing puts everyday life into perspective like the moment when their investigation brings them face to face with danger.

 

Character Interview: Katrina Faulkner

(Author’s note: Kat is one of my four protagonists in my Mah Jongg Mystery series. You can meet her in both Craks in a Marriage and Bamboozled.)

My name is Katrina Faulkner. I am a single woman over sixty. I retired a few years back after serving several years as the executive assistant to the CEO of a major corporation in Illinois. My professional talents include being detail-oriented and the ability to follow through. There was a man in my life years ago, but before I was ready to tell him I loved him, he was killed in an auto accident. After that, my social life dropped off, especially when my widowed mother got sick. I moved in with her and was her caregiver in her last years. My late father hadn’t left us with much life insurance, which we quickly went through with Mom’s illness. Much of my salary went toward her care.

A few months after she passed, I bought a lottery ticket and wound up winning millions, enough money to retire on and enjoy the rest of my life. On my own after many years of living with and for my mother, I went a little crazy with my newfound wealth. I learned the total amount of my winnings on a cold, blustery day in January. I immediately booked a flight to Florida, deciding to splurge with a visit to Disney World, the trip I’d been planning when my mother fell ill. I couldn’t believe I could go outside this first month of the year and not have to wear a coat. And everything was so green.

I didn’t want to return north. In fact, I stayed another week, rented a car and explored central Florida. When I pulled into the small town of Serendipity Springs to get gas, it was love at first sight. I’d found my new home. Two days later, I found my actual home in the very ritzy development of Mangrove Estates. I bought a house, well, a mini-mansion, much too big for just me, but I was still riding the wave of euphoria over my new wealth. I bought it furnished and decided to live in it a while before making any changes.

I didn’t know a soul in my new community. After all these years, with money to burn and no more family responsibilities, I was ready to make new friends. I visited the community center and saw a note on a bulletin board announcing a new class in mah jongg. I had no idea what that was, but it was the first thing that caught my eye and was starting the next day. I sat next to this woman with shoulder-length black hair with a silver streak that cascaded down one side. Her name was Micki Demetrius, and from that day forward we became fast friends.

After my spending spree on my new home, I returned to my budget-watching self. Then Micki learned of my newfound wealth. Since she really has to watch her small nest egg, she has taken to helping me adjust to my affluence, especially when it comes to changing my wardrobe and pampering myself with spa visits.

Two of our instructors in that class were Sydney Bonner and Marianne Putnam. The four of us hit it off, and they even invited us to join their mah jongg group after the class ended. Since then, the four of us typically play together and enjoy each other’s company so much we do other things together too, including an occasional unofficial murder investigation. I met my boyfriend, Sheriff Rick Formero, that way. He isn’t crazy about our participation in those, but I swear we don’t go looking for them. They seem to drop in our laps, usually because they somehow involve a fellow mah jongg player.

Did I say “boyfriend”? Maybe I got ahead of myself. Rick would be overjoyed to hear me call him that, but this is all so new to me, I want to take it slow and not rush into something I might regret later. I know, I’m not as young as I was once, when I moved too slow to find love. I just need a little more courage to take the plunge. I’m getting there.

Besides, I have to take things slow anyhow, since I’m recovering from breast cancer. I was one of the lucky ones; they caught it in the early stages. A program of aggressive chemo seems to have taken care of it, but it has taken a while to snap back to my old self. Actually, my new self, because I’ve recently started a singing career. One of the few times I got outside the house when my mom was alive was to sing in the church choir. After she died, even though I had more time for it, I stopped. It didn’t give me the same feeling of escape it once had.

It wasn’t until years later, once I came to Serendipity Springs, that I got caught up in the excitement of open mic night at a local lounge and sang a song I didn’t even realize I knew. Magic happened. Maybe not for the audience, but for me. The introvert me gave way to this new persona who loved being in the limelight. I had to put my singing aside for a bit while I dealt with my cancer, but I’m back on the road to recovery now. Who knows what great things lie ahead?

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About the Author

Barbara Barrett started reading mysteries when she was pregnant with her first child to keep her mind off things like her changing body and food cravings. When she’d devoured as many Agatha Christies as she could find, she branched out to English village cozies and Ellery Queen.

Later, to avoid a midlife crisis, she began writing fiction at night when she wasn’t at her day job as a human resources analyst for Iowa State Government. After releasing eleven full-length romance novels and one novella, she returned to the cozy mystery genre, using one of her retirement pastimes, the game of mah jongg, as her inspiration. Not only has it been a great social outlet, it has also helped keep her mind active when not writing.

Bamboozled, the second book in her “Mah Jongg Mystery” series, features four friends who play mah jongg together and share otherwise in each other’s lives. None of the four is based on an actual person. Each is an amalgamation of several mah jongg friends with a lot of Barbara’s imagination thrown in for good measure. The four will continue to appear in future books in the series.

Anticipating the day when she would write her first mystery, she has been a member of the Mystery/Romantic Suspense chapter of Romance Writers of America for over a decade. She credits them with helping her hone her craft.

Barbara is married to the man she met her senior year of college. They have two grown children and eight grandchildren.

Author Links

Website – http://www.barbarabarrettbooks.com

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Twitter – www.twitter.com/bbarrettbooks

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GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8181756.Barbara_Barrett

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