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Cozy Prizes Friday: Murder by the Barrel

Cheerio! Time for a good old-fashioned British cozy mystery.  This week we head to Steeple Martin to attend the beer festival, but watch out, there are some pretty rotten things afoot. I’m reviewing this one, and also–look for the Prize Guy. Enter Lesley’s giveaway for your very own e-copy of Murder by the Barrel. 

 

 

A new title in the popular cosy crime series by bestselling author Lesley Cookman

When the sleepy village of Steeple Martin announces its first beer festival, the locals are excited. Beer, sun and music, what could possibly go wrong?

But when an unexpected death shakes the village, it’s up to Libby Sarjeant to solve the puzzle.

Was it just another rock star death or is there something more sinister afoot?

Available at– Amazon  B&N  kobo

 

My Review: 5 Stars

This is a cozy mystery in the sleepy village of Steeple Martin in England with a beer festival and rock concert. When one of the performers is murdered, Libby Sarjeant is on task to figure it out. This mystery reminded me of all things good about British Mysteries. A small town, a festival, and Cookman even threw in a few witches. Great suspects and good murder mystery plotting. I did not guess the murderer but I should have. Great read.

About the Author

Lesley Cookman

Lesley started writing almost as soon as she could read, and filled many exercise books with pony stories until she was old enough to go out with boys. Since she’s been grown up, following a varied career as a model, air stewardess and disc jockey, she’s written short fiction and features for a variety of magazines, achieved an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Wales, taught writing for both Kent Adult Education and the WEA and edited the first Sexy Shorts collection of short stories from Accent Press in aid of the Breast Cancer Campaign.  The Libby Sarjeant series is published by Accent Press, who also publish her book, How to Write a Pantomime, with a foreword by Roy Hudd.   Lesley is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors and the Crime Writers’ Association.

Webpage – Lesley Cookman

Twitter – https://twitter.com/lesleycookman 

 

Click Here to enter Lesley’s Giveaway: An E-Copy of Murder by the Barrel

Give the Devil His Due Review and Giveaway

GIVE THE DEVIL HIS DUESteve Hockensmith is here today to tell us about Give the Devil His Due, a book he co-wrote with Lisa Falco. He’s a funny guy,
and it is reflected in this new cozy mystery about tarot card reading, con men and the White Magic Five and Dime.  He was kind enough to answer a few questions about his newest cozy mystery. After the interview check out my review and then find the Prize Guy to enter the giveaway for a print copy of this book!
Have you ever had your tarot cards read? If you did were you surprised by the result?
I’ve had my cards read several times over the years. The biggest surprise came when I encountered a reader who wasn’t full of it. That reader: Lisa Falco, who co-created the “tarot mystery” series with me. Before Lisa, I’d done readings as an occasional lark, and the results had never been impressive. Sometimes the reader was a flat-out cold-eyed con artist. (“The woman in your life…she isn’t true to you. You need to come back for a special reading. I can help you.”) Sometimes the reader was simply full of baloney. (“I see you running through the jungle with a war club in your hand. You were a barbarian warrior in a past life…and you’re still a strong, rough, dominant man today.” Uhh, no. That’s why I let my girlfriend talk me into coming in here.) Lisa is an old friend, and I’d known her for years before I discovered she read tarot cards. I don’t remember what exactly she told me the first time she did a reading for me, but I remember my response: “Wow! This isn’t all horse@$%# after all!” Her readings have always been insightful, helpful and even, yes, prophetic. I’m not a believer in the supernatural, but yowza – sometimes the things Lisa sees makes me wonder. So when she said, “I’m thinking of doing a book about a tarot reader who helps her clients through the cards,” I had no hesitation about saying, “Make it a mystery, and we’ll do it together!”
 Is Give the Devil His Due a mystery that can stand alone or is it better for readers to read the other books in the series first?
It can definitely be read on its own, but I’ll be honest: It’s probably best to read the other two books first. (Hear that strange, haunting, distant sound? That’s the publisher’s publicist screaming.) In Give the Devil His Due, our hero, Alanis, has to face something from her past that we’ve only hinted at in the other novels. You can jump right in and not be confused at all, but to fully appreciate her reaction you might want to get to know her a bit more first.
Have you published short stories in magazines?
I started out writing stories for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. I saw it as an apprenticeship. Before I tried to write a novel, I wanted to make my bones working on things that wouldn’t be such a daunting commitment. Cuz short stories are, you know, short. It worked out really well. All the crap I had to write to learn what the heck I was doing only took a couple years. Then once I was actually writing good stuff, it started selling, and that gave me the confidence I needed to write a novel. Which wasn’t very good. So I went back to short stories, wrote one that seemed like a good set-up for a series, and was inspired to try another novel. That one got published – it’s called Holmes on the Range – and I’ve been doing books ever since. I still write the occasional short story for Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen, though. In fact, I’ll be in both in the next few months. And I’ve put out some collections of my short fiction, too. But don’t worry: I left out the crap.
What is your favorite character or scene in Give the Devil His Due?
I love breaking up the format of the traditional mystery story. Anytime I can throw in something that’s a little different, a little funny, a little surprising, it makes the writing more fun for me. In Give the Devil His Due, an eccentric German music mogul becomes important to the plot – he’s sort of a nutty, Teutonic Richard Branson – so our heroes look him up on Wikipedia. All they see is the Contents list for his page, but that’s enough to give you his biography and a sense of who he is. What the heck – here it is:
 
Ulf Pichler
1 Early life
2 Career
2.1 Ice cream truck
2.2 Sonntagnachmittagunwholsein Records
2.3 “Einhundertein Schokoladenhasen (101 Chocolate Bunnies)”
2.4 www.glucklichsittiche.de launch and Amazon buyout
2.5 Multimedia empire
2.6 Other business ventures
2.7 Dagegengeld implosion and lawsuit
3 World record attempts
3.1 Mountaineering
3.2 Ballooning
3.3 Deep-sea diving
3.4 Firewalking
3.5 Hot dog eating
4 Politics
5 Controversies and criticism
5.1 Mother Teresa feud
5.2 Vatican streaking incident
5.3 Art and relics collection
5.4 Dalai Lama headbutt
6 Honours and awards
7 Personal life
7.1 Marriages
7.2 Palimony suits
7.3 Paternity suits
7.4 Vow of celibacy
10 Bibliography
11 References
What are you writing now?
Steve-HockensmithI wrote five novels in my Holmes on the Range historical mystery series a while back, and for a long time I’ve wanted to revisit those characters. So that’s what I’m doing right now. I put out a collection of Holmes on the Range short stories that’s sold really well over the years, so I’m going to see how it goes with a novel. After that I’ll probably write some more short stories and then see what kind of mood I’m in. I have a lot of ideas – enough to keep me writing for the next 50 years. We’ll see if I get to them all….
My Review- 5 Stars
Come to the White Magic Five and Dime and find out what is in your future. Not a believer? So many of these people are simply scam artists so how can this one be any different? Alanis McLachlan’s mother was one of those scammers who operated with a con artist named Biddle. When she dies, Alanis inherits the store and when Biddle shows up after being out of the picture for decades she knows there is a con afoot. He is looking for an old painting of Elvis her mother used to own. It turns out several people are looking for the king. This is a funny mystery filled with con men,  an investigative reporter, mafia types, old ladies with uzis, a pony-tailed German man, and a touch of the occult. The story has good pacing and leans toward the suspense/caper side. I enjoyed Give the Devil His Due and look forward to more adventures in the world of tarot card reading. Oh, a handy tip I picked up from the book–Never use Google maps if you’re planning on rescuing someone!
                             Click Here to Pick Up Your Copy of Give the Devil His Due!

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Click Here to Enter the Giveaway

for a PRINT copy of Give the Devil His Due

 

The Reviews are in for Color Me Dead

colormedeadcoverColor Me Dead continues to collect reviews! Here are a few from the 18 site blowout blog tour in January!

From the beginning, I was absolutely riveted by this book…
~Valerie’s Musings

5 PAW REVIEW – I thought this was a great start to a new series!
~Storeybook Reviews

I think just about anyone would love this new series whether you are artistic or not it draws you in and has you wanting to learn more about the people of Henry Park and see where the residents go from here!
~Community Bookstop

A fast-paced read, I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish it.
~Cassidy’s Bookshelves

This is a well crafted cozy mystery that will keep you rethinking your choice of murderer until the final page is turned. Most readers change their mind at least three times.
~Laura’s Interests

If you like paranormal with your cozy mystery, you’ll like this book.
~Christa Reads and Writes

In COLOR ME DEAD Teresa Trent takes a picturesque town adds interesting characters and a unique mystery to create a successful start to a new series.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Color Me Dead is an entertaining cozy murder mystery that will engage you to join Gabby in solving an intriguing murder mystery.
~Jersey Girl Book Reviews

 

And to answer a quick question–we are working on the paperback version of Color Me Dead at this time. I’ll keep you posted when it is available. Thanks for asking.

Last Day of Color Me Dead Will Be Free on Kindle

goliath

Goliath, the wonder beagle. Still, miss you!

Wow! What a week. This has been a fantastic tour, and I can’t believe we’re on the last day already. Thank you to my tour hosts on Thursday and all of the kind people who visited and downloaded the book. I’ve appreciated your comments and support this week. This is the last day Color Me Dead will be free on Kindle. If you’ve already downloaded it, I’d love it if you would share this information with someone else.  So, here are my last three stops.  All aboard! Stop by and comment so I know you were there.

January 27 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

January 27 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW

January 27 – Turning the Pages – REVIEW

 

For my last beagle picture this week, I am posting the only picture I can find of my own beagle, Goliath.  This photo was taken in Colorado back when I was a teenager. I had to wake him up to take the picture. If I remember right, this was actually a polaroid that was scanned. (That sure dates it!)

Color Me Dead Blog Tour Day Four-2 Days Left as Free Download

gumbobeagle

Let’s Go! Vroom…Vroom…Of course I’ll be riding in the cab, not the back 🙂

The blog tour continues! Today I’m visiting four blogs and am enjoying visiting with everyone this week. The download numbers have been great, and I appreciate all of the reviews the book is getting. When I’m not on tour, I love to have other cozy mysteries visit me when they are on tour. I can tell you, some months when I get busy writing, it’s hard to find time to read and review a book, so I really appreciate their efforts. Here are my stops for today! Come and join me and be sure to leave a comment, so I know you stopped by.

January 26 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

January 26 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

January 26 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

January 26 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

 

This beagle’s name is Gumbo and he’s up for adoption in Houston, TX. 

 

COLOR ME DEAD IS STILL FREE ON KINDLE! CLICK HERE TO PICK UP YOUR COPY!

Color Me Dead Still Free! Blog Tour Day Two

happy-beagle

Where to next? Will there be Cheetos dropped?

What a great Monday! Thank you to all of the sites who hosted Color Me Dead yesterday. The book is still FREE on Kindle today, so make sure you pick up a copy.  Here’s where I’ll be today.

January 24 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

January 24 – Books Direct – GUEST POST

January 24 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

January 24 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

 

 

 

 

This beagle’s real name is Baxter and is available for adoption in Tampa, Florida.

Book Review- A Whole Latte Murder

a-whole-latte-murderI like coffee.  I like tea. I like the Java Jive, and it likes me.

Ah yes, let’s head to the coffee shop for a cup of joe and a slice of murder! This cozy mystery takes place in Nashville and so, of course, the amateur sleuth is an aspiring singer with a grande dose of stage fright. A Whole Latte of Murder is the third book in Caroline Fardig’s Java Jive series published by Alibi, and after reading this one, I’m going to need to go back and read the other two.  There is some mild language in this one, but you will find the pacing of the story is excellent.

 

Meet the Author:

Caroline Fardig Author

Caroline Fardig
Author

Caroline Fardig is the author of Death Before Decaf and the Lizzie Hart series. She worked as a schoolteacher, church organist, insurance agent, funeral parlor associate, and stay-at-home mom before she realized that she wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Born and raised in a small town in Indiana, Fardig still lives in that same town with an understanding husband, two sweet kids, two energetic dogs, and one malevolent cat.

My Review

5 Stars

Juliet Langley, a coffee shop manager in Nashville tries to return a scarf and finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery. Even though she’s dating cop, Ryder Hamilton, she sets on her road to discovery along with old love and best friend Pete Bennet.  Readers are never sure just which guy Juliet really cares for in the story and that adds to the suspense. Juliet is all over the place solving the crime, and there was a pretty funny scene where she was signing up to be an escort in the name of investigation. The characters, the pacing and the crime are set up well.  The cover for this cozy mystery drew me in and the writing kept me there. Now I need to go back and read books 1 and 2 of the Java Jive Series.