My Musing ~ Suspendered Sentence by Laura Bradford

Suspendered SentenceSuspendered Sentence by Laura Bradford is the fourth book in the “Amish” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, March 2015

The national bestselling author of Shunned and Dangerous returns to the Amish community of Heavenly, Pennsylvania, where shop owner Claire Weatherly has come to appreciate a simpler, more peaceful way of life. But dark secrets are about to complicate things—and lead to murder.

After the Stoltzfus barn catches fire, Claire is awed by the response of the community. Hundreds of Amish men gather together to raise a new barn for the family in a matter of days. But in the midst of the work, a human skeleton is unearthed. Found with the remains is half of a friendship bracelet last seen on Sadie Lehman, an Amish teen long believed to have left her strict upbringing for the allure of English ways.

Now Detective Jakob Fisher—once a member of the Amish community himself—is determined to solve the young woman’s murder. With Claire’s help, he must dig into the past and bring to light long-buried secrets—secrets that someone is willing to kill to protect.

This was a very enjoyable read that quickly consumed my waking hour from beginning to end. The mystery stirred up so much emotion that it was hard to put down as this character-driven drama placed me in the shoes of our heroine, Claire. The author did a great job in the telling of this tale, having me gasped at just the right moments with my query as to how this will all play out with some surprising twists as to the culpability of those involved. The angst of the main character was well played as I had those same thoughts myself and I liked how the author let us see two sides to the dilemma. Laura Bradford is a gifted author whose words transfixed me with a sweet and tender reading experience that left me with a yearning to move to Heavenly, Pennsylvania. This was the best one yet in this delightfully heart-warming and charming series and I look forward to more adventures with Claire, Jakob and her friends.

My Musing ~ Kittens Can Kill by Clea Simon

Kittens Can KillKittens Can Kill by Clea Simon is the 5th book in the “Pru Marlowe Pet Noir” mystery series. Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press, March 2015

The dead don’t keep pets. So when animal behaviorist expert Pru Marlowe gets a call about a kitten, she doesn’t expect to find the cuddly creature playing beside the cooling body of prominent Beauville lawyer David Canaday. Heart attack? His three adult daughters angrily blame drug interactions, feline allergies—and each other. And begin to feud over their father, his considerable estate, and that cute ball of fluff. While the cause of death is pending, each sister has an axe to grind—with arguments that escalate when David’s partner reads out the will. Pru’s special sensitivity to animals, which caused her to flee the cacophony of Manhattan for the quiet Berkshires, adds further problems. The local vet is overwhelmed as the animal hospital’s money runs out. There’s a needy Sheltie and some invasive squirrels, too. But the dead man’s kitten, his former partner, and his troublesome family keep drawing “wild-girl” animal psychic Pru back in. Despite the wry observations of her trusty tabby Wallis, now the wrongfully accused kitten’s guardian, and the grudging compliance of her cop lover, this may be one time when Pru can’t solve the mystery or save the kitten she wants to believe is innocent. A single witness knows the truth about that bright spring morning. How far can Pru investigate without risking her own hidden tale?

This mystery had lots of twists and turns to keep me entertained from beginning to end. Pru uses her secret talent with great aplomb that helps in solving the pieces of the puzzle, which is murder. A good read, a great cast of characters and a wicked whodunit brings it all together in this pleasantly appealing series.

A Night in the Life of Zoë Sutton by Simon Wood

The One That Got AwayThey’re throwing me out of the bar. Sure, I shouldn’t have hit him, but when you put an unwanted hand on a woman, there are consequences. Can I help it that with my defense skills I can put a guy on his back without breaking a sweat?

I can hear him hurling threats about calling the cops. He won’t. None of the guys I’ve knocked down ever do. What kind of man wants the world knowing a chick put him on his ass? None. Male pride. You’ve gotta love it.

As I traipse through San Francisco’s moonlit streets, the guilt sets in. Tonight’s events aren’t exactly new for me. I kind of have a track record. I dress up (or dress down, it depends on your point of view), hit the bars and clubs alone and let things unfold from there. Sometimes I find fun. Sometimes I find danger. Maybe I even court it. These aren’t exactly the actions of an educated woman.

I can hear my therapist in my head. “Zoë, why do you do it? Why do you put yourself at risk?”

I don’t know. To be honest, I never see it as dangerous behavior. A woman should be able to go out at night alone and have fun, and not have it considered dangerous. I just want to celebrate life. I’m living for two after all.

Am I living for two? Or just trying to follow Holli into an unmarked grave? I want to say the former but my therapist maintains it’s the second. And I’m starting to agree.

I guess I should be honest here. I’m a coward. Last year, Holli and I were on a girl’s weekend in Vegas. Some son of a bitch doped us and stashed us in his little pain cave in the desert. While he took to Holli with a whip, I escaped. I told myself I was only leaving to get help, but they never found Holli or him.

You can tell me it wasn’t my fault and there was nothing I could have done. But with the utmost respect, you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. Sorry. I don’t mean to get up all in your face but you don’t know what it’s like living with what I’ve done.

Part of me wants to put what happened to Holli and me behind me and live on. Part of me wants to go back to that night and take that son of a bitch on. The result is that I’m stuck in my own private purgatory. It’s why I have a dead-end job and I hit the town looking for trouble. Looking for him. Hoping our paths will cross so I can get a chance to make up for what I did…or didn’t do.

And I might just get my wish. He’s here. The media is calling him the Tally Man. There’s a dead woman in the city. She was flogged before she was killed, just like Holli. I’m hoping our paths will cross. And when they do, I’m going to ask him where to find Holli…just before I kill him.


You can read more about Zoë in The One That Got Away, published by Thomas & Mercer.

Meet the author
Simon Wood is a California transplant from England. He’s a former competitive racecar driver, a licensed pilot, an SimonWendurance cyclist and an occasional PI. He shares his world with his American wife, Julie. Their lives are dominated by a longhaired dachshund and four cats. He’s the Anthony Award winning author of Working Stiffs, Accidents Waiting to Happen, Paying the Piper, Terminated, Asking For Trouble, We All Fall Down and the Aidy Westlake series. His latest thriller is THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY. He also writes horror under the pen name of Simon Janus. Curious people can learn more at www.simonwood.net.

A Day in the Life of Vivan Tremont by Jenn McKinlay

At the Drop of a HatSecrets are sneaky little things and they always escape, no matter how hard you try to hold them, like smoke through your fingers.

My name is Vivian Tremont and I’m a milliner in the shop I inherited from my grandmother Mim. My American cousin Scarlett Parker and I run Mim’s Whims together. It is good to have Scarlett here with me as she is much better with people than I am. She is the balm to my erratic artistic temperament and since we spent our school holidays together, it is more like being in business with a sister than a cousin.

Now my days are supposed to consist of hours spent gluing feathers onto fascinators and hand stitching elaborate borders onto wedding veils, but my life hasn’t been like that for a while. In fact, sometimes when I look at my life, I don’t even recognize it. And much as I love her, I know for a fact, it is all Scarlett’s fault.

Mind you, I love her gift for dealing with people. When we have an annoying customer that I find too difficult to deal with, Scarlett manages to smooth what could easily become a nasty altercation into a satisfactory interaction. Of course, the flipside to this is that Scarlett’s customer service tends to get us into some rather awkward situations.

For instance, take our current predicament. Ariana Jackson came to us with her late mother’s bridal hat. She wanted to wear it in her own wedding so that she could have a part of her mother with her on her special day. It was especially sentimental for us as it was designed by Mim over thirty years ago. So, naturally, we were eager to take the job.

Unfortunately, when Scarlett went to meet with Ariana to discuss the cost of the refurbishment, she found Ariana kneeling beside the body of her boss, who had fallen several stories to his death. Ghastly!

Now a normal person would take in this horrid situation, call the police, and back away without a second thought but not Scarlett. Oh, no, the next thing I knew she had me visiting our client at the Notting Hill police station, where Ariana convinced us of her innocence by sharing her darkest, most personal secret with us.

Her candor convinced us that she wasn’t guilty and we agreed that we would do whatever we could to see her free from suspicion. Now, our poor intern Fiona Felton is manning the shop while we race all over London, with our friends Nick and Andre, trying to find someone else who wanted Ariana’s boss dead. To our dismay, it appears to be a pretty long list.

Meanwhile, our business manager Harrison Wentworth has hired a friend to try and help Ariana with her defense. Alistair Tucker, a noted defense attorney, agrees to take the case. I have to admit I find Alistair quite dishy, but as the case heats up and things between Alistair and I get equally warm, I have to shut everyone out, including my cousin Scarlett for I have secrets of my own that I dare not let out.


To find out what Vivian’s secret is, be sure to read At the Drop of a Hat, the third book in the “Hat Shop” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first two books in the series are Cloche and Dagger and Death of a Mad Hatter.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 p.m. eastern on March 6 for the chance to win a copy of At the Drop of a Hat Book. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. Make sure to check your SPAM folder.

About the author
Jenn McKinlay is the New York Times bestselling author of the Library Lover’s mysteries, the Cupcake Bakery mysteries and the London Hat Shop mysteries. Clearly, writing gives her an excuse to read, eat, and travel. It’s a perfect career for sure. Jenn lives in Scottsdale, AZ in a house overrun with kids, pets and her husband’s guitars.

Visit Jenn at www.jennmckinlay.com

A Day in the Life of Dana Lewis by Staci McLaughlin

A Healthy HomicideWell, the O’Connell Organic Farm and Spa is still open for business, believe it or not. Zennia, our health-minded cook, continues to whip up occasionally intimidating but highly nutritious meals; Gordon, our business-oriented manager, is watching the budget like a hawk watches a baby chick in our hen house; and I’m using all my marketing skills to promote the spa like never before. I’d like to think my two-for-one coupons and blog postings have made the O’Connell Farm a household name, but we still struggle. Esther, the owner, is always worried. At least we haven’t closed completely, something I was sure would happen with the streak of bad luck we had those first few months.

In case you didn’t hear, a guest was murdered on opening weekend. The timing couldn’t have been much worse. Most of the guests who were staying here checked out, and nobody else dared check in until we solved the murder. Then, when things started to settle down, an ex-boyfriend of Ashlee, my attention-seeking younger sister, was killed. When the police focused on Ashlee as a possible suspect, my marketing work, as well as those extra chores I often do like cleaning out the pig sty and serving meals to the guests, took a nosedive while I spent all my time trying to clear my sister’s name.

Things started to look up when I helped organize and run a green living festival in downtown Blossom Valley. I figured it would be a great way to draw attention to the farm and spa. I spent hours creating a photo collage of the farm’s highlights and designing new brochures that would make everyone want to book a stay. I could barely contain my excitement when I’d finished setting up our booth. But wouldn’t you know it. I returned from grabbing a quick lunch and found the body of a former classmate in the booth next door. The festival almost fell apart after that. I mean, it’s hard to promote green living when everyone wants to talk about the dead lady. But somehow we managed to survive the weekend and even drum up a little business.

Around the same time as the festival, we also expanded our spa services and hired Gretchen, a masseuse and facial expert. With her magic hands and friendly demeanor, we’ve lined up a steady stream of regular customers, which has tickled Gordon to no end. But now all our progress may be in jeopardy because of a new spa that’s opened right downtown. Sitting in such a prime location, it’s bound to attract the attention of anyone driving through Blossom Valley.

Esther was in an absolute tizzy when she arrived at the farm this morning and told me that one of her friends has already gotten a manicure there. Her friend couldn’t stop gushing about how trendy the place is. Trendy is definitely not a word I would use to describe Esther’s business. Still, I told her there was nothing to worry about, even if I am already working on a new marketing plan.

To help me, Gretchen has agreed to stop by the downtown spa after work today. She’ll do a little snooping to find out what services they offer and whether our prices are competitive. She’ll be in and out before the spa owner even realizes Gretchen works for the competition. With such a simple plan, what could possibly go wrong?


You can read more about Dana in A Healthy Homicide, the fourth book in the “Blossom Valley” mystery series, published by Kensington. The first book in the series is Going Organic Can Kill You.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 p.m. eastern on March 5 for the chance to win a copy of A Healthy Homicide. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. Make sure to check your SPAM folder.

About the author
Staci McLaughlin is the author of the Blossom Valley Mysteries. While she tries to eat as nutritiously as Zennia, the spa’s cook in her series, she can’t quite give up store-bought treats and frozen macaroni-and-cheese meals. When she’s not nibbling on a cookie, she’s often helping with homework or chasing after her two kids. You can find her online at www.stacimclaughlin.com or the LadyKillers blog. She currently lives with her husband, children, and various pets in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Blog Tour With Gini Miller by Mary McHugh

Flamenco Flan and FatalitiesI’m Gini Miller, narrator of the second book in the Happy Hoofers series by Mary McHugh called “Flamenco, Flan and Fatalities.” It takes place on a luxury train traveling across northern Spain from Santiago de Compostela to San Sebastian.

My four friends and I are hired to tap dance on the train and we’re having a great time until a famous, loud-mouth talk show host is murdered on our first day. If you read the first book in this series called “Chorus Lines, Caviar and Corpses,” you’ll remember my four dancing friends: Tina Powell, a travel editor for a bridal magazine and our fearless leader who gets us jobs on cruise ships, luxury trains and resorts; Janice Rogers, an actress and director who falls in and out of love regularly; Pat Keeler, a family therapist and our mother hen, Mary Louise Temple, a housewife, and me, a documentary film maker.

As in all these Happy Hoofer cozy mysteries, there are recipes, a dog, a language lesson, romance, suspense, and visits to lovely places in northern Spain like the little seaside town of Luarca where all the houses are white.

Best of all, you’ll dance the flamenco with us, learn some dance steps, enjoy a cooking lesson with a wise-cracking chef, share my photography tips, visit a pre-Romanesque monument and a cave in Covadonga.

Laugh along with me as my four dancing friends and I solve another couple of murders and marvel at the beauties of northern Spain.


You can read more about Gini in Flamenco, Flan and Fatalities, the second book in the “Happy Hoofers” mystery series, published by Kensington. The first book in the series is Chorus Lines, Caviar and Corpses.

This is the 7th stop on the Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities Great Escapes Tour. Click HERE to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for the chance to win one of five print copies of Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities. More stops on the tour can be found here.

About the author
Mary McHugh has published 22 books on subjects ranging from feminism to Crotchety Old Men. At present she is writing MaryMa series of murder mysteries for Kensington Books.

She worked for The New York Times for their special sections, and her article, “Telling Jack” in the Sunday Times magazine was nominated for an award for best personal essay by the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Her book, Special Siblings: Growing Up with Someone with a Disability, was awarded a prize for Special Recognition of a National Project by The Arc of New Jersey.

She worked as an articles editor at three national magazines and was a contributing editor for Cosmopolitan magazine. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle and senior women.com.

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It’s all in a day’s work for Emma Lee Raines by Tonya Kappes

A Ghostly UndertakingWith a funeral, a ghost, a murder . . .

If it weren’t for bad luck. . .Well, you know the saying and I’m no exception to the rule. Growing up and living in the Eternal Slumber Funeral Home should’ve been my first clue that my life was going to be any less than normal.

I embraced my high school nickname, Creepy Funeral Girl, and took over the family business after my parents retired, leaving me in charge of getting the dearly departed residents of Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky six feet under to their final resting place.

At least that’s what I thought until the one ill-fated snowy day when I was walking through the town square to grab some lunch from Artie’s Meat and Deli. The snow that covered the shop roofs were quickly melting from the sunshine, causing the plastic Santa on Artie’s roof to slide off and hit me square in the head. Knocking me out flat.

I swear I thought I was a goner, gone to the big guy in the sky, and joined all my clients I had put six feet under because when I woke up Ruthie Sue Payne, Eternal Slumber latest client, was standing next to me, bunny slippers and all.

Doc Clyde confirmed I was not dead, but I had the “Funeral Trauma.” He said I’d been around the dead too long and needed a little time off, but Ruthie didn’t see it that way.

In fact, Ruthie said that the accidental slip and fall autopsy report was wrong and that she was murdered. Pushed!

Worse, she wasn’t going to leave me alone until I helped get her to the “other side” by figuring out who murdered her. One problem. Ruthie’s archenemy was my Granny, Zula Raines Payne. After all, Ruthie’s ex-husband left her for Granny and the two had not gotten along since.

Now it was personal. Ruthie accused my Granny of killing her when I know Granny was not capable of doing such an act. Or was she?

Jealousy made people do strange things and in the south, we like to sweep things under the rug with a big smile on our face pretending nothing ever happened.

Ruthie wasn’t the only one who thought her death was suspicious. Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, my high school crush and now Sheriff of Sleepy Hollow, was sniffing around asking all sorts of questions not just about the death of Ruthie Sue, but the odd behavior I was displaying by talking to myself in public.

I guess I could hide my crazy to help out hunky Jack Henry and exonerate my Granny in the process so I could get Ruthie Sue Payne to the other side.
ghostly southern

Read A Ghostly Undertaking now available everywhere e-books/books are sold. Here’s what’s up in A Ghostly Undertaking:
ghosty text


You can read more about Emma Lee in A Ghostly Undertaking, the first book in the highly anticipated A Ghostly Southern Mystery series, published by HarperCollins.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 p.m. eastern on March 3 for the chance to win a signed copy of A Ghostly Undertaking along with a Kappes Tote. Two lucky winners will be randomly selected. Winners will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. Make sure to check your SPAM folder.

About the author
Tonya has written over 16 novels and 4 novellas, all of which have graced numerous bestseller lists including USA Today. Best known for SOUTHERN SMALL TOWN MYSTERIES charged with emotion and humor, and filled with flawed characters, her novels have garnered reader praise and glowing critical reviews. She lives with her husband, two very spoiled schnauzers and a stray cat in northern Kentucky and grew up in Nicholasville. Now that her boys are teenagers, Tonya writes full time but can be found at all of her guys high school games with a pencil and paper in hand.

To sign up for Tonya’s newsletter, stalk her on social media, view book trailer, and upcoming news, check out Tonya’s website, Tonyakappes.com.