Daily Archives: May 7, 2017

Cover Reveal ~ Dead in the Water by Denise Swanson

It is my pleasure to reveal the cover for the first book in the NEW “Welcome Back to Scumble River” mystery series, coming September 5, 2017.

Title: Dead in the Water
Series: Welcome Back to Scumble River #1
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Website: Denise Swanson

A twister, a kidnapping, and a murder—oh my! Scumble River may never be the same.

For school psychologist Skye Denison, there’s certainly no place like home. When a violent tornado devastates her small hometown of Scumble River, she can’t see how the community will ever recover-especially since town councilman Zeke Lyons appears to have perished in the twister.

But things get even worse for Skye when her police chief husband, Wally, disappears in the midst of investigating Zeke’s death, and evidence arises pointing to foul play. Did Zeke really die in the storm, or was he murdered? And could Wally be next on the criminal’s hit list?

The first book in a brand new series featuring New York Times bestselling author Denise Swanson’s beloved Scumble River setting and characters, Dead in the Water is a gripping mystery that won’t let you go until you’ve turned the last page.

About the author
Denise Swanson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Scumble River Mysteries, the Devereaux’s Dime Store Mysteries, the Change of Heart romances, and the Delicious romances She worked as a school psychologist for twenty-two years before quitting to write full-time. She lives in Illinois with her husband, classical music composer David Stybr.

Book is available for pre-order at retail and online booksellers.

Malice Domestic Recap 2017

Event: Malice Domestic 29
Location: Bethesda, MD
Hotel: Hyatt Regency Bethesda
Date: April 27 – May 1, 2017

Malice Domestic is an annual fan convention in the metropolitan DC area that celebrates the traditional mystery, books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie. The genre is loosely identified as mysteries which contain no explicit sex, or excessive gore, or violence.

I had a world-wind weekend starting Thursday evening at the Edgar’s Award then Friday morning, it was onto a road trip to Bethesda with Terri Bischoff and Catriona McPherson driving making good time on the trip. We even beat some of those who took the train down who left at more or less the same time.

Upon arrival at the hotel, I was met by friends and it felt like homecoming week (and I’ve never been to one). It was great seeing friends, old and new and introducing my new housemate, Koko. She had a wonderful time hanging out with my friends, but alas, I had to ship her home earlier than planned.

The hotel has done some renovating and it showed in the room. I had a nice corner one with a hypoallergenic filter machine. What I noticed most was the many outlets in which to plug the many electronics I travel with. It was funny when I was trying to find the closet which was tucked inside the vestibule of the bathroom. On the bathroom mirror was a clock which kept the right time.

Friday afternoon was a mish mash of a day with socializing with friends, dining out and just relaxing.

On Saturday I was moderating the “What’s Your Line” panel with Mary Angela, Kate Carlisle, Mary Feliz and Sherry Harris on the panel. I was a bit nervous because I wasn’t sure of the questions and how it would play out. But it did and I even ran out of questions to ask and opened it up to the audience and we had great questions. We also had good laughs during our panel. When people came up to me and said our panel was good . . . that made my day. The day ended with the banquet where I had the chicken and opted for the fruit dessert (not a fan of mousse). It was a long day for me, so I crashed earlier.

On Sunday I went to breakfast with author Cathy Ace and we talked about books and marketing. Headed back to hotel for a panel before it was time to check out my room and wait for the shuttle to whisk me away to the airport. When I arrived at the airport I ran into Jessie and Terri who’s flight was moved to my gate. My flight was delayed but luckily I was able to get on a flight to LaGuardia and upon landing discovered that my luggage was still in DC. Not to worry, Koko was at another destination waiting to travel home. Luggage was delivered Monday morning and Koko was delivered Tuesday afternoon. All in all had a wonderful time and I look forward to next year’s Malice which will be in a new hotel.

This is such a wonderful convention and  I’m looking forward to next year’s Malice Domestic where it will be held in a new hotel.


Silent auction

Author swags

Author swags

crowd shot of author signing

crowd shot of author signing

Photo courtesy of Robin Templeton

Photo courtesy of Robin Templeton

crowd shot of author signing

glass work of Cheryl Hollon’s book cover by her husband

banquet cocktail hour

Malice dessert

fruit cup

Malice 30

Koko at home

My Musing ~ A Good Day to Buy by Sherry Harris

A Good Day to Buy by Sherry Harris is the fourth book in the “Sarah Winston Garage Sale” mystery series. Publisher: Kensington, April 2017

When Sarah Winston’s estranged brother Luke shows up on her doorstep, asking her not to tell anyone he’s in town—especially her ex, the chief of police—the timing is strange, to say the least. Hours earlier, Sarah’s latest garage sale was taped off as a crime scene following the discovery of a murdered Vietnam vet and his gravely injured wife—her clients, the Spencers.

All Luke will tell Sarah is that he’s undercover, investigating a story. Before she can learn more, he vanishes as suddenly as he appeared. Rummaging through his things for a clue to his whereabouts, Sarah comes upon a list of veterans and realizes that to find her brother, she’ll have to figure out who killed Mr. Spencer. And all without telling her ex . . .

Love this series and this one is the best thus far. This is a fast-paced and action-packed whodunit that captured my attention and I could not put this book down. This multi-plot drama was well written and expertly staged with visually appealing narrative that put me in the middle of all that was happening. The author knows how to use the art of hiding in plain sight because those little twists was strategically placed to keep me reading and oh what a tangled web was woven. I enjoyed the length Sarah goes to protect her brother while trying to keep everything else above board. With humor and mayhem side by side, this book kept me entertained from beginning to an ending that leaves me wondering what is Sarah going to do. With a great supporting cast, engaging dialogue and the backdrop of garage sales plus tips, this was an enjoyable read and I eagerly await the next book in the series.

My Musing ~ Show Me the Sinister Snowman by Carolyn Mulford

Show Me the Sinister Snowman by Carolyn Mulford is the fifth book in the “Show Me” mystery series. Publisher: Cave Hollow Press, April 2017

North Missouri has seldom been snowier and the mysteries more perplexing than in Show Me the Sinister Snowman, the fifth novel in Carolyn Mulford’s Show Me detective series.

Was the ailing congressman’s death an accident, suicide, or perhaps even murder? And if it was murder, could it be that he was the wrong victim and the murderer might be poised to strike again? We watch as the action zeroes in on a snow-bound estate to provide a new twist on the classic country house mystery. The questions and perils build up, but retired CIA operative Phoenix Smith–with help from her faithful canine assistant, Achilles–is on the case.

I enjoyed the tantalizing trails that the author planted for me in this engrossing drama of suspense and intrigue. The narrative pulled me in immediately as I had to know who was behind the threats and possibly the murder. The author took great care to craft a novel that was tightly woven with the elements one expect in a mystery, that included a list of suspects, clues buried for me to find, the victim or victims and the protagonist whose role is to ferret out the culprit. With masterly adept dialogue and a snowbound setting where no one can escape, this drama kept me engaged in all that was happening and entertained as step by step, the plot thickened to a frenetic tempo as the story came to a fitting conclusion. This was a terrific read and I look forward to the next exciting adventures with Phoenix, Achilles, Connie and Annalynn.

My Musing ~ Silent Rain by Karin Salvalaggio

Silent Rain by Karin Salvalaggio is the fourth book in the “Macy Greeley” mystery series. Publisher: Minotaur Books May 9, 2017

silent-rainGrace Adams has spent three years trying to move on―mentally, physically, emotionally―from the traumatizing events of her past. But it’s not easy when the world is morbidly curious about the crimes that shaped her childhood, when despite her changed name, people still track her down for the sensational details. Now in college in Bolton, Montana, the one person Grace has trusted with the truth about her past has betrayed her. The bestselling novelist Peter Granger wants to use Grace’s story in his next book, regardless of how desperate Grace is to keep the details to herself. And then, on Halloween night, Peter Granger’s house burns to the ground and his and his wife’s bodies are found inside.

Montana state detective Macy Greeley is sent to Bolton to handle the investigation into the fire and deaths. . .which soon appear to be arson and murder. It doesn’t take Macy long to realize that Grace isn’t the only one whom Peter Granger has betrayed, and there are no shortages of others in town who took issue with him and his wife. What at first looked like a straightforward investigation is poised to expose some of Bolton’s darkest secrets, and the fallout may put more than one life in danger.

The drama that unfolded captured my attention from the beginning and never let up, not even at the conclusion. There was more to this story and the author did a great job in disseminating all that transpired with this superb cast of characters that featured strong women in every possible form. The narrative was enticing with a tightly woven storyline that put me in the middle of all the action. The dialogue, the staging, and the story’s tempo, kept this tome moving at a pace that I dare not miss a moment for every little detail had me intrigued in the possibilities that the author put forth.

The author did a fantastic job in divvying up the roles that the characters played which were pivotal to how this was all going to end. They were a few strategically-placed twists that gave me pause but when it was all said it done, it added to how well this story was told. Macy is my kind of heroine, and it was nice seeing a stronger Grace who appeared in a previous book. With great plot twists, complex characters and an all-around great read, this was one of the best book in the series and I look forward to more investigations with Macy and her colleagues.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

My Musing ~ City of Angels by Kristi Belcamino

City of Angels by Kristi Belcamino is published by Polis Books, May 9, 2017

city-of-angelsNikki Black, 17, a self-imposed lone wolf since her mother died, fled suburban Chicago to escape her painful past. But when her so-called boyfriend reveals why he really lured her to Southern California — to star in child porn flicks — she ends up on the streets of L.A. with only the clothes on her back and a twelve-year-old addict named Rain trailing in her shadows. The girls seek refuge at a residential hotel above a punk rock bar in downtown L.A. a few months before the city erupts into chaos during the 1992 riots. At The American Hotel, Nikki makes friends and for the first time in years feels as if she has a real family again.

All that changes when Rain disappears. Everyone except Nikki, including the police, thinks Rain succumbed to the seductive allure of addiction and life on the streets. Nikki finds herself fighting for her own life the closer she gets to unveiling a sinister cover-up by a powerful group that secretly controls the city of angels. City of Angels is an edgy, gritty, mature Young Adult mystery about a teenager’s struggle to not only belong — but survive.

A riveting drama. A strongly worded plot that immediately grabbed my attention. This fast-paced drama was visually descriptive and led me to see and feel all that taking place in this action-packed drama. The narrative had me completely immersed in all that was happening, evoking all kinds of emotions that surfaced to the top. The trials and tribulations of Nikki showed determination and guts as she took on what life presented in her path. The author did a great job in telling a captivating tale filled with the tenacity and strength of a young woman and those around her in this tightly woven and intriguing story. This was an engagingly wonderful book.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher.