Showing posts with label Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. Show all posts

Thursday, May 31, 2018

"Pick and Chews" by Linda O. Johnston

Pick and Chews
(A Barkery and Biscuits Mystery Book 4)
by Linda O. Johnston

Pick and Chews (A Barkery and Biscuits Mystery Book 4) by Linda O. Johnston

Pick and Chews is the fourth book in the Barkery and Biscuits Mystery series by Linda O. Johnston. Also available: Bite the Biscuit, To Catch a Treat, and Bad to the Bone (read my blog post).

Bite the Biscuit by Linda O. JohnstonTo Catch a Treat by Linda O. JohnstonBad to the Bone by Linda O. Johnston

Pick and Chews is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Carrie Kennersly tries to help her veterinarian boyfriend when he’s under suspicion of murder … Is he a keeper, or should she let him go off-leash for good?
As a technician for a local vet and the owner of the Barkery & Biscuits dog bakery, Carrie Kennersly is excited to host a rescue animal adoption event. She’s also excited to be in a relationship with veterinarian Dr. Reed Storme, despite his pleas for her to butt out of the murder cases she keeps finding herself involved with. Yet when Reed is accused of killing his former veterinary colleague, he seems a lot more agreeable to having amateur detective Carrie butt back in. Can Carrie clear Reed, or does she care too much for a killer?
Includes recipes for dog treats and people treats!

Click below to read an excerpt.

Praise for the Book
“The well written story will suck you in until you find yourself on the last page amazed at the ending. The details were just amazing and I have to say that the pet details for the series really set it apart from others. If you love animals and cozy mysteries then this is really the book/series for you. I loved every minute of it …” ~ Jessica Robbins
“This series is a fun, entertaining, cats and dogs adventure. Wonderfully written and plot is excellent. You will have to put it down and will definitely be upset when the book ends.” ~ Teri
Pick and Chews is a cute read.” ~ J. Sasse
Pick and Chews is a sweet novel, a nice change of pace and one I thoroughly enjoyed.” ~ Bonnye Reed Fry
“There are several suspects and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing a little and interesting enough to make you keep reading to see whodunit. I enjoyed this series and look forward to reading more.” ~ R. Robinson
“This fun story will keep you guessing and re-guessing up until the very end.” ~ D. Antonio

Guest Post by the Author
Hi, everyone! I'm Linda O. Johnston, and my wonderful Great Escapes Book Tour continues with my visit here, to Books Direct.
I'm taking this delightful tour because my fourth to Barkery and Biscuits Mystery, Pick and Chews, has just been released. It's a sequel to Bite the Biscuit, To Catch a Treat, and Bad to the Bone
My Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries feature a protagonist who's dear to my heart, Carrie Kennersly, a veterinary technician who decides to do more with her life while keeping her initial career going part-time. In Bite the Biscuit, Carrie had just bought a friend's bakery, Icing on the Cake, and turned half of it into Barkery and Biscuits, where she bakes and sells healthy dog treats she developed as a vet tech. Of course, it's a cozy mystery series, so someone gets murdered and my amateur sleuth has to solve the crime since she's the primary suspect. Since then, she's had to solve a couple more mysteries since friends were the primary suspect.
Carrie has developed a romantic relationship with Dr. Reed Storme, a veterinarian who works at the vet clinic where Carrie still works part-time as a vet tech. He's always telling her to back off, not get involved with solving crimes because it's too dangerous.
Well, in Pick and Chews, Reed is the major murder suspect ... and guess what? He backs down, at least a bit, from chastising Carrie for getting involved. After all, she survived the other situations - and actually helped solve them.
So, is she successful this time? You can probably guess. But to find out for sure, you'll need to read the story!
Why is Carrie so special to me? Partially it's because she loves dogs - and I identify with that. It's also because she's living several dreams in her life at the same time. She still enjoys being a vet tech and continues with that career part time. She also has always wanted to be an entrepreneur, and that dream is also coming true with her new shops.
These days, I'm a full-time writer and really enjoy it. But when I started writing and getting published, I was also an attorney and practiced law at the same time. Well, not exactly the same time. I got up an hour earlier than anyone else in my household so I had some writing time. At least I got up earlier than any of the humans. I've been owned by Cavalier King Charles Spaniels for many years, and my pups also got up to keep me company. And yes, I enjoyed practicing law, too.
In case you're not aware of it, all of my mysteries, and even romances these days, involve dogs!
I'd love to hear from you. Come visit my website and friend me on Facebook. I also blog every Wednesday at Killer Hobbies, on the 6th of each month at A Slice of Orange, on the 18th of each month at Killer Characters, and on the first Monday of each month at Under Cover of Midnight, as well as periodically on the Writers in Residence blog.

About the Author
Linda O. Johnston
Linda O. Johnston, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, currently writes the Barkery and Biscuits Mystery series for Midnight Ink. She has also written the Superstition Mystery series for Midnight Ink and the Pet Rescue Mystery series and Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime. Linda also writes the K-9 Ranch Rescue miniseries for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, as well as a paranormal romance miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne. And all her current stories involve dogs.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of two print copies of Pick and Chews by Linda O. Johnston (US only).


Friday, May 25, 2018

"Don’t Believe It" by Charlie Donlea

Don’t Believe It
by Charlie Donlea

Don’t Believe It  by Charlie Donlea

Don’t Believe It by Charlie Donlea is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

From acclaimed author Charlie Donlea comes a twisting, impossible-to-put-down novel of suspense in which a filmmaker helps clear a woman convicted of murder - only to find she may be a puppet in a sinister game.
The Girl of Sugar Beach is the most watched documentary in television history - a riveting, true-life mystery that unfolds over twelve weeks and centers on a fascinating question: Did Grace Sebold murder her boyfriend, Julian, while on a Spring Break vacation, or is she a victim of circumstance and poor police work? Grace has spent the last ten years in a St. Lucian prison, and reaches out to filmmaker Sidney Ryan in a last, desperate attempt to prove her innocence.
As Sidney begins researching, she uncovers startling evidence, additional suspects, and timeline issues that were all overlooked during the original investigation. Before the series even finishes filming, public outcry leads officials to reopen the case. But as the show surges towards its final episodes, Sidney receives a letter saying that she got it badly, terribly wrong.
Sidney has just convinced the world that Grace is innocent. Now she wonders if she has helped to free a ruthless killer. Delving into Grace’s past, she peels away layer after layer of deception. But as Sidney edges closer to the real heart of the story, she must decide if finding the truth is worth risking her newfound fame, her career ... even her life.

Chapter 1
Hewanorra International Airport
St. Lucia
March 2017
Ten Years Later
SIDNEY RYAN FINISHED TAPPING ON HER COMPUTER, SAVED HER FILE, and folded the laptop closed. She reached under the seat and slipped it into her carry-on. The popping in her ears told her they had started their descent. She pulled a thick folder from her bag, opened it, and removed the maiden letter that had started her journey.
Dear Sidney,
It's been a while. Fifteen years? Congratulations on all your success. I've followed your career, as you can imagine, quite closely. You are a champion for those who cannot help themselves. As I'm sure you are aware, your accomplishments have echoed far beyond those who have directly benefited. For those like myself, whose fates have long ago been determined, you give hope that somehow things can still change.
I'll assume you know my story. And I hope this letter makes it into your hands. You are, quite literally, my last chance. I've exhausted the appeals process. It is different here than in the States. I've learned the St. Lucian justice system well over the last decade. There are no more loopholes to find, and no more formalities to follow. From this point forward, I can count on only one thing to help me — a re-examination of the evidence. Without it, I will spend my life here. And with each year that passes, it feels as though fewer and fewer people are looking at my case. Lately it seems that no one remembers me besides my family.
I'm writing you, Sidney, to ask you to consider helping an old friend. Of course, I understand no promises can be made. And I'm able to offer nothing in the way of compensation. Yet, I still find myself writing to you. I have no one else to ask.
My attorney and I can provide you with every bit of information about my case. Perhaps, if you look through it all, you will see what so many others have missed.
Thank you, Sidney, for anything you can do for an old friend.
Yours Sincerely, Grace Sebold
Sidney folded the letter and looked out the window. The plane was on a gentle glide and ready to set down in the ocean when a runway reached out and grabbed the Airbus A330 to pull it safely onto dry land. A five-minute taxi settled the plane on the tarmac just outside the terminal doors. Everyone onboard opened overhead compartments and gathered bags. Sidney walked through the plane's exit door and stepped onto the landing of the staircase, where the humid Caribbean air quickly worked her skin to a glistening shine. She took the stairs to the tarmac and felt the heat of the pavement rise in invisible flames around her. The camera crew sorted their equipment as she headed into the terminal. Through customs thirty minutes later, she bounced in the backseat of the taxi van as the driver navigated the rolling mountains of St. Lucia and the twisting roads that cut through their slopes.
Hills lush with rain forest filled the windows of the taxi for most of the sixty-minute ride. Eventually the driver shifted to a lower gear and the van strained to climb a steep bank. As they crested the precipice on the outskirts of the Jalousie Plantation, the ocean came into view across the valley. In the middle of the afternoon, the water carried an emerald brilliance, and from such an elevated vantage point looked almost cartoonish as it smoldered bright cobalt in the area near shore, melting to a deeper navy farther out to sea.
The driver began the descent into the valley toward Sugar Beach Resort. Contrasting the journey to this point, which had been defined by a series of steep inclines barely conquered by the taxi van's straining engine, the ride down into the valley came with the constant squeak of brakes and slow turns around hairpins. The deeper they ventured into the basin, the higher the twin volcanic plugs of Gros Piton and Petit Piton rose on either side of them. The prehistoric nature of the precipitous mountains gave Sidney the sense of heading into Jurassic Park.
Finally the van made the last turn and tall iron gates parted as they approached the entrance to the resort. The humidity again mugged her when the door slid open and Sidney climbed from the van.
"Ms. Ryan," a staff member said, extending a basket of ice-cold hand towels. "Welcome to Sugar Beach."
Sidney draped the towel across the back of her neck.
"The staff will manage your bags," the woman said in a pleasant Caribbean accent. "Your firm has already arranged check-in, so your room is waiting."
Sidney nodded and followed the woman onto a path lined by Lansan trees, the shade of which offered a reprieve from the heat. The staffer pointed out landmarks as they walked.
"The spa is that way," she said, pointing. "It's world renowned and highly recommended. Built directly into the rain forest."
Sidney smiled and nodded, surveying the treehouse–like structures built within the forest and the wooden staircases that twirled down to the ground.
The woman pointed in the other direction. "This path will take you to the beach."
Overhanging branches of palm trees cocooned the long cobblestone walkway. Their heavy fronds rustled in the ocean breeze toward the far end of the path, where a spot of bright sunshine and surf was just visible from where Sidney stood.
They made one more turn. "And here is your cottage."
The woman keyed the door and allowed Sidney to enter the posh room, the furniture of which was white and immaculate. Dark cherrywood floors shone brightly with afternoon sunlight that spilled through the windows and French doors.
"The bar is stocked with anything you might like — water, juice, and soda. Spirits as well. Your bags should arrive shortly."
"Thank you," Sidney said. She glanced at the placard outside the door: 306.
"Yes," the woman said, recognizing the question in Sidney's eyes. "This was the room she stayed in."
Sidney nodded.
"Please call if you need anything," the woman said.
"Thank you."
Sidney closed the cottage door and allowed the air-conditioned interior to cool her body and unstick her shirt from her skin. She looked around the room, moving her gaze from the shining wooden floors to the lush bathroom accommodations, to the sun-drenched patio, and finally to the plush four-poster bed, with its brilliant white comforter. She ran her hand over the thick blanket before sitting on the edge.
Ten years earlier, Grace Sebold had slept in this very room the night Julian Crist was killed.

Praise for the Book
“Donlea’s use of the documentary format helped build and maintain suspense. He tapped into the American passion for true crime to write the story and it worked well.” ~ Bea’s Book Nook
“Charlie Donlea is definitely an author to watch out for. Five stars is not enough praise for this story.” ~ Sinfully Wicked Book Reviews
“The author did a fantastic job of drawing me into the story and keeping me interested. The last sentence of the book left me hungry for more ...” ~ Book Babble
“A perfectly executed and entirely satisfying read, Don't Believe It is a gripping thriller that will blow readers away, from the first page right up to the very last words. Charlie Donlea's best book yet!” ~ Mary Kubica, author of Pretty Baby and The Good Girl

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.
Ten years ago, Grace was convicted of killing her boyfriend on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. Sidney, a reporter who has gained the reputation for getting convictions overturned, decides to film a documentary on the case and travels to St. Lucia for research. It looks like Grace might be innocent, but when new information comes to light, which is more important? The ratings or the truth?
Sidney’s story on the making of the documentary is interspersed with scenes from her documentary. As Sidney herself pitches it to her network: “The episodes will be a retelling of events, as I understand them. A mix of reenactments as well as live footage of my investigation. The audience will discover what I discover as I discover it.” This format gives the narrative urgency, as Sidney is on a deadline each week to come up with the material for the next episode. The author uses multiple viewpoints to tell the story; some (like the taxi driver’s) are totally unnecessary. Unfortunately, there is also a bit of head-hopping in some scenes. The ending takes the story in a different direction to what I was expecting and, while the story is complete, it is open to the possibility of a sequel.
An engrossing read.

Favorite Quote
“Can life really be started over? Can you simply turn the page in the notebook of life that has recorded your history and start writing a fresh story?”

About the Author
Charlie Donlea
USA Today bestselling author Charlie Donlea was born and raised in Chicago. He now lives in the suburbs with his wife and two young children.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of three print copies of Don’t Believe It by Charlie Donlea (US only).


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

"Magick Run Amok" by Sharon Pape

Magick Run Amok
(An Abracadabra Mystery Book 3)
by Sharon Pape

Magick Run Amok (An Abracadabra Mystery Book 3) by Sharon Pape

Magick Run Amok is the third book in the Abracadabra Mystery series by Sharon Pape. Also available: Magick and Mayhem (read my blog post) and That Olde White Magick.

That Olde White Magick by Sharon Pape

Magick Run Amok is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

The answer to whodunit may lie beyond the veil …
November in upstate New York can be chilly, but Kailyn Wilde’s shop, Abracadabra, is a cozy respite where you can find lotions, potions, and plenty of warm, feline company. But what customers don’t know is that the proprietor has some unusual powers—and unusual friends, including the renowned magician Merlin, who’s been transported into the modern world. All of which comes in handy when there’s a murder to be solved …
Investigative journalist Ryan Cutler has perished in a car accident in New Camel, and his friend, Travis, suspects foul play - especially when the reporter’s notes reveal a mysterious list of dead men’s names. Kailyn wants to help, but she’s also got her hands full with the curmudgeonly Merlin, who’s not exactly maintaining a low profile. Between keeping the wizard under wraps and mixing up cold remedies that work like magic, she’ll have to tap into her many talents to figure out a killer’s fatal formula ...

In the hours that remained, only one more person came in. He was big and broad shouldered, wearing a battered leather jacket open over a tee shirt with a skull motif. Tattoos peeked out of both sleeves of his jacket and from the neck of his tee. He was wearing jeans and combat boots and carrying a biker’s helmet under his left arm. His hair was spiked and the stubble on his cheeks had the look of a permanent two day growth. Tilly referred to men like him as biker dudes.
“How you doin’?” he asked before I could greet him.
“I’m well, thanks. How are you?”
“Good, good,” he said nodding like a bobble-head doll as he gave the shop the once over. He turned back to me. “I was just passing through, you know? And the name of your shop hooked me in.”
“Are you interested in magick?” I asked him.
“If you’re talkin’ magic like in magic shows, nah, except for when I was kid. Now if there was such a thing as real magick, sure - I’d be all over it, who wouldn’t be?”
I laughed. “True enough.”
“So what is it you have goin’ on here exactly?” he asked as he started browsing down the first aisle.
I raised my voice so he could hear me. “Natural products for what ails you, beauty aids for the skin and hair, candles for aroma therapy....”
He exited the aisle at the other end and instead of going down the next one, he headed back to me, clearly not interested enough to finish his self-tour. “It’s quirky, cute” he said, words that sounded odd coming from a biker dude’s mouth.
He shifted the helmet from his left arm to his right like he was settling in for a while. “New Camel’s definitely small-town America. I’ll bet you know every soul and every rumor makin’ the rounds.” 
If I’d been a dog, my ears would have pricked. For someone just passing through, someone who’d walked into my shop on a whim, why was he so interested in my acquaintances?” It might be idle conversation, but I was investigating a potential string of murders and I couldn’t afford to dismiss any offhand remark by a stranger. “You’d be surprised,” I said, morphing out of casual shopkeeper mode and into wary investigator in a split second. “My shop and this whole town are geared to the tourist trade. I do know many of the locals, but certainly not all of them. And if you’re talking about Watkins Glen, I probably know less than thirty percent of the residents there. Are you from a big city like New York?” Two can play the question game.
“I travel a lot,” he said, his eyes flitting around me for someplace to land other than my face. He spotted Sashkatu on the window ledge and grinned, showing off perfect white teeth. A man of the highways and byways who flossed and brushed regularly. “Cool detail - the cat,” he said. “What do they call the cats that help witches?”
“I think you mean ‘familiars.’”
“Yeah, that’s it.” He picked up a candle from one of the little display tables near the counter, turned it over, sniffed it and put it back down. “I stopped in Watkin’s Glen to grab a burger for lunch. Everyone was talkin’ about the guy who was found dead in his mobile home. I heard some folks say he deserved whatever he got. Guess he wasn’t liked much.”
I shrugged. “I wouldn’t know.”
“You don’t expect to hear stuff like that up here. In a city, yeah, but here in quiet-ville?”
“There are bad people everywhere. For all we know, the killer was just some guy passing through,” I said pointedly. He looked me squarely in the eye, and I had a smile all ready for him.
“A waitress was makin’ a wager with the guy at the next table,” he continued after a moment. “She bet the “Wilde girl” in New Camel would catch the killer before the cops again. You know who that is?”
“I’m Kailyn Wilde,” I said, pretty sure he already knew that, since he was standing in my shop.
“So – you really that good at findin’ criminal types?”
I shrugged. “People like to exaggerate.  I’ve probably just been lucky. Right time, right place - you know.” If he was involved in crime, murder specifically, there was no sense in giving him reason to eliminate me first.
“Nah, I’m mostly in the wrong place at the worst time,” he said chuckling at his own wit. He glanced at his watch. “I gotta hit the road. Good talkin’ to you, Miss Wilde. You stay safe.”
“I intend to,” I said. Over the years, my family and I had dealt with every sort of person, but not one of them had left me feeling as unsettled as this guy. I breathed a whole lot easier after he walked out and I heard the rumble of his motorcycle fade into the distance.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“We get to follow Kailyn, her aunt, Merlin, and the cats on yet another murder investigation that will have you laughing and gasping along the way.” ~ Books a Plenty Book Reviews
“I felt this read was full of lighthearted fun with plenty of twists and turns to draw me into the mystery. I like the cross-genre that mixes the mystery with paranormal fun!” ~ Ms.Cat’s Honest World
“With humor and investigative daring, along with some other worldly intervention, this adventure is a welcome addition to a delightful series. You can never predict what will happen next or who will save the day!” ~ Laura’s Interests
“This story not only turns about the mystery but the curious family of Kailyn, with her ghost mother lecturing her when she is not acting correctly, her ‘mysterious’ friend Merlin, that could be coming from the past … or of course the cats she has in her life …! But let me say that it makes the story funny and interesting, of course.” ~ Varietats

Guest Post by the Author
Will the Real Killer Please stand Up
I generally don’t start writing a book, until I’ve decided on the victim, the killer and the motive. Until recently, I’d only changed the killer once. It was late in the story, which makes any major change difficult to pull off and still make the book’s deadline. When the character who wanted to become the killer first popped into my head, I brushed them off. But they kept popping up, refusing to be ignored. “It makes more sense if I’m the killer,” they insisted. “Think about it and you’ll see that I’m right.”
That character was right. I thought about how hard it would be to make the change. As it turned out, it wasn’t that difficult, probably because the original killer and the new killer were related. I did have to add a few paragraphs and pages here and there to support the change, and I had to go through the manuscript carefully to remove anything that wouldn’t jibe with the new killer. If my character hadn’t been relentless, the book would not have been as good or as surprising as it turned out.
Five years later, when another character stopped in to have a similar chat, I was much more open to the prospect of change. This time it was a different one of my suspects who was campaigning to become the killer. They pointed out that I’d provided them with a better motive than the original killer as well as a reasonable opportunity to commit the murder. Why hadn’t I realized it myself? The manuscript would require some adjustments, but nothing all that difficult. As a writer, it can definitely be worthwhile to listen to those voices in your head.

About the Author
Sharon Pape
Sharon Pape describes her writing career as having two stages. Back in the dark ages, before computers were in every household, she had three paranormal books published. The first one was condensed by Redbook Magazine, the first paperback original they ever condensed. Then life brought her an unexpected challenge, by the name of breast cancer. After treatment, she and her oncologist started a not-for-profit to provide information and peer support to breast cancer patients. With the organization up and running, she returned to her first love – writing. This time around she’s been writing cozy mysteries with a paranormal twist.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of five ebook copies of Magick Run Amok by Sharon Pape.