Category Archives: Blog Tour

Book Review and Blog Tour: “Load the Boat” by Rosalee Richland (Darla King #2)




LTB_cover_image_CS    Title:  Load the Boat

Author:  Rosalee Richland

Series: Darla King (Square Dance) #2

Synopsis:  Darla’s life just isn’t turning out the way she planned. Darla King left her position as a Florida investigator hoping to avoid any further involvement with law enforcement—but her curiosity keeps getting in her way. Darla is beginning to realize that what she envisioned as the simple life of a square dance caller is not so simple after all. When she agrees to serve as a
square dance caller on a cruise, she plans on a little work and a lot of fun, sun, and romance. Instead, she and her friends encounter black market porn, a dead crew member, and a mysterious man with a satchel. In addition, another passenger, Mandy, seems to be in the thick of it and getting a lot of Doug’s attention. Darla lands in danger, escaping only with on-the-spot ingenuity. Load the Boat is the second book in the Darla King mystery series.


My thoughts:  I was lucky enough to get to read and participate in the book tour for the first book in this cozy series, Right and Left Grand!  So . . . I was ready to jump back in and get right back to familiar characters . . . one of the reasons I love cozy series so very much.

I really enjoy this cozy series, despite the fact that I have limited to no knowledge of anything about square dancing.  As an aside, if you know nothing about square dancing, you will definitely learn a lot about it and have a new appreciation after you read this series.

I really enjoy the characters in this series.  Darla and her friends are fun, engaging, quirky, and all around a delight to spend some reading time with.  I truly enjoyed how we got a bit more depth about Darla and her background and her relationships in this second book.

I must admit (perhaps I get a little too close to the characters in my books) that I was a bit worried or annoyed or both with Darla’s character in this book.  She was extremely stressed, edgy, spent most of the time that she was not working in her room while on a beautiful cruise, and was away from her friends a lot.  I’m not quite sure what is going on with Darla . . . but she needs to get back to herself and I wanted to tell her to snap out of it.  🙂

This series does get a bit heavy on the square dancing at times . . . it gets very specific and sometimes repetitive, which in my opinion sometimes takes away from the good mystery story underneath.

Overall, a nice, fun cozy series, with fun characters, a lesson in square dancing, and a good read.

And remember,

Books Are Life,



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Blog Tour and Book Review: “Death of an Irish Diva” by Mollie Cox Bryan (Cumberland Creek #3)


Death-of-an-Irish-Diva-182x300  Title:  Death of an Irish Diva

Author:  Mollie Cox Bryan

Series:  Cumberland Creek Mystery #3

Synopsis (from Vera’s dance studio may have suffered when Emily waltzed into town, but the croppers know she’s not a vengeful murderer. Lucky for her, co-scrapbooker Annie is a freelance reporter eager to vindicate her friend. What she discovers is a puzzling labyrinth of secrets that only add question marks to Emily’s murder. Just when it seems they’ve run out of clues, an antique scrapbook turns up and points the croppers in the right direction – and brings them face to face with a killer more twisted than a Celtic knot…

My thoughts:  Death of an Irish Diva is the third book in the wonderful Cumberland Creek Mystery series!  I must say I was at a bit of a disadvantage given that this was the first book that I read in the series, so it took me a little while to get familiar with the characters!   A small confession. . . I do  have the first two books to this series, namely Scrapbook of Secrets and Scrapped, on my shelf I believe and just haven’t gotten around to reading them . . . (hangs head in shame 🙂  That being said, this one intrigued me a great deal, got me really interested in the characters, and really peaked my interest about the plots of the previous two books, so there is no doubt that I definitely will be catching up.

I loved the characters in this cozy series.  They are bright, intelligent, real, strong, empowered women, with a side of fun and quirky!  I love that in my cozies . . . and we all know I do LOVE my cozies.

Part of me wishes that there would be more a scrapbooking focus to this particular book.  I know there has to be a balance between the plot and the location/theme of the cozy . . .but I for one wanted more time with the ladies doing their scrapbooking!  Loved that part.

This is a great, fast read for lovers of the cozy mystery genre!   Great characters, a fast moving mystery plot . . . all the components of a great cozy!

Now, if you will excuse me I have to go catch up on Scrapbook of Secrets and Scrapped!!! 🙂


The author has graciously agreed to giveaway one print copy of the book to certain blogs on the tour.  To enter the giveaway please leave a comment on this post including your email address. (Of course following the blog and liking it on Facebook and Twitter is always greatly appreciated, but not mandatory)! I will randomly choose a winner (using and then contact you via email to get your mailing address – US addresses only please.  I will choose the winner Monday, February 17, 2014.

And remember,

Books Are Life,




Filed under Blog Tour, Book Reviews, Cozy, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Giveaways

Book Review: “Picking Lemons” by J T Toman


PickingLemons  Title:  Picking Lemons

Author:  J. T. Toman

Series:  C. J. Whitmore #1

Synopsis (from  Economic theories can predict many things–just not the death of a renowned Economics professor. When Professor Edmund de Beyer is found in his office strangled to death by his own PhD hood, the police don’t have to look any further than his colleagues in the Economics Department for suspects. After all, Edmund was the most despised faculty member in the department. CJ Whitmore, the department’s only tenured female (who also has a penchant for wearing pink-cowboy-boots to class), resolves to get to the bottom of the mystery using economic principles. Comparing tracking down murder suspects to selecting a used car, she attempts to discern the real deals from the “lemons.” That is, which suspects are really telling the truth and which are lying to protect their guilt? Will CJ be able to pick the lemon before her clever adversary strike again?


My thoughts:  I really enjoyed this new cozy!  Why you ask?  Well, most certainly because of it’s main character . . . C. J. Whitmore!  She is feisty, sassy, funny, outspoken, says what is on her mind, and a strong female character.  Anyone who has ever read my blog knows how much I love a strong female character in my cozies.

I loved that this book had great humor to it . . . who doesn’t love to have a great laugh in their cozies as well.

Overall I really like this book.  The overall theme of college professors, economics students, universities is new in the cozy world and goes beyond cute little shops, bistros, stores, etc. (although never get me wrong, I love those too 🙂

You know a cozy or any book is good when you are about half way through and find yourself asking “I wonder what C. J. is going to get into next.  I sure hope this author writes another book and continues this series.”

A quick, fun read for all you cozy lovers out there!

And remember,

Books Are Life,




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Book Review & Giveaway: “A Tale of Two Biddies” by Kylie Logan (League of Literay Ladies #2)



Title:  A Tale of Two Biddies

Author:  Kylie Logan

Series:  League of Literary Ladies

Synopsis (from  When it comes to solving mysteries, these ladies are in a league of their own…

Summer can be the best of times or the worst of times for the resort town of Put-in-Bay on Lake Erie. For Bea Cartwright, business is booming as guests storm her B and B for the Bastille Day celebration. In honor of the holiday, the League of Literary Ladies is reading the Charles Dickens’ classic, A Tale of Two Cities. It would be hard to make a more apropos selection—especially when they have their very own Defarge sisters, elderly twins Margaret and Alice, who run the local knitting shop.

On Bastille Day, the head-banging rock band Guillotine shows their chops for the tourists—but the celebration is soon cut short. With something needling the Defarge dowagers and secrets that lead to murder, solving this mystery will be a far, far better thing than the Literary Ladies have done before. They’ll just have to make sure to keep their heads while they try to stop a killer’s reign of terror…

My thoughts:   How much do I love this series . . . LOVE IT!  This is book #2 in Kylie Logan’s wonderful League of Literary Ladies series including the debut book, Mayhem at the Orient Express!

First off, I absolutely love the premise of this series . . . in the first book, a group of bickering neighbors is court ordered by a judge to solve their nastiness by forming a book club and spending time together for 1 hour a week!  How great is that!  Well needless to say . . . alas, the League of Literary Ladies is formed.

I love the characters in this book . . . the ladies range from fun and humorous to quirky and just plain loveable.  Can anyone say Chandra????

I absolutely flew through this book and love the humor – believe me it is laugh out loud funny at times.  I read the first book in the series on a plane and had to suppress my laughter at times.

If you are a lover of all things cozy – do yourself a favor – go get a copy of this book, tuck in with your favorite winter beverage, and enjoy your day!  It will be worth it.


The author has graciously agreed to giveaway one print copy of the book to each blog on the tour.  To enter the giveaway please leave a comment on this post including your email address.  I will randomly choose a winner (using and then contact you via email to get your mailing address – US addresses only please.  I will choose the winner Monday, February 3, 2014.

And remember,

Books Are Life,




Filed under Blog Tour, Book Reviews, Cozy, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Giveaways

Book Review and Blog Tour: “Rosemary & Crime” by Gail Oust


rosemarycrime  Title:  Rosemary and Crime

Author:  Gail Oust

ISBN:  9781250011046

Publisher:  Minotaur Books


Synopsis (from

Murder comes well-seasoned in this charming mystery featuring a smart and spunky new amateur sleuth, small-town Georgia spice shop owner Piper Prescott.

Piper Prescott, a transplanted Yankee living in the South, has got her sass back.  She might be down, but don’t count her out.  “Change of life?” she asks.  Bring it on.  Recently divorced, Piper decides to pursue a dream she’s secretly harbored: owning her own business, Spice it Up!, a spice shop in her adopted hometown, Brandywine Creek, Georgia.  But Piper’s grand opening goes awry when the local chef who’s agreed to do a cooking demo is found stabbed.  Not only did Piper find the body, she handled the murder weapon and doesn’t have a witness to her alibi, making the case look like a slam dunk to brand new police Chief Wyatt McBride.  Desperate to uncover the truth—and prove her innocence—Piper enlists the help of her outspoken BFF Reba Mae Johnson to help track down the real culprit.  The pair compile a lengthy list of suspects and work to eliminate them using their own creative brand of sleuthing techniques including stakeouts, breaking and entering, and one very unorthodox chocolate pie. When Piper narrowly avoids being a victim of a hit-and-run, she knows she’s getting closer to the truth, but can she catch the killer and clear her name before she becomes the next victim?

A captivating start to a new series featuring an unstoppably fabulous new crime-solving heroine, a colorful cast of small town characters, and more than a pinch of Georgia charm, Rosemary and Crime by Gail Oust is sure to delight fans of Diane Mott Davidson and Donna Andrews.

 My thoughts:  What a delightful addition to the cozy genre!  I really enjoyed this book.  The characters are wonderful – a nice combination of funny, witty, quirky, strong, and quick-witted!
Among the host of foodie cozies out there this is a wonderful addition – I thought the concept of a spice shop was a great twist, loved it!
The only addition that I would have loved to have is if the author would have a added some recipes or perhaps even some tips about spices in the back of the book.  There were some great dishes in the book that I would have loved to have the recipe too: lasagna – yum!  I think it would have been very unique to have perhaps some tips on keeping spices or education about different spices in the back of the book.  After hearing about some of the unique spices in the book, I know I for one wanted some more knowledge.
A wonderful new cozy mystery with a foodie theme.  You know you are loving a book when about half way through you are thinking to yourself, “Oh, I certainly hope this author is working on the next book in the series.  I have to know what these characters get into next.  When does the next one come out!”  Very much looking forward to more adventures from Piper and Spice it Up!!
And remember,
Books Are Life,

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Book Review: “Deathbed & Breakfast” by Bart J. Gilbertson


deathbedandbreakfast  Title:  Deathbed & Breakfast

Author:  Bart J. Gilbertson

Series:  Pookotz Sisters Mystery

Richard Forester, a retired CEO for a major software company, and his granddaughter Penny show up at the Pookotz Bed & Breakfast one evening and find themselves in some rather unpleasant company. All the guests somehow seem to be connected to Richard’s past and when he is found dead the next morning, everyone is suspect. However, there are a few wrinkles that the inn’s owners Edna and Mildred Pookotz need to iron out as the investigation unfolds. Not only was Richard deathly ill, but he was also accused of embezzling $750,000 which is still unaccounted for. The local Sheriff suspects that this victim’s death is not a natural one, so he–and the sisters–set forth to discover who the murderer is.

My thoughts:  I enjoyed this book.  It is a nice little cozy mystery that will keep you guessing.  It is very much reminiscent of playing the game of Clue if you will – all of the possible suspects for the murder of Richard Forester are under house arrest in one place, namely The Pookotz sisters bed and breakfast.  Each of the suspects has plenty of motive and means, but who really did it and how.  I think the answer will surprise you!!!!

I found this book a light, refreshing mystery read.  It moves along very quickly and introduces us to some spunky new cozy mystery characters!   What will the Pookotz sisters find themselves involved in next?  We will have to stay tuned to find out.

A nice, light, fun, and fast-paced cozy mystery!  If you are in to cozies, definitely give it a try.

And remember,

Books Are Life,



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Book Review and Giveaway “Killer Image” by Wendy Tyson


Killer_Image_Aug_13  Title:  Killer Image

Author:  Wendy Tyson

Publisher:  Henery Press


As Philadelphia’s premier image consultant, Allison Campbell helps others reinvent themselves, but her most successful transformation was her own after a scandal nearly ruined her. Now she moves in a world of powerful executives, wealthy, eccentric ex-wives and twisted ethics.

When Allison’s latest Main Line client, the fifteen-year-old Goth daughter of a White House hopeful, is accused of the ritualistic murder of a local divorce attorney, Allison fights to prove her client’s innocence when no one else will. But unraveling the truth brings specters from her own past. And in a place where image is everything, the ability to distinguish what’s real from the facade may be the only thing that keeps Allison alive.

My thoughts:  This is indeed a great, thrilling mystery novel.  If you are looking for a typical, “cozy” mystery this is not where this book goes.  I was hooked from the very beginning of the book and immediately wanted to know more about these great characters.   I had a feeling from the very beginning that this book was going to take me into some, dark places with plot twists and it did not disappoint. 

Thank you Wendy Tyson for this great first novel in the Allison Campbell Mystery series.  I am surely hoping for more, more, more. 

I love a great dark, psychological thriller!  Yes!

Definitely give yourself a treat and read this book.


The author has graciously agreed to giveaway one print copy of the book on a number of blogs.  To enter the giveaway please leave a comment on this post including your email address.  I will randomly choose a winner and then contact you via email to get your mailing address.  I will choose the winner October 3, 2013.

There is also a Rafflecopter giveaway at the following link.  Please click here to enter Rafflecopter giveaway.

And remember,

Books Are Life,



Filed under Blog Tour, Fiction, Giveaways, Mystery, New Releases