A Fool & His Monet by Sandra Orchard

A Fool & His Monet



MY REVIEW:

I have read all the books in Orchard’s Port Aster Secrets series so I was expecting her new series to be similar. Boy was I wrong! Protagonist Serena Jones could not be any further removed from Kate Adams if she tried. Don’t get me wrong – I thought it was great!

Serena is a smart cookie with a penchant for trouble. She loves art and loves her job with the FBI investigating art thefts. When a friend asks her to investigate some missing paintings from the local museum, Serena jumps right in, hoping to prove her abilities. Little does she expect all the trouble the case will bring nor does she expect the number of suspicious candidates who might be the culprit.

“A Fool and His Monet” is a cozy mystery at its best with multiple suspects, some danger and action, a touch of romance, and a large dose of humor. What could be better? In my opinion, Sandra Orchard made a successful transition from romantic suspense to cozy mysteries.  I simply cannot wait to see where Serena might take the readers next.

A copy of this book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Sketchy politics and a palette of lies can’t stop Serena Jones from exposing the mastermind behind the daring theft of a priceless work of art

Serena Jones has a passion for recovering lost and stolen art–one that’s surpassed only by her zeal to uncover the truth about who murdered her grandfather. She’s joined the FBI Art Crime Team with the secret hope that one of her cases will lead to his killer. Now, despite her mother’s pleas to do something safer–like get married–Serena’s determined to catch thieves and black market traders.

When a local museum discovers an irreplaceable Monet missing, Serena leaps into action–and a whole heap of trouble.

Read an excerpt from “A Fool & His Monet” HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sandra OrchardSandra Orchard is the award-winning author of many inspirational romantic suspense and mysteries, including Deadly DevotionBlind Trust, and Desperate Measures. Her writing has garnered several Canadian Christian Writing Awards, a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, a National Readers’ Choice Award, a HOLT Medallion Award of Merit, and a Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. In addition to her busy writing schedule, Sandra enjoys speaking at events and teaching writing workshops. She lives in Ontario, Canada. Learn more about Sandra’s books and check out the special bonus features, such as deleted scenes and location pics, at http://sandraorchard.com.

Buckhead Dead by Deborah Malone

Buckhead Dead



MY REVIEW:

I believe “Buckhead Dead” is the first novel I’ve read by Deborah Malone and I’m not sure how I have missed out on her books. If her others are as entertaining as this one, I plan to remedy that situation asap. The first of a new series, “Buckhead Dead” left me wanting to spend more time with Skye, Honey, and Ginger. I will be watching for the next installment.

A cozy mystery, “Buckhead Dead” begins with Skye Southerland learning that their recent client had been murdered. As most readers of cozy mysteries can guess, Skye and her friend Honey, along with Honey’s cousin Ginger, get involved in the investigation – much to Detective Montaine’s dismay. This trio of gals are hilarious. They seem to operate by the seat-of-the-pants rule with most of their investigation what I would call spontaneous with side trips to parks, aquariums, etc., not to mention restaurants! Those girls seemed to eat all the time!

Needless to say, “Buckhead Dead” was fun and entertaining with a bit of danger and adventure thrown in for good measure. Disaster seemed to follow Skye around with hilarious results. She also learned along the way that she couldn’t judge people by their appearance or their past.

“Buckhead Dead” would be a great beach read this summer if you can wait that long or to read when you just need a good laugh. I recommend!

A copy of this book was provided for review by Celebrate Lit.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Skye Southerland and Honey Truelove have just finished an interior design job for Sylvia Landmark, one of Buckhead’s most eccentric characters, and their designs are to die for. After a celebration at Sylvia’s home where they reveal the new décor, including a desk with a possible link to the pirate Blackbeard, Sylvia turns up dead, leaving the ladies wondering if this desk is worth more than they bargained for. Skye and Honey are now suspects in the murder of a woman who had few friends, and plenty of possible enemies. In an attempt to clear their names, Skye, Honey, and Honey’s loveable cousin Ginger embark on a journey to find the real killer, figure out the real history behind the desk, and clear their names before they end up going to jail, or even worse becoming the next victims! With plenty of warnings from Skye’s husband Mitch, and the ruggedly handsome Detective Montaine assigned to Sylvia’s case, these girls still manage to get right in the middle of the investigation, while having time to enjoy all that Georgia has to offer.

Giveaway

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To celebrate the book tour, Deborah is graciously giving away a $50 Darden gift card.  Click to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/94c8

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Deborah MaloneDeborah Malone’s first novel Death in Dahlonega, finaled in the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Category Five writing contest! Deborah was nominated for 2011 and 2012 Georgia Author of the Year in Novel category. She has worked as a freelance writer and photographer, for the historic magazine “Georgia Backroads” since 2001. She has had many articles and photographs published, and her writing is featured in “Tales of the Rails,” edited by Olin Jackson, as well as the “Christian Communicator.” She is a member of the Georgia Writer’s Association, Advanced Writers and Speaker’s Association and the American Christian Fiction Writers.

Guest Post From Deborah Malone
My Journey to Publication

Pack your suitcase and come take a little journey with me. Let’s start at the beginning. I believe I came out of the womb with a book in my hands. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love to read. I can still remember the smell of the library in my elementary school. I don’t know if it was dust or mildew, but I associated it with books. I loved that smell!

When I got a little older my friend introduced me to the library downtown. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Book heaven that is! I think I read every mystery in the young adult section. I know many of you will remember Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon (then there will be others scratching your head). My main character, Trixie, in the Trixie Montgomery Cozy Mystery Series is named after Trixie Beldon.

When I was growing up my mother had severe Rheumatoid Arthritis and required a lot of help from me. I would read my books to take me away from all the responsibility for a while. Looking back I believe my mother realized how important books were to me because she always made sure I had plenty to read.

I married at nineteen and had two girls over the next few years. My youngest daughter became very ill leaving her seriously disabled and requiring around the clock care. So I stayed busy raising my girls. In 1999 I went through a divorce and Niki and I moved in with my dad. I would take care of both of them for the next 10 years until my dad moved into assisted living. During those years I started writing, and this like reading would take me away from the tremendous responsibility for a little while. I worked on my first book off and on for the next ten years.

Then one day I learned about the on-line writer’s group, American Christian Fiction Writers. I knew I wanted to write my book as Christian fiction, but didn’t know how. I learned everything I could about the craft of writing (and still learning) and rewrote my first book, Death in Dahlonega, as a Christian cozy. This doesn’t mean that it is a preachy or judgmental book, but one that is just good clean fun. I hope I can make my readers laugh a little and take them away from their stress for a minute.

My first book, Death in Dahlonega, was published in 2011 by Lamp Post Publishing of California. There are now four books in the Trixie Montgomery Cozy Mystery Series. My latest book is, Buckhead Dead, the first book in the new series, Skye Southerland Cozy Mystery Series. I am working on the second book in the series, Decatur Dead. One thing that is unique about my books is that even though they are fiction all of the settings are real. If you knew the area you’d recognize the buildings, roads, restaurants, etc. But you don’t have to be familiar with the area to enjoy the book. It is just icing on the cake.

A fun thing about my book, Buckhead Dead, (an affluent suburb of Atlanta) is that one of the main characters, Honey Truelove, wears Merle Norman Romance Red Lipstick. I had a book signing the other day at a nearby Merle Norman and we had a ball. It was like having a great big girl party. I’ve had a lot of good feedback from those that have read, Buckhead Dead. I am now wearing Honey’s signature color, Romance Red, and really like it. I didn’t think I could wear red lipstick, but I’ve had a lot of compliments on it.

I’m looking forward to finishing the next two books in the series to see what kind of adventures the girls, Skye, Honey and Ginger take us on. I hope that you will take that journey with them, too, and that you’ve enjoyed going on a little journey down memory lane with me.

Blog Stops

March 29: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

March 30: Our Perfectly Imperfect Life

March 31: Just Commonly

April 1: ArtisticNobody

April 2: Through The Open Window

April 3: Mary Hake

April 3: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

April 4: Bigreadersite

April 5: Daysong Reflections

April 5: Cassandra M’s Place

April 6: Lights in a Dark World

April 7: Bukwurmzzz

April 7: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

April 8: Red Headed Book Lady

April 8: Texas Book-aholic

April 9: For the Love of Books

April 10: Reader’s Cozy Corner

April 11: Books! Books! Books!

Murder at the Courthouse by A. H. Gabhart

Murder at the Courthouse



MY REVIEW:

“Murder at the Courthouse” was a delightful change of pace. A cozy mystery set in the quaint and laid-back small town of Hidden Springs, this story goes to show that you may not know everyone as well as you think you do.

Hidden Springs is a place where everyone knows everyone else but the discovery of an unknown dead man on the courthouse steps rocks the town. As deputy sheriff Michael Keane works to solve the crime, he hopes it was committed by an outsider passing through town. He can’t imagine that someone he actually knows could be guilty of murder but something has several residents acting out of character. He hopes it isn’t an indication of their guilt. Subsequent events add to the mystery and the pressure is on to solve the crime.

With easy to like characters in a small-town setting, “Murder at the Courthouse” was a fun read with plenty of drama, action, mystery, and humor. Not much romance here – only a few mentions of a preacher woman Michael was seeing and then a childhood friend shows up that indicates the possibility of future romance between them. I suspected one of the characters about halfway through the book and my hunch proved to be right but oh the revelations I would have missed if I had decided to stop reading at that point. There are some major surprises in store that are farther reaching than just the murder at the courthouse.

I loved “Murder at the Courthouse” and am certain that others who love cozy mysteries will love it as well. I personally cannot wait for the next installment.

This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Welcome to Hidden Springs
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Michael Keane’s stressful days as a Columbus police officer are done. He’s ready to relax into his new position as deputy sheriff in his sleepy hometown. Nothing ever happens in Hidden Springs, Kentucky–and that’s just fine with Michael.

Nothing, that is, until a dead body is discovered on the courthouse steps. As Michael works to solve the case, it seems that every nosy resident in town has a theory. When the sheriff insists Michael check out one of these harebrained theories, his surprising discovery sends him on a bewildering search for a mysterious killer that has him questioning everything he has ever believed about life in Hidden Springs.

Bringing with her a knack for creating settings you want to visit and an uncanny ability to bring characters to life, A. H. Gabhart pens a whodunit that will keep you guessing.

Read an excerpt from “Murder at the Courthouse” HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A.H. GabhartAnn H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, and Words Spoken True, as well as several Shaker novels–The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted–and The Heart of Hollyhill series. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Learn more at www.annhgabhart.com.

A Stitch in Crime by Cathy Elliott

A Stitch in Crime



MY REVIEW:

While not the most suspense-filled or romantic of the Quilts of Love books I have read, “A Stitch in Time” certainly had its moments. The characters were genuine and small town life was represented quite well. Primary character Thea’s frustrations with her co-chairperson and the general lack of help from the other committee members was so reminiscent of real-life situations – sad and humorous at the same time.

The plot moved along at a steady pace with a few surprises along the way. The discovery of one particular clue was somewhat unique in my opinion. I would have liked just a bit more interaction between Thea and Cole. I was never quite sure if there was any true romance between them. I did like how the relationship between Thea and her best friend was resolved.

Overall, “A Stitch in Time” was a good fit for its genre and should be enjoyed by most who prefer cozy mysteries. I hate to see this series come to an end.

This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Thea’s first quilt show is coming apart at the seams!

Thea James has accepted an assignment as co-chairperson for Larkindale’s first quilt show extravaganza. Juggling the new assignment with running her antique business, she’s already feeling frayed when things start to unravel.

Mary-Alice Wentworth, a much-loved town matriarch, respected quilt judge, and Thea’s dear friend, is covertly conked on the head during the kick-off Quilt Show Soiree, throwing suspicion on her guests. It also appears that a valuable diamond brooch has been stolen during the attack. The family is furious. But is it because of their mugged mother or the missing diamonds?

When a renowned textile expert goes MIA and the famous Wentworth heritage quilt disappears, Larkindale’s reputation as a tourist haven is at risk. Thea attempts to piece the mystery together and save the town’s investment in the quilt show before Mary-Alice is attacked again . . . with far worse results.

Find out more and purchase a copy at the Quilts of Love Books website.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cathy ElliottAuthor and speaker Cathy Elliott nourishes her night-owl habit by creating cozy mysteries and more on her trusty laptop in Anderson, California. Like the protagonist in her new mystery, Cathy is an avid quilter. Besides collecting (too much) cool fabric, she also enjoys hunting for antique treasures.

Find out more about Cathy at https://cathyelliottbooks.wordpress.com/.


 

New from Quilts of Love | A Stitch in Crime Kindle Fire Giveaway!

Enter to win a Kindle HDX!

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 One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle HDX
  • A Stitch in Crime by Cathy Elliott
  • Masterpiece Marriage by Gina Welborn
  • Swept Away by Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven

Enter today by clicking the button below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 8th. Winner will be announced on the Quilts of Love blog February 9th.

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A Stitch in Crime by Cathy Elliott – CFBA

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Stitch in Crime
Abingdon Press (January 20, 2015)
by
Cathy Elliott
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cathy Elliott is a full-time writer who lives in northern California and whose cozy mysteries reflect her personal interests from playing her fiddle with friends to antique collecting and quilting. Besides collecting (too much) cool fabric, she also enjoys hunting for antiques and is several years into recovery from her eBay addiction. UPDATE: She backslid a while back, enticed to bid on a 1945 Singer Featherweight. (She won.) But now she’s back on the wagon. Except for the recent crazy quilt pillow purchase. She also leads music at church and enjoys time with her grandchildren.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Thea James has accepted an assignment as co-chairperson for Larkindale’s first quilt show extravaganza. Juggling the new assignment with running her antique business, she’s already feeling frayed when things start to unravel. Mary-Alice Wentworth, a much-loved town matriarch, respected quilt judge, and Thea’s dear friend, is covertly conked on the head during the kick-off Quilt Show Soiree, throwing suspicion on her guests. It also appears that a valuable diamond brooch has been stolen during the attack. The family is furious. But is it because of their mugged mother or the missing diamonds? When a renowned textile expert goes MIA and the famous Wentworth heritage quilt disappears, Larkindale’s reputation as a tourist haven is at risk. Thea attempts to piece the mystery together and save the town’s investment in the quilt show before Mary-Alice is attacked again . . . with far worse results.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Stitch in Crime, go HERE.

The Curious Case of the Missing Figurehead by Diane Noble

the Curious Case of the Missing Figurehead

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Curious Case of the Missing Figurehead
David C. Cook (September 1, 2014)
by
Diane Noble

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Award-winning novelist Diane Noble writes stories that tap into the secrets of the heart.

With more than a quarter million books in print, Diane feels incredibly blessed to be doing what she loves best—writing the stories of her heart.

For the last three years Diane has been honored to be lead author for the popular Guideposts series, Mystery and the Minister’s Wife (Through the Fire, Angels Undercover), and has recently returned to writing historical fiction. She recently finished writing book two of her new historical series, The Brides of Gabriel. Book one, The Sister Wife, and book 2, The Betrayal, which are published by Harper Collins/Avon Inspire, are now in bookstores.

Now empty nesters, Diane and her husband live in the Southern California low desert, near a place known for the lush and beautiful gated communities of the rich and famous.

Learn more about Diane and her books on her Website .

ABOUT THE BOOK:

She’s Passionate about Solving the Case … with the Town’s Life-Long Bachelor

El Littllefield runs The Butler Did It catering. It’s the perfect cover for her to solve “who-done-its” (nothing too dangerous, please!) in this small university town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. While catering her most important event yet—a fancy retirement dinner for Dr. Max Haverhill, life-long bachelor and history dean—countless guests fall ill, a 200 year-old relic is stolen, and her best friend vanishes. All in the first hour.

As El and Max race to solve the mystery, they discover there’s more to their relationship than simply solving the case. Welcome to Eden’s Bridge—the perfect small town setting for big intrigue, romance, and humor.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Curious Case of the Missing Figurehead, go HERE

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MY REVIEW:

While I enjoy all sorts of books with youngish characters, it is fun once in awhile to read a novel with the primary characters closer to my own age, especially when they are as vibrant as those featured in The Curious Case of the Missing Figurehead. I only wish I was as half as active and fearless as El and Hyacinth seem to be. The inclusion of a sweet romance gives me hope that I’m not so over-the-hill as I sometimes fear.

The Curious Case of the Missing Figurehead is so much fun to read with its fast-paced plot, witty dialogue, and spontaneous characters, especially the part-time sleuth El. I loved how their faith was such a natural yet integral part of the daily lives and conversations of El, Hyacinth, and Max and the way they depended on God and acknowledged His role in their protection and resolution of the case.

I thoroughly enjoyed every page of The Curious Case of the Missing Figurehead and highly recommend it. I can’t wait to see what El, Max, and Hyacinth are up to next time.