Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Cozy Mystery Giveaway: Win Scandal in Skibbereen by Sheila Connolly

Today we have a giveaway for a fabulous new release - Scandal in Skibbereen by Sheila Connolly, the second book in the County Cork Mysteries.

About Scandal in Skibbereen:
As the new owner of Sullivan’s Pub in County Cork, Ireland, Maura Donovan gets an earful of all the village gossip. But uncovering the truth about some local rumors may close her down for good…

Bostonian Maura is beginning to feel settled in her new Irish home, just in time for summer tourist season to bring fresh business to her pub. But the first traveler to arrive is thirsty for more than just a pint of Guinness. Althea Melville is hot on the trail of a long-lost Van Dyck painting.

Maura agrees to help Althea meet with the residents at the local manor house, the most likely location of the missing art. But when the manor’s gardener is found murdered, Maura wonders what Althea’s real motives are. Now, to solve the secret of the lost portrait and catch a killer, Maura will have to practice her Irish gift of gab and hunt down some local history—before someone else is out of the picture…

To enter:
1. Complete the rafflecopter below
2. Giveaway is for one paperback copy, open international and winner will receive their paperback via Book Depository.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Feature & Giveaway: Cupid's Curse by Kathi Daley


Today we are featuring a fantastic Zoe Donovan Mystery:
When Cupid comes to town it seems everyone’s relationship is in for a challenge. Not only does Zoe suspect that her dad’s new girlfriend is really a killer, but Zoe is the only one who believes that her soon-to- be evil stepmom is guilty of such a dastardly deed. Add that to the fact that Zak clearly has a secret, Jeremy’s baby mama is making his life as miserable as her pregnancy is making hers, Levi’s girlfriend Barbie is on a rampage, and Ellie is caught in a brotherly love triangle, and you have a Valentine’s Day disaster in the making. When Zoe finds not one but two dead bodies all bets are off as she works with her friends to uncover the truth before someone she loves falls victim to Cupid's Curse.

Check out Cupid's Curse on Amazon.

Visit Kathi Daley: Web | Facebook | Twitter

Now it's time to win a copy of Cupid's Curse. One lucky winner will win a e-book of Cupid's Curse, delivered via Amazon Kindle.


To enter:
1. Complete the rafflecopter below.
2. Giveaway ends on March 1 at midnight.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Book Review: Broken Hearted Ghoul by Jim & Joyce Lavene

Title: Broken Hearted Ghoul
Author: Jim & Joyce Lavene
Series: Book 1, Taxi for the Dead Paranormal Mysteries
Publisher: Amazon Digital Editions
Format: eBook
Source: Received for Review from Author
Reviewed by: Tess

After reading the prequel to this I was very excited to ask to read the advanced copy. It has been two years since a fatal accident that claimed Skye's husband, and also added 20 years to her life for doing "small" jobs for Abe. Abe is the donor for the 20 years he has given Skye. All she has to do is drive a cab for the undead and pick up the zombies who of already stayed there 20 years. Skye finds herself as a partner to a housewife, was working off the 20 years for her zombie husband. Also along for the ride is Lucas, a sorcerer who cannot remember how to do what he should be doing. Seriously how much trouble can you get into while driving the taxicab. Also finding themselves involved are Addie, Skye's ghostly mother-in-law and Skye's young daughter Kate.

Life gets complicated when zombies start dying on the anniversary of their 20th year. Peculiar thing is that all the dead zombies are without blood and the only thing missing is their heart. Enter Mary who seems to have a grudge against Abe and will do anything to upset his plans. Mary is also zombie who has evaded capture by Abe and his taxi drivers. The longer a zombie stays on earth the meaner they become. Truly what would you do if you were offered 20 more years to spend with your loved ones.

Once again Joyce and Jim have written a book that will hold your attention from first page to last. If you haven't had the opportunity to read a book by Joyce and Jim, take a moment and check out all the series that they have written, by my count that is six, so you should surely be able to find one to grab your attention.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Book Review: Magic Most Deadly by E.L. Bates

Title: Magic Most Deadly
Author: E.L. Bates
Publisher: StarDance Press
Format: eBook
Source: Received for Review from Author
Reviewed by: DelAnne

Publisher's Summary:
For Maia Whitney, life after the Great War is dull, monotonous, and drab. Nursing soldiers in the bloody fields of France hadn’t been easy, but it was better than life at home, standing in her sisters’ shadows. There seems no chance for a change until the night she witnesses a murder in the woods.

The last thing Magic Intelligence Agent Lennox Davies needs is this outspoken, independent lady crashing his investigation. Bad enough that a murder happened on his watch; much less that she had to see it happen. He works alone, and he does not have time for Miss Maia Whitney’s interference.

But as Maia’s own magical talent blossoms and danger thickens around the two with every step they take, before long Len and Maia must rely on each other in a fashion neither has ever done before. If they can’t learn to work together, England itself might topple. Even worse, if Maia doesn’t learn to control her magic soon, she might do more to destroy them even than their shadowy enemy.

Can they set aside their stubbornness and self-reliance in time to save themselves—and all England?

Our Review:
I found the first few chapters a bit slow, but then the book takes off and doesn't slow down. Set in a time when women where still thought of as to delicate to think for themselves and were suppose to marry and have children and take care of the house you have a woman of strength and intelligence. Maia is not like most of the flighty demure women of her time and that is what makes her standout so much. Len is just as intriging and memorable. This story is a combination of Cinderella, Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes type mysteries.

Ms. Bates has depicted the times with such believability. The interaction of the classes, always with unseen line drawn between serving class and society's gentry. We have such liberties today is hard to immerse yourself in a time when women were not even allowed to vote. Less than a hundred years ago yet while reading this book it feels as if you are there yourself. Such wonder to explore with Maia as she learns from her grandmother and follows the clues as she helps Len with his investigation. You can almost see the bonds of love growing as is the dangers they face. Magic, spies, romance and family ties join to make a wonderful story to entertain and delight the reader. I hope there are more books in the near future for Maia, Len and his man Beckett, and Maia's Aunt Amelia.

Super Cozy Mystery Weekend Giveaway (3)


Here at A Prairie Girl Reads, our goal for 2014 is to get more cozy mysteries into the hands of readers. Through our affiliate program with Amazon, we earn income and we're using that income to give back to our readers. Because without our readers we wouldn't have a blog!

So every weekend we are doing a "Super Cozy Mystery Weekend Giveaway".

Here's how to enter:
1. Check in on the blog on Saturday or Sunday and complete the rafflecopter below.
2. One winner will be selected on Sunday night (after 10pm EST) and that person will be eligible to pick ONE cozy mystery KINDLE e-BOOK to the value of $10 or less. 
There is no limitations except that it must be a cozy mystery Kindle e-book and less than $10. Choose a new release or a pre-order, or something that you've just been wanting to read for a while.

There isn't any better way to start your new week than with a cozy mystery book!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 21, 2014

Top 5 Places to Visit in a Cozy Town with Shelley Costa

Top Five Places to Visit in Quaker Hills, PA, by head chef Eve Angelotta from You Cannoli Die Once by Shelley Costa

Benvenuto! Welcome to Quaker Hills, PA. You are about forty minutes north of Philadelphia in scenic Bucks County. I’m Eve Angelotta, head chef at Miracolo Italian Restaurant in Market Square, the central commercial district. If you come to Quaker Hills for the antiques or the natural beauty or the history, stay for dinner at our place – where, inside, you’ll find antiques, beauty, and history of a different sort , if you just overlook the occasional murder. Here are five notable places in and around Quaker Hills you really have to check out:

Miracolo Italian Restaurant – Do you have a favorite place where you can count on good food, good music, good company, and just average entertainment you’re willing to overlook because of the rest? That’s my Miracolo, the Italian Restaurant in Quaker Hills that’s been driving us Angelottas for three generations. We’re no dime-a-dozen pizza joint, not us. White linen tablecloths, fine wine, and strictly northern Italian regional cooking whipped up by my cousins Landon, Choo Choo, and me. Our nonna, Maria Pia Angelotta, owns the restaurant, which pretty much means two things: (1) she gets to swan around dramatically on a daily basis, and (2) we must never, but never, serve cannoli. Poor cannoli! It was born Sicilian. . .

Eve’s tiny house – Some people like to “live large.” Not me. I’ve got a Tumbleweed Tiny House, a whopping 130 square feet of living space. It sits demurely on a utility trailer on a little patch of land just outside of town. I love my sleek built-ins, my sleeping loft, my tin roof, and the fact that I can hardly cook in it! (I save all the kitchen magic for long hours at Miracolo.) In nice weather, my idea of gracious living includes a pot of colorful geraniums and a butterfly chair on my 2’x2’ “porch.” I wanted a place small enough for my nonna, Maria Pia, to avoid it. (True peace.) And I was right: the one time she came over to check it out, she declared it would be the perfect place to store a lawnmower, not a human.

Flowers by Beck – The chief attraction in the florist shop three doors up from the restaurant is not the lavender roses, and not the ikebana classes run by florist James Beck. No, if I have to be honest about it, the chief attraction is the florist’s brother, Joe, a local lawyer who proves maddeningly helpful when my nonna is arrested for murder. When James is off at a flower show, and Joe’s got a handle on local crime, he pinch hits at the shop. If you can pass up the glorious blooms in the cooler and go all the way into the back of the shop, the Becks’ private space is a great place to kick back , sort through clues to a murder, and down some really lovely orange ginger mint tea.

Jolly’s Pub – The inscrutable Reginald Jolly, a transplanted Brit, owns the only pub on Market Square – directly across from the restaurant. I think of him as the anti-Maria Pia. He’s as reserved as she is generally Out There, and they wisely keep their distance from each other. If you walk into Jolly’s, don’t expect to find a line of flat-screen TVs – you’ll just have to, well, converse – but the dapper Reginald does have quite a fine selection of single malts. Not to mention romantic lighting.

Providence Park – Smack dab in the middle of Market Square, our Quaker Hills commercial district, is this pretty little park. It’s a great spot for hanging out with the kids on the playground or wearing yourself out doing the Stay Fit Challenge course. Or you might manage an audience with Akahana, our wandering bag lady (or. . .is she?). Check the slide – she’s there most evenings, pondering the nature of the universe. For me, the park is a pretty cut-through whenever I need to get from Miracolo to the other side of Market Square, where I might want to brood over murder clues at Jolly’s Pub, or improve my deductive skills by buying myself something gorgeous at Airplane Hangers, my favorite boutique. To listen to my friend Dana Cahill, who sings for free nightly at our restaurant, this little city acre of Providence Park is a treasured “green space.” Dana’s colossally wrong on most things, but about Providence Park, I believe she might very well be right.

You Cannoli Die Once is nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel.

You Cannoli Die Once and Basil Instinct, both published by Simon and Schuster Pocket Books, are available at online and retail booksellers. Although Basil Instinct, the second book in the series, will be released later in June, it’s available for pre-order.

Friday Cozy Mystery Giveaway: Win A Fatal Slip by Meg London

Today we have a giveaway for a fabulous new release - A Fatal Slip by Meg London, the third book in the Sweet Nothings Lingerie Mysteries.

From selling camisoles to solving crimes, the ladies of the Sweet Nothings lingerie shop in Paris, Tennessee, will make this Valentine’s a day to remember…

For Valentine’s Day, Emma Taylor and her aunt Arabella have organized a special evening for men only to shop for their sweethearts in the Sweet Nothings lingerie shop, complete with champagne and hors d’oeuvres. But when a former valentine shows up, Aunt Arabella is not her usual bubbly self.

Art dealer Hugh Granger is still a charmer, though. He invites the women to a ball he’s having to celebrate his birthday and his return to Paris, Tennessee. But when Granger is pushed from the balcony, it paints a sinister picture for Aunt Arabella, who gets framed…for her old flame’s murder.

To enter:
1. Complete the rafflecopter below
2. Giveaway is for one paperback copy, open international and winner will receive their paperback via Book Depository.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 10, 2014

Book Review: Pirate Vishnu by Gigi Pandian

Title: Pirate Vishnu
Author: Gigi Pandian
Series: Book 2, a Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery
Publisher: Henery Press
Format: eBook
Source: Received for Review from Publisher
Reviewed by: Tess

Publisher's Summary:
A century-old treasure map of San Francisco’s Barbary Coast. Sacred riches from India. Two murders, one hundred years apart. And a love triangle… Historian Jaya Jones has her work cut out for her.

1906. Shortly before the Great San Francisco Earthquake, Pirate Vishnu strikes the San Francisco Bay. An ancestor of Jaya’s who came to the U.S. from India draws a treasure map…

Present Day. Over a century later, the cryptic treasure map remains undeciphered. From San Francisco to the southern tip of India, Jaya pieces together her ancestor’s secrets, maneuvers a complicated love life she didn’t count on, and puts herself in the path of a killer to restore a revered treasure.

Our Review:
I found this book a very easy read. I thought at first it might be confusing, because it jumped from 1905 to today. It is the 2nd book in the series, A Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery. I did not have the chance to read the 1st in the series, so I was only slightly confused. I will read it if I get a chance.

The books focus on Jaya, a 30 something college professor. There is an in and out boyfriend, Lane, really he is mostly out, but is always close if Jaya needs him. Her close friend Sanjay, a talented magician is also a sitar player and he and Jaya team up at a local Indian restaurant to entertain the guests a few days a week. Librarian Tamarind, is an endless vessel of information and will do research any time to help her friend, Jaya, out.

Set in San Francisco and traveling to India leads us head on into this treasure hunt. Adventure, treasure maps, pirates and hidden treasures make for a lively fast paced read. Add in suspense, mystery, history and just a touch of romance, and I think everyone will be entranced by Jaya and her quirky friends.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Book Review: Tear Down and Die by Joanna Campbell Slan

Title: Tear Down and Die
Author: Joanna Campbell Slan
Series: Book 1, Cara Mia Delgatto Mysteries
Publisher: Spot On Publishing
Format: eBook
Source: Received for Review from Author
Reviewed by: Tess
Purchase from Amazon.

If you're familiar with Ms. Slan, you know her Kiki Lowenstein books. Tear Down And Die is about Cara Mia Delgatto, a friend of Kiki's. Cara is reeling from the death of both parents in a short length of time. Her only son has gone off to college, and Cara finds herself alone in St. Louis. Being tired of running a restaurant and a catering business, Cara decides to uproot herself and head to Florida to be closer to her son. Along the way, she decides to detour to Stuart, to visit Poppy, her mother's father. Circumstances take over and Cara finds herself purchasing a business in Stuart, making new friends, acquiring a rescue puppy and perhaps a boyfriend?

I love Ms. Slan's books, not only because they are cozies, but because she states in the author notes, that there are "clean " reads. "No bad language, no graphic sex, or too much violence." I find it refreshing for an author to let her readers know at the start what is to be expected in her books and then to follow through on it.

Come along for the ride with Cara, I had a great time with her, and I think you might too.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Book Review: Murder Strikes a Pose by Tracy Weber

Title: Murder Strikes a Pose
Author: Tracy Weber
Series: Book 1, A Downward Dog Mystery
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Format: eBook
Source: Received for Review from Publisher
Reviewed by: Tina
Purchase from Amazon.

Yoga is as yoga does is not only one of my favorite singer Elvis Presley's songs it is how Yoga instructor Kate Davidson chooses to live her life until she meets up with a homeless man named George and his German Sheppard, Bella. As he starts selling newspapers outside of Kate's Yoga Studio with Bella in toe, Kate only wants them gone as it might scare away clients then unbenounced to Kate they start a friendship.

Kate then stumbles across George's dead body. The police only wave it off as a typical murder of a homeless man but Kate thinks differently, She tries desperately to get the police to see the murder from her perspective but they are not budging. So Kate chooses to take the law in her own hands and tries to solve her friend George's murder herself but she discovers it won't be easy, with a surprising list of suspects and and to go along with that someone knows that Kate is on to them. With Kate also fostering George's beloved Bella and trying to find a home for her with the dog's medical problems is proving to be difficult. Kate needs to hurry to find George's murderer before her fate is sealed.

I really enjoyed reading this book. If you are a dog person you will love it. I found myself shedding tears a few times. I also always wondered about yoga, and thank you to Tracy to opening me up to it. I could always use something that relaxes me. I found the friendship between Kate and George turned into something very positive and heartwarming and was rooting for Kate to find George's murderer.

Monday, February 3, 2014

February 2014 Cozy Mystery Book Club


It's February and time for a new book club selection. This month we will be reading the Cait Morgan Mysteries by Cathy Ace.

Check out these mysteries:
01 - The Corpse with the Silver Tongue
02 - The Corpse with the Golden Nose
03 - The Corpse with the Emerald Thumb (coming in April, 2014)

These are great Canadian mysteries featuring a Canadian-Welsh sleuth and I look forward to discussing these with readers. The author, Cathy Ace, will also be stopping by to answer any questions.

Book Review: Days of Wine and Roquefort by Avery Aames

Title: Days of Wine and Roquefort
Author: Avery Aames
Series: Book 5, A Cheese Shop Mystery
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Format: Ebook
Source: Received for Review from Publisher
Reviewed by: Tina

It's not easy being cheesy, as cheese shop owner, Charlotte Bessette is finding out. With her cousin, Matthew and his family moved out of the house and Charlotte's boyfriend, on a secret outing, Charlotte thought she could rest easy but missing her boyfriend, he never strayed far from her mind. Then cousin Matthew asks Charlotte if his long time friend and renowned sommelier, Noelle Adams could stay with her for the time being so Noelle can start her new job with Shelton Winery, being the gracious host she is Charlotte agrees and soon befriends Noelle.

Noelle soon finds that her aggressive, alcoholic ex boyfriend has followed her and so has shady reporter Ashley Yeats, hoping for a exclusive story about the sommelier and her life and her tortured past, Charlotte then finds Noelle bludgeoned with a wine bottle screw in her workshop but before she dies Noelle utters the words "Hell's Key" to Charlotte, but can Charlotte make it her mission to find out what those words meant? Could it also be the key to who murdered her and why? There are more suspects that surface like the daughter of the owner of the winery, Liberty and the winery manager, Harold but with The police chief Urso, urging Charlotte to stay out of the investigation,Charlotte wants to avenge Noelle's death and find justice for her and Matthew's friend.

This is the first of the cheese shop mysteries I have read and I have to say I really enjoyed the fact that besides owning and running a cheese shop that Charlotte ate cheese with every meal, Only in a book could you live on a cheese diet, Don't we wish we could all have in real life, I sure do. That's what I loved about it. As I will say once again, I am a big fan of culinary cozy mysteries, this one was great and it had my mouth watering for all the different cheeses depicted at the cheese shop. I want to now go back and read the series from the beginning so I can swoon over all the wonderful cheeses and I'm sure the excellent mysteries as this one was. What could go better with a little wine than a wonderful cheese?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Super Cozy Mystery Weekend Giveaway (2)


Here at A Prairie Girl Reads, our goal for 2014 is to get more cozy mysteries into the hands of readers. Through our affiliate program with Amazon, we earn income and we're using that income to give back to our readers. Because without our readers we wouldn't have a blog!

So every weekend we are doing a "Super Cozy Mystery Weekend Giveaway".

Here's how to enter:
1. Check in on the blog on Saturday or Sunday and enter your details into this form.
2. One winner will be selected on Sunday night (after 10pm EST) and that person will be eligible to pick ONE cozy mystery KINDLE e-BOOK to the value of $10 or less. 
There is no limitations except that it must be a cozy mystery Kindle e-book and less than $10. Choose a new release or a pre-order, or something that you've just been wanting to read for a while.

There isn't any better way to start your new week than with a cozy mystery book! 

LEGAL

All reviews are copyrighted by Tina Diamond and Marlene Patterson. Tina Diamond's reviews also appear at Amazon.com and Goodreads.com.

Tina Diamond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Assiociates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed for a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com