A Midwinter’s Tail by Bethany Blake #BookTour #BookReview

A Midwinter's Tail by Bethany Blake

I am so delighted today to provide a review for you at my blog stop for A Midwinter’s Tail by Bethany Blake on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.

Book Details

A Midwinter’s Tail (Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Kensington (November 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496717333
ISBN-13: 978-1496717337
Digital ASIN: B07B7C8XQY
 

Book Blurb

To bark or not to bark . . .

Professional pet sitter Daphne Templeton loves the holidays in Sylvan Creek, Pennsylvania. And nothing gets her into the spirit more than the town’s annual Bark the Halls Ball. The whole community will be there to wag their tails, especially this year’s special guest—Celeste “CeeCee” French, founder of a national chain of pet care franchises, who’s returning home to announce plans for a bright new flagship store.

But not everyone’s celebrating CeeCee’s homecoming. Daphne’s friend Moxie Bloom, owner of Spa and Paw, a unique salon for people and their pets, has plenty to growl about. So when CeeCee is found face down under Sylvan Creek’s town Christmas tree, stabbed with a distinctive pair of professional-grade pet shears, suspicion lands squarely on Moxie. Despite Daphne’s promises to Detective Jonathan Black, she quickly reprises her role as amateur sleuth. Ably assisted by her basset hound sidekick, Socrates, she must hurry to prove her friend’s innocence before a killer barks again . . .

Includes recipes for homemade pet treats!

My Review

A Midwinter's Tail by Bethany BlakeIt’s Christmas time in beautiful Sylvan Creek, Pennsylvania and pet sitter Daphne Templeton is gearing up by providing lots and lots of treats for the community yearly event Bark the Halls Ball. She will be taking her basset hound Socrates and accompanied by BFF Moxie and possible romantic interest Detective Jonathan Black. It is a very pet-friendly town and she is a proud owner of storefront Lucky Paws Pet Sitting Service and Flour Power. She also has a surly black Persian named Tinkleston, whom she calls Tink.

At the annual showing of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” a successful local graduate, CeeCee French, comes back to town to make the announcement that she will open a large outlet of her pet supply franchise in town. The announcement is shocking and not met with a lot of excitement and she is later found murdered and left under the town Christmas tree. As the owner of the Spa and Paw, it is Moxie who is the first person of interest and as the well-plotted and even paced story is laid out, several others later as well all with equally plausible motives.

This is an amazingly well projected anthropomorphic narrative with Daphne frequently speaking to her animals and their obvious telegraphed responses. I’ve often looked at my own Bichon Frise and thought I knew looking into those eyes just what she was thinking and sure I knew her response as well. We’ve often commented, she may not speak English, but she certainly has no problem communicating. In this case, Daphne certainly had a dog whispering touch with those animals left in her care.

I enjoyed the well-developed characters and although this is apparently the fourth in the series had no problem following the protagonist or the support characters. Also noted the many cliffhanging chapter endings, necessitating the reader jump to the next chapter. I did, however, have a small problem with Moxie and Sebastian, her white rat allowed a bit too much freedom. Additionally, I am not usually a fan of romantic tension in a well-executed mystery.

I received this ebook download from the publisher and NetGalley for a book tour and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review what appears to be a delightful cozy mystery series with some engaging characters. Recommended for the younger set who enjoy a cozy mystery they’ll have to work to solve and then may not guess correctly.

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About the Author

Bethany Blake - authorBethany Blake lives in a small, quaint town in Pennsylvania with her husband and three daughters. When she’s not writing or riding horses, she’s wrangling a menagerie of furry family members that includes a nervous pit bull, a fearsome feline, a blind goldfish, and an attack cardinal named Robert. Like Daphne Templeton, the heroine of her Lucky Paws Mysteries, Bethany holds a Ph.D. and operates a pet sitting business called Barkley’s Premium Pet Care.

Author Links 

Webpage  BookBub    Twitter    Facebook

Purchase Links

Amazon  B&N  Kobo    Google Play   IndieBound   BookBub  

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!

Tour Participants

November 26 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

November 26 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

November 26 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 27 – Here’s How It Happened – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 27 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

November 27 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST

November 28 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 28 – The Power of Words – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

November 29 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

November 29 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 29 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

November 30 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

November 30 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE, GIVEAWAY

November 30 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY

December 1 – My Devotional Thoughts – REVIEW

December 1 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

December 2 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

December 2 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

December 3 – Carla Loves to Read  – REVIEW

December 3 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST

December 4 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

December 4 – The Cozy Pages – REVIEW

December 4 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST

December 4 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

December 5 – Melina’ Book Blog – REVIEW

December 5 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

December 5 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW Great Escapes Book Tours

Thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

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The Body in the Attic by Judi Lynn #BlogTour #BookReview

The Body in the Attic by Judi Lynn

I am so delighted today to provide a review for you at my blog stop for The Body in the Attic by Judi Lynn on release day for the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.

Book Details 

The Body in the Attic (River Bluffs #1)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Lyrical Underground (November 27, 2018)
Paperback: 218 pages
ISBN-10: 1516108396
ISBN-13: 978-1516108398
Digital Print Length: 280 pages
ASIN: B07B741L6N

Book Blurb

Welcome to River Bluffs, Indiana, a cozy small town populated with charming homes, close-knit families, and the occasional deadly secret . . .

House-flipper Jazzi Zanders and her cousin Jerod have found their latest project. The property, formerly owned by the late Cal Juniper, is filled with debris that must be cleared before the real renovation begins. But a trip to the attic reveals something more disturbing than forgotten garbage—a skeleton wearing a locket and rings that Jazzi recognizes . . .

Tests confirm that the bones belong to Jazzi’s aunt Lynda, who everyone assumed moved to New York years ago after breaking up with Cal. Soon enough, the whole family is involved, sifting through memories and rumors as they try to piece together what really happened to Lynda—and the baby she gave up for adoption. In between investigating and remodeling, Jazzi is falling for the old house’s charms—and for her gorgeous contractor, Ansel. But with surprises lurking in every nook and cranny, a killer might be waiting to demolish her dreams for good . . .

My Review

The Body in the Attic by Judi LynnWhat a delightfully different premise for a cozy mystery! A house flipper–and a female at that–and I can testify to having been involved in that activity and confronted just exactly the scenario described in walking through the house shortly after closing the auction. It has “good bones” and they will be only be doing cosmetic work. This is the home of the former fiancé of her Aunt Lynda, who disappeared before she and Cal married, never to be heard from again. Devastated, he never married.

Jasmine (Jazzi) and her cousin Jerod have done this before. It’s not their first rodeo, although thank goodness they made money on one of them and seem to have the cash to finish the job (and then some!). Jerod is a solid family man with two little ones at home. I loved his character! He is knowledgeable, capable, level-headed, and “two years older” than Jazzi. Jazzi, as the protagonist, may be around 25 and has a strong family network. There are several engaging support characters, including the 6’5″ Viking god, Ansel. He is a “construction” contractor. On their walk-through inspection, the trunk in the attic is found to contain a skeleton.

The location of River Bluffs, Indiana, sounded ideal, except for the humidity which is painted in vivid sweat-producing detail. I learned to love the town and quickly wondered if it’d make a beautiful little Sunday ride. The author writes with a keen sense of humor, and the well-plotted storyline folds out in a steady, even pace.

The protagonist, however, while interested in the question of her Aunt Lynda, can’t get me completely invested, and doesn’t appear to go sleuthing as much as she works with Ansel and Jerod in the rehab of their project. But Jazzi seems to have some kind of rapport with the detective who begins to invite her along on his investigation and little by little whittle at the mystery. The “cosmetic” work begins with a sledgehammer and appears to require no permits. The investigation ramps up when they find a second body out back of much more recent origin.

The narrative begins with a hook and engages interest through to the conclusion. The writing style is easy, fast, the dialogue natural, and I appreciated the affection intonated between family members, including the protagonist and her sister. The antagonist becomes a bit obvious and perhaps too soon. There is a romantic tic that interrupts the mystery and seemed a bit fast although is explained in plausible terms.

I received this ebook download from the publisher and NetGalley for this book tour and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Good start for a new series! I’ll be interested in the next entry to the series and be looking for a more complete fleshing of Jazzi next installment as well as further exploration of Ansel, without the romance. Recommended for any who enjoy a cozy with a different premise.

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About the Author

Judi Lynn - authorJudi Lynn received a Master’s Degree from Indiana University as an elementary school teacher after attending the IPFW campus. She taught 1st, 2nd, and 4th grades for six years before having her two daughters.  She loves gardening, cooking and trying new recipes.

Readers can visit her website at www.judithpostswritingmusings.com and her blog writingmusings.com.

Purchase Links

Amazon    B&N    Kobo

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!

Tour Participants:

November 26 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 26 – The Montana Bookaholic  – REVIEW

November 27 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

November 27 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

November 27 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

November 28 – My Devotional Thoughts – REVIEW

November 28 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

November 29 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

November 29 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

November 30 – Varietats – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 30 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW

December 1 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST

December 1 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 2 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

December 2 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

December 3 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST

December 3 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

December 4 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

December 4 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

December 5 – The Avid Reader  REVIEW

December 5 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT Great Escapes Book Tours

Thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Rosepoint #Reviews – May Recap

Review Recap

June is heating up here in NWI! (OMG, did it turn hot!–from freezing to frying!) It was a semi-productive May month with books taking a back seat to the yard and garden while I could. News reports Chicago land received record-setting rainfall this year. We must have missed all that as I’ve had to water my slow-growing vegetables. The fairy garden, on the other hand, has been overrun with WEEDS far exceeding any bushes I planted, many of which are unidentifiable. Fortunately (knock on wood) no poison ivy (or ticks), so far. I’ve hit it with shovels, saws, and clippers, but the fairies are winning! Stay tuned…

In May I took part in spotlights, book blasts, and book tours during the month resulting in ten book reviews. 

  

(May) 2 – Micromium-Clean Energy from Mars 4 – Better Off Read 6 – The Mirror Shop 8 – Pick and Chews 13- Go Home, Afton 18-Dying Truth 20-Area 51: Redemption 22- Charlie Mac 27-Ray vs the Meaning of Life 29-Confessions of a Red Herring

My associate, The CE, read several and we accommodated five author requests in addition to Spotlights and #ThrowbackThursdays. Many of the book tours included Giveaways in which I hope you participated! Several of these titles stretched my reading chops and proved absolutely outstanding and will eventually go on a “Favorites” list I’ve yet to begin.

So what book tours can you anticipate coming in the near future? Here’s just a few (in hue compatible colors, of course). Please let me know if you are reading one of these as well! 

Upcoming Blog Tours

And just a little ditty I wrote for one of  my blogger buddies (who’d also spent a busy month):

Grab a cup, corral the pup, and set the puter churning,

then lift the book, correct the specs, and start the pages turning!

As always, I welcome my new followers, and sincerely appreciate the ones who continue to read and comment! Thank you! ©2018 V Williams V Williams

The Stunning Effort of a Blog Tour

Blog Tour Ahead!Some things just naturally go the way of the dodo, but apparently what appeared to be a gradual waning in the popularity of book blog tours was just a small lag in the industry. While there are certainly many blog tour companies out there, Indie and self-published authors have discovered this marketing strategy can be an effective tool in the promotion of a new publication that doesn’t have to be simultaneous with the book launch.

You already know that a blog tour is the virtual visit of a number of willing host blogs in a pre-set time period, whether one or two weeks to a month, on a pre-set date. Each of the tour stops results in a unique promotion of your book through an:

  • Interview
  • Review
  • Excerpt

When it comes to blog tours, however, there are two sides to it–isn’t there always?

The Blog Hosting the Tour Stop

The Author Looking for a Blog Tour Stop

Continue reading “The Stunning Effort of a Blog Tour”

Coastal Book Tour

Coastal Book Tour

If your book is about sailing or the ocean, doing a coastal tour might be a good idea. Long before you start logging miles, however, you’ll want to pave the road with book store destinations. Hopefully, you’ll find a number of agreeable mom and pop operations along your route where you can stop and actually do a guest book signing. If not, I discovered it can be quite rewarding to cold call appropriate locations and simply ask for the manager. As difficult as cold-calling may be for you (and was for me!), it actually proved quite successful.

In Washington state, Hastings Book Stores support their authors and are always willing to host, though these do require some time to set up preparation. After securing a date with a particular location, you’ll need to forward press releases to local newspapers, as well as flyers and posters to the store.

Besides your generous book inventory, you’ll need to offer peripheral hand-outs, whichever your preference, from book marks to postcards or author/book flyers.

Owner Mark Wilson of the Puyallup Book Mark was very accommodating, and it was obvious his delightful store and assistant had a strong client base.

From Puyallup, south to Long Beach and Ilwaco; a delightful port city where Carla of Time Enough Books had told me, “stop by!” Carla has a beautiful spot right on the bay with picturesque fishing boats moored just outside her front window.

You can get a real taste of the coastal book market for historical sea adventures in Cannon Beach where we were referred to the Cannon Beach Treasure Company. Owner Robert Knecht has a gorgeous, upscale shop! Check out his website, browse his treasures, and watch his videos on YouTube–a real treasure trove! Country Roads RV Park, Yuma AZ

The lesson learned here is to find your target audience! Go where your book has interest. Find the area, the people, the subject–you won’t have to “sell” it. The venue may even be as simple as a Gun and Doll Show or perhaps a boat show. Winter doesn’t have to be a down time–seek out winter havens such as Yuma, Arizona, and you’ll find lots of locations for craft fair shows. The cost is very nominal and can be quite successful.

Consider the location or subject of your book and you’ll find the interest!

Virginia Williams

Full Timing

As I’ve alluded to previously on this blog, we had a Class C Winnebago Minnie Winnie with which we used to touch off a book tour of the Great Northwest in 2013. Unfortunately, the book tour ended all too quickly after a call from my sister that my mother (then 92 years of age) was in critical condition again and back in the hospital.

In the meantime, it taught me that the proper venue made a huge difference in the kind of reception my grandfather’s books regarding his sailing adventures back in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s were received and sold. I felt if I could have continued with the trip on down the Washington/Oregon/California coast, the trip would actually have been quite successful.

Having sold our home in 2013 and living in our recreational vehicle full time, we found ourselves in the Foothills of Yuma, Arizona where it was discovered there was a schedule of craft fairs at the RV parks for all the beloved “winter visitors”. The craft fairs were gleefully attended by appreciative crowds looking for unique crafts that couldn’t be found anywhere else and added a festive occasion to their winter stay. Quickly getting into the whole craft fair circuit, a happy new venue for book sales was found to be somewhat rewarding.

Fast forward to 2014 and once again hitting the road with a slightly larger RV, Class A, again loaded with books, we headed for the east coast of the United States…except that we were under the gun with our schedule to leave Yuma and return to California for my mother (and another health crisis), forcing an unwise buy decision on a Class A, Forest River Windsong. Thinking we had most of the major issues resolved prior to our exit from Yuma, we chugged along in the heat pulling our “toad”, an old Geo Tracker.Windsong Engine

Windsong Dash            It wasn’t long, however, before it was discovered most of the major issues were not resolved after all, the band-aid fixes lasting long enough to get us to California. By the time we made Twin Falls, we were baking inside that sardine can. Marooned in Twin for just over a week while the Windsong languished at Tony’s 2T, we finally gave up their ever getting the blower-a/c fixed when he pronounced we’d be spending another weekend while he waited for yet another part.

Worrying about the toad being set properly to tow without burning up the transmission, I asked another Class A owner towing the same vehicle how it was set. Following his advice, we set the Geo Tracker as instructed only to have it totally blow the motor within 2 miles. Blown Tracker Engine We limped into our son’s house in Indiana in an RV in excess of 90o, hot, tired, and disgusted. The RV lazed another week at Bill Gardiner RV in Lafayette, IN waiting on parts and getting them, failing to notify us. We’ve now been languishing in the summer heat, rain and humidity of Indiana for a month, no greater progress either with the Windsong or the Tracker. The Windsong has loose wires going everywhere and the Tracker now has a new rebuilt engine, working on the tranny and transfer case. The books are aging in the Windsong basement storage compartments and visions of selling down the east coast a distant memory.

We got lucky in that we could stay with our son while the Captain is wrenching both the RV and toad himself, but tools and parts have spent the gas money. We’re looking at September and this is Indiana. I’m getting nervous.