Babs BookMark issue no 12

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Babs BookMark July | issue no. 12



editor's note Hello readers, authors and publishers. First, thank you for opening up this issue of Babs BookMark. Amber and I love helping get the word out about new books and even older books readers might have overlooked. Remember, this magazine is for all of you and all genres. Grab your next great read while you lounge on the beach, by a pool, or in your own backyard!

We have a sale going on for advertising. We have buy one ad get the next one for free. You can find out more by clicking HERE.


editor in chief


04 On the Cover Rebecca Neely & Crossing Realms

09 Paranormal Muffy Wilson & Keta Diablo

16 Romance Helen Henderson, Rue Allyn, Charlene Raddon & Elizabeth Lane Reviews

33 Mystery & Cozy Susan Boles, Vanessa Westermann, Kate Young & Kathi Oram Peterson Reviews

On the cover~ Rebecca E. Neely

THE KEEPER, Book 1 in the Crossing Realms series Amazon link - She’s human. He’s close to human as you can get. One war. Two hearts. And all’s not fair… This was no ordinary man. And he was every inch a man, this ‘close to human as you could get’ Keeper. She's had no memory of him for 13 years. He's never forgotten her. When they collide, will the very forces that brought them together tear them apart? Review snippets “Full of heartbreak and hope…A new series that I can't wait to read more of.” Merissa, #1 Top Goodreads reviewer “Perfect blend of action, suspense, & romance…held me captive throughout every page.” “Fast and furious paranormal romance.” - United Indie Book Blog

THE WATCHER, Book 2 Amazon link He has 7 days to avenge his own death. A human with a unique skill set, she might be the key to his mission--and he won't take no for an answer. The countdown is on - for the human race, and their hearts… REVIEW SNIPPETS “The action never stops in this second installment of the Crossing Realms series… And love will always find a way.” "All the heart of the Book 1 & then some…you will shed some tears." “Dev is hot headed & reckless with a driving energy that feels unstoppable…he made me devour this book in one sitting.”

THE BETRAYER, Book 3 – coming March 13 Amazon Link Can a Betrayer fight alongside a Keeper? And how steep a price will loyalty—and love—demand? He'd betray his clan for her. She's a soldier to the core - but for which side? As they battle to save the human race, how high a price will love and loyalty demand? REVIEW SNIPPETS “Love knows no bounds. Jordan and Curtis are on opposite sides and can’t deny the connection they feel towards each other. I loved the chemistry between these two and was rooting for them to work out from the moment they met! Tons of action and danger and tender moments that literally brought tears to my eyes.” Reviews from the Heart “Awesome PNR read…can these two mismatched heroes save the day and find love? I loved it!”

About Rebecca A sucker for a happy ending, Rebecca writes the kind of stories she loves to read —those featuring authentic, edgy and vulnerable characters, smack dab in the middle of action that explodes from page one. Raised on a down home blend of Johnny Cash, Jack London, Sherlock Holmes, the Steelers, and all things small town, Rebecca feels blessed to have grown up in a close knit, fun loving and artistic family. Her mother, a voracious reader and scratch cook, and her father, an entrepreneur, English teacher and lover of literature, taught Rebecca and her brother to work hard, aim for the stars, and live life. With music, books and laughter as constant companions, she grew up working, cooking and eating in the family’s restaurant business. A certified book and hoagie junkie, Rebecca thrives on live music, mysteries and the outdoors. She’s a cheddar enthusiast, lover of cats, teddy bears, hot coffee, cold beer, thunderstorms, the blast of a train’s whistle, the change of seasons, country roads, woodpeckers, spoon rings, cool office supplies, and the Food Network. Careers, past and present, include freelance writing, accounting, mother, problem solver, doer and head bottle washer. Rebecca is a member of the Three Rivers Romance Writers, a PAN member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA), and is honored to serve as a judge for several writing contests each year.

Maureen L. Mills When her captain is murdered and her airship suffers a series of sabotages, airship engineer and rogue pyromancer, Amelia Everley, must put aside her dislike of her new employer, Josiah, and help him save her airship and crew. But is the destruction aimed at their mysterious government passenger, or is the captain’s killer now after Josiah? All Amelia knows is, if Josiah can’t learn to respect her skills, she may have to resign herself to working for his rival, Edmund Fairlane. If, that is, she can bring herself, her crew, and her ship home in one piece. Rumor has it that book 2 of the series is done so better catch up and grab the first one. Maureen L. Mills lives and writes in Draper, Utah with her wonderfully awesome and understanding husband. ( He’s awfully cute, too.) She enjoys having her kids nearby, and is thrilled with each new addition to the family, be it human, canine, feline, or other. When she’s not writing or teaching writing, she stays busy making cosplays for her kids (who look much better in them than she does), knitting, gardening, and, of course, reading. Lots of reading. She has the dubious honor of being perhaps the only person in history to get kicked out of a school class for reading too much. As if reading too much was even possible.

Kayelle Allen Would you like to review a new Science Fiction story? Check out Bro, a new short scifi read by Kayelle Allen, available to review on Netgalley and BookSprout. You can help the author when you review Bro on a site like Amazon, Goodreads, Netgalley, BookSprout, your blog, or on social media. Thank you for reading this book!

Bro is the prequeal to the Antonello Brothers series

Bro by Kayelle Allen Genre SciFi Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG13 The tech Senth is about to claim will make him invisible. Finally, the young halfbreed thief will be out of sight, shielded from the taunts humans fire at him. But when that tech reveals he has a human half-brother who's bound by a cruel slaver, Senth must find a way to save his brother from abuse and win his freedom -- even though Senth is a slave himself. There's just one problem. The new Thieves' Guild tech might make him invisible, but it can't shield him from the truth...

Where to read and review Bro Publisher Romance Lives Forever Books Free on Netgalley and Booksprouts or you can find on Amazon and or Books 2 Read.

Paranormal Muffy Wilson Keta Diablo

Keta Diablo About I Spy A Demon FOUND ONLY IN A DARKER SHADE of EVIL When twins Cecily and Calder Sizemore’s parents are killed in a car accident, they’re adopted by the Frost family—Gus, Mae and their sons, Marcel and Elliott. Over the years, Cecily’s love for Marcel evolves into anything but sisterly. Cecily always knew something was amiss in the Frost household. Little things belied the calm, peaceful ambiance Mae did her best to portray. Calder tried to warn her things were not as they appeared but she didn’t want to believe him. When Calder begs her to leave Des Moines, start a new life away from the secrets, away from the Frosts and away from Marcel, she takes his advice and her shattered heart and moves to Minnesota. Now she’s been called home for her beloved brother's funeral. There's more to the story than meets the eye. Discrepancies in how her twin died led her back to Des Moines, and back to Marcel―the boy who stole her heart, the man whose very presence turns her blood to liquid fire. Marcel has always kept dangerous secrets, but this time, Cecily is determined to uncover the truth about the Frosts… and the truth about how Calder really died. She’ll find out what happened to her brother, even if it’s her last act in life.

Excerpt from I Spy A Demon by Keta Diablo Cecily scanned her brother's richly decorated room and the dark, patterned drapes covering the window. Definitely masculine in tone and design. Think, girl, think. She slapped a hand to her forehead, the muffled words slipping from her mouth, “Of course, the secret panel.” With renewed determination, she walked toward the large wall opposite the bed and counted off thirteen panels (Calder's lucky number). Like she had done so many times when they were children, she wedged a fingernail beneath the single panel on the right and eased the wood forward. It released with a familiar popping noise. Acutely aware of the dread rumbling in her gut, nostalgia washed over her as she stared at the hidden contents. She removed a piece of faded green fabric, folded in thirds and tied with the same color cord. It felt heavy in her hand. Again, dread gripped her but she'd have a better chance of forcing herself to stop breathing than walking away now. With trembling fingers, she untied the cord and allowed the fabric to fall away. A shiny, silver knife lay in her hand…no, it looked more like a dagger with a six-inch blade and ornate carvings on the pearl handle. One such carving was of a serpent wrapped around a knife. Wait…hadn’t she seen the same design in black ink on Marcel’s tattooed shoulder? The significance wasn’t lost on her. Why in hell would Calder have a dagger hidden away in the wall? Next, she picked up a book from the secret cubby and flipped through the pages. It wasn't a book but a journal with entries penned by Calder…dates and oneword entries that meant nothing to her. Agony clutched her heart. So, twins did keep secrets from one another. She never thought she'd see this day, not between her and Calder. She tucked the journal and the dagger under her arm, replaced the panel and rose on shaky legs. Marcel would tell her nothing, of that she was certain. She'd have to dig deeper, find out about the dagger, try to decipher the notations in the journal and make a call to the local funeral home. If they wouldn't help her, she'd drive to St. Louis, speak to the coroner and get his version of the incident and a copy of Calder's death certificate.

I live in the Midwest part of the United States on six acres of woodland. Like most of the Midwest, it's absolutely gorgeous around here in the summer...and quite chilly in the winter. When I'm not writing, I love to garden and commune with nature. I adore animals and donate my time and support to local food banks (gotta feed the hungry kids) and several animal shelters. I rescued Emma LaPounce from one of the shelters when her owners abandoned her. She turned her nose up at me to begin with but now...we're bonded at the hip. She must believe my computer mouse is a real mouse because she won't stop batting it around!

* * * Keta is a multi-published author in contemporary romance, erotic romance and gay fiction. She's also an Amazon bestselling author. Her erotica novel Decadent Deceptions was a finalist in the MOLLY contest sponsored by Romance Writers of America and was nominated for a Red Carpet Award in 2014. Her paranormal novel Where the Rain Is Made (Meko's Woman) was nominated for a Bookie Award by Authors After Dark, and her historical novel Sky Tinted Water was nominated for a RONE Award by Ind’Tale Magazine. Keta's books have received numerous Top Pick, Book of the Month, and Recommended Read awards from top professional review sites. You can find her on the net at the following places: |

Muffy Wilson Download *F*R*E*E* Sneak Peek

Muffy Wilson is a USA Today Bestselling and 2017 SWFRW Joyce Henderson First Place Paranormal Award-Winning author of provocative, paranormal, and fantasy romance. An American author of the popular Shadow Seduction Series, The Heart Series, and Ribbons of Moonlight Series, she has penned dozens of other books and anthology collections. Muffy’s father was a career Colonel and pilot in the U.S. Air Force which required the family to travel extensively. Muffy spent her formative years in Europe and 'came of age' in France forging her joie de vivre and love for books and writing. Married and living in the tropical paradise of SW Florida along the Gulf Coast, Muffy writes and enjoys life in the sun with her husband and wee Havanese pups, Buddy and CoCo Chanel while volunteering as a foster mom to rescued Havanese dogs and puppies through HavaHeart, HALO, and HRI, all 501c nonprofit charitable organizations.

Pre-Order *N*O*W* A Darker Shade of Evil Only $1.99 While It Lasts! Deadly demons, diabolical devils, and other creatures of the night keep you spellbound in a world of dark delights as they trifle in forbidden passions, suspense, and kick-ass battles. It’s all right here for you in this captivating urban fantasy and paranormal romance anthology! Brought to you by USA Today and International Bestselling Authors, these nine books are stories of sexy, alpha heroes and heroines will keep you turning the pages as devils, demons, hunters and other dark delights draw you into their conquests, twisted power plays, deception, scorching heat, and yes, even love. Pre-Order NOW for ONLY $1.99 and as a thank you receive 13 FREE Books including a Sneak Peek of A Darker Shade of Evil Releasing September 24, 2019 Buy Link: (Available on Amazon June 24, 2019) Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind anthology. * Heat Rating: Spicy to Erotic Romance * No Cliffhangers * Happily-Ever-After or Happy-For-Now


Helen Henderson Rue Allyn Charlene Raddon Elizabeth Lane

Helen B. Henderson BBM: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? HH: I've created stories as long as I can remember. I solved cases with Napoleon Solo and Ilya Kuryakin (the men from U.N.C.L.E), travelled outer space, drove a jeep in the sands of Africa with the Rat Patrol, and flew Corsairs with the black sheep of VMF-214. At the time I wanted to be a pilot. Not surprising since I learned to read by keeping a flight engineer's manuals up to date. I never became a fighter pilot but did become a computer programmer, system analyst, museum director, historian, and sundry other professions. Writing eventually became my profession, and I added three local histories, and the titles of correspondent and feature story writer to my technical writing resume. However, it was years later my pen returned to fiction. BBM: Was there a certain time in your life you knew you wanted to write? HH: I think I wanted to write as soon as I learned to read. The stories I saw in my mind demanded to be put onto paper. Over the years, school assignments dampened my muse's wings until she could no longer fly. Although, I never planned on it as a career, the task ended up as major parts of my working life.

The formats varied: computer software, technical manuals, promotional catalogs and presentations. And one day I received the email, “We are pleased to offer you a contract.” BBM: What are you currently working on? HH: A novel that was started during NanoWriMo (also known as the crazy month for authors when we try to write 50,000 words in a span of a month) is demanding to be finished. BBM: Of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why? HH: Many authors say their favorite book is their first--or their last. A special connection to a character or a storyline that reflects an author’s life or dreamed life can make the choice difficult. At this point in time, Hatchling’s Mate, book 3 of the Dragshi Chronicles, holds court as my favorite. And the reason is the character Glyn. BBM: What books have most influenced you as a writer? HH: Anne McCaffrey’s series, the Dragon Riders of Pern and the Tower and Hive, showed me how to connect generations and increase the depth of my characters. Although he was an early creator of science fiction, the works of E. E. Doc Smith influenced my understanding of plot. The western part of my soul watched how Louis L’Amour made his worlds come to life. And finally, the romantic suspenses of Carol McPhee taught me how to have romance share the story with adventure. BBM: What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding? HH: When I started writing, telling a good tale was sufficient; however, now readers expect more—that the characters change in some way, whether for good or bad.

Ensuring the necessary depth of characters challenges me. Of course, having to rise to the test takes the work to a higher level. In addition to the challenges of writing the best novel I can, editing it, and trying to get it into the hands of readers, each work presents its own unique challenges. For Hatchling’s Vengeance, it was changing several men who had obeyed orders to kill and other crimes to make the characters worthy of redemption. The character of Anastasia in Dragon Destiny presented a unique problem as I aged her from a young woman to the heroine suitable for the love interest. Based on a real person, I knew if Anastasia was not presented well, her mother and grandmother (both of whom are several inches taller than me) might express their displeasure with a strategically placed size nine shoe. BBM: What book is on your nightstand? HH: Pegasus in Flight by Anne McCaffrey BBM: What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future? HH: There are two stories clamoring to be told. The tales of a female gunslinger named Hell Lost have haunted me for years and maybe someday, I’ll ride the high mountain trails with her and tell her story in a historical western. And the character Denea has said she wants the full tale of her hunt for the last dragon be told. BBM: Is there anything you’d like to share with your readers? HH: At some time we all need to escape our everyday lives and a good tale will take us to another time and place. One of the reasons I refer to myself as a tour guide is that I hope my books do more than entertain my readers, but help them escape to worlds of imagination.

Dragshi Chronicles

The Windmaster Novels

Other Books

Helen loves to hang out with mages, ride magical equines, and fly with dragons. Her writing reflects the contrasts of her heritage as a descendent of a coal-miner's daughter and an aviation flight engineer as well as that of her Gemini sign. This dichotomy shows in her writing which crosses genres from historical adventures and westerns to science fiction and fantasy. In the world of romantic fantasy, she is the author of the Dragshi Chronicles and The Windmaster Novels. She describes herself as a tour guide to the stars, the Old West, and worlds of imagination and invites you along on the journey.

Rue Allyn Pre-Order July 15th What does a bet between best friends have to do with a kidnapped cat and a tumbleddown animal shelter? Nothing, unless you are Adam Talcott and you want to prove to your best-buddy that you can survive without access to your wealth and family connections. Adam would have succeeded too, if it hadn’t been for Dierdre Clancy and that blasted cat. "I’ll give it 4 Stars for being a pleasant piece of non-taxing fluffiness."

Freebie~~Get a FREE download of Rue Allyn’s May 2019 release Forever Hold My Heart, a Scottish historical novella. Just sign up for her newsletter here

Charlene Raddon

Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award Nomination

A mail-order bride from Cincinnati, Ariah Scott traveled all the way to Oregon to marry one man, only to lose her heart to another. What will become of her now? Ever since her father died at the hands of a vengeful relative, Ariah's life has been shadowed by dark secrets. And now her forbidden desire for Bartholomew Noon fills her with uncertainty -- and a secret longing that can never be fulfilled. And forbidden . . . From the moment Bartholomew saw Ariah standing alone at the Portland train station. The keeper of the Cape Meares Light was lost. Hopelessly in love with this angelic beauty who is fated to live beside him at the isolated lighthouse as the wife of another man, Bartholomew never dreams that destiny will someday bring them together. Is Ariah truly the woman he can cherish . . . forever?

"Brimming with authentic detail, poignant and sweet, Forever Mine will enchant you. ~ Shirl Henke, best selling author of Broken Vows Their love was fated . . ." "Wonderful! A warm and tender story that treats challenging issues with rare sensitivity. ~ Susan Wiggs, best selling author of Dancing on Air"

They had lost everything that mattered . . . Three nightmarish years of marriage has shattered Brianna Wight's sheltered world. Leading her husband to believe she's been murdered, she flees to St. Louis . . . harboring terrible secrets that could be the death of her. The tragic loss of his Indian wife left Columbus Nigh a wanderer; necessity made him a wilderness guide. But now he finds himself drawn to the enigmatic woman who's hired him to lead her westward. Her gentle strength stirs his lonely heart . . . her tender beauty arouses his deepest passions. Would they find love again on a western journey? But the perils of the Oregon Trail pale beside the murderous wrath of the man who tracks them across the harsh frontier. Briana knows the only way to save herself and Columbus is to risk their tender love. Only then can she free herself from the horrors of the past -and embrace a rapturous future . . . "Charlene Raddon keeps the sexual tension high, the characters appealing and the western flavor authentic ~ Romantic Times" "His 'tender touch' shows us the wild west isn't all about gunfights, cattle rustling and saloon brawls. Nigh will make you sigh! ~ What I'm Reading"

Bestselling author Charlene Raddon began writing in 1980 after waking up from a dream she knew had to appear in a book. She dragged out a portable typewriter and began writing. That book took nine years to write, as she learned her craft at the same time. A time travel, it has not yet been published. Next, she wrote Tender Touch (Brianna), entered it into the Colorado Gold contest, historical division, and won. That victory prompted her to enter the RWA Golden Heart Contest and Tender Touchbecame a finalist. She acquired an agent and a year and a half later, signed a three-book contract with Zebra Books, an imprint of Kensington Books. In 1999, when the historical market plummeted and western romance became almost impossible to sell, she took a hiatus from writing, but her imagination wouldn’t leave her alone. Eventually, she got back into the game. In 2011, she won back her rights to her books and had them released as eBooks by Tirgearr Publishing. In 2012 Tirgearr released two of her books in print, Taming Jenna and Tender Touch. Charlene grew up near Los Angeles but always felt she was in the wrong place and time. She yearned to live in a small town, maybe on a farm. Her ancestors had all been farmers. Perhaps her blood was calling to her. In 1971, she got her chance and moved to Nephi, Utah, a town of about 3,000. But the need for paying work forced her to move again and she ended up in the Salt Lake Valley. Now, she finds herself once again in a big city, still yearning to move to a small town. Her most recent work is Maisy’s Gamble. At the moment, she has a new novella in an anthology called Under a Mulberry Moon up for preorder. A series called Widows of Cougar Creek is under development. In 2011, Charlene’s artistic nature prompted her to try a different path and she began designing book covers. Today, she has a long list of clients and her own cover site, where she specializes in historical romance covers, primarily western. Follow Charlene :

Elizabeth Lane A single mom—and her twin babies!—are snowbound with the boss. Can they melt his frozen heart? When Tessa Randall sues CEO Dragan Markovic's company for unfair termination, he insists on hearing her side of the story. But the billionaire known as The Dragon gets more than he bargained for when he's stranded at his snowy Alaskan lodge with Tessa and her twin toddlers. Now the flamehaired beauty wants to uncover his story. How can he tell her that her children remind him of his harrowing past and all that he lost? Or that the sweet family of three is slowly melting The Dragon's frozen heart… Desperate Times Called For Desperate Measures… And widow Cassandra Logan was as desperate as they come. Who could blame her for the audacious falsehood she told for the sake of her baby? No one —except maybe straight-arrow rancher Morgan Tolliver, who had every right to distrust her lying ways! When his passion outpaced his suspicions, Morgan knew he was in trouble. After all, Cassandra had suddenly appeared at the ranch carrying nothing but a trunkful of lies. So when exactly had he dismissed her deceit and accepted the truth of his love?

Elizabeth Lane was raised in Monroe, Utah, a small town set between forested mountains and red rock desert. The eldest of two sisters, she grew up hiking, fishing and camping with her family. She graduated from the University of Utah with a major in biology/education and minors in Spanish and art. Early on she worked as a teacher and as a proofreader before beginning a 23year career as an educational software designer. The job included writing children's stories. Many of the children's books she wrote are still in print.In the late 1970s, after selling several children's stories to a magazine, she decided to try a novel. Her first adult book, Mistress of the Morning Star, was published in 1980. After publishing five more novels and ghost-writing two others, she sold a proposal to Harlequin's then-new historical linea proposal to Harlequin’s then-new historical line and went on to write for the Harlequin Romance, Silhouette Special Edition and Harlequin Desire lines. Presently Elizabeth lives in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah. She has a grown son and daughter and three grandchildren. Another daughter died in an accident in 1985. An avid traveler, she has lived in several states, as well as Mexico, Germany, Guatemala and Panama. Her favorite places to visit include Hong Kong, Nepal, Tanzania and Peru. She also loves to hike and dance, and has given back to her community. Follow Elizabeth

Romance Reviews Parental Guidance (Ice Knights #1) by Avery Flynn review by Amber No good can come from letting your parent(s) run your dating profile and choosing who you date - or can it? Caleb, a hockey player on the Ice Knights team, is about to find out. In a PR experiment to bring some Ice Knights hockey players back into the good graces with the public, Caleb finds himself on the receiving end. Caleb must partner with a dating app and let his mom control his profile. She also gets to choose his date. Fortunately, it is only for five dates then he and the woman chosen are free to move on with life. Caleb is not excited about the plan but too much is on the line to not listen to his PR agent, coach, and mother. . Zara, in an alcohol-induced don't-care night with a friend, creates a profile on a dating app. She had no idea she was going to be paired with a hot hockey player. Regardless, Zara has rules they are going to follow to get through their five dates. Rules that, as time goes on, Zara and Caleb aren't sure they want to continue to follow. A relationship was not in the plans. I love Zara and Caleb's story. Two unlikely people brought together in a fun and entertaining story with realism and emotion. I enjoyed how both characters danced around each other in a slow-burning romance. Neither person was looking for anything long term; the entire dating app situation was a means to an end. Fate, however, had other plans. Avery Flynn is a wonderful storyteller with unique characters, themes, and settings. Her stories pull you in and keep you thoroughly engaged and entertained. I enjoyed Parental Guidance and can't wait for book 2; the teaser at the end of Parental Guidance pulled me in, hook-line-and-sinker

Gunslinger (The Nighthawk Series #1) by Lisa Lang Blakeney review by Babs Sabrina White has been crushing on Jason at Carson’s Financial for a few years now. Will he ever come around and notice her? Probably not until it is too late. Sabrina. has been trying to move up in the company and just might get her chance with a football star. Saint is the quarterback for the NY Nighthawks and has a good arm. But he needs to rally his team mates before it is too late. He runs into Sabrina while she is out to eat with Jason on another boring work dinner. Saint makes his move she she blushes. She doesn’t realize who saint is. Back in Georgetown these two met before. They both are drinking as Saint was left at the alter and Sabrina well, Jason issues. Saint sees her safely to her room and leaves. Will she remember who Saint is and it make a difference? Can she get the break she is wanting at the office? The characters could have been developed more but what chemistry they have is remarkable. Saint does’t give up. There are some funny parts as well and steamy romance. You can’t go wrong with this read.

Claimed by the Mountain Man by Amelia Smarts reivew by Babs Nettie has been living in the woods for a few months. Starving and olny survifving on berries she steals chickens from Trapper Jack. She watches and learns his routinne. Only one day she gets caught in a trap. Jack takes Nettie in for a day and helps her get warm and get some food in her belly. After she gets a spanking from him. She is taken back as Trapper Jack is known for not being really nice. He knows she is a stubborn woman who is head storng so he tries to teach her how to survice and does pretty decent. ut he loves her and wants her to stay with him. Can he convince her to finally stay or will she stick to her guns of no remarrying? The characters are pretty well developed we get to know how Jack is alone and why Nettie is living in the woods. You can’t judge a person by rumors or looks. There are some steamy scenes that fit right into the plot. Easy book to read and enjoy.

The Prospector's Bride's Surprise by Rowan Gracemill review by Babs Abby has been left a widow and her husband left her in a lot of debt. To pay that off she had to sale the house and ranch. She moves back in with her mom and step father until she can figure out what to do. She learns she is pregnant, who will want her now? Finding the Matrimonial Times she sees an ad for a preacher and a rancher. Who ever writes back first will be the one god wants her to be with. Daniel Flynn is a gold prospector that works with his family in the Dakota Territory. He sends for Abby and will be waiting for her. When Abby arrives, it is his mom and sister who meet her. For a few days Daniel is no where in sight. Abby is startled when a man comes into her room demanding what she is doing in HIS room. She finally meets Daniel but he has no clue who she is as his mom was the one writing to Abby the whole time. Can these two come together and love each other or will Abby go back to Boston? A nice love story of a man who stands up to his family when needed and a woman who stands her ground to help her husband. The characters were well done and for such a short story a lot of great writing was packed in.

Mystery & Cozy Mystery

Susan Boles Vanessa Westermann Kate Young Kathi Oram Peterson

Susan Boles Help Pet's find Fur-ever homes Help the authors of Summer Snoops Unleashed help pets find their fur-ever home. For only 99 CENTS you get 14 never before published mystery books in a box set and every penny of your 99 CENTS goes to the authors' chosen rescue groups. Go to the authors' box set website to find out about the authors and the books included in the set along with information on the three rescue groups receiving funds from preorders. Help make this year the biggest donation ever and preorder your box set today at Or go directly to the ebook retailer of your choice.

Vanessa Westermann BBM: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? I’m half-Canadian, half-German. I grew up in Germany, interspersed with a few years spent in Canada and the States. I completed my M.A. in English Literature at the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität in Munich, Germany. Two years ago, I moved to Canada and now live in a cottage by a lake.

I’m an English teacher and have taught creative writing to young adults. My mother is a bespoke milliner and, on occasion, I’ve taken on the role of hat model for her lookbook, which is always fun. I love nothing more than browsing a bookstore. In fact, Kate Rowan in An Excuse For Murder owns an independent bookshop, so you can just imagine what a hardship that research was… BBM: Was there a certain time in your life you knew you wanted to write? Even before I could spell, I would fill in the words I couldn’t sound out with pictures. When I was eleven, I told my mom as we were browsing a bookstore together that one day, my book would be on the shelves. It took a while, but dreams do come true!

BBM: What are you currently working on? I have two projects on the go and wish there were more hours in a day. I’m currently working on a stand-alone crime novel that features another strong female protagonist as sleuth, a chocolate shop and a dark secret in the past. But I’m also drafting ideas for a sequel to An Excuse For Murder, as I’m sure it won’t be long before Kate stumbles across another mystery. BBM: What books have most influenced you as a writer? I love the wit and banter that can be found in Golden Age detective fiction. An Excuse For Murder is set in England, partially as an homage to classic British crime novels. Authors who have influenced me are Dorothy L. Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, Louise Penny, Tana French and Carolyn G. Hart. BBM: What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding? The most challenging part of writing for me, is forcing myself to put something on paper, even when the ideas aren’t flowing. The most rewarding moment is when someone is reading my book and reacts by laughing out loud, gasping in surprise, or by holding up one finger, engrossed in the page, and saying, “Just a minute – I’m reading.” You really can’t beat that. BBM: What book is on your nightstand? An advanced reading copy of Paper Son by S.J. Rozan. I read the first of the Lydia / Bill series, China Trade, on a trip to London, England. China Trade was in my bag as I walked through the Victoria and Albert museum and saw their display of famille verte porcelain. It felt like fiction had come to life. Don’t you love it when that happens?

BBM: What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future? I plan to continue writing mysteries. It’s not the violence of the crime, but the emotion that motivated it that intrigues me… BBM: Is there anything you’d like to share with your readers? My blog features reviews and literary interviews with fellow authors, such as Jasper Fforde, Vicki Delany and, most recently, Shelley Freydont. I love reading crime fiction, and am always interested to find out more about the writing process. At the end of each interview, the author is invited to share one piece of advice they would give to aspiring writers.

Vanessa Westermann is the author of An Excuse For Murder. Vanessa is a former Arthur Ellis Awards judge, a writing instructor and has given a talk on the evolution of women’s crime writing, at the Toronto Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

Kathi Oram Peterson France, 1371. The old Queen of France lies on her deathbed with a secret she will take to her grave: there is one true heir to the throne, one who would have the power to ally France and Scotland. But after her death, all that will be left are a few shreds of evidence revealing the stunning identity of her successor. Flight attendant Skye Armstrong has heard the voice of warning before, and as she’s returning home from London, she recognizes the feeling of dread that accompanies her sixth sense. Walking from the airport terminal to get to her car, she pauses in the middle of the road. Her hesitation gives a Good Samaritan the split second he needs to pull her out of the path of a speeding car, saving her life. But her misfortunes are just beginning. When she arrives home, she discovers that Auntie Marjorie has been kidnapped, and cryptic instructions have been left behind: Skye must retrieve the contents of a safe deposit box and deliver it to the captors . . . No police. Her feelings of dread return. What Skye discovers in the bank box is baffling: a single page. The ancient document is certainly valuable, and with no time to lose, she goes to the rendezvous to discover the next step. A cell phone rings beneath a park bench. She answers the call, and on the screen is a picture of Auntie, unconscious. Now the kidnapper demands Skye find two more pages or her aunt will die. What secrets are hidden within the illuminated pages, and who believes they are worth killing for? And what role does the Good Samaritan play in all of it?

I grew up in a small town in SE Idaho. I love my hometown where the drug store still has a soda fountain and where people wave hello to strangers. I’ve worked on my writing for years. Along the way I won a few contests, earned my BA in English, worked for a curriculum publisher, and finally started selling my books. I’m very humbled to see my manuscripts turn into actual novels. To learn more about each book, please click the cover. Thanks for stopping by. Follow Kathi:

Kate Young Life has always been sweet on Georgia’s Peach Cove Island, but a case of murder has Marygene Brown down in the pits . . . For generations, the women of the Brown family on Peach Cove Island have been known for their Southern sass and sweet homemade desserts at their beloved Peach Diner. Since their mother's passing two years ago, Marygene has been stuck in Atlanta while her sister Jena Lynn has been running the family business. Now Marygene has left her husband and returned to her hometown, where she can almost feel Mama's presence. But all is not peachy back home. Marygene has barely tied on an apron when a diner regular drops dead at the counter. When it turns out the old man's been poisoned, Jena Lynn is led away in handcuffs and the family eatery is closed. Now, to save her sister and the diner, Marygene must find the real killer. With some startling assistance from her Mama's spirit, Marygene will be serving up a special order of just desserts . . . Includes Seven Recipes from Marygene’s Kitchen!

Kate Young writes humorous southern mystery novels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Guppy Chapter. Kate lives in a small town in Georgia with her husband, three kids, and Shih Tzu. When she is not writing her own books, she’s reading or cooking.

Mystery Reviews Southern Sass and Killer Cravings (Marygene Brown #1) by Kate Young review by Babs Southern Sass and Killer Cravings is a new cozy mystery series by Kate Young. We get to meet the Brown sisters and Marygene has just returned to Peach Cove, Georgia. She was in a bad marriage and is now back home where she belongs. She is full of shame and regret at having abandoned her family. Jena, Marygene’s step sister is accused of the murder of Mr Ledbetter, a long time customer. Convinced she is innocent Marygene helps to solved the case or plans to anyway. Between Thornton, her estranged father Sheriff Eddie, a reporter and her old high school boyfriend, and the ghost of her mom she has it all covered. You have turns and twists, murder, greed and some abuse to keep the pages turning at a fast pace. A great start to a wonderful series. Don’t forget the great recipes in the back of the book. You will want to give those a try.

Spirited Away (Bay Island Psychic Mystery #4) by Lena Gregory review by Amber I am so happy that Lena Gregory’s Bay Island Psychic Mysteries has a book 4!! I love Cass, Bee, Luke, Stephanie, and Tank and was worried we wouldn’t get anymore of them. Thanks to Beyond the Page for publishing another book in this wonderful, entertaining, and amazing series. The story in Spirited Away is unique and entertaining. I was completely engaged from the very beginning. Cass has integrated nicely in Bay Island and her shop is popular. Her group readings are highly attended but in Spirited Away, Cass wakes up feeling a bit off, has issues during the group reading, and a fight breaks out bringing the evening to an end. When one of the men in the fight is found dead, all fingers point to the other man. Knowing the accused isn’t guilty, Cass sets off to figure out who did the crime. She does this all while hearing ghostly voices, having weird dreams, and dealing with sabotage of her business. This book is engaging, exciting, and intense at times. Fortunately, Cass has a wonderful support system. . I really enjoy all the characters. Their dynamics create a friendship that is warm and emotional, and they have each other's backs - no matter what. Cass's character is very down-to-earth. She's been likable from the very beginning of the series. It is easy to connect to her, whether you believe in psychic abilities or not. Stephanie and Bee are wonderful sidekicks to Cass main character. They are supportive and comforting to Cass. Lena Gregory's Bay Island Psychic Mysteries is a wonderful series with fun and exciting characters

Cream of Sweet (Chocolate Cozy Mystery #1) by Wendy Meadows review by Babs Olivia owns the Block-a-Choc Shoppe. As she is setting up her booth for the fall festival Lizzy Couture comes over and starts to fuss with her and her friend. As Once Olivia is back at her shop the cops arrive to ask her questions about Lizzy as she was murdered and guess who the prime suspect is? It seems no one liked Lizzy much and with the help of a PI Jake, they both look into the case to see who could have taken out Lizzy. I like all the characters rom Olivia to her 3 A’s of her friends. Dodger, her dog is a hoot to read about. A nice short cozy with some turns that will keep you guessing. The author did a wonderful job with the plot it flowed well and the characters where fun to get to know.

A Crime of Passion Fruit (A Bakeshop Mystery, Book 6) by Ellie Alexander review by Amber As Jules, her mom, and all the employees of Torte continue the expansion of the bakery, Jules receives a request from her estranged husband Carlos. It seems that the cruise ship is down a pastry chef and he really needs her help. All-expenses-paid cruises are offered to sweeten the deal so how could Jules say no?! Being around Carlos is comfortable yet discomforting but Jules’ feelings for him take a back seat when a stowaway is found floating face down in one of the pools. Helping the Professor now takes up her spare time as they try to find a murderer aboard the ship. I liked how this story primarily took place on a cruise ship. I’ve been on cruises before and I loved being taken back to those vacations. Of course, none of my vacations included death so that’s where the similarities end. I missed the rest of the cast though, since Jules, her mom, and the Professor were the only ones on the vacation. We get snippets of those taking care of Torte but the dynamics were completely different. Doing an off-property book is wonderful and takes the story in a different direction and the author does a seamless job of bringing everything right back around.

The Bakeshop Mysteries are great and each story is different, containing not just the murder mystery but other threads. The author does a fantastic job weaving multiple stories within each book. Each thread makes sense as you move along in the book, some intersecting with the murder and others just additional everyday life. The books are descriptive and I am able to immerse myself into the town of Ashland, or in this case, the goings-on and inner workings of cruise ship crewmembers. The world building continues as new events take shape, book settings change, and new characters are introduced. The familiar favorites are always a pleasure to see on the pages. I enjoy the characters including Jules, Jules' mom, Stephanie, Sterling, Lance, Andy, Thomas, and the Professor. I connect with all the favorites on some level and can't imagine these books without them. The story is fast paced and engaging. I enjoyed trying to unravel the murder mystery. Every time I thought I had things all figured out, the author tossed in a complication that changed my mind. Ellie Alexander does a great job keeping everything under wraps and revealing things methodically and at the right time.

If the Broom Fits (Wicked Witches of Coventry #1) by Sara Bourgeois review by Babs Brighton Longfield has moved to Conventry, a little town where she inhertited her great aunts house. When she first arrives she knows she has a lot of work cut out for her. She isn’t making too many friends in town. She stays at an inn where Hattie runs the place. Not liking professor Hawkins she only stays one night. She could only afford one night. She goes back to work on the house and she notices it is not as bad has it seems. She stumbles over the body of the professor which brings us to the sherriff in town. He is not too humorous and at first suspects Brighton. She doesn’t know what to think with a talking cat she now owns and a couple of friends she tries to make a life in town. The characters were liked enough. The typos and grammer was a tad bit annoying. I did finish the book and it was easy to figure out who was doing what. I will try the next book in the series to see how well it fairs. It is not a bad book but can use a good editor.

Bad Pick (A Brie Hooker Mystery, Book 3) by Linda Lovely review by Amber An overzealous religious group targets Udderly Kidding Dairy as their next protest site – all because Brie and her friends want to start up the highly popular goat yoga. Insistent that goat yoga is a form of devil worship, the religious cult begins picketing outside the gate of the farm. Brie’s Aunt Eva is mostly annoyed but when one of the members who ambushed Brie and friends winds up dead, things get a bit more serious. Add in the food tasting event Brie has planned and things begin to turn ugly. Brie has plans to open a B&B that caters to vegans and vegetarians. The time has come to test her menu on the most discerning of pallets – her mom, a judge friend, other restaurateurs, and food bloggers. Shortly after the tasting, several of the attendees wind up in various stages of illness including no symptoms, light symptoms, violently ill, and dead. Brie knows she didn’t do anything wrong and when toxicology reports come back, she knows someone was tampering with her food. Now – she just has to prove it before she’s sued or convicted of murder. Amid Brie’s turmoil, one of her mother’s friends is embroiled in a situation involving a Supreme Court nominee, who also happens to have ties to the religious group. The book also continues the multiple suitor storyline. Brie is certainly busy in book 3 of the Brie Hooker Mystery series. Bad Pick is another intense, edge-of-your-seat cozy mystery set in the world of a vegan working her family’s goat dairy farm. The South Caroline world of Brie Hooker created by Linda Lovely is spectacularly written. The images of each scene in the book were not only vivid but easy to get immersed in as you read. The world and characters were written well, and I felt like I was there at the farm, on the climbing trails, or in the middle of the scuffles. Brie’s character is down-to-earth, enjoyable, and a completely likable character. It really is no wonder she has two suitors vying for her attention and affection. Paint and Andy, men on complete opposite ends of the spectrum, are well-written and caring, each wanting Brie for themselves.

Aunt Eva is a quirky yet strong woman who demonstrates the ability to be independent and selfsufficient. Brie’s quirky friend Mollye (yes, it ends with an “e”) rounds out the character list quite nicely. The author did a wonderful job weaving everything in this book together. The book contains religious fanaticism, murder, and a tangled web of events, carefully explained, envisioned, and played out. Add those elements to simmering romances, secrets, a vegan working on a dairy farm, and one shady Supreme Court nominee and his family, and you have one spectacular tale in Bad Pick. The plot is solid, and I didn't see the conclusion coming. There were several ways this story could have gone. Bad Pick is a great novel that drew me in, kept me engaged, and continued to pique my curiosity from the very beginning. I can't wait to see where Linda Lovely takes everyone next.

The Case of the Love Spell (Hillcrest Witch Mystery 0) by Amorette Anderson review by Babs Penny is a PI in the small town of Hillcrest. Claudine Terra, is found dead by her niece, Lucy but turns out she was really murdered. Gunther, comes to see Penny and gives her a note. It says Claundine was murdered. Will the police take her seriously? In return for taking the note, Gunther gives her some items Claudine gave to him. One of the items is a book that will help humans turn into witches. It is so good that she reads in numerous times and so does the Knitting circle Penny belongs to. 
Chris is not only Penny’s ex but also her neighbor. He is not over Penny but can he take the note seriously? When Gunther is found dead in Penny’s office will he start to listen? Will she find out who killed Claudine and Gunther or will it be too late? What about Turkey her cat? With Penny, Annie, Marley, Cora, Buttercup and Turkey the story stays hoping. There is enough action, tension between ex’s, a vampire, and more to keep the reader turning the pages. The characters keep you on your toes and some laugh out loud moments. The plot is remarkable. You will fall in love with Penny and want to see what happens next.

Blackflies and Blueberries (Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls #2) by Sharon Ledwith review by Amber Blackflies and Blueberries is book 2 in Sharon Ledwith’s Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls series. This installment stars Hart Stewart, an unlikely newcomer to Fairy Falls. Born and raised in the city, Hart has no idea he has roots in the small town of Fairy Falls. Unfortunately, Hart learns the hard way that he has a great aunt who resides there – his mother is murdered in their apartment and after drifting around he discovers he has relatives elsewhere. Uncertain what he’ll find in Fairy Falls, the use of his secret psychometry ability to witness the murder of a local woman was not at all it. Diana McGregor’s mother was murdered in Fairy Falls and her killer never found. When a newcomer shows up in town in possession of her late mother’s ring, she discovers he has psychic abilities. Knowing he’s seen her mother’s murder, Diana “hires” him to help her uncover the truth. What Diana and Hart didn’t count on were the spiderweb of lies and deceit, the trail of bodies, and the murder attempts occurring throughout the town. Blackflies and Blueberries is another well-developed novel that takes place in Fairy Falls. The novel is a sequel in the Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls series yet stands totally alone. Hart is a unique character in that he has psychometry abilities and is also illiterate. I love how the author reminds the readers that illiteracy is still an issue in our world both within developed and developing countries. Reluctant to divulge his psychic ability, along with his illiteracy, Hart knows he has no choice but reveal them if they are going to figure out who is responsible for what is going on Fairy Falls. Hart and Diana have wonderful dynamics also. I absolutely love this series by Sharon Ledwith. The series is filled with teens with psychic abilities taking on evil forces within Fairy Falls. The character development and world building created a book that played like a movie in my head. The dialogue between the was conversational and never awkward or choppy. The pacing was the perfect speed – not too fast, not too slow. There are parts of the book where my emotions matched the characters. I felt what the characters felt – anger, frustration, sadness – and that is what makes a book a favorite of mine. I really enjoyed Blackflies and Blueberries and look forward to reading more from Sharon Ledwith.

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