Book Spotlight: A TOURIST’S GUIDE TO MURDER by VM Burns

A Tourist’s Guide to Murder (Mystery Bookshop) by V.M. Burns

About A Tourist’s Guide to Murder

A Tourist’s Guide to Murder (Mystery Bookshop)

Cozy Mystery 6th in Series

Publisher: Kensington (January 26, 2021)

Paperback: 256 pages

ISBN-10: 1496728955

ISBN-13: 978-1496728951

Digital ASIN: B087YRY1S4

While visiting the land of Miss Marple and Sherlock Holmes, bookstore owner and amateur sleuth Samantha Washington finds herself on a tragical mystery tour . . .

Sam joins Nana Jo and her Shady Acres Retirement Village friends Irma, Dorothy, and Ruby Mae on a weeklong trip to London, England, to experience the Peabody Mystery Lovers Tour. The chance to see the sights and walk the streets that inspired Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle is a dream come true for Sam—and a perfect way to celebrate her new publishing contract as a mystery author.

But between visits to Jack the Ripper’s Whitechapel district and 221B Baker Street, Major Horace Peabody is found dead, supposedly of natural causes. Despite his employer’s unfortunate demise, the tour guide insists on keeping calm and carrying on—until another tourist on their trip also dies under mysterious circumstances. Now it’s up to Sam and the Shady Acres ladies to mix and mingle among their fellow mystery lovers, find a motive, and turn up a murderer . . .

About V.M. Burns

Author V.M. Burns

V.M. (Valerie) Burns was born and raised in the Midwestern United States. She currently resides in the warmer region of the country in East Tennessee with her two poodles. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Dog Writers of America, Crime Writers of Color, International Thriller Writers, and Sisters in Crime. Valerie is the author of the RJ Franklin Mysteries, the Dog Club Mysteries, and the Agatha Award-nominated Mystery Bookshop Mystery series.

Author Links

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/v-m-burns

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vmburnsbooks/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/burnsvm

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vmburnsbooks/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/vmburns

Website: vmburns.com

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Guest Post: Vicki Delany – TEA & TREACHERY

Happy Monday, book people. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and got some reading done. It seems as if COVID-19 is going to be with us for a little while longer, so I’ve been traveling vicariously through the stories I’ve been reading lately. I’ve visited Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, and Boston (man, do I miss Boston; I lived there many, many years ago). I’m pleased to welcome Vicki Delany as today’s guest host and she’ll be whisking us off to Cape Cod (another place I miss visiting IRL). I hope you’ll enjoy her introduction to the Cape and her new Tea by the Sea series starting with Tea & Treachery. Thank you, Ms. Delany, for stopping by this morning and evoking some fond memories of Cape Cod for me. 




Escape to the Seaside! By Vicki Delany



When I started writing the new Tea by the Sea series for Kensington, I had no doubt at all as to where I’d set the books. Cape Cod. 

After all, what would be nicer than visiting a tea room called Tea by the Sea or staying in a B&B named Victoria-on-Sea? Cozy mysteries are largely about escape. We read cozies because they provide a break from our normal lives, particularly in stressful times such as these. If you’re not able to get away this year to your favorite holiday location, you can at least go in the pages of a book. And what better than an escape to the sea, to stay in a beautiful historical mansion, enjoy afternoon tea, and forget all about viruses, and social distancing, and missing friends and family. 
  
I myself live nowhere near the sea but I love visiting for the drama of the ocean. The beaches on a calm day, the tide pools teeming with life, the wild storms. All of which, of course, provides an author with a marvelous background for descriptions and for creating atmosphere in a book. I have found that people like reading books set in places they have visiting for vacation. I know I do:  it helps to bring back those fond memories. 

The Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series, which I also write, are set on a different part of Cape Cod, in the Lower Cape near the town of Chatham, on both the Atlantic Ocean and Nantucket Sound. I moved the Tea by the Sea series further north, to the Outer Cape, and put the tea room and the B&B just outside the town of North Augusta. North Augusta is fictional, but it’s located (supposedly) near North Truro, looking west over Cape Cod Bay.


At five to six, Éclair and I made our daily commute across the yard toward the house. The property is perched on the west side of the long curving peninsula that makes up the Outer Cape section of Cape Cod, overlooking Cape Cod Bay toward the mainland. The sun doesn’t rise over the water, but the morning view is still spectacular when the long rays of light creep slowly across the bay. There was no wind this morning, and the surface of the water was as smooth and shiny as the surface of the glass tray we served breakfast muffins on. By Cape Cod standards, we’re pretty high here, about a hundred and twenty-five feet above sea level, giving me a nice view of the morning’s activity on the bay. Working fishing boats, charters, and sailboats dotted the calm blue water. In a few hours the whale-watching boats would pass by, heading for the top of the Cape and the open ocean and the animals’ feeding grounds. I stood at the edge of the bluffs, and leaned on the fence protecting walkers from the sharp drop-off. I breathed the sea air and felt the soft, salty wind caress my face, while Éclair ran in circles, sniffing at the ground. I could think of no better place to start the day. Whenever I began to regret leaving Manhattan, I came here, stood still, and simply breathed. 


Tea and Treachery by Vicki Delany. Copyright © 2020 by Vicki Delany. 
Published by Kensington Books. All Rights Reserved.


I hope you’re able to join me this summer on Cape Cod Bay and simply breathe.





Tea & Treachery (Tea by the Sea Mysteries)

by Vicki Delany


About Tea & Treachery



Tea & Treachery (Tea by the Sea Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Kensington (July 28, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496725069
ISBN-13: 978-1496725066
Digital ASIN: B07ZPKGT3R



In this charming new cozy mystery series from nationally bestselling author, Vicki Delany, a New York City expat-turned-Cape Cod tea shop owner must solve the murder of a local real estate developer to help her feisty grandmother out of a jam . . .



As the proud proprietor and head pastry chef of Tea by the Sea, a traditional English tearoom on the picturesque bluffs of Cape Cod, Roberts has her hands full, often literally. But nothing keeps her busier than steering her sassy grandmother, Rose, away from trouble. Rose operates the grand old Victorian B & B adjacent to Lily’s tea shop . . . for now. An aggressive real estate developer, Jack Ford, is pushing hard to rezone nearby land, with an eye toward building a sprawling golf resort, which would drive Rose and Lily out of business.



Tempers are already steaming, but things really get sticky when Ford is found dead at the foot of Rose’s property and the police think she had something to do with his dramatic demise. Lily can’t let her grandmother get burned by a false murder charge. So she starts her own investigation and discovers Ford’s been brewing bad blood all over town, from his jilted lover to his trophy wife to his shady business partners. Now, it’s down to Lily to stir up some clues, sift through the suspects, and uncover the real killer before Rose is left holding the tea bag.



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About Vicki Delany


Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than thirty-five books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing four cozy mystery series: the Tea by the Sea mysteries for Kensington, the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series for Crooked Lane Books, the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Penguin Random House, and the Lighthouse Library series (as Eva Gates) for Crooked Lane.


Vicki is a past president of the Crime Writers of Canada and co-founder and organizer of the Women Killing It Crime Writing Festival. She is the 2019 recipient of the Derrick Murdoch Award for contributions to Canadian crime writing. Vicki lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario.


Author Links

Website –  www.vickidelany.com

Facebookwww.facebook.com/evagatesauthor;

Twitter:  @vickidelany and@evagatesauthor

Instagram: vickidelany



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Guest Post: Christin Brecher – MURDER MAKES SCENTS


Good day, book people and welcome to March! It seems like we just celebrated Valentine’s Day and we’re already preparing for St. Patrick’s Day and Easter. Today’s guest is taking a moment from crime-solving and candle making to step off the pages of the Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery series, including the latest Murder Makes Scents by Christin Brecher, to discuss what she’s doing to prepare for St. Patrick’s Day. Ladies and gentlemen, please help me welcome Stella Wright. 




Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Stella Wright
By Christin Brecher


Thanks for inviting me to chat, and excuse me while I catch my breath. I’ve taken up jogging, but more on that in a minute. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Stella Wright, owner of the candle store, The Wick & Flame, on Nantucket Island. I’m a native of this small island off the coast of Massachusetts, and in addition to making candles and running my store, I’ve recently discovered my talent for catching killers. If you read the Nantucket Candle Maker Mysteries books, you’ll know that my family, the Wrights, often help me as they can be found working in all corners of our island.  

That leads us back to my jogging. As a member of a huge family of Irish descent, we are always excited when St. Patrick’s Day comes along. In this spirit, I’m training for the island’s 9th annual ShamRock Run. While my cousin Chris uses the holiday as an excuse to throw one of his infamous backyard barbeques, my other cousins Ted and Docker, who own and run a local carting company, have participated in the run for the last five years. This year, I decided to train for it as well along with my best friend, Emily. We thought it would be a win-win for both of us. In our three weeks of training, Emily shed the last five pounds of baby weight she’d gained while pregnant with her adorable new daughter, Victoria. And, as for me, I’m a new pet owner and the race raises money for the Nantucket Island Safe Harbor for Animals. Also, I realized that I’m either running for my life or after a killer quite a bit these days, so I’m motivated to conquer the ShamRock Run’s four miles. Emily pointed out that the event starts and ends at the local Cisco Brewery, so we’ll have some sustenance at both ends. I like how she thinks.

Ok, time to stretch. I’ve got to keep up this regimen for another ten days or so. Wish me luck. And to all of you this upcoming St. Patrick’s Day:  Slainte! 




Murder Makes Scents (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery)

by Christin Brecher

About Murder Makes Scents




Murder Makes Scents (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Kensington (February 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-10: 1496721411
ISBN-13: 978-1496721419
Digital ASIN: B07R6P9Z8M



Stella Wright loves creating candles at her Nantucket store—and she also has a burning passion for justice. Now, after visiting a perfume conference, she must solve a vial crime . . .

Stella and her globe-trotting mom, Millie, have come home from a perfume industry conference in Paris, where their trip was marred by witnessing the stabbing death of a young man. It’s a relief for Stella to be back on her picturesque island, with the comforting company of her cat, Tinker. But lingering danger may have followed them back across the ocean.

After someone breaks into her candle store, the Wick & Flame, Stella starts feeling spooked. And just as things threaten to ignite, Millie suffers a blow to the head. Stella receives an anonymous note claiming that her mother smuggled a secret formula out of France—and threatening her life if it isn’t returned. Now Stella’s picked up the scent of a cold-hearted criminal and an intriguing puzzle, and things are about to get wicked . . .



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About Christin Brecher

Christin Brecher was born and raised in NYC, where her family and many childhood friends still reside. As such, she feels she is as much of a small-town girl as any. The idea to write the Nantucket Candle Maker series sprang from her life-long connection to the small island off the coast of Massachusetts. Spending summers there as a child, Christin read from her family’s library of mystery novels, after which she began to imagine stories inspired by the island’s whaling heyday, its notoriously foggy nights, and during long bike rides to the beach. After many years in marketing for the publishing industry, followed by years raising her children, Murder’s No Votive Confidence is Christin’s debut novel. 



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Guest Post: Tina Kashian – ON THE LAMB


Hello, my bookish peeps. I hope everyone is staying warm and dry with this crazy weather. Most of my friends know that I am not a cook, but the one thing I do is collect recipes. Strange habit, I know but I’m absolutely fascinated by recipes especially those from different countries. Needless to say, I jumped for joy, figuratively speaking, when offered the opportunity to host another visit by Tina Kashian, author of the Kebab Kitchen Mediterranean Mystery series, including the latest in this series, On The Lamb. I don’t want to give you too much information, but Ms. Kashian will sharing some behind-the-scenes information on this series with us AND a recipe. Who knows, I just might give this recipe a try? Please join me and welcome Tina Kashian. Thank you, Ms. Kashian for visiting with us today.






Thank you for inviting me to chat with your readers about my new release, On the Lamb. It’s the fourth book in my Kebab Kitchen Mediterranean mystery series.

I grew up in a family-owned restaurant in New Jersey, and my Kebab Kitchen Mystery Series is set in a Mediterranean restaurant at the Jersey shore. In On the Lamb, Lucy Berberian is a recovering lawyer who returns to Ocean Crest, NJ and her family’s restaurant, Kebab Kitchen. Managing a restaurant is hard work and when Lucy is invited to a beach bonfire with friends, she’s excited for a night out. But things take a turn for the worse when a disliked, local landlord shows up on the beach and gets in a screaming match with one of Lucy’s friends, Melanie Haven, owner of Haven Candies on the boardwalk. And when that same landlord is found dead on the beach after apparently choking on a piece of Melanie’s salt water taffy, Melanie is in a sticky mess of trouble. It’s up to Lucy to investigate and help her candy maker friend before salt water taffy disappears from the boardwalk forever.

Many scenes in the series take place on the Jersey Shore boardwalk. I vacationed at the Jersey Shore as a kid and we continue to visit with my two girls every summer. We can’t imagine a beach vacation without going to one of the eateries, riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel, and enjoying the famous salt water taffy and fudge at the candy shops.

As for beach bonfires, I’ve attended quite a few myself. The sound of the surf, the sand between my toes, the ocean breeze, and the blazing bonfire all make for a unique experience. But thankfully, I’ve never experienced a murder at any of them!

I’m sharing a Mediterranean recipe for couscous salad from my own family’s restaurant below (the couscous is featured in On the Lamb as well!)



Lucy’s Mediterranean Couscous Salad
¾ cup uncooked couscous
1 cup chicken broth
1½  cup cubed tomatoes
1½  cup peeled cucumber
½ cup halved pitted kalamata olives
¼ cup chopped sweet onions
2½ tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


In saucepan, heat chicken broth to boiling. Stir in couscous. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand five minutes. Fluff with a fork.

In large bowl, place tomatoes, cucumber, olives, and onions. Stir in couscous.

Add lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate for an hour. Enjoy!



Read the blurb below to find out what happens when Lucy does find a dead body at a Jersey shore bonfire.




On the Lamb (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)

by Tina Kashian

About On The Lamb

On the Lamb (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Publisher: Kensington (February 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10:      1496726057
ISBN-13:      9781496726056
eBook ISBN: 9781496726063  
Kindle ASIN:  B07R8WVPMX



Lucy Berberian is busy preparing her family’s Mediterranean restaurant for Easter on the Jersey Shore—but a batch of sweets is to die for…

Bikers are thundering into the seaside town of Ocean Crest for the annual Bikers on the Beach gathering that raises funds for injured veterans. It’s a big boost for the Kebab Kitchen, as well as for local businesses like Melanie Haven’s candy shop. But Melanie is about to find herself in a sticky situation.

When Melanie and Lucy attend a beach bonfire, a local landlord is found dead after apparently choking on a piece of salt water taffy. Melanie, who was known to have a contentious relationship with the victim, is quickly skewered as the prime suspect. But Lucy is determined to prove her friend’s innocence before the real killer coasts free . . .

Recipes included!



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About Tina Kashian

Tina Kashian is a bestselling author, an attorney, and a mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. Tina spent her childhood summers at the Jersey shore building sandcastles, boogie boarding, and riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel. She also grew up in the restaurant business, as her Armenian parents owned a restaurant for thirty years. Tina’s books have been Barnes & Noble top picks, and the first book in her Kebab Kitchen Mediterranean mystery series, Hummus and Homicide, spent six weeks on the B&N bestseller list. Please visit her website at http://www.tinakashian.com to join her newsletter, receive delicious recipes, enter contests, and more!


Author Links


 

  • Website: tinakashian.com

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  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TinaKashianAuthor/

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  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/TinaKashian1

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  • Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tinakashian/

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  • Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16902011.Tina_Kashian


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    Book Spotlight: BOOKMARKED FOR MURDER by V.M. Burns

    Bookmarked for Murder (Mystery Bookshop)

    by V.M. Burns



    About Bookmarked for Murder



    Bookmarked for Murder (Mystery Bookshop)
    Cozy Mystery
    5th in Series
    Kensington (November 26, 2019)
    Paperback: 256 pages
    ISBN-10: 1496718313
    ISBN-13: 9781496718310
    Digital ASIN: B07P9MR138
    Digital ISBN: 9781496718327



    Purchase Links:  IndieBound  |  Amazon  |  Amazon Kindle  |  Barnes & Noble  |  B&N Nook Book  |  BookDepository  |  Books-A-Million  |  Ebooks  |  Hudson Booksellers  |  !ndigo  |  Kobo


    Amateur sleuth Samantha Washington’s shopping trip to Chicago takes a deadly detour when a man is murdered on her bus . . .

    After some post-Christmas retail therapy in the Windy City, mystery bookshop owner and historical whodunit novelist Sam Washington is returning home to North Harbor, Michigan, on a chartered bus. With Nana Jo and her gal pals Irma, Dorothy, and Ruby Mae from Shady Acres Retirement Village along for the ride, it’s a lively trip. But one passenger is not so lively—a gentleman Irma befriended is found dead in his seat after an unscheduled stop. The ladies immediately shift gears to find out who punched his ticket, while Sam slips into the driver’s seat to make sure Nana Jo and her crew steer clear of fatal conclusions . . .



    About V.M. Burns


    V.M. Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest, she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. Her debut novel, The Plot is Murder was nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a lifetime member of  Sisters in Crime. Readers can learn more by visiting her website at vmburns.com


    Author Links:

    Websitehttp://www.vmburns.com/

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vmburnsbooks/

    Twitter: @vmburns



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    Guest Post: Christin Brecher – MURDER’S NO VOTIVE CONFIDENCE


    Hello, my bookish divas and divos. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I spent the weekend reading, of course, in preparation for two local book group meetings this week. One of the many things that I enjoy about book groups and blog tours is that I’m introduced to a lot of books, characters, and authors that I’d probably never know about. As a result, I’m constantly adding books to my ever-growing TBR list (trust me, that’s a good thing). I’m especially pleased to welcome today’s guest, none other than Stella Wright, the primary character in Murder’s No Votive Confidence, the first book in the Nantucket Candle Maker series by Christin Brecher. Ms. Brecher sets this book in Nantucket, a place close to my heart as I lived in Massachusetts for six years. Stella will be providing us with some details about her life and background, so sit back, visit awhile with Stella, follow the rest of the blog tour, and I hope you’ll be inspired to grab a copy of the book. 





    Hi, Vivian. Thanks for talking with me today. I love your website and the idea of a “blog for the basic reader, by a basic reader.” I definitely fall into the category of basic reader. I’m usually busy making candles and selling them at my store in town, the Wick & Flame, so when I have time to read, I want to be inspired by the story and characters.  

    Recently, I was caught up in a murder investigation on Nantucket, so my summer reading has turned to mystery. Honestly, my Memorial Day weekend could have been a book in itself.  As some of you may know, I was hired to design a candle-themed wedding on the island for Jessica Sterling, where a two-foot tall, six-inch diameter unity candle was planned to be the centerpiece of the wedding ceremony. In a terrible twist, my candle was used as a murder weapon to kill Simon Sterling, the bride’s uncle, rather than as the sign of peace and unity it was meant to be. Even worse, Bill Duffy, salt of the earth, was arrested. Before I knew it, I’d jumped into the case and followed the clues until I found the real killer.

    The following weekend, I went to the town library, the Athenaeum, for some advice on mystery books. I watch detective shows when I’m tidying up at home, or have a free night, but I realized I wanted to expand my knowledge of the genre. After some discussion, I was drawn to Agatha Christie and chose one called The Hollow. I was drawn to the book because it is about a murder that takes place at a country house, with many house guests, and even a celebrity neighbor. The premise reminded me a lot of my own Memorial Day mystery. I’ve taken more Christie books out since. As a Nantucket native, I relate to the British backdrop of small towns, which are often somewhat isolated and whose landscapes are both breathtaking and brutal.  

    Next on my list, however, is The 39 Steps by John Buchan, a mystery recommendation I received from one of my candle-making student, Cherry Waddle. Please feel free to share your favorites with me!  






    Murder’s No Votive Confidence

    (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery)
    by Christin Brecher


    About the Book




    Murder’s No Votive Confidence (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery)
    Cozy Mystery
    1st in Series
    Kensington (June 25, 2019)
    ISBN-10: 149672139X
    ISBN-13: 978-1496721396
    Digital ASIN: B07HVYJNRD


    Nantucket candle store owner Stella Wright specializes in creating unique candles for every occasion. But someone sets the stage for murder when a Memorial Day celebration becomes a wedding to die for . . .

    Jessica Sterling’s candlelight-themed nuptials promises to be the perfect kick-off to the summer’s first official holiday weekend. Stella’s thrilled to have been chosen to provide the decorative centerpiece for the wedding ceremony: a two-foot-tall scented unity candle—a symbol of the happy couple’s love. But it looks like the bride-to-be’s uncle won’t be walking his niece down the aisle after he’s found dead. The murder weapon is Stella’s seemingly indestructible candle, now split in two.

    When a beloved local bartender is arrested, Stella’s sure a visiting police captain running the case made a rush to justice. With superstitious brides-to-be canceling orders and sales waxing and waning at her store, the Wick & Flame owner decides to do some sleuthing of her own. Abetted by a charming reporter and challenged by the town’s sexiest cop, Stella’s determined to shine a light on the truth and uncover a killer who’s snuffing out her own flame.


    Purchase LinksAmazonB&NKoboBAM
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    About the Author


    Christin Brecher was born and raised in NYC, where her family and many childhood friends still reside. As such, she feels she is as much of a small-town girl as any. The idea to write the Nantucket Candle Maker series sprang from her life-long connection to the small island off the coast of Massachusetts. Spending summers there as a child, Christin read from her family’s library of mystery novels, after which she began to imagine stories inspired by the island’s whaling heyday, its notoriously foggy nights, and during long bike rides to the beach. After many years in marketing for the publishing industry, followed by years raising her children, Murder’s No Votive Confidence is Christin’s debut novel. Visit her at www.christinbrecher.com.


    Author Links









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    Book Spotlight: SOUTHERN SASS AND KILLER CRAVINGS by Kate Young

    Southern Sass and Killer Cravings
    (Marygene Brown Mysteries)
    by Kate Young



    About the Book




    Cozy Mystery
    1st in Series
    Kensington (May 28, 2019)
    Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
    Print ISBN-10: 1496721454
    Print ISBN-13: 9781496721457
    Digital ISBN: 9781496721464
    Digital ASIN: B07H1VWGBS



    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!



    The author is hosting a pre-order giveaway!



    About the Author


    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.

    Author Links

    Website – https://www.kateyoungbooks.com

    Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKateYoung/

    Twitter – https://twitter.com/KAYoungBooks

    GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6527572.Kate_Young

    BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kate-young-b3339e9c-d2e4-482d-a637-5afd7b064d73

    Purchase Links: IndieBound | BookDepository | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Nook | Books-A-Million | eBooks | iBooks | Kobo 



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    Guest Post: Tina Kashian – ONE FETA IN THE GRAVE




    Good day, my fellow book lovers. As I’ve said before, and will probably say again and again, I’m always excited to host visits from authors, fellow bloggers, and other book people. Today’s bookish person is another character, and she’s stepping off the pages from the Kebab Kitchen Mystery series, including the latest One Feta in the Grave by Tina Kashian, Lucy Berberian. Lucy is the manager of the Kebab Kitchen restaurant and the featured amateur sleuth in this series. This morning, Ms. Berberian will be introducing herself to us via a little Q&A. Thank you, Ms. Berberian, for stopping by and I’ll turn the blog over to you.





    First, I’d like to thank The Book Diva’s Reads for inviting me as a guest today to celebrate the release of One Feta in the Grave. I’m happy to be here!


    What is your name?

     

    Lucy Anahid Berberian

    How old are you?
    I’m thirty-two.

    What is your occupation?
    I’m the manager of my family’s Mediterranean restaurant, Kebab Kitchen, at the Jersey Shore.

    How did you come to be a restaurant manager?
    I didn’t plan to be a restaurant manager. I’m a refugee of a Philadelphia law firm. I returned home only to find myself sucked back into my family’s Mediterranean restaurant. But after realizing the business isn’t so bad and my true friends are in Ocean Crest, I stepped up and decided to manage the restaurant so my parents could ease into retirement. It’s been challenging work, but I love it. 

    Tell us about your Jersey Shore town.
    Ocean Crest is a small town that triples in population during the summer season. It’s quaint and has a mile-long boardwalk that brags a pier with an old-fashioned wooden roller coaster and Ferris wheel. It’s a perfect place to vacation with your family—minus any murders.

    Tell us more about that famous boardwalk.
    The Jersey Shore boardwalk is iconic! The first boardwalk was created by Andrew Boardman in 1870 in Atlantic City, NJ. Over the years, the boardwalk spread to the neighboring Jersey Shore beach towns. These sprawling boardwalks with dozens of eateries, shops, and amusement piers have become famous. 

     I jog the Ocean Crest boardwalk three times a week. Working with food all day makes exercise a necessity. It’s an eclectic mix of shops and eateries. I love the frozen custard, perusing the T-shirt and novelty shops, and riding the Ferris wheel. Also, my encounters with boardwalk shop owners, tattoo parlors, and a psychic medium all make for interesting witnesses and suspects.

    Amateur sleuth of profession?
    Amateur! The word sleuth makes me nervous. I didn’t set out to solve crime, but I have an inquisitive mind. Other’s say I’m nosy. I blame it on my law school education.

    Who’s your sleuthing partner?
    Katie Watson has been my best friend since grade school. She is also married to an Ocean Crest beat cop and I’ve been living in their guest bedroom in their cozy rancher since returning home. She’s also my sleuthing partner and we investigate crimes together.

    Do you have a significant other?
    I’ve recently started dating my head chef, Azad. We have a long history, and he broke my heart after college, but since I’ve returned home, he’s convinced me to give him a second chance. Azad has shown he has changed and he even quit his fancy Atlantic City job as a sous chef to help me and work as a head chef for Kebab Kitchen. At first, things were as sticky as baklava syrup between us, and I wasn’t sure mixing business with pleasure was a good idea. But so far, things have been heating up between us in and out of the kitchen…

    I also have to mention Kebab Kitchen’s business neighbor. Michael Citteroni runs the bicycle rental shop next door, and he is one of my close confidants. Even though he could grace the cover of a men’s fashion magazine, I feel a kinship with him. Just like me, he has an overbearing ethnic father. Michael owns a Harley-Davidson, and against better judgment, I rode with him for the first time a month ago. Turns out, I loved it and we have gone on more than one ride to the boardwalk. Michael and Azad don’t see eye-to-eye, but they have managed to co-exist as business neighbors. 

    Are there any four-legged animals in your life?
    Yes! My family has adopted an outdoor restaurant cat named Gadoo, which means cat in Armenian. Not very original, I know. Gadoo is orange and black and feisty, and I always stock his favorite treats from the local grocery store. 

    Who are the other people in your life?
    My parents, Angela and Raffi Berberian, play an important role in my life. We are a tight-knit Armenian, Lebanese and Greek family. That also means that everyone is in everyone else’s business. My matchmaking mama has been driving me nuts.

    Kebab Kitchen’s waitresses are my older sister, Emma, and a long-time restaurant employee, Sally. Then there’s Investigator Calvin Clemmons. We haven’t always gotten along and he hasn’t been encouraging of my sleuthing.

    Favorite Food?
    Shish kebab, hummus, and baklava. I did grow up in a Mediterranean restaurant and manage it now.

    Favorite pastime?
    Jogging the Ocean Crest Boardwalk.

    What’s going on in your life right now?
    Well, things haven’t gone exactly as I’ve planned. To celebrate a successful summer season, the town plans a beach festival. I feel indebted to Ocean Crest and I volunteered to run the wine and food portion of the festival on the boardwalk. But things take a turn for the worse when an arrogant businessman, Archie, gets in a screaming match with my best friend, Katie, over judging a sand castle contest. And when Archie is found shot dead under the boardwalk, things don’t look good for Katie. I know Katie’s innocent and I won’t let my friend take the fall for murder. It’s up to us to investigate before another person gets skewered.


    Thank you for letting me chat with you today!





    One Feta in the Grave

    (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
    by Tina Kashian


    About the Book


    One Feta in the Grave (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
    Cozy Mystery
    3rd in Series
    Kensington (February 26, 2019)
    Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
    ISBN-10: 1496713516
    ISBN-13: 978-1496713513
    Digital ASIN: B07DBPQQFJ




    As summer comes to an end in her Jersey Shore town, Lucy Berberian continues to manage her family’s Mediterranean restaurant. The Kebab Kitchen also has a food tent at this year’s beach festival. But now a local businessman is under the boardwalk—dead by the sea …

     

    With a sand castle contest and live music, Ocean Crest bids a bittersweet farewell to tourist season. Summer will return next year … but Archie Kincaid won’t. The full-of-himself store owner has been fatally shot, soon after a screaming match with Lucy’s best friend. Katie’s far from the only suspect, though, since Archie had some bitter rivals—as well as some relationships no one knew about. It’s up to Lucy to look into some seedy characters and solve the case before the wrong person gets skewered …

    Recipes included!


    Purchase Links

    Amazon –   iBooks –  Barnes & Noble –  Kobo –   Google Books




    About the Author


    Tina Kashian spent her childhood summers at the New Jersey shore, building sand castles, boogie boarding, and riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel. She also grew up in the restaurant business where her Armenian parents owned a restaurant for thirty years. She worked almost every job—rolling silverware and wiping down tables as a tween, to hosting and waitressing as a teenager.


    After college, Tina worked as an NJ Deputy Attorney General, a patent attorney, and a mechanical engineer. Her law cases inspired an inquiring mind of crime, and since then, Tina has been hooked on mysteries. The Kebab Kitchen Cozy Mystery series launches with Hummus and Homicide, followed by Stabbed in the Baklava and One Feta in the Grave by Kensington Books. Tina still lives in New Jersey with her supportive husband and two young daughters. Please visit www.tinakashian.com and join her Newsletter to enter free contests to win books, get delicious recipes, and to learn when her books will be released.


    Author Links


       

    • Website: tinakashian.com

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    • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TinaKashianAuthor/

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    • Twitter: https://twitter.com/TinaKashian1

    •  

    • Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tinakashian/

    •  

    • Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16902011.Tina_Kashian




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      2017 Book 399: A HOPE DIVIDED by Alyssa Cole

      A Hope Divided (The Loyal League #2) by Alyssa Cole
      ISBN: 9781496707468 (paperback)
      ISBN: 9781496707475 (ebook)
      ASIN: B06XFJ6224 (Kindle edition)
      Publication date: November 28, 2017 
      Publisher: Kensington Books


      The Civil War has turned neighbor against neighbor—but for one scientist spy and her philosopher soldier, war could bind them together . . . 

      For three years of the War Between the States, Marlie Lynch has helped the cause in peace: with coded letters about anti-Rebel uprisings in her Carolina woods, tisanes and poultices for Union prisoners, and silent aid to fleeing slave and Freeman alike. Her formerly enslaved mother’s traditions and the name of a white father she never knew have protected her—until the vicious Confederate Home Guard claims Marlie’s home for their new base of operations in the guerrilla war against Southern resistors of the Rebel cause.

      Unbeknownst to those under her roof, escaped prisoner Ewan McCall is sheltering in her laboratory. Seemingly a quiet philosopher, Ewan has his own history with the cruel captain of the Home Guard, and a thoughtful but unbending strength Marlie finds irresistible.

      When the revelation of a stunning family secret places Marlie’s freedom on the line, she and Ewan have to run for their lives into the hostile Carolina night. Following the path of the Underground Railroad, they find themselves caught up in a vicious battle that could dash their hopes of love—and freedom—before they ever cross state lines. 


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      Marlie Lynch was born as a free Black and raised by her mother, Vivienne, in eastern North Carolina for the first thirteen years of her life. Then things changed. A white woman, Sarah Lynch, came to their home, claimed Marlie as family and took her back to the Lynch’s ancestral home, Lynchwood. Marlie was viewed by many as a “witch woman” simply because she was born with heterochromia or two different colored eyes, one brown and the other hazel/green. But Sarah didn’t see this as anything abnormal and ensured Marlie received an education, was allowed to participate in Unionist activities (if so desired), as well as further her scientific exploration into herbalism and aromatherapy. Marlie began using the skills she learned from her mother as a natural healer and the scientific knowledge of herbalism to help neighbors, escaping slaves and Freemen, and even Union soldiers at a local prison. It is at the local prison that Marlie is able to utilize another skill as a member of the Loyal League by receiving and sending coded messages from prisoners and others. One of the prisoners that she’s built up quite a rapport with is a man she refers to as Socrates or Ewan McCall. Prison life is harsh but endurable until the Confederate Home Guard takes over and the leader of the Home Guard becomes a frequent visitor then a permanent guest at Marlie’s home. Then Marlie is treated with disdain and even threatened with enslavement (not just slavery but sold into prostitution). Her only option is to find refuge in her quarters. That refuge becomes all the more important when there’s a prison break, Ewan is one of the few prisoners to get away, and he’s hidden away in a secret space in Marlie’s quarters. Then Ewan and Marlie stumble upon a secret that almost destroys Marlie. Can these two formidable former philosophical sparring partners become friends fighting a battle against a common enemy? Is it possible for Marlie’s family to stand up to the Home Guard and protect her or will she need to run away? Can Ewan keep his promise and protect Marlie at all cost?

      A Hope Divided is the second story in the Loyal League series by Alyssa Cole and takes place during the Civil War era. Once again, the story features a strong, educated, and independent-minded female and a strong, cocky, male. It was a fast-paced and emotionally engaging read. What makes these stories such a nice change of pace for me is that the women are often the ones to the rescue although they are periodically in need of rescuing as well. Yes, there’s romance, it is an HEA, but there’s also history, a strong sense of the turmoil of the time, drama, and more. I enjoy the way Ms. Cole blends the history of the time with the storyline, the Resistors, the Unionists, the inherent dangers of those involved in the Loyal League, and the way the Confederate Home Guard had little regard for its treatment of women or children, much less men be they Confederates or not. All is not happy and light in A Hope Divided even though it does end with a Happy-Ever-After. If you read An Extraordinary Union then I strongly encourage you to get a copy of A Hope Divided to read. For those of you that enjoy historical romance, especially Black historical romance, if you haven’t read An Extraordinary Union, then go grab a copy, read it, then get a copy of A Hope Divided to read. I’m hoping there will be more historical romance from Ms. Cole in the future, especially in the Loyal League series as I’m hooked.


      Disclaimer: I received a free print review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



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      A Hope Divided

      A Hope Divided
        

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      Book Showcase: HAVE YOU MET NORA? by Nicole Blades

      Have You Met Nora? by Nicole Blades
      ISBN: 9781496704610 (paperback)
      ISBN: 9781496704627 (ebook)
      ASIN: B01MUN863E (Kindle edition)
      Publisher: Dafina
      Release Date: October 31, 2017


      She’s blossomed from a wealthy surgeon’s beautiful daughter to elegant socialite to being the top fashion stylist in the country. And Nora Mackenzie is only days away from marrying into one of New York’s richest, most powerful families. But her fairytale rise is rooted in an incredible deception—one scandal away from turning her perfect world to ashes . . .

      What no one knows is that Nora is the biracial daughter of a Caribbean woman and a long-gone white father. Adopted—and abused—by her mother’s employer, then sent to an exclusive boarding school to buy her silence, Nora found that “passing” as a white woman could give her everything she never had. 

      Now, an ex-classmate who Nora betrayed many years ago has returned to her life to even the score. Her machinations are turning Nora’s privilege into one gilded trap after another. Running out of choices, Nora must decide how far she will go to protect a lie or give up and finally face the truth.



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      Read an excerpt: [Profanity alert!]

      Chapter 1 

      Nora opened her eyes and stared through the darkness at the ceiling. Three twenty-eight, she thought, before rolling up off her back a little and craning her neck to look just past Fisher’s shoulders at the blue numbers on the clock by his nightstand. He was dead asleep, the rhythmic flow of his deep breathing like white noise. The numbers gleamed: 03:41 AM. Close enough, she thought, and returned to the ceiling. Although Nora had long been an early riser—she couldn’t remember a time when she had slept later than the sun—this was different. 

      She eased the covers off and slid out from under Fisher’s muscled arm, moving slow and steady toward the edge of the bed. She hopped down, landing with a soft thud and then froze, shifting her eyes back to Fisher. No change. Not even a break in the beat. Nora grabbed her iPhone and padded along the hall. The moon, pushing through the floor-to-ceiling windows of the penthouse, provided more than enough light for Nora to find the handle to the mini champagne fridge that Fisher bought for her last year. Nora gave the half-drunk bottle of Armand de Brignac—a gift from a client—her deepest bow with prayer hands before grabbing it and shutting the fridge door with her foot. She pulled the orange stopper from the bottle, letting it drop to the floor, and started typing into her phone on her way to the bathroom at the far end of the penthouse. Nora waited until she was inside the empty, freestanding tub before taking her first, long swig from the bottle. She rested her phone on the ledge of the tub and pressed a button on a remote that sent the massive blinds skyward. Nora stayed there in the empty basin, soaking in the city’s glow, and waited. 

      Her phone buzzed and vibrated against the acrylic. She took another sip before answering it. 

      “What the hell is wrong with you?” a croaky voice said.

      Nora shook her head. “I’m just—”

      “Nervous? You’re just nervous, hon. It’s pre-wedding jitters. You’re fixin’ to get married to that gorgeous, big-dicked, super hot bastard in twenty-two—no—twenty-one days and you’re feeling anxious. That’s all. No Biggie Smalls.” 

      “Jenna, I’m sitting in an empty tub, pounding old champagne straight from the bottle and staring out the fucking window. Do you really think it’s necessary to remind me that there are twenty-two days—” 

      “Technically it’s twenty-one—” 

      “Jesus, fine, twenty-one days. It’s twenty-one days before the wedding. I’m aware. My whole entire body is aware. We’re all very aware.” 

      “Deep breaths, sweetheart. You’re freaking out. This is what freaking out looks like on all normal women,” Jenna said. Her Southern twang, though soft, still tickled Nora. “You’re just different. It’s foreign territory for you.” 

      Nora stopped mid-swig, her arm wobbling and then dropping with the weight of the bottle into her lap. “What does that mean?” she said, squinting her eyes and bracing her body. 

      “Nothing, just, I don’t know…I mean you’re always even and calm; it’s preternatural,” Jenna said. “No matter what’s going on, you’re on like perma-chill. It’s automatic for you. No headless chicken stuff.” A chuckle. “It’s why we kept calling you I.Q. when we first met you. Ice Queen.” 

      Jenna’s full creaky cackle made Nora move the phone away from her ear and level it on the ledge of the tub. She could still hear Jenna from that distance, but pushed speaker anyway and went back to drinking her champagne. Nora reclined, cradling the bottle into her chest. “Ice Queen? Seriously? And here I was thinking you were dazzled by my smarts.” 

      “Oh, we were. Totally. By your smarts, for sure, and also your long legs, your frat-boy mouth, your perky tits, them Kelly Ripa arms, and your entire wardrobe, espesh the shoes. Plus, you speak fluent French—I mean, fucking French—and you’re the first white girl I’ve ever met who can actually dance. Like, legit, Beyoncé-backup-dancer dance. Need I go on?” 

      “Yes. You need. Come on, I’m practically perfect,” Nora said, the beginnings of a laugh tickling her throat. 

      “Practically?” Jenna said, yawning. “Okay, so we’ve thoroughly covered your Boss Bitch status. It’s why Fish is locking you down so fast, while those eggs are still viable.” Nora’s expanding grin disappeared, replaced by a clenched jaw and gnashed teeth. “What I need clarity on is: Why are dry-tub drinking again?” 

      “How did you know I’m in the tub?” 

      “Echoes, booby. Also, I’ve got you pretty much figured out. You’re not the QB on this play. What’s the wedding planner’s name again, Gloria? Glenda? Whatever. She’s the quarterback. She’s the one calling all the plays, and you’re watching from the sidelines and it’s driving you bananz” 

      “First, are you talking sports at me?”

      “A little,” Jenna said through her teeth.

      “You’re still hooking up with that sports writer guy?”

      “A little.”

      “Wait, isn’t he the one who sent you the dick pic when you asked to see his new coffee table?”

      “Well, it was pretty impressive…the coffee table.”

      “Jesus, Jenna. What needs to happen to get you out of these dating app traps? Nothing but dumpster fires on there.”

      “Hold up, I met Sports Guy the old school way, my dear: at a bar, not on a dating app,” Jenna said. “You kidding me? My filters are tight. He would’ve never made the cut.” 

      “What about the one who called you from rehab on what was supposed to be your third date?” 

      “Oh, that whole thing was about me trying to be charitable. I’m from Texas. It’s how we do.” 

      “Father-God, you need prayer,” Nora said, closing her eyes and leaning her head back in the tub. 



      Excerpt from Have You Met Nora? by Nicole Blades. 
      Copyright © 2017 by Nicole Blades. 
      Reproduced with permission from Dafina Books/Kensington. 
      All rights reserved.





      Meet the Author:



      Nicole Blades launched her journalism career working at Essence magazine, co-founded the online magazine SheNetworks and worked as an editor at ESPN and Women’s Health. Her essays have been featured in The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, MarieClaire.com, WashingtonPost.com, Health, SELF, and Buzzfeed. Blades can be heard co-hosting her weekly podcast, “Hey, Sis” and lives in Connecticut with her husband and their son.



      Connect with the author at her websiteFacebook, and Twitter.



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      Have You Met Nora?

      Have You Met Nora?

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      Have You Met Nora?

      Have You Met Nora?