Posted in Book Extras

Cover Reveal: Hickville Redemption by Mary Karlick

I’m so excited to be part of the cover reveal for Hickville Redemption by Mary Karlick, which seems to have a great Nancy Drew-like feel. Without further ado:

Hickville Redemption 

Mary Karlik
Publication date: July 17
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

A 30 year old mystery…

A 15 year old sleuth.

Freshman Mackenzie Quinn wants nothing to do with the mysterious death of Cassidy Jones. But when her crush, Braden McGuire, declares he’s determined to uncover the truth, she is drawn into the cold case. The problem is her dad is the number one suspect. Things look pretty hopeless until her best friend, Travis Barns, loans her the secret diary of Cassidy Jones. His only stipulation is that she not share it with anybody else. But when her jealous boyfriend finds and exposes the diary, secrets come to life that could ruin MacKenzie’s whole family.

Can she find a way to clear her father’s name and atone for her own mistakes before it’s too late?

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Author Bio:

Following a career as a nursing instructor, award-winning author, Mary Karlik earned an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania. A native Texan, Mary loves horses, dogs, cats, country music, and small town diners. Although life has taken her elsewhere, her heart remains in the Lone Star state.

Mary served as the VP of programs for the Young Adult Romance Authors of America (YARWA) from 2015 – 2016. She currently serves as the President of the YARWA.

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Posted in Reviews

Deader Homes and Gardens by Angie Fox

Deader Homes and Gardens (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries, #4)Deader Homes and Gardens by Angie Fox
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you’re looking for a cozy mystery to entertain you on a plane ride or during your holiday break with family, this would be a great choice. It’s a light romp through the spirit world, with some spooks, but nothing too scary.

This novel is the fourth in the series and while it can be read as a standalone novel, some storylines do carry over, and it would probably be helpful to read the other novels beforehand. However, you don’t have to. I didn’t, and I certainly enjoyed this novel.

The main character, Verity is trying to make a go of it as a full-time ghost hunter, with help from her resident ghost helper, Frankie. Her first job is to investigate the town’s most cursed mansion, where an entire family was wiped out within days before the mansion was shut up for good. And when Verity gets there, she finds that the ghosts may take drastic measures to keep their secrets secret.

This novel isn’t a mystery in the traditional sense of the word, in that there really aren’t clues that you use to work toward the bad guy – they just kind of reveal themselves and then the other ghosts fill in the rest. That’s really the major difference between this and a cozy mystery. But the tone and light-hearted fun are all the same.

The backstory works pretty well, and it was unique enough. Though there are some holes in the plot and the setup (Verity gets her powers from a unique source) I don’t feel that took away too much from my enjoyment of the book. I mean, it’s not War and Peace, so I’m not going to overthink it, if you know what I mean.

Also, the ending sets up the next book – something I’ll be looking for!

Overall, it’s not going to become a literary classic- but it’s really pretty fun.

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Posted in Reviews

Darkest Journey by Heather Graham

Darkest Journey (Krewe of Hunters, #20)Darkest Journey by Heather Graham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After reading this book, I feel bad. I’ve always skipped over the Krewe of Hunter books when I saw them on special on Amazon and now I know I shouldn’t have!

This novel – easy to read as a standalone – was a great cozy mystery, filled with romance, history and a bit of mystery. (But not particularly scary, if that’s what you’re hoping for).

Charlie is an actress, based in New Orleans, whose father is a historian aboard a restored riverboat cruise ship. She’s filming a movie in her hometown, near Baton Rogue, when she stumbles upon a body, the second to show up in the small town recently. Both were teen actors and both had ties tot he riverboat. What’s happening in this small Southern town? Charlie and her former flame, a member of the FBI’s Krewe of Hunters, plan to find out.

The history and the ghosts add just the right amount of flare to the book, which moves at a pretty good pace. There’s plenty of interesting characters and subplots to keep things going at a good clip and draw the reader into the plot.

The history is also impeccable and really cool.

The ending was a little lackluster, but still good. For some of the cozies like this, the whodunnit is a little less important than the sense of anticipation leading up to it. By the end, I wanted to see more about what was going to happen to some of the characters, rather than “whodunnit.”

However, it did feel a little abrupt. But I’m assuming that’s because these characters will be back, like characters from elsewhere in the series showed up I this one.

From now on, I will not be passing the Krewe by!

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Posted in Reviews

A Proposal to Die For by Vivian Conroy

A Proposal to Die For (Lady Alkmene Callender Mysteries, #1)A Proposal to Die For by Vivian Conroy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For fans of cozy mysteries and classic who-dunnits, the Lady Alkmene Callendar series offers a nice, quick read. 3.5/5, rounded up.

The debut novel in the series, “A Proposal to Die For,” follows Alkmene as she meets a young woman, recently come to London to meet her rich uncle. When the uncle winds up dead, Alkmene joins forces with journalist Jake Dubois, to figure out whether his death was truly an accident or the work of someone out to get their hands on his vast fortune.

It’s a pretty straightforward mystery, which has the leads following the clues to find the bad guy. For fans of intricate, tightly-wound thrillers, this won’t be complicated enough, but I thought it was a nice breath of fresh air.

The story definitely picks up in the last third of the story, once Alkmene and Jake leave London to track down a backstory that could lead to the killer. I wish some more of the story had concentrated on this part; it was truly the highlight of the novel.

With a series planned, some loose ends are left open, and I’d be interested to see where they go.

Overall, a nice, light beach read or mid-flight escape for fans of light-hearted cozies.

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