Tuesday, September 19, 2017

BODY ON BAKER STREET


Body on Baker Street: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery
by Vicki Delany





Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series

Crooked Lane Books (September 12, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683312994
E-Book ASIN: B06XW3K7F5


Gemma Doyle and Jayne Wilson are busy managing the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium on Baker Street and adjoining Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room in anticipation of the store’s upcoming book signing with the illustrious Renalta Van Markoff, author of the controversial Hudson and Holmes mystery series. But during the author Q&A session, dedicated Sherlockian Donald Morris verbally attacks Renalta and her series for disgracing Sherlock’s legacy, only to be publicly humiliated when the author triumphantly lashes back and gains the upper hand. That is until Renalta collapses on the table―dead.
Donald insists he didn’t do it and pleads to his friends to clear his name. Fortunately, Gemma and Jayne have no shortage of suspects between author’s bullied personal assistant, her frustrated publicist, the hapless publisher, a handsome rare book dealer, an obsessively rabid fan, and a world of other Sherlock enthusiasts with strong objections to Renalta’s depiction of the Great Detective. It’s up to the shrewd sleuthing duo to eliminate the impossible and deduce the truth before the West London police arrest an innocent man in Body on Baker Street, the second Sherlock Homes Bookshop mystery perfect for fans of Miranda James and Kate Carlisle.



Cozy Mysteries: Live, but Larger.
By Vicki Delany
September 2017
I have written (so far) twenty-five novels.  I’ve written historical fiction (The Klondike Gold Rush books) modern Gothic thrillers (More than Sorrow) psychological suspense (Burden of Memory), police procedurals (the constable Molly Smith series) books for adult literacy (White Sand Blues) and cozies (The Year Round Christmas series, and the Lighthouse Library series by Eva Gates). I like to shake things up a bit and switch sub-genres, styles and moods.
These days I’m pretty much just writing cozies and I’m enjoying them very much.
My newest book is the second in the Sherlock Holmes bookshop series, Body on Baker Street from Crooked Lane Books. (Following Elementary, She Read)
As you can tell by the cover and the title, it’s firmly in the cozy camp and is about a woman who owns The Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium in the Cape Cod town of West London, located at 222 Baker Street. The business next door is Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room, at 220 Baker Street.
The main character, Gemma Doyle, bears an intellectual resemblance to the Great Detective himself. Her side-kick Jayne Wilson is ever-confused but always loyal.
Sounds a bit silly? Sure it does. And it’s supposed to be. It’s nothing but fun, and what’s wrong with that?
I’ve come to realize that cozy mysteries are about real people living real lives (except for that pesky murder bit), although writ large. Everything is exaggerated. The nosy neighbour is nosier, the ditzy friend is ditzier, the mean girl is meaner. And the handsome man is, well, handsomer.  Even better if there are two of them.
After putting in my time writing police procedurals and psychological thrillers, I’m having a lot of fun writing cozies.  Keep it light, keep it funny, and have a good time with it.
Cozy mysteries are not trying to make an important statement about the human condition, or hoping to change the world. A cozy mystery tells a story that attempts to be entertaining, that’s about people much like us (or like us if we were prettier, or smarter, or younger!) and our friends and family.
So pull up a pull up a comfortable arm chair or get out your deck chair. Light a fire in the fireplace, or slap on that sunscreen, pour yourself a mug of hot tea or something icy and enjoy  the adventures of Gemma and Jayne as they try to find out why on earth someone would want to kill a visiting author in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium .




Sometimes the mystery of a book is not contained within the pages. Sometimes the making of a book or the drama of getting a book published can be as fascinating a story.
Gemma only wants to be successful at her bookstore and tea shop. She enjoys the tourists, for the most part, and her regular customers, whom she gets to know quite well. She has an unusual new store clerk who she is getting to know better and of course there is Moriarity - the shop cat.

An author signing in a bookstore can be a wonderful event. Usually one has more time to plan and advertise, but Gemma is thrown into a last minute talk and signing featuring a popular author whose latest book was just released. Not one to back down from a challenge or an opportunity, Gemma is ready for the excitement - or so she thinks. Having the author die in her store was not part of the plans. Having a loyal customer suspected of the murder means Gemma can not sit quietly back. She knows she possesses observational skills the local police force not only lacks but resents. One officer would just as well declare Gemma the murderer and be done with it.

Even when the evidence seems to point at a likely suspect, someone from the author's past, not a store customer, Gemma keeps digging, throwing herself into more danger. The ending is dramatic and tense and even if you've figured some of it out, will still surprise you.



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 twenty-five books:  clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. Under the name of Eva Gates, she writes the Lighthouse Library cozy series for Penguin Random House. Her latest book is Body on Baker Street, the second in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series from Crooked Lane.
Vicki is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada.  Her work has been nominated for the Derringer, the Bony Blithe, the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak, and the Arthur Ellis Awards.
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September 11 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
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September 12 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
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September 23 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 23 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 24 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 24 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW
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Michael's Mercy (Heroes for Hire & Sleeper Seal Series) by Dale Mayer



Release Date: October 3, 2017
 

Synopsis

The Sleeper SEALs are former U.S. Navy SEALs recruited by a new CIA counter-terror division to handle solo dark ops missions to combat terrorism on US soil. MICHAEL's MERCY When things go bad, in Michael’s world things go horribly, terrifyingly bad. It’s been a year since hardened Navy SEAL Michael Stanton walked away from his career. He never thought to go back, but then his former commander calls with the news that an old friend was murdered while undercover – and he needs Michael’s help. Knowing the next dead body might be his, Michael takes his friend’s place at the home of a terrorist. His official mission is to find all he can to bring the man’s operation down. His personal mission is to find out who murdered his friend. Mercy got the job as a maid that her sister had last held – just before she disappeared. With the police lacking leads and interest, Mercy decides it’s up to her to find out what happened. Inside the huge home, she meets Michael and becomes immediately suspicious ... and immediately attracted. When they collide in the worst way possible, she realizes he's not who he seems either. Can they each find the truth about their objectives and about themselves? Or will the terrorist get wind of the traitors in his midst and take care of them before they can take care of him? Each story in this multi-author branded series is a standalone novel and the series can be read in any order. Welcome to Michael’s Mercy, book 10 in Heroes for Hire (and Sleeper SEALs #3) reconnecting readers with the unforgettable men from SEALs of Honor in a new series of action packed, page turning romantic suspense that fans have come to expect from USA TODAY Bestselling author Dale Mayer. This book is part of the continuity series SLEEPER SEALS.  

Goodreads

 

Excerpt

  She pulled back from Michael’s embrace, hating that lassitude overcoming her, wanting to stay nestled close to him. “What about the rest of the night? Do you think I should return to my place?” He shook his head. “Hell no.” She frowned. “I left my toiletry bag in the bathroom.” “Is it that important?” he added quietly, “It’s past 10:00 p.m. curfew.” The two stared at each other as if across an impasse. Then she shook her head. “It’s not, but I don’t want to leave anything of me behind. I know that doesn’t sound right, but it feels right to say it. There is something so very wrong about this place that I want to make sure I take away everything that’s me.” He raised an eyebrow at that, but he didn’t mock her, for which she was grateful. “In the morning I’ll walk over with you, and we’ll get it.” “And what is your excuse?” “I wasn’t planning on using an excuse,” he said. “If I have a lady stay for the night, I always make sure she gets home safe.” She frowned at him. He raised a hand when she went to argue and said, “No arguments. We need sleep.” “Ha, like I could sleep now.” She walked back into the bedroom, the sheet falling slightly. When she’d dashed from the bed, she’d pulled the straps of her bra off her shoulders. She quickly pulled them back up. In her panties and bra, she tossed the sheet back on the bed and remade it. “We’ve already destroyed your bed tonight.” “So no reason we can’t destroy it again, is there?” he asked with a devilish note in his voice. She shot him a smirk. “You should be so lucky.” He pointed to her shirt, still over the camera. She nodded. He quickly divested himself of his jeans while she watched, her heart speeding up at the bulge in his underwear. She deliberately closed her eyes and pulled the blankets up against her shoulders. Because the truth was, she did want to roll over and welcome him into her arms and rip up the sheets. But that was hardly the best idea right now. And she’d never want an audience. She lay there pondering the ins and outs of relationships as he got into bed behind her. She held her breath as the bed swayed as it took his weight. Finally, she rolled over and whispered, “I don’t think the bed can take any more shenanigans as it is.” He gave her a startled look, then a shocked laugh. “I’m not that heavy,” he whispered in protest. She chuckled but hopped out and stood, looking at the bed frame. She motioned him out of the bed. “Get up and help me lift this mattress,” she murmured. Obediently he got out of bed and checked out the footboard and underneath the mattress frame. Cracked, he mouthed. He held up a finger and then pointed at an odd crack in the frame. He bent over the footboard. She scrambled around the side of the mattress where she could take a look. Something was jammed in there. Michael pulled out his tools. “It must be from the way you sat down,” she whispered, her tone flirty. Michael muttered, “Like hell.” She grinned, but her eyes were sharp as she watched him pull out dog tags. Pain whispered across his face. She knew instinctively they were Sammy’s dog tags. And there was nothing she could do to help him through this moment. He dug in again with his tools for anything else, and, sure enough, a slim USB key fell out. He snagged it and put it with the dog tags, checked to make sure the little hiding space was completely empty, then as quietly as possible, they replaced the mattress and remade the bed. When they were back in bed, he plugged in the USB to his laptop and took a good look at what Sammy had stored there. Photos. Photos of the cave that Michael had been in tonight and of the men unloading crates of weapons and crates of C-4 explosives. A man stood off to the side, holding a semiautomatic machine gun, dressed in jeans and a black T-shirt. The second photo was of Freeman, the owner of the estate, standing beside one of the open trucks and speaking to somebody else Michael didn’t recognize. It looked like packets of money were handed over, but the photo was too far away to make that distinction. He studied the photo. She squeezed his hand, knowing Michael was also dealing with the loss of his friend. With a smoldering look in his eyes, he leaned over and kissed her. But not just a kiss of Hey, how are you? or a kiss of Hey, we’ll get through this. This was a kiss of Holy shit, I can’t wait to hold you in my arms and devastate your self-control. Most definitely it was a promise. For later. The trouble was, she wanted that promise now. She didn’t want to wait. What if something happened to her, like to her sister? Life was too damn short for waiting until she knew somebody better. What a fraud she was. She wanted this man any way she could get him. But what she didn’t want was to have him while somebody else was listening in. Decision made.  

Giveaway

One of Five ARC's for Michael's Mercy
 

About the Author


Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It's a Dog's Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series). She honors the stories that come to her - and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres! To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.  

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Monday, September 18, 2017

RELEASING HENRY by Sarah Hegger


RELEASING HENRY
Sir Arthur's Legacy #5
by Sarah Hegger

Genre: Historical Romance
Pub Date: 8/29/2017


A light in the darkness . . .

The youngest son of Anglesea, the once idealistic Henry has survived the Holy Pilgrimage, but lost all his deeply held beliefs in honor and nobility. Captured in battle, he is sold as a slave into the home of Alif Al-Rasheed, a wealthy Genovese merchant who has converted to Islam. Bereft of faith, imprisoned in a foreign land, Henry has lost hope in his ability to love again—until he lays eyes on his captor’s beguiling daughter.

A marriage of opposites . . .

To Henry, Alya is a beacon of beauty he cannot ignore. But the heart of this proud daughter of Cairo will not be won so easily. Divided by religion, language, and culture, Ayla has little in common with the disillusioned Englishman—and yet he has vowed to protect her life in exchange for his freedom. As they embark on a perilous journey to safety, their bond will grow—and be tested—in ways neither can anticipate. For their greatest challenges will arise where Henry least expects. With threats conspiring to divide them, will he find the strength to stand by Ayla—and together will they find a common ground on which to build a future?


Some may choose to skip over this series, especially this book, because they feel it has religious themes within. They would be missing out on a wonderful writer and a very special story.
Henry of Anglesea is a trained knight, born of a courageous and loyal family. Being idealistic and against the family's wishes, he took off on a crusade to spread the principles of Christianity. Sadly, he was treated horribly during this pilgrimage and found himself a slave to a wealthy man in Cairo.

The daughter of this wealthy household, Alya, led a protected existence. Although her family had the status of wealth, they were seen as outsiders. The locals were becoming less tolerant and more aggravated about merchants who moved in and took their wealth. Violence became a more common occurrence. When circumstances presented themselves, and someone came to reclaim Henry, pronouncing him of a noble birth, Alya was sent away with these Englishmen and her father's most loyal servant to protect her.

I will call this a romantic adventure as well as historical fiction. The difficulties of keeping Alya and her wealth safe during passage keeps the reader on edge. Henry's struggles to come to terms with his past and his reclaimed life is a very emotional read. Alya must find her own place in a world she has o experience with and where she is not treated kindly. Themes in this book are about tolerance and ignorance and how people should look for our similarities rather than focus on our differences.

I appreciated the way differences were dealt with, how strong the women were.
Descriptive passages set scenes exceptionally well. The story moved at a good pace and plotlines are strong. Characters are well developed and complex. At times I both wanted to hug and slap Henry.
Born British and raised in South Africa, Sarah Hegger suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust. Her match? A Canadian engineer, whose marriage proposal she accepted six short weeks after they first met. Together they’ve made homes in seven different cities across three different continents (and back again once or twice). If only it made her multilingual, but the best she can manage is idiosyncratic English, fluent Afrikaans, conversant Russian, pigeon Portuguese, even worse Zulu and enough French to get herself into trouble. Mimicking her globetrotting adventures, Sarah’s career path began as a gainfully employed actress, drifted into public relations, settled a moment in advertising, and eventually took root in the fertile soil of her first love, writing. She also moonlights as a wife and mother. She currently lives in Colorado with her teenage daughters, two Golden Retrievers and aforementioned husband. Part footloose buccaneer, part quixotic observer of life, Sarah’s restless heart is most content when reading or writing books.



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Sunday, September 17, 2017




Title: Fields of Gold Beneath Prairie Skies
Author: Suzanne deMontigny

Genre: Historical Romance




French-Canadian soldier, Napoleon, proposes to Lea during WWI, promising golden fields of wheat as far as the eye can see. After the armistice, he sends money for her passage, and she journeys far from her family and the conveniences of a modern country to join him on a homestead in Saskatchewan. There, she works hard to build their dream of a prospering farm, clearing fields alongside her husband through several pregnancies and even after suffering a terrible loss. When the stock market crashes in ’29, the prairies are stricken by a long and abysmal drought. Thrown into poverty, she struggles to survive in a world where work is scarce, death is abundant, and hope dwindles. Will she and her family survive the Great Depression?







Suzanne de Montigny loved writing stories as a child, creating her first novella at the age of twelve. She has kept it on her shelf between her textbooks and novels all her life. As an adult, she pursued a career in music education, teaching school for twenty years. It was there she discovered she had a knack for storytelling. When her father passed away in 2006, she developed an overpowering urge to begin writing again. She has received awards for her “Shadow of the Unicorn” series and her young teen novel, A Town Bewitched.
She lives in Burnaby, B.C. with the four loves of her life, her husband, her two boys, and Buddy the bichon frisé.

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