New Releases

Cover Reveal: Flower Power Trip by James J. Cudney

Flower-Power-Trip-Main-File
Flower Power Trip

by James J. Cudney
Braxton Campus Mysteries #3
Mystery
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Braxton College is throwing the Heroes & Villains Costume Extravaganza to raise money for renovations to the antiquated Memorial Library. While attending, Kellan stumbles upon a close family friend standing over a dead body that’s dressed as Dr. Evil. Did one of Maggie’s sisters kill an annoying guest at the Roarke and Daughters Inn or does the victim have a more intimate connection to someone else on campus?

As Kellan helps the school’s president, Ursula, bury a scandalous secret from her past and unearth the identity of her stalker, he unexpectedly encounters a missing member of his own family who’s reappeared after a lengthy absence. When all of the peculiar events around town trace back to the Stoddards, a new family who recently moved to Wharton County, the explosive discovery only offers more confusion.

Between the special flower exhibit that’s made an unplanned stop on campus and strange postcards arriving each week from all around the world, Kellan can’t decide which mystery in his life should take priority. Unfortunately, the biggest one of all has yet to arrive at his doorstep. When it does, Kellan won’t know what hit him.

Blue Blurb

Flower-Power-Trip-Promo-Paperback
At a masquerade ball to raise money for renovations to Memorial Library, Kellan finds a dead body dressed in a Dr. Evil costume.

Did one of Maggie’s sisters kill the annoying guest who’d been staying at the Roarke and Daughters Inn, or does the victim have a closer connection to someone else at Braxton College?

As Kellan helps school president Ursula bury a secret from her past and discover the identity of her stalker, he unexpectedly encounters a missing member of his family. Everything seems to trace back to the Stoddards: a new family who recently moved in.

Between the murder, a special flower exhibit and strange postcards arriving each week, Kellan can’t decide which mystery in his life should take priority. But unfortunately, the biggest one of all has yet to be exposed – and when it is, Kellan won’t know what hit him.

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Author Bio BlueJames J. Cudney
James is my given name; most call me Jay. I grew up on Long Island and currently live in New York City, but I’ve traveled all across the US (and various parts of the world). After college, I spent 15 years working in technology and business operations in the sports, entertainment and media industries. Although I enjoyed my job, I left in 2016 to focus on my passion: telling stories and connecting people through words. My debut novel is ‘Watching Glass Shatter,’ a contemporary fiction family drama with elements of mystery, suspense, humor and romance. To see samples or receive news from my current and upcoming books, please subscribe with your email address at my website: https://jamesjcudney.com

What do I do outside of writing: I’m an avid genealogist (discovered 2K family members going back about 250 years) and cook (I find it so hard to follow a recipe). I love to read; between Goodreads and my blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, I have over 500 book reviews which will give you a full flavor for my voice and style. On my blog, I started the 365 Daily Challenge, where I post a word each day that has some meaning to me, then converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have segments where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real and show how I live every day.

A bit of humor: Everything doubles as something else when you live in NYC. For me, it’s the dining room, my favorite space in the apartment, where more than just my cooking is on display! As I look out the windows onto a 12th-floor terrace, various parts of nature (trees, bushes, flowers, bugs & animals) inspire me to write. How else can you pen the best story possible without these things by your side?

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Blog Tour: Can you hula like Hilo Hattie by Tyler Colins

Can you hula like Hilo Hattie
Can you hula like Hilo Hattie
by Tyler Colins
Publication date: August 13th, 2016
Genres: Mystery

The novice sleuths accept their first official detecting assignment: uncovering the “secret” of an elderly millionaire’s pretty young wife. If they succeed, their newly founded business, The Triple Threat Investigation Agency, will prove a viable venture.

The twist: the wife is found murdered along Oahu’s sapphire shores. And there’s a secret all right, one of many, but they’re not all the deceased woman’s. Who of the unconventional cast of characters is the murderer? As JJ (Jill), Rey and Linda begin fitting puzzle pieces together, they stumble upon a few more bodies.

A straightforward task becomes anything but. They’ve dealt with murderers in past, however, thanks to a wacky “collect your inheritance” week in Connecticut; while this new set of quirky personalities proves equally taxing, they have enough faith in their [budding] talents to persevere and unscramble clues.

Here’s an opportunity for the women to prove they made a wise choice in becoming bona fide detectives. Can they do it before the murderer strikes again?

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Brown Blurb

The aspiring detectives of the Triple Threat Investigation Agency take on their first official paying assignment: discover the secret of an elderly millionaire’s young wife.

It seems straightforward enough—until the wife is found dead in the sapphire Hawaiian oceanside.  As Jill (JJ), Rey and Linda strive to uncover the killer amid a cast of curious, unconventional characters, they stumble across several secrets and fall over a few bodies.

Piecing together the puzzle detours the trio—to the domains of drug pushers, informants, and gangs.  Serious game players, they play for keeps.  Does the trio possess enough shrewdness and savvy to beat the odds and win the game?

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Brown Excerpt

Carmie was the main focus of the mission, so I dug around and discovered her name at birth had been Carpella.  She’d been born in Tenafly New Jersey to Joseph Leone Carpella, the owner of a popular local pizza shop on Washington Street, and Lina Spera, a former aesthetician.  Gino, Carmie’s fraternal twin brother, was currently a prominent businessman in New York.  At a young age, he’d recognized there was money to be made in food that drew townspeople for blocks.  A well-conceived business plan, leg power, and lots of charm resulted in his papa’s delicious pizzas becoming available beyond a twenty-block radius.  In record time, Papa Jo Leone’s product moved beyond the borders of the borough, across the state, and then the nation.

At twenty-five Gino made his first million.  Papa and Mama Carpella remained in Tenafly, but instead of living over the pizza parlor, resided in a lovely six-bedroom house with enough garden space to grow fifty bushels of Roma tomatoes.

While sister was slim, brother was heavy, not from fat, but muscle.  In an interview with Fortune Magazine, Gino had talked about an obsession with staying fit (evidently, it ran in the twins’ veins), but his went beyond the physical.  In addition to daily one-hour workouts at 5:00 a.m., he hit the books frequently to engage the gray matter.  He’d even made it an objective to take two university courses every year.

As I drove to Kalihi, I considered all the information gleaned so far.  It was edifying, but pretty rudimentary.  Would it prove worthwhile and time efficient to dig deeper?  We had to prove Carmie was having an affair at the very least, but discovering she was into something illicit or that she had something to hold over her husband would be best.  Did the past matter?  Probably not, other than maybe demonstrating she’d been a flirt or skank.  That would go to character and integrity and all that.  But if she’d been a flirt or skank, wouldn’t William have discovered that?  Surely he’d have learned all he could about Carmelita Sangita Carpella before he’d married her.

And why marry someone of such a common background?  Was it true love?  Or a need to prove virility and/or have a trophy wife?  William’s first wife, Lucy, had been born to an aristocratic English family.  Fox hunts, high teas and Harrods had been part of the Howell’s routine—until she’d passed at the age of thirty, after five years of marriage.  A misadventure with a bunch of boisterous beagles during a fox hunt in Kent had cut her privileged life very short.  Like Carmie, she was slim and approximately 5’4” tall, blonde and blue-eyed.  Her nose, set between two incredibly high cheekbones, was quite pronounced.  Some might have called it Patrician if they’d been feeling kind, while others who were more candid might have called it for what it was: a Gonzo (as in Muppet) proboscis.  Snout, uh, nose aside, Lucy’s face held a noble and haughty air.

William remained single for four years and then met Lowella, the daughter of a Greek olive tycoon.  A whirlwind romance ensued.  They were married not quite eight months when daughter Sophia Bella was born.  Lowella passed after five years of marriage when a tractor-trailer totaled her and a Jaguar in oatmeal-thick fog along California’s SR 1.  Poor William.  He wasn’t particularly lucky in the sustainable marriage-love department.

I pulled into the Kalihi district and found a small parking lot in a tiny strip mall.  Before stepping from the car, I peered into the rearview mirror.  The peacock-blue cotton sun hat looked okay, but dark circles under the eyes didn’t.  I should have slapped on make-up, or at the very least concealer and lipstick, but really, why should I care that I looked tired and edgy?  The folks I’d be asking about Xavier wouldn’t.

I eyed a long, white clinic across the road.  Two young people, one scarecrow skinny and one sea-lion blubbery, shuffled from the entrance, whispered excitedly and anxiously shambled onward.  It was as good a place to start as any.  Maybe Xavier had dropped in.

My career as P.I. had officially begun.  Hopefully, in the process, I wouldn’t blow it—or get “blown”, as into bitty pieces.  What did I know about druggies and dealers other than what I’d heard at the stations I’d worked at or viewed on the idiot box, as Great-Uncle Warren called television?  My father’s uncle was the only relative I had ever known on that side of the family.  I’d never even met my dad.  When I’d been a baby, he’d taken a fatal roll down Mount Kilimanjaro during a botanical exploration (so the story went).

These folks had been babies once, too.  Innocent, trusting infants with lives to live and dreams to make happen.  . . . Or destroy.  Sometimes we made wrong choices; sometimes others made them for us.  And sometimes life simply wasn’t fair.

Brown Author Bio

TylerC BioPhoto
Tyler Colins is a fiction writer and blogger, and a sometimes editor and proofreader (books, manuals, and film/television scripts).  She’s also been known to create business plans, synopses and outlines, and film promotion documents.

Fact-checking and researching, organizing and coordinating are both skills and joys (she likes playing detective and developing structure).

Her fiction audience: lovers of female-sleuth mysteries.  Her genres of preference: mysteries (needless to say), women’s fiction, informative and “affirmative” non-fiction.

She aims to provide readers with smiles and chuckles like the ever-talented Janet Evanovich and missed Lawrence Sanders, the “coziness” of Jessica Fletcher, and a few diversions and distractions as only long-time pros Jonathan Kellerman and Kathy Reichs can craft.

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Dec. 1st, 2018 Nicole Campbell – www.thebookwormdrinketh.com
Dec. 2nd, 2018 Lisa Reynolds – www.culturevultureexpress.wordpress.com
Dec. 3rd, 2018 MD Walker – www.plotmonster.wordpress.com
Dec. 4th, 2018 Jessica Rachow – www.jessicarachow.wordpress.com
Dec. 5th, 2018 Jess bookish life – www.jessbookishlife.wordpress.com
Dec. 6th, 2018 Nina D. Silva – www.thecozypages.wordpress.com
Dec. 7th, 2018 Prachi – www.starryeyedenigma.com
Dec. 8th, 2018 Carla Johnson – www.carlalovestoread.wordpress.com
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Dec. 10th, 2018 Natalie – www.thespooniemummy.com
Dec. 11th, 2018 Mary – www.sophrilreads.com
Dec. 12th, 2018 Kristina – www.booksanddachshunds.wordpress.com
Dec. 13th, 2018 Jannin – www.thebooknerddragon.wordpress.com
Dec. 14th Alicia – www.misshoneybug.wordpress.com

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Reviews

Review: The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss

Review

The strange case of the Alchemists daughter
The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter

by Theodora Goss
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Synopsis
Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes.

But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherin Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein.

When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists, the horrors of their past return. Now it is up to the monsters to finally triumph over the monstrous.

What I thought
“League of Extraordinary Gentlemen with ladies.”

How do I get my copy!!

This is how I heard this series described by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. You can see her booktube video here where she received the second book in this series from the publisher. I discover when I went to look up the video that I never finished that haul video.  Why you might ask well that is because I literally took my lunch break and drove to my local bookstore and picked up my copy.

So after I had my copy I realized that I now had really high expectations for this book and rarely do books live up to really high expectations. But I am happy to be able to say that this book not only lived up to those really high expectations but surpassed them.

When I began reading this story I noticed that the characters in the story have a going commentary regarding the manuscript.  To be honest I wasn’t sure how I felt about it in the beginning and I remember stopping and really thinking about how I felt about it. but in the end, I really loved it.  This approach really added another layer to the characters and made me love them more.

This book takes characters from multiple gothic stories and molds them all together. These women are true friendship goals. I love not just the mystery of the story but the friendships in this book are amazing.  I am not going to go into the plot very much because I think that not knowing more than that one tagline is what made it so very enjoyable for me.

I can not wait to pick up the next installment! Thanks to my local library they are getting it in for me. (Update: They called and they have it in for me!!!!)

About the Author

Theodora Goss is the World Fantasy and Locus Award-winning author of the short story collection In the Forest of Forgetting (2006); Interfictions (2007), a short story anthology coedited with Delia Sherman; Voices from Fairyland (2008), a poetry anthology with critical essays and a selection of her own poems; The Thorn and the Blossom (2012), a novella in a two-sided accordion format; the poetry collection Songs for Ophelia (2014); debut novel The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter (2017), and sequel European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman(2018). She has been a finalist for the Nebula, Crawford, Seiun, and Mythopoeic Awards, as well as on the Tiptree Award Honor List. Her work has been translated into twelve languages. She teaches literature and writing at Boston University and in the Stonecoast MFA Program. Visit her at theodoragoss.com.

My Rating: /55 Stars

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