BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour

No Small Caper, #1 A Tiny House Mystery, by Cynthia Hickey Plus Giveaway

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About the Book 

Book: No Small Caper45452718._SX318_

Author: Cynthia Hickey

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Release Date: May 3, 2019

 

“No one does a final suspense scene like Cynthia Hickey!” – Stewart Writing Services

A rash of burglaries?

What kind of job had she been hired to do?

CJ Turley is excited to begin her new life as overseer of Heavenly Acres, a tiny house community in the Ozark mountains. As she’s handed the keys to her new house, by a woman who seems far too eager to leave the job to someone else, CJ is told the community is experiencing a rash of burglaries and she should visit the nearby Park Ranger for help.

Can CJ and her new friends stop a thieving murderer before they lose something far more precious than jewels? Their life!

From first day, to spending time with handsome ranger, Eric Drake, to a cast of quirky characters who are all suspect in CJ’s mind, you’re bound for a fun, hilarious, romp in this first book of a new small town, cozy mystery series by best-selling and award-winning author.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

My Review

“It’s your job now to keep these crazies in line, Miss Turley.” Opening with this engaging first line from No Small Caper, #1 A Tiny House Mystery, Cynthia Hickey has my attention. I loved meeting Heavenly Acres’ new overseer, CJ. Young, energetic, and enthusiastic, she is unafraid of anything or anyone.

i stared at her and she stared right back both knowing the other was as fake as a glass diamond.
As CJ meets the people in the tiny home park, she attracts followers, besides her dog, Caper. There’s Mags, a crusty older lady that won’t be set on the shelf, a gorgeous hunk of a ranger, Eric, and Amanda, a nurse and possible alternate love interest for Eric. What a great concoction these four make. I am very excited to see that there are more books already published in the series. No waiting for sequels.

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I was a little confused by the number of men in the story that I couldn’t keep straight. Perhaps there could have been fewer minor characters to keep tabs on?
The ending was very satisfying. Huzzah! What I took exception to, was, murder was not the main problem being solved, as in typical cozy. Maybe this was Ms. Hickey’s way of changing the cozy formula up a bit. Definitely a fun, clean read with more sequels available immediately for the asking.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

My Rating

4 Stars- Excellent – I Would Recommend

About the Author

 

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Multi-published and Amazon and ECPA Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey has sold close to a million copies of her works since 2013. She has taught a Continuing Education class at the 2015 American Christian Fiction Writers conference, several small ACFW chapters and RWA chapters, and small writer retreats. She and her husband run the small press, Winged Publications, which includes some of the CBA’s best well-known authors. She lives in Arizona and Arkansas, becoming a snowbird, with her husband and one dog. She has ten grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”.

 

More from Cynthia

I’ve always been fascinated by tiny houses and love writing cozy mysteries. What’s better than a cozy mystery series in a tiny house community? Not an inch of space wasted. You’ve got to be creative with your storage. Even hiding things in the floor which occurs when CJ Turley takes over as manager of Heavenly Acres. The pup she inherited when her grandmother died has a nose for diamonds. Who’d guess there were so many places in a tiny house to stash things?

 

I don’t live in a tiny house, but my husband and I downsized from a 2100 sq. ft home to a 1,000 sq. ft. home. Guess which one we prefer? The smaller one 😊 We always know where things are, it’s easier to keep clean, and no stairs to go up and down when we forget something. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t live in anything less than 400 sq. ft. if I lived alone, but it was fun to write about those who do.

 

I’ve watched so many tiny house shows, I’m pretty sure I could design one with everything I’d need. We even told our son that if he moved where we live, we’d build him one in the backyard! He wasn’t amused.

 

On a serious note, just kidding. While my cozy series have humor, they also have murder and mayhem with quirky characters and a dash of romance. I like my readers to chuckle as the characters strive to take down the culprit without too much danger to themselves.

 

Happy reading!

 

 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 7

21st Century Keeper at Home, August 7

Sara Jane Jacobs, August 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 9

Genesis 5020, August 10

deb’s Book Review, August 10

She Lives To Read, August 11

Artistic Nobody, August 12 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 13

Blogging With Carol , August 13

Texas Book-aholic, August 14

Inklings and notions, August 15

For Him and My Family, August 16

Mary Hake, August 16

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 17

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 18

CarpeDiem, August 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Cynthia is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/ff4f/no-small-caper-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

 

BLOG, Favorite, Purchase

Iced Over, #2 Barks and Beans Cafe Mysteries, by Heather Day Gilbert

About the Book

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Author: Heather Day Gilbert

Series: Barks and Beans Cafe

Publisher: Woodhaven Press

Released: July 2020

Genre: Clean Cozy Mystery

BOOK TWO in the ALL-NEW BARKS & BEANS CAFE cozy mystery series!!

Welcome to the Barks & Beans Cafe, a quaint place where folks pet shelter dogs while enjoying a cup of java…and where murder sometimes pays a visit.

Black Friday turns fatal when an armored security truck hits an icy patch and runs over an embankment near the cafe. With one driver dead and the other in a coma, police are baffled by the discovery that $500,000 is missing from the truck’s cache.

When strangers show up at Barks & Beans asking nosy questions about a young cafe employee, Macy’s mama bear instincts kick in. She can’t ignore what her gut is telling her—that things aren’t all they seem on the surface—and with a little help from her brother, Bo, and her Great Dane, Coal, Macy follows up on a few leads of her own. But if the ruthless thief beats her to the stash, the thin ice she’s been skating on might just crack.

Join siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield as they sniff out crimes in their hometown…with plenty of dogs along for the ride! The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series features a small town, an amateur sleuth, and no swearing or graphic scenes.

The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series in order:
Book 1: No Filter
Book 2: Iced Over
Book 3: Fair Trade

 

My Review

When I saw Iced Over, #2 Barks and Beans Café Cozy Mystery, by Heather Day Gilbert was for sale, I had to preorder. This is a book I would not want to miss. The wonderful smell of flavored coffee beans, the sound of espresso machines, the chance to pet shelter dogs with a view to adopt…plus the chance to play Nancy Drew with a brother who used to be a DEA agent? Let’s just say I wonder if I could convince one of my loyal brothers to open a dual purpose shop like this? “Bo and I were bringing happiness into our corner of the world, one coffee drink and one perfect doggie match at a time.”

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Gilbert keeps her cozies to the cozy foundations. No swearing, no sex scenes, but there is a small town with an amateur sleuth. As one of my friends said about Gilbert’s previous book, “a book I don’t have to be on guard as I read. “
Macy has a heart the size of her adopted Great Dane, Coal. I loved the way she actually puts feet to her prayers that her employee’s family would have their needs met.
I also loved that one of the secondary characters who we get to know is an unashamed plus-size 24-year- old. She is fashionable, fun, and has a good head on her shoulders. While she may not be perfectly pleased with her body, she accepts herself and that causes others to look beyond the outer wrappings.
One thing I always look for in a cozy is whether our sleuth actually spends time working at his or her purported job. Macy does indeed spend much of her time at the café, and it is so well described, I really wish I could at least visit one if I can’t work at one.

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The sleuthing side becomes a little dangerous, and I am glad I am enjoying solving the mystery vicariously. I loved the introduction of another possible love connection
for Macy, but I wanted to see more romance for Bo, too. However, as Macy says, “Bo was about as romantic as a pot of cold coffee.”
Gilbert likes to end her cozies with a nice twist, leaving you needing the next book.
If you are a dog parent or a coffee aficionado, you will want to read this fun cozy.

 

My Rating

5 Stars – Hit My Reading Sweet Spot!

( Ms. Gilbert, THANK YOU  for following the original cozy rules. I wish all cozy authors did!)

 

About the Author

7232683HEATHER DAY GILBERT, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, writes contemporary mysteries and Viking historicals. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren’t afraid to protect those they love. Publisher’s Weekly gave Heather’s Viking historical Forest Child a starred review, saying it is “an engaging story depicting timeless human struggles with faith, love, loyalty, and leadership.”

Find Heather on Pinterest (heatherdgilbert), Instagram (@heatherdaygilbert), Twitter (@heatherdgilbert), and Facebook (heatherdaygilbert). You can find all her books at heatherdaygilbert.com.

BLOG, Favorite, Purchase

No Filter, #1 Barks and Beans Cafe Cozy Mysteries by Heather Day Gilbert

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About the Book

Title: No Filter

Series: The Barks and Beans Cafe Mystery Series

Author: Heather Day Gilbert

Publisher: WoodHaven Press

Released: May 2020

BOOK ONE in the ALL-NEW BARKS & BEANS CAFE cozy mystery series!!

Welcome to the Barks & Beans Cafe, a quaint place where folks pet shelter dogs while enjoying a cup of java…and where murder sometimes pays a visit.

Fed up with her go-nowhere job, newly single Macy Hatfield moves back to her small hometown in West Virginia. She joins forces with her brother Bo in his crazy new venture—the Barks & Beans Cafe, which caters to dog lovers and coffee drinkers alike.

When a golf instructor is murdered at the nearby spiritual center, Macy winds up adopting his Great Dane. Just after Macy finds a mysterious message sewn under the dog’s collar, her Dane is dognapped. She launches into a relentless search for her newfound canine friend, but along the way, she digs up a cruel and confident killer.

Join siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield as they sniff out crimes in their hometown…with plenty of dogs along for the ride! The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series features a small town, an amateur sleuth, and no swearing or graphic scenes.

The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series in order:
Book 1: No Filter
Book 2: Iced Over

My Review

I am excited to share with you a new cozy mystery series by Heather Day Gilbert. While I love cozies, I start a new one with much trepidation. Will there be sex on the page or a lot of innuendoes? Will there be bad language? I am thrilled to say No Filter , #1 Barks & Beans Café Cozy Mysteries, fits every category I am looking for in a cozy:
1. Small town setting
2. No bad language
3. No sex
4. Amateur sleuth
5. Murder not presented in gory manner
6. Bit of Romance (my addition)

No Filter 2

In No Filter, we find Macy and Bo Hatfield, unlucky-at-love siblings who decide to retreat to their small town origins, Lewisburg, West Virginia. Not giving up, they open up a coffee shop combo therapy dog petting area. Now Gilbert has my full attention, and the shop gets its dogs from the local shelter, to give the dogs for adoption more publicity. Looking up Lewisburg, WV, right now on my GPS. Think it would be a great place to live.
But maybe not. There are the “haves” and the “haves snot.” (Imagine the “haves” looking down their noses at the “snots.”) The mingling of these two classes at the local spiritual center-country club leads to murder, art fencing, and a wealth of possible culprits. I felt there were a lot of characters to keep straight, but we will see many of these players again in book 2, Iced Over, and book 3, Fair Trade.

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Only one complaint- I am seriously considering whether people can be both coffee connoisseurs and tea aficionados at same time! I’d be surprised if Great Danes don’t become popular after this series. I loved the sibling loyalty and strong bond. I enjoyed seeing the set-up of possible romances (I already have my “teams” going)! I even enjoyed seeing unlikely characters succeed to benefit the town. But watch out! Gilbert manages to find a way to leave you hanging by a thread!
I need to cool down. Bring on Iced Over!!
Quotes to Note:

“No, I’d rather have both feet on the ground than feel them getting sucked in with ocean water where fish pooped, sharks lurked, and currents could catch and kill you.”

“She seemed to be a wealth of information, and she had no hesitation in sharing it.”

My Rating

5 Stars- Superior- Hit My Reading Sweet Spot (and I can’t wait for the sequels!)

About the Author

HEATHER DAY GILBERT, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, writes contemporary mysteries and Viking historicals. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren’t afraid to protect those they love. Publisher’s Weekly gave Heather’s Viking historical Forest Child a starred review, saying it is “an 7232683engaging story depicting timeless human struggles with faith, love, loyalty, and leadership.”

Find Heather on Pinterest (heatherdgilbert), Instagram (@heatherdaygilbert), Twitter (@heatherdgilbert), and Facebook (heatherdaygilbert). You can find all her books at heatherdaygilbert.com.

 

 

BLOG, Favorite, Kensington, Lyrical Underground, NetGalley

Belinda Blake and the Birds of a Feather, #3 Exotic Pet-Sitter Mysteries by Heather Day Gilbert

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About the Book

Title: Belinda Blake and the Birds of a Feather

Series: #3 Exotic Pet-Sitter Mysteries

Author: Heather Day Gilbert

Publisher: Lyrical Press (Kensington)

Released: February 2020

Genre: Clean, Cozy Mystery

When exotic pet–sitter Belinda Blake starts pecking at the details of a suspicious accident in her sleepy hometown, she inadvertently digs up a murder case that won’t be solved without ruffling a few feathers . . .

The moment Belinda arrives in Larches Corner, her Upstate New York hometown, she’s immediately recruited to care for a deceased friend’s flock of homing pigeons. But Belinda’s plans for a swift visit scatter after a local college student is mowed down in a malicious hit-and-run that has the whole town reeling.

At first, the gruesome demise of Jackson Hait appears to be a random tragedy. But Belinda quickly uncovers connections to a tight-knit group of friends and a similar death three years earlier . . . one that wasn’t as accidental as it seemed. Now, Belinda must pluck the truth from a tangled nest of lies before a cruel killer takes wing.

My Review

The third novel in the Belinda Blake series by Heather Day Gilbert has finally arrived. Birds of a Feather is a great addition to Gilbert’s superb cozy series. I have loved the love triangle that developed between Stone the Fifth and Belinda and Jonas, but never quite understood so well Belinda’s attraction to Stone the Fifth until this book: Stone looks like a ”modern-day Remington Steele.” Ooh, la, la, pretty certain that might have swayed me a little more (ok, a LOT more) to Team Stone the Fifth over Team Jonas.

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Belinda returns home to her little hometown for the funeral of Jonas’s mom. She reluctantly agrees to sit the pigeons Jonas’s mom was watching at the time of her death. While home, Belinda meets up with an old reporter friend who quickly involves her in a mystery of first one drunk college literary club member, then another.
I would have liked to see the pets (pigeons) play as big a role in this novel as the snake and the wolves did in the first two. I did enjoy the heightening of romantic elements. I also loved this mystery. I could really feel the tension of needing to “help” solve the crime before Belinda herself is in mortal danger. But guess the correct murderer? Nope. Gilbert still was wilier than me. AND Gilbert left the door open, that just MAYBE, there COULD be a book four. Bring it on!!

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley. This did not influence my opinions, which are my own, and for which I am solely responsible.

My Rating

5 Stars- Hits My Reading Sweet Spot with a Flock of Praise

About the Author

Heather Day GilbertHEATHER DAY GILBERT, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, writes contemporary mysteries and Viking historicals. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren’t afraid to protect those they love. Publisher’s Weekly gave Heather’s Viking historical Forest Child a starred review, saying it is “an engaging story depicting timeless human struggles with faith, love, loyalty, and leadership.”

Find Heather on Pinterest (heatherdgilbert), Instagram (@heatherdaygilbert), Twitter (@heatherdgilbert), and Facebook (heatherdaygilbert). You can find all her books at heatherdaygilbert.com.

BLOG, Favorite, Lyrical Underground, NetGalley

Belinda Blake and the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: An Exotic Pet-Sitter Mystery #2 by Heather Day Gilbert

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About the Book

Title: Belinda Blake and the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Series: An Exotic Pet-Sitter Mystery

Publisher: Lyrical Underground

Released: October 2019

Exotic pet-sitter Belinda Blake is nervous about her new job at the White Pine Wolf Preserve, but it turns out that the care and feeding of wild carnivores may be the least dangerous part of the gig . . .
 
Pet-sitter Belinda Blake is no stranger to dealing with wild animals, but she’s wary when the owner of the Greenwich, Connecticut, preserve asks her to help out with her “fluffy darlings.” Her caution seems justified on her very first day, when she discovers a tour guide—dead, bloodied, and surrounded by wolves in the enclosure.

Was it death by predator or something more sinister? The body count rises, but something’s not adding up. As she gets to know the rescued wolves and wolf-dog hybrids better, Belinda realizes that her human colleagues are not above suspicion. With help from her own “pack”—her pregnant sister, Red the chauffeur/bodyguard, and hunky farmer Jonas—Belinda is hot on the killer’s tail, but if she doesn’t find him soon, he’ll do more than muzzle her to keep the truth from escaping.

 

My Review

Belinda Blake and the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing by Heather Day Gilbert was one of the most satisfying cozies I have read. It just hit my reading sweet spot. The characters and story will stay with me as will the fear and trepidation. If I could, I would pick up book three, and start reading immediately. Thoughts?
First, while you can read this as a stand-alone, it will flow better if you read the books in order.

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Secondly, this cozy was totally satisfying…from the first word to last. The mystery involved animals, it was believable, and it moved along at a good pace. I was both in awe of the wolves and terrified of them at the same time. There were several quirky characters, but this is the Greenwich area, non? Gilbert draws some characters in ways that will cause you to love them, others are written to be abhorred, but all are mysterious and possible schemers. Finding the killer before she/he finds Belinda eluded me.
Thirdly, we begin to see a pretty interesting love triangle develop. Where is book three?! Ah, Sigh!

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Fourthly, there were plenty of humorous lines to off-set the seriousness of the subject, keeping this fun novel well within the « cozy» parameters. Available Oct. 1st or you can pre-order.

I received an ARC complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley. This did not affect my opinions, which are solely my own.

My Rating

5 Stars = Superb!

About the Author

HEATHER DAY GILBERT, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, writes contemporary mysteries and Viking historicals. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren’t afraid to protect those they love. Publisher’s Weekly gave Heather’s Viking historical Forest Child a starred review, saying it is “an engaging story depicting timeless human struggles with faith, love, loyalty, and leadership.” 7232683

Find Heather on Pinterest (heatherdgilbert), Instagram (@heatherdaygilbert), Twitter (@heatherdgilbert), and Facebook (heatherdaygilbert). You can find all her books at heatherdaygilbert.com.