Friday, November 30, 2018

Dear Abby - Videos Abby Likes: Dachshund Santa and Reindeer

Dear Friends,

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I had a great day with lots of love and good food. 

I look forward to sharing some fun holiday posts the next few weeks.  I looked for dachshund videos for the holidays and found one that I love ... I hope you enjoy it too.  It is by famous dachshund Crusoe and his buddy Oakley.   Oakley wears reindeer ears ("wiendeer") and pulls Crusoe, who is dressed as Santa.  There is even a chimney ... and treats for Santa!  I am very impressed at Oakley's ability to act as a reindeer!

Here is the video:

I hope you enjoyed this short video as much as I did.   Have a wonderful weekend!


Abby xoxoxo

Book Review - The Secret Language of Cats by Susanne Schotz

Book Synopsis
Have you ever wondered what your cat is saying?

Cats do not meow randomly, nor do they growl or hiss because they have nothing better to do. Cat sounds have a purpose, and they can carry important messages, whether for us or other cats.

Susanne Schotz is hard at work on breaking the cat code. She is a professor at Lund University in Sweden, where a long-standing research program is proving that cats do actually use vocal communication—with each other and with their human caretakers. Understanding the vocal strategies used in human-cat communication will have profound implications for how we communicate with our pets, and has the potential to improve the relationship between animals and humans within several fields, including animal therapy, veterinary medicine and animal sheltering.

In The Secret Language of Cats, Schotz offers a crash course in the phonetic study of cat sounds. She introduces us to the full range of feline vocalizations and explains what they can mean in different situations, and she gives practical tips to help us understand our cats better.


Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

My Review
The Secret Language of Cats is a unique book that discusses cat sounds from a phonetic perspective, and gives cat owners new ways to understand what their cats are communicating.

I was intrigued by The Secret Language of Cats from the cover with the adorable kitty, and from the description.  I am a lifelong animal lover and grew up in a cat family.  Although I have a dog now, I also love cats and am interested in reading about them.  I find animal behavior in general fascinating.

Susanne Schotz is a professor of phonetics in Sweden.  She has studied phonetics as they apply to cat sounds and communication, and in this book she discusses these sounds in detail.  She breaks down the sounds into:
  • Sounds produced with an open mouth (purr, trill, etc.)
  • Sounds made while the mouth is first opening and then closing (meow, moan, howl, etc.)
  • Sounds that are produced with an open, tense mouth (growl, hiss, snarl, etc.)
She also discusses other ways cats communicate -- touch, movement, spraying.

The phonetic details were discussed in depth and from a scientific angle.   Many are discussed with both the sound and corresponding body language.

My favorite part of the book was the fond way that Susanne Schotz wrote about her own history with cats and discussed different cats she has loved.  I found it very moving when she discussed older cats who passed on, and how she decided she couldn't go through that again ... but there was always another kitty (or kitties!) waiting for her.

I also liked the practical chapters where she talked about specific cat questions and practical behavioral answers, i.e. Why does my cat not say anything? My cat wakes me up at night.  My cat only comes to other family members, not to me.

I think The Secret Language of Cats will be of great interest to cat people, and especially to anyone who wants to read about cat sounds from a detailed perspective.

I received a copy of this book from TLC Book Tours.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Book Review and Giveaway - A Midwinter’s Tail (Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery) by Bethany Blake

Book Synopsis
To bark or not to bark . . .

Professional pet sitter Daphne Templeton loves the holidays in Sylvan Creek, Pennsylvania. And nothing gets her into the spirit more than the town’s annual Bark the Halls Ball. The whole community will be there to wag their tails, especially this year’s special guest—Celeste “CeeCee” French, founder of a national chain of pet care franchises, who’s returning home to announce plans for a bright new flagship store.

But not everyone’s celebrating CeeCee’s homecoming. Daphne’s friend Moxie Bloom, owner of Spa and Paw, a unique salon for people and their pets, has plenty to growl about. So when CeeCee is found face down under Sylvan Creek’s town Christmas tree, stabbed with a distinctive pair of professional-grade pet shears, suspicion lands squarely on Moxie. Despite Daphne’s promises to Detective Jonathan Black, she quickly reprises her role as amateur sleuth. Ably assisted by her basset hound sidekick, Socrates, she must hurry to prove her friend’s innocence before a killer barks again . . .

Includes recipes for homemade pet treats!

My Review
A Midwinter's Tail is a cozy mystery set in a small town in Pennsylvania.  Daphne Templeton has a pet sitting business and a reputation for solving mysteries.  When one of her old high school classmates returns and ends up dead, Daphne becomes involved in solving the mystery.

This is my first read in the Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery series.  I have been missing a really fun series!   I've put the other books on my reading list at Goodreads.  After a chapter or so, I felt caught up with the characters and enjoyed this novel as a standalone read.

There was so much that I particularly enjoyed about A Midwinter's Tail:

The author, Bethany Blake, loves animals and does such a great job writing about them.  A Midwinter's Tail features a basset hound, a spoiled poodle, a cat, a playful chihuahua, a lab, a naughty pug, and a pet rat.  The animals in this book absolutely stole the show for me -- great fun!

There is a wonderful small town setting.  Sylvan Creek, Pennsylvania was depicted in detail and was such a cozy small town.

There was a fun romantic triangle.  Daphne has two single men interested in her -- police detective Jonathan and small town newspaper writer Gabriel.  I enjoyed seeing this triangle play out.

There is an emphasis on friends and even a flashback to their high school years.   Since much of the storyline involves the murder of CeeCee, who returns to Sylvan Creek after many years away, part of Daphne's detection involves researching old high school yearbooks.

A Midwinter's Tail is such an enjoyable cozy holiday mystery.  I recommend it highly to other cozy fans, and especially to anyone who loves pets.

Author Bio
Bethany Blake lives in a small, quaint town in Pennsylvania with her husband and three daughters. When she’s not writing or riding horses, she’s wrangling a menagerie of furry family members that includes a nervous pit bull, a fearsome feline, a blind goldfish, and an attack cardinal named Robert. Like Daphne Templeton, the heroine of her Lucky Paws Mysteries, Bethany holds a Ph.D. and operates a pet sitting business called Barkley’s Premium Pet Care.

Author Links 
Webpage  BookBub    Twitter    Facebook

Purchase Links
Amazon  B&N  Kobo    Google Play   IndieBound   BookBub 

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I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Great Escapes Book Tours. 

Guest Post, Book Spotlight, and Giveaway - Slay Bells (A Christmas Village Mystery) by T.C. Wescott

Book Synopsis
Twas the week before Christmas and all through the village, the night settled in over swirling-smoke chimneys; the air was alive with pine and holly, with sugar and cinnamon and cider, by golly!

Along snowy lanes and through shadows it crept, past windows behind which each villager slept, where sleeping dogs lie and cats rest a’purring—
Tonight, in Christmas Village, a killer is stirring.

Welcome to Christmas Village, a magical hamlet where even in December the roses hold their luster and bees buzz among the bluebells. You’re just in time for the week-long Christmas Festival, and nowhere is Christmas celebrated with such unrestrained merriment as the village which bears its name. Mayor Cobblestone and Sheriff Fell will be somewhere nearby, doing all they can to make sure you’re safe during your stay.

Provided you haven’t booked a room at Plum Cottage.

Nestled betwixt an opulent garden with meandering footpaths and an ancient grove of plum trees, Rose Willoughby’s boarding house is plum-full with lodgers. There are no vacancies, but just wait. Soon there will be one…and another…and another.

Presently lodging at the cottage are: the juggler, the acrobat, the magician, the psychic, the strongman, the manager, and the pretty assistant. In town as festival entertainment they’ve each brought their own bag of tricks. And a closetful of skeletons.

When the entertainers begin dying in inexplicable ways, some villagers believe a beast from old village lore is the culprit. The sheriff knows better, but he’s just as helpless to catch the invisible killer as are the town folk with their eyes to the sky in search of a flying creature. But our mysterious murderer hasn’t counted on yet another lodger coming to the cottage: Maribel Claus.

Short as a stump, round as a wheel, sweet as a candy cane, and a sharp as a whip, Maribel loves a good puzzle. But has she finally met her match at Plum Cottage?

Can you figure out whodunit before Maribel does? If you’re up to the challenge, here’s your first clue—the key to unlocking the secret of the murderer’s identity lies in figuring out how the murders were committed. Good luck!

Guest Post:   Why I Started Writing Cozy Mysteries & Why I’ll Keep Writing Them by T.C. Wescott  

Slay Bells, the first of my Christmas Village Mystery series, is being released this month. Last July my first cozy mystery book, Running from Scissors, came out and its sequel, Running from Arrows, will be unleashed in January. These two are part of the Running Store Mystery series. All the books are full-length and were written back to back which means I’ve been very busy this last year. And I wouldn’t change a moment of it!  

Slay Bells introduces us to Maribel Claus who has lived her whole life in the magical village of Christmas. It’s the week of the annual grand Christmas Festival and all energy is devoted to the village’s legendary week-long celebration. Maribel’s friend, Rose, owns and runs Plum Cottage, a country inn, which is booked up by a circus troupe in town as entertainment. But when the guests start dying in inexplicable ways the village leaders realize that either a diabolical criminal is in their midst or a village legend – the Glockenvogel – has come to life and is terrorizing the village. It’s up to Maribel and her friends to figure out how the murders were committed so they can learn who is behind them. A howdunit and a whodunit!

I’ve been a reader since I was a small child and although I didn’t realize it until I was much older, I’d always been a writer. As a five-year-old I wrote my own version of Dracula, complete with crayon illustration. While I’d like to think I’ve improved as a writer since kindergarten, my drawing skills still look like a blind mind trying to draw with his toes. In my twenties I tried writing again, this time it was young adult horror novels, but it was just for fun. This was the late 1990s and I’d bought into the dictum that it was impossible to break into publishing unless you knew somebody. I knew nobody. But I became interested in studying true crime and began writing articles for specialist journals. This led to the publication of my first history/true crime book in 2014. I self-published the book, expecting it might sell 300 copies over the course of a year or two. It sold that in a month and went on to win three awards and continues to sell steadily, as did the follow-up book I published in 2017. This led me to consider self-publishing fiction.  

I researched the field. This wasn’t hard to do since I was already a die-hard mystery reader. I knew mystery was the field I wanted to publish in. And I love the idea of the cozy mystery. However, I’m a huge fan of the classic mysteries of the Golden Age. I decided to write two different series: The Running Store Mystery series would be a contemporary cozy set in a small town with many of the popular tropes of the cozy genre. There was no series on the market devoted to running, so I decided that would be way to go so as not to be derivative. The Christmas Village Mystery series, which had lived in my head for years, is my attempt to take mysteries to the coziest place they’ve ever been while also offering an added level of mystery by resurrecting the ‘Locked Room’ mysteries made popular in the 1940s and onward by John Dickson Carr and, later, Ed Hoch. The series are also different in that the Running Store books are written in the first person and Christmas Village in third person. I can’t tell you how many paragraphs I’ve had to rewrite because I forgot which tense I was supposed to be writing in!  

It was important to me that my books compete with the big publishers on their own terms. This means good cover art. It turns out there are a lot of talented cover artists out there for independent publishers. It’s an expense, but a necessary one if you take your work seriously and expect readers to as well. I was also blessed to have an English professor in my circle and she agreed to work as copyeditor and proofreader on the books. And believe me, she has her work cut out for her!

I dipped my toe into the audiobook market for Running from Scissors and will again for its sequel, which is a Valentine’s Day book and therefore a mystery cross-pollinated with romance, which I hope will expose me to a new market. Having learned a thing or two through this experience, I’m not diving into an audiobook with Slay Bells. Instead, I’m going to let the Kindle and paperback editions pay for themselves and then put the profits towards an audiobook edition next year or the year after. By then, the series should be three books strong and they can all be recorded and released at once. 

One of the best things that’s come from publishing Running from Scissors is the feedback I’ve received from fellow mystery readers. They totally ‘got’ what I was going for in doing a mash-up between the modern cozy and the more Golden Age style of storytelling. Most not only ‘got’ it but said they wanted more of that, so I know I’m onto something. The publishing label I’ve set up for myself, Better Mousetrap Books, will someday be expanded to find and publish other authors with a similar goal in mind – to elevate and advance the cozy mystery into its next phase. Sometimes to go forward you need to look back. By asking myself what made me fall in love with the mystery genre I’ve learned what elements are important to me to include in my books. To see others reacting in the same way to my material is a dream come true.  

Whether you’re a budding writer like myself or simply someone who loves a good mystery well told, I invite you to stop by Better Mousetrap Books’ Facebook page or head over to Amazon to pick up Slay Bells and Running from Scissors. Then let me know what you think and what YOU’D like to see happen to the cozy mystery genre over the next few years. It’s readers who decide the market, not writers and publishers, so what are things you’d like to see change, improve, or stay exactly as they are?

Author Bio
T.C. Wescott was born in Missouri but has lived in Oklahoma most of his life. Like pretty much every author who has ever breathed, he is an avid reader. His favorites are classic mysteries from the Golden Age, as well as just before or just after that period (which is widely considered the period between the two World Wars). His first mystery novel, Running from Scissors, was published in July 2018 and will be the first of at least three books in the Running Store Mystery series.

The Christmas Village Mystery series will launch in November of the same year with the debut title Slay Bells. The formula for his books is simple – mixing the classic, traditional detective fiction standards with all the trappings of the modern cozy mystery.

Wescott is also (under another name) the author of two award-winning non-fiction books as well as a slew of essays and articles.

Follow on GoodReads –

Purchase Link – Amazon

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Friday, November 16, 2018

Dear Abby - Thankful

Dear Friends,

I just wanted to pause and say THANK YOU to everyone who reads my weekly Dear Abby posts.  I appreciate your comments and your friendship, and am grateful to have come to know so many kind and thoughtful people through this blog.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I am grateful too for a happy life as a rescued dog, for a warm, safe place to sleep, and for people who love me (and people I love!).  Especially for Momma, who is my special person.

Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving!   I will be taking some time off Thanksgiving week, but will return the week after.

Abby xoxoxo

Book Review and Giveaway - A Light of Her Own by Carrie Callaghan

Book Synopsis
In Holland 1633, a woman’s ambition has no place.

Judith is a painter, dodging the law and whispers of murder to become the first woman admitted to the prestigious Haarlem artist’s guild. Maria is a Catholic in a country where the faith is banned, hoping to absolve her sins by recovering a lost saint’s relic.

Both women’s destinies will be shaped by their ambitions, running counter to the city’s most powerful men, whose own plans spell disaster. A vivid portrait of a remarkable artist, A Light of Her Own is a richly-woven story of grit against the backdrop of Rembrandt and an uncompromising religion.


Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


My Review

A Light of Her Own tells the story of Judith Leyster and Maria de Grebber.  Both women were painters in 1600's Holland.  Judith was driven to paint, driven to succeed, while Maria was more interested in religion and spirituality.  This novel explores their lives independently and also their friendship.


Before reading this novel, I knew very little about life in Holland during this period.  The author, Carrie Callaghan, did an amazing job of evoking the time and place.   The descriptions of walking through town, life at home, and especially life in the artist's studio were absolutely fascinating.


I also was not familiar with Judith Leyster and her role in the Dutch Golden Age of art.  I spent some time looking up her paintings after reading this book, and am grateful that I learned more about her life and work through reading A Light of Her Own.


The book started a bit slowly for me, but I soon was engrossed in the lives of these women -- especially Judith, with her painting, her struggle to succeed in a world of men, and her unusual (for a woman) acceptance into the Haarlem artist's guild. 


Carrie Callaghan has a painterly way with descriptions, and I found many of the descriptions of daily life and the artistic process to be vivid and fascinating.  For example, Judith carries buttons for a future painting in her pocket:

"She reached into her pocket, the pouch hung from her waist, and took out a handful of buttons.  It was a habit of hers to carry around the components of a painting so she could consider them, learn their curves and their secrets, whenever she had a free moment" (chapter 3, location 259).


I recommend this novel for readers of historical fiction, and especially for anyone who is interested in art history.

Author Bio

Carrie Callaghan is a writer living in Maryland with her spouse, two young children, and two ridiculous cats. Her short fiction has appeared in Weave Magazine, The MacGuffin, Silk Road, Floodwall, and elsewhere. Carrie is also an editor and contributor with the Washington Independent Review of Books. She has a Master’s of Arts in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

For more information, please visit Carrie Callaghan’s website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook,  Twitter and Goodreads.


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 2 signed hardcovers of A Light of Her Own! To enter, please see the Gleam form below. 

Giveaway Rules 
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 7th. You must be 18 or older to enter. 
– Giveaway is open to US residents only. 
– Only one entry per household. 
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. 
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.  
A Light of Her Own
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.

Book Spotlight and Giveaway - A Holiday by Gaslight by Mimi Matthews

Book Synopsis

A Courtship of Convenience

Sophie Appersett is quite willing to marry outside of her class to ensure the survival of her family. But the darkly handsome Mr. Edward Sharpe is no run-of-the-mill London merchant. He’s grim and silent. A man of little emotion–or perhaps no emotion at all. After two months of courtship, she’s ready to put an end to things.

A Last Chance for Love

But severing ties with her taciturn suitor isn’t as straightforward as Sophie envisioned. Her parents are outraged. And then there’s Charles Darwin, Prince Albert, and that dratted gaslight. What’s a girl to do except invite Mr. Sharpe to Appersett House for Christmas and give him one last chance to win her? Only this time there’ll be no false formality. This time they’ll get to know each other for who they really are.


Available on Amazon


Author Bio

Mimi Matthews (A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty, The Lost Letter) writes both historical non-fiction and traditional historical romances set in Victorian England. Her articles on nineteenth century history have been published on various academic and history sites, including the Victorian Web and the Journal of Victorian Culture, and are also syndicated weekly at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes an Andalusian dressage horse, two Shelties, and two Siamese cats.

For more information, please visit Mimi Matthews’ website and blog. You can also connect with her on FacebookTwitterBookBubPinterestGoogle+, and Goodreads.

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a signed copy of A Holiday By Gaslight!

To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.  

Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
A Holiday By Gaslight

Book Spotlight and Giveaway - The Killer Christmas Sweater Club (A Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery) by Terry Ambrose

Book Synopsis
All ten-year-old Alexandra Atwood wants for Christmas is to get her dad and the B&B’s cook Marquetta under the mistletoe. After all, how can they get married if they don’t kiss first?

When murder strikes in Seaside Cove, bed-and-breakfast owner Rick Atwood is asked to help find the killer. But this will not be an easy case to crack. Not only did the killer contaminate the crime scene, but there are suspects all over town. And they all received the same Christmas sweater from the victim.

Alex hears rumors about the murder and decides that since she’s on Christmas break, she has time for a little multitasking. She launches her own investigation even as she continues her efforts to get her dad and Marquetta together.

Just when Rick thinks he’s identified all the suspects, he discovers a new one—his estranged wife. With the days until Christmas ticking down, Rick feels pressured from all sides. He needs to solve the case. He needs to send his wife back to New York. But the one thing he doesn’t need is for his daughter to be one step ahead of him and the cops.

Author Bio
Terry Ambrose is a former skip tracer who tracked down deadbeats for a living. He’s long since turned his talents to writing mysteries and thrillers. Several of his books have been award finalists and in 2014 his thriller, “Con Game,” won the San Diego Book Awards for Best Action-Thriller. He likes cool photography, funny mysteries, and finding the oddest things while walking on the beach. 

Author Links

Purchase LinkAmazon


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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Book Review - NIV, Journal the Word Bible for Women, Comfort Print


A reflective journey through the Bible 

Do you seek stillness and inspiration in your quiet time? The NIV Journal the Word™ Bible for Women guides you through God’s precious Word with reflections and thought-provoking questions placed beside Scripture. 

Explore God’s Word for you and express your heart in the wide margins with room for responses, journaling, and artistic expression. 

Over 500 reflective journaling prompts carefully crafted to equip you to contemplate Scripture 
Full-text of the (NIV) 
Presentation page for personalizing and gift giving 
Beautiful page design 
Satin ribbon markers 
Subject index of journaling prompts 
Exclusive Zondervan NIV Comfort Print® typeface 9-point print size 

My Review 
This is a beautiful New International Version (NIV) Bible!  It comes in a paper slipcase, which would be very nice for gift giving.  

The Bible itself is cloth with a red and gold flower design on the cover along with the words:  "My soul finds rest in God" (Psalm 62:1).  There is a presentation page on the front endpaper (again, great for a gift).  Then there is a Table of Contents and an Alphabetical Order of the Books of the Bible.  This is a unique feature that you don't see often in Bibles, but I find it very helpful. 

As you read the Bible, you will find journaling prompts in the margins, along with ruled lines where you can journal and respond to the prompts.  There is ample room to write and journal at length. The text size is good for reading (not too small), and this is a Red Letter edition of the Bible, with Christ's words in red. 

At the back of the Bible there is a Table of Weights and Measures as well as a Subject Index and some ruled pages for notes. 

I find the format of this Bible, with the emphasis on journaling, very unique and helpful.  I think journaling as you go along with reading will bring new insights and prompt deeper thought on God's Word. 

I recommend this lovely edition of the Bible for personal study or for a special gift. 

I received a copy of this Bible from Booklook Bloggers.  

Friday, November 9, 2018

Dear Abby - Videos Abby Likes: A Dachshund Who Is Friends With a Lion

Dear Friends,

I have a very interesting video to share with you today.  In this short (3 minute) video you will meet Bonedigger the lion and his best friend, a dachshund named Abby (!).   Bonedigger is friends with several dachshunds, also seen in the video, but Abby is his special buddy.  They play together and even give kisses at one point.

I have met some very big dogs (biggest was a Mastiff) and I always was a little nervous because they were so much taller than me.  I cannot imagine meeting a lion!   I do not think I will make aquaintance with any lions in the near future.

I would love to hear from you in the comments, below.

I hope you have a great weekend!


Abby xoxoxo

Book Review and Giveaway - A Vintage Death (A Keepsake Cove Mystery) by Mary Ellen Hughes

Book Synopsis
As the new music box store owner and resident of Keepsake Cove, a quaint town full of collectible shops on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Callie Reed is eager to get more involved in her community. She volunteers to plan the Fall street decorations and welcome a visiting author who’s come for a special book signing. But the celebratory mood is cut short when the local B&B owner is found dead, killed by a pair of vintage scissors.

Suspicion is cast on the victim’s estranged wife, Dorothy, who owns Keepsake Cove’s vintage sewing shop. Callie is sure Dorothy is innocent, and the visiting author agrees. Together, they begin their own investigation, only to discover that many people in Keepsake Cove have secrets. Secrets that are worth killing to keep quiet.

My Review
Callie Reed owns a music box shop in Keepsake Cove, a quaint town on the coast of Maryland.  She becomes involved in a murder investigation when a body is found with stab marks from a pair of antique scissors.  The scissors came from a vintage sewing shop nearby and the shop owner is under suspicion.  Callie decides to investigate to find out what happened.

A Vintage Death is the second book in the Keepsake Cove Mystery series.  I have not read the first book (although I now want to!) but picked up on the characters and back story within a few chapters.  This book was enjoyable as a standalone read.

I absolutely loved the quaint Keepsake Cove setting with the cute little shops and the description of Callie's small cottage home.  I am a vintage seller and was delighted with the details of vintage items in the shops.  I especially enjoyed reading about the vintage music boxes in Callie's shop.

Callie was helped in her investigation by a new friend, Lyssa, a mystery author who came to town for a book reading and signing event.  I enjoyed their detecting adventures.  I especially liked the mysterious inn that played a part in the story -- complete with secret passageways and rooms!

The mystery had a lot of characters - and potential suspects.  I am an avid mystery reader but did not solve this one before Callie did!   I enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot.

I recommend A Vintage Death for cozy readers and especially for anyone who enjoys small town settings and vintage details.   I look forward to reading the next book in this series.

Author Bio
Mary Ellen Hughes is the bestselling author of the Pickled and Preserved Mysteries (Penguin), the Craft Corner Mysteries, and the Maggie Olenski Mysteries, along with several short stories. A Fatal Collection is her debut with Midnight Ink. A Wisconsin native, she has lived most of her adult life in Maryland, where she’s set many of her stories. Visit her at

Author Links
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GoodReads –

Purchase Links – Amazon    B&N  Midnight Ink

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I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Great Escapes Book Tour. 

Book Spotlight and Giveaway - Murder in Her Stocking (A Granny Reid Mystery) by G. A. McKevett

Book Synopsis
As the Moonlight Magnolia Agency revisits old memories on Christmas Eve, Granny Reid takes the reins back thirty years to the 1980s—back when she went by Stella, everyone’s hair was bigger, and sweaters were colorful disasters. But murder never went out of style . . .

Christmas has arrived in sleepy McGill, Georgia, but holiday cheer can’t keep temperamental Stella Reid from swinging a rolling pin at anyone who crosses her bad side—and this season, there are plenty. First an anonymous grinch vandalizes a celebrated nativity display. Far worse, the scandalous Prissy Carr is found dead in an alley behind a tavern. With police puzzled over the murder, Stella decides to stir the local gossip pot for clues on the culprit’s identity . . .

Turns out Prissy held a prominent spot on the naughty list, and suspects pile up like presents on Christmas morning. Unfortunately, the more progress Stella makes, the more fears she must confront. With a neighbor in peril and the futures of her beloved grandchildren at risk, Stella must somehow set everything straight and bring a cunning criminal to justice before December 25th . . .

Author Bio
G.A. McKevett is the author of the acclaimed Savannah Reid mystery series. Also writing under the name Sonja Massie, she has authored over 60 books ranging from cozy mysteries to historical romances, to nonfiction works on the history of Ireland. Her earthy humor and fast-paced plots delight her fans, while critics applaud her offbeat characterizations and incisive observations on human nature. Irish by ancestry, she has lived in Toronto, Ireland, and Los Angeles, but now resides in New York. 

Author Links

Purchase Links
Amazon  B&N  Kobo Google Play   Book Depository

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