Tag Archive | Book Blast Tuesday

Book Blast Tuesday: Sleuthing Women

I love these kinds of cozy mystery collections! There are some great cozy authors in this one and today we are being visited by Carol Sabala,  who is the main character in Smoked Meat,  Vinnie Hansen’s  contribution to Sleuthing Women II.

Be sure to scroll down and find the Prize Guy! Today you can enter for the chance at an ecopy of Sleuthing Women II. That’s 10 cozy novellas!

 

Please tell us about your latest adventure.

My “latest” adventure that author Vinnie Hansen decided to write about actually happened to me quite some time ago, before I became a PI, even before I solved the mystery at the posh restaurant where I work as a baker. In SMOKED MEAT, I went home for a family get-together at Christmas and all hell broke loose. It was the first “case” I ever solved.

Do you have any friends/sidekicks helping you out?

At the time of SMOKED MEAT, I couldn’t confide in anyone. Everyone in the house was suspect, except, perhaps, my nine-year-old cousin.

Do you have any special skills to fight crime?

I’m smart, nosy, and physically fit. I read crime fiction and lap up non-fiction books on poisons and firearms. I’m also doggedly persistent and a master of stare downs.

Are you a full-time detective or do you do something else?

I was just an innocent baker at Archibald’s in Santa Cruz when I went home (Ferndale, California) to spend the holiday with family and solved my first case. When Hansen first started recording my adventures in the mystery MURDER, HONEY, I was still a baker, but over the years, I trained as a private investigator. I’ve never fully gave up the bread-and-butter *wink* of my baking job, though.

What are you most frightened of in this story?

That one of my relatives is a murderer! That no one will take me seriously.

Is there anything funny that happens to you or another character in this story?

Only if you have a black sense of humor, a trait that thankfully the author and I share.

If I were to choose an actor or actress to play your part in a movie, who would that be?

Michelle Monaghan-Actress

Michelle Monaghan. She’s about the right height, age, and coloring, and can “do” gritty. But SMOKED MEAT goes back more than a decade before the last book in the series and might require a younger actress.

Do you have other mysteries you would like to tell us about? Is this the first book in the series, or have you cracked a few other cases?

SMOKED MEAT is a prequel to the Carol Sabala series, but Hansen wrote the novella last, after seven full-length mysteries. Authors! Who understands them? And that’s coming from me, a woman who used to dabble in writing screenplays.

Most of the time I investigate murders in the Santa Cruz, California area, but twice I’ve tracked down missing persons. Those cases took me to new locations. In DEATH WITH DESSERT, I traveled to Mexico and Arizona, and in BLACK BEANS & VENOM, I ventured illegally to Cuba.

Do you have any final words you would like to leave with our readers?

The famous mystery author Cara Black says I have quite a mouth on me. While SMOKED MEAT can be safely read by cozy lovers with tender ears, that’s not true of all my adventures.

Let’s give your author a chance to speak. Anything you would like to add? Take Carol with a grain of salt. She likes to come off tougher than she is.

About the Author

Vinnie Hansen fled the winds of the South Dakota prairie and headed for the California coast the day after high school graduation. She attended the U.C. Irvine Writing Program and has written numerous short stories; LOST ART STREET, a cross-genre novel of mystery, murder, and moonbeams; and the Carol Sabala mystery series. The eighth installment in her series, SMOKED MEAT, appears in the best-selling anthology SLEUTHING WOMEN II: 10 MYSTERY NOVELLAS. Still sane after 27 years of teaching high school English, Vinnie has retired and lives in Santa Cruz with her husband and the requisite cat.

 

Click Here to Enter the Sleuthing Women Giveaway.  Ten Novellas in Ecopy.

 

About the Stories in Sleuthing Women II

This collection is only 99 Cents!

Sleuthing Women II: 10 Mystery Novellas is a collection of ten mysteries featuring murder and assorted mayhem by ten critically acclaimed, award-winning, and bestselling authors. Each novella is a tie-in to an established multi-book series—a total of over 800 pages of reading pleasure for lovers of amateur sleuth, caper, cozy, and female P.I. mysteries.

Frosted, A Moreno & Hart Novella by Allison Brennan & Laura Griffin—Three years ago LAPD Detective Scarlet Moreno and rookie cop Krista Hart were nearly killed during a botched sting operation. Now, they’re best friends and partners in the Orange County private investigation firm of Moreno & Hart. But their routine assignments are anything but safe.

Crewel Intentions, An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Novella by Lois Winston—Craft editor Anastasia Pollack receives a desperate call for help from former fashion editor Erica Milano, now in Witness Protection. Erica is being stalked and is afraid to notify the authorities. She once saved Anastasia’s life. Will Anastasia be able to return the favor before the stalker strikes?

No Quarter, A Cleopatra Jones Novella by Maggie Toussaint—Amnesia, the doctor says when accountant Cleopatra Jones wakes in a distant hospital. Hours later most of her memory returns. Detective Jack Martinez visits Cleo’s nearby wealthy client, only she’s dead and broke. To Cleo’s horror, she’s a murder suspect. Will she totally recover her memory before the killer returns?

What the Widow Knew, A Kali-O’Brien Novella by Jonnie Jacobs—Attorney Kali O’Brien takes on the case of a young woman accused of murdering her much older, very rich husband. As evidence mounts and other possible suspects are eliminated, Kali’s doubts about her client’s innocence grow. Meanwhile, Kali is also grappling with her feelings for longtime boyfriend Detective Bryce Keating.

The Magnesium Murder, A Periodic Table Mystery by Camille Minichino—While freelance embalmer Anastasia Brent prepares the body of a young bride-to-be, she learns the girl’s mother suspects foul play. Once again Anastasia is pressed into service as a sleuth, following a trail of clues in search of a murderer and justice.

Honeymoons Can Be Murder, A Lee Alvarez Novella by Heather Haven— When PI Lee Alvarez goes on her honeymoon with bridegroom, Gurn Hanson, they find a dead woman practically on their doorstep. Kauai breezes may be soft, but there are gale force winds of accusation against Gurn. Will Lee find the real killer before her new hubby gets sent to a Hawaiian hoosegow?

Smoked Meat, A Carol Sabala Novella by Vinnie Hansen—Baker and wannabe sleuth Carol Sabala visits her mother for a family Christmas get-together. It’s murder, in more ways than one.

A Deadly Fundraiser, A Talk Radio Novella by Mary Kennedy—When radio talk show host Dr. Maggie Walsh and her pals start digging up clues in a scavenger hunt at a glitzy fundraiser, the game suddenly turns deadly. Will Maggie and her team be able to crack the case and solve the crime?

The Color of Fear. A Kelly O’Connell Novella by Judy Alter—Kelly receives a written kidnap threat targeting her infant daughter, Gracie. Kelly’s assistant Keisha narrates as Kelly and her family plot their precautions, but as time passes and the threat still looms, fear takes a toll on the family…and on Keisha.

Papa’s Ghost, A Gladdy Gold Mystery Novella by Rita Lakin—Gladdy and her girls accept an assignment iat a famous resort in Key West, thinking it will combine business with pleasure. Once they arrive, Gladdy suspects something is strange. Not only is their client an unexpected shock, but so is the case of murder they are expected to solve. Can they succeed when a whole city is against them?

Some explicit language in a few of the stories.

Book Blast Tuesday: Iced

Welcome to a new feature on my blog. Sometimes Authors want to shout out to the world they have a new book that they want to share with readers. Most of these books will be through Partners in Crime Book Tours and they will give us all a chance to find out about new releases and new authors that might just turn into favorites!  There is a giveaway for the Iced Book Blast so scroll down and find the Prize Guy. He’ll give you a chance to enter for a $15 Amazon Gift Card and 5 Ebook Winners. Ends June 28.

Without further ado, I introduce Iced by Avery Daniels. 

Julienne has her ideal job as an event planner at a prestigious resort. During a luncheon event she coordinated, a renowned celebrity pastor is killed next to the buffet. All eyes turn to her as the suspect. If she wants to stay out of jail or even keep her job, Julienne needs all the help she can get to solve the crime.

She has her work cut out for her with a vengeful high school rival now reporter, the public demanding she be fired, plus family who know what’s best for her, and a boyfriend who doesn’t understand her. She turns to friends and a new ally to uncover who wanted to put the pastor on ice.

Julienne goes undercover and investigates a local swingers group as she follows the trail of clues before they go cold. Can she gather enough suspects and motives to convince the police to her widen their investigation? Can she do it before the killer sets his murderous sights on her? Will her personal life ever be as simple as unveiling a murderer?

Book Details:
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Kindle Unlimited 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Enter for the chance to win a $15 gift card from Amazon or be one of the 5 winners of the ebook, Iced.

Excerpt from ICED

Today everything in my life changed.

I’m the events coordinator and membership manager, in training that is, at a five star resort in Colorado. Some days, like today, it feels like I was sacrificed to some sadistic little idol somewhere. Coordination of conferences and meetings of all sizes in the resort’s convention center facility was part of my training. But this particular event, a Leadership Luncheon that brought together the town’s community leaders to network, was a challenge from the first minutes this morning.

“Julienne, this event must be executed with precision and perfection.” Those are the favorite words of my boss, Chad. This particular event is a daylong exercise in patience.

Every job has its great parts and it’s not so great. Today encompassed one of the more unpleasant aspects of my job. Occasionally, okay usually, the hardest part of my job is the customer relations and today was particularly difficult. Some customers just can’t be satisfied and some events are riddled with issues.

We were only serving a modest seventy-five attendees, but I had already been assailed with special requests and numerous complaints. Picky doesn’t begin to cover it.

“How hard would it be to setup for a video presentation with a large screen and surround sound?”

“There are windows. It’s too distracting, people will be watching the hotel guests walking around.”

“Can we change the setup of room C from an L configuration to a U shape? But only for that one session, then move it back.”

“Can we get the Lobster for the buffet flown in that morning? Scallops are out….Can we have the scallops after all?”

“Music piped in during the breaks?”

“No music piped in at all.”

“Red tablecloths with white napkins.”

“Royal blue tablecloths with white napkins.”

“White tablecloths with yellow napkins.”

“Candles on mirrors for lunch centerpieces.”

“Fresh flowers for centerpieces.”

The changes continued even after the event started.

The Convention Center, with its classic European décor had a small lobby area with a few potted trees and plants on column stands. The rest extended down a hallway with two large areas on each side that could be divided into smaller rooms via partitions that extend from the walls as needed. The space could be up to eight small rooms, four on each side, or any combination from one to four rooms per side of the hallway.

The hallway was wide with several half-circle console tables including marble tops holding large dried floral arrangements and a few elegant chairs. The walls displayed large paintings of the Italian countryside and vineyards with carved gold gilt frames.

I was in a partitioned room overseeing the set up of the lunch buffet. The Italian Renaissance architecture was accentuated with interior details and décor that created a European elegance, all lit with the warm glow of a massive amber glass chandelier.

The room was a rectangle with the entrance from the hallway to one end and the door to the catering staging area at the opposite end. The buffet table was along the wall next to the staging door so wait staff could easy restock food items. The six-person round tables covered in rich golden linens were scattered strategically throughout the room to allow easy traffic flow. The thick carpet felt plush and cloud-like under foot.

I was surveying the buffet table with a critical eye. The five foot long ice sculpture of a swordfish occupied the center of the table and looked as though it was caught in mid leap, frolicking in a wave and ready to dive back into an unseen ocean. My stomach growled as the succulent smells of seafood teased my nose. The attendees would be returning to this room for their lunch and keynote speaker shortly.

“Brad, where are the crab leg metal crackers and little forks? Can you grab a few dozen and bring them right away?” Brad, slim and serious, had joined the team only two months ago and was picking up extra hours at every opportunity. He had asked to work this event as soon as I blocked out the time on the schedule. This would give him a good paycheck. He was lanky and took off with an easy loping stride to the staging area through the back door.

The door to the staging area had barely closed when I felt a hand grab hold of my derriere with an iron hard grip.

“This is more like it honey. I haven’t had any fun today.”

I whirled around and stumbled back. “Don’t touch the staff. That includes me Pastor Tom.” I practically shouted. Pastor Tom Drake was well known around town, and getting national attention lately with his mega church. He was included in the luncheon due to his influence, but he was just Pastor Tom since he was a local guy who started his church and radio ministry from his garage.

I had contended with bad behavior before, but never this grabby. I think I was going to have a bruise left from his vicious hand.

“You’re not being very fri…friendly.” I noticed his eyes were droopy and then I caught a whiff of the scotch he must have gotten at the Gilded Hornet pub next to the convention center building.

I decided to alert security we needed a person to monitor the rest of the event and turned to go. His iron hand grabbed hold of my arm and yanked me to him. Without a thought I took my knee to his groin and enjoyed watching his mouth form an “O” as his breath whooshed out. I broke free and backed away. I wasn’t turning my back on him again.

“I will see you fired for that you bitch.” He whispered with a jagged voice.

He couldn’t do that, at least I was pretty sure he couldn’t. I guess I’d find out. I rubbed my still smarting arm where he grabbed it. Brad would be back or the event participants would start to wander in so he couldn’t do much more, but I didn’t want to stay and find out. I backed out the door to the hallway toward the lobby and took my cell phone from my pants pocket.

“Hey Ron, we have a person under the influence at the luncheon in Convention Center. Can you spare someone for the afternoon?”

“I’ll make sure somebody’s there immediately Julienne. How bad is this guy?”

“Well, I’ll probably have a black-and-blue handprint on my arm and …my backside.” I took a deep breath.

“Son of a … I’ll be right there. You stay away from him.” Like I would go near that Neanderthal again, pastor or not.

The other participants were starting to exit the smaller break out session rooms and meander to the banquet room and bathrooms. The noise level began to creep upward from multiple conversations competing to be heard.

There was a loud crash of metal from the banquet room and a participant jerked open the door and froze in place. “Oh sh…” The participant’s mouth gaped and his eyes were large circles.

I ran over to the open door and saw Pastor Tom impaled through the chest with the sharp end of the Swordfish ice sculpture, from his back right through to the front. His head was forward against his chest. Blood, running down the swordfish tip that jutted from his chest, dripping to the carpet. Drip, drip, drip in a macabre but surreal scene.

***

Excerpt from Iced by Avery Daniels. Copyright © 2017 by Avery Daniels. Reproduced with permission from Avery Daniels. All rights reserved

Author Bio:

Avery Daniels was born and raised in Colorado, graduated from college with a degree in business administration and has worked in fortune 500 companies and Department of Defense her entire life. Her most eventful job was apartment management for 352 units. She still resides in Colorado with two brother black cats as her spirited companions. She volunteers for a cat shelter, enjoys scrapbooking and card making, photography, and painting in watercolor and acrylic. She inherited a love for reading from her mother and grandmother and grew up talking about books at the dinner table.

Catch Up With Avery On: Website 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!

Click here to view the Iced by Avery Daniels Book Blast Participants