Friday, December 6, 2019

It's here at last!

The exciting 4th installment in the Pismawallops PTA Mystery series is here!

An earthquake… a pile of books… and a corpse. JJ McGregor and the Pismawallop PTA are back on the job, desperate to find the killer before the library takes the fall.

The library can save your life… can it kill you, too?
JJ has a new job at the library, which ought to make her happy. But with all those books to shelve, the PTA to run, and a 16-year-old son to raise, there’s never enough time to spend with her sweetheart, police chief Ron Karlson. That’s especially true with Thanksgiving on the horizon and her mother coming to visit, not to mention the PTA’s Holiday Bazaar looming ahead.

When things turn deadly in the library stacks, JJ needs some answers fast, before she loses her job—or her life. She’s determined to learn everything about the victim, and for once the library doesn’t hold all the answers. JJ and Kitty may have to face the ultimate peril: a visit to Mrs. Halsey, the oldest—and crankiest—person on the island.

The Pismawallops PTA Mysteries: Cozy little murders, done with humor
Number of Pages — 284
Smashwords: ISBN 9780463465875
Paperback: ISBN: 9781691111701 

Purchase Links: AmazonApple Books – Smashwords:- Kobo –  B&N
Those are for ebooks. The paperback will be available soon. Very soon, unless I messed up again.

Hurry--the special pre-release prices won't last past Christmas!

Check out the blog tour, for reviews, interviews, and a chance to win a paperback copy of the book!
December 2 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
December 3 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
December 4 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
December 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 5 – Eskimo Princess Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 6 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 6 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
December 7 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 9 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 10 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 10 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
December 11 – Jemima Pett, Author – REVIEW & CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
December 13 – This Is My Truth Now – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

And speaking of Christmas... 
For my newsletter subscribers, a sweet holiday story, coming with your December newsletter! Sign up by December 15 to be sure you get your free copy! (Available for purchase after Dec. 20).

Wishing you all health, happiness, and time to read as we head into the holiday season!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

IWSG: Living the Writer Dream--Releasing a book

The first Wednesday of every month is the Insecure Writer's Support Group posting day, where writers can express their doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It's a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Check it out here and join if you want support with your writing. 
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Remember, the question is optional! 
December 4 question - Let's play a game. Imagine. Role-play. How would you describe your future writer self, your life and what it looks and feels like if you were living the dream? Or if you are already there, what does it look and feel like? Tell the rest of us. What would you change or improve? 

The awesome co-hosts for the December 4 posting of the IWSG are Tonja Drecker, Beverly Stowe McClure, Nicki Elson, Fundy Blue, and Tyrean Martinson!
Be sure to drop by and show them some love! 
Before I get to the question, here's my monthly accounting for myself: 
First, the huge news: my story, A World of Trouble, will be in the new IWSG Anthology! I've been sitting on this news for three weeks and am so excited to be able to share it at last! I'll share more on that as soon as I have it.
Second, I had a very productive NaNo month, averaging 2200 words/day. I wrote every single day all month, and only dropped below my personal goal of 2000 words/day 5 times. I am continuing to write, as the novel wasn't complete on the 30th (as when are they ever?). I did, however, break 66,000 words on a final-afternoon write-in.
Third, and maybe most important: Book 4 in the Pismawallops PTA mystery series is out on Friday! The ebooks are available for pre-order, and the paperback should be ready very soon after.
You can find anything at your local library… even a corpse?

When things turn deadly in the library stacks, JJ needs some answers fast, before she loses her job—or her life. She’s determined to learn everything about the victim, and for once the library doesn’t hold all the answers. JJ and Kitty may have to face the ultimate peril: a visit to Mrs. Halsey, the oldest—and crankiest—person on the island. 

Pre-order ebooks now at: 
Fourth: The Christmas Question, a PPTA novella, is almost ready, and a download link will be included in my December newsletter, on or around the 15th (or maybe the 20th...). Those who subscribe to the newsletter before then will get it free... after the 20th, it will be on sale at the usual places.

With all that, I don't think there's room to answer the question--except that looking at this, I think I'm living the writer dream :)

Monday, December 2, 2019

Cozy Review: Bookmarked for Murder

We are delighted to feature a book-themed mystery here today!

Bookmarked for Murder (Mystery Bookshop) by V.M. Burns

About Bookmarked for Murder

Title: Bookmarked for Murder (Mystery Bookshop) Cozy Mystery 5th in Series  
Author: V.M. Burns
Publishing info: Kensington (November 26, 2019) 
Paperback: 256 pages 
ISBN-10: 1496718313 
ISBN-13: 978-1496718310
 Digital ASIN: B07P9MR138 
Publisher's Blurb:
Amateur sleuth Samantha Washington’s shopping trip to Chicago takes a deadly detour when a man is murdered on her bus . . .
After some post-Christmas retail therapy in the Windy City, mystery bookshop owner and historical whodunit novelist Sam Washington is returning home to North Harbor, Michigan, on a chartered bus. With Nana Jo and her gal pals Irma, Dorothy, and Ruby Mae from Shady Acres Retirement Village along for the ride, it's a lively trip. But one passenger is not so lively—a gentleman Irma befriended is found dead in his seat after an unscheduled stop. The ladies immediately shift gears to find out who punched his ticket, while Sam slips into the driver's seat to make sure Nana Jo and her crew steer clear of fatal conclusions . . .

My Review: 
I have mixed feelings about this one. I thought it was an interesting story, with good characters, and a mystery worth puzzling over. At the same time, there were some issues with the writing. In the end, I decided to give it a pass on those, as it was an unedited proof, and hope that they will be cleaned up in the final draft and do justice to a good story.

Sam is an engaging sleuth, though I did wonder at times about how little time she seemed to need to spend working in her bookstore. The only bookstore owners I know are chained to their shops 24/7. That doesn't allow for a lot of sleuthing, though, so we'll forgive the author for stretching reality a bit. Sam is nicely human, with insecurities, over-confidence, and cleverness in about the right proportions. She makes at least one dumb move, but gets away with it.

I did have a hunch about the killer before the end, but would have said the same if it had proven to be a couple of others, so I can't say it was too obvious. The mystery is well put-together.

Honestly, the characters I really loved were Nana Jo and her cohort of feisty old ladies. This may reflect my age, or it may reflect that those are the characters that are developed in the most interesting way. Read it and draw your own conclusion about that!

My Recommendation:
This is a solid addition to the cozy mystery genre, with a touch of romance (but delightfully free of excessive angst about that romance). Nab it for a quick, fun holiday read. As the 5th in the series, I felt a bit at sea right at first, but the book has enough of the back-story to stand on its own.

FTC Disclosure: I received an ARC of Bookmarked for Murder from Great Escapes Free Book Tours, and received nothing further from the writer or publisher in exchange for my honest review.  The opinions expressed are my own and those of no one else.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." 

About V.M. Burns

V.M. Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest, she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. Her debut novel, The Plot is Murder was nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime. Readers can learn more by visiting her website at
Author Links:  
Twitter: @vmburns

Purchase Links – AmazonBarnes & NobleIndieBoundBooks-A-MillionHudson Booksellers - Kobo
December 2 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT  
December 2 – The Ninja Librarian -REVIEW  
December 2 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews - SPOTLIGHT  
December 3 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
December 3 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW  
December 4 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW  
December 5 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW  
December 5 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT  
December 6 – The Book's the Thing - REVIEW  
December 6 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – REVIEW
December 7 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT  
December 7 – Christy's Cozy Corners – REVIEW  
December 8 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW  
December 9 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW  
December 9 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW  
December 10 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT  
December 10 – Cassidy's Bookshelves – REVIEW  
December 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
December 11 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT  
December 12 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT  
December 12 – The Book Diva's Reads – SPOTLIGHT  
December 13 – Book Club Librarian- REVIEW  
December 13 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT  

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