Showing posts with label Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. Show all posts

Monday, February 12, 2018

"Death by a Whisker" by T. C. LoTempio

GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY
Death by a Whisker
(A Cat Rescue Mystery Book 2)
by T. C. LoTempio

Death by a Whisker (A Cat Rescue Mystery Book 2)  by T. C. LoTempio

Death by a Whisker,  the second book in the Cat Rescue Mystery series by T. C. LoTempio, has just been released. Also available: Purr M for Murder (read my blog post).

Purr M for Murder by T. C. LoTempio

This book tour and giveaway is brought to you by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


More books by this author: Meow If It's Murder (read my blog post), Claws for Alarm (read my blog post), and Crime and Catnip (read my blog post).

Description
Getting used to life back home in Deer Park, North Carolina, Sydney McCall and her right-hand tabby, Toby, are helping her sister Kat run the local animal shelter. Syd and Kat are all excited about the prospect of the shelter’s newest fundraiser: shopping channel queen Ulla Townsend. Shelter admin Maggie Shayne vehemently refuses to have anything to do with the woman, but the fundraiser ensues as planned. That is, until Ulla turns up dead in the middle of the event.
The cause of death is determined to be an allergic reaction, but Syd and Toby are sniffing out something fishy. When Syd met Ulla, it was clear she was distasteful and rude. And right before the event, Syd spotted some behind-the-scenes drama between Ulla and her manager. As they begin to investigate, they realize there is no shortage of suspects, and Maggie is at the top of the list.
Now Syd and Toby must claw their way to the truth before everything goes paws up at their animal shelter in Death by a Whisker by national bestselling author T. C. LoTempio.

Excerpt
As I passed by the signing table I noticed that Ulla was frowning and scratching her arm. She leaned over and whispered something to Wendy, who immediately got up and headed toward the back. Then she smiled at the person standing in front of her and asked who he wanted the book inscribed to. As she signed it, I noticed she seemed to be having trouble breathing. Suddenly she tossed the pen and book aside and jumped to her feet, almost knocking her chair over. I set the flyers down and hurried over to her. “Ms. Townsend, are you all right?”
She pressed two fingers to her sternum. “I-I’m not sure,” she said in a strangled tone. “My chest feels so tight…maybe I need to splash some water on my face.”
She turned toward me and I frowned. Her lower lip looked a bit puffy, and the flush on her neck had now morphed to a bright candy-apple red. “Do you need me to come with you to the restroom?”
She shook her head. “Just tell Wendy and Savannah where I am,” she murmured. She raced down the hall to the bathroom and I heard the door slam.
There was an excited buzz in the room. As I debated whether to say something, Wendy suddenly appeared at my elbow. “Where’s Ulla? Why isn’t she at the table?”
“She said she felt sick – her chest was tight. She went to the bathroom to splash some water on her face.”
Wendy let out a strangled cry. “A panic attack. Just what we need in the last twenty minutes.”
I frowned. “It didn’t seem as if it were a panic attack.”
“Oh trust me, it probably was. She does this all the time-although it’s usually to get Ken’s sympathy.”
“I don’t know about that,” I said. “Her lip looked a bit puffy, and she really was having trouble breathing.”
Wendy ran a hand through her short do, glancing over at the people who were milling around the table, craning their necks and whispering excitedly. “I guess I’d better do some damage control.” She turned toward the crowd and said smoothly, “Not to worry, folks. Ulla will be back in a few minutes…I hope,” she muttered under her breath to me and then she hurried off in the direction of the bathroom.
Tara came over to me, concern etched on her face. “Is Ulla sick?”
I frowned. “I’m not sure. It seemed that way. I think I’ll go check on her as well.” I hurried down the hall, and I could hear Tara saying to the remaining people, “Don’t worry, Ulla will be back shortly. In the meantime, there’s plenty of goodies at our café.” As I passed the side door it suddenly swung open and Savannah breezed in. Her gaze swept me up and down. “You look concerned. Is something wrong?”
“Ulla didn’t feel well. She went to the bathroom to splash some cold water on her face. She doesn’t have high blood pressure, does she?”
“One twenty over eighty since I’ve known her. Her pressure’s fine. She just manages to raise other people’s.” Savannah said, and then she frowned. “How bad is she? I wonder if I should call Ken.”
“He’s not here?”
Savannah shook her head. “He and his wife left about fifteen minutes ago.” Her lips twisted into a wry smile. “Neither one of them looked very happy. Man, would I love to be a fly on the ceiling of that Mercedes. Come to think of it, he might appreciate an interruption.”
Savannah put the phone to her ear and moved off. I shifted the tray in my arms and was just about to enter the playroom when the bathroom door banged open and Wendy emerged, pale and wide-eyed.
“Someone call nine-one-one,” she shouted. “Something’s terribly wrong with Ulla. I-I don’t think she’s breathing.”

Praise for the Book
“The author provides plenty of suspects for you to dish about their suspicious behaviors and activities, and the finale is a whopper of a reveal!” ~ Linda Langford at Chatting About Cozies
“This was a highly enjoyable cozy mystery. I loved how this book was perfect if you are an animal/cat lover.” ~ Dani, Touch My Spine Book Reviews
“This was a quick fun read that will appeal to mystery lovers.” ~ Kristi
Death by a Whisker is the 2nd book in the enjoyable cozy mystery series. The story is well told and the plot kept me guessing.” ~ Lisa Morin
Death by a Whisker is a fast-paced, enjoyable read that will have the audience yelling for more. It is highly recommended to anyone who loves animals, town gossip and stories that keep them guessing.” ~ The Cozy Review

Guest Post by the Author
Cats Make Great Detectives, Too!
As a writer of cozy mysteries featuring extremely communicative cats (Nick in the Nick and Nora Mystery series, debut December 2014, Toby in the Cat Rescue series, debut March 2016), I must confess to being partial to mysteries that feature cats! (Not that I don’t like dogs, or give dogs equal time, I do, I do! But when you own a twenty-two-pound blogging cat, your loyalties are naturally going to gravitate toward the feline end!)
Here are a few of my favorite feline cozies!
Magical Cats Mystery series by Sofie Kelly
This series centers around Kathleen Paulson, a librarian from Boston, and two stray cats with special powers, Owen and Hercules, in fictional Mayville Heights, Minnesota. Kathleen has moved to Mayville Heights from Boston after her fiancée marries a waitress after an argument, and ends up adopting two strays, a tabby named Owen and a tuxedo named Hercules. Turns out the cats have magical powers: Owen can turn invisible and Hercules can walk through walls! Which provides quite a bit of humor! There is also a bit of romance in the form of uptight detective Marcus Gordon. Plenty of quirky characters and homespun charm! Kathleen finds herself a murder suspect in the first volume setting up the romantic tension between herself and Detective Gordon for future adventures.
In my favorite entry, Final Catcall, Kathleen’s ex-boyfriend Andrew shows up, desperate to win her back, but Kathleen’s unsure just where she stands with Detective Marcus. And when a local theatre festival relocates to Mayville Heights and its insufferable director is found shot, Kathleen (and her cats) are in the thick of a puzzling mystery once again.
The latest in the series, Faux Paw, revolves around the arrival of an art exhibition at the Mayville Heights library. Thanks to the overbearing curator and high-tech security system that comes with it, Kathleen’s life has been completely disrupted. Even Owen and Hercules have been affected, since their favorite human doesn’t seem to have a spare moment to make their favorite fish crackers or listen to Barry Manilow. But when Kathleen stops by the library late one night and finds the curator sprawled on the floor - and the exhibition’s most valuable sketch missing - it’s suddenly time to canvass a crime scene.
The charm of this series lies in the quirkiness of its main characters and, of course, the two cats with their seemingly supernatural abilities. A great series!
Cat in the Stacks Mystery series by Miranda James
Set in the fictional town of Athena, Mississippi, the action centers around librarian Charlie Harris and his Maine Coon cat, Diesel. Diesel is quite large for his size, but very lovable, and Charlie walks him on a leash and takes him pretty much everywhere he goes. Unlike the cats in the Magical Cats Mystery series, Diesel is more of a sidekick for Charlie than an active participant in the mystery solving – although he does lend a paw from time to time. The series has many charming characters, some of which have even been put into a spin-off series by James. My favorite is The Silence of the Library, which revolves around a library exhibit to honor YA novelists – in particular, one octogenarian, Electra Barnes Cartwright, the author of the beloved Veronica Thane series. Once news of the author’s appearance goes viral, another rumor surfaces – that of five unpublished manuscripts – drawing out one rabid fan who will stop at nothing short of murder to get hold of the rare books. Series book devotees will find the references and facts about actual series books interspersed throughout the book interesting, and it adds to the mystery. Charlie and Diesel should be around entertaining us for many years to come.
The latest in the series, No Cats Allowed, has Charlie facing trouble at the workplace. The new library director, Elwyn Dillard, is a brash, unfriendly Yankee who’s on a mission to cut costs - and his first targets are the archive and the rare book collection. Dillard quickly raises the hackles of everyone on staff, including Charlie’s fiery friend Melba - whom Dillard wants to replace with someone younger. But his biggest offense is declaring all four-legged creatures banned from the stacks. With enemies aplenty, the suspect list is long when Dillard’s body is discovered in the library. But things take a turn for the worse when a threatening e-mail throws suspicion on Melba, and Charlie and Diesel have to put in overtime to clear her!
Mrs. Murphy Mystery series by Rita Mae Brown (& Sneaky Pie Brown)
What can you say about a mystery series co-authored by a cat? The first adventure, Wish You Were Here, published in 1991, introduced us to Mary Minor Haristeen (aka Harry) and her constant companions, Mrs. Murphy, a tabby and Tucker, a Welsh Corgi. Harry is the postmistess of the town of Crozet, Virginia, a job that puts her in an excellent to figure out who is murdering, in ghastly fashion, various pillars of her community. Postcards are sent to a wealthy contractor shortly before parts of his body are found in a cement mixer and then to a storeowner whose corpse, tied to a railroad track, is cut in three parts by the express. The cards alert Harry and friends to a plot that will take more lives before they discover the treasure that inspires the violence. Quirky is the middle name of most of the characters in this long-running series, and Brown always gives a brief rundown of all the characters at the beginning of each book, apparently to keep readers from becoming confused at the large cast.
My pick of the series is The Litter of the Law. Autumn has descended and crops are being harvested all over Crozet, Virginia, ideal conditions for a scenic drive for Harry and husband Fair. Bucolic views are all well and good, but Harry’s nose for trouble leads her straight to a cornfield’s macabre scarecrow - an all too real murder victim that frightens all but the noisy crows! Nothing, however, frightens the irrepressible Mrs. Murphy, because we all know that while it’s Harry who receives the credit for the crime solving, it’s really Mrs. Murphy and her friends, Pewter the cat and Tucker the dog, who are the real detectives!
Nick and Nora Mystery series by T. C. LoTempio
And while I don’t like to toot my own horn, I feel I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a brief shout out to my own series. First is the Nick and Nora Mystery series. Nora Charles is an ex-true crime reporter who leaves her high pressure job on a Chicago newspaper to return to her hometown of Cruz, California, to take over her late mother’s specialty sandwich shop. Along the way she makes the acquaintance of a tubby tuxedo cat she names Nick. Nick belonged to a PI who may or may not be dead, and the cat seems to have extraordinary abilities of his own. He’s remarkably adept at sniffing out a clue, and he can spell them out with his favorite toy, Scrabble tiles! The first book in the series is Meow If It’s Murder.
Cat Rescue Mystery series by T. C. LoTempio
Then there is Toby in the Cat Rescue Mystery series. Toby might not spell out clues for his human, Syd McCall, but he’s very adept at pointing her in the right direction and in the latest, Death by a Whisker, even manages to rescue her from a tight situation.
I hope that you’ll be inclined to try one of these wonderful mysteries. And there are more, lots more to come!

About the Author
While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic. She (and Rocco, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime and the Cat Rescue Mystery series from Crooked Lane. She, Rocco, and company make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York.




Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

Links

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

"Searching for Gertrude" by D. E. Haggerty

REVIEW and GIVEAWAY
Searching for Gertrude
by D. E. Haggerty

Searching for Gertrude by D. E. Haggerty

Searching for Gertrude by D. E. Haggerty is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other participating blogs as well.



Description
While growing up in Germany in the 1930s, Rudolf falls in love with the girl next door, Gertrude. He doesn’t care what religion Gertrude practices but the Nazis do. When the first antisemitic laws are enacted by the Nazi government, Gertrude’s father loses his job at the local university. Unable to find employment in Germany, he accepts a position at Istanbul University and moves the family to Turkey.
Rudolf, desperate to follow Gertrude, takes a position working at the consulate in Istanbul with the very government which caused her exile. With Rudolf finally living in the same city as Gertrude, their reunion should be inevitable, but he can’t find her. During his search for Gertrude, he stumbles upon Rosalyn, an American Jew working as a nanny in the city. Upon hearing his heartbreaking story, she immediately agrees to help him search for his lost love.
Willing to do anything in their search for Gertrude, they agree to work for a British intelligence officer who promises his assistance, but his demands endanger Rudolf and Rosalyn. As the danger increases and the search for Gertrude stretches on, Rudolf and Rosalyn grow close, but Rudolf gave his heart away long ago.
How far would you go to find the woman you love?


Excerpt
As usual, the clerk rushed out of the room as soon as it was lunchtime the next day. Rudolf waited until the other administrative workers had left, and then he waited an additional five minutes to make sure no one was coming back. He didn’t sneak over to the clerk’s desk. He strolled over as if he had business to which he needed to attend even as his palms sweated and his heart beat erratically. He tugged on the drawer to ensure it was locked before pulling the letter opener out of his pocket. He looked around to ensure he was still alone before kneeling in front of the drawer and sticking the letter opener in the tiny lock. With only a bit of jiggling, the lock clicked open. As quietly as he could, Rudolf pulled the drawer open and peeked in. Sure enough, the cabinet keys were sitting in the tray on the top of the drawer. He slid the drawer closed and went to stand. That’s when he realized his mistake. The drawer had to be locked when the clerk arrived. Otherwise, he would immediately assume something was wrong.
Rudolf kneeled in front of the closed drawer and once again stuck his letter opener in the lock. If the letter opener could unlock the drawer, it stood to reason it could also lock it. It took quite a bit of fiddling made worse by his shaky hands before he felt a click. He heard the clacking of boots on tile and jumped to his feet while thrusting the letter opener in his pocket. The sound came closer. He didn’t have time to check the lock was engaged. He rushed in the opposite direction of the approaching person, entering the hallway on the far side of the office. He walked to the toilet and waited until he was locked in a stall before he dared to take a breath. He leaned against the stall door and took deep breaths while his heart slowly went back to its regular rhythm.
After he managed to gain some semblance of calm, he splashed cold water on his face before returning to his desk where he waited for the clerk to arrive. Was the desk drawer locked? Would the clerk know someone had tampered with the drawer even if it was locked? It took all of Rudolf’s willpower to not constantly glance at the clerk’s empty desk. When the clerk finally arrived, Rudolf tilted his chair in the clerk’s direction and waited with bated breath. But nothing happened other than the clerk unlocking his desk after sitting down. Rudolf waited for the man to notice things were amiss. It took several hours before he realized the clerk was not going to notice anything, and he could relax. He could breathe for the first time since lunch and got back to work.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“This WWII era story, set in Istanbul, is emotional, captivating and amazing. The author has obviously done her research, and she makes actual historical events an integral part of the story.” ~ Book Babble
“This story is just full of historical details that really give the reader a sense of the life that the people in Europe were leading during this dark time in history. It provides an excellent backdrop for this information that keeps the reader wondering what the two characters will discover next.” ~ Books a Plenty Book Reviews
“Searching for Gertrude is in two words spectacularly beautiful. It is emotional, beautiful, captivating and just engaging and so so amazing. DE Haggerty’s creates the environment of what Rudolf and Rosalynn are going through that is so palpable and real. She creates the historical emotion and happenings in such a realistic way in both situations and emotion.” ~ hello-booklover
“The entire story is entrancing, the setting is perfect, and the trials and tribulations our characters endure are believable. Historical events are a pivotal part of the story, instead of being thrown in as background noise, and they’re intelligently written. There’s never a lull, and the author puts you in that time and place. I was hooked from the beginning and just hated to put it down!” ~ CeeCee Lawson
“This was a really good book and well written. I was drawn into the story and could visualize all that was going on. This is a book that I am still thinking about and I will read again.” ~ T from Florida


My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.


By Lynda Dickson
The book begins in Germany, 1933, when sixteen-year-old Gertrude and her family are forced to abandon their home and move to Istanbul, Turkey, because they are Jewish. Her nineteen-year-old neighbour Rudolf is forced to watch his soulmate leave, and he vows to be reunited with her one day. Eight years later, in 1941, Rudolf finally makes his way to Istanbul, after studying and gaining a position as a foreign diplomat. There, he meets Rosalyn, a young Jewish woman who has recently arrived from New York - in the guise of becoming a nanny - to help the exiled Jews in any way she can. Rudolf and Rosalyn form a mutually beneficial relationship, meeting on a bench in the park to update each other on their search for Gertrude. But, as their feelings for each other grow, what will happen once their search for Gertrude is over?
The story is told in alternating chapters from the perspectives of Rosalyn and Rudolf. The chapters headed with a quote by Rosalyn are from Rudolf’s viewpoint and vice versa, so these quotes serve to provide a commentary on the events of the preceding chapter. It’s obvious the author has done extensive research to write this book. The inclusion of German and Turkish dialogue adds an authentic touch; however, it is never translated, and the meaning is not always apparent in context. Many real-life events are also incorporated into the plot; the account of the Struma, a ship carrying nearly 800 Jewish refugees, is particularly heartbreaking.
While the author builds suspense by foreshadowing trials and tribulations to come, these never eventuate, and things are often resolved quite easily. This leaves us with more of a sweet, historical romance than a thrilling espionage thriller.
An entertaining and informative read.


About the Author
D. E. Haggerty
I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom's Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed.
College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage, to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear.
After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law.
But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. So, I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before followingd the husband to Istanbul, where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go.
But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague, where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.
Searching for Gertrude is my twelfth book.

Giveaway
Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

Links