Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving to all A Cozy Girl Reads Followers

Happy Thanksgiving to our American Followers. I'm Canadian so my Thanksgiving is over but today I am still thankful for all of you, our followers of our Facebook Page and our blog for reading our reviews and entering our giveaways and I am thankful for the cozy mysteries I get to read and review and share with you and to all the authors that write them. Thank you for following and liking A Cozy Girl Reads.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Book Giveaway Winner: Christmas Cozy By Kathi Daley

The book giveaway winner of a paperback or kindle copy of Christmas Cozy book 11 in the Zoe Donovan Mysteries by Kathi Daley is MARIA LEWIN, she is one of our email winners. I will send your email off to the author Kathi and she will contact you about claiming your book prize. Thank you to Maria and everyone who entered and for following A Cozy Girl Reads

Friday, November 14, 2014

Book Giveaway: Christmas Cozy by Kathi Daley.

Enter with your email below or if you do not wish to leave your email, send your email and entry to, just leave Christmas Cozy Giveaway in the subject line
to win a paperback or kindle copy of Christmas Cozy Book 11 in the Zoe Donovan Mysteries by Kathi Daley. The contest ends at 9:00 AM EST on November 16th and the winner will be announced November 16 at 10:00 am EST.

At a Cozy Girl Reads we love nothing better than a Christmas themed mystery. Good luck to all who enter and thank you for following A Cozy Girl Reads.

Christmas in Ashton Falls is always a magical time of year. The first big snow has arrived, the tree in the town square has been decorated, the window displays completed, and Hometown Christmas is just around the corner. Zoe finds herself knee deep in holiday shopping and Children’s wishes as she and Zak play host to nine year old Scooter Sherwood and his friend Alex. Although a bit hectic, the magic of Christmas is in full bloom and things couldn’t be more perfect until Zoe finds the body of history teacher Holly Jolly in the Ashton Falls High School Christmas Tree lot. When best friend Levi Denton ends up as the primary suspect, Zoe is pulled into a dangerous holiday investigation.

Kathi Daley

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Book Review: On Borrowed Time by Jenn McKinlay

Title: On Borrowed Time
Author: Jenn McKinlay
Series: Book 5 Library Lovers' Mystery
Publisher: Berkley
Format: Paperback
Source: Received for Review from Publisher
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Reviewed by: Tina

There is nothing like the unbreakable bond between brother and sister and it's brought to the forefront in On Borrowed time. Library Director Lindsay Norris  loves the holidays and she is preparing the library for the onslaught when her brother, Jack surprises her and makes an appearance at the Briar Creek library, Lindsay allows him to rest in the room reserved for her "Crafternoon" women's group.

When she returns she finds him missing and a dead man sprawled out on the floor. Between two men Captain Mike "Sully" Sullivan and actor Robbie Vine vying for her affections, the library, the dead man and now a missing brother she has a lot to deal with. It comes to light with Jack being a consultant for a coffee company that he has many secrets he is hiding and keeping secrets seems to run in the family as Lindsay is not being so forthcoming with the police by not telling them about her brother because of fear of him being killed by the kidnappers.

Lindsay enlists her "crafternoon" friends to help her find Jack and search for the truth and find a killer before Lindsay becomes the next victim.

Very fast paced, hard to put down mystery. It really had me on the edge of my seat as to what was going to happen next. It was a well crafted and well thought out story. The love triangle between Lindsay, Sully and Robbie and they are two men who  certainly care for Lindsay and stop at nothing to try to get her attention. I was  in antisipation about who she was going to chose to be with. 

I could feel the unbreakable bond and relationship between brother and sister, Lindsay and Jack like it was coming through the pages that's how strong it was and how well written and expressed through words it was by the author and i'm sure that's how the author wants us as readers to feel. Lindsay, between her love life and trying to find a killer and save her brother is one extraordinary character and I can't wait to continue to get a glimpse into Lindsay's life in the next book in this series.

Guest Post: Cozy Mystery Author Jenn McKinlay


 Nov 4th is a very special day for me. Yes, it’s election day, but no I’m not running for office, rather I am celebrating the publication of my twentieth mystery ON BORROWED TIME. When I began this journey I had no idea that I had twenty novels inside me, in fact, I was surprised I even had one! My first mystery came out in 2009. It was the first mystery in a short lived series that I wrote under the name Lucy Lawrence. I loved that series set in a paper store in Massachusetts, not only because it was my first but also because I learned so much about writing a series during its creation.

 Because that series didn’t last, I was convinced my writing career was doomed. I began pitching more and more ideas until I had three series under my own name Jenn McKinlay; the library lover’s series, the cupcake bakery series, and the London hat shop series. You’d think that would be enough, but no. I also took on another series under the name Josie Belle about a group of bargain hunters. When people see the amount of books I write, about four a year, they often ask me how. I wish there was a simple answer but writing is such a unique experience that one size most definitely does not fit all. I have author friends who tell me that every single word is excruciating.

 I know others who tell me they have to think about the book for months before they can write a word. And then there are the crazy ones who write three books at the same time and never get mixed up. Incredible, I know. For me, writing is a lot like falling down a rabbit hole. I don’t think about it too much, in fact, it’s sort of an out of body experience where the story is unfolding in front of me and I am just dutifully taking down notes. Frequently, when I go back over the book before turning it in, I literally have no recall of writing a particular scene or conversation, which is a little unnerving.

 Then again, I fall asleep at the computer so often it could be that I’ve trained myself to write in my sleep and just don’t know it. In any case, the one thing that I have learned is that for me the cupboard never seems to be bare. It’s actually the opposite. The more I write the more ideas I get and the more stories I want to tell. Not all of them are worthy. Sometimes it’s just a snippet that goes nowhere, like a puff of smoke when a candle is blown out, but other times the idea sinks its fangs so deeply into me I know I won’t shake it loose until I write it.

 ON BORROWED TIME was like that, and I got absolutely no peace until the book was done. Here’s a brief description of the twentieth book to give you an idea of the story that demanded to be told: Holiday cheer fills the air in the town of Briar Creek, making even the grumpiest public servant almost chipper. Things take a somber turn; however, when Lindsey finds her brother Jack hiding in one of the library’s meeting rooms. He tells her that he’s on the run from someone who wants to kill him and that he’ll explain later.

 When later comes, Lindsey opens the door to the meeting room to find her brother missing, leaving a dead body in his place. Now Lindsey is in on borrowed time, trying to find her brother before the police or the killer do. I hope you enjoy reading ON BORROWED TIME as much as I enjoyed writing it. Here’s to twenty more mysteries or more! For more information about me or my books, you can go to my website or find me on Facebook or Twitter.

 Happy reading! Jenn

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Guest Post: Author Kate Carlisle: Writing What she Doesn't Know

Kate Carlisle’s Writing What She Doesn’t Know

 From the time I was a little girl, I’ve loved books. More than just the content—the stories, the language, the knowledge—I loved the book itself as an object. I always volunteered to hang Dad’s dry cleaning so I could lay claim to the thin, white cardboard sheets tucked inside his dress shirts. I used them to make my own little books, beautifully decorated but blank inside.

 I moved on to take book arts classes at the local library and then at book arts centers. Writing the Bibliophile Mysteries with bookbinder protagonist Brooklyn Wainwright was a natural extension of a hobby I’ve enjoyed all my life.

 The Fixer-Upper Mysteries? Not so much.

 Shannon Hammer, heroine of A High-End Finish (November 4) and This Old Homicide (January 27), lovingly restores Victorian homes in the quaint town of Lighthouse Cove, California. While my father was a contractor and my brother painted Victorian buildings in San Francisco, I personally have no hands-on experience in that field. No, I have never restored a Victorian home. Or any home, for that matter. I had my kitchen remodeled a couple years ago, but I didn’t do the work; I just complained about how long it took.

 With the Fixer-Upper Mysteries, I’m writing about something I don’t know—for the sheer pleasure of doing the research. And I’m having so much fun, I almost feel guilty!

 Through Shannon, we get to explore every nook and cranny of the fascinating Victorian homes of Lighthouse Cove, from the grande dames to the crackerboxes. When most people think Victorian, they think of Queen Anne style, but there are many styles of Victorian architecture. In the books, readers will have the pleasure of traipsing through strangers’ homes and through the history in each, all wrapped up in a quirky whodunit.


 It’s unfortunate for Shannon that in A High-End Finish, she literally stumbles upon a dead body in the basement of one of her projects. And even more unfortunate that the victim turns out to be a creep she went on a blind date with the night before, a date that ended badly… and publicly.

 I grabbed my purse and jacket and started to dash off—until I felt cold air hit my skin. I looked down to see my teal blouse rippling in the breeze. Jerry had torn it off my shoulder!

 I turned back and yelled, “You big jerk!” I was so angry. He’d ripped my clothing! What a Neanderthal! I knew it was wrong, knew I had to shake off this negative energy, but I wanted to give him a swift smack across his big stupid head. Just walk away, I thought.

 I started to move, but stopped when I heard another sound.


 Looking up at the pier, I saw two men rushing down the stairs toward me. The rest of the people standing at the railing were clapping and laughing and whistling. I even recognized a few of them when they waved at me. What did they think was going on here?

 Jerry raised his head and glared at me. “You’ll be sorry for that.”

 “Oh yeah?” I felt safer now that we were about to have company, so instead of slapping at him like I wanted to, I reached inside my purse and pulled out the only weapon I had on me. My pink needle-nose pliers. I leaned over and snipped them in front of his face a few times.

 He recoiled. “Get that thing away from me!” “Just a warning,” I said with deadly calm, furious with myself for ever believing that he might’ve been a nice guy. So who do you think is the prime suspect when Jerry is found murdered the very next day? Especially when he’s murdered on one of Shannon’s job sites… and the likely murder weapon is one of the pink tools for which she’s known.

 A High-End Finish is available now, so you have the chance to get in on the Fixer-Upper Mystery series right from the very beginning. I hope you’ll enjoy the stories and that you’ll love learning fascinating little tidbits about restoring beautiful Victorian homes. Read more about the Fixer-Upper Mysteries at

Book Review: A High- End Finish by Kate Carlisle

 Title: A High-End Finish
 Author: Kate Carlisle
 Genre: Cozy Mystery
 Series: A Fixer-Upper Mystery, Book 1
 Publisher: Obsidian/Published by The Penguin Group
 Format: paperback ARC
 Source: Received for review from Publisher
 Reviewed by: Marlene

 Shannon Hammer is a woman with a great construction business, great friends, great home and a great town. Being one of few female contractors of restoring beautiful Victorian homes in the area it looks like she has it made but when she is falsely accused of murdering a man she recently went on a blind date with he life spirals downward and out of control. As soon as she is cleared of that murder another lands on her doorstep or more literally her driveway. Both men are locally hated and there is no lack of would be suspects. Except all the evidence points to Shannon and her pretty pink tools.

 As she progresses on her own investigation of the the recent murders she is helped by her friends and all the gossips a small town could possibly handle. The police chief must constantly warn her to stay away and the newest resident of Lighthouse Cove, a famous writer, seems to be motivated by her current events to write his book and maybe spark a bit of a mystery himself. Shannon ends up facing her own assaults from the murderer and everywhere she turns she sees suspects and starts doubting people she's known all her life. Some have given her reason to and some just have ample motive.

 I really loved Shannon, I could relate to her struggles to be independent  and her dating past. Each of her friends seem to represent one I have in my own life as well. I found myself giggling at some of her thoughts, situations and conversations between friends, the friendships between the women were written well, even the ones that are her nemeses.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Book Review: The Chocolate Book Bandit by Joanna Carl

Title: The Chocolate Book Bandit
Author: Joanna Carl
Series: Book 13 A Chocoholic Mystery
Publisher: Signet
Format: Paperback
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Source: Received for review from publisher
Reviewed by: Tina

There's  nothing I love more than books and chocolate and when I discovered this series I knew I had to read it. When I found this edition of the series combining books, libraries and  chocolate I couldn't resist taking a taste test.  Lee Woodyard works at TenHuis Chocolade and she is asked to serve on the library board so she decided to try it out by attending a meeting.

Once everyone is gathered they all become aware of terrified screams, Abigal VanRoostock is found dead at the bottom of the libraries basement stairs, she is the woman who is retiring from the board and Lee was to replace.

It is soon discovered that Abigail was murdered and the new library director Henry "Butch" Cassidy and Lee  and everyone at the meeting become suspects. Lee has to unlock the clues to find the murderer before the book gets thrown her.

Lee seems to be a real character to me and I found myself really identifying with her as a person. There is was a real connection between Lee and I and that's what kept me reading. The love triangles are intriguing and makes this book a real page turner. What left a lot to be desired were Lee's "tongue twisters" to be honest they were annoying but that was part of Lee's personality that I did see past once the story went on. Very Interesting characters. Loved the ins and outs of the library board and it's members and being like a fly on the wall as a reader. Now to find my hot chocolate.

Guest Post: Ideas Anyone? By Joanne Carl


 By JoAnna Carl

 Some writers hate being asked that classic question, “Where do you get your ideas?” I don’t mind being asked; I just hope the questioner doesn’t expect a sensible answer.
 I was once on a panel where everyone answered that question. One writer said she got hers “From the Bible and Shakespeare, as anyone who’s read my books should know.” Another said she ordered hers from a warehouse in Wisconsin. If I answered honestly, I probably said ideas litter the ground. I stumble over them all the time, bend down, and pick one up.

 Recently, I was coerced into selling soft drinks to benefit the Friends of the Library at a local festival. (Yes, writers have real lives and have to do civic chores like everybody else.) As soon as I got to the drinks booth, the other person on duty said, “I have this recurring idea for a mystery novel, and I’d like to tell it to you.” “Tell away,” I said. And her idea was tricky, I admit. There’s nothing wrong with it at all. But it doesn’t appeal to me, and I can’t imagine ever using it. And that illustrates a truth that’s almost universal: Other people’s ideas rarely grab you.

 Only once has such a donated idea worked for me, and that turned into a short story. Well, a donated idea worked twice, if you count the time Earlene Fowler, out of a clear blue sky, said, “No one has ever written a series and put the word ‘Chocolate’ in the title of every book.” She said this the same day I had the idea of writing about chocolate, but before I’d mentioned it to anyone. I’ve always counted that as Divine Intervention, rather than trading ideas, especially when Earlene added, “You can do it; I’m not going to.” I did thank Earlene in one of the Chocoholic books.

 As for the ideas that inspired my most recent books – well, neither idea was too exciting to start with. And both had a lot to do with the books’ titles. THE CHOCOLATE BOOK BANDIT came about because I have a son who’s a librarian. I’ve written nearly fifteen books in the Chocoholic series, drawing on the expertise of his two sisters – one who used to work for a chocolate company and one who is a CPA. My son has never complained because his sisters got all the fictional attention, but I thought I might as well exploit him the way I’ve exploited his sisters.

 So I offered my heroine/detective Lee Woodyard a spot on the local library board. And naturally a body turned up at her first meeting. This also brought Lee into contact with an interesting and attractive man who was a librarian. I wanted to get away from the idea of crabby old ladies glaring from behind the circulation desk and hissing, “Shh!” I’ve hung around in libraries all my life, and I’ve only met one librarian who acted like that.

 Then I had a terrible time thinking of a title. BOOK BANDIT was finally suggested by a friend at church. THE CHOCOLATE CLOWN CORPSE, on the other hand, had its title before it had any characters or plot. Since the Chocoholic titles fit a rigid pattern (“The Chocolate Something-or-other Crime.” And I like alliteration) I occasionally make lists of suitable titles. I started with THE CHOCOLATE CLOWN CLUE, but my editor suggested substituting Corpse for Clue, and she was, as usual, right.

 It sounds much more mysterious. I often come up with characters by a method I call “casting against type.” This led me to create a clown who wasn’t either funny or nice and a stepmother who was downtrodden rather than wicked. My doctor suggested the kidnapping plan used in the book and is given due credit in the acknowledgements. I’m not sure Medicare covers that service, but I sure appreciated her work, and she hasn’t yet sent me a bill.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Book Review: Deadlines: A Written to Death Mystery by E.Hepner

  Title: Deadlines: A Written to Death Mystery
  Author: E. Hepner
  Genre: Cozy Mystery
  Series: A Wriiten to Death Mystery, Book 1
  Publisher: Smashwords Edition
  Format: PDF
  Source: Received for review from author
  Reviewed by: Marlene

 Every small town has their secrets and their gossip and faithful townies to keep the cycle going. Ainsley Moss is returning to Aurora Falls after finishing college to her granparents home. Soon after moving home, her grandparents and mother conspire to find her a job, the local papers new obituary writer and a place to live, renting a room off of a school yard boyfriend. If that isn't enough in one day she is also attacked by her once friend turned enemy, Juliet, that later turns up murdered and she is immediately the prime suspect.

 Ainsley must scrammble to write the perfect obit for her predecessor, her old enemy, dodging advances from the charming Gage and solving the murder she was accused of. As she follow the clues, the circumstances around Juliet's life and murder open up more and more lies and secrets. Secrets that lead back to her past and present activities with men and family.

 I loved the characters in this book, Ainsley is awesome and a perfect example you can't judge a book by their cover. Gage is the perfect modern gentlemen, we need those in reality. The story itsself has a lot of heart asides from it's twists and turns. And I loved how it included the obituaries Ainsley wrote.


All reviews are copyrighted by Tina Diamond and Marlene Patterson. Tina Diamond's reviews also appear at and

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