Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Great Escapes Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway: Death by Baguette by Jennifer S. Alderson


Today I'm participating in the Death by Baguette Blog Tour.  In this post you'll find book and author information along with my review.  And be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a prize package.  

About the book . . .


 

Death by Baguette: A Valentine's Day Murder in Paris
Travel Can Be Murder Series
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Traveling Life Press (February 7, 2020)
Print Length ~200 Pages
Digital ASIN: B0819YNSJL


Synopsis . . . Paris—the city of love, lights . . . and murder?  Join tour guide Lana Hansen as she escorts five couples on an unforgettable Valentine-themed vacation to France.  Unfortunately it will be the last trip for one passenger . . .

Lana Hansen’s future is looking bright. She has money in her bank account, a babysitter for her cat, and even a boyfriend.  Regrettably she won’t get to celebrate Valentine’s Day with her new beau, Chad.  Instead, she will be leading a lovers-only tour in France.  Luckily for Lana, her best friend, Willow, and her partner, Jane, will be joining her. 

Things go downhill when Lana’s new boyfriend shows up in Paris for her tour—with his wife.  Chad is not the website developer he claimed to be, but a famous restaurant critic whose love of women rivals his passion for food.

After Chad drops dead during a picnic under the Eiffel Tower, a persistent French detective becomes convinced that he was poisoned.  And the inspector’s sights are set on several members of the tour—including Lana!

While escorting her group through the cobblestone streets of Montmartre, the grand gardens of Versailles, and the historic Marché des Enfants Rouges market, Lana must figure out who really killed Chad before she has to say bonjour to prison and adieu to her freedom.

Introducing Lana Hansen, tour guide, reluctant amateur sleuth, and star of the Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series.  Join Lana as she leads tourists and readers to fascinating cities around the globe on intriguing adventures that, unfortunately for Lana, often turn deadly.

The Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mysteries are heartwarming stories about making friends, traveling, and celebrating new experiences.  Book One—Death on the Danube—is available now.  Coming soon: Books Three (Death by Windmill) and Book Four!

My review . . . Lana Hansen's life has taken financial and romantic turns for the better.  She's gainfully employed in a job that includes luxurious travel, and has started dating again.  Lana is about to embark on her fourth tour as a travel guide, leading a lovers-only trip to Paris for Valentine's Day.  While she is excited about the destination, she doesn't relish spending Valentine's Day in one of the world's most romantic cities without her new boyfriend Chad . . .

So imagine Lana's surprise when Chad shows up in Paris for the couples tour with another woman—Miranda, his wife of thirty-six years.  Lana is beyond shocked—she had no idea that the man she met online through the Seattle Singles dating app was married.  Chad is just as stunned, and fears being exposed for his despicable behavior.  Lana quickly recovers her professional demeanor, and the two agree to pretend that they have never met.  But this is more easily said than done.

While Lana is busy catering to the needs of the guests and training a new tour guide, Chad is offending the other guests with his words and deeds.  His superior attitude and competitiveness rub everyone—including his wife—the wrong way.  In fact, Lana considers asking Chad to leave the tour, but Miranda begs her not to, confiding that her marriage will be over if that happens.

Clearly, the lovers-only tour is showing signs of passion, but not in the way originally intended.  Sparks are flying, but they are generated by contempt rather than ardor. Lana is doing her best to provide an enjoyable experience for the guests, and hopes that a gourmet picnic under the Eiffel Tower will restore a more festive mood.  But as the couples indulge in the picnic delicacies, Chad collapses, and dies at the scene.

The investigation of Chad's demise is led by Parisian Inspector Boucher, who determines that Chad was poisoned, and quickly sets his sights on the members of the tour group for a culprit.  Although many in the group have strong reasons for wishing Chad harm, has one of them actually killed him?  It's up to Lana to prove the innocence of Boucher's lead suspect and establish her own guiltlessness in the process.  Is Lana's life as a tour guide over?

Death by Baguette is a lively romp through the streets of Paris with stops at many famous landmarks along the way.  In addition to a satisfying mystery filled with quirky characters and effective red herrings, readers are treated to visits of well-known sites, complete with lavish descriptions so evocative that you feel you're on the actual tour. I have visited Paris twice, and loved reliving my own experience through Alderson's descriptions.  At the same time, I can imagine what it must be like to "explore" the sights for the first time through the author's words.  Case in point, I googled one of the attractions I hadn't seen before—the Stravinsky Fountain—and watched several lovely YouTube videos that show the fountain in all its glory.  This was such an unexpected bonus.

As with Death on the Danube, the first book in the series (for my review click here), this second installment is a winning combination of mystery meets travelogue. The series is ideal for those who enjoy travel, like to travel vicariously, or just need an escape to an international location without having to pack a suitcase, carry a passport, or endure long security and customs lines.  Books in the Travel Can Be Murder series can be read as stand-alones—one need only pick a desired destination.  The next port of call is Amsterdam, the setting for book three, which is another tour I'm looking forward to.


Giveaway . . .  Enter the Death by Baguette Giveaway of a prize package containing a notebook with floral motif from the Rijksmuseum and six romance-themed mini-bookmarks  (U.S. only) by clicking on this link.


About the author . . . Jennifer S. Alderson was born in San Francisco, raised in Seattle, and currently lives in Amsterdam. After traveling extensively around Asia, Oceania, and Central America, she moved to Darwin, Australia, before settling in the Netherlands. Her background in journalism, multimedia development, and art history enriches her novels. When not writing, she can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning her next research trip.

  

Jennifer’s love of travel, art, and culture inspires her award-winning mystery series—the Zelda Richardson Mysteries and Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mysteries—and standalone stories.


Author links . . . 
Website: http://www.jennifersalderson.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/JennifeSAlderson
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jenniferSAldersonauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JSAauthor
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/JenniferSAlderson
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jennifer-s-alderson


Purchase link . . . Amazon 


Blog Tours 


Tour participants . . .
February 17I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 17TBR Book Blog – REVIEW
February 17Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
February 18Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
February 18 StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 18 Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT
February 19Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 19I Read What You Write – REVIEW
February 19Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
February 20eBook addicts – REVIEW
February 20Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
February 21Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 21Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 22 Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
February 22The Book Decoder – REVIEW  
February 23Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
February 23Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
 




Note . . . I received a complimentary copy of Death by Baguette from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.



 
This Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the Book Club Librarian blog.  It cannot be republished without attribution.  Sharing this original post on Twitter and/or other book-related blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated
 

Monday, February 17, 2020

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph

It's Tuesday . . . time for . . . 

                                                      
 

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, now hosted by Vicki at I'd Rather Be At The Beach, where bloggers post the first paragraph(s) of a book they are currently reading or planning to read sometime soon.   

Today I'm featuring a recent blog tour read, Death by Baguette by Jennifer S. Alderson. The excerpt shared is from an eBook version I received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 Death by Baguette (Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series #2) 




What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
Death by Baguette is a lively romp through the streets of Paris with stops at many famous landmarks along the way.  In addition to a satisfying mystery filled with quirky characters and effective red herrings, readers are treated to visits of well-known sites, complete with lavish descriptions so evocative that you feel you're on the actual tour.






This First Chapter ~ First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution. Sharing this original post on Twitter with appropriate recognition is appreciated.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Great Escapes Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway: Don't Look Down by Hilary Davidson



Today I'm participating in the Don't Look Down Blog Tour.  In this post you'll find book and author information along with my review.  And be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a print copy of the book.  

About the book . . .




 davidson 

Don't Look Down (Shadows of New York Series)
Psychological Thriller
2nd in Series
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (February 11, 2020)
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 1542092035
ISBN-13: 978-1542092036
Paperback: 367 pages
ISBN-10: 1542092019
ISBN-13: 978-1542092012
Digital ASIN: B07QBPS9QB


Synopsis . . . From the Amazon Charts bestselling author of One Small Sacrifice, a gripping mystery about a sinister murder that everyone wants to stay buried—except one dogged NYPD detective.

Jo Greaver is a model of success. Young and ambitious, she’s built a thriving beauty business from nothing. But she has secrets she’ll do anything to keep buried. When her blackmailer offers to meet, Jo expects to pay him off—but gets a bullet instead. Bleeding and in shock, Jo flees with no one to turn to.


When NYPD detective Sheryn Sterling and her partner, Rafael Mendoza, find Andray Baxter murdered in his own home—shot through the heart—everything points to Jo as the killer. Her blood is at the scene, and so are disturbing photos of her taken as a young teen. But Sheryn has doubts. Was the kindhearted Andray really a criminal? Why did he repeatedly report finding spyware in his apartment? Was there something shady about Jo’s sister dying a year earlier?

Something’s not right, and it’s up to Sheryn to piece together the sinister puzzle, no matter the cost.


My review . . . From all outward appearances, Jo Greaver is a successful, self-made business woman with a bright future.  No one in her orbit would suspect the traumatic adolescence she endured or the terrible secrets she harbors.  After moving to New York City a decade ago, Jo struggled to make a new life for herself, overcoming seemingly insurmountable challenges.  She considered her past long buried, especially when her only remaining link to it—her sister Lori—died of a drug overdose eighteen months ago.  But when a blackmailer contacts her, threatening to expose the very things that can ruin her present life and relationships, Jo's world is turned upside down.  A scheduled rendezvous with the blackmailer goes horribly wrong, placing Jo at the scene of a murder.  Is it possible that this desperate young women has killed a man to safeguard her secrets?

The evidence against Jo appears overwhelming, but it isn't enough to convince seasoned detective Sheryn Sterling of Jo's guilt.  Sterling and her partner Detective Rafael Mendoza undertake an investigation of inconsistencies in the case, leading them to believe that Jo is being framed for murder.  Their investigation—which takes them from the ritzy areas of Gramercy Park and lower Manhattan to the gritty neighborhoods of Hell's Kitchen and Harlemuncovers a series of puzzling clues and a web of deceit.  The detectives discover that Jo isn't the only one hiding explosive secrets, and there are ruthless people who will stop at nothing to protect their interests.

.Don't Look Down is a fast-paced, gripping read.  Its many plot twists and turns are fueled by a set of dastardly characters who conspire, manipulate, blackmail, intimidate, and betray to get what they want, regardless of the consequences.  It's a thrilling fight between good and evil, with the forces of justice combatting brazen lawlessness.  Detectives Sterling and Mendoza, with their interesting chemistry and special rapport, can be counted on to expose the truth.

Don't Look Down is the second book in the Shadows of New York series, but can be read as a stand-alone.  It was my introduction to the series, and turned me into an instant fan.  I plan to read the first installment, One Small Sacrifice, to spend more time in the company of Detective Sterling—a compassionate public servant who fights for the innocent.  In an ideal world, this series would be adapted for television . . . 


Giveaway . . . Enter the Don't Look Down Giveaway of a print copy of the book (U.S. only) by clicking on this link.


About the author . . .  Hilary Davidson is the bestselling author of One Small Sacrifice and the winner of two Anthony Awards. Her novels include the Lily Moore series—The Damage DoneThe Next One to Fall, and Evil in All Its Disguises—and the standalone thriller Blood Always Tells. Her widely acclaimed short stories have won numerous awards and have been featured everywhere from Ellery Queen to Thuglit, as well as in her collection The Black Widow Club

 davidson

A Toronto-born travel journalist who’s lived in New York City since October 2001, Davidson is also the author of eighteen nonfiction books. Visit her online at hilarydavidson.com.


Author links . . .

Visit her Website: hilarydavidson.com.   Follow on Twitter    Like on Facebook
Follow on Instagram     Find on GoodReads       Follow on Pinterest


 Purchase links . . .       Amazon      B&N       IndieBound 





Blog Tours 


Tour participants . . .
February 4 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
February 5 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW
February 6 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW
February 7 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 8 – Diary of a Book Fiend  – REVIEW
February 9 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
February 10 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 11 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 12 – Diane Reviews Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 12 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
February 13 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
February 14 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
February 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 16 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
February 17 – Celticlady’s Reviews – REVIEW 







Note . . . I received a complimentary copy of Don't Look Down from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.



 
This Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the Book Club Librarian blog.  It cannot be republished without attribution.  Sharing this original post on Twitter and/or other book-related blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated


Thursday, February 13, 2020

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings

16

It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:
  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an eBook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.

Today I'm featuring a recent blog tour read, Don't Look Down, a psychological thriller by Hilary Davidson.  It's the second book in the Shadows of New York series. The excerpts shared are from the eBook I received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 Don't Look Down (Shadows of New York #2) 

Beginning:  Monday 
Chapter One
Jo

Jo Greaver was ready to kill someone.  There were a dozen reasons why, starting with the fact that her shoulder felt like it might break under the weight of the black duffel bag she was lugging across West Forty-Ninth Street.

******************** 
56% of eBook:  Sheryn felt like her head was spinning.  Priscilla McGarran seemed completely unaware that she had put her finger on a pressure point in the case.
********************

My thoughts:  Don't Look Down is a fast-paced, gripping read.  Its many plot twists and turns are fueled by a set of dastardly characters who conspire, manipulate, blackmail, intimidate, and betray to get what they want, regardless of the consequences.  It's a thrilling fight between good and evil, with the forces of justice combatting brazen lawlessness.

For my full review and a chance to win a copy of the book click here.


********************
From Goodreads:   From the Amazon Charts bestselling author of One Small Sacrifice, a gripping mystery about a sinister murder that everyone wants to stay buried—except one dogged NYPD detective.
 
Jo Greaver is a model of success. Young and ambitious, she’s built a thriving beauty business from nothing. But she has secrets she’ll do anything to keep buried. When her blackmailer offers to meet, Jo expects to pay him off—but gets a bullet instead. Bleeding and in shock, Jo flees with no one to turn to.

When NYPD detective Sheryn Sterling and her partner, Rafael Mendoza, find Andray Baxter murdered in his own home—shot through the heart—everything points to Jo as the killer. Her blood is at the scene, and so are disturbing photos of her taken as a young teen. But Sheryn has doubts. Was the kindhearted Andray really a criminal? Why did he repeatedly report finding spyware in his apartment? Was there something shady about Jo’s sister dying a year earlier?

Something’s not right, and it’s up to Sheryn to piece together the sinister puzzle, no matter the cost.


********************









This Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution. Sharing this original post on Twitter with appropriate recognition is appreciated. 
 

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph

It's Tuesday . . . time for . . . 

                                                      
 



First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, now hosted by Vicki at I'd Rather Be At The Beach, is where bloggers post the first paragraph(s) of a book they are currently reading or planning to read sometime soon. 

Today I'm featuring City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert, a novel selected by one of my book clubs. The excerpt shared is from a hardcover version borrowed from the library.


City of Girls 

New York City, April 2010

I received a letter from his daughter the other day.

Angela.

I'd thought about Angela many times over the years, but this was only our third interaction.

The first was when I'd made her wedding dress, back in 1971.

The second was when she'd written to tell me that her father had died. That was in 1977.


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
I'm looking forward to reading this book because I've enjoyed other historical fiction that Gilbert has written, and the opening lines fill me with curiosity.  In my opinion, she's a natural-born storyteller.






This First Chapter ~ First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution. Sharing this original post on Twitter with appropriate recognition is appreciated.
  

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 and Book Beginnings

16



It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:
  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an eBook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.

Today I'm featuring an upcoming read, Thin Ice by Paige Shelton, the first book in the author's new Alaska Wild mystery series.




Beginning:  One
The good thing about being suddenly overcome with fresh terror is that you forget everything else you were afraid of.  At least temporarily.

********************
Page 56:   Gril didn't think I'd really write an article about the recent death. He probably thought I was just being writer curious, researching, gathering information.
********************

My thoughts:  This book has several appeal factors for me:  it's the start of a new series; the main character is an author; and the Alaskan setting.

********************
From Goodreads:  First in a new series set in Alaska from beloved author Paige Shelton, Thin Ice will chill your bones. 

Beth Rivers is on the run - she's doing the only thing she could think of to keep herself safe. Known to the world as thriller author Elizabeth Fairchild, she had become the subject of a fanatic's obsession. After being held in a van for three days by her kidnapper, Levi Brooks, Beth managed to escape, and until he is captured, she's got to get away. Cold and remote, Alaska seems tailor-made for her to hideout.

Beth's new home in Alaska is sparsely populated with people who all seem to be running or hiding from something, and though she accidentally booked a room at a halfway house, she feels safer than she's felt since Levi took her. That is, until she's told about a local death that's a suspected murder. Could the death of Linda Rafferty have anything to do with her horror at the hands of Levi Brooks?

As Beth navigates her way through the wilds of her new home, her memories of her time in the van are coming back, replaying the terror and the fear--and threatening to keep her from healing, from reclaiming her old life again. Can she get back to normal, will she ever truly feel safe, and can she help solve the local mystery, if only so she doesn't have to think about her own




********************


This Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution. Sharing this original post on Twitter with appropriate recognition is appreciated.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph

It's Tuesday . . . time for . . . 

                                                      
 



First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, now hosted by Vicki at I'd Rather Be At The Beach, is where bloggers post the first paragraph(s) of a book they are currently reading or planning to read sometime soon. 

Today I'm featuring an upcoming read, Nothing Ventured, by Jeffrey Archer. The excerpt shared is from a hardcover version borrowed from the library.

 Nothing Ventured 

1
July 14, 1979

"You can't be serious."

"I couldn't be more serious, Father, as you'd realize if you'd ever listened to anything I've been saying for the past ten years."

"But you've been offered a place at my old college at Oxford to read law, and after you graduate, you'll be able to join me in chambers.  What more could a young man ask for?"

"To be allowed to pursue a career of his own choosing, and not just be expected to follow in his father's footsteps."




What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
Building on the success of his series, The Clifton Chronicles, Archer has taken the detective from that series to begin this new William Warwick seriesThis opening scene pits the young detective's wishes to be independent against his father's wishes that William follow in his footsteps.  I'd say the series is off to a very good start.




This First Chapter ~ First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution. Sharing this original post on Twitter with appropriate recognition is appreciated.