Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Julia Justiss | History ReFreshed: The Gift of Self – Extraordinary Women
Author Guest / December 18, 2019

Christmas—the time for exchanging gifts with those we love.  But sometimes, the greatest gift we can give is to ourselves, sorting through the clutter of everyday life and conventional expectations to discover who we really are—and having the courage to pursue that.  In this month’s selections, we look at four women who manage just that. We begin chronologically with ENCHANTRESS OF NUMBERS by Jennifer Chiaverini.  Ada Byron Lovelace was the famed Romantic poet’s only legitimate child, who grew up estranged from the father her bitter mother thought deranged.  Because of her mother’s fears that she might inherit her father’s “insanity,” Ada was from childhood kept away from tales of fantasy and make-believe and led to pursue mathematical and scientific studies, subjects in which she excelled.  Though she debuts and makes the expected society marriage, she never gives up her intellectual pursuits, maintaining contacts with a number of leading scientists and philosophers. Through one of her former tutors, she meets inventor Charles Babbage and becomes fascinated by his “Difference Engine,” one of the earliest versions of a computer.  She will eventually write for Burbage’s machine an algorithm that some consider the first true computer program.  Before her tragic early death, she…

Rhys Bowen | On LOVE AND DEATH AMONG THE CHEETAHS
Author Guest / August 9, 2019

Lady Georgie has certainly come a long way since I met her in that first book called HER ROYAL SPYNESS, ten years ago. Then she was a naïve, unsophisticated person, unsure of herself and her future. She was brave enough to make the decision to flee from the family castle and come alone to London where she had to learn the most basic of skills: from making tea to lighting a fire. For the first few books, she tried various ways of earning money, from cleaning houses, to running an escort service, to modeling clothes–all disastrous. But the one good thing that happened to her was that she met Darcy. And in spite of the fact that she was not the sort of sophisticated girl-about-town he normally associated with, he fell for her.  She certainly played hard to get, didn’t she?  It took twelve books before he got her into bed and then it was after they married. Now we come to the thirteenth book in the series, called LOVE AND DEATH AMONG THE CHEETAHS. You’ll guess from the title that it might take place in Africa. The book starts exactly where the last one left off, with Georgie and…

Kym Roberts | Cozy Corner: The Best Cozies of 2018
Author Guest , Cozy Corner / January 7, 2019

It’s my favorite time of year…I get to choose my favorite cozies released in the past twelve months!  And yet, it’s the hardest thing to do, almost like looking at all of the ornaments on my tree and trying to decide which ones I like the most. Since they all belong to my kids and were gifts from my parents who have been gone for too many years, it’s a monumental task, emotional and heart-warming. Like our ornaments, each mystery I’ve featured, along with the books featured on the Cozy Corner by guest authors, has a special place on my bookshelf. Whether it be the hardback, paperback or the ebook, I tend to keep more than I should so that I can go back and reminisce about the wonderful experience. Maybe I should start a tree with book ornaments—my very own Charli Rae and Scarlet would love that in the Book Barn, don’t you think? Princess the armadillo, however, would probably root through the ornaments and knock over the tree. Goodness, but I do see a holiday novella scurrying through my brain for next year! Without further ado, I give you my favorite mysteries and blogs of 2018! Teen Drama…

Rhys Bowen | Her Royal Spyness
Author Guest / August 9, 2018

It has taken twelve books but I think Georgie is finally learning to stand up for herself. When we first met her in HER ROYAL SPYNESS she was stuck in dreary Scottish Castle Rannoch, supposed to make a good match with one of those “half-lunatic, buck-toothed, chinless, spineless and utterly awful princes who still seem to litter Europe.” The family had singled out Prince Siegfried of Rumania as a potential spouse. It is this that pushes Georgie into her first real rebellion. She bolts from Castle Rannoch down to London to make her own way in life. There is no way she is going to marry a man she and her friends call Fish-face. And how lucky that decision was. At later meetings he makes it clear to her that if they marry she only has to produce the heir and he will never trouble her again. No thank you, Georgie says. And as the books progress it seems she has a chap of her own in mind. Not royal, not even English. An Irish rogue, living a shady life. But irresistibly handsome and oh so naughty. Then it turns out he is the son of a lord, and his…

The Golden Years
Cozy Corner / June 26, 2018

Whoever said these were our golden years, was either living on martinis on the beach or hadn’t reached the gilded age when every bone and joint in their body screamed for attention. I’ve ignored the screaming for a few years, but the noise is now coming from a woman in a white lab coat with the initials DR imprinted in front of her name. The fun of my youth (and beyond) has a price to pay, and it’s time to pay. So I’ll be taking a few months sabbatical from blogging, podcasting and writing and working on physical fitness. Unfortunately, surfing is on doc’s ‘no-no’ list for the next year—grrr. The best part of that news, however, is that I have lined up some amazing guest bloggers from July to October! As soon as I put the news out, authors came through for me in overwhelming numbers. That’s how awesome the community is;) Here is your line-up for the Cozy Corner for the rest of the summer—until we meet again in October, get cozy and read on! Rebecca Adler Karen Rose Smith Rhys Bowen Krista Davis Olivia Matthews Tina Kashian Sofie Kelly Libby Klein Jenn McKinlay Winnie Archer Lena Gregory…

Getting Cozy with the Best of 2017
Cozy Corner / December 18, 2017

It’s hard to pick the best mysteries of the past year, especially when I’m limited on space. I don’t feature a book I don’t love, so if you’ve seen it on the Cozy Corner, you know I adored it. Yet each year I torture myself by trying to list the best mysteries, and considering I never come close to reading all of the books in my to-be-read file, it’s an impossible task. What if the best is still at the bottom of that pile?! This year the challenge seemed even more difficult and my pile even bigger, which led me to choose books that resonated with me, for one reason or another, throughout the past twelve months. I hope you enjoy my picks for 2017’s best mysteries. ON HER MAJESTY’S FRIGHTFULLY SECRET SERVICE ON HER MAJESTY’S FRIGHTFULLY SECRET SERVICE by Rhys Bowen Royal Spyness Mystery #11 In the new Royal Spyness Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Crowned and Dangerous, Lady Georgiana Rannoch juggles secret missions from the Queen, Darcy, and her mother. But it’s all in a day’s work when you’re thirty-fifth in line to the British Crown. When Darcy runs off on another secret assignment,…

Could you get CROWNED AND DANGEROUS?
Author Guest , Giveaways / August 21, 2017

CROWNED AND DANGEROUS by Rhys Bowen A Royal Spyness Mystery For the first time in paperback, the latest Royal Spyness Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Malice at the Palace. Nothing is simple when you’re thirty-fifth in line for the British crown, least of all marriage. But with love on their side, and plans to elope, Lady Georgiana Rannoch and her beau, Darcy O’Mara, hope to bypass a few royal rules. Their plans are thwarted when they learn that Georgie’s future father-in-law has been arrested for the murder of a wealthy American. With the elopement postponed, they head for Ireland where Darcy’s father insists he’s innocent, and it’s up to Georgie and Darcy to prove it—for better or worse. Mystery Private Eye | Mystery Historical [Berkley Prime Crime, On Sale: August 1, 2017, Mass Market Paperback / e-Book (reprint), ISBN: 9780425283493 / eISBN: 9780698410244] Buy CROWNED AND DANGEROUS: Amazon.com | Kindle | BN.com | iTunes/iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Powell’s Books | Books-A-Million | Indiebound | Ripped Bodice | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR About Rhys Bowen Rhys Bowen is the New York Times Bestselling Author of the Royal…

Set a course with Georgy!
Author Guest / August 7, 2017

ON HER MAJESTY’S FRIGHTFULLY SECRET SERVICE by Rhys Bowen Royal Spyness Mystery #11 In the new Royal Spyness Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Crowned and Dangerous, Lady Georgiana Rannoch juggles secret missions from the Queen, Darcy, and her mother. But it’s all in a day’s work when you’re thirty-fifth in line to the British Crown. When Darcy runs off on another secret assignment, I am left to figure out how to travel to Italy sans maid and chaperone to help my dear friend Belinda, as she awaits the birth of her baby alone. An opportunity presents itself in a most unexpected way—my cousin the queen is in need of a spy to attend a house party in the Italian lake country. The Prince of Wales and the dreadful Mrs. Simpson have been invited, and Her Majesty is anxious to thwart a possible secret wedding. What luck! A chance to see Belinda and please the queen as I seek her permission to relinquish my claim to the throne so I can marry Darcy. Only that’s as far as my good fortune takes me. I soon discover that Mummy is attending the villa party and she has her…

Ellery Adams | Searching for My Downton Abbey: How The Book Retreat Mystery Series Was Born
Author Guest / August 11, 2014

I’ve begun to think that inspiration is a bit like love: it appears unexpectedly and completely consumes one’s thoughts. I wasn’t looking to write a new series when the idea for The Book Retreat Mysteries struck. I was plenty busy with The Books By The Bay series, the Charmed Pie Shoppe series, and writing one half of The Novel Idea Mysteries (under the name Lucy Arlington). However, this muse refused to be ignored. Two summers ago, I’d been binge watching Downton Abbey. I love everything about that show, but what I love most is the incredible writing. The scenes unfold slowly, like a rosebud opening, and every line of dialog is carefully constructed. Anyway, I’d just finished gorging on Downton Abbey when we headed off on our family vacation to The Homestead Resort. Located in the wilds of western Virginia, this historic hotel offered tons of amenities as well as a variety of outdoor activities. It offered us an escape from our busy, noises lives. Staying there would be like turning back the clock. It would be out Downton Abbey retreat. The moment I first saw the sprawling manor house that was The Homestead nestled against a backdrop of blue…

Rhys Bowen | The Perfect Gift
Author Guest / December 4, 2010

Are you like me, shopping for the perfect gift at this time? Every year I try for that special gift that nobody dared to ask for but had been dreaming of. This kind of experience has happened to me a few times in my life and I know how magical it feels. I remember the Christmas when transistor radios had just been invented (okay, I realize I am dating myself ) and I longed for one. But my parents were giving me the train ticket to a friend’s wedding as my Christmas gift. Besides, transistor radios were a big deal when they first came out and certainly not cheap. So I didn’t even ask for one. Then on Christmas morning I went through my stocking—okay, I know I was a teenager but I still liked my stocking—and came across a battery. What a strange thing, I thought. What could I possible want a battery for? Then I felt hope and amazement flooding through me. It couldn’t be, could it? Not possibly… I went through the rest of the stocking and there at the very bottom was the transistor radio. I still tear up when I think about it now. The…