29 November 2017

Altered To Death by Christina Freeburn - Blog Tour + Giveaway

Altered To Death by Christina Freeburn
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Source: Great Escapes

Faith Hunter loves her job, doing scrapbooking albums to remember the past beautiful moments, but she has a magnet for trouble, no matter what work she starts, murder finds her. This time, while she is preparing a scrapbook for her town, Eden, she becomes immersed in a very old mystery, where the most richest family in town years ago disappeared from night to morning and no one did never know why. 
While she investigates (and is being followed for a dark shadow) the Eden's mystery, she will have to face her not very nice ex-fiancé (I really don't understand what did she saw in Steve... he is pompous, arrogant and doesn't have respect for anyone!), the help of some old good friends and a few interesting twists.
Faith loves to be plueriemployed, but I am not sure her fiancée likes very much her love to solve cases, so while they try to investigate this murder, everyone for their own side (I never understand why everyone loves to keep secrets, when the truth comes out is always worse!) but at the same time they try to plan a wedding and search for a house to live, let me say that they have a few stressful days, to say the least...
This is the second book I've read of this series, but it's the sixth book of the "Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery" and I can't wait to read the new one, because they are getting better and better!
If you love a good crafty mystery, this is for you, ready to discover the truth no matter what?

I am lucky to have a Guest Post from the author, enjoy! ;)

Watching Your Character Grow
Guest Post by Christina Freeburn

I started writing the Scrap This mystery series in 2009, three years before it was the Scrap This series, and I had wanted to combine my love of scrapbooking and mysteries and have an amateur sleuth who got involved in crime solving because she knew what it felt like to be wrongly accused of murder and Faith Hunter was born.
The first book Cropped to Death (the original title was Crop You) was published in 2012 and here it is the end of 2017 and the 6 th book Altered to Death is released. There are been many changes for the heroine over the last few years…and for me. I’ve loved seeing how Faith has grown into herself and some of her journey of discoveries align a little with mine. We’ve both learned to be us and people can take it or leave it. No more hiding. No more pretending. As the popular saying goes “You be you,”. I’ve been enjoying letting Faith be Faith including her flaws and insecurities. There are times I’ve had to reel her in as I was trying to force her to be a character I thought others wanted (sometimes it’s not good to take critical reviews to heart) and other times I had to go with my first instinct and be true to the character even though I wasn’t sure it was what I wanted to do—but there are times the characters know best. I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve had wonderful, amazing editors along the way who know Faith as well as I do and know when I’m holding her back, or trying to turn her into someone she’s not.
I can’t wait for when she’s ready for us to go on her next adventure.

28 November 2017

Meet Me Under The Mistletoe by Carla Burguess - Blog Tour

Meet Me Under The Mistletoe by Carla Burguess
Genre: Romance

Reading something Christmassy and romantic in this time of the year is always heartwarming, it's the magic of Christmas that always puts a smile on your face or reading a funny and sweet story about a florist and a detective? 
I have to say it is the first book I've read of Carla Burguess, but I loved the characters and the plot, because it's mysterious and tender at the same time, and if you mix it with Christmas you have the perfect cozy book to read on a comfy sofa with a delicious hot chocolate this Christmas.
At the end of the story I felt that I would have loved to know more about Rachel and Anthony, I hope we will know more about them in a next book (please?).
This is a book to enjoy, read and re-read, because everyone deserves a good ending, even when you don't think it would be possible!
Ready for a love story?

21 November 2017

Karolin Schnoor Illustrations

Some beautiful illustrations by the artist Karolin Schnoor, enjoy! ;)

Dead Storage by Mary Feliz - Blog Tour + Giveaway

Dead Storage by Mary Feliz
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Source: Great Escapes

When Maggie tries to help her friend Stephen that is retained in prison for murder, she never thought everything would turn so complicated!

'"I'm no veterinarian, but something is very wrong with that leg, Munchkin. You poor thing." His fur was dirty and matted with mud, leaves, and an alarming mount of blood. Close up, I could see a deep laceration on his bad leg. Several clumps of hair seeped with the bright crimson of an actively bleeding wound. A dotted line of blood marked the sidewalk behind him.'

Maggie is a very loyal friend and ready to help her loved ones no matter what trouble they are in.
This has been a very interesting book, with mafia, secrets and dogs involved; full of twists that kept me guessing till the last page.
I liked how the characters were explained and how their friendship is spread between the pages of the book. It's clear than Maggie and the author of the book (Mary Feliz) love dogs, so be prepared to a lot of sweet moments between her and her dog!

It was quite original the good advice that is shared in each chapter of how to keep your home tidier, an advice to make your life easier is always welcome, don't you think?
This is the third book of the "A Maggie McDonald Mystery Series", but you can read it as standalone.

Ready for a walk with a dog?

Interested? Good luck in the Giveaway!

19 November 2017

Aves by Alexis Marcou

Some beautiful birds illustrations by the artist Alexis Marcou, enjoy!

Black Arts, Tarts & Gypsy Cats by Erin Johnson - Blog Tour + Giveaway

Black Arts, Tarts & Gypsy Cats by Erin Johnson 
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Source: Great Escapes
Rating: 4/5

Imogen has started working at the royal bakery with her friend Maple and her fire Iggy, but it will not take long before they will be involved again in a threatening mystery. Of course, one of her friends will be the first suspect and Imogen will have to run to discover the truth before it's too late.

'"We keep the murderers in the murderers' wing," my guard grunted.
I nodded, trying to hide my dislike of the place. "Right. Makes sense. Got to stay organized. Wouldn't want to put them in the cat stranglers' ward or the baby punters' dungeon."
The jailor glared at me with his one good eye. Tough crowd.'

This book has brought our loved characters from the first book series to an interesting new adventure; Maple, Sam, Iggy, Hank... and with more humour, magic and delightful pastries we will be transported to a world where everything is possible, even murder.
I have to say I enjoyed more this book than the previous one, the book is more centred in the investigation (that it's a quite original case) and we already know the characters, so the relation between them grows and gets more complex, of course. Let me say that spending a day with Imogen will never be boring, but be prepared to see murder always!
I am still not sure what the Badlands Army wants or what they really do, apart from killing and abducting people, of course. And I can't wait to know what they really moves them.
Of course we can not forget Hank, the engaged future king that makes Imogen feel butterflies every time she sees him... will they start a fire with the sparks between them?
Be prepared to talk to ghosts, zombies and mouthwatering cakes, ready?

Interested? Good luck in the Giveaway?
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18 November 2017

Colour Personalities by The Colour Option

How many times someone asked which is your favourite colour? Thanks to the infographic created by The Colour Option you will know exactly what the colour means. Mine is Turquoise, and yours?

Tassel Earrings by Baublebar

I always had a big problem with large earrings, I couldn't stay without trying to buy them, so when today I saw these large and original Tassel Earrings by Baublebar I fall in love immediately, don't you? The thing I liked most is that they are mixable, you can choose the size and you can mix colour, there are more than 100 combinations possible! Let me say, this is my dream come true!

They are available for pre-order (I still haven't checked if they sell it to Europe, but fingers crossed because I want them so badly...!) and possibly you will not be able to wear them for the Christmas dinner or New Year party, but I am sure you will have all the year to choose which is the best moment to show them in public! ;)

So, which is your favourite combination? 

17 November 2017

Sketchbook Silliness

After spending the day with the flu and trying to keep my little one quiet and peacefully silenced (of course, I didn't succeed) I thought a little bit of humour will put a smile on everyone's face and make this Friday a little bit better. Enjoy the funny comics by Sketchbook Silliness! ;)

Lay Me To Rest by E.A. Clark - Blog Tour

Today I am delighted to share with you the the new book by E.A. Clark, Lay Me To Rest, a dark and ghostly thriller that will leave no one untouched.

Lay Me To Rest by E.A. Clark
Genre: Paranormal

Some secrets never stay buried for long…
Devastated by the death of her husband, Annie Philips is shocked to discover she is pregnant with his unborn child. Hoping for a fresh start, she travels to a remote stone cottage in Anglesey, amidst the white-capped mountains of North Wales.
She settles in quickly, helped by her mysterious new neighbour, Peter. But everything changes when Annie discovers a small wooden box, inlaid with brass and mother-of- pearl. A box she was never supposed to find…
Annie soon realises that she isn’t alone in the cottage. And now she’s trapped. Can she escape the nightmare that she has awoken, or will the dark forces surrounding the house claim her life – and that of her baby?
A gripping thriller from E. A. Clark, perfect for fans of Kerri Wilkinson, Sarah Wray and Stella Duffy. You won’t be able to put it down!

This is a tense thriller, in which our main character Annie Philips needs to take care of her pregnancy and accept the death of her husband, too much for anyone, let me say. So she decided to take a few weeks to relax in a little village... Of course that's where all her problems start, when a dark presence will start hunting her dreams.
This has been a very interesting read, with paranormal scenes and some twisted surprises. I read it with one stand, I have to admit I was quite absorbed with the plot and I hope we will see more of our character, she has some hidden surprises!
Ready for a trip to the past?

15 November 2017

Christmas At The Candied Apple Café by Katherine Garbera - Blog Blitz + Giveaway!

I love Christmas time, specially when you can find delicious and sweet books like Christmas at the Candied Apple Cafe by Katherine Garbera, really, I can't wait to read it, take a look at this excerpt and you will understand why...

There’s nothing so magical as Christmas in New York…
Santa is coming to New York!
Snow is falling, excitement is high and the delicious scent of chocolate drifts along Fifth Avenue – the Candied Apple Café is ready for Christmas! And no one is busier than publicist Iona Summerlin. With so much to do, she doesn’t have time to think about men, dating, or the fact her last boyfriend ditched her for her brother… Relationships are off the menu!
Hotel boss Mads Eriksson is not looking forward to the first Christmas since losing his wife.
His six-year- old daughter Sofia has lost her belief in Christmas magic along with her mother, and he has no idea what to do. But an unusually festive business meeting at the Candied Apple – and meeting the beautiful Iona – starts to defrost Mads’ frozen heart, and suddenly life seems full of light and sparkle again.
If only they dare to believe, maybe all their Christmas dreams will come true!

Sounds Christmassy, romantic and perfect to start feeling Christmas, don't you think?
You can buy already buy it on Amazon, so run! ;)
And you could try the Giveaway to win Katherine Garbera previous book, Summer in Manhattan!

Aniball by Aditya Aryanto

The artist Aditya Aryanto has decided to try to shape the animals in balls the result is hilarious! ;)


The source is My Modern Met.

14 November 2017

Murder by the Barrel by Lesley Cookman - Blog Tour + Giveaway

Murder by the Barrel by Lesley Cookman
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Source: Great Escapes

Libby Sarjeant and Ben Wilde are organising a musical event when everything goes south and one of the band members appears dead. With the help of their friend the DCI Ian Connell they will try to solve this crime where jealousy, secrets and music will be mixed.
While we know that music rivalries could be dangerous, did you ever thought it would lead to murder? Because with so many bands and fans the killer could be only someone from outside the village, isn't it?
This is not the first adventure of this trio, it's the 18th book of the Libby Sarjeant series, and sometimes you will feel a little bit lost with all the characters complicity and relations, but you can follow the case.
This has been a non stop mystery read, that has kept me guessing till the last page.
Do you want to go to a beer festival?

Interested? Good luck in the Giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Forgotten Room by Ann Troup - Blog Tour

The Forgotten Room by Ann Troup
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Source: Harper Collins
Rating: 4/5

Maura Lyle needs to disconnect from her life and decides to accept a home nursing job without asking questions, something that she will regret deeply as she starts seeing some weird things on the rich but troubled house she will have to work. 
This has been a quite disturbing and twisted read, a lot of characters and some very perverse minds will keep you glued to the story from the first to the last page.
Maura hasn't had an easy life and she just needs to recharge energy to be herself again, sadly the "new" job is not as easy as it seems when the patient spends all day sleeping and dead bodies start to appear near the house, she will have to decide if she continues on her job or run as quickly as she can!
The story is told between the killer, Maura and the lead detective. We will read the thoughts of the killer that has no regrets to kill, just wants to be seen and stop being ignored, and after reading all the life "it" had we could feel a little pity, but never understand why all the killings!
Maura and the lead detective had a past, not a very nice one... maybe it's time for them to smooth things before it's too late... because you never know who will be the next target of the killer.
I like how Ann Troup creates a hunting and dark atmosphere with a house in the middle where some bad things happened inside, and with some twisted and original plot that will surprise every reader!
Do you need a home nurse?

Sounds good? After the prologue you will want to read it right now! ;)

A clutch of people had gathered to see the breaking of the earth, their breath mingling in the cool morning air where it lingered and collected as a cloud of light mist. They watched as giant metal teeth bit into the ground, tearing it asunder in the name of progress. Some clapped, others thrust their hands deep into their pockets and huffed out stale air in small wet puffs as that thing called progress made its mark on dead land.
A single watcher stood firm and still, refusing to show reaction and wondering how long it would be before old, long-extinguished life would be revealed. Her bones had been planted long ago. Her flesh had nourished the earth and made gluttons of the worms while maggots had grown fat on the meat and the memory of her. The watcher wondered if any human remembered her now. If they didn’t, they would soon. The metal teeth were chewing the earth a mere fifty feet from where she lay; it was just a matter of time. When she saw the light of day again she would be greeted with an urgency she had never known in life. They would want to know all about her then. The watcher was sure of it.
A glance towards the proud developer, who oozed abundance in his expensive coat, who rubbed his hands in anticipation at what he believed would come. Wealth, recognition, kudos. The watcher smiled with a wry twist of the mouth. The man might as well build his houses out of glass and pray that no one would cast the first stone. It was all as fragile as that. They were standing on a teetering precipice between past and present, on earth as crumbling and friable as that which fell in crumbs and clods from the bucket of the JCB.
The watcher turned away and began to walk. All things must come to an end and the peace of Essen Grange would come to an end too. The watcher could feel it and hear it in the grind of the machinery.
Everything that was familiar and safe was breathing its last in the screech of metal and gears.
The watcher was as broken as the ground that was succumbing to change. Everything had to alter eventually and the bones would mark the beginning.

13 November 2017

SUBWAY Visual Identity System

The new Subway Visual Identity System was lead by creative agency Turner Duckworth (NYC) and Creative Director Andy Baron, who brought in Austria-based Photographer and Designer Marion Luttenberger to develop and execute the new visual trajectory of the Subway brand. During 2016, Marion teamed up with with Argentina-based Food Stylist and Creative Director Anna Keville Joyce to bring the project to life - a new whimsical flare, full of tasty, colorful, and eye-catching imagery. 
The new campaign includes the Subway sandwich line as well as conceptual food art pieces highlighting Subway ingredients to be used in the system worldwide. Through teamwork, trail and error, and a genuine sense of curiosity, the crew enjoyed many creative studio days together. 

Much Ado About Murder By Elizabeth J. Duncan - Guest Post + Giveaway!

Thanks to Great Escapes, today I want to introduce you the new book by the author Elizabeth J. Duncan; Much Ado About Murder. Here's a little excerpt to put you on scheme...

Costume designer Charlotte Fairfax has another murder on her hands as she prepares for the latest performance of the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company, Much Ado About Nothing. The company’s steady growth enables them to cast star British actress Audrey Ashley, who arrives on scene to play the lead role of Beatrice. But things immediately get more complicated when Audrey insists the company replace the current director with new, up and coming British director Edmund Albright.
Edmund plans to change the popular romantic comedy, which alienates several people associated with the production. And the list of people he upsets only grows: the laid off former director, the hotel owner’s secretary, and even Audrey herself. Just as Edmund’s plans are about to come to fruition, his body is discovered on his sofa, holding a gun in his hand. His death is quickly ruled a suicide but Charlotte thinks otherwise. Why would Edmund, on the brink of greatness, kill himself? And in such an American way?
With a whole cast of characters to investigate, Charlotte is determined to unmask each one before it’s final curtain call on the whole production in award-winning author Elizabeth J. Duncan’s third Shakespeare in the Catskills mystery, Much Ado About Murder.

I am lucky to say that Elizabeth J. Duncan has written a little Guest Post for my blog, inspired on my adopted country, Ireland, and focused with the mysterious cemeteries. Enjoy!

Cemeteries are for the living, too

For almost 200 years Dubliners have been laid to rest in Glasnevin (Prospect) Cemetery, a vast burial ground in the city’s north end. Many of Ireland’s political and revolutionary heroes are buried here, along with artists, poets, writers, actors, and a million or so other, more ordinary, souls. One of the highest-rated visitor attractions in Dublin, the cemetery holds guided tours, provides assistance to those researching their ancestry, and has a museum, café, gift shop, and even its own flower shop. All
in all, it’s quite a lively place.
I recently visited Glasnevin, and as an author of traditional murder mysteries, I started thinking about the role cemeteries play in my writing life, and the lives of my characters.
Cemeteries are wonderful places to source authentic sounding names. Wander up and down the rows of graves, reading the names on the tombstones, and you’re bound to come across a name that resonates with you. One of the characters in my Shakespeare in the Catskills series is named after a woman whose name I spotted on a grave in a small, tidy, upstate New York cemetery. When I came upon the name Mattie Lane on a grave marker, I knew instantly this person’s name belonged in the
book I was writing at the time, Untimely Death, first in the Shakespeare in the Catskills series. So although I know nothing about who Mattie Lane was in life, she lives on as the recurring character of a young actress.
And did you know there’s a difference between a cemetery and a graveyard? A cemetery is a specifically designated burial place, purpose built, if you like, and a graveyard refers to a burial ground within a churchyard.
In my other mystery series, set in North Wales and featuring amateur sleuth Penny Brannigan, the graveyard of picturesque St. Gwrst’s Church on the bank of the River Conwy, has figured  prominently. Here, in the graveyard’s fictitious version, an abused, neglected dog was rescued by the rector’s wife, and a treasure buried before World War 1 was found using a map drawn by a child before World War 1. And occasionally, characters eat their lunch there, just as I do in real life. A friend and I love munching on our sandwiches seated side by side on a wooden bench situated in
the graveyard, facing the fast moving, sparkling river, with a view to a picturesque tea house across the river and the dark, wooded hills beyond.
And of course, cemeteries are filled with inspiration for a mystery author because below every grave marker lies a life story. Sometimes the dates and places spark creativity … Why did this person die so young? And so far from home? And then as the writer’s imagination takes over, a plot begins to emerge and as the characters introduce themselves, ideas for a novel begin to emerge.
If you’re interested in cemeteries, and who’s buried where, and if you haven’t discovered www.findagrave.com, check it out!
To learn more about Glasnevin Cemetery, you can view a DVD called One Million Dubliners.

Interesting, don't you think? Good luck in the Giveaway! ;)

12 November 2017

Straycurls by Angela Mary Vaz

Some humour for this Sunday... The illustrator Angela Mary Vaz (Straycurls) has tried to show us the problems that the famous Disney Princess could have if they had curly hair, take a look...!

Of Spice And Men by Sarah Fox - Blog Tour + Giveaway!

Of Spice And Men by Sarah Fox
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Source: Great Escapes
Rating: 3'5/5

When a movie starts filming at Wildwood Cave, Marley, the owner of The Flip Side's never suspected all the trouble she will have... a murder, a haunted house and some robberies! Ready, set, action!

'Max caught on to my train of thought. "Ella Cardozo. She was injured in a car accident. Are you thinking maybe it wasn't an accident after all?"
"It's possible, isn't it? Maybe someone's been trying to derail the production for a while."
"Why?" Ivan didn't sound convinced.
"Revenge?" I suggested. "Maybe the director has an enemy?" I looked to Max, hoping he'd know more about that than I did.'

Marley loves to attend her business, spend time with her cat and her boyfriend Brett, but when a mysterious ex-girlfriend from Brett appears and is being accused of murder, some jealousy will start to grow inside Marley and the only way to keep her far away from Brett is to discover the truth, but who has really motives to kill the victim?
While we are reading this book we feel like an extra neighbour in Wildwood Cave, but there are so many things happening at the same time that maybe the killer will start hunting for us too!
It's always nice when a book has more than just one plot, in this case, the killing is important, but let me say that the mysterious lights in the abandoned house seems a very interesting mystery, who doesn't like ghosts? And of course Marley and Brett relation had a big part on the story, will they resolve their problems or will they stop seeing each other? Because seeing you boyfriend hugging a mysterious woman is never something nice to see...
This has been an easy read, it wasn't difficult to solve the mystery, but I liked the motives and the story behind the killing, it was original and intriguing.
This is the 3rd book of the series "A Pancake House Mystery" but you can read it as standalone.
Ready to be part of a filming set?

Interested? Good luck in the Giveaway!

10 November 2017

The Wildflowers Paperback by Harriet Evans - Cover Reveal

Today I am delighted to share with you the cover of the new book by Harriet Evans, The Wildflowers, it's intriguing and beautiful at the same time, don't you think?
The Wildflowers is the new one, and it is a real landmark for Harrie, the Sunday Times bestselling author, as it is her 10th novel – it is satisfyingly coastal, evocative, and beautifully layered. It’s out in May, and follows one family (the Wildflowers) across three generations, and is set between the golden age of theatre in London, and an old family home by the sea in Dorset.

If you want to know more about the book, this is the prologue to make you want to read it right now and can pre-order it on Amazon!

Tony and Althea Wilde. Glamorous, argumentative... adulterous to the core.
They were my parents, actors known by everyone. They gave our lives love and colour in a house by the sea - the house that sheltered my orphaned father when he was a boy.
But the summer Mads arrived changed everything. She too had been abandoned and my father understood why. We Wildflowers took her in.
My father was my hero, he gave us a golden childhood, but the past was always going to catch up with him ... it comes for us all, sooner or later.
This is my story. I am Cordelia Wilde. A singer without a voice. A daughter without a father. Let me take you inside.

Elemental Haiku

Do you know what is a Haiku?
"Haiku" is a traditional form of Japanese poetry.  Haiku poems consist of 3 lines.  The first and last lines of a Haiku have 5 syllables and the middle line has 7 syllables.  The lines rarely rhyme.

So, I thought it would be interesting to share with you this original Periodic Table (Elemental Haiku) composed of 119 scientific haiku, one for each element, plus a closing haiku for element 119 (not yet synthesized). The haiku encompass astronomy, biology, chemistry, history, physics, and a bit of whimsical flair.