Yvonne is a New Yorker who loves to read an blog about it. Under the guise of Socrates (her cat), Yvonne invites authors and publishers to submit books for her review. Her blog covers many romance genres, as well as thrillers and mysteries. Yvonne hosts guest bloggers (authors) and other events like reading challenges.
Interview: Tracy Weber (Author of Downward Dog Mysteries)
About Karma’s a Killer: Yoga instructor Kate Davidson is about to discover that when it comes to murder, there’s no place like om. When she agrees to teach doga—yoga for dogs—at a fundraiser for Dogma, a local animal rescue, Kate believes the only real damage will be to her reputation. But when an animal rights protest at the event leads to a suspicious fire and a drowning, a few downward-facing dogs will be the least of Kate’s problems…The police arrest Dharma, a woman claiming to be Kate’s estranged mother, and charge her with murder. To prove Dharma’s innocence, Kate, her boyfriend Michael, and her German shepherd sidekick Bella dive deeply into the worlds of animal activism, organizational politics, and the dangerous obsessions that drive them.And if solving a murder weren't complicated enough, Kate will also have to decide whether or not to reconcile with the estranged mother who abandoned her over thirty years ago. Not to mention having to contend with an almost-bankrupt animal rescue, a cantankerous crow, an unwanted pigeon houseguest, and a rabbit in a doga class. What could possibly go wrong?A taut tale with more twists and turns than a vinyasa yoga class, Karma’s a Killer brims with suspense, wit and whimsy. With a to-die-for plot, sensational storyline, and charming characters—of both the two- and four-legged varieties—Karma’s a Killer is a clever, colorful, and utterly captivating cozy mystery.InterviewSocrates’ Book Review Blog would like to welcome author Tracy Weber to our blog. Tracy is the author of A Downward Dog Mystery series. Her newest book in the series is “Karma’s A Killer”. Thanks so much for having me!Let the questions begin…1. Where did you come up with the idea of focusing a cozy mystery series on yoga? Do you do yoga yourself?I’ve owned and operated my Seattle yoga studio, Whole Life Yoga since 2001. I’ve loved mysteries significantly longer. I love dogs so much that my husband calls me The Creepy Puppy Lady. I’m especially gaga over my German shepherd, Tasha. So it was only a matter of time until a story about a crime-solving yoga teacher with a crazy German shepherd popped into my head. ;-) The rest is history.2. Do you have any idea how long this series will go? Do you have ideas for future storylines? That’s the million dollar question. The truth is, any series lasts as long as there are enough readers buying it. Sales make a huge difference, especially when a series is with a traditional publisher, like mine is. I currently have a contract through book six, so theoretically it will last that long. Book four, titled A Fatal Twist, is written, and I’ve started writing book five. I have a definite plan for book six and an idea for book seven. I hope I have enough interested readers that The Downward Dog Mysteries are on the shelves for a very long time!3. Do you outline a book before you begin? In other words, do you know who did it from the beginning or are you as surprised as the readers are?I generally know who is going to die and who killed them when I start writing, but sometimes characters surprise me. I don’t outline before I write. Who has time for planning when you have characters like Kate and Bella yammering inside your head? I do, however outline as I write the second draft. That’s where I find plot holes, timeline issues, and consistency problems. It’s a weird process, but it works for me!4. How long does it take for you to write a book?I’m currently on a book-a-year contract, so I can’t take any longer than a year. Generally I spend about nine months writing a book. The other three months are spent on promotion, including blog tours, signing events, conferences, and launch parties.5. How did you feel when your first book was published? What was your first published work? My first published book was Murder Strikes a Pose, which is the first book in the Downward Dog Mystery series. I was over the moon when it was published. Who wouldn’t be? ;-) 6. What kind of environment do you do your actual writing in? Describe the setting for us.I write in the disaster I call my office. Papers strewn everywhere, open bottles of Diet Mountain Dew lining the desk’s edges, a dozen pairs of reading glasses buried in the rubble. It’s a wonder I can even find my keyboard! My dog, Tasha, is usually sleeping nearby or bugging me to stop writing and pay attention to her.7. Who is the greatest influence in your writing career?Susan Conant. The idea of writing a yoga and dog-related mystery series came to me while I was reading her book Black Ribbon. I can honestly say that without her series, I would never have become an author. 8. As a child, did you read mysteries? Yes. But then again, as a child, I read EVERYTHING. I’ve always been an avid reader. I segued into mystery and suspense as an adult, and that’s pretty much all that I’ve read (other than yoga textbooks) for years.9. Do you have any current favorite authors or books to recommend?I love cozy mysteries, and anything with a dog in it gets special notice. Laurien Berenson, Waverly Curtis, Sheila Boneham, and Susan Conant are some of my favorite authors. 10. Can you give us a sneak peek into your future releases?In book four in the series, A Fatal Twist, Kate is preparing to be the doula for the birth of her best friend Kate’s twins. While at the hospital, she stumbles across the body of a renowned fertility doctor, who is also married to a nurse that Kate has befriended. Add to that a surly teen with a secret, a new “frenemy” sleuthing partner, and two puppies abandoned on Kate’s doorstep, and Kate has multiple mysteries to solve—and a even more chaos to overcome. It’s a lot of fun!Thank you so much, Tracy, for taking the time to visit with us and good luck with your series.Thank you so much for having me! It’s been a pleasure!Author BioTracy Weber is the author of the award-winning Downward Dog Mysteries series. The first book in the series, Murder Strikes a Pose, won the Maxwell Award for Fiction and was nominated for the Agatha award for Best First Novel. A certified yoga therapist, Tracy is the owner of Whole Life Yoga, a Seattle yoga studio, as well as the creator and director of Whole Life Yoga’s teacher training program. She loves sharing her passion for yoga and animals in any way possible. Tracy and her husband Marc live in Seattle with their challenging yet amazing German shepherd, Tasha. When she’s not writing, Tracy spends her time teaching yoga, walking Tasha, and sipping Blackthorn cider at her favorite ale house. Karma’s a Killer is her third novel. For more information on Tracy and the Downward Dog Mysteries, visit her author website: http://TracyWeberAuthor.com/
Review: Plan Bea by Hilary Grossman
Genre:Chick Lit, Women’s FictionFormat:E-ARCPublisher:Booktrope EditionsRelease Date:October 2015Synopsis from Goodreads…Could falling in love allow a cold, stubborn, and selfish women to open her heart back up to her family?Beatrice Buchanan has spent more years than she can remember distancing herself from everyone close to her. She has no relationship with her grandchildren and the only time she speaks to her daughter is during her weekly fifteen-minute commute to the nail salon. When Bea meets Walter on a cruise she realizes there may be more to life than designer clothes and impressing the ladies at her country club.We live our entire lives thinking we know those closest to us. But do we ever really?On the outside, Annabel O’Conner has it all – the perfect husband, two adorable children, and an amazing job. The only thing missing is her mother’s love. When Bea begs her daughter to help plan her wedding, Annabel reluctantly agrees. Little does she know the impact of her decision or the surprise that is in store for her!This emotional and honest women’s contemporary fiction novel will tug at your heartstrings and the twist ending will shock you.My ReviewLife is good for Annabel O’Conner. She has a wonderful, loving husband and two beautiful children. She even has a great career. What would make her even happier? A loving relationship with her mother. For some reason, Annabel’s mother Beatrice wants nothing to do with Annabel or her children. It breaks Annabel’s heart, but her mother is a cold, selfish woman.Then, out of the blue, Beatrice calls and tells Annabel she’s getting married. She pleads with Annabel to help make this the best wedding ever. She wants to impress her friends and give them something to talk about for years to come. Annabel doesn’t want to do it, but her mother is not someone you can easily say no to. So, Annabel gives her all the support she wants, but nothing Annabel chooses ever seems to please Beatrice. She wonders if she just made their relationship worse by agreeing to this, but she can't get out of it now.This is a pretty amazing book. This is more than a simple chick lit book. It’s a complex story with complex characters. Readers can actually experience the character’s growth from page one to the very end. It’s jam-packed with emotions and situations readers can identify with. These characters are very realistic and portrayed to perfection. To my surprise there are family secrets sprinkled throughout the book with an ending that I, for one, did not see coming. I loved every minute of Annabel and Beatrice’s journey. I am delighted to see there is another book coming. This one paved the way for the next book. There is no cliffhanger, just a lead into the next set of characters to get their very own story. I’m looking forward to it. Hilary Grossman has a hit on her hands!For reading challenges:Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge 20162016 Women’s Fiction Reading Challenge2016 Blogger Shame Reading Challenge Disclosure: The author provided me with a copy of this book to review. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
Blog Tour: The Ninth Life by Clea Simon (Review/Tour-Wide Giveaway)
About the BookGenre: Mystery, Thriller, SuspenseFormat: E-GalleyPublisher: Severn House PublishersRelease Date: March 2016Synopsis from Goodreads…Introducing Blackie, an unusual feline hero, and his companion Care in the first of this dark new mystery series." Three figures, shadowy against the light. That s all I remember from my past life, as I am dragged, dripping and half-drowned, from the flood. My saviour, a strange, pink-haired girl, is little help. She can barely care for herself, let alone the boy she loves. And although she has sworn to avenge the murder of her mentor, she must first escape the clutches of drug dealers, murderers and thieves. I would repay her kindness if I could. But we are alone in this blighted city and I am a cat.The past is an enigma to Blackie, the voice of Clea Simon s dark new mystery. Combining elements of feline fantasy and cozy whodunit, The Ninth Life introduces this unusual hero and his companion, Care: two small creatures in a nightmarish urban landscape, fighting for their lives, and for the lives and memories of those they love. My ReviewThis book is very different from what I usually read. I tend to go for more of the cozy, light mysteries. The Ninth Life is dark and intense with complex characters. Clea Simon does an excellent job of painting a vivid picture of a sinister world.It’s a unique plot told from the point of view of a cat named Blackie. Readers will cringe as Blackie faces situations that a human would have difficulty surviving, but Blackie faces them head on. A young woman named Care saves his life and he has now dedicated himself to protecting her. The author does an amazing job of showing the reader how much Blackie truly loves Care and his frustration with not being able to communicate with her. Although the story is told from the feline point of view, Blackie does not talk to humans and has no magical powers.This book might not be for everyone as there is violence and animal cruelty involved. I did have some problems with that myself, but Clea does a great job in writing a story that’s very different from her cozy mystery series.I’m looking forward to reading more adventures of Blackie and Care.For reading challenges:Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge 20162016 What An Animal Reading Challenge2016 Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge2016 NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading ChallengeFTC Disclosure: The publisher and NetGalley provided me with a copy of this book to review for this blog tour. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.About the AuthorClea Simon is the author of 19 cozies in the Theda Krakow, Dulcie Schwartz, and Pru Marlowe pet noir series. The latter two are ongoing and include her most recent books, Code Grey (Severn House) and When Bunnies Go Bad (Poisoned Pen Press). The Ninth Life, the first book in her Blackie & Care mysteries, a darker series, will be published by Severn House on March 1. A former journalist and nonfiction author, she lives in Somerville, Mass., with her husband, the writer Jon Garelick, and their cat Musetta. She can be reached at http://www.cleasimon.comAuthor Links:http://www.cleasimon.com home pagehttp://cleasimon.blogspot.com bloghttps://www.facebook.com/clea.simon.author Facebook@Clea_Simon Twitterhttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/49559.Clea_Simon GoodreadsPurchase Links:Amazon Indie Bound Severn HouseTour-Wide Giveawaya Rafflecopter giveaway
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