Posts Tagged ‘Book One’

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Welcome to My Monday Minis Reviews where I share short reviews of books I’ve read. For today I’ll be sharing my review of

Memory House

The Memory House Collection #1

by Bette Lee Crosby



My Review

I’ve read most of Bette Lee Crosby’s books and adored them. She has this southern flavor in her writing that appeals to my soul.

Memory House is the first book in the collection and enchants you right from the get go.

Ophelia is nearing 90 years old, and while she’s slowing down, she still has a lot of living to do. Searching from someone to pass her guardianship of treasures to, she waits for that someone to appear.

Ophelia can capture memories from objects. She feels their emotions, and sometimes visualizes them. She keeps the objects she comes across in her loft, keeping them alive to become others memories too. Perhaps that’s why so many of us are drawn to antiques and old things. We’re curious about them, wonder about the owners.

In walks Annie, looking for some time away after a bad break up with her boyfriend. She stumbles upon Memory House Bed & Breakfast, where a kind elderly woman welcomes her in. They quickly form a kinship and Ophelia feels that special someone has finally arrived. Now to see if she’s right.

I especially enjoyed it when Ophelia introduced her treasures to Annie. I recognized character’s the objects belonged to from some of her other books. It took me back to those beloved places and characters. A treat and such a clever idea.

Memory House a lovely read. Bette never fails to deliver engaging, step from the pages character’s that quickly become special friends to you. Her story is woven with magic. It entices, evokes your emotions, and you finish with a need for more.

I’m now reading the second book, The Loft, and it take places not too long after this book ends. Right back into this world and eagerly turning the pages.

5 Stars




Ophelia Browne knows the answer is yes. She knows because she’s been granted the unique gift of finding and caring for those forgotten memories. But now she’s nearing ninety, and Browne women seldom live beyond ninety.

Before time runs out Ophelia must find a successor. Someone who can take hold of the gifts and keep the memories from fading.

When broken-hearted Annie Cross shows up on the doorstep of The Memory House Bed and Breakfast, Ophelia knows she is the one. The two women forge a bond of friendship as they sip magical dandelion tea and share stories. When Annie starts to sense the memories Ophelia is delighted, but then a thread of violence begins to unravel and Ophelia fears things have gone too far.


To get your copy of Memory House and view all of Bette Lee Crosby’s books, click on the link above or the book covers.


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I’m always looking for a scary good haunting story. This was one of those that makes you sleep with the lights on!

Scroll down to check it out.

Enjoy my review.

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

The Spirit Chaser

Book One

Kat Mayor



Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Horror, Ghosts

Publisher: Kat Mayor

Date of Publication: November 13, 2015

ISBN:1517161479 / ASIN: B01845NL8K

Number of pages: 424 / Number of words: 134,300

My Review

I’ve always enjoyed books and movies about ghost hunting. Granted, the television shows make me laugh. Seems like all they do is run around scaring themselves. What if the hauntings were real? What if something demonic has set it’s sights on you and your fate is not yours to control?

As I met the cast of characters and learned their places in the ghost hunting team, they seemed a lot like some of the movies I’ve seen. You have the essential characters, like psychics, the gadgets to bust the ghosts, and a handsome, charismatic leader. Thus you have the team of SCI.

Spirit Chaser Investigations (SCI) is the number one television show. They travel the country investigating haunted buildings. Most of the hauntings aren’t that bad, things being moved and thrown around. Ghostly apparitions and growls. But one seemingly routine investigation ends badly. A member is attacked and barely survives. The team thanks their lucky starts it wasn’t worse and regroup, thinking the worst is behind them. Not so. For they were lured to that encounter, and the worst is yet to come.

I liked the team of characters. They all came together to make a strong group. Like a family. When Casey is hired, she soon settles in. Her clashes with the leader, Austin, soon turn to romance.

Once Austin and Casey become a couple, the author shares some intimate sexual encounters with these two. I felt they went beyond what was needed. But later, I changed my mind. Those scenes were part of a spiritual bond between the two. One that will be tested in the days to come.

This book had me right from the beginning. As  the story progressed things got scary. Hauntings, demons, exorcisms…. I tried to put myself in their place. No way would I go in those buildings. Especially if I knew there were some very nasty beings gunning for me.

As I neared the end of the story, I became worried. Things were so bad and I couldn’t see a happy ending with the few remaining chapters. What surprised me the most were the tears. It just took two small scenes, but the words blurred on my Kindle. This doesn’t mean I’ve spoiled the ending for you. Doesn’t mean there is or isn’t a happy ending. It was just so different, so moving, and so unexpected. I’d given up hope it would happen.

I enthusiastically give this book a high recommendation and urge you to read it. All the twists and turns come together and you’ll want to talk about it after you’re finished. But you probably won’t want to investigate a haunting after this.

5 Stars


Book Description

Some places are too evil. Some places should be left alone.

Austin Cole has it made. Star of the hit television show Spirit Chaser Investigations, he has become the world’s most famous paranormal investigator. Although hard work, a talented investigation team, and favorable genetics have something to do with it, it’s his lack of fear and willingness to take risks no one else will that make Spirit Chaser Investigations cable’s number-one show.

When a ghost-hunt-gone-wrong seriously injures his best friend and lead psychic, Austin is forced to find a replacement for a team member he considers irreplaceable.

Casey Lawson can’t catch a break. She’s been on her own since she turned eighteen and is scraping by as a part-time psychic and cashier at a New Age store. When a desperate Austin Cole calls her up and offers her a position on his team, has her fortune finally changed?

He’s a control freak; she’s stubborn and opinionated. It takes time, but when they finally realize they’re working on the same side, everything clicks, both on and off screen.

Just when things are looking up, a new threat emerges. Over the years, Austin has angered plenty of demons, and one of them has set her sights on him. Now he’s the one in danger, and it’s up to the team to rescue him from the riskiest investigation of their lives.

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“I got your message. I guess that means Austin tracked you down.”

“Yeah, he did, and I have some questions about that for later.” Casey threw her purse on the entry table and flopped down on the couch. “But first I want to talk about you. I saw what happened on the finale. It was awful.” Casey paused for a moment. “How are you doing?”

“Yeah, that wasn’t my finest moment.” No it wasn’t. Casey thought it was a crappy thing to do, televising what had to be the lowest point in Barrett’s life. But she understood about ratings and the Almighty Dollar. “I’m better now, though,” he told her.

“How did it get in your head?”

“She was strong. Very strong.”


“Yeah, the entity self-identified as female. She got in before I even knew I’d been attacked.” An involuntary shiver went through Casey’s spine. Barrett had always been careful. If an entity could get hold of him like that, then no one was safe.

“So, do you remember what happened?”

“Thankfully, no. I have vivid memories of everything that happened before we entered the warehouse. But after that, it’s all kind of a blur. This is what I do remember: She put the darkest thoughts of violence and rage in my head.” It had been like seeing his friends through someone else’s eyes. He had been crazy-out-of-control-angry at Gary and Luis. But the level of hate he’d felt for Austin was off the charts. Not only did he want him to suffer a slow, agonizing death, he wanted to inflict the pain and watch every excruciating moment as he slipped closer and closer to the edge. Barrett exhaled. “Anyway, the next thing I know, I’m in the hospital with a broken arm, terrified of something I can’t name or describe. You remember how I was in high school? When everything was hopeless and I was hating life?”

“Yeah,” Casey said. For as long as she had known Barrett, depression had been a daily struggle. He was the typical high school loner, a bit of a weirdo who didn’t fit into any of the usual cliques. He wandered around the halls with a sad, empty look in his eyes. The dark cloud over his head was what drew Casey to him in the first place. She was an outcast in her own right. Being the preacher’s emo daughter who spoke to ghosts didn’t win her any popularity contests. His vulnerability struck a chord with her. She wanted to take him home with her, like a stray puppy, and hold him until he felt safe and secure. But her comfort was not what he needed.

“That was nothing compared to the level of depression and despair I was feeling after the … thing”—he couldn’t bring himself to articulate the word “possessed”—“attacked me. I found out later that the doctors placed me on a suicide watch.” Barrett shook his head. “Weird. Sorry to unload on you. I’ll save the confessing and emotional vomiting for my priest and shrink.”

“No worries. I shouldn’t have brought up a sore subject.”

“No, Casey. You’re one of the few people who’ve even asked how I’m doing. My boyfriend, Derek, wants to ignore it, pretend like nothing happened. He’s afraid if we discuss it, I’ll lose it or something. I think a few of my friends are even kind of scared of me.” Barrett sighed. “Well, enough about me. What have you been up to, Ms. Lawson? Something fabulous, I’m sure.”

“Not really. I’ve been working at my friend’s store. It’s a low-stress job and not taxing on the brain. I’m kind of at an in-between place in my life right now. Trying to figure stuff out.” Casey paused and took a breath. “So, what’s the deal with this Austin dude? He tells me you’re the one who suggested me as a replacement. Why?”

“Because you’re the best. And Spirit deserves the best. They’re great people and I don’t want some attention-seeking charlatan screwing things up for them.”

“Well, if it’s so great, why don’t you want to go back?”

Barrett sighed and put his hand to his forehead. “That is a completely fair question, especially since I’m the one who gave Austin your name. But truthfully, I’m still in recovery mode. When Luis exorcised the she-demon, he got rid of my familiars, too. And I relied on them a lot.” Unlike Casey, Barrett came from a long line of seers. The familiar spirits that helped him see the future and communicate with the dead had been in his family for generations. “I mean, I can still see ghosts, but I can’t see the future anymore, and that kind of sucks.”

“So ask them back.”

“No, I don’t want to do that. After the she-devil got in, I’m not itching to open myself up again.”

Casey couldn’t blame him. “Well, even without your familiars, you’re still a million times better than most of the so-called psychics out there. And when you do get better, you’re going to want you’re fantastic job back.”

“No. I have my own personal reasons for not wanting to return that I’d rather not get into. It’s a great job, Casey, just not great for me.”

“Well, I haven’t even interviewed yet. Once Austin meets me, he might say forget it.”

“I know for a fact he has no one else lined up. The job is yours to refuse or accept.”

“I don’t know. I’m going to tell it like it is. Some people can’t handle that.”

“That’s what makes you the perfect choice. Austin is very persistent, very charming, and very persuasive. It’s nearly impossible to tell him no. And once he gets his mind set on something, he won’t stop. The team needs someone like you to stand firm, because Austin can’t see the danger and really doesn’t understand it. He’ll lead them all straight into hell without even knowing it.”


About the Author:

K.M. Montemayor

Kat Mayor is a native Texan, wife, and mom. In addition to The Spirit Chaser, she has written a young adult series, The Circle. She’s a full-time reader, part-time writer, and when she’s not kicking a story around in her head, she loves to read and review books on Goodreads.

Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads


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This counts towards my Horror Reading Challenge.

Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

For a list of my reviews go HERE

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways click on the lucky horseshoe below!

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm.


Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page.
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My Tease for this week is from

The Publicist

Book One

by Christina George



My Teasers from pages 41 and 95 in the paperback.

From page 41:

Touring with aging actresses, one of whom was an alcoholic, a former producer who was more arrogant than anyone she’d ever met before in her life, and a yet-to-be-met assistant who found it impossible to write a single email that wasn’t in all-caps made her head pound.

From page 95:

 “Kate, listen, let’s not over think this, let’s just let it be. Let’s love each other as long as we can and when we can’t anymore, we’ll both know it.”



Welcome to the world of publishing. The ego has landed.

Can one woman change an age-old institution like publishing? Probably not, but Kate Mitchell sure wants to try. As a publicist with a large, respected New York publishing house, Kate finds herself at the mercy of a broken publishing system, books that don’t sell, and author egos that are often, well, as big as the island of Manhattan.

Enter the star Editor, MacDermott Ellis: Tall, handsome, charismatic, married, and ready to save the day. Then there’s Allan Lavigne, once a revered author–now as forgotten as last year’s bestsellers and his nephew Nick: Tall, gorgeous, sweet, single and ready to sweep Kate off her feet. Kate wants to do the right thing but her hormones seem to be driving her decisions.

As Kate tries to navigate the landmine of publicity, over-the-top author expectations, and the careful dance of “I’m sorry, your book isn’t on the bestseller list this week,” she also finds authors who are painfully overlooked by a publisher wanting more sex, more celebrities, and more scandal.

The story only an insider could tell.


I’ll be reviewing all three books in The Publicist Series next month.

What a modge podge of characters!


Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

How about you? Got a tease? Tell me!

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Shinigami Eyes

Shinigami Eyes #1

by Cheree & Adam Smith


Cover Design by Silvia Paoletta

Coming October 31st, 2014.

Just in time for Halloween!



Most children hope to grow out of their imaginary friends.

17-year-old Rin Waters’ only hope is that hers doesn’t kill someone, especially when said imaginary friend puts a boy in a coma. Finding herself shipped half-way around the world—to Japan, of all places—she is forced to live with grandparents she hasn’t seen for ten years and a cousin she can’t even remember.

Rin would rather just forget about the one night that ruined her life and pretend her imaginary friend doesn’t exist—if it was only that easy. When manga-obsessed otaku, Matt, won’t stop pestering her about a manga that sees the future and the tragic accident she’ll be involved in if she doesn’t listen to him, pretending becomes quite a challenge.

Suddenly mysterious accidents begin to happen to students in her school, and Rin has to wonder what length Matt is willing to go to prove his manga is real. Is it all a sham or is there really something that wants to see Rin and her new friends dead?


Author Cheree Smith

Cheree Smith

Cheree Smith lives in a country town in Australia as a high school English teacher where she writes paranormal, horror and dark stories for young adults. She enjoys listening to and learning about legends and myths, watching scary movies and dreaming up new worlds where monsters can come alive. When she is not in her writing cave she can be found listening to music, even dabbling in the occasional writing of music or reading.

Website ~ Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads


Author Adam Smith

Adam Smith

Adam Smith has always loved the Japanese culture, which began with his love of anime and manga. This helped him accomplish his goal of moving to japan to become an ALT (assistant language teacher) in I wate, Japan. When he’s not reading, writing or speaking Japanese, he is working on paranormal, horror and dark stories for young adults with his sister, Cheree.



Host List

Shinigami Eyes Hosts’ list:

Darkest Sins | E.M. Havens | Emma’s Ramblings on Supernatural Fiction
Fuonlyknew | Happy Tails and Tales | Justified Lunacy | Lusty Penguin Reviews
Mean Who You Are
| Mind Reader | Proserpine Craving Books | The Avid Reader
(un)Conventional Bookviews | Vaempires


So, about the cover art… what do you think? Do you like it? Does it scare you?

And the synopsis… did you ever have an imaginary friend?

October is just around the corner and this would be a great Halloween read.

Stormling is now on tour!
Check all the hosts and don’t forget to join the International giveaway
running here and on each tour stop!



(Stormling #1)




In an age when Stormlings have only known peacetime, one man’s desperate action threatens not only the stability of the mystical world of Mordana, but Earth as well.

Teenager Ophelia Drewe discovers a jewel that has been lost from its homeworld, and whilst she thinks she can keep it, demonic forces believe otherwise.

She’s not alone, but who can she trust? The head Stormling, Anadyr, hasn’t been to the Earth in 500 years, but go there he must – if the jewel is not returned, it will destroy both Ophelia’s world and his own…



Enjoy the excerpt from Stormling. Let me know what you think!

“Father, we can go, can’t we? Please? Don’t you want to see who will win today?”

Aldyr Veroynne knelt down in front of his son, and placed his hands on the boy’s shoulders, squeezing them gently with firm hands.

“Anadyr, please, give it a rest. That would be six days in a row. We know who is going to win, anyway. You don’t need to come along. Just know that the winner is always someone from Mill’An Draythe.”

“Still, the Easterners come,” said Anadyr. “I must go to see how they fight, so that when I have the glory to represent my land, I know how to win.”

Anadyr had been just ten years of age when he became involved in his first fight, against another young Stormling, as it happened. At first, it seemed like the bigger and older Stormling would win, and had far too much strength for Anadyr.

During the fray, Anadyr connected with few blows, but could not knock his bigger opponent down. Then, with a swift kick to his mid-section, Anadyr’s strength left him, and he rolled into a ball on the ground, one hand clutching his stomach, the other, keeping his hair from covering his eyes.

The sun was blocked out by the shadow of the Stormling standing over him, who must was five years his senior.

“Loser?” he inquired.

You wish,” replied Anadyr, who sat up, and clapped his hands three times together before placing them on the ground, one hand either side of him.

“I don’t need applause from a loser,” said the bigger Stormling.

“That wasn’t applause,” replied the young Anadyr.

Suddenly, the ground started to shake all around them, the bigger Stormling’s smug look of apparent victory was erased by the tremors on the ground, and the almost instantaneous appearance of black clouds that filled the sky.

A few moments later, the clouds burst and soaked only the bigger Stormling and his crew of friends, whilst Anadyr stood laughing at them. The group started to run, but the rain lashed them in every way, from both sides, from above, and even as they ran into the ground which became ever more sodden, until they fell face forward.

“Why isn’t it raining on you?” the biggest one screamed. “You’re in league with the Lord of Monus! Say it isn’t so, for Stormlings don’t lie.”

Anadyr smiled and leaned over his sodden nemesis, who he was merely toying with.

“That’s right, Stormlings don’t lie, and I am not in league with anyone. So! Are you a loser?”

The bigger Stormling seethed. “So it would seem. Just make the damned rain stop. Who are you, boy?”

Anadyr clicked his fingers and rested his fists on the top of his hips.

“I am Anadyr Veroynne, and I command the Storms. The wind, the rain, the clouds all answer to me, and as for you….I will have your allegiance.”

The other Stormlings mumbled, saying they would not answer to some preppy brat, but the one who had hit Anadyr, stood up and bowed to him.

“I am good with a sword, but my true prowess lies with the double daggers. My skill is such that I could skim the sweat off a faerie’s wings. If you ever need my help, you shall have it, although…one who can bend the Storms to his will, surely has no need for an edged weapon.”

“Not so,” said Anadyr. “In fact, I practise with a longsword twelve hours a day. What is your name?”

“Kirnosst. Though my sword wielding days are at an end. I’m being sent to Firetop to learn, watch and ultimately take over from Aynara. Unlike us, she’s not an immortal, but I suppose your father told you that already.”

Anadyr nodded emphatically to show he knew about Aynara’s supposed mortality, but no-one knew when her time would end. There were none like her on Mordana.

Aldyr Veryonne was none-too-impressed with his son’s handling of things. “You wanted him to knock you down, so that you could show off, isn’t that so? The truth now, Anadyr.”

“I just wanted to show I wasn’t afraid of them. If I can instil fear into the heart of my enemies, maybe I can bend them to my way of thinking, as easily as I do the storms.”

“You are just a boy, Anadyr. You are too young to have enemies.”

“Didn’t you say that those East of the Wisty River are our enemies?”

“Well, yes, but I don’t see what that has to do with anything.”

“It’s got everything to do with it,” said Anadyr. “That’s why I want to go see the fight today. The Lord of Monus sends a Tryer from the Mordis Mountains, or from the heart of Caldreah itself.”

“Yes, Anadyr, but the point is-”

“The point is, Father, that today’s Tryer is from AnnanGhorst, and that makes things very interesting. I have never seen a ShadowWraith, much less seen you fight one. Tell me you’ll take me, please!”

Aldyr sighed. Putting combatants from the East out of their misery is something he loved to do, but a ShadowWraith of AnnanGhorst was different. Even the weakest of their kind were not to be taken lightly. Even if the Wraith lost, it would be most likely sent to the Island of Dead Skin, where Andus Rey, ruler of Caldreah Monus and a Stormling himself, ran his own sick tournament, where combatants often had to fight to the death.

Having a Wraith enter the fray was no battle at all. Under Rey’s watch, they would win, and win easily. Aldyr let out another sigh. He was considering throwing the match, even though this was illegal.

“Alright Anadyr, I’ll take you. But whatever happens, you come straight back home. That’s an order.”

“I will, Father. I will,” said Anadyr, who could not believe there would be any other outcome but a clear and decisive victory for his father, who was a skilled swordsman and had been known to dabble in magic.

ShadowWraiths were difficult adversaries for all sorts of reasons. Although they were scary to look at, it was more a case of what you couldn’t see, rather than what you could.

There were all sorts of rumours about them, which, outside of AnnanGhorst, became the very fabric of legend.

Some would say that there actually were no ShadowWraiths, but that it was Rey himself, who would come to test himself against the foes of Monus.

Others believed the Wraiths did have a face, but it was one so terrible to view, that one would die of fright from resting innocent eyes on their hateful faces.

Still others believed that the ShadowWraiths could not be killed, and one had to have a death wish if standing against them. But everyone who knew Aldyr Veroynne believed that he must know how to defeat a ShadowWraith.

As expected, there was a great throng of people in the town centre. They gathered round the platform, which stood some twenty feet from the ground. The ShadowWraith was already on the platform as Aldyr and Anadyr arrived.

As they walked, Aldyr beamed smiles and waved to everyone. They had come to see him triumph, which would be his thirty-eigth win in a row. The ShadowWraiths had triumphed every time to date, but the locals felt it was time one of their own succeeded.

The Wraith extended a bony finger towards Aldyr, and beckoned him to stand on the platform with him.

“Remember Anadyr,” whispered his father, “whatever happens, you will return home. Understood?”

“Yes Father, of course,” said Anadyr, who was surprised his father was making so much of this battle. Winning fights is what Aldyr Veroynne was all about. ‘He’s just more fodder from AnnanGhorst, who will slink back to that hellhole when my father’s through with him,’ thought Anadyr.

Whilst Anadyr watched the two men line up, a third man, the one who usually judged the battles, pulled himself up onto the platform, and from underneath his robes he produced a rather large wooden box. An omnious gasp came out from the crowd. “What? What is it?” said the young Stormling. Anadyr craned his neck to see what the commotion was.

The judge extended his arms to the crowd. “Today’s battle is a red match. In this box are two weapons from the challenger’s province of AnnanGhorst. The fighter who represents us has agreed to the terms, and will use the weapon provided to him.”

Anadyr nudged the man next to him. “What is it? What is a red match?”

The man solemnly shook his head. “It means that this is not for children’s eyes. They will fight to the death.”


John Hennessy

John Hennessy

John Hennessy is a young adult / new adult novelist whose works to date have been Dark Winter (published 2013), a paranormal horror thriller, and Stormling, an epic swords and magic (and cookies) fantasy. The first short story he ever wrote brought together Fagan, Lizzie Bennet, Sherlock Holmes and Dracula, which despite impressing his long suffering English teacher, thankfully remains unpublished. For recreation he will visit paranormal hotspots, but prefers to write about ghosts rather than meet them. He also believes almost any problem can be overcome so long as there is an inexhaustible supply of tea and biscuits. He has also written the non-fiction title The Essence of Martial Arts (published 2011), and released The Essence of Martial Arts: Special Edition, in 2014.



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Follow the Tour:

July 7th | Mind Reader (Author Interview)

July 8th | Reader Girls (Excerpt)

July 9th | Behind the Pages (Author Interview, Excerpt)

July 10th | What’s Beyond Forks? (Author Interview, Excerpt)

July 11th | Nomi’s Paranormal Palace (Excerpt)

July 14th | Proserpine Craving Books (Excerpt)

July 15th | Cherry Mischievous (Excerpt)

July 16th | Mythical Books (Author Interview)

July 17th | Sapphyria’s Book Reviews (Excerpt)

July 18th | Mean Who You Are (Review, Excerpt)

July 21st | Darkest Sins (Excerpt)

July 22nd | Lusty Penguin Reviews (Author Interview, Excerpt)

July 23rd | The Avid Reader (Review, Excerpt)

July 24th | Gracen Miller (Author Interview)

July 25th | Happy Tails and Tales (Review, Excerpt)

July 28th | Fuonlyknew (Excerpt)

July 29th | Tower of Babel (Excerpt)

July 30th | Justified Lunacy (Author Interview)

July 31st | Much Loved Books (Excerpt)

August 1st | Creating Serenity (Excerpt)


Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

To see all of my giveaways click on the lucky horseshoe below!

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MURDER IS ACADEMIC large banner640

Every good cozy mystery needs an attention grabbing, fun, title and quirky cover art.

You get both of these with Murder Is Academic.

I have lots to tell you in my review, so please read on and enjoy.

Warning: You won’t be able to resist this book!


Murder is Academic
by Lesley A. Diehl


I enjoyed the book….Well written, will keep you guessing…
~rantin’ ravin and reading

Lesley keeps you hooked from the start. From the murder until finding out who did it, you are on the edge of your seat.
~Shelley’s Book Case

I love a good mystery and this was no exception. It was light and fun …
~The Book Junkie

Diehl writes with wit and an eye for detail and creates believable characters that I would want to hang out with.
~Bea’s Book Nook


Murder Is Academic
(Laura Murphy Mystery Series)


File Size: 1626 KB
Print Length: 223 pages
Publisher: Lesley A. Diehl (March 29, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.



Murder Is Academic tickled my funny bone and had me using my brain pan.

Laura and Annie, two college professors, just landed their canoe. While waiting for their ride home, Laura wanders over to examine something she spotted while on the lake. It’s a shirt or something, in an ugly plaid color. She gives it a tug and finds something even uglier. There’s a body attached.

As they wait for their ride to arrive, a stranger approaches them, wanting to know what they’re doing at the construction site. Laura doesn’t know if his reason for being there is legit or maybe he’s the killer so she tries out some Judo on him.

This was the first time I laughed out loud while reading this book. I could just see Laura, twisting and yanking this guys arm around and not having much affect. Guy is tall, broad-shouldered, and immovable.

Once her friend Der, the police detective arrives, the victim is identified as the President of the college and the questions begin. The funniest one was from Guy. He wanted to know if Laura was being arrested for murder, and if not, would she have dinner with him.

 I have four characters I’m attached to. Laura’s friend Annie is funny and caring, someone I’d like to pal around with. Der, the cop, is Laura’s best buddy, and his sarcasm and charm are equally appealing. But there’s no hanky panky with these two. They’re just friends. Enter Guy, the sexy biker from Canada. He’s alpha male and has cast his lure at Laura. I was glad she took the bait. These two started out suspecting each other and I liked where they ended up. Now Laura, she felt so real, so alive. We shared many things in common, including sticking our heads in the icebox to relieve the hot flashes. She’s now a favorite character of mine. And there’s on e character that comes in a bit later in the story that I wanted to hug. You’ll know when you meet.

While Der is questioning suspects and chasing down leads, Laura does her own investigating. With no love lost between the President and the faculty, they’re all suspects. And as the list narrows, the killer gets more desperate. Now she is being threatened and Laura and Guy are bracing for the eye of the coming storm.

There are a few things I need in order to enjoy a mystery.

There has to be multiple suspects to sift through . I like following the trails, coming up on dead ends, and moving on to the next.

The characters have to be flawed and well-developed, especially the amateur sleuths. That’s what makes the book funny. Comic relief is a must.

The motive can’t be obvious or the killer will be easy to sort out.

And the ending has to make sense and not be rushed. I like the case wrapped up and explained without feeling like it all happened in the last pages.

In Murder is Academic the author gave me plenty of suspects, not too few and not too many, which made sniffing out the clues engaging.

The characters, especially Laura, Guy, Der, and Annie were captivating, loveable, and fun to hang with. They felt like old friends.

There was more than one motive. I felt like I was being given subtle clues right about from the beginning and my attention stayed sharp.

And now for the ending. I wanted more than one answer. As I was reading, I found I wanted to know more about Annie and her ill husband, More about Der besides what’s happening on the job, and definitely more about Laura and Guy. And, of course, I wanted to know who the killer was and why he did it. I got plenty of answers and came away happy.

Must not forget about the romance. The author having Laura and Guy hook up right from the beginning was exciting. I like when the romance is developed in the beginning and there’s no wishy-washy stuff. Then it’s just more fun to read how the romance grows, and the mystery still remains the main focus. Laura and Guy were icing on the cake.

I laughed out loud so many times while reading. I couldn’t wait to find out who did what and why. I was eager to read the next page and the next, and so on. That’s why I’d recommend this book to anyone. Friends, family, the stranger looking at me funny when I laughed out loud in the waiting room. Anyone who’d listen. I can not wait for more!




Laura Murphy, psychology professor, thinks there’s nothing she likes better than coffee and donuts on a summer morning until she says yes to dinner with a Canadian biker and finds herself and her date suspects in the murder of her college’s president. Laura’s friend, the detective assigned the case, asks her to help him find out who on the small upstate New York college campus may be a killer. The murder appears to be wrapped up in some unsavory happenings on the lake where Laura lives. A fish kill and raw sewage seeping into the water along with the apparent drowning suicide of a faculty member complicate the hunt for the killer. And then things become personal. The killer makes a threatening phone call to Laura. With a tornado bearing down on the area and the killer intent upon silencing her, Laura’s sleuthing work may come too late to save her and her biker from a watery grave.



About The Author

Like me, my protagonists choose to live their lives close to nature.
From the deep, green river valleys and tree-covered mountains of upstate New York to the palm-treed pastures of the Big Lake Country in Florida, these women have found their homes and their hearts in rural America.
These plucky snoops are joined by a transplant from Connecticut, Eve Appel, who moves to rural Florida to set up a consignment shop with her best friend and partner, Madeleine Boudreau.

All these amateur sleuths yearn for the simple, artless existence of hard work coupled with rustic pleasure.
That’s why they live away from big cities, but murder and violence have a way of stalking us, even our plucky heroines, who think they’ve avoided life’s perils.

Lesley A. Diehl author of cozy mysteries featuring sassy, country gals who enjoy snooping



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I had to be a part of this book tour.

Can you imagine it? Federal Angels?

Looks like Mark Diehl is bringing something different to the table.

I’ll have to read XVII and find out.

What’s even better. This is book one in a series!





Mark Diehl




Most of the world’s seventeen billion people are unconscious, perpetually serving their employers as part of massive brain trusts. The ecosystem has collapsed, and corporations control all of the world’s resources and governments. A bedraggled alcoholic known as the Prophet predicts nineteen year-old waitress Eadie will lead a revolution, but how can she prevail when hunted by a giant corporation and the Federal Angels it directs?


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“I know what you did, Sett. There is a Federal Angel with me right now. He wants to talk to you.  He would like to know why you helped some waitress escape after she killed Matt Ricker. Switch to visual. Now.”

He blinked hard and wiped a palm across his forehead. A sickly gray light seemed smeared along the opposite wall, having filtered through the filthy window at the end of the hallway. The floorboards creaked as he shifted his weight.

“Is it true, Sett?” his mother asked. “Why would you get yourself involved in a debacle like that? Why? When everything was going so well for you?”

He stared down at the stained plywood floor, now spotted with teardrops.

“What were you thinking? A waitress? You know better than to go getting messed up with people like that. They’ll drag you right down with them, every time. You come home right now and explain to this Angel exactly what happened; I’m sure he’ll understand. But I’m not going to lie to you. There will still be fallout. Society does not tolerate wretched, uncivilized behavior. I can’t guarantee you’ll be allowed to remain at Fisher.”

“I wasn’t thinking at all, Mother. I was just doing it, all of a sudden.” He sniffed. “She was hurt, and they started it, not her. Nobody else would help. What was I supposed to do? Just let her die?”

“Oh, Sett.” His mother sighed. “Of course you were.”


Mark D. Diehl

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Mark D. Diehl writes novels about power dynamics and the way people and organizations influence each other. He believes that obedience and conformity are becoming humanity’s most important survival skills, and that we are thus evolving into a corporate species.

Diehl has: been homeless in Japan, practiced law with a major multinational firm in Chicago, studied in Singapore, fled South Korea as a fugitive, and been stranded in Hong Kong.

After spending most of his youth running around with hoods and thugs, he eventually earned his doctorate in law at the University of Iowa and did graduate work in creative writing at the University of Chicago. He currently lives and writes in Cape   Elizabeth, Maine.

Author’s Website


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