Sunday, 27 November 2016

Blog Tour, Review, Extract & Giveaway: WHO KILLED THE MINCE SPY? BY MATTHEW REDFORD

I'm pleased today to be the next stop on the blog tour for Who Killed the Mince Spy?

I have an exclusive extract - my review - and a fantastic giveaway!

Published by Clink Street on 6 December 2016

Tenacious carrot, detective inspector Willie Wortell is back to reveal the deviously delicious mind behind the crime of the festive season in this hugely entertaining, and utterly unconventional, short story. 
When Mitchell the Mince Spy is horrifically murdered by being over baked in a fan oven, it falls to the Food Related Crime team to investigate this heinous act. Why was Mitchell killed? Who is the mysterious man with a long white beard and why does he carry a syringe? Why is it that the death of a mince spy smells so good?  
Detective Inspector Willie Wortel, the best food sapiens police officer, once again leads his team into a series of crazy escapades. Supported by his able homo sapiens sergeant Dorothy Knox and his less able fruit officers Oranges and Lemons, they encounter Snow White and the seven dwarf cabbages as well as having a run in with the food sapiens secret service, MI GasMark5.
With a thigh slap here, and a thigh slap there, the team know Christmas is coming as the upper classes are acting strangely - why else would there be lords a leaping, ladies dancing and maids a milking?
And if that wasn't enough, the Government Minister for the Department of Fisheries, Agriculture and Rural Trade (DAFaRT) has only gone and given the turkeys a vote on whether they are for or against Christmas.   
Let the madness begin!

Who Killed the Mince Spy is a silly, quirky short story about the investigation into the grilling and grizzly murder of a Mince Spy called Mitchell.

It is written in a very tongue in cheek way, with the head of the Food Related Crime Team a carrot called Willie Wortel and his human colleague Dorothy trying to piece together the clues.

It took me several pages to get my head round this strange combination and really start to like the characters and when I did I really enjoyed the silliness, and the play on words such as MI Gas Mark 5.

It had references to a referendum also but this time it was about turkeys being allowed to vote for or against Christmas! Very topical and quite surreal.

It is definitely a different twist on the usual murder mystery!

Extract 1: In the opening chapter Mitchell the Mince Spy meets a grizzly end, and as we move into chapter 2 - Snow White and seven dwarf cabbages - we become acquainted with food sapiens Detective Inspector Willie Wortel, his homo sapiens colleague Dorothy Know and the two fruit officers, Oranges and Lemons, who to be fair to them, are not the sharpest fruits you’ll ever meet.

It was the scientific discovery that due to genetically modified food having greater volumes of nutrients, this meant the food started to develop the ability to think, breathe and talk on their own terms. The Genetically Modified Food Sapiens Act 1955, allowed food sapiens to be released from captivity and live, work and pay taxes alongside the homo sapiens community. While food sapiens hold above average intelligence and have been able to integrate into society, they have never worked out why there is a need to slap a lump of pineapple on top of a gammon steak.
Detective Inspector Willie Wortel, carrot, and head of the Food Related Crime team had seen many a disturbing scene in his time leading the specialised unit within the police force that focused on fighting crimes which occurred within the food sapiens community. Yet even with all of his experience, the latest news he was hearing had managed to shock him to his very core.
Alongside him when the revelations were being outlined was his trusted human colleague Dorothy Knox. And while Wortel was stunned by the news, Dorothy had streams of tears rolling down her face ruining the make-up she had taken so little time to apply that morning as she raced to work.
“I have to hear this again,” said Wortel, his orange face losing some of its colour. “You are accusing Snow White of prostitution and being a drug taker?”
Oranges and Lemons, the two food sapiens officers that assisted, in the loosest possible sense, the Food Related Crime team, stared back at their boss wondering why he was having trouble absorbing their news.
“Boss, the evidence is overwhelming,” implored Lemons. “She walks alone at night, finds a house, lets herself in and shacks up with seven men, in this case, seven dwarf cabbages. And the men know she offers tricks as well as being drugged up, we’ve told you.”
Dorothy Knox let out another howl of laughter, her third in as many minutes. “Sing the song again, sing the song again,” she screeched.
Oranges gave a pained expression to his partner Lemons. He too had no idea why this was proving so hard for his senior colleagues to understand. 
“Well,” sighed Wortel. “Go on; give us the song about the druggy prostitute Snow White.”
Oranges and Lemons counted themselves in and, quite tunefully it must be said, launched into song.
“High Hoe, High Hoe,
High Hoe, High Hoe, off our face on meth we go!
With a shovel or a stick or a hashish kit!
High Hoe, High Hoe, High Hoe…”
Dorothy Knox roared once more and started banging her clenched hand on the table. “Stop it! Stop it! You’re killing me…” she screamed, tears cascading down her face quicker than white water rapids. 
For his part, DI Wortel just stood in stunned silence, amazed that these two fruit officers had managed to get through training and now, for his misfortune, were part of his team. And yet, when all was said and done, he had started to grow a little fond of them. In fact, he had even gone as far as recommending them for Taser training, although apparently, as Chief Superintendent Archibald had told him, it was against regulations to recommend officers to be shot with Tasers. 

About Matthew Redford
Born in 1980, Matthew Redford grew up with his parents and elder brother on a council
estate in Bermondsey, south-east London. He now lives in Longfield, Kent, takes masochistic pleasure in watching his favourite football team snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, is a keen chess player and is planning future food related crime novels. To counterbalance the quirkiness of his crime fiction Redford is an accountant. His unconventional debut crime thriller, Addicted to Death: A Food Related Crime
Investigation was published by Clink Street Publishing last summer.
I am thrilled that the publicists have offered a fabulous giveaway for one of FIVE e-copies of Who Killed the Mince Spy on my blog!
They can be epub or kindle format
Open Worldwide
At the end of the giveaway I will email the details of the five lucky winners to the publicists and they will send them direct to you!
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Sunday, 20 November 2016

Book Review: KILLER PUNCH BY AMY KORMAN (Cozy Mystery)


Antiques dealer Kristin Clark is ready for summer: Her friends-Holly, Sophie, and Bootsie-have been busy party-planning for the annual Tomato Show at the country club, and plotting to beat long-time nemesis, Eula, in the tennis tournament. Plus, Kristin’s now serving a famously potent Peach Punch every Thursday at her store, which will definitely lure in customers!
But when a prominent pastoral painting, a key piece of décor for the big event, disappears from the Club, everyone’s a suspect, and Kristin and her friends start sleuthing. Could the annoying Eula have stolen the pricey painting? And, is Eula violating Tomato Show rules by growing her Early Girls in the unbeatable New Jersey soil?
Meanwhile, their village is an uproar about an unsightly new Mega Wine Mart slotted to go up in a local forest (though everyone’s excited about the cheap booze). And will July be the month their decorator buddy Joe finally proposes to Sophie–if she can get her Guccis back from her shoe-stealing ex, and finish her divorce? The Killer Wasps are on the case!
The third in this fun and quirky series sees Kristin and her rich party loving friends involved in another mystery or two in the small town of Bryn Mawr.
If you enjoy light and frothy mysteries with no grisly murders, no bad language and definitely no bad sex, then you'll love this series.
This time our party girls are trying to discover who stole a painting, the owner of which is the aunt of the local dishy vet, who Kristin is trying not to think about too much, while running her antiques store.  There's also the mystery of who stabbed the local celebrity chef.
Somehow, in between sipping cocktails at the country club. shopping for the latest fashions, partying hard and dining at high class restaurants, they find the time for a little sleuthing.
Always fun to read, you don't need to have read the first two in the series to follow this story.

Available to buy from -
My thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Book Tour/Excerpt & $25 Giveaway: SINGLE CHICAS BY SANDRA LOPEZ

Women's Fiction / Humor
Date Published:8/19/16

Perfection is a Barbie doll, and, unless you're looking for a guy with a fake smile, a hard head, and no genitalia, then you're better off NOT being perfect―Single Chicas 

Single Chicas is a collection of stories about modern Latinas being in, out, and around the zany hurdles of relationships. One woman receives strange calls from a lonely soul, another seeks advice on how to love herself, and another wakes up in a parallel universe to a man she's never met. These chicas will make painstaking effort to survive the complexities with humor and grace. Once again, López dazzles audiences with her brilliantly candid craft. Smart, witty, and funny, these stories will explore the true endurance of singlehood.


#1: My Brother's Funeral

I'll never forget the day my brother gave me a stroke. Of course, being that he was my little brother, a stroke should've been classified a recurring condition by then. Instead, the most he had ever given me was a chronic eye twitch, which, now that I think about it, may have been an indicator of an on-coming stroke. But, yes, it was definitely a stroke I had when Benito (I always called him Benny) came over that day to tell me he was getting married.

My brain blew a short and my whole body went numb. I think, at one point, the world before me was engulfed in a white flash, and then somehow I ended up on the floor. When I finally got the feeling back in my jaw, the only thing I could muster to say was: "Are you a moron?" The clear answer was "yes." He was a moron. Getting married? Was he out of his freaking mind? Oh, hell yeah! Let's put aside that he was only 19, not even old enough to drink, for god sakes; let's put aside that he'd only known the girl for 6 months, at most; let's even put aside how annoying the girl was and how I couldn't stand her. Why in the hell would he want to hang himself like that? Had he forgotten that marriage is basically a prison? Had he not paid attention to all the disaster stories I'd told him? Broken marriages from all around the table, starting with our parents and going all the way to our grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, to damn near everyone else we knew. It all ended the same: divorce, the blissful release from a life sentence.

"Why, Benny, why?"

"Oh, Bea, don't you even start," he retorted with a dismissive wave of his hand. "I don't want to hear your putdowns on marriage…again. I've heard them over and over and over."

"Well, have you heard that marriages basically suck the big weenie?"  

"I believe I did hear that from you, yes."

"Well, then tell me why? Why the fuck would you do something like that!?" Oh, I could feel my poor blood pressure rising. Good grief, the boy was going to give me a heart attack. I tried taking in a few calming breaths, but the whole thing was basically useless. I was in total freak-out mode. "C’mon, Benny, tell me, please, because I'm not understanding here. What, did she pull that voodoo-hoodoo crap on you? Did you crack your head on something? Have you just completely lost your mind? C'mon, you gotta give me something here."

With an easy shrug, he said, " know."

"No, I don't know!", two, three...breathe. I shot him a stern glance and asked directly, "Did you knock her up?"

He looked at me accusingly, his dark eyes narrowing. "You would think that, wouldn't you?"

"Well, I don't know what else to think."

Benny shook his head with a petulant eye roll. I know that eye roll. It's the same one he pulls whenever someone tells him to pick up his socks or wash his hands. In a huff, he simply stated, "No. I didn't knock her up."

"Then why?"

"Because she's just..."

"What? Say something."

"You know..." At a loss for words, he paused then added, "she's just know...great."

A literary master at work here. "Great? What's so great about her?"

He shrugged his shoulders.

"That's a good answer," I inserted wryly.

"Well, I can't think with all these questions," he snapped.

"I'm sorry, do you need a minute? I mean, I know I'm throwing really hard questions at you. Worse than poking your nose or scratching your balls, evidently."

"Why you gotta be like that, huh?"

"Hey, I'm not the one ruining my life here. I'm not the one going after those little titties."  

Pulling his "talk to the hand" gesture, Benny turned to walk away.

"Furthermore," I continued, following on his ass, "she calls you forty times a day, she has you running to her every time she cries at all hours of the night, and she's dragging you to all these girly places you wouldn't be caught dead in, even if you were dead. Plus, she's annoying, she's rude, she's just plain crazy. Face it, she's nothing but a big, bi—"

"Okay, Bea, that's enough!" he yelled, twisting around to face me. For a long time, he stood there staring down at me, his nostrils flaring, his jaw tightening. I could tell he was getting pissed. What guy wouldn't? I was basically pointing out that his girl was wearing his huevos like a necklace.

"Look, bottom line: she treats you like a slave. She will ruin your life. She's gonna suck you dry 'til there's nothing left of the old Benny. Seriously, get out of this thing and go live your own life. C'mon, before it's too late."

He stood there in brooding silence for a moment, his gaze lingering on his sneakers. Then, looking back up at me in resignation, he said, "She really wants this."

"What do you want?"  

"I want to make her happy."

"But what's gonna make you happy?"

Biting his lower lip, my brother shifted awkwardly, his head hung low. He had no words.


"She's already started planning with her mom," he shot out, tearing his eyes from the floor.  

"Who cares!? Just don't do it."

"But I already told her I would."

"Oh, god!"  My frustration had mounted to unbelievable heights. Oy, there go those chest pains again. The boy was definitely killing me here. But what else could I do? I swear he was as loyal as a dumb dog, and he was bound and determined to live out his days with his tail between his legs. I knew then that he wouldn't back out on her for any reason. Not even if she was kidnapped, I don't think (although that was an idea that crossed my mind.)

I stood quiet for a moment, taking long calming breaths. Then I looked up at him, disappointment drawn on my face, and said, "You're making a big mistake."

That day I told my brother not to expect me at his funeral.

About the Author

Sandra C. López is one of today's influential Latina authors in Young Adult literature. Her first novel, Esperanza: A Latina Story, was published in March 2008 WHILE she was still in college. Since then she has published several other books, including the Single Chicas series. She was named as one of "2011 Top Ten New Latino Authors to Watch" by Latino Stories, and her book, Beyond the Gardens, was a Silver Medal winner of the 2016 Global Ebook Awards in Multicultural Fiction and a finalist in the Int'l Latino Book Awards. Art, literature, and travel are her passions, and she aims to keep doing them as long as she can.

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Sunday, 6 November 2016


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If Words Could Kill by Barbara Schlichting

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If Words Could Kill: A First Ladies Mystery Cozy Mystery Publisher: Darkhouse Books 
(September 24, 2016) Print Length: 220 pages ASIN: B01LZXHEOJ


IF WORDS COULD KILL is a mystery. Liv owns the First Lady White House Dollhouse store in Minneapolis, and has a doctorate in American history, specializing in the First Ladies. Liv is the last person to see a Mary Lincoln impersonator who is found dead right outside of her store. The impersonator presented clues as to where the fiery speech gave by former President Lincoln, the Lost Speech, may be located. As Liv investigates, she is trailed by someone who makes a habit of murdering people once a new clue is deciphered. The whereabouts of the only copy of Abraham Lincoln's Lost Speech, a fiery speech on abolitionism delivered in 1856, propels Liv into beating the killer to the pricey speech. Who will locate it first?


About The Author

Barbara Schlichting was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota where her First Ladies Mystery Series is set. Dolley Madison: The Blood Spangled Banner. Barbara graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School in 1970. Later, she and her husband moved their family to Bemidji. She attended Bemidji State University where she earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in elementary education and special education.
Barbara also likes to write in other genres. Whispers From The Wind is her first poetry book which has poems for all ages.
Barbara has been known to travel too much, and read while not paying attention to her husband. However she has had an English penpal for over fifty years.

WEBSITE Please like my FACEBOOK PAGE Please follow me: AMAZON: GOODREADS: TWITTER FIRST LADY BLOG: Purchase Link: Amazon  


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Wednesday, 2 November 2016


The Case of the Missing Morris Dancer:
A cozy mystery set in Wales
(A WISE Enquiries Agency Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Severn House (November 1, 2016)
Paperback: 224 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1847516633

The Women of the WISE Enquiries Agency are back in a witty and intriguing new mystery.
The Anwen Morris Dancers are to play a pivotal role in the imminent nuptials of Henry, eighteenth Duke of Chellingworth. But it looks as though the wedding plans might go awry unless Mavis, Annie, Carol and Christine can help Althea, the Dowager Duchess, by finding a missing Morris man and a set of ancient and valuable artefacts in time for her son’s wedding.
Anwen-by-Wye might look like an idyllic Welsh village where family values reign and traditions still mean something in a modern world, but what will the WISE women find when they peer behind the respectable net curtains?

Hello there, and thanks for having me along to visit today. I’m excited to have the chance to talk about THE CASE OF THE MISSING MORRIS DANCER, the second WISE Enquiries Agency Mystery.
In case you didn’t know, the reason this detective agency has the name it does is that the four women who run it come from the four “Home Nations” of Britain. Let me introduce you to them…
Carol Hill is Welsh…in her mid-thirties, both happily married and happily pregnant, she’s delighted the company decided to leave its office in London and take up the offer of a very low rent for a converted barn on the state of Chellingworth Hall – the seat of the Twyst Family, who have been dukes of Chellingworth since the fifteenth century. Set in the rolling countryside of Powys, Wales, Carol’s delighted to be “home” in time to give birth to her first child. She’s also relieved that she’s able to use her manic computing skills to help people, and plans to keep working after her child is born, or else she’s afraid her brain will atrophy and fall out of her head!
Christine Wilson-Smythe is Irish – the daughter of an Irish viscount, no less. Unfortunately, her family is land-rich, but cash-poor, so Christine’s worked hard at her education and is pleased to now be a private investigator, having turned her back on a successful career in the City as an underwriter for Lloyds of London. She’s in her late twenties, and beautiful, but only knows that because others tell her so. Her colleagues all worry that she seems to think she’s immortal – which allows her reckless streak to be acted upon without concern. Having been wooed by some dreadful drips over the years, she’s now fallen for a highly unsuitable man – Alexander Bright…a man with a dark past, but a dashing charm.
Mavis MacDonald is stoically Scottish. A widowed, retired army nurse, she doesn’t take nonsense from anyone, and uses her good head for business to ensure the company turns a profit. She has two grown sons and grandchildren living in her native Dumfries, but has decided to continue her life of service by carrying out investigations she sees helping those who cannot be helped by the police service.
Annie Parker is English – a cockney to be exact, born within the sound of Bow Bells to parents who had migrated from St. Lucia. Her background as a receptionist in London mean she’s able to talk to people from most walks of life about most topics, which she does to great effect when working undercover for the agency – something she loves to do. Now that the agency has moved to Wales, Annie finds herself taking on cases in the cities of south Wales where her dark skin is less noticeable in their cosmopolitan communities than it is in the small Welsh village of Anwen-by-Wye where she now lives in a chocolate-box-worthy thatched cottage. Resolutely single, she’s sweating her way through her mid-fifties, a situation her colleagues believe is not helped by the fact she smothers all her food with hot sauce.
And there they are – the Welsh, Irish, Scottish and English women of the WISE Enquiries Agency. Oh, and I shouldn’t forget to mention that they are now being “helped” by Althea Twyst, the almost-octogenarian dowager duchess of Chellingworth who finds it difficult to differentiate between professional investigating and plain old sleuthing…Mavis, her new house-mate, is working on that!

About The Author –

Cathy Ace loves crime! It’s true – she discovered Nancy Drew in her local library, then found Agatha Christie on her Mum’s bookshelves, and she never looked back. Cathy happily admits that the characters she met between the book-covers as a child have influenced her writing. “Nancy Drew was plucky, strong and independent, and Agatha Christie’s puzzles engaged me every time. I love the sort of book that mixes intricate plotting with a dash of danger, and that’s what I’ve tried to create with my Cait Morgan Mystery Series. Beginning my new series, featuring the women of the WISE Enquiries Agency, I have been able to indulge my love of stately homes, village life and the interplay between characters that can take place in that sort of setting.”
Cathy Ace was born and raised in Swansea, South Wales, and worked in marketing communications for decades across Europe. Having migrated to Canada in 2000, she now lives in beautiful British Columbia, where her ever-supportive husband (and two chocolate Labradors) ensure she’s able to write full-time. Bestselling author Ace writes two series of mystery books: the Cait Morgan Mysteries, and the WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries. Her fourth Cait Morgan Mystery, The Corpse with the Platinum Hair, won the 2015 Bony Blithe Award for Best Canadian Light Mystery.
Author Links:
Twitter: @AceCathy
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