Tag Archives: St. Martin’s Paperbacks

My Musing ~ Pumpkin Picking with Murder by Auralee Wallace

Pumpkin Picking with Murder by Auralee Wallace is the second book in the “Otter Lake” mystery series. Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, August 2016

Pumpking Picking With MurderWhen murder strikes in the Tunnel of Love, Erica Bloom has to rock the boat to catch a killer. . .

For a small town like Otter Lake, New Hampshire, the annual Fall Festival is a big deal: a Ferris wheel, corn maze, caramel apples, and pumpkin pies―even a Tunnel of Love. Back in her hometown, Erica Bloom is trying to enjoy herself, which includes getting better acquainted with Sheriff Grady Forrester. But when a swan boat sails out of the heart-shaped exit of the tunnel with a dead man slumped over a wing, her own romance will have to take a backseat.

PUMPKIN PICKING WITH MURDER
Speaking of love affairs, the other passenger in the boat―and only witness to the elderly Mr. Masterson’s swan song―is not his wife. It’s Erica’s beloved and feisty “aunt,” Tweety, who quickly becomes the prime suspect. Vowing to clear Tweety, Erica teams up with her sassy BFF and self-appointed security expert Freddie Ng to solve the murder―despite the objections of Grady, who’s convinced the amateurs are going overboard in their investigation. And he just may be right. But as Erica and Freddie start to dredge up long-kept small-town secrets, will they heading straight into troubled waters?

Erica is back home in Otter Lake hoping rekindle her relationship with Grady. Only one thing hinders that…Freddie. He’s made himself a security officer and when Erica’s aunt is implicated in a recent murder…you know what happens and what a hilarious romp that we are witness to as these two amateur sleuths try to solve yet, another murder in this small town.

I love the way the author set-up this whodunit where the key characters all play pivotal roles in the telling of this tale. The antics that the two sleuths finds themselves involved in had me laughing out loud. The mystery was well done with some surprises that added to the enhancement of the multi-plot scenario. With the way this book ended, I’m looking forward to the next book in this amusingly entertaining series.

Going Home Again with Erica Bloom by Auralee Wallace

Pumpking Picking With MurderHow does that old saying go? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice. . .you get the idea.

Too bad I didn’t.

See, I thought it was safe to go home again, but, well, how many dead bodies can a girl turn up before it becomes a thing?

Hi, I’m Erica Bloom, and I’ve been avoiding going home to New Hampshire for years. Sounds ridiculous, but if you knew about the incident that left half the town calling me Boobsie Bloom, you might just understand. That being said, a few months ago, when my nature-loving, vegan mom needed a favor to save her business – a spiritual retreat for women – I finally faced down some of my old demons and made the trip back to Otter Lake.

Turns out, there were a lot of things I’d missed about being home. . .the long docks stretching into the water, the nights with a billion stars, the town sheriff, Grady Forrester. He was my high school crush. Apparently, I had missed him quite a bit. Unfortunately, with all the good of last visit, there was also some bad – yeah, discovering a murdered, high school classmate would have to be at the top of the list.

I figured this trip would be different though. This time of year, home is all about the Otter Lake Fall Festival! Yup, I’d planned to spend my days hiking through the woods, eating deep-fried foods stuffed into other deep-fried foods, maybe reconnecting with a certain sheriff on the Ferris wheel. . . but wouldn’t you know, almost as soon as I stepped foot onto the midway, another dead body came rolling right out of the Tunnel of Love with my “aunt” Tweety. And to think I thought being called Boobsie Bloom was bad.

So with a killer at work in Otter Lake, instead of riding the tea cups and eating some cotton candy, my best friend Freddie and I will have to team up to unearth enough clues to keep Tweety out of the big house. . .even if it means our first case as Otter Lake Security’s official crime-fighting duo becomes our last!


Pumpkin Picking With Murder is the second book in the Otter Lake mystery series, published by St. Martin’s Paperbacks, August 2016.

When murder strikes in the Tunnel of Love, Erica Bloom has to rock the boat to catch a killer. . .
For a small town like Otter Lake, New Hampshire, the annual Fall Festival is a big deal: a Ferris wheel, corn maze, caramel apples, and pumpkin pies―even a Tunnel of Love. Back in her hometown, Erica Bloom is trying to enjoy herself, which includes getting better acquainted with Sheriff Grady Forrester. But when a swan boat sails out of the heart-shaped exit of the tunnel with a dead man slumped over a wing, her own romance will have to take a backseat.

PUMPKIN PICKING WITH MURDER
Speaking of love affairs, the other passenger in the boat―and only witness to the elderly Mr. Masterson’s swan song―is not his wife. It’s Erica’s beloved and feisty “aunt,” Tweety, who quickly becomes the prime suspect. Vowing to clear Tweety, Erica teams up with her sassy BFF and self-appointed security expert Freddie Ng to solve the murder―despite the objections of Grady, who’s convinced the amateurs are going overboard in their investigation. And he just may be right. But as Erica and Freddie start to dredge up long-kept small-town secrets, will they heading straight into troubled waters?

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About the author
Auralee Wallace has played many roles in her life, including college professor, balloon seller, and collections agent. When this semi-natural blonde mother of three children (and psychiatric nurse to two rescue cats) isn’t writing humorous novels about quirky characters, she can often be found pontificating about the Golden Age of soap operas or warring with a family of peregrine falcons for the rights to her backyard. She can also be found on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, and her blog at auraleewallace.com.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Two people (US and Canada only) selected at random will receive a print copy of Pumpkin Picking with Murder. Leave a comment below for your chance to win. The giveaway ends August 31, 2016. Good luck everyone!

A Day in the Life of Alicia Shenkman by Diane Kelly

Death, Taxes, and a Satin GarterHi, everyone! I’m Alicia Shenkman, a CPA with Martin & McGee in Dallas, Texas. Most often I play the sidekick, roommate, and BFF to IRS Special Agent Tara Holloway, star of the funny Tara Holloway romantic mystery series. But I’m happy to say that I play a much bigger role in the latest release, Death, Taxes, and a Satin Garter. I’m getting married! And with Tara as my maid of honor, you know things are going to get crazy.

While I’ve been busy getting ready for my big day, Tara’s been helping me track down the perfect garter to wear at the event. She’s also been working a couple of big criminal tax fraud cases for the IRS. She’s going after Florence Cash, host of the Flo Cash Cash Flow Show on KCSH radio. Flo’s tax returns have raised some pretty big questions and, if I know Tara, she won’t stop until she gets some answers. She’s also going after a catfisher who’s been pursuing lonely women on the internet and ripping them off for thousands of dollars. Problem is, he’s an elusive type, and tracking him down is proving to be quite a challenge.

While I admire Tara’s chutzpah, I’m content with my steady job at the CPA firm. I have a nice office, friendly coworkers, and interesting work. And, unlike Tara, I’ve never ended up at the wrong end of a gun with bullets flying. Good thing, too, because my taste in shoes runs toward high heels and sling-backs, not exactly made for quick getaways. So while Tara pursues truth, justice, and Uncle Sam’s tax dollars, I’ll continue to advise my clients on the best ways to minimize their tax bills-without risking Tara’s wrath.

As my wedding day approaches, I can’t help but hope that Tara will be the next one down the aisle. She and her coworker Nick have been dating for several months now, and it’s clear the two belong together. I just might have to take a peek over my shoulder and try to aim my bouquet in her direction . . .


Death, Taxes, and a Satin Garter is the 10th book in the Tara Holloway mystery series, published by St. Martin’s Paperbacks, August 2016.

FOR RICHER OR POORER, IN BUSINESS AND IN STEALTH.

Can IRS Special Agent Tara Holloway break up a clever ring of tax cheats who love money, dishonor the IRS, and disobey the laws of justice?

When Tara agreed to be her best friend’s maid of honor, she knew it would be a ton of work. But planning a bachelorette party is a piece of (wedding) cake compared to her latest mission for the IRS. Her target is radio host Florence “Flo” Cash, star of “The Flo Cash Cash Flow Show.” Not only has Flo been giving her listeners shady tax advice, she’s set up an elaborate barter system that leaves Uncle Sam out of the equation—and Tara tied in knots. . .

While Flo flouts the IRS at every turn, Tara has yet another case to tackle: a catfishing Casanova who’s relieved several lonely ladies of their cash, credit cards, and dignity. When her best friend’s big day arrives, it’s all Tara can do to keep from crying uncle. But when Tara snatches the bridal bouquet and her boyfriend Nick catches the satin garter, could Tara’s days of filing single tax returns be over?

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About the author
A former tax advisor and assistant attorney general for the state of Texas, Diane Kelly is no stranger to white-collar crime. She realized her experiences would make great fodder for novels and thus began her award-winning Death and Taxes romantic mystery series. A graduate of her city’s Citizens Police Academy, Diane also writes the hilarious K-9 cop Paw Enforcement series. Find her online at www.dianekelly.com, on Twitter @dianekellybooks, and on Facebook.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win either a print (US entries only, please) or Kindle/Nook edition (open to everyone) of Death, Taxes, and a Satin Garter. Five lucky winners will be randomly selected. The giveaway will end August 7, 2016 at 12 AM (midnight) EST. Good luck everyone!

My Musing ~ Death, Taxes, and a Satin Garter by Diane Kelly

Death, Taxes, and a Satin Garter by Diane Kelly is the 10th book in the “Tara Holloway” humorous mystery series. Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, August 2016

Death, Taxes, and a Satin GarterFOR RICHER OR POORER, IN BUSINESS AND IN STEALTH.

Can IRS Special Agent Tara Holloway break up a clever ring of tax cheats who love money, dishonor the IRS, and disobey the laws of justice?

When Tara agreed to be her best friend’s maid of honor, she knew it would be a ton of work. But planning a bachelorette party is a piece of (wedding) cake compared to her latest mission for the IRS. Her target is radio host Florence “Flo” Cash, star of “The Flo Cash Cash Flow Show.” Not only has Flo been giving her listeners shady tax advice, she’s set up an elaborate barter system that leaves Uncle Sam out of the equation-and Tara tied in knots. . .

While Flo flouts the IRS at every turn, Tara has yet another case to tackle: a catfishing Casanova who’s relieved several lonely ladies of their cash, credit cards, and dignity. When her best friend’s big day arrives, it’s all Tara can do to keep from crying uncle. But when Tara snatches the bridal bouquet and her boyfriend Nick catches the satin garter, could Tara’s days of filing single tax returns be over?

I love this series and I especially love the titles that tie into what the story is about. In this case, Tara is after a catfisher and a businesswoman while preparing for her best friend’s wedding. When Tara is on the case, I know that I will be in for a rip-roaring and hilariously good time. Tara is a dynamo that comes in a small package and the people she’s after, never knew what hit them until it’s over.

This fast-paced and action filled drama was a fun book that I could not put down as I had to know how this will all play out. From the first page, I was completely engrossed in all that was happening from the moment Tara began her investigation into the two case. The author does a great job in how she sets up the story with a simple task but you know with Tara at the helm, it will involve ingenuity and fierce determination to apprehend these culprits. I love the author’s writing style and the ease in how the story flows from chapter to chapter keeping me engaged in the glorious details in the telling of this tale. A fun book that kept me in stitches and I can’t wait to read the next book and see what cases will have Tara pulling out her barrel of arsenal.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) book from author.

My Musing ~ Wedding Bel Blues by Maggie McConnon

Wedding Bel Blues by Maggie McConnon is the first book in the NEW “Belfast McGrath” mystery series. Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, May 2016

Wedding Bel BluesAre they tying the knot?
Belfast McGrath has spent the last fifteen years avoiding her big, bustling, brash Irish family. But when her five-star culinary career goes up in flames, she retreats to Foster’s Landing—where she’s immediately tapped as her cousin Caleigh’s maid-of-honor. It’s a perfect recipe for disaster. . .especially when Bel learns that the wedding preparations included Caleigh having one last one-night stand.

Or the noose?
When Caleigh’s lover plunges from the second-floor balcony during the reception, Bel can’t help but think his death was no accident. Soon Detective Kevin Hanson, who just happens to be Bel’s long-ago love, arrives on the scene—looking hotter than ever. Heartbreak and homicide hardly help Bel to feel more at home, but if she is going to make a new beginning for herself, including putting the past behind her, she must first steer clear of a cold-hearted killer.

This well-written drama features the dysfunctional McGrath family, who as Bel states is “her insane family.” A witness to murder on her cousin’s wedding bears some unexpected events that take this story on a tour de force of suspense and intrigue with an urgency on Bel’s part to understand what is everyone hiding. And boy when that can of worms is opened, it’s the journey in this story that unfolds with some surprising twists and turns that had me devouring everything. I love how the author set-up this story with enough panache to keep you powering on as one by one we are introduced to the characters that will play pivotal roles throughout this narrative. Everyone is a suspect and the clues dished kept me following the leads until there were only person who could have done the deed. I did like the many subplots that enhanced the telling of this tale, beckoning between the past and the present and that final scene at the end, I so want to read the next book. Boasting an eclectically eccentric cast of characters, engaging dialogue and a feel-good atmosphere, this was a very enjoyable and terrific read and I look forward to explore more with the McGrath family.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) book from the author

My Musing ~ Skinny Dipping with Murder by Auralee Wallace

Skinny Dipping with Murder by Auralee Wallace is the first book in the NEW “Otter Lake” mystery series. Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, March 2016

Skinny Dipping With MurderWelcome to Otter Lake, where the relaxing, restorative atmosphere is to die for.

Erica Bloom is in no rush to return to Otter Lake, the site of her mother’s spiritual retreat for women. Erica met her inner goddess years ago and she’s happy to have forged a new identity on her own, thank you very much. But her new-age-y, well-meaning mother is losing her grip on the business, and needs Erica’s help. So she heads back to her New Hampshire hometown, where nothing much has changed-except for maybe the body in the well. . .

SKINNY DIPPING WITH MURDER
When Erica was a teenager, she fell prey to a practical joke that left her near-naked in Otter Lake’s annual Raspberry Social. The incident was humiliating, but it wasn’t like anyone got killed-until now. Those who were behind that long-ago prank are starting to turn up dead, and Erica’s appearance in town makes her a prime suspect. To make matters worse, the town sheriff just happens to be Erica’s old nemesis, Grady Forrester. . .who also happens to be hotter than ever. Can Erica find a way to dig up the truth-before someone digs her grave?

This is a light and fast-paced drama that pulled me in immediately for a ride that was fun, hilarious and full of non-stop action escapades that was a joy to watch. Erica comes back to Otter Lake and the memories comes back to haunt her and when she finds a dead body, she along with a minion of friends set out to clear her name and restore her sanity.

Yeah, what a riot that her life has become and within the pages, the author kept me entertained and engaged throughout this excitedly new series. The set-up, the plot, the interactions, the quirky and eccentrically amusing cast of characters enhanced the telling of this tale and with a myriad of suspects, I had to keep reading until both Erica and I figured out the identity of the person responsible for what was going on and the murder and what a fun discovery that was. This is a fun and amusing read and I like how this book ended with new adventures yet to come. I had such a great time with Erica, Freddie, Grady, Summer and the townsfolk of Otter Lake and I look forward to more hilarity in the next book in this delightfully amusing series.