And You Know I Just Love to Hob Nob….

Hi there, guys and dolls!  This week I had the opportunity be a guestLeanne Dyck's blog on the ever popular and talented Leanne Dyck’s blog.  Or rather the two behind me, Andrea Taylor and Heather Shkuratoff, confabbed all about being me and the Santa Lucia social set.  Leanne is an accomplished and prolific writer. Within the last five years, Leanne Dyck has been published in Island Writer, Kaleidoscope, Canadian Stories, Icelandic Connection and Island Gals magazines.  Her blog –http://authorleannedyck.blogspot.ca/ was created about four years ago and she posts twice a week — Monday is her own Author Journey, sharing her experiences with the goal of working with a publisher to release her short stories and novels. Friday she features her Guest Post, where she graciously helps to promote those in the publishing industry–authors, publishers, editors, and…  Please help nurture this blog by visiting, subscribing, commenting and promoting it.  Here are some additional links to get to know Leanne a bit better. Website:  www.leannedyck.com, Blog; http://authorleannedyck.blogspot.ca/, Tweeter:@lustfulgraces and Email: leanne@leannedyck.com.

So kittens, settle on in and enjoy our visit.

Meet the fun-loving Barbara Jean Coast, author of the Poppy Cove Mystery Series

The Poppy Cove Mystery Series is set in 1950’s – 60’s Santa Lucia, California, a fictional town loosely based on Santa Barbara.  The two main characters, Daphne Huntington-Smythe, a born and bred fun-loving California blonde is the accessories buyer and Margot Williams, a recent arrival with a contemplative nature, custom designs the store’s apparel.  Both in their mid 20’s, run and own their two and a half year old atelier Poppy Cove in the centre of town, where Poppy Lane and Cove Street meet, catering to a host of colourful customers.

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Blurb:  It’s the 1950’s in Santa Lucia, California, and the height of the social season.  Time for the new Miss Santa Lucia, Nora Burbank, to display her loveliness at a high society fashion show produced by the city’s own fashionistas–Margot and Daphne, owners of Poppy Cove, the most elegant and “in” little dress shop in the county.

Nora steals the show in her designer gown and custom-made necklace created by local jeweler Isaac Mendelson, and used on the sly by his apprentice son-in-law, Efrem Goldberg. At the conclusion of the show, the young queen is allowed to keep her dress and a replica of the necklace for her own. But Monday morning, Efrem arrives in a panic at Poppy Cove to beg Margot and Daphne’s assistance in tracking down the real necklace, which he believes was inadvertently switched for the replica backstage. The girls get involved in Efrem’s dilemma and try to help him before Isaac’s any the wiser. But before that can happen, Miss Santa Lucia is found dead in her bed and the necklace is missing.

Who killed Nora Burbank?  Is it someone jealous of her new royal position and all of its perks?  Or did she just happen to be in the way when a thief attempted to steal her diamond-studded necklace? Did Nora have the real or the fake necklace, and how much did the thief and murderer know about it? But, of course, before the girls can find the killer, they’ll have to create several beautiful ensembles, calm numerous irate clients, and flirt with their ever-so-attentive boyfriends, before solving this mystery.

The second of the series has just been released – DEATH OF A BEAUTY QUEEN. Miss Santa Lucia, Nora Burbank, appears in the fall fashion show wearing a show stopping beautiful formal gown from Poppy Cove and a diamond necklace from a local jeweller. Poor Nora meets a surprising demise one night shortly thereafter and the gems are also missing. Motives abound – is the tragic murder over her title, beauty, or the diamonds?

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It’s the follow-up to STRANGLED BY SILK, which begins at the opening ceremony of the new Stearns Academy, an exclusive girls’ boarding school, founded by the town doyenne Constance Stearns-Montgomery, who is nowhere to be seen, until the silk scarf tangled in the rose bushes leads to her strangled body. Cozy Cat Press publishes the series. The stories themselves are character driven, revealing the lives and secrets of the residents, how they evolve, change and what they’ve lived through, rounded out with the Poppy Cove creations and daily workings of the town, with a little murder and mayhem tossed in the mix.

Our names are Andrea Taylor and Heather Shkuratoff.  We’ve been the best of friends since childhood and currently reside in Kelowna, British Columbia.  We spend a great deal of time in the Santa Barbara area, which inspired our tales.  We’ve had a lot of people asking us about what it’s like to collaborate and work together, who contributes what, how do you combine two perspectives to make one cohesive story that flows well and makes sense.

We talk.  Out loud.  A lot.  Sometimes at the same time. We laugh.  A lot.  We find that as we bounce around ideas, a new direction comes into view with a plot twist, and a new scene develops.  Usually when one of us gets stuck, the other spurs on a new situation and it switches all the time.  On the whole, we share the vision for the concept of our series of stories.  We both individually have a great love and passion for the place, the time, the social aspects, the clothes, the community we’re creating.  Work shared is work halved and we’re discovering sometimes when one of us gets an idea of a group of character traits, mannerisms, attitudes, appearance and runs with it, it becomes one of our beloved characters.  Another time someone else will see in their mind’s eye an ensemble that begs to be described or a situation that must be explored with our fine Santa Lucians.  A town gets built, weather and climate described, plot formed.  It gets written out, honed and then incorporated in the story, tossed or set aside for a later date.

The pen name Barbara Jean Coast became this terrific reflection of the time and place.  Once it popped out, it had to stay.  She’s a social butterfly, a flirty throwback party girl, fun loving and delightful, without a care in the world.  To her, every problem can be solved with a wink and a smile, all while wearing kitten heels and sipping a cocktail with a fine young man.

Having this lovely alter ego take charge of the process helps us keep focused on telling the tales, living life, not worrying about the small growing steps and stumbles.  Whenever we get too caught up, stressed out or too serious about the whole darn thing, we stop, look at each other and say, “What would Barbara Jean do?”  Then we have a good laugh at ourselves, relax, take a deep breath, maybe pour a glass of wine or two and put our feet up, all the while counting the blessings for the great lives we already do have.
Well then, thanks for joining me on the Barbara Jean refresher course!  And be sure include Leanne in your circle.

Toodles,

Barbara Jean

Posted in 1950's, 1950's California, Alter Ego, Authors, Blogs, Characters, Commitment, Conversation, Cozy Mysteries, Cozy Mystery Series, Creativity, Dialogue, e-publishing, fashion, Fiction, Fictional Characters, First Novel, Guest Blogs, Humor, Indie Presses, Inspiration, Interviews, Mysteries, New Authors, Newly Published, Nostalgia, Patience, Pen Names, Perspective, Publicity, Publishing, Readers, Reading, Socializing, Uncategorized, Unpublished, Vintage, Writers, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

So What’s Happening Today, Barbara Jean?

Cover Hi ResHi there, guys and dolls!  And wordpress, thanks for asking.  Let’s see, on this day in September, 1957 (the 7th, to be precise), Santa Lucia was still all agog over the recent murder of town doyenne Constance Stearns-Montgomery  (check out the whole story in STRANGLED BY SILK).  Stearns Academy was set to open shortly, with the town doing their best to honor their fine lady and look toward the future.  Daphne, Margot and the rest of the Poppy Cove gang were coping in the finest fashion they knew hoDeath_of_a_Beauty_Queen_1600x2400_(Ebook)w.  Good thing, because glamor in the form of the social event was around the corner.  Little did they know a new tragedy was hot on its heels (DEATH OF A BEAUTY QUEEN gives all the sordid details).  Sigh, life can be such a trial for fictional characters.

In the real world, all the cool cats and kittens were dancing pat_booneand romancing to Pat Boone’s LOVE LETTERS IN THE SAND, Paul Anka’s DIANA and Debbie Reynold’s TAMMY.   They could also be caught moving and grooving to The Cricket’s THAT’LL BE THE DAY and Elvis Presley’s (LET ME BE YOUR) TEDDY BEAR.  Feel like doing a little reading?  How about Meyer Levin’s COMPULSION, James Gould Couzzens’ BY LOVE POSSESSED, or the ever popular Grace Metalious’ PEYTON PLACE?

How about a night at the movies?  The highly underrated, intriguing romance, WOMAN IN A DRESSING GOWN was worth the price of admission and one of my all time favorites, THE PAJAMA GAME whorled its way through my heart with its soaring colors and crinQUATERMASS-IIolines.  THE SUN ALSO RISES had great dramatic tension and the goofy thriller QUARTERMASS II:  ENEMY FROM SPACE will make you cuddle closer to your date.  Care for a night in?  It was the golden age of television.  There was PERRY MASON, THE GALE STORM SHOW and GUNSMOKE to fill the evening hours.  You could even move the coffee table and roll up up the rug dancing along with LAWRENCE WELK’S DODGE DANCING PARTY.

However you choose to spend your evening, be sure to include the fine company of good friends.  I’ll toast a glass to you :-).

Toodles,

Barbara Jean

 

Posted in 1950's, 50's Movies, 50's Novels, 50's television, Alter Ego, Authors, Characters, Classic Movies, Classic Television, Communication, Conversation, Cozy Mysteries, Cozy Mystery Series, Creativity, Dating, Fiction, Fictional Characters, Humor, Inspiration, Mysteries, Nostalgia, Pen Names, Publicity, Publishing, Readers, Reading, Romance, Socializing, Uncategorized, Vintage, Writers, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leslie Takes 5 with Barbara Jean

Hi there, guys and dolls!  Well, it’s hard to believe, but I’ve been Taking 5 for a full year now with my Cozy Cat Press fellow authors.  It’s been such a pleasure getting to know my fellow writers as we pursue our ‘novel’ adventures.  Today, I’m sitting down for a chat with one of the first authors I’ve had the pleasure to connect with when I signed on with the group — Leslie Matthew Stansfield.  Her Madeline’s Teahouse Mysteries are a delight, full of mystery and margaritas — what more could yours truly want?  Her second (and latest) in the series just came out — MR. TEA AND THE BOBBIN’ BODY.   Time for all of you fine folks to sit down and enjoy the delightful company that Lee provides.

81xMBPmnZKL._SL1500_1. So tell me a little about your series and main characters.

The main characters are from a small town in Maine. The Sutter sisters, Terry and Karen, have opened a teahouse after the death of their mother, Madeline. Their aunt and uncle, Aunt Rose and Uncle Henry, live next door. Their neighbor, Shannon Dindle, works at the teahouse. Mrs. Dindle is her mother. Terry’s love interest is a police detective named Greg Mullins. Shannon is involved with another detective and close friend of Greg’s, Tom O’Hara. The main attraction is a macaw named Mr. Tea. He is prone to saying some of the most outlandish things. He is rumored to be psychic, but it’s hard to tell if he is just chatting or trying to tell them something.

2. What is your writing process like? Do you thrive on routine or work spontaneously as the whim takes you?

I prefer routine, but I go with it whenever the inspiration strikes. I joke with my friends that I walk around constantly thinking about how to kill people in a cozy way.

3. What exciting moment or moments that made you realize that you were really an “author?”

Oh, I still have to pinch myself. I believe that networking with other authors and having my second book in the Madeline’s Teahouse series published has helped me believe it’s real. I don’t think people realize how much authors do besides write. We do quite a bit of our own promoting, we review books, we often have blogs, and we do signings. Writing is really only a small part. My favorite part is book signings. I adore talking to people and sharing my stories with them. I don’t think there is any thrill quite like having someone post on my Facebook page or Goodreads that they loved my book. It’s better than Christmas!

4. What do you do to spark up your creativity when you feel the well of inspiration is running dry?

If I am stuck, I write things down in a notebook. That helps me tremendously. It makes me sad that many schools no longer teach students cursive because they assume the students will always use a computer. I think that’s a mistake. I definitely create better if I can write things out.

5. Who are some of your favorite authors and how do you feel they have influenced your desire to write?

My first introduction to the cozy mystery genre was Lilian Jackson Braun’s series The Cat Who… When she passed away, I was devastated. I really felt like I lost a friend. I am now a HUGE M.C. Beaton fan. I count the days to the next Agatha Raisin or Hamish Macbeth book. For me, it’s about the characters. I prefer books where I fall in love with the characters. I also like characters that make me laugh. If a new Agatha Raisin book came out every day, I would find a way to read it. Because of these two women authors, I wanted to write mysteries that had you riveted by the story and loving the characters as well. I think it’s the characters that keep readers wanting more. I also enjoy making people laugh. I am delighted when people tell me that Mr. Tea made them laugh out loud. Finally, I feel very blessed to be part of the Cozy Cat Press family. I know that every time I open up a new Cozy Cat book, I am guaranteed a good read. I feel honored to be among them.

And I certainly enjoy your Madeleine’s Teahouse Mysteries and can’t wait for the next one!  You can get to know Leslie and her writing better by checking out her page on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/LeslieMatthewsStansfield, Twitter @MrTeaauth and a brand new website:  She also has a brand new website:  http://lesliematthewsstansfield.weebly.com/.  You can also go straight for the goods on Amazon and enjoy MR. TEA AND THE BOBBIN’ BODY this weekend!

Toodles,

Barbara Jean

Posted in Authors, Blogs, Characters, Commitment, Communication, Conversation, Cozy Mysteries, Cozy Mystery Series, Creativity, Dialogue, e-publishing, Fiction, Fictional Characters, Humor, Indie Presses, Inspiration, Interviews, Mysteries, New Authors, Newly Published, Perspective, Publicity, Publishing, Readers, Reading, Writers, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gee, What a Swell Party!

boneyard logoHi there guys and dolls!  A couple of weeks ago, yours truly had a super duper little shindig thrown by BetsyBean LatteDa and Boneyard Coffee and Tea to celebrate my latest (DEATH OF A BEAUTY QUEEN).  I was tickled that so many of you attended our Cof-Tea-l Party.  Thank you so much — it was such great fun :-)!Heather Cof-Tea-l

Andrea Cof-Tea-lMy alter egos, Andrea Taylor and Heather Shkuratoff dressed for the occasion.   There were some beautiful frocks and fancy dudes around — so glamorous.  We had a very special guest go out and buy a dress for the event, and another baked yummy treats.  I was so busy flitting from one confab to another, relishing my social butterfly role.

 

 

party guyThis swell guy brought along a fantastic bartender, who bared a strong resemblance to Guy Lombardo.  It got a little exciting, too as the dancing began and a Bartenderjealous cat fight broke out.  Fortunately, it was smoothed over by more men showing up to the dance floor.  And, of course, being that the majority of the attendees were mystery readers and/or writers, someone had left something suspicious lying around that everyone speculated about, yet no one wanted to claim….

I10352142_10152577825891585_3060474945485881746_nt was the event of the season.  Of course, this is how I woke up the next morning, having these crashers surveying the mess…  See you around for the next one — be there or be square ;-)

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Toodles,

Barbara Jean

 

Posted in 1950's, 1950's California, 50's Fashions, Alter Ego, Authors, Characters, cocktails, Communication, Conversation, Cozy Mysteries, Cozy Mystery Series, Creativity, Drinks, Etiquette, fashion, Fiction, Fictional Characters, Holiday Parties, Humor, Mysteries, New Authors, Nostalgia, Parties, Publicity, Readers, Reading, Socializing, Uncategorized, Vintage, Writers, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Just Sitting Around, Chatting with Lisa :-)

Hi there, guys and dolls!  Recently Andrea and Heather, the two behind my pen name, had the pleasure of speaking with reviewer and blogger extraordinaire, Lisa A. Kelly.  She’s such a treat.  We wanted to share our little chat with her here today and as the song goes, ‘to know her is to love her,’ and we’ll add that it’s because she’s just that much fun.  Check Embedded image permalinkout her blog — Lisa K’s Book Reviews, as well as Twitter  A swinging time is had by all.

Lisa: Hello ladies. It’s great to have you here!

Andrea:  Hi Lisa!
Heather:  It’s so nice to be here :-)

Lisa:  Why did you choose the 50’s for your novels?

Andrea:  We chose the 50’s for our series because it was an interesting time of great confidence with the post-war suburban boom.  There was a sense of idealism combined with underlying tension-filled dark shadows.  Of course, the fabulous, feminine fashions complete the picture
Heather:  Being that Poppy Cove is a dress shop/design atelier, we wanted to set it in a time when those skills were valued, yet common place in the average town or neighborhood.  It was also a very social time, when manners and mores were so very important and although there were wild times, they were full of allusion and innuendo, fun for thought and misunderstandings of suggestive behavior, rather than blatant language or actions.

Cover Hi ResLisa:  What sort of research did you do for your setting, the era and the fashions?

Andrea:  Our research sources were varied. Old movies, advertising journals, magazines, websites about manners, etiquette and lifestyles in relationship to men, women, marriage, domestic issues.  We also have spoken with historians of the Santa Barbara region who provided us with photos, maps, stories and articles about our chosen time period to help shape the descriptions of our world.
Heather:  There was so much influence from consumerism — it’s hard to tell which was the bigger directive — the consumer upon advertising or advertising shaping the public.  Personal history also helped us.  We talked with family and friends, looking back at old photos and asking questions about their experiences and impressions of the time as well.

Lisa:  Is there any part of either of you in Daphne or Margot?

Andrea:  I think that there is a part of each of us in Margot and Daphne.  I also feel the girls help us bring out things in ourselves.
Heather:  We do learn a great deal about ourselves through those two!  I would say that Andrea is more like Daphne, sporty, impulsive and spontaneous, while I am more like Margot, a bit contemplative and introverted, more interested in what happens behind the scenes rather than being in the spotlight.

Lisa:  Who of the two of you is a bigger fashionista?

Andrea:  We are both fashionistas in our own ways.  Heather has an eye for style, design, color and technical aspects.  She was actually a professional designer and dressmaker.  I have also had a keen interest in fashion which included writing a column for a newspaper in the past.  I love accessories, especially handbags and hats.  We share a passion for the styles of the 50’s that were gorgeous, flirty and fun.

Lisa:  Please share a little about your new Poppy Cove mystery.Death_of_a_Beauty_Queen_1600x2400_(Ebook)

Andrea:  We’re happy to announce our second book in the Poppy Cove Mystery Series, DEATH OF A BEAUTY QUEEN, published by Cozy Cat Press, is now available on Amazon and Kindle.
Heather:  It starts with the Fall Fashion Show and poor Miss Santa Lucia, Nora Burbank, meets an early demise soon after.  Mix in glamorous beauty, royalty, jewels and cat fights, plus romance and you’ve got DEATH OF A BEAUTY QUEEN!

Lisa:  Are there any plans for a new series or stand alone book?

Andrea:  Heather and I have a few ideas about a couple of other series premises that we are just tossing around at the moment that we feel would be fun to write together.  We also want to build and maintain a website for Poppy Cove.                                                            Heather:  I’d also like to play with making some of the designs come to life as real garments.  The challenge right now?  Finding the time to make that happen!

Lisa:  Please tell us something about yourselves you would like the readers to know.

Andrea:  There is nothing like writing a good story and sharing it with readers.  Research is fascinating and there’s always plenty of chatter, laughing and plain old fun when we write our stories.
Heather:  We really do have a great time plotting and planning out our stories.  Our hope is that others enjoy reading them as much as we do writing them.  Also, we have some great plans for our girls.  Stick with us to learn how Santa Lucia’s social set grows and changes.  We have plans to unearth past histories of some characters and evolve others in future novels.  It’s gonna be a fun (and a titch murderous!) ride.

Lisa: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

Andrea:  We’d also like to mention that we are so grateful for all the support that Barbara Jean has received.  What fun it is to have her in our lives.

And there you have it, folks.  Do check out Lisa’s blog and read about all the other wonderful people she shares with us all.  Thanks again for dropping by.

Toodles,

Barbara Jean

Posted in 1950's, 1950's California, 50's Fashions, Alter Ego, Authors, Blogs, Book Reviews, Characters, Commitment, Communication, Conversation, Cozy Mysteries, Cozy Mystery Series, Creativity, e-publishing, fashion, Fiction, Fictional Characters, First Novel, Guest Blogs, Indie Presses, Inspiration, Interviews, Mysteries, New Authors, Newly Published, Nostalgia, Pen Names, Perspective, Publicity, Publishing, Readers, Reading, Santa Barbara, Socializing, Uncategorized, Vintage, Vocabulary, Writers, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summertime, and the Reading is Easy…

Hi there, guys and dolls!  Happy mid-summer.  Hope you are all enjoying your crazy, hazy days.  I’ve got another crop of books from Cozy Cat Press that I’m happy to recommend to you to while away the hammock days.

Now here’s my scoop!  I was privy to an advance of my dear friend Leslie Matthews Stansfield’s second novel, so you’re seeing the review here first, folks!  The second in her Madeline’s Teahouse Mystery Series has literally just come out this week.  I love being in the ‘in’ crowd ;-).

81xMBPmnZKL._SL1500_MR TEA & THE BOBBIN’ BODY — Good news!  The Sutter Sisters or the Margarita Sisters as I like to call them are back with that chatty and suave parrot of theirs Mr. Tea in the second novel of the Madeline’s Teahouse Mystery series by Leslie Mathews Stansfield.  Readers will find plenty of skeletons in the closet after a former classmate of Karen’s is found bobbing in the pool at their high school reunion. The author dishes up plenty of danger and gossip as what was hidden in shadows of the past comes to light after many years. Yours truly was on the edge of her seat more than once with fear and a number of times with laughter too! Mr. Tea who, as many of you will remember from Mr. Tea and the Travelling Teacup has a reputation for having a big mouth and once again spouting his charming wisdom and some funny little catch phrases that may prove rather embarrassing to “Hottie” detective Greg Mullins who is also Terry’s boyfriend.  With the Sutter sisters organizing the reunion with their friend Shannon Dindle and Mr. Tea along for the ride there is certain to be murder, mayhem and of course plenty of margaritas in the mix. Of course a delightful cast of characters that include the Sutter sister’s Aunt Rose and Uncle Henry, along with Dottie Dindle are back. So take my advice and make yours a double, but don’t keep the pitcher all to yourself!  Cheers to Ms. Stansfield for another fun and suspenseful read.

9110R-8HvlL._SL1500_DEADLY AUDIT — Welcome to Columbus, Ohio!  Home of the Buckeyes and our main character Winston Barchrist III a big teddy bear of a man. Winston who is a lawyer has returned to his hometown after what he refers to as his “Great Catastrophe” in Chicago. He has reinvented himself and his career which means an office located above a Dairy Mart and cases for small-time clients.  In Deadly Audit he is hired to look into both legal and financial matters by a wealthy female client who then disappears. Yours Truly never knew that accounting could be so exciting and dangerous. Winston finds himself in a heap of trouble as he tries to get to the bottom of a number of clues and gets tangled up in more than one investigation,with the police not far behind.  David M.Selcer introduces readers to a canvas of memorable characters. Tramp-Stamp Trudy (as I like to call her) the computer hacker with a heart of gold whose day starts at four in the afternoon. Rabbi Billy Goldman, Winston’s rabbi even though he isn’t Jewish. Rosanne Harmon, a friend and confidant who he is beginning to feel more than a friendship for and her eleven year-old daughter Gayna who affectionately refers to Winston as “Pizza Man”. There is also Miranda a very attractive office cleaner turned assistant and Ron Hermius client,friend and sometimes body guard. There are many more colorful people to discover in Winston’s world.  I love all the the quirky and suspenseful,twists and turns that make this a mystery worth getting to the bottom of!

71skGsJ2lYLDEAD BUT STILL TICKING — What fun we have boys and girls when we take another trip to Columbus, Ohio home of the Buckeyes and my favorite teddy bear of a lawyer Winston Barchrist III!  In Dead But Still Ticking dirty little secrets are turning up everywhere Winston is digging. It all starts when his assistant the lovely Miranda opens the morning post to find a money order for five million dollars(I know what I would do!)from fellow lawyer Robert Steinglass who wants to meet with Winston. Robert fails to show up at the appointed time, it turns out he’s dead. Winston’s investigative skills take over to find out who killed Robert and what the motive is behind the money order.  The suspects in this case are a colorful and crazy bunch that include a Ukrainian widow, Middle Eastern terrorists and a marijuana farmer who insists that Winnie (as he calls him) represents him in both his real estate and business interests.  As our lawyer turned super sleuth follows the trail of baffling clues from one part of Ohio to another he falls victim to chemical poisoning. His extra padding may save his life! Rosanne Harmon who is growing closer to Winston finds herself part of the thickening plot’s twists and turns. All of my favorites are back including Tramp Stamp Trudy (who has a real soft spot for Winston), Rabbi Billy Goldman, and Ron Hermius who is required to be on his guard.  As the clock is ticking on this mystery how many people will fall victim before Winston gets to the bottom of it all? My advice; pour yourself a glass of your favorite beverage (make mine a martini!), put up your feet and be ready for a cozy that is both entertaining and intriguing. Go Buckeyes, Go! ;-)

coverMUSCLES, MUSIC AND MURDERLet me tell you Guys and Gals, both the title and the cover of this mystery caught the roving eye of Yours Truly;-)! Muscles Music and Murder the third installment of David M. Selcer’s Buckeye Barrister Mysteries is filled with culture, charisma, and more than one rivalry.  Winston Barchrist III lawyer, who recently became a super sleuth is at the first concert of the Columbus Ohio Symphony Orchestra season with his girl Rosanne Harmon when the conductor is shot and crashes to the floor. Then we travel back in time with the main cast of characters to travel the road that lead to this fateful night at the Ohio Theater home of the orchestra.  A number of mysteries are in need of being solved and it all goes back to a point when Ron Hermius is charged with the murder of a bronzed, Belgian bodybuilder. Then there is the disappearance of the newly appointed conductor of the Symphony Orchestra which means a trip to Chicago, a city Winston would rather not return to any time soon. Not long after sorting that mess out Winston is on his way to Brussels with Rosanne to see if they can find evidence that will prove Ron’s innocence and find a killer who may strike again.  There is plenty at stake for everyone involved and the usual cast of characters are back and helping our super sleuth to get to the bottom of it all. After all who is Winston without his back-up? So be sure to check out Muscles Music and Murder to enjoy all the mayhem! Here’s a funny that had Barbara Jean laughing: there’s a car service that is run by Picup Andropov. Now, if you are a Car Talk listener you will surely get the name. Bravo to David Selcer, you have put Columbus, Ohio on the map! 51tMkojuOtL

GUMSHOE GRANNY INVESTIGATES — Let me introduce you to a delightful and insightful gal who is solving the little mysteries of life at the Honey Hills Retirement Center. Bess Bullock eighty years young can’t stop her investigative instincts from kicking-in.Just when she thinks of relaxing and enjoying the simple activities offered to the residents her curiosity gets the upper hand and she’s hot on the trail! Each of the vignettes in Allen B. Boyer’s Gumshoe Granny Investigates are filled with warmth, humor, and adventure. Kicking up your heals at any age is something Yours Truly gives the full seal of approval to and plans on doing in the years to come!Bess Bullock could teach us all a thing or two about life, love(why yes there is a dash of romance blooming here)and what it really means to grow older. Aging doesn’t seem so bad after all. Bravo to the author for writing a light cozy that is appropriate for all ages. These stories are sure to make you smile.

Toodles,

Barbara Jean

Posted in Authors, Book Reviews, Commitment, Cozy Mysteries, Cozy Mystery Series, Fiction, Fictional Characters, Mysteries, Readers, Reading, Uncategorized, Writers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Santa Lucia “in” Crowd, Continued

Death_of_a_Beauty_Queen_1600x2400_(Ebook)Hi there, guys and dolls!  Here’s a few more of the new Santa Lucia social set, just waiting to get to know you a little better from DEATH OF A BEAUTY QUEEN.

Efrem and Rebecca Goldberg — She’s a high school chum of Poppy Cove shop girl, Betty Young.  As a newly wed wife of Efrem, she has recently moved back to Santa Lucia, where her husband is apprenticing  to take over her father Isaac’s jewelry business.  Efrem is a handsome young man with a bit to prove to his new boss and father-in-law.  He has plenty of new found ways to challenge the old traditions.

Isaac Mendelson — The proprietor of Mendelson’s Quality Jewelers, the well established fine gem business in Santa Lucia.  He’s a recent widower and feeling a little life weary,  anxious to hand over his business to his young turk, but wants it in his way, on his terms.

Mary Ann Rutherford — Miss Santa Lucia Princess Runner-Up.  A wickedly pretty girl with a mile long jealous streak.  She was after Nora’s title and boyfriend, possibly her new gems, too.  How low would she go?

Dirk Roberts — Local radio emcee and gad about town.  Recently divorced from a past reigning beauty queen who’s winged it off to Bel Air with a new plaything, he’s contemplating winning her back, but how?

There you have it, friends.  Santa Lucia’s all abuzz with gossip, murder and mayhem.  Come see how it all plays out in DEATH OF A BEAUTY QUEEN.

Toodles,

Barbara Jean

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