Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, January 18, 2019

The Death By Cupcake Series - Boxed Set by D.E. Haggerty (Book Review)


The Death By Cupcake Series - Boxed Set by D.E. Haggerty
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: January 20, 2017
Format: eBook / Kindle - 490 pages / 640 KB
ASIN: B01N4JBZYX
Genre: Cozy Mystery


Buy The Boxed Set:
Book 1: Never Trust A Skinny Cupcake Baker
Book 2: Bring Your Own Baker
Book 3: Self-Serve Murder
Amazon (Free On Kindle Unlimited)



Book Descriptions:






Cupcakes not included.

Get all three books of Death by Cupcake series in one bundle! A cozy mystery series with a heap of laughs, a generous portion of romance, and just a smidgeon of suspense. The bundle includes Never Trust a Skinny Cupcake Baker, Bring Your Own Baker, and Self-Serve Murder.

Come join us at Callie’s Cakes, where murder investigations are on the menu. 

Warning: This is NOT your mom’s cozy mystery. The books in this series may be a ‘clean’ reads, but if gangs, illegal gambling, strip clubs, and pimps make you turn your nose up at your e-reader, you might want to skip it. The final book in the series also deals with the very real issue of rape on college campuses. 

Never Trust A Skinny Cupcake Baker

Callie’s life is rather awesome. She owns a successful bakery and teaches German literature at the local university. There’s just one tiny problem. She has no self-confidence when it comes to her body. And then there’s the little matter of her being accused of murdering her pole dancing instructor. There’s no way Callie’s going to risk losing her teaching position and thus she embarks, with her best baker bud Anna, on a journey to discover the real killer. Between stripper auditions and a detective who insists Callie is the woman of his dreams, it’s a roller coaster adventure.

Bring Your Own Baker

Anna just wants to earn enough money on the side to buy into the bakery, Callie’s Cakes, where she works together with her best nerd pal Callie. The last thing she expects to see when she walks into Arthur’s apartment to do some moonlighting is a blood bath. Callie’s ready to jump into the investigation into Arthur’s murder, and she’s bringing another bakery worker, Kristie, into their hijinks whether Kristie wants to or not. But things aren’t as they seem. There are gang affiliations, illegal gambling dens, and ladies of the night to wade through. Will Anna and Callie discover who murdered Arthur or will Callie’s detective boyfriend and Anna’s self-appointed protector put a stop to such aspirations? 

Self-Serve Murder

Kristie may be a sweetheart out to save the world, but sticking her nose into an investigation of rapes across campus makes her the target of a murderer. Before she knows it, Kristie is smack dab in the middle of a murder investigation with her colleagues from the cupcake bakery. If that’s not enough to drive a sane person up the wall, a friend has decided he’s going to keep her safe whether she wants him to or not. And, oh yeah, he’s her man and that’s that. 


Book Excerpts:

Never Trust A Skinny Cupcake Baker

“Why don’t you sit back down, Ms. Muller?” Detective Duchamp’s use of my last name concerns me. I sit back down and stare at him, hoping my elevated heart rate isn’t obvious. “Why did you rush off after class on Tuesday without showering?”
“I never shower at the gym.” I shiver. “I’m not comfortable with showering in front of other people.”
The detective sneers at that. “You better get used to it. No private showers in prison.”
I throw my hands in the air. “I know you’re trying to goad me into making some sort of confession or slip up or something, but I didn’t kill anyone. Why in the world would I kill Dolly? She’s not even a blip on my radar. I’m a successful business owner, I have a PhD, I teach at the University. Why would I risk all that for someone like her?” Unfortunately, my voice has turned condescending. Probably not the best attitude when accused of murder.
That’s when Duchamps pulls a card out of the file. It’s in a clear plastic bag, which I assume is an evidence bag, but it’s still obvious what the card is – a Callie’s Cakes postcard. The yellow and white striped postcards are free with a gift box. “I assume you know what this is.”
“Of course, I know what that is.” There’s no sense denying the truth even though I’m a bit apprehensive as to why they have a card from my bakery.
The detective pushes the card across the table, and I look down. “Sorry about your car, Callie.”
I push the card back and stare at the detective. “Seriously? This is your evidence?” The detectives look smug. I’m going to enjoy bringing them down a peg. “First of all, I can prove that I didn’t key her car.” I count off on my fingers. “And secondly, that’s not my handwriting. Not even close.”
I see a moment of doubt in Duchamps face before he recovers, and his face is once again a mask. He grabs the evidence bag and puts it back in the file. “We’ll see about that.” He stands. “In the meantime, you’ll be rotting away in jail.”
The door opens, and a man I don’t know enters. “Oh no, she won’t.” He turns to me and holds out his hand. “Dr. Muller, if you will.”
I will!


Bring Your Own Baker


Logan grabs my wrist as I’m about to face-plant on my bed. He pulls and twists, turning my body towards him. Before I have a chance to ask him what in the world he’s doing, his lips are on mine. There’s nothing gentle about this kiss. It’s desperate and possessive all in one. I hang on for the ride. Before I realize what’s happening, I’m lying on the bed with Logan over me. He releases my lips but keeps me trapped by his own body on top of mine.
“I’ve been dying to do that all night,” he whispers as he closes his eyes and buries his head in the joint connecting my neck and shoulder.
“I’m keeping this dress,” I proclaim.
Logan chuckles. “Babe, the dress is hot and you were scorching in it, but you always turn me on, even dressed in your cupcake pajamas.”
I roll my eyes and huff. “Whatever.”
“Now.” He sits back on his heels while pulling me up so that my back is leaning against the headboard. “Fill me in on what happened in the hallway.”

There’s a knock on the door before I have a chance to open my mouth, probably because it’s taking me a while to form thoughts with Logan’s hard muscles on full display. When did he lose his shirt? Logan immediately jumps off the bed and stalks to the bedroom door. “Stay here,” he orders as he leaves. Yeah right, that won’t be happening. 


Self-Serve Murder


I’m wiping down the counters when I get ambushed by Callie and Anna. Callie grabs my arm and together with Anna she pushes me into the corner furthest from the students. “What in the world of coffee beans are you guys up to now?” I cross my arms over my chest to make it perfectly clear that I’m not okay with whatever cockamamie scheme they’ve cooked up now.
Anna looks at me and smiles in an obvious but unsuccessful attempt to look innocent. “It’s just that we think it’s time we see the Youth Center where you spend all your time.”
Yeah, right. I roll my eyes at her. “You don’t really expect me to believe that you want to see the Youth Center to check out my life’s work.”
Callie bobs her head. “We’ve been meaning to go down there for ages.”
“Yeah,” Anna jumps in. “Logan always made it sound like the first circle in hell.”
I raise an eyebrow at the troublemaking pixie. Of course, she would want to jump into the first circle of hell. “Most people try to avoid Dante’s Inferno.” I don’t know why I bother trying to dissuade her. She obviously has no fear of things ‘normal’ people avoid like gangs and violence and such. She even admits to starting to fall for Logan before she realized he was an undercover cop.
“We just need to make sure we can eliminate anyone from the Youth Center as possible suspects. You know – up close and personally – then we need to find this rapist before he strikes again. It’s time to get to the bottom of this.” Callie makes an impassioned speech. I look down but, to my surprise, no soap box has magically appeared under her feet.
“I thought you guys promised not to go to the Youth Center.” I make one last ditch effort to keep Callie and Anna safely away from this investigation.
“I promised to not go running around. I will definitely not be doing any running.” Anna shakes her head and points at her feet. As if those high-heeled boots would ever stop her from running head-on into turmoil.
Callie shrugs. “I never actually said the words ‘I promise’. There’s definitely some kind of loophole there.”
“Fine!” I throw my hands in the air in defeat. “We’ll head over in my car after the bakery closes this afternoon.”
The dynamic duo immediately jumps up and down before rushing back into the kitchen giggling. And I’m the young one?





My Book Reviews:

Never Trust A Skinny Cupcake Baker

In Never Trust A Skinny Cupcake Baker, the first book in the Death By Cupcake Series, author D.E. Haggerty weaves a delightful cozy mystery that follows the amateur investigative adventures of bakery owner / college professor Callie Muller.

Callie owns a successful bakery and is a professor of German literature at the local university. But there is only one thing missing in her life ... a non-existent love life. After getting dumped by her ex-boyfriend for being overweight in his eyes, Callie's self-esteem and self-confidence is extremely low, even though local hottie police detective Ben has asked her out numerous times. Callie's best friend and bakery co-worker Anna signs them up for a pole dancing class at the local gym, but when Dolly, the obnoxious pole dancing instructor is found murdered, Callie finds herself accused of the murder. Callie is determined to clear her name and prove her innocence in order to save her teaching position. So with the help of Anna, Callie embarks on a murder investigation adventure to find the real killer.

Never Trust A Skinny Cupcake Baker is a thoroughly entertaining cozy mystery that will keep the reader in stitches. Written in the first person narrative, the reader follows the humorous trials and tribulations of Callie's investigative adventures.

This was such a fun book to read! The reader can't help but get drawn into the quirky trials and tribulations and intriguing suspense that Callie and Anna encounter during the investigation. I could relate to Callie, she is a normal woman with everyday issues, and I really enjoyed the humor and wit between Callie and Anna. And when you add in some romance with the hot police detective Ben into the mix, you get a delightful cozy mystery that will leave you wanting more!


RATING: 5 STARS 



Bring Your Own Baker

In Bring Your Own Baker, the second book in the Death By Cupcake Series, author D.E. Haggerty weaves a delightful cozy mystery that follows the amateur investigative adventures of baker Anna Moore.

Anna is a sassy little pixie with spiky pink hair, who works as a baker at her best friend Callie's bakery, Callie's Cakes. She has been working on the side doing finance and invoicing for her friend Arthur, a genius computer programmer / hacker, in order to get enough money together to buy into fifty percent of the bakery. When Anna goes to Arthur's apartment, she finds his door ajar and he is lying on the floor dead with his face covered in blood. Anna is determined to find Arthur's killer, so with the help of Callie, Ben (Callie's detective boyfriend), co-worker Kristie, and a hot undercover cop named Logan, Anna embarks on a murder investigation adventure to find the real killer.

Bring Your Own Baker is a thoroughly entertaining cozy mystery that will keep the reader in stitches. Written in the first person narrative, the reader follows the humorous trials and tribulations of Anna and friends latest amateur investigative adventures.

This was such a fun book to read! The reader can't help but get drawn into the quirky trials and tribulations and intriguing suspense that Anna and friends encounter during the murder investigation. I really enjoyed Anna's sassy humor and wit, she makes following her madcap adventure so much fun, and when you add in some romance with the hot undercover cop Logan into the mix, you get a delightful cozy mystery that will leave you wanting more!

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I really loved how the author used very clever and intriguing step-by-step recipe ingredients to solving a mystery quotes at the beginning of each chapter.

Cozy mystery fans, I would highly recommend that you read the entertaining Death By Cupcake Series, you won't regret it!



RATING: 5 STARS 



Self-Serve Murder

In Self-Serve Murder, the third book in the Death By Cupcake Series, author D.E. Haggerty continues to weave a delightful cozy mystery series that follows the amateur investigative adventures of Kristie, Callie's Cakes twenty-three year old barista and social work grad student.

Kristie is a social work grad student who works part time at the local youth center and part time as a barista at her friend Callie's bakery, Callie's Cakes. Kristie wakes up naked and next to a dead guy in bed, and she has no recollection of what happened the night before. Kristie has been conducting a secret investigation the past few months into a string of college rape incidents where all the female victims have the same MO, they were all drugged (roofies) and woke up in their dorm rooms not remembering what happened, but having been sexually violated. As the latest victim (but not violated), Kristie is determined to find the rapist/murderer, so with the help of Callie, Ben (Callie's detective boyfriend), Anna, and Logan (Anna's detective boyfriend), they embark on a murder investigation adventure that is sure to stir up the pot on the college campus.

Self-Serve Murder is a thoroughly entertaining cozy mystery that will keep the reader in stitches. Written in the first person narrative, the reader follows the humorous trials and tribulations of Kristie, Callie, and Anna on their latest amateur investigative adventures.

This was such a fun book to read! The reader can't help but get drawn into the quirky trials and tribulations and intriguing suspense that Kristie and friends encounter during the college rape and murder investigation. I really enjoyed Kristie's sassy humor and wit, you can't help but feel compassion for her determination to bring the rapist to justice, and when you add in the hilarious antics that follows these three cheeky chicks and their detective boyfriends Logan and Ben, you get a delightful cozy mystery that will leave you wanting more!

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I really loved how the author used clever coffee facts and quotes at the beginning of each chapter.

Cozy mystery fans, I would highly recommend that you read the entertaining Death By Cupcake Series, you won't regret it!



RATING: 5 STARS 




About The Author



I grew up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom's Harlequin romances, to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic before returning to the law. But practicing law really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out running a B&B wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where, in between tennis matches and failing to save the world, I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.Picture Not Perfect is my fourteenth novel.


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Friday, January 11, 2019

Lights On The Sea by Miquel Reina (Book Review)



Lights On The Sea by Miquel Reina
Publisher: Amazon Crossing
Publication Date: September 25, 2018
Format: Paperback - 272 pages
               Kindle - 7742 KB
ISBN: 978-1503903203
ASIN: B07CWS1F7S
Genre: Fantasy / Adventure



Buy The Book:
Amazon  (Free on Kindle Unlimited)



Book Description:


In this riveting debut, prize-winning artist and filmmaker Miquel Reina maps out ambitious and fantastical new territory in a novel about a couple holding on for dear life as their world takes an extraordinary fall…

On the highest point of an island, in a house clinging to the edge of a cliff, live Mary Rose and Harold Grapes, a retired couple still mourning the death of their son thirty-five years before. Weighed down by decades of grief and memories, the Grapes' have never moved past the tragedy. Then, on the eve of eviction from the most beautiful and dangerously unstable perch in the area, they’re uprooted by a violent storm. The disbelieving Grapes' and their home take a free-fall slide into the white capped sea and float away.

As the past that once moored them recedes and disappears, Mary Rose and Harold are delivered from decades of sorrow by the ebb and flow of the waves. Ahead of them, a light shimmers on the horizon, guiding them toward a revelatory and cathartic new engagement with life, and all its wonder.

Wildly imaginative, deeply poignant, and entirely unexpected, Lights on the Sea sweeps readers away on a journey of fate, acceptance, redemption, and survival against the most rewarding of odds.



Praise For Lights On The Sea:

"Miquel Reina's Lights on the Sea is an absolutely lovely, beautiful novel with a dreamy, fable-like quality that will appeal to readers. Fans of Life of Pi will love this novel." – Kristin Hannah, NYT bestseller author of "The Nightingale"

"An enjoyable, finely written fantasy tale." – Kirkus Reviews

“This beautiful, unusual tale explores the healing power of love and the magic that exists in our everyday lives, even when we don’t know how to find it.”
– Jill Santopolo, NYT bestseller author of "The Light We Lost"



Book Excerpt:

Click on the link to preview the book excerpt: 




Book Trailer:







Book Review:

In his debut novel, Lights On The Sea, author Miquel Reina weaves a wonderful fantasy / adventure tale that takes the reader on an emotional journey.

For thirty-five years, Mary Rose and Harold Grapes have been living an isolated life in a house built high on Death Cliff overlooking the ocean above the seaside town of San Remo de Mar on Brent Island. This self-imposed isolation came about from the grief and loss of their eight year old son Dylan, who had drowned in the ocean during a terrible rainstorm. But now the retired couple are being forced to leave their house due to the erosion of the volcanic rock foundation that leaves the house precariously sitting on the edge of the cliff. The night before the Grapes were to leave the house, a terrible rainstorm occurs just like it did thirty-five years ago, and a thunderous lightning bolt strikes the house, causing the house foundation to break free and free-fall into the ocean. This bolt of lightning would set off an unexpected chain of events that would cast the elderly couple on a personal journey as their house floats to unknown destinations on the sea. What will become of the terrified retired couple lost at sea? 

I generally do not read fantasy / adventure books as they are not one of my favorite genres to read. But I was pleasantly surprised to find myself drawn into the Grapes' story, and their harrowing journey as their house floated on the open sea. The reader will experience an emotional gamut of feelings as they follow the horrific challenges and trials and tribulations that the Grapes dealt with as their house floated through a variety of weather conditions, you can't help but wonder how they were able to survive. The author does an amazing job of describing their journey in a way that makes you sit on the edge of the seat and keeps you turning the pages to see what will happen next. While I found myself really engrossed in their incredible journey, I couldn't help but come to realize that the author wrote a tale that is so much more than your normal fantasy / adventure story. It is a complex story with many layers that has a powerful message that will make the reader pause for a moment and ponder the lessons that the Grapes learned from their personal journey, and how it may relate to their own lives. The author interweaves the Grapes' past memories with the present, and as the details of their life story are revealed, the reader will come to understand the most important life lesson the Grapes had to learn: that life is a journey that should be lived to the fullest, and no matter how easy or hard times may get, never give up, always strive to make your dreams come true, because in the end the only reason we are given life is to live it! 

This is a beautifully well-written and poignant story from beginning to a very unexpected and surprising ending. I would definitely recommend everyone read Lights On The Sea, you won't regret it!


RATING: 4 STARS 






About The Author




Barcelona-born Miquel Reina defines himself as a dreamer and a fighter; from a young age, he was drawn to the creative life, studying design and cinema before building his reputation as a filmmaker and graphic artist. His work in advertising won him several awards, including the prestigious Bronze Sun at Spain’s Festival de San Sebasti├ín in 2011, and in 2014, his music video “Dead in the Water” was screened at the Tribeca Film Festival. Reina has lived in Vancouver, Canada, since 2016, working for a video production studio and dedicating his free time to his most gratifying passion: writing. Lights On The Sea is his first novel.


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Monday, January 7, 2019

Finders, Not Keepers by D.E. Haggerty (Book Review)



Finders, Not Keepers by D.E. Haggerty 
Book 1: The Not So Reluctant Detectives Series 
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: August 16, 2018
Format: Paperback - 174 pages 
               Kindle - 490 KB
ISBN: 978-1725001336
ASIN: B07DSWRXMM
Genre: Cozy Mystery / Romantic Suspense 


Pre-Order The Book:


Buy The Series: The Not So Reluctant Detectives Series
Book 1: Finders, Not Keepers
Book 2: Picture Not Perfect



Book Description:

What do you do with a diamond no one wants? You can’t keep it. Or can you? 

While cleaning her ex-husband’s effects out of the attic, Terri finds an exquisite diamond pendant necklace. She’s determined to return the necklace to its proper owner, but the owner was brutally killed, a murder which remains unsolved, and her heirs want nothing to do with the diamond. Terri embarks upon a journey researching charities to which she can donate the diamond. When her research becomes dangerous, Terri contemplates solving the murder herself. Her best friend, Melanie, jumps feet first into investigating the murder, but her neighbor, Ryder, doesn’t want Terri exposed to any danger. Ryder, to Terri’s surprise, also wants to be more than neighbors with Terri. Luckily, he’s prepared to take any measure necessary to keep her safe because someone is determined to stop her inquiries. 

Join Terri on her quest to find a home for the diamond, which may result in the unveiling of a murderer – if she survives long enough.



Book Excerpt:

Click on the link to read the book excerpt:   http://a.co/6KUZc90




My Book Review:

In Finders, Not Keepers, the first book in The Not So Reluctant Detectives Series, author D.E. Haggerty weaves a delightful new cozy mystery series that follows the amateur investigative adventures of best friends and co-workers Terri Patterson and Melanie Hanson.

While cleaning out her attic, high school librarian Terri Patterson finds a large pear-shaped diamond pendant necklace on the floor in the corner of the attic. Terri thinks that the necklace must belong to the house's previous owner. Terri asks her hot private investigator neighbor Ryder Clark to help her locate the previous owner so that she can return the necklace. When the search for the previous owner, twenty-five year old accountant Jessica Collins, results in an unsolved murder from three years ago, Terri reluctantly helps Jessica's heirs, elderly aunt and uncle Suzanne and Phil Collins, investigate their niece's murder, and donate the necklace to a worthy foundation. Terri is determined to find the right foundation, but is also reluctantly drawn into solving Jessica's murder with the help of her overly-enthusiastic best friend Melanie, and her overly-protective neighbor Ryder. But the investigation doesn't go easy, especially when someone is determined to stop her inquiries at all costs.

Finders, Not Keepers is a thoroughly entertaining cozy mystery that will easily draw the reader into the intriguing trials and tribulations that Terri encounters as she follows the clues that will help solve Jessica's murder. While Terri is reluctant to investigate the murder, Melanie's sassy wit and determination to help Terri find the murderer adds humor to the crazy antics that ensues. And if the murder investigation isn't enough, the reader will enjoy the neighborly friendship that Terri and Ryder share, especially when it develops into an unexpected chance at romance.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I really loved how the author used clever librarian quotes at the beginning of each chapter.

Cozy mystery fans, I would highly recommend that you read this entertaining new The Not So Reluctant Detective Series, you won't regret it!



RATING: 4 STARS 






About The Author




I grew up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom's Harlequin romances, to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic before returning to the law. But practicing law really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out running a B&B wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where, in between tennis matches and failing to save the world, I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.Picture Not Perfect is my fourteenth novel.


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Picture Not Perfect by D.E. Haggerty (Book Blast: Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Goddess Fish Promotions, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the book blast event for Picture Not Perfect by author D.E. Haggerty!







Book Review



Picture Not Perfect by D.E. Haggerty 
Book 2: The Not So Reluctant Detectives Series 
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: January 21, 2019
Format: eBook - 230 pages 
               Kindle - 775 KB
               Nook - 300 KB
ASIN: B07KG6ZH33
BNID: 2940155878780
Genre: Cozy Mystery / Romantic Suspense 


Pre-Order The Book: Publish Date 1/21/19


Buy The Series: The Not So Reluctant Detectives Series
Book 1: Finders, Not Keepers
Book 2: Picture Not Perfect



Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a book blast event hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions.



Book Description:

A picture tells a story. But is it the truth?

When the police find pictures of Melanie hanging up at her murdered colleague’s house, they’re convinced he was stalking her. Maybe she even killed him. Melanie was not being stalked! And she certainly didn’t kill her supposed stalker – as if. But Mel – always up for a bit of drama – jumps at the chance to go search for the real killer. When Mel’s ex-boyfriend, Owen, discovers her plans, he pulls out all the stops to ensure she’s safe and to win her back. No matter what happens with the murder investigation, he’s not letting her go. With the police setting their sights on Mel, he may need to jeopardize his own career on the police force to protect her.

Will Mel find the real killer before the detectives arrest her for murder?



Book Excerpt:


“Ms. Hanson, please have a seat.” Detective Meyer motioned to a chair before setting a bottle of water on the table in front of it. Then, he sat down and placed a file on the table in front of him. His partner remained standing in the corner of the room near the door. Mel started to stomp her way to the chair before remembering someone was probably watching and recording whatever she did and said in the room. She firmed her jaw before slowly walking to the chair and sitting down.

She took a few gulps of water before asking, “Is this where you finally tell me what’s going on?”

Instead of answering her question, the detective pulled a picture out of the file and put it on the table in front of her. “Do you know this man?”

Mel picked up the picture. “Sure. It’s Alfred Schultz. He’s a social sciences teacher at the high school where I’m a guidance counselor.” She handed the picture back to the detective. “Why?”

Again, he ignored her. He pulled out a series of pictures and laid them on the table in front of her. Mel looked down and gasped at what she saw. Every single picture was of her. “What in the world are you doing with these? What is going on?”

“These are pictures we found in Mr. Schultz’s apartment.”

“What?” Why would Alfred have pictures of her in his apartment? They weren’t friends. Was he following her? She shivered. The man’s creepiness level just skyrocketed. “What’s going on?”

“That’s what we’d like to know,” Detective Davis replied from her position leaning against the wall.

Mel’s hands shook as she gathered the pictures together and handed them back to the detective. She needed to calm down. Freaking out wouldn’t get her any answers. She forced herself to remember her yoga training. Calming breaths. She could do this. Deep breath in through the nose. Exhale through the mouth. Again. Breathe in. Breathe out.

“What was your relationship with Mr. Schultz?”

“We don’t really have a relationship. We’re colleagues. He’d like more, but …” she trailed off. Wait a second! Her mind rewound on his words. “Was? Did you say was?” She gulped. “What happened?”

“Mr. Schultz was found dead in his home yes—” His words were cut off by Detective Davis clearing her throat.

Mel gasped. “Found dead? Is that cop-speak for murdered?” At the detective’s nod, her mouth dropped open. “How? Why? Who?”

“We were hoping you could answer those questions for us,” Detective Davis answered. She was no longer casually leaning against the wall but now stood with her arms crossed over her chest staring down at Melanie.

“Me? Why would I be able to answer those questions for you?” In response, Davis merely tilted her head towards the pictures.

The pieces of the puzzle clicked together, and she finally realized what was going on. She jumped from her chair. “Holy moly! You think I had something to do with his death!”







Book Teaser:






My Book Review:

In Picture Not Perfect, the second book in The Not So Reluctant Detectives Series, author D.E. Haggerty continues to weave a delightful cozy mystery series that follows the amateur investigative adventures of best friends and co-workers Terri, Melanie and Prudence.

Someone is framing Melanie for the murder of her co-worker, creepy high school Social Science teacher Alfred Schultz. The detectives found pictures of Melanie at Alfred's apartment, and they think he was stalking her and that she put a fatal stop to it. Melanie is determined to find the real murderer, so with the help of Terri, Ryder (Terri's private investigator boyfriend), Owen (Melanie's ex-police officer boyfriend), and co-worker Prudence, they embark on a murder investigation adventure that is sure to find the murderer, and prove Melanie's innocence before she finds herself arrested for murder!

Picture Not Perfect is a thoroughly entertaining cozy mystery that will keep the reader in stitches. Set in Milwaukee, the reader follows the humorous trials and tribulations of Melanie, Terri, and Prudence on their latest amateur investigative adventures.

This was such a fun book to read! The reader can't help but get drawn into the quirky trials and tribulations and intriguing suspense that Melanie and friends encounter as they fly by the seat of their pants during their murder investigation. I really enjoyed Melanie's sassy humor and wit, you can't help but feel compassion for her determination to find the real murderer and prove her innocence, and when you add in the hilarious antics that follows these three cheeky chicks and their boyfriends, you get a delightful cozy mystery that will leave you wanting more! And if the murder investigation isn't enough, the reader will enjoy the romantic angst that Melanie and Owen share as they go through the trials and tribulations of their on-again-off-again romantic relationship.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I really loved how the author used clever quotes at the beginning of each chapter.

Cozy mystery fans, I would highly recommend that you read the entertaining The Not So Reluctant Detective Series, you won't regret it!



RATING: 4 STARS 






About The Author




I grew up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom's Harlequin romances, to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic before returning to the law. But practicing law really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out running a B&B wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where, in between tennis matches and failing to save the world, I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book. Picture Not Perfect is my fourteenth novel.


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Event Participants:

1: All the ups and Downs
2: Beyond Romance
3: BOOKISH REVIEWS
4: BooksChatter
5: Rogues Angels
6: FUONLYKNEW
7: Harlie's Books REVIEW
8: Hope. Dreams. Life... Love
9: Independent Authors
10: Iron Canuck
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13: Jersey Girl Book Reviews REVIEW
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15: Linda Nightingale...Musings
16: Locks, Hooks and Books
17: Long and Short Reviews
18: Mixed Book Bag
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20: Nickie's Views and Interviews
21: Notes From a Romantic's Heart REVIEW
22: Readeropolis
23: Romance Novel Giveaways
24: Sapphyria's Books
25: Stormy Nights Reviewing and Bloggin'
26: Straight From the Library
27: T's Stuff
28: The Avid Reader
29: Tina Donahue Books - Heat with Heart
30: Two Ends of the Pen
31: Wake Up Your Wild Side
32: Welcome to My World of Dreams
33: Wendi zwaduk - romance to make your heart race
34: Andi's Book Reviews