Blogroll: Mad Hatter Reads

 

Larissa Reinhart’s Portrait of a Dead Guy Tour, Review and Giveaway

 

Portrait of a Dead Guy Tour

I’m so happy to be today’s tour stop on the Portrait of a Dead Guy Tour! Here’s a look at the book plus a chance to enter an awesome giveaway.
Portrait of a Dead Guy

Portrait of a Dead Guy
Series: A Cherry Tucker Mystery #1
Published:
Source: Purchased
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5

In Halo, Georgia, folks know Cherry Tucker as big in mouth, small in stature, and able to sketch a portrait faster than kudzu climbs telephone poles — but commissions are scarce. So when the well-heeled Branson family wants to memorialize their murdered son in a coffin portrait, Cherry scrambles to win their patronage from her small town rival.
As the clock ticks toward the deadline, Cherry faces more trouble than just a controversial subject. Between ex-boyfriends, her flaky family, an illegal gambling ring, and outwitting a killer on a spree, Cherry find herself painted into a corner she’ll be lucky to survive.

My Review:

If there’s such a thing as a chick-lit mystery, then Portrait of a Dead Guy fits right in. Cherry Tucker isn’t much of a detective…just a starving artist in small-town Georgia trying to make sure that she gets paid for the commission she worked so hard to get. The more she tries to finish her painting, the deeper Cherry gets sucked into the mystery of who killed one of Halo’s local sons.

Larissa Reinhart’s world building is so vivid that you can practically taste the sweet tea. Growing up in small Southern towns myself, the town and its inhabitants reminded me of my own childhood. It’s true what they say too, when you grow up in a small town, everyone knows everything about you and your family going back multiple generations. And poor Cherry has her own past actions (she’s been known to be a bit boy crazy) to live down. It doesn’t help that she’s a spitfire stuffed into a small packed with plenty of attitude to go around.

All the characters are well developed and filled with quintessential Southern charm (which you might call slight craziness). Throw in plenty of humor, a couple of hot hunks, and more twists and turns than a greased pig and I became an instant fan.

I can’t wait for book #2, Still Life in Brunswick Stew! Fortunately comes out in just a couple weeks-May 21, 2013. You need to make sure that it’s on your TBR too!

Available at:

Amazon Kindle     B&N Nook     Kobo

More about Larissa:

Larissa ReinhartLarissa Reinhart loves small town characters, particularly sassy women with a penchant for trouble. STILL LIFE IN BRUNSWICK STEW (May 2013) is the second in the Cherry Tucker Mystery Series. The first, PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY, is a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist, a 2012 The Emily finalist, and a 2011 Dixie Kane Memorial winner. Expect HIJACK IN ABSTRACT and a Cherry Tucker novella in THE HEARTACHE MOTEL out in November and December 2013.
She lives near Atlanta with her minions and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit. Visit her website; her expat blog; or find her chatting with the Little Read Hens on Facebook; at her Facebook page; Twitter; and Goodreads
Larissa Reinhardt’s
Portrait of A Dead Guy
Blog Tour Schedule
4/28- Love in A Book
4/29- Bianca2b
4/29- Fandom Fanatic
4/30- Book Monster Reviews
5/02- Literal Addiction
5/03- Books-n-Kisses
5/04- My Book Addiction
5/06- Mad Hatter Reads
5/07- Salacious Reads
5/08- United by Books
5/09- The Jeep Diva
5/11- Froggarita’s Bookcase

Larissa is giving away the following prizes on her tour:

Grand Prize: (1) $20.00 Visa Gift Card

Runner-Up: (1) eBook of Portrait of a Dead Guy

Blogroll: Mystery Writing is Murder

Using Pinterest for Pinspiration

BS-pic

When I first heard of Pinterest, I wanted to cry. Another social networking site to use, learn, master? Can’t be done. It’s asking too much of me.

I can barely handle Twitter and Goodreads, and I’m not on the Facebook or Google Plus, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, StatWatch. (I made that last one up.) However, someone kindly took the time to show me what Pinterest truly was, and once I figured it out, and how it worked for me, I was hooked.

Pinterest is a way to organize all those beautiful pictures you see every day, from the delicious torte you’d love to make (but never will) to the beach you’d love to visit (and hopefully will). And for us creative types, it’s a visual playground of inspiration. In one weekend, I created boards for different aspects of my protagonist’s world. While Elliott Lisbon comes to life on the printed page, she’s viewed in vibrant color on the Pinterest page. [Read more...]

Blogroll: Literary, etc

 Book Review: Kendel Lynn’s Board Stiff

BOARD STIFFTitle: Board Stiff
Author:
Genre:
Series: Elliott Lisbon Mystery #1
Rating: ★★★★★
My Copy:

Elliott Lisbon is the Director of the Ballantyne Foundation and is working on her private investigator license. She conducts discreet inquires on behalf of the Foundation and when a board member, Leo Hirschorn, is found murdered, the Foundation’s benefactor specifically asks for Elliott’s assistance. She agrees, but then realizes that means trying to clear another board member’s name, Jane Walcott Hatting, and there’s no love lost between her and Jane. Elliott recognizes her investigation would be easier if the new Lieutenant, Nick Ransom, would take her seriously, but she understands that may never happen. After all, he’s her ex-boyfriend who ended things suddenly and quickly walked out of her life. Will Elliott solve Leo’s murder without Nick’s assistance or will she realize the culprit is who the police suspect?

Can I take a moment to talk about Nick? He’s sexy and sparks fly when he’s with Elliott, but he’s also very protective of her. There’s a scene with Elliott and an interview with a hotel manager and your heart breaks for Elliott when she realizes what Nick did; however, at the same time you can’t help but appreciate that Nick wants to protect her. I loved Elliott! She’s intelligent and isn’t afraid to take matters into her own hands. Elliott is a strong woman and it’s clear that everyone in Sea Pines loves her and there’s a reason. As the director of the Foundation, she’s hands on and is involved with all aspects of charity fundraising and since Sea Pines is a wealthy resort, she knows the people and area. [Read more...]

Blogroll: CRIMINALELEMENT.COM – Fresh Meat: Board Stiff by Kendel Lynn

Board Stiff by Kendel Lynn is the first book in the Elliott Lisbon humorous mystery series (available April 30, 2013).

BOARD STIFFAs director of the prestigious Ballantyne Foundation, Elliott Lisbon has her hands full. Not only is it her job to plan fundraisers and vet grant applicants, but the Ballantynes also expect her to fill their shoes as hosts whenever they’re away—a task that is often much trickier than it sounds:

Tod was helping me man the Bash in the absence of the Ballantynes, who were on safari in India. Or maybe it was mountain climbing in Pakistan. They entrusted me with their life’s work while away doing more life’s work. Tonight that included acting as one part host and one part referee.“So what’s up? Is Mr. Abercorn dancing naked on the tables again?”

“Not quite,” Tod said. “You have three fires to put out, though Jane is more of a firestorm of seething lava and flaming fireballs.”

“Don’t be so melodramatic.” I glanced at my watch. It was already past eleven, dreadfully late for a party that started at five. How did I miss seeing Nick Ransom for the last six hours? My lips tingled at the thought of him being so close. Traitors.

Tod snapped his fingers. “Hello, Elliott?”

“Right, melodramatic. Things can’t be that terrible, can they?”

“Jane is beheading board members, Mr. Colbert is serving guests from the canapés stuffed in his pockets, and Mrs. Kramer is singing with the band.”

“That doesn’t sound so bad.”

“They’re in the men’s room.”

Elliott’s also assigned with helping board members solve certain kinds of problems—ones police or press involvement would only serve to complicate. This part of the job is usually a piece of cake for Elliott; she does have a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice, after all, and is in the process of becoming a licensed PI, to boot. But Sam Spade, she’s not (at least not yet), so when the Ballantynes task her with solving the murder of eccentric board member Leo Hirschorn and exonerating prime suspect (and board chairwoman) Jane Hatting, she understandably balks at the request:

“About Jane,” Mr. Ballantyne continued. “I’m going to need your help sorting things out with the police.”“How can you possibly know about Jane? I heard not ten minutes ago.”

“The chief phoned me this morning, and I’ve just hung up with Jane. She assures me she has nothing to do with Leo’s murder, nothing at all, Elli, and I believe her. I need you on this one; I’m counting on your expertise. You’ve helped many a donor out of a pickle before, you can do it again!”

“But Mr. Ballantyne, this is a murder. I’m afraid I don’t have much expertise with those.” As I protested, my mind raced. I grabbed my notebook and started listing questions from yesterday’s excursion to Leo’s house: Why the mess? Where was Bebe?

“You can do it, my girl! Clear your plate. This is your top priority, your top priority, Elli. We owe Leo and we owe our Jane. I know you won’t disappoint me!”

I scribbled as we spoke: Police suspect Jane. Why? “I suppose I could poke around a bit. I don’t have any other inquiries at the moment.” How much harder could this be? A stolen golf cart, a missing brooch, a man shoved into a clock…My heart sank a bit as I thought of Leo. He definitely deserved better.

The Ballantynes have every faith Elliott can accomplish the task at hand, but Elliott suspects Leo’s murder will be more difficult to solve than the other cases she’s tackled. And as it turns out, she’s right. Her “client” is less than cooperative:

“Hi, Jane, it’s Elliott. Do you have a minute?”“No, Elliott, I don’t.”

“Great. I spent the afternoon with Leo’s neighbors. It seems you neglected to mention you were at Leo’s house the night of the murder.”

“Are you still pretending to be an investigator? I’m going to talk to Edward. You have too much time on your hands.”

“You didn’t answer my question.”

“You didn’t ask one, Nancy Drew. Care to try again? I should warn you, I may hang up at any time.”

I spoke slowly. “Jane. Why didn’t you tell me. You were at Leo’s. On Saturday. After the party?”

“Because I wasn’t there. If you’ll excuse me—”

“No, I won’t excuse you. Leo’s neighbor saw you, Jane. Saw. You. Black Sebring, scarf in your hair, speeding away from the murder scene. A witness.”

“That’s ridiculous. That police detective tried to pull this same stunt at the station. The neighbor is obviously lying. I wasn’t there. Period.”

“Then where were you?”

“Look, Elliott, I’m not interested in playing this game with you.”

“It’s not a game. I’m trying to help you. I’m the only person trying to help you.”

“You’ll have to try harder than this,” she said and hung up on me.

The local police force—of which her ex-boyfriend is a member—seems determined to freeze Elliott out:

“Now, if you’ve finished mocking me, I’d like to get back to work.”He slowly picked up his jacket. “I’m not mocking you, Elliott. I’m serious. This investigation doesn’t concern you.”

“Have you not been listening? Of course it concerns me. You are questioning one board member about the murder of another. This isn’t a job, Ransom, it’s my life. The Ballantynes treat me like a daughter; they’re my only family. They were there for me when my parents died. You left. They were all I had. I won’t let you shred their reputation while you witch hunt my board. Besides, your chief called my chief last night.” I stabbed his chest with my finger. Twice. “I’m in this.”

Ransom stepped forward, his jaw tight. “What did you say?”

“Mr. Ballantyne asked me to find out who killed Leo Hirschorn and I’m going to.” So maybe not exactly what Mr. Ballantyne asked, I thought, but close enough. The extra investigation hours could go toward my PI license, and that also helped the Ballantynes. “I don’t answer to you. We’ve always had the cooperation of the Sea Pine Police, and based on my phone call, this won’t be any different.”

“It will be on my terms,” he said, an edge in his voice.

“If you’d like to think that, have at it. Now, when I said afternoons spent by the pool, I didn’t mean me. I have a job.” I walked along the path by the garden toward the front. “I really liked Lieutenant Sully,” I muttered.

“Maybe you’ll like me, too,” he said over my shoulder. “Just stay out of my way and we’ll be fine.”

“You do the same, Lieutenant.”

Her love life is in shambles (which proves more than a little distracting):

I placed my palm on his chest to push him back. I met a warm brick wall covered in silk. “Stop. We’re not doing this here.”“Doing what?” Matty asked, walking up to us. I dropped my hand, startled. “Hey Matty.”

Ransom remained two inches from me, but stretched out his hand to Matty. “Lieutenant Nick Ransom, Island Police Department, former Special Agent FBI. Ex-boyfriend and new neighbor of Red’s.”

“Mattias Gannon, Headmaster of Seabrook Prep,” Matty said. “And a very close friend of Elli’s.”

They shook hands. They held on too long. The men were nearly the same height and their eyes locked together tighter than their hands. Seconds ticked by, then they finally released.

“Well, I’m glad we cleared that up,” I said.

It was kind of interesting, actually. To see men stripped down to their natural competitive instincts. Both vying for the top prize. Which I think was me in this bizarre scenario, considering neither man actually wanted me. Matty and I weren’t even dating and Ransom had a girlfriend.

I put my hand on Matty’s arm. “We should be getting back.” I wanted to get out of there before the tension swallowed me whole.

Ransom tipped his head. “Of course. Have a good night.”

I felt his eyes searing into my backside as I steered Matty through the lobby and over to our table. The waiter had delivered fresh pots of coffee and slices of pineapple upside-down cake while we were gone. A perfectly centered pineapple ring and cherry topped each one. Pete and Kyra had already finished; only crumbs remained on their pale blue saucers.

“You failed to mention your new neighbor is your ex-boyfriend,” Matty said. He chopped off a slice of his cake, but didn’t eat it.

“He’s not my ex-boyfriend, Matty. We spent one night together. Maybe five. Well, not like the whole night, every night. We kissed, made out, rounded a few bases.” Jesus, Elliott, what are you saying? I stuffed a piece of cake in my mouth.

Matty wouldn’t even look at me. I felt my cheeks pink up.

Which made me think of Ransom, which made them pink up another shade. Five more minutes and my head would explode.

“What did you mean by ‘we’re not doing this here’?”

“I didn’t mean anything, Matty. He’s probably on a date for Pete’s sake.”

“You’re on a date for Pete’s sake.”

A date? The stomach slivers returned. How did I miss that signal?

And then there are the other assorted and sundry hiccups she encounters over the course of her inquest:

I went to grab my handbag from the dining room and noticed it sat on a massive glob of puff paint. The entire back side was soaked in blue and stuck to the table. Like dried macaroni on a pencil cup. With a solid yank, the purse came loose but my elbow cracked into the Cookie Corral. It toppled to the floor, hitting the wall on its way down.Holy shit and OH MY GOD.

Dust floated everywhere and covered everything. The carpet, the drapes, the table, the wall. I started to choke. Air and sound battled for release. Breathe or scream? Breathe or scream? Panic crept from my toes to my fingertips. I stared at a large broken shard covered in Leo dust.

My fingers shook. I couldn’t think and I couldn’t look away.

The dust on the floor wasn’t dust. It was Leo. Literally Leo.

Ten seconds slid by, then twenty. I stared in horror, torn between doing the right thing and the wrong thing. Only I had no idea which was the right thing and which was the wrong. Other than Bebe simply could not find out about this. Nor could Mr. Ballantyne. Or any person I ever met, saw, or even thought about.

When it comes right down to it, though, the Ballantynes were right to put their faith in Elliott. Elliott’s not just a charity director or a social host or a disastrous dater or a fledgling private eye—she’s all of these things. Elliott Lisbon is a Renaissance woman, dammit, and that makes her uniquely suited for the task at hand. Renaissance women know how to throw good parties, but as it turns out, they’re also perfectly capable of catching cold-blooded killers; it simply takes determination and a little chutzpah—two things the Ballantyne Foundation’s director has in spades.

For more information, or to buy a copy, visit:

Buy at Powell’s   Buy at IndieBound!   Buy at Amazon

 

Buy at Books a MillionBuy at Barnes and Noble


Blogroll: S. M. Nystoriak’s Writer’s Block

Dead Guys, Sassy Sleuths, and Southern Charm

on April 17, 2013

Larissa Reinhart is with me today discussing her writing life, her muse, and her book PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY.

I recently finished reading this little gem, and what a gem it was!

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Please see my review of it here:

PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY was such a good read! And for me,   it was all about character. Larissa Reinhart has created some unbelievably   vivid characters…and they come to life in every quirky scene. The main   character, Cherry Tucker, is back in her small town of Halo, Georgia after   attending art school in sophisticated Savannah. And as she competes for the   commission of painting a portrait of a dead guy, the reader gets to know   Cherry and the other townsfolk. In Halo, it seems that everyone has a   skeleton in their closet, Cherry included. A cross between an episode of In   The Heat of The Night and My Cousin Vinny, I found the descriptions of the   town as well as the kin folk who reside there to be endearing if not absurd   at times. So many priceless metaphors in the dialog and descriptors make this   an absolutely fun read from beginning to end. And there is a mystery, to   boot!

This book comes with some book club questions at the end, which might be fun   to talk about as a group too. I enjoyed this read a lot, and look forward to   the next installment in the Cherry Tucker Mysteries. [Read more...]

Blogroll: Literary, Etc.

Spotlight: Board Stiff

Posted on  

BOARD STIFFTitle: Board Stiff
Author: Kendel Lynn
Genre: Mystery
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Henery Press

Synopsis:
As director of the Ballantyne Foundation on Sea Pine Island, SC, Elliott Lisbon scratches her detective itch by performing discreet inquiries for Foundation donors. Usually nothing more serious than retrieving a pilfered Pomeranian. Until Jane Hatting, Ballantyne board chair, is accused of murder. The Ballantyne’s reputation tanks, Jane’s headed to a jail cell, and Elliott’s sexy ex is the new lieutenant in town.

Armed with moxie and her Mini Coop, Elliott uncovers a trail of blackmail schemes, gambling debts, illicit affairs, and investment scams. But the deeper she digs to clear Jane’s name, the guiltier Jane looks. The closer she gets to the truth, the more treacherous her investigation becomes: a brutal attack on her own suspect and the murder of a witness. With victims piling up faster than shells at a clambake, Elliott realizes she’s next on the killer’s list.

[Read more...]

Blogroll: Style Weekly

Murder(s) She Wrote

Richmond author LynDee Walker’s humorous thriller turns heads

 arts_culture2-1Who but a journalist could stroll along the leafy streets of the Fan and the lazy banks of the James River and see nothing but high-level crime rings and half a dozen bodies hidden in the shadows?

For LynDee Walker, a Texas-bred reporter turned fiction writer who lives in Richmond with her family, those thoughts are all in a day’s work. Walker’s recently released light thriller, “Front Page Fatality,” portrays Richmond caught in a web of intrigue, which hungry young journalist Nichelle Clarke is eager to untangle before she gets ensnared.

Since its late-January release, “Front Page Fatality” — the first of three books and a novella contracted by Texas publisher Henery Press — has caused a stir, shooting to a peak of No. 1 on Amazon’s new-humor list, fifth on its humor list, and 10th on its mystery list. No one is more shocked than Walker. [Read more...]

Blogroll: Invisible Ink

Wearing a Mask? You’re Not the Only One

MALICIOUS MASQUERADE giveawayI like stories where no one is who they seem, probably because these stories reflect the nature of my own soul, of humanity. As Donald Miller writes in Blue Like Jazz, “The problem is not out there; the problem is the needy beast of a thing that lives in my chest.”

It is indeed a personal problem, widespread and universal. We struggle against it every day as we try to find truth in the details of our lives. Almost all art forms, throughout all of history, reflect this struggle. [Read more...]

Blogroll: Romance & Beyond

Lifetime of Little Things

Posted by Sherry Isaac on Mar 22, 2013 in Friends on Friday

Alan-Cupp-HS-199x300Alan Cupp loves to create and entertain, always anticipating his next creative endeavor. In addition to writing fiction, Alan enjoys acting, music, travel, and playing sports. His life’s motto is, “It’s better to wear out than rust out.” He values time spent with his beautiful wife and their two sons. Keep up with Alan on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter. Information on Alan’s new release, Malicious Masquerade, can be found at Henery Press. [Read more...]

Blogroll: Literary, etc.

Book Review: Alan Cupp’s Malicious Masquerade

 

MALICIOUS MASQUERADE giveawayTitle: Malicious Masquerade
Author: Alan Cupp
Genre: Mystery
Rating: 4 out of 5
My Copy: Advance Reader Copy via NetGalley courtesy of Henery Press

Where is Tyler Moore? That’s the question Alan Cupp has us asking in Malicious Masquerade. When Jasper Bedford’s daughter, Cindy, is jilted at the altar, Jasper begins to wonder if something may have happened to Tyler. Jasper quickly assembles a search team and the results surprise him, yet yield little information as to Tyler’s whereabouts. Unbeknownst to Jasper, Cindy hires a private investigator to find Tyler because she believes something must have happened to him. Jasper tries to convince Cindy of the truth: Tyler used her for monetary gain; despite showing her evidence of his guilt, she doesn’t believe it. When she meets with Carter Mays, the Chicago PI she hires, she’s convinced he can find Tyler within days and Carter is unsure if he wants to take this case. He has a reason to be suspicious: the authorities haven’t been alerted to Tyler’s disappearance. The deeper Carter digs, the more he uncovers and soon he’s questioning who he can trust. [Read more...]

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