MRM Reviews in the spotlight reviews About MRM Advertising with MRM Contact Us MRM Home Image Map

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Watson's Pic(k) of the Week - Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Watson had a big adventure this week!  He hiked with 3/4 of the mini MRMs through an old apple orchard, sniffing and exploring all the way.  We came home with a bag full of apples and one tired pup.  He ate his lunch and thoroughly enjoyed his afternoon siesta.  He didn't even make it all the way from his food bowl to his bed.

This pooped-out pup's pick of the week is Good Night Sleep Tight Don't Let the Stalkers Bite, a well-reviewed humorous cozy mystery from Teresa Watson.  This book is the first in Teresa's Charlie Bannerman mystery series.  Charlie is a freelance writer dealing with a naughty runaway pup, an exploding car, and a truck in her living room.  Check out this fun, suspenseful read and find out how Charlie deals with a rough week and her destructive stalker!  As of this posting, Good Night Sleep Tight Don't Let the Stalkers Bite is available at only 99 cents for Kindle.  Don't forget to check out Teresa's other popular series, the Lizzie Crenshaw mysteries.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Watson's Pic(k) of the Week - Veterinarian Adventures

Waiting patiently for the doctor to arrive.
We're trying out a new theme here at MRM, featuring our new addition and "official mascot," Watson.  Each week we will feature a book or series in Watson's Pic(k) of the week, along with a new photo of our growing boy.  We will continue to focus on bringing you great books for GREAT prices, along with a little cheer from Watson.

Today marked not only MRM's birthday (shh...don't tell him I told you!) but also Watson's first  vet visit.  He was a fantastic patient, and seemed quite unruffled by all the fuss.  He snoozed right through his exam!   Since he had such and easy time today, Watson felt very strongly that we should start off our new blog featuring one of his new favorite kinds of people:  Vets!   We couldn't think of a better way to begin than with the bestselling humorous cozy  Leigh Koslow Mystery Series from Edie Claire.    While Leigh is an advertising copywriter (and occasional vet tech), her father is a veterinarian, as is author Edie Claire.  The Leigh Koslow mysteries and accompanying menagerie of pets are perfect for animal/mystery lovers.  The first three books in the series are available as of this posting at a FANTASTIC price of less than $1.40 per book.


Watson and the MRM clan

P.S. Don't forget to click over and see the winner of the signed copy of Catherine Bruns'  new bakery-themed cozy, Tastes Like Murder!  If you didn't win or didn't get a chance to enter, please enjoy the excerpt from this great new author.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

"Tastes Like Murder" by Catherine Bruns - Excerpt and Giveaway!!

I've been looking forward to this one for the last month!  MRM is pleased to bring you an excerpt from Catherine Bruns' debut cozy, Tastes Like Murder, from the Cookies and Chance series.  I had a chance to read it ahead of release, and I think you'll love it. The icing on the cake, or, in this case, the cookie, is that Catherine is offering a free, signed copy of Tastes Like Murder to one of our lucky readers (US delivery only).  Don't forget to check out the details and enter the giveaway below.  Happy Reading!  ~Mrs. MRM

Update:   Congratulations to Kathleen Costa, winner of the signed copy of Tastes Like Murder! 

Excerpt of Tastes Like Murder
by Catherine Bruns

With divorce papers in hand and her cheating, former spouse in Florida, Sally Muccio has returned to her hometown in the Buffalo, New York region to start a novelty cookie shop with her best friend. All patrons receive a free, homemade fortune cookie with every purchase, accompanied by messages that are strangely foreboding. But there’s no warning when Sal’s ex-husband’s mistress turns up on her front porch one evening...dead.
“I wonder if she’ll get a huge crowd at her funeral,” my father mused aloud as he stared at his painting. He was probably wondering if his service would be larger.
“Dad,” Gianna said. “Her mother is the town socialite. They have more money than God. Amanda owned the only spa around here. Even if people didn’t like her, they’ll still go to the wake, at least for her mother’s sake.”
He waved her off and studied the paper again. “When I go, I want my obituary to take up an entire page. You’ll write it, Gianna. You’ve always been good with words.”
“Dear Lord,” my grandmother muttered under her breath. “All you think about is death! It is like living with the Grim Reaper.”
Dad shot his mother-in-law a look of exasperation. “You should be thinking about it too, old lady. You’ve got at least ten years on me. You’re liable to go anytime.”
“Sei pazzo.” Grandma Rosa shook her head.
“You’re the one who’s crazy.” My father frowned at her. “I bet you don’t even have a burial plot yet.”
I groaned. “Enough, please? Can we stop talking about funerals for one night?”
“Poor sweetie.” My mother wrapped her arms around me as I stared, eyes pleading for help, at my grandmother.
“Stop smothering her, Maria.” Grandma Rosa walked into the kitchen. “Sally is not a baby anymore, for crying out loud. She is a grown woman.”
My father snorted as he reached for his wineglass. “A divorced woman. I knew you never should have married that bum. Now his tramp is dead. They’re ruining your life.”
I put my weary head in my hands.
“You didn’t finish telling us what happened.” Gianna refilled her glass.
I blew out a breath. “There isn’t much more to tell. Brian made a call to the station and another policeman showed up. They searched the shop and waited while Josie and I locked the door, and then they left.”
“Will they close the place for a while and call in a forensics team?” Gianna, lawyer-in-training, asked.
I ate a small bite of braciole. “I don’t think so. They can’t be sure of the cause of death until the autopsy results come in, so they don’t know if it was an accident or—” I stopped myself, unable to say the word.
Gianna looked at me in surprise. “They actually think she might have been murdered?”
“Of course she was murdered,” my father bellowed. “The girl was evil!”
Grandma Rosa reappeared, setting a cup of espresso in front of me.
“If I have coffee now, I’ll be up all night.”
She handed me the cream and sugar from the nearby buffet table and shook her snow-white head. “Sally, my love, who are you kidding? There is no way you will sleep tonight, coffee or no coffee.”
I hated to admit it, but she was right. Sighing, I took a sip of the strong drink and almost choked, then cocked one eye at my grandmother. “What did you put in here?”
She shrugged. “Maybe a little Sambuca. It is good for you.”
My mother reached inside her cosmetic bag and pulled out a compact. She started removing her false eyelashes at the table. “Sal, the police don’t think you have anything to do with it, right? I mean, do they know what she did to you?”
I finished chewing another bite before answering. “I told Brian about our, shall we say, differences. He said they can’t speculate on anything until the autopsy comes back.”
“Who is this Brian?” Grandma Rosa raised one eyebrow and sat down across from me.
Gianna winked. “He’s the new cop on the force. I see him at Frank’s place all the time. He’s very nice. Cute too.”
“What are you talking about?” Heat rose through my face.
“Maybe we should invite him over for dinner.” My mother held the mirror out in front of her while she primped her long hair. It was dark like mine, but not as curly.
I looked at her in disbelief. “Mom, you don’t invite cops to dinner.”
“Why not? They have to eat too, you know.”
A small gurgle escaped from my mouth before I could stop it.
My mother stood, yawned, and stretched. “I need to get some sleep. I’m showing houses tomorrow morning.” She enjoyed dressing up and wearing her gold-plated name badge as she viewed homes with prospective clients. My parents didn’t need the extra money. Their house was paid off, and my father received a generous pension from the railroad, which was a good thing because in the six months since my mother started her real estate career, she’d made exactly zero in sales.
Mom ran around the table, kissing each one of us on the cheek and ending with my father. “Don’t be too long.” She wrapped her arms around his neck. “You know how I hate to sleep alone.”
He chuckled and swatted her behind. “I’ll be up in a minute, hot stuff.”
“Jeez Louise.” Gianna raised her eyebrows in disgust. “Do we really need to see this?”

Praise for Tastes Like Murder

"The delightful whodunit kept me guessing until the end, and the tasty treats had my mouthwatering from start to finish! A fantastic culinary mystery in the vein of Joanne Fluke and Diane Mott Davidson!"
Gemma Halliday, New York Times & USA Today bestselling mystery author

"Catherine Bruns has found a winning recipe for an exciting mystery mixed with a dash of humor and a heap of danger. Add in a little romance for spice, and you get one sweet reading treat." 

Mary Marks, Best selling author of the Quilting Mystery series

About the Author

Catherine lives in Upstate New York with a male dominated household that consists of her very patient husband, three sons, two cats and dogs. She has wanted to be a writer since the age of eight when she wrote her own version of Cinderella. Fortunately, Disney never sued. Catherine holds a B.A. and dual major in English and Performing Arts and is a former press release writer and newspaper reporter. In addition to the Cookies & Chance Mysteries, her Realtor for Hire Mystery series debuts in November with Gemma Halliday Publishing.

Connect with Catherine:

Win a Signed, Print Edition of Tastes Like Murder

Please comment below to enter the giveaway!  Share this post on social media or follow Catherine on Facebook and/or Twitter for a additional entries.  Don't forget to comment and let us know you did so.  Please Note:  If you are commenting anonymously, please leave your full Facebook name or email address so that we may contact you if you are the winner.  Winners will be chosen via random number generator at noon EST on Tuesday, September 15.  Congratulations to Kathleen Costa, winner of the signed copy of Tastes Like Murder! 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Writing Outside Your Comfort Zone a guest post by Lauren Carr

Lauren Carr, author of the Mac Faraday and Thorny Rose mysteries, joins us this week with a thoughtful post on the importance of keeping storylines and series fresh without betraying the trust you've built with your readers.  The first book in the Thorny Rose Detective series, Kill and Run is available TODAY, September 4th!

Writing Outside Your Comfort Zone: Are You and (more importantly) Are Your Readers Ready?
Guest Post
By Lauren Carr

Every writer has different dreams of “making it.” Most of us determine that we have “made it” when we are able to write full-time. Some go even further. They want to write full-time and pay their bills with their earnings. About ninety-five percent of us never really make that point.

As years go by, our definition of being a successful author will recede. By the time we reach middle-age, it will be something more obtainable. That’s so we can die feeling that we have succeeded in our life dream.

When I started writing over thirty years ago, I first defined my success as making a boatload of money. Nope, never even remotely happened.

Then, I would be happy to have Hollywood call. Now, that did happen. But then, I was rejected weeks later (after rewriting the screenplay) when the producer and star who wanted to do the project dumped me for a writer with a track record. At that time, mine was zero.

Okay, I would be happy to get a literary agent. Got that, but that relationship ended when I gave birth and decided to give up writing to be a stay-at-home mom—which lasted six months at which time I started writing again, but the literary agent was gone.

So then, I would be happy to get picked up by a traditional publisher. That did happen, but when I saw how much they were getting from my book, and how little I was getting, I decided I could do it all myself and keep my royalties. (But that’s another blog post.)

By then, my defining moment of success came when I would release a book and find that I had readers waiting to buy it. That has happened. It is very nice to release a book and have readers snapping it up, seeing its ranking crawling up on Amazon, and getting great feedback.

It’s almost enough to make a writer breathe a sigh of relief and get … comfortable.

Is it really possible for a writer to get comfortable?

I don’t think it’s part of our make-up. I have learned that authors are generally insecure anyway. Maybe it has something to do with all the rejection we get from literary agents, publishers, editors, and some nasty reviewers with deep seated issues that have nothing to do with our books. You have to have a skin made of iron to take some of the feedback from these groups.

It’s hard enough to make it. But I have found that once you “make it,” then the fear comes that you may “lose it.”

Now a writer may ask, “How can you lose it once you’ve made it? You now have readers. They are going to stay loyal to you forever, aren’t they? Every time you release a book, they are going to be buying them. Now you are set for life.”

My answer: No.

I can think of numerous examples of authors who had become great successes, only to lose their readers with their subsequent books:

  •   Breaking Their Readers’ Trust

It is not uncommon for an author to strike it big with their first book--snagging the agent and the big book deal—or even a movie deal, only to flop with their second book. At a speaking engagement, one author told how this happened to him.  He wrote his first book with the goal of getting the agent and book deal. He wrote what the agents and publishers were looking for. This book became a New York Times best-seller. After achieving the success that every author dreams of, he wrote what he wanted to write, which was quite different from his first book. The audience that he had acquired with the first book was shocked and disappointed. So were the reviewers. Thus, he lost his audience.

One very successful author, who I won’t name because I have stopped following her, lost me and other readers when she took a turn in her storyline that infuriated us. After years and dozens of successful books in her series, she killed off a main character whom we had grown to love. This author is still a success and her books are top sellers, but she did lose many readers, who posted reviews saying that they felt betrayed.

Why would an author kill off a major character after years of character development and dozens of books?

Well, as an author, I can see why.  It is the next reason that authors lose readers.
  • Their books have grown stale.

It can be very easy for an artist to become comfortable in their success. We see it in actors who always appear in the same type of movies playing the same type of characters, and singers singing the same song over and over again. They are saying to themselves, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Let’s not mess with a good thing.”

However, their audience can get sick of hearing and reading the same thing over and over again. Just as an audience can get bored reading the same thing, imagine writing the same thing.

After writing so many books, especially some that are successful, an author can discover that they are writing from a formula. The basic plot is the same. The names have changed. Even the characters will have the same personalities.

This can happen without the writer realizing it. When I had finished the rough draft for my latest mystery, Kill and Run, I realized that the climax was very similar to ending in The Lady Who Cried Murder, the sixth Mac Faraday Mystery. I had to go back to the drawing board to rethink and rewrite the whole ending, which I believe is much more thrilling than the original.

Fresh storylines keep an author’s creative juices flowing. It’s what keeps the writing fun.

So, once an author has “made it,” they find that they have to do a balancing act in order to keep their readers while continuing to grow their audience. Not only do we have to stretch our creative muscles by coming up with fresh storylines and characters, but we have to do it without betraying our readers’ trust.

Readers have certain expectations from the author. It shouldn’t be any mystery to the author. They can find it expressed in the readers’ reviews. Mine have expressed their love of my complex mysteries that challenge them—which challenges me as a writer.

It was in a search for yet another challenge for my readers that I tackled a new series set in Washington, DC. The detectives in the Thorny Rose Mysteries, Lieutenant Murphy Thornton, USN, and Jessica Faraday are younger, sexier, and more edgy in keeping with the metropolitan setting. Their cases will be grittier than those in my Mac Faraday and Lovers in Crime series.

After all, anyone who keeps up with the news knows that life in Washington DC is not like Spencer, Maryland, and Chester, West Virginia.

Yes, it was a step out of my comfort zone. But, like a runner tackling her first marathon and crossing the finish line, it was a lot of fun and I feel great for having done it.

Here’s hoping my readers enjoy this venture as much as I have.

Mystery—The Next Generation

Five women with seemingly nothing in common are found brutally murdered in a townhome outside Washington, DC. Among the many questions surrounding the massacre is what had brought these apparent strangers together only to be killed.
Taking on his first official murder case, Lieutenant Murphy Thornton, USN, believes that if he can uncover the thread connecting the victims, then he can find their murderer.
The case takes an unexpected turn when Murphy discovers that one of the victims has a connection to his stepmother, Homicide Detective Cameron Gates. One wintry night, over a dozen years before, her first husband, a Pennsylvania State trooper, had been run down while working a night shift on the turnpike.
In Kill and Run, best-selling mystery author Lauren Carr delights her fans by merging the son and daughter of the detectives from her two popular series for a new series—the Thorny Rose Mysteries. Fans were introduced to Murphy Thornton, the son of Joshua Thornton from Lovers in Crime Mysteries, and Jessica Faraday, the daughter of Mac Faraday from the Mac Faraday Mysteries, in the widely-acclaimed and best-selling Three Days to Forever, which was released in January 2015.
The match-up surprised even the author. “I thought long and hard about bringing Murphy and Jessica together,” Lauren confesses. “I had developed each of the characters separately. Murphy appeared in my very first book, A Small Case of Murder. At that time, he was only sixteen and his mother had recently passed away. Jessica appeared briefly in Old Loves Die Hard and I had no thought while writing that book of pairing her up with Murphy. I was as surprised as anyone when their characters ended up being a perfect match in Three Days to Forever.”
A perfect match they are! Lauren Carr’s newest series is hot and sexy, like her newest detectives. Lauren warns, “Some readers may be surprised to see that I push the envelope just a little bit more in The Thorny Rose Mysteries than I do in my other series. Due to the combination of my detectives’ youth and the environment (the Nation’s Capital), it was virtually impossible to keep things completely pure.” Some readers may notice a few more curse words (no F-bombs allowed!) and sexual references, which Lauren will confine only to the Thorny Rose Mysteries. “What can I say?” Lauren says with a sigh. “Washington, DC, is not Spencer or Chester.”
In this first installment of the Thorny Rose Mysteries, the Lovers in Crime join newlyweds Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday to sift through a web of lies and cover-ups. Together, can the detectives of the Thorny Rose uncover the truth without falling victim to a cunning killer?

About the Author
An Amazon All-Star author, Lauren Carr is the creator of three popular mystery series: the Mac Faraday MysteriesThe Lovers in Crime Mysteries, and now the Thorny Rose Mysteries. Kill and Run is the first installment of The Thorny Rose Mysteries. Each of Lauren Carr’s mysteries have made Amazon’s best-seller ranking internationally.
In addition to her series set on Deep Creek Lake, Lauren Carr has also written the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates, who were introduced in Shades of Murder, the third book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. They also make an appearance in The Lady Who Cried Murder.
The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.
Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.
She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.
Visit Lauren Carr’s website at www.mysterylady.net to learn more about Lauren and her upcoming mysteries.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

New Mystery Releases 9/1/15

It is the first day of the month, and we already have a "first Tuesday" with a wealth of new mystery releases! Included in today's new releases are:

  • Victoria Abbott's The Marsh Madness, the 4th book in the Book Collector cozy mystery series
  • Susan Wittig Albert's The Darling Dahlias and the Eleven O'clock Lady, the latest in her Darling Dahlias historical cozy mystery series
  • Josie Belle's All Sales Final, the fifth book in her Good Buy Girls cozy mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime
  • James Benn's historical mystery The White Ghost, the 10th book in his Billy Boyle series
  • Jenna Bennett's Busman's Honeymoon, the Savannah Martin honeymoon novella
  • Catherine Bruns' Tastes Like Murder, the debut of her Cookies & Chance culinary cozy mystery series from Gemma Halliday Publishing (has a short term special debut price of only 99c for Kindle!) 
  • Andrea Camilleri's A Beam of Light, the 19th book in his Inspector Montalbano series
  • Carol Carson's Uneasy in New Orleans, the debut of her Big Easy humorous cozy mystery series
  • Maia Chance's Cinderella Six Feet Under, the second book in her Fairy Tale Fatal cozy mystery series 
  • Erika Chase's Law and Author, the fifth book in her Ashton Corners Book Club cozy mystery series
  • Margaret Coel's The Man Who Fell From the Sky, a Wind River mystery
  • Stephen Dobyns' comic suspense novel Is Fat Bob Dead Yet?
  • Kay Finch's Black Cat Crossing, the debut of her Bad Luck Cat cozy mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime
  • Sabrina Flynn's historical mystery A Bitter Draught, the second on her Ravenwood Detective Agency series
  • Angie Fox's The Skeleton in the Closet, the second book in her Southern Ghost Hunter series 
  • Shelley Freydont's Trick or Deceit, the fourth book in her Celebration Bay cozy mystery series
  • Eva Gates' Booked for Trouble, the second book in her Lighthouse Library cozy mystery series
  • Nancy Haddock's Basket Case, the debut of her Silver Six Crafting cozy mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime
  • Dianne Harman's Murder at the Cooking School, the seventh book in her Cedar Cove cozy mystery series (bargain priced at 99c for Kindle)
  • Cora Harrison's A Shameful Murder, the debut of her Reverend Mother mystery series set in 1920s Ireland
  • Lily Harper Hart's Deadly Storm, the 12th book in her Hardy Brothers Security series 
  • Heather Haven's The Chocolate Kiss-Off, the third book in her Persephone Cole Vintage mystery series
  • David Lagercrantz's The Girl in the Spider's Web, the fourth book in Stieg Larsson's Lisbeth Salander/Millennium series
  • Joyce and Jim Lavene's Be My Banshee, the debut of their Purple Door Detective Agency mystery series
  • Molly MacRae's Knot the Usual Suspects, a Haunted Yarn Shop cozy mystery
  • Summer Prescott's Murder by Lime, the fourth book in her Key West culinary cozy series
  • Deanna Raybourn's A Curious Beginning, the debut of her Veronica Speedwell Victorian historical mystery series
  • Eric Rickstad's Lie In Wait, a small town Vermont mystery from the author of The Silent Girls
  • Denise Swanson's Murder of an Open Book, the 18th book in her Scumble River cozy series 
  • MJ Trow's Secret World, a Tudor historical mystery featuring Kit Marlowe
  • Lois Winston's Revenge of the Crafty Corpse, the third book in her Anastasia Pollack Crafting cozy mystery series

Contact Form


Email *

Message *