Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours–Final Exam


I’m so excited to be a stop on the blog tour for author Carol J. Perry and her new release Final Exam.  This is the eighth book in her A Witch City Mystery series.


Final Exam (A Witch City Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Kensington (February 26, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 1496714601
ISBN-13: 978-1496714602


Purchase Links

Amazon    B&N   Kobo     Google Play  

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A cold case update in Salem, Massachusetts . . .

Life at the house on Winter Street is abuzz with preparations for Aunt Ibby’s 45th high school reunion, and Lee Barrett is happy to pitch in, tracking down addresses and licking envelopes. But as a field reporter for Salem’s WICH-TV, her priority is to be on top of the town’s latest news before anyone else.

When the local police dredge up a vintage sports car containing human remains, Lee is thrilled to be the first reporter on the scene. Once she learns the car is connected to the cold case her boyfriend Pete happens to be working on, her powers of investigation are quickly alerted. But it’s her Aunt Ibby’s emotional reaction to Lee’s TV report that puts her on the case. With the help of O’Ryan, her psychic feline sidekick, she’ll have to unravel a tangled past of secrets and promises to stop a killer from making history again . . .



Carol J. Perry knew as a child that she wanted to be a writer. A voracious reader, whose list for Santa consisted mostly of book titles, she never lost sight of that goal. While living in Florida, Carol was on assignment for Southern Travel Magazine, preparing an article on the world’s largest sand castle which was being built near her home. That combination of events inspired her first young adult novel, Sand Castle Summer. That book was soon followed by half a dozen more.

Carol has always been an avid reader of mysteries. Her debut mystery novel is set in Salem and involves O’Ryan, a most mysterious cat, several witches and some strange Halloween happenings. Appropriately enough, this Salem-born author celebrates her birthday on Halloween Eve! Carol and her husband Dan live in the Tampa Bay area of Florida with two cats and a Black Lab. Visit her




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When did you know that you wanted to be an author? What things, if any, influenced that decision?

I was always a reader—from first grade on. Writing school assignments was fun and easy for me. I hand-lettered a neighborhood “newspaper” when I was about 10 and wrote a school play in the eighth grade. But I knew by seventh grade that I wanted to be in advertising—largely because of two library books—Natalie Enters Advertising and A Star for Ginny.  Both heroines worked for ad agencies. I followed that dream and had a long career in New England as an ad copy writer! Moved to Florida and did lots of non-fiction writing. A magazine article I wrote about the World’s Largest Sandcastle led to my first novel for middle grade readers—Sand Castle Summer which was followed by several more. Cozy mysteries are fairly recent. The first in the Witch City Mystery series, Caught Dead Handed, released in 2014. There have been seven more since then. Final Exam is the newest one and the ninth—Late Checkout will be published in September.


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With so many cozies being written, what makes your books stand out from the crowd?

Readers seem to like the background—my birth city of Salem, Massachusetts. It’s a magical city with a rich history to work with. They also like my characters and so do I! O’Ryan the cat is a favorite.


Do you work from an outline or plot or do you just see where the characters take you?

A little of both. I usually know the beginning and the end but the middle is strictly seat-of-the-pants writing. Sometimes I feel as though I’m taking dictation from the characters.

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Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you do anything special to get those reviews?

Yes, I read reviews. The ones on line I learn from, but do not reply. When one of my books is reviewed in a major magazine I write and thank the reviewer profusely!  When readers write comments on my website, or when bloggers comment on a book, I reply. My publisher, Kensington, does a really good job of publicizing the books. I do occasional book talks and signings and have been a presenter at several mystery writers conferences. Every little bit helps.


What advice would you give to your younger self?

Read even more!

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Do you think your cover plays an important part in someone buying your books?

Absolutely! I think my covers are wonderful. They are designed by Kensington’s Art Director, Louis Malcangi, and illustrated by Scott Zelazny.


Please give us an insight into your main characters. What do you think makes them special?

My heroine ,TV reporter  Lee Barrett is young, attractive and smart with some psychic abilities—as are many cozy mystery heroines. What makes her special, I think, is the she’s managed to surround herself with some truly interesting characters! Lee’s Aunt Ibby is a tech-savvy, red-haired, sixty-something, research librarian. Her best friend and sidekick, River North is a Tarot reader and a practicing witch. Boyfriend Pete Mondello is a straight arrow police detective, struggling to accept Lee’s paranormal side. Her clever cat O’Ryan, who used to be a witch’s “familiar” has some remarkable powers of his own.


What have you learned about yourself since becoming an author?

I’m quite a bit more disciplined than I thought I was in regard to following guidelines, observing deadlines, continuing to study my craft and to keep learning!

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Do you write full-time or part-time? What do your plans for future projects include?

I write full time in that I have no other job. Actually I write about three or four hours a day.  Future projects include more mysteries and my first attempt at writing a romance.


What do you think the hardest part of writing is? What is the easiest?

I think the hardest part is revising and revising until it’s right. The easiest part is having written.


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What type of books do you like to read? Who are some of your favorite authors?

I like mysteries and always have—back to Nancy Drew days. Some favorite authors are Sue Grafton, Holly Robinson, Sofie Kelly.


What is the one thing you would like your readers to know about you?

I am a happy person. I love what I’m doing. I love my characters, and hope my readers enjoy my Witch City Mysteries. (They might also like to know that I was born in Salem on Halloween eve!)



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Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours–Beach Blanket Homicide


I’m so excited to be a stop on the blog tour for author Maria Geraci and her fantastic book Beach Blanket Homicide.  This is the fist book in her Whispering Bay Mystery series and I really liked it a lot.


Beach Blanket Homicide (Whispering Bay Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Independently Published (November 27, 2018)
Paperback: 268 pages
ISBN-10: 1790435722
ISBN-13: 978-1790435722
Digital ASIN: B07K6WXBG8


Purchase Link – Amazon 


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The first book in a fun, quirky chick-lit mystery series featuring Lucy McGuffin, world’s best muffin maker and amateur sleuth.

Everyone agrees that Lucy McGuffin bakes the best muffins in Whispering Bay, but she’s got another talent, one that she’s tried her whole life to hide. Lucy can always tell when a person is lying or telling the truth. Being a human lie detector isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Especially when you don’t really want the answer to the universal question: Does this dress make my butt look too big?

When Lucy is hired to cater the grand opening celebration of the city’s new community center, she stumbles across the dead body of Abby Delgado, a prominent member of the Sunshine Ghost Society. Lucy’s brother, Father Sebastian, a local priest, is the last person to have seen Abby alive. Convinced he’ll be breaking a confidence, Sebastian refuses to cooperate with the police, forcing Lucy to put her skills to the test to save her brother’s good name.

Enter the town’s new hotshot deputy, Travis Fontaine. Travis doesn’t want an amateur like Lucy snooping around his turf, so he offers her a deal. He’ll stay out of her kitchen if she’ll stay away from his crime scene. But Lucy isn’t about to let her brother’s fate rest in the hands of an arrogant cop. Good thing she has her best friend Will and her new little rescue dog, Paco, to back her up, because its up to Lucy to figure out what everyone in the quaint little beachside town is hiding.





This is the first book that I have read by this author but it definitely will not be the last.   I so enjoyed this book, I thought it was fantastic.

The characters are well developed and well rounded.  I really enjoyed meeting Lucy and her friends and family.  Lucy is hard working, fun-loving and loyal. She also has a hidden talent–she is a human lie detector.  She is not very happy having this hidden talent, but it is what it is. She has learned to live with it and when her brother is considered a person of interest when someone is killed, she is very happy to be able to know if someone is telling the truth or not.  She is determined to find the culprit before her brother is put away for life.

The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and I felt I was right there at the beachside town, watching all the action take place and listening in on conversations.  Her description pulled me into the story right from the beginning. Her writing style kept me engaged throughout the entire book and took me on a fantastic journey. The book was very funny and I was laughing out loud at some parts of the book, especially Lucy’s inner thoughts.

I thought the mystery was well plotted and moved along at a nice steady pace.  There were enough clues to sift through and suspects to consider and it was not easy to solve, which is just fine with me.   

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery.  The combination of intriguing characters, a homey small town setting, plenty of humor and a great mystery makes this book a must read.  If I could I would give it more than five stars.



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Maria Geraci writes quirky, fun, romantic women’s fiction and cozy mysteries. She’s a two time RITA® Finalist, as well as a finalist in the National Readers’ Choice Awards and Romantic Times’ American Title Contest. She lives in central Florida and is always on the lookout for the perfect key lime pie recipe (but not the kind they served on Dexter).

Author Links

Website –

Facebook –

GoodReads –

BookBub –

Instagram –





Author Maria Geraci. (Photo by Chris Kridler/




When did you know that you wanted to be an author?  What things, if any, influenced that decision?  

First off, thank you for having me here today!

I didn’t get the writing bug until my early forties. I’ve always been a big reader, and I think that influenced my desire to write more than anything.

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With so many cozies being written today, what makes your books stand out from the crowd?

I think that the only thing that can make a book stand out from the crowd, regardless of genre, is the author’s voice. Let’s face it, everything has been done before. It’s the way the author tells a story that makes it different from anyone else’s.


Do you work from an outline or plot or do you just see where the characters take you?

A little bit of both. Cozies are basically a puzzle, so I have to outline the who-done-it part, but the rest of the story (the relationships, the secondary characters) I just sit back and see where the story takes me.

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Do you read your reviews?  Do you respond to them, good or bad?  Do you do anything special to get those reviews?

Yes, I read my reviews, but I never respond to them. I appreciate every review my books receive, even the not so good ones because I feel like it helps readers decide whether or not to buy my books. If a review is mean-spirited or just kind of crazy and out there (and all authors get those!) I feel it reflects more on the reviewer than on the book.

I have an Advanced Review Team that I offer digital ARCS to before the book comes out. In exchange I ask them to leave an honest review on places like Amazon and Goodreads, but I don’t police the team or require it.


What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Inaction is really the only mistake one can make.

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Do you think that the cover plays an important part in someone buying your book(s)?   Who designs your book covers?

I definitely think a good cover helps sway buyers, but it’s a combination of a lot of things—a good book, good cover, good title, good marketing. And of course, the most important thing of all—good word of mouth.

Kim Killion designs all my covers, both for my cozy mysteries and my romantic comedies. She’s awesome!


Please give us an insight into your main characters.  What do you think makes them special?

Lucy McGuffin, my amateur sleuth, is the world’s best muffin maker. She’s also a human lie detector, a “gift” that can help her solve crime, but it can also get her in trouble, too.

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What have you learned about yourselves since becoming an author?

That anything is possible and hard work really can take you far.


Do you write full-time or part-time? What do your plans for future projects include?

I’m lucky enough to be able to write full-time. I have lots of projects coming up this year—three more Whispering Bay Mysteries and I’m also working on a new romantic comedy series titled Undercover Matchmakers.

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What do you think the hardest part of writing is?  What is the easiest?

The hardest is definitely having the time to get it all done. The easiest? Coming up with ideas! I wish I had time to write them all.


What type of books do you like to read?  Who are some of your favorite authors?

I love chick-lit, romantic comedy, cozy mystery. Favorite authors of the past include Jane Austen. In the present, Sophie Kinsella, Mary Kay Andrews, Angie Fox, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Roxanne St. Claire, and so many more.

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What is the one thing you would like your readers to know about you?

Like my main character, Lucy, I’m a bit afraid of squirrels!

Do you have anything specific you would like to say to your readers?

Thank you for reading! I know that now, more than ever, there are a lot of choices, so I truly appreciate each and every one of my readers. If you enjoy my books, please let me know by connecting with me on Facebook or sending me an email. And reviews are always welcome!

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How can readers discover more about you and your work?






     Amazon Author Page:



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