Friday, January 27, 2023

Blog Tour: THE PEPPER PEACH MURDER by Meg Benjamin

The Pepper Peach Murder

by Meg Benjamin




:   Cozy Mystery






Roxy Constantine is the jam queen of Shavano, Colorado, and she’s fine with it. Not that things couldn’t be better. Her social life is a bust, and she’s still recovering from a bad experience as a line cook in Denver. But things are looking up when she meets local chef Nate Robicheaux. Roxy would like to get closer to Nate, but she’s fending off the unwanted attentions of another local, Brett Holmes, who won’t take no for an answer. When Brett threatens to derail Roxy’s appearance on a national cooking show, the two have a very public fight. A few days later, Brett is found murdered in his restaurant kitchen, and suddenly Roxy’s a prime suspect. Now Roxy, Nate, and her other friends must find out the truth about Brett’s background and his murderer before the town of Shavano decides Roxy’s reign as jam queen is over for good.





Excerpt One:


It would be better for him to hear it from you than to discover it on his own.


Nate’s voice still echoed in my ears. For a moment, I wished I’d asked him to come with me. But I had to face this on my own. It was my disaster, after all.


I climbed up the stairs to the front door, pausing for a moment to check the directory on the wall inside. The chief’s office was on the first floor, right down the hall. Once I turned in that direction, there’d be no going back. I’d be committed to confessing.


I walked down the corridor, feeling like I was going to the executioner’s block.


There was a receptionist for the chief’s office along with the county attorney and the sheriff. I didn’t recognize her, which was just as well. This visit wasn’t something I wanted shared on social media.


She looked up expectantly. “Yes?”


“I need to see Chief Fowler.” I was amazed that my voice was steady.


“Do you have an appointment?”


I shook my head. “He’ll want to talk to me. Tell him it’s Roxy Constantine.”


The receptionist picked up her phone and dialed a number, turning away from me as she spoke.


Of course, I wasn’t absolutely sure Fowler would want to see me. Maybe he’d be too busy. Maybe he wasn’t interested. Maybe…


The receptionist glanced up at me. “Go on in. He’ll see you now.”


So much for hope. I opened the office door and stepped inside.


Fowler was sitting at his utilitarian, city-issued desk. He gazed up at me with that same unsmiling, inscrutable look he always seemed to wear. I wondered if he ever smiled. Probably not at people like me, people he suspected of murder.


I cleared my throat. “I have some things to tell you.”


He gestured to the chair in front of his desk. “Sit down, Ms. Constantine. I’ve been expecting you.”




 Review: It’s time to sell at the local farmer’s market and that meant bringing several jars of the unique pepper peach jam. There’s no feat unturned for the “jam queen of Shavano, CO.” Roxy was going to sell out of the pepper peach if it killed her.

Story, for the most part, had a clever and witty narrative that was easy to get into. Roxy’s backstory on how she ended up in the jam business was shocking and unbelievable. Fortunately, that awful experience led her to something good, but, unfortunately, she was still suffering the traumatic effects from it. The opportunity to be broadcast on a cooking show gives Roxy the hope of possibly expanding her business. It was time to make more jam. Jam, jam, and more jam.

Although the narrative was nice and easy, it was also rather long and dramatically slowed down the story. This was supposed to be a mystery, right? A murder mystery? Well, where’s the dead body already? All Roxy talked about was jam and the people at the farmer’s market. Sure, there were some exciting scenes like the chef from her past coming back to assault her again. But, seriously, we were 10 chapters in and there was no murder. Usually, the dead body has shown up in like the first 2 chapters already. But I was getting nothing. At this point, this was starting to feel like a jip. You can only hear about jams to a certain point before it becomes redundant and stale.

Overall, this was a fairly nice read, but it just didn’t meet my expectations for a standard cozy mystery.


Rating: 3 stars

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Meg Benjamin
is an award-winning author of romance. Meg’s Konigsburg series is set in the Texas Hill Country and her Salt Box and Brewing Love trilogies are set in the Colorado Rockies (all are available from Entangled Publishing). Her new cozy mystery series, Luscious Delights from Wild Rose Press, concerns a jam-making sleuth based in the mythical small town of Shavano, Colorado. Along with contemporary romance, Meg is also the author of the paranormal Ramos Family trilogy from Berkley InterMix and the Folk trilogy from Soul Mate. Meg’s books have won numerous awards, including an EPIC Award, a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Holt Medallion from Virginia Romance Writers, the Beanpot Award from the New England Romance Writers, and the Award of Excellence from Colorado Romance Writers. Meg’s Web site is You can follow her on Facebook (, Pinterest (, Instagram (meg_benjamin) and Twitter ( Meg loves to hear from readers—contact her at


The buy links for Pepper Peach Murder is








Meg Benjamin will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: ROCKY MOUNTAIN STAR by Virginia Fox

(Rocky Mountain Romances, Book 2)


Date Published: 12.13.2022

Publisher: Dragonbooks Publishing House

photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png


Did someone say dance like no one is watching? Guess that’s the only way Tyler CAN dance now. Slip into the pages of the fun and feisty second book in the Rocky Mountain Romances series.

Tyler Carter has everything she dreams of—she’s the starring ballerina in a Cirque-du-Soleil type show, a splashy Las Vegas lifestyle, and there’s nothing tying her down. Until she injures her knee, that is.

Tyler flees to her family in the little mountain town of Independence Junction, Colorado, and pretends she'll get better, until forced to realize the truth. And forced to confront her past when she smacks right into Patrick West, the architect restoring the historic Wilkinson house.

Their attraction quickly rekindles because of a one-night tryst they had the summer before—one neither of them wants to admit to!

But something else gets rekindled. A stalker sets their sights on Tyler and leaves shocking clues indicating they know exactly who Tyler is, and that they want her dead. Will Patrick, Tyler’s brother, and a retired police dog be able to keep Tyler safe?

The fascinating and quirky citizens of Independence Junction come back in Book 2 of The Rocky Mountain Romances series to show how small-town relationships can bring out the best and worst in people.

Heart-warming with a splash of Vegas glamour, Book 2 successfully combines a new-and-old mix of family and townsfolk in a pressure-cooker plot that never lets up on chuckles, suspense, and romance.

Book 2 excerpts


Panting, Tyler braced herself, waiting to catch her breath. She hadn’t known working out with a punching bag would be so strenuous. And she was used to quite a bit from her own training as a dancer. Slowly, she lowered her arms. She could barely lift them. As she turned, her eyes fell on someone. An image of muscular arms around her waist and intertwined legs flashed before her inner eye. Heat shot through her body. Oh great. She was suddenly aware of scattered strands of hair that had come loose from her braid sticking to her sweaty face.

            “You!” she gasped.

            “I was thinking the same thing,” he answered.

            Funny, she remembered the way he smelled, the sensation of his touch, but she couldn’t remember his name.

            “Pat,” he said, as though reading her mind. “Patrick West.”


            “Carter. I remember.”

            They looked at each other, memories from the summer flooding back. Along with the dark good looks and toned body, Tyler remembered he was an architect. He was planning the restoration of a historic house in the area. Which explained why he was still in town.

            He took off his jacket and sat on the floor. “I didn’t know dancers could work the bag,” he said.

            “I didn’t know either, but it’s great for blowing off frustrations.”

            He nodded.

            She waited for a comment, but he said nothing, just waited until she slid down beside him, leaning back against the wall.

            “You a boxer?” she asked out of the blue. 

            “A little martial arts,” he answered.

            “So this dance studio is now a dojo?”

            “You know the Japanese word for it.” He looked impressed.

            “I work in Vegas with dancers, stunt people, and every kind of physical entertainment professional from all over the world. Of course I know the term.”

            The slight, amused smile fell from his face. “If you need the space, I’ll find another place.”



Contact Links






Purchase Link





a Rafflecopter giveaway 

RABT Book Tours & PR

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Blog Tour: THE LOW ROAD by Jo A. Hiestand


The Low Road

by Jo A Hiestand




:   British mystery






Former police detective Michael McLaren arrives in Scotland, ready to immerse himself in the fun of the Highland Games and to enjoy a holiday with Melanie. But the old saying of plans oft going awry rears its ugly head: Simon Shaw, a member of McLaren's folk group, dies. Murdered a year to the day following his uncle's death.

McLaren is determined to find out who killed Simon. Needing justice for his friend is only half of his incentive. He also needs to appease his guilt for suggesting the group sing there in the first place.

As McLaren becomes immersed in the investigation, he wonders if the two deaths are linked, or have to do with the family or their clan. Perhaps Simon's former wife killed him, bent on revenge more powerful than mere divorce. Or was the killing tied to an old hunt for diamonds? After all, diamonds aren't only a girl's best friend. Sometimes they birth greed and murder. And entrap the innocent.





Excerpt One:


The last vestiges of sunset touched the sky, the violet and indigo hues slowly turning to a somber grey that would soon melt into the thickening gloom. Dusk was yielding to the darkness that brought out night creatures and their sounds, but the piper seemed apart from that, like Melanie's blend of the Mystical and Celtic worlds. What is he doing here and where is he now? For the music again had shifted. It now came from behind the house, apparently on the road.


McLaren tapped on his mobile phone's torch app and played the beam several feet ahead as he jogged toward the sound. The grass brushed the sides of his boots in dry, wispy sighs. Dew would anoint the lawn, yews, and the cars come morning, but at this hour it was an easy tramp without the entanglement of sodden grass. It's just as well, he thought as he approached the verge of the road. I can do without damp boots and jeans.


As he left the lawn and stepped onto the gravel edge of the road, the music stopped. Not abruptly, as if someone had hit the pause button on a recording. It groaned and lost its voice. Like a last gasp, the way bagpipe music ended with the air leaving the bag. The silence was nearly overwhelming after the lengthy skirl he had heard. The timing was strange too, as if the crunch of his boots on the chert had signaled to the piper that McLaren was there to find him.





AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Jo A. Hiestand grew up on regular doses of music, books, and Girl Scout camping. She gravitated toward writing in her post-high school years and finally did something sensible about it, graduating from Webster University with a BA degree in English and departmental honors. She writes a British mystery series (the McLaren Mysteries)—of which three books have garnered the prestigious N.N. Light’s Book Heaven ‘Best Mystery Novel’ three years straight. She also writes a Missouri-based cozy mystery series (The Cookies & Kilts Mysteries, of which "A Trifling Murder" is the second book) that is grounded in places associated with her camping haunts. The camping is a thing of the past, for the most part, but the music stayed with her in the form of playing guitar and harpsichord, and singing in a folk group. Jo carves jack o’ lanterns badly and sings loudly. She loves barbecue sauce and ice cream (separately, not together), kilts (especially if men wear them), clouds and stormy skies, and the music of G.F. Handel. You can usually find her pulling mystery plots out of scenery—whether from photographs or the real thing.



Social Media Links











Buy Links

Trade Paper –


Ebook –






The book will be on sale for $0.99.





Jo A Hiestand will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway