FINDING HUNTER by @MarciaMeara #Mystery #Romance #Bookreview #wwwblogs

Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2 by Marcia Meara
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Four point Five Stars.

Finding Hunter is book #2 of The Riverbend series and is also a stand alone book, I would class it as a romantic mystery, whereas book #1 was definitely a romantic suspense.

In this book shy Hunter Painter plucks up the courage to phone Willow Greene, the only love in his life and a secret love he has been harbouring for many years. Willow too has been keeping secret her feelings for Hunter and when they agree to lunch their feelings for each other ignite. But Hunter is so afraid he rushes home.

Determined not to lose Hunter, Willow confronts him and they allow their love to flow. But Hunter is a complex man, with many deep layers of concerns. One of those is his parents, Hunter’s stayed at home while his brothers left, to help look after Lizzie, who suffers out-bursts and probably a form of dementia, but she’s never been diagnosed. Big Jack Hunter has always vowed he’d take care of Lizzie and denies there is anything seriously wrong with her.

When a serious family tragedy occurs, Hunter breaks down, then goes missing and Willow is left fighting her own heart-break. She never gives up her belief that Hunter will come back.

This is an emotional read, dealing with anxiety disorder, PTSD, separation disorder and more, I think it will touch a nerve with many readers who will know someone who has suffered even the mildest of panic attacks, that they may sympathise with Hunter. Maricia’s love of animals and the Florida riverways and plant life shines through this book, with “Biscuit” being a particular favourite of mine.

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I reviewed this book on Amazon as part of #AugustReviews month

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Swamp Ghosts by @MarciaMeara #Romantic #Suspense set in #Florida

Swamp GhostsSwamp Ghosts by Marcia Meara

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Swamp Ghosts is a delicious romantic suspense set in Florida. I devoured this book in an afternoon and with nearly 400 pages that’s a pretty good afternoon’s read. It was well paced with great characters and I lost myself in the storyline. I was out there in the St John’s River basin spotting the wildlife and wanting a snack at the crab shack too.

Maggie Devlin in a 32 year old eco tour boat owner. It’s a small business with plenty of costs and she’s wondering just how to pay all the bills. Gunnar Wolfe is a wildlife photographer, built like a Viking he has stunning features which make him popular amongst the local females.

Gunnar’s not at home on the water, but he asks Maggie if she’ll take him out into Florida’s waterways to capture some of the rare flora and fauna. Determined to keep this all a business relationship feisty Maggie can’t turn down the money Gunnar offers to pay her, but soon they discover one too many of the swamp secrets.

Rumours of a serial killer put fear in to the locals and when Maggie and Gunn become his next targets, they find themselves up close and personal with some serious Florida species.

I liked the fact I was kept guessing who the serial killer could be, and the suspense was edgy and well thought out. Within the storyline there were several other great sub-characters which I liked and am ready to read more about, hopefully in the next book in the series.

This review is based on a free copy of the book given to me by the author.

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The Devil, The Diva and The Deep Blue Sea by Margaret Langstaff

The Devil, the Diva and the Deep Blue SeaThe Devil, the Diva and the Deep Blue Sea by Margaret Jean Langstaff

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Devil, The Diva and The Deep Blue Sea is a Garnet Sullivan mystery set in and around Punta Bella in Florida. It’s a high-speed explosion of words and action as Garnet tries to uncover the story behind two local murders.

Garnet is a reporter for The Indian River Times and has a nose for a tale as good as her very own dog Ringo, who is joined by Diesel after the demise of his owner. She shares her town house of dogs with the love of her life, people’s attorney Chester Dare who is currently defending an innocent grounds-man accused of the death of a fellow worker from “The Peaceable Kingdom”.

With a shocking second death, that of Uncle Tommy Covington and the more important loss of his famous barbeque sauce recipe it’s upto Garnet to sniff out the truth. But she’s up against a tight time schedule, a hurricane is battering the coast, sink holes are randomly appearing and everyone’s being told to evacuate. Plus she’s concerned about BFF Allison and her relationship with Sheriff Lance Dawtry, so much so that she seeks help from the completely insane Dr Fritz.

Margaret’s writing will take you to the edges of your literary prowess in what becomes an orchestrated oratory of words matching the Herculean force of the hurricane which pursues the galloping Garnet.

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Marlin, Darlin’ by Margaret Jean Langstaff

Marlin, Darlin': Garnet Sullivan Live from Florida #1Marlin, Darlin’: Garnet Sullivan Live from Florida #1 by Margaret Jean Langstaff

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Marlin, Darlin’ is a very well written and fun mystery set in Florida. Garnett Sullivan earns her living as a reporter and a part-time evening class teacher. There’s been an ugly accident at the local Marlin fishing tournament. A wealthy businessman went overboard and later his body was washed up and his boat impounded for evidence.

Squabbling over reporter rites with fellow newsman Randy Trigg, the pair follow up several suspicious leads. Ducking and diving with local police officer Lance Dawtry for inside information Garnett also has cause to suspect student Jim Walker of illegal dealings when he disappears with her car for several days.

Meanwhile a crazy old bird Mrs Bettina Bassett is arrested for the bale of grass on her back seat and Allison Highsmith is pressuring Garnett to help her out with a charity dog fundraiser. Just how much trouble can one delightful reporter get herself into?

I loved Garnett’s yellow VW Beetle and the warm sultry Florida background, filled with bugs and creatures as Garnett dashed after the clues. The characters were very well written and memorable, Dr Beidermeyer, Bettina even Randy and Lance, Definitely a book to cheer up the long winter nights.

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Mystery Book Tour Day 10 #MysteryNovember Marlin, Darlin’ by Margaret Langstaff

November Mystery Tour

Today’s guest on the Mystery November Book Tour is Margaret Langstaff with her book Marlin, Darlin’

Marlin Darlin

Where is your home town?

You ask about my current home town. Well, I have lived on a lovely small farm just west of Gainesville, FL since 2002. Lots of wonderfully crazy animals, both domestic and wild. Six rescue dogs, horses and chickens and wild turkeys, deer, raccoons, red tail hawks, you name it. We have a high old time here. I love it. Every day has its surprises. One morning I had a lost Emu show up at my front door! My dogs went bonkers—it made an electrical jazzy noise—but that’s nothing, don’t get me started. Snakes on my front doorstep, bugs the size of drones. Florida in many areas is still really wild and my little farm is a perfect example.

How long have you been writing?

Though I’d ghost-written many books for public figures and celebrities already, Marlin, Darlin’ is the first novel I wrote under my own name. It’s got a lot of “me” in it, much disguised personal history and experiences (as crazy and whacko as they are!). Writing it was quite a release for me and it still remains my most popular book. It is the first title in the “Garnet Sullivan Live from Florida” mystery series. (The second—just two so far—is The Devil, the Diva and the Deep Blue Sea).

When it came out it was named #3 on the top ten mysteries for the month by Goodreads. Made my heart sing! Blew me away! My first novel! No way!

What is your favourite sub-genre of mystery?

My favorite sub-genres of mystery are the wild rollicking funny Florida mysteries such as those written by Carl Hiassen, mysteries that turn on the natural whacko behavior of many Floridians, behavior that is sometimes bizarre, wrong-headed and hysterical, but nevertheless contains its own inner logic and is true to the time and place. But I also am a fan of “cozies” and I think Marlin, Darlin’ contains blended elements of both.

Where is Marlin, Darlin’ set?

Punta Bella, the setting for my mysteries, is fictional (but an accurate depiction) small town Florida, and as strange as they may be, people there are good neighbors, kind and courteous. It’s very similar to my original home town and where I grew up, an island bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Indian River Lagoon on the other. A beautiful place off the beaten path. And true to say, I didn’t have to “stretch” the truth much about anything in these mysteries to write them!

But anyway, as I said, Marlin, Darlin’ is set in the fictional tiny “boondock” (backwater, rural) town of Punta Bella on the east coast of Florida. This is the area in which I grew up, and the mystery is saturated with much local color and ambience and bears the marks of the many wild experiences I had personally during that time. My childhood there was an idyll, full of blue skies and sunshine, not a care in the world other than deciding what we wanted to do next for fun. Florida had not been overrun by developers at that point; it was pristine and lushly wonderful and beautiful, unspoiled. I and my friends went barefoot everywhere, lived in our bathing suits and were in the water—ocean or river—most of the time, fishing, swimming, boating, camping out on islands just off the mainland and generally carousing around in an innocent way. Most of our parents were busy professionals and were very indulgent with us.

Introduce us to Garnet Sullivan.

Marlin, Darlin’ features as its heroine one Garnet Sullivan, someone who bears a faint resemblance to me as I was as a very young woman just out of college and casting about for her life’s “mission,” somewhat too serious in her desire to right all wrongs and “save the world.” She is a feisty nosey red head, poking her nose into everybody’s business, annoyingly offering opinions where none had been solicited, and a true blue die-hard dog lover. In her zeal, she is just as wild and crazy as I was at that point in my life, actually perhaps more so (wink).

She is a perpetually cash strapped freelance reporter for a local small town newspaper and, to make ends meet, teaches adult ed dullards at the local community college for a pittance.

So Garnet is typically busier than a one-armed wall paper hanger what with her duties at the newspaper, racing back and forth to classes, grading hopeless student papers, trying to keep Chester on the straight and narrow and, of course, “saving the world!” It’s a heavy burden and her customary state is “frazzled” and outraged at some real or imagined moral lapse or petty crime. The poor thing is always just a few inches away from a nervous breakdown, what with all she has taken on.

It is a bit ridiculous (something currently lost on her), for Punta Bella is, after all, not the center of the universe, and its short-comings and the minor transgressions of its citizens are not likely to spell the end of Western Civilization.


What mystery does she set out to solve?

The mystery at the core of the novel is the peculiar inexplicable death of billionaire car dealer David Devaigne—alone—on his massive yacht in a Marlin fishing tournament.

Garnet smells blood (a great story) and the unwinding of the ensuing complicated plot has teased and delighted most readers.

BTW, Garnet’s best friend and bunkie is Ringo, her beloved Irish Setter—and gasp—he disappears unaccountably in this maelstrom of wackiness. Kidnapped by a malefactor? Maybe ….

Tell us about some of the other flamboyant characters.

The love of Garnet’s life is Chester Dare, the handsome witty county public defender, a natural match for her, quite in keeping with her self-righteous “Joan of Arc” complex. But Chester has become afflicted with a job related drinking problem due to his stress over his usual hopeless derelict clients and this causes Garnet a lot of concern and sleepless nights.

Woe is she. She has a big heart for the less fortunate, will go to the ramparts for any desperate case and is in a constant state of agitation as a result (so many desperate cases!).

The mystery at the core of the novel is the peculiar inexplicable death of billionaire car dealer David Devaigne—alone—on his massive yacht in a Marlin fishing tournament in the Atlantic.

Garnet smells blood (a great story for the paper) and the unwinding of the ensuing complicated plot has teased and delighted most readers.

BTW, Garnet’s best friend and bunkie is Ringo, her beloved ever-slobbering Irish Setter—and gasp—he disappears unaccountably one night in this maelstrom of wackiness while Garnet is in the thick of researching the murder. Kidnapped by a malefactor? Maybe …. (Confession time: I had myself a wonderful Irish setter named “Ringo” and he lives on frolicking and creating chaos in my Florida mystery books. It’s sort of my way of keeping him with me now that he’s gone.)

So many other key nutzo characters contribute to a devil of a plot (most readers have no clue until the final paragraphs of how it will end). Here are a few:

Julie Devaigne, society vamp from Miami and the gold digger wife of David Devavaigne who is trying to divorce him when he is killed in the fishing tournament;

Randy, the limp witless reporter the Miami Herald sends up to Punta Bella cover the breaking murder story and who causes more problems for Garnet than creating solutions and nearly dies of plutonium (!) poisoning;

Garnet’s crazy pathetic community college students (she teaches on the side to make ends meet), especially Jim and his ditzy girlfriend Bunny, both of whom work at Travis Fenderman’s car dealership which David Devaigne is trying to buy when he is killed;

Allison Highsmith, Garnet’s “Miss Perfect” rich society BFF who gets sucked into the chaos trying to save Ringo;

Lance, the hunky, gorgeous airhead sheriff who suddenly becomes enamored of Garnet for her admirable zeal to solve the crime and whose sudden blind devotion to her creates all kinds of difficulties;

There are so many more hapless malefactors, goofy kindly do gooders and true to (Florida) life nutcases, all colorful and off the wall, too many to mention, but it all coalesces nicely thanks to—

Professor Biederman, a dotty retired professor emeritus at the University of Florida whom Garnet seeks out for “expert” counsel and from whom she eventually gets way more than she bargained for!

I have only mentioned half of the colorful key characters in this demon of a plot.

The story romps through some of Florida’s backwaters, but what is a boondock?

Marlin, Darlin’ is set in the fictional tiny “boondock” (backwater, rural) town of Punta Bella on the east coast of Florida around the Indian River Lagoon and close to the Atlantic Ocean.

You mention dog lovers will like the book too, tell us about the dog element.


The book is authentic Floridiana, you can feel the sand in your toes and hear the waves on the beach (as many reviewers have said); it could keep you up all night and it will make you laugh (to which the reviews on Amazon also attest).

It’s a sweet love story and dog story all wrapped up in a sinister murder mystery. Check the reviews! With very little promo this book has gotten its share of fans.

I do hope you read it and enjoy it—most who have read it have found it laugh out loud funny and surprising—and if you do read it, please let me hear from you!

Hot tip: There’s a third Garnet mystery in the works … so stay tuned.

Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

Margaret Langstaff

More about me and my books is available on my lively blog, LinkedIn, Profile

Goodreads and my Amazon author page, should you be interested.


Margaret is a former publishing exec (Random House, Doubleday), her work has appeared in the L.A. Times, L.A. Times Book Review, the New York Times, Publishers Weekly and the Baltimore Sun
She has also been a ghost writer for public figures and celebrities for many years before I penning her first novel.

I want to thank you, darling Rosie Amber, for giving me this opportunity to talk about one of my favorite books. It’s been great fun and you are a treasure and an angel to authors! I would love to hear from readers of your wonderful blog, and would be delighted to answer any questions they may have or just chat about books and the writing life!


Marlin, Darlin’ link for or

Tour News: ebook discounted 50% to $2.99  Limited time only

Us Readers only: signed copies of the paperback are also available for $5.00 plus $3.99 shipping from “Forever Rare Books” on Amazon (60% off regular price)

Sale on autographed copies of paperback!

Sale on ebook!


Romancing September author Candace Knoebel (Day 22)

It’s Day 22 on the Romancing September Across the World Tour and our gust author today is Candace Knoebel. Meet her here and then join her once more over with Stephanie to discus writing romance in today’s society.

CandaceLet’s find out more about Candace and her book “Embracing the Flames”.

1) Where is your home town?
 – My home town is Davenport, Florida. There’s nothing too exciting about it lol.
2) How long have you been writing?
 – I have been writing avidly since 2009, but I have always written since I was little. I used to write a lot of poetry and journal entries.
3) Have you always written romance?
 – No. Actually, all three of my current novels are categorized as YA Fantasy. They have elements of romance, but not full romance.
4) “Embracing Flames” has a “Hot!” cover, who designed it?
 – Thank you! I love it! Ravven is responsible for both covers. You can find her here:
5) Book 2 of the “Born in Flames” Trilogy, this is fantasy/romance, where did the original idea for the plot come from?
 – It came from my love of dragons and mythology and sort of spiralled into what it is now.
6) Aurora is part-dragon, does that mean she can fly? Or does she breathe fire?
 – She does both actually. She can also see at long distances, sense things before they happen, and command fire around her.
7) I have a feeling that there will be some “Flaming” love scenes, can you drop any hints?
 – There is a part where Fenn and Aurora decide to take their relationship to the next level. This is when things change. Never before had they encountered this because they were always ‘just friends’, but now that they have acknowledged their feelings, their relationship goes to the next level. This is where you see the spicier side of Fenn.
8) How has writing a second book in a trilogy been? How did you decide what parts of book one to re-tell if any?
 – Writing the second was fun because I was able to explore more of the magical realm and of her powers and their relationship now that things have been established. I tried to only bring up parts of book one that were needed to be a reminder to the reader who may have forgotten certain details.
9) Can this book be read as a stand alone novel? Or will there be a cliff hanger ending to entice us towards the next book?
 – There is a definite cliff hanger. None of the three books in the trilogy should be read as a stand alone as they all tie into one another. Each book was written  with planned foreshadowing that would come to light in the next book.
10) When can fans expect the third book in the trilogy to be available?
From the Embers will be available this winter if all goes well. I am very excited!
Thank you so much!15993071

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Thank you Candace, it’s been lovely to have you as a guest, Good Luck with the third book. Now step over to

Guest Author Bonnie Clyne

Today my guest author is Bonnie, welcome aboard Bonnie, good luck with that cook book too!
  1. Tell me your name:  Bonnie Russell Clyne
  2. Where do you live:  Leesburg, Florida
  3. When did you start writing?  I started writing around the age of 10, which we now call “journaling.” Back then we considered it more like “diary writing.” I had a little blue manual typewriter (this was the mid-1960s), which I used for my writings. My writings contained details of what was happening around me in my family and with my friends/acquaintances, and all my thoughts/feelings about it.
  4. What type of books do you like writing the most? So far I’ve completed two writing ventures, my published autobiography (“Buzzards to Butterflies”) and a soon-to-be-published cookbook. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing these two books, and I’m contemplating doing an inspirational fiction novel for my next project.
  5. Pass on 3 tips about writing or publishing:  As a beginning author, I’d have to say that one tip is to write about what we know, such as our experiences in life or our expertise in a certain field. My second tip would be to realize that we can take some of our real-life experiences and intertwine them with imaginative fictional situations for our book’s characters. My third tip would be that self-publishing is a great way to start, rather than waiting forever to be accepted by a conventional publishing company. We could wait forever!
  6. What was the last book that you read? How would you rate it?  The last book I read was “Separate Fountains” by Patti Wilson Byars. I found it to be an immensely thought-provoking read, telling the story of growing up in Georgia in the years just prior to the Civil Rights era in our nation’s history.
  7. Now choose just one of your books and add a link to it:  My autobiography is called “Buzzards to Butterflies” which tells about growing up in Illinois starting in the 1950s, as well as the current events happening in the would around us each year. I experienced a myriad of character-building events in life but emerged victorious in spite of it all!  The link is
Bonnie Russell Clyne
Leesburg, FL
If you would like to be a “guest author” contact me, there are no catches and It’s easy to answer the same questions as my other guests, plus you get the chance to plug one of your books. I love meeting everyone from across the globe, keep writing!

A False Dawn by Tom Lowe

A False DawnA False Dawn by Tom Lowe

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mystery thriller set in Florida. Ex-cop finds a girl dying and promises to find out who committed the crime. The trail leads to a deep unsavoury world of trafficking.Can Sean and Max find the killer before he finds them?

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