Monday, March 23, 2015

Moving Violation by Melanie Jackson | Blog Tour with Excerpt, Guest Post, Review, Giveaway

The Blurb

Welcome to Hope Falls, home of the world's smallest but smartest detective...

Moving Violation is the first book in author Melanie Jackson's bestselling Chloe Boston Cozy Mystery Series. Within its covers we meet the diminutive sleuth Chloe Boston, a member of the Hope Falls Police Department who is stuck in parking enforcement because at 98 pounds, 5 foot nothing, she will never be able to pass the department's physical entrance exam to become an officer.

In the first installment of this light-hearted cozy mystery series Chloe investigates the death of a local industrialist. Of course, her efforts are hampered by her lack of official status within the department. But there may be another way to achieve her goal of someday becoming a detective. With the aid of her dog, Blue, and her writer's group, Chloe may just be able to solve Hope Fall's recent homicide and by so doing impress the new chief of police.

The Chloe Boston cozy mysteries are light airy reads filled with plenty of quirky characters and fast moving plot elements. And the best part is that if you become hooked on the books, as I'm sure you will, there are 21 more of them in the series for you to enjoy.

Fourth Anniversary Illustrated Edition

The fourth anniversary re-release of this classic series opener includes illustrations by author Lisa Cach as well as bonus material originally released separately under the title the Chloe Boston Files.

If you're looking to spend a pleasant evening snuggled up in a chair by the fire reading a good book then you need look no further — this is the book for you.

Let's stay in touch...

--- Melanie

Moving Violation by Melanie Jackson
Series: A Chloe Boston Mystery, #1
Genre: Cozy Mystery  
Publication Date: January 2015
Publisher: Brian Jack­son at Nook Press
Paperback: 180 pages
ISBN-10: 1456567004
ISBN-13: 978-1456567002
E-Book File Size: 1809 KB
Amazon  | Barnes & Noble | CreatespaceGoodreads

This e-book is currently on sale for only $0.99!
Moving Violation (Chloe Boston Cozy Mysteries 1) 
Kindle  |  Nook

The Excerpt

I ride a bike.

My bike is technically a tricycle, but it is not one of those cute scooters you see senior citizens tooling around in or the kind you rode when you were a kid. No, my bicycle has a third wheel on account of the massive sidecar bolted onto it. The extra appendage was constructed by my father out of another bike and a pile of scrap metal he had lying around in the back of his shop. I think that some of it was plumbing he tore out of the guest bathroom he never finished remodeling. Which may be partly why my mom left him.

Me? My name is Chloe Boston. I’m five foot tall and weigh in at a whopping ninety-eight pounds, sopping wet with my clothes on. I’ve been told that I’m nice to look at, and based on the reaction of most men I meet off the job I suppose it’s true. Maybe because I was an ugly duckling for so many years, I have a hard time believing this.

Regardless of my diminutive size and passable appearance, I’ve always valued the power of my brain above my limited brawn or fairness to the eye. In fact, it’s my brain and not my appearance that usually gets me into trouble and is at the center of the story I’m about to tell you.

The Review

I read a really good book recently, y'all! Let me tell you a little about it. 

Moving Violation, a cozy mystery by Melanie Jackson, is the first of 22 books in her Chloe Boston Mystery series. Chloe has wanted to be a police officer since childhood, partially because her father was the police chief — but mostly due to her crush on Adam-12 star Kent McCord. (I shared that crush, incidentally. I just wasn't inspired to go into law enforcement.) 

More recently, Chloe has specifically wanted to be a detective, but her inability to lift 100 pounds means that she will have to settle for being a traffic and parking enforcement officer (aka meter maid). As you will see, when you READ THE BOOK, she is a better detective than the department's actual detectives!

A few of the main characters are Chloe, of course; the new police chief, Randy Wallace; Alex Lincoln, new in town, with Paul Newman eyes; and Chloe's co-worker in parking enforcement, Jef­frey Lit­tle. These people are all well-written, so that I feel I really know them, and like them. The secondary characters are believable, and likable for the most part (except for a few that are Chloe's nemeses). 

The scenes when Chloe meets Chief Wallace, and when she encounters Alex, are some of my favorites — really hilarious! You will enjoy them, when you (say it with me) READ THE BOOK!

Author Melanie Jackson wrote some very humorous passages for her characters, especially Chloe, since she is the narrator of the book. Here are some of my favorites:
● I eventually found what I was looking for. It was a shriek alarm, which was the most dangerous weapon the force could legally assign to me. And I had to attend half a Saturday class to get it.    
● [To overcome shyness, I have] ... begun to loosen up and meet peo­ple. I have so­cial in­ter­ac­tions, whether I like them or not.
For in­stance, one day about a year ago, I began hug­ging peo­ple at the local farm­ers’ mar­ket. I know, this sounds crazy, but it’s re­ally quite nice. While oth­ers sell farm-fresh pro­duce and apple cider all around me, I stand with my church brethren An­drew and Mar­cie and give away hugs for free. The process in­volves stand­ing, awk­wardly, while hold­ing a sign that says “Free Hugs” ….
The hair­style was new. Clearly she had walked into Cuts, Col­ors & Curls, held up the head of the Medusa and said, “Gimme one of these or some­one gets hurt!” Noth­ing else could ex­plain why Clara Bren­nan had done some­thing so mean to a client.
● Mar­cie was right. He had a nice smile and a set of blue eyes that didn’t be­long run­ning loose in a small town where the fe­male quarry was largely un­so­phis­ti­cated and apt to be struck with moral blind­ness when con­fronted with any­thing that daz­zling. It would be a pub­lic ser­vice for me to take him in.
Well, I hope I've convinced you. Moving Violation by Melanie Jackson is a great read! There are several mysteries to be solved, which Chloe does quite well. (The chief's reaction to her solving the crimes is great!) I look forward to getting to know the main characters better, in the books to come. This is the first Chloe Boston book that I've read, and I'm eager to read the other 21 in the series!

I really enjoyed reading Moving Violation by Melanie Jackson, and award it Four Kitties out of five! I recommend it to all Cozy Mystery fans. 

Note:  I received a complimentary copy of Moving Violation in exchange for my honest review. 
All opinions shared are 100% my own.

Author Guest Post

Funerary Chic

One of the more bizarre decorating trends of the last century first made headlines back in 1996. They were calling the movement Funerary Chic but what it amounted to was tombstone rustling. Thieves were stealing American antique grave goods (headstones, statuary, wrought-iron fences and even antique roses) to feed the interior decorators in Germany and Japan especially. The rustlers were coming in to the lonely cemeteries at night with moving trucks, cranes and backhoes and digging out whatever they wanted. The problem had grown to the point that it was being mentioned in places like People Magazine and CNN.

Police and customs officers were often able to interdict the stolen goods before they went overseas and estimated that they had millions of dollars in stolen art which could be returned to the families of the dead, but since they came with no regional identifiers and there were no national databases of stolen funerary art at that time, having a weeping angel on a tombstone that said: Martha Evans, Beloved Mother 1704-1743 was no help at all in returning the looted goods.

Cities like Boston and Charleston began photographing and collecting data on the largest public cemeteries, but smaller private and family cemeteries were forced into hiring photographers and other professionals to get their smaller graveyards added to the database. Obviously, not all of them made it.

This sounded like a story that needed to be told. Fortunately, I have a cousin whose misspent youth was spent (in part) dealing with the upkeep of a cemetery near New Orleans which was one of the harder hit spots and he was able to fill in some details for me. And so a book was born.

The Author

About Melanie Jackson

Melanie has been writing her entire life. In fact, one of her earliest fond memories is receiving an IBM Selectric typewriter for her birthday. After publishing romance novels (Scottish historical and paranormal) for New York based publisher Dorchester Publishing from 1999 to 2010, Melanie chose to begin self-publishing cozy mysteries. Since then she has released the Chloe Boston, Butterscotch Jones, Miss Henry, Wendover House, Kenneth Mayhew and Jane Blackthorn Mystery series.

Melanie Jackson is the award-winning author of more than one hundred novels and novellas published in various languages. She lives with her writer husband and her bossy cat in the Sonoma wine country. Besides gardening, she is involved with animal charities.

Find her on the web at
Website  Facebook | Twitter Amazon | Goodreads

This e-book is on sale for only $0.99, as are these first books of Melanie's most popular other series:

Moving Violation (Chloe Boston Cozy Mysteries 1) 
Kindle  |  Nook

Due North (Butterscotch Jones Cozy Mysteries 1) 
Kindle  |  Nook

Portrait of a Gossip (Miss Henry Cozy Mysteries 1)

The Secret Staircase (Wendover House Gothic Mysteries 1)
Kindle  |  Nook

The Giveaway

Melanie will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN gift card 
to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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