A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Friday, December 11, 2020

FLAHSBACK FRIDAY- Slay Bell Ring by Karen Rose Smith- Feature and Review


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, especially now that Caprice De Luca has wrapped up her holiday-themed staging gig at a stunning historic home in downtown Kismit, Pennsylvania. Behind all the red ribbon and glowing string lights, homeowners Chris and Sara Merriweather have it all. But Chris, a Vietnam vet who plays Santa every year at the community park, has been displaying strange behavior after a recent trip to Washington, D.C.

The joy of the season vanishes entirely when Chris is found murdered on Santa Lane, leaving behind his loyal malamute and lots of unfinished business. As Caprice uncovers hidden secrets in Santa's workshop, the pressure is on to catch the candy cane-wielding culprit--before she's next on a killer's deadly wish list 



Slay Bells Ring (Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery #7)Slay Bells Ring by Karen Rose Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Slay Bells Ring by Karen Rose Smith is a 2017 Kensington publication.

Cryptic and mysterious holiday whodunit-

Caprice and her large Italian family are back to solve one of her most complex and emotional cases to date.

Caprice is commissioned to stage a beautiful historic home, but the owners are split on the idea of selling the home. Chris, a toy maker, and the resident Santa Claus, is determined to sell the property, while his wife, Sara, is more reluctant, because the house holds so many memories for her.

But, after exhibiting some rather odd behavior, Chris is found murdered. Why would anyone want to murder Chris? Well, it would seem he has more enemies than anyone thought possible, and he’s been holding back a few big secrets- I mean giant whoppers- and a few of them came tumbling out of the closet after his death, the consequences of which cast suspicion on several people almost immediately.

With Caprice’s naturally detecting skills, she begins asking around in hopes of getting answers for a family in shock and mourning.

It’s been a while since I picked up a cozy mystery, and with the cool temperatures and the holidays right around the corner, I was in the mood to curl up with a nice, clean, whodunit. Naturally, I went straight for this book, since it is the latest installment of one of my 'go-to' cozy mystery series, plus this story has a few holiday elements included, as an added bonus.

Not only that, I just finished a few dark and tense books and needed to wrap myself in the comfort of old book friends and the warmth of love and family this series always inspires.

This story is a little emotional though, touching on the pain of war and its after effects, which can haunt people for decades. I also felt sympathy for the family, who suffered a great loss, but is realizing a new kind of hurt when they discover things about their loved ones that were kept hidden from them.

Caprice works with the police a bit on this case, while doing a little matchmaking for her sister, in the process, so I’m hoping to see her skills get a little professional recognition one day. As always, I love touching base with Caprice and Grant, her close -knit family and all her wonderful pets. Caprice is fun, free spirited, sweet, dedicated and loyal, and I like her moral standards, and her love of animals, which is why this is one of my favorite cozy mystery series.

Overall, this is another terrific installment in the Caprice De Luca series!! If you love cozy mysteries, pets, strong family elements, with a dash of romance, you will love this series.





Karen Rose Smith is writing mysteries as well as romances now! Her plots, whether in mystery or romance, are all about relationships.

She began writing in her early teens when she listened to music and created stories to accompany the songs. After expressing feelings in poetry, earning a degree in English and French, completing short stories that became too long to find a market, she turned to her fascination with relationships to writing romances and now mysteries. This award-winning best-selling author (USA Today List, Borders Bestseller List, Amazon Romance Bestseller lists, Barnes and Noble Bestseller list) will see her 97th novel released in 2017. She has published with Silhouette, Harlequin, Kensington and Meteor/Kismet. Her awards include two Golden Leaf awards in short contemporary romance, the Golden Quill in traditional romance, two cataromance.com's awards for Best Special Editions and Romance Review's Today's Best series romance award. Jane Bowers of Romance Reviews Today states: "Karen Rose Smith's storyworlds are complete and realistic and lovely places to visit and revisit. She excels at stories that feature couples brought together by infants and children, and she handles her plots and characters with sublime sensitivity."

Karen is well-known for writing emotion-packed novels. An only child, she spent a lot of time in her imagination and with books--Nancy Drew, Zane Gray, The Black Stallion and Anne of Green Gables. She dreamt of brothers and sisters and a big family like her mother and father came from--seven children in her mom's family and ten in her dad's. On weekends she was often surrounded by aunts, uncles and cousins. This is the root of her plotlines that include small communities and family relationships as integral to everyday living. She believes universal emotions unite us all and that is the reason she employs them to propel her plots.

It is no secret that Karen married her college sweetheart and they have been married for 45 years. She believes in the power of commitment and the hope that goes along with the promise of everlasting love. Along with enjoying time with her husband, Karen enjoys cooking, watercolor painting, gardening, shopping, listening to music and keeping her four rescued cats company or vice versa.

She has been busy indie publishing her SEARCH FOR LOVE series. In addition, she is writing her Caprice De Luca mystery series as well as her Daisy's Tea Garden series for Kensington along with romances for Harlequin Special Edition. Readers can follow her on Facebook (Search--Karen Rose Smith) or on Twitter @karenrosesmith. Contact her through her website www.karenrosesmith.com or KarenRoseSmithMysteries.com if you'd like to belong to her street team or her readers group on Facebook. She welcomes interaction with her readers on Facebook and Twitter, and would love to chat about plotlines, titles, emotions, heroes, heroines, music, books, gardening, cooking, or anything else readers deem noteworthy!

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