Thursday, April 6, 2017

Release Tour & #Giveaway for Occult and Battery by Lena Gregory

Welcome to my stop on the Release Tour, presented by Book Partners In Crime, for Occult and Battery by Lena Gregory.  Please leave a comment or question for Lena to let her know you stopped by.  You may enter he tour wide giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  Good Luck! 

Occult and Battery
by Lena Gregory
Series: Bay Island Psychic Mystery, #2
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Berkley
Release Date: April 4, 2017

A murder mystery weekend becomes a little too real in the latest Bay Island Psychic Mystery from the author of Death at First Sight—

Cass Donovan uses her skills as a former psychiatrist to get away with pretending to be psychic, but she’s not about to let anyone get away with murder...

The outlook is not so good for Cass’s psychic shop, Mystical Musings. With winter winds discouraging tourists from riding the ferry from Long Island to Bay Island, Cass hopes to draw in more customers by hosting a murder mystery weekend, complete with a séance, in a supposedly haunted mansion.

But Cass begins to lose her spirit when her ex-husband shows up, along with his fiancée—Cass’s ex-best friend. Then, after one of the guests is found dead, a blizzard blows in, trapping everyone inside with a murderer. Now Cass must divine who did the deed before her reputation and her livelihood fade away.

     “Stop the car!”

     Bee Maxwell slammed on the brakes, skidding to a stop on the sand-covered shoulder. Without loosening his white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel, he turned a glare on Cass. “Are you crazy? What’s the matter?”

     Cass released her hold on the dashboard and shot him a grin. “We’re here.”

     A hand the size of a baseball mitt fluttered to Bee’s chest, with all the drama of a true diva. “You nearly gave me a heart attack because we’ve arrived at our secret destination?” Gritting his teeth, he shifted gently into park. No way would he jam the shifter into gear, even though she could tell he badly wanted to. The black Trans Am was his baby, always to be treated tenderly. Cass, on the other hand, was a different story. Bee looked about ready to throttle her. “Wouldn’t it have been easier to just tell me where we were going?”

     Stephanie Lawrence poked her head between the seats to stare at Cass. “Not that I want to agree with Bee, but really, Cass, you could have just told him where to go. Then maybe this maniac wouldn’t have nearly put us through the windshield.”

     She shrugged. “I didn’t think he’d agree to take me if I told him where we were going.”

     Bee waved a hand in dismissal and glanced out the window, as if realizing for the first time where they were.

     The old, supposedly haunted Madison Estate perched in the center of the highest ground on the island, amid dried-up beach grass, trees long since devoid of leaves, and garbage from whatever kids were brave—or stupid—enough to ignore their parents’ warnings. Thick, grey clouds gathered overhead, lending credence to the haunted stories Cass had heard since childhood.

     A dainty shiver ran through Bee’s bulky frame. “Well, if your destination has anything to do with that house, you can just count me out.”

     “But it’s perfect.” She opened the door and shot him a quick grin over her shoulder.

     “Hey. Where are you going?”

     Ignoring Bee’s protests, Cass climbed from the car. She closed the door behind her, effectively cutting off any further arguments. Bee happened to be deathly afraid of ghosts. Not that he believed in them.

A séance, a haunted mansion and a winter storm, what could possibly go wrong?  That’s just the tip of the iceberg for the characters in Lena Gregory’s Occult and Battery, the second book in her Bay Island Psychic Mystery series.  Colorful characters, a small town setting, and a solid mystery kept me turning the pages from start to finish.  If you’re looking for a cozy series with just a touch of the paranormal, you’re going to want to check out this series.

Ms. Gregory does a great job introducing and developing the main characters in this story.  While I didn’t get a chance to read the first book, Death at First Sight, I didn’t feel as if I was missing something by jumping straight into Occult and Battery.  I loved meeting Cass Donovan, owner of Mystical Musings, and her best friends Bee and Stephanie.  Trying to come up with a way of increasing business, slow due to the winter season, Cass convinces her friends to help her stage a mystical weekend at a local B & B that is just opening up for business.  She didn’t count on her ex-husband and her ex-best friend, who are now together, showing up for the event or on one of the guests being murdered.  

Determined to save her business, and her reputation, Cass finds herself trying to solve a crime before her business ends up six feet under.  Best friends Bee and Stephanie are determined to help her in any way possible, they’ve helped her solve a mystery before, and it takes all three of them to help Cass with “Beast”, her Leonberger puppy, who may or may not have swallowed a piece of evidence.  I really liked how Ms. Gregory developed the friendship between these three characters and how they interacted with the local town people and with the “suspects”.  I also really enjoyed “Beast”, he’s quite the puppy and now I want a Leonberger of my own!

The mystery is well developed and takes several twists and turns.  The story’s pace is just right for a cozy mystery and the author’s voice is enjoyable and clearly established for this genre.  The secondary characters are enjoyable and all contributed something to the story.  Adding a light touch of humor, and a light romance between Cass and “Kyle”, a character introduced in the first book, Ms. Gregory keeps the story from becoming too dark. 

Will Cass discover the killer’s identity before anyone else becomes a victim?  Will her store and her reputation survive the weekend?  And will she ever get “Beast” into obedience school?  You’ll have to read Occult and Battery to find out, I enjoyed it and can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

My Rating:  4.5 out of 5 Crowns

FTC Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This did not influence my review of the reading material provided in any way.  My review is solely my opinion.  

Lena lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children.

When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing the release of Occult and Battery! And thank you for such a lovely review. I'm so happy you enjoyed the story :)