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Monday, February 25, 2019

Photo Shoot by Jo A. Hiestand - Book Tour - Book Trailer - Book Review - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hello lovelies!  It gives me great pleasure today to host Jo A. Hiestand and her new book, “Photo Shoot”!  For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Jo and to increase your chances of winning!

Thanks for stopping by!  Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!

Photo Shoot
by Jo A. Hiestand


GENRE: British Mystery



Michael McLaren returns home from working a cold case in Cumbria to learn that he’s missed his uncle’s wedding in Scotland.  Angry and fearful that his absence has re-opened the family rift just as it’s healed, he drives to the ancestral home, hoping his appearance and explanation will be accepted. He’s more than welcomed. His uncle asks him to investigate the murder of his first fiancée.

Fiona Lennox was found in a rowboat on a Scottish loch, shot to death during a late night photo shoot. Why would she rent a boat after dark? Did she take it out to photograph the moonlight on the water? She could’ve done, being a professional photographer, but she was also a proponent of civic and environmental causes, which she documented with her camera. Did someone linked to one of her crusades kill her, or was the motive personal?

As McLaren uncovers layers of Fiona’s life and the reason for her nocturnal outing, he and his family are targets of intensifying attacks. But it’s not until he races against a kidnapper’s deadline and the threat of a loved one’s watery death that he realizes who killed Fionaimplications that are as deep and dark as the Scottish loch.



The dog growled again, a deep throated threat of pending attack.

McLaren stepped around the dog, trying not to alarm or distract it. He hesitated, gazing at the top of the stairs again, considering which way to turn at the landing. No sound carried down to them. That wouldn’t help locate the intruder. He murmured, “I’ll see if something’s wrong, shall I? You stay here, Grandfather.”

Neill grabbed the dog’s collar, whispering “Heel” as he pulled Mungo to his side.

McLaren eased onto the bottom step, hesitated, then inched up to the landing. He paused, letting his eyes adjust to the gloom and listened. A sound of wood sliding on wood came from his left. Was someone opening a dresser drawer? He tiptoed down the hallway, keeping as close to the wall as possible. If the floor had a tendency to squeak, it would most likely be in the middle where centuries of traffic had weakened it.

He kept his left hand on the wall, balancing himself and feeling for unexpected objects like framed photos, which might fall and alert the intruder if McLaren knocked against them. But the wall was bare. Only the feel of wallpaper slid beneath his fingers.

He stopped a foot or so from the first room on his left and listened. Even though the door was closed, the faint scraping was more distinct. He crept up to the door, his right hand on the knob, his left hand near the door’s edge. He flung open the door. The sound of scraping wood, the sensation of cold air, and an image of a dark shape greeted him.





This book was such an intriguing, suspenseful, mystery that I thoroughly enjoyed solving alongside one of my favorite English Investigators, McLaren!

Last year, I had previously read and enjoyed Jo’s other book, “An Unwilling Suspect,” so I was thrilled to get the chance to read her latest work – which also happens to be part of the same series.  “An Unwilling Suspect,” is Book Seven in the McLaren Mysteries Book Series, while this new book, “Photo Shoot,” is Book Nine.

Jo’s writing only continues to improve with each book!  I know she will be author I will continue to read over the years!

This book focuses mostly on the main character, Michael McLaren, an English investigator and the cold case his family requests his help looking into.

McLaren returns home after closing a case to learn that he just missed his uncle’s wedding.  McLaren has just barely mended those fences to be back on the ins with the family, so he decides to head down to Scotland to make it up to the McLaren Clan – better late than never.  When he arrives, his uncle asks him to look into the murder of his first fiancée, Fiona Lennox.  Fiona was a professional photographer that was found murdered in a rowboat on a Scottish loch.  McLaren agrees to help investigate Fiona’s death, but it isn’t long before he and his family become under attack and it’s clear that whoever killed Fiona now has their sights set on the McLaren family.

I love cold case plots, because there is just so much of a mystery element to them.  Not just the whodunit aspect, but how did they get away with it, and what has their life been like since.  Plus, I love hearing that the victim finally got justice and that their perpetrator is behind bars – where they truly belong.  What’s also great about cold cases is that technology we didn’t have then to help solve the case, is available now, and if the state’s money is available to test the DNA or whatever evidence that was found then, can seriously lead to new clues and perhaps a viable suspect.  Regardless, it’s not fair that the criminal managed to “get-away” with their crime for all those years.  Also, some criminals that abscond from their crimes and get caught x amount of years later are found with ailing health issues that have been correlated to significant amount of stress and anxiety from guilt, fear from covering up their crimes, worried about getting caught, etc.  I always find that interesting and curious if somehow it is morally related than scientifically related.

This book has a great storyline that flows, terrific writing style with detailed scenes, well-developed characters, is fast paced, and keeps you completely entertained through the last page.

It is clear that Ms. Hiedstand knows the mystery, crime solving scene as she writes with such elegant and professional detail.

I love how this author included historical, cultural, and custom references in her writings as this gives the book that little extra something!  I honestly do not know much about Scotland, besides what I’ve seen in Braveheart and The Da Vinci Code and on The Amazing Race episodes lol.  However, this author provided so much detail and such beautiful descriptions, I felt like I was on my own charming, breathtaking stroll through Scotland.

There are some predictable scenes.  However, there are still a few unexpected twists and turns that you won’t see coming!

This book is book nine of the McLaren Mysteries Book Series.  Prior to reading this book, I have only read, “An Unwilling Suspect,” which is Book Seven of this Book Series.  Regardless, of having some insight to this book series it can still easily be read on its own without any confusion.  However, having read two books in this book series now, I am an even bigger fan of McLaren and would recommend checking out the entire series – not because you need to read them for the books to make sense, but because you’ll want to read them, because of how intriguing and entertaining they are!

All in all, I enjoyed reading this book and would absolutely recommend it!  I think all mystery and crime thriller fans will like this book too!  So, add it to your TBR List and get to reading - you won't be disappointed!

**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book and have voluntarily provided an honest, and unbiased review in accordance with FTC regulations.**

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A month-long trip to England during her college years introduced Jo to the joys of Things British.  Since then, she has been lured back nearly a dozen times, and lived there during her professional folksinging stint.  This intimate knowledge of Britain forms the backbone of both the Peak District mysteries and the McLaren mystery series.

 Jo’s insistence for accuracy--from police methods and location layout to the general “feel” of the area--has driven her innumerable times to Derbyshire for research.  These explorations and conferences with police friends provide the detail filling the books.

In 1999 Jo returned to Webster University to major in English.  She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honors.

Her cat, Tennyson, shares her St. Louis-area home.



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Jo’s super adorable kitty, Tennyson










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Jo’s cute raccoon munching on cat food (top pic); Jo’s silly groundhog, Humphrey scarfing down a melon (bottom pic)



Amazon Kindle eBook:

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Barnes and Noble Nook eBook:

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BAM! Books-A-Million Paperback:



Jo will be awarding a $30 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways on here.**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.


  1. Jo ~ Welcome back! It is great to have you here again! Congrats on your new book and good luck on the book tour! I really enjoyed reading and reviewing your book, thanks for providing the copy! :)

    1. Hi, Ally. Thank you for the fabulous book review -- wow. I appreciate you hosting this stop on the book tour. Thanks! jo

  2. Replies
    1. Hi Febie ~ Good morning! Yes, this book is very interesting and intriguing! Be sure to add it to your TBR List and check it out! Thanks for stopping by and good luck in the giveaway :)

    2. Hi, Febie. Thanks for stopping at Ally's page this morning. Good luck on the raffle drawing.

  3. Good morning James! Yes, this is definitely an enjoyable and entertaining book! So, be sure to add it to your TBR List and check it out! Thank you for stopping by and good luck in the giveaway :)

  4. James, thanks for your comment. Good luck with the raffle drawing.

  5. I've really enjoyed following the tour for Photo Shoot and I'm looking forward to checking it out. Thanks for sharing all of the great posts along the way :)

    1. Hi, Victoria. I'm glad you've liked the review tour. Very nice reviewers, I must say -- all have been so kind. Hope you like the book if you read it!

  6. I have enjoyed the tour. The book sounds great.

    1. Hi, Rita. Thanks for following the review tour -- I really appreciate your time to this. Good luck with the raffle drawing!

  7. Did any books or movies influence any of the characters in your book? Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

  8. Good question, Joseph. I think my protagonist, Michael McLaren, is a mixture of Ngaio Marsh's Inspector Roderick Alleyn, a friend of mine, and Winston Graham's Poldark. Strange mixture, I guess, but I love Alleyn's intelligence, Poldark's sense of justice and honor, and my friend's integrity and bravery. I mixed them up and came up with McLaren. Grandfather Neill is merely an old school Scot, which still exists, btw. The other characters in Photo Shoot have no particular person I could link them to. Just inventions of mine. Thanks for asking!

  9. I'll sign off now. Thank you again, Ally, for hosting my book today, and for the wonderful review. And thanks to everyone who left a comment. Good luck to everyone with the raffle drawing!

  10. I love how our pets influence and inspire our lives. Cute kitty!

    1. Hi, Chelle. Yes, he's a cute little guy. Good luck with the raffle drawing.

  11. Replies
    1. Terri...thanks a lot. If you read it, I hope you like it! And good luck on the drawing.