February 13, 2019

The Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen - Review

I received this book free from the publisher.  All opinions are my own. 

Book details
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (February 12, 2019)
ISBN-13: 978-1542040112

Book description
From the bestselling author of The Tuscan Child comes a beautiful and heart-rending novel of a woman’s love and sacrifice during the First World War.

As the Great War continues to take its toll, headstrong twenty-one-year-old Emily Bryce is determined to contribute to the war effort. She is convinced by a cheeky and handsome Australian pilot that she can do more, and it is not long before she falls in love with him and accepts his proposal of marriage.

When he is sent back to the front, Emily volunteers as a “land girl,” tending to the neglected grounds of a large Devonshire estate. It’s here that Emily discovers the long-forgotten journals of a medicine woman who devoted her life to her herbal garden. The journals inspire Emily, and in the wake of devastating news, they are her saving grace. Emily’s lover has not only died a hero but has left her terrified—and with child. Since no one knows that Emily was never married, she adopts the charade of a war widow.

As Emily learns more about the volatile power of healing with herbs, the found journals will bring her to the brink of disaster, but may open a path to her destiny.

Meet the author - Rhys Bowen
Rhys Bowen is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 30 novels, including In Farleigh Field and three award-winning historical mystery series. Her works have garnered numerous accolades, including multiple Agatha, Anthony, and MacAvity awards.

My thoughts
This was a well written story. I have enjoyed Rhys' Molly Murphy series and was looking forward to try an stand alone book by her. I enjoyed that the author did her research for the historical aspect of the book. Then you add a bit of romance to round out the story. Makes a perfect fit. Emily was a favorite character of mine and I loved the things she did for the war effort and gets others to help her. All the characters were well developed and the settings/scenes well described. A good read

February 12, 2019

Corpse & Crown by Alissa Kwitney - Spotlight

Book details
Age Range: 12 - 18 years
Grade Level: 7 and up
Series: Cadaver & Queen (Book 2)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Inkyard Press; Original edition (February 12, 2019)
ISBN-13: 978-1335542229

Book description
Agatha DeLacey’s family isn’t rich or titled, so studying nursing at Ingold’s East End hospital in London is a rare opportunity for her. Despite the school’s focus on the innovative Bio-Mechanical program, Aggie cares more about the desperately poor human patients who flood the hospital, even if that means providing unauthorized treatment after-hours…and trusting a charming, endlessly resourceful thief.

But the Artful Dodger is barely a step ahead of his underworld rivals, the menacing Bill Sykes and mercurial Oliver Twist, and Aggie’s association with him soon leads her into danger. When a brutal attack leaves her blind, she and the Dodger find themselves at the mercy of an experimental Bio-Mech surgery. Though the procedure restores Aggie’s sight, her new eyes come at an unnerving cost, and the changes in Dodger are even more alarming—instead of seeing Aggie as the girl he fancies, he now views her as a potential threat.

As war between England and Germany brews on the horizon and a sinister medical conspiracy threatens to shatter the uneasy peace in Europe, Aggie and the Dodger must find a way to work together so they can protect their friends and expose the truth…even if it means risking their own survival.

Purchase Links
Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Alisa
Website | Facebook | Twitter
Meet the author - Alisa Kwitney
Alisa Kwitney was once an editor at DC Comics/Vertigo and is an Eisner-nominated author of graphic novels, romantic women's fiction and urban fantasy. She is one of the authors of A Flight of Angels, which made YALSA's Great Graphic Novels for Teens Top Ten list, and the YA graphic novel Token, named a highlight of the Minx imprint by Publishers Weekly. Alisa has an MFA from Columbia University.

Monday, February 11th: Storied Adventures and @storied.adventures
Tuesday, February 12th: A Holland Reads – spotlight
Wednesday, February 13th: A Dream Within A Dream
Monday, February 18th: @ladyofthelibrary
Tuesday, February 19th: Bookworm for Kids
Wednesday, February 20th: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Monday, February 25th: @amberafterglowreads
Wednesday, February 27th: Girls in Books and @girlsinbooks
Thursday, February 28th: @megabunnyreads
Wednesday, March 6th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Monday, March 11th: Rockin’ Book Reviews

February 9, 2019

The Novel Art of Murder by V.M. Burns - Spotlight and Giveaway


Book details
Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series 
Kensington (November 27, 2018) 
Paperback: 256 pages 
ISBN-10: 1496711858 
ISBN-13: 978-1496711854 
Digital ASIN: B07B7B4C8Q

Book description
Mystery bookstore owner Samantha Washington is trying to keep her grandmother from spending her golden years in an orange jumpsuit . . . The small town of North Harbor, Michigan, is just not big enough for the two of them: flamboyant phony Maria Romanov and feisty Nana Jo. The insufferable Maria claims she's descended from Russian royalty and even had a fling with King Edward VIII back in the day. She’s not just a lousy liar, she's a bad actress, so when she nabs the lead in the Shady Acres Senior Follies—a part Nana Jo plays every year in their retirement village production—Nana Jo blows a gasket and reads her the riot act in front of everyone. Of course, when Maria is silenced with a bullet to the head, Nana Jo lands the leading role on the suspects list. Sam’s been writing her newest mystery, set in England between the wars, with her intrepid heroine Lady Daphne drawn into murder and scandal in the household of Winston Churchill. But now she has to prove that Nana Jo’s been framed. With help from her grandmother's posse of rambunctious retirees, Sam shines a spotlight on Maria’s secrets, hoping to draw the real killer out of the shadow

Meet the author - V.M. Burns
V.M. Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest, she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. Her debut novel, The Plot is Murder was nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime. Readers can learn more by visiting her website at vmburns.com

Author Links:
Website: http://www.vmburns.com/ 
Twitter: @vmburns 


January 30 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW 
January 30 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT 
January 31 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW, GUEST POST 
January 31 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
February 1 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW 
February 1 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT 
February 1 – Teresa Trent Author Blog - REVIEW 
February 2 – Mallory Heart's Cozies – REVIEW 
February 2 – Mythical Books – SPOTLIGHT 
February 2 – The Editing Pen – GUEST POST 
February 3 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST 
February 4 – The Layaway Dragon – REVIEW 
February 5 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW 
February 5 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW 
February 5 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 6 – Rae’s Books and Recipes – SPOTLIGHT 
February 6 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST 
February 6 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
February 7 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT 
February 7 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST 
February 7 – Jody’s Book Reviews, Book Tours & Giveaways – SPOTLIGHT 
February 8 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT 
February 8 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
February 8 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW 
February 9 – Melina's Book Blog – REVIEW 
February 9 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT 
February 10 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 

February 4, 2019

The Beantown Girls by Jane Healey - Spotlight

Book details
Paperback: 366 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (February 5, 2019)
ISBN-13: 978-1542044523

Book description
A novel of love, courage, and danger unfolds as World War II’s brightest heroines—the best of friends—take on the front lines.

1944: Fiona Denning has her entire future planned out. She’ll work in city hall, marry her fiancé when he returns from the war, and settle down in the Boston suburbs. But when her fiancé is reported missing after being shot down in Germany, Fiona’s long-held plans are shattered.

Determined to learn her fiancé’s fate, Fiona leaves Boston to volunteer overseas as a Red Cross Clubmobile girl, recruiting her two best friends to come along. There’s the outspoken Viviana, who is more than happy to quit her secretarial job for a taste of adventure. Then there’s Dottie, a shy music teacher whose melodious talents are sure to bring heart and hope to the boys on the front lines.

Chosen for their inner strength and outer charm, the trio isn’t prepared for the daunting challenges of war. But through it all come new friendships and romances, unforeseen dangers, and unexpected dreams. As the three friends begin to understand the real reasons they all came to the front, their courage and camaraderie will see them through some of the best and worst times of their lives.

Meet the author - Jane Healey
Jane Healey left a career in high tech to become a freelance writer. Her passion for historical fiction became her new career when her debut novel, The Saturday Evening Girls Club, was published in 2017. Based on the true story of a group of Jewish and Italian immigrant women in Boston’s North End at the turn of the twentieth century, the Amazon bestseller was hailed by Redbook as “a breathtaking ode to female empowerment and the American dream.”

February 2, 2019

Lethal Licorice by Amanda Flower - Review

Book details
Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Published February 27th 2018 by Kensington Publishing 
ISBN: 9781496706416

Book description
Too many sweets spoil the murder . . .

Harvest, Ohio, is a long way from New York City, where Bailey King left a coveted job as a head chocolatier to take over Swissmen Sweets, her Amish grandparents’ candy shop. Now, while caring for her recently widowed grandmother, she plans to honor her grandfather’s memory by entering the annual Amish Confectionery Competition. But between lavender blueberry fudge and chocolate cherry ganache truffles, Bailey may have bitten off more than she can chew when the search for a missing pot-bellied pig turns up a body suffering from sugar overload—the fatal kind . . .

A candy maker from a neighboring town who wanted Englischer Bailey disqualified for being an outsider, Josephine Weaver died from an allergy to an essential licorice ingredient. The suspects include: Josephine’s niece, a young woman going through her rumspringa, or running around time, and Bailey herself. Now it falls to Bailey, who’s sweet on the local sheriff’s deputy, to clear their names and entice a killer with a cast-iron stomach for cold-blooded murder . . .

Recipe Included!

Meet the author - Amanda Flower
Amanda Flower  a USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. In addition to being an author, Amanda is librarian in Northeast Ohio.

My thoughts
This is a fun series to read and I enjoyed this installment. I have to say the author did not even give one clue that I can remember as to who the killer was. I really had my hat pinned on another person. The Amish Candy Competition sounds like a fun event to go to. They get serious about their candy making. I will be starting number three today.

January 31, 2019

With this Pledge by Tamera Alexander - Review

Book details
Series: The Carnton Series (Book 1)
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 8, 2019)
ISBN-13: 978-0718081850

Book description
History takes on vivid life in the stunning first full-length novel in bestselling author Tamera Alexander’s new 4-book Southern series… The Carnton Novels

What can a woman–a mere governess–do against the scourge of slavery?
Elizabeth “Lizzie” Clouston’s quietly held principles oppose those of the Southern Cause–but when forty thousand soldiers converge on the fields of Franklin, Tennessee, the war demands an answer. The Carnton home, where she is governess, is commandeered as a Confederate hospital; and Lizzie must summon fortitude to assist the military doctor with surgeries that determine life or death–even as she fears for the life of Towny, her fiancé and lifelong friend.
A young soldier’s dying words convey an urgent message that Lizzie promises to deliver, yet she knows little more than the boy’s first name. That same night, decorated Mississippi sharpshooter Captain Roland Ward Jones extracts a different promise from Lizzie: that she intervene should the surgeon decide to amputate. Even if it costs him his life.
Lizzie is nothing if not a woman of her word, earning the soldiers’ respect as she tends the wounded convalescing within Carnton’s walls. None is more admiring than Captain Jones, who doesn’t realize she is already pledged to another. But Captain Jones holds secrets of his own, which prove costly for Lizzie. Because a betrothed woman shouldn’t harbor feelings for a man other than her intended. Especially not when that man is a slave owner.
When Towny vanishes after a crushing battle in Nashville, Lizzie must confront the costs of war. And torn between love, principles, and promises made, she struggles to be true to her own heart while standing for what she knows is right–no matter the cost.

Purchase Links

Meet the author - Tamera Alexander
Tamera Alexander is a USA Today bestselling novelist whose works have been awarded and nominated for numerous industry-leading honors, including the Christy Award (two-time winner, seven-time finalist), the RITA Award (two-time winner, four-time finalist), the Carol Award, the Maggie Award, the Booksellers Best Award, and Library Journal’s top distinction, among others. After seventeen years in Colorado, Tamera and her husband now reside in Nashville, Tennessee, where they live a short distance from Belmont Mansion and Belle Meade Plantation, the setting of Tamera’s two USA Today bestselling Southern series.

Connect with Tamera

My thoughts
I really enjoyed this first in a new series by Tamera. She does such a good job adding all the historical details. This book grabbed me from the start and for me moved along at a good pace. The characters were strong and well liked. Lizzie was a strong woman and wanted make sure she followed her beliefs while at the same time helping soldiers.  I liked reading about her and Roland and how their relationship progressed. All in all a great book that will hold your attention and is fully of historical accuracy. 

Tamera Alexander’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, January 14th: Book By Book
Tuesday, January 15th: Blooming with Books
Wednesday, January 16th: Read Eat Repeat
Thursday, January 17th: Fiction Aficionado
Friday, January 18th: Amy’s Book-et List
Tuesday, January 22nd: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Wednesday, January 23rd: Running Through the Storms
Thursday, January 24th: Christian Bookshelf Reviews
Friday, January 25th: Rockin’ Book Reviews
Monday, January 28th: The Sketchy Reader
Tuesday, January 29th: Laura’s Reviews
Wednesday, January 30th: Jathan & Heather
Thursday, January 31st: A Holland Reads
Monday, February 4th: Reflections from My Bookshelves
Tuesday, February 5th: Christian Fiction Girl
Wednesday, February 6th: @booktimistic
Friday, February 8th: View from the Birdhouse
Tuesday, February 12th: The Lit Bitch

January 30, 2019

Courage Between Love and Death by Joseph Pilliterri - Review

I received this book free from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Book details
Paperback: 302 pages
Publisher: Fireship Press (March 29, 2018)
ISBN-13: 978-1611793888

Book description
Elspeth has recently landed a nursing position at the 1901 Pan American Exposition Hospital in Buffalo, New York. This is a big boon for her, but things are not going as expected. She has to navigate mischievous patients, egotistical doctors, rival nurses and prejudices. For an Irish girl with a temper, this is no easy feat. Now President McKinley is coming to visit the Expo and everyone is in an uproar. On the home front, her life is no less hectic as she struggles to put food on the table and look out for her younger siblings.

When the unthinkable happens, it is a turning point, not only for the medical industry and our country’s security, but for Elspeth personally. With her career and reputation on the line, will she have the courage to overcome the challenges she faces to clear her name and continue to be there for the ones she loves?

Purchase Links
Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Meet the author - Joseph Pillitteri
While working at Roswell Park Memorial Hospital in Buffalo, NY, Pillitteri became intrigued by the role Dr. Park played in the surgery of President McKinley at the 1901 Pan American Exposition. He shaped facts and fiction together to tell the story.

My thoughts
I thought this was an interesting book. I learned some as I was reading this book as I did not really know anything about the death of President McKinley.  The author did a good job with the historical details. It added to the story to me and made it seem like I was learning about a piece of history.  You also learn a bit about the medical fit at that time in history as Elspeth gives us a good view. She was a strong woman character and in that time was not always the case. This was well written and easy to follow. An enjoyable book for me.