January 13, 2019

Searching for You by Jody Hedlund - Review

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

Book details
Series: Orphan Train (Book 3)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (December 4, 2018)
ISBN-13: 978-0764218064

Book description
Despite years on the run, Sophie Neumann is determined to care for two young children. She won't abandon them the way she thinks her older sisters abandoned her. But times are growing desperate, and when she falls in with the wrong crowd and witnesses a crime, she realizes fleeing 1850s New York is her only option.

Disappearing with her two young charges into a group of orphans heading west by train, Sophie hopes to find safety and a happy life. When the train stops in Illinois for the first placement of orphans, Sophie faces the most difficult choice of her life.

Reinhold Weiss has finally purchased his own small farm. With mounting debts, a harvest to bring in, and past scars that haunt him, he's in no position to give his heart away . . . but can he say no when his long-lost friend shows up on a nearby train pleading for his help?

Meet the author - Jody Hedlund
Jody Hedlund is the author of over a dozen novels, including Love Unexpected, Captured by Love, Unending Devotion, The Preacher's Bride, and A Noble Groom, and winner of the 2014 Carol Award for historical romance. She received a bachelor's degree from Taylor University and a master's from the University of Wisconsin, both in social work. She lives in Michigan with her husband and five children. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog at www.jodyhedlund.com.

My thoughts
This was a very good addition to the Orphan Train series.  I also enjoy the way Jody writes her books as they are engaging, informative and easy to read. She captures the time and place of the setting very well. You feel transported back to a different time when reading this book. I felt bad for Sophie as her she is trying to help two young kids and then she has to run with them. I was happy when she found Reinhold and asked him for help I was happy as I was hoping things would turn around for her. There is plenty to keep you reading and enjoying it.  I thought this was a fitting end to this series. 

January 11, 2019

The Library Book by Susan Orlean - Review

Book details
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (October 16, 2018)
ISBN-13: 978-1476740188

Book description
On the morning of April 28, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual fire alarm. As one fireman recounted, “Once that first stack got going, it was ‘Goodbye, Charlie.’” The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Investigators descended on the scene, but more than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who?

Weaving her lifelong love of books and reading into an investigation of the fire, award-winning New Yorker reporter and New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean delivers a mesmerizing and uniquely compelling book that manages to tell the broader story of libraries and librarians in a way that has never been done before.

In The Library Book, Orlean chronicles the LAPL fire and its aftermath to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives; delves into the evolution of libraries across the country and around the world, from their humble beginnings as a metropolitan charitable initiative to their current status as a cornerstone of national identity; brings each department of the library to vivid life through on-the-ground reporting; studies arson and attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; reflects on her own experiences in libraries; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL more than thirty years ago.

Along the way, Orlean introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters from libraries past and present—from Mary Foy, who in 1880 at eighteen years old was named the head of the Los Angeles Public Library at a time when men still dominated the role, to Dr. C.J.K. Jones, a pastor, citrus farmer, and polymath known as “The Human Encyclopedia” who roamed the library dispensing information; from Charles Lummis, a wildly eccentric journalist and adventurer who was determined to make the L.A. library one of the best in the world, to the current staff, who do heroic work every day to ensure that their institution remains a vital part of the city it serves.

Brimming with her signature wit, insight, compassion, and talent for deep research, The Library Book is Susan Orlean’s thrilling journey through the stacks that reveals how these beloved institutions provide much more than just books—and why they remain an essential part of the heart, mind, and soul of our country. It is also a master journalist’s reminder that, perhaps especially in the digital era, they are more necessary than ever.

Meet the author - Susan Orlean
Susan Orlean has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1992. She is the author of seven books, including Rin Tin Tin, Saturday Night, and The Orchid Thief, which was made into the Academy Award–winning film Adaptation. She lives with her family and her animals in upstate New York and may be reached at SusanOrlean.com and Twitter.com/SusanOrlean.

My thoughts
This book started out really good for me and I loved all the tidbits about libraries, but then it got a little long in the tooth for me.  I was hoping for a little more about solving who started the fire.  After reading this book I would like to visit the LA Central library.  It sounds like an amazing place to be. The author's writing style was easy to read. 

Grimoires, Spas & Chocolate Straws by Erin Johnson - Spotlight

Book details
Cozy Mystery 8th in Series 
Self Published (December 29, 2018)
 Paperback: 332 pages 
ISBN-10: 1792728727
ISBN-13: 978-1792728723 
Digital ASIN: B07LB49VBR

Book description
Sandy slaughter. An enchanting suspect. Can a magical baker protect her friends from a dangerous paradise?

Stranded on Badlands Island, Imogen Banks is driving herself crazy looking for her brother. So when the spell-casting baker's friends suggest they escape for a luxurious dragon spa treatment, she doesn't need a second invitation. But her hopes for coastal romance with Hank fall flat when a resort guest turns up roasted in the sand.

Suspecting murder, Imogen zeroes in on the town's rumored "black widow" as a possible culprit. But when her friend falls for the beautiful woman despite the deadly track record, Imogen fears he'll be the next victim to stay buried.

Can Imogen sift through the clues before the killer gives her one final treatment?

Grimoires, Spas and Chocolate Straws is the eighth book in the Spells and Caramels delightful paranormal cozy mystery series. If you like endearing heroines, a touch of romance, and unexpected twists, then you’ll love Erin Johnson’s magical whodunit.

Buy Grimoires, Spas & Chocolate Straws to massage a new mystery today!

Meet the author - Erin Johnson
Erin Johnson is a native of Tempe, Arizona, Erin spends her time crafting mysterious, magical, romance-filled stories that’ll hopefully make you laugh. In between, she’s traveling, napping with her dogs, eating with her friends and family, and teaching Pilates (to allow her to eat more). 
Purchase Link – Amazon

January 8 – Valerie's Musings – REVIEW
January 8 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
January 9 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW
January 9 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 10 – Sapphyria's Books – REVIEW
January 10 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
January 11 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
January 11 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
January 12 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW
January 12 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW
January 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 14 – Carla Loves To Read - REVIEW
January 14 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT
January 15 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
January 15 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 16 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
January 16 – Celticlady's Reviews - SPOTLIGHT
January 17 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT 
January 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

Gown With the Wind by Stephanie Blackmoore - Spotlight and Giveaway


Book details
Cozy Mystery 4th in Series 
Kensington (December 18, 2018) 
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages 
ISBN-10: 1496717511 
ISBN-13: 978-1496717511 
Digital ASIN: B07BV3K4N8

Book description
Professional wedding planner Mallory Shepard knows her job is challenging under any circumstances. But when the groom is your ex and someone invites murder, there may never be another tomorrow . . .

Mallory’s fine—really—handling the wedding arrangements for her ex, Keith. But his fiancĂ©e, Becca, has at the last minute decided to switch from a Japanese-cherry-blossom theme to a Gone with the Wind theme. She wants to honor her ailing grandmother, who owns an impressive collection of GWTW memorabilia—and who is fiercely at odds with the groom’s mother over the nuptial plans.

But among other complications, Becca gets into a fight with an old childhood rival over a replica Scarlett O’Hara wedding gown. She wins the dress—but soon becomes a murder suspect when the other woman is found dead in Becca’s swimming pool. And it’s up to Mallory to solve the mystery behind this unhappy occasion, before a different kind of civil war breaks out . . .

Meet the author - Stephanie Blackmoore
A native Pittsburgher, Stephanie Blackmoore now lives in Missouri, with her husband, son and two-spirited cats. She was an attorney in Pittsburgh and a librarian in Florida before becoming a writer. Stephanie is a fan of everything black-and-yellow. She is hard at work on her next Wedding Planner mystery. Connect with Stephanie at the links below. 
Social Media Links: Website Facebook Twitter 
Purchase Links - Amazon B&N Kobo Google Play 


January 7 - The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW 
January 7 - Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT 
January 7 - Laura`s Interests – CHARACTER GUEST POST 
January 8 – Mallory Heart's Cozies - REVIEW 
January 8 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE 
January 8 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT 
January 9 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW 
January 9 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW 
January 9 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST 
January 10 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW 
January 10 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
January 10 – View from the Birdhouse- SPOTLIGHT 
January 11 – Varietats – REVIEW 
January 11 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT 
January 11 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT 
January 11 – My Journey Back-The Journey Back – SPOTLIGHT 
January 12 – That's What She's Reading – REVIEW, RECIPE 
January 12 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
January 12 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
January 13 – Melina's Book Blog – REVIEW 
January 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST 
January 13 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

January 8, 2019

Steamed Open by Barbara Ross - Spotlight and Giveaway


Book details
Cozy Mystery 7th in Series 
Kensington (December 18, 2018) 
ISBN-10: 1496717945 
ISBN-13: 978-1496717948 
Digital ASIN: B07BV3RCDG

Book description
It’s summertime in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, and the clamming is easy—or it was until a mysterious new neighbor blocks access to the beach, cutting off the Snowden Family Clambake’s supply. Julia Snowden is just one of many townspeople angered by Bartholomew Frick’s decision. But which one of them was angry enough to kill?

Beachcombers, lighthouse buffs, and clammers are outraged after Frick puts up a gate in front of his newly inherited mansion. When Julia urges him to reconsider, she’s the last to see him alive—except the person who stabs him in the neck with a clam rake. As she pores through a long list of suspects, Julia meets disgruntled employees, rival heirs, and a pair of tourists determined to visit every lighthouse in America. They all have secrets, and Julia will have to work fast to expose the guilty party—or see this season’s clam harvest dry up for good.

Meet the author - Barbara Ross
Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries. The first book in the series, Clammed Up was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel, the RT Book Reviews, Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Amateur Sleuth and was a finalist for the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. She is co-editor/co-publisher of Level Best Books, which produces anthologies of crime stories by New England authors. She writes at her home overlooking the harbor in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Barbara blogs with the Wicked Cozy Authors and Maine Crime Writers. Readers can visit her website at MaineClambakeMysteries.com

Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - Kobo 


January 7 - The Avid Reader – REVIEW 
January 7 - Mallory Heart's Cozies – REVIEW 
January 7 - Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE 
January 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews -REVIEW 
January 8 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST 
January 8 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
January 9 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW 
January 9 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE 
January 9 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT 
January 10 – My Journey Back-The Journey Back – SPOTLIGHT 
January 10 – Valerie's Musings – GUEST POST 
January 10 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
January 11 – Rosepoint Publishing - REVIEW 
January 11 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW 
January 11 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE 
January 12 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT 
January 12 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
January 12 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW 
January 13 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW 

The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way by Frances Metzman - Spotlight and Giveaway

Book details
Cozy Mystery 
Wild River Consulting & Publishing, LLC (June 21, 2018)
Paperback: 506 pages 
ISBN-10: 9781941948064 
ISBN-13: 978-1941948064 
Digital ASIN: B07CV2GP9Z

Book description
Would you move a dead body for the sake of your best friend? Ask cha-cha babe Celia Ewing, a sixty-five-year-old widow who has just settled into Boca Pelicano Palms, the Florida retirement community of her dreams. When Celia’s best friend Marcy calls her and their friend Deb for help in the middle of the night, they find a naked Marcy trapped under the body of her beau, the community’s board president, Melvin. And he’s dead. The three friends secretly move Melvin back to his apartment setting off a chain of events that will threaten to tear their community apart and send them to jail. Melvin is one of a number of residents who are dying under suspicious circumstances; and soon Celia becomes an amateur sleuth in an attempt to identify what she suspects is a serial murderer.

Filled with humorous, witty observations about retirement communities, the realities of getting older, and the promise of new love, the Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way celebrates the deep bonds of female friendships, the desire for companionship at any age, and shows us that it’s never too late to learn how to cha-cha through life.

Meet the author - Frances Metzman
Frances Metzman, a graduate of Moore College of Art and a Masters degree from the University of Pennsylvania, co-authored a novel, Ugly Cookies, by Pella Press. Her short story collection, The Hungry Heart: Stories, was published by Wilderness House Press, February 1, 2012. In 2009 she won a nomination for a Dzanc Books award, “Best of the Web.” In addition to publishing numerous (25) short stories in various literary journals, she has a novel published by Wild River Books, 2018, The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way. Her teaching credits include Adjunct professor at Rosemont College to graduate school, Temple University at OLLI (creative writing and memoir). Other writing workshops, memoir/creative writing, have been given at universities and colleges such as Bryn Mawr, Penn State, Delaware, University of Pennsylvania, Widener, etc. As fiction editor for a literary journal, Schuylkill Valley Journal, she selects and edits the submissions. Many articles, essays, and stories she writes deal with aspects of society that influences relationships for all ages, including the mature set (sometimes tongue in cheek). Many articles are dedicated to improving attitudes toward the mature folks and address myths about “age appropriate” thinking.

Author Links Twitter - https://twitter.com/FranWrites 
Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - Kobo 


January 7 - Books, Dreams, Life – SPOTLIGHT 
January 7 - My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST 
January 8 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
January 8 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT 
January 9 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT 
January 9 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT 
January 10 – Mallory Heart's Cozies – REVIEW 
January 11 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT 
January 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
January 13 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT 
January 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
January 14 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
January 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST 
January 16 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST 
January 17 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
January 18 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
January 19 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW 
January 20 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – CHARACTER GUEST POST

January 7, 2019

The Best of Us by Robyn Carr - Review

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

Book details
Series: Sullivan's Crossing (Book 4)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: MIRA; Original edition (January 8, 2019)
ISBN-13: 978-0778351306

Book description
Dr. Leigh Culver loves practicing medicine in Timberlake, Colorado. It is a much-needed change of pace from her stressful life in Chicago. The only drawback is she misses her aunt Helen, the woman who raised her. But it’s time that Leigh has her independence, and she hopes the beauty of the Colorado wilderness will entice her aunt to visit often.

Helen Culver is an independent woman who lovingly raised her sister’s orphaned child. Now, with Leigh grown, it’s time for her to live life for herself. The retired teacher has become a successful mystery writer who loves to travel and intends to never experience winter again.

When Helen visits Leigh, she is surprised to find her niece still needs her, especially when it comes to sorting out her love life. But the biggest surprise comes when Leigh takes Helen out to Sullivan’s Crossing and Helen finds herself falling for the place and one special person. Helen and Leigh will each have to decide if they can open themselves up to love neither expected to find and seize the opportunity to live their best lives.

Meet the author - Robyn Carr
Robyn is the author of more than 50 novels, which have sold over 28 million copies worldwide. She has written 11 #1 New York Times bestsellers, as well as the beloved Virgin River and Thunder Point series. In 2016, she was awarded the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award from Romance Writers of America.

My thoughts
I enjoyed this new installment in the Sullivan's Crossing series.  It was nice to meet the new characters Leigh and Helen but even better to visit our old friends back at the crossing.  Robyn has a way of writing stories that make you fall in love with the characters first page.  The descriptions of the crossing make me want to pack up and head out there. I like how she puts everyday issues into the story and how they are dealt with. It is just another way that she makes her her stories good to read. We will see what she has in store in the next book.