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.

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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 
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January 31 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW, GUEST POST 
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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.