July 3, 2020

Sunrise on Half Moon Bay by Robyn Carr - Review

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

Book details
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: MIRA; Original edition (April 14, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0778309487
ISBN-13: 978-0778309482

Book description
Sometimes the happiness we’re looking for has been there all along…

Adele and Justine have never been close. Born twenty years apart, Justine was already an adult when Addie was born. The sisters love each other but they don’t really know each other.

When Addie dropped out of university to care for their ailing parents, Justine, a successful lawyer, covered the expenses. It was the best arrangement at the time but now that their parents are gone, the future has changed dramatically for both women.

Addie had great plans for her life but has been worn down by the pressures of being a caregiver and doesn’t know how to live for herself. And Justine’s success has come at a price. Her marriage is falling apart despite her best efforts.

Neither woman knows how to start life over but both realize they can and must support each other the way only sisters can. Together they find the strength to accept their failures and overcome their challenges. Happiness is within reach, if only they have the courage to fight for it.

Set in the stunning coastal town of Half Moon Bay, California, Robyn Carr’s new novel examines the joys of sisterhood and the importance of embracing change.

Meet the author - Robyn Carr
Robyn Carr is an award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than sixty novels, including highly praised women's fiction such as Four Friends and The View From Alameda Island and the critically acclaimed Virgin River, Thunder Point and Sullivan's Crossing series. Virgin River is now a Netflix Original series. Robyn lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Visit her website at www.RobynCarr.com.

My thoughts
Robyn has hit is out of the park again with this book. The setting of this book is great, who would not want to go to Half Moon Bay to recharge.  I liked how Addie and Justine learned that they could help each other out when they most needed it. Sometimes it takes awhile or something happening for the sister bond to show. It does take just a little while for Addie and Justine to grow on you but by the end you end up loving them. I enjoyed this book from the beginning to the end.  I look forward to the next hit by Robyn. 

A Sprinkling of Murder by Daryl Wood Gerber - Spotlight and Giveaway


Book details
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series 
Publisher: Kensington (June 30, 2020) 
Paperback: 304 pages 
ISBN-10: 1496726340 
ISBN-13: 978-1496726346 
Kindle ASIN: B07W8Y4D6R
  


Book description
Fairy garden store owner Courtney Kelly believes in inviting magic into your life. But when uninvited trouble enters her shop, she’ll need more than a sprinkling of her imagination to solve a murder . . .

Since childhood, Courtney has loved fairies. After her mother died when she was ten, she lost touch with that feeling of magic. A year ago, at age twenty-nine, she rediscovered it when she left her father's landscaping business to spread her wings and start a fairy garden business and teashop in beautiful Carmel, California. At Open Your Imagination, she teaches garden design and sells everything from fairy figurines to tinkling wind chimes and trickling fountains. Now she's starting a book club tea.

But the light of the magical world she's created inside her shop is darkened one night when she discovers neighboring dog-grooming business owner Mick Watkins dead beside a fountain. To make matters worse, the police suspect Courtney of the crime. To clear her name and find the real killer, Courtney will have to wing it. But she’s about to get a little help from an unexpected new friend . . .

Meet the author - Daryl Wood Gerber 
Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries as well as the French Bistro Mysteries. In June 2020, her new series, the Fairy Garden Mysteries debuts. As Avery Aames, she pens the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. Daryl also writes the Aspen Adams novels of suspense as well as stand-alone suspense. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, garden, and read, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

Author Links 

Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N

Giveaway


TOUR PARTICIPANTS 
June 29 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
June 29 – The Cozy Pages – REVIEW 
June 29 – Angel's Guilty Pleasures – SPOTLIGHT 
June 29 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST 
June 29 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT 
June 30 - Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
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June 30 - A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW 
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July 1 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT 
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July 2 – The Book's the Thing – REVIEW 
July 3 – Sapphyria's Books – REVIEW 
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July 3 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW 
July 3 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
July 3 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 10, 2020

Booked for Death by Victoria Gilbert - Review and Giveaway

 

Book details
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series 
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (August 11, 2020) 
Hardcover: 320 pages 
ISBN-10: 1643853074 
ISBN-13: 978-1643853079 
Digital ASIN: B07XX7PHTV 

Book description
From the critically acclaimed author of SIBA Okra Pick A Murder for the Books, Victoria Gilbert embarks with a new series for perfect for fans of Kate Carlisle and Juliet Blackwell.

A book lover's B&B in an idyllic waterfront village becomes the scene of a grisly murder--and a ruthless battle between treachery and the truth.

Nestled in the historic waterfront town of Beaufort, North Carolina, Chapters Bed-and-Breakfast is a reader's paradise. Built in 1770, the newly renovated inn hosts a roster of special events celebrating books, genres, and authors. It's the perfect literary retreat--until a rare book dealer turns up dead in the carriage house during a celebration of Golden Age mystery author Josephine Tey.

The victim's daughter points the finger at forty-two-year-old widow and former schoolteacher Charlotte Reed, who inherited the B&B from her great-aunt Isabella. Charlotte is shocked to discover that the book dealer suspected Isabella of being a thief who founded Chapters on her ill-gotten gains. Charlotte has successfully learned the B&B business in a year, but nothing has prepared her to handle a death on the premises.

Armed with intelligence and courage and assisted by her vibrant older neighbor, a visiting author, and members of a local book club, Charlotte is determined to prove her innocence and to clear her great-aunt's name. But the murderer is still at large, and equally determined to silence anyone who might discover the truth behind the book dealer's death. Now, Charlotte must outwit an unknown killer--or end up writing her own final chapter.

Meet the author - Victoria Gilbert
Victoria Gilbert, raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, turned her early obsession with reading into a dual career as an author and librarian. Victoria has worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and library director. When not writing or reading, she likes to spend her time watching films, gardening, or traveling. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers and lives in North Carolina. This is her fourth Blue Ridge Library mystery.

Author Links: Website/blog: http://victoriagilbertmysteries.com/ 
Purchase Links: Amazon B&N Kobo Indie Bound 

My thoughts
I enjoyed this first book in the new series by Victoria. The book lover's bed and breakfast sounds like a nice getaway as long as you don't stumble upon a murder victim. The author did a good job of keeping me guessing.  I liked the characters and am looking forward to getting to know them better as the series goes on. I also thought it was neat how the week long stay at the bed and breakfast was themed around an author.  I am hoping we don't have to wait too long for the next in this series. 

Giveaway



TOUR PARTICIPANTS 
June 8 – The Bookwyrm's Hoard – REVIEW J
une 8 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT 
June 8 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW 
June 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW 
June 9 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT 
June 10 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
June 10 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT 
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June 11 – The Book's the Thing – REVIEW 
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June 12 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW 
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June 13 – The Book Diva's Reads – GUEST POST 
June 14 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW 
June 14 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW 
June 15 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW 
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June 15 – Brianne's Book Reviews – REVIEW 
June 16 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW 
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June 20 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW 
June 20 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW 
June 21 – Melina's Book Blog - REVIEW 
June 21 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 8, 2020

Mousse and Murder by Elizabeth Logan - Spotlight and Giveaway



Book details
Mousse and Murder (An Alaskan Diner Mystery) 
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series 
Publisher: Berkley (May 5, 2020) 
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages 
ISBN-10: 0593100441 
ISBN-13: 978-0593100448 
Kindle ASIN: B07WCZPZY7
 

Book description
A young chef might bite off more than she can chew when she returns to her Alaskan hometown to take over her parents' diner in this charming first installment in a new cozy mystery series set in an Alaskan tourist town.

When Chef Charlie Cooke is offered the chance to leave San Francisco and return home to Elkview, Alaska, to take over her mother's diner, she doesn't even consider saying no. After all--her love life has recently become a Love Life Crumble, and a chance to reconnect with her roots may be just what she needs.

Determined to bring fresh life and flavors to the Bear Claw Diner, Charlie starts planning changes to the menu, which has grown stale over the years. But her plans are fried when her head cook Oliver turns up dead after a bitter and public fight over Charlie's ideas--leaving Charlie as the only suspect in the case.

With her career, freedom, and life all on thin ice, Charlie must find out who the real killer is, before it's too late.

Meet the author Elizabeth Logan
Camille Minichino is turning every aspect of her life into a mystery series. A retired physicist, she’s the author of 28 mystery novels in 5 series, with different pen names. Her next book is “Mousse and Murder,” May 2020, by Elizabeth Logan. She's also written many short stories and articles. She teaches science at Golden Gate U. in San Francisco and writing workshops around the SF Bay Area. Details are at www.minichino.com.

Author Links Website - http://www.minichino.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/camille.minichino
GoodReads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/160580.Camille_Minichino

Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - IndieBound 

Giveaway


TOUR PARTICIPANTS 
May 5 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE 
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May 6 – Elizabeth McKenna - Author – SPOTLIGHT 
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May 8 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW 
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May 12 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
May 12 – Diary of a Book Fiend – REVIEW 

April 27, 2020

Heiress for Hire by Madeline Hunter - Review

I received this book from the author and all opinions are my own.

Book details
Series: A Duke's Heiress Romance (Book 1)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Zebra (April 28, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1420149970
ISBN-13: 978-1420149975

Book description
Minerva Hepplewhite has learned the hard way how to take care of herself. When an intruder breaks into her home, she doesn’t swoon or simper. Instead she wallops the rogue over the head and ties him up—only to realize he is Chase Radnor, a gentleman and grandson of a lord, and a man who makes it his business to investigate suspicious matters. Now he’s insisting that Minerva has inherited a fortune from his uncle, a wealthy duke. Only one thing could surprise her more: her sudden attraction to this exasperating man . . .

Chase can’t decide whether Minerva is a wronged woman or a femme fatale. Either way, he’s intrigued. Maddeningly, with her unexpected inheritance, she has set up a discreet detective business to rival Chase’s own. She may be the perfect person to help him uncover the truth about his uncle’s demise. But as proximity gives way to mutual seduction, Chase realizes he craves a much deeper alliance . . .

Meet the author - Madeline Hunter
Madeline Hunter is a New York Times bestselling author with more than six million copies of her books in print. She has thirty-one nationally bestselling historical romances in print, including most recently, Never Deny a Duke, A Devil of a Duke, and The Most Dangerous Duke in London. A member of RWA’s Honor Roll, she has won the RITA Award twice and been a finalist seven times. Her books have appeared on the bestseller lists of The New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly, and have been translated into thirteen languages. She has a PhD in art history, which she has taught at the university level. Madeline loves to hear from her readers, and can be reached through her website at www.madelinehunter.com, on Facebook, www.facebook.com/madelinehunter/, and at twitter.com/madelinehunter.

My thoughts
I enjoyed this first book in this new series.  Minerva was intriguing to me from the first time she appeared in the book.  Chase was a stand up guy that would be nice to know.  Nicholas was a person you should keep your eye on as you never know what he is going to do.  I liked how Chase and Minerva were both trying to figure out why the duke left his money to who he did but yet they both kept secrets.  I felt this was a good start to a new series. 

April 25, 2020

Shredding the Evidence by Daryl Wood Gerber - Review

I received this book from the author and all opinions are my own. 

Book details
Series: A Cookbook Nook Mystery (Book 9)
Paperback: 226 pages
Publisher: Beyond the Page Publishing (April 21, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1950461440
ISBN-13: 978-1950461448

Book description
The denizens of Crystal Cove are salivating over the upcoming Food Bowl Week, when local chefs offer some of their best and most imaginative creations in bite-size portions all over town. Bookstore proprietor Jenna Hart is hungry to sample as many of the delicacies as she can, but when she stumbles onto the dead body of a local food reporter and learns that her best friend’s husband is the primary suspect, she’ll have to summon the appetite for a side dish of sleuthing to prove his innocence.

Jenna knows the ambitious and aggressive reporter, who was strangled at a fitness center with her shredded restaurant reviews scattered around her, left behind a long list of potential suspects. As she begins piecing together the scant clues, she uncovers illicit ties between the victim and a local newspaper owner, a spurned would-be lover, and a host of disgruntled restaurant owners not a bit torn up by the critical reporter’s demise. And with a solution so close she can almost taste it, Jenna turns up the heat on the culprit, realizing too late that she’s the next course on the murderer’s menu.

Meet the author - Daryl Wood Gerber
Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber writes the bestselling COOKBOOK NOOK MYSTERIES, the new FAIRY GARDEN MYSTERIES, and the FRENCH BISTRO MYSTERIES. As Avery Aames, she pens the bestselling CHEESE SHOP MYSTERIES. In addition, Daryl writes suspense, including the ASPEN ADAMS NOVELS OF SUSPENSE and stand-alone suspense thrillers, including GIRL ON THE RUN and DAY OF SECRETS. Fun tidbits: Daryl jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, and she hitchhiked around Ireland by herself. Also, as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to read, cook, and golf. She has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

My thoughts
Daryl has done it again and has another hit with this book.  I love the food theme of this series and am always excited to see Jenna is up to.  She made Food Bowl Week sound like a fun thing to see and do.  I also like hearing about the different foods and enjoy trying out some of the recipes.  I thought I had the killer all figured out then before I knew it there would a twist that would have me rethinking my choice.  I highly recommend this series as the characters nor the author's writing will disappoint. 

Building a Family by Jennifer Slattery - Review

I received this book from the author and all opinions are my own.

Book details
Series: Love Inspired
Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Love Inspired; Original edition (May 19, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1335488227
ISBN-13: 978-1335488220

Book description
Worried that Noah Williams is still the reckless bull rider she remembers, Kayla Fisher is convinced he isn’t the right person to care for their orphaned niece and nephew. Now she’s back home, determined to fight for custody. But Noah is a changed man, and he intends to prove it. When Noah and Kayla start falling for each other, could raising the children together be the perfect solution?

Meet the author - Jennifer Slattery
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes and blogs for Crosswalk and is a multi-published author. She speaks to women's groups, at conferences, retreats, and to Bible study groups across the nation and encourages women to discover and live out who they are in Christ. When not writing or reading, you'll likely find her sharing coffee with friends or laughing with her hilariously fun husband.

My thoughts
I thought this was a book that was enjoyable to read.  As I read it I found myself at first mad, that a mom could leave her kids and a dad who did not care, to happy that an uncle stepped up to take in the kids and an aunt who rushed to be there for the kids.  I am glad that Kayla rushed to make sure that the kids were being taken care of and understood her apprehension that Noah was doing what was right for them.  This was a very touching story and held my attention all the way to the end. 

April 8, 2020

Beachside Beginnings by Sheila Roberts - Review



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

Book details
Series: A Moonlight Harbor Novel (Book 4)
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: MIRA; Original edition (April 21, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 077836089X
ISBN-13: 978-0778360896

Book description
Moira Wellman has always loved makeovers—helping women find their most beautiful selves. Funny how it’s taken her five years with her abusive boyfriend, Lang, to realize she needs a life makeover. When Moira finally gets the courage to leave Lang, the beachside town of Moonlight Harbor is the perfect place to start over.

Soon Moira is right at home, working at Waves Salon, making new friends and helping her clients find new confidence. When she meets a handsome police officer, she’s more than willing to give him a free haircut. Maybe even her heart. But is she really ready for romance after Lang? And what if her new friend is in hot pursuit of that same cop? This is worse than a bad perm.

With all the heart and humor readers have come to expect from a Sheila Roberts novel, Beachside Beginnings is the story of one woman finding the courage to live her best life. And where better to live it than at the beach?

Meet the author - Sheila Roberts
Sheila Roberts lives on a lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her novels have been published in several languages. Her book, Angel Lane, was an Amazon Top Ten Romance pick for 2009. Her holiday perennial, On Strike for Christmas, was made into a movie for the Lifetime Movie Network and her novel, The Nine Lives of Christmas, was made into a movie for Hallmark . You can visit Sheila on Twitter and Facebook or at her website (http://www.sheilasplace.com).

My thoughts
Another great installment in the Moonlight Harbor series. This one caught my interest from the beginning as I have a family member that went through the same thing as Moira.  She also had a new beginning but it was not easy. I think that is why I liked Moira so much and was pulling for her to find happiness. I also really liked Annie and wanted her to find her own success.  This book was easy to read and I enjoyed every page of it. At times I had a hard time putting it down. I liked how the author ended things and can't wait for the next book in the series. 

March 31, 2020

Sourdough by Robin Sloan


Book details
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Picador; Reprint edition (September 18, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250192757
ISBN-13: 978-1250192752

Book description
Lois Clary, a software engineer at a San Francisco robotics company, codes all day and collapses at night. When her favourite sandwich shop closes up, the owners leave her with the starter for their mouthwatering sourdough bread.

Lois becomes the unlikely hero tasked to care for it, bake with it and keep this needy colony of microorganisms alive. Soon she is baking loaves daily and taking them to the farmer's market, where an exclusive close-knit club runs the show.

When Lois discovers another, more secret market, aiming to fuse food and technology, a whole other world opens up. But who are these people, exactly?

Meet the author - Robin Sloan
Robin Sloan is the author of the novels Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore and Sourdough, published in the U.S. by MCD. He grew up near Detroit and now split his time between the Bay Area and the internet.

My thoughts
My book club chose this book as this months selection to read. While I did enjoy this book, I have to be honest that I would not have picked this book up on my own. I am ashamed to say that the cover did not appeal to me and that is one thing that first draws me to books. I liked the brothers that Lois was getting her supper from every night and that they entrusted her with the sourdough when they had to leave.  Some of the things about Lois' day job confused me a little. My favorite part of the story the sourdough. I liked how things ended for Lois in the end, but at the same time would have liked to hear just a little more about her adventure. 

The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate - Review

The Book of Lost Friends
I received this book free from the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

Book details
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (April 7, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1984819887
ISBN-13: 978-1984819888

Book description
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours comes a new historical novel: the dramatic story of three young women searching for family amid the destruction of the post–Civil War South, and of a modern-day teacher who learns of their story and its vital connection to her students’ lives.

Bestselling author Lisa Wingate brings to life startling stories from actual “Lost Friends” advertisements that appeared in Southern newspapers after the Civil War, as newly freed slaves desperately searched for loved ones who had been sold away.

Louisiana, 1875: In the tumultuous era of Reconstruction, three young women set off as unwilling companions on a perilous quest: Hannie, a freed slave; Lavinia, the pampered heir to a now destitute plantation; and Juneau Jane, Lavinia’s Creole half sister. Each carries private wounds and powerful secrets as they head for Texas, following roads rife with vigilantes and soldiers still fighting a war lost a decade before. For Lavinia and Juneau Jane, the journey is one of stolen inheritance and financial desperation, but for Hannie, torn from her mother and siblings before slavery’s end, the pilgrimage west reignites an agonizing question: Could her long-lost family still be out there? Beyond the swamps lie the limitless frontiers of Texas and, improbably, hope.

Louisiana, 1987: For first-year teacher Benedetta Silva, a subsidized job at a poor rural school seems like the ticket to canceling her hefty student debt—until she lands in a tiny, out-of-step Mississippi River town. Augustine, Louisiana, is suspicious of new ideas and new people, and Benny can scarcely comprehend the lives of her poverty-stricken students. But amid the gnarled live oaks and run-down plantation homes lie the century-old history of three young women, a long-ago journey, and a hidden book that could change everything.

Meet the author - Lisa Wingate
Selected among BOOKLIST'S Top 10 for two years running, Lisa Wingate writes novels that Publisher's Weekly calls "Masterful" and ForeWord Magazine refers to as "Filled with lyrical prose, hope, and healing.” Lisa is a journalist, an inspirational speaker, and the author of a host of literary works. Her novels have garnered or been short-listed for many awards, including the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, the Oklahoma Book Award, the Utah Library Award, the LORIES Best Fiction Award, The Carol Award, the Christy Award, Family Fiction's Top 10, RT Booklover's Reviewer's Choice Award, and others. The group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with six others for the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who promote greater kindness and civility in American life. She’s been a writer since Mrs. Krackhardt’s first-grade class and still believes that stories have the power to change the world.

IN THE WRITER'S OWN WORDS: A special first grade teacher, Mrs. Krackhardt, made a writer out of me. That may sound unlikely, but it's true. It's possible to find a calling when you're still in pigtails and Mary Jane shoes, and to know it's your calling. I was halfway through the first grade when I landed in Mrs. Krackhardt's classroom. I was fairly convinced there wasn't anything all that special about me... and then, Mrs. Krackhardt stood over my desk and read a story I was writing. She said things like, "This is a great story! I wonder what happens next?"

It isn't every day a shy new kid gets that kind of attention. I rushed to finish the story, and when I wrote the last word, the teacher took the pages, straightened them on the desk, looked at me over the top, and said, "You are a wonderful writer!"

A dream was born. Over the years, other dreams bloomed and died tragic, untimely deaths. I planned to become an Olympic gymnast or win the National Finals Rodeo, but there was this matter of back flips on the balance beam and these parents who stubbornly refused to buy me a pony. Yet the writer dream remained. I always believed I could do it because... well... my first grade teacher told me so, and first grade teachers don't lie.

So, that is my story, and if you are a teacher, or know a teacher, or ever loved a special teacher, I salute you from afar and wish you days be filled with stories worth telling and stories worth reading.

My thoughts
I don't know if there is a book of Lisa's that I have not liked. I really liked Benny and enjoyed reading about her trying to get through to the kids she was teaching and what she did to make that happen. I also liked Hennie and cheered her on through her journey. I liked the symbol of the three blue beads and what they stood for. I thought the ending was appropriate although I would have loved to know just a little more about what happened with Benny and Nathan. Of course I loved the historical part of this book as well. History is my favorite thing. It is nice that Lisa brings these little now historical tidbits to life in her fiction stories that people may not have heard about otherwise. There is something about Lisa's books that you connect with the characters on a deeper level than most book. They always seem to bring some memory of your life to the surface and make you think. A great storyteller.

March 5, 2020

Finding Charity's Folk by Jessica Millward - Review


Book details
Series: Race in the Atlantic World, 1700-1900 Ser.
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: University of Georgia Press (December 15, 2015)
ISBN-10: 9780820348780

Book description
Finding Charity’s Folk highlights the experiences of enslaved Maryland women who negotiated for their own freedom, many of whom have been largely lost to historical records. Based on more than fifteen hundred manumission records and numerous manuscript documents from a diversity of archives, Jessica Millward skillfully brings together African American social and gender history to provide a new means of using biography as a historical genre.

Millward opens with a striking discussion about how researching the life of a single enslaved woman, Charity Folks, transforms our understanding of slavery and freedom in Revolutionary America. For African American women such as Folks, freedom, like enslavement, was tied to a bondwoman’s reproductive capacities. Their offspring were used to perpetuate the slave economy. Finding loopholes in the law meant that enslaved women could give birth to and raise free children. For Millward, Folks demonstrates the fluidity of the boundaries between slavery and freedom, which was due largely to the gendered space occupied by enslaved women. The gendering of freedom influenced notions of liberty, equality, and race in what became the new nation and had profound implications for African American women’s future interactions with the state.

Meet the author - Jessica Millward
JESSICA MILLWARD is an associate professor of history at the University of California, Irvine.

My thoughts
I listened to this author talk about this book on a podcast which peaked my interest.  It was an interesting subject to read about. To me it was sad that they had to buy their freedom and sometimes right when they had the money the price would be raised. At the same time I though it was amazing that some were able to buy the freedom for so many of their family. I enjoyed reading the personal history the most. 

Lavender Blue Murder by Laura Chids - Review and Giveaway


Book details
Cozy Mystery 21th in Series 
Publisher: Berkley (March 3, 2020) 
Hardcover: 336 pages 
ISBN-10: 0451489667 
ISBN-13: 978-0451489661 
Digital ASIN: B07SSQ1X4R
  

Book description
Tea-Maven Theodosia Browning brews up trouble in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

Tea maven Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier Drayton Conneley are guests at a bird hunt styled in the precise manner of an English shooting party. Which means elevenses (sloe gin fizzes), gun loaders, the drawing of pegs, fine looking bird dogs, and shooting costumes of tweed, herringbone, and suede.

But as gunshots explode like a riff of Black Cat firecrackers, another shot sounds too close for comfort to Theodosia and Drayton. Intrigued but worried, Theodosia wanders into the neighbor's lavender field where she discovers their host, Reginald Doyle, bleeding to death.

His wife, Meredith, is beside herself with grief and begs Theodosia and Drayton to stay the night. But Theodosia awakens at 2:00A.M. to find smoke in her room and the house on fire. As the fire department screams in and the investigating sheriff returns, Meredith again pleads with Theodosia for help.

As Theodosia investigates, fingers are pointed, secrets are uncovered, Reginald's daughter-in-law goes missing presumed drowned, and Meredith is determined to find answers via a séance. All the while Theodosia worries if she's made a mistake in inviting a prime suspect to her upscale Lavender Lady Tea.

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!

Meet the author Laura Childs
Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs. Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are: The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston. The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here! The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality. 
Laura’s Links: Website – http://www.laurachilds.com/ 

My thoughts
There are many things in this installment of the tea shop series that I liked. I love lavender and would have loved to walk the field with Theo. I also liked the bird hunt theme, getting to see Drayton again, a seance and of course a Gone with the Wind tea. There were many things that happened to keep you interested in this story, the murder and then the same night a fire.  As always Laura does a good job of making you feel a part of the story. She also likes to put in just enough twists to keep you guessing until the end. This is one of my favorite series and I always look forward to the next one. 

Giveaway


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March 2, 2020

Murder Makes Scents by Christin Brecher - Review and Giveaway


Book details
Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series 
Publisher: Kensington (February 25, 2020) 
Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages 
ISBN-10: 1496721411 
ISBN-13: 978-1496721419 
Digital ASIN: B07R6P9Z8M
  

Book description
Stella Wright loves creating candles at her Nantucket store—and she also has a burning passion for justice. Now, after visiting a perfume conference, she must solve a vial crime . . .

Stella and her globe-trotting mom, Millie, have come home from a perfume industry conference in Paris, where their trip was marred by witnessing the stabbing death of a young man. It’s a relief for Stella to be back on her picturesque island, with the comforting company of her cat, Tinker. But lingering danger may have followed them back across the ocean.

After someone breaks into her candle store, the Wick & Flame, Stella starts feeling spooked. And just as things threaten to ignite, Millie suffers a blow to the head. Stella receives an anonymous note claiming that her mother smuggled a secret formula out of France—and threatening her life if it isn’t returned. Now Stella’s picked up the scent of a cold-hearted criminal and an intriguing puzzle, and things are about to get wicked . . .
Meet the author Christin Brecher
Christin Brecher was born and raised in NYC, where her family and many childhood friends still reside. As such, she feels she is as much of a small-town girl as any. The idea to write the Nantucket Candle Maker series sprang from her life-long connection to the small island off the coast of Massachusetts. Spending summers there as a child, Christin read from her family’s library of mystery novels, after which she began to imagine stories inspired by the island’s whaling heyday, its notoriously foggy nights, and during long bike rides to the beach. After many years in marketing for the publishing industry, followed by years raising her children, Murder’s No Votive Confidence is Christin’s debut novel. Visit her at www.christinbrecher.com.

Author Links
Website – http://christinbrecher.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/christinbrecherbooks/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/christinbrecherbooks/
GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18483379.Christin_Brecher
BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/christin-brecher
Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboBAM
IndieBoundHudson BooksellersGoogle Play 

My thoughts
I loved that this book started in Paris then followed Stella and her mom home to Nantucket.  It is nice to watch Parker and Stella's relationship progress and that Andy and her are staying close friends.  This book was packed with even more adventure than the first one.  I had a hard time putting this book down.  I did not see the ending of who the killer was. I would not have thought it was that person so the author did a good job of throwing me off. I know he was a suspect of Stella's but not mine.  I look forward to the next book in this series.
Giveaway



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February 29, 2020

Here Comes the Body by Maria DiRico - Review and Giveaway


Book details
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series 
Publisher: Kensington (February 25, 2020) 
Mass Market Paperback: 304 page 
ISBN-10: 1496725344 
ISBN-13: 978-1496725349 
Digital ASIN: B07R8WYLSC
  

Book description
After her philandering husband’s boat went down, newly single Mia Carina went back to Astoria, the bustling Queens neighborhood of her youth. Living with her Nonna and her oversized cat, Doorstop, she’s got a whole new life—including some amateur sleuthing . . .

Mia is starting work at Belle View, her father’s catering hall, a popular spot for weddings, office parties, and more—despite the planes that occasionally roar overhead on their way to LaGuardia and rattle the crystal chandelier. Soon she’s planning a bachelor party for a less-than-gentlemanly groom. But it goes awry when the gigantic cake is wheeled in and a deadly surprise is revealed . . . Since some of her family’s associates are on the shady side, the NYPD wastes no time in casting suspicion on Mia’s father. Now, Mia’s going to have to use all her street smarts to keep him out of Rikers Island . . . Italian recipes included!

Meet the author Maria DiRico
Maria DiRico was born in Queens, New York, and raised in Queens and Westchester County. She is a first-generation Italian-American on her mother’s side. On her father’s side, her grandfather was a low-level Jewish mobster who disappeared in 1933 under mysterious circumstances. She also writes the award-winning, bestselling Cajun Country Mystery series under the name Ellen Byron.

Website - https://www.ellenbyron.com/catering-hall-mysteries 
Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - Kobo - Google Play - IndieBound

My thoughts
I enjoyed this book and think this is going to be a good series. One of my favorite things is the mafia/mob connection as I love reading and watching things about connected families. Nonna is one of my favorite characters and I can just see her pinching Mia's cheeks and having delicious food for her to eat. The family connection with Mia and her dad and Nonna is nice but I hope to see Nonna and dad have a little more connection in future books. I am looking forward to see if the Belle View will be a prospering business and if Mia finds a partner

Giveaway


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January 22, 2020

Dead in Dublin by Catie Murphy - Review

Book details
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series 
Publisher: Kensington (December 31, 2019) 
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages 
ISBN-10: 1496724186 
ISBN-13: 978-1496724182 
Digital ASIN: B07Q3NPNFB
  

Book description
In Dublin’s fair city, where the girls are so pretty, murder occurs at the feet of sweet Molly Malone . . .
Ferrying tourists around Dublin for the Leprechaun Limo Service makes quite a change after years in the military. Still, Megan Malone is enjoying her life in Ireland. She likes the scenery, the easy pace, the quirky, quick-witted locals. Everything—except having one of her clients drop dead at the statue of fabled fishmonger, Molly Malone.

Most restaurant critics notch up their share of enemies. Elizabeth Darr, however, was a well-loved international star. She and her husband, Simon, had just had dinner when Elizabeth collapsed, and spoiled seafood is the first suspect. The restaurant’s owner, worried her business is doomed, begs Megan to look into it. Between her irate boss and a handsome Garda who’s both amused and annoyed by her persistence, Megan has her hands full even before she’s cajoled into taking care of two adorable Jack Russell puppies (which she is almost definitely not keeping). But if cockles and mussels aren’t to blame, can Megan find the real culprit . . .before another fishy death occurs?

Meet the author - Catie Murphy
Catie Murphy, who has written numerous award-winning fantasy and Sci-fi books under the pseudonym C. E. Murphy, began writing around age six, when she submitted three poems to a school publication. The teacher producing the magazine selected (inevitably) the one she thought was by far the worst, but also told her—a six-year-old kid—to keep writing, which she has. She has also held the usual grab-bag of jobs often seen in an authorial biography, including public library volunteer (at ages 9 and 10; it’s clear she was doomed to a career involving books), archival assistant, cannery worker, and web designer. Writing books is better. She was born and raised in Alaska, and now lives with her family in her ancestral homeland of Ireland.

Author Link - Website Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - Kobo - Kensington 

My thoughts
I enjoyed reading this first installment of a new cozy series. I enjoyed that it was set in Ireland which is a place I would love to visit. It was nice to follow along with Megan while she tried to figure out who murdered a client of hers. Another part I liked was that the author wrote parts of conversations with an Irish accent just like you would hear it if you were talking to the characters. I love an Irish accent. It was nice of Megan to take in the stray doggie mom and her new babies.  This was a nice book and I am interested to see where this series takes us. 

Giveaway


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