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 
May 5 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST 
May 5 – I'm Into Books – SPOTLIGHT 
May 5 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW 
May 6 – Elizabeth McKenna - Author – SPOTLIGHT 
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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.