Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Review: Mr. Miracle by: Debbie Macomber

Title: Mr. Miracle
Author: Debbie Macomber
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pages: 256
Format: NetGalley e-book
Source: NetGalley


Harry Mills is a guardian angel on a mission: help twenty-four-year-old Addie Folsom get her life back on track—and, if the right moment strikes, help her find love. Posing as a teacher at a local college in Tacoma, Washington, Harry is up to the task, but not even he can predict the surprises that lay in store.

After trying to make it on her own, Addie has returned home to Tacoma for the holidays, but this time she plans to stay for good, enrolling in the local community college to earn her degree. What she doesn’t plan to do is run into Erich Simmons.

Addie and her next-door neighbor, Erich, are like night and day. Growing up, he was popular and outgoing while she was rebellious and headstrong, and he never missed an opportunity to tease her. Now she intends to avoid him entirely, yet when they’re suddenly forced to spend Christmas together, Addie braces for trouble.

Perhaps it’s the spirit of the season or the magic of mistletoe, but Addie and Erich soon find they have more in common than they thought—and that two people who seem so wrong for each other may actually be just right. With a little prompting from a certain angelic teacher, the two are in for a holiday miracle they’ll never forget.

My Thoughts: 

This was cute Christmas themed book when Harry Mills is sent to earth to work on his mission as a guardian angel his task is to help Addie Folsom get on track with her life.  He gets a job at the local college to teach adults about The Christmas Carol and the various meanings that Dickens created in the book.

Meanwhile Addie is taking care of the boy next door who she has hated for so long who now has two broken wrists due to a car accident.  Will the two find common ground or keep up their grudge with each other?

I enjoyed this story especially seeing how Harry adapts to living among humans when he has been around them for a while.  I also enjoyed watching the relationship blossom between Addie and Erich.  Such a great story!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Review: Town in a Blueberry Jam by: B.B. Haywood

Title: Town in A Blueberry Jam
Author: B.B. Haywood
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Series: A Candy Holliday Mystery #1
Pages: 320
Format: ebook
Source: Purchase


First in the fabulous new Candy Holliday Murder mystery series. 

In the seaside village of Cape Willington, Maine, Candy Holliday has an idyllic life tending to the Blueberry Acres farm she runs with her father. But, when an aging playboy and the newly crowned Blueberry Queen are killed, Candy investigates to clear the name of a local handyman. And as she sorts through the town's juicy secrets, things start to get sticky indeed...

My Thoughts:

In this book we are introduced to Candy Holliday and her father Doc who live together in a small seaside town of Cape Willington Maine.  They run a farm together called Blueberry Acres.  As they are getting ready for the blueberry festival and blueberry pageant to crown Queen Blueberry, not long into this book a murder occurs and the local hero Jock who commits suicide or that is the going story unfortunately some town folk find that hard to believe including Doc who is adamant that Jock was too cocky to die in that manner.

When Sapphire Vine winds up dead given that she was the local gossip so many people wonder who had cause to kill her?  Could it be the German baker?  Or is Cameron the young man who seemed very upset by her death?  Or is it related to the pageant?  Candy, her friend Maggie and Doc set out to clear the murder suspect who is too gentle to kill anyone.  Ray who does handy work around town no one can believe he would kill anyone.  So who is out to frame him?  And what do they hope to gain by framing an unlikely suspect?

I enjoyed this seaside town with all it's characters and the quirkiness about them?  I also liked how we did learn Candy's back story with out it being thrown in right in the beginning.  I enjoyed the rapport between father and daughter and how he does get stern with Candy at times but it doesn't take away from the story.

I think people who enjoy Jessica Fletcher will enjoy Candy Holliday and what she has to offer readers!  Next in the series: 

Review: Lost Legacy by: Annette Dashofy

Title: Lost Legacy
Author: Annette Dashofy
Publisher: Henery Press
Series: Zoe Chambers Mysteries #2
Pages: 296 pages
Format: ebook
Source: Great Escapes Book Tour


On a sultry summer afternoon, Paramedic Zoe Chambers responds to a call and finds a farmer’s body hanging from the rafters of his hay barn. What first appears to be a suicide quickly becomes something sinister when Zoe links the victim to a pair of deaths forty-five years earlier. Her attempts to wheedle information from her mother and stepfather hit a brick wall of deception, one that brings into question everything Zoe knows about her late father, who died in a car crash when she was eight. Or did he?

Police Chief Pete Adams fears Zoe’s inquiries are setting her up for deeper heartbreak and putting her in danger. As Zoe and Pete inch closer to the truth, they discover that a missing gun links the crimes which span more than four decades. But the killer isn’t done. Two more Vance Township residents fall victim to the same gun, and when tragedy strikes too close to home, Zoe realizes her family is in the crosshairs.

My Thoughts:

In this book we meet Zoe Chambers and her acquaintances as she responds to a call as a Paramedic and finds Jim Engle dead by hanging, something about this crime hits Zoe and makes her question everything she knows especially when more people wind up dying around her.

What I found great about this story is it was an new crime wrapped under older crimes.  In order to solve the first you really had to watch characters sift through the older crimes.  I also enjoyed Pete's dad who was great for a dementia type patient.

Definitely a great who-dun-it mystery that really had you wondering who was committing murder?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Review: We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Title: We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Author: Shirley Jackson
Pages: 160
Format: E-book
Publisher: Penguin Classics


Visitors call seldom at Blackwood House. Taking tea at the scene of a multiple poisoning, with a suspected murderess as one's host, is a perilous business. For a start, the talk tends to turn to arsenic. "It happened in this very room, and we still have our dinner in here every night," explains Uncle Julian, continually rehearsing the details of the fatal family meal. "My sister made these this morning," says Merricat, politely proffering a plate of rum cakes, fresh from the poisoner's kitchen. We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson's 1962 novel, is full of a macabre and sinister humor, and Merricat herself, its amiable narrator, is one of the great unhinged heroines of literature. "What place would be better for us than this?" she asks, of the neat, secluded realm she shares with her uncle and with her beloved older sister, Constance. "Who wants us, outside? The world is full of terrible people." Merricat has developed an idiosyncratic system of rules and protective magic, burying talismanic objects beneath the family estate, nailing them to trees, ritually revisiting them. She has made "a powerful taut web which never loosened, but held fast to guard us" against the distrust and hostility of neighboring villagers.

Or so she believes. But at last the magic fails. A stranger arrives -- cousin Charles, with his eye on the Blackwood fortune. He disturbs the sisters' careful habits, installing himself at the head of the family table, unearthing Merricat's treasures, talking privately to Constance about "normal lives" and "boy friends." Unable to drive him away by either polite or occult means, Merricat adopts more desperate methods. The result is crisis and tragedy, the revelation of a terrible secret, the convergence of the villagers upon the house, and a spectacular unleashing of collective spite.

The sisters are propelled further into seclusion and solipsism, abandoning "time and the orderly pattern of our old days" in favor of an ever-narrowing circuit of ritual and shadow. They have themselves become talismans, to be alternately demonized and propitiated, darkly, with gifts. Jackson's novel emerges less as a study in eccentricity and more -- like some of her other fictions -- as a powerful critique of the anxious, ruthless processes involved in the maintenance of normality itself. "Poor strangers," says Merricat contentedly at last, studying trespassers from the darkness behind the barricaded Blackwood windows. "They have so much to be afraid of."

My thoughts:

I remember hearing Shirley Jackson's name very often from fellow bookworms. However, I'm not sure who told me about this book. I've probably seen her name while I was reading about Neil Gaiman or Stephen King because Shirley Jackson is among names that inspired these two. I wish I hadn't waiting this long to read her works.

In We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Mary Katherine Blackwood lives in the Blackwood House with her older sister Constance Blackwood and their uncle Julian Blackwood. Blackwoods are among the rich families of the town. However, most of the family (that is, everyone except the three that I just listed the names of) have passed away; Mary Katherine, Constance and Julian have been spending all their time at home since. Due to the suspicious events that took place (you don't see what it is until toward the very end of the book, so I'm trying not to give you spoilers), the people in town don't like them; they're both annoyed by them and a little scared of them as well.

Constance and Julian never leave the house. Julian is actually a man whose mind comes and goes at times; he spends his entire day trying to figure out what happened to the rest of the family. Constance is responsible for cooking and house chores. In addition, she keeps quite a garden where she grows fruit, vegetables and other plants. Mary Katherine is the only one among them who leaves the house on specific days during the week, and that's just to do the shopping in town. She tries not to talk to anyone or hear what they say behind their backs while she's there.

Like I've said, because the events unfold toward the end of the book, it's hard to explain what's going on without actually telling you what's going on. However, I can say that the pace, tone and feeling of the book is very much close to this song:

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Review: Deep in Death by: Colleen Helme

Title: Deep in Death
Author: Colleen Helme
Pages: 279
Format: ebook
Source: Great Escapes Book Tour


Running “errands” for her mob-boss employer, Joey “The Knife” Manetto, often ends with Shelby in trouble, making her cautious about continuing her association with him. Instead, she focuses on a new client who hires Shelby to find her missing mother. What seems like a routine case turns into something more sinister and deadly than she ever imagined.

In the meantime, Uncle Joey has summoned Shelby to his office, where she runs into her former nemesis. Shelby inadvertently hears something that makes her fear for the lives of Uncle Joey and his hit-man, Ramos. This time, Uncle Joey is not sure he wants to involve Shelby in something he knows could get her killed. Keeping Shelby’s involvement to a minimum has disastrous results, sending Shelby on a dangerous path. As her investigation unfolds, Shelby finds death at every turn, and soon realizes she is in over her head. Can she escape from danger in time? Or will she find herself deep in death?

My Thoughts:

This series is great it follows the life of Shelby Nichols and the people she uses her premonition power on and helping them to solve crimes and weed out the bad guys.  In this book Shelby is helping Tiffany Shaw who is about to be married and wants to find out what happened to her mom years ago.

Also it seems Uncle Joey is having issues and needs Shelby to help him figure out who's trying to kill him.  Shelby keeps at this knowing she could be placing herself deep in danger.

I love the ability this author has of throwing Shelby into all sorts of trouble and watching Shelby weasel her way out of it.  And this book was no different then her other troubling situations.  This one was full of action, adventure, mystery and so much emotion it was literally a roller coaster ride!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Jillian's Blog from Kate Collins

I know I'm late in sharing this treasure that Kate Collins offered on her website she allowed Gillian Osborne from The Flower Shop series to write a week of blogging about fashion tips and maybe even a murder in there.  It's still up on her website and everyone should check it out I loved it!  Kate Collins is such an incredible author with the life she weaves with Abby Knight and her friends and family.

Share in the comments below what you thought of Jillian?  Personally me I love Jillian she is such a riot and cracks me up!

Review: The Corpse With Platinum Hair by: Cathy Ace

Title: The Corpse with The Platinum Hair
Author: Cathy Ace
Publisher: Touchwood Editions
Series: A Cait Morgan Mystery
Pages: 240
Format: ebook
Source: Great Escapes Book Tours


“Look! Somebody’s skewered Miss Shirley to her seat with a silver saber.”

When Cait Morgan arrives in Las Vegas, her only plans are to celebrate a birthday with Bud, her significant other. But then Miss Shirley—a casino owner better known as the “Queen of the Vegas Strip”—is murdered during Bud’s birthday feast. A security lockdown seals Cait and Bud in a private dining room with a corpse, an unidentified murderer, and a group of nervous, potential victims.

As the bodies pile up and tensions mount, Cait’s list of suspects dwindles. Fearing for her life and for Bud’s, Cait knows she must
solve the mystery. But can she reveal the killer before she, too, is mercilessly murdered?

My Thoughts:

This book was definitely different then typical cozy mysteries in this one Miss Shirley ends up dead and the others recount their memories of her in hopes of figuring out who had something worth killing for.  Lots of secrets about Miss Shirley are revealed.

Soon more bodies end up turning up and it's up to Cait and her boyfriend Bud to figure out who is killing the other guests when they get stuck in a locked room and have to wait hours to be released.

While this book was good to me it felt slow in some areas, but that could be just my opinion and not the intention of the author.  I think people will find this book overall enjoyable.  The book had lots of mystery to it.  One I would recommend for big cozy mystery fans!

Respect The Arc