Saturday, February 27, 2016

Review: Double Fudge Brownie Murder by: Joanne Fluke

Title: Double Fudge Brownie Murder
Author: Joanne Fluke
Publisher: Kensington
Series: Hannah Swensen #18
Pages: 356
Format: iBooks e-book
Source: Purchase

Description:

Life in tiny Lake Eden, Minnesota, is usually pleasantly uneventful. Lately, though, it seems everyone has more than their fair share of drama--especially the Swensen family. With so much on her plate, Hannah Swensen can hardly find the time to think about her bakery--let alone the town's most recent murder.  .  . 

Hannah is nervous about the upcoming trial for her involvement in a tragic accident. She's eager to clear her name once and for all, but her troubles only double when she finds the judge bludgeoned to death with his own gavel--and Hannah is the number one suspect. Now on trial in the court of public opinion, she sets out in search of the culprit and discovers that the judge made more than a few enemies during his career. With time running out, Hannah will have to whip up her most clever recipe yet to find a killer more elusive than the perfect brownie.  .  . .

My Thoughts: 

In this book Hannah is about to go on trial for her charges in the previous book where she hit someone purely on accident, but before that happens Hannah and her sisters are whisked away by Doc Knight to marry Hannah's mother in Vegas.  While in Vegas Hannah meets up with Doc's best man Ross who Hannah knew in College and had a huge crush on.  She finds they are both feeling an attraction that hasn't diminished.  

When Hannah arrives back in Lake Eden she is all set to go to trail when Hannah and her lawyer Howie get called into the judges chambers, while waiting to meet with the judge Howie is busy with a phone call and Hannah finds herself stumbling on another body.  What she didn't know was that her case was tossed out.

Who had it out for Judge Colfax, was it a ex-wife determined to screw her ex-husband?  Was it his son angry about the divorce?  Or his mistress he left for his second wife?  Or the illegitimate daughter he had with his mistress?  Or his crazy nephew whose was the one to send Hannah's case right into his hands to begin with?  Hannah and Michelle are determined to get to the bottom of it and especially with a cat burglar running loose without leaving the apartment?

I have been following this series since the beginning and while I was all fed up with Team Mike vs Team Norman at this point Hannah meeting up with Ross is very hard to swallow I find it hard that these three guys are ok with each other and the roles in Hannah's life.  No one is jealous like ever I have never met a guy that passive especially when one is a cop I mean I get the whole Hannah is very indecisive.  There has to be some kind of broken hearted or anger or something.  In that sense the characters feel flat like they are 1 sided or maybe 2 sided.  Too much lovey dovey to convince me that they are all ok with fawning over Hannah.

The mystery in this story seemed to play second fiddle to the romance angle.  It seemed like a forced mystery, kind of like it needed some sort of mystery and I noticed Hannah spent less time at the The Cookie Jar in this book I hope Lisa got a big raise or paycheck to make up for double duty.  I think the past couple of books since Dr. Bev the stories have been falling short, I remember the jealousy Hannah felt when Dr. Bev tried to take Norman away and how hurt she was for everyone to be so understanding just irked me the wrong way.  I will continue this series to see how it plays out I just hope Ms. Fluke bounces back from this and back to the mysteries that we come to love.

Next in the series:



Friday, February 26, 2016

Review: Stiff Competition by: Annelise Ryan


Title: Stiff Competition
Author: Annelise Ryan
Publisher: Kensington
Series: Mattie Winston Mysteries #7
Pages: 368
Format: e-book ARC
Source: NetGalley & Great Escapes Book Tours

Description:

Every fall, hunting season in Sorenson, Wisconsin, leads to some accidental injuries. Deputy coroner Mattie Winston just hopes the hunters don’t bring any more business to her office. But somebody seems to have declared open season on land developers. One real estate developer who’s recently come to town has been found dead in the woods with an arrow through his neck. Now it’s up to Mattie to get to the bottom of the killing. That might be easier if she wasn’t also hunting for Detective Hurley’s teenage daughter, Emily, who has suddenly disappeared. With a homicidal William Tell out on the loose, Mattie is desperate to find Emily before the killer notches another arrow…

My Thoughts:

This book follows new mother Mattie Winston as she returns to work from having her baby son Matthew when she is called to the woods for the body of land developer who has an arrow in his neck.  It's up to Mattie and her boyfriend Detective Hurley to find out whose killing land developers and why add to that Det. Hurley's missing daughter Emily who has been causing Mattie and Hurley all sorts of grief with her angst.  Where is Emily?  Why is she missing?  Has she had enough of Sorenson and joined the circus or is she in real danger?

I love reading this book and following Mattie, her close friends and family.  I also enjoy reading how they go about solving the crimes and finding out what is up with Emily.  Definitely different then alot of cozy mysteries out there this one really works together with M.E's and Cops.  Can't wait to see what is next in this great series!  If you haven't read these you are really missing out on a captivating book that really pulls you in and won't let go until you reach the end of the book!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

BOTM Interview with Lori over at Escape with DollyCas

Recently I had the chance to sit down with Community Bookstop's BOTM Lori@Great Escapes Book Tours to interview her for my blog.  She is a joy to talk to and get to know.  Thank you Lori for making the time to talk with me!

How did you become a book blogger?

I was injured in an auto accident in 2001. Over the years I made some very good friends online and in 2009 one of those friends, Lori from Lori’s Reading Corner, encouraged me to start a blog. On December 31, 2009, I finally took the plunge and I have been sharing my literary “escapes” ever since.

What type of books do you read? 

I like to read most genres, but not sci-fi or horror or anything with werewolves, vampires or zombies. Joyce Lavene was getting me to read some of those before she passed away. She and Jim just have a special way of making them almost friendly.

How did you become a tour host? 

It started out as a way to get books when I was new to blogging. It also opened me up to several authors I probably would have missed. Now that I organize tours myself I get to get to know the authors and I really enjoy helping them promote their books.

What is your favorite part of book tours? 

My favorite part of the tours is the day they start and going to each blog and seeing the posts. This continues each day of the tour. I enjoy reading all the blogs and the hosts thoughts about the book.

Do you have a favorite Genre? 

Definitely Cozy Mysteries, I used to do a lot of crafts, so now I read about other crafty people who just happen to solve crimes too.

Do you have a Favorite Author?

I have so many favorites I would never be able to choose just one.

When you’re not reading what are you doing? 

Setting up and running virtual book tours, writing posts from my blog, watching Days of Our Lives, or another prime time show. Right now everything stops for Chicago Med, Chicago Fire and Chicago PD. Of course if the grandchildren are here they get all my attention.

If you were deserted on an island and could only have three things what would they be? 

My Kindle Fire (with a battery that doesn’t die.) A Cabana with a fully stocked bar, sunscreen.




Monday, February 22, 2016

Review: Death of A Nurse by: M.C. Beaton

Title: Death of A Nurse
Author: M.C. Beaton
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Series: Hamish Macbeth #31
Pages: 256
Format: Hardcover ARC
Source: Grand Central Publishing

Description:

M. C. Beaton's New York Times bestselling Hamish Macbeth series continues with a new mystery featuring Scotland's most quick-witted but unambitious policeman.



James Harrison has recently moved to a restored hunting lodge in Sutherland with his gorgeous private nurse Gloria Dainty. When Hamish visits Mr. Harrison to welcome him to the neighborhood, the old man treats him very rudely. Gloria apologizes for her employer's behavior, and Hamish takes the plunge and invites her out for dinner. On the appointed evening, Hamish waits for Gloria at the restaurant. And waits. Gloria never shows up. Four days later, Gloria's body washes up on the beach near Braikie. Now without a date and without his former policeman Dick Fraser (who left the force to buy a bakery), Hamish must find out who killed the beautiful new resident of Sutherland, and why, before the murderer strikes again....

My Thoughts:

This book is the 31st book in the Hamish Macbeth series and the stakes seem higher in this book.  Hamish meets a nurse Gloria Dainty while visiting a new resident in town of Lochdubh Mr. Harrison who seems to be put off by just about everyone and everything.  The new nurse Gloria tries to smooth things over with Hamish even accepting a dinner date but when she doesn't appear Hamish feels he's been blown off but when he finds her dead he sets out to figure out who killed her and why?  What he learns is so much more.  Who was Gloria Dainty and what did she plan to do with Mr. Harrison?

I thoroughly enjoyed this story as I have become fond of Hamish and the people he works with.  I do miss Dick who left the force to open a bakery with Anka.  Reading this book can you see how much Hamish misses his policeman.  You can see where he has gotten somewhat protective of Charlie his new policeman.  

Blair is also up to his tricks trying to get rid of Hamish's police station going so far as hiring people to spy on Hamish's policeman Charlie Carter and Police Inspector Fiona Herring.  Which seems to be Hamish underlying issue dealing with Blair and his sneakiness and the fact that he never gets sacked over it.

I loved reading this book the lazy cop who always figures out the who did it.  This book didn't disappoint in the least if anything it showed 31 books later and Hamish Macbeth still has it.  While this book you can kind of sense he wants to be with a gal but needs to find the right one for him.  Can't wait to see what Ms. Beaton comes up next!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Book Spotlight: City of Gold by: Carolyn Arnold

CITY OF GOLD large banner6402

City of Gold by Carolyn Arnold

CITY OF GOLD 
Hardcover: 314 pages 
Publisher: Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc (November 27, 2015) 
ISBN-13: 978-1988064666 
ASIN: B016LLDQIY

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Synopsis:

Action-adventure books for the mystery lover. In this series, modern-day archaeologist and adventurer Matthew Connor travels the globe with his two closest friends to unearth treasure and discover legends the world has all but forgotten. Indiana Jones meets the twenty-first century.
Finding the Inca’s lost City of Gold would be the discovery of a lifetime. But failing could mean her death...
Archaeologist Matthew Connor and his friends Cal and Robyn are finally home after a dangerous retrieval expedition in India. While they succeeded in obtaining the priceless Pandu artifact they sought, it almost cost them their lives. Still, Matthew is ready for the next adventure. Yet when new intel surfaces indicating the possible location of the legendary City of Gold, Matthew is hesitant to embark on the quest.
Not only is the evidence questionable but it means looking for the lost city of Paititi far away from where other explorers have concentrated their efforts. As appealing as making the discovery would be, it’s just too risky. But when Cal’s girlfriend, Sophie, is abducted by Matthew’s old nemesis who is dead-set on acquiring the Pandu statue, Matthew may be forced into action. Saving Sophie’s life means either breaking into the Royal Ontario Museum to steal the relic or offering up something no one in his or her right mind can refuse--the City of Gold.
Now Matthew and his two closest friends have to find a city and a treasure that have been lost for centuries. And they only have seven days to do it. As they race against the clock, they quickly discover that the streets they seek aren’t actually paved with gold, but with blood.
Carolyn Author Photo 2013 Color

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

CAROLYN ARNOLD is the international best-selling and award-winning author of the Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher, and McKinley Mystery series. She is the only author with POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT.™
Carolyn was born in a small town, but that doesn’t keep her from dreaming big. And on par with her large dreams is her overactive imagination that conjures up killers and cases to solve. She currently lives in a city near Toronto with her husband and two beagles, Max and Chelsea. She is also a member of Crime Writers of Canada.
Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online: Website      Twitter    Facebook And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.

Purchase Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | Apple iBooks | Kobo



Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Review: Murder Most Finicky by: Liz Mugavero


Title: Murder Most Finicky
Author: Liz Mugavero
Publisher: Kensington
Series: Pawsitively Organic Mysteries #4
Pages: 352
Format: e-book ARC
Source: NetGalley & Great Escapes Book Tours

Description:

The dog days of summer have arrived in the small town of Frog Ledge, Connecticut, and business is booming for Kristan "Stan" Connor. Her Pawsitively Organic pet food has even caught the attention of celebrity pastry chef Sheldon Allyn, who helps Stan open a fancy pet pastry shop in Frog Ledge. A partnership is born, and Sheldon invites Stan to Newport, Rhode Island, for an appreciation weekend he's hosting for all his independent chefs. But the gourmet getaway turns sour when one of the chefs turns up dead, and a second one goes missing. . . 

As Stan tries to figure out who had a recipe for murder, the pool of suspects expands. And if she can't sniff out the culprit soon, this killer may just serve up a second helping of murder. . .

My Thoughts: 

This book follows Kristan "Stan" as she is invited to a weekend away with other local food chefs, she meets up with one of Sheldon's assistants who blindfolds her to bring her to Newport Rhode Island along with another chef Kyle where they meet up with other chefs.  What Stan didn't count on was murder being on the menu when Stan stumbles upon Pierre the missing chef who winds up dead.  Everything is not what it appears in this book! Stan will have to figure out what happened before she finds herself in trouble up to her chef's hat.

I really enjoyed this book it had so much adventure, lots of questions and kept me thoroughly entertained.  Can't wait to see what Stan goes through next!

Interview: Sinful Science author Frankie Bow


What genre do you write? 

I write mysteries that don’t have explicit sex or violence, so technically they’re in the “cozy mystery” category, although that might be a little misleading. I think that because of the success of series like “The Cat Who…” and the Hannah Swensen mysteries, sometimes people expect cozies to have cats and recipes. My main characters tend to be indifferent housekeepers and terrible cooks who can barely care for a pet. In Sinful Science, the main character, Fortune Redding, sort of inherits a cat, so I suppose that fulfills the cat requirement.

How did you come to write cozies? 

As Toni Morrison advised, I write what I’d like to read—PG-rated mysteries with humor, especially in an academic setting. I enjoy Dorothy Sayers, Amanda Cross, Sarah Caudwell, and Joanne Dobson, for example. And speaking of writing what you like to read, I was already a fan of Jana DeLeon’s Miss Fortune series when I discovered that Amazon’s Kindle Worlds was offering the opportunity to write in the Miss Fortune universe. I jumped right in and wrote Sinful Science, and had a lot of fun with it!

Who is your favorite character to write about? 

In the Miss Fortune universe, I love Gertie and Ida Belle, two retired ladies who are not quite what they seem. Their bickering is a lot of fun.

Who inspires your books? 

For my murder mysteries, what usually happens is that I get home, sit down at my computer, open up my word processor, and ask myself, “Okay, who needs to die?” 

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I teach at a public university, read murder mysteries, and hang out with my family. 

If you were stuck on a deserted island what three things would you take?

 Assuming there was an electrical outlet, I’d say 1) My Keurig machine, 2) A supply of coffee, and 3) cream for the coffee. 


One lucky winner will get paper copies of The Case of the Defunct Adjunct and The Musubi Murder.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Review: The Urban Boys by: K.N. Smith




ABOUT THE BOOK:

THE URBAN BOYS
Author: K.N. Smith
Pages: 292

Release Date: September 29th, 2015
Publisher: Two Petals Publishing

SYNOPSIS:

The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses is an action-adventure story about five teen boys who are mysteriously exposed to a foreign energy source that gives them extremely heightened senses. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell become hypersensitive gifts that forever change the world. The story chronicles their effortless interrelations and later exposes the testing of their deep bonds. It introduces the reader to an array of supporting characters who alter the boys’ lives forever. The Urban Boys offers young and mature readers central themes of loyalty, responsibility, honesty, fear, and triumph, which become artfully integrated with cinematic-level action and high drama. The story twists, turns, and grinds through elements of paranormal and action-adventure in a diverse, exciting, edge-of-your-seat narrative!

Overview: 

The story’s small town of Danville Heights, a carefully crafted universe, contrasts with the dark, gloomy town of Sandry Lake, where evil abounds. Upon the boys’ mysterious incident with the energy source, they’re instinctively called to Sandry Lake to root out evil. Their senses guide them each time. However, secrecy about their mission, furious battles with evil thugs, extreme fatigue, and stress and pressure soon overwhelm the boys, but they must find a way to embrace their fate. A lurking, Dark Stranger seems to know their plight, and a strikingly beautiful, fearless girl lends way to heightened confusion. Shocking details about these two characters, and the evil antagonist, the dreaded Druth, twist and grind the story even further.
Despite tension and fierce battles, will the boys hold it together long enough to fulfill their destiny?

Intriguing, intelligent, and full of action, The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses offers a memorable, emotion-packed, thrilling ride for young and mature readers alike!


My Thoughts:

This book is very intriguing to read and follows the path of five teenage boys who get hit with a energy source which heightens their senses.  We get to see what they do with those heightened senses.  They find they have a new mission in life rather than a typical teenage existence. This book was different from most books out there as it is boys with super powers instead of girls with powers. Definitely a different kind of paranormal, ya book it's great for those looking for a captivating YA Paranormal book.  I was given this book as part of a book tour for a honest and fair review.  Can't wait to see what K. N Smith comes up with next!


BOOK LINKS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR.
K.N. Smith is an American author and passionate advocate of childhood and family literacy programs throughout the world. She continues to inspire students of all ages to reach their highest potential in their literary and educational pursuits. Her creative, lyrical flair sweeps across pages that twist, turn, and grind through elements of paranormal and action-adventure in diverse, exciting, edge-of-your-seat narratives. K.N. Smith has over twenty years' experience in writing, communications, and creative design. She lives with her family in California.
WEBSITE: www.knsmith.com
TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

GIVEAWAY
1 Winner will get a $15.00 iTunes gift card
2 Winners will each receive a signed copy of THE URBAN BOYS
20 Winners will get eCopies of THE URBAN BOYS



Must be 13+ to enter | Ships in US Only


TOUR SCHEDULE

February 1st Insane About Books REVIEW
February 2nd 
The Goth GIrl Reads REVIEW
February 3rd 
Once Upon A Twilight 
February 4th 
The Book Reaper REVIEW
February 5th 
Owl Always Be Reading
February 6th 
G. Jack Writes REVIEW
February 7th 
Book Hounds YA
February 8th 
The Serial Reader REVIEW
February 9th 
Girls *Heart* Books
February 10th 
Shelf_Life REVIEW
February 11th 
Her Book Thoughts
February 12th 
Community Bookstop REVIEW
February 13th 
Arvenig.it REVIEW
February 14th 
My Book Addiction REVIEW

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Book Spotlight: The Changing Season by: Steven Manchester

 Title: The Changing Season
Author: Steven Manchester
Publisher: The Story Plant
Pages: 288
Purchase Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

Brief Synopsis:
A beautifully crafted and poignant coming of age story where loyalties will be divided, friendships will be tested, teenage love will be discovered, and through it all, the enduring bond between a boy and his beloved dog will always be remembered. 

This was supposed to be a simple summer for Billy: one more lazy expanse of time before college began. He'd fill the hours playing with Jimmy - his canine best buddy - going camping and doing all the things he promised Jimmy they'd do before Billy left. But that was before the accident that shook the entire town. It was before the summer job that turned into something so much more than a way to get a paycheck. And it was before Vicki. This summer was destined to be many things to Billy, things he didn't truly understand until now. But it was definitely not going to be simple.

An enormously touching, richly textured, deeply moving novel of new adulthood, The Changing Season is an experience to savor. 


Early Praise:
"The Changing Season is a story that will bring you back to that awkward period of time between childhood and adult life. I highly recommend this book." - Richard Paul Evans, #1 NYT Bestselling Author, THE CHRISTMAS BOX and THE MISTLETOE PROMISE

"Manchester's The Changing Season will be to young adults what Old Yeller is to my grandson."
- Ed Asner, Actor, Up, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Lou Grant, Elf

"The Changing Season is a thought-provoking coming-of-age tale that explores the complicated themes of love, faith, family and, above all, loyalty. Mr. Manchester's portrayal of a boy at the cusp of manhood is evocative and sympathetic." - Susan Wilson, NYT Bestselling Author, ONE GOOD DOG

"Heartfelt, emotional, and beautifully written, The Changing Season is captivating. Steven Manchester is one gifted storyteller!" - Carla Neggers, NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author, HARBOR ISLAND and ECHO LAKE.

Interview with Steven Manchester Author of The Changing Season


 Interview: Steven Manchester

I recently had the pleasure of siting down and talking with Steven Manchester who has written so many beautiful stories that remind me so much of Nicholas Sparks I swear Steven could go so far as to beat out Mr. Sparks!  Here's the interview I had with him.



What genre do you write? 
I write commercial fiction with a slant toward inspirational; tear-jerkers from a male perspective to a female (and male) audience. 

How did you come to write that genre?



I wrote two non-fiction books (on the first Gulf War and the prison system in Massachusetts). Once I’d exhausted my expertise, I had to switch to fiction. My style eventually evolved into what was most natural to me; the genre I write today. I feel compelled to evoke emotion when I write. 

Who is your favorite character to write about?


 
I’ve created many characters who I’ve enjoyed developing and getting to know. In my new novel, The Changing Season, although I love the protagonist, Billy Baker—I adore his furry sidekick, Jimmy. 

Living or Dead who inspires your writing? 



Family, friends and hundreds of writers who I am eternally grateful to.

What do you do when your not writing? 



Spending time with my wife, Paula, and our four children. I love dining out, film, travel, reading—all the finer things in life. 

What plans do you have for 2016 with writing?



I’m finishing up a book, entitles, Ashes

In the novel, Ashes, two middle-aged brothers, Jason and Jeremy, have been estranged for nearly fifteen years. When they learn their cruel father has passed away and has been cremated, they sit for his last will and testament—to further discover that the old bastard has requested they spread his ashes cross country. And the only way they can receive the concealed envelope he has left for them is to take the trip by car—together. 

Jason and Jeremy have raised their children and are on the tail end of their careers. Each is silently pondering what life has left for him. During their comical journey—filled with miscommunication and misunderstanding—the harsh realities of getting older are illuminated. With a few unexpected twists and turns along the way, Ashes is a page-turning adventure that has proven to be heartwarming, highly-relatable and hilarious.   

Which book have you written they you like above others or do you? 



My answer to that will always be, “The next book.” Truthfully, it’s like picking a favorite child for me—impossible. There are things I love (and less than love) about all my titles.

What made you decide to pursue writing?



When I was a kid, I loved listening to my grandfather spin tales that made me laugh—and cry. I knew that that I wanted to be a storyteller. 

In 1991, I’d just returned home from Operation Desert Storm, and was working as a prison investigator in Massachusetts. Needless to say, there was great negativity in my life at that time. I decided to return to college to finish my degree in Criminal Justice. During one of the classes, the professor talked about police work but nothing else. I finally raised my hand and asked, “The criminal justice system is vast. What about the courts, probation, parole – corrections?” He smiled and told me to see him after class. I thought I’d finally done it! In his office, he explained, “There’s no written material out there on corrections or prisons, except from the slanted perspective of inmates.” He smiled again and dropped the bomb. “If you’re so smart,” he said, “why don’t you write it?” Nine months later, I dropped the first draft of 6-5; A Different Shade of Blue on his desk. From then on, I was hooked. I was a writer. 

If you were stuck on a deserted island with three things what three things would you take? 



Something to write with 
Lots of fluids 
And a boat (to return to civilization once I’d finished a new novel)