Sunday, December 24, 2017

Review: Thread The Halls by: Lea Wait

Title: Thread The Halls
Author: Lea Wait
Publisher: Kensington
Series: Mainely Needlepoint #6
Pages: 288
Format: e-book ARC
Source: NetGalley

Description:

Christmas in Haven Harbor, Maine, means family, trouble, and murder . . .

This Yuletide season, there's no time for Angie Curtis and Patrick West to linger under the mistletoe. Patrick's being needled by his mother--movie star Skye West--to set the stage for a perfect white Christmas as she brings her costar, screenwriters, and director home for the holidays. With his mother's long list of wishes, Patrick's becoming unraveled. To help, the Mainely Needlepointers offer to decorate Skye's Victorian mansion and create needlepoint pillows as gifts for the guests.

But not long after the celebrity celebrants invade Haven Harbor, an unscripted tragedy occurs. Then some questionable Christmas cookies make Patrick sick. Before Santa arrives at the town pier on a lobster boat, Angie and the Needlepointers need to trim down the naughty list, catch a cold-hearted killer, and wrap up the case . . .

My Thoughts:

Christmas is hitting Haven Harbor and the Mainely Needlepointers are helping Patrick West in setting up a perfect Maine Christmas for his mother Skye and her co-workers.  But someone has murder on their mind when one of the guests winds up dead, and Patrick ends up poisoned as well.  Someone is doing a good job of pointing the finger at Angie!  Whose the Grinch this year and will Angie figure it out in time?

 It's such an adventure to go back to Haven Harbor and see what everyone is up to and this book didn't disappoint.  The group had their ups and downs but that happens with any friends. I have loved this series since the first book and it grows every time I get a copy to read.  This one was full of holidays and good friends celebrating while also trying to figure out who is trying to do in Patrick and a guest of Skye's!   I don't want to spoil the ending but if you haven't read these books you are truly missing out!

Review: Miracle at Christmas by: Debbie Mason

Title: Miracle At Christmas
Author: Debbie Maso
Publisher: Forever Yours
Series: Christmas, Colorado #7.5
Pages: 94
Format: e-book ARC
Source: NetGalley

Description:

Celebrate the holidays with USA Today bestselling author Debbie Mason's heartwarming novella about a town called Christmas.

Charlotte Bailey needs a miracle. She came to this sleepy little Colorado town to keep the local hospital afloat, but now her scrooge of a boss is demanding she close it down. Charlotte is going to need all the help she can get, even from Dr. McSexy--er, Dr. Matt Trainer--if she's to save Christmas before, well, Christmas!

All Matt wants for Christmas is for Charlotte to give it--and him--half a chance. But with the town looking to him to save the hospital and Charlotte itching to get back to New York in time to see the city decked out in lights, Matt doesn't have much time to make things right. But he's got faith--after all, miracles happen every day in Christmas.

My Thoughts:

In this book Charlotte Bailey is heading back to New York after her exile in Christmas Colorado.  She was sent there to appease her ex-husband and his new wife who want to take the family business away from Charlotte.  Charlotte is reduced in the end to cut the hospital and close it down which is the last thing she wants to do with the help of Ty and Matt and other people in town Charlotte is trying anything she can to keep the hospital running. Will she solve this issue in time?  Or will there be no Christmas Miracle?

I enjoyed this series granted I haven't read any of the others but think I may have too.  This book was a great insight into the town and people and dedication they have to their small town and each other.  Add to that one sexy doctor and Charlotte definitely has her work cut out for her.  The romance was great as well.  Who doesn't enjoy a romance at Christmastime!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Review: Once and For All by: Sarah Dessen

Title: Once and For All
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Viking Books For Young Readers
Pages: 358
Format: Hardcover
Source: Personal Purchase

Description:

As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen's thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine. 

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that's why she's cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm's length. But Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged, now that he's met the one girl he really wants. 

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

My Thoughts: 

This book follows Louna and her mother Natalie Barrett who runs a wedding planning business with her best friend William all three have bee scorned by love and are very cynical about it.  As this book progresses they meet Ambrose who is happy about many things can challenges Louna who had shut the idea of relationships off after her last boyfriend Ethan.  This book goes back and forth from the present to what happened with Ethan. 

I was really impressed with this book and the love story of Ethan and Louna and the loss they suffered.  It was great that we saw Louna do things she wasn't perfectly comfortable.  It showed how imperfect people can be which is a great thing with books!  I think too much is spent with perfect characters and Ms. Dessen's book shows us the imperfections her characters have which make them greater characters for it! 

Friday, December 22, 2017

Review: Lady Midnight by: Cassandra Clare

Title: Lady Midnight
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Series: The Dark Artifices #1
Pages: 720
Format: Paperback
Source: Gift

Description:

The Shadowhunters of Los Angeles star in this #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling novel in Cassandra Clare’s newest series, The Dark Artifices, a sequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series. Lady Midnight is a Shadowhunters novel.

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering who killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her battle partner Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

Glitz, glamours, and Shadowhunters abound in this heartrending opening to Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices series.

My Thoughts:

This book takes place 5 years after City of Heavenly Fire and brings us to California where Emma is still trying to figure out who killed her parents and living with the Blackthorns who reside at the California institute.  In this book there is the high warlock of Los Angeles Malcolm Fade.  When the faeries approach the shadowhunters asking for help in findig someone whose murdering people using Mark Blackthorn as a  tool to get them to investigate the situation which leads them to various part of Los Angeles.  Will they figure out the murderer in time?  Or will more people die?

I love this series as like the others it takes you and shows you more of the shadowhunter world and you meet more people not all mundane either.  We also get to watch the relationship between Emma and Julian and how it develops ad we get to see old shadowhunters Jace and Clary and Tessa and Jem.  Can't wait to see how the next book in the series goes.  Having some major cliff hanger situations it will definitely be interesting to continue this amazing journey!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Book Blast & Review Murder She Slopes by: Rachel Stapleton


Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series 
Release Date - November 26, 2017 
Print Length: 214 pages 
ASIN: B075CTKP2B
Sirens ring. Are you listening? Near Candy Cane Lane. A Body is glistening. A murderous sight. Trubble's investigating tonight. Walking through this winter wonderland.
It's the week before Christmas and Investigative Journalist Penelope Trubble has reluctantly agreed to investigate the death of a woman at the Sleighs & Slopes Adventure Resort in the hopes of exonerating her her husband—who just happens to be Penny’s ex. But with so many suspicious characters lurking in the trees, Penelope risks being strangled by clues, Christmas lights, conjecture, and catastrophe. It doesn’t help that Penny's still a little frosty with the man accused of icing his bride, and she must prove he's no cold-blooded killer. At least there’s candy-cane cocoa, a roaring fire, and the Laurentian Mountains to savor—not to mention the hunky detective dashing through the snow after her. Helping an ex is a slippery slope, and things are going downhill fast for Penelope Trubble.

My Thoughts:

Penelope Trubble is on vacation for the holidays when she gets a frantic call from her ex-boyfriend whose wife Holly is dead and it looks like her ex might be on the hook for it.  Now she finds herself heading to Sleigh & Slopes Adventure Resort to help find out who killed Holly! This book has it's fill of adventure and lots of possibilities. As the bodies start pilling up and the potential suspect could be anyone. 

I enjoyed reading this and following along with Penelope as she tries to figure out who killed Lucas blushing bride and why?  This book will keep you going until the last page is turned! Such a great adventure to go when the character Penelope only really knows a few people Eve, Cody, and Lucas she really has her work cut out for her.  Can't wait to see what is next!




About The Author

Rachael Stapleton lives in a Second Empire Victorian home with her husband and two children in Ontario, Canada and enjoys writing in the comforts of aged wood and arched dormers.
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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Review: Of Murder and Men by: Lynn Cahoon


Title: Of Murder and Men
Author: Lynn Cahoon
Publisher: Kensington
Series: Cat Latimer Mystery #3
Pages: 320
Format: e-book ARC
Source: NetGalley & GEBT

Description:

Love is in the air in Aspen Hills, and it’s making a terrible mess of Cat Latimer’s writers’ retreat—especially when blood stains the plot . . .

Ever since her business partner, Shauna, fell for a wealthy landowner in town, Cat has been working double time to keep her writers’ retreat running. And with the January session almost underway, that spells trouble. As if scheduling mishaps aren’t disastrous enough, Shauna skips out on kitchen duties one morning, forcing Cat to serve unsuspecting guests store-bought muffins . . .

But best laid plans really go awry when Shauna discovers her beau missing from their bed. When his body later turns up in the horse barn, they quickly find out the victim’s scandalous lifestyle left many dying for revenge. While balancing an eccentric group of aspiring writers and a suspect list for the record books, Cat soon finds herself on the heels of a killer—and authoring her most deadly conclusion yet .

My Thoughts:

Cat Latimer is back and hosting another retreat this one includes an ex-cop Shirley, who wants to help Cat solve her ex-husband Michael's murder.  What Cat seems to be having trouble with is Shauna who is dating a wealthy landowner and taking over Shauna's time making Cat wonder if Shauna will be able to keep up at the retreat.  When her boyfriend goes missing Uncle Pete is on the hunt for clues as to what happened to Shauna's boyfriend.  Where could he have gone and why not tell Shauna? Later that day word gets out that Shauna's boyfriend is dead who could have killed him and why?  Could it have been a bitter ex?  Or his business associate who seems to be looking to close Shauna out of everything?  Of course we are also left wondering what happened to Michael?  Was he into something that got him killed or was it a random killing?

I love this series since it began it's like nothing else I've read.  It follows a retreat runner who has such fun hosting these things minus the murders normally.  This murder seemed to hit closer as it was her friend's boyfriend and she is stuck watching her friend suffer such sadness.  Of course Cat is determined to help her friend and I love that about Cat her loyalty to her friends.  That and her working on her own books is also a great pleasure.  I just can't get enough of this series and look forward to reading what Cat is up to next!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Interview with Laura Childs author of Egg Drop Dead


Interview with Laura Childs,
author of the just-released-in-paperback Egg Drop Dead


What genre do you write?

I’m in what’s called the “cozy” genre – and I write this way for a reason. I think many women are tired of thriller-killer-slasher-type books. These books focus on violence against women – and women simply don’t want that on their nighttime reading tables. They’re looking for a respite, a story where the female characters are smart, savvy, and caring. Cozies by nature are mysteries that feature a sort of “bloodless murder” and where the bad guy (or girl) is brought to justice in the end.

How did you come to write cozies?

Even though I was CEO of an advertising agency, I began writing fiction on evenings and weekends. Over the course of three years I turned out three screenplays and two thrillers. The screenplays all got looked at by Hollywood production companies that eventually passed, the novels never got published.  Then I took one more shot. I wrote a first chapter and a forty-page outline called Death by Darjeeling, what would be my first Tea Shop Mystery. That book not only got published, it hit big time – enough so that I could sell my ad agency and become a full time mystery writer. Now I’m thrilled to say that I’ve written more than forty novels with three more in the works!

What is your favorite character to write about?

I just adore Suzanne, the main character in my Cackleberry Club Mysteries. She’s a smart, savvy entrepreneur who lost her husband and then found love later in life. She’s also a clever lady who can step in and unravel a good murder mystery.

Do you have a favorite villain in any of your books?

I love all my villains. I always try to make them extremely duplicitous – definitely on the spectrum of being a sociopath. That way, they can play a role as a major character but are eventually unmasked and brought to justice in the end.

What inspires your books?

Absolute fear. Fear of not coming up with a good story. Fear of missing a publishing deadline.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I’m always writing. Besides the Cackleberry Club Mysteries, I write the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbooking Mysteries, and the Afton Tangler Thriller series.
Well, actually, when I have a bit of free time I like to travel and read. 

Do you have any new books coming out or books you want to share?

I sure do. Egg Drop Dead was just released in paperback, then I have Plum Tea Crazy (Tea Shop Mystery) coming out in March 2018, Glitter Bomb (Scrapbook Mystery) the following October, and Eggs on Ice (Cackleberry) in December.

Do you have a favorite drink?

Since I’m often writing about tea, I’m usually drinking it, too!
If you were stuck on a deserted island and could take three things with you, what would they be?

A toothbrush, fishing line, and a water purifying kit. Wait, that’s way too practical. How about lip gloss, a Chanel jacket, and diamond earrings?



BIO:

Laura Childs is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, New Orleans Scrapbooking Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO of her own marketing firm, authored several screenplays, and produced a reality TV show. She is married to Dr. Bob, a professor of Chinese and Japanese art history, enjoys travel, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Find out more at www.laurachilds.com


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Reading Challenge Completed 2017

Here's my completed list for the Craving for Cozies book list:

1. The Temple of Indra
2. Telling Tails
3. A Fatal Twist
4. Color Me Dead
5. Fatality by Firelight
6. Bananna Cream Pie Murder
7. The Seven-Course Christmas Killer
8.  Facials Can Be Murder
9. Kneaded to Death
10. A Ghostly Mortality
11. No Way Home
12. Pressed to Death
13. Pekoe Most Poison
14. Murder at The Fortune Teller's Table
15. Cherry Cake and A Cadavar
16. Single Malt Murder
17. Murder by The Book
18. A Good Day to Buy
19.  Bed and Breakfast and Murder
20. Cat Got Your Cash
21. When The Grits Hit The Fan
22. Southern Fried
23. Dial P for Poison 
24. Silence of the Jams
25. Dying on the Vine
26. Called to Justice
27. Bad to the Bone
28. The Final Vow
29. Mrs. Odboddy Undercover Courier
30. Watching The Detectives
31. Hospitality and Homicide
32. Bearly Departed
33. Death on the West End
34. There was a Crooked Man
35. Detecting The Duchess
36. Killer Party
37. Twelve Angry Librarians
38. Olive and Let Die
39. A Ghostly Secret
40. Honeymoons can Be Murder
41. The Day Job is Murder
42. Vacation is Murder
43. Money is Murder
44. Politics is Murder
45. Family is Murder
46. Booked for Trouble
47. Shopping is Murder
48. Valentine's Day is Murder
49. Christmas is Murder
50. Coffee is Murder
51. Skiing is Murder
52. A Knit Before Dying
53. Iced Under
54. Dangeling by A Thread
55. Tightening by A Thread
56.  Ginger Snapped
57. All The Little Liars
58.  Death of A Christmas Caper
59. Death of A Cupcake Queen
60. Death of A Pumpkin Carver
61. Hair Brained
62. Midnight Mysteries
63. Eggnog Murder
64. Death of A Toy Solider
65. Murder on the Toy Express
66. Crepe Factor
67.Potrait of A Dead Guy
68. A Killer Kebab
69. Cold As Ice
70. 16 Millimeters
71. Sleep Like A Baby
72. A Final Collection
73. Lethal & Old Lace
74. The Specter of Seduction
75. Death at the Midnight Dragonfly
76. Etched in Tears
77. Death of A Honest Man
78. Fool Me Twice
79. The Professional
80. The Culinary Art of Murder
81. Honey-Baked Homicide


Cover Reveal: Battered Mind by: Sylvia Stein




Hello my name is Sylvia Stein and I am an Indie Author.   I have exciting news.  This week I am doing the cover reveal of my book which I hope will be released in late 2018.    I have been working with this book for awhile.  It is a story I have been doing extensive research one and because of the topic I am covering I want to be sure I do it justice.  It is a work of fiction and for today I will be revealing the book cover which was designed by the very talented and amazing Michael Dangremond  and his title of his art work the cost of love.   When I saw this portrait I immediately saw what I was looking for for my main character of Sadie Martin Carlyle.   The title of this my first thriller is Battered Mind and I hope you all enjoy the cover reveal.   I absolutely was blown away by it.  I hope you are too!  

Review: Honey-Baked Homicide by: Gayle Leeson


Title: Honey-Baked Homicide
Author: Gayle Leeson
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Series: Down South Café Mystery #3
Pages: 288
Format: e-book ARC
Source: NetGalley & GEBT

Description:

The owner of a delightful Southern cafe tastes the sharp sting of suspicion in this delectable comfort food mystery . . .

It's fall in Winter Garden, Virginia, and business at Amy Flowers' Down South Cafe has never been better. So when struggling beekeeper Stuart Landon asks Amy to sell some of his honey, she's happy to help. The jars of honey are a sweet success, but their partnership is cut short when Amy discovers Landon's body outside the cafe early one morning. 
As Amy tries to figure out who could possibly have wanted to harm the unassuming beekeeper, she discovers an ever-expanding list of suspects--and they're all buzzing mad. She'll have to use all of her skills--and her Southern charm--to find her way out of this sticky situation...

My Thoughts:

This book follows Amy Flowers as she is featuring selling Stuart Landon's honey.  The honeys of course fly off the shelves and Amy goes back to Stu Landon's for more honey and find Stu upset about a neighbor hurting his bees.  When the following day arrives and Stu arrives at the Down South Cafe Amy can tell something is wrong and she stumbles upon a dead Stu!  Who killed him and why?  Was it because of a grudge held by a previous job?  Who is Stu Landon and why does he seem so mysterious?  Amy is determined to find out what she can!  But will she find herself in a bee's hive?

I like this series and how it brings Amy into learning more about people in Winter Garden.  I also love watching how Amy interacts with friends and family and her boyfriend!  This book leads you on one great ride.  Can't wait to see what is next!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Review: The Culinary Art of Murder by: Heather Haven


Title: The Culinary Art of Murder
Author: Heather Haven
Publisher: The Wives of Bath Press
Series: The Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries #6
Pages: 281
Format: e-book ARC
Source: GEBT

Description:

Lee’s Uncle ‘Tío’ is smitten with a visiting chef at a Silicon Valley culinary arts institute. When the lady is arrested for two murders, a fellow chef and the dishwasher, Lee Alvarez, lead investigator for Discretionary Inquiries, Inc., the family owned detective agency, agrees to help find the real killer. But undercover work at the institute proves to be more difficult than whipping up a chocolate soufflé. The killer tries to get Lee out of the way and permanently. But just who is it? The lady chef? One of her two sons? Or one of the other inmates from a cooking school with secrets as plentiful as sauces? Can Lee find the real killer before her own goose is cooked? And if it turns out to be the ambitious southern belle chef, will Tío ever forgive Lee for sending his new lady love to jail?

My Thoughts:

This book follows Lee Alvarez as she is investigating when Tio's lady friend Patsy is in trouble for stabbing a chef who worked with Patsy's ex-husband.  Lee starts investigating and gets called into other situations as well.  Investigating a boyfriend for a co-worker. The more Lee investigates the more suspects appear!  The Institute at Lee has to go undercover in teaches kids to be chef's.  They have four chef's who teach children and a guest chef to teach the kids new things this time around it was Patsy as the guest chef.  Was the timing of Patsy being around used to kill Chef Jacques? Who hated Chef Jacques enough to kill him?  Was it Patsy or a student or another chef?

I have been such a huge fan of this series I love how the Alvarez's work together to get to the bottom of every situation they are handled.  This one didn't disappoint and also included Gurn as part of the mix. I also enjoyed seeing how far they would go to help Uncle Tio.  This was different as we learn that Tio has a lady fried that wasn't there before.  Patsy is such a different character then the family is.  Can't wait to see what is next in this series!